Here’s My Fingerprint; How About Yours?

A few years ago, I knew that I needed to figure out exactly what my role in this world should be.  My children were almost grown and I had friends grieving through empty nest syndrome.  I knew, after 30 years of raising children, homeschooling them, being with them 24/7, that empty nest could hit me hard.  But only if I didn’t have a purpose beyond raising  my kids.
I think most of us come to that place several times in our lives, where we aren’t quite sure what to do next.  Or maybe we know what to do, but aren’t sure how.  Or maybe we know how … but something’s blocking us.
  • Maybe you’re a younger person, just starting out in life, wondering how you’re going to make it in the world, what kind of mark you can leave.
  • Maybe you know your purpose, but there are things getting in the way … depression, habits that don’t serve you well, disorganization, or a simple lack of confidence.  You may or may not know how to change those things, but you’re still having a hard time.  
  • Maybe there’s an area of faith that you want to work on.  You want to grow closer to God and be able to follow Him intimately, and you need someone to help you along.
  • Or you’re a new or proven homeschooler who needs some help getting organized, scheduling, choosing curriculum … or juggling the needs of family, school, a business, and everything else you’ve got going.

 

  • You might be a stay-home mom or a single parent who’s starting to feel like she’s lost track of herself and needs to know how to take care of herself so she can better serve her kids and others.
  • Perhaps you’re nearing or in your golden years and you’re thinking about how to leave the greatest impact on those in your circles of influence.  You want your life to really count.  You have wisdom to share or gifts to still be used.  You don’t want to waste a moment.
If you’ve read my blog before, you’ve probably heard me say (or seen me write) that I strongly believe every single experience in our lives — good, bad, success, failure — and each of our gifts, talents, skills, and resources all add up to basically a customized school that God put together for us, training us for our very unique contribution to the world.  Your contribution is so unique that it’s like your fingerprint — no one else, anywhere, at any time, has the same unique fingerprint you do.
I’ve realized that my contribution to the world is to help others discover and define their fingerprint and leave their indelible mark. It’s what entices me out of a cozy bed in the morning and brings joy to my day.  I’d love to work alongside you in finding yours and helping you do whatever is necessary to be able to leave your fingerprints in the strategic places God wants you to place them!
The thing that can make the difference between success and failure is having someone on your team who can look on from the sidelines and make suggestions, encourage you, educate you, celebrate with you, and give you that bit of oomph to make it to your goals.  
As your life coach, that’s what I do.  We talk about your goals, your dreams.  We figure out where you are, where you want to be, and how to get from here to there.  We work together to bring it down to steps that you can’t help but succeed with.  If accountability helps, I can do that for you without judgment or shaming, but with a lot of helpful encouragement.  We’ll figure out what’s blocking your progress, and I’ll help you find motivation in the rough spots.  I’m there to celebrate your victories with you and plot your course with you as you reach higher and higher.  So often, this is the one thing that makes all the difference in the world.
I’m invested in helping you reach your goals.  I strongly believe that you have something to contribute to this world that no one else, now or historically or in the future, is able to give.  If you don’t do it, the rest of us lose out.
If you’re ready to step up and work on leaving your fingerprint on the world, sign up for a free breakthrough session with me.  Let’s get to know each other and get you moving forward. 
If you’re not quite ready, feel free to sign up for my mailing list – use the link at http://lifecoachalycekay.com/  You’ll receive a series of emails from me over the next couple months with questions to help you think through the process.  You can journal about them privately, or share your thoughts with me by email. In the meantime, stop by my coaching blog, leave a comment … let’s start getting to know each other.  Pretend we’re sitting on my swing in my yard in Tennessee, with the dogwood blooming and a pitcher of tea between us.  🙂  (Yeah, I’m homesick.)
dogwood
Hoping that this spring brings you so close your dreams that you can finally touch them.Alyce-Kay

http://lifecoachalycekay.com/

Spiritual Journeys

Tools for Godly Living/Alyce-Kay are considering offering some courses in Christian topics and we would like to know what subjects would most interest people.  Here are some of the details (and see Q&A/update after the survey at the end):

