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Finding God in the Story of Your Life

Speaking Topics

FOR RETREATS or KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS

GodSpace Retreat (New!)

(based on Keri’s forthcoming book GodSpace: Seven Practices to Heal Our Hurried Hearts)

We all sense that we need to slow down, that we should not be so busy. But we’re not sure why, other than a vague feeling that busy is kind of stressful. If we were less busy, if we had more space, more margin—what would go into that space? What are we missing by moving so fast, staying this distracted?

What if the way to create “God Space” in our lives was to live at “God’s Pace”?

This retreat guides participants in an important conversation about how their busyness injures their souls and keeps them from experiencing all that God wants to give them. It offers practical guidance and mentoring on spiritual practices that both slow our pace and create space in our overcrowded, cluttered lives. If we slow down, that’s only the first step. This retreat offers a next step: being intentional about our lives enough to make space for God, and what to do in that space in order to foster a deeper faith.

Topics include:

Sabbath: Space in my calendar.

Hospitality: Space in my home.

Worship: Space in the world.

Simplicity: Space in my soul.

Generosity: Space in my budget.

Critical thinking: Space for faith & doubt.

 To plan a retreat, we recommend that you choose three topics from this list. Each session will be highly interactive.

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God and the Feminist Christian: What does the Bible really say about gender roles, marriage, and a woman’s place in the church and family? Can you be a Christian and a feminist? How did Jesus see and treat women? This talk tackles a few of the “difficult passages” with solid Biblical scholarship, then redefines and reframes the conversation to help women embrace and understand their true identity in Christ. This talk clearly and simply explains an egalitarian view of Scripture and challenges audiences to discover and use their gifts both in the church, the home and the workplace.

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Overcoming Spiritual Loneliness. We live in a culture that is connected and wired, 24-7. Yet we often feel isolated and lonely. We think, sure, God loves the whole world. But does he even notice me? This retreat (or keynote) looks at the barriers to experiencing God’s love, and teaches simple but profound practices that will help us live in the reality of that amazing love. Participants will learn five specific practices for overcoming spiritual loneliness.

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Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity

“In resting, you experience the abundant grace of God, a lavish gift never earned, only received.”

Does your life feel busy and chaotic? Does it seem you are you too busy to ever stop? Do you work and rest, or only work?  In the Old Testament, God commanded us to “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” In the New Testament, Jesus got in trouble with religious leaders because he kept breaking the Sabbath. Is Sabbath-keeping still relevant? If not, why did God include it in the Ten Commandments? What does it mean to live in Sabbath Simplicity?  These are the questions we’ll explore together. Participants will come away with clear strategies for adding a Sabbath practice to their lives. This interactive retreat is Keri’s most popular topic.  Watch a video of Keri teaching on this topic here.

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Breathe Are you living your life at a sane pace? Or are you hurried, worried, stressed and overwhelmed? Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened.” But how, exactly, do we do that? Wouldn’t it be nice to just have a little space to catch your breath, to live in Sabbath Simplicity? That’s exactly what the Breathe retreat is all about. You’ll look at the physical, emotional and spiritual damage that a hurried life can cause. Then, you’ll look at very practical ways to create space for God in your hectic life. Participants will learn what motivates their hurry and over-scheduling, and learn to slow down, breathe deeply, simplify, and rest.

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How to Read and Understand the Bible

Do you want to improve the biblical literacy of your group? So often we read the Bible out of obligation, but secretly feel we don’t get much out of it. Or we get frustrated and so ignore the discipline of Scripture study because it seems difficult to understand. 

This talk gives an overview of how we got the Bible, how to read and study it, and why that’s important. It introduces some basic study tools: a concordance, Bible dictionary and commentary, which will greatly enhance your experience of the bible. Participants will learn how to do a word study, and how to use study tools to better understand God’s word and grow spiritually as a result. A very practical and helpful talk.

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Soul Oxygen An interactive workshop or retreat, Soul Oxygen offers hands-on learning about six spiritual practices. All six are designed to breathe new life into your relationship with God by offering fresh approaches to Scripture. Keri teaches on and then guides participants as they practice Deep Listening, Breath Prayer, Being There, Journaling, Solitude and Kindness. Based on Keri’s book of the same title.

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Listen How can we listen to God? How do we learn to recognize the whispers of God, or the truth of God in the words of others? Participants learn how to develop not only listening skills but also to cultivate a listening heart. They will come away inspired to engage in the ministry of listening, empowered to grow spiritually, and encouraged to hear God’s voice. We look at three ways God speaks to us: through the circumstances of our lives (both joy and pain), through the words (and attentive listening) of others, and through spiritual practices such as listening prayer and meditation on Scripture. Download the workshop outline here. Based on Keri’s book, Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life. This topic can be given as an interactive workshop, weekend retreat or a keynote speech.

