Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Archive for March, 2011

Just a clay pot but…

Flower pots.  Fancy or plain?  I like mine plain so they don’t distract from the beauty of the plants in them.  In fact, some of my clay pots have holes in the sides to allow the orchid roots to get air and even grow out.  The pot is just a setting for the flower, not a work of art in itself. That’s what I think of when I read this:

“God has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God…but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.  This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”         (2 Cor. 4:6-7 NLT)

Flowerpot, treasures in earthen vessels

Another mental image I have is of a cracked pot with a light inside, shining through the flaw.   It doesn’t matter if I look good or not.  The glory is God’s, and I’m privileged to be a container for it, showing Him off to others.

That Is the Mystery

Ever since I discovered Nancy Drew, I have loved mysteries—even devouring the Hardy Boys books written for boys.  The word “mystery” occurs several times in the book of Ephesians, referring to God’s recently revealed plan.

In 1:10, the mystery is the unification of everything in heaven and earth under Christ’s authority.  Note the vertical axis in the diagram below.

In 3:6, the mystery is the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles—again under Christ.  Note the horizontal axis in the diagram.

Now with Christ in the center of both axes—it forms a cross!  The only way to life and wholeness for a torn and alienated world is Christ and his death on the cross.

United in Christ, cropped

Prayer of a Leader

Lord, help me…

–To be WILLING, even in hard things.

–To remember I’m SERVING, not bossing.

–To GIVE of myself, my time and resources UNGRUDGINGLY.

–To nurture my RELATION TO YOU.

–To be an EXAMPLE of GODLINESS.

–To be TRANSPARENT.

–To have COURAGE to face issues.

–To be GENTLE.

–To remember YOU ARE MY LEADER.

Honor or Infamy?

In Matthew 26 we read a story of a famous person and an infamous person.

Mary, who valued Jesus above her highest treasure, poured it all out on his head.

Judas, who disdained Jesus as worthless, not only censured Mary but also sold Jesus for a pittance.

Both of these have gone down in history—she in honor;  he in infamy.

“What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be…”
                                                                    [Albert B. Simpson]

That Final Move

Our suitcases are almost ready to go.  Some were a bit too heavy and things had to be shifted around.  What a bother!  Won’t it be nice when we “move” to heaven?  No planning, packing, overweight, lugging suitcases, customs,  or unpacking!

Wow, I’m ready to go!  (Now, where do we put the toothbrushes, and this warm jacket?  And these clothes we’re wearing now?)

(I won’t be able to post anything on this blog for 2-3 days, so please be patient.)

Unravel or Unfold?

Most days are pretty predictable.  But when it doesn’t turn out the way I had thought, did it unravel—or did it unfold?  Or was it unwrapped or unveiled? 

“Unravel” suggests that I had it figured out but it didn’t work, and the result was less than pretty.  And then I most likely came “unglued”!

“Unfold” or “unwrap” or “unveil” suggests that God has a plan unknown to me which he brings about during the course of a day.  Imagine seeing an intricate design of a hand-woven cloth as it is unfolded.  Or a gift from a loved one being unwrapped.  Or a masterpiece being unveiled.  I want to think of my day as a well-planned gift from my Creator and my Lover which He shows me bit by bit.  He invites me to enjoy it and participate in His ongoing work—work on me and work in the world.

What Keeps Me Going?

Lord, help me each day…

…to be thankful —for the beauty and love you place in my life.

…joyful—because You love me.

…content—because You provide.

…alert—because the enemy is prowling.

…loving & compassionate—because people around me have real needs.

…sensitive—because You want me to serve.

…humble—because pride keeps popping out.

…faithful—because I love You and want to please You and hear Your “well done.”

…courageous—because You haven’t promised a life of ease, and because YOU
ARE WITH ME!

…prayerful—because I and those I love need you!

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