Focus, Goals & Dreams, Miscellaneous, Procrastination

Let’s Get S.M.A.R.T.

God really spoils me! Yes, I experience seasons of disappointment, hurt, pain and hardship but in the end it all works out for my good. I’ve heard many Christians say, “What God has for me no man can take away,” but I’m learning that maybe no “man” can take it away but “you” can.

To prove that “you” can get in the way of your own blessing, look at  the children of Israel who weren’t able to see the land God promised to them because of constant disobedience, “The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times—not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.” (Numbers 14:20-23). Or what about King David, an awesome man of God yet his mistakes hindered him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’” (2 Samuel 12:11-12) Or even Judas, a man who walked with Jesus became so overwhelmed with his personal failure he pulled his own plug. “When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.  “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:3-5)

I am a dreamer. A particular personality assessment deemed me a “strategic futurist thinker”, meaning I’m always looking for better ways to improve things. In my eyes, the future is bright but what I lack is execution. I have big and amazing ideas but lack follow through. I’ve been told the promise on my life but lately it seems more of a fantasy than a reality and it is no one’s fault but my own. I’ve taken advantage of God spoiling me and allowed laziness and procrastination to enter my life.  January is almost over but don’t lose sight of your goals! Below is my action plan for 2014 to help better execute my ideas.

Goal Action to achieve Completion date
Spiritual growth
  • Read at least 12 books in the bible
  • Intentionally pray, mediate or worship at least 70 minutes a week
  • Invite someone to my church
  • One random act of kindness a month
  • 40 day fast
  • Fast 5 times this year
  • Find a co-parent church
  • Dec 2014
  • Ongoing
  • Dec 2014
  • Ongoing
  • Feb 2014
  • Dec 2014
  • August 2014
Healthy living
  • Drink more water
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Drink less coffee
  • Do juicing cleanse
  • 25 by 25! (25lbs by 25 yrs. old)
  • Be active at least 4 days a week
  • Run in a 5k
  • Run a 5k by October 2014
Obtain financial freedom from consumer debt
  • Create and stick to a budget
  • Separate gas, grocery, bill and play money in separate accounts
  • Grow savings and emergency account 100%
  • Raise credit score 30%
  • Ongoing
  • Jan-Feb 2014
  • Dec 2014
  • Dec 2014
Forward progression at work/establish myself as a thought leader
  • Establish myself as a thought leader within my organization
  • Develop stronger leadership skills
  • Obtain a mentor in my organization
  • FY15
  • FY15
  • April 2014

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for guidance and wisdom to see Your plan through. God, You are doing a mighty thing with my life and I want to assist by putting in the hard work that You deserve. Lord, I want to pray against any distractions or hardships the enemy is sending my way to detour me from my goals. I thank You, Jesus, for patience and grace on this journey. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to make SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound)  goals this year. Supernatural is great because the testimony elevates people’s faith but it is my belief that when God has you work for something it gives you the ability to EMPOWER others in an unbelievable way. Appoint people to hold you accountable but understand at the end of the day YOU must do this.  Create a list and in December 2014 we will revisit this! Good Luck! This year remember 1 Chronicles 28:20: “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished. (You are God’s temple.)

What is one of your SMART goals for 2014?

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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. One of her go to scriptures is, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).

Goals & Dreams, God's Will

I Wrote the Vision…

writing_tablet

 

Last year was an eventful year as far as God revealing me to me.  Last year also ended better because I had a plan and I wrote my vision. (Habakkuk- write the vision and make it plain.) I created a vision board, I prayed and I set some goals that I wanted to see through fruition.  And then God answered: “Write this.  Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision/message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It is on its way. It will come right on time. (Habakkuk 2:2-3, MSG)

I made plans about my employment and where I wanted to be. Of course everything was going good but satan got busy and I almost walked away from the very thing I asked God for mid-year. As soon as things didn’t go as planned, I almost walked away from my job. I was willing to run away from the very thing God promised me because I was upset, hurt, frustrated and tired. Have you ever heard the saying: God protects you from your own crazy self? Well, that is exactly what He did for me. He taught me patience and longsuffering through my process. Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail. (James 5:11, MSG)

I created a vision that I would be a homeowner before 2013 was over. I knew God could do it but I did not think I was really ready. God showed me that He is still working miracles. God blessed me with a house that I did not expect and in an area that is sufficient for raising my daughter.

