"He died at a good old age, having lived a full life, replete with riches and honor, and with his son Solomon reigning in his place" - 1Chronicles 29:28.

Parents will always want the best for their children. They will do whatever is necessary to ensure that this happens. Of course it doesn't always turn out as expected but the mere desire for it is proof of a concern that all fathers must have for his children. God honors this desire and blesses it as He sees fit.

There are reasons why this generational continuity must happen. A good man will want his children to inherit family legacies. It can be a family business that has been passed down from generation to generation. It can be a trade or skill. Or it can be as simple as a good name. What a father values for himself must be something that he wouldn't hesitate to pass on to his children. His vocation must be something that his children can inherit without him raising a protest, unless he sees his children to have greater potential to improve upon it and achieve even greater things.

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"So Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD" - 2Kings 20:2.

Benjamin Franklin said that two things are certain in this life: death and taxes. There are no appeals when it comes to taxes. All must pay. The same thing with death. All must go when his time comes. The government has the control of taxes. The government is an impersonal institution. It doesn't have a heart. Death is in the hands of God. He is not impersonal but compassionate. This distinction is huge as we find out in the life of a king.

Hezekiah was a good king in Judah. To be a called a good king means to completely follow the Lord and his kind is a rare kind in the history of this kingdom. But even good kings get sick and some sickness are fatal. Hezekiah contracted a fatal illness and it was supposed to seal his fate. He was on the way to the end of all men - the grave. No less than the Prophet Isaiah declared to him this heartbreaking news of his imminent death. Death, a certain thing as far as people are concerned, is still a decision for God and this is what Hezekiah counted on.

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"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor uselessly" - Psalms 127:1.

The idea of being dependent can either appeal or repel. Being a dependent is mostly appealing only in times of dire need but not in all things and at all times. On the other hand, the idea of being free to do what one wants is only appealing until a time of need arises.

Dependence also requires certain conditions before it can even be favorable. There's no sense being dependent on someone who is himself undependable, incapable or unable. Dependence can only make sense when the one to whom we depend upon can fix things for us, can deliver the goods for us or can change the circumstances for us.

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"So we rebuilt the wall, completing it halfway up, because the people were committed to working" -  Nehemiah 4:6.

The best career, the best marriage, the most robust faith can be sidetracked by simple things we call distractions. There are many kinds of things that can turn into distractions. Not all of them are bad in themselves but they can take our focus away from the more important things. 

Practically anything then that takes us away from that which matters more are distractions. That newly forming hobby or habit can be a distraction. A sudden life change as marriage, relocation or a career shift can be a distraction. It's hard to pinpoint them but they leave one definitive result: they take our eyes, or mind and/or our heart away from things we ought to focus more or attend to more. 

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"And you are being arrogant instead of being filled with grief and seeing to it that the man who did this is removed from among you" - 1Co 5:2 .

One of the favorite illustrations used whenever there is a talk about purity is the process of refining precious metals, particularly gold or silver. For both metals, the process must involve not just very high temperatures but also some harsh chemicals and electrolysis. If precious metals can speak, they will surely tell us that the refining process is an unpleasant one. But that is the only way purity is achieved. And purity is what makes these metals valuable.

Purity is not just for precious metals but also for precious lives. Life purity is also measured by how close it is to being without any contaminant. Unfortunately, a life without contaminant is impossible in our present state where we are still living with our earthly flesh with all its earthly desires. But we can't leave this condition alone. Gold, once refined, won't lose its luster again. Sadly, the story of our life is not the same. We are naturally susceptible to impurity. Our lives therefore needs an active effort to remain pure, sometimes through our own initiative and at other times through institutions put up by God for us to remain pure or, when "contaminated", to be restored to purity.

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"The LORD appeared to Solomon one night in a dream and told him, "Ask me for whatever you want and I'll give it to you" - 1Ki 3:5.

Usually a good beginning is indicative of a good ending. This is why people plan so that they can start right and hopefully end right. No sane person would start something knowing that the ending is a disaster. Even those who fumbled and stumbled in the beginning will still hope for a happy ending if they can.

But not all good beginnings end well. Practically all marriages are good and happy beginnings but we know how many of those marriages end up in bitterness and painful separation. Friendships can also go sideways. Once very close friends can bow be brutal enemies. A good career today doesn't mean a happy retirement because it can end up rather abruptly in a termination. A good ministry today can lose its credibility and name, shattered by a scandal or an accusation.

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