Hebrews 12:27,28 with San Clemente sunset
Sunset over Catalina Island from pier at San Clemente, California
(Click for larger photo)

Note: Today is the first day of spring but we wrap things up early Friday afternoon it’s snowing!

“The Kingdom That Can’t Be Shaken”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player. (Note: I failed to update the link for yesterday’s podcast. The podcast for that message is here.)

“The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:27,28).

American Pastor's NetworkYesterday after a couple of very early morning chaplain calls I (Stephen) attended an all-day conference sponsored by the American Pastor’s Network, an organization equipping pastors and other Christian leaders, to stand faithful for Biblical teaching. It was a powerful day with many inspiring speakers including George Barna, David Barton and evangelist Sammy Tippet.

The last presentation was from Steve Scheibner, a speaker I had never heard of before who began his speech with “In My Seat”; one of the most powerful, moving videos I have ever seen. It includes a compelling presentation of the gospel. The video is on YouTube and, when you have about 15 minutes, it is well worth watching. The link to the video is below or here (but please return to read our message)!

Steve ScheibnerSteve is a pilot for American Airlines who was initially scheduled to co-pilot Flight 11 on September 11, 2001 from Boston to Los Angeles. “In My Seat” recounts the events leading up to Flight 11 and the subsequent death of Tom McGuinness who was in the pilot’s seat that should have been filled by Steve Scheibner.

That brought to mind an email I received shortly after 9/11/01 from Tom McGuinness’ wife Cheryl. She had been receiving the daily encouragements and wrote to thank me (at that time Brooksyne was not involved in the writing). She gave me permission to share her story which demonstrates the mysteries of God’s Providence. One Christian pilot was saved to live longer on this earth while another was promoted to heaven.

September 11 started out as a beautiful day when the usual morning routine began for Cheryl and her husband, Tom.  He kissed her goodbye and left for work very early that morning. Cheryl and Tom, along with their two children, had  committed their lives to Christ years earlier. A pilot with American Airlines, Tom had a routine transcontinental flight from Boston to LA. As he took off in the aircraft and headed west across Massachusetts they, along with all Americans, were about to experience a tremendous shaking.

You see, Tom piloted American Airlines flight 11 from the very seat that Steve Scheibner had initially been assigned to. Flight 11 was the first plane that flew into the World Trade Center before 9 AM that morning. Cheryl pointed out that it’s quite possible that Tom was the first of the thousands killed by terrorists on September 11, 2001.  His body was destroyed like all those on board the plane but, as a redeemed believer, Tom’s spirit was ushered into the kingdom that cannot be shaken.  Cheryl tells her story in a remarkable online testimony of overcoming and has written a book titled, “Beauty Beyond The Ashes”.

I have heard it said that reality ultimately consists of two things; that which can be shaken and that which cannot.  We can also narrow it down to this: all that we see with our physical eyes can be shaken.

The daily text acknowledges the reality of the shaking of the created order that we have all experienced, although some like Cheryl, in a far more stunning way. Consider your life for a few minutes.  Look back over those periods of severe shakings. Some surely have had more severe types and perhaps even a greater frequency of “shakings”.  However there will be very few reading this that can’t identify with the concept of being shaken. This morning I visited with a friend who lost a grandson in an auto accident several years ago and we recalled what a shaking time that was for his family.

Hebrews 12:28We so want to avoid the shakings, but a “no shaking promise” is not made in Scripture. Quite the contrary, Jesus warns that believers will have trouble in this world. But we can find comfort as we look at Scriptures that point to a future date when “shakings” will become a thing of the past.

In the latter part of the daily text we are greatly encouraged by these words, “We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken”.  We must intentionally focus on the eternal, spiritual realm; on the “kingdom that cannot be shaken”. It’s in the everyday routine of life that we often come upon an unexpected shaking that will detour us from the smooth life we mapped out for ourselves. But as long as our life’s map is tucked into the palm of His hand no unplanned event, setback, conflict or major disappointment will foil our future plan of abiding forever and ever in God’s “kingdom that cannot be shaken.”

We are “receiving” this kingdom and the present tense verb is quite significant. Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come”. Our journey through this life is but a transition to the future eternal Kingdom God has prepared for us, one that cannot be shaken. As we get older we are keenly aware of how quickly life passes, but I am also convinced that very early in eternity we will recognize even more so the brevity of our earthly journey. But for now it’s all we know, and during difficult periods, it seems long and wholly significant.

Today I encourage each reader to keep the eternal perspective. We are receiving this kingdom! It’s a definite certainty. Therefore “let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe”.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, today we are thankful for our journey here below. We also thank You for our future heavenly dwelling where we will live in an unshakable kingdom that has no end, where sin and its awful consequences cannot enter, where we will worship You with reverence and awe throughout the myriad of time. How good it is that we can also worship You here with reverence and awe, with thanksgiving and praise even as we live in the midst of a world filled with sin, even as we praise You from a heart that plays tug of war with the enemy of our soul. We want to be purposeful and focus on that which cannot diminish over time, that which has eternal value, and that which will grow our love and devotion to You, our loving Father and Redeemer of our soul. Amen.


More scenes from our visit in Southern California
Today we will share our final set of photos from our trip.

We realized that during our trip we rode in our car to get to the airport, on planes to get there and back, shuttle bus, rental car, train trolley, trolley bus, tour bus and SEAL boat. Thus we traveled by land, water and air! (The SEAL boat was much like the duck boats, commonly used in other areas. It travels on both land and water.)

Harbor Drive in San Diego
Monday we returned to San Diego from San Clemente for our final full day. This is the drive beside the harbor and we both noticed the beauty of the straight rows of palm trees.

Us on SEAL tour in San Diego 3/16/15
A photo of us taken by the tour guide during the SEAL tour

Naval ship leaving San Diego
We saw several large navy ships leave San Diego

Sea Lions in San Diego
Sea Lions sunbathing

Flyboard, new water sport
As we walked along the harbor we saw a most unusual sport called Flyboard.
We didn’t get a clear photo but, if you look carefully, you’ll see a man at the top of the surging water hose. Fascinating to watch, we even saw a couple doing it together. This is a fun sport for young bodies, a bit more unappealing for those of us who are not as limber in our growing years. The man in the photo even did flips in the air and came back up on the “flyboard”.

