Your Hearts Delight display
Sample Display at “Your Hearts Delight”

“You Don’t Have To Bear Your Burdens Alone

Message summary: Whose burden are you bearing today?

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). “Pray for one another” (James 5:16).

You’ve done well at hiding the pain in your life
You’ve hidden the sorrow that haunts you each night
But if there is something that you need to share
I want you to know someone cares

Your Hearts Delight displayWe have a new ministry opportunity in our chaplain service at a company in rural Lebanon County. “Your Heart’s Delight” is a wholesale distributor of home decor items, the kind you might see in gift shops. They ship products all over but also have a walk-in warehouse for wholesale buyers. Areas are set up with attractive displays like our lead photo. We are blessed in each of the companies we serve to provide care to the employees but Brooksyne especially enjoys the “scenery” as we walk through this massive warehouse!

An opportunity unique to us in this company is the voluntary prayer gathering held a few minutes each morning with about 25 employees choosing to participate. When we make our weekly visit we share a brief devotional message so Tuesday morning I walked in with a message prepared but then I saw a sign that prompted me to change my message.

I held up the sign up and it read: “There is no better exercise than to reach down and pick someone up”. I acknowledged that physically bending over isn’t an exercise I take delight in so much anymore as my waistline is sort of in the way, but I do take delight in the exercise of reaching down and lifting up one’s spirit.

Carry burdensSome churches still have a time of “Prayer and Praise” where the congregation is given an opportunity to tell of the way God is working in their lives or they share their need so others can pray for them.

What a privilege it is to receive prayerful support from caring believers when our hearts are heavily laden with troubles. We bear our burdens to others while also bearing the burdens of others. It’s part of a healthy church. As a congregation we seek to fulfill the two Scripture portions at the top of today’s message, a mandate that is intended for all believers; bearing one another’s burdens as we uplift one another in prayer.

At times life seems unfair and so hard to stand
You reach out for someone just to hold to your hand
Just remember the words of our Savior are true
His promise: “I will never leave you”

Generally speaking, when we bear other’s burdens it’s usually based on personal knowledge and is relationship-oriented, though we are often seeking God on behalf of people undergoing tragedy or difficulty we’ve not personally met. We must be cautious lest we become callous in regard to the burdens people bear in which we can’t personally relate. In this age of instant information we are flooded with tragedies around the world such as earthquakes, bombings, murders, wars, etc. I want my heart to be compassionate and soft so I can pray for and appropriately respond to the hurts of others when possible, whether they be local or in a distant land, whether it’s something I’ve experienced or may never endure.

Your Hearts Delight display

Likely Paul’s counsel to the Galatians to “Bear one another’s burdens”, this was in regard to the specific burdens that fellow believers in that particular body were experiencing. But surely it pleases the Lord when we take an interest and bear the burdens of hurting humanity. In doing so we “fulfill the law of Christ”.  (This is the only time in Scripture this phrase is used.)

Many years ago I recall standing before our congregation in New England and asking, “How can we, in praying for one another, be fulfilling a call to glorify God as a church body?” Several thoughtfully responded:

1)  We express our dependency on God, which is a fundamental aspect of faith.
2)  We obey God’s call as expressed in the daily Scripture portions I have used today.
3)  We show our genuine love and care for others.
4)  We encourage and strengthen the weary, burdened soul.

Consider this note from an online commentary: “Bear one another’s burdens” When Paul brought up the idea of the one overtaken in any trespass, it painted the picture of a person sagging under a heavy load. Here he expanded the idea to encourage every Christian to bear one another’s burdens.

1. The focus isn’t on “expect others to bear your burdens.” That is self-focused, and always leads to pride, frustration, discouragement, and depression. Instead, God always directs us to be others-focused, and says, “Bear one another’s burdens.”

2. This is a simple command to obey. Look for a brother or a sister with a burden, and help them with it. It isn’t complicated, and it doesn’t take a huge program or infrastructure to do it. Just look for a burden to bear and bear it.

3. “Notice the assumption which lies behind this command, namely that we all have burdens and that God does not mean for us to carry them alone.” (John Stott)

Whose burden are you bearing today? Who can you pray for? It won’t take long to identify real people in your life who need your prayers. Let’s follow up our prayers with personal contact that brings encouragement. Aren’t you blessed when someone informs you, “I prayed for you this morning….” or “The Lord laid this Scripture verse on my heart that I would like to share with you….”

I have often had the weight of my heavy burdens lifted in this manner and I do well to help lift others’ burdens in that same spirit. I want to be motivated by God’s love and be His representative to one who needs to experience comfort and assurance from God.

You don’t have to bear your burdens alone
You’ve got a friend; you’re not on your own
Just take my hand, and we’ll find help at the throne
You don’t have to bear your burdens alone

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, as ambassadors of Your heavenly Kingdom, we want to be spiritually sensitive to those whose difficulties seem overwhelming. Some of our brothers and sisters are weighed down with troubling circumstances that might overtake them if not for those of us who take them by the arm and pull them up out of the quicksand of discouragement that ultimately sinks them even deeper to despair. Help me to do my part to strengthen my brother or sister in their faith journey. Reveal to me ways that I can show genuine concern for unbelievers, through caring words and loving deeds, for they need to see the love of Christ represented in human form. In the blessed name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.


Some scenes from our travels

Blue heeler pup 3/23/17
One from a litter of nine 2 day old Blue Heeler pups

Village Farm Market pansies 3/23/17
Pansies, the first annual blooming beauties of spring

Laundry line 3/23/17
Yesterday was another windy day in Lancaster County

Miniature horse
Ester got a very close-up shot of this pony’s nostrils at Brittany’s Hope. Perhaps she was taking a photo exam for the Ears Nose & Throat Veterinarian!

Heifer calves 3/23/17
Four young heifer calves


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“You Don’t Have To Bear Your Burdens Alone”  Video  Jessica King and Jason Crabb (This is the song used throughout today’s message)

“Lay Your Burden Down”  Video  Chuck Girard

“Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary”  Video  Collingsworth Family

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

Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

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

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

“The Nails”

March 23, 2017

Toddler Christ with nails
“Destiny”

“The Nails”

Message summary: We give thanks for the nails knowing that “He was pierced for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. Surely He bore our sorrows and by His stripes we are healed.”

