Two More She Speaks Scholarships
Two more women I deeply love and learn from have been given the opportunity to offer two more
She Speaks scholarships.

Please click here and here to find out more.

Praying to see many of you at She Speaks 2011!!

You are invited!
There's a blog party Bible study going on over at my friend Melissa Taylor's blog, and we are invited!!

I met Melissa over 12 years ago through church where she and I served together in womens ministry. A few years later, she joined the family at Proverbs 31 as a speaker and eventually became part of our office staff, too. For almost 10 years, we've gotten to do life and ministry together and it's been one of the biggest blessings in my life!

Melissa is one of my favorite people in the whole world! And if you don't know Melissa, you need to. She is so much fun and she's the kind of friend we all need - one who will dig-deep into the heart of God and look for ways to apply His treasures of truth in our everyday lives.

One of Melissa's favorite things is leading Bible studies, and now she's doing that online! In fact, today she is starting an online study of my friend Rachel Olsen’s book It’s No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know.

Although, this new study begins today, there is still of time to sign up. First, here's a little about the book:

It’s No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know
Are you tired of life as usual? Ready to trade your everyday issues and emotional hang-ups for a life of greater intimacy and fulfillment? Rachel Olsen has some God-sized secrets to successful living that are just what every woman needs. Rachel’s writing is lighthearted and fun. But she’s serious about helping you uncover biblical secrets to energize your spiritual life and relationships. This book will help you:

* Handle petty conflicts and criticism with grace
* Overcome the competitive urges that leave you lonely
* Grow spiritually despite life’s setbacks
* Relax unrealistic expectations in favor of emotional stability
* Uncover a surprising means to worshiping God amidst your busy schedule
* Discover how to make what you give away ultimately return to you
* Find adventure as you yield wholeheartedly to God

Through Melissa's online study, you'll join hundreds of women who will explore twelve principals from scripture, and delve into the Bible yourself with end-of-chapter studies. So grab your Bible, your coffee cup, a copy of It’s No Secret, and a girlfriend and come discover twelve secrets the world doesn’t know that every woman should

Simply visit Melissa’s site here.

PS. Be sure to check out Rachel’s site here and her book here.

A Winner & More About How You Can & Why You Should Attend She Speaks
"So I totally have a knot in my stomach as I write this, because even signing up for the possibility to win a scholarship to this conference scares the living daylights out of me. I want to attend this conference to learn more about how to be the woman and leader God wants me to be. I am also going through a spiritual desert, and need to drink His Living Water to get His strength back.

I am a 28 year old woman who is the Woman's Ministry Leader of my church. I'm leading women who are my mom's age--one of them IS my mom! I know that age isn't everything, and that God equips those He calls, and I know I have a strong calling to be in this position, but's still intimidating. I've been on the team for 4 years--maybe 5, and have been the leader now for 2 1/2 years, but the whole leadership thing is intense, and I don't think I'm doing a very good job at it. I know I could be doing so much more to serve HIM, and thus the women in my church body. The chance to learn more, so I can best lead my Sisters in Christ, is one I can't pass up.

In the last week, one of my dear friends and fellow Women's Ministry Team members spoke with me about her calling in changing the focus of our team to one not of service to women of our body, but one where our body of women serves! As I'm really feeling parched right now, and unsure where to go next with our ministry, I know this is God calling us through her. When I first became the leader of our group, it was established and already going strong. I've been okay at keeping status quo, but to change into a new, God-led direction is something I don't feel completely equipped for. I'm decent at planning social events, but when it comes to leading these women in service for Christ, I am scared. Thank you for considering me for this scholarship--and a chance to help revitalize our Women's Ministry!"

Congratulations Christie!! - you are the winner of our 2011 Women's Ministry Leadership Track scholarship!

It's so hard to only have one winner to announce today. I wish so much that I could announce more of your names. Many of you brought tears to our eyes and all of you brought joy to our hearts as we read your entries. We are so HONORED that you entered and we're praying that if God is calling you to come in 2011, you will keep seeking Him to provide.

