Saturday, May 30, 2009

Michael Hyatt: "You have something to say"

Blogging demotivator poster: "Never before have so many people with so little to say said so much to so few."

I thought the above blogging demotivator poster was hilarious, even though I don't personally subscribe to its philosophy. Blogging is a great outlet for writing, and I am lovin' it. And I am learning so much from other bloggers!

If you are new to blogging, you can take away encouragement about blogging from Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, Inc., in his video presentation, 12 Reasons Why Every Traditional Publisher Should Blog.

Even though Michael is addressing publishers, he offers everyday bloggers incentives about why they should blog. The primary one is that you have something valuable to say, something that you can uniquely offer others. There is no other person on the planet with your background, your personality, your experiences, your insights, your gifts, talents, and skills. You are the expert on you.

What is it that you really want to tell others? What is burning in your heart to share?

Let people get to know you, the real you. Be transparent as glass, be authentic, be yourself. Tell people about the way you've messed up - and learned from it (you do need a point - you don't want to just throw up your past on people!). Don't try to copy someone else. People will tell if you're faking it! God wants to use you, just the way you are! He specializes in using our weaknesses for his glory.

Don't worry about the numbers at first (how many subscribed readers or subscriptions by email.) That will come in time. It's not about numbers, it's about giving of yourself, pouring out to others. Numbers can be misleading and will trip you up fast. Just share your heart. Get real, and be willing to be vulnerable. Tell others your pain, and your victory through it, because human pain and suffering is always relevant.

Let others get to know and to love you. You have so much to give others! Share the solution to that problem! Your perspective may be the one thing to help someone else today.

Your blog will have its own flavor, theme, brand. Blogs vary. Some are serious, some are fun, some are packed with information and resources, some are inspirational. Here are a few of my favorites that you can check out for ideas, and to help you get started:

Problogger offers practical, very helpful tips for blog beginners here. Problogger's blog is a wealth of information on blogging, and one of my favorite sites. You will enjoy his laid-back, uncluttered, clean style, and walk away with valuable resources. Watch his vlogs, too. I wonder, is he always so calm? Does anything ever upset him? He has such a soothing, peaceful effect on you, and he makes you really want to blog more!

Anne Jackson has traveled all over the world using online media to tell stories about poverty. Her blog on Uganda is powerful and heart-breaking. I really want to go to Africa, and love reading posts about that fascinating land.

Mrs. Fussy Pants (Allison Worthington, or Alli) is one of the most recognized names in online media. I love Alli! She's smart, she's pretty, she's sweet, and she's charming. She was voted #17 of the top 50 most influential women in social media and #38 among top women bloggers. Her site has great articles, news, and blogs from all over the nation. One of her more fun vlogs(video + blog = vlogging) is Fight The Frump - My Favorite Lipstick (Vlogging Style). You can view it here.

For hilarious reviews on the tv series Lost and her children's antics, as well as blogs that will deeply touch your heart and uplift you in faith, visit Shannon from Rocks In My Dryer.

Writer/speaker/homeschooling mom Cindy Rushton is my role model in all 3 areas, and you will just love her website and blog at Cindy has great resources for you; she is a fountain of encouragement and fresh, creative ideas that can help you in building a godly home.

A beautiful, unique, inspirational blog about marriage, speaking and writing is Sheila Wray Gregoire's To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. You won't want to miss Cindy Rushton's or Sheila's podcasts! I could listen to them all day! They are both so fun, and you learn so much from them!

Devotional Diva Renee Johnson, speaker and writer to the 20-somethings, has free Bible devotionals, thought-provoking blogs, and short, powerful podcasts on a variety of topics. Renee's passion for Christ shines through in all she does.

You might also check out my other favorites to get you started blogging. I love The Glamourous Life, Musings Of a Housewife (my blog designer Jo-Lynne), Catholic Teacher Musings, T. Suzanne Scheppmann, Organizing Queen, The Inspired Room, Marnie's Blog, Trish Berg Blog, The Writing Life (Terry Whalin), Lysa Terkeurst (Proverbs 31 Ministries), and so many more that are not named here, but are equally fabulous.

All these people, who I've never met in real life, have penetrated my heart with their blogs - my life has been deeply enriched by this online adventure of blogging.

There just isn't enough time each day to read them all, but they have really blessed my life and given me such encouragement and valuable information on blogging, writing, speaking, business success, being a wife and mother, etc. - and I believe they can help you, too. You can subscribe to my blog and theirs, by clicking on the rss feed icon on the blogs (using your favorite feed reader like Google or Yahoo), or by email subscription.

Find your niche. Find your voice. Start blogging today. Be a part of this delightful, new place.

"It is not down in any map; true places never are." ~Herman Melville

Here are their links below:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Finding contentment in yourself ~ antidote to envy

Have you ever felt that sharp stab of envy? I recently encountered it, and it's an ugly thing. It gets even worse when you read its definition in Webster's: malice or resentful awareness of another's advantage, joined with a desire to possess that same advantage.

Ewww, envy is nothing that I want!

But I am not alone in these occasional feelings. Envy is common among writers. Mary-Frances Makichen humorously blogs about writer's envy in, Why I Don't Envy Nora Roberts - Sort Of.

In the 10 Commandments, God warns us not to covet, or envy, in Deuteronomy 5: 21:

You shall not covet your neighbor's spouse, and you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, his manservant, his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.


Now I don't really want my neighbor's ox or donkey, but there are some things that others have that I would like!

Yet coveting or envy opens the door for the enemy to come into our lives (James 3: 16):

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

No thank you! I don't want confusion and evil reigning in our home! Furthermore, envy keeps me from having a grateful heart for what God has done in my life. It questions His intrinsic goodness to me - implying He has been better to someone else than to me.

I want to experience God's love, peace, and joy, and all the blessings that He wants to give me for my life. Envy robs me of that, because I am focused on the greener grass (or the published articles and books, or the better marriage they have, or the great relationship they have with their kids, or their blessed finances, or the whatever is envied) instead of on my relationship with Jesus and my loved ones. What, then, is the solution when you or I feel that green-eyed monster called envy?

