Author: Brandy Gibson, Creative Director
The Parables of Jesus - Part 5
Growing up, I was competitive, especially with my brother. In my eyes, as my older sibling, he was more intelligent, more athletic, and more creative. He seemed to excel at anything he tried. Chad was especially gifted in math and science, taking AP courses in calculus and chemistry in high school. I wanted nothing more than to keep up with him, so I enrolled in AP courses in calculus and chemistry. Chad went to WVU, and so did I. He graduated magna cum laude, and I graduated summa cum laude—take that, Chad! To be fair, he dual majored in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and works at NASA, and I single majored with a BFA in Graphic Design and don’t send things into space. To-may-to, to-mah-to.
Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, let it be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
– 1 Peter 4:10-11
I may not have had the best motivation, but I learned a lot of skills in math and science. Before I even graduated college, I started working at a sign company designing and fabricating custom signs. Wouldn’t you know it? I used a lot of math and a little chemistry. While I was working at Sign Factory, I started attending The Ridge, and very quickly, I was drawn in by the creativity and art used to communicate the gospel. I wanted in. I began by volunteering to run the slides on Sunday mornings, which progressed to designing the slides, which led to some bigger design projects, and when a position became available, I was hired. I was thrilled to combine my faith with my work. I felt confident and prepared with my art degree until I learned that this role included set and stage design, which I had zero experience with.

This past Sunday, Executive Pastor Bruce talked about the parable of the ten talents and that we should faithfully invest our God-given talents (Matthew 25:14-30). He said that our talents are more than money—they are the skills, abilities, gifts, and resources that have been given to us. Jesus asks us to invest our talents, not to keep them to ourselves. As Bruce said, “Jesus expects us to steward well the talents He has given us until He returns.”

God has prepared you for many things and has given you unique talents to help lead people to Jesus.

In my case, God had been preparing me all along for the work I would do. I knew how to use tools and build things from Sign Factory because I learned some math and science (thanks, in part, to keeping up with Chad). Those skills made it possible for me to take on a new adventure—designing and building sets. This wasn’t necessarily where I thought I would end up, but all along, God had been preparing me and giving me what I needed to do the job.

Perhaps, you aren’t using all of the gifts God has given you to make a living. Maybe you have much more that comes naturally to you; you can strike up a conversation easily with anyone and make them feel welcome, you are empathetic and a good listener, you thrive in the chaos that groups of children can bring, you enjoy organizing and creating systems, or maybe you can troubleshoot computer issues like nobody’s business. God has prepared you for many things and has given you unique talents to help lead people to Jesus.
According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the proportion of one’s faith; if service, use it in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
– Romans 12:6-8






