Yesterday was our 50th wedding anniversary and we had a celebration party at Lake Charles. It was a very blessed time for me for a number of reasons, one was the obvious joy that comes from my wife, Patty, at events like this, a second was the great fellowship with those who came to honor us, but the greatest source of blessing came from my 6 kids that were there and were part of the planned program. Each one of them had a part sharing things about Patty and I as their parents over the years as they grew up. The words that they shared were very honoring of us and it was very nice to hear their memories and impressions of us, but the main source of blessing wasn’t what they said about us, it was the obvious character, maturity, confidence, and wisdom that they each one demonstrated and portrayed as they shared and talked. I was very proud of each one of them, and was so impressed with who each one had become as a person. Afterwards I was chatting with a friend and they commented on what good public speakers each of my kids were, and I agreed, they were indeed. When I was a Junior in High School I was required to give a short speech in one of my classes. Afterwards my teacher was very complimentary about my speech, and said to me, “you should take every opportunity that opens up to you to speak in front of people, there are very few things as powerful as public speaking to develop your confidence, your ability to think on your feet, and your ability to communicate clearly to others.” That advice stuck in my head and over the years I did what she recommended. As we had our 8 kids we made that advice one of our parenting principles, we made them get up in front of people in school, church and other groups, gatherings, and events, and speak at every opportunity that opened up to them. The fruit of that parenting principle was very obvious yesterday. As I teach my Men’s Leadership Class and my Woman’s Leadership Class I share that principle with them often, but still a number of them refuse to get up in front of people and share, the fear factor is to strong. So, in conclusion, to you who are reading this, take advantage of every opportunity to speak in public, pursue growth, and public speaking is a major growth factor.