Tag Archives: Growing Pains

A Time to Grow!

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Ronovan does it again and it’s growing time!

Time…

A wonder how time

Seems to stand still and fly too

When new sprouts show up

Personal growth

Letting go

Maturity says

Have, Hold, Love, Free, Let it go

Space allows for spread

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Picture source: http://www.encognitive.com/node/18616

The Potter’s House – 2

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september23_PotteryLast week, I started something on The Potter’s House and this is the concluding part, you might want to read the other one to flow with the gist. 🙂

With this promise in mind, his ego got a boost, but wait a while…the location of obedience will reflect on you when you leave that location. Remember he was told to “…go down to the potter’s house” and that is one place you can’t go in and return the same, because if it’s not the dust in your nose, it’s the clay stuck under your shoes or splattered over your clothes from the one on the wheels as it spins. One way or the other, you are touched by the Potter or his wares. It has been said that “God will not promote you beyond your last point of obedience”…so if you want promotion, OBEY THE LAST ORDER and go down to the Potter’s house!

Knock, knock, who’s there?
A ‘Mr. Jeremiah’ to see ‘Mr. Potter’… I’m directed by God to get a DHL from you
and the next thing you hear is “grab a seat and watch me work”!

Your mind goes, “God! I thought this was going to be quick. How much more humiliation do You want me to endure before You give me Your word? If the people don’t want to listen to me and stand up for me, at least You should! After all You got me here in the 1st place!” And God says, ‘SHUT UP’, WATCH and LISTEN!

At the Potter’s house, God takes you back to Genesis 1:2

“And the earth (Jeremiah) was without form, and void;”

….where you were without form and void. He reminds you that you were no better than this clay on the wheels, but He formed you from the dust of the ground Genesis 2:7

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

….and the only thing that sets you apart from this clay is that He breathed into you and you became a living soul. He paints the picture of the processes He goes through, before you can come out looking so wonderful to the extent that you declare, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”!

It is also at the Potter’s house that He (God) reminds you of the reason He formed you and called you. Remember that in Jeremiah 1: 5-10, He had set Jerry apart already and ordained him to be a prophet unto the nations. God had indicated that a time would come when he will experience fear and He was ready to deliver – vs. 8. But more than that, Jerry was set over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant – vs. 10. The next time you notice this phrase, is in Jeremiah 18 at the Potter’s house. So you could rightly say that…

the Potter’s house is a place of remembrance and preparation to execute commands.

Indeed it is a place of preparation. As the clay, Jeremiah goes through a lot of processes before he can be used to affect the nations which was God’s original plan…or like the clay, he become a vessel for use (to honour or dishonour depending on the level of purging). One of the reasons God sent Jerry down to Mr. Potter was to get him understand that “without the purging process you cannot become a vessel …you’ll keep getting marred in the Potter’s hands. And until every impurity is taken from you, you can’t be useful”.

2 Tim. 2:20-21 puts it this way and I paraphrase….

You are a gold vessel – that means very expensive, but I can’t use you unless you are purged, cleansed, empty, only then can I fill you with My plans, My thoughts and watch you bring to pass My purpose. And it doesn’t matter how expensive or cheap you are, if you aren’t purged, then you aren’t good enough and that is My standard!

Remember that Jerry’s commission in Chapter 1:10 and 18:7-10 were similar and you cannot affect someone’s life with a message that has not affected yours… you have to experience it to share that experience meaningfully. Notice that vs.11 admonishes them (the house of Judah) to purge themselves because God was getting tired of the polluted praise that was ascending His throne and assaulting His nostrils!

There are quite a number of lessons here to learn about the Potter’s house:

1) That every beautiful vessel you see was once an impure clay and that clay had to go through several purifying process by water and fire. A process of rejuvenation…a rebirth which John 3:5-7 calls the born-again experience. Any clay the Master uses has encountered the Son (water, word) and the Spirit (fire) to become a vessel (an ark) a carrier of God’s presence and essence.

