The Art of Preservation

I know the plans I have for you.

This is what the Lord of heavenly armies said to the captives through the prophet Jeremiah.

NLT Jeremiah 29

1Jeremiah wrote a letter from Jerusalem to the elders, priests, prophets, and all the people who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. 2This was after King Jehoiachin,a the queen mother, the court officials, the other officials of Judah, and all the craftsmen and artisans had been deported from Jerusalem. 3He sent the letter with Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah when they went to Babylon as King Zedekiah’s ambassadors to Nebuchadnezzar. This is what Jeremiah’s letter said:

4This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: 5“Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. 6Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! 7And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”

These passages tell us so much about what God values and preserves.

Its a word to us about purpose even in captivity. We are to occupy, and grow.

In Family. In Peace. In Prosperity.

Marry and have children, find spouses for your children and encourage grandchildren. ( Calm down, I am speaking of praying. Ask God to lead them to the ones they should marry.)

He tells us to work to build houses, plant gardens, and eat the food we produce. He tells us to work for Peace and Prosperity for the cities we live in.

8This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, 9because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the LORD.

10This is what the LORD says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

I spent some time in France last Thanksgiving Holiday. My niece and I visited many museums. We saw beautiful architectural designs in the centuries old museums and churches throughout the city.

The furniture from the period of the Kings was detailed and amazingly well built. The paintings, the rugs, many of the Kings things, were well preserved for our century to view. We could imagine the lives of the Kings, as we viewed the historical displays, that were preserved through the centuries.

I thought about the Bible in history and how it records the stories of not only good things, the plans and promises, it tells you also about the things, that went wrong and were wrong.

Yet, the Bible does not release a sense of coldness, as the old churches and museums do. It feels alive!

As I looked at the history of the Kings, I saw the pomp and the circumstances. I saw the sadness of the eyes in the beautiful oil paintings.

I saw the Egyptian artifacts, the beautiful etchings on the jewelry. The burial boxes. I saw how they hoped to preserve life. I pray, they valued spiritual preservation as well.

I thought about how important history is to the next generation, and how we should never attempt to change history. The good and the bad must be clearly seen.

It warns us of deception, tricks, schemes, and dreams, of those not representing Creator God.

Mistakes should not be hidden, nor should accomplishments.

Through the viewing of history and the reading of the Bible, we can plainly see mistakes of the past. We should have no desire to repeat them.

We should have no goals to live as earthly kings. We should have no faith in a box preserving our body.

Riches do not bring health, or happiness. Focusing on preserving the physical body does not guarantee eternal life.

Knowing that God has a plan for your life, is the source of peace. Knowing there is hope of the future with him, is where we can place our trust.

We can build our lives around building a home, encouraging our children to find spouses and have children. We are told to multiply and enjoy life, not dwindle away. God has a good plan for us, to give us a hope and a future.

We must pray for the peace and prosperity for our city and the United States, for its welfare will determine our welfare!

As for Me personally;

The painting that I would like to preserve and hang on my mantle is priceless.

It speaks of a salvation so great, that the depiction of it, can’t even be drawn by a human hand.

It can only be written upon the heart by a unseen hand.

Unseen faith preserves my heart. It’s there, I feel it beating.

It’s a priceless heirloom. It’s my inheritance. It’s my legacy.

Therefore, I will wear it joyfully, and center my hope and future, in His salvation by grace, through faith!

I believe God will bring me home again.

My hope is that when my body ends up in a box, my faith will clearly be seen as having been lived out fully!

May it be said of me, “she believed God, and she lived like she believed.”

Roses and Noses

It’s a well known saying, ” stop and smell the roses.”

It was interesting to me that this phrase was probably first said by golfer, Walter Hagen.

That makes sense, as the game of golf is focused on staying on the fairway, and keeping the eye on the ball. If anyone saw roses at all, it means the ball took a different direction, than the one envisioned.

Golf has obstacles. Water, sand traps, and the wilderness, are just off the sides of the fairway.

If you don’t guide the ball properly, and you land outside the green, it can cost you extra strokes to get back in play.

It causes tension, and your approach to the next hole will be affected, if you don’t shake it off.

So the encouragement, ” Stop and smell the roses.”

Stop and smell the roses applies as we journey through our lives.

There will be days when we don’t guide things just right. Days that we end up in traps, over our head, and way off course.

We have to come back swinging! We have to take a deep breath and take another shot at it!

Your are going to go out of bounds some days. It’s a fact.

Taking time to smell the flowers along the journey is a powerful way to relax and let it go.

There are often roses right under our noses. ( I know, but I couldn’t resist. I will probably take a penalty strike for that one.)