My year started last year with me being indecisive about if I even wanted to continue to stay married. But, I wrote the vision of a happy marriage and I claimed my marriage. I looked at that couple every day on my board and prayed for God to do it for me. Guess what? He did it for me! My marriage is on the incline. My husband is stepping up and being the man that God has called him to be. I learned that we are a work in progress and as long as we place God first, then happiness, prosperity and a happy marriage will follow.

I posted pictures of money and money management on my board. I did not know how I would get out of debt or how I would ever save money, especially when I spend it until it is gone. I ended the year positive. I am not 100% out of debt, but I have put systems in place and I have made provisions in my spending habits that are helping me to avoid living just pay check to pay check.

Nonetheless, my number one request was for God to give me more of Him. He did give me more of Him. My faith has increased, I do not make any plans without consulting God, and I trust God more than I ever have in my life. He has opened my eyes to the next level of knowing Him and spending time with Him.

I created other visions that I have not forgotten about and they are also going to come to pass but God has aligned my visions and He is working them out in the order that aligns with His plans for my life. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for seeing my visions through. Thank You God for aligning my visions with Your will for my life. Daddy I am asking You to continue to guard my visions and release them according to Your will. God, order my steps as I walk into the next levels of my life. Connect me with people that are visionaries as myself and not vision killers. God, put me in the right places, situations and in the right company of people at the right times so that my life can continue to prosper. God, I thank you for 2014. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to write the vision and make it plain. I dare you to put your visions and aspirations to paper and start working your plans. Make this year a year of life-changing situations that will move you closer to your hopes, goals and dreams. I EMPOWER you to let God’s will be done in whatever situation you want to change. It is okay to have New Year’s resolutions, but I dare you to have visions and believe that everything that you ask God for will happen according to His will.

Ladies, write the vision and make it plain.  Share one or two things on your vision board today.

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Mrs. Keviyona Ray is an ordained minister and co-pastor in training of The Christ For All People International Church. She is passionate about sharing the word of God with everyone she encounters. As a professional, Keviyona is a teacher for Chicago Public Schools. She loves her ministry of teaching and changing children’s lives. She is a devoted wife and mother of a wonderful daughter. Two of her favorite scriptures are Jeremiah 1: 5: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” and Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Completion, Courage, Encouragement, Goals & Dreams, God's Promises, Motivation, Persistance, Spirit of Fear, Spirit of Rejection

How Bad Do You Want It?

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. (2 Chronicles 15:7 NIV)

Recently I was watching BET’s Sunday’s Best. As I sat watching the aspiring gospel singers, I was amazed at some of their personal journeys. As the season 5 auditions commenced and I listened to each of the contestant’s stories, I was truly in awe at some of their tenacity. Of the top 20 finalists chosen to compete on the show, several of them had been rejected by the judges on previous seasons at least once, twice or even three times. Yet, they didn’t let that deter them from what they felt that God was calling them to do. Listening to their stories made me ponder my own journey. There I was at a point in my life where I knew I wanted to accomplish so much more. After all, business dreams have been dancing around in my mind for nearly 8 years that I have yet to see come to fruition. However, I had to be honest with myself and ask, “Have you really been relentless in your pursuit of your dreams?”

I shared with you a while ago in “No=Go” how I had to move past a place of fear and rejection and pick up the pieces of a dream that I have been fathoming for quite some time. At that time, I was victorious in finally mustering up the courage to reenter a business plan competition where I had once been rejected. I felt confident in reapplying, not because I knew that I would win, but because I knew that God was pleased with my courage to move past my point of fear. Unfortunately, I was rejected again and instantly returned back to the place of feeling like maybe my dreams were not truly meant to happen. How many times has God moved you from a place of hopelessness to a place of promise, and yet one little incident sets you back right where you started (or even further back)? We have to remember what God has promised to us. We have to hold on to our dreams regardless of how things are looking around us.

