Thursday, December 4, 2014

Day 338- An Opp First

I was in the town of Opp today visiting a friend in the hospital.  As I was driving through town, I saw a sign over a building that read, "Opp Cultural Arts Center." This is a place I had never noticed before and my "first" alarm went off.  I went to the Opp Cultural Arts Center for my "first" today.

This is not the first time I've been to a cultural event in Opp.  Several years ago I went to the Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo.  For those of you who do not live in Covington County, Alabama, that is not a joke.  Around the first weekend of March every year, there is a Rattlesnake Rodeo in Opp and they have real rattlesnakes.  We even got to see a rattlesnake race when we went. We did not get to eat any rattlesnake because some people had prohibited them from cooking any in order to protect the snakes.  Who protects rattlesnakes?? I would stink at that job.  The Rattlesnake Rodeo was an interesting cultural event for us.

When I went in to the Opp Cultural Arts Center today, I was relieved to see there were no rattlesnakes there.  It was mostly art.  They were decorating for Christmas so I did not pick the ideal time to visit.  However, they had some art up to look at.  It is refreshing to see the talents that local people have that you would never know without a place like this.  I have zero art talent and when I see art I'm always amazed at how talented some people are. There were some nice paintings, photography, and pencil drawings. The nature photography and art grabbed my attention the most. I love nature scenes.  There was also a pencil drawing of Billy Graham that I found fascinating.  The artist captured him in what looked like a posture of prayer which I thought was so appropriate.  It was amazing to me that someone capture his likeness so closely with pencils.  I enjoyed my cultural "first" in Opp today.

Speaking of culture, tonight was the Andalusia Christmas parade

So, walking alongside a float with a cell phone does not produce the best picture of my daughter ever taken

It is interesting how God gifts us in very different ways. If I had to draw or paint something, I'd be in big trouble.  Some people are just naturally gifted that way.  Others are gifted things like music, organization, building, repair work, speaking, writing, and the list goes on.  The beautiful thing is that no matter what are our talents and gifts are, we can use them for the glory of God.  Every ability and talent is a gift from God and we are fulfilled by using them for His glory.  People can get a glimpse of the character of God when we use the abilities and gifts He's given us for Him.

I read recently where one man saw a picture painted by someone that depicted the return home of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15.  The picture spoke very powerfully to him. He thought about it often. He was eventually able to visit the museum where the original painting was and he was able to spend several hours staring at the painting.  God spoke powerfully to him through that painting and it affected his life in some pretty powerful ways.

We don't know how or what God might use to speak powerfully to us.  Let's all stay open to God and use whatever gifts and abilities we have to honor Him.  The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:7 (NLT), "A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other."  God has gifted us where we can help each other get a glimpse of something about God: His beauty, greatness, love, grace, truth, etc.  That is a high and noble calling.

Wanting to shine the light on Jesus in the abundant life,

3 things I thank God for today
1. Seeing children smile
2. Spiritual gifts
3. Glimpses of God in our world

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