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, November 15, 2021

Horses along Trout Run Road
Horses along Trout Run Road that runs adjacent to Kraybill Church Road.
(Brooksyne's note: Vinyl fences may not need painting but they sure are prone to mildew! On our small family farm in Tulsa we were always repairing fences, but they were barbwire, not vinyl, and always in need of repair. A farmer's work is never done!!)

"Abounding In Hope"

Message summary: Turn your fears and doubts into absolute trust so that you may experience His abundant peace and rest today and "by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope”!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7). "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Romans 15:13).

Horse ridingWe are accustomed to seeing lots of horses in our county since we live in an Amish and old-order Mennonite area, and the horses are needed for transportation (horse and buggy) and field work. Of course we also have farms that raise horses for pleasure such as one near our home on Trout Run Road.

Yesterday afternoon we visited our friends on the Old Windmill Farm and the boys went horse riding. Brooksyne had horses growing up but I only rode a time or two and never was very good at it nor did I find much pleasure in it for that matter. I prefer a four wheeler or snowmobile or bikes for outdoor adventure. But Brooksyne loves to tell a story on me when I first visited her home in Tulsa. She'll tell the story here:

My family raised a number of horses in my younger years and some of them were very unpredictable like Spook who bucked me when I was about 12 years old. Another horse (can't remember the name) loved to rear up and unload his rider quite unexpectedly, which I got tired of pretty quickly. We finally got a reliable and gentle horse named Ginger, a perfect horse for a first time rider like Stephen.

Before he mounted we gave instructions on how to hold the reins of the bridle to get her to turn to the right or the left. We also taught him how to pull back to get her to slow down or stop. After our brief training Stephen put his foot in the stirrup, sat down on the saddle, and down the road he and Ginger went. We watched from a distance and hoped for the best. It didn't take long for us to realize he had forgotten our instructions since he was only inches away from our neighbor's barbwire fence all the way down the road.

It was obvious that he was not having a good time and wanted to get off the horse. But instead of pulling back the reins he yelled STOP! STOP! STOP! Anyone who's been around Stephen knows he has a booming voice, so all the way down the road the horse is running right next to the barb wire and Stephen is yelling louder and louder, STOP! STOP! STOP! I can't remember how we finally got him back to the house, but I do know we had a great laugh about Stephen's first attempt at being a "cowboy"!

Many people purchase or raise horses for transportation, racing and pleasure, but the daily verse is referring to the use of horses militarily, using the tactical methods common at the time it was written. Chariots and horses were a major component of military strength in ancient times. Of course today’s military vehicles used throughout the world far surpass the finest of chariots and horses of David’s day. Much strategic planning and training goes into preparing modern warriors to utilize and rely on their machinery for defense and combat against the enemy. Their security is reliant on their machinery much like the Bible warriors depended on their chariots and horses.

At first glance, the Scripture phrase may make no sense to us in our present culture. After all, we do not put our trust in horses and chariots today. Most of us only know horses for their recreational value and they are certainly no longer a significant component in modern warfare. Although horses are a more practical and utilitarian part of Amish life than the average household, they certainly do not put their trust in horses any more than most of us do our cars. Years ago we talked with an Amish friend whose horse died and I recall his expression of trust in God even at the time of such financial, functional, and personal loss.

But let's extend the sense of the verse to other areas where we might mistakenly place our trust.
  • Indeed many today still trust in whatever form of military dominance that is currently in use.
  • So many place their trust in political leaders who clamor for votes with promises they never fulfill. Candidates and political leaders can even have a messiah-like following, but hope does not come from politicians!
  • Many trust in their financial strategy and the status of their bank account or latest report from Wall Street or the Commerce Department, but real financial security is a pipe dream. As Job stated, "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
  • Medically it may be the latest wonder drug or medical procedure, but we know there are many situations beyond the wisdom or control of even the very best medical care.*
This verse is a great reminder of where our primary and utmost source of trust should be, "but we trust in the name of the LORD our God”.

Romans 15:13Our ultimate trust in all areas of life should be in the Lord our God. Yet failure to trust God is so often at the very heart of our problems. We place our trust in Jesus to be saved yet we must live daily in a trustful attitude to experience the abundant, fulfilling life He has for us. Paul prayed for the Romans, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Romans 15:13).

Are you living in trust today? Some of you have a problem that’s robbing you of the peace and joy that Christ provides.

Turn your fears and doubts into absolute trust so that you may experience His abundant joy, peace and rest today and "by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope"!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:  Father, the day to day circumstances in our lives are not scripted so that we know ahead of time what will unfold. Some events will be welcomed and even applauded, but others will be perplexing and even beyond our grasp to control. No matter the circumstance You simply want us to trust You, to hold on to Your unchanging hand, while You go before us making our crooked paths straight. We can overflow in hope with peace in our hearts because our hope rests on the fact that You keep every promise You make, that You are like a shield to all who seek Your protection (Proverbs 30:5). So many promises You have already fulfilled enabling us to trust You for the many promises that are yet to be fulfilled. Amen.

* Although we should not place our trust in these matters we still should seek God's will regarding our participation in government (such as voting), and how we use the resources and knowledge imparted to us concerning our health.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Battle Belongs"  Video  Phil Wickham 
Yesterday in our church service we sang "Battle Belongs" which we have both been blessed by. It reminds us the battle belongs to the Lord! One verse especially touched my heart and I recall looking it up to read the lyrics. "When all I see are the ashes, You see the beauty". Have you ever had a time in life that all you see are the ashes? Surely, more than a few of our readers can recall such a time and even now some of you might be in such a season. During such hard times may God give you grace to look beyond the ashes (whatever that may look like) and have abounding hope in our God who does the impossible.

And if You are for me, who can be against me?
For Jesus, there's nothing impossible for You
When all I see are the ashes, You see the beauty
When all I see is a cross, God, You see the empty tomb

"Grace So Glorious"  Video  Calvary Church worship team  Brooksyne's note: As Stephen and I were talking yesterday afternoon we both took away lyrics from the songs used during the service because of the richness and depth of the words. Here’s the portion I especially noted from the bridge in "Grace So Glorious":

O wondrous day when I will see
The face of Him who ransomed me
I’ll fall in worship at His feet
And rise to reign eternally

In a grace so glorious

"The Great Adventure"  Video  Steven Curtis Chapman   Flashback: As we were writing our message Ester was playing "Name That Tune" with Christian songs from the past. "Saddle Up Your Horses" from Great Adventure by Steven Curtis Chapman came on and I got a chuckle since I had just written about my Stephen mounting Ginger back in 1974. So we'll include this fun song - it was a huge hit back in the day and Ester played it all the time.

Ginger with girls 1974
Brooksyne's note: Writing our message today I remembered that I still have a photo of Ginger, the horse we wrote about that Stephen rode on. In April of 1974 (years before some of you were even born) I brought two close friends from Central Bible College home with me over the weekend. Tulsa is about 180 miles from Springfield, MO where we attended college. We rode horses and then had fun getting this photo with all three of us mounted on Ginger (as I said she was a gentle horse and we could do fun things with her). I am on the left, Dee Dee Basquin (a city girl from New Jersey as I recall) in the middle, and my best friend, Debbie Dalton from Ohio on the far right.

Bird in house
I spy a bird (can you find it)?
Coming home yesterday afternoon a bird entered our house, giving Gracie some genuine excitement after hours of watching birds virtually on the computer (her favorite hobby). The little Carolina Wren apparently entered through our sliding door and after few minutes of seeing her flit about our house it occurred to me what birds do (hint-they don't use a litter box) so we finally managed to shoo her back outside.

Gracie at Kleen-Rite
Gracie goes to work! We often take Sadie, our Shih Tzu/Lhasa Apso, to Kleen-Rite Warehouse to greet the employees, since Kleen-Rite is a pet friendly company. They also built a cat shelter in nearby Columbia, so we thought the employees would enjoy meeting Gracie. We put her on a leash so she wouldn't jump from our arms if she got frightened, but she did great - especially for a kitten among strangers. The loud machinery occasionally frightened her but she was a big hit with all the cat lovers, she even got some kisses!

Finally today:

Paul and Sylvia Hollinger
Yesterday after our worship service I ran into Paul and Sylvia Hollinger who served for many years as the general manager of WDAC 94.5. He began his career in 1961 when he was hired to serve as the general manager of WDAC and retired in 2007. "We spent 50 years in Christian broadcasting, conveying the gospel of Jesus to our listening area," Paul said.
I first met Paul at WDAC shortly before his retirement at an open house and inquired about a sign on his desk, "I have CRS" which prompted a message over 15 years ago titled "Remember These Things". Brooksyne's note:  It is so sweet that Paul carries his wife's purse for her as they enter and leave the church service. Not sure of the circumstances, but it is an obviously loving gesture of Paul assisting his precious wife.

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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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