Monday, May 17, 2010

Is This For Me?

How many of you has God blessed? I mean you have all of these things to do and can even be slightly overwhelmed with gifts, talents, and witty inventions? Like the parable of talents when the Master gave one man 3 talents and the man returned back for the Master five; so when the one talent wasn't used, the Master gave that talent to the one who knew what to do with it (Matthew 25:14-30 AMP). So how many do you have so far and why haven't the rest of us heard more about you?

Fantasia Barino allowed a depiction of her true story on T.V. She had absolutely no interest to do much of anything but sing. While any of us would judge why she did this or that, or the other, the one thing she did do was according to the Word. Her gift made room for her and placed her before great men. She sang in church., She sang at other places but what did that do? Did some producer come along and offer her a deal the way they use to write in old movies? No, she saw an opportunity, planned for the vision, then made the effort to put the vision in effect. All of the singing in churches and other places, if nothing else helped her get over those jitters, took any cracking out of her voice but most of all, it had to please God. That one talent.

The movie, Julie/Julia was about a woman with a mundane job who could write but didn't know about what. So she blogged her experiences in using Julia Child's cookbook. According to her, Julia Child didn't acknowledge her efforts which could have discouraged her to quit, but God made the way that everyone else kept reading to the point of making that blog into a book which became a movie. That one gift.

God blessed me. I know this but didn't know what to do with all He had given me. I liked to sew and for some time I designed and tailored clothes for people. It was a task that didn't seem to go anywhere. I went to school to better my skills and still people tried to get something for nothing to the point of me sewing only for my family. My mother taught me how to crochet. So I practiced, got books to further what I know and even had an account at a gift shop. But then I learned that people may have allergies and if I worked near any pets or certain foods, it could be fatal to some. Then the love I have to cook. I believed I could open a catering service or maybe just sell baked goods. I wrote the plan then realized how much work it would take to get a business off the ground not to mention the money. Where was all of that money going to come from? Still, I had to do something with it.

So I made the move on the two things I like doing the most: writing and drawing. Once I made up my mind to write, I couldn't stop. A program for teens took only a few months to do. A manuscript for Christian babes just starting into the life. Another for those seeking righteousness to go with Kingdom Living. Another for Christian singles. A pocket book with testimonials. Altogether there must be about eight. There they were sitting there collectintg dust which made me a little anxious. So I searched how to get them published. I asked published authors and even found a publicist to help me. No matter how much I tried, the money wasn't there, the publicist flaked, and I was starting not to trust that my works wouldn't be stolen.

Doing some research on the computer, I kept bumping into new things I didn't know was available. I knew about blogging (after asking) but I didn't know I could do it for free. I knew about designing a website but I didn't know I could do it for free. So I submitted and wrote. I was so happy that finally I got something published.

Now for that artwork. Again, I was just looking up some stuff and happened on this portrait. It got my attention because it was an illustration and the hair was drawn so differently. I looked for the artist's name and the website she was using, Redbubble. It was an odd name and there were many other artists using the site. This was an opportunity for me as well. I submitted the work and also found a link for my blog page. That's when I discovered facebook and linked all three. That was some widgets, redesigning and months ago. While I get good feedback for my artwork, I wasn't getting as much for the writing. I wondered if anyone was bothering to read. That's when I found another widget counter on all of the websites I created. The numbers were steadily increasing. I got viewed but no hits. Still, I made the effort.

I woke one morning and God reminded me of an idea he gave some time ago. I wasn't scared to do it, its just men haven't been trustworthy to me in the past.

I had an idea to build on a business idea at a hospital. I called one who referred me to another and was finally in contact with the right person. I sold my idea to him (in a manner of speaking) and we made an appointment to meet. The next day while watching the news, the very man I spoke with used my idea as Public Relations for the hospital which was the human interest story for the local news circuit.

Another incident when I was sewing for clients. I made a wedding dress for someone I barely knew. I didn't charge her much, in fact because we attended the same church, I charged her $50.00. I stayed up all night to finish all of the alterations. Her mother was traveling in the next day for the wedding and the bride was nervous about her mother seeing the dress. Once the mother arrived she asked to see the dress. According to the bride, her mother didn't like the design. The daughter, with the dress in her possession, decided to go buy another dress that her mother would approve of and not pay me seeing she wasn't going to wear the dress I made for her anyway.

That was one too many times, so I stopped doing for people altogether (Psalms 146:3 NIV). I wasn't going to make anything for anyone. When I had the urge to do something creative, I just gave it away as a gift. I did this for years. That all changed when I came to work in a geriatric community. I made an afghan for a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. None of their children did anything for them. When I gave them the gift they were surprised but not in the good way. They kept asking me why would I do this? Weeks later they would ask me but not in front of others. I didn't understand this behavior especially when she'd see me work on it with such glowing compliments. I almost wished that I charged her. But then there was someone I drew a portrait for and his girlfriend didn't like it. I didn't charge him because I needed the practice. When I saw him roll the card stock that it was drawn on, knowing the next move was to put it in the garbage, I protested and took my work back and posted it on my website. How dare he!

I value the gifts God has given me and the work I do. I understand that He didn't give just for the sake of me calling myself blessed but for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of the saints (1 Corinthians 14:3 AMP). The truely annointed also has their steps ordered to touch the hearts of the lost whether they know it or not. It doesn't take as much as one thinks to win someone to Christ. You have the desire to do so more than others because you have that talent to do so; just use it.

The gifts, talents and witty inventions God has given is for one of three or all three things depending on how mature you are in Him:
1. An answer to your prayer. Knowing that the kingdom of God is joy and peace in the Holy Spirit gives you the answer as to why He gave you that specific gift. You now know what your purpose is. You can do that talent better than anyone else because you were created for a time such as this to use it!

2. Seeing that God is our source, He has provided us a means of income with those gifts. What you do with them will determine your next step. Wisdom tells us to seek her early while we still can (Proverbs 8:17 KJV). God supplied where righteousness was applied.

3. Some have more than others deliberately. If one has used what God has given with such skill and finess, of course He is going to give her more. Her gift made room for her (Proverbs 18:16 KJV). Now people see what she can do and make requests to teach them or the demand is more than she can supply. That sounds like a booming business.

I found this parable to be more important than the others because it was the only one that shows the outcome of not using what He gave. The result is to experience damnation. The world uses the phrase, "if you don't use it, you will lose it." That phrase couldn't come from any place else but the parable of talents.

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