The greatest man who ever lived

female hiker
female hiker

“The greater the mission, and the more difficult and time-consuming it is, the deeper our why must be to help us achieve our goal successfully.”–Steven K. Scott, The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived: Secrets for Unparalleled Success and Unshakable Happiness from the Life of Jesus

In today’s scope (you can catch the Katch.me replay here; follow me on Periscope @bethmjones), I shared about a book I’m re-reading by Steven K. Scott, The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived: Secrets for Unparalleled Success and Unshakable Happiness from the Life of Jesus. My friend Kimberly Weber told me about it and it is excellent.

Jesus thrived in his ministry and was the most successful person there ever was. In the scope, I shared three success tips gleaned from this book:

  1. Jesus was mentored and mentored others.  Jesus took 12 men and women disciples and turned the world upside down. To do that, He had to be very clear on his purpose and mission, and to stay focused. He often withdrew from the crowds to spend time alone with God his Father. The world is a busy, noisy place. We need to be able to get away from that noise, too, and hear God’s still, small voice for wisdom and direction, for God to pour into us so we can pour into others. Are you taking time out every day to pray, read and study God’s word, and worship?
  2. Jesus was consistent in his mission and brand. Jesus knew His identity was the Son of God and the Savior of the world, and walked in His authority and anointing. He used his gifts of preaching, teaching, prophesying, encouraging, healing, doing miracles, casting out demons, and serving wherever He went in the marketplace–not just confined to the walls of the temple. He didn’t change and He wasn’t all over the map. His message stayed consistent during his time here on earth, and it has spread all over the world. Jesus fulfilled His purpose from God. Do you know what your purpose is? Do you know what your spiritual gifts are and are you using them for God? Are you fulfilling your God-designed mission?
  3. Jesus completed His assignment. Jesus’ physical life didn’t last long here on earth, but He fulfilled His mission, which was to advance the Kingdom of God, to set captives free, and to die for our sins so we could have an eternal relationship with God in heaven. He did what He set out to do. He was purposeful and intentional. Are you completing the life assignment, the mission, God has given you? Or are you wasting your life, just floating along, watching Empire, Scandal or reality TV shows, playing Farmville on Facebook, or sleeping your life away? If you don’t know what that mission is, ask God. He will give you liberal wisdom (James 1:5) and show you–and help you to achieve it. 

I highly recommend reading this book, available at Amazon. After a period of no longer believing God existed, Scott encountered Jesus Christ one night and since then, he has drawn on Jesus’ teachings to help create two dozen businesses that have generated billions of dollars in revenue, from the lessons he learned from the “homeless carpenter.”

One important key that Scott points out is that success is about more than money. The book has practical tips for how to achieve success, God’s way. 

Showers of Blessings eBook

You also can learn how to achieve success (and what not to do) from successful Christian female entrepreneurs here

 

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Full circle

Me speaking at Olathe, KS Aglow on The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes
Me speaking at Olathe, KS Aglow
on The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes

Yesterday I was honored and so happy to speak at the Olathe, Kansas Aglow. I spoke on my signature talk, The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes, which is also the title for my new eBook. (It was an Amazon Best Seller in its category and sub-category the first day. You can get it at Amazon by clicking here for just $2.99). 

God amazes me how He orchestrates things. Olathe is my old stomping grounds. It is where God first called me to ministry.

In 1989, when I was in the middle of a suicidal depression, living in low-income housing with my precious little girl Heather in Olathe, I was crying one late night in my bedroom, having no hope. I felt guilty for feeling this way since I had Heather, but I was filled with emotional pain.

I opened my Bible, Russian roulette-style, and it landed on Isaiah 61. God spoke to my heart in His still, small voice: “Beth, this is what I have called you to do and to be.”

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called [d]oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

At the time, this seemed impossible. How could I help set the captives free, God, I prayed and cried, when I was a prisoner myself in a dark chamber of depression, panic attacks, fear, and hopelessness? Yet that word from God has now come to pass.

 Today I’m an international speaker and author, encouraging women to use their gifts for God’s glory, doing what they love.

Me speaking, Olathe, Kansas Aglow
Me speaking, Olathe, Kansas Aglow

God turned things around 180 degrees, and has used the most painful things in my life, such as my childhood sexual and physical abuse, my 3 abortions, and adulterous relationships, to minister to other women who have been through the same hurtful experiences to help set them free.

As I spoke at Aglow, I realized, humbled and so thankful, that God had brought me full circle for the glory of Jesus.

Only He could do something so amazing! Today on my Facebook wall, a friend posted this:

“Very happy for you. And as someone who is conquering depression without meds, your testimony gives me hope. Thanks for sharing!”

