Guest blogger Ada Brownell shares this weeks devotional.
Janette Oke’s Stage Disaster
By Ada Brownell
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up (James 4:10).
During Janette Oke’s early school years, her family traveled by team and sleigh to the annual Christmas program.
Janette’s teacher coached her in the recitation of the poem, “The Twins,” and she could hardly wait, expecting the crowd to enjoy it. Since the poem was written from the male point of view, Janette dressed as one and had practiced changing her voice in appropriate fashion. It would be fun to ham it up a little.
After the appropriate introductions and fanfare, Janette began reciting. Then to her horror her mind went blank. She scrambled and floundered and the poor teacher coached, but the performance was a major flop. Janette was glad to exit the stage.
After the applause faded, and people clustered around giving congratulations, the teacher asked, “What happened?”
There was no easy answer. The poem simply left Janette and never returned, although she mentally groped for it over the years. It stubbornly refused to be relearned.
I wonder if Janette was so embarrassed by her performance she decided to avoid anything having to do with crowds.
In my youth I embarrassed myself in grand fashion, too. I was in sixth grade and won a contest with a story I wrote. As a result, I was honored to be chosen to present my speech at the high school in a speech contest. I was shocked to discover I would complete with seventh and eighth grade students.
I panicked, and when I stood up to say the memorized speech, I ran through it so fast no one could understand a thing I said. Mama who had been so proud, sat on the front row and as I spoke melted down lower and lower in her seat. I slowed down enough so they could understand the joke at the end, but I was thankful to get it over with and get out of there.
A few years later, I sang a duet in church with my sister. We were so nervous we started laughing in the middle of our very serious song. We finally giggled the last note and I shot out of the church building toward home. We only lived a couple of blocks away. I sobbed all the way as I ran. Inside, I went to my room, threw myself over the bedspread and sobbed some more. I vowed to never sing in front of people again.
Truth is, I spent my life singing in church–solos, in trios and occasionally a choir.
Like Janette Oke, whose words in her novels eventually blessed millions despite her failure to recite a poem, I discovered God uses people who mess up occasionally. I learned embarrassing myself reminds me I’m imperfect and humbles me. That keeps me on my knees asking for His help.
As a writer I need God to impart wisdom, knowledge, faith and touch me with the Gift of Prophecy every day so that I can write words that will encourage, bless and lead people to Christ.
After all, it’s about Jesus—not about me.
 Laurel Oke Logan, Janette Oke, A Heart for the Prairie, Bethany House 1993
Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher. After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers. and on blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Among her books: Imagine the Future You, a youth Bible study (November 2013). Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, (Jan. 15, 2013); Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, (Dec. 6, 2011); and Confessions of a Pentecostal, out of print but released in 2012 for Kindle; All the books are available in paper or for Kindle.
Imagine the Future You audiobook is available at http://www.Audible.com Free book with new Audible membership.
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