THE CHAMPION WITHIN By Lori A Alicea

In all of us is a Champion Within.

A champion aspiring gold, setting their sights to receive the prize.

We are all born a champion.
No matter our age;
the young, the old,
and middle age,
we are born a champion and retain champion status for a lifetime.
USE Brystol baby on barsYour champion is in there.

You know what I’m talking about. That gnawing on the inside keeping you up at night, nagging and bothering you to unveil those gifts and talents you were given upon your birth announcement.

A quiet confidence that dares to tell the world from the highest mountain,

“I was born for this!”

And you were.

We are all born for greatness, born to do great things for a big God who has a great big plan for our life.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
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While talents are a gift from God, God does demand a response from our talents.

Leo Buscaglia is quoted as saying:

“Your talent is God’s gift to you.
What you do with it is your gift back to God.”

 Along the highways and byways of our life’s tour, God is booking opportunities and preparing stages for our performances. We must diligently study and practice over and over to show ourselves approved during rehearsal.  But when that curtain rises and the audience applause begs for our appearance, we must be ready when God calls us to take our stage.

As John Wooden warns us:
“When opportunity comes, it is too late to prepare.”

As an athlete trains, we too must work the muscles of our talents, submitting our bodies to discipline and self-control, toiling in the gym for hours so the athlete emerges a Champion Within.

Day in and day out, wherever we are, we enlist our talents to the bootcamps of training.

God looks and watches for those esteemed as His faithful in secret.

God rewards and increases those talents we display and frame in our excellence.

When the day finally comes and God calls us to take our stage for His glory,
USE THIS Brystol on matAll of those hours of discipline and diligence will reward a prize
to the
Champion Within.

Our talents and gifts are given to us by God, to be used for God in the plan he has prepared for our lives.

As parents teaching their children, we are to:

Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6 AMP

A word of wisdom for ourselves and our children using their abilities and talents for God’s Kingdom Stage,

 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:14 NIV

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But Such As I Have, GIVE I THEE! By: Lori A Alicea

Leo Buscaglia once quoted: “Your talent is God’s gift to you.
What you do with it is your gift back to God.”

We’ve all been blessed with a gift to serve others.  (1 Peter 4:10)

Singing.  Dancing.  Writing.  Preaching.  Building.  Creating.  Serving.
Running.  Painting.  Teaching.  Caring.  Praying.
Believing.  Defending.  Administrating.  Cleaning.

The list is as long as the imagination.

Our talents are special, unique, and perfectly fitted for the call on our life.  Our toolbox of talent is packed complete, well thought out by God when he prepared the plans for us in the beginning before we were ever born.

Upon inspection and in comparison to other toolboxes of talent though, some might believe their gifts were shortchanged or “not good enough” to be used to by God to make a difference; myself included at times.

Moses didn’t feel eloquent of speech or able to lead the enslaved children of Israel out of Egypt when God confronted him at the burning bush.  (Exodus 4:10)

The disciples panicked when Jesus asked them to feed the multitude of five thousand people.  (Matthew 14:16)

The widowed woman lacked in her faith fearing the loss of her sons to pay her deceased husband’s debts.  (2 Kings 4:1)

Jesus’ own mother feared hospitality embarrassment as they ran out of wine at the wedding they attended.  (John 2:3)

Though at times the glasses we see our gifts and talents through as inadequate, we are reminded that all gifts from above are good and perfect, therefore, we are without excuse to leave our talents dormant.  (James 1:17)

As far as eyes can see to the east and the west, lost and hurting people are everywhere.  We are the hands and feet God puts into place to reach a world in need of love and a Savior.

To make a difference, we need to invite God to be the difference in our talents.  He always asks the question like he did with Moses,

“What’s in your hand?”

We all have something in our hand to offer.

Like Peter said to the crippled beggar:
“Silver and gold have I none;
but such as I have give I thee:
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.  Acts 3:6 (KJV)

Peter didn’t have money in his hand, yet gave his faith in the name of Jesus so the beggar could walk.

Moses performed miraculous signs with the staff in his hand and his brother Aaron would be the mouthpiece God spoke through as they led the Israelite’s to the Promised Land.  (Exodus 4:14-17)

Jesus multiplied the small lunch of five loaves and two fish from the disciple’s hands to feed the crowd with, having twelve baskets left over.  (Matthew 14:17-21)

The widowed woman’s small amount of oil was multiplied into the many jars she gathered from her neighbors, enough to pay her creditors and live the remainder of her life with.  (2 Kings 4:2-7)

Jesus’ own mother had her servant’s present six stone water jars of water as Jesus miraculously turned this water into wine for the wedding.  (John 2:5-10)

GOD WANTS TO USE US.
He has equipped us with gifts and talents
that will make room for us before great men.
(Proverbs 18:16)

To make a difference, Jesus must be the difference.

When we present our talents, our pitchers of water,

USE THIS WHITE VASE 1

Be amazed what God does through us,
as Jesus longs to do a miracle,

turning our water into wine.

USE THIS PINK VASE 3

The song of our heart should be as the words
written by Dewitt Jones and Ron Kenoly:

If You can use anything Lord
You can use me
If You can use anything Lord
You can use me
Take my hands, Lord
And my feet
Touch my heart, Lord
And speak through me
If You can use anything Lord
You can use me.

USE THIS PINK VASE ALONE

JESUS WILL POUR YOU OUT A MIRACLE
By Lori A Alicea

Is there a song you wish to sing?
Or instrument to play?
Is there a dance you long perform?
Or race to run today?

Is there a canvas blank to paint?
Or sermon page to preach?
A kitchen recipe prepare?
Or classroom lesson teach?

If so, but hesitate because,
Your gift it seems too small.
And insignificant to make,
A difference at all.

Present your gift, a waters cup,
The gift that first was Mine.
With God a miracle occurs,
He’ll pour you out as wine.