San Diego Harbor
San Diego Harbor. We were impressed with this thriving cactus that stood alone amidst hundreds of thousands of rocks all along the shoreline.

california_squirrel.jpg
We stopped at a scenic view along I-5 in Camp Pendelton and were mobbed by friendly squirrels and seagulls wanting a bite to eat.

Any ideas for a caption for this photo? Suggest here.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“When My World Is Shaking”  Video  J.J. Heller

“In My Seat” – A Pilot’s Story from Sept 10th – 11th  Video (This is the video referred to in the message. We encourage you to watch it.)

Steve Scheibner’s ministry “Character Health” website

“Beauty Beyond the Ashes – Choosing Hope After Crisis”   Cheryl McGuinness ministry

American Pastor’s Network (The organization that sponsored the conference I was at yesterday)

Flyboard World Champion  Video  (This is the new water sport we saw in the harbor)

We had a wonderful time during our California visit and we met many nice people. Although the traffic was, as expected, very congested we even had good road experiences overall. Drivers seemed especially courteous of pedestrians (with a few exceptions!) It was interesting that motorcycles just ride between the traffic which seems like it’s already on narrower lanes than we’re accustomed to. At times I was concerned they would scrape our car. Some roads even had 8 lanes on each side! What a contrast from our Kraybill Church Road which can go a long time without any traffic and then it just might be a horse and buggie!

We did see a couple of interesting sights which struck us. I won’t show the photos on this page but if you’re interested (or just plain curious) you can go here and here and draw your own conclusions.


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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.

Flowers in San Juan Capistrano Mission
We saw these beautiful flowers at the Mission San Juan Capistrano
“There Is No Rock Like Our God!”
ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides You; there is no Rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2). “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure” (Isaiah 33:6).

LA skyscraper One of the challenges of building in California is that it lies along several fault lines and of course is prone to earthquakes. One of the main components of any building, especially skyscrapers, is the foundation. The engineers want to place the foundation of the building on solid bedrock. But the challenge in a fault zone is the bedrock is not stable!

During our tour of downtown Los Angeles, where the tallest skyscrapers are, I found it interesting when the guide spoke of the construction techniques used for stability in light of these conditions. Some skyscrapers have accordian like floors which can absorb the shock during an earthquake.

Likewise there are many “fault zones” we need to be aware of as we build our lives. We must build on a firm foundation through Christ and the Bible. That’s our daily challenge.

What a wonderful truth and rich assurance our ancient daily texts provide for the believer! Hannah, rejoicing at the miraculous birth of her son Samuel, prayed, “There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides You; there is no Rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2).

Jeremiah 33:6We need to appropriate this truth deep within our hearts as we especially focus on the first part of the second verse: “He will be the sure foundation for your times.” The KJV uses the phrase “stability of thy times”. The Hebrew word that the prophet Isaiah uses here connotes “firmness, security, fidelity”.  Truly in God we have a firm foundation for all our times.

Life is made up of various times, all of which are ordained of God for His glory and for our growth. Much of our times are spent in abundant blessing. These are the times when we might say, “Life is going smoothly.” It is easy to take these “smooth times” for granted or worse yet, feel that we’re entitled to them.

However we can also all easily recall times of difficulty, the fault zones of life when we are shaken, right to our core. Life can get very bumpy! For some of you it’s that way as you read this. It may be a long-term illness, the loss of a job, a broken relationship or other types of shakings that can grip our hearts and fill us with fear. It seems that with constant threats of terrorist attacks and decreasing security our world is entering into a time of ever-increasing trouble and instability. The “perilous times” spoken of in the Scriptures may very well characterize the “last days” in which we live.  (See 2 Timothy 3:1.)

God and His Word provide the steady and sure foundation for our spiritual security and abiding peace. Consider again just the opening phrase in our daily verse: “He will be the sure foundation for your times.” What kind of “times” are you going through today?

We encourage you to focus on the immutable God whose Word has promised: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal” (Isaiah 26:3,4).

Today, rest in the assurance that in God we have a sure foundation for all our times; the good, the bad, the easy, the difficult, the memorable and even that which we would like to forget. We serve a God of absolute stability; One of whom it is said, “There is no Rock like our God”.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, thank You for the treasure of Your riches; salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. This treasure which You invite us to partake of stabilizes our hearts when instability surrounds us so much so that even we feel the shaking, kind of like an aftershock. Your salvation, wisdom and knowledge surpass those passing and temporal treasures experienced in this mortal life.  We walk by faith and not by sight, so keep us steadfast in our times as we hold to You, our unshakable foundation, for there is no Rock like You, our God. Keep our eyes on the invisible God, for though we cannot see You we love You and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, as we await our future union in heaven. Amen.


Some more scenes from our visit in Southern California

We left the LA area last Friday afternoon and traveled back down the coast where we stayed several days in San Clemente, about 1/2 way between LA and San Diego.

Mission San Juan Capistrano
Sunday afternoon we visited the Mission San Juan Capistrano, established 200 years before we got married.

Bells at Mission San Juan Capistrano
We heard the pleasant ringing of these bells on the Mission throughout town (although there is another set of four bells as well they might have been ringing).

Buildings at Mission San Juan Capistrano
There are many interesting buildings at the Mission. Today is Saint Joseph’s Day and the official “Return of the Swallows Celebration” although a guide told us the swallows start coming in early March and actually, due to lack of nest building materials, no longer live on the mission. However we did see some fake nests demonstrating what they look like!

Mission San Juan Capistrano interior
Mission San Juan Capistrano Interior

Shoreline train in San Clemente California
A rail line runs along the shore through San Clemente. Saturday afternoon we rode a bicycle built for two on a path beside the ocean and this rail line. We don’t have a photo since we didn’t know how to take a selfie! However here’s one from a similar ride on a Delaware Shore trail.

Sunset in San Clemente California
Sunset in San Clemente California looking out over the long pier.
The small objects in the water are surfers!

Dusk scene in San Clemente California
We went for another walk in San Clemente Sunday evening. We did a lot of walking. Brooksyne wears an Omron Pedometer and calculates we walked nearly 50 miles during the course of our stay! Unfortunately we partook of way too much good food, as we ate out daily, which un-did alot of good we accomplished through our walking. Our food consumption outweighed our calorie consumption (no pun intended)!

Air Force One at Reagan Library
At the Reagan Library we toured the Air Force One.
The Library sits on a mountain and the cockpit faces a stunning view.

Tomorrow we will share our final set of photos from our trip. Today we resume our chaplain visits!

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“There Is No Rock Like Our God”  Video  Praise Band

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Bells ringing in Mission San Juan Capistrano


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.

Bird Of Paradise flower
Bird of Paradise flower
Also known as Crane flowers, these are in bloom all over the Southern California area. The BOP blossoms resemble brightly colored birds in flight.
Reunion with Ester in San Antonio 3/17/15Note: We arrived home last night after our trip to California. And it’s great to be home!

Yesterday, late morning at our layover in San Antonio, we joined up with Ester who had been visiting Brooksyne’s sister, much to her surprise. We also had an hour to visit with her sister, Elaine, who helped us arrange the surprise “run-in” with Ester who thought she was flying back all by herself. Stephen had shaven both his mustache and beard and Ester initially confused him with her Uncle Pat, Stephen’s middle brother. Stephen is still a bit wary of Ester flying on her own so we were able to fly back together to Baltimore. We got to sit together in the very back row. Ester took this selfie we share with you today.

“The Blessing Of Trustworthiness”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in people who are trustworthy” (Proverbs 12:22). “Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man?” (Proverbs 20:6).

In our last message we mentioned how we were often approached in the tourist area of Hollywood with vendors trying to give away (for a donation) a CD and others lining the streets hounding you to get on a tour bus (though many appeared to be vans with modified roofs cut off to provide open seating). The tour bus operators were especially forceful, seeking to persuade the many passing tourists of how much better their tour was than their competition. One said to me, “You know you can trust me.” I looked at him and said, “I don’t know you, so why would I be able to trust you?” (We didn’t take his tour.)

That got us thinking about trustworthiness and the wonderful attribute of God’s trustworthiness. But today we want to consider people’s trustworthiness. Are you a trustworthy person? How many times have you heard, “I give you my word.” There was a time when that used to mean something but not so much anymore. Now one’s word is spinned like a top and lying lips abound. In some instances when a statement is preceded by the words, “The truth of the matter is…” I already sense that it will be a lie.

Aircraft Carrier MidwayTrustworthiness is defined as being, “able to be relied on as honest or truthful” using this example, “leaving a spare key with a trustworthy neighbor”. We just did that, and after coming back from a long trip, we count it a real blessing to have trustworthy neighbors watch over our place and care for our pets! We, in turn, are entrusted with their house key and care for their household needs while they travel.

“When we are trustworthy, people can rely on us. We can be counted on to do what we say we will do. If we make commitments, we follow through on them. Being trustworthy also means that the words we utter are aligned with our intentions. We seek to maintain a level of transparency that lets other people feel comfortable, safe, and confident about who we are and what they can expect from us. We treat the trust of others as a sacred gift, knowing that in trusting us they make themselves vulnerable since we have the power to harm them.” *

Truthfulness and trustworthiness matter greatly to God. Our first daily text states, “The Lord detests lying lips.” Obviously lying lips are nothing new! But the further we get from the foundation of God’s Word and righteous living we witness less truthfulness and lack of trustworthiness.

“But He delights in people who are trustworthy.” Other versions state, “Those who act faithfully are His delight” (ESV) and “those who deal truthfully are His delight” (NKJV).

Thankfully we have known and now know many trustworthy people. These are generally the local people in our church and community and many local business dealings. Trustworthiness is proven over years of faithfulness, not assertions of “You can trust me”, or as the second verse states, “Many a man proclaims his own loyalty”.

One of my most treasured notes was a man commending my Dad, who at one time owned a small heating and air conditioning business in Belton Missouri. He was never what the world would call “successful” but years after his death my Mom received a letter from another businessman in Belton, MO. He testified to my Dad’s trustworthiness 35 years after he had installed a Carrier air condioning system in his business. In fact the A/C was still in operation as of his writing.

Today we urge each reader to consider the blessing of trustworthiness and to examine their life with this question, “Am I trustworthy?”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we don’t want to proclaim our own loyalty, but we give glory to You, when others testify of our loyalty, our trustworthiness, our dependability. Your Scripture teaches us to be people who are honest and dependable, who do to others as we would have them do to us. Living among such people makes day to day living so much more enjoyable, relationships more trustworthy, and dealings with those who do business a more fair and pleasant experience. You “detest lying lips but delight in people who are trustworthy”. We want to bring delight to You today and always, and we can do so by being people who are trustworthy. Through Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.

* Quote from this website with no attribution. (I slightly adapted some of this quote and realized afterwards that Stephen had quoted this paragraph from a website. – Brooksyne)

Recent example of trustworthiness from our recent trip: One afternoon we had just finished a bus tour, the kind you ride above the roofline, of the vehicle. Most had already unboarded and several were already walking up the street when a passenger behind us yelled out loud, “Hey, mam, you left your wallet on your seat.” No one answered, so he kept on yelling and holding the wallet high in the air, until the woman, already a distance from the bus, finally realized he was calling to her. Of course, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to tell him we admired his honesty and persistence in getting the woman’s attention. A less honest person could easily have kept it since no one but God would know the difference and he would likely have a stash of vacation money at his disposal, though it belonged to another.


Some more scenes from our visit in Southern California
(We will share these photos the next couple of days for those who may find our trip interesting. Since photos of the beauty of California abound we will seek to share perspectives not as often seen.)

Aircraft Carrier Midway
Aircraft Carrier Midway in San Diego Harbor
Last year we toured an aircraft carrier in Corpus Christi Texas so I didn’t try to get Brooksyne on this one! They claim it takes at least 4 hours to walk through the ship but for me it might be 6 hours as others have claimed. Across the Harbor was the active duty carrier, named after Ronald Reagan.

Broadway Street in Los Angeles
In our tour of LA downtown we saw plenty of modern high-rise buildings but we found this Broadway Street interesting. They purposefully keep it looking as it would have over 50 years ago so that it serves as a backdrop in many movies set in the “old days”.

