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.

View original post

The Temptation to Take the Battle in Our Own Hands

Are you struggling with the temptation to make things right? To take things into your own hands because the Lord in your mind isn’t working fast enough?

I read this morning in “Streams in the Desert”….

“I once thought that after I prayed
that it was my duty to do everything that I could do to bring the answer
to pass. He taught me a better way, and showed that my self-effort
always hindered His working, and that when I prayed and definitely
believed Him for anything, He wanted me to wait in the spirit of praise,
and only do what He bade me. It seems so unsafe to just sit still, and
do nothing but trust the Lord; and the temptation to take the battle
into our own hands is often tremendous. We all know how impossible it is
to rescue a drowning man who tries to help his rescuer, and it is
equally impossible for the Lord to fight our battles for us when we
insist upon trying to fight them ourselves. It is not that He will not,
but He cannot. Our interference hinders His working.” C.H.P.

This is another reblog… read the rest  here

1

Featured Blog ~ Oil of His Grace

Really good advice from a dear sister who is dealing with a prodigal herself…The link to her complete article and a video that will bless and encourage you is at the bottom of the page. 


Encouragement for Struggling Believers


Your situation, whatever it is, is in God’s hands! I have a feeling someone reading this needs encouragement today so let me share two things: 


1.) Don’t isolate yourself. If you’re facing a battle in your life you need AN ARMY! You need sisters and brothers who will fight with you and storm the gates of hell in prayer. Don’t allow the enemy to convince you that you should face it alone. Forget the lie that says you would be a bother to others. My dear friend – that’s what the body of Christ is for. To bear one another’s burdens! 

Look with me at what the Apostle Paul admonished believers: “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) Did you notice the last part of that verse? “Thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” This means that when you ask another Christian to pray for you, you are actually helping them! How am I doing that? you might ask. You are helping them to mature and grow in Christ-likeness! You are helping that person to “fulfill the law of Christ.” Have you ever thought of it that way? If not then I ask you to “chew” on that a bit. What a wonderful truth it is! Praying for one another is an absolute privilege. Right now I am praying for a dear reader and I count it a joy! So, please, if you’re going through something, don’t isolate. Instead seek prayer and counsel from other believers.

2.) Trust God yet ask Him for the grace to see a “glimpse” of what He’s doing through your situation. What I mean is this: We can only see the past and the present (and even then we don’t always see clearly). We certainly cannot see what’s around the corner. In fact, you might compare our present reality to paddling a boat down a river. We can take in all the scenery as we pass by, but we are never able to see around the next bend. 

Furthermore, on some days we paddle in calm waters, and on others we go through nothing but rapids. And yet, in calm waters or rapids, in neither can we see what’s just ahead. But I wonder: Why is it we tend to only fret about what lies ahead when we’re in the midst of rapids? When things are going our way – when the water is placid, the scenery beautiful – all is good and we have a sense of peace. Hey – we’re trusting God! 

But the minute the waters begin to churn….? Oftentimes when that happens we turn to self-comfort and our own (limited) understanding of things.

Friend, let me suggest another perspective for you. Consider this: While you and I are paddling downriver, only seeing what is around us, God is above – like an eagle. He has excellent eyesight to see the whole picture! Rather than merely having our “linear” perspective, He sees around the next bend in the river. But, even better than the eagle, God’s “eyesight” is so keen that He’s also able to see the end of all things
 
It’s easy to forget this when you’re hurting and you want easy answers. But His promise to you is to not only “work all things together for good” (Romans 8:28), but to also work all things after the counsel of His will.” (Ephesians 1:11) This means that not only is our God all-knowing, but that He in His wisdom actually allows the trials we face to come into our lives. They are trials “with a purpose.” His purpose. Dear sister, trust that not only is the Lord sovereign, but that He is also loving. Remember, the Word tells us that He actually IS love. He would never do or allow anything to destroy you. That is what the enemy wants to do. (John 10:10) God will only prune you (John 15:2) – which may hurt – but He intends it for your growth and fruit-bearing. You can trust your heavenly Father’s heart.
 
To read the whole post please visit Oil of His Grace
 
 

31 Days ~ About Shame

Day 24 ~ Shame Off Her
This is an interesting title for today. Being a little slow when it comes to understanding things, like jokes and puns, etc. I had to think twice (three times actually), before I realized that James was turning the term, “Shame on her”, around almost as a command to take the “Shame off her”.

Truthfully, I have never really prayed that before. I have prayed for a hedge of protection for our prodigals, that God would keep them from evil, etc., but today I will pray in a different way.

As the scripture says, “Anyone who believes in Him will never be put to shame.” Romans 10:11

Quoting James Banks

“I pray you will move soon in her life to turn her heart from the sin back to you.

Let her hear your Spirit speaking to her, “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” (Isaiah 44:22)

Let the fog clear and a bright new morning break!

Even when we rebel against you, you long for us to give our hearts to you.

When we do, you take our sins completely away.

You clothe us with “garments of salvation” and “a robe of righteousness.” (Isaiah 61:10)

You present us holy in your sight, “without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:22).

You have said, “You will forget the shame of your youth” (Isaiah 54:4).

You tell us you will remember our sins no more (Jeremiah 31:34).

Take the shame of my daughter, Lord Jesus! Just as you have for me.”

