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Written by Remaliah Evans
This cartoon made me laugh (a lot) because this little bird has probably been learning to fly for some time now, yet she is afraid to fly without her parachute even though SHE HAS WINGS! Like this yellow bird, I have everything I need to do what God had created me to do. The bird was created to fly and I was created to write. Like the yellow bird, I have been practicing, writing, editing, journaling, reading books and articles about writing, and taking writing courses. Still, I have been afraid to take flight and write the book.
My parachute was writing school. I wanted to go a particular writing school for years. I applied and was rejected, and this year the program closed. The plan was to write the book AFTER I graduated writing school. I could go to another writing school, however I probably won’t because I believe that it is time to take off the parachute and simply write. The yellow bird has wings that empower her to fly, and I have the Holy Spirit who empowers me to write. So no more parachute. I am taking it off, and for accountability purposes, I am letting y’all know that I am writing and finishing my book by the end of 2015. It is time to fly.
There are other areas in my life where I have been trained, I have had a great deal of practice and yet I insist on keeping my parachute, crutches, floaties, and training wheels. Why? Because I am scared. Scared to mess up, scared of looking stupid, scared that I will fail. Scared that I might actually succeed and not be able to live up to someone’s expectations. Want to know something ridiculous? I used to fear that my first book would make Oprah’s book club, then my second book would be a flop, and I would become a one-hit wonder. What’s with all this fear? Much of the fear stems from insecurities and some of it comes from the enemy’s mission to convince me that I am not good enough and that I am not worthy. Sadly, I have spent more time dwelling on these lies, than believing God’s written truth.
I went to conference earlier this year and learned an important principle: we must come out of agreement with lies and anything contrary to God’s word. Then we can obtain freedom from fear and bondage. As such, when I hear the thoughts “I am unworthy, I can’t do this” I need to make a conscious decision to reject these lies and declare the truth. The truth is that I am worthy because Jesus Christ chose to die for me for me so that I could be a daughter of God. I can succeed because He has already declared in Isaiah 41:10 that I am not to fear because He is with me, and I am not to be dismayed because He is my God. He will strengthen me and help me and uphold me with His righteous right hand.
Ladies, the Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives within us. Let’s take off the parachutes and fly!
Written by Kim Gutierrez
Do you remember the days when you would come home from school and your parents made sure you did your homework first before you played outside? Now-a-days playing outside seems so archaic, like really…walk outside right now do you really see kids playing outside?
Well anyways, when I started to think about “Do your homework first” I thought about all the things I’d like to do for the Lord, bible school, memorize more scripture, post more frequent on my blog, and get involved in a critique group and the list goes on. My problem is when to do it, my days seem so full. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way. How can we possibly squeeze in another thing to our schedules?
My prayers have been “Lord, tell me what I should be doing and when.”
The answer was…”Do your homework first!”
“Oh yeah!” I answered quickly.
I was always pretty good about doing that as a kid, so I should have no problem doing it as an adult right? Wrong! Nowadays we have so many more distractions! We have our cell phones, IM, emailing, texting, facebook, twittering and thousands of tv channels!
I’m going to date myself but when I was a kid we had 12 channels, and a corded phone that barely reached around the kitchen wall enough for me to say “I’ll talk to you tomorrow at school.” and to play outside was a privilege I didn’t want to jeopardize.
So now I’m being asked to go back to when I was a kid and Do my Homework first? What does that mean to me? It means to me that the Lord is saying “do it FIRST!”
I’m taking this as a challenge!
Matthew 6:33 (Amplified Bible)
But seek ([a]aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ([b]His way of doing and being right), and then all these things [c]taken together will be given you besides.
The challenge is to daily do that what the Lord has called me and you to do FIRST,
then do everything else after!
Now I’m not saying go quit your day job…but here are some examples I can think of:
Let your Instant Message be to God first
Don’t read your emails till you’ve read the bible
Don’t change your status on facebook till you know your status with Him
Don’t follow someone else on twitter, unless you follow Him first!
Wake up earlier if you don’t have time in the day.
Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Put aside time at night, instead of watching TV for a couple hours.
Study the word of God for the same amount of time it takes you to put on your makeup
I know that if we seek him first he will be so excited, remember he is a jealous God and He Loves You!
Can you think of anymore ideas that could help someone seek God first?
What do you do, Homework first or Play first and how do you plan on changing that?
You can read more of Kimmy’s thoughts here.
