Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Amish hay harvest
Our neighbor on Kraybill Church Road making hay while the sun is still shining.
Click to enlarge

Note: We did not prepare a Daily Encouragement message for Tuesday. Monday afternoon, following a chaplain visit, we went on a 22 mile bike ride on the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail from Colebrook to Lebanon City and back. By the time we got home we were just too tired and had an early morning appointment on Tuesday.


Message summary: Today may the Lord help each of us to "make the most of every opportunity".

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone" (Colossians 4:3-6).

Squirrel at peanut feederOur friends, Rick and Rachel Caldwell, observed this squirrel through a window in their house in York County. An onlooker might think he's at a pulpit preaching to a vast audience of red and gray squirrels the gospel in a nutshell! His text was John 3:16 (often called the gospel in a nutshell).

But actually he's preparing to open a special squirrel feeder filled with peanuts. The opportunistic squirrels have learned to lift the lid for a tasty treat. They received the squirrel feeder from a friend, in hopes that the squirrels which they have named Frick, Frack, and Froe, would leave the bird feeders alone and gather around their own peanut stash, kind of like when you go to the Texas Roadhouse and get a bucket of "free" peanuts!

Squirrels are cute especially as they sit on their hind legs and devour their acorns. We have many around our place, especially under and in our oak trees. We donít dislike them but we sure donít buy the expensive black-oil sunflower seeds for them, although we welcome them to eat whatever falls to the ground. We want to see the variety of birds that come to our feeders! But the squirrels persistently manage to get to the seeds unless you have a squirrel-proof feeder, but then they still try! An admirable trait of the squirrel is their making the most of their opportunity.

Among our chaplaincy duties we seek to encourage and equip Christians to serve and let their light shine in the workplace. With interest in organized religion and "going to church" declining in America it is more vital than ever for believers to be salt and light in our increasingly secularized world.

What a blessing in the course of our ministry to see this taking place. Several years ago a woman who worked in the HR office of a company we had served was diagnosed with cancer. She was a quiet spoken woman but I recall periodically speaking to her when Iíd visit the company. She was able to work a while after her cancer diagnosis but then her condition worsened to the point she was no longer able to work and she eventually passed away.

She used this hard period in her life to serve God faithfully and to share her faith. Her last day in the office she made the most of the opportunity and left a remarkable message to her fellow workers thanking them for the association she had with them. She also included this clear witness of her faith:

"According to the doctor I may not have real long to live, however that is ultimately in Godís hands. I want you to know that although I donít want to die yet, if that occurs I am ready. Iím ready because Iím reconciled with God. And that is because of Jesus, and the fact that He died on the cross for me. I believe in Him, and that Heís paid the price for my sins. This is a wonderful gift of mercy and grace available to us all. Because of this, I am not afraid of death and know that when I die I will go to heaven. My hope and prayer is that each one of you will also accept this gift from God. Believe me, itís what really matters."

What a blessed peace and assurance she conveyed in her note during her final days on this earth and even
now after she has been gone for several years. What greater legacy of eternal value could a co-worker leave with those whom she'd worked beside day after day, year after year.

The Director of Human Resources in that company, also a believer, sent out a very moving notification to the entire company, informing them of her death and included her written witness. I can just imagine how many in this company were impacted by the thoughtful words she spoke in writing where she made the most of her opportunity.

Let us focus on just a phrase in our daily Scripture portion, "make the most of every opportunity". These are the opportunities where "we proclaim the mystery of Christ". The apostle Paul requested prayer from the Colossian believers, "that God may open a door for our message". That's a prayer we ought to offer regularly!

This is not just for those in formal positions of ďministryĒ such as a pastor or missionary, but for all who follow Christ and seek to let His light shine through them. Like the woman whose cancer ridden body did not steal her soul, nor her witness for Christ, but she left a life changing testimony and provided a powerful witness to share among the employees.

May the Lord help all of us this day to indeed "make the most of every opportunity".

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You supply us with many opportunities to be a witness for Your kingdom. We must make the most of these opportunities to be light and salt in this darkened world. Since our lives are the ďonly Bible that some people readĒ we must be careful of what we say and do. May our attitudes reflect that of Christ and our words bring truth, hope and guidance to those traveling on the broad road that leads to destruction. By the power of Your Holy Spirit we can make a difference to those whose path we cross today. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Wonderful Grace of Jesus"  Video  Elnora Dresselhaus We met Richard and Elnora Dresselhaus on a visit to San Diego several years ago. For many years Richard was the pastor of a large church in San Diego. They both stay active in ministry in their senior years with a daily message from Richard called "One For The Road" and since the pandemic began Elnora has been posting a daily hymn on her You Tube channel. She is a gifted musician who will bless those who especially enjoy the classic hymns and other inspirational music.

Making a squirrel feeder from scrap wood  Video  (my next project)

Today we will share some scenes from our travels throughout Lancaster County

Amish farm
The "Down On The Farm Creamery" farm is south of Strasburg and has delicious ice cream.
Click to enlarge

Amish boy working
This young Amish boy is unloading a pallet off the truck demonstrating the strong work ethic instilled early on in the Amish culture.
Click to enlarge

Amish garden
The characteristically well-tended garden on the farm. It appears that there is still much more to be planted.
Click to enlarge

Lancaster County hay bales
These large green hay bales are seen on Colebrook Road, Mount Joy.
Click to enlarge

Finally today:

Bandaged fingers
Tim is a man we visit who has a vibrant testimony for Christ. He recently shaved off the tips of two of his fingers on a saw at work. Thankfully, it was finger tips, not fingers. He told me he has an internal 3-D printer adding layer after layer of new skin to the wound.

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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 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.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, 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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