We know this is so hard for the other 90+ women who entered to win. So, we want you to please consider raising funds on your own by visiting our She Speaks site and clicking on the “Scholarship Info” tab for how to do this, including a sample letter.

We have read stories this week from women on Facebook and blogs who have already raised their support. Some in less than three days!!!!!

Finally, sign up to follow the She Speaks conference blog, and you will be informed of the remaining 9 Cecil Murphy scholarships that will be given away. I know, you may be tired of trying, but someone has to win the remaining scholarships!

And please, if God makes a way for you to attend the conference, my WM team and I want to meet you and put a face to your story.

Last week I focused on telling you about our Women's Ministry track, so today I wanted to share a little more about our additional She Speaks' tracks. All three are a great reason why you should consider attending this year. (And we're halfway sold out so don't wait too long!)

For Speakers:

Whether you are ready to take the main stage and start speaking at conferences and retreats or whether you want to learn how to more effectively teach a ladies’ Bible Study — this track is for you. After attending this conference you will be equipped to:

  • Know how to develop a great message from start to finish.
  • Understand what keeps an audience engaged and how to make your message memorable.
  • Deliver your message in such a way that not only inspires your audience but motivates them to make life changes.
  • Increase your number of booked speaking engagements by using proven marketing strategies.

For Writers:

You have had a passion for writing and have even had people encourage you to write a book, but have never known how to get started on the pathway to publication. You will also be able to make appointments to pitch your book proposal to some of the top Christian publishers- Zondervan, Harvest House, Revell, Discovery House, and several others.

Or maybe you are a blogger and want to learn how to more effectively connect with your readers, increase the impact of your blog, and hear from someone who successfully got a book contract by maximizing her blog platform.

  • Whatever the case may be, if you are a writer in the making, after attending this conference you will:
  • Discover your unique writing voice and the mechanics of effective writing.
  • Understand what publishers are looking for and how to write proposals that get their attention.
  • Better understand how to build your writing portfolio by getting published in magazines.
  • Know how to write a book that will impact your reader from start to finish.
Have a wonderful weekend! I'll be speaking in Danville, CA and praying for God to make a way for all of you to be there! (at She Speaks that is...although I'd love for you to be in CA, too)!!

The Heart Behind the Scholarships - Introducing Cecil Murphey
Your stories, your entries and your nominations for others to win the WM Leadership Scholarship to She Speaks have been like finding rare treasure to me and my selection team!! I have four friends who are also leaders that will be serving on the Women's Ministry Leadership track at She Speaks in July who are helping me. We are still reading and praying over your entries, and I have to tell you-- this is REALLY hard.

We have fallen in love with you, your stories, your passion for ministering to women and your response to God's calling on your lives.

I've wanted to call the P31 office and beg our conference director to let you all come for free!! But I know that isn't possible. So, I'm trusting God to lead us to the winner He's already chosen.

I plan to announce the winner this Friday morning so be sure to sign up in the sidebar for email updates so you don't miss it.

In the meantime, I want to tell you more about Cecil Murphey, the heart behind the scholarships. He is an extremely gifted writer who has written over 100 books! This is quite impressive. But even more impressive is the way he encourages others with his time, his talents, and through his generosity. Cecil Murphey gives back and… he gives God all the glory.

Mr. Murphey was a special guest at She Speaks last year where he met with and encouraged women who carried their dreams of being published in their hands. He took time to look through their proposals and to offer his expert advice. He selflessly gave of himself to encourage these women and the experience had a profound impact on their lives.

Twila Belk (the Gotta Tell Somebody Gal) is Cecil's ministry co-hort and assistant who I had the wonderful privilege of meeting last year, too! She will be joining us this year for the third time. When we told her how excited we were to have her with us again, Twila said, “I see God at work at She Speaks and I want to be where God is working.” Nothing could encourage us more! These two are something special and it is such a blessing to witness their generous spirits and genuine hearts for others.

