Tag Archives: talents

What Do You Have Left?

Philippians 3:4-8

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Apostle Paul is one of the Bible characters that I cannot wait to see when I get to Heaven. His stories must be amazing! He’s a “shoot from the hip” kind of guy that always gets me right between the eyes with his words.

Confidence in the flesh

Paul had it, and from the worlds standards had reason to have it. Me? Not so much. I know I’m a multi-talented, gifted by God gal. Totally get it and totally don’t deserve it. But confidence in it? Um… no. Just this morning I’m flitting about getting ready for the day, listening to preaching, got an idea for a blog… then, got an idea for a song to go with the blog, then, while practicing that song I got an idea for a song of my own and went from room to room of my house trying to accomplish all those things at once. In the process, my computer crashed. Total nausea.

It was if God said, “You need to stop. I didn’t give you those gifts to drive you crazy.”

So I took a breakfast break, and regrouped. Rebooted my computer and low and behold my original thoughts for a blog were gone. And so I started from scratch believing God had a new plan.

Confidence in the Flesh will get you in trouble. Every time I feel that I’ve got a song somewhat mastered, I butcher it beyond belief. When I feel I am ready to stand before a crowd to sing or speak, my first thought on stage is “Who let this happen?” Paul was beyond confident, but he threw it all away for weakness.

A friend of mine had a proud momma moment the other day when her son performed and did an amazing job. She turned to me and said “I wish he knew how good he is.” I understood what she was saying, but part of his charm and talent is the grace and humility of him believing that he’s just “okay.”

Paul gave his resume for confidence and then he said, it’s not worth poop! That’s the Paul I know and love. He threw pious dignity right out the window.

Counted it Loss

Why is it that we put so much stock in terminology and the opinions of people? Labels and titles are fine to use as a narrative to our story but they in and of themselves do not define us. I’ve had many titles over the course of my 55 years. But truthfully, each title was a defining moment in my life that made me who I am in Christ. Paul learned and taught that an education was only as good as its eternal ramification for Christ Jesus. Paul used his wisdom to market Heaven in a way that we continue to share 2000 years later, and he didn’t even have social media. That’s an effective education. It’s why he could count the papers that listed his titles as loss, because the only paper that matter, was the word of God.

Consider the Value

Apostle Paul said that all of the noble titles and power he held in the world were worth no more than “dung.” Defined as the “excrement of men.”

So… here’s a thought. The next time you go number 2, just look in the bowl and think about the fact that that’s the value of all of your worldly wisdom and stature. All that matters is what’s outside the bowl, which is what we do for Christ. The question of the hour is “What do you have left?


This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

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Not Listening is Dangerous!

chick feast

So I find the story in the book of Samuel, chapter 13 of the character of Saul. Saul, an ordinary, (though tall) fella, who God has given a job. And not just any job! The job of being the very first King of Israel.

Once Saul took office he had called up 3,000 men; 2000 of which were under his leadership and 1,000 under the leadership of his son Jonathan.  Not long after this, his son Jonathan killed a garrison (a troop) of Philistines and their people were upset. Upset enough to get 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen together to attack Israel.

This was Saul’s first big test of leadership. But he only had 3,000 people. So Israel ran and hid in their tents and caves and bushes, anywhere they could because they were sure they were just about to get slaughtered.

Saul is in Gilgal, where Samuel, the man of God had told him to wait for seven days and he’d be there to offer a sacrifice. They’d have a prayer meeting before the battle, always a good idea!

But Samuel doesn’t come at the hour that Saul expected. So Saul does something really stupid and takes matters in his own hands. (I have worn that shirt too many times to count!)

1 Samuel 13:9-10

And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.

Saul was excited to see Samuel… For a minute. Until he realized that Samuel wasn’t any too happy that Saul had done a job that God had appointed him to do.

Saul’s job was King. Samuel’s job was sacrifice.

