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Friday, May 16, 2008
Mascot Roller Mill was built in 1760 along Mill Creek on Stumptown Road in eastern Lancaster County. For nearly 250 years this old stone mill has stood the test of driving rains, a rising stream, and howling winds.
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"A Firm Foundation"
"When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3). "He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand" (Psalm 40:2b).
A sign in front of a stately stone farmhouse here in Lancaster County proclaims this simple, assuring truth: "When your world is shaking run to the Rock."
Our area is dotted with old stone farmhouses and bank barns, many of them dating back to the 1700's. They are very well built and have stood the test of time, weathering many a storm. Of great concern to the construction team was building on a solid foundation. They built these structures to last for many generations. To draw a comparison, a building constructed today would need to last till 2270 and beyond!
When we first moved to Lancaster County seven years ago we lived near Risser Mill, an old stone mill similar to the one pictured above. I recall Don Pickell, desendant of the original builder and the present owner of the mill, taking Brooksyne and me on a personal tour at that time. We were amazed when he told us the original builders had dug down 17 feet for the foundation!
Our world is certainly shaking. We realize as we prepare this message that many of you are being shaken with trials and burdens. In our chaplain work we regularly share with troubled souls and of course with Brooksyne's recent ankle break we are experiencing a temporal shaking in our own family!
But the focus of today's message is the basic foundational shaking on the societal level as we see the continued rejection of God and His ways in so many elements of our society. Especially on my heart today is the institution of marriage, which is being battered and redefined at a dizzying rate.
The God-ordained institution of marriage was established at Creation before the Fall and is foundational to society. Jesus reinforces the creation mandate when He taught: "At the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate" (Matthew 19:4-6).
In the great old hymn "The Solid Rock" the phrase, "All other ground is sinking sand" is repeated twice in the refrain. At times the "other ground" can be appealing and may even appear steady and firm, for Satan is a master deceiver. But seen in its proper context it really does seem like sinking sound. The reality is that all other ground, apart from the solid foundation of Christ and His Word, is sinking sand whether or not I perceive it to be so or I am experiencing it as such. Truly, Christ alone is the Solid Rock!
In the first verse the Psalmist asks a probing question: "When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" He then describes a place of security that can only be found in God: "He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." We need to be reminded of our position in Christ and the unchanging stability we have as we cling to His promises and uphold His truths.
Today, I urge you to continue to faithfully serve the Lord. Our immutable God continues to set our feet on the rock so that we have a firm place to stand. As we live out our lives under the lordship of Jesus Christ, and in obedience to His Word, may we have this deep-settled assurance; He is establishing our way and keeping our path firm and secure!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen C. Weber
Brooksyne's prayer: Lord, it is so helpful and encouraging to read of Your miraculous intervention time after time in the life of the Psalmist and other warriors of the faith throughout the Bible. We parallel their experiences to our own knowing that You provide deliverance from the alluring entrapments that cause us to sink in life's mire. The foundations of this world are temporal and often conflict with the firm foundation of Your Holy Word. We do not want to be pulled down by the sinking foundations of this world, but instead we want to be lifted up by Your timeless truths.
Personal note: Once again this week we were unable to post an encouragement message yesterday (Thursday)! We had an early morning meeting followed by a chaplain visit to a local company and didn't get home till the early afternoon. It takes a bit more time to get around with Brooksyne's injury.
Brooksyne has her ankle surgery this morning. She will be admitted to Hershey Medical Center at 8 AM. We sure appreciate the cards, emails, calls, and those of you who are praying. I will post an update on the website when we get back from the hospital, hopefully later today, although they did say there was a chance she would have to stay all night.
Yesterday we had a transition meeting at Ester's school concerning her school year and she invited several of her "influencers". We experienced the richness of being a part of the family of God.
Ester's "Influencers"Bunny and Peg O'Hare are friends from New England who now live in Lancaster County. Bunny is the director of chaplains for Transport For Christ, a ministry to truck drivers. We met them at a conference in Boston nearly ten years ago.
(Left to right)
Jane Walker is Ester's teacher. Ester really loves & appreciates her.
Stan and Deb Miller have been Ester's youth leaders for seven years.
Wendy Gambini (Aunt Wendy) is our former pastor's wife.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Your Faithfulness" Video
"How Firm A Foundation" Video
"The Church's One Foundation" Lifespring Hymnstory with song
"The Solid Rock" Audio
"It Is Well" Audio
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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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