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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.

I Ain’t Saying She’s a Gold Digger…

In honor of our last Black Music Month post, here’s a throwback! (This EmpowerMoment was originally shared on April, 19, 2011.) Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

Yesterday I was listening to one of my favorite artists, Kanye West. As the lyrics of Gold Digger blared through my headphones, I pondered on the meaning of “gold digger.” I even went as far to look up the definition on the semi-credible urbandictionary.com. According to one of the contributors there, a gold digger is “any man or woman who is in a relationship with another person because of their economic status.” Another stated that a gold digger is “a girl who is only with you for what you can do or buy for them.” After reading those definitions, I was proud to say that I am not and have never been classified as a gold digger. However, just as quickly as I could proudly stick my chest out and make my proclamation, God reminded me that there were some definitely some gold digging tendencies in my past. In a flash, he started reminding of how I used to dig for gold…

Remember when I wanted to talk to you so you could get to know me intimately and all you wanted to talk about was what you wanted or what I could do for you? Remember when I gave you joy, peace and unconditional love, yet all you wanted to ask me for were material things? Remember when you would go to church and if I hadn’t blessed you with a few extra dollars in your pocket, you would sit with your arms folded, not wanting to give me any praise? But if I increased your bank account, enlarged your territory or gave you a new ride, you were tearing the church up with your praise.  It seems you only walked with me for what I could do for you, not because you were genuinely interested in knowing who I was. So yes dear child of mine, you were a GOLD DIGGER too!

POW! He quickly busted my little bubble but boy was He so right!

“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1NIV)

“For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.” (Psalms 50:10 NIV)

Wow! I really used to be a gold digger! I was using the One who owns and has access to EVERYTHING. His economic status surpasses everyone else’s and I was taking full advantage of that. I was abusing our relationship simply because He told me that I could have whatever I asked in His name. (John 14:14) I immediately asked Him to forgive me for my old gold diggin’ ways.

The interesting thing about this whole scenario is that if I would have been seeking His face, His hand would have come automatically. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33 NLT)

Please take time to evaluate your relationship with God. Is it a gold digger and sugar daddy scenario or are you the obedient, loving daughter who genuinely cares for her Father? I encourage you to assess your situation and ask yourself when was the last time you put your hands up in worship instead of putting your hands out for a blessing. When was the last time you spoke to Him just to say I need You and not that I need this or that? If you can’t recall…I ain’t saying you a gold digger, but…

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for the times that I acted as a gold digger in our relationship. I want You for more than what You can do for me. I want to praise you for who You are and not just for what You can do. I want to know You intimately. Teach me to seek Your face and not Your hand. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to leave your gold digging tendencies behind. EMPOWER your relationship with God by taking time to really get to know Him for who He is.

As you listen to Kanye’s version of a “Gold Digger”, check your motives:

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Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant. 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 two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

Lovely Day!

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! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8 NLT)

I recently watched the movie I Don’t Know How She Does It because my sister implied that I had a lot in common with the main character Kate Reddy. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the movie, she was a married, career woman with two young children trying to figure how out to balance work, family and love. (Yep, I could definitely see the resemblance!) Each night after her husband was sound asleep, Kate would lie in bed and make her mental to-do list for the next day. It was as if she had to get a jump start on her day or at least that’s what she thought. However, she was really over exerting her brain and mentally stressing herself out. That’s where Kate and I were just alike. I realized that I was doing that exact thing. My mind was overworked and exhausted because when I should’ve been resting for the next day, I was thinking about what needed to be accomplished. Then when I’d wake up in the morning I wasn’t rested at all. Instead, I woke up with too much on my mind. All the cares of the world would be dancing in my brain as I sought to check everything off my never-ending to-do list. I was focused on the ‘what’ around me, rather than the Who inside of me. However, after watching that movie I decided that something had to change.

I am excited to report that I woke up this morning and regardless of everything that was going on, I knew it was going to be a lovely day. Yes, I still had my laundry list of things to do and everything in my world was not perfect, but one key thing has changed…

Then I look at You and the world’s alright with me.

Just one look at You and I know it’s gonna be a lovely day!

It’s time to calm your mind. When you awake in the morning, choose to look at God instead of everything that is going on around you. Focusing on Him may not change your circumstances, but it truly changes you. Its easy to allow your busy schedules, lack of finances, family drama, work issues, car troubles, health ailments, and so on to consume your every waking (and sleeping) thought, but it’s more beneficial to allow the One who can actually rectify all of those situations to occupy your mental space.

In the header scripture, Paul writes to the church at Philippi and encourages them in their daily thoughts. He advises to fix thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. Concentrate on that which is excellent and worthy of praise – that sounds like the Father to me! It seems that even Paul recognized the recipe for a lovely day!

Today’s empowering moment is quite simple — change your perspective and your day will change. A year full of changed days will eventually equal a lifetime of lovely days!

