Ironstone Ranch barn 6/15/17
Stone barn on the Ironstone Ranch

“When The Former Things Pass Away”

Message summary: Today’s message is the fifth in a series based on Revelation 21:4 and that which we’ll not see or experience in heaven when “the former things have passed away”.

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Today we will share the final phrase from a series of messages we have presented this week concerning the “no mores” of heaven. No more tears, no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying and no more pain. Won’t it be wonderful there! The verse ends with the reason for these blessed “no mores”, “for the former things have passed away”.

For now though we live in the season of what will be “the former things”. Yesterday we attended a Convene retreat at the Ironstone Ranch near Elizabethtown, PA. Convene is an association of Christian business owners and leaders who seek to help “each other excel at building better businesses, increasing leadership success and having greater Kingdom impact”. We especially like that last phrase, “having greater Kingdom impact”.

Christ taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come” and all over the world this day people who earnestly follow Christ are seeking to do just that, including many in the business world.

We are all called to have a Kingdom impact. When it’s all been said and done that’s what really matters. This present life is very temporary but it’s all we now know. From the perspective of Revelation 21:4 this life is called “the former things” which will pass away. A helpful outlook in life is to be constantly, intentionally and purposefully mindful of this. Whatever you are going through, pleasant or unpleasant, be mindful that one day these will be the former things.

When the former things pass away we will see clearly what really mattered all along.

Paul encouraged the Corinthians to live with an eternal perspective in their daily lives because “the time is short” (1 Corinthians 7:29). “The things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

One of the reasons we are not to love the world is because Scripture reveals that which is in the kingdom of this world is often godless and ultimately transitory: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).

Theologian Joseph A. Seiss wrote, “Man comes into the world with a cry; and goes out of it with a groan, and all between is more or less intoned with helpless wailing . . . But the hallelujahs of the renewed world will drown out the voice of woe forever.”

While still living in what will be an age of “the former things” let us all seek to make a greater Kingdom impact. A phrase many of us have used fits well as we conclude today’s message, “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, one of the greatest passages that describes the earnest believer’s mission statement is Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”. We are to pursue Your eternal kingdom which includes righteous living, in stark contrast to the things of this world where many, as in the parable Jesus told of the young rich fool, say to themselves, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But [You] said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’” Any achievements, accumulation of things, or affections of this world will be wholly insignificant when the “former things of this world pass away”. I don’t want to experience the greatest rejection of all time, “Depart from me… I never knew you.” Instead I want to be among those that You dry every tear from their eyes; those who experience no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying and no more pain, since the former things have passed away. I long to hear Your loving words of invitation, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master!” It is by the grace of God that we are saved through Jesus’ shed blood for which we give thanks. Amen.

Matthew 6:33
Luke 12:19-20
Matthew 7:23
Matthew 25:23

Some Photos From The Convene Retreat

Ron and Bonnie Hoover, Convene retreat 6/15/17
Ron and Bonnie Hoover
Ron is chair of several local Convene forums and has been very encouraging and supportive of our chaplaincy ministry for over ten years now. We presently serve a number of Convene related companies. Ron and his wife Bonnie have a powerful mentoring ministry and have impacted many lives for God’s Kingdom, still going strong in their mid-seventies! Ron makes this point to business leaders: “When we stand before the Bema judgement (Judgment Seat Of Christ) — Christ will not be asking about our Balance Sheet and P/L–but He will be asking how we did caring for the people He gave us!”

Daniel and Alicia DeLeon 6/15/17 (Click to enlarge)
Daniel and Alicia DeLeon
Convene has a variety of both business and ministry leaders in the groups. Yesterday we visited for a few minutes with Daniel DeLeon and his wife Alicia. Daniel has quite a story of redemption.

He was living on the streets of Lancaster as a homeless man in late 2007 and then for two years at the Water Street Mission where he was converted to Christ. Discipleship followed and spiritual fruit began to develop in his life. From Daniel’s testimony he writes, “From the outset of this process I knew that God was involved in leading me to this very point, and my new motivation was to live to the fullest for Christ. From the very beginning, a thought was implanted into my heart that I was not at the mission to get my life back; rather, I was there to give it up. Since then, my enduring focus has been on seeking the kingdom and His righteousness first.”

God delivered Daniel from a life of violence, drugs, alcohol and prison. He has since graduated from Lancaster Bible College and now is developing Recovery Houses to provide recovery discipleship to those with a similar background as his.

Convene retreat 6/15/17
We gathered in a large barn that is used as a wedding and event venue. Our main speaker was Lance Witt who leads a ministry called “Replenish”.

Banner, Convene retreat 6/15/17
This banner sums up the mission of Convene well!

