“Graphic Images”

January 27, 2016

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse (photo by Harold Blichfeldt)
Sturgeon Point Lighthouse along Lake Huron near Harrisville, Michigan
Photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt
For a larger desktop size with Scripture click here.
“Graphic Images”

Note: Today’s message is longer and admittedly a bit disjointed but hopefully contains some seed for thought. It is prepared late Tuesday evening since we have chaplain visits on Wednesday.

Message Summary: Let us continue to serve our crucified and risen Lord. And let us continue to remember suffering people all around the world, the unborn children, and others subject to violence.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?” (Galatians 3:1). “They invent ways of doing evil” (Romans 1:30). “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way” (Ephesians 4:19,20).

My Dad’s brother-in-law, my Uncle Henry, who passed away about 20 years ago, served in World War 2 and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. In fact we are presently reading “Hitler’s Last Days”, and are right at the chapter dealing with the Battle of the Bulge. Uncle Henry was among the first wave of liberators at Germany’s concentration camps. He personally witnessed the horrible scenes. He had photos of the camps which my Aunt Mary (Dad’s sister), for some reason I don’t understand, threw away when he died!

Holocaust MuseumWe both enjoy studying history and in the course of life have visited many museums. By far the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC is the most graphic and solemn museum I’ve ever visited, or maybe I should write “I’ve ever experienced”. Hundreds of people slowly walk through the multiple floors of the museum, which depict the various stages of the holocaust. Apart from the slow shuffling of feet on the hard floors one hears only periodic gasps followed by “Oh, my.” Those attempting to suppress quiet sniffles are heard throughout the corridor. The museum is a graphic reminder of man’s evil.

Probably the most moving part of the Holocaust Museum experience is observing a display that shows photos from the most inhumane aspects of the holocaust. To see it you have to make an effort because the designers put a privacy wall around it and you have to look over this wall and down to view the monitors and the grainy early video. Man’s inhumanities to his fellow man are astounding. Amazingly, just over 70 years ago Hitler and his minions sought to keep these activities in the concentration camps secret. And now there are many who want to deny it really happened.

This evil and inhumanity continues today. Just consider the horrific videos coming out of the Middle East posted by ISIS. Or the graphic video games and movies which surely dull the senses of those who partake. Scarcely a day goes by in our area without some report of violence.

On a national level we listened to Pastor Saeed in an interview last night with Greta Van Susteran. He was held prisoner and abused for years in Iran after he built house churches and an orphanage for homeless children. The judge falsely accused him of trying to use Christianity to change the government of Iran which he was not. But this gave them an excuse to imprison and abuse him.

Consider the graphic photos showing dismembered and chemically scalded preborn children; “products” of abortion. The abortionists and their deluded supporters hate these images, claiming they incite violence! What astounding blindness and hypocrisy.

But today let us examine a graphic image In Scripture.

Galatians 3:1 Today’s text begins in an interesting way, a strong rebuke by Paul to the Galatians: “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?”  We dealt with this portion in yesterday’s message. Today let us consider the rest of Galatians 3:1, “before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?”

We have no photos of the crucifixion of our Lord, only the visual depictions of artists, who lived many hundreds of years after the Event and generally likely understate the horror of the scene. Several years ago the “Passion of the Christ” film very likely more accurately conveyed the real historic event.

The Galatians had not been there and most certainly had not seen any movies or probably any artistic depictions. Yet Paul declares to them, “before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.” The Living Bible words it, “For you used to see the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death as clearly as though I had waved a placard before you with a picture on it of Christ dying on the cross”.

What descriptive preaching this must have been! This makes me wonder whether Paul himself had been a witness at the Crucifixion although the Scripture is silent on this and I have never seen it considered. Is it possible that Peter or another earlier eyewitness had been to this region and shared the story clearly portraying Jesus Christ’s crucifixion? We just don’t know.

Today let us continue to serve our crucified and risen Lord. And let us continue to remember suffering people all around the world, the unborn children, and others subject to violence.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we pray that the horrors of war, human trafficking, and abuse on many fronts not deter us from seeking to live an upright and godly life while standing with and praying for those who are personally affected by such acts of evil. We pray to Jesus, our Mediator, who is the supreme example of One who suffered unjustly yet remained faithful in His testimony, in His love toward His evildoers, and in His mission to provide salvation to all who call upon His name. We thank You for accepting His gift of forgiveness on our behalf. Amen.


Yesterday I alluded to a controversy at Wheaton College and placed up a link concerning the matter (see here).

David Penley, a friend for many years who is a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary observed this paragraph from the article. “Calling for peaceful disagreement on theological points such as views on the Triune God, the Creed and the Virgin Birth, she pleaded: “Let there be unity in our diversity of views about all of the above. My wearing of the hijab as an act of advent devotion has certainly caused some to question the sincerity of my devotion. To those who question the authenticity of my faith, I love you.”

David writes, “Does she believe in any of the basic tenets of our faith? The argument about unity has been misused far too often. Unity, yes. But not at the cost of God’s Truth.  Sounds like she needs to be teaching somewhere more like Harvard or Yale.”

I wrote back to David, “I think more than a few of our “Christian” college teachers aspire to teaching at Yale, Harvard, etc and the prestige of that form of academia. I think many are more interested in being approved and accepted by those in these circles than remaining true to the Bible, which many in academia mock.”

