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Psalm 55:22 tells us to “Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” Do you feel your heart burdened these days with everything going on? I do. Last night, I was praying to God in anguish to help us, to heal our nation, to forgive us, to protect us, to end the virus, to end this violence, to end the hatred… The list was endless, and my heart was heavy.

It is difficult to sit back and “watch the movie of life unfold” while not judging everyone’s acts. But the Bible also tells us clearly in Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 4:5 we read, “So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.”

So these days as we observe others commit violent crimes, I encourage you to look inside your own heart and ask yourself: What am I doing in my life that is not pleasing to God? What can I do as an act of love to help others? Striving to live a holy life on a daily basis is easier said than done. But once again, the Word of God reminds us in Hebrews 12:14-15 to, “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”

Based on the current events happening all around us, our human tendency is to immediately judge. But the Bible tells us to not do that. Instead, give ALL your burdens to the Lord so He can take care of everything. Every single act by every single person will be judged in due time but by God not by us. We will get our turn to be judged and that’s when everything we have done—good and bad—will be tried by fire to see what stands in the end.

I will leave you today with the message from John 3:18-21, “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

Today I encourage you to examine your own heart and not judge others. Let God do the judging and give all your burdens to God.

Do you need to grow in wisdom? Today I was reading the Psalms and stopped to ponder on Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.”

During this quarantine time due to the global pandemic, most people have been given the gift of extra time. Personally, even though I have been busy with consulting work, all the in-person speaking engagements from April and May were rescheduled to the fall and that gave me some free time. I have saved a lot of days that I would have been traveling to go speak at conferences. Instead, I have been home.

My husband and I have spent a lot of quality time together and have enjoyed our grand baby Henry James. Because his daycare was closed in April, we have taken this opportunity to watch him several days and we have created amazing memories with him. Daycare is still closed in May so we look forward to spending more time with him again.

With the extra time, we have also watched a lot of movies lately and today when I read this verse, I stopped to think… What if we spent all that time “growing in wisdom” instead of watching movies? While watching movies is fun, I think we need to make more time to grow in wisdom. Even though I have spent quality time with God too in my daily prayer as well as the weekends, I can do better. I can read the Bible more. I can pray more for so many people in need in the world. I can reconnect with some old friends. I can spend more time reading books that will help me grow my relationship with the Lord and help me grow in wisdom.

So, do you need to grow in wisdom? Today I encourage you to join me in first seeking God to show you how to make the most of your time and then do activities where you can grow in wisdom. The Bible is always a source of wisdom and you can purpose to read it more often. The Proverbs and Psalms are full of wisdom nuggets to help you navigate each day of your life and every season throughout your entire life.

I also encourage you to read the entire Psalm 91 where God promises us to protect “those who love Him” from evil—and that includes this pandemic. Psalm 91:1 promises us that “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” When we spend our time in His presence and reading His Word, we are “living in the shelter of the Most High” and we may also “grow in wisdom.”

 

God Will Provide

Dear Friends,

Today I was reading the story of Abraham’s great faith in Genesis 22:1-18. God asked Abraham, “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you.” Wow! What a request for God to ask of any of us. The next day Abraham obeyed God and went off on the journey. As Abraham was walking up the mountain, “Isaac said, “Father?” “Yes, my son,” Abraham replied. “We have the wood and the fire,” said the boy, “but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” “God will provide a lamb, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both went on together…” (verses 7-8).

Do you imagine what Abraham, as a loving father, was thinking? And how his heart must have been in such agony? Would God come through for him? What if God didn’t provide a lamb? Could he go through with the sacrifice? Honestly, I personally don’t think I could…

But then, at the very last minute, just when Abraham was ready to kill his own son, an angel stopped him and said, “Do not hurt the boy in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld even your beloved son from me.”

Do you feel sometimes that God waits until the very last minute to provide for you? I have experienced that feeling too throughout my life. I remember after the war in Nicaragua when we were refugees in Dominican Republic that some days we had no food left. I can imagine the worry my parents felt when they didn’t know how they would feed their six children ages 14 down to 1 ½ years old. So we prayed as a family, together. And many times, later that day, my mom would open the front door of our small apartment and there were bags and bags of groceries full of food for our family. My parents never knew who were the angels that fed us, but I learned at an early age that God Will Provide! My parents have great faith and they passed on that gift to me.

Now, during this pandemic we’re all living through, when there are no speaking events to go speak at, God is providing in other ways and the bank consulting has picked up. This year my husband and I took a leap of faith and he joined Malzahn Strategic. And then the pandemic came, just a few weeks into our new adventure. But to this day, four months into the year, God has provided each month, one day at a time.

