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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Substance

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11: 1 KJV

A few months ago, I wrote a programme titled “By Faith…”. I had come across a song on Youtube by the same name and was determined to use it in a programme. Having just become a part of a team of diverse ministers, I compiled a list of songs and got to work on a play to highlight the power of faith.

Little did I know that with each twist and turn that I added to the plot, Satan placed another obstacle in our path. It got to the point where almost every member of the group had to overcome a trial just so we could take part in the programme. I started to think that maybe it wasn’t meant to be; that I, per usual, was just, in Jamaican parlance, being too nuff for my own good. I had involved my friends in something that was making them a target to Satan. I was riddled with guilt. I kept thinking that if I hadn’t had this marvelous idea, all this could have been avoid.

So much for faith huh? The girl who had sat down for 3 months to write a 7 scene play about faith in God, was giving up just like that. I was ready to tell my friends thanks but nevermind and cancel the programme. That would surely have made things better right?

So consumed by worry and disappointment, it took my friends to remind me in only 2 words that trials pass. “By Faith…”; the song that had echoed in my mind for months, mingled with the words of Hebrews 11 vs 1 and the content of my script, caused me to remember that faith is substance.

How is faith substance? I mean, you can’t hold it, touch it, smell it, see it, or taste it. You might hear it in someone’s tone, but that’s about it. Yet, Paul says faith is substance ( the the in this case is irrelevant). How can that be explained? Say, for example, a big wall needs to be destroyed, but you see no bulldozer there. If you had seen a bulldozer you’d be confident in the destruction of the wall. Further more, you see no explosives or battering rams or any such thing. What then will destroy the wall? Faith; the belief that it will come down.

I don’t mean faith is going to walk up to the wall and hit it down, but the belief that it will come down will lead to its ultimate destruction. Keep mind though that faith without works is dead. So what do you do, you pick up a phone maybe and start calling. you check everywhere that might help you take the wall down. Maybe you end up with a bulldozer from a construction company, some dynamite from a fireworks company or an army of workers from your community. Who knows, maybe you get on your knees and pray to the God of the faithful, who brings the wall down with a massive earthquake.

Faith is substance because it makes things happen (according to the will of God of course). We can’t just sit back with our arms folded, refusing to believe in anything. We have to move out in faith, because faith bring results.

P.S. We walk by faith and not by sight.

The Burden Bearer

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11: 28- 30 KJV)

At the end of 2015, I promised myself that this would be at better year. And in some ways it has. This year however I’ve had to sit back and watch Satan walk through the lives of my friends and family, destroying as he sees fits. I’ve found myself at a lost for words more often than not this year as I watch depression set in and hope fly away.

I’ve asked myself a million times how can I make it better? How I can help ease there pain? So many times the only answer was to offer my prayers and stand as support until the pain flowed away. It crushed my heart knowing there was nothing more I could or can do.

I’m still waiting for the pain to roll away, but I have learnt something. Some of the very persons I worry about remind me that no matter how hard the devil pushes, God offers us strength to push back and to win. Trials are a part of the Christian journey and they often appear in the things we cherish the most; our families, our friends, our churches, our christian lives and our personal goals. It is true that the tests this year seem more and harder then ever before but God has never failed us.

That song the church choir at home use to sing reminds us of where our hope lies. Co-ooooo-me unto me, I-I-I will give you rest. Taaa-ake my yoke upon you, h-e-ear me and be blest. For I am meek and lo-oo-ow-ly, come and trust my mind, Fo-o-or my yoke is easy and my burden light. God offers to take our cares and burdens away. It’s true that we can’t always see the solution and also true that the solution at times seems to take forever to arrive. But God knows exactly what he is doing. all you have to do is trust that he’ll work it out for you.

Someone somewhere is praying for you when you think you don’t have the strength to pray. Someone sees your pain and has talked to God on your behalf. And just like the stories you read in the mission report, your miracle is coming, your peace of mind is on the way.

