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July 2, 2018

Kinzua Bridge overlook near Mount Jewett, PA
(Click to enlarge)

"A Bridge To Cross The Great Divide"

Message summary: This last Saturday we visited the Kinzua Bridge for the first time since it was renovated after a tornado. It's better than ever as a tourist attraction but it's not much of a bridge anymore. Storms have toppled many a bridge but today let's consider a timeless bridge that continues to function because it is indestructible and leads to an unshakable kingdom.

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"For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross—whether things on earth or things in heaven. Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions. But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him— if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it" (Colossians 1:19-23).

The Kinzua Bridge was a railroad trestle that spanned a deep valley over Kinzua Creek in McKean County, PA near Mount Jewett. When we lived in northern Pennsylvania from 1977 through 1993 it was one of the best locations to take visitors for a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains as they walked all the way across the bridge which was 301 feet tall and 2052 feet long. Originally built in 1882 the bridge once held the record for the tallest railroad bridge in the world and was considered the "eighth wonder of the world". At times we would walk across the bridge then hike back through the valley which was a much longer walk than the bridge. Walking through the valley was also breathtaking but not because of the view. It took our breath away because of the strenuous incline. However in 2003 most of the bridge collapsed after a tornado struck.

Engineers have done a wonderful job of restoring the bridge and now it is even more popular than ever. The remaining part of the bridge, undamaged by the tornado of 2003, was reconditioned as a "sky walk". It ends with an observation deck where you can look down into the valley and see the steel structure upholding the bridge through glass flooring. You can also look off at the end of the bridge to view the mangled steel now lying as ruins in the valley after the tornado felled 11 of its 20 bridge towers. You can also see the remaining part of the bridge that was previously connected.

This last Saturday we visited the bridge for the first time since the renovations. It's better than ever as a tourist attraction but it's not much of a bridge anymore. Storms have toppled many a bridge but today let's consider a timeless bridge that continues to function because it is indestructible and leads to an unshakable kingdom.

Bridge To SalvationThere's a bridge to cross the great divide
A way was made to reach the other side
The mercy of the Father, cost His son His life
His love is deep, His love is wide
There's a cross to bridge the great divide

Bridge To Life tract cover
Salvation is often graphically depicted as a bridge between sinful man and a holy God. In fact the Navigators, a ministry I have appreciated through the years, has a small tract explaining salvation called "The Bridge To Life" illustrating that a great chasm separates sinful humanity from a holy God. But Jesus Christ, in dying on the cross, bridges that mighty chasm. The cross is God's only appointed means for man to reach Him. It is supremely trustworthy.

Pastor Rich Moore writes, "God is an amazing bridge builder. His Son built a bridge across the grandest canyon known to us. He bridged between us and God, by offering forgiveness and love to us in the free gift of His sacrifice. Jesus built this bridge with only two pieces of wood and three nails."

Thank God that today there is an indestructible bridge to cross the great divide!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Heavenly Father, just like a grand canyon, sin cuts and digs deep chasms between us and a holy God. Thank You for providing Your only Son, Jesus, to act as a redemptive bridge so that we can cross over the great divide and transition from sin to forgiveness, from death to life, from punishment to mercy, from despair to eternal hope. We are now one with You, Father, and can act as a channel of Your mercy when we invite needy souls to walk over the bridge of salvation. It is because of Jesus that we can approach You, our holy God, and pray to You as our heavenly Father. Amen.

This last weekend we travelled to northern Pennsylvania to an area we lived during the late 70's through early 90's. We expect we will have several days of photos to share from that trip!

Kinzua Bridge side view 6/30/18
Kinzua Bridge side view

Kinzua Bridge skywalk 6/30/18
Kinzua Bridge skywalk

Kinzua Bridge observation deck 6/30/18
Kinzua Bridge observation deck

Kinzua Bridge structural steel 6/30/18
Kinzua Bridge structural steel as viewed through platform of glass on observation deck.

Kinzua Bridge ruins through valley 6/30/18

Photo of Kinzua Bridge ruins as seen from the observation deck.

Kinzua Bridge overlook 6/30/18

Photo of us on overlook (Not a selfie but the old-fashioned way of asking someone to take your photo and then you take theirs!)

Bruce and Cindy Jack 6/30/18
Bruce and Cindy Jack  have been our friends for over 35 years and were a key part of the church we served in northern Pennsylvania. They both remain active in service for the Lord with Bruce still playing in a Christian band and Cindy leading women's Bible studies!

Bruce Jack log truck grill with cross 6/30/18
Bruce Jack is a log truck driver who displays this cross on the truck grill as a means of expressing his faith. During our visit on Saturday he recalled a time back when he was giving a testimony in church and spoke of driving his truck down the road "loaded". He reminded me that I followed up his testimony, for the sake of any who might not have known what Bruce did for a living, that "loaded" meant he was transporting a load of logs on his truck and not the other way "loaded" is used!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"The Great Divide"  Video  Point of Grace

"At Calvary"  Video  The Collingsworth Family

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
At Calvary!

Kinzua Bridge  (Includes photos before tornado)

Finally today:

Photo of butterfly by Ed Carocci
Ed, another friend from northern Pennsylvania, sent us this butterfly photo.

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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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