A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Friday, December 20, 2019
"Grace Has Appeared"
Message summary: This season let us all remember and rejoice in God's amazing grace!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people" (Titus 2:11).
Each Tuesday morning I share a brief devotional with the employees (who choose to attend) at a local company. It's a wholesale distributor of gift and home decor items, many with a Christian theme. I often try to use one of the items as a prop which tends to affirm the work of the employees and reminds them of how that which they handle in restocking, pulling and packing for shipment can be a spiritual blessing to others.
This last Tuesday morning I saw the plaque above and was struck by the simple message in applying amazing grace to the nativity. Most advent themes include hope, love, joy and peace which were the themes in our church this advent. But grace is also a very appropriate advent theme! Tony Evans wrote, "God orchestrated Jesus' birth to bring us grace."
I memorized the daily text when I was a young Christian but I'm not sure I've really considered it specifically in relation to the incarnation. But God's amazing grace certainly did appear at the birth of Christ and has rested upon us ever since.
Theologian Herman Bavinck states, "But what spells out His grace is the fact that from the moment of creation God stoops down to His creatures, speaking and appearing to them in human fashion." The incarnation is God's ultimate demonstration of grace in sending His one and only Son to this world to live in human flesh and to die for our sins, so that we might be raised to newness of life and dwell forever in glory with Him.
This season let us all remember and rejoice in God's amazing grace!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, just as the angel appeared to the common shepherds and announced that he had good news for "all people" we thank You for Your grace that appeared offering salvation to "all people". Amazingly, just like the love You pour out is never in short supply, Your grace is also inexhaustible and extended to all people wherever they reside or whomever they might be. That kind of grace is truly amazing! May we never take it for granted and always be amazed by it! In Jesus' name. Amen.
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
Please 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"
Stephen & Brooksyne
The Star Barn over the pond.
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The meal was held on the second floor of the massive Star Barn in a beautiful setting.
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Pot-bellied stove in Star Barn
A nativity scene in the Star Barn
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David Abel and his wife Tierney are the developers of the Star Barn property. For many years we passed the majestic but decaying Star Barn on our travels between home and Harrisburg along 283 noting a large sign that said "Save The Star Barn".
Several times last light David shared background stories about the barn and a witness for Christ. David is a businessman who founded company in his grandmother's garage as a youth called "Dave's Stereo" which is now a multinational company DAS International, the world's largest provider of non-perishable products in the travel center industry. However his real passion is serving the Lord and others as he leads a ministry to orphaned children called "Brittany's Hope".
The Star Barn has many interesting rooms great for photography. Last night we visited with David and Karen Porter. David is an engineer and works for a company that makes components he told me we have all used in gasoline pumps! Brooksyne and I were visiting with David and Karen and considering this component for some strange reason I recalled and I launched into an old children's song that has a line "give me gas in my Ford, keep me 'truckin' for the Lord" and we all chuckled as we each recalled it from childhood. We wonder how many of you ever sang that variation in the children's song "Give Me Oil In My Lamp"?
Ron and Bonnie Hoover
Ron leads several local Convene business leader groups. They both keep "truckin for the Lord", staying in active service for Christ after 57 years of marriage. They hosted the function we attended at the Star Barn yesterday. They have a mentoring ministry that has touched many, many lives including ours.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"O Holy Night" Video Point of Grace This evening Brooksyne and Ester are going to a Point of Grace and Aaron Shust concert
"God Has Come To Earth" Video Aaron Shust
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 you, your family or church during this Christmas season.
"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. Here's a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)
"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. Brooksyne read and wrote about the poem in this message.
Christmas Knowledge Test
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).
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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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