Focus, Motivation, Persistance, Self-Control

You Got This!

The other day I was mentally gearing myself up to dedicate more time and energy to a healthier lifestyle. I was reflecting and became frustrated because I thought, “Lord, why do I have this constant battle with food!” It is not the exercise, I did Insanity and jogged afterwards. But I have a love affair with food. I can start my day off well with egg whites, spinach, and tomatoes with a side of green tea, snack on humus and carrots later, then have a whopping burger and fries for lunch, because I HAD to have it! I was talking to my husband about this and all the excuses of being so far away from my close group of runners and work-out-a-holic buddies and we both came to the conclusion that sometimes you have just have to GET IT DONE! You have to find and inner motivation to get going and keep going. Your success is not dependent on other people. Well, I reflected more and continued my conversations with God regarding my focus and He replied,

More in You“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” I Corinthians 10:13 NIV

I was so empowered at that moment. I read it over and over understanding and realizing that God will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I can overcome. I can overcome these pesky temptations with trigger foods. The more and more I thanked God for providing this insight the more clarity I gained with being focused on this vision.

Many times the enemy will come in to distract us and cover our eyes with defeat. Not only did Paul teach us “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength,” but God just reminded me that He is faithful and will provide a way out!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for reminding me in Your Word that You will not allow temptation to greet me if I can’t overcome. Thank You for making me feel strong in knowing that not only have You already equipped me to be able to overcome it, but that You are faithful and provide an exit and an escape. Lord, I thank You for strengthening me and giving me power through Your Word, Your love, and Your faithfulness. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to OVERCOME IT! You got this! Your battle may not be food. It may be sex, shopping, lying, or some other distraction that does not allow you to be your best self in God. God will not allow these things to come to you if He didn’t provide a way out. Stay watchful, He has a way out of this!

What tactics do you use to overcome temptation?

Please help us bless and EMPOWER homeless women and their children as the beginning of a new school year nears!  For more information on how you can donate and help make a difference, please click here http://www.gofundme.com/cfeux8

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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.

Black Music Month Series, Fruit of the Spirit, Submission/Surrendering

My Everything

June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! He can be found virtually anywhere if we earnestly look for Him and listen intently! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Daddy,

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

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

Enjoy this song by Jonathan McReynolds titled “Everything”:

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Tiara Wilkinson just released her first book “Days of Purpose & Destiny” which is available on Amazon and Kindle. You can find more information at www.daysofpurposeanddestiny.com. Tiara also serves as the Youth Leader and on the Pastoral Care Team at Christ Worship Center in Riverdale, Illinois. Her favorite passage of the Bible is Psalm 27 which reminds us that the Lord is our strength, so we have no reason to fear anything.

 

God's Promises, Patience

When Is “It” Going To Happen?

“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)

“No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.” (Psalm 25:3 NIV)

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14 NIV)

Have you ever felt as if the things you’ve prayed for were taking too long to happen? Have you grown tired of waiting? I know the frustration of waiting because I am feeling that way right now. Sometimes people think that because you’re a Christian you never get frustrated or you never have any issues. I have been single for almost two years now and I’m wondering when I’ll be in a relationship again. I’ve been out of college for three years and haven’t gotten a job in my field (Social Services) yet. I also wonder when I’ll be able to get my foot in the door so I can start my career.

I would like to share the stories of two women mentioned in the Bible who too probably wondered when God would change their situation. They are Hannah and Sarah. Hannah was married to Elkanah. Elkanah also had another wife named Peninnah. Peninnah had children and Hannah didn’t. Penninah would tease Hannah about her being barren (1 Sam. 1:6). I could imagine how hurt Hannah was by that (1 Sam 1:7-8).  Who would want to get teased about not being able to conceive a child? Hannah prayed for God to bless her with a son and promised him that she would dedicate him back to God.  Hannah was praying deeply to the point that the priest Eli thought she was drunk while she was praying (1 Sam. 12-14). Hannah’s lips were moving but there was no sound coming from them.  God blessed Hannah with a son named Samuel. Hannah kept her promise to God and God also blessed Hannah with more children (1 Sam. 1:24-28; 1 Sam. 2:21).

Sarah was married to Abraham. Sarah and Abraham both were of old age. God told her husband that they would have a child (Gen. 3:3-4). Sarah didn’t believe that she would have a child at her old age (Gen. 18:11-12). God gave Sarah and Abraham a son (Isaac) just like he promised (Gen. 22:1-2). Before Sarah got pregnant with Isaac, she told her husband to sleep with her slave Hagar because she couldn’t have any children (Gen. 16:1). Hagar had a son named Ishmael. Sarah began to dislike Hagar because she was able to have a child and she wasn’t (Gen. 16:4-5).