  • You would not go anywhere for these.
  • The classes would meet as a teleconference call every two weeks.  If you can’t make the call, it would be recorded for you to listen to later (you’d just miss out on participating in the discussion).
  • There would be daily or weekly Bible study assignments and application projects which you would print from online (you would choose your level of difficulty by how much time you want to put into it).
  • There would be a dedicated Facebook page for further discussion, questions, and sharing.
  • Each class would be 90 days long.
  • They would be appropriate for high school through adults, as well as some junior highers.
  • These could also be used by groups; for example, church groups, Sunday School classes, home Bible study groups, families, and homeschoolers.  (If you’re a group, we can talk about how this can best be used by your specific group.  If you homeschool, we can help you determine which  school subjects these could apply to.)
  • If you’ve ever taken any of Alyce-Kay’s SoD (School of Discipleship) classes, these would be something like those.

Note that Tools for Godly Living courses are always biblically based, strong on helping you discover for yourself what God’s Word says.  They are meant for study, not for just sitting back and listening.  My personal commitment is always to bring you to a closer relationship with God and a stronger commitment to Him.

My background is a BA from Westmont College in Religious Studies (emphasis in theology and Greek).  I’ve taught Bible classes for all ages most of my life and have written my own curriculum for almost all of them, as well as curriculum for individual home Bible study and homeschoolers.  My doctrine & apologetics course for children was approved by pastors from 17 denominations, and I generally try to stick to what is appropriate for all denominations in most of my teaching.  (In other words, I try to stay focused on essentials.)

I want these courses to be accessible to anyone,  so there would not be a set charge.  You are completely welcome to take them free of charge.  If the Lord puts it on your heart to pay any amount for them, it would definitely help and would make it more possible for me to continue offering these courses in the future.

If you think you might be interested (no obligation), I’d like to know what kinds of topics interest people the most.  Please note that there are actually 2 surveys below.  You may vote for as many of the following as you find interesting.   You may also add other choices.  If you don’t find enough room in the survey,  feel free to add your suggestions in the comments area (scroll all the way to the bottom of the page).

Please  share this with your friends, church, Bible study group, homeschool group, on Facebook, etc.  Thanks so much for your help!

You are not required to fill out the contact info in order to vote, but please do fill it out, if you’d like us to let you know when we offer these classes.

Since posting this, I’ve received a few really good questions, so I thought I would share them here.

Q:  Would people outside the USA be able to join these classes?

A:  Yes!  The only thing is that it would be an international call to be on the teleseminars (including listening to the recording of the calls).  I’m sure there must be a way, since we would be recording them, to put them on mP3 or some other format that could be listened to online or downloaded, so that you wouldn’t have to make an international call.  If someone overseas is interested, then I will check around and find out how to do this.  I’ve been on teleconferences (seminars held on a conference call) with people from all over, and it is incredibly effective.  You can just sit in your own home and participate — or get together with a group of friends so you can participate together.  I really love this format!

Q:  Will you (Alyce-Kay) be teaching the classes?

A:  Yes! You know I LOVE to teach.  🙂

Q:  Will there be a charge for the classes?

A:  It will be up to each person whether or not they pay or how much. I want people to be able to do it, even if they can’t afford it, so I don’t want to charge a set amount. As a single mom barely getting by, I know how that is. Also, there are some people who wouldn’t pay, but would benefit from it, so I don’t want to hinder them either. If God puts it on anyone’s heart to pay, it would help me, obviously, to pay bills, etc, and I will be putting a lot of work into it.  It would also make it easier for me to offer more classes, as those who pay would help free me up from having to put overtime in at work to pay the bills.  Bottom line, I don’t want anyone to not do it because they can’t pay or don’t want to pay. It will be between each person and God. If you benefit from the classes and don’t pay anything, that’s perfectly okay!

