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Friday, September 30, 2022

Cog railway at base of Mount Washington
Last Friday we rode on the Cog Railway which climbs to the summit of Mount Washington. However due to severe weather at the summit we were only able to climb to the 5,000 feet point above the treeline.

"Jacob's Ladder"

Note: Brooksyne is in Tulsa visiting with her family for a week. Today she will be going with her brother to visit relatives in Arkansas for the weekend. Thus these messages won't have the benefit of her input and editing and I will be reading the podcast solo!

Message summary: Today we consider the assurance God gave Jacob in the form of a dream and a ladder.

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"And he (Jacob) dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!" (Genesis 28:12).

Mount Washington in New Hampshire is the tallest mountain in New England. It's a mountain that seems as high as any western mountain I have seen up close due to the differential in the base elevation of 1,565 feet and summit of 6,288. In fact about 20 years ago we passed Mount Elbert, the tallest mountain in Colorado at over 14,000 feet but due to the fact we were already so high in elevation it didn't appear nearly as dramatic as Mount Washington.

There are three on the ground ways to get to the summit of Mount Washington; hike, the auto road (which we took Saturday) and the cog railway. On Friday morning we rode on the Mount Washington Cog Railway. However due to weather at the summit we were only able to go to about 5,000 feet and experienced the very high winds and bitterly cold conditions. Mount Washington is known to have the worst weather in the world and the winter conditions rival those of Mount Everest and the Polar regions.

We were disappointed (I was anyway) that we weren't able to go all the way to the summit but it was still a neat ride (they refunded an amount nearly enough to pay to drive up the mountain the next day on the auto road).

When you get in the railcar to be seated the seats lean uncomfortably forward to the point you almost slide off but level out as you hit the grade. You really notice the grade when you stand up or when you see how the buildings beside the track look so unlevel. The ride included climbing a portion known as Jacob's Ladder.

From an engineering standpoint, Jacobís Ladder is very impressive. 300 feet long and curving to the left, the train is now climbing at a 37.41% grade (thatís a 37 foot elevation change for every 100 feet of forward movement). Jacobís Ladder is the steepest section of the Cog Railway, and the steepest railroad trestle anywhere in the world.

I was unable to find the origin of the name Jacob's Ladder in regard to the Cog railway but assume it's based on Jacob's ladder in Genesis 28. Many place names are based on Biblical references.

The story of Jacobís ladder in the Bible refers to the vivid, prophetic dream in which Jacob sees a ladder stretching from heaven to earth. The dream not only represented the connection between God and man; it also affirmed Jacob as the father of Godís chosen people, the Israelites.

Jacob had placed a stone under his head to use as a pillow (v. 11), not very conducive in my view to a good night's sleep! "And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!" (v.12).

God spoke to him in the dream, "And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, 'I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you'" (vv. 13-15).

This brought great assurance to Jacob. When he awoke from his dream he said, ďSurely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.Ē And he was afraid and said, ďHow awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heavenĒ (vv. 16,17).

May God give each reader a similar assurance today of God's presence!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, thank You that You are still the same God who gave Jacob assurance of Your presence in a dream. When we go through difficult times we especially need that assurance. Now we have the complete Word of God with such promises as You being with us always and never leaving nor forsaking us. You heard Your children then, You hear Your children now, You are the same God, You are the same God!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Climbing Jacob's Ladder"  Video  Ann Downing, Greater Vision, The Nelons, The Ruppes

"Jacob's Ladder"  Video  Cedarmont Kids

"Surely The Presence Of The Lord Is In This PlaceVideo  Studio Singers

"Same God"  Video  Brandon Lake

Jacobís Ladder on the Cog Railway

I did get this bumper sticker (photo) but since I drove up in a rental car I have no where to put it!

What is Jacobís Ladder? gotquestions.org  (Brief Bible study)

Some more photos from our New England trip.

Cog railway car
Inside the Cog Railway car we rode up on.

Cog railway selfie
Our attempt at a "selfie". I guess we don't know which way to look.

Mount Washington Hotel
After our rail ride we went over to visit the Mount Washington Hotel. A nice place to visit but quite pricey to stay at! (some $750 per night this weekend!)

Mount Washington Hotel lobby
The Mount Washington Hotel lobby!

Kancamangus foliage
Saturday morning was beautiful so we decided to drive to the summit of Mount Washington on the auto road but when entering was told the summit was closed due to severe weather. I didn't want to go part way up again!

White Mountain view
So we went down to the North Conway area and spent several hours, including a hike up to this vista point with views of the White Mountains.

Covered Bridge gift shop
Brooksyne especially enjoyed this gift shop in a real covered bridge. It was mid-afternoon and we were uncertain what to do when I checked the auto road website and saw the road was open to the summit so we headed over!

Mount Washington auto road
The Mount Washington auto road below about 4,000 feet had clear skies. The views at this point were up to 70 miles.

Mount Washington auto road
At above 4,000 feet it started getting very cloudy and cold with high winds! We got to the summit parking lot and got out of the car but it was so cold with very high winds so we decided not to climb the steps to the actual summit and headed back down. About 1/2 way down it was nice again and I wondered if just maybe it had cleared up at the summit... so we went back up again!

Mount Washington summit steps
Of course it wasn't any better the second time but I was determined to climb those steps to the very summit! That's me waving to Brooksyne. I reached the top but it was so bitterly cold and windy with virtually no visibility I didn't go any farther for fear I would either slip on the ice or get blown over!

Mount Washington summit sign
This was at 6,000 feet near the summit.

Mount Washington summit sign
Who knows what this sign says!

Mount Washington summit weather
At the base building we saw this sign.

I'll share some more photos from our trip next week as we left the New Hampshire mountains and headed to the Maine seacoast and stopped to see some old friends along the way.

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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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