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Dear Friends,

There are times in our lives when we struggle and there are other seasons in our lives when things are going well. During difficult times, we tend to pray and say, “one day at a time.” In fact, we tell our friends and family members to do the same when they are going difficult circumstances in their lives. But what do we do when everything seems to be going well? I have experienced this blessing lately where everything is going well in every area of my life and everyone in my family is healthy. I thank God for this blessing daily. But when business is going well, work can overtake the other areas of our lives and I’m not okay with that. I like to keep a balanced life.

This year, I started the year “feeling behind.” I didn’t feel prepared to start the New Year and felt I could not catch up from work from last year. The holidays came and went quickly and left me even more behind. Then in the middle of January I had a short trip to North Carolina and came back with the Influenza flu that left me in bed for a week. That sickness (and I’m still recovering three weeks later) put me way behind.

As I was meditating on this feeling of being overwhelmed with work (while at the same time feeling grateful for the work), the Lord reminded me that we not only have to live “one day at a time” when we’re going through difficult situations but always! In the good times and in the bad times, we must live “one day at a time” and walk one step at a time with God. We need to allow God to chart our path and we walk by faith each day.

This year I decided to pursue God at a deeper level than ever before. Therefore, I am being intentional about spending quality time with Him, in prayer, reading the Word, and simply listening to His voice. I started reading this amazing book: Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry and Richard Blackaby and Claude King. I’ve had this book for several years and have not made the time to dive into it because it’s a “workbook” meaning, you have to do homework, answer questions, read Scriptures, meditate on the Scriptures, write down what it means to you personally, etc. It’s a lot of work, but what it’s doing in my life is beyond measure!

After the Lord put in my heart the theme of “one day at a time,” I opened the book for the first time, and this is what I found:

Unit 1: “God’s Will and Your Life.”

Lesson 1: “Jesus Is Your Way”

Section 1: “Jesus is Your ‘Map’”— “Following One Day at a Time.”

God couldn’t have been clearer to me in telling me that is what He wants me to do—always. Here is what I learned from this important lesson that you can apply to your life as well:

  • Instead of asking “What is God’s will for my life?” simply ask “What is God’s will?” Once you know God’s will, then you can adjust your life to Him! Jesus always did the will of the Father. The focus is on God, not on your
  • In John 5:17 Jesus said: “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” God is always working and so was Jesus and, therefore, so should we.
  • We need to see where God is working and then join Him.
  • Jeremiah 18:6 says, “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.” We must be like clay in the hand of the potter and allow God to mold us so we can do His will and the work He has assigned to each of us.
  • God is always pursuing a love relationship with each of us. He is the initiator and we need to respond.
  • God is always We must be alert and attentive so we can listen to what He’s saying.
  • For us to do the will of God, we need to adjust our lives, starting with adjusting our faith to the level of God’s work (the higher the job the bigger faith we need to have).
  • We will experience God at the personal level as we obey and do His will.
  • When we believe that God cannot do anything of significance through us, we’re actually saying more about our belief in God (or lack of) than us declaring about ourselves.
  • Every person in the Bible God chose to use was an ordinary person who by faith allowed God to do extraordinary things through him/her.

My new prayer to God each morning is, “What do YOU want me to do today, Lord? What should I focus on? This is what I have planned, feel free to change as you will.” And He does change plans. He helps me focus on the biggest and most important projects, tasks, or people who need me that day. The rest must wait until I have little chunks of time to work on those tasks. In the end, everything is getting done.

Today, I encourage you to seek God at a deeper level, learn to listen and obey God’s will. Then you will experience God like never before. It will change your life.

 

 

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Dear Friends,

We often hear in the news about children dying of starvation in developing countries. As I pondered on this concept, I realized there are people—adults and children—right here in America who are starving for food too…spiritual food.

We are physical beings as well as spiritual beings and, therefore, we need to feed our physical bodies as well as our spirit. You may wonder, how do we feed our spirit?

There are several ways:

  • Hearing the Word of God at church or from ministries who teach the Bible.
  • Reading the Word on your own so you can learn and verify that what is being taught at church is what the Bible really says. Yes, unfortunately, you must confirm because of false teachings.
  • Sharing what you learn with other believers so you can deepen your knowledge and understanding of the Word.
  • Applying what you learned from others and from the Bible in your everyday life.
  • Spending time alone with God, in prayer. Listening to God in your spirit and bringing all your burdens to Him.

These days even some Christian churches are afraid of teaching the truth found in the Bible for fear of losing members who contribute financially. We joke saying we wish babies came with a manual. They do! It’s the Bible! That IS our guide and manual on how to live our lives from beginning to end and everything in between.