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross” (Acts 2:23). “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:13-15).

We saw the above painting, “Destiny” in our friend’s home on Monday, painted by an artist who chooses to remain anonymous. It’s thought-provoking artwork that stimulates spiritual reflection. When we observed the image we considered several things: the toddler apprentice, Jesus, picking up three spiked nails by His own volition as His father, Joseph worked at the carpenter’s bench, looking down out of the corner of his eye. What was he thinking as he observed the scene. The toddler Christ’s feet are planted on the foot of the cross His shadow forms, the two planks of wood possibly representative of the cross, the halo reminding us that Jesus came as a light to those in darkness, the sunshine outlining the cross which reminds of the resurrection Sunday that would follow three days later and that Christ will return one day in all His glory. Perhaps you can find more symbolism. The picture prompts a consideration today of the nails of the Crucifixion.

NailsThe first use of the word nail in the Bible in this sense is when King David provided “a large amount of iron to make nails for the doors of the gateways and for the fittings” of the Temple (1 Chronicles 22:3). Until the end of the 18th century (late 1700’s), they were made by hand; an artisan known as a “Nailer” providing them with a head and point.

The Tremont Nail Company in Wareham, Massachusetts, is the oldest continuously operating nail manufacturer in the United States, forging nails since the early 1800’s and they’re still stamping them out! When we lived in New England we would periodically drive by the Company and, although they didn’t have plant tours, I recall curiously stopping and looking through the windows to watch. The nails they manufacture are not the round kind we typically see, but square, peg-like nails. They are in demand for those desiring an historic, restoration look. At the little country gift store across the street I bought three of the longest ones I could find. Holding these nails, rubbing my fingers across their coarse surface, and considering their lethal purpose in Christ’s crucifixion illustrates more vividly the price Jesus paid for our redemption.

Nails in wood We of course have no photographs nor are any details given regarding the nails that affixed our Savior to the cross, but they were likely iron spikes five to seven inches long. In the daily text the action of nailing our Lord to the cross is taken from the Greek word “prospegnumi” and literally means “to impale.” Did you notice that the English word “peg” is in the middle of the Greek word?  How indescribably horrible this form of death was.

Certainly Christ felt the physical agony of those long, thick spikes driven into His hands and feet, in addition to the other horrible wounds He received. Almost anyone who has ever done carpentry work at some point has snagged a nail or stepped on one. That hurts!

But surely He also felt another type of pain or “nail” as He hung on that Cross for our sins:

Cross scene1. He felt the “nails” of blasphemy. This was demonstrated by the soldiers, the thieves crucified beside Him, the religious officials and the onlookers as recorded in Matthew 27:27-44. They mocked and hurled insults at Him, blaspheming the very One who willingly laid down His life for their sins. The opposite of blasphemy is worship and we are called to worship the Lord. In the wonderful song by Stuart Townend, “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us” has this probing line, “Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice, call out among the scoffers.”

2. He felt the “nails” of rejection. This was demonstrated by the “other” unrepentant crucified criminal who hung on a cross beside Christ as recorded in Luke 23:39. He rejected Christ to his dying breath. The opposite of rejection is acceptance as taught in John 1:12.

3. He felt the “nails” of denial. This was demonstrated by Peter and is recorded in Mark 16:66-72. The opposite of denial is confession and Romans 10:8-10 calls us to confess with our mouth that, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead.

Games at the cross4. He felt the “nails” of indifference. This was demonstrated by the soldiers playing games at the foot of the Cross as recorded in John 19:23,24. The opposite of indifference is attentiveness and is taught in Hebrews 12:1-3.

5. He felt the “nails” of unbelief.  This was demonstrated by so many: those who stood watching from a distance; those who participated in the sordid events leading up to the crucifixion; those who carried out the crucifixion and this was most famously exemplified by the disciple, Thomas, in John 20:25. The opposite of unbelief of course is belief and as Christ reached out to Thomas he fully believed, declaring, “My Lord and my God!” as recorded in John 20:27-29.

Tragically, the majority of people continue to respond to the claims of Christ either by blasphemy, rejection, denial, indifference or unbelief.  But we who look upon and embrace Jesus’ nail-pierced hands respond by crying out with Thomas:  “My Lord and my God.”

We give thanks for those nails knowing that “He was pierced for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities.  Surely He bore our sorrows and by His stripes we are healed.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we know that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of man ordained by You for a miraculous birth, along with many signs and wonders that You performed through Him. He was handed over to wicked men and gruesomely crucified by the nails that bore Him to the cross.  This was done by Your set purpose and in Your foreknowledge. But God, You raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the permanence of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him. And now He is exalted to Your right hand making intercession for us. “What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul!” Amen

Prayer based on passages from Acts 2

Lancaster County farm in snow 3/18/17 (Click to enlarge)
We passed this large farm on Hossler Road between Manheim and Mount Joy returning from the Voice of the Martyrs conference last Saturday. This will probably be our last snow photo this season (at least we hope so!)
(Click on photo for larger image)

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“By the Mark”  Video   Dailey & Vincent

“Just Three Nails”  Video  Tommy Brandt

“Nails In Your Hands”  Video   Mercy Me

“Driving Nails”  Video  Bruce Carroll

“Three Rusty Nails”  Video   The Spencers

“The Three Nails”  Video   Jimmie Davis

“Where the Nails Were”  Video  Won By One

“He Was Nailed To The Cross For Me”  Video  Steve Holder and Anointed Praise.

“How Deep The Father’s Love For Us”  Video   Phillips, Craig, and Dean

Tremont Nail Company

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.

“Finish Well”

March 22, 2017

Lebanon County one room schoolhouse 3/19/17 (Click to enlarge)
One Room Schoolhouse in Lebanon County*
(Click on photo for larger view)

“Finish Well

Note: Due to our busy schedule we were unable to post a message yesterday.

Message summary: We will all finish this race. But the deeper question we must all ask ourselves is this, “Will I finish well?

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24). “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

2 Timothy 4:7On Monday we had fellowship with Bill and Patty Preston, friends we first met when they lived in New Jersey. Patty had organized Christian Women’s Clubs and Bible studies for many years and even now hosts a neighborhood weekly Bible study in their home.

Bill is a retired college track coach and presently volunteers as coach for a Cross Country team on a Penn State campus near their new home in Franklin County PA.

Bill became a Christian believer when he was thirty and is now nearing 80. He has run and finished the Boston Marathon. He stays in remarkable physical condition and is still running! He shared his life verse with me, so appropriate for a lifelong runner and coach. He was pleased to show me his bronze runner with the daily text framed above it, which expresses his aspiration, to run and finish the race well. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). (For a larger version of the display click on small photo to the left.)

In 1997 we watched the Boston Marathon at the finish line very near where the terrorist bombing took place in 2013. The crowd was so dense that Brooksyne could only see the backs of the spectators. I hoisted Ester on my shoulders so she could watch since she was a very small eight year old at the time. At 6 feet 2 inches I managed to look over the thick crowd that lined the course for miles to see the finish.

Boston Marathon finish line The finish line is in the shadow of the Boston Public Library and the John Hancock Tower, the tallest skyscraper in New England. Only a small fraction of the runners who start the race have any reasonable expectation of actually being the “winner”. The vast majority set a goal just to finish and many have a target time they hope to run it in. The Boston Athletic Association website reported that in 2016 26,629 runners finished the marathon.

Each day, unheralded for the most part, thousands of Christian marathon runners also finish the race. Only a few are publicly recognized apart from their own family, church, and close friends. Certainly not to the degree famous entertainers or athletes are recognized or celebrated!

But the most notable recognition that really counts will be on the other side where Christian runners aspire to hear the words of our Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

In our daily texts we see several components of finishing well in life’s marathon:

1) “I consider my life worth nothing to me.” John the Baptist said it so well, “He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

2) “Completing the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”  Essentially this is the great commission given to all His disciples. Like the apostle Paul, we also have “the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” We are certainly apportioned with a variety of specific giftings. You may be a student, a businessperson, a homemaker, a professional or a “minister”. You may be young or old, black, white or otherwise. You may be wealthy or not so wealthy. But if you are a follower of Jesus Christ you are called to “the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Let us all be faithful in doing so!

3) “I have fought the good fight.” In 1 Timothy 6:12 Paul wrote, “Fight the good fight of faith”. This is not a physical fight, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but …. against the spiritual forces of evil’ (Ephesians 6:12). If you are not fighting you have surrendered to the enemy!

4) “I have finished the race.”  I have long been puzzled at the finality of this phrase. Paul was still living but so certain of his soon departure from this life (see the preceding verse 4:6) that he wrote in the past tense. The idea Paul is conveying to Timothy and to all saints is not for us to merely end our life, but to bring our life (in Christ) to its destined goal, bringing to completion the individually unique and specific “course” that God has laid out for each of His children to run.

5) “I have kept the faith.” Each generation is called to keep and contend for the faith once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 3). The definite article is very significant in each of these texts. The order in the Greek emphasizes this, “The faith I have kept.” “The faith” is the apostolic doctrine taught from the very beginning of the church age. This is the standard we must maintain.

We will all finish this race. But the deeper question we must all ask ourselves is this, “Will I finish well?”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Father, we want to run the Christian race wholeheartedly testifying to the gospel of Your grace all the days of our life. We choose to fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith.  It’s not the one who runs the swiftest, nor the one who runs for a day, but the one who endures to the end who will be saved. We anxiously await the rapturous moment when we cross the finish line from mortality into immortality, from death unto life eternal, when we will hear Your wonderful commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Amen.


Prestons and Schmidts 3/20/17
Yesterday we enjoyed a prime rib sandwich and chicken curry soup. How rare is it that six people go out to eat and, though there were numerous choices, we all ordered the same luncheon special!  Jim and Dorothy Schmidt (left) introduced us to Bill & Patty Preston while both couples lived in Ocean City, NJ. Patty and Dottie worked together for many years with the Christian Women’s Clubs in their area. A year ago the Schmidts moved to Lancaster County so we see them more frequently and invited them to travel with us to visit the Prestons. What a delightful day we enjoyed in reconnecting with our friends!

Franklin County PA Court House
The Franklin County courthouse in Chambersburg has a plaque on the front that reads “Burned By The Rebels, 1864”. A sober reminder of a tragic time in America’s history.

Franklin County PA South Mountain
Returning from Chambersburg we had some pretty scenery through the mountains crossing the Appalachian Trail.

Adams County PA apple orchards
We passed mile after mile after mile of apple orchards in Adams County.

Nathan Ncube soccer MVP 3/21/17
Yesterday afternoon Nathan Ncube, a junior in high school, stopped by and I asked him to pose with his MVP soccer trophy. He’s an outstanding soccer player and is pleased to have this trophy but when the soccer ball disassembled from its stand he came to our house and Brooksyne reattached it with superglue. Some of our readers will remember the days before superglue and many things that we broke stayed broken. Probably a good number of you will also recall accidentally gluing your fingers together and painfully trying to separate them. You might want to check out this site for more ideas about the usage of superglue!


* Brooksyne’s further thoughts about the one room schoolhouse: On Sunday afternoon we passed this one room schoolhouse in Lebanon County, PA. It caught my eye in passing so I asked Stephen to back up so we could photograph this rural school house. I did a lot of thinking as I viewed this quaint one room school house with its four teeter totters, four swings, outdoor toilet, large bell, white fence and iron farm gate. I then thought of my large brick school house back in Tulsa and, though I have very fond memories of my Elementary years, I thought of how different it would be to look back on my childhood having shared one small classroom with eight different ages; all learning, eating, and playing together. In the typical public school children in grades above and below mine were simply familiar faces with little exception. The one quite modern thing that stood out is the solar panel that sits on the roof next to the bell. I did a double take as it’s the first time I’ve seen a one room school house, which we often view in Lancaster County, with a solar panel.
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Finish Well”  Video   Karen Peck & New River

“It Will Be Worth It All”  Video   Ann Downing  song and includes some thoughtful quotes

“It Will Be Worth it All”  Video  A campmeeting setting. This is an old song we recall from our Bible college days.

