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The Power of Using the Right Gifts in the Right Way

In one of his books, Charles Stanley tells a story about a young woman named Sammi. More than one person who knew Sammi said to her, "Sammi, you have a real heart for God. I believe God is raising you up to lead praise and worship at our church." But there was one problem with this prediction—Sammi wasn't a good singer. If you've watched American Idol, you know how dangerous it is to tell a young person she's a gifted singer when she's not. This was one of those times.

When Sammi auditioned for the worship team, she learned a hard lesson. She was used to singing in the congregation where she could belt out notes with reckless abandon. But singing in front of others was different. She sang horribly off key. The audition was a disaster!

When her audition mercifully came to an end, the worship pastor asked Sammi to stay behind while the rest of the worship team packed up the equipment. He asked her what she liked doing and asked her about her relationship with Christ. As they talked, she joked with him about how, when she was younger, her grandfather taught her to play the accordion. She loved playing it, but it was pretty old-fashioned; there weren't many opportunities to play it anyways. Then, the worship pastor said something unexpected, "Have you ever thought of playing it in praise to God?" he asked.

"No," she said. The thought hadn't really entered her mind.

"Bring your accordion to church next Sunday and, after the service, play me a song."

So she did, and when she did, the worship pastor was blown away. No more stage fright. No more anxiety-induced paralysis. But, freedom and, yes, sweet music played perfectly. She played the accordion better than anyone he'd ever heard.

The next week, the worship team added its first ever accordionist to its praise set. The week after that, Stanley writes, "Sammi brought down the house with her rendition of 'We're Marching to Zion,' a classic gospel hymn" familiar to older church members.

So, it turns out the adults in the church who made prophetic predictions about Sammi were right after all. She may not have been gifted in the ways they thought, but she was gifted. All she needed was to find out how her particular gifts could be used in the right way in the right place at the right time.

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