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, October 11, 2021

Gracie Bible study
It looks like our kitten Gracie may be interested in a Bible Study!

Note: Today Ester and I are heading up to Boston to watch the Red Sox game tonight at Fenway Park. With last night's 13 inning victory they can win the playoff series tonight! Though generations have come and gone, Fenway Park remains, much like it did the day it opened on April 20, 1912 and bills itself, probably accurately, as America's most beloved ballpark. We sure think so! It's an early birthday present from Ester. (Of course I'm financially making her birthday present possible!) We will be staying in Massachusetts tonight. I was concerned about parking since today is also the Boston Marathon but in seeking counsel from Nigel, a friend living in Newton near the Green Line, he offered a parking spot near his home, a short distance from the Chestnut Hill train station!


Message summary: In a powerful and often memorized teaching in John 8 Jesus declares, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36). If you are born again, washed in the blood of Jesus, why not declare aloud, with great joy and thanksgiving, "Hallelujah, I'm freed by God's wonderful grace!" And, if you're so inclined, you may even want to shout it out!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36). "To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood" (Revelation 1:5).

Last week John Stonestreet, who spoke at a banquet Thursday evening shared how growing up in northern Virginia he remembers Lancaster County as the place with the funny names. Well, that's true. We have some rather unusual town names like Blue Ball, Bird-in Hand and Intercourse.

I attended a second banquet on Friday evening in Lititz, another interestingly named Lancaster County town. Locals pronounce it this way (short video) but I recall the rather risqué, though not intentional way Don Smith, a former boss from Texas, mispronounced it with his heavy southern drawl!

Henry FreedI like to consider names that can lead to a witness like Love, Mercy, Grace, Charity and other uncommon but interesting first names. At the banquet Friday night I met a man whose last name is "Freed'. I looked at his name tag and said, "So you've been set free!" which prompted a brief conversation. He was so excited to share about his wife, who had been very sick with covid, but was now healed and attending the banquet with him.

Like most of you, I don't have a last name that prompts a consideration of a spiritual truth but all of us who have turned to Christ and received His redemption are freed!

When Jesus came to earth many people were looking for a political liberator. But that was not the liberation Christ primarily came for. It was initially disappointing for many who were looking for that. But spiritual freedom is a much greater blessing than political and it's eternal!

Actually I see a similar phenomenon in the present political situation. People are crying out for a leader whom they feel will make things right. But the political world is full of promises that can never be met. Certainly Jesus could have liberated the people from Roman occupation and bondage. But His purpose was far greater and accomplished freedom from a far greater bondage, and not just for a generation but for all eternity. In the final book of the Bible the Apostle John powerfully states, "To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood" (Revelation 1:5).

John wrote this verse sixty years after the great Event when Christ shed His blood and died on the cross for our sins. John had been an eyewitness to that sacrifice and now wrote as the last surviving member of the 12 disciples who had walked with the Lord.

The Bible teaches that the only way to true freedom is through the blood of Jesus. If you are born again, washed in the blood of Jesus, why not declare aloud, with great joy and thanksgiving, "Hallelujah, I'm freed by God's wonderful grace!" And, if you're so inclined, you may even want to shout it out! You can be freed.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, You have declared, through the words of Scripture, that there is no other name under heaven given unto men by which we must be saved. The apostles, full of the Holy Spirit, shared that message with the elders and chief priests, boldly asserting that it is by the name of Jesus Christ, that people are saved, healed, and delivered. Our singular focus must be focused on Jesus, whom You offered as the only way to freedom and having an eternal relationship with us. Thank You, God, that I am free thanks to Your marvelous grace, through the blood sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.

See Acts 4:8-12

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I'm Free"  Video  Canton Junction

"Freed"  Video  Westan Arnold

"I Speak Jesus"  Video  Here Be Lions

Align Banquet
Before the banquet I took this photo of Daryl and Janet Leisey. Daryl was one of the first people I met when we moved to Lancaster County in 2001 while he served as the HR director of a local company. Daryl was Master of Ceremonies at the banquet. Also in the photo is Lisa Hostetter, the executive director of Align Ministries. Lisa is also in our Sunday School class (called Adult Bible Fellowship in our church) and often shares of her witnessing opportunities as she is very excited and bold in speaking to others about Christ!

Align statement of purpose
Lisa is an outstanding speaker and was recently selected as Lancaster Bible College Alumnus of the Year. For many years the ministry was named Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services but in recent years the name was changed to Align Life Ministries. Until I saw this purpose statement we didn't understand why they changed the name to align and thought it sounded like the name of a probiotic! Align Ministries does a wonderful job of standing up for a pro-life position.

Until we moved to Lancaster County we had not been familiar with banquets that are used for fund-raising or at least nothing like we see around here. It seems nearly every weekend a nonprofit ministry or organization raises funds for their cause with a banquet. Essentially a ministry uses a large banquet room in a restaurant like the Shady Maple or church fellowship hall (like the E-Free church we met in on Friday) and has a meal with sponsors buying tables. Those sponsors invite guests and pay for their meals. Usually they have a national level guest speaker and an appeal for support from attendees and this seems to work very well. We have been to three of them in the last several weeks and in late October will be at one more for The Pennsylvania Family Institute in Hershey. As you would imagine the COVID pandemic in 2020 brought these fundraisers to a halt so it's good to see once again the many banquets, drive through BBQ's and others means of raising funds for good ministries and causes.

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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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