“Not A Slippery Rock!”

June 13, 2013

Petunias on bike
These colorful petunias cover an old bike at a roadside flower stand we passed here in Lancaster County.

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“Not A Slippery Rock!”

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:2). “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).

I visited the other night with Gary Zigner, a man who was raised in Tower City, Pennsylvania. Knowing it was near a town named FearNot PA I asked him if he knew how that town got its name. He didn’t know but since he went to Slippery Rock University, he asked me if I knew how it got its name. Well, I didn’t. Now, for any who may think I am kidding, that is the real name of a college here in Pennsylvania. It’s named after a creek running through the small northwest Pennsylvania town that to this day has slippery rocks. The team mascot is “The Rock”

Legend has it that the name derives from an incident during the pioneer days when soldiers were being chased by Seneca Indians. Wearing boots the soldiers were able to cross the creek without falling while the Indians, wearing their moccasins, slipped on the rocks and fell into the creek as the soldiers got away. The Indian name for the creek is “Wechachochapohka”.

Thank God today for a firm place to stand! Sometimes in the course of walking the Pilgrim pathway the road gets slippery. An old hymn speaks of a condition many of us can identify with, “When all around my soul gives way”. Periodically we are battered by conditions that shake us greatly. But that phrase for those who know hymn lyrics goes on to state, “He then is all my hope and stay.”

The Psalmist David so graphically describes such a condition in his own life. He begins Psalm 40 by declaring, “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”  I am so thankful today that the God of the ages continues to incline toward us and He hears our cries! He is a very present help in times of trouble.

The specific situation David is going through in his life is unknown, but I feel he is speaking of some period of deep despair. His words ring with the pain and desperation of the situation, “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire”.  Have you ever felt as if you were in a slimy pit of mud and mire?  I sure have.

What great assurance for believers of all ages is found in David’s simple description, “He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” We may find this assurance in the broadest sense describing our salvation or in a narrower, specific sense describing deliverance from the difficult, seemingly hopeless situations we encounter in life.

Let us rejoice that we, along with the Psalmist, who served God some 3,000 years ago, can declare with confidence, “He has set my feet on a rock”.  We need to be reminded of our position in Christ and the wonderful unshakable God we serve. Today as the earth groans and we witness the effects of the Fall on man and nature, let us early fortify ourselves with God’s Truth. The Psalmist was reminded of where he came from and who delivered him, “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire”.  Thank God today for His amazing grace. You are reading this and have an interest in spiritual things because of God’s mercy and grace. Pause to thank God for that rich blessing right now!

Today, I urge you to continue to cry out and wait patiently on the Lord! The immutable God continues to set the feet of His children on the rock and provide a firm place to stand.

I’m standing on the Rock of Ages,
Safe from all the storm that rages,
Rich but not from Satan’s wages,
I’m standing on the Solid Rock.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, it seems that each new day brings changes, some of which we welcome but others that bring uncertainty and even dread. How wonderful to know that You are our Rock and our Shield upholding us with Your gracious right hand. No night is so dark that the light of Your Son, Jesus, does not penetrate the darkness that would otherwise over take us. Keep us joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Today’s Indian name for the Slippery Rock Creek reminded me of another Indian name for a lake in Massachusetts which happens to be the longest place name for any geographical place in America.


It means “you fish on your side, I fish on my side, and no one fishes in the middle.” It’s also known as Webster Lake and is near Southbridge Massachusetts where two longtime friends of ours, Wayne and Yvette Gallagher, are planting a church. However although churches are using many types of new names we do not suggest this one!

Today’s Suggested Musicand SupplementalResources

“The Solid Rock”
  Video  Guy Penrod

“The Solid Rock”  Video  Glad (acappella)

“I’m Standing On The Solid Rock”  Video   Homecoming Singers

“No More Night”  Video  David Phelps

David Fisher is a Canadian friend who for many years was the chaplain for the Toronto Bluejays. He wrote a blogpost titled “This Pilgrim Pathway” in his Pilgrim Scibblings blog. “For centuries hymnwriters have referred to the Christian life in terms of pilgrimage. During the night several hymns/gospel songs came to mind and I found myself singing them over subconsciously. The common expression in each was the word “pilgrim”. Let me share a few of them with you.”

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