Today, I want to encourage you to have the faith of Abraham. Do not get weary in your faith as God WILL provide for you and your family! Trust that God will find ways you have not thought about. Maybe you’ll need to use talents you haven’t used in a long time but now will produce an income for your family. Now is the time to experience God in a new, deeper way than ever before. Don’t give up believing that God is your provider and He is your source of life!

Are you looking for Scriptures to hold on to during this pandemic crisis?

Today I am sharing with you the source of my strength and joy: The Word of God. Below are specific Scriptures that I’m holding on to during this pandemic crisis. I couldn’t find better words to share with you other than these verses that are the promises God gives to “those who love Him.” The biggest question I have for you is: Do you love God? Do you love His only Son, Jesus—the only ONE who gave His life for you and me? If not, I encourage you to seek God today above ALL things.

If you already know God and have a personal relationship with Him, then there is nothing you need to worry about. These Scriptures to hold on to during this pandemic crisis are God’s promises to us that we will be okay… And remember, we are eternal beings which means that when this earthly life ends, regardless of how it ends, we will be with God for eternitySalvation is the biggest promise!

Psalm 91

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty…

3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease

6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday…

9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.

Isaiah 43:1-2

Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drawn!

Romans 8:28

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

1 Peter 5:7

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Isaiah 26:3-4

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

Matthew 6:34

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.
Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Wherever you are I encourage you to pray. Let’s pray together and ask God to heal our nation and our world.

Dear Friends,

There are times in our lives when we struggle and there are other seasons in our lives when things are going well. During difficult times, we tend to pray and say, “one day at a time.” In fact, we tell our friends and family members to do the same when they are going difficult circumstances in their lives. But what do we do when everything seems to be going well? I have experienced this blessing lately where everything is going well in every area of my life and everyone in my family is healthy. I thank God for this blessing daily. But when business is going well, work can overtake the other areas of our lives and I’m not okay with that. I like to keep a balanced life.

This year, I started the year “feeling behind.” I didn’t feel prepared to start the New Year and felt I could not catch up from work from last year. The holidays came and went quickly and left me even more behind. Then in the middle of January I had a short trip to North Carolina and came back with the Influenza flu that left me in bed for a week. That sickness (and I’m still recovering three weeks later) put me way behind.

As I was meditating on this feeling of being overwhelmed with work (while at the same time feeling grateful for the work), the Lord reminded me that we not only have to live “one day at a time” when we’re going through difficult situations but always! In the good times and in the bad times, we must live “one day at a time” and walk one step at a time with God. We need to allow God to chart our path and we walk by faith each day.

This year I decided to pursue God at a deeper level than ever before. Therefore, I am being intentional about spending quality time with Him, in prayer, reading the Word, and simply listening to His voice. I started reading this amazing book: Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry and Richard Blackaby and Claude King. I’ve had this book for several years and have not made the time to dive into it because it’s a “workbook” meaning, you have to do homework, answer questions, read Scriptures, meditate on the Scriptures, write down what it means to you personally, etc. It’s a lot of work, but what it’s doing in my life is beyond measure!

After the Lord put in my heart the theme of “one day at a time,” I opened the book for the first time, and this is what I found:

Unit 1: “God’s Will and Your Life.”

Lesson 1: “Jesus Is Your Way”

Section 1: “Jesus is Your ‘Map’”— “Following One Day at a Time.”

God couldn’t have been clearer to me in telling me that is what He wants me to do—always. Here is what I learned from this important lesson that you can apply to your life as well:

  • Instead of asking “What is God’s will for my life?” simply ask “What is God’s will?” Once you know God’s will, then you can adjust your life to Him! Jesus always did the will of the Father. The focus is on God, not on your
  • In John 5:17 Jesus said: “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” God is always working and so was Jesus and, therefore, so should we.
  • We need to see where God is working and then join Him.
  • Jeremiah 18:6 says, “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.” We must be like clay in the hand of the potter and allow God to mold us so we can do His will and the work He has assigned to each of us.
  • God is always pursuing a love relationship with each of us. He is the initiator and we need to respond.
  • God is always We must be alert and attentive so we can listen to what He’s saying.
  • For us to do the will of God, we need to adjust our lives, starting with adjusting our faith to the level of God’s work (the higher the job the bigger faith we need to have).
  • We will experience God at the personal level as we obey and do His will.
  • When we believe that God cannot do anything of significance through us, we’re actually saying more about our belief in God (or lack of) than us declaring about ourselves.
  • Every person in the Bible God chose to use was an ordinary person who by faith allowed God to do extraordinary things through him/her.

