What’s Going On?

June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! He can be found virtually anywhere if we earnestly look for Him and listen intently! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

“Are we a lost generation of our people?
Add us to equations but they’ll never make us equal
She who writes the movie owns the script and the sequel
So why ain’t the stealing of my rights made illegal?
They keep us underground working hard for the greedy
But when it’s time to pay they turn around and call us needy….
March to the streets’ cuz I’m willing and I’m able
Categorize me, I defy every label
And while you’re selling dope, we’re gonna keep selling hope
We rising up now, you gotta deal you gotta cope
Will you be electric sheep? Electric ladies, will you sleep?
Or will you preach”                                                                                    -Janelle Monae

If you’ve been watching the news or perusing social media, you may wonder if it’s the year 2015 or 1915. It seems as though black people are having their rights eroded not only here but also abroad. From police shootings of unarmed men like Michael Brown, Freddie Gray , and Walter Scott , to a massacre of nine black people in Charleston, SC (while they were worshiping in church), church burnings happening across the south, to innocent Dominicans of Haitian decent being brutally murdered and deported all because of the color of their skin. This combined with all of the other atrocities around the world are enough to make someone go mad.

Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:9 NIV

Like many of us, you probably have participated in some social media “discussion” about it or you’ve just watched it all unfold with an overwhelming feeling of sadness. While talking about it is good and therapeutic, God has called us to be doers. As followers of Christ, we know that His ministry here on earth was about helping people, about being involved. He wasn’t an innocent bystander as life passed by. He could’ve lived his entire life without being involved without doing a thing but instead He lived by example and so should you. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17 NIV Read Isaiah 58:5-12,

But Chanceé, I am not a marcher. Who said you had to march? But Chanceé I don’t like to talk about this. Who said you had to talk? Just do something! Your support is needed in so many ways, writing letters, spreading awareness, providing financial support, refusing to support institutions, volunteering for people and organizations that are carrying the banner for justice. There is so much that you can do besides sitting idly by.

Just like when I listen to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” every time, I listen to Janelle Monae’s Q.U.E.E.N, I am reminded that there are still many people who are not accepted in society, including people of color. God has called us to love, which is such a powerful tool. Love in itself brings about correction. Our love for others and ourselves should move us to action. We must engage on each others behalf.

Dear Daddy,

I come to You seeking justice and a way forward. Remove the anger from my heart and help me to see clearly. What would You have me do? How can I be used as a vessel to bring about justice and to influence peace? Lord, give me the courage to fight on behalf of the oppressed, the weak and the poor. You know me and you know my capabilities. Lord, let me be fearless. God I ask that you convict the hearts and minds of those who claim to love You but hater others. Let them see the error of their ways. Allow me to walk in your light and in your love as I strive to bring about change in a way that honors You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 Ladies, I EMPOWER you to get involved. Think today about what you can do and how you will do it. It’s not about you or being glorified by men. Your action doesn’t have to be broadcast for it to count. Just get off the sidelines and Do Something!

Take a moment to listen to Janelle Monae’s Q.U.E.E.N. If you can’t see the video, click here.

________________________________________________________

Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is a small business owner 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  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.

Your Joy

No one loves me just like you do
No one knows me just like you do
No one can compare to way my eyes fit in yours
You’ll always be my father
And I’ll always be your joy-Chrisette Michele

This is part of the song “Your Joy” by Chrisette Michele. I remember when I first heard this song I immediately fell in love with it because so much of the song’s lyrics resonate with me as it relates to me growing up with my father. As I reflected on Father’s day, I realize how this song also applies to our heavenly Father.

It is such a blessing to acknowledge our fathers and father figures not just on that one day, but everyday. I know Father’s day can be bittersweet for some and maybe just plain bitter for others but we can all find some sweetness and joy when we think of our heavenly Father who loves and cares for us no matter what. Psalm 68:5 says “He is a father for the fatherless.” As the song says, we are his joy.

For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. (Psalm 149:4)

Dear Daddy,

Happy Father’s Day to You every day! I may not celebrate You often enough but I want You to know that I worship and praise You! Bless Your holy name! Thank You for being an irreplaceable and matchless father! Thank You for our earthly fathers and father figures and for the valuable and sometimes hard lessons they have taught us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Daughters of the Father, I EMPOWER you to not only think of your earthly father, whether good or bad, but think of your heavenly Father who is always good and whose mercy endures forever! I EMPOWER you to strive to be His true joy as His child! Be who He created you to be.

