A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Yesterday we had lunch at the Franklin House in Schaefferstown, PA built in 1746. It just may be the oldest restaurant we've ever dined at!
"I'm Gonna Sing!"
Message summary: Today we commend you to the enjoyment of life and specifically that joy will accompany you in your work all the days of your life. This day do your work wholeheartedly and let the light of Christ shine through you and the labor of your hands! And if you can't sing aloud, sing in your heart!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"I will praise Godís name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving" (Psalm 69:30). "Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song" (Psalm 95:2). "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).
I'm gonna sing as long as it takes for a song
To make a sad, heavy spirit free
I'm gonna keep making music that carries the secret
That Jesus is liberty
We enjoy a variety of cultural settings here in Pennsylvania including shopping. Of course we have plenty of stores that are similar to stores anywhere else in America or in the world for that matter. But we also have farmer's markets, seasonal roadside stands, and the enjoyable custom of residents placing unwanted items out by the road for free pick-up, which we on occasion have benefitted from including a four burner gas grill we used for many years.
Yesterday we stopped by one of our favorite stores in rural Lebanon County, an Amish-run discount grocery surplus called BB's. Their motto boasts, "Bents, Bumps and Bunch of Bargains" (which I suppose is the basis of the name BB's - the sloppy grammar adding to the folksiness).
In accordance with the Amish prohibition against piped in electric the store is lit by sky lights and, if needed, gas lanterns. A generator powers the cooling equipment, including a walk-in freezer (which keeps the shopper from dilly dallying as the freezer fogs customer's eye glasses and sends shivers up their spine). We typically find some bargains in the store but the cultural experience includes the people we see, and particularly the employees.
A special needs man offered to carry some large boxes to our van. He was so pleased to inform me several times that he had his 31st birthday coming up! What a blessing that man with disabilities could experience the purposefulness of work.
But the best part is the singing. All throughout the store the girls sing as they restock the shelves. Some of the classic hymns we heard yesterday included "How Great Thou Art", "This Is My Father's World" and "At Calvary". The pleasant cacophony of several different songs being sung at once is quite edifying as you stroll your cart down the aisles of the store and Brooksyne couldn't resist singing a few lines with the ladies since they were all familiar hymns.
Most of you can't sing out loud at work. In most locations that would just not be acceptable! Of course, for some of us, it's a good thing since the quality of our singing voice might not be edifying for others to hear.
We've even heard one young lady sing as she checked out customers at the cash register! The employees seemed rather oblivious to the mostly non-Amish customers and really don't seem to care that singing old gospel hymns or singing out loud in public would probably not be the latest cool, trending thing to do these days. A young lady sung an old Gospel favorite of ours titled, "Farther Along":
Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
Cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We'll understand it all by and by...
The young Amish women stocking shelves were not doing the kind of work most people aspire to. 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.
How's your attitude toward your work today? The TGIF (Thank Goodness Itís Friday) outlook seems to permeate our society. It reflects an attitude that the work week is finally over and now the 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" which would apply to every day of the week! That is a constantly present tense reality. Each day is the day that the Lord has made and we are directed each day to rejoice and be glad.
Solomon makes a point so needed today: "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). We especially highlight that phrase, "then 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 our present work position. "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4). "Always" would surely include time spent at work.
Paul wrote, "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men" (Colossians 3:23).
Today we commend you to the enjoyment of life and specifically that joy will accompany you in your work all the days of your life. This day do your work wholeheartedly and let the light of Christ shine through you and the labor of your hands! And if you can't sing, hum or whistle aloud, let the melody and lyrics gladden your heart!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily 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. Since each workplace has its challenges, we look to You for strength, endurance and wisdom to deal with those challenges so that we find 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, contributing to a joyous setting. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"I'm Gonna Sing" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"Then He Said, "Sing!" Video Ivan Parker
"This Is the Time I Must Sing" Video Gordon Mote
"Farther Along" Video Russ Taff
Finally Today: As we walked into Audrey's yesterday morning to begin our "walk through" visiting with the employees, Brooksyne snapped this photo of the animals arranged on the table. Audrey's receives regular shipments of items that are available for purchase, but they have to pass the test of desirability, quality, and affordability before they are accepted, posted in their catalog and then included in their stock. It's rather fun to see the newest batch of products and these animals are among them, though it will take a year for most items to be available once they've passed through the rigorous inspection mentioned above.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
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