It seems that the fear of public speaking has haunted us over the years. To most of us, it was such a boog-a-boo that we had rather take a big fat zero than to give a book report.

Mrs. Malvena Wiseman of Lyon County High School was an amazing teacher, but she struggled to wrench a book report out of us old country boys. I can just see boys like Douglas “Mac” Anderson and Jerrell White gulping as they awaited their turns to recite.

Remarkably, God called both of them to the ministry as well as old introverted Mac Walls. It is absolutely amazing what God can do with an old tin can.

When we stood before the class, it was with fear and trembling, helped along by reassuring words from Mrs. Malvena. It was strange how we trembled then before our classmates and now spit in the eye of the demons of hell. We stood in the need of courage then, but we were trusting our courage and not the strength of the Lord.

While courage from the Lord is needed in public speaking, it is possible to forget where our lack of fear comes from, Philippians 4:13 tells us.

Most realize that without God’s calling, they won’t last long in the ministry. It is far too stressful a load to carry without God’s help. Young men, if you are not called of God, then please don’t think of entering pastoring as an occupation. One of the hardest things you will have to learn is to accept people for who they are, not as you think they should be.

Next in line, a child of God fears witnessing to others about his faith. Why is this?

The answer is that all the forces of hell are warring against you in the struggle for his soul. With the Good News as good as it is, why do you suppose that the gates of hell are wide open and mute Christians wave others along that path?

May we indeed receive the writing of Joshua (1:6-9), “Only be thou strong and of good courage.”

Mac Walls is pastor at Eddyville Second Baptist Church. His opinions are his own and not necessarily those of this newspaper.

Mac Walls is pastor at Eddyville Second Baptist Church. His opinions are his own and not necessarily those of this newspaper.