Friday, April 12, 2013

This Little Light of Mine!

Lately, I have been pondering the idea that the gifts and talents that God gives to us shine right through from the very moment we are born. The cry of a new born child evokes sweet tears of awe as parents rejoice at the birth of God's perfect gift. Through nurturing, encouragement and love those gifts and talents we receive grow and God's light is allowed to shine with an amazing brilliance. So what happens from the time we are born into this world until we become adults and beyond that can cause those perfect gifts to sometimes get locked up and worse still to sometimes never be allowed to shine? Is it the fact that we are born into an imperfect world striving for perfection that an individual's light can get hidden under a bushel in fear that his or her light might not measure up, might not be important enough, or dare I say perfect enough to shine to the whole world?
 To the parents who have just welcomed a new bundle of joy into the world, the idea of hiding their child's light under a bushel is indeed ludicrous. How could one even begin to imagine stifling the God-given gifts and talents just waiting to emerge from the perfect newborn infant? As that newborn grows from infancy to adulthood, however, he or she begins to learn through experience just what gifts and talents that he or she possesses that are "acceptable" and "worthy" to be expressed in this imperfect world. Through these experiences, a child can either learn how to embrace, enjoy, nurture, and use his gifts and talents for God's light to shine through or he can learn to doubt, to suppress, to hide and sometimes to forget about his gifts in an effort to become the "perfect" in the imperfect.
 The irony behind striving to be perfect in an imperfect world is that perfection will never be achieved. So to that end an individual driven by perfection will always come up short. On the flip side, an individual who allows perfection to hinder his effort to use his gifts and talents also comes up short. What also may seem ironic is this; God bestows upon us, who are the imperfect, the perfect gifts and talents. When we stop being a slave to perfection and put our trust in God, allowing him to work through our gifts and talents, He uses our imperfections to do his work and his perfect light shines through. This is what we were created in his image to do. He gives each of us passion for things in which He our maker is passionate about. Through each of us embracing our gifts and acknowledging them as tools for God's glory we fulfill God's perfect plan for our lives and we receive the gift of pure joy.
So what are your gifts and talents? Have you been afraid to use your passions for certain things because you were afraid they would not be "perfect?" What happened when you did let go and allowed God to work through your imperfections? It's time to let your light shine. Embrace your imperfections, trust in God, and He will work through you to shine his perfect light to the world.

Friday, March 29, 2013

New Life in Christ Jesus

      For some time now, I have been feeling a special nudge from God to come to this blog place  that I call, "To Such as These" in order to write about my experiences with children's ministries not only as a teacher but also from the viewpoint of the child, herself. The good Lord knows that when he asks me to do something, I resist with great excuses that I am not worthy of his calling, that surely someone better could come along and write more profoundly than I can. 
 And surely, that is true. But God continues to gently nudge me trough the encouragement of friends and even strangers whom I only know from their very own writings that I need to use this very space to share my experiences that were given to me by the Father so as to bring others benefit from HIM. I am humbled and shaky at this request from our Father. But yet I am taking that first step of faith to allow God to work through me his servant.
 It was in reading a post by  Sibi, the author of Pearls and Grace, that I felt God's whispers become more of a shout that said, " You are my beloved, I need you!" In Sibi's post from yesterday, she so eloquently writes, "If God has given you a blogging platform of any capacity, then your reach is unlimited in so many ways. With the click of a button, people can feel God reaching for them through the power of His love through the words you type on a single post." As I read Sibi's words tears flowed and I came here at this very moment. Please forgive my scattered thoughts as I nervously type away at the keys to form the words of my sentences.
  It is Good Friday, the day we remember Jesus' passion and death upon the cross. He died for all of us that we may have everlasting life through him. But what does that mean if we don't allow ourselves to be his vessel in order for his perfect love to shine? If I deny his love through my feelings of being unworthy, am I not in fact denying the very gift of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus who died for my sake. Another of my blogging friends, Paige posted today this passage from 2 Corinthians, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5.21 This passage brought me to my knees. Yet another one of my blogging friends, Sheri posted this passage from 2 Corinthians 4:7, "We possess this precious treasure in vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves."  Sheri then eloquently says, "God uses frail people to proclaim the power of His gospel. He could send angels to preach the gospel, but He uses plain, ordinary, everyday people to demonstrate His power.  He fills us with divine gifts, inspired and brought to pass by the Holy Spirit, and distributes them throughout His body of believers.  Let us network with God's people today for the greater good, as we work together to accomplish His purpose." These three ladies, of whom I do not know in person, all  have spoken words that I have heard whispered to me from God, words that I believe as truth, words that I have spoken to others, but I have not myself allowed to be put into action.
          As I reflect on the passion of Christ Jesus and his death on the cross, I am awestruck at his sacrifice for me . . . for me! I am not worthy, but yet he died anyway . . . for me and for all of us. I have known his love for me since I was a child. I was broken, but he scooped me up and whispered to me that he loved me and that I was his. I knew his voice, his nudging's to come to him then. It sustained me through some of the darkest moments of my life. The world around me was unkind, but I knew that he loved me, that I was more than the brokenness that I felt. My early knowledge of God's love for me is what I know instilled the calling God planted in my heart at that time to work with children especially in the area of teaching and helping them to develop their own relationship with him. My passion for teaching children comes directly from his own heart, and I know too that he wants for all of us to know him through the same pure heart as that of a child.
 Through Jesus' resurrection we all have new life in him. How then can we be transformed into the new life that we have been given? We first have to accept that gift ,not just of believing in Jesus as God's Son sacrificed for us to have everlasting life, but that he lives in each one of us TODAY, here and now. His resurrection continues on today because of US LIVING NOW! When we accept that he lives in each one of us, we can accept that he can work in and through us to bring about his kingdom here on earth. This is our calling. This is what God has planned for all of us. When we allow our brokenness to be used to glorify him, we fulfill our purpose here. We become a vessel for his love and grace.
 I humbly accept God's call to me to allow him to use any of the gifts and talents he has given me to shine his light to the world. My imperfections are not mine to hide away, but rather a vessel from which God's perfect light may shine. I am his humble servant for whom he has called to his table. Let his glory be revealed as is his will.