“As Obedient Children”

February 5, 2016

Heidi at the Shady Maple 2/4/16
Heidi in front of Shady Maple artwork
“As Obedient Children”

Message Summary: We are not to conform to these evil desires. As sojourners in this world we must daily make the conscious, volitional choice to refuse an alien society which is futile and passing away, while also attempting to squeeze us into its wicked, corrupting mold.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player. (Not prepared for this message)

“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance” (1 Peter 1:14).

Yesterday we ate breakfast at the Shady Maple, a huge smorgasbord restaurant rather famous in our area. While eating we visited for a few minutes with Heidi, one of the servers. We know her mom, Jody, so we always look up Heidi whenever we visit the Shady Maple. During our visit I asked Heidi if she had any siblings and she told us she had a twin sister who died shortly after her birth weighing only 1 pound 5 oz.

Heidi weighed only 1 pound 15 oz. at birth so she and her family have had some major overcoming during that critical period. For the past year or so she has held this job at Shady Maple. Brooksyne remembers well praying for Heidi to find a job since Jody had enlisted her to pray that the Lord would provide work and it took quite a while to land this job. Jody works at one of the companies that we regularly visit.  Much like her mother, Heidi has a very pleasant disposition and a positive outlook. Her parents have been very supportive and I commended Heidi for honoring them reminding her of the blessing of obedient children.

One of the great joys of life is when our children do well. If they are taught obedience while little it goes a long ways toward getting along well in life. Of course the greatest form of obedience is directed toward God. We have a local friend who shared with me the many generations his family has served the Lord and today each of his four children and their spouses walk with the Lord.  In fact Brooksyne now teaches one of his grandchildren in Sunday School.

Rebellious child But I also consider the heartache a disobedient child brings, whether as a youngster still at home or even more acutely as an adult who chooses the way of rebellion. Through our years of ministry we have often provided support and encouragement to parents with disobedient children, as most all pastors have. Proverbs 10:1 says, “A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother.”

In today’s Scripture text Peter uses a family theme that his readers will identify with in one way or another. He is speaking of our obedience to our heavenly Father as obedient children. John 1:12 teaches that all of us who have received and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ become children of God.

AW TozerObedience means one listens to and follows instructions and is in the state of being in compliance. A.W. Tozer characterizes godly obedience well when he says that, “The Bible recognizes no faith that does not lead to obedience, nor does it recognize any obedience that does not spring from faith. The two are opposite sides of the same coin.”

Spurgeon wrote that faith and obedience are bound up in the same bundle. He who obeys God, trusts God; and he who trusts God, obeys God. Peter compares believers to children who obey their parents, using the phrase “obedient children” to introduce the concept of holiness; obedience and holiness being two sides of the same coin.

As obedient children we are not to conform to the evil desires we once had when we lived in ignorance. Some readers were raised in godly families and at an early age turned to the Lord. But other readers have had essentially no Christian upbringing and especially identify with the phrase “lived in ignorance”. Due to the darkness of our generation, if the church is to grow, more and more will fall into this category.

Romans 12:2 We are not to conform to these evil desires. As sojourners in this world we must daily make the conscious, volitional choice to refuse an alien society which is futile and passing away, while also attempting to squeeze us into its wicked, corrupting mold.

Romans 12:2 has a similar theme, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Today let us seek to be obedient children that bring great joy to our heavenly Father!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, as we fully surrender our hearts to You we will no longer conform to the pattern of this world, but we will be transformed because our minds are being renewed by Your Spirit daily.  Though we may be rejected by the world we have been chosen by You.  Like living stones You are building us into a spiritual house where Jesus is the precious cornerstone.  Because of that we are a strong foundation that can withstand the forces of evil as we declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness and enables us to live as aliens and strangers in this evil world as we abstain from sinful desires.  Amen.


In our lead photo today Heidi is standing in front of some unique artwork at the Shady Maple.
Shady Maple art by Abner K. Zook 2/4/16

Shady Maple art 2/4/16

The Shady Maple
The Shady Maple is a huge restaurant well known in these parts.

The Shady Maple 200 foot self-serving line
The Buffet line is 200 feet long!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Trust and Obey”   Video   Acapella

“Where He Leads Me I Will Follow/I’ll Say Yes”  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers

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.)
Support Our MinistryWe want to thank all who financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage of time varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Donations through my chaplaincy endorsing ministry are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by them.  Thank you!

Make A Donation using PayPalPlease Note: Our chaplain agency is unable to provide a receipt if the donation is made through PayPal. However we provide this option due to the convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal.

“Careless Words”

February 4, 2016

Schenk's Mill Covered Bridge, Lancaster County, PA 2/2/16
Schenk’s Mill Covered Bridge
After a warm rainy day yesterday the snow is rapidly melting.
“Careless Words”

Message Summary: Let’s determine by God’s grace to use our words to glorify God, to speak truth while also seeking to build others up. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:36). “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

When Brooksyne and I have been out of the house awhile and return I often teasingly ask Ester, “Did anyone call?” hearkening back to the days of the single line home phone we had when Ester was growing up. Of course, like many, we now carry our own phones and thus the question is no longer relevant. If we get a call the phone is with us since we no longer have a land line.

Answering machineBut it does bring to memory a time when Ester was growing up. Like most people, we had an answering machine and I had asked Ester while we were next door at the church  not to answer the phone but let any calls go to the answering machine. When I got home I checked the answering machine for messages. A pastor friend had called. On the tape I heard her greet him in a friendly tone with, “O my gosh, how are you doing?” Well, we had taught her not to say “gosh” as we consider it to essentially be a derivative of the Lord’s name, and we in no way want to take the Lord’s name in vain. And of course there was the aspect of disobedience since she had been told not to answer the phone in the first place.

