Speaking Engagements

Report Back: Women Thriving God’s Way Retreat

What a joy it was, last weekend, to share with my sisters from Highland Bible Church of Woodland Park, Colorado at their fall retreat: Women Thriving God’s Way! Conferences are great for reaching out to women in your community and surrounding areas, but sometimes you need an event where it’s just family. Retreats provide an intimate atmosphere for the women of a local church to bond together as sisters in Christ. It was an honor to speak into HBC women’s family time.

I grew up in southern New Mexico, but I had never crossed our northern border into Colorado before, so it was exciting to touch down at the Colorado Springs airport.

First on the agenda was dinner with Pastor Jeff and his wife, Sharon (who kindly picked me up at the airport), and Adriana (who organized the retreat) and her husband Asa. In the body of Christ, you never meet a stranger, only extended family, and we had a wonderful time of fellowship together.

After dinner, Adriana and Asa checked me into the delightfully rustic Golden Bell Camp and Conference Center:

On Friday morning, Adriana and her daughter Jenny Lynn were so kind to take me around and show me some of the sights. The Colorado Springs area is home to a number of notable sites, including the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, the United States Air Force Academy, Pike’s Peak, Focus on the Family, The Navigators, and their striking conference center, Glen Eyrie Castle.

Since our time was limited, we focused on two other sites I was particularly interested in, The Garden of the Gods, and Charis Bible College.

The Garden of the Gods is a beautiful area just outside of town, with huge sandstone rock formations set against Pike’s Peak as a majestic backdrop. It’s easy to ignore the evolutionary fairy tales about how the rocks and mountains were formed, because it’s more than obvious that God’s awesome creative hand was at work here!

After a great lunch at a local deli, we did a quick drive through tour of Charis Bible College. I know, kind of a weird choice for sightseeing if you know anything about the school. Or me.

Charis “Bible” College was founded by Andrew Wommack, a key figure in the New Apostolic Reformation / Word of Faith movement. If you’re at all familiar with Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry, Charis is kind of like that but with more of a “real” college atmosphere and approach. Still, students are required to take courses with titles like “Healing,” “Holy Spirit I & II,” “Establishing a Prosperous Soul,” and “Operating in God’s Best”. And yet the code of student conduct has the audacity to admonish:

“Spreading false doctrine is not allowed…it is not appropriate to…teach against the doctrines in Charis’ statement of faith.”

The campus is gorgeous and the surroundings enchanting.

I was intrigued by this unique speed limit sign (below). No explanation was posted, and I searched Charis’ website and the internet extensively to no avail. At first I thought it was a reference for a Bible verse, but I looked at every chapter 22 in the Bible, and the only 22:53 references I found were:

1 Kings 22:53: He served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger in every way that his father had done.

Luke 22:53: When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.

Pretty appropriate if you ask me, but I doubt Andrew Wommack would have chosen either of those verses.

The only other thing I found is that 22.53 km/hr is roughly equivalent to 14 mph, so…maybe that’s it? I don’t know. If you know, comment below. Curiosity is about to kill me! :0)

Not long ago, my friend Justin Peters was preaching at HBC, and he and Pastor Jeff took the time to visit a class. Needless to say, their questions weren’t welcome, and they were Kicked Out of Charis. I didn’t have time to do anything that would get me kicked out. :0) (You can see more of the opulent insides of the buildings in this video, too.)

We arrived back at Golden Bell in plenty of time to rest up for a fun and delicious dinner and “getting to know each other better” time of fellowship, followed by our first teaching session on biblical womanhood: Rock Your Role at Home and at Church.

Participant gift bags. Thanks, ladies! I really needed a new journal!

Saturday after breakfast, we got right down to business with our second session: Holy Mothers (and Others) of God’s Word, one of my favorites. We strolled through the Bible and took a brief look at the lives of several of our Old and New Testament sisters, and their examples of holiness to us.