The antidote to coveting and envy is contentment and praise of God. 1 Timothy 6: 6 says:

Now godliness with contentment is great gain.

Psalm 18:49 says, Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your name.

If you're praising God, your heart will be full of joy, not envy. If you're content with yourself, it will be impossible to envy others. You will feel happy and fulfilled with the blessings God has given you.

You will know your identity in Christ, and will be satisfied with who you are...and what you've accomplished already...and where you are heading with God's help. You will worship and praise Him for all He's done. You are walking with God, step by faithful step, toward your dreams and your destiny in Christ.

We are not called to be someone else. I am called to be me. You are called to be you.

Most of all, I want Jesus Christ to be glorified in my life and for God to be pleased with me....His unique blueprint for my life, not someone else's plan. So what if others appear more successful, as long as I am walking in obedience to the Lord? I need to follow Him, not look around at others. (John 21: 20-25).

God will reward each one of us for our obedience to Him! What has He told you to do? Then do it, and you will know His pleasure. If we trust in Him and commit our ways to Him, He will direct our paths. (Proverbs 3: 5-6). He wants to give us the desires of our hearts, and be good to us.

The Amplified Bible says in Proverbs 14:30, A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.

Look at the benefits of not being envious of others and being content: a calm and undisturbed mind, life, and health. This sounds much better than rottenness of our bones!

One of the best books I've ever read on envy is by Bonnie Friedman, called Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distractions, and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life. Her writing is excellent, with powerful imagery. You can read an excerpt of the book in the New York Times' article here.

You can also buy it online at As Friedman says, it is our own focused writing that will drive away the starved, hidden, insubstantial face of Envy. "What exists is only the writing. And when the writing goes well, its pleasure lasts the whole day," she says.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ebook: To Kindle or not to Kindle

Sony PRS-500 portable reader system. Used from $189.30 and new from $295.00 on

Problogger's blog, How To Create Ebooks That Sell, was thought-provoking.

He advises that if your manuscript is over 200 pages, you might want to go ahead and try to get it published or self-publish. People in today's postmodern culture want to just skim things fast. Problogger says that your successful Ebook can be anywhere from 10 to 50 pages. A book that is 50 pages max? That is an attainable goal, for even a beginner writer!
Your edge over losing a sale to Amazon, or other online bookstores and sites, will be to solve a problem in your Ebook and to be a credible writer. And of course, your writing needs to be solid, something people want to read! This problem to solve doesn't even have to be a hard one.

Let's see. Why teenagers want to be able to drive, but can't do their own laundry. Why husbands do not fear bullets, fire, or blood, but would not be caught dead buying feminine products for their wives that time of the month. How libraries will file Kindles on their shelves. Just kidding.

Readers don't want to do the research they need (I personally love googling!), so that's your job with your Ebook ~ putting a convenient, useful product in their hands that will help them, and that they can download very quickly, for a reasonable price.

Problogger even added a tip to use Ejunkie, which my website uses for readers to purchase my article, Having Faith In Fearful Times.

My personal preference is still to be able to curl up with a good book when I want to read. A world without books would be such an awful, empty place.

There's nothing like a good Jane Austen book.

I also am very technology challenged, so the idea of buying a portable reader system, like the one by Sony at the beginning of this blog, is not very appealing to me ~ I don't want to have to figure out how to push buttons just to be able to read a book! (Makes turning a page sound really lazy, doesn't it?)

Then again, I have an IPOD, a cell phone, and a laptop, so why not a Kindle? :)

At any rate, Problogger gave me some ideas about creating Ebooks. Now to go find some problems to solve. :) What are your thoughts on Ebooks? Do you like them, or do you prefer an actual book?

A future and a hope: not despising small beginnings

For many years, I was a closet writer. I just wrote in my diary, wrote short stories that I threw away after a few pages, and wrote articles that stayed safely tucked away in files on my computer. Then I realized it was time to stop hiding my talent, like the lazy servant (Matthew 25: 14-30).

I began writing articles, sending them out for publication. When I received the generic rejection letters after an agonizing six to ten weeks later, I would feel depressed; this means I'm not a real writer, I'd think. Today, I still don't love rejection letters, but I realize they are part of the territory. If I can't take constructive criticism, then I need to get out of the business while I can.

Editors are not man-eating sharks, who love ruining your life. (Ok, some of them are sharks, but most of them are decent human beings, who love to write and read themselves!). They are busy people, with wisdom and an eye for detail, and they know what sells and what readers want. Listen to them! Then re-write!

I gave defeat the boot, and eventually some articles were published in smaller magazines. My husband lovingly framed my first acceptance letter. I was paid just $25 for a short article, but you would have thought it was $250,000. I was ecstatic. Finally, I was published! These articles motivated me to begin setting higher goals...and then life happened.

For the last several years, our family has gone through some really hard, stressful events, and for a season I laid down speaking and writing to concentrate on our family's needs. This year as things have calmed down a bit, I began sticking my little toe back into the water, and am now again focusing on blogging, writing articles for publication, and speaking ~ being careful to make sure that God and my family come first. But I try to write every day!

Mary DeMuth, Christian speaker and author of Daisy Chain and Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture, encouraged me today in her May 6 blog post on writing, The Story Behind Yesterday's BreakPoint. Wow. Here is an excerpt from her post:

Simply put: don't give up.

Don't neglect to exercise the gifts God has given you.

Don't despise small beginnings.

Be patient for God's plan to unfold.

Sometimes it may feel as if nothing is happening as a writer or speaker, or doors are not opening fast enough. A national Christian speaker whom I recently contacted for tips on getting more speaking opps told me that with the economy the way it is now, even well-known speakers are not being paid what they're usually paid...and are getting less speaking engagements than they usually book each year year.

She said pastors are no longer willing to pay large amounts for even seasoned speakers. She also said that many women are no longer attending events like they used to...they are too busy, have babysitting problems, or can't afford it. Also, there's a new transition taking place; everything is online now. Why drive or fly far away to a conference, when you can listen by MP3 in the comfort of your own home?

She said it takes time to achieve the level of writing and speaking success we desire. We should not be discouraged. The book of Ecclesiastes says there is a season, a timing, for everything. God has perfect timing. He is never late.

