Browsing Tag

women speakers

Blog, Faith, prayer, Spiritual Gifts, Travel

Lord, Order My Steps

Amber Welton, Beth Jones, and Sue Wilt

Amber Welton, me, and Sue Wilt
Archie Baptist Church ladies’ tea

Yesterday, I spoke at the ladies’ tea at the Archie Baptist Church in Archie, MO. The theme and my speaking topic were Lord, Order My Steps. God surprised me there!

Archie is a small, rural town so I thought not many women would attend. I’d only made 15 handouts (figuring only 15 to 25 at the most would show up), and to my shock and delight, the room was FILLED with women!

God spoke to me through this:

  • Stop thinking small
  • Dream big because He’s a big God
  • Raise your expectations!

The ladies made me feel so welcome and were so friendly, especially Amber, Tracey, and Sue Wilt who was hilarious. Sue was, I found out later, one of my friend’s aunts! Small world. I was so grateful to my daughter Heather’s friend, Amber Welton, who thought of me as a speaker and invited me to speak there!

Sue commented that she noticed Leah was “taking notes” as I spoke. What Leah was actually doing was drawing/doodling on her handout. 🙂

Leah's drawing and doodling

Leah’s drawing and doodling

Below is a pic I snapped before we began. Our daughter Leah (in blue top, center) is checking her phone, of course!

Archie Baptist Church ladies' tea

Archie Baptist Church ladies’ tea

Here were more women standing in line to register before we began.

Ladies in line, Archie Baptist Church

Ladies in line, Archie Baptist Church

Linda Bogart did a beautiful job decorating the tables with cloth yellow or white tablecloths, with shoes centerpieces draped with jewelry, and with programs whose colorful shoes cover had been drawn by one of the artistic women in the church. I love seeing God’s creative gifts in His people. Each shoes centerpiece was unique, just as God made every one of us “wonderfully and fearfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)

Shoes centerpieces and crystal plates & cups

Shoes centerpieces and crystal plates & cups

The tables had crystal glass plates and cups for the yummy hors-d’oeuvres and delicious punch.

Yummy hors d'oeuvres and punch at ladies' tea

Yummy hors d’oeuvres and punch at ladies’ tea

Gwen Knibb sang the precious solo, “Via Dolorosa” (God knows I love Israel!) and the “Tea Time Singers” beautifully sang “Footsteps of Jesus.” Are you walking in all God has planned for your life?

"Tea Time Singers" Vicki Williams, Amber Welton and others singing "Footsteps of Jesus"

“Tea Time Singers” Vicki Williams, Amber Welton and others singing “Footsteps of Jesus”

Christina McGinnis offered the blessing and gave us a poignant reminder, through the shoes she wore that she said weren’t her most comfortable pair: our “shoes” won’t always be so comfortable. God often calls us out of our comfort zones to obey Him. When we do, we’ll experience His blessing.

One of the beautiful, precious women who talked with me before we started was Victoria, who’s in the marketing business for speakers, writers, and other business owners. She shared with me that she’d love to start publicly speaking, teaching women what she has learned in her life about God’s unconditional love (no matter what you’ve done wrong!) and about the beautiful relationship she has with Jesus Christ.

I encouraged her that God gives us the desires of our hearts, and as she seeks Him and walks in obedience, He will open doors and give an outlet for her to speak ~ just like He has with me! God is the DREAM GIVER and the DREAM FULFILLER! Amen. Selah.

Another woman I spoke with, Donna, shared about a friend of hers, who has visited Israel numerous times and she had visited Israel herself. I’d mentioned during my presentation time that Ray and I visited Israel several years ago. This little tidbit was something that connected me with a woman in the audience. I hadn’t planned to talk about Israel, but do you know that God will put His right-on time word in your mouth?

One woman told me after I spoke that what I shared “was exactly what I needed today.” 🙂

At the tea, I shared 5 tips for God ordering your steps, using the acronym STEPS, and here they are to encourage you:

S- Spend time with God daily in prayer, reading the Bible, and worship. This is basic Christianity 101, but do we faithfully do it? The first step for God ordering your steps is to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  All you have to do to be saved is call on the name of Jesus Christ. (Romans 10:13) Spend time with God every day, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. As you pray, your hunger and thirst for God’s presence and His word will grow and you’ll want to spend even more time with Him.

T – Time Management. Learn to manage your time wisely. Don’t waste your time or your spiritual gifts. Are you on Facebook or Pinterest all day long? Sometimes God wants us to just relax and have fun; at other times, He wants us focused solely on Him and His purpose for your life. Are you procrastinating or holding back in fear from doing what God has called you to do? Take your calling seriously.

