Sinners and Saints
From its very beginning the members of the Christian Community were-are a mixed bunch made up of saints and sinners. It also includes many who are not sure "what" they are and some who don't seem to care one way or another.
St. Augustine hints at an answer to the question: "Why does God choose such a mixed-up bunch (as you and me) to be his followers?" He wanted "cracked" followers who had an incentive to be humble because he knew that the only sin that would prevent a person from climbing to heaven was pride. No one who believes they already are God is likely to seek God or strive for heaven. After all why strive for heaven when you believe that you are already there? Augustine put it this way: "The proud person instead of seeking the God who IS absolute being, wants to be his own absolute being. Thus every proud person is an imposter, pretending to be something he is not. Who then is the good person? He is that one who confesses that he is not what God is and that he holds from God whatever good he claims to have, realizing that of himself he is nothing but sin and that he possesses virtue only as a gift from God."
--adapted with added pointless points ...
Take Pride In Your Scars. . . Make Them Your Strength.
Does a leaf, when it falls from the tree in summer, feel defeated by the heat?
The tree says to the leaf: "That’s the cycle of life. You may think you’re going to die, but you live on in me. It’s thanks to you that I’m alive, because I can breathe. It’s also thanks to you that I have felt loved, because I was able to give shade to the weary traveller. Your sap is in my sap, we are one thing."
Does a man who spent years preparing to climb the highest mountain in the world feel defeated on reaching that mountain and discovering that nature has cloaked the summit in storm clouds?
The man says to the mountain: "You don’t want me this time, but the weather will change and, one day, I will make it to the top. Meanwhile, you’ll still be here waiting for me."
Does a young man, rejected by his first love, declare that love does not exist? The young man says to himself: "I’ll find someone better able to understand what I feel. And then I will be happy for the rest of my days."
Pointless Pointer’s REFLECTION:
Losing a battle or losing everything we thought we possessed will bring us moments of sadness, but when those moments pass, we will discover the hidden strength that exists in each of us, a strength that will surprise us and increase our self-respect.
Wait patiently for the right moment to act. Do not let the next opportunity slip.
Take pride in your scars. Scars are medals branded on the flesh, and your enemies will be frightened by them because they are proof of your long experience of battle. Scars speak more loudly than the swords that caused them.
. . . . let me tell you this story:
GOD SPEAK TO ME!
The man whispered, "God, speak to me" and a songbird sang.
But, the man did not hear. So the man yelled,
"God, speak to me"
and the thunder rolled across the sky.
But, the man did not listen. The man looked around and said, "God let me see you." And a star shined brightly.
But the man did not see. And, the man shouted, "God show me a miracle."
And, a life was born.
But, the man did not notice. So, the man cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are here. " Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man.
But, the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.
I found this to be a great reminder that God is always around us in the little and simple things that we take for granted ... even in our electronic age .. so I would like to add one more:
The man cried, "God, I need your help!" And an e-mail arrived reaching out
with good news and encouragement. But, the man deleted it and continued crying.....
-- author unknown --
Don't miss out on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way that you expect.
Expect the unexpected..... Don't limit the ways God speaks. He speaks in his own time, in his ways and in his own condition.
There is only one GOD . . . and he is no YOU!
Have A Happy Day!
THE CRACKED POT
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot always arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream:
“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“I have been able, for the past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path.”
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot look notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers in the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half of its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flowers’ seed on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you have watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the master’s table. Without you just being the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”
-from a forgotten source
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father’s table.
In God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste.
So as we seek ways to minister together, and as God calls you to the tasks he has appointed for you, don’t be afraid of your flaws.
Acknowledge them, and allow Him to take advantage of them, and you too can be the cause of beauty in His pathway.
Go out boldly, knowing that in our weakness we find his strength, and that, “In Him every one of God’s promises is a Yes!