Fawn with groundhog (Photo by Doris High))Young fawn and groundhog
(Photo by Doris High)

“The Victory That Overcomes The World”

Note: Today we in the Pocono Mountains and plan to ride bikes on a trail along the Delaware Water Gap and on Saturday we will be taking the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway for a train ride up the gorge and we will ride our bikes 25 miles back down the gorge. We also plan to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail (or as I often tell people “walk the entire width”)

Due to travel a podcast was not prepared for this message. We have this email message set to go out automatically!

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:57,58). “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4)

Recently I met a man in our chaplain work named Victor, which prompted telling him a story which I also hope was a witness to him.

Larry is a friend of ours from Bible College. He turned to Christ as a young adult having already earned a degree in accounting and worked for Westinghouse. As a young convert his faith was vibrant both in Christian and non-Christian settings. Thus he was given an interesting nickname at work before he left to begin his preparations for ministry. His fellow workers called him Vic, not because his name was Victor (which it wasn’t) but because he constantly sang “Victory in Jesus.”

Larry was with Brooksyne and me one day during a time of deep discouragement after we had moved to Pennsylvania in 1977 to plant a church. His very presence was a source of encouragement. But we recall how a popular song at that time reassured us. We had a little portable tape player with the Andre Crouch song “Through It All”.

My heart strings are really pulled when I hear someone express “I’m really discouraged.” I know how spiritually crippling discouragement can be. It seems in all of our lives there are certain issues that can easily prompt discouragement. Keeping the right focus can be a real challenge. Thus what I am sharing today is not merely academic.

I am so glad the Word is written to inspire, instruct, strengthen and also to encourage! The daily verse is a powerful truth that we do well to hide deep in our hearts. The apostle Paul is completing a great portion asserting the foundation of the resurrection. He has powerfully made his point and as he finished he draws it all together with an exclamation of praise. “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This verse is so powerful in itself but an additional thought from a commentary especially blesses me. The word for “gives” is in the present tense and this is used to emphasize the certainty of the victory. It wasn’t just for that point in time, but it is a present ongoing victory that we have right here and now, and for tomorrow and the next and so forth.

Certainly we will have apparent setbacks and disappointments in life. But the promise is that “He gives us the victory.” Today let this truth flood your soul.  It will fill you with spiritual fervor and encourage your heart.

Today’s Scripture is followed by a portion that I have often described as my “life verse”. “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  I very specifically recall the time I was being examined for my ordination which was 36 years ago this month.  Only 24 years of age, I was sitting at a massive conference table for an interview with the presbyters (elders) who had served in ministry for many years. This was the final step in my approval for ordination.  The tried and proven elders asked various questions concerning my call to ministry, Bible knowledge, doctrinal understanding and so forth. It was very stressful and wearying.

As the meeting came to a close I recall one of the presbyters, Edward Menaldino, a very distinguished Italian minister who pastored a large church on Philadelphia’s south side, standing up, pausing, and deliberately making direct eye contact with me. He then solemnly and slowly quoted this Scripture portion from memory with the Spirit’s anointing.  Perhaps that’s why this passage has stood out over the years as it has been my constant guide through our years of Christian service.  Only God would know that the church we were planting at the time would have many ups and downs, difficulties would abound. I would need the Spirit’s prompting to never shrink back, but “always give myself fully to the work of the Lord knowing that my labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  As I kept my hand to the plow the blessings did unfold as God firmly established His work in that needy community.

That’s a word for you as well, dear friend. No matter what God has called you to do, give yourself fully to it, and know that your work is not in vain.  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  You may not see the fruit of that victory at the present, but trust God that He will reveal it to you in due time.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we give thanks to You that we can walk in victory because of Your Son Jesus Christ.  Once we were held captive by sin and its enslavement, but we have been set free through the redemptive work of Jesus and His glorious resurrection.  Each day brings new challenges, but we overcome them through the blood of the Lamb.  Help us to stand firm in our faith and immovable in Your Truths, as we daily serve You.  We are encouraged to know that nothing we do for You is in vain though we may not see immediate results.  Keep us obedient and trusting. In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

Note: Edward Menaldino passed away several years ago. I called him before he died and he was still actively serving Christ in his mid-eighties.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Through It All”  Video  Homecoming singers

“Victory In Jesus”  Video  David Ring  A heartfelt version by a true overcomer!

“Victory in Jesus/Power of the Blood Bluegrass medley”  Video  Shane and Shane with Bethany Dillon

“Through”  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

“Where No One Stands Alone”  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

Cerwin and Doris High are local friends I met through Transport For Christ. She is a prolific photographer and shares many, many photos here.

Finally today:

The Holstein cow is the most common type of dairy cow, distinguished by its white coat with black markings. They abound in this area with our many dairy farms. What do you make of this photo?

Holstein cow
Send comments here.


