Poetry Saturday—The Neglected Pattern

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A weaver sat one day at his loom,
Among the colors bright,
With the pattern for his copying
Hung fair and plain in sight.

But the weaver’s thoughts were wandering
Away on a distant track,
As he threw the shuttle in his hand
Wearily forward and back.

And he turned his dim eyes to the ground,
And his tears fell on the woof,
For his thoughts, alas! were not with his home,
Nor the wife beneath its roof.

When her voice recalled him suddenly
To himself, as she sadly said:
“Ah! woe is me! for your work is spoiled,
And what will we do for bread?”

And then the weaver looked and saw
His work must be undone;
For the threads were wrong, and the colors dimmed
Where the bitter tears had run.

“Alack, alack!” said the weaver,
“And this had all been right
If I had not looked at my work, but kept
The pattern in my sight!”

Ah! sad it was for the weaver,
And sad for his luckless wife;
And sad it will be for us if we say,
At the end of our task in life,

The colors that we had to weave
Were bright in our early years;
But we wove the tissue wrong, and stained
The woof with bitter tears.

We wove a web of doubt and fear—
Not faith, and hope and love,
Because we looked at our work, and not
At our Pattern up above. —Phoebe Cary

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God’s Artistic Designs

…God devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from Him (2 Samuel 14:14). 

This wise woman from Tekoa captures an important principle about God in a picturesque way. She also makes a graphical contrast that was good for David to hear—and good for me too!

This wise woman uses the same Hebrew word for both David’s plans and God’s plans but shows just how different these two plans actually are. The word is translated “device” (vv. 13, 14), but the Hebrew word chashab is more graphic: It means to weave, fabricate, or plait something that has been well designed. 

Here’s the contrast: David’s “plan” is really not a plan at all; it’s simply passive procrastination, a wistful longing for things to turn out well. David is doing nothing, which means he is squandering his opportunities. This wise woman says, “It’s like you are spilling water on the ground which can never be recovered.” 

God’s device/design is incomparably better! God is both the Designer and the Artisan. He has both the plan of restoration and He is fabricating the plan. His designs are intricate and beautiful. In fact, the same Hebrew word is used for the artisans who fabricated the items that were to be used for worship in God’s tabernacle. 

Even though this woman flatteringly said David was “like an angel,” David’s devices are nothing compared to God’s device! God wants to give us His designs—He wants us to be a part of His masterful artistry!

Notice how this psalmist contrasts man’s designs with God’s designs—

The Lord foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. (Psalm 33:10-11) 

God will share with me His beautifully intricate plans and masterful device IF I will ask Him with a heart that is ready to obediently go to work. Or, I can try to work out my own devices, but they will most likely end up as merely spilled water that comes to nothing and accomplishes nothing.

I think you can see that God’s devises are always THE best option!

Thursdays With Oswald—Transforming Circumstances

ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Transforming Circumstances

     We are not responsible for the circumstances we are in, but we are responsible for the way we allow those circumstances to affect us; we can either allow them to get on top of us, or we can allow them to transform us into what God wants us to be. 

From Conformed To His Image

God will use whatever means necessary to fashion us into the man or woman He created us to be. We must not fight against these circumstances, but view them through the lens of God’s Word.

  • God created you in advance to do amazing things that would bring Him glory (Ephesians 2:10).
  • God loves you enough to discipline you if you are going astray from His purpose and design (Hebrews 12:5-11).
  • God will give you strength to withstand every circumstance (2 Corinthians 12:9).
  • God will redeem every circumstance to bring forth something good (Romans 8:28-39).

The Cell’s Design (book review)

The Cell's DesignAfter my years in the medical science field, I’m still fascinated by the findings and operations of the many disciplines of science. I used to engage in frequent debates with my fellow students who believed our world was a result of chance and mutation spread over billions of years. But I always found it so astronomically improbable that such beautiful intricacies could result from chance. In The Cell’s Design biochemist Fazale Rana delves even deeper into the cell’s inner workings to make a powerful case for intelligent design.

Time and time again Rana shows us where there is such high-level, picture-perfect designs and operations at the smallest levels of the cell. Wherever scientists used to think, “This is as much design as we can expect, anything lower than this will be random,” they are now discovering unexpected and perfect designs.

This book is definitely not “layman” reading, but is geared for those with a working knowledge of scientific vocabulary and principles. But if you want to dive into it, you will find the results of the research to be absolutely astounding. And I think you will also find the case for a Intelligent Creator to be harder to refute. 

This quote is not in The Cell’s Design, but I think it accurately captures the essence of Rana’s findings—

“There is something in the nature of things which the mind of man, which reason, which human power cannot effect, and certainly that which produces this must be better than man. What can this be but God? … The celestial order and the beauty of the universe compel me to admit that there is some excellent and eternal Being, who deserves the respect and homage of men.” —Cicero

Gods And Goddesses

When I saw this video, I thought of the words of C.S. Lewis—

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one of these destinations.”

What are you doing to help others see themselves as God sees them?


QuantumLook up.

See all those stars? Even all the stars our most sophisticated telescopes can see don’t even come close to showing us all the stars in our universe.

And yet of all the stars and all the planets, our Earth is perfectly positioned by our Sun. If our Sun was any bigger, we’d get too much radiation and heat. If our Earth was any farther away, we’d be too cold to survive.

God placed Sun, Earth, moon and stars perfectly.

Look down.

Way down. All the way to the sub-atomic level.

Neutrons, protons, electrons all arranged perfectly. Too many protons or electrons—or too few—and matter wouldn’t hold together properly.

God placed those components of our atoms together perfectly.

Look in.

Right into your heart.

Gifts, talents, passions, insight, personality, temperament. All of those things in a perfect blend to make you.

You are unique. There’s never been anyone like you before, and there never will be another like you in the future.

God placed those attributes together in a perfect mixture to make you. Too much of this, or too little of that, and you wouldn’t be you.

What are you going to do with your you-ness? How about letting your Creator tell you exactly why He made you the way He did—

For YOU are God’s handiwork, perfectly created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for YOU to do. (Ephesians 2:10, with a slight change to personalize it)

God knows what He’s doing. He created the big universe perfectly. He created the sub-atomic universe perfectly. And He created you perfectly too.

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