Category Archives: Wired: Your God-Given Gifts

Wired to Rule: Go, Get Drunk, and Fill the Streets!

Okay, I am going to keep it simple: God created the earth for mankind. God gave mankind rule over it. Mankind disobeyed and lost their Kingdom influence on the earth. Centuries later He sent His son Jesus to buy it back. When we give our life to Jesus He not only saves us, He gives us His Spirit so we can rule over the earth once again. That’s it folks, we have been given charge of what is happening down here. We are in charge of bringing God’s Kingdom to Earth as it is in Heaven. We are wired to rule.

“We are not called to “rule over others” in the sense of domination. In God’s Kingdom, the power of rule is in the divine enablement (grace) to serve others more effectively. Just as kings are to provide protection and prosperity for their citizens, so those who serve well in God’s Kingdom will offer safety and blessing to all who come under their influence” Bill Johnson in Strengthen Yourself in the Lord

We, the church, rule on the earth when we bend down to serve our gifts and in-turn honor the gifts of others. Saved and unsaved alike, God has given His gifts and He will not take them back. He expects us to give honor where honor is due and when you see the image of God in another, honor it. We, the church, are not an address. We, the church, are a culture. We are a Kingdom culture living, breathing, and having our being within a worldly culture. Jesus’ death gave us permission to stop being impressed and overwhelmed with sin and darkness. We have been empowered to overrule it with love, honor, and the beautiful humility of service.

News Flash

News flash #1: the “one man” show is officially outdated. We, the church, have grossly limited the influence of God to the professional few who teach and preach the Gospel. Too much of a church’s resources are invested into a single hour of the week. Too much of a church’s faith wages on an hour of relevancy for their unbelieving friends and family. Can we just face it? According to the bible the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. It leaves me to question; does the strategizing of a church service to make Jesus cool and inoffensive to visiting unbelievers ultimately weaken the message? Was the gathering of the church ever intended for the unbeliever or was it intended to strengthen the believers to rule in their territories of influence where unbelievers live? Just asking.

News flash #2: The era of the “pew sitter” is outdated. Remember, 97% of the Body of Christ is called ministers of the Kingdom of God in the marketplace. The territory of your influence is in the marketplace. Wherever you are a consumer or a contributor, you have spheres of influence and “ruling” doesn’t look like a preacher in a pulpit. Ruling looks like you serving your gift as you go about your daily responsibilities. Your gift today is a solution for someone’s tomorrow. There is no pressure to be what you are not. Daily God orders your steps and you are strategically placed to be a solution: the gift He made you to be. Simple right?

Go

Go and make disciples of nations, expand the Christian culture by teaching them to obey all that Jesus has taught YOU so far. What does ruling look like for you? It looks like you giving your gift. If you are wired to “see” then take time to look and articulate what you see. If you’re wired to “work it” then work it with zeal. If you’re wired like a “ferret” then teach what you’ve learned. If you’re wired with “feelers” then feel it and love freely. If you’re wired to “coach” then give courage with your stories. If you’re wired to “give” than give as God gives it to you. If you’re wired to “manage” than lend your expertise.

Don’t apologize that your gift it’s not enough or that it’s not like someone else’s. Don’t gripe that no one “sees” what you see or does it the way you do it. Self-loathing and self-righteousness need to be dropped off in your prayer closet. If the Spirit of God really dwells in you than you have a portion of each gift and will be called upon to give according to what you have been given. When it comes to how you spend the majority of your time, commit more of your life to the gifts you’ve been given a greater portion of. That is where were your joy will be its fullest and your influence the most effective.

Start in your every day life and relationships, go and give your gifts as is. Promotion will come as you give what is in your hand today. This is called being a good steward of what you’ve been given. Good stewards get promoted. Personal gain and personal empires are not the goals of a King in God’s Kingdom. Promotion in the Kingdom is when your gifted influence is given more territory to serve. The goal is bringing Heaven to Earth. Promotion is when the King’s influence on your personal life increases and simultaneously penetrates the territories you’ve been given. Just give what you’ve got and you’ll get more. Simple right?

Get Drunk

Seriously! If we are going to be the church, if we are going to be a solution, the “ah-ha” of the moment, we must be filled to an intoxicating level with God’s Spirit. Jesus brought the power to the people. Our gifts of service, love, wisdom and others need be more than what the world can offer. They need to be supernatural. People need to encounter solutions for their lives that are out of this world, literally. Jesus Himself said that He didn’t expect people to believe in Him if signs and wonders didn’t follow His message. Your gift is your super-power.

The Christian culture that gathers for their weekly hour should be getting experience in praying for others so they can to work Monday more confident to pray for their co-worker. They should be getting trained on how to lay hands on others and command a healing so they can go to school the next day, full of faith, and bring healing to a classmate. How about practicing words of wisdom and knowledge on each other so they can go to Wal-Mart on the way home and discern the promises of God for their cashier?

There is a Charlie Hall song called Madly that says, “Let what we do in here fill the streets out there.” Let’s grow a culture of people who are gifted as Heaven’s solutions needed in a moment. Let’s design our worship time to train; business owners in wisdom of Solomon, retail clerks etiquette to prophesy to their customers, garage mechanics to discern spirits and cast them out, lawyers to heal the sick, city officials to pray down strongholds and establish Kingdom truth, and teachers to love without depletion.

Let’s stop designing our worship services to not offend. The church worship service should be like the neighborhood bar for believers. It should be the place where “I love you man” is a holy affection. It should be where we ALL get a microphone to tell our stories of encounter from the week. It should be the place where we all get to drink of a round of courage for the coming week. It must become a training facility where the 97% are not only healing personally but also learning truth and getting hands-on experience in applying it. Each week should be a commissioning to fill the streets with what we’ve gained in that hour.