After I listened to the recording I did all I could to get her to come clean on her own by asking her if anyone had called. “Were there any messages”, etc. She said there were not, unaware that the conversation had been recorded. Eventually we got to the bottom of the matter, having the evidence on tape. I can’t recall the discipline we applied since she disobeyed and lied but I’m sure she lost some privileges.

I told Ester I was going to use this illustration today because I can call to mind the story. Imagine the times we as children didn’t come clean with our parents, but of course, the older I get the less I remember the exact details! Yes, we got caught often but there were other times that only the Lord was witness to our sinful behaviour along with our guilty conscience.

Let us consider our daily verses. The first is a timeless truth from the book of Numbers. “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). And it will! Not necessarily immediately, but eventually. Even if we manage to get through life hiding a sin we will eventually have a time of accountability or the sin itself may play out in our lives in ways we never anticipated! Instead of repenting of our sin it may bear rotten fruit as we harbor the very root of that sin deep in our hearts, ie. lying can grow a manipulator, disobedience can grow a rebel, cheating can grow a thief, breaking promises can grow an unfaithful spouse and so forth.

Psalm 19:14Our second daily text is a great standard for speech and heart attitude as expressed by the Psalmist. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

In our third daily text Jesus points out that every word we say comes under the scrutiny of divine judgment. “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:36). We will all give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word we have spoken. On most days Brooksyne wears a pedometer that registers each step she takes. What if we had a word-ometer that registered every word we speak? Well, essentially God does have word-ometer on each of us! And I suppose you could say it’s “in the cloud”.

Every word in cloud Talk about a massive data bank! Over 7 billion people live on the planet at the present time, let alone all who have lived throughout history. Someone has determined that men speak 7,000 words a day and women 20,000, although I’ve never counted and have no idea how they come up with figures like this! Assuming it’s true across all languages that’s some 91 trillion words spoken daily which is over 4 times our national debt. * (I averaged men and women but of course babies can’t speak so this is only a rough estimate.)

Consider just the careless words the Greek conveys as “useless” coming out of a typical individual.  What about the words coming out of Washington or Hollywood alone!!!  And now we have all the words out on the political trail!

Today let’s determine by God’s grace to use our words to glorify God, to speak truth while also seeking to build others up. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we join with the Psalmist and pray that the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts is pleasing and acceptable in Your sight, O Lord our strength and our Redeemer. Jesus warns us that a good person brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. That which is in our hearts will greatly influence that which we speak or the way we act. If our hearts are focused on pure and godly things, our words and actions will reflect that. But when our hearts are full of folly and self, it will be revealed in our words and actions. Help us to be quick to repent and take necessary steps to cleanse ourselves of sin so that we are pleasing to You which is far more valuable and beneficial than trying to conceal a sin. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


Back in the days of CB handles:  One Sunday morning in Massachusetts our choir was rehearsing a song with one of the members using a cordless microphone.  Suddenly we heard a very cherry and uplifting voice loudly speaking through the church sound system, “Now you have a good day!” A few minutes later Gene Wilmoth, who is now with the Lord, arrived. He was an older member and a vibrant greeter. Upon inquiry it turns out he was the “culprit”. He had been on his CB which apparently had the same frequency as the cordless microphone and actually used the CB to share his faith along with a circle of like-minded friends.

* “91 trillion words spoken daily by all the people on earth which is over 4 times our national debt.” This sure makes you realize what a debt problem we have!!!


Lancaster farm in snow 1/31/16
A white farm on a white landscape

Lancaster log cabin in snow 1/31/16
This large log cabin house at the top of the hill looks very inviting in the midst of a snowy landscape. This scene reminds us of mountainous northern Pennsylvania. Notice the big chimney on the left side. Presumably there is a fireplace where there is a glow of fire, the dancing of flames and the sound of crackling embers – a perfect place to get cozy and warm.

Lancaster farm in snow 1/31/16
The farm has a long drive which would be pretty impossible to plow out by hand!

Thieving squirrels 2/3/16
We try to see that the birds are fed through the winter but we have some squirrels who manage to take what they reckon is their share as well!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Let The Words Of My Mouth”  Video  Fernando Ortega

“Let The Words”  Video  Don Moen  Psalm 19:13-14

“Let My Words Be Few”   Video   Phillips, Craig & 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 the WordPress rss feed or through a WordPress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.)
Support Our MinistryWe want to thank all who financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage of time varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Donations through my chaplaincy endorsing ministry are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by them.  Thank you!

Make A Donation using PayPalPlease Note: Our chaplain agency is unable to provide a receipt if the donation is made through PayPal. However we provide this option due to the convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal.

Lancaster County sunset 1/16
Sunset from Kraybill Church Road.
Along with rain the temps are projected to be in the fifties today so the remaining snow from the big storm is melting quickly!
“Giving Attention To God’s Truth”

Message Summary: Are we giving attention to God’s truth? Our prayer today is expressed by the Psalmist, “Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You dwell” (43:3).

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him; we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws He gave us through His servants the prophets. All Israel has transgressed Your law and turned away, refusing to obey You. Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against You. You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to Your truth. The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything He does; yet we have not obeyed Him” (Daniel 9:9-14).

This last Sunday morning we, along with a number of folks from our former church,  visited an old-order Mennonite church that has assumed ownership of the small church we pastored for several years in Mastersonville, a tiny village in northern Lancaster County. (We mentioned this in a footnote to Monday’s message). Today’s message is based on a text used during the message that really jumped out at me and prompted further study (which good sermons should do for most of us).

