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
Monday, December 22, 2014
Friday afternoon we took my sister Genelle and her husband, Cesar, to Longwood Gardens and saw many beautiful sights. Ester took a photo of this Christmas tree decorated with live Poinsettia blooms! We'll share more Longwood Garden Christmas photos over the next several days.
"The Gift You Can't Live Without"
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15).
As little children
We would dream of Christmas morn
And all the gifts and toys
We knew we'd find
But we never realized
A baby born one blessed night
Gave us the greatest gift of our lives
Our email inbox is flooded with advertisements from retailers, online and brick and mortar kind, all vying for our last minute purchases before Christmas. It appears that anyone we did business with over the last 15 years has collected our email address and they've pulled out all the stops in the last couple days before Christmas. The subject line in an email is very important to these marketers since in many cases that is all we will read. The delete button is very handy, something we are also aware of, as we prepare these messages!
We received an email from one national retailer with an astounding claim with the subject heading, "Gifts you can't live without".
Among items that you can't live without, in case you're not aware, are $150 dollar headphones, a 65 inch smart TV and a trip to a Spa. Things that any of us might enjoy, but I suspect most of us are living just fine without them!
In our home we appreciate gifts and try to please each other with meaningful expressions of our love. I bought Brooksyne a decorative wall shelf with an old-fashioned lantern at the Village Farm Market. And, I'm happy to report that she was quite pleased with my choice, added a snowman and some greenery and it sits in our bay window (much to Molly's disappointment since that's her usual spot to watch people who walk their dogs).
But I can only think of a few gifts that Brooksyne and I really can't live without. Our moms and dads gave us the gift of life, raised us responsibly, providing for our needs. We certainly would not be alive if they hadn't done their part! We normally don't consider the air we breathe, water we drink, our food, clothing and shelter as gifts but what a blessing they are. And then the gifts of human relationships, family and friends.
Many of us will give and receive gifts at Christmas, a custom that for so many is the main thing. The origin of giving gifts (at least in the Christian sense) probably goes back to the gifts the Magi presented to the baby Jesus or so we've been told for as long as I can remember.
As the years went by
We learned more about gifts
And giving of ourselves
And what that means
On a dark and cloudy day
A man hung crying in the rain
Because of love, Because of love
But no gift we receive on this earth even remotely compares to the spiritual gift of our Lord Jesus Christ, the gift we can all receive and share regardless of where we live or how much of this world's possessions we have or don't have. Jesus Christ is certainly the greatest Gift and deserving of our highest thanks!
Paul concludes a section in his second letter to the Corinthian believers by expressing appreciation to them for abounding in good works and for their generosity in supplying the financial gifts needed by the Jerusalem believers. He concludes his expression of thanks with today's marvelous exclamation of thankfulness, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" Many years earlier Paul had been converted and moved from an attitude of hateful, volatile rejection to grateful acceptance of God's gift of salvation through Christ. Through the years his gratitude to God grew and that's the way it should be for all of us.
In this burst of praise he uses a very interesting Greek word to describe the gift. Linguists use the term hapax legomenon to describe a word or phrase that appears only once in a manuscript. The Greek word translated indescribable is used only once by Paul in all his writings. It essentially means, "not expounded in full." Other versions use phrases such as "beyond telling", "inexpressible", and "unspeakable". One words it this way; "a gift too wonderful for words!"
Indeed that is the case with God's greatest gift, a gift too wonderful for words, but deserving of our highest thanks. Today and each day let us join with Paul in thanking God for His truly indescribable gift of salvation through Christ Jesus our Lord! And the wonder of this indescribable gift is that:
We are the reason that He gave His life
We are the reason that He suffered and died
To a world that was lost He gave all He could give
To show us the reason to live
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You gave first and foremost as you selflessly gave of Yourself through the person of Jesus Christ. Your gift of grace defies human description, for the far-reaching effects in our lives is truly indescribable. It's too wonderful for words, but it brings unspeakable joy and glorious hope that makes our spiritual journey so worthwhile. We receive Your indescribable gift that brings forgiveness for our sins and reserves for us a home in heaven for all eternity. Thank You, Father! 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! Note: We thank those who have contributed the last several weeks. Due to a very busy schedule we are behind in our thank you's and acknowledgements.
Yesterday three of the Weber siblings gathered at my brother's house in the Lehigh Valley along with their families. (Our oldest brother Mike who resides in San Francisco was not with us in this photo or the one below.)
We've changed a lot over the past 50 years plus.
Mom's standing over her "brood"- Genelle, Pat, Stephen!
Here we are along with our spouses yesterday after we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Pat and Laverne's house. She prepares a great brisket that we thoroughly enjoy!
Mollie joining Brooksyne at the piano, whether or not she's invited.
Come to think of it, she's never once been invited! Brooksyne, in the spirit of Christmas, is being more loving and patient than usual with our active border collie.
On the way to Longwood Gardens last Friday we stopped by Lancaster City to walk through Central Market and the downtown area.
We enjoy taking our out of town guests to Central Market, the oldest continuously operating famer's market in the USA. Genelle and her husband Cesar enjoyed it so much they went back the next day! This location that has been a Market for over 275 years.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"We Are The Reason" Video Avalon
"The Greatest Gift of All" Video Jeff & Sheri Easter
"The Greatest Christmas Gift" Video Colin Buchanan
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: $15,734.11
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 |