A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Bordner's Cabin was built by Armar Bordner, a high school shop teacher in the 1930's. Armar’s home was taken by eminent domain for the Swatara State Park, but he won the right to live in the home until he died at age 90 in 1994. He passed away in a bed as he looked up at Aycrigg’s Falls from the picture window in his living room.
Click on photo to enlarge
"Thy Will Be Done"
Message summary: "If it is the Lord’s will, we will live." What peace is afforded to those who can truly make this declaration from the heart, especially during times when life's circumstances just doesn't make sense to our natural way of thinking.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that'” (James 4:13-15).
Yesterday we had chaplain visits in Lebanon County which is the county north of us. It was a beautiful day and we went on a rail trail bike ride through Swatara State Park between the visits. We ate our lunch at the picnic table provided in "Bordner's Cabin" which is an abandoned mountain cabin next to a waterfall.
As we drove toward home we heard the traffic report on the local radio station tell of a serious multi-vehicle traffic accident in the Harrisburg area which had closed a major road. Frankly, apart from noting the location and how it personally impacted us (it didn't), I paid little attention since it was in a location quite distant from our routing or near our home. Sadly it's part of the news we hear almost daily so it did not weigh heavily on my heart at the time.
Last night one of Ester's friends called to tell her that our long time friend, Lee, had been killed in that very accident. We met Lee and his wife, Tammy, about 15 years ago when I served in an interim pastoral role in their church in the Harrisburg area. We have seen them several times since and went fishing with Lee several times. In fact Lee was towing his boat yesterday so he probably had plans for fishing at some point in his day.
We rejoice in Lee's homegoing as he was enthusiastic and faithful in his walk with the Lord and now has received his eternal inheritance at 58 years of age. Last night we both slept rather poorly as we considered that we won't see him again on this side of heaven, but more importantly we thought of Tammy and their family. We prayed for Tammy as she feels the tremendous loss of her devoted companion and the children/grandchildren of their father. It's inevitable when we bear the burden of another we put ourselves in their place and thoughts of losing a spouse or parent can seem overwhelming. Thinking on this harsh and painful reality that millions experience daily I began to muse on today's Bible text. James has such a powerful word for all of us concerning the uncertainties of life and the ultimate truth that, "If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that'”.
The portion begins with these words, "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.'" This speaks of the plans we make in life. We can be very specific in how we plan and expect things to work out but as we've all experienced in one way or another, “We may make our plans, but God has the last word” (a paraphrase of Proverbs 16:1).
"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow." Actually we really don't know what will happen today!
"What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." Through the years of writing these messages I have often alluded to this portion which speaks of the fragility and unpredictability of life. In the song "Be Unto Your Name" the following stanza provides eternal perspective:
We are a moment, You are forever
Lord of the ages, God before time
We are a vapor, You are eternal
Love everlasting, reigning on high
"Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that'.” This reflects the great words, "Thy Will Be Done" from our Lord's model prayer. But the line that especially caught my attention while musing on this passage is, 'If it is the Lord’s will, we will live". What peace is afforded to those who can truly make this declaration from the heart, especially during times when life's circumstances just doesn't make sense to our natural way of thinking.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for the recorded scriptures where Jesus tells His hearers, "Be ready, for in an hour you think not, the Son of Man will come again." As believers, we live with anticipation of Your unannounced return to take us with you into heaven. But less often we contemplate that this might be the very day that our lives on earth are cut short due to some unforeseeable accident or any other manner You might choose to call us home. We want to live in such a way, that if this is the last day we have on earth, our next step will be waking up in glory and walking the streets of gold in the new city of Jerusalem. Amen.
Brooksyne's thoughts: Many people describe a person with a popular personality as one who lights up the room when he or she enters but I will take that one step further and describe Lee as one who lit up the church when he entered the doors. All these years later I still remember Lee telling us the week before Easter he would be out that Sunday so he could visit with his young grandchildren who lived in Maryland. I knew it wouldn't quite be the same without Lee and Tammy sitting in their usual seats (though he was often working behind the sound board). You know the kind of person I am speaking of, especially in the smaller congregations where there are key members or attendees who take up the slack, always show up when the doors are open and bring encouragement to all who are there. Lee was Ester's favorite as he always made her laugh no matter her mood (it was her teen years). This coming Sunday will be a most difficult Sunday not only for Tammy and the family but for Lee's precious church family who loved and respected him for so many years and relied on him in so many ways, both in his Christian service and in his devotion to Christ.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Here's the news report about the accident yesterday. "Just before 12:10 p.m., a ford pickup driving south on Route 11/15 sideswiped a vehicle that was in the center turn lane, then continued across the center lane and hit Potteiger’s northbound vehicle head-on." Tragically, the 33 year old woman who caused the four vehicle accident, was driving under the influence, as is often the case these days. Four other individuals were hurt in the accident as well.
Lee and Tammy with Ester several years ago when we had lunch together after we visited their church. For many years Lee did engineering work for a connector company and has several patents. As you can see his personality was vibrant!
Here's a photo taken by Lee in his boat from the Susquehanna River about 15 years ago with the PA capitol in the background.
Today we share some photos from our rail trail ride yesterday.
We started at the Waterville Bridge trail-head near Swatara Gap along the Appalachian Trail. These hikers were heading north from Georgia, walking the whole trail in two week segments.
The Inwood Iron Bridge has been beautifully restored.
Click on photo to enlarge
The picture window (minus the glass). The waterfall varies in intensity and was rather mild yesterday but still provided a vigorous natural sound as it cascaded down the large rocks.
The Sand Siding Trail Bridge crosses the Swatara creek connecting the rail trail to the Bear Hole Trail that leads to the cabin. For local readers here's information about the park.
Last night we had our first local home grown asparagus of the season, a gift from our friend Mike Gardner, and Brooksyne wasted no time doctoring it up with garlic, onion, etc. One of my favorite veggies!
This measurement at Audrey's sure makes it appear I am very tall!
The spiritual lesson is Romans 12:3
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