Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Let your Light Shine: What a few pumpkins taught me.

Apparently a new annual tradition, the other night was a night of pumpkin carving out some of our friends' house. We brought our pumpkin and joined in helping the kids carve theirs. Who would have thought that a simple, sometimes mishappen gourd could bring so much joy. 

If you remember from last year, carving night feature a dragon, a platypus, a pokemon, and happy little girl. 

This year featured more fun characters, more fun times, and (for the sake of blogging) a lesson. :) Enjoy the photos and the insight. :)

"The very first poke." 

 This experience brought to mind a lot of thoughts akin to that of the potter and the clay, although in this case it is the Peden and the pumpkin.  

Genesis 32:30-31 "So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved." Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh."

Jacob wrestled with God, and before he would submit, had to be terribly injured, or broken. Are we willing to let God break us open, in order to create something new and even better than we were before?

"Guts and stuff"
 She is so dramatic. Ain't it swell? :P

Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it?"

Are we willing to admit that we are dirty rotten sinners inside? That we need God to clean us out and fill us with HIS goodness? 

Here Kyley sorts the seeds out for roasting. Yum.
Romans 8:28 "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose."

Even if we are filled with rottenness inside, we can trust God to use every thing in our lives, even the bad, and turn it into something good. Like roasted pumpkin seeds. :)

"Ummm... are you sure about this, Derek?"
This was the original brave pumpkin that Kyley wanted. Derek simplified it a little, but even so, it was still no piece of cake.  it took by far the longest and had the most detail. 

Are we as willing to let God take time with us? What if the road ahead is complicated, narrow, difficult? What if the boys had given up and just turned the pumpkin around and made something easier. It would have been fine, but it would have been settling. 

Jeremiah 29:10-14 "For this is what the Lord says: “When 70 years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm My promise concerning you to restore you to this place. For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you”—this is the Lord’s declaration."

Do we often settle for what's easier, what we have? Or do we tough it out to have the things God wants for us? Because they are infinitely better; I can assure you. 

As Asher would say, Melmo
Iron Man!! I did this one ALL BY MYSELF. True Story.

When God molds us, takes out the bad and pours in HIS good, we can then begin to shine his light to all the world. When we let God shine through us, much like when you finally put a candle in the pumpkin, regardless of how messed up it may look at first (for example, last year's Agent P with no light in it), God's light makes his glory evident in us. Only with God's light can others see the work he is doing in us. 

Matthew 5:14-16 "You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lamp stand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."

John 13:34-35 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

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