Tag Archives: accept

Who Am I Really?

Discovering Your True Identity

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Family, God, Identity, Jesus
This article was written by Andrew Palau.

From the time I was seven years old, I hung out with the same group of friends. As we grew up, I carved out an identity for myself that fit in among the group. I was “the crazy one.”

When I went off to college and left these familiar friends behind, this reputation I had built for myself disappeared. I realized that I didn’t know who I was because my friends weren’t there to define me. I was plagued by the question: “who am I really?” Left without an answer, I felt lost and out of place.

But once I became a follower of Jesus, that question took on a new and exciting dynamic. Who am I? The answer fills my heart with joy, confidence and a sense of eternity. When we accept Jesus Christ, our identity no longer relies on anything or anyone in this world.

Many of us let things such as our jobs, our talents or the people around us define our perception of who we are. But these things are fallible and temporary. Romans 8:16-17 calls us “God’s children” and “co-heirs with Christ.” God has claimed us as his own and promised us eternal life! This is our true identity; one that will never fall away. Isn’t that something worth sharing with those around us?

One of the deepest questions in life is "Who am I?" So who are you? Share with a caring Christian who you are.

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An Easter Gift for You

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the key to the Christian faith

Written by Joy on 05/04/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Crucifixion, Easter, Jesus, Life, Resurrection
“Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live, ” John 11:25

During Easter we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This event is the key to understanding the Christian faith. Without Easter morning, what Jesus taught and modeled would only bring us condemnation. “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” I Corinthians 15:17 Let’s learn more about the special Easter gift God has for you.

Love
At the time of Jesus’ coming, the Bible already had many detailed predictions about Jesus’ death on the cross. His own words in Matthew 12:40, Mark 8:31 and John 2:19-21 show He knowingly and willingly went to the cross. “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily…” (John 10:18). His death was not by accident. It was not for His own glory. He died to rescue us from our sins. “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8)

Life
Easter is not just about the death of Jesus. His resurrection was a victory! Because He conquered death, we can be sure of the resurrection He promises for those who believe in Him. “‘Death is swallowed up in victory’…But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54,57). Jesus’ triumph over death keeps us from spending eternity separated from God.

Hope
Many religious leaders tell of various ways to reach heaven. Yet, no others have shown proof that theirs is the true way. “Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said…After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

Jesus predicted His own death and resurrection, and then he accomplished it. He also promised to prepare a place in heaven for all who believe in Him. (John 14:1-6) He Himself is the bridge to eternal life. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Will you accept this Easter Gift for yourself? Click here to accept God’s gift of eternal life.

Pray this week:

Thank you God for the gift of love you gave me through Jesus. I accept Jesus’ death as payment for my sins and I trust in the life and hope that Jesus offers.

Jesus is different than every other religious leader in history. How did Jesus predict his own death and resurrection? Connect with a caring Christian to find out.

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Easter Mysteries to Reconsider The Mystery that Saves Us From Ourselves

The Mystery that Saves Us From Ourselves

Written by Susan on 27/03/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Cross, Crucifixion, Easter, Jesus, Resurrection, Salvation
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.

I Thessalonians 5:9-10
Easter, an important holiday for Christians, is upon us again. Each year we have the chance to reconsider what it means. Will we ever truly grasp the meaning of Easter? Jesus came to the world to die for us. Why did He have to do that?

Why We Need Saving:
In Romans 3:10 an Old Testament quote from Psalm 14:1-4 is given to remind us that “no one is righteous, no not one.” Since Jesus is the only person who ever lived a sinless life, He is the only one who is able to perfectly follow God’s will. The rest of us all fall short. Fall short of what? God’s holiness is the standard, so we can do nothing but fall short. But God has not left us alone and without help!

How We Are ‘Saved’:
“But … always give thanks to God … because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13). So, always remember that this plan is God’s idea and His way to express His love for us. “For God has NOT destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10) Even though it is so difficult to understand, God wants to have an everlasting relationship with us, and He has done the work for this to happen! We must receive His great offer to live our life for Him, how can we possibly refuse?