But before we do that we want to describe the church service since it’s probably quite a bit different than most readers regularly experience. (Scroll down to *Exposition starts here, if this description does not interest you.)

The members of Mount Hope Mennonite Church left the sanctuary of our former church building much the same as we used it with the exception of removing decorative wall furnishings including a hand painted mural at the front (see photo below) so that all the walls are plain. Whether this is by design as a “Plain” church or whether they plan to decorate later we’re uncertain (though we suspect it’s part of being a Plain Church). The women and men sat together, which is one way the old order churches differentiate, (others have men on one side and women on the other). The women wore cape dresses and head coverings and a number of the men wore a distinctive Plain suit, particularly those leading.

The singing was acapella with beautiful harmony, singing older hymns from a hymnal (no PowerPoint although the projector and screen were still installed). A young man gave a children’s sermon based on “Jesus Loves Me This I Know” which was very good. There were many lively children present along with several yet to be born! No offering was taken so I am uncertain of their format for giving. Certainly a lot of money went into renovating the building. The service ended with a spontaneous singing of “God Be With You Till We Meet Again” which was very moving. (See video link posted below for a similar sound.)

Mennonite man in suitThe preacher was a young man about thirty-five who is also a full-time truck driver dressed much like the photo on the left. It’s unlikely that he has formal Bible College or Seminary training but his message was outstanding, a faithful exposition of the Lord’s prayer, as he focused on the Scripture text with only two brief illustrations that really hit the mark. The Mennonite preaching style is quite somber with none of the casual attitudes found in many pulpits today.

While keeping a focus on the main text (Matthew 6:5-14 KJV) we were also instructed to turn in our Bibles to supplemental texts. What a beautiful sound to hear the turning of Bible pages, a studious sound lacking in most of our churches today due to Scriptures being posted on the screen via power point and some reading from their technological devices.

One passage read aloud was from our daily text and especially caught my attention, I suppose due to its appropriateness for conditions today.

* Exposition starts here:

Daniel is writing concerning the exiled Jews in our daily text. The first part of Daniel, chapter 9, is one of the great prayers of the Bible and the daily verse comes from this prayer. The Jews had been exiled to Babylon as a result of failing to live by God’s Law for years. Moses had warned of this and now Daniel acknowledges, “All this disaster has come upon us.”

Daniel summarized the foundational reason leading to this disaster as “we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God” and goes on to specify two ways in which we should seek God’s favor:

1)  by turning from our sins
2)  by giving attention to Your truth

Today I want to consider just a single phrase, “giving attention to Your truth.” Just consider how commonly this failure to give attention to God’s truth is today. Evidence of people’s rejection of God’s truth is all around us. I once read a thought provoking quote, “Truth is hate to those who hate the truth.” Indeed many today hate the truth and to their own demise they associate the truth with hate.

The God of the universe is fundamentally characterized by truth. Jesus said, “I am… the truth” (John 14:6).  He said of His Father “Your Word is truth” (John 17:17).  He spoke of the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17).  Isaiah uses the descriptive title, “God of truth” (65:16). The Psalmist asserts, “All your words are true” (Psalm 119:160).  And the writer of Hebrews informs us that “It is impossible for God to lie” (6:18).  What great assurance this brings God’s people as they build their spiritual foundation on God’s Holy Word!

The ancient people of God did not give attention to God’s truth and neither have the majority of God’s creation nor those living today. One of the most descriptive verses in the Bible regarding the human condition is found in the Epistle to the Romans, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie” (1:25). Talk about moral bankruptcy! The apostle Paul gives a sobering indictment in 2 Thessalonians 2:10, “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”

But what about us today? Are we giving attention to God’s truth? Our prayer today is expressed by the Psalmist, “Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You dwell” (43:3).

Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, to me,
Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me;
Give me to eat and live with Thee above;
Teach me to love Thy truth, for Thou art love.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your truths do not fluctuate nor are they subject to reinterpretation by the changing philosophies of our day. Your truths are explained through the inspiration of Your Holy Word and understanding given to us by Your Holy Spirit. May our ears be open to hear and our eyes focused to see that Your eternal truths are the same yesterday, today and forever and the truths which You speak, You speak in love to all who choose to hear.  We want to find favor with You by turning from our sins and giving attention to Your truth. Amen.


New Mastersonville church (Mount Hope Mennonite)
The “new” church looks similar on the outside to the old one but they did major renovations to the entrance/foyer area to bring it up to code such as having an elevator.

New Mastersonville church (Mount Hope Mennonite)
There were many children present which makes a church quite lively and youthful. The congregation was very friendly toward us “outsiders”.

New Mastersonville church (Mount Hope Mennonite)
Congregational members shook hands with the preacher as they departed from the sanctuary, much like our own church.

New Mastersonville church (Mount Hope Mennonite)
The church invited us for a meal following the service in the fellowship hall which was transformed to a very pleasant meeting space. The ceiling had been very low which could give a tall guy like me a literal “headache”, but they actually dug out deeper to give more height. It was higher and brighter and seemed like a brand new meeting room!

Mural in front of church
Here’s the mural that was in the front of the church when we were there.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Break Thou The Bread Of Life”   Video

“God Be With You Till We Meet Again”  Video  Antrim Mennonite Choir


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.)
Support Our MinistryWe want to thank all who financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage of time varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Donations through my chaplaincy endorsing ministry are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by them.  Thank you!

Make A Donation using PayPalPlease Note: Our chaplain agency is unable to provide a receipt if the donation is made through PayPal. However we provide this option due to the convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal.