I feel compelled to do my part by inspiring and educating businesspeople not only on leadership and banking topics but also on the things of God. It’s not about me. It’s ALL about God and building His Kingdom. When you get this revelation in your heart, you will see life and others from another perspective—from God’s perspective. The sense of urgency I have in my heart comes from that revelation. It is the highest calling in my life.

Many business people, working people, people in the marketplace, however you choose to call of us who work, are walking around wounded, hurt, disappointed, betrayed, lonely, depressed, directionless, and purposeless. They are starving for spiritual food. All because no one dares to tell them the truth of the message of salvation. The Bible says in John 8:31-32, Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

You want direction in your life? Jesus is the “light of the world.” John 8:12 tells us, Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

I urge you to have the courage to seek God with all your heart and allow Him to feed your spirit. Be hungry for the things of God. You cannot go wrong and you will no longer be starving spiritually. I can personally attest to His goodness and faithfulness throughout my life. Now, it is my responsibility to share the message of the Gospel with the business people who God puts in my path, and you’re one of them. I will leave you with one more scripture today to encourage you from John 16:32-33 when Jesus said, “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

 

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Dear Friends,

As a family tradition, we love to give each other lots of presents during Christmas. We enjoy more the quantity versus how expensive presents are. And now that our children are grown, they want to bless us with lots of gifts too, so our Christmas tree looks beautiful full of presents!

But more importantly, there are other gifts that are not physical gifts that we each received since we were born. These are natural abilities and spiritual gifts that God gave to each of us. The Bible describes some of those gifts in Romans 12:6-8: “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”

In addition, 1 Peter 4:10 says that, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” And 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 tells us what they are, “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.”

Isn’t this wonderful? I encourage you to discover your natural and spiritual gifts and use them to help others. There are also many other gifts that you can give to your loved ones that don’t cost any money. They are, the gift of:

  • Friendship: Be there for your friends.
  • Laughter: Laugh a lot with your loved ones. It is medicinal!
  • Forgiveness: Give the gift of forgiveness to someone who hurt you even if they don’t ask you for forgiveness.
  • Happiness: Enjoy and celebrate every happy moment you have with your loved ones.
  • Joy: Be joyful knowing that God’s got you regardless of the circumstances.
  • Understanding: Make the effort to truly understand someone.
  • Time: Your time is your most precious possession. Give of your time to those who matter most.
  • Listening: Listen without interrupting and be okay that sometimes you don’t have to respond.
  • Grace: Give people some grace and don’t judge them for their mistakes.
  • Peace: Provide a peaceful home to your family and a peaceful work environment to those you work with.
  • Generosity: Give of your time, money, and talents to others consistently.

But most importantly, in the Christian faith, Christmas is a time to celebrate the true gift that God gave to all of us: Jesus—and the Gospel of Salvation that tells us that Jesus died on the cross for our sins so we can go to heaven and spend eternity with Him. Here is the simple message of Salvation:

Romans 10:8-13 Salvation Is for Everyone

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: If you openly declare 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, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

This month, if you have received the biggest gift there is—Salvation through Jesus Christ—I want to encourage you to give it forward to others! If you have not received this amazing gift yet, then I’m giving it to you right now. Today is your day to say yes!

Merry Christmas!

 

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Baby’s First Shoes!

I recently had my new book launch event for “Bring YOUR Shoes: A Fresh Perspective for Leaders with Big Shoes to Fill” where several of my friends, business colleagues, and family members celebrated with me. And my special guest, my new grand baby, Henry James, showed up too. At the time I’m writing this blog, he has never worn shoes as he’s only 10 months old. But I plan to give him his first pair of shoes.

I plan to encourage him through his life’s journey to always “bring his own shoes.” I plan to walk alongside him and be there for him throughout his life.

He will need to first learn how to walk and how to walk with shoes. He doesn’t get to choose his first pair of shoes. His parents chose them for him. And they will continue to choose his shoes for the first few years of his life until he can choose his shoes on his own. But even when he can’t choose his shoes by himself, the shoes must fit him perfectly and comfortably. Otherwise, he won’t be able to walk at all or, at least, he will feel uncomfortable or be in pain.

The point is that we each must choose our own shoes and bring them wherever we go. In my analogy, “bringing your shoes” means you must be yourself and bring all your talents, personality, unique experiences, and skills to your job and be okay being yourself.

I encourage you to embrace who you are and “Bring YOUR Shoes” wherever you go!

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Dear Friends,
Last weekend my husband and I got to babysit our baby grandson for the first time overnight. We had a joyful time with him, and the Lord showed me three ways on how He loves us that I want to share with you today.

