“His Glorious Riches”

August 25, 2016

Wagonwheel flower (Photo by Eli Lapp)An old rusty wagonwheel leaning up against a weathered barn can have a nice look but add a bright yellow flower and you have an eye catcher!

“His Glorious Riches”

Message Summary:  Today we want to especially encourage our brothers and sisters facing needs. It may be that you just can’t imagine how God will meet them. May divine assurance well up within you as you consider the marvelous extent of God’s glorious riches in Christ Jesus, His eternal resource that is absolutely sufficient to meet any need!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

All of you is more than enough
For all of me,
For every thirst and every need,
You satisfy me with your love,
And all I have in You is more than enough!

Bluetooth shower headWe saw a new item at Lowes the other day that you just may need, although you probably weren’t even aware that such an item exists. A showerhead and Bluetooth stereo speaker all in one. This way the music actually mixes with the water as you shower providing a soothing experience that can have a stimulating spiritual impact.

We consider songs for a “Shower playlist” such as an old gospel chorus that would fit well titled, “Showers Of Blessings” or if your tastes are more contemporary consider “Let It Rain” by Michael W. Smith, “Rain Down” by Delirious, “Holy Spirit Rain Down” by Darlene Zschech, “Little Flowers” by the Heritage Singers and “Bring the Rain” by MercyMe. It would be no trouble to find enough different songs to take a long shower without repeats!

Now actually we don’t feel we really need such a shower head. That might mess up our singing in the shower. All through life we have had more and more products to make life easier or better. In time what was not even invented earlier may become a necessity of life, or at least we may consider it to be so.

“And my God will meet all your needs.” As we prepare this message we are aware of the varying degrees of material prosperity among readers, particularly since this ministry has an international reach. We receive feedback from readers in a part of the world where Christians are viciously oppressed or may have very little. How different their circumstances are than ours, but also in the deepest ways, how similar their needs are to ours. We want to assure you today, “God will meet all your needs” whether it be financial, emotional, spiritual, relational, or physical. And if we didn’t include your need, just add it to the list since God will meet all your needs.

Due to the technology needed to access this material all readers are probably way better off than many who would have no way of receiving this. However, even among readers, there is a wide range of “prosperity” in terms of material possessions.

However the truth of this verse has absolute universal scope, particularly when applied as a spiritual resource.  We sure want to see the truth this way, not merely as an assurance that the Lord will take care of a specific material or financial need.

Our needs are met “according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” What are “His glorious riches in Christ Jesus?” W.E. Vine writes, “that is, in accordance with His infinite and inexhaustible fullness. This fullness is in the heavenly sphere, where His attributes and power are in unceasing manifestation, as emanating from His own person. This glory shines into the hearts and lives of His people, expressing to and in them all that centers in Himself.”

Today we want to especially encourage our brothers and sisters facing needs. It may be that you just can’t imagine how God will meet them. May divine assurance well up within you as you consider the marvelous extent of God’s glorious riches in Christ Jesus, His eternal resource that is absolutely sufficient to meet any need!

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, when our own available and familiar resources are inadequate we begin to consider Your all-sufficient, inexhaustible resources that You readily provide for Your children.  When we rely solely on the resources that this world provides we miss the supernatural provision You want to supply, the kind that leaves us with the testimony, “Only God could have met my need”.  Help us to live by faith and not by sight as we call upon You, who gives generously to all. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.


The story is told of an old and poverty-stricken man, who many years ago, made his way into a Western settlement in search of food to keep him from starving. A bright-colored ribbon was seen around his neck, from which there hung a small, dirty pouch. On being asked what it was, he said it was a charm given him in his younger days.

He opened it, and took out a piece of worn and crumpled paper, which he handed to the person making the inspection. It proved, on examination, to be a regular discharge from the federal army, signed by George Washington himself, and entitling him to a pension for life.

Here was a man with a promise duly signed, which if presented in the right place would have secured him ample provision, yet he was wandering about hungry, helpless, and forlorn, and begging bread to keep him from starving.

What a picture of many Christians who are in need of everything when they might be rich and full! Perhaps their own life had not been generous, certainly their faith has never put in its claim to God’s great bank of promise. (Commentary on Philippians)

Dwight Pentecost writes, “The promise that, “My God shall supply all your need.” presupposes obedience. To claim the fulfillment of the promise without giving obedience to God is presumptuous. It shows a lack of faith. The Philippians were obedient. They were obedient to the Gospel, they were obedient to the demands of love for the apostle, and they were obedient in their obligation to God’s servant. Because of their obedience the apostle can say categorically to them, “I realize that in your poverty you gave and that you are reduced to dire want, but my God shall supply your needs because they arose out of obedience.” It is foolish to think you can squander what God has given you on yourself and then expect Him to step in and meet your need.”



Swinging Amish children 8/25/16We had a beautiful morning and made a brief stop by our Amish friend’s house. The children were eager for me to push them on the swing. Consider how cross-cultural a swingset is!

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“My God Shall Supply (Philippians 4:19 & Hebrew 4:16)”  Video  Scripture Memory Songs

“Let It Rain”  Video  Michael W Smith

“Bring The Rain”  Video  MercyMe

There Shall be Showers Of Blessing”  Video  Homecoming Singers

“He Giveth More Grace”  Video  Larry Ford

“More Than Enough”  Video   The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

“Enough”  Video  Chris Tomlin

Jacuzzi 6-in 2-GPM (7.6-LPM) Chrome 5-Spray WaterSense Showerhead with Bluetooth Capability and Built-In Speakers


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.

Grand Tetons Photo by Howard Blichfeldt Click to enlarge
Grand Teton Mountains
(Photo by Howard Blichfeldt)

“The God On The Mountain,
Is Still God In The Valley”

Message Summary: Today some of you may be walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Of course we consider our friend and his family from our opening paragraph and others in the deep clutches of physical affliction. We consider the folks in Louisiana with all the flooding and destruction. And just this morning we read about the destructive earthquake in Italy where people lost their lives. We think of so many being persecuted and those suffering and dying for their faith.

The song “God On The Mountain” makes a powerful assertion, For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley”. Indeed He is, no matter the circumstances of our personal life or the world around us!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4).

Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain
And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known.
But things change, when you’re down in the valley.
Don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone.

We recently made a very difficult ministry call to a young man in the advanced stages of cancer and under hospice care.* His cancer was discovered earlier this year and in spite of surgery, chemotherapy and other conventional and unconventional medical treatments the cancer has spread. His cancer has severely disfigured his face and includes intense pain.

It was in an Amish home on a very hot day and, although they had a window air conditioner, it was not on so the room was very hot and humid. He had a tracheotomy, which kept coming out, causing great distress to the patient, his wife and other caregivers.

A group had gathered around him to sing, pray and read Scriptures, seeking to bring hope, encouragement and peace to the cancer patient.

But what I will especially remember was the profound sadness, fear and bewilderment of his two very young daughters as they sat helplessly at the end of the couch watching their daddy as he was cared for.

I am having trouble shaking that scene as an example of walking through the valley in the shadow of death. We have been praying for God’s special grace to be upon this young family at this very hard time. When I considered what these little girls are going through I thought of my own exposure to death, which didn’t happen to anyone close to me till my grandparents died.

Today we share a song titled, “God On The Mountain” which has ministered to both of us. In fact we have three different versions below.

In the Christian life the good times of health, abundance and peace are often likened to being on the mountain, especially a time when we are spiritually strong or revived. Many of us have used the term “mountaintop experience” to describe times like this.

On the other hand we speak of being in the valley during a time of testing and trial. We may call such a time a “valley experience”. Most of us have known both the mountains and the valleys of life.

The Good ShepherdToday’s Scripture text is from the most famous Psalm in the Bible, the 23rd. This is a Psalm of David and commonly known as the Shepherd’s Psalm. In fact Brooksyne quoted this passage, along with family members at the bedside of our Amish friend, last week. The Psalmist is drawing from his own experience as a shepherd and applying the concept of shepherd to His God. Perhaps he was calling to mind an ancient Scripture from Jacob’s blessing to his son Joseph and his grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh, “The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day” (Genesis 48:15). Interestingly Jacob was also a shepherd. A thousand years later Jesus draws from the same illustration declaring, “I am the Good Shepherd.” (John 10)

Psalm 23:4 Today let us consider a familiar portion from this Psalm. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” David had several valley experiences recorded in Scripture he might have been referring to. Prior to his becoming king his jealous and violent predecessor, King Saul, gave him good reason to deal with fear, uncertainty, and lack of trust (1 Samuel 27 for example). During a low point in his own reign he is essentially exiled by his own son Absalom and cowers in fear for his life. (2 Samuel 15). Many Scriptures indicate that David knew from personal experience what it was like to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”

Psalm 23:4 But the latter part of the verse provides a great assurance and comfort for God’s children of all ages and throughout the ages, “I fear no evil, for You are with me.”

Today some of you may be walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Of course we consider our friend and his family from our opening paragraphs and others in the deep clutches of physical affliction. We consider the folks in Louisiana with all the flooding and destruction. And just this morning we read about the destructive earthquake in Italy where people lost their lives. We think of so many being persecuted and those suffering and dying for their faith.

The song “God On The Mountain” makes a powerful assertion, For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley”. Indeed He is, no matter the circumstances of our personal life or the world around us!

For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley
When things go wrong, He’ll make them right
And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times
The God of the day, is still God in the night

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, thank You for taking care of Your children like a shepherd that keeps watch over his sheep. When we wander astray You lovingly seek us out and bring us back into Your protective care. When we have need You provide for us. You renew our strength when we are weary and discouraged. You guide us in the right paths for Your name’s sake. Though some of those well-trodden paths are laid out in valley settings You walk alongside us, lessening our fear of the unfamiliar settings and experiences of our mortal life. Your provision of everlasting peace is ours to receive here and now and forevermore. Thank You for never letting go, through the calm and through the storm, for You promise to uphold us with Your righteous right hand. Amen.


* We pray for a special blessing upon hospice workers who devote their life to the end of life care. Lou Guiliano and Mark Pulliam are two long-time friends who serve as Hospice chaplains.


Corn for freezer 8/23/16Just before Brooksyne stored her 16 batches of corn in the freezer I took this photo of Incredible Corn. Fresh vegetables and fruit are now at the apex of the summer season. Due to a late frost large quantities of peaches are getting scarce but we hope to get some this week before they’re all gone.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“God On The Mountain”   Video  Lynda Randle and Homecoming Singers

“God On The Mountain”   Video  Jason Crabb

“God On The Mountain”   Video  The McKameys  This is very country and the lead singer began singing in a group the year of my birth in 1954! She kind of reminds me of a colorful lady named Nina Moore who was in the very first church we served outside of Springfield, MO. I don’t recall Sister Moore singing but she had a strong personality and vibrant faith.

“In The Valley He Restoreth My Soul”  Video   Canton Junction

“Going Home”   Video   Canton Junction

“You Never Let Go”  Video  Guy Penrod

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back, I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear? Whom then shall I fear?