What Replaces Our Brokenness?
Even though we are broken, God provides a way for us to heal, grow and enter into a relationship with Him. Glory to God! This is the meaning of Easter! “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). There is so much more that God does for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Read the entire chapter of Romans 8 for more ideas. But, for now, just imagine that you can live without any thoughts that criticize you or make you disapprove of yourself. Now that is a resurrection thought!

Pray this week:

Dear Lord, Help me to see how much You want me to live in Your presence. Help me to see Easter in my life. Show me how to live beyond my brokenness. Praise to You for all that You have done to reach me, the sinless way You love me, and the undeserved way You accept me. I am humbled, when I learn about your works. Amen.

What does Easter mean to you?

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Total Compensation in Silicon Valley: It’s More Than Just a Paycheck

MYTH: Silicon Valley is where 22-year-old nerds in Gap hoodies make major bank overnight, then go out and buy yachts and posh mansions in Palo Alto.

REALITY: Uhhhh, not so much.

If you believe everything you read in the news or see on TV, you might think that working at a hot startup in Silicon Valley is your instant ticket to riches. Regardless of what Hollywood has managed to cook up in movies like The Social Network and TV shows like Silicon Valley (natch), however, the real world of startup employment is quite a bit different. As in: Long hours for sometimes (nay, often) crummy short-term pay (or even no pay at all!) as a trade-off for the chance to make big bucks down the line in the form of company equity if your startup employer turns out to be the next Facebook or Google.

But while the chance for startup riches definitely exists, the hard reality is that most startups don't become the next Facebook. Many startups don't even get acquired in an modest equity-cashout deals. In fact, a lot of startups outright fail, leaving talented people with little to show for their long hours and lost sleep besides a worthless equity agreement. Bottom line, if you're not independently wealthy, it's usually not a good idea to work under an equity-only pay agreement—unless you are willing to live in your parents' basement while eating government cheese. Sure, it might have worked out for the Woz, but much like winning the lottery, an Apple-style founders' payoff is a mega-long shot for most people.

Sounds depressing, huh? Don't fret, because there's a silver lining for talented tech workers. If you're smart enough to work in Silicon Valley—or any tech company, for that matter—then you're smart enough to be strategic about your compensation. If you're better informed about what top talent should be demanding from companies when negotiating your total compensation package, you're also more likely to pick a startup outfit that has the staying power to keep you working (and paid) well over the long term, especially in terms of potential equity cashout. And if by chance your employer crashes and burns, negotiating a solid base pay package upfront can offer you some short-term stability while you look for your next opportunity.

In other words, it's time to get smart about Silicon Valley compensation. Base salary is only one part of the equation. Equity is another, potentially lucrative part of your total pay package, and some tech workers choose a lower base salary in exchange for more equity (or vice versa). Bonus pay can be icing on the cake—or nonexistent if the company doesn't hit growth targets, or (worse) if your bonuses are tied to things you have no direct control over (like slacker employees that you don't supervise, or a second round of investor financing falling through). Meanwhile, often-overlooked benefits like health insurance, vacation pay, or even perks like onsite meals or a free gym membership have their own intrinsic value that can make up for lower base-pay packages. A combination of all of these compensation options—not just base salary—are equally important parts to consider when evaluating any potential job offer, whether you're working in the heart of Silicon Valley, at a Fortune 500 company, or at a mom-and-pop shop in the rural Midwest.