I know that God will bless me with the things that I desire if it’s according to His will just like He did Sarah and Hannah. I have to continue to have faith and trust Him. Everything will happen according to His timing. God always keep His promises.

I believe that there are things that we can do to motivate us towards where we want to be in our lives (i.e. vision boards, positive affirmations, setting goals). I also believe that we have to put to action things that we would like to change. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26 KJV)  However, before we set goals or put to action anything, we should pray and ask God for His direction.

Dear Daddy,

I know that You have great things in store for Your people. Help me to wait on Your timing. I’m not in control, but You are. Give me patience and endurance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to wait on God. Don’t move ahead of him and get an Ishmael because you’re not willing to wait. Ask God to give you strength and hold on to His promises. Ask God to help you to exercise your faith.

What are you waiting on God for? What has he promised you?

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Venus Gilmore currently resides in Auburn, AL. She is an alumna of Auburn University. Venus has B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Social Organization and Inequality with a minor in Social Work. She plans on pursuing a career in Social Services. She currently serves as treasurer of the Kings Alpha E-line Chapter, the Mamie Reese Scholarship Director, and College Transition Program Director of her sorority Theta Phi Sigma Christian Sorority, Inc. Venus is also a blogger for Radical7even. She is an active Client Advocate volunteer for the Women’s Hope Medical Clinic. She successfully balances all of these responsibilities with her favorite scripture as motivation: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Kindness, Love Series

Love is…Kind

For the first two weeks of February, EmpowerMoments will be doing a series entitled Love Is.  “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV) We pray that you are EMPOWERED, enlightened, and blessed as our writers share what Love Is based on God’s Word!

3-be_kind_heart1

Recently upon exiting the grocery store, I noticed a lanky young man standing near the entrance/exit.  He was wearing a thin jacket or  and jeans, and I think he had on a hat but no gloves.  He looked as if he was either waiting on a ride or possibly waiting in the store until the bus came.  Outside, it was snowing and very, very cold.  I could see he was cold and I felt empathetic towards the young man.  I thought if I am cold with what I am wearing, surely he is cold with what he isn’t wearing.  He was not dressed warm at all; he had on no layers of clothing.  I immediately wanted to help him in some kind of way.  I pulled out my black gloves, one of the few pair I keep on me, and gave them to him.  He gratefully took them with no problem and I was relieved that at least I could help keep his hands warm.  Nonetheless, I prayed that God would keep him completely warm as I finally exited the sliding doors.

Whether someone blesses you with a night off from preparing dinner for your family (see Better TO GIVE Than TO RECEIVE), blesses you with the money to meet a financial need, blesses you with money for a new coat like I was blessed with or blesses you with encouragement to make it through a lonely or hard time, love is showing itself by its kindness.  Whether you bless a shelter with barely used clothes, bless someone with a smile and a warm hello, bless someone by babysitting her child so they can get some rest or bless someone who doesn’t have transportation with a ride to church, you too are showing that love is kind.

If love and mercy had a child, it would be kind.  Being kind is showing sympathy or understanding, being considerate, agreeable, generous, beneficial and charitable.  However, kindness is more than just doing nice things for people; it is BEING kind no matter what.  We are to be kind even to the people who talk about us, look at us sideways, and get on our nerves.  I’m not saying be naïve or gullible, or even let people abuse you, but remember that kind is a characteristic of God and kindness is one of the fruit of the Spirit.  “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. (Luke 6:27-29 NIV)  So as daughters of the Only Wise God and King of kings, we are to exude His character and become more like His Son every day.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your loving kindness.  Thank You for being mindful of me and genuinely concerned and compassionate towards me.  Show me how to continually and genuinely exude Your love, mercy and kindness to others.  Give me the grace to be kind no matter what the situation or how a person is before me.  Daddy, please also give me the discernment to know when and how to show your kindness to others.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to be K.I.N.D (Keenly aware of others needs, Integritous, Nice and Devoted to God).  Show God’s unfailing love every day.  Someone needs your smile, your hug, your attention, your prayer, your help, your extra pair of gloves, or that spare coat you haven’t worn in a while.  Most important, they need to know that the Lord loves them and He died on the cross to save them and have eternal fellowship with them.  

