On January 26-27, we held the inaugural Called and Worthy Retreat in Woodbridge, VA! Women from different backgrounds and different churches gathered for dinner on Friday night, followed by the Dare to Be event with Natalie Grant and Charlotte Gambill. In the morning, we kicked off our time together with a deep and incredibly transparent discussion panel that allowed us to debrief on the lessons from the night before. After a devotional message challenging the women to remember their calling to a God that is worthy, the women divided into small breakout discussions groups to allow for everyone to unpack what God had put on their hearts. Attendees loved the intense fellowship, learning, and sharing with the other women. Women left wanting more and looking forward to the 2019 event!
Today I'm reminded of King Saul, the first king of Israel. The people didn't want God to lead them directly, they wanted a king like everyone else, so God gave them Saul though it wasn't what God wanted for his people. Then when Saul lost favor with God for his disobedience, God sent a spirit to torment him. Meanwhile, God has a young shepherd boy named David anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next king of Israel.
Every organization, ministry and entrepreneur has a brand, whether they've intentionally built it or not. There are 5 key brand elements you need to establish in order to lay a strong foundation for all of your marketing and design materials that you want to develop. Because each one builds upon the other, those brand elements are listed below in the order they should be addressed.
Sometimes in business, we find ourselves working with clients that just aren’t the right fit. Maybe they started off ok (read “sane”), but somewhere down the road they became a painful burden. I had a client like that before, and found myself sharing this wisdom with my design team:
Everyone has a set of values they live by. Values are your beliefs, standards or principles that govern how you think, behave, or react to situations. Even if you haven’t defined them, they exist. Otherwise, you wouldn’t find yourself saying things like, “I would NEVER do THAT!” Why? Because it goes against your values. The same should be true for your business or organization. There are things that would be out of character for your organization to do. When you have multiple people representing your organization, it becomes critical to list and define your values on paper so that they can be properly adopted and implemented throughout your brand.
God told Abram to go, to leave all that was comfortable and secure. He was told to leave his country, his people, and even his father’s household, and was not even told where he was going. God simply said to go to the land that he will show him.
God didn’t layout a 12-step plan or provide a Google map. He just said that he will show him which implies he will give directions as Abram went. Abram wouldn’t know the next step until he took the first step. All he know was that God promised to bless him and that was good enough.
This morning I found myself reading in the book of Esther, where I kind of stumbled on a sentence that spoke volumes about good leadership, or lack thereof. In verse 15 of chapter 3, it says, “The messengers scurried forth with the king’s order. The edict was issued in Susa the citadel. While the king and Haman sat down to drink, the city of Susa was in an uproar!” I’ve read the book of Esther a number of times, but this was the first time this almost small note jumped out to me.
Communications, strategy, and business, oh my! Running a nonprofit organization requires a lot of planning on behalf of the leadership and a common struggle that comes up is which plans and in what order. We often see organizations put the cart before the horse when it comes to these major types of plans. And worse yet, we’ve seen organizations spend so much time on one plan that they never get around to the next necessary plan (or never finish the first plan).
Desperate times call for desperate measures, or at least that's how the saying goes. But sometimes we only think we're desperate. In the book of Genesis we find the story of twin brothers. One was a skilled hunter and the other was content working among the tents (and was apparently a good cook)! Let's peer inside the scriptures for a minute to look at their story.
This #CallingQualified devotional comes from the story of Gideon in Judges 16. If you ever feel too weak or small to do what God is calling you to do, be prepared to be encouraged.
Last weekend, I went skiing with my sister-in-law and my niece and nephew. My niece and nephew are amazing skiers, and as the adult more capable on skis, I was tasked with going on the harder slopes with the kids. Was I in for a challenge!
There is this slope called Eagles Swoop that had an intense drop that sent you speeding down the mountain…one of those slopes where you can't see the snow on the other side because it just goes down! The kids are total adventure seekers (and excellent skiers) and took the path of least resistance and just took the slope head on like true champs. Auntie Shala, however, had to call on Jesus' name and created as windy of a path down the mountain as I could because I was so afraid. A couple times my nephew told me, "the easiest and best way down is to just go straight!" He thought that might motivate me to follow them, but it did not! I stayed as safe as I possibly could to avoid any face plants in the snow or torn muscles or broken bones. I even made excuses in my head about how they could do it better than I could because they are nearly a third my weight with a lower center of gravity!
Suddenly, I'm extremely excited about 2016! Why is that? Because I'm going on my second mission trip to the Philippines, where I sponsor a total of 6 children, and help my family there as much as I can. However, this trip is not cheap and Lord knows I don't have it, but I believe that he is a God who provides, especially when his followers are choosing to care for the poor in this world. Will you help me reach my goal by giving $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, $500 or more to my trip? Every little bit helps. Learn more and support now! And please share this with your friends and family. THANK YOU!
Before Peter denied Christ three times, Jesus had already prayed for him in advance. Find encouragement in your trials and the covering of Christ!