Global Blog Hop

Renee Blare, http://reneeblare.blogspot.com/ invited me to join her ReneeBlare Headshot2Global Blog Hop.

 

Welcome to all who’ve been directed from her writing world to mine!

 

Here are the blog questions and answers:

 

What am I working on? 
WilkinsonNME

Coming Attractions! Miracles, to be exact. Seriously, I do have a book coming out soon. The book was suggested to me by Bruce Wilkinson at a conference. That’s a photo of us above. Be The Miracle – a 31-day personal challenge devotional is tentatively scheduled for early February. I’ll be sure to let you all know as soon as I have a launch date.

 

With the many changes in the publishing world, writers are responsible for a huge portion of the footwork to advertise and promote their own material. Consequently I’m currently preparing marketing and promotion for Be The Miracle, while working on another devotional about Selfies!

 


How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

Writing for Anthologies

Writing for Anthologies

As my daughter’s have often said – because I am me! Rather than compare or compete with others, I can only be myself. It can be intimidating when you research a topic to see the varied ways a similar title or issue is handled. You might wonder why do I feel called to write on that – there are 6 other books out there on that topic already. But haven’t you faced that dilemma when looking for a book – not the one of ‘only’ finding one book on the topic – but which version best suits you or the reader to whom you want to gift with the book. We all write with our heart and voice, developed from years of personal experiences of our own and of generations gone before us. I have always loved stories, and been a storyteller, so my work will differ from someone who is more analytical. Though you might find cold hard facts and statistics in my work, they will be in story form.

 

Why do I write/create what I do?

Two reasons – to share with others the joy of knowing God and of working within the

Confession of a Writing Junkie

Confession of a Writing Junkie

gift He has given me. (Well that’s one compound reason.) The other reason is because it is something I cannot stop doing – it is like breathing! I am a Writing Junkie!

 

Whether I am driving, walking, watching an event or a show, visiting, or reading someone else’s writing, I am always noticing people and details and wondering what is the story behind this or what could be the rest of that story. I was once at a party and curious about one woman’s trip to China. Another friend leaned in and teasingly warned that I was secretly interviewing her and her story might soon appear in print!

 


How does my writing/creating process work?

I carry notepads and pens and have them around the house and in the car. Ideas are everywhere and as Ecclesiastes said, there is nothing new under the sun, so whatever I see or think, it is likely someone else has experienced. Half the fun is finding those people and interviewing them.

PlannerHooleyGoals are for the big rocks – topics, research,  starter and ending, but other than that, I am pretty much what some refer to as a Pantster – someone who sits down and writes – they don’t make an elaborate outline, but just let it evolve.

 

I write way beyond what I need and then edit, edit, edit to the required size. Often parts of what I edit will start a new blog, article or story.

Thanks for visiting and do leave your blog links so we can come visit you too!

Writers: Let me know if you would like to join the Global Blog Hop. I’d be pleased to add a link and send some new friends your direction too! Thank you to Renee for the invitation.

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Be the Miracle!

You are a miracle! You have been created to be the miracle for others! Startling grammasbadge2BLstatements.  Those statements are exciting on the days when things have gone right, we have been particularly blessed, and feel confident to share our joy with others. But how about the days when we are consumed with sadness, grief, or overwhelmed by life’s misfortunes? How can I be a miracle to someone else when I don’t feel I have the strength to do what I should to minister to myself? Whatever kind of day you are having – happy or sad – victorious or challenging – you might be wondering. How can we possibly be a miracle?

Recently I had the opportunity to sit with someone and practice the presence of Christ. We wept, we rejoiced and we pondered truths vs emotions.  Being a miracle is not all that complicated. It is believing and activating that God’s truth trumps circumstances.

Mark Lowry’s song says it well:

 

You don’t have to feed the 5,000 to care for the hungry we see

You don’t have to walk on the water to get to somebody in need

There’s no good excuse to not let heaven give

The miracle of you and me

 

The miracle of you – a child of God set into the world as his ambassador

 

You are the salt  1375

You are the light

 

Not will be, or can be, or might be, but ARE

 

You are the salt that highlights and improves flavor, preserves, and removes toxins (purifies!)