Modern art in LA
Truth be told I am not much of a fan of modern art. I suppose I’m not sophisticated enough to appreciate it as some art critics do! Anyway, I did find this display interesting. A concrete trench was made and then a large boulder was placed over it. I wonder who paid for this creative idea?

A pleasant view entering Beverly Hills
A pleasant view entering Beverly Hills. What Brooksyne found especially interesting here is Oakhurst Street seen behind the “Beverly Hills City Limit” sign. The only Oakhurst she has seen is a very small community about a mile from her home in Tulsa where she grew up. It was so poor and rundown that much of it has now been demolished with the intent of rebuilding suitable housing. A far cry from the ostentatious Beverly Hills area we were walking through.

Beverly Hills nursery
Topiary Nursery near Beverly Hills.

Plaque in Ronald Reagan libraryWe enjoyed our visit to the Ronald Reagan Library and feel many will appreciate and likely miss the values expressed on this plaque.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“The Steps Of A Good Man”  Video  Musician not identified


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.

“Famous Or Faithful?

March 16, 2015

Seaview through Santa Monica Mountains (This photo will enlarge if clicked)View of Pacific Ocean through Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu.
(Click to enlarge)

Note: We have been visiting California for several days so these messages have not been posted daily due to our activities and a very sluggish travel computer we rarely use! We will resume regular posting upon our return home this week.

“Famous Or Faithful?

Note: Due to travel the podcast is not prepared for this message. The computer is way too slow!

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).

One more note! This message is longer than most. Biblical exposition and challenge begins at the *

Over the past week we have been visiting Southern California where we have experienced such pleasant temperatures. In fact we have gotten a bit spoiled, though reality check will soon take place as we return to our cooler climate tomorrow. We have been all over, including a bus tour of LA and Hollywood. We got off the bus and walked from Beverly Hills to Hollywood, a five mile distance, which gave us a much closer view of the distinctions of the area. The trees, shrubs and flowers that grow in this dessert-like climate are eye appealing everywhere we’ve been. The mountainous landscapes are grand, stunning, in fact. And, as would be expected, the shoreline views are downright inspiring. The Californians we’ve visited are very friendly and helpful to the many who are visiting the area.

Not surprisingly, Hollywood is about as strange a place that we’ve ever visited, although others might say, “strangeness is in the eyes of the beholder”! Whenever we walked down Hollywood Boulevard people were dressed in costumes mimicking movie characters along with their money purse collecting payment for their services, if you requested a photo with them. There were many hawking a tour in small open air conversion vans to see the stars and others insisting you take their music CD for a donation of any amount.

There were many, many homeless people in various states of alcohol, drug or mental impairment. Numerous times we walked along and would suddenly come upon a foot sticking out of a shrubbery landscaped area in front of a business. Upon further investigation we’d find a body lying there sleeping, usually with a bottle along side his stiff body. (We saw far more men than women in this condition.) It’s heartbreaking! Throughout the day many of these homeless would be talking to themselves or pretending to talk to someone else. Taking a walk in this area is a stark contrast to the walks we often write about in our quiet rural area.

Billy Graham star on Hollywood Boulevard Hollywood has an interesting tourist attraction called the “Walk of Fame” comprised of more than 2,500 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks. We walked through that area and saw many people searching for a particular star. In fact Ester gave us a list of those she’d like to see. There’s a lot of talk about seeing celebrities and that is what many aspire to when first arriving in Hollywood. I suppose every generation has had famous people but not until the age of mass media have we seen celebrities, both good and bad, like we do today.

When we took a bus tour the guide regularly announced places tourists would likely see celebrities. This was of little interest to us as we really don’t keep up with the celebrities of today, though admittedly I (Brooksyne) enjoy the stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age. However we did encounter one celebrity in a rather unusual way as we departed a bus tour and walked the five miles beginning with the walkway (in lead photo) from Beverly Hills to Hollywood.

Hollywood dogsFrom a distance I (Brooksyne) spotted a small dog that suddenly swelled into to a huge dog, with a lady blocking the full view. Weird, you say, but then we’ve seen a lot of weird sights so it has a way of diluting your typical way of looking at things. Of course, I moved in closer to clarify my view and then visited with the lady sitting by the dog(s). I told her my first impression and then she welcomed me to take a photo (to the left, though my initial sighting showed only the small dog’s head not the body as seen in the photo). We both had a good laugh as we texted the photo to her as a reminder of the strange visitor in town. The dog trainer warmly welcomed us to her “neck of the woods”.

Hollywood mastiffTurns out the English Mastiff is a celebrity dog featured on a number of TV shows and in various commercials including Petco. His name is Giovani and he weighs 165#. So, there’s our claim to spotting a celebrity in Hollywood! I was unsuccessful in getting Giovani to smile for the camera. I guess he prefers the silly kind of Facebook photo young people often post with his tongue sticking out. After all, he’s only three years old.

Years ago we passed a country church in Lancaster County with a thought-provoking message on their sign that simply stated, “Better to be faithful than famous”. Although there are some famous people that are also faithful many recognized as “famous” are certainly not faithful. Merely consider famous names in entertainment, sports and politics and of course even religion.

* British Bible teacher A.W. Pink stated “Faithful people have always been in a marked minority.”

But as true followers of Christ we have not been called to be famous, we have been called to be faithful. We’ve all been given a trust. The apostle Paul wrote, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). We are stewards of God’s truth and it is required that we be faithful. This is fundamentally expressed spiritually but in reality spiritual faithfulness is expressed in practical ways as well. Let us ask ourselves: Do we act in an irresponsible way when we think no one is looking? Are we faithful to our spouse and family? Are we faithful to our church and ministry responsibilities? What about our work related duties and financial commitments?

Each of us has been given a trust and it is required by God that we prove ourselves faithful with that trust. The lies, deceit, and broken promises that characterize unfaithfulness has darkened our society, fragmented the family unit, and destabilized the world. Countless lives have been crushed due to those who have been unfaithful to the trust given them.

