Beautiful Buildings Average reading time is about 1 and a half minutes An Amazing Fact: The Taj Mahal (meaning “crown of buildings”) is a mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built in 1653 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is often recognized as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Myths and legends surround the construction of the Taj. As one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, there is great interest in this amazing structure. We know it took about 22 years and 22,000 people to construct the building. Some estimate that in today’s dollar, it cost about $100 million to construct. Apparently 1,000 elephants were used to transport building materials during construction. The architecture skillfully combines Persian, Islamic, and Indian styles. The materials used to adorn the Taj Mahal include 28 different varieties of semi-precious and precious stones with exquisite inlay work. Depending on which time of day you view the tomb, you will see different colors—pink in the morning, white in the day, and golden in the moonlight. The pillars surrounding the Taj are slightly tilted outwards so that in the event of an earthquake they will fall away from the tomb itself. The most beautiful temple in the world built in ancient times was surely Solomon’s temple. His preparations are described in 1 Kings chapters 4 and 5. His labor force was 30,000 strong. His father, David, had already assembled a large store of materials. But we find Solomon working with Hiram, king of Tyre, to obtain a large harvest of timber (cedar and cypress logs). Huge stones were quarried, and Solomon paid them well. Solomon probably would have been unhappy to know that this temple was named after himself. When writing to Hiram, he states, “And behold, I propose to build a house for the name of the Lord my God” (1 Kings 5:5). Even the king of Tyre responds, “Blessed be the Lord this day,” giving thanks and glory to God (v. 7). The temple, which represents the life and work of Jesus, was to always point heavenward. Christ now stands in the heavenly sanctuary, alive and serving us. He is not dead in a tomb in Palestine. KEY BIBLE TEXTS And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. Exodus 25:8 Was this devotional forwarded to you? Click here to get your own subscription → Like us on Facebook → Follow us on Twitter http://www.amazingfacts.org/bible-study/daily-devotional.aspx#noredirect
My story is one of deliverance from the bondage of unforgiveness. I have endured the heartache of abandonment, loss of a child, and emotional abuse. My journey to healing has extended throughout a forty year period. I am ready to share my story with gratitude. God has always being there, even when I was overwhelmed with brokenness, and unable to recognize His presence. “…and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
Wikipedia defines “Social responsibility as an ethical framework and suggests that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large.” Let’s face it, many of us live from day to day as if we are unaware of the present level of human suffering which exists. We see and do not see. We hear and do not hear.
Being part of the 50 plus population enables us to utilize our spare time to volunteer and alleviate the suffering of others. The website volunteermatch.org provides a wealth of information to identify your interests and places that need your help. Giving of your time without monetary compensation provides blessings for the giver as well as the receiver.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Matthew 25: 35, 36
I recently overheard an individual express that life is so complex and complicated that it is impossible to live a stress free life. The times that I feel stressed are due to my failure to pray and trust in God. Remembering that God will never leave us or forsake us, is the solution to a stress free life. Today make a commitment to totally trust God for every problem-great or small.
The just shall live by faith. Romans 1:17
“What are you doing for the holiday weekend? Oh, I haven’t really thought about it. I don’t know, I’m sure I will come up with something. Well, we are going out of town-will be back on Tuesday.” This is a conversation that I had with a friend who always manages to take mini trips. I thought about doing something for at least a minute, and then quickly put it out of my mind. However, as the day progressed, I realized that I really wanted to do something for the 3-day weekend. After some deep contemplation, I decided to plan a last minute after church luncheon. Several calls were made to friends who readily accepted my invite. I notified my husband that we would have company after church, and much to my surprise, he relayed that my idea was great.
On the big day, my friends arrived at staggered times. Much to my surprise, I was able to relax while the food was in the oven. As I smelled the aromas, I felt a warmth inside from the anticipation of dinner with friends. With the combination of food, great conversation, and a lot of laughter we had a memorable occasion. I begin to reminisce about the era of the 70’s when my house was filled with friends on a weekly basis. Yes, times were hard, but those were happier times. What happened? How had my life evolved to the point that my job consumed my life?
I became aware of an unbalanced work ethic in 2014. One of my younger co-workers asked me why I was always stressed. I responded that our job was very stressful, always meeting deadlines, and hearing constant complaints from our clients, it added up to stress. I was proud of my answer to this young millennial who had a carefree attitude. Her response gave me a reality check. I was told to think about the damage that I was causing to my mental and physical health. As I listened to her summation of the differences between the two generations, most of her explanation made sense. “Enjoy your job.” What did enjoyment have to do with my work ethic? I was not there to have fun. After all, my work performance was a serious issue.
As I reflect on our conversation, 2017 has enabled me to have a new meaning on a balanced work life. I deserve to have fun. Enjoyment of my career choice has enabled me to seek out different paths where I can utilize my skills, and still have a healthy attitude. My talents and hobbies are developing in a manner that I never expected. For years, I carried the burden of a tiresome work ethic, which left little time for enjoyment. My standards for work still include giving my best. However, I have made the decision to incorporate the friends and activities that add to my happiness. I have embraced part of the Millennial’s mindset, and I can say with a smile, I finally have my work ethic under control.
For many years, I worked as a nurse in the field of Home Health. One of the mandated requirements for the agency was an up-to-date Emergency Preparedness Plan, for the patients who were confined to their homes. All personnel-clinical and nonclinical-had the responsibility of knowing the action plan if a disaster occurred. At the time of admission, patients were educated and informed of the necessary requirements of planned evacuation in order to receive healthcare services. Many individuals balked at the thought of leaving their homes. Although resistance was high, the patient eventually assisted the nursing staff in developing a personalized action plan for safety.
Developing a plan for unforeseen incidents such as natural disasters, and death can be very overwhelming. Many emotions present when an individual is forced to pre-plan for unpleasant circumstances. Some will choose to ignore the pending situation in disbelief or they will convince themselves that preparation can be easily accomplished if something happens. The recent disaster from Hurricane Harvey has given many of us a harsh reality check. The choice to be prepared or to face negative outcomes is the reality of unexpected life events. It is unrealistic to think that we can pre-plan every aspect of our lives; however, we should pay attention to the warnings of impending danger.
Being ready also applies to our spiritual status with God. Matthew 24:44 (NIV) tells us, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Every new day provides us with additional grace and mercies. Following God’s spiritual preparedness plan affords us the opportunity to have eternal life if we choose. I have a certain fondness for flowers. Many times, I will contemplate on their phenomenal beauty, and thank God, as I wonder what is in store for my future life in heaven. I encourage each of us to plan for the greatest life event-the Second Coming of Christ. Unlike life’s disasters or unforeseen events, we do not have to develop our spiritual preparedness plan. God has provided a fail proof spiritual preparedness plan for all who believe and obey. It is up to us to choose to accept his action plan for our lives.