“Gleaning”

October 1, 2014

Amish corn harvest 9/14 (Photo by Doris High)Amish Corn Harvest

(Photo by Doris High)

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“Gleaning”

“‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God’” (Leviticus 23:22).

Modern corn harvest It’s harvest time in our rural area and most harvest scenes involve huge modern machinery; combines and harvest trucks.

But we are blessed to also have living history demonstrated by the old-order farmers who use farming methods in some cases from the 1800’s. The Amish farmers on our road have planted a lot of butternut squash and we have been observing the harvest the last several days. Yesterday I drove by and noted that some of the squash had been harvested but there were still individual pieces at the edge of the fields. That made me think of an ancient practice known as gleaning.

Gleaning is defined as “the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.” The large majority of people are so far removed from our agricultural roots yet each of us daily depend on the labors of hard working farmers.

Food gets left in the field for all kinds of reasons. Two big reasons are that mechanical harvesting misses a lot — and sometimes the crops aren’t of high enough quality for supermarket shelves. We have been blessed several times when farmers invite us to glean such as going through the fields after a large commercial tomato harvest.

Linda Tozer of the Society of St. Andrew which advocates the ancient practice of gleaning states, “The statistics are that 96 billion pounds of food — this is pre-consumer food — goes to waste in this country,” (Note: I have no idea how they would get a precise statistic like that! Nevertheless I am sure a massive amount of food is wasted.)

Women gleaning in field Today’s Scriptural command concerning gleaning is found in the Law of Moses. It was intended so that the poor and stranger would have a means of support.  The practice of gleaning is found numerous times in the Old Testament, perhaps most famously in the book of Ruth. “And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, ‘Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor'” (Ruth 2:2). In an act of generosity and perhaps an expression of his affections to her, Boaz made extra effort to see that her gleanings would be abundant. “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her” (Ruth 2:15,16).

The Practice:

The farmer was to purposefully leave some of the harvest along the edges of the field as well as the gleanings, that is, the harvest missed the first time through. The field was then open to the poor and aliens so they could collect the remaining grain.

The Principle:

* The diligent farmer was recognized as entitled to the fruit of the harvest he had financed and labored hard to produce. A key Scriptural concept is “the laborer is worthy of his hire.”
* However the poor and the alien had a means of support as well, but had to exercise personal responsibility and diligence in going through the field to collect these remnants from the harvest. Compare that with so much of our present day welfare system!!!

The New Testament applies this concept universally: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

Today if you are “rich”, which would be most of us, are you following the Biblical counsel to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share from God’s abundant harvest in our lives with those in need?

If you are “poor” due to a situation out of your control, then God is inviting you to live a life of humility and gratitude as He provides for you through other sources.

If you are poor due to your own irresponsibility, laziness and lack of good stewardship then ask God to help you to be resourceful and ambitious. Place your finances under His control becoming obedient according to the Scriptures. Perhaps you need a faithful accountability partner in which you can give a regular accounting of your finances. You may do well to seek counsel from a church elder or ministry such as Crown Financial. We’re blessed as we hear them six days a week on our local Christian radio station. They have a heart of compassion and a genuine desire to help others in the area of godly stewardship.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for the way You bless Your people. You richly provide for our needs and supply us with hope that is not diminished by the circumstances of this world. We want to share from our spiritual and material abundance so that we lay up treasure for ourselves in the eternal life that is promised to all believers. Make us aware of opportunities to enrich others with the blessings we receive from You every day. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.


Here are several days of photos of the squash harvest here on Kraybill Church Road.

Butternut Squash harvest 9/27/14
Saturday afternoon several workers were out in the field on the other side of our road. From a distance I really couldn’t determine what they were doing.

Butternut Squash harvest 9/28/14
On Sunday afternoon I saw the results of their labor. They had removed the squash from the decaying plant and grouped them in neat rows, probably so they could be easily picked up using a horse-drawn wagon.

Butternut Squash harvest 9/29/14
Sure enough Monday afternoon I saw Christian picking up the squash and placing them in boxes on the wagon.

Butternut Squash harvest 9/30/14
Yesterday afternoon they were again working the fields and I stopped by to visit. Christian explained they were cutting off the stems which will help the squash to ripen and as speculated on Sunday he confirmed they were placing the squash in rows to pick them up.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Bringing In The Sheaves”  Video  The Mansion Singers

“It’s Harvest Time”  Video  Crabb Family

Today’s lead photo is taken from a collection of Amish photos by our friend Doris High.


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Chiques rail trail 9/28/14Beginning of Chiques trail
(pronounced Chickies)

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“The Voice Of A Great Multitude”

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise” (Psalm 98:4). “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!’ Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory” (Revelation 19:6,7).

Note: The first part of today’s message may not connect with all readers. The Bible exposition begins in the fourth paragraph.

Last night I (Stephen) watched a portion of the NFL Monday Night Football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots. Having grown up in the Kansas City area and then living in New England for several years in the nineties I had a geographical interest and loyalty to both teams. I went to the very first football game ever played in Arrowhead stadium, the home of the Chiefs, on August 12, 1972 (a pre-season game against what was then Saint Louis Cardinals).

