The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Dilapidated house
This house may need some work but just might be available for a good price!

"This Old House"

Message summary:  Youth is temporary, but so is middle age and old age!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"For we know that if our earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Brooksyne and I took a long bike ride on a rail trail yesterday in Swatara State Park. We parked at the northern trail head off Swopes Valley Road where there is a house that is falling apart as seen in our lead photo. We have seen this same dilapidated house in its various ram-shackled stages for many years and expect that someday it will completely fall to the ground.  (You can see the house here on Google maps.)

It reminds me of a post card that showed a house like this with the caption, "We finally found a house we can afford".

Years ago Brooksyne visited with a woman in her eighties named Jean who shared an interesting perspective on aging. She comes from a large family who had gathered for a holiday meal. Afterwards Jean was slowly rising from her seat and noticed her little 2
½ year old great, great nephew observing her carefully with a puzzled look on his face. She explained to him: “I move slowly because I get stiff; I’m old and have aches and pains. Do you ever have that problem?” The little boy responded, “No…. I’m new.” Jean got quite a chuckle out of his youthful perspective.

Well, the fact is many of us increasingly identify with the aging and perishable aspect of our earthly bodies, similar to Jean. If not, in one way or another you will if you have a long enough tenure on this earth!

Novelist Joseph Conrad described the temporariness of youth as:

“the feeling that will never come back any more –the feeling that I thought could last forever, outlast the sea, the earth, and all men; the deceitful feeling that lures us on to joys, to perils, to love, to vain effort –to death; the triumphant conviction of strength, the heat of life in the handful of dust, the glow in the heart that with every year grows dim, grows cold, grows small, and expires –and expires, too soon, too soon –before life itself.”

Youth is temporary, but so is middle age and old age. The Apostle Paul is speaking of our temporary situation in the daily text: “For we know that if our earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens”. That’s a good verse to hide deep in our hearts. Elsewhere we read: “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14). The Apostle James describes this temporary situation quite graphically: “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).

It’s interesting that in the daily text when Paul speaks of the “
earthly tent which is our house is torn down” he underscores the decay and temporariness of our present life. However our future house is described as a building from God, a house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens".

The ongoing challenge for each of us is not driving the stakes too deeply in our present “tent”. We must be purposeful in not getting too settled nor should we ceaselessly strive for comfort on this side. That’s particularly true for those of us who live in relative affluence, which can be such a seducing trap. One day we will be transported to our eternal home and we’ll have a new body; one that won’t grow stiff or slow down due to the aging process commonly experienced on this side of heaven!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we look forward to the mysterious moment when we who follow Christ will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, when the trumpet sounds from heaven. Our perishable bodies will take on the imperishable and we will be forever young, no longer plagued with the moans and groans of this earthly body. Until Christ returns or until You call us home, we remain hopeful and vigilant in our spiritual pilgrimage, no matter the condition of this flesh and blood body. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

When Brooksyne and I were dating I jumped over her car to impress her.  Actually I did more than a few potentially foolish things when I was younger and even in my younger middle aged years such as jumping off a church roof in New England into a pile of snow, over and over on a bright fun-filled winter afternoon! I also raced a bike down Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park with Brooksyne following me in the car clocking me at some 50 mph. I am now paying for some of that youthful fun!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"This Ole House/When the Saints Go Marching In (Medley)"  Video  Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

We haven't ridden our bikes as much the last couple of months due to the humidity and high temps, but yesterday's weather was pleasant. It was good to get out on the trails again though we may have overdone it, based upon our feelings of exhaustion after returning home!

Bear Hole Trail, Swatara State Park
We began the trail ride on the Bear Hole Trail since we wanted to ride the rougher and hilly portion first as well as to see Bordner's Cabin. That way after crossing Swatara Creek we rode back to the trail head on the rail trail on a steady grade. Non-electric bicyclists, such as ourselves, sure appreciate a steady grade!

Bordner Cabin, Swatara State Park
We enjoy visiting Bordner's cabin, a rustic mountain cabin hand-built in 1939 by Armar Bordner. He was a high school shop teacher who also enlisted the help of his students. Photo on the right shows Bordner with his German Shepherd laying on the ground. After our bike ride we visited White Oak Display in nearby Palmyra where we serve as chaplains and talked with Patty, a White Oak employee. She lived down the lane from Bordner back in the 70's for several years and said he had several sheepdogs as well as the German Shepherd featured in the photo.
(click on photo to enlarge)

Home school family at Bordner Cabin, Swatara State Park
You always seem to meet someone at Bordner's Cabin. A home school family was visiting and what a joy to see this mother of five so diligently teaching her children various aspects of the cabin, its origin and the surrounding landscape. Using the mother's phone Brooksyne took a photo of them through the picture window (no glass of course). Their politeness and inquisitiveness was a delightful memory we took away from our visit.

Bordner Cabin, Swatara State Park
Armar admired Frank Lloyd Wright, and copied his technique from Fallingwater using a cantilever system to slightly extend the porch over Rattling Run. See here for more.
(click on photo to enlarge)

Swatara Creek
Swatara Creek was vigorously flowing after the rains last week. This will be a beautiful sight when the leaves change!
(click on photo to enlarge)

Finally today:

James and Laura Kopp
What a nice surprise to run into James and Laura Kopp on the trail as they were camping in the area. What a joy to hear that they continue to faithfully serve the Lord and remain active in their church.

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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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