Friday, November 14, 2014

Daily Encouragement (11/14/14) "Man's Sin; God's Love"

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Psalm 36:5,6 with rural scene in Lancaster County, PA 11/13/14 (Click to enlarge)
Rural scene in Lancaster County, PA 11/13/14
(Click to enlarge and for Scripture)

Poole Forge ironmasters mansion, Lancaster County, PA 11/13/14 (Click to enlarge)
Poole Forge Ironmasters Mansion, Lancaster County, PA
(Click to enlarge)

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"Man's Sin; God's Love"

"Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, Y'ou preserve both man and beast" (Psalm 36:5,6).

We often use photos as a visual reinforcement of the messages we share with readers such as today's photo. Since we live in rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania most of our photos reflect scenes in this area. When we travel we always try to get a different perspective as well as periodically using photos from several friends
with their permission.

Awhile back we were in a gift shop that presented scenic views in the most interesting way. A very realistic window on the wall featured a pleasant view of the outside along with the expected sounds, but in reality it was a scenic video in a window frame. We viewed a bucolic pasture with cattle peacefully grazing that would periodically look up or even move toward the window. It was very realistic. We considered what a "window" like this would look like in a New York City highrise!

I suppose if I had one of these I would want changeable views, such as an ocean view, a mountain view and so forth. That would sure provide a lot of variety and transplant you to any geographic region that your heart so desired at the moment!

Today I invite you to press forward the video tape stored in your memory and contemplate your favorite mountain setting, breezes blowing, sun rising or setting, as we consider today's text from Psalm 36, "Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains." The photo below was taken in Cade's Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (This photo will enlarge.)

Cades Cove in Smoky Mountain National Park

Psalm 36 begins like this, "An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:" The first four verses are an observation of man's wickedness. Though David wrote this passage some 3000 years ago, it could easily be describing the conditions in November 2014 of the world in which we live. (I encourage readers to take a moment and read the entire Psalm today.)

Consider these characteristics of our sinful condition:
  • There is no fear of God before his eyes.
  • For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.
  • The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful;
  • He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
  • Even on his bed he plots evil;
  • He commits himself to a sinful course and does not reject what is wrong.
But David interjects a remarkable proclamation concerning God's love, faithfulness, righteousness and justice in the daily Scripture portion. "Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, Y'ou preserve both man and beast"

He goes on to state in the following verse, "How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings."

Today let us rest in the assurance of God's steadfast love and care!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, there is no mountain we climb today where Your love, faithfulness, righteousness and justice will not prevail as we walk hand in hand with You. We are assured of this merciful blessing as we find sanctuary in the shadow of Your wings. It is Your protection and covering that helps us to process today's events through an eternal prism with eyes of faith. You are our Refuge, our Strength, and our Covering keeping us safe and secure from all alarms as we walk in the shadow of Your Almighty wings.  Thank You for this wonderful assurance.  Amen.

Today's photos were taken yesterday at the eastern side of Lancaster County along Route 23.

Poole Forge Covered Bridge, Lancaster County, PA 11/13/14 (Click to enlarge)
The Poole Forge Covered Bridge
(Click to enlarge)
Nestled into the hillside along the Conestoga creek, sets the once vibrant iron plantation called Poole Forge.

Antique barn, Lancaster County, PA 11/13/14
We stopped by an old bank barn that has been converted to an antique place.
I like the stone walls!

Daniel and Amos with patent plaque at Val-Co 11/13/14
In the course of our chaplain work we meet a lot of interesting people. Amos and Daniel, who work for Val-Co, a company that makes equipment for the agricultural business, are in this photo. Daniel is holding a plaque concerning a US patent on an invention he and Phil Risser developed, a feeder for baby chicks.
In 1979 at 18 years of age Daniel left Vietnam as part of the boat people exodus. He was on a small boat drifting at sea for 21 days in desperate condition with many very sick and a fear they would all die at sea when they were finally rescued. He settled here in the US and eventually went on to study at Penn State. (He works with Amos, who is from northwest Arkansas and has visited the remote mountain where Brooksyne's dad was raised. He is the only person in all our 15 years of chaplain visitation who would have any idea where that is! For the terminally inquisitive see this google map.)

Another Kember print:

Kember print Isaiah 53:5
Yesterday a reader sent me the photo of the above Kember print and wrote: "I was unpacking our things and smiled as I brought this out and searched for the perfect wall to place it on. This hung on the wall at our home, I remember memorizing it at an early age. With the access to internet information I thought I would run a search and see what I could find." She apparently found this page. Do you have a Kember print? Send me a photo and brief story to this address.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Your Love, Oh Lord "   Video  Third Day

Finally today:

Bunny and Peg 11/14/14
This morning we stopped by a store on the way home from chaplain visitation and ran into long-time friends, Bunny and Peg O'Hare, whom we first met about 15 years ago in New England. Bunny is a chaplain with Transport For Christ and they both have a vibrant witness for Christ. Bunny has a practice of greeting people by asking, "Has anyone told you today that Jesus loves you?" which is what he is saying to me in this photo.

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Stephen and Brooksyne Weber 38th anniversary photo (click on photo to enlarge)Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
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Our other blogs:
"A Daily Prayer" - A blog simply posting the daily prayer. We keep this up each day since it's merely the prayer from the Daily Encouragement Net message!
"A Little Foolishness" - Humor/satire blog (a great outlet for non-serious writing but at times with a subtle message!) (Note: This material is satire!)
"Clear Minded" - Longer, periodic articles on specific issues impacting the faithful believer and church. (Actually this is my intent but I haven't done much with it!)
"Hymns of Hope" - Brooksyne along with two friends made a CD using classic hymns. Brooksyne tells the background story of the 11 hymns. All of these songs are also available for download on the site.

Personal Mission Statement "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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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.
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