Arrowhead stadium, Kansas City, MOArrowhead Stadium, a huge concrete venue, is conducive to making lots of noise. The Chiefs won their game last night which was good for their season record, but Kansas City fans set another record that doesn’t usually go down in the playbooks. Arrowhead Stadium is officially the loudest outdoor stadium in the world with registration by Guinness World Records who had a decibel meter at the game. Last night the crowd registered a 142.2 on the decibel scale, surpassing the 137.6 registered by a Seattle Seahawks crowd set at CenturyLink Field last season.

How loud is 142.2 decibels? Louder than a jet engine at takeoff! According to one chart I read even short term exposure of levels over 140 can cause permanent damage which is the loudest recommended exposure with hearing protection. Actually the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) consider 115 decibels for any time period to be dangerous.

Today’s first Scripture text is a jubilant call to praise by the Psalmist: “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” The singing of our praises to God is an ancient call which many of us still participate in both in public worship and in our own private expressions of praise. This call goes out to “all the earth”. Some of us (Stephen) who have not been gifted with a pleasant singing voice can still make a “joyful noise” as we melodically worship God, though one day I’ll join the mighty chorus in heaven where I believe we’ll all be great singers!

Today many concerts are loaded with special effects stimulating the senses audiologically and visually; light shows, fog machines, scores of screens with rapidly changing images. I actually find these types of shows bring on the jitters for me with a thumping in my chest in timing with the thundering bass. And my hearing, well, it’s on decibel overload, that’s for sure.  (By the way, according to the decibel charts a rock concert is at about 110 decibels. See the link to decibel chart below.)

The passage in Revelation is a glimpse of a future praise service with this awesome description, “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings.” Now these are words that convey a sense of awe when multitudes of voices unite in one great chorus giving off resounding praise like that of nature’s sound effects.  Though it is described as “mighty thunderings” I am sure this great heavenly concert will be at just the right volume for all who join in!

What an amazing concert this will be. It seems to me “the voice of a great multitude” will not be that of trained musicians but rather the redeemed. It will be “as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings.” In my mind I picture being near Niagara Falls during a loud thunder storm.

This great voice will be making a great declaration, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” This line is the centerpiece of Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus and is also a major theme in Christian music through the ages right up to own age. Consider the presently popular song, “Agnes Dei”.

Today as we contemplate the absolute truth of God’s reign and anticipate by faith the ultimate heavenly concert, “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory!”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You declare through the Psalmist that everything that has breath is to give You the praise, and so we respond by saying, “Praise the Lord!” Though we know in our spirit that You reign supreme and nothing misses Your attention, traveling here below in this sin-filled, troubled world we can easily lose sight of You, our Lord God omnipotent who reigns over the affairs of Your creation. Today we exalt Your name, give You the praise that is due, by rejoicing in who You are and giving You the glory due Your name. Be exalted, O Lord, among the heavens; let Your glory be over all the earth in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


Sunday afternoon we took a bike ride down the new Chiques rail trail along the Susquehanna River. The new trail head is less than 5 miles from our home.

Chiques rail trail 9/28/14
A new bridge spans the Chiques Creek as it discharges into the Susquehanna River

Chiques rail trail 9/28/14
At the Chiques Creek there is a dam upstream with a waterfall like spillway.

Chiques rail trail 9/28/14
We passed by the base of the Chiques Rock where rock climbers enjoy the steep cliff (in my view though for pros this is probably the equivalent of a hill). We have been to the top of this bluff many times but this was our first visit to the base.

Chiques rail trail 9/28/14
There’s a lesson here but haven’t developed it yet. This tree appears to have attached to the rock on the bluff.

Chiques rail trail 9/28/14
Old ruins to a 19th century ironmaking operation.

Chiques rail trail 9/28/14
The trail uses an abandoned rail tunnel.

Norfolk Southern train 9/29/14
The trail runs right along a main Norfolk Southern railroad which at times provides some great shots for those (like me) who enjoy trains.

Chiques rail trail 9/28/14
Near Columbia the trail passes through a Norfolk Southern rail yard with lots of interesting railroad equipment.

Chiques rail trail 9/28/14
We turned around at the River Park in Columbia and viewed the historic Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna River. This coming Saturday the bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic for a large festival known as BridgeBust with activities all across the bridge.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“I Sing Praises To Your Name!”  Video

“Agnus Dei – Hallelujah, Hallelujah, For our Lord God Almighty Reigns”  Video  Michael W. Smith

Chart of decibel levels for common noises

“Why being the ‘world’s loudest stadium’ is a bad idea” Interesting article

“Churches try to make peace over loud music” Another interesting article. What’s with all the super loud music in churches?

Rail trail on map

River plaque

Columbia is listed in Smithsonian Magazine in “The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014″

Here’s a photo from the top of the Chiques bluff.


Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne
To receive the “Daily Encouragement” each Monday-Friday through email see this page to subscribe to our email list. You can also subscribe to the WordPress rss feed or through a WordPress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.)

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

“He Has Made Me Glad!”

September 29, 2014

Dresser drawer plantersRepurposed dresser drawers used as plant containers!

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“He Has Made Me Glad!”

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name” (Psalm 100:4). “For you make me glad by Your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done” (Psalm 92:4). “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 119:24).

Yesterday our church service began with the singing of a joyful chorus based on today’s Scripture verses. Perhaps it will stir some memories for those who’ve not sung it for quite some time.

I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart,
I will enter His courts with praise,
I will say this is the day that the Lord has made,
I will rejoice for He has made me glad.He has made me glad  x2
I will rejoice for He has made me glad.
He has made me glad  x2
I will rejoice for He has made me glad.
(* Link to video of this song posted below)

Mike MatangeloThis was often the opening chorus for our church many years ago, Scripturally “rallying” our people to open up their hearts for a time of joyful and thankful worship. The Psalmist penned these verses with a firm resolve “I will”, based upon God’s faithfulness, “He has”.

I recall one Sunday morning, some 30 years ago, when Mike Matangelo put into practice the meaning of this verse in a memorable way. He was teaching an adult Sunday School class with about 25 students. With no warning, he asked everyone to get up from their seats and to exit the church building. Before they walked back into the building they were to purposefully enter the “gates” of our church with thanksgiving in their hearts and praise on their lips.

At that time, our church in its infancy stage, still met in a rented building in downtown St. Marys, PA so it was quite public when the group went outside and began singing and clapping before marching back into the building! (So the students’ first test was singing right out on the streets for all to see and the second was that of marching up the steep, long stairway, enough to stir up murmuring in the thoughts from anyone out of shape.) I doubt that those present in that class have ever forgotten that spiritual exercise! Mike and his wife Kathy remain close friends and continue to be involved in ministry.

The mention of “gates” and “courts” is referring to the approach to the temple. However one commentator, states the reference may be metaphorical rather than literal, and may extend to all the faithful and to all places of worship. A reasonable application in our day may be our attitude when we enter our church for public worship. Don’t you just love it when you enter the church building, after going through the usual Sunday morning rush to get to church on time, and people greet you who are joyful and excited to be in the house of the Lord on any given Sunday!

In addition to having the right attitude when entering the house of the Lord we feel it should be taken in our overall approach toward God, and about life in general. Today much may be heavy on your heart. This morning Brooksyne and I discussed recent news of terrorism, murders and home invasions, including the spiraling increase of evil in our world. Get the wrong focus and despair can easily follow.

Psalm 100:4Our inclination is to experience joy on the basis of how things are going in our life, those of positive nature, of course. Today we consider those who are in the midst of a hard trial.

But our thanksgiving and praise is not based on our own personal circumstances or world conditions. It is based on our faithful God. The foundation of a joy-filled life is about who our God is.

So today let us resolve.

  • I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart,
  • I will enter His courts with praise,
  • I will say this is the day that the Lord has made,
  • I will rejoice.

Then I will have this resulting testimony, “He has made me glad!”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we enter Your gates with thanksgiving in our heart and Your courts with praise, for You have made this day.  You satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Therefore, we will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, for You have seen our affliction. You have known the distress within our soul, and You have made a way of escape through Your powerful presence, Your mighty intervention and through the companionship of Your Holy Spirit. We rejoice gratefully for who You are and all that You do on our behalf. Amen.

Based upon Psalms 100, 90 & 31

Ed & Gladys Berkey 09-26-14On Friday two couples, Jim and Dorothy Schmidt along with Ed and Gladys Berkey, were in our area from Ocean City New Jersey visiting several  of our Lancaster County local tourist sights. I had hoped to visit with them while they were in the area but it did not appear the timing would work. Then I got word Friday morning that Jim had stroke like symptoms and was admitted to a local hospital. Ester and I drove over to visit Jim and Dorothy at the hospital and then over to a hotel to visit with Ed and Gladys. It turns out that Jim was dehydrated so they were all able to return home to Ocean City on Saturday.

We first met Jim and Dorothy at a convention in Boston in early 2000 when we were sharing about our new Daily Encouragement ministry at the Congress New England event. Jim was a representative with SEND International (a mission agency) and shared a display near ours. We became friends from that meeting. Here’s a photo of Jim and Dorothy taken this summer on the Ocean City boardwalk.Ed Berkey was my district superintendent when I moved to New England in 1993 and conducted the installation service at the church I pastored in Taunton Massachusetts. He retired several years later in 1997 but we’re still connected through Daily Encouragement. He and Gladys celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary recently. Ed was an early encourager of our ministry writing Daily Encouragement having been a recipient of one of the very first messages in 1996.

Now here is a heartening lesson: The Berkey’s and Schmidt’s only became friends several years ago reminding all of us to still make new friends all through life!

