Charisma: You Were Born With These Gifts: Teaching

If you are a teacher, teach well.  Romans 12:7

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.~Brad HenryRoyalty-Free (RF) Teacher Clipart Illustration #1151891 by Melisende ...

The above quote by the former Governor of Oklahoma Brad Henry is pretty telling of what a teacher does.  This is the next personality trait that you may have a focus on in your life.  Remember we are all born with these traits, but some are stronger in our personalities than others are.  When we allow Jesus to come into our lives these traits become more alive in our hearts and minds.  Teaching is one of the most powerful traits, it shapes how we think, it shows us how to do things.  Without great teachers, we would not have great people and leaders.  Let’s discuss the three aspects of what makes a good teacher, then we will talk about the one aspect that makes a teacher great.

The first idea that Brad Henry talks about is how a teacher can inspire hope.  I can look back at how I had such a difficult time with college level writing.  The professor I had would give me D’s and C’s on my papers all the time.  She would make me work harder, and the harder I worked, the grades would never change, I would get a D or a C.  Finally, I reached the end of the semester and to my surprise, I got a B in the class.  I finally had to ask her later on if it was a mistake.  She said no, I deserved that B, the D’s and C’s were to motivate me to a higher level of writing that I was capable of doing.  That blew me away, but it wouldn’t be until years later that God would show me that I should write a lot more and I am thankful for an encouraging friend to make me realize how much I love writing.  The point was she inspired hope in me and the encouragement was not for back then, it was for right now.  Teachers use hope to inspire us to dream big dreams and accomplish great goals in our lives if they are a good teacher.

The next aspect is a teacher can ignite our imagination.  A good teacher inspires hope, but with hope, we use our imagination to shoot for the dream we are seeking.  God has dreams for us, so a gifted teacher is going to aim us towards those types of dreams.  Imagination is the beginning of a dream, and can change in an instant with a closed door.  Failure becomes reality when we quit trying, and not find an open door of opportunity that God will provide for us.  Hope inspires the imagination we need to find the dream.

The last idea is to instill in us the love of learning.  I can identify with this; I must have had some good teachers in my life, because I love learning new things every day.  Gaining knowledge is important toward any dream.  You have to know what you are going to become.  Taking steps toward a dream are a way of showing faith.

The first three aspects are what make a good teacher, but what makes a great teacher is example.  A great teacher is a great example to the people that person is teaching.  They know the subject matter completely and live it to it’s full potential.  My college English professor was a great example because she was so passionate about writing.  I wish the love of writing hit me earlier in life when I could have done possibly more.  The thing I have to remember is that God’s timing is impeccable and we always have more chances later in life to make a difference in our sphere of influence.

The teacher trait is and incredible trait that can change people’s lives.  Teachers inspire hope, ignite imagination, instill the love to learn, and if they are great, they are an example to us.

© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.

Charisma: You Were Born With These Gifts: About Serving

And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard.  You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

Now the only way you can serve God on Earth is by serving others.~Rick WarrenIn order to get to know each other and begin building team unity, we ...

Serving is the next personality trait that you may have been born with.  Some people gravitate to helping others.  The interesting fact about serving is we all should be serving each other with the personality traits we have, so serving is all-inclusive.  The topic here is that some people are born with this type of personality naturally to serve others.  A leader is a glorified servant; he develops a team by leading with example and creating an environment of productivity.  Jesus is the best example of the gift of eternal life He provided by dying on the cross and serving us by giving His very life.  To serve means to let go of ego and lower you to be an angel to someone in need.  Some people have a natural way to do this; they are the ones behind the scenes that make a leader look good.  A great leader will acknowledge this type of person and will be humble enough to say that they could not have done it without them.  There are three traits of a natural servant and these all should be part of a personality of a leader.

Trait number one is they are hard workers.  I am part of a serving church and it never ceases to amaze me how many natural servants I run across.  They are the ones that run and get the broom before you even have the thought of going to find it to clean up a mess that might have happened.  Last week I was standing in what we call the spine of the church, which is the main hallway, where one of the lights blew out and rained glass down close to where I was standing.  While I was thanking God that I was not standing under that light because I have a baldhead; before I knew it someone had grabbed a broom and dustpan and was cleaning it up.  Then because it was carpet, someone appeared with a mini vacuum cleaner.  I thought that was awesome.