“The Other Judas”

February 2, 2016

Lancaster County Amish farm in snow 1/29/16
Here is one of our favorite Lancaster County farm scenes along Rt 896 east of Strasburg PA. (Click to enlarge) Here’s a photo of the same farm in the late summer. For many years this very farm scene was used in our local paper illustrating quintessential Lancaster County.
“The Other Judas”

Message Summary: Are you willing to take risks when God leads? I find this a probing question that I’m very uncomfortable with!  I’m really not sure that I always am.  (I would stumble over the thought, “Is this REALLY God leading?”)  If you were approached by a former ISIS member, newly converted to Christ, who needed a place to stay, would you open your home to him?

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying” (Acts 9:11).

Have you ever considered or done a study of the “bad” people in the Bible? Brooksyne used to have a book called “Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from Them”.

Probably near the top of any list of “bad” people would be Judas Iscariot who betrayed the Lord. That may tend to give the name Judas a bad ring. It’s certainly not a common name in English although there are many other Bible-based names commonly used such as David, Paul, John, Peter and my own, Stephen!

But there are several other men in the NT period named Judas and today we want to consider the most obscure. In fact it wouldn’t be surprising if he may be someone most of our readers have never even considered.

If we were to ask you to name the first named person Saul (who became Paul) met after his dramatic conversion experience you would probably say Ananias who had the special call to pray for Saul.

Well, as you can see from the text, the correct answer is a fellow by the name of Judas. “The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.” Immediately following his conversion it appears that Saul stayed in Judas’ house. This must have been a strange call to Judas to provide hospitality to Saul. We have no idea how Saul got to his house or what state of faith Judas had.

We are also not told how the message of Christ initially reached Damascus, but clearly God had a people in this city and Saul’s goal, when he journeyed there on the road to Damascus, had been to wipe them out.  Perhaps “the Way”, as Christ’s followers were then called, was a result of returning pilgrims who had been among those saved on the day of Pentecost. Or perhaps it was a result of the scattering of the believers following Stephen’s martyrdom (Acts 7,8).

Damascus is to this day the capital of Syria and, since the time of the New Testament, there has been a remnant of Christians in Damascus and throughout Syria as well as neighboring countries in the Middle East. Based on my understanding of history; Christians, Jews, Muslims and various other groups such as the Yasidi have lived in relative harmony up to the present time.

But with the rise of militant Islam in the last 50 years this has changed. In our own day ISIS is attempting to complete the mission of persecuting and destroying followers of Christ that Saul abandoned in exchange for “preaching Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God” (Acts 9:20) to the utter amazement of those who heard him. They responded, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?” (9:21).

However, reports are coming out of situations similar to Saul’s conversion such as an ISIS member BEING converted to Christianity due to having dreams of a man who appeared to him in white Who said, “You are killing my people.” Remarkably similar to the message that Saul heard!!! (Acts 9:4). (See below for link to this story.)

Interestingly, God had a special job for this Judas and, although the Biblical record gives us little information about him, we can be thankful for his willingness to let Saul into his home; to partake of his food, to lodge in his sleeping quarters, and to be among his own family members.

Are you willing to take risks when God leads? I find this a probing question that I’m very uncomfortable with!  I’m really not sure that I always am.  (I would stumble over the thought, “Is this REALLY God leading?”)

Later, the writer of Hebrews reminds us: “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).  So, let’s put it this way to have some sense of what Judas’ choice to welcome Saul into his home was like. If you were approached by a former ISIS member, newly converted to Christ, who needed a place to stay, would you open your home to him?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You have a work for all of us to do, we, who claim to be Your followers. Sometimes it’s going, sometimes it’s doing, and sometimes it’s just making ourselves available to Your leading. However You choose to use us, it requires our faith and trust to be firmly rooted in who You are, in Your commands, and in our hearing Your voice, most especially in uncharted territory when we are asked to step out of our comfort zone. Help us to be among those with whom You could say to Your Son, Jesus, “This is my child with whom I am very pleased.” Your commendation is our incentive to be listening, obeying and trusting in You as we journey here below. Amen.


The other Judas: Actually there are several other men named Judas in the New Testament:

1) “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?”  (Matthew 13:55).
2) “Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” (John 14:22) This apparently was Judas, son of James (see Acts 1:13)
3) Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. (Acts 15:2). This may have been the same Judas as referenced in Matthew 13:55.

Amish farm in snow 1/29/16
Friday morning we passed this farm spread with the long clothesline.
Brooksyne’s note: I remember well hanging wet clothes out on the clothesline in the cold winter months in Oklahoma since our family of seven had no money for a dryer. Our fingers froze and in many cases our clothing froze as well. I preferred hanging them on a wooden clothes dryer over our furnace vent which we did during the coldest freezes, but there’s rarely a day in Amish country (with the EXCEPTION of Sundays) that we don’t see the clothes out on the line which keeps these mothers very busy along with their children who are not afraid of work but are more than happy to do their chores (something that we English could learn).

Amish buggie at BB's 1/29/16
We shopped at BB’s an Amish grocery store near Quarryville, PA, last Friday. The very cheap bargains make it a  fun store to shop along with the staff being mostly Amish or old order Mennonite.

Children sledding in snow 1/29/16
Children sledding down big hill.

Sleigh ride in snow 1/29/16
Jesse took me on a wild sleigh ride in the fields.

Animal kingdom drama 2/2/16
This morning we watched some animal kingdom drama from our office window. Our border collie Mollie has been after squirrels since she was a pup but we don’t think she’s ever caught one. Today she had one “treed” on our fence with no where to go. But alas after awhile the squirrel took a flying leap off the fence and dashed to a nearby tree just ahead of bounding Mollie.

