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Friday, October 26, 2018

View from Fenton Covered Bridge 10/20/18 (Click to enlarge)
Foliage from Fenton Covered Bridge
(Click to enlarge)

"Hazards Ahead"

Message summary: Four action steps provide the key to Spirit-empowered victory as we deal with the common hazards in the course of life.

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"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith" (1 Peter 5:8,9a).

DriviHazards Aheadng along the coast in California we drove through hazardous areas with very steep drop offs into the ocean, then through the mountains and steep drop-offs down ravines. Then there are the hazards of driving through the city! You have to be on the lookout for bikes which run right through traffic. It was especially hazardous when we walked across the Golden Gate Bridge and bikers sped by with little consideration for walkers.

Life is full of hazards. There are road hazards, relationship hazards, sports hazards and many others. We sing of this in Amazing Grace, "Through many dangers, toils and snares."

Safety light curtain around laser machineToday let us consider occupational hazards and a special device we see on many machines called a "safety light curtain". This is a device that has a beam of light around the perimeter of a dangerous machine. If you step through the light while the machine is running the machine will instantly shut down. Yesterday morning I observed one at Smucker Laser and a spiritual application came to mind.

We all need something like this when we step into danger and a knowledge of and respect for God's Word can meet this need.

Our daily Scripture portion is a tremendous source of strength and godly counsel as we deal with the hazards in our spiritual life.

This may seem like strange logic, but the continued work of the tempter and his many minions actually increases my faith in God. The Scriptures are so clear regarding good and evil and the cosmic battle we are in the midst of, whether we acknowledge it or not. We are not spectators but active participants in this battle.

Considering the constant assault directed at those of the Christian faith, let us cry out to God for renewed strength to "be self-controlled and alert".  A Study Bible I use makes this observation in regard to this phrase: "Perhaps Peter remembered his own difficulty in staying awake during our Lord's agony in Gethsemane".

There are scores of ways our "ancient foe" works his deadly woe. He's adept at using the latest technology and now scores are battling the wiles of the devil in ways never imagined by previous generations.

"Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."  Matthew Henry comments on this verse. "The whole design of Satan is to devour and destroy souls. He always is contriving whom he may ensnare to eternal ruin. Our duty plainly is, to be sober; to govern both the outward and the inward man by the rules of temperance".

Today may we all realize, regardless of the nature of Satan's attack in our area of weakness, that our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Four keys to victory in dealing with this hazard are found in this short portion of Scripture:

    * Be self-controlled
    * Be alert
    * Resist him
    * Stand firm in the faith

These four action steps provide the key to Spirit-empowered victory as we deal with the common hazards that are ahead of us in the course of life.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, though Satan's temptations swirl about me in many forms and in various venues I resist the enemy's desire to reside in my life. Even as the devil seeks to wrap his noxious tentacles around my heart, I stand firm against him because the Holy Spirit is the Protector of my soul, who stands guard at all times. I am grateful for the warning signals often repeated throughout the Bible that teach me about Satan's strategy. Thank You for Your still, small voice regularly reminding me that I am a child of God purchased by Your life-giving blood. May everything that passes before my eyes and all activities I engage in reflect the light of Your redeeming love within me. It is through Your power that I resist the devil and stand firm in the faith. Amen.

We walked through an old growth redwood grove at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park (Google map). This tree, called "The Giant" is the largest tree in the grove at 270 feet tall.

Redwood trees 10/20/18
I look pretty puny walking among these trees!

Redwood grove train 10/20/18
The Roaring Camp Railroad with this engine, dolled up as Thomas the Tank engine, goes through the Redwood Grove.

Fenton Covered Bridge 10/20/18
The Fenton Covered Bridge, built in 1892 and one of only ten remaining in all of California, is the tallest in the nation.

Apple headquarters parking 10/20/18
Yesterday we mentioned visiting the Apple headquarters and visitor's center. I mistakenly drove into the employee entrance to the underground parking garage with tunnels right out of the Jetsons but couldn't get any farther than these gates before being surrounded by Apple security guards! (Actually there was only one friendly guard who directed us to a bypass out.) The "spaceship" main office building is to the left. Yesterday I shared a photo while it was under construction. Here's one after construction was complete.

Back to Realville - we resumed our chaplain duties yesterday.

Val-Co Blessings of Hope team 10/25/18
We stopped by to visit a group of Val-Co employees who were serving at Blessings of Hope, a ministry that provides bulk foods to food banks.

Aaron Fisher with Hands of Hope box 10/25/18
Aaron Fisher, the founder of Blessings Of Hope explained a new program that he was excited about called "Hands of Hope" whereby individuals can make a modest donation and fill a box to give directly to someone in need. Apart from those in his church we chose to be the first to utilize this program today so we filled a box with food and gave it to a family who has limited income.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Is He Worthy?"  Video   Andrew Peterson  A most unusual song filled with questions and Biblical responses to those questions. This was introduced to our choir Wednesday night and we are planning to sing it on a November Sunday. Listen to this very different and moving song - it will touch your heart!

Finally today: Yesterday's quiz was the text of John 3:16 in binary code, the language computers use. We commend several readers who managed to translate this. Here's the nifty tool I used to translate. This was spurred on by a visit to the
Intel museum and purchasing this mug. So what do you suppose the mug says?

Binary mug

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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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