David and his wife Sabra have a wonderful writing ministry at Simply One


From Brooksyne

Dinner with lady friends 1/26/16
I invited some friends to dinner last night. Each provided a dish and most prepared a new recipe using healthy, lean ingredients to help us get the year off to a good start – health wise. It was a nice time to fellowship and share together. Rochelle, the youngest among us, made a spaghetti squash casserole that was delicious and was voted by others as the top five star dish! And of course she won a prize for her creativity and effort!

Dinner table 1/26/16


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“At The Cross”   Video  Gaither Vocal Band

Pastor Saeed interview: This is about six minutes and is the first interview Pastor Saeed has given telling of his awful experience in the Iranian prison.

Today’s photo of the solitary tree and winter scene was taken in Michigan by our friend Howard Blichfeldt, a professional photographer from the Pittsburgh area and committed Christian. More samples of his photographs are on his website.


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

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

Snow storm inside view 1/24/16
Here’s the view we had from inside our house late yesterday afternoon.
“The Danger Of Being Bewitched”

Message Summary: There’s a lot of bewitching going on and a lot of people are being ferhoodled. We must be vigilant in guarding our hearts and keeping our minds clear. A timeless verse in this regard is our second daily text. “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?” (Galatians 3:1a). “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray” (1 Peter 4:7).

Ferhoodle The other day Brooksyne and I were speaking with Marlin who is a long time Pennsylvania Dutch native (his grandparents were Amish and he still has Amish family members). He used “ferhoodled” in a sentence he spoke and he must have noticed our questioning look. He followed with, “Ferhoodled? You’ve never heard that word before?” We knew instantly that it was Pennsylvania Dutch but didn’t know its meaning.

He chuckled and explained, “It essentially means confused.” According to an online definition it means to confuse or mix up such as “Don’t ferhoodle the things in that drawer.” There’s a book for sale on Amazon titled “Ferhoodled English, a Collection of Quaintly Amusing Expressions Heard Among the Pennsylvania Dutch Folks” Adding to it’s folksy value is that it’s described as “Unpaginated, approx. 25, stapled booklet.”

Later that morning I met an Amishman at a worksite and asked him about the word. He pronounced it for me slowly with his distinctive Dutch accent and I thought it would be neat to get a recording from an authentic Amishman but I got ferhoodled and couldn’t figure out how to turn on the recorder on my smart phone.

It seems to me there’s a lot of ferhoodling going on in our world even among those who confess Christ as Lord. There’s certainly no shortage of ferhoodling going on in the political realm but it is true in many other areas as well. We think the whole world is being ferhoodled!

Brooksyne and I went to college at a small Midwestern Bible College that certainly would not have been reckoned as “elite”. At that time Wheaton College in Illinois would have been considered an elite type Christian college. Yet if you are following current events and have any sense of discernment it’s become, like most “elite” institutions of higher learning, whether secular or Christian, a ferhoodled mess. I contend among the nuttiest stuff imaginable comes out of the academic world! (See below for link if you are not familiar with the controversy at Wheaton College.)

Galatians 3:1 Today’s text begins in an interesting way, a strong rebuke by Paul to the Galatians: “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?”

“O foolish Galatians” The apostle Paul’s words are more forward and indicting than endearing and winsome! He was specifically addressing their return to law-based justification rather than faith through grace.

But in fact we too need powerful words to the effect, “You foolish Americans…” In our case it may not be the same issue as Paul was confronting in Galatia but rather our nation’s rapid departure from God’s ways and the growing confusion that results. Of course this message is not limited to America but applies anywhere our readers receive this.

“Who has bewitched you?”  Paul is speaking here of the Judaizers, a teaching of that time that denied the sufficiency of faith and grace for salvation. Bewitched is an infrequently used word found only here in many versions but was also written concerning the sorcerer Simon in Acts 8 (KJV). “But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one” (Acts 8:9). (That sure sounds like some politicians!!!) “And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries” (Acts 8:11).

The Greek word here in Galatians is “ebasken” and means “to mislead by pretenses, as if by magic arts; to fascinate; to influence by a charm.” According to the “Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament” the word means “to cast a magic spell, to seek to bring damage to a person through an evil eye or through a spoken word”.

There’s a lot of bewitching going on and a lot of people are being ferhoodled. We must be vigilant in guarding our hearts and keeping our minds clear. A timeless verse in this regard is our second daily text. “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, there is so much ferhoodling today that it’s often difficult to separate fact from fiction, objective truth from that which is twisted or spun to one’s preference. It’s easy to get caught up with the issues of our day since we hear about them continuously via media, public places and even in our homes. The repeated bashing, disregard and disrespect from those who oppose Biblical truth and lifestyle can weigh us down. It can ferhoodle us and, if we’re not on our guard, it can even shift our loyalty from You, our one true God. Far too many once considered the words of Jesus, “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life…” to be the only way to heaven as He proclaimed, but they now declare there are many ways to heaven. Father, we ask that You keep the Scripture ever before us. Engraft it in our hearts and minds enabling us to, “be clear minded and self-controlled so that we can pray” when we read or hear messages that seek to destroy our faith, especially when it may come from supposedly elite Christian institutions and leaders who have been esteemed by believers but now claim to have come into “new light”, a result of looking to the world rather than the Word. Let us not be fooled by the message or the messenger no matter their credentials, for Your Word stands true for all time and all generations. Amen.


Some More Winter Scenes from Our Place

Foggy cloud after snow storm 1/25/16
A low cloud over the snowy field across from our home.

House after snow storm 1/25/16
Due to heavy snowfall and drifting we have lots of weight on our roof! Thankfully it’s melting off today.

