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Flashback Friday: Yesterday

Ladies, enjoy this flash from the past which was originally posted on June 29, 2011.

The blogs that we have shared over this Black Music Month have been inspirational and very telling. Some of them have been personal experiences and some have been messages inspired by God for others. They have had common themes of love, gratefulness, healing, faith and moving forward. It has been a purging process for many as they anxiously await the message of the day and the song affiliated with it; but these are more than just words and songs. We are writing to share experiences and reach souls.  We want you be the best you! Leave everything else in yesterday.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-31 NIV

I had enough heartache and enough headaches
I’ve had so many ups and downs
Don’t know how much more I can take
See, I decided that I cried my last tears yesterday

Being happy is a choice. When your soul is exhausted and you find yourself at your wits end turn to Jesus and He will give you rest. Many times we get so bogged down in the moment or in the seasons of our life that happy is nowhere on our horizon; however, if you let go of the baggage and decide to have no more drama you will find yourself pretty close to Happy’s doorsteps. This journey to happiness doesn’t mean that you won’t experience pain, heartbreak, failures and other disappointments but it does mean that you will put it in perspective and move forward.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 NIV 

Either I’m going to trust you or I may as well walk away
‘Cause stressing don’t make it better
Don’t make it better, no way
See, I decided that I cried my last tears yesterday

As I write this I am reflecting over the thousands of situations I have stressed about in my lifetime. I can’t think of one situation where my stress resolved the issue, got it fixed faster or better. Can you? Why is it so hard to trust God when He is a God who has NEVER failed us? God gives us the power of choice and we can either trust that He is going to do as He says or we can stress about it and give up. My grandmother always tells me “talk to God about it Chanceé and see won’t He fix it, He can do it all.” 

There ain’t nothing too hard for my God, no
Any problems that I have
He’s greater than them all
So I decided that I cried my last tears yesterday

Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27 NIV

As we put our Yesterdays in their proper place, we may feel alone but I am reminded that He always has eyes on us and never leaves us. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 NIV

Because God is the truth, I can confidently move away from yesterday and every thing associated with it.  I can let He who watches the sparrow have control so that I can get to happy.

Dear Daddy,

In my moments of weakness, remind me that You are the burden bearer and the heavy load sharer. Lord, help me to recognize those things that belong in Yesterday so that I can move to higher ground today. As I make decisions that may be unpopular and uncomfortable remind me that You are always with me and will never leave me alone. Thank You for being true to Your word and watching over me even more than You do the sparrows. In Jesus’ Name, Amen! 

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to make a decision on your future and cry your last tears YESTERDAY. As difficult as it may be, turn it over to God because realistically what can YOU do about it? In your daily walk, remember He constantly watches over You so there is no need to worry. God’s got it!

In celebration of my last blog for Black Music Month (and because I am having a praise break), please enjoy this double play:

“Yesterday” by Mary Mary

“His Eye is on the Sparrow” by the Mississippi  Children’s Choir

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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 strengthened me.

My Everything

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!

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.  Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4, 5 NLT)

It took me a minute to figure it out. I was used to being at the top of my game; I wasn’t a stranger to losing, my life was blessed… I had no reason to think otherwise.

Then the trials came, the testing began, and God began to allow His purifying fires to burn. I started to lean to my own understanding. I trusted in my own strength, my own intelligence and my own knowledge to get me through. Yet, all that I had by myself was not enough.

And when I inevitably came up short, I grew frustrated. When I failed, I was depressed. When I missed the mark, I got angry. When I took wrong turns, I lost precious time.

Like I said, it took me a while, but I figured it out. Once I figured out that I had to make God my source, it all fell into place. God had to be my main source. He had to have full control. He had to direct my every footstep. He was the One who held every answer I could ever hope to know. When truly I made God the head of my life, everything else fell in line. Even those things that I would think were disappointments, missed opportunities, and failures – in time, God showed me how He caused them all to work together for my good (Romans 8:28).

We have to learn how to remain in God. When we remain with Him, we aren’t moved by circumstances. Our attitudes aren’t changed when things don’t go our way. We don’t get out of character just because our surroundings change. When we remain in God, He is able to remain in us and allow the fruit of His Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, gentleness…) to come out of us.

