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“My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.” This is a quote from a Huffington Post article, and this same article states that 85% of what we worry about never happens. 85%! Which tells me that my real problem is what I spend my time thinking about. I would like to think I’m an optimist or even a “realist,” however I’m pretty sure that I’m more of a pessimist. I thank God because He knows how to get my attention, and He encourages me to walk in faith, not pessimism or over analyzing.
I was listening to a message on YouTube and the speaker said, “if we really believed what we say we believe, we’d pray a lot more.” This is not an uncommon saying in the church world, nor should it be, because it is the truth. As I was meditating on that, I was reminded that if I really believed and focused on the promises and the declarations in the bible, my entire perspective and attitude would instantly shift because I would have heaven’s perspective.
Lately my attitude has been funky because I just can’t seem make progress in certain areas despite my best efforts. Fact #1 my best efforts don’t matter when I am trying to do everything out of my own strength instead of putting God first and allowing Him to direct my path as we are instructed to do in Proverbs 3:5-6. Fact #2 The word is powerful! Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Here we have some very clear and profound instructions: speak the word, meditate on the word, and do the word… and then your way will be prosperous, and then you will have success. The word prosperous here means to advance, to make progress, to succeed, and to be profitable
When we think of prosperity and success we tend to immediately think of money, influence, and major life achievements. All of those things are great, and I definitely want them, but what about prospering in our soul? What about prospering in peace, prospering in clear thinking, or prospering in joy? Well when we meditate on the word, declare the word, and do the word, we can have both.
That said, I would like to share a praise report. I have never struggled more with worry, fear, and a bad attitude than I have in the past year. This week the Lord brought me to the same verse twice in one day. The verse is Romans 16:20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. Ok now, not every problem is from the devil. I’ve done a great job creating my own problems and drama. But when I heard this verse, I knew the Lord was speaking to me and telling me not to fear opposition or failure because He is in control and He will crush the enemy. I smiled broader than I’ve smiled in a long time because I remembered that I’m not alone and that God has already promised victory. Romans 16:20 is one of the verses that I have began to meditate on and decree. I have to choose many times each day to meditate on the word instead of meditating on worry. Every time I choose to meditate on the word, the God of peace is faithful to prosper me in peace, clarity of mind, and understanding. I hope that this has encouraged you and I pray that as you meditate on the word you will prosper in every way.
Written By Amber Lawton
Standing at the barre, facing my reflection in the mirror, I gaze at the beads of sweat dripping down my face. “Plie, and revere,” I hear the instructor call out. I quickly look to my neighbor’s feet in an attempt to catch on to the movements. The instructor continues, “Stay there, and pulse.” I quickly scan the room of 15 women to see if I am the only one struggling. There is nothing more comforting than knowing you are not alone when it feels as if you are failing. On this occasion, however, I am not fortunate to find my ‘fail-mate’. With pensive faces, each woman continues her gaze in the mirror as we change from one position to the next. Our limbs pulse to the upbeat tempo of the music as the cheerful instructor, a petite brunette with a dancer’s body, walks the floor. “What did I get myself into?” I think, as we move to mats on the floor to do planks.
Only 10 minutes into a 55 minute Xtend Barre class and I was ready to give up. But right in that moment when I wanted to drop my body to the floor and roll over on my back I heard: ‘I DO Hard Things!’
I wish I could tell you that I elegantly continued as a graceful ballerina; as if out of a scene from the movies I could magically bend and stretch effortlessly with the rest of the class. Not quite. At almost 5’ 1” and approximately 90 lbs. overweight, I tilted, wobbled, and careened my way through the class to the very end. When the burn became unbearable, and my thoughts tried to turn to embarrassment I thought: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
For most, finishing a morning workout wouldn’t require much thought, or scripture for that matter. I am definitely not like most. Walking out of the studio I felt empowered. My thoughts turned back to ‘I Do hard Things’. Why in that moment had that particular statement come to mind? What does doing “hard things” mean to me?