I was so happy yesterday speaking in front of a live audience, connecting with the women face to face. I was in my element. I know in my heart that it is what God has called me to do and to be. You can see the joy on my face in this pic below: 

Me in my element, speaking at Olathe Aglow
So happy!
Me in my element, speaking at Olathe Aglow

I’m a visual learner and I love using visual aids (what some call “props”) when I speak at live events. I requested a small table to put my visual aids on, which had the Cinderella “pumpkin” white carriage and dappled grey horse, my Cinderella child’s story book, many of my shoes, and my Cinderella glass slipper, which our daughter Heather bought me as a Christmas gift.

You can see it in this pic below with my other Christmas gifts.

Glass slipper
Glass slipper

 I also used the red shoe picture that our daughter Heather painted at a painting party with friends, which she gave to me. It hangs on the wall in my office where I work each day. 

red shoe pic Heather painted
red shoe pic Heather painted

One of the few good men attending the event commented later that he really enjoyed the visual aids. One of the women in the audience wanted the glass slipper, asking where I bought it! She said she loves the story of Cinderella. It resonates with women, and most women love cute shoes!

Me speaking at Olathe Aglow Visual aids
Me speaking at Olathe Aglow
Visual aids

 My beautiful, precious friend Joanie Qualls introduced me to speak at the meeting. I met Joanie and her husband when Ray and I went to a marriage retreat in Branson, MO, last year. Joanie and I connected in heart instantly. I just love her!

My precious beautiful friend Joanie Qualls and me at Olathe Aglow
My precious beautiful friend Joanie Qualls and me at Olathe Aglow

Below here I am with the Olathe Aglow leader, JoAnn Walsh. She and her husband Phil generously host the Aglow in their home. JoAnn is such a cute, sweet little thing!

She and the other ladies prepared a wonderful brunch before I spoke: spinach quiche, ambrosia salad with blueberries, coffee cake, and more. JoAnn had a lighthouse in her front yard and a picture of a lighthouse hanging on the wall in the living room, where the meeting was. Their home is truly a lighthouse for the Lord!

Me with Olathe Aglow leader/host JoAnn Walsh
Me with Olathe Aglow leader/host JoAnn Walsh

When I speak at live events, I like to give away a gift (door prize). This is also very effective for building your subscriber list! (You can sign up for my mailing list by going to the top of the page on the right-hand side and enter your name and email address. You’ll receive my video and bi-monthly newsletter with encouraging tips, videos, and the latest updates). 

In exchange for their name and email addresses (with their permission), you can have a sign-up form “for the opportunity to win a free gift today!” You give away something of value (either physically or virtually).

I gave away a pretty “Cinderella” bag, a cute toy princess tiara, lavender bubble bath, a Cinderella-blue bath sponge, cute Walk by Faith shoes notecards, a pen with different sayings on it like “Let Go and Let God,” a Dove chocolate bar, and a physical copy of my book, Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love.

The winner was Debbie, a multi-gifted woman, pictured below. I just loved her! She will be speaking at the Olathe Aglow in November 2015. 

princess" gift bag winner, Debbie
Me with “Cinderella princess” gift bag winner, Debbie

I used my visual aids of the Cinderella glass slippers and my shoes to visually and symbolically illustrate walking in your own unique glass slippers~ God’s Divine purpose for you. Below I’m showing our daughter Heather’s purple heels.

Are you walking in your unique shoes~or are you jealous or envious of someone else, wanting to walk in her shoes? You can’t succeed trying to walk in someone else’s shoes!

Me speaking at Olathe Aglow with shoes visual aid
Me speaking at Olathe Aglow with shoes visual aid
Me speaking at Olathe Aglow, using my black heels as a visual aid
Me speaking at Olathe Aglow, using my black heels as a visual aid

After I spoke, women came forward for prayer. I love this one-on-one time. My friend Joanie posted this testimony on my Facebook wall about it: 

“This was a wonderful meeting in many ways led by the Holy Spirit of God! Such a blessing and thanks to have you, Beth.”

Here’s feedback from another attendee, Vicki, there:

“Your talk was good and I know at least one who was there that had an abortion, so glad you included that forgiveness message, also.”

An attendee, Lisa, messaged me on Facebook, saying:

“So glad I reconnected with you Saturday. You were such an inspiration. I will be praying for your ministry. You have a timely message. You need to tell others your wonderful message.”

The leader of Aglow, JoAnn, said this about my speaking and my prayer time afterward for some women:

“You word for each one was right on.  Many thanks for obeying the Spirit.”