Dear Daddy,

I thank You that when I remain in You, You allow me to be fruitful! Help me to remember to look to You as my source instead of trying to do things on my own. Open my eyes to all the ways You are causing things to work together for my good. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to remain in God no matter what circumstances come your way. I EMPOWER you to hear and obey the voice of the Lord as you seek Him to direct your every step!  

Enjoy this song by Jonathan McReynolds titled “Everything”:

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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 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.

 

Embracing God’s Love and Acceptance

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!

One of my favorite songs is “All of Me” by John Legend.  It’s such a beautiful love song! John Legend wrote the song for his wife, Christine Teigen.  The song is about multiple things. First, it’s about his relationship with his wife.  There is a giving of both parties and risk that is involved.  The bridge of the songs says “give me all of you; cards on the table; we’re both showing hearts; risking it all though it’s hard.” There are also ups and downs in the relationship but they stick with each other through it all. The second part of the verse says, “the world is beating you down; I’m around through every mood.”  The chorus of the song says, “give your all to me; I’ll give my all to you.”  Secondly, the song is about how much he loves his wife and accepts her for who she is, which is mentioned in the chorus of the song:

“Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, oh.”

While I was figuring out the main themes of the song, I thought about how our relationship with God is similar. We all come to God for various reasons. Our relationship with God involves us giving everything we have to Him. It’s a challenge for us to accept Christ into our lives because we are giving up who we use to be. 2nd Corinthians 5:17 NIV states, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  We have to leave our past, follow God, and give him our hearts.  Matthew 16:24-25 states, “Then Jesus said to his disciples. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” As we give to God, He gives to us. He gives us His grace, His love, His mercy, His forgiveness, His peace, and Healing.

God loves and accept us for who we are. God loved us enough to send His son Jesus to die for our sins. How wonderful is that!  John 3:16 NIV states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal love”.  God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. However, when we mess up, He expects us to repent.  2nd Corinthians 7:10 NIV states, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” We can embrace God by realizing how much He loves and accepts us.  God isn’t like man. He accepts us as soon as we come to him with a sincere heart, repent of our sins, and accept his son Jesus into our lives.

Dear Daddy, 

I don’t know what I would do without You in my life. I’m glad to have a relationship with You. Thank You for being there for me all the time. Thank You for accepting and loving me despite my shortcomings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to embrace God’s love and acceptance. You don’t have to be perfect to come to Him. Give Him your all and He will do the same!

Listen to the beautiful words of John Legend’s “All of Me”

If you have trouble viewing the video, please Click Here.

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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)

Come On In The Room

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!

Two days of no relief from swelling, excruciating pain and a lack of mobility with my right hand led me to the ER.  I was in so much pain and discomfort that going to the hospital was a no-brainer, but on the other hand (no pun intended) I felt disappointed that I, who believe that Jesus is my healer, could not tap into my healing.  After all of my praying, whining and retreating to my bed to get rest and relief, I decided to go see a doctor.  However, I prayed that God would give him/her wisdom concerning my issue because I also had no clue as to why I was ailing.

As I waited in the little room for the doctor to come in, a song came to mind.  It was a song I first heard when I was much younger.  It is one of those old gospel songs sung with an uncanny vocal.  When I first heard the song, I couldn’t understand some of the words yet the song became one of my favorites.

 

Chorus

Come on in the room,

come on in the room;

Jesus is my doctor

and He writes out all of my prescriptions,

He gives me all of my medicine in the room.

 

Chorus 2

There is joy, joy in the room,

joy in the room;

Jesus is my doctor

and He writes out all of my prescriptions,

He gives me all of my medicine in the room.

–Georgia Mass Choir – Come On In The Room

 

As the elderly woman sings the chorus, you can imagine Jesus walking into the room with the sick lying there.  But she is unmoved by the illness and the current circumstances because JESUS IS HER DOCTOR.  The Lord holds her and her loved one’s healing, medicine, joy, and everything they need, and He is coming to administer it all to them.

