joy.gruits@gmail.com

The Potter’s Wheel

With a lump of wedged clay in his hand, a potter sits at his wheel.  After he throws the clay onto the wheel, the potter anchors his elbows to the inside of his thighs.  His secured hands are ready to begin the most important part of transforming this lump of clay into a beautiful piece of pottery.

He is ready to center the clay on the potter’s wheel.

As the clay spins and wobbles unevenly, the potter places his cupped hands on the clay and adds pressure.  He works the spinning clay up and down between his hands until it is perfectly centered.  Then the potter gives the clay its shape, its form.  Then it can become a beautiful vase, a cup, a bowl.

But without being properly centered, without the clay yielding to the pressure of the potter’s hands, the clay becomes a misshapen, uneven piece of pottery – cracked and unusable.

Centered) Continue Reading

Access

The protocol was clear.  No one approached the king while on his throne except by invitation.  To approach uninvited was a certain death sentence.  Yet there she stood, ready to enter that throne room.  Her need to see the king was urgent.  The lives of her people were at stake.  A decree for their slaughter had been set.  Their only hope was for Esther to gain a reprieve from the king.

No doubt over the last few days, she had recounted how God’s divine hand had been upon her life.  Among hundreds, she had been chosen to be King Ahazareas’ queen.   Yet even as queen, she knew she had no right to enter the throne room on her own initiative.   Death was the law.  Fear must have rocked her in those still hours of the night.  Her only hope was that God would put it upon the king’s heart to exercise the one small loophole of the law:

If the king extended his scepter, then the death sentence would be lifted.

She would have access to the king; he would hear her request.

Continue Reading

A Touch

Like a balloon punctured by a pin, doubt can deflate your faith.  It happens to the best of us.  It even happened to those closest to Jesus – His disciples.  All day Friday, all day Saturday and even in the wee hours of Sunday morning, doubt had claimed their hearts and ravaged their faith.  Their hope and expectations in Jesus had been nailed to a Cross.  Yet when news arrived that Jesus was resurrected, when ten of disciples saw the resurrected Jesus, doubt disappeared and joy filled their hearts once again.

But there was one disciple who was missing when Jesus appeared.  There was one disciple who didn’t accompany Peter and John when they ran to the tomb and were encountered by an angel declaring the resurrection of Jesus.  Thomas was missing.  He wasn’t at the tomb. He wasn’t  in the room when Jesus appeared to his fellow disciples.

Continue Reading

Awe

Not too long ago my husband and I drove through Bay Harbor, an enclave of upscale condominiums, cottages, and multi-million dollar homes in northern Michigan.  Located in a picturesque region surrounding Little Traverse Bay off of Lake Michigan, its secluded harbor is filled with yachts and sailboats.  As we visited this community with its immaculate gardens, well-appointed homes, and extravagant amenities, we remembered how years ago it was a limestone quarry with an industrial structure that defaced the beauty of the waterfront.  But as a result of someone’s vision and a large investment, men transformed this eyesore into a place where you just say, “Wow!”

As the afternoon turned into evening, we drove to a high point where we could overlook the whole complex.  Suddenly our eyes no longer focused on the beautiful yards, the million dollar homes, or the yachts in the harbor.

sunset

Continue Reading

Welcome!

One incredible day, Jesus approached some fishermen and called out them, “Come, be my disciples.  Follow me!”  James, John, Andrew, and Peter immediately dropped their nets, stepped out of their fishing boats, and followed Jesus.  These men became more than believers.  They became his disciples who after three years of following Jesus embraced the Great Commission of Christ to “disciple” the nations.

Embrace His Call is a blog about sharing that same journey – a journey of being more than a believer by embracing His Call to be a devoted follower of Christ.  The desire of our Savior’s heart remains the same – that our lives be defined by our faith in Him, and we fulfill His Great Commission to be disciples who disciple others.

Continue Reading