What Do You Say?

forest during day

As they say, Hope springs eternal, therefore we do not give up.

For all that my mother loved the holidays when I was younger as we all grew older her love somehow got lost.

I don’t know how things get lost but they do. But what makes the holidays special? Why is it that when we have something bad happen at the holiday time of year it feels much worse?

Partly we want laughter, merriment, and maybe something else—warmth? Safety? Love? And when we have a bad experience we feel robbed or violated in some way.

As a single mother, it became a struggle for my mother to provide for herself and her family. There were no safety nets no ‘government daddy’ back in her day. And my sister and I ended up at my Grandparents’ farm.

What happened to mom? I don’t understand exactly, because all of our lives are made of choices, why didn’t she choose differently?

Relationships take work. How easy it is to let people slip away. From my observation for any relationship to work at least two people must work at it.

I don’t have an answer for a good takeaway. I’ve been on both sides of this equation. I’ve been on the side that knows ‘all of the right answers’.

But having all of the right answers sometimes leaves the person with the questions wondering why those answers aren’t enough.

If you’re missing someone this holiday season, don’t blame the holidays. Bad things happen all year round. Traditional times do have a sense of magnifying the feelings of aloneness. That is the way it works.

But it can also be a time of healing as we recognize the blessing of what we’ve had we can grieve that loss, and tuck the memories of those blessings into our hearts. As they say, be thankful that we’ve had them.

In a society that in some ways has become more isolated, it may be difficult to turn back our clocks.

Back in the day when people were busier with their own private lives, it was easier to lose track of other things that were just as important but not as urgent.

Now we may not be as busy in the same ways as in the past, but other spectors have taken their place.

People are more fearful and more quarantined than before. What we do need to admit is our lives are in the hand of God.

Although no illness should be taken lightly we aren’t dealing here with the plague. Covid may or may not be dangerous depending on who you are, but life itself is filled with uncertainty.

We can’t isolate ourselves and be safe. Life doesn’t work that way. Many people have felt safe behind the screen that ‘health care, doctors, and medicine’ would take care of them.

They believed they would live forever, but that was a false narrative. No one will live forever. Even in uncertain times, humans have the stupidity to put off their need to be right with God.

There is a book that will help those who are seeking to do the will of God. It’s called the Bible, and the New Testament is where we need to be to learn of His will for believers today. Begin today by learning and doing God’s will. Then do what we can to be safe and go ahead and live life.

Leave it in God’s hand, knowing it was always there in the first place.

2 Timothy 1:

7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

8  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

It’s Tuesday And…

photo of christmas balls

A new day, a new month and only twenty-four days until Christmas. This year we’re looking forward to the holidays.

A few weeks ago we needed to replace the window in our living room. It has needed to be replaced for some time but often it’s easier to pretend we don’t see things.

Several years ago there was a breakdown in the way that particular window worked and moisture began leaking down the wall and around the window. We could see the damage on the wall, but since we had a large piece of cardboard we situated that up under the window, and voila! Behind a large magazine rack, we couldn’t see it. Problem out of sight out of mind.

There could be a laughing face there, but only because of the stupidity of human nature.

Holding things together following last year when I had real-time health issues, and then the stressful times here throughout this year is a challenge.

There are things that inspire people and help us pick up our burdens and continue along life’s pathway. I watched a video a week ago now.

In the video, the speaker said ‘There is an amount of suffering in this life for everyone. Yet when I see people I know who are suffering beyond the normal range, and they get up daily and carry on lovingly with kindness and with patience that inspires me.”

There is a Christmas song that says something like, “We need a little Christmas, right this very minute…”

Many films that appear around Christmas time show the magic of the season. These shows have a way of laying out the narrative of good triumphing over bad circumstances and in some cases over evil people.

And I love the magic of this time of year. Whether it’s the actual birth of Christ or just a wonderful time to think and remember our savior, it’s still a time of peace and joy.

