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Archive for June, 2014

Dear Friends,

Today I was thinking of the many gifts that God gave each one of us and asked myself the question if I’m using all the gifts He gave me. Sometimes I feel I’m doing my best and other times I feel I’m not doing enough…

I would like to share with you a devotional from my book Devotions for Working Women that challenges us to use our gifts. Enjoy!

Are You Managing Your Gifts?

# 170

Matthew 25:15 (NLT)

He gave five bags of gold to one, two bags of gold to another, and one bag of gold to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities—and then left on his trip.

This is the story of a master who entrusted his gold to his servants. In this story Jesus states two things clearly: 1) He gives something to every person to manage on His behalf while He is gone, and 2) He gives these responsibilities according to every person’s individual abilities. Nevertheless, to Him it is equally important that every person manages what He gives to their best of their ability.

The first step you need to do in order to manage God’s gifts in your life is recognize the gifts come from Him. He gives both natural gifts, as well as spiritual gifts, to every person He creates.

The second step is to be grateful for what you have and don’t compare your gifts to anybody else’s. Don’t be proud and ask God why He only gave you this or that or so few while He gave all these other gifts to somebody else. You don’t have the right to ask. He has, however, the right to give whatever He wants to whomever He wants as the Creator.

The third step is to develop each and every gift He gave you. This is “investing” and “growing” His gold.

Finally, we are to live our lives as if He, our Master, is coming back today to ask us how we managed what He entrusted us with. Our goal should be to hear His words: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” (Matthew 25:23 NLT).

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Dear Friends,

Today I want to share about life balance because we keep forgetting about how important it is to keep it on a daily basis. Every time someone asks us to do something new, another meeting, another task or commitment, it could be the one thing that tips us over to be out of balance.

Because I am passionate about helping non-profit organizations –especially those who are doing the God’s work in the world and truly changing people’s lives—I struggle to choose which organizations to work with. In addition to time, I also struggle with the financial part. They all need money to fund their causes and since I have limited resources, how am I to choose? What I’ve been doing is praying about these choices and asking God to give me direction as to where to spend my time and money. I encourage you to do the same and wait on God to direct your steps.

The devotional I chose to share with you today is from my book, Devotions for Working Women. It reminded me to strive for balance in the three key areas of my life: physical, emotional, and spiritual. I hope it will encourage you to seek God to help you balance your life in all the various aspects.

Balancing Your Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Life Is Crucial

Isaiah 40:29 (NLT)

He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak.

 

How often do you feel tired, worn out, and weak? This would be a great verse to memorize and repeat on those days. We all experience physical, emotional, and spiritual weariness in our lives. Some days we may just be physically tired, but we move on because we are not mentally or spiritually exhausted. Those times we just need to rest, go to bed earlier that night, take a break from work, or simply change activities.

Dealing with emotional weariness is more difficult because when we are emotionally exhausted, it also affects our physical well-being. In those times, we also need to rest, do some exercise to relieve the stress, and spend time with the Lord. Just being in His presence will refresh our minds.

Spiritual burnout is the most dangerous because when we stop fighting in the spirit, everything else stops and dies away. Remember, we are first of all spiritual beings that live in a human body. Just as our body needs rest and food, our spirit does too. If we are spiritually starving, we will die spiritually.

We must avoid burnout in any area, but most importantly, we must avoid it in these three areas (physical, emotional, and spiritual) at the same time. In order to avoid that situation, we must have balance in our lives. Balance starts with a daily prayer asking the Lord to help us balance that day—one day at a time.

Put God in control of your life—every area and every moment. Spend time with Him. He yearns for that time. You will then be refreshed in every area. “But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (v. 31).

 

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Dear Friends,

It’s been a few weeks since I wrote the last time. With work and family I only have Saturday mornings to write. The last few weekends I have been away from home on Saturday mornings so I wasn’t able to connect with you. This takes me to the topic I wanted to share with you about today—time.

Time is a very hard concept to explain. We all have the same amount of time yet most of us wish we would have more of it. God created the days to have a certain number of hours, which is what we have decided to call the time intervals that occur during one day. How we choose to spend our time is the key question we each have to answer. Once time passes, we cannot regain it. We cannot reclaim it or reproduce it—ever.  When there are important events in the lives of our loved ones, if we don’t attend, it’s gone. We missed it. We were not there for that person we love.

I have been meditating a lot about the concept of time, how I personally choose to spend my time, and how I can regain some time. I am gaining time by stopping some activities and spending more time with God and the people I love. However, it’s not been easy. For example, I am often asked to serve on non-profit boards and to volunteer to do certain activities. Because of my passion to help non-profits and to help people be successful, I have had to establish a simple process to help me decide which activities to choose. If the non-profit does not align with my personal life’s mission, I gracefully decline the offer. If the non-profit or ministry falls under areas within my personal mission, then the decision is much harder. My next step is to prioritize and only choose one or two at a time. When a board term is over or the volunteer activity is done, then I choose another one.

I also struggle when I have family or friends over at our house. I want to keep up with the cleaning and picking up dishes and putting away food. Then I realize I’m not spending precious time with my family or friends that are at my home visiting. I have decided to set my urge to clean aside and leave it all behind to spend that time with my loved ones. The satisfaction I have experienced by doing this the last few gatherings far exceeds the satisfaction of seeing the house clean and picked up while our guests are still in the house.

I encourage you today to look for opportunities to stop some things you’re doing to regain time and spend it with your loved ones—doing the things that really matter. Make sure you include God in “the people you love and want to spend time with.” He is waiting and longing to spend that time with you too!

 

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