Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Cracked Pot

Let me tell you a story based on a story from Brennan Manning’s book Ruthless Trust.

“Once upon a time there was a water bearer who had two large pots.  Each hung on opposite ends of a pole that he carried across his neck. 

“One of the pots was perfect. The other had a crack in it.

“The perfect pot always delivered a full measure of water to
the master’s table, while the cracked pot leaked and arrived with only half a measure.  Needless to say, the cracked pot was discouraged.  He was ashamed of his performance because of his cracks. 

“One day, the cracked pot spoke to the water-bearer.  “I am ashamed of myself.  I only deliver a portion of what you expect of me each trip to the well.  You see, I have a crack and I lose most of my water on the way back home.”

“The water-bearer smiled and replied, “My poor cracked pot.  As we walk home today I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

“And sure enough, there were dozens and hundreds of beautiful, colorful flowers on his side, all along the path home.

“The water-bearer pointed out, “Did you notice that there were flowers only one your side of the path and not on the side of the perfect pot?  I know about your flaws.  Every day for two years, as we walk this path, you have been watering the seeds on your side and they have grown into beautiful flowers.  You have brightened the world simply by being exactly who you are, cracks, flaws and all.


Have you had some less than stellar days in your life?  Have you performed at less than your best?

Do you sometimes feel you have nothing but cracks and holes?


Maybe your life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Remember what the pot discovered?

The pot’s weakness became its strength.


What?

Our weakness becomes our strength, if we let it. 

Brennan Manning offers this insight in Ruthless Trust

With all your cracks and fissures,
you are capable of greatness
in God’s kingdom.”

Do you see that God uses cracked pots, disabled people, broken human beings, disappointing individuals, and those with broken dreams and weak knees? 

Consider David 2 Samuel 11
Rehab, the Harlot Joshua 6:25

Just imagine this re-phrasing of Matthew 11:28?
“Come unto me, all you cracked pots, disheveled, smelly, unfocused, lost and dreamless ones.  I’ll take you.

And, oh yeah, you perfect ones, you can come too.  I’ll even find a place for you too.”


The actual wording goes something like this:

“Come to me all of you who may be weary, weighted down, disorganized, dislocated, displaced and disheveled.  I will take you and give you a resting place.” 



I love perfect people, and I’m not perfect.

I relate to cracked pots, for at times, more times than I sometimes want to admit, I am one too.

Please watch this


My Prayer for You

God:
In our moments of brokenness you come to us.  You reach for us and lift us up.  You willingly offer restoration, repair and mending if we allow it.

Thank you God.  Take the pieces of my heart.  I lift them up to you.  Make something beautiful of my cracks and broken places.

Your Cracked Pot


Pastor Mike
P Michael Biggs
Internet Church
Offering Words of
Hope Encouragement Inspiration



Saturday, May 18, 2013

Never Out of Mercy


Have you ever run out of milk, or eggs, or money?  Running out of stuff is no fun. 

Our thought today is on God’s storehouse of mercy and grace. 

He never runs out of …
Love
     Grace
          Care for us
               Patience

God never runs out of necessities … and especially, ESPECIALLY God never runs out of mercy.

Mercy is not a term used much in today’s normal conversations.  So, what is mercy?

Some synonyms for mercy are …
Compassion
   Pity
      Clemency

Forgiveness
   Kindness
      Sympathy

Understanding
   Leniency
      Benevolence


Strong words
                     Good words 

Someone offering mercy is reaching, stretching, dishing out some pretty amazing “stuff” to the receiver.

I've had times in my life when I could have used a whole bucket load of mercy.  Have you?

There is a verse from the Bible, in Daniel, that speaks about mercy.  Daniel is talking to God and says this:

"We do not make requests of you
because we are righteous,
but  because of your great mercy."
~Daniel 9:18
  
He knows a bit about God to be able to say something this profound, for he gives God the compliment of “because of your great mercy.”

Have you ever needed great mercy?

In another place we find this example of the mercies of God.  It is from the book of Lamentations. 

“…because of the Lord’s mercy
and loving-kindness
we are not consumed,
because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning.
Great and abundant
is your stability and faithfulness.”
~Lamentations 3:22-23

In other words, God cannot run out of mercy. 
-He never gets tired of helping you. 
-He never takes a nap.
-His eyes never leave you.
-He never wanders off to the mall or the golf course.
-He never forgets you.

Every morning …

EVERY MORNING, when you awaken, God has a fresh batch of mercy waiting just for you. 

Amazing!

And the invitation comes like this …

“… Come boldly
to the throne of grace (to God)
that we may obtain mercy
and find grace to help
in our time of need.
~Hebrews 4:16

Reach out right now to the God of great and abundant mercy. 

He is waiting for your call.


Please Watch this
Lord Have Mercy-Christ Have Mercy
Michael W. Smith
and Amy Grant



If the above video link does not work, please click here

Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant 


A Prayer for You

God:
Without your mercy where would we be?  Life is tough.  And hard.  And it doesn't always work out the way we hoped and planned. 

But your mercies endure forever. 

How is this possible?
Why would you continue to extend this mercy thing to us?

