Saturday, August 15, 2009

Amethyst and The First Miracle

Amethyst is the official birthstone for February as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. Throughout history amethyst has been used to guard against drunkenness and is thought to be helpful in overcoming addiction. It has been used for hearing disorders, insomnia, headaches and other pain. Some sources suggest it is used to stabilize mental disorders. The Greek work "amethystos" basically can be translated as "not drunken." Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why wine goblets were often carved from it. The gemstone is still a symbol in modern day circles who celebrate sobriety. Every folklore and legend about amethyst is centered around wine or the elements of wine.

Whenever I am working with amethyst at The Karat Patch in Big Spring, Texas I often think about the first miracle Jesus performed. When Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-11) He didn't just perform a miracle, He gave us a picture of what we can be if we have Him as our Savior.
In the account of the miracle, there were stone jars of water used for "ceremonial washing" as guests entered the wedding party at Cana in Galilee. When the wine ran out at the party, Jesus' mother Mary called Jesus to take notice. Jesus had some folks fill the pots to the brim (which already contained 20-30 gallons of "ceremonial washing" liquid, i.e. bathwater), then had them take some of the liquid to the head-waiter who upon tasting, declared that the (now) wine was of the highest quality. One might even say that the head-waiter had discovered a treasure in these stone pots. Jesus restored their joy by changing what was in the stone pots.

And that is what I refer to as the 'picture' of what WE are when we have Jesus Christ as our Savior. A simple stone pot (or jar of clay)...with a treasure inside (2Chronicles 4:7). Even if we have filled our lives to the brim with all manner of dirty, disgusting things, once we accept Jesus as our Savior He changes all that into something wonderful and joyful...something that anyone would want a 'taste' of. We become earthen vessels with the Grace, Hope, Salvation and person of Jesus Christ inside of us, ready to be shared with a world that has run out of joy.
It's the same with His creation too. In the beginning, He created the earth, and just under the crust of it we can find beautiful gems like amethyst...a treasure inside an earthen vessel.

NEXT POST: Secure Settings

Saturday, August 1, 2009

More About The Mallet

The photo in the post "Rawhide, Steel, The Word and Jesus" depicts my actual working tools that I use everyday. That is the reason for the condition of the mallet...quite worn, quite dirty.....quite USED. In the previous post, I compared the rawhide mallet to God's Word. God's Word is what 'persuades' us into Jesus Christ (the steel mandrel) who lives in us, and causes us to be shaped like Him just like the rawhide mallet shapes a bent ring against a steel mandrel.

In my 26 year career I can only remember replacing 2 rawhide mallets. I still have the original mallet I started my career with. I can remember some of the work that it helped me accomplish. We spent so much time together over many years I just couldn't bring myself to throw it out when it couldn't do the job anymore so I decided to 'retire' it. It's smaller, much more worn, more dirty and definitely more used than the one I have now.

The photo also depicts my own Bible. What you can't see in the photo is the condition of that Bible...pages bent and wrinkled, stuffed with notes, and actually all the pages are broken out of the binding. It is my everyday Bible and is why I had it handy for the photo shoot. It is the copy of God's Word I use most frequently to 'persuade' or push myself into Jesus Christ in an effort to shaped more like Him. I also still have my first Bible that was presented to me at my baptism after accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior over 40 years ago. I spent a lot of time with it too until it became so worn I had to "retire" it as well. Both my original mallet and Bible are in places where I see them ocassionally and they both still make me smile when I seeing old friends.

One of my best friends (and brother-in-law) has a note in his Bible that reads, "A Bible that's falling apart usually belongs to someone who's not". Both my mallet and my Bible show signs of use. Every day I encounter jewelry that needs to be fixed. And every day I find that I need to be fixed too. I'm glad that both my mallet and my Bible show signs of use. That means I'm still working on jewelry and that God is still working on me. I love the work God has allowed me to do in my life (
Proverbs 16:3), and I know God loves the work I allow Him to do in my life as well (Philemon 1:6).

Someday, just like my original mallet and my original Bible, I'll be "retired" a place where Jesus will see me all the time...we'll be smiling...old friends...together forever...all the work done.

NEXT POST: Amethyst and The First Miracle