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Friday, September 11, 2020

Lancaster County farm pond
We passed this farm pond on a rural road in northern Lancaster County last Saturday on our way to a visit to the Middle Creek Wildlife Area. What an inviting setting for fishing or swimming.
Click on photo to enlarge

"The Heartache of a 9/11 Day"

Message summary:  One of the most beloved verses in the Bible has been memorized by many of you or should be. We pray that anyone experiencing a 9/11 day (or season) will find deep assurance and inner peace in knowing that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

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"And they sat with him (Job) on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great" (Job 2:13). "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him" (Job 13:15). "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

911 emergencyFor many years the three digits "911" has represented a call to emergency services. The first call to 911 was placed in February of 1968 and was slowly developed across the country over the succeeding decades. Thanks to 911, throughout the country (USA), a call to 911 can quickly connect you with the help you need for medical or protective services. Before that individuals needed to dial local seven-digit phone numbers to reach police, fire or emergency services.

The only time I have ever called an emergency number, was over 30 years ago when we lived in northern Pennsylvania. In the middle of the night we were startled awake by smoke alarms and a house filled with smoke.

I recall how hard it was in my panic and discombobulation to dial the fire department. But within minutes the first of many firefighters from our local volunteer fire company arrived and immediately recognized the source. Unknowingly, I had serviced our furnace blower and inadvertently tightened the belt too much. When the furnace called for heat and the blower motor turned on the belt stalled filling our house with smoke through the duct work. The firemen stayed several hours with fans clearing the smoke out of our house, for which we were very grateful. Feeling somewhat foolish for calling after there was no fire, we learned that we could have died of smoke asphyxiation had we not awakened, so we were doubly grateful for their assistance.

After September 11, 2001 the three digits "9/11" took on a different meaning. Now when we hear that number configuration it brings to our remembrance that terrible day of attack and scores of deaths and destruction due to Islamic terrorism. The memories of September 11, 2001 will be the foremost meaning of 9/11 today.

Let us consider how a 9/11 day represents unspeakable terror. This happens not only on a large national scale such as it did on September 11, 2001 affecting our country at large, but also individuals and families intimately. And every day many people have a 9/11 day. But it's especially hard when it comes our way personally or to those we know and care about.

Last night we received news of a heart-breaking 9/11 day that came to our neighbors who are also our close friends. Their 2-year-old grandson died Tuesday in Lebanon County after being accidentally run over. His mother, their youngest daughter, believed that her toddler had run to a nearby playground to play with her other children. To get a better view of the children she moved her car, unaware that her two year old boy had stepped in front of the vehicle.

Since hearing this story from family members we have been earnestly praying for all concerned, most especially the mother, knowing the likely potential of long term emotional trauma related to the accident in addition to the deep loss she, her husband and family must deal with presently and in years to come.

Today's first text describes when Job's three friends first gathered following news of his 9/11 day(s). So often we want to offer words to one in distress but silence may be the best medicine while prayers on their behalf are always in order. After seven days of being quietly present for Job they eventually sought to comfort him with words.

The second daily text describes Job's overcoming faith: "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him" (Job 13:15). What an outstanding expression of faith in the midst of his agony.

Our final verse is one of the most beloved in the Bible which has been memorized by many of you or should be. We pray that anyone experiencing a 9/11 day (or season) will find deep assurance and inner peace in knowing that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, during our worst 9/11 experiences we are not without hope, for we know that You are a God of hope, eternal hope. You fill believers with all joy and peace as they trust in You, so that they may overflow with hope by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Help us to spread the overflowing, enduring hope that does not diminish in the midst of evil and heartbreak, but focuses our hearts on the holy city, the New Jerusalem; the New Jerusalem where Your presence is with Your people; where You will wipe away every tear from our eyes and there will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain, because all the old ways are gone, for You will make all things new. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Though You Slay Me"  Video   Shane & Shane

"Trust His Heart"  Video  NewSong

* The 911 system was rolled out nationwide over many years. I can't recall in the late eighties when I called the fire department whether we had it in the small town we lived in or not. The emergency numbers used to be listed on the phone book covers for quick reference. Of course many do not even own a phone book due to exclusive cell phone usage.

Speedwell Lake, Lancaster County PA
Speedwell Lake is a small recreational lake in northern Lancaster County surrounded by beautiful farmland.
Click on photo to enlarge

Bricker Homestead, Lancaster County PA
We drove by the Bricker House which was built by Peter Bricker in 1759 on a beautiful eight hundred acre estate. It is now the Cocalico Quilter's Inn where quilt-maker guilds or groups of women who like to sew gather in the sewing room, prepare their meals in the kitchen and enjoy a time of fellowship over a period of days.

The house bears this beautiful date stone in German, located on the south side front:

Gott gesegne dises haus Und ales was geget ein und aus;
Gott gesegne die Ehr Und da zu das ganze lant
Gott alein die ehr, sonst keinen Menschen mehr,
Anno 1759 Jahrs.

Translated in English, it reads:

God bless this house and all that enters or goes out.
God bless all the people, and also all the land.
To God alone be the honor, and to no one else.
A.D. 1759.

Peach-plum pie
Peach-plum pie
Stephen's talked with his sister, Genelle, who lives in Jacksonville, FL. She mentioned that her husband, Cesar, made a plum pie and it was delicious so he suggested I get the recipe and prepare one as well. He even went out and bought the plums. I did make the pie with some variation including mixing peaches and plums, and indeed, it was delicious and juicy!

Finally today:

Tomorrow morning we are going up to Jim Thorpe in the Poconos to ride the bike train. In Jim Thorpe we will get on a train with our bikes on a separate car and travel 25 miles up a beautiful gorge formed by the Lehigh River. Then we ride our bikes on another former rail grade along the river, mostly downhill back to Jim Thorpe! Our longtime friend Mark Pulliam will be joining us. See here for info. Video
Coming up for those who may be interested: We plan to join a group from our area going down to Washington DC on Saturday, September 26 for a The Return, National and Global Day of Prayer and Repentance. See here for info. America is in deep trouble, letís call on Godís power and a movement of the Holy Spirit to bring Repentance and Revival to our land!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, 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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