Time to Stop Talking & Take Action!

Harassed & helpless! Boy, do I know that feeling! I watch the news & read the paper & begin to wonder if there IS any hope. I read the posts on Facebook from other moms, other women & I know I’m not alone. So many women seem frightened, hopeless, helpless. We all begin to wonder if there is ANYTHING we can do to make things better.

Things seem to be getting worse everyday. I get angry and resolved to take action. Unfortunately, I let other things get in my way. I knew God was calling me & instead, I let trivial matter distract me. Not anymore!

I’m not here to discuss political issues or constitutional rights. I believe this goes deeper than any of that. No, I’m want to look at this from my expert perspective. And my area of expertise is Theology. When I was a kid, people said, “Everyone always talks about the weather but no one ever does anything about it!” Well, there isn’t much we can do about the weather. And while many of us TALK about conditions in our nation, our cities, our neighborhoods, there IS something we can do about it.

In the verse above from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus felt compassion for the people because there were lost & afraid “like sheep without a shepherd.” We act like frighten sheep. We run around in a panic. Fortunately, we HAVE a Shepherd. Jesus is watching over us, protecting us whether we realize it or not. So the first thing we can do it put our faith in Him.

The second thing we can do is find strength, hope & comfort in Scripture. When life seems overwhelming, when we are unable to find answers, I know we can ALWAYS find the answers we need in the Bible.

The third thing we can do is PRAY! There is power in prayer. I also believe there is incredible power when WOMEN pray. More important, powerful things happen when women come together to pray. Jesus told us when 2 or more are gathered in my name, I will be there. Oh, He’s always there with us as individuals but when 2 or more of us come together to pray, Jesus is right there with us, praying beside us & personally taking our concerns to His Father.

In light of these three things, I came to the realization there is even more we can do. For a very long time now, I have felt God filling me with a vision. God has been calling me to create a ministry for women. A ministry made up of small groups of women, meeting in homes across the country, sharing faith, studying Scripture, praying, strengthening & supporting one another & having fun! The problem I had was how to do this?

I have dragged my feet long enough. I can’t worry anymore about the right way to begin, the right time to start, the right pice of the puzzle to fall into my lap. I’m just going to begin.

If you look at the top of the page in the menu, you’ll see Sisters of Simple Joy. This is the name I have given to our small group women’s ministry. Beneath that, I am adding information to help you launch your own group. There is no charge for any of this. I have created a workbook for group leaders. Anyway, you can find information at the top.

For now, pray. God is calling a small group of women to be the first small group leaders in this ministry. I’m not naming any names. That’s not for me to decide. I’m not saying anyone should do anything right now. Just pray. If you are one of the women God has chosen, He’ll let you know. All I ask is that you open your heart, mind & spirit to His leading!

And should you decide to join this adventure, let me know. I want to create a network of praying faithful women that uphold & support one another, their families, their communities & our nation.

Hugs & blessings!

Jean Ann

8 Steps to Effectively Share a Message Step 6: Produce Podcasts/Videos

Developing a personal connection with people in your audience helps promote your message. People like to buy from someone they know. When they feel they have gotten to know you, they want to learn more, either through other material you have created or by buying your books. A podcast & videos are a great way for people to get to know you.

Look at Me!

When I first began writing, I wanted a radio show & my own television show. I was THRILLED when the internet made all this possible & at no cost! Oh, I’ve spent money on these things over the years but I have found through trial & error that the free platforms work just fine for my purposes.

Short is Very Sweet

When I began my first podcast, I wanted to offer a 30 minute program once a week. Mr. D, my hubby, advised me to keep it much, much shorter. At the time, a 30 minute program would have taken too long to download for most of my audience. In addition, most of them didn’t want to listen to a long program on their computer. So, I broke each 30 minute program into a 5 part series with each part only 5-6 minutes long. This length was perfect.

I have done longer programs over the years but I am currently going back to shorter program. Blog Talk Radio allows me to host a 15 minute program each day & it’s FREE. I can do it live or record it & upload. This is the perfect length for both me & my listeners.

Never Let it Overwhelm You

Videos can seem overwhelming but they don’t have to be. I often make movies out of slideshows. This enables viewers to stop the video & read a recipe or instructions.

I also like doing short videos, short like my podcast. There are so many places where I can record & upload or do it live. YouTube has expanded to offer so many ways to produce & share your videos with your audience. You can create a series that focuses on your current topic, like when I produce videos for Thanksgiving. You can create playlists on each topic to make it easier for your viewers to find the videos they want to watch.

Share, Share, Share

Once you have produced & uploaded your podcast & videos, share them on your blog/website. You want to share them in as many places as possible. You also want to share your series links on the program info. ALWAYS share links to all the material for the series in each different format. Each post, podcast, booklet, book, etc should refer your audience to other formats.

Make all your materials work for you. This is the best way to make all that hard work pay off!

Everything is Service

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I was recently watching a John Wayne movie. We can discuss this another time! Back to the movie! At one point, John Wayne is talking to a young man, asking why he doesn’t ask Wayne’s daughter out. The other man feels unworthy since he works for her father. Wayne quickly points out that everyone works for somebody. He, Wayne, owns a huge ranch and a large herd of cattle & he works for the people that buy his cattle & eat the meat from the cattle. Everybody works for somebody!

The same can be said about service, well, something similar. Everything is service. We all serve somebody! When we talk about service in the church or civic organizations, others often think we mean literally serving others. In the church, women quietly groan, thinking they are being asked to serve coffee after church each Sunday or great guests at the next women’s event. Service does include these very important roles but it goes way beyond that.

Everything we do in the church & organization, even our jobs, serves someone else. Even if you have a job or position in an organization that is low level for lack of a better term, you have an obligation to serve those around you & to do it to the best of your ability. You must never, ever think that your role is unimportant. And, of course, I have a story to share to make my point.

Some people think our little toes are unimportant. Obviously, these people have never broken one of their little toes before. I have broken both of mine TWICE! First, it hurts really bad. It’s hard to think because it hurts so bad. Second, your little toes are important to your balance. When they are broken, your balance is thrown completely off! Every part of your body fulfills an important role. No matter how small that body part, no matter how minor the role is, it’s important! Period!

We all serve someone. We need to accept this fact & then focus on serving one another to the best of our ability & beyond!