Hershey Hotel tulips (Photo by Ester)Tulips on the grounds of the majestic Hershey Hotel
(Photo by Ester)

“The Blessing Of Warnings”

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“Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 32:46). “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

Kelly Avenue fire 5/16/15Early Saturday morning I stepped outside and heard a lot of sirens, an unusual sound in our rural area. In the distance I could see fire trucks and looked around for a sign of a fire. Looking north up Kraybill Church Road from our home I saw a billowing tower of smoke and initially assumed it was Jerry’s barn at the end of our road. I jumped on my bike to investigate and found it was a house fire on Kelly Avenue, a residential area where Brooksyne often walks with our dogs.

Only a short time earlier the fire had started. A passerby called 911, rang the doorbell and banged on the door to alert the family who was still sleeping at the time. Apparently they didn’t have smoke alarms or they weren’t working. Thankfully everyone got out safely though the house was a total loss.

It turns out the woman who was driving through Kelly Avenue was Ester’s former teacher and her warning very likely saved the family. What a blessing that she didn’t just observe and then assume someone else had called in the fire. She could also have also reasoned that no one could sleep through such a raging fire.

Today let us consider the blessings of warnings though there are times we don’t see them as blessings but annoyances. This may sound ludicrous but imagine for a moment the family awakening, hearing the loud banging, and ignoring it, saying to each other, “Who in the world would be knocking at this hour?” and returning to sleep. Or, upon awakening and going to the door complaining to the woman giving the warning, “We were sleeping so soundly, why did you wake us up so early in the morning?”

In Moses’ long sermon on the east side of the Jordan before his death he declared, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law.” A component to solid Biblical preaching will include essential warnings as well as comforting assurances.

How do we respond to warnings? In the second daily text “these things” refers to some very specific judgments from God back during the years when the children of Israel wandered through the wilderness. These judgments dealt with attitude (grumbling) and behavior (idolatry and sexual immorality), though admittedly attitudes and behavior do generally merge or cross over in the process.

We’re created by God with the ability to comprehend cause and effect. But sadly this still doesn’t mean we necessarily heed the warnings. Judgment has been meted out in the past and will be measured out again with the current generation. God is faithful in who He is and how He deals with His creation.

We get a lot of warnings in our lives. They’re found in our homes, cars, and business establishments. There are warning signs for cancer and other diseases. Our computers have lots of warnings. We can ignore or disable warnings, but we do so to our own peril.

But far, far more perilous is the widespread disregard of the warnings God gives throughout Scripture, the greatest of which involves the most definite future judgment. This warning is not only massively ignored, but mockingly ridiculed as well, much to Satan’s pleasure. (I recall a Keith Green song in which he presents the devil gleefully proclaiming, “No one believes in me anymore.”)

Today we encourage you to respond to God’s warnings for the blessings they really are as they are given for our protection. They’re expressions of His love and care for each one of us. He is safeguarding our present and watching over our future since He has our best interest in mind.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we glean so much from the characters of the Bible; both bad and good examples of those who thought themselves to be above Your commands and those who heeded Your warnings. Achan in Joshua 7 had a heart of greed, a lying spirit, and prized himself above innocent lives who perished as a result of his sinful actions. Your judgment eventually came upon him and he paid with his life and that of his entire family. But we also see Noah who labored for years building an unprecedented mammoth boat for the torrential flood waters You warned him about. He heeded Your warning and thereby saved his family’s lives and the pairing of many animals that would reproduce on the earth following the flood. Help us to realize that we are wise to follow Your warnings given in the commands of Scripture. To feel that we are the exception is a lie from the pit of hell that will immediately or eventually lead to our demise. You warn because You love us and want the very best for us. Remind us often; through Scripture, through fellow believers, through negative and positive examples we see all about us, and through the inner working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


On Wednesday I (Stephen) will be going to Washington DC for a “Watchman on the Wall” conference sponsored by Family Research Council. This organization contends for Biblical values and warns against the most certain consequences of the current trajectory of our nation as God’s laws continue to be forsaken. I have gone to this conference for many years and certainly expect to hear some hard preaching and perspective with many other pastors and chaplains who are contending for God’s Word and Truth in our decadent age. Illustrating the moral confusion of our age this group, along with many others with a similar mission, has been labeled a “hate group” for defending Biblical values. So many in our world want to hear nothing of warnings and equate truth with hate. As someone has wisely observed, “The truth is hate speech to those who hate the truth.”

Note: Due to my attendance at this conference we do not expect to post new messages on Thursday and Friday. Although Brooksyne is quite capable of writing them she has not learned the technical steps needed to produce and post them.

One more point: My heart breaks as I read this article, “State Department Says No to Iraqi Christians”


Kelly Avenue fire 5/16/15
I rode my bike through a freshly mowed rye field to see the house from behind. Vehicles were also on fire.

Kelly Avenue fire 5/16/15
Later that afternoon we drove by the house and here’s all that remains. Here’s a newspaper article. Thankfully it appears the family has good local support.


On a more pleasant note:

Mike and Kathy Matangelo 5/16/15
Friday evening we had our longtime friends Mike and Kathy Matangelo, along with their daughter Tina, visit us on their way from North Carolina to Rhode Island. Saturday was beautiful so we had breakfast on our deck. Tomorrow we will share some photos of our adventures on Saturday morning.

Mount Pleasant praise team 5/17/15
Yesterday Brooksyne and team warming up before they led our congregation in worship Sunday morning.
Here are two of the songs we sang:
“Just As I Am”
“Every Promise”


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

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

“The Last Enemy”

May 15, 2015

Persistent treeThese sunflowers brighten the view from our home office

“The Last Enemy”

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“The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26).