1 Timothy 4:3-4 1 corinthians 13 3 tips Abraham Barb Bible Christ centered friendships Christ-centered friendships Christ Control David Deuteronomy 31:8 Elijah Gideon God's Word God's faithfulness God's will God\'s Word God\'s will God\\\'s will God\\\\\\\'s will Gods Word Gods voice Gods will God Good Samaritan Isaac Isaiah 41 Isaiah 53 Isaiah James 1:22 James 4:14 Jesus is coming Jesus Jonathan Josiah Live at Peace Matthew 26:38-39 Messiah Old Testament Paul Philippians 2 Psalms Romans 6:9 Saul Savior Scripture Significant Others Talented Word of God You Say a mother's prayer a mother\'s prayer a mothers prayer abandon abby conner absolute truth acts 1:8 acts 2:42-47 acts adam and eve adam etris adam adulteror advent alls well that ends well andrew archer andrew angels sing anger anguish anxiety apostles appreciation archer arch are you prepared art of neighboring attributes austin michels austin authorities authority baptism sunday baptism barabbas barb banhart barb barnhart barnhart be a friend be still be strong and courageous be transformed beauty from ashes becoming fearless believers believe betrayal better neighbors better be brandy gibson brandy broken bronze serpant bruce lane bruce cancel culture cancel care carols celebrate others christian life christianity christian christmas with the ridge christmas church defined church design church circles cleaning the temple clinging to jesus colossians 1:13 community compassion concentric circles conflict connection courage created for community crisis in israel cross crowd crucifixion cultivate the soil culture daughter death debt delaney deuteronomy 31:6 devotional devotion disagreement discernment do not fear doers don't panic don\'t panic do early church easter sunday easter elderly empathy encouragement end times endurance ephesians 3:14-23 ephesians5:21 eternal impact eternal king eternal life eternal security eternity etris exhausted extended family face to face faithful in the small things faithfulness faith family famous last words father fear less series fear less fearless fear first commandement first commandment foretold forgiveness forgiven forgive forgiving forsaken foundation four tips free from sin freedom freely given free friendships friendship friends friend garden of gethsemane generosity generous get ready getting along gibson gifts give thanks gloria gods faithfulness good enough good friday good works gospel government grace and truth grace hill grace grateful gratitude great commission greed grief grieve with others groups hard heart haring he has come he will be called heart heaven hell helping hill holy monday holy saturday holy tuesday holy wednesday holy week homecoming hondruas honduras hope huggins husband i do but do i ian young ian identity of God identity idolatry idols immovable in all things in christ inspired intimacy invitation israel jamie huggins jamie jill wargo jill john 8:1-11 john 8:10-11 john josh rhodes josh joy judas judgemental judgement judge katie lemley katie key relationships kim sheets kim kingdom of heaven king kinsman redeemer know the truth la ceiba lamb of God lane last supper legacy lemley life light of the world light listening live generously living intentionally living water logos love one another love loyalty luke 10:42 luke 23:34 made new manna marriage matters marriage martha matthew 22:37-39 matthew 23:24 matthew 6:3-4 maundy thursday mediator melissa parker melissa mercy michelle lemley michelle trimmer michelle michels mikvah mission trip missions money morality moses neighbor new family new year new o holy night ourselves overcome evil with good palm sunday parables parable parenting parents parent parker passover lamb passover path of life peacemaker peace people of god people perfecter perfector perserverance perseverance persistence perspective philippians 4:6-7 philippians pioneer point of church point possessions power of the past pray like paul prayer life prayer plan prayer pray prepare promises of God provision psalm 139 purpose quality time race read reconciliation recreated redeemed redeemer redemption rejoice relationship with God relationships relationship relative truth religion religious leaders remember response resurrection retaliation return revenge rhodes riches roger sealey roger role model romans 12:12 romans 12:15 romans rules sacrifice salvation sealey second coming second commandment secure seek the truth selfish selflessness selfless separation sermon on the mount serve Jesus serve others serve serving others serving set free shame share the gospel share the truth sharing the good news sheep and goats sheets signs sing sin social media soft heart sower speaking the truth speak spiritual gifts spiritual leaders spiritual relationships spring cleaning stand firm stillness still strained straining out gnats and swallowing camels strength submit substitutionary atonement support surrender take time talents ten commandments tender heart ten thankfulness thanksgiving thanks the dishonest manager the good samaritan the lost coin the lost sheep the lost son the parables of jesus the persistent widow the plot the point of church the primary purpose of the church the prodigal son the purpose of the church the rich fool the sheep and goats the sower the talents the ten virgins the two foundations the wedding banquet the word of God the word through thick and thin throught thick and thin tim haring tim transformation treasure tribulation triggered trimmer trustworthy truth about people truth is truth matters truthiness truth two foundations two lies and the truth ukraine unbelievers uncertainty unclean victorious victory volunteer wargo wealth wedding feast weep what's the point? what\'s the point? what\\\'s the point? what\\\\\\\'s the point? what\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s the point? whats the point whatsthepoint when we pray who am i who i am who we are wife works of God work worry wronged you are forgiven young