2014 Focus: Alignment and Passion

If you read through my blog, you will discover that each year, not only do I do my personal and business goal planning, I also have a long history of starting each new year with a “Word of the Year” or a “Quote of the Year”. I do not really recall where and when I started to do this.  It’s just always been a part of what I do.

This year, 2014,  my Word of the Year is : Alignment. 

A supporting word of the year is: Passion.

Basically, everything I do this year need to be in alignment with each other and based on passion.  This means, teams I work on, teams I work for,  personal goals or tasks, professional goals and benchmarks I will achieveDomino-Line-518x389need to be in alignment with my top 5 passions.

When all we do is aligned with one another, amazing things happen.

When the teams we work with, participate in are in alignment with one another- even more incredible things occur!

The ‘quote’ of the year will be: “Does this align with my top 5 passions I am taking actions to achieve?”  

That question is a guiding post for my journey that I’ve been sharing and will continue to reveal. The benefit of taking this type of a mental approach at all you do is here: when we take the time to line up things, when they are aligned, it does not take a lot of momentum to start a chain reaction for success.  It’s kind of like playing dominoes.  You can spend hours setting your design and vision just right.  Knowing that, along the way, things can happen where you need to reset the vision.   The passion to see your vision come to pass is so strong, that you go back, assess, reset and go again.

When we play dominoes, some of the most stunning results of our time, heart and labor occurs when all the pieces are lined up ‘just so’ …and you push the first one. We watch the vision and movement unfold before our eyes.  I like to watch people doing things.  I’ve seen many people watch dominoes in motion- and it’s always the same: admiration of the dedication, precision, thought process, the engineering and the patience it took to create such a masterpiece. The fluid movement of dominoes in motion is peaceful and exciting to watch.   It takes alignment of each piece to make the vision work so those who view the movement can enjoy all the heart and effort that went into the creation.

As you start your 2014, ask yourself “What are areas in your life that feel out of alignment?” What is one action step you can do today to start to get things going in the same direction for max velocity and effectiveness?
2014  is a year to take action to work towards a passion you’ve always wanted to see happen in your life.  Take the first step and start to line up the things you need to make that passion a reality!

Here’s to kicking of 2014 with extreme Alignment & Passion!

Debbra

Here’s to what will be an incredible 2014!

The Rouse of the Rooster- Insights to Discipline in Leadership

When I get up, which often is in the wee hours of the morning, before the sun rises, I can hear the roosters in my 220px-Rooster_portrait2neighborhood doing their job of crowing.

It is interesting to me to hear them so proudly and fervently sing their rooster songs each morning. They are consistent and passionate about their crowing. It reminds me of how to continue to bring passion, commitment and consistency to everything we do as a leader.

One of the things that always impresses me when I hear them crowing in the mornings that it doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside. Whether it’s sunny and hot or rainy and cold the same roosters, every single morning, do their job and do it with excellence.

As humans we can learn a little bit about discipline from these roosters.

The job of the rooster is to protect the flock, and he takes the lead in doing so each morning by crowing.

The rooster is often portrayed as crowing at the break of dawn (“cock-a-doodle-doo”). He can often be seen sitting on fence posts or other objects, where he crows to proclaim his territory

The role of the rooster in animal husbandry has a long and illustrious history from the guardian of the back yard flock to the fighting cocks center ring.

Aristotle called the rooster alektora and sang its praises along with the likes of Theocritus, Pliny, Varro, and Aldrovandi (Lind1963). The rooster holds a time-honored place in the small flock, protecting the hens, announcing the day, and ensuring the next generation.

As leaders, one of the ways we can learn is by paying attention to some of our surroundings. Nature inherently prepared plants, animals and humans to have an instinct for leadership roles and hierarchy.

The discipline of how these roosters crow in the morning is a great example of how we, as leaders, can be approach our role of serving others and leadership daily.

Do you rise each morning with the mindset to announce the new day, care and protect those you are responsible for, and do things to ensure the succession of your leadership when the time is right?

Leadership takes discipline. It takes commitment to one’s self to improve. It takes courage to rise up each day and take the helm of your leadership role, regardless of the weather or how you feel.

There are about 5 different roosters in my neighborhood and each has its own call, it’s own ‘voice’. Two of them nearest me have very distinct crows. For the most part, one of them has a very dominant and confident sound. Yet, there are some days where I hear him crow in the morning hours and I think he may be sleepy or a bit under the weather as his sound is not quite as crisp or commanding. However, he still follows through each day.

The other rooster I hear has a bit of a funny, ‘broken’ crow. His song is not as smooth and flowy from start to finish like the first one. He has a stutter in a couple of places. That does not matter to him – or his flock. He too, each morning calls out with his crow and takes his place as the protector of his flock.

Both of these roosters are also there to make sure that the clutch of hens are profitable and successful in producing eggs and future little leaders.  🙂

As we venture into 2013, it is the time for more leaders to take upon their shoulders the ability to be disciplined with the same type of commitment to protect and ensure the success of the people that they serve.

