Throwback Thursday: Planners Anonymous

Christmas is coming and there are many things to do from planning meals to wrapping gifts and celebrations of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus! So we thought all of the self-professed Marthas out there would need a reminder to surrender down to the smallest details to the Lord. Enjoy this EmpowerMoment originally posted on January 20, 2012.

Hi, my name is Katrina and I’m a planner!

I am self-proclaimed planner.  I plan out my day. I plan out mostly every task I complete during my day from cleaning my house to completing a report for work. My family and friends look to me to plan family events and vacations.  I take a certain level of pride in my ability to plan something out and make arrangements should anything go wrong.

While I enjoy this gift God has given me, it has also become a curse.  I’m a planner to the extent of planning my whole life!  I just knew how I wanted everything to go–my occupation, style of home and car, when, where, and how I wanted to get married, and the number of kids I wanted along with their names and genders.

I put myself in danger of two major things happening when I planned my life out like this:  (1) I didn’t submit any parts of my life to the will of God to do whatever He wanted to do. (2) I became anxious when I started to see that some of my plans were not working out the way I had hoped. In MY plan I should have been married working on my first pregnancy by now (twins, one boy and one girl)!

GOD’s WILL

“…For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Yes, God wants us to live life on purpose; however, He wants us to live out our purpose through consistent submission to HIS will for our lives, not our own!

BEING ANXIOUS

“…Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving , present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

God wants us to CALM DOWN!!

I have since stopped making plans based on my will and have submitted my desires to the will of God for Him to do with them as He chooses.  This course of action is best because God will take your life in a direction and bless you in such a way that is beyond what you could  have EVER imagined for yourself.

“…Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You that Your will is perfect.  We thank You for loving us so much that You have entrusted us with an awesome destiny to reach.  We are grateful for the opportunity to help build the kingdom of God and bring You glory.  We ask that You help us to continuously submit our plans to You.  Help us not to get out of Your will by making our will more important than Yours.  Please forgive us for the times that we have done so. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to submit your plans to God.  There is a song we sing at my church that simply says, “I surrender, I open up my heart to whatever you desire!”  I promise God will take you places you never imagined that you could go.

Which one of YOUR plans can you submit to God today? We’d love to hear about it! Share it with us onFacebook or Twitter!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Control Freaks Anonymous

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Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

What’s Up Wednesday: Thank You!

This is a late post, but we did not want to end this year without formally thanking you for your support and contributions towards EmpowerMoments Empowering Women and Children Drive. In October, with your help, we were able to bless women and children at Clara’s House with toiletries. Our two representatives, Sarah and Saneatra, were also blessed with inspiration and testimony from such a phenomenal woman, Miss Clara.

“Talk about a Beacon of Hope!! Miss Clara is so awesome and full of faith, love and hope,” exclaims Sarah. “She is a dynamo of faith and she definitely believes in her community and plans to serve them until God says different.” “She is a tiny woman doing big things,” add Saneatra. It is such a wonderful thing to EMPOWER others. We are committed to allowing God to use us to impact and empower women daily through our EmpowerMoments and outreach, and we look forward to providing more outreach in 2015.

To each woman of Clara’s House, we at EmpowerMoments send our love and blessings! We pray that God enables you to EMPOWER others as He builds you up also.

 

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An EmpowerMoments Thanksgiving: Thankful at Thanksgiving

 Enjoy this EmpowerMoment originally posted on November 23, 2012 and have a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!!!

“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High.” (Psalms 50:14 NIV)

I have lived 500 miles or more away from my family for nearly 10 years, yet I have always been able to make it home for the holidays.  Despite my obligations, I have been fortunate enough to always be able to travel home to Chicago to be with my loved ones.  Whether it was school breaks or vacation time from work, I have been present for the carving of the turkey, eating of the feast and the round robin “I am thankful for…”  Of course this year was a different story.

