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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

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 roaring winds.  Undoubtedly it has a strong foundation!

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"Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness'" (2 Timothy 2:19).

All throughout Lancaster County there are many old stone mills, normally situated along streams for the water power. I took the photo above of the Mascot Roller Mill in Eastern Lancaster County along Mill Creek. When we first moved to this area in 2001 we lived around the corner from Risser's Mill, an impressive three story cut stone mill, erected nearly 200 years ago along Little Chiques Creek. It stood next to a covered bridge that an arsonist burned to the ground six years ago. Don Pickel and his wife presently own Risser's Mill, an inheritance  Mrs. Pickel received from her family.
Six years ago Don gave us a personal tour of the mill which has been closed since 1940. He described the great effort made by the builders to see that the mill had a firm foundation with layers of huge stone going down far below the surface. As I recall, he told us that the foundation went as deep in the ground as the building stood above the ground.  Brooksyne and I were astounded as we sized up this three story mill and considered the time and labor expended as laborers used primitive tools to chip away deeply into solid earth.  These mills were built to last and, although few are still used now due to our current way of life, they stand strong to this day. Their longstanding resilience is attributed to their deep, strong foundations.

Today let us consider a wonderful occurrence of the word "nevertheless" in our daily verse. In the context Paul is confronting and warning against the counterfeit teaching of two men named Hymenaeus and Philetus. They had wandered from the truth, denied the resurrection and had destroyed the faith of some. The relentless attack on the genuine faith that Paul experienced continues unabated to this day. We face it from the scientific, media, educational, political, and even the religious establishment. On the personal level we daily face the flaming arrows of our enemy that seeks to intimidate and lead us astray. 

The word "nevertheless" conveys the sense of "in spite of", "notwithstanding", or "despite anything to the contrary."

He begins the verse, "Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm." Praise God today fellow believer!  Sink your spiritual teeth into the solid meaning of that phrase.  This assurance is powerfully expressed musically in the great hymn "How Firm A Foundation."  Many years ago I considered this verse as I developed a sub theme for this daily writing ministry. If you scroll down to the last statement on the email post or website you will find these words: "Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation".

Paul writes that our solid foundation is in God. He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end and His solid foundation is "sealed with this inscription". In the original Greek this conveys a "mark of genuineness". This seal is placed on God's solid foundation which gives the believer courage, perspective, and discernment when the shifting sands of philosophical and theological wanderings from the genuine faith are being thrust at us. 

First the inscription states, "The Lord knows those who are His."  Have you placed your faith in Him?  If so, you are His and that's really all that matters. I'm a genuine child of God this morning; He knows who I am and that I am His.

However there is a tendency to overlook the second part of the inscription which states, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." Those of us who are confessing Jesus to be our Savior must turn away from wickedness.

As I confess with my lips I must also be genuine in my actions. An evidence of genuine saving grace is that we are no longer conforming to the pattern of this world but we are being transformed into the image of God. 

Thank God today for this solid foundation which ever stands firm, since Christ Jesus Himself is the chief cornerstone!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, thank You that when we came to faith through the precious blood of Your Son, Jesus, we became fellow citizens with Your people and members of Your household.  Our faith is now built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus as our chief cornerstone.  It is through Him that our whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple bringing glory and honor to Your name.  We no longer live for the world, but we invite Your Spirit to indwell us so that we are being transformed into Your image day by day.  Amen.

See Ephesians 2:19-22

Here's another example of a wonderful Scripture verse that uses the word "nevertheless" in a most significant way: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

In studying for today's message I came across this interesting website that someone has sure put a lot of research into. This specific page has photos of Risser's Mill, which we mentioned in today's message.

Living in the country! As often mentioned in our writings we sure enjoy living out in the country.  This evening we are having our home Bible Study group over for a meal and fellowship. Last week they harvested the corn in the field across the road from our home and guess what they are doing today?  See here for the answer.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

(Click on the link to play)

"How Firm A Foundation"

"Firm Foundation"

Red coleus
Red Coleus
This is one of my all-time favorite plants since the beauty is in the leaves rather than a flower. I took this photo last week in Newport Rhode Island.

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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"