Saturday, November 28, 2009
Shopping Done? Receive God's Spiritual Gifts This Month, Part 1
The craziness in my house began weeks ago, but intensified this week because now was the time to trim down all the costs and decide what we would buy on Black Friday for our children and each other for Christmas. As a man, it is not expected for me to be scouring ads and looking at potential rumors to find the items we want. But I love shopping. I think it’s one of those thinking processes that comes from being raised by four women.
Anyhow, as the final versions of ads were put up on Black Friday.com and came in our local newspapers, decisions had to be made so that Black Friday didn’t turn us into poor folks by late Friday evening. The decisions are hard because you want to give your kids the best of everything. Every one of us has this childhood memory of something that could have been better and plenty of us struggle to do the best we can so that our children aren’t telling us about those type of memories from the therapist’s couch.
Eddie Murphy did a routine about his childhood and always wanting McDonald’s hamburgers. His mom would drive right by it. Eddie would always ask, “Mom, can we have McDonald’s?” His mom would always reply about how she could make a better burger at home. He goes on to tell us about using bread instead of the bun so that the ketchup would ooze through and that the bread would smoosh up and it made our burgers have imprints of our hands. What Eddie didn’t realize is that he just saved CSI units millions of dollars with imprint machines. Here, hang on to this burger for a while.
I had a friend in high school that gave me a hard time for wearing Wrangler jeans instead of Levi’s. Hey, I love Levi’s jeans, but they also cost double the Wranglers. My mom was a single parent and could not afford high dollar clothing. As a fat guy, I struggle today with finding firm-fitting clothing. I feel mom’s pain every time I go to the clothing department and that is even at Wal-Mart. I complimented the girl often because her clothes were spectacular, but I always remember her telling me one day that if she had to wear an off-brand, she would just die. Her parents made a little more money than my mom, but not much. Thinking about it today, she probably broke her family with all her demands for the best in fashion.
That got me to thinking. I am so glad that God is not like that when it comes to giving gifts to his children. God wants us to have the very best. Abba Father doesn’t buy the latest fashions, but he does have gifts for us. While God’s spiritual gifts are advantageous to have, you can’t buy them. That’s why they are called gifts. I just can’t run over to Kohl’s and get the $19.99 Christian special that will give me all the abilities of Jesus. I’m sure it costs more than that. The only person ever able to pay the price was Jesus.
Now, I could run down to my friends at Lifeline Christian Book Store and buy a John Maxwell book on how to use the gift of leadership. For those of you that are unfamiliar, Maxwell travels the country and does speaking engagements on how to be a better leader in whatever ministry you are doing. He’s written several books on how to be more effective. However, if I don’t have the leadership gifting, no amount of reading Mr. Maxwell’s books will give me Godly leadership. I could end up being very efficient and smart about being a leader and might even be able to look good in that role.
However, that looking good is like an actor playing a part in a biography. The only person that truly looks right playing themselves is that person. I can play Frank better than anyone because I was born for the part. Eminem tells us why people can’t be The Real Slim Shady. “They walk like me, talk like me, act like me, but they’re not quite me.” So truthfully, there is only one place to go if you want to be The Real Slim You. It begins in God’s Word. So please stand up! And grab your Bibles to begin this look into spiritual gifts.
Before I go into the gifts, what they are and how they are used, I want you to know that the primary text for this series is Bryan Carraway’s Spiritual Gifts: Their Purpose and Power. From the reading, he has done much research and quotes often from the other book out there that is great for finding your spiritual gifts, Discover Your Spiritual Gifts, by C. Peter Wagner. In my research above and beyond God’s Word, these two commentaries are the most thorough and explanatory of spiritual gifts. By reading these books, I even learned a few things about my own spiritual gifting and little noticeable parts of those gifts that I didn’t even realize. So if you feel like you want to follow along or want more of what both of these men say about spiritual gifts after this series, they will probably be more than happy to collect the royalties off your purchases.
I’ll start this series by saying that this series will be through the month of December. Marriage Monday and Wisdom Wednesday are being stopped during this series because there is so much information that it will take most of the month to talk about it. There are special days in December to think about if you like getting information on other authors and their books. The next paragraph will share with you special guest appearances about some authors and their works. There will probably be a couple interruptions by my own thoughts as well. One Man Revival will be celebrating one year on Blogger on December 3rd and I’ll share some special memories of the past year of the ministry on its birthday. Also, during the week of Christmas, I’ll take a couple days to talk about great Christmas memories and share the Gospels’ version of the birth of Jesus. That last part will either be a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day edition of OMR. Lastly, on New Year’s Eve, I’ll share a look back at 2009 and begin to talk about the hopes and dreams of 2010.
As I said though, some authors will be dropping by to share with us from their books. I’ll give you these dates now so you can prepare to join us those days and maybe even give some feedback to the authors or myself about the book or offer other books that people might be interested in. The list of authors, with their books, is here.
December 1-James N. Watkins, Squeezing Good Out of Bad (The Lemon Fresh Blog Tour)
December 8-Frank Ball-Eyewitness
December 10-James Pence-Terror By Night
December 11-Judith Couchman-The Mystery of the Cross
December 17-James Pence-Blind Sight
December 22-Kay Marshall Storm-The Call of Zulina
December 29-Sonya Samuel-When I Accepted Me, 52 Affirmations to Boost Your Self-Esteem!
I did not realize that we have seven dates in December so far for authors. That is just awesome! So next time, we will begin by defining spiritual gifts and looking at what God’s Word says about spiritual gifts. The five major texts we will look at will be Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Peter 4:9-11.
Finally, I’d like to mention again a big thank you for taking time to read this ministry’s writings. There are now over 400 people as part of the Facebook Fan Page and almost 200 subscribing via Networked Blogs. December’s series on spiritual gifts could be the biggest series of writing since the Forgiveness series back in June. As always, thanks for your support. If you have questions or concerns, you can comment below or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love you guys!