Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Dear Friends,

“The End of this Road” –that is the title of the last chapter I wrote to finish my second book titled Your Gifts. Your Calling. How to Connect the Two.

September 30th, 2014 was the last day at my job at the bank I help start 10 years ago. September 7, 2004, my ex-boss and I decided to start a bank. It was his dream and I was purposed to help him fulfill his dream—that was my mission. I told him, “I’m ready to go back to banking but this time I want to be the CFO and learn to run a bank as a business.” He said, “Deal.” I had been in banking for thirteen years when I decided to leave and moved to the non-profit arena in the technology field as the Y2K Project Manager for a church. I changed careers and industries! I did that mainly for family reasons because I wanted to spend more time with my kids.

Ten years have gone by and now it was time to make the next move again. I told the staff when I announced it at the staff meeting, “My kids at home grew up and my kids at work grew up. I hired the right people. I fired the right people. I built teams. I trained you all. I promoted you several times and helped you get where you are now as leaders of your own departments. All my ducks are in a row. I leave you with a well-oiled machine. My mission here is complete.” I was the first employee of this bank and created the infrastructure of the bank but I didn’t do it alone. I never work alone. I did it with a great team of people and with God’s grace and wisdom. It took 9 months to start the bank back in 2005 and it grew from zero to $300 million in assets in the past 9 years and 3 months. It’s a successful bank.

I was reminiscing yesterday on these past 10 years and realized that so much has happened in my life. My husband and I finished raising our two kids. They graduated from high school. They graduated from college. Our daughter just got married this past July. I finished my college degree in 2011 and graduated from the Graduate School of Banking this past August. My husband and I also started two businesses. One was closed and one got merged with the company he currently works with. I wrote and published my first book while starting the bank… Wow! No wonder I was feeling a little exhausted. Those who know me know that I don’t even drink caffeine because I don’t need it as a source of energy. But after looking back, I realized maybe I needed to stop, take a rest, and start the next chapter in my life.

So now, here I am. The Lord is clearly directing my steps to start a bank consulting practice and also to pursue my public speaking career. I will also finish my second book and hope to finally publish it next year. I will continue serving on both non-profit and for-profit Boards and will help non-profits in any way I can. You see, I am purposed to pursue my dreams—ALL of them!

I live with an awareness and sense of urgency because I simply don’t know how much time I have in this life. The time period that we’re here on earth is so short and I feel the responsibility to use all my gifts and talents to help others be successful. I want to love on people and make them feel important. I want to encourage people every day and inspire those who I come in contact with. Right now, at this time in my life, I have an opportunity to pursue my dreams. God is opening new doors that were not there for me before. I just needed to take the step of faith and jump. The thing is, no one has told me that I’m crazy for doing this. People believe in me. All the seeds of encouragement I have planted in others through the years are coming back to me multiplied. People want to help me and want me to succeed. Wow! I’m overwhelmed with the support I have received from all my friends, family and colleagues. Thank you!

My family, of course, has given me unconditional love and support. They believe in me, pray for me, and love me just the way I am, with my faults and weaknesses. They don’t care what titles I hold or who I am in the business community. They know me from the start and they love me just as I am. Thank you!

I will be busy starting the business but those of you who know me also know that I do stay in touch. I take the time to nurture my relationships because each person that God puts in my path is a treasure to me. Each friend that I make is a gift from heaven. I can never have enough friends!

Let my new adventure begin!

Read Full Post »

Understanding Faith

Dear Friends,

I would like to continue sharing about faith from my post last week. I decided to read the whole book of Hebrews again because it has a lot to say on the subject of faith. There are three things I would like to share with you today.

First, let’s remember what faith is. Hebrews 11 1 says, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen.” There are a lot of things that we hope for in this life. I often pray and ask God to help me not to focus on (and thus hope for) the things of this world. I want to hope for the things of His world, the Kingdom of God. Then I can be assured that I will get those things. I hope that all my family is saved and that someday when we are all gone from this earth we will continue our lives together in eternity. I also hope my friends that I love so much choose to have Jesus in their hearts so I can spend eternity with them as well. Having this hope is the only thing that gives me peace when one of my loved ones goes home to be with God before me.

The challenge I see is that every person must choose on their own if they want to follow Christ or not. However, I want to encourage you to never lose hope and to continue to have faith that your loved ones will be saved. I truly believe that God hears our prayers about our loved ones coming closer to Him. Sometimes He arranges situations and allows circumstances to happen so people stop what they’re doing and give their lives to Christ. The time it takes and the timing for every person is different so we need to simply continue to pray.

