Beach Glass

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My daughter used to live near the coast and went to the beach often. She would look for shells and such and one day, found what looked to be a small bluish colored stone of some sort, she picked it up and took it with her. After some research, she found out it was beach glass. It is broken pieces of glass, bottles, etc that is washed around in the sand, getting smoothed and polished, will, not polished as it gets a frosted appearance, but the sharp edges get smooth and the pieces vary in size, color and shape. A couple years ago I was up in Nome, Alaska and while down town (downtown aint big by the way) I walked onto the beach and was looking at stones and maybe some shells to bring back for the grandkids as they like that sort of thing. While looking I found a few pieces of beach glass, some brown, others blue, green, white, red and amber. It seems that at one time everyone felt it was fine to through their trash onto the beach. Bottles and everything. The bottles would get broken by the surf and eventually turned into the pieces I was finding. There were also some fires in Nome around 1900 and when they were getting ready to rebuild they salvaged what they could and threw the rest onto the beach. Same as the bottles, the surf broke up the glass from the windows and bottles and such and eventually it became the beach glass. Individual pieces are kind of neat, but when a bunch of different colored pieces are put into a small vase, maybe made into jewelry it is really neat. I have also seen it used to make a sort of stained glass window or mosaic to hang up as a sun-catcher. All the different ways are fascinating, especially the sun catchers.

beach glass lampwork cobalt necklace

Thinking on this, reminds me of the post about upcycling, taking things that are broken and damaged, then turning them into something different, more beautiful and with a different function. God takes us, when we are broken, damaged, no longer useful for our initial purpose, allows us to go through trials and tribulations to buff off and smooth the rough edges, sand us and then, gathers us up to make us into something useful in His service.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

 

19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

Ezekiel 11:19-20

 

At one time, I most definitely had a stony heart. I was cold, callous, bitter and angry. Christ worked in my heart and made the change in me. He removed the things from me that made my heart so hard. He redeemed me of my sins. He forgave me when I did not deserve it. WHAT A MIGHTY, MERCIFUL and AWESOME GOD WE SERVE! He takes us when we are broken, damaged, battered and bruised and makes something He finds beautiful that He can use.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for all You have done for me. You gave me salvation and deliverance from sin. You removed the hurt, anger and pain and replaced it with Your love, kindness and grace. In Jesus Name I pray that You continue the work in my heart. Help me know Christ better. Help me better serve You. Draw me and all my loved ones to You. Show us all Your plans for us and help us to move our human selves out of Your way, help us see where we have failed You and help us make the changes we can, while we seek You to make the big changes.

Amen

 

I know I say this pretty much every post, but I truly appreciate those who take time to read them. I hope that someone gets a blessing out of this. I know He blesses me with every post I make when I take time to pray and study the scripture as I work through my thoughts and issues. Have a blessed day and I hope all can be a blessing to someone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You have to learn to look inside.

My grandmother, Gram we called her, was a rockhound. She loved finding different kinds of rocks. I am not talking about gravel or limestone, I mean the pretty stones, agates and other kinds of stones that while at first glance, seem to be just rocks. But, with cutting and polishing they become beautiful things that could be used for jewelry or used to make displays and decorations. Many of them, as I said, look like plain old rocks. But, once one learned about them they had certain characteristics that can be used to differentiate one from another. One kind she liked to hunt was thunder eggs.

thunder egg, uncut

 

“A Thunder Egg is a nodule-like or geode-like geological structure with some adhering silicified host rock comprising the outer zone of the thunder egg. Thunder Eggs are usually composed of quartz, agate, opal, and/or visibly crystalline quartz.”

