Archive for June, 2013

Be Encouraged!

Dear Friends,
This week was very difficult at work because we found out that one of our employees is very sick with cancer. I have never experienced a situation like this where I need to be strong for everyone in the organization, stay positive during the journey, and encourage my friend to continue the fight. So, I decided to write him a “love and encouragement” letter and then also shared it with the rest of the staff. I took a risk because there may be employees who are not believers in the organization and they may think I’m either crazy or weird. But I still believe in sharing my heart and my beliefs with others.

These are good opportunities for us, believers, to share our faith in God without shame or fear. If we don’t take the step, who will? What if because of us sharing our faith someone will come to Christ? We don’t know where people are at and we don’t know how close they are of making a decision that will change their lives forever. So I took the chance. We will see how it is received.

Today, I want to leave you with a devotional, from my book Devotions for Working Women, that will help you deal with distress and grief in your life. Be blessed!

Dealing with Grief and Distress
Psalm 31:9 (NLT)

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress. My sight is blurred because of my tears. My body and soul are withering away.

During the course of our lives, we experience times of great distress and situations when we feel we are withering away from grief. Losing our job can create great pain for us because our work is a major part of our lives. Yet the loss of a loved one could be much more impacting in our working life. When we lose someone to death like a child, our spouse, a parent, or a close friend, it creates a wound in our heart that only God can heal. Divorce, separation, or a child leaving home prematurely can also be as catastrophic.

These events change our lives forever, and it is in those moments that grief can settle into our hearts. It is normal to go through a grieving period, but we cannot stay there too long because it is deadly for us just as David said in verse 10, “I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Misery has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within.”

Even though we never forget tragic or sad events, we need to move on and let go of the grief and pain. We must continue the race God has set for each one of us and finish it. There are two things we need to do. First, just as David never gave up trusting God and kept running to Him for protection and comfort, we have to trust God that He will help us and lift us up. “So be strong and take courage, all you who put your hope in the Lord!” (v. 24). Secondly, we need to do what Paul did. He said to the people of Philippi, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven” (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT).

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Dear Friends,
Happy Father’s Day to all my friends! I hope you are having an awesome day with your family. Today, I would like to share this devotional with you from my book, Devotions for Working Women, because it encourages you to ask God directly for what you need. Today is a great day to first thank God for everything He has given you but also to ask Him for specific needs in your life. Enjoy!

Our Father Knows What We Need
Matthew 6:7-8 (NLT)

When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!

The Lord wants our prayers to be sincere, honest, and to the point. Jesus tells us that our Father already knows what we need, so there is no need to repeat words or prayers. God wants us to approach Him as a child approaches his dad. Kids are direct; they ask exactly for what they need. He wants us to ask because that is the way we acknowledge Him as our God, and it shows we trust Him.

Verses 9-14 show us how we are to pray. First of all, we are to honor Him. Then we ask for His will to be done here on earth (in our lives) as in heaven. We pray knowing we have need of things and, in faith, believing He will meet our needs on a daily basis. We ask for forgiveness, with a forgiving heart. We ask Him to keep us from temptation and to protect us from evil.

If you are in need of specific things in your life, ask God exactly for what you need, believing in your heart you will receive it. If you need a job, ask Him for one. He knows what we need and when we ask in faith, He will give it to us.

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Dear Friends,
Today I was reflecting on the love of God for each of us and wanted to share this devotional with you from my book Devotions for Working Women, “We are the apple of God’s eye.” We are important to Him and David recognized that when he asked God to guard him as the apple of His eye and to protect him by hiding him in the shadow of God’s wings. Trust God today with your life and everything you have going on.

We Are the Apple of God’s Eye
# 333
Psalm 17:8 (NLT)

Guard me as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.

David’s relationship with the Lord was intimate and real. He trusted God implicitly and saw Him as his refuge and a place of protection from all his enemies. David never gave up asking God to help him, to deliver him from his enemies, or to keep him safe. He had long conversations with the Lord. He poured out his heart and threw himself at His feet. He told God exactly how he felt at the moment. Sometimes he was depressed. He told God just that. Then when the Lord lifted him up, he told the Lord about his excitement. He thanked the Lord when he experienced victory and when he suffered defeat because he knew God protected him.

Do you know how important the apple of your eye is? When David asked God to guard him as the apple of His eye it was because David knew he would then be safe. God wants to guard you as the apple of His eye. You are His most important and perfect creation. You became imperfect because of the sin in the world.

