Would you be considered a gift that keeps on giving?

Have you ever placed significance on your birth-date? At Christmas time many Christians around the world celebrates the most important gift, the birth of Christ. There is debate by some as to the exact date of his birth. There is debate as to origin of Christmas.

However, there is no doubt that he was born both from a biblical and secular view point. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth in human form for one main purpose-to be the sacrificial lamb who would take away the sins of the world. I am thankful to God for his gift to mankind.

We are all created for a purpose. Have you found your purpose? Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.

I especially like that verse because I was born in the month of August on the 28th day. I love it!

We each were given talents and abilities. I believe we are all gifts to this world and gifts don’t necessarily have to be the ones under the tree. Try this exercise. Place yourself under your Christmas tree-and think! I am a gift!

CLM Publishing, Gifts that keep on giving
CLM Publishing

Imagine yourself as a product. What words would be used by your promoters to market you? Would you be described as optimistic, creative, interesting, adventurous, tolerant, likeable and generous?

Hypothetically, those born close to Christmas Day could be considered double gifts. Hhmmm…I know many people who fall within this category. However, the question is- are they required to do double the work? (Lol).

There is not one of God’s children who cannot afford to give something to His work. You may think you can’t afford to give, or you may not be able to give a lot at first, but God blesses everybody that gives. If you’re not rich, that’s all the more reason to give, so God can bless you and help you have more.

I’ve come to realize over time that God’s finances work opposite from the worlds. The world says, “When I’ve got my first million, billion or even trillion, then I’ll start giving.” But the Lord says, “START GIVING what you’ve GOT NOW, and then I’ll give you more.”

Man says, “Me first. Self-preservation is the first law of nature.” But God says, “Put Me and Mine first, and I’ll take care of you afterwards” (Matthew 6:33). God’s way to plenty is to give sacrificially of what you now have. “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty” (Proverbs 11:24).

The faster you give it away and share it, the more He’ll heap it on and the richer you’ll become so you can share more. Covetousness hoards itself poor, but charity gives itself rich!

Most of us aren’t challenged by monumental crises and most of us will never have great influence, power or wealth. However, I strongly believe we are all called to be a blessing in some kind of capacity.

I can think of many people within the Cayman Islands community who give tirelessly to many charities and organizations, whose lives are dedicated to being a blessing to others.

Most recently I have noticed many people, who most would consider “foreigners”, extending their time, money and sincere willingness to the expansion and betterment of these beautiful Islands.

It is such an inspiration and a testament to the universal heart of who people truly are no matter where they have decided to call their home.

I am honored that they now consider the Cayman Islands their home.

There are also well-known billionaires who are famously known for their charitable endeavors.

From a poor Mississippi farm, Oprah Winfrey became a legendary talk show host. She is now labeled or known as the “Queen of All Media”. Her life story tells us of a young lady who rose from poverty to become the most-watched daytime television talk show host.

Oprah Winfrey Gifts that keeps on giving
Oprah Winfrey Network and Magazines

According to my most recent research, Oprah Winfrey was born on a small farm in Mississippi to a single mother, and was initially raised by her grandmother, who could only afford to dress her in potato sacks.

Unfortunately, she had a difficult, unstable childhood, often with little supervision, and was molested by family members. In her teen years, her father made education a focus. Hallelujah!

See my previous article Smooth Criminal/Love the way you Lie: Traumatic Bonding which illustrates abusive behaviors and where you can find help.

She won a speaking contest and subsequently a full scholarship to Tennessee State University. She began working in local media as a teenager and eventually landed a job as an anchor on A.M. Chicago, a morning talk show. Cool!

Her style soon captivated millions of TV audiences and she turned the show, which was quickly syndicated, into a smash hit. Not long after she was offered an acting role in the screen adaptation of The Color Purple, which catapulted the start of her acting career.

Most recently, she starred in another movie called A Wrinkle in Time.

Time Magazine, gift that keeps on giving
Time Magazine

I loved that movie!

Once again, another gift doing what she does best!

Inspiring the young and adding well deserved value to the older generation. She is definitely “Queen” status!

The Oprah Winfrey Show has now become her signature success, with 10 million viewers daily. She is the third woman in history to own and produce her own show. Her name has become an empire. Forbes estimates her net worth to be $2.8 billion (2018).

