I took this post over to Segullah, since it was a bit quiet there (and here) today.
As I mentioned earlier, I became a new fan of Kathie Lee Gifford at the American Mother's Convention. I've yet to see her on TV, but she impressed me with her faith and devoted parenting.
When she was offered her current position on the Today Show, she felt God say, "You can take the job, but put me first."
"Of course," she thought, "I always put God first."
"No." came the reply, "put me FIRST."
So, every morning she wakes up early and devotes a full hour to prayer and scripture study. An hour. I talk the talk about praying and reading, but I am not walking the walk for an hour a day. I think it would be tempting for someone so honored and admired the world, to let worship of God slide...to coast along on the praise of man. But she turns humbly to God every day and keeps a prayer in her heart every moment.
With extraordinary enthusiasm, she related her recent trip to Israel with Ray VanderLaan, a Christian minister and scholar of Jewish scripture, customs and culture. His site Follow the Rabbi (and I just noticed Kathie Lee on the home page) holds a wealth of information about the Holy Land, Jewish history and following the greatest Rabbi of all-- Jesus Christ.
She told of standing on Tel Azekah where David fought the giant Philestine warrior, Goliath. Under the blazing Middle Eastern sun, Ray guided the group to the dusty, dry riverbed and asked everyone to choose as stone, just as David chose five smooth stones to place in his pouch before facing the giant in battle.
"The miracle of David and Goliath," said Ray (and I'm paraphrasing here), "is not David's marksmanship. It's David's faith coming to the battle field when he was needed."
"David spent his entire youth shooting stones from his sling," Ray explained, "he'd killed lions and bears. He was well-practiced. God made him for throwing stones. Slinging the stone was easy; volunteering to stand before the giant when everyone around him scoffed took incredible faith."
"Where are you going to throw your stone?" Ray asked, "Where will you throw your stone?"
Each of us has been prepared for something God wants us to do. He needs us to throw our stones at the right place and the right time. The key is listening to God's will and standing up when we are needed. Sometimes it's harder to stand up to our friends than our enemies.
What is your stone? What is mine? I believe my largest stone is my mothering, I am sending good honest people out into the world. I'm vigilant about keeping all that is lewd and crude out of our home and gathering in good books and music and faith in God. My writing and photography and videos are smaller stones, but ones I hope to use to glorify God. Some of you are incredibly gifted writers, bakers, crafters, athletes. Every talent can be used for good.
One of my favorite stories from Erik's mission comes a woman throwing an unusual stone. Entrance into Russia, especially for Christian missionaries, was extremely limited in the 1980s, but Nellie Jäkkö's prowess as an international tennis champion earned her a three-year unlimited visa into Russia. Each week, Nellie and her husband traveled from Lapeenranta, Finland to Vyborg, Russia carrying Bibles and other religious literature. The border guards, upon hearing of her ping pong skills arranged a tournament where she schooled each officer in turn. After his defeat, one officer gave her the Soviet pin from his hat as a sign of respect. Nellie reciprocated with a Book of Mormon which he happily accepted.
Who would guess ping pong would open the doors into Russia? But God is mighty and great, He can use any ability for good. We simply need to be ourselves, to develop skills in the home or the pasture, in the gym or the studio. And then, when God calls, be ready to stand up, face the mocking crowds and throw your stone.
Where will you throw your stone?