Friday, August 17, 2012

We've All Got Stuff

I was booked to do a motivational presentation at a corporate function. That's one of the things I do. I travel around and share with anybody who will listen that they have a future just waiting to meet them and with the right attitude, it can be shaped into something extraordinary. I share with people the need to look beyond their circumstances and help them move into better living.

Well, let's just say as I was preparing for it, I had a moment of doubt as to why I, of all people, am doing a motivational presentation.  Now, my friend Derrick Tennant, he is a motivational speaker. Because of an injury as a child he was told he wouldn't walk again. He has experienced brain surgery, coma, and paralysis. He spent a portion of his life in a wheelchair and after much rehab and even more determination, he does walk, even with limited use of his whole left side.

He is also funny and has a great attitude which is a winning combination for a motivational speaker. He can share his story with people in a way that makes them feel like "wow, if he can deal with that and come out laughing, then I guess my situation isn't so bad." His goal is to motivate people to overcome their obstacles and move on to better living.

Well, I've been through stuff in my life, too. I won't share it with you here and now because I've just shared Derricks with you. My stuff doesn't compare with his. He has a way better hook than I do. And as a motivational speaker, that just isn't fair. "Gee Dwayne, that sounds like kind of a jerk thing to say". I agree. Trust me, I wouldn't have posted this if Derrick didn't fully agree with the content and the point that I am about to make.

"Well, what is the point you are about to make, jerk?" Well, stick with me for a moment and I'll tell you.  I recently spent some time in Nashville with Derrick and some of my other funny friends at the Christian Comedy Association Conference. I also spent this past weekend with several people who have seriously extreme stories of overcoming.

These are people who have overcome physically debilitating injuries or addictions. People who have gone from convicted murderer to productive member of society. And people who have suffered the horrific loss of children and all are now sharing about living a life for Christ. These people are awesome and God has big plans for them. He has spared them and they are using their time and opportunities to share about the importance of right choices, right attitudes and Jesus Christ in their lives.

The point I am making is this: most people tend to view their own life story in the context of the story of someone else. We look at our lives as being either better or worse than another life. And the problem with that is that it unduly minimizes us or them. Looking at life in comparison to that of someone else can cause us to see in terms of what is "fair" or what we "deserve" when we really should be looking at life for what it is: life.

My story is mine and yours is yours and we each have a choice to be content with the way it's unfolding or to make changes. It's good to encourage others or be encouraged by the overcoming of obstacles in life. That's exactly what we are supposed to do. But don't make the mistake of minimizing a life story, not even your own. You, me, Derrick, all of us, we matter. God loves us all and has plans for each of us. The question really is this: Are you going to spend your time comparing yourself with others, or getting on board His plan for your life?

Checkout my friend Derrick at his site For my booking information, check me out at, by e-mail at, or by phone at 419-961-1265. And if you like the blog posts, subscribe and share.


  1. Thank you AndyC. Hope you continue to enjoy and share my posts. Have an awesome week!