Animal kingdom drama 2/2/16
Now she’s been focused like a laser on the tree for over an hour!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Follow Me”   Video  Kelly Willard

“Jesus Use Me” Video  Happy Goodmans  A song we sang in Bible College

Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from Them

Report of ISIS member converting to Christianity


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.)
Support Our Ministry

We want to thank all who financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage of time varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Donations through my chaplaincy endorsing ministry are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by them.  Thank you!

Make A Donation using PayPalPlease Note: Our chaplain agency is unable to provide a receipt if the donation is made through PayPal. However we provide this option due to the convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal.

“Our Source Of Hope”

February 1, 2016

Sleigh delivery to the Lapp house 1/29/16
Friday afternoon we took our Amish friends Jesse and Anna Ruth shopping at Costco. After the big storm they were especially pleased to get off the farm for awhile and with with 6 kids they had some heavy duty shopping needs. The best way to get the items to the house was the horse and sleigh, originally his grandpa’s sleigh!
“Our Source Of Hope”

Message Summary: As God’s people we are all called:

  • to remember the Name of the Lord our God
  • to look to the Holy One of Israel,
  • to seek the Lord!

Remember that our source of hope must be founded and grounded in the Lord!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!” (Isaiah 31:1).

2016 electionHere in the USA this is a presidential election year. Every four years the people all over America have an opportunity concerning what human leader we choose to lead our country. The choice is a telling indicator of the nation’s values and priorities. Although potential candidates have been campaigning for quite a while today is the first day votes will be cast in a primary (actually caucus, whatever that means, in Iowa). It sure seems to us that politics gets nastier and nastier, although in our lifetime it has never been a model for how to graciously compete against another political candidate!

Vote for meVoters are placing great hope in specific candidates and many have strong opinions. Certainly the various candidates of both the Republican and Democrat parties represent the contrasting directions in which our country is headed. This year catchy campaign slogans are “Make America Great Again”, “It’s Your Time”, “Reigniting the Promise of America”, “A Political Revolution Is Coming”, and many others.

We are deeply concerned at the direction our nation (and world) is headed with growing rebellion against the Lord becoming more visible every day. Come November we will vote for a candidate we feel most closely aligns to our Biblical and conservative principles.  However it sure seems that many are placing way too much hope in the candidates, some of them with an almost cult-like following.

Today’s Scripture may on the surface seem like an old text with no relevance or obvious value for our age. After all it refers to going down to a specific place (Egypt) and trusting in horses, chariots and horsemen, a mode of warfare no longer used in our age. The verse was initially written as a warning during a time when the Israelites were warring with Assyria and sought an alliance with Egypt. Why did they trust in these weapons of warfare? Because the chariots were plentiful and their horsemen were strong, and allying with Egypt where Israel was once held bondage was not a smart move either, for the Israelites were seeking protection from those who had far less power than God.

Today this certainly is not a concern many of us have on our hearts although Israel, Assyria (Syria) and Egypt are all in the news some 2,700 years after this passage was written.

Certainly in no way wanting to change the original intent of the Scripture let us consider that the early part of the text means essentially looking to man’s ways for help; politics, government, military might, etc.

The latter part of the text has a timeless word for each generation, certainly our own and it’s something many really need to hear and be reminded of: “But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!”

The passage is addressed to God’s people and the “Woe” in the beginning of the verse should be strongly heeded by God’s people in every generation. Even as the people of old were rebuked for depending on the strength and inventions of man we must be careful of not misplacing our trust, for earthly kingdoms rise and fall, but the Kingdom of God is for all eternity.

A chorus many of us sung in church back in the eighties is based upon a similar verse from the Psalms:  “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).  In fact since this Psalm was written prior to Isaiah’s time this could be the basis for our daily text. Consider a phrase from an old hymn in this regard, “The arm of the flesh will fail you, you dare not trust your own.”

So let us take both of these verses and seek to learn an application for today.

As God’s people we are all called:

  • to remember the Name of the Lord our God
  • to look to the Holy One of Israel,
  • to seek the Lord!

Remember that our source of hope must be founded and grounded in the Lord!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, there are so many people and things in which we can place our trust. To a certain degree it is imperative that we do so, but when our hope is misplaced or is out of balance with the teachings of Scripture we find ourselves disillusioned, disappointed and desperate for your divine intervention. During this election year we look to You for guidance and we ask that You would raise up political leaders who will seek Your counsel, pray without ceasing while resisting special interest groups that would otherwise deter them from doing what is right for this nation. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


Joel Rosenberg makes the following point in an article I received today.

“After months of speeches, interviews and TV ads, the actual voting in the 2016 presidential campaign begins tonight in Iowa, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Above all, I ask my readers who are devout Christians to be praying (and perhaps even fasting) all day today. Gather with family and friends to pray for God to show mercy on America, to sovereignly guide the outcome of the Iowa caucuses, and to raise up a humble, strong, wise, Christ-centered leader who has the vision and courage to help turn America around and get us going in the right direction. Above all, this is a spiritual battle for the soul of America. Please be engaged in faithful prayer.

Two out of three Americans know we are on the wrong track, going in the wrong direction. We are heading steadily towards implosion. We’ve murdered some 58 million babies. We have five Justices on the Supreme Court who have decided that the Bible is wrong and they know better than God how to define marriage. We have taken on $18 trillion in debt and there’s no end in sight. We are surrendering to Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and ISIS. Our tax code is corruptingly complex and killing jobs and opportunity. We can’t — or won’t — control our sovereign borders. Our schools are a mess. Violence, drugs and pornography are epidemic. The list goes on and on.