Today’s mountain photo was taken by our friend Howard Blichfeldt and used with his permission.

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.

Amish watermelon harvestOur neighbor Eli harvesting watermelons to take to market and a few leftover for us “local folks” who can’t eat enough watermelon over the summer.

“The Blessing Of Fruitfulness”

Message Summary: One of the common illustrations in the Bible regarding the evidence of spiritual health and life is fruitfulness. In the second daily text John the Baptist shares a lasting spiritual command, “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). In bearing fruit we bring the Father glory and demonstrate that we are indeed Christ’s disciples. In Scripture fruitfulness is used in the sense of the impact of the Gospel (Colossians 1:6) and in the development of Christ-like character (Galatians 5:22,23).

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic” (Numbers 11:5). “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8).

Tomato basketWe are enjoying a season of abundant fruitfulness and vegetablefulness (if there is such a word). Our tomato patch is covered with ripening tomatoes, so much so, that we are trying to give some away. Anyone interested please drop by! But then, of course, many of you are in the same situation where you have an abundant harvest and are sharing your blessing with others who would otherwise have to eat store bought tomatoes. And you know they aren’t nearly as good as homegrown tomatoes!

Sweet cornWe’ve shared photos in the last couple of posts about corn, a project Brooksyne plans on doing today (freezing). It’s quite labor intensive but sure tastes good in the winter. Ester and Stephen will do their part by shucking the corn, some 72 ears, but Brooksyne takes on the job of blanching (first boiling water then ice water with the corn still attached to the cob), then cutting off the corn, and finally placing in freezer bags so that we can enjoy it throughout the year. Although there’s something special about fresh corn on the cob it will taste very good on a cold winter evening.

WatermelonWe’ve also been eating a lot of small to medium sized watermelons the last several weeks. Our Amish neighbor Eli grows them commercially and also sells them along the road for $1.00 each. Our favorite melons are seedless and he grows both kinds. It’s a smaller melon, just right for cutting in and digging out the sweet juicy flesh. We’ve had grilled watermelon, trying to find a creative use, but really, in our view, you just can’t improve on the traditional way of eating cold watermelon.

Watermelon contains about 92 percent water and 6 percent sugar. Since it consists mostly of water, its name makes perfect sense! Our friend Rick grows watermelons and muses about the marvel of going out to his patch and observing that the soil around the plant is bone dry so he wonders aloud, “Where does the watermelon get all that water?” I wonder that as well.

The first daily text contains the only reference to “melon” in the Bible. The children of Israel had been miraculously delivered from Egypt. Their conditions as slaves were horrific affecting many generations. But during their journey in the wilderness when their only food supply was manna day after day after day they began to talk and dream about the variety of foods they enjoyed in Egypt.

As miraculous events began to fade from their memories the Israelites became hardened. Their attitudes, instead of expressing gratitude, they expressed badditude (another new word). They began to grumble about their present circumstances and fondly remember the food they partook of in Egypt. It’s a dangerous thing to park your brain in a place where it should no longer reside. The grumblers began to test the Lord as they grumbled about their daily provisions. Many lost their lives as a result when the death angel passed by. There’s a lesson in this story for us as well since we can easily fall into the grumbling attitude of the Israelites. (See 1 Corinthians 10)

Instead of grumbling today we want to consider the blessing of spiritual fruitfulness.

One of the common illustrations in the Bible regarding the evidence of spiritual health and life is fruitfulness. In the second daily text John the Baptist shares a lasting spiritual command, “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8).

In bearing fruit we bring the Father glory and demonstrate that we are indeed Christ’s disciples. In Scripture fruitfulness is used in the sense of the impact of the Gospel (Colossians 1:6) and in the development of Christ-like character (Galatians 5:22,23).

There are three foundational qualities to this fruitfulness:

• We are to bear much fruit (quantity), “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8).
• We are to bear good fruit (quality), “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:17).  and
• We are to bear lasting fruit (longevity). “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last” (John 15:16)

We have been appointed to go and bear fruit. The word “appointed” is also translated “ordained” (KJV). We all have a high calling from our Lord. This day let us indeed seek to be fruitful!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Jesus taught Your followers that He is the vine and we are the branches. If we remain in Him we will bear much fruit. Fruitfulness in our lives is not automatic nor can it be purchased or inherited since Jesus is the sole source of our fruitfulness. And yet You provide many wholesome examples of those who bear fruit; those in Scripture, throughout history, and even within our own church, community and family. We want to be healthy branches bearing much fruit, especially bearing the fruit of forgiveness, so that we bring glory to You and increase to the kingdom of God. Amen.


Watermelons for sale
Our neighborhood produce stand. Seedless watermelons to left are just $1.00!
(Sold at the corner of Kraybill Church Road and Colebrook Road)

Horsepower 8/19/16
The storm on Tuesday last week damaged a tree where the melons are sold but it was cleared out by Friday. We passed John’s house as he was stacking the splintered tree on Friday. He and his wife were rejoicing that, though the heavy branches fell on their porch, the children were safe inside and the only damage was the spouting. Another inch or two and he would have had roof damage.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt”  Video  Keith Green

“That’s Just What Grace Does”  Video   Brian Free & Assurance

Yesterday I mentioned a song that had an impact on me prior to my conversion “I Wish We Had All Been Ready” and had intended to place a link up. But I forgot! Duke, an alert reader from Delaware shared this one. Video

Then a note from our friend in Texas:

Stephen and Brooksyne, I always love it when you share your testimonies on your spiritual birthday. Mine is May 12, 1968. Don’t apologize when you tell it over and over again. Two things come to my mind.