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

“Run the Race – The Faith in Christ that Perseveres”  Video   “Faith in Christ is a pursuit…a fight…a race. It’s a journey laden with difficulty, but at the finish line awaits an imperishable reward that is given to those who persevere…Christ Himself.” A powerful selection of Bible verses on running the race.

Extensive study on 2 Timothy 4:7 from Precept Austin’s online commentary compendium

Finally today:

Striped house
I last had regular business in the Chambersburg area about 15 years ago when I managed a group of chaplains in that region. Driving home with our friends the Schmidt’s I told them we were going to pass an interesting house painted in stripes in western York County. But lo and behold we never saw it. I knew I had a photo from seeing it before and here it is!

I spoke to the owner years ago, an older man who was out mowing the lawn. He was pleased that we had stopped and mentioned that he had a striped boat in the back as well. His wife came out and told us that she had told him the house needed painted. One day she came home from work only to see that he had painted the house in horizontal stripes. He must have liked the effect since he also painted his shed, boat, and chimney with stripes as well! (I assume the home has been sold since we passed by years ago and the new owner wasn’t too fond of stripes!)

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.

Lebanon County farmhouse 3/19/17 (Click to enlarge)
Yesterday we passed this stately farmhouse in Lebanon County, PA. So many farm houses sit alongside streams in our area which provides a necessity but serves also as a very natural recreation for children to explore streams and fish. Walking through a stream or just sitting on the bank with your feet in the water, listening to the running water, can be so relaxing for both children and adults.
“He leadeth beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul.”
(Click on photo for larger view)

 

“We Have Everything We Need

Message summary: Let us live with the assurance today that God is working.  If we believe that with all our hearts then we are trusting and we can also declare, “We have everything we need.”

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:11,12). “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all–how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).

Voice of the MartyrsAs we expected there were many memorable take aways from the Voice Of The Martyrs conference we attended on Saturday in Hershey. (“The Voice of the Martyrs” (VOM) mission is “serving persecuted Christians through practical and spiritual assistance and leading other members of the Body of Christ into fellowship with them.”)

The conference had four main speakers. Two speakers from India and China who had experienced or witnessed persecution; Gracia Burnham who, along with her husband Martin were abducted by Islamic terrorists for over a year (Gracia was injured and Martin was murdered); and VOM staff member Todd Nettleton. Each presentation captured our attention and highlighted places in the world where so many of our fellow believers live but we rarely give much thought to their hardships and sufferings. We want to share one of the stories that touched our hearts, a gripping story that Todd shared.

He was visiting a camp for displaced peoples in northern Iraq who had fled from ISIS. The screen showed a photo of an Iraqi family that had converted from Islam to Christianity; a husband, wife and five very young children including a baby. The photo was taken in front of a community tent where they sleep along with other refugees.

Iraqi refugee camp Todd walked around the camp and saw how little the family had to eat, the lack of supplies for the children, the very harsh conditions of their living quarters. His heart was heavy as he took it all in so he asked the father in earnest, “How can we help you? What would you like us to ask others to pray about?” The man thought for a moment, shook his head and said, “We have everything we need”. (Photo on left is representative but not the actual photo of the family we write about.)

We’ve been thinking a lot about that. What an amazing perspective. Conditions we would find unbearable were deemed sufficient for this grateful dad. I wonder how comfortable the tent was, shared with so many. Did they each have a bed and separate bedrooms? How tasty were their meals? I wonder if they had cable access to their television or internet for their smart phones and computers, or whatever else we deem necessary for daily life and feel we just have to have. (Of course I say this in thoughtful jest.)

But the father told Todd, “We have everything we need.” I want to remember that the next time I complain either outwardly or inwardly about something petty (probably today).

This young Iraqi believer likely has little to no formal training in Bible and theology but he really gets it. He was expressing and experiencing what the apostle Paul wrote, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need…. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:11,12).

Joe Guglielmo observed, “Some one hundred years ago it was determined that the average American had about 70 wants, things he desired to have. A similar survey was taken of his grandson and he had nearly 500 wants on his list and today, I’m sure that number is even higher. Why? Because people are not content in what they have!”

Harry Ironside Contentment is never the result of multiplying riches, increas­ing pleasures, or gaining fame. All these only incite discontent, for when one obtains them, he finds he still is not satisfied. Con­tentment does not depend upon things on the outside, but results from attitudes within one’s heart and mind!

Bible teacher Harry A. Ironside comments on this verse, “CHRIST is enough to satisfy the hearts of all who confide in Him and who leave everything in His hands. Such need never be cast down by seeming misfortunes. A Christian asked another how he was getting along. Dolefully his friend replied, “Oh, fairly well, under the circumstances.” “I am sorry,” exclaimed the other, “that you are under the circumstances. The LORD would have us living above all circumstances, where He Himself can satisfy our hearts and meet our every need for time and eternity.”

Romans 8:32 Finally today let us consider a great verse from Romans. “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all–how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” God “did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all.” This alone should prompt our deepest eternal gratitude. If this was all God did for us it would be far more than enough and infinitely more than we deserve.

But the apostle Paul goes on to declare, “How will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” The clearly expected answer to this rhetorical question is, He will! He will fulfill His eternal purpose for our lives and that which brings Him glory.  Peter puts it this way, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

Let us live with the assurance today that God is working.  If we believe that with all our hearts then we are trusting and we can also declare like that Iraqi father, “We have everything we need.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, help us to look beyond material provisions and recognize that the value of spiritual blessings far exceed our temporal needs and pleasures. May our heart’s cry be the same as that of the Apostle Paul who declared, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Physical suffering and persecution, for the sake of Christ, will prove our faith to be genuine and will gain for us a crown of life. Suffering and persecution here on earth is temporal, but a crown of life is eternal!  Help us to live not just for the here and now, but set our affections on that which lasts forever so that we stay the course! May our faith in You increase as we build treasures in heaven rather than chasing after fool’s gold here on earth. And may our resolve to stand firm intensify as we see the day of Your return approaching. Be with our brothers and sisters held in captivity and those who are being persecuted daily. We pray for the safety and release of our Malaysian brother, Pastor Raymond, in the name of Jesus.  Amen.


