Tag Archives: restoration

What Music Can You Play on a Broken Stradivarius

Story of the Day for Thursday March 22, 2012

What Music Can You Play on a Broken Stradivarius?

And the God of all grace . . . will restore, establish, strengthen, and set you on a firm foundation.

                                                             1 Peter 5:10

Peter Cropper, from Sheffield, England, is a distinguished violinist. He is so good, he was asked to perform at the prestigious Kuhmo Music Festival in Finland.

The Royal Academy of Music in London honored him by loaning him the use of a priceless Stradivarius violin. The violin, made by Antonio Stradivari was 258 years old and was made in his “Golden period.” It was considered one of the most valuable violins in the world.

On the night of the festival, Mr. Cropper hurried on stage and tripped on an extension cord. He fell on the Stradivarius and broke the neck completely off.

Peter was inconsolable.

Charles Beare offered to repair the violin. The Royal Academy thanked Beare for his gracious offer, but assured him a broken Strad could never be repaired. But Cropper urged the Academy to see what Beare could do, and they finally relented and handed the violin over to Beare.

Beare spent endless hours trying to repair the broken neck and a cracked bass bar with animal glue. After a month he presented the violin to the Academy. With Cropper in attendance they looked in astonishment – they could not find the slightest sign that the violin had ever been damaged.

Not only did the restored violin look impeccable, but Cropper said, “. . . the violin is now in better shape than ever, producing a much more resonant tone.” That next week he performed with the Lindsay Quartet in Carnegie Hall, playing the restored Stradivarius.

We all fail in life.

So, what does God think about us when we botch things up? We know that He cares deeply about behaving the right way, so it stands to reason He is furious when we do wrong.

Yes, God does care deeply about living rightly, because living wrongly creates so much pain to ourselves and others. But He’s the God of grace.

Jesus never walked the streets with a clipboard – sifting out the rejects and patting the righteous on the head. If Jesus only approved of those who never failed in life, there would be no heads to pat.

Never write the chapter of your failures as the last chapter of your story. The Lord, as a master craftsman, always offers to take the broken pieces of your heart, and restore you.

And make you stronger than before.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Be Faithful in Attending Your Local Department

Story of the Day for Thursday November 3, 2011

Be Faithful in Attending Your Local Service Department

                 Two men went into the temple to pray . . . The Pharisee prayed, “God, I thank you that I’m not like other people. . . “  But the tax collector . . . said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” 

                                                                     Luke 18:10-13

Many years ago, in a small Wisconsin town, a widow and her three small daughters were staying away from worship at the Methodist Church. A member talked to the widow about her worship attendance and discovered the woman was too embarrassed to come to church because she could not afford good clothes for the girls.

The member reported this to the Methodist Women’s Circle of the congregation, and the women’s group immediately responded by generously providing the girls with new clothes.

But still the family didn’t come to church.

When they saw the mother again, and asked about her absence from worship, she said, “The girls looked so nice in their new dresses, I sent them to the Presbyterian Church.”


In the old days the church may have been a place to showcase our dress, but I don’t see much of that anymore. But what is always a danger, and never seems to go out of style, is using the church as a place to showcase ourselves.

Pastors from the various churches in a community where I lived, used to gather for meetings. They were good men, and I liked them. But the meetings began to turn into bragfests – each pastor vying to outdo the others in the miracles claimed or the number of conversions. No one dared mention their struggles and failures, or their sins.


Jim Corley wrote in Christian Reader about a conversation he had with his friend, and fellow church member, Alex. Jim found out Alex was reluctant to go to worship because he was struggling in his life and felt he was not being a good Christian example. He felt like such a hypocrite.

So, one day, Jim went to the car dealership where Alex worked.

“Alex, what do you call this part of the dealership?” as he nodded to the area outside Alex’s cubicle.

“You mean the showroom?”

“And what’s behind the showroom, past the parts counter?”

“The service department.”

“What if I told you, “ Jim said, “I didn’t want to bring my car to the service department because it was running rough”

“That would be crazy! That’s the whole point of service departments – to fix cars that aren’t running right.”

Jim then told his friend that the church was not a showroom – where we seek to impress people. Instead, the church is meant to be God’s service department. “Helping people get back in running order with God is what the church is all about.”

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)




Let Prisoners Run Wild

Story of the Day for Friday September 2, 2011

Let Prisoners Run Wild

                     They will rebuild the ancient ruins. They will restore what had once been devastated. 

                                                                           Isaiah 61:4

 In 1852, on Vancouver Island, British settlers founded the village of Victoria. The town was built  with beauty and Old World charm. Flowers were imported from England: hollyhocks, wallflower, and mignonette.  Every home boasted a lovely garden in the front yard.

The peaceful village of Victoria was truly idyllic.


But all this changed in a day. On April 25, 1848, most of the 450 residents were returning home from worship when an American boat, the Commodore, pulled into harbor with 450 passengers. Instantly, the size of the town had doubled.

Gold had been discovered. James Douglas, the governor of the area, had 636 pounds of gold dust. The colony had collected so much gold that he decided to send 800 ounces to the gold mint in San Francisco.

Once the secret was out, Americans poured into Victoria, the only port in the area, to get in on the action. Soon, the Sierra Nevada unloaded another 1900 miners. This was quickly followed by other passenger ships: the Orizaba and the Cortez.

The new residents stripped the surrounding hills of timber and quickly erected a rowdy shantytown. The cost of property exploded. A fifty dollar city lot now sold for three thousand dollars.

Within four months the beautiful village of Victoria exploded from 450 residents to 30,000.


The city of Victoria, once so charming, was overrun by those greedy for fortune, but who cared nothing for beauty.

But the city fought back, and their main weapon was the flower.  The city chose to reclaim their original British heritage. Their government buildings and hotels were constructed with an Old World design. Residents played cricket. But, more than anything else, they planted flowers.

Today, you would be hard-pressed to find a city of more abundant and beautiful flowers. The Butchart Gardens alone overflows with 55 acres of flowers – not to mention Finnerty Gardens, Abkhazi Gardens, and countless others.

Today, the various municipalities of the city hold annual contests to determine who has the most flowers. It is a friendly competition to be named the “Bloomingest Community.”

A Canadian survey wanted to know how much residents loved the city in which they lived. The residents of Victoria ranked number one. Conde Nast Traveller magazine ranked Victoria one of the best cities in the world, and number one in ambience.


Jesus’ first recorded sermon was in his hometown of Nazareth, and based on the words of Isaiah 61. He said he was the one God had sent to bring restoration. He came to restore broken hearts and let prisoners run wild. He was coming to give the mourning a crown of beauty, and to rebuild what was torn down.

As we survey the wreckage of our lives, don’t lose sight of the One whose goal is to rebuild.

                                                         (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)