Written By Lynn Waters
It has been six weeks since our Limitless Conference, and I am still so appreciative of this time well spent. I arrived to the conference early along with many others who were excited and ready to help. Several cars worth of equipment and supplies were unloaded as we headed into the conference area. Teams of women were decorating and within minutes the centerpieces and table settings were in place, and stunning.
There was such togetherness. It was as though we were of one mind: to make the day the best ever. We all worked and set up everything in record time. Then, with tired feet, I sat in the room before the conference began and just enjoyed being there. As I looked around the room, I noticed a small detail. The beautiful flower pots and the napkins matched. Did any of you notice this? I will remember this thoughtful gesture. I had already found out that my favorite duet was going to be sung. I had asked God for that song to be sung at the conference and God answered my prayer. I had heard the first soprano and alto sing it before and I had gotten goose bumps on my arms when I heard it. The singers were anointed. So I was sitting there anticipating the song that I call the “Jabez Song” because it talks about widening your tent pegs and being limitless. I felt this was the best Life Builder Conference we have ever had.
The guest speaker discussed the term “quantum leap,” explaining that quantum leap occurs when an electron appears to “get excited” and BAM leaps to the next level within in an atom. To me the atom is God and we are the little electrons, running around and around until we gain energy then we BAM jump to a new level in God. How do we run around and get energy? We do this by focusing on God, studying our Bible and praying. As we spend our day focusing on God and His goodness, we gain energy and BAM move to a new level with God. As we focus on the goodness of God and not on our problems, we get a new perspective. We move higher, our problems get smaller, and we experience less stress.
As we get higher and higher, we BAM experience that joy that only comes from God. We don’t have the perspective of a turkey anymore. Instead, we go higher and higher and BAM we start seeing things from the perspective of an eagle. We become an eagle Christian. We begin to see our lives from the Father’s perspective. We change, our families change and our whole lives change.
If you have ever been with someone that has the joy of the Lord, you know it is from the inside and the person glows with God’s light. This joy affects all those around them. I have never seen her in person, however Heidi Baker has this joy emanating from her. It is not what she is doing- going to the wilds of Africa, setting people free, and introducing Jesus to them- it is that she is connected to God all the time. When you get this joy, this connection, it does not necessarily guarantee you a missionary trip to a remote area, however it does mean that you will mount up with wings as eagles. And BAM you will move higher and do what God wants YOU to do: what you were created to do. You will be who He has created you to be.
There is joy and overpowering gladness that envelops every cell of your being when discovering your identity in Christ. You begin to shed the negative self-perception, and others can no longer dictate your identity, potential, or worth. Suddenly, you are free to live limitlessly. Then no matter where you go, you bring people to a saving knowledge of God, heal, and set people free. At the grocery store, work, wherever you go, God will bring someone to you that needs Him. BAM you have a new life full of fun and adventure. Life is never dull for a Christian.
There is no way we can lose when we focus on God and His goodness. God is intoxicating and when you start spending time with Him, you will never want to leave His presence.
Written by Tina Cobian
…but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord Save Me!” Matthew 14:23
There are so many negative connotations related to the expression “Tunnel Vision” but when you think about what it actually means in the spirit, it’s an amazing concept. In fact one natural cause of Tunnel Vision is through extreme elation or a surge of adrenaline. How many times have you caught hold of a dream or a vision God has for you and you take off towards your goal with His tunnel vision? All you can see is that finish line God has placed at the end. God’s Tunnel Vision is not dark and gloomy, like one would picture in the natural. In God’s tunnel vision, His light surrounds you and marks your goal. However, when you become distracted by life, storms, fear, people and false visions, that tunnel can quickly turn into a dark and gloomy place.
Are you lost in the dark tunnel vision? Do you feel weak, lonely and scared? Is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel now so far off that you can barely remember the dream or the vision much less see it clearly? Maybe you have somehow exchanged God’s tunnel vision for the wrong vision. I have to think about Joseph and the dream that God gave him. He saw the sun, the moon and the stars bowing down to him. In the pit he had to remind himself of that vision and recognize that where he was at that moment was not his final destination. Each time, through every trial, he reminded himself of the higher purpose of God in his life. Even the day he looked out over all Pharaoh had given him charge over, at all of his possessions, the treasures and even his family. He must have gazed out at the night sky from his bedroom in the palace and said to himself. “I see the sun, the moon and the stars and THIS is not my final destination. He knew that God had further purpose for him and his dream had not yet been realized.
I would love to say that on every one of my trips through that tunnel, I slid happily through it on a rainbow where puffy clouds of cotton candy (with no calories) met me at every twist and turn until I finally arrived at my destination. The truth is that there are struggles along the way and realizing your dreams will not always come easy. I can compare one of my journeys to a trip our family took to a water park. I decided to take a ride on a giant water slide. I sat down at the top and as I let go, I realized how high I was and how fast I was going. I became fearful and put my hands out to slow myself down. Have you ever tried to pull a water balloon through a tube? (Please don’t camp there in that visual, you may never reach the end of this story.) Well that was me inching my way to the bottom of this long winding water slide. In an attempt to save some portion of my pride I let go of the walls right before my triumphant exit. I pictured my children’s applause, heard it, and envisioned the moment. The problem was that I had just enough time to gain enough momentum, get scared, and make a failed attempt to stop myself as I shot out of the tube flipped over and landed face down in the water. Yes, my children saw me. No they did not applaud.
Have you ever asked God why it isn’t just a straight shot from vision to end goal? Here is what happens in these times of trials or times when you see the goal but don’t know how to get there. You turn to Father and ask. There will be plenty of questions on the way and He has all the
answers. As an example, I started a new job about a year or so ago. The work can be difficult and every day I am met with one or more questions or problems I simply cannot answer or fix on my own. The company placed me right next to a mentor and when I get stuck, I go to her for answers. Throughout this year, I have had the great pleasure of getting to know her beyond the relationship of “co-worker”. She is my friend and the process I have gone through daily with her has allowed me to build that relationship…are you getting it?
So we catch the vision, we are awakened to a dream, we get God’s tunnel vision and take off. Remember that we can take and keep hold of His hand the entire time. He knows each step we need to take and when each step needs to be taken. He delights in the journey with us and will impart wisdom in the process. It can be exciting to try and run ahead but the dream will only be realized in His perfect time. If you get lost, stop and listen for His voice to get you back on track and back into HIS tunnel vision…Be encouraged for hasn’t He declared to you that He KNOWS the plans that He has for you…? (Jeremiah 29:11)There is such power in that scripture. God, Himself is speaking purpose over our lives, we just have to keep focused.
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
Written by Victoria Aguila
So I shared this on my Facebook page because it was one of those “aha” God moments for me. Does that happen to you? Like, you have read the scriptures before BUT this time that you read it, it just came out and slapped some revelation into you? After all, the Word is Alive and Powerful right?
This is the scripture I was reading, Hebrews 4:12 Amplified Bible (AMP) For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
I often ask myself, why am I feeling this or why am I feeling that. Issues of the heart arise and I sit in frustration and think I don’t understand why I am feeling this way. What is this God, Help me God, Show me God, Expose it God, Heal me God! Pleading for my sanity because sometimes my emotions get the very best of me. I know it’s deeper, surely I know it’s deeper than the small triggers BUT I struggle to get to the root issue to “dig deep” within myself and figure this out.
Today I am finding comfort in knowing that it isn’t about me digging deep or figuring it out but it is about me getting into the Word and letting the Word that is alive and full of power penetrate the deepest parts of my nature.
I love that it says DEEPEST, like not just the deep rooted stuff but it gets all the way to the DEEPEST rooted stuff and it continues with this…”exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.” While I love this, it is also makes me uncomfortable. I mean think about it, God, the Creator of the universe, my Heavenly Father, the Holy One of Israel, is exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of my heart. EEEEEEKKKKKKKK Matthew 15:18-19 Amplified Bible (AMP) 18 But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech. While it makes one uncomfortable, it is necessary to get into the Word and allow it fill us up and flush out all that is unclean. I am one that tries to be careful about what I say and how I say it. I try to tame the tongue and use my words to build up and not tear down and that is all fine and good HOWEVER, we also have to be careful with that because we can walk the walk and talk the talk but when God starts searching our hearts and analyzing and judging our thoughts and the purpose of our hearts, He isn’t going to base it on how well we walked that walk or talked that talk. He will see right through all that and He will expose it. In a moment of anger or disappointment or disputing, the evil thoughts in our hearts will come out. (see Matthew 15:19 above)
It is by the Word of God that we guard our hearts. We can try and try and work on this area BUT that alone will not guard our hearts. We need to be reading and studying and meditating on the Word of God. This will build up boundaries of Truth and Holiness around our hearts so we can recognize the lies and the uncleanliness that try to penetrate our hearts when it should be the Word of God penetrating the deepest parts of our nature. Proverbs 4:23 Amplified Bible (AMP) 23 Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.
