“President’s Day”

February 20, 2017

Kitty Hawk, NC sunset (Photo by Doug Maxwell)
Our neighbor Doug took this photo at Kitty Hawk, NC

“President’s Day”

Message summary: God’s Word is ageless in truth and righteousness; God will not be mocked. Righteousness exalts a nation and lifts it up. We believe it’s what made America great. And it’s most certainly an essential key to making America great again. Sin brings disgrace and reproach; it destroys. May God help our country!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). “Render therefore to all their dues” (Romans 13:7).

Today is President’s Day, a holiday for some here in America, but for many others just another regular workday. We both recall our elementary years when we honored two presidents in February; George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. we don’t believe it was a holiday in the sense of school being closed, or people who work for Uncle Sam getting a day off. We do remember that we truly studied these two leaders and the positive contributions they made to our country. Rather than celebrating their individual birthdays every February, in 1968 the generic term “President’s Day” began commemorating all presidents.

It’s a day when we are to honor our presidents, although we really doubt that too many people actually honor or give it much thought. Many more likely associate it with another day off, a shopping spree or buying a new car.

We assert that not all of our presidents have been worthy of lasting honor. Just as some kings  did right in the eyes of the Lord and other kings did evil so it is with presidents in our country.

God’s Word is ageless in truth and righteousness; God will not be mocked. Righteousness exalts a nation and lifts it up. We believe it’s what made America great. And it’s most certainly an essential key to making America great again. Sin brings disgrace and reproach; it destroys. May God help our country!

We look well back into history to observe these two leaders in honor of this President’s Day.

George Washington stated, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.” Would Washington have ever imagined a time when the posting of the “Ten Commandments” or mention of God and the Bible would be illegal in the schools of our land and yet our children would be provided with graphic literature on how to practice “safe sex”?

Abraham Lincoln said, “All things desirable to men are contained in the Bible.” He also said, “I am not concerned whether God is on my side or not, but I am concerned whether I am on God’s side.” “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing”. In our age we believe there has been such fogginess in moral discernment that many simply can’t distinguish between the shadow and the tree.

Today we render these two men “their dues” as they served our country honorably and sacrificially. Of course Lincoln gave the ultimate sacrifice of his life. Looking back at their leadership, their integrity, their principles based upon Scripture let us heed their wise advice and pray for our current leadership. We need a president like Josiah!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber:

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your Word directs us to pray for those who have authority over us which includes parents of minors, workplace supervisors, church leadership, and governmental officials including our president. Their guidance is critical to our lives; their discernment, judgment, and character are paramount to good, sound leadership that will benefit those whom they govern as well as those who follow in their steps. We pray that wrong doing will be exposed and expunged; that wise judgment and good cooperation will lead to helpful legislation bringing about laws that not only benefit the people of our land but also honor Your ancient and timeless Laws. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


Abe Lincoln wrote in a letter to Eliza Gurney on Sept. 4, 1864: “The purposes of the Almighty are perfect, and must prevail, though we erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive them in advance. We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long before this; but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise. We shall yet acknowledge His wisdom and our own error therein. Meanwhile we must work earnestly in the best light He gives us, trusting that so working still conduces to the great ends He ordains. Surely He intends some great good to follow this mighty convulsion, which no mortal could make, and no mortal could stay.”


Quarryville, PA shed made with old doors
Friday morning we passed this interesting shed being built near Quarryville, PA, apparently using repurposed doors as the sides. We’ll have to see how they manage to get a roof on it!

Lou and son Cole eating pineapple pie 2/18/17
We had a beautiful weekend and Lou and his son Cole came over to help me with the railing on our deck. They are enjoying a piece of pineapple pie made by our long-time friend Mark Pulliam!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Homemade bread 1/31/17We shared about English Muffin bread that Brooksyne made several weeks ago and had a request for the recipe.

English Muffin Bread Recipe  This is one of the easiest and quickest breads to make since there is no kneading. I had only regular yeast so it took two risings. The bread stays fresh for several days, freezes nicely and is delicious toasted. I used bread flour but next time I’m going to mix with 1/2 white flour and 1/2 whole grain. It’s a great recipe even for the novice baker resulting in four generous loaves of homemade bread.

