Baby robin fledgling 5/16/16
This morning our baby robins fledged! They first hatched May 2.
“To The Remotest Part Of The Earth”

Message Summary: The book of Acts is a record of the obedience of the early church to this command and surely that command remains through the church age. Today the Holy Spirit continues to empower believers all over the world to be witnesses for Christ as they let their lights shine in vibrant testimony for Him.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Grover DeVault is a local friend who served as a chaplain in the US Army. During the course of his career he has had some interesting experiences. He, with the help of an interpreter, held an evangelistic crusade in Vietnam during the conflict and many came to Christ. He found out many years later that one man attended the services strapped with bombs intending to blow himself up and of course killing many. However the man listened to Grover’s proclamation of the Gospel, was convicted of his sins, and was gloriously saved!

Grover and Nancy Devault 5/15/16Yesterday we attended a Vietnamese church with Grover and his wife, Nancy, as well as our longtime friends, Jim and Dorothy Schmidt. It was the earlier English service geared for the Vietnamese youth and young adults. (A later service is attended by the older adult Vietnamese with the music and sermon spoken in their native language.) I had the opportunity to introduce Grover and pointed out that some of in attendance may have descended from those saved in that crusade back in the late sixties.

Apart from our own family influence, and perhaps a longtime pastor or famous evangelist, most of us have little knowledge of our spiritual ancestors. But we are all ultimately a result of the early disciples’ obedience to the Great Commission and those who have remained obedient to that commission since that time. And now we are all called to be a part in the transmission.

Acts 1:8Today’s text is the last instruction from Jesus to His disciples before His Ascension, a teaching concerning the power of the Holy Spirit for witness. Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday, what many consider the birthday of the church when God poured out His Spirit on those praying in the upper room, as recorded in Acrs 2. Beginning that day we see the church’s obedience to His command to be Christ’s witnesses and in the remainder of Acts we see concentric circles geographically as the message spread from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. In Acts the remotest parts specifically referenced are Rome.

Grover Devault arctic preaching mid-1960'sBut Grover DeVault, the chaplain, referred to in the earlier part of today’s message, is one of only two ministers who has ever preached on the North Pole! Back in the mid-sixties he was serving on a remote base in Greenland above the Arctic Circle when he flew with a group of military personnel to the North Pole. He and a Roman Catholic priest each held a service at the Pole fulfilling Christ’s commission to preach to the remotest parts of the earth. (I do not know whether there has ever been a service on the South Pole!)

Pastor John Piper writes, “Therefore the end and goal of world missions is that the nations might glorify God for His mercy. The aim of missions is worship. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. The gap between God’s goal to glorify Himself in all that He does and the world of unbelief that denies Him that glory is being closed by God through the means of world missions.”

The book of Acts is a record of the obedience of the early church to this command and surely that command remains through the church age. Today the Holy Spirit continues to empower believers all over the world to be witnesses for Christ as they let their lights shine in vibrant testimony for Him.

Pastor Steven ColesPastor Steven Coles observes, “The disciples were to be Christ’s witnesses. Is this a command or a prophecy? Both! There is a sense in which every Christian is a witness. The question is, “Are we effective witnesses or are we a hindrance to the cause of Christ?” The word “witness” is a major theme in Acts, occurring 39 times. Since it is the Lord’s command and since we cannot escape being witnesses of some sort, it behooves us to seek, by our godly lifestyle and clear verbal witness, to bring glory to Jesus Christ.”

Today how are you being a witness for Christ?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we are a chosen generation, a royal people who have been called out of darkness into Your marvelous light. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit we go forth and shine Your light through our works, our attitudes, our holy lives, and by our verbal witness. May we bring You glory as others see Your light shining through us. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


Jim and Dorothy Schmidt 5/15/16
Jim and Dorothy Schmidt who, just two weeks ago, changed their residency from Ocean City, NJ to Lancaster County. They’ve been our friends for over 15 years and we are delighted to have them living only 20 minutes from our home, though we will miss their beautiful home and warm hospitality offered each time we visit Ocean City.

Tim and Melonie Murray 5/14/16
Tim & Melonie Murray stopped by on Saturday morning. Tim is a friend from JK Mechanical. When we learned it was their 13th wedding anniversary Brooksyne shared a jar of spicy peach jam and I threw in a “new car smell” air freshener. Since we now serve as chaplains at Kleen-Rite, a supply company for car washes, I ordered an assortment of car fresheners we now enjoy sharing with friends. With a little imagination, perhaps the “new car smell” can double as a “new marriage refresher” for the couple now beginning their 14th year of marriage. Their love and devotion is very evident!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Send Me Out”  Video   Gilbert Hovsepian

Finally today:  Tomorrow we will share about an outstanding presentation we attended last night and again this morning concerning the Museum of the Bible being built in Washington DC. It is a vision of the Green family who stood up like a Daniel to an evil edict of our current government. We are seeing an increase in evil edicts from our government!


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 5/11/16

Another fine rural sunset though you have to look below the leaf-filled tree to see the sun slipping out of view!
“A Sharp Disagreement”

Message Summary: “In as much as it is up to you, live peacefully with all men.”

Note: Our country and world is entering into a time of practically unimaginable delusion with a hastening of sexual anarchy in regard to the most fundamental aspect of our design as expressed in Genesis 1:27, “Male and female He created them.” We will be preparing a message about this topic and a warning to guard yourself and your family against deception and delusion.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

Please note: The illustrative background to this message is a bit longer than most. The exposition starts at the second illustration.