Christ is waiting patiently to be your problem solver. I can not, as much as I would like to, take pain away, but He can. I’ll be a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen and a prayer offerer. I’ll be a friend. But God fixes problem like no one else can. Wont you let him take control?

P.S. I will talk to my father for you.

The Important Things

Next Friday I turn 22. That’s right… On the 11 of the 11 I turn 22, awesome right?

In my almost 22 years of life I’ve come to realize something. Our physical lives last only as long as God grants us breath, but we live on in the memories of others based on how we live our lives. This gets me to thinking ever so often… If I die today, how would I be remembered.

If I check the folks from primary school, they’d said I was the smart, barefoot, Indian girl. If I asked those whom I attended high school with, they either remember me as the Indian girl who never combed her hair and always had her nose buried in a book or they’d not remember me at all. Folks from 6th form would remember me as always being in the art room or as my best friend’s best friend or my sister’s sister. My class from dental school probably won’t even remember I was apart of the class and the same goes for my classmates now.

You would think I’m complaining but I find this all hilarious. What’s the point of remembering someone for the trivial things? What’s the point of remembering someone whose name is not found in the lamb’s book of life? A few years ago the theme song for the “Alana Show” became ” Live for Jesus.” I had gotten to the point where I began wondering if all this christian stuff was worth it? I mean,  when Christ said leave all and follow him he meant it. “Friends, Fun, Freedom…” But I now understand that having a ton of friends remembering me for nonsense is an absolute waste of time.

Lord I wanna be remembered as the girl who sang her song for Jesus Christ, Who was willing to lay down her life, and to do his will no matter what the price… As I celebrate my 22nd year of life, I want to do something that no one important will probably remember the day after. I need your help. Help me share meals with the less fortunate around us. I’m dubbing November 11, 2016, Share a Meal Day.

You see the truth is, it doesn’t matter if we are remembered what matters is how we are remembered and by who. So while we’re helping others, keep in mine we do this not to be remembered or for gratification, we do this as our Christian duty to our fellowmen.

Do what you can to impact the lives of others now, for what will it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul. How will you be remembered? Make good memories today.

P.S. God remembers.  #shareameal. #november11.

 

 

Upgraded and Forgotten

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so that you would not be their slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.(Leviticus 26: 13)

Phones have never been a particular interest of mine. Those of you who know me can testify to the fact that I’ve been a “bangaz” kinda girl for a long time. The era of smart phones, which started near the end of my high school sojourn, saw many of my friends upgrading to this communication medium.

“They make life easier.”

“You naah seh nothin if yuh nuh hjave a smaat fone”

“Get with the times”

“Yuh have Whatsapp?” No. “Twitter?” No. “Instagram?” No. “Snapchat?” NO.

“When yuh get whatsapp mi message yuh man. SMS and FB outta style.”

But little miss “bangaz”, me, still didn’t see the point. In my mind, being as naive as I am, friendship could overcome the boundaries of social media. Little did I know, the meaning of friendship existing in my mind was WRONG. The bigger the phones got, followed of course by the lifestyles, the less the communication became, until it was plain none existent. These were persons I use to talk to at least once a week.

Time passed and it became necessary to acquire such a device. You would think my friends, now recognizing my presence on the social media outlets, friends I never failed to text (SMS and Facebook of course) or call, would then send me a message. Ha! you would be wrong. W-R-O-N-G, wrong.

The point of my rantings is this; through the times when we were broke, or when we were in trouble, when our luck was down, we knew our creator. Then we get to the point where we get our jobs, or degrees, or marry well, you know step up in life. From some of us, we get a small break like passing GSAT or CXC (yes, it is that bad). At this point we upgrade and forget who brought us through. We act like the Israelites. They only knew God when they were in trouble.

God blesses us because he loves us. Yet we use our blessings to distract us from serving him. We UPGRADE and we FORGET. Analyse your life…Have you forgotten where God has brought you from? What he has brought you through? I cannot claim to have ever brought my friends through, but God can. It’s time to Upgrade and REMEMBER.

P.S. Though God is way better than us, he never abandons us.

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.