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Monday, April 16, 2007

Mascot Roller Mill
Mascot Roller Mill
Built in 1760 along Mill Creek in eastern Lancaster County. For nearly 250 years it has stood the test of driving rains, a rising stream, and howling winds. I took this photo Saturday during a country drive before the storm came.

It's not the ferocity of the storm
but the veracity of the foundation!

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"The Foundation On The Rock"

"The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock" (Matthew 7:25).

As we prepare this message today we are getting a storm with heavy rains and strong winds. I stepped outside and it sounds like a roaring train engine and we have lawn furniture and planters strewn all about by the high winds.  As I am typing next to a large window the howling sounds also remind me of the years we lived in New England and observed the ocean when the tides are whipping upon the shore during a hurricane watch.

Many of Christ's parables dealt with illustrative themes that would have readily connected with his initial listeners. But His stories also have a remarkable cross-cultural and multi-generational impact.  I am sure everyone reading, regardless of where you live, has experienced high winds!

Christ speaks of two different types of foundations in Matthew 7 as he concludes the Sermon on the Mount.   He describes one foundation that was built on sand and another one that was built on rock.  Both were subject to identical storm conditions, but only one stood; the one that "had its foundation on the rock."

Two spiritual foundations are contrasted. One foundation is likened to the person who hears the words of Christ and puts them into practice, the other is likened to the person who hears the very same teaching but does not put it into practice.  The foundation is what a house is built upon and of course Jesus is talking about our life here. Our life is the house in this illustration.

Both houses faced the very same storm, in fact the identical phrase is used, "The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house."  But one stood and the other fell. The essential difference was not the ferocity of the storm but the veracity of the foundation.

Our Lord's great emphasis in this teaching is that we are to be as those whom He calls "a wise man." In life the winds will surely blow and beat against our spiritual house.  Some of you are enduring tremendous winds as you read this message.  We must be sure that we are building our foundation on the Rock.  Let us determine that we will both hear His words and put them into practice!

Today you may or may not be facing beating winds in your life. We just never know when they will come but they most certainly will. Continue to build upon the firm foundation of Jesus Christ by listening to and putting His words into practice.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer:  Jesus, to embrace Your teaching is life-transforming but to deafen our ear to Your words keeps us ever searching and never finding life-long answers to that which matters most.  May we hunger and thirst for Your righteousness. Help us to apply Your wisdom to our lives and instruct those You've entrusted to our care to walk in Your ways.  Our foundation will be unshakeable and storm-proof as You build our lives based upon Your eternal truths.  Amen.

Brooksyne's Correction:  I was corrected by a reader regarding the difference in the heat element of jalapeno vs. habanero in last Friday's message.   Perhaps others who are familiar with these peppers also caught the error.  The habanero is actually 50 times hotter than the jalapeno.  I threw out my figures based upon my memory and you can see that it is unreliable so I did some looking up after I got corrected. There are some sites that have other figures but clearly the habanero is a much hotter pepper, so beware when someone offers you a habanero!  I grew them several years ago and the only ones I could persuade to eat them raw were Mexicans at a workplace I visited weekly.  It was quite a sight to see them bite right into one and not get all red in the face.  They loved it when I'd bring in a bag each week!

Today for supplemental music we suggest the classic hymn,

Praise God for friends along the Journey!

Junnbug with Ester
Saturday evening Junnbug (as he is nicknamed) took us out for dinner and Ester really went for a big dessert!  This was a special night for Ester and she had a great time. We met Junnbug several years ago at a company we visited at the time and he has become a very good friend. Later this year he plans to move back to Puerto Rico and we are sure going to miss him!  He has a wonderful conversion testimony.

Chuck and Kim Shupp
We visited with Chuck and Kim Shupp on Sunday. Chuck is a friend from CBMC (an association of Christian businessmen). He and his wife Kim have a vibrant walk with the Lord and we enjoyed sharing a meal together.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"