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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day storm 5/31/10
The Memorial Day storm filled our front lawn and surrounded our sign. Brooksyne had just planted tiny flower seed all around the sign, which was most likely washed away.

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"Lessons From The Storm"

"Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do His bidding"  (Psalm 148:7,8).

Late yesterday afternoon we had a memorable Memorial Day storm. It began shortly before our friends, Ken and Nila, and their two boys joined us for dinner and it rained heavily all through our meal. Over just a couple of hours we had four inches of pounding rain, hail the size of quarters, howling winds and crackling thunder along with the fireworks of lightning that brightened the dark skies. We watched out our front window as a large pond formed in our lawn due to the rapidly rising waters.

After the storm passed through we walked out and assessed the damage up close.  Ester had some fun with little David in the "pond" and then, like many curious neighbors, we drove around to examine the storm's damage. Especially interesting was the surging high waters on a normally shallow and gentle Donegal Creek.

Neighbors had come together; some bailing out water from their garages and basements. But today we awakened to a beautiful day and already this morning I cleaned up numerous branches and storm debris in our yard.  With the early sun accompanied by a significant continuous breeze the pond is already dried up which will be a big disappointment the next time David comes over expecting to play in the Weber "pond"!

I must admit I really like storms. Certainly not the damage, injuries or deaths but the awesome display of God's sovereign power. Psalm 148 is not necessarily one of the better known Psalms and I doubt if very many of you would list it as among your favorites. It begins with a Hebrew phrase that we also use in the English; "Hallelu Yah". We also use the word, hallelujah, in the English, which is translated "Praise the Lord."  In fact the word "praise" is found 12 times in this short Psalm.

Consider the portion of our daily verse that states, "that do His bidding".  Although it seems the focus of Psalm 148 is to express the universal praise of which God is worthy, this little portion is a part of God's Word and merits our attention.

The KJV translates this phrase, "fulfilling His word."  This phrase seems to grammatically associate with those words that immediately precede it; "lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds".  Generally these are conditions in which we find discomfort. But God's Word says they "do His bidding."

Remember this the next time you face a storm whether it's literal or spiritual.  God has authority over the storms that reap havoc all about us.  The peace of God prevails in our hearts when we recognize the storms ultimately do His bidding.

Peace be StillToday the immutable God is still at work controlling nature.  In times past He has ordained periods of drought to remind mankind of Who is really in charge and certainly that could happen again.  But last evening here in southern Pennsylvania we had a demonstrable rain, though certainly not in the amount that Nashville, Tennessee or more recently Guatemala has endured with the tropic floods.

Yet we are to "praise God from whom all blessings flow" in the midst of plenty and in times of want, in times of flourishing rains and in times of drought.  We acknowledge with Jeremiah that God is our absolute source of hope in the storms, both literally and figuratively, this day and every day.  "Therefore our hope is in You, for You are the One who does all this" (Jeremiah 14:22).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, You are the Peacespeaker who controls the winds and waves.  All of Your creation must submit to Your bidding. Nothing escapes Your attention nor can anything exceed Your power or authority.  Help us to trust You during the times of calm and during the tidal waves of life.  You're an ever-present, ever-powerful God who is ever-worthy of all our ever-lasting praise.  Amen.

Psalm 148

Some more photos from our Memorial Day storm

Memorial Day storm 5/31/10
We watched out our picture window as the waters rose in our front lawn to form a pond (the road is in the background). This picture doesn't show it very well but we found it interesting to watch the hail hit the water, which gave the appearance of many small fish feeding. It made me want to go fishing!

Memorial Day storm rain gauge 5/31/10Here's our rain guage following the storm. Each inch of rain spread over an acre is equal to some 27,000 gallons of water. Since we live on a 1/2 acre lot we had over 50,000 gallons poured on us yesterday afternoon! Billions of gallons of rain fell over our entire region in just a couple of hours! This leads me to consider this aspect of what theologians call "common grace" (God's goodness expressed to all people, both the redeemed and unredeemed.) The water is spread over the earth incrementally in drops rather than poured out all at once in one place, as we would empty a bucket.  That to me is another powerful, yet often overlooked, evidence of "intelligent design" that points to our Creator.

Ester and David playing in pond following Memorial Day storm 5/31/10
After the storm passed Ester and David enjoyed playing in the "pond"!

Donegal Creek, Memorial Day storm 5/31/10
This was a section of the Donegal Creek flood waters below us on Trout Run Road.

Donegal Creek, Memorial Day storm 5/31/10
This section of Donegal Creek, seen from Colebrook Road is above us. Since the creek only starts a mile or two above this point it's amazing to see how much water can accumulate so quickly. We watched from the bridge as my neighbor Lester's heifers walked into the flooded waters. He was concerned that one would fall over and drown or keep moving toward us and get sucked into the culvert under the bridge.

Donegal Creek, Memorial Day storm 5/31/10
This is our walking path along Donegal Creek that we often write about and share photos from.

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.)

"Praise You In The Storm"  Video  Casting Crowns

"Till The Storm Passes By"
 Video Praise Incorporated (Gospel Quartet)

"God Of Wonders"  Video  Chris Tomlin

"Because Of Who You Are"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"Blessed Be Your Name"  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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