Christian speakers

Thankful when God connects the dots for me

Now that my kids are older and don’t get quite so much stuff on Christmas morning, one of the things I try to do is find a new book for each of us. Theirs were easy and I didn’t have much trouble finding one for my husband either. But for myself? There were just too many great choices!

AudaciousI saw Audacious by Beth Moore in a Lifeway sale flier and thought I’d like to read it. But I didn’t get to Lifeway and the store I visited didn’t have Audacious in stock, so I ended up getting another book instead. No big deal, I thought. I’ll get it sometime later.

Then one day right after Christmas, I heard the DJs on one of our local Christian radio stations talking about a weekly TV show with Beth Moore that would be starting in January. What?! I was so excited, because I love her teachings. There’s no telling how many hours I’ve spent over the years digging in her Bible studies and soaking up what she taught at a few of her Living Proof Live conferences that were phenomenal – for the teaching and for the wonderful women I went with.

I checked the station’s schedule and actually remembered a few days beforehand to set the show to record. The show’s description was pretty generic, just saying that she guides viewers to live and love God through Bible literacy. But I didn’t care what she’d be teaching about. I was going to have mini Beth Moore conference time in my own den!

In the meantime, I did get to a Lifeway store and picked up Audacious. I read the back cover copy, but it was still on my desk when I sat down to watch my first recorded episode of the show. Turns out, they’re airing 30-minute episodes from one of her live conferences.

And – here’s the best part – these first episodes are from one weekend when she taught about being … audacious.

I laughed out loud when I realized that. Because, in case you don’t know, she doesn’t teach on the same subject at each Living Proof Live event. Each one is different because she waits to see what God leads her to talk about. Of all the conferences she’s led, of all the topics she’s taught – audacious.

Extremely bold … recklessly brave … fearless (according to dictionary.com). In the context Beth is teaching? Audacity is being bold enough in our faith to trust and do what Jesus wants us to do, even when it’s scary or no one around us understands. It’s making up your mind to be fearless, going beyond what people might expect you to do as “normal.”

thanks connect dotsIt’s having the guts to do what Jesus wants so that He gets all the glory.

I love that. And when I’m honest I have to say it’s something I need to work on, here in my safe and usually not-too-exciting corner of the world. I haven’t done too much related to my faith lately that required much guts.

God knows it too, so maybe He’s using this to wake me up a bit. Seeing the book in the flier, hearing about the TV show (which was unusual in itself because I don’t listen to that station as often as some others and never heard mention of it elsewhere), getting the book, matching it up with the show’s episodes. Seems like He’s connecting some dots for me.

Audacious. It’s a bold word just rolling off my tongue, let alone living it. We’ll see how it goes.

Your turn: What’s something big and bold you’ve done lately, that can encourage others when they’re trying to act that way themselves? Or, what’s something you can do to have a little more audaciousness in your life?

Categories: Christian non-fiction, Christian speakers, Living in Faith, Thankful Thursday | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making a Difference

One of the teachers and keynote speakers at the Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference was Cecil Murphey. In case you’re not familiar with him, Cec is a New York Times bestselling author and international speaker who has written or co-written more than 100 books. Some of his best known titles include Committed But Flawed, 90 Minutes in Heaven and Heaven Is Real (with Don Piper), Touchdown Alexander (with Shaun Alexander), Gifted Hands and Think Big (with Dr. Ben Carlson), and Rebel With a Cause (with Franklin Graham). He’s a former pastor, missionary, and teacher, so has a wealth of experiences to draw from for his writing.

Cec lives in metro Atlanta and has been a mentor to our local writing group for several years, so anytime we get to see him or hear him teach is a special treat. One of the many things I admire about Cec is his transparency — he’s the same Cec wherever you see him and whoever he’s with, whether he’s teaching a group of new writers, catching up with fellow authors at a conference, or sharing his heart and wisdom from the platform. He’s also one of the most generous people I’ve ever met, and funds numerous scholarships for Christian writers to attend conferences across the country each year. I’ve benefited from those scholarships twice myself. 🙂

He spoke one morning during the conference on “Write His Answer … Transparently.”

“When you open up and become real, you’ll begin to connect with people,” Cec said. “There’s something wonderful about letting people know who you are. Being authentic is where you make the difference.”

Cec was talking to us from a writing perspective, but I think the same philosophy holds true in every corner of life. Nobody wants a fake friend. Nobody wants to play games, trying to figure out how much of what someone says is true. Nobody wants a surface-level prayer partner.

Instead, we want to know that the people we feel closest to are being honest with us. We want to know we’re not the only ones having struggles. We want to know that when someone says they care, they mean it.

