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I'm a member of Central Baptist Church in Lewistown, Montana. As part of Toastmasters, I seek to speak publically as often as possible. My speech of March 13th, 2011, at the Bonanza Hills Nazarene Church in Lewistown was put on the Internet the same day! Little did I know when I was preparing this that this would happen!
Ardys speaking at the Bonanza Hills Nazarene Church in Lewistown, Montana
"God is Good all the time. All the time God is Good." How many of you have heard that phrase? (hands go up) Now how many of you believe with all your heart that God is Good? (fewer hands go up)
I didn't always believe that either but as trials came into my life and my faith became stronger, I could see God's hand on my life. Now this truth is what I live by.
My spiritual journey started in 1960 when I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. But my first BIG SPIRITUAL GROWTH or testing was in 1980 when my husband told me he didn't want to be married to me anymore. I thought. "What is happening? What is going to happen to the children?" I married for life and now my marriage was coming to an end. I fought it for several years both with God and with my husband before I finally accepted the fact that the marriage was over. I thought to myself, "Who will provide for me now and take care of me?" I had given that responsibility to my husband and now I was alone.
But God proved Himself faithful and became all that I needed.
He provided for me:
Financially - providing me with jobs when I needed them
Emotionally - He began the lifetime process of taking away my fears and insecurities and replacing them with His peace and love
Mentally - teaching me that He is trustworthy, loving, and forgiving and desired a personal relationship with me and that He had a plan for my life. That gave me
After doubting my ability to find another marriage partner, I thought it would be nice to have a prearranged marriage just like the Jewish family in the musical "Fiddler on the Roof." I thought, "Who would do that?" My biological father had died by that time so I thought the only one qualified to fill the task would be God, My Heavenly Father. And do you know what? That was exactly what He did.
He brought John Couch into my life. That relationship was confirmed by a good friend of mine who told me that her mother had been praying that God would bring the two of us together. That clinched it! John didn't have a chance! I knew he was God's choice for me.
Now jump ahead with me to 2006 when I was diagnosed with melanoma cancer. Nobody likes to hear the word "cancer," especially when it applies to YOU! There were many soul-searching days of confusion, doubt, disbelief, and finally, "trust" and "surrender."
God used this cancer to open up a whole new adventure with my new business, Juice Plus+, the products of which I believe helped my body fight the invading cancer. Reaching out to others on behalf of Juice Plus+ was not something I was initially good at. I feared talking to people. I especially feared asking for their order for Juice Plus+. I sometimes even now forget to ask for their order.
Oh, it wasn't easy for me. I had struggles all along the way. I doubted my ability and had to overcome many fears and get past many roadblocks.
But God was encouraging me to go on.
One of my roadblocks was accepting help or gifts from others. Let me tell you about one such time.
There was a person who wanted to always give me something every time I saw her. After many times, I said, "That's enough. I don't want you to give me any more gifts."
When I called her that night, I could tell that I had hurt her feelings. By rejecting her gifts, she felt I was also rejecting her. I felt so bad. I didn't know what to do.
That night before I went to sleep, I was running all this through my mind when God interrupted my thoughts and said, "That is exactly how I feel when I want to give you something and you say 'No, I don't want that' or 'I can't do that.'"
I was crushed! I realized it was PRIDE and FEAR OF MAKING CHANGES that caused me to reject what God wanted to give me.
That lesson was so powerful that it has stopped me from saying "NO" to God to saying, "OK, Lord, if this is what YOU want for me, I will do it."
My whole experience with cancer and my adventure with Juice Plus+ has been a walk of FAITH AND GROWTH from beginning to end. But it is NOT the end yet. God is going to take me farther.
Pastor Mahlen has graciously allowed me to extend this invitation to you to come and to check out Toastmasters. That is my new adventure. We meet every Wednesday at 7 pm right here at the Nazarene Church. You, too, can experience a safe place where one can go and learn speaking skills, leadership skills, and most of all to learn to overcome your fear of speaking in front of a large group of people. If it is not your interest to do public speaking, you will become a better Sunday school teacher or Bible study leader. You may work on the goal of learning to communicate with your family more effectively. We seem to accomplish all this with much fun, laughter, and camaraderie.
I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and try something new and see what God will do.
I want what God wants for me and if it means stepping out of my comfort zone to get it - I AM WILLING - for I am learning to trust him.
For those of you who want more information about Toastmasters you can speak with anyone in your town who participates in Toastmasters. You already know where and when we meet in Lewistown.
"God is Good all the time! All the time God is Good! (End of Ardys's speech)
If you would like to receive more information about my new business and how I can help you, please click on Juice Plus+
Testimony of the webmaster for wethepeopleofchrist.com:
As soon as I showed Ardys this web site and asked for her printed copy of her speech to put online, she agreed! I showed her the photo I took of her speaking and she had no problem with me putting it online! I agree that she is open to whatever God has for her and she immediately was willing to let potentially the entire world read about her! Many people hesitate and let the opportunity go by feeling insignificant or unworthy. Thank you, Ardys and thank you pastor, for allowing Toastmasters to speak often!
I would like to share a story pastor shared today. It is in line with God wanting us to serve him for the benefit of others which has a reward for us also. Don't miss your reward by failing to step out!
A builder built excellent houses but decided to retire. He told the owner. The owner said, "Please build one last house for me." The builder did not want to but went ahead and built the house. He cut corners and used inferior materials. When he was done building the house that had wonderful plans, the owner gave the house to the builder! The builder was now left with the worst house he had ever built! Was he sorry? Yes!
God has plans for your life. Will you shrink back and build your life with poor substitutes? Or will you step out of your comfort zone and try new things? God will lead you step by step. That's how you climb a mountain. Step by step. If you won't take the first step because you don't think you can, or you want to do something else, or you just don't trust God, you will end up with a poor reward and a life not truly lived.
Every day is a choice if not a series of choices. Your life is the sum total of each choice and what doors it opened for you or what doors were never even encountered by you.
Proverbs 18:16: A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men. (New American Standard Bible) Why not you?
Last Updated: 01/23/2015