Archive for February 2011

Are You Using Your Spiritual Gifts and Talents?

We are all blessed with unique gifts and talents given to us by God. And yet we often do not use them. Why? Perhaps we don’t think our spiritual gifts and talents are all that special. Or perhaps we don’t want to appear egotistical. Yet these are God-given gifts that we should use so that God can bless others through us.

Just like the muscles in your body, your gifts and talents must be used regularly or they will become weak. Remember, your gifts and talents are unique to you and they are special.

Spiritual gifts and talents can be anything. Whether you are a wonderful speaker, great with kids, or even a talented actor or singer, your gifts can be used to help others.

If you are unsure of your gifts, or feeling a little uneasy about using them, try this prayer:

Dear Lord,

Show me how to best use the specific gifts that you have bestowed on me. May I always use these gifts to Your glory and to help of the body of Christ.

Self-Check

What is your special gift or talent?

Are you using it now? How?

If not, how could you use your special gift?

How would using your gift glorify God?

How will using your gift benefit you and others?

Is Life Suffocating You? Take Some Oxygen!

Sometimes managing work-life balance is so overwhelming that you feel you can’t catch your breath. These are the times you may find you are short-tempered, make poor decisions and even get sick more easily. The answer? Take your oxygen!

If you have ever flown on a commercial airline, you know the flight attendants always tell you to put your oxygen mask on first, then help your child with his or her mask. Obviously you need oxygen first so you don’t pass out while trying to help someone else. The same holds true for your day-to-day life.

By taking your life oxygen you will be better equipped to help others, particularly your children. Without it, you will be too stressed to make good decisions. You will suffer, your children will suffer and those you come in close contact with will suffer.

I’ve also learned that taking care of yourself can mean that you need to ask for help. And that can be really hard! You don’t want to be a burden to others. After all, it is your responsibility, right? You need to take care of your own problems.

The reality is that God brings people into our lives to support us here on earth. And He wants us to learn to love ourselves. Not in a selfish way, but in a way that says “I am a child of God, and He wishes that I love myself.”

So, when things are too much, slow down and take your oxygen! Doing so will help you maintain a better life for you and those around you. Review the following Self-Check and see if you are really taking time to breathe.

Self-Check

What’s your oxygen? (For example, reading a book, taking a walk, taking a vacation, or playing the piano)

How will you benefit from taking some oxygen?

How will others around you benefit from you taking some oxygen?

How are you going to make sure to take some oxygen every day?

Let Your Light Shine

Attitude is powerful. It emanates from you like a beacon. If your attitude is joyful, then the beacon is bright. However, if your attitude is poor, or tarnished, then the beacon is dim. As born-again Christians, we have every reason to be full of joy even if the circumstances around us are dim. When it comes to attitude, much like polishing silver to remove oxidation, you can polish your attitude to counteract the harsh elements of life.

Choosing to keep and maintain a joyous attitude takes work and focus. What are the negatives that tarnish your attitude? Is it certain people around you, the evening news, or even negative thoughts that play in your own head? If there are negative people around you, consider making the difficult decision of letting them go, or creating boundaries so they don’t pull you down. If it’s thoughts rambling through your head, counteract them with positive statements or affirmations.

If your circumstances are not pleasant at the moment, remember that God loves you dearly. You may be a place of growth for now, which can be difficult to accept in the midst of a difficult situation. However, as born-again Christians we know that our walk with God is more than a stroll. It is a long journey and we can only see the small portion in front of us. There are many great joys ahead!

Polishing your attitude each day takes work. Here are some ideas to help you along the way:

  • Start your day with a nice walk or some brisk exercise.
  • Read a Psalm every day.
  • Put some humor in your day by reading something funny.
  • Add Adoration and Thanksgiving to your daily prayers.
  • Sing (there is no one around to hear you, so belt it out!).
  • Tell God thank you for blessings in your life.

By continuing to embrace a joyful attitude, you will create a change for life. Let your light shine and keep your Christian walk joyful!

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