Often I feel like a race horse, chompin' at the bit behind the gate...and it seems God and everything in my life moves at a turtle pace (even car traffic! Why are they driving so slow?). A lot of times we want to run ahead of God, before we're ready for something. But He has to prepare the soil of our hearts.

Cindy Rushton, my role model for writing success, says, "We have to do a lot of dirt work first." She gave the example of when she and her husband Harold began building their dream home in the country. Harold winded up buying a bobcat because there was so much dirt work he needed to get done (and hiring someone to do it is very expensive!). The dirt work is messy, hard, long hours of work. But it's necessary for a level, secure foundation.

To achive our writing and speaking dreams, we have to do the dirt work first! We have to lay the right foundation, which is that of our faith in Jesus Christ. He is the reason we write ~ for His glory. He has given us these gifts of writing and speaking. And we should not hide or waste them, but be faithful with them.

We have to "just do it," as the popular Nike slogan says. Write. And write some more. Re-write. And never stop writing! Learn from others who have gone before us, and are now a success. Same thing with building a speaking platform.

This morning, I listened to pastor's wife Lisa McKay, who spoke for A Woman Inspired 2009 conference. These web site has a variety of articles on marriage, parenting, home decor, ministry, writing, blogging, and more.

Lisa spoke about our calling from God in her presentation, Bigger Than Your Biography. She said something that really ministered to me: "The thing that we've had to work hard for is precious."

We don't know why God seems to open doors more easily for others. It does seem like some people get everything handed to them on a silver plate. That is probably not the reality. In fact, I recently emailed a writer friend who has a hugely successful ministry, and commented on how fast her ministry had grown since I first met her. What was the key? She told me it was not fast at all; it had taken her over 20 years to get where she is today. And it is called work! It just seemed fast to me, when I compared myself with her. Which we should not do! We all have our own timetable with God!

Lisa also shared at The Woman Inspired 2009 conference that we should look at our lives, and see if we're being totally faithfully with what we've been given now, before God gives us more ~ perhaps more than we could handle.

She said that we should look at the motive of why we're doing it; is this what God has really called us to do, or are we doing something because it looks pretty on someone else? We need to check our hearts.

Are we doing everything now that God has given us with excellence? Are we taking care of our family to the best of our ability? Are our homes in order, or is everything falling apart while we're pursuing our passion?

Lisa said we need to be thankful for our houseful of children. Our family, next to God, is our priority. She said it does not matter how successful your public ministry is, if your family feels neglected.

As wives, our job is to be our husband's help-mate. She also said that motherhood is the highest calling there is. I totally agree! Being able to be a mom is sacred - the greatest job on earth! And if my husband or our daughter feel like my writing or speaking matters more than they do, then I have failed at my most important job! Does your husband feel overshadowed by your ministry or business? Or does he come first?

We must find that serene place of balance and focus. It starts with time with God. We should not overlook our family. We also cannot neglect to use the gifts God has put inside of us, because that is wasting something precious from the Lord. He wants us to use our gifts! We can do both, and we can do them with excellence. We can learn to compartmentalize our lives, organize our days, and manage our time effectively.

We don't have to be a closet writer or speaker. We can step out in faith, like Peter walking on the water. As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, we will not sink. We can do and be what God has called us to do and to be ~ the mighty woman of God that He desires us to be! His scribe. His messenger of hope and truth. He has given us something to say, and we need to share it to others who need encouragement and faith.

We should not despise small beginnings. We may be taking what feels like baby steps right now, but have a big future ahead! God says in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has good plans for us, for a future and a hope!

As we are faithful with what is in our hands, God will give us increase. He will give us the desires of our heart. Lisa referred to Psalm 37: 3-5 as the basis for her teaching, and I will share it here also:

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness; Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; Trust also in Him; And He shall bring it to pass."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The four types of personalities: the way we were created

A great book, Personality Plus, by Florence Littauer.

Wife: Oh honey, by the way, there's a few people coming over tonight for a little
Husband: Tonight? What kind of get-together? You know I hate parties!
Wife: It's not really a party, just some people coming over. And what's wrong with parties? It will be fun!

At seven p.m., 25 people show up at the front door for food, games, and catching up with each other until late that night. Some of them, the husband does not even know. The wife is energized and all smiles. What a great time! Later, the husband retreats to his room, drained and worn out from all the people. He just had wanted to sit on the couch and watch tv.

Does this sound familiar? When I attended CLASS (Christian Leaders Authors and Speakers Seminars) writers'/speakers' training in St. Louis and in Connecticut a couple of years ago, the staff also did some teaching on the four types of personalities.

Suddenly the light came on. Now I knew what the problem was ~ my husband was phlegmatic! Just kidding. The teachings helped me to finally understand myself better, and why I am the way I am (Choleric-Melancholy). It also helped me in my relationships with others ~ to "get" them, and therefore, to be more easily able to accept and love them.

They are not behaving the way they are, just to purposely drive me crazy. It is the way they were created by God ~ they are different from me! And we are all wonderfully and fearfully made in God's sight (Psalm 139:14). None of the personalities are better than the other.

Each of the four personalities has strengths and has weaknesses. Florence Littaeur, founder of CLASS, says, "As leaders, we need to know what people's strengths are and why their weaknesses bother us." We also need to understand ourselves, tap into our strengths, and overcome our personality weaknesses.

Differences in personalities can cause great struggles in marriage, and with our children, other family members, bosses, co-workers, friends, and all those around us.

Florence's book, Personality Plus, is an excellent resource for identifying what the four types of personality are (Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy, and Phlegmatic). It will give you new insights into why you think and behave the way you do, as well as those around you ~ and why your differences can cause such friction between you. With studying of the personalities comes understanding, and even compassion. Knowledge is power, and this book is a great tool for couples, parents, writers, speakers, teachers, and other leaders.

Florence was interviewed by Linda Goldfarb (Communicating With Power) on Blog Talk Radio on the personalities ~ how she began learning about them and teaching about them with her husband, Fred. Florence is such a scream. She's very funny, interesting, and has a lot of wisdom to offer others. Tune in for a great show about the personalities with Linda and Florence at

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A pitcher of living water: Jo-Lynne at DCR Design

Unselfishness is a rare quality these days. We're all so busy, preoccupied, and distracted with our hectic lives, that we often don't think about or even want to help others.

