Open the Present of You

June 27, 2012 | 26 comments

A few small words jotted. Two open arms. One courageous voice.

It’s usually the little thing, isn’t it?
That’s the sort of thing
that changes everything.

And it’s found inside of people.

The best presents in all the world come in small packages. Look to a certain manger in Bethlehem for proof.

And you, friend, you’ve been given a gift. YOU are a gift. Have you unwrapped it? Have you accepted your gift, designed uniquely for you?


“What has God given you?

Moses had a stick,

David had a slingshot,

and Paul had a pen.

Mother Teresa possessed a love for the poor;

Billy Graham, a gift for preaching;

and Joni Eareckson Tada, a disability.

What did they have in common?

A willingness to let God use whatever they had, even when it didn’t seem very useful. If you will assess what you have to offer in terms of your time, your treasure, and your talents, you will have a better understanding of how you might uniquely serve.”

~ Richard Stearns,
The Hole in Our Gospel



by | June 27, 2012 | 26 comments


  1. michelle derusha

    Jennifer, these are just plain AWESOME. Good night, lovely lady. And thank you for blessing me with inspiration tonight! {love, love, love Hole in Our Gospel, too – BEST book}

    • dukeslee

      Hey, thanks Michelle! Have a great night. Yeah. Hole in Our Gospel rocked my world. I read it about the same time I read David Platt’s Radical. A double-rocking…

  2. Angie Vik

    A great combination of pictures and words. I haven’t read A Hole in Our Gospel, but my oldest has and really likes it. It’s on my to be read pile.

    • dukeslee

      It’s a book that will stick with you a good long while. I read that book two years ago, I think. And about two weeks ago, I ran across that quote again. It’s been sticking with me ever since.

  3. Lyla Lindquist

    You know, that first picture. (Well the others too, but that first one… wow.) My family spent over an hour during my Grandpa Al’s memorial service on Saturday just sharing stories, one person after another — either telling a story about Grandpa, or recalling one of the stories he used to tell.

    The power of story came through loud and clear — the power in telling the story, and power in listening to a story told.

    Great stuff here, my friend.

    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Lyla. A story about that first picture … The journal is from Monica Sharman. I write letters to myself (sound familiar?) in it … little reminders of who I am in Christ. Now, that journal is a trigger to prayer. It’s right here, right now, reminding me to pray for Monica and the others in Colorado.

      I imagined that Grandpa Al’s service was packed with stories. That gift has been passed down in a beautiful way. You’ve unwrapped that gift, my friend.

  4. Shelly Miller

    Wonderful encouragement before I lay my head down to rest. Gorgeous photos and I’m hearing this sacred echo. Love to you.

    • dukeslee

      Lovin’ you back, Shelly. Sleep tight.

  5. Amy L. Sullivan

    I am digging the last picture! That my friend, is amazing.

    Isn’t that quote true…are we willing to use what we deem not very useful?

  6. S. Etole

    Beautiful reminders through your images. What a gift you have and are.

  7. Shaunie Friday

    It’s so simple, but so hard sometimes! The enemy is constantly telling us we’re not enough, our story isn’t interesting enough, our qualifications aren’t impressive enough . . . Thank you for the reminder that God does not measure us the way the enemy does or the way the world does. He already demonstrated how much He values us!

  8. Diana Trautwein

    SO lovely as this evening draws to a close. Thank you, Jennifer. Just beautiful.

  9. shelley

    thank you so very much for sharing this post. In slowing down over the past year the Lord has revealed so much to me about my gift as a wife, homemaker and mommy. have a blessed week in Jesus.

  10. Jenni

    Love this! Thank you.

  11. ro.ellott

    I love how you told shared this… with the pictures weaved in…I have been pondering a lot about masterpieces…how we are His masterpiece…do I reflect the beauty and heart of the Artist? We are His workmanship in progess…have a blessed day~

  12. David Rupert

    Great images … I like the play your song, even though I cant play a single instrument. I’m gonna have to be creative!

  13. Dolly@Soulstops

    Awesome photos and words…you are so gifted, Jennifer, and I am grateful you share your gifts with us…xo…also loved your guest post at Ann’s…

  14. Lori

    Radical rocked my world too, and I have Hole in our Gospel on my shelf, in fact I stared at it last night with a convicting pang because I have a stack of fiction in front of it…..but I know that book was staring at me for a reason! Great post…Lori

    I am a Pinterest addict now 🙂

  15. Beth Herring

    oh, i love this post. It was a breath of fresh air today.

    I loved the Hole in our Gospel. Such profound truth that convicted and encouraged at the same time.

    love to you Jennifer!

  16. Deidra

    YOU are rocking the world all by your own self, Ms. Jennifer Lee. God shines so brightly in you. We’re all blessed. And rocked.

  17. floyd

    I had the biggest dreams…. now I coach high school girls… And love it! Where God leads us miracles happen and it doesn’t matter if only a handful of people know about it… He knows… He sees… and His gifts are all beautiful.

  18. Alicia

    Love the quote you included at the end. My stomach lurches when I see that title- I read the whole book with an ache in my core and still can’t shake it. Don’t think I’m supposed to. I agree with Deidra. You are rocking the world with your gift! Love my visits here 🙂

  19. Jennifer@Adam's Rib

    I’m so glad God uses our diversity! He doesn’t want me to be you or you me. Great quote!

  20. Leslie McNeil

    hmmm… one of my favorite things to contemplate, the gifts we have, and the gifts we use… and the unexpected ones that we didn’t think we had, and the amazing, amazing and awesomeness of our Father God through us, as we use it, display, and play it for His Glory! Love the pics… the words… and more.


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