Category Archives: Speaking

Palm Sunday

They say God speaks to us in mysterious ways and at unexpected times. Sunday night was one of those times for me. There were no burning bushes or audible voices, we were simply lying in a bed at the Hampton Inn in Bartlesville, Kansas trying to sleep. My wife was sleeping just fine, but I was having trouble. Maybe I was excited about the upcoming event on Monday morning, outpatient surgery to have stones flushed out of my bladder. Maybe it was the Triple Berry Crumb Cake from Chili’s. Whatever the case, I was wide awake well into the wee hours of morning and I was not happy about it.

I decided to attempt to make good use of my time and pray for family and friends. One thing led to another and I began to pray for the upcoming service on Palm Sunday. (I will be speaking at the First Church Of God in Coffeyville, Kansas at 10:30 AM just in case you’re looking for a place to attend.)

While lying there I began to think about the message I wanted to convey to the audience Sunday morning. Typically I will talk about my accident a little bit to new audiences and the struggle to learn to accept and make the most of the unwanted circumstance of being paralyzed. In doing so, it usually leads to encouraging others to do the same thing by learning to see that God may have a bigger purpose for the events of our lives, something much bigger than we can see. We just have to learn to trust that wherever He takes us, whatever He allows into our life, it is going to end up good. It may not look good from our perspective, it may not feel good while we are going through the circumstances, and it may be something that we never really understand or see how it benefits anyone. God may be using it to give us something that will never benefit us here, but will benefit us spiritually forever.

Lying in that hotel room, God helped me see that Palm Sunday and Easter kind of summarize the message I share. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem the people were excited, they thought they knew what God had planned. They thought God was going to deliver them from the unwanted circumstances they were facing. They were tired of being oppressed by the Romans and by the other enemies who lived nearby and they thought God was sending the Messiah to put an end to their problems. It was an exciting day for them on on Palm Sunday. Expectations were high. Life was good.

As the week went on, life wasn’t so good. Jesus didn’t drive out the Romans. He was arrested and crucified. He didn’t even put up a fight. The story symbolizes how God had other plans. Plans the people could not see and that extended beyond their circumstances. Yes, God had plans to deliver them, but not in the way they wanted. Instead God had plans to deliver them in the way that they really needed. God wanted to give them salvation. God wanted to give them something that would last beyond this life, for all of eternity.

You see, God was more concerned about their eternal comfort than He was their temporary comfort. It’s no different today. Do we realize that God has bigger plans and bigger purposes than we can see or imagine? Do we realize that God can take even the worst of circumstances and do a great work in the world, in your world? He may want to do a great work in your life. He may want to do a great work in the lives of those around you. He may want to do a great work in the lives of people you have never met. The bottomline is: He wants to work in you. He wants to work through you. (Personal note to Keith: Thanks for letting me borrow your phrase.)

Remember that whether life looks great (as it did on Palm Sunday) or whether circumstances look hopeless (as it looked when Jesus was crucified) God is not limited. Wherever He takes you remember He has a plan and a purpose for everything He allows into your life. He can take anything and turn it into something good. You may not see it, you may not understand it, but that might be because you are looking no further than this lifetime. God not only cares about what happens during our few years of this life, but He also cares about where you will spend eternity. As we see in the life of Jesus, God will allow those He loves to suffer if it is a part of his eternal plan to bring salvation to the world.

First Church of God
2010 W. 5th in Coffeyville, Kansas
Sunday, March 20 @ 10:30

September Speaking/Book Signing Schedule

I will be speaking at the American Baptist conference in Parsons, Kansas on Sunday, September 20. I hope you’ll plan to attend. Service will start around 3 PM and I will be speaking shortly afterwards. The service is held at the First Baptist Church of Parsons.

The following weekend we will be in Chanute, Kansas at the Artist Alley Festival signing books. The festival begins on Saturday, September 26 at 9 AM and lasts through the afternoon. Our booth will be located near Total Image Studio, just east of the railroad tracks on Main Street. We hope to see you there!

2015 Turkey Hunt & Speaking Engagements

On Good Friday, my wife, one of my good buddies, and I went Turkey hunting. Hunting is something that I did not do before my accident, but thanks to my good buddy Kurt, it has become one of the few sports that I can participate in. I still have to have someone drag me out of bed early, drive me to the farm, and help me get positioned inside the hunting blind, but with the adaptive equipment Kurt and some of his friends purchased I can aim and fire the gun.

If you have a few minutes, visit my website and click the link to the right that says, “2015 Turkey Hunting Videos” to watch the video. If you know someone who is disabled, but would like to go hunting, I know of some people in Parsons who have equipment available to loan out. They don’t charge a dime. I also know of a wonderful ministry called, Peterson Outdoor Ministries, just across the border of Kansas near Joplin.

On another note, next weekend (April 24-26) my wife and I will be traveling to Cimmaron, Kansas. I will be speaking at the high school on Friday, the library on Saturday, and the First United Methodist Church on Sunday morning. If you happen to know of anyone in the area, please let them know.

I have a couple other speaking engagements lined up for the summer, but I do have room for a couple more if anyone is interested.

