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Monday, October 29, 2018
The Golden Gate Bridge takes a pretty picture from any where you see it!
(Click to enlarge)

"There Is Hope!"

Message summary:

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (1 Corinthians 12:12). "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23).

One of the great joys of my years of service as a pastor and now for many years as a church attender and observer is the baby or child dedication service. It's an occasion of joy and spiritual inspiration as we see the hopes for the next generation and the commitment to raise a child in the ways of the Lord. Yesterday they had one at the church we attend.

Child dedication at Calvary Church 10/28/18

As I walked into the service and took my seat besides Ester (Brooksyne was in the choir) I overheard the pastor giving final instructions to the four couples. As I witnessed the joy and anticipation I had on my mind the horrific killings on Saturday at a Pittsburgh synagogue during a "baby naming ceremony" which I do not recall ever hearing of before.

According to description on Jewish site the baby naming ceremony is "a brief ceremony during which the baby is given his or her Hebrew name." We suppose it's similar to the experience many of us have witnessed in baby dedications so we can imagine the shock and grief of many to go from a point of high joy to deep sorrow in a matter of seconds.

There's so many things happening like this that each of our messages could be driven by some terrible event. After all every day bad things happen on various scales, some making national and international news, others impacting just as significantly a single person.

Today we want to share what we expect will be a series of messages of observations we made while walking across the Golden Gate Bridge last week. There's a busy walk/bike lane on the east side of the humongous bridge. We all managed to walk all the way across and back!

At one point I saw a plaque that stated "IN MEMORY OF Plaque on Golden Gate Bridge 10-18-18GAURI GOVIL DEC 9,1995-DECEMBER 21, 1997". I wondered what this meant but there was no other explanation so I did what most of us do, checked it out online. I found a report that she was a little girl who slipped through a gap in the bridge and fell to her death.

Sign on Golden Gate Bridge 10-18-18But there was another prominent sign posted on the bridge that I had seen many years ago when crossing that has a very clear meaning. Of course this is referring to those who are considering murdering themselves, since more than 1,200 people have jumped to their deaths from the span since it opened in 1937.

The consequences of jumping off would seem obvious to the typical passerby, but regardless, some 25 people jump to their deaths from this bridge every year. It takes approximately four seconds to drop, at a speed of 75 miles an hour, into the water 220 feet below. Only a tiny minority, some 2 percent, survive the jump. Contrary to what many jumpers may imagine, it's not a graceful, trauma-free way to go: the impact with the water is violent, shattering bones and dismembering limbs.

But I was blessed by the simple message on the CRISIS COUNSELING sign, "THERE IS HOPE". Of course I am sure the message would go to a trained crisis counselor who may but more likely would not refer to the supreme source of hope, our hope in Christ.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23). Many years ago I did a verse by verse study through the book of Hebrews and concluded that this is the key purpose text in the entire book. This call is to the earliest believers who were the initial recipients of this Scripture and to all others through the ages of the Church, including us today. We are to "hold unswervingly to the hope we profess." Of course primarily this hope is the hope we have in Christ.

And this hope is absolutely secure, "for He who promised is faithful." Rest in that wonderful assurance today and join me in holding unswervingly to this hope!

Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, in this ever-changing society where transition beckons us daily, You are the Changeless One. As we hold tightly to the hope we profess we will not be swayed to the right nor to the left. And we hold to this hope because You are faithful to Your Word and to Your divine character. Though the heavens are silent at times and the world continues to slide into decadence and intolerance toward true Christians we remain faithful. We will hold on a little while longer and shine as lights in this dark world so that we can influence as many as possible. As we hold unswervingly to the hope we profess we will not give up due to weariness, weakness, or a wayward heart, for Your unchanging truth makes the triumph sure. We joyfully have enlisted, led by Your grace divine. Amen.

Warning sign on Golden Gate Bridge
The sign we saw last week was a bit different from the sign I took a photo of when I last walked across the bridge in 2005.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"My Hope Is In You"  Video  Aaron Shust

"My Life is in Your Hands"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Finally today: An observant reader from Maryland informed me that the photo of the train engine used in Friday's message was not Thomas but his friend Percy!

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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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