Sunflower 7/11/14
Brooksyne took this sunflower photo.
These sun-filtered petals should brighten anyone’s day and the round center will surely bring to mind the “Happy Face”.
“The Antidote To Worry

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“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

Matthew 6:33 (Kember print)

Early this morning in checking my email I found a blessing. Someone had sent me the above photo of a Kember Scripture print. We have periodically referenced these simple prints, one man’s way of spreading God’s Word. In fact today I compiled a single web page of prints I have acquired over the years as readers send me photos. So I am going to take this as a prompt to share a message from Matthew 6:33!

I was speaking to a friend of mine who is dealing with some severe challenges in his business. I could tell he had a matter heavy on his heart. We both have faith in the Lord and he said to me, “We’re not supposed to worry are we?” He knew the answer to that but I believe was looking to me for some Scriptural encouragement.  Sometimes deep in our hearts we know something but need the reminder and perspective others have to offer.

One of the great kingdom principles is stated in this familiar verse. Jesus is preaching what we call the “Sermon on the Mount” and is summing up the portion dealing with worry (Matthew 6:25-34). Jesus addressed a condition so common to people of all generations. Though some worry more than others I’ve never met anyone who has never worried at some point in their lifetime! But Jesus emphatically states, “Do not be worried about your life” (Matthew 6:25).

Many years ago I read a short booklet by Jay Adams titled “What to Do About Worry”. He defines worry as “concern about something that one can do nothing about, and that he cannot even be sure about.”

I recognize that when I worry about a matter I am simply not trusting in God. At any given moment I could list a number of very specific issues in my life that are matters of worry to me. The underlying Greek word for worry is “merimnao”, which can have the sense “to turn over and over in the mind.” That’s just what I do, considering various courses and outcomes, turning the worrisome situation over and over in my mind.

Christ’s prescription for worry is very clear. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” His promise is equally clear, “all these things shall be added unto you.” “These things” refer to the basic essentials of life such as food and clothing. Another promise states, “My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

Today let us indeed seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness. He ever remains a “rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Finally let me share a portion that I committed to memory many years ago that so powerfully addresses this situation: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, You know my tendency to worry and fret about circumstances and people dear to my heart.  Thank You for giving me Scriptural wisdom in how to deal with this ongoing weakness that robs me of Your joy and peace.  As I seek first Your kingdom I will look to Your Word rather than the unending problems that lead me to a worrisome state of mind.  As I read Scripture over and over that pertains to my needs, it replaces the time spent worrying over and over about the problems at hand.  Meditation on Your Word is similar to worry in that I turn Scriptural promises over and over in my mind.  You replace my worried thoughts with divine wisdom and peaceful reassurance as my heart is open to You when looking for answers to my problems.  Help me to seek You above all else and trust Your overflowing provision for all that concerns me today. It is in Your name that I pray. Amen.


Blueberry cobbler prepared for our church picnicBlueberry Cobbler Brooksyne prepared for Sunday’s Church Picnic
A somewhat humorous blueberry story:  Last Thursday we briefly mentioned a shopping experience we had at a local store that was selling Jersey berries. Although we bought blueberries in New Jersey at a roadside stand the day before Brooksyne wanted even more since she plans to make several batches of blueberry jams and pie filling.  She’ll also freeze several bags for later usage. We were at Aldi’s, a discount grocery store, where they had fresh Jersey blueberries for only $1.00 a pint. We were very pleased at the low price and also the sign that said, “One case per customer”. So we bought a case which was ten pints and headed to the check out.

While we were paying for our items a lady who spoke very broken English (obviously, a second language for her) was next in line with two pints of blueberries, and that’s where things got interesting. Apparently, after we picked up our case of berries, management decided to place a limit (due to the truck not delivering until the next day). The manager had removed the “One case per customer” sign and posted in its place, “2 pint limit”. The cashier told us of the limit but when we explained the timing she was somewhat understanding and proceeded with the sale. During our transaction the lady next in line very forthrightly pointed at our case and demanded, “He get case, I get case.” When questioned if she’d seen the first sign as well, she quickly came back with, “Not matter about sign. He get case. I get case!”

She was so persistent the cashier called in the manager (who still had the original sign in her hand). Now it seems to us that the manager should have made an exception for her since she was right behind us and no one else seemed to have blueberries in the growing line. However the manager decided to enforce the 2 pint limit for the lady, who only became more belligerent. “Come back tomorrow when the truck will make another delivery” the manager told her. “I here today. I want berries today!” was her quick reply.

