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Monday, January 28, 2019

Bird feeder photo by Doris High
Starlings at a very busy bird feeder!
Lancaster County, PA
Photo by Doris High
"A Consideration Of Divine Providence"

Message summary: The providence of God can be a terrifying thought or one of tremendous comfort. It depends on your position in Christ. As believers we can rest in the calm assurance that God rules for our ultimate good. Today, may you find peace and assurance in this Biblical truth.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"He (God) made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, "Let's get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt" (Exodus 14:25).

I read a news report that told of a rather brazen form of thievery. A California resident had all four wheels stolen from under his car. I also read about a car where all four wheels came off as the driver was driving on the highway. Apparently all four tires had just been changed and they had installed the wrong nuts. Amazingly, no one was hurt.

Have you ever had your wheels stolen or a wheel come off while you're driving down the highway? Although I've had a few flat tires I never recall a wheel falling off or a blowout while driving. My last flat tire was several years ago after I drove over a nail.

We may give little thought to wheels, but consider the significance of the invention of the wheel. It's a very useful tool of life in so many ways. Today's text references the very first mention of a wheel in the Bible.

Exodus 14 chronicles the miraculous deliverance of the Israelites as they walked across the Red Sea on dry land as God parted the waters. As they departed Egypt the Egyptians chased after them. I wonder how the rank and file chariot drivers felt when commanded to follow their leaders through the parted sea! They witnessed a mighty miracle, nevertheless Scripture declares that their hearts were hardened (v.17).

Notice the first part of the verse: "He (God) made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving." (No further explanation needed here!) This is an example of God's providence over the affairs of men. Now surely the finest mechanics in Egypt had serviced those chariots for Pharaoh. These mechanics would have been highly skilled using the latest wheel building techniques and the finest materials available. But when the Almighty God of the universe ordains that wheels come off, no human invention or mechanical skill will stop them!

"Let's get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt." The Egyptians rightly recognized that the Lord was fighting for His people against their enemies. They'd already witnessed God's miraculous power in the ten plagues that preceded the Israelite's escape. Why did they think that He was going to turn His back on them at this very critical point? 

The great doctrine of providence states that God is superintending over all of His creation in every way at all times. He's got each hair on our head counted (present tense) and not a single bird falls without His knowledge. The Westminster Catechism states, "God's works of providence are His most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all His creatures; ordering them, and all their actions, to His own glory."

The providence of God can be a terrifying thought or one of tremendous comfort. It depends on your position in Christ. As believers we can rest in the calm assurance that God rules for our ultimate good. Today, may you find peace and assurance in this Biblical truth.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, in Your hands are the very depths of the earth and the tips of the mountain peaks. The sea is Yours, for You made it and Your hands formed the dry land. It is at Your beckoning that the sea can be turned to dry land or dry land turned to sea. When the enemy comes against us like a flood, Your Spirit will lift up a standard against him. We never want our hearts to harden toward You, like the Egyptians and later the Israelites. Keep us faithful and trusting You and Your providential care, in the good times and in the trying times, in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Lancaster County opiate overdose deaths, Quarryville, PA 1/25/19
On Friday we had a chaplain call to a nursing home in Quarryville, PA and passed this church which marks Lancaster County opiate overdose deaths with these crosses on their lawn and even more on the side lawn.

Ice cream toppings at Dick Shellenberger funeral1/26/19
Dick Shellenberger was an acquaintance of ours who died a week ago. He worked in food management for many years and served as president of National Ice Cream Retailers Association in 1992. He wanted an ice cream social to follow his celebration of life service and this was one of three tables that offered a large assortment of toppings along with hot fudge and caramel. Kreider's Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry Ice Cream was provided, which he helped in developing their ice cream recipes.  In every role Dick filled, whether at home, work, politically, or in the community he was known as a devout man of Christian faith. His obituary.

Lacy at Crackerbarrel 1/27/19
On Sunday afternoon we invited a friend, along with his 3 year old daughter, Lacey, to join us for lunch. Since Lacey was not familiar with us she didn't want to hold Ester's hand as we gave thanks for our lunch. Ester suggested that Lacey hold Little Piggie's one hand and she would hold the other so we could all be connected. That was a perfect solution for Lacey which brought about this precious smile. Later, Stephen and Lacey's dad walked out into the parking lot while Lacey sat with us on the porch at Cracker Barrel. I asked Lacey, "Can you find your daddy?" Her eyes darted through all the parked cars until they finally rested upon her daddy. "Did you find him, I asked?" Lacey responded, "Yes, he's with the farmer." Well, the farmer happened to be Stephen wearing his hat, that in Lacey's estimation looked like a farmer's hat. I suggested she call him, "Farmer Steve"!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Who You Say I Am"  Video  Anthem Lights 

Brooksyne's Note:  We sang this song at the conclusion of our service yesterday which is a powerful reminder of who we are and who we belong to! This song really spoke to my heart since the Lord brought to mind a young man who has gone through life without the love of a mother or father, and has suffered greatly as a result. The line, "I am chosen, not forsaken. I'm a child of God, yes I am" is such a precious truth for those who have not had loving parents, especially the love of a father. When I came home I began reading Greg Laurie's book, "Richard Widmark, the Salvation of an American Icon". Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Fellowship Church in Riverside, California, wrote this book because neither Steve McQueen nor Greg Laurie ever knew their biological father and both endured the abuse by a series of men brought home by their promiscuous, alcoholic mothers. It left irreparable damage, but thankfully, Laurie found Christ at 17 years of age and learned the love of a Heavenly Father while still in his teens. It would take Widmark nearly 50 years to come to know his heavenly Father, just months before his death. Interestingly, the young man the Lord brought to my mind yesterday also had an alcoholic mother and absentee father. It's far too common in our world today due to mass immorality that become the norm, not the exception. If you identify with Laurie, Widmark, or the man I prayed for yesterday I hope that this song will speak to your heart today.

I am chosen, not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me, not against me
I am who You say I am
I am chosen, not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me, not against me
I am who You say I am
I am who You say I am

Who the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
I'm a child of God
Yes I am
In my Father's house
There's a place for me
I'm a child of God
Yes I am

"Who You Say I Am"  Video  Piano version by Jon Michael Ogletree

Today's busy bird feeder photo was taken by our friend Doris High, whom I've come to believe just may be the world's most prolific photo blogger! Here's her feeder collection

Finally today:
We have a crisp, clear and cold morning here in Lancaster County (temp of 28 degrees when this is posted). Here's a photo of the field work this morning across the road from our house. So far, no odor!

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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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