Near the beginning of my wannabe career, when no progress was being made, I made a deal with God. I got on my knees and asked for help with marketing. Though I was still living at home with my parents and sitting on a mountain of debt, I told God that I would start tithing, and if he would help me, later in my career he could use me as He wanted.
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
Test me? Really? Wow. I’ve heard that this is the only place in the Bible where it says, “Test me.” I did.
Even though at that point in my career I was still doing $200 and $500 speeches along with $50 comedy sets, I kept my word. I was even giving 10% of my Bose telemarketing income as well. I guess I had faith, but I was still a bit reluctant, still a bit scared, and then something changed.
Now, I’m not saying he made a deal with me. Movement started, and though there were still many ups and downs, progress started happening. Twenty years later, I feel as if He’s asking me to use what I learned in the secular world to help pastors.
One of the things that bugs me is seeing well-intentioned pastors deliver average messages in their sermons. I spoke at a pastor’s conference at my church last year, and they loved my session on storytelling. The comments from the pastors included, “They never taught us this.”
Their excitement let me know that I was doing my part. I presented to a group of pastors in Poland last year and now have many pastors in my Stage Time University. It feels good. It feels right. I’m hoping more opportunities come my way.
How about you? Have you made any promises? Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.
Thank you God for truth, love, and laughter,
Your child, Darren
Members of our club come from many cultural and religious traditions. I encourage us to use the Invocation and the Speaking portions of the club meeting to bring our culture to the club. I encourage us to present parts of our faith and culture that speaks to us, that ignites our passions, and tells our stories. If we do not agree with some invocations or with some Speeches, it is still that Toastmaster’s Invocation, that Toastmaster’s Speech. Most of our inspiring Invocations come from quotes and stories of famous people. Yet, I want our members to know that our thoughts and invocations are important, too. We are not robots. However, it appears to me that we are living in an America that is this proclaiming diversity all the while fearing it. We are Toastmasters who live in America. We are not afraid.
Thanks so much Darren again for your inspiration. What you say is so true. We Lutherans are a gospel based church and so most of our messages come from the lectionary. I try to share the events that let up to the place in the gospel we are are at and what happens next as it is all part of the story. I try to also share a story about my own personal experiences to tell how that gospel message has impacted my life. It works well and I usually get asked for copies of my sermons which I gladly give. I thank you for lo keeping on reminding me how Toastmasters techniques apply to preaching the word.
Have you every considered doing a series (audio or dvd) on tips for pastors and preachers for delivering sermons. If you do put my name down. God bless you Darren for sharing these inspirations with us. We preachers, especially lay ones need all the inspiration we can get