Ironstone Ranch barn 6/15/17
Another view of the barn shown from a distance in our lead photo today which is one of the many barns on the Ironstone Ranch property. Business leader David Abel has developed the property and really likes old barns. He is restoring old historic barns including the Star Barn.

Ironstone Ranch flower box 6/15/17
Guess who took this photo?

Convene retreat at Ironstone Ranch 6/15/17
A photo in the Christmas Tree tunnel. Notice the tunnel lights up at night. This is a photo spot for weddings so we are over 41 years late in using it.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

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

“In a Moment”  Video   Charles Billingsley

“For Future Generations”  Video  4Him

Information about Convene

Ironstone Ranch

The Star Barn

Finally today:

Lancaster County farmhouse with balloon 6/14/17
Yesterday we shared a photo Brooksyne took Wednesday morning of a balloon over a farm near Strasburg, PA. Stephen, a friend from one of our companies. Upon seeing our photo yesterday he sent us his own photo he had taken the same morning of the same balloon over his rented farmhouse built in 1864.

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.

“No More Pain”

June 15, 2017

Balloon over Lancaster County farm 6/14/17 (Click to enlarge)
Early yesterday morning as we arrived for our first chaplain visit we saw the bright colored hot air balloon flying over the farm across the street along Strasburg Pike.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

“No More Pain”

Message summary: Today’s message is the fourth in a series based on Revelation 21:4 and that which we’ll not see or experience in heaven when “the former things have passed away”. Today we consider pain.

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place,
Will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face

Many years ago I read a book titled “The Gift Of Pain” written by Dr. Paul Brand, a medical doctor who worked with leprosy patients. Brand begins with the proposition “A world without pain, can such a place exist? It not only can—it does. But it’s no utopia. It’s a colony for leprosy patients: a world where people literally feel no pain, and reap horrifying consequences as a result.  His work with leprosy patients in India and the United States convinced Dr. Paul Brand that pain truly is one of God’s great gifts to us.

Dr. Brand probes the mystery of pain and reveals its importance. As an indicator that lets us know something is wrong, pain has a value that becomes clearest in its absence. The book provides a helpful perspective but when you’re experiencing pain it still hurts and it’s hard to conceive pain as a blessing!

Rather pain is something we seek hard to avoid. “Pain killing” medicines are big business.

The first Biblical reference to pain was following the transgression in The Garden of Eden when God said to Eve,  “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children” (Genesis 3:16).

We’ve all known pain and for some it’s a present reality. Hardly a day goes by in the course of our chaplaincy work that there’s not a discussion about pain. Many people go to work every day dealing with pain, often chronic in nature. There are many levels of pain as anyone enduring pain knows when visiting a doctor the nurse asks, “From 1-10 what is your pain level?” Of course there’s the dull pain, thumping pain, sharp pain, excruciating pain, unbearable pain and on and on the list goes.

Revelation 21:4We normally think of pain in the physical but there’s emotional pain, spiritual pain and relational pain. Most of us have experienced all the above. And then as you age you face yet a different kind of pain associated with the aging process! Bill and Gloria Gaither touch on this in the third stanza of their hymn, “Because He Lives”. They wrote, “…I’ll fight life’s final war with pain” speaking of the pain that comes on our death bed before we draw our final breath .

In a message from the “Our Daily Bread” devotional (July 21, 2011) we read:

“Where is God when it hurts? He has been there from the beginning. He designed a pain system that, in the midst of a fallen world, bears His stamp. He transforms pain, using it to teach and strengthen us if we allow it to turn us toward Him.

He has hurt and bled and cried and suffered. He has dignified for all time those who suffer, by sharing their pain. But one day He will gather the armies of heaven and will unleash them against the enemies of God. The world will see one last terrifying moment of suffering before the full victory is ushered in. Then God will create for us a new, incredible world. And pain will be no more (Revelation 19:11–22:6).”

One of the great features of heaven is summed up in the words “no more pain”. That’s hard to imagine but it’s based on the authority of God’s Word making it altogether true!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, there are many kinds of pain that we will endure over our lifetime. Physical pain is prevalent in the average person and tells us when all is not right in our bodies.  We thank You, Father, for the built in warning signs that come from our nervous system. We may not like its painful message but it’s part of Your plan to protect us and a guide to others, such as parents of young children, caregivers, and medical personnel as they administer appropriate treatment for the painful symptoms we endure. We look forward to the day when sin will be no more and we will have no more pain due to disease, accidents, violence, abnormalities, or aging. Give us coping skills to endure pain and faith to believe that You are with us in the midst of our pain. In many instances You use it to get our attention and as an example to those looking on as to how we, as believers, deal with these undesirable circumstances. It’s for Your glory and our growth that even pain can be used to draw us nearer to You. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


Neuroscience for Kids  You may not like it, but we need pain. Pain acts as a warning system that protects you. Pain says, “Warning, Warning….stop what you doing and do something else”. For example, if you have your hand on a hot stove, pain tells you to stop touching the stove and remove your hand. In this way, pain protects your body from injury (or further injury if you have already hurt yourself). Pain also helps healing…because an injury hurts, you rest.

