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"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:7).
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
We use a form of old-fashioned supplemental heat in our home, a coal stove. It uses a type of coal that comes from the northeast part of Pennsylvania known as Anthracite or hard coal. This coal burns clean and very hot with hardly any emissions. The photo shows Roxie and Dottie enjoying the warmth in front of the stove on a cold winter day.
Normally I have an annual delivery but so far this year I have been picking up the coal myself from an old-fashioned coal yard. Mellinger and Sons Coal has been family owned and operated since 1878, four years before my grandfather was born!
Richard and Robert Mellinger, identical twins, presently run the business. They were born nine hours apart on October 28, 1955 which was one week after Brooksyne came along. Since we serve a company as chaplains in the area I load my van with several weeks of coal that I scoop into 5 gallon drywall buckets. Loading the coal is somewhat fulfilling, sort of like when we had a wood stove our first year of marriage in 1976, and I cut my own firewood.
But I also enjoy visiting with Richard and Robert, bachelors who never married and continue to live in the same home they grew up in. I observed some evidence of Christian faith on the wall of the small office but last week Richard (or it might have been Robert) began to tell me a story and I realized he was witnessing to me!
He told me about George Wilson who was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging for robbing the US mail on a route between Philadelphia and Reading Pennsylvania in 1829. But just before the time set for his execution President Andrew Jackson pardoned him. However Wilson refused the pardon and the Supreme Court ruled that a pardon was not in effect until accepted. Wilson was executed even though he had been pardoned, since he refused to accept it.
He went on to relate this to God's offered pardon and the necessity that we accept it. The Bible says, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12). An old hymn ends with this inviting line, "Will you this moment His grace receive?" *
Because God is just, He must punish our sins. But because God is merciful, He Himself suffered the awful penalty when Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby with the mission to redeem and offer pardon. He suffered the wrath of God when He died on the cross of Calvary. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Isaiah has a powerful, timeless call to the human race, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (55:7).
Just consider the wonderful words. "He will abundantly pardon." You can easily memorize them, And He will! Don't be like George Wilson. Accept God's freely offered pardon. "Will you this moment His grace receive?"
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Loving Father, Paid In Full is engraved on the loving hands and feet of our Lord Jesus Christ who gave His all that we could be fully pardoned. We accept this marvelous provision though it is incomprehensible by our finite minds to fully grasp. So many refuse Christ's substitutionary death and continue to bemoan their pitiful plight in life, wallowing in their dismal existence. But for those of us who accept Christ's full pardon we enjoy an abundant life, freed from the guilt of our past, and unfearful of our future. Our reservations for the New Jerusalem were secured upon our acceptance of Your free gift of salvation. It's a win/win situation for all who forsake their sinful life and take up the cross of Jesus. We will still be praising You and giving thanks one million years from now, for never has there been such a gift offered by human hand. It's because of Jesus and Your amazing grace that we have access to the throne. Amen.
Special Note: We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year. We typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry (and support) is essentially comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies (of course, this varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job for each of us (20+ hours weekly). Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and family income. You can donate by check, online or using PayPal. If you would like to make a donation see here for more information or donate directly online here. Thank you!
Brooksyne's Note: What a spiritual lift I received upon attending a dramatic word-for-word presentation of Luke 1-2. "Piercing Word" is a dramatic team named from Hebrews 4:12 (ESV):"For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." They perform Scripture word perfect in compelling dramatic presentations as they challenge and encourage people to memorize God's Word. They also offer summer Theatre camps, spring and fall discipleship teams and workshops on memorizing the Bible. Based in Lancaster, PA, they travel all over the country igniting passion for the Word of God. We include a YouTube sample of the Luke presentation that was similar to the dramatization I witnessed. Their love for the Bible is evident and contagious. I love memorizing Scripture, but admittedly I do it intermittently so I was challenge afresh. They do it faithfully. I encourage you to check out their website. Piercing Word Ministries
Piercing Word Christmas Trailer (Video)
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
* "Grace Greater Than All Our Sin" Video Congregational singing This is how I like church to sound!
* "Grace Greater Than All Our Sin" Video Bart Millard (A bit more contemporary sounding)
"Grace Will Always Be Greater Than Sin" Video The Hoppers A powerful song! I like this line:
In Holy pages this truth can be found
A promise to stand on when darkness abounds
Oh, right never loses and wrong never wins
And grace will always be greater than sin
"Seek The LORD While He May Be Found" (Isaiah 55:6-9) Video Esther Mui
"Let Him Return" (Jeremiah 17:10 & Isaiah 55:7) Video Scripture Memory Songs
I found the story of the George Wilson pardon online and also for those who want to read the law aspect here.
Resources for Christmas Celebrations
Personal, family and church
(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 and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.
"In Remembrance of Me" pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. We 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.
"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. This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.
Christmas Knowledge Test
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).
Are you Christmas shopping online?
Daily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of Amazon. Any orders placed to Amazon using this link or any specific product link to a recommended resource in a message will help our Daily Encouragement ministry through a small commission on the sale. Thank you for considering using these links when purchasing online through Amazon! Tip: If you are a regular Amazon customer consider bookmarking this link and using it whenever you shop on Amazon.
Looking for a very special Christmas gift for your parents?
Here's an idea! "The Best Gift You Can Ever Give Your Parents"
Looking for a very special Christmas gift for your children?
Here's an idea! "The Blessing"
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"
Personal Ministry Update (Revised 12/10/14)
Are our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? Each weekday morning Brooksyne and I prepare these messages and 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: $14,114.11
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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."
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
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