“Our Glory And Joy”

September 23, 2016

Kraybill Road sunset (Photo by Doug Maxwell)
A Kraybill Church Road sunset across from our home
Photo taken by our neighbor, Doug Maxwell

“Our Glory And Joy”

Message Summary:  A great source of joy in heaven will be the presence of those whom we, like Paul, have impacted for Christ. So let us keep His light shining today. At times you may see the immediate results of your work, but more often you will see the evidence in future years, and I believe in many ways the greatest results will be seen in heaven. Stay faithful!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy” (1 Thessalonians 2:17-20).

Consider how many people have touched your life. Some in significant, memorable ways, others in a lesser yet still impacting way. So many for the good while others not so much.

Sunday School teacherEach of you are also impacting other lives! And the greatest impact is when we influence others for Christ and eternity, most especially our family members but also beyond that. You may have impacted others through your faithful service as a Sunday School teacher, musician, nursery worker, pastor, college professor, church custodian and scores of other ways we serve the Lord. How gratifying to know of the difference we can make on this side, but in many cases we will never really know till the other side.

The apostle Paul had a brief but fruitful time of ministry in Thessalonica before being run out of town (Acts 17:1-10). He left a small congregation of believers and later wrote a letter to encourage them in their faith and gave them further instructions and even some correction.

In the daily text he turns away from any self-boasting of his spiritual accomplishments and instead turns the spotlight on the Thessalonian believers, those whom he influenced for the kingdom, and the very recipients of his letter. “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.”

Now we probably tend to read this text in a rather detached way. After all, we are reading a letter written to a church nearly 2,000 years ago. We properly read it as sacred Scripture, God’s Holy Word. We should seek application in each section.

But picture yourself sitting in the Thessalonian congregation about 50 AD. You are a newer believer since the gospel only came to your town a short time earlier when Paul and Silas came through. You may have been part of those first meetings or perhaps you are an even more recent convert. You don’t have a Bible in your hand and this was long before PowerPoint verses were projected on a screen.

NT church service But a church elder arose to read a letter written by your church’s founder, the Apostle Paul. You’ve heard Paul’s name mentioned often as he is greatly respected among the believers of Thessalonica. The room grows quiet giving careful attention to Paul’s words of counsel and instruction.

But you especially perk up when the elder reads the portion that is today’s text. He reads, “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming?”

The elder continues, “Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.” He’s writing about you! You look around the room as people smile at each other heartened by the apostle Paul’s tender reference toward them.

When we stand in the presence of the Lord at His coming what will be our hope or joy or crown of boasting? Paul answers that question for himself regarding his ministry to the Thessalonians. I believe it would be representative toward all to whom he ministered. “Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” In our case it will be those whom we have blessed in the name of Christ.

Warren WiersbeWarren Wiersbe comments, “When the Christians at Thessalonica read this letter, it must have encouraged them tremendously. They were going through intense persecution and suffering, and perhaps some of them were tempted to give up. “Don’t give up!” Paul encouraged them. “Lay hold of the spiritual resources you have in Jesus Christ. You have the Word of God within you, the people of God around you, and the glory of God before you. There is no need to give up.”

A great source of joy in heaven will be the presence of those whom we, like Paul, have impacted for Christ. So let us keep His light shining today. At times you may see the immediate results of your work, but more often you will see the evidence in future years, and I believe in many ways the greatest results will be seen in heaven. Stay faithful!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we want to follow Christ’s example who made Himself nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant. He reached out to the rich, the poor, the powerful and powerless, the young and old, the weak and strong. Though their needs varied that could only be met through Christ each of them needed a relationship with You, our Father, and that is true of every generation no matter our ethnicity, our wealth or lack thereof, our educational background or any other factor. We have opportunity to impact people from all walks of life so we ask You to guide us to them as we give ourselves in ministry and service to others who desire to follow Christ. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.


Strasburg Country Store
The Strasburg Country Store in Strasburg, PA
We both enjoy the fall season decorations

Strasburg Country Store
The Strasburg Country Store is an old-fashioned country store with wood floors. The kind of store you just want to mosey through just for the simple ambience.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“God’s Been Good”  Video  Legacy Five

“He Will Carry You”  Video   Brian Free & Assurance


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.

Linden Grove School, Lancaster County, PA  9/21/16 (Click to enlarge)Linden Grove School:  Yesterday we passed this one room school house in a bucolic setting where the children are sitting in circles eating their lunches on the lawn near New Holland. As we passed by we painfully considered the turmoil in so many other places including Charlotte, NC.
(Click to enlarge)

“Somewhere Between Doubt And Believing”

Message Summary: “If you are somewhere between doubt and believing” describes a man in Jesus’ time who cried out in honest confession regarding his vacillating thoughts about God’s power to heal. When Jesus asked him about his belief he cried out: “I believe; help my unbelief!”.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).

Legacy Five We’ve been enjoying a song by a group called Legacy Five titled “Ask Me Why”. It tells the story of a lost soul that walks into church with, “a heart full of questions and a world torn in two, bearing the weight of years of regret.”

We can all get a picture of this scene. Last week Brooksyne shared about her ministry to a lady who recently died of a drug overdose. We regularly encounter people whose lives are so broken and many of you do as well. They’re are all around us and the degree of brokenness actually seem to be increasing.

