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Friday, January 27, 2012
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A happy face barn also makes my heart cheerful!
This barn is near Reinholds in northeastern Lancaster County, PA.
(Note: This photo is not doctored by photoshop. This barn really does have this smile face painted on it!)
"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does" (Ephesians 6:7,8). "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving" (Colossians 3:23,24).
Yesterday a celebration luncheon was held for Everett Dewald, who has the very rare distinction of having worked for the same company in the same location in Bird in Hand, PA for sixty years! The company held a surprise luncheon for all the employees to honor Everett's 60 years of service. He began working at Vallorbs in January 1952 when he was 17, since it was just up the street from his house, and he continues to show up for work every weekday morning at the age of 76!
Everett is a cheerful man whose pleasant and positive personality is appreciated throughout the company. For many years he has been singing "Happy Birthday" over the PA system to the employee who's celebrating his or her birthday (no way you can keep that fact quiet where Everett is present). One supervisor commented, "I don't think Everett ever gets up on the wrong side of the bed." I asked his wife, Linda, "Is he always so joyful at home?" Without hesitation she responded, "Yes, that's how he wakes up first thing in the morning."
Everett makes small metal parts in a job that would not be fulfilling to many folks and is certainly not glamorous. It's rather loud and the odor from the lubrication for the parts fills the factory, nothing like the Yankee Candle aromatic scent that Brooksyne likes to burn in our house. However Everett is involved in noble work that provides a benefit to society. The parts he makes goes into equipment and machinery that benefits us all.
Though other rewards will be received with our future inheritance in heaven, the solid work ethic that Everett demonstrates brings reward for the diligent worker here and now. This would include commendation from supervisors, possible promotions and pay raises within the company, providing a positive role-model for co-workers and family members, being a productive worker which increases profits within a company, fulfillment at the end of the day, a steady paycheck (in addition to many more that you might add to our list.) For Christians our work is a place to let our light shine. (Matthew 5:14-16)
The Scriptural teaching in the second and third daily text is a call to diligence. This is actually a teaching of the Apostle Paul to Christian slaves but this principle can easily be applied to secular work. Consider the phrases "Serve wholeheartedly" and "Work at it with all your heart."
In our work responsibilities we should indeed serve wholeheartedly. Christians should be diligent, and in fact, as a part of their testimony, be among the most exemplary workers any company has! What kind of employee are you? I encourage you to consider the end use of the product you are making or service you are providing and the blessing it may be to so many people.
"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does."
We should apply these same principles in our work ethic toward our employers. In whatever we do, our work should be "as to the Lord." Our underlying motivation is the future inheritance we will receive "from the Lord". And what is that inheritance? It's our home in heaven that can "never perish, spoil or fade."
When we work with this attitude Scripture teaches us that in some remarkable way that "It is the Lord Christ we are serving," even more so than our employer. Perhaps that's because plenty of character building goes on in our lives as we serve others in the workplace.
May the joy of the Lord accompany you in your work today. Be sure not to keep it to yourself; spread it to others around you!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, when we're tempted to be halfhearted in our vocational work or find ourselves bored by monotonous repetition help us to find creative means that will make us even more productive and content in our work assignments. May our conduct and attitude reflect values set forth in Scripture. Make us a blessing so that we bring joy to our co-workers, supervisors, and to the workplace in general. During times of personality conflict or when disagreements arise bring to our memory the Scripture that reminds us our primary motivation for being a good worker is that we are serving You when we are diligent in our work. Not only in our service do we want to do our best but we also ask You to keep our attitudes in check and our words uplifting in the work place. Help us to be quick to see another co-worker's need and respond accordingly. May we be slow to judge and finding fault with others. Prompt us to be faithful in prayer for our employers, supervisors, co-workers, and the business in which we serve. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne
"How Can I Find Satisfaction In My Work?" A study booklet you can either order or read online as a pdf. Find out what the Bible has to say about work and your attitude toward it. With wisdom from the Word, Kurt De Haan shares four principles to help you better understand God’s blueprint for your work life. You’ll discover how you can experience a sense of fulfillment when you follow the “job description” God designed just for you.
"Working With Joy" Video West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir (It was hard to find a song to go along with today's message!)
"Crown Him With Many Crowns" Video When our labors on earth are over! Congregational singing with an unidentified female lead singer. Sacred music at its best.
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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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