“The Lord’s Table”

March 31, 2015

Wedding Supper Of The Lamb (depiction)
We will one day gather at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb in heaven. Jesus told the disciples at the Last Supper, “I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29).

“The Lord’s Table”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“When the hour came, Jesus and His apostles reclined at the table. And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:14,15). “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons” (1 Corinthians 10:21). “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. These are true words of God” (Revelation 19:9).

Last night we visited with longtime friends, Jeff and Lois, along with their children, who joined us for dinner and fellowship around our old oak dining room table. The oak table has quite a story and Jeff had a part in it.

Dining room tableNearly 30 years ago Brooksyne purchased an old 48”x48” oak dining table for $50.00 at an estate sale that included five 12” leafs. At the time it was an absolute mess with deep scratches etched in the laminate top, along with multiple colors of stain. It had black stain on the carved legs and the leafs had ancient linoleum glued over the oak which looked hideous. In addition the table was in poor structural shape. But like the message in the song “The Old Violin”* Brooksyne saw promise in that old table.

I saw little hope for the bedraggled piece of over-used furniture and told Brooksyne so. Who knows, we probably had some words over it at the time. In my view it was a waste of money but Jeff carefully studied the pitiful table and gave a nod in Brooksyne’s favor. He saw potential as well so she made the purchase. After a good month of stripping, sanding, and staining I finally saw the underlying beauty of the table. Jeff assisted her with the structural restoration and even I got on board by drilling new holes and inserting better fitting dowels for the leafs.

Dining room table

We later found a table very similar to ours advertised for $14.25 in a 1906 Sears catalog, so our table has actually appreciated in monetary value over the past century and has seated many, many people! Fully extended it comfortably seats 12 people and on many occasions we’ve had more than that. We are quite sure some of you reading this have sat around our table and through the years we’ve shared many photos taken from around this table, including two from yesterday’s message.

The table has served us very well as we’ve dined with people from all over the globe. It’s a place where many of our memorable conversations with friends and family have taken place. You surely have a dining table of special significance in your home as well where you’ve built memories, whether it’s that roast beef dinner Mom made every Sunday or the times relatives joined for those special holidays. Perhaps you’ve had group Bible studies and gleaned important spiritual truths as you’ve studied together at your table.

Today, let us consider a special table in the Bible, known as “The Lord’s Table”. This table should prompt a solemn memory of Christ’s sacrifice.

The setting is the final hours of Christ’s life before His atoning death and a Passover meal He had with His disciples we call “The Last Supper”. “When the hour came, Jesus and His apostles reclined at the table.”

“When the hour came” is deeply significant. As the time approached for Christ’s ultimate demonstration of love He declared, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (John 12:23). A few verses later He bore His heavy heart, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour” (John 12:27). He began His high priestly prayer, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You” (John 17:1).

Church Communion Table“Jesus and His apostles reclined at the table.” Although this was a literal physical table, early in the life of the church it became figuratively known as “the Lord’s Table” in relation to the ordinance of Communion as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 10:21. Surely we can recall many occasions of thankfulness and joy around this table. This week, on Maundy Thursday, many congregations will gather around the Table of the Lord and recall the spiritual significance of His broken body and shed blood.

But there’s a future table in heaven that will be set up for “the marriage supper of the Lamb.” There are many mysteries in the Word that make us wonder how it will all take place, but most of us can identify with sitting around a large table with an abundance of food amidst family and friends. We can be assured that all the words of the Scripture are true but in this case it’s reinforced in the text itself, “These are true words of God.”

“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” The opening photo is a common depiction of the table set for this marriage supper of the Lamb. The extent of God’s hospitality is in His ultimate invitation, “Whosoever will, may come.”  And even more familiar to many of us are those wonderful words from the Golden text (John 3:16), “whosoever believes in Him.”

We have received many invitations and attended many weddings. These joyful occasions are very memorable events and the reception to follow provides great opportunity to celebrate with the family and friends of the couple. But nothing in this life will compare with a future marriage supper at the ultimate table.

Brooksyne and I expect to see you there and, by all means, please stop by so we can visit with you around that Table!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:  Father, salvation belongs to You who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb! Words are inadequate to express our joy in knowing that one glorious day we will attend the Wedding Supper of the Lamb because You sent Jesus to be the sacrifice Lamb who provided for our salvation. Though words cannot adequately express our joy, the way we conduct ourselves is an expression of thanksgiving to You. We look forward to that glorious day when we shed these mortal bodies and take on immortality, when we receive our wedding garments which will be robes of white. Until then, we prepare ourselves by praying in the Holy Spirit and keeping ourselves in Your love as we wait for the future wedding supper of the Lamb.

Keep on watching: Jesus said this to His disciples and for all who believe, that He is waiting for that Supreme Wedding Feast when we are joined with Him in heaven to partake again of this fruit of the vine.  He has refrained, all these years, from His rightful privilege of enjoying the fruit of the vine that He created since that eventful Last supper. Can you imagine the Love Feast that will be celebrated on that appointed day when He invites all His followers to sit at the Master’s Table! Perhaps He will call us together using similar words from an old hymn, “Come and Dine! You may feast at Jesus’ table anytime.”