God promised Joseph that he would be the leader of his people. However, if you know anything about Joseph’s story, you know that he experienced much rejection before he ever saw that promise fulfilled. His brothers rejected his dream and threw him in a pit. (Genesis 37:18-24) They sold him into slavery because they knew they didn’t have the power to kill his dream, but needed to deter him from pursuing it. (Genesis 37:27-28) Next he was moved to Potiphar’s palace where he was placed in charge of all of Potiphar’s land and possessions. (Genesis 39:1-6) It seemed that just maybe that was going to be the position where his dreams would begin to flourish, but that’s not how it played out. Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of trying to sleep with her and Potiphar threw Joseph into prison. (Genesis 39:11-20) Ever feel like you are about to experience your dreams become reality only to have someone/something snatch it right from under you? Yes, I know exactly what that feels like, but we must maintain an attitude similar to Joseph’s. Even in prison, he kept his promise near his heart and still operated in his gift. He interpreted the dreams of his fellow prisoners with the hopes of being elevated once again and back on the path to pursing his dream. (Genesis 40:9-15) But again, it didn’t happen like that. Instead he was forgotten and left in prison. Can you relate? Has someone promised you assistance in reaching your dreams only to forget you and move on? Fret not! I know that God will make good on His promises! Alas, Pharaoh had a dream that needed interpreting. Based on Joseph’s faithfulness to his calling and gift, someone brought his name up as a recommendation to interpret it. Joseph’s wisdom pleased Pharaoh so much that he made Joseph ruler over all of Egypt. (Genesis 41:37-42)

Joseph was 17 years old when God first gave him that dream. Finally at the age of 30, Joseph saw his dream come to fruition. For 13 years Joseph held onto his promise and continued to remain faithful to his calling. How long are you willing to work and wait for yours to come to pass?

Today I ask you the same question that I had to ask myself: How bad do you want it? Are you willing to see your dreams rejected, trampled on, abandoned, locked up and dismissed by others and STILL believe that God is going to bring those things to pass? If you answered yes, then you have to ACT like it. Be relentless in the pursuit of your destiny. Do not allow other people, or even yourself, to abort what God is trying to birth in you. Just like the Sunday Best competitors, you may find yourself with one, two, or ten ‘no’s’, but turning back and giving up now is not an option! Keep pressing toward the goal; your diligence and perseverance are about to pay off!

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for the times that my faith faltered and I thought it was better just to give up than to push on. Please help me to be tenacious and deliberate in the pursuit of the dreams that You have placed in my heart. When I get weary, please encourage me and replenish my being so that I may continue on. I thank and praise You in advance for bringing my dreams to fruition. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to keep pushing forward. The effort that you put in should reveal to the world how bad you really want it! Remain faithful to the gift that God has given you while putting in consistent work to see your dream fulfilled.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: But I Promised You More!

Did God give you a dream that has not yet come to pass? How do you remain encouraged when everything around you makes you want to doubt?

___________________________________________________________________

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 three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

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

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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.”

Attitude, Complaining, Goals & Dreams, God's Promises, God's Provisons, Growth/Maturity, Marriage, Obedience, Patience, Purpose, Restoration, Singleness, Stress, Trusting God

Living in the Microwave Age

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6 NLT)

I heard an author last week speak about how this is the ‘Microwave Age’ because everybody wants everything to happen quickly. I thought about life and how God has worked on my anxiety. I was a right now person; if I saw something I wanted in a store, I bought it; if I wanted to say something, I said it; if I was feeling a certain way, I reacted; if I wanted to lose weight, I took plenty of weight loss medicine. I know that was a reckless way to live life. Even my prayer life had turned microwavable. Every time I would really need God to do something I would pray, get up and wonder why He didn’t answer my prayer.

I started to question when was I going to get my blessing? When was I going to get a promotion? When was my marriage going to be the marriage I pray for? When was I going to lose weight and have the physique that I want? When? When? When? When?

How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted. (Habakkuk 1:1-4 NLT)

The prophet Habakkuk sounds just like me! I found myself saying, “Why is God not answering me? Is He not listening to me? Why don’t I have the promotion? Why am I still overweight? Why is my marriage still not thriving? Talk to me God!”

