You Have Gifts. Use Them! | Taking Control Week 3

Leading, teaching, singing, painting, cooking, dancing, researching, playing, encouraging, praying, writing, creating, building, designing—no matter who you are, God has given you gifts. You are good at something, and today Alli talks about how we unleash those gifts to make the world a better place.

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    A life with God is anything but boring.
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    You were made for adventure.
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    It could be a heart pounding life of purpose.
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    Join us every weekend for 45 minutes of challenge, hope,
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    and encouragement to guide you on your spiritual adventure.
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    - Does this feel like your life right now?
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    You can't control everything,
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    but you can control more than you think.
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    Taking Control: a new Crossroads weekly streaming series.
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    Learn how to take control of what God gave you.
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    - We all have gifts, mine include tormenting my dog
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    and junior high humor.
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    My name is Brian. It's great to be with you today.
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    We're going to have Alli talk to us
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    about understanding our gifts
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    and how to leverage them and how to deploy them
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    so we can have the most impactful life possible.
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    Let's hear what she has to say.
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    - Lately, I've been thinking about all the pieces of my life
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    that sometimes seem like they're out of my control.
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    Today we're going to stop and talk about
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    the things that we actually are given to control,
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    the things that God has given us
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    the freedom in our lives to take control of.
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    My name is Alli Patterson,
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    and I'm one of the teaching pastors here at Crossroads.
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    And I want you to know today that you have gifts.
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    I don't know how you see yourself.
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    Maybe you're somebody who's had
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    one really visible outstanding gift since you were a kid
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    and everybody knows it, everybody can see it.
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    Or maybe you're somebody who just gets up every day
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    and thinks, "Oh, well, I'm kind of good
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    at a lot of different things,
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    but maybe not gifted at anything."
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    However you think of yourself, I think -- I hope today
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    you will begin to see that you have incredible gifts
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    and that you can manage them for a life that really thrives.
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    We're in a bookstore, Duttenhofer's Books as a matter of fact.
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    And I love places like this because
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    one of the things that's in me is that I love books.
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    I always have since I was a little girl.
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    I remember going to the library checkout
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    with a big stack of books to take home
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    and every single time the nice lady who checked me out
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    would say, "Now, honey, you can't take all those home,
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    that's too many."
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    And I would have to agonize over which three or four
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    I was going to have to wait until the next week to read.
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    And actually, that was a clue.
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    It was a clue to some of the things
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    that now operate in my life as true gifts.
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    I would say today I have a gift of teaching.
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    I have a gift of being able to process information
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    like at deep levels and kind of translate that
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    and communicate that back out,
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    especially when it comes to the Bible.
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    I love the words in the Bible.
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    I love words in general.
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    I've always loved words, not just in books,
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    but actually also to write words, to speak words,
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    to ask just the right question with just the right words
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    or to use words to encourage people around me.
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    I love the power of words.
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    OK, hold up.
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    - Alli and I are actually really good friends.
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    There's a lot of things that she's really good at
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    and there's a few things she's not so good at.
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    We've been friends a really long time, like 17 years, long time.
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    And over the years I've noticed some things
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    that she's not so good at.
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    Today we're going to have a little fun together
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    noticing the things that Alli's not so good at.
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    - Got it. Got it.
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    - You were so close, Al.
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    - Ladies, can you believe the weather we've been having?
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    - I know it has been so unpredictable lately.
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    - That's because the Earth is crying out in pain.
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    It's the end times.
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    - That's not how this goes.
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    - That's not how this goes.
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    - OK, so you guys, this guy, he walked into a barn.
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    Wait, a barn, a bar? Was the guy in a bar or a barn?
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    Was it a horse?
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    - That's not how this goes.
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    - I want you to get out your phone right now,
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    or maybe if you're old school, a pen and a piece of paper,
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    whatever the case might be,
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    I believe that if you begin to think about
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    the things that are in you, you are going to see gifts too.
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    We all have these things.
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    Maybe some of them are genetic things for you.
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    They're just things that have always --
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    they were like literally in your DNA when you were born,
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    your physicality, elements of natural ability that you have.
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    Maybe you discovered when you go to the gym
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    you build muscle 3 times faster than anyone else at the gym
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    or you were born with a high IQ
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    and so learning has just been easy for you your whole life.
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    Or maybe you're the kid on the playground
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    that got to walk everyone to the nurse when they got hurt
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    because you just make people feel better.
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    Maybe you're a maker
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    and you're really good with your hands.
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    That is not me, I'll tell you that much.
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    And other gifts maybe you've discovered
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    as you've lived a little, as you've had to work,
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    you've discovered capacities for things in your life.
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    Maybe you have a capacity for making money.
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    And come to think of it, your lemonade stands
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    did kind of crush it as a kid
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    and today all your business ideas work.
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    Or maybe you have a capacity for compassion
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    and mercy and understanding
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    every time you pass a homeless person on the street.
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    I think we go looking for information about ourselves.
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    We love to take all of those inventories online,
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    all the quizzes on our phone.
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    We just love to gather up information about ourselves.
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    What Disney princess are you, by the way?
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    I, I am Pocahontas.
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    Ironically, that might be the one Disney movie I've never seen.
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    But maybe you've been at work where you've had to take
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    something called a DiSC inventory and you're a high D.
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    Or you had to take the Myers Briggs like I did
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    where I found out I was an INTJ, but not a strong I,
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    but a really strong N.
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    Long after I found out all this information about myself,
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    like why I like to arrange flowers
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    or why I hate small talk,
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    I was actually no closer to taking control
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    of those things in my life, to actually managing them well
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    for a life that I loved.
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    I wish I could say that there was a quiz
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    you could take to do this,
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    that there was one thing that helped me
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    better manage all the pieces of Alli.
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    But I'll tell you what I did discover,
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    that looking for information about myself,
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    self discovery without God always comes up short.
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    What I really needed was to be connected
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    with the God who made me.
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    It wasn't until I started following Jesus
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    that I began to notice the more I'm following Jesus
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    day in and day out, the more I'm just
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    putting myself in the concerns that He has,
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    doing the things that He says to do,
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    something new began to emerge in my life,
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    a new kind of gift.
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    And this kind of gift has actually been the key
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    that I needed to successfully manage all the other things
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    that I kind of already knew about myself.
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    The Bible calls these spiritual gifts.