If God has given us everything, EVERYTHING pertaining to life and godliness than what’s our excuse? Face it you were wired to rule. Consider the gift in your hand, love it, embrace the process to grow in it, and keep giving it away until His Kingdom finally comes.

And if this sounds like a rant, it is; a rant with a smile:-) Hope you are provoked!

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Wired to be in Charge

Kingly landscape made up of post-it-notes

The word multitasking originated as a computer term; the simultaneous execution of more than one program or task by a single computer processor. In recent years we’ve nicknamed people as multitaskers. You will pass through very few job interviews that won’t ask you if you can multitask. Truth be known there is a select species of humans who multitask well. True multitaskers can execute more than one task at once and not lose any quality in their assignments. The rest of us? Not so much. There is a lot to be said for focus and concentration. However, those wired to manage and administrate have a very impressive ability to function within the high levels of several demands at once and meet them successfully.

Born to Lead

Individuals wired as perceivers and encouragers are as great at expressing ideas as an administrator. The administrator, however, is also highly motivated to organize that which they give vision to. The others? They would be wise to do their vision a favor and enlist an administrator. Those wired to manage get energy from the challenge of organization. They love to dig in, develop, and administrate with a creative desire to take raw materials and make something great.

Those wired to manage require very little supervision in a project. You can give them an inch of a general idea and they will create a mile of systems with purposeful design. They love to supervise people and delegation is the secret to great leadership. They understand, honor, and respect authority structures and feel very comfortable leading within them. They will not take the lead in areas they have not been given. They do their best work when they know the parameters of their authority. The only exception to that rule would be in those times where no authority has been delegated. Their love for order and time management will motivate them to step in.

Long Distance

Those wired to manage prefer long-range projects. Their vision is broad. In the big picture they see the resources needed, the people fitted for the tasks, and time frame needed to develop a project and to do it with excellence. Long-range projects are like putting the pieces of a puzzle together, they do more than create meetings and events they create landscapes. They have great enthusiasm for what they have committed to and find their joy in accomplishing goals.

Pastor Jeff, a strong server, has married himself a bride wired to be in charge. He and Stacey always seem to have one or two long-range projects on the burners of their lives. Presently they are committed to their 3rd house rental renovation and a Foursquare church plant in downtown Decatur. Jeff is the short-range guy within Stacey’s landscapes. Together, their big visions become real life realities. At first their contrasting ranges would easily become a point of frustration. When they come into a better understanding of how they are gifted differently they were better able to honor their differences. They were better able to make room for each other’s gifts in all that they would envision. Another reason for understanding the gifts: marital bliss.

Getting the Job Done

Those wired to be in charge will endure criticism and let others take the credit on projects to get the job done. Since their primary goal is to get the job done criticism is to small a detail for them to give attention to. They see success as a collective achievement while knowing you can’t please all the people all of the time. They are excellent at knowing when to make changes and how to pace them in a way that is best for the whole. Once the job is done they are ready to move on to the next project. They won’t stick around to maintain what they have developed. They move out of the way for the next gift to come in and “keep” what was developed going on without them.

If you are an organizer and frequently write notes to yourself to stay on task you may be wired to manage. If you hate to waste time and doing routine tasks you may be wired to manage. If you’ve been accused of bossing people around and live overextended most of the time, you too may be wired to manage. In the church you are wired to lead departments and projects, troubleshoot, and take the lead with workshops and adult learning. In the marketplace you will have joy as an advertising executive, air traffic controller, business owner, city planner, college professor, retail management, hotel manager, marketing executive, national and global level ministers, personal administrator, recreational director, or school administrator.

It’s been my experience that great ideas stay grounded until you bring an administrator on board. They are vital to the execution of any idea or vision worth taking flight. These are the people who organize the feet fitted to carry your dreams. Dreams run effectively, efficiently, and seamlessly with this kind of talent carrying the multiple tasks. They are the superhero behind every great event, successful organization, and powerful corporation. Their post-it-notes eventually make for great landscapes.

Well, this is the last of the gifts but not the last blog. We will sum up the wonders of God’s given gifts in Wired to Rule, coming up next.


Wired to Give

As we were profiling this gift, Ryan, Youth Director for Renaissance, immediately identified his brother Andrew as a giver. Andrew was a classmate of my daughter’s and surrogate brother throughout their high school years. Andrew had a reputation for being quite adventurous. Twice in grade school Andrew had packed his bags for expedition. Well, he would call it that. His parents called it running away from home.

Between those few “adventures” in Andrew’s young life we had a missionary visit our church. She presented some really dramatic stories of survival and miracles. She brought intriguing pictures of the area and the people. I was sitting behind Andrew during her presentation when the Lord spoke quietly to my heart, “Andrew has a spirit like that of Indiana Jones, this is why he runs.” I can’t tell you how excited I was to share with him the reason he struggled so hard to stay put. He was wired for expedition. As a young adult Andrew is learning that his outrageous giving nature is preparing to him to give more than his time and his money. Andrew would give away his life if God asked him to. Andrew is not weird, he is wired to give.

Giving to Give

According to the Fortunes, “Of the seven motivational gifts this is the one least likely to be identified by the one who has it. Part of the reason may be that the giver’s “left-hand” does not know when his “right-hand” gives alms (Matthew 6:3). Another may be the giver’s “all around” personality. The giver shares several traits of the server, can be a leader or a follower, and like the perceiver and the teacher has a love for the Word of God.”

Now, givers give far more than money. They give with abandon their possessions, their time, and their money with no strings attached. Their favorite way to give is without anyone knowing it and their joy is at its fullest when what they give is a direct answer to someone’s prayer. They know that God supplies all their resources and when they are mature they are careful to give according to a leading from the Holy Spirit.

Giving to Gather People

The joy in hospitality is strong and the giver sees it as an expression of giving. They possess a great desire to see others come to Christ. They frequently intercede for the needs and salvation of souls. They are naturally evangelistic. As children they will attempt to lead other children to Jesus. If their pulse had a voice it would say, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only” with each beat.