Business owners, political figures, spiritual leaders, teachers, parents, on and on the list goes for each of us who are given a trust and must prove ourselves faithful. We start out by being faithful in the small things. Then we are entrusted with greater responsibility, recognizing that we seek God’s approval, above anyone else, for He is the Overseer of everything we do: “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

May the Lord help us to faithfully keep the commitments we make. In fact the greatest approbation we will ever receive is when we hear the words from our Lord, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). Indeed it’s definitely far better to be faithful than famous!

Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful,
May the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we have been given a trust and desire to prove ourselves faithful in all areas of our lives as evidenced in our responsibilities carried out here on earth. Being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us involves sacrifice, humbleness, repentance, and obedience which does not come easily, but is nevertheless required. As we walk steadily with You and prayerfully apply Scriptural principles we will be found faithful. We look to You in prayer coming to You through Jesus Christ our Lord in whose name we pray. Amen.

Watchman Nee wrote, “Long-lasting victory can never be separated from a long-lasting stand on the foundation of the cross.”


Some scenes from our visit in Southern California

California sunset at Santa Monica  3/13/15 (This photo will enlarge if clicked)
Sunset from Santa Monica along the Pacific Coastal Highway.
(Click to enlarge)

Tree-lined walkway in Beverly Hills
A pleasant walkway along Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills. We also walked down residential streets, each lined with only one species of tree. It was quite beautiful to see only one kind of tree lining the streets. The next street would have an altogether different look with a different kind of tree.

Hollywood character
We weren’t sure who this Hollywood character represented, surely a clown of sorts. One among so many “weird” sights we viewed as we walked several miles each day in the Hollywood/Beverly Hills area. Many of the homeless (perhaps the majority) carry bedrolls or blankets, others push shopping carts with six or eight stuffed trash bags hanging on the sides of their carts. A good number sleep with their faces flush against the sidewalk or rough ground. We felt helpless as onlookers and could only whisper a prayer that they would find their way home, and even more importantly, discover there is hope in this life through Christ Jesus.

Brooksyne at talent entrance to Hollywood hotel
OK, how’s this for being silly. Brooksyne had some fun with this shot and sent it to Ester who is intrigued with the stars of Hollywood.

West terminus of Route 66
The end of Route 66!
Brooksyne grew up and attended school within a block or two of Route 66. The route also goes right through Springfield, Missouri where we met in college. Imagine our delightful surprise when we saw “Route 66 End of the Trail” as we walked the pier in Santa Monica, CA. It is indeed the western terminus of old Route 66.

Piece from Berlin Wall at Reagan Library
We toured the Ronald Reagan Library. This is a section of the Berlin Wall.
It was an amazing tour and quite an experience to board Air Force One.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Find Us Faithful”  Video  Steve Green

“We’ll Be Faithful”  Video  Hosanna Music

Old Point Loma Lighthouse, Point Loma, CaliforniaOld Point Loma Lighthouse, Point Loma, California

Note: We are visiting California for several days so these messages will not be posted daily.

“The Duty Of The Lighthouse Keeper”

Note: Due to travel podcast not prepared for this message.

“With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation”’ (Acts 2:40). “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).

We have been visiting San Diego for several days. We both grew up in the middle of the country far from any ocean. When we lived in New England we were near the coast and frequently visited the ocean. Presently we live about three hours from the nearest shore point and try to get out about three or four times a year.

We enjoy many features of the coast as I suppose millions do. The last couple of days we’ve walked along the San Diego harbor and Pacific seashore on Coronado Island, as well as a full day trolley bus tour of San Diego. Of course we have already enjoyed some fresh seafood as well as another favorite, Mexican! We’ve done lots of walking which will help defray a few of the calories we’ve indulged in. Brooksyne uses a reliable pedometer and for the past couple days we’ve walked nearly ten miles a day; quite a contrast to the snow covered landscape we left behind that’s less conducive to the long walks we enjoy in the warmer temperatures.

Our favorite shore sighting is the lighthouse. If there is a lighthouse anywhere near our travels we try to go see it. Sunday afternoon we went to the Cabrillo National Monument which included a visit to the Old Point Loma lighthouse.

Lighthouses are generally viewed from the land looking out to sea. We see them for their architectural and historical value. It’s also inspiring to see a structure with a foundation laid in or near the deep sea that has weathered many a storm and yet stands strong decade upon decade. Lighthouses are popular tourist attractions, some even doubling as Bed & Breakfast spots throughout the country.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse, Point Loma, California But lighthouses were built for a specific function; to give warning.

Although I am aware that most receiving this encouragement message are followers of Christ, having accepted His forgiveness through the plan of salvation, I feel compelled to warn all. At the heart of Peter’s Pentecost message was, “With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation”’ (Acts 2:40). A powerful verse in the book of Hebrews states, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (2:3).

In a historical display at the Old Point Loma lighthouse we read this on a plaque regarding the duty of the Lighthouse keeper: “Above all, and without fail, the light must be kept burning brightly from sunset to sunrise.” Likewise, for those who are Lighthouse keepers of the Gospel, our duty is to “live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8b) and to “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11).

I urge you all to examine the state of your soul today. Are you saved from your sin and living to please the Lord?  If so, are You shining your light for Jesus as He has commanded, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify Your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:17)?

Today’s Scriptures are abundantly clear: we must warn the lost in this life and we must live exemplary lives as children of light. The salvation message must be shared with others now for it will be too late in the life hereafter since the kingdom of earth and the kingdom of heaven are eternally separate. Let’s spread the life-saving message of salvation to all who will hear, here and now. Let us faithfully discharge our duties as Lighthouse Keepers.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we who were once darkness, are now light in the Lord, through our salvation in Christ Jesus. We live as children of light partaking of the fruit of the light which consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth. We seek to find out what pleases You, rather than ourselves. The vast majority take no thought for their future life but live only for the “here and now”. They gather treasures that have no eternal value, that are washed away like the sand when the waves wash upon the shore. To their eternal demise they dismiss the treasures that lasts for all eternity; those which never perish, spoil or fade kept in heaven for believers who will later claim their treasure trove. Help us, as children of light, to be faithful in exposing the darkness of this world and the dangers that lie therein, warning those who travel alongside us to prepare not just for this life, but for all of eternity.  Amen.