 

Update:  The first class offered will be on Building Your Faith.  It will be taught at 3 levels (you will choose, depending on how much work you want to do/have time to do).    I’m working on writing the course and the workbook materials at this time, and will announce it here and on facebook when I’m ready to take registrations.  If you want to be notified by email, please let me know at Alyce-Kay@LifeCoachAlyceKay.com  I’ve had a number of requests for an actual bound workbook, so the workbook materials will be available for purchase as a bound workbook, or to download and print yourself for free.

Sparkling True Stories that Show Us How God Works

Ever wondered if God still talks to people?  Want to know how God shows folks His will?  Do you sometimes doubt that God will provide your needs like He promises?  Do you find yourself uncertain what a healthy marriage looks like?
Lin Sons’ recently released book, We Danced, is a sparkling collection of stories from her and Buck’s 40-year marriage, each concluding with a lesson we can apply to our own lives.  While written specifically for married couples, I found that it was easy to adapt to my own life as a single middle-aged person.
Her stories are ones that I think anyone who follows Jesus would be blessed to read.  They’re about every day life.  They give us a glimpse of what a great marriage looks like from the first date to death’s parting, and they put meat on the skeleton ideas we have of how God might work in our every day lives.  They show how God really still is a God of miracles, and how He does still lead and guide us.  Most of the stories are written in a delightful snapshot fashion, 5 to 10 minutes to read, and are perfect one a day.
We often read biographies of great Christians, and while we’re inspired by their lives, we tend to think, “Well, that was a long time ago,” or “Yes, but that person was really extraordinary.”  Lin is a normal person and her stories show how God provides for us, how He guides us, how He teaches us, and how He helps us through the rough times.  If He does these things for her, why wouldn’t He do it for you?
Who should read this book?
1.  Married couples.  The insights Lin has are treasure for those who want a good marriage.  Her questions are poised to open some great conversations, as well as help you pinpoint places in your marriage that could use a little tweaking in order to get it to line up with God’s plan.  This would be a great book to read together as a morning or evening devotional, to buy for a newly married couple (or as a wedding present), or give as an anniversary gift, no matter where a couple is on their journey.
2.  Engaged couples.  Wow, what a great foundation could be built if these thoughts and ideas were talked through and intentionally set in place even before the vows are said!  What inspiration to make our marriages pictures of Jesus and His Bride!
3.  Teens and young adults … or anyone who thinks they might want to get married someday.  Again, the examples here are golden.  Reading this book is a good way to determine some standards before you even start dating.
4.  Families and individuals.  There are life lessons here that are applicable to anybody’s life, even if you never get married.  If you don’t know how to find out what God’s will is for you, there are many examples here.  If you’re worried about paying bills … and if God has put on your heart to give away money you need … here’s encouragement and inspiration.  These are great things to ponder, journal about, or discuss as a family.

Reading this book was one of the highlights of my year.  I highly recommend We Danced for your reading pleasure and your spiritual growth.

http://www.amazon.com/We-Danced-Devotional-Excerpts-Fairy-Tale-ebook/dp/B00HR160L8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393711586&sr=8-1&keywords=we+danced+by+lin+sons

Slaves You Might Know

“Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”  — Bob Pierce

I think there have probably been times when I’ve recommended a book that would be appropriate for anyone (and sometime soon, I hope to write a review of a book like that, that I recently read), but I think this is the first time I’ve ever said that there’s a book I think everyone SHOULD read … I would almost say that everyone has a moral obligation to read. (The reason I say “almost” is because I know I have friends — God bless them! I’m kind of the same way — who would balk at me defining what their moral obligation is. If I were not to use that word “almost,” my statement would cause them not to read it, for that reason alone.)

This book was not easy to read. There were times I found it so disturbing that I had to put it aside and regain my composure enough to continue. But that’s exactly why it needs to be read. Not to decondition us or make us calloused, certainly not to get us used to seeing this kind of thing, but because we NEED to be disturbed by this. Too many turn their heads away — they’re afraid to face these facts, they scorn the people who are victims, they don’t know what to do, etc.  There were people in Theresa’s life — the school security officer, teachers, friends, and others, who turned away when they saw what was happening, and even when she begged them for help. Many of us would possibly be guilty of the same thing.

