The 'BARKING OWL' always has something to say, and like the feathered version, can be either WISE...............or ANNOYING!

Monday, November 28, 2011

First on My Bucket List: THE BRAZIER

There are few things better than a clever turn of phrase.  Well there's pizza, and there's lemonade/hot chocolate, depending on the season, and there's Sam Cooke singing 'Twistin the night away'; but right after those things, there is the clever turn of phrase.  'Bucket List' is one of my favorites.

When this phrase appeared in our common culture not too many years ago it had just the right balance of meaning and mystery.  The two words are perfectly understandable on their own, and even put together could possibly mean the different types or sizes of containers that a farmer needs and has made note of, before heading to town.  But there is another understanding.  The Bucket portion of the phrase is a vague reference to the old mortality idiom that came from who knows where.  When we die, it is claimed that we somehow "kick the bucket", so a 'Bucket List' may also be the compilation of things one wants to accomplish before he so kicks.  A very clever phrase indeed.

Not being able to decide which was intended as this week's blogging theme, I think I'll combine the two possible meanings of the phrase as I described them above.  I will attempt to produce a list of buckets I might be; and describe the special item that I might (or might not) carry to my grave in each.  


picture from
Need to carry something burning hot?  Put it in a brazier, and quick!  Best understood as a thick metal pot containing live coals with a grill or plate for cooking.  Or else a pot with live coals and a cover that you might bring to another room  for warmth.  So what very hot item might I carry through my life requiring me to be as tough as a brazier?    I certainly tried, but my sin nature was too hot for me to handle.  While I fanned the flames, it was systematically incinerating my spirit until those flames were finally dealt with by the fourth man in the fiery furnace of Daniel 3:

   Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”
   They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”
  He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods. 

He, Jesus Christ, can manage the flames.

If you know you have things to confess, but prefer not to; if you are so ashamed, but too ashamed; if you doubt that even our God of mercy would choose to forgive, or maybe your pride forbids you ask; then you are living with ever burning coals inside.  It may seem that they are dying out and soon they will bother you no more, but actually you are getting thicker and ever more insulated, and seemingly more calloused to their direct effect.

If you would rather not carry such a burning burden, repent, and let it be carried away "as far as the east is from the west".  Once the fiery sinful nature is purged, you will no longer need to be as tough as bronze, or suffering as a cast iron brazier smolders within.  The healing, softening work of God can begin a restorative work in your life.

Coming this week: Can you picture me as a.....

brazier, cancask, hod, pail, vat, or vessel?   


  1. Amen and Amen. Repenting and seeking forgiveness is the best diet in the universe. Love your mind.

  2. Good thing Jo; it's the only one I have access to!

  3. I thought you said, "Brassiere." ;)


  4. excellent. looking forward to reading more!

  5. Joyce, I was wondering whom might read it that way. Now we know.

    Sylvia, thanks. I too am looking forward to finding out what comes next.

  6. Not sure a Brazier would be found on an inventory of buckets on our farm, but a very interesting blog anyway. I would never have thought of that interpretation! :D

  7. I agree Kat. Brazier was included when I asked for the synonyms of bucket, so I went with it.

  8. Didn't even know a thing like that existed. Something new to learn. And a very interesting interpretation of the theme ... look forward to the next one.

  9. You can add me to Joyce. I read it the same way at first blush. lol.

    This entry spoke to me. Thanks for writing it. It's never good to hold something in...and why do we do that, anyway? Dunno. But, boy, there is such freedom in letting it gooooooo.


  10. What an excellent take on this week's topic. Mike, this really spoke to me. Thank you.

  11. Thanks Suzy. I'm not sure if mine was such an 'interpretation' of the theme as much as it was an aberration from the theme!

    "at first blush" Amy? Very clever. Yes, we need to be cleaned out; especially of sin.

    Thanks Langley! That makes my day!

  12. The Bucket Posts just amaze me---I love this post Mike!! It really made me think...and I learned something new. I love studying Daniel--that was wonderful you tied that in.

    Great post--on to read #2!!

    Cheers, Jenn.

  13. I'm with Joyce and Amy. :O)

  14. LOL at Joyce and Amy.
    Not even gonna try for punning or turns of phrase with this one.
    Seriously, though, you raise an important point about the burning burdens and God's answer. He is able! Thanks for the reminder.


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