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Monday, January 31, 2011

Meadowview Road Farm 1/30/11
We pass this stately farmhouse and barn on Meadow View Road on the way to our church.
This was especially beautiful with the snow landscape yesterday.
It looks foggy because it was foggy!
Here are spring and autumn photos.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"When Your World Is Shaking"

"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).

Lancaster County stone barnOur area is dotted with old stone farmhouses and 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 builders at the time of construction 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 2275 and beyond!

I recall passing a sign in front of a stone farmhouse here in Lancaster County that proclaims this simple, assuring truth: "When your world is shaking run to the Rock."

Our world is certainly shaking. We watch the news and presently read of so much turmoil in the Middle East, especially Egypt. In our country we are in what appears to be a race to moral anarchy, with time honored Biblical values being steamrolled daily. We write on the national and international front, while also realizing that many of you are being shaken with personal and family trials.

We sang “The Solid Rock” yesterday in church reminding us that our hope is built on Jesus. Repeated twice in the refrain is the line, “All other ground is sinking sand.” The “other ground” may be an erroneous philosophy, false doctrine, a prideful heart, a wrong pursuit. There are a host of other foundations that people build their lives upon that will eventually tumble.

Leaning snowman 1/30/11Over the last few days we’ve been seeing the snowman displays on front lawns of homes and Amish schoolhouses following the snowstorm we had last week. But now that the warm sunshine has returned the snowmen, one by one, are leaning closer and closer to the snow from which they were erected, such as the featured photo we took yesterday in Mastersonville. When wet snow is packed together it can be fashioned into a snowman, a fort, or an igloo but their existence lasts only as long as the weather cooperates.

And yet the vast majority build their lives with materials that are flawed or intended only for this life. At times the "other ground" can be appealing and may even appear steady and firm, for Satan is a master deceiver. But it really is like sinking sand or melting snow. The reality is that all other ground, apart from the solid foundation of Christ and His Holy Word, is sinking sand whether or not others or I perceive it to be so. Truly, Christ alone is the Solid Rock!

In the first daily verse the Psalmist asks a probing question: "When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" In the second daily verse he makes a statement of resolve and 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, uphold His truths, and trust Him wholly.

Today, I urge you to faithfully serve the Lord. Our immutable God continues to set our feet on the eternal, impenetrable rock so that every time the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord raises up a standard against him (Isaiah 59:19). As we live out our lives under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and in obedience to His Word, we will appreciate the deep-settled assurance He gives as He establishes our way and keeps our path firm and secure!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Father, You want us to build our lives on the firm foundation of Your Holy Word through our salvation in Jesus. And yet the devil perpetually beckons us to build our lives on the temporal, the popular, the physical and the mindset of this world instead. To counteract such deadly influence we will delight in Your Law and meditate on it day and night so that we will be like a tree firmly planted and grounded in Your Word. When the waters surge our roots will cling to that which holds when the foundations are crumbling. We choose not to be pulled down by the sinking foundations of this world, but to be lifted up by Your timeless, imperishable truths. Amen.

This is a summary of the message I preached yesterday:

Four Foundations That Will Stand!

1) The solid foundation of Biblical authority. "The grass withers, the flower fade.  But the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8).

2) The solid foundation of Jesus Christ.  "According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:10,11).

3) The solid foundation of the church. "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord" (Ephesians 2:19-21).

4) The solid foundation of the apostolic doctrine.  "They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer" (Acts 2:42).  "Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints" (Jude 3).

We want to share some more scenes from our weekend

Jubilee Transition House meal 1/29/11
On Saturday several of us went to a transition house in Lebanon Pennsylvania and served the men a large home-made meal and fellowshipped with them during the meal.  These were men recently released from jail who are trying to get their lives together. It is our prayer that each one will build on the solid foundation of Christ!

Mastersonville cemetery scene 1/30/11
Early yesterday morning I thought this was a nice view overlooking the cemetery next to our church meeting house to the distant farm fields.

Amish youth on way to youth meeting 1/30/11
On the way home from church yesterday we passed several open buggies of young Amish couples on their way to a youth meeting along Elizabethtown Road.

Amish youth on way to youth meeting 1/30/11
It was rather cold but we suppose they bundled up well and were used to it.
Brooksyne takes these photos from the passenger side as we are driving but they don't always turn out well since the timing is essential.  See here!

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.)

"Speak, O Lord"  Video  Kristyn Getty  This is a great modern hymn to sing prior to the preaching of the Word, which we did yesterday. It expresses a heart of receptivity!

"Ancient Words"  Video  Michael W. Smith

"The Solid Rock"  Video  Sovereign Grace Music

"I Go To The Rock"  Video  Aaron Jeffrey

"How Firm A Foundation" Video  Sovereign Grace Music  

1. How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

2. In every condition, -- in sickness, in health,
In poverty's vale, or abounding in wealth,
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea, --
The Lord, the Almighty, thy strength e'er shall be.

3. "Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

4. "When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy troubles to bless
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

5. "When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flames shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

6. "E'en down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary (snowy) hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

7. "The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never, forsake!"

"We Have An Anchor"  Video  I am so very blessed by this grand old hymn and this is an especially beautiful version musically and includes photos. (I regret this version only has one verse).  Sung by Robin Mark.

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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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