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Thursday, July 17, 2014
Cape May Lighthouse, Cape May New Jersey
"The Lower Lights"
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Brightly beams our Father’s mercy,
From His lighthouse evermore,
But to us He gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
On Tuesday we visited the Cape May lighthouse at the southern tip of New Jersey. I (Stephen) climbed the spiral staircase all the way to the top, 199 steps to be exact. We featured the base of the staircase looking up in the mystery photo yesterday which a number of folks accurately guessed including the location of Cape May. Brooksyne, thinking she'd take a five minute nap in the van before joining me, overslept. As she was entering the lighthouse I met her at the base as I was coming down. So she missed doing something on her bucket list!
Lighthouses are one of our favorite sights to see and explore when we're near the ocean. Today let's take a look at an old hymn that makes the analogy of divine mercy as "bright beams" from our Father's lighthouse which shines evermore.
The most famous nautical navigation light is of course the lighthouse but there are other nautical navigation lights. Phillip P. Bliss was a nineteenth century song writer associated with D.L. Moody born here in Pennsylvania. He often received the inspiration for a hymn, while listening to a message during a church service. Once an idea struck his alert mind, he worked rapidly usually completing both the text and the music in one sitting.
One day, while traveling with Dwight L. Moody as the musician for an evangelistic campaign, Bliss was impressed by an illustration used by Mr. Moody for a message. Moody often told this moving true story of a violent storm on Lake Erie:
On a dark, stormy evening, when the waves rolled like mountains and not a star was to be seen, a boat, rocking and plunging, neared the Cleveland harbor.
“Are you sure this is Cleveland?” asked the Captain, seeing only light from the lighthouse. “Quite sure,” replied the pilot.
“Where are the lower lights?” “Gone out, sir!”
“Can you make the harbor?” “We must, or perish, sir.”
With a strong hand and a brave heart, the old pilot turned the wheel, but alas, in the darkness he missed the channel, and, with a crash upon the rock, the boat was slivered and many a life lost in a watery grave.
“Brethren,” concluded Mr. Moody, “the Master will take care of the great lighthouse. Let us keep the lower lights burning.”
Nautically speaking the "lower lights" are lights apart from the lighthouse that illumine the water line. They're surface navigational aids as well as the various lights from windows, street lamps, and businesses that enable vessels to come into the harbor at night, through a narrow channel of the harbor's mouth.
Spiritually speaking the "lower lights" are lights from individual followers of Christ who allow the light of Christ to shine through them; their words and deeds. When we, as believers, allow the life changing message of Christ to wane in our lives or behave in a manner that does not glorify Him our flame flickers. If it goes completely unchecked our light can burn out. As God's children, we don't want to bring disgrace or further the darkness but rather honor the One "who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light."
Today the Almighty God of the universe has called us to let our light shine. Let's do our part to see that the "lower lights" burn brightly providing a lighted path for "some poor, struggling, fainting seaman, [that] we may rescue, we may save"!
Let the lower lights be burning!
Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor struggling, fainting seaman
You may rescue, you may save.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father God, we are a chosen generation, a people set apart to show forth the praises of Christ who has called us out of darkness into Your marvelous light. Since You have illumined our darkness we will not conceal it, but rather shine forth wherever we are; in the marketplace, in our homes, in the business place, in the neighborhood, in the voting booth, in church and wherever we have opportunity to bring forth light in this world of darkness. We can make a difference and want to do so. We want to witness faithfully of the light of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord in whose name we pray. Amen.
Cape May lighthouse descriptive sign
The spiral stairs at the base with warning signs.
It was quite breezy out on the platform at the top of the lighthouse.
The spiral stairs from the top looking down!
On the way home from the Garden State we stopped at a roadside produce stand for some Jersey tomatoes, touted "the very best" (by Jersey residents) because of the sandy soil and climatic conditions of central and southern New Jersey.
We brought home about eight quarts for making jam, muffins, pancakes, etc. Brooksyne suggested she might make a blueberry cobbler for our church picnic! We had an interesting experience this morning at a local store that was selling Jersey berries at a very good price we will likely share about tomorrow.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Let The Lower Lights Be Burning" Video J. Ashley Milne
"Let The Lower Lights" A memory from Joni in print and audio concerning this song.
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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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