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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lehigh River Gorge gushing brook, Poconos, PA 5/30/15
A gushing brook in the Lehigh Gorge

"The Noise We Make"

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"The whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" "I tell you," He replied, "If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out" (Luke 19:37-40). "Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns"
(Revelation 19:6).

This is the noise we make
With our voice and with our hands
We come to celebrate all across His land

On Saturday we rode a train for one hour up the Lehigh River Gorge in the Poconos along with about 300 to 400 other bikers. Upon arrival the bikes were unloaded and we then rode our bikes for over 5 hours back down the river on a rail to trail bike path. We were exhausted when we finished but had a great time meeting fellow bikers and enjoying the beauties set in the natural landscaping of Pennsylvania. We did stop for breaks all along the trail and observed the beautiful settings; something you can't do while driving a car in the city or country. At one point we sat down along the river on the huge rocks and took in the many sights and sounds including the constant surge of moving water. Some refer to it as waterfall meditation.

Among the other noises we heard was the faint sound of insects in the forest. As summer progresses this will grow to a loud, steady buzz which is not necessarily unpleasant but certainly will drown out many other sounds. These insects (crickets, cicadas, locusts and so forth) make a very loud noise using various body parts. For instance the Cicada has a drum-like membrane stretched across its abdomen that vibrates very quickly. I don't know how densely populated they are, but my, the noise they make can be almost ear piercing! These creatures are doing what the Creator designed them to do.

Even as the Cicada was designed to make noise so are we. All over the world today God's people are making noise. There are pleasant noises of praises to God and proclamations of the Gospel. There are noises of challenge and conviction as well as comfort and encouragement. There sadly is also much noise of strife and contention in many places. Individually we really aren't that loud but as an accumulative voice we are capable of turning up the volume!

The first daily text speaks of a noisy setting during the time of our Lord,
"The whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 'Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!'" What a pleasant and triumphant declaration these noisy followers made as they joyfully pledged with loud voices their allegiance to the God of miracles!

"some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" What sad, jealous party-poopers!

But Jesus has the last word, "I tell you," He replied, "If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Ron Kenoly has a song that declares, "Ain't Gonna Let No Rock Cry In My Place"

God's purpose is that His people praise Him and not keep quiet about the matter. The Psalmist wrote, "I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Psalm 34:1) and all are called to, "sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation" (Psalm 95:1). In Revelation 19:6 we have a glimpse of heaven that indicates these praises, "Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns."

Amen! Today, let us make the noise our Creator designed us to make! Let us not remain quiet but express His praises.

Come, now is the time to worship,
Come, now is the time to give your heart.
Come, just as you are to worship,
Come, just as you are before your God.

One day every tongue will confess you are God,
One day every knee will bow.
Still the greatest treasure remains for those,
Who gladly choose you now.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, it must surely sadden Your heart that we're quick to talk about the weather, politics, gossip or about the latest fashion, tool or electronic gizmo but we're slow to speak about the Rock of our salvation. Why should we hesitate to be boisterous about the amazing ways You work in our lives every day when You forthrightly tell Your followers that You long for the praises of Your people. Jeremiah writes that "But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!" You also give warning that the rocks will cry out in our place if we don't give praise. Let us praise You foremost with our surrendered lives but also with our yielded tongues as we speak forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light. Now is the time to worship as we confess with our tongues that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father who is in heaven. Amen.

Warren, a thoughtful reader and friend sent us this message,
Skeptical Science - Questionable Data Plagues Scientific Research in relationship to our daily encouragement post yesterday titled, "The Peril Of Refusing To Believe"  We enjoy the writings and perspective of Eric Mataxas. 

In my view so much of what is called "science" has become so politicized and is agenda-driven rather than an objective and open pursuit of truth. We feel that the supposed objectivity of science is a tool of deception. Of course I am not speaking of all science and scientists. Be discerning and use common God-given sense.

Lehigh Gorge Bike Train and Ride

On Saturday morning we went to Jim Thorpe, PA and took a train up the Lehigh River Gorge 25 miles to White Haven, PA and then rode back down to Jim Thorpe on a bike trail.

Lehigh River Gorge train, Poconos, PA 5/30/15
Arriving in Jim Thorpe at 8:30 we bought our tickets and then they loaded our bikes while we sat back in a coach car for the one hour train ride up the gorge to White Haven.

Lehigh River Gorge,, Poconos, PA 5/30/15
Crossing the Lehigh River we saw fishermen and colorful kayaks.

Lehigh River Gorge abandoned railroad tunnel, Poconos, PA 5/30/15
At one point we saw this abandoned railroad tunnel.

Lehigh River Gorge train, Poconos, PA 5/30/15
But we didn't see any bears! We had only two creature dramas when Brooksyne hit the edge of a black snake with her bike tires and it slithered off the path which we was fine with us. The other encounter was a porcupine who didn't like the looks of us humans as we got closer, so it climbed high up a tree which was interesting to watch.

Lehigh River Gorge canal lock, Poconos, PA 5/30/15
A long abandoned lock to a canal that went up along the river in the mid 1800's. Can you imagine the labor that went into these stone walls?
See here for information about the canal.

Lehigh River Gorge railroad bridge, Poconos, PA 5/30/15
This is where we especially enjoyed the sound of the river as we sat on a rock for a while. I thought a neat photo would be a train crossing this bridge while some colorful kayaks came down the river but we could only wait so long!

Lehigh River Gorge bike trail, Poconos, PA 5/30/15

Since the bike trail used an abandoned rail line along the river it was a gentle downward grade. Several hundred at least were on the train but after disembarking we spread out fast. We saw some of the same people all along the trail, including this loving dad who spent a good part of the ride helping his very young daughter pace for the long 25 mile ride.

Lehigh River Gorge train, Poconos, PA 5/30/15
At one point we got a brief shower which accounts for this darker photo as we passed the train going back up the gorge while we rode down the trail.

We'll share a second set of photos from our Lehigh Gorge bike ride tomorrow

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Sounds of a "Forest Creek"  Video  This is similar to the peaceful, pleasant sound we heard along the Lehigh River Saturday. Claims to be 11 hours long but I didn't listen to all of it!

"Ain't Gonna Let No Rock
Cry In My Place"  Video  Ron Kenoly

"This Is The Noise We Make"
 Video  Chris Tomlin

"Come, Now Is the Time to Worship"  Video  Phillips, Craig, and Dean

Here's info about the bike train. Make sure you watch the video.

A trail map of the Lehigh Gorge (Photo) Here's the area on a Google map

The train went through a long tunnel and for the really curious someone took a video! Reading & Northern 425 through the Rockport Tunnel   Video  

"Stridulation - How and Why Crickets Make Sound"  Video

"Cicadas Night"  Video  If you want to sleep with this pleasant summer sound!

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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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