Those wired individuals who are drawn to prayer groups are the perceiver, the mercy, and the giver. If you listen the nature of the prayers you will easily identify them: the perceiver prays for the will of God to be done in nations, churches, and individuals. The mercy wired person prays for the problems and hurts of others as well as unity in the worldwide church. The giver, of course, prays for the salvation of souls and for the laborers of the harvest to be sent out.

Money, Money, Money

These are the people who seem to financially prosper at whatever they do. If God gives the ability to create wealth then the grace is ten times more concentrated on the giver. Why? God knows they will give it away according to His leading. They are very industrious, natural and effective in business. They habitually succeed at their business endeavor because they seem to be wise beyond their years.

Their successes could also be attributed to their frugality. They save as much as the give. They shop for the best deals but will not sacrifice quality at the same time. They are in no way gullible but are quick to discern manipulation. They can discern reality from imagination. This makes it possible for them to give where it counts. When they give to ministries they will research them first. They investigate two primary interests:  does it effectively get the Gospel out and what are the overhead expenses? Since they give more than money, you find them giving their time and resources to what they give their money to.

Those wired to give help the church meet the material needs of the church. They generously volunteer for outreach opportunities, caring ministries, and financial areas. These are your die-hard, Indiana Jones kind of missionaries. In the marketplace givers will find their fit as: actors, bankers, business consultants, buyers, carpenters, economists, investment managers, landscapers, paramedics, retailers, travel agents, and waitresses. With abandon and adventure the giver keeps the fires of “going into all the world” burning and funded. They know no greater giver than God Himself. They can testify that giving a life to God is the best deal this side of Heaven.


Wired to Coach

I couldn’t decide how to “wire” this title. I like the word coach. However, not everyone has positive experiences with their athletic coaches. I thought to use the word mentor but I don’t even like that word. To mentor someone makes them sound like a project before they are a person. I like the word motivate but it is inspiration without instruction. The biblical word is exhort and better translated encourage. The original language defines encourage as: to infuse courage. Much like a great coach, individuals wired to encourage throw a two-fisted punch: courage with pointers.

Pointers

Individuals wired with encouragement aim their pointers at your heart unlike a teacher. Teachers aim for your head. As mentioned previously, all the gifts can teach. Encouragers are the most interesting and enjoyable teacher. Why do they aim for the heart? The heart is where the courage is infused. Encouragers burn with a desire to see others overcome and live successful lives. They want to help people live up to their full potential and their greatest joy is to be a useful part of a persons personal achievements.

Encouragers are walking “how-to” books. They prefer systems of information that give practical steps of application. In turn that is exactly what they will deliver; prescribed steps of action to aid a person’s personal growth. They get their energy from personal coaching or counseling. They also know their success does not rest on how much they know but on those they are coaching to actually following through with the actions steps given. Encouragers are not quitters but they will discontinue further coaching until the coach-ee follows through on their advice. It is important to them that their time and effort count, they have no problem moving on to someone who will value their counsel.

Windy

Encouragers are fluent in communication. I posted a quote from Jeff Goins on Facebook the other day, “Real writers wake up every morning with something to say. Even if the words have yet to come.” I followed it with a comment about how my dad used to call me “windy” and it was not because I was flighty. Well that may be part of it. No really, I talked a lot. It would be the one pattern of behavior I would most frequently get disciplined for in school, talking.

Yes, I had lots to say but there was another side to my trouble. People liked talking to me. I’ve retained one particular memory from a grade school gym class back in 19…  ah, whatever. A classmate was talking with me privately, well as private as you can get in gym class and yes I probably did get in trouble for it. Anyway, she was disclosing to me how another girl, a best friend of hers in our class, was hurting her feelings. When she finished unloading she made a very direct point to tell me I was a really good listener and thanked me for helping her. How did I help? Not only was just listening helpful but giving her some grade school-aged advice helped her see things in a more positive light. Yes, I am wired like an encourager almost as much as a prophet.

Fluent in communication, check. Makes decisions easily, check-check. Wants to clear up problems with others quickly, triple check. Known for my positive attitude, most days. Those wired to encourage believe nothing is impossible and all things work together for the good of personal growth. Encouragers do not see obstacles, they only see opportunities and they have the best advise on how to embrace the process to getting to a happy ending. Those wired to encourage think out loud and have to have a sounding board as though they are trying on ideas for size. They need to know they are really communicating.

Builders of People

If you are wired to encourage you are a people person. You are not so much interested in working with abstract ideas and figuring out systems of business or ministry. You are much more interested in building the people who build systems of business or ministry. You also now how to network people and find them to be great resources.

You probably learn your most valuable lessons from life and like to validate them with the bible. In fact, experiences are usually what brings scripture to life for you. Personally, the scriptures I have instant recall on are the ones I learned through a life experience as opposed to reading or memorizing it. These experiences make for the most memorable stories for others to be infused with the courage they need to keep embracing the process to greatness.

Of course, there are some frustrating traits common to this gift that need to mature. If you have a tendency to interrupt all the time because you are eager to give an opinion or advice, you may be wired to coach. Yes, you were created with much to say but wait your turn; you may miss out on some good stuff. Besides, its just rude man. If you give cookie-cutter counsel, you may be wired to coach. Truly effective advice comes from Heaven which makes prayerful advise the most personally fitting advise. Prayerful advise brings about the most fruitful results. If you are outspoken and overly self-confident, you may be wired to coach but not well liked. No one likes a know-it-all. You’ve got to make room for God in your advice and in your confidence. Being self-made is the lowest form of notoriety when you live in God’s Kingdom. Being self-made can be one of your greatest temptations. Be careful that your advice doesn’t encourage a false self-reliance in others. In all you advise, point to the One Who created them.

