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

Words of Life

This is a wonderful video…

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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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Sowing in Tears by Anabel Gillham

The pain was almost more than he could bear. He had never realized that a broken heart could hurt so terribly, but he couldn’t just sit down and cry. It was planting season. So he took his bag of seed and went to the field.

sower1

But there was no joy in his work. He didn’t hear the clear call of the meadowlark. He didn’t see the fields of yellow and lavender on the horizon. The smell of the fresh-turned earth escaped his nostrils. The bite of the pure spring air didn’t cause him to lift his head and take in great gulps, for even as he broadcast the tiny seed his eyes were blurred and his hands were damp with tears wiped from his weathered cheeks.

Then, when he could bear it no longer, he fell on his knees and his head touched the broken soil. His tears fell into the furrows, wetting the tiny ovule nestled in the pocket of earth. No one heard. No one saw. There was no one to touch, to care, to say, “I understand.”

To know such suffering…and still to sow.

* * *

Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.  Psalm 126:5,6

Yes, you are hurting. But you cant just sit down and cry. The seed would not be planted and growth would never come. There would be no fruit to harvest. No, you must sow. And chances are, there will be no one who really understands . . . no one to touch you or hold you . . . no one to care. To know such suffering…and still to sow.

Gods promise is to you: Can you believe that one day you will actually SHOUT with sheer joy?

Grace for Life

Encouragement Through Suffering

There was an accident two years ago on Highway 66. Two young women hit by a truck swerving into their lane. The two died instantly, the truck driver lived, but has never apologized to the grieving families. I pray for him that God would give him grace, and touch his heart that he would come to know Jesus and find peace.

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I met the mother of one of these young women just the other day. She is a vibrant Christian. Her daughter was her only child…

With tears in her eyes she told me her story, and she told me of Christ’s Victory and even through her grief, she accepts what happened. She knows that for whatever reason it was God’s perfect timing in taking her daughter home. Her daughter had an intimate relationship with Jesus.

To read the rest of this post click  HERE

Meddling Mothers

I was reminded today of meddling. I think as mothers we have a tendency to meddle too much in the lives of our children and we also have a tendency to try and fix everything. In prayer one day God brought to my remembrance a chick coming forth from an egg. The process is very slow and sometimes as we are waiting and watching the chick does not seem strong enough to break open that shell and be free. But there are grave consequences for trying to help the chick break loose from its shell. The chick is actually gaining strength by going through the process and if we meddle we may jeopardize its very life.

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I am guilty of meddling too much in my son’s life; of coming between him and his father when I should have stood silent. I have learned submission to my husband in this area, even though it was and is very hard for me to let go. I have learned that I must put all my trust in my heavenly Father and His timing. I have learned that His way is better and how important it is that I not tamper with what God is doing.

Another reblog…please read the rest here

God Loves the Broken Hearted by Cathey Stott

It seems timely to reblog this post…

This is an excerpt from a series of articles by Cathey Stott. I thought it was exceptionally helpful to those that are grieving…

The early days of grieving can be very foggy. Life seems unreal and many people report having trouble concentrating or difficulty with their memory. Some feel as if they are losing their mind. Be assured that all such feelings are normal. After all, your entire life has been turned upside down and your brain will need some time to catch up to reality. And then there is the matter of your heart. Your heart is broken so badly and into so many pieces that is seems there is no way you can ever heal.

Just remember what Psalm 34:18 says:
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
(NIV) Read more here

I Know Your Pain

I am going to start a series of reblogs, because there are some really helpful and encouraging posts that were written years ago and the messages in them are timeless…so here goes…

To all you mothers and fathers and siblings of prodigals…I know your pain is excruciating. Likened to the death of a child, but almost worse because of the hurt of his or her rejection of you and of his or her rebellion to God. You know that you are not perfect, that you have made mistakes, but you feel like an utter failure and that God has deserted you. Read more here...

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Photo from Understanding Brokenheartedness

31 Days ~ Strength to Go On

Day 30 ~ Strength to Go On

Sharing again from James Banks Prayers for Prodigals

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3: 17-18
“I will remind myself of this, Lord. It’s always good to praise you, regardless of how I feel at the moment.
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise” (I Chronicles 16:25)
I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God” (Habakkuk 3:18), regardless of my external circumstances on any given day. And why not?
Yes, times are difficult with my child. She’s running from me and from you.
My heart aches. I long to take her in my arms and protect her from harm, if only she would have it.
Then I am reminded of your Word and your promise:
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion” (Isaiah 30:18).
There’s a lot of meaning in that one word, yet. You know how I feel, don’t you?
Not only about my daughter. About the whole human race.
That’s why you came, why you sent your one and only son: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).
Not only do you understand, you’ve faced our rebellion with a heart that feels with more “depth” than I could ever know. (Romans 11:33)
I praise you for that and will wait for you, because “since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4). ~ James Banks

31 Days ~ Take Heart

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

I read these words several times this morning…Do we really believe this? These are words coming straight from our Savior’s mouth recorded by His beloved disciple John…

31 Days ~ Take Heart

These words are TRUTH. If He was to sit before you today and say to you…“In Me you shall have peace“. You might reply, but Lord, this is more pain than I can bear…

He would say, “Cast your burdens on Me, for I care for you. Be anxious for nothing.