There are some people who are born WITHOUT the sense of pain. These people have a rare condition called “congenital insensitivity to pain”. Their nervous systems are not equipped to detect painful information. You may think this is a good thing….it is NOT. Without the ability to detect painful events, you would continue to cause injury to yourself. For example, if you broke a bone in your arm, you might continue using the arm because it did not hurt. You could cause further injury to your arm. People with congenital insensitivity to pain usually have many injuries like pressure sores, damaged joints and even missing or damaged fingers!

I (Brooksyne) have visited several times with a man, now in his thirties, institutionalized because he has “congenital insensitivity to pain”. He is self-abusive in large part because he feels no pain associated with his harmful actions. He swallows things that would be painful for us to swallow and many times it results in his having surgeries to remove the objects. Sadly he must be monitored continuously around the clock due to this major disorder. When I read the above description I thought immediately of this young man. And, yes, hard as it is for me to admit, my pain is truly a blessing and help to me in many ways.

Note: Although there are five “no mores” in the text we considered crying Monday in the message “No More Tears”.


Old-order team farming 6/14/17
Late yesterday morning when we arrived for our 4th company visit we saw this farmer leading his team. Look carefully and you’ll see a male and female helper sitting in front of him dropping plants into the freshly plowed field near New Holland, PA.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Just Be Held”  Video  Casting Crowns

“When The Tears Fall”  Video   Newsboys

“There Is Coming A Day”  Video  The Talleys

“There Will Be A Day”  Video  Jeremy Camp

“He Giveth More Grace”  Video  Larry Ford  This song was written by Annie Johnson Flint in 1941. Annie is one who knew intense crippling pain from rheumatoid arthritis. Institutionalized most of her life she wrote many poems of inspiration encouraging those undergoing trial. Due to her severe arthritic condition she could not strike the keys of a typewriter with her fingers but used her fist to type the words to many of her poems. The most famous, “He Giveth More Grace” has inspired millions who deal with affliction and suffering.

We are always pleased to hear how our messages impact others. Yesterday we received this note:

Today you have encouraged me and my family beyond words. We have been sitting by the bedside of my father in his dying hours for 5 days now, and becoming overwhelmed by sorrow. In a moment of needing to break away and come back to reality I stepped outside to check my email. In a moment somewhere between falling apart and checking in on the rest of the world your email “no more sorrow” came across my inbox.

Your message of hope could not cut any deeper in our moment, in my sorrow, thru my pain. I’ve shared this incredible encouragement with my family today. Thank you so, so much for your amazing ministry.

Please join us in praying for this man and his family during this most difficult time.

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.

“No More Sorrow”

June 14, 2017

Memorial Lake, Lebanon County, PA 6/13/17
Yesterday we walked some trails around beautiful Memorial Lake in Lebanon County PA.
Click for larger photo.

“No More Sorrow”

Message summary: Today’s message is the third in a series based on Revelation 21:4 concerning that which we’ll not see or experience in heaven when “the former things have passed away”. Today we consider sorrow.

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Here we are so often filled with heartache
So many times we weep when loved ones pass
But there’s a place the gloom of death can’t enter
And someday it will be my home at last
Revelation 21:4

This week as we consider the five “no mores” in the daily text it occurs to me that they sum up all that makes life unpleasant; tears (of sadness), death, sorrow, crying and pain. These are emotions we have all experienced and will continue to experience. What a blessing when we live in a time when these things are “no more”.

Today we consider sorrow. Other versions translate “grief”, “anguish”, “suffering”, “sadness”.  Oh, how we long for the day when these heartrenching emotions will be no more, but on this side of eternity they are a part of life. As an old Andrae Crouch songs states, “I’ve had many tears and sorrows”.

We experience sorrows personally. Do you remember your first sorrow? Probably not! But there are sorrows we each recall.

  • The death of a loved one.
  • A child’s departure from the right way.
  • An unfaithful spouse or friend
  • A broken relationship
Sorrows can affect us in many ways, often concurrently. They may emotionally, spiritually and physically weaken us. Some look for ways to block out sorrow such as alcohol and drugs which usually leads to more sorrow. Foundationally trust is tested during times of sorrow but it’s trust that is so vitally needed. As Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe writes, “Faith that cannot be tested is faith that cannot be trusted.” Times of sorrow are times we need to call out to God such as the Psalmist who cried, “My soul is weary with sorrow, strengthen me according to your word” (Psalm 119:28).

I have cried a river in the darkness
I have known the loss of precious dreams
But soon there will be perfect joy and gladness
All suffering will be gone from memory

Dr. JoAnn ButrinWe also experience sorrow when we  bear the burdens of others.

In ministry work there’s a danger that I heard years ago described as “compassion fatigue”. I heard it in a presentation by Dr. JoAnn Butrin, a long-time friend who has been in medical missions for over 40 years. She was describing the experience of her work following the Rwandan genocide in 1994 where an estimated 500,000–1,000,000 Rwandans were killed during a 100-day period. Called in to provide aid in the aftermath she shared how she was overwhelmed by human need and the sense of despair and hopelessness.

There are times we experience compassion fatigue in the course of our chaplain work as we serve out in the highways and byways of the workplace. We can tell you for sure; people don’t leave their sorrows at home! Of course those in ministry deal with this on a regular basis.

Whether our sorrows are a personal experience or whether it’s bearing the burdens of others our faith in God and His promises is crucial, especially today’s text which is a wonderful promise for those enduring sorrow. Let us consider it again but allow me to take a liberty in the translation and personalize it. “And God will wipe away every tear from my eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away”

When He calls me to that land of no tomorrow
Where grief and tears are gone without a trace
I’ll lay down all my trouble, cares and sorrow
And I’ll carry them no more
When He carries me away

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we look forward to that land where there will be no more sorrow, for it will be a thing of the past. Since there will be no more dying, no pain, no disease, no sin at all there will be nothing to make our hearts sorrowful. For now, though, we deal with sorrow in this life. When our hearts are heavy we can call out for help like the Psalmist who prayed, “My soul is weary with sorrow, strengthen me according to Your Word.” We can be strong and courageous as we hold to Your righteous right hand. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“When He Carries Me Away”  Video  The Collingsworth Family  This is the song we quoted throughout today’s message. We expect to hear the Collingsworth family when they’re in our area June 25. We have enjoyed the Collingsworth Family for many years and have been to several of their concerts. It is a family comprised of a husband, wife and four grown children. Their harmonies are outstanding. Local readers may get more information about the concert here.

“Never Too Broken To Belong”  Video  Gold City  What a great reminder of God’s call for us to follow Him and His promise of acceptance regardless of how broken we are.

The door is open
Come on in as you are
All you need to bring is what
remains of your heart
I see the years of fear
and pain on your face , but
Take a step
Enter in
You are safe in this place

Refrain
You’re never too broken, to belong
Never too wounded
Never too far gone
Here you’ll find Jesus
And find your home
You’re never too broken, to belong

Come find the perfect love
That no one deserves
A peace so sweet it can’t
Be put into words
And grace that’s greater
Than the darkest of sin
Taste and see
Take His hand
Let the healing begin

“I’m Trading My Sorrows”  Video  Guy Penrod

Rwandan genocide

Yesterday we alluded to a statement of a tombstone and a reader sent in this one that will prompt some pondering!

“To follow you I’m not content
Until I know which way you went.”

Finally today:

Front porch, Lebanon County, PA 6/13/17Front porch in rural Lebanon County PA. We were held up by road traffic right in front of this home. The porch was so homey it looked like a place where the residing couple might invite you over for a glass of iced tea on a hot summer’s day or offer a piece of homemade blackberry pie with a cup of coffee.

The other day we heard a musing about a front porch, how people would just sit out and converse without the distractions of “personal devices”. We picture this on the old Andy Griffith show and have memories of the “old people” doing this when we were little although through our adult lives we’ve not experienced a lot of front porch visitation. Now we out on our front porch many evenings to watch the sun go down.
This cartoon from Bizzaro.com on Paul Wilkinson’s blog is far too true! My oldest living cousin, Anna Lee, insists that people put away their devices when eating with her so conversation is not distracted. Good idea!
Paul Wilkinson shares the image in a series “What We Will Do In Heaven”.

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.

“No More Death”

June 13, 2017

Brugge Belgium canal (photo by Dresselhaus)This is a canal in Brugge, Belgium – called the Venice of the North.
Photo by Richard and Elnora Dresselhaus.

“No More Death”

Message summary: Today’s message is the second in a series based on Revelation 21:4 of that which we’ll not see or experience in heaven when “the former things have passed away”. Today we consider death.

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26). “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Down the road from our house is an old cemetery established around 1800. We are blessed at expressions of faith on old tombstones, but this one actually posts a warning to passersby:

Remember, friend, as you pass by
As you are now so once was I.
As I am now so you must be;
Prepare for death and follow me.

