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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin wagon near Strasburg, PA
Pumpkin Wagon near Strasburg, PA
(This was on the parking lot of the Strasburg Railroad)

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"How Great Is Our God!"

"To whom, then, will you compare God?" (Isaiah 40:18).

The fortieth chapter of Isaiah is considered by many to be among the richest literature ever written.  In our daily text Isaiah asks a question that is based on the mighty statements made in the verses previous to his question.

"Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?" (v.12).

Each of these questions illustrates the awesome greatness and almightiness of God.  Let's just consider the first question, "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand?" Now I've got a pretty big hand and I tried to see how much water I could place in the hollow of my hand. As hard as I tried I was unable to hold a Tablespoon measurement!

But Isaiah says our great God "measured the waters in the hollow of His hand."  I have no idea how anybody can begin to figure this out but I read that the total amount of water on the earth is thought to be about 1,385 million cubic kilometers (1 cubic kilometer equals 1 billion liters).  Please note: I was unable to personally verify this figure. But going by that figure as a measurement, if my math is anywhere near correct, that's about 346,250,000,000,000,000 gallons. It might be easier for us to mentally calculate those 18 digits in the vast number I just wrote by realizing that 70 percent of the earth's surface is covered by water.

Now of course neither Isaiah nor I am asserting that God is a physical being.  By creating an imaginative visual picture, as Isaiah does, we are much more likely to consider and appreciate the immensity and greatness of our God.  This is the mighty, awe-inspiring God we serve!

Just before Isaiah launches into these declarations of God's greatness he reveals the contrasting, tender personhood of the Father, "He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young" (v. 11).

That's the greatness of our God!  He is immense, beyond measure, as far as one galaxy is from another.  Inaccessible to our view, and yet tenderly accessible to our soul 24/7 since His Spirit dwells within the heart of the believer.  Let us stay faithful to Him today.

How big is God! How big and wide His vast domain,
To try to tell these lips can only start,
He's big enough to rule His mighty universe,
Yet small enough to live within the heart.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, it is commonly tempting to try to understand You in human terms and measure your worth such as Isaiah prolifically depicts in his prophetic letter.  When he describes the means by which we, Your created ones, go about measuring one's abilities it falls enormously short of what You, in Your divine nature, have done, what You are doing, and what You will do in the future.  We are unable to understand or appreciate all there is to know  because we are the finite created ones and You are the infinite Creator.  There is nothing and no one who can compare with You.  You are the *most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days, Almighty, victorious, Your great name we praise!  Amen.

"Immortal, Invisible" – from the powerful hymn about God the Father.

Returning boy scout trunk to Pat
My big brother came down to visit with me Sunday evening and we spent the day together yesterday. Pat is a pastor in the Lehigh Valley, an area about 100 miles northeast of us.  In talking together he wondered aloud whatever happened to his Boy Scout trunk he had when he was a boy.

Well, it just so happens that I started using it when he went to the service and have had it ever since, hauling it around from wherever we have lived. Yesterday he was so pleased that after over forty years I finally returned it to him. Just look at that big smile on his face as we're loading it into his van!

Amish Corn Silage Harvest

Amish harvesting corn silage
Yesterday afternoon we headed over to the Strasburg area to visit Jesse and see what he was up to. A group of Amish men was harvesting corn silage so we observed for awhile. Here we have two teams working. On the right is the team-pulled, but generator-powered harvester which cuts a cluster of corn stalks, binds them and sends them up the chute where they are loaded on to wagons pulled by a second team.

Amish harvesting corn silage
The wagons are unloaded here. They use the PTO on the tractor to power the machine that chops up the corn and then blows it up the white pipe up into the sixty foot tall silo.

Amish harvesting corn silage
The chopping machine is being loaded here (this photo is sensitive to the Amish who do not want their faces displayed). Two groups of two teams each are working at the same time so this machine is kept pretty busy. In one group the team sensed
when to move forward as the stalks were being unloaded into the chopper!  This team needed a verbal command from Jesse.

Three dogs!
My brother and I played a round of yard golf (I won) and before he left our neighbor, Jandon, walked by with his still growing Saint Bernard puppy. I thought these three dogs make an interesting contrast (Pat is holding his Chihuahua, "Honey").  Ester is with Roxie, now 5 years old.

Missionary George Hemminger
y brother came down in part because his wife Laverne is in Africa on a two week mission trip. She is an MK (missionary kid). Her folks were pioneering missionaries to West Africa beginning when her dad, George Hemminger, went over as a single man in 1928.  Many years ago I wrote a tribute concerning his life.  He was one of the most devout men I've ever met.

Laverne had been excited about going back to the country she grew up in. She sent an email to her supporters that described a touching moment.  When she walked up to one of the elders who knew her as a child, from the Themne Church, he was overwhelmed.  She wrote: "Pa Sorie held me and jumped up and down - he is 90!"

I wish I could have witnessed that blessed reunion!  Just a little picture of what heaven is going to be like when we meet up with those who've touched our lives along the way!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"How Great Thou Art!"  Video  NewSong  
Here's a more traditional version by Crystal Lewis  Video

"How Great Is Our God!"  Video  Chris Tomlin

"God Of Wonders"  Video
 Third Day

"Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise"  Video

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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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