E – Examine Your Life and Heart. What is going well? What needs to change? Do you need transformation in your life? If so, pray about coming to the Released Women’s Conference on April 27 just outside Kansas City, MO. (Click here to find out more.) How are your relationships? Are you being all God designed you to be? Are you using your gifts for Him?

P – Priorities and Planning. Remember that Mary chose the best part which wouldn’t be taken from her – sitting at Jesus’ feet, learning from Him. We women are like “Octo-mom” – an octopus with many arms, doing many things at once, great at multi-tasking. But even though we can do lots of things at once, that doesn’t mean it’s best. Usually there are one or two important tasks that God wants us to do each day. He may want you to spend more time with your husband, child, or a friend. He may want you to speak somewhere or to work on writing your book. What is your next step? What steps are God telling you to do right now to fulfill your life purpose?

S – Stay The Course. Don’t get distracted or let your faith be shipwrecked. Don’t doubt but trust God. Like Jesus told Peter after the resurrection, don’t worry about anyone else or compare yourself to him or her. You follow Jesus. Fulfill the God-given calling that is on your life.

woman driving car with scarf
Blog, Business, Faith, prayer, Spiritual Gifts, Travel

SOS: Starting Out Speaking for Beginner Speakers (Content)

woman driving car with scarfThis is part 7 of my blog series, SOS: Starting Out Speaking For Beginner Speakers. You can read part 6 by clicking here.

In the last blog post in this series, we covered your speaking bio, that the event planner will (hopefully) share to introduce you just before you enter the presentation area. Today we’ll talk about content ideas for your speaking presentation.

As I shared before in this series, there are 2 rules for speaking:

  1. Have something interesting to say.
  2. Don’t be boring!

As a Christian believer, I also add a third, which is the most important:

  • Say what God tells you to say and glorify Jesus. You can’t go wrong here!

Here’s what the Bible says in Jeremiah 1: 4-10, CEV: “The Lord said:  “Jeremiah, I am your Creator, and before you were born, I chose you to speak for me to the nations.” I replied, “I’m not a good speaker, Lord, and I’m too young.” “Don’t say you’re too young,” the Lord answered. “If I tell you to go and speak to someone, then go! And when I tell you what to say, don’t leave out a word! I promise to be with you and keep you safe, so don’t be afraid.” The Lord reached out his hand, then he touched my mouth and said, “I am giving you the words to say, and I am sending you with authority to speak to the nations for me. You will tell them of doom and destruction, and of rising and rebuilding again.”

After God gives you the main message He wants you to share with the audience, how do you get inspired to write your content? Here’s 5 tips for inspired content:

1. The Bible. God’s word is alive. Exciting real-life stories filled with adventure such as the Flood and the rainbow, Job a good man who had bad things happen to him, a young Jewish girl named Hadassah who God set apart for a great purpose as queen, David the shepherd boy who God chose to fight on the front lines of war and raised up to be king, Mary Magdalene who had 7 demons cast out of her, who was the first evangelist. Examples, both serious and humorous (like gloomy, doubting Thomas who said, “Let us go to Jerusalem, too, that we may die with Jesus”), that teach us important truths such as having strong faith.

Jesus’ stories and Solomon’s romantic poetry, the lonely but faithful prophets, the apostle Paul who was mocked for his faith in Jesus, the teen girl Mary’s faithful obedience, the wisdom of the Proverbs, the disciples who constantly screwed up, yet God used to spread the gospel around the world (which gives us hope!). There is so much meat in the Bible, which makes solid content for your speaking presentation.

2. Daily life. My family knows by now that practically anything they say or do is fodder for my speaking or writing! Your life provides some of the BEST creative material for speaking. Anything goes. Have an observing eye and a listening ear, and write things down in your journal for your next speaking presentation.

Your kids’ antics and conversations are so truthful and often funny and make wonderful anecdotes to share when you speak. Your husband or a friend may speak a word of wisdom (or of irritation!) that you can quote, like Ray saying to me last week in the car when I told him to stop trying to control me about a matter, “There is no controlling you! You are like a wild horse racing off a cliff with no one able to stop you!”

A financial crisis, health issue, career or ministry change, or fitness goals (such as our daughter Heather recently losing 25 pounds by cutting out sugar and running for exercise) can be shared as insightful lessons that help and comfort others.