For me, a hard thing was being able to try anything unfamiliar, surrounded by people I did not know. The former me would not have been able to make it out of her bedroom. Too wrought with depression, and overcome with anxiety, if she did make it to class she would have burst into tears 5 minutes in. You see lovely, I had the desire to be alive, but was crippled by fear and uncontrollable thoughts. Paranoia, skepticism, nervousness, and emotion hindered me from wanting to actually live. Living requires going, doing, and trying. None of which I had the courage to do. Thankfully God has a bigger plan for me. With the help of His word renewing my mind daily and years of therapy, I was able to take control of my thoughts. As I regain focus on what is important I am able to overcome my past and live in the present, as I become who I am created to be in the future. I am sure many of you know this is hard work, and tiresome at times.
Quite possibly these are the reasons the theme of the upcoming Life Builder Conference came to mind while I was mid-exercise in a classroom full of strangers. “I Do Hard Things” is a statement, not a question. There is a call to action in the “do”. I have no idea what is on the agenda for the conference, but with a week away I am in great anticipation for some “ah-ha” moments, and inspired revelation.
Maybe you are not like me; eager and hopeful. Maybe you are saying right now: “your hard things are not anything like my hard things.” I would say you are absolutely right! That is what makes this conference so great. If Pastor Cathy did not grab hold of her God-given courage, talents, gifts, and wisdom to build safe learning environments to unlock every woman’s potential we would not have Life Builder Seminars or this conference.
From the founder to volunteers and attendees, we each have our own “hard things” to accomplish.
So lovely, what “hard things” have you faced or are facing? Share in the comments below! 🙂
Written by Lynn Waters
The May LifeBuilder topic “Sharpening Our People Skills” made me aware of the various personality types and how to relate to people that have a different personality type than my own. This has been very helpful as we cannot always choose the people that we encounter on a daily basis. Since this teaching, I now see that one of the people around me has the same personality as my niece, whom I have had a difficult time understanding. Now I better understand my niece’s personality and how she expresses herself. Her outgoing personality is perfect for her profession of working with pre-school children. The children love her.
The July seminar covered self-discipline and how to be more productive. I think I am very self-disciplined because I make a list every day of about 15 things I plan to do that day. Whatever I do not accomplish is added to the next day’s list. Even so, there are people more disciplined than I am, however I was very encouraged by what I learned that day at Life Builders.
As women, it seems that we need to be Superwoman to accomplish all the tasks we have to do every day. We have work, taking care of children and their needs, a husband to take care of and his needs, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, and buying groceries. These all take our time and energy and sometimes it seems that we have no time for anything else.
I used to work 10 hours a day, take one hour to get there and an hour and a half hour to get home to my husband who was waiting for dinner. I had no time for anything else each and every day. It stresses you out. Since I had to leave so early in the morning, I began to have my time with God on the way to work. This was the best thing I ever did. I listened to teaching CDs and music CDs so that when I got to work I was floating. I did the same on my drive home so that when I got home I was free from the stress of the day and I could go into the house feeling great.
Now that I am retired I have been day dreaming about doing different activities like exercising, to break the routine I have been in. I would like to get out of the old rut I seem to have gotten into.
I discovered a book on the bookcase I had never seen before. I showed it to my husband and he does not remember the book either. I think God put the book there. It is authored by a woman who coaches people to reduce stress by making changes and scheduling ME time. One woman hired a nanny to make the meals and clean the house. That gave her more time to spend with her children and on herself. She decided to spend one day by herself doing something she wanted to do, like go out to dinner, get her nails done or simply and enjoy quiet time to think.
I am still reading this book and planning to use it to have more ME time that will reduce stress and anxiety. I know this will help me in my spending time with the Lord every day.
LifeBuilder seminars have taught me how to deal with the everyday problems and situations that I come across. The seminars also help me to understand other people and what they must deal with every day.
No matter the subject at Life Builder’s, I have always learned something that I am able to use in my life. I love going to Life Builders and I look forward to every meeting.
