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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31 Days ~ Despise Not These Little Ones

Day 27 ~ Despise Not These Little Ones

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:10

 From Prayers for Prodigals by James Banks…
“Your word says that you send your angels to do your “bidding“, Father (Psalms 103:20).
Thank you for giving our children angels who “always behold” your face.
Thank you for all of the times you’ve looked after my child when I could not: the near misses,the fraction-of-a-second, happened-too-fast-for-me-to-react moments when your angel intervened.
My child needs the protection of your angels now, Lord.
You’ve said that the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them (Psalms 34:7).
Because I “know what it is to fear” you (2 Corinthians 5:11) with reverence, awe, and love, I ask that you deliver my son.
Your word tells me about what you’ve done for those you call your own: “In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them” (Isaiah 63:9).
Redeem my son, Lord! Let him be a joy to you and to all of heaven, because “there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).
I don’t know how you will do it, but I ask you to help his open his heart to you.” ~ James Banks
Father, I pray for each and every prodigal represented here today by Godly parents who fear you and ask that You would deliver these children from the enemy of their souls.
And we will watch and pray and wait, and say with the angels, “Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” Revelation 7:11-12
The Guardian Angel  Pietro Da Cortona (Barrettini).

31 Days ~ Called Out of Darkness

Day 23 ~ Called Out of Darkness

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:” 1 Peter 2:9

Called out of darkness…how many of you were called out of darkness?

From the concordance darkness means: of night darkness; of darkened eyesight or blindness; of ignorance respecting divine things and human duties, and the accompanying ungodliness and immorality, together with their consequent misery in hell; persons in whom darkness becomes visible and holds sway.

I once was lost…and now I’m found…

I once was blind, but now I see…

He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.” Psalms 40:2

If I had Christian parents they would have been devastated, but they also would have rejoiced at what Jesus has done in my life. I don’t know that a single prayer was uttered for me during this time of darkness, but Jesus called me out of it.

Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 3:7

Father, you are very aware of what our prodigals are doing right now. For from the beginning of time men turn away from you and follow darkness. Father, right now, our children are living in darkness, making horrendously horrible choices that will effect their lives forever. We cry out to you, Father, for we of ourselves can do nothing. Please bring them out of the miry pit, the ungodliness, the immorality, this horrible wretched darkness that holds sway over them and causes such blindness. Father, we cry out to you today, please call them out of darkness into your marvelous light.

Quoting James Banks
“I ask for your light to fall on this path and lead him home.

Let him see your light from the distance and be drawn to you.

Even though now he sits in darkness, I ask that you will be his light.(Micah 7:8)

I praise you that there is no darkness so black that you can not show him the way out of it.

Bring him to the place where he can say, “You are my lamp, O Lord the LORD turns my darkness to light” (2 Samuel 22:29)” ~ James Banks

And Father…I pray for none of this middle of the road stuff. I pray when our prodigals come to their senses and see your Light…when they truly give their hearts and lives to Jesus, that there will be no turning back. That they will put the past behind them and walk forward…the past immorality, drugs, rock music…make it absolutely abhorrent to them.

Thank you, Jesus, for what you have done in my life, I know without a doubt that you can do it in any life. And I especially ask today, that you would visit the suffering parents. Please take them in your arms. Fill them with your peace, hold them tight so that they know you are with them in their grief. Give them a knowing that you are at work in the hearts of those they love and hold most dear, right now as we are praying.

Forgive us all, Father, for we are so prone to wander, so prone to be unbelieving and faithless.

We are called to show forth your praises, even the sacrifice of praise…

Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15

31 Days ~ Going the Extra Mile

 Day 20 ~ Going the Extra MileAnd whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” Matthew 5:41It isn’t all a bed of roses when a prodigal returns.

In the parable the father is delighted and rejoicing, but the brother obviously has some problems with the attention that is bestowed on the wayward son.

There, of course, are many lessons in this parable for us to learn…

The prodigal, even though repentant, will bring back the consequences of his behavior.

The wasted years will show themselves evident in his life, as if he has to start again at square one. If he has a gift, it may be that gift was taken away from him and he has to settle with less.

He may bring back a wife who was with him in his rebellion and consequently does not have the same values as you.

Regardless what it is we are compelled to go the extra mile. We can open our arms with forgiveness and rejoice in the return, yet there will be rough spots in the road, and our love must be as Christ’s love for us…full of forgiveness and compassion.

