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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Flowers in San Juan Capistrano Mission
We saw these beautiful flowers at the Mission San Juan Capistrano

"There Is No Rock Like Our God!"

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"There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides You; there is no Rock like our God" (1 Samuel 2:2). "He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure" (Isaiah 33:6).

LA skyscraper One of the challenges of building in California is that it lies along several fault lines and of course is prone to earthquakes. One of the main components of any building, especially skyscrapers, is the foundation. The engineers want to place the foundation of the building on solid bedrock. But the challenge in a fault zone is the bedrock is not stable!

During our tour of downtown Los Angeles, where the tallest skyscrapers are, I found it interesting when the guide spoke of the construction techniques used for stability in light of these conditions. Some skyscrapers have accordian like floors which can absorb the shock during an earthquake.

Likewise there are many "fault zones" we need to be aware of as we build our lives. We must build on a firm foundation through Christ and the Bible. That's our daily challenge.

What a wonderful truth and rich assurance our ancient daily texts provide for the believer! Hannah, rejoicing at the miraculous birth of her son Samuel, prayed, "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides You; there is no Rock like our God" (1 Samuel 2:2).

Jeremiah 33:6We need to appropriate this truth deep within our hearts as we especially focus on the first part of the second verse: "He will be the sure foundation for your times." The KJV uses the phrase "stability of thy times". The Hebrew word that the prophet Isaiah uses here connotes "firmness, security, fidelity".  Truly in God we have a firm foundation for all our times.

Life is made up of various times, all of which are ordained of God for His glory and for our growth. Much of our times are spent in abundant blessing. These are the times when we might say, "Life is going smoothly." It is easy to take these "smooth times" for granted or worse yet, feel that we're entitled to them.

However we can also all easily recall times of difficulty, the fault zones of life when we are shaken, right to our core. Life can get very bumpy! For some of you it's that way as you read this. It may be a long-term illness, the loss of a job, a broken relationship or other types of shakings that can grip our hearts and fill us with fear. It seems that with constant threats of terrorist attacks and decreasing security our world is entering into a time of ever-increasing trouble and instability. The "perilous times" spoken of in the Scriptures may very well characterize the "last days" in which we live.  (See 2 Timothy 3:1.)

God and His Word provide the steady and sure foundation for our spiritual security and abiding peace. Consider again just the opening phrase in our daily verse: "He will be the sure foundation for your times." What kind of "times" are you going through today?

We encourage you to focus on the immutable God whose Word has promised: "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal" (Isaiah 26:3,4).

Today, rest in the assurance that in God we have a sure foundation for all our times; the good, the bad, the easy, the difficult, the memorable and even that which we would like to forget. We serve a God of absolute stability; One of whom it is said, "There is no Rock like our God".

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, thank You for the treasure of Your riches; salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. This treasure which You invite us to partake of stabilizes our hearts when instability surrounds us so much so that even we feel the shaking, kind of like an aftershock. Your salvation, wisdom and knowledge surpass those passing and temporal treasures experienced in this mortal life.  We walk by faith and not by sight, so keep us steadfast in our times as we hold to You, our unshakable foundation, for there is no Rock like You, our God. Keep our eyes on the invisible God, for though we cannot see You we love You and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, as we await our future union in heaven. Amen.

Some more scenes from our visit in Southern California

We left the LA area last Friday afternoon and traveled back down the coast where we stayed several days in San Clemente, about 1/2 way between LA and San Diego

Mission San Juan Capistrano
Sunday afternoon we visited the Mission San Juan Capistrano, established 200 years before we got married.

Bells at Mission San Juan Capistrano
We heard the pleasant ringing of these bells on the Mission throughout town (although there is another set of four bells as well they might have been ringing).

Buildings at Mission San Juan Capistrano
There are many interesting buildings at the Mission. Today is Saint Joseph's Day and the official "Return of the Swallows Celebration" although a guide told us the swallows start coming in early March and actually, due to lack of nest building materials, no longer live on the mission. However we did see some fake nests demonstrating what they look like!

Mission San Juan Capistrano interior

Mission San Juan Capistrano Interior

Shoreline train in San Clemente California
A rail line runs along the shore through San Clemente. Saturday afternoon we rode a bicycle built for two on a path beside the ocean and this rail line. We don't have a photo since we didn't know how to take a selfie! However here's one from a similar ride on a Delaware Shore trail.

Sunset in San Clemente California
Sunset in San Clemente California looking out over the long pier.
The small objects in the water are surfers!

Dusk scene in San Clemente California
We went for another walk in San Clemente Sunday evening. We did a lot of walking. Brooksyne wears an Omron Pedometer and calculates we walked nearly 50 miles during the course of our stay! Unfortunately we partook of way too much good food, as we ate out daily, which un-did alot of good we accomplished through our walking. Our food consumption outweighed our calorie consumption (no pun intended)!

Air Force One at Reagan Library
At the Reagan Library we toured the Air Force One.
The Library sits on a mountain and the cockpit faces a stunning view.

Tomorrow we will share our final set of photos from our trip. Today we resume our chaplain visits!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"There Is No Rock Like Our God"  Video  Praise Band

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Bells ringing in Mission San Juan Capistrano

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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