Even though I sat in that room waiting on the doctor, I knew his skills or education was not going to suffice without the Lord’s help and wisdom.  When we are going through, we sometimes forget all that Jesus is and can do.  God is Yahweh, the Great I Am and He said that He would supply all of our needs according to His riches and glory.  Those needs are not just financial, but sometimes are emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, or career or health-related.  Whatever you need, God is and has!

You need love; God is and has it, the real and unfailing love!  You need strength; God is God Almighty and has strength for you to endure!  You need healing; God’s Word is a healer and He will revive you!

Notice the lines in the chorus that says “And He writes out all my prescriptions, He gives me all of my medicine in my room.”  Exchange the words prescriptions and medicine for His Word/The Word of God.  Whatever we need is in God’s Word.  It is our medicine, our help and His written prescription to make it through life and live according to His standards.

Meditate upon these scriptures that reminds us of God’s medicine and promises:

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105 KJV)

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63 KJV)

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Mat 4:4 KJV)

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11 KJV)

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Prov 30:5 KJV)

For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. (Prov 4:22 KJV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for the Holy Spirit who reminds me that You are the Great I Am!  Thank You for being all that I need.  Thank You for being my doctor and writing Your Word for me not just to know, but to live and use as my defense through any storm, battle or lack.  Thank You for being omnipresent and God Almighty!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to allow Jesus to come on in the room and be all that you need.  Welcome Him in to every area of your lives.  Believe and trust in His Word to perform what it says it will do!  Then take your medicine the way He prescribes and daily, remembering that He is and He has it all for you!

Enjoy this song by the Georgia Mass Choir titled, Come On In The Room:

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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. She helps assist Chicago Public School students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college. God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a compassionate person and encourager so 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, Ms. Tannika’s poetry book, Setting The Captive Free, was published. It is her first book. For more details and how to purchase your copy, visit stcfpoetrybook.com. 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 Are You Running For?

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:

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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.”

HELP!!!

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!

Help me, O Lord my God!  Save me because of your unfailing love. (Psalm 109:26 NLT)

Undoubtedly, you’ve done it before as I have. You wait with your back against the wall, and after you’ve done all you can within your power, you cry HELP to the One we should have been seeking first anyway. The challenges you face seem to threaten your very sanity as your peace fades, and the only way you are going to make it through is by getting HELP.

There have been many times, especially lately as I navigate personal and professional issues of being pulled in a million directions, having a young family, a demanding career, limited assistance, sleep deprivation and high blood pressure, that I find myself continuously calling out to the Lord for HELP!

I need a life line right now

911 won’t do

 My back’s against the wall now

I’ve done all that I can do

I prayed every prayer

Went to every service

like I know how

Just a ship without a sail

I’m lost without your help—HELP

Erica Campbell hit the nail on the head with her new single HELP featuring Lecrae! It has become a personal anthem for me that motivates me to keep on pressing. It is a song that is so relatable, relevant and real! It depicts how in our brokenness God can HELP us! After all, He is the one we should be leaning on always. Sometimes the pressures of life seem to drown us but it is only because of His HELP that we are sustained.

Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8 NLT)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for humbling us to come to You for HELP! Thank You for being an ever present HELP in our times of struggle. HELP us to always look to You for our needs because You said You will never put more on us than we can bear. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, it is alright to cry for HELP! Be EMPOWERED knowing that God cares for us! Be EMPOWERED knowing that He expects us to seek Him for HELP! I EMPOWER you to allow this song to minister to you in your present situation! I EMPOWER you to know that to give in to the Lord is not to give up! Asking for HELP is what we should do.

 What are you seeking HELP from God for?  Watch this video and praise God for being a present help!

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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.

Sometimes You Have To Encourage Yourself

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!

Have you ever been in a good mood, did a good thing, or told someone your good news or about accomplishing a future goal only to have someone greet you with negativity and rain on your parade?  I am often said to be bubbly and positive.  I like to see the good in things, even though I am not naive to the bad and will take constructive criticism.  Yet, there have been times when people, particularly a family member or friend would rain down on my parade and kill my mood, making me regret I even opened my mouth.  I have family that can be so pessimistic, that they make me feel bad about being positive, prayerful, and hopeful.  I have had friends or so called friends that would lead me to downplay my blessings or question their input.  When people greet me with consistent negativity, my spirit feels heavy.  These people finding something wrong with almost everything has taught me, overtime, to second guess myself, not be so confident and even doubt the promises God made to me at times.   However, this lack of confidence is not to be blamed on them; I obviously have to work on some things within myself, trust God, and see myself the way God sees me.  I do say though that when you’re faced with such negativity, dream-killing, and disapproval, your joy goes from 10 to 0 in an instant.  As I thought about the latest account of negativity, one of my favorite songs came to mind:

Sometimes you have to encourage yourself.

Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test.

And no matter how you feel,

speak the word and you will be healed;

speak over yourself,

encourage yourself in the Lord.

When you are going through something, when you are persecuted for His name’s sake, when you are faced with naysayers, critics and haters, speak over yourself.  Encourage, exhort, and uplift your spirit:

Through the Word of God.  Saturate in the Word of God and speak the Word of God over yourself.  The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. (Psalms 19:7-8 NKJV)

  • It refreshes the soul.
  • It gives joy to the heart.
  • It gives light to the eyes.

By praising God.  King David knew how to encourage himself and praised God zealously. The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; he is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. (Exodus 15:2 NKJV)

  • Praise is one of our spiritual weapons, use it.
  • Praise belongs to our Lord; He is worthy of it.
  • Praise will confuse the enemy.

In the Fear of the Lord.  The Fear of the Lord is about revering and honoring the Lord.  When we have or are operating in the Fear of the Lord, we will see things the way He sees them.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments.  His praise endures forever. (Psalms 111:10 NKJV) The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil. (Proverbs 19:23 NKJV)

  • In the Fear of the Lord there is strong confidence.
  • The Fear of the Lord leads to life and contentment.
  • The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your Word that brings life and refreshes my spirit.  Thank You that Your joy is my strength and in You I can take refuge.  I thank You for Your comfort and assurance in the times of uncertainty and hardships.  I thank You also for equipping me with a heart of praise and the grace to encourage myself.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to speak His Word over you.  Don’t let the words of the naysayers, haters, or the enemy be an imprint on your lives.  Remember God is the author and the finisher of your faith and pray for others who bring you so much doubt and negativity (they could be housing layers of hopelessness, wounds, and bitterness).  Encourage yourself in the Lord!  Take a moment to exhale and to kick your feet up.  Now remember that when God created you, He spoke over you and your destiny and He saw that what He created was good!

Praise God as you listen to Encourage Yourself by Donald Lawrence

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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. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a Compassion Person and Encourager and so 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. 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.

Butterfly

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 you scared to be great? Let’s face it, I think that we all want to be great but there is a process from getting where you are now to being great. The process can be long, painful and daunting, but it can also be extremely rewarding.

Here is where I find myself. I’m a little content but not entirely comfortable. There is so much more of me. I’m not operating in my fullness and because of it I feel little pieces of my spirit dying. Have you ever felt this way? You wanted to move, perhaps do something or be something different; however the very thought of the process of getting from here to there was discouraging. You think, “What if I fail or what if I don’t really know what I’m doing?” Yet, it is in the doing, in the process, where we truly transform into greatness. But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” (II Chronicles 15:7 NIV)

This process of getting from here to there and doing what we are called to do reminds me of the butterfly. There’s a lot to be learned from this insect. As a matter of fact, in the The Butterfly’s Pupa, EmpowerMoments writer Khalilah Burton reminds us that, The butterfly is an organism made by God that many of us marvel over its beauty and grace but we often forget about the stages that occurred prior to the display of this beautiful creature.” Can we be guilty of wanting the success without the process? Can we be guilty of wanting the blessings that come from the obedience when we’ve only moved in disobedience? Certainly, we don’t want to be rewarded for our fear of failure. God has told us and showed us that He is faithful to us. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV)

