Seek the Welfare of Your City

Good morning. It is Thursday, April 23, 2015. I actually feel like doing a blog entry this morning.

Today’s Word of the Day is honorificabilitudinity. This is one of those fifty-dollar words that simply means, “honorableness.” I don’t know why you wouldn’t just say “honorableness.”

Today is World Book Night. It would be interesting to see what kind of community events are planned for this night. Unfortunately, Thursday is the day that our community library is closed. Hmph.

I did something really stupid, last night. Christi and I drove back to to Fort Worth in the afternoon, to do some laundry (yes, my mother has a washing machine, but never mind), get some more clothes, feed our furry friends, and so on. After we got back, we were unloading the car. I went out for the last trip, to get the hanging clothes in the back seat. As I walked down the sidewalk, I tripped over an uneven spot and fell, landing on my right knee (which was already hurting), hand, and elbow. The hand and elbow are mostly okay. The knee, not so much. I can walk okay, but it hurts. I feel so stupid, and this is such a bad time for something like this. I think it’s going to be okay, but it is very stiff and painful, right now.

The viewing for my dad is tonight, from 6-8. We still haven’t been up to the funeral home to see the body, so we have not yet made the decision as to whether it will be an open-casket funeral. Christi and I already vote no, but, ultimately, it will be my mother’s decision, and we respect that. I’m simply not a fan of that tradition. I don’t want to remember my dad the way his body will look in that casket.

The funeral is tomorrow at 2:00PM. The burial site is a very nice, serene place. I took a picture of the view from the plot my mother purchased yesterday morning.
Woodland Park
It is one of the most serene, “un-cemetery-like” places I’ve seen.

Everything that we have had to arrange for these days has gone so smoothly! It makes me very glad that my parents live in Mineral Wells, instead of a big city like Fort Worth, or larger. Even paying for the cemetery plots, which had to be done at City Hall, only took about five or ten minutes!

We are so very grateful for all of the love and support from family and friends through this. I told Christi that I have never felt as loved as I have in the last couple of weeks. It is something that we will definitely need to remember when someone else we know goes through something similar. It is so important that we all be there for each other.

It was on this date in 1985 that Coca-Cola changed its formula and introduced “New Coke.” In less than three months, due to the negative response, the original formula was back on the market. Or was it??

Today’s birthdays include William Shakespeare (writer), James Buchanan (15th President), Warren Spahn (pitcher), Dolph Briscoe (Texas governor), Shirley Temple (actress), Roy Orbison (musician), Lee Majors (actor), Sandra Dee (actress), Tony Esposito (hockey player), Joyce DeWitt (actress), Jan Hooks (actress), Valerie Bertinelli (actress), George Lopez (comedian), John Oliver (comedian), Kal Penn (actor), and Andruw Jones (baseball player).

Roy Orbison was born on this date in 1936. He was an American singer/songwriter, known for his trademark sunglasses and his distinctive voice. He had a successful solo career, as well as being a part of the supergroup, The Traveling Wilburys. Here is his song, “Crying.”

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.
The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever;
they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance.
But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.
The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives;
for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off.
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.
I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.
He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.
Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever.
For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.
The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.
The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death.
The LORD will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.
Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
But he passed away, and behold, he was no more; though I sought him, he could not be found.
Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace.
But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Psalm 37:16-40

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Seek Your City’s Good.”

Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
Jeremiah 29:5-7

It’s interesting to me how many people want to quote Jeremiah 29:11, yet ignore theses verses just a few before it. I know people who are adamant about how much God wants them out of the city/situation they are in. Yet we have these commands from God to work and pray on behalf of the welfare of the cities in which we live.

“If that was true for God’s exiles in Babylon, it would seem to be even more true for Christian exiles in this very ‘Babylonian’ world. What, then, shall we do?”

We should do the things that come in a normal life. We build houses; plant gardens; go to work; go to school. “This does not contaminate you if you do it all for the real King and not just for eye service as men-pleasers.” So many people try to completely separate themselves from the world. We put our kids in “Christian” schools; we want to work in only “Christian” jobs, as if a school or a job could be “Christian.”

We have been sent by God to the place where we are, and we should seek the welfare of that place. This is God’s command.

“Pray to the Lord on behalf of your city. Ask for great and good things to happen for the city. Evidently God is not indifferent to its welfare. One reason he is not is this: In the welfare of the city his people find welfare.”

We can still do this without being taken in by the “beguiling attractions” of this world. If we get our values from our eternal city, which is still to be revealed, we will serve our own city well. In doing so, we will also be summoning the citizens of this city to be citizens of the “new Jerusalem.”

“Let’s live so that the natives will want to meet our King.”

Father, help us to be faithful in seeking the welfare of the cities in which we live. After all, the more we seek its welfare, the better off we will be. Help us to be faithful witnesses of the Kingdom that is yet to be revealed.

I pray for strength and mercy for this day. As we prepare to go view Daddy’s body, may we have strength. Thank you for the way in which we have bonded together. I pray for safe travel for all who are traveling today and tomorrow. May these next two days truly be a celebration of the life of one of your dearly beloved saints.

May we follow the commands of God and truly seek the greater welfare of the cities in which he has placed us.

Grace and peace, friends.

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2 thoughts on “Seek the Welfare of Your City

  1. Jeff, your observation about Jeremiah 29 is spot on — we must be there for others, for the greater city in which we live. Thank you for your stewardship. Love in Christ, Carley

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