When it comes to work and ministry they are the “mouth” of the body. Their energy and joy will come from leading, counseling, planning, and teaching all ages. In the marketplace they will be at their best as: advertisers, ambassadors, guidance counselors, ministers, personal assistants, psychologists, public relations, radio and TV. personalities, realtor, social worker, teacher, and travel agents. With a 1987 copyright on the book I am obligated to mention a couple of more relevant careers: motivational speakers and life coaches:-)


Wired with Feelers

While taking a brief break from the beauty counter I unwound on a bench seat stationed just in front of my store. It was late afternoon. I briefly glanced up from my latest “read” to see a familiar face heading in my direction. Kristin, a highly educated young woman, lover of Jesus, men-tee, and friend was hurriedly shopping for a new dress in my direction. Kristin had missed the last God-Given Gifts profiling the week before and I got a couple of minutes to catch her up. It took only seconds for her face to light up with a new self-discovery as though I was reading her DNA.

I shared with Kristin a revealing conversation I had with Will. Will serves with his wife Lindsey to direct Renaissance Children. Will had shared with me his struggle in making decisions, especially within group situations. My first thought was that  his indecision may be based in a fear of making a mistake. He disagreed. Truth be told, that would be my own fear which reflects right back onto my right/wrong prophetic wiring. Will said he is afraid that whatever he chooses he knows someone is going to lose. He hates the thought of anyone losing. As I shared this conversation with Kristin she was liberated, right there in the south end of the mall. “That’s so true!” she exclaimed. Kristin is one who lives to see everyone win. Kristin and Will are wired for mercy.

How about you? Are you famous for your indecision? Do people make appointments with you 15 minutes earlier than the real meeting time because you are habitually a late arrive-r? Do you quickly assume everyone is good and trustworthy leaving your friends to assume you are way too gullible? Fear not. You’re not weird. You may be wired with the greatest capacity to show love. You may be wired as a mercy.

Feel’n It

It is the most beautiful gift of them all. It is also the most vulnerable and emotionally destructive. Individuals wired for mercy are the most open and trusting of all the gifted. As though they have “feelers” on the top of their heads, they possess an incredible sensitivity for the emotional status of others and are automatically drawn to help them. They have an attraction for the hurting. As children they are the ones who bring home the stray animals and lonely kids from the neighborhood. They are the ones who will entertain you in order to distract you from your pain.

A mercy gift feels more than sympathy or empathy for others. They feel mercy. Sympathy says: “I am sorry you hurt.” Empathy says: “I am sorry you hurt and I hurt with you.” Mercy says: “I am sorry you hurt, I hurt with you, and I’m going to stay right here until the hurt is gone.” This then clues us in on why they are always running late. They see people’s feelings as of primary importance and find it very difficult to separate themselves from people who may be hurting, stressed, or wired like they are. The feelings of the person in front of them quickly become their priority and all other expectations and responsibilities fade away along with the time.

People wired with mercy are happy shiny people with a very high motivation for everyone to get along. They are driven to see everyone living in right relationship with everyone else. They are the builders of bridges between people, the peacemakers. They long for unity where ever they work and serve. They love the composition of diversity and the potential of love demonstrated where everyone embraces and celebrates the uniqueness in one another. The love of unity within diversity makes them great at showing honor and preference to those who are less fortunate than most. It makes great hosts as well.

The Heart Rules

The mercy person works hard to not hurt someone’s feelings with their words. They are very careful about the words they choose. Frequently they struggle in communicating what they want to say and even stop mid sentence to find the words that won’t hurt. They apologize a lot too. They really hate confrontation and will accept fault in order to keep the peace. After all that careful choosing they can still fear that something they’ve said could have been misunderstood and hurtful after all. Additionally, if they themselves are ever unhappy or hurt they will be less likely to tell you.

They have great joy in doing thoughtful things for others. They remember birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. They are ruled by their hearts rather than their heads. When they love they love to the end. They are the most loyal friend, co-worker, and spouse. They are a crusader for good causes and good people. They are gifted for intercession and will pray over a list of the hurts and disunity of others. Tears are familiar friends to the mercy person. They feel so deeply that their prayers are frequently accompanied by many tears.

My Experience

Since growing in the familiarity of this gift there are some things I’ve personally observed in relation to mercy gifted people. I’ve witnessed this gift, in its immaturity and infancy, is prone to depression and addictions more than the others. The tears that come from their deep feelings can be discounted as unreasonable and assumed that there must be something innately wrong with them. When we discipline them to not cry it is like telling them not to care. Depressing their emotions can eventually result in various addictions used to numb their pain they are not being allowed to express. We have to give room for their deep feelings and not be quick to give them a pill to control their perceived depression. I would caution us that it may not be depression, it may be compassion.

If we don’t honor this gift with understanding we will risk depressing the greatest of expressions of God’s love. We honor this gift when accept their deep feelings and rather than shame them or belittle them. In turn we should help them to communicate their feelings and infuse them with courage to do what is best for what is grieving them.

It has also been my experience that their level of vulnerability is hell’s target for destruction. On occasion I encounter children high in mercy. When I recognize it I pray for their hearts to be guarded by God all the days of their lives and bless their innocence. The God-given vulnerability and innocence meant to demonstrate His capacity to show love to the world is also too easily and too frequently raped through abuse: sexual and physical and emotional. It’s as though hell has a nose for innocence and a ferocious appetite to pervert and destroy it. Hell has an agenda to incapacitate the expression of God on the Earth. These abuses are binding and crippling to any soul but especially for those having the most trusting of souls, the mercy wired soul. They are the most childlike of the gifted. Therefore, the rest of us gifted people, have the responsibility to use our gifts to steward their vulnerability and innocence.