You are the light that illuminates, reveals, and brings hope by revealing truth and grace

So whether we feel like it or not, we simply are. Salt.  Light.

Do you know people who are salt? Just by being there, by  joining us in our life situations, melding their hearts with ours, they improve our outcome.  They have many personalities. Some bring more energy, fun and possibilities into any discussion. Others’ consistently uplifting and positive attitude makes resolution of situations seem more possible. And no matter if they are outgoing or introverts, salty people seem to treasure up and store nuggets of hope with which they infuse the darkest of situations.

 

Speaking of darkness, those Salty people seem to recognize and reveal Christ in all kinds of situations, their ability to shed light on a way out of circumstance and truths from God’s Word gives you hope.

 

Is that who you see in the mirror? Is that who others see in you? Don’t doubt it – that LoveneighborUSEis who God’s Word says you are! (Matthew 5)

 

Mark’s song, Be The Miracle reveals some practical ways you can apply the saltiness of you into the world.

 

  • Be the hands of God touching the hurting with loving arms wide as the sky
  • Be the heart of grace pleading forgiveness with tender compassionate eyes
  • Where the wounded soul needs a little hope, be the miracle

Be there.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15 )

You are the salt, but it is a choice if and how you will use or apply it. In Matthew 25, Jesus says I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to shavedguysme. (the Message)

 

Make the choice today – ask God to show you how you can bless someone. Ask God to show you who needs the presence of Christ that you can bring into their situation.  You – my sister, my brother, truly can…Be the Miracle!

 

 

 

 

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Last Things First!

My day goes better if I do last things first – like read at least one verse and start IMG_0962dinner, meaning at the very least plan the meal and make sure I have appropriate ingredients and main portion is thawed or thawing.

 

That way, no matter what goes wrong during the day – and you know something will – it will at least have had the focus of the verse and end with a warm meal.  It’s almost like having dessert first!

 

My life has purpose since I took care of last things first – eternal destination –

1John 5:11-13 And the witness is this,that God has given us eternal life, and this life is IMG_0132in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.

When things go wrong in life – and they have – the assurance of God’s covering and preparation for me keep me going when I would rather quit.

And…

My joys are greater and my trials are survivable by doing last things first -which is where you come in. (friend and author Gayle Roper told me when I started writing the first thing I should do is gather a group of prayer warriors). She was so wise, and I am so grateful.

 

So warriors – The end of another year is coming and my last-thing-first is to thank Two Comediansthose who have upheld me, supported me, surprised me, loved me, encouraged me, comforted me, gone the extra mile for me, and prayed for me this past year. If you are reading this, I mean you!

 

Do not underestimate the power of your kindnesses, words, prayers and gestures. I may not have always responded as you hoped, or wrote the timely thank you I meant to do, but I do appreciate you.

 

I cannot say it better than Ephesians 1:16

I do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers.OS11070

 

I’ll be doing some driving tomorrow and praying for you, that you too will have accomplished your last things first, and be blessed in your day, secure in your destination, strengthened in your trials and abounding in your joys as you have helped me to be.

 

And God said . . .

Let there be friends

 

and there was us

 

a friendship this special could only come from above

 

 

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Habitualized by God

 

Practicing is probably one of the most misunderstood bits of advice I have ever offered yieldor been offered, but is, in my experience, the most successful advice when understood as being truly habitualized.

 

Habitualized? Is that a word? Yep. Practice, train, habituate, teach, program, make used to. The urban dictionary is, on this word, attuned with Brother Andrew, a lay-brother among the monks in the 1600s!

 

Our country is greatly habitualized – commercials, television, social media, sermons, Ted Talks, politicians —good and bad— all aim to habitualize us. Children are habitualized to watch television, teens to watch movies; young adults to drink coffee. Adults (especially in America) are habitualized to overwork, and overconsume.

 

But – to habitualize – to make a specific behavior a habit, is actually scriptural.hand-reaching-out

 

Jesus’ example – stepping beyond personal will and comfort – Matthew 26:39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

 

Paul’s advicePhilippians. 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you

 

Peter’s painfully learned wisdom2Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.

 

Fake it till you make it? Is that what I am saying? That is what a young woman with marital discord thought she heard – “pretend” until I start to believe it, and hopefully it becomes real. No. Pretending will only increase bitterness, even if it is the best we, in our flesh, have to offer.