As the sun was setting on Mother’s Day this past Sunday I (Brooksyne) was taking a walk with our new Zimbabwean neighbor, Thobekile, whom we call Toby for ease of pronunciation. She lives just past Kraybill Cemetery which was established about 1800. It’s less than half a mile from our home. As we were walking along I pointed out the freshly dug grave at the cemetery where a 19 year old boy, who died from a motorcycle accident, was laid to rest just over three weeks ago. As I did so I realized that Jed’s parents were standing near the grave.

Being sensitive to their private space, I still felt the Spirit prompting me to talk to them. In compassion I gently approached them. They told me it was their first time back to Jed’s gravesite, but it was fitting on Mother’s Day. Tissues in hand, the broken couple expressed how devastating their loss continues to be.

Jed was his dad’s farming partner, a star athlete, and a committed believer. He was a joy to the community at large, to his local church, and a special blessing to his family including that of five siblings. Though Jed’s time was cut short his testimony endures as that of a young life fully surrendered to God.

Our children are loaned to us and our duty is to prepare them for life here and now, and most especially for all eternity. Toby and I joined hands with Kenton and Sue and prayed for God’s continued comfort for their enduring grief while also giving thanks to God that they performed their parental duties to the fullest extent. It was a providential opportunity from God that we walked by at that time and became Christian comforters to this couple. They gratefully received our prayer for them.

Today’s message is more sobering than most but does indeed end with a promise of encouragement. Each day over 150,000 people die.

  • Sometimes death affects us very personally such as when a member of our own family or a close friend dies. This evening we will be visiting with a friend who is going to Rhode Island to visit his ailing 93 year old mother who is in hospice care. Of course the ultimate “personal” is when our own time of departure comes (see 2 Timothy 4:6).
  • Sometimes, like Jed’s death, it’s in our own community and although we may not have known the individual it feels very close. Jed’s grandmother Mary was a very close neighbor before she moved to a retirement village. Now Jed’s sister Kate resides in her grandmother’s home.  His former pastor, Joe Sherer, is a friend of ours and years ago I preached in Jed’s church when he was a child.
  • Other deaths are newsworthy incidents such as the earthquake in Nepal or the train accident in Philadelphia. These deaths remind us of just how uncertain life is. We ride the trains occasionally (I will next week for a meeting in Washington) and generally we just consider it fully safe but death can surprise in many ways.
  • And of course daily someone famous dies and this often makes the news. I suppose this type of death moves me the least as I consider many who faithfully served God died in quiet anonymity at the very same time.
  • But the vast majority of today’s deaths will take place with little fanfare, affecting only those who are close to them. As the old song goes, “Someone’s crying Lord, come by here”.

Death is simply part of the present “order of things” (Revelation 21:4). We are regularly reminded of death; death in wars, famines, floods, the tsunami. Today many in our spiritual family will die as a result of persecution. In each area of the world there will be accidents and diseases that take lives. Undoubtedly some reading this are presently feeling the “sting” of the death of a loved one.

Of all the billions who have ever lived only Enoch and Elijah escaped death. Yesterday we recognized the day our Lord ascended back to heaven after the completion of His mission here on earth. He died for the sins of the world but “death could not hold Him” (Acts 2:24).

The Bible teaches that the generation of believers living at the time of Christ’s glorious return will also escape death and will be caught up together with their deceased brothers and sisters in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Many believe that we very well may be that generation, but then I realize many earnest believers in previous generations have also believed this. Only God knows.

Death is God’s appointed method of transition to the afterlife, just as conception and birth are the appointed method of transition into life as we now know it.  Forthrightly the writer of Hebrews states, “Man is destined to die” (Hebrews 9:27).  I am aware of the supernatural departure of Enoch and Elijah, as well as the wonderful promise of the rapture for those living at that time, however the norm for most will be death.

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

Meanwhile we continue to deal with death and grief, but not like those who have no hope, for we have hope based on the Bible’s promises. Therefore, I comfort and encourage you all with these words today. One day there will indeed be no more death!

The main thing is are we ready? Have we accepted the glorious gift of salvation by faith in Christ? I welcome you to say this prayer from your heart. “Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner. I believe that You came to this earth and died on the cross as a substitute for me. I place my faith in You and what You have done for me. I receive You into my life and choose this day to follow and serve You.  Thank You for hearing my prayer.” This is the main thing.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

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

We are blessed at expressions of faith on old tombstones, but this one at Kraybill Church Cemetery has a sobering reminder:

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

Old order Mennonite bike with cart 5/13/15
You never know what kind of traffic you will encounter on the back roads in Lancaster County, PA! On Wednesday we drove past this old order Mennonite who had apparently been grocery shopping. (This particular sect of Mennonites uses the horse and buggy, as well as bicycles for transportation.) If “English” women transported their groceries and other items by bicycle, like these Mennonites, the list of “wants vs. needs” would likely shorten since carting them by pedaling a two wheeler is much more a chore than hauling them in a four wheel vehicle powered by simply pushing down a gas pedal.

Geese family on Donegal Creek 5/15
Several large geese families reside on Donegal Creek. It’s always a highlight of our spring walks on the trail.

Mike at Costco 5/14/15
Consider people wherever you live who have a joyful countenance and pleasant disposition. Just seeing them warms your heart and brings a smile to your face doesn’t it! Mike works at our local Costco and we often see him either when we enter or leave the store. He always has a big smile, a friendly greeting, and is a great representative for Costco.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Today we share a selection of songs on death and dedicate them to all who are undergoing loss. There are numerous styles presented in the following selection, so it is our prayer that one will be especially meaningful to you.