Find ways to demonstrate God’s love to others every day.  Please visit http://www.volunteermatch.org  if you are interested in finding opportunities to volunteer with nonprofits.

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Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She helps assist Chicago Public School students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college. God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a compassionate person and encourager so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better through her support, actions and writing. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Love Series, Patience

Love Is…Patient

For the first two weeks of February, EmpowerMoments will be doing a series entitled Love Is.  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV) We pray that you are EMPOWERED, enlightened, and blessed as our writers share what Love Is based on God’s Word!

Today I must stand up and make a confession in front of all of you – I am a yeller. I don’t confess this with a proud demeanor or proclaim it like I want recognition. In fact, I am quite ashamed of my behavior. Because I am embarrassed of how ugly I can sometimes act, I work hard to mask it from the world outside my home. However, if my children are overly rambunctious and my husband is pushing all of the wrong buttons, my patience wears thin and I can instantly become unglued. Next thing you know I am screaming, hoping that my increased tone will convey to my family that I’m fed up and I mean business. Unfortunately, my actions only result in deflated egos for my girls and the commencement of a very heated discussion between my husband and me. Once the situation has simmered down a bit, I start reflecting on what transpired and then I start to feel like the most horrible mother (and wife) on earth!

One day, as 2013 drew to close, I was crying out to God for His assistance with this matter. Since it wasn’t the first time that we’d had the conversation, I asked Him for forgiveness and patience. A snippet of my prayer probably went a little something like this: “Lord, please forgive me that I keep stumbling in this area. Thank You for your continued patience as I work, with Your help, to remove this from my life.” Before I could go on any further in my plea for help, He halted my prayer. God said, “You want Me to be patient with you, my child? Well how come you aren’t extending that same level of patience to your children? In the same way that it is taking you several attempts to get it right, so it is with your daughters. However, just as I am a patient, loving parent that gently corrects you, so must you be with your children. As a matter of fact, those are not even YOUR children; they really belong to Me. I have just placed them in your custodial care while they are walking the earth.” Can we say “OUCH”?! At that moment, God gave me a sobering glimpse of how my unacceptable behavior was affecting not only my family, but me. I was potentially hindering God’s patience with me because I was refusing to be patient with my baby girls.  It was in that small sliver of time that I made up my mind to forever cease the yelling in my home.

The scripture for this series begins with, “Love is patient”, but a couple verses back is where everything is put into perspective. If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NIV) Yep, I can speak in tongues until I am blue in the face. And sometimes God gives me glimpses of things that are to come. And I even have some crazy faith to believe God for some extraordinary, unimaginable things! And I will give even when I don’t have to give. BUT what does all of that amount to if I have no love? And what is love, you ask? Love is patient!

A sneak peek at my 2014 vision board
A sneak peek at my 2014 vision board

A few days into this year, I solidified my intent to stop yelling by placing a constant reminder on my vision board. Today I am writing each of you in hopes that if you too struggle with yelling at your children (or spouse, or parents, or employees, or anyone) that you would join me on a quest to make our lives yell free zones. Remember that our words carry weight and we essentially can birth or abort when we open our mouths. (Proverbs 18:21) So many times we equate this scripture to mean that we have to watch what we say. But today I challenge to consider that it also means that we should be mindful of how we talk to those connected to us. So again, I invite my fellow, soon-to-be ex-yellers to join me in lowering our tones and raising our love! After all, love IS patient!

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for any time that I have allowed my emotions and circumstances to get to the best of me and cause me to start yelling. Regardless of what is going on around me, I know that with Your help, I can calmly and respectfully address anything. I pray that You teach me to extend the same patience to others when they test me that You extend my way when I push the envelope with You. I declare that 2014 is the beginning of a yell-free lifetime. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to increase your patience while decreasing your tone. Remember that no person, not even your child, is yours to treat as you wish. Thus, I EMPOWER you to gently and patiently convey your feelings and voice your concerns without screaming at the top of your lungs. Never forget that “Love is Patient”!

For additional help in this area, please visit Orange Rhino, a site devoted to helping women love more and yell less.

If you are an ex-yeller, please share with us below how you stopped.

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

Enemies, Gentleness, Love, Prayer, Self-Control, Testimony Series

My Testimony: A Testy Testimony

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!

