Thank You!

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it or not but I’m a member of the choir at my church. Today, we sang a song by Ray Boltz called “Thank You for Giving to the Lord.” It’s a beautiful song. When ever it’s sung as a solo I always cry. I’m getting teary eyed right now just thinking about it. As we sung, I struggled to not focus on the words because I will cry.

I think what affects me the most is that I grew up in church. So, as I listen to the words, I think about all the sunday school teachers who have taught me. I think about my Granddad who read his bible everyday and still thought his wife was beautiful at 55. He is with the Lord now. I think about my Pawpaw who was a preacher and always had a knee for his grandchildren to sit on no mater how big they were. He’s with God, too.

When the song says, “And you stood before the Lord and he said, ‘My child look around you for great is your reward,'” I can’t hold my tears back. I want Jesus to say that to me, too. I want to the job that God want’s be to do so that when I do stand before the Lord I will hear those words.

Here is a link to YouTube so you can listen: http://youtu.be/UFrdJ2V3r7Y

Here are the words:

Thank You For Giving To The Lord

 I dreamed I went to Heaven. You were there with me. We walked upon the streets of gold beside the crystal sea. We heard these angels singing then someone called your name .You turned and saw this young man and he was smiling as he came. He said “Friend, you may not know me now” and then he said “But wait You used to teach my Sunday school when I was only eight. And every week you would say a prayer before the class would start. And one day when you said that prayer I asked Jesus in my heart”

Chorus:

Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed. Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am so glad you gave.

Then another man stood before you. He said “Remember the time; A missionary came to your church his pictures made you cry. You didn’t have much money But you gave it anyway. Jesus took that gift you gave and that’s why I’m here today”

Repeat Chorus

One by one they came. Far as your eyes could see. Each life somehow touched by your generosity. Little things that you had done. Sacrifices you made. Unnoticed on this earth. In Heaven now proclaimed.
And I know up in Heaven You’re not supposed to cry. But I am almost sure there were tears in your eyes. As Jesus took your hand and you stood before the Lord. He said “My child look around you Great is your reward.”

Repeat Chorus

        I am so glad you gave.

One of the many things I’m thankful for is my grandparents and parents. They all taught me how important it is to worship with a group of believers. I don’t think I would be the person I am today if they hadn’t.

What are you thankful for during this holiday of thanksgiving?

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3 Reasons to Use Your God Given Gifts

This past Sunday, my pastor preached on using your gifts. Of course, it is that time of year when they are looking for members to teach Sunday School, but what about our gifts outside of our church family. I’ve been thinking about this, not just this past Sunday, but for the past few months. Basically, I’m taking what he said and applying it to my ability to tell a story. Well, ok, I don’t really have proof yet that I can tell a story, except for the two chapters I’ve posted here on my blog. The other writers in my writing group seem to enjoying my writing so I’m just going to go with the fantasy that I’m a gifted story-teller.

As followers of Christ, we have all been given a gift. Some of us have been given more than one. The bible verses the sermon was basted on came from 1 Peter 4:10-11. Here are the verses in the NIV translation:

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

So, the reasons to use your gifts (mine is writing Christian Romance.)

  1. Because there is a purpose to God’s gift to you.

Ultimately, the reason you have been given a gift is to bring glory to God. Not so you can get recognition, praise, or any other glorification. It’s all for God.

Sometimes, it seems Satan puts a dark thought in my mind. He says, “That seems selfish on God’s part.” I have to tell him, “No. It’s not.” God created me. He is my maker. He sent Jesus. I would have died in sin never to see him in heaven. Am I grateful? Of course, but it’s more than that. God took a person like me, someone who had to take remedial english in college, and made her a writer. Yea, yea, yea, you can tell me that I’m smarter than I think I am till your blue in the face, but I know the truth. I’m only an author because God wants me to be. He is the one who will make it happen, when it happens.

  1. Because of the perspective you have in managing a gift.

It amazes me the information you can find through social media. People blog, post, and comment on everything there is to talk about. They don’t have to, but they are serving others even if they don’t know it. It’s wonderful! Yet I’m finding few Christian’s blog. Most just put a comment on twitter and/or Facebook. Just imagine what could happen if more Christians blogged. If you take something your knowledgable about and add Christian perspective you have a gift that can be used as a unique instrument for God. Here is an example: my pastor jokingly told his congregation an idea he had for a reality tv show about a preacher. He gave a short demonstration and it was hilarious. I told him he should video himself and put it on YouTube, but he just laughed. Yet, I was serious. I think he could do a short summary of his sermon, add his funny spin on it, then post it to YouTube and start a blog. I imagine he would reach people he would not normally reach. I think it would be great!

  1. Because of the power in expressing a gift.

There is something about a Christian who uses their God-given gift. You know how you buy a gift from the store, then you get it home and realize it’s suppose to have batteries. You look on the box (which you should have done in the first place) and it says batteries not included. Well, that’s not how it works with God’s gift. He empowers you to use your gift. You will have everything you need, though that doesn’t mean it won’t be hard work. Besides, without hard work there is no appreciation. So, that something about a Christian, the one who uses their God-given gift, it’s God empowering them. Amen. I don’t know about you, but the thought of being empowered makes me feel super human. I like it!

What about you? Do you have a gift? Leave a comment and tell me how you are using it. If you’re not using it, do you have any ideas on how you could use it? Do you know of any good Christian websites or blogs? Please prove me wrong with my comment that there are not many Christian bloggers!

May I have this dance?

You’ve heard of the waltz. When a couple dances the waltz the gentleman and lady grasp each other’s hands, while the gentleman places his other hand on the lady’s waist and she places her other hand on his shoulder. From this possition they twirl around in a circle and progress around the room. But, in the Regency period it was considered inappropriate. Instead, the kind of dance you might find at a ball was more like a square dance. Couples lined up, men on one side and women on the other, then waited for their turn to dance a figure (a sequence of movements).

In the following video we can get a glimps of what it must have been like. It is a short clip of one of my all time favorite movies, “Pride & Prejudice” with Keira Knightley. It shows Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett as they dance. Unfortunately, it doesn’t start at the beginning of the dance where you see them lined up, but you will see it at the end of the dance. Please ignore the last 30 seconds, as this video comes from YouTube and it would take a lot of work to get the end taken off.

Did you notice how easy it was for them to carry on a conversation? Certainly, the dance is romantic enough, but not conducive for talking.

There are several things you do not do while dancing. Because everyone in the room is eather dancing or watching the dance, you do what it takes to follow the rules. Here are some examples:

  • When dancing, eather you and/or you partner must be wearing gloves.
  • Don’t dance more than two or three dances with the same person.
  • Don’t stop dancing in the middle of a figure.
  • Never leave your dance partner in the middle of the dance.

Dancing has changed a lot since the early 19th century. Yet, there is a lot that’s the same. Which would you reather dance? A waltz or slow dance? Which one do you think is more romantic?