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The Gift

February 23, 2008

It’s Saturday morning/afternoon. It’s been a lazy day so far. I’m trying to recover from some kind of bug, haven’t identified it yet. I’ll be taking the weekend off from singing with my team. I’m bummed about that. There’s something about being with them that is always so special. To serve along side my husband and some of my closest sisters and brothers in Christ. It’s quite a worshipful experience giving back to God all He has given us…an outpouring of all we know to do…praise!

I sit here listening to my kids do the same. My daughters acoustic is plugged into the amp, my son is on his drums and they are in the room playing and singing praise songs. It sounds like a mini concert in our home today. The kids made their entrance into our world gifted with music. When Kass wrote her first song on the piano at age 4, yes 4, I knew she was special. When Kota was also 4 I over heard him in the back seat of our car mimicking a drum fill with his hands on his lap. He copied it to perfection. Three months later we got him a full size drum kit. He taught himself to play by putting headphones on and copying everything he heard.

I don’t say this because I am their mother…but they really blow me away! I can’t look at them and think back to when they first expressed their gift in music and not see how God has put that in them. There is no question in my mind this is what they are meant for!

Brent and I have encouraged them from day one to use their gifts for God. To take them seriously. To respect them. To cherish them. To use them to bless God and people. We hope they’re blessing God.

Is there something you feel gifted to do? Are you doing it?

If not, what’s holding you back?

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2008 12:58 pm

    Your kids remind me of mine…making up his own lyrics to songs since he was three and playing the drums at 4. Although right now he’s still got a lot to learn with the drums…he trying to mimick what he hears his daddy play.

    You’ve got a blessed household. My calling though?? Writing, music, and photography. Writing being number one…wrote a book at grade 4 that went to state and won best author. God’s given me a gift that I’ve yet to utilize for Him.

  2. February 23, 2008 2:32 pm

    not sure the difference between talent and gifts…is there one?

    I believe I am doing what God wants me to do for now, but I have a strong sense in my spirit that this is going to change into something else…can’t really explain it, don’t really understand yet, but I feel like HE is priming me for something else..praying to be open to what HE says, and just believe..

  3. February 23, 2008 6:18 pm

    I hope you get to feeling better soon.

    I’m glad you and your family can sing. What a blessing!

    I cant carry a tune in my purse. I like it when they play the music loud so I can just make a joyful noise. LOL!

    I do have an appreciation for music & used to play the flute with the P&W team. It’s been a while and i probably need to polish off the tarnish. I made a joyful noise with the flute too. Also writing, speaking, teaching.

    BTW–How’s your book coming along?

    Love and blessings in Christ–
    Shonda

  4. February 23, 2008 6:51 pm

    B1 – utilize it! Finish that book! You finish yours, I’ll finish mine πŸ˜‰

    Darla – Talent and gift? I’m not sure. I have a “talent” for many things – playing spoons πŸ˜€ is that a gift? I guess so…I can play spoons for Him! But seriously…a talent is something that comes naturally. A gift is something given. I believe life is a gift from God. So the talents my kids have are gifts. So, yes? πŸ™‚

    And don’t you just love that “sense” that there’s a change coming? B and I are there too! I love it!!!

    Shonda! Can’t carry a tune in your purse? That’s classic! The Lord loves your praise any way you offer it! Ya know, thanks for asking about the book! You are my second word from God today…so, thank you!

  5. Sarah permalink
    February 23, 2008 9:55 pm

    Love ya Tam and hope that you are feeling better. Logan is sick so I will have to stay away from church this weekend also. I will be thinking of you!

  6. February 24, 2008 5:47 am

    well, I’m trying to use my gift and had to opt out of singing for two weeks in a row! Frustration at every turn, I tell ya. This bug is kicking my rear!

    So I will try again this morning to add my frog-like voice to the praise team. Hopefully it will sound good to God at least.

  7. February 24, 2008 11:31 am

    I remember the first year we came home from Missouri to visit and you guys showed me Kota playing his drums. I was literally blown away that little kid could play the drums like that. It was amazing!! πŸ˜€ And Kass, I remember her singing when she was little. Always singing. So beautiful!
    You are blessed and I am certain God is too. πŸ˜€

    My gifts? I dunno. We took a spiritual gifts class at our church in Missouri and it was really enlightening actually. I was never really sure what my gift was, but through this class MERCY came up again and again. What do you do with mercy?? Faith was also another one. I remember our Pastor saying “Wow, you are lucky to be merciful.” Really? B/c I don’t know what to do with that. πŸ˜†
    Right now the thing holding me back would be circumstances. It’s HARD to think of anything else other than raising your kiddos when they are this age. There really is little time for anything else. I just hope I can bless God by doing my job with them well. That’s all I can hope for right now I think. πŸ˜‰

    Okay now, I am thinking WAAAAY too much right now on only one cup of coffee! haha! πŸ˜†

  8. February 24, 2008 12:35 pm

    I know I’ve said this before, but your kids are SO COOL!!! We have a full-sized keyboard set up so that our 9 month old can pull himself up to “play” it anytime he wants…I really hope to give him opportunities to find his talents like you’ve done with your kids.

