Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

This week I listened to a podcast interview from The Master’s Program for Women. Nadya Dickson, Director, interviewed Dr. Barbara Peacock, minister, speaker, and author, and asked her to share her testimony. When Dr. Peacock was asked the question, “How did you come to Christ?” She responded, “Someone told me that God loves me… and I believed them.” Her testimony stayed with me and I’m writing to you today to ask you this question: Has someone ever told you that God loves you? If not, I’m telling you today. God LOVES YOU so so much that He gave His only Son Jesus to die for you on the cross so you can have eternal life.

There are two key action verbs here: “Told” and “Believed.” Someone must tell you about the message of salvation. Someone has to share with you that Jesus died on the cross because He loves you so much. You must be “told” about this beautiful story of love. The second action verb is that you must believe the story. You have to make a decision to believe the message of love. You must choose to believe that God loves you and accept the gift of salvation.

Why is it so hard for people to tell the story and for others to believe this amazing story? Fear and faith. Those who have been told and believed are afraid to share the story from fear of rejection. But the Bible reminds us that when people reject the message, they’re not rejecting you. They’re rejecting Jesus. “For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him.” (Acts 3:13)

Here is the simple message from Romans 10:9-11 that we must tell others:

For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, ad it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed.”

Those who have been told and choose not to believe is because they lack the faith to believe. Faith is also a gift we must obtain first in order to accept the gift of salvation. In the same Chapter, Paul tells us “But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again). “In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach—is already within easy rich.” (vs. 6-8).

If someone has told you the message of salvation, believe!

If you believed that God loves you so much and accepted Jesus in your heart, I encourage you to tell someone so they can believe too!

Do you want to see ALL your loved ones again in heaven and live with them together with God for eternity? This is the only way. Tell them God loves them and believe God loves you!

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In recent days with all the violence and unjust acts that have happened around us, it is easy (and normal) to react with anger and a sense of outrage. But it’s not healthy—physically nor spiritually—to fill our hearts with anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness. God tells us clearly time and again that we must forgive those who hurt us. We must love and forgive our enemies! Wow, that’s very hard to do. But it is possible when we have the love of God in our hearts… In fact, I think that’s the only way we’re able to make that huge step to forgive those who purposely inflict pain in our lives.

Here are several scriptures that instruct us to forgive others and how to do it. Let me start with Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT):

Teaching about Love for Enemies

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

This is a direct and clear message to love our enemies—not with human love but with Godly love. In addition, we are instructed to pray for those who persecute us! For as hard as this is to understand and do, let’s reflect on this action. When we pray for those who persecute and hate us, we allow God to work in their hearts, sometimes to the point that they change and they no longer persecute us. When pray, God listens—even if we don’t see the results right away. God always hears our sincere prayers.

Remember what Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” We may never understand this truth fully as long as we are living our earthly lives. This is a spiritual revelation we must accept in our hearts.

Next, let’s examine what the Bible tells us about anger and bitterness in Ephesians 4:29-32:

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Once again, the act of forgiveness is a huge part of our daily lives as believers. Simply put, if we don’t forgive those who offend us, God won’t forgive our own sins!

God commands us to not only listen to the things of God but to also act on what we learn. In James 1:19-22 we are told:

Listening and Doing

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.”

In 1 Peter 3:8-12, we have a final reminder:

All Christians

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. For the Scriptures say,

“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn away from evil and do good.

Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.”

You may say, this is all great but it’s all easier said than done. You are correct. But as I shared at the beginning of the blog, we can only do this with the love of God in our hearts which we obtain by accepting Jesus into our hearts as our Lord and Savior. That’s how simple it is in the end…

Until next time.

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Do you need to grow in wisdom? Today I was reading the Psalms and stopped to ponder on Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.”

During this quarantine time due to the global pandemic, most people have been given the gift of extra time. Personally, even though I have been busy with consulting work, all the in-person speaking engagements from April and May were rescheduled to the fall and that gave me some free time. I have saved a lot of days that I would have been traveling to go speak at conferences. Instead, I have been home.

My husband and I have spent a lot of quality time together and have enjoyed our grand baby Henry James. Because his daycare was closed in April, we have taken this opportunity to watch him several days and we have created amazing memories with him. Daycare is still closed in May so we look forward to spending more time with him again.