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.

“Final Appointment”

February 17, 2017

Village Farm Market 2/16/17
A favorite stopping spot of ours is The Village Farm Market along Route 322 east of Ephrata, PA. It is in the lower portion of a bank barn that had been used for steers till it was converted to a very quaint country store with baskets covering the ceilings. Yesterday we stopped for a sandwich in the course of our chaplain visitation.

“Final Appointment”

Message summary: Every one of us has a final appointment. This appointment will take place whether or not we believe in it. An active faith in God is not necessary. This appointment can’t be skipped nor forgotten. You can’t cancel it or reschedule at your convenience. There will be no excuses accepted. Wealth, position, power or possessions really don’t matter when it comes to our final appointment!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“It is appointed unto men once to die” (Hebrews 9:27). “A time to be born and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:2). “The time of my departure has come” (2 Timothy 4:6).

Today my Dad is celebrating his 98th birthday in heaven. He was born on February 17, 1919 and had his final appointment in 1998 when he transitioned from life here below to his eternal home. It was also on this very date that Brooksyne’s father had his final appointment when he passed on in 2000. For my dad, Eugene Clark Weber, February 17 was his “time to be born”. For Brooksyne’s dad, Brooklyn Nile Sherrell, February 17, was his “time to die”. So today holds some special memories in our home.

We have appointments all through life. An appointment is simply defined as “an arrangement to meet someone at a particular time and place.” Even before we had any recollection or memory our mothers had appointments with us when they were carrying us in their womb, when they were taking us to appointments as infants and children. As we progress through life we have had many appointments: school appointments, doctor appointments, business, community and church appointments and on and on. In fact we have an appointment this morning!

Many appointments we can schedule. We have a role in determining when and where and in many cases if we will meet. But we had no role in determining when we were born and, apart from taking our own life (suicide), we have no role in determining when we will die.

Every one of us has a final appointment. This appointment will take place whether or not we believe in it. An active faith in God is not necessary. This appointment can’t be skipped nor forgotten. You can’t cancel it or reschedule at your convenience. There will be no excuses accepted. Wealth, position, power or possessions really don’t matter when it comes to our final appointment!

The secular reader will smugly smile at this. Although he certainly cannot deny the inevitability of death, he may chuckle at what seems to him the archaic notion of an appointment of future judgment and accounting to God.

The believer in Christ and the believer in the worldly system both have faith. Death is the final step of faith for both.

  • One believes the record of the Bible, the other believes the record of “enlightened” man.
  • One has faith that the words expressed in the Scripture are true, the other believes in what man has said.
  • One believes we are uniquely created in the image of God, the other believes we are just a higher form of evolved animal life.
  • One believes that following death there is judgment day with a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. The other believes that we are merely physical matter and at death we simply cease to be (although I find it interesting that at the death of a loved one, all, except for the most ardent secularist, express belief in the after-life).

What do you believe today? You do believe one way or the other. There’s really no middle ground. I believe in the record of the Bible. I accept its words as truth. And I don’t want it to be merely “religious” belief that is compartmentalized but a dynamic, living faith that impacts every area of my life. I believe the main thing in this life is to be ready for that final appointment. I am trusting in Christ and believe I am ready. Are you?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber:

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, my soul knows that very well. Your eyes saw my unformed body and yet all the days You ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. I’m so thankful that wherever I go Your Spirit goes with me. I cannot flee from Your presence nor would I want to since I am protected and guided by Your righteous right hand. I want to be faithful to You and to Your cause all the days of my life until the final appointment when You call me to be with You in heaven. Amen.

See Psalm 139

The daily text is a straightforward acknowledgment of an appointment we all face. Now of course there will be a generation (perhaps our own) who will exit by way of the rapture, but most will leave by way of their appointed death.


