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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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Summer has finally arrived! For those of us who live in Minnesota we thought it was never going to come… But the seasons eventually do arrive, and we need to be prepared to embrace the new seasons and enjoy them to the max. Summer is typically the season when most families take vacation, mainly because it’s the time when the kids are out of school.

This summer I encourage you to spend time with your family. It doesn’t have to be a big expense. Sometimes the best memories are made very inexpensively, such as a picnic at the lake, going biking, visiting pools around the city, taking long walks, or simply visiting with someone at any place. The point is to spend quality time with the people you love. Celebrate your family!

This week we celebrate our country’s independence. I recently spoke at a leadership conference where I shared the story of when I became a US citizen back in 1997. My husband’s grandma had always wanted to witness an immigrant becoming a US citizen, so she was excited to attend my Oath Ceremony. When she arrived all dressed up, I noticed she was wearing a beautiful rhinestones pin of the flag of the United States. I said, “Wow grandma! What a beautiful pin.” She replied, “Thank you!” And preceded to sit down behind me. After the Oath Ceremony ended, I turned back to give her a hug and thanked her for being there for such a special moment in my life. She then took off the pin and pinned it on my dress and said, “Now, you can have it!” I cried. What an emotional moment of significance that was. It left a positive mark in my heart forever.

As you celebrate the 4th of July, Independence Day, with your family, remember this story and how significant it is for all of us to live in a FREE country. My heart overflows with gratitude toward all the service men and women who continually fight for us and for those who gave their lives for us to enjoy freedom.

Let’s celebrate Family and Freedom every day! Happy Independence Day!

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Dear Friends,

King Solomon was the wisest person on earth and guess what? He wrote the book of Proverbs and left us ALL his wisdom for us to use it too. All the business concepts we need to run a successful business are right there. Are you married and a parent too? No problem. All the advice on how to parent your children is found in these proverbs as well as advice on marriage for both men and women.

The first chapter tells us why King Solomon wrote this book: “The purpose of these proverbs is to teach people wisdom and discipline, and to help them understand wise sayings. Through these proverbs, people will receive instruction in discipline, good conduct, and doing what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will make the simple-minded clever. They will give knowledge and purpose to young people” (Proverbs 1: 2-4).

Let’s start by learning what the Bible says about how valuable wisdom is:

  • Come here and listen to me! I’ll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise (1:23).
  • Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding. Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure (2:2-4).
  • Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. She offers you life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying (3: 15-17).
  • Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly (3:18).
  • Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! (4:7).
  • If you live a life guided by wisdom, you won’t limp or stumble as you run (4:12).
  • I (wisdom) love all who love me. Those who search for me will surely find me (8:17).

Now let’s explore what the book of Proverbs says about business and leadership advice:

  • My child, don’t lose sight of good planning and insight. Hang on to them, for they fill you with life and bring you honor and respect (3:21-22).
  • Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them (3:27).
  • Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do (4:23).
  • Intelligent people are always open to new ideas. In fact, they look for them (18:15).
  • People who accept correction are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore it will lead others astray (10:17).
  • Lazy people are a pain to their employers (10:26).
  • Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (11:2).
  • People with integrity have firm footing, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall (10:9).
  • Hard work means prosperity; only fools idle away their time (12:11).
  • Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many counselors bring success (15:22).
  • Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed (16:3).
  • We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps (16:9).
  • The Lord demands fairness in every business deal; he sets the standard (16:11).
  • From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive (16:23).

Lastly, let’s learn from proverbs that relate to marriage and children:

  • To men: Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth (5:18).
  • To women: A worthy wife is her husband’s joy and crown; a shameful wife saps his strength (12:4).
  • If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don’t love them; if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them (13:24).
  • It is senseless to pay tuition to educate a fool who has no heart for wisdom (17:6).
  • Discipline your children while there is hope. If you don’t you will ruin their lives (19:18).

I would like to end today’s blog by sharing two proverbs that are starting to apply to my own life as I get older: “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life” (16:31) and my favorite: “Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged: parents are the pride of their children” (17:6). I for sure am experiencing being a grandma as a “crowning glory” and I only hope my children will see me as their “pride.”

Because there are so many proverbs we can learn from, I might write a sequel to this blog. Thank you for reading. I hope these proverbs help you in your life and encourage you to seek wisdom above all other things that you could want from God!

Until next time,

Marci

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Jesus Did it All!

Dear Friends,

This weekend is a special weekend because something incredible happened in the history of mankind… God’s redemptive plan came to pass… I want to share one of the devotionals from my book Devotions for Working Women that explains God’s plan in more detail. May God bless you greatly on this amazing Easter celebration!

Jesus Did It All

Isaiah 53:3 (NLT)

He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.

Do you know the man the prophet Isaiah is talking about? His name is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Since we humans messed up and gave Satan control over this earth, God came up with a plan to bring us back to Him. It is the plan of salvation God gave to Jesus to fulfill when He was on this earth. It is a simple plan that humans complicated. God sent His only begotten Son to save us and for all who believe to have everlasting life. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we accept salvation. We restore our fellowship with God the Father.

The following verses complete the story. “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we may have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the guilt and sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. From prison and trial they lead him away to his death…But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and fill him with grief… He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins” (vv. 4-11).

If you haven’t given your life to Jesus yet, it is never too late. Today is your day!

 

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Dear Friends,

I was recently pondering on the concept of what we all know to be “the golden rule:” treating others as you want to be treated. This concept started in the Bible when Jesus was asked the question, which is the most important commandment? and He replied: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:36-40).

The golden rule refers to what we should do because it’s the right thing to do and because it’s based on the commandment of loving others as we love ourselves. However, it doesn’t talk about the expectations of others’ behavior toward us. Therefore, I asked myself, “What if we practice the golden rule but the other person doesn’t reciprocate? How do I respond to that behavior so I don’t get hurt? How do I not get tired of doing the right thing when others don’t practice the golden rule on me?” As I reflected on these questions, the answer came to me: “lower your expectations of others not your standards.”

We cannot control others’ behaviors or actions. The only person we can control is our own self. Therefore, even though it may be common sense to us that others would also practice the golden rule, we should not expect them to. The higher our expectations of others, the bigger our disappointment may be at some point in our lives. Notice I said lower your expectations of others not your standards.

I have very high standards for myself in every area of my life. I believe leading by example is how you communicate your standards to those around you. Expectations are different. In the workplace, for example, as a leader, you need to communicate to your employees your expectations clearly so they understand their jobs well. But even then, they may disappoint you, yet you still should practice the golden rule on them and treat them the way you would want to be treated.

But my biggest challenge with having expectations of others is outside the workplace—with friends and family. Because I believe the golden rule of treating others as you want to be treated is common sense, I have high expectations of others. And that’s where I’ve gone wrong. I need to treat others as I want to be treated and expect nothing in return! That’s the key to not being disappointed. Simply treat others well, consistently, and don’t expect others to reciprocate or even acknowledge what you did for them. This is how you free yourself from resentment or holding grudges on a person when sometimes that person didn’t even think or intent to hurt you.

I don’t know if this reflection will help you or not, but it helped me to free myself from expecting anything from others—whether that’s in the workplace, with family, or friends. Pondering on these concepts help me stay focused on my personal walk with God. I hope it will help you too.

Here is my new golden rule: “Treat others as I want to be treated and expect nothing in return.”

 

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