Know Your Local Market

Compensation standards vary widely by industry, region, and even neighborhoods within the same urban area. Local costs of living also vary widely, and what might be a great salary in Indianapolis is barely a subsistence wage in San Francisco. For example, an entry-level computer engineer in San Francisco often earns $125,000 plus bonuses and benefits. While that might sound like a lot of money, it doesn't go very far in the super-expensive Bay Area, where it might not even be enough to cover the rent on a basic two-bedroom apartment, let alone any special luxuries. Meanwhile, that same salary and benefits package in Indianapolis would be sky-high pay for an entry-level engineer, where the typical entry-level salary of $60,000 would still buy a very comfortable lifestyle. Compensation for some jobs sometimes doesn't even differ by region—-meaning that the same salary that would have you living in a crummy shipping container in the Bay Area could buy you a four-bedroom house and a brand-new car in Cleveland. Sites like Salary.com, Glassdoor, and Indeed offer salary data by position type, experience level, and region. Talking to colleagues who work in a given market or location about what to expect in terms of total compensation is also helpful.

Also, you'll need to ask yourself whether a startup/equity compensation package is really worth the extra risk. Startups often pay less than established companies (and may not always meet payroll at all!), but offer company equity, huge bonus potential, or special perks to make up for it. That equity/bonus potential could be worth millions—-or nothing. The potential for riches from equity and big bonuses therefore is supposed to outweigh the lower upfront pay, but remember, the keyword here is potential.

Meanwhile, established companies typically offer long-term stability and steady paychecks, but aren't giving away half the stock in the company to a single employee (i.e., you).

The question to ask when evaluating any job offer is, What's more important to you? And what are you willing to risk? If you're young, hungry, and don't have a spouse or kids to worry about, the startup/equity deal could be well worth the risk. ("There's gold in them-thar hills, Go West Young Man," et cetera.) But if you're married with two kids and a mortgage, you're probably better off with a conservative, steady gig at a stable company.

What if a medium-sized startup or more established company is offering you a modest equity/bonus package, but is still lowballing you on salary? Negotiate. When a company is on solid enough footing to recruit talent without big equity giveaways, that's a signal they should be paying closer to market rates from the get-go. Also, pay close attention to any proposed bonus structures, and make sure bonuses are tied to factors you have direct control over. Companies often give you pie-in-the-sky promises during the interview process to get you on board, but reality often doesn't match up further on down the line. If you can, ask the hiring manager to give you some hard numbers on what past bonuses have been for people working similar positions, and get everything in writing. Otherwise, you might end up with far lower total compensation than you expected if bonuses don't pan out

Other often-overlooked components of total compensation include benefits like health insurance (including how much you'll pay out-of-pocket for premiums and deductibles), as well as 401(k) company match and profit-sharing plans. For example, the company might say they offer health insurance, but if you're expected to pay 100% of the monthly premium plus a high annual deductible, that's thousands (or even tens of thousands) of dollars off the top of your salary. Meanwhile, a company that has lower base pay while offering free healthcare and a generous 401(k) match or a traditional pension may actually be a better deal in the long run.

When it comes to negotiating your next salary and benefits package, knowledge is power. Remember, in a tight labor market for top tech talent, everything is negotiable. There's no reason to accept a bad job offer when you can often get a better deal by communicating your expectations—or looking elsewhere.

 Leandro Margulis Leandro Margulis
Advisor | Investor • Pick-Eat

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God’s Power in Your Life: The Power To Do God’s Work

No matter who you are or where you are, God can empower you to do His work!

Written by Hope on 25/10/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Power, Holy Spirit, Guidance
God uses Scripture to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.

II Timothy 3:17
What makes you feel powerful? If you have accepted God’s forgiveness and allowed Him to teach you to walk in His ways, now you can show God’s empowerment in your life.

Here are ways you can show His power through your actions:

1. Don’t Depend On Your Own Strength
God’s power is given in His grace; He can work in your weakness. The Apostle Paul worked in the power of God’s guidance only, and is recorded as doing more to help form the early Church than any other Christian. And it was because he depended on God, not on himself. The Lord told him, “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” And St Paul added, “So if Christ keeps giving me His power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am (II Corinthians 12:9-10). Are you willing to let God show his power in your weakness?