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

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

Amish buggy 5/27/15Yesterday we passed this Amish buggy near Smoketown, PA. A little girl has a great vantage point watching the passing traffic from an open window in the back. That prompts a long ago childhood memory when my dad got a station wagon with seats facing the back which I thought was so neat!

Note: Following our chaplain work today we are heading to the Pocono Mountains to ride bikes on a trail along the Delaware Water Gap on Friday and on Saturday we will be taking the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway for a train ride up the gorge and we will ride our bikes 25 miles back down the gorge. We also plan to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail (or as I often tell people “walk at least the entire width”).

“The Peril Of Being Listening Impaired”

Due to travel a podcast was not prepared for this message

“Go now to your countrymen in exile and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says,’ whether they listen or fail to listen” (Ezekiel 3:11).

We took care of my mother in our home during her final years before she passed away in November 2005. Many of us will be at this season of life at some point and a regular topic of discussion in our chaplaincy is dealing with those caring in one way or another for an elderly parent. It can be a real challenge, for parent and child, and Mom had many physical difficulties her last year.

We do recall many humorous moments though. Like many elderly she was hard of hearing but never wore hearing aids nor did she think she had any need for them. Once I was speaking to her and got progressively louder since she wasn’t responding. She put her hands to her hips and said with exasperation and in all seriousness, “Stephen, I’m not deaf, you know! My hearing is just fine – you just need to stop mumbling.”

Now in my mom’s case she tried hard to listen and excelled in her attentiveness. To this day I am sure readers who knew her will testify to one of her strengths; that of expressing personal interest in people’s everyday lives.  She really tried to listen but as she aged physically she just couldn’t hear well.

But let me extend a challenging question to all; How well do we listen to God and His messengers? I consider a well-known preacher who for many years has had a habit of regularly punctuating his sermon, at various points, by saying to his listening audience, “Now listen.” Indeed that is such an important reminder.

Today’s Scripture is a call to the prophet Ezekiel to be a faithful watchman in giving God’s message to the exiled people, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says…” He was to speak God’s message “whether they listen or fail to listen.”

In the English we properly make a distinction between hearing and listening. One can hear without listening. By “hear” we mean in the physical, audiological sense. It may even be loud but we don’t necessarily listen! My Mom had trouble with hearing, not listening. She had a common condition in aging also referred to as hearing impaired.

But today let us consider the peril of being “listening impaired”.

The Hebrew word for “listen” in our passage is “shama.” It conveys the sense of hearing intelligently with implication of attention, obedience, etc. The basic thought is that of effective hearing.

The Expository Dictionary of Bible Words makes this observation regarding this word: “The call to listen to God, which runs as a bright thread throughout the Old Testament, is a call to know what He said, to grasp the meaning of what He said, and to respond by putting God’s Word into practice.”  A wonderful example of this type of listening is found during a period of revival when Ezra read the Law to the people and they “listened attentively” (Nehemiah 8:3b).

God’s call to Ezekiel forthrightly acknowledges that some will listen and some won’t. That’s a good word of encouragement for preachers and all faithful witnesses today. We may get discouraged at those who show no indication of listening as we seek to earnestly expound God’s Word or give a witness for Christ.

Today I pray that God will help each of us to truly listen to His message and heed His words as we wholeheartedly serve Him. Let us be on our guard against the peril of being “Listening Impaired”.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, it’s interesting that we often plead for Your attention and certainly expect You to listen to our prayers and You assure us through Your word that You hear us when we call on You. But for true fellowship to exist we too must listen to Your voice through Scripture, through fellow believers, through Your many works of creation, and through Your still small voice that beckons our attention.  You have so much to tell us that will often encourage us, sometimes reprove us, but always spur us on to good works and needed spiritual perspective as we journey here below.  Help us to listen, to heed, and to be steadfast in our fellowship with You.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Brooksyne’s note: Attitudes that could contribute to being “listening impaired” might include, “I’ve already heard that a thousand times” or “Not now.  I’ll deal with that later.”  Many are deluged with so many electronic gizmos that are first priority from the time they rise to the time they retire.  Have you ever looked forward to going out to dinner with a friend(s) so you can catch up on each other’s lives only to play second fiddle to their cell phone in the car, at the dinner table, etc.  You get to feeling like you’re much less important than the folks they’re constantly chatting with on the phone.  I wonder if that’s how God feels when everything else is given priority over our time alone with Him so that we intentionally listen for His direction.


Robin family update

Ester is at it again taking these photos yesterday. My, do they grow up fast! She’s appreciated the nice comments sent her way about her recent photos.

Robins 5/27/15

Robins 5/27/15
Mama Robin has sure been busy!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“I Will Listen”  Video  Twila Paris This note from the YouTube uploader: “From Twila’s 1998 album “Where I Stand”, a song about listening to God’s voice. We should always be attuned to the voice of God, perhaps subconsciously. But particularly after we pray. Many people make the mistake of praying but then missing the answer because they weren’t paying attention. Others get impatient and give up on God and do things their own way. So, we need to have “patience to wait, when there is nothing clear”, and when there is “nothing to see, still we believe”.

