Last spring, I announced that I was seeking speaking opportunities. I received (far) more than I could fulfill, but accepted the ones that I could.
Ultimately I drove over 10,300 miles, speaking 64 times in 16 different states. My busiest months were May (with 21 events) and July (18 events).
I’m thankful for all of those who invited me to speak. For those invitations that I was not able to accept this year, perhaps I will be able to do so in the future!
One of the highlights of my travels was a visit with Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.
I first met Phil last year (in June of 2015, shown in the top photo with me and my wife Teri). At the time, some teachings on theistic evolution were starting to become popular in his church. Phil wasn’t sure how to answer some of the (allegedly) scientific claims that were being made about billions of years and so on.
So a friend of his invited me down to Louisiana to talk about Creation. My wife came as well. We all went to Phil’s house for dinner, which he cooked for us. (Miss Kay was out that evening. Turns out that he’s a very good cook in his own right.)
As soon as we had finished eating, Phil said, “OK Spike, what’s your single best evidence that the Earth is only thousands of years old?” I said, “I won’t pick just one, I’ll start with two.” And we were off from there.
We spent the whole evening talking about evidence for Creation, the incorrect assumptions behind billions-of-years thinking, and so on. He was very enthusiastic, and in the following weeks, frequently mentioned creation-related topics in the Bible studies and other meetings he leads at his church.
That was in 2015. During my 2016 speaking tour, as part of a trip to Arkansas to speak at a men’s retreat, I added a short side trip to Louisiana to see Phil again. We spent another full evening talking about creation. At the end, we took the photo below. (The previous year’s photo hadn’t included Volume III, which he has enjoyed watching. Also, he looks a little less groomed in this picture because he had spent that day duck hunting.)
While in Louisiana, I’ve seen something happen multiple times that impresses me. When Phil meets someone new, the first and only thing he will talk about to that person is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He’ll say, “We’ve never met, and it’s possible that you’ve never heard this before. And this is the most important thing you could ever hear. So, before we talk about anything else, I want to share this with you.”
Once he has explained the Gospel, and made sure the person understands it, then he will continue on with the conversation.
Sharing the Gospel is what he’s all about. He’d rather not be involved in the Duck Dynasty TV program, and the whole media circus that it creates around his family — but he does it because it makes people eager to meet him (so he can share the Gospel with them), and it gets him invited to give speeches at various events (so he can share the Gospel during his speech).
I’ve found this to be a wonderful example.