The Potter’s Clay 

by Deborah Smith Plemmons 

I was but a lump of shapeless clay,

Until I was touched by the Potter one day.

With His hands, He started molding me

Into what He would have me to be.
I did not resist His gentle touch,

Though I thought I’d not amount to much.

He smoothed rough edges, getting rid of self.

I really didn’t want to sit on a shelf.
He fashioned me after His own image.

I remained pliable to avoid any damage.

Thank you, God, for not giving up on me.

I pray I’ll be all you want me to be.
God is the Potter and I am the clay.

He molded me into what I am today.

I feel now I’m a vessel fit for His use;

A vessel of honor to share His truths.

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Remember Who you belong to!

When you feel like you can’t handle the task and you ask yourself:  “Who’s your Daddy?” You can feel secure – not because of you, but because of Who you belong to.  Remember Who He is, and that you belong to Him:

He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End.  (Revelation 22:13)  He’s the keeper of creation and the Creator of all.  (Genesis 1:1, John 1:3, 2 Peter 3:7)  He’s the architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.  (Psalms 8:3, 147:4)  He always was, always is, always will be (Hebrews 13:8) – unmoved, unchanged, undefeated and never undone.  He was bruised, but brought healing.  He was pierced, but eases pain.  He was persecuted, but brought freedom.  He was dead and brings life.  He has risen to bring power and He reigns to bring peace.  (Isaiah 53:3-5, 61:1-3)

The world can’t understand Him.  Armies can’t defeat Him.  Schools can’t explain Him.  And leaders… they can’t ignore Him.  Herod couldn’t kill Him;  Nero couldn’t crush Him;  the New Age cannot replace Him, and Oprah cannot explain Him away.

Remind yourself that He is Light; (John 8:12) He is Love; (1 John 4:8) He is longevity and He is the LORD!  (Philippians 2:11)  He is goodness and kindness and faithfulness, and He is God!  (Exodus 34:6) He is holy and righteous, powerful and pure.  (Psalm 145:17, 29:4)  His ways are right, His Word eternal, His Will unchanging, and His Mind is on us!  (Deuteronomy 32:4, John 6:68, Malachi 3:6, Psalm 115:12)  He’s our Saviour, our Guide, our Peace, our Joy, our Comfort, our LORD, and He rules our lives.  (Matthew 18:11, Luke 2:11, Psalm 48:14, Isaiah 9:6, John 15:11, John 14:16, Psalm 103:19)

I serve Him because His bond is love, His yoke is easy, His burden is light, and His goal for us is abundant life.  (Colossians 3:14, Matthew 11:30, John 10:10)  I follow Him because He’s the Wisdom of the wise, the Power of the powerful, the Ancient of Days, the Ruler of rulers, the Leader of all leaders!  (Proverbs 8:12-35, Revelation 7:12, Daniel 7:9, 7:22, John 19:11, Romans 13:1)

His goal is a relationship with me…  (John 3:16, Revelation 3:20, John 15:14)

He’ll never leave you, never forsake you, never mislead you, never forget you, never overlook you, and never cancel your appointment in His appointment Book.  Never!  (Hebrews 13:5, Isaiah 49:16, Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 1:6)

When you fall, He’ll lift you up.  When you fail, He’ll forgive you.  When you’re weak, He’s strong.  When you’re lost, He’s your way.  When you’re afraid, He’s your courage.  When you stumble, He will steady you.  When you’re hurt, He’s gonna heal you.  When you’re broken, He will mend you.  When you’re blind, He will lead you.  When you’re hungry, He will feed you.  When you face trials, He is with you!  (Psalm 147:6, Psalm 103:3, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, John 14:6, Joshua 1:9, Proverbs 3:23, Malachi 4:2, Psalm 34:18, Psalm 23:3, Isaiah 42:16, John 6:51, John 4:10, Matthew 28:20)

When I face persecution, He shields me.  When I face problems, He will comfort me.  When I face loss, He will provide for me.  And when we face death, He will carry us all Home to meet Him!  (Psalm 33:20, Psalm 23:4, Philippians 4:19, Isaiah 40:11, 46:4)

He is everything, for everybody, everywhere, every time, and in every way!  (Ephesians 1:21-23)

He is your God, and THAT is Who you belong to!

~Taken from sermon by Priscilla Shirer ~

The Story

This is a story:
A story about a Hero and a damsel,
a villain and a scandal…
So bend down, untie your sandals,
’cause where we’re going is holy ground.  (Exodus 3:5)

Starts like this:

In the beginning there was the Hero.  (Genesis 1:1)
And the Hero was the Father.
And the Hero was the Spirit.
And the Hero was the Son.
And if this hurts your head already, welcome to the kingdom.
Immutable, inscrutable, infinitely glad-hearted Triune Perfection;
His ancient love reverberated off each Member with no hint of dissension.
Perfect in unity,
Perfect in diversity,
Holy trinity.

And even before the rocks could cry out His Name, He was singing His own praises –
How could He not?
You know anyone else who goes by “The Rock of Ages”?
He needed nothing from no one,
as if something made could improve upon His majesty.
His majesty’s amp was already at 11.
And if this was the end of our story,
that’d be enough for us to glory for a thousand eternities at Him.

But our story isn’t over because one day the Hero started speaking.
And when He started speaking, things started being:  (Genesis 1 & 2)
Light, night, wind, water, mud, moons, seas and spiders,
swimmers and flyers, gallopers and gliders,
Stars and seasons, rhyme and reason to all of it, and all of it was good.
And suddenly all the commotion came to a standstill,
when our Hero bent down and fashioned His damsel.
God leaned over our body of earth,
breathed life into our lungs, made our heart beat from dirt.
He put light into our eyes
He gave us each other and He gave us Himself as a prize.  (Philippians 3:14)
And we were naked and were not ashamed.

But of course, the plot thickens…
Enter stage right The Villain.

The serpent was craftier than any beast in the garden.  (Genesis 3)
He made a beeline for the tree line and found Eve and her husband,
and in less than fifty words he convinced perfectly satisfied people
they were starving to death.
And since that day God’s damsel has known nothing but starving to death;
The poison of asps is heavy on her breath.
We traded the glory of the incorruptible God for a silly substitute
like a school kid duped into giving up his brand new Jordan’s for a pair of worn out tennis shoes.
We became dark-hearted.
Bent inward on a mission to find within ourselves the solution,
like trying to number the stars while gazing through L.A.’s air pollution.
We couldn’t see and we fell in love with lesser things;
and we bought them each a diamond ring,
and we betrayed our Maker, our Husband, our King.

Let me clarify:

‘Cause this doesn’t just apply to the treacherous and murderous –
even the best of us are as bad as the worst of us:  (Romans 3:23)
Outwardly clean, but inside full of dead men’s bones.  (Matthew 23:27)
Like the Taj Mahal, it looks good and all but there’s nobody home.
And one terrible day, we looked around,
but there was no more villain to be found:
he’d crawled inside of us!
Like a virus, rewired us
and now the damsel is the villain as well!
We tied our own self to the train tracks, the horn blows
and careening toward us
is 10’000 tons of God’s wrath;
sounds so loud, you can barely hear the screaming chorus,
“Who will save us from the body of this death?!”  (Romans 7:24)

Enter stage left, Jesus of Nazareth

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  (John 1:14)
He came lowly.
Perfectly holy.
He came like a groom on His way to the altar to meet the bride
and for the dowry, He had no cash so He paid with his life.  (1 Corinthians 6:20)

Are you shocked by the consequence of sin?
Be more shocked at the mercy of Him!
Couldn’t free ourselves, so Christ became our freedom;  (Galatians 5:1)
Couldn’t fill these lungs, so He became our breathing.
We live because He died.  (2 Timothy 1:10)
Once a harlot now a bride.
Sins were scarlet, now made white.  (Isaiah 1:18)
Perfect by proxy,
Saved by a surrogate,
Holy through Him – (Romans 5:9)
the Hero and the damsel are one once again.  (Revelation 19:7)

But wait:

I haven’t told you the best part yet.
See, as if there wasn’t enough Hero already to impress you,
the best part about this story, is this story is true.
The only fairytale that’s not a fairytale:
So long, Mother Goose!
Farewell, Dr. Seuss!

This here’s the genuine article:

God made.
We strayed.
God’s love displayed 
God-Man gives grace,
stands in our place:
Our sins erased,
debt paid always.
So fall on your face,
and give God all praise.

~ Written and performed by:  Jimmy Needham ~

The greatest story

Some days your own resolve is strong, and other days you bend…
It’s two steps forward, one step back and a stumble now and then.
You wonder if you’ll ever really make the difference you’ve prayed that you will
Well, I know that prayer will be fulfilled
’cause…

Your life, woven day by day,
is a new design of the glory God displays
on the canvas of creation,
through the poem of history;
in the pattern of redemption
running through the tapestry…
Your life in Christ can be
the greatest story ever told!

You cannot see the hands of God or feel the grace that flows
from Him through you to those you touch in ways you’ll never know…
You cannot measure worth by human standards – that’s always a lie:
oh, you have to see through heaven’s Eyes
how…

Your life, woven day by day,
is a new design of the glory God displays
on the canvas of creation,
through the poem of history;
in the pattern of redemption
running through the tapestry…
Your life in Christ can be
the greatest story ever told!

In the light of eternity,
standing face to Face, you will finally see…
for the very first time you’ll understand
your perfect place in the Master’s plan
and how…

Your life, woven day by day,
is a new design of the glory God displays
on the canvas of creation,
through the poem of history;
in the pattern of redemption
running through the tapestry…
Your life in Christ can be
the greatest story ever told!

~ Written by:  Charlie Peacock & Douglas McKelvey
Performed by:  Avalon ~

Sparrows

Two sparrowsMatthew 6

26  “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”

Matthew 10

29  “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  30  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  31  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

Luke 12

24  “Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?  30 … your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  31  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.  32  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

The God Who holds the stars…

My life is in His Hands
Isaiah 40

12  Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?  … 15  Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing.  (http://craigtowens.com/2009/04/22/gods-big-hands/)

Psalm 148

1  Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise Him in the heights.  2  Praise ye Him, all his angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts.  3  Praise ye Him, sun and moon: praise Him, all ye stars of light.  4  Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.  5  Let them praise the Name of the LORD: for He commanded, and they were created.  6  He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: He hath made a decree which shall not pass.  7  Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:  8  Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling His Word:  9  Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:  10  Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:  11  Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:  12  Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:  13  Let them praise the Name of the LORD: for His Name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven.  14  He also exalteth the horn of His people, the praise of all His saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto Him. Praise ye the LORD.