Several photos of the San Diego area
(Most will enlarge when clicked)San Diego Bay with distant skyline
The bay and city skyline from Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma

Hotel Del Coronado (click to enlarge)
We walked the beautiful grounds of the magnificent Hotel Del Coronado

Hotel Del Coronado tree
Lots of interesting trees we don’t see in the East.

Old Town cactus (Click to enlarge)
All kinds of cactuses we definitely don’t see in the east!

Old Town San Diego
Old Town San Diego

Kansas City BBQ in San Diego
Seeing Kansas City in San Diego caught my eye immediately.
We enjoy some great authentic bbq including “burnt ends”


We left Mount Joy Saturday morning where the temps had been below zero during the night. What a tremendous difference arriving in San Diego that afternoon!

After a long day of chaplain visits last Friday, following our big snowstorm on Thursday, we took several photos as we traveled throughout the county. All these photos will enlarge if clicked upon. It was a beautiful snowfall!

Lancaster farm scene with snow fog 3/6/15 (Click to enlarge)
Early morning snow fog.

Lancaster farm scene after snowstorm 3/6/15 (Click to enlarge)
A snow-clad farm

Lancaster farm scene after snowstorm 3/6/15 (Click to enlarge)
Corn shocks in snow

Lancaster farm scene after snowstorm 3/6/15 (Click to enlarge)
Many of the plain folks had their laundry hanging. Look carefully for the line near the barn, the one strung on the side porch, and one was strung on the other side of the house. I would guess that a large family resides here.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“The Light House”  Video  The Crabb Family

“Let The Lower Lights Be Burning”  Video  Haven Quartet  Video  J. Ashley Milne  In this song believers are represented as the “lower lights”.

“Throw Out The Lifeline”  Video  Table Singers (Has a silent intro to 12 seconds)

Throw out the lifeline across the dark wave;
There is a brother whom someone should save;
Somebody’s brother! Oh, who then will dare
To throw out the lifeline, his peril to share?

Refrain:
Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is drifting away;
Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is sinking today.

Throw out the lifeline with hand quick and strong:
Why do you tarry, why linger so long?
See! he is sinking; oh, hasten today
And out with the life boat! Away, then, away!

Throw out the lifeline to danger-fraught men,
Sinking in anguish where you’ve never been;
Winds of temptation and billows of woe
Will soon hurl them out where the dark waters flow.

Soon will the season of rescue be o’er,
Soon will they drift to eternity’s shore;
Haste, then, my brother, no time for delay,
But throw out the lifeline and save them today.

This is the lifeline, oh, tempest-tossed men,
Baffled by waves of temptation and sin;
Wild winds of passion, your strength cannot brave,
But Jesus is mighty, and Jesus can save.

Jesus is able! To you who are driv’n
Farther and farther from God and from Heav’n,
Helpless and hopeless, o’erwhelmed by the wave,
We throw out the lifeline—’tis, “Jesus can save.”

This is the lifeline, oh, grasp it today!
See, you are recklessly drifting away;
Voices in warning, shout over the wave,
Oh, grasp the strong lifeline, for Jesus can save.


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.

“This Is The Day”

March 6, 2015

Psalm 118:24 with snow storm 3/5/15
The view down the farm trail across from our home during yesterday’s snow storm.

“This Is The Day”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.”This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm (118:24). “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25).

Psalm 118:24Many believers, since Psalm 118:24 was written, have lived with the Psalmist’s perspective. In fact many of us have sung the words of this Psalm set to music. In the church we served in northern Pennsylvania every time we asked for favorites during a song service Jane Gausman would always request this song. I expect she continues to sing it in heaven these days.

It’s a good perspective to live by; to recognize that each day is created by God and making it our resolve to rejoice and be glad for whatever God has in store for us. It’s also a great verse to memorize and quote to yourself and others. It’s fresh and applicable each morning.

The truth of the verse is the same regardless of whatever circumstances we may be in. Yesterday we had a heavy snowstorm and could enjoy it from the warmth of our home. However we read reports of people stuck for 12 hours in traffic in Kentucky and then the near tragic plane accident in New York.

But we recently read a story from church history that made us pause to consider the depths of this verse with a fresh perspective, especially in light of the horrific conditions many of our fellow Christians endure.

James Guthrie, was a preacher of the gospel in the Scottish town of Stirling. He was accused of disloyalty, for he had preached that Christ, not the Scottish king, should rule the church. Given the opportunity to recant he refused, thus he was sentenced to be hanged.

On the morning of June 1, 1661, the day of his execution, he rose about 4:00 A.M. for worship. When asked how he was, Guthrie replied, “Very well. This is the day that the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”*

Paul and Silas in prison In Philippi Paul and Silas had their robes torn off and were beaten with rods with many blows, before being thrown into prison (see Acts 16:22-24). We can probably agree they did not have a good day! “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25).

We don’t know what hymns of praise Paul and Silas were singing in Acts 16 when they were imprisoned. We know it wasn’t most all of the hymns we sing since at that point they wouldn’t have been written though they surely would have enjoyed songs like “Blessed Assurance”, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” and “It Is Well With My Soul”. An even more recently written song we think they might have enjoyed is the song “Blessed Be Your Name” based on Job’s life’s experience.

However the Psalms were considered the hymnbook for the ancient Israelites and people during the Bible times. Who knows, it is certainly possible that Paul and Silas found comfort and assurance in what we know as Psalm 118:24, “This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for this day, the day which You have made. Like the Psalmist, we look to You to “bring us word of Your unfailing love, for we have put our trust in You.” We expect good and not harm from Your unfailing love, so we struggle when the circumstances of our lives would appear otherwise. As we mature in our faith help us to weigh the experiences of our life here on earth with the eternal outcome of all the blessings You have waiting for us in heaven. Help us to recognize that there is much we endure on this side that serves as an example to others such as the jailers and other prisoners who looked on when Paul and Silas sang in prison. The fruit of the spirit can be exemplified in believers who rise each morning with the joyful proclamation, “This is the day which the lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Amen.

See Psalms 118:25, 143:8

* More on the story of Guthrie’s execution:  “James Guthrie’s five year old son was brought to him. Taking the boy on his knee, he said, ‘William, the day will come when they will cast up to you that your father was hanged. But be not thou ashamed, Lad. It is in a good cause.’