I love to think about the angels singing and welcoming the babe in the manger, and the shepherds, and who knows what else as the fullness of time was being fulfilled.

I don’t know what exactly that has to do with my front window being replaced. I have wanted to put my decorations up and now I have a window…

We can put some of Old Fuzzy’s porcelain houses up and maybe even my sons’ electric train set up. The possibilities are endless, and that’s what’s magic about this time of year. Endless possibilities.

Galatians 4:

1  But I say that so long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a bondservant though he is lord of all;

2  but is under guardians and stewards until the day appointed of the father.

3  So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the rudiments of the world:

4  but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

5  that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

6  And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

7  So that thou art no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

8  Howbeit at that time, not knowing God, ye were in bondage to them that by nature are no gods:

9  but now that ye have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how turn ye back again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto ye desire to be in bondage over again?

Consider Your Life and Where We’re At

man sitting on cliff

How do we feel about where we’re at? In this present climate it depends not only on the day but the hour of day.

If you are standing in front of a brick wall you can deny that the brick wall is there, but without a door of some sort, you can’t walk through the wall. Belief needs to be backed up with reality.

We live in a world that sometimes looks and feels transitory; a world where we can kind of make up our reality as we go. Many people live their lives from day to day, much as my cousin’s findings that 70% of our population live from paycheck to paycheck. We can try to make up a fabricated life that at the end of the day is morally deficient and tell ourselves that everything is all right or be honest.

We hear from a number of religious people that we are living in ‘the last days’ and they are counting on the second coming as coming soon. Whereas we have had ‘wars, and rumors of war (Matthew 24:7 “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8) All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

We do live in the last days. We have been living in the last days since the Resurrection and the day of Pentecost when Peter and the Apostles began to preach the Gospel of Jesus.

We have options. We can continue to live paycheck to paycheck type of lives deficient of moral integrity or listen as we are called by the Gospel to repent and turn to God giving Him our lives.

The practical takeaway is that we are daily presented with the opportunity to become what God wants us to be. We are broken sinners and we need to let God heal us. We need to fill our vessels and be ready for when the bridegroom comes.

Because come He will in the day and hour which we know not and by then it will be too late to trim and fill our lamps.

Matthew 25:

1  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

2  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

3  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

4  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

6  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

7  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

8  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

9  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

11  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Matthew 19:

jesus christ stained glass artwork

13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Acapeldridge What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Leading vs. Following

ocean water wave photo

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

From time to time it is a good thing to take oneself aside and have a heart to heart conversation. Having the right conversation is necessary for moving forward. However, it is not always apparent as to what the right conversation is.

This conversation can be with yourself or because (as it has been stated) ‘No man is an island.” It may involve others.

In other words, it can be either a self-check or a selves check.

A self-check can help us make sure we are on the right path. We know as it says in Proverbs 16:9  “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” That doesn’t mean that every step I take is directed by the Lord. They should be directed by the Lord if we’re Christians, but…

As I’ve shared before, back in the day I had MY life planned out. After marriage, I was going to wait two years before we began our family. I would then have two children first a boy, then a girl…

There wasn’t anything wrong with those plans. We got married and began on the right foot and.

In a world of ‘Well, that didn’t work out,” that didn’t work out. The first child was a boy—born nine and a half /ten months after we were married. The second child (girl) turned out to be a boy. Well, life is what it is, and that is what it was. Three years later we decided to have a third child, which turned out to be a boy as well.

The point is in Proverbs 16:9 Are we more interested in the course we’ve charted (A man’s heart deviseth his way:) or in following in the steps God has planned for us? (but the LORD directeth his steps.)

I’m using these scriptures in the writer’s vernacular of writing, outline, critiques, and editing. God’s plan is his outline.

