Different Gifts, Same Spirit.

The women of LifeWords Today just spent a couple of wonderful days together in Atlanta, Georgia. Tami and Nikki flew in from Southern California to meet up with Nikki’s World Race Squad for their final training before departure on January 9th for 11 months of mission work in Central America, Asia and Africa. My Mom, Karen, drove up from Florida, and I drove down from Charlotte, North Carolina to spend some family time together. Now, I am back home in Charlotte and I am pondering our time together, and looking toward the New Year.


This evening I read the January 6th entry by Sarah Young in her devotional “Jesus Calling” (which all four of us read regularly, and which we highly recommend to you). It is so appropriate for such a time as this:

“I am able to do far beyond all that you ask or imagine. Come to Me with positive expectations, knowing that there is no limit to what I can accomplish. Ask My Spirit to control your mind, so that you can think great thoughts of Me. Do not be discouraged by the fact that many of your prayers are yet unanswered. Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark. The more extreme your circumstances, the more likely you are to see MY POWER and GLORY at work in the situation. Instead of letting difficulties draw you into worrying, try to view them as setting the scene for My glorious intervention. Keep your eyes and your mind wide open to all that I am doing in your life.”

Nikki has inspired the rest of us, and countless others, to let go of earthly things and let God truly lead our lives. She has surrendered to His will for her at this time in her life. She is willingly stepping into extreme circumstances where trust in God is paramount. As I step away from this weekend together, I realize several things.

The four of us are very different. Our individual talents, personalities, and life callings are all different. My Mom is 17 years older than her sister – another generation! My Aunt is 16 years older than me. And I am almost 15 years older than my cousin Nikki! Our perspectives on life vary almost infinitely. We have four very distinctly different life experiences set in different eras.

But, together we share a generational blessing of women in ministry. Our love for our Lord Jesus and our desire to share Him with others, binds us together. Our individuality is woven together with Jesus as the common thread.

This weekend we spurred one another on toward our goals for 2014. We challenged one another. We encouraged one another. We prayed blessings over one another.

I feel more tightly bound to all three of them and to our shared purpose through LifeWords Today than I ever have.


So, for 2014, I challenge you to value and encourage the differences within the members of your spiritual family. I also challenge you to value your own gifts and ask God to give you opportunities to use them. Do not compare your gifts and purpose with others. You are unique, and God planted in you everything you need to make an impact in this world.

Only you can create and give to the world what God put inside of you. Ask Him to activate it and give you vision and purpose that you have never seen before! You CAN do all things through Him who gives you strength!

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6


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  34. Hi Pat. Maybe Tami will get on and comment back to you as well. You are correct – almost 50 years! Plus, we are adding in things that my Grandmother wrote as well. She passed a little over 4 years ago, and was a pastor and preacher. My Mom, Karen has had it in her heart to do something called LifeWords for years – she thought perhaps a short radio spot or something. Of course that takes a lot of means, and when her sister, my Aunt Tami, visited with her in April of 2013 in Massachusetts, my Mom shared this with her. My Mom was 70 at the time. Tami, a young 53 (smile) shared with her the idea of doing a blog. The two of them got a tip to go to Nantuckett Island from a family member in Oregon who heard they were in Massachusetts together. They went and discovered that our 9th Great Grandmother was a Quaker Preacher there! Read the “Where We Come From” section of this site…. Then when Tami flew from Mass. to Charlotte, NC to visit me for a few days, we discussed the plan and started to put it into action. Tami worked very hard to get everything set up and we launched this site on October 1, 2013. We have a rich family legacy in ministry, especially for the women. SO, we are sharing it with the world! Thanks for reading and we hope you’ll pass our site on to others as well! Bless you!

  35. Love you Nikki. What a great time we had together. Praying for you as you go on your great missions adventure! XOXO

  36. I didnt mean that to post that as anonymous– This is Pat Burrows. Im the alum mom that spoke at the parent program.

  37. I was thinking the same thing. What a blessing it would be. And I love that it bridges mother, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt relationsihps and if I followed the ages correctly- it spans almost 50 years between youngest and “most experienced.” It’s a realy beautifil thing. IM curious how and when you started this.

  38. I enjoyed my time with each of you! I love you so much and yes God does have a different plan for each of our lives and he is going to use us in different ways! However we serve the same God and are striving toward the same goal!

  39. We appreciate that comment! We seem to have a legacy of women in ministry in our family, going back to the 1600’s on Nantucket Island (read our “Where We Come From” page) & for this all to come together now at our varying stages in life is a great blessing to us!

  40. It may seem odd but to me this is unique that there are four Christian woman in the same family who are sharing their thoughts on their spiritual walk.

  41. Sounds like your meeting gave you some spiritual direction. I’m glad you all realize how different you are and how life has brought you many gifts that you will use! We can’t live like our cousins and aunts or whomever as the Lord did not plan our lives that way. God Bless you!

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