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Tuesday, November 25, 2014
The answer is ... We should!
Photo by Sabra Penley
Listen to this
Note: We have travel
plans the rest of this week and are not certain when we will be able to
publish a fresh daily encouragement based upon access to the internet
and whether I can get my old sluggish laptop computer I rarely use
working again. We hope all our readers have a blessed Thanksgiving
regardless of where you may live!
"In All Things"
we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love
Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).
"In all things, give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ
Jesus toward you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). "Consider it all joy, my
brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing
of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect
result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing"
approach Thanksgiving here in the US, though this message applies
everyday and everywhere, we look back over the year for the many things
in which we are thankful. For many of you it's been a routine year, but
for some of you an "impact event" has brought about changes you hadn't
anticipated. I recently heard a speaker talk about impact events. On a national level an "impact event" is
something like 9/11 or the Kennedy assassination over 50 years ago when we were children. For our parents it was an event like the Pearl Harbor attack.
But we all have personal "impact events" that vary among us. The death
of a loved one, a serious accident, the diagnosis of a serious disease.
Most of you can identify such events in your own life.
are blessed by our pastor John and his wife Faithe. They had an impact
event this year. Several months ago they entered a hard journey they
not have anticipated. Faithe received a cancer diagnosis and after
major surgery is now undergoing chemotherapy. They are very
transparent and well-loved among our church family. With heavy hearts
we stand with them in prayer as they go
through this ordeal. As a committed couple they are applying the very
Scriptures Pastor John preached from this past Sunday: "Love...bears all things,
believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (I Corinthians
last spring when we visited San Antonio we visited with our friends,
David and Sabra
Penley. David connected with us several years ago when he came across
Daily Encouragement while looking for photos of Pennsylvania. Many
years ago he pastored in the northeast part of Pennsylvania prior to
getting his doctorate and teaching at Southwest Baptist Theological
Seminary in Fort Worth. In early 2013 he had a significant impact
event, a severe health crisis which forced him to retire from his
we met over lunch David and Sabra expressed a desire to continue ministry together.
Sabra began blogging and more recently they
began their "Simply One In Marriage"* blog together with a goal of providing
online teaching to instruct and encourage others. I was reading the
blog the other day and was struck by the question in our opening photo.
The phrase, "If God is working for our good in all things" is based on
Romans 8:28, one of the great verses in the Bible that many have
memorized. Paul declared, "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him." When I preach or allude to this text I often ask, "Do we really know and believe this?"
Sabra then asks, "If God is working for our good in all things, should we not be thankful in all things?" The answer
is "Of course we should!" In fact elsewhere Paul wrote, "In all things, give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ
Jesus toward you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Our third daily Scripture provides a familiar but much needed perspective on
life and trials: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter
various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces
endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may
be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
Today some of you have had an impact event this year and some are even now in the midst of an impacting trial. The Greek
word for "trial" that James uses is very interesting. "Peirasmos"
conveys a "putting to proof" or by implication, "adversity".
These times of testing are difficult but necessary in proving our faith
in God to be genuine and effective. James tells us that our proper response when encountering trials is this: "Consider
it all joy".
The world would say, "That's preposterous!" But when we genuinely seek
perspective on this subject, we realize He is working for our good,
which enables us to give Him thanks, even as the storm rages.
Just as the rings on a tree prove its endurance in the years of ease
and years of difficulty, our enduring faith proves our walk with God to
be genuine and mature, developing in us godly character. We
faithfully serve Him during times of ease and during times of trial. Let us indeed realize that God is working for our good in all things and thus be thankful in all things.
When troubles trouble you and you think life's not fair,
when you need someone and there's no one there;
Remember all the times that you feel alone are the times
He'll use to make you strong
In everything give thanks, with all your heart give praise,
for the Lord we serve will never let you down.
In everything give thanks, with all your heart believe
that the Lord can take a circumstance and turn it all around.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
we pray that we will continue to mature in our Christian
walk. Scripture, repeatedly, indicates that spiritual maturity is
a result of enduring trials of various kinds. In the midst of
these trials Your faithful promptings and guidance through
other believers, and the circumstances we face can be
ignored or silenced when self gets in the way. Today we make every
add to our faith those characteristics that will sustain and grow us in
our Christian walk. In doing so we will be effective and
productive in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, during times of
ease but even more so during times of difficulty. Keep us
faithful and growing, and expressing thanks in everything, according to
the Scripture, "In all things give thanks, for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus toward You." In the name of Jesus we pray.