2) That the Potter’s house is a place of breaking, marring, mess, making and beauty. A place where you don’t have a say in what goes on in your life…all you do is submit (arise and go down) your clay (yourself) and endure the pain (as a good soldier of Christ). A place where God works on you and removes filth, and reshapes you according to His original plan.

3) That the Potter’s house has a wheel, where He places you and spins you till His will becomes enthroned on yours and all things that surrounds becomes shadow in His presence. Truthfully, while on the wheels you can’t keep your mind together, all you are saying is “I SURRENDER ALL” because you don’t have a say in the direction you spin…or the time limit to get off the wheels. Every other thing becomes a blur and He is all you see. More like worshipping Him alone in Spirit and Truth, because your flesh (the clay) is under control of a Higher Being and you don’t have the magic words to direct its behaviour anymore.

Whenever you choose to visit the Potter’s House, bear these and more in mind. Go prepared, expecting anything!

Picture source: http://theschoolofchrist.org/daily/september23.html

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

THE POTTER’S HOUSE

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PotteryThis begins the first part of what I learnt reading about Jeremiah and his encounter with his Maker.

Jeremiah 18:1-6
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.

The picture that comes to mind when the Potter’s house is mentioned is one that is not so beautiful yet not ugly. The air surrounding the Potter’s house is dusty and the floor messy with broken pieces of vessels and other materials required for work. This is not a place you step in clean and come out untainted…not in the least.

Yet in the midst of all that dust, clay, and seeming ugliness are vessels aesthetically and artistically designed to elicit praise…tease the senses…create beauty and bring about awe. Vessels, whose appearance puts you in between the beginning and the end…the ugly and the beautiful…the void and the form; That gets you wondering how something so colourless (lacking beauty) could be worked on to the extent that it inspires the senses to imagine blaze in every bleakness around… and beauty in plainness. To understand the mystery surrounding this transformation, you need to join Jeremiah at the Potter’s house.

Ready? Here we go…!

Why would the Lord send me here just to hear His word? Why doesn’t He tell me what He has to say at the top? Do I really need to go down there…! Down into all that mess and dust, I could even catch a flu…you know. Anyway, how does He expect me to hear Him with all the noise and activity going on there…all the distractions? Sometimes I wonder, I wonder about Him, does He know what He is doing. (Doesn’t He!?) I could easily have gone to the Potter’s showroom and have a field day revelling in the beauty of each vessel and then the word would come loud and clear…don’t you think so?

But the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah and said,

“Arise and go down to the potter’s house….” – Jeremiah 18:2a

Whenever someone is asked to “arise” that means the person was down, probably in a seated position or had not yet attained the height that he was meant to. It also means, “To come up for notice or into consideration”

Imagine being called up to a place of prominence after being in notoriety for too long…the glee on your face, the excitement in your heart, the flutter in your steps and with expectation of the crowning, you approach the podium and only to be told when you had arisen to “go down”.

Ouch!!!
Oh, the drop in the thermometer will stand out, your flag that was flying high will hit rock bottom and your balloon that was filled with pride (in a positive way) deflated…. Oh! The look of disappointment on your face, the drop in the pulsating of your heart, the strut in your steps reduces as you walk in no hurry anymore and all the excitements have developed wings and gone with the wind. You are reduced not to your size but lesser.

How do you tell people that the command to “arise and show” off was misunderstood and the glory that came with arising, momentary? How will they view you? As one who is not sure of what he heard and yet claimed God spoke! Of course, it is only natural to arise and climb, arise and stand. But “arise and go down?!” How worse can it get. Now you understand how Jerry felt.

In the midst of all the persecutions his people had put him through just because he was chosen from birth to deliver God’s message – (Jeremiah 1:5-19). A job description was written out for him, before he even had a chance to weigh the options and chose the best among the rest. A position he didn’t contest for was “pushed” on him by an Authority above all authorities. For once, Jerry had an opportunity to show them pepper…yes! And it felt good! Only to be told, SORRY, commanded to “go down”.