It blesses God when you ask Him to protect you. Just as eagles protect their babies under the shadow of their wings, you are protected under the shadow of God’s wings. The enemies can walk around you but won’t see you. Therefore, run to God and allow Him to be your protector. End today with the song David sang when the Lord rescued him from his enemies and from Soul. “I love you Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold” (Psalm 18:1-2 NLT).

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Dear Friends,
Lately I’ve been talking to several young college graduates that are having a hard time finding a job. It is hard for them to put all the effort into their education and when they come out “ready to go” there is no job for them waiting. How do we help the young generation get into the workforce? Furthermore, how do we help them when the supply of workers is much larger than the demand for jobs? What skills do they need besides their degree and beyond their education?

Small organizations need experience. They don’t have the time or resources to train recent graduates with no experience and that only have book knowledge. Large organizations are so large that in order for a resume to get to the top, there has to be embedded key words in the resumes and cover letters, G.P.A. must be at the highest levels (probably 3.5 and above), and sometimes it may be only luck that your resume got picked. Large organizations may have the resources to train new employees in entry level positions but they have so many applicants, it is easy to get lost in the thousands of resumes. So, are medium size companies the answer? Not necessarily.

I believe there are several elements that an employer looks for in a candidate and there are several things a candidate can do for their resume to go to the top of the list. Most employers, I believe, look for the total package—a person who has the credentials plus the soft skills. The question is, how do you incorporate the package when applying for a job? Let’s first talk about some ideas about improving your soft skills.

Sociability: This skill includes networking, friendliness, a genuine interest in getting to know other people, a good/clean sense of humor, and being a connector of people. Networking and knowing people are still essential for getting employed. Sometimes it may take up to the third of fourth circle of referrals or connections until something works out. Persevering is also key to success. The more connections you make the more opportunities will open up.

Presence: This is not a skill. It’s the representation of the package of the total person. It includes your appearance, which in turn includes grooming, stance, handshake, and your entire presence that creates that first impression. Exercising is crucial to staying in shape, which is part of your presence. Working out boosts your self-esteem and produces the hormones that lifts up your mood.

Presentation: Part of your presence is your presentation skills—whether that is in a one-on-one meeting, a small group, or a large group in a formal presentation. Being yourself is crucial for people to like you as a presenter. Practicing and preparing are foundational to help you feel self-confident and thus to deliver a strong, successful presentation.

Attitude: Once you get an interview, this is your chance to not only create an outstanding first impression but alto to convince the employer you are the correct candidate for the position you’re applying. Your attitude every day is a reflection of your heart. Your mood, how you feel about yourself and about life show up on your face, in your tone of voice, your behavior, and how you treat others. As part of your preparation before an interview, think of positive experiences, think of the people you love and that love you, think of places that relax you and give you peace. Remember, these are tips of things to do in addition to what’s expected, which is to research about the company you’re meeting with, bring questions ready regarding the position you’re applying for, dress appropriately for the interview, and show up on time or a little early. Part of keeping a positive attitude is to give compliments to people. You will feel good about yourself and you will immediately put others at ease and will make them feel good as well.

Enthusiasm: If you’re not the type of person that shows enthusiasm and excitement about anything because that’s your personality, that’s ok—most of the time. During an interview, you need to show some enthusiasm about the position you’re applying for and about the company. Share with the employer why you’re interested in working in their company. Tell them about any positive feedback you’ve heard or read about the company. That will definitely boost their ego and will make them feel proud of their organization. Get out of your comfort zone and get excited about all the things you can learn in the job and in the industry if you were to work there. And as part of your preparation, also go through the exercises discussed in the section above about Attitude.

Your spiritual being: Most importantly, I encourage you to pray the day of the interview and as you send each letter in the mail or apply to each job in the Internet. Ask God for the guidance and wisdom on how to apply to each individual company. Ask God for special connections and for mentors. People who will take an interest in helping a young worker as you enter the workforce. There are people like me out there who are passionate about helping the next generation be successful. It’s a calling, and God will put someone in your path to help you. Just remember that someday you will hopefully have the opportunity to help those that are coming up after you. Helping others is a way to thank God for everything He’s given you.

Once you practice doing these activities and putting these tips into action, you can easily summarize them into a cover letter that goes with your resume. The cover letter introduces the potential employer to you, as a person. The resume tells them about your credentials, experience, and accomplishments. So, does the size of organization matter when applying for a job? Yes, it matters. But there are ways to go around the various systems and ways in which your package is the one picked for the job. Searching for a job is your full-time job until you replace it with the job you want. Don’t give up in looking and trust God that He has the right job for you.

To my friends reading this blog today:
If you know a young adult that is looking for a job now, forward this blog to him or her today.

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