Perfection vs. Imperfection

Who says stinging nettle isn’t perfect and doesn’t do exactly what God created it to do? Just because it’s uncomfortable doesn’t make it bad.

(Although…I will always avoid it!) So what makes something perfect?

the PERFECT day
the PERFECT spouse/relationship
the PERFECT job

Perfect – having all required and desirable elements, qualities, characteristics; as good as it’s possible to be. Absolute; complete.
Perfection – condition, state, quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.
Webster’s Dictionary

Why do we care so much about being perfect, having perfection?
So much so that the word no longer is used the way it was defined by Aristotle (384-322), and also the English dictionary!

Perfect is that which is complete; so good it cannot be improved; it has attained its purpose. – Aristotle

Centuries later, Lucilio Vanini (1585 – 1619) believed that perfection depends on being incomplete and possessing the potential for development. Perfection in a work of art consists in its forcing the recipient to be active – to complete the work of art by an effort of mind and imagination. Hello, paradox.

Perfect comes from the Latin word perficio (to bring to an end), and before that came the Greek word teleos.

So, we are left trying to fit into this modern mold of PERFECT which leaves us worn out, depressed, and embittered by running a rat race that can never be won. We will never measure up to anyone’s idea of ‘perfection’ – so will always be on a sinking ship.

Who gets to define what is and what is not perfect, anyway?

Imperfections are seen as flaws, cracks that mar a perfect life making a person feel less than – or too much even. A perceived lack in ‘I should be’ versus the wholeness of ‘I was created by the Ultimate Creator’.

But what if?

Imperfection is a life apart from God – and a separation from others. Imperfection is hiding our cracks, thus leaving others in bondage to perfection. Let there be hope! Even with all of our flaws, when we have faith in Christ we are seen as perfect in God’s eyes. Like kintsugi, we need to show those cracks and imperfections as part of our story, which will in turn give others freedom to show their own cracks and imperfections.

kintsugi is a philosophy which treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

Perhaps the beauty of nature is that it isn’t perfect. God created and called everything ‘good’ – it was complete and met God’s approval*. When Adam and Eve ate that apple, sin entered life and the need for improvement also entered. The world was no longer perfect.

And so, as the paradox goes, imperfect becomes perfect because it draws us in to a relationship that allows us to create along with God as he redeems the imperfect and makes it perfect by HIS perfectness.

There are imperfections in each perfect day, and perfect moments in each in perfect day. How we choose to look at each will determine how our day ends.

What does the Bible say about perfection? Here are a few of my favorite verses!

How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?
Galatians 3:3

Is it any advantage to the Almighty if you are righteous? Would it be any gain to him if you were perfect?
Job 22:3

God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect.
2 Samuel 22:31, 33

Even perfection has its limits, but your commands have no limit.
Psalm 119:96

As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
1 John 4:17-18

For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
Hebrews 7:19

What are your thoughts on perfect vs. imperfect? Is there a Bible verse or two not listed that you like?

* Nate Pruitt, Creative in God’s Image

Being Courageous

Once upon a time, an author started a group for people to come together and encourage and dream and work and grow. The group evolved and people chased dreams and changed lives and accomplished things. We became cheerleaders and friends to people across the globe who we never would have met otherwise.

One man in the group, Chris, makes these Courageous Turtles. Aren’t they cute?! And they pack such great meaning! Don’t know the story? Check out the video at the end of this post.

The blue became a gift for my mother; the middle one, Hope, is my best friend’s. She LOVES green and pink and the HOPE is a reminder.

The green one with the anchor is for me to remember three things. #1 – the sea rocks are each unique, like me. They also allow light to shine through -#2- and my life is better when I allow Jesus to be that light. #3 – Christ is my anchor and my refuge. When I focus on Him, I can be content no matter my circumstances.

So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 6:18-20

They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.
They share freely and give generously to those in need.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
They will have influence and honor.
Psalm 112:8-9

Want your own Courageous Turtle? Chris sells them at his website here or follow him on Facebook!

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{Janet’s Germany} Porcelain Manufacturer

Meissen is famous for the manufacture of porcelain. Meissen porcelain was the first high quality porcelain to be produced outside of the Orient, established by King Augustus the Strong in 1710. The mathematician and physicist Ehrenfried Walther Graf von Tschirnhaus and the alchemist Johann Friedrich Boettger had succeeded in manufacturing the first white European porcelain in 1708. This porcelain was called “White Gold” was of great significance, because of the Chinese monopoly in this market.

Visiting the porcelain manufacturing building and taking the tour was one of the highest of highlights of my trip – so much so that I went through twice! This will easily be the longest post about my trip because there’s so much I learned! Once going through the tour made it apparent WHY Meissen porcelain is SO famous and WHY is COSTS SO MUCH!!selah_candace_rose_Porcelain_01The onion pattern is the most famous pattern created, and has been used by many other companies trying to imitate Meissen Porcelain. Its signature logo, the crossed swords, was introduced in 1720 to protect its production and was added to the onion design. The crossed swords is one of the oldest trademarks in existence and is on each piece created here.selah_candace_rose_Porcelain_02Not only dish ware is created – large pieces such as this sad lion have been created and a selection can be seen in the upstairs museum. The yellow tea service set was made in 1722. selah_candace_rose_Porcelain_03There are also many figurines with intricate details of both molding and painting.selah_candace_rose_Porcelain_04The teapot with all the flowers? Each flower was individually hand made and applied to the tea pot and then hand painted.selah_candace_rose_Porcelain_05A sculpture of discarded pieces is on display and was amazing to look at each side and see all the little hidden elements!selah_candace_rose_Porcelain_06On the first stop of the tour, we watched a short video showing how the elements are mined, broken down, and then mixed together in a water slurry. After the 3 ingredients are well mixed, the water is spun out leave the clay which can be stored up to nine months before being created into a delicate porcelain something. selah_candace_rose_Porcelain_07I was mesmerized in the second room by watching the clay being formed by hand into a plain cup and then formed in the centuries old mold, removing excess clay to form the delicately thin clay. The clay dries in it’s mold for 30 minutes and is then removed. The base and handle are added using slip (some of the clay without the excess water taken out). After firing, each piece is only 65% of it’s original size! selah_candace_rose_Porcelain_08 selah_candace_rose_Porcelain_09In another room of the tour, we witnessed another artist hand carving part of a statue. We also saw how each little ivy leaf is created in a mold and then added to the statue with slip, piece by piece. Some details, like roses and more detailed flowers, are created lovingly by hand – without any kind of mold! selah_candace_rose_Porcelain_10 selah_candace_rose_Porcelain_11The third room of the tour taught how each piece is hand painted, how the colors used change dramatically during firing, and there were many examples of how paints change in firing. The steps to just make one plate are extensive, and require many years of training for each artist. When a piece is painted before firing, any paint that is applied cannot be removed, so perfection is a must!selah_candace_rose_Porcelain_12The gold paint used is 90% pure gold and looks very dark before firing. After a piece with gold is fired, the gold is hand polished to give it the bright lustre seen at the bottom of the sample plate. It is only after these steps that a piece can be sold! selah_candace_rose_Porcelain_13The last stop of the tour before the shops was watching another artist paint an already glazed and fired plate. At this time, paint is not permanent until it is fired. Multiple colors require multiple firings as only one color at a time is applied. The only exception to this is in scenery, which is all painted at once.

For more information on the history of porcelain manufacturing in Meissen, check out their website!

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