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“Are You A Patter?” 2 Timothy 4:11 Key verse(s) 11:“Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.”


Everyone seems to have a purpose; but what is mine? Do you sometimes wonder just what your calling in life is? For some it seems pretty obvious. Don’t you just envy those people who because of their strong personalities and unbounded wisdom make such wonderful leaders? They’re able to grasp just about any situation in life, determine what is needed, collect a team and then push forward to the goal, never looking back. Or, you may know someone who is really good with verbal skills. They can get up in front of a group and tell a story that might make people laugh or even shed a tear that they didn’t even know was there. Aren’t those just amazing people? Their spiritual gifts seem pretty obvious to us all.


For some reason, God has chosen to give some gifts that are easily discovered and revealed and to others not. And, in some instances, He has hidden the gifts to subtly that even the person who has been so blessed does not even know the gift. If you don’t think that you are so blessed, take a moment to get a better understanding of how you might be affecting people right now and, perhaps, don’t even know it.



In a cartoon some years ago a little guy was taking heat from his sister and friends for a newly found “calling”––patting little birds on the head. The distressed birds would approach, lower their little feathered pates to be patted, sigh deeply, and walk away satisfied. It brought him no end of fulfillment––in spite of the teasing he took from others. “What’s wrong with patting birds on the head?” he wanted to know. “What’s wrong with it?” his embarrassed friends replied. “No one else does it!”


If your niche is encouraging, please don’t stop. If it is embracing, demonstrating warmth, compassion, and mercy to feathers that have been ruffled by offense and bruised by adversity, for goodness’ sake, keep stroking. Don’t quit, whatever you do. If God made you a “patter,” then keep on patting to the glory of God. (Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations and Quotes, page 179)


Life is full of people who do great things as well as people who do small things. The fact that your gift might never make the headlines of your local newspaper is of little consequence to God. John Mark, the young man in the Bible that God sent along on several mission journeys with the apostle Paul, had a gift. It was not perhaps the preaching skills of Paul or the evangelistic skills of Peter. Nevertheless, his gift, however insignificant in the eyes of men, was important in the life of Paul. John Mark provided Paul encouragement and comfort at a time when he needed it. Do you know someone today who could use a kind word, a simple pat on the head? If so, don’t waste a minute in using the gift God has given you and every Christian. “For goodness’ sake, keep stroking!”

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