All of it…this whole prodigal journey…is so like what our Father deals with in each one of us…what Jesus died for in each one of us.

Can we not go the extra mile, as He does with us?

James Banks ~ “This isn’t an easy road, but I accept it gratefully knowing that I’m following You.

I know by faith that this road comes out in a better place for him and for me if I keep my eyes on You.

I pray that I will continue in “faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel“. (Colossians 1:23)

Because love always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:7)

You are not only watching You are with me.

When I “pass through the waters” of difficult days, You have promised, “I will be with you.”

When I pass “through the rivers” – those days when we’re in over our heads – you have said, “they will not sweep over” us.

Even when I “walk through the fire” of trial or temptation or anger, “I will not be burned if I stay close to You (Isaiah 43:2)”

Help us stay close to You, to keep our eyes on You, to be like You… to seek You early, to draw near to You, to acknowledge You in all our ways, so that our paths will be directed by You. Help us, Father, to go the extra mile, not just what is expected of us, but what may be out of our comfort zone.

Praying today that each one of You will know that you are not alone on this journey. This particular trial is set before you for a reason. It is the cup that the Father has given you to partake of, but Jesus will never leave you, or forsake you. Keep your eyes on Him and you will not sink no matter how violent the storm. He is with you forever and for always.

31 Days ~ Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

Day 18 ~ Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
Are you fearful? Do you worry about your prodigal? Are you afraid that your other children may follow in the same footsteps of your prodigal? Do you fear for your child’s life, for their salvation?
I understand…I’ve been there. This is a tough one, but fear is torment and the TRUTH of the matter is that we are told over and over not to fear.
Father, help us in this area of fear and worry…help us to trust You more, as our Father, our Friend, our Counselor…a Father who will teach, provide and protect…a Friend who is a loyal companion, trust-worthy, caring…a Counselor who hears our petitions and gives us wisdom and knowledge.
But even more…our Husband who loves His bride and enfolds her in His strong arms to care for, honor and protect her.
You are all these things and more, Lord…You are our Deliverer, our Fortress, our strong Tower…
When, Oh, when will we put away vain imaginations, and worries of the world and fears of what may happen and just look up into your all glorious…all marvelous…all powerful…all knowing Presence…and BELIEVE You at Your word?
Fill us, Father, with Your love today…Your Love that is so powerful, so all consuming, so sacrificial, so perfect that any and all fear and worry will be cast out.
And Father…as James Banks prays…
“I ask that Your perfect love will drive out any fear in my daughter’s/son’s heart about coming to You.
Help her/him understand that knowing You is all about love, which is so different from any-less-than-loving examples of legalism or judgmentalism she/he may have seen along the way.
I pray that Your love may be “made complete” in her/him so that she “will have confidence on the day of judgement” (1 John 4:17)
Let her/him live in love, because “whoever lives in love lives in” You (1 John 4:16), and You in them.
May the wonder of all that you are bless my child and draw her/his heart to you today!”

31 Days ~ Father, Forgive

Day 15 ~ Father Forgive

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Luke 23:33-34
The Holy Spirit many times has brought to remembrance the words of our Savior...”Forgive them for they know not what they do“…
 
They really don’t know what they are doing…our prodigals really have lost their senses…they have lost their way…they don’t have ears to hear and eyes to see… and until they regain their “eyes to see”, they don’t realize the pain that they are causing. They justify their behaviors.
Quoting James Banks, “You died to set us free from the law of sin and death” Romans 8:2 and rose to give us life.
And while you were dying, You interceded with the Father for your murderers.
They really didn’t know what they were doing, did they?
If they had understood, “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8)”
Praying today that the words of Jesus,Forgive them for they know not what they do…will transform your heart and mind and free you from pain, knowing that through your suffering you are partaking of the suffering of Christ and being conformed more to His likeness.
Praying for the forgiveness of our prodigals… Praying, also, that they will come to that place where they ask forgiveness for themselves.
Help us, Father, to have the patience to wait for Your deliverance, for Your timing.

31 Days ~ Praise When It’s Dark

Day 13 ~ Praise When It’s Dark
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” Acts 16:15After Paul cast a demon out of a possessed woman, the men who could no longer make money off of her were infuriated. They dragged Paul and Silas before the magistrates, who tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten. After being whipped they were thrown into the dungeon and their feet bolted down in stocks.