Child singing from hymnal 09-28-14Here’s a photo you won’t see in many churches these days. Our church projects the song lyrics to the screen pointing to the front walls yet it still includes the hymn number for any who may choose to sing from the hymnal. We were standing behind a small child and couldn’t resist taking a photo of this earnest 8 year old worshipper who was joyfully singing the hymn classic, “And Can It Be That I Should Gain”!

Brooksyne’s Note: When I was younger I could hardly wait to read because then I could hold my own hymnal at church and sing right along with the adults. Trouble is, even after I learned to read, I couldn’t keep up with the grown-ups, always losing my place. Too proud to say anything since I didn’t want anyone to think me an inferior reader, every church service I’d try again with a firm resolve to catch on but always got lost.  I finally came to understand the reason I couldn’t stay up with others; I was reading the first three lines of three verses instead of skipping down to the second line of the first verse of the hymn and so forth. Perhaps some of our readers can identify with what I’m trying to say in print. Anyway, I always loved to thumb through the hymnal (in my moments of not paying attention to the preacher),  and there I’d find my favorite hymns and seek to memorize or sing them in my head. (I was probably memorizing the page number as well anticipating a Sunday when we might get to request a song for a hymn sing, and you had to be quick on your toes to beat out other requests.)

Church Hay Ride

Saturday evening our church had a hay ride which may bring back some happy memories for many of our readers regardless of where you may live.

Church hay ride 09-28-14
Galen, a local farmer, arriving with the wagon after a long day of harvest work.

Church hay ride 09-28-14
The wagon is loaded and everyone is ready to roll.

Church hay ride 09-28-14
But wait, the wagon has a flat tire!

Church hay ride 09-28-14
Ken and Galen to the rescue.

Church hay ride 09-28-14
And off they go!

Family on hay ride 9/30/06
Ester went on the hay ride but Brooksyne was up to her elbows in canning applesauce so she was finishing up her work. Here’s a family photo from a hay ride 8 years ago.

Finally today!
Apple pie 9/27/14
In the midst of her busyness she did manage to surprise us with an apple pie she made while we were gone. And it was delicious!

 


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“He Has Made Me Glad”  Video  Maranatha Music  This is a great version of the song we referred to in our message. It does include some embellishments we don’t normally sing.

“Happiness Is To Know The Savior”  Video  (Singer not identified) Yesterday in the course of our nursing home service Brooksyne recalled this old song from her childhood.

“I Will Rejoice/Good Good Lord”  Video  Bob Fitts

“And Can It Be That I Should Gain”  Video  Samuel Wilson (an outstanding version)


Contact UsSend a message to Stephen & Brooksyne
To receive the “Daily Encouragement” each Monday-Friday through email see this page to subscribe to our email list. You can also subscribe to the WordPress rss feed or through a WordPress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.)

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

“Our Foremost Loyalty”

September 26, 2014

Lancaster County PA farm 9/19/14 (Click to enalrge)Harvest time
Amish farm near Quarryville, PA
(Click on photo to enlarge)

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“Our Foremost Loyalty”

“O LORD, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of Your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to You” (1 Chronicles 29:18).

Ester with Dr. Mark Cohen (1/6/11)Dr. Mark Cohen (with Ester in photo), first treated her when she arrived from Guatemala as a dying three month old. He was part of the pediatric cardiology team at the Geisinger Medical Center in northern Pennsylvania. (When we lived in New England she was seen by doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital.)

When we moved back to Pennsylvania in 2001 Dr. Cohen, who had joined a team at the Hershey Medical Center, again became her doctor and has been her primary cardiologist the last 13 years. Last month she was transferred to the care of another specialist dealing with adult congenital heart disease and she is having quite a time adjusting. She tends to be very loyal to certain people and Dr. Cohen is among the top ten!

In this world with so many vascillating, fickle loyaties I appreciate this character trait of loyalty. We are seeking to help Ester adjust to her new doctor, however, we do value her sense of loyalty.

David prayed for the people of Israel to practice the virtue of loyalty in our daily text just prior to his death as he prepared to pass the torch of leadership to his son, Solomon. The text has two petitions of prayer which are related:

“Keep this desire in the hearts of Your people forever.” “This desire” in this context is the heart the people had to give to the temple construction. But surely in a more generalized sense it speaks to a heart that withholds nothing from God; spiritual, physical, or material. We say, “Lord, take it all and use it for Your glory.”  We must strive to keep this desire in our hearts forever, for there are so many things that play tug of war with our heart strings. We must make a firm resolve that our foremost desire will be to keep our hearts desiring God.

“Keep their hearts loyal to you.” The NKJV states, “fix their heart toward You.” David had expressed this same aspiration personally in Psalm 57:7, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!” “Steadfast” means “unwavering, resolute, unyielding, deep-rooted”. For most of his life, David was a steadfast follower of God. Out of that deep-rooted commitment to God David wrote the beautiful songs of praise that still bless and inspire us today. (Haven devotional)

Today we encourage you to examine your outlook on life. How loyal are you? Not to your car, your hobby, or other material possessions, but to the Lord, your family, church and friends, even your employer?

