Fan Your Flame . . .
"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands." 2 Timothy 1:6 (NIV)
What is it about little fires (including . . . matches, campfires) that attract children's attention? The verse above reminded me of a day in elementary school (called: Grade School, back then); when, in the fall, some leaves had been raked into a pile and burned on the playground. At recess, the pile was still smoldering . . . and it seemed appropriate to stir it with a stick. When we did . . . giving it some air, it flamed up again. The next step? Run get some more leaves! In no time the janitor showed up and ran us off to the swings and teeter totters. We weren't hurting anyone or a threat to property; we were just enamored with a little fire.
The same verse above, in the Christian Standard Bible version, uses "rekindle" in place of "fan the flame" which may be more appropriate to those who have allowed their spiritual gifts to die down into embers. Those embers need to, and can, come alive again. That is easily accomplished by taking a deep breath and applying some effort.
In forestry, a "prescribed fire" is set under conditions whereby the fire can be contained, preparing the forest floor for a future seed catch or to reduce fuel to lower the risk of a future "wildfire" . . . one that is unintentionally set ablaze and often with a devastating outcome. Our faith actions of visits, small groups, and outings are the "prescribed fire" version like a warm, inviting camp fire that attracts others to enjoy an atmosphere of camaraderie and, on a cool evening, a comfort from the cold. In this atmosphere, conversations come easily and friendship bonds are made that opens doors to many more gatherings along with appropriate discussions and testimonies of our faith.
"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds." Psalm 9:1 (NIV)
Professor of Forestry, (Ret.), Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana
Writer, OPEN WINDOWS; Deacon--FBC, Ruston; Mission Work: Mexico
eThoughts Team--Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. XIII, No.07-15RN -- Archived
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher
Scripture marked (NIV) is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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