Kraybill Church Road view after snow storm 1/25/16
The view looking up Kraybill Church Road.

Snow ice cream 1/23/16
The day before the storm I made sure I had evaporated milk in the fridge ready to whip up when the snow fell. Ester is crazy about the snow ice cream so I ended up making 3 batches over the weekend. Two very tasty and rich batches and then one using skimmed evap. milk sweetened with splenda. It was OK, very few calories, but less on taste.
For directions click here and scroll down for recipe

Snow storm buried cars 1/25/16
Yesterday Ester had work at her job at Darrenkamps Market. The roads were passable but coming home last night we passed buried cars on Donegal Street in Mount Joy.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“The Voice Of Truth”   Video  Casting Crowns

Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Issue at Wheaton College

See here for information about the booklet “Ferhoodled English, a Collection of Quaintly Amusing Expressions Heard Among the Pennsylvania Dutch Folks”

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

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

“Digging Out”

January 25, 2016

Snowy front view 1/24/16
A sunny view from our front porch yesterday following the big storm.
(Click for larger view)
“Digging Out”

Message Summary: God who began the good work in us is fully committed to its completion which will come about when we draw our final breath. May the Word of God help us dig our way through the stormy messes that could easily slow us down or even trap us from reaching the other side of victory.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me” (Psalm 138:8). “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

Shoveling snow Our weekend snow storm, officially named Jonas, dropped over 2 feet of snow leaving Lancaster County and millions of others along the Eastern Seaboard with lots of snow to shovel. People began digging their way out yesterday and continue to do so today. We’re thankful our neighbor Leon and his son Jandon came over with two big tractors Saturday evening to clear our long driveway. We actually enjoyed being hunkered down on Saturday and watching the storm. Thankfully we never lost electric power which eliminates all our heat sources and water. There were a lot of cancellations with many spending yesterday digging out.

Yesterday our church service was cancelled, as were over 200 churches in our area, but I actually took on the chore of digging out and clearing a path around our van so if needed I could get out. Originally Ester was scheduled to go to work in the afternoon though she was later notified that the store was closed. Today she goes back to work and I am sure the store will be busy!

Digging out of debt “Digging out” is a phrase we typically use to describe our shoveling mounds of snow. But “digging out” is also figuratively used in other areas of life such as “digging out of debt”. Our digging out from the messy storms of life along with our own personal messes we have made will require great direction, diligence and duration.

Digging out can be a long process since many pile upon themselves layer after layer of poor decisions that have brought about years of sorrow and regret. God offers forgiveness and a new start, but in life and ministry we are all digging out or have dug out of something and hopefully are helping others dig out as a consequence of redemption.

Consider our life being a project; a long-term, lifetime project. What tremendous confidence the Psalmist expresses in the first daily text. I want to appropriate this truth to my life and encourage you to do the same. Read it slowly and consider its personalized truth. “The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me.” The KJV states, “The LORD will perfect that which concerns me.” The NASV reads this way, “The LORD will accomplish what concerns me.”

Philippians 1:6 God started the redemption work when we placed our trust in Christ. For some it’s a new process, for others it’s been over one’s life time. But when God starts His redemption work in our life rest assured that He will complete it. Paul expressed this to the Philippians, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

I believe Paul was directing the believers’ attention to Jesus who works in our lives and perfects our walk as we keep our eyes on Him. Whatever mess we are in when we turn to Christ He can dig us out! Paul traveled continuously starting churches and returning for visits so that he could inspire, instruct, and when needed rebuke those who in were in error.  Surely, at the end of each visit, a number of them wondered how they could grow in their faith walk without their leader’s presence.

Pastors, teachers, evangelists, and lay leaders are the human messengers God uses to advance His kingdom and to mature His people.  But God’s work is seen individually in those who seek after Him in their own devotional time, through Christian service, and through the daily experiences of life where we especially learn about Him. What a wonderful joy to know that the work of God in our lives is more than just a temporary project based upon a particular Bible study we’re attending or whatever godly leader instructs us.

The good news is that God who began the good work in us is fully committed to its completion which will come about when we draw our final breath. May the Word of God guide and sustain us as we dig our way through the stormy messes that could easily slow us down or even trap us from reaching the other side of victory.

The good work which God began He begins in the individual heart.  It will be completed over our lifetime and it will be fulfilled according to His purpose and His time!

If the struggle you’re facing is slowly replacing your hope with despair;
Or the process is long and you’re losing your song in the night.
You can be sure that the Lord has His hand on you,
Safe and secure, He will never abandon you.
You are His treasure and He finds His pleasure in you.

He who began a good work in you.
He who began a good work in you
Will be faithful to complete it. He’ll be faithful to complete it.
He who started the work will be faithful to complete it in you.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, here I am again; Your work in progress. Though I committed my life to you many years ago the finished work will not be revealed until I draw my final breath on this side. In the midst of my struggles, failures, and distrust I remain confident that You will complete the work that began the day I surrendered my life to You. You accepted me as I was and You lovingly began the reshaping of my life to reflect Your own nature. Not only are You continuing the good work You began, but You are digging me out of the attitudes and actions that weaken my faith and harm my Christian testimony. I thank You that You will fulfill Your purpose for me this day and all the days of my life as I commit all my ways to You. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.


Some Scenes from Our Place

Snow storm front view 1/23/16
Here’s the front view we had on Saturday afternoon during the storm.

Snow storm deck view 1/23/16
Our side deck after Mollie diligently made a path to the deck steps.