In Friday’s message we shared about persecution. A longtime friend from our years of pastoral service in Massachusetts was raised in Malaysia and shared the following message:

Pastor Weber and Brooksyne,

I want to thank you for writing about standing with our persecuted brothers and sisters. The reality of “counting the cost” has hit very close to home recently for me because a Malaysian pastor friend was abducted on February 13 in broad daylight by masked men in what appeared like a professional operation. Till today, we do not know Pastor Raymond’s whereabouts or if he is even still on this side of heaven. The Malaysian authorities have not made much progress in this case after over a month even though the abduction was captured by CCTV.

It still gives me a sick feeling inside to recall the string of text messages I received from Raymond’s wife telling me that Raymond had been kidnapped. “How am I going to tell my daughters?” was something she said that still haunts me. Prior to this, I’d read accounts of persecution, even heard from people who had been persecuted at a VOM conference, but I was still unprepared for the emotional impact Raymond’s situation is having on me. I and others in the U.S. who know Raymond and his family have been praying daily since his abduction.

Malaysian persecution and Pastor Raymond’s story is here.


Rich Bushong 3/19/17
Rich Bushong saw me at the conference and walked over to greet me. I first met him over 15 years ago when I served as a chaplain for the company he still works for. We are blessed by the many fellow believers we meet in the course of our work who encourage us. Although I only visited his company for a year or two we stay connected through Daily Encouragement and of course it’s heartening to see his steadfastness as a faithful follower of Jesus Christ.Brooksyne with Amy Shreve VOM conference 3/18/17
Brooksyne with singer 3/18/17Amy Shreve and her husband, Gary, in the background, were the worship leaders from Marquette, Michigan at the VOM conference. They had driven about 1000 miles, even through the night, and upon arrival Gary began having a rapid heart rate of 170 BPM. Even in his distress he played guitar for the first two songs, but then had to be taken by ambulance to the Hershey Medical Center just over 2 miles away. When Matt, the VOM director, announced that Gary was headed to the ER via ambulance, Stephen whispered to me, “You should offer to take Amy since you’re already planning to make a visit there.” (I had planned to spend the lunch hour visiting a patient who recently had a stroke.) So I ended up taking Amy to meet up with her husband in the ER. It was such a different perspective since I have escorted Ester to the ER at HMC probably 10 to 15 times over the years when her heart rate soars to 222 BPM. It was a blessing to be able to reassure Amy that Gary was getting good care as we always have over the past 16 years. Before the conference was over Gary was back in the afternoon playing guitar as Amy led in worship while playing her harp. And this photo is taken afterwards at their CD table.

Jesse and Wilma Dourte 3/19/17
Our friends, Jesse and Wilma, joined us for the conference. Both in their nineties they carry a burden for the persecuted church and were so pleased to attend the VOM conference. Following the service we stopped by a Red Robin for dinner. While being seated I mentioned to the hostess that the Dourtes would soon celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. She told our server and the general manager also heard about it and sent word that they could choose a dessert from the menu “on the house”! (I made a note to take them back for their 80th and maybe they’ll get the same offer, or maybe their entire meal “on the house”.)


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
We recommend our readers examine resources available through “The Voice of The Martyrs” and continue to carry a burden for the persecuted church.Their main website (appropriately named https://www.persecution.com/ )

You can get an app that updates with a daily prayer focus. Yesterday it was Malaysia, today is the Philippines (Mindanao). We like the fact that a photo from that part of the world is included.

Their YouTube channel has many informative videos.

The following songs feature Amy Shreve, the musician at the conference, that we think you will enjoy:

“Be Still My Soul”  Video   Amy Shreve

“Faraway”  Video  Amy Shreve  I really like this song that Amy wrote. It reminds me of the terrible storm written about in Acts 27 & 28 we wrote about recently. But it especially speaks to believers in this life:  “I have sailed these seas, I have held to my course, I’ve been whipped by the winds and the gales of the North……..I can hear His call as the waves crash and fall to the land I love so faraway.”

“This Is Our God”  Video  Amy Shreve

For further study on today’s text:  (Philippians 4:11-13)

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.

Dirk Willems
See below for story behind this image

“Remembering The Persecuted

Note: Today’s message is a bit longer than usual and may have a bit more history than some prefer! It was prompted by a consideration of the historic drawing featured above and a video we saw on the unimaginable conditions in North Korea.

Message summary: Scripture tells us to remember those who suffer.

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure” (1 Corinthians 4:12).  “But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by His name” (1 Peter 4:16). “Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body” (Hebrews 13:3).

Since moving to Lancaster County in 2001 we have met a lot of people in the course of our chaplaincy work and associated ministry. We try to have an outlook in ministry using a phrase we heard since our youth, “Bloom where you’re planted”.

One major distinction of this region, distinct from other areas where we have lived, are the many Anabaptist groups. Prior to moving here we had little knowledge of groups like the Mennonites or Amish and other groups that have an Anabaptist heritage.

The word “ana” preceding “baptist” indicates a belief that baptism is for those who have believed in and made a commitment to Christ. Of course many other groups now believe that as well but do not refer to themselves as Anabaptists, such as regular Baptists. The denomination which I have been associated with throughout my ministry has always taught “believer’s baptism”. When I was born my parents attended a church that practiced infant baptism and I went through that ceremony of being sprinkled. When I received Christ I submitted to “believer’s baptism” by immersion.

Anabaptists developed during a time of the reformation in the early 1500’s when this was a big, big deal and they were savagely persecuted by those from other Christian-based groups (both Protestant and Catholic) who held to infant baptism. Although there were other differences in their beliefs, this form of baptism seemed to be the major divisive issue. It was surely one of the saddest periods in Christian history and most dishonoring to God.

We’ve attended an Amish church service which has little similarity to any other church we have ever visited. However they sing, pray and have a message (actually messages) which are preached from the Bible. However in the old-order type we visited, the entire service was in German so we didn’t understand any of it.

