Monday, June 29, 2009

The Potters Hand

Last night at church I watched a potter work his wheel. He was completely in control. As he worked with the clay he formed and reformed the shape on the wheel. It was hard to tell what the clay would end up being in the end. But he knew. The potter had a clear picture in mind of exactly what he was making. He looked at the dirt and saw something beautiful.

What a profound image of our walk with God. He sees the outcome, even when we cannot.
Consider these verses about God, our potter:

Isaiah 29: 16 "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'He did not make me'? Can the pot say of the potter, 'He knows nothing'?"

Isaiah 64:8 "Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand."

Jeremiah 18: 1-4 "This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : 'Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message.' So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him."

What an image of how God works in each of our lives! He is molding and making us every step of the way. He sees beauty, even when we cannot. He sees the final product. He calls it beautiful.

Thank you for seeing the promise of a beautiful vessel in me dear Lord.
Thank you for seeing through the scratches and calling me beautiful, unique, significant.
Thank you for the reminder that I am no mistake, but a work of art.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Healthy Lifestyle = Worship?

“You’re fat” a neighborhood boy told me as we were standing at the bus stop. He wasn’t even a friend, just an acquaintance, but I’ve never forgotten that day. I was ten, and the words sunk in deeply...I somehow didn’t measure up.
To this day, I view that morning at the bus stop as a life-changing one. It was when my eyes were opened to world around me.
In this world girls must live on carrots and celery, exercise 24-7, and always have themselves perfectly put together from head to toe. In this world, I never quite measure up.
I will never be a size two, I really don’t enjoy putting on makeup, and I regularly go six months between haircuts.
There have been seasons in my life when I was content with how I look—this has not been one of them.
When my husband proposed to me, images of me in a white satin gown danced through my head, and a new health obsession was born. The next 7 months were hectic ones as I fought to lose weight, but only seemed to gain. It seemed like the stress of getting married wasn’t my friend.
As hard as I tried to fit into my Barbie image, it was a no go.
But then I stumbled across something recently. I read an entry in a blog by Christian author and speaker Lysa Terkeurst. In her blog she wrote, “My focus has got to be on eating healthy as an act of worship to God not the numbers on the scale.”
What a concept. I’d never thought about it this way. I’d always wondered where the balance was between not caring about food and exercise and obsessing over it. I’ve struggled for years to find a middle ground, and here it is, worship.
When I try my best to eat healthy and exercise my body, I am worshiping God. I am keeping the body he created healthy and whole. I am taking steps to ensure that I can go and do anything the Lord plans for me, all by taking care of my body.
This is a new concept for me, so I’m not exactly sure how this will play out in the long run, but I do know it’s a start.
What do you think healthy lifestyle worship looks like? How could you integrate this concept into your own life?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Love... always protects

To me, there’s nothing safer than feeling my husband’s arm around my shoulder on a busy street. When I feel his arm, I know that he’s looking out for me, and will make sure we get to our destination safely. I feel protected in those moments. I feel loved.

1 Corinthians 13:7 says that Love “always protects.” But what does this mean when it comes to marriage? What does protecting our marriages look like?

Around the time my husband and I were getting married, we watched several significant relationships end in divorce. It was a very sobering thing to watch during such a happy time in our lives. We have had many discussions since then on how we could prevent divorce from ever cropping up in our relationship. Still relatively new to marriage, we don’t have a full answer to this issue, but we do know that protecting our marriage is a good start.

Here’s a few areas that we try to protect on a daily basis:

Our thoughts: Keeping our thoughts pure, praying for God to banish thoughts that aren’t.

Our communication: Talking about everything, even the uncomfortable issues. Not allowing anger build up over time, but instead discussing our concerns.

Our spiritual life: Meeting together on a daily basis to read God’s word and pray. Encouraging each other in our walk with God.

Our free time: Intentionally spending time together. It’s easy to get caught up in the business of life, but we have found that our relationships thrives on simple things like a walk in the park or an ice cream run.

Our focus: We always strive to keep our eyes on God. He is the ultimate protector of our marriage.

What areas of your marriage need protected? Where does God need to mend some holes? God will provide dear ones in ways big and small.
I’ll leave you with a few verses on God’s protection. May you seek and find his help wherever you may need it.

Psalm 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Psalm 32:7
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 37:28
For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off

2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.