“And there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus” (Acts 15:39).

Walt Smith 5/4/16Last week I attended a luncheon meeting for chaplains here in Pennsylvania. A man greeted me by name whom I didn’t recognize at first. It was a fellow preacher by the name of Walt who now serves as a chaplain in a federal prison. I last spoke to him nearly 30 years ago when the church we were pastoring at that time was constructing a new building.

Walt and John, another pastor friend, supplemented their income by installing carpet in the church for us. One of them, I can’t recall whom, had a carpet laying background. The general contractor of our building project attended the church that Walt pastored about 125 miles away and hired the two men to lay the carpet.

However as the project had progressed we discovered the contractor was not paying his bills to vendors and contractors in our area and it turned into a very troublesome matter. I recall one excavator called and threatened to bring his dozer over to make a mess of our new construction if he didn’t get paid! It seems that the general contractor was in trouble financially and was using the money we had paid him to pay vendors and subcontractors related to jobs he had done for others. His business was going down fast and we were very concerned for our new church’s reputation. We had planted the church several years earlier and, after renting all those years, we were finally able to construct a building for worship. At the advice of our attorney we ceased paying the general contractor and instead paid off all the local bills and managed to complete the project on our own. It was a hard time with many sleepless nights but it came together in the end, thanks to the good leadership God had given our young church.

However, as far as I know in this job, Walt and John weren’t paid for their work. I suppose what should have gone to them was used to pay off someone earlier. That made for an uncomfortable situation since they lived in the same district and I periodically saw them at conferences. In full disclosure I most likely avoided them due to the uncomfortableness of the matter. I made no attempt to contact them!

When I saw Walt last Wednesday I alluded to our last meeting expressing sorrow for the way it went down. He was very understanding and apparently was well aware of the contractor’s poor business practices. We visited for a few minutes and it felt good for things, after all these years, to be alright between us. He has been faithful in ministry.

Today we want to consider something we’ve all have dealt with in various ways; times of division with other Christians, including those with extenuating circumstances. The verse we use is by no means a complete parallel to the uncomfortable matter I experienced with Walt. We didn’t have what our daily verse describes as a “sharp disagreement”. Now in my early sixties, we are pleased that we’ve not had a lot of conflict with other Christians but there are still a few people out there whom it would be uncomfortable to see and whom we might even seek to avoid! Anybody identify with us? We’re not outright enemies but not exactly chummy either.

Paul, Barnabas and MarkPerhaps there’s a Biblical lesson in considering the last known meeting between Paul and Barnabas. Barnabas had a powerful impact on Paul’s life and they had effectively ministered together in mission work. As they were preparing to set out on another missionary journey they had an issue with John Mark who had earlier deserted them. Barnabas wanted to take him along; Paul didn’t. “And there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.”

We still recall a teaching from Bible College that one of the marks of the Bible’s authenticity is how it candidly reveals the weaknesses and faults of its heroes. Here we read that two of the Bible greats had a sharp disagreement and parted company. We wonder after this if it was hard for them to see each other at church councils and meetings? Did they try to avoid each other? Were they careful not to malign the other to their brothers and sisters?

No Scripture informs of Paul and Barnabas ever meeting again but after this Paul does refer to Barnabas in 1 Corinthians 9:6 and this verse may suggest they were again working together. In regard to John Mark, Paul later states he was a co-worker and useful to him in his ministry (See 2 Timothy 4:11). I wonder if Barnabas was tempted to say to Paul, “I told you so!” Or did he take the higher road, smile to himself, and quietly gave thanks to God for the redemptive turn-around?

Seeing Walt last week gave me an opportunity to finally clear the air. It reminds me of the importance of healthy relationships. A few situations remain where the parting was not pleasant due to a disagreement, misunderstanding, or one’s turning his back on the things of the Lord. In one case, a reconnection though Facebook, strangely enough, brought about a semblance of normalcy for which we are very thankful.

We conclude the above message with the words of Paul in Romans 12:18: “In as much as it is up to you, live peacefully with all men.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I desire to be at peace with my own family members, for home is where my heart finds lodging and I like peaceful lodging. I also long to have peace with my brothers and sisters in the faith as well as those I interface with outside Christian circles. I lay my heart bare before You asking You to bring to mind anyone whom I might have offended. Spur me on to mend that difference which starts by humbling myself, seeking out that individual in love, and asking their forgiveness. I can even say “I’m sorry” when I was not in the wrong since those two words of reconciliation can open closed doors for further conversation and also convey my genuine intent to restore our relationship to its former luster. Help me to get beyond just thinking about it and into doing something about it. And for those who are unreceptive give me a peace in my heart that I’ve obeyed You in this command, in as much as it is possible, on my part. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Rear view 5/12/16
Yesterday we stopped by a farm stand in an old order Mennonite area to buy some flowers. Across the road I saw what I initially though was some type of garden figurine. It turned out to be a little Mennonite girl in a bonnet. Not wanting to be intrusive I took a photo through the rear view mirror and in the process caught Brooksyne taking a photo of the woman’s garden for which she seemed very pleased!

Amish field work on a lovely spring day 5/12/16
We passed this Amish farmer setting up the rig for his son to do some field work. You can’t see it very well but the family dog was going along for the ride.