The Lord replied, “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.I am raising up the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people. They will march across the world and conquer other lands.” (Habakkuk 1:5-6 NLT)

The Lord spoke to me and told me He is working my situation out for my good. He is building up relationships and even things I thought were not repairable, He is repairing them. He has placed me in a new job that requires that I step up and become a leader very quickly- promotion. He is teaching me discipline when it comes to food and that in order to live a healthy life in Him and on earth I need to exercise. As of today I have lost 30 pounds with many more to go. As for my marriage that God joined together, we are under construction and He is molding us into the people of God that He wants us to be. God told Keviyona I am about to blow your mind!

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:1-3 KJV)

I decided that the microwave way of doing things wasn’t what God wanted for my life. I decided to wait and even though it seems like an eternity to me, it is not a long time in God’s eyes. I did not give up waiting for the Lord. And He turned to me and heard my cry.  (Psalms 40:1 NLV)

Dear Daddy,

I want to thank You for teaching me that fast and quick is not always what is best for my life. Thank You for teaching meBut they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) God I am being patient and waiting on You to lead and direct my path because I am nothing without You. God I want You to continue to teach me that patience is a virtue. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to pray and ask God for the desires of your heart and wait. If you wait and lean not to your own understanding, God will show up and show out. I dare you to be patient on your job, in your home, with your marriage, with your family and friends, with your prayer request and watch God do the work. I EMPOWER you to unplug the microwave in your mind, relax and let God work it out. I know we live in a fast paced society but God works in His time and His time is always the best!

Take a moment to share how waiting on God has blessed you.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Confessions From An Impatient Christian

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Mrs. Keviyona Ray is an ordained minister and co-pastor of The Christ For All People International Church. She is passionate about sharing the word of God with everyone she encounters. As a professional, Keviyona is a teacher for Chicago Public Schools. She loves her ministry of teaching and changing children’s lives. She is a devoted wife and mother of a wonderful daughter. Two of her favorite scriptures are Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” and Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Blessings, Career, Contentment, Employment, Encouragement, Faith, Faithfulness, Goals & Dreams, God's Grace, Miscellaneous, Patience, Patience, Persistance, Preparation, Restoration, Spiritual Therapy, Strength, Transitions Series, Trials, Trusting God

Transitions: Trampled on the Floor

The past few years of my life have been ones of transition, endless waiting and sometimes disappointment. I’ve alluded to and written about it many times. Long story short, I left my job in Texas to start my own business and moved to Atlanta for a three-month transition. In my mind that is all it would take before the business was up and running and I could move to my real destination, Washington, DC (because this is where the business was based). That three months has turned into over two years and I reached a point where I was tired of telling people that I was moving anywhere because I just didn’t know when/if it would happen. As a matter of fact, I actually told people I was moving to Washington, DC nearly two years before I left Texas so in total this has now been a four year wait. If you have had any experience with God you know that many times your best made plans aren’t a part of His plan.

But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. Micah 4:12 KJV From my brief study, I found that sheaves are stalks of grain and they were gathered on the threshing floor during harvest time for a two-step process. First the actual grain was separated from the chaff. To do this, oxen would pull a metal spiked sledge that would break the heads of the grain from the stalk or they would just trample them. Next the broken stalks were tossed into the air and the wind would blow the lighter chaff away while the heavier grain would fall back on the floor where it could then be gathered for use.

My time of transition has been like the sheaves on the threshing floor. I went from making a very lucrative salary to making zero, zilch, nada. Months would go by and I had nothing but what I could borrow or get from someone else. My mini-vacations that I would frequently take turned into staycations in my room. I found myself in an “asking” position when I was usually the giver. Shopping excursions were non-existent as my belly became wider, clothes became tattered and shoes wobbled to the side. When I could no longer afford my health insurance, the aches and pains started. I went from being a mover and shaker, featured in Ebony Magazine to feeling insignificant. Finally my car called it quits. Although I grew up poor, THIS was a very unfamiliar position. Throughout this process I have felt a gamut of emotions: happiness, depression, bitterness, envy, contentment and disappointment. I had good days and many bad ones. During the process, I felt beat down and trampled but it was only to extract the good grain. Without the threshing floor, the harvest would be incomplete.

