1 Peter 4:10 NIV
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
In February of 1995, I was sent to New York City, NY to participate in a song leaders conference, entitled "I Hear God Singing". What an amazing learning experience! Before this event, I really didn't know how to read music. I knew the basics: What a treble clef was, what a bass clef was, the names of the lines and spaces on both staves--you know, those kinds of things. However, I didn't know how to associate what I saw on the page to what I heard in the music. Going to that conference was the beginning of my musical growth, because it was then that my natural, God-given musical tendencies were being nurtured and refined. After that conference, I felt so empowered that I came back to Columbia, SC, ready to share the things that I learned and to implement them; I learned right away that doing this wouldn't be easy, as what I had learned wasn't necessarily what was wanted--the church staff just wanted me to get some musical training. Regardless of the circumstances, I kept those newfound convictions to myself and lived them out; most of them showed themselves within the gospel choir I was commissioned to start. We called ourselves The Multitude. Some people misinterpreted what I was doing as my being rebellious or as my being conspicuous. I just wanted to move forward and to take our worship and praise of God higher. However, I did submit to my leaders' authority and did what I was told, keeping God as my focus along the way.
1995 was a milestone for me because I learned that, no matter what the circumstances, I am to serve others with the gift that I was given. Doing this will show a very small portion of God's immeasurable grace to the people I serve and, hopefully, open the lines of communication between God and them. No matter what your gift may be, once you know what it is, you need to understand that it was given to you not to keep to yourself or to gain temporary fame, fortune or glory, but to help others to see God more clearly. God's plan is far greater than us, but the cool thing is that it also includes us. Remember that.
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May God be glorified through my entire life!