What experiences have you had or what is happening in your life right now? Do you have 10 kids and/or do you homeschool your kids? Have you been a flight attendant or are you a jewelry artist? Were you in a nearly fatal car accident and God miraculously healed you like He did my friend Rochelle Valasek, one of the speakers for our RELEASED Women’s Conference on April 27?

You might not think it’s so interesting, but others may. People love to hear stories – yours and other people’s. Jesus used stories to teach truth. What stories can you share?

3. Travel. I love traveling so much and other than the Bible, it provides the most inspiration for my speaking and writing. Whether it’s flying internationally or driving on a fun road trip, listening to the radio with the wind in your face like in the beautiful picture above, going to a new place inspires you and taps into your creativity.

Traveling alters your perspective by letting you see, hear and experience new things. Traveling makes me feel more alive than anything else. I want to travel all around the world, on every continent, before I die.

Where do you want to go? Where have you traveled that you can share about when you speak?

4. Nature. A gorgeous rainbow of tulips, Ireland-green grass, cherry blossom trees bursting into bloom in spring, the sun on your face, stars sparkling against a black night, the magnificence of the ocean – God’s creation is one of the greatest sources of inspiration for speaking and writing.

I’ve been thinking about having a beach retreat later this year and a dear friend wrote me an email this week which said, “I saw your thread on FB (Facebook) about a beach retreat! It does sound amazing, Beth. Really, by the ocean where the breeze blows your stress away and you see God so clearly in His awesome, powerful, beautiful creation – the ocean. It always makes me think of Goldie Hawn saying that her father told her that if she “ever starts to feel too big for her britches” to stand by the ocean and remember how small she really is.  The ocean seems to put things back in perspective.”

Another friend of mine on Facebook, Jennifer, said that as she’s been walking outside recently, God has been giving her exciting, new ideas to start a Creative Coaching business. Get out in the sun, the fresh air, and nature to be inspired with fresh ideas for your next presentation.

Share about your pets and others’ pets, animals at the zoo, like the polar bear with the thick, white fur who was pacing back and forth in the enclosure and looking so hot in the summer heat at the Kansas City zoo when Leah and I visited last year, or your fish that died from a friend’s child who fed it Oreo cookies’ crumbs. (A true story that happened to our daughter Leah’s  fish when she was a toddler.)

5. News, t.v. shows, and movies. I hardly ever watch the news and don’t watch t.v. I don’t have time and it’s usually so negative or crass. But once in awhile, I’m intrigued by something unusual in the news, my heart quickened by a great new movie, or am inspired by someone like Angie Miller on American Idol.

You want to at least be aware of what’s popular and share material that is relevant to your audience.

In my next blog post, we’ll talk about your presentation conclusion – it’s important to WOW! your audience with your intro and your conclusion, leaving them with a great take-away.

Woman speaking
Blog, Business, Faith, Spiritual Gifts, Writing

SOS: Starting Out Speaking for Beginner Speakers – Your Bio

Woman speakingThis is part 5 of my SOS: Starting Out Speaking blog series. To read part 4, click here.

If someone were to ask you who you are, what would you say?

  • a wife and a mom
  • an organic farmer
  • a volcanologist
  • a French chef on a cruise ship
  • a science fiction writer
  • a life purpose coach
  • an artist
  • an Indie musician
  • an underwater welder
  • an Alaskan Crab fisherman
  • a professional tea taster (yes, this is a real job!)
  • a celebrity look-alike.

Your who, your identity, isn’t what you do. But we often identify ourselves through our work, our education or knowledge, our gifts, and our accomplishments, and these things help others to know how to relate better to us.

When an event planner introduces a speaker before he or she comes to the presentation area, it “preps” the audience. Your audience must get to know you before they trust you. Your credibility doesn’t always get established by bragging about your credentials or having them introduced. If your audience feels like you care about them, they’ll listen to you.

  • How does your topic relate to them?
  • What problem can you help them solve?
  • What is something new they learned?
  • What need can you meet?
  • What hurt can you help heal?
  • What encouragement can you give them?
  • How did you bring a smile to their faces or make them laugh?
  • What “aha’s” did they take away from listening to you; what will they remember?
  • How did you impact and/or change their lives?

In my next post, I’ll share more about the bio – what it should say, and what it should NOT include.

Are you enjoying this blog series? Share your comments below. What do you want to know about a speaker before he or she starts speaking? What don’t you want to know?

Join me and 4 powerful speakers for the RELEASED! Women’s Conference in Belton, MO, on April 27. You will be incredibly blessed and walk away with empowerment to fulfill your purpose in 2013. Click here to save your spot and register today.