Here are several representative photos of a groups gathered around our table:

Meal with Russian youth 10/26/14
A Russian youth group who visited last fall for a meal.

Home Bible study at the Webers
Or a home Bible Study from about eight years ago.

Weber family 1988
Or a family gathering over 25 years ago


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

* “The Touch Of The Masters Hand (The Old Violin)”  Video  Wayne Watson

“There’s Always a Place At the Table”  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

“The Table”  Video  Chris Tomlin

“Come To The Table”  Video  Marty Nystrom

“Come to The Table”  Video  Michael Card

“Remembrance (Communion Song)”  Video   Matt Redman

Correction! Yesterday we posted several video editions to “And Can It Be” which I mistakenly credited to Isaac Watts. Susan, a thoughtful reader from Long Island caught my error that this song was actually written by Charles Wesley. Actually the song lyrics I should have used at the conclusion was “When I survey the Wondrous Cross” by Isaac Watts since the phrase from our message title, “Love So Amazing, So Divine” actually comes from this song!  Video  GVB


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Lancaster City Police Mounted Unit.Lancaster City Police Mounted Unit.
The white horse is “Duke”.

“Love So Amazing, So Divine”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). “As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it” (Luke 19:41). “Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3).

Palm SundayYesterday we observed the Triumphal Entry when we recall how Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on the colt of a donkey in fulfillment of the prophecy mentioned in Zechariah 9:9. He was lauded with glory, honor and praise from the crowd of onlookers. Palm branches were spread before Him which is why we also use the term “Palm Sunday”. The crowds cried out, “Hosanna!”, a cry for salvation and declaration of praise. This was, of course, the beginning of the final days that led up to Jesus’ crucifixion.

In the first daily text Luke’s narrative gives us a glimpse of the Lord’s deep resolve to fulfill His Father’s mission, “As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” The Amplified Version states, “He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” The NASV uses this description, “He was determined to go to Jerusalem.”

Bible teacher Albert Barnes comments on this passage, “The time appointed for him to remain on the earth was about to expire, and he resolved to go to Jerusalem and die. And from this we learn that Jesus made a voluntary sacrifice; that he chose to give His life for the sins of men. Humanly speaking, had He remained in Galilee he would have been safe.”

“He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem: This is the beginning of a new section of the gospel. Jesus begins His long, final journey towards Jerusalem, with steadfastness fitting the difficulty of the task ahead of Him. There are two kinds of courage – the courage of the moment, which requires no previous thought, and a “planned” courage, which sees the difficulty ahead and steadfastly marches towards it. Jesus had this kind of courage; He could see the cross in the horizon, but still steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” (David Guzik)

Of course before Jesus was taken up into heaven He, once for all, made the final blood sacrifice by the shedding of His own blood. That sacrifice would take place through Jerusalem. We will see this resolution most powerfully demonstrated through the events that unfold this Passion Week.

Triumphal entryJust prior to the Triumphal Entry we read in Luke 19:28, “He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.” The phrase “going up” is very purposeful, translating the Greek “anabaino”, the same word used when Zacchaeus “climbed” the sycamore tree. The King James Version translates it “ascending”. Now there was an elevation sense but we believe also a deeply spiritual sense to this “going up”. Luke reveals the spiritual heartbreak of Jesus in the following statement, “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it” (19:41). His heart was broken for the lost!

Today we too should “Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3). Pastor Steven Cole writes, “While rejection is always difficult to handle, if our Lord was rejected, we can expect the same treatment in this wicked world. He deliberately steeled Himself for the coming rejection in Jerusalem. As His followers, we must steel ourselves for rejection and not take it personally, even if it is meant that way.”

Why is Christ’s entry into Jerusalem referred to as the Triumphal Entry when Scripture reveals that over the next few days anguish, sorrow, and death would overshadow any potential cause for victory?  Because, in the midst of the evil and cruelty that is about to unfold, God’s plan to provide salvation for the human race was not thwarted, but divinely fulfilled. Christ’s triumphal entry was truly triumphant because He came into Jerusalem:

•    As a victor not a victim.
•    To fulfill the ultimate plan of God.
•    To demonstrate the full extent of His love.
Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world. He had fulfilled His Father’s purpose and was Victor over sin. He loved His own, and in His act of great sacrifice, He showed us the full extent of His love. Today, let us live for Him who died for us!

Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, our hearts are stirred as we consider the extent of Your love in sending Jesus to die for our sins. As He wept over Jerusalem we see His tender humanity in relation to our sin problem.  How grateful we are that Jesus yielded Himself fully to be  a sin sacrifice, once for all, not just for Jerusalem but for peoples of every tribe and language; for all generations prior to His sacrificial death and for all who follow. Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  Amen.


