Tag Archive: usefulness

post by carolnl | | Closed

SYMPHONY, IN WHOLE AND IN PART

french hornThe brass instruments were polished to a mirror gloss. The soothing notes of Handel’s “Allegro” from Concerto Grosso #10 flowed out from the five horns, sweeping over my spirit like water flows swiftly down a canal. The two trumpets, trombone, French horn, and tuba blended–perfection in sound.

Transitioning to “The Queen of the Night’s Aria” from Mozart’s Magic Flute, the first trumpeter changed to a piccolo trumpet. Half the size of a regular trumpet, this small instrument played a much higher range, echoing the shrill, high-pitched sound of an angry woman. It was easy to hear her rage.

Next, the two trumpeters switched to flugelhorns, each with a large cone and wide brass wraparound. Mellow tones streamed out of the horns like liquid gold. The trombone, french horn and tuba filled out the sound and provided bass support. None tried to take the spotlight, but rather played the right notes, enriching and deepening the sound. Trumpet

I thought of the Apostle Paul’s description of the spiritual gifts given to the Church. No gift is for the gratification of its owner; rather, it is given for the good of, and service to, others. Just as the different instruments contribute their own tones to an Aria, each of us adds a unique service to the world.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” I Corinthians 12:4-6

I am no more and no less than any other believer. Is the piccolo trumpet better than the flugelhorn? Or the regular trumpet than the piccolo? No. Each is uniquely prepared for a specific contribution. Where my gifts may not be appropriate in certain situations, God will ‘pick up’ another individual who better fits that need.

Recently, I spoke with a young friend I made in Florida six years ago. We met in the hospital when both our husbands were facing organ transplants. Periodically I would invite Natasha and her five-year-old son, Isaiah, to join me for dinner or to play a game. We shared our faith and prayed for each other. Mike was in and out of the hospital while Jerry was hospitalized until he passed away. In this call Natasha told me her Mike passed away in June of this year. We had a meaningful visit and promised to keep in touch.

As I turned off my cell phone, I thanked God that He has gifted me to develop and maintain relationships for the purpose of encouraging others. I am not envious of anyone else’s gifts, nor do I need to denigrate my own. I am humbly grateful that God has given me gifts which are specific to meeting certain kinds of needs.

Who has God created you to be? Have you sometimes struggled with envy or do you recognize that God has created you for the good of others and will use you specifically through your unique giftedness?

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good…All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” I Corinthians 12:7, 11

post by carolnl | | Closed

Cracked Pots

“I am the Potter, you are the clay …” says an old hymn.

Look for the little mechanic trying to fix our broken-down van

Look for the little mechanic trying to fix our broken-down van

With about 3/4 square inch of clay, team members were asked to depict something, anything. A teeny toilet was crafted by a very hard worker who learns fast and is willing to do whatever is needed. There was a broken-down van with a little tiny man trying to fix it (amazingly crafted out of that tiny bit of clay); a pig, representing this former pig ranch, now a healing home for broken children. Hearts, a cross, animals, flowers, were all represented. The pieces expressed creativity, uniqueness and works in progress.

Our lives have been broken in myriad ways.

In addition to construction work, Leo often washes dishes after our meals. “That’s one of my skills,” he smiles. Years ago he walked away from what he calls “man’s church”. Leo became a heavy drug and alcohol user,imprisoned several times, ’til he allowed God, the Master Potter, to change him and begin molding Leo into Jesus’ image.

Robin conducted a college band at 8, ran away from home at 14, and taught 18-year old high school students when she was 19. She is brilliant. Here she loves to paint – and this year is painting wood slats for the cattle stalls.

Judy was a Buddhist, searching for peace. She came to know the Jesus of the Bible, who filled her with a peace she’d never known before. She’s painted, carried boards, helped with construction, and whatever else is needed.

Helen was neglected and constantly put down by her mother.  She learned to be an excellent listener, and now helps the children at Rancho Santa Marta by sharing her hairdressing craft with them.

Janica grew up in a Christian home but struggled with her sense of value and worth. While she admits that’s still a work in progress, she has become a songwriter and is able to express what God is teaching her through her compositions, which reflect His love and care.

We’re all still broken – touched by life’s little and big issues, our culture’s emphasis on appearance, financial success, ethnicity, our own inability to do things as well as we would like. People sometimes hurt us deeply and we struggle to get to a place of forgiveness. Sometimes I offend without meaning to because I haven’t thought something through sufficiently before acting. But God is the Master Potter, and He is changing us as we allow Him to access the crevices of our hearts.4 9 14 judy 107

And He uses cracked pots! He takes us where we are, starts a healing process, and uses us even while we’re still broken.

This week these 27 cracked pots have put trusses on the roof of the medical/dental clinic for the school and community.

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They’ve welded steel gates for the cattle pens; and painted boards for the corral.

Cracked pots are sewing costumes for the children.

Cracked pots have painted, cleaned, built racks, shored up and painted closets, and built a table in a clothing storage area to allow for better organization and protection (from rats) of donations given to RSM.

Cracked pots have cooked, cleaned, and used puppets and crafts to share God’s love with the children of Santa Marta

 

Binding up the wounded

Binding up the wounded

 

This particular cracked pot has coordinated the snack preparation/delivery to all the work sites, as well as cleaning and wrapping relatively minor wounds of our team members.

The wounds of many of Rancho Santa Marta’s children often go deeper than the physical. For those, we pray for and support the committed staff as they counsel, love, teach and care for their kids. To God be the glory for using Cracked Pots!

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