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Summary: 3rd in series on Hebrews (Section 4) This message emphasizes the power of God in our lives.

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It takes Faith to survive Winter

“1816 and Froze to Death”

Especially in Michigan! Most of us survive winter because we have seen spring – many times – in our lives! We know that winter ends – eventually. But even with a history of many winters behind us it can be difficult for us to endure a long difficult winter – especially when it’s April and snowing!

But consider for a moment 1816 – It was called the year without summer.

Mt Tambora – 100 times bigger than St. Helens – Tambora was a 14,000 foot mountain that ended up about 9,000 ft high after the top blew off on April 10, 1815. It was also a period of low sunspot activity. The result was the year with summer.

From Brethren Life: Frontier

"This was a very bad year, everywhere, but especially on the frontier. A popular expression was: "1816 and froze to death!" It got cold at night all summer and crops would not grow, There was a killing frost at least once during every month. June 5 and 6, the temperature dropped to below 40, then on the 7th it snowed. There were killing frosts all three nights. By June 11th, the corn was withered and dead in the field. It was replanted, then in July the new stand was killed by another killing frost.

On August 20, 1816, the temperature again plunged and any remaining crops were destroyed. Sept. 27 saw the start of winter with another killing frost. ... Snows started early in October, and stayed on the ground until April 1817. The snows were two feet deep with a terrible ice crust on top. Many survived only because the deer were trapped by the snows and ice and could not escape the hunters. Following that winter, deer were so scarce that they could not be depended on as a source for meat, nor was the common deerskin britches and jacket any more available ..."

ARTICLE from The Decatur County Journal, June 9, l892

``The year without a summer, l8l6, is now being quite generally recalled. According to the records, January and February of that year were warm and spring like. March was cold and stormy. Vegetation had gotten well along in April when real winter set in. Sleet and snow fell on seventeen different days in May. In June there was either frost or snow every night but three. The snow was five inches deep for several days in succession in the interior of New York and from ten inches to three feet in Vermont and Maine. July was cold and frosty, ice formed as thick as window panes in every one of the New England States. August was still worse; ice formed nearly an inch in thickness, and killed nearly every green thing in the United States and in Europe. In the spring of l8l7, corn, which had been kept over from the crop of l8l5, sold for from $5 to $l0 a bushel, the buyers purchasing for seed ... ’’

Some of us are experiencing winter – in life. If you aren’t right now – you will. In fact, let me suggest that this physical life is just that – winter. And someday, through our FAITH in Jesus Christ we will experience new life. The difficulty is that we struggle with the winter of this life.


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