Jul 26, 2012

Using Your Gifts to Please God

You don’t give yourself enough credit.”

She said it quietly, without much emphasis, simply stating what she considered a fact.  Before I could respond she continued, “I haven’t tasted anything you cooked that wasn’t good.”
photo credit:  123rf.com

My friend Mandie visited me for the first time this summer.  It was a visit almost twelve years in the making.  Long before she came I made it known I didn’t consider myself the best cook.  I told her how well my sisters cooked but not me. I wanted to make sure I warned her in advance just in case she didn’t enjoy my cooking.   The fact is she did enjoy my sisters’ food but she enjoyed my own also.

Long after she left, her words played over and over in my mind.  “You don’t give yourself enough credit.”

Mandie’s words reminded me of something a church sister spoke in prayer meeting lately.  She said, “All God wants you to do is your best.  So, whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability.”  In the final analysis, God is not looking for the best cook, the snappiest dresser, the most creative homemaker or the most eloquent blogger. God is looking for people who will use their gifts and abilities whatever they may be, for his service and in service to others.

So even if we’re not what we consider to be the best at what we do, when we yield our gifts to God and allow him to use them He is pleased wit us.  And if God is pleased we should be alright with that.

What about you?  Do you often find yourself downplaying your gifts to others because you sincerely believe that what you do does not measure up? 

Trusting Him,

Jul 16, 2012

Dream Killers

What would you say if I told you that two killers were on the loose in your neighborhood and you were accused of aiding and abetting them? I’m sure you’d never do something like that… or would you? Well believe it or not it’s true.

 There are two killers on the loose and they are hiding out in a place you least suspect. These two killers are the best in the world. No matter how many times they are captured they always manage to escape.

They are more sinister than those behind the September 11th attacks, more terrifying than the deadliest diseases, and more intimidating than the fiercest bully.

These two always work together. In fact it’s in togetherness that they get their power. They have no respect for age; they kill young and old alike. However, they don’t kill the flesh, that’s much too obvious after all you may catch on and try to protect yourselves and your love ones.

These killers are after something else. If allowed to go unchecked they will destroy your dreams, your faith and your hope for a bright and beautiful future. They will reduce you to doubting your abilities, your purpose for being and your very worth as a person. These two assassins will not be found walking the streets, or hiding in bushes, in fact they hide in the most unlikely place… your mouth. These killers that I’m talking about are two simple words that we use countless times throughout the day.

The two assassins that I speak of, the killers of dreams, the instigators of doubt are the words I can’t.

What gives these words so much power is that they cause you to kill your own dreams without realizing. Every time you say I can’t a little piece of your dream dies because in essence you’re saying I’m not even going to try.

Many of us today are less than we should be, less than we want to be and less than God called us to be because we have allowed these assassins free reign over our lives. We have allowed it so much that many times we won’t even try anything new. Every time we are presented with a new challenge the first words out of our mouths are the words I can’t.

I dare you as of this moment to say something different. I dare you to stop letting those two dream killers have free reign in your life. I dare you to instead of saying I can’t say I’m going to try. You may not succeed at everything you try to do but at least you’re putting yourself in race.

This article was originally the introduction to a sermon I gave during a Youths’ Day service several years ago.  I’ve been thinking a lot about achieving dreams lately so I decided to share this again.  I’ll probably be doing another post about dreams and goals soon as I continue to think out loud.

Trusting Him,

Photo credit:  inmagine.com

Jul 6, 2012

I'll Do it Tomorrow...

I’ll do it tomorrow,
Next week,
Next month,
Next year…
I’ll get to it eventually,
I know I will.

And so another dream lies
In the corner
Covered with dust
Waiting for the right opportunity,
The perfect moment,
The right person to give her approval.

The weeks,
Months and
Years pass by.
Yet, dreams remain hidden in the corner and
Plans to achieve them remain the same.
I’ll do it tomorrow,
I’m sure the perfect opportunity will come.

What’s stopping you?
Why aren’t you working,
Achieving, today?

Dreams are resilient…
Go pick yours up.
Brush them off…
Shine them up…
Work at them,
Because the years are passing
And one day you’ll find
it really is too late!

Just thinking out loud today.

Trusting Him, 

Jul 3, 2012

Don't Miss the Moment

“I feel so good today!”

These heartfelt words came from the young gentleman who was helping me with my groceries.  “Really, did something special happen today?” I asked him.  He went on to tell me that he had gotten his report card that day and he was excited because he had done so well.  When we reached to my car he reached into his pocket, pulled out his report card and proudly showed it to me.  I’d never met this young man but I was happy to share in his excitement.  I told him to keep up the good work and that I was proud of him.  I had about $7.00 left after paying for my groceries so I gave it to him and told him to take that as a small reward for his excellent report card.  He left me with a bright smile on his face feeling happy that someone took time to share in his success.

As I got into my car, I thought about that short moment in time and I was thankful that I didn’t miss it. It took but a moment of my time to make someone’s day.  But, many times I’m guilty of allowing busyness to cause me to not be present in the moment...  

I'm at Laced With Grace today.  Do stop by to read the rest of my post  Don't Miss the Moment

Trusting Him,