 Listen to Chrisette Michele’s Your Joy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL9dDSpPey0

________________________________________________________

Mrs. Coretta Collins is a wife and mother who enjoys reading, writing, movies and spending time with family and friends. She is avid about health, healing and helping which serves her well as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a hematology and oncology practice. Striving to be led by the Lord throughout life and having overcome significant challenges, 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 a hope and a future. Coretta is a member of St. John A.M.E. Church in Birmingham, Alabama. She resides in Calera, Alabama with her awesome husband and two wonderful sons.

Never Lose Sight Of God’s Great Sacrifice

June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! He can be found virtually anywhere if we earnestly look for Him and listen intently! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

If there ever was a time, it is clearer than ever before that we are living in the last days. Sin is blatantly expressed, embraced, and uplifted in our society. Holiness is scorned, shunned, and ridiculed. People are placing themselves on prideful pedestals. Everyone is so eager to have their selfish desires accepted, and they will accept the selfish desires of others.

It’s so easy for me to sit back and shake my head in disgust at what our world has become. It’s so simple for me to point out the wrongs of others. I can look at the debauchery going on and find all kinds of ways that people are disrespecting and displeasing my Savior – their Creator. I can easily sit in a seat of judgment and point out how much the world needs Jesus.

But then my Savior – my Creator – always has a gentle reminder for me of why He is my Savior. Looking back, I clearly needed Him just as much as the world needs Him now. I used to be the one cussing people out. I was the one doing the most I could do to cause others pain. I was someone who wanted to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, regardless of whether it was right or wrong.

I was the one in need of forgiveness. I was the one in need of unconditional love. I was the one who needed Jesus.

Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation… So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. (Romans 5:7-9, 11 NLT)

The music artist J.R.’s beautiful song “Never Lose” takes a look at the great sacrifice that Jesus went through on the cross for us. It was an amazing act of love that we should never forget. Each of us has our personal story of salvation. Our stories should be a constant reminder of the greatness of God’s love for us. In remembering this, we should reflect that same love outward to the world around us. If we would show the world half the love that God has shown us, we would see drastic changes everywhere.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You so much for the love that You showed me in sending Your Son, Jesus, to die for me! Thank You for forgiving all of my sins and covering me with Your grace and mercy. Help me to show that same grace and love to those that I encounter every day.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to never lose sight of how much God has done for your life! You have been saved from a punishment of death that you deserved, BUT God has delivered you through the power of His Son! As you embrace your forgiveness, grace, and mercy, I EMPOWER you to show the same love to everyone you meet!

Take a moment to listen to Never Lose by J.R.  Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8kdiwnRfW4

________________________________________________________

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.

Flashback Friday: What Are You Running For?

Please enjoy this blast from the past which was originally posted on June 3, 2014. June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! He can be found virtually anywhere if we earnestly look for Him and listen intently! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord… (Jonah 1:1-3 NIV)

Recently, I ran from something God told me to do. The very thing God instructed me to do was scary, unattractive and nothing close to what I wanted for myself. To some, it may be exciting, and they would kill for the chance to go where God is taking me. However, once He revealed his plan and allowed me to see some of the major players in His plan, I took off. Fear took over and the excuses began to flow: “Lord I’m not good enough. I’m crazy; God can’t be saying this to me. This isn’t how I saw my life going. Oh Lord why me? Is there somebody else you can send? Look, that’s fine but I just don’t want to do it, etc.”

Then the Lord sent a great wind from the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. (Jonah1:4 NIV)

Just like a storm arose due to Jonah’s disobedience, God sent a storm in my life because of mine. Soon after, everything began to fall apart. I was holding on to some relationships I really didn’t want or need, but came in handy as excuses. The relationships became extremely nerve wrecking and then I pulled away from the people. Everything ceased to fulfill me. I had to jump ship in order to find peace. Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. (v.15)

After jumping ship, just like Jonah was swallowed by the great fish, I was pushed into isolation. While there, I repented and began to hear God more clearly. Again, He told me what he wanted me to do with plenty of confirmation. It was not any more exciting or glamorous than before. However, this time I realized what God wanted was necessary in the journey He has planned for me. I had to realize and remember that my calling isn’t just for me, but for others.

In Jonah 3, we see Jonah finally obey God, the Ninevites turn from their evil ways, and God have compassion and spare their lives (v.10).

