THE POTTER: REFLECTIONS OF A MASTER ARTISAN – Day of Discovery

Words of Life

This is a wonderful video…

potter-reflections-master-artisan-various-dvd-cover-art

From his studio nestled along the Arkansas River in Colorado, potter Dave Blakeslee says, “One of the things I love about God is that He is a creative God.” Watch and listen as he shapes, glazes, and fires ceramic works of art and describes how the Master Potter forms and transforms lives. Discover how God can mold you into a beautiful vessel uniquely designed for His glory in the Day of Discovery video presentation “The Potter.”

You can watch it at this link…

THE POTTER: REFLECTIONS OF A MASTER ARTISAN – Day of Discovery.

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Waiting For Your Prodigal by Marcy Hayes

An interview with Marcy Hayes, author and illustrator of Waiting For Your Prodigal: Daily Thoughts and Prayers…

I am so excited about your book, Waiting For Your Prodigal: Daily Thoughts and Prayers. There is such a need today to encourage and minister to hurting parents of prodigals. It seems as though no one really understands the devastation this causes in Christian families unless they have been through it themselves. What were the circumstances in your life that motivated you to write your book?

Marcy: My daughter’s very public and very humiliating divorce began a string of events very devastating to her, then devastating to everyone around her. (Still feeling effects today.) Part of the devastation for me was four small children on this journey with their mother driven by anger and rebellion. As my daughter made plans to move 600 miles away, my father died.
 
Six weeks later, she was gone, packed up and gone. It was Good Friday. I wrote in my journal, “There was nothing good about it.”
 
I had always kept journals where I talked to God, wrote down Scriptures and insights, and recorded prayers. Spirals and spirals of talks with God–I was searching for answers, searching my own soul, and waiting as parents of prodigals do.
 
I searched the Internet and searched bookstores for help–to hear from someone who had gone through my pain and found relief. I found only five books; only one was helpful. I was convinced that there were thousands of parents in my position, and I was baffled that there were so few books on the subject.
 
During that time of searching and waiting I picked up several of the spirals to reread the events of her leaving, my hurting, and insights God had given me. As I reread the entries, I was surprised to see the help I had needed was right there. God is so good.

I did not want to waste the words God had given me, did not want to waste the suffering. I wanted to help others, and I knew the books that could encourage a waiting parent were few.


Knowing the suffering you have gone through, and seeing the beauty God has brought out in you, and that you are giving to others should give us all hope, and encourage us as parents to comfort others as we have been comforted. One thing that I really love about your book is that you have a prayer for every day of the month, actually for 32 days. I find it very helpful to read and pray along with you for my prodigal and the other prodigals and families that I am praying for. What inspired you to set your book up this way?



Marcy: The prayers are very personal and many times confessional. I wrestle with God in that secret place. My heart is completely vulnerable, completely honest in the prayers.

Have you ever known that God wanted you to do something, and with sureness and some trembling you did it? This trembling sureness is why the prayers are in the book and included every day. I am sure the healing is in the prayers.

You maybe notice the tone of the writing is serious. There were times in writing this I wanted to be humorous; I am by nature one who finds humor in life. More than once I felt the Lord caution me not to exaggerate, not to be funny, and not to be flippant. Prayer is serious.

I did not notice until the book was almost published that I address the Lord differently, almost every day (e.g.) ”All Knowing Father,” and “Precious Redeemer,” and “Good Shepherd,” and “Father of Great Promises.” God must have a purpose for this, because all the different names surprised me but delighted me too.

Quoting from your acknowledgments you say, “I thank One who told the story of the lost son; then wrote the story in my life.” It is hard to be thankful for hurtful things that happen to us, yet I know that most Christians come out of their tribulations being thankful. How did you get to the place of acceptance and thankfulness?

Marcy: I can’t honestly say I am thankful for the pain itself (the fears, the losses, the rejection, and even the shock of it all), but I am thankful for the way God ministers to us in the midst of our pain. God sent me a friend ten years younger than I am who was also a friend of my daughter. This woman had been a prodigal herself. Her words and prayers and advice were like gold.

God gives us more of Himself in times of pain. Oh, there have been plenty of nights full of tears and wondering why this and why that–but when God gives us extra portions of Himself, there is joy. My minister asked me, knowing all that had happened, how it was that I was so happy.

Finally, I have been thankful for the task of writing this book. If God was going to send me through something difficult, I did not want to waste any part of the experience if it could be used for His glory. And that is my hope–that God will use this book in the lives of people who need His grace and mercy, because we know this is certainly a time of need.

Most people do not understand what parents of prodigals go through unless they have been there themselves. Persecution seems to go hand in hand with a rebellious child. This can make life even more difficult and hurtful for parents who find themselves in this situation. Could you share with us your views on the attitude people have towards those experiencing this tribulation?


Marcy: You are right that most people do not understand what parents go through, because I remember dismissing prodigals as kids that just had a wild streak. I remember a short, red-haired and red-faced man from my childhood who raised a daughter near my age. When asked to pray, he would end his prayers in his Irish accent, “…and Lard, be with our children, wherever they are.” I just thought he had the misfortune of having a daughter with a wild streak.