When I shared this story with a few friends while I was reading it, their response was that she was stupid to not get out.  This is why we need to read this.  We need to understand what holds people in those situations.  If we think that they’re stupid, that should be a red flag to us that we need to gain better understanding.  I learned in acting class in college that people do things because they think it’s the best thing to do.  In our omniscient wisdom (tongue in cheek), we may be able to see that their decisions are foolish, or we may be able to see other options, but it makes us more human, more humane, and more godly, when we take the time to figure out why they think it’s the best thing to do.  Not necessarily a good thing; but sometimes, our only options (or at least the only ones we can see) are all bad, and we choose the best of those bad options.  Hint:  Someone doesn’t live through the terror and pain this young woman lived through if they think there are better options.   We need to allow God to give us compassion.  We need to beg God for compassion.   “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”  Bob Pierce (founder of World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse) said this, and I think it’s one of the godliest prayers we can pray.

There are times when we have to be willing to say, “No, don’t turn your head. This is important.” Asking you to read this book is one of those times.

The main purpose of this book is to help us understand how someone gets trapped in sex trafficking … in this country. A nice girl from a good family. An intact, loving family. A girl who was not promiscuous and was committed to saving sex for marriage.  There may be people you know who are stuck in this lifestyle and you don’t even know it.  But I think that it goes beyond that. It can also help you understand what it’s like to be abused or bullied — and why people stay in those situations when you think they have options.  I can almost guarantee you know people who are in that situation, whether you realize it right now or not.  I think this is a book we should read so that we can become better educated about things that need to be changed in our society (not just some place on the other side of the globe), but mostly so that we can become better human beings.

Btw, I know that my posts are read by a number of homeschoolers, so let me say this about using this book in school.  Yes, I think it would be valuable, in about junior high or high school.  And having your child read it could quite possibly save their life (which is why I would recommend junior high), in addition to helping them become better human beings.  Having said that, though, I think it’s a very good idea for you to read it first, so that you have a heads up as to what kinds of questions and discussions would be helpful in working through it.  This book is disturbing.  There’s just no way around that.  You might even want to read the book out loud to your kids so that you can have those discussions as you read … and so you can decide if you need to censor any details.  The woman who wrote this — about her own experiences — is quite conservative and has strong family values, but she does occasionally give some details your children may not be ready to hear.  If you read it ahead of time, it’s easy enough to know what to skip over (just a few sentences in the entire book).  If you decide to read this with your kids for school and you’d like help with coming up with discussion questions, leave me a comment asking for that, and I’d be happy to put some together.

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(Btw, I’m not an Amazon associate and I don’t get anything if you buy this book.  Just want to let you know:  You should read this. It’s also available in a print version.)

http://www.amazon.com/Slave-Across-Street-Theresa-Flores-ebook/dp/B0034KYZQ8/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1390266358&sr=1-2&keywords=the+slave+next+door

First Week of Advent: Prophets

There are a few different ways of celebrating Advent, and with those come various themes, such as hope, peace, joy and love.  The theme I chose many years ago, when I started bringing Advent into our family celebrations is that of the various people who “saw” Jesus’ birth:

  • The prophets who “saw” and foretold Him hundreds of years before He came to earth.
  • The angels who had watched this amazing story unfold, and told Mary, Joseph, and the Shepherds about Him.
  • The shepherds who came to worship this God-baby who had been humbly born, Someone they could relate to.
  • The magi (wise men) who heard about Him through a star and sought Him out, traveling far with treasures to honor Him.

This week, the first week of Advent, we’re reading some of the prophecies about Jesus’ birth, along with the Scriptures that describe their fulfillment.

There are a couple of things I’d like to highlight about this week’s theme.  First of all, one of the reasons we read about the prophecies about Jesus is because they help to prove to us who Jesus was.  Without the help of the Holy Spirit, how could anyone have known these details about the Messiah ahead of time?  There are many more prophesies about Jesus, but these are the primary ones we think of at Christmas.  (My Passover Book, Next Year In New Jerusalem highlights many, many more of these prophecies — no promises, but hoping to have it back in print this spring for Passover).