I know she has a choice to make and I pray she will make it soon and “choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I pray she will choose you!” ~ James Banks

We as parents may also be feeling shame, but why then would the promise be that we would not be ashamed. I think we need to rethink this and realize that our children are God’s and we are given a time with them to nurture and bring them up, but then God has to deal with their hearts in His way. Anything that is not right in their hearts, He will make right in His time and in His way. That is why it is so important to “Let go and let God do the work”. We need to trust Him, and not be ashamed, but magnify the fact that we have a Great Shepherd who cares about each lost sheep and seeks to find them and bring them home. Praise Him for He is Mighty to save!

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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!”

Prodigal Son’s Prayer

Painting byLiz Lemon Swindle

Prodigal Son’s Prayer – How can I help my wayward child?

Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate” (John 15-11-24).
Prodigal Son’s Prayer – When The Story Becomes Personal
If you are a parent dealing with a wayward or prodigal child, you may be asking how to pray for him or her. As parents, we grieve over choices our children make. There is great power in a praying parent! And God draws near to the brokenhearted:
Lamentations 2:19 says, “Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children. . .”
You may be a parent who is “pouring out your heart like water” in God’s presence. Praying. Pleading. Begging for God’s infinite mercy to fall on your child at this very moment.
You may have a child who is using drugs or suffering from alcoholism. You may have one who is in prison or juvenile detention. Or you may have a son or daughter who is consistently making wrong choices.
Whatever the need, take heart that your Lord and Savior already knows all about it. He hears your heartfelt cry to Him. He wants to mend that broken heart of yours.
When you “pour out your heart like water,” you may feel empty. Emotionally spent. Drained. Psalm 22:14 says, “I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax, it has melted away within me.”
It’s at that moment that you don’t feel you can cry another tear or pray another word. Don’t worry. The Spirit intercedes on your behalf. The Father knows your need. . .always. And He will answer in His time and in His ways. That we can be certain of, without a doubt.
How do we as Christian parents endure a broken heart in times of great distress such as this?
* Trust – Remember that God is all-knowing, in control, and has a plan and a purpose.
* Keep praying. Be persistent. Develop prayer partners. Keep pouring out your parent’s heart before the Lord.
He will strengthen you. He will mend your broken heart. You never know what He might have in store. It is very possible that there could be a wonderful testimony in the making!
Psalm 73:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Lord, I lay my heart before You
And I pour out my very soul.
Desperate, You know what I need
As empty before You I go.
Lord, strengthen my weary heart–
Make it strong once again.
For only You can meet this need,
Hold me tight, my Savior Friend.
I know no other way to go
I’m spent beyond my measure.
Fill me Lord, my Life, my Song
Spin my life with peace, Your Treasure.

Read more at All About Prayer

Hope For A Future

Lost No More by Greg Olsen

Just had to post this beautiful painting of hope. We can never lose hope when we have such a wonderful Savior, who is the glorious Shepherd and a good one at that. He surely is drawing our lost sheep back into His fold.

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” Jeremiah 17:7

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.

chick-hatching

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.

From Streams in the Desert:

Isa 50:11 Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

What a solemn warning to those who walk in darkness and yet who try to help themselves out into the light. They are represented as kindling a fire and compassing themselves with sparks. What does this mean?
Why it means that when we are in darkness the temptation is to find a way without trusting in the Lord and relying upon Him Instead of letting Him help us out we try to help ourselves out. We seek the light of nature and get the advice of our friends. We try the conclusions of our reason, and might almost be tempted to accept a way of deliverance which would not be of God at all.
All these are fires of our own kindling; rush-lights that will surely lead us onto the shoals. And God will let us walk in the light of those sparks, but the end will be sorrow.
Beloved, do not try to get out of the dark place, except in God’s time and in God’s way. The time of trouble is meant to teach you lessons that you sorely need.
Premature deliverance may frustrate God’s work of grace in your life. Just commit the whole situation to Him. Be willing to abide in darkness so long as you have His presence. Remember that it is better to walk in the dark with God than to walk alone in the light.  From The Still Small Voice

Cease meddling with God’s plans and will. You touch anything of His, and you mar the work. You may move the hands of a clock to suit you, but you do not change the time; so you may hurry the unfolding of God’s will, but you harm and do not help the work. You can open a rosebud but you spoil the flower. Leave all to Him. Hands down. Thy will, not mine. ~ Stephen Merritt

The Temptation to Take the Battle in Our Own Hands

Are you struggling with the temptation to make things right? To take things into your own hands because the Lord in your mind isn’t working fast enough?

I read this morning in “Streams in the Desert”….

“I once thought that after I prayed
that it was my duty to do everything that I could do to bring the answer
to pass. He taught me a better way, and showed that my self-effort
always hindered His working, and that when I prayed and definitely
believed Him for anything, He wanted me to wait in the spirit of praise,
and only do what He bade me. It seems so unsafe to just sit still, and
do nothing but trust the Lord; and the temptation to take the battle
into our own hands is often tremendous. We all know how impossible it is
to rescue a drowning man who tries to help his rescuer, and it is
equally impossible for the Lord to fight our battles for us when we
insist upon trying to fight them ourselves. It is not that He will not,
but He cannot. Our interference hinders His working.” C.H.P.

This really confirmed to me again how important it is for us to step out of the way and let God work in our prodigals, and how crucial it is to their well-being. If we keep interfering because we are not patient enough to wait on God’s timing, then we may be doing more damage. I pray that we all will be very careful to “abide in the vine” and hear the voice of the Lord in everything we do. It might be wise to do nothing at all if we are unsure than to step in the way of what God is doing. I pray for us all that we will be filled with the knowledge and wisdom of Christ.

1

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it,I do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Col 1:9-17