According to the Blessing

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There is a passage of scripture in the Old Testament that tells about the Festival of Tabernacles. Within that passage are these two verses:

Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed:  Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.

—Deuteronomy 16:16-17

The last part of verse seventeen speaks to me apart from this context.

The gifts that God has given us–our spiritual gifts and our talents—are to be given back as gifts or offerings to God.

If our spiritual gifts include teaching, then when we teach we are offering it to God.

If our talents include construction skills, when we are building a structure, our actions can be an offering, as well.

On Christmas morning, I drove to a local hospital by myself.

I had decided that since one of my talents is piano playing, I could play Christmas songs on a piano located in the lobby.

In some way, I hoped that the music would bring both comfort and cheer to those who were there.

As I played, many people came walking by.

Nurses and other hospital staff.

People with young children.

Senior citizens.

Young adults.

Family groups.

Everyone had a reason for being at the hospital on Christmas.

Several people made positive comments and smiled.

A young man found a seat in a waiting area, looking sober and thoughtful.

Was he worried?

Who did he love that was ill?

I played on.

Songs about the birth of Jesus.

Songs about Christmastime.

Because God had given me the blessing and ability to learn the skill of piano playing, I had piano playing to give to others on Christmas Day.

As I left to go home to my own family, I walked past a life-sized nativity scene outside the hospital.

The wise men brought gifts to Jesus long ago.

On this Christmas, my offering was one of music, given back to Him.

What gifts has God given to you?

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every man

Whatever You Do

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Rabbits hop.

Eagles soar.

I play the piano….

If I am anywhere near a piano, I usually have the urge to play it.

In my opinion, any piano in my vicinity is simply silent, waiting for me to tell it what to say.

As I sit in front of the keys, many times my fingers relay a message of praise to God.

The strings and hammers respond with complete obedience and a melodious hymn vibrates from their midst.

Those who hear may or may not recognize the sounds as being an offering, yet God knows every note I play as it pairs with the strings of my heart.

I have a voice.

It is simply silent, waiting for me to tell it what to say.

Will my words be those of praise?

Will they encourage others?

Will they show God’s love?

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

—1 Corinthians 10:31

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eat or drink