God's Word for Today

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rearing teenagers is not for sissies or cowards…

How to begin…

As a Christian, as a mom there are times when I feel overwhelmed.

Case in point, last night on the way to church the girlchild was behind the wheel. The customary mode of operation is that as soon as her butt hits the seat there is an automatic change in the radio station. The concept of driving without music is just not an option. So there I sit in the passenger seat and it begins to wash over me. I am listening to the words that are pouring forth  from the radio and I am in shock.

I continue to listen, wondering when the pod person is going to bust forth from my child's chest, because surely my sweet precious child would never listen to such as this. I cast a glance over to the drives side and watch as we travel along.

Song number two comes on and again I am listing to the lyrics and becoming more and more alarmed. When my brain and my heart could take no more, fortunately we had come to a stop sigh. I had a moment to ask without distracting her, I asked “Do you ever listen to the words of your music?” as I reached up and enforced my parental authority and switched it over to my Christian radio station.

Her answer….it was a curt “NO!”

At this point I am contemplating the Lords wisdom, exactly what was He thinking when He knit this child together in my womb…cause I’m not getting it! Now this is not my first rodeo. My son is now 24, so I have been down this teenage road before. I have the scars to prove it.

Here is the thing, both my children have been reared with Christian values since the day they were born. It is talked about, discussed daily. It is lived everyday, practiced as best we can everyday. The plumb line of behavior that is expected is set according to the biblical standard laid out in God’s word.

So as a mom I expressed my distress as to the the inappropriate content I had just experienced.

“It’s just a song Mom!”

My eyes have now fallen out of my head and my brain is millimeters for exploding…..”Just a song” she says…

Y’all there are times when I just want to run and hide. The world expresses itself so very loudly. Our young people see nothing wrong with the dumbing down of morality. I begin to wonder, even in a home where Christian morals are discussed, certain behavior is set as an expectation, the worlds still inserts it’s low bar of expectations into our daily lives.

I take a deep breath, and begin “It may be just a song, but the lyrics are endorsing things that God finds objectionable. God does not want us listing to or participating in things that go against His Word.”

I get the look…..at this point y’all I was done. I just wanted to smack her “upsidethehead”  and then reach in and retrieve her brain and give it a good firm shake.

Parenting is so hard y’all, being a Christina in an evil word is even more difficult. Daily I find areas of grey. Confession, as a mature Christian I struggle to weed through the crap the world places before me, what will I watch, what will I read, what will I participate in. I have to make choices, I may want to watch this or that, but I have to consider what God want first. I fail sometimes….I fail a lot actually. But I know where the lines are drawn. In my head and in my heart I know almost instantly when I cross it. Most of the time I listen, I delete a move from the DVR, or I switch the channel or delete a download from my Kindle. I am a work in progress like we all are. Our teenagers, even more so. They are so influenced and bendable by the things and people they come in contact with.

For our young people it is much more perilous. The have the disadvantage of walking around with the axis of the world shifting with their every step. With their limited world view, the emphasis placed on everything being acceptable it is a perilous thin line they walk every day. All they see is that all of us uninformed adults are trying to tell them what to do. We don’t know anything and they know everything. The axis of the earth really does shift with their every step because it is anchored firmly wherever they may be standing.

Rearing teenagers is not for sissies or cowards…

Did she here what I said, probably not. Her response to my comment about God not approving of the content of the song…..”Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion Mom!”

I’m thinking “upsidethehead” again but since we had just entered the family center at church I thought better of it.

Here’s a thought! Wouldn’t it be great if teenagers where like computers. When they get full of viruses and garbage you could just wipe the hard drive clean and replace all the junk with clean new programming…..THAT’S WHAT I WANT!

But we don’t live in a perfect world and I can’t wipe my child's brain clean.

I can continue to place the right ideas before her. I pray for both of my children every day. It truly is my best line of defense again the relentless and enticing evil that pervades the world today.

Against my better judgment I did a Google search for the two songs that were on the radio last night. If you want your brain to explode as well you can follow the links below.





Same Love

Girl I wanna lay you down

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What’s next: What I’m learning from clay, part two


I was listening to the radio this morning.

I love listening to Victory 91.5. This is a station based here in the state where I live but you can also listen on the internet if you want to check it out. They are truly a radio ministry. They read scripture and pray on the air several times a day. If you haven’t tuned in you should!

In my prayer time this morning I was seeking some direction, some discernment in what I need to do. Do I need to seek some part time employment, no I need to commit to facilitate a bible study, do I need to sign up for a bible study, do I, do I, do I……I was asking for direction. A LOT of direction. The great thing about God is that no matter how much or what you place before him his well of attentiveness is bottomless. He never fails to draw near to listen.

As I was driving this morning I was listening to a small teaching moment in between songs and the subject matter was the Parable of the Talents.

The theme of the teaching moment was focusing on money management, however when they closed out the speaker said this:

“God expects you to use the gifts he has given you.”

It was one of those moments, very small, however it was like God was waving a red flag in front of me. I snatched a pad of paper from the floor board of the car and at the next red light I quickly scribble the sentence down.

