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Thursday, October 15, 2015

WW2 observation tower near Dewey Beach Delaware
WW2 observation tower in Southern Delaware
I took this photo last Saturday morning of one of the two towers along Rt 1 south of Dewey Beach.

"The Name Of The Lord Is A Strong Tower"

to this message on your audio player.

"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to You, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe" (Psalm 61:1-3). "The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe" (Proverbs 18:10).

The name of the Lord is a strong tower
The righteous run into it and they are saved
The name of the Lord is a strong tower
The righteous run into it and they are saved

World War 2 lookout tower A unique feature found along the coast in Southern Delaware are the large observation towers built during World War 2 to keep an eye on the mouth of Delaware Bay for any sign of approaching enemies or enemy activity. These massive towers, reaching almost 100 feet tall, still stand along the Atlantic shore of southern Delaware today. Construction took place from 1939 to 1942, with the intention of the buildings having a 20-year lifespan. But quite a few remain over 75 years later!

These towers were part of America's coastal defense system during the war as a measure to protect the bay and coastal towns of the area from encroaching enemies. Sitting high above water level, soldiers were able to spot enemy ships and submarines out in the distance. Not only did the tower's occupants spot the enemy, but they also helped forces on the ground aim their artillery.

Scripture uses the image of a strong tower to demonstrate the security we have in the name of the Lord.
In the Old Testament period towers were used as a place of refuge against the enemy. David writes a marvelous prayer recorded in Psalm 61 beginning with these words, "Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to You, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe" (Psalm 61:1-3). Today we do well to express this in the present tense in regard to our own challenges, "You, O God, are my refuge, a strong tower against my foe."

Strong towerThe writer of Proverbs also uses this image in a similar way. "The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe" (Proverbs 18:10). Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible states, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower - The name of the Lord may be taken for the Lord himself; He is a strong tower, a refuge, and place of complete safety, to all that trust in Him. What the strong fortress is to the besieged, God is to His persecuted, tempted, and afflicted followers."

Likewise, we who run to Christ find a strong tower of refuge and safety. This is true for all who have heavy burdens, but is an especially rich assurance for those who are being persecuted for their Christian faith, like so many of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East. The writer of Hebrews cheers on the persecuted believer with these words, "We who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged" (Hebrews 6:18).

Life is fragile and unpredictable. Now is the day of salvation. Place your hope in Christ, both in this life and the life yet to come. We urge you to run to the eternal hope offered to us through the strong tower of Christ.

And I will run to You
To Your words of truth
Not by might, not by power
But by the Spirit of God
Yes, I will run the race
'Till I see Your face
Oh let me live in the glory of Your grace

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:
Father, You want us to be on the look-out for our enemy's activity and beware of his approach in the daily temptations he brings to our mind. The narrative might have changed a great deal, had the disciples been on their guard in the Garden of Gethsemane after Jesus warned them to pray rather than sleep through the night. We find ourselves much like them because we often ignore the warnings or become nonchalant, thinking we've heard them all our lives. Yet Your warnings and promises in Scripture are like a strong tower for the soul. You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Your words are truth and all Your promises will be fulfilled in time. You are a strong tower and we who are righteous run to You and find safety through Christ Jesus our Lord. It is in His name that we pray.  Amen.

Battery Herring, an old WW2 gun battery on Cape Henlopen
Battery Herring, an old WW2 gun battery on Cape Henlopen

More WW2 Information:  The towers were used in conjunction with other nearby towers to observe & triangulate the positions of enemy vessels. Twin 16-inch guns were hidden in the wooded hills at Fort Miles, ready to blast huge shells up to 25 miles out to sea. They covered the entrance to Delaware Bay, along with four 12-inch guns, four 6-inch guns, eight 8-inch guns mounted on railroad cars, and other artillery.