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    They are gifts given to us by God.
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    We don't start with these, we actually are gifted them
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    the moment that we come to faith in Jesus.
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    Spiritual gifts come from the spirit of God
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    at the moment of our faith in Christ.
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    The Holy Spirit actually comes to live in us.
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    And he's so good He brings gifts.
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    These gifts should not feel like they're out of left field.
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    There's one God that made us,
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    they should feel very consistent
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    with how you're put together from the beginning.
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    Like the gift of teaching to a girl that always loved books.
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    Or if you're the kid on the playground
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    that took everyone to the nurse,
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    maybe you have a gift of mercy or even healing.
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    Or if you're the one that makes great money,
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    maybe you have a gift of giving.
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    There's all kinds of different gifts,
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    but they're from the same God, the same Spirit.
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    Listen to how 1 Corinthians 12 talks about just this.
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    You all, when we come to follow Jesus,
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    that's when things start to unlock.
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    There is one God and He comes to live in you
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    with His one Spirit that brings all kinds of different gifts
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    and brings us to life in the Kingdom.
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    We are part of a family and we're connected to each other
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    and we're all so different.
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    But we are -- the same Spirit lives in us all
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    and when we follow Jesus we get to see our gifts clarified
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    and empowered for His purposes.
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    And all of who we are begins to make a lot more sense.
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    Do you want to unlock all of who God made you to be?
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    Do you want all the things that He has for your life?
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    It actually is possible,
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    but it's not possible through a quiz on your phone.
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    It's not an easy button, online test is going to do it.
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    It is faithfully following Jesus.
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    You have gifts and you can manage them
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    by following Him into a better life.
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    The surprising truth about our gifts is that
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    they are not actually ours, they're on loan to us from God.
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    I'm at a library, my favorite place to get things on loan.
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    The only thing about a library is that
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    you've got to bring what you take back to the owner.
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    I think we're used to thinking
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    of whatever is inside of us as ours, it's who we are
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    and we can do whatever we want with it,
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    to any end that we want.
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    But actually, God says we are the manager
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    and that our gifts are not ours, they're on loan.
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    I really learned how to think about this concept
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    of management when I managed a brand at Procter and Gamble.
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    I did it with somebody else's gifts.
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    Their gifts were the money and the resources
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    that I needed to manage the business well.
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    And my job as a manager was to take what I was given
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    by the company and to get a return for the owners,
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    To use all the tools at my disposal, but to be on their mission.
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    I took the product, the price,
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    the places where my product showed up and all the messages
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    that I could develop through the advertising,
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    but my company, end of the day,
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    expected a return for what I was given.
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    It is exactly the same between you and God with your gifts.
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    Have you ever thought about the talents, abilities, skills,
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    spiritual gifts that you possess as actually on loan?
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    Maybe you wrote something down today in the notes
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    you've been jotting down on your phone,
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    but whatever it is that you have is actually on loan from God.
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    One day God is going to be asking you,
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    "Hey, how do you use that talent that I gave you?
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    How did you use your ability to do hair, fix motorcycles?
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    What about the ability that you have to run a business,
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    to make money? Whatever came of that?
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    What did you do with it?
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    And did anyone benefit except for you?"
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    Right now God is on a mission
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    and He has given you the freedom to take control
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    of some of His resources as He has planted them
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    right inside you and He really does want them managed well.
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    1 Peter 4 is one of my favorite verses. Verse 10 says:
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    A steward is a manager.
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    We are the managers of God's resources and they are not ours.
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    I think there's some freedom in that; isn't there?
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    And there's also some responsibility,
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    responsibility to the mission of the giver of those gifts.
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    And God has a purpose, it was buried in that verse as well.
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    God's purpose is to pass out grace.
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    We are the stewards, the managers of the various kinds
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    of grace that God wants passed out into this world.
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    And your gifts are that grace in disguise.
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    God would love an unending flow of grace into this world,
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    and we should be using our gifts
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    and they should be feeling like grace.
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    I think of my husband when I think of
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    a use of gifts that comes together in the way of grace.
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    He's an attorney.
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    I know that probably surprises you
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    to think of grace when you think of attorneys,
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    but Bill has gifts of administration.
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    He has gifts of a being an amazing problem solver.
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    He's very decisive. He's very detail oriented.
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    And when I listen to his clients, they don't say,
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    "Gee, thanks for the 45 page contract, Bill."
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    No, they say things like, "Thank you for solving a problem.
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    Thank you for being my advocate."
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    This feels like grace to somebody.
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    When we put our gifts together in a way
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    that feels like grace, it frees someone,
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    it blesses someone, it relieves someone.
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    If you want to know what you do
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    that feels like grace to others,
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    that's exactly what you need to ask.
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    I want you to pick up your phone
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    or just commit to texting this later today.
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    I want you to to ask somebody today,
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    "What do I do that relieves you, that frees you,
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    that blesses you?"
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    Because that's what Grace feels like.
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    We not only can pass it out,
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    we also can stop the flow of it
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    if we don't manage well the gifts that we've been given.
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    I know this has totally been me before.
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    I will often think of something
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    that's encouraging to say to someone.
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    I told you I love words, I love books, writing words,
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    I love using them to encourage, but sometimes I get lazy
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    or maybe I just feel insecure about how that person
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    is going to receive what I say so I keep it to myself.
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    That stops the flow of grace.
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    Our mission is as a manager of the grace of God.
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    And we want to pass that grace out as much
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    and as well as we can
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    to as many people around us as will receive it.
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    How do you know if you're doing it?
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    Maybe you're already doing this.
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    The way that you know is when God starts to look really good.
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    Peter goes on to write:
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    Man, I love that.
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    Peter like almost launches into a prayer
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    at the end of those sentences because he gets excited
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    about the fact that it's about God.
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    God is the giver of the gifts inside you.
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    God is the power behind them,
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    and God's grace is the mission that we are on
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    and you are the manager.
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    The moment that we get that our gifts are there
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    for the glory of God, and not us,
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    is the moment that they begin to lead us to life.
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    - You can start to realize the potential of your gifts
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    when you realize they're not yours.
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    Everything we have is God's.
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    This is the foundation of being able to financially give.
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    Jesus talks about where your treasure is,
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    there your heart will be also.