The song has an intriguing line, “If you are somewhere between doubt and believing”. How many of you can relate to this “somewhere between” expression of faith? For some it may describe your experience prior to conversion, for others a faith test during your journey of faith. Some of you may even identify as you read this.

“Somewhere between doubt and believing” also describes a man in Jesus’ time who cried out in honest confession regarding his vacillating thoughts about God’s power to heal. When Jesus asked him about his belief he cried out: “I believe; help my unbelief!”.

The entire story is found here:

“And someone from the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And He answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to Him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can? All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:17-24).

Mark 8:24Today let us focus on the phrase, “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’” I’ve always appreciated the father’s candor. He didn’t make any pretenses; he was struggling. We might as well be honest since God knows our hearts anyway!

Rather than respond to this man vocally Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to leave the man’s son proving His earlier statement to be true, “All things are possible for one who believes.” He also had an instructive word for His disciples:

“And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had entered the house, His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ And He said to them, ‘This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.'” (Mark 9:25-29).

It actually seems that Jesus focused on the man’s faith rather than on his doubt.* That can be a source of encouragement to any reader who may be “somewhere between doubt and believing.”

One of the tips we give to those struggling with faith is to focus on the basics. As we exercise our basic faith in God it will grow and mature especially during trying circumstances.

This is also expressed in the hymn “Just As I Am”

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Yet I believe I speak for many, no matter how long we’ve walked with the Lord or the depth of our Biblical understanding, we still have unanswered questions which can lead to doubt. Our doubt will naturally lead us to unbelief if we’re not careful to “Guard our hearts, for everything else we do comes from it” (Proverbs 4:23). To fortify and grow our faith in God we must earnestly seek Him and listen to the Word of God.

“If we want to strengthen our faith we need to be hearing God’s Word preached which is taken from the context of Romans 10:17, “So faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”. Realize that if we don’t hear people who teach true faith in the Word we are not going to build faith. We must also feed on the Word of God for ourselves. Jesus said “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Feeding on God’s Word builds faith. God’s Word is faith food. You must use the faith you have just like you must exercise a muscle for it to grow. Faith without works is dead.” – Pastor Darryl Baker

Back to the song mentioned at the beginning of the message. The preacher says, “Friend, I have answers, for all that you’re needing” and the chorus is a simple presentation of gospel truth.

Ask me who and I’ll tell you it’s Jesus
Ask me how and I’ll say it’s the Blood
Ask me where and I’ll take you to Calvary
Ask me why and I’ll tell you it’s love

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He took away our sins through His shed blood on the cross. At thirty three years of age He completed the mission for which He came to earth, when He walked the Via Dolorosa all the way to Calvary where He would lay down His innocent life for the guilty sins of mankind. He did this because of His redeeming love for the human race. We know Who, how, where and why Jesus gave His all that we might be pardoned of our sin and receive forgiveness with the tremendous benefit of eternal life in heaven. Words are inadequate to express our gratitude for such wondrous, selfless, and redemptive love seen through Christ Jesus our Lord, so we express it in more than just words but with our very lives; for love so amazing, so divine demands my soul, my life, my all. Amen.


* “His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ And He said to them, ‘This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.'” It’s interesting that the focus of the Lord’s correction is not on the father, who admittedly struggled with his faith, but rather on the disciples. There is a stream of popular false teaching, often called “name it, claim it” which puts the necessity of faith on the person needing a healing or some other need met. These preachers assert if the one with the need has enough faith he or she will be healed or experience prosperity. And too often they have put people under guilt if their prayers are not answered. Of course some of these preachers have become quite prosperous preying upon the gullible!

Now certainly I am not saying it’s not important to have faith when appealing to God to meet a need, but I have encountered preachers and ministries who are quick to pass judgment on the one having a need, with a sense “if you just had enough faith your prayer would be answered”. I think this verse teaches they should look to themselves! I’ve often thought if they really believed what they preached why don’t they just walk through and clear out all the hospitals! Another teaching that demonstrates this is the time when friends lowered a paralyzed man through a roof for healing. The text clearly states “And when Jesus saw their faith” (Matthew 9:2). That is, the faith of the men who did the lowering.

Come, Holy Spirit, my soul assure
relieve my fears that I no more,
may doubt the love of Christ for me

Pumpkin wagon, Lancaster County, PA  9/21/16
Pumpkins everywhere!
Yesterday we passed this pumpkin wagon along the Strasburg Pike and then noticed many others as we traveled. Many use pumpkins for fall decorations but far more use pumpkins in food products and beverages, including a fall favorite pumpkin spice cappuccino. We enjoyed buttermilk pumpkin pancakes this morning with Brooksyne using this recipe

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Ask Me Why”  Video  Legacy Five  This version includes gospel presentation and background:

She slipped thru the door
sat on the last pew
A heart full of questions
and a world torn in two
Bearing the weight
of years of regret
She listened to the preacher
when he stood up and said
If you’re somewhere between doubt and believin’
Friend, I have answers
For all that you’re needin’

Chorus
Ask me who and I’ll tell you it’s Jesus
Ask me how and I’ll say it’s the Blood
Ask me where and I’ll take you to Calvary
Ask me why and I’ll tell you it’s love

Verse 2
It’s been years since she
found amazing grace
It’s been a long journey
but each battle she’s faced
Has proven God faithful
time and again
And the chance to tell others
who are right where she’s been
somewhere between doubt and believin’
God has the answers
for all that you’re needin’

“Ask Me Why”  Video  Legacy Five  This version has a dramatic presentation. Very well done though many people look far more broken than the lady in the video!

