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  I remember as a child being absolutely terrified at the thought of public speaking. I was perfectly fine remaining in the background while others took the lead in church plays and musicians. However, one day it happen. The director of the children’s musical that particular summer asked me to read for a speaking part and I politely declined. The director let me off the hook if I agreed to one stipulation: next summer, I had to agree to a small speaking part. I agreed to his terms figuring he would forget about the deal the following summer.
Sadly, I was wrong and he reminded me of my promise. He handed me a book to read the small part that he had in mind for me and I must admit that I liked the character very much and I thought this would slowly get me out of my comfort zone and over my fear of public speaking. The director told me that he was pleased that I liked the part because it was the lead role and I would be in every scene! After a few panic attacks along the way, I embarked on losing my fear of public speaking and proceeded to be active in future church musicals.
We all have moments of fear in our lives myself included. We do not want to step out of our comfort zone and have become masters of making excuses when we should be focusing completely on God’s plan for our lives. We all have a voice that is meant to be heard and celebrated so may we speak with love, mercy and grace as we strive to be willing and faithful disciples. Yes, God has a plan for each of our lives and the good news is that He wants us to use our God-given talents for His glory and honor and we must not let fear or other people’s perceptions of us keep us from the ministry we are called to do.
Joshua 1:9 tells us: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Let us all be strong and courageous and discover the gifts and calling God has for each of us!

Blessings!
The Reverend Scott S. Gilmer