Then she probably broke every rule of managerial decorum by asking the shopper, “What are you going to do with a case of berries anyway?”.  The lady stared blankly, and then she pointed to us and asked, “Why do they need a case?” Turning in my direction the manager then asked me, “Why do you need a case?” Thinking it strange that we would be grilled about a legitimate purchase I defensively answered, “Because we can” (meaning “canning” in the sense of preserving jams and jellies). The shopper who probably had no idea what we meant by “can” gleefully stated, “He can! I can!”. In great frustration the manager marched off to pick up another case of berries for the persistent shopper.

She laid the case of berries on the conveyor belt, picked up the two packages the lady originally selected and in anger callously laid them down behind the register. Making sure she had the last word the shopper said coolly to the manager, “You mark ‘Damaged?'”. The manager, no longer trying to control her emotions, came back with, “What? There’s nothing wrong with these berries!” The lady responded with a smirk, “You just slammed them on the counter, and they’re fragile!” To say the least it made for an interesting shopping trip and an arrow prayer for the manager who commented to the cashier, “It’s only 10:00 in the morning. What a day this is going to be!”


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Seek Ye First”  Video   Maranatha Singers  This was one of the first Scripture verses set to music we learned as young Christians. We suppose many of you know this song and thus have actually memorized the Scripture!

“Why Should I Worry”  Video   Karen Peck & New River

“I’m Not Gonna Worry”  Video  GVB

Jay Adams lesson on worry is available as a pdf. (It’s just over 4 pages)

Compilation of Kember Scripture prints I have and others sent me. (Webpage)


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.

“Genuine Freedom”

July 21, 2014

Amish family in open cart in Lancaster County PA 7/11/14
This family is out on a pleasant day in their horse-drawn “convertible”

“Genuine Freedom


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“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh” (Galatians 5:13). “But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification” (Romans 6:17-19). “Trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10).

Over the last several years at various eastern shore points we have noticed that many of the shore workers come from eastern European countries on some type of summer work program. We try to converse with them and learn about their lives.

Last week in Cape May New Jersey I visited with a young man from Bulgaria and inquired about his impression of temporarily living in America. He stated from his perspective the freedoms were greater in Bulgaria and I asked how so. His perspective on freedom was this, “In Bulgaria we could go to clubs where alcohol is served at the age of 13. In New Jersey I have to be 21.”  Interestingly, he viewed this law as a limiting his freedom.

One of the great blessings of serving Christ is genuine freedom. Many of us have memorized His statement, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32) although I would venture a guess that most have only memorized the last phrase, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

A few verses later in the same teaching context Christ shared another phrase that many have memorized, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Jesus is speaking here of being freed from the bondage of sin. In verse 34 He states, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.”

However it seems many see this freedom from the bondage of sin as a freedom to sin. Certainly this is not true for earnest followers of Christ. “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh”. Rather, we are to experience genuine freedom through our Spirit-empowered life of consecration to God which stands in tremendous contrast to a life bound in sin,  “For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.”

Our sanctification sets us apart for God so that we are always “trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.”

I’m free from the fear of tomorrow,
I’m free from the guilt of the past;
For I’ve traded my shackles for a glorious song,
I’m Free! Praise the Lord! Free at last!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, we thank You for Jesus who released us from our shackles of sin and provided us the song of salvation. Our debt to sin was more than we could pay, and yet Jesus, who knew no sin, paid it for us. How grateful we are that we have been set free from sin and set apart unto righteousness resulting in sanctification. We set ourselves apart from being molded by the world and the evil influences of our arch enemy, Satan. We want to learn what pleases You so that we daily walk in our freedom provided through the cross of Calvary. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


Last week we shared photos of our visit to Philadelphia and the Jersey shore we made early in the week. Today we have a recent collection of Lancaster County photos

Mower repair in Lancaster County PA 7/18/14
Last Friday we passed this old order Mennonite farmer boy who was having trouble with his mower and was working on it as we passed by.

Amish open cart, Kraybill Church Road in Lancaster County PA 7/18/14
This photo taken at sunset on Saturday night is a little blurry, but Brooksyne was trying to pull Mollie (our border collie) back and snap this photo from our front porch. The  green vegetation serves as a vibrant, breath-taking background for our summer photos! And what could be more natural looking than a horse drawn open cart during a lovely sunset evening.

Amish family in open cart in Lancaster County PA 7/11/14
On the way to church yesterday Brooksyne snapped this photo of an Amish family travelling on West Main Street in Mount Joy going to a church service. The children were waving and smiling which we were unable to capture in our photo.

Jason and Amber wedding 7/19/14
The big send-off! The newlyweds, Jason and Amber, aren’t boarding an airplane. Instead they’re trying to escape “dangerous” paper airplanes flying overhead and many that crash landed around them.

Jim and Wendy Gambini 7/19/14
This last Saturday we attended a wedding in our home church and saw our good friends, Jim and Wendy Gambini. Jim was the first pastor we had when we moved to Lancaster County 13 years ago.

