Book Club

I figure if Oprah can have a book club and highlight books, so can I! Recently, while channel surfing right before the Miss America Pageant the other Sunday night, I was pleased to run across Oprah. Rick Warren was on her show highlighting and talking about his book, “What on Earth Am I Here For?” I am so glad our clubs (mine and Oprah’s) agree on this book.

I picked up this book over six months ago. Years ago I read Rick’s book, “Purpose Driven Life”. Since “What on Earth Am I Here For?” is the bestselling hard copy book in history, with 32 million copies sold, I decided it was a must read!! I believe if you are reading this journal it is a must read for you! Currently, I have convinced 2 other family members to read the book and about 6 friends. It is my top birthday gift or love gift to people!

I learned countless things from Rick’s book (which is full of Scripture) and was reminded of tons of things I knew but needed to be reminded of. It also very much ENCOURAGED me in God’s call on my life and affirmed what I knew my “talents” to be.

I love the parable Jesus told in Matthew 25 about the “talents”. Basically, it is a parable about a man (God) going on a journey and ENTRUSTING his servants(us) with talents–one with 5, one with 2 and one with 1, according to their abilities. His expectation was for them to MULTIPLY the gifts he had ENTRUSTED to them. On his return, he found that the one with the 5 had made it 10, the one with 2 had made it 4. But the one with 1 had been “fearful” and “slothful” so he dug a hole and buried his talent in the ground, and had only the 1 talent to give back. The man/master was pleased with the two who had been “FAITHFUL” and who eagerly and immediately VALUED what they had been given and MULTIPLIED their talents to DOUBLE.

This parable is an analogy for our lives. Rick Warren’s book points out that we ALL HAVE A CREATED PURPOSE AND WE ALL HAVE TALENTS/GIFTS and they are to be used for God’s Glory. He points out, “When anything in God’s creation fulfills its purpose, it brings glory to God.” In Matthew 25:28-29 Jesus says, “So take the talent from him (the fearful, lazy man) and give it to him who has the 10 talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

In God’s word He promises to MULTIPLY OUR TALENTS. Our motives and desires have to be pure (done for God’s glory). When we do this, we will be blessed with abundance. We have to be careful not to read into abundance always meaning “financial” abundance, but we cannot say it doesn’t mean that for some. WE just have to cling to the promise that if we use the “talents”, gifts and abilities that are unique to us and value them, casting fear and slothfulness aside(they are lies from the enemy), then we can live an abundant(SIGNIFICANT) LIFE.

For my own life, I have studied over the years and have asked God to reveal to me my spiritual gifts. They are evangelism and encouragement. I have others, but these are the top 2. This book has led me to seek God in areas where I can multiply these gifts. It has also caused me, as a mother, to seek ways to teach and help our young adult children to realize and maximize their spiritual gifts. The Bradshaws are not an exception. Everyone has been given “gifts”. God expects us to mine them and use them.

Most people would not think of Type 1 diabetes as a “gift”. For example, in our middle son’s life, God is starting to show Thomas and me that diabetes is a gift, unique to him. Maybe Mercy would fit in that category. With that being said, Thomas certainly feels now that he should turn and encourage kids coming behind him with this disease (gift). Bill and I as parents are to go encourage the parents of diabetics. Henry Blackaby would say this has expanded “our unique” territory to share Christ with those who have diabetes and their families because we “speak the same language!” Living out Romans 8:28, “And we know for all those that love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

MY question to you as the reader: Do you KNOW your GOD-GIVEN GIFTS (TALENTS)?????? I believe Rick Warren’s book is a great place to start to uncover your TALENTS! It is my desire to ENCOURAGE AND INSPIRE any and everyone to MINE their gifts and use them for GOD’S PURPOSE AND GLORY. Romans 11:36, “For everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by his power, and everything is for his GLORY.”

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