2. Let God Lead The Way
If you have accepted God’s power, and are ready to do His work, you might be wondering what to do. First, start by praying to God and consult with other believers about finding God’s will before making any decisions.

Here is an example of listening for God’s leading, found in II Samuel chapter 7. Israel’s ancient King David wanted to build a temple to hold the Ark of the Covenant, and at first, the Prophet Nathan approved this project. However, that night, the Lord instructed Nathan to stop King David, for it was not God’s will to have the building at the time. The Lord later allowed David’s son Solomon to construct the Temple.

We too must be careful to listen for God’s leading, and let Him empower us.

3. Understand The Power Of The Holy Spirit
So how will God empower you? The Bible tells us that “God’s Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control” (II Timothy 1:7). The Lord fills His people “with power and His Spirit” (Micah 3:8) whom Jesus promised to send to all those who have accepted Him.

Are you depending on the Holy Spirit for guidance? If so, you can trust the Lord to empower you and guide you in doing His work.

Pray this week:

Dear Lord, allow me to be weak, so Your power can enable me to do Your will! Amen.

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Do You Know the Real Truth?

Most of us will not fall for an obvious lie, but we can be fooled by a slight twist of the truth.

Written by Joy on 12/10/2014
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Jesus, Truth
“The people of Berea were more open-minded and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures daily to see if Paul’s teaching was true.” Acts 17:11

The best way to recognize a counterfeit is to know the REAL thing! Most of us will not fall for an obvious lie, but we can be fooled by a slight twist of the truth.

Know the Enemy’s Strategy
In Genesis 3:1, Satan only changed a few words from God’s original commandment to confuse Eve. When Satan tempted Jesus in Matthew 4, he quoted scripture to lure Jesus into sin. Jesus quickly saw the verses had been taken out of context and used for wrong motives. People can be easily led astray by the use of scripture that gives the appearance of following God, but actually promotes selfishness and pleasure-seeking.

Know the Whole Truth
“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

The Bible is a complete message from God, so it all fits together. Be careful of taking verses out of context. Like the Bereans, study the scriptures every day searching for an overall understanding. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into the truth according to Jesus’ promise in John 14:16-17,26.

Know the Meaning
Pay attention to the meaning of words, and check everything against the rest of scripture. If someone talks about “Jesus,” make sure they are talking about the Jesus of the Bible who is God and rose from the dead. “…just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily listen to whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach..” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).

Some say that because God is “love,” you can do whatever you want. Some say God is a “judge,” so you must obey these strict laws. Both of these ignore the total truth of scripture summarized in John 3:16 – God does love us! He graciously gave His Son Jesus to save us. Why do we need a Savior? God’s holiness required a just punishment (death) for our rebellion (sin) against God. Peace with God (eternal life) is a free gift for ALL who believe (have faith), just as it was for Abraham in Genesis 15:6 (See also Romans 4)

The entire Bible is a love letter to us from God our Creator. From beginning to end, it shows God lovingly pursuing us to bring us back into His plan which we rebelled against. If you want to go back to God’s plan, accept Christ today. How will you respond to God?

Pray this week:

For the Holy Spirit to lead you into truth.

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NAIL HOUSE PHENOMENON

Nail house is a building whose owner refuses to accept compensation from a property developer for its demolition, either for the love of the home, or because they want to 'hold out' for increased compensation.
Below is the famous nail house in China where the road was built around the house, leaving it as an island in a river of new asphalt. The house was finally demolished after its elderly owners agreed to accept compensation. 

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Same-Sex Marriage | The Truth About…

What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? How does God feel about same-sex marriage? Have we been misusing the Bible when citing it to condemn gay and lesbian behavior? Did Jesus ever mention it? Is it time for Christians to finally accept that homosexuality is a civic right equivalent to racial equality? In this lesson, Don Blackwell shines the light of God’s truth on these and other questions that are trending cultural topics.

 

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