Oh, and just in case you weren't on my blog last week and haven’t heard about She Speaks, you can learn more about this life-changing conference at

Thank you Cecil Murphey for giving us the blessing of giving and receiving. May we follow your example of having a heart like Jesus. You inspire us all!

I'd love to shower Cecil with our appreciation today.
Please leave a short note for him, and I'll be sure to share them. Just click on the word "comments" below this post and type in the white box. Thanks!!

She Speaks - Women's Ministry Leadership Scholarship
Our 2011 She Speaks conference registration is underway! Each year the conference fills up and we're already a third full. But there is still room for you, so keep reading!

As Director of the Women's Ministry Leadership track at She Speaks, I've been given the amazing opportunity to give away one of several Cecil Murphey Scholarship that he so generously donated to our ministry. If you haven’t heard of Cecil Murphey’s amazing newsletters, you’ll want to click here to subscribe for free!

Karen True from is co-leading the Women's Ministry Leadership track with me this year and we've got several great guest speakers, too. Maybe you are hopping over from Karen's WMnet email announcing this give-away, and I'm so glad you did! If you want to know more about our annual She Speaks Conference for Leaders, Speakers and Writers click here. If you want to know how to enter to win, keep reading.

The purpose of this scholarship is to bless and encourage a women's ministry leader who needs renewed vision, great training, meaningful connections and intentional networking with other women's ministry leaders from across the country. The purpose of Women’s Ministry Leaders Track is to provide all of this so that hearts are refreshed, callings are confirmed and women grow in their passion and ability to lead women closer to the heart of God and!

Are you a woman who leads a women's ministry, as a volunteer or paid staff? Or, do you lead a women's Bible study and want to grow in leadership development.

Perhaps you know a women's ministry leader you'd like to nominate for this scholarship. Well, here's a little more about our She Speaks Womens Ministry track:

For Women’s Ministry Leaders
You know first hand the unique opportunities and challenges that present themselves when you lead a ministry in your church for women. You give and serve all year long — now is your chance to get filled back up with encouragement and training. You’ll have the opportunity to attend a Pre-Conference Intensive as well as the women’s ministry leadership track where you’ll learn how to:
  • Build a multi-generational ministry
  • Plan events with excellence
  • Handle conflict in ministry
  • Become an EXTRAordinary leader
  • Determine the best curriculum for your groups
  • Develop a dynamic ministry for moms
  • Discover God's dream for your ministry team
  • Do the Little Things that Make a Big Difference in Leadership.....and more
Click here to find out more.

And now, here are the rules for my She Speaks Leadership Scholarship Contest:

1. If you have a blog or facebook page, write a post on your blog or a note on your FB wall that tells others a little about the She Speaks Conference and why you would like to win this scholarship.

2. Be sure to include a link to my facebook page using @reneeswope (if post on FB) or to this scholarship opportunity post if you post on your blog.

3. If you did the above, be sure to also leave a comment under this post telling me you did.

4. If you do not have a blog or facebook page, leave a comment under this post describing why you would like to win this scholarship. Have your post up by Sunday, March 20th, 2011.

5. I'd love for you to visit Cecil Murphey's blog and thank him for this wonderfully generous opportunity. He's got a heart like Jesus and so much wisdom to share!

VERY IMPORTANT: The winner of this contest will be awarded a scholarship for the cost of one person’s registration for the 2011 She Speaks main conference.

The value of this scholarship is $595 which includes your conference materials, conference registration, 2 nights at the conference hotel and meals associated with the conference. Please note it does not include any travel expenses. Also, you will be assigned a room mate or you have the option to pay the extra charge for a private room. This scholarship is non-transferable and can not be traded for cash.

Oh, I hope to see many of you at She Speaks this year, whether you attend as a women's ministry leader, speaker or writer!! It will be so fun to see your face and hug your neck. And I'll get to introduce to you to my baby/book "A Confident Heart." She's being released at She


I also have some wonderful friends within P31 giving away some more scholarships this week!

  • Writers, visit my friend Glynnis..
  • Speakers, visit my friend Karen.
  • Event Planners, visit my friend LeAnn.
Last week's give-aways winners will be announced tonight here and here, and I'll share them on my facebook wall, too so be sure to keep a look out for them in case it's you!

Last Week's Winners
My What Do You Crave? winner is Carolyn, who posted at 11:59am on this give-away post. You'll be receiving:
  • A "Made to Crave" bundle valued at over $45. It includes the Made to Crave book, DVD set and participant's guidePlease email your mailing address to

My Encouraging Words Wednesday winner is. Kristen Marie!! You will be receiving:

Encouraging Words Wednesday

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Have you ever wanted to silence the voices of your fears? In my Encouragement for Today devotion at Proverbs 31 Ministries, I shared how I learned to do just that by helping someone else overcome theirs. Before I knew it, I had faced my fear of open heights because I wanted to help a friend's child conquer his. And that day, I conquered mine, too.

Without even realizing it, I acted on God's command and believed God's promise in Joshua 1:9 that tells me I can overcome my fears with God’s strength. I realized in a very tangible way that the same promises I claim so boldly for others are true for me, too.

Like God did with Joshua in today’s verse, each day we have the same opportunity to come alongside each other in some of life’s hardest challenges and highest peaks and say, “Don’t give up, you can do it. I’ll be with you and I will help you.”

Today is Encouraging Words Wednesday. The second Wednesday of each month we gather here for encouragement and commit to share the power of encouragement with someone in our lives. In believing the power of God’s promises for others, our confidence in His promises for us seems to grow as well. I like to call it the "encouraging words" boomerang effect.

Encouraging words have the power and potential to bring courage to the discouraged. Hope to the hopeless. Assurance to the insecure. Clarity to the confused. Strength to the weak. Calm to someone’s chaos. Comfort for someone’s sadness.

Encouraging words say, “I notice and I care enough to take this moment to tell you because you matter to me and you matter to God.”

So, today let's shift our focus off our fears, doubts, insecurities and personal struggles and help someone overcome theirs. All we have to do is look for someone who could use a kind word, a boost of confidence, a note with a Bible verse or a short prayer in it. Even just a simple facebook post or email saying what we really appreciate about them, or how you see God's heart in something they do will make such an impact!

Join me and let’s watch to see the difference this will make in our families, neighborhoods, work places and churches.

Lord, thank You for the power of Your words that give me courage to become who You’ve created me to be – to go to places You’re calling me to go and climb spiritual heights that are out of my reach without Your help. Give me Your encouragement and help me encourage someone else today. In Jesus Name, Amen.


Encouraging Words Wednesday Gift Pack

His Princess: Love Letters from Your King
by Sheri Rose Shepherd (This is one of the most encouraging books ever!)

The Power of a Purpose Driven (and Encouraging) Mom
message on CD by Renee Swope (What a difference you can make!)

20 of God's Promises to personalize and send to a friend
(Nothing is more powerful than God's promises!)

To enter to win
simply share some encouragement and let me know about it.
Click on the word "comments" below this post and type in the white box:
  1. Commit to it- List one person you're going to encourage today or this week and how you're going to do it.

  2. Share it - Share a link to this post with friends via Facebook. Just lick on my Facebook badge in my sidebar. Then click on "share" under my EncWds button on my FB page. You can also Tweet and/or email a friend a link and let me know.

  3. Spread it - Forward today's devotion to someone who has been an encouragement in your life, and thank them. It will really mean a lot to them!

    For an extra chance to win, add our Encouraging Words Wednesday button to your blog with a link to today's post, then come back and let me know in another comment. You can grab the code from my sidebar under the button.
Winners announced Monday - want to be
notified ?
If you'd like to be updated when I post or notified when
I announce the winner, additional give-aways or find out early about special promotions, enter your email in the white box in my sidebar (right under the P31 logo). I will not share your email with anyone. Promise.
And the winner is...Kristen Marie!! I've got your email so I'll be in touch.

