Saturday, November 20, 2010
The Gospel Speech in Comm 110 at Montana State University
As I heard my teacher say, “Thank you Julie, TJ you’re up next.” My heart started pounding words were stuck in my throat. I praying Lord help me. The week before I had been praying about what I should do for my persuasive speech at school at the beginning of the year I had decided on doing a gospel message. As the weeks had gone on it look almost impossible to do it. I turned it over and over in my mind. Then I thought well maybe the reliability of the Bible would be a better subject. Two weeks before the speech I started to prepare it but I felt the gospel needed to be given still. I wrestled with it and finally one night I had this dream about it. Now I am not the type of person who would normally say this dream said this so this is what God wants,but I woke up early in the morning after having a dream about my speech. I wrote down everything that I could remember saying. That is when I decided to go back to the subject of the gospel. I still had one thing left though what was I to do for opposition? There are so many sides to the opposition or is there? That night I slept well, so well if fact I had another dream. Now two dreams about the same speech in a row, that is kind of crazy. This time I got my opposition. Works vs. Christ. I realized that most religions are based on works. So that was my opposition. I had everything ready for the outline. The night before the speech I started to write it. Everything fit so perfectly together. I was so excited about it. I would be able to give the gospel to twenty people in public on the MSU campus. As everything came together I thanked the Lord that I was not trying to do it on my own. I was thankful that He was there guiding me to do what He wanted me to do. As I kept going on I thought that I might not have enough sources for my citation but when I finished I had a bunch of sources. I was absolutely amazed how the Lord worked everything out. I was a little worried about the time limit because we had 10 minutes and if we went over it was cut off, right at ten minutes. When I practiced it, I got a 9:45 time on it. As I finished up the last of it, I thanked the Lord for such a wonderful speech. I had asked many people to pray for me. They did pray for me. As I asked more and more people to pray for me it seemed like the people praying for me grew in numbers more and more. The comment from some of the people was “TJ you have a lot of courage in doing that. I don’t think I could ever do that.” The next day seemed like the longest morning ever. I had one class in the morning then a two hour wait for the speech. I couldn’t sit still I had to move. I kept wondering and preparing for the worst. I thought “me have a lot of courage? I feel so scared. I feel like I may not be able to go through with this. What will my class think?” Then it hit me. This was not about me, it is about God. It’s about giving the gospel out no matter what the cost, not matter if man thinks of me as a loser or it he thinks I am weird. To be thought of in this way is such a small cost compared to people giving their lives up for Christ. (Which is not a cost at all in my eyes, because you get to be with the Savior. I think you get what I am getting at though.)The worst thing that could happen is that I get a failing grade for that speech, in which I still pass the class, so that’s not a big deal. Then another thought came to me. I am not alone. What do I have to be afraid of? All they can say is words against me. The Lord is with me. I prayed for strength to give this speech. When I went to class I got there early so as to get the spot I wanted but I had also prayed that I would be able to get the spot my Lord wanted me to get. That spot was second to last. As people came in and set up to speak, I prayed for them to have softened hearts and to receive the gospel. As people went through and got done with their speeches I thought “Wow, she is being very critical on their speeches.” Every single one of them was given something that was wrong with their speeches. I thought “O boy I am going to get it.” She is going to stop me right in the middle and I won’t be able to finish. I kept praying. Then it was my time. I heard my teacher say “Thank you Julie, TJ you’re up next.” I was ready for the worst. The Lord was on my side. I was ready and very nervous. As I started setting everything up a peace came over me. I felt confident and ready to do what the Lord had for me to do. At the beginning before everything started I handed out 15 gospels of John to the class. (Fifteen, because the other five had decided to skip class.) One of the guys pipes up. “Wow this is a gospel of John. That’s awesome!!!” I had to laugh because I was totally not expecting that from that kid. After telling them to stick it in their pocket or in their backpack, I silently asked the Lord to speak through me. Right then, I was ready to go. I went through the first part talking about several religions and how they rely on works. There is a kid from Saudi Arabia in my class who is a Muslim and as I talked about Muslims he nodded his head in agreement, that this is what a Muslim had to do to get to heaven. Briefly I talked about some of the main religions. Then I went into the law and then that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. Everyone listen and I could see that some of them were convicted. The Lord was there with me. I am amazed at how when we try to do things in our own power we struggle but when the Lord is giving us the words to say it is amazing. As I finished up I was praising the Lord in my heart and bracing myself for the worst. My teacher asked two people to critique me. As I waited for their critique I was waiting to be stoned with text books or something. It’s funny because both of the people that critiqued me liked the speech and how it was done. The comment was that you have a lot of guts to get up and do that here. All I can do is give the glory to God because if it was in my own power I would have never been able to do it. The crazy part about it was that the two people the critiqued me said they didn’t know what to say to work on next time I spoke. Next the critiquing went on to my teacher. I braced myself a second time. Her comment was that it was well put together and that I was able to cover the subject very well in the time period I had. She said she really enjoyed it. I was so relieved. Although there were several hostile looks from the rest of the crowd, I did not care because I was praising the Lord for everything that had happened that day. You might say well then the story is over and I really enjoyed it. Well it’s not over yet. I got my grade a week later. I was expecting a low grade even though my teacher liked it but when I looked at it I was astonished. It was way higher than I ever expected it to be. It was a 91.25%. An “A” in speech class is hard to get. Again I praised the Lord. That’s sounds like a good end to this story doesn’t it but if I were to end there I would not be giving you a complete account of the whole story. The Wednesday after the speech we had our lecture for speech class. I usually sit with some of the kids in my recitation so I sat down where I normally sit and got a cold glare from one of the girls and one of the guys started swearing at me randomly.(This is normal to me because that’s what I get on the street most of the time.) Then class started. The lecture was on Ethics and Morals. The comment my professor (different person from my recitation teacher) made was that there should never be a religious speech in the class. He had no idea I had already done my speech. As he went on he was very hostile to Christianity. He told us there was no place for those things in speech class. The guy started swearing and making fun of me and glaring at me and so did the girl. I ignored them. Finally the class was over. Praise the Lord that I was able to do my speech before my professor did that lecture. Persecution comes in many different ways. I have no idea if this is the end of the story but if there is more to write about there will be a part 2 to this story. All the glory for this goes to God. He gave me the opportunity and was with me the whole time. I hope that this is an encouragement to all especially to those who are in college to stand up boldly for their faith when the opportunity arises and to share the gospel with all even when we don’t feel like we have the courage to. What an awesome God we have that we have been given this great message to share with other people.