Dear Daddy,

Anytime I look at You, my day is destined to be lovely! Help me to remember that fact when I am faced with much turmoil in my life. Remind me to shift my focus to You when it seems that my days are not so lovely. I thank You in advance for restoring the loveliness in my life! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to have not just one, but many LOVELY days! Look at Him and watch Him make your days lovelier than you could have ever imagined! Remember if your day isn’t looking good, you probably need to change your focus!

Be inspired by Bill Wither’s “Lovely Day”:

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Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant. 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 two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

Don’t Let It Go To Your Head!

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!  Happy Black Music Month!  Dance as if no one is watching!

The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.  He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. (Psalms 103:8-10 NLT)

It amazes me every time I stop and think about God’s love.  He loves me and you so much that He gave His only Son to die to provide us with the opportunity to live.  I don’t have any children yet, but I think about the love I have for my siblings.  I wouldn’t give them up, not even for ten minutes, for people, whose way of showing gratitude is by murmuring, complaining, disobeying and so on.  In spite of our shortcomings, God’s unconditional love continues to flow.  Does knowing that God still loves us cause us to take His love for granted?

Now that you know  
How I feel about you  
Don’t let it go to your head, no  
Don’t let it go to your head, no (No, no, no, no)

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. (John 14:12 NLT)

Not only is God’s love for us never-ending, but His grace is sufficient so we can perform His will and live by His Word.  That’s why He is not selfish and He shares with us His Power, Dominion, and Authority!

Now that you know  
I can’t live with you, ooh-wee  
Don’t let it go to your head, no (No, no, no)  
Don’t let it go to your head, no (No, no, no)  

Don’t take advantage of my love  
Treat me good, treat me fair  
Treat me fine……..

Do you take advantage of God’s love?  Do you continue to do things you know He’s not pleased with because you know He’s going to forgive you?

“If you love me, obey my commandments.  (John 14:15 NLT)

We expect Him to be faithful, which He is, answer when we call, forgive us, give to us, love us, which He does, and much more. (Low key we expect Him to obey us!!!!)  We must treat God the way He treats us.  We were created in His image and likeness so if we deeply desire love and commitment, so does He!  We must not take His grace and mercy (getting those things we don’t deserve) for granted.  Yes, God’s love is unconditional, but DON’T LET IT GO TO YOUR HEAD, NO!

Don’t let it, don’t let it, don’t let it  
Go to your head, no (Mmm…mmm…mmm…mmm….)  
Don’t let it, don’t let it, don’t let it  
Go to your head, no

DEAR DADDY,

Forgive me for taking Your love, grace, and forgiveness for granted.  I desire to love You the way You love me.  I decree and declare that my relationship with You will shift from mediocrity to excellence.  Father, as I draw near to You, I thank You for drawing near to me.   In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you not to let God’s grace go to your head!  When you know better, do better!  Lift a standard by showing others how you reverence God by not taking advantage of His unconditional love!

Enjoy “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” by Jean Carne:

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

Contentment

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!  Happy Black Music Month!  Dance as if no one is watching!

“But Godliness with contentment is a great gain.  For we brought nothing in the world, and we can take nothing out.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.” (1Timothy 6:6 ESV)

Recently, I have experienced attacks from the enemy from every angle!  In May I got into a car collision as a result of another driver not waiting for the traffic to clear before proceeding through the stop sign.  The next day I went to the ER and found out that I have a back spasm and now must go to physical therapy twice a week for the next month.  Yesterday I got a call from my mother stating that my great uncle passed away after battling cancer for years.  Then to top it off, today I find out that my finances are getting ready to take a drastic turn for the worst as I prepare to lose some thousand dollars of my supplemental income beginning in July.  Are you serious?!  The crazy part about it is that I am STILL content in who God is in my life!

“The Lord is the refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  Those who know Your name trust in You because you have not abandoned those that seek You, Yahweh.” (Psalms 9: 9-10 ESV)

The past few weeks The Anointed Pace Sisters have randomly shuffled on my Pandora station and I have had no choice but to agree with the words.  Despite my vocal challenges, I’ve found myself singing along each time.  The truth is no matter what we have or don’t, we must learn to be happy with Jesus alone.  Ladies, God is more than enough once we get to the point that we are truly content with the relationship we have with Him.  All of those situations that I mentioned represent what I am facing in the natural but I know that He is making preparations for my prosperity in the spirit realm.  I will be honest and say that many days I have had meltdowns, but I always make it my business to follow up tears with praise so intense that I know it shakes heaven up!  The short version of this story is that I have found CONTENTMENT in the Holy Spirit and it makes all of satan’s schemes non-factors in my life.

Dear Daddy,

Whenever I begin to doubt, question, or worry about what has happened or what is to come help me to exert that energy into praising You.  Help me to remember that even the righteous may endure but in spite of it all You are still there for me.  Thank You for bringing me to the place where I have contentment in You alone.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Women of God, I EMPOWER you to look past what is going on in front of you and find contentment in who God is.  Everything that you are going through is only part of your story. I don’t know about you but I have been taking detailed notes for my memoir to be released in the future!  Be Blessed! :)

Enjoy The Anointed Pace Sisters’ rendition of “Contentment”:

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

He Sees The Best!

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!  Happy Black Music Month!  Dance as if no one is watching!

