Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lazarus, come out!

We have an awesome church and an incredible children's program. Every year, approximately 400, 2nd-5th graders, perform in the Christmas and Summer musical. Tanner tried out and received a main part in 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade. However, he was not able to try out in September for the Christmas musical because the performance was on December 2nd (Tristan's birthday was the next day). Tanner knew he would have to wait until the Summer musical to try out, this is one of the many things he willingly, and with a sweet spirit, gave up for Tristan.

Tryouts for the Summer musical were in March. Tanner has constantly said he REALLY hoped he got a main part, especially because this was his last year - yes, Middle School in August!!!!! I tried to sweetly remind him day-after-day that he may not get a main part and that it would be okay if he didn't. He anxiously awaited for the parts to be passed out and even counted down the days on his calendar.

After church, on March 26th, Tanner ran up and said, "Guess what, I got a part, I'm Lazarus" I said, "That's great Tanner. Is that a main part?" He said, "No, it's the boy's dance routine but it's okay, the song is Lazarus, Come out!, look what the part is, isn't that neat? I'm going to dedicate my part to Tristan!" The scene surrounding his dance routine is from John 11 (Tristan's verse is John 11:4).

The name of the musical was Simon Says - The Rockin' Trial of Simon Peter. The musical began with Simon Peter in the courtroom charged with fraud for preaching that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and Messiah. He must prove what he says is true or stop preaching. Then, we heard eyewitness testimonies from people who knew Jesus because they were there(Mary, Martha, Samaratian Woman, James and John), and they gave evidence that Jesus is exactly who "Simon Says".

Every musical the kids are given a Devo book, which contains a devotion for each week leading up to the musical. Each devotion title is the name of a song from the musical, once the devotion page is completed the parent's sign their name at the bottom. I was reading over Tanner's answers and wanted to share a portion of what he wrote under Week 1, Day 4: "We're Gonna Prove It!" (his answers are in bold):
Did the men in the Sanhedrin know what Peter and John said was true? Yes. In Acts 4:16-20, what did they order them not to do? Speak or teach at all in His name. How did Peter and John reply? "For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." They were eyewitness - they saw and heard what Jesus did. It made such a big impact on them, they had to share it! Can you give a testimony about Jesus because you have actually experienced His life changing love? Yes. The testimony in a trial that has the most impact is from someone who experienced it. The same is true for spiritual matters. When God has done something real in your life and you share it, it makes a difference to the people you share it with. Write one thing God has done for you. God gave "56" days to my baby brother Tristan, who the doctors said would not live, they were wrong.
I was wiping tears away as I read the precious words of our 12 yr old - he gets it! He is not angry, he is not bitter, he does not question why, he just loves Jesus enough to trust and believe in His perfect plan! We are so excited Tanner got a part, but more importantly that he loves Jesus, he loves his church and that he loves his little brother, Tristan, so much that he dedicated his part to him.

Tanner (aka Lazarus),

You were great tonight! We are so proud of you - for doing your best, for loving Jesus with all your heart and for loving your brother so much that you dedicated your part to him.
We love you, Mom, Dad & Tayden

John 11:4 says
: This sickness is not unto death but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."


Anonymous said...

He sounds like a great kid. You must be so proud.

Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is the Lord of Hosts Who Conquered death and destruction. The testimony of Lazarus has always encouraged me because Jesus allowed Lazarus to suffer and die, without His physical presence. Jesus knew of the greater work He was about to do and gave Lazarus, Martha and Mary the faith to wait on Him to show up and be the Victor, taking captivity captive and giving gifts to men! (Removing death's hold and giving eternal life to all who believed)

I saw Tanner last night and prayed for him that Jesus would do a great work in his tender, full of faith heart for the glory of the Lord. Thank you for sharing. It will be so exciting to see spiritual fruit, that had in its beginning the vital, rich nourishment of the Lord's goodness to us all, through Tristan.

Praying for your continued day by day comfort in Our Lord Jesus,
Lynn Ellison

The Hull Munchkins said...

Sweet brother! Your family seems so close... that is really special. I hope and pray my kids grow to be this way too.

Thanks for sharing.

Kim ( said...

Oh what a gift you have in Tanner. Well all 3 of your boys, but my goodness that Tanner! It is so wonderful how you have raised your sons.
Thanks for sharing Tanner's words and heart - it speaks to me!
Love you,

Emily said...

Praise God. What more could a mother want, right? Awesome. Absolutely awesome.

amie said...

What a sweetboy! And of course a sweet mama to go with it!
Great pictures. I know you are so proud of of Tanner. I love reading your heart.

Jeanie said...

Tanner, You did an awesome job in the musical! You stole the show for Jesus! Good job!

Anonymous said...


I bet you were the best Lazarus there ever was!! I bet your mom and dad were prouder than ever. You are such a sweet young man, your joy is always shining in that BIG SMILE!! It is so obvious everytime I see you that Jesus is in you. Middle school is ready for you, sweetie!!!


Miss Jami

Angie Luce said...

Tanner is such a fantastic kid. I'm so glad that God has given him a tender heart and insight beyond his years. What a comfort for you!

Marianne Elkins said...

Tanner did a great job! We were very impressed. Can't wait to have him in Middle School! Just a few more months!

boltefamily said...

What amazing boys you have! Praying for all of you!

Jonathan & Sarah said...

What maturity for such a young guy-I am not a "crier" but this has put happy tears in my eyes. What a witness Tanner is to children his age who may have never experienced such a miracle yet themselves. What a testimony of the sufficiency of Jesus Christ- for everyone no matter their age. He & your entire family are a testimony of the strength that only comes from the power of Jesus.