“I Believe, Help Thou My Unbelief”  Video  Gaither Vocal Band


Finally today:

Wheelbarrow with holes 9/6/16
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned a rather mindless goof I made when I poured ashes from a fire the night before into my plastic wheelbarrow. It resulted in numerous melted holes funneling the ashes down on the grass.
Dylan with scrap sheet metal piece
Yesterday Dylan, a friend from one of our companies, gave me a scrap piece of sheet metal left over from a manufacturing process.

Repaired wheelbarrow with sheet metal 9/21/16
I attached the sheet metal piece with screws to the wooden handles covering the holes and now the wheelbarrow works fine. Had 15 years of life out of it already, perhaps I can get 15 more! (I suppose it’s a little like the orthopedic doctor attaching some metal and screws to a broken bone so one can make use of that bone again for many years. It’s been eight years since Brooksyne broke her ankle and benefits from such a repair, though it took her doctor many more years of schooling for his trade than mine of simply screwing sheet metal to a piece of lumber!)


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.

Harvest Road farmstand 9/20/16
Yesterday on our way home from a chaplain visit we passed this small farmstand on Harvest Road north of Mount Joy.

“Grace To The Vilest Offender”

Message Summary: Amazing grace transforms the vilest offender to one pardoned and restored.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Though grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and regard not the majesty of the LORD” (Isaiah 26:10).

Vile is a word you don’t hear much these days. For many folks, it sounds too judgmental. But you still hear it if your church sings hymns. This last Lord’s Day we sang the old hymn, “There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood” which has this stunning confession,

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away.

Our daily verse presents an interesting and often overlooked Biblical truth. “Grace is shown to the wicked.” The grace of the almighty God of the universe is abundantly demonstrated in His loving care to our world, even to the most vile. Theologically speaking this is referred to as “common grace.”

This demonstration of common grace goes on moment by moment in a multitude of ways to all, even the vilest offender; the air we breathe, the livable climatic conditions, food and water. Even the most ardent unbeliever and professed atheist is a recipient of this grace, however stridently he may deny it. Consider what this world would look like in the next 30 seconds if God removed all the oxygen from the air! Jesus expresses this concept of common grace when He told His listeners that God “causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45).

Special grace, on the other hand, is the grace by which God redeems, sanctifies, and glorifies Himself through His people. This special demonstration of grace is extended to us through Jesus for our eternal salvation: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). This grace is available exclusively for those who earnestly believe in Jesus and accept His gift of salvation. This gift of grace far exceeds the worth of all other gifts given to us by God! It has eternal ramifications.

Unbelief and ingratitude have blinded many to this marvelous grace so that the vast majority of the world’s peoples “do not learn righteousness” which is evident in those walking in His grace. In our New Testament understanding they reject God’s grace through Jesus Christ. “They go on doing evil and regard not the majesty of the Lord.”  Is this not a picture of so many?

How do we, as God’s chosen people, regard the grace of God today? The Scriptures state, “The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:11-14). That is the nature of the amazing grace; transformation from the vilest offender to one pardoned and restored.

* Let us thank God for His amazing grace and never cease to be amazed by it.
* Let us “learn righteousness” and live our life in a manner that pleases Him.
* Let us regard the majesty of the Lord and reverently declare His praises daily.

Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your abundant grace is poured out on humankind like showers of blessings, both for believer and unbeliever alike. Yet it is only as we appropriate Your saving grace that we turn away from evil and walk in the ways of righteousness. Many leaders and rulers have come and gone, but You, Father, are the eternal One whose kingdom knows no end. We humble ourselves in the light of Your majesty as we bring honor to Your holy name and live as a people who are eager to do what is good. Amen.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“There is a Fountain”   Video  Selah

“To God Be The Glory”  Video  Royal Albert Hall Audience and Stage Choirs

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


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.

“Shining Ever Brighter”

September 20, 2016

Sunrise on Cadillac MountainSunrise on Cadillac Mountain
Acadia National Park, Maine

“Shining Ever Brighter”

Message Summary: As followers of the one true God we are on the “path of the righteous.” The world is spiritually dark yet as we “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25b) we are moving forward toward the light. We can be assured, in our hearts, on the veracity of God’s Word that “the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day” (Proverbs 4:18). “Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in Him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8).

We enjoy living out in the country. Around 5:30 this morning I, Brooksyne, stepped out on the deck to let the dogs out and to get an early peek of the new day. We finally got an inch of rain yesterday and I was somewhat hopeful for more evidence of rain in the form of an overnight shower. There was not but I caught a glimpse of the fading moon as the dawn would soon break. The temperature was a comfortable 70 degrees which felt wonderful as I took a deep breath.

