Week 44 Wednesday

A Sound Blueprint

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 125-127

Key verses: Psalm 127:1-2

“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.  Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand in vain.”

I know a few guys who have made their living as contractors; carpenters; bricklayers; you know, real “blue collar” hard-working laborers.  I have often stood by and watched with some amazement at their ability to deftly handle the tools of their chosen trades.

On the other hand, I also feel like I’ve accomplished something when I can hammer a nail into a wall without bending it.  A “wordsmith” I might try to be; an expert at building – hardly.

But I can tell you one thing about building – at least that of the spiritual variety.  The Psalmist is right when he says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”

Before a physical foundation is laid; a spiritual foundation should be placed.

Before the walls and roof come together; more than a passing glance to the heavens above is in order.

Before the interior decorator goes to work; some internal soul-searching is a great idea.

That way the right things will be done in the right order and in the right way.

All the choices that are made will be made with a larger, deeper perspective guiding the smaller day by day ones.

And the home – or the city – or the nation – or the life – that is built that way will be blessed.

Prayer: Lord, give me the vision, the patience, and the faith to seek your perspective on things – before I start building.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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