Amish field work on a lovely spring day 5/12/16
This scene shows the contrast between two tourist attractions in Lancaster County, the Amish farmer working his field and the massive Sight and Sound Theater.
(Click on photo for larger view)

Brooksyne with rejected goat 5/12/16
From the moment we drove up to our Amish friend’s house Jamie brought a “rejected” baby goat to Brooksyne and she nestled it like a baby during our entire visit.

Brooksyne with rejected goat 5/12/16
As you can see the goat nestled with Brooksyne as well. Unfortunately the mother seems to have rejected this little one but the children are giving it extra attention hoping that it will pick up in strength, weight, and movement. If we had the space I don’t believe I could have gotten Brooksyne home without adding to our pet family.

Amish children working garden 5/12/16
The children were very anxious for me to photograph their brand new invention. The ground still needed some fresh tilling before Mom planted the corn so the children “invented” their own kind of hitch to the Shetland pony and guided the pony up and down the rows until the soil clumps broke apart. Their mother was very proud of their “invention”.

Baby robins 5/12/16pm
Here’s a current photo of our baby robins taken 5/12/16


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“May The Mind of Christ My Savior”  Video  Jake Armerding


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.

Acadia National Park sunrise (Photo by Howard Blichfeldt)
Sunrise at Acadia National Park
(Photo by Howard Blichfeldt)
“The People In The Line”

Message Summary: We have been enjoying a song titled, “The People In The Line” sung by the Talleys. It’s one we can unfortunately identify with, and after listening to the words, we suspect many of our readers will as well. (A link to video is below.)

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, ‘Please Lord, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.’ The Lord said, ‘Do you have good reason to be angry?’ Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of it. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city. So the Lord God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant” (Jonah 4:1-6).

The TalleysWe both enjoy a variety of musical styles in regard to Christian music. The last several years we’ve been listening to more southern gospel music where Brooksyne has her musical roots. One aspect we like in southern gospel is how so many of the songs tell a story. We have been enjoying a song titled, “The People In The Line” written by Sue C. Smith and sung by the Talleys. It’s one we can unfortunately identify with, and after listening to the words, we suspect many of our readers will as well. (A link to video is below.)

Essentially it seeks to give you a perspective about those who may test your patience while standing in front of you in a line or cutting you off in traffic by reminding you that you really don’t know what they may be going through. “But things being what they are, chances are good there’s a broken heart standing in front of me.”

The song can be a source of conviction regarding our own impatience and inconsideration of the difficulties others may be experiencing.

Jonah is an interesting Bible character. He is best known for his “Motel Whale” experience. In the four brief chapters of Scripture that describe him we read of fear, prejudice, and reluctant obedience. But we also have an outstanding example of petty selfishness.

After his initial reluctance to take on the mission God called him to he had what every preacher dreams of. The people of Ninevah responded to his message and repented. It’s like the whole city responding to an altar call. His message was hardly one of passionate conviction but rather a solemn warning, summed up in the phrase, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” Can you imagine America repenting at that direct, non-wishy washy message?

Amazingly, the secular Ninevites believed God and repented as a result of Jonah’s preaching. “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened” (3:10).  What a cause for great rejoicing! How many preachers have had an altar call with a 100% response?

In chapter 4 we have one of the most outstanding instances of pettiness and obliviousness to the needs of others in the entire Bible.

Jonah and vine “But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry.” What prompted this displeasure and anger was the repentance of the Ninevites and God’s forgiving response! He camped outside the city and waited for the judgment that he still hoped would come! But Jonah was not a happy camper. He really wanted to see the people of Ninevah judged, not saved. He was selfishly focused on himself and failed to see the needs of those around him. God graciously provided a vine to shade Jonah as he sat and stewed and this shade made Jonah “extremely happy”. He was extremely happy about the plant but greatly displeased and angry that the people of Ninevah had repented. Do you suppose his priorities were slightly misplaced?

The next several verses chronicle an interchange between God and Jonah that graphically illustrates Jonah’s pettiness and misplaced priorities. Instead of rejoicing in the salvation of many souls Jonah found great pleasure in a vine that sprung up overnight! I suppose regarding plant types, vines wouldn’t be among my favorites, but today’s lesson reveals how easy it is to be petty about so many issues in life and, as result of that, misplace our priorities. Consider that so much of what concerns us on a day by day basis is really not a “big deal”.  Spending several days visiting a loved one in an intensive care unit and seeing the needs of others can sure give you a perspective jolt.

Another convicting line in the song concerns situations when other drivers do something stupid like cutting us off. Again the song reminds us to consider what they may be going through with this line, “I pray to have more grace for things that I don’t know, about the people on the road”.

God had allowed a worm to destroy the vine that shaded Jonah and Jonah lapsed into incredible pettiness over this and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”  But God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?”  Jonah replied, “I do, I am angry enough to die.” That these are the final words spoken by Jonah is an interesting detail regarding one of the more famous Bible characters!

But God has the final word and it’s been described as among the greatest missionary expressions of the whole Bible, “But the LORD said, ‘You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?'” (Jonah 4:10,11).

What about us today? What are we so concerned about? Although I’ve never been as upset as Jonah about a vine I sure realize how often I slip into petty attitudes and can be oblivious to the needs of others such as those standing in the line in front of me..