There was one part of the service that seemed especially peculiar to us. During the service, after we had just knelt at our benches in prayer, everyone stood up together but did not turn around to face the front. Instead the congregation continued to face the back of the room as the bishop read Scripture. Afterward we turned around and were seated in our benches. Asking our host about this later he said it had something to do with honoring the memory of past years of persecution when various members of the congregation were on duty to watch for those who might quietly sneak in and attack the congregation as they worshipped.

An important book in their culture is known as the “Martyrs Mirror” which chronicles accounts of persecution. One famous account involves the story of Dirk Willems. The lead image today is the iconic scene of his life (just Google “Dirk Willems images”). He was an Anabaptist being pursued by his persecutor.

Here’s the description:

Willems was born in Asperen, Gelderland, Netherlands, and was baptized as a young man, thus rejecting the infant baptism practiced at that time by both Catholics and established Protestants in the Netherlands. This action, plus his continued devotion to his new faith and the baptism of several other people in his home, led to his condemnation by the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands and subsequent arrest. Willems was held in a residential palace turned into a prison, from which he escaped using a rope made out of knotted rags. Using this, he was able to climb out of the prison onto the frozen moat. A guard noticed his escape and gave chase. Willems was able to traverse the thin ice of a frozen pond, the Hondegat, because of his lighter weight after subsisting on prison rations. However the pursuing guard broke through the ice yelling for help as he struggled in the icy water. Willems turned back to save the life of his pursuer, thus being recaptured and held until he was burned at the stake near his hometown on 16 May 1569.

Surely one of the saddest forms of Christian persecution was this type, which is sort of like domestic violence. Even in our own lifetime we consider the conflict in northern Ireland between people with a Christian heritage. Growing up with my best friend Dave, being a Catholic and me being a Protestant, it’s just hard to imagine this being a source of major conflict let alone deadly conflict. In my extended family we have people from a variety of religious backgrounds, Catholic and Protestant, but it’s not a source of conflict since love and acceptance prevail over our differences.

Thankfully, the incidents of conflict leading to persecution among those who claim Christ as their Savior, has decreased greatly since the horrible times of the Reformation but all over the world Christians are being persecuted.

Tomorrow we will be attending a Voice Of The Martyrs conference on persecution. Muslim dominated lands are especially brutal. We read the accounts of fleeing refugees across the Mediterranean where Muslims throw Christians off the boat and the horrible persecution in the refugee camps. But many consider the worst country for Christian persecution is North Korea.

Most reading our message today have never experienced real persecution although it is increasingly happening here in the USA especially among those who take an historic Biblical/moral stand against sexual immorality. A Grandma florist fined several hundred thousand dollars for refusing to participate in a gay “wedding” is certainly persecution. At a chaplain’s conference I spoke to a military chaplain who was in trouble for teaching historic Christian beliefs on marriage and sexuality. These types are on the increase and one only wonders what is next on the horizon for those who are devout in their Christian faith.

When we are not undergoing persecution it is so easy to forget about those who are. Yesterday we were able to get out for the first time after the big storm to make some chaplain visits as well as stopping by Costco and Lowes. We enjoyed a delicious salad bar luncheon. It’s so easy to forget how brutal life is for those who suffer at the hands of persecution when we’re out and about enjoying our material blessings and freedoms. But let us not forget that all over the world millions of those who follow Christ are being persecuted due to their belief.

This is not our typical daily encouragement message and in fact may not necessarily be encouraging at all. But Scripture tells us to remember those who suffer. We encourage you to consider some of the articles and videos we post below as a means of seeking to understand how hard things are for many.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we are told in Hebrews that we are to remember those in prison as though we ourselves were suffering in prison. That way we will pray more faithfully and fervently when we put ourselves in place of our brothers and sisters who face persecution and even death as they remain faithful to their witness for Christ. May their faithful example serve as a witness to their accusers and help to lead them to faith. As one brother often prays, “May the soothing presence of the Holy Spirit be as salve to their wounds”, whether they are physical, emotional, or mental. Speak peace and assurance to family members who are desperately waiting for their release, and increase their faith in the midst of it all, we pray. Amen.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Persecution.com

Christian Persecution Amazing Testimony  Video

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Persecution of Christians  Video

North Korea Christian Persecutions  Video

Escaping from North Korea in search of freedom | Yeonmi Park  Video  Actual speech starts here.

Secret Worship: North Korea Defector Tells of Survival  Video

North Korea has the deadliest level of Christian persecution in the world   Video

Observations on attending an Amish church service (scroll down below message)

A brief overview of the Anabaptist movement, their persecutions, and their eventual arrival in Pennsylvania.

Information about the Voice Of The Martyrs Conference tomorrow. Local mid-state Pennsylvania readers may want to consider attending.

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.

“Attitude Adjustment”

March 16, 2017

Snowy day 3/15/17
Yesterday we had a cold blustery day with temps below freezing so we haven’t had any melting from Tuesday’s big snow storm. The winds have practically ceased and it looks like we will have a beautiful but cold day!

“Attitude Adjustment”

Message summary: Let us all ask these three questions: “How is my mind being renewed?” “How is my attitude being adjusted?” “Does my life conform to the pattern of Christ?”

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1,2).

Our church, like many, has coat racks in the foyer along with a shelf to place Bibles, hats, casserole dishes and so forth. But last Sunday I noticed an unusual item sitting on the shelf, a power drill. I suppose it was mistakenly left after some project. But it did my heart good sort of like seeing a roll of duct tape.

Fred HableibI greeted Fred, a longtime friend who often serves as an informal greeter. He is a hardworking mechanic who has worked at the same farm implement dealership since he was in high school for some 45 years. Fred is one of those people characterized by steadiness and I periodically call him “steady Freddie”.

He picked the drill up and informed me, “The drill is here for an attitude adjustment”. Now wouldn’t it be nice if we could get our attitudes adjusted by adjusting a few screws in our head! But of course it’s not that easy.

However we do regularly need our attitude adjusted and, although we don’t usually see this as a purpose of the church, in reality church is a place we can go for an attitude adjustment.