Sunday, June 14: Wesley United Methodist Church in Parsons, Kansas (both Sunday morning services)
Sunday, July 12: Anastasia Baptist Church in St. Augustine, Florida (Saturday night service, plus all three Sunday morning services)

As we look forward to these opportunities to share what God has done for us, my wife and I would appreciate your prayers and support. Thank you and God bless!

ko_turkey_2015

 

How Will You Respond

How will you respond to the unwanted, seemingly unchangeable, circumstances of life? This is the question I asked at the First United Methodist Church in Independence, Kansas a couple of months ago, while speaking at both of their Sunday morning services. If you happen to belong to a church family, please watch this video, then pray about whether or not you feel God is leading you to make arrangements for me to share my life story at your church. God has given me a gift and a message. Please help me share it with the world. Email me for more info: kevinaolson@yahoo.com

 

FUMC in Independence – Nov. 9

I am excited to announce that I will be speaking during both services on Sunday, November 9 at the First United Methodist Church In Independence, Kansas. I attended this church off and on for many years, as this is where my mother attended, my sister got married, and my brothers attended while they were growing up. I look forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces!

Following the services I plan to be available to sign books for anyone who would like to purchase one. Please plan to attend and then spread the word, as it is also youth Sunday at the church!

Kevin Olson speaking at the Anastasia Baptist Church in St. Augustine Florida

Kevin Olson shares a part of his testimony, along with the story of how he became paralyzed. In this video he also shares two stories from his book, Learning to Live With It, which challenge the audience to “live with” unwanted circumstances and trust God no matter what.

Kevin is available to speak to audiences of all ages in many different settings. (Churches, schools, businesses, and etc.) For more information please email Kevin or call 620-795-2629.

One Special Girl

Every once in a while as I travel around speaking to groups I am amazed by the number of people who will come listen to what I have to say. Many times following a speaking event the first question someone will ask is how many people were there?

I think it is pretty natural to be consumed with numbers. We have a tendency to think that more is always better. But on April 5, 2014, more did not matter. I was asked to speak at a youth hunting event at the First Baptist Church in Oswego, Kansas. Early that morning a couple young people were rousted from their beds and drug out into the woods to listen and watch for Turkey. One of those youth, was named Mallorie. I did not have the pleasure of sitting out in the woods with her, but a good buddy of mine, Tony was with her. He had planned this event in hope that many young people would come out and hunt all morning, then we would meet at the church for lunch and a short message from me.

When I arrived at the church I really did not know how many people would be there. After entering I realized there were only a handful of people. We only had 2 hunters that morning. The other 8 to 10 people there were involved in putting on the event. At first it seemed a little bit discouraging, but then I began to learn a little more about Mallorie. She had been battling leukemia. If you were just to listen to her voice or see her smile you would never imagine the struggle she has been fighting. She is only 11 years old and they tell me her cancer is in remission. Praise the Lord!

After we had lunch I spoke briefly about a good friend of mine who gave me the opportunity to go hunting and how we should go the extra mile to do things for people who otherwise might not have the opportunity. I was moved and inspired and blessed when I left the church that day. I really did not care that there were less than 20 people in attendance to hear what I have to say. All that mattered to me on that day was that Mallorie was there.

Follow the link below to find out more about a fundraising event for Mallorie in Andover on April 26, 2014:

5K and Silent Auction to benefit leukemia patient, Mallorie Sailsbury, and her family.

Tabor College

Last week I was blessed with the opportunity to speak at two Kansas colleges. On Saturday, February 15, I traveled all the way to Neosho County Community College and spoke to about 75 middle and high school students who were a part of talent search. Talent search works to inspire kids to go to college and overcome the challenges life presents to them.

On Wednesday, February 12, I traveled to Hillsboro, Kansas, to speak at Tabor College’s spring FCA banquet. I was overwhelmed with the number of students who came up to me afterwards to say they were encouraged or inspired by my message. One young man came to me afterwards and shared the following. “I want to thank you for being here. I have been struggling with some life issues lately and you really helped me. Just last night I basically told God that I was through with him. You have reminded me that I need to trust in him.”

Before both of these speaking engagements, I was concerned with how my voice was going to hold up. I am just getting over a four-week stint of pneumonia and respiratory issues. But fortunately my voice was perfect and all went well. My next stop is Pittsburg State University’s Nurses Christian Fellowship meeting on Monday, February 24.

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at the following events in the very near future:

  • Monday, Jan. 27 @ Noon – Pittsburg State University’s Nurses Christian Fellowship
  • Wednesday, Feb. 12 @ 7:30pm – Tabor College’s Annual FCA Coaches and Athlete’s Banquet
  • Saturday, Feb. 15  @ 1:00pm – Neosho County Community College’s TRIO Event
    (Their theme is Overcoming Adversity)
  • Sunday, March 9 @ 6:00pm – Tyro Christian Church’s Sunday evening service

If you would like to have me speak to your church, youth group, school, business, club, organization, or special event please email me or call me at (620)431-0458.

Erie Federated Church – Sunday, Jan. 12

No matter who we are, experiencing a tragic accident or being given an unwanted, unchangeable diagnosis can cause us to question God and shake our faith. On Sunday, Jan. 12 at 10am I’ll be at the Erie Federated Church, 202 South Main Street in Erie, KS. sharing my life story. A story that includes a tragic accident and an unwanted diagnosis that shook my faith and caused me to question God. But it’s also a story that taught me many valuable life lessons, strengthened my faith, and helped me get to know God.

I hope you’ll come join us and remember; regardless of our circumstances, we always have the option to respond positively in faith knowing that God has a plan and a purpose for our lives.