Clay in the Potter’s Hands
Most Christians have heard that God is the potter and we are the clay, but Diana Pavlac Glyer, who has spent countless hours at the potter’s wheel, shows in this remarkable book that this saying is far more than a casual metaphor. As God hovers over His creation, centering us or shaping us or even restoring us from collapse, He may transform us in ways we never imagined.
Pastors preach about it, Christians sing about it, and we find it in the Bible from beginning to end…
Most Christians have heard that God is the potter and we are the clay, but Diana Pavlac Glyer, who has spent countless hours at the potter’s wheel, shows in this remarkable book that this saying is far more than a casual metaphor. As God hovers over His creation, centering us or shaping us or even restoring us from collapse, He works through these situations to transform us in ways we never imagined.
Pastors preach about it, Christians sing about it, and we find it in the Bible from beginning to end. Combining black & white photographs with an engaging narrative style Diana Pavlac Glyer breathes new life into the well-loved image of God working in our lives like a potter works with clay.
In fifteen short chapters, she shows the potter at work: seeking the clay, preparing it, shaping, drying, and firing it in the kiln. The most compelling parts explain what happens when things go awry—the pot collapses, it skitters off the wheel, it dries and splits and crashes to the floor. At every stage, the potter is at work, making extraordinary art out of the most ordinary experiences of our lives.
At every stage, the potter is at work, making extraordinary art out of the most ordinary experiences of our lives.
What people are saying about the book:
“I thoroughly enjoyed Clay in the Potter’s Hands. Diana Glyer’s descriptions bring the process of creating pottery alive for us. She connects us to the men and women of Bible times for whom watching the potter at work would have been a daily experience. In so doing, she illustrates God’s character and our discipleship in a unique and encouraging way. I recommend this book enthusiastically.” Cynthia Nicholson, National Women’s Task Force Coordinator, Vineyard USA, Assistant Pastor, Vineyard Church of Evanston, Illinois
“In her book, Diana Glyer provides vivid and captivating imagery that brings delight in being mere clay in the hands of our mighty Creator. Inspiring questions accompany each chapter, culminating in prayers that lead the reader to a humble awe and gratitude for being chosen and crafted into the image of God by the Potter’s own hand.” Doug Greenman, Executive Pastor, Stanwood Foursquare Church, Stanwood, Washington
“Most Christians have heard that God is the potter and we are the clay, but Diana Glyer, who has spent countless hours at the potter’s wheel with her own hands saturated with clay, shows in this remarkable book that this saying is far more than a casual metaphor. God’s fingerprints are all over us. As God hovers over his creation, centering us or shaping us or even restoring us from collapse, he may transform us in ways we never imagined. Clay in the Potter’s Hands does a masterful job of revealing spiritual insights from an insider’s perspective, as one potter considers the work of God the Master Artist. You will be challenged and inspired.” Joseph Bentz, Author of A Son Comes Home, When God Takes Too Long, and God in Pursuit
“As a fellow potter and someone pretty conversant with scripture, there’s not much I didn’t already ‘know’ in this book – and yet it speaks to me PROFOUNDLY. Diana Glyer has captured the heart of the dynamic, of God with His hands working in our lives.This book encourages me when I feel discouraged because it reminds me that God is big and my problems don’t overwhelm Him at all– I can trust Him, walking into the future, that He will take *everything* and turn it to my eternal benefit.” Lynn Maudlin, Artist and Singer-songwriter
“I used Diana Glyer’s Clay in the Potter’s Hands for my Ceramics classes. The students loved identifying with well known Biblical stories as they worked at mastering the potter’s wheel.” Susan Ney, Artist and Professor, Azusa Pacific University
“Clay in the Potter’s Hands is a strong, extended metaphor that takes what is intuitively already a good analogy and makes it all that much more profound. When we hear the Apostle Paul say that we are like clay to God the potter, we hardly realize that each stage of the process of shaping the artisan’s work serves as a unique analogue to something that God does in the process of shaping us. Paul must have seen a potter at work and must have realized how good the analogy was. In our modern world of prefab housewares, that analogy could well have been lost, had not Glyer recaptured it for us.” James W. Miller, Senior Pastor of Glenkirk Presbyterian Church, Author of God Scent: A Devotional
“The measure of knowledge in our society is often marked by separation, analysis, data collection, and inductive prediction. Rarely does one encounter a writer who seizes tenaciously on a powerful metaphor, digs deeply into its heart and allows it to shape and inform not only her prose but her life, embracing its transformative, life-giving potential. In Clay in the Potter’s Hands, Diana Glyer has done just that. Here, we are gently moved from observer to participant and from casual knowledge to redeeming wisdom. Each step of this shaping and shaped process is filled with meaning and each meditative moment is touched with the eternal hand of the Master Potter. Diana Pavlac Glyer invites her readers into the real potter’s studio.” Scott B. Key, Professor of Philosophy, California Baptist University
“I find the general run of devotional books worse than useless; Diana Glyer’s Clay in the Potter’s Hands is a wonderful exception. A gifted writer who has thought long and hard about the Christian life and who has lived the biblical metaphor around which this work centers with eye and hand, she manages to be clear without being cloying, deep without being difficult, and spiritual without being sappy. She gives us everything the people who like devotional books are looking for without subjecting us to any of the things people who hate them are fleeing. This is a great achievement indeed.” Donald T. Williams, Pastor and Missionary, The Evangelical Free Church of America, Author of Mere Humanity and Credo: Meditations on the Nicene Creed, Professor of English, Toccoa Falls College, Toccoa, Georgia
