Archive for July, 2015

Dear Friends,

The Focus Radio (http://thefocusradio.com/leadership-tips-for-women/) interviewed me this past week on the topic of Leadership Tips for Women in the Workplace. One of the questions they asked me was about the difference it makes when someone believes in you and how someone else believing in me shaped my career.

As I pondered on the important and powerful words “I believe in you,” and what the impact these words can have in a person’s life, I realized how blessed I have been to have several people believe in me during the course of my life. I wonder how many children grow up with no one telling them those life changing words. I wonder what their lives would turn out to be if all children heard those words often.

When we believe in someone, we are telling them that we approve of them just the way they are. We are communicating to them that they are important enough for us to believe in them. We are letting them know that we love them, as individuals. We are putting our trust in them and believe that they are a good person. It’s never too late to tell someone that we believe in them. A person’s life can change because somebody had the courage to believe in them and to tell them.

It is a risk to believe in someone because we are putting our trust in that person. We run the risk of being disappointed. But somehow those words empower the recipient and encourage that person to be the best they can be. When a person hears “I believe in you,” they also get a sense of responsibility and accountability. The one hearing those words now feels encouraged yet somewhat obligated to not let down the person who told them.

Today I encourage you to think of at least one person in whom you believe and to tell them. You may never know the impact that your words will have in that person but that’s ok. You will feel blessed to have the opportunity to tell somebody “I believe in you.”

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Dear Friends,

Today is Independence Day in America. We celebrate the 4th of July with great pride because we became independent from the British government so we could be free. People from all over the world have come to America with the hope to obtain freedom. Some have come seeking freedom from war, others looking for religious freedom, and yet others to pursue their dreams and whatever they want to do with their lives.

Yes, America is still the land of opportunity and the land of promise. However, it is not the Promised Land, the one God promised to His chosen people. There are a lot of people that live in America, some of them were born here, that are not free. They live in bondage, a bondage to sin.

There is another kind of independence that we Christians get to declare and that is the day we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. That day is Your Independence Day! The Bible tells us that Jesus took our punishment for us, for all our sins. He paid for it all on the cross.

Romans 3:21-26New Living Translation (NLT)

Christ Took Our Punishment

21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

So, you see, Jesus took all the punishment from God for ALL humanity’s sin… HOWEVER, knowing that God won’t punish us for our sins because Jesus took it all for us, doesn’t give us a license to sin. Everything we do here on earth has eternal consequences and many sins we do have consequences right here on earth while we live…In other words, sometimes things happen to us as a consequence of our sin not because God is punishing us.

We all struggle with sin on a daily basis. Here is how Paul explains it well:

Romans 7:14-25New Living Translation (NLT)

Struggling with Sin

14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

God knows we struggle with sin so He gave us His Holy Spirit and the power to not be in bondage to sin anymore. The power to be free.

Romans 8:1-14New Living Translation (NLT)

Life in the Spirit

8 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

So today is a great day to declare your own independence. If you already have done that, then tap into the power of the Holy Spirit to help you win the battle with sin on a daily basis. This is our journey (and struggle) as Christians until the day we meet Jesus face to face.

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