Introducing Today’s Speaker:

wiziarde-family-circus-posterWelcome to the pulpit a speaker raised on the central plains of the United States. His maternal grandfather (Heinrich) fled Russia during the Bolshevik Rebellion. His paternal great-grand-father (Robert) came to the States with a French Boys’ Choir and jumped ship (he was an undocumented singer). Robert went on to distinguish himself as a published author, playwright, composer and voice teacher. The middle of his three sons carried on the performing tradition, first appearing as a solo high-wire artist (Koko the Balancing Clown) with circus’ like Whitehall and Ringling Brothers. He later formed his own traveling circus … this may explain a lot about today’s speaker.
 
Our speaker felt the call to ministry at age seven, but his first years of paid employment were in the restaurant industry; the last three of which were spent as a Chinese Chef (he was never actually Chinese … but he loved learning to prepare their cuisine). Though he truly loved this latter job, its grueling hours and miniscule remuneration convinced him to get a college education.
 
He initially pursued a Performing Arts degree which led to some interesting experiences: preforming a self-choreographed dance in front of 500 people, a short stint as a ventriloquist, many theater performances and most significantly his appearance as the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. This was significant because while he was playing the lion, his future wife was playing the piano (she was the accompanist … there are no talking pianos in that play). Anyway, they fell in love and when he finally got the ‘Noiv’ he asked the pianist to marry him. Shortly before meeting his wife, your speaker changed his degree to Religion and Philosophy, surrendering to God’s persistent calling into the ministry.
 
You probably have heard much of the rest of his story … but your speaker is still amazed that somewhere in that strange and winding past God had planned to bring him to Pastor in Panama.
 
Truly … Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.  (Proverbs 19:21)