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Monday, January 13, 2014
Our friends Cerwin and Doris High are visiting family in one of our favorite places. Doris shared this photo on her blog which brought a good memory and smile. Do you recognize where this photo was taken? (* See below for answer.)
"Diligent In Business"
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"This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God. In everything that he undertook in the service of God's temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered" (2 Chronicles 31:20,21). "A righteous man will be remembered forever" (Psalm 112:6). "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord" (Romans 12:11).
"Reputation is what others think about you.
Character is what God sees when no one else is looking."
Two weeks ago I preached a message at a nursing home and shared an illustration about Harper Hull, a local businessman who had become our friend in the course of our chaplaincy work. Afterward I walked through the room greeting the residents and one man told me he had worked for Harper. He fondly recalled that each day Harper left his office and walked out into the plant to greet each employee by name, and this was no small company. Another resident informed me that he had known Harper through his association with CBMC, a Christian businessman's organization.
Harper was the cofounder and owner of Trojan Yachts, a company headquartered in Lancaster till it was sold in 1992. The Argonaut yacht featured in the "Sea Hunt" TV series from the early sixties was constructed by Harper's company. He had a degree in naval architecture and marine engineering (the first time I ever heard of that field!) He began using a computer back in 1957 and still did accounting work for a group of companies we served while he was in his late eighties.
One of the interesting aspects of our corporate chaplain work is that, similar to pastoring, we see people over a long-term and through many phases of life (to the extent we continue working with the same company). We look for evidence of faith and values when we step into an office or workspace, which often leads into a spiritual discussion. It might be a Bible purposefully placed on a desk, Scripture art on the wall or other indications of faith.
For a number of years we visited with Harper in his office and we were blessed by a little plaque on his shelf that simply stated, "Diligent in business, serving the Lord." Over time we learned more about Harper, a gentle and quiet man. His plaque expressed the outlook of a man who lived out his faith.
Harper accepted Christ in 1949 and lived the rest of his life for the Lord. He not only displayed the plaque but he also put those words into practice.
Business people often get a bad rap but there are many, many business people like Harper who serve the Lord faithfully and are diligent in business. William Crumblehulme was an English businessman who owned a large foundry and lived over 100 years ago. He was a devout believer and earnestly practiced his faith in Christ. One of his favorite sayings was "To be diligent in business is quite compatible with the life of active Christian service." On his tombstone are written these words, "Fervent in spirit, diligent in business, serving the Lord."
Today we encourage readers in regard to the business part of life. Some see work as a necessary evil but God has ordained work. The first daily text is actually a summary of the life of King Hezekiah but I believe it's a powerful model for all of us. In relationship to today's message I especially note two descriptive words that characterized Hezekiah, "worked wholeheartedly".
For the sake of clarity and personal application I want to paraphrase this verse slightly. Not only is it a historical record, but it has application for our own lives as well. I will use my own name as this is truly what I aspire to.
When my time on earth is ended and a summary is made of my life, I would be pleased to have this written about me: "This is what Stephen did, that which was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God. In everything that he undertook in the service of God's ministry and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered."
I encourage you to place your name in the text and make it your aspiration as well. May we all, like Hezekiah and Harper, be diligent in business, serving the Lord!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Note from Brooksyne: I too was impressed with Harper's diligence in his work skills as I saw him for many years in our weekly chaplaincy role. But even more importantly Stephen and I were deeply touched by the diligence and devotion he gave to his wife in her later years during a long physical struggle before her death. Many times we upheld him in prayer, along with many other caring believers, as we considered his exhausting role as Caregiver, both physically and emotionally. His love for her was unwavering and an exemplary model to his family and others. He didn't just repeat meaningful words to his young bride 63 years earlier, but he carried out his vows in words and actions; "in sickness and in health, till death do us part." We had an interesting experience when Harper passed away in 2009 and shared it here.
Saturday morning we enjoyed breakfast and a time of fellowship with Daryl and Janet Leisey. I met Daryl when we first moved to Lancaster County and he was the HR director in a company I served as chaplain at the time. We developed a friendship and have stayed in touch over the years. He has been very encouraging and first planted the seed for our local radio ministry on WDAC 94.5 FM. After I resigned from the chaplain service company in 2004 Daryl invited me for breakfast and shared valuable advice and insights as Brooksyne and I struck out on our own. Daryl is a business consultant with the North Group. He has uncanny insight expressed by asking questions I never thought of!
We had a real blessing yesterday in our church as five of our men sang several songs, including one of my old favorites, "I Must Tell Jesus".
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Seek Ye First " Video Maranatha Singers
"You Are My All in All" Video Gaither Vocal Band featuring David Phelps
* The big boot photo was taken at the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport, Maine!
Finally today, a home plumbing update: We shared last week about our pipes breaking due to freezing during the polar vortex. Saturday I essentially completed the project and water has been restored to that section of our house!
I learned two new (to me) plumbing methods:
1) Pex pipe is very flexible and connected by a special crimp ring; no glue or solder. It was very easy to use with the special crimping tool a friend lent to me. Since pex bends easily you avoid a number of fittings compared to non-flexible pipe. It has a special go/no-go gauge which immediately verifies you got it right.
2) In several places I used sharkbite type fittings in which you just push the pipe in and it grips and seals. I used this connecting existing cpvc to pex. Works great. Two types are shown. I first tried plastic but it broke when I took it apart. Metal is better! Two cautions: Critically important that you place the pipe in the right depth and with pex you use a small sleeve, which is very easy to forget.
Now I have to finish the project by doing all I can to stop the flow of cold air that froze the pipes in the first place and then repairing the drywall ceiling. (I would rather plumb than drywall and Brooksyne is not warming to the idea of her involvement in the drywall project!)
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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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