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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Goldfinches in snow 2/10/10
 This morning Brooksyne took this photo of the goldfinches.  We have three couples hanging out at our birdfeeders.  You can see one of them coming in for the landing.
Here's a larger version.

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"God's Voice"

"God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding.  He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.'" (Job 37:5,6).

Cardinal in snow 2/10/10We are in the midst of another large snowstorm here in Pennsylvania. As I look out my window this morning the snow is falling steadily and just before sending our message out I measured about 12 inches of new snow.

Brooksyne is enjoying watching the birds, especially the finches, snowbirds and cardinals. As noted several times in our messages the cardinals capture our attention since their scarlet color is like a red fluorescent light gleaming in the broad landscape of white snow.

The Bible doesn't mention snow a lot as it was not that common in the region where Bible events took place. But the Bible peoples certainly knew of snow and it is periodically used as an illustration.

The daily verse is part of the speech of Elihu, who spoke following the exchange between Job and his three friends.  I have always enjoyed Elihu's perspective, although God certainly has the final word at the end of the book.  The falling snow is another reminder of God's providential care and ruling over all the earth.

"God's voice thunders in marvelous ways."  I desire to have a perspective on life in which I hear God's voice in the silent falling snow, the splattering rain, the mighty winds and even the occasional pelting hail that falls from the sky.   I marvel at the variety of ways God speaks to us and provides for our spiritual and physical needs. Each element of nature has a divine and practical purpose.

We may choose to focus on how it inconveniences our lives and alters our schedules. Or like Elihu, we may simply remember this plainly spoken truth, "He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.'"  It's God's ways and we do well to recognize His sovereign rule over humankind.  Witnessing God's almighty power puts mankind's limited power into proper perspective.

"Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail?" (Job 38:22).  God did not intend that snow or hail take up permanent residency like the giant oaks, the mighty seas or mountainous structures that have stood for thousands of years. Our lives and this world are subject to His sovereign design and His eternal time table.

"He does great things beyond our understanding."  This is a great verse to ponder. What He does is great although it may go beyond our finite understanding.  In fact, it might not make any sense at all to us.  In researching music for this message I came across a song written by Steven Curtis Chapman. The lyrics indicate that we have an underlying trust that God is in control though circumstances may not always be to our liking.  We declare God to be holy, sovereign, and His will for our lives will not be fully understood on this side of heaven. Full understanding comes when we step on heaven's shore.

Today let me encourage you to again keep the focus on God, who continues to do "great things beyond our understanding."   He who works in the storm is also working in our lives this day.  Often it's in the precipitous storm that He is speaking.  Be sure to listen.  He is in control and will have the final say!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we recognize Your handiwork in nature and we welcome Your handiwork in our lives.  Help us to look to You and trust Your sovereign plan to unfold in our lives day by day, year by year while we look to You as our Hope and Stay!   It is the only real and lasting stability we have in this life.  We thank You for it in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Photos of today's storm

Barn in snow 2/10/10
I took this during the snowfall.

Roxie in snow 2/10/10
It took a lot of persuading but we managed to get Roxie out in the snow two days ago.  She'd probably be buried under the snow if I were to take this photo today.
She would much rather be here.

Goldfinches in snow 2/10/10
The goldfinches lose their vibrant colors in the winter, but we were able to capture some of their yellow color amidst the white background.

A friend responded to yesterday's message.  She tells a cute story from her childhood: 

Growing up in Illinois I can relate to having to shovel the snow off the roof....well, actually, my DAD can relate. Many a winter he would be up on our roof with shovel in hand. It was real life out there, a necessity, and I remember my sister's Jr High School having to cancel school one day due to a roof caving from too much weight. 

The up side to shoveling all that rooftop snow is that it made for a natural toboggan run! As kids we'd form the snow that had just been pushed off the house into curves and bumps in efforts to make our "run" all the more exciting....it was our own little Olympic luge. It kept us out from under Mother's feet for hours.

I even have memories of one winter when my little brother had ramped up his pesty-ness. After repeated warnings, my father opened an upstairs window, grabbed my brother by an arm and a leg, who was still in his pj's, and threw him outside, much like one would throw someone in the pool. With all the freshly shoveled off rooftop snow he had a cushioned, albeit, startling awakening to help turn his bothersome attitude around. Sometimes we all just need a sharp reminder to get ourselves back on track, and that winter plunge helped my little brother do just that. Or....at least for the rest of the morning!

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.)

"Our God Is In Control"  Video   Stephen Curtis Chapman

"Whiter Than The Snow"  Video  

"Because Of Who You Are"  Video

"More Than Enough"  Video   Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"God Will Carry You"  Video  Shannon Wexelberg

Monday's message was titled "The One True God"
and was a defense of Biblical orthodoxy.  This morning I came across a great article on this matter titled, "Doctrine Divides"

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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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