You're in limited preview mode.

Login or signup for free to unlock more content.

Broken Pieces Make Good Grog

Brokenness Mistakes Refined

Source: "What is Grog Pottery" by Beth Peterson, published, 10/21/19, retrieved 2/14/24

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Sam Leggett | Date Posted: 2024-02-14

Scripture: Jeremiah 18:4 ; Psalms 31:12

Author: Sam Leggett


Ceramic pottery has been used for thousands of years. It is made from clay that has been molded and heated to high temperatures in order to make the clay hard. The clay reaches temperatures so high that the chemical composition of the clay changes. Pottery can be painted and glazed to become beautiful works of art. Besides it's beauty and versatility, the pottery is very durable. Many vessels have withstood the test of time, even for millenia.

What happens to pottery that becomes damaged or broken? Even the smallest crack can render a pot unusable.

Broken vessels are not just thrown out. Many potters will take the broken pieces of the clay vessels and crush them into dust. The technical term for that dust is called "grog."

The grog is then thoroughly mixed into fresh clay. 

What are the benefits of "grogged" clay?

While drying shrinkage, it can help reduce firing shrinkage. Grogged clay can also help reduce thermal expansion, which means a lower chance of expanding and contracting, when it's being heated in the kiln, which will mean a lower chance of it cracking.

When the new vessel is fired in the kiln, the grog becomes a sort of adhesive — a bonding agent, if you will — causing the clay to be even more durable than it would have been without the clay dust.


We humans are often likened in scripture to pottery. We are vessels made of clay. As such, sin can "break" or "mar" us, having a profound effect on our usefulness or fitness for service. 

When the child of God is broken due to sin, the Lord doesn't just throw us out. Rather, he takes our brokenness and refashions us into an even stronger vessel.  

So, do you ever feel "crushed" by the weight of your own brokenness and the Lord's refining process, like so much grog on the potter's workbench? Well, Scripture has promised us that the Lord's heart is to "bind up" the wounds of the broken hearted ( Psam 147:3).

That grog, in the hands of a skillful potter, is like a powerful adhesive  —a bonding agent — which will bind us back together, stronger than ever! And what's more, it will bond us even closer to the Father's heart!

God is, indeed, the Master Potter who, in His mercy, uses our experience, even our brokenness, to strengthen us and shape us into vessels ever increasingly fit for and worthy of service. 

"I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery" (Psalms 31:12, NIV).

"But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him" (Jeremiah 18:4, NIV).

A Missing S Takes Down A Landmark Company

Mistakes Complacency Vigilance

Source: “Government in £9 million payout after single letter blunder causes business to collapse” by Camilla Turner, posted UK TELEGRAPH, January 27, 2015

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-01-29

Scripture: Luke 19:17 ; 1 Corinthians 10:12

Author: Illustration Exchange


“It was a 124-year-old Welsh family business which took five generations to build up,” reports the UK Telegraph, “yet a blunder over a single letter was all that was needed to cause its collapse, leaving the Government with a multi-million dollar legal bill.”

This month (January 2015), a British high court has found that Companies House (an executive agency of the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills) is liable for the damages associated with the collapse of the company.

At issue was an erroneous report published by Companies House stating that the prestigious engineering firm Taylor & Sons was “all wound up” (i.e., in liquidation). By the time Taylor & Sons caught the error just three days later, Companies House had already sold the information to the various credit bureaus. In an effort to protect their own assets, both clients and suppliers of the engineering firm began canceling orders and contracts immediately. Within just three weeks the company, said owner Phillip Davison-Serby was rendered ”so as to become of no real value.”

“We lost all our credibility as all our suppliers thought we were in liquidation,” said Davison-Serby. “It was like a snowball effect.”

All the while, the real credit problem was never with Taylor & Sons at all, but rather with a completely unrelated company called Taylor & Son (no “s”!).

A simple, careless typographical error resulted in the demise of a landmark company and the loss of livelihood for all its 250 employees.

“The administrative slip-up was the only one of its kind ever recorded at Companies House history,” reports the TELEGRAPH.

"That can only be,” said the judge, “because it was easy to avoid."


God calls us to faithfulness in both little things and great. Yet while we’re on our guard, paying such close attention to the details of the “great” things, we can all too easily fail in the “small" things. We become careless and unconcerned about those “little” sins because they seem, as the judge described, “so easy to avoid.”

Don't let the "snowball effect" of easy slip-ups render your great efforts to be of no value.

"'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities'"(Luke 19:17).

"“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Famed Grad School Misspells Own Name on Diplomas

Mistakes Witness Humility

Source: "Northwestern's School of Journalism misspells own name on diplomas" by Mike Krumboltz, published Yahoo News, June 23, 2014

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-07-03

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:12 ; Proverbs 16:18

Author: Illustration Exchange


Oops! Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications — one of the nation's most highly regarded journalism graduate programs — issued dozens of diplomas with its own name misspelled!

How ironic. Communication, particularly in the written word, is supposed to be their primary forte. They boast in their communication prowess. Heck, they even grant highly coveted degrees in it.

"The diploma would have been tagged with a 'Medill F' — a stamp earned by students who commit factual or spelling errors," reports the AP.

The blooper--though so minor in the vast scheme of things--loomed large against the backdrop of a world-famous journalism school, and managed to catch the attention of major news outlets. The very media which the school promotes and educates is having a field day publicizing and mocking the blunder. 


When we make a public claim to be followers of Christ, the world begins to hold us to a higher standard. After all, morality is supposed to be the Christian's forte. That being so, even the slightest slip will catch a watching world's attention. That's when we must decide between excusing our blunder as an anomaly or humbly confessing that we are just as capable as the next guy of fumbling. The Scriptures commend the second approach for some obvious reasons. First, it's true. We are all prone to faux pas. Also, it is only as we remain humble that we become the witness to God's goodness and grace that He intends to be.

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Tossing Jack's Beans Out the Window

Mistakes Opportunity God's Will

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-20

Scripture: Romans 8:28

Author: Martha Brockenbrough

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

God Won't Accept Your Resignation

Mistakes Eternal Security Grace

Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2012-05-16

Scripture: Proverbs 28:13 ; 1 John 1:9

Author: Fred Gates

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

How Does Good Judgment Come?

Mistakes Spiritual Growth God's Will

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-03-31

Author: Barry LePatner

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Message the Lyrics

Endurance Perseverance Mistakes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2010-12-27

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

The Secret To Right Decisions

Wisdom Mistakes Decision Making

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2010-11-09

Scripture: Deuteronomy 5:33 ; Joshua 1:8

Author: Ted W. Engstrom and Edward R. Dayton, editors

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

A New Perspective

Perspective Teachability Patience

Contributed By: James Augustine | Date Posted: 2021-02-22

Scripture: Psalms 8:1 ; Psalms 8:4

Author: James Augustine

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

The Wild Ride

Giving Faith Risk

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2017-10-27

Scripture: Matthew 6:30

Author: James Miller

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or