Another reason we look at the prophecies about Jesus is because they remind us what we should be doing:  Telling people about Him!  In the US, we now live in what has been called “the post-Christian culture.”  In many ways, this is a tragedy, but in other ways, it can be good.  It’s very difficult to help people in a Christian culture understand that they can have a relationship with God or that they have a need for Jesus’ sacrifice.  Say what?!  Yes, you heard me right.  People who think they’re Christians because they’re American don’t understand their deep need; they don’t know what they’re missing because they think they’ve got it.  The contrast of God’s true love with our current culture is stark, making it easier to see that there is a need and that Jesus truly makes a difference in a person’s life.

Telling about Jesus doesn’t mean just … telling.  Anyone can talk about Jesus.  The strongest way to tell those who don’t know Jesus about Him is to let them see the evidence in you, your transformed life, the fruit of the Spirit.  There’s a famous quote about this that I love.  I’ve seen it attributed to various people.  “Always preach the Gospel … and if necessary, use words.”  The Apostle John said similarly, “Dear Children, let us not love with word or tongue, but with action and in truth.”  It’s all too easy to tell people about Jesus, to push Him on others, to make them feel condemned or inferior (which is not what He would want).  But to let Him shine through me, to humbly apologize when He isn’t reflected accurately in my life, to let Him express Himself to those around me through my hands and feet and mouth … can be a much clearer expression of the Gospel.

Am I saying not to ever use words to tell about Jesus?  Am I suggesting that the Gospel should never be taught or preached with words?  Absolutely not.  Scripture is full of exhortations to preach and teach, and most people can’t come to Christ without hearing the Gospel explained to them.  What I’m suggesting is that our actions need to precede and/or back up those words.  “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  YOU are a living photograph of what it means to have Christ in a person.

Let’s be aware all the time, but let’s be especially mindful this week of what our living photos portray.

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Advent is a four week daily focus that leads up to Christmas. It prepares our hearts to celebrate Jesus and to long for His presence. In this book, you’ll find instructions for celebrating Advent, as well as the Scripture readings for each day, carols to go with the theme for each week, skits to add to the fun and meaning, and other activities to help you experience Jesus in a very real way. Celebrating Advent is also a great way to establish family devotions.

Worry: Mind Your Own Beeswax and Kick Satan in the Balls

Picture this:  A little, tiny girl, overshadowed by a gigantic, strong, menacing bully.  She kicks at him and says in her little, squeaky voice, “Take that, you big ole bully!  That’ll teach you to mess with me.”  The bully staggers back, surprise and pain written all over his face, as he doubles over and protects his weakest parts.

Okay, so I’m not a diminutive, sweet, squeaky-voiced girl.  I’m a fat, old lady.  But compared to Satan, the biggest bully of all time, I am all those vulnerable, pathetic things.

Now pan back and see the big picture.  There’s an enormous, even stronger, shining person behind the little girl.  He’s the one who is actually delivering the blows, but He’s there because the little girl called Him and asked Him for His help.  He’s there to make sure her pitiful, albeit somewhat brave efforts are powerfully enforced.  Oh man, she just kicked the bully in the balls!

That little girl is me.  And you.  (If you’re a guy, you can picture a wimpy, skinny guy with horn-rimmed glasses and not an ounce of muscle.)  Satan loves to bully us.  He enjoys making us think that we have to cower in fear of him.  It’s his happiest moment when we become ineffective because we don’t want him to hurt us.  And you know what one of his most successful strategies is?  Worry.

He gets me to worry about finances.  I’m then afraid to step out and do what God asks me to do, because I’m worried I won’t have the resources to accomplish it.  Worry can distract me from loving on people.  It can tie me up in knots so that I’m ineffective at just about everything.  I become bitter about not being paid more for my hard work.  I become stingy with the resources I have because I think that they’re in short supply.

I worry about what’s happening in our nation.  That anxiety can sometimes consume me.  Every possible outcome (all bad) sinks my world.  I lose hope.  I stop praying for our leaders.  And yeah, bitterness sets in again.  I get worried about what this world is going to be like for my kids and grandbabies.  What are they up against?  I can imagine a lot, but I also know that it can be worse than I imagine.

