Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What's Up? Wednesday - Routines, Spiritual Gifts

Good Wednesday morning to you! It is a beautiful day in the Ohio Valley. For the next several days, the weatherman “predicts” we are going to have sun and temps to the high-70’s and low-80’s. Wow!

I am not so much a creature of habit as I am one of structure. Even though some days I fly by the seat of my pants, I am more productive when I have a plan. It keeps me calm. And when I am calm, my family is calm … usually.

During much of 2008 my life was chaotic. It was not chaotic in the sense that I had too many activities to fit comfortably with our lifestyle. It was for reasons beyond my control.

In that time, if I accomplished anything remotely productive, it seemed miraculous. Doing laundry was as big a chore as blasting through a mountain with firecrackers. Having no routine caused me even more frustration. After spending so much time without any structure, it became habit.

I continued this way until recently when I decided I must make a change. So I sat down with pen and paper, asked God to give me guidance and jotted down a general weekly routine for myself.

I am not married to this routine. I have the freedom to manipulate it if necessary. But it is there as a guide to my day. If I accomplish the tasks at-hand, then that’s good. If not, then I can do them another time. I do not intend to use the list to beat myself. Right now it’s what works for me.

How about you? Do you follow a routine? I’d love to hear whether you like structure or whether structure gets under your skin. Please share your thoughts.

Daily Bible Reading Plan

Judges 13-15; Psalm 88; Mark 7:1-23; I Corinthians 12:1-13

Today’s reading in I Corinthians is about spiritual gifts. Reading this helps me understand why I’m wired to need structure. Even though the need for structure and organization is not a spiritual gift, it is a personality trait that can be used for good. If everyone were like me, we’d be fighting about whose plan was best. Likewise, we can’t all be free spirits. Having a good mix of both allows us to function well and work as one.

Isn’t it just like God? Paul says in I Corinthians 12:7-11:

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. (emphasis added)
Paul also spoke of gifts earlier in Romans 12:6-8 when he said:

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (emphasis added)
Separate, we are just “different” from each other. Together, as the body of Christ, we are “complimentary” to each other, especially when we are each practicing our gifts. It's beautiful when you think about it.

I am aware of my spiritual gifts. (I definitely know the ones I don't possess.) Do you know yours?

I enjoyed our visit today! Come back again soon!

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