“Khumbaya”  Video  Soweto Gospel Choir

“No More Night”  Video  David Phelps

“Save a Place for Me”  Video  Matthew West

“Hello After Goodbye”  Video  Legacy Five

“Closer to You”  Video  Mark Schultz

“Homesick”  Video  MercyMe

“All My Tears”  Video  Julie Miller

“The Line Between The Two”  Video  Mark Harris

“What a Day That Will Be”  Video  Homecoming Singers

“I’ll Meet You in the Morning”  Video  Appalachian Express Bluegrass

“Going Home”  Video  Mark Lowry & Kim Lord

“He’s Walking Her Home”  Video  Mark Schultz

“I Will Rise”  Video  Chris Tomlin

“With Hope”  Video  Steven Curtis Chapman  A powerful song of faith following the death of his daughter


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

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

Ascension Day traffic, Lancaster, PA 5/14/15Ascension Day traffic in Lancaster County
This family is heading toward the city from Willow Street

Ascension Day traffic, Lancaster, PA 5/14/15
Ascension Day traffic in Lancaster City
This couple is driving right through the city on Lime Street, just east of downtown

“Now Is Ascended, My Lord Evermore!”

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“And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising God” (Luke 24:50-53).

Ascension Day signYesterday we drove through eastern Lancaster County stopping at several roadside stands and old-order greenhouses. Along the way we saw a common sign, “Closed For Ascension Day”. The Amish and old order Mennonite groups will have special services today in commemoration of one of the lesser recognized events in the life of Christ, His ascension back to heaven. These communities of faith in our area place great emphasis on this special day.

There are several very specific events in the life of Christ and the church that we commemorate. At Christmas we celebrate the incarnation and birth of Christ. On Good Friday we focus on His sacrificial death and on Easter His glorious resurrection. On Sunday, May 24, we will observe Pentecost.  But for some reason Ascension Day doesn’t get nearly as much attention in most church traditions, including mine.

Today’s Scripture portion gives us the account of the Ascension found in Luke’s Gospel although the more well-known account is found in Acts 1.

This account describes the place of the Ascension: “He led them out as far as Bethany”. John 11:18 informs us that “Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off.” So during the period following His resurrection Christ travelled to Galilee but was now back near Jerusalem for His great departure from earth.

“He lifted up His hands and blessed them.” That must have been a remarkable experience! I can think of several deeply memorable blessings I have received through life. Bill Shibilo and his wife Veda were a great support to us during our years in New England. They were steady and loyal, which any pastor will tell you is a great blessing. About fifteen years ago as Bill’s time of departure neared we gathered in a hospital room at New England Medical Center in Boston and sang hymns, read Scripture and prayed. Bill had a respiratory illness and had great difficulty speaking but I will never forget when he mustered enough physical strength to look directly at Brooksyne and me and proclaim, “God bless your ministry.” We stay in touch with his wife through these daily messages who remains steadfast in her walk with the Lord.

Likewise I am sure each of the disciples remembered this special blessing all through the remainder of their lives. But I wonder if they had any idea what would happen next?

“While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven.” An ancient creedal statement of the early church is found in 1 Timothy 3:16, “He was taken up in glory.”

The account in Acts states, “He was taken up 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 40 days after He was resurrected from the dead.

“And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising God.” This worship experience sets a pattern for the Church. Christ was no longer visible nor was He in their midst physically. At this point their worship was similar to ours.

Peter expressed it this way many years later in his epistle, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).

The Acts account provides this additional detail, “He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? 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.”

These two angels of the Lord dressed in white assured those early disciples that “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.”

The angels’ promise of His return is reinforced and elaborated on throughout the New Testament. Paul calls it the “blessed hope”. One day, soon, perhaps even today, this glorious event will take place. In the meanwhile let us faithfully serve the Lord, and look to Him who now sits at the right hand of the Father, until that great day is fully realized!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, though we don’t know the day nor the hour, You already have the blessed event of Christ’s return on Your divinely appointed calendar.  Even as the Son of Man ascended into heaven He will come again, but this time we have the blessed hope of ascending with Him and joining with those of like precious faith. Thank You for loved ones and witnesses of the truth who have repeated this glorious life-transforming message to us over the years preparing our hearts for this major event. May it be the resounding message from our own lips as we anticipate the glorious moment when we will all be changed in the twinkling of an eye. Help us to be faithful and watching eagerly for the blessed hope of Your second coming where those of us on earth will take up eternal residency in heaven.  In Your name, Jesus, we pray to You as we look for Your reappearing.  Amen.

Here’s the more familiar account of Christ’s Ascension as recorded in the Book of Acts: “After He said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? 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” (Acts 1:9-11).


Patrick Weber ordination with parents Pat and Laverne 5/6/15
Several days ago we shared some photos of an ordination service we attended last week in Reading Pennsylvania. Here’s a photo of my nephew Patrick who was ordained that evening, with his parents, Pat and Laverne Weber. Pat is my older brother.

Chalk Talk at Banquet 5/9/15
We had a delightful evening on Saturday at our Women & Girls Banquet. Elva Hurst, a very popular chalk artist and author in our area, drew this serene setting as we listened to her message. Her devotional type messages touch your heart while she draws. This summer she has scheduled nearly 100 tour busses stopping by her barn to watch her chalk art. She takes advantage of these opportunities and shares the gospel through music and words while she draws on her large tablet. Her books are wonderful for those who enjoy Little House on the Prairie type stories, but they’re based on her large Mennonite family’s upbringing.

Tractor tire planters on Donegal Springs Road
For any readers who may have some old tractor tires just laying around here’s an idea. These are being used as planters along Donegal Springs Road not far from our home.

Amish home 5/13/15
Yesterday we stopped by Spooky Nook Produce & Greenhouse, an Amish home business near Mount Joy and observed the extremely well maintained place. Doesn’t this photo look like a postcard?
Local readers: Spooky Nook Produce & Greenhouse is located here.
We enjoy their fresh asparagus!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Songs with an explicit reference to the ascension are not as common as other events in our Lord’s life.

