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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Spiritual Gifts - Some Questions

Last Sunday in The Micah 6:8 Group (otherwise known as Sunday school), Brain W. taught a great lesson on Spiritual Gifts. We all did an inventory to help us discover what our gifts were. While I do not think we should allow any inventory or quiz to be the final authority on such matters, I to believe these tests can be a great tool in helping us discover our giftedness.

I seemed to score either really high or really low. Not much in between. My highest scoring gifts were:

Miracles - The gift of miracles is the distinctive ability to perform supernatural acts as an instrument or agent of God which alter the expected course of nature.

Weird huh? I had never thought of myself as having the gift of miracles although I have struggled for years with the idea that I seem to "know" when God is going to work a miraculous healing for someone. I would have guessed healing as a gift but not miracles. I suppose they are very much the same though. Come to think of it, I've seen God work miracles through prayer many times that had nothing to do with healing. I have never felt that I possessed a gift of miracles or healing though - if I did Children's Hospital would be the first to go out of business followed by all the other hospitals. My personal take on this is that God uses who He chooses to bring healing or miracles to whomever He wills. God does not always will healing. He works in mysterious ways, not always miraculous ways.

Giving - The fits of giving is the distinctive ability to cheerfully and generously contribute personal resources to God's work.

Faith - The gift of faith is the distinctive ability to believe God with confidence for things unseen, spiritual growth and the will of God.

Service - The gift of service is the distinctive ability to identify and meet the practical needs of others.

Healing - The gift of healing is the distinctive ability to be used as a human intermediary through whom God's supernatural power is applied to a person with a physical or emotional need.

Discernment - The gift of discernment is the distinctive ability to perceive whether a person's actions originate from Godly, satanic, or merely human sources.

Mercy - The gift of mercy is the distinctive ability to feel sincere empathy and compassion in a way that results in practical relief for people's hurts, pain and suffering.

Prophecy - The gift of prophecy is the distinctive ability to boldly declare the truth of God, regardless of the consequences calling people to righteous living.

Music was a complete strike out for me. No surprise there. I thought it was funny that Leadership and Teaching were not high on my list of gifts since I do both regularly. I"ve always told people I'm operating out of my giftedness - which I think is OK sometimes. I'm of the mind that if God calls you to do something you can't just say, "Sorry God, that's just not my gift". For instance, giving is not just for those gifted with the gift of giving. ALL followers of Jesus are called to give and to give sacrificially. I also believe ALL followers of Christ are to have Faith, Mercy and Service to others.

What was interesting was to hear what gifts others's in the class had. I know these folks and can see where their results were pretty accurate but I can also see where in some cases it is difficult for their giftedness to be received by others for various reasons. Maybe they are not a popular person, or maybe they are not in a position to use their gift well. Does that mean that their gift is somehow less valuable or less useful? I don't think so. I think when this is the case, that it says far more about the body of Christ than it does that individual.

It struck me that our gifts have to be used in a human context and humans always have a way of messing up God's work. We allow our personal preferences to interfere with what God wants to do either through our own gifts or the gifts of others.

In 12-Step groups we are often reminded to follow principals, not personalities. We may or may not like the person speaking in a 12-step group but that should not interfere with our accepting what they have to bring to the table that may be very beneficial to us. In successful 12-step groups this works well.

Maybe in churches we need to practice the Principals before Personalities thing a bit more?

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