Helen Keller describes death as, “No more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.”

Today’s message will be more sobering than most but does indeed end with a promise of encouragement. Each day some 151,600 people die.*¹ In fact we are sure that any reader old enough to realize the meaning of death likely knows someone who has died. My first cognizant memory of death was an Air Force plane that went down near our home when I was seven years old on December 19, 1961. My dad drove me out to the crash scene and said, “Stephen, those men had wives and children who will not see them on Christmas.” I just couldn’t believe that things like that really happened. Several years later the first of my grandparents went on and death became personal. Death is simply part of the present “order of things”.

We are regularly reminded of death; death in wars, famines, disease. So many violent deaths such as a recent murder suicide in our own area with a mother killing her two young children before killing herself. In the course of our chaplain visit last week an employee told me the ten year old girl killed was his granddaughter’s best friend. Today many in our spiritual family will die as a result of persecution. Just yesterday on Terror Monitor we read of a gruesome execution of 5 young Christian boys in the Philippines by Islamic terrorists. *² In each area of the world there will be accidents that take lives and of course diseases. Undoubtedly some reading this are presently feeling the “sting” of the recent death of a loved one.

Death is God’s appointed method of transition to the afterlife, just as conception and birth are His appointed method of transition into life as we now know it. As William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, wrote, “For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.” Forthrightly the writer of Hebrews states, “Man is destined to die” (Hebrews 9:27). Of course we are aware of the supernatural departure of Enoch and Elijah, as well as the wonderful promise of the rapture for those living at that time, however the norm for most will be death.

In today’s first text Paul calls death the “last enemy”. We look for encouragement and comfort in the truths and promises of the Holy Scriptures. Death will one day be destroyed. The perishable will be clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. Death will be swallowed up in victory. When the old order of things has passed away there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.

Meanwhile we continue to deal with death and grief, but not like those who have no hope, for we have hope based on the Bible’s promises. Therefore, we comfort and encourage you all with these words today. When the old order (life as we now know it) passes away, there will indeed be no more death!

The important thing we must each ask ourselves is this, “Am I ready to die”? “Have I accepted the glorious gift of salvation by faith in Christ” If you’ve answered “no” to the above soul searching questions we welcome you to say this prayer from your heart and begin serving Jesus, who declared, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.”

“Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner and ask You to forgive me of my sins. I believe that You came to this earth and died on the cross as a substitute for me. I place my faith in You and what You have done for me. I receive You into my life and choose this day to follow and serve You. Thank You for hearing my prayer.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Loving Father, some of our readers are grieving the death of a loved one. We pray that You speak peace to these dear folks and nurture their trust, even helping them to grow spiritually in the midst of their grief. May they see You at work even when the answers they seek are not the ones they are given. As believers we trust that You are working for our good, even when we don’t understand, for we know that all things work together for good to those who love You, who are called according to Your purpose. Help us to remember that our sorrows and disappointments have a larger purpose than simply to make us miserable. These often come so others can observe our response, to see if we bear witness to Christ’s abiding presence in our lives, in the hard stuff of life. Remind us that if we want to share in Your glory we must also share in Your sufferings (Romans 8:17). We don’t get to choose what sufferings we must go through, but we do choose our response; whether it glorifies You or glorifies our suffering. Help us we pray. Amen.


Brugge Belgium canal (photo by Dresselhaus)
Another photo of the canal in Brugge, Belgium – called the Venice of the North.
We normally share photos we take here in our region of the world and where we travel. However we also enjoy periodically sharing interesting photos by friends. Today’s photos were taken in Europe by Richard and Elnora Dresselhaus.

Pipe organ in Grand Church in Haarlem, Netherlands (photo by Dresselhaus)
Pipes from the organ at the large Grand Church or St. Bavo’s in Haarlem.  The organ has 5,068 pipes and was played by Mozart when he was 10 years old and later played by Handel.

Front of Corrie ten Boom's home in Haarlem, Netherlands (photo by Dresselhaus)
The front of Corrie ten Boom’s home in Haarlem, Netherlands.  You will note there is presently a jewelry store on the main floor although there is no connection to the ten Booms. But that was where her grandfather opened his watchmaking shop in 1837 and her father carried on the business as well.

We met Richard and Elnora last year in California through a mutual friend. Richard writes a very thought provoking daily challenge here.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“No More Night”  Video  David Phelps

*¹ Daily deaths statistic from here.

Terror Monitor  Monitoring terrorist groups globally. We are trying to develop this as a complete online to inform about terrorist outfits, activities and its impact worldwide.

In the course of studying for this message I came across a couple of sage quotes by William Penn so very fitting for our age.

“Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.”

“Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.”

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.

“No More Tears”

June 12, 2017

Lancaster County farm scene 6/9/17We often pass this grazing horse near our home on Iron Bridge Road.

“No More Tears”

Message summary: Today’s message will be the first of what we project to be a series this week based on Revelation 21:4 and what we will not see or experience in heaven when “the former things have passed away”. Today we consider tears.

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“You have recorded my troubles. You have kept a list of my tears. Aren’t they in your records?” (Psalm 56:8). “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

The Booth Brothers 6/11/17Last night we attended “The Booth Brothers” outdoor concert in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. They sang one of our long-time favorite songs, “Tears are a Language God Understands” written by Gordon Jensen. It has touched our hearts for many years going all the way back to the mid-seventies when we were in Bible College. The words have ministered to many people undergoing grief, loss, or heartache.

Often you wonder why tears come into your eyes
And burdens seem to be much more than you can bear
But God is standing near, He sees your falling tears
Tears are a language God understands.

Physiologically tears are a healthy component to life. If you didn’t have tears your eyes would dry out. “In healthy mammalian eyes, the cornea is continually kept wet and nourished by basal tears. They lubricate the eye, and help clear it of dust. Tear fluid contains water, mucin, lipids, lysozyme, lactoferrin, lipocalin, lacritin, immunoglobulins, glucose, urea, sodium, and potassium.”

We actually produce tears every second of our lives, 10 ounces per day and 30 gallons a year. So at 62 years of age I have produced some 1860 gallons!!! Tears have three classifications: basal, reflex, and emotional.*

Today let’s just consider the emotional aspect of tears. These tears contain higher levels of stress, such as ACTH and enkephalin — an endorphin and natural pain killer — they can also work by directly calming the iris down while signaling the emotional state to others.

I doubt if too many of our readers have given much consideration on why we cry physiologically but we have all experienced the emotional aspect of tears; some positive and pleasant such as “tears of joy”. But we have also known the tears of grief and sadness. When the Bible refers to “tears” it is this type. One of the lesser considered but emotionally touching examples of this is when Paul writes to Timothy, “I am reminded of your tears, and I long to see you, so that I might be filled with joy” (2 Timothy 1:4).

For a long time I have wanted to write a series of thoughts on today’s text, initially prompted by the coming day when there will be no more pain which we will get to later in the week.

Tears are actually healthy on this side of eternity, even the emotional tears, although when it comes to tears of grief and sadness we would rather avoid these prompters!

When grief has left you low it causes tears to flow
When things have not turned out the way that you had planned
But God won’t forget you His promises are true
Tears are a language God understands.

Crying womanBut we can have an assurance that God understands our tears. The first verse used today is a Psalm with an interesting concept expressed: “You have recorded my troubles. You have kept a list of my tears. Aren’t they in your records?”

Today some of you are going through a hard time, a season of trouble. It may be an illness, a broken marriage, a wayward child, a financial or health crisis, the loss of a loved one. Perhaps you even shed tears as you consider the sorrows of others.

It’s a natural part of existence on this side of eternity in the present age which one day will pass away and be considered “the former things.” But a time is promised when “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes… and there will be no more crying.”

In the meantime may God fill your hearts with assurance of His love especially during times of tears.

God sees the tears of a brokenhearted soul
He sees your tears and hears them when they fall
God weeps along with man and takes him by the hand
Tears are a language God understands.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Revelation 21:4Daily prayer: Father, You take notice when we offer to you our prayer of tears. You sense the agony within our heart that stifles our ability to speak aloud of that which troubles our minds leaving us with such emotions as grief, remorse, fear, and struggles with unanswered prayer. Job, in his ongoing trials described his prayer of tears as, his face was flushed from weeping; and deep darkness was on his eyelids. Yet our tears are not in vain since they communicate to You in a language that only you can fully understand and they relieve us of built up emotion. Thank You for weeping along with us and upholding us with Your righteous hand so that we do not fall into despair. But we continue to trust, believe, and we even cry since You hear every tear that falls. And one day crying will be a thing of the past since there will be no more crying, no pain and no sorrow on the other side. What a blessed relief! Amen.


The Booth Brothers 6/11/17
The Booth Brothers  (From Left to R) Ronnie & Michael Booth, Paul Lancaster

The Booth Brothers concert, Lebanon, PA 6/11/17
It was a beautiful evening for an outdoor concert!

Smucker Company picnic 6/10/17
On Saturday afternoon we attended a picnic for one of the companies we serve as chaplains. SS Smucker and Sons is a home improvement company so we tend to see some rather strong men and they were sure competitive in the tug of war!