Who you are to Me

You see yourself in the mirror of the temporary, (1 Corinthians 13:12)
and you think that your worth is something to be achieved (Galatians 2:16)
when your value really is a question of identity… (Galatians 3:26)
Has it ever crossed your mind who you are to Me?

You’re the precious child that I created; (Psalm 139:13-16, Isaiah 44:21-24)
(who you are to Me)
bought with a price, you’re My beloved! (1 Corinthians 6:20, Isaiah 43:1, Isaiah 52:3, Song of Solomon 7:10)
(who you are to Me)
Open your eyes and I’ll show you how to see what I see… (Luke 18:41, Revelation 3:17-18)
If you will just believe that you are who you are in Me (Ephesians 1:6)

Defusing the bomb instilled within the minds of children:
you’re the life inside a body that refuses to believe…
A revelation of My love is waiting just to be received – (1 John 4:9-10, 19)
won’t you let Me show you who you are to Me?

And I love you so much that I crossed the great divide and (1 Timothy 2:4-6, Mark 15:39)
I love you so much that I sent My only Son to die… (John 3:16, John 1:9-14)
And there’s no one who could ever take your place in My heart:
I want you to know that I love you right where you are!

~ Lyrics by: Michael Boggs & Mike Weaver
Artist:  Big Daddy Weave
Album: Every Time I Breathe ~

You are what you are for a reason

You are who you are for a reason.
You’re part of an intricate plan.
You’re a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God’s special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb.
You’re just what He wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones He chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God’s plan in mind,
And they bear the Master’s seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into His likeness you’d grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You’ve been formed by the Master’s rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!

~ Written by:  Russell Kelfer ~

Psalm 139:13-16
“For Thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”

Genesis 1:27, 31
“So God created man in His Own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. …  And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

1 Peter 2:9
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light…”

Wish

For just a moment, I wish I could have been there
to see Your first step, hear Your very first word…
Tell me, did You ever fall and scrape Your knee?
Did You know Your wounds would one day heal the world?  (Isaiah 53:3-9)

For just one moment, I wish I could have seen You growing,
learning the ways of a carpenter’s son.  (Mark 6:1-6)
Just a little Boy gazing at the stars,
did You remember creating every one?  (Psalm 8:3-4, Psalm 33:6, Psalm 147:4)

If You passed by, would I have seen a Child or a King?
Would I have known?

I wish I could have been there
my only wish is to see You, face to Face!
Wish I could have been there
just to see You, Jesus, face to Face…

For just a moment, I wish I could have been there
when You left Your footprints upon the waves (Matthew 14:25)
To walk along beside You and never look away,
just Your whisper and the wind and sea obey (Mark 4:39)

To see You feed the people (Matthew 14:19-20, Matthew 15:36-37)
To feel Your healing in Your touch (Luke 6:19, Luke 22:50-51)

I wish I could have been there
My only wish is to see You, face to Face!
Wish I could have been there
Just to see You, Jesus, face to Face…

To hear You pray in the garden alone:  (Matthew 26:36-44, Mark 14:32-40)
laying down Your will with each tear…
To see You walk that lonely road
willing to die for me…
(John 11:49-52, Romans 6:23)

And in that moment I know I should have been there –
You took my cross and gave Your life…
And you live again, oh and You live again!  (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 & John 20)

Wish I could have been there
my only wish is to see You rise again!
Wish I could have been there
my only wish is to see You, Jesus, face to Face

Someday I’ll be there, I’m gonna be there:
I’ll see Your Face, Your mercy, Your grace…
Someday, someday I’m going to see You, Jesus, face to Face (Ephesians 1:10, Revelation 21:3)

~ Performed by:  Brian Littrell
Album:  Welcome Home (2006)

Written by:  Joy Elizabeth Williams, Jason McArthur, Robert Douglas Graves ~

Soos die klei / Like the clay

Gladly sharing the lyrics of an Afrikaans Children’s song with you:

Soos die klei in die hand van die pottebakker
So is ek en U hand, o Heer

Soos die klei in die hand van die pottebakker
So maak U my ‘n beeld tot U eer

Vorm my, Here God,
vorm my en vou my al kry ek seer
Vorm my, Here God,
U weet hoe U my wil hê, o Heer

Like the clay in the hand of the potter
So am I in Your hand, o Lord
Like the clay in the hand of the potter
You’re making me into an image to Your honour

Shape me, Lord God,
shape me and mold me although it’s sore
Shape me, Lord God
You know how You want me to be, o Lord

~ Traditional Afrikaans song ~

Isaiah 64:8 
“But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.”

Jeremiah 18:2-6 
“Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.  Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.  Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,  O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.”