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God has surprises in store for you and me

Gorgeous tulips in Holland, Michigan

Gorgeous tulips in Holland, Michigan

 Did you know that God has wonderful surprises in store for you and me? 

Although I wanted to visit my friends Herb and Diane Bishop in Michigan, traveling there wasn’t on my radar this year. But they invited me there to visit them and to attend an Encounter ministry weekend. Herb had just been to the men’s Encounter, and wanted his wife Diane and their ministry Board of Directors to experience it, too, because he thought it was amazing. (I’m on their Board of Directors.) So with God’s blessing and a friend’s help, my Southwest plane trips were booked and the Encounter ministry fee was paid for!

Tulips are so beautiful

Tulips are so beautiful

Diane didn’t know this, but I had been looking at tulips at Walmart. They come in various, vibrant colors. I’ve never grown any, but think they are beautiful. Suddenly, Diane emailed me that they would pick me up at the airport and take me that day to Holland, Michigan, where there is a park filled with gorgeous tulips and they are planted all around town.

Park in Holland, Michigan with beautiful tulips

Park in Holland, Michigan with beautiful tulips

They also would take me to Lake Michigan after that, which I’d wanted to visit. I’ve never seen any of the 5 Great Lakes there. These lakes are huge and like the ocean with waves – amazing and beautiful! They even have sea gulls – but no salt in the water, like other oceans.

I sensed that God wanted me to read a Scripture over Lake Michigan and to pray and prophesy over the lake and the people of Michigan, which is Psalm 42:7, my favorite Scripture in the Bible because I love water and waterfalls:

“Deep calls to deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and billows have gone over me.” I prayed that God would show the people of Michigan the depths of His love, forgiveness, mercy, and goodness.

Diane and I were actually standing by the inlet to the lake/ocean when I read this. Herb was waiting in the car for us, because the park where the lake/ocean was located was closed and they wouldn’t allow people to park close by the sand dunes. When we got back into the car, Herb asked if I had actually gone to where the OCEAN was. Diane said no but that I saw the inlet, and Herb said I needed to actually go to the ocean since I had come all this way! He was so right and I’m SO glad and happy that I did go on the beach up to the waves to see it! I hope to come back one day again, maybe this summer! I’ve never seen a lake that is like the ocean!

 

 

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

 

Sea gulls

Sea gulls

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Blog, Faith, pets, Speaking, Travel, Writing

What’s new: Speaking, writing, and Marmalade’s home

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged here at BethJones.net so I thought I’d share about what’s new.  One of the most exciting things is that I just graduated from Robyn Dystra’s 8-week Christian Speakers Bootcamp. The best part was having access to Robyn live on a weekly Zoom meeting, where she shared the wealth of her years of experience speaking and answered our questions about speaking. 

This is my digital certificate from the class, and Robyn is mailing all of us a paper certificate, too. Isn’t it cool?!

Christian Speakers Bootcamp digital certificate

Second, Robyn assigned a speech coach to everyone in the training. Mine was Lisa Betz, an award-winning novelist.  She was great and helped me to greatly improve and polish my Cinderella signature talk

My signature talk is about Cinderella's story and her glass slipper: The right shoes can take you to exciting places!

My signature talk is about Cinderella’s story & her glass slippers: The right shoes can take you to exciting places!

We also got a practice and prayer partner, to help us practice our “elevator pitch” (what you say when you meet someone new and he or she says, “What do you do?”). Our speech coach worked with us on this, too. Here’s mine:

Me in denim dress recently on a trip with Ray to Columbia, Missouri

Me in denim dress recently on a trip with Ray to Columbia, Missouri

“I’m Beth Jones, an International Speaker and Author of 30 books. I believe we should dream BIG because we serve a BIG GOD! I help women to step out of fear into faith in Jesus Christ, by sharing my story and the Bible about how much God loves us and the freedom we have in Jesus.”

What do you think?

If you’re an event planner or know someone who is who needs a speaker for their women’s conference, event, or workshop, please contact me here.

If you have never heard me share my story, you can read it in my memoir, Promises in the Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love, available at Amazon here.

 

Promises in the Dark graphic

Promises in the Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love graphic

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Blog, Books, Business, Faith, Family, Friendship, prayer, Speaking, Spiritual Gifts, Travel, Writing

Goals and dreams for the new year 2024

2024Image source: BoliviaInteligente on Unsplash

2024
Image source: BoliviaInteligente on Unsplash

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” ~ Melody Beattie

We’re nearing the end of 2023 and the new year 2024 is around the corner, as of this post’s writing. I hope you had a great Christmas with your family and your friends, and have a wonderful, new year overflowing with God’s blessings.

I usually do several things at the end of each year and before the start of the new one:

  • Reflect over the past year and pray about the coming new year. I set aside a quiet time alone to seek God to ask His forgiveness for any sins I may have committed in the past year, and to ask for His direction, wisdom, guidance, and protection for me and my family. I no longer do new year’s resolutions (breaking them too fast). For the last several years, I’ve asked for a “one word” and a Scripture as an anchor for the coming year. The one word has worked much better, and it serves as a theme for the year. I really liked this video on resetting your life and just “dreaming” about the coming year and writing down what comes to mind (although I still think goals are a great and wise idea!). My motto is “Dream big because we serve a big God!” God makes dreams come true, as my life is living proof!
Palm trees & beachImage source: Maarten van den Heuvel

Palm trees & beach
Image source: Maarten van den Heuvel

  • Declutter, organize, and clean. Marie Kondo said, “Tidying is the act of confronting yourself.” So true! Have you ever just really LOOKED at your house, rooms, closets, drawers, yard, garage, and car and thought, “What IS all this crap? Why on earth do I have it?” (Or you wonder why your spouse or kids do!) Decluttering and organizing is an endless task, but such a necessary one. I try to do this several times a year, but especially at the end of the year, to have a fresh new start. It’s SO freeing to give away, throw away, or sell things. You just feel a weight lifted off you, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  “When home feels out of control, no matter what the reason, unsettledness and anxiety can seep in, and then the chaos becomes internal as well as external.” (Myquillyn Smith)
ClutterImage source: Ashim D’Silva

Clutter
Image source: Ashim D’Silva

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