Ann Voskamp spoke these words in our meeting last Saturday night and I am forever changed:
"Not only do we open our hands to receive the gift, not only do we become gifted because of the gift, our very lives become our gift back to the Giver."
This is living. This is ministry. This is worship. This is loving.
We were challenged at the end of the service to write down things that were holding us back, things keeping us from courageously giving our lives as a gift, from living open handed. Laying down my paper at the base of the tall, wooden cross on the edge of the stage, by faith I released the fear of failure, the fear of man and surrendered to His will.
It is not about what we can do that might impress someone or make our name great. It is letting our lives become a beacon flashing and pointing to His name which is great and greatly to be praised. It is about sharing and loving and helping and healing and gathering and encouraging and telling. It is about Him and what He has already done.
Simple yet one of the most difficult things...prying our hands open to receive His gifts and leaving them open so they are given back. Living transparent and exposed, trusting, hoping, waiting.
We have been given gifts. Take a moment to see what you've been given...that which has been put into your hands.
Let us be bold in our sharing, selfless in our living... open handed.
"The gospel is not about what we grasp, but about what we've been given......We (our lives) are to be a trailer (think book or movie trailer), a foretaste of the Kingdom of God..." Ann Voskamp.
Today I am linking with Jen for Soli deo Gloria, Michelle for Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday and counting my gifts with Ann V.
8. refreshing moments of quiet
9. falling stars under an open sky at midnight with girlfriends
10. a husband who never complains about working to provide for our family
11. Kindle (for Android) book downloads on sale for $2.99
12. deep breaths inhaled, exhaled
13. birds singing early, reminding me to praise
14. eyes that see His majesty and a heart that feels
15. our house that's too small because it's full
16. unexpected visits at a roadside gas station
17. feeling my child's heartbeat when he hugs me just because
18. opportunities on airplanes that allow my gifts to become my gift back to the Giver