Between teaching sessions and other activities, the ladies had the opportunity to craft these cute Christmas ornaments. They kindly gave me a couple to take home. What a treat!

Session 3, Practical Holiness, a look at practical ways to pursue holiness in our daily lives, came right after lunch. And after a fun afternoon of rest and recreation, capped off by a mouth-watering supper, we ended the day with teaching session 4, God’s Word: Our Foundation, addressing the necessity, authority, and sufficiency of Scripture.

I had to get up at 4 a.m. to catch my flight home the next morning, but it was worth it to be able to be with my own church family Sunday night. Flying on 9/11 was an interesting experience. The Colorado Springs airport asked us to observe a moment of silence in remembrance, and everyone respectfully complied.


Many thanks to Pastor Jeff, Sharon, Adriana, Jenny Lynn, Russ, Ely, and all of the HBC ladies who worked so hard to host a great retreat, took care of all my needs, and made me feel so welcome. If you’re ever in the Woodland Park area, be sure to stop in to Highland Bible Church for a visit!


If your church or organization is ever in need of a speaker for a women’s event, I’d love to come share with your ladies as well. Click here for more information.


Photo Credits

All photos marked with a white star were taken by retreat attendees.

All other photos by Michelle Lesley

Speaking Engagements

Upcoming Events: Schedule One or Attend One!

Looking for a super, doctrinally sound women’s event to attend? Here are some I’ve got coming up in 2023. Can’t find one close by? Schedule your own 2023 event!

Can’t wait that long? I’ve still got space on my 2022 calendar for a few events!

Schedule an Event

Want to plan an event for the ladies of your church or Christian organization that will encourage, edify, and equip? It’s easier than you think, and I’d love to come speak to them! Read through all the info on my Speaking Engagements page, then, let’s find a date and make it happen!

2022

If you’re good at putting events together quickly, the following dates are still available for 2022, but you must contact us right away to book:

August: Any weekend
September: 23-24
(Sept. 30 – Oct.1)
October: 7-8
November: 4-5, 11-12 (last date for 2022)


2023

Need a little longer to get your ducks in a row? Try one of these 2023 dates on for size (February is booked):

January: 13-14, 20-21
March: 10-11, 17-18
April: 14-15
Any weekend from May 12-13 through November 10-11
(except June 9-10, 16-17)


Planning an event is not as difficult as it sounds – especially if you keep things simple – and my events coordinator (and husband!) Scott, and I make things as easy as we possibly can on our end. Plus, I’ve got some great resources that can help! These, plus much more helpful information, are all at the Speaking Engagements tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page whenever you need them:

Conference schedule, teaching topics – where do we start? Right here, with my Speaking Engagement Packages worksheet. Choose from a variety of topics. Pick your format, add in registration time, worship, breaks, lunch, or whatever you like, and – voilà! – your event is practically planned.

Stuck for theme or decoration ideas? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Take a look at a few of my previous conferences and get some inspiration from your sister event planners.

Is your church new to hosting conferences, retreats, etc., and you need a little help with the details? Check out these articles:

Women’s Events on a Shoestring Budget and Other Practical Tips

Event Planner FAQs

2023 Events

The dates and locations of these events are set, but some details, such as exact times, have not yet been finalized. Teaching topics are also subject to change.

Nebraska

Nebraska, I’m headed your way February 3-4 for a women’s conference at Providence Bible Church in Gretna, Nebraska! We’ll get things kicked off with teaching sessions on Hooked on a Feeling: Living by God’s Word Instead of Our Feelings, Biblical Womanhood, Teach What is Good (Titus 2:3-5), and we’ll round out the conference with a fun Q&A session. This conference is open to women in the surrounding areas, but you must contact the church directly to register.