 

Habituation is discipline – the discipline of deference. If I am practicing the presence praying-hands.jogof Christ, as Brother Andrew teaches, I am deferring my (bouncing and boinging super-ball of) emotions and (selfish, resistant to pain) will to God.

 

That takes discipline. Not, an “I will start when” attitude. Not an “I am going to… after” attitude. Discipline is a now decision – a though-I-don’t-understand decision, and a scared-silly but I-am willing decision – to trust, accept and rest in the presence of Christ over, and over, and over, and over.

Brother Andrew defined practicing the presence as discipline of constant prayer (turning our attention toward God) and praise (responding to God’s attention and promises toward us). He considered it his honor and his duty. To him, this habituation is the art of “practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end.”

Does not end.

 

Continuous.

 

Unrelenting.

 

Consistent.

 

Comforting.

 

Never leaving. Omnipresent. Faithful. Constant. Never tiring. All character qualities of God – not what he is like – but who He IS.

 

Really – it is just accepting the truth. Jesus is the truth.  IMG_1918

Jesus said, I am with (together in place or purpose; committed to supporting and completing) you. Jesus said, I will never leave you. He is always available.

 

The question is: are we, am I, available to His presence? Am I constantly and consistently acknowledging, turning to, practicing His presence? Allowing Him to be “with me.”

 

The more I practice His presence, the more I recognize it. The more I recognize His presence, the more I crave it. And the more I crave it the more I welcome it. The more I welcome and experience it, the more satisfying and completing I find it. And, like a soldier in battle, the more I practice this discipline, the more I realize my survival depends on it.

 

Habitualize the presence of Christ. Start today.

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Battered, Broken. . . and Blessed

You may be experiencing a recent loss, a difficult diagnosis, or the end of a relationship miltary3that once was your lifeline. Or, you may feel battered and broken about a goal that now seems impossible and unfeasible. You may be watching loved ones suffer.

 

In this abusive world we have much that can make us feel battered and broken. But how can we feel blessed while being tossed about?

 

Luke 22 has the answer.

 

Jesus in Luke 22 was speaking to Simon (also known as Peter) – you know, the one who was outspoken in denial at Jesus’ warning that he would soon be in the sifter.

 

I found three things remarkable about this verse. Footprnts insand

 

  1. The Lord told Simon to get ready for a huge trial. Only the Almighty can give permission for his children to be put through the sifter. We don’t often get a warning, but when we do we need to sit up and take notice.

 

Whatever is happening, can only happen with God’s permission, and when God allows it, it is for a specific outcome.

 

The sifter takes many forms of oppression, varying degrees of creeping doubt, pain, accusation, false guilt, and common denominators like battering and bruising of the spirit and tears.

 

Christ told Simon he would be sifted, “as wheat.” 1_basket

 

A wheat sifter in Bible times was usually a basket. The grain was placed in the basket and tossed side to side by shaking the basket. This was done to separate the wheat from the chaff. The wheat would be battered, but wheat (like gold) is heavier than chaff and settles, broken, falling though the tiny holes in the bottom of the basket. What was sifted out (the chaff) was destroyed.

 

  1. Christ told Simon he would return to Him after sifting (He understood the sifting of Simon Peter would drag him from Christ’s presence). The separation was an expected, although temporary, side effect of being sifted.

 

Christ himself prayed for Peter, (and for any future disciples including you, and me). He prayed that his follower’s faith should not fail. Sifting, it seems, would weaken any DSCF0723person, even someone as strong as Peter, tempting him to let go of his faith.

 

But here is the blessing ‑ Jesus himself prayed for us long before we were born. He knew that we too would undergo sifting, and be so battered and bruised we would be tempted to give up.

 

3.But, Jesus said, the sifted will return. He begins with this:

And when you have returned to me.

 

Isn’t it comforting to know we will not remain tossed back and forth in the winnowing basket forever? Jesus knew the sifted ones would return to him. Not IF, but WHEN. The wheat needed to be removed from the chaff. Simon Peter thought he did not have any more chaff in his life to be removed, but he was painfully wrong. But not as wrong as the sifter that God allowed in Simon-Peter’s life – and mine – and yours.

