Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Daily Encouragement (05/05/15) "Dealing With TLI"

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Village Farm Market 5/1/15
The colorful flowers at the Village Farm Market on Route 322 east of Ephrata Pennsylvania
Click on photo for larger view

"Dealing With TLI"

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"We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there" (Acts 20:22).

What lies ahead for the next two years in the world, in our country or in our lives? We just don't know. Frankly we believe the rapid increase in lawlessness signals some very hard times ahead. The Judeo-Christian underpinning of our land is rapidly crumbling with the godless progressives taking a jackhammer to it.

But we are called to live one day at a time and we'll see. However for many this very day is hard enough such as a reader who wrote us with this painful prayer request, "I live with a recovering addict and heavy drinker who gets violent with me every now and then. He is my son. I love him. He just hit me again because he did not get his own way. Your devotion really helped. Please pray for me and my wife."

Many of us will testify that the Lord deals with us in unusual ways in the midst of trials. Trials tend to shake us out of complacency and, although undesirable and unpleasant at the time, they can draw us closer to the Lord helping us to focus on that which really matters.

A spiritual truth I've learned in regard to trials is that you don't pick your trials nor do you schedule them! If we could schedule them we'd likely put them on Feb. 29 so we'd only encounter them once every four years and hope that all would be over by the end of the day, for at least another four years. (For a 76 year old woman that would mean that she would have only 19 days of trials over her lifetime!)

We begin the spiritual journey when we place our faith in Christ as our Savior and Lord. This journey is a long, marathon-like race. It will certainly include many "dangers, toils and snares." The single, summarizing quote of an early sermon by Paul was, "We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). Those hardships may begin very early in life or as one enters the golden years.  Some deal with extensive trials all through their pilgrimage.

There is a lot we can know about our spiritual journey. We have many wonderful assurances in Scripture concerning the overall plan and the final outcome. But there are many specifics along the way that are not revealed to us.

Today I consider two phrases the Apostle Paul uses in the daily text: "And now, compelled by the Spirit." This has the sense of being strongly urged or constrained by the influences of the Holy Spirit. The KJV states "bound by the Spirit." Like Paul we need to seek the Holy Spirit's strong leading in life.

"Not knowing what will happen to me there." Although Paul was confident in the Spirit's leading him, he didn't know what awaited him. In the following verse he indicates that he had been forewarned that this will be a very trying time, but was not given foreknowledge about how the trials would "flesh out."

We often hear the acronym TMI ("Too Much Information" although around here it would liekly be taken as "Three Mile Island"). Paul was given TLI (Too Little Information), just enough to make one quite reluctant about making such a trip. Surely he could come up with plenty of excuses to delay this trip until the Spirit led him elsewhere, where people would welcome his visit, care for his every need. But Paul was a man of prayer and he was more interested in being obedient than being comfortable.

Not knowing all the details of how things will work out is the way we test our faith. Is it rooted and grounded in Christ or is it based on whether we get exactly what we want when we want it?  Brooksyne often quotes Warren Wiersbe, "Faith that cannot be tested is faith that cannot be trusted." So how is the testing going for you? Can you trust your faith? Many of you reading this are in the very midst of a fiery trial. I sure hope you have the blessed assurance of the Romans 8:28 perspective. (If you haven't memorized that verse you sure should.)

As you're enduring the trial you may wonder how in the world God is ever going to work this situation out. As a preacher of the Gospel I have often ministered to people in deep trials; for many the most anguishing part is the "not knowing." This is true for Brooksyne and me as well.  We want a detailed plan for each step and a specific date for the return of "normalcy."

But we don't get that. Instead we are called to trust. And those who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true! When we experience TLI let us be sure to T&O!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, it is in the testing of our faith that we prove the worth of our Christian walk. Help us to endure the test and trust You for the outcome, for we know that faith that cannot be tested is faith that cannot be trusted. O for grace to trust You more and more.  In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

The biggest challenge in riding a bike with a dog is holding a leash and the dog pulling at or running before the bike.
The other day we were riding our bikes along the river trail and I met a couple with their dogs who had an interesting device called the Cycleash  Video  I looked it up, priced it, then determined to build my own. I call it the redneck version. As a service to any interested readers I will share several photos and instructions. Of course you may have to adapt! This method keeps the dog away from the bike and the "spring" in the PEX pipe gives some margin.

Material needed: Spare piece of PEX pipe (Other plastic pipe may work as well but PEX is very flexible, hose clamp and of course duct tape.

Bicycle leash
Run one end of pex pipe under seat and attach anywhere you can on the seat or post using a hose clamp. My bike seat has a metal band around it so it was easy.

Bicycle leash
On the other end I attached a used sharkbite fitting to duct tape the leash to. Any connection will work as long as it gives you a place to attach the least. You can probably make it look nicer but I like the look of duct tape.

Bicycle leash
The finished product in use.

Duct tape
We took the bikes over for a ride on the trail to test the redneck cycle leash out. I planned to take a roll of duct tape over in case I needed it for reinforcement but when getting ready to leave I just couldn't find it. After our bike road I was reloading our bikes when I looked up and spotted the missing duct tape on top of the van. Apparently it had enough tack along the edges to make the 8 mile trip, more evidence of the wonders of duct tap.

1) You need to use a holter type collar with attachment at top. Do not use neck collar as that would be a choke hazard.
2) Take care of course that a tree or post does not separate you and dog! But this device keeps the dog close, but away from the bike. I have found a short leash works well. However the same caution would apply to the commercially available models such as the Cycleash.
3) I am working on a means to separate and quickly disconnect the PEX pipe that sticks out from the seat so I can easily remove it when not needed. Thus far I have not been successful.

Amish badminton 5/3/15
Sunday afternoon we passed this wholesome sight; an Amish family playing badminton.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

As we prepared for today's message we received this article by our friends David and Sabra and a heartfelt post from a loving father, "Some Thoughts as My Daughter Gets Married."

"I Know Who Holds Tomorrow"  Video  Gene McDonald and Homecoming singers

"Through It All"  Video  Booth Brothers

"Lead Me Lord"  Video  Gary Valenciano

"Lead Me Lord, I Will Follow"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir  This has the lyrics posted as well.  A wonderful song appealing for the Lord's leading.

National Day Of Prayer: This Thursday is National Day Of Prayer and there will be events all over our country. We have a local prayer meeting on Thursday morning and a county wide event Thursday evening with Ravi Zacharias. We encourage all our readers to pursue this and find out where prayer gatherings will be held in your community. For information see the National Day of Prayer website.

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Stephen and Brooksyne Weber 38th anniversary photo (click on photo to enlarge)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)

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Our other blogs:
"A Daily Prayer" - A blog simply posting the daily prayer. We keep this up each day since it's merely the prayer from the Daily Encouragement Net message!
"A Little Foolishness" - Humor/satire blog (a great outlet for non-serious writing but at times with a subtle message!) (Note: This material is satire!)
"Clear Minded" - Longer, periodic articles on specific issues impacting the faithful believer and church. (Actually this is my intent but I haven't done much with it!)
"Hymns of Hope" - Brooksyne along with two friends made a CD using classic hymns. Brooksyne tells the background story of the 11 hymns. All of these songs are also available for download on the site.

Personal Mission Statement "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International
* The phrase "terrestrial ball" is found in the great hymn ...

"All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name" Video   Paul Baloche
Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version. Other versions are also occasionally used.

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