A Word from Luann

Luann Prater, EC Founder & Executive Director

We’ve read Psalm 23 a hundred times, yet how often do we let it penetrate our souls?

The Lord is my Shepherd

Really? Some days I’m more like the old Burger King jingle, ‘Have it your way.’

In our race to do things our way, we may miss the Peace that comes from ‘My Shepherd.’

He occasionally has to MAKE us lie down so He can restore us.

Yet, no matter how we run or trip or forget, the psalmist reminds us that...

goodness and mercy will ‘follow’ us,

which literally means goodness and mercy will PURSUE us.

God packs so much promise into every Word and ... every one of YOU.

I pray the summer has been a time to rest and restore because there’s so much coming down the path.

This fall Encouragement Cafe has five events in NC, SC, NY, CT and back in NC. Please jump in where God leads.

In His grip,

Mama Lu

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10 NIV

Register early for all our events. Each attendee is prayed for by name and assigned to a Name of God. Every name matters, YOU matter...to us and to God.

All Tickets are $20

PER's Encouragement Cafe

Mechanicsville, VA

Saturday, January 26, 2019, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Fairmont Christian Church, 6502 Creighton Rd, Mechanicsville, VA 2311


Theresa Mills - On Air Host/Speaker

Gail Cooper - Speaker/Encourager

Lisa Albinus - Stage Art/Bible Journaling

Natasha Owens - Worship Artist/Songwriter/Speaker

Plus the women of PER and Encouragement Cafe

Ad ons:

Chick Fil A lunch, $10

Bible Journaling 3 PM-5 PM $10

Joy Fm's Unspeakable Joy

Advance, NC

Saturday, February 16, 2019, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Calvary West, 13 Medical Dr, Advance, NC 27006


Luann Prater - Founder Encouragement Cafe Ministries

Natasha Owens - Award-winning Singer, Songwriter, Speaker

Worship with High Road - GMA Female Group of the Year

Stage Art and Bible Journaling with Betty Shoopman & Lisa Albinus

A Cup of Encouragement

Berlin, CT

Saturday, November 2, 2019, 9 AM - 12 PM

Wellspring Church, 222 Lincoln St, Berlin, CT 06037

Interested in hosting an event in your community or church?

We can help you customize an event that fits your needs. Whether it's a speaker, artist, half-day, or full-day event, we would love to work with you to help you bring encouragement to others within your community. For more information email: events@encouragementcafe.com and we'll help get you started.

What women are saying about the live events:

"Love listening to these ladies! They remind me that I'm human, I'm a woman, I'm NOT perfect and don't have to be because I am FORGIVEN!"

"I LOVE how every woman was prayed over and assigned a Name of God. Mine is so fitting for what God has been doing in my life. It gave me chills when I read it! My card is in my Bible."

"Thank you for being so in-tune with the Lord and giving us the opportunity to come to His feet and draw in love and wisdom."

Encouragement Cafe features a daily devotion from one of our many talented writers from across the United States. These women have a fierce faith in Jesus Christ and share their God-stories with our readers. You can subscribe to our devotions here.

Meet: Jill Beran

Jill Beran, Author & EC Contributor

Jill grew up as a soft-spoken "good girl" who had religion but no relationship with Jesus Christ. As a young adult, she struggled with singleness, depression, and at her lowest, contemplated suicide. But, God...

Her life as a devoted farmer's wife, mother of five, homeschool teacher, writer and speaker all testify to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. Her latest work, Renewal Road: the Journey of Becoming More Like Jesus invites women who, like Jill, long to do more than go through the motions of Christianity and desire a deeper and more personal walk with God.

Jill's Online Bible Study

Is your heart ready for renewal?

Then journey with Jill down "Renewal Road" starting September 24th, online at Encouragement Cafe, as she helps equip you to walk more intentionally with Jesus and transform you heart to be more like His. Simply follow the "Renewal Road" link to find your way.

Renewal Road by Jill Beran

To learn more about Jill and her writing please follow her blog, Titus24U or catch her devotions at Encouragement Cafe.

Encouragement Cafe represents numerous gifted speakers from around the U. S. eager to share their God stories with you. Maybe you've heard a few of our EC speakers at our live events, but did you know they're available for your individual church events? Simply email our Director of Events, Annah Matthews at events@encouragementcafe.com to learn more.

Meet: Dawn Mast

Dawn Mast, Speaker, EC Contributor

Dawn has been married to her husband Mark for 25 years and live in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She’s quite witty! You’d have to be, with a doctor husband who grew up in Argentina (We love Jesus and soccer. In that order!), 4 kids, 2 enormous dogs, and 10 years homeschooling. The Mast Family finds plenty to laugh about!

Speaking Topics

Because being in a medical marriage has its ups, downs and can be a bit misunderstood in society, Dawn loves to speak about how to make medical marriage better and stronger for the Lord. She has godly wisdom for how to grow your marriage for the Lord amidst the struggles of unusual schedules, medical corporate pressure and having a husband who just sometimes “checks out” because his people skills have been used up on others.

* Medical Marriage

* Homeschooling

* Motherhood/Parenting

* Medical Missions

EC Stage Artists, Lisa Albinus, Betty Shoopman, Noelle Okolowicz

The Story Behind the Painting

by Betty 'B' Shoopman, Artist

Jesus Crucified, Betty Shoopman, Artist

A month before Joy FM's Unspeakable Joy in Advance, NC, I felt very strongly that I was to paint the face of Jesus. It was a bit daunting.

First of all, I had previously felt strongly that I was NOT to paint His face and secondly, the last time I painted Jesus I streaked black paint right down His face as I stepped in a bucket of black paint!

