Treasure In Earthen Vessels

Discovering the Indwelling Holy Spirit

Graduation, Life, and Clay Pots May 14, 2013

It’s that time of year when excited young people scurry off to find their dreams, hoping life will contain all those best wishes bestowed on them by friends and family. After graduation, life as they have known it, abruptly slips away and doors close behind them. Did someone say it is time to grow up and become responsible? Yikes! Mighty tall orders for the young applicants of adulthood, wouldn’t you say?

But tall orders are what life is made of—reaching for things yet unknown. Oswald Chambers said that “Our reach must exceed our grasp.”1 If we only reach for what we have already attained, we will not grow, achieve, move on, and mature. Our lives will become stagnant. We must at least try, and try we will.

Yet, before we know it, life plays a trick on us, and we feel that we somehow missed the mark. Our good years vanish into thin air and life’s work seems yet undone. But for a child of God, this need not be the case. God uses the bumps in the road, the boulders in our path, and every wide river to be crossed to shape us for His purpose. His shaping is to be cherished, for God has a carefully crafted plan for each life—that it will, sooner or later, glorify Him.

The poem, “Just an Earthen Vessel,” reflects what had become clear: God doesn’t waste anything! In His time, He will use each of us, just earthen vessels—clay pots if you will—for that purpose for which we were created. We cannot do it on our own. He provides the timing, the planting, the watering, the care, and the growth—we provide the pot. We must simply trust our Heavenly Father’s wise and loving heart.

“Just an Earthen Vessel” is being posted separately today, May 14, 2013, or it can be found under the category: poetry. ~ Janie Kellogg

1Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, May 2

Other related posts at Treasure in Earthen Vessels: “Just an Earthen Vessel” Poem, May 14, 2013

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Where Did the Summer Go? August 16, 2012

Filed under: Reflections — Janie Kellogg @ 5:50 pm

Where in the world did the summer go? You are probably saying, “My thoughts exactly!” WOW, it skimmed by me so quickly that it nearly left my head swimming. Well, it’s either that or my age that makes me a little light-headed these days. Now let’s see, there was Vacation Bible School, Youth Camp, Kids Camp, Family Reunion, and by now you’re thinking my list sounds a lot like yours. I have news for those of you who haven’t quite reached my age. In just a few years, you are going to look back over your entire life (like you now look back over the summer) and ask “Where in the world did my life go?”

 

I love the credit card commercial on TV that says: Life comes at you fast. Boy does it ever! Yet, memories were made, accomplishments celebrated, friends and family cherished, and I wouldn’t take nothing for any of it. Would you? Life is to be lived and that is what we did.

 

However, I must admit my writer’s blog has been rather stagnant. One precious friend called to ask if I was still writing. She thought perhaps she had been dropped from my distribution list because it had been so long since she’d seen anything from me. The truth is that time simply was not available for such luxuries. Now don’t get me wrong. I have been writing, and writing a lot, but not perfecting anything well enough to publish on the world-wide-web!

 

It has been a summer of learning and growing in my relationship with my Savior, and I trust it has been for you, too. Time is too precious and certainly too short not to be growing closer to Him. My hope is that none of us left Him at home while we were having our fun, nor ignored His gentle calls to speak with us in the quiet moments. If any of us did, now is the time to renew our relationship with our Lord. Any time we come to Him, as He always bids us to do, we only have to turn towards Him, admit our failures, and ask for His forgiveness. He is always faithful to forgive us (I John 1:9), and the next thing you know, we are back into that wonderful life-giving relationship right where we left off. Oh how He wants us to turn to Him and let Him renew, restore, and refresh us. The truth is, He has missed you too.

 

I have written much throughout the summer that I will be sharing with you in the coming weeks. As usual, it concerns that secret meeting place with our God that I am learning—ever-learning to access and enjoy. It all hinges on a powerful word called “surrender.” I can’t wait to share it with you. My heart is heavy for the bill of goods that God’s people have been sold. Actually, you could say that the church has been scammed by many of the religious teachers of today. But God always has a plan. God always has a people, a remnant that hasn’t bowed down and worshiped the gods of this world.

 

So stay tuned for more. I am ready for the times of refreshing that come from the Lord. How about you?  ~Janie

 

“Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19 

 

 

Reflections ~ The Race Called Motherhood May 18, 2012

Filed under: Reflections — Janie Kellogg @ 1:30 pm

We just celebrated Mother’s Day, and I like to think that we genuinely celebrated Mothers—young and old alike. During a beautiful day spent with my children and grandchildren, I had some time to reflect on this incredible journey of motherhood that I’ve been on for over 40 years. In some strange way, it feels like I’ve been running a race—with all the components that a race entails.

 

The young woman who thinks motherhood ends after nine months of pregnancy and a traumatic trip to the hospital is in for a big surprise. That is only the beginning. Actually, it could be considered the starting gate for the horse race of her life.  It is a race that lasts for many years, and around each turn lays yet another stretch of track with totally new challenges. And I think she probably won’t cross the finish line until she says her final good-byes to her offspring here on earth.

 

This is a race in which she will not compete against other runners—she simply strives to run the best race she can. There will be many winners standing in the winner’s circle, holding the winner’s trophy, and wearing the winner’s wreathe. Like all races, this one also requires strength and endurance, the desire to win, and the willingness to pay the price for preparation and readiness. She needs to know in advance that the condition of her heart is highly important, as a weak heart will never do. Only a strong heart can endure the stress, the work, the sweat and the tears that motherhood demands.

 

The prize in this race of motherhood is neither money nor fame, but it is more akin to a deep sense of accomplishment—although the benefits and the glory will go to someone else.  A successful race may even go unnoticed by many; her hard work passed off as expected, or simply, as her duty. But she will know when she has run a good race. No one will have to tell her anything. It’s a calling fulfilled and an assignment completed. And when at last she reaches the end of her race, the next step will be to hear her Lord say those most desired words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” ~Janie Kellogg