A couple of months ago God blessed me with a new job in my field which meant that I would be in the office the day after Thanksgiving.  Upon first knowledge of my Turkey Day 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee I wanted to totally deny it.  Facing the fact that I would be eating a take-out meal and watching a RedBox movie on the ultimate family day was unbelievable and quite depressing.  Sure I could have flown into town just for the day, but I had to be realistic and know that I am financially blessed and not financially insane!   So as the days of November raced by me I was forced to swallow my pill of disbelief and simply asked God, “What am I supposed to do for Thanksgiving?”

Days after I popped the question to God I continued on with life as if the thought never crossed my mind.  I praised Him for our relationship, thanked Him for the love He gives me, and worshipped Him for who He is.  Honestly, ladies, after I questioned God I was prepared to be reprimanded, but things were different.  He didn’t discipline me in our quiet time together, nor did He hit me with His Word. Instead the days after my inquiry, He sent His angels directly to me.  I received Thanksgiving dinner invites from my boss, co-worker and classmate back to back.  Once again I was concerned about my plans and God had already made the preparations on my behalf.  The best thing that I could have done was continue to be happy no matter what the end result of the situation looked like.  My gloomy holiday outlook was attempting to deceive me when all I had to do was give thanks to my God and everything else fell into place.

Dear Daddy,

I may not be in the situation that I prefer right now, but I praise Your name for Your provisions.  You are always working on my behalf and that is more than enough.  Continue to show me how to be thankful even in the most challenging circumstances.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to be thankful for it all.  You have been blessed to make it to this holiday season and the Lord is still making moves in the spirit so that you can begin living in the overflow in the natural!  Get ready for your blessing!  Be Blessed!

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Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management.  She resides in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. She serves tirelessly with the Evangelism Team there.  Latasha also works at Mt. Zion as a member of the Administrative Support Staff. Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.” Isaiah 54:17

Throwback Thursday: A New Day – A New You!

Enjoy this throwback that was originally posted on September 21, 2012.

I was recently given one of the most thoughtful gifts that I have ever received.  Someone made a calendar for me.  It included pictures of me as well as famous quotes on each month.  It had all the special days of my year such as my birthday and holidays. I was so excited that I had received this gift.  I looked at it daily because there were pictures of me.  As I flipped the pages of the calendar I realized that every month was a new ME: a new picture of me, a new quote for me, a new life for me. That is how God works in our lives.  Things from our previous months and previous years don’t matter; He simply flips the page to our new beginnings.

 “And all the trees will know that it is I, the Lord, who cuts the tall tree down and makes the short tree grow tall. It is I who makes the green tree wither and gives the dead tree new life. I, theLord, have spoken, and I will do what I said!” (Ezekiel 17:24 NLT)

The Lord is always turning the page in our lives.  There have been many situations in our lives that we wish that we could simply remove from the calendar.  However, we do not have to remove that day because it is now a part of our past.  God has already forgiven us for whatever lies in our past.

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.  He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:7-8 NLT)

Many times we would like to simply forget things from our past and act as though things never happened.  The problem with that is we forget where God has brought us from.  We do not have to be ashamed of our past or attempt to erase it because it has already been forgiven.  Those experiences that we wish we could turn the page on assist us in becoming the Christians we are.  It is a testimony that attests to where we used to be weeks, months, years ago.  Walk toward your vision, fulfill your purpose, and reach your destiny.  Today is a new day!

 Dear Daddy,

 I come before You today thanking You for turning the page on my past indiscretions.  I pray for strength in order to ask for Your forgiveness from the things I am still holding on to.  I need guidance in whatever new endeavors that I am moving towards.  Teach me to be an example, based on my previous sins, to show others how far You can bring them.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you today to forgive yourself of your past so that you can actively participate in your future. Do not let the things that have happened on previous days creep into today and steal your joy.  God has already forgiven us of the things that we continue to carry around.  Learn to flip through toward a new YOU!

How have you learned to move past the mistakes of your past to get to the new you that God has ordained? Share your story with us.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Keep At It

Please click here to vote for EmpowerMoments in the 2012 BlackWeBlog Awards!

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Ms. Sherita Shelton currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Professional Counseling and is currently pursuing her counseling license.  Sherita works as a therapist and case manager for children as well as adults.  She facilitates groups for single women and offers mentoring and individual counseling for her clients.  Sherita’s favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lot not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Throwback Thursday: Fixing the Root of the Problem

Please enjoy this throwback originally posted on July 15, 2014.

Oh my goodness! The pain that I felt in my lower back and leg was excruciating. I had already self diagnosed the issue and decided that the person I needed to see was the chiropractor. Surely, if I could go in and get an adjustment, all would be well. I determined that my condition could be healed immediately if I just made it to the doctor’s office.

Have you ever heard your car making an unusual noise and decided that if you could just get an oil change it would make things better? Later you discover that while it temporarily helped it did not fix the issue. I am sure you can think of many short-term solutions that don’t really address the heart of the matter. Likewise, my attempt to “fix” my back pain was met with chastisement from the doctor as he lectured me on reducing my weight. This lecture was met with resentment because I needed relief today. He went on an on about this adjustment only causing mild and provisional relief because the cause of my issue was still present. I scoffed but the message rang loud and clear.

Fixing problems with temporary solutions isn’t a fix at all. It’s merely a Band-Aid to disguise what’s happening at the core. It provides temporary relief. Quite often, we approach our relationship with God the same way. When we are a spiritual and emotional wreck we run to the Doctor (Jesus) for quick relief. We may even “look” the part by attending church, quoting scriptures, anytime we find an opening in a conversation, and toting our Bible for all to see; however, if our relationship and heart aren’t right with the father, those things are just window dressing to a soul that is in a state of disrepair. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:8 KJV)

Purifying your hearts means developing a real relationship with our heavenly father which requires constant communication with Him through prayer, fasting, studying the word, and obeying His commandments. God can fix the root of the problem by taking our brokenness and putting us back together whole. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. (Jeremiah 18:3-4 KJV)

Just like my back pain won’t be cured until I take care of the root of the issue neither will our spiritual brokenness be fixed by doing things that just “look the part.”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for another chance to get it right! Forgive me for the façade that I have created to disguise my broken spirit – a soul that is in need of repair. Heavenly Father, I ask that You come into my life and give me the will to make changes that will fix the root cause of my problems. Lord, I need You. Loose me from the chains that have me bound and instill in me a spirit of discipline so that I will fast more, I will pray more, I will study and apply Your word more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to examine the root of your issues. Have you become so accustomed to the façade that you forgot Jesus’ knows your heart? Remember that He knows your every issue and what you need before you ask. There is no need to ask Him for a Band-Aid solution to your problems when a relationship with Him is the cure. Fix your problems at the root and everything else will follow.

Have you ever tried to apply a temporary fix to a problem? How did that work out for you?

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

What’s Up Wednesday

Greetings,

You may have noticed that no new EmpowerMoments have been released since September.  You might be asking, “What’s up with EmpowerMoments?”  Well, there’s a good reason behind the absence of your daily EmpowerMoments.

From October to December, EmpowerMoments will be on hiatus and under construction.  Our EmpowerMoments team will be taking the time to restructure as well as EMPOWER ourselves.  We need empowering too!  While we are on hiatus, we are still gearing up for a new and much more impacting year.

While we are on break, we will still post an EmpowerMoment from the past every Thursday and keep you posted on any EmpowerMoments updates and news.  You can also keep up with us via social media: Facebook and Twitter.  At the start of the new year, we will be up and running, and our blog will have a new look!  So stay tuned and continue to take a moment daily to EMPOWER yourselves!

God Bless,

 

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Throwback Thursday: She Is Me Series–Esther

Enjoy this throwback that was originally posted on March 6, 2012.