Yet it is what Jesus did. Jesus had an extremely busy schedule. He had a full day's work every day when He began his ministry in his 30's, after the test in the wildnerness. People would not leave him alone. They were always trying to talk to Him, ask questions of Him, and get something from Him. Talk about people being in your space and draining you! He had to go up to the mountains late at night, just to get away from the crowds. He had to get alone with God to hear His voice, and to get the instructions, strength, and anointing that He needed for the next day.

But the people were why Jesus save them. To love them. To help them. To befriend them. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3: 17)

Jesus is called the Living Water (John 4:10), and we are to be pitchers of His living water, to give hope, encouragement, and help to others. I have seen this rare, precious quality of unselfishness and God's heart of giving in Jo-Lynne, who is the blog designer at DCR Design, and who just finished my new blog design. DCR Design is at

Jo-Lynne did an incredible job, and I absolutely LOVE it! She went beyond the call of duty as a blog designer, being so patient with me as I made the difficult decisions on which graphics to use, the new blog title, what I wanted for the navigation bar, etc. I am extremely technology-challenged, so she had to endure the longest email thread in probably her and my email history combined, with all the uncertainties about what I really wanted and my relentless questions.

The final product is great, and one that I feel truly reflects me, my essence, and my blog's purpose. And I would love to hear your comments and feedback on this blog's new design, title, and, of course, the posts.

I just want to thank Jo-Lynne publicly for her generous spirit and her long, hard hours of work on this. I pray God's greatest blessings on Jo-Lynne, her family, and her business/ministry. I encourage you to go to her site and to do business with her.

There are a variety of blog designs to choose from for your blog; she can do a custom design. They are just so cute, so pretty, so unique! Her prices are very reasonable. She is extremely creative, has great ideas, and will work with you until you find what it is that you want ~ even when initially, you are not sure what that is! She is professional, extremely prompt, efficient, and was such a pleasure to work with on this blog design. And her work is excellent.

Thanks, Jo-Lynne! You're the best!


I am a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. He is my Best Friend. I love hanging out with Him every day, talking to Him and listening to Him. I just couldn't make it one second without Him! I love the stories in the Bible of how Jesus ministered to people...talking to them, healing them, giving them such hope.

I'm wife to a great man of God, mom of 3 beautiful daughters, a writer and a speaker. I love encouraging other women with God's word, and seeing them using their spiritual gifts for Him and fulfilling their destiny through Christ.

My passions are writing, speaking, and traveling. Primarily my focus is non-fiction writing for women. I love spending time with my family, homeschooling our daughter, reading, taking walks, looking at waterfalls, meeting new people and seeing new places, trying different ethnic foods, antiquing, and having fun with my friends, who really make me laugh.

My weaknesses? I am too impatient, am too blunt, and interrupt people a lot when they're talking...after all, they need to hear my point! I love chocolate, coke classic, and coffee with lots of creamer. My family would describe me as a clean freak and a terrible driver. I am extremely technology-challenged, and my family thinks this is very funny. Our youngest daughter had to show me how to work the dvd player when we bought it. When I got my new cell phone for Christmas this past year, our oldest daughter was in stitches laughing over me trying to learn how to text and send pics to her on it. Ok, so it's not my forte'! I'm learning!

I love blogging and reading other blogs, and spend way too much time on the net, but am trying to bring it into balance this year. :)

And I try to keep things real....others would describe me as a tell--it-like-it-is person (no holding back!). I intensely dislike fakeness, pretense, rudeness, and religion....especially in the church!

I believe Jesus wants His church to just love people and to tell them the good news of the reach out to others. To make disciples of the nations (Psalm 2: 8). My long term goals: Our family has a heart for missions work. My husband Ray has been to Haiti three times on short-term missions, teaching security classes to guards for a pastor there (it's very violent in Haiti). I went with him on his third trip, helping to teach children in an elementary school. We also went to Israel together for a pleasure-missions trip. Israel was my dream come true!

Ray has been to Mexico several times as well. Our daughter Heather has been to Peru, Brazil, Columbia, and India on missions trips with Youth With a Mission. We now have Africa on our hearts for missions work; we're praying for God's perfect timing to go and the provision as well. Next year we have a possible opportunity to go on a missions trip to Uganda with some friends.

More than anything else, I want to please God with my life, and to be the sweet fragrance of Jesus wherever I go.


Subscribe to my podcasts with Itunes today!

The Spiritual Gifts (newly edited June 21) - available at

Tips for overcoming stress in your life

Walking in Purpose, Passion, and Power

The Power of Perseverance


Speaking Topics

Next speaking engagement: Forward Baptist Church at their women's retreat in Springfield, MO, October 2009. Their retreat's theme is "Not Guilty."

Beth’s topics are approximately 45 minutes in length, but she can be flexible about adapting them to your event’s needs.


The Alabaster Jar

Beth’s signature speech on the beautiful story of the woman with the alabaster jar in Luke 7: 36-50 focuses on the theme of God’s love and forgiveness, and our brokenness at the Cross. Relevant and practical, with insights from scripture and Beth’s powerful testimony, this presentation is ideal for women’s conferences, weekend retreats, Bible studies, workshops, and much more.

Three Steps to Your Dreams

First given at Upper CLASS professional speakers’ training, this humorous presentation gives 3 practical, Biblical steps for helping you see your dreams come true. Beth shares true, encouraging stories about how God can answer your prayers, and gives tips to help you set and achieve goals for success, fulfillment, and God’s glory. This presentation is ideal for conferences, retreats, writers’ and speakers’ workshops, and much more.

Ruth and Naomi: Woman to Woman Mentoring

“Do not call me ‘Naomi,’ call me ‘Mara,’” Naomi said to her friends after life had dealt her some hard blows, including the death of her husband and her sons. But her daughter-in-law Ruth saw something in Naomi that she desired ~ her unshakeable faith and trust in God, and begged to go back with her to Bethlehem. Through this presentation, women will discover the gift of mentoring, empowering, and encouraging their daughters, sisters, friends, and other women in their lives. Women need other women. This presentation is ideal for mother-daughter banquets, conferences, women’s retreats, and much more.

Single Sessions:

The Crown of God’s Creation ~ Why the enemy targets women (teaching from Stasi Eldredge’s book, Captivating)

The "S" Word (teaching on marriage from Helen Andelin’s book, Fascinating Womanhood, and Created To Be His Helpmeet, by Debi Pearl)

The Tip of The Iceberg: Untapping Your Potential & Using Your Gifts For God

Other topics on marriage, parenting, prayer and spiritual warfare, perseverance in faith, and more


Endorsements for Beth Jones as a speaker:

“Beth has been used by the Lord many times to speak before and minister to women who participate in Restoration Ministries. She is also used as an advisor to women who are walking through the process of a marriage transformation. She is very alert to the Holy Spirit’s direction as she speaks, and does a wonderful job using life experiences, sprinkled with humor. I highly recommend her as a speaker and a teacher.”

~ Diane M. Bishop, Kingdom Builders Ministries and Director of Family Restoration Ministries

“Beth did very well speaking. She has great potential. The outline of her prepared speech was excellent, very well-organized. She has a dry wit, and uses good timing with her humor. I recommend her as a public speaker.”

~ Florence Littauer, founder of CLASS, and international, dynamic speaker and author of more than 45 books

“Beth is beautiful and open, and is a good speaker. She is transparent, sincere, and very passionate. I highly recommend her as a speaker.”

~ Tammy Bennett, founder of Makeover Ministries, international CLASS speaker, and author of books which include Looking God from the Inside Out, Looking Good from the Inside Out - Fashion, Guys, Dating & Sex: the girls guide to relationships, and her newest book, 101 MakeOver Minutes: quick tips for looking good from the inside out.

“Very professional. Beth really touched the hearts of the women in the meeting.”

~ Patricia Brown, camp caretaker and contact at Camp Shalom, Mound City, KS

“She hit home. In all of our lives, somewhere, she hit home as she spoke. That was wonderful and she was such a blessing.”

~ Kay Roe, President of Women’s Aglow, Grandview, MO

“Beth, thank you so much for giving your testimony today at the LIGHT House. So many of the participants asked me to thank you for your honesty and openness. They said you had a sweet spirit. I also want to personally thank you and commend you for the way you handled yourself. There were a couple of times when I felt tears come to my eyes because of the way God has worked in your life. He is so good, loving, and so gracious.”

~ Annette Hopper, former post-abortion Bible study teacher/counselor, LIGHT House, Kansas City, MO

Audience feedback from Beth’s presentations:

“I love her heart. Jesus shines in her!”
“Strength is in her eyes. She really connects with the audience.”
“Beth is frank, intense, and engaging.”
“Her presentation was gracious, moving, and authoritative.”
“I think that God has great plans for Beth.”
“Great eye contact, very clear, beautiful smile. I see God’s call on Beth’s life."


If you would like to contact me about your speaking engagement, you can contact me by email at

Monday, May 18, 2009

Keep praying ~ don't quit!

Have you ever prayed for something, and felt like your prayers were just bouncing off the ceiling? For the last several years, God has taught me a lot about persistence in prayer.

Because I persevered with faith in Him and did not give up in doubt and unbelief, I have seen God's gracious answers to prayers, right on time! There are some new prayers in my heart now, and I am pressing into God until I see a break-through. Like the widow who kept pestering the judge until he gave her justice in Luke 18:1-3, we must keep praying to God until He responds. God wants to be good to us and to bless us!

God hears our prayers, no matter what we see with our eyes right now. And He answers in incredible ways, often way beyond our hopes and expectations. "But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Don't quit ~ keep praying!

Today I ran across a poem and some good quotes on not giving up, and wanted to share them here with you.

Don’t Quit!

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
when he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst, that you must not quit.
- C. W. Longenecker

Never Give Up
- Winston Churchill

Winners never quit and quitters never win.
- Anon

Check out my podcast on The Power of Perseverance, on LibSyn directory.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The power of forgiveness: Not seven, but seventy times seven

My walking shoes.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been walking a few times a week to try to do something about the incredible weight gain this winter (I also bought a dance aerobic exercise video and a mini-trampoline - please pray for my discipline!). My friend's recent 20-pound weight loss with Weight Watchers was motivation enough for me to get up and get, I just do not like what I see in the mirror right now, and I really desire to be healthy, fit and trim! :)

As I walk, I pray and seek answers from God to any problems I might be having in life. Hopefully, I will be able to build my strength and endurance to the point where eventually I can start running, at least some of the time. While walking, I am reminded of the scripture about spiritual obstacles:

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1)

I believe one sin that so easily imprisons us is unforgiveness. Forgiving others is one of the hardest things to do, especially when you're being treated in a way that you don't deserve. We know that hurting people hurt others, but when someone is being rude or unkind to you for no apparent reason, it's hard to respond with grace and love.

This happened to me today when I saw an acquaintance in town. I knew from some other people that she had been going through some really tough times the last several years, and apparently she's facing a crisis in her immediate family right now. When I have seen her in town, I've tried to reach out to her and smile, say hello, and even invited her to my home for coffee and prayer. But she is so hurt by some people right now, that she has a hard, thick brick wall all around her for self-protection, and is lashing out at others who cross her path, even though they are innocent. In a situation like this, we often want to respond the same way we're being treated ~ we want to be rude back to the person! Yet we need to learn to respond in the opposite spirit, with love. Jesus said that we must forgive.

"Then Peter came up to Jesus and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven."

Peter thought he was being generous with offering forgiveness seven times. Yet Jesus showed him that God desires much more of us. There is no limit to forgiving someone....because that is the way God is with us.

There is great power in forgiveness. We may not want to forgive; we might not feel like it. We may want to hold onto our hurt, coddle it, hug it, use it. But when we let go of hurt, anger, or even bitterness and resentment, through forgiveness, we are set free. Unforgiveness holds us as a prisoner. We have the key ourselves - we can choose to forgive. The feelings of love will follow afterward.