Sometimes we can get so caught up in what others think of us or are saying about us that we lose sight of whose opinion is really important.  I no longer allow others’ perceptions of me bother me as much as I have in the past.  However, there was a time when I would internalize all of the negative things people said to or about me.  Allowing someone’s judgments to weigh you down is a tactic the enemy uses to steal your joy!  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV)

The enemy wants us to believe that God looks down on us with disgust or hatred like folks in the world do.  I wrote this Empower Moment today to remind you that God sees THE BEST in you!  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24 NIV)

God sees THE BEST in you, when everyone else around you sees the worst!

When people say that you aren’t smart enough, or you aren’t good enough to walk into your destiny and pursue the calling that God has on your life, remember that God sees THE BEST in you!  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

When you are haunted by the thoughts or even threats of family members and so-called friends that you will be ‘just like your mother’ know that God sees THE BEST in you! Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 NIV)

When the man you love decides to leave or be unfaithful and blames you for gaining weight, not cooking the right foods, or not giving him enough attention, recognize that those things are irrelevant to the one above who sees THE BEST in you!

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died —more than that, who was raised to life —is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (Romans 8:33-34 NIV)

God sees THE BEST in you!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for your unconditional love, mercy and grace.  Thank You for always seeing me as the woman that You created me to be and for reminding me through Your Word that what You see is all that matters.  Please give me the strength to remember, to know and recognize that You always see THE BEST in me, no matter what everyone else may see.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to rejoice no matter what because your Heavenly Father sees THE BEST in you!  Let nothing or no one cast a shadow of a doubt on who you are in Christ and what He has for you as His daughter!

Enjoy Marvin Sapp’s video and song “The Best In Me”

 

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Ms. Tiffany Huff is the devoted mother of two boys, a blogger, lover of food and travel, and aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for helping others live out their purposes. She is looking forward to growing in her walk and honoring God through sharing her EmpowerMoments. One of her meditation scriptures is Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Nothing Even Matters…

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! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

Recently I was taking a drive with my husband. It was on a warm, spring night. He and I just left a romantic dinner with our girls. They were in the back of the car sleep, while my baby and I were cruising. Since the girls were asleep, I could settle down in a moment of solitude to enjoy the peace and cool of the night air. I turned on a dusty radio station and one of my all-time favorite songs came on (“Nothing Even Matters). As I listened to the words, I immediately clicked with them. It had been a long time since I listened to that song. I always listened to the song as a teenager, but I’m far from a teen anymore. I’m a wife, mother, and follower of Christ now; my circumstances have drastically changed.

We arrived home and I couldn’t help but to continue to think about the words of the song. “Now the skies could fall, not even if my boss should call, the world would seem so very small. Cause nothing even matters at all…”  When I finally got my little ones to sleep, the words persisted and magnified in my Spirit. “See I don’t need no alcohol, your love makes me feel ten feet tall. Without it I’d go through withdrawals. Cause nothing even matters, at all...”

My guess became that the Father was trying to tell me something so I sat quietly and listened. He led me to John 15:1:”I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”(NIV) Nothing could be more comforting than reading or hearing the words of Jesus. There He was telling me what did matter and that nothing else should matter, but this. Just as Lauryn and D’Angelo were trying to say through their song.

Considering the great words of Lauryn Hill’s song, I didn’t realize that Jesus wanted to remind me of HIM. He wanted to remind me of what was really important, HIM. He wanted to remind me that nothing even matters, but HIM. He wanted to tell me that He wants me to have a tendency to spend more time with HIM. He wants me to gain the ability to care more about HIM. I’m so glad that there is not a single thing that I can do that would stop Jesus from trying to reach me. Even if He has to use a song to remind me of how nothing in this world should matter more than HIM!

Dear Daddy,

Father, I just thank You for choosing me. I thank You for never running away from me. In fact, I thank You for treating me as if nothing even matters to You but me! Father, I cant compare You to a song, but I ask that You continue to remind me that the only important thing is Jesus and to abide in the true vine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you to act as if nothing is more important than Jesus. Not a car, man, career, lifestyle, etc. but JESUS! I EMPOWER you to be less interested in the things of this world, but to gain a greater interest in Jesus; for nothing else matters, but Him!

Enjoy Lauryn Hill’s and D’Angelo’s “Nothing Even Matters” as you reflect on WHO really matters:

 

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Mrs. Lisa M. Purnell-Marshall is happily married to the wonderful and inspiring Antoine L. Marshall. She is the proud mother of two gorgeous girls. Her voice is one of the leading and authentic voices for breast-feeding, especially for the African-American community and Generation Y. She currently works inside of her home and plans to become a professional licensed lactation consultant in 2014. She and her family are members at Spirit of Liberty Church located in Markham, IL.  Embracing the love that God has for her, Lisa labors to live an acceptable and pure life through the leading and keeping of the Holy Spirit so that her attitude, words, and actions attract the glory of God. In her free time she loves receiving manis and pedis. Her favorite promises that she find comfort and reassurance in are: Psalm34:19: “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” and Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”