My rough cell-phone picture (below) is just a slice of the room. The organizers counted heads and reported a record attendance. Fifty-eight Zephyrhillians (if that's a word), came together for fellowship, encouragement, prayer and - hopefully - a good word from yours truly.
Early on in my speaking career, when I looked at my upcoming commitments, I used to worry that I might repeat a story or an illustration I'd used before. Then I realized two truths:
- First - and more likely with some audiences than others - odds are no-one would remember what I said last time anyway!
- Then - and this is an exciting realization - God is working in my life constantly, graciously willing to teach me new things every day ("New every morning is his love..."). If I'm paying attention, if I'm growing in my faith, and if I spend enough time on my knees, then there's always going to be a fresh testimony to share.
What I did this morning was to begin to build my emphasis for 2011. I've been thinking specifically about my work in encouraging men's ministry, and I'm starting to hone a new message, something that will in all probability become the skeletal outline for a new book.
I offered my Zephyrhills friends the first five of what I'm calling "Ten Life-Charged Words". Ideas like "passion", "capacity", "clear vision" and "Jesus." I'll be sharing some selected glimpses into this project over the next few months.
Stay tuned. There's going to be a lot to talk about!