'Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand' declares the Lord.
- Each one of us is in the hand of God.
- God wants to work in our lives.
- He wants to be the potter and we can be the clay.
- Let Him do His perfect work and the results will astound you!
PRAYER: Lord, like clay in the hand of a potter, I place my life in Your hands. Amen.
The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church
in suburban Brooklyn , arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.
They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18
were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm - hit the area and lasted for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high. The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home.
On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity, so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.
By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was
trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for
the next bus 45 minutes later.
She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area. Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?" The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials 'EBG' were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria .
The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten "The Tablecloth". The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria . When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her
husband or her home again. The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home. That was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job. What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the
pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.
One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving.
The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how
could there be two tablecloths so much alike?
He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again in all the 35 years between.
The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten
Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.
He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on
the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.
True story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid who says God does work in mysterious ways.
A man is stopped by the police at midnight and asked where he’s going.
“I’m on the way to listen to a lecture about the effects of alcohol and drug abuse on the human body.”
The policeman asks,
“Really? And who’s going to give a lecture at this time of night?
“My wife”, the man replied.
Are you an amplifier or a condenser when it comes to your style of communicating? You probably never thought of using that terminology for how you talk to someone.
In communicating, it's simply this: a person who is an amplifier is "someone who communicates by sharing what they have to say in great volumes of details," according to author and psychologist Dr Norman Wright.
Someone whose style of communicating is that of being a condenser is one "who is most comfortable sharing little more than what is absolutely necessary." Little is much in their eyes as far as how many words they use to communicate.
Dr Wright goes on to say, "amplifiers give a number of descriptive sentences as they talk, while condensers give one or two sentences. In approximately 70 percent of marriages, the man is the condenser and the woman is the amplifier. "Neither is a negative trait," Dr Wright points out - they're just DIFFERENT as to the amount of words they use when talking and also DIFFERENT in what they'd prefer others to use when talking to them. Often, "the amplifier wishes his or her partner would share more, while the condenser wishes his or her partner would share less. It is only when each of you adapts to the style of your partner that real communication occurs." That's a difficult thing to do - especially when each of us is sure that our way of communicating is the preferable way. But just because we think that our way of communicating is the way everyone should do it, doesn't mean it's so! God created us all different, "male and female" and we need to work with our differences instead of trying to make everyone do things our way.
Stretching yourself to compromise somewhere in between each of your styles of communicating, when one is an amplifier and the other is a condenser, can be like giving a gift of grace to your spouse when they long for you to use more or less words, when you're talking to them.
As a marriage counselor and author, Dr Gary chapman, points out, "Partnership is shared primarily by communication. One of a wife's deepest desires is to know her husband. When he talks about his thoughts, feelings and desires, she feels he's allowing her into his life. When a husband goes long periods without talking about what he's feeling or thinking, she senses that he's cutting her out, which leads her to feel isolated." That's why it's important if you're a "Condenser" to try to talk more to your spouse if they're an "Amplifier," than you might naturally do if you weren't married to him or her. It's important to the well being of your marital relationship to do so.
But on behalf of someone who is a "Condenser," too many words can flood their thinking where they feel like they're drowning in a "sea of words."
As Dr Les Carter says, "Don't get too wordy. I've found that many people feel that more words mean more attention (or any attention). Not so. In fact, it's usually the opposite. A few well-chosen words strike home better. So leave out minor details and if possible stream-line the presentation - stick to the point."
Steve and I (Cindy) struggled with this issue for years. He's a condenser and I'm an amplifier in our speaking styles. I used to get frustrated with him because he didn't give me enough details when we'd talk. I thought he was withholding from me. I would hunger for him to talk to me more. When I
heard about this concept, I better understood that he wasn't purposefully withholding from me. Giving fewer details was more natural to him. On the other hand, Steve would get frustrated with the amount of words I would use when we'd talk. Now that I look back on it, I often saw his eyes kind of "glass over" as I was speaking to him in great detail. I thought it was rude of him to look so uninvolved with what I was saying. But now I know he just couldn't handle all the information I was giving him. In actuality, I was being as rude to him by giving him all the details, as I thought he was being to me by giving less! In more recent years we've talked about this and have found ways to
compromise on this issue. I try to be less wordy (saving the details for friends who enjoy them) and Steve tries to be wordier. What's amusing is that we've both merged a bit in our communication styles. I'm getting less wordy and Steve is using more words when we talk together. How ironic!