One is 2 Peter 1:12-15: “Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.”

The other is the old hymn, “I Love to Tell the Story.” Especially the last two stanzas:

“I love to tell the story;
’tis pleasant to repeat
what seems, each time I tell it,
more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story,
for some have never heard
the message of salvation
from God’s own holy Word.”

“I love to tell the story,
for those who know it best
seem hungering and thirsting
to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory,
I sing the new, new song,
’twill be the old, old story
that I have loved so long.”

Happy Spiritual Birthday! I raise my Ebenezer with you.

David

Information about the watermelon

Recipe for grilled watermelon


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 have financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time 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 or donate directly online through my chaplain account here. Donations are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by my chaplaincy endorsing ministry. 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.

Kraybill Church Road, Amish church parking 8/21/16 Click to enlargeYesterday morning before we left for church we heard buggy traffic on our road and we knew what that meant. Sure enough following our church service we drove around the corner from our house and our Amish neighbors, Christian and Annie, were hosting a church service in their home.
(Click on photo for larger view)

“This Is My Story”
“Here I Raise My Ebenezer”

Message Summary:  My goal in serving Christ is further realized since I have now walked with Him for 45 years. But the completion of my goal, to follow Him all the days of my life, will be fully realized only when my time of transition comes, “safely to arrive at home.”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12).

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Most of you have sung the lyrics posted above but may not immediately recall the name of the song. Many probably have never considered the meaning of the words, “Here I raise my Ebenezer” sung in the second verse to the hymn, “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing”, penned in 1757 by Robert Robinson who was just 22 years old at the time.

Today is my spiritual birthday and each year on this day I like to share my story and give testimony to God’s continuous redeeming work in my life. For long time readers my words may appear redundant but for new readers I’d like to share my testimony. Forty-five years ago I placed my faith in Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.

I was raised in a home where we attended church weekly. In fact I remember my long string of “Sunday School perfect attendance” pins. But it wasn’t until I was in High School that I clearly recall being specifically challenged by Christ’s claims upon my life and the need to personally repent of my sin, accept and seriously follow Christ. Like many, I assumed I was a Christian based upon my church background or being “good” in comparison to those I perceived as “bad.”

After a clear presentation of the Gospel I knew better. After hearing the salvation message, I didn’t accept Christ initially but continued to live in rebellion for a while. During this period of time I was very aware that I had not submitted my heart to Christ.

As I was wrestling with spiritual matters God used a song, popular at the time, titled “I Wish We’d All Been Ready”. Each time I heard the words it brought conviction to my heart. I knew I wasn’t ready. Many of you “old-timers” have probably heard the song and I place a link to a video clip below.

On August 22, 1971 I was persuaded to attend a large convention in Kansas City, Missouri where an evangelist by the name of Lowell Lundstrom preached. In the evening service I was convicted of my sin and convinced of my need for Christ. I walked forward and placed my faith in Christ.

In August 1968 Brooksyne attended an evening service at youth camp in Sapulpa, Oklahoma just west of Tulsa. She was amazed and her heart was stirred as she viewed about 300 young people worshiping the Lord with upraised hands. They filled the altars after the sermon praying out to God for hours. She went back the next night and from that point never looked back to her casual attitude about Christ. God did a miraculous spiritual work in her heart. She attended youth camps every year until her graduation and it was at camp that God spoke to her about training for ministry upon her graduation from high school.

Our testimonies in one sense can be summed up by the simple phrase in the daily text, “Thus far has the LORD helped me.” (changed to first person)

Samuel served God some 3,100 years ago as the last leader during the period of the Judges. In fact he anointed both Saul and David as kings. Samuel served his generation faithfully, overcoming dangers from without and apostasy from within (falling away from the faith).

In today’s text he made a tangible memorial to God’s faithfulness to himself and the people.  He set up a stone and named it Ebenezer (which means “stone of help”), and using that meaning applied it to the nation stating, “Thus far has the Lord helped us.” That must have been a wonderful moment and it’s my testimony today. I raise my Ebenezer and personally proclaim, “Thus far has the Lord helped me.”

When Robert Robinson wrote the line “Here I raise my Ebenezer; here by Thy great help I’ve come” he was surely referring to this Scripture text and declaring his faith and resolve in serving the Lord.

Whether you know the date of your spiritual birthday or not (and I realize many do not), have you placed your faith in Christ? Are you faithfully serving Him today? We sure hope so! We encourage you to raise your Ebenezer and join Samuel and me in proclaiming, “Thus far has the Lord helped us!”

My goal in serving Christ is further realized since I have now walked with Him for 45 years. But the completion of my goal, to follow Him all the days of my life, will be fully realized only when my time of transition comes, “safely to arrive at home.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, thank You for Your wonderful salvation through Your Son, Jesus Christ. You created in my body a thirst and hunger for physical food just as You created in my soul a hunger and thirst for spiritual food.  My soul thirsts for You, the living God. As I drink from Your living water my soul’s desires are satisfied. I am refreshed as I taste and see that You are good and that Your mercies are everlasting and very personal. As I partake of the Living Water and the Bread of Life I am led by Your hand. I am no longer my own, for I have been bought with a tremendous price – Your Son, Your only Son, who gave His life that I might experience forgiveness for sin.  My heart and my flesh, they may fail, but You are my strength and my portion for ever and ever.  Amen.