Mollie playing in snow storm 1/23/16
The heavy snow storm did not keep Mollie from wanting to play on Saturday! It only made her more eager since “Find the Frisbee” through inches of snow was the perfect game for her. She still tried to catch the frisbee in the air if she could get there in time.

Snow storm 1/23/16
Here’s the lower door I kept cleared out along with the path to my barn.

Snow storm tractor 1/23/16
What a blessing to see the big snow blower come roaring in on Saturday evening!

View of vehicles and barn following snow storm 1/24/16
Sunday morning it was bright and clear and I began digging out.

Mollie playing in backyard snow 1/24/16
On Sunday afternoon Mollie played with her rings in our back yard.

Bicycle ride following storm 1/24/16
After digging out I even took a short bike ride but didn’t stay on the road long since it was very cold and I didn’t outfit my bike with snow tires! (Notice the planter in the forefront with the buildup of about 28″ of snow.)


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“He Who Began A Good Work”   Video   Steve Green

Just for fun: Ester is developin some film-making skillls, thanks to helps from Iphone software, as evidenced by this one minute trailer about an upcoming movie featuring her border collie Mollie. Video

Lancaster Central Market 1/22/16
I had asked the young Amish girls staffing the stand at the Central market and thought it would make a good quiz so on Friday we asked our readers if anyone could tell us what this sign says. The answer is… “Come Eat” A colorful memory from our current pastor’s wife was during the years they pastored in Pennsylvania’s Big Valley region with lots of Pennsylvania Dutch. “When we pastored in Belleville, the Deacon would often tell the people to Kom-Essa when we had carry in meals.” Thanks for the many correct responses.

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

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

“The Sanctity Of Life”

January 22, 2016

Lancaster Central Market 1/22/16
This morning as we prepare for the storm we stopped by the Lancaster Central Market established in 1730, the oldest continuously operating farmer’s market in the country.
“The Sanctity Of Life”

Message Summary: Today, regardless of where we live or what stage of life, let us recognize and contend for the sanctity of life! We will make a difference!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy” (Luke 1:44).

Snow forecast map 1/22/16Today we are bracing for a big storm here in the Northeast with up to 2 or more feet of snow forecast for our area beginning this evening. Snow storms are a big deal in our area and has sure been a topic of discussion the last several days with the local authority being Joe Calhoun, a local weatherman. But today, like every year since 1974, tens of thousands will gather in Washington DC for the annual “March for Life”. Most assuredly, regardless of the weather, there will be a large crowd.

My first exposure to the Pro-Life movement was back in 1975 only two years after the Supreme Court decision known as Roe v Wade. A speaker came to our college and I still recall the passion in his presentation. An obstetrician, Dr. John Willke,* spoke to a handful of students in the basement of Bowie Hall at the small Midwestern College we attended. Dr. Willke, who passed away last year, is considered the father of the Pro-life movement.

I have participated in the March many times beginning back in the eighties when I served a church in northern Pennsylvania. Although I did not go this year I thank the Lord for those who literally stand and march for life.

Last year I went with my older brother and three years ago with Brooksyne. It’s a wearisome undertaking though I live relatively close. For me it’s just a couple of hours away. But busses come in from all over the country. For many years my Aunt Mary, a devout Catholic, joined a group from western Missouri. Waiting for the pre-march rally, the peaceful march itself, and then the long walk back to the bus is quite exhausting and it’s often very cold in Washington at this season!

We may wonder if our efforts make any difference when we take a visible stand for righteousness and against evil. Elijah wondered that on Mount Carmel. Though he’d just witnessed a mighty demonstration by Almighty God he felt alone and  exclaimed, “I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too” (1 Kings 19:10). But God spoke to Elijah: “Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel–all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal” (1 Kings 19:18).

As we stand for Christ and reject the baals of our day we might feel alone but God will always have a reserve of faithful and devoted followers! Let us be among them.

Unborn babyPostmodernism and progressivism have contributed greatly to the devaluing of life in our age. We would expect “Consumer Reports”, a magazine that reviews consumer products, to be apolitical but years ago it had a review that candidly dealt with birth control and also touched on the subject of abortion. According to the CR review the procedure is said to remove “uterine contents.” Is that a new low in Orwellian doublespeak or what! Look at the photo to the right of a preborn baby in the uterus and say with a straight face, “That’s just uterine contents.”

The word “infant” is a very interesting Greek word, “brephous”. It is the word used in our daily text to describe John while he was in his mother’s womb. “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy” (See here). John was not simply “uterine contents” but a tiny developing baby, who grew up to make a mighty impact in fulfilling the purpose for which God made him.

There’s another use of this word brephous in a powerful truth expressed by Paul in 2 Timothy when he writes, “how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures” (2 Timothy 3:15). Timothy had a godly mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). They apparently made known the Holy Scriptures to Timothy even as an infant. Timothy was impacted by the Holy Scriptures from infancy, which certainly is prenatal development as well. Even many in the world recognize the intricate development that takes place in the womb, not only physically but in many other ways as well.

Today, regardless of where we live or what stage of life, let us recognize and contend for the sanctity of life! We will make a difference!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for the gift of life. We bless the courageous girls and women who, in the most difficult of circumstances, choose to give life over choosing to dispense of their “problem.” We thank You for the vast groups of men and women who lend support to crises pregnancies, to those who take in and raise children who are given up for adoption. We thank You for those who have dedicated their lives to this tremendous cause, keeping it very much alive so that those who view abortion as a viable option since its legalization in 1973, will come to realize that Your Word is the first and final authority on life, not the legislation of our day.

