Saturday, February 21, 2009


2 Corinthians 4:7-10 &16-17
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

I took the pictures on this blog when I was at Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island, Canada. The city where Butchart Gardens is located is Victoria, Canada.

Good Evening Everyone,
Tonight I am on call so I was in the clinic a little later than usual tonight. We had a couple of meetings still ahead of us when I sat down in our office to have a chat with Dr. Perez. Now to understand Dr. Perez you have to know that he is a man of few words. He is kind and gentle and full of wisdom. He also is a treasure chest of useless information. He is your typical Jeopardy contestant. Anyway, we were talking when suddenly he said, “Do you know the etiology of the word ‘Sincere?” Well, I am no dummy so I said, “of course I do… It comes from the word, sincerely.” He just stared at me with a stoic look. I think he was trying to discern weather I was worthy of the information that he was about to provide me.
After a few seconds of his silent contemplation, he must have decided to take a chance on me and so he continued... He said that one theory of the origin of the word comes from one belief is that the word sincere ultimately derives from Latin _sine cera_, meaning 'without wax'.
I nodded my head politely, wondering why in the world he was telling me this. I thought well he is old and maybe his mind is drifting :0). He must have heard my thoughts because he slapped me in the back of the head and said, “Pay attention.” He then went of to say that the word sincere means ‘without wax’. Sincere" is sometimes said to derive from Roman quarrymen's temporarily concealing imperfections in marble blocks, vases, or jars of clay by rubbing wax on them. The item would still be useful but the value of the item would be less as it is no longer perfect. The word 'sincere' then would be the opposite of rubbing wax to cover a defect. Therefore, sincere describes a vase that has no flaws. Now, I am not sure why he decided to share this with me, but immediately I thought about 2 Corinthians 4.

I started thinking about verse 7 that says that, ‘We have this treasure in jars of clay that this all-surpassing power is from God.’ What a fitting comparison. We are jars of clay fragile but useful, practical yet plain, replaceable but very much needed. But to the Lord, we are like a priceless vase… elegant, beautiful, and priceless. Over time however, we allow sin to cause us to stumble and fall. As a consequence we crack and sometimes break. We try very hard to cover our cracks with wax, hoping to hold water again and to have a purpose. The trouble with this type of repair job is that the wax may seal the vase but it fails to hide the small crack that was formed when we fell. What sin does to our body is very much like a vase. Sin beats us, shakes us and roughs us up, and as a result we develop cracks. Now, we can try to take matters into our own hands and try to repair the damage using our own wisdom. This type of repair will not, however, cover the obvious flaws that are left behind. Or we can submit ourselves to the one who can make us like new again, flawless and useful, honored and valued.

I often wonder what we would look like if our body showed the wear and tear of sin. What if every time we sinned a small laceration formed on our body? And what if those wounds never heal or if they heal but a scar is left behind? What would our bodies look like then? I would venture to say that we would be almost unrecognizable.
The wounds and scars left behind by sin are noticeable to everyone and as a result our value as a Witness is tremendously reduced. But praise our Lord that he does not repair our sinful wounds with wax. He removes the cracks completely so that we can maintain our value as a cherished piece of art.
I would ask you all to take a moment and perform a self-evaluation. Look at the sins in your life that are beating you down and get rid of them. Cast your sinful nature to the foot of the cross and become a useful witness again.
I praise the Lord that he does not allow sin to permanently damage us. We have all sinned and blown our Witness as some point in our lives, but through Christ we can be renewed. I can’t imagine where I would be if not for the redemption through Christ. I have made many mistakes in my life and rightfully I should be covered in scars. But the Lord did not give up on me. He remolded me and made me feel cherished and useful again. He is ready and willing to do the same for you.
Well, I pray that you are all doing well. I am so thankful to you for checking in on this blog. Your encouragement has really been important to me and I value your friendship dearly.
God bless you all and may our Lord fill you with His Holy Spirit.



Anonymous said...

jeff, LTC perez is my dad and i haven't gotten to talk to him in a long time. just wanted you to know that reading about your interactions with him have made my day, hope this brightens yours :) i'll be praying for you guys, i'm glad there are godly men over there with my dad. have a good day! -kallen perez.

Jeff said...

Thank you so much for writing. You dad has been a God send for us. We have some stressful times here and his calm and insightful judgement has really seen us through some tough situations. I also appreciate his sense of humor and his lovely guitar playing and singing. We have tried to convince him to stay with us a little longer but he says that he has plans to celebrate his anniversary with his wife. Can you believe he is choosing her over us? Boy, some people. Anyway, thank you again for checking in and may the Lord Bless you.