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Archive for March, 2015

Dear Friends,

I love spring. Even though the beginning of it looks dry, boring, and with no colors at all, I know what’s coming. I know the trees “look dead” but they have life inside. They just have been sleeping and resting during the winter and now they’re ready to give birth again and bring forth fruit. Spring also reminds me that summer is coming, which is my favorite season because I love warm weather.

Like the trees, sometimes we may feel dry, boring, and with no excitement in our lives. Some of us may even feel dead inside because of life events that affected our lives. But it is during those hard times, when we can reach out to God to help us bring life again. Spring reminds us of the opportunity we all have to start fresh. We have a new year to try things out, to forgive those who hurt us in the past, and to move on.

Today, I encourage you to look inside of your heart and if you’ve experienced a dry, cold winter these past few months, it’s time to revitalize yourself. It’s time to get going and produce some fruit—good fruit.

Enjoy spring—every moment of it!

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We NEED Rest!

Dear Friends,

I have been meditating about the concept of rest. Those of us who are type A personality have a hard time resting or making time to rest and slow down. You add to that the American culture of doing more with less—both at home and at work. And on top of that, you add the fact that you need to work harder to make it and get ahead. You now have the perfect recipe to eliminate the concept of rest from your life altogether. How can we slow down when there is so much to do? If our kids are not involved in fifteen activities the whole family may feel like it’s being left behind! Once you’re on the treadmill of life, it’s hard to get off—especially when you intentionally want to get off.

Last weekend, the pastor at church talked about the Sabbath and how it relates to us taking a sabbatical from work. Take time to refresh and do other things different and away from your daily work. I once did a research on sabbaticals and every person that I interviewed that had taken a sabbatical said it was the best thing they had ever done in their lives. Some companies now are starting to require the executives to take sabbaticals so they can come back refreshed and renewed.

Right now in my life I feel God has given me the opportunity to take a sabbatical from my bank job. But I have decided to start my own company so I have invested a lot of this time into the business startup. In a way, I feel that I should be resting. On the other hand, I feel the pressure to produce and get going with the new business venture. So what is the right thing to do? I think there has to be balance and I’m purposed to do both during this time. It may take me longer to get the business going but I will be more rested and energized to grow the business. I am also using this time to invest in volunteering for non-profit organizations, which is one of my passions. If not now, when?

I just got back from one week of vacation and the purpose was to relax and do nothing—no workouts, no work for the whole week… By day three of not working out I was going crazy so I decided to go lift weights. By day four I felt the urge to check my emails so I did. I told my husband I was only reading the e-newsletters so when I got back I didn’t have so many emails to go through. The truth was I wanted to work. But why can’t we have both—work and leisure at the same time? Work and rest integrated into our lives all the time? I think that’s the best way to always feel rested. The same way athletes take time off after working out certain muscle groups, we need to take time off every so often to rest our minds.

So today, I encourage you to make time to rest. Schedule time to slow down. Yes, even us type A personality people can do and should do that. I leave you with these Scriptures that reminds us that God can help us rest.

Hebrews 4:9-10 (NLT)

So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who enter into God’s rest will find rest from their labors, just as God rested after creating the world.

Exodus 23:12 (NLT)

“Work six days, and rest on the seventh. This will give your ox and your donkey a chance to rest. It will also allow the people of your household, including your slaves and visitors, to be refreshed.”

 

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Dear Friends,

Last Saturday I was on the plane on the way to Cozumel, Mexico for our family vacation and as the plane took off and the sunrise was in the horizon, I was thanking God for my life. I then started to ponder on the “American dream.” I asked myself, “What is truly the American dream? Is it having money? Is it being educated? Is it owning a home, being married with a couple of kids, two cars, and a dog? Is it having a job or high paying occupation? Is it being an entrepreneur and thus being your own boss?

The answer could be all of the above or any of the above but I think it’s none of the above… The American dream is to have Freedom! The freedom to choose what to do with your life. It’s the freedom to pursue happiness—whichever way you choose to do it.

The first settlers came to America because they wanted to be free. Freedom is an innate desire of all human beings. God created us to be free with a will to choose. Having lived through a revolution in my country of origin, Nicaragua, where the people lost their freedom to a communist regime, makes me appreciate the freedom I have by being now an American.

Those of you who had the privilege of being born in this nation, always remember there is a price to pay for freedom. Those of you who came to this nation as an immigrant and chose to become an American, don’t forget what it took to accomplish it and obtain that gift.

Either way, all the people who live in this country enjoy the freedom to choose what to do with their lives. America is still the land of opportunity. It doesn’t matter so much what you choose to pursue, what matters is that you have the choice to pursue happiness.

It doesn’t matter, really, what your background is, or where you came from. What matters is your desire to pursue happiness. What matters is your passion and enthusiasm for life and the realization that you are able to succeed if you choose to.

There is one choice I hope you make during the course of your life and that is the choice to pursue God above all. Once you do that, He will ensure the rest is taken care of. When you choose to have God in your life then He will be there for you and with you through all your hurts and tribulations as well as all your successes. Then you can share Him with others throughout your journey.

Enjoy your freedom and thank God every day for it!

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