I’ve been praying about this and studying the Scriptures for many months, asking the Lord for clarity, and here is what I have concluded — America needs a Josiah. A President cannot save America from all our troubles, but leadership matters. Above all, we need a sweeping spiritual revival throughout the Church, based on the principles found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. We need a Great Awakening among those who don’t know Christ personally. We need God to wake up a lost nation from their spiritual slumber to earnestly seek the Lord for individual and national forgiveness and restoration. I’m praying for such sovereign moves of God.” (See here for more.)


Follow-up from Friday’s message concerning our visit with a father whose son had a relapse regarding drug use. He wrote us concerning the message:

“I found it to be very inspirational, and hope it allows others to consider what a blessing it is to have the faith we all need to look past the bumpy parts of life.  We learned long ago to never lose sight of the prize and knowing that whatever troubles have come our way, there’s a clear path beyond the problem, and everything will be as it should be.  Remaining steadfast and determined to see my son through his issues has been difficult, but for us it’s all about faith.  Faith gets us through.  Our son has always had trouble with faith … beginning with faith in himself.  When things are going well …  his faith in God seems strong … but as the bumps come along, he loses that focus and reverts to lacking faith in himself. I had the opportunity to visit with him for a couple of hours yesterday, and we concluded that in less than perfect situations, he sees everything as a long term problem … when most of the issues he faces are short term problems.  When you take short term heart ache … and turn it into a forever more problem … you’re going to be in trouble.  He’s committed to working on that.  We’ll see.  I’m not sure how you get someone to believe in themselves when they don’t.  He’s damaged … and so troubled.

And so … we begin again.  One day at a time … one step at a time.  The family is strong … and will remain steadfast in knowing that every time we’ve needed help along the way, God has provided … and He will again.

Thanks for your caring thoughts.

Please stay in touch.”


Amish schoolhouse with snowman 1/29/16
Friday morning we passed a one-room Amish schoolhouse with an Amish snowman, or more accurately a snow woman, based upon the purple scarf!

Sleigh ride at the Lapp house 1/29/16
After delivering the items to the Lapp house last Friday afternoon Brooksyne and I and several of the kids rode the sleigh back out to the barn. It was a lot of fun though the breeze made it extremely cold.

Discover Joy reunion 1/31/16
Several years ago we had a temporary 3 year pastoral role at a small country church in the tiny village of Mastersonville, PA. The church closed down but thankfully another Bible-believing church, an old-order Mennonite congregation, purchased the property and God’s Word continues to be proclaimed. Several of us visited the church yesterday and joined the new congregation for a meal following the service. The preacher is a full-time truck driver with no formal education who preached a sermon solidly based on God’s Word with excellent exposition. The new congregation extensively remodeled the building, built in 1878, along with a new addition and it seems like new!

Lancaster County farm in snow 1/31/16
It was pleasant driving through the country yesterday with many nice sights in the snow.

Neighborly pizza delivery 2/1/16
A neighborly, over the fence pizza delivery.
Our neighbor Frank works in a Pizza Shop and called me early this morning informing me he had a pizza that someone had ordered but didn’t pick up last night from the shop, so we are the blessed recipients!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Some Trust In Chariots”   Video   Robin Mark

“Some May Trust In Chariots”   Video  Bob Fitts

“We Trust in the Name Of The Lord Our God”  Video  Steve Green

“Some Trust in Chariots”  Video  Jaye Thomas


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.)
Support Our MinistryWe want to thank all who financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage of time varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Donations through my chaplaincy endorsing ministry are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by them.  Thank you!

Make A Donation using PayPalPlease Note: Our chaplain agency is unable to provide a receipt if the donation is made through PayPal. However we provide this option due to the convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal.

Blue bird at Maxwells
His Eye Is On The Sparrow Bluebird
This bluebird is a regular visitor at our neighbor’s house, a welcome colorful sight on a cold winter’s day. Hopefully it will soon visit our birdfeeder.
“The Blessing of Being Steadfast”

Message Summary: We will face bumps along the road of life. Christians are certainly not immune to having these bumps and regardless of how big or small, they can be discouraging. Consider how often discouragement is based on the sense of futility in life and in our service for the Lord. Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, tells us it’s “not in vain”. But do you know that? I hope so. Keep pressing on. Serving. Loving. Showing the light of Christ to a dark, often unreceptive world. Your work counts for all eternity!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

In the course of our chaplain work we visit a lot of people seeking to provide encouragement, personal interest, and when there is receptivity we offer spiritual guidance. This week I visited with a man I have known for several years. As I greeted him at his desk I detected something was troubling him. He informed me his son was in rehab again. We have been following him in this up and down journey for several years now. For about 18 months he had been giving us good reports as his son seemed to be putting his life back together. But he had a setback.

As we discussed the matter he shared that his son’s girlfriend broke up with him which seemed to precipitate the setback. He then shared something that I have been pondering for several days. With a heavy heart he disclosed, “My son just has a hard time managing the inevitable bumps along the road of life.”

That’s an insightful concept. Everyone hits bumps in the road, sooner or later, and admittedly some have a much bumpier ride through life than others. Consider the blessing there is in learning how to hold steady, learning how to really depend upon and trust God, and learning a few things in the process that will serve us well during the next bump that is certain to come. Certainly, my heart goes out to those who struggle when they hit a bumpy patch, whether due to circumstances beyond their control or, as is often the case, because of their own poor choices.

As the Apostle Paul concluded his first letter to the Corinthians in chapter 15 dealing with the doctrine of the resurrection one study Bible notes, “Doctrinal declarations should always lead to dutiful directives. Stated another way, our sure future hope (resurrection/glorification) should serve to animate and energize our present ethical behavior.” *

Photo of farewell plaqueHe ends the chapter with a verse that I suppose is my singular life’s verse. In fact, the church that Brooksyne and I established and pastored for nearly 16 years in northern Pennsylvania, gave me a clock with I Corinthians 15:58 inscribed on it. It hangs in our office to this day where we see it daily.