“Glorious Day (Living He loved me)”  Video  Casting Crowns  A single line in this grand old hymn by J. Wilbur Chapman states, “Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!”

“I Cannot Tell”  Video  Congregational singing by all ages!

“Rejoice The Lord Is King”  Video  Tommy Walker and the Generations Gospel Choir

The Blessing Challenge  A great concept to consider.

David Short, a British reader, commented on yesterday’s haircut message with a recollection of a story when Martin Luther got a haircut.

You can watch Elva Hurst, chalk artist at work here.

Finally today:  Ester is doing a great job of capturing candid poses such as this one from Sunday as Estella gave thoughtful consideration as to which flower to take home out of an assortment offered to our church ladies on Mother’s Day. I know just what she’s thinking:  “Hmmm, do I want the petunia or the alyssum?” That’s a big decision for some of us gardeners.

Estella with flowers on Mother's Day 5/10/15

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

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

Jay Snyder, 96 year old barber
Jay Snyder, a 96 year old Mount Joy barber, dispensing warm shaving cream to trim Stephen’s neck.
“A Lesson From A Haircut”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow” (Acts 18:18). “Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them” (Psalm 76:11).

Brooksyne has cut my hair since we began dating our freshman year in college over 40 years ago. Based upon what expensive haircuts cost I figure she has saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars since her hair cuts are every bit as good as what the rich and famous get! John Edwards, a vice presidential nominee in 2004 famously got $400 haircuts from a Beverly Hills stylist. *

Jay Snyder, 96 year old barberHowever we both went to a special barber in Mount Joy the other day initially just to meet a man we had read about in our paper. But when we visited his shop I decided to get a haircut. Jay Snyder opened his barber shop on December 13, 1947 and has been barbering ever since. That’s over 67 years and he’s now 96 years old! The tiny one chair shop is essentially the same as when he started although he did install a window air conditioner at some point.

Barber thermometerWith Brooksyne looking on Jay cut my hair, mostly running a trimmer over and over and over in the same place on the back of my neck. He also used a straight edge around my ears which was a bit disconcerting. I considered Malchus.

We conversed as he clipped and he was mentally as sharp as a tack and a delightful storyteller. He told us how he had fought in the Battle of the Bulge in WW2 and was among the first liberators of the concentration camps. He shared details of the opening of his shop and some romantic stories. I think he liked to talk so much he would have kept me in the chair trimming my neck all day. Finally I said to him, “I think this will be fine” as I extricated myself from the chair and paid my $10.00 (plus tip) barbering bill. The experience was certainly worth that!

Now ideally preachers (or writers) begin their study for a message with a text and then search for an illustration. That is certainly the preferred method. But sometimes it’s the other way around. In today’s case we have a haircutting illustration and I went searching for a text! The positive aspect to this is it may cause me to give consideration to a text I would otherwise not.

If we were to ask Bible students what the most famous (or infamous) haircut in the Bible was most Bible readers would immediately think of Samson.  His haircut by Delilah sure had a detrimental effect on his life and others!

But today let us consider another Biblical haircut in a verse that we may tend to skim over. “In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow.”

“In Cenchrea he had his hair cut.” Paul was in Corinth at this time but was departing for Syria. But before he left he had his hair cut in Cenchrea, a port in Corinth. Now I often get a haircut before I take a trip but there was a specific reason for this haircut, “for he was keeping a vow.”

Today the most common use of vows is that in marriage. Our marriage vows are essentially solemn promises we make to our spouse. But a vow is also a solemn promise made to God.

I studied numerous commentaries on this verse. Some commentaries such as the IVP believe he had earlier taken the Nazarite vow as taught in Numbers 6. “Paul cuts his hair, signaling the beginning of the end of a Nazarite vow. Evidently he had begun this vow after either the Macedonian or Corinthian vision, as a sign of earnest beseeching of the Lord for success in the mission to which Paul had been called (Acts 16:9-10; 18:9-10). Now in thanksgiving Paul ends the vow and thus recognizes that the Lord made good on His promises. In our life of faith we too may be confident that what God calls us to do He will enable us to complete (Philippians 1:6).

Other see this as a private, personal vow made for unspecified reasons. A private vow was often assumed by the Jews in consequence of some mercy received or of some deliverance from danger.

Vows to God are frequently mentioned in the Bible. The first was made by Jacob in Genesis 28:19-21.  An entire chapter on the law of vows is found in Numbers 30.

But the Psalms have some of the richest devotional material on vows including our second daily text. “Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them” (Psalm 76:11).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father we read in Scripture of the importance of keeping our word, that we are not to make a promise we are unwilling to keep. There were dire consequences for the Israelites who made and broke vows, most especially vows made to You, Father. Millions upon millions of lives have been shattered due to broken promises. Help us to count the cost before we commit to a promise. Though circumstances may make it very difficult to keep our promise show us a way that we can follow through. If it is an impossibility grant us guidance in how we handle the matter with integrity, humility, and repentance seeking to keep peace and doing what is within our power to correct the situation. Above all, we thank You that You keep every promise You make. You are like a shield to all who seek Your protection. Amen.

See Proverbs 30:5

A visit to Jay Snyder’s Barber Shop

Jay Snyder barber shop, 96 year old barber
The old-fashioned waiting area, sort of like Floyd’s Barber Shop on Andy Griffith. Jay’s shop is on West Main Street, Mount Joy, PA

Jay Snyder barber shop, 96 year old barber
Brooksyne doesn’t normally take photos of me getting my hair cut since she’s usually behind the trimmer! Jay enjoyed our picture taking session.

