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, December 27, 2021

First seasonal snow
This morning we are having our first "sticking" snow of the season although we don't know how long it will stick! We did not have a white Christmas and it was even warm enough for a bike ride.

"The Lord Has Come,
and The Lord Is Coming"

Message summary:  One day we will gather looking back on both the first and second comings of the Lord!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:11-14).

This last weekend we celebrated "the grace of God [that] has appeared, bringing salvation to all men". In our church we had a dynamic Christmas Eve service with choir and orchestra extolling the first coming of Jesus Christ. Many of you did as well or had a special time set apart to remember and honor that glorious historic event!

Nursing home serviceSince we were young we have held church services in senior homes. Brooksyne, in her young teen years, went with her youth leaders on Sunday afternoons to Sherwood Manor in Tulsa where they wheeled in the residents and held afternoon church services. She wouldn't have known at the time that twenty years later her grandmother would become a resident before her death at 70 years of age. The very first sermon I (Stephen) preached while preparing for ministry was at a state lung hospital in Mount Vernon, Missouri while still in my teens.

Presently we are part of a rotating team that provides services on Sunday afternoons for the residents at Paramount Home (formerly Longwood Manor), who for the most part are no longer able to get out and attend their own church. This covid season has been very hard on the residents with many cancellations and lock-downs. However they sure love their church service and we are blessed to see not only the residents, but a number of family members as well as some staff who attend.

The residents come out in various degrees of impairment common to the aged; walkers, wheelchairs, oxygen. Some are frail in their memory, but they sure do sing out the familiar songs of Christ’s birth.

We normally associate the Christmas story with the young; Mary, Joseph, and the baby, Jesus. But there are two older people in the Christmas story; one implicit and the other explicit.
  • We assume Simeon is old since he had waited for the "consolation of Israel" and after seeing Christ he was ready to die. (Luke 2:25-35). 
  • The other was Anna, an old prophetess whose specific age of 84 is revealed, something not all women would appreciate! (Luke 2:36-38).
Simeon holding JesusThe “consolation of Israel” that Simeon looked forward to was the first advent or the first coming of the Lord, a longstanding Old Testament promise that the devout had anticipated for many generations. Many, of course, died without seeing the fulfillment of this prophesy but a select group including Simeon and Anna, were among those alive when Jesus came the first time. Not only were they alive but they, along with a description of their devotion, are included in the birth narrative of our Savior. I’m heartened by this fact; people of every age are vital to God’s kingdom.

Now for 2000 years we have been among those who look back to the first advent and joyfully look forward to the second. Each generation has wondered if they might be among those who are alive at the second coming of the Lord. We look back with certainty of faith in the fulfillment of God’s promise in sending the Messiah to this earth. We now look forward with anticipatory faith at the Promise of His second coming. Today’s text alludes to both comings: "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men", ... "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus".

One day we will gather looking back on both comings. Our abode will not be in a nursing home or any place where we are impaired by the physical human nature. Our setting will be in heaven, a place where we will never grow old. We will have our glorified bodies “and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Joy To The World, the Lord has come!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:  Father, I rejoice in the blessing that we are not still waiting for the consolation of Israel, but were born after Christ came into the world to save us. Though there are many promises in Scripture yet to be fulfilled the most important has been answered in the birth, death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. We are now among those who look “for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” We look back and give thanks for Christ’s birth. We look forward and cry out, “Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, come!"

Brooksyne's Note: Stephen wrote about his first sermon he preached in an institutional setting and my mind raced back to the first time I shared in a public setting. Early on God had spoken to my heart that I was going to be in ministry and I must have shared that with my youth leaders, or perhaps they saw in me the passion I had for sharing Jesus with others. I was invited to speak at a nursing home across town (Tulsa) when I was 15 years old. I felt the invitation was from God and so I presented a message based on Psalm 23. I'm sure I prayed a lot as I prepared the message, but most likely I chose this psalm because I had memorized it in Sunday School as a child. It was familiar and a source of comfort to me. I don't know how well the message went over, but I can still remember how kind and receptive the residents were while I spoke, as they must have seen the genuineness of my heart. I've always encouraged people who want to be used of God either musically or in sharing from the Bible, to make themselves available to a nursing home. There's always a need and the residents are so grateful for people's willingness to share. You don't have to worry about having a critic in the audience which is the biggest hindrance to those who feel led but somewhat inadequate to go forward with a gifting or calling God has placed upon their lives.

Special Year-end Financial Note

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

"Joy To The World"  Video  ReAwaken Hymns

Cherry pie  for Christmas dinner!
Here's one of Brooksyne's pies, something she enjoys putting together since she simply opens a quart of her homemade fruit fillings and pours it into her crust
. As she says during canning season, "It's a mess now, but the payoff comes during the winter months."

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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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