Jun 26

Q2 GOAL REVIEW

2017-q2-goal-review

It’s the end of June. One half of 2017 is now (almost) over. Did you set goals in January? How are you doing moving toward achieving them?

At the beginning of Q2, my husband encountered some serious health issues. At that time, I made the conscious decision to put all of my writing goals on hold—indefinitely. My decision was to write and work on books whenever time allowed, but that my sweet one’s health was my number one priority for the foreseeable future.

What actually happened was that, although I have only dabbled at book writing this past quarter, God—through my husband’s encouragement—led me to return to illustrating books for children. And I could work on that illustrating in the family room or on the patio where my sweet one was resting.

By reworking my 2017 goals to pursue illustration more than writing, God showed me how to stay bookishly productive while maintaining my focus on my husband.

The point for our goal review today is to remember that life changes. Things come up. Priorities rework themselves. But if we know what our ultimate goal is, we can often find ways to pursue it.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Have you progressed toward the goals you set for 2017? Have priorities changed? What obstacles have you faced? How can you keep moving forward?

Jun 19

PRAYING NAMES: Maureen and Brian

Maureen Brian

I love to pray that people will live the meaning of their names.  Our names have meaning and for those who love Jesus, those names are written in His book of life. They are important.

Today I am praying for one of our church pastors and his wife that they will live the meaning of their names.

What about you? Do you know what your name means? How can you seek to live that meaning?

Maureen: great; sea of bitterness (a variation of Mary)

Heavenly Father, we pray Maureen will live the meaning of her name. We pray that throughout her life she will look to you to lift her above the sea of bitterness and step out in faith to walk on the water with you. We pray also that she will come to see herself as you do, knowing she can do all things, great or small, through your strength. Amen.

Brian: strong; noble

Heavenly Father, we pray Brian will live the meaning of his name. We pray that throughout his life he will stand strong in his faith in you. We pray he will always know your strength and pray also that he will recognize his nobility as a child of you—our King, Jesus. Amen.

 

NOTE: Each month I write prayers for people to live the meaning of their names. Do you have someone you would like to pray for in this way? Leave me a comment below and I will write a prayer for them in a future month.

Jun 12

THE TEMPLE OF GREAT WORTH

templeinside

 

I was reading 2 Chronicles this morning and had to stop and ponder the Temple Solomon had built in Jerusalem. When I think of ancient buildings, I tend to picture them as merely glorified ruins they are today. But this morning I was reminded that the whole Temple in Jerusalem—walls and all—were covered in gold. The underlying timber was held together with nails made of gold. Each 20-ounce gold nail would cost $26,000 today.

The doors of the Temple were made of bronze. The Temple basins and tools were made from bronze or gold. Everything was decorated with elaborate carvings also made from gold or bronze. The walls were studded with precious gems.

I wonder if folks needed sunglasses to just step inside the Temple.

Still, such a spectacularly beautiful structure could not come close to the beauty of the One for whom it was built. Our God created the heavens and the earth. Nothing is more beautiful to our human eyes than those creations.

God also created the bronze and gold minerals He then hid deep inside this beautiful earth as delightful treasures for us to discover and appreciate. He also gave us artistic skill and craftsmanship so we could create art and fill the world with even more beauty—man-made though it is—in our attempt to honor God by what we do.

No effort, no cost, no detail was skimped on when Solomon built the Temple. He knew that honoring the Lord God was worth every effort, every cost, every detail. Although God may not need a physical building and surely doesn’t need gold and bronze pillars, still our human hearts hope He understands that such things we do are done out of love for Him.

When I consider that the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in me and that my body is now His temple, I am awed even more. Maybe I don’t always think I am of great worth, but God, the Spirit has chosen to reside in me. To Him, I am of great worth. Each cell in my body is worth more than one of Solomon’s golden nails.

Jesus knows that too. The nails driven into Jesus’ hands and feet were more precious than all of Solomon’s golden ones combined. Those nails caused Jesus’ physical death—a death He gladly bore for my sake, because He valued me and you that much.

Thank you, Jesus for your nail-pierced hands. Thank you, Holy Spirit for living in me. Thank you, Father for your good plan, for your beautiful world and all who live in it. Amen.

 

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NOTE: I found the above conceptual rendition of the Temple in Jerusalem at many locations on the Internet. I was never able however to find out who originally drew it. I therefore am not able to give proper credit to that artist, but thank him or her for creating it and sharing it with us.

 

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