I’m so honored God chose to use me there and had so much fun speaking, meeting the women, and praying for them. The meeting, which is usually held until 12 noon, lasted until after 2 p.m.!

Afterwards, of course, I had a Mexican late lunch (one of my favorite meals!), treating myself. 

The service was good and outside they had statues of a serenade of Mexican men in hats.  The Mexican meal was the perfect touch for a great day.

Thank you, Jesus, for all You have done and will do!

my treat after speaking: Mexican restaurant  Chips and salsa
my treat after speaking: Mexican restaurant
chips and salsa
Mexican restaurant, Olathe, Kansas
Mexican restaurant, Olathe, Kansas

I have written a book on this signature talk topic, which became an Amazon Best Seller the first day in its category and sub-category: The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes. You can buy it for just $2.99 by clicking here at Amazon.

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Kenya Missions Trip, Part 3: Jesus Comes After The One

Kenya Missions Trip, Part 3: Jesus Comes After The One

This may be the last post on our Kenya Missions Trip, where I spoke at a 3-Day Conference in Bungoma, Kenya, Africa. You can read part 1 by clicking here. You can read part 2 by clicking here.

Snail
I’m motivated as a snail today

This morning I shared with my business accountability/prayer partners that I’m feeling about as motivated as a snail this week.

We haven’t even had Christmas yet! We had to postpone our family Christmas dinner due to the Africa trip’s expenses. (Most expenses came out of Ray’s and my pockets.) You can still donate to this missions trip for us to help Pastors Patrick and Rose Mudenyo and the orphans there in Kenya by clicking here. Email me at elizabethdjones@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Then when we came home from Kenya, Leah was sick with a sore throat and congestion, and then me and Ray got sick. Then Heather’s boyfriend Matt got the flu, followed by Heather and Ray getting sick, so we are postponing the family dinner and our gift exchange AGAIN until January 18. Enough with the sickness – GO, in Jesus’ name!

I usually get post-Christmas depression, after all the excitement of anticipating and opening presents and having to put away the Christmas tree. I really hate taking the Christmas decorations off the tree! 

The Red Balloon movie
The Red Balloon movie

Christmas is such a happy time, my favorite time of year, because it is filled with the joy of the birth of my Savior, delicious food, and generous gift giving! It’s like the movie, The Red Balloon, about a boy and a happy red balloon. The days following Christmas is like the big red balloon deflating! All the fun is over now!

Now I’m a little depressed before our family Christmas time. I won’t spill my guts here, but It’s just different things going on in my life. I appreciate so much your prayers for your support of me!

But I digress. Now about Africa again. So many exciting, amazing things happened there that it’s hard to compress it into a couple of posts. Maybe in this one post, I can share some of the lessons I learned there, but just emphasize one main point. Jesus’ heart is always after the one sheep.

I spoke 4 times there at the Kenya Conference and Ray spoke twice. The first day after my first session speaking on Joseph the Dreamer part 1, Pastor Patrick wanted us to pray for the people after I finished speaking. Most of the church came forward for us to pray for their needs. They were hungry for God. It was powerful.

Fire starter intercessors during worship
Fire starter intercessors during worship

 

The 2nd day of the conference, I spoke on Joseph the dreamer part 2, Ray spoke on Ezekiel and the vision of the dry bones, which was very anointed, and then I shared my personal testimony. I was told by the associate pastor and my Swahili intepreter, pastor Pius, that my testimony was  powerful.The Bible says that we defeat and triumph over Satan by the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony, and denying ourselves. (Revelation 12:11) 

Where can you begin sharing your story with others? Your story is important. God wants to use your story to help and minister to others!

Pastor Rose Mudenyo & me before speaking 2nd conference day Bungoma, Kenya, Africa
Pastor Rose Mudenyo & me before speaking
2nd conference day
Bungoma, Kenya, Africa

On this 2nd day I prophesied that the fire of God was coming to that church. We didn’t pray for anyone that day, but just spent time with the pastors that afternoon, getting to know them and the orphans more.

One of my favorite memories is of that afternoon coffee that pastor Rose and Patrick had prepared for Ray and me. We sat outside where a breeze blew to help with the African intense heat and talked to pastor Patrick about his years in ministry, miracles he had seen in Kenya (one blind man healed and another miracle healing), why sometimes miracles don’t happen (pastor Patrick believes that it’s often caused by unbelief), and how he and pastor Rose are training the orphans to do chores as part of the family to become responsible.

Coke
Coke

Another favorite memory I have is of visiting an older man who is part of the pastors’ church, Revival Praise and Worship, on Monday morning before we left Kenya. He and his family served Ray and me peanuts and Coke® and spoke encouraging words to us about our calling from God.

