The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
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Friday, October 20, 2017
Maple Tree on Covered Bridge Road near Farmersville, PA
(Click to enlarge)
Message summary: Are you a Barnabas? Be an encourager!
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"When he (Saul, later known as Paul) came to Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles" (Acts 9:26,27). "Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing" (1 Thessalonians 5:11). "But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called 'Today,' so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13).
Tomorrow is a special day in our family. First of all, it's Brooksyne's birthday so that's special for her and us!
Tomorrow (October 21st) is also the very day this ministry started 21 years ago in 1996 with a short email to just two email addresses (both still receive these messages). I had preached a sermon the night before from Hebrews on encouraging one another daily and that was the leading I had from the Holy Spirit, although I would have no idea at that time it would continue the next day, then the next day, and now here we are 21 years later!
Barnabas is one of our favorite Bible characters to write about. Earlier this week we had a message highlighting two words concerning Barnabas "even Barnabas". "The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray" (Galatians 2:13).
Consider his influence; no book in the Bible was written by him, we don't have the text of any sermon he preached as we do Peter, Stephen and Paul. In fact I am unable to find even a single quote attributed exclusively to Barnabas. All the information we have about him are brief, biographical snippets. But these snippets tell a lot about him.
He first comes on the scene in Acts 4:36 as "Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement)". Thus Barnabas is essentially a nickname and every single future reference to him in Scripture uses this nickname given by the apostles!
The first daily text is so typical of his ministry as an encourager. I can sure understand the apprehension of the disciples concerning the recently converted Saul! After all he had a vicious reputation. His newfound conversion might have been a mere ruse to get in closed quarters with the disciples.
Note just the two words, "But Barnabas." His action is so indicative of an encourager. Barnabas believed in the power of Jesus Christ to perform the miracle of transformation. And Saul (who became Paul) was genuinely transformed. Consider the tremendous contribution Paul made to the church in his apostolic ministry and letters. I am sure thankful for Barnabas who chose to stand up for him!
Barnabas is an encourager and additional references in Scripture demonstrate this. We are all indebted to encouragers even though it certainly is not considered one of the more prominent ministries, such as a polished preacher or a dynamic worship leader or powerful vocalist.
A subtheme of this ministry is "Everyone Needs Encouragement." We sure believe that.
There are matters in our lives that can easily bring on discouragement but thankfully most of us don't live in a state of discouragement. And yet I don't believe there will ever come a time that I'd say, "I don't need any more encouragement. I've had enough for today. Thanks anyway." I am always receptive to other's encouragement since in a sense I can store it up! And I expect that you feel the same way, so on the 21st anniversary of this ministry, let us once again declare to you; Be encouraged today!
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we're reminded of the important role people like Barnabas play in our lives. They give us the benefit of the doubt; they reach out to us when others turn away; they see our need even when we don't verbally express it; they steer us in the right direction when we've taken a wrong turn; they model for us the reflection of Christ. I thank You, Father, for Your Spirit manifested through these encouragers who physically, emotionally, and spiritually bless my life by their encouraging words and actions toward me. Prompt me often to spread the same kind of encouragement to those whom I have opportunity to bless. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen
Here's some info about Daily Encouragement Net
Daily Encouragement Ministry Chronology
October 21, 1996 - First email sent to a married couple and developed into a list (which was merely a group list added to manually one by one.)
1999 - Website developed
2002 - Began one minute radio spots extracted from Daily Encouragement messages and in recent years original messages written by Brooksyne that may not be featured in one of our DE messages.
2004 - Resigned from full-time job with chaplain agency.
2005 - Following resignation from a full-time job with a chaplaincy agency developed html email (formatted with photos as opposed to just plain text), began podcasting daily messages, set up blogs/RSS feeds, Brooksyne "officially" joined in the message preparation.
2006 - Received official endorsement as the first "internet chaplain" from chaplaincy endorsement agency. (I already had endorsement for corporate chaplaincy and Civil Air Patrol chaplaincy.)
Each of these messages since the very first one are stored in a single WORD document which currently has nearly 3,750,000 words. However even this total is probably significantly understated since, as many writers know, you tend to type many words that get chopped as you go along or are eliminated in the editing process! Plus we prepare a lot of extra material on the html posts such as photo captions, music descriptions and so forth that aren't even in this archive.
Although we are thonkful for spellchick we still need to poofread carefully to see if we any words out.
Ministry update: For those interested I direct you to a revised ministry update in light of our 21st ministry anniversary. http://www.dailyencouragement.net/ministryupdate.htm
Survey: If you would care to do so we have prepared a short survey that we find helpful (it takes about five minutes). https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CHS9N98
Future plans: Essentially we look for strength to continue to prepare these messages each weekday and for the foreseeable future intend a ministry mix between internet and chaplaincy. Essentially the chaplaincy gets us out regularly to the real world for a fresh perspective!
Support: We are thankful for those who support our ministry with their financial offerings. Some give monthly, others periodically or one-time. We generally each spend about 1/2 day preparing these messages, managing the technical details and responding to email feedback (some days more, some days less). Our prayer has been that offerings would be essentially 1/2 of our family income since we work together. We also receive income from our corporate chaplaincy ministry. If any reader would like to consider an offering to our online ministry information is here: http://www.dailyencouragement.net/support.htm
Brooksyne's Note: As 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.
Here's the very first daily Encouragement message from Monday, October 21, 1996
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).
Hopefully each of you were in church yesterday and received fresh strength from the Lord and His Word. Unfortunately, then, even as now, some had forsaken this important element of growth and discipleship. As we see the Day of Christ's return drawing ever closer may we be encouraged. Whatever you do today remember the main thing: "thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Some Scenes From Our Journey Yesterday
Hollander Road near Intercourse, PA The views are looking more like fall everyday.
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Amish farm on Hollander Road near Intercourse, PA
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Mennonite farm on Cabin Road near Farmersville, PA
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Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"For All He's Done" Video Greater Vision
"I Want My Stage To Be An Altar" Video The Akins
"The Reason" Video The Browders
Yesterday PA governor Tom Wolf visited the Teen Challenge Training Center and this photo shows him shaking hands with Dr. Christian Gilbert who operated on Ester when she was very young and is now a doctor running the Teen Challenge detox program. We reconnected with Dr Gilbert this last Spring, seeing him for the first time since Ester's surgery in the early nineties. (see here)
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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!
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.
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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."
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Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552 USA
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