Jim and Shirley at wedding 7/19/14
Jim and Shirley, a couple in our church, prepared the delicious dinner buffet for the 180 guest wedding reception. Both are excellent chefs in the food industry.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources


“Glorious Freedom”  Video  GVB

“I’m Free”  Video   Gaither Homecoming singers

“Let Freedom Ring”  Video  GVB


Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

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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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As we were driving along Brooksyne saw this boat filled with lantana (one of her favorite flowers) and insisted, “Stop! Let me take a picture.”  And here it is!

“Peace In The Midst Of Trouble


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“Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

ChildrenYesterday afternoon we watched three young children. Since we needed to make a chaplain visit near Hershey we took the kids along and took turns watching them in a school playground as we each made a visit across the street to White Oak, a company that designs and build displays. Afterwards we took them to Hershey World where they had a great time.

I went through White Oak first and then Brooksyne. When I came back to the playground the oldest child, Adoreè, inquired, “What do you do in there?” as she pointed toward the large building. I explained, “We visit the people who work there and often listen to them as they share problems they are having.”

I asked her, “Do you ever have any troubles?” She thought for a moment and then answered, “Yes when Mabel died.” Thinking Mabel was an elderly great Aunt I expressed sympathy and asked who Mabel was. Turns out Mabel was her cat and since she had this cat for as long as she could remember her death left her very troubled.

I consider Adoreè’s innocence in regard to the heartache and troubles she will certainly witness and likely experience as she gets older. About the time I spoke to her I read about the airliner shot down over Ukraine and several other international situations of deep heartbreak. Then I considered the burdens I encountered just that day in the course of talking to people.

We do indeed share a lot with people who have troubles. I suppose we are a listening ear and hopefully offer some comfort, perspective and sound advice. We know some of our readers are facing trouble today.  It may be concerning your health, a family matter, a financial issue, a work-related problem or something we can’t even imagine. For some it’s undergoing persecution as a result of living for the Lord, which I believe is certainly what Jesus foundationally had in mind when he first uttered these prophetic words, “In this world you will have trouble.”

SparksJob had a lot of trouble. In fact he’s most famous due to his troubles. His three friends came over to comfort him although their advice was faulty and certainly not the final word. But Eliphas offers a rather timeless observation in our first daily text. “Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). What a pithy, timeless description of the inevitability of troubles! Observe a fire to this day and the sparks fly upward.

Today’s second text is from John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This is a verse we learned as young Christians with the words set to music so it is permanently etched in our memory.

I am so thankful for the words of our Lord Jesus in this passage! “I have told you these things...” “These things” are His final teaching to His disciples prior to His death on the cross. He knows that their future will include uncertainty and peril due to their decision to follow Him. But He shares with them the way to find peace in the midst of conflict, “so that in me you may have peace.”

Our Lord readily acknowledged and prepared His disciples for trouble  (or “tribulation” in some other Bible versions) in His matter of fact declaration, “In this world you will have trouble.”

This may seem like a strange question, but have you considered that the presence of trouble in your life is evidence of Christ’s truthfulness and faithfulness? After all he did say, “In this world you will have trouble.”

Have you ever met a believer going through a difficult trial who in faith joyfully declares to others, “God is keeping His promise” in regard to the trial in progress? I heard a brother give a testimony to the veracity of Scripture regarding this promise as he was going through a great trial. It stunned those of us who listened on as we witnessed his victorious testimony in the very midst of trouble.

Thankfully the stirring promise includes an underlying peace, “so that in me you may have peace.”  Christ’s desire is that His followers have this peace, surely meaning in this case the sense of emotional and spiritual rest and much needed assurance that can only come through a fervent relationship with the Peacemaker Himself. The apostle Paul wrote, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

Hear the assuring message of our Lord and apply it to your heart today. “But take heart! I have overcome the world!”  I’ve added the exclamation point because I believe that’s the tone of how Christ spoke these consoling words.

He said it with absolute confidence even before His agony in Gethsemane and His suffering and death on the cross at Calvary.  He knew His Father had everything under control. And our Father still has everything under control. He always does! Let us experience His abiding peace today as we commit ourselves to His unfailing love.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Jesus, Prince of Peace, thank You for calming the raging storm in my soul when You took up residency within my heart, as You removed my sins and replaced them with Your righteousness.  This eternal exchange has brought me countless joy, abiding peace, and a home in heaven. It is once and for all established in the heavens and serves as an anchor to provide unwavering hope even while the torrential waves of world tragedies, wars, fears, strife, and personal difficulties attempt to shatter my peaceful state of mind.  You have promised to keep me in perfect peace when my mind and heart are fixed upon You* rather than the besetting problems that confront me daily.  Help me to wholeheartedly seek You and rely on Your Holy Word so that I will experience perfect peace.  It is in this spiritual attitude that I will fully trust You to work out the problems that greatly concern me and it will help me not to take matters into my own hands which only leads to more trouble.  You have overcome the world and You will also help me to overcome my troubles.  Amen.


