Wednesday, September 4, 2019


The other day my husband and I were driving in our car and we kept hearing a rattling sound.
It was concerning, because our car was barely a year old. As we drove on, we tried to determine where the sound was coming from and became at odds with each other because I kept insisting it was on the right side of the vehicle; while my husband kept insisting it was coming from the left.
Finally, exasperated, my husband exclaimed, "this is driving me crazy; I'm just going to have to take the car in and have it looked at!"
I got quiet and then felt an urge to look up and suddenly had an "Ah-Ha!" moment. I reached up and opened the compartment above us and took out my pair of sunglasses and the rattling stopped.
We both looked at each other and then the sunglasses and promptly burst out laughing. We were grateful to no longer have all that noise and rueful that it took us so long to figure out such a simple problem.
As I pondered on this, I couldn't help but see the "deeper meaning" to this little episode.
You see, God showed me that my husband and I were actually both right since the rattle was between us. However, because we could only see it from our own perspective, we were not resolving the issue, we were only adding to the NOISE.
How many times do we allow the problems between us to create noise in our lives? And then we compound the problem by adding more noise just so we can be RIGHT. We refuse to see that we were only seeing things from our own perspective.
It is only when we take the heavenly perspective and see it from above, does the answer present itself and often, it's only a simple adjustment needed to quiet the noise.
1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction].

Saturday, April 13, 2019

From Mud to Masterpiece

And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We are all formed by your hand. Isaiah 64:8 NLT
While meditating on this verse one morning, the LORD put me in remembrance of the ceramics class I took in school. It was there, I learned how to "throw a pot." Which is art-speak for creating a vessel using a potter's wheel. Before any potter begins, they have already formulated a purpose for their vessel so that they can begin the process by choosing the right clay. In other words, I needed to know the "end from the beginning."
After choosing the right type of clay, I had to cut a slab from the block, and then form it into a rough, misshapen ball. Not pretty at all. The next step is where I got all my aggression out as I proceeded to pummel it into submission by throwing it over and over again onto a canvas-covered piece of wood. This step was crucial to getting all the air-bubbles out which could interfere with getting the clay centered on the wheel or worse, causing the piece to blow up in the kiln.
When I was sure that I had beat the air out of the clay, I would throw it onto the center of the wheel and would baptize it with water. The water made the clay more pliable and would lubricate it so it wouldn't get dry spots that could "catch" and throw the pot off-center.
Cupping my hands around the spinning shapeless lump, I would press down firmly so that the clay would fasten to the wheel head. Now that it was centered, I could begin the process of shaping my piece. With firm and steady pressure I would press my fingers into the clay and a hole would open up in the center of the clay. Steadiness was key, the slightest variance to the left or right and the pot could collapse onto itself. As an added precaution, I would brace my elbows onto my knees to reinforce my hands. Using the picture I had in my mind's eye, I would open the hole wide enough for my designed purpose. I had width, but now, I needed depth. It was time to lift and thin the walls.
Using a sponge to keep the clay lubricated, I would apply gentle pressure on the outside while applying equal pressure on the inside and I would raise my hands up to "lift" the pot. It can take 6 to 12 raisings to get the walls to the right thickness and height. In other words, lifting your hands is not a one-time thing; it needs to be continual and consistent!
Once the walls were the desired height, I could manipulate the clay by moving my hands out in a steady manner to widen the vessel. Soon the pot took on the form that I had envisioned and I knew it was time to trim the uneven lip with a tool that looked like a pin on the end of a dowel. Using another tool, I'd run it along the bottom of the pot, trimming as much as I could now before I sliced the vessel off the wheel head using a taut wire which brings to mind Hebrews 4:12 in which the Word of God is a double-edged sword that the Holy Spirit uses to trim the excesses from our life.
The vessel now has to go through a drying process to the leather-stage in order for the final trimming to take place before the firing process. It takes time to dry the vessel to the leather-hard stage but it is essential to trimming. It is during the trimming stage that I would add the unique characteristics that gives my vessel stability and at the same time beauty.
After all the vessel had endured, you would think it was finished. But you could not be more wrong! In fact the most important steps are still to come. These steps are necessary in order for the piece to perform it's designed function. The vessel needs to be fired in a kiln. Not once, but twice. The heat inside the kiln is required to be between 1950° to 2552° F in order for the vessel to be strengthened. In other is EXTREME INTENSE heat. The higher the heat, the stronger, glassier and less absorbent the end product becomes. It also burns out impurities that are found within the clay.
In life, this is where many of us lose focus because the heat is intense and we don't understand the process and the purpose of the heat. We tend to grow weary or lose faith and turn away. Instead we should surrender to the process and rejoice; knowing that this is a critical time for us to become all that God, the Master Potter, has created us to be. Galatians 6:9 KJV tells us...And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
As stated before, there is more than one firing of the vessel. A bisque fire and then the glaze fire. The first is to strengthen; and the next is what makes it beautiful!
Personally, the glazing process has always been my favorite part. As it is for most people, anyone who has ever gone to a ceramic boutique can tell you what fun it is to pick out something, select various glazes and finishes and then paint, sponge, splatter and decorate to your heart's delight. What they don't tell you, is that the glaze you pick out never looks like much when you first apply it to your piece. In fact, sometimes you can't see anything at all or worse, you paint it on and it appears like something got sick all over your piece and you think, "I've ruined it."
This is where patience is required, because you have to hand your piece over and then just walk away. They tell you to come back in a few days after it has endured a second firing. We are instructed in James 1:2-4 NKLV My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
So you wait for the time to pass, usually 2-3 days, and then the day finally arrives and you go back and pick up your finished piece.
It is at that moment when all the beauty and details that were once hidden within the glaze are fully revealed. The colors that were dull and matte have taken on a completely different appearance. They glisten and shine! They are so vibrant, that you can hardly believe that this is the same piece you placed in the potter's hands a few days ago.
Is it any wonder that our Heavenly Father chose to relate to us a Potter to clay? I marvel at how closely our lives parallel the process of creating pottery. We begin as nothing more than a clump of mud and if we allow ourselves to endure the process we come out radiant and transformed for a specific designed purpose to be used for His Glory, we are transformed from mud to Masterpiece!