“Come and Listen”  Video  David Crowder Band

“Leaning On You, Jesus”  Video   Christy Nockels

“O The Blood”  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Finally today:

Frisbee retrieval 5/27/15
We often share how our border collie, Mollie, likes to catch frisbees. Yesterday afternoon Brooksyne was tossing her a frisbee and it got caught in the tree (pink at top of photo). Mollie will bark furiously till something is done so Brooksyne who was raking weeds at the time threw a rake up to joggle the frisbee to the ground. Now the rake needs joggled loose from the tree. Mollie was not impressed!


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

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

“A Good Name”

May 27, 2015

Farm on Mount Pleasant Road in Lebanon County PA 5/26/15Yesterday afternoon in the course of our chaplaincy visitation we passed this farm on Mount Pleasant Road in Lebanon County.
(Click to enlarge)

“A Good Name”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1).

Gift Of A WeberThis morning we passed the Brubaker Appliance sign on Strasburg Pike near Lancaster. It especially caught our attention and prompted some joking around and then Brooksyne said, much to the delight of my heart, “I already have a Weber for Father’s Day.”

For non-USA readers Weber is the brand name of a popular grill although unrelated to me. The brand name is so familiar the sign didn’t even need to state, “Weber Grill”.

Years ago I visited the company headquarters near Chicago and would liked to have gone on a plant tour, one of my favorite avocations, but that was not available, even to a curious observer named Weber.

Weber Grill logo in 1963Interestingly, to me anyway, the full name of the company is The Weber-Stephen Products LLC. The photo to the left shows their company logo in 1963. Several times we have enjoyed a meal at the Weber Grill Restaurant in the Chicago area as well as Indianapolis. They grill the meats inside over charcoal grills and you can watch them grill your meal!

We use the phrase “good name” to describe a company with a good reputation. Weber is considered a good name in regard to grills. We serve as chaplains at a local home improvement company with this slogan, “Smucker is the name to know around your home.” Like many of you we have enjoyed Smucker products for years but, before moving to Lancaster County in 2001, we associated the good name Smucker with jams and jellies! Now we’ve come to know the Smucker family and the good reputation their company has earned over their being in business over 50 years.

Here in the USA our social security numbers (government ID) are a nine number sequence that uniquely identifies us. Can you imagine how different it would be if that’s how we were known! For example, I would extend my hand and say “Hello, I’m 672-58-2208.” They’d smile and say “Hello, I’m 843-97-4382.”* I have a hard enough time with names now, so I can’t imagine a system of memorizing numbers! I’ve had a difficult time in recent years memorizing phone numbers due to internal phone contact lists and speed dials. However I still have David Simpson’s phone # memorized from when we were children. I repeatedly dialed his number enough that it is permanently etched in my memory.

Names are important to us. People like to be addressed by their name; they like to see it spelled correctly and hear it pronounced properly. In our chaplaincy work we seek to learn names and address people by their proper name. It can be somewhat insulting to be addressed by pal, buddy, or the endearing term “Hon” by someone who is a complete stranger to you. Maybe one of the worst top ten ways to be addressed is, “Hey you!”

Our names identify us. Some names bring about pleasant thoughts. The daily text reinforces the value of having a good name, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”

I am named after the Bible character, Stephen. In my case it was not a family name up to that point but very purposefully the Bible character. Not surprisingly Stephen is one of my favorite Bible characters and his name means “crowned one.” Brooksyne’s name is an original made up by her Mom so there’s not a special meaning behind it, except that it is a derivative of her father’s name, Brooklyn. She assists people with the pronunciation by saying remember, “scene of a brook” but turn it around and say, “Brook scene” with the accent on the second syllable. One advantage (or for some a disadvantage) to such a name is how easy it is to find her using a google search! Few people can be identified through google just by their first name.

“A good name is more desirable than great riches.” A good name in the text means a name that connotes a person of honorable character with a good reputation. For instance when we refer to a business like Weber Grill that is known for its quality and integrity, we often say “It has a good name.” Having a good name is truly more desirous than great riches.

As in most things, having a good name is harder to build than it is to destroy. Building a good name requires patience, effort, time, and other virtues, most of them included in the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22,23). Yet it can all come crashing down with one very bad choice (though the one single devastating choice generally follows with other poor choices).

A good name is developed over time, really a lifetime, and the true judgment of success will not be known until this life is over and we personally meet the Lord. Having a good name remains one of our most precious assets that we must carefully guard.

