Approach Him

jesus on throneToday I heard a lady say, “God won’t bless your mess, you can’t just come to the Lord all messed up thinking He is going to heal and fix you.” At that moment I was grieved. I was grieved because I wondered how many people had she frightened away from approaching God because they felt the need to get right first. I once even believed that myself.

Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-13 NIV)

Just recently I shared with some of my girlfriends how “awful” my past was. I put awful in quotations because we all have our own definition and level of intensity for awful, so for me it was awful. I had a potty mouth. I cursed so bad I could make combinations that would burn a sailor’s ears. I had no respect for authority. Getting high was a joke and partying all night drinking poison was part of my routine. And then, the call that was placed over my life became louder and louder. I couldn’t keep running from God because my roots were in Him, and I knew his voice. At one point I thought to myself, “I have the audacity to think that God can get me out of this.” I had friends who had the same lifestyle and encouraged these things. So turning to God not only meant (so I thought) that I had to get my life together first, but I had to break away from friendships with no clue of how to do it. I was hopeless and didn’t quite know how to turn back. I was ashamed for some of the things I’d done and didn’t have the faith to believe that God would accept me. God’s Word says, Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV) This is not the confidence of a proud man, but the assurance that when you approach God’s throne He will envelope you, love you, forgive you, and wipe away (literally) your sins.

I stand here today in awe of my present tense. I am humbled by people who can’t pair my past self with who I am today. They find it hard to believe I did those things. I was sick in the Lord, so to speak. I needed a doctor. Somehow I approached Him and He started removing, rebuking, fixing, restoring, and cleansing me from my past. The residue is gone and I now have a new identify, an identity in Christ.

See, Jesus is our intercessor. He is our advocate, the one who stands between us and the Father pleading our case on our behalf. Jesus never once said that he only seeks to save the righteous. He is looking for sinners to save their souls. Will you approach Him?

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for ignoring my blemishes, for not judging me when I asked for forgiveness, and for welcoming me into Your arms. Thank You for protecting me when I couldn’t protect myself or when I was in compromising situations. I am grateful for Your love and undying loyalty to me even though I’ve failed You over and over again. Lord, please give me the strength and the wisdom to take strides in the right direction. Heal me oh Lord from my iniquities and grant me mercy to continue this journey so that I may be a testimony to someone else who is sick. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to approach God’s throne with your messed up self. Sometimes we do not know what to say or how to even begin, but the Bible tells us “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26 NIV) So just stand there, humbled in reverence to God, and allow the Holy Spirit to intercede, allow Jesus to advocate, and humble your heart to receive God’s forgiveness. Make today your day, the day that you ask God to fix you.

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a university administrator . She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Her passion for servant-hood is implemented through serving her community with Girl Scouts and her sorority, mentoring young women, and marriage empowerment. She resides in Daphne, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. Currently, they are seeking a  church home in their new city.

Faith Friday: From Out of The Mouth of A Child

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“And I was asking God why?” –Logan

As listeners routinely tune into a radio program, they get an encouraging word straight from God’s very heart through the mouth of a child.  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.  (Psalm 8:2 KJV)  As a tearful Logan describes the story behind his question to God, you can’t help nut to let those salty water drops fall from your eyes too.  But when Logan gives God’s answer to his question, your heart begins to melt and you can’t help but to smile at the truth that God loved us so much that His only begotten Son died for us all.

“She was special! And God said, you know what Logan, my son was special…but he died for a purpose!” –Logan

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to have the heart of a child and the faith of a giant!  Hold on to your faith and remember that Jesus died for you for a purpose, and inform someone who may not know or realize that God’s Son died for them too.    

Watch this video of a child telling radio DJ Mike about the death of his pet, encouraging us through the loss of a loved one, and reminding us too that Jesus died for me and you.  Please click on the link below:

A Child’s Faith

Can You Stand The Rain?

Heavy Downpour

My pastor made a point that I hate to admit is true, but it’s a fact of life. “You either coming out of a storm, going through a storm, or about to go through one.”  He reminds us that storms are inevitable.

Life comes with joys and memories, triumphs and seasons of sunshine and gentle breezes.   However, we can’t forget that it also comes with tests and trials, changes and challenges, rain and hail.  Nobody likes the rain and hail moments in our lives.  As New Edition says:

Sunny days, everybody loves them but tell me baby

Can you stand the rain?

Storms will come

This we know for sure (this we know for sure)

Can you stand the rain? –New Edition

New Edition reminds that you will have your ups as well as your DOWNS in life.  With that said, they pose a very good question to the ones they love.  Can you stand the rain?  It’s easy to hang in there with someone when the trees are in full bloom and the sun is beaming down with rays of joy.  It is easy to press in and move forward when everything is just fine.  But can you have that person’s back when your very relationship is being challenged?  Can you hang in there with that person when the storm has moved in and devoured almost everything in their life?  Can you hang in there when your coworkers are driving you mad?  Can you put a smile on your face and trust God when your bank account balance still says insufficient funds?  Can you dust yourself off and still press on to church even though you messed up recently and feel so ashamed?  Can you trust God and not rush into the arms of the wrong man even though you feel lonely?  Can you take the discomfort from the rain and stick around till the sun comes back out?

Will you suffer with the one you love or will you abandon them?  Jesus told us that persecutions and offenses will come.  He informed us that we will face tests, trials and temptations as He did.  But be encouraged, He has already overcome the world.  He has provided, along with grace, provision, His Sword (His Word), and a Helper (the Holy Spirit), help to get you get through the storms.  So don’t bail on Jesus during the storms.  Stand the rain; endure the hail.

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:17 NIV)

Your tears have been collected.  Your cries have been heard.  Your longsuffering is not in vain.  The rain will not last long.  The storm will pass.  Our faithful God will never leave us, nor forsake us.  Just remember the world and its master has already been defeated.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You Faithful Father that I don’t have to go through the storm alone.  You are right here with me as I abide safely in you.  Thank You for the grace to persevere and overcome every test and trial.  Thank You that nothing is too small for Your concern or too big for You to handle.  I pray I trust You before, during, and after every storm.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to stand the rain.  Fight the good fight of faith and trust God.  Keep and obey His Word, and don’t forget to put on the garment of praise.  Praise is another weapon to aid us through the storms and to confuse the enemy.  Stay in God’s presence too for it is our shelter from the storm! 

Are you prepared for any and all rainy days in your life? Can you ever be really prepared for rainy days?

Enjoy one of my favorite songs, Can You Stand The Rain, By New Edition (click on the link):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7flrKMGfwjw

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Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program, helping high school students prepare for college. She loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better through her support, actions and writing. In April of 2014, Tannika published her first book, a book of her poetry, titled Setting The Captive Free. In 2014, she  also launched her Christian clothing and apparel brand called Fruitful & Fabulous inspired by John 15:8. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

What’s Up Wednesday: A New Year

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HAPPY NEW YEAR OUR ERs (EmpowerMoments Readers)!!!!!

We hope you had a wonderful and blessed Christmas and New Year, and that you were surrounded with love and moments that will be awesome memories for years to treasure. After a three month hiatus to revamp and refocus, EmpowerMoments is elated to be back delivering our raw testimonies of God’s lessons and blessings to encourage and uplift you daily. We also thank God for each and every one of you. We pray that 2015 will be a year of victory, new levels, and continual growth not only for us, but for you too. Stay tuned, God is taking EmpowerMoments and the word EMPOWER to a whole new level.

 

EMPOWERMOMENTS NEEDS YOU

On another note, EmpowerMoments is transitioning and growing, and we are seeking to diversify our writer pool by adding more Christian women and teen girls who are willing to share their testimonies to reach and encourage young ladies and women of their peer group.

There is also a lot more to EmpowerMoments than writing posts for our blog. We are a group of women who pray together, hold monthly prayer and bible study calls, and seek other avenues of EMPOWERING women through volunteer and outreach services outside the Web.

If you are interested in becoming a writer for EmpowerMoments or interested in getting involved in any of our other teams (Media, Outreach, Prayer, etc.), please submit your name and contact information so we can discuss further details and the qualifications we are looking for at admin@empowermoments.org.

Love,

Empowermoments Logo

 

 

 

EmpowerMoments

I’m Tired of Waiting!

