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Monday, September 2, 2013

Front view before 2013 corn harvest
Our front view before the 2013 corn harvest (click for larger image)

"The Sanctity Of Work"

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"Six days you shall labor and do all your work" (Exodus 20:9)."Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody" (1 Thessalonians 4:11,12). "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

On Saturday afternoon the view from our front yard changed from the photo above to the one below this paragraph since the Brubaker farm workers harvested the 36 acre cornfield across from our house. The operation included a huge 600 HP John Deere harvester machine that cut eight rows of corn, chopped it up and blew it into harvest trucks that ran beside the harvester. Four of these trucks worked in rotation with a delivery of the freshly harvested silage to the farm about a mile away. Through the afternoon and into the night the operation continued until about 11:00 PM. The silage will be used in a large dairy operation with 850 milking cows.

Front view after 2013 corn harvest 9/1/13
Our front view after the 2013 corn harvest (click for larger image)

Harvest is a very busy time for farmers but also rewarding as they see the fruit of their labors. This morning I spoke to Mike, the farmer who is harvesting the fields across from us, and he reported how busy the field workers were. They are harvesting two more fields across from us today.

Harvest is hard work but we all benefit from hard work, both that of others such as the farm workers and that of our own participation.
I suppose based on the quantity and variety of produce available we are at the peak season for harvest in our area although of course something is practically always being harvested. Tomorrow we will share about our personal harvest and prep for the future.

The fourth commandment is best known for the Sabbath Day of Rest but actually it also has a command to work as seen in the first text: "Six days you shall labor and do all your work" (Exodus 20:9)

Stan MillerI appreciate the message of two books written many years ago which are titled "Your Work Matters to God" and "Why America Doesn't Work". In the course of our work as business chaplains we regularly affirm people who are hard at work.

Stan is a friend who runs a small pallet shop. He employs several laborers and works very hard to keep his business running. He's also our Sunday School teacher and sees his business and workplace as part of his overall ministry. The title of our message "Sanctity of Work" indicates that our work can and should be set apart as part of our devotion and obedience to God.

God has ordained work in His created order. One of the great curses on our land brought on by misguided liberal "compassion" is the many who have become dependent on the government rather than taking responsibility for their own lives. Responsibility includes hard work, refraining from destructive behavior, and being patient in the process of delayed gratification. Efforts to address the problem by massive dependency were (for some) well-meaning but look at the colossal monster that it has created! Now we have several generations that have no clue as to how the economy works nor do they recognize their own personal responsibility in their need to work. 

Chaplain visit
Our second daily text is one of the great statements on work in the Bible.  Paul began the church in Thessalonica and the record of this rocky start is recorded in Acts 17:1-9.  The fledgling church survived and the Holy Scriptures contain two letters written by Paul to these believers. Both letters contain a thought somewhat unique in Paul's writings. In Paul's second letter to them he develops this thought more fully in chapter 3:6-15. Possibly it was due to a problem that needed to be addressed in Thessalonica because of a mistaken view of the Lord's return.  Some felt they no longer needed to work since the return of the Lord was so imminent.

Paul reminded them of the value of work and the consequences of not working. Notice that in both portions Paul was merely reminding them of his teaching while he was with them.  I believe this indicates that this teaching was an integral part of Paul's ministry. He modeled it himself when he made tents in Corinth for a time.

Read the text again.  It's from God's holy Word and just as much a part of the inspired Scriptures as the rich "theological" portions.  As you work (or return to work tomorrow) rejoice in this act of obedience to God.  And pray that our country will return to its godly foundations, including a Biblical worldview of work.
Today as you work remember the words of the Scripture and see your labor as an act of faith and obedience, indeed recognizing the sanctity of work.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, help us to view work as a blessing from You that gives us opportunity to participate in gathering adequate provisions for our family as well as making a positive difference in our work setting. We seek to overcome challenges in the workplace and are able to do so because we do our work heartily, as for You, Lord primarily. We seek to be just and diligent in our work not just when we're being observed by our supervisors or fellow-employees, but we remain aware that You are always watching over us. We don't resent or dwell on the negatives of our work or workplace, but recognize how we serve You well when we work with a cheerful heart. And we can do so knowing that our reward is not just the weekly paycheck but most importantly the glorious eternal inheritance we receive in heaven. Keep us faithful we pray. Amen.

Additional Note: Paul's statements are so needed today in today's culture where "the world owes me a living" mindset affects far too many. However, his views would surely seem to be lacking compassion by many, who have no problem with dependency on the government.  Today the concept of consequences is foreign to many, who have been conditioned to believe the government should intervene in every human condition and fix it. Indeed many of the immediate consequences of sinful, irresponsible behavior have been temporarily removed. But the Scripture warns us, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows" (Galatians 6:7).

A gratifying feedback message: We shared a message about death and pointed out Stephen's first exposure to death was a plane accident near an AFB near Belton Missouri in December 1961. He wrote:

Transport plane"On December 19, 1961 a large 4 engine cargo plane crashed in a field out west of Belton, killing all seven crew members. When my dad got home from work that afternoon we drove out to the crash site where we could see recovery workers among the still smoldering wreckage.

We stood silently observing the carnage on a day I can still recall as cold and drizzly. After awhile my dad placed his hand on my shoulder and explained death to me. He solemnly pointed out, 'Son, these men had families w
ho will not see them this Christmas.' My dad had trained as a pilot during World War 2 so perhaps this scene also gave him some pause for consideration."

This morning I received this email message: "I read your story on the Belton Air force accident on December 19, 1961. My Father was on the plane. I was born a few days after the accident on December 27, 1961. Although I never meet my dad it's encouraging that someone still remembers."

2013 Harvest Photos

Harvest 8/31/13
The silage harvest began at the left front side of the field in the above photos.

2013 harvest
Since there was no room for the truck at the side of the harvester when the first row is cut the silage is discharged behind the harvester. You can only imagine how powerful that blower must be!

2013 harvest
After the first row is harvested the truck can receive the silage from the side.

2013 harvest
This view shows the harvester and truck from behind.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"Lord Of The Harvest"  Video  The Imperials  A reminder of our call to work in the spiritual harvest.

"We'll Work 'Til Jesus Comes"  Video  Gaither Homecoming Singers (While this song is probably primarily referring to our work for the Lord I believe a good application is work in general as well!)

"Glorious Freedom"  Video  Yesterday we sang this in our church and it was... glorious! I can hardly imagine how a small congregation could sound any better!

"Harvest Time"  Video  Luke Bryan (not a spiritual song but some great photos and video of the harvest!)

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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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