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Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts
By Carol S. Wolf

It’s now spring and most of us are looking forward to summer. It really hasn’t been a bad winter at all. We were in Charlotte, NC for our granddaughter’s wedding in March. The second day we were there, when we got up in the morning, our son said to us, “Thanks, Mom and Dad!” We asked for what and he told us to look outside. We did and there was three inches of snow! Egad! Luckily, by afternoon, it was 50 degrees and the snow was all gone.

This is a good time of the year to explore new things to do and get involved in, no matter your age. I read in the April issue of After50 that there is a new club called Club 99. It read that Richard Dewald can be heard every Saturday at 11:05am on WBEN 930AM– Senior Radio where the objective is to make the next years the best years of your life. I am going to listen.

That got me thinking that this is a good time to explore your spiritual gifts. A spiritual gift is a significant ability given to each believer by the Holy Spirit who equips and moves people to serve in special ways for Christ and his Kingdom:

• Administration: The ability to organize and help people work together. (Acts 6:1-4)

• Creative Ability: The ability to use music, art, drama, writing, drawing, acting, dancing, and similar gifts in ways pleasing to God. (Acts 1:1, Exodus 35:31)

• Discernment: The ability to tell if someone or something is right or wrong, real or fake. (Acts 8:14-21)

• Encouragement: The ability to use your words and actions to cheer people up, to motivate them to do something that’s hard for them, or to help them live in a way that’s pleasing to God. (Mark 14:3-6)

• Faith: The ability to know for sure that God’s promises are true and trustworthy, even when circumstances make others doubt the promises. (Acts 27:21-16)

• Giving: The ability to cheerfully and generously share our time, money, and possessions with those in need. (Luke 21:1-4)

• Hospitality: The ability to make persons of all ages feel at home and comfortable – especially persons who are guests or strangers. (Acts 16:14-15)

• Intercession: The ability to pray faithfully for others. (2 Timothy 1:1-3)

• Leadership: The ability to take charge, to set an example for others, to serve others by helping them reach their goals. (Acts 1:15-16, 2:14)

• Mercy: The ability to feel the hurt of others and to help them cheerfully in meaningful ways. (Acts 9:23-28)

• Prophecy: The ability to know God’s Word and to talk boldly about important issues to those who don’t understand or who need to be encouraged or convinced. (Acts 17:22-23)

• Service: The ability to help others in practical ways. (Acts 9:36)

• Teaching: The ability to clearly explain things about God and how God wants us to live. (Titus 2:1-2)

Many years ago I went to a conference on this topic. It was absolutely enlightening. I was aware of a couple of my gifts but also discovered other ones. At the end, we were given a questionnaire:

AM I USING THE GIFTS GOD HAS GIVEN? Yes No Occasionally Some of them

What is your favorite excuse for not using your gifts?

a. I don’t think I have any.

b. I don’t know what they are.

c. I’m afraid I might fail.

d. I’m, not as talented as… (someone you know)

e. No one has asked me.

f. I don’t have the time.

What do you need to get you started in using your gifts?

a. A “guarantee bond” from God that nothing will go wrong

b. Self-confidence

c. To sort out my priorities

d. Lots of support from friends

e. More urging from those who need my help (please!!!!!!!)

When I came home, I could not stop thinking about these things. I picked out a couple and started exploring ways I could use them. Writing was one of them. I wrote articles and sent them in to various places. Some were published; some were not. I even wrote a book, Biblical Storytelling in Youth Ministry, and it was published. WOW! I also send in articles to “My View,” “Everybody’s Column,” and magazines.

My new project is putting together a booklet for my four granddaughters, ages 18-28. Each of them through the years has done some writing. I am calling it, “A Family of Writers.” I will keep you posted.

Now, when I hear people say “you are never too old,” I agree with them. It is also fantastic that in WNY we have several senior centers, churches with senior groups, and various other organizations that offer seniors the opportunity to utilize their abilities.

That is what is so great about the After 50 paper. There are so many articles sharing stories and articles on anything and everything that seniors should know about, including various facilities to move to when the time comes.

I invite everyone who is reading this to think about your gifts– what they are and how you are using them. If you are not using them, start exploring ways you can. What an exciting time this could become!

If you know of a successful program in your community or would like more information please let me know at caroldickwolf@cs.com.

Carol S. Wolf is married to her husband Dick for 52 years. She has 2 sons and 4 grandchildren. She is a writer, speaker, storyteller and leader of workshops and retreats. She is an Associate Spiritual Director at the St. Joseph Center for Spirituality and a member of the Network of Biblical Storytellers WNY.


 

 


Carol wrote this book as part of her two year Master's program in the Academy for Biblical Storytellers. It has just been published and is available for $10.00. Carol is an author, speaker and leader of workshops meditations and conference.
"This book give you an opportunity to experience how, when we become a part of the biblical story, we often find meaning for our own life. It is an incredible resource for confirmation, baptism, and intergenerational groups." Trracy Radosevic, Dean, Academy for Biblical Storytellers.
Anyone interested in buying a book can email me @caroldickwolf@cs.com. The book is $10.00 + $2.00 mailing.