Today, let’s consider what really matters and be cognizant of the needs of those around us. If we make this a regular practice when we’re out and about in public places we will be more prayerful, more understanding, and more patient. We might just make a difference in another’s life when we don’t stand in the main aisle carefully assessing which is the shortest line or those whose carts are loaded with the fewest groceries. Often, time is a premium, but other times we can extend a friendly “hello” and even seek to brighten the countenance of one who just may be going through a difficult time.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You are well-acquainted with my weaknesses and the condition of my heart. You know that I am often more concerned about my own comfort and my daily schedule than the needs of those around me. I know I can’t save the whole world, but I can listen to Your still small voice as You place individuals, even strangers, upon my heart. Show me ways that I can make a difference. May the character of my life reflect the heart of Christ as I reach out to others in love and in obedience to Your calling upon my life. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

The final verse in the song calls us to consider the people in the pew, those who may be near us at church every week with heavy burdens. A handshake calling them by name, a loving hug, a reminder that you are praying for the need they’ve made known publicly can bring such wonderful comfort.

The people in the pew,
the ones sitting next to me and you.
The Mom whose face is frozen in a frown,
her son sitting in a cell downtown,
a man crying as we sing the songs,
a girl with needle tracks all down her arm,
we’ve all got something that we’re going through.

Baby robins 5/11/16 PM
Here’s a photo of our baby robins taken yesterday afternoon 5/11/16
Due to early morning chaplain visitation we prepared this message Wednesday evening and will be unable to post a photo from Thursday morning.
You can view these photos on each previous message back to when there were just 4 eggs in the nest 4/28/16.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“The People In The Line”  Video  The Talleys (Dramatized version)

“The People In The Line”  Video  The Talleys (Song only version)

“Orphans Of God”  Video  The Talleys

“Hidden Heroes”  Video  The Talleys

“Broken World”  Video  The Talleys

“Hope Of The Broken World”  Video   Selah

Finally today:

Do you have a “standing in the line story”?

I will readily admit there have been many times I’ve grown impatient with others in public places, thinking at the time how justified I was. Yet I must admit many of those instances were probably quite petty in hindsight. However I do recall a time when I was on the other side of the story. Back in the eighties we took in children from overseas with severe medical needs for treatment. In fact that’s how Ester originally came to us. Two weeks before Ester came to us, Mirza, an 8 year old from Guatemala with Spina Bifida, came to live with us during her surgeries and treatments. We took her to Erie, PA around Christmas 1989for her doctor’s visit and stopped at a large mall in Erie on the way home. It was snowing as I parked our little car using a handicapped parking spot. As I stepped out intending to lift Mirza out of the car and place her in a wheel chair a woman pulled her car over, rolled her window and loudly scolded me in the most unlady like way for parking in the handicapped parking spot. She went on and on as I proceeded to pull out the wheelchair. I would like to say she said she was sorry for jumping to conclusions, but she just drove on.

Mirza and EsterThis is a photo of 8 year old Mirza after her surgeries which enabled her to eventually walk for the first time with the assistance of leg braces and adjustable walking aids. Nine month old Ester was going through her own medical workup, already having endured two heart operations, with many more in years to come. We tube fed her for months, as you can see in the photo, the tape holding her tube in place.


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.

“Worldliness”

May 11, 2016

Barnstormer game fireworks 5/7/16
Fireworks following the Lancaster Barnstormers baseball game 5/7/16
“Worldliness”

Message Summary: The process of breaking conformity to the world and transforming into spiritual conformity to Christ continues in my life through the renewing of my mind. There have been many setbacks along the way but God continues the process and I am assured that He will carry on to completion the work He began in me until the day He appears (see Philippians 1:6).

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“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” (1 John 2:15).

Last Saturday night I took my Amish friend, Jesse Lapp, and three of his children to see the Lancaster Barnstormers baseball game. I thought the kids would especially enjoy the cowboy monkey rodeo show, which they did, along with the fireworks that followed the game. However they also enjoyed the baseball game itself with the kids watching intently since they play baseball (or softball) during their recess. A neat characteristic about baseball is that the rules are essentially the same for a recess pickup game at an Amish one room schoolhouse in rural Lancaster County as they are for a big league game at Fenway Park.

Prostate cancer awareness However I had a concern. They have a public awareness campaign for prostate cancer with some wording and photos in the men’s restroom at the stadium that are rather graphic, especially if you have no idea how they test for prostate cancer. I wondered what his young sons would think when they saw it and I whispered to Jesse that he may have some explaining to do. He smiled, having already visited the men’s room, and with the wisdom of a farmer said, “I reckon they’ll probably just think it’s something worldly.”

“Worldly” is a term you don’t hear so much these days like we did when we were younger Christians. That’s too bad since the world seems to be getting more and more worldly each day! Who would have imagined just a few years ago that the current front in the culture wars would be who should go into which bathroom!!! To some “worldly” essentially means or meant that many types of worldly entertainment are forbidden. In the church where Brooksyne grew up dress, makeup, external attire, and going to certain public places primarily defined “worldliness” along with how long a man wore his hair. The other day I heard a preacher a few years older than me who recalls when going bowling was worldly and he shared about a time he got into big trouble for sneaking off to the bowling alley. When I told Brooksyne the story she understood personally since bowling alleys were among the forbidden places in her childhood.

While affirming the sincerity of my forefathers, as well as those among us today, who hold these views with a goal in protecting and maintaining what they earnestly believe are standards of holiness, this understanding tends to make worldliness just a matter of certain cultural do’s and don’ts.

