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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Three friends
Three friends using their gifts in helping others (me!)

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"Different Gifts"

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given us" (Romans 12:6).

Honda lawn tractorThis weekend, as I was driving along, I spotted a nice looking riding lawn tractor at the end of a large lawn priced at $100.00 (as is).  I asked the owner what was wrong with it and he listed several mechanical problems and then dropped the asking price to $50.00. I called Chris, a mechanically proficient friend, to ask his opinion.  Then I providentially ran into Steve Parker, a friend I hadn’t seen for years, and asked his opinion.  They both agreed that it seemed like a good deal. Then I took Brooksyne to see the tractor and we agreed to make the purchase.

Last night three friends, Fred, Al, and Jay, came to the house and looked it over.  Fred is a mechanic who works in a company that sells and repairs large farm machinery.  The most obvious problem was that the tractor wouldn't start. When I turned the key and tried to start it, it only made a whirring sound.

WD 40
Fred immediately diagnosed the problem as some doo-hickey in the starter that was probably stuck (although he used the right name.) Then he asked me if I had a can of WD-40. He knew right where to spray it and after tapping the part with a hammer a few times the tractor started right up. Jay jumped on and mowed several rows of my lawn.  So far it looks like I got a very good deal!

It's great to have friends like this and I sure appreciate people who are mechanically inclined. It's a natural gift or acquired skill that is extremely important for our day to day needs.  After puttering around with the tractor for awhile I invited the men into my office where we visited. Our conversation turned to the Daily Encouragement site and I showed them what Brooksyne and I do each day using a giftedness quite different than their gifts.

I believe in many cases, particularly as we get older, we need to focus on the gifts God has given us and allow other members of the Christian body to fill in where we are ungifted.  I still try new things occasionally but through the years God has made clear to me what my giftings are so my greatest energy is devoted to developing myself in areas where I have an apparent giftedness.

TubaIn the reader survey last week I asked you, our readers, to list some of the ways you are serving Christ. Brooksyne and I enjoyed reading the variety of responses. We were especially blessed as we read about those being used in unconventional ways that went beyond the stereotypical giftings. One reader noted that he played the tuba in his church orchestra!  It's an example of a very special gifting since few of us would play this unusual but very useful instrument.  

The Scripture says, "We have different gifts."  What a blessing in the body of Christ to see the variety of gifts God has given us by His grace. Humanly we tend to esteem some gifts as more desirable and worthy than others, but this is a serious error. Gifts are distributed "according to the grace given us."  If I complain because I can't sing or because I'm not mechanically inclined I am really casting aspersions on God's sovereign distribution of gifts.

I encourage readers today to discover the gifts God has given you, further develop them, and frequently exercise them. As Christ's body let us find a place of ministry where we can use our gifts to impact others for His glory.  As we fervently pray for God's leading and have a sincere desire to honor Him, He will lead us into effective service for Him.  That's my desire and I trust that it is yours as well!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, You have called us, Your servants, to exercise our gifts of prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, contributing to the needs of others, leading, and being vessels of Your mercy. Help us not to be fearful or timid in exercising our spiritual gift that flows from Your power within us, since it is not for our own glory but rather for the building up of the body of Christ.  We are inadequate within ourselves, but fully sufficient according to the grace given us through Your Holy Spirit.  We seek affirmation from You, the ministry opportunities You provide us, and other mature believers, to confirm our spiritual giftings.  In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.

See Romans 12:1-8

Hot Pepper Fred

Fred is also one of our church cooks who had
a creative way of dealing with his tearing eyes as he cut up hot peppers for a meal we had at our church last fall! Fred is also a children's worker and sings bass in the choir.

Brooksyne with bunnyBrooksyne's Note:  The Oklahoma country girl comes out in me when I'm around farm animals. Our neighbors have three very colorful baby bunnies that I enjoy holding.  It takes me back to my childhood when my dad brushhogged during the summer months following his day job.  He would often bring home a family of bunnies that were nesting in the weeds that he mowed.  They got an unexpected haircut from the brushhog blade so I, along with my brother and sister, would try to nurse them back to good health.

Daily Encouragement Net Reader Survey I want to thank all of you who took a few minutes in taking our online survey. I am compiling the results but this is not my specialty at all and I can't seem to get the results to chart in Excel!  Here's a touching text response in regard to the question of how one of your fellow readers is serving the Lord: "Because I am in a wheelchair mostly and cannot get out I make my own greeting cards and send Get Well, Sympathy, Birthday, Anniversary Cards and Thinking of you Cards to church family, family or anyone I feel like needs to be encouraged. I use the phone to make contact also. I also send a card to first time visitors to back up the letter our church sends out. Mine is a hand written note."  Lord, bless this reader richly in her endeavor to serve you!

If you haven't taken the survey and would like to do so click here.

Today's Suggested Music
Supplemental Resources

"Take My Life And Let It Be"  Audio

"Have Thine Own Way Lord"  Video  Through our workplace chaplaincy we regularly greet several Vietnamese people weekly.   Although we have a very difficult time communicating, except through handshakes and smiles, we sense their warmth and friendliness.  This Friday a Vietnamese pastor will join us, greet the people, and translate for us so we are excited about that.  This song appears to be from a Vietnamese church and begins in Vietnamese (same tune) and ends with the chorus in English.  I am so blessed to be a part of the worldwide movement to follow Jesus!

"This Is My Desire"  Video

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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