Unwrapping God’s gifts

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Hello!

I’ve been taking the Experiencing God bible study and it is helping me to “unwrap” God’s plans for my ministry and life while I am here on God’s beautiful creation.  Like the earth, that has been groaning and exploding since God created it, I too have been groaning and quaking right along with the earth.  Not in a physical sense- but in a spiritual sense.    The bible study has challenged me to go where God is working and to adjust my life accordingly.  Henry Blackaby says that we are to listen to the last thing that God told us to do and do it.  We are to respond with immediate obedience. 

My reflection for yesterday was that I need to listen to God speaking to me and not people.  There are some people who can steer us in the right direction when we need it and God has sent those people to guide us.  Then there are people who just want to tell you what you should do because THEY think that’s what you should do.   Being a creative person I have trouble saying “NO.”   BUT…I am learning my limitations and boundaries with God’s help.  I am a people pleaser and I have realized that I tend to listen to others more than God.  But, then, who doesn’t do that?  In the past several weeks I have been doing what I call, “staying under the radar”- still around-but not taking on every job that comes my way just because I want to please people.  I have been quiet and am listening for God’s guidance and not the world’s.  I have had people ask me what’s wrong, am I mad, where have I been, etc. etc. etc..   No, I’m not mad, not sick, none of that.  All I can really say is that I am in a season of listening.  I don’t have a lot to say and I just need this time to be still and quiet.  I am perfectly fine and filled with the joy of the Lord.  Quite frankly, I am really enjoying this time of listening.  I love you all and you have all been in my thoughts and prayers. 

Yesterday I started reading a book called ” The Deacon’s Heart.”  It is about being a Deacon in the United Methodist Church.  The what, the why, the when, the how.  I can’t wait to finish it and am very excited about what I am reading.  I am discerning God’s call on my life and this book is tugging at my heart strings.  One of the things that I like is what this says, ”  The deacon, as defined by the United Methodist Church has one foot in the Church and one foot in the world thus creating a bridge between worship and work.  ( This is so me!) The authors suggest that the deacon is testimony to the sacramental nature of all creation.  All acts of love and justice point to God’s presence everywhere and in everyone.  Deacons are responsible for seeing that the community is faithful in sharing the gifts of love to all.  This bridge ministry of the deacon does not take away the ministry of the laity.  On the contrary, it exists to make more effective the ministry of all Christians.” 

As I read more,  I discover that Deacons specialize in ministry such as teaching, healing, music, art, youth, missions,  administration, publishing, writing, nursing, etc..   To me this is very exciting because we all have special areas of ministry and mine are in the arts and in designing worship.  When I do these things, my heart is full to bursting at the seams.  When I see that people are moved by creativity ( of any type, by anyone ) I know that God is the one doing the moving through the obedience of that person.  Last night I attended the Team Impact Crusade at the VFW.  One of the things that Ceasar said was that when we DON’T use our gifts to glorify God, then that means that we are NOT GIVING OTHERS the opportunity to receive a blessing through God’s gifts.  So, when we don’t use our gifts, we are taking a blessing away from someone else.  God is the one who does the giving and we are the ones who are to do the obeying.  I want to use my gifts to glorify God and to help others see God in a new way.  God has placed this desire in my heart and now He is guiding me to discover how to use that gift for a lifetime of ministry to Him and Him alone.  I have gone way out of my comfort zone to follow God’s call and I will continue to do that for the rest of my life.   The more I do, the more I want to do.  I see lives being moved and with each step I take, it brings me closer to Him.  God keeps drawing me closer to His bosom and today, I feel like I am under His protective Wing of Hope and Grace.  I just want to stay here for awhile and soak it up.   It is a season of listening, discerning and loving. 

” Come, we that love the Lord, 

and let our joys be known…

We’re marching to Zion…

the beautiful City of God.”

Isaac Watts

As I read this song and section of this book, I am reminded of our devoted musicians ( who are also artists) in our church…

” A music minister lives out his call from God helping persons to experience God’s presence as they make music together for a worshipping congregation of United Methodist’s.  He speaks of the music as ” offering another utterance beyond speech,” which best proclaims the Word.  He says we “offer our best to God and God’s people.”  He speaks with joy of trying to find new ways each week to touch hearts and minds through music that complements the biblical text for the worship service.  I came to this church bringing ministry as what I do.  Music is the tool of my ministry.” 

WOW! 

I toally “get it!”  I love music and how it speaks to my heart.  My tool is art and I intend to conitnue on this path that God is lighting for me.  I don’t know where I will end up- but God does!  If we never offer up our gifts…how can God’s people be transformed?  Think about it…

Your preacher is gifted in preaching, teaching and leading…

Your choir director is gifted in music, singing, arranging…

Your worship director is gifted in designing and creatiing a worshipful atmosphere…

Your SS teacher is gifted in leading and teaching God’s Word to His chidlren…

Your Missions Director is gifted in being a servant to the needy…

and on and on and on….

It is only when we use our gifts to glorify God that God can move people  closer to Him.

My prayer for the readers of this post is that you will be moved to discover your gift, to listen to God, to immediately respond and to bless others by using the gifts that God gave YOU to build up the church.  It is when we ALL come together as the body, under the head of Christ, that we can create a beautiful and meaningful worship service that glorifies GOD.!!!!

 

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About godw1nz

I am the mom of three beautiful daughters, wife to a genius, sister to a teacher, sis-in-law to an engineer, daughter to a yankee and a rebel, and a woman chasing God. I love to read, draw and be with my family. If the reading inspires me, then I draw what I read. Almost everything I draw is based around or about Jesus Christ. I attend church at First United Methodist Hillsville. Ronnie Collins is my associate pastor, also a blogger here. I love the Lord with all my heart and I hope what you see here will inspire your heart.

4 responses »

  1. Donna , You are an inspiration to the Church of the living God. No wonder so many people like hanging out with you, including me. We can hear God if we are quiet, and listening.I pray God will speak and lift you up to new heights, Yes, on Wings of Eagles. Soar high today my friend.

  2. Hey Donna! What a beautiful testimony! You are such an awesome, talented person…I can’t wait to see all that is in store for you! I loved the Experiencing God Bible Study! It is truly life changing! Thanks for all that you do for our church and His kingdom!

  3. Donna – as always, you continue to amaze me as you grow in your excitement for reaching others. When I came to FUMC I was first impressed by the awesome choir – I got chills up my spine from the songs they did, and the sermon with Ty’s sense of humor just made it a homerun. After a while though, I felt something was missing. I had played piano in church for over 15 years and missed it. I knew I wasn’t needed at FUMC for that and I had thought about answering an ad for a pianist needed at a smaller church. But then out of nowhere, the newsletter announces auditions for a new praiseband and all of sudden I knew this was meant for me. We all have talents, even as simple as saying prayers and we need to be in service. You’re doing an amazing job – keep inspiring us.

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