I had to learn more about myself and have many things extracted and tossed so that in the finishing process only the good grain was left in me. Sometimes God humbles you by removing the frills and unnecessary things to get you to the place He has ordained for you. A place where you are truly dependent on Him and can recognize that it is His goodness, and not your own doing, that gets you your blessings.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful for he cannot disown himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 NIV Admittedly during this process, my faith wavered; yet, God remained faithful. Did I get everything that I wanted when I wanted? No! However, He absolutely never failed to supply my needs. This month (July) represents a turning point in my life. After a little over two years in business, I received my first paycheck from my business one that will come consistently versus “some” money at any random month. From my time in the threshing process, I know how to use my money wiser so that when God grants me the increase that I need and desire, I will make sound investments versus temporary gratification. My “giving” strategy will be a lot different because when I couldn’t give I realized that people would always find a way without me. It made me realize that I was a resource and not their “source.” I learned that lesson for myself as well. As I sit in a hotel room now after a second trip of apartment hunting in Washington, DC, I have ultimately learned that if we can only learn to trust God and His timing He will prepare us for our harvest.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for my time in the threshing process as You prepared me for the harvest. I ask that You continue to let those traits, people and other characteristics that are not useful blow off of me into the wind. Help me to be anxious for nothing because You have told me that in due season I will reap a harvest. You have been faithful to Your Word even in the midst of my doubt. God, I ask that You continue to build my faith as I move into the next phase that You have prepared for me. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to trust Him in the process. Although it’s hard because what you see what’s happening in other people’s lives (marriages, babies, career advancements, notoriety, goal accomplishments, financial prosperity) may seem foreign for your own. Know that He is preparing you for your harvest by extracting those things that aren’t useful for that next phase in your life. Trust that He is faithful to you because it is who He is and who He has always been.

Are you waiting on God and feel as if it is not going to happen? If you examine yourself, is it that God has you on the threshing floor? Share your story with us in the comment section.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Seasons Change

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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, Blessings, Completion, Encouragement, Focus, Goals & Dreams, Inspirational, Motivation, Persistance, Preparation, Procrastination

Go Get It!

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!

Lord, what is this feeling that I’m feeling? I’m content, but I am uncomfortable.  Settled in life, but unsettled in my spirit.  Have you ever felt like this? Sometimes God has to shake some things up in order for us to see that we are not reaching our potential.

The very first time that I heard Mary Mary’s new song “Go Get It” I felt that God was talking directly to me.  I had continued to struggle with a move that God has continued to reveal to me that I am supposed to be making. However that is often times easier said than done.

So Lord let me get this straight. You want me to quit my job, move someplace I have never been nor do I know anyone? You want me to move from the comfort of my home to the discomfort of the unknown? Daddy I love you, but that is asking a bit much.  God then reveals His answer to me:

For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;

Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.

Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.

There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you. (Deuteronomy 11:22-25 NKJV)

The Lord sometimes wants us to do things that may not seem ideal for us, but that will in the end place us where He wants us to be. How many things has God told you to go get that you still have not claimed? Nobody else can receive what God has designed for you to have.

My biggest problem was that I was scared.  Scared to do something that put me in a position where I did not feel in control. I realized that I claim to trust God in every aspect of my life, but it was really only the areas that made me comfortable.  How will I ever get something I never had if I never do anything that I have never done?

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:9-11 NKJV)
I am still seeking God because I am still nervous, but I know that God directs my path and He has not placed in me the spirit of fear. I am ready to go out and get what God has set out for me to have.  As the song says “It’s like you’re looking through a telescope; you see where you going to be”.  I can see where God is taking me.  Now I must get on board and go get what God has for me!

Dear Daddy,

I come before You asking for guidance and the faith to receive whatever it is that You have for my life.  I need You to continue to push me into a place where I will strive to have things that You have designed specifically for me.  I ask that You will continue to strengthen me in the areas that I am weak.  I need You to lift me up and give me the push that I need in order to receive what You have for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to be strong enough to step out on faith and stretch your limits.  Don’t always stay where you are comfortable in life, but know that blessings and breakthroughs come in some of the most uncomfortable places.  Know that whenever you are weak the Lord is strong.  Follow His lead, and you will not be steered wrong. 