Wheaton Arts general store 7/15/14
Earlier this week we walked the peaceful shady grounds of the Wheaton Village Arts Center near Millville, NJ which has restored buildings from the early 1900’s.

Wheaton Arts general store interior 7/15/14
The interior of the general store has lots of interesting articles hanging from beams on the ceiling and items no longer available at a typical store.

Wheaton Arts brownstone 7/15/14
A Wheaton Village brownstone.

Hershey Chocolate World entrance 7/17/14
Closer to home, here is the entrance to the Hershey Chocolate World visitor’s center in Hershey, PA.

Henry and Marion Leaman 7/18/14
This morning we visited with Henry and Marion Leaman whose devotion is evident not only in their enduring marriage of 67 years but also their interaction with one another. They remain active in their late 80’s, though the land that Henry farmed was sold many years ago. When they moved into this retirement home they felt God smiled upon them (Brooksyne’s words) when He provided the Amish farm right across the street from their house (as seen in the background). In 2010 Marion wrote an extensive history for their church’s 300th anniversary.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources


“Perfect Peace”  Video   Laura Story


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 theWordPress 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 Lower Lights”

July 17, 2014

Cape May lighthouse 7/15/14
Cape May Lighthouse, Cape May New Jersey

“The Lower Lights


ListenListen to us read this message on your audio player.

Brightly beams our Father’s mercy,
From His lighthouse evermore,
But to us He gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Cape May lighthouse spiral stairs 7/15/14On Tuesday we visited the Cape May lighthouse at the southern tip of New Jersey. I (Stephen) climbed the spiral staircase all the way to the top, 199 steps to be exact. We featured the base of the staircase looking up in the mystery photo yesterday which a number of folks accurately guessed including the location of Cape May. Brooksyne, thinking she’d take a five minute nap in the van before joining me, overslept. As she was entering the lighthouse I met her at the base as I was coming down. So she missed doing something on her bucket list!

Lighthouses are one of our favorite sights to see and explore when we’re near the ocean. Today let’s take a look at an old hymn that makes the analogy of divine mercy as “bright beams” from our Father’s lighthouse which shines evermore.

PP BlissThe most famous nautical navigation light is of course the lighthouse but there are other nautical navigation lights. Phillip P. Bliss was a nineteenth century song writer associated with D.L. Moody born here in Pennsylvania. He often received the inspiration for a hymn, while listening to a message during a church service. Once an idea struck his alert mind, he worked rapidly usually completing both the text and the music in one sitting.

One day, while traveling with Dwight L. Moody as the musician for an evangelistic campaign, Bliss was impressed by an illustration used by Mr. Moody for a message. Moody often told this moving true story of a violent storm on Lake Erie:

On a dark, stormy evening, when the waves rolled like mountains and not a star was to be seen, a boat, rocking and plunging, neared the Cleveland harbor.

“Are you sure this is Cleveland?” asked the Captain, seeing only light from the lighthouse. “Quite sure,” replied the pilot.

“Where are the lower lights?”  “Gone out, sir!”

“Can you make the harbor?”  “We must, or perish, sir.”

With a strong hand and a brave heart, the old pilot turned the wheel, but alas, in the darkness he missed the channel, and, with a crash upon the rock, the boat was slivered and many a life lost in a watery grave.

“Brethren,” concluded Mr. Moody, “the Master will take care of the great lighthouse. Let us keep the lower lights burning.”

Nautically speaking the “lower lights” are lights apart from the lighthouse that illumine the water line. They’re surface navigational aids as well as the various lights from windows, street lamps, and businesses that enable vessels to come into the harbor at night, through a narrow channel of the harbor’s mouth.

Spiritually speaking the “lower lights” are lights from individual followers of Christ who allow the light of Christ to shine through them; their words and deeds. When we, as believers, allow the life changing message of Christ to wane in our lives or behave in a manner that does not glorify Him our flame flickers. If it goes completely unchecked our light can burn out. As God’s children, we don’t want to bring disgrace or further the darkness but rather honor the One “who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Today the Almighty God of the universe has called us to let our light shine. Let’s do our part to see that the “lower lights” burn brightly providing a lighted path for “some poor, struggling, fainting seaman, [that] we may rescue, we may save”!

Let the lower lights be burning!
Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor struggling, fainting seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
 Father God, we are a chosen generation, a people set apart to show forth the praises of Christ who has called us out of darkness into Your marvelous light. Since You have illumined our darkness we will not conceal it, but rather shine forth wherever we are; in the marketplace, in our homes, in the business place, in the neighborhood, in the voting booth, in church and wherever we have opportunity to bring forth light in this world of darkness. We can make a difference and want to do so. We want to witness faithfully of the light of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord in whose name we pray.  Amen.


