While driving into a small Iowa town for a speaking engagement, I noticed rows of modern homes, businesses and a shiny new school. Even my destination was a newly constructed church displaying a big, beautiful cross.
The women’s ministry leader gave me a warm and wonderful welcome. Within seconds, however, I opened my mouth and inserted my foot.
“What a beautiful town. Business must be booming in this area with all the new construction I see!” I exclaimed with a big smile.
Horror came over her face and spread to those within earshot.
“Actually,” she replied with a tear in her eye, “a tornado devastated our little town and we are trying to rebuild.”
The floodgates opened as wide as my mouth.
I listened to story after story of death, destruction and divine intervention.
Just as God saved so many of their families, friends and neighbors—he redeemed me as I pulled my foot out of my mouth.
My message for this event was “Hope in the Ruins”–a timely talk for hurting hearts. Even my book cover displayed a photo of the devastating 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado. The pages contained a proven rescue and recovery plan for hearts in crisis.
Thank you God, for being so good in spite of me!
My speaker tip for this week is: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Yes, that includes the basics like age, gender, culture, backgrounds—but take it another level.
A few days prior to your speaking engagement, contact the event planner and ask what major events have taken place in the area—past or present. Be prepared. Ask God to use you.
Ask the Holy Spirit to make you sensitive to your surroundings.
Recently, I walked into a venue and instantly sensed something wrong. The ministry leader shared that three local teens were killed in a car crash 12 hours earlier. The closely knitted community was still in shock. God used my message that day about discovering how to live life together in deeper and richer ways. It weaved their grieving hearts together to find the support and comfort they needed for that moment. I thanked God, again, for sending me where He needed me to be. Only, this time, being a little more prepared, I kept my foot out of my mouth!
“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” – Psalm 31:24
As CCC co-director, Lori lovingly leads women toward their dreams. She is a certified Find Your Beautiful Life Plan coach helping women discover their strengths, spiritual gifts, purpose and the strategies needed to use it all for God’s glory.
She leads workshops, retreats, volunteers and has been a guest on JCTV, CTN, Moody Radio, Cec and Me Blogtalk Radio, and My Journey of Faith Radio.
Lori stands by her man of 36 years while he practices something new- retirement. They live in Aledo, Illinois close to their two adult sons, a beautiful daughter-in-law with their fast-growing grandson and one on the way!