Archive for December, 2012

Happy New Year!

Dear Friends,
Well, this year is almost done and gone! It is always a good time to reflect on what we all did, what we accomplished, and how were our lives changed in the past year. For me, it was very hard year at work because of growing pains at the bank, but it’s all good. I survived the year! Now, I am looking forward to 2013 and what it has in store for the bank. On the personal side, the highlight of my year was my trip to Nicaragua with Opportunity International. I now have new hope on how to help the poor be self-sustainable and improve their lives.

I wish you all the best in the New Year and hope that you will find your calling to help others. Don’t forget to always hang on to God. He will guide you every step of the way through your life’s journey.

Keep God at the Top of Your Priorities
1 John 5:21 (NLT)

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

The King James Version of this verse says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” With so many things this world offers us, we have to be careful and guard our hearts at all times from things that have the potential of taking God’s place in our hearts. We all have desires and dreams we want to pursue in our lives. Most of them are placed by God in us. However, even when those desires and dreams are from God, we have to be careful they don’t occupy our entire life. These dreams can become our idols if that’s what we pursue day and night and if we spend all of our resources on them. Things that can move us away from God are not only natural things such as money, success, fame, popularity, hobbies, or even our children; they can be also our desires, dreams, and our idols (including people we idolize). In other words, anything that takes priority over God in our lives can become our idol.

To refocus, always go back to the Word. Matthew 6:33 (KJV) says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” The key is to put God first in your life. Everything else falls into place after Him.

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My Trip to Nicaragua

Dear Friends,
I want to share with you about a trip I just took to Nicaragua with Opportunity International. They are a Christian non-profit organization that works with the poor in more than 30 countries. They provide micro financing to entrepreneurs and also have created an economic development program to help the poor obtain self-sustainability and improve their communities. I am working on writing the journal that documents our entire trip to Nicaragua. I went with seven other people, two are OI workers, and the others are business people whose hearts are to help the poor.

After taking this trip and seeing firsthand how these programs truly help restore people’s dignity and self-worth, I am convinced there is a better way to give than what we’ve been doing most of our lives. When we give to the poor without teaching them the tools to improve their lives and to become self-sustainable, we may be doing them a disservice after all.

Stay tuned for my next publications in my blog and my website where I will share more in detail about this amazing, life changing trip.

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Stay on Your Path

Dear Friends,
Many times we get frustrated at work and would like to just walk away and quit. But we need to think things through and hear from God to see what He wants us to do. Sometimes we need to get through some situations in order to grow and need to stay on the path that God has set before us. Today I want to share with you a devotional from my book Devotions for Working Women that encourages us to stay on our path. Enjoy!

Stay On Your Path
Deuteronomy 5:32-33 (NLT)

You must obey all the commands of the Lord your God, following his instructions in every detail. Stay on the path that the Lord your God has commanded you to follow. Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land you are about to enter and occupy.

I believe the words of encouragement Moses told the people of Israel still apply to us today. If we break down this verse into smaller pieces, we can see the first thing to do is to stay on the path. This means don’t divert to the right or to the left. Don’t look back either, only move forward on the path “that the Lord your God,” not anybody else, not your parents, not your spouse, not your boss, or your friends, has “commanded” you. God commands a path for each one of us that we must follow and obey.

It is also important to know that God is into details, as verse 32 clearly states. His path for each person is very detailed—to our every moment here on earth. The key is for us to know the details of His plan and then to obey and act in faith on every detail and step He asks us to do.

We all miss details on a daily basis because we are human. But, that’s okay. God is merciful, and He helps us through the Holy Spirit and forgives us when we repent from our heart.

Even in this messed up world, there is a Promised Land for you that you can only enter with God’s direction and protection and by your faith and obedience. Your ideal job is part of your Promised Land. Don’t give up. Stay on your path.

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