You have been waiting for the call back from that dream job after your interview for weeks now. You have been preparing to go back to school or you’ve been in school for years and are ready for graduation. You’ve been single for some years and waiting on the Lord to send your spouse. You’ve been waiting on that family member or yourself to get a complete healing. I can’t name every situation but I’m sure all of you can relate to a similar experience. If you haven’t, you will. It is inevitable in this life you will have to wait. Why do we have to wait? Well although it may not seem like it, waiting has many benefits. The word tells us that,

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Roman 5:3-5

So in waiting we actually are building our character, which is probably needed before we get that blessing so we are better able to represent Christ in our elevation and stay humble. Others times we are waiting because if we were to obtain the blessing before time it might do harm to us, even killed us. I recall a story in Genesis 30 where Rachel wanted a child. This was something she desired a great deal and didn’t want to wait any longer! God gave her this desire and she bore children for Jacob. In the birth of her last child she had difficulty and afterwards pasted away (Genesis 35). Sometimes God knows that the desire you want so deeply may end up killing your joy or peace and become an idol.

So in waiting for whatever it is that you want, be encouraged and know that when the time is right God will grant you the desires of your heart! One of my favorite scriptures I think about when I am getting impatient is Isaiah 40:31. It says,

 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Dear Daddy,

I know that You tell me in Your word that You will give me the desires of my heart if I seek You. So help me to recognize that You know those desire and You care enough about me to give them to me when You know I’m ready for them. Help me to prepare while I’m waiting and to not forget to enjoy this season that I’m in. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to wait on God. Stop focusing on the desire and focus on the one who will fulfill Your desire and give You more than you could imagine! Enjoy the ride and know that one day when you least expect it he will deliver. He’s never too early or too late. He comes at the exact right moment so be encouraged sisters!

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Misha White currently resides in Daphne, AL and is a recent graduate of Tennessee State University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology. She aspires to serve women to achieve the best spiritual and physical health possible using the Word of God, regular exercise, and healthy eating habits. She is a loving friend, sister, and daughter. One of her favorite scriptures is John 16:33 (NIV), “I have told  you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

White Elephant

white elephant giftIt was a month after Christmas and four friends gathered for their annual White Elephant gift exchange with a twist. The rules were to pick the one gift you received that you least liked and give it to someone else. The four ladies picked the gifts they liked least and brought the gifts to dinner for the exchange. The gifts up for grab were:

  • Season box seats to the Bears’ games
  • An all-expense 7-day trip to Switzerland for two
  • A year of a personal chef and maid
  • A $20,000 shopping spree

One by one the ladies opened their new gifts. Instead of excitement or shock, they looked as if they received typical white elephant gifts. Katherine received the $20,000 shopping spree, but as the CEO of Ann Taylor Loft, she didn’t need any additional clothes. Marissa is the CEO of Yahoo! and received the personal chef and maid for a year but she enjoys cooking with her family and keeps her house pretty clean. Indra opened the 7-day trip to Switzerland, which she frequently travels to and for work. Lastly, Dene` received box seats to the Bears’ games but she does a lot of business with the Bears’, so she already owns box seats.

All the gifts were great but seemed to work better for the person who originally received it and was pretty useless to the secondary person. They all laughed and passed the gifts to the original owners – who thought they had bad gifts until they received something they couldn’t use.

“There was once a man descended from a royal house who needed to make a long trip back to headquarters to get authorization for his rule and then return. But first he called ten servants together, gave them each a sum of money, and instructed them, ‘Operate with this until I return.’ “But the citizens there hated him. So they sent a commission with a signed petition to oppose his rule: ‘We don’t want this man to rule us.’ “When he came back bringing the authorization of his rule, he called those ten servants to whom he had given the money to find out how they had done. “The first said, ‘Master, I doubled your money.’ “He said, ‘Good servant! Great work! Because you’ve been trustworthy in this small job, I’m making you governor of ten towns.’ “The second said, ‘Master, I made a fifty percent profit on your money.’ “He said, ‘I’m putting you in charge of five towns.’ “The next servant said, ‘Master, here’s your money safe and sound. I kept it hidden in the cellar. To tell you the truth, I was a little afraid. I know you have high standards and hate sloppiness, and don’t suffer fools gladly.’ “He said, ‘You’re right that I don’t suffer fools gladly—and you’ve acted the fool! Why didn’t you at least invest the money in securities so I would have gotten a little interest on it?’ “Then he said to those standing there, ‘Take the money from him and give it to the servant who doubled my stake.’ “They said, ‘But Master, he already has double . . .’“He said, ‘That’s what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag. (Luke 19:12-26, The Message)

I wonder in this game of life if we played white elephant and brought our worst gifts to the table would we be open to exchanging them with someone else’s worst? Would we even need those gifts with our purpose? As 2014 ended, I was constantly reminded to be patient, wait on God’s timing, not to be anxious, and to remain thankful for the gifts that I have.