I lingered on the deck and began to recite a familiar Scripture verse, “Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:8). Just as I was completing the verse I was accompanied by the morning cry of our neighbor’s rooster, “Cock-a-doodle-doo”*. I smiled as the rooster crowed his uplifting “Amen” to the verse I had just quoted. Due to ground fog we did not have a visible sunrise, nevertheless the sun did rise!

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

We both enjoy sunrises and sunsets. We tend to take more sunset photos since, due to the layout of our property, we don’t see a dramatic sunrise because of the tree line behind our home. However we often post sunset photos we view of the farm field across the street with an old stone farmhouse and silo in the distant background.

About twenty years ago we were on vacation in Acadia National Park in Maine and drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain that offers a stunning panoramic view. Many consider the view of a sunrise on top of Cadillac Mountain to be the point where “the first gleam of dawn” is visible in the United States. It’s a stunning sight drawing many out early for the spectacular view.

Today’s first text is from the Proverbs. I still recall a Bible College definition of a proverb being a “short pithy saying.” Now “pithy” is a not a word I ever recall using apart from this description, but it is in the Microsoft Office dictionary system with synonyms such as “terse, to the point, succinct.”

So let us consider today’s short pithy saying, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” Isn’t that a descriptive verse? It’s both an observation and a promise from God’s Word.

It’s a universal physical observation. All around this terrestrial ball. the first gleam of dawn is the foretaste of the day’s coming brightness. Although it begins faintly it progressively brightens. When I am near the ocean I enjoy watching the sunrise. The sky gets lighter and lighter even before the sun rises. It can seem like a long wait. Then suddenly it appears on the horizon drawing our eyes to its brightness.

It’s a universal spiritual promise. The Proverb is illustrating the path of the righteous. This path is “like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” The Biblical Illustrator commentary notes, “The essentials of a just man’s character have been in all ages the same. The path, the life-course of such a man, is like the shining light.”

There are two other Bible verses that seem to have a similar sense. 2 Peter 1:19 reads, “And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” 1 John 2:8 states, “Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in Him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.”

Consider the expression, “a light at the end of the tunnel.” As we journey through life we can experience times of intense darkness, particularly during a personal trial. The light is distant, small and barely pierces the overwhelming darkness. But as followers of the one true God we are on the “path of the righteous.” The world is spiritually dark yet as we “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25b) we are moving forward toward the light. We can be assured, in our hearts, on the veracity of God’s Word, that “the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, as we walk in the path of righteousness we also walk in light. The world is full of darkness engulfed by the enemy’s presence but we, by faith, keep our sight fixed on You the invisible One. We persevere and overcome as we look ahead to our eternal reward. There truly is a light at the end of this world’s tunnel when the Son of God takes us by the hand and leads us to the Promised Land. What a grand and glorious day that will be! But until then we keep our eyes on You who shines ever brighter in a sin-sick world that is growing ever darker. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

For those desiring further study: Here’s an excellent online commentary collection with notes on today’s text: StudyLight


The light at the end of the tunnel
Photo from inside of abandoned Pennsylvania turnpike tunnel

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Sometimes I Wonder”   Video   Ernie Haas and Signature Sound

“That’s Why”  Video  Ernie Haas and Signature Sound

“Ten Thousand Reasons”  Video  Veritas

* Rooster Crowing Compilation Plus  Video  Just to bring a smile!

David, a British reader comments concerning yesterday’s message: I read your title: “There’s Too Much To Gain To Lose” too quickly. It reminded me of the words of a farmer some years ago, who used to welcome our youth camp of around 200 youngsters. After we had closed the camp down one year, I went to say good bye and thank you. He was harvesting and from the cab while stopping a few moments… he said: “Can’t stop, we are harvesting”. His words have remained as an incentive over the years. Guess these should be our regular comments… the Kingdom’s priorities are important.


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 family at harvest time 9/16/16 Friday afternoon we saw our Amish neighbor Eli and his family harvesting his field.
“There’s Too Much To Gain To Lose”

Message Summary:  Today we especially direct our message to those who have been in service for many years. Keep pressing on. We hope you hear some good reports, but we have a promise that has become my life verse. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Indeed, there’s too much to gain to lose!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained” (Philippians 3:12-16).

Too many miles behind me
too many trials are through
Too many tears help me to remember
there’s too much to gain to lose

Today I have been on this earth as a post-born entity for 22,621 days. The vast, vast majority of days I can’t recall what happened but there are those days that are especially memorable. Thirty-nine years ago Brooksyne and I left the Springfield, Missouri area where we had met in Bible College and headed to Pennsylvania to start a church. I was 22 and she was 21. We held our first church service September 18, 1977 without much fanfare. I recall there were 24 at that first service, most out of sheer curiosity, never to return again. However one young couple, Mike and Kathy Matangelo, attended who went on to be a formative part of that church plant and who have remained friends to this day.

September 18 is also Mike’s birthday so I called him last night and we caught up and reminisced some of our memories over the last 39 years. Their children are serving the Lord with two of their sons in ministry. But they have also generously poured into the lives of others and today both serve in prison ministry in North Carolina.

Mike shared a heartening story with me that will encourage other long-time servants as well. In the early 80’s we started a boy’s program in our church called “Royal Rangers” seeking to provide a wholesome activity for boys in the church but we also wanted it to be an outreach. Mike was the long-time leader. Like many boys programs, such as the Boy Scouts, the boys were taught knot tying skills using baling twine.