A bit unnerved, I called our other stage artist, Lisa Albinus, to share the insight. I had completely forgotten that she was being led to paint ‘Him - The Word’. Graciously, Lisa just listened, never stopping me to say, “Hey, that’s what I’m supposed to paint, remember?"

Before our conversation ended, I suddenly recalled Lisa’s idea. Oh my! I was embarrassed, wondering "Would she think I was taking her idea? And how could we both be supposed to paint Jesus’ face?" I tell you, the conversation that transpired was beautiful. We were in awe of God's plan.

As we shared our separate ideas of how we were to paint Jesus, there was nothing similar. Lisa envisioned her painting completely created with scripture! The Word made flesh. Alive. Redeemer. She was even seeing it done on wood. Wow.

Him - The Word, by Lisa Albinus, Artist

My inspiration came from a movie depiction of Christ crucified. I took a snapshot of the movie scene showing the crucified face of Jesus. You see, I was to paint Him Crucified and she was to paint Christ alive!

Well, no good story is without a twist.

When I shared our ideas with Luann, (Mama Lu to some), she suggested I paint the face of Jesus upside-down and flip it to reveal his face. Honestly, I sarcastically thought, “SURE!” but then I thought, "What would the picture be BEFORE I flip it?"

When I turned my snapshot upside-down, the whole plan came together. Suddenly, I could see His chin turned into the hill He climbed to Calvary. It was if He told me, “I walked up that hill, so you wouldn’t have to do it. I paid the price once and for all. You are redeemed by my blood.”

The first three images below were practice paintings as I learned how the painting might evolve. The last three are actual stage results. I sent the practice picture to my son for critique. I wasn’t sure that the crucified Christ with blood running down his face would be encouraging and I questioned removing the blood. My son said, “No Mom, it is extreme, but that’s what makes it powerful.”

Progression of Jesus Crucified, Betty Shoopman, Artist

And then God's final touch:

I awoke the morning of the event, undone with the fact I have no scripture on my painting, as it always does. I began searching. Nothing seemed right. I finally accept, with reservation, the verse... “Oh death where is thy sting?” And as I begin to paint we begin singing, “there is power, power wonder working power in the blood...” and as I write the verse on the side of the hill, the event speaker, Liz Curtis Higgs, steps out onto the stage sharing about her fight with cancer and says, “Oh death, where is thy sting.”

B blessed,

Betty ‘B’ Shoopman

Renewal Road

An online bible study featuring Encouragement Cafe's Jill Beran (see Featured Writer)

Journey with Jill down "Renewal Road" starting September 24th, online at Encouragement Cafe, as she helps equip you to walk more intentionally with Jesus and transform you heart to be more like His. Simply purchase the book and click here to find your way.

Welcome to Encouragement Cafe where the conversation is always hot and fresh.
Encouragement Cafe Podcast Co-hosts: Luann Prater and Rachel Olsen
"Comfort food for your soul is always on the menu and friends are close enough to hug."

Did you know Encouragement Cafe started as a radio program? A local station manager asked Luann to prayerfully consider doing a radio show for women.

God confirmed the call, but He made it clear this was not a Luann show, it was His. He pressed on her heart to include others on the journey because He had gifted many who needed a place to share their gifts.

More than 150 women from across the globe have shared this EC journey by offering their gifts and talents to encourage millions. Now we offer devotions, bible studies, live events and global outreach.

The radio program can be heard on stations across the country and anywhere through iTunes, on Alexa, through OnePlace or on EncouragementCafe.com.

The show topics are based on circumstances we’ve heard women share with us. God has more in store and it may involve YOU. We’d love to hear from you!

So, grab a cup of coffee (or sweet tea) and pull up a chair. We've been waiting for you!

Uganda, July 2019

It’s been called the revival nation of Africa and God is calling us there. Years ago several members of Encouragement Cafe began working in Uganda at the Kampala Children’s Center (KCC). The fighting on the Sudan border left many children orphaned and many on the brink of hopelessness. Then God provided a way through the darkness at KCC.

Encouragement Cafe will come alongside the team working in Uganda in 3 ways:

  • Offer child sponsorship
  • Offer short-term mission trips
  • Train Ugandan women how to bring A Cup of Encouragement to villages across their nation.

In July 2019, an Encouragement Cafe team will head to Kampala, Uganda to teach women how to bring Cups of Encouragement to their country. Many hands make light work and your hands are vital to make this trip a powerful God-driven success.

First, we are commissioning a special T-shirt that will help raise funds for the trip and awareness of our goal. You may purchase online or at at all of our live events.

Declare His Glory Among the Nations T-shirt or Tank

Secondly, although it may seem like a long way off, we must plan now. If you long for a God-sized adventure that will not only take you out of your comfort zone, but purposefully place you in a place thirsty for encouragement, then please contact info@EncouragementCafe with Cafe Uganda in the subject line if you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you to go.

Will you join us?

The Courageous Cafe

because courage is contagious

Joy FM's & Encouragement Cafe's

Very First Men's Event!!!

designed by men for men

Thursday, November 15, 2018, 6-9 pm

Pinedale Christian Church, 3395 Peters Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27127


Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages

William Mangum, Award-winning artist, speaker, author

God's Pit Crew - Disaster Relief

Honoring First Responders

Every man - Growing & Going

Save the date... more details coming soon!

Jason Davis, Founder of Courage Cafe for men
The Courageous Cafe: a place where men will learn how to be better, men, husbands, dads and friends. It's a place to DO.
Guys, if you want to accomplish something, join the movement. NO Complacency!

To join the men's movement, contact Jason Davis at jason@encouragementcafe.com for more information.

Encouragement Cafe Ministries, Inc., PO Box 1237, Clemmons, NC 27012

© 2018 Encouragement Cafe Ministries, Inc All Rights Reserved 336.701.3260 info@encouragementcafe.com

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