Thunder Egg: Thunder Egg mineral information and data.
http://www.mindat.org/min-31316.html

But, look at them in that picture, sure don’t look like much. We were visiting with them for a couple weeks one summer and we all went to dig thunder eggs. I was digging like crazy, sometimes with pic, rock hammer, chisel and shovel. It was work, but thinking I was digging for a sort of treasure, fun work. I found some and showed them to her. She looked through them, she would hold each one and look at it. After a few seconds she would say, “oh, that is a good one.” or, “nope, that one is no good.” and toss it aside. Now, to me, there was absolutely no difference in how they looked but she said she could tell a difference. I asked how and she said, “You have to learn to look inside them.” OK, right….how does one see inside a rock? I protested that one that I thought looked good was pretty on the inside, she was sure it wasn’t, but said, “well, go ahead and put it in the pile we are taking home so you can see.” She chipped a bit off the side so she would know which one it was and also chipped another that she said was a good one, but chipped it different so she could tell one from the other. We finished up the day, some I found she said were good, some not. The next day we started cutting some in the rock saw. Fascinating things on their own, but will discuss that in another blog.

And, she sliced the good one I found. Those things are amazing inside, different shapes in different colors, some look like houses, people, trees, animals and it is fascinating to see that. She had some that had perfect crosses in them that she had found. One looked like the silhouette of Abraham Lincoln. God does some marvelous work, if you just take time to look. Well, as I said, the good one was gorgeous inside, multiple colors, fascinating patterns. Nothing that resembled anything in particular, but wow, it still looked awesome. Then, she sliced the bad thunder egg, the one she had said was no good. AND, she was right. It had just a little bit of color but dull, nothing vibrant or bright, more like smudges of paint than anything else.

thunder egg cut

 

(I kinda see the ocean and mountains in this one.)

I asked,  “How can you seen inside them?” She said, well, it’s like in the Bible, there is a lot of stuff in there and to get the most out of it, to see the beauty of His word, you have to learn how to look.” She went on to discuss external features of the rocks that normally were associated with better patterns and colors.

At that time, I was mostly worried about the thunder eggs and didn’t think about the true gem in what she had said, about reading the Bible with the right mindset to find the beauty of various scriptures and passages. And, being a child, after watching the rock slicing for a while, I decided it was time to do other things for a time.

Every once in a while since then, I would think about her saying I needed to learn how to look inside but until recently never gave much thought about the Biblical reference. Now, I try to read the scripture with a different mindset, different intent. I no longer read to just read it. I actually spend time praying before I read, asking for His help in understanding the message He has for me, the lesson He want me to learn, the beauty of that passage and how it can make me a better Christian so I can better serve Jesus.

Many of us like to do with the scripture as I did with the thunder egg, look and think they know what is inside. Many time I have done that. Find what it says, but not think about the meaning. Now, one can over analyze scripture and put the wrong thing into it, but most of us under analyze and only get what we want from it to suit our wishes at the time. One can make many things mean something from the intended meaning if you choose to look at things from the wrong perspective or with the wrong intent. If one wishes to find a verse that suits their situation, they will use that, sometimes paraphrasing or only using part of the verse or passage. Things taken out of context often appear to mean something other than what it truly says. Sometimes that means more than one verse, sometimes, more than one chapter, and, sometimes it requires more than one book. We have to put the entirety of the teachings together to get the real meanings.

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22

 

22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Mark 11:22-24

A cursory read of these verses/passages and one would think that whatever they want, they will get, if they pray and have faith. Well, yes……and no. Before anyone gets upset, I am not saying that faith and prayer will not give you what you seek. The thing is, if you are seeking and asking for the wrong thing, He won’t give it to you. One needs to consider that Christ starts out saying to have faith in God and pray to Him that He will give you what you ask for of Him. However, having faith in God means trying to seek Him, learning how to have the mind of Christ, the heart of Jesus. If you have the heart and mind of Christ and the faith that comes with it, then pray to God, He most certainly will give you what you want. However, you will find that by seeking Him first, the things for which you pray will change. Things will shift from the physical human wishes towards seeking of spiritual riches. One must consider what is said elsewhere in the Bible and use knowledge of all parts to get to the true beauty of His Holy Word.

