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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

San Antonio River Walk 4/28/14
San Antonio Riverwalk

"Different Gifts"

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

Those who know me personally would tell you that I am a man with many questions. I suppose I was born with a very curious mind. My mom snapped photos of me when I was a youngster pouring over encyclopedias and maps so I guess my curious mind developed at a very young age. Family members even nicknamed me Curious Stephen.

San Antonio River Walk work boat 4/30/14Whenever I closely observe something I immediately wonder, how does it work and then I consider the different ways people had a role in getting it to work as well as those who keep it working. One of the things I really enjoy about my role as a chaplain to various kinds of businesses is learning about their products and the ingenuity behind it. As we vacation here in the south my latest curiosity has been the development and maintenance of the Riverwalk here in San Antonio.

The San Antonio River has flowed through central Texas since creation. Early in the 1700's the area was settled and a city slowly developed. Rivers tend to flood and of course that can be devastating. In the 1930's an urban park was developed along the river, which was modified to flow several stories below grade level. Obviously, a lot of engineering and hard work went into this. There is much going on behind the scenes to maintain it such as the work boat shown above that I saw out early this morning on a walk.

Tyrone at San Antonio Riverwalk 4/30/14So many have important functions such as Tyrone (left) who is involved in property maintenance. He noticed my curiosity concerning the portable air conditioners and walked over to explain how they work. We ended up getting into a spiritual discussion when I told him I was a chaplain, something he is interested in. I enjoyed engaging in brief discussions early this morning with many workers who were out maintaining the Riverwalk. I like to affirm people as they carry out their work responsibilities. People need to know that their work makes a positive difference.

It's that way in the body of Christ as well when people
share with others the message of Christ's love and redeeming power.

We sat down to enjoy a meal last Saturday evening. The server demonstrated some evidence of having faith in Christ as she waited on us. At the end of the meal she asked if we'd enjoyed our food. I commented that the food was delicious and the service was great. She boldly blurted out, "Well, praise the Lord!" which really got our attention.
When I questioned her she vibrantly expressed her faith and told us she had recently attended a Bible College and sensed God calling her to reach out to the lost prostitutes and homeless people. It's not a calling most people have so we pray that she pursues this leading God has placed upon her life.

Our daily text states, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." 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 am at that point, although I still try new things, I am aware there are giftings I just don't have. But my greatest energy is devoted to developing myself in areas where I have an apparent giftedness.

We enjoy hearing the many ways our friends and readers are serving Christ, including very unconventional ways such as seeking to minister to prostitutes, which certainly goes beyond the stereotypical giftings for ministry.

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 His grace. If I complain because I can't sing 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 their intended purpose for His glory. 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 pray that it's yours as well!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily 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 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

Personal note: Today we are in San Antonio, Texas in a hotel overlooking the Alamo and near the River walk. This afternoon we are heading to Corpus Christi to spend several days on the Gulf. We hope to post our next message on Friday.

Blue bonnets 4/28/14
The famous Texas Blue Bonnets - we arrived in Texas toward the end of their blooming period but saw a few patches here and there.

Indian Blanket Flower 4/28/14
Indian Blanket Flowers grow alongside the road. The botanical name is Gaillardia Pullchella. We became familiar with this beautiful flower when we grew it in our back yard.

Canyon Lake Dam 4/28/14
Canyon Lake is a beautiful lake near New Braunfels where Stephen took a pleasant walk across the dam.

Canyon Lake Gorge 4/28/14
Canyon Lake Gorge was formed in a matter of hours during a flood in 2002 where the waters went over the spillway.

The Alamo 4/28/14
The famous Mission San Antonio de Valero (AKA "The Alamo")

River walk umbrellas
We enjoyed two Mexican meals along the Riverwalk. It seems about 1/2 of the restaurants along the River Walk are Mexican which is alright with us. Living in the Northeast we don't see enough of them so we're getting our fill while in Texas.

River walk serenadors
All along the Riverwalk mariache bands and singers come by to serenade diners.

Gibbs Building lobby
We are staying at the Hotel Indigo which overlooks the Alamo. Originally an office building built in 1909 the renovation included careful attention to maintaining the historical features such as this ornate lobby.

Gibbs Building maildrop
They even left in the original maildrops that still work!
Brooksyne is sending off a card from the fourth floor.

San Antonio Building
This stately building is also near the Alamo and has been restored as a hotel.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Use Me"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir 

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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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