Oregon

On February 24 & 25, I’ll be speaking at Grace Bible Fellowship’s women’s conference in Tangent, Oregon. Friday at 6:00 p.m., we’ll start the ball rolling with Hooked on a Feeling: Living by God’s Word Instead of Our Feelings. Doors open at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday with How to study the Bible in Session 1, followed by brunch, and Discernment in Session 2.

This conference is open to women in the surrounding areas. Registration for those not members of GBF will open November 1, 2022 and close January 20, 2023, or when seating is at capacity. Cost: $15 – includes snacks on Friday and brunch on Saturday. You must contact the church directly to register.

Ohio

No foolin’! On April 1 I’ll be speaking at a one day women’s conference at The Ripley Church in Greenwich, Ohio. Join me for a buffet of topics that are sure to equip and encourage you in your walk with the Lord. We’ll tackle Discernment, Hooked on a Feeling: Living by God’s Word Instead of Our Feelings, and Managing Media, and we’ll close things out with a time of Q&A. Lunch will be served between sessions 2 and 3. This conference is open to women in the surrounding areas, but seating is limited, so you must contact the church directly to register.

Tennessee

I’ll (Tennes)see you April 28-29 for Mill Springs Baptist Church’s women’s conference in Jefferson City, Tennessee! It’ll be a jam-packed weekend with sessions on Biblical Womanhood, The Authority, Sufficiency, and Necessity of The Word, Discernment, Hooked on a Feeling: Living by God’s Word Instead of Our Emotions, and a super Q&A to wrap things up. This conference is open to women in the surrounding areas, but you must contact the church directly to register.

To keep an eye out for an event near you,
or to schedule me for your own event, check out my
calendar of events and booking information on my
Speaking Engagements page.

Hope to see you soon!

OHCW Women's Conference

OHCW22 Women’s Conference ~ Day 5

Who’s excited for Open Hearts in a Closed World? I am!

If you’re not familiar with OHCW, it’s a FREE annual online women’s conference. It has been my privilege to be one of the speakers each year since its inception.

Join us for OHCW22 – a FREE online women’s conference all this week, July 11-15. Watch and get all the details here!

All of the conference details are below. Here’s today’s teaching session (Remember, teaching session videos will not be available until 8:30 a.m. Central each day, but will remain available indefinitely.):

Some (not all) of this week’s teaching sessions have accompanying handouts:

No handouts for today’s Q&A, but here is the
podcast series on modesty that I mentioned during the Q&A.


Missed a day of this week’s conference? Click below to catch up!

Day 1 (Monday)
Day 2 (Tuesday)
Day 3 (Wednesday)
Day 4 (Thursday)


The theme of this year’s conference is Spiritual Sisterhood: Going Beyond the Facade, so each of our speakers will center their teaching around what it means to be godly, genuine sisters in Christ.

OHCW 2022 Speakers:

Find out more about each speaker here.

Where and When to Watch:

The conference will run each day this week, July 11-15, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Central time), and “attending” is as easy as watching your favorite TV show! There’s no cost, no registration – just tune in starting at 8:30 (Central) each morning. You can even watch the recordings later, if that’s more convenient, as the videos of each session will remain posted.

I’ll post the YouTube version of each day’s teaching session so you can watch it here on the blog if you like. Or, if you prefer, you can watch directly on…

YouTube, AGTV, or Exposit the Word.

Daily Schedule:

This year, we’re so pleased to have the TMU Chapel Band from The Master’s University leading us in worship each day.

Here’s the teaching schedule for each day of the conference:

For more information:

For more conference details, check out the OHCW website, follow Open Hearts in a Closed World on Instagram, or join the OHCW Facebook group and ask the conference organizers directly.

I hope you’ll join us each day this week
for Open Hearts in a Closed World 2022!


Can’t get enough? Here’s a little “throwback” to last year’s conference sessions!

OHCW Women's Conference

OHCW22 Women’s Conference ~ Day 4

Who’s excited for Open Hearts in a Closed World? I am!