Mennonite farmer plowing with team horses 2/16/17
Yesterday was cold and blustery but this hardworking Mennonite farmer was out plowing his field near Martinsdale, PA.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Hebrews 9:27 Memory Verse Song”  Video

“Hello After Goodbye”  Video  Legacy Five

“To Live is For Christ to Die Is Gain”  Video  Incredibly moving video

“Save A Place For Me”  Video   Matthew West

“Going Home”  Video  Mark Lowry

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.

“Partial Understanding”

February 16, 2017

Plastic covered cart near New Holland, PA

This old order Mennonite man devised a creative way to use his open cart in colder weather. He constructed a wooden frame and covered it with clear plastic. I visited with him a few minutes behind the McDonalds in New Holland, PA and he seemed pleased at my interest. As a courtesy to locals the McDonalds provides a hitching post for the horses.

“Partial Understanding”

Message summary: There’s so much we don’t understand; some things make no sense to us at all. In times of partial understanding may we recall the promise in our daily Bible text.

Note: Due to some unexpected time consuming obstacle* and an early morning of chaplain visitation we did not have the time to prepare a podcast for this message.

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely” (1 Corinthians 13:12).  New Living Translation

Yesterday Ester watched Nolan, a precocious little 4 year old. He sat down beside me and gave me a few punches in my belly informing me that he weighed 450 pounds.

“450 pounds!” I asked, “How much do you suppose I weigh?” He quickly answered, “175 pounds”. Well, that sort of made my day, although according to the weight charts that would actually make me underweight, something I have not experienced since high school.

Actually I think Nolan is just learning about numbers and had weighed himself on our bathroom scale but he hasn’t learned about decimal points yet. Maybe he weighs 45 pounds or something like that but didn’t understand when the scale read 45.0.

Since he’s only four he’ll surely forget about reporting his weight to be 450 pounds. But someday in the distant future he can read this in the archives and have a pretty good laugh at himself for thinking he weighed 450 pounds. As he grows older he’ll also find out that there are some things we just don’t understand!

We all have matters in life that could be described as “seeing through a glass darkly”. In these often gloomy experiences we can choose to despair or place our faith in God, readily admitting that we see through a glass darkly. That’s why we are called to walk by faith and not by sight. Our faith is founded solidly upon the unchanging, ever dependable Word of God that is our roadmap when the road ahead is foggy.

C.H. Spurgeon makes an interesting assertion that we couldn’t handle this greater knowledge and understanding on this side of eternity. “If we knew more of our own sinfulness, we might be driven to despair; if we knew more of God’s glory, we might die of terror; if we had more understanding, unless we had equivalent capacity to employ it, we might be filled with conceit and tormented with ambition. But up there we shall have our minds and our systems strengthened to receive more, without the damage that would come to us here from overleaping the boundaries of order, supremely appointed and divinely regulated.”

There’s so much we don’t understand; some things make no sense to us at all. Indeed at times the tunnel may be narrow, dark, long, and filled with debris as we navigate our way through. But the daily Scripture portion, a part of the love chapter, acknowledges this. “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely” (1 Corinthians 13:12). In times of partial understanding may we recall this as a promise.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber:

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, there are many obstacles that will lead us astray if our eyes become fixed on the obstacles. Instead we want to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who set His eyes on the throne of God, enabling Him to endure the cross, its shame and agony. Fix our eyes on the goal of heaven where all will finally be made perfectly clear when we see Jesus face to face. In the meantime sustain us through Your mercy, grow our faith, and help us to take as many as possible with us to our eternal home in heaven. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


* Several times a week we need to leave early for visits (around 6AM) so we prepare the Daily Encouragement message the night before. However Brooksyne had misplaced an important piece of paper and she just could not find it, hard as she tried. I had already taken the trash out by the road (2 bags) but she wondered if the paper had accidentally fallen in the trash. So I went out and brought the bags in and we went through the trash piece by piece looking for the important paper. We never found it in all our trash search. I took the bags back out and when I came back she had found the paper, tucked in her Bible!!! She was very happy. A good lesson might have been based on Luke 15:7-9.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“In Christ Alone/The Solid Rock”  Video  Travis Cottrell

“This Is My Desire”  Video

“The Lord’s Prayer (Deliver Us)”  Video  Selah

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.