Having lived in various regions of the country we observe that these types of “holiness” expressions vary by not only generation but region, even within the same denomination. I recall when I first moved to Pennsylvania in the seventies that our district youth camp allowed “mixed bathing” (swimming!!!) with boys and girls sharing the same pool. However in the same denomination the district south of us strictly forbade mixed bathing.

A Bible Dictionary provides this definition of “worldly”: “Being ‘worldly’ can be defined as partaking in the values, desires, perceptions, attitudes, and behavior that characterize unredeemed human cultures. The worldly person is one who is squeezed into the mold of the ‘kosmos’ i.e. the world system or the world’s way of thinking, in contrast to one whose whole world view has been transformed by God (Romans 12:2).”

1 John 2:15 (Greek) Our daily text is a powerful expression of what our attitude to the world should be: “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.”

William MacDonald notes that “We are plainly warned not to love the world or the things that are in the world, for the simple reason that love for the world is not compatible with love for the Father.”

Pastor David Guzik writes, “John has told us that if we walk in sin’s darkness and claim to be in fellowship with God, we are lying (1 John 1:6).  John points out a specific area of sin that especially threatens our fellowship with God: worldliness….’Do not love the world’ means we are not to love either the world’s system or its way of doing things. There is a secular, anti-God or ignoring-God way of doing things that characterizes human society, and it is easy to love the world in this sense. Notice what the world wants from us: love. This love is expressed in time, attention, and expense. We are encouraged and persuaded to give our time, attention, and money to the things of this world instead of the things of God.”

I recall a special moment in my personal discipleship and understanding of worldliness when a fellow believer shared with me a spiritual concept based on Romans 12:2:  “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” That was over 40 years ago. The process of breaking conformity to the world and transforming into spiritual conformity to Christ continues in my life through the renewing of my mind, an ongoing process. There have been many setbacks along the way but God continues the process and I am assured that He will carry on to completion the work He began in me until the day He appears (see Philippians 1:6).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, though the world can at times be like a bright shining neon light calling for our attention, allegiance, and allotment of time and money we must conform no longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The transformation of our minds involves so much more than following the do’s and don’ts of a particular church or denomination. When our minds are renewed our hearts are informed of that which is holy and that which will draw us deeper and higher in the love of Jesus, His teachings and His example. We will seek that which holds eternal value and reject the worldly influences that draw us back to a sinful lifestyle. We choose not to love the world, or the things of the world but instead we choose to love You, our heavenly Father through Christ Jesus our Redeemer and Savior. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.


Baby robins 5/10/16pm
Here’s a photo of our baby robins taken late in the evening 5/10/16
Due to early morning chaplain visitation we prepared this message Tuesday evening and will be unable to post a photo from Wednesday morning.
You can view these photos on each previous message back to when there were just 4 eggs in the nest 4/28/16.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Take Time To Be Holy”  Video  Mennonite Hour Men’s Quartet

“Create in Me a Clean Heart”  Video  Keith Green

“Worldliness”  Video  Horatius Bonar 1808-1889 a short teaching

What does the Bible say about worldliness? (from gotquestions.org)

Finally today: Keith, a thoughtful friend and committed Christian we visit in the course of our chaplaincy (White Oak Display), shared this thoughtful graphic illustrating the cycles of a civilization. The Tytler Cycle In History  Where would you place America now in this cycle? Here is another one with some thoughtful interpretation. For further study. SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CYCLES: ENERGY AND ENTROPY; THE SPIRIT AND THE FLESH

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.

“God’s Vessels”

May 10, 2016

Sunset 5/8/16
The last several evenings we have enjoyed beautiful sunsets with the sun setting like a red rubber ball.
“God’s Vessels”

Message Summary: May He work His power in each of our lives today, so that we may honor Him in these, our “earthen vessels”!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

God's vessel license plate Saturday afternoon I drove into Lancaster city and saw the license plate in our photo. I immediately recognized the message and considered a chorus we used to sing:

A vessel of honor for God,
A vessel of honor for God,
Sanctified, holy, that I might be
A vessel of honor for God.

Today’s verse uses a powerful image in describing our physical bodies: “We have this treasure in earthen vessels.” “The treasure is the creational, transforming power of the Gospel placed into followers of Christ pictured as lowly, even contemptible ‘earthen vessels’ (as judged by what the world values).” (Precept Austin online commentary)

Joni Eareckson Tada, paralyzed as a teenager in a diving accident writes, “God is a Master Artist. And there are aspects of your life and character—good, quality things—he wants others to notice. So without using blatant tricks or obvious gimmicks, God brings the cool, dark contrast of suffering into your life. That contrast, laid up against the golden character of Christ within you, will draw attention . . . to Him. Light against darkness. Beauty against affliction. Joy against sorrow. A sweet, patient spirit against pain and disappointment—major contrasts that have a way of attracting notice. You are the canvas on which He paints glorious truths, sharing beauty, and inspiring others. So that people might see Him.”

2 Corinthians 4:7 Incredibly, God stores this divine treasure in “earthen vessels”. (The NIV states, “jars of clay”). What an interesting description of the outer man formed from the dust of the ground. The image is that of frailty and temporality. God often allows the vessel to be tested, worn, chipped, and sometimes broken, that the excellency and worth of the treasure and of the power which that treasure has, may be all His. Later in the chapter Paul expresses assurance even as he is making an honest assessment regarding his inevitable physical deterioration, “though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

Let us consider the phrase, “the surpassing greatness of the power” in the daily text. Consider God’s steadfast and ever sufficient power. It never wanes and is never in short supply. It is always adequate and sufficient for any situation we may face. This power is from God and not from us, so we needn’t despair when we find ourselves weak, for that is when we are driven to depend on His strength.

