Share This

Blog

Friending Grace

Posted by on Mar 21, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Friending Grace

Media research tells us that, in today’s culture, it takes seconds for us to make a judgment. As a media producer and consultant, I educate clients on how to grab attention fast, especially on social media platforms. Pictures and words matter. The downside is that we’ve become an overly critical culture, and today on social media, people get vicious. Christians need to be extra cautious. Just because we’re armed with God’s truth doesn’t give us the authority to be rude. Romans 14:13 says, “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” NIV. Humor and sarcasm can produce laughs, but they can also backfire and cause impenetrable spiritual walls. Perceptions about Christianity and God’s nature are formed instantly. Christian means “little Christ.” Are you a “little Christ” when posting? Let’s get the culture’s attention by being known for reflecting God’s grace and mercy. Be a “friend” of...

read more

For The Times They are a Changin’

Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

For The Times They are a Changin’

Checking in on the news these days can be pretty shocking, and sometimes terrifying. 2016 Nobel Peace Prize recipient and singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan, wrote the song: “The Times They Are a Changin’” back in 1964. He admittedly wrote it as a deliberate attempt to shake things up, but our world’s changing even faster today. We live in an era of overwhelming and constant disruption, and our packed schedules don’t help. Studies show that during periods of rapid change, fear sets in. During times of uncertainty, we tend to grab for even more information, which only makes it more difficult to find the real truth that’s buried in the overload. Some simply ignore the issues altogether hoping someone else will make the right decisions for us. And what if these changes conflict with God’s Word? How will we keep ourselves and families safe? How do we help others who are caught up in these rapid disruptions? One thing is sure: God’s plan for us never changes, so our only choice as believers is to trust Him. We’re to pray and be ready to share the hope that lies within us. We’re the descendants of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob and we will not be defeated – that’s a Biblical promise. We’re secure in Him. The times may be a changin’ around us but not God. Stay confident as you check in with the news and events of the world each today. God’s ultimate plans prevail. What scriptural promise of God will you hide in your heart today? Memorize this new one today: “I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” Malachi 3:6...

read more

Express Yourself

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Express Yourself

I often work with college internship students. One of my instructional points I hammer into their brains is to have a servant spirit – one who’s willing to do whatever is asked and to sit down, shut up, and observe the culture of the office. But often I’ve found that the students are so humble they never speak up. They take on such servants hearts that they loose their ability to be confident. Fear keeps them from asking questions and expressing to their employer what kinds of things they’d like to learn. Employers will tell me on their final evaluations that it’s not until their last work day of their internship that the student finally expresses himself. Had the student spoken up and not been intimated, he would have spent more time with the intern mentoring him. The employer had adopted the student into his company but fear kept the student enslaved and unable to fully take advantage of an opportunity to grow and flourish. Paul says in Romans 8:15 ESV “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” God’s adopted us as a child of His Kingdom. He wants us to ask Him how to do things, to admit we’re incapable and need a savior and mentor. He wants us to be free and open to express ourselves to Him. Yes, we’re committed to Him and want to serve Him fully as His servant, but He wants us to be knowledgeable, capable and fearless in all we do. Are you waiting to ask the God for guidance and mentorship? Are you missing an opportunity because you haven’t talked to Him about something? Express Yourself!...

read more

Love Yourself: How to Defeat Self Criticism

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Love Yourself: How to Defeat Self Criticism

