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Whare are your Gifts? - Issue 163
August 13, 2010
Hi there! ....

This week The big news in our family this week is that Daniel started to read independently! Yay! I want to give Daniel recognition because it has been a hard and long journey for him. He has so desired it, and he has worked hard at it. I am always amazed at how he doesn’t give up when he is faced with hard things. He pushes through, he doesn’t choose the easy way. We have had a tradition in our family of taking the kids out for morning tea to celebrate their reading – we have already had one for Daniel when he started to blend words (he needed the encouragement along the way) but I think it is time for another reading celebration morning tea.

Live life with your kids!

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What are Your Gifts? Are you using them?

It is well known that we are the most effective when we function out of our gifts, or talents. We will know from experience that when we are doing something that we are good at, or comes easily or naturally, or something we know pleases God we feel less stress, we are keen to get in and do it. I wonder if we take our gifts into the role of motherhood? (or fatherhood?)

Paul encouraged Timothy to rise up and function in the things God had put in him. 2 Tim 1:5 – stir up the gift of God which is in you… What gift has God given you? We tend to compartmentalise our lives far too much; we have our family life, and we have our church life, and we have our community life and some families even separate the things they do as homeschoolers. When we do this we think that the gifts God has given us are for a particular purpose, related to a particular sphere and if we are not able to function in that sphere (for whatever reason) we feel frustrated and to a degree let down by God. I believe though, that the gifts God gives us are to be used in every sphere of our life.

  • We are all called to evangelise – spread the good news. When God gives us our children he has placed around us the very people that need to hear the good news.
  • We are all called to pray – to call upon the name of the Lord. When God gives us our children we intercede for their hearts, we pray daily with and for them, we teach them to pray. We rejoice together in God’s faithfulness.
  • We are all called to hospitality – to share what we have to meet the needs of others. We have little people around us all day that have needs – do we meet them? Cheerfully? Do we offer a smile, a touch, a cookie, a safe haven?
  • We are all called to make disciples – not disciples of ourselves, but followers of Christ. Our natural family is the beginnings of any spiritual family. We don’t have to look far for people to encourage in the Lord - just look around and see that our children need to be trained in the Lord.
  • We are called to preach – to give an answer of the hope within us. Our children need to hear God’s Word, they need it explained and taught. They also need to see it lived out.

What holds us back from practicing the God-given gifts in our family? (Be they ‘spiritual’ or ‘practical’ gifts) Maybe we think that working for God full time or in the church is more spiritual; a more significant work in God’s kingdom? But Jesus was very clear that who ever caused a child to stumble, woe to him. If we don’t show Jesus to our children – they will stumble.

The thing that was holding Timothy back seems to be fear and doubt. Paul encouraged him: stir up the gift of God …. For God has not given us [you] a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord…2 Tim 1:7,8

We may be held back by something different than fear – but we can take this encouragement to heart. We need to stir up the gifts that God has given us and let them function in the place that he has us right now. Paul didn’t say – get out of that situation and find a place that will appreciate you more – get out and find a place where you will be more effective. He encouraged Timothy by saying “Stir up the gift… for God has not given you a spirit of fear!” In essence if we are hindered by fear, anxiety, doubt, frustration, etc… then that is not from God – God has given us a sound mind.

The Greek definition of the word ‘stir up’ is: to kindle up, inflame one's mind, strength, zeal. I am reminded of when we go camping. Peter likes to use a night-log, that is a log big enough and of hard enough wood that it will just burn slowly through the night so that in the morning all we have to do is ‘stir it up’; we poke it and jiggle it with the goal of re-igniting a strong and zealous flame in order to cook our breakfast. Paul is poking and jigging at Timothy here – he’s saying “Come on! You’ve got the gift – use it!” We need that jiggling too!

God has given you gifts, he has placed you within a family and that family needs the gifts you have. Just as the church family will not function effectively if each member is not doing its part so too for the natural family. God often expects things to function first in the natural and then he shows us the spiritual. God wants our families to be ministered to by the gifts that he has given. What an exciting thought to see the gifts of God’s people unleashed in our families!

Blog Updates this week
Organising School Supplies

Gifted Hands – the Ben Carson story We watched this DVD for our Sunday Night Thinking movie

One on One Discipleship time

My Internet Reading lately

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
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