Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Using The Gifts That God Gives You

This story makes a great illustration or followup for Laurel Wreath's experience yesterday.

A minister concluded that his church was getting into serious financial trouble. While checking the church storeroom, he discovered several cartons of new Bibles that had never been opened and distributed. So at his Sunday sermon, he asked for three volunteersfrom the congregation who would be willing to sell the Bibles door-to-door for $10 each to raise the desperately needed money for the church. Peter, Paul and Louie all raised their hands to volunteer for the task.

The minister knew that Peter and Paul earned their living as salesmen and were likely capable of selling some Bibles. But he had serious doubts about Louie who was a local farmer, who had always kept to himself because he was embarrassed by his speech impediment. PoorLouie stuttered badly. But, not wanting to discourage Louie, the minister decided to let him try anyway. He sent the three of them awaywith the back seat of their cars stacked with Bibles. He asked them to meet with him and report the results of their door-to-door selling efforts the following Sunday.

Anxious to find out how successful they were, the minister immediately asked Peter, "Well, Peter, how did you make out selling our Bibles last week?"

Proudly handing the reverend an envelope, Peter replied, "Using my sales prowess, I was able to sell 20 Bibles, and here's the $200 I collected on behalf of the church."

"Fine job,Peter!" the minister said, vigorously shaking his hand "You are indeed a fine salesman and the church is indebted to you."

Turning to Paul, "And Paul, how many Bibles did you sell for the church last week?"

Paul, smiling and sticking out his chest,confidently replied, "I am a professional salesman. I sold 28 Bibles on behalf of the church, and here's $280 I collected."

The minister responded, "That's absolutely splendid, Paul. You are truly a professional salesman and the church is also indebted to you."

Apprehensively, the minister turned to Louie and said, "And Louie, did you manage to sell any Bibles last week?"

Louie silently offered theminister a large envelope. The reverend opened it and counted the contents. "What is this?" the minister exclaimed. "Louie, there's $3,200 in here! Are you suggesting that you sold 320 Bibles for the church, door-to-door, in just one week?"Louie just nodded.

"That's impossible!" both Peter and Paul said in unison. "We are professional salesmen, yet you claim to have sold 10 times as many Bibles as we could."

"Yes, this does seem unlikely," the minister agreed. "I thinkyou'd better explain how you managed to accomplish this, Louie."

Louie shrugged. "I-I re-re-really do-do-don't kn-kn-know f-f-f-forsh-sh-sh-sure," he stammered.

Impatiently, Peter interrupted. "For crying out loud, Louie, just tell us what you said to them when they answered the door!"

"A-a-a-all I-I-I- s-s-said wa-wa-was," Louie replied,"w-w-w-w-would y-y-y-you l-l-l-like t-t-to b-b-b-buy th-th-th-this B-B-B-B-Bible f-f-for t-t-ten b-b-b-bucks, o-o-or wo-wo-would yo-you j-j-j-just l-l-like m-m-me t-t-to st-st-stand h-h-here and r-r-r-read itt-t-to y-y-you?

Everyone has talents. It's how we choose to use them that counts.

Even in the feminine products aisle.

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