Bless those who speak today, those who march, and those who work among pregnant girls and women who are presently in the very midst of making a life or death decision regarding their unborn child. We also pray for those who made the wrong choice to abort, that they may find Your enduring grace that brings healing and restoration. In many instances, You have used their troubling experience to be an influencing voice for others to make a right choice. We commit the Pro-Life cause to You this day, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Yesterday I shared a lesson from my experience on having my tooth extracted and received this interesting comment from a South African reader: “I have empathy for you in the pain caused by a relatively small part of your body mass. To take the lesson further I would venture that greater pain can be suffered from an even smaller part of one’s overall body mass, namely a kidney stone, I have experienced both (kidney stones & toothache). I once heard the renal colic which is brought on by a kidney stone described as “an exquisite pain”. I can see the lesson which there is in a tooth extraction but I am not sure what lesson can be gleaned from a kidney stone, other than that it would be easier to “pass a camel through the eye of a needle”

Shalom


March For Life 2013
It was very cold when we went to March For Life in 2013. This is right before we got back on the bus to return to Lancaster and we were both very cold and tired.

2015 March For Life
My brother Pat and I at last year’s March.
Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina is speaking on the big screen. He gave a powerful testimony of his faith in Christ.


A few more photos from our visit to the Central Market this morning.

Lancaster Central Market 1/22/16
Can anyone tell us what this sign says?

Lancaster Central Market 1/22/16
We appreciate Christian witnesses wherever we see them, including this whiteboard with Brooksyne’s favorite hymn.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Only God Knows”   Video   Brian Free & Assurance  I, Brooksyne, was moved to tears when I first heard this song several days ago.

“I Want To Be That Man”  Video  Brian Free & Assurance We need men and women who will seek to follow God and walk in His ways!!!

* As best as I can recall it was Dr. Willke, otherwise it was a doctor who already was sounding the alarm regarding the evil of abortion.

Dr. Jack Willke report of his passing in Lifesite news

The article on Dr. Willke in Wikipedia is an example of why many say we should be cautious concerning this resource. It is clearly written by a pro-abortion advocate!


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

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

Dr Dinse and molar extraction 1/20/16
Stephen, in the “down under” position of having a tooth extracted. (It appears he’s assisting the dentist which he actually is, pushing against his chin providing a firm base for the doctor to anchor and work with his dental extraction pliers.)
“The Blessing Of Deep Roots”

Message Summary: Developing and maintaining a solid spiritual root system is an active, lifelong pursuit of reading, studying, meditating and memorizing God’s Word; regular communion with God through prayer; sharing with others of the good things of God; influencing others to come to faith. As we grow in Him there is more and more that Christ reveals to us through spiritual leaders, everyday experiences, trials, and life’s circumstances. One of the greatest ways we deepen our roots is by our Christian service and obedience to Christ’s teachings.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6,7).

Last week I managed to get a lesson from a painful tooth. Yesterday morning I had a visit to my friendly dentist, Dr. Dinse, who after examining me, determined my troublesome tooth needed removed. After undergoing the dreaded procedure I was out of commission for the afternoon.

I am feeling better hour by hour and making my chaplain visitation  along with Brooksyne today. The extracted molar weighed .12 oz, which for the record is about 1/35,000 of my body weight (an engineer can reverse this and see if it makes sense, since math was never my best subject in school)! I am not going to disclose what I weigh but if the calculation shows I weigh less than 150 lbs or more than 300 lbs I calculated wrong. Please don’t draw the wrong conclusion!

Ester went with me to keep me company and watched the procedure (better to watch than to be part of the procedure, as she often is when it comes to her heart matters). As always she had her camera ready and took today’s rather unusual lead photo. Dr. Dinse told me this tooth probably came in when I was about ten so I’m thankful for the fifty years I got out of it. Notice how the Doc is flexing his biceps in the photo. He had quite a time getting my tooth out since I was told, “You have deep roots”, something I’ve never been told before. It’s always encouraging when people say nice things about you.

Although the deep roots made the procedure difficult they were a blessing for many years, anchoring that tooth solidly in my aging mouth. Likewise, I want my two story house to have firm footers dug far below ground level to hold our house steady on its foundation during the occasional mass of high winds that propel their force against our house.

I also want my faith to be anchored solidly as well, rooted deeply in God’s Word!

Today’s text from Colossians 2:7, “rooted and built up in Him…”, is the basis of a two year discipleship program the Navigators developed simply called 2:7. We have friends who testify of the blessing and spiritual growth they experienced while participating in 2:7.

But today let us consider just the word “rooted” from our daily text. Although we began with an illustration of the deep roots in my teeth, Paul is likely drawing here on a familiar agricultural analogy. Perhaps he had in mind the teaching of our Lord, who warned of the deadly spiritual condition of rootlessness in the Parable of the Sower. Jesus said of the seed that fell on rocky places, “but since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away” (Matthew 13:21).

Colossians 2:6,7Roots are a vital part of the believer’s life. Our daily verse tells us we are to be “rooted and built up in Him.” The Greek word for root is “rhizoo” and suggests stability, nourishment and life derived from contact with Christ (“in Him”). As a plant’s roots sink deep into the rich soil for long term stability and nourishment, so too we should root our faith deep into sound Biblical doctrine and solid spiritual food that comes from knowing Christ. These well-nourished roots will keep us strong forever and forever.