Today let us consider just two words from the text, “steadfast, immovable”. These two characteristics are much needed today. Warren Wiersbe observes: “Christians can be steadfast and immovable, because they know that if their worst enemy (death) has been overcome, they need fear no other enemy. They can abound in Christian service, for that work will count for eternity.”

Don’t forget that. We will indeed face bumps along the road of life. Christians are certainly not immune to having these bumps and regardless of how big or small, they can be discouraging. Consider how often discouragement is based on the sense of futility in life and in our service for the Lord. Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, tells us it’s “not in vain”. But do you know that? I hope so. Keep pressing on. Serving. Loving. Showing the light of Christ to a dark, often unreceptive world. Your work counts for all eternity!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we desire to be steadfast, immovable always abounding in Your work. There are always things to be done, someone to see, goals to be met, places to be, and on and on the list goes. Then we hit a bump in the road and it seems like all comes crashing down around us and there is nothing we can do – we’re stuck. Yet Your Word tells us to remain steadfast. So even in the bumps of life we can remain steadfast in our Christian witness, prayerful in all matters, faithful in our example to others, and in trusting You to guide us over the bumps so that we are once again on a level plain. Keep us steady we pray, in the name of Jesus. Amen.


Brooksyne’s Note: Sometimes the most challenging bump in the road is when you’re stuck, can’t go anywhere or do anything. You just have to hold on, remain steady in your temperament and responsibilities, and wait. For those who’ve sung in a choir or ensemble at times you have a stanza that requires you to sing the same note over and over, maybe six or more times, particularly when it’s harmony. It can be quite boring singing the same note over and over. In fact it’s very difficult to do since we’re so accustomed to singing our music to a melody that has us going up and down an octave on the keyboard. Often the singer will get off pitch because it’s hard to remain steady by singing the same exact note repeatedly. It’s analogous to us remaining steady, holding on, and trusting God when we hit the bump. We’re very, very tempted to work things out in our own way trying to force change when it’s the bump God is allowing in our life so that He can get our attention and teach us about trusting Him in all things, as well as giving us proper guidance in His time and in His way.


C.H. Spurgeon in his sermon “Stand Fast” writes that: “The battle does not end when by a desperate rush a man has come to Christ. In many it assumes a new form; the enemy now attempts to drag the trembler from his refuge, and eject him from his stronghold. It is difficult to get at the hope of the gospel; but quite as difficult to keep it so as not to be moved away from it. If Satan spends great power in keeping us from the hope, he uses equal force in endeavoring to drag us away from it, and equal cunning in endeavoring to allure us from it. Hence the apostle tells us not to be moved away from the hope of the gospel: the exhortation is needful in presence of an imminent danger.

Do not think that in the moment when you believe in Christ the conflict is over, or you will be bitterly disappointed. It is then that the battle renews itself, and every inch of the road swarms with foemen. Between here and heaven you will always have to fight more or less, and frequently the severest struggle will be at a time when you are least prepared for it. There may be smooth passages in your career, and you may for a while be like your Savior in the wilderness, of Whom it is said, “Then the devil departed from Him, and angels came and ministered unto Him”; but you may not therefore cry, “My mountain standeth firm, I shall never be moved”; for fair weather may not outlast a single day. Do not grow secure, or carnally presumptuous. There is but a short space between one battle and another in this world. It is a series of skirmishes even when it does not assume the form of a pitched battle. He that would win heaven must fight for it. He that would take the new Jerusalem must scale it, and if he has the wit to take Jacob’s ladder and set it against the wall and climb up that way, he will win the city. “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” At this time our subject is not the winning, but the wearing; not the taking but the holding of the fort: “Be not moved away,” you that have come to it, “Be not moved away from the hope of the gospel.”


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“All The Way My Savior Leads Me”   Video   Chris Tomlin  Dedicated today to all who struggle with life’s bumps and those who encourage them. I especially dedicate it to the friend mentioned in the opening paragraph.

“All the Way My Savior Leads Me”  Video  The Haven Quartet  A more traditional rendering

“His Eye Is On The Sparrow”  Video  Selah


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.)
Support Our Ministry

We want to thank all who financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage of time varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Donations through my chaplaincy endorsing ministry are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by them.  Thank you!

Make A Donation using PayPalPlease Note: Our chaplain agency is unable to provide a receipt if the donation is made through PayPal. However we provide this option due to the convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal.

Linden Grove Mennonite School in snow 1/27/16
The Linden Grove Mennonite School is typical of the many one room schoolhouses that dot the countryside in rural Lancaster County. It’s a pleasant sight to see the children out playing but they weren’t out yesterday at the time we drove by.
“A Steady Chirping From Heaven”

Message Summary: Today, we pray that each of us will not hear the One who speaks as an annoying chirp but would truly receive, listen, and heed God who is speaking. Herein lies the source of assurance and security in these times of turmoil.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“See to it that you do not refuse Him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from Him who warns us from heaven?” (Hebrews 12:25).

Whistle key finder Brooksyne attempts to buy me practical Christmas gifts and this year she purchased one she thought we could both use since we’re often forgetful about where we left something. For instance we pour a fresh cup of coffee, walk away with it, set it down and then forget where we set it. Sometimes it’s the next day before one of us comes across the now very cold cup of coffee or in the case of the barn – frozen.

Although we have a place to hang our keys near our side door we don’t always remember to use it so when we are ready to go we can’t find the keys! She found a nifty little electronic device called the “Whistle Key Finder”. You attach it to your key ring and whenever you whistle it makes a chirping sound. What a great idea! I placed the device on our key ring and tried it out. It really worked. Our problem was solved!

