Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How many foundations does one wall need?

I'm very visual and as I read through Revelations 21 this morning I wanted to get an idea in my head of what kind of place the city was.  This is what I came up with.

" The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates  and its walls.  The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide.  He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it was long."

12,000 stadia = ~1,400 miles = ~ one day's drive 

About 1,400 miles shown here. 

"He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass." 

144 cubits = 200 feet

The Healy Clocktower at Georgetown University is 200 feet tall.
200 foot walls surround the city
City of pure gold, pure as glass
As far as we know, as far as I've read, gold is not see through.  Do you think this might mean there are elements of gold we have not discovered yet?  What does the phrase, "purse as glass" look like?

I like to think it's shiny and smooth, maybe it will be like glass and we can see through it.  How weird would that be?!

"The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone.  The first foundation was Jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst."
Jasper means "spotted or speckled stone"

Blue sapphire; may be blue, pink, grey or black 

Chalcedony; may be an color of the rainbow
Emerald, hues may range
from yellow-green to blue

Sardonyx; a variant of onyx where
 bands are shades of red instead of

Carnelian; color ranges from
from pale orange to almost black

Chrysoprase; ranges from apple
green to dark green
Topaz; colorless when pure,
impurities will tint
Beryl; three varieties, tinted colors
come from impurities  
Chrysolite; also called precious

I don't know anything about construction much less the "foundations of the city walls."  Is it normal to have multiple foundations for a city wall?  

Isn't the foundation of a wall or building usually not seen?  That makes me wonder why the foundation for the walls of this city to be so pretty.  

"The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl.  The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparant        glass." 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Discovering My S.H.A.P.E.

Chapter 1: Masterpiece

God had complete confidence in my ability when he created me and he has complete confidence in my ability today.  He speaks highly of me.  He designed me with passions, desires, thoughts, personalities and emotions which all work together to great one masterpiece - His words, not mine.

I know these verses well.  But do I really?  Maybe if I heart-understood instead of head-understood I wouldn't lack confidence in my own ability.  Whether it's my marriage, my kids, my athletic ability, my inner creativity, my relationships with friends and family, I lack confidence.  Reading words isn't enough anymore.  I'm a grown woman and still harboring insecurities dating back to the 90's. It's time to start believing the words in my heart by allowing the Holy Spirit to have the time to speak to my soul each day.  I will soak it in, meditate, learn to see myself as the person God designed me to be.

For a lot of my life I allowed stickers to be put all over me and decided that since it stuck, it must be so.  "Dumb blonde," "ditzy," "airhead," "sex object," "crazy," "wild," "stupid," "slut," "hyper," "social butterfly," "leader," "motivated," "stubborn," "weird," "lost cause," "pretty," I could probably go on like this for a long time.  What I didn't know for a long time is that I have power over what stickers I choose to  define myself by.  During the past 12 months I have been able to peel away some of those unwanted stickers.  But they had been there so long that they left a scar which God is graciously helping me heal.

I am an individual.  I am unique.  I love to break out in song and dance in the middle of making breakfast or throw a rock concert in the shower.  I think bodily functions are funny - until it smells.  I don't like bugs or snails or spiders and I run away from bees.  My favorite part of the day is when I find myself in a perfect moment.  I struggle to finish projects but I love getting them started.  I am a hot head and speak my mind at inappropriate times.  I hold my friends to high standards and my family and mentors to a higher standard.  I try to control my environment and strive for perfection.  I like shopping but I don't like giving to charity.  I want to adopt my step-daughter but I'm not sure that I even like her.  I like reading books about the Bible but get bored of the Bible itself more often then not.  I am told I have good skills with video editing, writing and planning activities.  Sometimes I see this, sometimes not.  All this to say, I am an individual.  I am unique.  What I do with all my gifts, skills, passions and desires is my gift to God.

Today I discovered that my masterpiece is "A Fragmented Kingdom Purpose" which reads:

"Based on your answers, your God-honoring purpose seems cluttered.  Your strengths are somewhat confused due to the fact that you are overextended in many areas of your life - something we can all relate to.  There are times when you feel you are using your gifts for God's glory, but there also are issues, emotions, and desires in your life that you still need to surrender to God in order to live the life he has in store for you.  Your accountability to others may not be as consistent as God - or you - would like.  You desire to invest in others, but have not committed the time.  You ave a few goals in place, but no master plan to ensure your purpose for God is completed.  The result is intermittent fulfillment.  You occasionally feel ou are living the life you were created for, but you long for greater clarity."

This pretty much is true on all counts.

A potter has the ability to squash the piece he is working on if it's not coming together how he wants.  In Jeremiah 18 God says he would like to do just that with the Israelites who were not conforming to God's will.  I am glad God doesn't treat me like a lump of clay which he can destroy when I become stiff-necked.  Instead, I am in His hand being molded into a masterpiece.