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What's keeping you from using your gifts?

Maybe you were discouraged from creative pursuits as a child. Maybe you were directed toward a specific career or life mission that wasn't necessarily yours. Maybe, the idea of having an end goal is a concept so foreign that you never considered anything other than what you need to do to get through each day. Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, by not using the gifts that God has given you, you are missing out on opportunities to fulfill your God-given purpose here.

The authors who come to HGBM are all pursuing their purpose by using the stories and experiences that God has provided for them. They are sharing the things that He has put on their hearts to share. And they submit their words and pictures to us in hopes that we can help them get the stories out to the people that need to hear them. And we make those stories available in an effort to help others pursue their faith and purpose. We hope to inspire, educate, and empower others to step up and share their experiences so that we can all benefit from each other's experience.

One of the biggest lessons I learned by joining Bible studies at church was that by sharing what had happened in my life, I formed deeper connections to my fellow Christians. I had gone through so much and was certain that I was the only one who felt the way I felt, but I was wrong. Others had known the same pain and others had gone through the same struggles. If I had never been willing to step forward and speak up, I would have languished in that isolation and never understood why God had allowed those trials. Instead, today I have over 60 authors who have shared over 125 stories and many of them have new stories on the way. We've connected to so many people who needed to hear these words and apply God's word to their experiences. And I'm so glad that we didn't keep it to ourselves!

This week's feature is all about using your gifts. In 2 Kings 4, we hear the story of the widow and her sons. She is in debt and she is trying to figure out how to pay her bills. Elisha, the prophet, asks her what she has in the house and she responds, "Nothing. Only a little bit of oil." He then tells her to find every empty container she can find and bring it to him. Empty jugs, jars, etc. So, she goes off in search of empty containers. She returns and he tells her to take them into her house and shut the door and to begin filling the jars with the oil that she has. To her surprise, she is able to fill each and every one and to sell the oil to pay off her debt. A most inspiring story for a single parent who is struggling to make ends meet. Or for any person who finds that they don't seem to have enough to do all that they need to do. The woman's gift, was undoubtedly her faith that God would do as He said He would do, but it was dependent upon her obedience when He asked her to use what He had already given her. Not conditional, just as a matter of course.

Our featured author, Amy Land decided that she wanted to use what was available to her to create stories to make her son happy. And so, she started writing The Happy Little Bear. Her first book, simply titled The Happy Little Bear, was sent to HGBM in hopes of getting a publishing contract. Which, it did. She was paired with an illustrator and from there, she began writing more and more stories until finally, she had eleven awesome children's books all about a Happy Little Bear and his family. A heartwarming story born out of love for her son. You can get all of the Happy Little Bear books in the HGBM Shop or on Amazon. Amy tries to share her stories with others whenever possible, but it was taking the very first, most important step that mattered. By writing and sharing, she was obedient and God gifted her with many adorable stories that she has been able to share with the world. Enjoy the Happy Little Bear today! You can get the entire bundle for just $100 at the HGBM Shop.

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