Daily Encouragement Net Header
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   ListenListen to these messages
Contact Us
  Print Text only for printing
  Bookmark and Share  

Make A Donation
 See here for more info.

<Previous Message                           Next Message>

Friday, December 18, 2015

Mount Joy Christmas tree
Mount Joy Christmas Tree taken last night by Ester

"Christmas For Dummies"

Note: Today's message has a bit more personal reflection but gets to the spiritual point toward the end!

to this message on your audio player.

"She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10,11).

Ollies signYesterday we did some shopping at "Ollies", a colorful bargain store. Their basic pitch is the sophisticated phrase, "Good Stuff Cheap". Ollies makes no pretense to being a fancy store and seems pretty comfortable being just what it is with folksy signs all though the store such as the one to the left. Just walking through the store reading the signs makes the visit interesting.

They offer free coffee while you shop but I suppose most folks these days who enjoy a good cup of coffee would find it a bit disappointing since it's made in one of those old percolators that sort of looks like the kind you might have seen at a filling station 30 years ago and appears to sit all day till the pot is empty. But's that's also part of the "ambience".

Brooksyne and I are proud members of their customer loyalty program known as "Ollies Army" which makes this claim, "The bigger the cheapskate you are, the more you'll save!". The chain started here in central Pennsylvania in the early-eighties but has grown to over 200 "semi-lovely" stores and there just might be one near you.

Dummies Books at OlliesThrough the years whenever I am at Ollies I look through their large assortment of "Dummies" books. In fact back in 2004 when I left a full-time job with Marketplace Chaplains to devote more time to Daily Encouragement Net I used the "Dummies" series of books to learn how to make web pages, podcast and use Wordpress. Generally, regardless of what subject I am interested in, these books contain more than what I need to accomplish the purpose I set out for. You see, I really don't consider myself an expert on anything but actually know a little bit about a lot of subjects, at least enough to get by. In regard to knowledge I consider myself a "generalist" in that I know a little about quite a range of subjects as I have an eclectic range of interests.

Basically if there's something that needs done I just figure a way to do it and the Dummies books have been helpful. When we first got married and were relatively poor I managed to swap out both the engine and transmission on the little Datsun pickup truck we had at the time. And that was long before they had the "Dummies" books. Basically I just paid careful attention to how I took the old one out and then followed those steps in reverse to put the new one in. And in both cases the truck ran fine. Frankly I couldn't imagine doing that now!

The Dummies series of books use a title that is purposefully attention getting and even insulting, probably a great marketing strategy given how well they've done! The series started out with a goal of breaking down how to use technology with the first title in 1991 called "DOS for Dummies". Readers of the series actually aren't dummies but rather appreciate the non-technical writing style and humor.

Christmas For DummiesSo please don't take me as being irreverent here but today let us consider the topic of "Christmas For Dummies". Although I would hope most people still have some idea what Christmas is all about, but as Biblical knowledge decreases and secularists cry "foul" every time the Bible or the baby Jesus is mentioned at Christmas, we see less truth and more accommodation to the world's views.

There is actually a book in the series titled "Christianity For Dummies" and on the Dummies website they have an article from that book "What Is Christmas?" and one paragraph does a good job of getting to the bare essentials. "Christmas is the observance of Jesus’ humble birth to a virgin in a stable in Bethlehem. The holiday also celebrates the events surrounding his birth, such as an angel’s appearance to shepherds, telling them to visit the newborn king." Now that's a pretty good summary definition and I especially appreciate that the author recognizes the unique nature of our Lord's birth "to a virgin" which has been a common doctrine to attack.

The Biblical narratives on the birth of Christ are found in Matthew and Luke. The entire account can be read in a short time. Apart from this material we really don't have any additional references in Scripture to His birth as far as many of the details we are curious about. However there are some powerful theological allusions in
John's prologue and in the Epistles.

The focus is on why He was born and that question is dealt with in each of the Gospel accounts in the message from the angel.

"She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10,11).

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn king
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, the major purpose for sending Jesus to earth, according to the messenger from heaven, was "because He will save His people from their sins". Our greatest need was met through Jesus. In addition we see His miraculous power unleashed as He healed the sick, raised the dead, and drove out demons from those possessed. He modeled holiness, purity, self-control and showed us how to love those who are unlovely, care for those who are weak and how to turn the other cheek when attacked unfairly. Above all He showed us how to put other's needs before our own when He responded in prayer to You in the garden of Gethsemane, "If it be possible, take this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done." Jesus laid down His physical life that we might have a redeemed life now and forevermore. Thank You for sending Jesus, and thank You, Jesus, that You came. Amen.

Special Year-end appeal:

DonateWe want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. We typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful. 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 or donate directly online through my chaplain account here. Thank you!

Make A Donation using PayPal
Please 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.

Some Ollies wisdom store signs!

Ollies sign

Ollies sign

Ollies sign

Ollies sign

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Born to Save Us"  Video  Brentwood Singers

"Mary Did You Know"  Video  Mark Lowry

"All Is Well"  Video  Point Of Grace

Article from Dummies website on Christmas

Article on "For Dummies" series of books


Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)

Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.

"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"  Video  Outstanding presentation with background story and touching photos (Artist not identified), but appears to be produced by a local church. This would be a powerful video to use in a Christmas Eve service.

"In Remembrance of Me" pdf  This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.

"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.

Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18  pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him"  pdf

My First Christmas In Heaven  This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.   This year we dedicate this to my Aunt Mary, who happens to me my last surviving aunt or Uncle on either side. Her husband, my Uncle Don, passed away early this year.

Christmas Knowledge Test

We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down on this archived message)

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.)

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.)
5) Print!

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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

© Copyright 2015 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved

Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552  USA

Home www.dailyencouragement.net
Contact Us

"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"

This device counts unique visitors by nation and state. I installed the international version in mid April 2010 and the state version later. They thus register unique visitors to since then.
free counters

Free counters!