“Strength To The Weary”

Baseball game at Mennonite school 10/9/14
Yesterday we passed these boys and girls playing baseball at an old-order Mennonite school near New Holland, PA. Look closely and you will see the teacher is pitching. Seeking to be less intrusive Brooksyne takes these photos from the passenger’s side of our van but through the driver’s window, and yet we can still get some pretty clear photos.
(Click on photo for larger view)

A podcast was not produced for this message.

Note: Today’s message is a bit different. It is especially written from our hearts and is based on our experience in seeking to do the work of the Lord. The first part may actually not seem very encouraging but if you hang in there we believe you will get a good dose of hope at the end.

“Strength To The Weary”
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31).

For nearly twenty-five years our ministry, which we both trained for in Bible College, was my pastoral role in two local churches; one in northern Pennsylvania and a second in New England. Of course Brooksyne worked right alongside me and since we teamed together in campus and community ministry even before we married, we have considered our work for the Lord similar to Aquila and Priscilla in the Book of Acts.

Since 2001 we have been involved in chaplain work among companies as well as writing these daily messages.* Between these two types of ministry, in addition to serving interim pastoral roles here and there, we keep very busy to say the least!

Most regular readers should have a pretty good sense of what our writing ministry involves, although many would not understand how much is involved in the underlying technical steps involved we post each day to our various outlets. Our daily encouragement ministry takes around 4 hours each for every message; sometimes more, sometimes less.

Our chaplaincy ministry primarily involves visiting various companies in our area. We have two long days of this and several shorter days. On the long days like yesterday we start very early in the morning and by the time we get home in the late afternoon we are very tired. In part because of the nature of traveling from location to location and walking through and talking to hundreds of employees. Yesterday we visited 6 separate work site locations and were on the road a total of 90 miles. Since we are both nearing 60 years of age we are just plain “pooped” when we get home!

Now to be sure we have many light moments with brief encounters that may not be necessarily spiritually oriented. We think of these as “bridge-builders” so people are comfortable in sharing their life needs with us. But we have also have many serious discussions based on several categories;

  1. Encouraging those seeking to do the right things in life such as working hard, being responsible, taking care of their families and so forth. We also want the employee to find fulfillment in their work. If we have identified the employee is a fellow Christian that of course opens up additional means of spiritual mentoring.
  2. Listening to the many ways people bear burdens from marital difficulties, family problems, health problems, deaths, addiction struggles and so many others. We of course pray for them and seek to give them counsel. At times these matters also lead to offsite visits as well.
  3. But frankly the weariest form is observing the extremely poor life choices so many, especially younger people, are making and they often seem blind to it. We meet many similar to the prodigal son before he came to his senses (Luke 15:17). Our specific discussions are confidential but these issues are so common such as immorality, substance use but assured by them not abuse, reckless use of their finances and many other issues.

This source of weariness is very spiritual draining. You listen and just realize the almost certain consequences of the path they are taking.

JoAnne Butrin I attended a chaplaincy conference this summer where I encountered the term “compassion fatigue”. Of course anyone involved in people work can experience this and some of our readers may realize they have or even are presently going through this.

I first heard the term in a teaching by a longtime friend from the early 80’s. Dr. JoAnn Butrin has served in medical missions for over 40 years with visits to over 90 countries, many of these being during times of crisis. She works in some of the most tragic of human conditions and illustrated her experience with compassion fatigue working among the Rwandan refugees during the horrific civil war. The movie “Hotel Rwanda” describes this awful period in human history. Currently consider the compassion fatigue of those serving in countries affected by the Ebola.

In the preliminary note I said this message would end on a hopeful note so please read on. Let us especially consider the words from our daily Scripture text. “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

The cure for compassion fatigue is receiving the strength the Lord has to offer to all who come to Him. He stated, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). We may understand this rest in a one-time sense of a sinner coming to the Lord and experiencing His rest in providing full salvation. But let us also consider the ongoing need to come to the Lord who continues to gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You that You give strength to the weary and You increase the power of the weak. Though youths  grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, those who hope in You will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Our wisdom, strength and discipline come from You who generously provides for all our needs. We ask that you would especially strengthen all who may be dealing with compassion fatigue as they deal with human needs all over the world in the Name of Christ. Amen.


* Since 2001 I’ve held several part-time interim pastoral roles at four churches accumulating about five more years of chaplaincy ministry, but for the last several years we have been able to devote our energies exclusively to chaplaincy and Daily Encouragement Net


We are refreshed during our journey between chaplain visits and see many interesting sights along the way.
Our opening photo today is children playing baseball outside a Mennonite one room schoolhouse.

Corn shocks in Lancaster County PA 10/9/14
Corn shocks near Martindale PA.

Painted horseshoes for sale near Gordonville, PA
We passed these painted horseshoes for sale in front of a house near Gordonville, PA.

Brooksyne with giant sweet potato 10/9/14
We stopped at a roadside produce stand near New Holland PA where Brooksyne is holding a huge sweet potato with a regular sized one for comparison. It would probably be suitable to set it up next to the big turkey on Thanksgiving, weighing in over 7 pounds.