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    I recognized that the treasures that I have
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    are actually God's treasures
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    and my heart is more about Him
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    than it is the treasures that He's blessed me with.
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    If you'd like to find out more about that
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    and more about things that could impact your life
  • 00:16:14
    and be a giver at Crossroads,
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    you can go to
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    Your giving fuels all kinds of big stuff,
  • 00:16:21
    like The Journey we're about to start,
  • 00:16:23
    maybe the most important thing you'll do all year.
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    Get ready. Let's get going.
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    - Is God good?
  • 00:16:32
    Is He good on day one of working from home?
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    How about day 180?
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    Is He good when school is online
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    or when your business is struggling?
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    Is He even when everything in the world
  • 00:16:43
    makes you want to scream, "Good God, what is going on?"
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    That's a fair question and actually a great prayer
  • 00:16:49
    because we believe there is a Good God with good answers.
  • 00:16:52
    Join us for The Good God Journey
  • 00:16:53
    streaming online each week for 45 minutes of music,
  • 00:16:56
    teaching, and inspiration.
  • 00:16:58
    Start your Journey at
  • 00:17:05
    - Well, having gifts actually means very little
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    until you put them to work.
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    Every single day, including today,
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    is a chance to take control
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    of how your gifts are being used out in the world.
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    You know, you can do inventories online
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    and quizzes on your phone.
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    You can read and study about your gifts,
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    which goodness knows I like to do.
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    But until they're actually put to work
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    with real people living real lives with real issues,
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    you will make very little impact.
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    For me, this is a place where the rubber meets the road,
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    where my gifts actually come into action.
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    When I'm gathered with other women, with other people,
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    where I can sit and listen, where I can encourage,
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    where I can teach, where I can pray.
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    But that's my environment where my gifts help.
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    What's yours?
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    I know what it feels like to think that you need a better plan.
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    You need to be something more.
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    You need to plan more.
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    You need to know more.
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    You need to have experience more
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    in order to offer your gifts to someone.
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    But you don't.
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    Today is the right day and it's time to offer your gifts.
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    Jesus actually shared a lot of gifts
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    with the men that he did life with, His disciples.
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    Ad then He sent them out.
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    He was like, "Go, go, it's time to use them."
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    And when He did, He said this to them.
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    Jesus said, "Freely, you have received, now freely give."
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    He said, "I've given you all these things,
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    now I want you to go out and give them away."
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    That's the same with you and me.
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    We've gotten all that we have,
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    even the stuff inside of us that we think of as our own,
  • 00:18:40
    we've actually gotten it for free from Him
  • 00:18:44
    and it's time to give it away.
  • 00:18:46
    When you do,
  • 00:18:47
    you actually don't know if it's going to be received.
  • 00:18:51
    It's a pretty vulnerable thing
  • 00:18:52
    to offer your gifts to somebody else.
  • 00:18:56
    It ultimately comes down to a moment
  • 00:18:58
    where you basically say, "Do you want what I have?"
  • 00:19:03
    I just got out of seminary a few months ago
  • 00:19:05
    and you would think, if anything,
  • 00:19:07
    I would be confident in offering my gifts
  • 00:19:09
    to help other people study the Bible. Right?
  • 00:19:12
    I mean, duh.
  • 00:19:13
    However, when I went to do that,
  • 00:19:16
    just maybe a month or so ago,
  • 00:19:18
    when I went to start a couple of new groups of study,
  • 00:19:21
    I still tripped over that moment of vulnerability,
  • 00:19:24
    that moment where you just have to say,
  • 00:19:27
    "I think I have something to give you. Would you like it?"
  • 00:19:33
    Romans 12 is a huge encouragement for us
  • 00:19:36
    to get out there and use our gifts. Romans 12 says:
  • 00:20:02
    Romans 12 says whatever you've got, do it anywhere, everywhere,
  • 00:20:08
    in any role or environment that you have in your life.
  • 00:20:13
    I stayed home, I wasn't working
  • 00:20:14
    for about seven years of my life when I had four babies at home.
  • 00:20:19
    And at first I was a little bit lost
  • 00:20:21
    on how to use my gifts in that setting.
  • 00:20:24
    I realized that I'd always really depended on a job
  • 00:20:26
    to be an outlet for the use of some of my gifts. A
  • 00:20:29
    nd I had to learn over during that time
  • 00:20:32
    exactly how to use my gifts in a new way in that setting.
  • 00:20:36
    And I fumbled it for quite a while.
  • 00:20:38
    I got frustrated, but now I know
  • 00:20:40
    I can use the same gifts in new ways,
  • 00:20:44
    whether I'm a mom at a school,
  • 00:20:46
    whether I'm a colleague at work, whether I'm a neighbor,
  • 00:20:50
    in any setting God wants His grace to show up
  • 00:20:53
    in different forms to all kinds of different people.