Many have sought to condense the gospel message into a simple presentation followed by a sinner’s “prayer” such as “The Four Spiritual Laws”, “Steps to Peace With God” and more recently the “Need Him” website. These formulas can be very helpful but in my view can also have some detriments:

1) They essentially present the claims of the gospel but since they vary a bit people can stumble as to there being one right formula and more specifically the way to say the “sinner’s prayer”. i.e. “Did I say it just right”, “Did I cover everything” etc.
2) Some place their faith in having heard the formula and saying the prayer. I’ve seen more than a few give little thought to following God after this initial step. In fact I suppose if everyone who ever went through one of these formulas or responded to an altar call at some point in their lives were totaled we would refer to the vast majority of people in America as “Christian”!

A Christian is one who believes in Christ, has repented of sin, who follows Him, and applies the Scripture to his or her life.

Lowell Lundstrom

Evangelist Lowell Lundstrom, who preached the Gospel the night I got saved passed away July 20, 2012 (obituary). His wife Connie passed in December 2011. He remained faithful as an evangelist till his death. On several occasions I saw Lowell since the time of my conversion and was pleased to share of his impact on my life and he was equally pleased to hear it. The last time I saw him was in 1998 when I just happened to meet him at the KC airport following my dad’s death. I was returning home and he had a connecting flight.  He provided some comfort and perspective in sharing that my dad was taking an early flight.

He had a long faithful ministry.

1) Lowell preaching the Gospel as a young man similar in age as the time he preached when I was converted in 1971. Video segment

2) He shared his testimony in this message in 2010  Video


Pastor Keefer preaching 8/21/16

Our pastor, John Keefer, is bold in addressing current events that many may avoid as being too controversial or politically incorrect. In yesterday’s sermon he challenged the congregation to remain steadfast to Christ and the Bible in a changing America. His message was “Reasons We Should Not Be Ashamed of the Gospel In Our Changing America” based on Romans 1:16-17 and a selection from Matthew 10:1-42.

His main reasons were:
1) Christ has called us
2) Christ has equipped us
3) Christ has prepared us.

A favorite line from Pastor’s message: “No ruling from the Supreme Court can ever put Jesus back in the grave!”


Picking sweet corn at Pierces 8/21/16An abundant corn harvest at the Pierces. They blessed us with about five dozen ears so Brooksyne has her work cut out for her this evening. (Surrounded by corn: Ken, Nila and Brooksyne picking the biggest ears they could find of Incredible corn.)

Sheep along Junction Trail 8/21/16
Late yesterday afternoon we walked the nearly five miles of Lancaster Junction Trail.  I am pleased that the last couple of weeks the severe pain in my back has subsided completely but I was sure weary from the long walk! Brooksyne does more walking than me so it was no big deal to her and she has been blessed with abundantly good health.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Jesus Saves”  Video  The Booth Brothers with the Collingsworth Family  WOW!!!

“Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing”  Video  All Sons & Daughters

“Blessed Assurance”  Video  The Isaacs

“My Story”  Video  Big Daddy Weave


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.

Butterfly on flower (Photo by Ester Weber)Ester took this untouched photo of a Swallowtail butterfly in our zinnia garden!
(Click on photo for larger view)

“Spiritual Metamorphosis”

Message Summary:  God no longer asks us to offer blood sacrifices, but instead He calls us to offer up our body  as a “living sacrifice”. A reality of being a living sacrifice is the tendency to keep jumping off the altar. This means we must continually surrender our body, mind and spirit to Him, which is holy and pleasing to God and is our spiritual act of worship.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 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” (Romans 12:1,2).

Our flower gardens are teeming with life. Alongside our front walkway our Autumn Joy Sedum attracts all sorts of flying insects including an assortment of butterflies. But the favorite landing spot for butterflies is the aptly named Butterfly Bush. I’m sure you would agree with us that butterflies are at the top of the most desireable insect list for photography enthusiasts. Today we share several of our favorite butterfly photos with Ester taking several of them.

Metamorphosis

One of the first really big words I recall learning (probably in grade school science) was “metamorphosis”, the scientific word describing the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly. The butterfly larvae feed for about two weeks developing into worm like caterpillars about 2 inches long. Next it will transform into a pupa (or chrysalis) and in about two weeks complete the transformation into a colorful butterfly.

August 22 (next Monday) is my spiritual birthday. On that date in 1971 I responded to an altar call in Kansas City and invited Christ to reside in my heart. Sadly I floundered for about a year, trying to keep one foot in the world rather than being fully sold out to the Lord.  My senior year I got involved with Campus Crusade for Christ which had a vibrant group of committed believers on my campus at Truman High School in Independence, MO.

One of my earliest memories of one-on-one discipling was based on our daily verse. I sat down in a restaurant in Independence, Missouri and talked seriously with a friend who wanted to help me in my Christian walk.  He drew a diagram on a napkin illustrating this truth and I have often drawn spiritual strength and encouragement from that teaching through the years. Those who have had me as a pastor have probably seen me use this illustration.

Garbage in/garbage outThe illustration was essentially the same as the garbage in/garbage out model we’ve often heard related to computing. This is used to express the idea that in computing and other spheres, incorrect or poor quality input will always produce faulty output. Essentially you are what you eat not only physically but spiritually. Feed on ungodly music, movies, books, magazines and so forth and you will have that type of character produced. Although not imagined by us when we sat around that table in early 1973 consider now the internet which is a source of so much harmful and helpful data. Feed on the Word of God, godly music, solid Bible-based teaching, godly relationships and so forth and Christ’s character will develop in you.

God is in the process of transforming us.  The Scriptures call us to assume personal responsibility in the God-ordained process of transformation, spiritual metamorphosis. In each step of the butterfly’s development it merely follows the pattern the Creator designed for it. I do not believe there is any internal resistance to being transformed.

