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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Mackerel Cove, Bailey Island, Maine
Mackerel Cove, Bailey Island, Maine
Click on photo to enlarge

"The Steps Of A Good Man"

Note: Brooksyne is still in Tulsa visiting with her family along with Ester and they will be returning tomorrow afternoon. Thus these messages won't have the benefit of her input and editing and I will be reading the podcast solo!

Message summary: Have you goofed up, messed up, or even blown it big time? Perhaps you are in the process of trying to stand again after you've fallen. Call on the name of the Mighty God of the universe. As you take hold of the Lord's righteous right hand He will pick you up. He will come and save you.

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"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and he delights in His way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand" (Psalm 37:23,24). "Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from men of violence who plan to trip my feet" (Psalm 140:4). "We all stumble in many ways" (James 3:2).

Trail warning signWe did lots of walking during our trip to New England, including a brief portion of the Appalachian Trail. As I often like to share we hiked the entire width!

But we notice as we get older a greater sense of our proneness to falling, especially where there are rocks, roots and other obstacles. We didn't walk to far on the trail with this warning sign we saw at a trail-head up to Mount Washington!

While walking on smooth surfaces we get comfortable and don't even pay attention to the terrain. But today let's consider the Christian journey like a long hike through rocky terrain which has some laments like that of John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress". Because of the uneven terrain and the extensive tree roots, rocks and now lots of fallen acorns and walnuts in our yard and neighborhood, we may stumble as we walk along though we usually compensate and stay upright.

Have you ever fallen? Of course you have! You did so a lot when you were learning to walk but have probably forgotten that. But just ask your parents. You've also fallen a few times after being full-grown and how embarrassing is that! Then, as noted in our first paragraph, falling becomes a precarious condition of aging.
Some of us will remember the cheesy TV ad from the eighties with the memorable line, "I've fallen and I can't get up."

When we fall we can linger in a fallen position or choose to get up, brush off the debris, and trudge on. And when we are unaware of what made us fall we're wise to examine the terrain and see what obstacle we stumbled over. That's a good lesson for the Christian life as well.

We've also fallen spiritually; all of us. The Apostle James says, "We all stumble in many ways" (3:2). Sometimes we stumble "big time", but more commonly in the "small ways". The seasoned Christian pilgrim has experienced the spiritual bruises from these falls. The persevering believer has a testimony of overcoming falls. They don't give up.

In  the first daily text the Psalmist has a wonderful promise, "The steps of a good man* are ordered by the LORD, and he delights in His way."

"Though he fall". This passage acknowledges that the "good man" falls, but gives us two great assurances.

1) "He shall not be utterly cast down". Thank God that we have no excuse for staying down after we fall. God has promised that we will not "be utterly cast down". Be sure to remind the devil when he tells you otherwise.

2) "For the Lord upholds him with His hand". Cling to this encouraging truth and cling to His upholding hand today, believing friend. The immutable God continues to uphold His children. What an assuring promise for today and for always.

Have you goofed up, messed up, or even blown it big time? Perhaps you are in the process of trying to stand again after you've fallen. Call on the name of the Mighty God of the universe. As you take hold of the Lord's righteous right hand He will pick you up. He will come and save you. Do not give up!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You that You are our guide; that our footsteps are ordered by You. Though we stumble or fall, we are not cast down for You uphold us with Your righteous right hand. In ourselves we may be clumsy, weak, or nearsighted, but following You, our Great Shepherd through dangers, toils and snares to the high places of Your love, we will be like that of hind's feet in high places. When we unexpectedly find ourselves in a fallen position we feel pretty foolish and somewhat helpless though usually we bounce right back to an upward position. But there are times, Lord, when we get trapped in a fallen position and especially need Your help and even assistance from others to help us walk upright again. When we're in a fallen position spiritually, Lord, it is Your hand that we reach for. You do not abandon us nor cast us down for You only want to lift us up again. Our hope is in You alone so help us to cling tightly to Your hand as we walk the potholed terrain of this life. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

* "Good man" Of course the principle here applies to women as well!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Order My Steps"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"Order My Steps"  Video  The Acappella Company

"The Steps Of A Good Man Are Ordered By The Lord"  Video  We recall singing this as a chorus in our younger years. We learned many Scripture verses that had been set to music.

Some more photos from our New England trip last week.
Today we share some photos of coastal Maine we visited last Monday.

Bailey Island Bridge
We walked across the Bailey Island Bridge (also called the Cribstone Bridge) which is made using granite slabs as cribstones. This allows the tide to ebb and flow freely without increasing tidal current to any great degree. Bailey Island is one of over 4,600 islands off the coast of Maine.

Maine shore seafood meal
It was a beautiful day and warm enough to have a seafood meal in the rough outside a place called "Sundrenched" overlooking the water on Bailey Island.

Lobster traps dining
"Sundrenched" is a place you can really eat lobster in the rough! In general, "eating in the rough" means eating outdoors, at a picnic table, preferably at a lobster pound or seaside clam shack where you can enjoy the salty air, abundant sunshine, and spectacular views. I had my first and only "lobster in the rough" in this area about 30 years ago.

Maine fishemen memorial
Maine Fishermen memorial at the end of Bailey Island.

Boothbay Harbor
Our most interesting photo of Boothbay Harbor Maine was taken out a gift shop window. You can see the trees were starting to change.
Click on photo to enlarge

Boothbay harbor storefront flowers
Boothbay Harbor has a quaint shopping area and the flowers still look great!

Androscoggin Swinging Bridge in Brunswick Maine
On Tuesday morning as we left the coastal area we walked across the Androscoggin Swinging Bridge in Brunswick Maine which is one of the few remaining active pedestrian suspension bridges. It was built in 1892 so workers could cross the river work at the Cabot Mill in Brunswick. 

Interesting history: In the summer of 1881, eight-year-old children working in the textile mill found out eight-year-old children working in a Lewiston, Maine, textile mill were earning a penny more than they were. The Brunswick children decided to go on strike against the Cabot Manufacturing Co. See here.

Tomorrow I'll share our final set of photos of our New England trip as we drove down the Maine coast to Manchester, New Hampshire.

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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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