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, December 24, 2021

Kelly Ave nativity scene
Neighbors celebrating the reason for the season
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior ...."

"We Need Christmas!"

Message summary: Let us acknowledge that we need Christmas and let us rejoice in thanksgiving that Jesus came to this world. Like the shepherds and scores of people since that time let us glorify and praise God!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger'" (Luke 2:8-12).

Looking for a new Christmas song I came across one titled "We Need Christmas" by Matthew West. It seems to be especially written with the current atmosphere of our day. Consider this line, "We need Christmas, now more than ever, to bring us together". There is so much division, among nations, domestically and even among friends and family. This line is somewhat of an understatement:

This world could use a little healing
Our hearts could surely use something to believe in

Actually this world could use a lot of healing but I didn't write the song! Matthew West has written some wonderfully explicit Christian songs but this song is a bit more generalized probably on purpose, focusing on the sentimental season and bringing out many Christmas memories for all of us. We provide a link to it below and perhaps you will enjoy the song and its beautiful setting.

But today we are prompted to base our message on the title, "We Need Christmas".

We need Christmas because in various ways we all have fears. The specific source of fear for the shepherds was due to the startling appearance of the angel Gabriel in the dark of night after a hard day's work. Not only was Gabriel a supernatural angelic being but the glory of the Lord shone around him lighting up the dark sky. Fear in one way or another is a universal condition so their response was very natural. What is causing fear in your life today? We encourage you to internalize these phrases found all through the Bible, "Fear not" and "Do not be afraid". Fear will dissolve if you "trust in the Lord with all your heart" (Proverbs 3:5).

We need Christmas because we desperately need "good news of great joy". This good news of great joy was not only for the shepherds but explicitly for "all the people". The good news of great joy in the Christmas message far, far exceeds any other good news that might bring us great joy. Don't get me wrong... I like good news in life and it generally brings me joy. And I want us all to find "exceeding great joy" just like the wise men who saw the star over Bethlehem, but our exceeding great joy is the eternally good news that God sent His Son.

We need Christmas because we need a Savior! The heart of the Christmas story is the angel's announcement to the shepherds that, "There is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord". We need a Savior, for we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Our Savior meets our greatest need, the need of salvation.

Let us acknowledge that we need Christmas and let us rejoice in thanksgiving that Jesus came to this world. Like the shepherds and scores of people since that time let us glorify and praise God!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Jesus, You are the light of the world. We are bearers of that light since we who once walked in darkness have seen Your glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came to us from the Father, full of grace and truth. As we walk in Your light we also walk in Your grace and truth, sharing with others the good news of salvation provided to us by Your sacrificial death on the cross. Thank You for the most precious gift we could ever receive. Amen.

Manger scene at Shadow Mountain Church
The Webers at the Shadow Mountain Community Church Courtyard Nativity

Christmas greeting to our readers:

We express our greatest appreciation and love to you, our faithful daily encouragement readers. We have met or heard from so many fine readers from all walks of life and from all regions of the world and we are better for it in our spiritual walk and our social life. We always enjoy your feedback and your stimulating comments that affirm or challenge us to think further on a subject matter. We're even glad for those of you who take the time to let us know a link is broken or a date is wrong, etc.

We are praying for those whose Christmas season may be difficult this year due to a heartache you are experiencing, and for those who suffer from a significant loss in your life. May our faithful Lord meet you and bring a deep settled peace in your heart as you reflect upon Him as the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace.

Special Year-end Financial Appeal

We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Like many ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.

Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies from 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.

To donate directly online click here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: STEPHEN & BROOKSYNE WEBER - 700001-237376 SERVING IN SPECIALIZED CHAPLAINCY

Make A Donation Please Note: If you desire you can donate directly through PayPal using this link. This will open to a page that states "Brooksyne Weber".  We keep this option available due to the familiarity, convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not need an official receipt. You can also set up for recurring donations. You also can use PayPal on this link. 

Thank you,

Stephen & Brooksyne

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"We Need Christmas"  Video  Matthew West (new song)

"The Heart of Christmas"  Video  Matthew West (from ten years ago)

Christmas Eve In just a couple hours Brooksyne will head to the church since the adult choir is singing at 4:00 and 6:30. She has been excited about this evening as are many of you who are participating in your Christmas Eve services wherever you live. One of the featured songs in our church tonight is Chris Rice's song, (below), "Welcome to Our World".

"Welcome To Our World"  Video  Chris Rice

"Rejoice with Exceeding Great Joy"  Video  The Gaither Family

Gracie and Sadie
Gracie: "Santa, I've been a very good kitty and only broke one nice dish during the holidays. Can I still have catnip for my stocking?"

Bell cookies
Pecan filled Christmas Bells
Can you find the misshaped bell and tell us what shape it is?

59 BMW
At the AACa Museum last week in hershey we saw this tiny 1959 BMW Isetta 300. The car was a hit, with BMW producing more than 160,000 between 1955 and 1962, and we love it. It's fun, funky and practical---and the front of the car is the door! Sure it was horrifically unsafe, but just look at it!

Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)

Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years. Perhaps they may be a blessing to you, your family or church during this Christmas season.

"In Remembrance of Me" pdf  This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years.  We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.  Here's a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)

"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.

Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18  pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him"  pdf

My First Christmas In Heaven  This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year.

Christmas Knowledge Test

We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).

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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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