Jay Snyder barber shop, 96 year old barber
This is what he did most of the time.

Jay Snyder barber shop, 96 year old barber
Notice the swivel chair attached to the client chair. However he stood the entire time he cut my hair. I asked when he was going to retire and he told me, “What would I do, just sit around and watch TV all day?”

Jay Snyder, 96 year old barber
As you can see Jay did a nice trim on one lower side. He must have tired out before he got to the back section, crown and front though Stephen was a customer for a good 40 minutes or so. I will give Jay 5 stars for his ability to hold clippers with a steady hand, stand on his feet for over an hour (he had a customer before we arrived), and for his record long, enduring work-ethic. Truly amazing!!

1949 calendar Jay Snyder barber shop, 96 year old barber
Some people just can’t remember to change their calendars! Notice his warranty: “If our work is not satisfactory, we refund your whiskers.”

One new thing: When we left he offered us both a nifty new pen that had an LED flashlight on the end, certainly not something from 1947. Interesting that at 96 he still goes to the trouble and expense of ordering marketing materials!
Here’s the newspaper article about Jay Snyder, 96 year old Mount Joy Barber.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Anything That Costs Me Nothing”  Video   Bobby Michaels

“The Vow – Staying Faithful”  Video   Geoff Moore


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

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

Welded cross with names of God
We saw this cross hanging in a church foyer in Reading PA where we attended an ordination service this last Wednesday evening. It is made by a local high school teacher in a very interesting way (see below).

“The Fruit Of Deception”
ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until He comes and showers righteousness on you. But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception” (Hosea 10:12,13).

We sure enjoy fruit and regularly eat a variety of them. In fact Brooksyne just brought down a fresh fruit/greek yogurt salad for my breakfast. It’s too early in the season for locally grown fruit but we have sure been enjoying some fresh asparagus. Yesterday a neighbor told Brooksyne to come down for some extra that they have. Now that’s a blessing!

But today let us consider some fruit we should not eat, the fruit of deception.

Today’s Scripture text immediately follows a verse we shared in a message last week titled “Time To Seek The Lord”. “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until He comes and showers righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12).

This verse is immediately followed with the latter part of the daily text and seems to present this contrast: “But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception.” This passage concerns the northern Kingdom just prior to its destruction by the Assyrians about 2,700 years ago.

Notice the parallelism in these two verses:

God’s will is that His children: Sow righteousness. But instead they planted (sowed) wickedness.

God’s will is that His children: Reap the fruit of unfailing love. But instead they reaped evil.

But it’s the final phrase that particularly grips my attention: “You have eaten the fruit of deception.”

Deception is misrepresentation and misleading falsehood and it abounds like never before. I firmly believe deception will increase as mankind shrugs off God’s commands. One of the final warnings from Jesus to his disciples was, “Let no one deceive you.”

Paul has a solemn warning concerning deception in Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

Today we need to be on our guard against the many forms of deception that we encounter, particularly spiritual deception that can lead us astray from the truth and tragically rob us of our future eternal home in heaven.

I believe this requires several disciplines:

  • A personal, growing relationship with Christ
  • A firm and growing knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation
  • A sensitivity to the Holy Spirit
  • A solid foundational knowledge in theology (study of God) and church history
  • An accountability to others in the body of Christ, particularly our elders
  • A discerning wariness of the “new”*

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, I pray that You will help me to sow for myself righteousness, so that I will reap the fruit of Your unfailing love. Break up the unplowed ground of my heart that is stony and hard so that I acknowledge my sins, receive Your forgiveness, and look to You for guidance. I want to seek You so that You shower Your blessings upon me. Amen.

* Stephen’s Note: I expect this point concerning having a discerning wariness of the new could get me labeled by some as the dreaded O.F. (Old-fashioned). Yet I have seen so many new things come along that go from unthinkable to bizarre to tolerated to accepted to normal then perhaps even celebrated in a very short time.  Eventually what was once normal may even be reckoned by some to be abnormal!  On a number of issues I have seen this happen. In my youth I heard pastors comment, “I’m old enough now that I’ve seen this “new” thing recycle at least two or three other times.” Well, I’m beginning to understand those pastor’s comments now that I have been in ministry nearly 40 years.


We’ve had a lot going on and have some more photos from last week.

Patrick and Gretchen 5/6/15
Last Wednesday evening we attended an ordination service in Reading PA. My nephew Patrick was ordained and his sister, my niece Gretchen, received a license. My brother Pat (their dad), is also a minister. He and his wife, Laverne, have three children, all married and serving the Lord along with their spouses. Still in active ministry for Christ, he pastors a church in the Lehigh Valley, and will turn 68 tomorrow! After a season of rebellion he turned to Christ in his early twenties while serving in the Air Force in Europe. He went on to Bible College and has been in the Lord’s service ever since.

Ordination service, Reading PA 5/6/15
We enjoy ordination services and each one is a reminder of my ordination in 1979. We heard a stirring message from Jim Cymbala, pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. This year 28 ordination candidates were ordained.

David Selleck at ordination service, Reading PA 5/6/15
Due to the nature of my present ministry (writing and chaplaincy) I do not have the same regular associations with fellow ministers as I did when I pastored. But I enjoy periodically seeing old friends at events like this. David Selleck was my Presbyter (supervisor) during the early years of my ministry. He is now 88 and still gets around fine, driving all the way down from his home in Clarion, PA to Reading on his own, about 250 miles! His wife passed away several years ago.

Paul Poole at ordination service, Reading PA 5/6/15
Still plugging along!
Paul Poole and I graduated from Central Bible College the same year in 1977.
He serves a church as pastor in the western Pennsylvania town of Beaver Falls.

