Gifts

  

 

Define: 

A gift can be defined as something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient.

 

Affirm:  

1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

 

Recall:  

I love gifts.  I love gift giving.   I love shopping for gifts.  I love sharing gifts.  Most importantly, I LOVE to receive gifts.  I love receiving gifts that are wrapped nicely in a box—like the little blue box with the white ribbon!  Gifts make me so happy!  I love the art of seeing the box, anticipating the gift inside the box, opening the box, and making good use of the gift received.  

 

There have been occasions however, in which I didn’t like the gift, I felt like the gift was not a thoughtful gift or I have damaged the gift. So often, I have taken someone’s act of kindness for granted!   I need to improve in that area…

 

Earlier last week I was thinking about gifts and then GOD whispered in my spirit- I have given all of my children gifts and some of you (including you Lereca) are taking MY gifts for granted.  I pondered on the idea.  I don’t know about you; but the thought of taking GODs gift for granted makes me feel uneasy.  

 

I started thinking deeply about my gifts and the gifts of other people.  While being very excited because gifts build personal excitement, a feeling of despair entered my heart.  I discovered that we treat our gifts from GOD the same way we treat gifts we’ve received from others.  

 

This is what I learned about how we treat GOD’s gifts.

1. We appreciate them 
2. We give them away
3. We forget about them
4. We misuse them
5. We lose them
6. We put them in the trash
7. We never open them

 

How are you treating the gift(s) that GOD gave you?  Review the list above.  If you relate closely to numbers 2-7 with your gifts, it is time to have a conversation with GOD.  

 

I know what you are saying (I am guilty too)- I am not special, right now is not the right time, people will not understand, and/or there is someone else out there better than me.  Stop allowing the devil to cloud your thinking.   If you are not clear about your gifts- ask GOD to show you, he will.  Be prepared for what he shares.  

 

I have been writing since childhood; but I never considered myself a writer.  Secretly I’ve written short stories, poems, skeletons for booksworkbooks, programs, etc.  When I asked God for help, he placed the right people in my life to remind me of my gifts.  Repeatedly people would thank me for my words or my insight.  

 

Here I am today –writing.  I feel so blessed and thankful that I made one step towards being a good steward!  GOD will do thsame for you!

 

I encourage each of you to ask GOD to reveal your gift.  More than likely you are aware of your gift(s) from GOD.  When you are intentionally using your gifts to bless others you will feel good and you will attract more good into your life.  Trust me.  

 

I found a quick assessment that might help you learn more about your spiritual gifts– this is just a start.  After you take the assessment, I challenge you to begin using your gifts to build GOD’s people and GOD’s kingdom.   When you do- your life will never be the same!

 

 

Exercise:

Take the assessment below.  What are your top three?  How does this make you feel?  Do you feel better equipped?  (please respond through social media-we want to hear from you)

 

 Spiritual Gift Test

 

GO AND BUILD GOD’S KINGDOM.  He wants you to enrich somebody’s life today!

 

Commit to the challenge.  

I DARE you. ~Lereca Monik


#mydearestsister #Idareyou #restoredministries #itstimeforachange#anewyou #LiveRestored 

Precious

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Most of my writing comes during a time of intensity, a moment of emotion and circumstance that moves me deeply, whether it be one of joy or despair. It is these moments in which The Lord gives me words without my asking. They just spill out onto paper. Other times, I seek the Lord and ask Him for words. In preparation of an upcoming Christmas party, I asked the Lord to provide the words for the poem I knew He wanted me to gift to those at the party. As He spoke to me about His marvelous creation, the words in the following poem are His answer to that prayer. The figure in the snow globe is holding a snowflake and marveling at the “delicate design” and the “intricate details”. No two snowflakes are alike, nor are we. We are all originals, and The Lord marvels at His work, as should we.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ ~

It is my hope that this moment

is one you find precious.

A moment to remember

as part of this Christmas.

You see, my dears,

it’s not just the season, the decorations galore.

It’s not just the songs of His presence,

no, it’s so much more.

The celebration of the birth of our Savior

cannot be overdone.

For, of course, we all know

it is He who has come.