We can pray for that person, and bless her or him, because that is what Jesus did for us. Should we do no less? I don't want to carry around the extra weight of unforgiveness the rest of my life ~ do you? No, I want to run with freedom - for the high prize of Jesus Christ! As the Olympic runner said in the movie Chariots of Fire, "When I run, I feel God's pleasure." I want God pleased with me, and so I forgive...seventy times seven. Here is the closing scene of the movie.

Here is a great post on our choices: On The Front Porch: Looking For a New Formula For Life. Part Two.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spinning plates: finding balance in our busy lives

Japanese woman in traditional dress spinning plates.

Lately I feel as if I am spinning plates: tending to the needs of our home with cooking, shopping, cleaning for a birthday party this weekend, doing laundry; homeschooling; blogging; writing; working on an upcoming speaking presentation; and most recently, beginning an at-home, side business with Ray. I told my sister Maria today that I can always tell if my life is in order: I look at the laundry. She laughed, but I was totally serious!

If there is a huge mountain of laundry that needs to be washed, I know my life is out of balance in some area(s). Two of our daughters now are married and have children of their own (with their laundry), so there's only three of us living here now. Yet it seems laundry multiplies, especially when my life gets out of order.

The last two days, I have searched for the floor of the utility room, where our washer and dryer are. The orange-brown, 1980's carpet (it was already here when we moved in) is nowhere to be found, because it is covered in overflowing laundry. Which might not be a bad thing, considering how ugly the carpet is. But how can three people have this many clothes - especially when each time I look into my closet, there is nothing to wear!

The key is balance. A great quote by Catherine Pusifier, from We Never Seem to Have Enough Time, is: "We need to maintain a proper balance in our life by allocating the time we have. There are occasions where saying no is the best time management practice there is."

Sometimes we do need to say no. No, I will not attend that class during the weekday, because I have some things to do at home that need to be finished. No, I will not go shopping today because we need to work on Leah's algebra lesson now. No, I will not eat that brownie....well, maybe one brownie, lol. But we need to learn the power of the word NO. It is very freeing.

Saying no, pruning some activities, is not always enough, though. I believe the lesson here is not in how many activities we have in our life (although sometimes less is more), but in how much time we are giving to each of those areas. Some responsibilities will require more time and effort than others. We have to prioritize.

What matters the most? More importantly, who matters the most? "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)

I desire for my priorities to always be God first, my family second, and then all other things follow. That is not always easy to do.

This might mean that I can't blog every day (gasp!). I may have to set aside the article I was writing, and instead spend quality time with our daughter Leah. Just listening to her, talking to her, laughing with her over her funny dream last night. It might mean I can't talk on the phone right now with my friend, or get on Facebook or Twitter right this moment...and instead, cook a good, hot meal for my husband, who had a long, 24-hour shift with vomiting patients all night.

Maybe I need to take a break from my long, to-do list, and do nothing for awhile...just relax. For someone who is very much a Martha, doing nothing seems like a complete waste of time! But Jesus thought Martha needed to take it easy, so she would not be so stressed out, worried, or frustrated:

"Now it happened, as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42)

Martha was distracted. She was doing some very good things (after all, she was feeding God!). Jesus did not tell her she shouldn't cook or practice hospitality. What he was addressing was her priorities being out of order. He wanted Martha to sit at His feet, like Mary ~ and then serve! When we take time to be still and rest in God's presence, we will hear His word as Mary did. We will be taught by Jesus. We will be given the strength we need for the tasks that are at hand, the work that God wants us to do for His kingdom.

We will cultivate that intimacy with Jesus, which will carry us through each day with more ease and direction. His presence will give us peace, instead of turmoil. Spending time first with God will help us to balance our lives, to prioritize our responsibilities. He will help us with the spinning plates so they don't come crashing down.

We may need to evaluate our lives to see if there is anything that is hindering us in our purpose and our destiny, and needs to be removed. Maybe we are trying to do too much, and we need to lighten our load. If you are feeling really tired, it's your body's way of saying slow down and rest. Cut back.

This is not always the case. Maybe we are supposed to be doing everything that we're doing right now. But we're spending too much time on one area, and neglecting the others sometimes. It would be like gaining weight in just one leg, while the other remains slender and muscular. We can lead very busy, productive lives, and still be aligned with God's perfect will. Look at how busy Jesus was! But Jesus knew his first task was to spend time with God. He often went to the mountains alone to pray, sometimes all night.

Probably we don't have all night to spend in prayer and Bible reading, but we do have ten minutes. We can start the day meditating on God's word and getting our marching orders from God for the day. You just can't beat a cup of coffee first thing, with God!

Well, it is late now. I am going to go to bed now. Because sleep is another priority in my life. We all need sufficient rest to function properly, and do what God has called us to do...spinning those plates perfectly. Finding balance is the key.

I want to close with a nice quote by Robert Fulghum, author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarden.

“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” ~ Robert Fulghum

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Do good anyway ~ Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa, epitome of God's heart of love, kindness, unselfishness, and goodness.

Here are some beautiful words by Mother Teresa that I found on another blog, Catholic Teacher Musings.

I want to reflect on them today on the National Day of Prayer.

"People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, there may be jealousy; be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway. "
- Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Writing and speaking tips

This week I contacted several professional writers and speakers to get tips for success. They were very generous and helpful. They were so encouraging, but also were very honest about the challenges, especially for those just starting out in this field. Here is a sprinkling of their tips:

