Courage, Death, Gifts/Talents, Health/Sickness, Obedience, Purpose

My Testimony: She Shifted

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!

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

When I found out about our Testimony Series, I started thinking to myself, I don’t really have one. God has me in the season of planting and rebuilding, so breakthroughs and the fruits of this season have yet to sprout. But God kept dealing with me to write about the one thing I don’t want to write about — my Aunt’s death and how it became a testimony in my life. I don’t want to talk about it because it is still too fresh, I am still in denial, and I feel guilty for grieving so hard when I know my cousins are grieving harder. But “to obey is better than sacrifice”. (I Samuel 15:22 NKJV) I am a witness that God can use your gift to bless you.

Around the fourth of December I received a call from my Dad that my Aunt had a stroke, was unconscious, and on a ventilator at the hospital. I was so distraught, yet strangely peaceful at the same time. I was almost mad at myself for having that type of peace. My Auntie was a firecracker. She loved hard, fought hard, talked hard, worked hard, everything she did was 1000%, from her love to her anger. She was so authentic. She understood my “not so saint-like” moments. I told her secrets that I was embarrassed to tell others and she would talk me through them telling me what I was going to do!

About two or three years ago I noticed my Auntie started acting different. She started talking about the Lord more. I noticed a Shift. She shifted into a woman who became verbally expressive of God’s goodness. As the year progressed her Shift became more evident.

As God would have it, I had to travel to Atlanta for work the week she was in the hospital. As soon as my plane hit the ground I rushed to the hospital to see her. I wanted to keep ignoring the voices in my head that she wasn’t going to make it. But I knew what God sounded like; I was in denial. On the drive there I was in a fog. God kept talking to me about my Auntie’s life and how she Shifted. She became the woman He wanted her to be and her time to celebrate with Him had come. At first I was angry because I felt He took her before she could enjoy more of the prosperity that comes with submitting to God’s will here on Earth. I wanted her to experience more of that, but God continued to confirm to me that she had Shifted, and now it was her time.

He also said to me in the car that it was time that I Shift. It was time for me to Shift into the boldness of the call of ministry He placed on my life. I didn’t want it. My words to Him were, “God I don’t read my Bible enough. I don’t pray enough. I’m not obedient enough. I’m not good enough. I don’t know enough.” Seeming as though He totally ignored me, He began to give me orders about how He was going to confirm the power He had placed in me, through her. He said these exact words, “When you touch her, she is going to Shift, and then you will know.” I’m thinking to myself, yeah right God.

See, for the past few years I have doubted my gift. I was never sure if I was acting out of emotion or if it truly was God. He said, “Today is the day I will confirm it for you.”

I arrived at the hospital and saw my Aunt on life support. My first thought was, “Lord, I’m definitely NOT going to touch her, I might break something or hurt her. You are going to have to literally move my hand; I don’t even know where to place it!” My Dad was in there with me and he started rubbing her arm as he and I were casually talking. I heard God say, “Your turn.” I responded, “You gotta do it; I might break something. You will have to take over; I just can’t.” We waited and chatted some more and lo’ and behold I found myself caressing her arm, relishing in her warm soft skin that I always remembered. I began to think that I was hallucinating because her machines started acting weird. My Dad screamed, “What happened, did you see that?” I froze and stood there and watched her vital signs rise and her eyes flutter and open. I almost fell on the floor but my legs were stuck. God spoke and said, “See, just as she Shifted in her life, it is now time for you to Shift and operate in the gift; I put it in you.”

My Aunt died that next morning and I would be lying if I said that I was ok with that. I really wish that her movements weren’t reflexes and that she was in recovery right now, but God already confirmed that the “strange thing” that was going to happen wasn’t to bring her back to us. Rather, it was to use her to confirm His power, that I really do know His voice and should now walk in boldness operating in my gift.

Dear Daddy,

Over and over again You show Your power, Your majesty, Your glory, and Your omniscience. I am grateful that my Aunt received Your gift of salvation before she died and that I was able to experience her Shift into the Woman of God You were molding all along. God, it is my prayer that just as You held my hand and guided me to the brink of my Shift, that You do the same for my Sister in Christ reading this EmpowerMoment. Lord, it is my desire that You confirm in her Spirit the direction You will have for her to go and the confidence she needs to get there. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to Shift. It is time to put old things away and Shift into a life of obedience with God. Is it time for you to Shift into a new dimension or to Shift some things around? I’ve Shifted to walking boldly in my gift from God. I’m a tad scared at times, but I’m dedicated to learning, refining, growing, and understanding more and more about this gift He has trusted me with. I EMPOWER you to seek your heart and your ways and Shift where God says so.