Cape May lighthouse sign 7/15/14
Cape May lighthouse descriptive sign

Cape May Lighthouse spiral stairs 7/15/14
The spiral stairs at the base with warning signs.

Cape May Lighthouse top 7/15/14
It was quite breezy out on the platform at the top of the lighthouse.

Cape May Lighthouse top 7/15/14
The spiral stairs from the top looking down!

Jersey tomatoes
On the way home from the Garden State we stopped at a roadside produce stand for some Jersey tomatoes, touted “the very best” (by Jersey residents) because of the sandy soil and climatic conditions of central and southern New Jersey.

Jersey blueberries
Jersey blueberries!
We brought home about eight quarts for making jam, muffins, pancakes, etc. Brooksyne suggested she might make a blueberry cobbler for our church picnic! We had an interesting experience this morning at a local store that was selling Jersey berries at a very good price we will likely share about tomorrow.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources


“Let The Lower Lights Be Burning”  Video   J. Ashley Milne

“Let The Lower Lights”  A memory from Joni in print and audio concerning this song.


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 theWordPress 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.

“Grace Upon Grace”

July 15, 2014

Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean
“Like a mighty sea, like a mighty sea.
Comes the love of Jesus sweeping over me!”

“Grace Upon Grace


Note: Due to travel we did not prepare a podcast for this message.

“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace” (John 1:16).

Yesterday we walked the boardwalk looking out over the ocean in Ocean City, NJ. Growing up in the Midwest, far from any ocean I only saw the ocean two times as a child, once on each coast. Brooksyne who was raised in a poor family in Oklahoma didn’t see the ocean at all until her mid-twenties after we had been married for several years. Some raised near the ocean can’t even recall their first ocean sighting but for both of us and many others it is a distinct memory.

Our favorite “first ocean sighting” story took place several years ago when we drove an Amish family to the shore. Upon arrival the excited children discharged themselves from the 15 passenger van and beheld the great expanse of water. Little Eli, about three at the time, just couldn’t get enough play from the large waves that swept up on the sandy shore. When his mom wanted him to rest a bit he informed her and all of us, “But I want to go back in the big pond!”

I’ve long associated the daily verse with the ocean due to a sermon I heard as a young Christian. Jeff Ronald was a fellow Bible School student who was preaching from John 1 and used the persistent, rolling waves of the ocean as an illustration of the phrase, “grace upon grace.”

Today we have friends on our hearts who seem to be experiencing one heartache after another. This could be many including some reading this message. Today we want you to experience grace upon grace.

John wrote his gospel late in the first century. Most believe his writings were the last in the Biblical canon. Some sixty years after his encounter with Christ and His earthly ministry he sat down as an old man to write his gospel.

Three other accounts had already been written (Matthew, Mark and Luke) but surely John’s perspective in writing was long awaited by the early church. His purpose in writing is clearly stated in Chapter 20:30 & 31. “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” Thus his intent was in part evangelistic; hopeful that unbelievers would receive his account and respond in belief.

The daily text begins with the phrase, “For of His fullness we have all received.” What an incredible blessing to be a recipient of His fullness!

The last phrase is “grace upon grace.” The Amplified expresses, “one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift heaped upon gift.” It’s a little like a husband and wife receiving the news that they’re not only giving birth to one baby, but they’ve been doubly blessed with twins!

What a marvelous blessing grace is; this unmerited favor and undeserved gift. In understanding grace many have found helpful the descriptive acrostic “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense” or “Gifts Received At Christ’s Expense.”

Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God? By believing you may have life in His Name. That’s the greatest gift of grace!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer:God, You’ve given the greatest treasure available to all people. We don’t have to fit into a particular segment of our population nor are we required to live during a certain time period to receive this unsurpassed gift. The gift of Your grace is available to every generation and exceeds any temporary material blessing that we’ll ever receive. Your grace not only brings reconciliation through Your Son, but it continues to pour into us grace upon grace, much like the waves of the ocean. Thank you that You gave in abundance so that we could be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God through the incarnation of your Son, Jesus Christ. How unlimited and ceaseless is your grace upon grace! We in turn offer you thanks upon thanks for Your overflowing goodness to us. Amen.


Jim and Dorothy Schmidt 7/14/14
We enjoyed a delicious lunch; salmon, crabcake, scallops – the seafood works with our friends, Jim and Dorothy Schmidt and afterward drove throughout Ocean City ending up at the boardwalk. We became friends with these good folks back in New England during a conference when Jim represented Send Int’l. They live in Ocean City and remain active in ministry. Dorothy had a very serious head concussion several months ago that required intensive recovery. Though she’s still recovering we were delighted to see how good she looked.

