The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Autumn stand
This colorful autumn stand at the Schopf Brothers Farm is on the corner of Colebrook and State Roads in Lancaster County
Photo taken by Ester
Click on photo to enlarge

"Thank You For Working!"

Note: Today's message is not an exposition of a Scripture as we normally seek to do. However please consider the daily texts in light of our message.

Message summary: A word of thanksgiving to all who labor in the marketplace. Won't you join Brooksyne and me in thanking people for working and doing their duty in contributing to making life work and "keeping the lights on". If you have opportunity express your thanks personally and verbally.

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty" (Proverbs 14:23). "Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys" (Proverbs 18:9).

Yesterday, after my first chaplain visit, I stopped at a Dollar Tree to pick up a few items. When I checked out they had a sign prominently displayed at each register that alluded to the worker shortage pandemic with an appeal for customers to treat the employees kindly.

I got into a brief conversation with the cashier, who is also a store manager, and simply thanked her for working. It seemed my expression of appreciation touched her. There's a tendency for all of us to take employees for granted; after all, they are getting paid. But more and more employees work under pressure due to the inability to staff at appropriate levels.

We stopped at another store two weeks ago usually open from 9 to 9, 7 days a week, and found their doors to be locked at 5:20 PM. Then we saw the sign: New hours due to staff shortage: 5 PM closing. We were going to stop at CVS last week to pick up a prescription only to see the lights out and it was about 7:30 pm.

In addition to shortage of workers, during this over 18 months of pandemic, people have grown ruder and more inconsiderate. We've seen and read about this for quite awhile now, but even more so related to the pandemic. Brooksyne has talked to hotel managers we serve as chaplains and heard almost unbelievable stories of the rudeness they've endured over the past 18 months, and we've served these motels for about 16 years now.

Bob at Home DepotI decided one way I could encourage people, and intend to do so going forward, is to verbally thank them for working. So at my next stop, a Home Depot, as I walked through the store I made it a point to simply thank the employees for working. Bob is in the photo, 85 years old, using a scooter and still working! He is a retired mechanical engineer from California, in the area to lend support to his grandchildren. As we talked he volunteered, "I'm a believer". We couldn't talk long since he was working but he sure seemed like a man who would have a lot to offer!

In God's design work is a critical component of life, beginning in the garden when God assigned work to Adam.

"What if" is a YouTube channel that answers questions beginning with "What if" such as, "What If the World Lost Oxygen for Five Seconds?" (see below for link to this channel). If I could make neat YouTube videos I would make one that asked, "What if everyone just stopped working?"
  • Show a scene of a dairy farmer just walking away from his duties and the consequences, both immediate and longer term.
  • Show truck drivers just stopping their truck on the highway and walking away.
  • All hospital employees from physicians to custodial staff just walk off the job.
  • What if all the staff in nursing homes just quit.
  • A scene with all the police just walking off the job and then a follow-up scene.
  • The garbage trucks stop running.
  • You can imagine your own scene.
An analogy I appreciate in regard to work is one of those pulling the wagon and those just riding along in the wagon, letting others do all the pulling. Many have observed that more and more simply want to ride along and depend on the labor of others. That means fewer and fewer are working harder and harder to pull the wagon!

Now of course some are "in the wagon" for a valid reason:
  • Some are retired after a long season of work and productivity, although we see many, like Bob, who for various reasons continue to work. I believe employers will increasingly value the work ethic of these older workers. But if we live long enough we will all reach an age when we really can't work.
  • Some have a disability that prohibits them from working, although many, with even severe disabilities, manage to work productively. In fact in the course of our chaplaincy we see a number of hard-working disabled people. But of course some severe disabilities prevent people from earning a living.
  • The young are preparing (or should be) for a life of responsible work. But a lot of older youth and college age still manage to work while studying. However far too many have seemingly perpetual additional levels of education, with little prospect of using the studies for meaningful work, such as degrees in "gender studies" and so forth.* Eighteen has been considered the age that youth reach adulthood but in recent news we heard a new study from Oxford researchers says people don’t reach full adulthood until they’re 30. Though I don't embrace their viewpoint there are many contributing factors to such an assessment, most all of them that do not contribute to a healthy society.
But many don't work and carry their own load due to dubious reasons such as the inability to find a job for their degree (increasingly common, given the many nonsense degrees being cranked out). Some think they're entitled to only a job they like or with a certain pay scale. Others continue to use the pandemic as an excuse for their laziness. In our view government aid programs, ostensibly compassionate, have merely exacerbated the problem.

So today join us in thanking people for working and doing their duty in contributing to making life work. If you have opportunity express your thanks personally and verbally. Brooksyne and I thank all of you who are working today in "keeping the lights on" so that we may continue to enjoy the day to day norms of life.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we pray for those who go to work daily; those who do not eat the bread of idleness but are productive in their daily work and thereby providing for their families. We’re also grateful for the current technology permitting those to work safely from home when the need arises. When we look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others there is mutual benefit to both parties and for all concerned, Jesus being the greatest example of this. Amen.

Note: Of course there are many families that choose a traditional lifestyle where the husband works and the wife stays home with childcare and household duties. In this case she is not in the wagon! In reality the value of her maternal skills may actually exceed the value of her working outside the home in regard to savings in childcare, housekeeping, meals, etc. More importantly many of these families prefer to nurture their young children in a loving and biblical home setting rather than depending on outside influences that might detract them from their intended goals, especially given the current state of public education.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"We Labor Unto Glory "  Video  The Porter's Gate

* "9 Exciting Careers For Gender Studies Graduates" Far too true satire from the Babylon Bee!

Finally today:

This morning I spoke to Doug Paglia with an update on his folks, DJ (Doc) and Anna Mary whom we met shortly after moving to Lancaster County in 2001. DJ is a faithful minister of the gospel. He and Anna Mary are close to celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary but are succumbing to the inevitable impact of aging. Doug shared concerning his search for either home-care or a place they can go but has hit dead ends. Please pray for this family and, if you have suggestions, please let me know and I will pass on to Doug. Our area has many retirement senior living facilities but due to the labor shortage and some of the nonsensical government policies he has not been able to locate a place that will admit them.

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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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