As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a university administrator. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Her passion is mentoring young women and marriage empowerment. She resides in Orange Beach, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They are members of New Beginnings Christian Center in Foley, AL.

Assignment, Completion, Gifts/Talents, Goals & Dreams, Motivation, Purpose

The Veronica Effect!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Daddy,

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

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

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

Read a related EmpowerMoment: The Pursuit of Excellence


Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Atlanta, Georgia 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: every where 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 strengtheneth me.”

Black Music Month Series, Focus, Gifts/Talents, Motivation, Purpose

Use Me Up!

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!

I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do. (Ephesians 1:18 MSG)

I pray this scripture daily. I am certain that when you pray and ask God to use you, you want to be clear of your assignment. If you are not clear, you will find yourself doing a whole lot in the name of God, when it’s really not God. Due to my love and appreciation for God, I found myself adding things to my plate assuming I was doing them for God. God won’t put more on me than I can bear, but I will!!! I was doing this over and over again ignorantly because of my desire to be used by the One who saved my life!

By trial and error, I’ve learned to choose my battles and consult God before making any decisions, even in my plight to bring Him glory. Being Spirit-led and not self-led, is causing me to transition into being an effective servant. I’ve learned that strategy over strength is the best method in endeavoring to be used greatly. In the process of learning this, I used to beat myself up so badly because my desire to be used was causing me to go into overload. Then overload caused me to not want to be used!!! I came to a realization that it is nothing wrong with desiring to be used by God; I needed to make sure I was being led by God. It’s nothing wrong with taking a stance like

Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8 NLT)

Daily I give God permission to send me! I want to die empty meaning everything God invested in me, I want to pour into someone else. God is a businessman! He wants an ROI–Return on Investment! He has invested power, dominion, strength, love, faith, discernment, and much more in me. I must return it by being used by HIM! Lord, just keep on using me UNTIL YOU USE ME UP!

Dear Daddy,

I truly desire to be used by You. Please cause the eyes of my understanding to be enlightened that I may know the hope and purpose of what You have called me to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to be the one that volunteers for God’s service opposed to being called on! Ask and allow God to use you in your home, in the marketplace, and in ministry! I EMPOWER you to allow God to USE YOU UP!

Enjoy Bill Wither’s “Use Me” as you reflect on how you want God to use you up!


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 1 Timothy 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.”

Gifts/Talents, Purpose

You’re Gifted!

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NIV)

On Sunday mornings when I am on my feet singing along with the praise team during the praise and worship service, I can often see myself up in the choir box praising, instead of doing it from my seat.  I go back to being in the youth choir in the church I grew up in, and remember how much I enjoyed it.  Then after church I am in the car singing the songs from the service…and I hear myself singing….and I realize that my praises from the pew are just fine!  While God loves for us all to praise and worship Him, and He receives them, being apart of the praise team is not what He has called me to do. It’s not my gift to give!

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines (1 Corinthians 12:7-11 NIV)

Often we get caught up in what we see others doing in the church–on the front line serving as an usher, or a part of the prayer team standing down at the altar, leading Bible study classes–and we think, I could do that….or he isn’t all that great at that.  We spend time wondering why pastor chose different people for different roles, and lose sight of the fact that we are all blessed with different gifts from God.  All of our gifts are needed for the church to function as He intends it to.  When we spend time trying to serve, and give gifts that we don’t have, we take away from God’s purpose for our lives.

Be encouraged even if you don’t yet understand your gift, and continue to pray for revelation. On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. (1 Corinthians 12:22-25 NIV) Continue to fellowship and engage with other Christians, and learn about ministries and opportunities available in your church home because it is possible someone else in the body may have the gift of discernment to recognize your gift!

Our heavenly Father gifts us all, and we are called to use our gifts for His glory!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for blessing me with abilities beyond what I could ever think possible.  My prayer is that You will continue to impress upon me what I am called to do to build Your kingdom with the gifts You have bestowed upon me. Please forgive me for the times when I have been envious of the gifts of others, because I was focused on myself and not on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

My gifted ladies, today I EMPOWER you to use your gifts!  Take time out everyday and thank God for the purpose He has for your life and the gifts He has blessed you with to carry it out!

How are you using your God-given talents to advance the kingdom? Share your experiences below.

Listen to a related Sermon excerpt: The Hidden Treasure


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.”

Completion, Focus, Gifts/Talents, Goals & Dreams, Motivation, Purpose

Purpose. What’s the 4-1-1?

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. (Psalms 118:17 KJV)

She says I didn’t move in the nine months she carried me in her womb. Her fear was that I would be a stillborn baby, but I have great news. God’s purpose for my life was to be fulfilled outside of the womb and as of this morning at 6:55am CST, our Father has allowed me to make 32 revolutions around the sun for 1,664 weeks and to experience earth’s rotation for 11,648 days. I am grateful for the 279,552 hours, the 16,773,120 minutes and the 1,006,387,200 seconds that I have had to praise Him, to experience His grace and mercy and to fulfill the calling that He has on my life. Yes, it is my Born Day!

In this age where we can access information at our fingertips in a matter of seconds, there are some things that have not changed. Babies are still being born and people are still dying. Each of us has specific purposes to fulfill before we take our last breath. Some of us are afraid of our purpose because we know that the road to fulfilling our purposes isn’t always easy. As we reflected this past Sunday on Jesus’ death and resurrection, we know that He too did not have it easy on His journey to purpose fulfillment. He was born of a virgin, tempted of the devil, lied on, abandoned and rejected in His most distressed time, persecuted and crucified all so that He could fulfill the purpose of redeeming each of us of our sins. He is the quintessential example of purpose fulfilled from birth to death and eternity.

Like Jesus, my journey to discover and executing my purpose was not smooth sailing and if you are honest with yourself, yours probably wasn’t either. Unlike Jesus, I actually succumbed to many temptations of the world. Those things that were “out of my control” (my parents, my upbringing) and my choices to lead a life filled with sin were all a part of getting to my purpose and my testimony. I’m not saying that the road couldn’t have been different but I do acknowledge that the awful rebellious stage I went through in high school and later being arrested for a crime I DID commit were a part of what Paul was speaking of in Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (KJV) Those things are not only a part of my testimony but they are a part of my purpose.

The anniversary of my entrance into this world (or yours) isn’t about the number of years, the telephone calls, text messages or number of Facebook posts I receive as much as it is about being obedient and fulfilling my purpose during the dash that He gives me. God has planted seeds in my spirit that I have yet to water because of my own apprehension. I know that I have to fulfill these things that God has planted in my belly because my fulfillment of these things or rather my obedience to God is tied to others’ destiny.  Are you living your life on purpose and with purpose? In His word, God gave us information about our purpose. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6 KJV

So what’s the 4-1-1 on your purpose?

  1. God loves you and created you to praise Him Isaiah 43:21
  2. God wants to forgive you Psalms 86:5 and for you to be saved Mark 16:16
  3. He wants you to bring others to Him Matthew 28:16-20
  4. He wants you to care for the least of these Luke 4:18; Matthew 25:31-46
  5. He wants you to use your talents for His good Matthew 25:14-30

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for birthing me with promise and with purpose. Lord, please do not let me die without fulfilling the many purposes that You have given me in this lifetime. Help me to obedient to Your word and Your will for my life. Everyday help me to remember it as another chance to worship You and fulfill Your calling on my life. Through trials and tribulations, let me remember that these things must come so that Your purpose can come to pass. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to seek God for your purpose. Talk to Him daily and make sure you are following His will. Surrender your will to His will. Fill that dash between the anniversary of your birth and your death with the purposes that God has called you to fulfill.

Do you feel like you are fulfilling God’s purposes for your life? How? If not, why? Share with us below.


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, Gifts/Talents, Purpose, She is Me Series, Submission/Surrendering

She is Me: Jael

In honor of National Women’s History Month, EmpowerMoments is featuring a special series called ‘She is Me’.  Each writer will parallel her own life with that of a Biblical woman to enlighten and EMPOWER youCheers to being a WOMAN!

Covert Silent Assassin

Unlike Renee`, (see She is Me: Deborah), I desired to have a leadership role like Deborah in ministry.  Desired is probably an understatement; craved is more accurate.  I was a leader in my professional life and even in my family and personal life, so it just made sense that I would be a leader in ministry as well right? WRONG!  God not only did not elevate me, but He sent me to a church where NOBODY knew me.

After much personal struggle and attitudinal pleas to God, I finally repented and submitted to God’s will for me in the area of ministry.  This is where my life began to parallel Jael’s.  First, Jael was a tent dweller.  One major characteristic of tents are they are highly portable (easy to move from place to place). We can conclude from this that Jael lived a life in which she had to be ready to move at a moment’s notice.  Once I submitted to God, He began to teach me that I had to always be ready to act when He needed me to.

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

The Bible tells us that Sisera’s army was defeated.  Deborah, Barak, and the Israelite army had done their duty: “…all Sisera’s troops fell by the sword; not a man was left…Sisera, meanwhile, fled on foot to the tent of Jael…” (Judges 4:16b-17a NIV) There are many things in our lives that in large part we have been delivered from; however, residue of those things still exists in our life. God desires for our enemies to be TOTALLY defeated and in order to do that, He raises covert assassins.  Jael was one such assassin.  God has taught me that I’m not a Deborah in ministry but a Jael. 

Sisera felt comfortable going into Jael’s tent because he was familiar with her family.  “Sisera, however, fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite because there were friendly relations between Jabin King of Hazor and the clan of Heber the Kenite…” (Judges 4:17 NIV)  God has sent people into my life several times who were struggling with spirits I was “familiar” with in the past.  Those spirits were comfortable being around me because I was supposedly not a threat to them.

Jael invited Sisera into her tent and treated him VERY good.  Sisera was thirsty and asked for some water.  Instead of water, Jael gave him milk, giving him more than he requested. (See Judges 5:25) Jael gracefully lulled him into a false sense of security. By treating him so well, he assumed that she was on his side and that he was safe. Having a full stomach also makes a person more tired, especially after a hard day. All of this combined caused Sisera to fall asleep without too much worry about being attacked. Little did he expect an attack from the woman who was treating him so kindly.

God has allowed me to have relationships with many who come from various backgrounds, different religions, and who struggle with a range of strongholds.  God has directed me to show hospitality to them and allow them to “relax” in my presence.  “…But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted.  She drove the peg through his temple in to the ground, and he died.” (Judges 421 NIV)   However, just like Sisera, they let down their guards and become comfortable around me.  I quietly begin to PRAY and come against EVERY stronghold, cancel every assignment of the enemy and war in the spirit realm to KILL everything that is keeping them from being who God has called them to be.

My journey has taught me that everyone God has called to ministry is not supposed to be in the pulpit or even on the microphone.  God has raised some covert operatives.  My assignment is to pray.  I have learned to accept my assignment and carry it out with diligence. Jael’s obedience to God quite arguably changed the course of history for the Israelites and she is only mentioned in a few verses of the Bible. However, had she not accepted it because it wasn’t an upfront position, who knows what could’ve happened.  Sisera may have gotten away, raised another army, and went fought the Israelites again. Thank God for silent assassins!!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for the assignment You have given me in ministry.  I understand that there are no “small parts” in ministry.  I understand that everything done in ministry is supposed to bring glory to You.  I also understand that my obedience is connected to so many other destinies.  I ask that You continue to make me sensitive to your spirit.  Help me to carry out the assignments that You give me diligently and effectively.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to pray and seek the Lord for what He wants you to do in ministry. Accept your assignment and start carrying it out.  There are so many that God has for us to minister to, pray for, feed, cloth, preach to, etc.  We HAVE to get on our jobs!

Today is the LAST day! Enter here for your chance to win our women’s prize pack!

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.”

Gifts/Talents, Purpose, She is Me Series

She Is Me: The Shunamite Woman

GREAT NEWS: We are extending our She is Me Series and contest for another week!

In honor of National Women’s History Month, EmpowerMoments is featuring a special series called ‘She is Me’.  Each writer will parallel her own life with that of a Biblical woman to enlighten and EMPOWER youCheers to being a WOMAN!

A Dose of Southern Hospitality

 It was Tuesday and yet I was already thinking about a meal that I would prepare for Thursday. We weren’t having company; however, I wanted to do what I love and cook a really nice family meal. I took out meat and seasoned it and cut up vegetables to roast with it, all in preparation for Thursday’s dinner. This isn’t anything out of the ordinary. I love to cook. That is my gift to others and how I show love. Nary a person enters through my door that I don’t try to fix a meal for and I am even known to visit others and take over their kitchen. Not only is cooking my therapy but it is an area where God has anointed me to bless and show love to others (if I do say so myself).

A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men. Proverbs 18:16 KJV

The Shunamite woman was no different than I. She was anointed with the gift of hospitality and discernment. “And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.” (II Kings 4:8-10 KJV)

We never learn her name but as the story goes, the Shunamite woman (who had no children and an old husband) was prophesied a son by Elisha for her hospitality towards him. Years later her son died and Elisha prayed and then laid on top of him. The child’s life was restored.  Later in II Kings 8:1-6 when a famine came unto the land, Elisha looked out for her and told her to move her family for seven years. After the famine, she wanted her land and house back and went to the King to plead for it. Ironically, Elisha’s servant was testifying of his master’s work before the King, specifically of him restoring the woman’s son’s life just as she came to plead her case. In verse six, ‘The King appointed a certain officer to Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now.’

Like the Shunamite woman, God gives each of us gifts; however, when we operate outside of our anointing we can miss the opportunities that He has for us. The Shunamite woman recognized that Elisha was a man of God and showed love through her gifts. Her ministry was hospitality, but yours may be writing, entertaining, speaking, teaching or discovering. What is your ministry to others? Work in your gift and watch it make room for you.

Below are some key takeaways from the Shunamite woman:

  1. Use your gift to bless others. II Kings 4:8
  2. Although you have the gift sometimes you have to submit to the authority in your life. II Kings 4:9
  3. Do what you love without expectation.  II Kings 4:13
  4. When you are desperate sometimes you have to skip process and appropriateness. II Kings 4:22-23
  5. Obedience really is better than sacrifice. II Kings 8:2
  6. Using your gifts will cause you to reap favor when you need it most II Kings 8:6

Dear Daddy, 

Thank You for anointing me with my gifts. Lord, Your word says that my gifts will make room for me and bring me in the presence of great men. So, God I ask that you help me operate excellently in my gifts so that they will do just that. Help me to use my gifts for Your glory so that I don’t cast my pearls to swine. If something I am “good at” is not my gift, please show me so that my ministry to others is what You want it to be. Thank You for blessing me with gifts that will enlarge my territory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to discover your gifts and use them like the Shunamite woman. Learn from her and do what you love in a way that blesses others. I assure you that God will reward you for it.

Our Women’s Month Contest has been extended! Enter Now!

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.”

Children, Gifts/Talents, Mentoring, Mother/Daughter, Motivation, Teacher/Student

A King Josiah Anointing for Our Kids

“…But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.” 1 Corinthians 7:7b ESV

My 6-year old daughter is the epitome of over exaggeration and dramatized behavior. She can produce a tear at the drop of a dime, she has a facial expression and body gesture to appeal to any situation and she has the power to convince you that something is much more serious than it really is entirely through actions. It is so evident that our family has coined her ‘Drama Mama’. I must admit her behavior is sometimes extremely annoying because I don’t know what to take seriously and what to just brush off. I often remind her of the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” But recently I have come to the realization that God has given her the gift of drama for a purpose and it is up to her father and me to channel that energy into positive experiences. Only God knows how this gift applies to her purpose and destiny in Him but the last thing that we as her parents should do is extinguish the fire. Yes, she is only six years old but God is already starting to reveal who she will be in the Kingdom. He has a mission for even the youngest of them…

In the first book of Kings we are introduced to a baby named Josiah, “…This is what the LORD says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David.” (1 Kings 13:2 NIV) Just a few short years later in the second book of Kings, Josiah’s father, King Amon, was murdered and Josiah became king in his place. Guess how old Josiah was when he began his reign? “Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years.” (2 Kings 22:1 NIV) Imagine that! At only the tender age of eight, Josiah was already ruling a nation. What great things God must’ve placed in that young lad to equip him for such a position! I imagine that as a young boy he possessed superior leadership skills (that some mistook for bossiness). He was probably an excellent decision maker (which was probably confused with being opinionated). I am sure he had the ability to persuade the people (and most may have viewed that as manipulative.) You get the point? God has given our children what they need for where He is taking them. It is our responsibility to ensure that we are encouraging and cultivating those gifts.

Outlined below is a simple three-step plan to help us help our children become everything God intended for them to be:

(1)    Ask God to reveal your children’s gifts and talents to you. Before my daughters were even born, I would pray for their futures and ask the Lord to show me a glimpse of what He had planned for them. Part of that was to know what special things they would possess so that I could help to protect and nurture their gifts. It is not too late for you to seek God about your children’s hidden treasures.

(2)    Once you know what is on the inside of your children, you MUST assist in the cultivation of those gifts. After I realized that all of my daughter’s drama was not just to get under my skin, I made a choice to help her develop her craft. I have been searching for the perfect drama and acting school to enroll her in. It is imperative that we encourage our children to be who God has created them to be!

(3)    Speak into your child’s future. “You are going to be an awesome actress one day!” That is an affirmation that I speak over my daughter because I understand that it somehow aligns with her destiny. I don’t have to know when, where or how that statement will affirm itself, I just have to believe. So it is with your children. Speak over them daily. If your daughter loves to talk (aka talks too much), tell her what a great news reporter she would make. If your son insists on bringing every stray animal in the neighborhood home, affirm his future as a veterinarian.

It is never too early to begin helping your children reach their God-given destinies. Remember Josiah was only eight years old! Your children’s hidden gifts and talents may not look like everyone else’s. They may not be straight ‘A’ students or musically talented, but God has given them SOMETHING to work with. It is your responsibility to identify it and help them utilize it!

Dear Daddy,

I thank You for blessing me with my wonderful child(ren). I ask that You would begin to reveal to me the special gifts that You have placed inside of them. Please give me the wisdom to recognize who You created them to be, the ability to affirm what You said and the resources to aid in their development. I ask that You give my child a King Josiah anointing that they may make huge impacts, even in their younger years. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to EMPOWER your children! Find their gifts and maximize their potential for the kingdom by helping them grow those gifts in the Spirit. I EMPOWER your children to walk in a King Josiah anointing!

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.

Assignment, Gifts/Talents, Goals & Dreams, Obedience

He Answered The Call…Will You?

We are all born with greatness. We are all called for a purpose bigger than we can imagine. The question is, will we answer the call or will we run? On this day, I reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He saw a need and answered a call to leadership, a call to service, a call to sacrifice.  He was an ordinary man that with God and a dream team was able to do extraordinary things for the uplift of millions.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Dr. King’s birthday we remember that although he wasn’t the first, he defied the norm as he fought for justice and equality. His opposition to racism, bigotry and segregation even in the face of death furthered the case of civil rights. His very resistance to oppression and the oppressors was an example of his faith put into action. Dr. King knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was called for a purpose greater than himself. He also knew that what he was doing could have him killed but he believed that what he was doing was right and that drove him to see his vision fulfilled.  Through his leadership he inspired others to lead and many others to act in the name of freedom and righteousness. He walked out his faith.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31: 8-9 NIV

In his actions, Dr. King obeyed the scriptures as he spoke up for those who could not speak up for themselves. There were people like him, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Rev. James Orange, Rev. Lowry and many many others who unselfishly bored the brunt of the Civil Rights Movement so that we could have a chance at opportunity. They made a difference because they chose to defend the rights of the poor and needy. They made a difference because they put the needs of the community before their own. Many years later and people are still hurting all around us. They are depressed, oppressed, poor and needy. Will you speak up for them?

What is God’s calling for your life? Are you answering or are you running? Many of us have a ministry, a movement, a purpose that He has called us to fulfill; however, we are sitting and waiting, hoping that maybe God will call someone else, maybe someone else will step up to the plate. If not you, then who? If not now, then when? What are you waiting on to move? What He has called you to do is for you and no one else.

Undoubtedly, Dr. King may have thought there were people who were older, wiser, smarter, sharper and with more resources but he took a leap of faith. He answered the calling on his life and for him it cost him his life. Although he knew that day would come it didn’t stop him from being obedient to the calling on his life. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:30 NIV

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for people like Dr. King. On his birthday, we honor his obedience to Your word. Heavenly Father, give us the courage to follow the calling You have placed on our lives. Help us to believe in ourselves but more importantly increase our faith in You knowing that You will equip us with all that we need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you to answer the call. If you need clarity on your purpose, pray and ask God to reveal it to you. Write down the vision and ask God to order your steps but whatever you do MOVE. Be obedient to His word. Be obedient to God’s calling on your life.

In Celebration of Dr. King, enjoy Stevie Wonder’s tribute to him: 

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Advocate or Performer?

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.”

Best of 2011 Series, Gifts/Talents

Best of 2011: #6 — The Pursuit of Excellence

We are featuring our top EmpowerMoments of 2011. They made us laugh and they made us cry. They comforted us during troubled times and made us uncomfortable in our mess. But most important, they EMPOWERED us to be greater women all around! We are better wives, mothers, daughters, friends, servants and employees. We have been EMPOWERED to love harder, forgive more and listen better. We thank God for EmpowerMoments! Enjoy the Best of Series!

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”  – Martin Luther King Jr.

Have you ever heard of Gary S. May, PhD? While I am sure you may not have heard of him, you probably have heard of people who are just like him…Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry…I bet those names sound a bit more familiar.  He isn’t a billionaire (hmmm I may need to check on that), but just like the “media celebrities” I named he is doing what he loves using his God given talents. He is no actor, athlete, politician, or reality TV star. He is an academician and I would argue that his impact on society has been far greater than many celebrities and politicians you can name.

A Little Background: Yesterday I had the opportunity to sit in on Dr. May’s public presentation. He is one of my mentors and amongst four candidates interviewing to be the next Dean of the College of Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. If you are giving me the virtual “Kanye Shrug” let me tell you why that is a big deal. Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering ranks #4 in the nation and thus far, outside of the HBCU’s and with the hundreds of engineering schools in the country, I have found only one African American Engineering Dean at a predominantly white university. I could spend time here telling you about the importance of engineering blah, blah, blah, but that’s not as important as the two lessons I learned by watching Dr. May make it to this step in his career:

  1. The Pursuit of Excellence
  2. Exhausting the Talents God Gives You

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10: 31 ISV) As I sat watching Dr. May’s presentation I was both empowered and convicted. Empowered because I felt a renewed sense of faith in my own abilities and convicted because I haven’t been the best steward of my talents. In the above Bible verse, God tells us to be excellent in all things that we do because we are doing it for His glory. How many of you are working at mediocre jobs, in mediocre positions, receiving mediocre pay, leading mediocre lives, raising mediocre children, have mediocre friends and dating mediocre people all because you do not recognize it or are afraid of or too lazy to pursue excellence in EVERY aspect of your life? Ladies, our Father demands excellence. Is He pleased with your pursuit of excellence? Would you feel comfortable speaking directly to Him and saying, “Lord ,this mediocrity I have in my life is for Your glory…this is the BEST I can do”?  He wants OUR BEST, wants us to HAVE THE BEST and wants us to BE THE BEST! Period.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” – Maya Angelou

Dr. May also reminded me of what happens when you use all of the talents God gives you and invest your talents in doing what you love. I don’t know any person who hated their job and achieved greatness at the same time. In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25: 14-30,  we learn that God gives each one of us talents and certain abilities in which we are gifted. God rewards us for using our talents and when we don’t He takes our talents away and punishes us. Matthew 25: 29-30 tells us “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (KJV) God has given me so many dreams, visions, opportunities and outlets to express my talents and while I can’t sing or dance I have sat on some of the things that I know I can do well. I haven’t fully invested in nurturing and expressing myself through those gifts. I don’t want God to take those talents away. What about you?

Dear Daddy,

Give me a spirit of determination to pursue excellence in ALL that I do whether it is my career, my family or my personal endeavors. While I understand I am not perfect, I must continuously strive to do what is pleasing and brings You glory in every area of my life. Help me to recognize all of the talents that You have given me and to use them according to Your purpose and not hide them. Lord, help me to use my gifts to serve You and others. God, give me guidance so that I will know how to use my talents in ways that are pleasing to You. Jesus, when I stand before Your throne, I want to be exhausted and used up knowing that I lived my life to the fullest using every single gift that You deposited in my spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today, EMPOWER yourself by thinking about ways that you can become excellent in all that you do. Ask yourself what perfection looks like (as a wife, single woman, mother, Christian, employee, employer etc) and strive for it. EMPOWER yourself by recognizing that everything in life is a gift from God and must be used responsibly. Ask God to expose all of your talents to you, make a list of them and then write a short paragraph on how you plan to use your talents. Each day read it and begin execution.

P.S. If you want to find out more about Gary S. May, PhD click here

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Shake Us Again

Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Atlanta, Georgia 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: every where 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 strengtheneth me.”