What do you crave?
Welcome to all of you stopping by after seeing JJ and me on the Made to Crave Webcast RE-Airs today.

On the set of "Made to Crave" webcast.

After the first webcast aired in January, we received questions and stories from viewers. Here are some video clips of us answering those questions and sharing more of our "Made to Crave" story.

We didn't go over our answers beforehand and JJ surprised with his first one. I was thinking, "Wow, that's not at all what I thought you were gonna say." It'll be fun to hear your thoughts.

Because we believe in the transforming truth's of the Made to Crave message, JJ and I are giving away a "Made to Crave" bundle valued at over $45. It includes the Made to Crave book, DVD set and participant's guide. To enter, share your thoughts about our Made to Crave conversation. Just click on the word "comments" below and type in the white box. Your comments will enter you in the drawing. (Be sure to sign up for email updates in the sidebar or include your email so we can contact you if you win.)

Come back Wednesday and let's talk about the power of encouragement! I'll be giving away a another great gift and hosting "Encouraging Words Wednesday." For an easy reminder, just sign up for email updates in my sidebar.

And the winner is...

Carolyn, who posted at 11:59am.
Carolyn, please email me your mailing address at

Living Loved Give-away Winners
LeeBird at PrayerGifts you are the winner of
Laurie (Hawaiilaurieann) you are the winner of
Jaymie at JustMe Jaymie, you are the winner of
HorsePrairieChatter you are the winner of:

Living "Loved"
I have something really important to tell you today. Lean in close. Really let this get past your self-doubts and into those assurance-seeking places in your heart...

God is absolutely crazy about you!
Yes you. The beautiful one sitting there looking at the screen.

I know it's hard to believe sometimes, but it's true. You fill God's heart with absolute joy and every day you take His breath away with your smile.

Just a slight glance in His direction makes Him pause. He loves the unique way you do things. He really enjoys watching others love on you and bring out His best in you. And He's not critical of your mistakes like you sometimes think, or waiting for you to do something productive. He simply delights in you because you are His. And that is enough.

It took me 20 years to understand and 10 more years to truly believe this was the reality of God's love for me. The same was true for my friend Sheri Rose Shepherd who I've asked to be a girlfriend guest blogger with us today. Like many of you, I've been blessed by God's words written through her, so today I'm giving away a copy of her book, "His Princess." More about that in a minute.

Sheri Rose is a woman who can relate to almost any woman’s battle. A former Mrs. United States, she grew up in a dysfunctional home and was severely overweight as a teen. As a young woman, she battled depression and an eating disorder. In spite of an English teacher telling her she was “born to lose” and a learning disorder—Dyslexia—Sheri Rose has (in God’s strength) become a Best Selling and award-winning author. Sheri Rose is also an internationally known speaker and Bible life coach.

Today, in my devotion on P31 and Crosswalk, I shared about God's lavish love for us and how He wants us to live "loved" because we are. Then I asked Sheri Rose to share with us what she believes is the most important thing for women to know, so we can grasp the depth of God's love for us. Here is what she said:

People often ask me, “How did you break free from your painful past and the lies and learn to embrace truth.” To be honest, I still have to fight the lies I’ve believed about myself. It seems to be the battle each woman I have met faces.

Many of us have experienced what I call “Spiritual Identity Theft.” We’ve somehow lost our confidence in who we are in Christ, and we feel worthless or wounded by someone’s words.Others of us hold in our hearts a false identity. We believe a lie about ourselves and we have allowed that lie to define us.

I understand what it is like to feel worthless and walk with a wounded heart from hurtful words. Perhaps you're just recognizing the root of the lie you have been living in. Maybe it was hurtful words spoken to you by a father or mother, brother or sister, teacher, boyfriend or husband. Maybe it was an employer who thoughtlessly felt like dumping lies on you.