But of utmost importance is this question. How loyal are you to God? Is your heart steadfast and true? Our loyalty to God is our foremost loyalty!

Keep me true, Lord Jesus, keep me true,
Keep me true, Lord Jesus, keep me true.
There’s a race that I must run.
And there are victories to be won.
Give me power, every hour to be true.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we are influenced by many forces that seek to weaken or destroy our relationship with You.  But we resolve that we will seek to draw ever nearer to the One who makes life worthwhile. Your lovingkindness is even better than life, therefore we praise You; we lift up our hands in Your name for You have been our help, our salvation. May my soul follow hard after You as Your right hand upholds me day in and day out through Christ Jesus our Lord in whose name we pray. Amen.


During the Autumn our area has a number of community agricultural fairs we enjoy visiting and usually pass them in the course of our travels.

Tractors at Solanco Fair
Last week on the way to the shore we passed the Solanco Fair and I always enjoy seeing the old tractors. (Click on photo to enlarge)

1954 Allis-Chalmer tractor at Ephrata Fair (click to enlarge)
We walked through the Ephrata Fair yesterday which is mostly a street fair closing Main Street in the heart of town. However off the beaten path they do have an antique tractor display. This old Allis-Chalmers looks pretty good for being 60 years old! (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Ephrata Fair harvest display 9/25/14
A bountiful harvest display at the Ephrata Fair.

Farm wife Brooksyne 9/25/14
We will see if Brooksyne lets me keep this on the page!
(I, Brooksyne, should have known Stephen would post this. Of course, I will only own up to 1/8th of this body. This was a cute farmer’s cut-out at the Ephrata Fair. It was a very rainy afternoon but eventually the sun came out and it was beautiful.)

Today we also have several photos our friend Lee Smucker took at a large auction held in our area last Saturday near Leola, PA. It is a very colorful auction since it is predominately old order groups benefitting children with special needs.

“Special children are not just interesting medical problems, subjects of grants and research. Nor should they be called burdens to their families and communities. They are children who need our help, and if we allow them to, they will teach us compassion. They are children who need our help, and if we allow them to, they will teach us love. If we come to know these children as we should, they will make us better scientists, better physicians, and thoughtful people.”

Dr. Holmes Morton, Co-founder of the Clinic

Children with Special Needs auction 9/20/14 (Photo by Lee Smucker)
These boys were sure fascinated with this miniature steam tractor.

Children with Special Needs auction 9/20/14 (Photo by Lee Smucker)
The old order team Mennonites ride bikes, along with their horse and buggies. In an event like this the fields can be covered in bikes and we wonder how hard it is to tell them apart!

Children with Special Needs auction 9/20/14 (Photo by Lee Smucker)
I recall a station wagon we had when I was kid with a seat facing backwards.

Children with Special Needs auction 9/20/14 (Photo by Lee Smucker)
Going to the Delaware shore this last weekend we hauled our bikes in the back of our older van. These Amish parents took the scooters along for the kids. (Amish ride scooters, old order Mennonites ride bikes – at least in our area. In the Amish settlement we visit in northern Indiana the Amish also ride bikes!)


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Keep Me True”  Video  Jabu Hlongwane  (South African Gospel music)


Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne
To receive the “Daily Encouragement” each Monday-Friday through email see this page to subscribe to our email list. You can also subscribe to the WordPress rss feed or through a WordPress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.)

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

Sunset from Weber's porch 9/24/14 (photo by EsterLast night’s sunset from our front porch taken by Ester
(Click to enlarge)

Today’s message is a follow-up to yesterday’s we titled “The King Of Kings”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“I’m A Child Of The King!”

“Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King” (Psalm 149:2). “To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).

Lee Rouson, former NY Giant football player with Ester 2006Yesterday morning I spent several hours with Lee Rouson who is in our area speaking at school assemblies for SportsWorld which places motivational speakers in schools. I first met Lee about 8 years ago when we had him over to our place for dinner and I took the photo to the right with Ester in our backyard. Lee played football as a running back with the New York Giants and was on two winning Super Bowl teams.

Our first school was the Martin Luther King Elementary, a public school in an inner city section, of Lancaster City. Lee’s talk is largely motivational in approach encouraging the kids to stay on the positive side of life, loving others, being respectful, etc. His major theme was keeping your heart right and being comfortable with the question, “Who are you?” However he is free to share briefly his faith in Christ as part of his life story even in a public school setting. As his speech progressed the children were very attentive and I wondered how he was going to get his testimony in.

Super bowl ringHe shared how he got on a plane and a lady saw his Super Bowl rings which indeed are hard to miss.  Her eyes bugged out when she saw them and then with no inhibition she brashly asked, “Who are you?” His interaction with the observant stranger piqued the curiosity of others on the plane who looked up to see what was going on.

Lee answered the question, “Who are you?”, with a bold declaration of his faith in Christ heard by many on the plane that day, “I’m a child of the King!” which surely wasn’t the answer the inquisitive fellow passenger was expecting.

Lee went on to explain to the children that the title of king can mean different things to different people such as the reference I made in yesterday’s daily encouragement about Richard Petty as the king of stock car racing. Lee told the children that his king is Jesus Christ!

The Anchor devotional notes: “One of the most amazing and exciting truths is that any human being can become a citizen of the kingdom of God. In fact, it makes no difference at all who your parents are. They cannot confer their heavenly citizenship on you. Citizenship in the kingdom of heaven has nothing at all to do with physical birth.

At first glance, Jesus’ words to Nicodemus seem restrictive. Truly, they are some of the most exhilarating truths in the Gospel. Though it all makes little sense to someone outside the kingdom, any man or woman, boy or girl, rich or poor, son of a king or daughter of a servant is invited to enter this new, wonderful kingdom. Through His Spirit, He welcomes you home, child of the King!”

I am a child of the King! And if you believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior so are you. Like the Psalmist in today’s first passage we rejoice in our King. Here’s a timeless truth: Your heavenly Father, the King of Kings, steadfastly loves and cares for you. The apostle John, writing of Jesus, records “to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

Here’s the fact.  If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord; if you are following Him, you are a child of the King!

I’m a child of the King,
A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior,
I’m a child of the King.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You who created the heavens and the earth; You who created Jacob, and formed Israel have also chosen to redeem us. You even call us by Your name as we, Your redeemed, are children of the King. We are joint heirs with You through no goodness of our own, through no merits that we’ve earned, nor the lineage from which we were born, but only through the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus, who gave His life that we might have forgiveness of sins and become Your children. We are abundantly grateful for such mercy and grace. Amen.


Reader’s Note:  Ken, a chaplain friend from Maine wrote concerning yesterday’s reference to the Dover Air Force Base:  “As you talked of the Dover AFB military mortuary my thoughts immediately went to my dear friend, mentor and fellow pastor/chaplain who has served at the receiving mortuary as chaplain for several years now and the absolutely vital and profound ministry he has there. Rev. David Sparks AF Col. (retired) has worked with thousands of families who come to Dover to receive their loved one’s remains over the years he has served in that capacity (he continues to serve in this way in retirement under consulting contract with the AF). David is blessed with a preponderance of the grace of God and a unique gifting as well as a deeply held respect for the soldiers who have given their lives for our country’s purposes. Please keep him in your prayers along with many others who support him in this way.


Lee Rouson with principal 9/24/14
Lee Rouson with Christopher Lopez the school principal at King Elementary who is a native New Yorker and Giants fan.

Lee Rouson with students 9/24/14
The students sat on the floor of the gym listening to the presentation and were extremely attentive, respectful and well-behaved.

Don Musser 9/24/14
Yesterday afternoon I had a pleasant surprise when Don Musser stopped by for a visit. Don is one of the first friends I met when we moved to Lancaster County in 2001. He is now retired and lives in State College. He and Carol have a vibrant faith in Christ.

Jimmy
Don was pleased to share this photo he took last month in State College. Jimmy (wearing the football jersey) is a mutual friend who deals with Tourette Syndrome. We have written about him, using the theme of being an overcomer as it relates to a concept I taught him over ten years ago. Now whenever we see him I ask, “Jimmy, what are you?” and he emphatically answers every time, “I’m an overcomer.” Don and his wife Carol have been extremely kind to Jimmy demonstrating Christ’s call to show His love. Does anyone recognize the other man which makes this photo so special to Jimmy? (see below for answer)

Fran Book 9/24/14
Fran Book, a friend from our church stopped by right after Don left, and reluctantly agreed to my spontaneous photo shoot. A very dear friend, hers is another story of one who is an overcomer. Fran walks in victory through faith, inspiring those of us who know her.

Herbie at the BB's Grocery outlet in Quarryville, PA 9/19/14
On the way to the shore last Friday we stopped by BB’s, an interesting grocery outlet near Quarryville, PA that is run by the Amish. We saw this car in the parking lot reminding us of an old Disney movie. Do you recall which one? (See below)

Autumn decorations at the BB's Grocery outlet in Quarryville, PA 9/19/14
At BB’s we saw this neat idea for decorations which is also a great way to use up all those Jack Be Little pumpkins. Some of you might just want to do a little fall decorating with this simple centerpiece. I suppose you could also use larger pumpkins and Indian corn.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“A Child Of The King”  Video  Gaither homecoming singers (Both main singers in this video are now with the Lord.)

“Now Unto The King Eternal”  Video  Maranatha! Singers  A beautiful song based on today’s last Scripture verse.

* ANCHOR DEVOTIONAL – CHILD OF THE KING

Lee Rouson speaking to a school group (Video)

In photo with Jimmy is James Franklin, head football coach at Penn State.

VW is replica from Disney movie “Herbie Rides Again”


Contact UsSend a message to Stephen & Brooksyne
To receive the “Daily Encouragement” each Monday-Friday through email see this page to subscribe to our email list. You can also subscribe to the WordPress rss feed or through a WordPress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.)