Icicle 2/10/17
We were  dazzled by the sparkling icicles that draped this tree as we walked out of one of our companies last week.

“Enjoying The Pleasures Of Sin”
(For A Season)

Message summary: The choice before us: Pleasures for a season or Pleasures for all eternity. Today’s message is a little long but sometimes that happens.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25).

“O how the world to evil allures me, O how my heart is tempted to sin”

Yesterday I passed one of the many roads in our area with an interesting name, Pleasure Road. Actually I suppose wherever you live you see interesting names for roads! One of my favorites is a prominent road near Atlantic City N.J. named Delilah Road. Men, you don’t want to go down that road!!! There is a country road here in southern Lancaster County that sounds profane but is apparently named after someone before the word took on a different meaning. (No, I am not going to give the name of the road here!)

Pleasure Road, Lancaster PAPleasure Road, Lancaster County, PA

Consider with us the two pleasure roads we must travel. One offers pleasure for a season, the other pleasure for eternity. Last week I spoke to a friend and inquired about how his church was doing. The congregation has grown to the point that their expansion forced them to vacate their old facility and move into a larger one. Expecting to hear more good things about how the church is doing he informed me they are presently dealing with the fall-out after the dismissal of their longterm pastor who fell into a moral transgression. I know the pastor and had appreciated his stand for moral issues he had previously spoken up about in our local paper. How sad to hear of the reproach his actions has brought upon his ministry for God, his church and the community.

The failings of others can shake us, but at times like this I want to hear the words of the Apostle Paul, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12) and the Apostle Peter, “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked” (2 Peter 3:17).

Today let us consider two verses that have two sharply contrasting Pleasure Roads. One reminds us of short-term, “pleasures for a season” (within the context of Hebrews 11:25), the other long-term “pleasures for eternity”. One ends in death, the other in life.

Sin can certainly be pleasurable. After all, the writer of Hebrews forthrightly refers to “the pleasures of sin”.  I have an ex-con friend who is an overcoming addict and I asked him to explain to me why partaking of an utterly destructive substance is so appealing. He told me to consider something considered pleasurable (he was actually quite explicit) and then to imagine an intensity of pleasure ten times that. Now that would be tempting! In fact his explanation is probably the most helpful I’ve ever heard.

However I know it would only be for a season, in the case of some drugs only moments followed by horrific heartache and destruction. Temptation begins when we are “carried away and enticed by our own lust” (James 1:14), and it feeds our sinful nature which will grow and master us. Temptation to sin would be meaningless if there was not an aspect of pleasure in the act. Life, from our youth to old age, is filled with daunting questions and choices we must make. In making those choices we ponder the consequences that will result from two contrasting decisions; obeying God or succumbing to our flesh.

Hebrews 11:25Moses had a critical decision to make as mentioned in our daily text: suffer mistreatment along with God’s people or enjoy pleasurable sin for a season. I wonder how long he weighed that decision. Did it keep him awake at night as play by play he envisioned the consequences of his decision? We know from Scripture that he questioned God repeatedly at the burning bush; What if? Who am I to go to Pharoah? What shall I tell them? What if they don’t believe me? What if the people don’t listen to me? In his mind Moses thought he had very valid reasons for denying the voice of God.

Raised in the palaces of Egypt, the dominant world empire at that time, Moses was destined for its throne. He had the very best that Egypt offered to his generation which included “the pleasures of sin” spoken of in the daily text. These pleasures may not necessarily have been evil deeds but were sinful in the sense, that in fulfilling them, Moses would have missed God’s greater plan for his life. Again, we come back to the decision he had to make: temporal suffering to gain eternal pleasure or temporal pleasure but eternal loss.

An old definition of sin from the Westminster catechism states, “Sin is any want of conformity to and transgression of the holy law of God.” We often think of sin primarily in the sense of transgression, that is doing something that is forbidden. This is typically stated as “sins of commission”. But there are also sins of omission (conformity to the holy law of God), that is, failing to do that which we are commanded to do. The apostle James wrote, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins” (James 4:17).