Envision where He wants to be and how you will go get it as you enjoy Mary Mary’s “Go Get It”:

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Ms. Sherita Shelton currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Professional Counseling and is currently pursuing her counseling license.  Sherita works as a therapist and case manager for children as well as adults.  She facilitates groups for single women and offers mentoring and individual counseling for her clients.  Sherita’s favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lot not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Goals & Dreams, God's Promises, Patience, Preparation

I Am Not Ready!

I recently received two 9-week old kittens from a relative.  It was either I take them or they were going to be sent to the Cruelty Society where most likely they would be put down.  I never had a pet, but I figured how hard could it possibly be?  I named them Bree and Bella, bought food, toys, and other supplies.  I thought, “Oh this is so cool, I’m a mommy!”  After three days, I was ready to PUT THEM OUT!!  They woke me up at 5 a.m. crying, I was constantly sweeping and wiping up litter that they had tracked all over my office floor and desk, and because they can’t seem to keep their food in their bowl I was forever wiping up behind them so ants would not be attracted to my home.

I also lost some of the freedom and autonomy I have always enjoyed.  Instead of being out all day, I have to make sure I come home to check on the kittens.  When I would rather just go get in the bed and crash, I have to go play with them.  Every morning before I go to work I have to scoop their litter box, put out food for them and refresh their water bowl.  After a couple of days of this I found myself thinking about how to nicely give them away.  Just then God spoke saying, “But you say you’re ready to be a man’s wife and a baby’s mother?!”

After the shock wore off, emotions subsided, and reflection began, I had to admit that I am not ready for the things I have been asking God for since I was a little girl.  As far back as I can remember I have desired to be a wife and a mother.  Everything else–education, career, financial independence–was secondary to that desire.  As a matter of fact, I initially pursued these things as means to an end.  I figured that accomplishing these things would make me more desirable as a potential mate.   I have BEMOANED (to express distress or grief over) singleness for a long time, always asking WHY would God make this desire so strong in me, if He doesn’t have any intention of fulfilling it?

Truth is I’m NOT ready!  If I can’t deal with two kittens who are for the most part self sufficient, how can God trust me with a husband who will need me to be his help meet and babies, tiny human beings who would be TOTALLY dependent on me?  Now that I am in a place of honesty with myself and God He can begin to work in me to get me to a place where I will be ready. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4 NIV)   I am encouraged that God has not forgotten about me, “At the time I have decided, my words will come true.  You can trust what I say about the future.  It may take a long time, but keep on waiting—it will happen!” (Habakkuk 2:4 CEV) I did not like this scripture, I couldn’t stand the “…it may take a long time, but keep on waiting…” part.  That is until I realized the purpose of my wait…to get me ready!

We all have desires and requests before the Lord.  If we were really honest, many of us would admit we are not ready for the things we are asking God for.  How can God trust you with millions when you don’t tithe from hundreds?  How can God trust you with your own business when you are not diligent with the current job you have?  We cannot move to our next level and get to our destiny until we get honest and just admit….I am not ready!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for revelation and conviction.  Thank You for revealing the areas I need to work on in order to be ready to carry out the whole purpose for my life in You.  With a spirit of humbleness, I admit there are some things I have been asking You for that I am not truly ready for.  I ask that You work on me and through me to get me ready.  I ask that You bring me to a place of reflection before I bring requests to You.  Before I ask You for anything, help me to evaluate not only if I’m ready for that thing, but also if my desire lines up with Your will for my life.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to BE HONEST with yourselves and God.  Do a personal inventory of all the things you have been praying and asking God to do for you and through you.  First, seek God’s will regarding these things. Does what you want line up with God’s will for your life?  Secondly, ask yourself, “Am I REALLY ready?”  If God gave you that thing TODAY, would you be willing and able to handle everything that goes along with it, the good, the bad, and the atrocious!?  If your answer is no, again seek God and ask Him to help you. Ask Him to work on you and remove every issue that is hindering you.

