Sunday, August 6, 2017

When there is another generational "shift".....

 This photo is one of my all time favorites.  My mom, my daughter, my granddaughter and me.  I am so thankful that we got that picture when Lia was just a few months old.  So tonight, sitting here at my computer, (thanks to the marvels of modern technology), I experienced another "Generational Shift".  I just watched as Lia was leading worship for a youth praise service at her church.  As I was watching her, I was flashing back to sitting in a pew with my mom, watching Gwen lead worship when she was just a bit older than Lia is now.  And I was remembering my mom watching with tears in her eyes.

I took a couple of screen shots of the video, just to capture this moment.  Besides singing, Lia also played keyboard on a couple of songs. That last picture is Gwen and Lia at the keyboard.  Suddenly, I am the grandma with tears in her eyes.  It is one thing to know that your children and grandchildren love the Lord, it is quite another thing to see them publicly express that love.  I am so grateful that Lia has a place to grow as a worship leader. Right now, she looks like a baby compared to the other youth leading worship.  But in several years, she will be the leader welcoming new youth to the stage.  I love this "mentoring" model that keeps building for the future by bringing the youngest youth into the group.  I can imagine many years watching Lia at the microphone, or the keyboard, or dancing....well you get the idea.  She is a performer for sure. And I love that she is able to grow in her gifting.

On Friday I had the opportunity to watch both Lia and Ellie perform in an musical after a week at "Spotlight" Camp.
Both Lia and Ellie had some speaking parts and both sang at the microphone by themselves.  They sang and danced in many songs.  It was really amazing what they can accomplish in 5 short days with these kids from 6-12 years old.  While Lia looks like she is loving every minute that she is on stage, it was not so much for Ellie.  She has a big smile here, AFTER the performance.  She did so well with all of her songs, dances and speaking part and solos, but she was just not loving it.  Ellie will be a wonderful behind the scenes person.  She will be the one designing the costumes, arranging the hair and makeup, finding just the perfect accessory for the performers to wear.  And mostly, she will be holding a hand of someone dealing with stage fright, she will be hugging someone else who isn't feeling well.  She will be everyone's friend and will make sure that everyone has something to eat and drink.  Because, well, that is just who Ellie is.  Seeing just how different these two girls are, is a great reminder that there is a plan, a purpose and destiny for each of us.  

Just imagine how many more worship leaders, teachers, pastors and evangelists, how many more "good samaritans", helpers, intercessors, greeters, ushers, servers we would have if we started to encourage these obvious gifts of the children around us.   So often adults decide that children need to wait to "grow up" before they can use their gifts.  But I think this is a mistake. Watching Lia on the stage tonight confirmed that for me.  

Yes, it was a night when I felt that shift of the generations.  Looking back, but also looking ahead.  I love that I can get a glimpse of the  amazing working of the Lord as I see the potential in each of my grandchildren.  I challenge you to look around you at the children, youth and young adults you encounter. Look at the adults around you also!   Look beyond their clothes or their hair style, ignore their tattoos or piercings, and see the marvelous gifts and talents that they have.  Encourage them, mentor them.  Give them a place and means to use those talents.  You will be blessing them....but you will be blessed also!

Jesus, thank you for Fellowship of Faith and Boulder Ministry.  Holy Spirit, give us all reminders to look for ways to mentor and  encourage those around us.  Help us to see the unique gifts and talents that you have given to each person.  Keep us from trying to put others into places that just don't fit them.  Jesus, help us all to know that you have a plan, a purpose and a destiny for each of us!  Amen

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