Bill and melinda Gates Foundation
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Did you also know that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the wealthiest charitable foundation by endowment ($40.3 billion USD)

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, previously branded as the ‘William H. Gates Foundation’, is a private foundation founded by Bill and Melinda Gates.

It was launched in 2000, and is said to be the largest private foundation in the United States, holding US$50.7 billion in assets. Wow!

Melinda Gates
Melinda Gates with President Obama

Throughout her life and career, Melinda Gates has strived to be a voice for marginalized people around the world, working to the bridge the gap of inequality, especially for women. For her, she says, it is a responsibility that comes with being Melinda Gates.

“I think you grow into a name over time. It’s taken me quite some time honestly.”

Gates tells ABC News’ Chief Business, Technology and Economics correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of the “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” podcast.

“I’m in this position by luck. No other reason. I fell in love with Bill Gates. He fell in love with me. We decided to get married … if you’re in this position you have to do something for the women that you’ve met.”

Mrs. Gates began her career at Microsoft in 1987 and worked her way up to become the General Manager of Information Products where she eventually managed a team of almost 2,000 people. It’s there that she met her future husband, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and the two were wed in 1994.

When she decided to leave the workforce, she says her husband was shocked.
According to Rebecca Jarvis’s podcast, Melinda stated,

“I actually shocked him when I told him I was going to leave. I had already made that decision and he was completely shocked because he knew how much I loved my career”.

Despite leaving Microsoft, Gates always knew she would eventually go back into the workforce in some capacity and she says it was her husband who actually gave her the push to go back “maybe even sooner” than she would have.

Today she is the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is one of the largest private foundations in the United States working to reduce inequality around the world.

Cayman Islands
Cayman Islands

But it is her passion for helping women that led to the creation of Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company she founded three years ago to focus on women’s equality issues in the United States and to increase the number of women in the technology sector.

“I would often be flying home from these trips in the developing world thinking about equality and realizing we don’t actually have equality for women anywhere yet in the world,” she said.

According to various sources online, last year all-female led startups only received approximately about 2.2% of the total $85 billion invested by venture capitalists and for women of color that number drops to about 1%.

Through Pivotal Ventures, Melinda Gates is hoping to raise that percentage by investing in Venture Capitalists (VC’s) who are increasingly supporting female and minority entrepreneurs.

Gates said that the low percentage says more about the investors than the founders.

“I have met women — so many women who feel that they are voiceless; they’re voiceless in their communities, sometimes in their families, they certainly are voiceless on the global stage, she said.

“And so, I have decided that at some point I would have to step into this name and into this role and give them a voice.”

“That’s what I do now, no matter what room I walk into these days,” Gates added.

Talk about being a gift that keeps on giving!

If you can find both your passion and a way to share it with others, you’ll get twice the benefit.

Dr. Martin Seligman, regarded as the founder of the field of positive psychology, says he discovered that during the first positive psychology class he ever taught- students were asked to do one pleasurable activity and write up their experiences. The results were dramatic.

The pleasurable activities (hanging out with friends or family, eating great food, watching a movie or even exercising) paled in comparison to the effects of doing just one kind action.

Someone once said that there’s no greater gift than giving from your heart.

There have been and still are many people and organizations that have been gifts in my life- my family and friends, my past and present teachers, my past and present employees, all the churches of the Cayman Islands and the Cayman Islands Community.

I still believe that because of their collective support, I am still able to continue to exercise my faith and the purpose that God has for my life.

So, I passionately say, you must find your true purpose, live it, do it, give it and be it!
Just “B”!

You will benefit others and the by-product is a far richer and rewarding life.

If you are obedient to your natural and spiritual gifts as well as your talents, you will never get tired of doing it. This doesn’t mean it won’t be difficult or challenging, but you will become successful and fulfilled because you are finally aligned with your purpose.

Holy Bible
Holy Bible

For we are more than conquerors! As I stated earlier from Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things, I repeat all things-God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.

And as verse 30 continues to state, “And those he called, he also justifies; those he justifies, he also glorifies.

It is God who justifies. So, because of Jesus everything and anything will work for good as we love God.

Amen.

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