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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Boxcar Rocks whale head
Boxcar Rocks Whalehead

"Climbing Up Sunshine Mountain"

Message summary: The lifelong climb up sunshine mountain begins when we make our decision to follow Christ. At times the path is relatively smooth and easy. Sometimes it's the grade is steep and it's quite an incline. And sometimes it's like a rock climbing scramble!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He causes me to stand on the heights" (Psalm 18:31-33).

Scrambling on Boxcar RocksYesterday in a remote part of northern Lebanon County we visited an interesting geological formation known as "Boxcar Rocks". It's a long line of huge boulders on a mountain ridge and was given the name Boxcar Rocks when Harry D. Lentz, described the rocks as a "Railroad Wreck of Boxcars", and the description caught on. It's also known as the China Wall after the Great Wall of China, although this formation is entirely natural.

We hiked in from Gold Mine Road back to the formation and then up and around it, at times scrambling (climbing up steep terrain involving the use of one's hands) on the boulders. We enjoyed ourselves but were sure glad to get back on firm ground as we both became keenly aware that our days of enjoying this type of activity are waning! It's a good thing we didn't have other hikers nearby to hear our moans and groans as our forced knee crunches during the ascending and descending of large rocks brought about the pain we usually try to avoid. We felt the physical stress the rest of the day and even still this morning!

We recall an old song from childhood, "Climb Up Sunshine Mountain" which we haven't heard in years. But we just started to sing it and the words still come back.

Climb, climb up sunshine mountain
Heavenly breezes blow;
Climb, climb up sunshine mountain
Faces all aglow.
Turn, turn from sin and doubting,
Look to God on high,
Climb, climb up sunshine mountain
You and I.

Well, many, many years have passed since we sang that as children in Sunday School, VBS or in the Booster Band as Brooksyne's country church called it. We were reminded yesterday that our days of physical climbing are diminishing but we will never discontinue the climbing quest spiritually.

Hinds' Feet on High Places is an allegorical novel by English author Hannah Hurnard. It was written the year Brooksyne was born (1955) and is a very successful work of Christian fiction. It takes the imagery from our daily text.

Psqalm 18:33The lifelong climb up sunshine mountain begins when we make our decision to follow Christ. At times the path is relatively smooth and easy. Sometimes the grade is steep and it's quite an incline. And sometimes it's like a rock climbing scramble!

"He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He causes me to stand on the heights." A deer is able to move quickly and easily across the rocks of a mountain, leaping from one rock to another without ever losing its footing. Thus the biblical verse means that God has enabled and empowered His followers to overcome the obstacles of life which we will most certainly confront and doing things that would otherwise be difficult or impossible without divine aid.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:  Father, I know that many of the mountains I face are not just blown away by a simple prayer of faith, but these mountains are often the very essence of how You work through my life to reveal Your faithfulness and Your power in the midst of my struggles. You develop godly character as I am challenged to remain steadfast and faithful in my Christian walk. You make my feet like hind's feet and You make me to walk upon high places. Help me to keep my gaze continually upward during my climb so that I see You reigning on Your throne as I seek to bring You glory and honor! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Climb Up Sunshine Mountain"  Video 
Enjoy watching these happy children!

"Grace Alone"  Video  Maranatha! Praise Band

Every promise we can make, every prayer and step of faith,
Every difference we will make, is only by His grace.
Every mountain we will climb, every ray of hope we shine,
Every blessing left behind, is only by His grace.

More photos of our hike yesterday to Boxcar Rocks

Boxcar Rocks trail
The Boxcar Rocks trail was a beautiful walk through the woods.

Boxcar Rocks
Here's the first view of the formation after the hike in from the road

Boxcar Rocks notch
Brooksyne climbed up to this notch demonstrating her super herculean strength to support the overhead boulders.

Boxcar Rocks ledge
We didn't climb all the way to the top but walked along this ledge about 1/2 way up.

Boxcar Rocks burnt leaves
The north side of Boxcar Rocks appeared to be covered with what looked like burnt leaves plastered against the wall. Perhaps a forester would identify it as some type of fungi or lichen.

Boxcar Rocks (Chinese Wall)  Description and directions

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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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