In order to determine the location of a hostile vessel, the coordinates of the lines of sight between 2 different towers were noted & given to the battery commander. The angles were then plotted in relation to the known distance between the two towers to form a triangle (triangulation) to determine the angle & direction of artillery fire. This is actually the same principle used in GPS.

However, the guns at Fort Miles at Cape Henlopen were never called upon to fire at an enemy vessel.

Won't heaven be a wonderful place with no wars or rumors of wars, no enemies to keep us from experiencing, "All is peace forevermore on that happy golden shore. What a day, glorious day that will be!"

Gordon Pond tidal marsh with towers in background 10/8/15
A view across Gordon Pond out toward the ocean, which is just beyond the WW2 observation towers.

Amish barn in Lancaster County 10/14/15
Back in Lancaster County we passed this scenic barn yesterday.
The flowers beside the barn added some nice color!
(Click on photo for larger view)

A newborn calf's first nursing 10/14/15
On the farm: This cow and her newborn calf were not scrubbed for their debut photo, but we thought you might enjoy their story anyway. Yesterday morning we stopped for a brief visit with Jesse and Anna Ruth, our Amish friends. As Brooksyne visited with Anna in the farmhouse kitchen Stephen chatted with Jesse in the barn. I asked him what was new and he told me about a calf born just that morning (or sometime overnight). We went over to the stall and saw the calf lying beside the weary cow. As we looked on, the calf stood up for the first time and stumbled around as if he was drunk! Jesse told me to watch for what happens next. Sure enough the hunger instinct kicked in and the calf went looking for the milk source, first in the front and then quickly found the right spot, as I caught it on camera! We know there's a spiritual lesson here.

Brooksyne's note! One thing Stephen has in common with this calf is an October 14th birthday, though he appeared on the scene 61 years earlier! When he came into the farm kitchen, the 5 older children, along with Anna Ruth, broke into a rousing "Happy Birthday" song to him. Amish children are not timid but sing loud and strong. It sure made our day, as these children hold a very special place in our hearts.

Amish hauling in Lancaster County PA 10/14/15
This Amish woman was hauling quite a load as her little boy turned around to watch us as we waited to pass.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"There's Always a Place At the Table"  Video  GVB  We dedicate this song to a reader who shared a very heavy burden yesterday concerning her adult daughter who has departed from her Christian roots, causing tremendous grief to her family. Sadly, we receive notes like this often in our ministry. This song has really touched our hearts these last several days and Wes Hampton does an outstanding solo in expressing the heart of God. We dedicate it to the heartbroken Mom who wrote us yesterday and to all of you dealing with wayward children. Even when we stoop to our lowest and live in stark disobedience to God's commands He, the "Host" extends an invitation at His table of love and forgiveness. We especially consider this line:

She'd made so many choices
That had torn her life apart
And hurt the very ones she loved the most.
She didn't even know where someone could begin
Until she got this message from the host.

"Blessed Be the Name of the Lord"  Video 

"Strong Tower"  Video  Newsboys

"I Will Run To You"  Video  Alvin Slaughter

"Lead Me to That Rock"  Video  Homecoming singers

"Lead Me to That Rock"  Video  Hosanna Music

"Let The Lower Lights Be Burning"  Video  Haven Of Rest Quartet

Back in the days of the wooden ships there was a ship lost in a storm. The roar of the waves crashing onto the rocks could be heard on deck. The Captain said... "Keep looking... Keep looking for the lights along the shore. Keep watching." But they never saw the lights. The ship slammed into the limestone bluffs and hundreds of lives were lost. The next day they found the man whose job it was to burn the shore light through the dark night. Murmuring, he said "It was cold, foggy, damp, and I thought nobody would be coming into the harbor on a night like this so I didn't light the lights." Based upon this true story Phillip Bliss wrote, "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning".

Silent Sentinels - An interesting article about the WW2 towers on Delaware's coast.
One of the towers on Cape Henlopen is open for visitors who can climb to the top for an interesting view. See here. We climbed it during a visit several years ago.

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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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