Fortress Financial, Ocean City, NJ  7/14/14
This business along the main street in Ocean City takes its name from a Scripture verse. As we passed this business Jim pointed out the verse and also spoke of the opportunity he had in leading this businessman to Christ many years earlier.

Boardwalk store sign, Ocean City, NJ  7/14/14
We thought this was an interesting sign on a store along the boardwalk.

Ocean City beach

This is what the beach along the Jersey shore looks like mile after mile.  An otherwise bland sandy beach was decorated with multi-colored umbrellas and beach towels as sunlovers and swimmers take advantage of a perfectly warm sunny day!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources


“Like A Mighty Sea”  Video 
An old hymn most have probably never heard but we recall singing in churches years ago.

“Your Grace Still Amazes Me”  Video  Phillips, Craig and Dean


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 theWordPress 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.

Kraybill Church Road Amish church traffic 7/13/14 (Photo by Ester)
Yesterday morning Ester stepped out our front door and snapped this photo of an Amish buggy heading to church at our neighbor’s barn.

“The Blessing Of Kindness


ListenListen to us read this message on your audio player.

“The natives showed us extraordinary kindness; for because of the rain that had set in and because of the cold, they kindled a fire and received us all” (Acts 28:2). “Be kind and compassionate to one another” (Ephesians 4:32).

KindnessIn 1977 shortly after we married Brooksyne and I moved over a thousand miles from the Midwest where we both grew up to the Northeast where we planted a church in a small town in northern Pennsylvania. Shortly after we arrived, Stephen and Florence Bogdan, an older* pastor and his wife from a neighboring church, reached out to us with their friendship, support, and encouragement. We specifically remember a fellowship meal in their home and a promise they made to regularly pray for us. They showed us extraordinary kindness.

Several years later they moved from that area but we stayed in contact through the years, occasionally seeing each other at ministry functions. It was encouraging when they reminded us that they were praying for us. About fifteen years later we took groups of young people to Philadelphia on mission trips to serve at the “Highway Mission Tabernacle”, a church they served on Spring Garden Street not far from Center City Philadelphia (pictured below message). We have continued to stay in contact through these daily encouragement messages. Stephen went to be with the Lord about ten years ago and Florence continues on still serving the Lord, now in her late 80’s. Yesterday we visited her in Philadelphia and rekindled our enduring 36 year friendship with her.

Campfire Today we encourage readers to follow an example set by the native islanders on Malta, who showed extraordinary kindness to Paul and his traveling associates. It’s a great verse we can easily overlook as we read through the Bible. Their kindness was demonstrated by the warm fire they prepared on the “bay with the sandy beach” that helped dry out the 276 shipwrecked passengers. Knowing how much I (Brooksyne) like to stand right next to a roaring fire I would have a hard time sharing it with all the others. The passengers must have been chilled right down to the bone as they fought off water for two weeks, and survived the cold, billowing deep sea as they grasped broken pieces of the ship. Likely the clinging emotions of suspense and fear were quickly dissipating due to their finally arriving on sturdy, dry, land, hearing the sound of a crackling hot fire, and being eagerly received by the natives of Malta. Perhaps the lady folks were busy preparing a warm meal to fill their hungry bellies. (Read Acts 27 & 28 to get a full sense of this dramatic sea voyage which includes the shipwreck.)

Ephesians 4:32The Scripture calls believers to live a life of kindness. “Be kind and compassionate to one another,” Today we all have God’s call upon our lives to express His kindness to an often harsh world and to be encouragers to the many who are in desperate need of an encouraging word. And we can do this in so many different ways. Let us all seek the Lord about how we can show kindness today!

We encourage you to consider the power of small acts of kindness done in the name of the Lord. Jesus spoke of the “cup of water” given in His Name (Mark 9:41). Paul anticipated a guestroom and a time of refreshing with Philemon in his home (Philemon 22).

Have you noticed how kindness, like so many other godly virtues is rapidly diminishing in our culture? Often we hear about “road rage” and other current faddish explanations for man’s failure to act in kindness and consideration to one another. We who are motivated by the royal law of Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (James 2:8) will desire to show the kindness of God to those around us by deferring to their needs rather than our own.

Are there people in your neighborhood or workplace who are resisting the gospel? How can you show your love and concern by meeting their needs? Sometimes the first step in witnessing is extending kindness!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer:Father, our lives are often tossed to and fro by the billows of heartache, loss, and uncertainty. We’re so grateful for caring friends who are like the islanders of Malta in Acts 28 who cheer us on and wave us in as we’re seeking steady, dry land. They welcome us with warmth like that of a sizzling campfire when we’re drenched with chilling water from the billowing sea. Rather than shake their finger at us and scolding us for getting caught in the storm, they provide shelter, food, and wise counsel so that we no longer feel alone or fear that we will perish in our troubles. Help us to kindle our friendship by acting as a lighthouse giving out Scriptural light to navigate our friends through the scourging rocks of sin and despair. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

* “Older”: We realize now they were younger at that time than we are now! But in your early twenties as we recall everyone over 50 seemed old.


