I completed this Oil painting several years ago. I don’t recall photo references I may have used. I did like it so much that I completed the same scene in Ink with-pen-and-brush as well as Watercolor. Each of these may be viewed on this Web Site by scrolling down on the Menu to the ‘Watercolor Gallery’ and “Ink Gallery”. Move down in each gallery until you reach the scene.
I chose this painting today because of our ‘Thought’—Foundation. One of the many things that impresses me about these old stone buildings, whether located in Europe or North America, is how they withstand time and the elements with solid foundations.
In a previous Blog I mentioned Marj and I read from Scripture and a Devotional book mornings after breakfast. I learned something from Our Daily Bread devotional Thursday—January 9, 2020—that I hadn’t known, but that triggered the ‘Thought’ for this week. Here’s what I read:
“You’ve probably heard of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, but have you heard of the leaning tower of San Francisco? It’s called the Millennium Tower. Built in 2008, this fifty-eight-story skyscraper stands proudly—but slightly crookedly—in downtown San Francisco.
The problem? Its engineers didn’t dig a deep enough foundation. So now they’re being forced to retrofit the foundation with repairs that could cost more than the entire tower did when it was originally built—a fix that some believe is necessary to keep it from collapsing during an earthquake.”
One can’t help wondering if that ‘engineering flaw’ had to be revealed in contracts signed when office space was being leased. Just wondering. In earthquake prone California, some may not want the extra risk. But, that’s not my ‘Thought’ for this week.
As we build our lives in yet another calendar year—2020—what’s our foundation? If we saw the deer in last week’s Acrylic painting, either looking back to 2019 or forward to 2020, what kind of foundation did she see on which to build for this new year’s adventure? Where does one get competent engineering guidance for such a task? The classic 104-word parable taught by Jesus in the New Testament Gospel of Matthew chapter 7, verses 24-27, answers both questions: What kind of foundation is needed? And where is competent engineering to be found?
- What kind of foundation is required? “foundation on the rock” (verse 24 & 25) is clearly the required kind of foundation for life in 2020 that’s able to withstand inevitable storms of “wind” and “flood”— figuratively speaking.
That rock is Christ: 1 Corinthians 10:4 “…they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”
- Where is competent engineering to be found? Twice in these verse (24 & 26) Jesus tells us that he is the engineer. “…these words of mine (Jesus speaking)”. If references are required as to Jesus’ engineering competence, see Psalm 104:5 “He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” Certainly, Jesus can be trusted with your life and mine!
Now, for the competent engineer’s blueprint for constructing this required foundation, Jesus simply verbalized the blueprint and illustrated outcomes if the blueprint is followed or is not followed.
The blueprint: “…everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice” Matthew 7:24.
When the blueprint is followed: The storms come “and beat against that house, yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock”. When the blueprint is not followed: The storms came “…and it fell with a great crash.”
‘Take away’ from today’s Blog?
Perhaps a life lesson from the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Millennium Tower, entering 2020, is the imperative of a solid foundation. Jesus’ blueprint includes:
- Hearing the words of Jesus: Consult the Blueprint (Scriptures) daily.
- Doing what we hear: Listen and look (Pray) for ways to put it into practice.
Our designing engineer (God the Father), has given us a model (Jesus his Son) and a daily superintendent (the Holy Spirit) to empower.
“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b
“…Whatever he does prospers.” Psalm 1:3b