But we had another problem. It just worked too good. It had poor listening discernment and chirped not just at whistling but at any high frequency sound. When we are on the go we have the keys with us in a pocket or Brooksyne’s purse. The pesty gadget might beep in church and when I sat in the dentist’s chair. After a while we basically found the device embarrassing, useless for its intended purpose, and extremely annoying since it now goes off all the time. I had it sitting on my desk as we worked together on this message and it kept going off. Our love affair (with the device) ended and Brooksyne said, “Get that thing out of here!” Thankfully she’s good at returning defective stuff to stores and maybe she’ll exchange it for a newer, more user friendly gadget!

There are a lot of chirps and beeps in life but we must have discerning ears, open hearts and knowledgeable minds to sort them out. The chirping from our key finder was annoying but not dangerous. Designed properly it could have been helpful and saved us some frustration, lessened our blame game of who didn’t return the keys to the proper place, and it would have saved us a lot of lost time that could be used for better things than hunting keys. Our beeper didn’t hold up to its claim, but there are other beeps or alarms that perform just as they claim and many of them warn of real danger.

Smoke detector without battery We are thankful for smoke detectors and over twenty-five years ago we had an experience to prove their worth (see below for link to that story if interested). One time I was visiting a friend and saw the smoke detector with the battery removed. I inquired and he told me he had removed it because it kept going off when his wife cooked (it was in the kitchen). Well, I gave him a mild scolding and told him to place it elsewhere or get a better smoke detector!

Today let us consider a steady “chirping” that annoys many and is largely ignored; the warnings from God who is speaking and warning us from heaven.

Hebrews 12:25 Our text today, “See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking … and turn away from Him who warns us from heaven.” This is a powerful passage that is well worth memorizing.  In fact I suggest making it personal such as “I must see to it that I do not refuse Him who is speaking and turn away from Him who warns me from heaven.”

God is speaking today.  Perhaps Francis Schaeffer was paraphrasing this passage when he titled his book, “He Is There and He Is Not Silent.”

Let’s consider some ways that God speaks to us today:

1) He speaks through His inspired Word and by His Spirit, which bears witness to the Scripture. He does not give new revelation but confirms that which is already spoken through the prophets and the apostles.

2) He speaks not from Mount Sinai, which was on this earth, but He speaks from heaven through signs and wonders, earth’s calamities, and even through the folly of man. Turn on the television or read the news and the folly of man is on full display for all to view. The consequences of their folly is consistent with the warnings God has repeatedly given us as to why we should obey.

3) He speaks powerfully and effectually through the church body He originated during the Acts of the Apostles and through His appointed leaders, “So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).

(4) He speaks to us through the godly actions and attitudes of men and women, boys and girls. As the old adage goes, “More is caught than is taught.” What are we teaching others by our actions and attitudes? I asked a woman whose grandmother passed away at the ripe age of 101 years, “What is one thing you remember most about your grandmother?” She responded very quickly, “I never heard her complain.  She was a very content woman.” The grandmother spoke volumes not by her words but through her actions.

The latter portion of Hebrews 12 speaks of receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Our focus must be on this Kingdom not on the kingdoms of this world, which most certainly are shaking and indeed rise and fall. But God’s Kingdom is steadfast and abides forever!

Consider how vitally important our daily text is to the human race. God is speaking, He is not silent. In fact the book of Hebrews is all about God speaking; through the prophets, through His Word, through His Son and through the great cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews 11. Since He is always speaking we must “see to it that [we] do not refuse Him who is speaking.”

Though the majority refuse Him who is speaking, may our hearts receive Him who is speaking. The Amplified version expands the challenge even more: “See to it that you do not reject Him or refuse to listen to and heed Him who is speaking to you now.”

Today, we pray that each of us will not hear the the One who speaks as an annoying chirp but would truly receive, listen, and heed God who is speaking. Herein lies the source of assurance and security in these times of turmoil.

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.

Keith Getty

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we recognize You as our Creator; therefore we do not reject You, but receive Your words of instruction, warning, assurance and affirmation. We not only want to give attention to Your teachings, but we want to observe and obey them as we live out our lives here on earth. Through the grace given to us by Your Spirit, and by the personal resolve we make to obey You even when it is tempting not to do so, we will find spiritual victory and receive Your commendation which is far greater than man’s applause. Amen.


Wheat shocks in snow 1/27/16
Wheat shocks in snow
Yesterday we had chaplain visits that took us through rural Lancaster County as well as through the city. Like many cities along the eastern seaboard there was so much snow it clogged the streets and driving through yesterday we saw many cars still snowed in.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Our smoke detector story

“Speak, O Lord”   Video   Keith & Kristyn Getty

“Jesus! What A Friend for Sinners!”   Video  Acappella Christian hymns

Jesus! I do now receive You,
More than all in You I find.
You have granted me forgiveness,
I am Yours, and You are mine.

“Open Our Eyes Lord”  Video  Maranatha Singers   “Open our ears Lord and help us to listen!”

Beautiful scenery: We enjoy our country view and Brooksyne took a video (1 minute, 24 seconds) to give our readers an idea of our view during the snow storm last Saturday.

And for doglovers: We had trouble getting Mollie to come in from playing out in the snow following the storm even when it was so deep she could barely get through it. Video


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.)
Support Our MinistryWe want to thank all who financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage of time varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Donations through my chaplaincy endorsing ministry are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by them.  Thank you!

Make A Donation using PayPalPlease Note: Our chaplain agency is unable to provide a receipt if the donation is made through PayPal. However we provide this option due to the convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal.

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