Have you ever heard the saying, "the best gifts come in the smallest packages?"
Well, I received a gift today from my parents that stirred my inner most being. Not only was I moved by the meaning of the gift, but it's a very relevant and timely gift as I've been looking forward to the new year with the desire to serve others more and more.
I usually don't talk about meaningful, intimate gifts I receive but felt like I wanted to share this with you in hopes to inspire you to kick off the new year with confidence in who you are and where you're at right now.
The gift was a 3" clay pot wrapped in packaging that says "Shaped to Serve".
Now, my intention of this post isn't to give you a 2 minute sermon, but rather to share with you relevant, fresh and empowering thoughts to help you get a handle on this wonderful new year.
A flood of thoughts went through my mind when I held my new clay pot. Here's a few….perhaps you can relate.
I was reminded of Isaiah 64:8 found in the Bible that says; "O Lord, you are our Father, we are the clay, you are the potter, we are all the work of your hand."
We should be glad to know that where we are today, regardless of how bleak or beautiful our situation is, that we are all on a journey which changes as we go through seasons of our lives. I for one and am glad God is not finished with me yet!
I was reminded that just as a potter carefully sculpts his clay, often times, adding pressure to certain parts of it as the potter's wheel spins to give it a unique one of a kind look and personality, we need to be mindful of how change and being uncomfortable helps us to grow.
It's important to love and accept ourselves for who we are in the here and now and continually seek "a better us" through serving others, personal development and inner growth and being authentic.
A good book I'm re-reading for about the 10th time is called "Thinking for a Change", by John C. Maxwell. Reading basic beginning 'how to think' books are good to go back to once in awhile… just like professional athletes continues to practice the basics in order to do the extraordinary.
So you may want to pick up a copy and start molding the inner self to become that which you know you deserve to be.
I was reminded that the greatest leaders and influencers are the greatest servants. I have a heart to serve others, to help others and to love others unconditionally. We are all beautiful as human beings and have value, even with our little quirks that make us uniquely who we are.
Along with my little clay pot was a pamphlet containing seven prayers we can pray asking God to shape our lives.
Day 1: Shaped by the Word (The Bible)… God teaches us how to use words to create our lives through His Word. This is just one of many principles of living a prosperous, wonderful life. It's one of the reasons I've been promoting Solomon CEO (which closes Friday, Jan 7th at 10:30 pm EST). If you haven't considered it, I highly recommend you do. Discover how King Solomon in the Bible came to be the richest man on earth through God's wisdom for wealth, balance and love. Business principles are examined and explained.
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Day 2: Shaped to Receive Inheritance: We have salvation through Jesus… the greatest gift. But also we receive the inheritance of a relationship with Christ which gives us joy in serving others.
Day 3: Shaped by Mercy: We all fall short every day and it's comforting to know we are forgiven allowing us to show kindness and mercy to others, and to shape our commitment to speak and act in kindness and in courage always.
Day 4: Shaped by our Witness: I loved this because I hear business partners and those seeking a business often say, "I'm not good enough, I don't know enough, I'm not this or that…." Well, here's what Shaped by our Witness says about that:
"Lord, not all of us have the temperament, the talents or the training to teach. Use those who are not gifted as teachers to serve and give of themselves that which they do know. Keep us always ready to speak of the hope at work in us, as that hope continually shapes us for service." And again…. being a great leader is about being a great servant.
Day 5: Shaped in Humility: This spoke to me because it relates to cowering to fear and not going and doing that which we are called to do. I truly believe that God plants seeds of entrepreneurship in the lives of many…. yet many who carry the seed to become great entrepreneurs don't follow through. Rather they take the easy way out and quit or never get started because they fear everything about it bathed in self doubt and lack of confidence.
Day 6: Shaped to Serve: Servant does not mean slave. Servanthood is about giving of yourself to others so that they can have a better life, be more enriched, be blessed by your touch, your words and genuine self.
Day 7: Shaped for Courage This is a prayer that asks God to give me courage to seize the baton he's passed to me, despite any inadequacies or past failures. It's asking for His help to be bold and and trust Him.
I've always believed that God would never give someone a desire for entrepreneurship and not equip them with all the parts to see it through. It's up to us however, to use what God gives us to grow and blossom into our own.
I hope that I've given you some things to think about as you begin your 2011 walk.
What will be different so that things begin to fall in your favor?
What will you accomplish this year that you've been afraid to explore in the past?
What will your clay pot look like this time next year?
I'd love to hear from you regarding your thoughts and ideas.
Please leave me a comment and share it with friends. Thanks.