Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by PoimaeHopkins, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. PoimaeHopkins

    PoimaeHopkins New Member

    The Two Waterskins
    By Creth D Hopkins

    An old Squaw had two waterskins,
    Each hung on the end of a long hickory pole,
    Which she carried across her shoulders,
    As she walked the path to the stream.

    One of the skins was of older deerskin
    And Time had stretched the hide so
    That it leaked from the stitching.
    It could not hold but half the water she poured.

    The other was a new skin
    made of tight stitching
    It was proud that it could hold water
    And never a drop was lost.

    It was a long walk
    from the stream to the village
    And when the old Squaw arrived
    The old skin was half full, the new skin was full.

    For three seasons
    the old squaw kept her routine,
    She would arrive with the old skin half full,
    The new skin never lost a drop.

    The spirit of the new skin
    was proud,
    And spoke well of itself
    In front of the old skin.

    The spirit of the old skin
    was ashamed,
    And felt miserable over losing so much water
    Over the path the old Squaw was want to take.

    One day, the spirit of the old skin
    spoke to the Squaw,
    “I am ashamed of myself, my flaws are too many.
    I am not able to carry home a full load of water.

    A wise smile broke over
    the weathered face of the old Squaw.
    “Have you not seen the Indian Paintbrush that grows
    on your side of the path, but not on the other side?

    “I have always know of your flaws,
    so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path,
    and every day while we walked back
    you watered them.

    For these three seasons,
    I have been able to pick the Indian Paintbrush.
    I have given them to other old squaws
    Who were touched by their beauty.

    “You look on your flaws and see
    imperfection and failure,
    I see your flaws and have used them
    To bless the lives of others.”

    Each of us has flaws,
    We see imperfections and failures
    And think we are good
    for nothing.

    When it is the flaws, the imperfections, the failures
    That God uses in our lives
    To be a blessing to others,
    if we but give them to Him.

    There are others in our lives
    Who God has so placed so
    that through us
    He might bless them greatly.

    Look not to the flaws, the imperfections, the failures
    As ends in themselves,
    But realize that God has a plan to use all of it
    For His glory.

    God’s ways are not our ways,
    Our thoughts are not His thoughts.
    Our flaws, imperfections and failures
    Work perfectly in His plan for our lives.

    Be thankful for your flaws,
    Be grateful for your imperfections,
    Realize the gold in each of your failures.
    For it is God who will cause it all to work for His glory.

    - 2007

    * Dedicated to Tyler Bowman
    [This Message was Edited on 07/19/2007]
  2. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    My failures haunt me.

    My first husband left me and my sons in 1985. To keep favor with God and not be dependent on my ex, I buckled down, raised my sons, got an education, established a career, served in our local church...and drove myself to physical collaspe 10 years ago.

    All of this "success" haunts me...what should I have really done?

    Too late. Give the past to God. Learn that He isn't the cosmic cop who is waiting to club me if I don't tow the line.Is that really true? Is He angry with me? Is He really punishing me for my success? My success that I thought was His doing, His will?

    Learn at this late stage, WHAT? What am I missing?

    Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Hebrews...

    How do faith and works blend? That is a question I have.

    Dear friends have left me because I can no longer live up to their expectations and continue to be the worker/warrior/helper. People who knew both my husband and I before we married have judged us in our remarriage. Both had unrepentant, adulterous spouses, both tried to heal respective marriages, and both failed. Is God angry that we remarried? Or is it the people who have hurt us? We have been so thankful to have each other as we have faced the deaths of three of our four parents in less than 2 years.

    God seems so far away as I struggle with physical and emotional pain, anger, and resentment...Is He also through with me because of my failures? Why is He so silent? What has come from my years of faithfulness? Have I been faithful or am I kidding myself?

    My sons are grown and productive people; both are Christians, one following God and the other "in a far country" right now. But, he has come back from the depth of drugs to be a wonderful man who is reaching his potential.

    I am married to a wonderful Christian man; he is my best friend and my love. We have plans for the future. We have sufficient finances, good relationships with our families, both with our sets of children/grandchildren and our families of origin.

    Why is this not enough? Why do I not see this as success or that I am worthy or it? Why don't I see these as the Indian Paintbrush of my failures in my successes?

    I am tired. Can you help me?


  3. PoimaeHopkins

    PoimaeHopkins New Member

    Dear Fivesue,

    Psalm 6:1-10
    NKJ Psalm 6:1 To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. On an eight-stringed harp. A Psalm of David. O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure.
    2 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
    3 My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O LORD -- how long?
    4 Return, O LORD, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies' sake!
    5 For in death there is no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks?
    6 I am weary with my groaning; All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears.
    7 My eye wastes away because of grief; It grows old because of all my enemies.
    8 Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; For the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping.
    9 The LORD has heard my supplication; The LORD will receive my prayer.
    10 Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled; Let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly.”

    This Psalm came to my mind as I was praying over your post. It fits well the sentiments of your heart. If you take the time to read some of my posts, you will discover that our paths have been very similar with regards to marriage. I, too, know what it is like to have a spouse leave me and my three children. In every way, I can relate to your thoughts and the struggles of your soul. I say this so that you might know that I totally understand and do emphasize with you in every way.