I rather like the “wild streak” view, because nobody is pointing fingers at the parent of the child gone wild.

When I thought about “other people” and my views on their attitudes, I compiled the following list:

1. The prodigal’s friends who encourage her on a destructive path tell her what she wants to hear. An attitude that by-passes truth and makes a person feel good is reckless. Scripture tells us that the way that “seems” right to a man leads to destruction.

2. The therapist is not always helpful. Psychology does a good job identifying character flaws, but it brings no resolution. What it brings is a lot of blame. Therapists blame parents for just about everything. My view on this attitude is that it fuels the anger of a prodigal and makes her into a victim rather than an overcomer.

3. The people who point fingers at parents and take the attitude that controlling parents drive children away are far from the truth. My attitude on this subject is that there are NO PERFECT PARENTS. There are as many prodigals from parents who were busy and neglectful as there are prodigals from doting parents. I would like to add that God, as our Father, has thousands of prodigals-whole nations. His first two children, Adam and Eve, rebelled.

4. People who will pray with the parent of a prodigal and commit to praying for the prodigal are the most valuable asset in a parent’s life.

5. Parents of prodigals imagine a huge number of people out there with stable families who look at a prodigal situation with scorn. Imagining people who do not understand and who judge us leads many parents to “hide in shame.”


What advice would you offer a parent who is faced with the pain of the prodigal experience?

Marcy:

1. Pray. Pray with others. Seek those who will pray for your child. Pray persistently. Turn every thought of fear into a prayer. Turn every wounding thought into a prayer. Turn Scripture into prayers. And BELIEVE; don’t just worry on your knees.

2. Do not hide in shame. This is a great opportunity to give and receive all that God has for you.

3. When you have the opportunity to show demonstrative love to your prodigal, do it.

Your book is full of encouragement, incite and sincere prayers that I’m sure would comfort anyone who is struggling with a prodigal. Where can your book be purchased?

Marcy: I am convinced that every family at some point has a lost son, daughter, sibling, or spouse. When Christians face rebellion and conflict in their own families, they seek wisdom and help from someone who has walked that road.

Waiting for Your Prodigal: Daily Thoughts and Prayers will give them the help and the hope their hearts need to hear:


· Prayers to pray when they do not know what to say

· Assurance that God is at work all around them


· Knowing the greatest part of the Father’s story

· Ways to heal while waiting

Waiting for Your Prodigal: Daily Thoughts and Prayers is a soft cover book, 88 pages in length If you would like to order one or two, amazon.com or any of the major book sellers have it available. If you want to order more than one or two, you can call the publisher Crossbooks or go to the websitecrossbooks.com.
 
Marcy Hayes earned a master’s degree in education and English from Northeastern State University. She has taught for thirty years and illustrated three books. Marcy is active in her church through music, Bible study, and prison ministry. She and her husband D. D. live in Oklahoma. They have two children and four grandchildren.

 

All illustrations belong exclusively to Marcy Hayes.

Deep Communion with the Almighty

I have found myself weeping for the iniquity of the world, and the iniquity of my prodigal son…

Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” James 4:9

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem by Greg Olson (Matthew 23:37)

Our heavenly Father describes the same experience that a lot of us relate with on a smaller scale in our own families…

“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.” Isaiah 1:2-7

We have nourished and brought up children and they have rebelled against us. God is confronted with this every day. Are we not communing with Him in grieving for the rebellious? Is this not a deep communion and heart cry and intercession with the God of all Creation? Can we as His children be exempt from what He is feeling in His heart?

Romans 1: 18- 32 further echos the heart cry of our Father professed in Isaiah… ”When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations , and their foolish heart was darkened…Professing themselves wise, they became fools…”

Watching as prodigal children turn in rebellion from God and their parents… and on a larger scale…seeing the acceptance of fornication and homosexuality in our society and what is worse in our churches …

“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” Ezekiel 9:4

This lead me to a very interesting study on the word mark or Tav in Hebrew…

The word mark here in Scripture is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet Tav…(tawv); from OT:8427; a mark; by implication, a signature: KJV – desire, mark.

This mark (T) set on the foreheads of those righteous men saved them from the wrath of Yahweh. Where else do we see this same shape saving the righteous, but in Egypt where the men were to take the hyssop, dipped in the blood of the Passover lamb, and place it on the lintel and doorposts…

This quote I found very interesting ~ a comment on the letter Tau by James Read:

“The earliest explicit mention of anything which describes the shape of the instrument of Roman execution is Barnabas’ epistle where he likens it the Greek letter Tau which is very much T shaped. Also, some other early Christian reference to how Moses was foreshadowing a T shape when he kept his arms raised to his sides while Israel was doing battle with Joshua (Yehoshua, Yoshua, Isus) doing battle.
Ezekiel 9:4 depicts a vision in which the Tav plays a Passover role similar to the blood on the lintel and doorposts of a Hebrew home in Egypt. In Ezekiel’s Old Testament vision, the Lord has his angels separate the demographic wheat from the chaff by going through Jerusalem, the capital city of ancient Israel, and inscribing a mark, a Tav, upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. In Ezekiel’s vision, then, the Lord is counting Tav Israelites as worthwhile to spare, but counts the people worthy of annihilation who lack the Tav and the critical attitude it signifies. In other words, looking askance at a culture marked by dire moral decline is a kind of shibboleth for loyalty and zeal for God.”