Remember, leadership starts with yourself, then leading your family and then leading others at work and in the community.

In this day and age, many our so-called leaders seem to be practicing more leadership by simply fluffing up their feathers- and thinking that is good enough. It’s not. Vain puffery from the outside is short lived. The true leaders will be willing to be disciplined to rise early, announce the day, declare their protection of their flock- and then do what is needed to ensure the success of those they serve now and for future generations.

When you arise tomorrow, ask yourself, do you lead with vain puffery, or are you sounding your call of leadership with actions that denote confidence, provide security and ensuring opportunities for those you lead to grow?

What action steps can you take today to be a better leader tomorrow?

Debbra Sweet

Author & Speaker of  “The Power of Leadership”

Money Motivated or Financially Focused?

This summer I took my boys on a cross country train trip to visit family for a while. It was an interesting trip. Over the years I have had the chance to travel a decent amount however this was my first long distance train trip.

Many people ask me how the trip was and my answer is always introflective (yes this is a Deb word: introspective and reflective).  It was very interesting and worth doing one more time.

Part of my decision to take the train was based upon a budget I had set aside for the whole trip.  At the time one way tickets for each of us were about $1000k each.  I was going to need between 6-8 of them by the time this trip was done.  When you are used to paying  up to $200-300 for round trip tickets, those one ways, with all the airplane travel delays and distractions, was more than I was willing to invest.

Knowing that I would have to cover costs on transportation to our destination, car rental while there, gas, food, transport back home- I set an appropriate budget from the get go.

When realizing that my initial plan to get us there was going to be more than 4 times my whole trip budget, I decided to get creative and think outside the box.

In fact, I made it a game with myself to see what other options we could work out to stay in my budget- yet have a fantastic time.

I worked out many ‘mini plans’ in my head and on paper- and in one of those was the consideration of the train.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how affordable travel by train was to be. My real motivation though behind this decision, was the opportunity to spend a few days with my boys being able to experience parts of our country that we would never see if we would have chosen to fly by plane or to drive on the highway.

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to travel throughout most of the United States. As an adult I am so appreciative to have had those experiences. Now, I want to give to my children an opportunity to create memories of their own that they one day too, can look back upon and enjoy.

We spent 36 hours on the train with a coach full of Boy Scouts and frequent Amtrak travelers across the country.  One of my goals that was set forth for this trip was truly achieved. We saw some amazing countryside and met some really interesting people.

Once we were at our destination I stayed with my boys and my parents for about another 10 days.  It was during this leg of our journey that my youngest son came to me with the declaration that Grandma said to him that I was “Money Motivated”.

That surprised me- and caught me off guard a bit, because the least thing I am is money motivated.   I definitely am financially focused. There is a difference.

My Personal Motivation:

My understanding of someone being money motivated, is that all they think about is money- and everything they do is about making money.  Money that they will keep for themselves for the purpose of materialistic gain.

For people who take the time to get to know me- they will quickly discover my true motivation. It is to help others who wish to help themselves. The motivation for me, that is the deepest part of me,  is the desire to encourage people to grow- and then to be there for them in order to help them achieve their own personal growth. 

People who look at me from the outside will see that trait, as well as I have publicly declared it many times over. 

I do not hide the fact that I have big vision to accomplish things that in fact, should make a lot of money. However- the purpose that those finances will serve- is to give right back to others in order to create opportunities for those individuals to personally grow.

It is interesting at times to hear some feedback from people who have a limited perspective of understanding about why I do speak of money and building a solid business.   Part of what I do as a marketing and business consultant is to help businesses make money.  If we don’t have those conversations, and we are not able to talk about money, how is the business is supposed to make money?

My business motivation:

In running my own businesses, as the CEO- I have to have  conversations that are financially focused . They’re tied directly to how the business will be running for the next quarter, the next year- and even for many years down the road.  Having a solid business and marketing plan that you execute and implement has to be measured.  One area to measure of businesses successes or shortcomings has to do with making money.

Today our world is filled with an upcoming generation – and even current generations that operate businesses- who never received the benefit of solid financial training. Often these are the very clients who hire me to help them build, cleaned up, turn around, and consistently market and promote their business so they can make money!  

Being financially focused is very important today- more so now than ever.  After the last economic side turn I would think that more people would be interested in learning how to have financial focus that allows them to grow professionally and personally.

I know not everybody is comfortable with that statement. However, if I can at least teach my children how to be financially responsible then I know I have done my part in this area to prepare them into adulthood .  On our trip, that is part of what we did. 

My children have become pretty understanding of the value of money. They know how to save, to to tithe, how to invest, how to budget, and how to steward that which they have received.  They also have learned about taxes and how to determine if what they choose to spend money on (or invest in) is a good value. (Cheap is not always cost effective. Frugality and sound money management requires knowing when to spend more and when you can go with a less expensive option.)

Although my children are now 10 and 12, they both have businesses that have been making them money. 

They both have done business plans, marketing plans and have tested their plans with focus groups.  They go out and find their own customers, they fulfill the orders- and then they reap the benefit of learning about human interaction, work ethic, communication, sales, marketing, time management, and yes- Money management and financial responsibility.

Financial_Focus

My encouragement to you is this: the next time you see somebody who is in business talking about making money- before you assume they are soley money motivated, take the time to ask a few more questions. Take the time to get to know them.

When you see the mom or dad in the grocery store who was shopping on a budget, living frugally, and doing the best of what they have, smile at them. It is not always easy to adjust our thinking and our habits to live within our means-and still maintain the vision for growth and prosperity.   However- it is doable. If more people took the time to understand the difference between being money motivated and being financially focused for fiscal fitness- we all would be in a better place.

I encourage you to ask yourself what is your motivation in life and in business?  The ‘Aha’ moment you discover may suprise you!

Have an amazing day,

Debbra

 

 

Prayer Day for USA An Urgent Call to Prayer for our Nation in Crisis:Turning to God for Help in Saving our Nation

God’s Word First Christian Ministry will be participating in The Response prayer event by holding a National Prayerwe-the-peopleDay for USA Conference Phone Call on Saturday, August 6, 2011.

Open invite to everyone. Listen to the call and pray with us in spirit for God to save the USA.

Click Here to read the full story and get Put your first name and best email into the form on the page http://www.gods-word-first.org/national-prayer-day.html

Then click “Sign up!”to join us in prayer. We will email you the call in phone number along with date, time and other relevant info.

Read more info below for some of the reason why this day is important:

What’s Going On:

The United States of America is in trouble. That much we can all agree on. The finer details are debatable. But it doesn’t matter who’s to blame, Democrats, Republicans (or any other political party), the current President, your local government, The Fed, major corporations, Big Pharma, etc… The main source of the problem comes down to all of us, “We the People”.

The USA was founded on Christian principles. As a nation, the dominant religion has been Christianity (including all forms and denominations). God and His commandments were always at the core of our foundation and the decisions we made. And we as a nation prospered in every way because of it.

 

God’s Word, the church and strong religious beliefs used to be integral to most Americans in their personal lives. As the people in our nation have been slowly drifting away from God, their churches and away from basic Christian values, our nation as a whole has been suffering.

The best way to fix ANY problem is to
treat the cause, not the symptoms.

The problems our nation is facing today are not insurmountable to God. We can fix all our problems, both personal and national, but not by treating the symptoms. The following is a short list of symptoms due to a larger problem we as a nation are facing. Symptoms such as:

  • “the war on drugs”
  • “illegal immigration”
  • unrest in the Middle East
  • a failing economy in recession

All these and more can be solved by faith in God and by all agreeing to hold ourselves and each other accountable to good values.

The main problem we need to solve, the problem
that is at the core of all our symptoms,
is our separation from God.

When we as individuals are close to God then we personally enjoy the benefits of His blessings. When we as individuals are all close to God and come together as a group, as in a nation of people, then we collectively enjoy God’s blessings and protection.

The people in our once great nation have been slowly drifting away from God over the last 100 years. The evidence (symptoms) of this separation can be seen in the eroding of our family units, broken families, soaring divorce rates, increased abortions, increased domestic violence, crime in the streets, governmental corruption, etc.

Works of the Flesh vs. Fruit of the Spirit

As a nation we are in a financial recession heading into a full depression. A full financial collapse is imminent if we stay on the same path of disobedience to God. The people of our nation are suffering increasing instances of severe environmental conditions such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. These are all symptoms of a much larger problem looming over us. That problem is separation from God, His blessings and his protection.

Although it’s true that individuals who remain close to God are protected. But we live in a nation among others who are not protected, who are straying from God and His righteous values. This falling away of others affects all of us.

The Old Testament is full of examples of where God’s people strayed from Him and then reaped the consequences of their actions: Famine, pestilence, drought, poverty, wars, invasion and slavery. Our nation is on the brink of disaster. We are seeing some of these very same things happening to us right now, and it’s only going to get worse unless “We the People” repent and turn our hearts back to God TODAY.

“We the People” Must Turn to God as our Founding Forefathers Once Did”

Click here to read more of the why you should pray with us on Aug 6th- why to spread the invite with others you know- and how to join in prayer Aug. 6th.

May you be humble and bold. May you be peaceful and blessed.

Thank you for spreading this invite so God can perform a mighty miracle in our day and time!

Debbra

www.GodsWordFirst.org

Keynote Speaker Debbra Sweet is the Voice of Power of Leadership on the Brian Britt Radio Show

Tuesday February 8, 2011 The voice of Power of Leadership, founder of Sweet Marketing Solutions, keynote speaker and New York Times best selling author, Debbra Sweet hit San Diego’s airwaves on the Brian Britt radio show.

POL Show Host Debbra SweetFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release)Feb 13, 2011 – Debbra Sweet is no stranger behind a microphone. In fact, her years of experience as a music performance major, professional speaker and radio show host clearly comes through when she’s live on air speaking about subjects she is passionate about.  On Tuesday, February 8, 2011, Debbra joined San Diego radio show host Brian Britt, on his new show called More Than Just About the Money.

The Brian Britt Show: More than Just About the Money is a show whose promise to listeners is to enlighten, educate, and deliver high value content on wealth creation. One distinct aspect about this show is that it’s not just about the money.

Wealth is a very wide subject-and most people only focus on the financial side. Although that is a key component when talking about personal wealth Brian believes
that the most successful and wealthiest people have a knowledge base and understanding that allows for work life balance.

There needs to be balance and wealth in the area of health, thinking, leadership, spirituality, business management, communication, effective marketing, family, and leisure time.

Debbra Sweet is a multifaceted entrepreneur who is known for being the founder of the national integrated marketing communications firm, located in San Diego, as well as being one of the lead authors in the Power of Leadership books as well as being the voice of the Power of Leadership radio.

Brian talks with local author and speaker Debbra Sweet about her Power of Leadership book series. Learn how networking with a plan can produce results and bring business to your company. Find out how Debbra helps her clients gain visibility, credibility and profit.

Brian and Debbra focused this show around one of the books in the power of leadership series called “The Power of Leadership in Business Networking.”  This is book 4 in a series of 12 written by Debbra Sweet and her husband Daniel Sweet. “The Power of Leadership in Business Networking.” is a book filled with experiential insight not only on leadership as well as networking for the sake of doing business… but most importantly, the book teaches the reader how to be a leader when networking. This revolutionary concept has been helping business professionals around the world understand many of the nuances that a leader needs to address in every element of networking.

Sweet also shares on the show with Brian that her belief in leadership is a bit controversial. Never one to shy away from asking tough questions, or taking an uncomfortable position on things-when it comes to the age old question of whether readers are born or whether they are made, the majority of people take the position that leaders are made. Sweet takes the position that leaders are born. On the show, she reveals why and then continues to deliver important insights to the listening audience on how they too can become empowered and be a leader today that truly does deliver results.

This show originally aired on WSRadio.com and can be heard in archives by searching for the Brian Britt radio show.

For more information on Debbra Sweet, the Power of Leadership books, or Sweet Marketing Solutions go to: http://www.DebbraSweet.com

Sweet Marketing Solutions brings you to Get Motivated Seminar

For all of our Target Market Class Attendees:

As a Thank You for being part of this classroom workshop, Sweet Marketing Solutions has a special gift for you. At the end of the class, you will receive a ticket to the Upcoming ‘GET MOTIVATED’ event taking place at the Valley View Sports Arena in San Diego.

You will receive a complimentary $39 Executive Seating Ticket for the GET MOTIVATED seminar on March 8th, 2011!

What is The GET MOTIVATED Seminar?

The GET MOTIVATED! Seminar is America’s #1 Business Seminar, highly acclaimed by CNN, 60 Minutes, 20/20, TIME magazine, PEOPLE magazine and every major newspaper from coast to coast. This one-day blockbuster seminar will give you ground-breaking strategies to sharpen your business skills, ignite your motivation, accelerate your effectiveness and increase your income! Millions of people attend our events with one good reason: there is nothing like it anywhere!

The GET MOTIVATED Seminar is an action-packed, fun-filled, explosive, exciting, inspiring, skill-building business event that is world famous for its mega-watt superstar speakers and spectacular stage production. This blockbuster one-day seminar will give you proven strategies to sharpen your business skills, ignite your motivation, accelerate your effectiveness and increase your income!

Only the BEST of the BEST appear on our stage! Dazzling pyrotechnics, live music and stunning special effects set the stage for our superstar speakers who deliver riveting presentations packed with cutting-edge skills for success.

Speakers coming to the GET MOTIVATED event include:

Bill Cosby,

Joe Montana,

Steve Forbes; President and CEO of Forbes, Inc.,

General Colin Powell,

Rudy Giuliani,

Howard Putnam; Acclaimed CEO of Southwest Airlines

Lou Holtz; Renowned Notre Dame Head Coach

and more!

The GET MOTIVATED Seminar will give you and your team the latest and greatest information in the arenas of time management, leadership, goal achievement, sales training, negotiation, finances, investing, relationships, health, spiritual success, business strategies, motivation, communication skills and much more!

What Will You Learn?

Business leaders, Fortune 500 companies, educators, business owners, salespeople, medical professionals, and people from every walk of life have rely on the GET MOTIVATED Seminar as their tool to recharge. The topics we cover include time management, team building, leadership, personal development, goal achievement, sales training, negotiation skills, financial management, investing, relationships, health and fitness, spiritual success, business strategies, motivation, customer service, communication skills, productivity, and much, much more!

Attending the GET MOTIVATED Seminar is one of the best career moves you could ever make! At The GET MOTIVATED Seminar you will gain amazing new skills that will change your life!

  • How to be Better, Faster, and Different than Your Competition
  • The Top 3 Skills High Achievers Must Master
  • 7 Ways to Keep Your Customers Coming Back for Life
  • Steps to Becoming a Stronger, More Strategic Decision-Maker
  • How to Master the Art of Effective Leadership
  • Salesperson to Superstar Using the “Slight-Edge Principle”
  • 6 “KNOWS” to Get the “YES”
  • The 8 Keys to Communication– and Captivating Public Speaking
  • How to Turn Irate Customers into Lifelong Fans
  • 5 Easy Ways to Deal with Difficult People
  • Power Motivators! What to do When You Don’t Want to do Anything
  • 6 Ways to Increase Your Effectiveness
  • How to Gain Rapport With Anyone Instantly
  • How to Add Fun to the Workplace
  • 2 Things You Can Do To “Buy Time” in a Crisis
  • 4 Keys to Getting the Edge in Every Negotiation
  • How to Get Your Ideas Accepted, Acted Upon and Accomplished
  • The Time Management Secrets of High Achievers
  • Expert Listening Skills: How to Hear What They’re NOT Saying
  • How to Create an “Information Loop” that Puts You in the Know
  • Effective Meetings that aren’t Boring Time-Wasters
  • How to Hire and Keep Your Employee Dream Team
  • 5 Mental Exercises that Give You a Winning Edge
  • The Working Person’s Guide to Peak Energy and Performance
  • How to Eliminate Needless Interruptions
  • 10 Tools to Make and Manage Your Money
  • Strategic Steps for Planning a Comfortable Retirement
  • What Most Investors Don’t Know About Investing
  • 7 Things You Need to Do to Secure Your Family’s Financial Future
  • 3 Ways to Consistently Outperform the Market
  • How to Draft a Clear, Concise Blueprint for Success

This is just a small sample of the kinds of things you will learn and the benefits you will receive by attending The GET MOTIVATED Seminar!

Here’s to seeing you at the Target Markets Class- and the GET MOTIVATED event!

Debbra Sweet

 

Does Google Hate You?

How do you know if  Google hates you (or at least your website and marketing efforts).

You’ll know by your answer to this question:  Are you showing up anywhere on Google for your best search terms?

You may have heard (and it’s true) that 65% of all Google searchers click on the top 3 spots (on the left hand side of the computer screen.) Are you in the top 3 on page 1 of Google? Yahoo? Bing? Are you even showing up at all??? Because if you can’t be found on Google then in the mind of your customers you don’t exist.

Be found on the 1st Page of Google for your best keywords in as little as 3 days! Let me show you how.

NOTE: I have done this for myself and my companies. This isn’t just talk.  I can do it for you too. google organic ranking ds

Give me your name, email and web site URL. I’ll generate a free Top Secret report for you and show you how you can be crushing your competition on all the major search engines. Just fill in the form here and I’ll get started on your Free Report right away!
(A $297 Value- YOURS FREE!)

FACT: Companies on top of the first page of search engines are getting over 65% of the internet marketing web traffic. If you’re not there, they are clicking on your competitors! These days, it’s a sad fact that if you are not on the 1st page of Google then you don’t exist. The top 3 listings on Google get 65% of all the customers- everyone else gets the crumbs. Where does that leave you?

Learn How Fast You can be More Popular on Google
and Promote Your Business by using a Strategic Marketing Search Engine
Optimization Specialist!

Are you being noticed online as much as you want to be? Discover your current popularity on Google… And see how you can promote your business more. This will save you A TON of time and make your life easier. Energize your business with the hottest trend! This is a proven internet marketing Search Engine Optimization process based on a system that we’ve tested and used ourselves for years. We’ve built our business this way and we can build yours too. We work with you to help you reach your growth goals at a pace you can handle.

In your FREE TOP SECRET REPORT  that I will make for you- you’ll learn where your business ranks on the major search engines, what your competitors are doing online and how you can show up getting most of the internet traffic by getting the top spots on Google. Eventually you can be controlling the entire 1st page of Google, Yahoo, Bing and all the others… Find out in your FREE REPORT how you can not only be found somewhere on the search engines, but eventually you can be controlling the 1st 10 pages of Google – ALL YOU Let me show you how!

Would being the only listing on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd page and so on be of value to you? Then fill out the form above to get your Top Secret Report specially developed just for your business showing what it will take for you to cut through your competition and rank above them on Google!

This free report offer is available to USA business only. You simply do not have any time to lose, order your FREE TOP SECRET INTERNET MARKETING REPORT today.

All my best,
Debbra Sweet, Owner of Sweet Marketing Solutions
Internet Marketing Search Engine Optimization Specialists

Those Silly Questions Part 2

The question this year that I sought an answer for is: why do I do what I do? I have put a lot of thought to question-mark1that question.  And I believe I have the answer. The answer is simply because it’s what I am supposed to do.

My passion for wanting to show people there’s a better way started when I was about 12 or 13. I don’t know why, I don’t know how it started.  For many years I never really even talked about this.  It was just simply something that I knew, deep in my heart was a reason for putting my 150% into everything I do.

I believe that part of that passion came from a personal frustration of wanting to know more, to do more.  I was searching for answers for who I was and what my purpose in life was.  I did not know where to find those answers, and I sought out a lot of guidance from adult friends and people who were in my life.

Unfortunately, I never really got the answers from an external source.  I tried many things to discover what types of activities interests and work I liked, didn’t like, wanted to or did not want to do.

I knew from a young age that I wanted to be on stage in front of people blessing them with music but it seem like there was something more needed. That part of my vision seemed incomplete.  But what did complete it, was the understanding that my music and my words were a door (or a vehicle) to connect with people.

I knew that by being available to be a good friend and mentor to others that I could share with others who were searching for answers and support about their life- t that they did not have to a long sad and frustrated time trying to figure out their purpose in life.

Growing up, I had seen too many people with lines of hardship on their face.  They were good people, who had work ethic, family.  They usually had a job, but something always seemed to be missing.  Although they laughed, when I would look into their eyes, and I would hear how they would speak, what I picked up on all too often was a sense of sadness, loneliness and frustration. I could feel that they seemed stuck in their life.  I picked up on a sense of despair.  They were stuck in a rut called their life, and although options and choices and doors of opportunity were all around them.  They either didn’t see those doors, or they didn’t believe they could open them and walk through.  I would watch these people over the years, and that same hardness, sadness, loneliness and frustration never went away.

I was always the square peg in a round hole, and I realized from a very early age that geographically, where I lived, although it was in a small town, if I wanted something more, all I had to do was drive to a bigger town.

There were big towns all around us.  If you were willing to drive for an hour or two, the world could be your oyster.  I used to spend a lot of time in the library, and I would read books…lots of books.  Through reading I learned about life beyond the cities that surrounded us.  (this was way before PC’s and Google) Again, I knew that choices could be made and that resources were always around if you were willing to take a chance and reached out to somewhere beyond your comfort zone.

This is a lot of information for young girl to understand, but the fact is that I did.

It is still the same realization that is part of the passion that drives me to help other people step beyond their comfort zone to realize their dreams.

Technology has opened up a whole new world.  You don’t have to even have to leave your home anymore to open doors of opportunity!

So my passion to help people discover what doors they want to open and walk through, be empowered to make healthy, strong, solid choices -and avoid as many pitfalls as possible along the way- is even stronger than it was when I was a young girl.

So, when I ask myself why do (teach, lead, mentor, grow my businesses that provide valuable services, information, resources to help others be their best, be successful) …I do it- it is simply because I know, for me, it is the right thing to do.

What is it in your life that you want to do, you know you should do- but have been afraid to try? This is the year to take a step and open a door of opportunity for a new year and a new you!

Debbra Sweet

Faith vs. Fear: Are You Running Scared or Believing in God?

The turmoil being caused in the world today on many fronts has many people running scared. The question is- are you? 

As a Christian, we are to walk by faith – and not by fear.   However, it is very easy to have our thoughts be misguided, impressed upon by worldly beliefs which can corrode our thinking to the point where we are walking by fear and not faith.

Walk by Faith-Not Fear

Walk by Faith-Not Fear

 

 

The word (the written bible) is filled with instruction in the areas of faith and fear. It is up to us to work the word, study it, learn it and hold onto the information God has so beautifully laid out for our learning.

The word also speaks often of ‘rumors of wars in divers (many) places’.  It talks about famine, upheavals of people and the bad decisions people made – and the consequences that come along with it. 

The great thing about God so graciously laying out his word in living history- is that we can study this – and learn how to avoid making the same mistakes others before us made.

 
We get to learn how to live victoriously- in any situation, any condition or amongst any ‘disaster’ that may be occurring around us.

There are a few key promises God made to us and he still holds up today.  It is important for us as believers to really understand the depth of these promises- for with our understanding of the details of these promises, we are able to firmly hold onto them in order for God to bring them to pass in our lives- no matter what the worldly conditions are around us.

The first promise is this:

III John 2 ” Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health- even as thy soul prospereth“.

God WANTS us to prosper and be in health!!  However- there is a condition. Everything in the universe needs balance. God created this universe- and his Word.  To reap the prosperity and health, we need to understand that there’s another part to this verse that brings the balance. When there is balance, and all areas covered, God is able to provide to us easily.  The balance or ‘condition’ is: “even as thy soul prospereth”.  What does that mean?

This verse is a perfect mathematical equation.  We will prosper AND be in health EVEN AS our soul prospereth.  Here’s another way to see this:  “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest PROSPER + BE IN HEALTH = THY SOUL PROSPERS.”

As thy soul prospers is the condition that we need to work and be aware of in order to receive prosperity and health.  If we do not live, walk, and nurture our spiritual (soul) life with prayer, supplication, thankfulness, learning His word and then sharing His word- we will not have prosperity or health.

In these days where the current world talk is all about the monetary situations of everyone- the first thing for us to look at as believers is: how is our spiritual life? What’s our spiritual bank account like? Are we nourishing it daily?  One of the steps to remember for prosperity and health is to feed our spiritual life.  If you do not feed into the spiritual bank account, God cannot feed into your life in other areas with prosperity or health.

When our spiritual life is nourished, we have the ability to strengthen our faith- our believing in God’s word- without question. By having strong, rock solid believing – according to God’s principles, then he can work in our lives in any situation. He can bring prosperity and health to us that is in proportion to our spiritual health and prosperity.

A benefit of increasing our believing by being actively involved in our spiritual walk is that with each step of growth and understanding of God’s word and his promises for us- we are able to remove fear from our lives.

I John 4:18 says: “There is no fear in love (agape-‘the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation’); but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.  He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

The word love, when from the Greek word Agape- is the love of God, in the renewed mind (when we change our thinking and live according to his Word) in manifestation (visible, living proof, actually coming to pass).   This form of love is not the way we casually use the word love today. Agape love is deep, pure, passionate and unadulterated.

Perfect love- perfect Agape – is walking uprightly. It’s intentionally living a Godly, spiritually strong life based on the knowledge of God’s word.  When we have perfect love- perfect Agape- it gets rid of fear. I John 4:18 says fear has torment- it causes torment, unrest, and hardship in peoples lives.   I John 4:18 also says that if you have fear in your life- you are not walking in an Agape lifestyle or mindset- we’re not made perfect in love.

What’s awesome about how God created us- is knowing- that he made us to be successful! He made us to be more than conquerors! He made us so that by learning his promises, then taking action on what he has taught- these changes can happen easily in our lives.

If you’ve been held captive to fear because of current world events and news- you can be freed from the bondage of that fear by walking forth and claiming the promises shown here today. Claim them for your own- take ownership of them!!  Own them, believe them fully- without a doubt – and you will have opened the door for God to bring peace and prosperity into your live.  God gave us what we need to make this happen. II Timothy 1:4 promises us:  “For God hath not (absolutely not) given us the spirit (character) of fear (cowardly cowardice), but of power (inherent power), and of love (agape), and of a sound (sober) mind”.

We have the ability to have clear, strong, thinking in any situation.  God did not give us fear!  The world – those who walk without God- propound fear into daily conversation. 

They thrive on it. There is a universal and spiritual law that is immutable-it cannot be changed.  The spiritual law in Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he”. The Universal Law of Attraction says:  “What you think most upon, what you focus most of your thoughts upon- you attract into your life”.  If we are always surrounding ourselves with input and people that are always focusing on the fear from the torment, turmoil and disasters going on- then that is what we will have in our daily lives.

Romans 2:12 says: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what (is) that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”  We must guard ourselves to our input- and walk away, turn off, or close the door to fear based thinking and input if we want to keep our minds strong, sharp and focused on God’s foundation for success and prosperity! 

Philippians 4:6 says :”Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” During the days (or even minutes) where you start to feel anxious, uncertain, you feel fear creeping in – God instructs us to renew our thinking by prayer. Be thankful and grateful for the blessings we do have and the promises God has made.  Hold onto the firm belief of God’s promises for you!!  It will come to pass when you walk your spiritual walk filled with a thankful heart.

The word tells us that there WILL be many rumors of wars, disasters, famines, etc.  The world, although it was made by God- is not ruled by God. The adversary rules the world. God oversees us- his born again children.  The word says we (God’s children) are in the world- but we are not OF the world.  When we are born again with God’s spirit, we are not of the world. Knowing that the Word clearly tells us that there will be unrest amongst people on the earth- we can see things going on around us from a spiritual view and not a man made view.  

The warfare going on in the world is first and foremost a spiritual war.  It’s the adversary against God- just as it always has been. The evidence of this is showing in many forms of destruction around us. This is caused by the divisive hand of the devil – for his true nature is that of pure hatred. He stands for everything that is opposite of God.  

There are times when the adversary moves very subtly. He presents himself as beautiful, pleasant and inviting. We are to really watch our thoughts and input because with just a change of one word here, one action there- our beliefs, acceptance and understanding can start to be moved away from God’s word.
 
I Peter 5: 8 says: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour”.  This verse shows the real nature of the devil.  He wants to devour us- his goal – his only true goal is to “kill, steal and destroy us”. He does NOT want us to walk with God. Whether his actions are subtle and sly- or outright obvious with intense destruction, we are to be clear in our thinking (sober) and be vigilant- be watchful and careful- but not fearful.

Fear opens the door for the adversary to come in. Fear is how a lion captures its prey. It comes upon quietly- then roars unexpectedly- startling the prey into a state of unmovable fear. This is the opportunity for the lion to attack, kill and destroy!  If we walk with fear- or if we are inattentive and walking without God- this is exactly the kind of situation we allow to happen in our lives. It is the open door for the adversary to come in and personally attack us!  

When we remove fear from our life we can claim God’s promise to keep us safe: “Proverbs 29:25 “the fear of a man bringeth a snare (a trap): but whose putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe”.  One of the traps we have to be watchful of is man’s thinking- mans’ words, and man’s actions.

Those who walk without God are open doors for the adversary to come in and play with. They (people who walk without God’s spiritual guidance and instead are led by the adversary) are the ones who are involved in the actions that are causing turmoil for many today.

God warns us often of the consequences of trusting the worldly, five senses man only.  He instructs us on the importance of living by vigilant believing (faith) and spiritually walking with the promises of God’s word- instead of living from a worldly perspective.  Living worldly causes fear and destruction. 

Psalms: 118: 8 “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man”

Jeremiah 17: 5-8 clearly shows the benefits of trusting God and the consequences of living by trusting man:

5. “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed (be) the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh (five senses) his arm (strength), and whose heart (believing) departeth from the Lord.
6. For (explains the reason) he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, (in) a salt land and not inhabited.
7. Blessed (is) the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope (belief) the Lord is
8. For (explains the reason) he (the man that trusts the Lord) shall be as a tree planted by the waters (strong, healthy, fed, grounded, beautiful and lush) and spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when the heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit

When we trust in God, and walk by faith- unyielding believing – under any circumstance, we will be more than conquerors!  If we walk by fear- and we give into the worldly thoughts caused by the manifestation of spiritual darkness –we will eventually be devoured.  God states that if we faint when hard times come- it is because of one thing:  we not have enough knowledge of his word within us. Proverbs 24:10 “If thou faint in the day of adversity, they strength (knowledge of God’s word) is small (narrow- thin, not solid). Knowledge of God’s word and his promises builds the foundation for us to walk on solid ground- ground that will support us under any situation, any circumstance!   

Remember this- the next time you feel fear creeping into your thinking- claim the promise of perfect peace- and then hold onto that promise, watch your input and be sure to communicate with God in thanksgiving. Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in peace (whose) mind (is) stayed (strong, consistent)  (on thee): because he trusteth in thee”

 
This renewing of your mind and actions builds the trust that will allow you to prosper- and have no fear -in any situation!

God Bless and may you have a fearless day!

By Debbra Sweet

http://www.GodsWordFirst.org

Debbra Sweet is a biblical scholar who served 8 years on the Board of Directors for ACF (The Association of Christian Fellowships) a worldwide biblical research ministry. Debbra Sweet and her husband, Pastor Daniel Sweet, were in charge of the North San Diego County Region of in home fellowships for ACF. During that time, she has overseen the growth and development of multiple in home fellowships and has been instrumental in helping many people come to the knowledge and truth of God’s Word. Today she supports believers world wide through Gods Word First ministry. She is the founder of Sweet Marketing Solutions and an author in the Power of Leadership book series.

Spiritually Speaking

From the time we’re born, we seek to learn from those who are around us.  Deep inside people is an inherent desire to search for a ‘higher power’.  Many people feel an emptiness, an aloneness, a ‘hole in their heart’ until they find a higher power.  Along the search to fill that emptiness, the void, people tend to cover or temporarily fill that feeling with other things of the world.  Those actions may temporarily satisfy the desire and cover the feeling of emptiness, but until one connects on a spiritual level with a higher power, those feelings will continue to resurface.

Some people never find the higher power that fulfills. Instead they are content to continue worldly actions that momentarily fill the void, but at the end of the day, they are still empty from true purpose in their life. In some cases, those worldly actions simply destroy their life.

In my search, I found my higher power through biblical truths. I tried many worldly ways to fill that void- but this is what filled it for me.  One biblical truth, one promise that I have come to understand is this:  John 10:10 says:  “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou (you) mayest (may) prosper and be in health, even as thy (your) soul (spiritual life) prospers”. 

This is a mathematical equation.  To have prosperity and health in your life, you need to have spiritual prosperity also.

You need to have balance here too.    If your spiritual life is not healthy, it’s not fed or nurtured, your life is out of balance.  The amount of attention you give and feed your life spiritually will be a direct connection to the amount of abundance and health you will manifest also.

Take the time to nourish your spirit. Take the time to fill that hole with wisdom, knowledge, power and insights if you truly want prosperity and abundance.

Need some ideas on where to start? Need some help dusting off the old ways?  Here’s a great place to begin http://www.GodsWordFirst.org

Every day brings rays of hope and opportunity if you believe

Every day brings rays of hope and opportunity if you believe

 

 

 

Have a blessed and prosperous day!

Debbra Sweet

http://www.DebbraSweet.com