Early on, Jim, a young boy from outside the church began to attend. As I recall he had no spiritual background. But he stayed in the program all the way through achieving the highest award.

We moved from that area to New England in the early nineties and several years later Mike and Kathy moved to North Carolina. Jim also left that area after he grew up so contact was lost in the shuffle of moves. But the Matangelos received a letter from Jim with a report that he was doing well, raising a family in New Jersey (he is a volunteer firefighter and was involved in the 9/11 cleanup). He included a small piece of baling twine and informed Mike he was still serving the Lord.

Looking back on those we have encountered through the years we try to stay in touch with as many as we can. What a joy when we share mutual faith and they continue in the service of the Lord. Of course sadly some have dropped out of the race (Hebrews 12:1). And there are those we just lose track of. What a joy to hear a report like Mike received from Jim!

As we talked last night we alluded to our investment in God’s Kingdom and I told Mike we had too much to gain to lose. We acknowledge that we are on the latter part of our race, pressing toward the finish line, with many miles behind us. Certainly we are a lot closer to it than the starting line!

Today’s Scripture portion is one of my longtime favorites, especially the verse that states, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

But today let us focus on a final challenge in this section, “Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”

Bible teacher L.O. Richards comments, “The picture that emerges as we connect these passages is an exciting one. God does have a high calling for Christians. But we attain it, not by self-reliant attempts to live by the law, but rather by humble commitment of ourselves to Jesus, asking and believing by faith that He will give us the power to follow Him.” *

Today we especially direct our message to those who have been in service for many years. Keep pressing on. We hope you hear some good reports like Mike did, but we have a promise that has become my life verse. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Indeed, there’s too much to gain to lose!

Too many sunsets lie behind the mountains
Too many rivers my feet have walked through
And there’s too many treasures awaiting over yonder
And there’s too much to gain to lose

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, when the valley is deep, when the mountain is steep, when my body is weary, when I stumble and fall. When the choices are hard, when I’m battered and scarred, when I’ve spent all my resources and given my all, it’s in Jesus’ name that I press on. With the prize of eternal life, clear before my eyes, I find the strength and courage to press on and I can do so through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. Amen.

Adapted – “lyrics of Press On” written by Dan Burgess

Some Scenes of Our Weekend

Amish family at harvest time 9/16/16
Another photo of our Amish neighbors. Looks like at least five of the children were helping Dad out, although one little girl paused to wave back at us.

Val-Co community service day 9/16/16
Friday we joined many of the employees at Val-Co for their annual community service day. This year teams went to five separate locations to serve; two nursing homes, an inner city church, a shelter for abused women and a home for troubled children. Brooksyne took the photo of this group she worked alongside in a nursing home while Ester and I visited the various groups who were working elsewhere.

Val-Co community service day 9/16/16
This team did work restoring a home that is used to provide services to troubled children.

White Oak Display community service day 9/17/16
On Saturday morning we participated in a “Walk Of Love” sponsored by “Brittany’s Hope” which aids abandoned children worldwide. We walked with the employees from White Oak Display, another company we serve as chaplains.

White Oak Display community service day 9/17/16
A beautiful walk through the woods near Elizabethtown, PA.

Sheldon Miller 5k race finish 9/17/16
There were many other individuals and groups participating in the event including Sheldon Miller, seen here finishing a 5k race. Sheldon works at Smucker Laser. He and his wife Jenna recently adopted a little girl from Vietnam, receiving assistance from Brittany’s Hope.

JK fathers at picnic 9/17/16
Saturday afternoon we attended a company picnic with the employees of JK Mechanical. This company has a lot of young men who install heating and air conditioning.  I regularly challenge the men to be good husbands and fathers.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Too Much To Gain To Lose”   Video   Jake Hess  This song just needs to be sung by an older voice and Jake provides that though he is now with the Lord.

“Press On”  Video  Selah

“Faithful One”  Video   Selah

* Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency

Finally today:

Sweetlife 9/16/16
The nature of our work takes us out a lot so when we get home we normally don’t get out again for pleasure. But Friday night we ventured into Lancaster City, which has maintained a vibrant downtown and heard Sweetlife, a couple from our area. Here’s a video sample of their music.
Lancaster Pressroom restaurant courtyard 9/16/16
Due to many special street musicians on Music Friday the city was especially busy with this inviting scene at the Pressroom Restaurant outdoor court. This coming Friday Ester is working at a “Newsboys” concert at the Lancaster Convention Center so we will be back in town again!

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 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.

“Daddy’s Hands”

September 16, 2016

Hands of older man
“Daddy’s Hands”
Message Summary: As you work with your hands rejoice in this act of obedience to God.  And pray that our country will return to its godly foundations, including a Biblical worldview of physical labor. Today as you go about your work duties remember the words of the Scripture and see your labor as an act of faith and obedience, indeed recognizing the sanctity of work.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (1 Thessalonians 4:11,12).

I remember Daddy’s hands, working ’til they bled.
Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed.
If I could do things over, I’d live my life again.
And never take for granted the love in Daddy’s hands.

Today all three of us will be using our hands at a company sponsored Community Service Day. Each year the Val-Co Company shuts down company operations and for one day they serve the community and yet the employees still get paid!