It’s our responsibility to teach them the other sides of love. All the gifts love and love with their own unique expressions. Those who are mature in the gift of mercy know what is right and will often struggle doing what is right because there is the possibility it may hurt others. A common reasoning for them is, “But, I don’t want to hurt their feelings.” That’s where the rest of the “wires” come in to empower the mercy to follow through with the hard stuff. Sometimes true love hurts. We get the privilege to show them how to bring love to others in holiness.

What the World Needs Now

The world needs love, no doubt. Mercy makes up nearly 30% of the gifted. It is probably best for comfort to go ahead of the other expressions of love. When comfort comes the soul is settled to better receive the wisdom and help that needs to follow. Let them love you, it is a joy to their heart. They find great reward as artists, childcare providers, home economist, nursing, modeling, pet grooming, pharmacist, teaching, receptionist, and of course social workers.


Wired Like a Ferret

My friend, Daryl, is an iconic teacher. Look what he posted on his Facebook this week,  ‎”When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” Erasmus. If you totally relate you too may be gifted like a teacher. I’ve been looking forward to this post. When I started this Wired series I decided to challenge my paralyzing perfectionism and by-pass the editing portion of my push-button publishing. I am fully aware that I am not picking up on all the poor grammar and run-on sentences and simultaneously driving my teacher gifted readers crazy.

Plumb Bob

No, not Sponge Bob, plumb bob. The featured graphic for this  post is that of a plumb bob. It’s used by construction professional as a tool to determine if a wall is straight or plumb. An individual who is wired like a teacher carry a severe conviction that God’s Word acts as a plumb bob or our standard for truth. They present truth in a very logical and systematic way and never without validating the facts. Designed to investigate they search and root out truth like a ferret.

Semantics is a teacher’s favorite game to play. They love to do word studies and naturally challenge the word choices of others. For an example you’ll have to take time and note the 11th of 16 comments that followed and article I posted on Facebook today, Beware Romantic Pornography. Another hot button for the teacher is context, context, context. The hair will literally arise on the back of their necks when quotes are used out of context. They are intellectually sharp and their gift is keeps us disciplined in the truth.

Passion is an Understatement

The passion that pulse through the teacher is that they believe the truth has the intrinsic power to change lives, to change governments, to change the world. They do not give a lot of credibility to someone’s experience, it’s too subjective for them. They can easily detach emotionally and become dogmatic about the facts. A mature teacher is well-disciplined and self-controlled. In their immaturity they can easily preach what they have yet to practice. They are also easily distracted by many interests. They have fat libraries and will admit they haven’t finished most their books. You see when a teacher starts to research they will come across a point of interest in their research and find another resource to speak to that new interest only to find another. Books and books open upon one another and not a one read to the end. I personally find this trait of the teacher most endearing.

They are easy to recognize when you are having a conversation with them about a new idea or an encounter. Their first question will be, “Who is the teacher? Who is the author? They are quick to know your resource and unfortunately quick to label it as trustworthy or not. It is at this point that the teacher can easily tune a person out for their own opinion. It is challenging for those with this gift to stay engaged with the people God entrusts to them. God’s Truth is the Truth. Teacher would do well to not always challenge the person but to challenge themselves and the delivery of the truth. The Truth is the Truth and there can be many applications and facets that make that Truth translatable to many.

Teachers Teach to Teach

All the gifts teach and will teach out of the passion that wires them the most. Teachers on the other hand can teach on any subject because their passion is teaching. They are a wealth of rich information and history. If you have ever had the privilege of sitting under a teacher well-studied in Jewish history the Bible becomes vividly inflamed with a whole new level of understanding God and His ways. If you have a teacher on your team be sure to honor their gift by giving them ample time to prepare their lesson or presentations. Take lots of notes, they are easily to follow.

If you are wired as a teacher you may find joy in working as an archeologist (I can’t believed I spelled that right without looking it up:-), biologist, chemist, college professor, composer, computer programmer, doctor, engineer, journalist, or writer. There are some similarities between the teacher and the prophet. As one Renaissance teacher discovered; one way to break that tie is to answer honestly: when you encounter a problem that needs to be solved where do you naturally turn first? Prayer or the Bible/books? Prayer for the prophet is more than automatic, it’s a 24/7 thing. The teacher, he knows he has read about a the solution before and automatically starts the research. With technology today, researching 24/7 is more possible than ever and makes for a very happy teacher.

P.S. May all the winces toward my poor grammar and run-on sentences always work to remind you dear teacher of your great worth to us …


Wired to Work it?

The next gift in our series is the gift of serving. I am going be a lil transparent here; this is the gift I operate from the least and the one I envy the most. I don’t know if it’s the gift itself I admire or all of the applause this gift gets. All the gifts serve but this gift serves service; very practical acts of hands-on help. Those who bestow this gift are frequently admired as hard workers and rightly so. This is the gift that keeps the Body of Christ moving. Where teachers, prophets, and encouragers’ build with their words, the server builds with their hands, literally.

Radar Love

Tuesdays are salon days in my little world. I work reception at a higher-end salon & spa once a week. The phone calls today were well-behaved for the most part. Around 11:30 I got a phone call from a beautiful young lady who also doubles as my daughter, Andee. “We’ve got a problem.” she begins. She had just left our home for the gas station one block away when she discovered a flat tire. Not knowing what miracles I could do within a 30 minute lunch period while dressed in my favorite black Capri’s, I began to think of friends we could call to help.

I called Ryan; a young man whom I knew who would be the most available, the most experienced, and someone who would also be the most willing. Sure enough, within 15 minutes he delays his lunch plans and arrives with another friend of ours, Scott. They came with an easy stride, tools, and that know how – can do – will do spirit. Additionally, Andee’s boyfriend shows up with a friend ready for the challenge. Thankfully we had more than enough help and I was pleasantly relieved that my favorite black Capri’s would be spared from lying on the unforgiving grimy pavement. Within five minutes the flat was off, the spare was on, and we had a few extra minutes to enjoy each others company before we all went our separate ways for the day.