For writing:
  • It's a calling from God. It's your passion.
  • Have a point. You'd be surprised how many people don't have one. Your writing must be relevant to today's needs, and useful. Most people want to know, "What's in this for me?"
  • Write. It seems obvious, but writers often avoid writing by decorating their writing room, organizing drawers, reading writing books, etc. You're a writer, so write. Not just postcards from London or letters to your sister. Email, Twittering, and Facebook interviews don't count as serious writing.
  • Write more. Re-write. Don't be so in love with your own words that you can't bare to part with any of them. Be your most relentless editor and critic.
  • Read, read, read. Writers learn to write well by studying other writers' great works and by writing.
  • Buy the 2009 Writer's Market, an invaluable resource for helping you to find out where and who to send your queries and proposals to when you are ready. It includes over 3,500 listings for book publishers, magazines, journals, and literary agents. It also has samples of queries, great articles from successful writers and editors that are very practical. and helpful writers' organizations and websites.
  • Learn how to write an excellent query letter.
  • Rejections are part of this business. If you can't handle them, do something else.
  • Rejection letters are not a personal attack against you. Editors have piles of articles and manuscripts on their desk. They may reject your submission for a number of reasons: there was no query, they don't accept unsolicited submissions or they only use agents, it doesn't fit their publishing needs, they are publishing something very similar, your writing needs work - or worse, it stinks. Most editors send standard rejection letters.
  • If you do not know the proper format for an article or book manuscript, it will probably be rejected.
  • Go to writers' conferences and workshops, such as Mt. Hermon's Christian writer's conference.
  • Join a writer's group to critique each other.
  • Buy Sally E. Stuart's Christian Writers' Market Guide 2009, a great tool for the Christian writer, very similar to the Writer's Market.
  • Go to CLASS training.
  • Build a speaking platform. Writing and speaking go together like a hand and a glove.
  • When you send a query and/or article or manuscript to an editor, do not call him or her to chat about your work. He will put your precious baby in the slush pile. Wait at least 6 to 8 weeks before contacting an editor or publisher after submission.
  • Be professional, not a spoiled, overly-sensitive brat. Editors want to publish good writing. They don't have a personal agenda against you. Listen to their wisdom, which comes from a lot of experience. Many editors are writers, too.
  • Writing now requires other qualifications; for example, knowing how to market your own work, speaking, technology skills, etc.
  • Build a speaking platform.
  • Network. You never know who might be able to help you get your foot in the door.
  • You will have to get over a fear of promoting yourself. It is essential today.
  • Learn from the professionals. Be teachable. Glean all you can from those who have the success that you desire. Emulate their ways of success, but have your unique flavor, too.
  • Develop a mission statement. Who is your target audience and how do you want to help them specifically?
  • Get a website and a blog. Do all with excellence. If you have the money, hire a professional to design them. Use your website, blog, Facebook, Twitter for advertising your product.
  • Create or hire someone professional to make professional business cards, promotional brochures or flyers, etc.
  • Initially, you may not make any or a lot of money at this. Very few people make it "big." But do submit your work to magazines, journals, online ezines, etc. Get published wherever you can, to build writing credibility. Writers who have had articles published are taken more seriously by editors when it comes to publishing a book.
  • When you get published, sell, market, advertise your product everywhere. Get the word out there. Your publisher will help you, but many books are sold outside the bookstore!
  • Have a few close friends who are your prayer covering. You will have warfare.
  • Be yourself. Find your voice. Be real and genuine. No one likes someone who is fake. Stop trying to be Miss Perfect. God will use your pain and heartache to minister to others.
  • You are God's scribe. Listen for His voice, and then share His message of good news with others to glorify Him and to encourage others.
  • Don't stop writing. If you don't absolutely love writing, get out while you can. Keep writing! You will see your dreams come true if you don't quit!

For speakers:

  • It's a calling.
  • Have a point! Some people don't. Have something important, valuable, and useful to say. Most people don't want to know about the Austrian who has the world record for building coffins, or about your uncle's gall stone surgery that he miraculously came through with no problems. We're glad your uncle is okay, but unless there's a gem of wisdom in the story that will help us today, we don't need to hear about it.
  • Join a Toastmasters Club. It will sharpen your speaking skills, and you will meet wonderful people from all walks of life who have a passion for speaking. Toastmasters International has clubs all over the U.S. and the world. You can find a local club in your area. The Toastmaster's web site is a wealth of information for speakers, with free resources.
  • Build a writing platform.
  • Attend professional speakers training, such as CLASS.
  • Don't point out your problems: "I'm really no good at public speaking," or "With my scratchy, horrible voice, I'll try to read this." (courtesy of CLASS)
  • Record and video yourself speaking. Work on not saying "um," "you know," or "ok?" Pay attention to any irritating mannerisms while speaking, such as scratching yourself, playing with your hair, touching your face, putting your hands in your pocket, having dull facial expressions or speaking in a monotone, reading your speech, etc.
  • Take voice lessons if you need them. People like confident, passionate speakers. Don't whine, speak too low, race through your speech like you're being timed, or mumble. Please, do not chew gum.
  • Your message is the most important thing, but appearance does matter. No one wants to look at a frumpy speaker in outdated clothes, with unkempt hair, no makeup and fuzzy, caterpillar eyebrows. Be a professional.
  • Network with speakers and other professionals.
  • Get over any fear of promoting yourself. It is necessary today.
  • Create or hire someone to make professional business cards, promotional brochures and flyers, etc.
  • Get a website and a blog. Hire a professional to design them, if possible.
  • Get a logo and a brand. Have a mission statement. What makes you unique from the thousands of other Christian speakers out there?
  • Always record. You never know when you are going to give a speech that is phenomenal and you want a recording of that one. Learn from your bad days. Make cd's and other products of your best speeches, and sell and market them. There are professional duplication companies who can help you with this, who can remove background noise, hisses, etc., and can help you produce and market your product.
  • Professional speakers charge. Initially you may have to speak for free, then only earn about $100 for one day of speaking. As your skills sharpen and you become more in demand, you can charge more. The "A" list well known speakers, such as Florence Littaeur and Liza Curtis Higgs, start at $2500 and up. The "B" list, who have some name recognition and are typically published with a house, receive $800 to $3,000 with all expenses paid. The "C" list, or beginners without much name recognition, charge $25 to $800. (courtesy of Marita Littauer, CLASS)
  • You may not make any money or much at all when first starting out. Many "big" speakers today are struggling right now due to the economy and changing trends; women are not coming to events as much now. You may have to do this as a side business. Seek the Lord on what to do.
  • Take advantage of social media to share your messages, such as podcasting and Blog Talk Radio.
  • Many pastors do not want "outsiders" coming into their churches, and possibly "tainting", "influencing," or "stealing their sheep." Male pastors can be weird about women speakers, so expect some resistance as you are stepping out in faith to do this. God will open doors of favor for you, as you seek Him.
  • Be real and transparent. Nobody likes fakeness. Stop trying to be perfect. Your pain and struggles may be the very thing to minister to someone else.
  • Remember you are a messenger of hope and encouragement to others. Use your gift of communication to glorify God and to bless others.
  • Don't let the enemy silence you. God wants to use you to share His words of truth and life with others. You will achieve your goals of success if you do not give up!