Guthrie soon mounted the scaffold and preached for an hour to the assembled multitude. Then he was hanged, after which his head was hacked off and affixed on Netherbow Port. In coming months little William, sneaking away to steal glances at his father’s decaying head, would run home crying, ‘I’ve seen my father’s head! I’ve seen my father’s head!’ Its impact wasn’t lost, for William learned to lean on Christ, to spend time alone in prayer, and to excel in school. He might have become a powerful minister but for an early death from illness.

Meanwhile Guthrie’s bleached skull looked down on the throngs of Netherbow Port for 27 years until a brave student climbed up, removed it, and buried it with reverence.”

Story taken from Feb. 19th entry “On This Day” – a book written by Robert J. Morgan.


Some more photos from yesterday’s snow storm.Home photo during snow storm 3/5/15View of our home from Kraybill Church Road
(Mollie is in the photo at the far right and sure enjoyed playing in the snow!)

Backyard photo during snow storm 3/5/15
Backyard

View up Kraybill Church Road during snow storm 3/5/15
The view up Kraybill Church Road.
We had regular plow service and the road remained open

View out from barn door during snow storm 3/5/15
View from barn door during snow storm 3/5/15

And what a blessing!

Neighbor Leon plowing us out after snow storm 3/5/15
The snow was so deep we were homebound until late last night when our neighbor Leon cleared us out with his big John Deere snowblower.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made”  Video  Sung as many of us recall!

“This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made”  Video  A more formal choral version

“This Is The Day” (A Wedding Song)  Video  written by Scott Wesley Brown

“Today I Choose”  Video  Brian Doerksen

Here are some songs we think Paul and Silas would have enjoyed singing:

“Blessed Be Your Name”  Video  Matt Redman

“Blessed Assurance”  Video

“What A Friend We Have In Jesus”  Video  Voice Of Praise

“It Is Well With My Soul”  Video  Gaither homecoming singers

Contemporary music: Virtually all the music the church sings, including “old” hymns, was written in the last 200 years, a period comprising some 10% of the church’s history! From Paul and Silas’s perspective about all our music is contemporary.


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.

Sunset with 1 Corinthians 15:58 (Click to enlarge)Beautiful sunset across from our house.
Today we are getting a big snowstorm so it looks like we will have the blanket covered farm field a bit longer!
(Photo taken by our neighbor, Doug)
Click on photo for larger view.

“God Leads His Dear Children Along”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters” (Psalm 23:2). “The path of life leads upward for the wise” (Proverbs 15:24). “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

Travis CottrellWe enjoy listening to a variety of Christian music finding it a means of reinforcing our faith. The other day Brooksyne heard an old hymn sung by Travis Cottrell and called it to my attention. We recall singing it along with many other songs that are rarely heard today. The song, “God Leads Us Along” reflects on God’s leading throughout the seasons of life, both good and bad. We provide a link to the Cottrell version below and encourage our readers to listen.

Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,
God leads His dear children along;
Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night,
God leads His dear children along.

Our ministry has often taken us to the side of one’s deathbed. We may gather with the family or at times stand around the bed by ourselves. Brooksyne almost always quotes Psalm 23 and it is not unusual to have people recite it as well or at least part of it. She also softly sings a familiar hymn.

Harper HullOur most memorable experience in this regard was at the deathbed of Harper Hull. At 88 years of age Harper still worked full-time as an accountant at a business we serve as chaplains. As a young man, in 1949 he and his business partner purchased a boat company in New York and eventually moved it to Lancaster.  By 1968 it was one of the largest producers of inboard motor boats in the world, employing over 700 people. More importantly, Harper was a devout follower of Christ and had lived a life of integrity.

He was stricken with a brain infection and when we last visited him at Willow Valley we could see from his grave coloring, the amount of oxygen he was receiving, and his comatose state that his time on earth was soon coming to an end. His family, weary from the long struggle that ensued as they sat with him day after day, had just left to go home.

We picked up his well-worn Bible filled with his personal notes from sermons and his own studies and read a portion from it. Then Brooksyne, Ester and I unhurriedly quoted the 23rd Psalm knowing that if Harper could hear us he would recognize and find comfort in every precious word that flows from this famous Comfort Psalm.

Brooksyne then took Harper’s hand and began to sing, “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”. She often selects this hymn because of the last stanza that seems so appropriate when one’s soul is about to depart from this life.  It’s a hymn that she sung to my father and her father as they lay on their deathbeds and many others over our nearly 40 years of ministry, including two women over the past couple weeks who are now residing in heaven.

There was no evidence at all that Harper was even aware of our presence. But the last verse brought about an unexpected response that brings such a tender memory even as we consider our experience many years later.

As she sang the last verse,

“I’m so glad I learned to trust Him, Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend,
and I know that Thou art with me, Wilt be with me to the end”

Harper brought his lips together and mouthed to her the word, “Amen.” He didn’t use his voice nor did he even whisper. She would have missed his response if she had not fixed her eyes on his face as she was singing the hymn. In Harper’s “place of quiet rest” where only God’s Spirit could enter and, we are assured he heard every word, the prayer we prayed, the Scriptures we quoted, and the inspirational music God wanted him to hear.

What blessing his unanticipated response brought to our visit. As always, we who seek to refresh others in their time of need are ourselves refreshed. We commended Harper’s soul to Jesus before we left his room. The great heavenly transfer took place about ten hours later when Harper’s final war with pain and death gave way to everlasting victory. The shaded veil that hung between heaven and earth was lifted and Harper clearly saw the lights of glory and received his initiation into the house of the Lord where he now dwells forever!

Harper lived for Christ. As a result he experienced the wonderful truth that “to die is gain”. He could testify and surely is now from his heavenly residence that “God leads His dear children along”.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we pray for those who are walking in the valley of the shadow of death with a loved one today. Give them deep abiding peace and calm assurance in place of worry and fear as they’re confronted with the circumstances that surround them this day.  We pray for their loved one who is waging war between life and death, that they will find a place of quiet rest near to Your heart, O God; a place where Your sweet Spirit ministers in ways where human words fall short.  Help us to trust You for that which we can’t understand and to search the Scriptures for that which You want us to more fully comprehend on this side about life and death.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.