But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Luke 12:31

 

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

 

 

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. Matthew 26:39

So, all the promises He makes are true, He will give us what we want, what we seek, but they are conditional on us seeking that which we should seek. We have to get to that moment when we say, as Christ did, “not as I will, but as thou wilt.” God may have other wishes for us than we wish for ourselves. He wants us to want what He wants, He wants us to submit to His will and His way. When we do, we WILL pray differently, think differently, seek things differently. The words, taken here or there, give various meanings, but as I have heard, the sum is greater than the parts. Each part means this or that, but put together, a bigger, greater, more significant meaning is present. Yes, I need to learn to look on the inside, not take a superficial view, but study it and see how the entire thing fits together to make the magnificent message Christ has for me.

 

Lord, Praise You. Thank You Jesus for salvation and forgiveness. I ask that You work in my heart and mind that I better understand Your heart and mind. That I read the Bible from Your perspective and not mine. That I seek and find Your truths. The beauty of Your words. Please work on the hearts of loved ones that they come to you, those that already know you, make them stronger in faith. Teach us all how to hear You and to listen to what You are truly telling us.

Amen.

It is nearing the weekend, I hope your weeks were full of God’s blessings and glory. Just don’t be stingy, remember to bless others as well and take time to show and share His glory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m jealous of butterflies

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I’m jealous of butterflies. Some because, well, they can fly. Otherwise, jealous because when they emerge from their cocoon no one questions if they are a butterfly. No one hassles them. They just see them and think, oh, there is a butterfly. Well, maybe not birds, birds just think, Hey, there is some food. BUT, not the topic.

Just seems that a lot of times people that had known a person just don’t want to accept that they have done as they should have and come to Jesus, have gotten salvation and are different people now. Sometimes, the ones that are the most unbelieving are other Christians. Well, I guess some folks take time to accept things which I guess is human nature. I am just glad that Christ forgives, unconditionally and accepts us as new creatures.

 

15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.                                          2 Corinthians 5:15-17

 

I am so glad He can do what He can, and did with me. He gave me salvation when I didn’t deserve it. I went into a cocoon of prayer a sinner, and came out a new, beautiful creature in Christ! He gave me mercy when I hadn’t earned it. What an Amazing God we serve!!!!!

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You so much for the mercy and salvation. I am thankful that through You I am a new creature and not who I once was in the past. I ask You continue to work in my, show me Your way for my life. Teach me to be the servant You want for me and help me show Christ more in my daily life. I ask that You continue to speak to the hearts of loved ones and show them what You have for them, draw them closer.

 

I appreciate all stopping by and reading these thoughts. Please, pass on as you see fit.

 

 

Lace

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I was flipping channels the other day, and there was some show on about National Geographic channel or such, and they were showing people making lace. I found it interesting. Now, I know that they have been doing it for a long time, most of the individuals their whole lives, but no patterns, just a bunch of bobbins or whatever they call them, that looked to me like a mess. But, these people were flipping them back and forth, picking some up, putting others down, all so fast that it was amazing because, were I to try that I would have a HUGE KNOT. A MESS. But, these people make some amazingly beautiful lace.

Then, I kinda thought about how when I try to do things in my life, without God’s guidance and without seeking Him first, well, I make a HUGE MESS. Just a lot of confusion and chaos. I try to make order out of the chaos and well, it gets worse and worse, until I finally so, OK, God, help me please.

 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:33

And, He gives me clarity of vision, understanding. Peace, Comfort.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

He took that tangled mess I had made out of things, untangled me and started making something new, different, far better than what I have been in the past. Oh, Christ aint done with me yet, not by a long shot. But, He sure has made a lot of progress. I’m looking forward to looking back in a few months to see how much more progress has been made.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Thank you Lord, for untangling my mess, for making me new, better. I ask that You keep working on me, because I know I am just barely started. Help me avoid making more knots. I ask you to continue helping me as I struggle against myself so that I can be what you want me to be for You. I ask you work in the hearts and minds of loved ones to help them as well. Draw them all closer to you, show them your plan for them.

I praise You and worship Your Holy Name.