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The Garden of the Soul How does growth happen? Like a flower, your spirit needs proper care and the right conditions to grow. How can you provide proper care and create the right conditions? This retreat includes teaching sessions, small group discussions and individual spiritual exercises, all designed to provide you with the tools to cultivate the garden of your soul. Learn how to work with God, and open yourself to his work in you, so that your soul can become like a “well-watered garden.”

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Simple Compassion: Making a Difference

Do you feel God stirring in your soul, asking you to start really connecting your faith with your action? Do you wonder how your life can reflect God’s heart of justice and mercy, his concern for the poor?  Learn how to turn those stirrings into action, and jump-start your justice journey.

This topic makes a life-changing retreat. It can also be a great keynote for a fundraising event, or launch of a justice initiative at your church. We look very practically at how we can become people who make a difference: who act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. The group discussions and reflection times will provide a safe, guilt-free environment for discussing, asking questions, reflecting and strategizing.

The retreat consists of four teaching sessions. Each can also be a stand-alone talk for an event, MOPS group or Sunday School session, and can be customized for your particular outreach focus.

Compassion Begins with You. every woman matters to God, whether she’s in Sierra Leone or San Diego, in a slum or a suburb. We’ll look at some biblical women who stepped up to be difference makers, and how we can follow their lead.

Compassion Grows in Community. The Christian life was never meant to be lived on our own. We were made for community—and sometimes, the people in our closest circles are the ones who are challenging to love.

Compassion Extends Beyond Our Comfort Zones.  Although we can make a difference no matter where we are, God calls us to truly see injustice around us, and not insulate ourselves from it. There are people who need God’s love and tangible help—things like food, clothing and shelter—within an hour of your door.

Compassion Offers God’s Love to the World. It is impossible to talk about God’s heart for the poor without looking at the situation in the developing world. We will look at some big issues like human trafficking, poverty, lack of clean water and others.

The Gift of Christmas Present Planning a holiday event? Whether it’s a Christmas tea, holiday brunch or year-end event, you want a speaker who will engage audiences with laughter and fun, but also remind them about the real meaning of Christmas.

Keri’s newest talk, “The Gift of Christmas Present,” looks at how we often don’t enjoy Christmas because we are thinking about all we have to do, or all the stress we associate with the holidays. This talk looks at how we can be fully present (rather than focusing on past problems or future to-do lists), and gives some practical tips in keeping the holidays sane and sacred. By being present, we can receive the gift of Christmas present–Jesus himself.

Here are some excerpts from the talk:

“When we are stuck in Christmas future, we widen the gap between our ideals and our reality. We say we want to be compassionate, but we get competitive. We say we want to focus on our priorities, but instead we become perfectionists. We say we want to look for true meaning, but we get up at 4 am to get in line for the $17 DVD player.”

“Jesus didn’t live in the past and didn’t worry about the future. He told people, ‘Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough worries of its own.’ And He lived that way. Jesus was fully present with people. He listened; he focused on them. When He talked with someone, he wasn’t just smiling and nodding, while secretly planning the next day’s miracles. He was there.”

Keri shares several biblical examples of how Jesus interacted with people and invites us to interact with Jesus–to be fully present with Him, and then to be fully present with our family and friends. Her presentation ends with a non-threatening, seeker-friendly invitation to receive the ultimate Christmas present by asking Jesus to forgive our past and secure our future.

“Keri’s message was just what this hurried heart needed to hear–and at just the right time. It helped me to look at Christmas in a different way, a quieter way, and to really choose what I spend my time on, and when I am spending it with someone, how present I am in the moment with them. I would highly recommend her for any women’s event as she is comfortable with believing and seeking audiences alike. Our women just love her.”                    Elizabeth Corcoran, Director of Women’s Ministries,
Blackberry Creek Community Church



God’s Whisper in a Mother’s Chaos
 This talk focuses on helping mothers learn, in very practical ways, to listen to God’s still small voice. Moms will come away refreshed in their souls, encouraged in their calling, and equipped to continue to listen to God’s whispers.

Letting Go of Guilt So You Can Grow Based on a chapter in God’s Whisper in a Mother’s Chaos, this talk can be presented as a workshop or keynote. Understand what guilt is, why you feel it, whether guilt is ever good, and how you can create new benchmarks for growth that will enable you to let go of guilt.

A Mom’s Day with Jesus Learn how to invite Jesus into your ordinary moments, so that you can draw on His strength to get you through the day. Learn to recognize teachable moments with your children, and to incorporate spiritual disciplines into your daily routine. The focus of this workshop is not to give you more things to do, but to teach you how to do everything in Jesus’ name.

Solitude & Other Impossible Dreams What are spiritual practices? How can they help you satisfy your desire to grow closer to God? How can you ever find the time to incorporate them into the crazy daily life of a mom? Learn about simple steps you can take to grow spiritually.