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The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.

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Friday, December 14, 2018
Lancaster County Amish farm 12/13/18 (Click to enlarge)
One of the telling signs of an Amish farmhouse is the colorful clothesline!
(Click on photo for larger image)

Note: This week we have considered how words can be a blessing and at times a great source of discomfort. Our final message in this series is one of my favorite words!

"The Encouraging Word"

Message summary: Today as you travel through life, like Paul, make it your practice to speak many words of encouragement to the people you encounter. For some these words will have a reinforcing effect, for others a healing effect. Everyone needs encouragement!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"He (Paul) traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people" (Acts 20:2). "And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son?" (Hebrews 12:5).

Yesterday we were both visiting with Clarence, who is set to have a very special Christmas. This will be his first Christmas with his family since his release from prison early this year after spending 22 years in confinement. After several weeks at a half-way house he started what is a critically important component of avoiding recidivism; taking life responsibly by having a steady job.* He now works as a machine operator at Smucker Laser. Eric, another ex-con who also works there, helped him get the job last Spring and Clarence is doing very well.

One thing everyone needs in one way or another is encouragement which can take place in many forms. We were commending Clarence regarding his steady progress as a free man and rejoicing in the celebration he would enjoy at Christmas with his family when Marlin Smucker, one of the company owners, walked back to see him. He gave Clarence a new company hat and we all visited for a few minutes when I took the photo below. Marlin has a management style of walking through the shop and encouraging his employees, something we feel is a great example to all who lead companies.

Marlin with Clarence at Smucker Company 12/13/18

Most of you probably know the state song of Kansas is "Home On The Range" written by Dr. Brewster M. Higley, who had moved from Indiana to Smith County, Kansas in 1871, under the Homestead Act. (Well, actually probably very few of you know this!) Brooksyne says it was one of her favorite songs she learned in her music class growing up in Oklahoma.

Oh, give me a home where the Buffalo roam
Where the Deer and the Antelope play;
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not cloudy all day.

Your Hearts Delight displayToday it's hard to find a place "Where seldom is heard a discouraging word". That's a wholesome idealistic expression but in our experience such a place is really not true to life. In reality it seems about everywhere you go you will be subjected to "discouraging words". Early yesterday morning when we headed out for our first chaplain visit Brooksyne started to read the news aloud. It began with the typical craziness of our age and I said "Oh no, don't read that now".

One thing we can all use is encouraging words. In our view the greatest encouragement we can offer others is to point them to God and challenge them to consider their life from an eternal perspective. Acts 20 may not be what we call a teaching part of the Bible as much as that which we find in the epistles. Rather it records history, in this case Paul's travels. His message is summed up in the words, "speaking many words of encouragement to the people". We have some of those words of encouragement in his letters but we are sure there are many more encouraging words that were spoken and never recorded in writing.

Today as you travel through life, like Paul, make it your practice to speak many words of encouragement to the people you encounter. For some these words will have a reinforcing effect, for others a healing effect. Everyone needs encouraging words!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, it has been said that there is no better exercise than to reach down and pick someone up. Of course we do that literally when we reach down to pick up a young child, but You also want us to practice this figuratively in the way we reach out to all people, especially the down and out, those feeling discouraged, abandoned or hopeless, and those dealing with chronic pain, loneliness, poverty or rejection. There are many reasons one might be discouraged but there are also many ways we can pick them up by expressing personal interest in them, lending a hand where needed, writing a note of encouragement, helping contribute toward a financial burden and above all praying that the one who is discouraged will find encouragement in You. We pray this in the name of Jesus who overcame the world. Amen.

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Special Year-end Financial Appeal

We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). 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. Like many ministries, 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 approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive compensation. 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 would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.

If you would consider making a donation to our ministry see here for more information.

To donate directly online here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: WEBER,STEPHEN CHAP, Specialized Chaplaincy Ministry ID: 700001-237376

Make A DonationPlease Note: We also provide this easy option due to the convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official tax deductible receipt. Click here to send an offering using PayPal. This will open to a page that states "Brooksyne Weber"

Thank you

Stephen & Brooksyne

Some photos from our journey yesterday

Lancaster County country scene 12/13/18 (Click to enlarge)
Yesterday, following our breakfast at the Red Caboose, we had this beautiful view of the Lancaster countryside as we stepped outside.
(Click on photo for larger image)

Lancaster County Amish farm 12/13/18 (Click to enlarge)
Another view of the Amish farmhouse we passed early yesterday morning near Bird In Hand PA. The sight of the wood smoke coming out of the workshop caught our attention (in the middle of the clothesline)! We can almost smell it through the photo.
(Click on photo for larger image)
Clarence with Stephen at Smucker Laser 12/13/18
Before Marlin Smucker came over to visit with us Brooksyne took a photo of Clarence and me which gives quite a bit more light to his face than the photo with the company hat. Please keep Clarence in your prayers.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

* The other components are family and local church support and a spiritual transformation and foundation in Christ.

"Home On The Range"  Video  Tom Roush

"Forever Home"  Video  Brian Free & Assurance This song is dedicated to our friend John Keefer, whose twin brother Rahn passed away last Sunday morning. May it be a source of comfort and encouragement.

Finally today:

Old Windmill Farm turkeys 12/13/18
Turkeys on the Old Windmill Farm

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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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