Do you realize that if a butterfly decided not to grow it would die before it reached the beauty that we see? Its ending is not in its beginning. Neither is ours. We are each anointed and appointed for certain tasks and when we don’t fulfill them, we die a spiritual death because we aren’t living our purpose. Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion! (Ecclesiastes 4:9 NIV)

The other thing that I love about the butterfly is that it acts only in its purpose. It doesn’t try to take on the purpose of another insect to avoid doing what it’s called to do. Imagine how you’d react if you saw a butterfly spinning a web. Sadly, if a butterfly chose not to live out its purpose and pollinate plants, many would suffer. It would affect our entire food chain. How is the world being affected because you are not living your purpose? Sometimes we get so caught up in following someone else’s footsteps that we forget that our purpose lies in following His.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for my wings. I know that You have called me into a specific purpose; yet, I’ve let excuses and fear hold me back. Restore my courage, my faith and my trust in the process. Like the butterfly, let me follow the path that You have laid out specifically for me. Revive me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to spread your wings and fly. Don’t get caught up in what the world says is enough. Operate the way that God has called you to. You know where He is trying to stretch you. Allow yourself to be used by Him and He will protect you through the process as you go from good to great.

Today I chose to highlight my sister-friend Latosha R. Brown for Black Music Month. Please enjoy this snippet entitled Butterfly from her upcoming album Three Shades of Pink. To find out more about her music, Click Here to like her Facebook music page.


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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 strengthened me.”

All Of The Lights

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!

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5 NIV)

Recently, I stepped into my restroom at home and noticed something drastically different when I switched on the lights. It was so noticeable that I stood for a moment or two determined to figure out what was so different. After looking up, down and all around, it finally dawned on me that the lights were brighter. We have four vanity bulbs that provide lighting for that room. However, for as long as I can remember, they’ve only been operating at half capacity; at least two bulbs have been out at all times. So when I entered the restroom that day, I was a bit taken aback at how bright it was. After inquiring, I found that my husband had replaced the old, blown bulbs and now the fixture was operating as it should. This was great until I realized what the extra lighting was revealing. You see, we have white ceramic floor tiling in the bathroom. Now that it was super bright, we could see all of the blemishes and stains on the floor. Keep in mind that I have three small children that are constantly tracking up the floors. Thus for me, extra light equaled extra cleaning! I almost called my husband to tell him that he should have never replaced the bulbs, but I realized that I sounded quite ridiculous!

Unfortunately, as ludicrous as my thinking was, there are so many of us who want to keep the lights dim on our lives so that we are not forced to see the blemishes and stains that need to be cleaned up! We claim to be living in the light, but choose to hang around dark places with people who also like being in the dark so that we don’t have to confront our issues. When we have sin that we hold close to our heart and don’t want to let go, we tend to surround ourselves with people and things that won’t challenge our behavior and most definitely won’t shine any light on our dark areas. You know what I mean, right? We like to fornicate so we don’t hang with our girlfriend that’s living that “celibate life”. We enjoy an occasional blunt or two, so instead of being out and about with people who are simply high off of life, we would rather stay home where we can smoke our weed freely. We are in darkness, refusing to turn the lights up because we don’t want our stains exposed. However, no matter how hard we try to hide our flaws from ourselves and others, there is no keeping them from God! We allow His light to shine on some areas, but others we prefer to remain in the dark. Nevertheless, now is the time to turn up ALL OF THE LIGHTS! As a matter of fact, I can hear Him saying, “Turn up the lights in here… Extra bright I want y’all to see this…I want you to see EVERYTHING!

God desires to us become everything that He predestined us to be. He is interested in seeing us prosper successfully, while serving Him and bringing glory to His kingdom. In order to fully achieve this, we must be without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:27 NIV) Of course this isn’t an overnight process, but the key is to have the LIGHT from the SON shining in our life. Once we allow the SON, Jesus, to completely reign in our life, His LIGHT beams into our lives and reveals all of the blemishes that are hindering us from progressing and prospering. Once He reveals our stains to us, if we submit to the cleansing process, He uses His very own blood to clean us up! But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (I John 1:7 NKJV)

We all have blemishes that we know exist and then those that are not even visible to our own eyes. That’s why it’s so important to ask God to reveal the REAL you to you! Pray Psalm 139:23-24 often so that He can show you the dirty stuff that’s hidden deep in the crevices of your heart. Hearken His command to turn up ALL OF THE LIGHTS!

