I have notes that tell me I heard a pastor bring a message based on the first part of Jeremiah 29. I'm sorry I did not add his name to my notes but I remember the part of the message that stayed with me and I would like to share it with you. I know there is a part of this I can apply to my own life today, so this is what I gathered from my reading and also from the pastor's message.

Jeremiah 29:4-7 is a part of a letter that Jeremiah sent to the people of Judah who were captives in Babylon. In verse 3 he tells them to build houses, dwell in them, plant gardens, and eat the fruit from them. Verse 4 says to continue with families, get married and have children. Verse 5 says to seek the peace of the city.

This tells me that no matter my circumstances I am to bloom where I am planted. I can't give up when things get bad, but I continue with my life, serving God through it all. I pray for peace for my city and my leaders. My service to God and my witness for Him will continue. The pastor said I should plant the Gospel, seeds of righteousness, and these gardens will grow. Then the harvest will come.

Now read verses 10 through 14. This is the part I like best. It tells me that if I seek God with all my heart, I will find Him and when it's time He will bring me home. I love that word home.

It is a wonderful blessing to be a part of a church where people grow and bloom, plant the Gospel and are workers willing to help in the harvest. --Published in the Countryside Baptist Church bulletin 1-31-2016.