Fear Face-Off

no fear (1)“Fear knocked, faith answered; no one was there.” This powerful quote continuously inspires me.

I often wrestle with fear. I come up with all sorts of reasons of why not to do something. I imagine all of the bad endings, what could go wrong, and how I could be embarrassed. But I have learned that this kind of thinking can kill my dreams. If I choose to pay attention to those fears, I won’t begin the work and nothing will be done.

Many of us are standing in front of unlocked doors, but we’re afraid to open them because we are imagining our fears standing on the other side. We think that as soon as we open the door what we fear will smack us in our face and cause us harm. We have already pictured our defeat, so we stand still instead of moving forward.

It’s funny though. Those times when we decide to face our fears (often because we have no choice), we open up the door and often find nothing there. In fact, instead of what terrorized us, we find courage, we find accomplishment, we find strength, and we find our better selves.

When an angel visited Gideon and hailed him as a ‘mighty man of valor’, Gideon was not in agreement. (Judges 6:12) When he heard God’s request that he go against Israel’s enemy, Gideon was not sure that he was indeed the one that could do it. He asked God twice to prove that He was with Gideon before Gideon believed that he was really the one God wanted to use.

But, when Gideon believed God, Gideon was able to work wonders for the Lord. With only 300 men, Gideon was able to overcome a vast army of Philistines. (Judges 7)

What are you afraid of? What fears are hindering you from your success? What’s keeping you standing still in your tracks?

Choose today to listen to what God is showing you, not your fears. If God has promised it to you, He will not leave you hanging. If the Lord has said that you can do it, He has equipped you with every means for you to get it done.

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV)

Don’t allow fear to keep you from your destiny. Don’t allow fear to keep you from moving forward. Your promise is waiting for you! Stop allowing fear to keep you stagnant. Allow yourself the opportunity to see God fulfill His word to you. Give yourself the chance to succeed. Stop listening to fear, open the door, and move forward!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for giving me such an awesome assignment for my life. Help me to see myself the way that You see me and to live the way You want me to live. Help me to overcome the fear and doubt that try to keep me from experiencing the blessings that You have for me. Show me how to move forward confident that You are with me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to say no to fear! You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! You are well-equipped to handle whatever situation you come across. Fear will not have victory in your life.

________________________________________________________

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.

 

Watch Your Mouth!

Many of us have heard the phrase, “Watch your mouth!” from our parents at some point in life. Well, for me as a kid, most times it was annoying because I felt that I wanted to be able to express myself without being popped in the mouth or fussed at. Even as an adult if someone was to tell me to watch my mouth right now, I would probably look at them crazy because I’m grown. Right?

Well thinking about some recent conversations I’ve had where I realized that some of the things I was saying were not positive. They were complaints about something I was stressing about or me doubting my ability to accomplish a goal. Most times if I do feel stressed I know to pray and get in the word.

Recently I watched a sermon called “Where is your word?” To summarize it in short, it was saying that if I am a child of God why am I not able to speak to my storms and troubles and see a change? Do I not know the word? Have I not been given the authority through Christ Jesus to speak life over a situation like he did? Why is my initial reaction to cry, stress, worry, and complain? This message instantly hit me and I felt guilty. I had been getting upset and quickly complaining and speaking negativity. I hadn’t thought twice about any of the words I had been speaking about my own life and situation. I had done the opposite of what James 1:19-20 tells me to do when it says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”(NIV)

Many of us do this on a daily basis and wonder why things just don’t seem to be looking up for us. Well in Proverbs 18:21 it says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”(NIV) So basically what we have been speaking we will reap the consequences of, good or bad. Ouch! Well it doesn’t just stop here. There are a few more versus we can look at. In Matthew 12:36-37 it says, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned.”(NIV)

