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

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

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

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

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


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

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

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

Lowell Lundstrom

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

He had a long faithful ministry.

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

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


Pastor Keefer preaching 8/21/16

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

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

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


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

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


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

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

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

“Blessed Assurance”  Video  The Isaacs

“My Story”  Video  Big Daddy Weave


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

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

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

“Spiritual Metamorphosis”

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

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

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

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

Metamorphosis

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 12:1,2

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

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

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

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

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

Greek Scripture portion

Some of our butterflies!

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

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

Black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar

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

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


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

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

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


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

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

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

“Change My Heart Oh God”  Video  Vineyard

Finally today:

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

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

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

“Pandering Politicians”

August 18, 2016

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

“Pandering Politicians”

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

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

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


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

Amish ladies in cart 8/17/16

Amish team 8/17/16


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Personal Ministry Update

Daily Encouragement chaplaincy website.

Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

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

Support Our Ministry

We want to thank all who have financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage of time varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information or donate directly online through my chaplain account here. Donations are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by my chaplaincy endorsing ministry. Thank you!

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

“A Memorable Meal”

August 17, 2016

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

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

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Since Jesus Came Into My Heart”  Video  Collingsworth Family

“Suppertime”  Video  George Younce

Reminisce magazine

Article in Lancaster newspaper about storm.

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

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

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


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

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

Loaded hay wagon at the Northwest Lancaster County Antique Tractor ExpoOld farm wagon with wispy hay.
A painter spent some extra time on those wagon wheels!

“An Unusual Jailhouse Conversion”

Message Summary: What evidence of conversion are you demonstrating today? Are you sharing it with others?

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized” (Acts 16:33).

Jailhouse conversion describes those who at a low point in life make a turnaround and commit their life to Christ while in jail or prison. I see a man in my chaplaincy role who made such a decision while in state prison. It turns out the chaplain who discipled him is a friend of mine and I now have the opportunity to follow up on his care and encourage this man regularly to stay on the straight and narrow.

The testimony of Troy Haas, who became a missionary to Kenya, demonstrates a jailhouse conversion. “In the jail, another inmate ‘began to share Jesus Christ with me,’ Haas said. He obtained a copy of Chuck Colson’s book, “Born Again,” and started to read it.

On the night of Dec. 10, 1986, Haas said he awoke in the Harris County jail and realized, “I had nothing unless I gave my life to Jesus Christ.” Then he prayed, “God, I don’t know You, but from what I know about You, You are my only hope.”*

Today let us examine another jailhouse conversion, one not involving the inmate but rather the jailer!

Paul and Silas in prison PhilippiPaul and Silas had been beaten and imprisoned for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Philippi. (The full story is recorded in Acts 16:11-40.)

Yesterday we considered Peter, who under similar circumstances of imprisonment, managed to sleep before his trial. But in this story Paul and Silas didn’t go to sleep. Instead of whining about the humiliating, cruel, unjust, and  extremely painful treatment they endured from being stripped and severely flogged by the town officials, they prayed and sang hymns to God. “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God” (Acts 16:25).

It’s fairly easy to imagine what they prayed about, assuming among their petitions was, “Lord, get us out of here!”

What hymns might they have sung during their time of capture? “Blessed Assurance” would sure fit well. Or perhaps they sang, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow” or they encouraged each other with the old spiritual, “He’s got you and me brother in His hands…”

Or maybe Paul and Silas preferred contemporary music and sang, “Ten Thousand Reasons” This verse would sure fit well:

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Of course you already know none of these songs were written till many centuries after Paul and Silas lived. In fact, given the span of church history even songs we may consider very old are relatively new!

It is likely that they sang from the Psalms, a common songbook of their time. A good text for a hymn would be Psalm 4:8:

“I will lie down and sleep in peace.
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

It seems implausible they had any written words for text so they must have memorized the passages and music. I wonder if their singing annoyed the jailer and the other prisoners? The text clearly states, “The prisoners were listening to them” (v. 26), so this wasn’t some muted singing under one’s breath so they could barely be heard. Their voices projected even at midnight. It was surely the first time this jailer had ever guarded joyful prisoners like this, for one cannot sing without stirring up joy from within! However the impromptu worship service was interrupted with a earthquake.

Philippian jailorInstead of bolting, Paul and Silas stayed around to lead the jailer to faith in Christ after his soulful query, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). Do you suppose hearing their singing and witnessing their overcoming disposition had anything to do with this?

Many of our readers have memorized the answer to the jailer’s question about salvation, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31).

Treating woundsThe daily text reveals a very touching evidence of true conversion. “At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds”. This must have been a tender scene. Their midnight song service is all the more remarkable considering their untreated wounds. May God help us to have victory even when it hurts!

Prior to his conversion, it would appear the jailer had no concern for their wounds. But afterward he “washed their wounds”, giving first aid to Paul and Silas. As he washes their wounds he is surely receiving some foundational discipleship lessons at the same time. He immediately went on to receive his Christian baptism, along with his family. What remarkable evidence of this genuine jailhouse conversion and transforming regeneration for the entire family!

The lesson for today: The jailer showed evidence immediately of his remarkable conversion to Christ.  He demonstrated the new nature by becoming a servant and showing compassion to the hurting and mistreated. He immediately submitted to Christian baptism. After this he took Paul and Silas to his home where they had a meal and rejoiced together (v. 34).  He sure had a great testimony for the church and for his future grandchildren! What evidence of conversion are you demonstrating today? Are you sharing it with others?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, there are many incredible stories of spiritual transformation throughout every generation. You work Your miraculous transforming power in our lives, whether we have lived a life of debauchery or whether we quietly lived in sin, for we have all sinned and fallen short of Your glory! Our only hope for salvation is found in the acceptance of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Whatever our story, no matter how dramatic the change or seemingly uncolorful in our own minds, our transformation to living a godly life is miraculous and serves as a witness to those around us. Prompt us to tell our transforming story often, to live a life above reproach, and to be victorious even in settings that test us, like that of Paul and Silas who lifted their voices in song and praise, during their midnight hour in prison. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Blessed Assurance”  Video  Harpeth Gospel Quartet

“I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”  Video  Gene McDonald

“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”  Video  African Children’s Choir  This sure makes us miss our Zimbabwean neighbors who are in Africa for several weeks.

“Ten Thousand Reasons”  Video  Matt Redman This is the original version most of us are familiar with. I really do think Paul and Silas would like this song.

“10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”  Video  Rend Collective (Acoustic) Last night as we watched the sun go down from our front porch we were discussing today’s message. I asked my family what songs they think Paul and Silas might have sung while in jail. Brooksyne, in a moment of rare carnality, suggested “Jailhouse Rock”, in remembering the earthquake that released the prisoners. Ester suggested “10,000 Reasons” by a group called Rend Collective which she heard in concert this spring. This version was recorded at “The Junction Center”, a local concert venue hosted by our more contemporary Christian radio station WJTL.

“I Will Lie Down And Sleep – Psalm 4:8”  Video  Steve Green  (This is a song Brooksyne sang often with Ester when she was a youngster.)

* Houston jailhouse conversion propels missionary to Kenya

The Opioid Rage  Here’s another great conversion testimony although I don’t know whether it is a jailhouse conversion.

Rend Collective is a group I recently came across when Ester went to the concert. They have thoughtful words and are amazing to watch. Rend Collective – Build Your Kingdom Here OFFICIAL  Video

Finally Today:

Mike's whiteboard witness
Mike, a Christian employee, uses a small whiteboard near his work area to express his faith. He changes the messages regularly and I see this is the 18th whiteboard witness I have posted here on Daily Encouragement Net. Here is the first one we posted right after we started working at his company. Many pass this spot where Mike has a great opportunity to share a word for Christ. How are you letting your light shine today?

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.

Hummingbird (photo by Robyn Waugh) (Click to enlarge)
Robyn Waugh shared this photo with us of a hummingbird feeding. Now those of us who feed hummingbirds know that ants also enjoy the syrupy sweetness. In this photo the tiny hummingbird has an ant on her beak! You can also see the tip of the hummingbird’s tongue. (Click on photo to enlarge)

“Getting A Good Night’s Sleep”

Message Summary: Today God is in control in your life and in mine. Real peace and assurance is a result of a deep, abiding knowledge of His control. Are you going through a storm or are you enduring a “trial”?  Are you experiencing sleepless nights due to worries? Remember God is in control.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover. So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance ” (Acts 12:1-6).

Sometimes through the shadows it’s hard for us to see
But be bold and courageous and follow where He leads
Greater is the One who’s in us than he that’s in the world
So, child of God, remember the battle is the Lord’s

Sleeping babyWe serve at two companies where several men come to work in the early morning hours. Their eyes are bloodshot and their eye lids a little puffy because their newborn woke them through the night more than once. We tease them, “That’s why God gives newborns to young parents. It would be way too hard on us older folks.” Of course when babies sleep it appears to be the epitome of restfulness as we often hear the phrase considering a good night’s sleep, “I slept just like a baby.”

But in fact we periodically have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep, ourselves, for very different reasons. We’re told it comes with the aging process. Based upon all the advertisements for mattresses, sleeping aids and other sleep related items we are not alone. According to a report on “CBS This Morning” people are increasingly digging into their pockets for help sleeping. In the past year (2015), Americans have spent an estimated $41 billion on sleeping aids and remedies – a number that is expected to jump to $52 billion by 2020.

A deluge of research has been done on this subject. Studies are conducted daily in hospital clinics for the sleep-deprived in our society. Many reading our message today will identify.

In considering reasons for one long, sleepless night, Peter certainly had one. His fellow disciple and friend James had just been beheaded and the next morning he was to stand trial before Herod Agrippa, the persecutor of the Christian church. Now at this time humanly speaking, Herod’s likely action was pretty evident.  His poll ratings among the Jewish majority had shot up dramatically at James’ death.  You might say he was in the mood to persecute.

Surely Peter would be mentally preparing for his defense through the long night. That’s something that will keep you from sleeping.  In addition to awaiting the trial he was bound to two soldiers with two chains. Additional soldiers were guarding the entrance in his maximum security prison cell. We really don’t suppose Peter was given a nice soft bed with clean sheets and a pillow; a given for most of us who expect a good night’s sleep.  And Tylenol PM was “light years” from making its debut among the sleepless population at this time!

Yet Peter was sleeping. “The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.”

Sleeping Jesus Perhaps our Lord’s convicting words many years earlier on the lake had really sunk in. At that time Jesus, along with the disciples, was crossing the Sea of Galilee when a great storm arose. The terrified disciples awoke Jesus, who Himself had been sleeping on a cushion, with this question, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” After rebuking the storm Jesus asked this probing question, “Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?”  (Mark 4:40).

Peter had learned from this experience and from other miraculous interventions he witnessed that God is in control. Isn’t that true for all who have placed their trust in Christ? The longer we live the more we see God intervene for His children. The church prayed earnestly for Peter’s release. The same prison entrance that bound Peter with chains became a miraculous exit to his freedom in the middle of the night.

A very important Biblical issue we must face head on is this: In ways we simply do not understand, God was no less in control at the beheading of James than in Peter’s miraculous deliverance recorded in Acts 12. It’s also true today when one is miraculously delivered or healed and their life is extended a short season, while another, equally precious in God’s sight, is not spared.

“What do we have that won’t ever wear out, break, die, go out of style, or need repair? Only our Lord. We can rejoice and give thanks, because our life and our future are tied to the Eternal Father, the creator of the heavens and maker of our world. Not only is God good; He is good to us. But more than just being good, He is loving too, and His love will never wear out, grow old, fade away, or need repair.” John Burns

Today God is in control in your life and in mine. Real peace and assurance is a result of a deep, abiding knowledge of His control. Are you going through a storm or are you enduring a “trial”?  Are you experiencing sleepless nights due to worries, busy schedules, or physical infirmities? Remember God is in control.

If there’s anybody here who’s found Him faithful
Anybody here who knows He’s able
Say, Amen
Anybody here found joy in the midst of sorrow
Peace in the storm, hope for tomorrow
And you’ve seen it time and time again
Just say. Amen

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, just as You sent an angel to rescue Peter from Herod’s wrath You rescue us from the dangers, toils, and snares that overwhelm us.  In the darkness of Peter’s cell the sudden appearance of an angel radiated light from heaven showing him the way to freedom. Help us to look to the light of Your Holy Word that releases us from the hopelessness of our circumstance. Thank You for the messengers of light You commission who encourage us or release us from our fears, whether they be angels from heaven or your servants on earth.  Amen.


Monarch Butterfly (photo by Robyn Waugh)
Another photo from Robyn, this time of a beautiful monarch butterfly enjoying sugar water.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Say Amen”  Video  Brian Free & Assurance


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

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

Lancaster County sheep 8/11/16 (Click to enlarge) 8/4/16
We passed these sheep yesterday north of Mount Joy. It was a hot, muggy afternoon and they were gathered by the watering trough.
(Click on photo for larger view)

“Helping Another To Find Strength In God”

Message Summary: Is there someone you need to seek out today? It might be a walk down the hall, a phone call or maybe just a brief, “I’m praying for you”. Will you be that source of strengthening encouragement today?

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God” (1 Samuel 23:16).

We’re part of the family, that’s been born again!
Part of the family, whose love knows no end!
For Jesus has saved us, and made us His own!
Now we’re part of the family, that’s on it’s way home!

It was just a brief phone call but it came at an opportune time of great need. I was enduring some severe sheep bites over 30 years ago when a friend called and with a weeping voice told me he was praying for me. That brief call helped me to find strength in God and overcome that particular trial.

Thank God for friends, for people who care. We hope you have a lot of them and that you have several friends like David had with Jonathan. Their friendship is surely one of the greatest found in Scripture.

Today’s text is a remarkable statement. At this point Saul was insanely jealous of David and was in hot pursuit of him to take his life. The previous verse states, “While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life.”

However Saul’s son Jonathan apparently saw his father’s error and remained faithful to his friend, David, who just learned that Saul had come out to take his life. Surely Jonathan knew this as well and he was risking his own life and the resulting fallout from his father’s wrath in order to help David.

David and JonathanNotice that Jonathan “went to David.”  He took the initiative and made the effort to help a friend in trouble. David had fled to the Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, which was a very desolate and remote region south of the Dead Sea.

The purpose of Jonathan’s visit was to “help him find strength in God”.  The NASV states, “encouraged him in God”. This is surely one of the most powerful examples and images of strengthening encouragement found in the entire Bible.

You may know of people like David who are besieged by difficult circumstances. They need a friend like Jonathan. They need someone to help them find strength. But notice the very clear source of strength: “in God”. This verse expresses the highest purpose of a truly godly friendship.

Although God is the source of strength He uses people to be channels of that strength. Aren’t you thankful for people that come to you when you need a helpful hand, a listening ear and a compassionate heart! Those who do so have generally developed a spiritual sensitivity that helps them to see beyond surface conversation to sense the deeper needs that one might be hesitant to bring out in the open. The most practical way we can help strengthen them is to pray with them. Notice I say “pray with” rather than just telling them, “I’ll pray for you” and walk away. Right then and there lift them before the Father in prayer as you’re gathered in His presence.

One of the blessings Brooksyne and I especially appreciate about our workplace chaplaincy role is being able to pray with a troubled employee. Many are burdened down with personal cares and are experiencing a very difficult day at work. We stop and pray, as long as the employee is comfortable with this practice, and we’ve often received feedback of how much this helped to lift their load while at work.

Praying for others is important, but we have experienced a great deal of spiritual strength when a brother or sister thoughtfully considers a verse that matches my need and prays with us. Today let us put this into practice in our life. We all know of weary, discouraged and fearful people like David. Let us help them find strength in God!

Is there someone you need to seek out today? It might be a walk down the hall, a phone call or maybe just a brief, “I’m praying for you”. Will you be that source of strengthening encouragement today?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, I pray for a spiritually sensitive heart that I might be a representative of Your indwelling Spirit to those who have distressing needs. Develop in me a discerning heart that I might seek out those in need just as Jonathan did with David. While I don’t have all the answers I do know that Your Word brings light, direction, and confidence as we must navigate through the twists and turns in our sojourn here below. We offer ourselves to You to be a blessing to others. We do this in the name of Jesus. Amen.


JK project managers 8/12/16
It was nice to get back to our regular schedule of company visits this week after a week’s vacation and after my extended time of recovery from a serious back problem. It was a blessing to hear many say they missed me during my long absence, which is another form of strengthening words! In addition to their personal greetings we came home, got the mail, and there was a card from this company with many extending their prayers and well wishes for my healing and recovery. It worked and was truly a blessing. Here we are with several of the project managers at JK Mechanical this morning. It was heartening to speak to an employee who’s had some challenging child-rearing challenges joyfully exclaim that they had a breakthrough – another answer to prayer!

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“God’s Family”  Video  The Collingsworth Family

“When He Carries Me Away”  Video  The Collingsworth Family

“Fear Not Tomorrow”  Video  The 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.

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