But there are still times when we need each other to bend a little more on this issue. Sometimes I forget and get too detailed when I talk to Steve. So we've worked out a little system. For the most part Steve tries to listen to all that I have to say - knowing it's important to me. But when he's just too tired and needs me to talk a little less, I've given him permission to give me a "code phrase" that when he says it, I know it's as if he's politely saying, "Please condense the number of words you use." The phrase he uses is simply, "Readers Digest Version." He doesn't use it often but when he does I take the cue graciously and shorten what I have to say. And ladies, here's the important part: I don't take offense when he uses it. I need to be gracious on this, as I want him to be with me at other times when I need it. And for Steve, sometimes I need more details when he talks to me, so I
feel I'm able to "enter into his life" a little more deeply. At those times (and I try not to ask for it too often) I ask him to please "talk to me more." And Steve graciously gives me more details. We've both learned to stretch ourselves to accommodate the other on this important part of our relationship.
We're both created differently, and we recognize that. Different isn't bad - it's just different. Embracing our differences helps us to embrace each other in the way God created us. So, as Dr Norman Wright says, "Ladies, if he's an amplifier, go for it. If he's a condenser, keep it brief." And the same things go in reverse order for you men. Work with each other on this and you'll be surprised at how much this can improve your marriage relationship. "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" (Proverbs 12:18.
God Bless! Cindy and Steve Wright
'You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.'
- God loves to bless His people.
- To be blessed is to know His favour on your life.
- As we choose to put God first, this becomes a reality.
- Then we can know what it means to be abundantly blessed.
PRAYER: Lord, as I face this new day, I ask for Your blessing and favour to rest on all I am involved with today. Amen.
Yesterday I went to the Police Station to certify my documents. When I entered at the police station, I found a police officer reading the Bible, in the book of Genesis. I was very impressed so I asked him ' Who killed Abel, Adam's son?"
He answered, "I don't know, ask Sgt. Khumalo over there. He is the one who deals with murder cases..."
"Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?" Jesus answered, "… seventy-seven times." Mat 18:21-22 NIV
Seems to me God gives a lot more grace than we'd ever imagine.
We could do the same.
I'm not for watering down the truth or compromising the gospel. But if a fellow with a pure heart calls God Father, can't I call that same man Brother? If God doesn't make doctrinal perfection a requirement for family membership, should I?
And if we never agree, can't we agree to disagree? If God can tolerate my mistakes, can't I tolerate the mistakes of others? … If God allows me with my foibles and failures to call him Father, shouldn't I extend the same grace to others?
When God Whispers Your Name (Max Lucado)
“Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11, AMP)
Did you know that the Word of God has the power to protect you and keep you from doing the things you know you shouldn’t do? Hebrews tells us that the Word of God is living and active; it’s powerful in our lives. God communicates to us through His written Word, the Bible, and He communicates with us through His spoken Word which can come in many ways. In scripture, God spoke to people through a burning bush, a still small voice, and even a donkey. Today, He may speak to your heart through a friend, a worship song, or something in creation. One thing is for sure, when He does speak, your spirit knows it. There is confirmation in your inner man. God always speaks truth, and truth always sets you free!
God’s Word also protects you. When you hold His Word close to your heart, it acts like a shield around your heart. You hold His Word close to you by meditating on it, focusing on it, thinking about it and declaring it. As you allow His truth to sink into your spirit, it will empower you and change you. It will equip you to live the good life He has prepared for you!
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word which strengthens and protects me. Thank You for speaking truth to my heart. Help me to hear Your voice more clearly that I may live a life pleasing to You in Jesus’ name. Amen.