And while He is here

to take away sadness, worry, and gloom,

He is especially here to show

the beauty of His blossom’s bloom.

The delicate design of what is His,

the intricate details of His love.

There’s no better way to describe

than to say this original came from above.

For God sent His Son to overcome,

to make all things new,

And the only moment as precious to Him

is the moment He created you.

❤Stephanie
S.Gable 12/2014

Merry Christmas

© RestoredMinistries

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Materialism Run Amuck

I normally try to avoid the mall at all costs, but recently I had to venture out into the “Prime Shopping Madness” to make some returns. It was a few weeks before Christmas, but already I could feel the “Greedy Grasping Empty Materialism” in the air of the department stores as I entered.

I looked around at all the people buying and buying and searching and searching. So many people trying to fill a void with a bunch of stuff. I was guilty myself because there I was returning things that I had compulsively bought online weeks prior.

When they came in they had already lost their sparkle that caught my eye in the first place.

I love that I can recognize when I am being compulsive in my shopping now. I did not always recognize it or think I had an issue, and sometimes still, I can just be disobedient and do it anyway. I still try to fill a void with stuff sometimes instead of allowing God to fill me when I am feeling a little low.

As I continued to reflect on my Mall Madness experience, I was reminded of it over and over and even started to notice the same atmosphere at Costco, and Walmart, and even the Dollar Store this week. Carts so full of stuff, but the look on people’s faces were not full of happiness at all. All I saw was stress, and fear, and guilt, and pressure, and rushing. I started to wonder, where are all the happy and joyful people?

Are these people trying to fill a void? Do their spouses or families have too high of expectations for Christmas? Are their children so full of entitlement that they have to have more and more to be happy? Are they trying to impress the Jones’? Are they addicted or compulsive too? Why do so many people have to make Christmas about having more? More presents, More lights, More food, More parties, More rushing, More stressing, More More More.
Has materialism run amuck?

Just watch the news coverage on Black Friday shopping and for the riots over the Michael Jordan shoes coming out…. Yep, Materialism has run amuck!

Look at the definitions of the words:

Materialism-a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.

Amuck-wildly out of control.

Yep! When people are knocking down grannies to get their shop on-Houston we got a problem- Materialism has run amuck indeed! It is wildly out of control and spiritual values are hard to find with all the stuff filling up the baskets and drowning out lives.

This verse caught my attention as I was pondering and praying for all those unhappy people I encountered these past few weeks.

“Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from Him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.” ~ 1 John 2:15-17 The Message MSG

Love of the world does squeeze out love for God and love for others too!

What if we all celebrated differently this Christmas?

What if Christmas was not about all the “stuff” and presents, but about slowing down to rest in His Presence and with those we love?

What if instead of exchanging gifts, we share the Greatest Gift, Jesus, with a lonely, hurting, basket stuffing, mad, angry world?

~ XXOO, Michelle Bollom
© RestoredMinistries

Shine Bright

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Some days my light feels kind of dim. I can have days when I struggle not to murmur and complain and grumble and find faults and of course not to mention not to offend or to be offended.
I don’t always wake up feeling all warm and fuzzy. We all can have bad days.

I read this promise recently and I was
determined to be a better beacon of Christ’s Light for others. I am also glad I have the Holy Spirit’s help to keep my Light shining bright and to be fresh air to others in a polluted society.
We must hold firmly and stay filled up with Words of Life so we can give those Words of Life to others.

Today’s #WordOfGodWednesday is:

“Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the “light-giving” Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.~ Philippians 2:14-16 The Message

“Do your duty without murmuring’s. Do it, and do not find fault with it. Mind your work, and do not quarrel with it. By peaceableness; give no just occasion of offense. The children of God should differ from the sons of men. The more perverse others are, the more careful we should be to keep ourselves blameless and harmless. The doctrine and example of consistent believers will enlighten others, and direct their way to Christ and holiness, even as the lighthouse warns Mariners to avoid rocks, and directs their course into the harbor. Let us try thus to shine. The gospel is the word of life, it makes known to us eternal life through Jesus Christ.”
– Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

As Matthew Henry said- let us try thus to shine!

Heavenly Father, help us Shine Bright with Your Love to point people to You.

