Living in a little community believers is just fun. On top of that, experiencing the fruits of everyone using their own gifts as parts of the Body of Christ is both interesting and joyful.
A friend of mine (whose name starts with an "R" and sounds like "Bendi") has been given the gift of administration. With this being a gift I know little about, I really appreciate it in her. Not only does she have and use this gift, but she uses it in the context of her compassionate heart and intercessory spirit. It's no wonder she spends her days defending people.
Yesterday's caroling hayride was a perfect example of how this woman of God uses her gifts to serve. First, there was the list of about thirty people to call on our route through South Highlands to determine who still lived where, whether or not they were available, and whether or not they were interested in a group of 15 adults and as many kids singing carols on their front steps. Then there were the logistics of the hayride (props to Bob for the trailer and to Nora for the hay hook-up) and the announcements and the reminders of this and that.
I'm sure it was quite an effort, but the results were fabulous.
We're not exactly sure if allowing small children to ride in the back of a trailer is exactly legal in city limits, and at one point, I heard Eric making sure that the kids hadn't stolen Baby Jesus out of a nativity scene, but still...
Not only did we have a great time bundling our kids up and ringing bells and singing "Joy to the World" through the streets surrounding our church, but the people we visited were blessed (one sweet older gentleman even cried) as we spread the love of Christ through the simple gift of a song and a visit.
(That's not to mention Bethany's fabulous baked goodies- that's one of her many gifts).
Of course, Rendi got some degree of rejection. When asked if he would like carolers, one older person she had called told her, "Honey, I'd rather you not."
And in some ways, Rendi also got herself more than she had bargained for. After she had committed to singing to one lady, she learned that this wasn't even close to our route and so my friend and her husband had to go solo to that one after we had finished. "I hope you can carry a tune," the visited lady pronounced upon their arrival. Yikes.
Still, Rendi presses on unscathed, using her gifts for the glory of God without hindrance, without fear.
What are my gifts? Am I using them fearlessly?
Seeing and experiencing the fruit of my friend's gifts makes me wonder.
It also gives me more resolve.
So thanks, my friend, and to all of you who are living life with me. The Lord has blessed me beyond measure through His people.
May our children learn about community and the benefits of being the Body of Christ through the examples that surround them.
Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend."