Showing posts with label Women in Business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Women in Business. Show all posts

15.5.19

The Closer You Get The Brighter The Light Shines!



I was born again in 1991 and I will never forget the moment that the pastor asked me if I thought I was a good person. My reply was a confident, "Yes". At that time, an unwed, pregnant, seventeen-year-old teenager who had not finished high school and done just about all the naughty stuff that a teen could have done, but I thought I was a good person. I have since learned that this is a common response from most people.

"A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart." - Proverbs 21:2

Now, 28 years later, I feel like more of a sinner than I ever have. The more I get to know Jesus the brighter His light seems to shine on me, and on all my imperfections. The thing about this is that when He shines his light on my character flaws I don't feel bad or guilty, I feel His love and am inspired to work on them and become a better person.

The Bible says, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." in Matthew 5:48 and I have never quite understood what that means as the entire Bible is proof that we cannot be perfect surely. The Greek word for perfect in this verse is teleios which means 'brought to its end' and finished. It also means 'wanting nothing necessary to completeness' and fully grown adult.

So, in my understanding, the Bible isn't telling us to be perfect instantly but that we are to grow into maturity in Him and thankfully we also have the amazing verse that says that we are clothed in His righteousness so we are also perfect instantly too on the day we accept Jesus into our life.

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." - 2 Corinthians 5:21

So I am both perfect already because of Jesus and still growing into perfection as I walk with him. As the light shines more brightly on me and I see more of my imperfections I am encouraged by how far I have come but also challenged about becoming even better.

Where are you in your walk towards perfection? I would love to hear your views, struggles and any questions that you might have.

Love

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25.4.19

The Journey Begins

Right, now that the hardest part is over, and that was getting the first post written, taking the plunge and getting back into this blog, I begin the journey of reading through the last ten years of posts - 650 in total! My next post was a book review. This reminded me of much I used to love reading and how little I read these days. My business, Women's Business Club, has pretty much taken over my life and this is not a good thing. Part of getting back into my blog is to try and find me again, to find what I love outside of business and to take those parts of my life back. Reading is one of those areas that has been sorely neglected.

The book I reviewed was God Chicks by Holly Wagner. The highlight of this post is that Holly actually wrote to us and left us a comment which I treasure.

I might just really get into reading again so have bought Warrior Chicks too, I never did get around to reading that one so will do so now. As I placed my order on Amazon it occurred to me that part of what moulded me back in those days was who I followed online. They say that your life is influenced by the books you read and the people you spend time with. I would go one step further in this day and age and say that your life is also influenced by the people you follow online. So I am going to go back to my influencers of 10 years ago and sign up to their blogs too and see what there is to see! I used to love following Holly Furtick and Holly Wagner - ha ha just noticed that they are both Hollys. It seems Holly Furtick doesn't have a blog anymore but only an Instagram, how the world has changed so quickly.

OK, so where am I at now? I think I am burned out but still trying really hard to keep going. Deep down inside I know I need to stop and have a complete rest from everything but that is easier said than done. Today I spoke to someone for business advice and was told that I am more successful than I realise. This was really encouraging. At the same time, right now, as I write, I feel totally shattered and cannot find the strength to get through the days. Is success supposed to feel this bad?

So my journey begins, the journey of finding me again amidst the weight of success. Perhaps this post doesn't make sense but some of you will totally get how I feel. I would love to hear from you, where are you at in your life's journey, how do you feel right now? Perhaps you are in a new beginning and feeling fresh and alive or perhaps you have been hard at work for many years and feel totally wiped out or maybe you are somewhere in between. I would love to hear your story and how you are feeling right now so we can go on this journey together.

Love

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23.9.18

Awake, Arise & Go!

We kicked off King’s Daughters in June with Awake & Arise which was amazing but now it’s time to add to our battle cry with AWAKE, ARISE & GO!

Tickets are £20 and include a light lunch!

Church is wonderful except if it stays under a basket or inside the four walls of our church buildings. We need to get the church out into the world and one of the areas that the world needs us is the community and marketplace – our place of business.

No one is excluded, whether you are in the marketplace or want to support those who are you are very welcome. It’s a difficult time that we live in and too much of our precious faith is being watered down. Let’s stand together, young and old, to get the message of the gospel into the marketplace.

“The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church.” Ephesians 1:23 MSG

Our day together will consist of socialising, preaching, worship, prayer and entertainment It’s a not to be missed day for all women both for a personal refreshing and refilling so we can put on our armour and get to work.

SPEAKERS



ANGELA DE SOUZA

Angela is the founder and director of King’s Daughters and the fast-growing national network of executives and entrepreneurs, the Women’s Business Club. She is a passionate entrepreneur, mother of four beautiful children, one grandchild, speaker, author, and businesswoman. Born in West Sussex, she spent all of her childhood in South Africa and now lives in Cheltenham with her Brazilian husband, Eric.

Angela says, “My deepest desire is to help women reach their God-given potential by knowing who they really are!”


ELIZABETH UKIOMOGBE

Elizabeth is currently the Ambassador Team Lead for Transform Work UK, an organisation whose mission is to inspire Christians to transform their workplace and the nation through the presence and activities of Christian workplace groups. She is also a leader at Kensington Temple, London City Church, which has a strong emphasis on influencing ‘The Giants of Society’.

Elizabeth worked at Ealing Council, London, for 16 years where she started a thriving Christian Workplace Group. The group successfully collaborated with other groups from different streams and engaged positively with senior management. This enabled the Group to hold a number of influential Council-wide Christian events. Elizabeth graduated from Bible College in 1994 after which she did missions which took her to China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Europe and around Great Britain. Elizabeth is currently studying for a Masters degree in Applied Theology.

PASTOR DAWN DAVIS-LAWRENCE

Pastor Dawn Davis-Lawrence’s life has touched and inspired many. She is the founder and Senior Pastor of the New Harvest Community Church “City of God” based in Leicester, her skills and ability as an orator has led to her being a sought-after speaker and trainer. She is a community leader, serial business entrepreneur, and author of various books.

Pastor Dawn is an ardent believer in the ability of the human spirit to recover, rebound and prevail. Her warm charismatic nature and deep passion for all things God have been instrumental in transforming lives worldwide.

Pastor Dawn is a trained life, business and relationship coach and a Master NLP Practitioner. She also holds an MSc in Domestic Violence and Sexual Exploitation, a BSc Hons in Health, and a HND in Business, she is also a trained Psychodynamic Counsellor.


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6.2.18

Being a Christian in Business

Previously I shared a glimpse into how my passion for business, and being a Christian in business started. Today, I would like to share a talk that I did recently to a group of Christian business men and women at Transform Work UK event.
Being a Christian at work or while running a business doesn't change that fact that you still have to do the work or run the business! Everything isn't instantly easy because you are a Christian. It's not always easy finding the delicate balance between being a Christian and building a business or career. We can quickly lose focus on one or the other and keeping your eyes on Jesus no matter what you are doing in your everyday ordinary life is essential. Here is a quick summary of my talk but watch the video for more.

It's For Him
It's all about Jesus

No matter what we do it's important to remember who we do it for. Having that perspective means that every moment in every situation is kept in perspective. If we aim to do our work for Him then we will do it very differently to how we would do it for ourselves only. Learning what it means to do it for Him and how to do that practically is a journey that you and the Holy Spirit will go on - He will teach and guide you every step of the way if you allow Him to.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters - Colossians 3:23

It's For You
Only Jesus satisfies

 The Apostle Paul said that he had learned to be satisfied with little and with much and we too can learn that because our work, our money or our possessions can't satisfy us in the long run. They may satisfy for a moment but the feeling quickly wears off and we need the next pursuit. It is the gift of God for us to enjoy our life and be satisfied with it but only when we stop striving and what being satisfied means.

That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. - Ecclesiastes 3:13

It's With You
You still need to do your part

As I said previously, being a Christian in business doesn't make easy and doesn't guarantee your business success either. You have to do your part by being good at what you do, learning what you need to learn, walking in God's ways, becoming who he wants you to become and good old-fashioned hard work. A part of your journey will even include failures because that's how we learn too. Embrace it all and do your part whilst staying close to God and allowing Him to be God of it all.

Watch the full talk below.




I hope my story encourages you in some way, what challenges to do face in your place of work? In my next post, I will share some practical tips on how to be salt and light whilst still building a career or a business.

Love

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9.3.16

Standing in the way of the blessing



We were sitting in a coffee shop discussing the way forward with our pastor. Eric suggested taking his studies from part time to full time so that it could get done quicker and get back to earning a salary. I agreed to support him and had no problem with him going full time, in fact I preferred it that way. So I said, "Don't worry, I can take care of us financially while he is studying. I am making enough money in my business to support us."

Not long after that meeting Eric had a dream. He dreamed that I was flying an aeroplane and the cockpit area started to crack. He knew I was going to crash. After discussing his dream I asked how we could prevent it but neither of us could find the answer. We knew that the aeroplane was my business and that is was going to crash. I was frightened but didn't know what to do.

Shortly after the dream my company did start to fall apart. I went from a really good, steady income to almost losing the business. It seemed to happen overnight. My whole world was be falling apart. We got behind in our bills and tithing became impossible because the money was leaving our account before we could even touch it. We went from doing really well to doing really poorly. Everything I had built seemed to be crashing down around me. God was silent until I begged him to show me what was happening!

Pride. He showed me that I had become proud. My income and my husband's lack of income had caused a terribly imbalance in our life. I hated that he wasn't earning and that I was responsible for us. I desperately didn't want to feel this way, I wanted to support him while he was at university and I wanted to do it well. But I wasn't doing it well, not at all. And so the company continued its steady downward spiral and I repented of every possible thing I could think of. Nothing changed. The crash was inevitable.

Seven months passed and I held onto the 'yoke' in the cockpit for dear life! Things were not good but I held it together both in the business and at home. I was preparing for a crash because I really didn't know how to prevent it.

Then out of the blue when I was praying one day God reminded me of what I said that day in the coffee shop, "Don't worry, I can take care of us financially", and he showed me how that one little sentence was causing all this trouble.  I had repented of pride in general but not of saying these specific words. Our words create our world and so when I said these words I took hold of the yolk of the aeroplane from God and I became our provider. Clearly I was not a very good provider. As soon as I saw the power in the words I had spoken, and what they had done, I repented and asked God to please be our provider again. I realised that all that time I was standing in the way of God's blessing. As soon as I got out of the way the cash flow started to return and I started to get back to steadily building the business with God's help and for his glory. I don't know what will happen next but I do know that whatever happens it will be OK, God is in control and my God shall supply all my need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  

How about you - are you struggling in any particular area? Are you perhaps standing in the way of the blessing and the breakthrough? Is there anything that you have said or done that needs to be dealt with? I so hope my little story will help someone. It's not easy to share this but for your sake I do, I hope it helps.

Love

11.10.15

Back to the start!

Hello King's Daughters,

I feel like it's been quite some time, in fact well over a year perhaps even two, since I have written anything meaningful to you. I have tried but words haven't come.  Many posts have been fillers or conference news.  I don't know what happened to me, I seemed to have come from a place and having life figured out to now not having a clue, from having much wisdom and revelation to share to having nothing.  At first I gave myself some time to grieve to loss of our church, D7 Church.  We met for the final time on Sunday 30th March 2014. Failure is hard, loss is difficult but when you have failed and lost in the things of God it seems harder. You feel as if you have let God down. One thing that no one tells you when you pastor a church is that it too, just like a business, can fail. If the books don't balance and your income is less than your expenses, you can fail. If you don't have a committed team to keep up with the work you can fail. If people just don't feel like coming on Sundays you fail.  And on top of all that you blame yourself for not being good enough!  Not praying enough, not hear God well enough, not working hard enough, not loving the people enough and just about everything else under the sun. Failing in ministry is horrible.

Worse than that, failing people is horrible. I look back and see how I could have led better, how I should have said things differently, how I could have shown more love and how I shouldn't have hurt people! Yes, I hurt people, many people and I even wonder if I hurt more people than I loved.  I didn't mean to hurt them but the imperfect me did and said things wrong.  I never wanted to be at the other end of someone's story of how the church hurt them, but I am. I am forever in someone's story now as the cause of the church hurting them.

So now, about 18 months on, I find myself a little lost. I seem to have come to a place of questioning. What does God want me to do?  What is point of my life? I have built a church with my husband and failed. I have built a national business, Women's Business Club but it doesn't satisfy. I am too scared to give again like I used to because I know how much it hurts - so I keep everyone at a distance, a very safe distance.

I feel as though I have come full circle, back to the start, back to the foot of the cross.  The best place to be I know but this time I come really broken.  The first time I came to the foot of the cross I came arrogant, the second time I came as the prodigal who needed grace and now, for a third time I come back to the same place but this time empty handed and broken. Finally God has me right where He wants me, humbled and ready to do things His way.

Today I decided to share this journey with you, perhaps you will join me or perhaps you will just watch, but either way, I choose to be honest and vulnerable to anyone who wants to join me. Join me in finding what really matters to God, join me in learning to hear His voice and obeying, join me in putting busyness aside and making time with Him the number one priority and please join me in making many mistakes along the way.

It's time to get back to the one thing that truly matters.  Please join me and keep in touch through the comments box below, I would really like to know that I am not alone in this.

Love


PS I am also going to start going back through this blog, join me too - today I am reading my very first post and WOW it is to apt to this moment.

2.6.15

Living after the 'But'



Hello King's Daughters.

I know you haven't heard from me in a while, there is so much to say to you and so much want to share and have been keeping it all in for so long that I almost feel embarrassed to suddenly pop up again in your life. However, I know that if I just share a little now that the flow will return and I will find a way to keep in touch with you more often.

So forgive me if some of this doesn't make sense, I cannot update you on all I have been through in the past year but I would like to update you on recent events.  You see, God has blessed me with a business, the Women's Business Club.  It has been up and running for one year and nine months now as has grown from strength to strength.  I have loved almost every minute of the journey, there have been a few challenging minutes that I have not loved too much but mostly I have loved the journey.

One thing that came of this business is financial profit.  After years of lack and financial struggle I finally found myself in a good place of having enough.  Of course I want more of that, I want plenty. Plenty not only to enjoy life more but also to give - I do love to give.

In the past weeks I have found one thing after another has attacked my income to the point of risking going back to having nothing.  I couldn't bear the thought of back to poverty and scraping by.  Is this God or the devil? Who knows!  I do know that God is with me and is always working in and through me, so even in this dark season I look to him to find out what He has to teach me.  This is one lovely lesson that I am learning, I call it the 'But'.

I am feeling stronger in the Lord now after feeling nowhere for a while and I know that He has a plan and purpose for my life. However, we are not in the clear yet, the battle still rages, this morning I woke up to discover that we have lost another source of income. So please join me as I stand on and activate God's promises in my life.

Today I declare:

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
- Philippians 4:19

I feel that the 'But' in this verse is very important. You see, verse 18 says:

"I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God."

For me, I relate to this as I was in a time of having more than enough after many years of poverty. I cannot help but wonder if God wants to remind me of the 'But' so that I don't become dependent on myself but that I remain dependent on His supply according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I want to get back to having more than enough because I am generous and do give as much as possible, especially to my church. So please pray that I quickly learn what God is trying to teach me, that I am humble and live after the But!

I have so much more to share with you and I will do my best to do so more regularly, but for now I leave you with the 'But' to ponder on.

Please keep in touch too, comment below, I would love to hear from you.


11.8.14

King's Daughters Conference and Iraq Christian Persecution

""Christianity in Mosul is dead, and a Christian holocaust is in our midst," said Mark Arabo, a Californian businessman and Chaldean-American leader. In an interview with CNN's Jonathan Mann, he called what's happening in Iraq a "Christian genocide" and said "children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, and fathers are being hung." "Right now, three thousand Christians are in Iraq fleeing to neighboring cities," he told Mann. Arabo is calling on the international community to follow France's lead and offer the Christians of Iraq asylum. "You're startling me with the severity of what you're describing," the CNN host said. "You said they are --- beheading children?" "They are systematically beheading children," Arabo repeated slowly. "And mothers and fathers. The world hasn't seen an evil like this for generations.""  >>> Read full article

But what can we do?

This is always the question we ask as we are far away, safe and secure in our country.  It is easy to feel sorry for the persecuted church and do little about it.  But there is a lot we can do.  We can remember them in our prayers and in our everyday, ordinary lives.

Take action NOW:

1. PRAY.  Don't underestimate the power of prayer - it does work and will make a difference.

"So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists." - Acts 12: 5-7

If you are not sure how to pray then here are some useful pointers.

2. GIVE. Be generous with your time and money. We can give from a place of comfort and excess so let's do so.  Bring their plight into our everyday ordinary lives. Yes, life goes on for us, but we can keep them with us but giving.

" And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving."  - 2 Corinthians 8:1-7

King's Daughters Conference 

My current focus is our upcoming conference so I have decided to use my marketing efforts in a way that will benefit this cause. I hope you will join me.  Many are changing their profile picture to the arabic 'N' symbol to show support.  King's Daughters would like to go one step further and propose that you change your profile picture to the one in this post or tag yourself on the one on our Facebook page and make it your profile picture.  This will achieve two things - 1) It will show King's Daughers Conference are supporting this cause cause and 2) for every ن​ Delegate ticket or ن​ Business Stand that is purchased, we will donate 10% to  Open Doors to help the persecuted Christians in Iraq.

Please support us in this and also find ways that you can support the persecuted Christians through your everyday life too.

www.kingsdaughtersconference.co.uk

13.4.14

David Cameron’s Easter Speech



I have never seen our nation's leaders stand up for Christianity as I have seen in the recent years.  David Cameron is putting his career on the line when he mixes his faith with his politics but yet he continues to be open about it.  Being a Christian is not easy, it comes with many challenges, preconceived ideas from others and opposition.  Being a politician is no easy either, again it comes with so much hardship and little reward. It seems that everyone has an opinion and Christians and politicians can do little right - if they make one mistake the are branded forever by it. People quickly forget all that they did right and hang on to their one mistake. Personally, I think being open and honest about Christianity is risky and being a politician is dangerous.  So, combining the two means multiplying the challenges, the risks and the dangers. For what? What is in it for the Christian or the politician?  There is little or no personal gain, they are merely public servants and could probably earn more with a lot less trouble in a secular career.

I for one am more determined than ever to be slow to judge and quick to encourage any Christian whether in business, politics or ministry who is taking a brave stand for that they believe to be truth.  Yes, some Christians who have attempted to take a stand have fallen.  None of us are infallible and are tempted.  If a brother falls, we are to do as the Bible clearly says:

"If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother."  
- Matthew 18:15 Amplified Bible

Let's start with dealing with things privately and only if we cannot win the person back then we can apply the rest of Matthew 18 accordingly.

Let's put our pointing fingers away and start encouraging what they do right, love should cover the rest.

"Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]"    
- Peter 4:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Love doesn't mean that you condone or support their actions. You don't have to agree with what they do but you do have to love them through it as they work things out.  When it comes to leaders who are taking such a huge risk to fight for Christianity I would suggest that you pray for them, love them and support them as best you can.  Only criticise if you have the guts to actually do what they are doing.  I can assure you that it is too easy to judge if you have never walked the path that they have had to walk.

"Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins."
- American Indian Proverb

I already have a much deeper admiration for politicians as I started my campaign for the upcoming local elections last Friday and had to go door to door to introduce myself.  It was not easy and some people can be quite rude and hurtful, others were very supportive and lovely.  I quickly realised that all those who are currently in the position that I am applying for have gone through the same thing many times over.

RESPECT to them.  I don't think many could go door to door and still serve the people that they are called to lead. My journey is just beginning and I have much to learn but I will keep you updated and take you along with me as much as possible.

Here are some recent articles about the stand David Cameron is taking.  Let's support him in this and show him that the church and business community indeed do want to work alongside the government to make this nation an even better one.

David Cameron’s Easter Speech
David Cameron Big Society

The Queen's Christmas Speech 2012

And on that note, our Queen did a superb job of sharing the gospel in her 2012 Christmas address, one of my favourite speeches ever.  Read the Queen's 2012 Christmas speech here or watch the video below.

9.4.14

Proudly British

One of the many things that the Americans get right is their patriotism!  I often see American homes with their flags proudly hanging outside their door or hear them speak highly of their country.  It is a wonderful thing. Here in the UK I often see Brazilian flags, Polish flags and other flags from foreigners living here who are proud of the country they have come from.  NEVER have I seen a British flag displayed in front of a British person's home and all I EVER hear from locals is their complaints about this country.  COME ON PEOPLE!  The country is made up of you and I. Let's start off with being proud to be British.  Let's support local businesses.  Let's find good things to say about our country. Let's back up and support our leaders who are doing their best to do what they think is right for this nation. It is usually those that do the least that say the most.  Judge your own mouth and your own actions please. Until you are willing to step in 'their' shoes please say a lot less.

Yes I know, I have a South African accent!!!  I am grateful to South Africa for raising me but I was born right here in the UK and now the UK is my home.  I implore you, let us become proudly British.  To kick start the process please join me in displaying this logo on your website, blog, Facebook page, etc.



Now let's start sharing and support local businesses and our government.  In the posts to come we will be discussing what is good about our country and I would like to feature some of YOU.  Please email me your Proudly British story with a good quality photo and I will feature you.

See you at our next Business, Ministry and Politics event!

*** NOTE:  Being proudly British does not mean that we bash or bad mouth other nations.  That defeats the purpose entirely.  Being proudly British simply means that we point out the great things about our country - FULL STOP - not by comparison to other countries. As Christians we are called to love all no matter what their nationality.  It's sad that I even have to say this but please keep the balance to all this, if we don't have anything good to say rather say nothing at all :)

5.4.14

What is Politics?

THIS MONDAY 7th April 2014 we launch our brand new event called Business, Ministry and Politics. King's Daughters has taken a very definite direction change into these three areas with an emphasis on how we use these areas to share the gospel.  We are called to be salt and light and it is our mission and obsession to get the salt and light into the places where it is needed.  As Christians we need to seek and desire places of influence within our communities so that we can be salt and light.  What good is salt if it remains in it's container and what good is light if it isn't in darkness?  We must position ourselves in places of darkness in order to be light but don't go alone.  If you are in business (either self employed or employed) then are you using your position to lead and shine?  If you are in politics are you using your influence in your town, city and nation?  If you are in ministry are you teaching and equipping those around you to be light and are you serving the need in your community?  If all we do with our faith is feel good and build our lives then what good are we to the world around us?  We need to be 'out there' paying the price so that those who are far away from God can come closer.

King's Daughters has focused on the area of ministry since 2009 and more recently on the business world since 2013.  This year we will delve into the world of politics too.  So before we even go there let's break it down with the very first question - What is Politics?

I ask this question because it is one that I has to answer for myself.  After exploring politics I came to the conclusion that it is simply the 'management' of a town, city and nation.  Since I am comfortable with management and community work I decided that politics is a lot less 'scary' that I first thought.

My next step was to choose a party so I prayerfully chose the Conservative Party.  This doesn't mean that I agree with everything that they stand for.  When we chose to shine our light in darkness this doesn't mean that we agree with the darkness that we are shining in, it simply means that we are positioning ourselves to shine and influence those around us.  To be honest, I don't think the party that you choose matters as much as your willingness to serve in the party and to be an influence to it.  We need Christians in ALL the parties who influence this nation.

Don't  be one of those people that complain about the government but refuse to be involved!  Read Isaiah 9:6 then pray for and support the government.  Don't be one of those people that say that you don't do politics either.  As a Christian you should be involved in your community one way or another and if you are not involved in ministry or business then may I suggest contributing to your political party.    

We will continue to explore this theme in the months ahead.  In the meantime, if you really and truly want to do what Jesus called us to do in  Mark 16:15 then book your place at Business, Ministry and Politics at www.kingsdaughtersleaders.eventbrite.co.uk and let's get on with it!

31.3.14

King's Daughters in Business, Ministry and Politics

Hello and Happy Monday!

I am so excited about our brand new event, King's Daughters in Business, Ministry and Politics, which is being launched next Monday evening.  The aim of the event is to support, encourage and challenge women who are currently leading in these areas or who want to get involved in these areas.  As Christians, we need to rise up and position ourselves in places of influence in our communities and country.  

Please join us for a light supper, networking, worship, guest speaker and prayer.  Together we can encourage each other and do so much more than we can do on our own.  Our April guest speaker is Jennie Dallimore, a Gloucester City Councillor.

See you next Monday, 7pm at the Fairview upper room in Cheltenham.  Book your place at www.kingsdaughtersleaders.eventbrite.co.uk

Have a great week!
Angela

24.3.14

Depression is Not An Excuse

Continuing on from my previous post, I wanted to look into the other side of depression.  The side where people use it to be lazy or to do nothing for the kingdom.  Yes there is a time when you need to slow down or stop in order to recover and get well but there is no reason to throw your whole life away and write off your future.  Depression is not a lifestyle it is a season. It can be cured and it can be managed.  If you are newly depressed or burnt out you may need to stop what you are doing and have a season of rest.

What did God tell Elijah to do when he was newly depressed? Let's read about it in 1 King's 19:4-8

"Elijah  went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God."

Elijah was not only depressed but he plain and simply wanted to die! It's seems from this passage that he was sleeping most of the time, a common thing in depression.  But the angel told him to "arise and eat" and then he went back to sleep again. The second time he was told to arise and eat he was also told that he should do so because the journey ahead was too great for him.  So what does that mean.  I understand it to mean that he was to get better so that he could continue what God called him to do.  Elijah had endured a great battle and won it for the Lord.  If that were most of us we would have simply been satisfied with the fact that we had done something great and then settled down to everyday life.  God did not plan for Elijah to be comfortable, His plans were for him to continue walking in his destiny, a destiny which was a difficult path.  Yes Elijah had to rest when he became depressed but he also had to take care of himself and get better so that he could continue!

Jesus said in John 16:33, "In this world you will have trouble."

He also said in Matthew 16:24-26 "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"

As Christians there are some givens, apart from all the wonderful promises of peace and joy and love we also have the truth that we will encounter trouble in this world.  It is also a given that if you want to follow Jesus then there is a cross to bear.  We ALL have a cross to bear. Mine might be depression but yours could be something else. Please understand I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty, there IS a definite time when we do need to stop and rest.  The problem only comes when we stay in that place of rest and never move on from it. When we recognise our cross we should not use it as an excuse to stop but we should take the wise necessary steps to deal with it and find a way to move FORWARD!

As Christians we are not meant to be using the promises in the Bible to create a comfortable life for ourselves.  We are at war, our time here on earth is short and we have a clear mandate. "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." - Mark 16:15  That's it!  No matter what we DO in our life our mission remains the same.  If you are in business then your mandate is to preach the gospel, if you are at university then your mission is to preach the gospel if you are in politics, your mandate is to preach the gospel, if you are a stay at home mum your mandate is to preach the gospel.  If you are suffering with depression your mandate is to preach the gospel, if you are going through a divorce your mandate is to preach the gospel, if you are struggling with cancer your mandate is to preach the gospel.  Preaching the gospel can be done in many different ways, but the bottom line it is the good news of Jesus.  Preaching doesn't necessarily mean that you have to stand behind a pulpit.  The most important thing is that you are sharing the good news of Jesus in some way. It is completely different for everyone but it is the basic requirement for every Christian.  Are you sharing the good news of Jesus with your life?  We have all of eternity to be comfortable but only one life here on earth that needs to be spent wisely.

If you are seeking a comfortable Christian life you will never be truly satisfied - EVER.  However, if you are seeking to preach the gospel no matter what the cost, despite your struggles or burdens, you will find true satisfaction. The promises of God are not to make our life comfortable they are to help those who are suffering for the sake of the gospel.  Are you using your struggles as an excuse to stop and do nothing or are you building a comfortable life for yourself and your family with the promises of God?

For those of you that want to move FORWARD, even if you are struggling or in a bad place, please join us at our brand new event where we will be exploring our role in the kingdom. If you are in or want to be in business, politics or ministry, please come along on the first Monday of every month for a meal, a time of worship, guest speaker and prayer.  Time is short, let's stand together despite our struggles and take the message of the good news into our world.

All welcome - more info at www.kingsdaughtersleaders.eventbrite.co.uk

Read the next post: 

Depression - How to be Happy

21.3.14

Life Happens - Christians and Depression

Continuing on from my previous post, I wanted to talk about the Christian view of depression.  You see, very recently I faced complete burnout and ended up going to the doctor only to discover that I was on the high end of the depression scale.  It never occurred to me that I was depressed or burnt out because I have lived a balanced life and followed all of the steps I wrote about in my book Hope's Journey. It did not even cross my mind that the series of difficult situations that I have faced over the past two year had actually worn me down!  I am a survivor - I just get on with things.

Thank goodness for a good Christian friend who had the boldness to confront me and encourage me to see my doctor. She recognised the symptoms as she too suffers with depression but she also understood that as Christians, admitting to depression is the hardest thing.

So why do I keep mentioning Christians, what makes it different for a Christian?  Well, first of all we are always told how the 'joy of the Lord is our strength' and how we can 'do all things through Christ who strengthens us', etc.  We are taught that 'nothing is impossible with God' and that we don't have to suffer with sickness and disease because we have a God that heals us.  I believe all these things to be true, I really do.  But because of all these wonderful promises that we have as Christians, those of us who suffer with illness are often looked down upon. Not always, but often.  In some circles even a common cold would indicate a lack of faith or sin!  That is only in extreme cases though. When it comes to mental illnesses and depression it is often assumed to be something even worse or demonic.  Again, there are cases when this is true but mostly it's not the case.  With all this pressure and assumption in the church it makes it worse for a Christian at times.  Too many Christians suffer in silence at church with things such as depression.  There is a great deal of shame for us and even a feeling of failure.  We feel like we did something wrong or didn't have enough faith. I want to put an end to this as it's difficult enough coping with depression or illness of any sort without having shame and judgement to deal with too.

Does God heal physical and mental illness?  Yes.  In fact Jesus died on the cross to release this healing power to us.  Do some people not get healed?  Yes.  I have no idea why or how it works but there can be many reasons.  Do I still trust God for healing?  Absolutely.  However let me tell you my story. When the doctor recommended antidepressants I felt a great sense of relief. Firstly I was labeled and that actually made things better.  It made it better  because what I was dealing with became clear and also it made me feel less bad as a person.  Before I was labeled I thought all my crying and shouting at the kids and general grumpiness was simply me being a really terrible person. When he told me I was depressed I realised that it wasn't me, it was an external problem, which did not affect my identity.

Secondly, I felt relieved at the thought of going on antidepressants, even though I had spoken so harshly against them in times past.  I was relieved because I finally felt like I was getting some help, that I could take a break from the constant struggle and just relax and let the little pills do the work for me.  Sounds ridiculous I know!  But that is how I felt and that is exactly what has happened.  At first the pills made me a little nauseas and headachy, but after a week I started to feel lighter and cried much less. It seems that what I hoped for actually happened - the pills did do the work not me!  After about 20 years of working hard at managing depression I finally gave in a took a break.

I am not suggesting everyone run out and get antidepressants if they are a little sad.  I recommend reading Hope's Journey and finding the balance in your life. Hope's Journey is a great little book for prevention and cure as well as for supporting others through depression.  My case was beyond Hope's Journey.  I have had about two years of intense struggles of different sorts, one after the other.  I have had to grieve, deal with loss, cope with my son's diabetes diagnosis and various other struggles that I have not spoken about publicly.  As soon as I felt I was coping with one issue another major things would come up.  I coped as best I could and moved on. During the struggles I started a business which took off instantly and also continued to lead our church through some very rough waters with my husband.  The result was that I coped and continued to cope and never got to come up for air.  This resulted in depression.

Is it my fault?  No.  Did I do something wrong? No.  Life just happened.  Will God heal me?  Yes.  He will either stretch out his mighty hand and touch me or he will use the antidepressants.  Right now I don't mind which was as long as I feel better.

What I did to encourage myself and stop feeling guilty about my situation was that I reminded myself that some of the great Christian leaders of our time have also suffered with depression.  Steven Furtick and Perry Noble have openly shared their journey - and for that I am so grateful as they have made it less of a taboo subject in the church today.  Even Elijah - the great prophet of the Bible had to deal with depression as well as many others.  My motivation for sharing my struggle with you is to continue the fight against the mindset that people have about depression, especially in churches.  Please share to encourage others and to stop the condemning lies from spreading.  Let's increase our faith and be a church or power where we see regular healing but at the same time let's not make people feel small on our journey to see God move in divine power.  Life happens.  We can't understand it all but let's do a good job with what we can understand.

Read the next post:

Depression is Not An Excuse

13.3.14

Doing less to do more!

Hello ladies!

As you can tell from the subject, we are doing less in order to do more!  Now we have one clear focus - to bring Jesus into the centre of all that we do whether we are in ministry, business or politics. 

Practically what this means is that the women in ministry event and the women in business event will be merging into one event and we will be adding politics to the mix too.  If you fall into any of these three categories please join us for our monthly event.   The event is focused on women who are leading in some way, who are intentionally focused on using their platform to shine for Jesus.  Find out more here.

I can't wait to see you all there - it is going to be fantastic!  Be prepared to be inspired and refreshed.  Keep an eye out on the website as we update it over the next few weeks with lots more info.  www.kingsdaughters.co.uk

Love
Angela

2.1.14

Being YOU


























Being YOU
The most powerful thing that you have to offer the world is the authentic you.  You are indisputably original.   Understanding your value will unlock your potential and take you to places that you never dreamed possible.

Are you tired of the same old, same old? Are you yearning for more out of life? Feel you can do so much better than you are? The great news is that the answer is not to be found in a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The answer is inside of YOU! Being You shows you exactly how you can begin your journey of self discovery and capitalise on your very own exclusive, unique brand – the authentic you! Get ready to turn your life around completely and live life the way you were meant to, simply by being you!

Find out:
  • How to discover the real you again – your passions, your talents, your purpose 
  • How to capitalise on your own unique brand – you - at work and in business 
  • How to use past failures as stepping stones to ultimate success 
  • How to live a more balanced life in today’s fast paced environment 
  • How to create your perfect home life
  • How to use your wardrobe effectively to highlight the authentic, unique you 

Plus a tailor made strategy to help you use all the keys you need to ensure you get the most out of life!

Available on: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.ukKindle

Contents:
Discovering YOU
Being YOU at Work and in Business
Being YOU Through Failure
Being YOU Through Success
Being a Balanced YOU
Being an Emotional YOU
Being YOU at Home
Being in YOUR Clothes
Being a Spiritual YOU
Introducing the New YOU

Find our more about Angela's business books and upcoming events at www.womensbusinessclub.co.uk/books.php

2.11.13

My Centre, The Place Where I am Me

As you may  have noticed, I have been spending a lot of time in the business world this year.  God has called me and anointed me for business, as a minister in the business world, and it has been an incredible journey.  Since preaching on this very subject one year ago in our church, my whole life has changed.  I resisted God for about six months as I did not want to go back into the business world, the failure of my first company was a deep disappointment and I was convinced that I was not a business woman.  God saw things differently.  My resistance crumbled and He had His way - thank goodness!

I have seen the most incredible things happen as a result and I know that God uses the foolish things to confound the wise. I always say to God that I am willing to be the foolish thing in his hand.  I am good at that - being nothing and allowing Him to be everything.  So as a result of all the wonderful and scary things that have happened this year, Women's Business Club was born.


In the midst of becoming the woman that I was born to be, I also discovered that I often became confused and frightened.  My goals are audacious, my steps are on water and my view of myself is still small.  I know who I am and I know who God is and I am never confused about that.  Any good in me is because of what God has done in me and because of His great grace that has redeemed the mess that I once made of my life.  There is no confusion in this area - I am clothed in His righteousness and I live by grace alone.  However, I have learned to be confident and although I feel a great deal of fear this fear never stops me, I do it anyway.

The reason I am writing to you today is because I want you to know how I do it, I want to share a secret with you about how the business world does not corrupt me and how my identity stays in tact and most of all how I avoid pride.  My secret is this:  daily I find my centre.  I start each day by making sure that I go to that place that I know to be true and the only word I can use to describe it is my centre.

Let me explain.  It is in this place where I feel that I am truly me.  Here everything makes sense. This is the only place where I make sense.  My peace comes from this place.  My joy comes from this place. My confidence comes from this place.  I cry in this place.  I am filled with hope in this place.  I am cleansed in this place. Without finding my centre every day I would easily lose my way and possibly even lose my God.  Satan is sublte and he knows how to seduce us and gently lead us away from God.  I know, I have fallen victim to his snares many times in the past. We are not safe if we depend on our own strength to avoid this very real enemy.  I know I am just as vulnerable as the next person.  My centre is my safety net.

So what is my centre?  I don't want to say God.  I mean, yes it is God, but it is not just Him, it is me too.  It is a place where we connect.  My centre is when I choose to find God.  Daily.  It's not a religious act.  God will not be displeased if I miss a day, or two.  In fact, some days I do.  My centre is a place that I chose to go to, as often as possible, usually in the morning.  My centre is where I find my God and spend time with Him.  It is here that everything makes sense once again.  It is here that I feel most like me.

How do I do find God?  Well, the way I find God and the way you find God will be completely different.  There is no recipe or formula, most importantly there is no right or wrong.  If you don't know how to find your centre yet then try various things until you find what works for you.  For me, I make a cuppa coffee and some cereal, sit in my living room and to start off with I listen to the Bible using my Bible app on my phone.  I don't hear 90% of it because I am still half asleep but it is a wonderful way to wake up slowly and get in the 'zone'.  Once I have finished my breakfast I put on my current favourite Christian song - I Surrender by Hillsong and then I close my eyes and just sing, listen, talk to God or whatever I want to do.  I try not to cry, but have never yet succeeded in being in His presence and not crying.  I cry when I repent of my sin, it cleanses me.  I cry when I feel Him near, it humbles me.  I cry with tears of joy when I remember how much He loves me.  Well, if you know me, you probably know I cry a lot anyway about just about everything.

And then, after I have cried it all out I just sit and listen to whatever He has to say to me.  Sometimes there is just silence, we sit in silence, but I don't want to leave - His presence is so powerful and so wonderful.   Other times He speaks.  His voice sounds like my own thoughts, there is not an audible voice that I hear.  Somehow I know it is Him and not my thoughts.  I think it is something inside, the way I feel when He speaks, that helps me to know it is Him.  Most of all, His voice is always loving and kind.  Even when He corrects me and tells me about something I did wrong, I never feel bad I just feel loved.

I wanted to share this with you today, it's difficult to explain, but I hope that between my awkward words that you have found encouragement and perhaps some keys to help you find and keep your centre.  Don't let the things of this world corrupt you - these things are small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things.  Knowing God is the most important thing you could ever do with your life - everything good flows from that place of simply knowing Him.

28.9.13

Apology ❀ News ❀ Giveaway ❀ Coming Up

Apology
Firstly, I want to apologise to all my faithful email followers for the lack of blogging these past few weeks.  Since starting this blog in 2009 I have never been too busy to blog but this past month or so has been the busiest I have been in my life!  However, the good news is that you will soon be getting much more and better quality blogging from me.

News
I also want to apologise for using my blog as a business website, it was out of necessity but now that will stop as we have created a brand new site for the business side of things called the Women's Business Club  - check out all the new sites here:
www Website:    www.womensbusinessclub.co.uk
Facebook:    www.facebook.com/wombizclub
Twitter:www.twitter.com/wombizclub  
YouTube:www.youtube.com/wombizclub  
LinkedIn:www.linkedin.com/company/  
GooglePlus:www.plus.google.com/110671150713694453023  
Pinterest:www.pinterest.com/wombizclub  

Giveaway
The great news is that over the past few months I have not lost one of my email followers - so if that is you, thank you for sticking by me!  As a thank you, I would like to offer a gift to my email followers, and if you are not an email follower, there is still time to sign up - subscribe by email on the top right hand column of my blog.    The giveaway - whatever you want from our shop* - you choose one thing and I will pick two of you to receive the gift of your choice.  Leave a comment on this post about what you love about this blog and what gift you would like - I will randomly pick two winners and post it here on 5th October.

Coming Up
What you can expect from me now is regular posts about my life in general, occasional business posts, occasional ministry posts, regular posts with Girl's Night material, family news, encouragement, giveaways, reviews of books, movies and fun stuff we get up to and so much more.