Dear Daddy,

I come to You as a surrendered vessel that You may use me for Your will. God, I ask for forgiveness for not honoring the gifts You’ve given me. I promise to move forward diligently this year operating in and strengthening the gifts You’ve given me instead of burying them. God, I will not complain when I see others’ gifts but be thankful for what You’ve supplied and multiply them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to use the gifts the LORD trusted you with. He allows us freedom in how to use our gives and gives us favor to operate in our purpose. God does not want us to sit on our talents or be unproductive with them, but he wants us to invest our talents and gifts. It doesn’t matter how large or small you feel your gifts are, honor them and honor Him.

 Which of your gifts will you promise to strengthen this year?

if-you-cant-fly-martin-luther-king-jr

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Teach a child about his legacy and his dream!

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Ms. Dené B. is a student of life who enjoys human studies and social media. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago where the motto is “Preparing People to Lead Extraordinary Lives,” She took her education and school spirit to heart and now is a young adult striving to live an extraordinary life while helping others achieve the same. With a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations and minors in Sociology and Visual Communication, Dené’s worked at a top PR firm but her greatest accomplishments resides in volunteer work with Autism Speaks and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Currently, she finds herself pursuing a vision God placed in her of starting her own business. One of her go to scriptures is, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).

Flashback Friday: Love Is…Always Hopeful

Ladies enjoy this flash from the past which was originally posted on February 13, 2014.

For the first two weeks of February, EmpowerMoments is doing a series entitled Love Is.  “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV) We pray that you are EMPOWERED, enlightened, and blessed as our writers share what Love Is based on God’s Word!

ray of light Hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best(Dictionary.com)

Being a self-professed pessimist, I felt it extremely ironic that I was assigned to discuss hopefulness during our series on love. As I was preparing for this article, I quickly ascertained that I would not be able to provide many examples from my own experiences. So, it got me thinking about my own love walk. The Bible clearly states that love is always hopeful. Clearly, I’m lacking some love because I am not always hopeful. If anything, in the name of “being prepared”, I’m always looking for something to go wrong.

But this is not love. God is our best example of hopeful love. And why wouldn’t He be? God is Love. (1 John 4:8)

Long before we were born, Love sent His Son to die for us to save us from sin and death.

God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. (1 John 4:9 NLT) Full of hope, Love gave us the choice to accept the gift of His dear Son. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Gen 6:5 KJV) Although every inclination of the thoughts of man’s heart was evil and though God gave man the freewill to choose Jesus or not, Love still had hope.

Love even stepped out on hope when He created us. Love filled us with talents and gifts, set us on paths of purpose for our lives, and hoped that we would fulfill those destinies. Each day, Love hopes that we will live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him.

And how often do we let Him down? Yet, each day we find new mercy and grace from the Lord. The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22, 23 KJV)

Love is always hopeful.

Thinking on this principle, I am challenged to change. The love of God guides my every footstep. God has hopes for my life and wants to bring me to an expected end in Him. (Jeremiah 29:11) Why shouldn’t I be more optimistic? Why shouldn’t I always hope for good things to come my way?

Dear Daddy, 

Help me to remember Your example of true love and remain hopeful. Remind me of Your grace and mercy towards me. Help me to stay full of hope in any situation knowing that You are causing all things to work together for my good. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to live your lives full of hope! God is causing things to come together in your favor and I challenge you to keep your hope in the Lord! No matter what it looks like, you can keep your hope because God is on your side! I EMPOWER you to walk in a love that is always hopeful! 

What expectations do you have in the Lord today?

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Tiara Wilkinson just released her first book “Days of Purpose & Destiny” which is available on Amazon and Kindle. You can find more information at http://www.daysofpurposeanddestiny.com. Tiara also serves as the Youth Leader and on the Pastoral Care Team at Christ Worship Center in Riverdale, Illinois. Her favorite passage of the Bible is Psalm 27 which reminds us that the Lord is our strength, so we have no reason to fear anything.