A brief intro. . .

Mary SelzerI was privileged to be born and raised in Detroit by godly parents who trained their four children to love and fear the Lord. As a teenager, I felt the Lord was calling me to full-time ministry, so I attended Bible college. After graduation, I began working for the Teen Challenge ministry in Detroit, and later in Cape Girardeau, Missouri—never dreaming I would spend the next twenty years of my life working for the Teen Challenge ministry. While I was working in Cape Girardeau, I met and fell in love with a fellow staff member—a handsome young man named Lou. We were married in 1982, and today have two wonderful daughters, each married to fabulous husbands. They have blessed us with five incredible grandchildren.

In 1989, we were invited to return to the Detroit area to pastor the church in which I was raised. As the wife of a pastor, I have been involved in every church ministry imaginable, and each one has been a learning and growing experience for me. However, over the years I have realized the importance of balance in life and ministry. In 2006 I started training to become a leadership coach. After receiving credentials with the International Coach Federation, I began coaching leaders and teams of non-profit organizations. Coaching has become an important component of my ministry, and has opened many new opportunities for speaking, publishing books, writing blogs, and meeting new people.

How I became a speaker & author . . .

My first speaking opportunity came at fourteen years of age, when our church youth leader asked me if I would like to address the youth group. I eagerly accepted the invitation and immediately began researching for my topic—why it’s wrong to smoke. It didn’t matter that my audience would consist of all non-smokers. Someone had given me a soapbox and I was determined to jump on and stand tall. To say my first speaking engagement was a smashing success would be more false than true. But, we need to start somewhere, right? Fortunately, life’s experiences are seasoned with grace that grows with us.

Since that first speaking engagement, I have had the privilege of speaking on five continents to countless people at conferences, retreats, workshops, seminars, churches, outdoor services, small groups, and training sessions. I normally begin training sessions with a short devotional, often developed from a life experience. One day someone suggested I consider publishing some of the devotionals. I shrugged it off at the moment, but a seed was planted in my brain. Little did I realize that that one passing comment would develop into a new passion . . . writing. And the writing soon resulted in the publication of Wait A Minute! Thirty devotionals inspired by life’s breath-catching moments (December, 2015) and 25 Questions God Asked: Discover the answers that will change your life. (scheduled for release by Barbour Publishing, November, 2016).

I have always loved books. As a kid, my weekly trips to the public library gleaned stacks of mysteries, novels, and biographies. They introduced me to worlds I would never visit and characters I would never meet. I remember reading Swiss Family Robinson for the first time in fourth grade. When I returned that book to the shelf, it felt like I was leaving friends who had become part of my life—or maybe I had become a part of theirs. Regardless, it felt good and I wanted more.

That fourth-grade experience remains alive in me today. Whether I’m speaking to people I can actually see or writing to individuals I may never meet, I hope this author and her audience will always become richer because we’ve connected together in some way. I’m committed to doing my part.