A while back I asked God to make an example out of me. I didn’t realize what I was asking then. At every turn, I have seen someone watching me and a number of people, especially young women, take to me. Now, I understand why God is taking me in the direction He is and the importance of me sucking it up and doing exactly what He told me.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your mercy and Your grace. Thank You for second chances. Thank You for Your unconditional love and Your patience. Thank You for not allowing us to get too far before You pull us back. Thank You for guiding us, leading us and protecting us. Please give us the courage, strength, peace and guidance needed to do Your will. When we become afraid, please allow us to find peace in knowing You have not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to stop running! Even when the thing He tells you to do is scary, unappealing and so not like you imagined, trust Him and obey. God will walk with you and give you the grace to get that thing accomplished. Remember also that your calling isn’t just for you, but more so for others!

Enjoy this song by Shekinah Glory Ministry called Yes:

________________________________________________________________

Bettina Allen is currently working in security, with prior experience in customer service. She loves to read, write and dance. She loves God and is on a mission to be as close to Him as she possibly can. Bettina is constantly learning and growing from life’s experiences. God has given Bettina a word and she would love to share that word, along with all of the lessons He has taught her, with others. Bettina resides in Georgia and attends Life Church of Atlanta. Her favorite scripture is Psalm 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

I’m God’s Masterpiece

June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! He can be found virtually anywhere if we earnestly look for Him and listen intently! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

It took me a long time for me to accept myself (my physical appearance and my gifts).  When I was a child (also a teenager), I was skinny, wore glasses, had a gap in my teeth, and was bullied by others.  I also was a loner (I still am) and had interests that most kids didn’t have. I just knew that I was different. I loved reading and writing. I was called weird and people told me that I acted like I was a “white girl” because I talked proper and acted differently. As an adult, I’ve changed a little bit physically. I’m a petite woman.  I’ve learned to embrace myself.

I also learned that it is okay to be unique. I don’t have to be like everyone else. If everyone was the same, it would be a boring world!

When I listened to this song called Masterpiece, these verses stood out to me:

“Who is this I’ve tried so long to fight/ Filling my heads with lies that I’m not good enough/ Then I heard something in my ear/ Tell I’m perfect, now that I know the truth/ Time to show and prove/ Every part of me is a vision of a portrait of Mona, Mona Lisa/ Every part of me is beautiful/ And I finally see I’m a work of art, a masterpiece”. I think, as women, we all deal with the voice in our mind that we aren’t good enough. I still deal with that voice from time to time. I have to remind myself to block that negative voice and thoughts out of my mind.

Psalm 139:14 NIV states, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well”. God created us to be in His image. He made us His masterpieces! We all are different and unique in our own way but we are still beautiful. We are imperfect but to God we are perfect and He loves us regardless.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for accepting me as I am. Thank You for creating me to be Your masterpiece! Help me to realize how beautiful I am. Help me to block out any negative voice or thought that is contrary to Your word. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Ladies, I EMPOWER you, to accept yourself (the good and the bad).  It’s a process but it is well worth it.  Every time you have a negative thought, replace it with God’s word. You’re beautiful in God’s eyes.

 Do you believe that you’re God’s masterpiece?

 Enjoy Masterpiece by Jazmine Sullivan and know that you are God’s masterpiece:

(acoustic version) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GikmswX4u0Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js8pg2RU95E

__________________________________________________________________

Venus Gilmore currently resides in Auburn, AL. She is an alumna of Auburn University. Venus has B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Social Organization and Inequality with a minor in Social Work. She plans on pursuing a career in Social Services. She currently serves as the Mamie Reese Scholarship Director and College Transition Program Director of her sorority Theta Phi Sigma Christian Sorority, Inc. Venus is also a blogger for Radical7even. She is an active Client Advocate volunteer for the Women’s Hope Medical Clinic. She successfully balances all of these responsibilities with her favorite scripture as motivation: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

 

Flashback Friday: No More Drama

Please enjoy this blast from the past which was originally posted on June 23, 2011. June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! He can be found virtually anywhere if we earnestly look for Him and listen intently! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

Last week I blogged It’s the God in Me that spoke about how God’s mercy and strength allowed me to start working on me. One of our readers “Dee” touched me in her comment and God encouraged me to write about how I’m able to “strut my stuff” in God!