As I’m reading this, as I often do, my mind is in other places. “God, over and over again I ask Your plan, and over and over again I think I have direction and then, life just doesn’t work. What now?” And in between my reading, talking, writing and Attention Deficit Disorder living I can almost feel God roll His eyes at me again.

And then it happens. I whine. “Seven years, I’ve been here waiting. Seven years!  (as if God didn’t hear me the first time) In 2010, God in no uncertain terms said. “Quit your job, and serve me.”

And I just couldn’t see how it would work. So I’ve been hired, fired, wired and tired for seven years. Not in a good place. I’ve doubted myself. Others have doubted my calling, I’ve worked for nasty people and nice people and although I’m a little further down the road, I don’t feel that I’m very far. Again and again, I’ve tried to go back into the secular world of work, and it won’t happen.

But right at this point of whining I almost feel a Gibbs slap to the back of the head. (NCIS television show terminology there.) And God saying did you even listen to what you read? For seven days Saul waited for Samuel and then decided to take things into his own hands and because of that he lost it all. Seven days, or seven years, it doesn’t matter. I have to be the one controlling your life, else this is not going to work. Those jobs you’re applying for belong to someone else, stop trying to do them.

So that was His message for me today… I have a job. It’s to wait on God.

Saul lost the kingdom and he lost the peace of God. That’s how King David came into the picture as the second King of Israel, because he could play and sing for Saul and speak peace to his soul. There’s power in what I do. Although I don’t write like David, and I’m not the skilled musician he obviously was, it’s the job that God has given me. I need to stop trying to take someone else’s.

So to cap this story off, with something funny to tell, not funny to live… This past Sunday, someone on the music schedule wasn’t able to sing and they ask me to fill in on the fly. So I think, no prob! I’m trying to obey God and do what He’s ask so I take my guitar to church and I’m going to wow them with my singin’ and playin’. I couldn’t hit a chord to save my soul! Praise God, Jesus had already saved it. So I whine again… but God, You said if I did it, I’d be okay. He said, “I didn’t say it would be easy.” To which my response was “Did it have to be so dog gone embarrassing?”

I think God likes His people humble. And He knows my heart, I’m always trying to do it the short cut way. There’s not shortcut to God’s design.

I don’t have time to tell you of the blessings God has put in my path to make these things happen. People, instruments, tools of the trade of writing. God has a plan for each one of us and I believe if we listen it is clear ~ and not listening is dangerous! So listen the first time. It’ll go way easier for you! #ExperiencedFailure #GodLovesMeThisIknow

 

Dwelling on Past Negatives Accomplishes Nothing Positive

everyone

It’s so very easy to get thrown into a negative frame of mind, is it not? This morning as I read the scripture of Moses’ trek to the mountain to receive the word of God, and Aaron’s transgression of listening to the people’s request for a golden idol, my mind went reeling into the negative side of the church.

  • Why must we always fall by the ways of the world?
  • Why is it that faith is so hard?
  • Why are we such a fickle lot?

I had in my mind that I would bible journal about the golden calf this morning. There were plenty of golden calves in my own life that I could use for illustrations, but my heart wouldn’t let me ponder those passages. It was if God said, “I don’t want you lingering there, read on…” And so I did and was I ever glad! What encouragement there was in Exodus 35. Moses and Israel had had their time in the wood shed, they were moving on!

Exodus 35:21

And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord‘s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.

There was my point to ponder today. Dwelling on past negatives accomplishes nothing positive. It serves to take you back into that place and feeling of failure. Who needs that? But refocusing our attention on the service of the Lord and what He has given us stirs within us a desire to be better, and I for certain need that in my life!

And they came…. It’s time to get busy!

Every one whose heart stirred him up… (or her as the case may be). If you’re a child of God He has given you the desire to serve Him and not only the desire but the ability and means to serve Him where you are.

