Each day I interact with the students of OCA I’m more and more convinced that God blesses each person with gifts early in life. Some people’s gifts and talents are more obvious or apparent than others, but everyone is blessed with something they can share.
As I read through scripture I see children and teenagers changing the world with their talents. Sometimes it’s through God’s urging, sometimes it’s through the urging of an adult, and sometimes it’s with their own boldness.
In the Old Testament I read about a boy conquering a giant, and another young boy serving God as a prophet. In the New Testament we see the faith of Mary, a young girl, and we see Jesus’s disciples changing the world as teenage boys. There are so many other examples in scripture of young men and women doing great things with their God-given gifts.
Kendra Dean, author of Almost Christian argues, “Our teens are wasting some of the best years of their lives and never reaching their full God-Given potential. They never attempt things that stretch, grow, and strengthen them. They end up weak and unprepared for the amazing future that could have been. They like the low expectations and freedom, but they are really being robbed…”
The faculty and staff at OCA are particularly aware of the importance of encouraging our students to use their gifts now, especially spiritual gifts. We point out these gifts by giving weekly and bi-weekly character awards. Today I want to highlight a few artists.
Fortunately, we have a couple of OCA students that decided to not wait to use their gifts, and they have made the vulnerable step of sharing with the world, even at a young age.
Jesse Garner is a senior at OCA who has found comfort behind his guitar. He has taken his musical talent to the next level by writing and producing his first song, which you can find on iTunes, called “Dancin’ Slow”. He hopes to create a platform around his musical talent so he can highlight God and the gifts he has been given.
“I’ve always enjoyed writing and have been working on writing a song for a few years,” Jesse said. “I definitely feel like God has given me a gift and it’s important that I use these gifts to honor Him.”
Sanjana Bathini is a ninth grader who has also started her musical career early. This summer she wrote and produced a song called "You Will Never Leave Me" . You can purchase this song on iTunes by clicking here.
"I wrote this song because I wanted to use my talents to honor and glorify the Lord," Sanjana said."This song is supposed to give a reassurance to all of the broken hearts that God is our refuge and he will never leave us. He is always there for us."
You can hear Sanjana next at a gospel show with a group of musicians from India called “Happy Melody” on October 30. She will also be singing at the CMSA Hall of Fame in December, and she was invited to sing at the Thunder Blue game on December 2nd.
I recommend that you download these songs and let your children listen to them. Talk to them about the gifts and talents that God has given them and encourage them to use those gifts NOW! Let’s not wait to do amazing things with the gifts and talents with which God has equipped us.