There are things called “baggage” that seem to weigh us down in this journey called life. Baggage from our past, fears, failure, inadequacies; the list goes on. Someone stated “baggage is the stuff that follows you when you open one door before closing the one you just left.” Need I say more? Men can cause a lot of baggage and it’s because we don’t’ close the doors of yesterday before entering the promises of today. My message today is to EMPOWER you to get rid of the drama in your life! Some things in life stress us and they really aren’t worth it. Stop worrying about what people have to say about you. Dr. Seuss says it best, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” This is not to be done in an attitude of arrogance, but in an attitude of assuredness and love of how God made you.

Just recently I incorporated this concept of no more drama in my life. As outspoken as I am, I had this embedded need of other people’s approval. One night my husband had to sit me down and say “Look, you are running around trying to please all of these people or going and back tracking what you say because people get offended by your assertiveness. Be you. Being you is enough; it is more than enough.” It took a while to set in, but I had to truly believe what he said. God made me fearful and wonderful (Psalm 139:14). He did not make a mistake on me! I had to start releasing all drama from my life. That meant certain relationships gained boundaries. Healthy ones were relished, while unhealthy ones were deleted or minimized. My personal health took a front seat. I became priority. Now this doesn’t always mean first because sometimes family, friends, my child, or my honey may come first. But at the end of the day, I am a priority.

I had to set aside everything that held me down. Whether it was sin, anger, friends, disappointments, money or weight, I had to let that drama go. So today, one thing I do know is that I am a better woman for it. My confidence is not a front for this insecure person on the inside, but has become my true character. I have confidence in knowing that “with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26b NIV). I am able to exert the God in Me because I have “laid aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset me, and I am running with patience the race that is set before me.” (Hebrews 12:1 KJV).

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for always being there for me, even when I couldn’t see my way through. Thank You for being there when I carried You with me through those voluntarily dramatic times of sin in my life. Father, as I move forward, teach me how to lay aside the drama that is causing me to back pedal or that’s keeping me down. Help me to move forward through Your healing of my heart, my soul, my mind, and my relationships. I love You Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you today to identify those things in your life that are drama filled and either remove or de-dramatize them. This is not something you do out of your own emotion, but through God’s purposeful plan for you, which can only be found through prayer and worship in Him. But Sistah Girl, some things are a given…if He has already told you to remove the drama, remove it NOW!

In honor of Black Music month I selected “No More Drama” by one of my favorite artists, Mary J. Blige. This song is very special to me because by the time you read this I will have lived out a dream of learning to tap dance (get your chuckle in.) I’ve always wanted to do it, and this is the song my tap instructor choreographed my performance to.

If the video does not play, please Click here
____________________________________________________________

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. They are members of Restoration Fellowship Church of Daphne, AL.

FOCUS!

June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! He can be found virtually anywhere if we earnestly look for Him and listen intently! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

Used to want a lotta things

All the stuff that’s on TV

Education, cars, and clothes

Fashion lights and jewelry

(Focused on the wrong stuff)

Now I got my eyes on you

And now I know that

— Lecrae – God Is Enough

In the movie, Focus (2015), we learn about a seasoned con artist named Nicky (Will Smith) who takes a woman under his wing and teaches her the trade of pulling off the perfect cons. As I watched the beginning of the movie unfold with a ring of Nicky and his team of con artists master goods right from under the noses of unsuspecting people in the midst of a popular, busy tour attraction, I was taken aback.  “Oh Lord, don’t let no people get any bright ideas from this movie,” I thought.  I wasn’t naïve to the fact scams and thefts are committed everywhere in our society; however, it is always sad to know that people violate others and rob not only their possessions, but their sense of security too.  I began to shun the movie; however, one particular scene where Nicky loses all of the team’s money to another man, presumably a businessman/thrill seeker got me intrigued. God used this particular scene to turn the light bulb on.

Nicky had one more chance remaining to win the monies back and his protégé could not understand how he could gamble and lose all of their monies like he did so she began begging him to quit. Nicky then told the businessman to pick a player on the game floor and tell it to his protégé. Nicky was to guess who the businessman chose and his protégé was not to inform Nicky, so Nicky had no clue. Did Nicky guess right? Yes, he did. Lol! Watch the movie to see; it’s intriguing, especially when Nicky reveals to his protégé the answer to her question of how he guessed the right player. His reply was basically his team had been sending subliminal messages to the businessman from the entire time he stepped foot into his vehicle to his hotel and from the hotel to the game—basically the whole day—regarding the number five, and he picked player number  5. Boom! That’s when it hit me, the devil and the world sends us subliminal messages, and sometimes loud messages too, every day. The devil is on his job convincing, suggesting, persuading. How are we safeguarding ourselves against these messages? And as the body of Christ, are we sending out our very own messages the Lord has downloaded into us?