Dear Daddy,

Turn up the lights in my life! Please search my heart and reveal to me the spots, blemishes and dirtiness in my life that is preventing me from becoming all that You designed me to be! When You reveal those things to me, please give me the will to submit to Your blood cleansing process. I don’t want to live in the darkness. Instead I choose to walk in the LIGHT that shines from the SON! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to simply turn on ALL OF THE LIGHTS! It’s time to stop dwelling in that dark place just because you don’t want to address your issues. God sees all of your flaws and He is ready and willing to clean you up! He is ready to do whatever it takes to get you to your destiny. He has already vowed to work with you until you’re complete, if you’re willing to stay the course as well. Just as the song says, “If you want it, you can get it for the rest of your life!”

As you listen to All of the Lights by Kanye West, think about what dark areas you need to shed some light on.

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Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant-leader. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

Take The Limits Off

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!

No limits
No boundaries
I see increase
All around me
Stretch forth
Break forth
Release me
Enlarge my territory

Having a car or driving has always been a symbol of freedom—freedom to travel, come and go and get around quickly and whenever you choose. I have spent most of my life taking public transportation and although I get around the city as if I have a car, I realize I am limited in my travels. Not too long ago, I wrote an EmpowerMoment entitled Look Where You Want to Go! about retiring my bus pass and fixing my eyes on Jesus and the place I want to be in my life.

Ladies, I am excited to say after a couple of expired permits, time and fear, I recently passed the driving test and received my driver’s license. I thank God for His timing and the people He put in my life to encourage me and Elder Heath who instructed me for two months. I also thank my mom who was my role model; she got her driver’s license in her early forties and reminded me that no matter how old or who laughs to keep pressing.

You too may have let your permit(s) expire. You may have made it to your last year of school but something is standing in the way of you getting your diploma. You may have been on date after date, but are no closer to having that right relationship leading to marriage. Every time you save money for emergencies, it gets snatched away. You may be going round and round in the same old issues, free one minute, bound the next. You may have been spending quality time with God and experiencing His presence but now distractions, illness, etc. has left you feeling disconnected from God. You have goals and dreams, but no clue as to what to do next.

Well, let me tell you about Jabez. The Bible doesn’t tell you much about him; however, we do know his name means pain, that he was more honorable than his brothers, and that he cried out to God:

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. (1 Chronicles 4:9-10 NIV)

Although Jabez’ name meant pain, he didn’t let that determine his character or keep him down. You may live in a city full of violence. You may be in a wheelchair. You may have never known a father’s love. You may have been conceived and born from a sinful relationship. These may be or were your circumstances, but they do not define you or determine your future. They do not have to limit your happiness, possibilities, or success. I am reminded that we were born into sin, but Jesus died for our sins so we do not have to stay in that position.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for enlarging my territory. This is just the beginning and I believe that “enlarging my territory” isn’t just about expanding physical borders or taking territories physically, but taking the limits off of your children spiritually, financially, etc. I thank You for with You all things are possible and I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. I love You Father and I desire for You to even take any limits that I created off of our relationship. Help me to become more intimate with You, more transparent and more dependent. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to realize that God desires for His people to be blessed and our territories enlarged. He wants us to conquer territories that the devil has dominated and overcome roadblocks the devil puts in place to block our progress or destroy our influence amongst the nations. Ladies, let’s allow God to move in our lives as we look to Him, obey Him, ask according to His will, walk in love, and maintain character, integrity and a covenantal position with God. Let us look toward Jesus and no longer focus on our past circumstances, failures or frailties. When our territories are enlarged, the Lord touches our lives in a way that reveals HIS GLORY!

Please enjoy this inspirational song by Israel Houghton & New Breed entitled:

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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. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a Compassion Person and Encourager and so 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. 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.