Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.

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Monday, May 10, 2021
Harpers Ferry WV, Photo by Richard Spiegel
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
While visiting people in their workplace we often see interesting photos displayed on their computer screen. Richard is originally from Maryland and often shares about his favorite place, Harpers Ferry WV, so we decided to go there for our 45th anniversary weekend. Richard is a friend and fellow Christian we see at White Oak Display in the course of our chaplaincy and he took this photo from Maryland Heights.  It's interesting how some people perceive our work. He once wrote, "fellowship with a brother in Christ always re-focuses my day on what's important."
(Click on photo for larger view)

"The Long Haul"

Message summary: Whatever your circumstances, however serious your situation, regardless of how long you've waited; keep believing, obeying, and praying. We will reap a harvest; that's the assurance we receive directly from Scripture for the long haul!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58). "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).

This last Saturday we celebrated two anniversaries. Both gave us the opportunity for reflection upon God's blessings and faithfulness over the increasingly long haul of life. (We were married forty-five years ago on May 8, 1976 and I was ordained for Christian ministry forty-two years ago on May 8, 1979). Of course for many families there was the big celebration of Mothers Day on Sunday.

This last weekend we went to Harpers Ferry, WV primarily to ride our bikes on the C&O canal trail and walk a portion of the Appalachian Trail. It was a bit colder and rainier than we would have preferred but we made the best of it, although our bikes are covered with trail mud!

The Appalachian Trail is 2200 miles long from its southern terminus at Springer Mountain Georgia to the northern terminus at Mount Katahdin in Maine. We have hiked portions of the trail in 7 states. It seemingly runs very inefficiently as far as getting from one point to the next. The actual distance between the north and south terminus is about half the hiking distance. It goes up and down and around to maintain a relatively steady grade.

That's kind of like life. Between our two certificates (birth and death) we have lots of "dangers, toils and snares". Sometimes were on a route that just made no sense.

We have so often found assurance in the two daily verses during our marriage and in our ministry. The farther along I get I have a greater perspective in seeing God's hand at work during the "why" seasons of life. The "why" seasons are when we just don't understand God's ways in our life and we wonder why.  But as we grow in Christ and mature we call this the perspective of the long haul. I suppose it's just one of the good things about getting older!

We can look back at the times of dismay, discouragement, and even feelings of despair.  I've been criticized, attacked and even vilified. (Although nothing compared to what so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ have been through). I've faced forms of temptation common to all men and forms rather unique to the minister of the Gospel. But God's Word says my labor in the Lord is not in vain and at the proper time I will reap a harvest. Staying faithful and maintaining integrity brings great reward!

There's lots of things I'm finding in the aging process that are not enjoyable, but one bright spot is that we have gained perspective not yet available to us in our youth. The perspective over the long haul is that in so many ways we are now reaping the harvest of seeds sown many years ago. A blessed marriage, so many longtime friends now living all over the world, young people I dedicated as babies and discipled through childhood and youth now serving God faithfully. We know there are still aspects of the harvest that are yet future, and quite realistically more "why" times will come. But what a joy, as life progresses, to experience the reaping, although we certainly continue to sow as well. 

The assurance in these two verses is for all of Christ's followers regardless of the type of service you are in. Receive this assurance today. Your labor in the Lord is not in vain and you will reap a harvest. So let me encourage you today to keep your hand to the plow. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord and continue to do good as you serve the one true God. Whatever your circumstances, however serious your situation, regardless of how long you've waited.  Keep believing, obeying and praying.  We will reap a harvest. That's assurance for the long haul!

But the reality is this: not everyone who has been introduced to Christ stays in it for the long haul nor do they continue on the path of the straight and narrow way. There are the drifters, the doubters, and the disobedient who veer off on treacherous paths that steer them away from the upward road. Be sure that you never enter that dead end route.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Faithful Father, many portions of Scripture speak of fruit as an outgrowth of sowing good seed in fertile soil. Help us to be faithful and fruitful over the long haul, especially during times of disappointment, spiritual dryness and delayed answers to prayer. Often times we forget that You generously bless us in ways more numerous than we can recall even in difficult times. We are in this spiritual race for the duration and will never give up but will finish the race, for victory is just ahead! Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"He's Been Faithful"  Video   Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"Faithful To The End"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

When I'm feeling afraid, Full of uncertainty
When the plans that I've made all fall apart
When the futures unclear, and all that I can do is wait
There is a promise echoing in my heart.

That he will be faithful to the end
He will provide time and time again
He will be faithful, So faithful to the end

Today we share some photos from our weekend in Harpers Ferry WV.
Note: Harpers Ferry does not have an apostrophe ('s)

Appalachian Trail sign
The Appalachian Trail crosses the Potomac River into West Virginia from Maryland over the bridge to the left in the photo. It also shares the trail for several miles with the C&O tow path which winds around the mountain to the right of the rail tunnel close to the river.
(Click on photo for larger view)

Harpers Ferry rail bridge
Potomac River from Harpers Ferry, WV
We walked on this pedestrian walk along the train tracks and saw many padlocks attached to the fencing. But, of course, we were more struck by the beautiful mountainous view.
(Click on photo for larger view)

Harpers Ferry rail tunnel
  Harpers Ferry rail tunnel from the C&O bike trail.

Harpers Ferry rail tunnel
A train coming through Harpers Ferry rail tunnel with bright afternoon sun.

Harpers Ferry buildings
Harpers Ferry has lot of interesting buildings

Harpers Ferry flowers
Bright pansies during a moment of sunny weather!

Harpers Ferry buildings
Civil War era buildings in Harpers Ferry
Click on photo to enlarge

Harpers Ferry 45th anniversary photo
Our forty-fifth anniversary photo in front a Harpers Ferry store window.
(Click on photo for larger view)

Finally today:

I like trains and when I heard one coming I ran up to the station to see it pass. Brooksyne came up behind me and took a video but I lovingly chastised her for being way too close to the tracks when she took it! The curve in the track threw us for a curve as to how close the train was to where we were standing. It took only a few seconds for Brooksyne to realize how dangerously close she was and she moved back about three feet. Video

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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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