Apples for sale 10/9/14
All through the countryside so many of the Amish and Mennonite farms have something for sale along the road. These apples for sale are near Martindale, PA. Coming home yesterday from Palmyra in Lebanon County we passed a farm with a table of small pumpkins and gourds for 10 cents each! Brooksyne picked out twenty and placed the money in the honor system tub as she saw out of the corner of her eye two very young Amish boys wearing their straw hats watching from afar. As we drove off we watched in our mirror as they dashed from the house and came running out to the table to collect the money! Perhaps their mom told them they could collect the proceeds and they were excited to see how much! Sadly people are increasingly stealing produce and money from these honor system stands.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary”  Video

“Lay Your Burdens Down”  Video  Chuck Girard

“Lay Your Burdens Down”  Video


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

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.

“Our Prayer For You”

Lancaster County Mennonite farm 6/20/13
Wash Day on a Lancaster County Mennonite farm
(Click here for a larger image.)

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.
“Our Prayer For You”

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up” (Proverbs 12:25). “Say to those with anxious heart, ‘Take courage, fear not'” (Isaiah 35:4).  “May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word” (2 Thessalonians 2:16,17).

Our ministry of encouragement includes not only this written ministry but the many opportunities we have to share in the business world in our chaplaincy ministry. As we visit companies we look for opportunities to express care to any who may express a need. People have many burdens for a wide variety of reasons and these concerns can weigh a heart down. Rarely a day goes by that we don’t encounter someone with a heavy heart. This morning Brooksyne and I both shared with a lady who had a very heavy heart in one of our companies.

As we prepare today’s message on this first day of summer 2013 we consider people in our circle of impact who carry heavy burdens. According to how large we make this circle the list can grow very long.  Some of you, our readers, have shared your needs with us. Some of you we have met face to face and know personally but many others we don’t.

Our third daily verse is a simple prayer that is appropriate for everyone. In the flow of Paul’s writing he neither introduces this prayer nor formally ends it. It seems to be woven right into the fabric of his letter. Paul on several occasions makes statements indicating how frequently he prays for people and this has often intrigued me since he had so many churches and “contacts” under his care.  In other words his circle was very large!

Paul made prayer a vital part of his daily walk, demonstrated by his offering this powerful but brief prayer for the Thessalonian believers as he wrote to them.  He is practicing his own words in his first letter to them: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Today we earnestly make Paul’s prayer our prayer for all our readers, especially those whose hearts are weighed down with heavy burdens. We offer this prayer as a kind word to cheer you on. We say to those with an anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not.”

“May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

We pray that:

  • You will have a deep assurance of God’s love and grace.
  • You will receive and experience the “eternal encouragement and good hope”.
  • Your hearts be encouraged and strengthened in every good deed and word.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:Father, it’s been said that “courage is fear that said its prayers”. And it’s true that You can change our hearts and outlook even when the circumstances have not changed. But it requires our dependency on You through persevering in prayer which results in absolute trust. We can be assured of Your eternal encouragement and good hope as it encourages our hearts and strengthens us in every good deed and word. It is through Christ Jesus our Lord that we pray in faith believing that You turn tragedy into triumph, as You work out all things together for our good. Amen.

Lancaster County Country Roads

Yesterday in the course of our chaplain visitation we passed several scenes we would like to share with our readers.

Roadside produce stand 06-20-13
Small roadside farm stands like this are popping up all along our rural routes with some great values on fresh home-grown produce and flowers. The hanging plant behind Brooksyne is only $5.00! The gazanias in her hands only 25 cents.

Shed with flowers 06-20-13
As Brooksyne looked over the produce stand I drove behind the farm to turn around and caught this simple scene, a shed with these beautiful deep purple clematis blooms.

Lancaster County yellow farmhouse 06-20-13
A tidy yellow Lancaster County farmhouse.

Tractor limo
This morning a friend shared this photo from her son’s wedding. Why rent a fancy and expensive limo when you can really travel in style! This hand cranked FarmAll tractor the groom overhauled and gave a new paint job; looks as good as new but retains the old style long passed in recent decades.

Hunsecker's Mill Covered Bridge 06-20-13
Hunsecker’s Mill Covered Bridge
Last year an out of state trucker got lost off the main roads and used his GPS which directed him on the road with this bridge and he actually tried to drive his semi tractor trailer truck through this bridge! (A standard tractor-trailer is 13 feet, 6 inches high). Thankfully they were able to repair the bridge and we drove through it yesterday. We shared a message about that here along with a photo.


Today’s Suggested Musicand SupplementalResources


“Somebody’s Praying for Me”
  Video  Jason Crabb

“Somebody’s Praying Me Through”  Video  Mark Helton

“Pray For Me”  Video  Michael W. Smith

“Somebody’s Praying for Me”  Video  Don Moen



Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

Free email subscription
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.

