Back to the Potter's Wheel

It has been nearly a month since my last blog entry and much has happened since that one. I moved back to South Korea. I attended the East Asia Conference hosted by our church. I went on a missions trip with members of our church. During this time, Pastor DeVries came and left again for a year's sabbatical in America.
Breakfast by Tain with raspberry jam by Connie Morehead

Oops! We ran out of gas on the way to the airport

Pastor Mark Minichiello came to Asia for his first time and ministered to us at the conference before returning to his life in Baltimore.
Pastor Mark tries bibimbap

Bless the Lord, O my soul!


Mike Colby came for a week and traveled and ministered with us on our missions trip and then flew home to his life in Budapest.

Preaching!

Saying kimchi, cheese, whatever... just take the picture!


Now I am settling in to life in a new home, Pastor DeVries' home in Uijeongbu, where I am living with Tain Palanun and Pastor Sejun. I am driving the white van and enjoying the blessing of a clothes dryer. I need to take a trip soon out of Korea to obtain my religious visa at a Korean embassy in another country, so a short sojourn to Japan, China, or The Philippines is in order.

Mostly, I am trying to adjust to the new reality of leading the church here. When I left for America, I knew this was a possibility, but I could not imagine myself in this role. God has a lot more to say about my life than I do, which is probably a good thing, right?

While visiting Baltimore, I spoke briefly about how I never planned to be a missionary, but God found a way to get me to go. I also never desired to be the principal of a school, but God found a way for me to fill that position for seven years. And I certainly never considered leading a church (have you noticed how I am avoiding the use of the words "pastor" and "pastoring" in my writing?), but here I am facing that challenge.

If I had been one of Jesus's disciples, people would remember me as Doubting Thomas' friend, Reluctant Daniel. I don't think I would be like Peter proclaiming, "Even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you!" or drawing a sword to stop the soldiers from arresting Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:35, 51).

I think I'm more like the first son in the Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32), the son who told his father that he wouldn't work in the vineyard, but afterward repented and went to work. I have said to people, "No, I would never do that." But when God asks me to do something, I end up saying, "Okay, God. But You have to do everything, because I'm not going to be much help. I'm just clay, after all."

Last night I spoke on Psalm 103:14, "For he knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust." This verse always brings to mind my friend Carolynn Peters who signs her cards and letters "Just, dust...Carolynn." As an artist who has worked with clay, she probably has a greater appreciation of this verse than I do.

Job 33:4 says, "The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life." From the dust, from the clay, God made each of us and breathed into us, making us living souls. As believers, we have received the breath, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the resurrection life and power of Jesus Christ and His God-breathed word.

This year, maybe more than any other, I am looking to the Potter's hands to mold and shape me. I have no idea what to expect, but I am counting on God to hold true to his word. I love the King James translation of Jeremiah 29:11...

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." 

The Potter has His design in mind. God's expectation is what matters in the end, and, praise His name, he knows my frame and He remembers that I am just dust.

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