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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Old Mill House Shoppes 8/29/13
The Olde Mill House Shoppes along Strasburg Pike in Lancaster County.

"Enjoying Your Work"

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"There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work" (Ecclesiastes 2:24).

Yesterday was "Labor Day" here in the USA, the last holiday of the summer and the unofficial start of the Autumn Season. Most American readers had the day off and are back to work today. We know a good number of our readers who are representative of the entire constituency of Daily Encouragement Net. Just considering the types of work you do reveals a vast variety. We are often asked to consider whether we find our work fulfilling or if we enjoy our work.

So many have a view of work as drudgery, a dreaded necessity. This is not healthy nor is it Biblical. Each day is a day the Lord has made and we are called to rejoice and be glad in it. Ecclesiastes 2:24 speaks of enjoying work so today let us examine four aspects of work that can bring joy:

1) The joy of obedience. God has ordained work into His created order. This ordaining of work predates the fall (original sin) although the difficulty of labor increased as a result of the fall. When we work we are expressing obedience to God.
"Six days you shall labor and do all your work" (Exodus 20:9). Psalm 40:8 states, "I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart.”

2) The joy of providing. This is a critically important attitude. It grieves us greatly to see the rotting fruit of a system where people aren't expected to work to provide for their own needs and that of their family. Many years ago I encountered a man who had left his wife and children, giving no thought to their future since he expected others to care for them. I still recall sternly using this verse, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Timothy 5:8). God has ordained that we provide for our own! What joy that brings.

Chaplain visit
3) The joy of contributing  "Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need" (Ephesians 4:28). We may initially consider the need to work in the sense of having resources to give to God's work and those in need, and this is certainly true. However, also consider how that which you make and do is contributing to the needs of others.

We will use some examples we see weekly in our chaplaincy ministry:
  • A company which installs HVAC and another roofing, siding, doors and windows. We need these and they are a blessing. These workers and all who support them have skills to help and bless others.
  • A company which makes precision machined parts for the medical industry. Next time you or someone you love is in the hospital consider the machinist who made a part for a valve. I visited with a Vietnamese worker who had trouble communicating with me. He showed me a very tiny part he was making that goes into a pacemaker. The slightest error and it must be disposed of and the worker must start all over again. (Imagine the extraordinary eye and hand coordination for such a task.)
  • A group of men making live animal traps. Visiting friends in rural Missouri several years ago we heard a glowing story of these traps in action catching 11 armadillos that were destroying a home garden over several weeks.
  • A company that makes displays that go into retail stores. Next time you go to a Lowes, Staples, Walmart and many other stores you will likely see a display made by this company although you probably won't pay much attention since the goal is selling the product!
  • A huge commercial tree farm that grows and sells trees and shrubs to wholesalers all through the eastern states. We sure appreciate nice landscaping and the blessing of plants.
So today ask yourself, "In what way is my work contributing to the needs of others?"

Paul tentmaker4) The joy of influence. A healthy outlook for the believer is to see his associations at work as a means of ministry. We regularly visit with a man about our age who trained for ministry. He's had some disappointing setbacks and is still open to a vocational ministry assignment but in the meantime works with a good attitude and sees his present place as a means of letting his light shine. Consider this verse: "After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them" (Acts 18:1-3). In the text quoted from Acts note the phrase, "and worked with them". At this point Paul was already an esteemed minister yet he worked as tentmaker for a season. He could have resented this and seen it as a setback but I have a feeling he had some good discipleship talks with Aquila and Priscilla who went on to have a fruitful ministry together.

Let us experience the joy of work, whatever that looks like; today and in every season of our life!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, our ability to work is a blessing. The drive and dedication to be a good worker, rather than one who does as little as possible to draw a paycheck, is pleasing to You and a testimony to others. We are further motivated because You give us a healthy mind, strong bodies and a desire to provide for our own. In addition we are spurred on to help others who are truly in need and joyfully give of our resources to help provide for them. We pray for those seeking employment but have found one door after another closed. Provide for their needs, open doors for employment and grow them in ways they never imagined during this dry season of their lives. We delight in doing Your will; we joyfully contribute to the needs of others; and we seek to positively influence those around us. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Note: Also when you see others working consider how are they contributing to the needs of others? Yesterday we shared about the corn harvest across from our house. Today the fields are being prepped for future plantings with an application of highly noxious animal waste fertilizer! This is not the most pleasant time to live out in the country. I can look over at the tractors and huge manure tanks with disdain or thankfulness. After all we drink milk from cows and cows eat alot (feed from the silage harvest this weekend) and make waste (a lot of it!) Something needs to be done with the waste and spreading it on the fields as fertilizer is a beneficial use. I am thankful for the contribution the farm workers make in spreading the fertilizer!

The Olde Mill House Shoppes

We visited the Old Mill House Shoppes on the Strasbug Pike, a quaint collection of older buildings selling fine gifts and lighting.

Old Mill House Shoppes 8/29/13
The old mill is on the other side from the main house and shops. It still has an old advertisement on the side.

Old Mill House Shoppes 8/29/13
Lots of pretty large coleus flowers

Old Mill House Shoppes 8/29/13

Old Mill House Shoppes 8/29/13

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

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

The Olde Mill House Shoppes

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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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