In other words, we want — dare I say crave? — transparency.That’s not to say we need to bare our souls to the cashier at Kroger, but people want to know that the people around them are real. I think that especially holds true with Christians, where we sometimes have the misguided idea that we’re supposed to always have our “perfect and fine” face on for the world. If that’s all the world sees, they’re not seeing the real us that God helps through each and every day.

I do better with this on some days than on others, and in some situations versus others. But it’s my goal to put that transparency into practice more every day. How about you?

Categories: Christian speakers, Conferences, Monday Musings | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Book Launch: Completely Whole by Paulette Harper

I’m a new member of the John 3:16 Marketing Network, a group of Christian authors who connect with each other and help promote each other’s book launches. I’ll have more about that later, but wanted to let you know about the launch of author Paulette Harper’s new book, Completely Whole, and the specials you can take advantage of if you order a copy today.

Paulette is a much sought after speaker, certified life coach, minister and author. As an inspirational and motivational speaker, her desire is to motive women to reach their God given potential through conferences, workshops and seminars. As a writing coach, Paulette is the visionary behind “Write Now” (releasing the word in you) literary workshops designed to coach aspiring writers in the areas of creativity, development and publication of Christian books. Paulette has authored several other books, including That Was Then, This Is Now, This Broken Vessel Restored. She is the co-author of Victorious Living for Women and just released Victorious Living for Moms.

About Completely Whole: Oftentimes, many people try to seek fulfillment from money, relationships, accomplishments, or material things. Others choose to cope with difficult problems by using drugs or alcohol, but they often come up short and one day must face the fact that those things don’t bring true happiness and fulfillment in life. So how can we successfully solve the problems that we face and find true happiness and peace in our lives? Paulette Harper uses Completely Whole to show readers how to overcome suffering caused by alcoholism, substance abuse, poverty, and other obstacles blocking the path to a life of wholeness in spirit, soul, and body.

The resource-filled guide provides readers with practical and biblically-based solutions to overcome everyday problems. Completely Whole features prayers, meditations, and powerful scripture passages to allow readers to interact with the text and to apply it to their own lives. Paulette uses personal experiences and biblical principles to place readers on a path to be in connection with God. This life-changing book will help readers to transform their spirit, soul, and body through Jesus Christ, so they can live a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment.

Special for Today Only – Monday, May 9 — Buy a copy of Completely Whole by Paulette Harper and get immediate access to amazing Free Bonus Gifts and contest giveaways.

Visit the link below for more details…

http://bit.ly/CompletelyWholeBookLaunch

 

What others are saying…..

Author Harper is to be commended for the useful compilation of thoughtful chapters, application of scripture and use of her personal experiences to assist the reader(s) in their quest for spiritual wholeness.  Whether you are at a crossroad of your life or seeking to strengthen your walk with Christ, you will find valuable inspiration, encouragement and most of all, assurance that by choice you can become COMPLETELY WHOLE.

Dr. Linda Beed, Author

COMPLETELY WHOLE” is a guide one can refer to over and over again during times of need. Ms. Harper’s grasp of real life and her method of dealing with these situations truly make this guide a learning tool that can be used over and over again.

Tamarra Bryant, Literary Wonders Reviews

Categories: Christian non-fiction, Christian speakers | 2 Comments

Not being scared to speak

My local writers group, East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers, hosted Tammy B. Melton as our speaker on June 12 and had a blast together! I think part of the reason we enjoyed her so much was because she touched on a couple of different topics and was so very real and humble that we couldn’t help but love her and relate to her.

First, she told us about her book, Loving God With All Five Senses, which she published through Xulon last year. She shared the story of how God helped her through the writing process, how she searched for a publisher, and why she decided to self-publish. Then she was brutally honest about what self-publishing was like and what kinds of challenges she’s faced.

Loving God With All Five Senses is a 6-week Bible study that begins with a week of understanding how wonderfully God made us. Then each of the following weeks looks at the different senses and how they relate to our spiritual lives. Each week studies how God created the sense to work, how misuse of it can hinder our relationship with God and how it can help deepen our relationship with God. I’ve worked part of the way through my book and it’s a great wake-up call to help you be more in tune with yourself and with God.

And if that weren’t enough … then she got to our ‘real’ talk — getting past that fear of being a speaker. Many of us think that we can’t be speakers because we’re writers, but Tammy pointed out quite a few things that speakers and writers have in common. Things like being passionate about what we communicate, needing to organize our thoughts in a logical manner, crafting good openings and closings, and needing to spend time in prayer and with God before we begin. Hmmmm … maybe that shift from writer to speaker doesn’t have to be as scary as some think.

Tammy also heads up a non-profit organization called Legacy Ministries (www.legacyministries.info), which helps encourage and train people for ministry opportunities. It’s a really neat organization, so check out their site. And if you’re looking for a women’s Bible study book or a speaker for your group, I’m sure Tammy would love to talk with you about those things too!

Categories: Christian speakers, Conferences | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment
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