Saturday, June 6, 2015

Yielding to the Potter

Jeremiah 18:6New Living Translation (NLT)
“O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand."

In the Pastor's message last week called "Become Aware" he mentioned a good analogy stating, "Clay yields to the potter, it does not tell the potter how to form it." This struck me. I know that in my walk I often find times I want to take the wheel and "think" I am going the way I am supposed to, the way He wants me to but I have tricked myself into thinking that just because I go to church and believe I am going the right way, I am not allowing Him to work in me at all - not the way He wants to work in me.

Father help me to once again yield to you, help me to be moldable again. And when the time comes, just as the pot made of clay has a new form of use, help me to also be useful for your Glory. Amen.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Aspirations Redefined

Have you ever been asked some questions that you were thinking about days later? I mean life questions...questions that really get in your mind, you know? Recently I have been asked some very thought provoking questions. Questions I felt I already knew the answer to. So when asked it was simple. But after a while I realized these questions I had answers for were ones I didn't stop to think about.

As we were driving home from our Bible study my husband asks me, "What is your ministry?" I wondered why he asked me but then quickly responded, "Hospitality of course." The car got quiet and I found myself thinking, "Doesn't he remember that I take care of the coffee and cleaning ministries at our church?" Then it occurred to me to remind him that I like to write and assumed he knew what I meant by it.

He then went on with an analogy about people being like light bulbs. There are those that are used to their fullest potential in ministry, therefore are putting out 100 watts of light. But then there are those that are serving because either they don't know where their ministry is or there is no one else to fill the need and they are giving off only 60 watts.

I agreed that is it obvious that we all have our specific talents and then me being the way I am didn't feel the need to discuss anything further. But it got me to thinking...of course. I started trying to identify if I knew what my talents really were. Thinking back I remembered that I have always been given the word "encourage" when praying about what  God's will is in my life. But is this considered a "ministry?"

After getting this word I started studying Scripture and ow use these verses to help guide me when I feel lost in my walk forgetting what God's will for me is or moreso how to use it.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."

Romans 12:6-8 "We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."

Days passed and I had been thinking about this for some time and I spurted out to my husband, "I'd like to write devotionals." By that time he had no idea what I was referring to and he gave me a funny look. Although it seemed there wasn't any meaning to my answer to him any longer, for me there was and still is.

A few days later my daughter and I were driving home from church and out of the blue she asked me what the one thing was I wanted to accomplish on earth..."To write and publish a book," I told her. It came out just as easy as it sounded, after all it has been my answer for a long time. And after I told her this my mind was brought back to that question my husband asked and I have been thinking about it ever since.

I have always had it on my heart to write a book, but never thought of the things I like to do as a "ministry." I know one of my strongest gifts is writing but what I like to write is more like pondering on paper as if in a journal. I thought in the past I could write articles for magazines or just try to blog to send my written heart out through the web, but it never donned on me until now that Devotions are a form of ministry. I like to post short excerpts from my heart as they come to me - isn't this a kind of devotion? Does anyone enjoy reading this type of reading? I don't know but it is who I am and if I enjoy reading from people's hearts then I am sure there are others do too.

I love thought provoking material whether that be in movies, books, live entertainment, or just simple conversations. I know that our thoughts change and form our actions and character and I know that as my walk develops I find the desire to be a vessel for Jesus' church and to share with others so that they too are provoked to thinking, seeking, and finding answers that help them with their own walk. I pray for this growth to continue...

Lord you are the potter and I am the clay - I love that your mysteries are so living and real that there is never any end to them. Thank you for giving me a mind to ponder and to grow and to learn every day. You are so awesome in all that you do and I love you. I pray that I will strive to serve you with my time and writing as I grow in becoming part of your ministry for others. I pray that someday my dreams will be fulfilled and carried out so that I can be 100 watts of light for you. Amen.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Your Creation

Psalm 139:17-18

Dear Lord, 

I love to ponder Your creation. This earth I stand on. This earth that You created. How precious is all Your Creation! Everything is handcrafted with Your care. The thought You put into everything. The thought You put into me.

My memories as a child take me back to many instances where Your presence was with me. I didn't now You then as I do now, yet I knew You were there. There is one particular day that has been on my mind as of late and I am inspired to share it here...

As far back as I can remember, I enjoyed playing outside no matter the weather - each day was a new experience. I grew up in a home with an acre of land full of grass, plants, and trees. My father had a beautiful garden and pasture. Oh how I loved spending time alone there. There was always so many things to explore in my surrounding world - the colors - the textures - the sounds - the smells. And my thoughts Lord, I loved thinking so many things about them.

On this particular day, I was probably 5 years old, I really don't know, but I recall playing in the summer shade with the cool, silky, soil in my bare toes. I was hiding in the tall grape vines and pretending I was in another land. I remember pausing as I felt You there with me and in that moment I realized that this place I was in, this place called earth, was full of life! 

I then paid attention watching every detail with my eyes and how intricate everything became to me. It was as if You curled the tendril vines around Your very fingers at each end drawing them where they were supposed to go. 

I was amazed at the vast amount of branches that You orchestrated into a magnificent trellis around the structure they were given and how their life was engulfed into providing strength for the yielding fruit to come.

The large leaves woven with Your hands, were jagged and vibrant green, rough, yet soft and velvety to the touch.

I then turned to the grapes deep with this color called purple and noticed how each one of them donned such beautiful frosty bloom. As I touched them to feel their skin, my fingerprints were left behind imprinted on their being. 

The smell You gave them was so new and intriguing to my senses that I needed to know what was on the inside. So I borrowed just one and as I opened it I found seeds tucked in green flesh, not at all what I expected. I thought maybe they weren't ready yet, that I had picked this one too soon. 

The taste was not becoming to me with my sour face turned in. This was not the way I knew grapes to taste. "Shouldn't they be sweet?" I thought. And after removing the bitter pulp I still found the experience of Your creation in them more intriguing to me than the jam I helped Mom to preserve in those Mason jars the year before.

I love hiding there in our secret places Lord. Oh Lord, how I love to ponder on all Your creation! I am in awe of You! I love the thought You put into these beautiful gifts for us here on earth so much so that it does not enter my mind what You have in store for me in heaven!

Romans 1:20 " For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."