Only one answer surfaces – You must really love us in spite of everything.
  In spite of our lost-ness
    Our lack of faithfulness
      Our contrariness
        Our selfishness
          Our mundane representation of you

You really do love us.

And our heartfelt response is – Thank you so much.

Thank you.
          Thank you.
                    T h a n k  y o u .

Amen,
  
Pastor Mike
P Michael Biggs
Internet Church
A Ministry of
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Saturday, May 11, 2013

God's Qualifying Rules


Welcome to Internet Church – the place you can come to just as you are.  This is a space created just for you.  If you seek a connection with God, then come on in. 


Let’s begin with this thought.

Does God have qualifying rules?  Are there certain words and phrases, stances, body postures and other such actions that we must adhere to in order to be accepted by God?


Consider the woman caught in adultery.  Christ came along when she was about to be stoned and rather than preach her a sermon, He turned to her accusers.  He said “If any of you are without sin, you may throw the first stone.” 

And when they all slipped away and she was left all alone in front of the son of God, He simply said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

That’s it.  End of story.  

Another example:
Zacchaeus was called down from his tree to go and have supper with Christ.  He didn’t seek Christ out.  And Christ did not make him bow and scrape all the way to his house.  Zacchaeus was the first one to offer repentance and reconciliation.  Christ just said “I want to have supper with you.”                                                                             

Supper! 
          Fellowship! 
                    Friendship! 

He didn't say, “But first you have to wash seven times.”  “Go run around Camelback Mountain and cut yourself and shave your head.” 

No such qualifying commands were given. 

Simply come be with me. 

The hallmark of God is love. 

We don’t change until after we come to Him.  It appears over and over that repentance and change follows forgiveness, not before. 

The prodigal son
The woman caught in adultery
Zacchaeus

What qualifies us in God’s eyes?  Coming near.  Turning toward.  It’s an action, not words. 

Do you want words to put with this concept?  Try this one.

HELP!

Anne Lamott says “this is the greatest prayer ever prayed.”  That sometimes is the hardest prayer of all.  It admits defeat, surrender, powerlessness. 

Help says “I’m done in.  I need something, someone bigger than what I face.  God, if you are listening then come forward, now!”

The God I serve responds to these kinds of words.  He has shown, again and again these attributes

Kindness
   Compassion
      Tenderness
         Forgiveness
            Abundant mercy

Come meet my God.  I guarantee that He will treat you with the same openness and acceptance.


Please watch this video of God Will Make a Way


If the above link does not work, 
please click here ...


My Prayer for You

God:
Your methods run counter to anything we’ve ever seen. 

-You offer love when it is undeserved. 
-You over forgiveness when punishment should be the norm. 
-And you offer peace and kindness in the face of turmoil and strife.

What a God you are. 
You respond to our faintest cry for help.
And you really do make a way where there is no way.


Thank you God.

Amen!


Pastor Mike
P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Letter

Welcome to Internet Church!  The place you can come to just as you are.  This is a space created just for you, whoever you are, whether you speak with an accent or speak southern.  If you seek a connection with God, then this is the space and this is the place.

Let’s begin with this song.  Feel free to sing along if you wish.

Open the eyes of My Heart
Michael W. Smith


If the above link does not work, please click here. 


Today’s Thought:

I received a letter in the mail yesterday.  It’s the first time I’ve ever received a letter such as this.

It was from God. 

He asked me to send this letter out to my readers.  I’m nothing special – just a messenger.  So here is what he wanted me to tell you.


“My Dear Child:

I am still here.  I haven’t left.  I have not abandoned you. 
When you face the challenges and traumas of life on earth, I am with you. 

I am with a new-born baby just as I am with the aged and the distressed.

I know the trials and joys you face and I am with you in the middle of them all. 

Your government is in my hands as well.  You may or may not like the current political party or the majority mindset at play, but I am watching.  I have a steady hand on the helm of this world, and I’m not losing my grip.

When you are in distress, I am near.
When you are discouraged, I whisper words of encouragement in your ear.
When you are well and at peace, I am present.
When you prosper I smile.

Let me remind you of some things you may have forgotten.

~I AM. Exodus 3:14

~I will never leave you or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

~My peace is with you always.   John 14:27

~My grace is sufficient for any circumstance you face.
2 Corinthians 12:9

~My forgiveness is available and I never remember past faults.  Hebrews 8:12

~Seek me and I will be found. Jeremiah 29:13

~Call on me and I will answer. Jeremiah 33:3

~Come to me and rest.  Matthew 28:11

Signed, Your God


Draw near my friend.  You will find God’s arms wide open, and all the love, forgiveness, acceptance and comfort one could ever hope for.

Now, please watch this inspirational video clip by Hillsong.



A Prayer for All of Us:

God:
We want to draw near to you.  We want to come with all the trappings of our lives and allow you to help us sort through all this stuff.  Your promises sound too good to be true. 

Are you really the God who allows us to draw near?
Are you really the God who forgets about past sins?

Help us in our reticence to reach out to you. 

Please accept our threads of cautious trust.  We are looking for ropes with anchors.  Will you be our anchor?

Amen.


Pastor Mike
P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time