In our growing walk with Christ we find life-giving soil and a sustaining foundation. However, we have the responsibility to implement the means of grace that God has ordained for our “rooting.” We all need a good, solid, ever-growing root system that reaches deep into the spiritual soil for the nourishment and stability that God has graciously provided. This will render us both faithful and fruitful.

Developing and maintaining a solid spiritual root system is an active, lifelong pursuit of reading, studying, meditating and memorizing God’s Word; regular communion with God through prayer; sharing with others of the good things of God; influencing others to come to faith and disciple them to be faithful followers.  As we grow in Him there is more and more that Christ reveals to us through spiritual leaders, everyday experiences, trials, and life’s circumstances. One of the greatest ways we deepen our roots is by our Christian service and obedience to Christ’s teachings.

Are you rooted in Him? Are your spiritual roots growing deeper and spreading like branches on a tree? Thank God for His ever-growing supply of spiritual nutrition that solidifies our Christian foundation which is “rooted” in the living Christ!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we are so very grateful that our family roots are not the sole source of who we are nor does it dictate what we can accomplish. Our spiritual roots, because of our well-grounded faith in You, goes much deeper and spreads much broader. We are able to accomplish the impossible and overcome life’s difficulties because our roots are connected to the Miracle Worker. May the water of Your Holy Spirit quench our thirst and the spiritual food from Your inspired Holy Word satisfy our hunger causing us to grow in spiritual maturity. We remain safe and secure, firmly rooted in You. Father, though the winds and storms may shake us from time to time, it is in You that we live and move and have our being! Amen.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“God of All My Days”  Video  Tribute Quartet

“Colossians 2:6-7”   Video   Jack Gilbert

“My Faith Still Holds”  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

The 2:7 Series

Additional teaching on Colossians 2:6,7


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

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

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

Squirrel at birdfeeder 1/18/16
This squirrel is up to no good, trying to steal the sunflower seeds in our birdfeeder intended for birds! But, of course, we invite the hungry squirrel to eat what falls to the ground.
“The Peril Of Drifting Away”

Message Summary: God has called and equipped us to be overcomers in all areas of life including the peril of drifting away. Depending on the particular circumstance some have more overcoming than others but God is able and willing to meet us in our place of need. Today let us heed the clear warning of the Scripture and let us “pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away” (Hebrews 2:1).

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1).

AmenWhen I pray publically I often petition God to help us “stay faithful” before ending my prayer with “Amen” as most all of us do. Depending on the congregation I may also hear others affirm the prayer with their own “Amen”. But my favorite memory in this regard was the time I prayed and a three year old girl, with a very loud voice boldly followed my prayer by “Amen” in her own emphatic and crescendo solo of “A-men!” It brought a chuckle throughout the congregation that I suppose some may remember even to this day. We sure hope the little girl, who would be about ten now, has committed her life to God and remains faithful all her days, which will be a growing challenge as the days of evil are ever on the increase, most notably evil and deadly attacks on followers of Christ.

Mike RidderingThis last weekend another terrorist attack took place; this time in the remote African country of Burkina Faso. Islamic terrorists stormed a hotel in the capital city of Ouagadougou in an attack that left 28 people dead and 55 injured last Friday. Among the slain was Mike Riddering, an American missionary and orphanage director. His wife wrote, “He made an eternal impact on an immeasurable number of people in Burkina Faso and throughout the world. His legacy on earth will not be forgotten.”

Mike is just one of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions who suffer in this world specifically due to their faith in Christ. He responded to God’s call to go to a dangerous place. That number is rapidly increasing with what many are calling a Christian genocide in the Middle East. However something remarkable is also happening which we will share in a video below concerning reports we’ve heard for many years now of Muslims coming to faith in Christ due to dreams and visions. I have a hard time wrapping my arms around this.

Hebrews is written to believers who are undergoing persecution. Later in the book we read this statement regarding the type of persecution these believers personally knew and experienced: “You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions” (10:34).

Do you know people who are in prison because of their faith? Have you personally had your possessions confiscated in a ruthless persecution effort? (Actually in recent years several have here in America; see footnote in yesterday’s message) Do you have friends who suffered or perhaps were martyred due to their stand for Christ? We are sure the family and friends of Mike Riddering are grieving. The fact is, due to the international distribution of this devotional, some of you would likely say yes to one or more of the above questions. But most have not yet experienced persecution. Persecution or not we all face the peril of drifting away.

Hebrews 2:1 (Photo from http://thesusanblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/more-earnest-heed.html

In our daily text the Holy Spirit inspired writer states concerning spiritual things, “We must pay much closer attention.” As we grow older there may be a tendency to pay less and less attention to that which we are already familiar with. But giving our undivided attention to spiritual truth, both basic and more advanced, really needs to increase throughout life if we are to be mature and faithful believers.

The focus of our “much closer attention” is to be on “what we have heard.” Of course in context this refers to spiritual truths. The Amplified Bible states, “the truths that we have heard.”  Prior to the printing press and certainly at the time of the New Testament having one’s own personal Bible was not possible. But they gathered and heard the Word. Today, most all of our readers can do both; gather with other believers to hear the Word expounded and also individually study the Scriptures in our devotional and prayer closet.

David GuzikThe concern of the writer is that they will not “drift away from it” (what they had heard and been taught). The book of Hebrews is full of encouragement to stay faithful. Bible teacher David Guzik writes, “Drifting is something that happens quite automatically when we are not anchored to anything solid. If we are not “anchored” in the superiority of Jesus, we will drift with the currents of the world, the flesh, and the devil. One doesn’t have to do anything to simply drift away.”

