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Friday, May 26, 2023

Amish school near Intercourse, PA
Yesterday we passed this Amish one room school near Intercourse, PA with a good message for all who pass by. Can you tell what materials they used to make the letters?
(* The answer is below)

"When The Detour Is The Road"

Message summary: If you’re on a winding, bumpy detour may you have the perspective of the apostle James and "consider it pure joy" and trust that the detour is the road.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

Detour AheadYesterday we encountered several detours in the course of our travels doing chaplaincy ministry in eastern Lancaster County.
A detour is "a deviation from a direct course or the usual procedure" (Merriam Webster). We've all dealt with travel detours which can be frustrating, confusing and at times rather time-consuming.

But unplanned detours are not just experienced in our travels; they are also experienced in our life's journey and to different degrees of severity. We may wisely plan ahead but detours still pop up in life; an unexpected deviation from the expected route we had planned to take. Karen Peck, in her outstanding song titled "I Choose Christ", writes regarding these detours, "It was not the path I would have chosen". We've all been on paths we would not have chosen!

Many years ago we saw a church sign that wisely stated, "Contentment is enjoying the scenery while on a detour".

Roads detours are often planned and an alternate route is clearly marked out with signs to keep us on the right path. But many detours in life certainly weren't planned and we may have little signage for alternate routes. What's more, we don't even know when we will be back on the main road and what that will look like!

DetoursSeveral weeks ago our pastor preached a sermon about hope and referenced this type of detour and challenged the church to have this outlook, "I will trust the detour is the road".

Detours like this may paralyze us with fear or give us a sense of hopelessness but what we can do is daily build on our Christian foundation so that we are prepared for that which we cannot foresee, as we place our confidence in Almighty God. He can give us the contentment and peace of enjoying the scenery while on a detour.

The daily texts are among the first Scriptures we memorized as young Christians in the seventies. Being thankful during the detours does not mean that we don’t pray for God’s intervention and seek a resolution to our problem. Certainly if I’m on a detour while traveling I still have a goal to arrive at the proper destination in a timely fashion.

However, while following the detour I can choose to be annoyed by the change of routine that requires extra time or I can enjoy the new landscape, adjust my schedule, and reach my final destination with a good, or at the very least, an overcoming attitude.

The key to “enjoying the scenery” and being thankful during life’s detours is based on three foundational truths that should be the bedrock of our faith. We must be firmly persuaded that:

1) God is in absolute control. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21).

2) God is ultimately fulfilling His purpose in our lives. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

3) God is always working for our good. "For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

So today as we navigate our way through the detours of life, may we have the perspective of the apostle James and "consider it pure joy". In thankfulness may we enjoy the scenery while on this detour.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Praying manDaily prayer: Father, it is not by mistake but by Your design that we experience the detours of life that give us perspective in a way that nothing else does. Help us to persevere in the midst of uncertainty and unfamiliar landscape. May we find joy in the simple pleasures we overlooked when life’s journey was routine and uninterrupted by the surprise bends in the road or difficult detours that bring about delay or a change of plans. May the testing of our faith bring about maturity and give us a new perspective that makes us stronger in our faith and more effective in our witness to those around us. May others see a grateful spirit in us even as we undergo difficulty so that we glorify Your name rather magnify our problems. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Choose Christ"  Click to listen on YouTube   Karen Peck and New River 

"The Detour"  Click to listen on YouTube  FAITHFUL  We heard this thoughtful song in our church several weeks ago following the message I alluded to above. 

* The letters on the Amish school are made of red plastic cups stuck in the fence! We learned that detail from our Amish "grandchildren" who were riding along with us in our car.

Old Windmill Farm horse
After our first chaplain visit yesterday we stopped by the Old Windmill Farm to visit the Lapp family prior to their farm tours. Jesse told me this horse is expecting and I learned that horses have a gestation period of 11-12 months.

The three youngest Lapp children joined us for the rest of the morning which sure made our trip more interesting. I think what they were most excited about, especially Stephen, the youngest, was going through an automatic car wash. I guess when you think about it they wouldn't take their horse and buggy through a car wash!

Old Windmill Farm baby goat
When Brooksyne heard there was a day old kid goat she headed to the barn and here it is! Small as a puppy!

Horse and foal
As we drove through the countryside we saw a dam relaxing with her foal.

Mennonite on bike
We stopped at a roadside stand east of Ephrata, PA and saw this Mennonite ride by on his bike hauling some equipment. Lots of planting going on all around us!

Pat and Laverne
We met my brother Pat and his wife Laverne for lunch in Adamstown where we ate outside along a creek at Boehringer's Drive-In which has been in business since 1936 and will soon pass on to the fifth generation! It was a very busy place with long lines. Pat celebrated his birthday earlier this month and tomorrow they will celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary. They were down this way on a camping trip and we caught up with them.

Finally today:

JK Commendation board
Spreading Kindness
I saw this white board this morning at JK Mechanical with employees writing something nice about a co-worker.

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