inspirational speaking 101

I have a secret wish.  It was planted in my heart many years ago at Mount Hermon Conference Center, or perhaps one of many other lovely places, with cabins and campfire rings, tucked away in the woods of Northern California.

I had narrowly escaped death just a year or so before. That’s a long story, so I’ll just say this,  Jesus had stood at my door and knocked long enough.  He finally kicked it down, rushed into the burning building—and saved my life!   Then, I wandered alone. Well,  just God and me anyway.  The Cross…and about fifteen-hundred miles lay between my old life and this thing that someone had promised me would be new life.  I had arrived in California “a new creation,” but I felt (and acted) like the same old mess I’d always been.  I longed, prayed, begged for God to bring me just one person who knew something about this Jesus thing.

God answered. He responded as He often does—Over the top!

He brought all kinds of great people my way.  So many friends who lived out this Jesus thing. When I wanted to crawl back into my dark little hole, they coaxed me out time after time.  We escaped a few times each year to Mt. Hermon, Mt. Gilead and various pine-scented places tucked away  in the Sierras.

One aspect of retreats never changed. There was always a speaker.

Amazing how these people shared exactly what I needed! Many of their stories changed my life!   Christian speakers helped me make sense of what God was doing, and showed me what He still wanted to do!  From Paul Cox’s “Dangerous Man” series to Charles Stanley’s “New Creation” talk and all the way up to Patsy Clairmont swinging around her crazy mess of rubber bands at Arco Arena!  So many speakers—some whose names I may not recall—shared messages I will never forget.

As I experienced impact these speakers had on my life, I longed to share with others what had been lavished on me.  But how I could I? I was such a Much Afraid, Hannah Hannard’s stumbling and stammering character who longed to run to the heights but, instead, hid under the bed.

That’s another long story, so I’ll just say this: where I can’t, He can.

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onemaraca-marimari-smMy secret wish is coming true!  I have a speaking engagement!

If you’re a Christian speaker, please share what you have learned.  Not a speaker? If you’ve been changed by what a Christian speaker has shared with you I want to hear what you have to say, too. Please share your  “advice for a new speaker” with me.

Just click on Comments at the top of this post.

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Note to self:  Do NOT wear this dress  Friday night!

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6 thoughts on “inspirational speaking 101

  1. Mari;

    Doing a couple sermons myself, biggest thing that I can share is to be yourself and tell your story. God will put the words that he wants you to share in your mind, actually they are probably already there. You will do very well.

    1. Thank you, Jeff! God does give the words! ‘Finding that God pulls the message together when I listen to His word–both while studying it (and mostly listening to it) and then going about my day. He gives me all kinds of stories and illustrations that bring it to life. Thanks for weighing in! Hope your sermons go well!

  2. Doug Spurling
    dougspurling.blogspot.com/
    DougSpurling@aol.com
    Submitted on 2009/09/10 at 12:32am*

    Mari,
    I read your comment over at Faith Barista and thought I’d share what helped me years ago before I entered the speaking world.

    Scared of not knowing or having anything to offer, I literally felt led to this passage of scripture.

    Haggai 1:13 I read “the Lord’s messenger with the Lord’s message.” Wow, this is gonna be great, I thought. The Lord’s messenger, that’s me. With the Lord’s message…let me hear it. “I am with you,” declares the LORD. Oh, hmmm, that’s it? I thought it would be a little longer than that.

    It continues. “So the LORD stirred up…”

    It’s not the message or the messenger so much as the Lord’s blessing on it. Not by power not by might but by My Spirit says the Lord.

    Prepare and most importantly preprayer.

    I pray you go forward with the Spirit of excellence

    “Haggai 1:13 Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, gave this message of the LORD to the people: “I am with you,” declares the LORD. 14 So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God,”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    *I have added the comment Doug posted under “meet mari” so that his words of wisdom may be found with inspirational speaking 101.

    1. Doug, I appreciate you taking the time to post these verses. As I start the morning, I am thankful for your kindness–in your pointing me to God’s good words to set my heart aright. They’ll be good companions today and tomorrow: as with prayer I prepare. Thank you.

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