As followers of Christ we can so readily be seduced by the world’s ways and as individual believers we must ever be on our guard against this seduction. I consider these candid words to the old hymn, “I Must Tell Jesus”. “O how the world to evil allures me, O how my heart is tempted to sin…” * At 62 years of age the allurement and temptation of sin is still there so I must daily determine, “I will serve the Lord”.

One of the allurements to sin is that there is often a pleasurable dimension to it, at least initially. This is the same trap that Satan has used from the beginning because it is so effective. He appeared to Eve by making the forbidden fruit more appealing than any other fruit from any other tree. It was the same lure that attracted David when he saw a beautiful woman bathing.

The daily text speaks of enjoying these “pleasures of sin”. But these pleasures only last for a short, unspecified time and are inevitably followed by destruction. There is a sense of pleasure that comes with the “forbidden fruit” whatever form that may take, but it fades. Some will repent and forsake the sin, but others will repeat the sin trying to bring back the “pleasure” first experienced. That’s why this passage describes it as “for a season”. The pleasure once derived from that sin doesn’t last so they go back for more.

Sadly, a few moments of sinful pleasure is often exchanged for a lifetime of sorrow and regret. Dabbling in sin can lead us where we never intended to go, hold us much longer than we ever planned and hurt more people than we could ever have imagined.

Finally today, let us consider the wonderful joy and lasting pleasures in living for Christ. I can proclaim with the Psalmist, “You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand” (Psalm 16:11). Let us resist the passing “pleasures of sin” and fully embrace the “eternal pleasures” extended to us by our loving Father!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber:

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, as we read about Moses we learn a great deal from his act of obedience. Not only did his choice to experience mistreatment along with Your people provide an exodus for the Israelites, but it also provided a Biblical foundation for our lives throughout the centuries to our present day. We’ve gained so much from the spiritual truths taught through Moses’ applied wisdom, his discipline, and his obedience in recording Your truths and principles. Help us not to partake of the forbidden fruit that litters the path of life You have laid before us, as You keep our eyes on the eternal pleasures that await us as we walk in obedience to You. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Study note: Bible teacher A.W. Pink writes, “God saves us from the pleasure or love of sin before He delivers from the penalty or punishment of sin. Necessarily so, for it would be neither an act of holiness nor of righteousness were He to grant a full pardon to one who was still a rebel against Him, loving that which He hates. God is a God of order throughout, and nothing ever more evidences the perfection of His works than the orderliness of them. And how does God save His people from the pleasure of sin? The answer is, “By imparting to them a nature which hates evil and loves holiness.” This takes place when they are born again, so that actual salvation begins with regeneration. Of course it does; where else could it commence? Fallen man can neither perceive his desperate need of salvation, nor come to Christ for it, till he has been renewed by the Holy Spirit.

Follow-up note from Brooksyne regarding her hand surgery:  Yesterday I had my follow-up visit to my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Peart, who operated on my hands using the mini-open technique for carpal tunnel release making only an inch incision on each palm. He did this on Thursday, Feb. 2, so he was quite impressed with my quick and smooth recovery from the operation. I no longer need bandages, I can now immerse my hands in water, and use my hands and wrists to the extent that they are not in pain. I was already back to most activities including piano, typing, and other such chores within days of the surgery. The older techniques for carpal tunnel release were much more invasive requiring longer periods of recovery. I am now doing strengthening exercises several times a day at home so that I will regain full range of motion in my wrists. What a tremendous blessing to not awaken 3 to 4 nights a week due to burning, tingling sensations in my hands. This went on for years making me extra happy to no longer bear this burden as I found relief the very first night following surgery. Thank you again for your interest, your prayers, and well wishes!