If you’re not familiar with OHCW, it’s a FREE annual online women’s conference. It has been my privilege to be one of the speakers each year since its inception.

Join us for OHCW22 – a FREE online women’s conference all this week, July 11-15. Watch and get all the details here!

All of the conference details are below. Here’s today’s teaching session (Remember, teaching session videos will not be available until 8:30 a.m. Central each day, but will remain available indefinitely.):

Some (not all) of this week’s teaching sessions have accompanying handouts:

Session 1 Handout
Session 2 Handout


Missed a day of this week’s conference? Click below to catch up!

Day 1 (Monday)
Day 2 (Tuesday)
Day 3 (Wednesday)
Day 5 (Friday)


The theme of this year’s conference is Spiritual Sisterhood: Going Beyond the Facade, so each of our speakers will center their teaching around what it means to be godly, genuine sisters in Christ.

OHCW 2022 Speakers:

Find out more about each speaker here.

Where and When to Watch:

The conference will run each day this week, July 11-15, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Central time), and “attending” is as easy as watching your favorite TV show! There’s no cost, no registration – just tune in starting at 8:30 (Central) each morning. You can even watch the recordings later, if that’s more convenient, as the videos of each session will remain posted.

I’ll post the YouTube version of each day’s teaching session so you can watch it here on the blog if you like. Or, if you prefer, you can watch directly on…

YouTube, AGTV, or Exposit the Word.

Daily Schedule:

This year, we’re so pleased to have the TMU Chapel Band from The Master’s University leading us in worship each day.

Here’s the teaching schedule for each day of the conference:

For more information:

For more conference details, check out the OHCW website, follow Open Hearts in a Closed World on Instagram, or join the OHCW Facebook group and ask the conference organizers directly.

I hope you’ll join us each day this week
for Open Hearts in a Closed World 2022!


Can’t get enough? Here’s a little “throwback” to last year’s conference sessions!

OHCW Women's Conference

OHCW22 Women’s Conference ~ Day 3

Who’s excited for Open Hearts in a Closed World? I am!

If you’re not familiar with OHCW, it’s a FREE annual online women’s conference. It has been my privilege to be one of the speakers each year since its inception.

Join us for OHCW22 – a FREE online women’s conference all this week, July 11-15. Watch and get all the details here!

All of the conference details are below. Here’s today’s teaching session (Remember, teaching session videos will not be available until 8:30 a.m. Central each day, but will remain available indefinitely.):

Some (not all) of this week’s teaching sessions have accompanying handouts:

No handouts for today’s sessions.


Missed a day of this week’s conference? Click below to catch up!

Day 1 (Monday)
Day 2 (Tuesday)
Day 4 (Thursday)
Day 5 (Friday)


The theme of this year’s conference is Spiritual Sisterhood: Going Beyond the Facade, so each of our speakers will center their teaching around what it means to be godly, genuine sisters in Christ.

OHCW 2022 Speakers:

Find out more about each speaker here.

Where and When to Watch:

The conference will run each day this week, July 11-15, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Central time), and “attending” is as easy as watching your favorite TV show! There’s no cost, no registration – just tune in starting at 8:30 (Central) each morning. You can even watch the recordings later, if that’s more convenient, as the videos of each session will remain posted.

I’ll post the YouTube version of each day’s teaching session so you can watch it here on the blog if you like. Or, if you prefer, you can watch directly on…

YouTube, AGTV, or Exposit the Word.

Daily Schedule:

This year, we’re so pleased to have the TMU Chapel Band from The Master’s University leading us in worship each day.

Here’s the teaching schedule for each day of the conference:

For more information:

For more conference details, check out the OHCW website, follow Open Hearts in a Closed World on Instagram, or join the OHCW Facebook group and ask the conference organizers directly.

I hope you’ll join us each day this week
for Open Hearts in a Closed World 2022!


Can’t get enough? Here’s a little “throwback” to last year’s conference sessions!