For all of you who shared some of these things with me this week, a big thank you from my heart. You really blessed and encouraged me!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Brokenness ~ the key to impacting the next generation

"In my weakness I run to Jesus Christ...and He will change me." ~ Mary DeMuth, Christian author/international speaker

This morning I was so blessed to listen to an interview of Christian author/international speaker Mary DeMuth with pastor Wes Hamilton at Lakepoint church.

Mary grew up in a home where drug abuse flourished, and at five years old she was sexually abused by neighborhood bullies. She lost her father at the age of ten, and as a teenager she considered suicide. But at Young Life youth camp, she heard the gospel and dedicated her life to Jesus Christ, and God now is using her in a powerful way as an author and speaker, wife, and mother. She is living proof of how generational sin and dsyfunction can be stopped by the transforming power and the blood of Jesus.

One of the things Mary said during the interview above with pastor Hamilton which struck me was that God spoke to her heart, "I want you to live broken." We need to be broken in our roles as wives, moms, daughters, sisters, friends, writers, speakers ~ just every area of our lives. Through our weakness and our brokenness, we rely completely on God and learn to trust in Him alone.

The woman with the alabaster jar had this brokenness. When she heard that Jesus was going to be at the Pharisee's house, she came and anointed Jesus' feet with her tears and her hair. She worshipped Him, because of all He had done for her.

In the interview with Mary, Pastor Hamilton said that as spouses and parents, we often ask ourselves, "Who am I?" Who are we to deserve this blessing? For children are a gift from God. (Psalm 127: 3) Yet sometimes we do not even know what we are doing!

Moses asked this question, too: "Who am I?" Yet God promises that He will be with us, just as His presence was with Moses. Not just in the great, epic-sized events of our lives, such as going to the nations to be a missionary. But His presence will be with us in the living room talking with our kids. Or in the bedroom with our husbands. His presence goes with us, day by day, even in the little, daily, routine things of life.

Many of us, like Mary, don't want to duplicate the homes we grew up in: sexual, physical or verbal abuse; alcoholism; drug abuse; yelling, fighting, continual strife; emotional distance; spiritual apathy or atheism; materialism, and so on. We want our lives to be different now, easier, happier ~ godly, Christian homes where Christ reigns.

We don't want to be our mother. We don't want to be like our father, either, but like our Father in Heaven with His heart of love. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us that we can be healed and changed from the deep wounds of the past, and can demonstrate an active, living, real faith to our children, being examples to them of Christ.

It is only through our crying out to Jesus that we can be set free from the past, our chains broken. It is only the love of God that can penetrate hard, bitter, devastated hearts that can be touched and filled to overflowing with His love, truth, goodness, kindness, forgiveness, and mercy.

God wants us free. He wants us broken before Him, admitting honestly that we cannot do anything ourselves without Him. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." (John 15: 4-5)

Through Christ we can make a difference, an eternal mark. We can have a happy, healthy, godly home where there's love, laughter, peace, and safety. As our children see our passion for Christ, they will hunger and thirst for Him, too. Jesus can change our lives, and then impact the generations to come for the Kingdom of God. It starts with us ~ broken before Him.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Use what's in your hands: Two Fish and Five Loaves

God can use your "two fish and five loaves of bread" gifts in incredible ways.

My passion is seeing women becoming all that God desires them to be, using their spiritual gifts, talents, and skills for His glory ~ fulfilling their destiny in Christ. My personal gifts are speaking and writing, and I am dedicating this year to focusing on those two areas. I have big dreams in my heart because I serve a big God, but every successful dream starts with one tiny step of faith ~ and lots of hard work!

As Christians, we have gifts inside of us that God wants to use to further His kingdom here on earth. Our spiritual gifts are the weapons of our warfare to defeat the enemy and to win the lost to Christ (The Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit, Lester Sumrall, p. 150).

Maybe you feel like you only have a "small" gift, an insignificant one. There are no unimportant gifts and no important people. God wants to use everyone on earth for His glory - men, women, and children! Remember that the boy with the five loaves of bread and two fish was used mightily by God to feed over five thousand (John 6: 1-14). Use whatever you have in your hands ~ just see what God does as you are willing to step out in faith and give to others!

You have to open up your heart, and open up your holding back!

I feel that I am stepping out in writing and speaking with just "five loaves of bread and two fish" ~ but I believe that as I give what I have in my hands, that the Lord will multiply it and use it for His glory. I want to encourage others, too - wives, mothers, writers, speakers, bloggers, podcasters, entrepreneurs and other business professionals - to use their spiritual gifts, talents, and skills, letting none be wasted.

For you have an eternal mark to leave on this world. Remember Carly Simon's song, Nobody does it better? Well, there is just one you - no one can do it quite like you!

Everyone has a set of fingerprints that sets them apart from everyone else. God has a unique blueprint for all our lives, a special purpose and destiny that He has determined for us to do, since the beginning of time. He has deposited specific gifts inside of each of us, that He desires to bless others with for His kingdom's sake. We just need to find out what those gifts are, and use them faithfully, being good stewards of all He has given us.

Use what you have in your hands. You may start out with something that you feel is small, but God wants to enlarge your territory and increase your sphere of influence. He wants to use you to minister to and encourage others with His anointing that resides inside of you, His Spirit that teaches us all things (1 John 2: 20). God can take your "two fish and five loaves," and do amazing things with it!

This month I have had two articles published on Ezine articles, The Power of Perseverance, and Discovering and Using Your Gifts for God.

I also wrote an article, Faith in Fearful Times, which you can purchase for just $2.00 on my website. These articles will exhort you to use your unique, spiritual gifts for God, and to encourage you in your faith walk with Jesus in these turbulent times. I would love to hear your feedback on any of these articles - comments, questions, sharing about your gifts and how God uses you, too. Feel free to email me, to comment below or on the Ezine articles site. I'd love to hear back from you!