“When God tells you to go, just go,” he said. “Don’t say, ‘We don’t have the money to go. Just go!'” His simple, pure faith made me smile and I received what he said.

When we left, he said he and his wife didn’t want to leave us as their guests empty-handed, so they blessed us with a dozen eggs – a great gift in their culture.  A gesture many of the women do in Kenya to show respect and/or affection when greeting or saying goodbye is to hug, kissing one another on the cheek.

Another custom I learned about from our new friend Apostle Catherine is that it is common when meeting someone’s children to lay your hand on his/her head and speak a blessing over them. There are also things not to do in Kenya, which you can learn here.

beth-orphans
Beth Jones and pastor Patrick & Rose Mudenyo’s orphans
Our faithful driver Amos is standing on the right

On the 3rd day of the conference, Ray spoke on The Good Samaritan, which the pastor told him they’d been studying for weeks at their church (Ray didn’t know this, but God did). Then I spoke on Deborah the Warrior and Jael from Judges 4, and after this is when the fire of God that I’d prophesied fell! 

Sunday's service, 3rd conference day
Sunday’s service, 3rd conference day

God had shown me five women in the audience who were “fire starter” intercessors. As pastor Rose led worship and as these intercessors prayed for God’s presence, the fire was going to be released into the house of God and God’s people touched in a great way. I instructed the intercessors to pray for all those who needed prayer. Most of the people in the audience surged forward for prayer and a couple of men on the church staff and the pastors held the crowd back to keep order. It was amazing seeing what God did! People were set free! 

Women dancing Revival Worship & Praise Church Mumsia, Kenya, Africa
Women dancing
Revival Worship & Praise Church
Mumsia, Kenya, Africa

Pastor Patrick emailed me this week to tell me that the fire is still burning and even growing, and that people are being healed and delivered. God is continuing to use these 5 intercessors. Praise God!

Pretty purple flowers in Kenya
Pretty purple flowers in Kenya

While there in Kenya, I was able to pray and prophesy over each of these 5 intercessor women, whom I call “fire starters,” at the end of Sunday’s powerful service. Each one of them cried and I believe God ministered deeply to their hearts. I don’t think they  or the audience knew God wanted to use them!  It blessed me so much to see women stepping more fully into their purpose, using their gifts for God. That is my passion! 

Kenyan women - Justine is the woman at the far right, by me
Kenyan women – Justine is the woman at the far right by me

But there was one woman intercessor, whom I felt God sent me specifically to Africa to pray for and to release into more of her God-given purpose. Her name is Justine. This was my word for her.

“You are the woman I believe God sent me to Africa for. You are a beautiful woman, inside and out. But you don’t know how beautiful you really are and it’s because of the things you’ve been through in your life, how hurt you’ve been. But God says you are BEAUTIFUL. You’ve also been hidden for a long time. You have been in a place of serving others. God says now it’s your time to come out of hiding and to be put on display. God is about to use you in a very powerful way. You are the primary fire starter here. As you worship and as you pray, the fire is going to be released. It is a roaring, raging, holy fire that will consume everything in its path. God is going to use you in a great way in this house.” (Justine helped cook and to serve Ray’s and my food while we were there. I watched how humbly she did this and God began speaking to my heart about her.)

When you study stories of Jesus in the Bible, you see how often He ministered one on one to people. His heart was always after the one sheep.

Boy eating sugar cane, Kenya, Africa

Yes, Jesus had the great, powerful, limitless anointing to minister to crowds of people. He was also anointed to minister to groups of people, whether that was 5000 people, 100’s of people, His 12 disciples, His 3 closest friends, or the one disciple “whom Jesus loved.”  But Jesus seemed to delight in seeking out the one who was alone:

  • Andrew the fisherman
  • Nicodemus
  • The man by the pool of Bethesda
  • The woman with the issue of blood
  • The little girl Tabitha
  • The woman of Nain, whose son died
  • The woman at the well
  • The woman caught in adultery
  • The thief on the cross who asked Jesus to remember him
  • Peter after Jesus’ resurrection
  • Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb when she thought He was the gardener.

I believe Justine was my “one” in Africa, whom God wanted me to pray for and help release into her great destiny. She is a rare, brilliant diamond who has caught God’s eye and heart. A woman of fire.

Who is the “one” in your life who God wants you to reach out to, to minister to, to heal, to prophesy to, to help in some practical way, to pray for, to bless? Encourage her or him today.

So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! ~ Luke 15:3-7, NLT

Beth and Ray Jones, Kisimu airport, Kenya, Africa
Beth and Ray Jones, Kisimu airport, Kenya, Africa
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