Are you really ready for what you are petitioning God for? Tell us about it below.

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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.”

Goals & Dreams, Humility, Servitude

The Kingdom’s Greatest!

I am a mountain

I am a tall tree

Oh, I am a swift wind

Sweeping the country…

If anybody asks u who I am

Just stand up tall look ’em in the face and say,

I’m that star up in the sky

I’m that mountain peak up high

Hey, I made it

I’m the world’s greatest!

Those are some of the lyrics to R. Kelly’s song, “The World’s Greatest.” I’ve heard this song several times sung by graduating classes at commencement ceremonies. As I proudly watched and listened, I could see destiny in the eyes of the graduates. It was always my prayer that they would truly grasp that they are great and run with that mindset. Graduating classes are not the only ones desiring greatness; we all do in one area or another. Some of us desire to be good mothers, entrepreneurs, cooks, wives, friends, sisters, leaders, teachers, and the list continues. However, we must ask ourselves what standard of greatness am I trying to reach? Is it the world’s or the Kingdom’s? There is a mandate that God places on us when we want to be great in His Kingdom!

James and John, Zebedee’s sons, came up to him. “Teacher, we have something we want you to do for us.” “What is it? I’ll see what I can do.” “Arrange it,” they said, “so that we will be awarded the highest places of honor in your glory—one of us at your right, the other at your left.” Jesus said, “You have no idea what you’re asking. Are you capable of drinking the cup I drink, of being baptized in the baptism I’m about to be plunged into?” “Sure,” they said. “Why not?” Jesus said, “Come to think of it, you will drink the cup I drink, and be baptized in my baptism. But as to awarding places of honor, that’s not my business. There are other arrangements for that.” When the other ten heard of this conversation, they lost their tempers with James and John. Jesus got them together to settle things down. “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around,” he said, “and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage.” (Mark 10:35-45 MSG)

Let’s break that entire passage down:

In verses 35-38, James and John desired to be great and reign with Jesus. Jesus asked them could they really drink of the cup that He drank of. We must be careful what we ask for. Yes, Jesus is not selfish; He wants to share His power, authority, and dominion with us, but the question is can we drink of the cup? Can we drink of the cup of sacrifice, holiness, giving, sanctification, compassion, forgiveness, faithfulness, obedience, and last but not least SELFLESS service?

In verses 39-40, James and John said they were able to handle the cup. Jesus agreed. And so are we!! The reason Jesus agreed was because He knew that after He left He was leaving the Comforter (Holy Spirit) which would assist with the partaking of the cup! (When the pressures of life are present, don’t forget the power that raised Jesus from the dead lives on the inside of you and will guide you to all truths and translate the plan of the Father to you.)

In verses 41-45, the other ten disciples got angry. (Please know when you’re pursuing greatness, haters and nay-sayers will be angry, but that should not stop your pursuit!) Jesus used this moment to teach. He told them how they’d seen how godless rulers (the world) throw their weight around, but that wouldn’t be their story! He let them know His expectations (standards) of His followers were different from the world. Then Jesus announced, in HIS KINGDOM if we want to be GREAT we MUST BE A SERVANT!!!!! Then He gave His mission statement: He came to serve, not to be served! God in the flesh gave up His privileges to serve us by carrying the cross and dying!!!! His selflessness was great; that’s how He became great! To become the Kingdom’s greatest, we must empty ourselves and SERVE!

Dear Daddy,

I come humbly asking to be great in Your Kingdom. Father, I desire to be great to bring Your name and Kingdom glory. Father, in the name of Jesus, reveal the motives in my heart. Shine Your light on any dark area that will cause me not to achieve greatness by Your expectations. Father, I truly want to be used by You. I thank You for a spirit of wisdom and revelation. I thank You that the eyes of my understanding are enlightened that I may know the hope and purpose of my call.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to grasp the mindset that you are GREAT in God’s Kingdom and run with it! I EMPOWER you to get a mission statement like Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit what God has ordained for you to be GREAT in your MISSION and make a STATEMENT by standing on it!

How have you furthered Jesus’ mission by serving others? Share your story with us below.

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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 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.”

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.

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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.”