With the extra time, we have also watched a lot of movies lately and today when I read this verse, I stopped to think… What if we spent all that time “growing in wisdom” instead of watching movies? While watching movies is fun, I think we need to make more time to grow in wisdom. Even though I have spent quality time with God too in my daily prayer as well as the weekends, I can do better. I can read the Bible more. I can pray more for so many people in need in the world. I can reconnect with some old friends. I can spend more time reading books that will help me grow my relationship with the Lord and help me grow in wisdom.

So, do you need to grow in wisdom? Today I encourage you to join me in first seeking God to show you how to make the most of your time and then do activities where you can grow in wisdom. The Bible is always a source of wisdom and you can purpose to read it more often. The Proverbs and Psalms are full of wisdom nuggets to help you navigate each day of your life and every season throughout your entire life.

I also encourage you to read the entire Psalm 91 where God promises us to protect “those who love Him” from evil—and that includes this pandemic. Psalm 91:1 promises us that “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” When we spend our time in His presence and reading His Word, we are “living in the shelter of the Most High” and we may also “grow in wisdom.”


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God Will Provide

Dear Friends,

Today I was reading the story of Abraham’s great faith in Genesis 22:1-18. God asked Abraham, “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you.” Wow! What a request for God to ask of any of us. The next day Abraham obeyed God and went off on the journey. As Abraham was walking up the mountain, “Isaac said, “Father?” “Yes, my son,” Abraham replied. “We have the wood and the fire,” said the boy, “but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” “God will provide a lamb, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both went on together…” (verses 7-8).

Do you imagine what Abraham, as a loving father, was thinking? And how his heart must have been in such agony? Would God come through for him? What if God didn’t provide a lamb? Could he go through with the sacrifice? Honestly, I personally don’t think I could…

But then, at the very last minute, just when Abraham was ready to kill his own son, an angel stopped him and said, “Do not hurt the boy in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld even your beloved son from me.”

Do you feel sometimes that God waits until the very last minute to provide for you? I have experienced that feeling too throughout my life. I remember after the war in Nicaragua when we were refugees in Dominican Republic that some days we had no food left. I can imagine the worry my parents felt when they didn’t know how they would feed their six children ages 14 down to 1 ½ years old. So we prayed as a family, together. And many times, later that day, my mom would open the front door of our small apartment and there were bags and bags of groceries full of food for our family. My parents never knew who were the angels that fed us, but I learned at an early age that God Will Provide! My parents have great faith and they passed on that gift to me.

Now, during this pandemic we’re all living through, when there are no speaking events to go speak at, God is providing in other ways and the bank consulting has picked up. This year my husband and I took a leap of faith and he joined Malzahn Strategic. And then the pandemic came, just a few weeks into our new adventure. But to this day, four months into the year, God has provided each month, one day at a time.

Today, I want to encourage you to have the faith of Abraham. Do not get weary in your faith as God WILL provide for you and your family! Trust that God will find ways you have not thought about. Maybe you’ll need to use talents you haven’t used in a long time but now will produce an income for your family. Now is the time to experience God in a new, deeper way than ever before. Don’t give up believing that God is your provider and He is your source of life!

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Are you looking for Scriptures to hold on to during this pandemic crisis?

Today I am sharing with you the source of my strength and joy: The Word of God. Below are specific Scriptures that I’m holding on to during this pandemic crisis. I couldn’t find better words to share with you other than these verses that are the promises God gives to “those who love Him.” The biggest question I have for you is: Do you love God? Do you love His only Son, Jesus—the only ONE who gave His life for you and me? If not, I encourage you to seek God today above ALL things.

If you already know God and have a personal relationship with Him, then there is nothing you need to worry about. These Scriptures to hold on to during this pandemic crisis are God’s promises to us that we will be okay… And remember, we are eternal beings which means that when this earthly life ends, regardless of how it ends, we will be with God for eternitySalvation is the biggest promise!

Psalm 91

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty…

3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease

6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday…

9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.

Isaiah 43:1-2

Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drawn!

Romans 8:28

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

1 Peter 5:7

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Isaiah 26:3-4

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

Matthew 6:34

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.
Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Wherever you are I encourage you to pray. Let’s pray together and ask God to heal our nation and our world.

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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!

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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.

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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.”

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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.


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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.

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