Smucker Company picnic 6/10/17
They had lots of fun games that pitted the various crews against one another.
In this case the wheelbarrow pusher was blindfolded!

Smucker Company picnic 6/10/17
Children always have a good time at picnics and it doesn’t take a whole lot to entertain them! Included in the children’s goodie buckets were bubble blowing kits. Noah had a good time blowing many bubbles when the wind didn’t disrupt. It was a warm but windy day which helped picnickers more comfortably tolerate the heat.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Tears Are A Language God Understands”  Video  The Booth Brothers

“He Saw It All”  Video  The Booth Brothers  We enjoy how gospel music often shares a Bible story.

“He Heals”  Video  Legacy Five  The Gospel Music movement is really neat because the musicians tend to be friends and are often very complimentary to one another. Last night the group called up a now elderly Duane Nicholson who sang with the Couriers, a gospel group that got started in the fifties at the same Bible College we attended. They also may use some of the same songs! “He Heals” really touched us last night but we couldn’t find a suitable version online to share so we use this one by another group!

“Why Do We Cry? The Three Different Types Of Tears And Their Physiology” Short article quoted from in today’s message.

Note to local readers: The Collingsworth Family will be at the park June 25 in Lebanon at Coleman Park in the Music in the Park series. There is no charge for this service although a free-will offering is taken.  Perhaps we will see some of you at a future concert! It was nice seeing several friends last night and joining our friends John and Faithe Keefer. Also take note of additional concerts all through the summer.

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 farm 6/8/17In our travels today a pastoral setting near Martindale was even more pleasant for viewing with the sheep dotting the landscape. We’ve been traveling weekly through Lancaster County for 16 years now with our chaplaincy visits and never weary of the beautiful country settings.
(Click to enlarge)

“Christ’s Glorious Trifecta”

Message summary: Trifecta is defined as “a run of three wins or grand events.” Today let us examine a text in 1 Corinthians that teaches Christ’s glorious trifecta; His death, His burial, and His resurrection.

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).

O to grace, how great a debtor,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves
All the saints who shout together,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves

Trifecta is defined as “a run of three wins or grand events.” Today let us examine a text in 1 Corinthians that teaches Christ’s glorious trifecta; His death, His burial, and His resurrection.

This is the only verse in the Bible where the phrase “as of first importance” is found. In these verses the apostle Paul provides a wonderful summation of the Gospel. What he himself had “received” he had “delivered to you”. This has been the God-ordained manner for the transmission of truth for nearly 2,000 years.

1. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures
2. He was buried
3. He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures

The apostle emphasizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe these three together comprise the truth that is of “first importance”. But there is one phrase that deeply touches me and I pray it will do so for you as well.  Paul makes it very personal. “Christ died for our sins.”  Yes, we believe that. Praise God! His death was not meaningless or an accidental slip-up in the plan of redemption. No, Jesus Christ was born to die for our sins.

Earnest believers continue to receive and pass on this sacred message to our present day. Have you received and believed this message? Are you passing it on? At the heart of apostolic preaching is the proclamation of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe these three together comprise the truth that is of “first importance.” This is of first importance all through the church age and indeed through eternity. This is based on the authority of Scripture, “according to the Scriptures.”

Whatever you’re facing today, hold on to this glorious truth that is of first importance; Christ died, Christ was buried, and Christ Jesus was raised to life forevermore! The risen Christ states in Revelation 1:18, “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

Rising up so vast and strong,
Lifting up salvation’s song
The redeemed will sing forever,
The redeemed will sing forever
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, it is of first importance to the Apostle Paul to declare that Jesus is risen from the dead and is alive forevermore. So it is also of first importance nearly 2000 years later for those of us who hold dear the sacred Scriptures. We joyfully declare to our own generation the miraculous news that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. Jesus is the living One; He was dead but is alive forevermore! This factual knowledge and spiritual blessing helps to still my fears and reminds me that I serve a living, risen Christ who says to His followers, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever.” Because Jesus lives we live also! Blessed be the name of the Lord forevermore! Jesus saves! Amen.


Eli James feeding baby pigs 6/8/17Since so many of you enjoy the Amish photos we include them often and yesterday we visited with our Amish friends so we have more photos.  Eli was excited to introduce us to his new piglets. Admittedly they’re cute when they’re piglets, not so cute when they’re roly poly pigs but they sure do make good bacon and tasty ham!

Amish boy with miniature ponies 6/8/17
This young boy is warming up the miniature ponies for tourist rides.

Amish family 6/8/17
Tuesday we shared a number of photos of Amish families going to church. This view caught our attention yesterday. The brother holds the baby while the sister holds the baby doll!