When living life tries to subtract, counteract.

Stop and smell the roses. Look around and see the blessing of life and life abundantly. Get back in the game!

What’s in your Well?

One of my favorite scriptures is in Proverbs 20:5 The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.

Purpose means, ‘for which something is created or exist. It can also can mean for which something is done.’

I notice the word purpose is plural, meaning more than one purpose, or opportunity, is available in a man’s heart.

If you ask someone what’s on their heart, you should be prepared to listen.

If you ask what’s in their heart you might expect to be shocked.

The heart is like deep waters, it takes listening to understand to draw purposes out.

Listening to ‘draw,’ up what is life giving, and life sustaining is, ‘listening to understand.’

The heart of man is like a deep well, springing up! It’s has plenty of life giving water.

Purpose is creative, beautiful, and yet can become overwhelming sometimes. It’s like the ocean, we can’t really swim the whole thing at once. We can’t even see land.

At the same time we cannot just shrug our shoulders and say, ‘ that’s too deep for me.’

That is missing opportunities to develop the purpose or purposes in life.

We have to set parameters on purpose to draw it up. There is a way to navigate deep and wide waters.

Like the picture above we have to be willing to ‘dive,’ in to the ocean of purpose. We can’t bring up everything we see. We have to sift through and find what’s most important to us.

That is developing our vessels to navigate the waters. It’s not allowing everything in the ocean or in our well springs to come to the surface. Only what is beneficial to our lives.

In that big, beautiful life of yours, what is most important? What do you need to bring to the surface today?

What’s in your well?

These are good questions, I hope you take the time to answer them today!

Inspirations of Life

I draw inspiration from the beautiful mountains.

The first time I saw the mountains in Colorado, I was not just inspired, I was in awe.

I wasn’t prepared for the beauty!

They appeared in front of me as big, beautiful, priceless oil paintings. Yet, they were real!

I couldn’t imagine living in the area, as I could never take my eyes off the sheer beauty!

After a few days, I was less aware of them, and they became the background around me.

The gift of life is just as awe inspiring. It’s big, beautiful, and priceless!

Yet, as we live life daily, the beauty fades into the background. Our focus becomes smaller and we allow life circumstances to become rivals for the forefront of attention.

Circumstances happen, but they should never be larger than life.

We shouldn’t let the beauty of every day become our background.

How can we flip the script?

As I thought about this, I decided. As for me and my life, I am going to make it my goal to live a big, beautiful, awe inspiring life.

I am committed to keep my eye on the great gift of life, God has already outlined for me.

I may not be the artist, but he has given me my own will. I get to fill in the lines.

Honestly, I don’t think I can look at his creation without first thinking of Him. He is the artist.

I draw from that perception. I am aligning my view to his view. As I do, I see circumstances taking a back seat on my journey.

Sure they will be there, that’s a given. But, my present troubles do not determine my journey in life. They don’t have the right!

Troubles do not design me and you.

We don’t have to allow them to refine us. Only God has the right.

Circumstances do not outline our future. God has already done that.

We have been given life and life abundant. John 10:10

The present circumstances don’t determine where we can go, they merely determine where we start.

–Nido Qubein

View life like a journey, if circumstances determine your start, recalculate.

Have a big, beautiful, awe inspiring life!

The Life Imagined

It’s time to start living the life you imagined. ——Henry James

The life I imagined?

Well, that just it. I don’t think I imagined my life or how it should go.

I have just lived it day by day, the best I knew how.

Regrets? Many!

Yet, if I were to imagine my life, I would certainly not make the same make twice. Especially knowing now, what I didn’t know then.

If I were to imagine my life, I imagine I would make it all good. Yet, doing so would eliminate the experiences, that at the time I judged as bad.

As I have become more mature in life, I note the higher growth times came from the bad times, had I imagined would happen, I would have eliminated.

One aspect of maturity is realization and acceptance of making errors. Another aspect is letting those errors be a teacher, not a eraser in our lives.

Describe the life you imagined.

Monday…..Monday….

If you ever heard the song Monday, Monday written by John Edmund Phillips and made famous by the Mama’s and Papa’s, you can sing along with me this line, ” Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day, sometimes it just turns out that way! Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be…..”

I promised myself ,when I left my job of twenty years, that Monday morning was going to be a good day for me.

Anybody who has the sole responsibility for a job and has the week-end off can relate to the dread felt on Monday’s.

What I have discovered was that I didn’t have to wait till I left a job, to change how I viewed Monday’s.

Neither do you! Make Monday your day. View it your way!

Have a good Monday!