We live in a world that is consumed with hurry, multi-tasking, full schedules, and accumulating more accolades and more stuff. There are countless advertisements that speak to us daily whether on television, on billboards, or on passing buses. There are junk mail filling our emails and mailboxes, and countless headlines and ads readied to catch our attention on the internet.  Lots of songs with catchy repetitive hooks and enticing beats framed to etch their sounds and messages upon our children’s minds. There are countless programs and tasks to spend our time on. We are bombarded daily whether we realize it or not. There are a lot of things and people vying for our attention, and many of us are often overwhelmed or battling distractions, suggestions, and persuasions. It seems that we can’t slow down even if we wanted to and we can’t maintain focus even if we tried. Many of us have lost our focus naturally and spiritually.

I am praying but last night’s worries or tomorrow’s tasks keep popping up in my head.

I just bought a new dress but her dress looks better on her, so now I want that one.

Insomnia is my new friend, and daydreaming is my associate.

I hear them speaking but I have not heard anything they said.

Which voice is God’s; I don’t know what to do.

I just can’t say no to that extra project on my job; scared to say no out of fear of losing my job.

I signed up for one more ministry and program at church, although I am burned out.

I keep getting sick, but no time to rest, there are bills to be paid and work to be done.

My mind is just as cluttered as my room.

I just can’t get enough of that gossip.

I can watch television for hours upon hours but can’t seem to stay awake in church.

My problems just seem to grow bigger and more every day.

After I accomplish this, now what?  When will I feel satisfied?

I wish I could just freeze my life; I feel so overwhelmed.

Are you being bombarded with worries, fear, diversionary battles, distractions, suggestions, and timewasters? Hard to distinguish whose advice is right, which voice is God’s, which one more thing to add to your schedule? Are you focusing more on your problems instead of focusing on God? Are you constantly running the race of life in comparison to someone else; are you constantly trying to please others out of fear of man? Are you spending more time adorning your life with good and worldly stuff and less time adorning yourself with the right stuff, prayer, God’s word and the whole armor of God? Are you overwhelmed? Do you know your purpose and plan your life around that? Are you a procrastinator and are you constantly allowing things and others to distract you from staying focused. It is interesting that the synonyms for focus are center, heart, core, and nucleus.

What is your heart? What/who is the center or at the core of your heart?

Focus is the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition (Dictionary.com). Are you looking ahead, no matter what goes on around you, no matter what the devil sends your way to try to distract you? Even though your mind may say it is difficult to see, does your faith say I have a clear visual definition of what God’s word says, what He promised, and what He placed in your heart.

Well, God knew we would get off track at times, so He gave us instructions on what to focus on and how to do it.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV)

Our focus should be on God. Our spiritual eyes should be set on Him. Now more than ever, our spiritual antennas should be tuned into God’s voice. We should be at the point of surrendering our very lives to God, seeking Him with all we are and all we got. His Word should be before us and we should be connected to His heart in prayer daily.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your Son Jesus who showed us how to stay connected with You and how to stay focused on You. Thank You that You give us the grace to fix our eyes on You and thank You for the discipline to resist the enemy and combat the distractions. Thank You for the Holy Spirit who is our Helper and our coach in keeping us on track to finish the race! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Sisters, today, I EMPOWER you to stay focused. Distractions will come, but just keep seeking God, pursuing God, talking with God, putting Him first, making Him the center of your heart, and reading and obeying His Word. Just like Nicky was committed to honing his craft, let us be committed to pursuing God and staying focused. Our eyes should be on the spiritual prize awaiting us in heaven and not on these temporary things that will pass away. Let us also send to others God’s messages of His eternal kingdom, unfailing love, and holiness that will endure forever.

God Is Enough Song by Lecrae:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYnA3yt8_yg

___________________________________________________________________

Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing or editing, she currently works for a Trio program helping high school students prepare for college. She loves to build people up through God’s Word, encouragement, mentoring, and her writing. In 2014, Tannika published her first book, a book of her poetry, titled Setting The Captive Free. 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.”