A joyful testimony of restoration: In the course of life and ministry we meet a lot of people. Yesterday I visited for a few minutes with a man I had seen in a local business in the course of our chaplaincy work some 15 years ago. At that time he was going through a very difficult situation and bore his heart to me one time in his office. Shortly after that he left the company he worked for and I also left the chaplain service company I worked for and we lost contact. What a joy to hear a testimony of restoration in his life!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Living for Jesus”  Video

“I Must Tell Jesus”  Video  Johnny Cook

“By the Mark”  Video  Dailey & Vincent

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.

“How Love Works”

February 14, 2017

Valentine’s Day

Red-bellied woodpecker (Photo taken by Doris High)
Red-bellied woodpecker
(Photo taken by Doris High)

“How Love Works”

Message summary: Today when the emphasis is on celebrating romantic love let us again remember God’s call to love one another.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death” (Genesis 24:67). “Husbands, love your wives” (Ephesians 5:25).

We typically have a mouse problem in our home each winter and as much as I try to seal every entry point the baby mice still manage to get in. They are not welcomed as pets, but are seen as pests by Brooksyne so I dutifully bait the mouse traps and hope for a catch.

As is my irresistible custom, I have teased Brooksyne and Ester by showing them my trophy catch and dangling it in from of them which always results in loud shrieks followed by the expected tongue lashing from Brooksyne. I doubt that there’s any cure for me since I am now in my 60’s and still can’t resist the teasing that started in my boyhood years.

Computer mouse

One time Brooksyne got back at me. I sat down at the computer in the early morning before daylight and there by my keyboard, in place of my computer mouse, was a furry mouse. (I was amazed that she would even touch the mouse trap to put it on the desk.)

I still marvel at marital love and the lasting bond of two very different people with different upbringings and hope I always will.  Of course the institution of marriage is under severe attack in our time. How vital to again ponder upon a simple command of Scripture, “Husbands, love your wives.” The underlying Greek word for love is that wonderful word, “AGAPE”, and it’s in the present active, calling for continual, habitual action.

Today when the emphasis is on celebrating romantic love let us again remember God’s call to love one another. Gary Chapman shares these five essential characteristics of a healthy marriage in his book “The Five Love Languages.”  Please apply!

1) Affirming Words
2) Quality Time
3) Thoughtful Gifts
4) Cooperative Service
5) Physical Intimacy

Now with over forty years of marital experience Brooksyne and I will add one more love language. Tease each other and have fun!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You teach us that we are to love one another unreservedly. The love You give us for others goes beyond our own natural inclinations. It is a love that motivates us to give without expecting anything in return. More often than not we fall short of extending this kind of love to our spouse and other loved ones. Only with Your continued help can we set aside our own expectations and learn to love the way You intend by always protecting, always trusting, always hoping, and always persevering with those You’ve brought into our lives.  Amen.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Together”  Video  Steven Curtis Chapman

“First”  Video  Lauren Daigle

“Without You”  Video  for KING & COUNTRY

“Restored”  Video  Matthew West

“Broken Together”  Video  Casting Crowns

“My Only Love”  Video  Dailey & Vincent   Brooksyne’s Valentine’s gift to me is a DVD concert with Daily & Vincent, one of my favorite groups.

“Beyond Romance”  Video  Jimmy Fortune  A very thoughtful song!

“I Believe”  Video  Jimmy Fortune, Dailey & Vincent My favorite song from this group!

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.

“Generations”

February 13, 2017

Moon 2/10/17 (Photo taken by Ester)
February’s Snow Moon
Taken by Ester 2/10/17

“Generations”

Message summary: Today we encourage you to examine your roots and your destination. Generations come and generations go. You have come and you are most certainly going. We are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes (see James 4:14).

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Generations come and generations go” (Ecclesiastes 1:4). “One generation will commend Your works to another; they will tell of Your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and I will meditate on Your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of Your awesome works, and I will proclaim Your great deeds” (Psalm 145:4-6).

Yesterday we attended a funeral service for a 95 year old sister in our church. Helen had been the oldest member but now that distinction belongs to a man also in his nineties. He just happened to be among the groomsmen in Helen and her late husband, Earl’s, wedding photo! Since black and white 8X10 photos were displayed among Helen’s memorabilia it was fun to see these folks now in their 90’s when they were young and just starting out.

