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Archive for February, 2011

Unbeknownst to me, the Potter had heard my cry. As I sat there crying out, He had already begun to put on His winter wear and prepare to come out and take me back in.

The Master Potter endured the harsh cold and bitter wind blowing across the exposed areas of Hs body, striking Him like nails and thorns. Right after He picked me up, He threw me against the rocks and shattered me into a hundred pieces. The sudden impact revived me and made me aware of my surroundings once more. He reached out and took my pieces into His arms, holding me close to His warm chest. Turning so that He took most of the beating of the wind against His own body, He brought me back inside.

First, He took me to His washing pan and filled it with warm water. Then with His best soap He began to clean every one of my pieces. The warm, clean water felt good as He rubbed the soap over me and rinsed me clean. Slowly all my colors washed away until I was once again a brownish-tan color. Once He had finished, He took me to His worktable. As I watched, He took some fresh new clay and began to form a new vase. Once the basic shape was visible, He took my pieces one by one and attached it against the sticky surface.

It took a while, but soon all of my pieces were affixed to the new structure. He added a few more touches here and there, and spread a thin layer of fresh clay over me to ensure every crack was sealed. I noticed, however, that my cracks still showed through. I wanted to point it out, but thought better of it.

Next, He stood me upright on His decorating table. He picked up his brushes and began to paint new patterns on me. I wondered what it looked like, as I felt His brushes move in the strangest directions, with sudden jerks and turns. But I trusted Him to decorate as He saw fit.

But that wasn’t all. He opened a drawer and procured a small ivory box. When He exposed its contents to me, I became silent with awe. There, nestled among the satin folds, were three lustrous pearls, shining as brightly as the moon on its fullest night.

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The winter began with a drop in temperature. This sudden onset caused people to retreat into their homes to avoid the freezing cold. Then the rain came. How it poured! The storms caused everything to become drowned in water, making the dirt roads muddy and creating miniature ponds all over the city.
I soon became filled with the rainwater, and passing horses and carts splattered my face with mud. No matter how much rain poured on me, the dirt always seemed to find a hold on me again. And to make matters worse, various animals came to drink out of me. Their saliva caused mold to begin growing on me. I was repulsed, but could not do anything about it.

The temperature began dropping once more. The nights made me feel like I was in the arctic, freezing any exposed bodies of water all over the place – which sadly included the water found inside of me. I felt ice forming and pushing against my inner walls, and it hurt so much! Tears welled up in my eyes as I tried to deal with the pain, but all my efforts were in vain. Wet and miserable, I begin to think of my brethren inside the Master Potter’s house. How warm they must be! They are probably chattering away with each other or listening to the wise old Potter tell stories of long ago. And here I am, wretchedly trying to survive what is probably the harshest winter to hit the area.

Desperate for help, I cried out to the Master Potter. I doubted He would hear me through the howling wind and the walls of His secure house, but I was in too much anguish to care. I vowed aloud that if He would come and take me out of my predicament, I will happily and faithfully serve Him for as long as I live.

Then I let my consciousness slip into darkness.

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I opened my eyes, and what I saw made me gasp in awe. People dressed in beautiful clothes milled around. I’ve only seen my Potter wearing his plain but practical work clothes. I could not believe there was so much variety in what people wear! Music played loud and clear, with minstrels singing to and musicians playing for their audiences. Gorgeous flowers adorned many of the shops, and animals were almost as plentiful as humans. In other words, colors and exotic aromas were everywhere. I could hardly take in what I was seeing; it was all too much!

It didn’t take long for people to notice me. They were all surprised, as the Potter never or hardly ever set His creations outside the safety of His shop. There were other potters in the city, of course, but everyone knew the Master Potter made the most beautiful creations, and treasured each one more than pearls. But in spite of their confusion, they admired me. They commented on my colors and turned to each other talking away about my stones. Then to my surprise, they began to price me. They asked questions such as “How much do you think he’s worth?” and “Look at those jewels! He must be very expensive.” I was proud of myself. Just minutes after I was set outside, and people are coming from all over the city just to look at me. How I loved the attention!

This carried on for days and weeks, but winter was approaching very quickly. I would soon learn a terrible truth that will change my life forever.

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My story takes place several years ago. I am not proud of the events that occured, but all I say is for the glory of my Maker.

I was created beautifully and perfectly a while back. I was made a very special vase, with a smooth brownish-tan shade as my base. Swirling patterns of many different colors encircled me from the neck down. I had precious stones inlaid in my neck, and whenever light was shed on them, they gave off a glow in their respective colors. I was a beautiful creation, and my Potter was proud of me.

I myself was aware of my beauty. So in a few days, I considered myself too good for my shelf. I was too good for holding the simple flowers placed in me. I was too good to be around the other pottery. So I told my Potter the words He dreaded the most: “I want to leave.”

Silence enveloped the room, leaving my words to hang in the air like a foul odor. And foul it was indeed. The Potter sighed and removed His glasses. He rubbed his eyes before He spoke. “Are you sure about this? You know that this is the only place where you will truly be safe. There are people out there who will hurt you, and you may never make it back. Leaving this building means leaving your only source of protection.”

I was foolish to ignore what He said. My sense of self-righteousness blinded me to the truth. “I’m sure.” I replied rather impudently.

The Master Potter sighed again. “Very well, then.” He picked me up and took me outside. I closed my eyes as He placed me on the porch, making sure I was alone before I see what the world was like. I Heard the Potter say something to me quietly before He closed the door.

“I love you, my son. I love you.”

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NOTE: You may have read my previous article, Walk the Talk and Talk the Walk, a couple of days ago. Well, since then I’ve had a few more thoughts on profanity that I’d like to share with you all.

Riddle me this: where can people socialize, have fun, connect with other people, and read massive quantities of profane words all at the same time? If you guessed Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or MySpace… you’re absolutely correct!

This past year, I have begun utilizing these social outlets at a greater frequency than ever before. However, it pains me to click on what was a seemingly harmless post or comment, only to be stripped of my innocence by a torrent of filthy words. Really, honestly, watching YouTube videos and giving feedback on them is a normal procedure done by many viewers, but if you scroll down to read the comments, the average video has at least 3-4 of them filled with dirty language.

It’s simply heartbreaking.

I read and wonder: what do these people achieve through their profanity-saturated arguments with one another, with people they’ve never met and most likely never will? I read as they tear each other apart in a battle of words, each trying to harrow the other down. And this doesn’t only go for YouTube… I’ve seen such arguments on Facebook and, in some cases, blogs. If a swearing user is not attacking someone directly, you can find them using their language to rant about someone they hate or is currently on their “cuss them out on a public forum because they hurt or offended me somehow” list.

Even if an argument is not underway, I find people who use profanity so casually, it’s all over everything they write – the most common being the infamous four-lettered cuss words. I’ve had people post these words all over my Facebook wall and in comments on pictures and posts. It not only shows their lack of character in using such language, it is also on display for everyone who views my profile. Therefore I’ve taken to clearing my profile of such language whenever it appears. I can’t help it if they want to write profane language all over the place, but I can control what is posted on my wall, my blog, Twitter, et cetera, and I am solely responsible in maintaining a God-honoring image no matter where I go, what I say, and what I do.

This said, I urge you, the reader, to take measures of your own in clearing up profanity. It may be as simple as deleting profane comments, or as hard as facing your friend about their foul language. The choice is up to you, but as Christians, we should do what we can to maintain a godly environment wherever we are, so as to not be polluted by the evils of this world.

 

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Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. Passion imbues (hopefully) every couple, and restaurants are busy preparing for a romantic night. But one question every Christian should consider on this day is: “What is God’s plan for our love lives?” In other words, what does true passion look like, and how should it be conceived? What happens to the ‘love’ that never works out in relationships, especially marriages?

In The Purpose of Passion, renowned writers Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware dissect Dante’s famous epic poem The Divine Comedy to reveal astounding truths about God’s plan for passion in His childrens’ lives. Dante is probably best known for his frightening allegorical work, Inferno, which describes his journey through the medieval perspective of Hell. Therefore, it is hard to imagine that he is capable of creating an amorous tale of the love of his life. But he did, and it is now a rich resource from which Bruner and Ware draw their concepts of passion and love. Every chapter in the book corresponds to a section of the poem, doing a parallel comparison on different aspects of passion. This book would probably be best for Christians nearing the age of marriage, including college students, but I would strongly recommend high-schoolers to pick it up as well. Love is a very abstract topic in society today, and this book can really get you on the right track.

Get a copy of this excellent resource as soon as you can. You can click on the image to buy it from Amazon.com =)

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a review. I was in no way obligated to write a positive review.

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Every person has a destiny. A reason why they are on the earth.  A mission they need to accomplish. According to Mark Batterson, that destiny is called your Soulprint.

In Soulprint, Batterson argues that everyone has a unique destiny, one as unique as their fingerprints. This destiny can only be fulfilled by you, and that’s why the events in your lives have shaped you into the person you are. Only one person can fulfill that particular destiny, and that person needs to have all the right characteristics needed by that mission. Batterson leads you through a road of discovery to find out what your own unique destiny is, and how to fulfill it for the Lord. It is powerfully written, with excellent examples that will encourage you to keep going. He also offers some comforting words about difficult times in your lives, and explains why they are there. Overall, this book encouraged me to start now and began to prepare for the destiny God has set before me.

This book was not in print when I first requested a review copy. It’s barely a month old now. However, when I received it I had already read several positive reviews. And I will add to that list, for this book is an excellent resource that every Christian should read, especially those in their teens. What better time than now to find out God’s plan for your life? And what better time than now to begin preparing to fulfill your destiny?

Click on the image to buy this book from Amazon.com

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