Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Friday, October 21, 2022

Granby Connecticut church with pumpkins
Church in Granby, Connecticut. The plethora of pumpkins in the front yard bring the fall colors to life on the leaf strewn lawn! Perhaps this is the outdoor congregation of pumpkins.

"Daily Encouragement!"

Message summary: Are you a Barnabas?  Be an encourager!

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"When he (Saul, later known as Paul) came to Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles" (Acts 9:26,27). "Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing" (1 Thessalonians 5:11). "But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called 'Today,' so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13). "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).

Brooksyne as a babyToday is a special day in our family. First of all, it's Brooksyne's birthday so that's special for her and our family! She was born in Tulsa Oklahoma, the fourth of five children and grew up on a small farm on the outskirts, although technically within the city limits. She accepted the Lord while in Junior High School. After high school she felt a call to attend Bible College and we met at the now defunct Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri our freshman year and had our first date on her 18th birthday in 1973.

Today is also the very day this ministry started 26 years ago in 1996. I had preached a sermon the night before in the church I pastored in Taunton, Massachusetts from Hebrews 3 about how we were to encourage one another daily. The next day, October 21, I sent a short email out to two of our church people. At the time I had no idea it would continue the next day, then the next day, and now 26 years later!

Today let us consider one of the great "encouragers" in the Bible. Barnabas is a nickname and I have further heard people make another nickname from that nickname, "Barney, The Encourager".


Consider his influence; no book in the Bible was written by him, we don't have the text of any sermon he preached as we do Peter, Stephen and Paul. In fact there's not even a single quote attributed exclusively to Barnabas. All the information we have about him are brief, biographical snippets. But these snippets tell a lot about him. they tell us he was an encourager!

He first comes on the scene in Acts 4:36 as "Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means 'Son of Encouragement')". Thus Barnabas is essentially a nickname and every single future reference to him in Scripture uses this nickname given by the apostles! He's never referred to as Joseph again.

The first daily text is so typical of Barnabas' ministry as an encourager. After his dramatic conversion Saul, later known as Paul, had come to Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. I can sure understand the apprehension of the disciples concerning the recently converted Saul! After all he had a vicious reputation. They probably reasoned his newfound conversion might have been a mere ruse to get in close quarters with the disciples.

Note just the two words, "But Barnabas". His action is so indicative of an encourager. Barnabas believed in the power of Jesus Christ to perform the miracle of transformation. And Saul (who became Paul) was indeed genuinely transformed. Consider the tremendous contribution Paul made to the church in his apostolic ministry and letters. I am sure thankful for Barnabas who chose to stand up for him!

Barnabas is an encourager and additional references in Scripture demonstrate this. We are all indebted to encouragers even though it certainly is not considered one of the more prominent ministries, such as a polished preacher, dynamic worship leader, or powerful vocalist.

Hebrews 3:13

A subtheme of this ministry is "Everyone Needs Encouragement." We sure believe that. Early yesterday morning I visited a company and the owners were burdened at the heavy trial an employee was bearing and later in the day I had the opportunity to follow-up with an expression of encouragement.

There are matters in our lives that can easily bring on discouragement but thankfully most of us don't live in a state of discouragement. And yet I don't believe there will ever come a time that I'd say, "I just don't need any more encouragement. I've had enough for today. Thanks anyway." I am always receptive to another's encouragement since in a sense I can store it up, drawing from it when a time of discouragement comes! And I expect that you feel the same way, so on this 26th anniversary of this ministry, let us once again write to you: Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we're reminded of the important role people like Barnabas play in our lives. They give us the benefit of the doubt; they reach out to us when others turn away; they see our need even when we don't verbally express it; they steer us in the right direction when we've taken a wrong turn; they model for us the reflection of Christ. I thank You, Father, for Your Spirit manifested through these encouragers who physically, emotionally, and spiritually bless my life by their encouraging words and actions toward me. Prompt me often to spread the same kind of encouragement to those whom I have opportunity to bless. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Shady Maple
This morning we will meet some friends for breakfast and later in the day head over to the Shady Maple for Brooksyne's "free" birthday meal. This is sort of a tradition in our family!

Here's some info about Daily Encouragement Net

Daily Encouragement Ministry Chronology

October 21, 1996 - First email sent to Nigel and Laifong, a married couple who attended our church. We did so again the next day and... and developed it into a list (which was initially merely a group list added to manually one by one.) We still stay in contact with Nigel and Laifong and it seems they still read our messages! Laifong now works with Wycliffe Bible Translators.
1999 - The initial website was developed by Andy Larrimore, a friend in the church we served at the time in New England.
2002 - Began one minute radio spots extracted from Daily Encouragement messages as well as original messages written by Brooksyne that may not be featured in one of our DE messages.
2004 - Resigned from full-time job with Marketplace Chaplains, a chaplain agency.
2005 - Developed html email (formatted with photos as opposed to just plain text), began podcasting daily messages, set up blog/RSS feeds, Brooksyne "officially" joined in the message preparation.
2006 - Received official endorsement as the first "internet chaplain" from chaplaincy endorsement agency. (I already had endorsement for corporate chaplaincy and Civil Air Patrol chaplaincy.)
2006 onward - Just kept keeping on!

Each of these messages, since the very first one, are stored in a single WORD document which currently has over 5,000,000 words and over 7,700 pages (10pt type). However even this total is probably significantly understated since, as many writers know, you tend to type many words that get chopped as you go along or are eliminated in the editing process! Plus we prepare a lot of extra material on the html posts such as photo captions, music descriptions and so forth that aren't even in this archive.

Ministry update: For those interested we direct you to a revised ministry update in light of our 26th ministry anniversary.

Survey: If you would care to do so we have prepared a short survey (it takes about two minutes). Since we know little about many of our readers and podcast listeners we find this helpful in having a sense of who you are and how you are using our materials. Click here to take survey.

Support Our Ministry: We are thankful for those who support our ministry with their financial offerings. Some give monthly, others periodically or one-time. We generally each spend about 3-4 hours daily preparing these messages, managing the technical details and responding to email feedback and reader's needs (some days more, some days less). If any reader would like to consider an offering to our online ministry information is here or direct through PayPal. We assure you that we value each reader, whether you are able to give or not.

Future plans: Essentially we pray for strength to continue preparing and sharing these messages each weekday and for the foreseeable future intend a ministry mix between internet and chaplaincy. Essentially the chaplaincy gets us out regularly to the real world for a fresh perspective!

Brooksyne's Note: As we share the history of this web ministry I am reminded of our Lord's faithfulness and the diverse giftings He gives to those He has called. It is extremely humbling to us that God's Spirit speaks to the hearts of men and women all around the world through our daily messages. When we got our first computer Stephen and I would never have imagined the medium of computer technology giving us "a voice" to reach people all over the world. Your prayers, feedback, and support spur us on and challenge us to remain faithful in this writing ministry. 

Here's the very first daily Encouragement message from Monday, October 21, 1996:

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).

Hopefully each of you were in church yesterday and received fresh strength from the Lord and His Word. Unfortunately, then, even as now, some had forsaken this important element of growth and discipleship.  As we see the Day of Christ's return drawing ever closer may we be encouraged. Whatever you do today remember the main thing: "Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"He Will Hold Me Fast"  Video  Shane & Shane

"Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good"  Video  Fortune/Walker/Rogers/Isaacs We hope to attend a Gaither Vocal Band Christmas concert at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA on December 1.

Pumpkins in front of churches is a neat New England custom. Here's a photo of one we saw last year in Sturbridge, MA.

Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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Thank you,

Stephen & Brooksyne

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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