Don and Mary Weber 7/7/13 (Click to enlarge)I received word that my Uncle Don passed away this week. He was my last Uncle on both sides of my family. I wrote a message honoring Uncle Don and Aunt Mary in January. He happened to read it and later called me, leaving a voice mail that I now treasure. I returned his call and visited for few minutes. A little thing then, but now that memorable conversation will serve me for years to come. The photo to the left was taken during our last visit to their home near Louisville Kentucky in 2013. When Aunt Mary called me she was so pleased to inform me that several weeks ago they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Let me encourage each reader in two regards:

1) Write a tribute to those you love and esteem. I have encouraged this for many years. Information on writing tributes is here.

2) It just happens I saved Don’s last voice mail. I was going through my voice mails last night deleting old voice mails from my phone and saw it. I had forgotten all about it. It is a blessing when a loved one passes away and we have a vocal reminder.


Diligent in BusinessThis is a plaque Harper had on a shelf in his office. We often discussed the phrase, “Diligent In Business… Serving The Lord.” It is based on a verse from Romans 12:11 that states, “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (KJV). However I have not been able to find a translation that uses the precise same wording. I would conjecture that’s it’s either a phrase based on the verse or perhaps from a translation no longer used. Either way it sure is a Scriptural concept! I did find the phrase in a sermon by Charles Spurgeon titled “Serving The Lord With Gladness” (pdf). (Note also the model of the Conestoga wagon behind the plaque. The Conestoga wagon, used by scores of settlers heading west in the pioneer days, was made right here in Lancaster County, named after the Conestoga River.)

We wrote a daily encouragement message about Harper which tells more about him. Among many accomplishments he was the founder and long-time president of “The Trojan Yacht Company” here in Lancaster County.

Argonaught from Se Hunt (made by the Trojan Boat Company, Lancaster, PA)Interestingly the Argonaut yacht was the yacht featured in the weekly TV series of “Sea Hunt” from the early sixties. It was constructed by Harper’s company.

I recall how much Harper enjoyed talking about his hobby of racing remote controlled hobby yachts with his fellow residents at the Willow Valley Retirement Community.

Harper left a lasting impact on many and I am sure some reading this will know him. Rick Steudler, a friend of ours now in his sixties, spoke of Harper’s involvement in Sunday School when he was a boy. Harper served as a Sunday School teacher and superintendent. Indeed, “Only one life will soon be passed, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Here’s the Wikipedia article about the company that Harper founded.

I preached a message at a nursing home and shared an illustration about Harper Hull. Afterward I walked through the room greeting the residents and one man told me he had worked for Harper. He fondly recalled that each day Harper left his office and walked out into the plant to greet each employee by name, and this was no small company. Another resident informed me that he had known Harper through his association with CBMC, a Christian businessman’s organization.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“God Leads Us Along”  Video  Travis Cottrell We really enjoy this version

“Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus”  Video   The Nelons

“He Leadeth Me”  Video  The Martins

“God Leads Us Along”  Video  Gaither Vocal Band (a more traditional version)

Hymn Background:  The author of this hymn, George Young, was a carpenter and a pastor.  He would often say, “He does the leading and we do the following.”  Mrs. Young would say years later, “Oh, sometimes we didn’t have too much of this world’s goods…but we always had so much of Jesus.”  He didn’t make much money in either profession.  Most of his life was spent in small farming communities.  Finally, however, he and his wife were able to build their own home, the fulfillment of a life’s dream. They moved in and  shortly afterwards left town to hold a revival elsewhere.  Upon returning to their dream home they found a heap of ashes. All their worldly goods and cherished possessions were gone. A thug, upset with George’s preaching, had set fire to their house, and it was reduced to ashes.

As George gazed at the ruins, he recounted the precious possessions fire could never destroy – his family, his relationship with Christ, his ministry, his eternal home. Then and there, the words to “God Leads Us Along” began forming in his mind. Within a few days, he had written all three stanzas, The year was 1903. The refrain reminds us that we all experience trials that vary in origin and in intensity but His blood provides for our greatest need which gives us all a song even in the night season:

“Some through the waters, some through the flood, some through the fire, but all through the blood. Some through great sorrow but God gives a song, in the night season and all the day long.”

Around 1942, Haldor Lillenas decided to track down George Young’s widow and find out more. He got an address in a small town and, driving there, he stopped at a gas station to ask for directions. When the attendant saw the address, he said, “Why sir, that’s the County Poor House, up the road about three miles. And Mister, when I say poor house, I really mean poor house!”

Not knowing what to expect, Lillenas made his way there. He found Mrs. Young, a tiny, elderly woman, in surroundings that were far from congenial. However, she radiated the joy of the Lord, and spoke of how He’d guided her and her husband over many years. Then, she exclaimed, “Dr. Lillenas, God led me here! I’m so glad He did, for you know, about every month someone comes into this place to spend the rest of their days…So many of them don’t know my Jesus. I’m having the time of my life introducing them to Jesus! Dr. Lillenas, isn’t it wonderful how God leads!”

(Story background pulled from several sources including Robert B. Morgan, “Then Sings My Soul”).

Finally Today:  It’s time for Snow Ice Cream. Here’s the recipe for those interested:

Preparing snow ice cream 2/6/10
A tradition in the Weber home after a big snow storm is snow ice cream.

SNOW ICE CREAM
1 can cold evaporated milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. maple syrup (optional)
10 cups clean, cold snow (or to taste)

Mix evaporated milk on high till it whips and is thickened (as shown above).  Add 2 eggs and mix.  Add sugar and vanilla and maple syrup.  Add flavorings if desired, strawberries, chocolate, pineapple, coconut, nuts, etc.  Best when eaten immediately.  Freeze leftover and eat as soon as possible.

Preparing snow ice cream 2/6/10

After mixing the ingredients it’s ready to serve!  (This recipe works best with dry snow.  If it’s a heavy moist snow it melts quickly and compromises the overall quality of the ice cream.)

You could also substitute the evap. milke with sweetened condensed (delete the sugar in recipe). But the first recipe, in my opinion, is the best!


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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