I read a woman’s story of how ‘she rose above the mean-spiritedness of some other women’ who told her she should not wear short shorts when she came in to worship. Those women were mean and hurt her feelings…

Maybe the woman who was unkind in telling her to wear something more modest should have been more tactful and kind. I don’t know, but there was a day when people could figure out for themselves that a woman wearing two pasty spots on their bosom and a tutu for the bottom wasn’t enough outside of their home.

Critique, we all need to endure critiques. Sometimes the criticism is valid, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it does hurt our feelings but weigh the advice. As a writer/critiquer, the advice goes: if one person questions a passage (in your writing), think it over. If two critique partners question it— seriously reconsider what you’ve written, but if there are three or more, just throw it out.

There are many people who want to give you free advice. Weigh it carefully. Free advice can be worth exactly what it costs.

 Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

If you’re a follower of Christ, God wants the best for your life. He wants to transform you to be more like Jesus. But that requires each one of us to let him lead. Back when I had my life all figured out, I didn’t have anything figured out.

I had become a Christian, yes, but I thought I was still in control. Our fourth child (unplanned, but very much loved) was a girl, but by then I could see how my prayers for ‘wisdom and patience’ were being answered. I knew I had enough wisdom and patience.

God added two more children for good measure, and then we asked for one more.

Psalms 139:

1  …O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

5  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

7  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

Being Smart

light sea dawn landscape

12)  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

There are certain milestones that for some reason we believe once we reach them we will have arrived.

The big milestone when I was young was graduating from high school. In my ignorance, I thought I would be an adult. I would be grown up. I can’t remember what benefit that would give me but on that side of the ledger, it was a milestone in my life.

During high school, my mother had wanted me to become proficient in secretarial skills but that skill sorrowfully didn’t fit me. To add insult to injury, I didn’t drive a car or have access to transportation. But graduate I did anyhow.

Other people saw graduation as a milestone just as I did because at graduation people gave the graduates gifts. A blessing indeed, and a surprise to me. I had already planned on leaving Ohio to go back to my (kind of) adopted/home state of Iowa.

With the graduation money, I bought a one-way Greyhound bus ticket back home. I would stay with a girlfriend for a visit. After that? Well, I had no plan after that, but the first step was to get there.

The second step happened when I went to live at my aunt and uncle’s. Obtaining a job and someplace to live were the final challenges. My Aunt helped me find a sleeping room with a bathroom in a nearby small town, and a job that I could walk to in that same small town.

Milestones—graduation was a milestone but when I reached it it wasn’t exactly the milestone I had expected. In looking back I wonder at the boldness and/ or stupidity of youth. I left my mother’s with less than a hundred dollars and a suitcase that contained most of everything I owned.

Some people like to think they’ve lived their life like the Frank Sinatra song, “My Way.” I’ve never found that song appealing. I find it arrogant. For them to think they chose their path, and how good and laudable it was—on this side of eternity we really can’t know how good it was.

Milestones—when I think about life I marvel at how quickly it goes; how quickly it passes. As someone wrote just lately, I knew I would get old, but I’m sure surprised by how fast it happened.

Psalms 90:

9  For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

10  The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

11  Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

12  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Philippians 2:

1  If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Good Advice

flower tree park landscape

You can find good advice almost everywhere. You can find bad advice almost everywhere. And…

You can find situations that good advice becomes bad advice and situations where bad advice becomes good advice.

If that seems a bunch of gobble-de- gook, it can be that as well. A few months ago I was congratulated by someone I didn’t give advice to because I didn’t give them advice against marrying the person they wanted to marry.

I did feel grateful that they felt grateful, but I had a nagging question. Will they still feel that way if it goes sideways? Like a young man wrote oodles of years ago when he was looking at his picture in his high school yearbook when he said, “Look at how long my hair was, and no one warned me I would look back at this picture thinking how dumb I looked.”

Someone may have reminded the boy with the graduation picture/long hair that he had been warned, but… So, I was feeling accomplished, not because I didn’t agree with some of the naysayers, or could have agreed with them. I felt accomplished because after seven kids I absolutely knew that nothing I said would make a difference.