* David and Sabra's blog is called "Simply One In Marriage"
Sunday the younger children sang several Thanksgiving songs and recited
prayers. I (Brooksyne) was so impressed with the two year old (far
left) who kept up with the older ones, both in hand motions and words
thanks to a loving mommy who helped him learn his music and
sat down on the floor in front of the children keeping him on track. I
working with children during the holidays. You never know just what
they'll say or do, but this time they really came through especially
following hymn in which I share some amazing historical background:
Now Thank We All God:
German pastor Martin Rinkart served in the walled town of Eilenburg,
Germany during the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648. Eilenburg became an
overcrowded refuge for the surrounding area where fugitives suffered
from epidemic and famine. At the beginning of 1637, the year of the
Great Pestilence, there were four ministers in Eilenburg. But one
abandoned his post for healthier areas and could not be persuaded to
return. Pastor Rinkhart officiated at the funerals of the other two.
the only pastor left, he often conducted services for as many as 40 to
50 persons a day– nearly 5000 in all. In May of that year, his own wife
died. By the end of the year, the refugees had to be buried in trenches
Yet, while living in a world dominated by sorrow,
loss, and death, Rinkart wrote this timeless prayer of thanksgiving for
Now thank we all our God
With hearts and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom the world rejoices.
Who from our mother's arms
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love
And still is ours today.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Special Thanksgiving Resources
We offer these resources to families and church leaders to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will post these resources through Thanksgiving Day here in the US (November 27).
We appreciated singing the traditional Thanksgiving hymns.
Here are several classics that you may or may not have heard this season.
Everything Give Thanks" Video Charlotte
Ritchie, Jeff & Sheri Easter This song will bring joy to your heart!
"Now Thank We All Our God" Video Best Loved Hymns
"Come Ye Thankful People Come" Video Traditional version
Contemporary version but thankfully maintaining same tune and lyrics Video
"Thanksgiving Medley" (We Gather Together, For The Beauty Of The Earth, Come Ye Thankful People Come) Video Studio Musicians
"Give Thanks" Video Don Moen
"Thank You Lord" Video Community Choir at a Lancaster Day of Prayer event in 2008.
"Thank You Lord For Saving My Soul" Video Holland Davis
"Thankful For The
family reading and exercise that is a
wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for
a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However
it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation.
Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways
God has worked in your life over the past year! Some of
you are not in charge and are only visitors at your Thanksgiving
gathering, but if it is possible share together
the table the theme of "Thankful for the Thorns" (printable webpage).
family exercise" (pdf) We have used this questionnaire as a
stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage
you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after
Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor
friend of ours and
shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service
several years ago. (webpage) For those
who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read
together at the Thanksgiving table.
A Thanksgiving Scripture reading: A selection of Old and
New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for
church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out
Today and all through this week we will share a selection of Thanksgiving music.
"Be Magnified" Video Kim Hill
"Thanks" Video Marshall Hall and the Homecoming Singers
Want To Thank You" Video Karen Peck and New
This is a song expressing thankfulness to the many people who
impact our lives and also reminds us of the blessing of seemingly
insignificant expressions of faith. From the Gaither Homecoming series.
"Thank You Lord For Your
Blessings On Me" Video Gordon Mote
& Jason Crabb
"I'm Forever Grateful" Video Willow Creek
"When I Thank Him For What He Has
Done" Video The Cathedrals
"Worthy Is The Lamb, Crown Him, Crown Him With Many Crowns" Video Travis Cottrell
"Thank You, Lord" Video Dennis Jernigan
"Thank You For Loving Me" Video Tommy Walker
"10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)" Video Matt Redman
"For These Reasons" Video Lincoln Brewster
to Stephen &
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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 honor God through my
faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for
Encouragement Net 495
Church Road Mount
C. Weber All
the weak things in the world,
That no flesh will glory
in His presence."