The on line Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home About Us Archives Free email subscription Listen to these messages
Text only for printing
See here for more info.
<Previous Message Next Message>
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Hudson-Athens Lighthouse NY
(photo by Greg Schneider)
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"The Blessing Of Being Forgiven"
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you" (Colossians 3:13).
Through my 37 years of ministry I have used a variety of illustrations and object lessons to communicate spiritual truths. Some have been effective; others not so much. When I was younger I was a bit more edgy. For instance I've ridden a bicycle in church, dressed up as a runner, portrayed various Biblical characters in my bath robe, etc.
But I have one story that will actually top them all It is undoubtedly my biggest ministry faux pas. I am also quite sure there will be some readers from the church in Northern Pennsylvania who will recall the incident.
Viola was a sweet older lady who attended the church we pastored and she had been sick for a month or two. What a joy it was to finally see her walk into the church one particular Sunday. She slowly made her way up the middle aisle with the assistance of her walker and then sat down in the front row. I made a big deal of her coming back that morning during our welcome time.
Note: The photo to right is not really me but is for illustration purposes)
Well, this time as I swung the racquet the edge accidentally grazed the tennis ball. Before I could blink the ball flew out and bonked dear old Viola right smack on the forehead.
But there's a rest of the story: A couple of years after this incident I moved on from that church to serve a congregation in New England. A year or so later Viola went on to her eternal reward (and it wasn't due to the tennis ball fiasco years earlier). The officiating pastor was an older man who was Viola's pastor before she moved to our community. Marsha, a friend from our church attended the service, and the pastor told a very interesting story about Viola when she attended his church.
He was leading a service and he asked the people to bow their heads as he prayed. As he began to lead out in prayer a rubber band struck him right in the middle of his forehead. He stopped praying and looked toward the young people, then sternly spoke out, "OK, I want to know who did that." He pleaded with the offender to confess, but no one did. The young people didn't budge though he held his gaze in their direction for an uncomfortable period of time.
The daily text teaches two great qualities needed in relationships; whether marriage and family, church, friendships or work: "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you" (Colossians 3:13).
Whom do you need to bear with and forgive today?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, thank You for giving us the capacity to forgive those who sin against us. Jesus serves as the supreme example of One who forgave those who betrayed, abandoned, lied, scourged, and drove the nails in His hands raising Him on the cross to be humiliated and mocked by onlookers. We will bear no offense on this side of heaven that Jesus will not uphold us in our pain and comfort us in our sadness. We can forgive others because You have forgiven us. Help us to bear with those who repeatedly hurt us. Show us how to love those who are most unlovely and unloving toward us. We pray this through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Brooksyne's Note: We found this archive photo that demonstrates just how much Stephen was into tennis in his younger years. The church board blessed him with a brand new tennis racquet of his choice, but the way he was to pick it out was by redeeming the oversized racquet the church presented to him on a Pastor Appreciation Sunday back in the mid-eighties (they must have used a refrigerator box to make such a mammoth tennis racquet). He was thrilled and excitedly walked through the center of town to Dave's Sports Store. I was a little embarrassed and chose to walk a few feet behind him.
We played tennis for many years so he got a lot of use from his new racquet. The morning he messed up in church I was in the nursery. It's a good thing or I would have been beside myself if I had witnessed the tennis mishap with dear Viola. But I sure heard a lot about it after church, and he heard a lot about it from me. No more live action sports illustrations during sermons!!
Another story from Brooksyne: One Easter Sunday I recruited Stephen to play the part of Peter in a musical I conducted in Massachusetts. Problem was, I too hurriedly glued on his oversized wirey beard between Sunday School and church. He hid out until it was time to come on stage so he didn't get a chance to practice speaking with his new beard. Every time he spoke, using the best actor expression he could muster, his beard would move up and down completely covering up his lips. It turned out to be a pretty muffled mess. It was difficult to remain serious, stay on topic, and speak out with clear enunciation. The congregation initially responded with quiet smiles since it was a serious drama. But I could see that they were onto his BIG problem. The smiles turned to hushed snickers to uproarious laughter after the beard slid down his face. Unfortunately his dilemma was a bigger story than the Easter musical the choir had practiced for months!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Forgive One Another " Video Faithful Heart
"Forgiveness" Video Matthew West
"The Power Of Forgiveness" Video An incredible story of forgiveness.
"Why Forgive?" a teaching article by by R.C. Sproul
"Amish Forgiveness" An interesting article by Donald Kraybill regarding the aftermath of the Amish shooting back in 2006.
Today's lighthouse photo was taken by our friend Greg Schneider, a professional photographer and self-described lighthouse chaser. Many years ago we worked with Greg who is a photographer for a local newspaper. He is pleased to share his photos in the hope they will be a blessing to others through this internet site.
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.)
Are 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.
Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. I do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.
Text only version for printing: To make a text only version for printing (without photos or any of the supplemental materials)
1) Open the basic text editor that comes with all computers (known as wordpad, textpad, etc.) You can also use a program like Word and select paste text only.
2) Select and copy the text from the portion of the message you want to print.
3) Paste into the text pad. (The photos won't show up but you will have a brief text description of the photo which you can delete or just ignore.)
4) Format if you desire (change font, increase or decrease size, etc.)
Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I 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 please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
© Copyright 2013 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved
Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552 USA