A daily, Bible-based message of hope and encouragement. Having trouble reading this message?
Read mobile edition online
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 Listen to these messages
Text only for printing
Follow Daily Encouragement on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn
See here for more info.
<Previous Message · Archive edition
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Last week the Faith In Action ministry held a live nativity scene in front of the Supreme Court.
Photo by Lee Smucker
"Merry This Thing"
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about'" (Luke 2:15).
During this season political correctness runs amok and many feel they must refrain from any religious references lest someone be offended. One casualty has been the customary greeting "Merry Christmas" although there has been significant pushback by many very purposefully using the traditional greeting. In fact yesterday I was at a large warehouse store (Costco) and noticed the employees uniformly used the phrase with the customers.
In being considerate to those who may find the greeting, "Merry Christmas" offensive we propose our own greeting, although it can be a bit lengthy: "Have a merry day that I acknowledge the birth of Jesus Christ, my personal Lord and Savior."
Yesterday I visited with Lee who visited Washington last week to participate in a Living Nativity scene in front of the Supreme Court. I don't suppose too many of you saw it on the evening news, that is, if the media covered it!
In our age when an extraordinary news event takes place journalists and camera crews converge upon the scene racing to be the first to report the story. Their goal, of course, is to bolster ratings for the television networks, newspapers and magazines.
I can picture it now in my mind: "Coming to you, live, in the little town of Bethlehem. You're hearing it first at WTLR…" The camera zooms in to feature an infant, newly born to very ordinary people, lying in a feeding trough as His mother rests from her long, demanding journey and subsequent delivery of her firstborn.
But, of course, the Christmas story took place when fresh news spread only by word of mouth or through an angelic visitor. The very first recipients of the message of the birth of Christ were a group of shepherds whose names are not recorded in Scripture. Shepherds were commonly despised and unwanted, working far outside the parameters of everyday folks in the community. Yet God chose them to hear the inspired announcement from a single angel later joined by a heavenly host who praised God, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests" (Luke 2:14).
The shepherds received this message as directly from the Lord and responded by promptly going to Bethlehem. Two bland, non-descriptive words in the text intrigue me as I prepare this message. The shepherds, surely in a state of wonderment and perplexity, call the blessed event "this thing". Thus the very first human designation for Christmas, the incarnation of Christ, is "this thing"! Perhaps our greeting should be "Merry this thing!"
The ordinary shepherds were blessed to receive this unexpected announcement from extraordinary beings, yet they could not fully picture in their minds just what to expect or the right words to describe this historic event. God did not require statesmen to be out in the field with the shepherds so that they could eloquently describe this incredible moment in history.
Today I thank God for "this thing" which the shepherds went to see. The holy Son of God came as a baby, wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. That's the redeeming message we must continue to focus on!
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a Child and yet a King;
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit,
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we're so thankful for Jesus whose infant birth took place in a smelly stable and whose bed was a feeding trough padded with stubbly straw and hay. It was certainly not a welcome setting for the infant born King but we can now see the stable as a composite of this unwelcoming world toward King Jesus. We're so glad that He was willing to come to earth though He would be rejected by the majority. Yet we gratefully number among the many who receive Him as our personal Savior. We thank You that He came to deliver us from our fears and to release us from our sins. Through Your own eternal Spirit rule in our hearts today and raise us to Your glorious throne on Your appointed day. In the name of Jesus we pray. 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!
We are grateful for the various ways people seek to get in a witness for the Lord. The Supreme Court building is directly across from the Capitol. Faith and Action is headquartered near the Supreme Court.
Our friend, Lee Smucker, took his father and two sisters to view the Live Nativity last week.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" Video Fernando Ortega
"Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" Video Instrumental
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: $14,914.11
If 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:
The daily message and prayer on Facebook.
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."
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
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com |
Add firstname.lastname@example.org to your email address book to ensure delivery.
|Forward to a Friend | Manage Subscription | Subscribe | Unsubscribe | Snooze |