National Day of Prayer breakfast 5/7/15
Last Thursday morning we attended a National Day of Prayer breakfast in our community with several hundred in attendance. We prayed for five categories of need.
After the meeting we greeted several friends including Don and Carol Musser, who have been our friends since we moved to this area in 2001. They are standing with Jimmy, who has been the local fire department chaplain for over 30 years. Jimmy deals with Tourette Syndrome which causes involuntary twitching. He has been blessed to have the support of many in our community. We wrote about him seven years ago in a message titled “The Least Of These”.

Amish photobomb at National Day of Prayer 5/7/15 (Photo by Mike Martin)
Ravi Zecharias was the evening speaker at a county-wide prayer event last Thursday evening with thousands attending in a large field out in the country (notice the barn in the background). Our friend Mike Martin took the photo and it appears this elderly Amishman is photobombing!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“No One Believes In Me Anymore”  Video   Keith Green  An interesting song dealing with the ultimate deception!

Messiah, Lamb of God laser cut metal

Story behind the cross in our lead photo: The cross is made of laser cut pieces of stainless steel that have the names of God on them and then are welded together to form the cross. Earlier last week we visited Smucker Laser where we serve as chaplains and they were cutting pieces for these crosses while we were there. In fact they had a slightly imperfect piece they allowed me to bring home (shown above).

Here is a photo of the “Holy Names” cross straight on (I was looking up at an angle when I took the lead photo). You can see my sample piece, “Messiah Lamb of God” in the upper right. Bill Johnson a local high school teacher makes the crosses as part of his “Iron Nature – Artistic Metalwork For His Glory”


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

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

“Honoring Mothers”

May 11, 2015

Creative flower display
We saw this creative flower display at an Amish nursery.
I inadvertently took a selfie!
(Click on photo to enlarge)
“Honoring Mothers”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12). “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life” (Ephesians 6:1-3).

Yesterday was “Mother’s Day” here in the USA, a day which acknowledges the sacrificial contributions mothers make in the lives of their children. Our new Zimbabwean friends told us they also honor mothers on this same day in Zimbabwe. We are heartened by the many ways we see honor expressed to mothers and motherhood, on any day of the year.  I hope each mother reading this is honored by the expression of the daily verses as her children rise up and call her “blessed.”

For those with living mothers we sure hope you were able to express your love in some form whether it was a call, card, gift and most meaningful, of course, is paying them a visit.

Dave at Mac-ItBut as we age it’s more and more likely we will not have living parents, which is the case for both of us. In our case we honor them with our memories.

Last week I stopped by to greet Dave, a man my age who works as a machine operator. He usually greets me with a big smile but he seemed unusually somber that morning. I asked him how he was doing and he offered, “It’s my mom’s birthday today.” He further explained that she has been deceased for twenty years but the memory of her birthday was still on his heart. I commended him for his expression of honor in warmly remembering his mother on her special day.

Others are dealing with a hard season as their parents’ age. Yesterday Galen, a friend in our church, shared concerning his 93 year old mother with Alzheimer’s Disease. He candidly shared about the special challenges of trying to have a meaningful conversation with one who no longer converses. Bringing up names, events, and other things from the past seem to bring about no recognition or common ground from which they can talk about important remembrances. His reminder to us was, “Visit your mom while you can.”

Finally today we consider readers who do not or did not have a good experience with their mother. Some of you have lasting pain from your upbringing and your relationship is far less than God’s ideal even now. The concept of giving honor may be very hard. We periodically deal with people who have faced the searing pain of abandonment, neglect or abuse. Perhaps you were given up for adoption, and have never made peace with the circumstances surrounding that life-changing event.

The general theme of honoring our mothers resonated in pulpits yesterday as many ministers preached on the topic of the family, highlighting the theme of honoring mothers. Our pastor did so yesterday with a creative sermon on an unusual request by the mother of James and John recorded in Matthew 20:20-28.

My mom was gloriously promoted to heaven in November 2005 and Brooksyne’s in October 2002, so we both write from that perspective. Today in this message we rise up and call our mothers “blessed”.

The command to honor our father and mother goes back to the Fifth Commandment: “Honor your father and your mother.” It is certainly applicable all through childhood. A favorite memory verse many of us taught our children during their childhood years is Ephesians 6:1, “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” But the honor is also applicable after we reach adulthood as well and the attitude of this command still pertains though both our parents are now with the Lord.

Today we urge each reader to rise up and call your mother blessed. Express honor toward her in your words and in your actions. For most of our readers this comes very naturally out of gratitude for a loving and caring mother.

God’s command to honor our father and mother, like the command in Hebrews 13:4to honor marriage has no exclusionary clause. May God give you the necessary grace to convey that honor, starting with the very fact that God breathed life into you as your mother brought you into this world.

If your parents are living be sure to express your love and appreciation to them. That is something we both really miss doing but are so glad we did it regularly while they were alive. The honor of our parents serves as a foundational base for all human honor.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, each spring as we observe tiny featherless fledglings pressed against their mothers in their nest, we’re reminded of the human love children experience from their parents’ safekeeping. We thank You for the loving care You extend to us through the preordained parents who’ve provided for us from birth to independence. Thank You for their model of love, sacrifice, duty, protection, and other virtuous qualities needed to properly raise a family. It has greatly influenced the way we raise our own children.

We also pray for those whose relationship with their parent is a role reversal where they must act as the parent when their own parent behaves as a needy or even defiant child. May Your multiplied mercies sustain these caregivers in their ongoing challenging role so that, above all, You are honored and they find deep peace in the midst of the turmoil. Thank You, Father, for our human family, our spiritual family, and for our heavenly family that awaits our arrival on Your appointed day. In the name of Christ Jesus Your Son we pray, amen.