    The only difference between a widow/widower and us is that they have a dead spouse to remember, we have the “walking dead” to remember!

    Dear Friend, what I have learned over the years, in my walk with our Lord, is that He is much more merciful to us than we are to ourselves! The very first time, when in our spirit, we have cried out to God and asked for His mercy and forgiveness, He has done just that – forgiven us! It is our old nature that continues to judge us and reminds us of things of which our God has both forgiven and forgotten.

    Remember what the Lord said:

    Psalm 103:12-14
    12 “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
    13 As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him.
    14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.”

    Think about it: imagine a globe of the world – the four points of the compass: North, South, East and West. Now the Scripture says that God removes our transgressions from us “as far as the East is from the West.” He did not say, “North is from the South.” If you start from the North and head South, there is a point in time, you will head back North! Now this is what our fallen nature does with sin and regret: we go North to South, and then run right back into the same tragic mess – over and over again.

    Not so, with our loving, merciful God! We must follow His example: if we start in the East and head West, we will NEVER run into the East again! That is what the Scripture is teaching here – in Christ, we will NEVER run into sins which God has already forgiven!

    Remember, too, what the Scripture teaches:

    1 John 1:9 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

    When we “confess” our sins – the word ‘confess’, in the Greek language, means to ‘say the same word back’ to God that He says to us about sin. Now ‘sin’ –in the Greek- literally means ‘to miss the mark.’ We have all done this in our lives. We have missed the mark of His will in our lives.

    When we “confess this” to Him, “…He is faithful…” He is always “Faithful” to His children. We are the unfaithful ones. In our fallen humanity, we will NEVER forgive ourselves. We will forever beat ourselves over the tragedies in our past.


    “He is Faithful and Just to FORGIVE us OUR SINS and TO CLEANSE US from ALL unrighteousness!”

    In a true repentant spirit, we ask for His forgiveness, HE FORGIVES US!

    He is a “JUST” God. When God, the Father, looks upon us through the blood of His SON, we are FORGIVEN for Christ’s sake!

    But our Heavenly Father does not stop there: He CLEANSES us from our sins! That is, the Father washes us clean in the blood of the Lamb of God – Jesus Christ!

    And what He washes clean, He remembers NO MORE – “as far as the East is from the West.” He will never see our past sins, again! In HIS eyes, we are pure and clean. Our Holy God is not like us: there are times that we say, either to ourselves or to others: “I forgive you – JUST KIDDING!” When the Lord says, “I forgive you,” He means just that! So, when we come back to Him, at a later time (when either our fallen humanity or The Evil One has deceived us into thinking that we are not forgiven) and ask Him to forgive us, again – over something we have already brought to the Throne of Mercy – and we say, “Please, forgive me over ___,” the Lord replies, “Forgive you for what? I have no remembrance of sins for which my SON died for, and of sins that I have already forgiven!” Isn’t that incredible?! It’s awesome! When God says it – that settles it – whether I believe it or not!

    You ask me, “How do faith and works blend?” The Evil One, the World, and our fallen nature (Ephesians 2:1-3) will try to deceive us into thinking that we have to “work” in order to be saved. But that is a lie! It is not our works + faith = our salvation.

    Jesus said, “I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life, no one comes to the Father but through Me!” (John 14:6).

    The Holy Scriptures teach:

    Ephesians 2:8-10
    8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
    10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

    Salvation is a gift made up of two parts: grace and faith. It does not say: God’s grace + my faith = my salvation (which I have to work on to earn); rather, Salvation is God’s grace + God-given faith (the only kind that really works) = God’s Salvation which Jesus Christ “worked” (His Life ) and paid for on the Cross. When Jesus said, “It is Finished!”- in the Greek, He literally said, “Paid In Full!”

    The “work” that was obligatory “for” our salvation was done by Jesus, the “work” that we are enabled, by His Grace and His Faith, to do is what naturally “follows” salvation. If you notice in the Scriptures above, the gift of salvation is stated in verse 8, “good works” that come out of being born again – literally: “born from above” comes out of the new creation mentioned in verse 10.

    That is the long and short of it. I hope that I have shed a little light on the subject. With all my heart, I pray for your freedom which comes from the Holy Spirit residing in your heart, as a result of you asking the Lord for His mercy and His salvation.

    2 Corinthians 3:17-18

    17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
    18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

    The word “liberty” is also translated “freedom.” As a child of God, you have that in Christ. Rejoice, Sister, in the Lord. He loves you.

  4. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    I have to read over it again...print it out and ponder and pray.

    That you have taken time to respond to me is a true gift and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. So gracious of you.

    I checked in to see if there was a reply...

    God is so good.

    I will respond again after I have done some thinking and some praying. I'm just overwhelmed that you actually wrote back.

    God's blessing on you and yours.

  5. vivian53

    vivian53 Member

    Embracing our flaws, good concept, hard for me to do. But like most other things I'm working on it. : ]

    Lydia1 I am guessing you bumped it. Thanks, you are such a sweetie.