Consider your name. What do you suppose others think when they hear your name or read it in print? Does your name represent a person who has solid integrity based upon his or her virtuous character? Let us strive to hear the highest commendation by the Judge of all character, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father God, the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, stands out among all the rest, for it is only in His name that we have power to combat the enemy as we come boldly to Your throne of grace. May our name, and all that we stand for, be respected among those who know us and those whom we work for. May the way we live and conduct our lives bring blessing to our family, our community and to the kingdom of God. Amen.

* * These aren’t real numbers that I know of. I just made it up. (But possibly they actually are somebody’s!)

Brooksyne’s Note: Before we left the St. Marys, PA area in 1993 where we had lived almost 16 years while establishing a church I read in our local paper, “Congratulations on your second birthday, Brooksyne”. That was a bit shocking to my eyes since I’d never read about another “Brooksyne” in print. Since it was spelled the same as mine I wondered if the child was named after me, but she lived in a town ten miles away and I didn’t know how to find out. Only this past year did I come across this name again and followed up since this young lady is on Facebook. I wrote her and asked about the origin of her name. She said her grandfather saw the name in a church bulletin over 23 years ago, liked it, and recommended it to his daughter so she named her new baby Brooksyne, but pronounces it, “Brook sin”. She was quite pleased by my contact through Facebook since she has wanted to find out more about her name over the years. Her grandfather died while she was a child which was her only lead up to that time.


Barn in Lebanon County PA 5/26/15
The interesting shape of the barn especially caught our attention in our lead photo as well as the design below the windows which appear to be doors, though upon closer inspection is only trim.

Arrangement at Amish greenhouse 5/26/15
We stopped by The Country View Amish greenhouse near our home and thought this arrangement was nice. The flowers are so perfect they looked artificial.

Colorful pots at Amish greenhouse 5/26/15
Colorful pots and colorful flowers!

Sign at Amish greenhouse 5/26/15
They didn’t use spellcheck but it’s nice to see they observed Pentecost Sunday the following day by closing their business.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Wish You Were Here”  Video  Kingsmen Quartet

S.S. Smucker video “Smucker is the name to know around your home.”

Weber Grills From the company history section, “In 1952 George Stephen Sr. was working at Weber Brothers Metal Works in Chicago, Illinois, manufacturing marine buoys when he came up with an idea for a better grill. His invention: a dome-shaped grill with a lid to protect food from the elements, while sealing in that only-from-the-grill barbecue flavor. George Stephen cut a buoy in half, added some air vents and legs and, in the process, invented the grill that would spark a backyard revolution.”

At Weber Grill restaurantThe Weber Grill was invented by George Stephen in 1952
He was working at Weber Brothers Metal Works in Chicago, Illinois, manufacturing marine buoys when he came up with an idea for a better grill. His invention: a dome-shaped grill with a lid to protect food from the elements, while sealing in that only-from-the-grill barbecue flavor. George Stephen cut a buoy in half, added some air vents and legs and, in the process, invented the grill that would spark a backyard revolution, backyard grilling. This photo was taken at the Weber Grill restaurant

Weber Grill Restaurant indoor grills 3/25/10

They grill inside on real charcoal on these large kettle grills and you can watch them cook your meal! Ester watched them grill her hamburger.


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

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

Rainbow (photo by Ester)Ester took this photo last Monday evening from our church entrance.

“Happy Birthday Church!”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren, a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together” (Acts 1:15).  When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place” (Acts 2:1). “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself” (Acts 2:39).

What is the most famous event you’ve ever attended? Brooksyne and I have been to a lot of places and done a lot of things but we don’t believe any of these events will hold great historical significance to future generations. Today let us consider an event that took place 2,000 years ago that was celebrated this last Sunday all over the world, The Day of Pentecost, which is wholly significant to the birth of the Christian church.

On Sunday morning I taught a Sunday School class and, in the course of teaching, we considered those who might have been among the 120 persons in the Upper Room. Since Pentecost is regarded as the birth of the Church we might consider these followers to be the pre-church. At Longwood Manor Sunday afternoon several “Happy Birthday” balloons were attached to the dining table centerpieces and I teasingly asked residents, “Are these for the church!”

Following the Ascension they gathered in the Upper Room. The Bible tells us who some of them were; “Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together)” (Acts 1:13-15). Apart from being together praying their only order of business was selecting a replacement for Judas.

The named individuals account for a small percentage of the one hundred and twenty so we are left to wonder who else was there. Was Lazarus there along with his sisters Mary and Martha? Was Zaccheus with them? What about Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimethea? Of course we are not told but it seems to me to be a reasonable conjecture that some of the same people that Jesus healed and delivered and interacted with during His ministry would be among them.

The initial one hundred and twenty expanded rapidly that day following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Empowered by the Spirit Peter preached the Gospel and this glorious promise: “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself” (Acts 2:39).

