Fan the Flame

I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you.
II Timothy 1:6 (NIV)

Several old, folding fans of varying materials and sizes have come down through our family. Silk, paper, even carved ivory, gloriously display the cooling mechanisms of earlier days. Women used these handmade fans for various occasions, some for everyday use while others were used on fancier occasions. One beautiful white, silk fan was part of my paternal grandmother’s wedding outfit. Another intricately carved ivory fan is a mere 2 1/2” and hangs from a delicate ivory necklace.

Other fans made from wedges of cotton print fabrics compose a quietly designed quilt pattern laid out on an ivory-colored field. Designed to provide a cool breeze, fans soothed the user on a hot summer day. Women fanned the embers of a fire into the flame with them as well.

Paul wrote: God has put into you a precious gift. In fact, He’s given you more than one. He has given you life. He has given you the opportunity to choose eternal life through His Son, Jesus, and He has given you talents and specific creative abilities with which you can bless others.

Have you ever thought of the gift you have in your hands? Not just the final gift you create in the form of a quilt but the gift of encouragement or of service to others. Don’t let those gifts go to waste. Make time to fan the flame.

When you teach others the art of quilt-making you are “fanning the flame,” and God is pleased. God gives to each one a talent.

Your Turn

Join the conversation by adding your comments below!

What gift are you not fanning?

by Gayle Ottemiller

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Gayle C. Ottemiller has published magazine articles, poetry, and devotions. Her work appears on Christian Devotions and in several compilation books. Her book of poetry and photography, Faith Lifts: When Life Lets You Down, was published in 2010. Gayle has an MS in guidance and counseling and is retired after working twenty-eight years with developmentally disabled adults. Find her on Facebook and LinkedIn. Visit her at

About Be the Light Editor

Martin Wiles is a minister, author, freelance editor, and English teacher who lives in Greenwood, SC. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and is the author of Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions ( and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.