In the world ye shall have tribulation“, Yes, Lord, this tribulation, this prodigal journey…it is so very painful…it is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with…

Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world“.

Be of good cheer…or as James says, “Count it all joy…” James 1:2

This just seems impossible…but Take Heart, Be of good cheer…”nothing is impossible with God” Luke 1:37

For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8

OK, everyone, get ready for a spiritual boot camp!

I started afresh just the other day committing myself to physical exercise after healing from a broken toe. Walk/run 1 1/2 mile morning and evening and alternating cardio and core workouts everyday!

Guess what? Today I am sore…but it is the good sore and I do have more energy and I feel better mentally and physically…But what does the Bible say…physical exercise profits little. But that’s not the point Paul was making. Exercise is good for you , but spiritual exercise is FANTASTIC for you.

Could it be that we need to exercise our faith, that this suffering can be overcome, if we focus entirely on Jesus? Why would He say, “Be of good cheer“?, if it were not possible? Can we believe Him for this? Can we exercise our belief?

James says, “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:4

I’m suggesting here that we need to take this walk…this spiritual exercise…seriously. We need to take Jesus at His word, for it is TRUTH. We need to exercise focusing on Him every hour, every minute…if need be…

I believe Him and I know when I surrender, and truly TRUST Him with my life that He gives me peace like a river. Like rivers of living water that heal, that nourish, that wash the cares away…

Praying for you today…for a time of refreshing, a time of healing…a new determination to focus on Jesus…to let Him take care of a seemingly impossible situation…to trust Him totally.

Could it be that not only is He dealing with our prodigals hearts in bringing them to salvation, but He is also dealing with our hearts to bring us into His Peace and Rest?
Photos by Clear Angle

Mission Impossible ~ Anabel Gillham

A friend shared this blog post by Anabel Gillham and I found it so encouraging and insightful that I’m sharing it here with you. You can find more posts by Anabel at LIFETIME.

Mission Impossible

And her neighbors and her relatives
heard that the Lord had displayed
His great mercy toward her;
and they were rejoicing with her.

Luke 1:58

And the angel said to her
“Do not be afraid, Mary;
for you have found favor with God.

Luke 1:30

I’m going to have a son! And He is going to be great and will be called the Son of the Most High! That I should be chosen for this magnificent event! Me! Mary! Incredible!” Luke 1:32

So Mary had her Son. The miraculous was accomplished! If you are a mother you know what was in her heart from the very beginning because you’ve been there. You want to protect this tiny little being who has been such an intimate part of you, who has lived within you, encased in your body and completely dependent on you and your care for him for nine months. As that child grows, you want the very best in every way for him. Mary was a mother–just like you and just like me.
She lost Joseph somehow after Jesus was twelve years old. He disappears from their lives and from the pages that tell the story. This means that she didn’t have her husband by her side when Jesus told her that He was leaving home to begin His ministry. She needed someone to encourage her, to hold her, to face this heart-rending event with her, to assure her that it was going to be all right, to speak as a father to his son with words of wisdom.
She and her other children were terribly concerned about Jesus and the reputation He was making for Himself and the enemies–high-ranking religious officials who were seeking to destroy Him. Sit around the table with them as they spent hours trying to decide what they should do to help Jesus–to protect Him from those who hated Him. They pled with Jesus to come home so they could “take care of Him” thinking that He had lost His mind with the fervor and zeal of His fanatical teaching.
She heard all of the rumors–good and bad–about Jesus and there was someone who hurried to her house in the darkness the night Jesus was arrested–Oh, Mary! Mary! Jesus has been arrested! I’m sure she had friends that came to comfort her, but they had “come and gone” and she was alone at the foot of the cross that day when she witnessed the suffering of her “beloved Son.” She was there to see His mutilated body, the horror of His crucifixion, and to hear His agonized cries.

Surely the prophecy of Simeon came to pass: “and a sword will pierce even your own soul” (Luke 1:35).

This is favor?

Even though Zacharias had been struck dumb by the angel (Luke 1:5-20), I’m confident that he communicated with Elizabeth some way! We’re going to have a son! An angel appeared to me in the temple and told me! We’re to name him John and he will be great in the sight of the Lord! They had prayed for a child for many years and the Lord had heard their prayers. Now “the fullness of time” had come and a precious little boy came to bring laughter and love to their home.
But then one day their boy left home. He left the room they had fixed just for him; he left his place at the table; he left broken hearts and dreams behind him and lived in the desert, dressed in camel’s hides, eating locusts and wild honey. Elizabeth and Zacharias anxiously asked every traveler if they had seen their son, John.
They shook their heads in amazement when they heard about John baptizing his cousin, Jesus, and the miraculous events that surrounded that baptism. Their amazement turned to agonizing fear when the word came that John had been imprisoned. Then came the day when someone tearfully sought them out to tell them, “Your son, John, was beheaded last night.” Crushed. Grieving as they remembered those days when he was a happy little boy living at home.

