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Friday, June 30, 2017

Ganoga Falls, Ricketts Glen State Park 6/28/17
At 94 feet Ganoga Falls is the tallest in Ricketts Glen State Park

"The Roar Of Your Waterfalls"

Message summary: Today may a refreshing sense of God's love flood over your spirit like waterfall!

Note: Due to getting home late Wednesday evening from Ricketts Glen and having an early chaplaincy visitation schedule on Thursday a Daily Encouragement message was not posted yesterday.

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"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life" (Psalm 42:5-8).

Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Running wild and free
You hear my heart when I call, when I call
Deep calls, to deep
Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Raining down on me

On Wednesday we visited Ricketts Glenn State Park about 90 miles north of our home (direct) which many consider the prime location for waterfalls in Pennsylvania. As PennLive states, "If you love waterfalls, there is no better destination in Pennsylvania than Ricketts Glen State Park." We walked a rigorous hike on "The Falls Trail" a 3.2 mile loop that showcases 18 of the 22 named falls in the park.

Warning sign, Ricketts Glen State Park 6/28/17
It's a beautiful park. Plans to make Ricketts Glen a national park in the 1930s were ended by budget issues and the Second World War. However the Glens Natural area within the park is a National Natural Landmark. I have been to two national parks in the eastern USA (Great Smoky Mountain and Acadia in Maine) as well as several of the great parks in the western states. Although the western parks are on a bigger scale such as the Grand Canyon these eastern parks in our view are just as wonderful. After all they share the same Creator!

To see the many falls which are not on a road but rather in a glen you must take the appropriately named "Falls Trail" of which the shortest route is over 3 miles, most of it down into the glen, and then back up with an elevation differential of 1,000 feet. We did it although we were quite tired when we got back up to the top where we for the first time saw the sign to the left!

Most standard versions of the Bible commonly used, such as the ESV, NASV and NIV, only refer to a waterfall one time, our daily text,
"the roar of Your waterfalls". The KJV uses the term "waterspouts". There are waterfalls in the Holy Land. The Shalom Holy Tours lists "5 Israeli Waterfalls That Will Take Your Breath Away" (link below). Perhaps it was one of these waterfalls that is alluded to in the Bible text.

Waterfalls can be powerful and loud, they can "roar" as the Bible states. You can hear Niagara Falls long before you see it.

But the Psalmist, who is not identified by name in this Psalm is making a point. He begins the selection with a description of his emotional state,
"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?" That's a description of discouragement, disappointment and despair which most of us have experienced. He forthrightly acknowledges his condition which leads to his perspective and determination as he says to himself and writes in the text for others to apply, "Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God."

For some reason the Psalmist recalls a waterfall, perhaps one of the "5 Israeli Waterfalls That Will Take Your Breath Away" and considers it when he writes,
"the roar of Your waterfalls". He seems to be experiencing a sweeping surge of assurance and encouragement even while acknowledging that the waterfall far exceeds our ability to control or calm its intended purpose, "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me." We especially consider that phrase "swept over me." How spiritually enriching it is to feel the sweeping sensation of God's Spirit as described by the hymn writer, "Sweep over my spirit forever I pray in fathomless billows of love."

The daily Scripture portion ends with a peaceful assurance,
"By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life."

"God’s love certainly is like a refreshing waterfall. It brings both joy and cleansing. His love is constant but we often experience it in unexpected ways. You never know where, how or through whom you might experience the love of God." *

Today may a refreshing sense of God's love flood over your spirit like waterfall!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, the Psalmist in Psalm 42 describes the rushing and heaving and restless waters as though they were the deep unending sorrows of his soul. Sometimes we describe our circumstance as floods of tears or oceans of sorrows because we feel like we're drowning in grief much like the Psalmist. But after painting a very dismal picture, he reminds us of how we can be uplifted even while our soul is downcast and disturbed. Though circumstances may be grim we're reminded to put our hope in You, not in the circumstance or its outcome. Your steadfast love never ceases and Your mercies never end but are renewed day by day. Great is Your faithfulness! By day You direct Your love toward us, at night Your song is with us, so we offer our prayer of thanksgiving to You, our God and faithful Father. Amen.

Ricketts Glen State Park

Ricketts Glen State Park 6/28/17

Falls Trail, Ricketts Glen State Park 6/28/17
Brooksyne took a photo of me working my way down the trail.

Falls Trail, Ricketts Glen State Park 6/28/17
So here she is working her way back up on the other side of the glen.

Onondaga Falls, Ricketts Glen State Park 6/28/17
So many beautiful waterfalls.

Ricketts Glen State Park 6/28/17

Ricketts Glen Hotel, Ricketts Glen State Park 6/28/17
After leaving the park at the advice of another trail hiker we stopped by Ricketts Glen Hotel for a late lunch. It is "Conveniently Located In the Middle Of Nowhere"

Centralia PA home 6/28/17
On the way home we drove through Centralia, a borough and near-ghost town. Its population has dwindled from more than 1,000 residents in 1980 to only 7 in 2013—a result of an underground coal mine fire which has been burning beneath the borough since 1962. This home stands alone and appears to still be occupied by one of the few residents who refused to leave.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Waterfall"  Video   Chris Tomlin  (Is there any nature topic Chris Tomlin has not written a song on!)

"Wonderful Peace"  Video   Don Moen

Ricketts Glen State Park is located here (Google map)

Hiking the Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park

A recent news report concerning the Falls Trail with video

Photos of Ricketts Glen waterfalls

"5 Israeli Waterfalls That Will Take Your Breath Away

* Seeing Creation - Like a Waterfall

Finally today:
Dylan with BBQ, Val-Co 6/29/17
Yesterday we joined a company for a luncheon with Dylan, one of the employees preparing BBQ. Dylan his brother and some friends are developing their own local catering service called Smokin' Bros BBQ. It was very good!

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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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