Let us rejoice in God’s marvelous provision of His all-surpassing power that is released in our lives today. Peter writes, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3). Even though there may be shortages and interruptions of electrical power and other sources of this world’s power, we can be assured that God’s almighty power is all-surpassing and far exceeds that of earthbound power. What a joy and peace today to rest in His all-powerful might and His tender loving care!

Remember this important truth today, fellow believer, in regard to whatever you are dealing with. God is at work in the lives of believers all around the world to advance His glory for “the grace that is reaching more and more people is causing thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:15). May He work His power in each of our lives today, so that we may honor Him in these, our “earthen vessels”!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, it is an irrefutable spiritual truth that the human spirit is renewed and empowered day by day because Christ has chosen to store His treasure within us, His earthen vessel of clay. It is because this treasure is stored within us that we do not lose hope or give up our faith when adversity strikes. Instead we show that this all-surpassing gift is from You and not of our own origin. We are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us, empowers us, and sustains us through the testing, wearing, chipping, and even the brokenness of our vessels of clay!  All glory and praise be to God!  Amen.


Study note: Another interesting Scripture portion related to being God’s vessels is found in Romans 9:20-22: “On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?”

Also 2 Timothy 2:20,21: “Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.”


Abandoned house, Columbia, PA 5/6/16
A rare sight in Lancaster County due to high property values is a “see-through house”. We passed this see-through house south of Columbia, PA on Friday. The side view of the house revealed evidence of a house fire. In spite of a gutted out house the frame still stands. Interesting, in light of our lesson about earthen vessels being tested by the wear and tear of everyday use, chipped by careless handlers, and even tested by fire! Your vessel might not be too pretty or be sitting on a shelf with a hefty price tag, but if it’s proven to be trustworthy over the years since you forsook sin and took up salvation your vessel is of eternal wealth which can’t be purchased with money but only by the blood of Jesus Christ!

Baby robins 5/10/16
Here’s a current photo of our baby robins taken this morning 5/10/16
You can view these photos on each previous message back to when there were just 4 eggs in the nest 4/28/16.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“A Vessel Of Honor For God”  Video   Jim Wellborn  (This is the song quoted above)

“A Vessel Of Mercy”  Video  Legacy Five

“Vessel of Honor”  Video  Plummer Bailor

Finally today:

Rufus at blood drive 5/7/16
Rufus volunteers practically daily at the same supermarket where Ester works, often helping her bring in the grocery carts. Last Saturday we donated blood and met up with him doing the same. He has been a blood donor for some 60 years since his early twenties! He kindly insisted that we step in line ahead of him since he had nothing on his agenda for the day.

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.

Mother's Day arrangementMother’s Day Coleus Arrangement

“Foundational Honor”

Message Summary: The first of the Ten Commandments dealing with human relationships simply states, “Honor your father and your mother.” The Lord Jesus and the apostle Paul both repeat this commandment in the New Testament.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12).

Many years ago we heard a pastor introduce his Mother’s Day sermon with this simple but unusual question, “Will everyone who is the son or daughter of a mother, please raise your hand?” We could ask the same question today of each reader, although we can’t see your hands. No matter how much our backgrounds differ this is one truth we all have in common.

Mother's Day photo (from wikicommons) Yesterday was “Mother’s Day” here in the USA, a day set aside to especially honor our mothers. We have been chronicling the growth of four baby robins in a nest under our barn eaves with a new photo each day showing their development. I step up on a small foot stool and hold the camera down over the nest. Mama Robin is always close by and may be getting used to my peculiar, at least in her bird’s eye view, presence. She is very busy now instinctively providing food for her growing babies. Will the baby robins have any sense of appreciation and honor as they grow healthy and independent?

Though there are many things we can’t understand about animals, beasts and wildlife, there are some parallels between us. But the distinct fundamental law God established for humans is that we honor our parents. The first of the Ten Commandments dealing with human relationships simply states, “Honor your father and your mother.” The Lord Jesus and the apostle Paul both repeat this commandment in the New Testament.

5th Commandment

For growing children honor is primarily expressed in love and obedience to their parents. Among the first verses many teach their children is, “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:2).

For grown children honor is primarily expressed in our love, esteem and respect toward our parents. Joseph demonstrates this when, after their long separation, he saw his father Jacob and, “he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time” (Genesis 46:29).  Our honor is also expressed by the responsible way in which we raise our own children. The way we conduct our lives is a very important means by which we reflect honor toward the parents who raised us.

Even when our parents pass on we should still seek to appropriately honor them; whether it’s in our personal memories, the stories we share about them with others, or the honorable way in which we live our lives, maintaining integrity for the family name.

What about you today? Are your parents living? Do they need a call, a visit, an expression of love or appreciation? Have you presented them with a written tribute concerning your love and esteem? I know I bring this subject up periodically and regular readers may note this. I’ve heard from a number of readers who’ve done this exercise and found it to be a rewarding experience not only for a parent(s) but also for themselves as they poured out stored up treasures from their childhood memories. For some the loving memories overflowed, for others they were more hard pressed yet thankful for the exercise. It made them realize there is more good memories than we might realize on the surface, and if we’re looking for it, we’ll find it one way or another.