How can you Shine Bright and thus be a beacon of Light or that fresh air for others? ~XXOO Michelle Bollom

© RestoredMinistries

image is courtesy of my late father Charles “Popo” Cosby from his 2003 painting “The Lighthouses of Texas”

Your Child’s Identity

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What is your mommy purpose?

Is it to survive the day? Shower before nap time? To have a clean house?
To make your kid eat veggies?

Now take a step back. What is your one overarching goal for your child?

I’m sure many of you have great ones. Some folks just want to figure out the whole couponing system and some of you may not have a goal at all.

I’ll share mine.

Currently my children rely on me for guidance and instruction. My goal is to have my children grow in their relationship with Christ so that they rely of Him and grow in relationship with Jesus. More of Jesus and less of me. Eventually, they will leave my home and I want them rooted with Christ when they do.

Every correction points to Jesus. Every encouragement is in relation to Jesus.

Any helicopter moms out there? I love the early years. I knew every experience my son had. He would point to a random object and say bla bla. I’d respond with “Yes it looks just like the butterfly from your new book”.

Flash forward 13 years and it’s just plain weird. I don’t want or need to know his every thought. If I did I’d be looking forward to a 50 year old man still living with mom completing his sentences. Ladies, that’s not healthy.

Let’s discuss the gift of identity for our children. So they truly know who they are so they can respond from that identity.

Example: Pornography is not allowed in my home. I take appropriate mommy action by telling my 13 year old what it is (yes we had that talk) and why it’s harmful to his mind and body. We fully discuss how God views him and how pornography halts God’s plan for him.

In addition, open the lines of communication (no matter how awkward) and talk about it regularly. Casual comments about TV, media, and clothing. My families favorite line of mine is “modest is hottest” I saw it on a T-shirt. Please feel free to use it often.

My goal to help set within each of my children their identity so that when negative temptations and peer pressures come, they will know it is wrong because it goes against who they are in their identity with Christ not breaking their super strict parents’ rules. So I want my son to say no to internet porn because he knows it will change the chemistry of his brain not because his mom has a rule against it. God gave us rules to protect us we need to share the rules and protection with our children.

The same method of speaking their identity into them can be done to clarify their gifts, talents and love language.

First, I discover where God has gifted them. Then I speak into that truth. If they are resourceful I say…”Daughter you remind me of Ruth. She was loyal and able to find food where others couldn’t.” OK many times its a total stretch, but I get to share the gospel stories and build them up at the same time. Win Win

I speak truth to correct…
If my son is tattling on a fiend, I speak truth into his identity saying God has made you very insightful and aware of the world around you. That is a gift. Use your gift to tell people about the good you see them doing, not the negative.

Encourage the identity God gave them.

My daughter has an intense personality. She is wildly loving and equally explosive. When she is older I want her on my side in any conflict. This is how God made her. He didn’t make her like me (I’m a people pleaser who dislikes conflict). She’s not at all concerned if her actions are not pleasing someone and I think she likes the drama. Instead of trying to change her God given identity. She was born this way! I encourage the Christ in her. I don’t lie and tell her how sweet she is acting. I speak truth by telling her how wonderfully passionate God has made her. One night was telling the kids the story of Shadrack, Meshack and Abendago. My son responded to the story saying “wow mom if that ever happens to me, I hope I’ll have the faith not to bow down. my daughter looks at him weird and says If that ever happens to me (insert head bobbing), I’d kick that statue down and beat it up. (Yes, I want her on my side in the nursing home).I constantly speak truth and tell her how God has poured passion into her and how He loves her passion. Her passion is a God given gift. I’m also trying to soften her edges, because that’s the mom he made me to be.

Give your children the gift of who they are in Christ. Show them that they were fearfully and wonderfully made. They are not an accident. They were made by God and He will use them to accomplish great things for his Kingdom.

I’ve been a mommy for 13 years. The most challenging and rewarding part for me is learning how God has gifted each child, then with that knowledge speak life into each child so they can live out of their giftings and not their weaknesses. ~ Marina Wright

“My child, obey the teachings of your parents.” ~Proverbs 1:8

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. ~ Proverbs 22:6 NLT