Our next events are as follows:
Women's Business Club - Clarify Workshop, 1 Oct and Network Lunch, 2 Oct
King's Daughters Village - My 40th birthday party fundraiser, 14 Dec

*  T-shirts are limited as we only have a few in stock at the moment.

20.8.13

Being a Woman in Business - Who Thinks

King's Daughters - Being a Woman Business - Angela De Souza
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
- Proverbs 23:7

Too many women in business are too busy.  In fact, they are so busy that they don’t have time to think.  Each morning they face a long 'to do' list and at the end of the day they exhale feeling satisfied by all the ticks next to the task.  However, what they don’t realise is that they are trapped in the cycle of a never ending 'to do' list and will never get free from it UNLESS they stop and think.  Women are particularly guilty of feeling guilty.  We feel guilty for everything and we even feel guilty when we are not working.  Taking time to think is working, so you don't need to feel guilty.  Thinking time is what separates the self employed from the business owners.  The self employed will only ever be able to exchange time for money and since they only have 24 hours in each day like the rest of us, their earning potential is limited to a set fee for a portion of those 24 hours.  

Hard Work is Not Enough

Hard work and saving will earn you a living but smart work and investing will build you a legacy.  If you want to get ahead, stop filling every minute of every day with hard work.  Stop – breathe – THINK – relax and then formulate a plan to work smart.  One hour of thinking each day could turn your business from a small self employed business into a large, profitable and successful company.  Even one hour of thinking a week could turn things around for you significantly.

The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.
 - Proverbs 14:8

Think about what you are doing.  Think about where you are going.  Think about smart ways to get there.  Are you satisfied with exchanging time for money or would you rather that your money worked for you even when you are not physically working on your business?  Think about how you can achieve that.  Take time to ponder on what you really want out of every set of 24 hours.  Dream about what your ideal day, week, month and year looks like.  Create a plan that will allow you to live the dream.

Smart Working Principles

Multiply Energy – Piggy Back
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.  What already exists that you can use or who do you know that can help you get ahead?  If you take time to think you will be amazed at what you can come up with.  Are you using the trending hash tags on Twitter to get your posts seen?  That is piggy backing.  Do you network and connect with people in high places?  If you are a painter you might be going door to door, offering your services.  Why not rather find an established business that does plastering and collaborate - piggy back on the established company and save yourself hours of knocking on doors.  Piggy backing could also mean volunteering your services to a larger organisation.  You may not directly make any money but you could benefit a great deal from the publicity that you would get.

Piggy Backing Etiquette
•    You must not be in competition with them
•    You should be aiming for the same target audience but not get in their way
•    You are piggy backing not being a parasite, give something back.

Multiply Time – Other People’s Time
In order to multiply time you need to use other people’s time.  It doesn’t have to be as selfish as it sounds, you can use other people’s time and still benefit the other person as well as yourself.  For example, ask five really good friends to share your Facebook status – it won’t take them more than a few seconds but you will reach hundreds more people that way, saving you loads of time that you would have spent trying to find and communicate with those hundreds more people.   

This is the most basic element of other people’s time, but another important key to working smart is outsourcing.  What can someone else do better and faster than you?  A common cause of businesses failing is when the business owner insists on doing everything themselves all of the time!  The problem is the 24 hours thing – you can only do so much in a day on your own.

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. 
 - Proverbs 13:20

Outsourcing is the next step to business growth but choose wisely.  Use other people’s time to get the job done while you focus in what you are best at.  It doesn’t have to be a huge leap of faith either, start by outsourcing one or two hours a week and build up in proportion to your business growth.   Think about what you can outsource and who can outsource to.  Perhaps take on an intern, apprentice or student during the summer break.  The possibilities are endless, but you will need to put in some thinking time to come up with something really good.

Multiply Money – 1 + 1 = 3    
The old saying, “It takes money to make money” is not entirely true.  Well it is and it isn’t.  You see, how you get the money to make the money is where most people are tripped up.  They envisage a huge pot of money that will then ensure business success. Most businesses that start this way fail.   The reason they fail is because they haven’t had to think.  Money has been available so little effort was put into decisions and once the money has run out the business fails.  However, those who start with little are forced to think and be creative.   It is these habits that they forge in the early days that ensure their success later on when their money pot grows.  Take time to think about the money that you have right now and how you can make it multiply.  Don’t make the excuse that you don’t have any, you do, and it is enough.
    Richard Branson didn’t have money to make a phone call when he started, that didn’t stop him and when he got a little bit of money he knew how to make it grow into more.

Money Multiplying
•    Sell your knowledge – seminars, workshops, ebooks.
•    Take payment up front – create cash flow instantly.
•    Collaborate – offer business swaps.
•    Think, think, think!

There is so much that you are capable of doing and achieving and all it takes is a little thinking time that will prevent you from remaining chained to your never ending to do list.

Find out more about Being a Woman in Business here or host your own Girl's Night.  We also have a monthly business networking event called Women in Business, find our more here

15.8.13

To the 'Little' Guys and Girls doing Crappy Jobs!

Great speech by Ashton Kutcher - I am so pleased he mentioned all the crappy, seemingly insignificant jobs that he has had and how each one was essential to getting him ahead.  Too many people want the fame and success but want to skip the crappy little jobs that get you there!   I wonder how many people out there are busy doing crappy jobs not realising that they are one step ahead of those just sitting and wishing for fame and success - here's to the 'little' guy who cleans the tables at MacDonald's and here's to the toilet cleaners at the gym and here's too all of you that are doing what is perceived as crappy jobs - may you succeed in whatever is in your heart to do.   I respect you and thank you for all that you do.  You are the true heroes.  To those that are sitting and wishing or scheming how to get a bank loan to start big, why not go out and find yourself a crappy job, something small, just to get the ball rolling, I am sure it will get you one step in the right direction. Who knows if you are destined to be the next Ashton Kutcher, Steve Jobs or Prime Minister of England!  There is only one way to find out, start walking the path they took, one crappy job at a time.