Happy Valentines Day 2017 to all. One of the first people we have to love before we can ever love someone else is ourselves. For some of us, it’s hard to do. If we’re in the public spotlight we can’t avoid critics comments. But for most of us, we don’t need an outside critic, we hear one loud and clear in our brains. Professionals know they have to squelch the internal criticism if they’re going to succeed. Tennis player Serena Williams said, “I’ve had to deal with a lot of labels: too sexy, too focused on tennis, too mean… too strong?’ What does that mean?  I don’t know.  Just means I’m stronger than you.” Research tells us that women, unlike their male counterparts, are their own worst critics. In fact, self-criticism is really self-sabotage. Our self-worth suffers as we blame ourselves for failures, or attribute our success to other people or circumstances. It’s a key reason women are the last ones to ask for help or even a raise at work. When you stay focused on everything that’s wrong with yourself confidence decreases and you build fear rather than confidence. When you doubt yourself your resilience diminishes and you are less likely to learn from your failures. Stop beating yourself up. Here’s four ideas to help you change your thinking: Stop talking negatively to yourself.  Watch what’s coming out of your mouth – I’m so stupid – I’m an idiot! Change it to, “Ok – I had a stumble… no big deal, it could’ve happened to anyone.” Write a note to yourself.  Harness your emotions for a second and unleash it in a note rather than on yourself. Send yourself an apology – why you made the wrong decision and how you won’t let it happen again. Getting it on paper takes the air out of the balloon. Be a friend to yourself and not a critic. Studies have shown that when we write down our emotions we actually learn how to control them. Create a line or even a Bible verse that resonates and soothes your soul. Recognize there is a wound that has to be medicated. “Oops!, I did it again”, “the sun will come out tomorrow” are iconic ones. I like scripture verses that bring truth and soul soothing bandages. One of my favorites is, Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you”. Keep a gratitude list.  What are the things you are truly thankful for in your life? It sounds simple but when depression and self-doubt hit, remembering how God has blessed you brings perspective and balance. Happiness is a choice so choose to surround yourself with the joy and goodness of God. I also like to listen to music that lifts my soul and allows me to put my eyes on Jesus and His grace and forgiveness. It banishes those self-critics in my head and brings hope and...

read more

The Warmth of Influence

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

The Warmth of Influence

Remember the story of the rain, wind, and sun? They challenged each other to see who was the most powerful by trying to get a man to take off his coat. The Rain went first with thunderous pellets, but the man held tight to his coat. The Wind thought he had it in the bag by blowing a hurricane and trying to rip the coat off his back but the man clung tighter than ever. The Sun stepped in and with a warm glow smiled down as they all watched the human disrobe. In our home and office cultures today we forget that a quiet gentle glow can cut through tough walls, difficult personalities, and hardened ways. Our social media sites are constantly screaming at us to check in or be out of the loop or make a statement – the louder the better. Perhaps a little warmth would make a greater impact. Influence is about caring which can only be truly accomplished by physically showing up. Personal caring is rapidly disappearing from our lives through the distractions of technology and the cluttered culture and distraction of media. We don’t have the time for personal encounters and the warmth of the personal touch. Here are some thoughts on showing up and caring that might just cause someone else to stop and care: Care about the unnoticed. Yes, you have to be nice to the boss, co-worker, and mother in law, but what about the janitor, receptionist, or the grocery clerk? Simple caring questions like, how was your weekend or vacation? – how’s the kids or parents? – why are you limping or holding your head? These simple acts of observation show people you see them in places where they thought they were unnoticed – the heart. They’re given a chance to see that they have worth – the kind God sees in us with endless grace. Care how you communicate. Is that email really appropriate? Are you giving those fiery messages and social media postings a second glance before you push the send button? What about that questionable joke? Are you willing to take the time to encourage others with a real conversation face to face, or verbally on the phone? What’s your tone of voice like when communicating to others? Is it demeaning, arrogant, dismissive? I’m so guilty of this. My French ancestry blood pumps and before I know it my tone and volume erupt with fury. I have to ask for grace regularly. Care how you confront someone. I hate confronting people. It’s a struggle every time on every level, but as a leader, it’s something I’ve had to learn to do. Being liked is not always the right approach but doing the right thing is. Jesus was a master. He confronted with questions and short answers but always with truth and love. Confronting will never be easy but choosing the right path with integrity, grace, and Godly prayer, wisdom and above all, forgiveness will always result in dignity for all. Care enough to admit your faults and forgive them of theirs. Mistakes will be made. Be part of the solution that builds a culture of forgiveness but not necessarily of escaping consequences. God always forgives but many times we have to pay the consequences of our choices....

read more

Paint A Lasting Picture of Overcoming Fear and Insecurity

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Paint A Lasting Picture of Overcoming Fear and Insecurity