Adam and Eve's baby picturesAdditional reflection: The foundation verse for marriage and the family in the Bible as established at Creation: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). This is the very first reference to father and mother in the Bible as well as marriage. We tend to read it with our knowledge and experience in mind. But consider Adam and Eve, who had no personal experience or knowledge of being raised by a father and mother, and at this point no knowledge of children either. In addition the notion of marriage and sexual union was not an experience they personally knew up to this time in history; that is, being united and becoming one flesh.

This is a powerful lesson regarding the establishment of God’s pattern for the basic social unit in humanity. Of course this is consistently affirmed in the remainder of the Bible and has been understood by the human race right up to the current time. However in our own time and in recent days we have seen a blasphemous attempt to, as one commentator puts it, radically redefine marriage, subverting society’s most central institution.

The true church of Jesus Christ has been consistent on this matter. For instance The Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) states “Marriage is to be between one man and one woman”. This had been consistently held in all confessions, doctrinal statements and position papers of all churches and denominations up to just the last twenty years. Churches and denominations have had many issues they differed on but on this matter there was unity in understanding.

That is…right up to the last ten or fifteen years when some have abandoned the clear teaching of the Bible on this issue (as well as many others!!!). Sadly now some are bowing to the idol of political correctness and forsaking this clear teaching of Scripture. We are seeing a prophetic statement by Peter come true before our very eyes: “Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute” (2 Peter 2:2). The ESV translates this, “Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.”

We again call on our readers, in the midst of the approaching apostasy, to stay faithful to God and the Holy Scriptures. Contend for the Faith once for all entrusted.


Mom with Joey
Mom loved people of all ages.
Here she is with Joey, a young man from our church in New England who went through a long season of deep rebellion. We still hear from “kids” in our churches (now young to middle-aged adults) who remember Mom’s love and colorful personality.

Joe Cullen 5/6/15
I visited with Joe featured above (Joey) last week at an ordination service in Reading PA. He is now an ordained minister of the gospel and faithfully serving the Lord in ministry as an associate pastor at Philadelphia Christian Center, a church pastored by college friend Phil Menditto. He also married Phil’s daughter!

Joe Cullen 5/6/15
Joe and his wife Lori visiting with Brooksyne and Ester following the ordination service.

We’ll share some more photos from the ordination service tomorrow.

Mom
This photo was taken as Mom waited for the Senior Center van in October 2005. She passed away the following month.

Saturday evening my brother Mike and I were reminiscing about our mother and he recalled this memory: Our mother, Georgia Mae, would often say, “Strangers are just friends that I haven’t met yet”. In 1996 she and brother Stephen came out to visit San Francisco where I lived to attend my daughter Greta and Scott’s wedding. Dad’s age and physical condition prohibited him from coming. Mom came in from Kansas City and Stephen from Boston planning to arrive about the same time at San Francisco International Airport where I was to pick them up. Stephen arrived first only to find out that Mom’s flight would be late. We waited and then learned that her flight was diverted to Oakland across the bay. As the airline was deciding how to get the passengers to San Francisco we decided to just drive over and pick her up. We drove the hour over the Bay bridge down the other side of the bay to Oakland International Airport, feeling so sorry for our aging mom wondering how she would manage. We finally arrived at the Oakland airport, walked into the large waiting area and tried to find her. Looking around we spotted a cluster of people sitting around something going on, and it was our mom, right in the center ‘holding court’ with smiling people. Mom, 77 years old at the time, was dressed in a beautiful black dress, large exquisite black hat, and entertaining all these strangers. She looked  like, to me, an elegant aging Italian movie star! My brother Stephen and I just laughed unbelievably and finally picked up our inexplicable mother, such a character!  A happy Mother’s Day for our Mom… Michael Weber

Brooksyne with family February 1960
1960 – Here’s my favorite childhood photo of 4 year old Brooksyne, sitting on her dad’s lap. Her mother is holding her little brother, Jody. Elaine, 13 months older, is on the left. Two older siblings are not included in this photo.

As you can see from the photo my mother, Ruth, took a lot of time to dress her children nicely. Mom was a wonderful seamstress often making her own patterns and always added those “extras” as you can see in Elaine’s dress. She enjoyed dressing us like twins. By default much of my clothing was pink and Elaine’s blue, but the very same pattern. My hair was very straight so Mom had me in sponge rollers every Saturday night resulting in long curls on Sunday mornings at church. We had very little money but with Mom’s resourcefulness we were well-dressed. With her gardening, preserving and canning skills we were well-fed. She had only a 7th grade education but became an avid reader which provided her with further knowledge to help her raise a healthy, hard-working family alongside my dad. Daddy was a truckdriver but we lived on a small farm in Oklahoma and raised our own beef, chickens (eggs), and pork to fill our plates year round, as well as a milking cow.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Today we have a nice selection of songs honoring mothers

“Everything to Me”  Video  by Mark Schultz

“A Mother’s Love”  Video  Jim Brickman & Mark Masri

“A Mother’s Day Love Song … “Time Has Gone”  Video  Musicians not identified

“Call Her Blessed”  Video  Stacey Noll

“Find Your Wings”  Video  Mark Harris

“When You Come Home”  Video   Billy Gilman

“A Mother’s Day Song: Indescribable Mom”  Video  Laura Story

“She Still Remembers Jesus’ Name”  Video  Booth Brothers Dedicated to our friends Galen and Mike and all our readers who have a loved one dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease. This song will surely touch your heart!

“Little Is Much When God Is In It”  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

Finally today:

Like most churches these days our church sings most of the songs from a screen but on our last hymn yesterday we used the hymnbook. Little Caleb, one row ahead of me grabbed a hymnal and joiuned right in singing “Blessed Assurance”.

