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Monday, June 1, 2015

McDade Recreational Trail along Delaware Water Gap 5/29/15
The Delaware is the longest undammed river east of the Mississippi, flowing freely for 330 miles as it travels from New York state, through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware to the Atlantic Ocean. T
he Delaware Water Gap is where the Delaware River cuts through a large ridge of the Appalachian Mountains.

"The Peril Of Refusing To Believe"

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"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). "For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything" (Hebrews 3:4). "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible" (Hebrews 11:2).

"The Lord said to Moses, 'How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?'" (Numbers 14:11). "Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way" (Acts 19:8,9).

Holstein cow with world map marking (click to enlarge)Holstein cattle are the most prominent of the seven major dairy breeds in the United States, easily recognizable by their distinct black and white markings. Over 9 million dairy cows exist in the U.S., with approximately 90% of them being of Holstein descent.

In Friday's message we shared a photo (left) we had come across and welcomed reader thoughts. Most of you recognized that the marking appears as a world map and immediately assumed it had to be photo shopped. I first saw the photo from a creation ministry with this thought-provoking comment:

"Was the cow born with these markings or are the spots the handiwork of a skilled Photoshop artist? Obviously, this cow's spots were put there by a designer. But our question for evolutionists is this: If you agree that the cow's spots are designed, why won't you agree that the actual cow – which is so much more complex than the arrangement of its spots – was designed as well?"

Evolutionists and atheists will agree that the pattern of the cow's spots was designed, but they will not agree that the cow itself was designed. That's because they are committed to their faith – yes, faith! – built on the premise that there is no Designer. Though they can see the complexities of nature all around them, they say that everything was the result of mindless, natural processes. And that's why Darwinists have a cow, pun intended, whenever they hear a Bible-believing Christian say that things which appear to be designed actually are designed! If they weren't so biased against God they'd know that the cow's spots reveal the incredibly huge blind spot, pun intended again, in their own minds."

A statement the Lord made to Moses
in Numbers 14:11 concerning the rebellious children of Israel has a broader application in our view, speaking not only to its time but of the overall condition of many in the human race. "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?"

Preaching concerning the Kingdom of God in Ephesus Paul spoke boldly and persuasively but "some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way."

Sand bottleMany of you have seen a sand art bottle filled with various colors of sand carefully arranged in a pattern to show a design, such as a desert scene or sunset. We'd think it ludicrous if someone told us the design was merely a result of randomly shaking the jar. No, we sensibly recognize that such a design takes intelligence and skill. A few shakes would destroy the design and no amount of further random shaking will ever restore it to its original design.

Yet many people believe in a scheme that is far more nonsensical. That is; the material universe is merely a result of random chance and time. Billions of years ago it just simply appeared out of nowhere, asserts the non-believer in God. In this outlook the origin of what we see and experience is not the work of the Creator God.  Now that takes real faith from a far different source!

Several weeks ago at the Watchman conference in Washington I heard Frank Turek who wrote the book, "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist".

I accept the matter of fact statement from Hebrews 13:4, "God is the builder of everything." Many in the world mock at such a belief. "It's too simple" or "it's not scientific" or "it's old-fashioned" they say. Now atheists and agnostics vehemently deny it but they also have faith, placing their faith in the fallible, changing notions of human wisdom and refusing to believe in the overwhelming evidence for a Creator God. And as described in Acts 19 they malign those of us who do believe in God.

That's OK. we'll just store in my memory bank the painted Holstein cow and all the sand art bottles that have an original designer. We choose to unashamedly place my faith in the God of the universe for He is indeed the builder of everything! Rather than refusing to believe I most assuredly declare, "I believe!"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, You are great and greatly to be praised. You are the Builder of everything we see and so much that we've not yet laid eyes upon, both on the earth and the heavens above.  We are looking forward to the future city with eternal foundations where You are the architect and builder. Our everlasting home in heaven is not built with human hands, but by Your divine design. Keep us faithful till that glorious promotion day!  In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Some photos from our visit to the Pocono Mountains

Thursday afternoon
following our chaplain visits we drove up to the Pocono Mountains about 120 miles northeast of us for a couple days of hiking and bike riding.

Appalachian Trail over I-80 5/28/15
We walked an unusual portion of the Appalachian Trail Thursday afternoon, the I-80 bridge over the Delaware River separating Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I suspected it would be loud with passing traffic but thought we would get some good views of the mountains and river. Actually it was a rather unpleasant experience as the big trucks rolled past just a few feet from us on the other side of the jersey barrier! Nevertheless we walked all the way across and back and in this photo Brooksyne is pleased to be nearing the end and back on land.

Stroudsburg Pennsylvania Art
Wall art in Stroudsburg, PA.
Stroudsburg is probably the main touristy town in the Poconos, although there are several across the region.

McDade Recreational Trail along Delaware Water Gap 5/29/15
On Friday morning we rode our bikes on the McDade Recreational Trail through the Delaware Water Gap, a beautiful packed gravel trail for hikers and bikers with many scenic views.

McDade Recreational Trail along Delaware Water Gap 5/29/15
We especially enjoyed the flat shady sections much more than the many hills.

McDade Recreational Trail along Delaware Water Gap 5/29/15
Tall pines

McDade Recreational Trail along Delaware Water Gap 5/29/15
This was not a rail trail and we had many hills we had to walk up. We rode (and walked) over 17 miles on the trail and when we finished we were very tired.

Buttermilk Falls along Delaware Water Gap 5/29/15
Buttermilk Falls
Here's a photo with more flow and visibility in the autumn

Rose bloom 5/29/15
We (mostly Brooksyne) enjoy stopping at a greenhouse and looking over the variety of flowers.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Creation Calls"  Video  Brian Doerksen

"I Believe"  Video  Jimmy Fortune, Dailey & Vincent

"This I Believe (The Creed)"  Video  

Creation Moments website  Here's the article on the marked cow we quoted in our message.

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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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