Even when we look at the life of Jesus, we can see that he used his words to speak life over dead situations. He was very careful not to speak loosely. He knew that his words had power. We, too, must realize that our words have power. We must first understand who we are in Christ and that when we must submit our lives to him. We are a part of the Kingdom of God. We are the sons and daughters of the Most High! With that comes the authority to use God’s word (which we know is life changing) to change the world around us. We need to study and understand God’s word and believe what Jesus told us in John 14:12 that, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”(NIV) In order to do that we must become disciplined even in the words we speak!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your word. Thank You for Your holy spirit that dwells in me. Help me to realize who I am in You! Help me to understand that everything I do even down to the words I speak are important in bringing change to my situations and those around me! I want to speak life over situations and they be changed by the authority You have given me so that when someone inquires about this I can tell them about You and how You have changed my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to watch your mouth! Realize who you are in Christ Jesus and understand that you are a game changer in this world. God did not put you here so you could walk and talk like everyone else. He put you here to make a difference with your words! Have faith and walk in the authority of Christ. It’s time to speak life over the dead situations in your life and those around you and watch them change!

____________________________________________________________

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.”

Glass Half Full, Glass Half Empty

download (4)Recalling a dream I had last night…. Dang, this freaking sucks! I woke up before my alarm! I hate when this happens. Dang, I can’t even go back to sleep…I’m so mad! I hate my job. Wish I didn’t have to go in today. Thankfully, most people will be out of the office and I can leave out early. Nothing in my closet fits me….I’ve gained too much weight. No one will ever love you, man, no one! You look like crap. The guy I’m dating hasn’t been present. He’s getting too comfortable, time to let that breath. You’ll never find love. It’s so cold outside. I hate living in Chicago. I wish I could move but I hate the heat. The thought of going to work and sitting at this desk and playing friendly with these people is exhausting. Can’t wait for the weekend…what day is it????? Monday. Sitting at my desk dreaming…I wake up the sun is shining. I’m so excited to get this day started and accomplish all of my goals that I woke up before my alarm. Guess I have time to read my bible before going into work. Lord, knows I need Him to accomplish this day! I read, “Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.” (Galatians 6:1-3 MSG).

Hmm, that’s interesting, I wonder how I can work that into my day. I have to hit the gym today! It’s a must. My friends wake up so much earlier than me so I have more than 15 unread messages due to group messages. It feels nice to be loved. It’s freezing outside but nothing makes you appreciate Summertime Chicago more than wintertime in Chicago. Sometimes I walk into my house and thank God that I have heat and pray for those without. My job is boring, my car is acting up and I’m ready to move. It’s funny because I recall a time when my job was the biggest blessing ever, my car was new and exciting and my house was home. *Exhale* I’m at peace. I am grateful for what I have and I am happy with where I am because I remember where I came from and more than hopeful about my future.

And then I stop dreaming. Or was I ever sleep?

 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 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. (Romans 5:1-5 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

Sometimes I become so caught up in what I want that I forget what I have. Sometimes I get so caught up in what I want that I forget what You want for me. Sometimes I get so caught up in this World that I forget every day is a blessing. Lord, I ask for forgiveness because I take your daily blessings for granted. I ask for a continued state of peace to make it through this life with a positive outlook. Allow me to see things as You do and not as I do. In Jesus name, Amen!

Ladies,

I EMPOWER you to keep a positive mental state. If you go through the days with negative thoughts and pessimism your skies will be cloudy and dark but if you change your sights, look toward Jesus and really fight to maintain positive thoughts the clouds will break and the sun will shine through.

Share one positive thought you will carry with yourself this week.

__________________________________________________________________

 

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: The Veronica Effect!

Please enjoy this flashback originally posted on July 31, 2012.

Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. (Romans 13:7 NIV)

Rarely do we get a chance on EmpowerMoments to just pay tribute; but today I shall take that privilege because today is indeed her day. My friend and business partner, Veronica Davis has been committed to improving transportation since she saw how the effects that poor transportation planning and lack of investment disproportionately affects minority communities, particularly African Americans. Today, she is being honored as a White House Champion of Change Transportation Innovator for her volunteer efforts. To her, I say congratulations! It is a well-deserved honor. A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men. (Proverbs 18:16 KJV)

When you think of transportation you may only be thinking of your automobile; however, there are millions of people that rely on other methods such as buses, rail systems, bike lanes and walkways on their daily commute. Access to a variety of transportation modes can affect where a person works, provide access to healthy amenities for the community, and minimize environmental pollution.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10 NIV)