Recently at a Museum of The Bible weekend event in Washington DC, I was invited to participate in a painting class. When I first saw the class being offered on the schedule I was a bit hesitant if not intimidated. I hadn’t painted anything since the 3rd grade. I consider myself a fairly creative person having worked as an actress in Hollywood and producing media projects for many years with Cooke Pictures. The thought of being exposed as an inept artistic painter was petrifying. Nevertheless, I forced myself to go, inevitably knowing, that I would embarrass myself. In my experience, insecurity and fear keep people from achieving greatness more than anything else. It robs us of God’s joy in allowing Himself to be exposed in us in new ways. When we step into the fear, we step away from areas that we’ve built around us as safety zones. By staying in those safe places we rob ourselves of freedom and purpose that God wants to bring into our lives. New environments and situations that we have to depend on Him for to accomplish. God made us each uniquely creative. He introduced Himself to us as a creator in the first chapter of the Bible – Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created…” The direction we go with a project may often be completely different from that of our peers. That can be scary.  The projects we produce or the business choices we choose can be painted with many colors and with many different kinds of strokes.  We see images differently, so why do we expect that the way we approach a project has to be the way it’s always done?  God wants to take our unique colors and paint brushes and create something that’s never been seen before. When we do, we expose the beauty of walking in God’s creativity.  We must, however, fight off fear and the insecurity of being different.  These courageous choices will lead to new levels of trust in Him and influence others for the Kingdom of God. I was surprised as I painted how peaceful I felt. The angst I had about attempting the class melted away. The joy and fun of expressing myself and creating something that was a challenge for me brought fulfillment – a higher lesson. It was a renewed lesson on overcoming fear and exposing myself – being vulnerable. Finding out that in my inadequacies God was working and creating a new level of understanding of who He was in my life. His pleasure working in me brought new found joy. He’s placed that same creativity in you and He wants you to walk in joy – fearless and secure. As I participated in the class that day and watched fellow classmates follow the encouraging instructor, everyone’s cherry blossom painting (the image we’d been instructed to paint) began to take on a different and unique shape. Some were different colors, shapes, and sizes but all had a beauty and individual perspective. At the end of the class, we held up our paintings for a class picture. It was incredible to see how diverse they were – each with a special creative eye and no two alike. I came to the class unschooled with bad memories of producing paintings and drawings as a child...

read more

Somewhere It’s Snowing

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Somewhere It’s Snowing

Snow is interesting. It covers the drab outside environment with a layer of clean white beauty, it brings silence to the environment as it muzzles sound, and despite it’s inconvenience and sometimes over abundance, it can bring lots of fun outdoor sporting activities – pure joy. I had the privilege to attend collage with, David Stearman, writer of, Somewhere It’s Snowing. The words of the song always touches my heart and brings me a renewed understanding of God’s grace, especially in winter. Listen to the words: I once read a poem, When snow covers the earth, That it hides the worlds scars, And gives nature new birth, And they say when a man turns from sin to the Lord That forgiveness, like snow, covers him evermore! Chorus: And somewhere it’s snowing- See the soft drifting down As the snowflakes surrender To the hardening ground. Like the good grace of Jesus That covers our sin, In the kingdom of Heaven It’s snowing again. Now, I’ve heard that the angels Lift their hearts and rejoice, When one traveler turns homeward From his ways, to the Lord. If somewhere someone’s turning, he’s giving his all, And God’s grace, like snow, is beginning to fall! Chorus Repeats. It’s snowing, thank God today for His constant grace – He’s got you covered. Psalm 32:1 NIV … Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are...

read more

Jump Off The Wall

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Jump Off The Wall

When I was a little girl in the back of my house there was a wall about 5 ft. tall that had been build around our property line to separate the homes. I had devised a way to climb up and sit on it, but the only way down was to jump – something that took courage. I’d invite other little girls and sometimes boys to my house to play. One of the ways I decided if I wanted to play with them again was whether or not they’d climb the wall and then be brave enough to jump off. As a woman working in business world and one that has a deep faith, approaching tough situations like contract negotiations, employee conflicts, and financial stress is always a challenge. It requires often “jumping off the wall” courage – Godly courage. It means I have to be willing to place myself into difficult situations and the unknown. Life is full of high walls but God’s given you a spirit of power, love and self-discipline – jumping off the wall courage. You aren’t alone so take a leap of faith with Him. II Timothy 1:7 says, “ For the Spirit that God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. Start 2017 jumping off a wall. Is there someone in your life that can pray with you about that wall of fear you’re sitting on? Invite a friend over and see if they need prayer about a wall their sitting on. THEN… jump with the joy of...

read more

Don’t Shipwreck Your Holidays

Posted by on Dec 25, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Don’t Shipwreck Your Holidays

