Saturday, July 21, 2012

Damaged Goods

In the beginning Earth was beyond perfect. Eden knew no death, there were no damaging elements, there was no disappointment; there was no pain.

Things have changed.

Incredible beauty all around us, within us, is a constant reminder of a once pristine planet, of unflawed bodies and innocent souls. But many things have become what they were never meant to be.

Life can sometime beat us up, wear us down; we are left battered and bruised and scarred; faces stained lines of strain and with tears, hopes dashed and trust lost.

What good can possibly come of such things?

The One who Created the perfect in the first place longs for us to realize it again. He promises a day when it will be so again. In the meantime, He specializes in making new the old, repairing the broken, building up the fallen, finding the lost, healing the hurt.

It is impossible for our finite minds to understand how He does this, but oh how we long for it! And are hearts are glad when we see it is so.

One of my favorite earthly examples of these heavenly happenings is illustrated in this description of an ancient custom:

              “When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something suffers damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.”  ~ Billie Mobayed

 The beauty of Eden began from nothing and became something incredible. From the perfect dust, the dirt, the clay of Eden human life was lovingly formed. And although we are no longer the perfect image of those early formations, we are still clay in the hands of the same loving Creator. We are His artistic formations of dirt.

In Jeremiah 18:1-12, and 2 Corinthians 4:7, where we are compared to lumps of clay on the potter’s wheel, being made into something of beauty and function, jars of dirt designed to carry around inside of us the incredible perfect beauty of the Creator Himself.

He made us. He has the power to remake us when we are damaged or broken. And He loves to do so. It is His desire that we attain to the beauty, the function, the form of Eden.

I am thankful today, for something I do not fully understand – that I come from dirt. That I was created for beauty and for greatness. That when I am damaged, I can be remade into something even more beautiful; something even greater.

                  “The potter adds dry clay to water and mixes vigorously until smooth. He pours the blend into progressively smaller sieves to strain out even the tiniest of impurities; shaking, tipping and turning the mixture until it is the consistency of his desire.
                  This newly formed lump sits on a shelf until it is just right for breaking, and kneading and pounding into submission; and then around and around on the wheel it goes, the potter’s hands guiding the lump into a useful and beautiful shape.
                  Off the wheel a design is added, and then the vessel is placed into an oven hot enough to build strength, and to bring out the true colors.
                  Could it be that what seems to be trouble without end is actually the Master Potter bringing His creative thought of you into being?”   ~ Excerpt from “Thank You 1095-Take the Thank You Challenge”

You are beautiful. You are more than your loss; you are more than your past. You are His work of art. And if you are damaged, His remaking of you will bring about a masterpiece that will outshine those who have known no pain.
~ Connie

Post Script:
Famous damaged goods in the Bible:
Noah was a drunk; Elijah was suicidal; Peter was a coward and a liar; Jacob was a deceiver and a manipulator; Matthew was a thief; Thomas was a doubter; Rahab was a prostitute; Mary Magdalene was a prostitute; The Samaritan woman was divorced ( a lot!); Samson was a womanizer; David was an adulterer and a murderer

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Stretching Times

I am thankful today for the stretching times. For the days and months and years; the challenges that force me to step outside my comfort zone, learn something new, try something brave.

There are mountains to climb, rivers to cross, giants to slay, fears to conquer, dreams to be chased, hopes to be realized, stars to be reached for, gold rings to grasp…. and none of these come easy.

To be brave is not easy; but to be brave is the key to finally stretching far enough.

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Only a brave person is willing to honestly admit, and fearlessly to face, what a sincere and logical mind discovers.”
~ Roden of Alexandria

“ A brave man is a man who dares to look the devil in the face and tell him he is a devil.”
~ James A. Garfield

“All brave men love; for he only is brave who has affections to fight for, whether in the daily battle of life, or in physical contests.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. Therefore do not take lightly the perils of battle.”
~ Thucydides

“Thank You for the valleys, and the waiting times. For in those lonely hours Your comfort has been mine.
Thank You for the baby steps, and for when I fall. For it is when I’m small and weak I need You most of all.
Thank You for the mountains I am forced to climb. For on those rocky cliffs I have grown my wings to fly.”
~ Connie Ruth Christiansen -- Excerpt from "Thank You 1095-Take the Thank You Challenge"

“Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.”
~ Alan Alda

Be Brave! Nothing is Impossible!
~ Connie

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July Reflection

I am thankful to day for the good ol’ U.S.A.

This country is one of contradiction, to be sure
There is beauty and there is ugly;

There are people peacefully working together to accomplish great things
and there are stormy political battles;

There are millionaires and there are
people living on the streets;

There is safety and there is fear,
There is love and there is hate,
There is greed and there is great compassion;

It is not perfect, it is not Eden,
but for all its flaws it is lovely;

I am so grateful to the founders of this nation,
for their dream of a better place,
for their courage to follow that dream;

 I am grateful for the men and women who have
laid down their lives in order to keep that dream alive;

I am grateful for the freedom to follow my own dreams
and to worship as my conscious dictates;

For all her flaws this country is still the best,
the brightest,
and the only place I want to call home;

May we never take for granted
the good that is here;

And may we continue to believe for,
dream for,
and fight for the better that we can be;

God Bless America!

Happy 4th!
~ Connie

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