There was one significant comment made that I later thought would best reinforce our understanding of this gift. As we parted with thanking our friends, I expressed what a delight it is to be apart of a church, a community we can count on to come to our aid. Our friend Scott replied, “Yeah, we get another chance to love.” If you knew our friend Scott you would heartily agree that you would be hard pressed to encounter a better server than him. He is all about the work and working hard. Hard work fulfills him but not just in a “job well done” kind of way. To him it’s love. I know for myself I have joy when my words or my prayers help someone to encounter God. Today, I saw the same satisfaction in Scott. His satisfaction was not in a job well done but rather that we encountered God today through a self-less and yet simple act of help.

People who are hard-wired for acts of service have this amazing built-in radar to see a practical need and an amazing zeal to go do something about it. When servers detect a need they will by-pass: reasoning the need, the personal cost, and the inconvenience. They simply bend to the task and do it. For them actions of love speak louder than words of love. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t a server who didn’t coin the phrase, “git-r-done.”

They Don’t Know No

We love our servers and we have to be careful not to take advantage of their gift. A server has a hard time saying no to requests for help. If you asked a server what it was you needed to do about a clogged drain they wouldn’t just tell you they would also come over and do it for you. When they are immature in their gift they tend to be pushy and interfering. Not only do they enjoy helping they know they are good at it. This can also result in a tendency to neglect their family “to do list”.

Another challenge for the server is the ability to receive the help of others. Receiving helps makes them feel terribly awkward and it threatens their drive for perfection. However, it may be helpful for them to understand that by sharing their work they share the joy. You may also recognize servers by the meticulous order in which they keep things, freakishly high energy levels, and their stick-tuitiveness.

When there is manual work to be done these are the people you will want to recruit but be warned; they don’t make for the best project leaders. They are so eager to help that we can quickly position them to lead a project. However, because they can’t say no, it won’t be long before they become overwhelmed and eventually burnt out. The truth is they would much rather work on a project than lead it. They are a priceless support to those in management and holding leadership responsibilities. Most projects are a long term in nature and servers do best with the short-term assignments: the smaller picture.

Hands-On

Servers are wired with the greatest dexterity. They not only find their joy in fixing and building things, they can also be found enjoying artistic endeavors, cooking, gardening, etc. Joy-filled career choices for someone wired as a server would include: accountant, architect, beautician, cashier, child care worker, farmer, interior decorator, mathematician, mechanic, nurse, seamstress, and even a ship builder … ha, can’t say I’ve met one of those yet.

Love your servers; appreciation assures them their hard work makes an impact. If you find yourself wired, as a server be careful not to be too critical of others you don’t see helping. What they need most is learn from you so don’t give in and do it all, make room for them to do it with you. You are the “hands” of the Body of Christ and we can’t do the work of the Kingdom without you!

Next week: Wired like a Ferret


Wired to “See” Part II

The authors of Discovering Your God-Given Gifts did a survey along with their years of research. They discovered that only 12% of the church is made up of prophetically wired people. With that in mind many of you will want to use your” Advance to Go “card about now:-) This is for the 12%. This is a lil bit of the wisdom I’ve gained in my first 20 years of “gift” giving. This is for Andee, Joren, Jarred and Laramie, and their children, and their children’s children…

 

 

 

 

 

To The 12%

  • Do not love the truth more than you love a person and love a person enough to tell them the truth
  • Love is never having to say, “I told you so”
  • Correction is not punishment so don’t hit them with it, present it like a present
  • When you “see” sin ask to “see” their potential in Him; people will pay the personal price of a holy lifestyle when they understand their worth and their place in history
  • “Gift” giving is just a bunch of noise without love and your love for them will be conceived through prayer
  • Sinful behavior is always the lesser issue; unbelief is always the greatest issue
  • Identify the fear and you’ll uncover the lies people live by
  • Don’t say everything you “see” but instead pray everything you “see” until He gives you something to say
  • Sadly, and on rare occasions you may have to embrace a wounded heart when a friend is unresponsive to your gift, however, wisdom promises to justify you or them, so always keep your heart readied for a reconciliation
  • When you are left alone with, “was that God or was that me?” remember He has given you His Spirit to lead you into all truth and time will be gracious to tell who was taking the lead

I want to encourage you; it’s a long road to maturity. That may not sound like encouragement but the long road is about cultivating a deep level of intimacy with the One Who chose you for this gift. Out of all the gifts I think this one gets the most intense of workouts. To hear from God and proclaim His will is not for the faint of heart. You were chosen to steward His mysteries and the message you bring will not come from a knowledge of His works. Your message will come from experiencing Him in His ways. Much of what He shows you will eventually not be what you thought it was, it will end up being so much more. Some of you will be messengers and some of you will give up your lives to become the message.

The cross you bear will be trying to stay present in your job, your relationships, and your churches while simultaneously contending for what you are “seeing” years ahead of you. You will be challenged to forgive what you “see” so you can help set people free. You will need the Truth to fight the accusations that will chase you: “that’s not love”, “you’re crazy”, and “just quit cause things will never change”. God will assign you people, places, and causes to fight for and most of the enemies you conquer will be your own. Prayer will be the place that keeps you from sinning with your mouth. Prayer will be the place where what you “see” eventually transforms into what will be.

To Those Who Love Them

To those who love them I would ask that you see past the frankness and what seems an unreasonable zeal. Instead, look to the fire that burns deep inside them, there is truth somewhere in the rant. The love that burns in them is a love that goes ahead. It comes in the high expectations they set. It’s in their wisdom that always seems to kill your buzz. Their love is in the warning that comes before the fall. Though their delivery may lack the gentleness you need in order to receive it, keep the faith; God will be tenderizing their hearts all the days of their lives.