My new prayer to God each morning is, “What do YOU want me to do today, Lord? What should I focus on? This is what I have planned, feel free to change as you will.” And He does change plans. He helps me focus on the biggest and most important projects, tasks, or people who need me that day. The rest must wait until I have little chunks of time to work on those tasks. In the end, everything is getting done.

Today, I encourage you to seek God at a deeper level, learn to listen and obey God’s will. Then you will experience God like never before. It will change your life.

 

 

Dear Friends,

We often hear in the news about children dying of starvation in developing countries. As I pondered on this concept, I realized there are people—adults and children—right here in America who are starving for food too…spiritual food.

We are physical beings as well as spiritual beings and, therefore, we need to feed our physical bodies as well as our spirit. You may wonder, how do we feed our spirit?

There are several ways:

  • Hearing the Word of God at church or from ministries who teach the Bible.
  • Reading the Word on your own so you can learn and verify that what is being taught at church is what the Bible really says. Yes, unfortunately, you must confirm because of false teachings.
  • Sharing what you learn with other believers so you can deepen your knowledge and understanding of the Word.
  • Applying what you learned from others and from the Bible in your everyday life.
  • Spending time alone with God, in prayer. Listening to God in your spirit and bringing all your burdens to Him.

These days even some Christian churches are afraid of teaching the truth found in the Bible for fear of losing members who contribute financially. We joke saying we wish babies came with a manual. They do! It’s the Bible! That IS our guide and manual on how to live our lives from beginning to end and everything in between.

I feel compelled to do my part by inspiring and educating businesspeople not only on leadership and banking topics but also on the things of God. It’s not about me. It’s ALL about God and building His Kingdom. When you get this revelation in your heart, you will see life and others from another perspective—from God’s perspective. The sense of urgency I have in my heart comes from that revelation. It is the highest calling in my life.

Many business people, working people, people in the marketplace, however you choose to call of us who work, are walking around wounded, hurt, disappointed, betrayed, lonely, depressed, directionless, and purposeless. They are starving for spiritual food. All because no one dares to tell them the truth of the message of salvation. The Bible says in John 8:31-32, Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

You want direction in your life? Jesus is the “light of the world.” John 8:12 tells us, Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

I urge you to have the courage to seek God with all your heart and allow Him to feed your spirit. Be hungry for the things of God. You cannot go wrong and you will no longer be starving spiritually. I can personally attest to His goodness and faithfulness throughout my life. Now, it is my responsibility to share the message of the Gospel with the business people who God puts in my path, and you’re one of them. I will leave you with one more scripture today to encourage you from John 16:32-33 when Jesus said, “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

 

Dear Friends,

As a family tradition, we love to give each other lots of presents during Christmas. We enjoy more the quantity versus how expensive presents are. And now that our children are grown, they want to bless us with lots of gifts too, so our Christmas tree looks beautiful full of presents!

But more importantly, there are other gifts that are not physical gifts that we each received since we were born. These are natural abilities and spiritual gifts that God gave to each of us. The Bible describes some of those gifts in Romans 12:6-8: “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”

In addition, 1 Peter 4:10 says that, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” And 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 tells us what they are, “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.”

Isn’t this wonderful? I encourage you to discover your natural and spiritual gifts and use them to help others. There are also many other gifts that you can give to your loved ones that don’t cost any money. They are, the gift of:

  • Friendship: Be there for your friends.
  • Laughter: Laugh a lot with your loved ones. It is medicinal!
  • Forgiveness: Give the gift of forgiveness to someone who hurt you even if they don’t ask you for forgiveness.
  • Happiness: Enjoy and celebrate every happy moment you have with your loved ones.
  • Joy: Be joyful knowing that God’s got you regardless of the circumstances.
  • Understanding: Make the effort to truly understand someone.
  • Time: Your time is your most precious possession. Give of your time to those who matter most.
  • Listening: Listen without interrupting and be okay that sometimes you don’t have to respond.
  • Grace: Give people some grace and don’t judge them for their mistakes.
  • Peace: Provide a peaceful home to your family and a peaceful work environment to those you work with.
  • Generosity: Give of your time, money, and talents to others consistently.

But most importantly, in the Christian faith, Christmas is a time to celebrate the true gift that God gave to all of us: Jesus—and the Gospel of Salvation that tells us that Jesus died on the cross for our sins so we can go to heaven and spend eternity with Him. Here is the simple message of Salvation:

Romans 10:8-13 Salvation Is for Everyone

In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand;     it is on your lips and in your heart.”

And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

This month, if you have received the biggest gift there is—Salvation through Jesus Christ—I want to encourage you to give it forward to others! If you have not received this amazing gift yet, then I’m giving it to you right now. Today is your day to say yes!

Merry Christmas!