365 Days of Growing Together
Hi WR2W, I would like to share a poem with you entitled, “The Touch of the Master’s Hand” by Myra Brooks Welch. This story tells of an old, beaten up violin that was the last item to be auctioned by the auctioneer because he felt it was worthless and a waste of his time. The auctioneer started the price real cheap; only for $1 and the highest price the bid got up to was $3. But then something happened, an old gray-haired man picked up the old violin, wiped the dust from it; cleaning it up, tightened the strings, and went to work playing a pure and sweet melody. After hearing the melody, the auctioneer then recognized its value and increased the price. You see it was not about the physical state of the violin, but about whose hand it was given over too. Before, it was in the hands of someone who did not know its value and did not have the power to give it value but when it got into the hands of someone who knew its potential and gave it value through the quality of his touch, no longer was the old violin’s value questioned; matter of fact, it was increased.
How many of us have been treated like this old violin or know someone who has been treated like this old violin until we or they experience “The Touch of the Master’s Hand” and the sound of our life begins to play a sweet and beautiful melody that only God can orchestrate and then our value is recognized by the very ones who underbid on our worth? It is so important that we do not take the approach of the auctioneer nor the bidders because we too can be deceived by a look instead of being able to appreciate the beauty of the gift the person, place, or thing holds. I encourage each of us to read this poem in its entirety and thank God for Jesus as we reflect on the gift of “The Touch of the Master’s Hand”. I love each of you, be blessed, be encouraged, and be true!
I’ve Been Touched
The Old Violin
The Touch of the Master’s Hand
‘Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.
“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone”, said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand.”
“What changed its’ worth?”
Swift came the reply.
“The Touch of the Masters Hand.”
“And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.
– Myra Brooks Welch
365 Days of Growing Together
Hi WR2W, in times like these it seems like when it rains it pours. When it seems like we have just begun to come to grips with one thing something else happens, and then something else happens until we feel as if we cannot breathe and this cannot be life. In times like these if we do not know the Savior, we better get to know the Savior and His name is Jesus. I would always hear the elder saints say, “in times like these we need a Savior and if you live long enough you will see what I am talking about.” Well, I can surely tell them that they were right, and I am sure many of you can agree with me and say in times like these, we are living what they were talking about!
Sometimes I think to myself, Lord when will it get better? I am striving everyday to live according to Your word and do what I know pleases You. Then there goes the but…But why Lord, why do I have to go through this…But when will You deliver me from this…But I’ve done everything You’ve asked me to do and still no relief; nothing but sadness surrounds me. At this point, we must stop and reflect on the goodness of God and Who He is and has been in our lives. In times like these, we need to shift our mind and focus not on the problem but what we expect to receive as an outcome and then give God the praise. In times like these we better learn to count our many blessings and say, to God be the Glory for all things that are working together for our good. In times like these, we must continue to pray and “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14 KJV).
WR2W, when we have become numb and speechless, and all we can do is shake our head, we better lift our head to Jesus instead. In times like these there is no time to get weak and give up. It is time to fight with the word of God and give it all over to God and let Him deal with all people, places, and things. In times like these, we need to learn to call on one another in the body of Christ and pray for and with one another and encourage one another in the Lord. In times like these, we better realize the Savior is all we have and all we need. I love each of you, be blessed, be encouraged, and be true!
Overcoming Because of God
365 Days of Growing Together
Hi WR2W, today my family and I would like to celebrate the matriarch of our family. She will be 80 years young on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. She is indeed “A Rare and Precious Jewel” fit for a Queen. The Hawkins family bloodline has been graced with 80 years of wisdom, from her inception until now. She is the matriarch of this family and have touched not only the lives of the bloodline, but all those connected through marriage and friendship. Lillie Mae, as she is affectionately known, is a quiet and soft-spoken woman of wisdom who encompasses a heart of love and gives both wisdom and love freely to all she comes in contact. “A Rare and Precious Jewel” who speaks with “lips of knowledge” and one who has used this knowledge well to train a village to build their homes and raise their offspring in the admonition of the Lord. Because of who she is, we are who we are today. Each of us different and similar in many ways, but the most important factor we share is our love for Queen Lillie. So, on today, we give her every jewel to represent the type of Jewel she is to us.
January, the Garnet, represents our Dear Sweet Lillie Ride. Full of joy and always ready for safe travel and service to others. If you need a riding partner you can always count on Dear Sweet Lillie Ride, she keeps her riding shoes on.
February, the Amethyst, represents her courage to partner with her sister Sylvia (Sugar and Spice) and raise “The Ten plus Two” as single parents always standing for what was right.
March, the Aquamarine, represents her calming spirit which has always saturated our family with peace.
April, the Diamond, represents her everlasting love for all she has come in contact. She is the true definition of what love is and should be.
May, the Emerald, represents her fertileness; her ability to grow this family and produce fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT).
June, the Pearl, represents her purity. A woman with a pure heart where evil has never dwelled. The bible says in Matthew 5:8 (KJV), “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. We have seen her go through a lot, but even in the midst, she has always spoke kind words. “For out the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matthew 12:34 KJV).
July, the Ruby, represents the month she was born and her passion for the people and things she loves such as family, cooking, ironing, keeping the home, and calling to check on others.
August, the Jade, represents her strength. As the matriarch of this family she has endured financial difficulties, illness, family crisis, death, etc. but through it all the joy of the Lord has been her strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
September, the Sapphire, represents her wisdom. “There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge [her wisdom she continuously instills in us] are a precious jewel (Proverbs 20:15 KJV).
October, the Opal, represents her faithfulness. Her faithfulness to keep this family together via phone calls and family gatherings. We love the fact that she has 90-95% of everybody’s number and call every number in that book!
November, the Yellow Topaz, represents her intellect. She may not have a college education and degrees hanging on her wall, but her mind of reason and capacity of understanding could not be taught in University but has taught this family so much we could never learn from a book.
December, the Blue Topaz, represents her good fortune. She has successfully raised a family, fed us well with those tasty and priceless recipes, kept us together, did her very best to keep us out of trouble, and most importantly prayed God’s will for our lives.
Thank you, our Rare and Precious Jewel, Queen Lillie Mae Hawkins, your 80 Years of Wisdom continues to be food for our soul!
365 Days of Growing Together
Hi WR2W, we should always take time to reflect on our life, think about where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going. It is never too late to change our perspective on life and do something different. It is no sense in living if we are not going to live! It is no sense in not taking chances, leaps, and breaking down walls for something we want, and God approves. Today, I affirm I will no longer live with limits because I am playing it safe. No, I will live like the Daughter of the King who owns the world “and everything in it” (Psalms 50:12). This next chapter of my life nobody can write it nor live it for me. Only the pen of God can write it, but He is waiting on me to make the decision to “Live Life Like It’s Golden”!
WR2W, my prayer for each of us today and everyday is to be honest with ourselves, write the vision of our dreams plainly, go after them relentlessly, and live our life to the fullest because time waits for no man. To “Live Life Like It’s Golden” simply means we are living a blessed life and if we want to live a blessed life, then we should follow Nike’s slogan and “Just Do It”! But always remember, we cannot live our best life with an impoverished mindset. It is time for us to dream big, set goals, think blessed, look blessed, and live blessed. Are you ready, I know I am, let’s do it!!! I love each of you, be blessed, be encouraged, and be true!
Let Us Pray…….
Father God in the name of Jesus, we thank You Master. We thank You for life, vision, and strength and we ask Father that you give us the strength now to use the vision of our heart, in which you have seeded, to live our life with purpose, on purpose, and in the fullness of joy. Teach us to go after the dreams you have placed inside of us with persistence and not in fear of man, but only fearing You. Teach us how to enjoy this life for Your glory and send us the people You want us to enjoy this life with because we know it is not Your intent for man to do life alone. Father God, only You have the power to yoke us with individuals in which You have ordained for our life for various reasons to carryout Your assignment. For we know Father every connection is for a divine purpose when You are in control. Please teach us how to live a holy and fun life because everything You have created was created so we can enjoy. So, Father teach us not to be boring, stuck in religion, and stuck on stupid acting holier than thou and missing out on all You have created this life to offer. We trust You, shall remain faithful to You, and will live this life according to Your will and way. Father God, in the name of Jesus, we trust that You will teach us to “Live Life Like It’s Golden”, Amen!
Will Live Life Like It’s Golden
365 Days of Growing Together
Hi WR2W, I hope all is well with each of you. I wanted to share with you today a topic that is dear to my heart…. Religion to Relationship. As a Christians, it is so important for each of us to be able to distinguish being in religion from being in relationship. Being in relationship means to be one with the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and following His way. What it does not mean is attending church, Sunday school, vacation bible school, bible study, and/or any program or service the church is having on any given day and being a member of several auxiliaries for the sake of habit, saying I am active in church, or for wanting to be in control, this simply defines religion. When we are in relationship, attending these things and being a member of various auxiliaries comes as a bonus on our walk with the Lord. When we are in relationship, our soul is at peace and our hands and feet are eager to do the work of the Lord for the sake of building the Kingdom of God for the Glorification of God.
It is my extreme honor and pleasure to have been extended the God-given opportunity to come into relationship with Him. As Christians it is our duty to come to the realization that God did not have to offer us relationship through His darling Son Jesus, but because of His love for us, He has graced us with the most fulfilling relationship anyone, male or female, could ever ask for and experience. To know you have graduated from religion to relationship is when you can love without limits, when you can see and not judge, when you can give and not want anything back in return, when you can forgive without seeking revenge, and when you can overlook faults for the sake of birthing peace. Religion to Relationship is a positive experience that spreads Light and Love. Religion to Relationship offers a heart and a mind of openness to seeing and feeling through spirituality (relationship) and not tradition (religion). Moreover, following the Holy Spirit as our guide exemplifies being in relationship and following the practice of man because it has been done a certain way ever since we have known exemplifies being in religion. Which do we identify?
WR2W, I pray that each of us identify with being in relationship because this is the only way we shall receive salvation. How can we say we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior if we are not in relationship and are not experiencing the power of the Advocate (which is the Holy Spirit)? There is no reason we should still be stuck in religion and rejecting relationship because we are muted to the spiritual things of the Lord. Jesus said in John 16:13 (NLT), “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide [us] into all truth. He will not speak on His own but will tell [us] what He has heard. He will tell [us] about the future”. Who has the Holy Spirit heard from and who is He bringing glory, Jesus! Jesus said, “All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever He receives from Me’” (John 16:15 NLT). Let each of us this day decree and declare relationship over our life and rebuke the spirit of religion which continues to work to hold people in tradition to stop the advancement of the Kingdom here on Earth. Let us pray for the churches open in the name of our Lord and the Leaders that are proclaiming His word. I love each of you, be blessed, be encouraged, and be true!