Remember, when they choose to be alone they aren’t necessarily lonely. When you come home and find them on their face in prayer AGAIN, they’re not weird; they’re wired that way. I know, I know, they are not easily encouraged when they are low. Next to hearing from you they long to hear from Him. His voice is their food. Quality time with quality conversation makes them feel the most loved. Lastly, when there is work to be done they won’t see it. Don’t assume they are lazy or pious; they are frequently preoccupied with seeing three years down the road, so just tap them on the shoulder and ask.

To Those Who Lead Them

To those who lead them give them your ear. Don’t shelve them as too spiritual. Consider what they have to say and help them to draw out what is good; prophets need encouragement too. What you may not know is that the enemy repeatedly accuses them of being crazy in a clinical way. This accusation is one of their most powerful foes. The accusation is so strong at times that they may weaken, be overcome with pointlessness, and simply wish they were dead (remember Elijah). If ever you are concerned you are dealing with a “Jezebel” keep in mind, people commonly take on the resemblance of their own tormentors. In other words, tormented people torment people therefore, prophets need set free too. If you are leading these gifted individuals and you find them saturated with pessimism and sarcasm please forgive them. They know not what they do because they know not fully who they are. Mature and immature alike, dare to receive them and you will receive their reward: what they “see” in Heaven is what you will get here on earth.

What I’ve “Seen” So Far

In my own travels I have had a few rewards of receiving what I was “seeing”. I once saw a healthy congregation and I gathered people to pray. Two years later health began to take its rightful place in our church. I once “saw” an abandoned worship culture in our church. I got on my knees every Saturday morning during worship practices with my 5-year-old daughter in tow. It would be three years before that life took its first breath. I once “saw” a friend planting a community of no-collar musicians and artists loving God with their gifts. Seven years later I am the official toilet bowl cleaner in a church called Renaissance that has been planted by that same friend.

I’ve “seen” babies before they were born, some of them are here now and as cute as the first time I “saw” them. I’ve “seen” the greatness other people are destined for and I am now watching some of those first steps take place. After 20 years I’ve just begun to “see” my weak words go forth in power, stirring the most holy of emotions in men and women like a fire. It’s a fascinating gift to give out AND an even harder one to live out. The fellowship of His sufferings has been my trainer behind this gift. The stories are piling up and they promise to make for some great future books. So thanks for letting me practice this writing craft on you while God and I wait to reveal so much more in the decades ahead. More gifts stuff coming your way next week!


Wired to “See”

I have a friend named Paula. Her relationship with Christ is much like the Apostle Paul’s: one to imitate. Her level of abandonment far out runs her trust in God. She knows that her capacity to trust God does not precede her obedience but rather follows her obedience to His voice. She is a faithful friend who believes in what I hear from God more than I do most of the time. Paula is someone who prays a prayer in the morning and has her answer before the end of the day. I, however, pray a prayer in the morning and I don’t see an answer for about 3-5 years. We joke a lot that she must be near-sighted when it comes to prayer. Me? Well, I am painfully far-sighted.

Farsightedness is a common characteristic of someone who majors in a prophetic wiring or gift. The Discovering Your God-Given Gifts study has a 25-question profile for each of the seven gifts. They ask you how true each statement is about you. Your answer will have a value between 0 and 5. The Renaissance staff ended up having one married couple each scoring over 75 points out of 100. They also had one young man with a score much like my own, a 98.

A Prophetic Profile

Individuals who are prophetically wired quickly identify good from evil and possess a very low tolerance for compromise. They are very persuasive in their communication styles and, sorry, they are sometimes blunt. They are insightful with very colorful interior lives. Prophetically wired people need only a few friends and they value alone-time as an optimum environment in which to hear from God and pray.  They are eager to see their own blind spots because they know the hindrance personal sin can create in relationship to God. They live life by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God and sin cuts off their “food” supply. Without a revelation of God’s perfectly fitted love they will suffer with low self-esteem, especially as children. Children who have very high standards and are very hard on themselves may be wired with this gift.

Prophetically wired people encourage repentance and the embracing of difficulties as the fast track to growth and intimacy with God. One of the statements on the profile suggested they grieve deeply over the sins of others. This stirred an interesting conversation between those of us who scored high here. As we shared the issues that grieve us most we found agreement that our grief was less about people breaking rules and more about people missing their potential. When you understand that the definition of sin is missing the mark then you can better understand their grief. Remember, prophetically wired people are far-sighted. If sin leads to death than that is where you will find the source of their grief as well as their passion for God’s people. Their grief is over the death of a person’s potential, the loss of Godly influence, the erosion of God-given dreams and relationships.

When you look at the lives of the biblical prophets you will find some pretty hardcore believers. Frequently God called them to speak to His people on His behalf. There was a rhythm to the words that God gave them to speak. Their words would declare God’s love, confront the missing mark (sin), paint the promises of a hope and a future, warn of consequences, and remind of redemption. That’s the kind of counsel you can expect from your prophetically wired friends. Their answers to you will always direct you back into a right relationship with God. If they are mature in the gift they will draw your attention to who God says you are in contrast to any revealed sin that may hinder or harm your future. More than likely they will direct you foremost to prayer.

The Prophetic Fit

This is the person you want on your team when the going gets tough. This is the person you want on your “friends” list when you need someone tell you the truth without the sugar. When God engages their farsightedness and shows them your potential they become a like a dog with a bone. They are a real contender for your future. They won’t let go of your destiny even when everyone else thinks you’re a fool. They will stay committed to your destiny even when you stray. Why so intense? No one values the voice of God like the prophetically wired person. They see themselves in partnership with the declared will of God and they take that job very seriously. In their eyes people are either in the will of God or out of the will of God, there is no kinda-sorta in their book.

When it comes to their place in the church community the prophetically wired individuals act like the “eyes” of the Body of Christ. The keep the church centered on prayer and obedience. They teach others how to hear the voice of God and discern the will of God. Like Jesus, they speak what the Father speaks. They easily read the hearts of men and, of course, they pray a lot. They are personally challenged to not be judgmental but to remember grace and mercy. They have to work on their delivery because they feel conviction so strongly. They can be pushy to get others to mature and can be intolerant of anothers perspective that is not like their own. God in His great wisdom only allows them to see in part in order to best promote interdependency within His Church. All the gifts bring a unique perspective and should be more highly regarded than your own. Together we are gifted to bring a bigger picture of what God is up to.

If you think you major in this gift you are going to find joy in teaching young adults and adults on prayer, prophecy, the will of God, and embracing difficulties to gain intimacy with Him. If you have not found your assignment in intercession you will be highly frustrated with this gifting. God shares His secrets with the prophets and prayer is the greater work of bringing Heaven to earth. If you are prophetically wired you may find joy working as an inspector of sorts, a market researcher, a paramedic, a reporter, a teacher of science or drama, a writer, an engineer, a judge, or a minister.

I have a lot of personal experience with this gift and I am considering a part two ???  so we shall “see”.


Wired by the Father

Photo courtesy of Kelsey Hall

Welcome to a Renaissance staff meeting: several of us arrived at Ryan and Katie’s house on the south side of Decatur. Ryan and Katie are a couple who are high in energy and enthusiasm. They are the parents of two beautiful little girls and a bounty of puppies and kittens. Their home has this extra-large kitchen that is perfectly constructed for hosting lots of people and I must say we filled it out well. We got to catch up with one another and feast from the grill. Collectively, we were all fascinated by the story of Pastor Kool’s recent tooth extraction. That will be a story for a later blog, his own of course.

As deserts were rolling out we began to discuss where we could expect to head in this course. Oh, which reminds me, my Salted Brownies didn’t make it. I thought I had plenty of time to bake them following a power-walk and a shower that afternoon. One of the woes of living with a delightful culinary student is always being surprised to find the ingredients you saw in the cupboard one day to then mysteriously disappear the next. So, mini lemon cupcakes from the Wal-Mart Bakery were the best I could contribute this time around.

We started with the 3 basic categories of gift lists in the bible. There are gifts from the One Who descended and ascended, meaning Jesus. He gave us gifts of church leadership called: apostles, prophets, evangelists, teacher, and pastors (Eph 4:10-12). These are leaders given to the church by Jesus to: plant, build, fill, instruct, and care for God’s people. Then we have gifts that come and go like the wind that the Holy Spirit gives: words of wisdom and knowledge, words of prophecy, prayer and praise in unknown languages with interpretations, discerning of spirits, gifts of faith and healing as well as miracles (1Cor 12: 7-11). I know, it sounds like an exciting culture to be apart of, right? It’s called Heaven on Earth.

The third gift list is the one we will be concentrating on in the coming weeks: gifts given by the Father (Rom 12: 3-8). This is an awesome list of gifts because you don’t have to be called as a leader to have one nor do they come and go like the wind. These are the gifts we possess like we possess DNA. They were woven into our nature and are easily detected through our personalities.

I believe gaining in the knowledge of our giftings is an act of recovery. Consider Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you..” It is here that God clues us in. Before we were in our mother’s womb He was thinking of us. I can only imagine that when He created Adam and Eve He wrote into their posterity all future generations, which included you and I. Think about it. Before the foundations of the earth God planned you. From the foundations of the earth your life was conceived within the Father’s heart. YOU were His dream come true … long before you ever took your first breath you were already worth the love He spent on you. Even if your parents didn’t plan you, He did. Your conception may not have been the picture perfect product of a love between two parents, however, you were conceived in love nonetheless. Let’s look at Psalm 139: 13-16:

“For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.” (AMP)

Listen to that language, “intricately and curiously wrought, as if embroidered with various colors.” Seriously? Talk about intention. Talk about purpose. Talk about a love that hovers over you with jealously and intensity. You are one serious investment of thought-filled passion, time, and precision. Within the elaborate threads that have painstakingly colored and formed your inward parts lay the gifts that best express the Father’s image on the earth. These gifts are wired throughout your many parts. You were never your own. Everything original about you has always been a consequence of the Father’s love. Recovering your original image in Him simultaneously recovers the Father’s image on the earth.

It’s hard for us to grasp since we are all born with a sin-bent nature and into a sin-filled world. What had been the original blueprint of our lives, etched within the Father’s heart, slowly and surely loses its original intention as we live out our lives apart from Him. Being born-again is so much more than being reconciled back to God the Father; it’s also about recovering our original design. The will of God for your life is simple, it’s to know Him and to know Him intimately. The callings of God on your life are the adventures you take into knowing Him and those adventures result in the recovery of who He had originally made you to be. His calling upon your life will change many times over but His will never will.

I posted this quote on Facebook yesterday, “The Lord is restoring innocence to His people … what would it feel like for your if you had never sinned in your life? What would it feel like to have never been sinned against? You have legal access to these emotions … (because of Jesus) we are free to live as if we never sinned. B. Johnson.” I so believe this is true and interestingly enough a funny thing has been happening to me over the last few months. I am repeatedly captivated by the innocence of children’s faces. I work in retail and children skip by my cosmetic counter daily. I catch myself getting apprehended by the awe of their innocence framed within their lil faces. It’s beautiful and I have a brand new yearning to be beautiful, just like them. I believe that’s where we are all headed, we are returning to innocence one “yes God” at a time.

I pray you become overwhelmed with the awe and wonder of your birth! The Romans chapter lists seven gifts. Each gift is a facet of the character of God Himself. We have been created in His image and therefore we each will have a measure of them all. The exciting part is that you will find yourself majoring in one of them if not two. You will soon learn you aren’t weird after all. The Father has wired you in love, congratulations! Coming up next? Stacey picked out the first of our seven gifts, the prophetic. It stirred an interesting conversation and you won’t want to miss it!


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