The second thing I wanted to share is about waiting for those promises and what we hope for. Hebrews 11 lists several men of faith that came before us such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Further down on Hebrews 11:13 it says that, “All these faithful ones died without receiving what God had promised them, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed the promises of God. They agreed that they were no more than foreigners and nomads here on earth.” When these men of God realized that they were not of this world, then having faith that God was going to come through became easier. Furthermore, they had the revelation that some things they were not going to see during their lifetime here on earth. They knew, however, that they would see them later in eternity when they met God in heaven.

The third thing I want to share with you today is found in Hebrews 11:39, where it says that, “All of these people we have mentioned have received God’s approval because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had far better things in mind for us that would also benefit them, for they can’t receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race.” My interpretation of this passage (and I don’t claim to be a Bible scholar) is that what all the people before us started through their faith we have to finish. “We” here means all of us that came after them and those who will come after us until Jesus comes again and the prize for which Jesus died (all of us) will finally be realized.

I hope reading today’s blog will inspire you to continue praying for all your loved ones. Never give up! God is always in control.

Read Full Post »

Dear Friends,

I was recently asked this question: “How is it that you have so much faith in your God?” At first, I wasn’t sure what or how to respond so I prayed before answering since this conversation was happening via text. The only response I received was to love on my friend, to show her the love of God through me loving her. I told her I was going to attempt to answer via text but that the reason was actually simple. I have so much faith in God because I LOVE God. I love God because I know that He loves me and I told her I also know that He loves her too. Because I love God then I trust Him and I trust Him because I know Him.

I basically responded the same way as if the question would have been in regards to a person because it would be the same progression of events. When we get to know a person, we learn to trust them (or not for that matter). Once we trust them we learn to love them and then we have faith in them as a person. We have faith that they will do what they said they would do. We have faith (or believe) that that person also loves us back. We believe that person wants the best for us and we have complete confidence in that person. Of course, we are human beings and thus break that confidence or trust many times in our relationships. God doesn’t. He never breaks His promises to us.

The concepts of faith in God and the love of God for us are difficult to understand for an unbeliever but I thought this was the best way I could respond to my friend. These concepts are a revelation to our hearts that we accept by faith and the best place to start is to learn that God is love and that He loves us. How do we show others that God loves them too? By us loving them – just like Jesus did.

God has been working in my heart lately and showing me how to love others. I feel the love of God in my heart ready to be poured out into the people I come in contact with. It is a feeling I have not had in the past. It is easy to love our family and dear friends but to start loving strangers and people I have not seen or met before, just because, is new to me. I think it’s because when I see people as children of God and not as people I don’t know, the perspective changes and now I can see people through the eyes of God and mercy and compassion flows along with His love.

This experience confirms to me that the main way God loves people is through each one of us. We are the conduits to God’s love to the world. I want to conclude with a Scripture from Hebrews that I read this morning. Hebrews 6: 10-11 (NLT) “For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.”

Read Full Post »

Surviving Tragedy

Dear Friends,

What do you tell a friend who just lost her husband today? How do people recover from losing a loved one? Once someone, who had lost a 14 year old son on his 14th birthday, told me that “You never recover. You simple learn to cope.”

We all go through terrible experiences during the course of our lives and I believe we can share those experiences with others to help them get through these situations. But ultimately, we need Jesus in our hearts in order to survive these life changing and hurtful events.

Today, I want to share a devotional from my book, Devotions for Working Women, that brings hope to you if you are going through one of these situations in your life.

I Will Not Be Shaken!

# 124

Psalm 16:8 (NLT)

I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

When you know in our heart that the Lord is with you, you have a peace that surpasses all understanding. It is the peace of God working in you so you are not shaken.

There are certain life events that can shake you, such as the death of a loved one, the loss of your job, divorce, or living through a natural disaster. If you find yourself living through any of the above situations, know that God is with you. He is right beside you, walking through it with you. He is holding your hand and lighting the way when it’s dark all around you. He is your comforter, your helper, your hope, and the one who loves you more than anyone on this earth.

The Lord Jesus is your Rock. Building your house on the Rock means you build your life based only on the truth of God’s Word. It is doing always what’s right and knowing the foundation is the love of God. Everything He does in your life is founded on His amazing love. In fact, the whole plan of salvation is based on His eternal love for you and desire to be with you forever.

When you build your life, your house, on Him, you will not be shaken when the storms of life come. Your house will stand. When the storm is over, you will still be standing on Him and His Word. It doesn’t matter what it looks like on the outside or around you. You will know where you stand because of what you believe.

Remember these words when you go through a storm in your life. Hang on to the Lord, and you will not be shaken.

