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Monday, July 30, 2018

Watkins Glen, NY 7/28/18 (Click to enlarge)
Watkins Glen
(Click to enlarge)

"Spiritual Disorientation"

Message summary:  Be careful and stay focused to keep your spiritual orientation today.

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"Lead me to the rock that is higher than I" (Psalm 61:2). "Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight" (Isaiah 5:21).

This weekend we traveled through northern Pennsylvania up to the Finger Lakes region in New York State to visit Watkins Glen. While traveling through this region there are many winding roads due to the mountains. Although heading to Watkins Glen is generally north the winding roads take you in all directions. By taking the road it's 210 miles but a straight path is 160 miles. When winding through the mountains it's easy to get spatially disoriented (losing your sense of direction), a term that is especially applicable to flying.

Many of you may recall the plane accident that killed John F. Kennedy Jr. and two passengers 19 years ago this month. At that time we lived in New England, not far from the crash site off Martha's Vineyard. Most aviation experts feel it was likely that Kennedy experienced a phenomenon known as "spatial disorientation". In flight a pilot can become so confused in haze or darkness without landmarks that he has absolutely no sense of direction. This is very serious for pilots who do not have an instrument rating. A pilot may feel he is going straight ahead when in fact he is diving down!

Another example of being spatially disoriented is a very low-tech attraction called "Grandfather's Mansion" that I remember going to as a kid in Silver Dollar City near Branson Missouri in the sixties. Essentially by walking down a dark tunnel with various twists and angles your sense of direction gets all fouled up. You then enter this house where water appears to run uphill, pots and pans hang sideways, balls roll up, etc.

But there's a much more serious form of disorientation, which affects all of mankind in the spiritual realm. Rather than spatial disorientation let us call it "spiritual disorientation". Amazingly though, most are not even aware of its affect or even that they are disoriented. Worse yet they give little consideration to the eventual consequences of this disorientation. What a serious "Woe" is expressed in our daily text. "Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight".

Other Scripture verses describe this disorientation. "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4). "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 16:25).

Circumstances in our world seem to be ever more confusing and the earnest believer must be vigilant in keeping the proper spiritual orientation. As believers we must cry out daily with the Psalmist, "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I" (Psalm 61:2). We trust in the One of whom it is written, "He will be the sure foundation for your times" (Isaiah 33:6). And "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19).

Be careful and stay focused to keep your spiritual orientation today.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, You are the Solid Rock that keeps us anchored in this vast landscape of shifting sands. Our unfading hope is secured in Your finished work on the cross and our guide map is the inspired Holy Scriptures that make us wise unto salvation. Help us to resist the temptation to look at anything the god of this age offers seeking to blind the minds of unbelievers. Instead we steadfastly follow Your clearly prescribed plan for living a life that pleases You. We offer to You our lives as living sacrifices. May they be holy and pleasing to You. Amen.

Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen, NY 7/28/18
Entering the Watkins Glen gorge which you can see from the main highway leading to town.

Watkins Glen, NY 7/28/18
The view from the first bridge to the entrance of the park. The town of Watkins Glen and Seneca Lake is to the left of the photo. We both enjoyed the peaceful farm view and imagine this farmer has a million dollar view! (Look carefully for the farm somewhat obscured by the tree in the foreground.)

Watkins Glen, NY 7/28/18
We passed many outstanding waterfalls climbing up the gorge.

Watkins Glen, NY 7/28/18
We climbed over 800 stone steps to the top along the gorge trail!
Watkins Glen, NY 7/28/18
We took a different trail back down from the top of the gorge and had this overlook from a bridge over the gorge trail.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Lead Me To The Rock"  Video  Kent Henry

"Lead Me To The Rock"  Video  Maranatha! Praise Band

"Lead Me to That Rock"  Video  The Oak Ridge Boys

"I Can Trust Jesus"  Video  Collingsworth Family

Finally today:
Darryl and Melissa Eyler 7/29/18
Yesterday we visited with our long-time friend Darryl Eyler and his wife Melissa and second to oldest daughter. We served with Darryl in chaplaincy about 15 years ago. He is now pastoring the Valley View Alliance Church near Wellsboro PA and we were blessed by his faithful exposition of the Word of God.

Valley View Alliance mural 7/29/18
This inspiring banner hangs above the front of the sanctuary.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

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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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