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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
The fall foliage was past peak in central New York this last weekend but we still managed to see some pretty trees such as this maple at the Amish home we visited. See below for an observation about the colorful chairs under the tree.
Due to busyness and weariness a podcast message will not be prepared
for this message. We have early morning chaplain visits and a special
treat for Brooksyne.
"Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith" (Hebrews 10:22).
Today we have two birthdays in our house. Fifty-nine years ago
Brooksyne made her arrival into this world as a newborn baby. She is
named after her father Brooklyn with her Mom developing the hybrid
"Brooksyne" which she has often assisted people in pronouncing by
stating, "like the scene of a brook, turn it around and it's Brookscene."
I would like to share a photo of Brooksyne that is actually
several years old although at least in my eyes she hasn't aged much!
She is standing beside the tombstone of Fanny Crosby in Bridgeport,
Connecticut. Fanny Crosby wrote more than 3000 hymns and poems
which are still sung and beloved by many. In fact I am sure virtually
all of our readers have sung a hymn written by Fanny Crosby. Yet
perhaps summing up her
life are the words to "Blessed Assurance" which of all her hymns was
chosen to be on her tombstone.
Blessed assurance can be a testimony we all share but today on Brooksyne's birthday we especially consider:
A reflection on these truths does indeed lead to blessed assurance!
- The provisions of God in our past,
- The presence of God in our present and
- The promises of God in our future.
Brooksyne with Fanny Crosby tombstone in Bridgeport, Connecticut
"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of the Spirit, washed in His blood."
The message from this hymn text is one that is such a blessing to hide
deep in our hearts; a musical expression of praise and glory to God for
His work of salvation in our lives. Crosby writes about the assurance
Christ gives us of His redemptive work in our lives here on earth and a
foretaste of the glorious rejoicing that will take place through all
In today's text from the book of Hebrews we read a wonderful phrase, "Full assurance of faith". What
a great blessing this assurance is. Assurance, not a commonly used
word apart from theology, comes from the word assure which in turn
comes from the word, sure. It speaks of the certainty of our salvation
"with no doubt as to our acceptance when coming to God by the blood of
Christ". (Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary) Clarke's commentary
states, "Being fully persuaded that God will accept us for the sake of
his Son, and that the sacrificial death of Christ gives us full
authority to expect every blessing we need."
There is surely a sound Biblical basis
for Fanny Crosby's song. It's one of the greatest blessings of life to
have a full assurance of faith. May the Lord fill your heart with
His blessed assurance today.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
as heirs of Your salvation, we have been purchased with the sacrificial
blood of Your precious Son, Jesus. He gave His all that we might be
saved from the eternal consequences of sin and have our names written
in the Lamb's Book of Life. We have the blessed assurance that we
are redeemed from sin and saved for eternity in heaven. Thank You
for such wondrous love and abundant provision on our behalf. Amen.
Crosby is surely one of the most prolific hymnwriters in the history of
the church. I am sure most of our readers regardless of language,
nationality or even musical taste have sung her hymns. In fact this
past Sunday morning we sang "I am Thine O Lord", one of her many
well-known hymns. Other hymns you may recognize are "All the Way My
Savior Leads Me", "Close to Thee", "To God be The Glory", "Pass Me Not
O Gentle Savior, and so many others still sung in many churches.
Fanny Crosby is buried at the Mountain Grove Cemetery along
I-95 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The cemetery was designed by the
famous circus founder PT Barnum. In fact his monument is very near that
of Fanny Crosby's.
a small, very weathered stone at the foot of the grave that we assume
to be the original tombstone we read these words, "Aunt Fanny.....She
hath done what she could." Although blinded shortly after her
birth she faithfully served the Lord. She overcame her disability to
leave a lasting impact for Christ. She once shared this
remarkable outlook, "It seemed intended by the blessed providence of
God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the
dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would
not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I
had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me."
A reader sends this thoughtful response to yesterday's message:
I know you enjoy history and your message about "Obedient Disobedience"
reminded me of a little known Lancaster County event in the fall of
1850. The Fugitive Slave Law which required that all escaped slaves
were, upon capture, to be returned to their masters and that officials
and citizens of free states had to cooperate in this law had just been
passed. A group of local men gathered in the tiny village of Georgetown
to discuss what their response to this law would be. After much
discussion they drew up a set of resolutions which stated, "That the
highest principles of justice and humanity, as well as the fundamental
principles of Christianity, require that we should not assist in the
recapture and return of a fugitive from slavery; and that in a choice
between our obligations to these principles and to any law in
opposition to them, we cannot for a moment hesitate to say we will obey
no such law.... and that we will harbor, clothe, feed, and aid the
escape of fugitive slaves in opposition to the law." And then they had
the audacity to sign the document and submit it to the Lancaster
newspaper to be published.
The other birthday:
It was on Brooksyne's birthday in 1996 that I wrote the very first
daily encouragement message and sent it to two people, Nigel and
LaiFong who remain friends to this day. I was there pastor at the time
and have received over 4,500 messages from me! The first message was
only a couple of sentences and a fledgling attempt to encourage. At
that time I had no plans to write more but did the next day, and then
the next and I just haven't stopped. For about the first 8 years I
wrote them with little input from Brooksyne but in 2005 she took on a
greater role and now we essentially write them together.
Here's a brief timeline:
October 21, 1996 - First email sent and over time developed into a list (which
initially merely a group list added to manually one by one.)
1999 - The www.dailyencouragement.net website developed
- Moved to professional listserve (automated list manager for large
email lists) Subscribes and unsubscribes are user initiated as well as
2002 - Began one minute radio spots extracted from Daily Encouragement messages
2004 - Resigned from full-time job with chaplain agency
2005 - Developed html email (formatted with photos), began podcasting
daily messages, set up blogs/RSS feeds, Brooksyne "officially" joined
in the message preparation.
2006 - Received official endorsement as an "internet chaplain" from
chaplaincy endorsement agency (I already had endorsement for corporate
chaplaincy and Civil Air Patrol chaplaincy.)
Since 2006 we have essentially just kept on keeping on and that's been enough of a chore writing fresh messages daily!
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we share the history of this web ministry I am reminded
of our Lord's faithfulness and the diverse giftings He gives to those
He has called. It is extremely humbling to us that God's Spirit speaks
to the hearts of men and women all around the world through our daily
messages. When we got our first computer Stephen
and I would never have imagined the medium of computer technology
giving us "a voice" to reach people all over the world. It
continues to be a very exciting means for us to share messages from
God's Word as they are lived out in our normal daily
lives. Your prayers, feedback, and support spur us on and
challenge us to remain faithful in this writing ministry. Join us in continually giving thanks for His abundant blessings that
far outnumber the grievous burdens of each day.
More New York trip photos
As soon as we got out of the van Friday afternoon,
after the 300 mile ride, the children began playing. Here's an unusual
These children had a great time jumping on the
trampoline and would jump off to see it on the tiny
iPhone screen. The small cabin I stayed in is in the background.
The older boys headed out to play in the woods.
A family spot around the campfire. I like the colorful chairs someone dropped off.
The wood stove in the cabin kept me plenty warm.
No electric in cabin but I had a lantern light!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Blessed Assurance" Video Homecoming version (traditional)
"Blessed Assurance" Video Matthew West (a bit more contemporary)
to Stephen &
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am created by God to bring
Him glory. Through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, I have been
redeemed and I make it my life’s goal to honor God through my
faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for
Encouragement Net 495
Church Road Mount
C. Weber All
the weak things in the world,
That no flesh will glory
in His presence."