Mark Robinson & Tom Myers 7/11/14
Last Friday Tom Myers (right), a pastor from the Atlanta area joined Brooksyne and me for several chaplain visits. He is speaking in this photo to Mark Robinson, who had attended a church where Tom served as pastor many years ago when he served a congregation in the Harrisburg area. Tom is interested in a similar chaplain ministry as ours and wanted to get a sense of what it was like. Mark is an IT manager for Val-Co Products.

Our travels with Tom Friday included traversing the Amish/Mennonite rural region of Lancaster County as we do every week, practically always encountering some interesting sites.

Amish barn used for church service Lancaster County PA 7/11/14
I had run an errand for an Amish friend and needed to drop an item off. We know many of our readers find the Amish way of life interesting. Our friends recently hosted a church service which was held in their barn. They had already taken the benches down and placed them in the bench wagon for transport to the next place where they will have a church service (meeting together every other week in homes or barns). This photo was taken from the outside looking into the barn. The simple wood backless benches had been placed facing the center with the men seated on the left and the women on the right. The preacher stood at the far end of the barn.

I told Tom he would enjoy visiting this family and sure enough all seven came out and joined us in the barn. Tom talked to the parents for awhile and before leaving he asked Moses, the oldest child who’s about 11, what time he got up to start working each morning. Without grimace he answered “4:30″. Tom asked him when they finished and then Moses said around 7:30 [at night] adding, “We don’t have to work very long”!

Leaping deer in farm field 7/11/14
Along Ronks Road, after we left the farm, we watched this deer as it leaped through the open pasture land.

From rural Lancaster on Friday we traveled to Philadelphia on Sunday.

Otis Fortenberry 7/13/14
We attended Highway Tabernacle in Philadelphia yesterday morning and before the service we visited with Otis Fortenberry whom we first met over 20 years ago on our mission trips. Vocationally he is an engineer. Spiritually, he is a steady, faithful man and very active in the church.

Highway Tabernacle, Philadelphia 7/13/14
Highway Tabernacle has met for over 100 years and uses a building constructed before the Civil War. Like so many churches they have had their struggles with a transitioning community. Presently the area is undergoing gentrification. Years ago our youth mission teams helped the church with physical projects including cleaning out the belfry. We also had a children’s VBS and one year passed out fliers on the street for a Billy Graham crusade.

Florence Bogdan 7/13/14
And there she is, Florence Bogdan, the “first lady” of Highway Tabernacle who is 88 years old. After the service we visited her home and had a nice visit. She deals with chronic arthritis and is now essentially homebound, but she’s able to read our messages daily and commented, like many of our “shut-in” readers, that she benefits greatly from our photos as her visual mind can go places where her body can no longer take her. She had a bag full of  slippers she had knitted for a Ukrainian ministry that provides for the needs of children so we had her display a sample pair for our readers to view.

Geno's steak
In the afternoon we drove through Philadelphia and had a genuine Philly cheesesteak at Geno’s. Two cheesesteak rivals, Geno’s and Pat’s, which is across the street from where Brooksyne took the photo vie for the best Philly cheesesteak. We split one from each place. I voted for “Pat’s” and Brooksyne voted for “Geno’s”. Truth is, they were both delicious.

Philadelphia's boathouse row 7/13/14
One of the beautiful scenes in Philadelphia is Boathouse Row along the Schuylkill River.

Today we are going to the New Jersey shore to walk the Ocean City boardwalk and visit with some other friends!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources


“Show a Little Bit of Love and Kindness”  Video   Collingsworth Family

“Our Great Reward”

July 11, 2014

Hanging flowers at Chocolate World, Hershey, PA 7/10/14
Yesterday we visited Chocolate World in Hershey and noticed this beautiful hanging plant.
“Our Great Reward


ListenListen to us read this message on your audio player.

“After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward'” (Genesis 15:1). “Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them [the Scriptures] there is great reward” (Psalm 119:11).
“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward” (Hebrews 10:35). “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me” (Revelation 22:12).

Ask ye what great thing I know,
That delights and stirs me so?
What the high reward I win?
Whose the Name I glory in?
Jesus Christ, the Crucified!


Reward cardsMost of us carry several reward cards for local supermarkets, gas stations, etc. In fact these cards on our key chain amount to more than our keys!

