Now THAT’S prosperity!!!

Have you heard of Toastmasters International?  It’s a world-wide organization that helps people develop their communication and leadership skills.  I joined in 1997, and it has changed my life (for the better, of course!)  in so many ways.  I just returned from Las Vegas, where I attended the annual Toastmasters Convention, a huge electrifying event that brings together close to 2000 people from all over the world.   It’s a week-long event of education, celebration, and inspiration.  There’s camaraderie, connection and encouragement.  And just plain fun.   But I found something much deeper.  I found that I prosper.

It says in Jeremiah 29:11 “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” I feel that PROSPER!

I don’t mean money-prosper.  I mean purpose-prosper.  Over the last 2 years, I’ve been exploring at a very deep level what God’s purpose is for my life.  Maybe you already know yours.  Mine has morphed over the years as I went from engineer to entrepreneur to stay-at-home mom to speaker.  But I know he’s crafted me for a purpose.  A HUGE purpose.  He’s created me with passion.  LOTS of passion.  He’s instilled me with His power.  His INCOMPARABLY GREAT POWER, according to Ephesians 1:19.  And when they all come together at one time, I feel that PROSPER!  I am reminded of the quote from the movie “Chariots of Fire” where Eric Liddel says “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast.   And when I run, I feel his pleasure.”

THAT’S THE PROSPER!  When I do what I’m created to do, I feel it!  I feel God’s pleasure,  His presence, His approval.  I get a a taste of His glory in order to reflect it to others.

There were so many moments during the convention where I felt this prosper, where I felt I was living smack in the middle of God’s purpose.   I was excited to meet new people, and reconnect with old friends.  I was privileged to coach some contestants in the international speech contest.  I was part of a campaign team  working to get a woman elected to one of the high offices  in Toastmasters.  I was able to be a sounding board to Byron Embry as he rehearsed his educational session for the convention.   I was able to help Darren LaCroix, 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking prepare for his educational session.  I wanted to use my gifts, talents, and energy to bless the people around me.  You see,  I am convinced that God’s purpose ALWAYS is centered on people, and when I use my gifts, talents and personality to connect better with people, I am living my purpose, which reflects His glory, which lets me prosper.

I’ve been fortunate to achieve a measure of success and even a little notoriety in Toastmasters because of winning some speech contests.  In 2009, I was in the top 10 of over 35,000 contestants in the annual World Championship of Public Speaking contest.  It was indeed a privilege to be there.  (And even though I didn’t win, it was awesome!  Seriously, top 10 out of 35,000 people?  That’s MIGHTY OK with me!!! Trophy or not!)  But I see it as part of God’s purpose for me.    Being at that level in the contest was not to prosper me for the sake of me being prospered.  It was for the sake of building bridges to people to connect with them, to encourage them, and to give them a taste of God’s goodness through me.  People matter to God.  And therefore, they matter to me.  And when my passions are aligned with His purpose, which always includes His people, I prosper.   And that is my hope and my future.

What about you?  Are you prospering?  Do you know your purpose?  Is your passion aligned with God’s purpose?  Think about it.    If you are not feeling alive and fervent, you could be out of tune with God’s purpose.  I know every day isn’t fireworks and sonic booms.  But if you don’t feel that prosper at least SOMETIME, think about your purpose.  There is no greater purpose than that of God’s purpose.

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