That day some 3,000 souls were added to the church, I suppose those we would call the original charter members. Interestingly soon thereafter many were also added to the church who were not present in Jerusalem. Following the powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit many signs accompanied such as miraculous healings and evil spirits were driven out of those who were possessed. Right in the midst of this exciting birth of the church persecution soon followed with the intent of silencing the gospel message of salvation.

In Acts 1 Jesus appeared to the apostles and gave them instructions about waiting in Jerusalem for the gift God had for them.  He instructs them in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” The strategy of how to reach those all around the globe was not disclosed by Jesus, only that God wanted the gospel message to be spread “to the ends of the earth.” Interestingly, right after Stephen was stoned, God used the persecution that Christians experienced to scatter them to other regions such as Phillip who left Jerusalem and headed north to Samaria where he witnessed to the Ethiopian eunuch and baptized him in water.

Where is God sending you today? Who do you know that has not heard or responded to the gospel message of salvation? As we pray and obey God makes a way for us to share His salvation message to those who need to hear it.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we are deeply moved within our spirit, as we consider the day of Pentecost when You presented Your gift from heaven, the blessed Holy Spirit, to the 120 in the upper room which marked the beginning of the early church. But even more personally You make the Holy Spirit available to all, in every generation, who come to You in faith, who surrender their hearts to You and forsake the ways of the world. The tongues of fire came upon those who gathered in the upper roon filling them with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in tongues as Your Holy Spirit enabled them. May we also be yielded, open, and ready to receive the fullness of Your Holy Spirit so that we walk in the power of Your Spirit, boldly proclaiming the salvation message, “Jesus saves.” Wherever You send us to share this message we’re confident that You will prepare the way just as you did to the Ethiopian eunuch who was reading from Isaiah but needed a believer to explain more fully. You sent Philip at just the right moment and the eunuch was gloriously saved. We too can go forth in the same power with the same kind of opportunities as we prayerfully look for opportunities and obey the leading of Your Holy Spirit. In the name of Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.


Sunset 5/26/15 (Photo by Ester)
We just don’t take our lovely sunsets for granted! Last night Ester snapped this photo of the sun framed between two distant trees.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Jesus Saves”  Video  Travis Cottrell


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

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

“Let Us Remember”

May 25, 2015

Note: Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday and we want to share a message regarding this special day tomorrow. Today we share a Memorial Day message.

Lawn view 5/23/15We had a beautiful weekend with everything a vibrant green after some rain last week. Here is a view of our front lawn with a special feature in the distance, an Amish farmer with a team of two horses pulling a hay baler!
(Click on photo for larger view)

“Let Us Remember”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you” (Deuteronomy 32:7). “Remember your leaders, who spoke the Word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7).

Today is Memorial Day here in America, a day primarily set aside to remember the fallen from America’s Civil War but which has also grown into a time when we remember all who have fallen in war. This is commendable and we must not forget the sacrifices made to protect and maintain our freedom. My father was a WW2 veteran and Brooksyne’s dad served during the Korean War.

It is also a time when many especially remember their loved ones who have died. I consider a country cemetery near Schell City MO where my parents are buried. The Scripture on their tombstone expresses the faith they had in Jesus Christ with these words from the Apostle Paul, “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.”

Yesterday I preached a message to a group of residents and made a point concerning my first conscious exposure to death when my first grandparent died. Prior to that I gave little thought to the finality of death. However since then as both a person and a pastor I have had a lot of exposure to death and as we age we have more and more.

In his final sermon (the entire Book of Deuteronomy) Moses prepared to pass the mantle of leadership on to his successor Joshua. He called the people to “Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past.” I believe this to be a command for all people of all generations, not just the initial listeners. Of course “the days of old and generations long past” have been growing since Moses gave this command some 3,400 years ago!

It’s interesting to observe how many times the Bible reminds us to consider our history. History was very important in the life of the people. Great New Testament sermons like Peter’s on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and Stephen’s (Acts 7) are rooted in history, the record of God’s providential work in space and time. Hebrews 12, known as the faith chapter, commends “the ancients” for their faith, name by name. It is an excellent overview of God’s working in history in the lives of prominent Bible characters.

Today one of the great strategies of Satan is a blurring and de-emphasis of history, whether it be the extremely poor grasp of history evident among so many in this “living only in the now” age or the deceptions of the historical revisionists who essentially rewrite history to suit their own worldview. If Satan can get us to lose perspective of the past a trap is set for the lie of living only for the “Now.” Forget the past and we place little value on the future, supremely our eternal future.

“Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.” Many like us can no longer ask our father (Stephen’s passed away in 1998 and Brooksyne’s in 2000). Increasingly many have not known the love of an earthly father, but we do well to inquire of our spiritual fathers and elders. Above all we learn from the elders in the Holy Scriptures.

The writer of Hebrews reminded his readers and all of us, “Remember your leaders, who spoke the Word of God to you.” Consider those who have shared God’s Word with you throughout your life. For many it will be a godly parent or close relative. It may be a pastor, Sunday School teacher or other godly influence, perhaps a camp counselor or other individual you met along life’s journey who has impacted your life for Christ.