Tied in their beds. The story I was reading gripped me since I was about to dive that morning to see the wreckage of the historic RMS Rhone, a UK Royal Mail ship embedded since 1867 in the depths of the Caribbean Ocean. The site of the Rhone, now a National Park, is considered one of the most popular diving destinations in the world. But what fascinated me was the tragic loss of life that resulted from long-held traditions based on “what’s always done” during a hurricane. In this case, it was tying people to their beds during the storm to keep them from being tossed about on the ship. But as the boat sunk, what was done for “protection” became their doom. As a result, only one passenger survived the wreck of the Rhone. Holidays are full of traditions – the way we always do it – but these traditions in our changing culture can often cause disasters. In today’s blended and disconnected families, holiday chaos occurs because traditions become misunderstood. Created out of a sense of love, identity, unity – even a need for security, what was meant to bring joy and love sometimes brings strife. Holiday traditions are tightly wrapped up in our spiritual and personal identity. We’re tied to them – like the passengers on the RMS Rhone. Conflict is the last thing one wants to happen during what is supposed to be a joyful holiday. One of my constant struggles in life is to untie myself and trust God to bring new understanding of who He is into my life – to see things as He sees them. To relinquish what I want or think is important and follow His will and wisdom. One of the reasons I resist is that it requires me to make choices that might bring unwanted financial decisions, disconnection with loved ones, and the probability of pain – living in a raging storm for a time. When is it OK to break these tried and true rules and traditions? How can we stay true to traditions that bring spiritual meaning and joy but embrace new traditions in our diverse and changing cultures? Will embracing new ideas bring havoc, bigger storms, or loss of spiritual significance? Here’s three thoughts to consider that might help bring peace in the midst of a challenging holiday storm: 1. Write down your personal story. It sounds crazy, but most of us really haven’t taken the time to write our personal story (what’s been traditionally called our testimony) down. Include why the holiday traditions have such special meaning for you. Sometimes family traditions that began as acts of love lost their significance simply because the meaning of the story wasn’t passed to the next generation. Re-tell the story so that loved ones can connect with them and understand their meaning. That might also reveal where some of those traditions are placing undue burdens on family members and unneeded stress. Jesus taught us the importance of traditions when he broke bread at the last supper and said “do this in remembrance of me”. But if the story behind significant holiday events become lost they become meaningless rhetoric. So leave a lasting gift this holiday season by writing down the cherished story of your faith. 2. Examine...

read more

Your Story: The Lasting Christmas Gift

Posted by on Dec 9, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Your Story: The Lasting Christmas Gift

As a kid growing up in the 60’s – the age of free love and flower power, my generation – Hippies – didn’t want to pressure our children to follow anyone’s beliefs or to follow anything except what felt good. No one was going to tell us what to do or how to live so we wanted our kids to be free thinkers and explorers with no boundaries. My generation didn’t think much about the importance of faith and attending church wasn’t even considered. Church was the establishment. For the most part, Hippie’s kids grew up not believing in anything and were mostly left to fend for themselves when it came to spiritual issues. As a result, they grew up to become wanderers with no moral or religious compass. Consequently, wherever the wind blows and whatever feels good, seems groovy, or is trending, that’s what they follow – at least for the moment. Sadly today, we’re not living in a post Christian world but a pre-Christian world. One that denies the truth of Christianity. Finding spiritual truth can’t compete with the media clutter they are immersed in. Today’s culture knows little to nothing about God and most of what they’ve heard is negative. They’ve learn about God on weekends at the local movie theater. TV series and sitcoms historically have portrayed Christianity as archaic and out of touch with culture. Consequently, they have no desire to pursue what a real relationship with God is all about. So the question becomes: How can we get the culture’s attention to give God a try? How can we cut through the distractions, clutter, and competing media messages? This Christmas you can give them a gift. You can share a compass that gives true direction, purpose, and hope. You can give them your written story of faith. When it comes from a trusted friend or loved one, it can be an incredibly meaningful gift for that generation. Jesus captured people’s attention because authentic stories reach into the heart and bring hope. They bring a glimpse of heaven and the peace that the world cries out for at Christmas. In this media distracted culture today Hippie kids don’t know the difference between the “story” of Harry Potter or Hunger Games from the Biblical stories of Noah, Moses, Esther or Jesus. Today’s audiences lump them all into one category – myths and legends. And that is why your personal story is more important than ever. As a significant person in their life – friend, son, daughter, parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle who cares deeply for them, you’re a tangible person who has lived life. Lived through pain, suffering, failures and challenges and have proven the truth of Jesus to be real. You’re the living proof, right in front of them, that God is real and personally wants to know them. If your story lies dormant because you haven’t told it then for them, the legacy of God’s truth will die with you. Here’s five suggestions to get you started: Keep it short. Making it too long and overly detailed for this fast paced distracted culture today will get ignored. Keep it short and make them want to seek you out to find out more. Write it and let it sit for a day and then...

read more