While it is good to guard our mouth gates, it is better to guard our heart gates. That is where the deepest stuff is at. Today let us commit to studying the Word of God and be vigilant and above all else guard our hearts. Let the Word of God be our shield against the fiery darts, against the lies of the enemy, against our unclean thoughts, against anything that would defile our hearts.
Who is with me, to spend more time with God and asking Him that through His Word, He cover our hearts with His shield of Truth and Love?
We can do this Treasures!!
For more from Victoria please visit her blog
What happens in the hard times? Sometimes we face situations that are so hard we start to wonder if this is the end, are we really gonna make it? Will we ever live our dreams or the visions that God has given us? We can get so discouraged that we don’t want to hope any more, we don’t want to try anymore, we don’t want to have faith, we don’t want to work at it anymore because it’s just not working out.
What do I do when life is just too hard? Where is God when I am failing, depressed, when I lose a loved one, when I lose my job, when I lose my car, when I am so discouraged and depressed that I can’t even get out of bed? God is here, He is with me. When I go to Him and give Him my ashes, He gives me beauty and victory.
During the hard times I can make a choice- a choice to believe God or believe someone else. To grow in my faith or let it dwindle a way. I can choose to take responsibility for my decisions or I can blame others. I can blame God or I can believe that God is sovereign and just and He loves me with and everlasting love. I can trust Him to redeem me, my reputation, and my time.
During the hard times I can pray or I can complain. I can seek advice from godly people or I can continue trying to do it all on my own. I can continue to grow in my relationship with God, asking Him for the
answers or I can try to figure it out myself.
During the hard times I can get into His presence, I can pray, I can read the word, I can worship, I can praise, and I can be still before God. I can ask Him for perspective or I can blow it all out of proportion. I can choose give thanks for what I have, or I dwell on what I don’t have. I can chose to only worry about me and what I need, or I can bless someone else.
During the hard times I can choose to persevere or give up. I can give my burdens to God or I can self-medicate myself by smoking, eating, having sex, distracting myself with a busy social life, or even pouring all of my energy into a hobby.
God loves me no matter what choice I make, however the choice I make can prevent me from understanding that God loves me. When I walk away from God, when I chose to sin, and when I chose other people or things over God, I become a prisoner of condemnation, guilt, shame, pride, self-righteousness, and self-reliance. I no longer hear God saying that He loves me; I can’t see all the ways that God says I love you.
Every battle, every problem, every circumstance, and every hard time is an opportunity to grow closer to God and to trust God. The hard times remind me that I need God in every area of my life. They remind me that God truly is all powerful and almighty. The hard times build endurance, strength, hope, faith, love, patience, discipline. The hard times remind me that to be humble, to show grace, to show mercy, to be compassionate and to pray others. During the hard times I am still more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus.
I would like to share a few words of encouragement with mothers who think that the words they share with their children, who may not be walking with the Lord yet, are falling by the wayside. I’ve been guilty of believing that the words I shared with my son were falling to the ground because I was looking at his actions. Until one day God showed me otherwise.
My daughter has had an illness for about six years. As a mother, you just want to fix everything. I prayed, gathered information about the illness, and waited for an answer. All the while I was very frustrated because I could not fix the problem. I would pray and leave it in the Lord’s hands, then go right back and pick it up again. The vacillating began to take a toll on me, but I could not see it.
One day, my son invited me to lunch. As we sat down we began to talk. He asked me how my daughter, his sister, was. All of a sudden I began to cry. With tears running down my cheeks, those words “how is she” seemed to cut deeply in my heart. I felt like someone who had been defeated because the enemy was right there to say: where is your God? Then my son said something that only the Holy Spirit could put in his mouth because he did not know how I felt. He said, “Mom, why are you carrying the burden? Are you not supposed to give it to Jesus? You always tell me to cast my burdens on Him because He cares for me? Then that is what YOU need to do.” Right there in that restaurant, God lifted my burden and I was freed from that heavy weight.
Today, not a lot has changed with my daughter’s condition, but the healing manifestation is on the way. In the meantime I am rejoicing in the Lord because I know that when we speak the word of God, His word makes an impact, even when we cannot see it. They are listening.
Written By Sheila Duran. If you would like to contact Sheila, you can reach her here.