Substitute whatever it is that you tend to worry about.  How does that effect you?  How does it keep your focus away from God?

Worry draws my focus away from gratefulness and worship.  When my worries loom huge, God seems to recede into the distance … and He looks awful small from so far away.  Thanksgiving sucks when I’m filled with anxiety.

I realized something interesting today.  Worry only happens when I mess with other people’s business.  It’s when I start taking responsibility for things that aren’t mine to worry about.  Here’s my analysis of my financial worries, since financial anxieties are probably something many of us can relate to.

1.  Not being paid what I’m supposed to be paid?  That’s not my problem.  It’s between God and those who are supposed to pay me.

2.  Having to accept charity and be on food stamps?  I tend to think that means I’m inadequate.  But I’m working hard, doing my part, and for now at least, this is God’s way of providing for us.  I do my part, He fills in the rest … and teaches me humility in the process.  My business in this is to work hard and with integrity.  His business is to fill in the gaps.

3.  God calls me to do something and I don’t have the resources?  That’s not my problem.  His will, His bill.

4.  Trusting God and praising Him for His provision.  That’s MY business.

See how this works?  Suddenly, my only responsibilities are things I can handle:  Work hard, with integrity.  Trust God.  Praise Him.  All that other stuff that’s too much for me is not anything I need to concern myself with.  In the past week, in addition to how He normally provides for me, He has also had various people pay my electric bill (they had no idea there was a need, because I didn’t tell a soul), provide money for a Christmas tree, offer to prep and deliver and set up our Christmas tree, give us a turkey … Our needs are provided and some non-necessities as well.  I had things I was worrying about for the future, too, but this process has helped me differentiate between my responsibility and other’s and God’s … and that worry has mysteriously dissipated like the morning frost.  If I mind my own business and no one else’s (God’s included), I have nothing to worry about.

Which brings me to Satan’s balls.  Satan’s desire is to reproduce his nature in me and those around me.  He wants to get me to despise God … or at least not trust Him.  When I worry, I’m not trusting God to do His responsibility.  I take on some of Satan’s traits:  Pride, bitterness, etc.  That affects others in that I’m not encouraging them to trust God, and maybe I get grouchy or withdrawn.  And it infects them with worry, bitterness, etc, too.  It reproduces Satan’s traits in them, as well.  When I recognize what’s my responsibility and do it, and I keep my cotton-pickin’ fingers (and mind) out of everyone else’s business, there is no cause for worry or anxiety.  I have peace and Satan hates that.  It causes him pain.  I severely impair his ability to reproduce.  That’s what I call a good ball-kicking.

We’re on the cusp of two important holidays:  Hanukkah and Thanksgiving.  (You knew I would get there eventually, right?)  And those holidays are really about God working through people to give Satan some serious ball-kicking.

Hanukkah is about the people of Israel, who had been conquered and were being ruled by an evil man:  Antiochus Epiphanes.  Antiochus defiled the temple.  He tried to force God’s people to bow to false gods.  He committed horrible abominations.  God strengthened His people and provided by His nation through a family, the Maccabees, who were a lot like the Wolverines in Red Dawn.  When the bad guys were thrown out of Israel and the people cleaned up the Temple, all they could find was 1 flask of the Holy oil.  It was only enough to light the Menorah for 1 day … and it takes 8 days to sanctify the Holy oil.  It was the people’s responsibility to light the Menorah and make more oil.  It was God’s responsibility to fill in the gap of 7 days’ without oil.  God miraculously made the oil burn for 8 days.  They did their part.  He did His part.  And now their/our responsibility is to praise Him for what He did.  That’s Hanukkah.

