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Monday, May 7, 2007

Stone barn wall
Stone wall from fallen barn near Donegal Springs, PA.

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"What Can the Righteous Do?"
"When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?"  (Psalm 11:3).
Yesterday Brooksyne and I took a long Sunday afternoon walk and came upon an old stone barn. It's interesting to observe the rubble and consider the sheep, cows and other animals that the stone barn sheltered for many generations.   But it had fallen down except for one side, which stubbornly stands intact.  As I walked over and examined this remaining wall today's verse came to mind.
"When the foundations are being destroyed"  The incessant chipping away at the foundational teachings of Christian faith should be obvious to all who have any degree of spiritual or moral discernment. Merely consider the lies, violence and perversions that abound. In Chicago a law firm specializing in divorce has displayed large billboards that declare, "Life's Short, Get a Divorce."  Here in America a vile minority is diligently seeking to abolish any evidence of Christian faith from the public square. I just heard on the news concerning a group called "Freedom from Religion" that is seeking to ban chaplains (actually the group would better be named "Freedom from Christianity.") These and many other groups are relentless in their attempts to destroy the foundations.  It seems like every time we win a victory another battle is ensuing so we must always be on the frontlines.  Scripture warns us to "Be careful!  Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy" (I Peter 5:8 NLT).
"What can the righteous do?"  That is the throbbing question for believers of every generation.  Most of you reading this daily message have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and live under His authority.  (If you haven't already done so, please click the link immediately following this reading.)  We are part of the righteous remnant that God has had through all ages.  This remnant can be seen early in Genesis, when shortly after the Fall, "men began to call on the Name of the Lord" (Genesis 4:26) and all through the Bible, through church history and right up to the present. 
What a great joy to be among those standing up for God in our own day!  What can we do as we see the foundations being destroyed?  If our primary stock and focus are in the foundation of this temporal life we will surely despair. Paul's words come to mind, "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men" (1 Corinthians 15:19).
But, if like Abraham, "We are looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God" 
we will stand firm as the godly have done through all the ages (Hebrews 11:10.)

Psalm 11 gives at least three contemplative answers to the question, "What can the righteous do?" 
1)  We must recognize that the Lord alone is our Refuge     (Psalm 11:1). 
2)  We must realize that God is in His holy temple observing the sons of men (Psalm 11:4).
3)  We must recall the glorious truth of His character "for the LORD is righteous, He loves justice; upright men will see His face" (Psalm 11:7). 
Stay faithful today! As a regular sub theme of this ministry declares at the very bottom of each footnote we are indeed, "living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation."
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say, than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, help us to be ever watchful and always prayerful as we see the foundations of our Christian faith attacked.  Through the power of Your Spirit we want to take a firm position against the enemy and be strong in our faith. We stand with our Christian brothers and sisters all over the world who are going through the same kind of struggles and especially pray for those who are paying a great price for their uncompromising stand.  You assure us that after we suffer for a little while, You will restore, support, and strengthen us as You place us on Your firm foundation.  Amen.

Additional notes:

As I studied for today's message I learned from the footnotes in my Study Bibles that there is an alternate possible meaning in our daily text. Apparently the Hebrew can also be taken to have the sense, "What is the Righteous One doing?"  In light of the verses that follow this is an interesting reading.  Psalm 11

Also in relation to the advertisement I mentioned in the message I checked out the "Freedom from Religion" organization.
Essentially they want us to be "free" from every religion but their own.  Of course their religion is atheism, a belief that there is no God.  This is the absolute hypocrisy of groups like the ACLU and others who constantly attack the traditional foundations.

A Sunday Afternoon Walk

Here are a couple more photos from our lovely Sunday afternoon walk. We walked a total of nearly eight miles yesterday.

Geese with goslings
We walked past a pond near Donegal Creek and saw these geese with goslings. They won't let you get very close!  Altogether we saw about 30 goslings.

Roxie leaping through the wheat field
Roxie enjoys leaping through the wheat field. It's really an amazing sight to see her jump through the field, which is now about a foot tall, with practically vertical leaps.  When she's not leaping (as in the photo) we only spot the curly point of her tail above the wheat line.

Meeting House Trail
This is my (Stephen's) favorite part of the trail. I am working on a message that will be based on this photo.

Suggested music:
Today we suggest the classic hymn, "How Firm A Foundation"
Listen to audio mp3 (traditional version from Moore's Chapel

For a photo of an intact stone barn and a related message see this encouragement from April 16, 2007.

David Fisher, a Canadian friend of mine, has written an article titled "A Rock and a Watery Grave" that blessed me and I believe will bless you you as well!

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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"