Take the time and make the contact especially if you’ve not done so for awhile. Of course many of you did so yesterday! “Mother’s Day” and “Father’s Day” are special days on our calendar but in God’s Word no specific day or time is assigned for the honoring of our parents.  It is God’s will that we live our lives in a manner that brings ongoing honor to our father and mother.

If your parents, like ours, are deceased honor their memory and thank God for them. And I earnestly hope your children honor you, for that is a priceless blessing, each day of the year not just Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we count our family as the most sacred relationship established on earth. You placed us in family units so we can be nurtured in love as we increase in stature and wisdom, while learning responsibility alongside independence in small and big ways. We give thanks to You for Your expressed love shown to us through our parents. For those whose mother or father were absent physically and/or emotionally we’re so blessed and reassured to know that You are a loving Father to the fatherless and motherless, that Your love is all-sufficient to meet our deepest longing and to mend our broken hearts. Thank You for Your sufficient, unending love. Amen.


Rick and Deb Rumball 5/6/16
Friday evening we became acquainted with Rick and Deb Rumball who joined us for dinner and fellowship to follow. They presently live in Raleigh, North Carolina. Rick has an interest in art and is pursuing a new career. In honor of our 40th wedding anniversary they very generously gave us Rick’s impressionism painting of an Amish Fertilizing Cart. In this photo they hold another of his paintings, an Amish farming scene very common in Lancaster County. Rick not only uses his artistic skills in painting but also makes the frames to compliment his art work. God is leading them in a new path and we join them in prayer for His divine guidance.

Baby goats on Lapp farm 5/7/16
A handful of baby goats on the Old Windmill Farm. Actually you can’t tell from the photo but I am holding 4.

Cowboy monkey 5/7/16
Saturday evening I dropped by the Old Windmill Farm and took Jesse and several of his children to see the Lancaster Barnstormers ballgame which also featured the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo show. We had a note about this last week. Essentially tiny monkeys dressed as cowboys ride border collies as the collies herd sheep.

Women praying 5/7/16
While Jesse and 3 of the children joined me at the Barnstormer ballgame Brooksyne and Ester took Anna Ruth and the three younger girls to a Ladies banquet at our church. Also joining them was Dorothy Schmidt who, along with her husband Jim, moved to Lancaster from New Jersey just over a week ago. We first met Dorothy and Jim at a conference in Boston 16 years ago when they were representing SEND missions. Dorothy is praying here with Heather Book, who along with her husband Tony are missionaries with SEND INT’L, formerly of the Philippines and now headed to Thailand.

Then and now 5/8/76 and 5/8/16
We had another special day yesterday, our 40th anniversary! Ester made this interesting photo collage showing us at our wedding on May 8, 1976 and now 40 years later with Brooksyne in the rocking chair on May 8, 2016. Ester secretly planned a card shower and what a nice surprise that was to hear from many people, not only in our church but from all over, including some of our readers. It made our small celebration (just the three of us) seem like many others were among us as we read through the card messages and personal writings.

1 Corinthians 13 with wedding rings
Ester made this photo using our wedding rings.

Photo at our wedding rehearsal dinner with our mothers 5/7/76
Here’s a photo of us at our wedding rehearsal dinner along with our mothers 40 years ago.

Baby robins 5/9/16
Here’s a current photo of our baby robins taken this morning 5/9/16
If Mom could talk our human language she would surely say, “They’re growing up so fast.”
(We have been taking daily photos of their progress since I saw four eggs in the nest. You can view these photos on each previous message.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“A Tribute to Mom – One Heartbeat At A Time”  Video   Steven Curtis Chapman

“Everything to Me”  Video   Mark Schultz dedicated to his birth mother and the most important gift she ever gave him… life.

“Find Your Wings”  Video  Mark Harris

“When You Come Home”  Video  Billy Gilman

“This Amazing Love”  Video  Emily Laudeman

“A Mother’s Love Song”  Video

“Midnight Oil”  Video  Phillips Craig and Dean

Information about writing a tribute

Finally today:

Last week I shared a photo from a retirement party we attended for Ken Leaman who, along with his twin brother Ken, started JK Mechanical in the late seventies. Tim Murray made an interesting presentation that you will enjoy, for it is one of a kind! Video

Yesterday our area set a world record! See 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.

Amish playing baseball 5/5/16Yesterday we passed this Amish “field of dreams”
Click on photo for large panoramic view.
Notice especially the makeshift backstop and the boys standing right behind it.
Sure not much time to react to a foul ball!
“Now Is Ascended, My Lord Evermore!”

Message Summary: Ascension Day is one of the great WOW days of the early church.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and He sat at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19).

Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer in America. We wrote about that in yesterday’s message and share some photos from an event we attended below. But we failed to mention another significant event remembered on that day. In fact we gave it no thought at all until we noticed a larger than normal amount of old-order traffic yesterday while travelling. Then it occurred to us; it’s Ascension Day, the great event 40 days following Christ’s resurrection when He ascended into heaven! The Amish and Mennonite communities close their businesses, have services in the morning, and then make an afternoon of games and visitation; thus the make-shift baseball game we passed on a farm north of Intercourse shown in our lead photo.