Back in the 17th century, a group of English believers wanted freedom to worship God according to their beliefs.  They came to America, where they suffered many hardships.  Many of their number died, and at one point, their situation was so grave that they each only had 5 kernels of corn to eat in a day.  It would have been very easy to stop trusting God at this point.  I would guess, since they were human, that they fought anxiety.  But they didn’t give up.  They didn’t turn away from God.  They worked hard and they believed in His faithfulness.  That was their job.   God provided them with Native American friends who shared their resources with them and showed them some of the things they needed to know in order to survive in the New World.  He also provided them with a good harvest the next year.  The celebration feast with their Native American friends and its ongoing celebration in our homes is the American holiday of Thanksgiving.  The turkey and many of the traditional foods we use, and having more than enough food on our tables that day remind us of God’s overwhelming provision.  (And I, for one, am additional thankful that the turkey did not make it as our national bird, my apologies to Ben Franklin.  I much prefer roast turkey to roast eagle on my table.)  Oh!  And I guess you could look at the football games as a celebration of our forefathers giving Satan a good ass-whooping.  (Is that taking the analogy too far?)

May I exhort you to do something this Thanksgiving?  Think through what’s your business and responsibility, and what responsibility belongs to God and others.  Remember that if others are not doing their responsibilities, it’s not your problem:  It’s between them and God.  Recognize that filling in the gaps that are left is not your responsibility:  Trust God to fill in the gaps that irresponsible people leave.  This will free you in ways you can hardly imagine.  Lift your voice in gratitude.  Call on God to stand behind you and lend you His strength … and go kick some balls.  (And I don’t just mean footballs.)

Your Unique Gift to the World

Something is falling together for me from various things that I’ve been reading and listening to over the past 6 months or so. This has been contributed to by quite a few authors and speakers, but I would say mainly by Steve Wiens and Patricia Noel Drain, and I want to be sure to give them credit for that.  Those 2 people have built so much into my life; Steve through his sermons and blog, Patricia by her teleseminars and personal challenges and living questions.

Here’s my summary of what I think maybe God is showing me. See if this resonates for you and maybe helps solidify something in you about your gifts and calling and your value in the world.

God has given each of us a unique set of experiences, talents, gifts, etc. No one else has our unique set. It’s like our fingerprint. Through this, He wants to touch the world through us. If we don’t use this “fingerprint” (for lack of a better word so far) that He’s given us, the world misses out, because there is no one else who will have that fingerprint.

What someone gets when they take a course from me or buy one of my books, paintings, etc, is ME. They get something that is a result of that unique combination of experiences, talents, etc, that God has put in me. What they get from you when you do whatever it is that God has put in you is YOU. (This is true of your job, your ministry, how you raise your kids, etc.) They get part of you. They benefit from the unique combination of experiences, talents, etc, that God has given you.

It’s our responsibility to get that out there because if we don’t, then the world will be lacking our unique contribution. No one else will be able to make up for that loss. That’s how valuable we each are as individuals!

But often, we don’t make this incredible, non replaceable contribution to the world because we don’t think we’re worthy.

You know who my all-time favorite Bible character is?  King David.  Wanna know why?  Because the man was an adulterer and a murderer, but God still said that he was a man after God’s own heart.  God used him, despite his major short-comings!  There are others:  Peter, who was always putting his foot in his mouth and who denied Jesus three times — yet God made him the leader of the new Church.  Moses who was a murderer, had a horrible temper, and almost refused to let God use him (when God called him via the burning bush).  And so many others.

There are also people in history who would never have been allowed to use their gifts by most churches or mission boards — one of my favorites is Aimee Semple McPherson.  She was married 4 times (divorced twice, widowed once), was the topic of a couple national scandals … yet God used her to bring many to Him, to physically heal thousands, and to start an amazing denomination.  Was this because she (or King David or Moses or Peter) was qualified on her own?  NO!  They were qualified through the Blood of the Lamb … through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.  None of us is personally qualified to use our gifts or to have God work through our “fingerprint” in the world.  But we are qualified through Him!

Please, please, please take hold of God’s qualification on your life.  If you don’t know how, I would love to help you!  Use your unique combination of experiences (including the horrific ones) and gifts that He’s given you.  Give to the world what God wants to do through you.  No one else has what you have to offer.  The world will be a richer place because of you.