Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What Is Your Strength?

Jay and I participated in a "Strengths" course at our church last year. Jay enjoyed it . . . a lot! For me, well, not exactly my cup of tea. Let me explain. Those who know me are aware I am not a shy person . . . to say the least! I tend to become a little animated when I talk about something in which I feel passionate. Our group (about 6 couples and 5 singles) was a bit on the not-so-animated-quiet-unless-forced-to-talk side. It took everything in me to not be the one talking or answering the leader's questions when everyone stared mutely. Grant it, there were others participating. And they are all good people I know or have seen at Mass. But not the most interactive crowd. The reason I bring all of this up is one of my strengths was WOO (win others over). Oh, and Positivity (Jay was a little perplexed when I got this strength and he didn't!). Because I am a WOO, it is quite difficult when I introduce the Volumes to people and they smile politely or take a book and who knows where it ends up. But one thing this rescue mission has done for me over the years since I first saw Anne a lay apostle speak is to always be the invitation to Jesus. And, walk away knowing everything is in His capable hands when the receiving party is not jumping for joy they have been handed a life-changing book. Quite frankly, I'm thrilled Jesus wants the job of conversion! I wouldn't get much accomplished if it were up to me! So I am trying to calm down the WOO in me. But I am thankful for it as it drives me to spread the Good News through my writing and connections. Jay and I were talking this morning about how wonderful the world would be if EVERYONE was a lay apostle . . .  

In todays Gospel (Luke 9:1-6), Jesus offers us His advice of planting the seed and walking away:

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.” Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

In Volume One, Jesus reminds us where our strength lies:

"Focus your strength and energy on serving Me in your day. Before you speak, ask yourself if what you are going to say is of value. Before you offer an opinion, be certain you have given this thought consideration. Do not lead others astray, as I am warning you not to be led astray. Silence is necessary now, as we have said. Useless conversations add to the constant din of noise that leaves the spirit no peace. You will not understand what I need from you, dear children, unless you are quiet and thoughtful. Also, this quietness encourages My Spirit to rest within you, and you will feel that presence. You will then speak with authority and correctness. And you will begin to offer opinions and counsel that have value and direction, instead of merely adding to the noise of this present world. Be at peace now, in all of your troubles. I want My children to move through their days with confidence, even if they are carrying crosses for Me. The heavier the cross, dear ones, the closer I will be. Do not fear. You will not be left in the wilderness. I call My own to Me and My own know Me." 

Lay apostles, we are called to be representatives of His Light on earth. What are your strengths and how are you using them? If you are blessed with wealth, are you using your money to spread the Volumes/the Good News/feed the poor? Or, is it a bigger house, fancier car, and designer clothes you strive for? Whatever your strengths, use them all for His Glory. When you do, watch the graces pour in. We have multiple opportunities every day to let others see Christ in us. How are you going to use your strengths today to make someone see Jesus in your eyes with a kind smile or words of love and encouragement? 

Thank you, Lord, for the strengths You have given me. Please help me to use them in the best possible way, for Your Glory, not mine.

God bless,


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