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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Village Farm Market along 322 in Lancaster County PA
The Village Farm Market
Hinkletown, PA

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"Work Joyfully"

"Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom" (1 Kings 10:8). "So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 8:15). "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men" (Colossians 3:23).

Village Farm Market along 322 in Lancaster County PA
We enjoy stopping by the "Village Farm Market" in the course of our travels. It is in a converted barn that has a variety of produce, deli items, sandwiches, and other home-made baked goods. As you can see in the photo they have a great variety and quantity of flowers and other ornamentals. I have to confess I'm drawn to the large selection of free food samples that easily surpasses the big warehouse stores!

Over the last several months we have befriended the owner, Keith, who oversees a large staff of old-order Mennonites. They work with diligence, wait promptly on their customers, and spread joy throughout the store. Several weeks ago I was talking to him and we were sharing together of our common faith. He alluded to a lesser familiar verse in the Bible which was an observation made by the Queen of Sheba concerning Solomon: "Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom."  Keith sees this as a good model as to how he should treat his employees.

I asked permission to look through the closed doors where the food prep area takes place, and indeed I observed a happy work crew. In fact we often hear the Amish and old-order Mennonites singing as they work.

How's your attitude toward your work today? The early part of the week is dreaded by many. The TGIF outlook seems to permeate our society. "TGIF" stands for "Thank God It's Friday" and really reflects an attitude that the work week is finally over and now real living can begin (weekend party time).

But God's Word says, "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."  That is a constantly present tense reality. Each and every day is the day that the Lord has made and each and every day we are called to rejoice and be glad.

BB's Grocery Outlet, Lancaster County PAI recall years ago going to BB's, a discount store in rural Schaefferstown, PA, which is run by the Amish, a religious group that limits the use of modern technology.  It's a discount store with the interesting slogan, "Bents, Bumps and Bunch of Bargains". The store has gas lanterns for lights and generators provide needed electricity for refrigeration. Several of the Amish employees sang aloud as they worked, rather oblivious to the entertained customers.  Although I didn't recognize the music, I understand they were singing hymns reflecting their joy and strong work ethic.

Notice the phrase in the second daily Scripture text that states, "Joy will accompany him in his work."  What a great perspective to enjoy the work we do realizing that God has providentially placed us in the position we are in.  The Amish people stocking shelves were not doing work we normally associate with being fulfilling. Anyone who has worked in retail knows the frustration of putting items neatly on display only to have customers move things around or worse yet, change their minds about an item and dispose of it far from its original location. Yet their joy was contagious and I smile as I reflect upon the experience. 

Today, like wise Solomon, we commend you to the enjoyment of life. Do your work wholeheartedly and let the light of Christ shine through you!  May
joy accompany you in your work all the days of the life God has given you under the sun.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:   Father, we find pleasure and fulfillment in our work when we work at it heartily, as for You, primarily.  We thank You for giving us the wherewithal to provide an income for our family where our financial needs are met.  Certainly each workplace has its challenges, but as we look to You for strength, endurance and wisdom to deal with those challenges we find joy, thanksgiving, and fulfillment in our work.  May others see heaven sent joy flow from our lives as we spread mutual respect and a strong work ethic in the workplace.  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

Some flower scenes
from around our place

Brooksyne's flowers 7/25/11
A peek into our backyard via our fence mounted planter.

Brooksyne's flowers 7/25/11
Hibiscus that finally opened up their centers

Brooksyne's flowers 7/25/11
Mounding Lantana with butterfly (Brooksyne's personal favorite)
We have lots of butterflies and tomorrow we will show that collection.

Brooksyne's flowers 7/25/11
Lavender Phlox

Brooksyne's flowers 7/25/11
View of flower bed in front of our porch.
(Salvia, Zinnias, Celosia, Coleus & Marigolds)

Brooksyne's flowers 7/25/11
Diffused Marigold

The Village Farm Market is located east of Ephrata, PA along Rt 322 See here (Google map)

Rain, blessed rain!!!
Yesterday as we were completing our message we received a nice 1" rainfall. The cattle and vegetation in our area are really feeling the heat and dryness so the rain was very welcome. In addition our temperature and humidity is much milder today!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"We'll Work Till Jesus Comes"  Video  Gaither Homecoming

"The Joy Of The Lord"  Video  Twila Paris

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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.

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."

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