I once asked a congregation if they would like to verbally pay tribute to someone who had made an impact on their life. Peter, a few years older than I, recalled an earnest teacher in his Junior High class who often stressed “the fundamental fundamentals and basical basics.” Peter shared how the students snickered at the teacher’s improper English and oft repeated phrase but in retrospect over the years he realizes how her earnest emphasis on truth made a difference in his life, by her words and her conduct.

We are also called to “consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” I am so thankful for those whose lives I have personally observed as I witnessed the transforming change Christ makes. The leaders whom our text refers to were real people who were known personally by those they served. The word for imitate is a Greek word from which we get “mimic”.

Today, let us indeed remember the days of old and consider the value of generations long past!  Let us remember our leaders, who spoke the Word of God to us and consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Ancient of Days, You have given us Your Holy Word as a spiritually historical foundation to build our lives upon. Through the centuries Your greatness is demonstrated through ordinary people just like us and through Your awesome acts that reveal Your incomparable power and divine attributes. History in the past and history in the making is subordinate to Your sovereign work in the lives of Your people. We choose to remember our leaders, who spoke the Word of God to us and consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith as we lovingly submit ourselves into Your merciful hands. Amen.


Lawn view 5/23/15
Several times our Amish neighbor passed our house on Saturday. It was a noisy rig and caught our attention and that of our dogs every time.

2015 Watchmen On The Wall conference
Last Wednesday through Friday I attended the “Watchmen On The Wall” conference in Washington DC, which begins and ends with a Messianic Jewish Rabbi blowing the shofar.

2015 Watchmen On The Wall conference
This year I went to the conference with my brother Pat, who is a pastor in the Lehigh Valley, along with Pastor Alan Walters (left) from Lebanon PA and Ken Mull, a businessman from his church (right).

Mount Pleasant impromptu ensemble 5/24/15 (Photo by Ester)
Yesterday we had quite a lot of folks away from the Memorial Day weekend, including members of both praise teams at our church. So Brooksyne called out several people from the congregation to come up on the platform and form an impromptu ensemble, which they willingly complied. It sounded as though they’d practiced earlier in the week with their harmonies, because it turned out very nice.


More photos of our baby robins taken by Ester

Baby robins 5/23/15 (photo by Ester)
“I wonder when Mom’s coming back?”

Baby robins 5/23/15 (photo by Ester)
“Hurry back Mom, we’re famished!
Or perhaps they are singing the Hallelujah Chorus!

Baby robins 5/23/15 (photo by Ester)
After a tasty worm it’s nap time. I guess the bird’s prickly straw is as comfy as human’s feathery pillow (although I’d prefer the latter).


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Always”  Video  Kristian Stanfill

“Jesus, Only Jesus” (Billingsley, Penrod, Cottrell, O’Brien)

“Ancient of Days”  Video  Ron Kenoly

“Nothing Less (Great is Thy Faithfulness)”   Video  Charles Billingsley

“In a Moment”  Video   Charles Billingsley

For those who may be interested, especially pastors, the entire 2015 “Watchman On The Wall” conference is available for viewing here. (Each session is a separate video). Ester watched some of the conference live stream and reported she could see me in some of the crowd photos! The conference encourages and equips Bible believing pastors from all denominations to stand faithful against the surge of evil our country is facing.

Finally today:

Amish photobomb at National Day of Prayer 5/7/15 (Photo by Mike Martin)

A couple of weeks ago I shared a photo from our local National Day of Prayer event taken by our friend Mike Martin at the county wide rally with Ravi Zacharias speaking. It included an Amish man who had turned around just as Mike snapped the photo. Saturday I got a call from the Amish man in the photo who happens to be a longtime reader of our messages. He told me had just turned around to speak to someone when Mike took the photo. He requested a copy for himself and happens to to be a man who years ago requested I record suggested music from Daily Encouragement on his answering machine!


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

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

Note: Due to Stephen being out of town for a conference in Washington messages will not be prepared for Thursday and Friday. We expect to resume new messages on Monday, May 25.

Eshelman's Mill Covered Bridge 5/16/15
Saturday morning we caught this scene of the Eshelman’s Mill Covered Bridge.

“The Mark Of A True Disciple”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.”By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

Several years ago a commercial popularized the phrase, “I love ya’ man”.  It was an insincere expression with an ulterior motive in selling an evil product.

But we consider those to whom we earnestly express our love as brothers and sisters in Christ. It is that love spoken of by our Lord Jesus in the daily texts. Today consider the special people in your life and let’s truly demonstrate this love for one another. Our world needs to see Christians demonstrating this mark of genuine discipleship at a time when the expression “I love you” has often become meaningless. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God” (1 John 4:7a).