 

Christ’s care for us, and his personal prayer for us is stronger than the sifter. The one who has been sifted comes out able—stronger than before, according to the rest of Christ’s message: And when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren.”

 

I have met many soldiers of Christ who have been sifted multiple ways – physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Somehow, it seems those most bruised and broke are the stronger and most able to strengthen us. You. Me. Others. IMG_2596

 

Let’s take a moment today, and send a note of thanks to the soldiers who have strengthened us.

 

And, if we are still being sifted, let us not give up.

 

Let us remember that Jesus is praying for us.

 

And promises

 

we will return.

 

 

 

Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

 

 

 

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The Gift of Repentance

Repentance – the only cure for what we used to joke about – Guilt – the “gift” that OS02023 keeps on giving. But guilt is no joke. The dictionary defines guilt as “a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong.” Isn’t that a good thing?

 

 

Yes, but. Look at the rest of the ‘story.’ – 2Corinthians 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (bold emphasis mine)

Andrea2 So what’s the difference?

Worldly sorrow is focused on me – guilt because I did something wrong, guilt because I got caught or worry over what people might think of me. And wanting to punish myself instead of believing the truth – that God has forgiven and erased it. Even that false guilt can separate us from God because we are so focused on me, instead of Christ’s Word.

Godly sorrow is focused on God – guilt over hurting/offending God. It brings with it a change of attitude about the sin, and a desire to be washed clean of it.e the sorrow thatIMG_1918_2 is according to the will of God

  • that kind of sorrow produces repentance WITHOUT REGRET (original word meaning to care about afterward, to repent of, to regret, and to be an object of care or worry).

 

Scripture’s say that it is a kindness of God to lead us to repentance

(Rom. 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?)

 

Is. 43:25  “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

If God will not remember, why do we continue to allow guilt to reign?

False guilt (untruths or reminders of guilt that has already been forgiven and erased)  can be a destroyer of life and peace.

I particularly found the  meaning of God’s forgetting to be meaningful – (it means without geneology). So whatever has been brought to God in repentance is now without geneology. It’s gone, but it’s not just was here, now gone – The way God no longer sees it – is as though it never existed! What we are worrying over has no geneology.

 

Heb. 8:12   “FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES,2332

AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.

Heb. 10:17          “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS

I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”

 

Psa. 103:12         As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

 

So if I have guilt – sorrow – care – worry – about something already brought to God and forgiven, it is not then, a godly sorrow. It has been kept and wrongly fed instead of left at the foot of the cross.2105

 

 

A tweetable conclusion – the thought I feed is the one that grows.

 

Repentance – a turning away from. When I bring my sins, worries, cares to the cross, my part is to leave them there, and turn away from the behavior. To no longer feed those thoughts.

Victory of the cross includes freedom from guilt. IMG_1939

 

 

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Holiday Expectations

Here come the holidays – the time of greatest depression.

(Not referring to me, but to the world in general)Thanksgiving Story

I remember a Thanksgiving years ago where it seemed “everyone” was talking about going home to turkey and all we had was bologna. If you are in that situation, Google your town and free Thanksgiving dinner – if you are like my dad you might want to volunteer as well as have dinner.

 

 

The other greatest catalysts of holiday blues are expectations. Mine, and others.

 

My Expectations

  • Expectations of self – how I think I should look, feel, dress, cook
  • What I think each holiday should look like – house, food, gifts, etc.
  • How things always were – or keeping up with others traditions

Others Expectations

  • What family members might want to do or not do for Thanksgiving or Christmasjudytablesm
  • What others might express they are doing ‘making’ me think I have to do similar
  • What I think I should answer when others ask what we are doing
  • Realizing that most are not really others’ expectations – but what I THINK their expectations are

 

How I will simplify this year:

  1. Poll the family about food – have a pot luck, serve dinner somewhere, or get together for games and snacks only.
  2. Skip the gigantic Christmas card list. Make a simple card and email or snail mail only to those at a distance.
  3. Do something different –get gifts for the toddlers only and do a “white elephant gift exchange” for the adults. We all need to clean house, and it is always fun to see what crazy things show up. OR draw names and find or make something fun for a crazy price – say $5.00 or $7.50 and if you make it or find it for less, include the change.
  4. If small children are involved, have them act, sing, play instrument, do a puppet show – even adults could participate in a talent night sharing the meaning of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc.
  5. Poll family if next year we can do a red envelope tree – each family give a red envelope containing a gift like chickens or blankets to a mission (MAF), or a gift for Angel Tree or Toys for Tots, or each one give a bowl for Empty Bowls Racine in March.
  6. Keep the traditions that count — We like to attend a Thanks-Giving service at church the night before the holiday, and it’s tradition to go through the greeting cards and pray for the senders – before and after Christmas.

