Monday, November 7, 2011

Living & Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to Soli Deo Gloria.  This is a place to share what is on your mind.  It is a place where vulnerability is accepted, where heart cries are honored, where struggles are heard.  It is a place where we are unconcerned with the quality of your words, but about the state of your heart.  We are a community of women that seek to encourage, support, love each other with our words.  There is laughter.  There are tears.  There is everything in between.  No matter where you are, who you are, where you have been, I want you to know that you are in the fold and that as you leave your link, you are prayed for.  Desire more information?  Please click here for the full scoop.
photo source
Last Friday night was date night and I was armed with a Groupon for a local pub that featured live music.  (Aren't date nights better when they are cheap??).  The band started playing to the eight of us in the room and I was struck by how when the applause started one of the singers gave out this most genuine, "Thank you."  It seemed to matter little how many of us were listening, only that we were.  The band was completely swept up in the music, in the art of performing.  They knew they were small time -- they are a group of school teachers, hence their name, The Detentions -- but it didn't matter.  Their zest for singing about eating "deep-fried grub" and heading out to "Nassau town, watch the pirate sun go down," was simply life-giving.  

There is something about living into one's calling that sets people's hearts aflutter.  

These guys, up on the stage, they were using inherent gifts.  Sure, they weren't singing to Jesus, but they were singing, and in that, they found happiness.  They enjoyed what they were doing and as I looked out into the audience (there were only eight, so it didn't take long), we enjoyed the outpouring of this gift.  I saw girlfriends snuggle closer to their boyfriends.  I saw grown women get a little weak in the knees when the band took her request.  I myself backed my chair up next to my husband's and laid my head on his shoulder.

As the band played,  I had a little conversation with God about callings and such.  I thought about how even though I still get nervous when I'm about to start speaking, I still wonder how I'm ever going to pull the next talk together, I sometimes still ask God if I still really "have to..."  And yet, there are moments when I'm studying, when I'm planning, when I'm teaching, that I reach this high-like state, where no matter what the circumstances, I touch and feel and receive joy.  And remembering that feeling and carrying it so close to my heart, it gets me through the times when the ideas don't flow, when I stumble on my words, when it is Sunday night and I still don't know how this will all come together.  

He has equipped you.  He has equipped you with just enough so that you can do what He has called you to do and yet...still rely on Him to bring you through your own weaknesses and deficiencies.  I will be the first one to tell you that I cannot speak on my own. I am desperate for His help every single time I open my mouth in front of my class.  

No one is without His gifts.  No one.  You have them.  You.  Have.  Them.

Go use them.  

And remember, even if you stumble, your gifts are not your identity.  Whatever comes out of any encounter in which you use your gifts, who you are in Christ never changes.  You are still a new creation, a child of God, a branch of the True Vine, a temple of the Holy Spirit, a fellow heir with Christ.

SDG Community Builder:  Participate in the Soli Deo Gloria prayer list.  What's that you say?  I send out an email on Sunday to the group, asking for people to send me any prayer requests they have.  I compile them Monday afternoon and send out another email that has all the requests on it.  It has been amazing to see God work.  If you want to join, you can either email me your email address or just leave it in the comments at the end of this post.


  1. would love to be part of the prayer list.

  2. Jen Fergie-Ferg,

    Drat, I was trying for first and that Cindy beat me.

    Ok, off to bed. Will catch up on some reading later.

    Um, yes, it is 8:36. Feel free to make fun.

    I have no idea what your post is about, but I love the pic.

  3. oh my, amy is cracking me UP! I am still up at 8:42 AND read the post! gifts. yes. sometimes, every once in a while, i want to ignore them. but then, like you, when i experience people using theirs, it is so nice. and i am never sorry when i live into the callings.

  4. Unlike our friend, Amy...I did read your post. Lol (Sorry Amy. Couldn't resist). Your words are always refreshing, strengthening, lifegiving. Thank you for the reminder that He has given me just enough. Oh how often I forget...and stumble. Love your heart, friend.

  5. Great post, Jen. One of the speakers at Relevant talked about finding our sweet spot--the intersection between our skills and our passion. Living into our callings, finding our sweet spot, doesn't mean the work won't be hard. Work is work. But. It feels good, finding those glimpses of satisfaction and joy in finding what God put us on this earth to do.

  6. I have been thinking and writing about dreams or gifts. About using them. I just finished the dream giver. I read it about 10 years ago and picked it up again and read it again. I am so glad I did. God is using it in a whole new way. It is funny how years makes one hear and see things so differently.
    And I agree with you that the true mark of stepping into our calling is the presence of joy and peace and a knowing " this is what I'm meant to do"..xo;)

  7. I love...He gives us just enough...great post...thanks...

  8. I'm going to be like you when I grow up, Jen.

  9. Love this! When we use our gifts we are living the life for which we were created to live. Our passions, our gifts, our calling. This is who we are and when we are living it, we go from doing to BEING!
    Thanks for the encouragement to keep stepping out into our gifting, knowing we will find HIM there-

  10. Love this post, Jen. I feel so much joy when I'm writing. I know this is what I'm supposed to! Thanks for using your gifts for His glory. :)

  11. Still smiling from Amy...
    Such a comfort to remember that He has equipped us for works which He has prepared before for us to walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).

  12. i'm jealous of your talk with God at the pub... i love date nights and live bands and cheap and prayer. all good things. :) bless you.

  13. I'm convinced, Jen, we use our gifts just for Him...and for what He does to and through us when we do. Whether anyone else hears and reads, when I write for Him, He works in me.

    Blessings on your gifts, Jen!

  14. When I read Don and Katie Fortune Spiritual Gifts book and I realized that God gave me gifts, that many things I was trying to stamp out were just undeveloped gifts that needed positive nurturing - it opened my eyes to more of how God saw me:) Yes - discover your gifts, discover how beautiful God made you!

  15. I understand. We went to a concert of a classical quartet and I wept. It was so incredibly beautiful and the gifts of the musicians were so amazing, the exquisiteness of it all just fills my heart to overflowing and the excess runs down my cheeks. :)

  16. Thank you for your post -- it really spoke to my heart. My husband and I have a dance ministry, and I also write and sing Christian lyrics. Lately before each performance I feel a total emptying out, dying to self so He can fill me. It brings a sense of utter dependence on Him and peace knowing that His grace is sufficient and that His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
    Laurie Collett, Saved by Grace

  17. "There is something about living into one's calling that sets people's hearts aflutter." Amen! I was just reading a post from an artist that was saying exactly this! God gave us gifts and when we use them, esp if we use them for His glory, we are fulfilled! Soemtimes we are afraid to step out of the boat,thinking we will fail, but He enables! Thank you for sharing about your date night! I use groupon too!
    Patsy from

  18. Jen,
    this was balm to a heart that needed soothed right now, truly. i know we are called to homeschool our kiddos. two have special needs. just found out one has more than i realized. just feel like my world is spinning right now, and yet i know this is right where He would have me. and He has gifted me to do this. but it's still hard. and i often don't like it. and i would so love some prayer!
    could you add me to the e-mail prayer list? contact info:

  19. So many times I see people who are dissatisfied with the gifts God gave them and try to use a gift God gave another. Joy comes only when we are grateful for God's gift to us -- and show that gratitude by expanding and using it.

  20. Jen,

    God equips those that He calls. We all have a calling on our lives. He will make room for your gifts...


  21. Love this, Jen. Our theme verse from MOPS is 2 Timothy 1:7 from The Message: "God doesn't want us to be shy with HIS gifts but BOLD, LOVING, and SENSIBLE." I love that He says they are HIS gifts and the bold, loving, and sensible part is my new gauge. Love that you noticed this while rocking out - proof that Jesus will talk to us through ANYTHING.

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire

  22. Thanks, Jen. This makes me think of something Beth Moore said at a conference I was at over the weekend..."But what I have I give you." She had us fill in the blanks: "I have no..." and "but what I do have is..." (Going off of Acts 3:6)In other words, stop comparing ourselves, stop sighing in our mediacrecy, get focused and live a life of passion in Christ Jesus!

  23. "He has equipped you with just enough so that you can do what He has called you to do and yet...still rely on Him to bring you through your own weaknesses and deficiencies." This is so true, but yet so hard. Sometimes we forget that He has given us enough to get started and other times we forget that it's just enough and we still need His help. The key is we can do all things - through Christ. I love this, Jen!

  24. Perfect illustration and reminder! Hey add me to your prayer list - That is one of my callings: to be an intercessor!

  25. Love groupon... love this post... love the encouraging community that's gathered here! I wish there was a way we could all sit in on one of your classes- seriously!

  26. This was a lovely evening for the listeners and for the band and singers. What a great name for their group as they are all teachers who hold detention after school for those who are naughty.
    Thank you for sharing and for hosting this site.

  27. As always...thank you for the food for thought and heart!

  28. Thanks for the encouraging words Jen! I am at a hiccup in the road! Spoke volumes to me! Blessings!

  29. Great post, Jen. God never seems to call us to do the things we are comfortable at and the things that are "easy" Speaking in public and leading WBS is something I never thought I would do and yet...with God...He has other plans! Love the way He works!

  30. Girl now we are talking the same language.
    Loved our chat last week about gifts... It has just been swirling in this head of mine since we discussed it here...I have been posing questions to others about it... I let my sister read that post, You and I were discussing...
    Really good Jen.
    Loved today's....
    I think it's a message people need to hear...use your gifts.
    Bring it sista!
    But I have a I have been asking others... How do you distinguish what your gifts are?

  31. A great story in the context of such noteworthy Biblical Truth. I'm speaking to a group of girls this weekend about identity, so your last sentence really resonated with what God's been laying on my heart for them. Thanks for the confirmation!


  32. Jen just wanted to tell you i have missed linking up with you precious ladies.. life has been a rollercoaster for me.. got the chance to go to nepal which was glorious.. then got phone call from home: my very healthy dad recieved tests results friday that he had agressive bladder cancer. I flew home from nepal and we have been in hospital ever since. I covet the precious SDG communities prayers. My dad is having his bladder removed Saturday and they wil see then how far the agressive cancer has spread. Thankful that God is always good even in the midst. Lov yall
    Jenn Hand
    would you visit the carepages we set up for my dad and send him a note of encouragement?

  33. "No one is without His gifts. No one. You have them. You. Have. Them."

    I love this. I would say this to everyone who would listen.

    I've felt like I didn't have them, didn't know them, couldn't find them, but you're right--in the end, they are there. :)


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