  9. lazrus2 permalink
    February 24, 2008 4:20 pm

    “Is there something you feel gifted to do? Are you doing it?
    If not, what’s holding you back?”

    I’ve been thinking alot about these questions ever since I read them yesterday. It just seems my perception of ‘sharing my gifts’ has changed over the past four years especially. Now, the term ‘calling’ has become much more important, and I find myself applying your questions to that more than ‘gifting’.

    If I’m remembering right, there is a quote that states:
    “God doesn’t call the equipped (i.e. gifted), He equips (gifts) the called.”
    If that’s true (and I believe so) then the calling is much more important to God than the gifting.

    In Romans 11:29, Paul refers to the nation of Israel and says,
    “For God’s gifts and His call can never be withdrawn.” NLT
    There He’s refering to the special covenant of blessing with Abraham that was also promised to his descendents.
    Just a few verses later (vs. 35-36) though, he makes a broader application to us all, I think:
    “And who could ever give Him so much that He would have to pay it back? For everything comes from Him; everything exists by His power and is intended for His glory. To Him be glory evermore. Amen. ”

    I believe God gives ‘gifts’ (talents) to all (saved and unsaved alike), but for those He ‘calls’ He also TESTS regarding the use of the gifts He’s given. I think Romans 8:28-29 applies here too in that ‘He works all things together for the good for those He has called’ for the purpose of ‘transforming them into the image of His Son.’ That transformation is what He is most interested in, and I believe He may even hinder ‘gifts’ to test the ‘calling’.

    That sort of comes around full circle to the question: “What’s holding you back?”
    Some of my first thoughts about that were wondering how Joseph and David might answer that. They had received visions, used their gifts for the benefit of others, been called, and even anointed, yet their ‘calling from God’ was ‘hindered’ for at least 13 years (about the same time for both strangely enough). At the beginning of that time, they both would have probably blamed others (jealous brothers, Potiphar’s wife, the cupbearer, or King Saul) for ‘hindering’ God’s call on their lives. But at the end, they realized that no human being (or devil) is more powerful than God, and He allowed the hindrance in order to ‘complete His prepatory work in them’
    (as well as in the ones ‘hindering’–the brothers ‘passed’, Saul didn’t ={ ). Through testing their faith, perseverance, and character, His call was confirmed and they were made more ‘Christlike’ when finally given the opportunity to utilize their gifts as prime minister and king. Yet the lessons learned in prison and exile were never forgotten.

    I know that’s very long, and may seem totally unrelated to your original post’s emphasis. It’s just that I think there’s way too much emphasis on ‘giftedness’ without the necessary cautions about the pitfalls of such.

    Both when we enter and exit this life, we have nothing, and Paul says in 1 Cor. 3:10-14 that what we do with what’s been given us can be ‘gold, silver, and precious stones, or wood, hay, and stubble’ when finally tested in God’s refining fire. And then there’s also Mt. 7:21-23 that couldn’t be more sobering (‘Lord, Lord, did we not…in Your name?’).

    I do believe you know all that, and are instilling that awareness in your kids (as others of us are also). It’s just that I’m seeing more and more how ‘giftedness’ can be as much of a curse as a blessing. After all isn’t one of the most ‘gifted’ angels of all right there to turn our gifts’ focus inward (and outward by destructive comparisons) instead of upward? I believe we often assist him by our lack of concern and prayerfullness to combat that ={.

    D-

  10. February 24, 2008 6:04 pm

    Dana, you need a blog!!!! πŸ˜† It would TOTALLY get read!!! πŸ˜€

    BLOG! BLOG! BLOG! BLOG!

    πŸ˜‰

    Sorry for the hijak Tam. πŸ˜‰

  11. February 24, 2008 9:47 pm

    Yes D, I agree…using the word “called” would have been a better suited word. Not all who are “gifted” are “called”. In other words…one person can have many, many gifts and hone into one for some reason or another and let other gifts fall and fade away, possibly the ones that they are actually being “called” to use for the kingdom and for the benefit of others.

    I can only speak for me personally regarding my question of what’s holding you (me) back? Typically, it’s ourselves. We know it, but we don’t address it. I think it’s important for us to. And I was hoping to get others thinking about what that might be in their own lives and why.

  12. February 25, 2008 2:23 am

    and that you did! still thinking though….

  13. lazrus2 permalink
    February 25, 2008 11:06 am

    Granted, the ‘fear factor’ within ourselves is often employed by the enemy to ‘hold us back’ from the gifts we’re called to give.

    But, I also believe if/when that ‘inner fear’ is conquered and we begin exercising faith to minister in His power instead of ours, the enemy doesn’t then just give up and leave us alone. We’re more of a threat to him then, and he’ll find other ways to oppose and ‘shut us down’ however he can. I think David could have testified to that truth after becoming famous as a ‘giant-killer’.

    But as I commented before, God is greater and He will use whatever the enemy throws our way to make us (all involved who are willing) the better for it.