And the second thing I know is even if the odds of naysayers and/ or me being right were on one side, only God knows how things will really turn out. How many times do old people witness that—Everyone told us it wouldn’t work, but here we are fifty years later.

And there we must leave it in the end, at the foot of the throne.

Philippians 1:

20  According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

21  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

22  But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

23  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

24  Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

25  And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;

26  That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

28  And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

29  For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

30  Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

Better to Slow Down a Little

small airplane on airfield in countryside against sundown sky

Okay, so we need to stop flying as we go down life’s road.

We’ve had to have our front window replaced and a bit of cosmetic work done on it due to leaking windows and moisture. It is about 95% done but still requires inside work.

“I think we’ll probably need to repaint the living room.”

“Our new window curtains will need to allow the light we get from that new window in,” Old Fuzzy says. We’re admiring how much more sunshine is streaming into the room.

Fast forward a day, and on my computer, I’m getting ads for…curtains! Wow, I’m thinking how come I’m getting ads for…?

“How you doing mom?” Young Fuzzy and I are having a conversation a week later. “Not too bad. My hair is looking better since I’m having it washed at the salon,” I tell him. And it really has helped it look healthier…

This last week I have been receiving on my computer lots and lots of ads for—“You can have longer, thicker, healthier hair. Try our new—”

Hmm, well, I don’t know, but I’m thinking. I’ve been told you can’t escape big brether’s, and that’s the only explanation for several things such as this that have happened lately.

Although I did kind of put it to a test and I may have to reword or retry it again. “Well, Buddy,” says I to Young Fuzzy, “I’m thinking you and I need to start looking into getting our pilot’s licenses. I’ve always wanted to fly my own plane…”

As they say, Laughing Out Loud—I’m still waiting on that one.

1 Corinthians 3:

19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

20  And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

21  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

23  And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

Miserable People

silhouette photo of two persons riding horses

When we were relieved of our chores we could run or ride horses about the farm or timber.

“Well, how did we get so many miserable people?” the speaker said. He was commenting on the state of our society. Thoughts may be asked such as, how many miserable people do we have? How do we know we have miserable people? And what makes them miserable? Or can they become unmiserable?

This year of 2020 has been somewhat unhappy because of the COVID problems, but I’m very sure that isn’t what he was speaking to.

I believe he was starting with our unalienable rights. The ones that go along with the words, “All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Of course, life doesn’t ensure that we will be happy, neither does liberty and in reality, neither does the last of the three, the pursuit of happiness isn’t happiness itself.

I feel as if most people don’t have any idea what will give them happiness. People settle for the pursuit of a good job/income and the perfect doodads.

The doodads change from person to person. It could be the perfect house, the perfect spouse, the perfect boat…swimming pool…car…fill in the blank here. And in some instances, these things bring a certain sense of arriving at success.

And arriving at success gives a sense of happiness or accomplishment. But is that happiness, and why are people miserable?

When I was young I remember on more than one occasion sitting out under my grandparents’ boxelder tree at the end of a summer day. My grandparents lived on a small farm, a mere twenty acres. Today that would be classified as an acreage more than a farm, but it was their farm. There were eleven acres that could be farmed and the rest mostly tumbled down a fairly steep timber ground.

Grandpa planted his tillable farm ground in a rotation of corn, alfalfa, and oats. He raised a few cattle, milked the cows, and sold beef to friends and family. During those years horses were important, and horse shows were very popular in our area. So, Grandpa who had made the horse racing circuit shoeing racehorses retired from that to shoe horses for those who competed in the horse shows.

As they grew older they had a steady income from these endeavors. Even when he was eligible for Social Security he didn’t sign up for it for quite a few years. He didn’t retire from his farming and shoeing until in his seventies or pushing eighty.

