Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Stretched to the Max.

Have you ever felt like you were being stretched to the limit? Have you ever had so much pressure on you that you felt like you're going to break at any minute? Well, don't feel like the Lone Ranger, there's a lot of people that are going through the same thing. It's been going on for years.

Zechariah 13:9 I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on My name and I will answer them; I will say, "They are My people," and they will say, "The Lord is our God."

One of the premier makers of instruments is Steinway, the maker of the world's best pianos. Each piano has always been made from scratch; it takes over a year to make one Steinway. The most impressive scene as I toured the manufacturing plant was the place where the soundboard is stretched to its maximum tolerance and allowed to sit for an extended period until it remains in the curved design. This was done in an off-to-the-corner part of the plant. If the wood were alive, it would be crying out for mercy.

After an extended time of stretching, the wood will never spring back to its original state. It is permanently changed. The piano is becoming a fine-tuned instrument. After this process takes place, the next step requires another point of stress. It takes 11 tons of pressure on a piano to tune it. Each step in the process moves the piano closer to a finished product that will ultimately be played by the world's finest musicians. These musicians desire a particular sound that only a piano like this can make.

God looks at each of us as a fine-tuned instrument. However, we begin as rough wood that He desires to transform into gold. Tuning us requires certain experiences that will stretch our faith, our frame, and our very life. Sainthood springs out of suffering. If we can stand the strain of this intense process, we will come forth as gold-as a sweet-smelling offering to our Maker. When we are in the midst of these times, it feels like fire. It is painful to be stretched beyond our perceived limits, but the Lord knows this is necessary for us to become an instrument that can play a beautiful song that others will seek after.

Praying that we all learn to bend and not break under pressure
Pastor Mike

Knocked Cold?

A man was driving to work when a truck ran a stop sign, hit his car broadside, and knocked him cold.
Passersby pulled him from the wreck and revived him.

He began a terrific struggle and had to be tranquilized by the medics.

Later, when he was calm, they asked him why he struggled so. He said, "I remember the impact, then nothing. I woke up on a concrete slab in front of a huge, flashing sign.

Turns out somebody was standing in front of the 'S' on the 'Shell' sign.


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