Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Farm scene on Strasburg Pike
Early yesterday morning we passed this quaint neighborhood along Strasburg Pike in Lancaster County.
Click on photo to enlarge

"The Blessing of Work"

Message summary: Today we urge you to view your labor as an act of obedience to God and as a means of fulfilling His plan for your life. We honor God when we see labor as a blessing!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening. How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures" (Psalm 104:23,24).

In so many ways we seem to be experiencing the rapid de-evolution of society with new levels of craziness reported practically every day. Evil is called good and good is called evil. So today we want to share some perspective from the ground where we live; places where people are living responsibly and working hard for a living.

We began early yesterday morning with a visit to the employees at a metal shop and construction company and sat in on a safety meeting. We looked about as the earnest workers were beginning their day and preparing to make a meaningful contribution to the world. I spoke for afew minutes with a young man named Luke, who is vocationally following in the footsteps of Jesus the carpenter.

We then went to the Old Windmill Farm where we split up for several hours so I could take Jesse on some errands and Brooksyne took Anna Ruth out for some shopping and later they visited the children's school.

Amish metal workers (click for larger view)
Jesse took me to an Amish foundry where they cast metal into various parts. The foundry wasn't fired up yesterday but it was still very interesting. The men to the left are grinding and cleaning parts.

Driving through the country we passed a young Amish man (probably a teenager) working the fields behind a large mule team. Jesse told me he probably felt good about this duty; that his dad trusted him with a large team.

In the afternoon I visited a metal fabrication shop and spoke to a young man, still in his teens. He is a student at Thaddeus Stevens, a local trade school and yesterday was serving as an intern. I commended him for his efforts in learning a valuable trade and working hard.

Many consider labor a dirty five letter word, a necessary evil just to get by in life. In fact, practically every store or business we enter these days has large signs, "Now Hiring", "Interview held Tuesdays and Thursdays". A desperate McDonalds posted a sign in Lebanon County, "Sign up today, get paid tomorrow." So many seem to avoid work at all costs. But that's sure not a Scriptural view of work.

We find it interesting that the picture of man in the daily Scripture portion is at work. "Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening".
God has ordained work into His created order. In the Fourth Commandment God said, "Six days shalt thou work". Solomon said, "The sleep of a laborer is sweet" and Paul wrote, "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men". In the book of Revelation we read of a future time when the faithful, "will rest from their labor".

However such a time of rest is not for the present. The created order requires labor on the part of mankind. It's not a Scripture verse but we do believe the statement, "Idleness is the devil's workshop" to be a truth. We believe so much of the dysfunction in our cities and elsewhere is a result in part due to idleness.

Today we urge you to view your labor as an act of obedience to God and as a means of fulfilling His plan for your life. We honor God when we see labor as a blessing!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily 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.

Today we share some photos from our explorations yesterday.

Lancaster County stone farmhouse
A stone farmhouse in eastern Lancaster County, commonly seen throughout our area. Always a work of solid craftsmanship.
Click on photo to enlarge

I saw these in a wheelbarrow at the Amish Foundry.
Anyone recognize what they are? See answer here.

Hungry animals!
These two lambs and kid goat were fussing over this milk yesterday on the Old Windmill Farm. Is the goat who straddled the lamb, sucking on the bottle, watching to make sure that there's plenty of milk left for his feeding?

Mary with quilt
Yesterday I stopped by to visit Elvin, whom we used to see regularly in the course of our chaplain work at Val-Co. He retired several years ago after 57 years at the same company and is nearing 80. It was a very cold and windy day but he was out working in his garden when I pulled up to his place on Farmersville Road. In the photo his wife, Mary, showed me a quilt she was making.

Front of Amish school
After running some errands with Anna Ruth, Ester and I took treats for the children in the Amish School and I can never resist taking photos of the lovely, colorful and inspiration sayings on the walls (with teacher's permission, of course). These are enlarged so you can take in the many prompts for learning the 25 students from kindergarten to 8th grade are exposed to daily.
Click on photo to enlarge

Front of Amish school
When I see "rainbows" used in various contexts that I don't believe God ever intended, I am heartened to see these displays using the array of colors God puts in the rainbows He creates.
Click on photo to enlarge

Amish school poster
Be sure to enlarge this picture to see the many virtues God wants in everyone of us no matter our age!
Click on photo to enlarge

Finally today:

Many now use mobile banking on their smart phone.
Here's an example of mobile banking in the Amish community!

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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