  • 00:20:57
    Guess what happens when you walk in the door with your gifts?
  • 00:21:01
    God himself suddenly has access to wherever you are.
  • 00:21:06
    When you walk in, you represent the generosity of God.
  • 00:21:10
    When you walk in, you're the wisdom of God.
  • 00:21:12
    When you walk in, you're the leadership of God,
  • 00:21:15
    or when you walk in, you're the beauty of God.
  • 00:21:18
    You just have to offer your gifts.
  • 00:21:21
    You just have to do what you've been gifted to do.
  • 00:21:25
    You know, a couple of days ago, I went to get my haircut.
  • 00:21:27
    You know, when a girl goes on camera,
  • 00:21:29
    she needs to, you know, put things together,
  • 00:21:31
    a little eyebrow wax, a little haircut. It's important.
  • 00:21:36
    I talked to Ann who's my stylist.
  • 00:21:39
    She said, what are you up to this week?
  • 00:21:40
    So I kind of told her what I was doing
  • 00:21:41
    and I told her that I was talking about using your gifts.
  • 00:21:45
    And she seemed interested.
  • 00:21:46
    And I said, "Hey, you're using yours right now. You know?"
  • 00:21:50
    She said, "What do you mean?"
  • 00:21:51
    And I said, "You have a gift, you have a gift
  • 00:21:54
    that impacts how women that sit in this chair --
  • 00:21:57
    How many are you going to see today, 10, 12?
  • 00:21:58
    Women that sit in your chair every day,
  • 00:22:01
    you impact how they see their own beauty.
  • 00:22:04
    You have the gift to influence them
  • 00:22:07
    with your grace every single day."
  • 00:22:10
    And so do you.
  • 00:22:11
    Look around you.
  • 00:22:13
    Do you have a shot at something?
  • 00:22:15
    Are there circumstances in front of you
  • 00:22:17
    that you could walk in and offer something that you have?
  • 00:22:20
    I think God puts opportunities in front of us all the time
  • 00:22:24
    and they don't have to be grand.
  • 00:22:26
    Don't fall for that lie.
  • 00:22:27
    Don't fall for the idea that what you can do for one,
  • 00:22:31
    you wish you could do for a thousand,
  • 00:22:32
    so you don't even offer it to one.
  • 00:22:35
    When I sit at a table like this,
  • 00:22:38
    I wish that 6000 women could sit with me. I really do.
  • 00:22:42
    I would love to be able to offer
  • 00:22:44
    that whatever I'm doing to 6000 people.
  • 00:22:47
    But honestly, six is good.
  • 00:22:51
    It's fine for us to take whatever we have today
  • 00:22:54
    and take one small step.
  • 00:22:56
    Guess what?
  • 00:22:57
    There's a grace of God inside you.
  • 00:23:00
    You're sitting on it and it's time to give it up.
  • 00:23:05
    - I am so thankful for the gifts
  • 00:23:08
    that God has entrusted me with, there's so many things,
  • 00:23:10
    it's hard to recount them all
  • 00:23:11
    and the only thing that's consistent with them
  • 00:23:13
    is that God has been generous to entrust them to me.
  • 00:23:17
    That causes me and others to want to worship,
  • 00:23:20
    to tell God, "I trust You because You've entrusted me
  • 00:23:24
    with things and there's so many other reasons
  • 00:23:27
    why I want to declare right now that I trust You."
  • 00:23:28
    Let's worship him together and sing that to Him.
  • 00:32:23
    Man, if you like that, there's more where that came from,
  • 00:32:26
    just go to
  • 00:32:29
    Well, next week we start The Journey.
  • 00:32:31
    The Journey is a multipronged multisensory approach
  • 00:32:35
    to get you and I to a whole new place spiritually.
  • 00:32:38
    Man, I hope you want more for your life.
  • 00:32:39
    I want more from my life and we need to have
  • 00:32:41
    God having a greater control of our life.
  • 00:32:43
    The one key thing, key thing for it is to get in a group,
  • 00:32:47
    you got to be with other people.
  • 00:32:49
    We want to make that as simple
  • 00:32:50
    and as easy for you as possible.
  • 00:32:52
    You can go to,
  • 00:32:54
    learn more about The Journey
  • 00:32:56
    and learn how to get into a group.
  • 00:32:58
    The Journey starts next week. We'll see you then.
  • 00:33:02
    - Every year, Crossroads does this thing called a Journey.
  • 00:33:06
    It's a five week adventure.
  • 00:33:07
    Everyone in the community, from kids to adults,
  • 00:33:10
    zero in and go deep on one topic.
  • 00:33:12
    This year it's the Good God Journey.
  • 00:33:15
    Let's face it, 2020 has been a struggle.
  • 00:33:18
    Even the most faithful may be asking, "Is God good?"
  • 00:33:21
    It turns out that exploring that question
  • 00:33:23
    can unlock new levels of peace,
  • 00:33:25
    belonging and potential for your life.
  • 00:33:28
    Interested? Great. Here's how you can get started.
  • 00:33:32
    Step 1: Head on over to
  • 00:33:35
    and initiate a group or join one.
  • 00:33:38
    If you have a group, great, you're all set.
  • 00:33:40
    If not, we'll get you connected to one.
  • 00:33:43
    Depending on who you are, meeting with a group
  • 00:33:45
    might sound exciting or terrifying,
  • 00:33:47
    but trust us, this is where real growth happens.
  • 00:33:51
    We'll even provide a group guide
  • 00:33:52
    to help steer the conversation,
  • 00:33:54
    either in person or over a video call.
  • 00:33:56
    Step 2: Download the Crossroads Anywhere app.
  • 00:34:00
    It's packed with a ton of features
  • 00:34:01
    that can help you grow spiritually,
  • 00:34:03
    including a Good God Journey Guide.
  • 00:34:06
    Each week during The Journey, simply open the guide
  • 00:34:08
    and discover something new about yourself and God.
  • 00:34:12
    Step 3: Watch the weekend message online or live at a site.
  • 00:34:16
    Part teaching, part challenge, part soul filling music,
  • 00:34:19
    plus a couple of surprises you won't want to miss.
  • 00:34:22
    It's that simple: Get in a group,
  • 00:34:24
    do individual work in the app and watch weekly.
  • 00:34:27
    Challenge yourself for five weeks,
  • 00:34:28
    it might just be the best thing you do all year.
  • 00:34:32
    Go to to get started.

Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend Follow Up.

  1. Time for a little show and tell. What’s your secret talent? You get bonus points if you can show the group! (There isn’t a prize, we just want you to share your talent.)

  2. Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-7. God gives each of us gifts, but we’re all unique in the places and ways we use them. Think about situations where you see the benefit of different people using their gifts for a common purpose. In what ways did you see the gifts working together? And where did it bring challenges to that situation?

  3. Romans 12:6-8 highlights a variety of gifts we each have. What gifts do you think God has given you? It’s ok if you’re not sure. Send a quick text to a friend or ask the group what gifts they see in you.

  4. Read 1 Peter 4:10. It’s vulnerable to offer our gifts to other people. But gifts aren’t meant to stay wrapped up. Take two mins and think about your gift(s). What’s one practical way you can use it this week?

  5. Let’s finish in prayer. Go around to each person and bless them in using their gifts, “God thank you for giving (person’s name) the gift of __. Guide them in how to manage those gifts well, putting them into action for your will.

More from the Weekend

Check out the upcoming Journey and invite your friends & family.

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Sep 26, 2020 35 mins 2 sec

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