As a dedicated transportation planner, Veronica combines her professional life with her passion to ultimately benefit the community. What started as a twitter hash tag (#BlackWomenBike) grew into a movement within the District of Columbia. After noticing the absence of black women on two wheels she and two other women founded Black Women Bike in May 2011. The organization started with the 3 founders and grew to over 550 African American women in Washington, DC ranging in age from late 20’s to late 60’s. The women bike for recreation as well as to work, simultaneously receiving the benefits of exercise. So many women in her immediate community have started biking that it is being dubbed “The Veronica Effect.”

Let’s pause right there. She has so many other accomplishments but I want to focus on “The Veronica Effect.” I believe that God wants each of us to serve others in such a way that there is a noticeable change after we have been present. We should be using our talents to enhance the lives of others, to speak up for the less fortunate and to teach others. We should do our work so well and strive to impact others such that people will know it was “The _____________ Effect.” Like Veronica, we should focus on filling the voids. Imagine if we all stepped up to the plate and filled the many voids that God has placed right before our eyes. Ultimately, we want people to see that it is not us but it is the God who lives within us that gifts us with our ability to impact. It really is “The God Effect.”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for gifting me with certain abilities and passions. You have shown me the voids and I ask that You give me the willingness to just do it. Don’t let me vacillate any longer on the things that You have called me to do. I want “The God Effect” to be evident in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to review those things that God has called you to do. Has He shown you the void, but you are waiting on someone else to fill it? God is calling you for a special purpose? Step out on faith and start a movement. Allow the God Effect to be real in your life.

Has God given you a vision but you are hesitating to follow through? What’s keeping you? Share your story in the comment section.

Enter in our February Contest:

 What’s Up Wednesday:  Valentine Day Contest

__________________________________________________________________
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.

Keep Pressing Towards the Goal

keep pressingRecently, I took the road test for the first time. And got my driver’s license! I was really nervous to take the test. I deal with anxiety and fear when it comes to driving; so, getting my driver’s license was a big leap of faith for me! I’m glad that God gave me the strength to take the road test. I’m thankful for everyone who has encouraged me and helped me over the years with practicing my driving.

Yet, getting to the point where I could get my driver’s license has been a LONG process! I’ve been practicing my driving since high school. I received my driver’s permit while I was in high school taking driver’s education. There have been people here and there to help me along the way. It seems like as soon as one person helped me, something happened where they couldn’t help me anymore. Subsequently, I had to find a new person to assist me w/ my driving skills on a regular basis.

Over the years, numerous people would ask me “if I was driving yet” or “why I didn’t have my driver’s license.” I don’t think people asked me that question out of malicious intent but in a way their questions taunted me. I kind of felt as they were Peninah and I was Hannah. Hannah was picked on by her’s husband other wife because she was barren. Hannah prayed feverishly for God to bless her with a child and He blessed her with Samuel. In my case, I wasn’t barren from childbearing, but I was barren from not having a driver’s license. It’s been difficult for me to find dependable people to rely on to give me a ride to where I need to go. I don’t have a car so I get by by walking and using the public transit. However, I didn’t want to be reminded that I didn’t have a driver’s license. I got tired of people asking me the same questions over and over again.

A few weeks prior to the last week of December, I was going to take my road test but was unable to do so because of unreliable transportation. Eventually, I found a person who was available to take me and I am so grateful for God’s provision. Getting my driver’s license has been one of my goals for a few years now so I’m glad that this goal is accomplished!

I want to encourage others that are trying to get their driver’s license or trying to accomplish another goal to keep working on their goals and don’t give up. Take a leap of faith and trust God to help you accomplish whatever it is that you’re trying to do. You will face a lot of obstacles (I’ve experienced MANY and I am still experiencing them) trying to pursue a goal but keep pushing through it all. Yes, you will get discouraged at times, and sometimes you won’t even feel like trying, but keep working at it. Remember the reason(s) why you’re pressing towards your goal. Ask God to help you in the areas that you are weak in and He will help you. Remember that it doesn’t matter how old you are when you accomplish your goal as long as you complete it. I’m 27 years old and I now have my driver’s license. God bless!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being with me every step of the way. Thank You for giving me the strength and courage to face challenging goals. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ladies, I EMPOWER to never give up on accomplishing your goals even if it’s a long journey to accomplish them. Whenever you feel discouraged, remember the reason why you’re working on your goal. Phil. 4:13 (KJV) states, “I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me.” The story of Hannah can be found in 1st Samuel 1 & 2. For additional encouragement: Read 2nd Corinthians 12:9-10, Philippians 4:13, Isaiah 43:2, & Psalm 136:23.

Also enter in our February Contest:

 What’s Up Wednesday:  Valentine Day Contest

__________________________________________________________________

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)

Right Place, Right Time

Do you know how the clouds are balanced, Those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge? (Job 37:16 NKJV)

Recently I saw a new patient in our office that was referred to us for treatment of Iron deficiency anemia. This is a condition that I’ve diagnosed and treated many times, rarely with any complications. The patient’s visit had gone normally; history and physical exam were complete. I’d already decided on the treatment plan and had the nurse take her to the treatment room to prepare to start her intravenous iron infusion. She was my last patient of the morning so I went to eat a quick lunch before going into afternoon clinic.

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure. (Psalm 147: 5 ESV)

No sooner than I sat down did a staff member come and get me saying that my patient had started having chills and shortness of breath seemingly out of nowhere. It was baffling as I had literally just examined her and gone over her history, none of which included any reason she should be having chills and struggling to breathe. When I reached her, the nurses had placed oxygen on her. This situation was so bizarre. My patient who was just fine was now in distress!

In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me. (Psalm 86:7 ESV)

Various orders were given and carried out and it turned out that the patient had an E. coli bacteremia (bacterial infection of the blood) from a urinary tract infection caused by E. coli bacteria. This is usually a situation that requires hospitalization. The patient could have died or suffered significant complications had she not been in the right place at the right time.

A little over a week later the patient returned to see us. She was so thankful for our care and God’s divine intervention. All I could think was how amazing God is. He truly is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent!

O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health (Psalm 30:2 NLT)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your ever present help in the time of trouble. Thank You for allowing us to be in the right place at the right time to receive Your blessings. Thank You for Your provisions and Your protection. Thank You for allowing us to be vessels to positively impact the lives of others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ladies, be EMPOWERED and know that God’s got your back no matter what! I EMPOWER you to walk in the certainty that God is not only taking care of you, but allowing and providing opportunities for you to help someone else!

Enter in our February Contest:

 What’s Up Wednesday:  Valentine Day Contest

________________________________________________________

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.

Faith Friday: Marian Wright Edelman

Faith Fridays are all about providing a visual to strengthen your faith. Some times we just need to witness the awesome moves of God in someone else’s life to remind us that He is real and can still perform miracles in our own lives! If we just believe, anything is possible with God!

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17 NKJV)

Such a befitting scripture for someone like Marian Wright Edelman.  She exudes faith in action, and her very mission in life is constantly being fulfilled every time she advocates for children and families.  According to Wikipedia, Marion Wright Edelman is a Black American activist that was not only involved in the Civil Rights Movement, but the founder of the Children Defense Fund for poor children, children of color, and children with disabilities.  She studied law too and subsequently earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1963.  Edelman became the first Black woman to be admitted to the Mississippi State Bar.

“Service is the rent we pay to be living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.” –Marian Wright Edelman

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10 NIV)

And that is what Edelman does, she lends her self to serving others with the gifts God has placed in her, and she puts her faith in action.  I know this Faith Friday post does not detail a miracle per say but Edelman has presented miracles of hope and justice to those she has served and advocated for for many years.

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to serve!  Allow God to use you to present a miracle of hope and justice to someone else.  Allow God to give you the grace to meet someone’s needs and to put your faith into action.  

Please watch this video of Edelman speaking on child poverty:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx760Wv2oS4

(If you have trouble viewing the video, please click on the link above.)

Also enter in our February Contest:

 What’s Up Wednesday:  Valentine Day Contest