God has called and equipped us in all areas of life to resist the peril of drifting away. Depending on the particular circumstances of one’s life some will have to “pay more careful attention” to the very foundation of their salvation experience based upon the Word of God so that they can resist the peril of drifting away, but God is able and willing to meet us in our place of need. Today let us heed the clear warning of Scripture and let us “pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away” (Hebrews 2:1).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Without it we would walk in darkness and be led astray. We want to give careful attention to Your Word, respect its message, and follow its instruction so that we will not drift from the truth. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the popular trends and faddish teachings of our current age, observe those whose walk with the Lord has lessened over the years, and gradually drift away from Your precious, unchanging truths as expressed all throughout the Scriptures. Help us to pay more careful attention to all that we have heard from the Word and guard these precious truths whether by life or by death. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Study notes from Hebrews 2:1 from online Precept commentary

“You’re Never Too Far Away”   Video  The Mike LeFevre Quartet  I, Brooksyne, heard this for the first time last weekend and its message gripped my heart. In fact I prayed for my own family and other families who have a lost loved one including our Daily Encouragement friends who write us asking for prayer because their son or daughter has strayed from the things they learned as children. It will touch your heart if you take the time to listen.

“Say Amen”  Video  Brian Free & Assurance

“THOUSANDS OF MUSLIMS SEE JESUS IN DREAMS AND VISIONS”  Video

Report concerning Mike Riddering

“Christian persecution reached record high in 2015, report says”


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

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

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

“The Work Of Our Hands”

January 19, 2016

Musser Road farm scene 1/18/16
Just up the road from us on Musser Rd. stands this oversized stack of bales used on a huge dairy farm. During warmer weather I, Brooksyne, often bicycle two miles on their tractor trail. The cows usually look at me curiously as I bike by. Perhaps they’re wondering if I’m a new farm hand and sizing up my bicycle in comparison to the big trucks and tractors.
“The Work Of Our Hands”

Message Summary: Today we encourage readers to consider how the labor of your hands is a means of honoring God and making our world a better place.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15). “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need” (Ephesians 4:28).

Ten Commandments tieI still wear neck ties, although in many settings, wearing a tie is no longer fashionable and some even consider it old-fashioned. At least, in our context, most in the corporate world no longer wear ties and like most churches less and less do so in our church.

One of my motivations for wearing ties is that I really enjoy my Scripture-themed tie collection which I started some twenty years ago when ties were more popular and I was pastoring. My collection now numbers over 20 and I periodically still add to it. Inevitably someone will observe my tie and make a comment as they read it. I have also on occasion given one away when an individual really likes the message on my tie. I take it off and hand it to him if he promises to wear it!

Sunday I saw Curt, a longtime friend who doesn’t always wear a tie, but he was wearing a colorful one that artfully displayed the Ten Commandments. I consider the attempts by the secularists, sadly often successful, to ban the posting of the Ten Commandments, so wearing these timeless rules of conduct on a tie or displaying them in a public setting anywhere is a good idea! A good number of residents display the Ten Commandments on a poster size sign staked in their front yards throughout Lancaster County. Prominent on Curt’s Ten Commandment tie is the 8th commandment rendered in the KJV as “Thou shalt not steal” and we include that command in our Scripture text today.

Among the converts in the early church some of them had been thieves (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Consider this comment from the Expositor’s Bible Commentary: “From the lowest dregs of the Greek cities, from its profligate and criminal classes — the gospel had drawn its converts. In the Ephesian Church there were converted thieves; and Christianity had to make of them honest workmen.”

So Paul makes a command greatly needed in every age and certainly our own age as well: “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need” (Ephesians 4:28).

It’s important to esteem people in regard to their work productivity and how it benefits others. We could all ask ourselves, “How does my work make the world a better place to live?” Hopefully, your answer will bring a source of fulfillment and that’s where today’s second verse is so informative. Yesterday we asked readers to consider, “How is the work of my hands benefitting others?”

Ed and Barbara 1/17/16Sunday I visited for a few minutes with Ed and Barbara. Ed told me that he hopes the labor of his hands never needs to be used. He installs fire suppression sprinkler systems. In twenty-six years  he is unaware of a single time a sprinkler system he installed has ever been used. But you never know when a sprinkler system or fire extinguisher may save one or more lives. In our newspaper this morning we read this story with interest.

Now I suppose that could be a detriment to Ed finding fulfillment in his work but such is not the case. Due to his conscientious diligence many thousands of people have been protected in the event of a fire. He’s not at all sorry there’s never been a fire in a building in which he installed a system. In a sense his systems are being used since they’re being properly installed and ready to go if needed.

We may use the term “working with our hands” to mean hard labor but it occurs to me that virtually all we do in some way or another involves using our hands, though in this text it can also figuratively mean “instrument” of performing the labor. Thankfully accessibility is now available for meaningful labor even for those who cannot use their hands, for various reasons.

An advertisement promoting a vacation coldly read, “Your work is meaningless. And you’ll die having achieved comparatively little. You need a holiday.” Sadly many do lack fulfillment and may even feel their work is meaningless and not useful or good.

Albert Lee writes, “Some people may even find their labor so wearisome that they think it must be punishment from God. This could not be further from the truth. Even before sin entered the world, God gave Adam and Eve meaningful work to do (Genesis 1:28; 2:15). The motivation given for work was not to accumulate wealth but to have something to share with others. From the Biblical perspective, therefore, work is useful and most fulfilling when it enables us to help others. Our work does have meaning, especially when we realize that it is God-given, and that we please Him when we share its fruit with others.”