However in our case we battle sin, the flesh, and the devil. God’s intention is so very clear in the first verse: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.”

Romans 12:1,2

We have a duty in no longer conforming to the pattern of this world. Instead we pattern our attitudes and actions after the likeness of Christ because our minds have been renewed. We don’t see things in the same way we viewed them before Jesus revealed Himself to us. This spiritual transformation or metamorphosis is not for a short season, but is a lifelong process. We are being transformed and it seems that this phase will not be fully completed until the next stage of our existence, when we go to heaven.

God no longer asks us to offer blood sacrifices, but instead He calls us to offer up our body as a “living sacrifice”.  A reality of being a living sacrifice is the tendency to keep sliding off the altar. This means we must continually surrender our body, mind and spirit to Him, which is holy and pleasing to God and is our spiritual act of worship.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, I pray that You would help me to fully turn away from behaviors and viewpoints that compromise my devotion to You. I want to be wholly devoted to You as I am being transformed into Your likeness. May the lure of this world lessen as the Light of Your Word increase in my life. May my life be a pleasing sacrifice to You, my Father, as I lay it down at the foot of the cross where I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.  Amen.

I wonder how many readers, particularly my minister friends, can identify the Greek word translated “transformed” in the image below?  Many of you will look at it and say, “It’s all Greek to me!” And it really is.

Greek Scripture portion

Some of our butterflies!

Swallowtail Butterfly in flower garden 8/6/15
Ester took this photo of a swallowtail butterfly enjoying the zinnias just beyond our front porch.
(Click on photo for larger view)

Swallowtail Butterfly in flower garden 8/6/15
(Click on photo for larger view)

Black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar

Black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar
(Click on photo for larger view)

Black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar
I took this photo many years ago of an Eastern black swallowtail butterfly


Storm damage to barn, Kraybill Church Road 8/16/16
In Wednesday’s message we shared this photo of damage to our Amish neighbor’s barn from a storm Tuesday afternoon.

Amish barn rebuilt Kraybill Church Road 8/19/16
Here’s how the recovery looked this morning!

Corn wagon 8/19/16
There’s nothing like eating fresh corn brought in from the field.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Make My Life A Living Sacrifice”   Video  Gaither Vocal Band

“Make My Life a Prayer to You”  Video   Keith Green

“Change My Heart Oh God”  Video  Vineyard

Finally today:

Friendly pigeonI know what you’re thinking when you look at this photo! Luckily, Stephen allowed the domestic pigeon to roost in his hair with no “fall-out” to adorn his still dark hair. We both had fun with this friendly pigeon at Old Windmill Farm earlier this week.

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.

“Pandering Politicians”

August 18, 2016

Lancaster County farm 8/17/16 (Click to enlarge)
We passed this beautiful farm east of Ephrata yesterday
(Click on photo for larger view)

“Pandering Politicians”

Message Summary: We need men and women today who will stand up for a core set of beliefs and live out their lives by these convictions come what may.  Surely it would be a great blessing to see politicians of this nature, but I really don’t expect it anymore.  We sure don’t need more pandering.  Let me encourage readers today to stand up consistently for their beliefs. The desire to please the crowd, be accepted, be popular is very common, but let our first priority be in pleasing the Lord!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Pilate wanted to please the crowd” (Mark 15:15). “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:8-11).

Here in America we are in the midst of another heated presidential campaign, the 15th in my recollecion since I can vaguely recall the 1960 election as a 6 year old. A common feature in politics is “pandering” which is practiced by virtually all politicians in various degrees regardless of political party. The form of pandering most egregious in our view is when politicians do so using religion and there’s no shortage in that among either major candidate. Practicing discernment is vital to keep from being deceived. We should be especially wary when candidates who hold views contrary to the Bible begin to banter about Bible verses or spiritual clichés, often out of context.

A humorous, yet frighteningly close to true, example of pandering I read on a satire blog was a politician who appeals to voters, “Let me cut to the chase, which exact lie can I tell you to get you to vote for me?”

Pandering is defined as “the act of expressing one’s views in accordance with the likes of a group to which one is attempting to appeal for one’s self-benefit. The term is most notably associated with politics. In pandering, the views one is expressing are merely for the purpose of drawing support and do not necessarily reflect one’s personal values. Pandering is essentially a reaction of panic in elected officials who must either tailor their views to public opinion or risk losing their existing or potential seat.”

Pandering is nothing new. Pilate, whose entire Biblical biography is found in his role at the trial of Jesus practiced pandering which is an example of a double-minded man, driven by political expediency. If he had any convictions at all, we sure don’t see them. He knew Jesus was innocent of the charges brought against Him having declared, “I find no fault in this man” (Luke 23:4). His wife had warned him, “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man” (Matthew 27:19).

But Pilate was driven by politics and power.  His standing with Rome was in jeopardy and rather than do the right thing he did the political thing summed up in the statement, “Pilate wanted to please the crowd.” What a sad characteristic of politics in any generation! Luke records (I believe sarcastically) that at the trial of Jesus Herod and Pilate became friends.  Later Herod demonstrated this same political intuition, when in Acts 12 he had James beheaded. “When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also” (Acts 12:3).

Warren Wiersbe, who has long been among our favorite Bible teachers, comments: “Pilate knew what was right, but refused to do anything about it. Judas yielded to the devil in his great sin; Peter yielded to the flesh when he denied his Lord; but Pilate yielded to the world and listened to the crowd.  Pilate looked for the easy way, not the right way.”