I don’t think those hurtful words are easily forgotten but I do know healing and wholeness can become reality in our lives when we learn how to embrace God’s truth. You do not have to let others’ hurtful words define you anymore. They did not give their life, as Jesus did, to prove your worth. We are Daughters of the King of Kings whether we feel like it or not.

Let me be a spiritual mentor and give you the three keys to unlocking lies and finding your true identity, I call it “a truth makeover.”

1. Know the Truth. You Are...
  • Chosen By God (John 15:16)
  • A New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • Holy and Pure (1 Peter 2:9)
  • A Trophy of His Grace (Ephesians 2:8)
  • His Princess Warrior (2 Timothy 4:7)
  • His Beloved Bride (Psalm 45:11)
2. Speak The Truth...
Whenever a lie is spoken to you or a lie enters your mind, speak this Truth out loud...
“That is a lie. My worth is not in what anyone else says about me or what I feel at the moment.”

3. Fast Off Speaking Lies
Try a seven-day fast by not speaking anything negative about yourself or repeating any lies that have been spoken over you or about you. If possible, ask a friend to hold you accountable to speak only truth.

4. Read this Love Letter from God:
My Chosen Daughter, You are royalty even when you don’t feel like a princess. How you feel about yourself will never change the truth of who you are in Me. You are My treasure, and I have chosen you. If you ever begin to doubt your significance, just look to the cross and remember I gave my life to prove your worth. I see your heart and I know you fight to find truth. So start by recognizing who I am: the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and your Daddy in heaven. Saturate yourself in My truth and you will discover how loved and treasured you are.

Love, Your Lord who is Truth

Thank you Sheri for sharing your heart and God's amazing love with us today. And thank you for so generously giving away 2 FREE Bible Life-coaching sessions! What a huge blessing for one of our girlfriends that gather here today. And there is more!

Living Loved Give-away
To enter to win, click on the word "comments" below this post, and type in the white box. Sheri Rose and I would love to know your first name, your age, where you are from, who you will invite to do the Bible life-coaching sessions with you or who you'd give the extra of my message on CD to. Please be sure to sign up for email updates in my right sidebar (so you will know if you win), or leave your email in your comment so we can notify you. I'll announce the winner next Monday, March 7th.

Big Smiles, Big News & a little Linky Love
Just popping in to say "hello" and share this sweet blessing from our family's everyday life. Aster-berry's squinchy smile and crazy-beautiful hair is one of our morning delights. I hope her sweetness bring joys to your heart today.

Big news on the home front is that I've got my manuscript for "A Confident Heart" in my hands for a final review and it's due back today. This is it! I need to mark any typos or missing words. It's now or never. So exciting but boy I hope I don't miss anything.

Big news on the bloggy/facebook front is that I've got an amazing give-away and a girlfriend guest post with Sheri Rose Shepherd, best-selling author of "His Princess:Love Letters from my King" tomorrow that you don't want to miss. Be sure to set a reminder and come back Wednesday, March 2nd.

And here's a little linky love:

Me on Facebook Life is wonderfully "full" for me these days with a toddler and two teens as well as my speaking/book/radio and leadership role atP31 ministry. For a season, I can't spend as much time on my blog as I want to although I will blog once each week at least. But God has be calling me and carving out time for me to share daily verses and encouragement on my Facebook page. I post what He's teaching me about overcoming self-doubt and discouragement with the power of His promises along with silly everyday life stuff, too. I'd love to stay more connected with you there. Just click here if you wanna be "friends."

Andrew (13), Aster (2) & Joshua (almost 16)

LeAnn Rice at She Cooks is giving away a $500 scholarship to Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks Conference. To find out more click here.

Lysa TerKeurst, NY Times best-selling author of Made to Crave is re-airing her webcast on demand all day today and giving away a free conference call to one winner and her friends as part of "Tell a Friend Tuesday." To find out more click here.