In honor of National Women’s History Month, EmpowerMoments is featuring a special week-long series called ‘She is Me’.  Each writer will parallel her own life with that of a Biblical woman to enlighten and EMPOWER you. Cheers to being a WOMAN!

For Such a Time as This!

When God chooses us for a GREAT work, He always places us in a position for it to be fulfilled. Sometimes the position may seem uncomfortable or painful; however it has purpose behind it. The story may start off like a nightmare, but our God transitions us to the “happily ever after” part. Like Esther, that’s how my story began…

This man had a very beautiful and lovely young cousin, Hadassah, who was also called Esther. When her father and mother died, Mordecai adopted her into his family and raised her as his own daughter. (Esther 2:7 NLT)

Like She, when I was ten years old, I was born into the world of foster care. My parents were not naturally dead, but spiritually dead and not in position to raise children. So my siblings and I were placed in the care of someone that could care for us. We were placed in a permanent home that loved us the way they knew how, but more importantly raised us in church.

Hegai was very impressed with Esther and treated her kindly. He quickly ordered a special menu for her and provided her with beauty treatments. He also assigned her seven maids specially chosen from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem. (Esther 2:8 NLT)

Like She, I was assigned to a group to prepare me to be used by the King. God knew that this preparation could not prevail if I had not been relocated. He placed me somewhere to be loved on and to be taught that knowing Him is the path to success. During the preparation, I was taught not only to go to church regularly, but also to give my time and talents to the King. Because of my training, no matter where I went or what I did, it was not an option to depart from knowing the King. In the process, I had many ‘why me’ questions? Why did I go to foster care? Why have I been through so much at an early age? Why me??? Then it all came together…

When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage. He had learned of Mordecai’s nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes…Mordecai gave Hathach a copy of the decree issued in Susa that called for the death of all Jews. He asked Hathach to show it to Esther and explain the situation to her. He also asked Hathach to direct her to go to the king to beg for mercy and plead for her people…If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 3:5-6, 4:8, 14 NLT)

There you have it! God reconnected with me with my first foster parent, which is now my pastor. Then He showed me the plan of the enemy in the lives of many of His chosen people and told me the role I play in His perfect plan! He showed me in a vision the bondage His people would be in and how my own family would be destroyed if I didn’t say yes to His will!

Like She, I put on my “big girl panties” and said yes! If it takes me emptying myself of my privileges and not being conformed to this world (Philippians 2:6-8, Romans 12:1-2) to bring deliverance to the people of God, I’ll do it! Like She, at first I was hesitant because I thought, “Why would the King listen to me?” Then I got past myself because like She, my family was on the line. Then I thought, of all people, God CHOSE little me for a huge job. He strategically placed me in the position to be able to handle it and produce effective results!

Like She, because of my obedience to the King, I have favor! Then the king asked her, “What do you want, Queen Esther? What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!”  (Esther 5:3 NLT) And now I hear God say,What is your request Rodnisha?”

Dear Daddy,

Just like Esther, I truly desire to be used by You! I desire Your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven! I desire true deliverance from sin, bondage, deep hurts, infirmities, rejection, and the powers of darkness! Father, I ask that You use me even if it places me in positions that are uncomfortable. I will obey because You brought me to Your kingdom for such a time as this. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to seek Him to know why you were brought to His kingdom and WALK in it! Are you an intercessor, teacher, encourager, giver, helper, mid-wife, or just a living epistle? Whatever He has called you to be is important and you are connected to others. Kingdom building is for the benefit of others! I EMPOWER you to build the kingdom!

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Ms. Rodnisha L. Anderson resides in Chicago, IL and serves as an elder at Life Redeeming Ministries. She works diligently with the Singles and Intercessory ministries. She is married to the Lord and becomes whatever she needs to become to reach the people for the building of God’s kingdom. Rodnisha truly desires to witness successful single women thriving in the kingdom of God.  Her favorite scripture is 1 Timothy 4:12: “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”