I could dwell on how I’ve failed, I could look at the failures of the church as a whole, or I could make an eternal difference in someone’s life with my talents today. They didn’t cost me a dime! Now, some of the tools for which I need to use my talents cost money, but God has generously supplied those too, how can I not give them back. And if you look at your life, I would guess that you’re in the same boat sailing with blessing!

Put on your robe of righteousness that was received by the blood of Christ and serve Him today! I love positive encouragement it does a soul good! Serve God with a smile!

Did You Find What You Were Looking For?

Perfect gift

Yesterday was a spendthrift’s paradise and a penny pincher’s nightmare. Merchandise flew off the shelves and cars were packed to the brim with Christmas gifts, goodies and bargains… or so I’ve been told. I wasn’t a part of the mayhem and bedlam this year; my shopping was done from the couch with a click and cha-ching, I figured that was a lot easier on my feet and my wallet. But it still didn’t eliminate the issue of finding the perfect gift for the folks I love, it’s tough! I do however know the perfect gift giver!!!

The Perfect Gift

James 1:17 says “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

The gifts that God has given each one of us are good, perfect and beyond a shadow of a doubt, just what we need. They’re nonrefundable and un-exchangeable. So why is it they’re not being used? I ask myself that question almost every day. Every Christmas we usually get at least one gift that has us scratching our head and asking “What were they thinking when they bought that?” We’re as hard to buy for as those we’re buying for. But not so with God, He has us pegged from birth, it is we to try to change the game.

The Perfect Gift Perfected

As a child I loved to write, speak and sing. The world inside my mind was always a stage. But over the years I convinced myself I wasn’t good enough at any one of them and pushed those ideas into the recesses of my mind. And upon the occasion that I’d unclutter it, they’d resurface for a while only to be returned to a corner for fear of inadequacy. But praise God for scripture such as that in Psalm 138:8 which says “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.”

God is merciful and patient with me. Praise His holy name for that. Even though I forsook the gift, God never allowed me to forsake the notion and eventually He won me over. I struggle daily with feelings of inadequacy and self-esteem issues, usually masked with comic relief. God said He would perfect that which concerns me, not me.

The Perfect Gift Accepted

Romans 12:2

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Finding that perfect will of God is about as easy as finding the perfect gift for someone because the world is always vying for our attention. It’s not easy, but it’s worthy. Because within that perfect will we’ll find:

Peace

Isaiah 26:3

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

 Love

John 17:23

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

 Contentment

James 1:4

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Are those not the perfect gifts!

They didn’t know his name, but they knew his God

1 Samuel 16:16-18 ~  Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him.

When Saul fell out of fellowship with God, God allowed an evil spirit to trouble him;I believe it is still the case today when someone who once served God stops serving Him, and begins serving the world again, that God will allow their to be trouble in their soul, an un-rest where there was once rest and peace. He’ll also allow a peace to be felt in the presence of other Christians in their lives to bring to remembrance the peace God once afforded them.

David had obviously made quite the impression on the community as a harpist (the original bluegrasser’s ya know), but not enough to make his name a household word. He was still referred to as “the son of Jesse.” He was known for his music, his mastery in war and life’s circumstances and he was quite the looker. All of that is in those verses, just not with the same adjectives I used to describe him, but its there. And last but not least they say “and the Lord is with him.” It was his secular talent that got him noticed, but it was obvious to everyone he was blessed by God.

What we do outside the church is important, and it’s important that we do it well. If we profess we are Christians, how awesome would it be that when someone described our character and abilities that they followed it with “and the Lord is with them.” They probably won’t. But you better believe that a Christian who does not do their job well will often be referred to as “and they say their a Christian…”

David was first noticed for his abilities, but they also knew that God’s hand was upon him. And who knows how many souls were saved because he drew attention to himself through his talents, but glorified God in the process. So… what are you doing with your talents today? Are you a person who desires God’s heart?

The world may not know your name, but what’s more important is that they know your God.