This was a blessing?
* * *

I must confess that I was perplexed when these words penetrated deep into my heart. Oh, I had read them many times, but how could these things have been a “blessing” or come into your life because you were “favored?”
I know the answer of course–God is omniscient–we aren’t. He sees beyond this earth and its perplexities and knows what is to come–when it is to come–and how it is to come. But when you put flesh and blood on the rows of black print on onion-skin paper and put yourself in the company of those who were favored and blessed, it becomes painfully real to you that He spells “favored” and “blessed” differently than we do! Remember the song, “This world is not my home, I’m just a’passin’ through?” And while I’m “passing through,” God may decide to “favor” me with a very special mission–perhaps a difficult mission, a sorrowful mission, a mission of suffering. Who am I to question the results that He knows are to come as this mission He assigned to me is completed?
What I MUST remember as these perplexing thoughts come is that He is with me, strengthening me, encouraging me, loving me, and living in and through me to complete the mission He has given me. Oh! I must remember this! I do not always know His plan, but I do know His heart and I set my mind on the Lord as I have come to know Him. He was assigned an impossible mission–agree? I thank You, dear Lord, for Mary–for Zacharias and Elizabeth–for Jesus and all of the multitude that have gone before, showing me that a mission that seems to be impossible can be conquered–but only through You.

About the Author

Anabel Gillham

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.

Disappointment and Deception

Things were getting better, or so I thought.

Could I really see my prodigal far off coming home?

My hope, that had diminished to nearly nothing, began to blossom…and then how quickly it faded.

A letter…a sickening feeling rising up from the deepest part of me…excruciating pain…it has been 6 years…

I thought it was getting better…

I see Christ on the cross, I hang there with Him in my agony…How can I live with this pain again? Where is Your resurrection power?

I  know that I can do nothing…

Helpless, weeping, I toss and turn in the dark hours of the night…getting up before dawn praying for understanding…for peace.

I glance at the table across the room and there sits a small booklet a friend had given me months ago, and what does it say?

When Disappointment Deceives”…

Disappointment…is a part of life, that can show up unannounced at any time and any place, parking itself in our hearts with a crushing weight. Whether it’s a major disappointment or the slow accumulation of what seems to be minor letdowns, its heaviness can smother our hearts and suffocate our joy.”

Wow! This is what I am experiencing. Once again I am amazed how God speaks to us.

“No one is immune to disappointment, though some have been led to believe that following the God of the Bible spares us from being let down. But even He is not spared from experiencing disappointment. The book of Genesis tells us that after seeing “how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become,” the Creator’s heart was “grieved” and “filled with pain” (Genesis 6:5-6).

And when God took on human likeness and became a man, He continued to experience disappointment . Listen to the heartache Jesus expressed over Jerusalem’s unwillingness to embrace Him as the Messiah: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing (Matthew 23:37).”

“If God isn’t exempt from disappointment then we shouldn’t expect a free pass either. The fact of the matter is that disappointment is an inescapable part of life.”

So where does the deception come in to play…

“Sometimes a collision with disappointment can help us see more clearly what is true. It can grab our attention and give us a chance to reevaluate our motives or the world in which we live.”

I think I was deceiving myself in thinking that my prodigal was coming home, when in reality he was still very far off. I wanted and hoped for things to be different, because I’m weary…I want this to be over. But it is not over…

“The deepest damage is not caused so much by our painful, disappointing circumstances but by the lies that sneak in through our disappointment. Life in a fallen world will have more than its share of letdowns, but it is the lies that often come with them that pose the greatest threat – for we suffer our deepest wounds from those lies. A lie is a thought or conclusion that persuades us to tear ourselves down, stop caring for others, or love God less.”

Here I see my prodigal and his thinking. He has twisted some statements made by family members into statements of rejection. No matter how many times I tell him the truth, he refuses to believe me. These twisted statements or damaging lies have caused him a tremendous amount of pain and prevent him from coming home.

“When we know that people are disappointed in us or we fall short of our own expectations, we will eventually be tempted to believe the derogatory lie that something is seriously wrong with us-that we are undeserving, below average at best, and simply not worth the time…

As disappointment continues to race through our lives, untrue thoughts about God begin to surface. Thoughts like: He isn’t good. He can’t be trusted. He doesn’t care about me

The damaging lies about ourselves, life and God are not true, but they feel true.”

Boy, I can sure relate to this…can you? How do we deal with this? How do we get our thoughts in right perspective and discern what is a lie and what is truth?

My next post in this series will be…We Are Under Attack.

If you can’t wait until then and/or you would like to read the booklet yourself, or the PDF version, go to…

 discovery series booklets

Painting O Jerusalem by Greg Olson