Treasure In Earthen Vessels

Discovering the Indwelling Holy Spirit

Made For More September 26, 2013

I am a busy woman! So are many of you. I have a job, I direct a Worship Choir, I sing special music, I speak at Ladies Retreats and Seminars, I write, I keep house, I cook, and I attempt to be engaged in the lives of my children and grandchildren. Oh, and I have a husband.

 

Sometimes I wish for more hours in the day, but then my over-the-hill body may not be able to hold up to it if there were.

 

I am a self-driven person. You know the type—a perfectionist. The bedspread has to hang down exactly equal on both sides of the bed. The pillows on the sofas must be in exactly the right position. The exact lamps must be turned on throughout the house at any given time of the day or night. Did anyone notice that I used the word “exact?” OK, you other perfectionists out there can stop laughing now.

 

It takes more energy to be a perfectionist—I’m sure of it. Oft times I have to go back and do things twice or three times just to reach a state of perfection that I can live with. What’s ironic here is that I’ve heard there are people in this world who are more of a perfectionist than me. Imagine that! I can’t figure out when or if they ever get any sleep.

 

I’m sure that I make life hard on others, especially those closest to me. Mediocrity at anything just doesn’t cut it. The truth is we perfectionists do make life harder for others—not just because we expect more of ourselves, but more of them too.

 

So if God created me, then surely He is responsible for the way I am, isn’t He? Actually, Jesus addressed this issue in Luke 10:41-42. That’s right. Go check it out for yourself. I’m sure you’ll recognize right away who He is talking to here. He called me “Martha,” which in itself hurts. He knows I prefer to be called “Mary.”

 

Jesus said to me, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (NIV)

 

Ugh! Jesus didn’t say what I am doing is wrong—tending to things, making sure my family’s needs are met, and fulfilling my commitments and responsibilities in life. But He did say that there is a better choice. That better choice is spending time with Him. You see, spending time with my Lord and Savior, my BFF, helps me to keep all things in proper perspective.

 

Even if I do all things great, or one might say “perfect,” and miss being transformed into the likeness of my Lord, I will have missed the mark. Not a good thing for a perfectionist!

 

The dishes can wait. The floor will be fine until later. The laundry won’t disappear. Even business matters can be put on hold. The demands on me must take a back seat for a while as I drop everything, silence the cell phone, and sit down at the Savior’s feet and learn of Him. After all, I was made for more. ~ Janie Kellogg

 

BFF ~ Best Friend Forever

 

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Where Was God? September 11, 2013

[In memory of September 11, 2001, I am posting a poem that I wrote a few days after the most horrific attack ever on American soil. I think the words of my poem will bring back many of the emotions we all felt that dreadful day. May we never forget.]

 

Where was God? The skeptics asked

Amid the terror, amid the blast

Does He not see? Does He not care?

Make no mistake, God was there.

 

Aboard hijacked planes, a flying bomb

Fearful hearts embraced a calm

Of final fate left unaware

Make no mistake, God was there.

 

Horrors unlike the world had known

Such evil men, such hatred shown

Lives were lost, still more were spared

Make no mistake, God was there.

 

Heroes rushed to help a brother

Sacrificing life to save another

The labels gone we used to wear

Make no mistake, God was there.

 

Smoke poured forth from towers tall

In disbelief we watched them fall

While evil thought our soul lay bare

Make no mistake, God was there.

 

What once was grand, was no more

Two cities scarred, resembling war

Compassion felt beyond compare

Make no mistake, God was there.

 

Another scheme of intended crime

Ill-fated flight, but not this time

Brave men fought back with courage rare

Make no mistake, God was there.

 

An historic day, unmatched, unseen

A plan too cruel, a plot too keen

Fanned freedom’s fires most everywhere

Make no mistake, God was there.

 

Time stood still those long dark days

On bended knee a nation prays

Our strength sustained the pain we shared

Make no mistake, God was there.

 

Devastation hurled, but we’re not crushed

We still proclaim “In God we trust”

Our hope renewed despite despair

Make no mistake, God was there.

 

Our leaders strong, our spirits high

With pride Old Glory adorns the sky

Our faith revived, our walls repaired

Make no mistake, God was there.

 

Our foes we’ll find and justice bring

Again we fight to let freedom ring

When victory’s won we will declare

Make no mistake, God was there.

 

~ Janie Kellogg, September 2001