Thursday, August 28, 2014

Daily Encouragement (09/28/14) "Blooming In A Dark Place"

Daily Encouragement Net
A daily, Bible-based message of hope and encouragement. Having trouble reading this message? 
Read mobile edition online
Daily Encouragement Net Header
The on line Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home   About Us  Archives   Free email subscription   ListenListen to these messages
Contact Us
  Print Text only for printing
  Bookmark and Share  

Make A Donation
 See here for more info.

<Previous Message       ·       Archive edition

Thursday, August 28, 2011

Morning glories in garden shed 8/23/14

Note: Due to a very busy schedule and early morning chaplain visitation a podcast will not be prepared for this message.

"Blooming In A Dark Place"

"You, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness" (1 Thessalonians 5:4). "So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19).

Each year we seem to get a lesson from the Morning Glories which are prolific around our place each summer even though Brooksyne hasn't planted any for about 11 years. We've surely pulled them up by the thousands but they continue to grow. We are blessed not only by flowers that Brooksyne intentionally plants all around our home but "volunteers" that spring up wherever we happen to dispose of the clippings. Some of our clippings make their way beside the farm road across from our house along the front row of the corn field.

In addition to a beautiful cornfield we have Morning Glories growing up along the corn stalks! These plants have not benefited from Brooksyne's feeding, watering or weeding, yet they grow; blooming where they are planted providentially by God usually in the full sun, demonstrating the character quality of perseverance.

Morning glories in garden shed 8/23/14But this year one of the volunteers is brightening up the inside of our garden shed, blooming in a very dark place unless we open the door or turn on the light. This volunteer Morning Glory is climbing up the bright outside of our garden shed but still manages to bloom on the dark inside through the crack in the wood siding.

I recall first hearing the phrase, "Bloom Where You're Planted" from our years in Bible College in the seventies. The saying has the sense that we are to let God use us and seek to be fruitful wherever we are. Sometimes we may find ourselves providentially planted where we would rather not be, sometimes in what sure seems like dark places. A true test of character is whether we bloom or wilt in these difficult places.

Peter does not specifically identify the "dark place" in our second daily text. It seems most natural however to view this dark place as the world as it presently exists. Peter is likely using "dark place" as a metaphor to describe this corrupt world system. However "advanced" our secular civilization becomes, this world in its willful rebellion to God (whose essence is light), lies in the darkness of sin, ignorance, despair and death which keeps people from seeing God's truth until His light shines into their hearts. (Precept Austin commentary)

Warren WiersbeWarren Wiersbe, who has long been one of our favorite Bible teachers, comments regarding the Greek word "auchmeros" used here for dark. It "is the picture of a dank cellar or a dismal swamp. Human history began in a lovely Garden, but that Garden today is a murky swamp. What you see when you look at this world system is an indication of the spiritual condition of your heart. We still see beauty in God’s creation, but we see no beauty in what mankind is doing with God’s creation. Peter did not see this world as a Garden of Eden, nor should we."

Today we want to encourage our readers who live or serve in what may seem like a dark place. Some of us plant, others water but God gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6). And the God who ultimately gives blooming ability to the morning glory in our dark garden shed can bring growth and blooming wherever you are, even if it's a dark place!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You that You shine Your light through us most especially in unusual circumstances in which we find ourselves. We are to let our lights shine before others that they may see our good works and glorify You in heaven. There are times when we cry out, "No More! I just can't do this anymore." But Father, in Your infinite wisdom You give us daily strength and spiritual resolve to carry on in the darkest of circumstances so that the light of Christ might be made manifest in our lives. We will carry the light of Your salvation through our words, our actions, and the way in which we seek to be fruitful and bloom where we are planted. It's in Jesus' name that we pray. Amen.

Brooksyne's Note: One of the common attitudes residents express in nursing homes is, "This is where I live, but this isn't home." How could it be in comparison to their individual homes where they grew their families and lived their lives for 50 years or more!  Often I select the hymn, "Brighten the Corner Where You Are" and occasionally share the background story where Ina Ogdon expressed the true meaning of the message we shared today about blooming where you're planted. I challenge the residents of the nursing home that instead of feeling "cornered" or trapped in a nursing home that God has called them to brighten the corner at their dining room table, in their hallways and in the midst of activities for this is where God has led them during their golden years.  Here's the story:

In 1912 Ina Duley Ogdon received an invitation to be a Chautauqua Circuit speaker.  This was a great opportunity for her since Chautauqua Lake was a place in upstate New York where performers, musicians, lecturers and motivational speakers were invited who were famous throughout the country.  At the time it was the most popular spot where people by the thousands came to visit. Theodore Roosevelt called it "the most American thing in America."

Miss Ogdon, a brilliant orator, had felt God's calling on her life. Upon receiving the invitation, she excitedly considered the thousands of people that she might influence for the cause of Christ.  But as she was packing for the upcoming tour her father was seriously injured in one of the new-fangled "horseless carriages."  Ina, deeply disappointed and somewhat angered toward God for allowing this tragedy to happen, eventually cancelled her travel plans to care for her father.  After making her peace with God about the matter, she determined in her heart that she would be happy and remain "true to the many duties near" her.  She would do her best to "brighten the corner" where God placed her.