Doodads to them could have been instead of chopping firewood by hand they bought two oil stoves and had them filled every month or six weeks, or paying our neighbor, Gene to come in and bale the alfalfa during the summer. Of course, we could afford to buy ice cream, and we took our clothes to the laundry mat in town, and they no longer raised a large garden…

As I said I remember sitting out under the boxelder tree which was where Grandpa used to tie the horse he was shoeing. He had a small forge for working the horseshoes in order to fit the shoe to the horse. Some days as he was shoeing one of us kids, or even my Grandma on rare occasions, would have a rag and we would stand by the horse’s head swishing the flies that landed on the animal in order to keep the horse content.

During the summers we children were expected to help with morning and evening chores, and we helped Grandma get meals and wash up dishes and any housework. When we were relieved of those chores we could run or ride horses about the farm or timber. Often in the summers after lunch was cleared away and dishes were done we had a couple of games in the afternoon of Canasta.

The point is Grandpa and Grandma were happy, my sister, cousin Coco, and I were happy…we were thankful for so many things.

I don’t know why we have so many miserable people. Perhaps it’s because they never got to sit out under a boxelder tree after a day of fruitful work. They have never sat as the stars began to come out a few at a time and listen to the whippoorwills calling from the deep timber.

Maybe it’s because they never after the supper was over and dishes put away, got to ride their horses. Around the wide paddock, we rode in a circle, laying back on our horses as they aimlessly followed the other horse and we watched as the constellations came out. We called it midnight riding. When we got tired of that amusement we hung our bridles away and went to bed.

Maybe that’s why we have so many miserable people. We didn’t have much, but as my Grandpa asked me once, ‘We sure had fun, didn’t we’? And yes, we did.

 I Timothy 6:

7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

9  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

12  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

13  I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

14  That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

15  Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

16  Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

17  Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

18  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

19  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

And Then There Was Life

clouds dawn nature ocean

I remember three art class teachers from my public school days. I don’t remember any of their names but oddly enough it was a lesson from the very first teacher that I remember most vividly.

We were maybe sixth graders sitting in the art class. Mr. Teacher held up a very pretty picture he had drawn with crayons. His message was Don’t let people discourage you. Art isn’t the medium you use, it is how and what you create. Even crayons in the hand of an artist become art.

I don’t remember any other art classes until my Sophomore and Junior years in high school. We did still life oils in one quarter and somewhere in there, we did pottery. I loved both oil painting and working with clay.

Working with clay has its challenges. We didn’t have class every day and if, as is normal, you don’t finish your project in one day it went back in the clay bin wrapped in wet paper towels.

The school bought our clay in large amounts. I don’t know if it came in a powder then they mixed it, or if it came wet. I have thought about and read on the subject of using ‘natural’ clay—Clay that you can dig out of the ground.

The caution as I remember with natural clay was making sure there were no rocks left in the clay. If there were rocks in the clay during the firing they would cause the piece to explode and break of course destroying the pottery.

Very seldom as we go through life do we wonder where we are going, not in the broad sense. Keep in mind as you go on your way this excerpt copied from Facebook by Rick Holland: “When I was 15 I spent a month working on an archeological dig. I was talking to one of the archeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of “getting to know you” questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What’s your favorite subject? And I told him, no I don’t play any sports. I do theater, I’m in choir, I play the violin and piano, I used to take art classes.
And he went WOW. That’s amazing! And I said, “Oh no, but I’m not any good at ANY of them.”
And he said something then that I will never forget and which absolutely blew my mind because no one had ever said anything like it to me before: “I don’t think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you’ve got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that all teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them.”
And that honestly changed my life. Because I went from a failure, someone who hadn’t been talented enough at anything to excel, to someone who did things because I enjoyed them. I had been raised in such an achievement-oriented environment, so inundated with the myth of Talent, that I thought it was only worth doing things if you could “Win” at them.”

Jeremiah 18:

1  The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

2  Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

3  Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.

4  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

5  Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 6  O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.