Last night was truly a highlight of my journey in God’s grace and guidance. God has opened more doors and paths for this ministry than I ever asked or imagined. This most recent opportunity was an absolute blast as I got to be a guest on Life Today with James and Betty Robison. James’ story is featured on The Gift of Life film on which my story appears, also.
The night started off with a welcome and ushering into the green room which had snacks, comfy couches, and a TV. I could feel my head swell when the announcement was made, “Mr. McDoniel, we need you in makeup.” Now, that’s not my favorite thing to have done to me, but I was enjoying the attention and the VIP treatment.
Soon, we were invited to join in a private dinner with the Robison’s. It was at this meal that I learned what an amazing man James Robison truly is. As he spoke to us of his goals and convictions, I couldn’t help but be humbled. Here I was thinking how important I was…after all, I was going to be on a world-wide syndicated television show. James’ mission and faith was so inspiring that I quickly realized…I’m not the big shot…God is the big shot.
We filmed the show and it was an absolute blast. James and Betty are wonderful hosts, and they allowed us to share part of our story in hopes that more people would be reached for Christ. The 18 minute interview flew by, and soon, we were saying our farewell to the audience. I can’t wait to see the show when it airs sometime in May. Randy Robison (James’ son) interviewed me later in the evening for the Life Today website and social media outlets.
As we drove away from the studio, I was reminded of God’s infinite wisdom and grace. I’ll be the first to tell you that I never wanted to be an inspirational speaker, and never saw myself a champion of the right to life for the unborn as a pro life speaker. I felt the calling, but ignored God for years. Once I relented and agreed to let God lead, my life has never been the same. I am committed to always remember that this journey is not about me
It’s about God. (Though, I am thankful to not have to wear makeup every day…how do you ladies do it?)
On March 24, 2010, my dad and I had the opportunity to speak to guests of the Hope Network Foundation in Grand Rapids, MI. The Hope Network Foundation provides a much needed service to those in the community with disabilities, providing everything from housing, employment, and most importantly, providing pastoral care. So often, our churches are either ill-equipped to provide for the needs of people with disabilities, or they have attitudes that give off a message to the community that suggests that people with special needs are not wanted in the kingdom of God.
I find the direct opposite to be true in Jesus’ ministry. In Jesus’ day, society had built walls around the diseased, handicapped, and around those who were easy targets of ridicule. Sound much different from today? Oh, maybe we don’t require certain people to live outside the city gates, but we do prefer that that they live in “another part of town.” Maybe we provide some services to those with disabilities, but so often it is because the US law says to do so rather than because we are following the example of our Savior. Jesus breaks through the man-made barriers time and time again, and when asked why, His reply is always some form of “because I know the will of my Father.” If we are truly following Jesus, we must have a heart for those whom society has already turned its back on. Jesus loves everyone, and so should we…
I absolutely love the work at Hope Network Foundation, and thank them for encouraging me through hearing about their mission. The question is, though, why must we have organizations like this? This organization specifically carries out the mission of Christ…but why has the church gone so far astray of this mission? If Christ’s church is to continue to be THE source of love in this world, we must find a way to get past the way we look, and we must learn to see Jesus in each and every person.
Minnwest Bank Luverne Community Event - I'm Not Broken
7:00pm - All Ages
104 E Main St
Luverne, MN 56156
For the community of Luverne, MN, I will be telling my story of overcoming my lack of arms to lead a positive, happy life!
I got an awesome opportunity to be on KTBS (Shreveport, LA) this morning with Rick Rowe, talking about my ministry and thoughts on life. Here are the two clips available from KTBS.
This past weekend, my dad and I journeyed out to speak four times at three different locations in two different states. We first arrived on Thursday night in Wichita, KS, were I spoke to Goodwill Easter Seals of Kansas. Goodwill was celebrating the year with an awards banquet, and we watched as so many employees were rewarded for their hard work. We also heard some of the best “acceptance speeches” ever. One young lady simply walked up to the microphone after receiving her award and announced, “Woohoo!” I think the Academy Awards recipients in Hollywood need to take a cue from these Goodwill employees. It was a fantastic night, and I was so glad to get to tell my story and inspire those serving the community in Wichita, KS.
Next, on Friday, we boarded the plane headed for Sacramento, CA (after a stop back in DFW…gotta love the routing of the airlines). After landing, we drove to Stockton, CA, where we both were to speak for Stockton Pregnancy Healthcare. Their annual banquet was held at an area country club, and the dinner was “luau” themed. After eating some great food, my dad and I told our story. We had a great crowd and they were very attentive despite a loud party going on in the room next to ours. I was so impressed by what Stockton PHC has been able to do with very little financial support, and we hope that those at the banquet that evening were able to help continue the pro-life cause in Stockton, CA, with their donations.
We took Saturday to drive to San Francisco to see “Wicked.” Such an awesome show, and what a great lesson to learn about not judging others by the color of their skin.
Finally, on Sunday, we spoke twice at Quail Lakes Baptist Church in Stockton. This church was rockin’, and they were so welcoming to us. I was so impressed by the multitude of races represented in their membership. I firmly believe that God intends for our churches to reflect the racial makeup of the world around us, and it was so refreshing to see people from so many different backgrounds worshiping together. Quail Lakes Baptist and Pastor Marc are to be commended for not excluding anyone from the message of the Gospel.
In closing…I LOVE my job as an inspirational speaker!!! I was glad to get home to my family, but even though it was tough being away from home, I absolutely loved the ability to simply tell my story and for others to be touched by it. Praise God for the amazing things He is doing right before our eyes!
I'm Not Broken Presentation for Harwood's Choir Camp
8:00am - All Ages
Harwood Jr High (map)
3000 Martin Dr
Bedford, TX 76021
I will be presenting my story to students attending the Harwood Junior High Choir Camp. I attended Harwood Junior High and sang in the choir there. I am greatly looking forward to being able to "give back" to my school and to the teacher who taught me to love to sing!
CIA Day - Morning Speaker
9:15am - All Ages
5400 Coles Ferry Pike
Lebanon, TN, USA 37087
From FCS website:
CIA DAY (Commanders in Action) is another incredible opportunity the students are given each spring to serve others who are different from them. For this annual service day, special-needs students from all over Wilson County are brought to FCS to spend a day with our students.
On February 11, 2009, I spoke to over 150 tweens and teens at the Chocoholic Fest at the Alpine Church of Christ in Longview, TX. They were a wonderful group, and despite having eaten as much chocolate as they could handle, they were very attentive. As the festival is near Valentine’s Day every year, my topic was “Love God, Love Others.” I truly believe that once we learn the good nature of God, and we act on that knowledge by serving others, only then can we truly learn to love everyone around us. Here is a clip from the evening about how our happiness can only come when we let go of our worries and trust God to use us in His service. (The passage in the video is from John 9 in The Message.)
Here are some pictures from the event: http://alpinemyministry.blogspot.com/2009/02/chocoholicfest.html
Here is a video clip from Wednesday, December 17th, 2008, at Richland Hills Church of Christ. This is how I close my presentations, and I hope you enjoy my take on choosing happiness and showing Jesus to the world.