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Posts Tagged ‘Arts’


Racoons

Image by Trevor Blake via Flickr

I’m not really much of a television watcher, like a lot of people nowadays I get my news from the web, and my entertainment too. So, it’s a pretty unusual thing for me to regularly watch a show. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I regularly tuned into something on TV. But, that has changed a little just recently.

Lately, I’ve found myself channel surfing a little more and seem to land pretty squarely on A&E which, if I remember correctly, used to be all about arts and entertainment and has somehow morphed into more reality entertainment than anything else.

The first show I really took to on the network was Storage Wars, which follows individuals as they bid for largely unseen storage lockers in an attempt to find something worthwhile in them that they can then resell and make a living off of. The show is even more fascinating to me because I actually knew people who more than 20 years ago were doing the very same thing and making a great income.  It just amazes me that they’ve made a TV show out of it and the show is pretty popular too.

Then along came Billy the Exterminator, another A&E show that I must admit fascinates me. The basic premise is a family owned pest control/extermination business in Louisiana, in which two 40-something sons who work for the business look like displaced rockers. They go out to their jobs decked out with black leather and spikes to jobs that no one else in the area will even touch, like wrangling alligators and snakes, along with relocating bees, raccoons and other critters who’ve have run awry of civilization. You get the picture.

What makes it even more compelling is when these guys open their mouths they sound like they have advanced degrees in entomology and animal behavior, which flies in the face of the stereotype of what they look like. And, even though at times you can see the show is scripted like all reality shows, they seem to be all about relocating animals when they can and not being harmful to the environment.

So, I’m watching this show and they get called out to get rid of a roach problem at a local animal hospital (be warned this show isn’t for the squeamish, there are a lot of roaches, maggots, wasps and more), and lo and behold, as they’re getting rid what looks like a truckload of roaches, they move a refrigerator and there’s a pretty tame raccoon curled up in the bottom of it right near the motor. Apparently it was looking for a safe, warm spot to get out-of-the-way, and found one hidden away in the back of the refrigerator.

But, they weren’t there to take care of a raccoon, they were there to get rid of roaches. They were to take care of one issue, but ended up taking care of two.

This got me thinking about the times in our lives when the LORD starts to point out things we need to look at and take care of. Many times He’s working an issue out of us, so we can see it, then take it to Him so He can heal it and the whole time we’re looking for one thing, something disgusting like roaches, which are there, but at the same time we find something unexpected like a hidden raccoon who’s tame and calm, and actually pretty cute.

We’re looking for the horrible and find something else that’s surprisingly appealing. This go me thinking that sometimes the LORD not only wants to heal of us things that have wounded us, but He wants us to see the good things that we may have hidden away that we associate with those hurts. Because true healing comes when we can see the hurtful and the wonderful in our pasts, allowing Him to heal the one and taking His courage to see and cherish the other.

“The hidden things belong to the LORD our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law.”

Deuteronomy 29:29

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Raku Pottery

Image by Tobyotter via Flickr

Everywhere I go I notice clay pots of all shapes, sizes and colors. It doesn’t matter if they’re a regular clay pots that are pedestrian in their uses sitting everywhere imaginable; perched on pedestals in a museum because they belong to a display of ancient artifacts; or in an art gallery that is showing a particular artist’s collection of work.

I’ve liked them for years because they’re so varied in what they do, they can function as a simple pot that is used to hold the basics of life, like water and food, as well as things of great beauty that add a finishing touch to a well decorated room whether that room be in the foray of a Ritz Carlton or a private home.

And, what they are designed to do dictates how they are formed, glazed and fired. A basic terra-cotta pot can be formed by hand or on the potters wheel and typically doesn’t have any ornate glazing, so, it’s just fired once and is ready to use in the most basic of ways.

Not so with pottery made in the raku way, which creates one-of-a-kind hand-made pieces with techniques that include, among others things, multiple trips to the kiln that could  result in the shattering of the pots if not done correctly. Yet, if a raku pot is made and glazed well it can have the effect of coloration that changes depending on the lighting that it sits in along with the direction you look at it from.

There are multiple references in scripture to the clay and the potter, with us being the clay and the LORD being the potter. “Does the clay contend with the potter?” We are asked in Isaiah 45. In Isaiah 29 we are told that the pot turns things upside down, that it says the potter didn’t make it, before going one step further by saying that even if he did, the potter knows nothing.

I am always amazed how us little pots have the audacity to question what the potter is doing, and not only that, but tell Him who made us what He should be doing.

We very often look around and see what He’s doing with everyone else and wonder why He’s doing that with ‘thus and so’ and not us, or the other way around then give Him our two-cents ( sometimes more) about what He should be doing instead of what he is doing.

Now, I’m a firm believer in bringing everything to the LORD, even our questions about this, that and the other thing that could possibly include what he’s doing with others and ourselves. But, we always need to check our own motives for doing so, and make sure we’re not questioning His motives when we ask.

At the end of the day He is the potter and we are the clay, to be shaped and formed, fired and glazed for His purposes for us which are always good in the way the He alone is good.

“But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use.”

Romans 9:20-21

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