In the parable (MT 25:14-30) the first servant took the resources that his master had given him and made a smart investment, so did the second. However the third servant was motivated by fear and took the money his master had given him and buried it in the ground. He allowed his fear to influence him and he missed the blessing that God as well as his earthly master had waiting for him.

I began to think about the questions I had been placing before God earlier in the day.

It was a flashing yellow road sign and it said.

“God expects you to use the gifts he has given you.”

I am not sure what will happen next, I am not sure where working with the clay will lead.

What I do know is that God has placed this opportunity before me and I need to be obedient and see where it will lead. I may still seek a small part time job, I may still do a bible study but I feel certain that working with the clay will be a big part of my life, at least for right now anyway.




Here is what I found on Biblegateway.com, love that site too….

Talents in the Bible: Matthew 25:14-30

In the "parable of the talents," we get an idea of what God expects us to do here on earth. We're all given talents, some great and some small--but whether your talent is epic or miniscule, we glorify God when we use it to further his kingdom. God isn't rating His followers based on the number of converts they win over or the number of church pews they fill; He's interested in the passion with which we use whatever gifts he has given us.

Matthew 25:14-30

The Parable of the Bags of Gold

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Saturday, August 3, 2013

What I learn from clay…

I would love to be able to share that I am out of my hormonal funk. Unfortunately this nasty cloud of toxic thinking still hovers. It feels as if it is stuck to me with super glue.  On the upside I do recognize that being the mature grown woman I am I do not have to let it invade all areas of my life. I may feel crappy emotionally as well as physically, this does not give license to make the others with in my sphere of influence miserable.

I may want to inflict bodily harm and I am trying my best to keep it to myself.

But I digress.

I was looking for some relevant scripture to post over on the facebook page I set up for our pottery studio this morning. If you want to go over and take a look at our page here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/WildcatPottery. I try to keep it updated with all our current inventory.

But I digress again…

maintaining focus also seems to be influenced by hormonal deficiencies…

Anyhoooo, I found this piece of scripture from Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 18:3-4

3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 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’s my take away fro,m this verse?

“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands”

I just had to laugh, it is so true. The woman who set up the studio commented to me the other day about this very thing. We were discussing how to properly price our items. She said “That’s why most pottery is so expensive!” There is a HUGE percentage of operator error involved. For every one successful piece there are probably several that failed. I can attest to that with 100% certainty. I am still shaking off the discontent at having pulled a piece from the kiln only to have the glaze be TOTALLY not want I wanted.

When I think of how God is my Heavenly Potter, I recognize how very true and relevant that is to me in my every day life.

If I will allow myself to be molded by His direction then things in my life will go as He plans.

However there are a lot of variables in getting a successful end result in pottery. Just like there are a lot of Heavenly variables to staying or trying to stay in right relationship with God.

There are a few hard and fast rules for clay and God.

Clay can not be rushed. There are some things you can do to speed the process along but the reality is that there is no way to start and finished a bowl or tea pot or whatever it is you are making in one sitting.

God can not be rushed. His timing and His time are His alone. When I seek instant results I am always looking to the world and not to Him.

Next, and this one is HUGE! I am an imperfect being. I will never be able to achieve perfection in anything I do. There will always be some element of design or form or whatever that will not turn out as I want it to be. I know there are lots of production potters out there that have been practicing their craft for decades, they may be able to toss a lump of clay on the wheel and produce vessel after vessel all to the same specifications. This takes decades of practice and since I am in the second half of my life I am still working with a HUGE learning curve.

Most days I am happy if I can actually get the clay to turn into what I have in my head. The other day I sat down to begin making another tea pot. I am slightly obsessed with them these days. Well the end result was not a tea pot.

God is perfect and I am not!

Lastly, what really spoke to me in the Jeremiah text was “But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands”. How many times have I been at the wheel and have something I was working on become marred in my hands. Too many times to count.

I will share with you one of our favorite saying over at the pottery studio: “It’s JUST clay!” It’s dirt and water and a few other thing tossed in the mix but the reality is that it's just clay. If is fails there is always more clay at hand. If it fails we just toss it in the recycled clay bucket and make it into new clay. If it fails we turn it not a water bowl for the dog or sponge bowl for the studio or another item for the $1 table at our next sale. 

Nothing ever goes to waste. I like that!

Then there is Isaiah 64:8

8 Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.

When I look deep into the comparison between the clay in my hands and the process of being molded and shaped by My Heavenly Father I am humbled by the obvious lesson there.

When I think of the lengthy process I go through to actually have an idea in my head and then bring it to completion. Well, let's just say that I am working on Tea Pot #4 now because models one through three all leak, dribble or wobble in some way shape or form.

Anybody want a Doorstopper Tea Pot or a Flower Pot Tea Pot or a….. just let me know!

Every time I sit at the wheel I am reminded of the process that God goes though with me on a daily basis.

Will I be obedient?

Will I be forgiving?

Will I be a bold witness?

Will I be compassionate?

Will I be whatever He wants to mold me into for today!

He really is The Potter and I am just a humble lump of clay!



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