Christianity is often maligned and ridiculed in many parts of our world and increasingly here in our own country. The secular media and arts often mock our faith in Jesus Christ. Blaspheme the Lord, call it “art”, and you just might get a huge government grant.  Sadly, many of the programs on the “Christian” TV stations are not at all representative about what we believe or practice as a follower of Christ. But millions of genuine disciples of Christ are planted all over the world today living out their faith in relative obscurity, usually seen only by God and those in their small area of influence.

Expressions of love and acts of compassion are continually happening as we “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Genuine disciples lovingly serving others in the name of Jesus Christ is modeled in the Bible and carried out in the lives of believers day after day. In many cases these are brothers and sisters who reach out to others in Christian compassion yet they have never personally met the recipients of their kind acts or generous gifts.

Before Jesus went to the Cross he gave a lengthy teaching recorded in John’s gospel. In our first daily text He teaches a distinguishing mark of the true disciple: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  Coming out of Bible College this verse and a small booklet titled “The Mark Of The Christian” by Francis Schaeffer heavily influenced our understanding of Christianity.

As many believers already know, the word “love” in this verse comes from the Greek word “agapé” which speaks of an “in spite of” type of love.  Brooksyne and I were so impressed with this Greek word that we named the church we established in St. Marys, Pennsylvania “AGAPE” in 1977. It took a few years for the community to learn that the name of our church was not speaking of agapé as in “mouth open” but as in “the love of Christ.”

The second daily text somewhat intrigues us for surely there is an appropriate use for verbally expressing love. We believe John is saying, “Let us not love with words or tongue” only, for there is plenty of talk about love and merely saying it is not enough. Genuine disciples expressing genuine love need to back their verbal expressions with loving actions in accordance to God’s Word.  Today, let us indeed love one another and express our genuine discipleship!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, may we be people who are quick to notice the ways in which we can be of special blessing to others. It seems quite easy when it comes to those whom we befriend. We often recognize their need before they express it and find genuine fulfillment in being Your hand extended to them. But You challenge us to go even further in making ourselves available to our enemies with whom it is not natural to provide for their needs. In expressing agapé to those around us we love in spite of what we see or have experienced. May all that we do on behalf of others be an expression of Your heavenly touch extended through Christian human service. It is in Your strength and compassion that we can do that which is unnatural to our human flesh, but natural to our redeemed spirit. Amen.


Today through Friday I (Stephen) will be going to Washington DC for a “Watchman on the Wall” conference sponsored by Family Research Council.  Due to my attendance at this conference we do not expect to post new messages on Thursday and Friday. Although Brooksyne is quite capable of writing them she has not learned the technical steps needed to produce and post them.


Amish couple harvesting hay 5/16/15
This Amish couple is harvesting hay together.
He’s upfront with the baler. She just hitched the team to a second wagon.Friendly horses 5/16/15
We passed these friendly horses the other day.
They appear to be conversing through the fence!

Mother robin 5/17/15
A couple of weeks ago we observed that a resourceful robin had built a nest on our deck porch light. We have a great view looking down on the nest from our bathroom window only about seven feet away. We noticed three eggs as Mother Robin does her duty as God designed.

Baby robin 5/17/15
Sunday we saw the first sign of new life!

Mother robin with baby robins 5/18/15
By Monday afternoon we had two (at least) little hungry mouths. (The white diagonal across the top is my gutter as she has made her nest under my eaves.)


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Be Devoted”  Video   Acappella

“We’re All Here to Learn”  Video   Dailey & Vincent + Jimmy Fortune  Yesterday Brooksyne and I had breakfast at the Crackerbarrel and picked up a new CD by one of my favorite Bluegrass groups, not necessarily her type of music, but we both like this song and the message although it sounds a lot better on the CD.

“I Believe”  Video  Dailey & Vincent  This song really touches my heart

“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”  Video  The Homecoming singers with a huge robed choir. Tim, a friend of ours, suggested this song in relation to yesterday’s message on “The Bright Morning Star”.

“Daystar (Shine Down On Me)”  Video  Jason Crabb and the GVB  (Another song that would have been appropriate.)

Here’s a better photo of the Eshelman’s Mill Covered Bridge (seen in our lead photo) taken by someone else!


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

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

Turkey Hill traveling cowTurkey Hill has several huge traveling cows, an interesting marketing strategy, for this local dairy! This cow featuring all their flavors was parked at the Rhubarb Festival held at the Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA this last Saturday.

“The Bright Morning Star”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16).

Living out in the country we sure enjoy stepping outside on a clear night and observing the heavens. The Psalmist wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard” (Psalm 19:1-3).

But today we consider a single star, the true victor in the cosmic battle between good and evil (the real “star wars”). Although the battle continues to rage on our planet, as Satan takes captive as many as possible, the outcome is assured. We who belong to Christ are on the victorious side! This is not science fiction. This is a reality series in progress each day of our pilgrimage here on earth!