Our credit cards offer rewards based on how much we use them. Our Discover Card reward for some time now goes to get “Bath and Body Works” gift cards I present to Brooksyne (just to see her big smile)! These rewards are appealing because they are very specific and immediate. For so many these days the attitude is that these types of rewards are tangible. Sadly for so many the attitude is, why wait for or place any hope in some unknown, future “pie in the sky” reward?

The concept of reward is found in the Scriptures as seen in our daily texts from early in Genesis to the final chapter of Revelation. Most of the teaching I find in the Bible regarding rewards presents them as future and having very little specific detail as to what they involve. They are presented as being great and certain, but just what they will be and when we receive them is not fully disclosed. This is at the heart of the faith walk we are called to live.

One of the great verses that many of us have committed to memory is a statement in Hebrews 11, often called the Faith Chapter, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (11:6).

Abraham never physically saw his descendants as “numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.”  However by faith Abraham “considered Him faithful who had made the promise” (Hebrews 11:11).

Moses died on the east side of the Jordan after 40 difficult years of leading an ungrateful and stubborn people. He never physically entered Canaan, the land promised to Abraham’s descendants. His future reward in heaven motivated him in the midst of leading a rebellious people and harsh conditions.  “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward” (Hebrews 11:26).

Stephen, the great expositor of Scripture had a promising ministry but faced a deadly hail of rocks. He would have been a very good pastor to the early church yet he was looking for a future reward.

Eternal rewards People of faith understand this reward is coming in God’s time. It is a most certain reward. So hold on to His promises today. Some of these rewards are experienced in this life, but I’m convinced that whatever good we experience on this side is but a glimpse of our total rewards. By far the best is yet to come! “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward” (Hebrews 10:35).

This is that great thing I know;
this delights and stirs me so:
faith in Him who died to save,
His who triumphed o’er the grave:
Jesus Christ, the crucified!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer:Father, we hold onto the confidence we have in You, knowing that in Your appointed time we will receive the full range of rewards that comes to those who remain steadfast in their walk with You. We have already received the reward of peace that comes from knowing our sins are forgiven. We are rewarded with Your daily presence that guides us into all truth. But we only see in part the rewards in this life that You grant to the believer, for we know You have much stored up for us to enjoy in the future eternal setting of heaven. Help us to hold on, not give up, and to greatly anticipate our future reward of eternity with You, for the half has not yet been told. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.



Brooksyne’s Note: As we write about the great men of faith who believed and yet did not see the promise of God come to pass in their lifetime I consider those who pray and do not see their prayers answered before they die. My parents who had a strong faith while I was a child growing up in Oklahoma had a bad experience in the church when I was in high school (early 70’s). They grew bitter and “threw away their confidence” which included their fellowship with God. Many times over the next few years when I’d visit my grandparents in Arkansas during devotions I remember Grandpa lifting Brooklyn and Ruth up to God in prayer asking Him to bring them back to the faith they once held.  Grandma and Grandpa died in the late seventies and never saw that prayer answered on this side. But, by the grace of God, their prayers were answered though it took twenty four years and many, many prayers before they walked the aisles of the church again. I had the privilege of going forward with them to the altar in Sand Springs, OK on Easter Sunday in 1996, as they restored their faith in God and renewed their commitment to follow Him. Four years later Daddy, at 66 years of age, died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. One year after that Mom, at age 67, died from ovarian cancer.

The sweetest memory I recall from Dad’s last six weeks at St. Frances Hospital in Tulsa (Feb. 2000) was the night I stayed in his room overnight. In the middle of the night he called out, “Mama? Mama?”  He had been in a coma like state for several days. Though Mom rushed to his side we both quickly recognized it wasn’t her that he was calling. He was calling his own mother’s name. He must have been seeing his mother from a distance and wasn’t sure that it was her so he called out her name in a questioning sort of way. Or perhaps he saw her new radiant youthful body and wasn’t sure it was her. I also wonder…. when he met up with Grandpa if Grandpa didn’t shake his finger at Daddy, and say, “Why on earth did it take you so long to get your heart right with God?”


Sunset in rain 7/10/14
Last night we had a beautifully rainy sunset scene from our office.

Farm scene at Hershey Chocolate world tour
Farm scene mural on the wall at Hershey Chocolate World!

Mike Gardner 7/10/14

Yesterday we opened our message about a conversation I had overheard between a young man named Mike and a teenager concerning electronic devices. Last night I stopped by Kinsey Outdoors and there was Mike, buying his deer tags for the coming season. We shared a laugh when I told him I had used his name in yesterday’s opening illustration.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources


“I Stand Amazed”  Video   Gaither Tent Revival Homecoming

“Greatly Blessed, Highly Favored”  Video  GVB

“Ask ye what great thing I know” is a hymn that can be sung to the tune of “Take My Life and Let It Be”


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 theWordPress 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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