focused on {eternal} Glory...

This week's post is a simple one...photos of the beautiful casket spray from our friend Mrs. Shirley's funeral last week.  She loved red roses and cardinals, and this arrangement ended up being just perfect.  Since we love cardinals around here, too, I had to go back out yesterday and take a few pictures of these.  

Mrs. Shirley was the mother-in-law/mother/grandmother of dear friends.  She was a very special lady to our children, and she and I had a bit of a special relationship as well...we were choir buddies for a few years when she first joined our church and sang in choir until she was no longer able, and then I stayed with her once a week or so during her last year.  God used her in a big way in my life. 

Not only did God use  my relationship with Mrs. Shirley in a big way in my life, but He also used my front row seat in watching my friend Jodie take care of her mother-in-law.  I'm no stranger to the world of caring for aging family at home.  I lived with my grandmother for several years to enable her to stay independent as long as possible, and then my parents cared for her for several years both before and after her stroke(s).  But caring for Mrs. Shirley came with its own set of challenges, and watching the way that God sustained and enabled my friend to meet those challenges made a huge impact on my life.


At her funeral and graveside service, we were reminded of the certain hope that lies within us...

 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him  those who have fallen asleep.   For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will descend  from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them  in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
or brought to mind."
~Isaiah 65:17

Bro. Kent also talked a little bit about Heaven, and reminded us of this description in Revelation 21...

"And He carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 
It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
  And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls.
 The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And He measured the city with His rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel's measurement. 
The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 
The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
  And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 
By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 
But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life."
Revelation 21:10-27

Talk about focused on Glory!  To think that the city is going to be that beautiful and that glorious...and yet the truly amazing thing is going to be the Glory of God.  Such an incredibly awesome thought! 

Be sure to see Tauna's foG post here.  I love her post this week...she definitely decorates her world! :) 

(I apologize for missing last week's foG post completely, and being late with this week's.  Last Tuesday was the funeral, and the day completely got away from me. The following day brought some unwelcome excitement that has carried on throughout the week...more about that in tomorrow's post, if all goes as planned.  But...the point is that photography and blogging have been rather on the back burner.  Hopefully we're back on schedule now and I will do better!  ETA: I also apologize for the spacing/formatting issues with this post.  I've been working on it off and on all day, and Blogger and I are apparently not on very good terms today, because no matter WHAT I do, I can't seem to fix the problems.  Ugh! :))

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