EvanTell’s 2017 annual luncheon took place on Tuesday, April 25th with a focus on “Finding His Strength in Your Weakness.”
Our featured emcee Norm Hitzges, Sports Talk Show host on The Ticket, briefly mentioned how our founder led him to Christ. Then Norm spent time interviewing Larry on stage about how God uses our weaknesses for His glory in evangelism.
Larry grew up wanting to be a preaching evangelist, but an inherited speech impediment prevented him from even saying common words such as "the." A family doctor told him to give up on his dream, but Larry prayed “God, if you will heal me of this impediment, I’ll always use my voice for you.”
Larry suddenly had a control over his tongue he had never experienced before. He attended Philadelphia College of Bible (now Philadelphia Biblical University), where he was elected Student Body President. Then, for his graduate studies, Larry attended Dallas Theological Seminary and was voted one of the top 4 best preachers in his graduating class.
After seminary, Larry received more help from a speech therapist who shared her amazement, "Someone with this type of speech impediment doesn't get this far without help." In this case, the help was clearly God's miraculous power.
Still, Larry knew that he would likely never come to a place where he could speak perfectly. But, his mentor encouraged him with these words: “Whatever people notice will help you, not hurt you." Larry realized unbelievers identify more with those who have struggled and made it.
Our key note speaker, Chad Hennings (air force veteran & three-time Super Bowl champion with the Dallas Cowboys), shared about being performance driven for much of his life. He was always the guy who could do anything, until one day his 2-year-old son got sick and was later diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
“You could have taken away all my money that I had accumulated to date and with my work effort I would have found a way to get it back,” said Chad. “You could have put me in the middle of the Sahara Desert, and I would have found my way out. But I couldn’t help my son. I was hopeless. I was helpless.”
God began to reveal His true character to Chad and to show him that there is nothing anyone can do to earn God’s love; it’s all about grace.
“I know that I am the beloved son of the living God who loved me enough to send a substitute in my place. So when you realize what type of love that is you want to do things; you want to go out and tell others about the saving grace,” said Chad.
He concluded his talk by reminding believers of their purpose and identity: “Our identity is to worship God and to make His name known. And you do that through whatever He calls you to do. Whatever your profession is. That’s the beauty and the simplicity of the gospel.”
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