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Rest from Your Labor

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Very little speaks to the simplicity of the rural life like an old red barn and a dirt road. However, "easy" is not a synonym for "simple." The agrarian lifestyle generally calls for long, hard days of work. There is no rest from the labor and chores.

It was to hard-working people like this that Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29)

You don't have to be a farmer to be weary and burdened with life. The words of Jesus echo throughout time to all people looking for the One who can show them a better way. Jesus will walk with you and even take the heavy load upon His shoulders because He cares that much for you. Those burdens of guilt, regret and unfaithfulness -- all removed. You can be released from them and find rest for your soul.

It might not be an easy road to walk but you h…

Made In The Shade

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He/she has it "made in the shade."

This was an expression from the 1950s which means to be in an excellent or ideal situation. Well, duh! Makes sense to me when looking at this shady, scenic, rural setting. Surrounded by stately mature trees, this old barn has it made in the shade... although I suspect the hard-working farmer who owns this place sees very little shade as he tends to his fields except when heading for the barn (which is a whole 'nother idiom).

What surrounds you? The Psalmist and King, David, knew all too well what it meant to be surrounded by life-threatening dangers. He also understood what it meant to be surrounded by God's presence even in those times. He penned the following:

Surely, Lord, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12)

You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7)

Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing lo…

Putting On and Peeling Off

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Even as the dogwood tree fills it's branches with beautiful flowers, the old barn in the background is shedding its exterior.

Seasons come and go for all things. No natural thing, whether animal, vegetable or mineral, will last forever. We rejoice at new life and grieve at life lost, but it is all part of the circle of life that has taken place since Adam and Eve's fall to sin in the Garden of Eden.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1, Solomon wrote (in various translations):

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. (KJV)

Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses. (GNT)

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. (NASB)

So, if God ordains special "appointments" for us to experience then they are intended to teach us, build character in us, and prepare us for His purpose and plan. Nothing lasts forever except God's plan. We should consider it a joy and privilege to be …

Supersonic Versus Supernatural

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Much technology goes into the development of fighter jets capable of supersonic speeds. We marvel at the ingenuity and precision of ever detail that goes into its design, but as fast as these birds can fly, they are still limited by natural forces like friction and gravity. They are limited in the distance they can travel based on gallons-per-mile consumption and size of the fuel cells. The maneuvers they are capable of are limited to the skill of the pilot.

There is One, however, who has no limitations based on natural forces, skill, consumption or size. He is all knowing, all present, all powerful, almighty, everlasting and all sovereign. Nothing is impossible for Him or with Him. He is not limited by time, space, environment, resources, circumstances, my abilities or my inabilities. He is supernatural. He is God.

Jesus said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

In Isaiah 55:9 we read, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than…

Aware

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Julia sat on that limb for hours overseeing her precious eaglet. Nothing escaped here attention though. We were no threat to her or baby at the distance we were from the nest, but she was certainly keeping two eyes on the photographers below.

The wind blew, vehicles passed by, people chatted, other birds flew overhead, but Julia kept her post... diligently observing her surroundings for any danger.

I'm glad that we have a God whose eyes are even more keen than an eagle's. He never sleeps; His eyes are always on you. With everything that is going on in the world at any moment, God is not distracted and His attention is never pulled away from you.

My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip —
He who watches over you will not slumber.

~Psalm 121:2-3 

Shiloh National Military Park
Shiloh, TN

Purpose

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Triodopsis tridentata - Northern Threetooth Air-breathing Land Snail

No, this snail does not have three teeth. The name represents the particular shape of the shell having three denticles or “teeth” of calcium at the opening.

Triodopsis tridentata is the most widespread threetooth of the East, ranging from the southern Appalachian Mountains, west to Michigan and southern Canada, and east into Vermont.

Land snails serve an important role in the ecosystem. They eat very low on the food web, as most land snails will consume rotting vegetation like moist leaf litter, and also fungi and sometimes eat soil directly. The land snail relies on a diet rich in calcium and other nutrients to support the growth and repair of its shell as well as its overall health.

Snails then in turn are consumed by a variety of predators that rely on snails for their calcium and other dietary needs. A great diversity of animal life feeds upon land snails, from insects to lizards and snakes, salamanders, birds and ma…

New Things

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This old wagon has seen its better days, but I'll bet it served many functions in its prime. It was probably the family car, the dump truck, the U-Haul, and the hit of the hayride. Today she rots and rusts in her place... a reminder that the present keeps driving forward without a worry for the past.

Søren Kierkegaard said, "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."

Bill Keane said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”

Mother Theresa said, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

Getting lost in the past can be interpreted as being nostalgic, but it can also hinder your joy for the present and anticipation for the future. God told the Prophet Isaiah...

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

(Isaiah 43:18-19)

What new and wonderful things is God doing around …