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What do Winston Churchill, Joe Biden, and Marilyn Monroe have in common?

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

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“While I was raised around churches and had gotten to know a few preachers fairly well, the thought never entered my head that I would one day stand and deliver [a sermon]. Not only was I not interested, I lived with a major struggle: I stuttered.” – Chuck Swindoll

Looking back, I think it was about third grade or so when I was first diagnosed. My homeroom teacher sent me to the basement of our elementary school, during recess no less, to sit in a dimly-lit classroom with several other kids with similar struggles. My problem? I had a slight lisp.

I don’t think the classes lasted very long, perhaps because I made the instructor painfully aware that I wasn’t happy about missing kickball. Or maybe he didn’t think that my speech impediment was that bad… or maybe he just gave up on me. In any case, I was oblivious about the whole situation until I took a public speaking class in high school.

My teacher was a rigid woman who seemingly cared more about proper posture than anything else. And whereas she would occasionally compliment me on the content of my orations, she let me know – repeatedly – that my “lazy lips and lazy tongue” were not acceptable. I guess I was simply imitating my favorite newscaster, Harry Reasoner, who barely parted his lips during his nightly broadcasts.

In any case, I have continued to have trouble with pronouncing the letter “S” for as long as I can remember. However, that hasn’t stopped me from preaching thousands of messages in churches and prisons on three continents and running for public office three times.

What do you struggle with and are you letting it – or naysayers – hold you back? Even worse, are you allowing that so-called deficit to define you?

May I remind you that Moses stuttered? So did Winston Churchill, King George VI, Marilyn Monroe, John Updike and Ken Venturi. And so do Joe Biden, James Earl Jones, Nicole Kidman, Carly Simon, and John Stossel.

You can do anything…and overcome anything…with God’s help!

“Then Moses said to the LORD, ‘O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since. You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’ So the LORD said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?’” Exodus 4:10-11 (NKJV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

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