In a footnote to Tuesday’s message we mentioned hearing a song at Sam S. Smucker’s funeral Monday afternoon that was used when various photos of his life were projected on the screen. It was a Country type song that told the story of “Daddy’s Hands” (We will post a link to a video below). It was a way to honor hardworking Sam S. Smucker.

Ester with Eugene Clark Weber April 1992 But as I listened to it I mused concerning my own father, Eugene Clark Weber, who passed away in 1998.  I tried to picture his hands which was easier after Ester brought me the photo of her sitting on her Papa’s lap as seen in the photo. Several of the themes in the song seemed to fit my childhood experience. Today I want to especially consider that they were hard-working hands as expressed in the phrase from the song.

I remember Daddy’s hands, working ’til they bled.
Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed.

I recall my Dad’s hands as big, rough and calloused. He was a large man who worked hard all his life. He and Mom married on October 17, 1944 while he was serving in WW2. I don’t recall that he ever received formal training for what he did but he learned by doing and he was driven by the sense knowing he needed to provide for his wife and family.

Through most of my childhood he did Heating and Air Conditioning and then later was a pipefitter. In his last ten years of employment before he retired he worked for large international companies and travelled to supervise large power projects as a Project Manager. I am sure even then he was a hands-on supervisor, demonstrating how something should be done. Most notably he was one of the first Americans into China in the mid-seventies and travelled to places where he was the first white man people had ever seen. Even in his retirement he worked with his hands and assisted several churches and ministries with projects.

When I was eight years old Daddy broke some bones in his hand due to grasping too tight a grip on a set of plyers. He continued to work while it was in a cast. Another memory was a labor problem in the Kansas City area in the late sixties which shut down his regular work for several months. He sought temporary, fill-in type work till the matter was resolved and since it was in the summer when school was out he took me to work with him.

Although I didn’t go into the same type of work he demonstrated and taught me many skills useful all though my life.

Our daily text is one of the great statements on physical labor in the Bible. Paul began the church in Thessalonica and the record of this rocky start is recorded in Acts 17:1-9. The fledgling church survived and the Holy Scriptures contain two letters written by Paul to these believers. Both letters contain a thought somewhat unique in Paul’s writings. In Paul’s second letter to them he develops this thought more fully in chapter 3:6-15. Possibly it was due to a problem that needed to be addressed in Thessalonica because of a mistaken view of the Lord’s return. Some felt they no longer needed to work since the return of the Lord was so imminent.

Paul reminded them of the value of work and the consequences of not working. Notice that  Paul was merely reminding them of his teaching while he was with them. “Just as we told you.” I believe this indicates that this teaching was an integral part of Paul’s ministry. He modeled it himself when he made tents in Corinth for a time.

Today we will focus on just one phrase, “Work with your hands.” Most of you work with your hands. Today we use that phrase for manual labor but virtually all types of work, whether deemed skilled and unskilled, require the use of our hands.*

As you work with your hands rejoice in this act of obedience to God.  And pray that our country will return to its godly foundations, including a Biblical worldview of physical labor. Today as you go about your work duties remember the words of the Scripture and see your labor as an act of faith and obedience, indeed recognizing the sanctity of work.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we make it our ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind our own business and to work with our hands, just as Scripture tells us. In doing so we provide for our families and tenderly hold them protecting them from harm’s way. We seek not only to win our family’s respect but also respect from outsiders who observe our Christian conduct. May the things we do with our hands and the ways we show love in our actions truly honor You and be a witness to others in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


Brooksyne’s special note about “Daddy’s Hands”: Not all who read this message today about “Daddy’s Hands” will identify with Stephen as he wrote about his dad nor will they relate to the dad in the song whose hands were folded in prayer or who patted his child on the back expressing affirmation. Perhaps they only knew “hands of steel” or hands of neglect, abandonment or abuse. If so, I want to assure you that if you had an earthly father who did not lovingly raise you, you can find reassurance and love in the Heavenly Father described by Jesus who has given us eternal life so that we will never perish. Our heavenly Father is so lovingly committed to us that He declares “No one can snatch us out of His hands” (John  10:27-30).  What warmth, reassurance and tender love we can experience when reflecting upon this verse describing Jesus as the Great Shepherd and keeper of our souls and our heavenly Father who holds us safely, lovingly, and tenderly cupped in His hands.

* I do not like the designation “skilled” and “unskilled” which often tends to rank people. Many “unskilled” workers actually have skills that “skilled workers” may not have.

Note: I suppose it’s happened to about everyone who uses a computer: I had put several hours of study in this message and walked away w/o saving my work. I prepare these messages on a budget html editor which I am very used to and it’s free. But it doesn’t have the auto save function like Word and better programs. The computer must have restarted to load some updates and when I reopened, guess what!!! I share that for any of you who might be having a day like that – just remember we all do from time to time.

Note regarding Wednesday’s message concerning “Wholesome Words“: Two preacher friends wrote who both recall having their mouths washed out with soap!


Yesterday we attended the Decision America Prayer Rally on a beautiful day in Harrisburg. Leading the rally was Franklin Graham, eldest son of 97 year old Billy Graham. Here are some photos from the rally.

Decision America prayer rally, Harrisburg, PA 9/15/16
A close-up view of the Pennsylvania state capitol. Prior to the rally, tours were given which revealed the many expressions of Christian influence in the capitol.

Decision America prayer rally, Harrisburg, PA 9/15/16
The Decision America team came in on several large busses with colorful markings. We caught this scene on the way to the rally with the crowd gathering behind us and this view of the Pennsylvania Capitol in front of us.

Decision America prayer rally, Harrisburg, PA 9/15/16
Amen!

Decision America prayer rally, Harrisburg, PA 9/15/16
The rally began at noon and lasted just 1 hour. People had come from all over the state.
The first part of the rally we prayed followed by some specific ways to make a difference, followed by a brief gospel presentation and invitation to follow Christ.

Decision America prayer rally, Harrisburg, PA 9/15/16
Here’s a view looking behind where we stood. Neither of these views capture all the people to each side of us. The rally was nonpolitical with absolutely no mention of parties or candidates apart from the clear statement that Graham made that no political party will get this country out of the mess we are in, to which we all said AMEN. The entire rally video is now posted on this website. Here’s a brief presentation by a local TV station.

Following the rally Brooksyne and I, along with our pastor, attended a luncheon with the Pennsylvania Family Institute which contends for Biblical and traditional values.

Father, we know the Scripture well and often quote Your promise to forgive: “If my people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” We want to go beyond quoting and put into practice that which we ask of us so that You will do that which we ask of You through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Daddy’s Hands”  Video  Holly Dunn  This is the song mentioned in today’s message.

I remember daddy’s hands folded silently in prayer
And reachin’ out to hold me, when I had a nightmare
You could read quite a story in the callous’ and lines
Years of work and worry had left their mark behind

I remember daddy’s hands how they held my mama tight
And patted my back for something done right
There are things that I’d forgotten that I loved about the man
But I’ll always remember the love in daddy’s hands

I remember daddy’s hands workin’ ’til they bled
Sacrificed unselfishly just to keep us all fed
If I could do things over, I’d live my life again
And never take for granted the love in daddy’s hands

Refrain
Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin’
Daddy’s hands were hard as steel when I’d done wrong
Daddy’s hands weren’t always gentle but I’ve come to understand
There was always love in daddy’s hands


Finally today: In the category of “You’ve surely got to be kidding me” I came across this blog article titled “10 Ways The Ideology of ISIS And Franklin Graham Is Near-Identical” It is so bad that even many comments on the far left wing blog point out its absurdity. Turns out this man has an assortment of really whacky viewpoints. I came across the article due to an attempt to try to understand the direction so many of our younger people (millennials) are heading.

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.

“Using Wholesome Words”

September 14, 2016

Mountain view 9/11/16
View from Broad Mountain in Franklin County PA looking west.
That’s a road in the center of the photo.

“Using Wholesome Words”

Message Summary: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Ephesians 5:4). “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth” (Colossians 3:8).

Washing Out Mouth sign

Several years ago we were at a festival with various craft displays and came upon a booth that sold home-made soaps. It had a long but interesting name, “Wash Your Mouth Out Soap Company” with the humorous tag line, “Soap So Good It’ll Make You Wanna Cuss!!!” For younger readers that may not know, it alludes to the threat of having your mouth washed out by soap if you swear, as was the custom of my youth.

I don’t know how many of our readers will identify but the soap sign sure brought back a memory from my younger teen years. I had just begun to use some cuss words in my attempt to look and sound “grown-up”. I tried to be careful and swear only around friends I sought to “impress”. But I still vividly recall the exact place in front of our garage in Belton Missouri where I slipped with a swear word within hearing range of my mom. I recall the precise swear word, which I will not and do not need to mention here.

Ivory soap bottle My little innocent mama, red faced with rage (as much as she was capable of mustering anyway), commissioned my older brother Pat  to wash my mouth out with soap, in this case a bottle of Ivory dish soap squirted full strength directly into my mouth. Pat, eight years older than I, loved the chore Mom assigned to him. He placed me in a tight bear hug grip as he applied Mom’s “therapy”. Pat is now a retired pastor who will soon celebrate his 70th birthday but at that time he had not been converted to Christ and took great pleasure in disciplining his little brother, although I am quite sure at that time he also used salty language from the world as well.

The soap was not tasty and I learned my lesson, at least to the extent of never swearing in front of Mom again. It was several years later that I was born again and invited the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit to clean up my vocabulary.  By the way, it’s been nearly 50 years since my mouth-washing experience and I am grateful for the discipline, although not surprisingly an online search now associates washing the mouth out with soap as child abuse!!!

Now we are flooded with a culture of profanity and coarse language, from prime time TV to popular music, from sports to news shows. Just walking through a store or any public setting we’re often assaulted by offensive language. But sadder yet is profanity in the pulpit that some pastors use in order to be “relevant” in seeking to connect with the world. Such strategy, in our opinion, is similar to youth using the salty language they hear from adults to appear “grown-up” or connecting with their peers.

I believe we need a restored sense of reverence, in our conduct and in our conversation.

The other day I got into a conversation with a man whom I have befriended. He is a big burly tattoo-covered ex-con. I asked him if he would be more receptive to my message if I began to use profanity and practiced some other “worldly” ways in order to make a connection with him. He laughed, giving me the look of “Are you nuts?” as he considered the absurdity of my suggestion.

This is also a good time to remind believers not only to guard their language regarding profanity but also to honor God’s name in their conversation according to the third commandment, “Do not take the name of the Lord our God in vain”. Using God’s name flippantly as part of a casual exclamation of excitement is certainly not using it with respect. How can we say, “Oh my God,” as simply a mindless exclamation when God is completely holy and righteous, the supreme ruler of the universe, the creator, our redeemer, and the judge of all?

Today’s text is easy to outline in regard to speech that honors God and is a blessing to others. Let us consider these four standards:

  • Wholesome Words “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth.” The Bible does not have a list of unwholesome words and of course, due to various languages and the way they change over time, this would be quite a list if it did! But we can let the Holy Spirit, along with the input and example from wise elders, guide us. As we mature we will be able to distinguish between wholesome and unwholesome words.
  • Edifying Words “but only such a word as is good for edification.” These are words that build up rather than tear down. We’ve all at some point been recipients of hurtful words that tore us down. Let us determine to use words and thoughts that are “good for edification”, that build others up. *
  • Profitable Words “according to the need of the moment.” These are the timely words that impact others in their time of need.
  • Grace-giving Words “so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Grace-filled words are so needed regardless of where we live. Elsewhere Paul wrote, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6).

Here is another great Biblical standard for our speech, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we know the oft repeated expression that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me” is a mistaken message certainly not derived from Scripture. Harmful words or hurtful actions do irrevocable damage that will not disappear through first aid or antiseptic. Harmful words have a way of playing over and over in our head and enter into the deep recesses of our hearts. The more we cling to them the greater we risk exaggerating their original message. We build walls, become defensive and do little to resolve the problem. Help us to weigh our words carefully, put ourselves to the test of asking, “Are the words coming from my mouth pleasing in Your sight?” When we habitually put our words to this test we will not use foul language, engage in crude joking, gossip or slander another but we will instead choose to build one another up in love. Keep us faithful in doing so we pray in Jesus name. Amen.


* Although not related to profanity we heard an interesting point about being an edifier Monday afternoon at Sam S. Smucker’s funeral. The service was held at one of our large mega churches (The Worship Center) which happens to be pastored by Sam Smucker, who is Sam S. Smucker’s nephew. Pastor Smucker pointed back to where he’d look for his Uncle Sam, as he usually sat in the same seat each Sunday in the huge auditorium. Pastor Sam told the congregation he got strength just from seeing him. He went on to say how there are certain people like that (edifiers) when you preach, which any preacher can identify with. With a chuckle Pastor Sam also alluded to certain people you choose not to focus on (drainers)! As I reflect back on my many years of preaching I could list many encouragers as well as a few notable drainers!


Today I would like to share a few more photos from my weekend campout in the mountains.

Men and Boys campout service 09/11/16
We had a service at camp Sunday morning around the campfire.

Fried potatoes over open fire 09/11/16
A hearty but probably not heart healthy breakfast includes potatoes fried over an open fire. Onions and peppers and who knows what else will be added! Another griddle will have pounds of bacon and sausage while another has eggs and pancakes. Better get some exercise after this breakfast!

Steel-wheeled tractor 9/11/16
Sunday morning after our service and breakfast a group of us loaded our bikes on a trailer, piled into a van and rode up to the top of Broad Mountain (see here) for a long speed ride down. When we were unloading our bikes we noticed this blue steel-wheeled tractor backing toward us. I walked up the tractor and talked with them. It turned out to be a young old-order Mennonite family. The father had driven the tractor up the mountain to have a picnic on a vista point overlooking the Cumberland Valley. I asked where he had come from and it was a town about ten miles away! This particular branch of Mennonites use a horse and buggy but also allow steel-wheeled tractors for farm use. I suppose this young farmer preferred to drive his family in the tractor rather than take the horse and buggie up the mountain! It was surely easier for the horse as well.

Cumberland Valley vista view 9/11/16
Here’s the vista view from Broad Mountain looking out over the Cumberland Valley to the east. This is the view the Mennonite family was looking for to have their Sunday picnic. About ten years ago I preached a sermon with this view as a backdrop.
Click on photo to enlarge

No children to spare sign, Orrstown, PA 9/11/16
I know there’s a spiritual lesson in this sign!
It brings to mind this verse: Romans 8:32


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Let The Words Of My Mouth”  Video  Fernando Ortega

“May The Words Of My Mouth”  Video  Christy Nockels

Here’s a message by Greg Laurie about profanity (Note: We are troubled when leaders feel the need to use profanity to effectively communicate with relevance inappropriate, whether written or spoken.)

We appreciate this thought: I am not suggesting we attempt to be irrelevant and uncool, but my question is “Have we traded reverence for relevance?”

We also feel another aspect in this matter is a mistaken notion of Christian liberty which seems to now be used to justify many forms of worldliness. For a bit of humor see this satire piece” “Casual Sex, Drug Use Now Covered Under Local Man’s Definition Of ‘Christian Liberty’”

“Sometimes I Wonder”   Video   Ernie Haas and Signature Sound

“That’s Why”  Video  Ernie Haas and Signature Sound


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.