Ina completed this poem over the next year.  It became the theme song of Billy Sunday's evangelistic ministry for twenty-two years.  Instead of reaching only thousands in her lifetime Ina Duley Ogdon's inspired words have reached out to millions from 1913 right up to our lifetime.

"Brighten the Corner"

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do.
Do not wait to shed your light afar. 
To the many duties ever near you now be true;
Brighten the corner where you are.

Brighten the corner where you are! 
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear;
Let not narrow self your way debar.
Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the Bright and Morning Star.
Ever from your humble hand the bread of life may feed;
Brighten the corner where you are.

Just as the Morning Glories brighten our dark shed so we too can brighten the corner in which we find ourselves!

Some photos of morning glories around our home:

Morning glories outside garden shed 8/23/14
Here's the same Morning Glory as in our lead photo, growing up outside our garden shed. After Brooksyne pulled out about a hundred Morning Glory "babies" over the summer months she finally gave up and I provided a trellis so they would grow up, not out.

Morning glory on back fence
Morning Glories grow up along our backyard fence. Truth be told, I find these some of the most beautiful flowers even though they grow wild like a dandelion and can actually be an intrusive flower, choking out other flowers. I know Brooksyne has pulled the young roots of thousands of morning glories this year that appear between the rocks in our back yard walkway.

Morning Glory Collage
A collage of morning glory blooms growing up the corn stalks in the farm field across from our home, likely originating from the plantings in our yard over ten years ago.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Carry The Light"  Video  The Continental Singers

"Brighten the Corner Where You Are"  Video 
The Statesmen Quartet

Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber 38th anniversary photo (click on photo to enlarge)Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)

About Us

"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"

Personal Ministry Update  (Revised 10/21/13)

Make a donation to Dailly Encouragement MinistriesAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? Each weekday morning Brooksyne and I prepare these messages andDonate online distribute them at no cost to you and many others all over the world. We ask you to consider an offering to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible. Click here to donate online.

2014 YTD offerings to Daily Encouragement Net: $8,887.00


Free email subscriptionIf this email was forwarded to you, you can subscribe here.
These messages are never sent by us unsolicited. It was sent to you because you either signed up to receive it OR it was forwarded to you. You can also subscribe to the Wordpress rss feed or as an email subscription through Wordpress email subscription.
(See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.) Cancel: These messages are only sent from us to people who request it; please accept our apologies if it reached you in error. You can unsubscribe from this list at any time. If you no longer desire to receive these messages you can remove your address from the list by merely using the link automatically inserted by the mailing list software at the very bottom of each email message. (To change addresses cancel your old address and then join again using your new address.)

Weekly Version:
The weekly version is intended for those who may not check their email regularly or who may desire less frequent mailings. It is Friday's message with a link to previous messages. To receive the free weekly version, send a blank email to this address.

Daily Encouragement on Facebook and Twitter:

Daily Encouragement on Facebook
The daily message and prayer on Facebook.
Daily Encouragement on Twitter
 The daily message and prayer on Twitter.

Reader Survey:
 Please take a few minutes to assist us in improving our ministry effectiveness by filling out this online reader survey. To take the survey click here. Your answers are anonymous and I we are unable to respond. If you want to send a personal message use the

Please feel free to pass these messages on!

Our other blogs:
"A Daily Prayer" - A blog simply posting the daily prayer. We keep this up each day since it's merely the prayer from the Daily Encouragement Net message!
"A Little Foolishness" - Humor/satire blog (a great outlet for non-serious writing but at times with a subtle message!) (Note: This material is satire!)
"Clear Minded" - Longer, periodic articles on specific issues impacting the faithful believer and church. (Actually this is my intent but I haven't done much with it!)
"Hymns of Hope" - Brooksyne along with two friends made a CD using classic hymns. Brooksyne tells the background story of the 11 hymns. All of these songs are also available for download on the site.

Personal Mission Statement "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

Four Spiritual Laws

How to become a child of God

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.
Other versions are also occasionally used.

© Copyright 2014 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved

Daily Encouragement Net
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552

Contact Us

Chaplaincy logo
Endorsed chaplain
"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"

Daily Encouragement is issued Monday-Friday.  To make sure you continue to receive these e-mails in your Inbox (so they're not sent to a junk folder), please add to your address book or safe sender list. You are receiving these recurring messages as a subscriber to Daily Encouragement Net because you signed up on our website or otherwise requested it unless someone forwarded the message to you. If you desire to unsubscribe use the link below.  However, please do not use this link unless your address is the subscribed address below as you will otherwise unsubscribe the person who forwarded it to you!

You are currently subscribed to dailyencouragement as:
Add to your email address book to ensure delivery.
Forward to a Friend  |  Manage Subscription  |  Subscribe  |  Unsubscribe | Snooze
Net Atlantic