 

The Smallest Candle

The Smallest Candle

Most importantly, spend time with those you love!

 

 

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Being Present in the Present

The many words of comfort and stories I’ve received this past month (since our daughter,  IMG_2909Laurie, went to be with the Lord after a sudden and unexpected stroke), particularly from other parents who also lost a child far too early, have helped me to focus on the wonderful memories I had with my child. In one sense it helps to write out the memories and to “live in the past” for a moment in time. It is helpful to look back to our ‘first loves’, physical and spiritual, and I’d like to stay there, 24/7. But there are others who lovingly tell me they need me in the present.

 

Much of the ‘present’ these days for all of us is filled with people who are not really present. Our culture accepts as normal if they are on their phone and ‘with’ someone else mentally while you are with them only physically. We are truly gifted to have those in our lives who have learned to be present, even though many are from a distance. To gift a note, a word, a prayer or a promise of prayer. They have given strength, and the power of those prayers continue to strengthen. Many I speak of are reading this and I thank you for being a present one.

 

I’m reading Falling in Love with God, by Bob Hostetler. I’d purchased the book at a 1-loveGodindexconference a while ago, and an online pastor friend steered me to Hosea. I thought of that book, which I’d opened, and put down ‘for later’ because Hosea is such a painful story. But now I needed it.   That is my precious present right now.

 

I also re-read a precious lighthearted Christian fiction story Sisterchicks in Sombreros by Robin Jones Gunn. Though the Sisterchicks stories are fun and entertaining, their essence has an underlying message of deep truth which I always find applicable to my life – and this one is Falling in Love With God. Isn’t it amazing how things get brought into our lives in themes!

 

Both of these books are encouraging me to let the future of I John 5, to guide my present. A quote from Augustine in Gunn’s book:

 

I came to love you late, O Beauty, so ancient and new; I came to love you late. You were within me and I was outside where I rushed about wildly searching for you like some monster loose in your beautiful world. You were with me, but I was not with you. You called me, you shouted to me. You broke past my deafness. You bathed me in your light, you wrapped me in your splendor, you sent my blindness reeling. You gave out such a   Footprnts insanddelightful fragrance, and I drew it in and came breathing hard after you. I tasted, and it made me hunger and thirst, you touched me, and I burned to know your peace.

 

I burn to know His peace. And to be present for you as you have been and are for me.

 

 

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The Audacity of Grief

Lord, if only. . .sadbywater

 

I can understand Martha (because she seems a lot like me) saying Lord, if only… but Mary too?

 

Mary, Jesus said earlier, had “chosen the good part.” Articles and books have been written on the spirit of Mary, and how Martha should have/could have been more like Mary.

 

Yet here are both sisters. Martha, overworked, worrying about too many things…saying, Lord, if only…

 

And Mary, seemingly the more spiritual one, with the identical response…Lord, if only. . .

 

How many times have I said or thought if only… OS09078

 

If only…

I’d pay the bill on time, seen the deer, remembered to turn off the stove, mended that relationship… and on and on the list goes. Usually directed at myself. If only I had…

 

But Martha does not say, if only I’d cleaned one more room, If only I’d made a better meal or even if only, I’d been more like Mary…

 

And Mary does not say, if only I’d sat at your feet longer, Lord, or if only I’d helped Martha more.

 

Both of them instead, do something far more dangerous. They tell God things could have been different, (right, better) if only He had shown up!

 

Imagine God’s puny creation daring to tell him he was not in the right place at the right time. That this situation is HIS fault and out of His control. It could have been avoided IF Jesus had been more caring. Others echoed Martha and Mary’s sentiments in John 11:37 But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have kept this man also from dying?”