1) Humans need to feel loved and be loved from the moment of conception. While holding my grandson and feeding him in the middle of the night, I started thinking of the millions of babies who don’t have anyone to hold them, to tell them they are loved, or to feed them. I thought of the babies that cry themselves to sleep every night because they’re lacking a home or people to take care of them. That thought brought tears to my eyes and I started asking God to help those babies around the world. In that moment, God showed me how He loves us individually, from the moment He created us in our mother’s womb. Even when we may not be loved by other human beings, He still loves us.

Psalm 139:13 (NLT)
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

2) Before our daughter left us with her precious baby boy, she gave me instructions and the times when he would be hungry, need a bath, and go to sleep. The baby followed the schedule to a tee! I thought to myself, “Wow, she knows her baby very well.” Then the Lord reminded me of how much He knows each of us down to the smallest details of our lives—because He made us! If a mother knows her child so well, imagine how much more God knows His children.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD.
“They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

3) Lastly, as we all know, babies do get dirty diapers without exception. On Sunday, when my daughter and son-in-law came to pick up their baby, I had just changed a big diaper. But when my daughter picked him up, she noticed his little outfit was all dirty… I had completely missed it and we had to change him all over again. That afternoon, I reflected on this little incident (which was actually funny) and the Lord showed me how when we make a big mess of ourselves—either with our bodies or with our lives—He cleanses us completely from the inside out. And He doesn’t miss any areas that need cleaning. He cleans us with his amazing love and mercy that only He has for each of us.

1 John 1:9 (NLT)
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

So now whenever I hold my new grand baby and pray for him, I take the opportunity to pray for all the babies in the world who don’t have people to love on them. I also thank God for cleansing me from all the sins in my life and for the privilege of knowing Him personally.
Until next time.

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Dear Friends,

I recently attended one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended in my entire working career. It was the annual national convention attended by over 1,500 professional speakers. Every time I attend a big conference I ask God to give me “divine connections.” This time was no exception. I prayed that prayer before I arrived at the event. And guess what? He did.

I attended the special “International Speakers Day” where I met a lady from Italy who has lived in 32 countries and speaks five languages. I was impressed with her background and we hit it off right away. We became friends. Throughout the conference I met other speakers from Ireland, India, Canada, and of course, from the United States. There were over 20 countries represented at this convention so it was fun to meet some of the other international speakers.

Through the conference my new friend and I spent some time together and I found out she and her husband are believers too. I then shared with her that I asked God to give me divine connections and that I believed God had put us together so we could pray for each other going forward and to simply be there for each other in the future.

When I returned, I shared with my husband that I had made a new friend and that this was one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended. I told him I had several great takeaways that I hope to implement in my business. I emailed my new friend to tell her what a blessing it had been to have met her. When she emailed me back, I was surprised at what she wrote… She said, “My biggest thing I learned from this conference came from YOU… to ‘pray for divine connections.’ After you said that, something just clicked inside my soul, like an ‘aha moment.’ It’s simple but meaningful prayer, so important to have those uplifting connections.”

After I read her email, I reflected on this experience and realized God had taught me a big lesson too. I had prayed for God to give me “business” divine connections—which is totally fine to do and I encourage you to do so. But God reminded me with this experience that HIS people are always more important than business. And He connects us so we can support one another and pray for each other in time of need. Even though it was one of the best conventions I’ve ever attended, that was my biggest takeaway from the entire event!

I encourage you to always be on the lookout for God’s people. Always put people first and be ready and willing to be used by God to help others. God’s Business is always about HIS people!

1 Thessalonians 5:11

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

 

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The other day a person said to me, “Thank you so much for talking to me. I feel like I’m talking to a celebrity.” I said, “No, please don’t say that… I’m just ‘Marci’” Later that day I got to think more about that statement and wondered…

What does it mean to be a celebrity anyway?

According to the Dictionary.com, a celebrity is a “famous or well-known person.” Then, I decided I want to be a celebrity—but not on this earth. I want to be a celebrity in heaven! When my turn comes to go to heaven, I want to be welcomed by thousands of people who made it to heaven because I shared with them the ticket to heaven—Jesus!

When you look at things from the eternal perspective, your attitude changes completely. You reason, motive, and purpose for being exposed in social media and in the speaking world changes. It’s not about you anymore. It’s all about God. It’s about fulfilling his plan in your life which always includes helping others. In my life, it involves influencing others through my writings and speaking opportunities that God sends my way. To God only, be the glory!

So… do you want to be a celebrity in heaven?

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