Employment, Favor, God's Will, Testimony Series

Flashback Friday: My Testimony–My Supernatural Year

Ladies, enjoy this flash from the past which was originally posted on January 15, 2014.

Happy New Year EmpowerMoments family! We have surely missed you! As we kick off the new year, we are beginning with a series entitled “Testimonies & Lessons”. We believe Revelation 12:11 when it says that we overcome by the word of our testimonies. We pray that our testimony and lessons from last year will EMPOWER you to triumph this year! May God bless you and make 2014 the greatest year of your life thus far!

A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Matthew 15:22-28 NIV)

During, “My Church Experience” the guest preacher shared the above scripture. She said many would’ve been offended if Jesus called them a dog but Jesus gave the Canaanite woman something that she wasn’t supposed to have. She continued stating that God’s grace will slide you a deal that you don’t deserve. He will send people that don’t know you to fight for you. He will give you things that no one, including yourself, will understand.

On New Years Eve 2012 I decided to bring in the New Year watching my church online, instead of heading out with my family. 2012 was unexpected and a bit of a rollercoaster and I just wanted 2013 to be different. My pastor said that 2013 would be the year of supernatural. I jumped, screamed and cried believing that 2013 would be everything I prayed it would be. I just wanted stability. The first quarter of 2013 was everything I prayed AGAINST! I was in a dark place of hurt, disappointment and discontentment. I felt like I was losing everything that I cared about: friendships, relationships, status and understanding. I truly had to live Matthew 6:34 NIV  “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  There were many days I told God I wouldn’t take my life but if He could take it and heal my family from my absence that would be comforting. But just like the Canaanite woman, I didn’t want to give up.

After being unemployed for 6 months, a friend sent me a text letting me know that she was interviewing for a position and encouraged me to apply. As God would have it, a friend from college worked in Human Resources (HR) at this company. I reached out to her about openings in the marketing department. Although she informed me of an opening and asked me to submit my resume, I was getting to a place of contentment and a part of me was just tired of disappointment. I never looked into it. When my friend inquired about why I failed to submit the resume, I really didn’t have a good answer so I decided to finally review the position. I remember looking at that job description and it reading, “Dene’ this is your job.” Once I got down to the bottom I saw something that has stopped me from applying to jobs before -experience: 5 years. I had roughly two years of experience but only through internships. I’m not sure why I decided to submit my resume. I don’t even remember submitting my resume. I just remember one day getting a call to set up the interview.

It seemed like God opened a door, window and vent because I had options. A few days later two additional interviews came up. I asked God for wisdom on choosing the right position. A week before my final interview at the job I really wanted, I received an offer from another company. I was conflicted. Should I should pass up a for sure job for one that was just a maybe? The current offer wasn’t offering the pay or the opportunity that I expected but I figured this is where young marketing professionals start. Should I take the “sure thing” or have faith for the job I really wanted? Against the advice of friends, I declined that offer. I knew what God had for me. I had to walk in faith praying that the job I felt in my heart would come through.

I’ll never forget  praying that God provided the other applicants with a better opportunity because this one was mine. I was claiming it! When I received the call a couple of weeks later, I hung up and jumped up and down saying, “thank You, Lord!” then I fell to my knees and wept for joy.

This job is everything I’ve ever wanted. My salary is more than I expected even with my little experience. My supervisor is an amazing woman who pushes me to grow and develop into who God wants me to be. I’m the youngest person to ever work in my department and one of the youngest at my entire company. Since I started my team’s performance has seen more than a 600% increase in growth and 100% increase in engagement. (That’s favor not me!) I didn’t have 5 years of experience but God used my supervisor to give me my dream job with a deal I’m still trying to understand.

Dear Daddy,

I thank You for continued grace, favor and wisdom. God I thank You for a daily humbling and for trusting me with this assignment.. Father, it’s humbling to see a plan You whispered in my ear come to pass. Your love is shown everyday in the people I work with and the care of those who advise me. I am reminded everyday that You will never leave me nor forsake me. You will make a way out of no way and always see  Your promises to pass. In Jesus‘ Name, Amen.

Ladies, I share my testimony to EMPOWER you to remember the supernatural things God has done in your life. Every time something goes wrong remember the moments that God brought you through. Every morning we wake up to grace and walk into favor and it’s not just the jobs, the cars and other material things. My job reminds me every day that God specializes in the supernatural. He knows the desires of our hearts so keep the faith refusing to settle on anything less than the grand prize. That includes anything that isn’t from God whether it be a car,  a man, a job or a mediocre relationship with Him. Be steadfast knowing that when God’s promise comes to pass it will blow your mind!

Has God done something “supernatural” for you? Share your story with us.

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

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Faith, Faithfulness, Favor, Freedom, God's Mercy, God's Protection, Restoration, Throwback Thursdays, Trusting God

Throwback Thursday: The Face of Faith

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on April 29, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take my students on a field trip. We were given a guided tour of one of the most meaningful museums I have ever been to, The National Holocaust Remembrance Museum. If you’re familiar with the story then you know how the Jews suffered a horrible tragedy at the hands of a mad-man. More than six million people were slaughtered in some manner in what was known as the “Final Solution”. As we walked through the museum I couldn’t help but to feel the pain and suffering of their people. Many of my students were overcome with emotion because of the pictures and stories told by our tour guide. To conclude, we were given the honor of meeting an actual survivor named Regina. Before me stood this small, frail, 84 year-old woman who saw things one could only imagine. Overcome with emotion one of my students began to cry saying “I touched her.” I wanted to ask her a million questions as she was on her way out the door. The only question I could muster up to the strength to ask was, “How did you do it?” She replied in a very quiet, yet firm tone, “I had faith.”

When the other disciples told him [Thomas] that they had seen the Lord, he declared, “… I will not believe it.” A week later… Jesus… said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:25-28 NIV)

Have you ever gotten to the point where you doubted God and started wondering whether or not He would bring you out of your situation? We all get caught in these type situations, whether they are self-inflicted or brought on by something or someone else. We find ourselves in a personal “Death Camp” in which we feel all is hope is lost. The light at the end of the tunnel gets dimmer and dimmer and we question, “Why me Lord?” We only see darkness and never take into account that the daylight will come soon. As Regina held up her arm to show me the number that the Nazis branded her with, I realized that even though she had been marked for death she refused to die. Her faith allowed her to survive what the enemy had on her life.

Dear Daddy,

I ask that You continue to increase my faith. Allow me to see that after every night is a morning. Allow me to trust in You no matter what. In my times of weakness allow me to continue to trust and believe that You will bring me out of my situation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today EMPOWER your FAITH. Never forget Regina and how her FAITH sustained her even when it looked like death was knocking at her door. KNOW that no matter what you’re going through GOD will bring you out.

Shawna Dix is a mother, educator, and all around child of God. She is passionate about God, her son Jalen, family, friends, and her students. She loves teaching because it allows her to shower our youth with love and guidance. She resides in Pentagon City, Virginia and works hard educating inner city youth in Washington DC. She prides herself in being a realist. She exclaims that she is in no way, shape, form, or fashion perfect but she has accepted that she serves a perfect God who is able to do ALL things!

Encouragement, Faith, Favor, Goals & Dreams, Growth/Maturity, Motivation, Persistance, Preparation, Procrastination

Apple Seeds Don’t Produce Oranges

Have you ever planted a rose bush and ended up with a cactus tree? Have you prayed for a new job but never filled out any applications, reached out to any connections or shown yourself worthy of a new opportunity? Sounds silly doesn’t it? As silly as it sounds, every day we wake up with expectations for things that we have layed at God’s feet; yet, we have not planted at all or planted the right seeds.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7 KJV

Lately, I have realized that I have been trying to reap in areas where I have not sown or I have not sown properly. Have you found yourself trying to reap a harvest in areas where you have not planted? Perhaps you are asking God to bless a particular area of your life but you have put no skin in the game. You either have failed to plant, have planted seeds that do not yield the fruit you want to harvest, or planted on ground that is not fertile.

  • You want a husband but you have not planted seeds that will help you grow into being a wife. The “fun girl” does not become the wife. Only when she puts those things away will she blossom into wife material. Maybe you aren’t really ready because you have harvested insecurities, habits and circumstances that deem you currently ineligible for the mate God has chosen for you.
  • You may be sowing, sowing, sowing in the wrong place with the wrong people. Matthew 7:6 reminds us: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (KJV)
  • Perhaps you have prayed for a financial increase but you have failed to sow where He has instructed. He has given you vision and placed opportunities in front of you that will enlarge your territory but you haven’t acted on what He has given you.
  • Maybe you are asking God to bless your ministry but you haven’t spent any time developing and perfecting it.
  • You may want to change your health status or maintain good health but you aren’t willing to make the necessary changes that will yield the results that you want or you are half doing it.
  • It’s possible that you are asking God to strengthen your relationship with Him, your marriage, your friendships, your family or increase your network but you have not planted seeds in any of these relationships that would make them grow. You aren’t doing what it takes to make them prosperous.

Consider this parable: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Matthew 4:3-8 NIV

God let’s us know that at minimum what we put in is what we will get out. Anything beyond that is extra; it is God’s favor. It is His grace and mercy. How do we know that the favor that we have received just didn’t get us to the basic because what we put in was so minimal? Let’s plant the right seeds on good ground so that our harvest will be plentiful. Remember II Corinthians 9:6: But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (KJV)

Assignment: Make a list of all the petitions you have before God. What are you expecting in 2012? Next to the petition write what you have sown to make this petition a reality. If it isn’t abundantly clear, ask God if there is more that you can do. Ask Him if you have planted the right seeds and on the right ground. For each petition, write what you will do to reap the desired harvest (whether it is to take the first step and plant, change the seed that you planted, or change the area where you have planted).  Ask God to move you from mediocrity to excellence.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for favor. Thank You for giving to me even when I have not sown; but, Daddy, I ask You right now that You reveal to me the seeds I need to plant and the place I need to plant them to make my petitions come to fruition. Heavenly Father, I ask that You show me what I need to do to reap a bountiful harvest. Challenge me in my sowing and let me operate like the harvest I expect to receive. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today, I EMPOWER you to sow the right seeds on good ground. I EMPOWER you with the knowledge that you are reaping what you are sowing. I EMPOWER you to be patient because some crops take longer to harvest than others. Remember this: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9 KJV) I EMPOWER you to complete the assignment and act on what God reveals to you.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: A “C” for Effort

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures is Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Assignment, Career, Encouragement, Faith, Favor, Inspirational, Trusting God

Listening To Your Voice

At the age of 24 (turning 25 in a few weeks) God has placed me in a position of leadership. I am a Program Coordinator at a non-profit and I am a supervisor for two employees that are both older than me. Actually everyone in my office is about 5-10 years older than me, and at times some can treat me like I am their subordinate. I know this is because of my age. At times I feel out of place myself, but then I remember that I prayed for this position and that I have worked in non-profit in various capacities for the past six years. Those I work with probably have no idea of the sacrifices I’ve made in order to be in a field that I love and feel called by God to pursue. The enemy would love to have me doubt my ability. Truth is everything I have comes from God; I am not “special” but I am being obedient to the call of God on my life. Recently, I started reading a devotion on faithfulness. One of the “memory” scriptures came from II Chronicles, a book of the Bible I do not read often and that’s when I stumbled on (or as I would like to think was divinely guided to) King Hezekiah and Sennacherib. My current predicament is similar to that of Hezekiah. At the age of 25 Hezekiah became king and had to go against King Sennacherib a mighty warrior king:

Sennacherib’s officers spoke further against the LORD God and against his servant Hezekiah. The king also wrote letters ridiculing the LORD, the God of Israel, and saying this against him: “Just as the gods of the peoples of the other lands did not rescue their people from my hand, so the god of Hezekiah will not rescue his people from my hand.” Then they called out in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to terrify them and make them afraid in order to capture the city. They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as they did about the gods of the other peoples of the world—the work of human hands.

King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. And the LORD sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons, his own flesh and blood, cut him down with the sword.

So the LORD saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all others. He took care of them on every side. (II Chronicles 32: 16-23 NIV)

I was so deep into this story that I actually researched Sennacherib, and according to Wikipedia, Sennacherib means Sin has separated my brothers from me. Can you see how God orchestrated this? God used a man, whose name literally means sin to come against the people of God so they could see and believe that their God, the God of Israel is one to keep those promises.

I would like to leave you with a word from an EmpowerMoment commenter: Faith is acting like God is telling the truth.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank You so much for keeping Your Word. You never said trials, tribulations and tests would not come my way, but You promised to see me through. Lord, I know You are only asking of me to have the faith that You can and will do what may seem impossible to me. Remind me that anything is possible if I keep my hand in Your hand. You can deliver me no matter how close defeat might look. You spoke this entire world into existence, so speaking life into my situation is nothing for You. I thank You in advance for hearing and acknowledging this prayer. Keep me encouraged Father, and help me not to ignore those times when You are asking me to spend more time with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Lovely Ladies of God, no matter what your age or position I EMPOWER you to stand firm in God’s Word, in His promises to you, no matter what the enemy may tell you. You know that God is a God that cannot and will not lie; it is not even in His character. If HE spoke it to you, HE will be the one to bring it forth.

Ms. Renee` N. Chaffin is a single mother who has a heart for helping those less fortunate. She has been active in the non-profit sector, whether through volunteerism or professionally, for the past six years.  She is passionate about sharing the love of God, her testimony and empowering people to discover their true potential that was bestowed on them by King of the Universe. Renee` is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. While on her pursuit of higher education, she is on a seven year journey to challenge God to do ‘exceedingly and abundantly above all she can imagine’ in seven areas over the next seven years. Check out her journey at http://radical7even.wordpress.com. Her favorite scripture is I Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Attitude, Favor, Growth/Maturity, Humility, Pride

A Humbling Experience

“First pride, then the crash the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.” (Proverbs 16:18 MSG)

I didn’t achieve??  What do you mean I didn’t achieve?  There must be some mistake, I ALWAYS achieve!  These were just some of the thoughts that went through my mind as I looked at the results of my National Board Certification attempt.  I was sure my eyes were playing tricks on me. I received a 267 when you need a 275 in order to pass and become a National Board Certified teacher.  My shock moved to disbelief and then to anger then to sadness!  I could not believe I was not a NBC teacher.

After I calmed down and started to seek the Lord, He showed me what my real issue was.  My PRIDE was hurt more than anything else.  The only thing I had ever failed at was romantic relationships (that’s an EmpowerMoment all by itself).   I had always been academically successful; school came easy to me. I loved and still love learning.  I attended a private university on a full scholarship.  When I entered into teaching, it was a cakewalk.  I never struggled with the difficulties that many young teachers struggle with. 

God has always given me incredible favor.  Unfortunately, I allowed myself to become full of pride (an excessively high opinion of one’s self).  I had also become slightly arrogant.  For example, I ordered a cake congratulating myself on becoming an NBC teacher THREE days before I was supposed to find out if I had achieved National Board Certification.  I just KNEW I had it.  I didn’t even pray to God about it.

Needless to say, I needed to be humbled and taken down a few pegs and humbled I was!

“…God will bring down their pride, despite the cleverness of their hands…” (Isaiah 25:11b NIV)

…May the arrogant be put to shame… (Psalm 119:78a NIV)

Yes, God wants to show us His favor.  Yes, He wants to bless us “…exceedingly, abundantly, above all we can ask or think…” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV) Yes, God wants to do everything He can to help us achieve the destiny He has called us to; HOWEVER, we must be careful not to get prideful and/or arrogant as God blesses and promotes us.  Please don’t make the same mistake I did because God WILL give you a HUMBLING EXPERIENCE!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for continued favor!  Forgive me for taking Your favor for granted and taking on the spirit of pride as if I have or could ever accomplish anything without You.  You are my God, everything I have and everything I am is because of You.  I give You ALL the glory because it is through no goodness of my own but because You love me, show grace and mercy to me, and because You favor me.  Help me never to lose sight of this again. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

 Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to assess your current behavior and actions in all areas of your life. Are you prideful or arrogant in any area of your life?

  • Financially –  spending just because you can and neglecting giving? 
  • Relationships – doing whatever you want to in the relationship just because you know they are not going anywhere? 
  • Career – not being diligent in your work because you just KNOW they are not going to fire you? 

If God chose to, would there be any area where you are due for a “humbling experience”?   If so, STOP and turn it around TODAY!  Pray and ask God’s forgiveness and then take steps to turn that behavior around.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Knocked Down From My High Horse

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. 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 hope and a future.”

Favor, Sermon Sundays

Sermon Sundays: Don’t Leave Empty Handed!

Couldn’t make it to church? No worries, we are bringing church to you! Sermon Sundays feature a snippet of a wonderful sermon from various men and women of God. Please don’t keep the Word to yourself; share it with all of your loved ones!

After all you’ve been through, don’t come out empty handed! The favor that God has on your life is about to yield some things to you!  Be sure to watch all four parts of this powerful message.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: When They Don’t Listen to the King

A pastor, lecturer and recording artist, Pastor Sheryl Brady has traveled extensively around the globe for more than 25 years. Her gift of delivering spiritual wisdom has positioned her as a featured guest on Trinity Broadcasting Network, Daystar Television Network, The Word Network and The Inspiration Network. She has also served as a speaker at numerous conferences including the internationally-acclaimed MegaFest and was the first female speaker ever at ManPower 2010, the men’s only conference hosted by Bishop T. D. Jakes.