Written by Remaliah Evans
I hired a new administrative assistant named “Linda” who soon decided that she wanted to work for a client. Working for our clients is expressly forbidden by our client contracts. At 6pm on a Friday I received an email from Linda stating that I was not a personable supervisor, I did not provide the tools that she needed to succeed, and therefore she was forced to quit without notice. On Monday, another administrative assistant informed me and my Regional Manager that Linda was working for our client. Per the client contract our Operations Director promptly sent the client an invoice totaling 6 months of Linda’s salary.
Linda proceeded to accuse me of not training her, not paying her overtime, and not following up with her harassment claim involving another admin. She continued accusing me for two months and then threatened to sue my company unless we rescinded the invoice to our client. Fortunately I had a plethora of documentation to prove that Linda was not telling the truth. However I spent two months tormented with the fear that my professional reputation might be destroyed and concerned that I might lose my job.
It seemed that all I could do was dwell on the accusations. I found myself bursting into tears whenever I was alone because I felt betrayed. No one had ever tried to assassinate my character and have me fired before, and when it happened my heart broke in a way that I never knew it could break. I had invested a great deal of time into training Linda because she had great potential and I wanted to create a team environment and eventually promote her.
During this time family and friends prayed with me constantly and I was led to these verses:
Psalms 103:1-4 Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins, and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit.
Psalms 37:5-6 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
Every time I would worry and get emotional, I would thank the Lord for redeeming my life from the pit and I would thank the Him for vindicating me. It was a very long two months, however in the end, the Lord did just what He promised. He completely protected and redeemed my reputation!
Dwelling on a negative situation is torment. When I started to dwell on the Father’s promises, I found hope. And then I saw that even though it all worked out in the end, I had to forgive. Not just say I forgave her, but really forgive her in my heart. I thought I had forgiven Linda but then God gave me a dream. In the dream, Linda came to ask me for forgiveness and I did not forgive her. I love God’s persistence speaks, if I am not listening during the day, He’ll talk to me through dreams! So God had me pray for her and bless her and her son daily; which was not easy. Through God’s grace and mercy, I was finally able to completely forgive her. These were hard lessons, however I thank God for teaching me, loving me, and sending me people to pray with me and speak truth. Oh! And after Linda left, God blessed with an admin who is reliable, incredibly easy to work with, and overqualified!
Written by Yvonne Galindo
It’s refreshing to know you have friends that you are able to share your most intimate, deepest, or creative ideas this is a gift that many desire without Jealousy. Yup! That’s right it happens. That should be my next blog. Today it’s about friendship. I have been fortunate to have had great relationships during my years of service in Women’s Ministry. Serving in women’s ministry God taught me of how to be that unconditional friend. I learned how not to judge but to except. Giving my friends and those whom I come across the opportunity to speak freely and honestly without judgment; never expecting anything in return. I have friends that I have known for years and maybe don’t see as often as I would like. But I know that if I have a need or maybe just want to chat I could call or email and even visit and I know I am always welcome. That’s what it’s about being welcome into someone’s life and being accepting of that person. With Social Media today there is really no excuse! It’s about taking the time to reach out to one another and finding ones common interest. Paul indicates in 1 Corinthians 9:22 “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings”. I have girls hiking; movie or dinner dates even if it’s just once in while we find the time to enjoy one another’s company. Has it always been easy; absolutely not? Have I been unwelcomed sure; has it hurt me, YES! I try to remember Christ Words in Matthew 10:14; if anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Our goal as women of God is to live and know you are free and to free those around you. One more note- what about work friends? Well ask yourself the following:
If your friend left the company, would you still be in touch with her in a year?
If you had a personal emergency, would you consider asking your work friend for help?
Do you hang out with your friend outside the office? (Weekday lunch, dinner, and business trips don’t count.)
Do you and your friend have anything in common besides your age and your job?
If you’re lucky, someone you meet at work could turn into a friend for life. It happened to me.
For more from Yvonne Galindo, please visit her blog