Sunday, June 16, 2013

Stirring the Heart

In the Old Testament, the Spirit of God stirred hearts to contribute to the building of the temple. Artisans built, molded, stitched and designed beauty fitting for the place of worship.

The People responded to the stirring and brought their skilled offerings. They were stirred so much that Moses called for a halt—they had more than what was needed.

How often do we hear that today? Churches and other Christian organizations are dying for people to share their gifts and talents, to bring their offerings of skill for the betterment of the Body of Christ. What squelches it for us?
What causes our heart to be stilled
instead of stirred?
Often I hear people give a number of reasons. I am too busy. I don’t have time. My children are grown. I am not really that good at ____, so-and-so does a better job. I can’t teach. I’m too old. I am not good with children. My friend, these excuses are hindering the Spirit of God’s stirring in you.
No one expects you to take on something you are not suited for. But, there are things you are gifted to do—because the Word says we have all received at least one spiritual gift to be used to build up the Body.
Do you know what yours is?
Here are a few ideas to move you toward discovering how God has gifted you:
What topic causes you to perk up when you talk about it (education, abortion, pregnant teens, current events/news, financial planning, homelessness, healthcare, hunger, missions, youth work, human trafficking, etc)?
What group of people are you most drawn to (children, adults, singles, teens, handicapped, elderly, home bound, homeless, recovering, new families, infants, etc.)?
Do you prefer working in front or behind the scenes?
There are many resources available to help you in discovering your spiritual gift and different ways to employ it for God’s glory. The body needs you— without your special contribution they could be without an arm, or a hand.
So let’s consider how to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24
Do you sense God stirring something in you? Do you have a skill to share?
I’d love to discuss this with you further—leave a comment with your thoughts. I am praying for us all to sense the stirring of the Holy Spirit and the discovery of our importance to our brothers and sisters of the faith. 


Do you want to dig deeper?
Exodus 35, 36:2-7 – Read about God's stirring up of craftsmanship

Spiritual gifts passages:
Ephesians 6:11-16
Romans 12:4-8
1 Corinthians 12
1 Timothy 4:14


Monday, June 10, 2013

Taking Short Cuts

Ever feel like hurrying things along? I do. I get tempted to take short cuts, to get it over with. Like this mess I was in with a ball of yarn. I was almost to the end of this scarf project and suddenly the last bit of yarn was a tangled knot. I tugged. I twisted. I tried to patiently work it under, over and through to get it straightened out. But, it seemed the more I tugged the worse it became.

That’s when you look for the scissors.

Just snip it off and be done with it.

I couldn’t do it. I needed that last bit of yarn for a couple of rows and to join the two ends to make an infinity scarf. Snipping it would just ruin the project.

This reminds me of a story about a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis while someone eagerly waited. The butterfly seemed to be stuck; it pushed and pumped trying to free itself. Finally, the onlooker couldn’t stand it—it was taking much too long. So, he decided to snip the top of the chrysalis with a tiny pair of scissors—just to help it along.

The butterfly did get free pretty quickly after that—but instead of being beautiful and ready to fly, it looked stunted and deformed, hobbling about, and eventually died.

You see, the process of emerging from the chrysalis pumps fluid into the butterfly’s wings and expands them so they can be strong and used for their intended purpose. Though the one who snipped the chrysalis thought he was being merciful in helping to free the butterfly from its prison, he really doomed it from ever attaining its full potential.

How often do we want to help God along, thinking we know what’s best? It may be for ourselves or someone we know. We hate to see them struggle and wait. So, thinking we are being of help, we intervene.

Often, the bit of struggle is needed to make us strong and able to reach our full potential. Our good intent is really interfering with God’s best for the situation.

It took more than thirty minutes to unravel my tangled yarn. But, the end product was worth the effort.

So if you are tempted to grab the scissors, seek the Lord and ask for His direction for the situation. Sometimes, He needs us to stay out of the way so He can do the work. The result—will be His best!

Consider others who tried to “help” God:

Abraham and Sarah, when after years they still didn’t have a child

Rebecca and Jacob, when the birthright was on the line

Can you think of others?
What experiences have you had with trying to help?
I am with you as I ask for His purpose in my struggles, knowing that He will make us strong enough to fly.