But for once--in a very out-of-character fashion--I am not nervous.
Maybe it will hit me in a few days. Maybe not. I'm trying very hard to remember that I had oodles of public speaking experience in my pre-kids life, I love these people, and the topic is seriously fun. So why be scared? Oh, that and...I'm letting God do most of the work. I should be letting Him do all of the work, but I'm trying to be honest here.
This year's theme is a "Teddy Bear Tea" and I'm trying to run with that topic. There will be lots of kids present, so I'm going to pepper my talk with reading from children's books, sharing some goofy stories from my childhood and showing lots of slides of stuffed animals.
For fun, I did a search on Bible Gateway to see if there were any good verses with the word "bear." I was astounded to learn that there are 209 references to "bear" in the NIV. Some of those were actually about "beards" not "bears" and many of the others had to do with seed-bearing plants, bearing children and armor bearers. But there were some good ones about real life bears, too. Here's a small sampling:
- 'The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.' 1 Samuel 17:37. (David to Saul regarding Goliath).
- Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a helpless people. Proverbs 28:15
- Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool bent on folly. Proverbs 17:12.
- It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. Amos 5:19.
- We all growl like bears; we moan like doves... Isaiah 59:11a
- The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? Proverbs 18:14.
- 'I have much more to say to you, much more than you can now bear.' John 16:12 (Jesus to disciples).
- Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2.
- Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13.
Have a great week!