Carol's blog

01 Aug

Becoming a Woman of Influence

Published by Carol

What would happen if you decided to influence lives on purpose? One of the reasons I wrote the book, Becoming a Woman of Influence, was to challenge women to become more intentional about how we influence others.  Not because we have to, but because we want to.  Not because it’s our Christian obligation, but because it brings great meaning and joy to our lives.  Not because of duty, but because of love. Let’s be like Jesus. Let’s be women of conviction and passion.  Let’s intentionally influence other women because it’s a high calling and a part of our pre-designed purpose.

 

The new DVD teaching series on the book, Becoming a Woman of Influence, has just been released by NavPress.  It’s a nine-week study for women who want to touch lives like Jesus did—women who want to pass on a lasting legacy to their families and to their culture.  Following the introductory chapters, you’ll be able to walk your small group through the seven ways Jesus impacted his disciples that reveal to us how we can make a difference that will have eternal impact.

The seven principles in the study are:

  1. The Principle of Time Alone with God
  2. The Principle of Walking and Talking
  3.  The Principle of Storytelling
  4. The Principle of Asking Questions
  5. The Principle of Compassion
  6. The Principle of Unconditional Love
  7. The Principle of Casting Vision

If you go through this study with a heart that listens to God, you may be at risk for becoming a Christ-follower who cannot go through a day without influencing someone else's life like he did.  This study is not for the chicken-hearted; it's for the courageous woman who is ready to risk a couple of set-backs, and perhaps a failure or two in order to set her course in the direction of helping others to square with biblical principles.

Whether you are longing for someone older and wiser to mentor you or you want to use your experience and wisdom to influence others, this study is for you. Click on the link on the home page to get ordering information on this series. The DVD series can be used with large and small groups—and the discussion questions will bring intimacy and spiritual growth to the participants.

07 Jul

Who Mentored You?

Published by Carol

Last month one of my mentors left his earth-shackles and went to heaven. Ray Clendenan was the first adult outside of my family who told me I had potential to do something great for God.  He was the state director of Youth for Christ.  My parents moved when I was in my first year of university studies out-of-state, and I was not looking forward to spending the summer in an unfamiliar place.

Within a week of returning home, Ray asked if I would join a Teen Team for the summer with five other university students, and I accepted. All of the other team members were skilled musicians, but I was out of their league musically and felt miserable.

Ray sensed my uneasiness and pulled me aside.  I told him I loved being on the team, but I didn’t want to hurt the group’s musical reputation. Ray looked me in the eyes, and said:  “Carol, our main purpose is introduce teenagers to personal faith in Christ, and your contribution to the group is outstanding.  You concisely introduce the songs and tell humorous stories that keep people laughing and listening.  And when you mingle in the crowd afterwards, it’s awesome to see how people relate to you.  They actually cluster around while you are telling them how to establish a meaningful relationship with Christ.  You have a remarkable gift of evangelism.  Young lady, you have personality!”

When Ray finished, my self-esteem was intact.  He made me believe I had something worthwhile to contribute to the team’s ministry, and that I was not only needed, but wanted.  When he established that my main function on the team was personality, the rest of the group applauded my gifts.  Each of us understood our individual purpose.

I recently wrote down how Ray’s visionary leadership influenced me:

He made me feel valuable.  By affirming my strength (personality) and my spiritual gift (evangelism), he made me realize I made an essential contribution to the team.

He painted a clear picture of our mission and my contribution.I finally understood that our goal was not to do professional concerts. Our goal was evangelism, and my place on the team was key if we were going to fulfill our purpose.

He set me up for success, not failure.  He freed me from having to do something I wasn’t good at, to do what I could do best—meeting people and telling them about Jesus.

 He inspired me.  I felt privileged to communicate truth to people who needed a fresh touch from God in their lives.  I knew there was nothing more important I could do with my time and energy.  This was KINGDOM WORK!

He gave enough training to feel prepared, but enough freedom to accomplish the mission in creative, contemporary ways.Community Bible Study Teaching Director, Margaret Frost says, “People are encouraged to become their best when you hold a crown just a little above their heads and ask them to grow into it."  That’s what Ray did and I salute this man and the great impact he had on my life!

Question:  Who mentored you and how did it make a difference in your life?

Quote contributed by Carol John from a Bible study lecture by Margaret Frost.

18 Jun

Speak Up!

Published by Carol

Hi Everybody!  

Welcome to my blog!  It’s been a great year of watching God at work in remarkable ways at women’s conferences, retreats, and outreach events.  It’s been a joy to meet many of you in various venues across the country.  It’s always encouraging to connect with people who have read my books and I love to hear your faith-journey stories.

Next week is one of my favorite events of the year—the annual Original and Advanced Speak Up Seminars will take place at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 23-26.  Participants will gather from twenty states and Canada to learn how to communicate God’s truth more effectively.  They are always enthusiastic about networking with each other and about using their gifts to further his kingdom work!  We tell them:  “We won’t remove your butterflies entirely; we’ll just get them to fly in formation.”  I believe a little nervousness is good because it keeps us depending upon the Lord to translate our message to the heart of the listener.

Participants learn how to find a topic, build a message, tell their own story, develop illustrations, aims, outlines, and applications, teach a Bible passage with clarity, hone their delivery skills, and organize their speaking resources.  The best part of the seminar is that participants get the opportunity to try out what they are learning in small interactive groups with a trained facilitator who gives helpful feedback.
 
To join us, click on the Speak Up Seminars link at the top of my home page for more information.  There are partial scholarships available for both seminars, if that will help to make it possible for you to attend.  If you believe it’s time to move beyond fear into confidently sharing your faith with others, this seminar is for you!  Questions?  Email Bonnie, our seminar administrator, at Bonnie@speakupwithconfidence.info.

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