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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Friday, May 21, 2021

Lancaster County farm scene
A scenic Lancaster County farm view from our travels yesterday
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"Real Victory"

Message summary: Ponder these words: "He gives us the victory". God is the source of victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Listen to this message on your audio player.

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

I stopped by a local Turkey Hill convenience store to buy a gallon of milk. The customer ahead of me was purchasing lottery tickets and I waited in line to pay for my purchase as he mused over his choice for numbers as if he was making an informed business decision. As I recall he commented concerning the "investment" he was making. It’s especially infuriating to observe someone pay for their grocery purchases using the state issued food stamp card for "free" food and then purchasing lottery tickets and other vices with cash! Our state even has vending machines that sell lottery tickets.

One of the many signs of decadence in our modern times is the lottery and gambling mania that is sweeping over America and I am sure much of the world in ever-greater waves. Here in Pennsylvania it is heavily advertised with an ongoing clamor for greater access to gambling. Ever since I lived in this state beginning in the mid-seventies there has been a state run lottery. We have “progressed” into casino type gambling and online casinos. Our shameless, morally bankrupt government promotes this nonsense and assures the glossy-eyed, duped masses that the "profits" go to a good cause.

Years ago I had a conversation with a longtime employee of the state welfare department who assured me from experience that the social costs are much greater than any "profits" the state makes. One method of deception in the lottery was that people were able to choose how they wanted their money distributed when they placed the bet. So many aspire to "winning" the lottery and see the jackpot as the answer to their problems.

Today let’s get some eternal perspective on the real winners!

Our daily verse proclaims who the real winners are! In this chapter Paul is completing his great magnum opus on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. He suddenly breaks forth in a declaration of thanksgiving: "Thanks be to God!", a rich, heartfelt exclamation directed heavenward.

Why? “He (God) gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ponder these words: "He gives us the victory". God is the source of victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. People desperately want "victory" in their lives. Most have no idea what it means, although there is no shortage of worldly attempts.

I want to think about my victory in Christ and live with a daily cognizance of that victory amongst the news of the day. One day I will be finished on this side of eternity and be called home and rest from my labors (Revelation 14:13), I’ve got a mansion built by the Master (John 14:2), and I expect to do some rather interesting traveling. I expect to have a grand eternal reunion with many from my earthly family and lots of others in my eternal family as well (1 Thessalonians 4:17). And best of all I will be with the Lord forever. That’s real victory!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we join the apostle Paul in declaring, “Thanks be to God! You give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Though His crucifixion and resurrection took place over 2000 years ago the victory that resulted echoes throughout the ages. The resurrection power provided for believers has not diminished with time, but is proven daily in the lives of believers who live victorious, overcoming lives. We do this by looking daily to Jesus the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising its shame, and now sits at Your right hand. Someday we’ll experience 100% victory over our enemy when we meet Jesus face to face. Keep us faithful till then. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Further note on today’s message: Years ago a pastor in the church we attended was preaching a series of messages on current issues specifically responding to topics requested by members of the congregation. He asked me if I would preach a message on gambling. At the time I thought it a bit peculiar that he would assign a guest speaker to a specific topic. I prepared a message and have posted a summary of it, along with an official statement, “A Biblical Perspective On Gambling” (Read here)

It was not till later I heard “the rest of the story”. I happened to know at the time that this pastor tended to hold more liberal, permissive views on this and other issues than most of the congregation and recall him expressing the acceptability of gambling as mere entertainment. Later a friend told me why I was asked to preach on that topic. The church held very conservative views and the pastor did not want to expose his permissive views on this matter so he asked me to speak, I suppose counting on me to preach a reliably conservative message!

Sadly more than a few of my ministry peers have taken a permissive view on this and quite a number of subjects that the evangelical, conservative church at one time reliably and forthrightly held strong views on such as gambling, alcohol consumption and sexual morality. We especially observe these more open views in the younger generation. After over forty-five years of ministry and observation we see no reason at all to abandon these high standards!

We work with some interesting company owners who express their faith in a variety of ways. Early yesterday morning I visited with Marlin Smucker, who has this lion on a huge mural on his office wall which brings to mind a song we enjoy, "The Lion And The Lamb"  Video  Big Daddy Weave  What a great song reminding us of our victory in Christ!

Lamb and goat
We stopped by a few minutes to visit the Lapp family on the Old Windmill Farm and always enjoy seeing and often holding the new animals.
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Hay work 5/20/21
Hay harvest is a family work time on the Old Windmill Farm and a farm wouldn't be complete without a dog in the center of the activities. Kiera is always present wherever the children are or whenever Brooksyne brings along dog treats. Fourteen year old Jamie is loading a bale of hay on the conveyor belt. Longtime readers will remember that we asked prayer for  Jamie, after he had a severe cut to his left arm last year in April. In fact he heard from a number of readers and was so thankful. He has full use of his arm and fingers with only a little numbness leftover from what could have been a much worse outcome from his accident. He has now graduated from eighth grade and from his school but will work on the farm and as other opportunities arise in the future.
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Hay work
Stephen helped a bit but pooped out long before the wagon was unloaded. Then he spent practically the rest of the day trying to get the hay brushed off his clothes. When we first got married in 1976 he worked on a crew putting up hay for dairy farmers in Southern Missouri sometimes out into the wee hours of the morning if there was a threat of rain.

Hay wagon 5/20/21
This load fell apart in the field and someone's got some extra work!
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Pat and Laverne 5/20/21
Last night my older brother Pat and his wife Laverne joined us for a salmon dinner. They are camping this week here in Lancaster County.

Martins bike shop sign
We had our bikes serviced yesterday at the Martins Bike Shop.
We like the testimony for the Lord expressed on this sign.
A very young man named Micah did the service. He's only 16 but acted so mature and professional. As I was paying our bill I asked him what Micah 6:8 said and he didn't know. I quoted it to him and suggested that's a great verse to memorize. There's not a book named Stephen but here's a line from his sermon in Acts 7 that provides an aspiration for me. As the crowd turned against him and the stoning began God gave him a vision and great assurance, "But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55,56). We read this in our Bible reading yesterday and considered our brothers and sisters who suffer for their faith, so many facing a situation like Stephen did.

Baby robins
Coming home after several chaplaincy visits this morning we saw some new baby robins in the nest we mentioned in Tuesday's message!
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Finally today:

Birthday shirt
Yesterday we ate breakfast at Hershey Farms Restaurant. As we were waiting to be seated I noticed the man ahead of me was wearing a shirt that said "Yes It's my birthday, May 20th" so I said in a celebratory voice, "Happy Birthday!".  Upon hearing me his wife turned around, looked at me and seemed stunned. "How did you know it was his birthday" she asked.  "It says so on his shirt" I told her. Though she has purchased the shirt for him she had forgotten that he was wearing it and was a bit embarrassed upon realizing she was the one who informed others who read his shirt. It's a small restaurant and a number of guests overheard the conversation which got us all laughing!

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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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