We need men and women today who will stand up for a core set of beliefs and live out their lives by these convictions come what may.  Surely it would be a great blessing to see politicians of this nature, but we really don’t expect it anymore.  We sure don’t need more pandering.  Let me encourage readers today to stand up consistently for their beliefs. The desire to please the crowd, be accepted, be popular is very common, but let our first priority be in pleasing the Lord!

Are there not some characteristics of Pilate in each of us? May God help us to be courageous and to stand by our convictions today whether or not it pleases the crowd, regardless of the consequences. We just may be called to do that today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, I’m often tempted to add my voice to the crowd or simply blend in with the majority opinion. But because I choose to follow You I want to obey Your Law even when it conflicts with laws of human origin; I want to hear Your voice rather than the conflicting voice of others; I want to yield to the guidance of Your Holy Spirit rather than the prevailing philosophy of my day. I choose to follow You and I want to do so no matter the cost. Make me strong enough, courageous enough, and prayerful enough that I will stand even when others fall. When it feels as though I am standing alone remind me that You and I are a majority. When I stand up for You I stand in victory no matter the temporal consequences. It would seem that Jesus was defeated in His physical death and the seemingly hopeless days that followed.  But His triumph followed when He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven where He sits at Your right hand interceding for us in our hour of need. Amen.


Driving through Amish country yesterday in the course of our chaplaincy.

Amish ladies in cart 8/17/16

Amish team 8/17/16


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“More Men Like Daniel” This is a hymn I came across in an old hymnal many years ago. I do not recall ever hearing the tune or singing it and I cannot find a version on YouTube. However the words are very instructive:

We need more men like Daniel
To stand for God and right;
Men clean and strong, who hate the wrong,
And for the truth will fight.
When those controlled by evil
Their base designs pursue,
We need more men like Daniel
Who never prove untrue.

Refrain:
In Home and Church and State,
Men quick to dare and do!
We need more men like Daniel
Who never prove untrue.

We need more men like Daniel
Their virtues here to show;
Men bold, sincere, who know no fear
When called to face the foe.
Though dangers dark may threaten,
They crave not ease or rest;
We need more men like Daniel
Who boldly stand the test. [Refrain]

We need more men like Daniel
Whose faith defied the king;
Who knelt and prayed, when plans were laid
His shameful death to bring.
But God sent down His angel
His all to guard and shield;
We need more men like Daniel
Whose hearts will never yield. [Refrain]


Stephen & Brooksyne Weber 4/17/16 (Click to enlarge)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)
About Us

“We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!”

Personal Ministry Update

Daily Encouragement chaplaincy website.

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 have financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time 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 or donate directly online through my chaplain account here. Donations are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by my chaplaincy endorsing ministry. 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.

“A Memorable Meal”

August 17, 2016

Storm Kraybill Church Road 8/16/16
Our quiet neighborhood doesn’t get much excitement but it was humming yesterday evening with news vans, “Extreme weather chaser” vans, farm equipment and many curious sight seers who drove into our area. A straight high wind and rain storm wreaked havoc on Kraybill Church Rd. and the surrounding area of Donegal Township late yesterday afternoon. This photo shows John & Sylvia walking toward Eli’s damaged barn with a local Fox News van ahead.

“A Memorable Meal”
Message Summary: Today we want to encourage our readers to do some reminiscing about memorable meals and then consider a meal in the Bible that surely became a source of reminiscing to those who partook.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“And he (the jailer) brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household” (Acts 16:34).

Reminisce Around The TableFor many years we have enjoyed reading “Reminisce” which is a nostalgia magazine, celebrating the changing times with fun and engaging stories about what we loved in the past and how it shapes our lives today. When we were younger we saw it as the way our parents and grandparents lived, but now many of the reminiscings are of when we were younger! (We never saw that coming when we, as a newly married couple, might glance at “Reminisce” as they were piled on Stephen’s parents’ coffee table.)

But on our trip to Indiana we purchased “Reminisce Around The Table-Fond Memories of Food, Family and Friends”. It is an assortment of short stories chronicling memorable meals, “real-life stories told by people who live them, capturing the best of the past with cherished family photos, vintage ads and favorite dinner prayers.” Since many of the stories took place in the sixties during our childhood we could especially identify prompting some of our reminiscing.

Today we want to encourage our readers to do some reminiscing about memorable meals and then consider a meal in the Bible that surely became a source of reminiscing to those who partook.

Have you ever tried to tally how many meals you have eaten? Of course in most cases it will only be an estimate but based on our age we figure we’ve each had about 65,000 meals (give or take several thousand). That’s just based on our age and three meals a day. We don’t remember the vast majority of meals we’ve eaten but we certainly have had some memorable ones.

We may remember some for their tastiness or lack thereof. I still good-naturedly tease Brooksyne about one meal flop that took place early in our marriage. A friend gave her a new Mexican recipe for Chicken Mornay and she was excited to make it. The dish was memorable just because it tasted so bad that neither of us could finish our meal. She otherwise is an excellent cook and based upon our 40+ years of married life I figure she has prepared over 40,000 meals, give or take due to eating out and eating in other’s homes.

Weber family meal 1988 We remember other meals due to it being a special holiday or celebration. This photo was taken at our home in St. Marys, Pennsylvania some 30 years ago. My oldest brother, Mike, took the photo. That meal is in part special because we have the photo, unlike most meals over the years.

Today’s text records what surely became a memorable meal for all those involved and a future source of reminiscing. It’s a follow-up to yesterday’s message concerning the Philippian jailer who was spared from suicide and redeemed through salvation. The jailer immediately demonstrated evidence of his conversion by taking his maximum security prisoners, Paul and Silas, into his family’s household, by tending to their fresh wounds, and by being baptized. The last Scriptural reference to this jailer is our daily text when he joined Paul and Silas for a late night meal together. “And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household” (Acts 16:34).