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

“The King Of Kings”

September 24, 2014

Bike trail through Cape Henlopen State Park Delaware 9/20/14
A winding path trail through the Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware. Notice how many pine needles have dropped yet the cones remain attached.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“The King Of Kings”

“God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To Him be honor and might forever. Amen” (1 Timothy 6:15,16). “Great and marvelous are Your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages” (Revelation 15:3).

On the way to and from Rehoboth Beach in Delaware we pass on Route 1 the imposing sight*¹ of the Dover International Speedway where a NASCAR race will be held this weekend. NASCAR is tremendously popular here in the US. Several years ago I went to a race in Dover to get a sense of what a NASCAR race is all about. I concluded that perhaps one NASCAR race in a lifetime is enough for me! It was loud, Loud, LOUD.*² Each weekend from February through November these automobile races are held all over the country with hundreds of thousands attending.

A friend shared a story with me concerning a NASCAR race he attended in Loudon, New Hampshire, where the race was held this last weekend. He had gone to the race with his son and was walking back through the parking lot following the race when he noticed quite a commotion. A crowd had gathered and he heard exclamations, “The King, it’s the King!” He went over to see what was going on and sure enough there was Richard Petty, “The king of stock car racing” in a pickup, talking with fans and taking pictures.

My friend observed, “I had a real hard time thinking of him as ‘The King’. We both know there is only one true ‘KING’.” I sure expect that was a great teaching moment my friend had with his son!

The daily Scripture proclaims the only King worthy of glory and praise is God. These designations distinguish God from all others with the title of king. He is the “Lord God Almighty” and the “King of the ages.” Here on earth there have been many kings and in some countries the title is still used today such as in England. The word “King” designating an earthly ruler is first found in the Bible in Genesis 14.

The designation “King” is often used for entertainers and celebrities such as Richard Petty and Elvis Presley, who is often referred to as the “King of Rock and Roll” or simply “the King”. (Many years ago I recall hearing James Hamill, the pastor of the church Elvis periodically attended in Memphis Tennessee. He shared how Presley would sit in the balcony and cry, presumably due to the Holy Spirit speaking to his heart about his backslidden condition.)

But there is only one true King and as God’s redeemed we are in this King’s kingdom. One glorious day we will all gather as a great multitude in heaven and altogether we will shout in praise to our King, “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!”

It must be so exciting for NASCAR fans to gather around celebrities like Richard Petty. And to this day Elvis Presley has a large, loyal following as do many others.

But right now every one of us has the incomparably greater opportunity to approach the throne of grace to have audience with our heavenly King!

I’m a child of the King, a child of the King!
With Jesus my Savior, I’m a child of the King!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I pledge my allegiance to You and desire to bring You glory, honor and praise through my thoughts, my words and my actions today. Keep the message from the song, “There is none like You” as the melody of my heart today. “No one else can touch my heart like You do. I could search through all eternity and find there is none like You!” And You are more than enough”

*¹ There is a second imposing sign you pass on the way to the shore on Route 1. Dover AFB is the home for the largest military mortuary in the Department of Defense, and has been used for processing military personnel killed in both war and peacetime; the remains of those killed overseas are traditionally brought to Dover before being transferred to family. Whenever I pass it I can’t help but contrast the joy of a trip to the shore with the deep sorrow others feel with their trip to the Dover Air Force Base.

*² Brooksyne went with me but only stayed at the race track for the warmups and qualifying laps. When she found that we couldn’t even converse she left before the actual race to go shopping all Saturday afternoon at the mall located next to the track!


Today we share some photos of our long bike ride we took last Saturday

Gordon Pond trail Delaware 9/20/14
Riding along the Gordon Pond trail.

Gordon Pond trail Delaware 9/20/14
Gordon Pond trail had a lengthy section like this bulit up over the sand.

Canal in Lewes DE 9-20-14
The draw bridge crossing the canal in Lewes has beautiful flowers along the side.

Waiting for lunch in Lewes DE 09-20-14
Waiting for lunch in Lewes.

Junction & Breakwater_trail in Rehobeth Beach 9/20/14
We went back to Rehoboth Beach using another trail called the Junction & Breakwater Trail which is an old railroad bed.

Ester towards the end of long bike ride in Rehobeth Beach 9/20/14
Toward the end of our long bike hike Ester was very tired and actually fell asleep leaning on a post as we waited for Brooksyne who had fallen behind!

Straw bale man on dairy farm near Rehobeth Beach DE 09-21-14
We saw this large straw bale man at a dairy farm near Rehoboth Beach. An unusual sight near the ocean but something I would expect to see around here!

Here is a map (Google) of our long bike ride route in Delaware this last weekend.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“There Is None Like You”  Video  Don Moen & Lenny LeBlanc

“O Worship The King”  Video

“Rejoice The Lord Is King”  Video  Tommy Walker and huge choir

“Come Thou Almighty King”  Video  Mike Rayson

“The King Is Coming”  Video  Gaither Vocal Band includes narration

“A Child Of The King”  Video  Gaither homecoming singers (Both main singers in this video are now with the Lord.)


Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne
To receive the “Daily Encouragement” each Monday-Friday through email see this page to subscribe to our email list. You can also subscribe to the WordPress rss feed or through a WordPress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.)

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

Psalm 143:8 with Rehoboth Beach sunrise 9/20/14

Sunrise at Rehoboth Beach 9/20/14
(Click for larger photo)

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Jesus Will Still Be There!”

“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:8). “We know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16). “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness'” (Jeremiah 31:3). “God has said, never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:5,8).

We returned yesterday afternoon from a weekend trip to the shore at Rehoboth Beach Delaware. It was a pleasant final “official” summer weekend where we walked alot, rode bikes alot and ate alot.  In fact on Saturday we took bike trails up Henlopen Cape to Lewes and rode some 20 miles. We were especially thankful that Ester was able to keep up with just a few breaks, although she was very weary at the conclusion. It was a tremendous endeavor for her and she proudly posted her accomplishment on Facebook.

We have a couple of family customs whenever we approach the ocean.* Being inlanders a shore trip for us is a special treat. When we arrived on Friday, just as the sun was setting, we settled into our beach house and then walked up Rehoboth Avenue to the boardwalk. Every time we go to the shore when we first arrive I kiddingly say to the family, “Let’s go see if the ocean’s still there”. I endure their scorning look, but thus far we’ve never been disappointed!

“Jesus Will Still Be There” is a song we enjoy by Point of Grace. It reminds us of a most certain reality; that Jesus will still be there. His love will never change, no matter what changes around us. He is a never-changing presence and lasting security in our lives. We can absolutely rely upon His everlasting love!

Settle deep in your spirit that our one and only certain source of hope is Jesus Christ. He alone is the anchor for our soul, holding it firm and secure. His love is steadfast and unfailing. We can know and rely on His love.

This is expressed so well in the great hymn, “The Solid Rock”, especially in the line, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”  Hope that is built on relationships, finances, work or education will eventually let us down, but hope that is built solidly on Jesus increases with intensity as our earthly journey moves us closer to the Promised Land.

We selected verses today that express three unchangeable truths concerning God:

•  His Steadfast Love:  He loves us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
•  His Abiding Presence:  He will never leave us. (Hebrews 13:5)
•  His Eternal Immutability:  He is always the same. (Hebrews 13:8)

As we ground our faith in these truths we can, regardless of present circumstances, experience the hope, peace and assurance that is at the very heart of living an abundant life.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we love to view the sunrise which is the instant at which the upper edge of the sun appears over the eastern horizon in the morning. Your order of the universe is ever dependable and precise, never reliant on the will nor power of the humans You created. The morning also brings us word of Your unfailing love, and especially so for those who put their trust in You. We seek to be unwavering in our faith and confident in Your plans for our life as we stand on Your unending promises. Even as we daily experience Your goodness and faithfulness we will be sustained by Your constant presence and guidance in our life since You promise never to leave nor forsake us. You are faithful and we are grateful that we can stand on the Solid Rock, firm and secure. It is in the name of Jesus that we come to You in prayer.  Amen.


We were unable to post a daily encouragement message yesterday since we didn’t have handy internet access.


Just over a month ago Ester was often using a cane, walker, and occasionally a wheel chair when we had a long distance to walk. One of her medications had become toxic and she has now been off it for a month. She has grown increasingly stronger and the bike trip for her was the greatest accomplishment of endurance that we’ve ever witnessed. She still has days of palpitations but overall is doing so well physically. Our readers often write of their interest and prayers for her so we know God is answering them. Thank you so much!


* The other custom, which I learned from my dad, was to approach a dead end that leads to the water, drive to the water’s edge, and tease those in the car that the brakes stopped working. Ester got used to this tease as a child in New England, nervous at first but always laughing by the time we backed out from the water’s edge!


Steudler guest house on Rehoboth Avenue
We stayed at a home right on Rehoboth Avenue, the main road about 1/2 mile from the boardwalk. Brooksyne is watering the flowers on Monday morning just like she does at home.

Rehoboth Beach boardwalk 9/20/14
A family photo taken on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk.

Boardwalk Plaza hotel on Rehoboth Beach boardwalk
The Boardwalk Plaza hotel has a nice restaurant right on the boardwalk overlooking the ocean.

Mandevilla flower on Rehoboth Avenue
The flowers were still beautiful including this Mandevilla in front of a dress shop appropriately named “The Pink Crab” only about three doors up from where we lodged.

Hot car on Rehoboth Beach boardwalk 9/21/14
The other evening two young men had quite a time taking photos of a hot car they had brought to the Boardwalk.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Jesus Will Still Be There”  Video  Point Of Grace

“What A Friend We Have In Jesus”  Video  Steven Curtis Chapman

Here is a map of our weekend including our long bike ride route.


Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne
To receive the “Daily Encouragement” each Monday-Friday through email see this page to subscribe to our email list. You can also subscribe to the WordPress rss feed or through a WordPress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.)

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

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