Spiritual Gift Givers
Did you get enough T&D to eat? More importantly, did you take home leftovers to eat later? I hope your Thanksgiving Day was blessed with good food, joy, and laughter. What a precious thing to share with others, especially with those who enrich our lives.
On a recent Sunday morning, the pastor mentioned spiritual gifts in his sermon. It got me thinking about the blessings I receive from others. I Corinthians 12:7 tells us that “a spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” These gracious gifts enrich the church as we await the return of Jesus.
What are these spiritual gifts, and who possesses them? My Bible footnote says, “Spiritual gifts are abilities which God gives believers in order that they may serve Him.” That being the case, I’d like to publicly identify a few of these individuals and the blessings they bring to my life.
Let’s start with the gift of hospitality. Three people immediately come to mind: Pam Wood, Mary Ann Hollingshead, and Lori Holmes. All three of these lovely ladies attend my church and are quick to offer their homes and services. Mary Ann and Pam are also members of the Bush Hills Music Club, to which I belong. Pam has hosted the music club in her home more than once, along with a delicious lunch. Mary Ann often coordinates socials and special events, especially for the Sanctuary Choir. And Lori is the queen of dinners and showers, from weddings to babies.
Creativity is a gift for which I was not abundantly blessed, so I am awed to see the outcomes from those with this delightful gift. My sister Nancy has it. She has the best Creative Memories photo albums that you could ever lay your eyes upon! Kelley Young has it, too. Her inspiring creations bring wonder to our church every Easter and Christmas wooing me to worship. She expands her creativity to churchwide functions and smaller gatherings as well. She is the “go-to” source for all table decorations. As the church’s Preschool Director, you can imagine how fortunate the children are to benefit from her gift. And here’s the coolest thing – she wants no recognition. She only wants to fulfill the responsibility of using her gift to bring God glory.
The gift of evangelism is one in which God is growing me. How inadequate I felt on a recent mission trip when I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with a family. Unlike my friends Eddie Burchfield and Doris Slappey, I do not excel in the gift of evangelism. There is no person they encounter that the name of Jesus is not part of their conversation. Eddie is known for his fiery prison conversions, hospital prayers of healing, and convicting preaching. He has a ministry called Fresh Fire Evangelism. You may recall that he was a guest blogger. Doris and I traveled to India several times on mission trips. She never leaves home without a gospel pamphlet in whatever language is needed. Doris is able to seamlessly connect evangelism with everyday life.
My husband Parky (George Parker) takes first place in the gift of servanthood. He sometimes surprises me with his quiet acts of service to help others accomplish a specific goal. Monetary sacrifice is no deterrent. Inconvenience often accompanies his willing heart. His skills as an engineer, mechanical guru, and all-around computer geek cover a lot of territory for servanthood.
Teaching is a gift I know something about, probably from my mother, who was a business teacher and a Sunday School teacher for many years. My writer friend Sandi Herron can draw you in within minutes through her storytelling to reinforce teaching concepts. She writes and teaches the curriculum for a Bible study she hosts in her home every week. My small group teacher, Sam Snyder, has a similar approach. His knowledge of the Word comes from many years of study, experience, and teaching.
Who doesn’t need encouragement from time to time? Sharon Atwood is my number one encourager. She can dig out the pearl in a bucket of wet sand! I could chalk it up to bias since we are friends, but she has a knack for knowing what to say to anybody who needs a pick-me-up. She hasn’t always been that way; God blessed her with this gift later in life. On the other hand, my friend Pam Alverson has always had the gift of encouragement. Her outlook in any situation is real, buffered with kindness and encouragement. I must also mention my writing mentor, Denise George. Wow! I wouldn’t be the writer I am without her encouragement.
I could go on, but I hope my thoughts have spurred you to consider those who use their spiritual gifts to bless your life.
I Corinthians 12:4-6 says that there are different kinds of spiritual gifts and different kinds of service. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. What is your spiritual gift? Do you share it with others?