Have you ever really thought about how Paul and Silas felt through all of this? Humiliated and dragged through angry crowds…mercilessly flogged and cast into some dirty prison…

How would you react? Would you feel hopeless and forsaken? Would you blame God? Would you cry out and say, God, I was just doing what you told me to do, I cast out the demon from this woman, how could you allow this nightmare to happen?

I know my reaction wouldn’t have been like Paul and Silas… They praised God and began to sing loud and the other prisoners heard them.

But our reactions need to be like Paul and Silas.

Quoting James Banks from Prayers for Prodigals, “What Paul and Silas did was beautiful and inspiring, Father.

Even though they had been “stripped” and severely flogged” and were in a dark jail cell after midnight with their feet in stocks, they were praising you (Acts 16: 22-24)

What an amazing example! Please give me grace to do the same when I feel defeated and in the dark.

I want to give you the glory due your name (1 Chronicles 16:29) and continue praising you even when I don’t know what the next day brings.

You are always worthy of praise.”

Praying today that no matter what your circumstance, no matter where you are on this prodigal journey, you will lift your heart and hands in praise to your Father in heaven. Let’s praise Him together…Hallelujah!

31 Days ~ Let Every Road Lead to You, Lord

Day 12 ~ Let Every Road Lead to You, Lord

Surely the arm of the Lord is not to short to save, nor his ear to dull to hear.” Isaiah 59:1

“Father, I thank you there is no where my son can go where you are not already present.

Even though, he is far from me, I rest in your promise that your arm “is not too short to save.”
I pray that you will meet him where he is, Lord.
Let him encounter you everywhere he turns “behind and before” (Psalms 139:5)
Open his eyes to “paths of life that lead in your direction and draw him close to you (Acts 2:28).
Not home to me, but to his eternal home with you.
Just like the prodigal son who “came to his senses” in a far country, I ask that he will become aware of anything that separates him from you.
Let every road he takes lead to You, Lord.” ~ James Banks
Praying this very thing for your loved ones today…

31 Days ~ Accepting Rejection

Day 11 ~ Accepting Rejection

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Isaiah 53:3This is a hard one, especially considering that the ones rejecting us are our dearly beloved children.

Rejection hurts…A lot of us spend our lives trying to please people hoping not to be rejected, because it hurts. And some of us put up invisible walls around ourselves to protect ourselves from getting close to other people, because we have been hurt and we don’t want to go there again.

But our own children? Do we ever think that the ones we have nurtured and loved since they were infants, would turn against us, reject us and hurt us so very deeply…to the very core of our being?

“You know what it is like to have those you love reject you, because you came to earth and we “did not receive” you. (John 1:11)You chose to accept our rejection for your own benefit, to save us and set us free.

In a small way I am beginning to understand that, Lord.

It’s because I love her that I’m trying to help her to choose what is right, despite her defiance.

Thank you, Father, for doing that for us.

Your Word makes this so very clear.

Even when we were “your enemies”, you chose to reconcile us “through the death of Your Son” (Romans 5:10)

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) ~ James Banks

Father, today I pray that we can be more conformed into the image of Jesus by accepting rejection as He did, as He does, as You do…Help us to feel the bitter sweetness of life and not run from it, but love through it…not with our paltry love, but with Your everlasting and perfect love.

Sometimes that means standing aside…like the story of the prodigal in your Word…the Father let’s go until the son returns in a humble state and asks forgiveness. The father’s love is always there, just as Your love is always there for us…

Thank you, Jesus, that You will never leave us or forsake us.

Thank you, Father, that we can draw nigh to you and you will draw nigh to us…

Rescue our prodigals from the world, Father. Please draw them to Yourself…I know that you are…I know that You are at work in their lives to bring about their salvation.

Thank you, dear Savior and Friend, Counselor, Almighty God…the Master of the Universe…the great I AM… Thank you…

I know all things are possible to those that believe. Mark 9:23

31 Days ~ Open Our Eyes

Day 10 ~ Open Our Eyes

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope in which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomprehensible great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19

The blog post  Eye Salve is perfect for today…

Praying today that our heavenly Father will restore right understanding to our prodigals. That Jesus will touch the eyes of their minds that they will see truth as never before, and in seeing truth will come to repentance and raise their eyes to the great Fountain of love and grace and mercy, the most high King of all heaven and earth. He will make the crooked places straight! He will make the blind to see!

Praying that you will be encouraged keeping your eyes focused on our all powerful Friend and Counselor and Savior…Praise His precious and Holy Name…King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Open our eyes, Lord…we want to see Jesus…