THIS STILL LIFE fruit bowl from a few years back is my first (and last) attempt at such Still Life Oil painting. It was a good exercise for me as a hobby painter, but I worked from a photograph. That’s not the best way to do Still Life. Actually, I rather work with landscapes, physical structures or animals.
I CHOSE THIS Oil to accompany our Thought for the week—S.H.A.P.E. In the fruit bowl each kind of fruit has a unique shape and each piece of each kind has unique shape. Apples are different from oranges and no two apples or oranges are the same. Each has a shape.
AS YOU MAY HAVE guessed from quotes in the last couple of blogs, I am finishing a book by Rick Warren I first read several years ago–The Purpose Driven Live published in 2002 and made the New York Times Bestseller status. Today’s Thought is an acrostic taken from his book. I’ll get to that.
Consider Some Statistics
FIRST CONSIDER some statistics I came across:
80% of what you and I do essentially anyone can do—watch TV, eat a meal, sitting around or surfing the internet. Much of our lives are made up of pretty ordinary activities.
15% of what you do anyone with some level of training can do—your work or skill or hobby.
5% only you can do. Husbands, only you can be the husband you are to your wife. No one else can do that for you. Moms, only you can be the mom you are to your children. No one can be that for you. One might consider it nice if we could pay someone to exercise for us. No. Only I can do that for myself. And, no one else can be what God uniquely created me for. I (We) need to discover our God given unique SHAPE. It is given for a purpose, an assignment.
WHENEVER GOD GIVES us an assignment, he always equips us with what we need to accomplish it. This custom combination of capabilities is called your SHAPE:
SPRITUAL GIFTS: You can’t earn your spiritual gifts or deserve them—that’s why they are called gifts! They are an expression of “God’s grace to you “Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us.” Ephesians 4:7 (CEV)…Neither do you get to choose which gifts you would like to have; God determines that. Paul explained “It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decided which gifts each person should have.” 1 Corinthians 12:11 (NLT)… Your Spiritual Gifts were not given for your own benefit but for the benefit of others, just as other people were given gifts for your benefit.
HEART: The Bible uses the term heart to describe the bundle of desires, interests, ambitions, dreams, and affections you have. Your heart represents the source of all your motivations—what you love to do and what you care about most. Even today we still use the word in this way when we say, “I love you with all my heart.” … The Bible says, “As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the person.” Proverbs 27:19 (NLT)…Your heart reveals the real you—what you truly are, not what others think you are or what circumstances force you to be… How do you know when you are serving God from your heart? The first telltale sign is enthusiasm when you do what you love to do. The second characteristic of serving God from your heart is effectiveness. You get good at it.
ABILITIES: Your abilities are the natural talents you were born with. Some people have a natural ability with words: They came out of the womb talking! Other people have natural athletic abilities, excelling in physical coordination. Still others are good at mathematics or music or mechanics. All our abilities come from God…Even abilities used to sin are God-given; they are just being misused or abused… The Bible says, “God as given each of us the ability to do certain things well” Romans 12:6a (NLT)…What I am able to do, God wants me to do.
PERSONALITY: We don’ realize how truly unique each of us is… DNA molecules can unite in an infinite number of ways. The number is 10 to the 2,400,000,000th power. That number is the likelihood you will ever find someone just like you…It is obvious God likes variety—just look around you. God made introverts and extroverts. He made people who love routine and those who love variety. He made some people “thinkers” and other people “feelers”… The Bible says, “God works through different people and in different ways, but it is the same God who achieves his purpose through them all. 1 Corinthians 12:6 (PH).
EXPERIENCES: You have been shaped by your experiences in life, most of which were beyond your control. God allowed them for his purpose of molding you—Romans 8:28, 29…In determining your shape for serving God, you should examine at least six kinds of experiences from your past:
- Family experiences: What did you learn growing up in your family?
- Educational experiences: What were your favorite subjects in school?
- Vocational experiences: What jobs have you been most effective in and enjoyed most?
- Spiritual experiences: What have been your most meaningful times with God?
- Ministry experiences: How have you served God in the past?
- Painful experiences: What problems, hurts, thorns, and trials have you learned from?”
The Choice I Made
BECAUSE EVERYONE is busy, I try to keep this weekly blog under a limited number of words. This week I had to either go over my word limit or split the topic in two parts. I chose to use the space necessary to summarize and give you the option of digging deeper as you like. The book is a good read. Read one short chapter per day for 40 Days.
ALSO, YOU MAY want to check out this free test and other related materials for determining your SHAPE! You are worth it!
 The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren, p. 236ff