    D-

  14. February 25, 2008 1:32 pm

    Yes, but I think the phrase that is spoken a lot…”The enemy has as much power of you as you allow him” carries a lot of weight. Isn’t he under our feet, His feet, He lives in us so he (the enemy) is under us. He can throw as many things our way as he wants to divert our attention…we still must act on whether or not we will chase that distraction.

    Thought?

  15. February 25, 2008 2:17 pm

    absolutely, it is always our choice to how we respond and how we choose. More on that thought though…

    God will allow the enemy to shake you up and maybe even turn your world upside down if God sees that something needs shaken out, or that the end result will bring us closer to HIM. He allowed it to Peter, and the good news in that is Jesus is praying for us when that happens, and I believe with all my heart that Jesus gets what HE prays for!

  16. February 25, 2008 2:19 pm

    then there is also the “war in the heavenlies” which we really don’t understand but we know it is real due to the book of Job. Still our choice in how we respond to God, and where we lay our loyalities…

    man did I just w00t or what?? sorry, your comment just spurred my mind into some deeper things ! πŸ˜‰

  17. lazrus2 permalink
    February 25, 2008 9:33 pm

    One of my favorite songs in Kids’ Church is “Romans 16:19”:
    “Be excellent at what is good and innocent of evil, and the God of peace will SOON crush Satan underneath your feet.”

    The enemy is not there YET, but he is definitely under God’s control.
    As Darla stated so well:
    “God will allow the enemy to shake you up and maybe even turn your world upside down if God sees that something needs shaken out, or that the end result will bring us closer to HIM.”

    Our enemy is not bound yet, though limited by God’s greater purposes for our lives.

    Our part , I believe, is as the verse says, to ‘be excellent at what is good, and innocent of evil’, no matter what God allows the enemy to throw at us until he is ‘crushed beneath our feet’. (And practicing Eph. 6:10-18 is definitely part of what we are to ‘be excellent at’ =).

    D-

  18. February 25, 2008 10:10 pm

    Yes, and when I think of the Holy Spirit living in me, a child of a Mighty God and King, Ruler over ALL, I know the enemy has no power over me. Will he tempt me? You betcha? Will he lure me? No doubt. Will I be tempted? Daily. Will I wander toward the lure. Most likely. By choice. MY choice. The sin in me. It’s my flesh that I do battle with. Yes, I battle the enemy. And there is even a greater battle over me in the heavenly realms. But light always wins over darkness. Although Satan roams our land like a vicious lion – God remains the ultimate Power in ultimate Control. And if I am to call myself His child – I am under and living in HIS power not under Satan’s…No. Not any longer!

    I must take responsibility for my actions. I despise giving Satan that much credit. I am not innocent of evil. I’d be a liar if I said so. Donning the shield of faith to “STOP the fiery arrows of the devil” suggests to me that I already possess, from God by faith, power to thwart the enemy. He may not be under feet “YET” but he has no power over us.

    πŸ™‚

  19. bajanpoet permalink
    February 26, 2008 1:10 pm

    Very true… this post is great reading! I do have the responsibility to guard my heart and mind…. I do have a choice in the matter.

    And fear is usually the major thing stopping us from going forward – with talents *or* giftings, whatever your definition of them.

    Oh yeah I agree with Darla too – somebody’s latent talent is blogging πŸ˜‰

    Personally, I do know what my talents and my gifts are – and I’m having an exciting life seeing God work through them to bless others! All I’m saying these days is GOD IS AWESOME!!!! and shaking my head in wonder… Seeing the awe on the faces (or internet personas, Darla ;)) of people I minister to gives me the greatest joy, knowing that GOD has met them and they have been impacted by a personal encounter with HIM (I can fade into the background unnoticed.)

    But there’s much more to come, if the prophetic words over my life are any indication!

  20. February 26, 2008 5:04 pm

    “fear is usually the major thing stopping us” (bajanpoet)
    I used to battle all types of fears, and the last one was and sometimes still is the biggest, The Lord has been reminding me and showing me how in my obedience to HIM, there is no fear, fear stems from some type of failure, or fear of failing..in my case the latter, and HE is very intent in “HE does not fail me”..i find much comfort in that..

    I used to tremble at the thought of failing God, but if HE sends you, HE will make it happen, and HE never fails!

  21. Heidi permalink
    February 27, 2008 6:03 am

    Some people have mentioned I have the gift of writing. Okay!! I love to talk and write.

    But I think my true calling or gift or talent, is in how I show compassion. I absolutely LOVE people and I want to get deep in their lives and WATCH Jesus happen..

    Love you Tam!!!

  22. lazrus2 permalink
    February 28, 2008 10:59 am

    I don’t want to beat a subject into the ground (or ‘crush it beneath our feet’ =), especially since this applies more to comments #9-18 than the original post…
    yet, I saw a Bob Coy video this AM that presents what I think we were both trying to communicate better than I was able to. The whole message is good, but starting at 28:25 min. is where the application is best I think.

    So, if you have the time and interest, here’s the link:

    http://www.activeword.org/mediaplayer/player.cfm?fn=AWTVT1277

    ‘Hope you’re feeling better and the ‘bug’ has not affected anyone else on the ‘premises’.

    D-

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