“Fascinating! As a potter, I could identify with the different stages of creating with clay, and as a Christian, I appreciated how this book ties each step into how God works in our lives. From the beginning to the end—God is able to use us—if we are “yielded and still.” Thank you for insight and testimony of faith which has enriched my life.” Pat Ballard, Artist, Westchester, California
“Before reading this book, I looked at the metaphor of the potter and the clay merely as a lesson of accepting the way God made me. This book has helped me see through the eyes of the potter and opened up a great many other lessons for me to meditate on. I felt so inspired by the lessons in the book.” Daniel Cothran, Missionary, Author of Knowing the Difference: How to Recognize a Cult, Tunghai University, Taiwan
“There is only so much the average reader can take away from the verses in Jeremiah about the potter and the clay without a little help. With Diana Glyer’s inspirational book as my guide, I’ve been able to understand the deeper meaning of what scripture says regarding the Christian walk. I have felt inspired, encouraged, and definitely stretched. I especially enjoyed the discussion questions, as they require me to put into practice what I’ve just read. The prayers that end each section are both inspiring and, sometimes, a bit unnerving as I found myself reading a prayer that could have come straight from my own heart.” Richard McCoy, Special Education Teacher and Motivational Speaker, Laquey, Missouri
“I was very impressed with the imagery of the clay (me) going through the process of becoming “something” useful. Not necessarily beautiful. I have given several books to friends of all ages. My pastor commented that his 11 year old daughter could read it to her 7 yr old twin sisters as well as her 80+ yr old grandmother. The book has traveled all over to friends and family. Thank you for writing it and allowing us to be part of your creativity.” Ruth E. Carlson, RN, Parish Nurse, Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church, Claremont, California
“I’ve read dozens of devotional books. Ok, well, I’ve started dozens of them, but with very few exceptions they usually leave me uninspired. But Diana Glyer has managed the nearly impossible—to sound the deep places of the heart with healing, humor, wisdom and grace. The way she does it—suggesting rather than saying, leaving all kinds of room for the reader, makes this book uniquely effective in all of the devotional reading I have ever done. I read one chapter a day, and without fail always felt the Great Physician using Diana’s care-filled, honest humility and spare, rich prose to open up my heart for that divine surgery that cuts even as it cleanses. I do not exaggerate to say that I left tears of joy, release, refreshment and grace on every single page. It’s that good. It’s better—it’s superb and so full of grace and truth that it has become a profound treasure. Clay in the Potter’s Hands moved me to the depths of my soul.” Andrew Lazo, Speaker, Co-editor of Mere Christians:Inspiring Stories of Encounters with C. S. Lewis, Teacher, St. Thomas High School, Houston, Texas
“This is a really good book! It manages to combine depth and simplicity which is rare, but I think it is the way it treats our experience of pain and broken-ness which really sets it apart. The chapters on Returning, Repairing and Redeeming were especially moving and significant for me. This book is going to be so helpful to so many people!” Malcolm Guite, Priest, Poet, Chaplain at Girton College, University of Cambridge, Author of Faith, Hope, and Poetry
“This is a book to be savored. Devotional books like this one are rare; I don’t remember the last time I read one which expresses the richness of Scripture with such simplicity, grace and practical application. My own “crack-pot” life experienced the shaping, restoring and encouraging hand of the potter through reading this book. I highly recommend the experience.” Will Vaus, President of Will Vaus Ministries, Author of The Hidden Story of Narnia: A Book-by-Book Guide to C.S. Lewis’ Spiritual Themes
“Clay in the Potter’s Hands reminds me of the excitement of discovering what a ‘carpenter’ (Greek ‘tekton’) did in Jesus time. Diana Glyer has given me an entirely new perspective on one of the very rich metaphors of God’s work and grace in our lives. My heartfelt thanks to her.” Eric Drewry, Associate Professor of English, Azusa Pacific University
“Diana Glyer teaches like Jesus did: this poetic parable of the pots got to my head and to my heart.” Greg Anderson, Senior Pastor, Union Church, Hong Kong
“There is a tremendous need in each person’s life to know God’s reality, to feel His presence, to experience His guidance and love. Read Clay in the Potter’s Hands. Like it did for me, it will open your eyes to the way God shapes us and loves us in a life-changing way. I cannot recommend a book on spiritual formation more highly to you– and your whole family!” John Trent, Founder and President of StrongFamilies.com and The Center for StrongFamilies, Phoenix, Arizona, Author of The Language of Love, The Gift of Honor, Heart Shift, The Two-Degree Difference, and The Blessing
“In one hundred pages, Diana Glyer offers her readers fifteen marvelous chapters for reflection and more. You can “feel” her love of pottery and join her as she tells the story of creating something beautiful. Each chapter of Clay in the Potter’s Hands offers the reader an opportunity to accompany the potter at work. The author gently and easily moves from the potter’s wheel to texts from the Bible that offer examples of each stage of development of the artist’s work. These are accompanied by marvelous insights and questions for the reader to consider; then each chapter concludes with a prayer that brings the entire segment together quite nicely.”
Father John Chandler, S.J., Honolulu, Hawaii
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Diana Pavlac GlyerAuthor
Diana Pavlac Glyer is an artist, a teacher, and an award-winning writer. She discovered the joy of working on a potter’s wheel when she was in high school, and she hasn’t stopped yet. She enjoys the work of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and has published books and articles about their creative process. Diana is the author of Clay in the Potter’s Hands, the narrator of the Audiobook, and the visionary leader of this tribe. For more information, visit her online at www.DianaGlyer.com.