In most of Christendom this day doesn’t have nearly the emphasis as other notable events in our Lord’s earthly life such as His birth, death, and resurrection. I wonder how many readers even recalled that yesterday was Ascension Day prior to reading this message? For some reason, I suppose because it’s not on a Sunday, many don’t pay much attention to Ascension Day. I probably would have missed it entirely had I not gotten out yesterday.

This day is one of the great WOW days of the early church. Can you imagine the stories the eyewitnesses had to tell?

Today’s text is Mark’s simple straightforward account: “After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and He sat at the right hand of God”.

Acts 1:9-11 gives us the most complete record of the event. Jesus had just reinforced the Great Commission, the church’s primary mission, and then He was taken up to heaven before their very eyes. This was important for the disciples to witness and is an essential part of the Biblical record. It reinforces that Jesus Christ is God and that He returned to His home in heaven. An ancient creedal statement of the early church is found in 1 Timothy 3:16, “He was taken up in glory.”

When Jesus was taken up the disciples gazed intently into the sky as He departed. Two men dressed in white (angels) suddenly appeared and gave a promise, “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”

That promise is reinforced and expanded upon throughout the New Testament. Paul calls it the “blessed hope”. One day, perhaps soon, perhaps today, there will be another universal WOW day. Let us faithfully serve the Lord, who now sits at the right hand of the Father, until that great day!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, Your physical life on earth is so important for all to see and comprehend God in the flesh. We have a picture of the Father through the life of the Son. You also came to bring salvation to Your creation, willingly leaving the splendor of Your home in heaven to change the course of history and to redeem the fallen sinful race. Your ascension into heaven serves as a reminder that You completed Your mission on earth and are now at the right hand of the Father ever interceding for us, Your children. One day we will see You come in the same way You left, but on that day You will take us with You to spend eternity in the home that You have prepared for us to take up permanent residency. Help us to be faithful and eager for the blessed hope of Your second coming. In Your name, Jesus, we pray.  Amen.


Mount Joy prayer breakfast 5/5/16
Yesterday morning we attended the Mount Joy prayer breakfast on the National Day of Prayer held at “The Gathering Place” with several hundred in attendance.

Mount Joy prayer breakfast 5/5/16
Jimmy Carr (center) is the chaplain for our local fire department and lives with a disability. Our small town community embraces Jimmy and extends compassion and genuine interest in him. I recall several years ago when he had gone out to Colorado to visit Don and Carole Musser, mutual friends. Upon his return the mayor at the time, with no fanfare, drove all the way down to the Baltimore airport to pick him up. Ester really connects with Jimmy and every time we pass his apartment, if he is sitting on his porch, Ester jumps out of the van to give him a hug which he heartily welcomes. The other man in the photo is a good friend of Jimmy’s.

Mount Joy prayer breakfast 5/5/16I had the opportunity to lead the group in prayer for the business community. Our current mayor spoke for a few minutes. Deeply troubled with a burdened heart he asked us to pray for the drug impact in our community. He pointed to a map behind him which showed the locations where overdoses leading to deaths have occurred in recent years. As in most communities heroin is the leading cause of drug overdoses. We also had leaders prayer for:

     * Government
* Military
* Education
* Family
* Churches
* Media

It was a very well organized prayer meeting and we really did pray. There are occasions when people gather to pray but only talk about the needs or just one person prays. We had a number of different people participating including Dona Fisher, our chairperson for Lancaster National Day of Prayer task force. However before the prayer time we also enjoyed a nice breakfast!

Mount Joy prayer breakfast 5/5/16
Matt and Carol Frigm led us in several songs before the prayer time.
The have a ministry called Sweet Life Music.

Mount Joy prayer breakfast 5/5/16
We heard an interesting presentation from Glenn Eshelman who founded the Sight and Sound Theater here in Lancaster County and in Branson, Missouri. He pointed out that the very first precursor to the Sight and Sound began 51 years ago in the very room where we were meeting. He and his wife, Shirley, made a slide presentation with a record playing in the background. Shirley held the flash light so Glen could read the script that he had written for the presentation! Many of our readers have visited Lancaster to attend the 2000 seat Sight and Sound Theater so you can appreciate just how far along this ministry has come with millions of viewers and millions of testimonies as well!

Baby robins 5/6/16
Here’s a current photo of our baby robins taken late morning 5/6/16


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Glorious Day (Living He loved me)”  Video   Casting Crowns  This song has the line that is the basis for the title of today’s message, “Now Is Ascended, My Lord Evermore!”

“Before The Throne Of God Above”  Video  Kristyn Getty

Lowes ad “We’ve Only Just Begun” Video  This ad has been coming on a lot when I find suitable music and like most sponsored ads I click cancel after the obligatory few seconds. However last night I watched the whole ad and it has a great message, especially since the song would have been popular during our “young love” period in life. This Sunday we celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. The song manages to put life events in the right order which is refreshing. Watch it till the end for the kicker.

Finally today:

The Merchandiser is our hometown weekly newspaper and it also includes classified ads. Here’s one you probably won’t see where you live: “5YO standardbred gelding, traffic safe and sound, upheaded, classy, broke good enough for the woman, ready for miles, $4,500”

And one more!

Mollie "climbing" tree 5/5/16
Mollie was determined to get a “face” adjacent to the first limb off the large oak tree in front our home. Yesterday she managed to “climb” and gave the tree a “face lift”! Ester made this fun short video.

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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