 

When Jesus assures Martha she will see her brother again she assumes he means the lightedcrossresurrection, our ultimate assurance from God. But Martha’s reaction was like “Well yeah, sure, you will do that. Someday. But I wanted him back now, and you weren’t here when you could have been.” Lord, if only…

 

I so relate to them. They could not see the Master’s hand. I cannot always see His hand either. They only knew they wanted their loved one back, and that Jesus could have stopped death. I too know that God alone controls life and death.

Job 14:5     Mortals have a limited life span.
You’ve already decided how long we’ll live—
you set the boundary and no one can cross it.

If only.

And how did Jesus respond to the ‘If onlys’? Jesus wept. Because he loved Lazarus or because he sympathized with Mary and Martha’s grief? Possibly, but I think Jesus wept because his closest earthly friends did not ‘get’ the eternal picture of why Jesus had come. It’s natural to look to the short-term miracles rather than eternal purpose. Grief focuses us in blindness, not grasping that He WAS there, that Christ IS God, and that He is the God of the past, the present and the future. He goes before me.

 

A friend recently posted how something happened to upset her and her daughter reminded her it was “a non-eternal.” That puts life’s upsets in its proper perspective.

 

Several years back my sisters and I made a red-bird challenge. Our daughters later joined in praying for one another whenever we saw a red bird. It’s been amazing how many red birds we see, and the sense of being prayed for we have experienced. One of our daughter’s last gifts to me was a felted red bird.

Join us in praying for perspective, to not allow non-eternals to sap redbird1strength, and to keep the eternal perspective front and center even if, especially if – and when, like Mary and Martha, I really don’t understand.

 

 

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Submerged For A Purpose

Submerged

The Cracked Teacup in the Well might be a more explanatory title.

tea cup med

Yes you guessed it. I am the cracked teacup. I do, however, mean that in a different way than Christian comedian Patsy Clairmont’s God Uses Cracked Pots.

 

Have you read her cute story about the woman who has only a cracked pot and carries it to the water, but of course leaks out a great deal on the way home? The moral of the lesson is that seeds were also spilled on the path, and the woman is inadvertently watering the plants while trudging over her arduous journey. Not that God hasn’t surprised me and used me despite my frail and damaged condition.

 

My desire today is to share about the possibilities when dunking the cracked teacup into the well. What I would expect is not good:

  1. The teacup would float a minute, tip and fill with water, and then sink.
  2. The teacup would be useless because it could not retain the water from the well to bring anyone refreshment
  3. Putting a cracked teacup into a well and withdrawing it makes about as much impression as putting your finger in a bucket of water and pulling it out.

 

You have my picture. Me. The cracked teacup. Painted to look good but deeply flawed.

 

Now take a look at the well.  IMG_1826_2

 

This well is not filled with ordinary water. It is living water. John 4:10.

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

 

The woman at the well in this story was considered ‘damaged goods’ by her neighbors and the community. Yet Jesus asked her, as he asks me for a drink.

That is humility in action. Give Him a drink? Can I (damaged goods) be a vessel to refresh Christ? Or is he testing me to show me who He is?

 

When I put myself in this story I see the broken cup – maybe delicate English china (I wish), or a thick and clunky mug – but no matter, for it is cracked. No more -brand new,’ but broken. Not serviceable. Ready to be recycled or remade.

 

Now the master – the owner of the well – the creator of living water, actually wants to refresh me, remake me, but before he does, he asks me to take a risk. To choose. To let Him re-form the clay, dry, chip, sand and immerse me, an unworthy vessel into the well.

 

Pretty scary. I don’t like water anyway. And to be immersed! Out of my mind with fear and trembling.

 

But if I do submit…when I do… He promises He will fill me, and I will not sink. I will not sink because He will place his thumb over the defect, rub the clay back together again and fill the refined vessel. Submerged is to fill and surround with His living presence.P1000292

 

And so I remind myself, that is where I am now. Hourly being plucked out from almost drowning –unusual uplifting – a certainty of rising out. Resting. Floating without fear and the promise of one day – being recreated whole and useful again.

 

How is your teacup? Are you, like me, more than slightly cracked? Join me for a 20 day submersion.

 

Meet you at the well.

 

Col. 1:27 – Christ in you, the hope of glory

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