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Re-member The Cross

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

Re-member The Cross

People of its day would shutter with fear at the Roman execution cross. It was a harsh physical reality of brutality and death. Today, Romans would roll over in their graves if they knew that Christians wore the cross as jewelry. It would be like modern day man wanting to wear electric chair jewelry. Yet today for Christians, it’s a sign of solitary and remembrance of what Christ did for us. With His death, He brought mankind redemption and eternal life. The cross in today’s culture has lost its significance in many ways. Easter may bring it’s meaning to our forefront once a year, but what about the rest of the year? Maybe it’s time to revive its meaning in your life? Here are two things to keep its meaning relevant as you wear a cross or perhaps have one tattooed on your body. It’s a symbol of solidarity. Today we see ribbons of different colors pinned on coats, rubber bracelets worn, or flags for various organizations and groups who want the world to recognize them. The Christian church is known for the cross. But we need to remember that the design of the cross has special meaning. The vertical line rises up from the ground – from mankind to God as it reaches toward Heaven. And the horizontal line of the cross, joined together with the vertical line, stretches out as if to circle the globe with the arms of Jesus spread wide. His arms that surround and connect us all as His beloved and redeemed Kingdom. We’re connected globally as a united Church. When there are bombings, beheadings, and children washed up on shores, we grieve. When our neighbor is suffering, or friends are in pain, we grieve. God gave His son, Jesus Christ, to be nailed to us with Himself. When we accept Him into our lives He envelops our being and it’s His Spirit that lives in us as we nail ourselves to that cross with Him. Whenever you start to criticize the Church, remember you’re criticizing your global brothers and sisters. Whenever you refuse to assist and support you are turning your back on God’s beloved. Before you lash out in disdain and criticism next, rub that cross around your neck and remember who you are in Him. It’s a symbol of remembrance. When we see or wear the cross, we remember Jesus who suffered and died a horrific death so that we might have life. And in that suffering, He beckons us to walk and bring Hope to those who suffer today. Disaster, death, and pain are all around, and as Christians, God calls us to care. The world is broken and we’re here to endure within that brokenness until He comes again. We’re to be co-suffers with each other. The cross is a symbol of the joy that we share in that co-suffering with each other and with God. We aren’t alone – ever but are a united body caring deeply for each other. We mourn, lament, and hold up the arms of those who suffer. As Christ laid down His life for us, so too are we to lay down our lives. Let the cross remind you that it’s all about giving sacrificially. When we do, joy abounds and the outstretched...

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Dust In The Wind

Posted by on Apr 3, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Dust In The Wind

“I close my eyes, only for a moment And the moment’s gone All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity Dust in the wind All they are is dust in the wind Same old song, just a drop of water In an endless sea All we do crumbles to the ground Though we refuse to see Dust in the wind All we are is dust in the wind Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy Dust in the wind All we are is dust in the wind Dust in the wind Everything is dust in the wind The wind” Songwriters: Kerry Livgren / Kerry A Livgren Dust in the Wind lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC The 1977 Kansas album, Point of Know Return, includes one of the rock band’s top singles, “Dust In The Wind.” It was based on a scripture in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 1:14: “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (NIV) Lent 2017 began on March 1st and will end on Thursday, April 13th the day before Good Friday. Lent’s not just a somber day of remembrance in the Christian Church but it’s actually the start of the final chapter of the story of Jesus on the earth and of the beginning of mankind’s redemption when He was crucified, died, and then rose from the dead. It’s only one part of the story of Jesus that seems at first glance to be mournful. But if you know the entire story, it’s one of ultimate joy. To those who know nothing about Christianity, it’s viewed as a mystery. Why do Christians put ash crosses on their foreheads and commit to giving something up for 46 days? Here’s what you might like to know about this tradition: It’s about making space for God in our lives that’s often jammed packed with ourselves. It’s about reminding believers of Jesus Christ that in a culture of me it’s not about me. It’s about Jesus. It’s a reminder each year as we put the ash cross on our foreheads that it’s not what we do or what we become for God but what He did for us. When we deny ourselves, that creates space for God to bring us joy. God is able to fill us with something He wants to grow in our lives. The God I choose to serve is never about taking but He’s always about giving. The question is, are we willing to step aside and receive it? To allow God to take control? Or as Kansas sings, “To close our eyes just for a moment” and see “what we refuse to see”. To those outside the faith looking in, it looks like God asks us to give up something and suffer. But in reality, He becomes our joy. When we’re willing to make space for Him something wonderful happens – enlightenment. After 9/11 Dust In The Wind wasn’t a song that radio stations wanted to play. In fact, stations refused to play it because it reminded a grieving country of the reality of our age. The body of Jesus never became dust in...

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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...

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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...

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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!...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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