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Friday, March 11, 2011

Katherine's flower
"Pom Pom" Flower
(see note below about this flower)

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"Dealing With Life's Shakings"

"The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken--that is, created things--so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe" (Hebrews 12:27,28).

We had a really rainy day yesterday and left for the first of our chaplain visits around 6:30 in the morning. As we drove on 283, the four lane highway
into Lancaster, we saw a most unusual sight. At first we saw emergency vehicles ahead through the rain and the traffic slowed down. Then we noticed all along the east-bound lane cars pulled off to the side with their flashers on, all with flat tires; a number of cars had two flats. Some of them were abandoned, others had the driver sitting in them waiting for help, and a few hearty folks were changing the flat tires in the pelting rain.  Talk about having a "bad day" almost before the day begins! (We read later that these cars had hit a large piece(s) of metal that had fallen off a truck.)

Now that's something you just don't expect on the way to work but it's illustrative of unseen and unknown shakings in life that we all encounter in various ways. All of those drivers were expecting to have a routine day and among the least shakings that they would have expected was hitting a piece of metal and getting a flat tire on their morning commute, in the drenching rain, along with many others (seventeen vehicles in all).

However as inconvenient, disruptive and expensive as the ordeal was it probably became an interesting source of discussion for many throughout the day and we can be thankful there were no serious injuries or extensive damage.  Of course there are many shakings we experience in this life and I awoke this morning to the news of a large earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which I suppose is about as literal as a shaking can be. Scores of people are suffering and many deaths have been reported.

I have heard it said that reality ultimately consists of two things; that which can be shaken and that which cannot be.  All that we see with our physical eyes can be shaken.  We see daily the shakings in world affairs and most certainly we will see many more.

The daily text acknowledges the reality of the shaking of the created order. Consider for a few moments your own customized shakings that required a personal response or brought about a life change; some that have actually helped shape you into the person you are today.  Certainly some deal with more severe, extended, or frequent types of "shakings" than others.  However, are there any of us who can't readily identify with our theme today?

The entire chapter of Psalm 107 describes the shakings that took place while the Jews were exiled in Babylon.  The ultimate reason for these shakings was to guide these people to God so they could recognize their blessings were from Him.  When we keep the eternal perspective in the midst of our difficulties we will be quick to recognize the Lord's blessings and offer praises and thanksgiving to our faithful God.

We don't like the shakings, but as Christian broadcaster Steve Brown often says, "Life here is messy."  Shakings are an inevitable part of our journey below, so we might as well get used to it and learn to deal with it.  
Scripture has a wonderful promise in the latter part of the daily text; "We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken." We can find peace about our unpredictable future here on earth by purposefully focusing our attention on our promised future in heaven where our citizenship lies in a "kingdom that cannot be shaken."

We are "receiving" this kingdom and the verb tense is quite significant.  Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come."  Our journey through this life is but a transition to the future Kingdom God has prepared for us.  I am convinced that very early in eternity we will recognize the brevity of our earthly journey, although since at this time it's all we know, it seems long and wholly significant!

Today I encourage each reader to keep the eternal perspective, the "big picture."  In our promised future we are receiving an unshakable kingdom even while changing a few "flat tires" here and now!  What is our response? "Let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe!"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, help us to seek first Your kingdom and pray in the spirit so that we can live in victory even while encircled by conflict. Frequently Your shakings come to bring about personal change, but we also witness Your shakings of entire nations throughout history.  Though land, dwellings and people are destroyed due to the hardness of man's hearts, Your kingdom is indestructible.  Scripture assures us that we who believe are receiving this Kingdom that cannot be destroyed, so we come with thankful hearts and worship You today with holy fear and awe, for You, our God, are a consuming fire.

* Pom Pom Flower  Some of our readers especially like our quiz games, so we've put the "Pom Pom Flower" at the top, a name Brooksyne gave it.  We have a friend who very proudly showed it to us during a visit several weeks ago.  It was our first exposure to such a "flower" and we wondered if any of our readers can guess just what kind of flower it is?  If you have any idea and are willing to venture a guess send us a
message and if you happen to identify the flower correctly we'll send the excellent book, "Defining Moments" by Dan Schaeffer.  We will identify the flower on Tuesday, March 15.  I believe the answer will greatly surprise you!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"How Firm A Foundation"  Video  Sovereign Grace Music

"Before The Throne Of God Above"  Video  
Sovereign Grace Music

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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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