How many times has He deflated your “This is our chance” balloon and raised His “Thy will be done” flag on your behalf? I’m sure you can empathize with Jerry easily. Well, if God says left is the way, then ‘left’ we must go…I’m sure it’s not all that bad after all…

“His thoughts for me are thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give me an expected end” – Jeremiah 29:11.

Hold it a bit honey, notice that the commandment to “Arise and go down” is in Chapter 18 and “His thoughts of good” are in Chapter 29, so how do you survive the taunts of Chapter 19-29:10 (10 WHOLE CHAPTERS!!!) hmmm! You must really be anointed! YES, YOU ARE! Since Chapter 1 already gave you a glimpse of the trouble and the glory …so if Chapter 29 is far off, baby hold on to Chapter 1.

Picture source: http://www.theonlydoor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/15236618_m.jpg

© 2004. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

We Had An Argument!

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Should I really be saying this here?! Should I really be letting others into our business? Not like I don’t care about how You feel but perhaps this will encourage someone else and let them know You don’t do it to them alone, we are all here.

Dear God,
I had perfectly planned all what I was going to say to You this morning, now it seems I’m short of words again. But like I said to the Angel you sent me yesterday, “I’m done talking”…and she tried desperately to convince me why I needed to talk to You and not let the devil win. I must say, I agree with her on not letting the devil win but as per the talking part, I didn’t say a thing because You know that even if I said something to her, it won’t be the truth.

They told me that the “Teacher/Examiner is always silent when the pupil is writing a Test.” Well, so also is the student! Since this Test is taking so long, and You are silent. I chose to be silent too, so I can get my thoughts together and answer the questions correctly. Besides I need to focus. When I said I’m done talking, I meant it and You know. My sister had advised that I Praise. When I got to the Chapel, I cried instead and listened to my fav song. Then Your Angel came.

I know You meant well, I appreciate the hug, the song and the prayers, but please could you send me the answers?

I’ve tried all I know best; Ask, Seek, Knock, Prayed and also in groanings that cannot be uttered but You won’t budge. I feel a lot better today, though drained. And I just wanted You know – that was too much for one person. But who am I to complain, when for every complaint, a Word replies and knocks out my argument. We had an argument yesterday and I’m done talking, everyone else back off!

Your daughter.

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

Leave my Judas alone!

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“Judas”…the name we love to hate.
The name we readily won’t give to our children except an enemy!
“Judas”…oh! How I wonder about that name!
Though strangely, it sounds like what it is linked with …BETRAYAL!

We’ve been taught to dislike Judas. As soon as his name rings out, every system sends a report to our brain – “Betrayer”! But after a close look at Judas and what he represents, I beseech all and sundry to LEAVE MY JUDAS ALONE!

Yes, the hurt from the back stab was excruciating and the wound still won’t heal…daily it serves as a reminder that “Judas” had paid us a visit (planned or unplanned, invited or uninvited, he came all the same!). The bridge we built had been trodden down by the hoofs of the horse Judas rode across it and so “Trust” added “Dis” to her name to become DISTRUST.

In more ways than one, Judas had acted in our films….
But hold it a while, I’d rather have an encounter with Judas than with Peter! Because Judas was strategically picked to propel me to my destiny…make sure I fulfil it. Be a thorn underneath my foot so I don’t walk straight and the pain constantly reminds me to seek help.

But Peter, who loves me dearly would rather (and unknowingly I must say!) stop me in my tracks so I don’t get to the promise; thereby ensuring that I remain in the process longer than necessary.

He’s been called an enemy, but the table will only be prepared in the presence of one! So once again I implore you to spare me the trouble of having to go round and round in circles …leave my Judas alone!

Yes, I’ll cry and feel pain and most times wonder why?! But since it’s taking me to greater glory, leave my Judas alone!!!

© 2005 Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.