 

Read Full Post »

Dear Friends,
This week I have been reflecting on “my ways” versus “God’s ways” for my life. Sometimes we make plans for our lives and we are sure that those plans are what God wants for us. But when those plans don’t manifest the way we expected, then we get confused. Were we wrong with our plans? Or should we wait until God’s perfect timing, which is usually not ours? I don’t know what the right answer is but I do know that God’s plans are better than ours. Here is a scripture that helped me in a recent situation. Isaiah 55: 8-9 (NLT) “My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

I also want to share with you one of the devotionals from my book, Devotions for Working Women, that will encourage you to wait on the Lord.

Wait Expectantly on the Lord
# 143
Psalm 5:3 (NLT)

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

David’s plea to the Lord was a daily act of faith. Every morning he talked to God and made his requests known to Him. He then waited on God and expected Him to listen to his prayers and answer them. We often treat God as a magician. We tell Him what we want and expect Him to respond immediately, like magic! We don’t wait patiently on Him. Other times we pray to God and don’t even expect Him to hear or answer our prayer. Then we get discouraged and stop asking altogether. We lose our faith in God. Both extremes are wrong. We are to ask God to meet our needs and wait expectantly as David did.

When we wait on the Lord we put our faith, hope, and trust in Him. This act blesses God. He then gives us the grace we need to wait until His answer manifests. We must learn to wait patiently because His timetable is not ours. He knows what’s best for us and that includes the right time. When His timing comes, He will give us a solution better than any we would have thought of on our own.

If you need change in your workplace, a new boss, a different job, or want to change fields, wait expectantly from the Lord. Expect to receive whatever He thinks is best for you, not just what you asked Him for. Once you give your request to Him, sincerely believe in your heart that He will answer your prayer and thank Him in advance for the answer.

Read Full Post »

Dear Friends,
Today I want to share with you about the power of forgiveness. We encounter opportunities to get offended almost on a daily basis and it is important to recognize when we carry offense in our hearts. Once we realize we got offended and that we are carrying a grudge against somebody, we then need to go through the process of getting rid of that luggage. How? Simply by forgiving the person that offended us.

I recently experienced this situation and when I chose to forgive that person, a great burden was lifted off my back. It felt like I did leave a piece of luggage behind. My attitude changed, my heart was changed. And then, the situation was turned around completely. Only because God helped me forgive so I could move on. The devotional I have for today from my book, Devotions for Working Women, is a reminder that when we pray, if we want our prayers answered, we must believe but also need to forgive others.

Forgive Before You Ask
# 157

Mark 11:24-25 (NLT)
“Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”

We hear verse 24 all the time. Ask, have faith, and you will get your prayer answered. But we hardly pay attention to an equally or more important thing we must do before praying in faith. “First forgive…,” are the words Jesus used, “…anyone you may be holding a grudge against.” Forgiving others is key to having our prayers answered. Not only that, but if we don’t forgive others, God will not forgive our own sins. Without God’s forgiveness, we are not going to enter His Kingdom. Being unforgiving is destructive in every way—physically, mentally, and spiritually. It is more destructive to our lives than to the person who offended us.

You can ask for anything in faith, but first you must forgive before you can receive your answer. Examine yourself on a daily basis and see if there is anybody who offended you whom you haven’t forgiven yet. Of course, I believe the easier way to do this is to not get offended in the first place. At the moment the offense occurs, you have the choice to take the offense or to let it go. It is a decision you can make in an instant, but if you choose wrong, it can take you the rest of your life to forgive. It will be your baggage and burden for years until you give it to the Lord and have Him take care of it. God is looking for pure hearts and pure hearts don’t have unforgiveness. The workplace is the perfect place to put this into practice on a daily basis, so start today.

Read Full Post »

Dear Friends,
It is hard to keep the faith and continue the fight when you get bad news or when your prayers don’t get answered. But today I want to encourage you to continue and not give up believing God for an answer to your prayers. He does listen to you even though you may not hear back. Today, I would like to share with you a devotional from my book Devotions for Working Women that will encourage you and lift your spirit. Enjoy!

God Does Hear and Answers Our Prayers
#159
Psalm 116:1 (NLT)

I love the Lord because he hears and answers my prayers.

Part of trusting God is knowing in your heart and believing that He does hear your prayers and that He does answer them. What are you praying for lately? What prayers have you been asking God that He has not answered yet? Are you expecting an answer from Him? I encourage you to continue to pray until you see the answer manifested.

Some prayers take longer to be answered than others, due to various reasons. Sometimes we are not ready to receive the answer and we need more preparation. Other times, we don’t fully trust Him to perform what we’re asking. Other times we may not be in His will, and He knows that what we’re asking will harm us.
Every situation is different, every prayer request is different. If you are asking for a new job or for a work situation to be resolved, ask God to give you patience to wait for His perfect timing. If you are feeling He is not answering any of your prayers right now, thank Him for everything He has done for you in the past. This will lift your spirit and encourage you to continue to pray until He answers your prayer.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »