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Loving my SHAPE…

Yin yang

There is something about the New Year that causes us to make all kinds of resolutions and promises of betterment. It’s perhaps the allure of a ‘start over’ or ‘do better’ that the freshness of a New Year suggests; even though it’s a freshness we get everyday 😉

This year I decided to set quarterly goals for myself instead of waiting to evaluate my growth in November or December. The first quarter was for me to learn about me. I was quite intrigued to see what would play out at the end of March.

Back in February, God led me to best selling author, Rick Warren’s “What on Earth am I here for?” It was a 40 day journey of purpose. I was totally stoked. I gifted it to myself and wrote in it “To Jacqueline, From Jacqueline, 2/15/14. Two of my co-workers laughed at that, but hey, if I don’t invest in me who will?

It has been an absolute blessing, and I couldn’t help but share this day entitled: “Shaped for Serving God”

I think the reason this was beautiful to me is because it is often difficult to tell someone that an abusive childhood, a disability, the death of a child, a failed marriage, job loss etc will shape them into the person God intended them to be. But difficult as it may be, it’s true. Nothing that happens in our life is insignificant.  God uses all of it to mold us for ministry to others and shape us for our service to Him. 

Here’s some of what it said about our SHAPE:

Spiritual gifts

Heart

Abilities

Personality

Experience

Spiritual Gifts – These are special God-empowered abilities for serving Him that are given only to believers. We can’t earn nor do we deserve them…hence them being gifts. Our gifts are not given for our own benefit but for the benefit of others, just as other people were given gifts for our benefit. If others don’t use their gifts, you get cheated, and if you don’t use your gifts, they get cheated. Have you taken the time to discover your spiritual gifts? An unopened gift is worthless (and I believe, an insult to the giver).

Heart – Your heart represents the source of all your motivations…what you love to do and what you care about most. Another word for heart is passion. How do you know when you are serving God from your heart? The first telltale sign is enthusiasm. When you are doing what you love to do, no one has to motivate you or challenge you or check up on you. You do it for the sheer enjoyment. The second characteristic of serving God from your heart is effectiveness. Whenever you do what God wired you to love to do, you get good at it. Passion drives perfection.

Abilities – Your abilities are the natural talents you were born with. Some people have a natural ability with words:They came out of the womb talking! Other people have natural athletic abilities, excelling in physical coordination. Still others are good at mathematics or music or mechanics. Every ability can be used for God’s glory. God has a place in his church where your specialties can shine and you can make a difference. It’s up to you to find that place. What I am able to do, God wants me to do. God will never ask you to dedicate your life to a task you have no talent for.

Personality –  Your uniqueness is a scientific fact of life. When God made you he broke the mold. There never has been, and never will be, anybody exactly like you. It’s obvious that God loves variety…just look around! God made introverts and extroverts. Some who love routine and those who love variety. Some ‘thinkers’ and others ‘feelers’. When you are forced to minister in a manner that is “out of character” for your temperament, it creates tension and discomfort, requires extra effort and energy, and produces less than the best results. This is why mimicking someone else’s ministry never works. You don’t have their personality. You can learn from the examples of others, but you must filter what you learn through your own shape. It feels good to do what God made you to do.

Experiences – You have been shaped by your experiences in life, most of which were beyond your control. It’s the category of ‘painful experiences’ that God uses the most to prepare you for ministry. God never wastes hurt! The very experience that you have resented or regretted most in life –  the ones you’ve wanted to hide and forget –  are the experiences God wants to use to help others. They are your ministry. For God to use your painful experiences, you must be willing to share them. Doing this will probably be your most effective ministry. People are always more encouraged when we share how God’s grace helped us in weakness than when we brag about our strengths. Don’t waste your pain; use it to help others.”


This was the lesson for Day 30 and it was a joy to read this. But let me share what has blessed me the most on this journey: the first sentence of Day 1. This is what it said “IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.” 

Ha, so very true. We ALL have unique SHAPEs, but it’s NOT about US! It’s all about GOD.

Enjoy your SHAPE and use what God gave you 🙂

Blessings

JC


 

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13 Comments

Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Daily Inspiration

 

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Another Chance….

image

So in my quiet time yesterday morning, I asked God for the fodder for my next post. Usually I could feel it brewing already, see the illustrations, the exact photos to use and the word flow……what did He want me to share?

Two weeks ago my coworker and I stopped at a nearby Target because I wanted to get a plaid shirt for a possible trip to the rodeo. We were joking around about getting the hat and boots to complete the ‘cowgirl’ look but as we approached the Express line, my eyes were immediately drawn to the face of the cashier and my joking words trailed off. She didn’t look right; she looked like she was in pain. My eyes honed in on her and I asked “How are you?”.

She said “I’m good”. Trying her best to mirror that statement.

With my eyes still intently on her face I said quietly “You’re in pain aren’t you?”. It seemed like we were in a vaccuum, and she said “Yes, it’s my back”.

All of a sudden the vaccuum went away and I became immensely aware that I was in uniform, in the front of Target, in the Express line with people waiting in line, and my coworker besides me. And I thought to myself ‘Lord, please don’t have me pray for this lady right now’.

I quickly got the bag with the plaid shirt and left; missing a Golden opportunity to be used by Him.

So today as I was teaching noon bible study, wrapping up Acts chapter 2, we were talking about Peter’s bold address at Pentecost. A young visitor brought up Peter’s healing of the man at the gate called Beautiful (Acts 3:1-11). God led me to share my experience.

Where was my “silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give to thee; in the name of Jesus, get up and walk”?

Oh the transparency of my walk…..I asked HIM for another chance 😉

This is my story to share…

Blessings always

JC

 
22 Comments

Posted by on March 6, 2014 in Daily Inspiration, Prayer

 

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Overcomer of the week ~Yvonne’s story ~ part 2

my grandson and I...

my grandson and I…

The priest gave me the book and this message – God said you are special to Him.

I was special to God. Wow. I felt like I was garbage and did not deserve to be wanted by such a loving God. But, God wanted me. God saw value in me when I could not. He loved me when I would not love myself. In that moment my heart surrendered.

I believed that saying yes to God would ease things, but things became more difficult. The more I loved and surrendered to God the more that love changed me. My volatile disposition, desire to smoke, get high and fight, had become a thing of my past. I was not only living with God, I was living for God.

Yvonne 4

Then my husband decided that my life with a God he did not want was more important than my life with him so he left me and moved in with his girlfriend across the street. I felt betrayed, embarrassed and broken. I almost fell apart the first time I saw her sitting on his lap; or his underwear, pants and shirts on her clothesline. I could hear them from my bedroom window, laughing and living while I seemed to be dying.

The walk home from the bus stop was a constant race to make it to my door before the tears rolled down my face. His betrayal and my pain were center stage for the world to see. My kids would watch them from our living room window wondering why daddy was across the street with her and not home with us. All I could do was muster up enough strength to keep moving.

There were times when he would come home on Friday with all of his clothes, we thought it was over but by Sunday he would be back with her again and I would have to pack up his belongings and get my dear friend to take them to him across the street. I was the wife who became the other woman.

I could not breathe. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2013 in Overcomer

 

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Overcomer of the week ~Yvonne’s story~ part 1

Yvonne 3

My name is Yvonne and this is a portion of my story. Before I was born I shared the womb with my sister and although they knew about her I would surprise everyone. As my mom gave birth on the floor of my grandmother’s apartment in Brooklyn, fear gripped everyone when I came 20 minutes after my sister because I was unexpected and not breathing. My first breath would come from the mouth of a police officer who decided to take a different route home that day.

my twin sister and I

my twin sister and I

 

It was hard growing up as me because my complexion was so much darker than most and the kids would pick on me calling me horrible names. I felt like something was wrong with me. To hide my pain I became angry and a very good fighter. I fought so much that I got kicked out of elementary school. By the age of eight I had major surgery on both of my feet which caused me to have to learn how to walk all over again. The special shoes and child size walker did not do anything for my self-esteem. The kids were cruel and I felt like an outcast.

I hated everyone and vowed never to let them see me cry. Going to school for me felt like holding my breath and eagerly waiting for the chance to breathe. As a teenager I was very volatile. I had a bad attitude and would always respond to difficulty with abrasive language and violence. I rarely lost a fight but when I did that person had to fight me every day until I was satisfied. I had so much anger inside that my mom was the only person who would deal with me. She was able to calm me down in my many moments of rage. Read the rest of this entry »

 
6 Comments

Posted by on November 4, 2013 in Overcomer

 

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