“We Are The Reason”

"Thanks Be To God"

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“We Are The Reason”

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15). “For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the dead and the living” (Romans 14:9). “This is how God showed His love among us. He sent His one and only son into the world that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9).

As little children we would dream of Christmas morn
And all the gifts and toys we knew we’d find
But we never realized a baby born one blessed night
Gave us the greatest gift of our lives

Today’s message relates to an experience I (Brooksyne) had yesterday in the course of our chaplaincy ministry in the workplace.

Before we enter the worksite Stephen and I pray for opportunities not just to engage the employees in meaningful conversation, thereby strengthening our friendships, but we especially pray for the opportunity to present the message of Christ to those who don’t follow Him. We often pray that we might plant a seed, just as many of you do in your workplace. Yesterday a door opened that I didn’t anticipate and am most anxious to follow through. I love to be a seed planter and then pray for a full harvest.

When I asked an employee I’ve known for quite some time how he celebrated his Christmas holiday he responded, “We don’t celebrate Christmas.” I remembered this from previous years but couldn’t resist getting in a word about Christ’s birthday even if it was mostly about the customs of the Christmas holiday. He indicated that he and his wife gave their son toys this year so he doesn’t feel isolated when other children at school talk about their Christmas presents. That was a switch because I remember in past years that they didn’t even do that.

He further explained, “We don’t celebrate Christmas because we don’t understand it.” My friend is from a southeastern Asian country but has lived here for the past couple decades. I’ve talked about Christianity in the past with him but he didn’t choose to engage in conversation about it. I responded briefly to his earlier explanation: “Christmas in the secular world does not present the true message of Christmas that we as believers in Christ celebrate”. I went on further to explain that Jesus was born of a virgin and came to this world to save us from our sins.

But I quickly realized that much more needed to be explained and am working on that this very morning as I am in the process of obtaining literature from a Laotian pastor. I was relieved when the employee volunteered that, though he had a Buddhist background, he and his wife are not practicing Buddhists. He had not disclosed this to me in previous conversations so I concluded that he is more open than in the past. I talked with an Asian pastor this morning and he agreed with me that an explanation of the gospel from the perspective of one who has been raised in a Buddhist religion is most helpful, thus we will share literature with him that has been written with this in mind.

I am reminded from my brief conversation that Stephen and I will further engage with this employee that, though he is now practicing the custom of giving gifts to his son at Christmas, he is missing out on the most meaningful and only lasting Gift that God presents to all of His creation. The vast, vast majority practice the exchanging of gifts but do not receive the gift that God freely gives to all who will receive Him, a gift Paul calls “indescribable”.

Many of us gave and received gifts at Christmas, a custom that for so many is the main thing. The origin of giving gifts (at least in the Christian sense) probably goes back to the gifts the Magi presented to the baby Jesus.

But no gift we receive on this earth even remotely compares to the spiritual gift of our Lord Jesus Christ, the gift we can all receive and share regardless of where we live or how much of this world’s possessions we have or don’t have. Jesus Christ is certainly the greatest Gift and deserving of our highest thanks!

Paul concludes a section in his second letter to the Corinthian believers by expressing appreciation to them for abounding in good works and for their generosity in supplying the financial gifts needed by the Jerusalem believers. He concludes his expression of thanks with today’s marvelous exclamation of thankfulness, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”  Many years earlier Paul had been converted and had moved from an attitude of hateful rejection to grateful acceptance of God’s gift of salvation through Christ. Through the years his gratitude to God grew and that’s the way it should be for all of us.

In this burst of praise he uses a very interesting Greek word to describe the gift. Linguists use the term hapax legomenon to describe a word or phrase that appears only once in a manuscript. The Greek word translated indescribable is used only once by Paul in all his writings. It essentially means, “not expounded in full.” Other versions use phrases such as “beyond telling”, “inexpressible”, and “unspeakable”. One words it this way; “a gift too wonderful for words!”

Indeed that is the case with God’s greatest gift, a gift too wonderful for words, but deserving of our highest thanks.  Today and each day let us join with Paul in thanking God for His truly indescribable gift of salvation through Christ Jesus our Lord! And the wonder of this indescribable gift is that:

And we are the reason that He gave His life
We are the reason that He suffered and died
To a world that was lost He gave all He could give
To show us the reason to live

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You gave first and foremost as you selflessly gave of Yourself through the person of Jesus Christ. Your gift of grace defies human description, for the far-reaching effects in our lives is truly indescribable. It’s too wonderful for words, but it brings unspeakable joy and glorious hope that makes our spiritual journey so worthwhile. We receive Your indescribable gift that brings forgiveness for our sins and reserves for us a home in heaven for all eternity.  Thank You, Father!  Amen.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“We Are The Reason”  Video  David Meece  We first heard David Meece sing this song at “Fishnet”, a large outdoor Christian Festival near Front Royal, Virginia a year or two after we were married. We both still recall how it’s message touched our hearts at that time and still does today.

“We Are The Reason”  Video  Avalon

“For God So Loved”  Video  Brian Free and Assurance


Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne


Free email subscription
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.