Today we encourage readers to consider how the labor of your hands is a means of honoring God and making our world a better place.

Lord, teach me how to love and work,
That every deed I do
May be to someone in its turn
A service fine and true.
Anonymous

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, thank You for the physical instruments You supply when You created us. We have mouths to speak, ears to hear, eyes to see, feet to walk, and hands to work. We dedicate our lives to You and to Your service, whether it is related to evangelism and the church or whether it is the work we do in places of employment or in our community. May our labor be sweet in Your sight, worthy of  honor, and a blessing to others so that we all pitch in to make this world a better place to live, until we reach our eternal abode where sin will not be present nor will there be any more sorrow or sadness. And it’s all because of Jesus in whose name we pray. Amen.

Additional thoughts for the stout-hearted: As I shared above “We encourage people to identify what they do and consider how it benefits others and makes the world a better place.” This can be done for most types of labor. Walking through companies we serve that make products for agriculture, home improvement and HVAC installers, machined parts and Point of Sale displays we can honor them in their work and easily identify ways in which they are making the world a better place. We are confident that most of our readers can do so as well.

But that is certainly not the case for all types of work. In our view working for a hellishly evil enterprise like Planned Parenthood would certainly not meet this criteria. Same would go for working in a package store exclusively selling alcohol, a gambling institution, a brothel, a porn shop and so forth. Of course selling drugs on the street is still illegal in most places but that is changing as we become more “progressive”.

A bigger challenge for many is where there is a mix such as a store that sells alcohol and tobacco along with food as many grocery stores now do. For the record we both continue to hold to the increasingly unpopular notion that alcohol destroys and now in our early sixties we sure have no regrets that we have taken a position of abstinence. We have seen many, many lives destroyed or adversely affected by alcohol use. On our hearts today is train wreck (figuratively) that resulted from a friend who had been delivered from alcohol for many years and yet “fell off the wagon” in the last year. The results have been disastrous not only for the individual but for the extended family and business as well.

Another challenge is the present government’s alliance with evil and forcing people against their religious convictions to participate in evil such as the present strategy of homosexual “marriage” proponents regarding employees issuing marriage licenses, florists, bakers, photographers. wedding venues who have all faced outrageous fines or worse for holding to their convictions. For those involved this is outright persecution. For the rest of us it is an harbinger.

Another issue is working for or doing business with a company that supports godless causes. Their product may be morally neutral or even beneficial but they use their wealth to support organizations and foundations that are morally evil.


Neck pumpkin prep with Dourte's 1/18/16
Brooksyne’s Note: Yesterday Jesse and Wilma Dourte came over to join us for lunch which I told them would be at noon. We planned to work quickly and have our dailyencouragement message ready and I could pull lunch together by the time they arrived. Lo and behold, they pulled into the driveway at 11 AM. Did we ever scurry to move into phase two of our day. After lunch and some wonderful fellowship we started our annual preparation of the butternut squash and pumpkins from the summer months. I cut the ends off and slice the vegetables, Jesse peels the skin, and Wilma cuts up the squash and pumpkin. Then I put it in a pot until it is very soft, load the blender to puree the veggies before bagging them for the freezer. Typically I make pumpkin pies, butternut squash casseroles, pumpkin cake and our favorite is butternut squash served on the side with salmon, a favorite also among New Englanders. Jesse, 92, and Wilma, 91, are truly amazing in their strength and spirit. They look forward to our working together every year. As he says more than once, “Make sure you call us. We like to help you.” And they sure did!

Chaplain Jim and Ann Whisnant 6/24/14
Jim and Ann Whisnant
I met Jim and Ann at a chaplain conference several years ago and he commented on my “Lord’s Prayer” tie inquiring where he could get one. I felt led to just give him mine. Turns out it was his birthday! Later I was blessed to see Jim was wearing the tie at a banquet later at the conference. He was severely injured in a trucking accident several years ago, losing a leg and almost his life when he stopped along an interstate to assist someone and was hit by a tractor trailer truck.  I was searching online for information about the accident and came across this piece concerning his role of serving as a prison chaplain at the execution chamber. The prisoner’s Final Words: “I’m really deep down in my heart sorry it happened,” Holland said before reading the 23rd Psalm from a paper (held by the prison chaplain, Jim Whisnant). “I wish this would bring her back. I want you to know that I’m very sorry this ever happened. I knew it was wrong but it was alcohol, despair and temper that caused it. That’s it.”


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“We’ll Work ‘Til Jesus Comes”  Video  Homecoming Singers  Of course this is speaking of our work for the Lord!

I searched for Christian songs on work and labor but the list had songs of exercise workout music and songs for labor and delivery (birth)!

Several weeks ago we came across this interesting article. Whether you agree or disagree with us regarding alcohol use (from additional thoughts footnote) this article sure gives some interesting thoughts. “50 Reasons Why I Don’t Drink”

We asked readers yesterday what Ed did for a living based upon his description that he hopes the labor of his hands never needs to be used. Here are several suggestions that thinking readers emailed us:

  1. Something in the military
  2. Making bombs shelters
  3. Making a gauge that detects radioactivity leaking from 3 mile island! (Of great local significance to those of us within the 10 mile radius.)

Indeed if you think about it there are many types of work that provide a product or service that one hopes will never be needed. In our newspaper this morning we read this story with interest about a product that you never hope you need to use came in very handy is saving a life.


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

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

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