Caleb singing hymn 5/10/15

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

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

Donegal Springs 5/7/15Donegal Springs

“As For Me And My House”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).

Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day in our area. In the late afternoon our new Zimbawean friends showed up on their bikes. After dinner over we took them on a long bike ride/walk over to the Cameron Mansion at Donegal Springs, about two miles from our home. It is so green with so much budding, flowering, and new life popping up everywhere as we walked. We passed many scenes of new life; a freshly mown hay field, several geese couples with their gosslings, a very loud kildeer sitting on her mottled eggs, the children outside running barefoot.

It’s a time I call “young spring”. As we walked through the mansion grounds I said to Brooksyne, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could just freeze this season in time”, meaning keeping everything just like it is. But of course we can’t do that. God has ordained seasons. The “young spring” will soon become mature summer, then the first signs of autumn will become late autumn, followed by the chilling apparent deadness of winter.

In life we may want to freeze certain seasons of life, but we can’t! Today we consider two events that were at the “young spring” of our lives.

Thirty-nine years ago today Brooksyne and I stood on the platform of a church in the Indian town of Sapulpa Oklahoma and pledged our love to each other in holy matrimony. It has worked out beautifully and for that we are most grateful.

Also on this date 36 years ago I was ordained to gospel ministry across the Susquehanna River in York, PA although we lived about 200 miles away at the time in northern Pennsylvania. The other night we attended an ordination service in Reading, PA and the solemn ceremony reminded us once again of the sacred calling God has placed on both of our lives. Though Brooksyne has not chosen to have a ministerial license or ordination she has worked alongside me in our ministry since our days of dating in Bible College. In fact our calling to ministry led us both to Bible College right after high school where we met in 1973.

We were young when we married, 21 for Stephen and 20 for Brooksyne. We had one year of college left but began serving right after our honeymoon in a small rural church outside of Springfield, MO. We recall for a number of years being “that young couple”. Now people of that age look like kids to us! Some seasons are esepcially happy, the kind you want to freeze in place, others are “hurry up and get us out of this”.

Thank God by His grace we have stayed faithful to each other and to our Lord Jesus Christ. We’ve sure had our disappointments, tears and sorrows. Like anyone running the spiritual race we’ve had trials. In our 25 years of pastoral ministry we were been bitten a few times by the sheep. But we’ve also met lots and lots of people along the way who have blessed us greatly, including quite a few who are on this “Daily Encouragement” list.

When our family prays together we often conclude by reciting the daily verse. Joshua first uttered these words some 3,300 years ago after leading God’s people into the Promised Land, shortly before his death. His final sermon was a challenge to faithfulness and included this solemn affirmation of his own faith.

“Choose you this day”: I am struck by the significance of the words “this day” in the text. Certainly on the one hand it conveys a momentous decision to serve the Lord when we first believe and choose to follow Him. However in another sense it’s an ongoing, regular, habitual day by day choice to “this day” serve the Lord. After all, Joshua had chosen to follow the Lord many years before he made this call to the people. He surely wasn’t making the choice for the first time!

We believe it’s that way in our walk with the Lord and our walk with our spouse. Thirty-nine years ago we made a public declaration of my love and commitment to each other in marriage. That was a big day for us. But daily since then (14,244 days) we have committed our love to each other and to our Lord, whom we seek to serve with all our hearts.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: This is our prayer today and we encourage you to make it yours as well! It’s also a song we link to below:

Come and fill our home with Your presence,
You alone are worthy of our rev’rence.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
We will serve the Lord.

Lord we vow to live holy, bowing our knees to You only.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,
We will serve the Lord.

Staying together, praying together,
Any storm we can weather trusting in God’s Word.
We need each other, fathers and mothers,
Sisters and brothers in harmony and love. *

* “The Family Prayer Song” Morris Chapman

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Family Prayer Song”  Video   Maranatha Singers


We would like to share several photos from our wedding.
(We have shared these photos before but realize we have many new readers)

Our wedding photo
Mr. & Mrs. Stephen C. Weber
May 8, 1976

Brooksyne wedding photo
My bride of 39 years posing for the photographer before her bridal bouquet arrived.

Church where we had our wedding
The stately church in Sapulpa, Oklahoma where our wedding was held.

Our wedding 5/8/76
Skip Redmond, a friend from college, was our photographer and took this photo from the balcony.

David Simpson, best man 5/8/76
Shaking hands before the wedding with Dave, my friend from 1st grade, who was my best man. Dave and I remain friends to this day and I will see him and his wife Sandy next month when I have a chaplain conference in Springfield, MO. In the background is my brother Pat who conducted the service.

Joe and Pauline Harding at our wedding 5/8/76
I am introducing Brooksyne to Joe and Pauline Harding, both now with the Lord.
We have previously written about the Hardings and their influence on my life.

Our wedding 5/8/76
Looks like Brooksyne is already telling me secrets or showing off her new wedding band. My sister Genelle looks on as we stood in the receiving line greeting our guests.

Wedding reception 5/8/76
We had wedding rehearsal on Friday evening and must have been making decisions about the ceremony. Brooksyne is part Indian (Cherokee) and sure looks like it here.
I am wearing a real cool “leisure suit” (anyone else remember those) and some of the first glasses that were supposed to change but always stayed dark. Brooksyne asked me not to wear them during the wedding. I’m sure glad I didn’t.

Wedding reception 5/8/76
We didn’t run around with those who might have used limousines at that time so we didn’t need to factor in that extra cost. The custom then was to decorate the car of the newly married couple but somehow they got the wrong car, decorating my best man’s car who followed us by himself to a restaurant where we had a meal together. He got lots of horn honking as he drove along, a bachelor at the time.


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

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

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