Daily Dose — Gifts, July 12

 

There are different kinds of gifts, but they are all from the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve but the same Lord to serve. And there are different ways that God works through people but the same God. God works in all of us in everything we do. Something from the Spirit can be seen in each person, for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12: 4-7 I have loved music for as long as I can remember. My most vivid childhood memories have music at their center -- children’s choir, youth choir and hand bells at church, school chorus performances, instrument lessons, and a college choral group. Mary Lib Lowery led the children’s choirs at First United Methodist Church in downtown Birmingham in the 1970s when I was there; young children hung off her piano bench as she played and sang “Jesus Loves Me” and “All Things Bright and Beautiful” with her entourage. She was the very picture of joy, and we were magnetically drawn to her encouraging nature and the way she loved on us. When we got older, Judy Cook led us in youth choir, teaching us how to sight read music and form our vowels properly. To this day, I can’t hear Barbara Holbrook instruct the choir on how to NOT sound Southern in a classical vocal piece without thinking of Judy Cook’s firm correction! When I reached adulthood, grown up demands overshadowed personal passions. Life was unexpectedly challenging, and there was no music for many years. Somewhere along the way, though, I remembered it. I started praying for an opportunity to sing with a group. One day, I felt strongly led to introduce myself to Stephanie Newton and volunteer to sing with the Vinebranch Band -- even though I felt incredibly unqualified! I had not done anything musical since my youth, and I worried that everyone else had much more talent and experience than I had. I had never sung outside of a large group before, much less into a microphone. Everyone was very kind and welcoming, though, and I gained more skill and confidence along the way. Amazingly, God turned my initial fear, nervousness and insecurity into one of the greatest joys of my life. I dearly love to praise God through music, and I enjoy being part of the Vinebranch Band’s ministry every week. Sometimes God challenges us to use gifts we don’t even realize we have. This usually involves us being petrified because we feel anything but equipped, so we have to rely on God, which I believe is precisely where He wants us to be. Amy Miller