Friday, March 10, 2017


I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “I’m colorblind, I don’t see color.“  Some have even gone as far to say that “God is colorblind.”  I admit, I used to be one of them, until one day, the Holy Spirit apprehended me and stated clearly, “I am NOT colorblind.”
“I created color and I created all of the different races in this world.  I see each one of them clearly and I rejoice over each one individually.”  In our attempts to not be labeled as a racist we state emphatically that we see and treat everyone the same.  
But the truth is, we are not all the same.  We are all unique and different and our differences are what make us special.  We all bring something different to the party of humanity.  Can you image attending a banquet and there were only platters and platters of the same food?  No variety, no differences.  How boring would that be? Admit it, even if it’s your favorite food, eventually you would want to try something different. 

Different is good.  However, some us go the opposite direction and fall into the trap of magnifying our differences rather than magnifying God.  When we magnify our differences they become larger than they are and they become so exaggerated that they eventually grow into a mountain between us that we cannot see our way around.  We become divided against one another.  However, if we do as we are instructed and magnify the Creator, instead of the Creation then we would become United under that common purpose.

Jesus clearly tells us that a nation or house divided will not stand, although he was making this statement to defend himself against the allegations that he was “of the devil,” it still holds true.  Especially today.  The enemy of our soul is the author of division and strife so we need to be careful that we don’t become someone who allows themselves to be used to divide.  We should instead strive to be peace-makers because according to Matthew 5:9 VOICE blessed are the peacemakers -they will be called children of GOD.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

It "Mite" be Worth More than You Think!

In this day of one-upmanship, it’s very easy to get carried away when giving gifts.  We tend to want to show our care for one another by lavishing expensive gifts on people.  But in reality, it doesn’t mean we love someone any less if the gifts we give don’t come with an expensive price tag.
I have always been a giver and in my early years, I admit that I equated the value of my gift with the size of the price tag rather than the heart of the giver.  As a result, it caused me to give expensive gifts that I truly could not afford to give.  The end result, was I that I was drowning in debt!
Recently, through a season of great lack, I finally learned the fundamental truth about giving.  It’s not about the price of the gift, but rather the COST of giving it.
We have a wonderful example in the Word, but if you are not familiar with it, allow me to introduce you to the Widow’s mite…
Mark 12:41-44 The Voice

Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, where people came to bring their offerings, and He watched as they came and went. Many rich people threw in large sums of money, but a poor widow came and put in only two small coins worth only a fraction of a cent.

