Hey you sophisticated speakers out there. Have you ever found a surprise during a speaking engagement?

I did. And I thought I’d share it with you.

“Wow…that was a long day,” hubby said when I told him how my Saturday was.

“No, it wasn’t long,” I said. “It was lovely.”


I got home close to midnight. Early that morning I had hopped in my son’s truck and we headed to volunteer at the Access Life yearly event. Lots of families with severely disabled children and adults relished in fun activities: kayaking, boat riding, face painting and crafts. I sat at the craft table making Gospel bracelets. I had a ball!

Then I rushed home, grabbed half a sandwich, changed clothes, and a friend picked me up. We headed to a women’s prison where I spoke, hoping to inspire them.

Surprises of surprises, they inspired me instead! As I listened to them, and observed their faith, they taught me how to escape the prison of hopelessness.

1. First, you become vulnerable and open to receive. (Those ladies soaked in God’s message and responded with eagerness to learn more.)

2. You believe without pretense. No masks to cover your pain. No false airs, just genuine repentance.

3. Persevere even when locked within walls of adversity.

4. Keep hope alive even when unable to escape the bars of injustice.

5. Grab God’s hand to escape gloom and self-pity.

6. Welcome laughter and joy even when looking through the bars of difficulties.

God knows when He says we learn from one another. We draw from each other’s strengths. And we receive lessons from those we never expect. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).

Father, I confess, my attitude needs sharpening to be humble enough to keep on learning. To be willing to receive lessons in unexpected places. Thank you for the people You place in my life who have found freedom. In Jesus’ name, amen.





Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.

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