Shoofly pie We warmly remember Helen’s welcoming gift when we moved into their neighborhood 16 years ago. Earl brought her homemade shoofly pie* while we were still unpacking our U-Haul.

Earl also shared with us his hand written note of Scripture verses especially selected to bless our ministry. Before our move, our landlord had told him a preacher was moving down from Massachusetts and would be renting his farmhouse. Earl invited us to the neighborhood country church which has been our base for the last sixteen years.

Earl and Helen’s son Galen and his wife Nancy remain close friends and Galen had a very touching tribute he shared yesterday. Helen passed away on Tuesday last week just 12 hours after Galen and Nancy’s daughter gave birth to the youngest great grand-daughter! Now that’s a very current example of our first daily text, an easily observable point made by Solomon, “Generations come and generations go” (Ecclesiastes 1:4).

Based upon the forty-year generation cycle some 75 generations have come and gone since King Solomon wrote the words of our daily text. Indeed generations come and go. People who are young think they’ll never get old; but there comes a time in each of our lives when we know better. We soon realize how temporary life really is, how fast it passes, and the supreme need to place a focus on what really matters, that which endures for all time.

Today we encourage you to examine your roots and your destination. Generations come and generations go. You have come and you are most certainly going. We are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes (see James 4:14).

In Max Lucado’s book, “When Christ Comes”, he describes a perspective of what happens when the Lord returns. It ends with a grand vision of the Lord’s second coming and an emphasis that, in light of that glorious coming event, everything else pales in comparison. We must resolve daily to remain committed to that which really does matter!

Today let us who seek to faithfully serve God in our generation make this declaration based on the second daily text, “My generation will commend Your works to another; I will tell of Your mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and I will meditate on Your wonderful works. I will tell of the power of Your awesome works, and I will proclaim Your great deeds.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Your mercy endures to all generations since You created human life. Your truths are timeless and Your provisions are abundant to those who call upon your name. Help us to declare Your faithfulness to our own generation and to the generations that follow. Thank you for our ancestors who proclaimed Your faithfulness to their children who in turn passed on spiritual truths to us. And we now have the blessing and responsibility of proclaiming Your faithfulness to our children. Generation by generation we proclaim the salvation that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.”


Additional study note: Today’s second verse from the Psalms presents a foundational principle: “One generation will commend Your works to another.” We may read this verse and see it primarily as the older generation commending God’s works to the younger and throughout Scripture this is presented as a vital way of transmitting truth. But the text itself does not specify this. We might also see it as a two way exchange; we benefit by being on both the telling and the receiving end.

It is so uplifting to see a respectful youth listening intently to the instruction of an elder or an elder listening with genuine interest as a young person shares how the Lord is working through his or her life. This is an illustration of the wonderful God-ordained pattern for the transmission of truth.

This is such a contrast to the ongoing breakdown of the divinely ordained order in the home and local church. It counteracts the philosophy of “It takes a village” that proposes big and intrusive government as essential for the betterment of society.

This I believe greatly erodes God’s original design. You see, the “village” does a very poor job (essentially nonexistent) in transmitting godly values from one generation to the next. This is a role ordained of God for the family and church. For the last fifty years our country has reaped the spiritual and practical fall-out the village model has inflicted upon our culture and we surely have much more reaping to come.

Consider an outline of our text:

*     One generation will commend Your works to another
*     They will tell of Your mighty acts.
*     They will speak of the glorious splendor of Your majesty,
*     and I will meditate on Your wonderful works.
*     They will tell of the power of Your awesome works,
*     I will proclaim Your great deeds.

As I study and ponder the text I notice this absolute focus is on God absolutely: “Your works, Your mighty acts, Your majesty, Your wonderful works, Your awesome works, Your great deeds.”