Jesus (calling His disciples together): Truly this widow has given a greater gift than any other contribution. All the others gave a little out of their great abundance, but this poor woman has given God everything she has.

As I stated before, my husband and I are coming out of a season of lack, but while we were in the midst of it, we were faced with a choice.  To give or not to give.
We had an impromptu offering at the church we were attending. They wanted to be a blessing to our local High School football team.  We felt led to sow, but all that we had was the change we had scraped together to do a load of laundry.  As the bucket approached, I swallowed my pride and emptied my change purse into an envelope, hoping no one would hear the coins jingling in the bucket.
On the way home from that service, I sobbed, feeling we had failed somehow because we had so little to give.
Long story short…our gift helped our church reach their goal to be a blessing to that team.  Every cent mattered!  I also believe that had we not sowed seed while we were in need, then we would not be seeing the harvest we have now.  We had a choice to eat the seed or sow it.  If you have ever farmed before you would know, 1 ear of corn in your stomach does not satisfy your hunger but 1 ear of corn in the field can feed you all winter.
And don’t you just love how the gift this little widow gave, so blessed the LORD that he made note of it and called his disciples over to teach them that giving is about the heart not the amount? 
Jesus was watching and he was not impressed by the SUM of what was given but rather the COST.  It COST the widow to put her coins in and I imagine that she did so without much fanfare.  She may have even been like I was; ashamed that all she had to give was 2 small coins.  But yet her giving so overwhelmed the King of Kings that He had to share it!  It also left such an impression that not 1, but 2 Gospel writers shared her story.
So my friend, if you feel led, give a gift, but let it be out of the depth of your heart rather than the depth of your wallet.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Joy In the Journey

A few weeks ago, a little Momma from TX, broke the internet with her absolute joy over a Chewbacca mask she had bought her kids…instantly she became the new darling of the internet.  Check it out here if you haven’t seen it yet...I dare you not to smile.  Her joy is absolutely CONTAGIOUS!
It got me thinking about how I had allowed some things to creep in to steal my joy and get my focus of what really mattered.  I had forgotten to have JOY FOR THE JOURNEY!
Our Heavenly Father gave us this life to ENJOY!  Not just ENDURE.  It’s really not that hard to stir up some joy in your heart.  All it takes is a little bit of thankfulness.
If you start by just thanking God for the little things He has done in your life, it starts to snowball and before you know it a big ole JOY BUBBLE from deep within bubbles up to the surface and then SUDDENLY it POPS! The feeling of absolute bliss is too much for you to contain and it spills out of you and can infect those around you.
That is why the enemy of our soul does everything he can do to keep our focus off of all the good in our lives.
Take the Israelites in the wilderness, they took 40 years to do what could have been accomplished in 11 days.  They wandered in the wilderness because they didn’t have joy for the journey.  They wandered because they had no confidence that they would reach their destination…a land flowing with milk and honey.  They had no confidence in their God, who had already split a sea wide open as a way of escape.  They had no confidence in His continued ability to provide for them. They took every opportunity to murmur and complain.  All they had to do was change their perspective and start THANKING GOD FOR ALL HE HAD DONE.
Another saying that has been making its way through social media…”is it really a bad day or is it just a bad five minutes that you have milked all day?”  I admit, at times I am guilty of this!  But THANK GOD for HIS GRACE and MERCY that I don’t have to continue in my bad day.  I can just change my perspective and it will change my direction!
Our homework assignment for the day class, is this…Find just ONE thing to make you smile and be thankful for it.  I can pretty much guarantee that you will find that it is hard to stop at just ONE!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

This is dedicated to the One I Love...