“And he brought them into his house.” Of course we don’t know how far the house was from the jail but assume it was close. What a change for Paul and Silas who, a short time earlier had their robes torn off them, were beaten with rods, thrown into an inner cell and had their feet fastened in stocks. Now they were to experience the warm fellowship of a home and meal presented by the prison warden, no less.  I wonder if the jailer was married and if so what his wife thought of him bringing these beaten prisoners into their home in the middle of the night!

Aunt Bee“And set food before them.” Paul and Silas had been severely beaten the day before and there is no record of any meal in the prison. Even if there had been it’s hard to imagine it being very tasty since prison food usually doesn’t rate a 5 star review by the prisoners. The only appealing food I’ve ever considered was the fried chicken, mashed potatoes and biscuits from Aunt Bee’s kitchen she often prepared for jailbirds on the “Andy Griffith Show”. The food basket lined with the linen napkin she carried on her arm into the sheriff’s office made it all the more cozy and appealing. (Imagine prisoners getting linen napkins for their food clean-up!)

But back to our text, this was a middle of the night meal, with no detail as to who prepared it or how elaborate it was. One thing is for sure, they couldn’t call in for a pizza delivery!

However, the meal was prepared and whatever food was set before them, it surely was tasty on an empty stomach. And eating in a comfortable home setting is far superior to eating in a dingy jail cell with your feet in stocks.

Let’s consider the descriptive setting that followed the service of the food. The text says they “rejoiced greatly”. Now good food can surely do that but the text makes clear the reason for their great joy in the phrase concerning the jailer, “having believed in God with his whole household”. The real source of joy is our faith in Christ.

Paul and Silas had sung praises while in jail and we considered yesterday what songs they might have sung and how this might have made an impact on the jailer. Now, as they completed their time together at this late night/early morning meal and before the jailer and his family fade into Scriptural oblivion, do you think Paul and Silas taught the family household a hymn before departing? The following hymn would be an upbeat, testimonial hymn and one that brings rejoicing to a new believer’s heart as well as those of us who have served the Lord for a good many years:

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I had sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o’er my soul
Like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, when we consider life before receiving Christ as our Saviour and contrast it with life after coming to faith, we are profoundly grateful for the changes it brought. We no longer flounder in searching for the meaning of life, our sins no longer master us, and joy replaces the fear and uncertainty of tomorrow. We rejoice greatly that our sins are forgiven and that we have an inheritance in heaven that will never perish, spoil or fade. With growing anticipation we long for the greatest fellowship meal of all time when we will be joined with Christ at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. We rejoice greatly that we who are Your blood-bought children are invited to partake not only of the heavenly assortment of food but also the fruit of the vine. The same fruitful beverage that Jesus offered to His disciples the night of His betrayal has been reserved for us in heaven where we will drink it anew with Him in Your kingdom. Keep us faithful until that most glorious eternal reunion in heaven. Amen.

“I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Mathew 26:27b)


Yesterday afternoon we had a big storm come through our area. We were about twenty miles north of home after our chaplain visit and had heavy winds and rain as we drove home. When approached home we had to detour three times due to downed trees across the road. Watching the local news last night it seems our Donegal neighborhood and surrounding area bore the brunt of the storm’s damage. We had a lot of branches in our yard and planters strewn about but thankfully no damage at our place.

Storm Kraybill Church Road 8/16/16
Ester took this photo from in front of our house before we got home. Before this tree was cleared we would have no motor access to our home from either direction. It’s a blessing to see the neighbors pull together to get the road cleared and it looks like Jerry brought down his tractor.

Storm Kraybill Church Road 8/16/16
This is on the other side of our home down Kraybill Church Road. It was cleared by the time Ester walked down to take this photo but was still closed when we tried to come home.

Storm Kraybill Church Road 8/16/16
Major damage was done to our Amish neighbor Eli’s barn. Within two hours Amish crews were working to clean up and rebuild, as is typical of our Amish community. We visited with John and Sylvia, our Amish neighbors featured in our lead photo, who told us quite a story related to Eli’s barn damage. Eli’s hired hand was heading into the barn with his team of mules since the storm was on the horizon. He hurriedly got them settled and then headed for the door to seek refuge in the house. When he turned around to open the door it was missing and then he heard a loud kerplunk. It was the large oversized door that had just blown off and landed on the ground. It missed his exit only by seconds. If you link to the newspaper photo you will see the side of the barn that fell to the ground. (Notice the stacked hay just above the missing door.) We have three Amish families on Kraybill Church Road who do commercial farming. All three places sustained damage, though Eli’s barn suffered the most.

Storm Kraybill Church Road 8/16/16
The 10′ high corn really got plastered in the field across from our house. I called my farmer friend Galen this morning and he felt due to the advanced harvesting methods the farmer will make out OK.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Since Jesus Came Into My Heart”  Video  Collingsworth Family

“Suppertime”  Video  George Younce

Reminisce magazine

Article in Lancaster newspaper about storm.

Reminisce Around The Table“Reminisce Around The Table” is available on Amazon

Dinner Grace: Here’s a sample of one of many prayers in this book. This one is submitted by Elaine Turner of Frederick, Maryland: “As a child I learned this grace at summer Bible camp and taught it to our children when they were young.”

Come Lord Jesus, be our guest,
Our morning joy, our evening rest.,
And with our daily bread impart,
Thy love and peace to every heart.


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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