In the Ancient Hebrew Alphabet Chart Tav means crossed sticks and is represented by an x or T shape.

Further in Ezekiel we see a reference to two sticks one representing Judah (the Southern tribe) and another for Joseph (Ephraim) and the children of Israel(the Northern Tribes) and the prophecy that these two sticks shall become one.

Jesus was the Repairer of the breech as he hung on the cross, the two sticks becoming one… Ezekiel 37:15-19

“The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.”

From the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi:

“We know from ancient texts that Roman crosses consisted of two pieces. The stipes was the upright piece, fixed in the ground, often permanently. In restless areas and times with constant executions there could have been whole groves of them. The horizontal piece was called the patibulum; it weighed about a hundred pounds or so, and the condemned person was usually forced to carry it to the place of execution. Hence his name, the patibulatus.

After the patibulatus carried the crosspiece of his cross out to the field of execution, he’d be attached to it with ropes or with nails—hence the term crucifixio, from crux, cross, and figo, to affix. Then he’d be hauled up so that the patibulum could be fastened to the stipes. We tend to think of the two pieces being mortised into each other to form the familiar Latin-cross shape ( † ). More probably the Roman army carpenters, with hundreds and thousands of crosses to make, didn’t bother with that kind of fancy joinery. They probably just fixed a peg in the top of the stipes and bored a hole in the patibulum; that would make it easier to assemble the cross in a single motion, and it would make the weight of the crossbeam and the crucified man hold the cross together; it would result in a shape like the Greek letter tau …T”

So the mark set upon those who were mourning and weeping over the abomination of the land was also the cross that we take up and was the instrument used for the cruxfiction of Christ our salvation. Do you realize that Jesus told the people to take up the cross before He was crucified?

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them,Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Mark 8:34

The Hebrew letter Tav (T) is the last letter in the Hebrew language…it finishes the Hebrew alphabet and Yahshua said as he died on the cross (T), “It is finished.”

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30

The Crucifixion by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696 – 1770)

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2

So you see that we have a deep communion with our Father and Savior in intercession and weeping and mourning for the lost…Are we Tav Christians? Are we bearing our crosses? Are we in deep communion with the heart of the Almighty?

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

The signs of the times ~ 2 Timothy 3:1 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”

Our hope is in Christ who finished the work on the cross…He is the resurrected King, the Savior of the whole world for He has overcome it, the Alpha and Omega or in Hebrew the Aleph and Tav ~ the Beginning and the End ~ the Author and the Finisher… Hallelulyah!

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”Heb 12:2

Cristo_crucificado

Diego Velázquez: Crucifixion of Christ, 1632.

There Shall Be A Performance

Wonderful encouragement for today…

There shall be a performance” (Luke 1:45).

My words shall be fulfilled in their season(their fixed appointed time)
(Greek, Luke 1:20).

There shall be a performance of those things
That loving heart hath waited long to see;
Those words shall be fulfilled to which she clings,
Because her God hath promised faithfully;
And, knowing Him, she ne’er can doubt His Word;
“He speaks and it is done.” The mighty Lord!
There shall be a performance of those things,
O burdened heart, rest ever in His care;
In quietness beneath His shadowing wings
Await the answer to thy longing prayer.
When thou hast “cast thy care,” the heart then sings,

There shall be a performance of those things.

There shall be a performance of those things,
O tired heart, believe and wait and pray;
At eventide the peaceful vesper rings,
Though cloud and rain and storm have filled the day.

Faith pierces through the mist of doubt that bars
The coming night sometimes, and finds the stars.

There shall be a performance of those things,
O trusting heart, the Lord to thee hath told;
Let Faith and Hope arise, and plume their wings,
And soar towards the sunrise clouds of gold;
The portals of the rosy dawn swing wide,
Revealing joys the darkening night did hide.

–Bessie Porter

From Streams In The Desert By Mrs. Charles E Cowman

Do You Have the Faith That Believes to See?

From Streams in the Desert

True faith counts on God, and believes before it sees. Naturally, we want some evidence that our petition is granted before we believe; but when we walk by faith we need no other evidence than God’s Word. He has spoken, and according to our faith it shall be done unto us. We shall see because we have believed and this faith sustains us in the most trying places, when everything around us seems to contradict God’s Word.

The psalmist says, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”(Psalms 27:13). He did not see as yet the Lord’s answer to his prayers, but he believed to see and this kept him from fainting.

If we have the faith that believes to see, it will keep us from growing discouraged. We shall “laugh at impossibilities“,we shall watch with delight to see how God is going to open up a path through the Red Sea when there is no human way out of our difficulty. It is just in such places of severe testing that our faith grows and
strengthens.

Have you been waiting upon God, dear troubled one, during long nights and weary days, and have feared that you were forgotten? Nay, Lift up your head, and begin to praise Him even now for the deliverance which is on its way to you.

From Life of Praise