In my more than 20 years of walking with the Lord, I recall only asking for a “sign” twice.  Once when I began dating my husband and just yesterday.   I was having one of those mornings where it felt as if my prayers were hitting the ceiling and falling back down on my head with a thud. 
I immediately thought that maybe I had done something wrong and that my Daddy God was displeased with me.  I needed some encouragement and I asked Him to play a specific song on the radio for me during my commute that day to let me know if He was pleased with me…I have about 30 minute commute both ways so several songs can play on the radio while I’m coming and going.
I made it to work without hearing my request, but I thought to myself, “Well, there is still the drive home,” even as I found myself softly humming that song to myself as the day wore on.
Before you know it, quitting time rolled around and I began my drive home.  I began my drive on one radio station, but a song came on that I wasn’t a fan of, so I began to surf, stopping when a song came on that I liked.  I managed to work my way through various genres and every now and then, something would capture my attention.
But I soon found myself on the final stretch of road that would lead me home, still surfing.  Just as I turned down my road, I heard the soft melody of the song that had been “my special request.”  It was not on the station that I had originally been tuned to when I began my drive.
As I pulled into my driveway, my eyes filled with tears and I let the melody and the words soothe me and remind me that my Daddy God was a Good, Good Father.
The final strains of the song drifted away and I got out of the car and made my way into the house where my Beloved was waiting.  As I entered the house, a verse that I have always loved from the book of Psalms rose up in me:
I love the Lord because he hears my voice
    and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen,
    I will pray as long as I have breath! Psalm 116:1-2 NLT
Isn’t that awesome…our Heavenly Father, bends down to listen to our prayers!  How sweet of a reminder is that.  My Daddy God loves me so much that he bent down and listened to the cry of my heart and dedicated a love song especially to me.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Drop the BALL!!!

A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11 NIV
Years ago I read a devotional that talked about offense and how it’s like catching a ball you don’t have to catch.  Things come at you, but it’s a choice to “catch” them or to just let them drop to the ground.  I’ve been thinking about this lately because I realized that I had been juggling balls of offense that I had “caught.
While getting ready this morning, I remembered a movie I about a group of people who decided to enter a dodge ball tournament in order to raise some money.  One of the more memorable lines from the movie is “if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball,” as the actor lobbed a pipe wrench at a young man that laid him out flat.  This image showed me just how weighty offense can be and that it had waylaid me to such a degree that I was considering walking away from the place that had been the source of my offense.
I no sooner had this revelation when another childhood game came to mind — Hot Potato.  Rather than keeping the hurt to myself, I passed it around like a hot potato, not realizing that it burned everyone it touched.  I had failed to remember that the object of the game was to “drop it like it’s hot” and to not hold onto it because the one who holds onto it, LOSES.
We are in the season that tends to be the perfect opportunity for the enemy to lob his fiery balls of offense to distract from the reason that we celebrate.
Maybe we are gathering with family that we haven’t seen since last year because of what they may have done or said in the past, or maybe we have purged our Christmas card list of all the people who didn’t send us a card last year…or EVER!  We often venture out in the spirit of giving, only to find ourselves miffed at some harried salesclerk because what we intended to give was “out of stock.”  
I have been reminded — reprimanded actually, that the season should be a time of GRACE and GIVING.   The greatest gift ever given is the reason why we celebrate.  It was a gift given without any expectation of return to an undeserving and fallen world, freely and with great JOY!
We‘ve heard that iron sharpens iron, and when it does, sparks fly.  When I am around those people, who “sharpen my iron” so to speak, I am choosing to let GRACE be the extinguisher that puts out the sparks before they blaze into offense.
I am quick to cry out for mercy whenever I make a mistake, but when others have done the same, I have tended to demand swift justice.   To be honest, what I actually wanted was vengeance.  Like the little child whose sibling was in trouble for hurting them telling my daddy to “spank ‘em, spank ‘em hard!  He gently reminded me that He is a Loving Father who metes out mercy and grace, not vengeance; the same grace and mercy available to me every morning is available to others as well.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Lamentations 3:22 NLT
As we go through this season, let's endeavor to dodge those balls of offense and to drop them like they're hot if we do catch them.  Can you imagine how wonderful next year will be if we did???