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Leave A Legacy”  Video  Aaron Jeoffrey    Dedicated to Galen Martin

“Tell It To Your Children”  Video  Bill Gaither Trio

*Shoofly pie is a molasses pie traditional among the Pennsylvania Dutch and is called Melassichriwwelkuche in Pennsylvania Dutch. If you’d like to read about how the pie got its name and see a recipe for Shoofly pie click here.

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.

Sunset in snow 2/9/17
Sunset 2/9/17

“A Pyrotechnic Display Of God’s Power”

Message summary: Today we examine the ultimate pyrotechnic display of God’s mighty power.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!'” (1 Kings 18:36-39).

This week we have been considering the prophet Elijah. Monday we examined his simple confession of faith, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve” and the previous three days we have considered a single verse “Elijah went before the people and said, ‘How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him’. But the people said nothing.”

Today let us give attention to the text that follows Elijah’s powerful charge. This story is one of the great miracles of the Bible and it is filled with suspense. It’s essentially a contest between Elijah and the prophets of the false god Baal.

Elijah was out numbered but that didn’t deter him. All through history the majority has often been on the wrong side.

  • A majority gathered around the golden calf when Moses was on the mountain in direct defiance of God’s command.
  • A majority bowed before Nebuchadnezzar’s image.
  • A majority cried out “Crucify Him!” at the trial of Jesus.

Elijah sets the terms of the contest: “Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God” (1 Kings 18:23,24). The people, who remained silent in yesterday’s text spoke up at this point in agreement with Elijah, “What you say is good” (v.24).

Elijah was confident and let the prophets of Baal go first. He was confident that the false gods would not deliver. He taunted and ridiculed them, rising to a state of great boldness. He gave them all day for their god to deliver but nothing happened. They hooted and hollered and even cut themselves till they bled. “But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention” (1 Kings 18:29).

Elijah on Mount CarmelNow it was Elijah’s turn. So that he could provide overwhelming evidence that the one true God had sent a miracle from heaven, he had them pour water over the sacrifice three times. (In case you’ve never been camping water is not conducive to flammability!) No evidence of any show at all but just a simple prayer:
“Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that You are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at Your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that You, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again”

That’s all! No hootin’ and hollerin’, no begging or cutting.

“Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!'” (1 Kings 18:36-39).

This was the ultimate pyrotechnic display of God’s mighty power. Bible teacher David Guzik writes, “When the fire of God fell, its work was beyond expectation. It would have been enough if merely the cut-up pieces of bull on the altar were ignited, but God wanted more than simple vindication – He wanted to glorify Himself among the people.”

A devotional on the Ligonier Ministries website sums up our lesson today. “Ultimately, God only demands one thing—our full commitment to Him. We were made for our Creator, and He will not share us with another. He will not have us as His if we try to divide our ultimate allegiance between Him and anything else. In Elijah’s day, many in Israel tried to serve God and someone else on the side. We are ever tempted to do the same. Let us remember the One for whom we were made that we might realize that we can be satisfied in Him alone.”*

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, once again we declare our allegiance to You, for it is Yours’ alone. Like the prophet Elijah, we want people to know that You are the one true God and all that You do, You do in love for us and for our eternal future. We depend on You alone to save us. Only You can help us, protecting us like a shield. It is in You that our hearts rejoice, for we are trusting in Your holy name. May Your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in You alone. Amen.

See Psalm 33:20-22

Roxie in snow 2/9/17
Ester’s dog Mollie absolutely loves the snow and was thrilled to walk out on the deck and leave her tracks in the white stuff. Yesterday afternoon proved to be very windy blowing snow all over the place but she refused to come in, repeatedly throwing her rings up in the air and catching them. She would love for our older dog Roxie to join her, and tries to persuade her, but Roxie will have nothing to do with the cold wet stuff! I’m just like her – instead we’ll enjoy the beauty of the snow from inside the house.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“God and God Alone”   Video  Steve Green

“You Are God Alone”  Video  Phillips, Craig, & Dean

* “Elijah and the Prophets of Baal” Study on Ligonier Ministries website

“Elijah’s Victory at Carmel” notes from David Guzik’s Enduring Word commentary

Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

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

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

%d bloggers like this: