Posts Tagged ‘service’

Spiritual Gifts

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

A while back, I competed a spiritual gifts questionnaire and I was intrigued not only by the results but more so by my initial reaction to them.  The top three – exhortation, hospitality and mercy – are not what I would have guessed, or rather, are words/gifts that I haven’t really considered in relation to myself before.  Following these are two same-scored sets of four seemingly related gifts – wisdom, knowledge, discernment & service and then pastoral, evangelical, faith & leadership.

Through reflection and study, I have become more familiar and comfortable with each of these and how it plays out in my life.  As a simple example of this, I have come to see that hospitality is alive in my love of opening our home and enjoying shared meals and good fellowship with engaging company.  However, as the word exhortation is not so common these days, I felt a little research was required to deepening my understanding of my highest-ranking gift.

I found that ‘the word “exhortation” comes from the Greek word PARAKALEO which means to “appeal to, urge, exhort, or to encourage” someone to take a certain action. If we try to motivate someone to be kind to another person, we are exhorting him or her to action. Exhortation is something that pastors, teachers, and at times every Christian should do’.

Digging a little deeper, reading on the gift of exhortation in William McRae’s The Dynamics of Spiritual Gifts, I see this is a prospective and a retrospective gift – in providing exhortation and consolation  respectively – helping others to a position where they might say ‘I can see that’ or ‘I can do that’.  This had me laughing, for all the above attributes are exactly what people look for in a coach.   As some who was a business and life coach long before I came to Christ, the fact that it was predestined was quite God moment for me!

I was very surprised to discover that I was disappointed that pastoral, evangelical, faith and leadership didn’t appear higher in my chart.  I’m not quite sure what to make of that but I suspect it has to do with being in a leadership role in my job and my naturally assuming this would be apparent in my primary gifts.  That said, I am humbled that I share a gift with someone like Barnabas, a ’Son of Encouragement’ who provided counsel and guidance for both Paul and John Mark and who, along with other exhorters, ‘ministered to aching hearts and tired souls’.

All this resonates with me and speaks to the things I feel God is exhorting me to consider doing with my life.

Reunited and it feels so good

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Some sixteen hours ago, in a fizzle of over-bright LEDs, my old wireless router and DSL modem died and our house was plunged back into the dark, unconnected days of the last century.  After struggling through an evening of ‘just’ TV movies, handheld games and books, I went out this morning and snagged a new modem/router combo from a very nice guy at Noel Leeming.  After a little tweaking of our new Linksys Cisco WAG160N and the requisite configuring of XP on the family PC, Xandros on the Asus eeepc, OS X 10.5 on the iMac and Settings on the Touch, we’re digitally reunited with the rest of the world again.

I’m not in the habit of name-checking stores but I am doing so here because I received great customer service and was offered a great price.  Even though a neighbouring branch of NZ’s leading electronics retailer had the same unit in stock at $50 less, I will no longer use that particular branch of the chain following a really nasty customer service experience during a visit some months back.  When I saw the unit was $50 more in Noel Leeming, I asked the guy serving me whether they could match the price of the other store as I preferred to give him my business.  Without hesitation, he agreed and the sale was made.

While I’m aware that price-matching is common practice and stores monitor each other’s price points, it was nice that they accepted my word on the price elsewhere and matched it without hesitation to seal the deal. However, it is a little depressing that I should feel this is an exception worthy of mention and that good customer service is not so common these days.