Rich LandisRich is another friend, a CPA I know through a business group I am in. Several years ago he had surgery to remove a brain tumor and he has recovered well. He told me that the doctor said something to him that he was quite sure no doctor had ever said to me before. That piqued my curiousity so I inquired as to what that might be. The doctor informed Rich, “You have a good-looking brain!” Well, indeed no one has ever told me that but his question did get me thinking about what my brain (mind) might look like to the Great Physician and the study of the spiritual renewal of the mind.

A surgeon has never seen my brain but the Almighty, all-knowing God knows my every thought (Ouch!). “The LORD knows the thoughts of man” (Psalm 94:11). “You perceive my thoughts from afar” (Psalm 139:2). We all have an ongoing need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. That’s a vital attitude adjustment that can’t be received by scheduling surgery, using mechanical tools, or paying a sum of money.

Bible teacher W.E. Vine describes this renewing of one’s mind as “the adjustment of the moral and spiritual vision and thinking to the mind of God, which is designed to have a transforming effect upon the life.”

The Precept Austin online study guide states, “Our mind is the control center of our attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and actions. Paul says that God wants our mind because He knows the power of the mind and wants it for Himself. He wants you to think His thoughts. As you do, your mind will be renewed. As your mind is renewed, you will be able to fulfill His will for your life.”

As the believer chooses to saturate his or her mind with the living and active Word of God, the Spirit progressively renews our mind so that the way we see, think and feel lines up more and more with the mind of God.

I strongly recommend you memorize and hide today’s verses deep in your heart. We both did so as young Christians and have often drawn spiritual strength and encouragement from these verses through the years. It reminds me of my personal responsibility in the God-ordained process of transformation.

Vance Havner understood this truth about the power of God’s Word to renew our minds. “The storehouse of God’s Word was never meant for mere scrutiny, not even primarily for study but for sustenance. It is not simply a collection of fine proverbs and noble teachings for men to admire and quote as they might Shakespeare. It is ration for the soul, resources of and for the spirit, treasure for the inner man. Its goods exhibited upon every page are ours, and we have no business merely moving respectfully amongst them and coming away none the richer.”

In summary, let us all ask these three questions: “How is my mind being renewed?” “How is my attitude being adjusted?” “Does my life conform to the pattern of Christ?”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, when we offer our bodies to you as living sacrifices we find out what pleases You and what brings You honor. Then we begin to renew our mind to be like the mind of Christ. We prayerfully choose to conform no longer to the pattern of this world, but rather Christ’s pattern for life when He walked upon earth clothed in frail humanity. Virtuous character traits are seen in His words, in His works, in His resistance to temptation, and in His fierce devotion to lay down His life to free us from the penalty of sin. As we observe His life and His influence on other people it helps us discern Your will for our life. We’re more accepting of You as the Potter who takes our hearts of common clay and shapes them into beautiful vessels of clay that make us useful for Your kingdom, honoring to Your service, affectionate toward that which comes from above, and clinging loosely to that which serves us only in this life.  Amen.


Snowy day 3/15/17
Our road receives blowing snow from the large farm fields to the west. Yesterday afternoon I took Ester to work and drove through a virtual white-out in this section. Last night when I left to pick her up the drifts were so deep I practically got stuck on our road.

Snowy day 3/15/17
Approaching our house (left) I had to plow through drifts.

Snowy day 3/15/17
The view late yesterday afternoon from our office window. Drifting snow across our drive pinched me in and I had to dig out to pick up Ester from work. Overnight the driveway again completely drifted shut till our neighbor came over this morning and plowed us out so we should be good to go!

Snow drift 3/16/17
Looking out off our back deck this morning I saw this large drift at the corner of our fence that would be suitable for making an igloo if I was a young boy!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Renew My Mind”  Video  Kim Hill

“May The Mind of Christ My Savior”  Video  Jake Amerding  (Vocal and acoustic)

“May The Mind of Christ My Savior”  Video  Congregational singing

“Renewing Your Mind”  Video  A short (2 minute) video challenge by Paul Washer.

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.

Birds feeding during snow storm 3/14/17
Ester took a series of photos during the storm that we feature above and below our message today. Here some happy juncos and finches feeding outside our office window.

“All Hail The Power Of Jesus’ Name”

Message summary: Today, whatever setting we’re in, let us faithfully proclaim the all-powerful name of Jesus!

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your Name—the Name You gave Me” (John 17:11).

All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ Name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all!

Edward Perronet “On the Resurrection, the Lord is King” is one of the great hymns of the church. We often refer or link to music in this series though I am certainly aware that not every song is familiar to every reader. But I believe most of you, regardless of age, denominational background, location, or tribe have likely heard and sung this majestic song, though you would know it better by its current title, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”. In our worship service last Sunday Brooksyne shared an amazing story concerning this song and we would like to share it with our readers today.

Written in 1779 by Edward Perronet it has been an influential hymn ever since. In fact it has the designation, “National Anthem of Christendom”, although we personally believe a more appropriate name would be “International Anthem of Christendom” since it is translated and sung all over the world where Christianity is present. It also has a place in missionary history, being greatly used in evangelistic endeavors. There are several great stories related to the influence of this song, but one in particular is truly remarkable:

E.P. Scott, missionary to India, saw a man on the street so strange in appearance that he inquired about him, and learned that he belonged to a wild mountain savage tribe where Christ had never been preached. The strange man visited the city once a year, as a representative of the tribe, to trade with the townspeople. Scott couldn’t get the strange man out of his mind so he prayed over the matter, and decided to visit that tribe, ignoring the pleadings of his family, fellow missionaries and preacher friends who declared that he would never return alive.

He prayerfully set off for a two day’s walk to the dangerous territory taking only his walking staff, his suitcase and the violin that he often played as he sang sacred songs.

Upon arrival he met a large party of warriors who surrounded him, their spears pointed at his heart. Expecting to die at any moment, Scott took out his violin, breathed a prayer, closed his eyes, and began singing, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name!”  When he reached the words of the third stanza, “Let every kindred, every tribe,” he finally opened his eyes. There stood the warriors, many in tears, with every spear lowered. They invited him into their homes and Scott spent the next two and one half years evangelizing the tribe until he had to leave due to impaired health. Many were converted to Christ and followed him 30 miles, pleading with him, “O Missionary, come back to us again” which he did when his health was restored until his death in 1869.

Let every kindred, every tribe,
On this terrestrial ball,
To Him all majesty ascribe,
And crown Him Lord of all!
David and Sabra PenleyDavid Penley is a long-time friend of ours and shared this additional detail with us.”The tribe he worked with are the Naga people. They’re known as fierce warriors and head hunters. Today they occupy their own state in India called Nagaland. Christianity predominates there, the only place in India that is true.

I have had several students here at Southwestern Seminary from Nagaland. One of my former students is president of a Christian college there – Agape College. I have been there in Nagaland to teach and preach. I also serve on the Board of that college.

They are a humble, committed people, just as fierce in their commitment to Christ as they once were to fighting physical battles. The work of E.P. Scott lives on well past his death from cholera in 1869. The Naga peoples’ love for him and the other missionaries who followed after him continues to this day. Is it not such a great blessing that the work we are privileged to do as Christians has eternal meaning?”

The daily text is taken from our Lord’s high priestly prayer before He went to the cross. It’s essentially divided in three parts:
1) Jesus prays for Himself (John 17:1-5)
2) Jesus prays for His disciples (John 17:6-19)
3) Jesus prays for all believers (John 17:20-26)

Gracia BurnhamJesus knew the tremendous price His initial disciples would pay in following Him. It is commonly believed that all but one of them (John) died the death of a martyr. But all through the church’s history followers, like E.P Scott, have paid a price for following Him. This Saturday we will be attending a Voice Of The Martyrs conference near Hershey PA and hear stories of persecution, including that of Gracia Burnam (photo to right), who was kidnapped along with her husband, Martin, by a radical Muslim group. Gracia survived and tells the story of their terrible ordeal which led to her husband’s murder in 2002.

Jesus invokes the Name above all Names as he prays for them, “Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your Name—the Name You gave Me.”

All over this terrestrial ball (earth) the powerful Name of Jesus is being proclaimed this day, whether it’s at a pulpit, on a street corner, beside a hospital bed, in a jail cell, or kneeling with hands uplifted to God.  Some of our brethren will pay dearly for taking a stand, some even joining with scores of martyrs. They are no less protected than we, since the ultimate protection of God’s care is experienced when He ushers us into our eternal home. That’s where our real security lies since this life is but a brief journey.

Today, whatever setting we’re in, let us faithfully proclaim the all-powerful name of Jesus!

Oh, that with yonder sacred throng
We at His feet may fall!
We’ll join the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Scripture tells us that at the last judgment those from every tribe and nation will bow upon hearing the name of Jesus. Every tongue will confess that You are Lord, to the glory of God the Father. We, as the redeemed, look forward to that glorious day when all of creation acknowledges You as Lord. But our hearts cry out for family members and other loved ones who, having denied Your power in this life, will be forced to acknowledge You as Lord on that final day. Renew our passion for reaching those in our generation with the Word of Life, so that they will joyfully proclaim Jesus is Lord in this life as well as the next. In the powerful name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Brooksyne’s Note: Edward Perronet died on Jan. 22, 1792. The last words he spoke were “Glory to God in the height of His divinity! Glory to God in the depth of His humanity! Glory to God in His all-sufficiency! Into His hands I commend my spirit.” To his final breath Mr. Perronet had clear Biblical doctrine and a sound mind. This is the way I’d like to go!

Stephen’s additional thought: Today’s missionary story and Scripture verse have prompted some additional ponderings on my part. Actually it’s a verse I have read many times  about God’s protective care which is not arbitrary but is surely expressed in different ways. We may tend to view it as seen in the deliverance experienced by the missionary, but how do we deal with the scores of martyrs? Was God’s protective care somehow faulty when He delivered Paul and Silas from prison but allowed James to be beheaded? Absolutely not! Surely the protective care extends primarily to the spiritual realm where we will spend eternity, but we will understand this better by and by.


Here are some more photos Ester took yesterday during our snow storm. The main storm ceased shortly after we posted yesterday’s message and we did not need our driveway plowed again. However it was extremely windy last night and still very cold today!

Birds feeding during snow storm 3/14/17

Finch feeding during snow storm 3/14/17

Cardinal feeding during snow storm 3/14/17

Bird resting during snow storm 3/14/17


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“All Hail The Power Of Jesus’ Name”  Video  Bob Kauflin in “Together for the Gospel Live” This a version we enjoy that although clearly has a vocal leader includes the rich sounds of congregational singing with minimal instrumentation. (See our “Finally Today” below for more on this.)

“All Hail The Power Of Jesus name”  Video   Tommy Walker

“All Hail The Power Of Jesus’ Name”  Video  Acapella

“All Hail The Power Of Jesus’ Name”  Video  Keith and Kristyn Getty

Here’s a video with the story we shared in the message.

Perronet’s “National Anthem of Christendom” (article)

Information about the Voice Of The Martyrs Conference this weekend

Finally today:

We receive an email for worship leading written by a local music leader, Dave Helmuth. In a recent issue he quotes from another Worship leader and Conference Speaker named Tony Stoltzfus who makes, in our view, an insightful observation about modern “worship” in so many churches. We have visited churches and had a similar experience. Stoltzfus writes the following article to worship leaders:

Drowning in Worship

“Twelve rows back and three songs into worship, I’m drowning again. The melody is in a key I can’t sing, dropped several notches to accommodate the husky voice of the female worship leader. That doesn’t matter much, though, since the roar of the sound system is so loud I can’t hear my own voice.

My will slips under the waves first. Why bother singing, when it makes absolutely no difference whether I participate or not? Nothing I do will influence—or even contribute to—what happens in corporate worship this morning. Whether I dance and sing at the top of my lungs, giving myself totally to the experience, or I withdraw in sullen silence to play Candy Crush on my iPhone, it’s all immaterial. The service will go on just the same without me. Worship is what happens on stage. The congregation gets to go along with what the worship team does, but we are mainly observers and passive participants. Our role is not to influence the direction of worship, or even to contribute to a shared congregational experience, but merely to follow what’s decided on stage and enforced from the sound board.”

To complete this article go here. (Scroll down) Extra credit for any readers who may know the story behind the drowning graphic used as an illustration.

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.

%d bloggers like this: