He was looking for the city…
“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise for He was looking for the city that has foundations whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:8-10)
“All these died in faith without receiving the promise, but having seen and welcomed them from a distance, they confessed that they were strangers and exiles (Greek – a resident foreigner). (Hebrews 11:13)
“They desired a better country, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:16) Jesus said, “And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3)
God’s presence is our home! Although we are fully in His presence as His children through Jesus, we will experience the fullness of this reality in this place Jesus has prepared for us! Our faces are steadfastly fixed on that place where we completely belong – the place we were made for. (1 John 3:3; 2 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
Decades ago I heard a Presbyterian renewal pastor say that, just at babies are being formed in their mother’s womb with eyelashes, ears, noses and little parts that they will not be able to use until they are born into the world, we also are being formed and molded for another place… that place, that city… all the while we help each other along the way.
Finally, I’d like to share a poem by Evangeline Paterson (1928-2000, from Ireland) given to me many years ago, called Exile:
Yes, it is beautiful country,
The stream in the winding valley,
The knolls and the birches,
And beautiful the mountain’s bare shoulder
And the calm brows of the hills;
But it is not my country,
And in my heart there is a hollow place always.
And there is no way to go back.
Maybe indeed the miles, but the years never.
Winding are the roads that we choose,
And inexorable is life, driving us like cattle
Farther and farther away from what we remember.
But when we shall come at last to God,
Who is our Home and our Country,
There will be no more road stretching before us
And no more need to go back.
Thankful every day for our hope in Him!
Blessings and love,
If you would like to read the origin of the Steadfast Art Card, please continue reading below.
The Steadfast portrait was drawn with a 6B, soft-lead pencil in 1976 at a student center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I cannot remember where I met Dwight, but I think it was in drawing class. We agreed to meet at the student center so I could draw his face from life.
Back then, I never liked to draw portraits from photographs, but only when the person was sitting right in front of me, so I could capture the depth and proportions of the lines in their features, pressing lightly or firmly on the lead pencil to achieve variations in texture. I remember drawing several views of Dwight.
After Flower Girl Greetings was born, I reconsidered his expression as Steadfast and added the verses. I used a computer font rather than calligraphy, so the words wouldn’t interfere with the art. “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and give you praise!” (Psalm 57:7) Psalm 130:5-6 is also on the front of the card. This card is great to send for a man’s birthday or achievement. I’ve also sent it to women, and received many testimonials of women sending it to their sons.
Flower Girl Greetings, magnifying the beauty of God's Word! ©2020, All Rights Reserved.
Shale Fragments™ - devotionals by Beth Ann Phifer is a division of Flower Girl Greetings, LLC. ©2020, All Rights Reserved.
Welcome to Shale Fragments, a collection of writings and art for individual and group use!
Teaching God’s truth and the beauty of His Word is my greatest delight! My art card company, Flower Girl Greetings, was launched in 2012 with this purpose. In April 2020, ShaleFragments.com became the gathering place for the writings.
As I have studied the rich meanings of the original Greek and Hebrew languages of the Bible, I continue to see beautiful progressions and connections that compel me to organize and convey their life-changing beauty!
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