When I study for these messages I come across a lot of interesting notes yet can’t place them all in the message. Bible teacher Gene Brooks further elaborates on today’s text, “Jesus’ Galilean ministry comes to a close at Luke 9:50 and at Luke 9:51 opens a new focus. From this point to his Passion is six months. The long section from Luke 9:51-18:14 is, along with Luke 1-2 and 24, Luke’s most distinctive contribution to the Gospels, the Lord’s Travelogue from Galilee to Jerusalem and His Passion. No matter that his disciples do not understand, the Lord resolves that the time has come for him to accomplish his mission, and in perhaps an echo of the third Servant Song, “I have set my face like flint” (Isaiah 50:7; Ezek 21:2), Jesus set out resolutely (Luke 13:31-35). Coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration, he sets Mount Zion – the city of Jerusalem – before himself as a goal for his “taking up,” or ascension, which we see in Acts 1.”

A great resource for those who value expositional study is the Precept Austin online commentary which is a compendium of many resources. Many of them are arranged by verse such as Hebrews 12:3 where I read this note: “The hostility describes the opposition the Messiah endured from sinful men, even (and especially) religious (Jews who should have known better) men in both word and act. In the present context, the Jewish readers who had been born again (or were strongly considering the claims of the Messiah) were persecuted and mistreated by their Jewish brethren (not spiritual brethren but physical for both were from the lineage of Jacob) who were still clinging to the order of the Old Covenant of Law, including things like the temple sacrifices. The writer calls to their mind the example of the Author and Perfecter of their faith to encourage his readers to “hang on” despite the opposition which they were meeting with that endured by Messiah, and to do this in order that they would not be weary, fainting in their souls. Believers today need the same encouragement, especially in our culture which is sliding further and further from Biblical standards and into the abyss of paganism, debauchery and false spirituality, all of which are hostile toward Christianity. (Underscore mine)


Dinner guests 3/27/15
Friday evening we had three couples over for a New England style seafood dinner. The men drank rhubarb punch from their redneck jars. Left to right; Ron and Bonnie Hoover, Fred and Bev Steudler, Rick and Jackie Steudler. We work with these men in the course of our chaplaincy ministry. Ron chairs our local Convene business group.  Fred and Rick own local businesses we serve.

An interesting “It’s a small world” concerning Ron Hoover: In the nineties we served a church in New England founded by a businessman named Augat who also owned a company in Attleboro Massachusetts called Augat Manufacturing. He passed away over 50 years ago. While we were in New England Ron was the CEO of that company although we didn’t meet till we were in Pennsylvania.

Dinner guests 3/27/15
We had a fine time sharing around the table during our meal and thereafter. Following our dessert and coffee we ended the evening by each saying a prayer.

Central Market alley with police horse in Lancaster PA
I received an interesting email this weekend. The commander of our Lancaster City Police Mounted Unit had apparently come across the photo above. I took it about 8 years ago as I recall at the Central Market in Lancaster, PA. He wrote that the horse’s name was Duke and he was black when the police force first received him. In my photo he looks dark gray. He is now white!

Lancaster City Police Mounted Unit.
Another photo of these stately animals.
Duke is in the center.
A great prophetic Bible verse references a white horse!
(See Revelation 19:11)

Emma (Lab pup) 3/29/15
Yesterday afternoon, following our church service at Longwood Manor, a young guest visited. Our neighbors brought over their new white Lab puppy Emma to play with our dogs in our fenced back yard. Initially frightened she quickly warmed up and of course I taught her to fetch frisbee (one of the teaching specialties I have, thanks to Mollie). Mollie demonstrated jealousy at the attention our young guest was receiving but eventually got over it. She’s never had to share her frisbees with anyone else, human or canine!

Emma (Lab pup) 3/29/15
I am sure Emma was tired by the time our play was over!
(Puppy photos taken by Ester)


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“And Can It Be That I Should Gain” Today rather than posting a variety of songs I will share a variety of versions of this outstanding Isaac Watts hymn
Video  Traditional big church with pipe organ
Video  Acapella
Video  Sovereign Grace Music
Video  An example of the blessed talent in so many local churches.
Video  Altar of Praise Chorale
Video  Chris Tomlin uses it in his song “Amazing Love”

Convene is group that supports business leaders in pursuit of honoring God in their business. Ron shared a video with wisdom from a surprising place regarding the importance of faith.

Lancaster City Police Mounted Unit Facebook page

Finally today:

Ester at Carman concert 3/28/15
On Saturday evening Brooksyne and Ester attended a Carman concert here in Lancaster and assisted the concert promoters by helping sell merchandise. Carman is cancer free as of today. He initially was given a terminal prognosis, but after much prayer and chemo treatment he is now free of cancer. Carman is our age and first became popular when we were young.


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Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne
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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.

“Fear Not”

March 27, 2015

Hannah at Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

“Fear Not”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1). “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee” (Isaiah 41:13). “Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:17,18).

Kaieteur Falls, Guyana Yesterday I was visiting with Mike, a project manager, in one of the companies we serve as chaplains. He was excited to show me photos of his daughter Hannah who recently returned from a missions trip to Guyana.

She was with a group of students serving from her high school seeking to reach students in Guyana with a message of hope through Jesus Christ and focusing on suicide prevention among the youth. Guyana has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. They held assemblies in 5 public schools and talked to students one on one.

In my years of pastoral service I led several groups on missions trips and to this day I would hope that many recall the impact these trips had on their lives. Often when making a missions trip groups take a day to visit the famous sights in the area and Hannah’s group visited Kaieteur Falls. Mike had a photo of her (seen above) on his computer screen which caught my attention. It preceded our discussion about her missionary endeavor and also the fear I have of standing on edges.

Hannah is standing on a rock overlooking the majestic falls. When I saw the photo it immediately prompted a mild attack of hypsiphobia.  Since I am sure a few of our readers may not know what that word is I will define it. “Hypsiphobia” is the fear of height, although more precisely I have a fear of edges with a drop off. I recall discussing this with our friend Kathy Matangelo many years ago and her making this distinction. Actually I am not afraid of the height itself; being in a tall building or at a high altitude doesn’t bother me at all. But if I, a loved one or anybody is on an edge with a big drop-off I really get a squirmy feeling. I told Mike I would never be able to stand near an edge like Hannah. I would have to get down on all fours and slowly crawl to look out over the edge, if I dare attempt it at all!

Someone began collecting phobia words many years ago as a hobby and now has a phobia list of over 500 phobias! (Link below) I am sure everyone will find something on the list they struggle with. After this week’s tragic airline crash in Europe many will deal with a heightened sense of Aviophobia.

Certainly there are many situations that induce fear. Fierce storms, financial issues and terrorist threats number among so many other troubles that instill fear. Even dogs have phobias. Last night we had a severe storm pass by and our younger dog Mollie is terrified of storms!

Keep Calm and Fear NotThere is a positive aspect of fear as well. We are told in Scripture to “fear God”, although this is different than all other kinds of fear, having more the sense of having reverence and awe. I have preached a sermon on the healthy, holy fear of God, something lacking greatly in the world and even in the Church.

Fear itself is first expressed in the Bible shortly after the transgression in the garden when Adam said to God, “I was afraid” (Genesis 3:10). The remainder of the Bible is full of many expressions of human fear for a wide variety of reasons. It’s still that way today and people seem to keep coming up with new causes for fear!

I find great assurance in the tiny phrase found often in Scripture translated “fear not” in the King James Version (or generally “do not be afraid” in many other versions). This phrase is found sixty-two times from Genesis to Revelation. In today’s Scripture texts we have both the first and last occurrences in the Bible.

Today I encourage you to listen carefully for the voice of our heavenly Father. He speaks gently to your heart reminding you to put your confidence in Him. Some of you are really struggling with fear as you read this. It’s crippling you spiritually and emotionally and perhaps even physically. When I take the time to stop and really consider my emotions I realize that I experience fear and anxiety most when I’m not trusting in what God has said or what He has shown me through His character traits.

God continues to speak, “Fear not”. We must act upon His loving command if we are to have deep abiding peace and growing trust in the One who truly cares for those who belong to Him.

Fear not my child I’m with you always,
I feel every pain and every tear I see.
Fear not my child I’m with you always,
I know how to care for what belongs to Me.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father I will not fear for You have redeemed me and called me by name. You know when I pass through the waters and You have promised to be with me; when I cross through the rivers they will not sweep over me. When I walk through the fire I will not be burned for You walk with me. Though trials may engulf me and tempt me to be paralyzed by fear, I can overcome the enemy of fear just as Jesus overcame the power of death. May the resurrected power of Jesus subside my fears and doubts while building my faith and trust in the Holy One of Israel. Amen.

See Isaiah 43

Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
Kaieteur Falls is a waterfall on the Potaro River in Kaieteur National Park, central Essequibo Territory, Guyana. It is 226 meters (741 ft) high when measured from its plunge over a sandstone and conglomerate cliff to the first break. It then flows over a series of steep cascades that, when included in the measurements, bring the total height to 251 meters (822 ft). While many falls have greater height, few have the combination of height and water volume, and Kaieteur is among the most powerful waterfalls in the world with an average flow rate of 663 cubic meters per second (23,400 cubic feet per second). (Wikipedia)

Mennonite greenhouse wagon 3/26/15
Yesterday we approached this young Mennonite boy with a team pulling some type of greenhouse on a wagon. We sure enjoy the interesting sights, sounds and even smells of rural Lancaster County. (I’m speaking of the chocolate that wafts through the air from Wilbur Chocolate and M&M Mars on some days!)

Spring flower cart 3/26/15
Another early sign of Spring when the flower carts are out again.

Storm coming 3/26/15
Last night at dusk we had a dark storm covering while Ester and I rode our bikes in the neighborhood.  Brooksyne was walking the dogs and took this photo before we quickly headed home just before heavy winds and rain descended upon us.

Storm coming 3/26/15
One more view of the dark clouds


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Fear Not My Child”  Video  Carman  This Saturday evening Brooksyne and Ester will be attending a Carmen concert here in Lancaster. They assist the concert promoters by selling merchandise.

“I’d Rather Have Jesus”  Video  Jason Crabb

“Gentle Shepherd”  Video  Homecoming singers

“Voice Of Truth”  Video  Casting Crowns

“I Can Trust Jesus”  Video   Collingsworth Family

The Phobia List  The longest phobia listed and a word I rarely use in my sermons is “hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia”. You may think that must be a fear of Hippopotamus but you would be wrong! In my line of work I sure hope I don’t deal with many people who have “homilophobia.” But we should have a healthy sense of “Hadephobia” See Matthew 10:28.


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.

“God’s Great Love”

March 26, 2015

Donegal Creek, Lancaster County PA

Dusk along Donegal Creek

“God’s Great Love”


ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:11,12).

We are sure ready for some beautiful spring days and are especially looking forward to our long daily walks along the country lanes. We usually walk the dogs as well and they sure enjoy getting out. Both have experienced a shock when they brushed up against an electric fence without having the slightest idea what happened. This is an electric fence for livestock so they get quite a jolt. They shriek and quickly skirt back from the wire fence with their tails between their legs wearing an expression that seems to say, “WHAT WAS THAT!”

We understood what happened but of course they didn’t. How do you explain an electric shock to a dog! It’s that way with us many times isn’t it? We get shocked by a situation in life and we have no idea what hit nor did we understand why.

We’ve all probably heard or used the following expressions, “I don’t know what hit me” or “Where did that come from?” I can recall experiences like this in my own life and I’ve observed them in many others as well. I have a friend who’s going through one of these shocking experiences right now. We can’t predict or avoid these jolting experiences so that’s why we need to have a deep abiding assurance of God’s great love, care and provision for that which have need of.

The daily verse is one of the greatest expressions in Scripture extolling God’s love “for those who fear Him”. Consider the two figures of speech the Psalmist uses in the text.

First he speaks of the extent of God’s love as being “as high as the heavens are above the earth.” How high is that? In the Scriptures the expression “heavens” normally describes the universe as distinct from the earth. But how big is the universe? It seems this distance just keeps increasing with better telescopes and more research!

The study of astronomy interests me, although most astronomers ignore God’s revelation in the Scriptures. The Psalmist, in describing the infinite nature of God’s love and mercy, expresses the greatest truth. And sadly astronomers, looking in the wrong places, will never find this Truth!

Secondly, he speaks of the extent of God’s forgiveness: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” How far is that? If he were to have written “north from the south” we could have measured the distance between the poles. But how far is east from west? It is not something we can measure! In His great love and mercy that’s how far He has removed our transgressions from us.

The Psalmist provided God’s greatest solution to life’s greatest problem in this Psalm. He covers both the vertical and horizontal reaching of God’s goodness to humankind. The boundless capacity of God’s love fills the vertical space from the heavens to earth. His unceasing capacity for forgiveness stretches horizontally beyond the measurable scope of humankind. Do we not serve a great God who is moved to action by our innermost needs! May you be filled with the fullness of God as He reveals Himself to You through His unlimited love and ongoing forgiveness.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Omnipotent Father, Your immeasurable love and unending forgiveness are characteristics that only a God like You can dispense, so much so, that even the vilest offender who truly believes will be pardoned by You. Because of Your tremendous example of love and forgiveness toward us, we can also extend our love and forgiveness toward others. As recipients of Your goodness may we be dispensers of Your blessings to those You bring into our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


Wrong Car: Yesterday Brooksyne shared about getting in the wrong van and we had a number of responses. One example is the following story: “I remember when I walked out into our old dental office parking lot and I got into what I thought was our car (same color and size). I sat there trying to figure out whose sunglasses were in the console and then picked up the vitamins and wondered when my husband Doug had started taking those vitamins…. Good thing I came to my senses and realized I was in the wrong car….and jumped out quickly, hoping the accountant who owned the car and had the office across the hall from our dental office wasn’t looking out the window, wondering why I was sitting in his car and looking at his vitamin pills!! All along Doug was sitting in the driver’s seat of our car, looking at me like I’d completely lost my mind!”


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“The Love Of God”  Video  Gaither Homecoming singers

“As Far As The East (Psalm 103:11-12)”  Video  Scripture Memory songs

“East To West”  Video  Casting Crowns

“As High As The Heavens”  Video  Hosanna! Music


Contact Us
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Mollie with red bandana 3/17/11We had Mollie for two weeks when this photo was taken four years ago. She has not lost her spunkiness and we have to constantly remind her to behave.

“The Blessing Of Reminders”

Note: My computer crashed last night and I was unable to process the audio file

“So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things” (2 Peter 1:12-15).

Like many others, we often use terms such as “senior moments” to describe brief lapses in memory. A younger friend describes it as “data overload”. Years ago I was visiting in the office of Paul Hollinger, longtime general manager of WDAC, one of our local Christian radio stations. He was nearing retirement at the time and had a napkin on his desk that stated, “I Have CRS”. I inquired concerning what that meant and he informed me it stood for, “Can’t Remember Stuff”.

In Friday’s message I (Stephen) mentioned a pastor’s conference I attended last Thursday. Normally, Brooksyne and I do our chaplaincy walk-throughs together but after we made some early morning visits together, Brooksyne dropped me off at the conference and proceeded to make several more visits on her own. During these walk-throughs we greet the employees individually. Some share their burdens asking for prayer and at times seek our advice. At the very least we seek to be a friendly face giving them a brief diversion from what can be a very long, routine day.  At the end of our workday we are weary and might even be weighed down with personal data overload.

Maybe that explains why Brooksyne did something out of character last Thursday afternoon. After her visits she dropped off an item to be repaired and later returned to pick it up across from the Park City Mall. Here’s her version of the story:

After I picked up the repaired item I returned to the parking lot and looked for my van. I thought I had parked it closer since it was cold outside but, after spotting it at the far end of the parking lot, I dismissed the idea thinking to myself, “Good for you! You must have parked far away so you could get your 10,000 steps in today.”

Rather absent mindedly I opened the van door, sat down behind the wheel, and spotted a bag of mini twizzlers which I didn’t remember being there before. It was nearly 4 PM. and I hadn’t eaten lunch so I was very hungry. Without even thinking I reached into the bag and tossed a couple of them in my mouth.

Suddenly I awakened me from my stupor and looked more closely at the interior of the van. Shopping bags were strewn about that were not mine, the interior was different than ours and I instantly knew the twizzlers in my mouth were not MY twizzlers! I shot out of that van like a cannon ball and spewed the twizzlers out on the pavement immediately. Of course I looked around to see if the owners of the van were within eyesight. Thankfully they were not, so I hurried to my own van and quickly exited the parking lot. Later I couldn’t help but wonder what they’d think if they knew a complete stranger had fingered their twizzlers. And did they see the two twizzlers I spat out (I didn’t have enough presence of mind to pick up the evidence and destroy it.) Stephen’s note: If the owner of the van contacts us we will buy them a new bag of twizzlers.

As we get older we generally deal with short-term memory loss (like forgetting where we put our wallet, coffee cup, car keys, cell phone, wrong car, etc). We all need spiritual memory prompts to keep us on track.

The daily text expresses an attitude we should have when we are reminded of familiar truths. Peter was confident his readers not only knew the truths he had shared, but they were also established in their hearts and minds. Nevertheless he pledged to be steadfast in reminding them of these things. Today Peter might preface his message by saying, “I know I’m preaching to the choir. but….” He was determined to “make every effort to see that after his departure others would always be able to remember these things.”  That’s a faithful minister!

Do you receive the reminders of truth with joy? I recall the line in an old hymn that put it this way, “I love to tell the story, for those who know it best, seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” May we never lose interest or find ourselves yawning when hearing or reading of the foundational truths of the Gospel, even if it is the umpteenth time! May it instead reassure and refresh our spiritual appetite.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit.  May Your Words be impressed upon our hearts as we give regular attention to them through reading and memorizing the Scriptures. We don’t want a casual attitude about Your Holy Word, but rather we want to be earnest students of Your Word genuinely contending for the faith. Help us not to be absent minded when approaching the gospel truths but rather be wholly present that we might partake of all that You have to teach and show us in Your Word. May we never weary of the basics of the gospel or lose the awe and wonder of seeing a life that is changed when redemption takes place. We want to hunger and thirst after righteousness and never lose sight of the old, old story that will be our theme throughout eternity. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.


Additional note from Brooksyne:  We lock our car doors – something else I didn’t even notice when entering the wrong van. Perhaps this should be a lesson for all who park vehicles in the public. If you don’t want people eating your candy be sure to lock your doors.


Yesterday we referred to a local eagle’s nest with a cam streaming. Since that time both eggs have hatched and the newly hatched eagle chick are now in the video. It was great source of conversation this morning in our chaplain visits! (I was told the frozen video is probably due to so many people getting on the site.)


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“I Can Trust Jesus”  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.)

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.

Carved eagle
Eagle Carving by Tom Jenkins


“Dwelling In The Shelter Of The Most High”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (Psalm 91:1-4).

Eagle nest (Image courtesy of Pennsylvania Game Commission, HDOnTap and Comcast Business)There’s a lot of interest in our area concerning an eagle cam which live streams a video of a bald eagle nest across the Susquehanna River from where we live (link to this page below). Any day one of her two eggs is supposed to hatch. This is a matter of interest and a source of discussion among many of the employees we visit as their chaplains. Some have even made the eagle’s nest their home page.

The bald eagle, declared an endangered species for about 50 years, is now thriving here in Pennsylvania. A camera about the size of a soda can, is planted in the tree of a York County nest, and it provides a live streaming video of a bald eagle perched on her two eggs.

Before they hatch the eagle carefully protects her young from predators, extreme weather, or any other disturbance that would harm her future hatchlings.

This is also the image used in an ancient Psalm. Psalm 91 begins with this promise, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

Headphones on airplaneOn our return flight from San Diego last week we flew Southwestern where seats are not assigned and we were unable to sit together. I (Brooksyne) sat between two young men who wore headphones and slept most of our flight so there was little conversation. But about halfway to San Antonio the man next to the aisle stirred, took off his headphones, and inquired, “Are you a nervous flyer?” Before I could respond he further commented, “I noticed you’ve been reading your Bible most of the flight.”

Inwardly I smiled since I thought neither passenger took notice of me. I went on to explain that I’m not a nervous flyer; I was actually memorizing all 15 verses of Psalm 91 (which at my increasing age it takes a lot more time than my younger years).

He countered, “Oh, I thought you might be a nervous flyer so you read the Bible when you fly. I actually pulled out the Lord’s Prayer and read it, before I boarded, which I do when I fly. It helps me to be less nervous.” Trying not too sound preachy I briefly elaborated, “As a believer in Christ I try to read the Bible daily because it helps me in every area of my life.” I was hoping for more of an opportunity to share my faith, but unfortunately his reinsertion of the ear plugs quickly ended the conversation.

Our brief exchange made me think of many who use the Bible or say a prayer only for special occasions, but choose not to “dwell” in the shelter of the Most High. To “dwell” means to linger, sit down, or “meditate” in the ascended place of the Most High. In doing so you rise above the madness, evil, and heartbreak down here below which leads to insecurity, doubts, reckless choices, and even despair.  To find reassurance for our soul we must dwell in the shelter of the Most High and thereby we will find “rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”  An old song states, “There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God.”

In our daily text the Psalmist continues, “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'” This is a powerful profession of our faith we can likewise declare today and everyday, for God has not changed and will not change.

“Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.” Two dangers are referred to here: the fowler’s snare and the deadly pestilence. (The fowler’s snare is like a net trap.) During every season of life we have dangers as expressed in John Newton’s hymn, “through many dangers, toils and snares.”  Our arch enemy “prowls around seeking whom he may devour”, but God will save us when we call on Him for help.

The Psalmist then uses an analogy from a nesting bird: “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.” Can you imagine a safer or more nurturing place in nature for the eggs or tiny chicks? Similarly the writer of Psalm 91 warmly describes our loving, heavenly Father as One who covers us with His feathers. We find refuge under His wings.

The section ends with this promise, “His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart”. The theme of God’s faithfulness runs through the Bible beginning in Genesis and all the way into Revelation, where Christ is identified as “Faithful and True” (Revelation 19:11). Most of us know what a shield is but the word “rampart” is less familiar. Rampart refers to a defensive wall or bank built for protection. Our American readers will recall this word since it’s sung in our national anthem, “O’er the ramparts we watched…”

As we dwell in the shelter of the Most High we need not fear since God commands His angels to guard and protect us (Psalm 91:11). If you’re feeling fear or insecurity today read Psalm 91, or better yet linger there for awhile, for fresh perspective on His enduring love and protection.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, like a nurturing eagle, You cover us with Your feathers so that we find refuge under Your protective wings. As we live in daily communion with You we are protected from the snare of the enemy. Therefore we need not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day. Because we have made the Lord Most High our dwelling You have commanded the angels to guard us in all our ways. You will be with us in trouble, You will deliver us and honor us. What greater blessing could we want than to know we are under Your protective, loving care. Thank You, Father, for being all that we need here and now, and providing for our hereafter. Amen.

See all of Psalm 91

Of course for many the most famous Bible passage dealing with the eagle is from Isaiah 40. “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”

Eagle reflection (photographer unknown)
I wish I could tell you I took this outstanding photo but I didn’t!
Several years ago my sister Genelle sent it to me in a collection of beautiful photos.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Live Eagle Cam”  Video  For whatever reason the video on this page was not working at the time we checked our page just before distributing (although it worked fine earlier this morning). Perhaps the eagle got tired of being viewed by thousands of humans and kicked the camera down! Scroll down and they also have a time lapse version from previous days.

Brooksyne found this beautiful edition of Psalm 91 set to music  Video

“Near To The Heart Of God”  Video   Green Hill Presbyterian Church

“Til The Storm Passes By”  Video  GVB

“Wings like Eagles”  Video  Hosanna! Music Scripture Songs

“On Eagle’s Wings”  Video   Michael Joncas

“Eagle’s Wings”  Video

“I Cannot Tell”  Video  Songs of Praise  Next Sunday Brooksyne will be leading the church choir in this song, popular in Ireland.  A beautiful Instrumental version  Video

Finally today: When we visited California we saw this interesting name for a bakery shop in San Clemente!

3:16 Bakery Shop in San Clemente, CA

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.

“At All Times”

March 23, 2015

Amish church service on Kraybill Church Road 3/22/15
On the way to our church yesterday we passed buggie traffic and I reasoned that the Amish were probably having church on our road. Sure enough yesterday afternoon we passed our neighbor’s farm on Kraybill Church Road and saw all the buggies parked. (The Amish have church services in the homes of their members.)

“At All Times”
ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28). “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).

Yesterday afternoon we led the chapel service at Longwood Manor, a nursing home in Maytown, Pennsylvania. Brooksyne selects music familiar to the elderly and they sure sing out. A group attends from a memory care unit and we note how the old hymns are deeply embedded  in their memory. One lady who has greatly diminished memory loudly sang, word for word, as Brooksyne played the hymns before the service began.

I preached a message based upon our daily encouragement message this last Friday from Hebrews 12 concerning the shakings in life. I looked out over the congregation of about 40 residents, now in their “golden years”, and considered all the shakings they’ve experienced in life. Heartaches, brokenness, profound disappointments. Most have lost their spouses, certainly some have grieved the loss of a child. Of course further shaking will most assuredly come as we consider the words from a hymn, “I’ll fight life’s final war with pain”. *

I shared how we all have these shakings while at the same time, “we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken”. What an assurance this is for all believers but even more keenly felt by the elderly since their time of departing is more evident.  Our response, according to the Scripture, is to “be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”

Now this is a very attentive group. In fact I didn’t see anyone piddling with their phone during the entire service. But I still like to test for attentiveness and purposefully misquoted a Scripture (being prepared to immediately correct myself if my misquote wasn’t detected). I challenged how we were to live our life characterized by worship and praise and misquoted Psalm 34 by saying, “I will bless the Lord whenever I feel like it.” Well, immediately Dale Singer (and probably several others) quickly corrected me and quoted correctly, “at all times”.

Dale Singer 3/22/15Take some time to interface with these seniors who have so much wisdom to offer. Let me just share a bit about Dale. He’s very familiar with life’s shakings. His first wife died of cancer many years ago. He remarried and, for some time now, has lovingly attended to his second wife who has Alzheimer’s Disease. Of course I don’t know all the shakings he’s been through but, now in his eighties, he maintains a faith-filled outlook on life.

As a child he was raised in a God-fearing home but rebelled as a teenager and soon became addicted to alcohol. In the Navy he served on the Aircraft Carrier Midway during the Korean War. (He was so pleased that we had seen his carrier on our recent visit to San Diego and wanted to tell me just where he had been stationed on the huge ship.)

Jesus SavesWhile in a training meeting in Memphis he passed a rescue mission and recalls seeing the bright neon sign, “Jesus Saves”. He walked in and surrendered his life to Christ and his heart and life was changed! While reflecting on the goodness of the Lord his eyes welled up in tears several times.

Dale told me that sometime later, following his conversion, he returned home.  It was eerily quiet as he entered his house. Assuming his folks were away he walked into his bedroom and there he saw his mother kneeling at his bed praying for him.

Dale went on to Messiah College and, for many years, was a public school teacher as well as a preacher. He still teaches a Sunday School class in his church to this day.

Dale’s story should encourage readers who have been praying for their prodigal child(ren). Sometimes you wonder if the godly upbringing you gave them was in vain, or you might question where you went wrong. Be assured that Bible truths, taught and modelled, are deeply imbedded in your children. We pray that they will come to their senses once they’ve consumed enough of the devil’s poison, and they will know again of the good things the Lord has prepared for those who love Him.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we want to bless You at all times. May our praise toward You continually flow from our tongues so that it brightens our outlook and even our countenance. May our lives, set apart for your glory, be as neon lights to this darkened world where so many have lost their way. They’ve become slaves to sin and need to be rescued and set free. Enable us to genuinely care for these needy souls, in their lostness and despair, to lovingly guide them to salvation through Christ. No one is too lost, or beyond hope, of find saving grace through Christ Jesus. So we continue to pray, believe, and trust You to save our loved ones before it is eternally too late. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


Good neighbors! Last night we had three neighborhood families over for dinner and fellowship. We wanted to thank them for their blessing in our lives. One has been so kind to keep our driveway cleared in the winter using his big John Deere tractor, another cares for our dogs while we are away and still another, our cat. They are trustworthy people. We didn’t take a photo since we thought it might make some of them, who are part of an old order Plain group uncomfortable.


Keefer twins
Our pastor has an identical twin and yesterday we met his brother for the first time.
We had some fun with that, after our initial confusion, when they weren’t side by side!

Lancaster homeshow flowers
Saturday afternoon I went to the Lancaster Homeshow where vendors demonstrate their various home improvement services. These real flowers at a hardscape dealer’s display get us more than ready to enjoy our spring season!

Colander planter
A repurposed kitchen colander serving as a planter!


Friday we shared this photo of a very friendly squirrel we saw along I-5 in southern California. He was reaching up to us for a morsel and we asked our readers for suggested captions.

California squirrel“I need a hug.”
“Please hold me, I just want to be loved.”
“Let’s just praise the Lord.”
“Do you suppose I could borrow your toothbrush?”
“I thank You, Jesus, You have brought these kind people here to feed me!”
“Please, don’t hit me, I won’t steal any more bird feed!”
“Can I have some of those Crest Whitestrips?”
“Smiling for the camera so I have a treat…please.”
“Come on, come on, come on. Let’s eat.”

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

* “Because He Lives”  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

“Jesus Saves”  Video  Travis Cottrell

“Somebody’s Praying Me Through”  Video  Allen Asbury

One more touching scene from yesterday in our nursing home ministry: As we walked into Longwood to prepare for the service I noticed two women praying for Warren, an elderly man in his nineties. I placed my hand on their shoulders and joined them even though I didn’t know who they were. Afterwards it turns out it was Warren’s daughter and granddaughter.


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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