The next trait of a servant is their humility.  A true servant never lets their ego show or even allows it to be part of their world.  When someone recognizes them for their efforts they don’t go into a long speech about what they did, they just say thank you and move on.  They don’t do that false “spiritual” speech and say it was God, not me.”  Humility is being in control of your ego.  Humility says you don’t want special thanks, you are happy about what you have done and it brings you pleasure in doing it.  I always say that love and respect are the aspects of honor.  Proverbs 15 says that humility comes before honor.  You can only have love and respect for others if you are humble, it’s so very true.

The last trait of a servant is they are blessed.  They are blessed because the blessing comes in the giving as Jesus points out through Paul in the above verse.  If all you do is receive, receive, receive, then that is a short-lived satisfaction.  You always want more and more.  A servant gives because they know the longest lasting satisfaction comes from giving.  A servant gives of their time, money, themselves.  They don’t want the recognition and sometimes never get it.

We all should aspire to being a servant, like I have said though we all can be a servant in one form or the other, but we all don’t have the natural trait in us to do it consistently without effort.  A true servant is a hard worker, is humble, and is always, always, blessed to give.

How are you serving others in your life, have you been a game changer for someone?

© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.

Charisma: You Were Born With These Gifts

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.  For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.  If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.  Romans 12:3-8

At one point in your life, you may have taken a spiritual gifts test with the notion of discovering, out of the seven gifts listed, which ones are most prevalent in your life.  I decided to write a series of blogs on this very topic, but with a twist.  Taking experiences from my own life, I find that we are born with these gifts, or personality traits.  They are enhanced when we are saved and have the Holy Spirit with in us.  The word that is used in the Greek is charisma.  The dictionary definition of charisma is a divinely conferred gift or power.  God creates us and gives us charisma to do His will, the powers to get His will complete.  I think all spiritual power is added to these gifts and when we allow God to work in our lives, they are very important to our makeup and character.  The seven gifts are, prophesy, serving, teaching, encouragement, giving, and leading.  You are born with some of these, and you can have all of them in your life if God stretches you that way.  The best thing you can do is never compare yourself to anyone else.  God has created you to be you, so be the best you, you can be.  Whatever your gifting, use it to the full extent you can.  You may find other gifts that you were not aware of being a part of you.  The best thing you can do is know where you are in the body of Christ.  Let’s focus on the first gift, prophesy.

In the bible, we find prophets all over the Old Testament revealing God’s will for their lives and what God was going to do with the redemption of whomever.  They would tell the future and show a certain people what God has planned for them if they didn’t repent and change their ways.  Prophesy fulfilled is sometimes a tough pill to swallow.  They would also tell you in the least tactful way in coming straight to the point.  Prophets were never welcomed because they usually brought bad news.  To me there are several different ways one can use the gift of prophesy.  The first one is with tongues.  Speaking in tongues is usually prophetic speaking from the Holy Spirit of God.  Here we have to be careful not to mix speaking with tongues with praying in tongues, which I feel is not a gift and something we all have the capacity to do if we allow the Holy Spirit to control our prayers.  Speaking in tongues is sharing God’s future plans with others.  It has to have interpretation to go along with it.  Which interpretation is another part of prophesy.

Another gift of prophesy is sharing truth in a direct way.  If you have the gift of prophesy you are usually direct with your interpretation of the truth and are not very tactful in giving it to the person receiving it.  Sometime tough love has to happen and thank God for those of us that have this gift.  It won’t make you a popular person, but popularity is not something that is sought if you have the gift of prophesy.  The prophets of the Old Testament were a lonely bunch, but they relied on God to get rid of the loneliness.

The last type of prophesy gift is being able to interpret scripture in a practical way and share that truth with others.  Pastors are a great example of this.  They interpret scripture and share that in a practical way to teach us God’s truth, so that we will be equipped to help others find Christ.  The gift of prophesy is an awesome one to have, but when you use it, it might be a good idea to have the person who has the mercy gift to be there to soften the direct truth you share with someone who needs tough love.

© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.

The Few

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain. “  Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”  But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home.  Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.  I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers.  I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come.  And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”  When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!  And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven.  But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home.  Because you believed, it has happened.”  And the young servant was healed that same hour.  Matthew 8:5-13

10 awesome WWII vets.

10 awesome WWII vets.

It was 7 am last Saturday morning and there was a beautiful orange ball of a sunrise happening before my eyes as I drove to a local church.  I was excited to be a part of seeing off some World War II veterans to Washington DC and some of them were headed to Normandy France later on.  I was so honored to be invited by a couple of my veteran friends to help see these men off.  It was such a patriotic gesture to see some men that Tom Brocaw coined, “the greatest generation”.  They spent so many years fighting to keep our way of life free.  There were around 30 people there including the vets and their motorcycle escort.  The vets themselves and the motorcycle escort took up half of the people there, the other half were those like us, giving well wishes and thanking these awesome people for their incredible sacrifice; also family members of the vets.  I was ashamed to see that there were not that many of us there to see these men off, they should have been treated as the well, if not better, than celebrities on the red carpet are.  The picture that I posted with this post shows a little girl, above that little girl is one veteran that is looking down at her.  I did some research on the ship he was on during the war.

The USS Kitkun Bay was part of an escort carrier squadron called Taffy 3.  It consisted of 6 escort carriers, 3 destroyers, 4 destroyer escorts, and 400 aircraft on the 6 escort carriers.  An escort carrier is not as big as a normal aircraft carrier.  The Kitkun Bay saw some major action during one of the largest naval battles in naval history called the battle of Leyte Gulf.  Part of that battle involved Taffy 3 that had to face 4 Japanese battleships, 6 heavy cruisers, 2 light destroyers, and 11 destroyers.  This was a major mismatched battle.  In the end the Kitkun Bay survived and was never damaged, this awesome brave group of navy men beat back the Japanese and sunk 3 heavy cruisers, and damaged the other 3.  They lost 2 escort carriers, 2 destroyers, and 1 destroyer escort.  They had sustained heavy losses, but the victory was they beat back the larger Japanese fleet.  That awesome gentleman pictured, looking down at my friends little girl was there and faced the Kamikaze attacks, the shells flying overhead from the cruisers and the battleships.   All he got this Saturday was a small amount of people giving him thanks, just a few.  There are 10 men pictured each with equally or more intense war stories.  The only thing they get is a few people.  Let’s talk about the faith of a soldier.

The above set of verses talk about how Jesus healed the Roman Centurion’s loyal servant, this soldier loved his servant so much he wanted him healed.  He came to Jesus because he knew that would happen.  He would have no part in Jesus coming to heal him; he knew Jesus could do it now.  Jesus said that he never saw such faith in anyone in Israel.  This speaks to that old saying that there are no atheists in foxholes.  There is nothing more faithful than a soldier.  They are faithful to their country, they are faithful to their brothers in arms, and if they are wise they are faithful to a great God.  Great leadership encourages courage and that courage finds itself turning into faith.  Faith that the objective will be achieved.  Sometimes as in the above example of the force being overmatched, faith needs to have hope.

The next thing the Centurion had was hope.  Hope is the intestinal fortitude of courage.  His hope was that Jesus would be able to help his servant.  The above battle off Samar Island shows hope was very much alive in that battle.  They could have turned around and steamed the other way away from that Japanese fleet, but they had hope that they could make an impact on that fleet.  The strategy worked and so they became victorious with their hope.

The last thing that the Centurion had was love, love for his servant.  He had faith, he had hope, and now he had love.  As I Corinthians 13 points out, this is the greatest of the three.  The soldier or warrior has love for his country, and love for his fellow brother.  Each of these 10 men suffered great loss in war; they lost a friend, a brother in arms.  Their lives will always have an empty void because of what they experience in the war.  They ranged from 97 as the oldest to 83 being the youngest.  The greatest generation is dying off.  How inconvenient for us to take an hour out of our precious time to say thanks to these awesome men.  To me they are better than any celebrity we see today, they show us what teamwork is, they show us what leadership is, and they show us how to move on into life past the worst nightmares you can face.

I’m not the great patriot that I am painting here, this was the first time I ever did this.  Not to say I never wanted to, just never had the opportunity presented to me.  I’m very thankful for my church family that are veterans and invited me to join them in this very patriotic gesture.  The point I am trying to make is that we need to have faith, hope, and most importantly love in our lives for our country and these awesome warriors that faced ungodly evil in their time, and spared us from living a life that is not free.  I am very proud of being part of the few that were there.  As this greatest generation dies off, we need to make that few, many.  Remember if you can take just 15 minutes out of your life to be inconvenienced, you can be someone’s angel.  Maybe the few, will become the many.

© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.

God’s Final Word Was, and Is, and Is to Come

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.~John 1:1-5,14"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus"  1 Timothy 2:5

This passage of scripture is one of my favorite of all time, it’s almost poetic.  I love how John uses God’s Word as Jesus.  Jesus was God’s last word to man, and what a Word that was and still is.  The Word has lasted centuries and we still have the Word to look back at every day.  I want to spend some time breaking down this scripture in this post and maybe shed some new light on this passage.  When we would go out and share the gospel in my former church, we would always use this scripture.  I am so glad I have this one memorized on my heart to pull out at any time that I need it.

In the beginning was the Word.  Jesus was always around, always a part of God the Father.  He was there when the world and the universe around the world was made, He saw man and woman and all the creatures on this planet formed.  He was a part of the whole process.  I think we tend to think that Jesus’ beginning was when Mary gave birth to Him, but as John puts it, He was there in the beginning.

And the Word was with God, and the Word was God, He was with God in the beginning.  If Jesus was around in the beginning, then He was and is God.  It’s hard to fathom how the Trinity works.  There is God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  All three are one, and all three are how God chooses to reveal Himself.  The Holy Spirit was in the beginning as well.  It mentions the Holy Spirit moving over the face of the earth in Genesis 1:2..  In addition, Jesus revealed Himself on several occasions with Moses and was the fourth man in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  We are created in God’s image as trinities as well.  We have a physical body, an emotional persona, and a spirit spot.  They all work as one to make us who we are.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  Jesus was a part of the creation process.  I was just struck with a realization that God made everything physical, so that means Jesus made everything emotional.  I believe Jesus had everything to do with making man’s emotional persona.  This would put Him in the position of being the answer to man’s fall.  The first Adam caused man to fall, the last Adam, Jesus, restores man to his former glory as mentioned in I Corinthians 15:45.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  Without man’s persona, we would be no better than the animals.  He gave us life, He made us who we are, this is so incredible!  Life is having a personality, a character, and if we allow Him to, He will transform our character to be more like His character, loving and faithful.  What does this life bring; it brings light to a dark world.  Adam before the fall was clothed in light as God was.  That was why Adam and Eve realized they were naked because the light left them when they sinned.  Jesus restores life and light to our lives.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  Darkness only exists where there is no light.  When you shine a flashlight in a dark room, the darkness can never overcome it.  It goes away when the light is introduced in a dark room.  When that light is used it helps us to see clearer.  When Jesus gives us life and light, we can shine bright in a negative dark world.  We become a danger to the darkness around us.  What an incredible awesome gift Jesus gives us.  The light that shines from us is the Holy Spirit.  We have the spirit spot in our lives.  This spot is empty and we try and fill it up with other things that are dark, but as we accept Christ in our lives the spirit spot is filled with the Holy Spirit.  The heart light that removes the darkness from around us that helps us see clearer and others around us to see clearer.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  Jesus came into the world as God/man.  He was all God and all man.  He is still all God and all man.  Jesus has the ultimate empathy to know what it’s like to be human.  Not only did He create our persona, but also He came to earth as one of us so He could redeem us and understand us.  Grace and truth would not have happened if He hadn’t come into this world.  Grace is God’s mercy and His unfathomable favor, which we do not deserve.  Truth is the fact that we need Jesus in our lives to help us be all that we can be in Jesus.  God’s glory happens when we accept Him into our lives and live the light that is within us.  We don’t allow the enemy to douse that light, we live godly and righteous lives.

God’s final Word Jesus, can save us from certain doom, can brighten and lighten our lives, can bring life into us, and help us always to overcome the darkness around us.  Shine bright all the time.  It’s the best life you can ever live.

© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.

Community Unity In the Wake of 9/11

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”~Matthew 22:37-40  

I had my stress-fractured ankle propped up on the desk in front of me on the desk I was using.  I was in that position because a few days before I stepped off too soon and skipped the bottom 3 stairs and landed hard on my left foot.  The stress from my 449-pound body was too much for my ankle to support with that much weight coming down on it and so the stress fracture happened.  This occurred at work and so it was a Workman’s Comp injury.  I was fortunate enough to get some light duty while I healed in the boot they gave me to support my ankle.  I was sitting at that desk with my leg propped up and the news came in the third hour of my workday that the North Tower of the World Trade Center had a plane crash into it.  I was shocked and mortified that something like that would even happen.  I just thought at that moment that it was a freak accident.  Then about 8:15am I hear the news that the South tower was hit by another plane, then I realized that it was not a freak accident, but a terrorist attack.  The events that transpired since that heinous event are some great stories of heroic acts of kindness that saved lives, but also sacrificed many lives to save lives.  It was inspiring to see both Republicans and Democrats come together and sing God Bless America.  To see people and first responders from all across America to come to the site of the attack and help as much as they could to find people that may be trapped under the debris of the building collapse.  It was inspiring to see New York City a city where they are not known for their friendliness come together as one community to help each other out.  What disturbs me is this did not last for long.

Let’s fast forward to this morning, 7:30 am central time 9-11-2014.  The rain began around 5 am and came down in a continuous deluge.  I’m fortunate that my house sits on the crest of a hill, but my neighbors houses at the bottom of the hill are not so fortunate.  I didn’t realize how bad the flooding was on my street until my wife came back and told me that the middle of the street was flooded.  If this were 13 years ago, I would have not even considered going out in waste deep water to check up on my neighbors in the middle of the street.  My shame today is that I have lived here for 16 years and have not taken the time even to know these people, who by the way are very friendly.  A couple of these houses were filled with water; I went to four different houses to check up on my neighbors.  I gave my phone number to them all too late to even help them today, but in the future, they can move their cars to my driveway to get out of the water.  What is sad is it takes a crisis to unite us as a community.  I want to in no way compare what I went through today to what happened 13 years ago.  I just want to honor those that lived and died through that tragedy 13 years ago today.  I think one of the best things that came out of it was that sense of community and loving your neighbor that emerged from that crisis of major proportion.  Today was a personal revelation to me to be aware of whom my neighbor is and get to know them.  Of all of them, they lost four cars today and two houses were flooded.  Had I taken the time to know them, I would have had them move their cars to my driveway at least alleviate some of the stress of the damage they experienced.  If we take the time to get to know them, we can become their angel and they can become our angel in the time of need.

I would like to suggest to you today, if you don’t know your neighbor, be so bold as to find out who they are and strike up a conversation.  Don’t wait like I did when something bad happens, get to know them now.  Keep your neighbors close to you; you may never know when you will need them.  As Jesus said in the above quote, love your neighbor as yourself.  Your neighbor is not just those that live on your block or around your apartment, but those that are in your path every day.  A random smile here a happy hello there shows that you are friendly and that you are a person that cares.  If we can keep this second command as Jesus pointed out above, then we are doing a great job of keeping the first command, which is to love God.  If we love God’s creation, we show that we love Him.  Love your neighbor; don’t look at the bad stuff that they do, just love them like Jesus.  If it starts with you then maybe we can find some kind of community unity that didn’t last like it should have after the attack on September 11th, 2001.

© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.

Depression: You Just Don’t Get Over It


I have to reblog this because it’s an important post. Please read when you can.

Originally posted on David's Body Temple:

It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people.  But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you. –Tyler Perry

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.  – Mark 11:25

With the tragic death of Robin Williams, a gifted comedian and actor, I have been soberly looking back at my own bit of depression that I held onto for 37 years.  As you may or may not know, my story is that I finally became 449 pounds as I tried to eat myself to death.  Robin Williams probably suffered the type of chronic depression for which remedies are rare.  It takes intensive therapy and, especially important, antidepressants.  Some people who are haters have posted “Why didn’t he just get over it?”  Some things you just cannot “get over.”  These things…

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