Mennonite children walking 6/8/17
It’s strawberry pickin’ time in Lancaster County. Perhaps these Mennonite children are heading to the strawberry patch since the school year has been over several weeks for the Plain community (Mennonite and Amish).


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Jesus Saves”  Video  The Booth Brothers  This is the song quoted in today’s message

“Masterpiece of Mercy”  Video  The Booth Brothers

“In Christ Alone”  Video  The Booth Brothers

Note to local readers: The Booth Brothers will present a concert this Sunday evening (June 11) in Lebanon at Coleman Park in the Music in the Park series. There is no charge for this service although a free-will offering is taken. We plan on attending with John and Faithe Keefer, our pastor friend and his wife. Perhaps we will see some of you there! Also take note of additional concerts all through the summer. The Collingsworth Family will be at the park June 25.

“Jesus Saves”  Video  The Booth Brothers and 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.

Eternal perspective

“Lessons From Coach Shepherd”

Message summary: We are all welcome on Coach Shepherd’s team and into God’s family…and this by His marvelous grace!

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7).

Ester told me a sad story the other day. She has a friend with a crippling disability. He spends a lot of time with his grandparents and Ester told us it’s because his brother does not accept him. Now that would be crushing. There may be more to the story, but on the face of it the circumstances are disheartening.

Rejected stickerWe visit several large distribution centers with “pickers” darting about the huge warehouses pulling products or loading pallets. Once I visited a company where one of the pickers had a large “Rejected” sticker plastered on her green jumpsuit (The rejected sticker was intended for use on boxes of materials that had been rejected.)  Apparently a co-worker had placed it on her jumpsuit as a joke and I don’t think she even realized it was there.

But it got me thinking. How many people often are or feel rejected by others? How many have experienced rejection by significant people in their lives? Though they don’t wear a visual banner declaring “REJECTED” it’s visible in their expressions, in their communication or lack of it, and they’re often accessorized by a downward cast. Certainly a lot of people have experienced rejection repeatedly, including some of you reading this today. Read this message carefully and receive encouragement from a powerful Scripture phrase.

Chris Maxwell is a friend of mine who also has a writing ministry. I sure appreciated a message he shared using an analogy from the sports world. I believe it will bless daily encouragement readers today as well.

“A team I play for is going to win. The Owner knew I wasn’t the best available free agent, but signed me anyway. He does that for many players. The team strategy is something like ‘Whosoever wants to play for us, we will sign.’

Critics have called our team many names; “Failures”, “Scrubs”, “Losers”, “Rejects”. But Coach Shepherd says our team name, “Sheep”, is a good fit. He treats us like we are really His Sheep. Our franchise has a promise of guaranteed eternal success! That fact can help us sleep no matter the score of any one game.

How do I know the eventual outcome? I read an advanced copy of the press release. “No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever'” (Revelation 22:3-5). Cursed no longer. Cured. Let that be our team!”

Consider the phrase in the daily Scripture verse, “just as Christ accepted you”. What were we like before Christ accepted us? Romans 5 gives us a “thumbnail sketch” where Paul describes unbelievers as “helpless… ungodly… sinners… enemies”.

What a glorious truth it is to be accepted by Christ and become part of His family. Whether or not we have known the acceptance and support of a loving family or faithful friends, when we come to God in faith and repentance we are accepted. He has said, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37). We are all welcome on Coach Shepherd’s team and into God’s family…and this by His marvelous grace!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You have shown us through the example of Jesus that we are to accept others in the same way that Christ accepted us. Show us ways that we can effectively reach out to others, especially those who feel rejected by family or society as a whole. Help us to show them genuine love and to initiate a friendship in the same way that You reached out to many people groups and befriended them. As we do this in obedience to your command and as we are led by Christ’s example Scripture indicates that we bring praise to You which is our heart’s desire. Amen.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“I’m Accepted”  Video   DeGarmo & Key  An old song with a great message

“The People In The Line”  Video   The Talleys  A song reminding us to be aware of the hurting people around us.

“The Broken Ones”   Video  The Talleys

“She Still Remembers Jesus’ Name”  Video  The Booth Brothers  We dedicate this song to all who have a loved one dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease

“Tears Are A Language”  Video  The Booth Brothers  This was popular when we were in Bible College in the mid-seventies and was among the first “specials” Brooksyne ever sang

Note to local readers: The Booth Brothers will present a concert this Sunday evening in Lebanon at Coleman Park, part of Music in the Park series. There is no charge for this service but an offering is taken. We plan on attending with John and Faithe Keefer, a pastor friend and his wife. Perhaps we will see some of you there! Also take note of additional concerts all through the summer.

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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