Balaam, in one of the first Messianic prophecies in the Bible prophesied, “A star will come out of Jacob” (Numbers 24:17).  Many centuries later the prophet Malachi had spoken this word of assurance, “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings.” Jesus said in the Gospels, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John wrote, “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.”

In Isaiah 14, many believe this passage refers to the fall of Satan. He is exposed as a fallen morning star. “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High'” (Isaiah 14:12-14).

Zechariah prophesied in Luke 1 concerning his newly born son John the Baptist who was to appear before Christ the Dayspring: “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:76-79).

In today’s text Jesus speaks from the final chapter of the entire Bible. He identifies Himself as “the bright Morning Star.”  There are over 100 different names and titles for Jesus in the Bible but this is the final one.  This self-proclaimed title reminds us that Jesus is the One who gives eternal light. It reminds us that the promise of His coming shines brightly even in the darkness that surrounds us.  When Edwin More wrote the hymn “The Solid Rock” he tells us how to deal with these dark periods in our lives with the following words, “When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace.”

Henry Gariepy comments, “As dawn breaks, the stars of the sky gradually give way until only one star remains. All others fade from view except for the morning star. Jesus, as our Bright Morning Star, shines brightly when all other stars of our life fade away. Things that now shine so brightly on the horizon of our lives will someday fade and vanish away. The stars of prestige, position, possessions, of persons dear to us, will one by one grow dim and fade away. But after everything else has vanished, Christ will still shine brightly.”

An artist once drew a picture of a lone man rowing his little boat on a very dark night. The wind was whipping and the waves raged around his frail little boat. But one star shone through the dark and fierce sky above. On that star the voyager fixed his eyes and kept on rowing through the storm. Beneath the picure were the words, “If I lose that I’m lost”.

Today we encourage you, Brothers and Sisters, don’t lose sight of the Bright Morning Star. Live in His light and let it shine through you to a dark and troubled world!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:  Father, thank You for Jesus, the Bright Morning Star. We also thank You for John the Baptist who had a vital role as prophet of the Highest when he gave knowledge of salvation to unbelievers leading them to repentance of their sins. We thank You that he came to give light to those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide their feet into the way of peace. We consider the ultimate price that he paid in laying down his life because he was a prophet who spoke the truth even when it cost him everything. He didn’t preach “peace and comfort” to those practicing sin, but instead he told them how to be saved. Help us to follow his example and lead unbelievers to the Bright Morning Star who will guide us through this dark, sin troubled world to the eternal abode where there will be no more night, for Your glory will give us light and the Lamb will be as a lamp for all to see. Keep us faithful until that eventful day we pray. Amen.


On Wednesday-Friday I (Stephen) will be going to Washington DC for a “Watchman on the Wall” conference sponsored by Family Research Council.  Due to my attendance at this conference we do not expect to post new messages on Thursday and Friday. Although Brooksyne is quite capable of writing them she has not learned the technical steps needed to produce and post them.


Saturday morning we took our friends Mike and Kathy and their daughter Tina for some sightseeing here in Lancaster County.

Fishing derby 5/16/15
On Saturday morning, invited by our Amish friends, we visited a fishing derby on a trout stream near Paradise. With hundreds of people, mostly Amish, lined up along the stream for several hundred yards we had quite a time finding them due to the abundance of Amish apparel and hairstyles!

Fishing derby 5/16/15
The horse in the background added to the pleasant view!

Amish boy holding fish 5/16/15
This boy was sure proud to show me his catch.

Amish boy holding fish 5/16/15
Of course Eli James wanted to show off his catch as well!

Then we drove over to the Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse PA for a Rhubarb Festival

Banjo Jimmy and Kitchen Kettle Village band 5/16/15
A feature of the Kitchen Kettle Village is Banjo Jimmy and the band who have a great sound.

Banjo Jimmy and Kitchen Kettle Village band 5/16/15
Another view of the band.  The place was very busy since it was a week-end rhubarb festival.

Fresh rhubarb
I don’t recall liking rhubarb at all when I was a child but now when Brooksyne makes strawberry rhubarb pie or jam I really like it!

Matangelo visit at Dienners Country Restaurant 5/16/15
We shared a photo on Monday of our friends Mike and Kathy Matangelo but want to share this one as well taken at Dienner’s Country Restaurant. Looking at the photo I see we unintentionally took a photo of friends we met in New England over 20 years ago. Through the glass sat Rich and Donna Weitzel. Rich pastored a church on Cape Cod when we lived up that way but presently serves as a chaplain for Teen Challenge. It was nice to visit with them again!

The Matangelos headed to Rhode Island after our meal to see his sister and their 93 year old mother. She has been in hospice care for the past couple weeks or so. We received word from Mike Monday that she passed away early that morning, so we are praying for the family as they deal with their loss.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources


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

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

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