Empty Vessels

The potter sits at his wheel. With a firm but gentle touch, he begins to shape the clay as the wheel turns. He already knows what he’s going to make, he sees the image clearly in his mind. This wont be a water pot, an urn, a mug, a bowl, nothing for use; it will be a centre piece worthy of royalty. No flowers will be needed to enhance it’s beauty; it’s sole purpose will be to sit on a pedestal and be admired for it’s beauty.

We are vessels; but unlike this pot, our maker fashioned us for a purpose.

It is disheartening to admit however that many of us are more like this pot than we realize. We have abandoned our purpose and are now only for show. Water pots, carefully disguised in coats of ceramics paints, just sitting around waiting to be admired for doing nothing.

If you haven’t yet decipher my analogy, let me break it down for you. We Christians, and I am talking directly to Christians now, have become so caught surface things, our look, our style, ourselves, our friendships, impressing the world, that we have neglected to fill up on the inside. We focus so much effort on how people see us, that we forget that God reads the heart.

Now answer me this.

If we are empty on the inside, lacking the spirit of God in our lives, how do we praise? 

If we are empty,  then isn’t our praise the same?

I’ve been in church on so many occasions, waiting for the ministry of someone to touch my heart… and then… nothing. I’ve stood with the congregation to sing beautiful lines of hymns that should inspire such thanksgiving and praise… and then… nothing. I’ve heard  sermons, readings, scriptures that should cause the heart to burst with joy, to cause such a ring out of amens that the walls cannot sustain themselves… and then… nothing.

Yet, we own the latest and most expensive clothing, accessories and devices, which of course must be present at church. We sing and perform with such theatrics and perfectly arranged parts. We read and preach with such eloquence… Yet…

Yet, our praise reaches not even our own heart much less the courts of heaven.

We have become nothing but empty vessels. Empty vessels which need to filled. Until we have come to a realization of the state we find ourselves in, yes I’m included, we can never truly claim to be converted. And without conversion what is life but the time before death.

Each vessel the potter sculpts has a purpose. Each one is made to hold the water of life and deliver it to someone in need. The beautiful pot may lose it’s beauty with time, it may break, never doing more than catching a moments notice. But the working water pot, will quench the thirsting soul.

What kind of vessel are you?

P.S. Empty vessels make the most noise. heard

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To Know Right

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.(James 4:17 KJV)

Have you ever heard the correct version of a story but just simply didn’t feel like believing it? Or maybe you believed but just preferred the version you knew?

If you’re anything like me, you probably have. See, I like happy endings and positive views. If a story isn’t going the way I think it should, I stop listening/reading. I stick with what I know loving the bliss of ignorance.

But there comes a point in life when we all have to face reality and accept life as it exists. We must accept the facts of life. We cannot always pretend that our way is correct.

Yet, at times we do. Take for example the text above. We oft do the things we know we should not do; thinking that the faithfulness of God will forgive us. I can’t count the number of times I heard persons say… “You can repent when you’re finished.” 

We take for granted the grace bestowed upon us, choosing instead to pretend that the sins we commit, or the little slights, will be over looked. But at what cost do we pretend to live in ignorance. To him that knoweth right…

I grew up knowing right from wrong. or mostly knowing right from wrong. Since then however, a few grey areas have been become clear black or white. Yet I find that there are times when I want to forget the right I know simply because I want to be like everybody else, or because I want to do things my way. Then the thought occurs that I know better. If God were to ask why I did what I did, ignorance could not be a defense. 

We who have light must live in light lest we be held accountable for living in darkness. 

On the same point, the church I grew up in professes to have the greater light, yet I have watched as many of its members and leaders make compromises to better suit their own purposes. Again I ask… At what cost? We make silly excuses for our actions thinking instead that if others… then…

But…The judgement of those who know the truth of God’s word will be far more stringent (strict), than for those who do not have a clear understanding of the word of God. 

You must be mindful that you, we, do not adjust the laws of God for personal gain. What sorrow will be ours if we do.

P.S. Fyah deh a mus mus tail…

A Hypocrite’s Prayer Pt2

You may be wondering what inspires one to come up with something like this.

I’ll answer you truthfully…Guilt.

I had thought of the title long before I wrote this poem. I wrote it a million ways in a head before I sat after midnight one night with a flash light and wrote it all down. I had been struggling with something that I kept asking forgiveness for. I knew I was being presumptuous but couldn’t seem to stop for any long period of time. I started referring to myself as the world’s greatest idiot for not being able to overcome my problem although I knew what the right thing to do was. The poem was to be a reminder of what I was doing and cause me to reflect on my life.

A few lessons ago  they taught the origin of the word hypocrite, two-faced. It originated from actors in ancient Greece I believe playing to characters in a play using masks to change personality. As I reflected on this seeming jovial poem that I had written I realized how two-faced I myself am. I appear to those around me as something I have never been. Very few persons knows the real me and no one for sure knows my whole story.

As I thought of my hypocrisy I became to see what a fake I am. I find myself struggling with the same issues over and over, but I often too ashamed to ask others to pray for me or for their advice. Yet I knee each night and presume that God in his tender mercies may see it fit to forgive me.

I can’t assume anyone else is like I am, but I’ve been asking God to fix me and making the necessary changes to be who God wants me to be and that alone. May be you’re like me and don’t recognize how we assume God will forgive for something we knew was wrong before we did it. maybe you do know what you’re doing. I often heard persons say that it doesn’t mattering if we sin knowing, God will forgive us anyway.

Don’t be like me… don’t allow life to get to the point where you have to struggle to find yourself and to get back to God. Wrong will always be wrong no matter how right we want it to be. Be mindful of what you do, keep in mind what you know and never loose sight of your true face.

P.S. Thanks for commenting… I appreciate it.

The Wax in my Ear

I’d have liked to start off my post with a text but I can’t quite find one to fit it. If you think of one just leave a comment below.

My first grade 6 teacher, Mrs. Terrelonge, [yes, I was in grade 6 twice], told us of 3 types of deaf persons one day as we were being particularly stubborn to the lesson she was teaching. The first was well… deaf people, you know persons lacking the ability to hear due to some medical reasons. The second was the tone deaf person who we as Jamaicans just call hard of hearing, as they never seem to hear the right thing. The last she called STIFF TONE DEAF, and please note this is not a real condition. The point she was trying to make about this final group is that though they had the ability to hear, they chose not to. Does this remind you of anyone you know?

Let me reveal a little secret. Shhhh… don’t tell anyone. I’m hard of hearing. For some reason my ear clogs up with excess wax which causes me to not hear things so well. Thus I have to clean them quite often. Yes I know, EEWWWWWWWWWWWWWW !!!!! GRRRROOOSSSSS!!!!! But it does come in handing sometimes when someone is telling me something I’m not particularly eager to hear. As I thought about what my next post was to be about it occurred to me that like excess ear wax, we have things in our lives that are preventing us from hearing the words of God.

Medical professionals will tell you that ear wax can be both good and bad. It protects the ear canal and traps microbes. In this case however, ear wax is bad. Now I’m not speaking literally wax, but there is some build up of “dust and microbes” in our lives that are distancing us from the Master. Maybe this is only me, but I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m wondering if he’s still near. This wondering caused me to pause and examine what’s different in my life now versus when I felt him close and heard him speaking to me… and no, I’m not mad.

My examination led me to the realization that there are some habits, some idols, some things that are separating me from the love of God. They’re like hair clogging up a pipe; the only way to get the water, the love of God, flowing freely again is to remove the blockage, be it hair,wax or whatever else. As I work on removing the wax in my ear with his help, I ask…Do you have any wax build up? Is there something preventing you from hearing the voice of God or feeling his love in your life?

Again Jesus is waiting to fix us up… to clean the wax from our lives… wont you let him?

P.S. Haad ears monkey, nyaam green banana

The Singer Complex

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2 NIV)

How often have you heard that voice that simply blows you away?

I mean you’re just sitting there waiting to be wowed and a sound reaches your ear that touches you to your core. It’s not just the voice… it’s the message which you hear more clearly with every note of the song. If you have had an experience like this before, then you more than likely will be familiar with the type of person I’m about to discuss with you.

You see, over the years I have noticed that rarely have I continued to be blown away by local gospel singers after they begin to gather a bit of fame. Their music still sounds amazing… don’t get me wrong, but the message is gone. I’ve started to call it the singer complex. It sounds like a disease or a disorder, I’m aware of that, and in truth that’s exactly what it is. With each compliment, every “You blessed my heart,” the “WOWs”, the “You have an amazing voice(s)”, a little more pride creeps in until there is no more space for God. And without God how can there be a message that touches you?

Contrary to the name however this “disease”, doesn’t only affect singers. It has been caught by many pastors, programme planners, actors and many others of the gifted community. [As we all have gifts, we are all susceptible to this disease.] I must confess that I have often caught it myself. It’s like the flu…it never really goes away. It just waits until your immune system it down then, BAM!! it jumps out at you like shark out of water.

Like those singers whose message we no longer feel, we become so filled with pride that God has no space in our lives. As Solomon says, pride brings disgrace but humility brings wisdom. True wisdom comes only from having God in our lives. So as we minister to others ” in the name of Jesus”, let’s make sure we actually have Jesus in our hearts. We all, and I mean all, must examine our lives, and put away pride so God can use us to lead others to him.

Check in with the Great Physician and allow him to heal you from your Complex. With prayer and supplication let’s come back to him and allow him to empty us of self and fill us with his Spirit.Our prayer should be, “Lord give me a heart like thine.”

P.S. Show-off bring disgrace.