Have you ever wished you weren’t a Christian just so you could claim ignorance when you intentionally did something wrong? Or have you ever wished you weren’t a Christian so you would not feel convicted to be an example of Christ for someone who is unsaved or for someone who you really don’t like. Until the latter part of last year, I had not had that experience. I was in a position where I had to “deal” with this person who I thought was rather unpleasant and had a habit of rubbing people the wrong way. The situation was very challenging. I was often in positions where I had to spend unwanted time with her. I would think to myself, “Lord, please help me to remain gracious and suppress my flesh.” I mean I just really didn’t like her, so much so I dreaded the thought of her. Moreover, I felt like my feelings were warranted because of her ugly ways and actions.  I really just wanted to “go off” on her one good time. But I was convicted by the fact that I am a Christian who is supposed to help bring others to Christ. What kind of witness would I be if I acted irrationally and out of character just to satisfy my fleshly desires? So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (James 4:17 ESV)

I greatly battled with this. I even wished that she was a Christian so that at least it would be less pressure to “do the right thing” because Christians understand that Christians don’t always act “Christian” right? (How ridiculous is that thought? Guess I was really desperate.) But noooo, it would be too easy for her to be Christian and that would diminish the lesson God was teaching me. She is a deist of sorts. Deism, according to the freedictionary.com, is the belief, based solely on reason, in a God who created the universe and then abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation. My experience with her was so challenging that I would think, “really, God, I ask You to increase my walk with You and this is what You do?”

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. (Luke 6: 27-31 ESV)

I was soooo frustrated. I don’t recall there ever being a time in my life where I felt so ill toward someone. I realized it was negatively impacting my life!  If I were to ever conquer this situation, God was going to have to help me! And help me He did…

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. (Romans 12:14 NLT) This was so much harder than I thought and I thought I had been doing this my whole life. Certain situations really put certain scripture in perspective for you.

I started to PRAY more, not just for me, but FOR HER. I prayed on how to deal with her. I prayed on how to deal with myself regarding my feelings and thoughts toward her. I prayed to have her removed from my immediate surroundings. Then, believe it or not, over time I found myself praying for her “for real”, her heart, her salvation, her life and her situations. Over time, I didn’t dread the thought or sight of her as much. I wanted my life and light to reflect Christ toward her. I intentionally tried to set a good example even when she tested my resolve. It has now become easier to have a conversation with her and I could care less if she’s in “my space” or not. I guess the saying is true: “Prayer may not change the person, but it’ll change you.” Later, as God would have it, she was relocated to another area and we didn’t have to share the same space anymore. Funny how God works huh?

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for teaching lessons we unknowingly need to learn. Thanks for seeing past our emotions and for forgiving us when we don’t act like You would have us too. Thanks for strengthening our relationship with You through new experiences. Help us to pray for those who do us wrong and trust that You will handle it all in Your time. You said You would make our enemies our footstool, and we know that all things work together for our good. Thank You for the revelation and the unlikely testimony. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Tired, tried and tested sisters, I EMPOWER you to push past your feelings and give the situation to Jesus. I EMPOWER you to know that the test comes before the testimony! I EMPOWER you to hold on to the Word and abide by it no matter how trying or tempting the situation is. I EMPOWER you to pray for your enemies genuinely and sincerely! I EMPOWER you to go from test to testimony!

Ladies, who is God laying on your heart to pray for during your tests?

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Mrs. Coretta Collins is a wife and mother who enjoys reading, writing, movies and spending time with family and friends. She is avid about health, healing and helping which serves her well as a registered nurse and recent Family Nurse Practitioner graduate. Striving to be led by the Lord throughout life and having overcome significant challenges, her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Coretta is a member of St. John A.M.E. Church in Birmingham, Alabama. She resides in Calera, Alabama with her awesome husband and two wonderful sons.

Patience

The Waiting Room

The season I am in is best described as the “the waiting room.”  Have you ever had to wait a lengthy time to see a doctor?  Thirty minutes in the waiting room may turn into an hour and a complete visit may have taken half of your day.  Sitting in the waiting room is not an ideal activity for anyone.  You may get bored, restless, frustrated, impatient and/or anxious.  You might even have that anticipation of what you will learn from the doctor that visit or of getting awareness of how to become much healthier.  Either way you are on the edge of your seat in a room that requires you to WAIT.  Behind the door that leads to where the doctor will see you, the doctors are busy seeing other patients and the nurses prepping for one patient after the next.  You know and might hear feet busily moving back and forth behind the closed-door; you just have to wait.

I’m in the waiting room in my life.  I am anxious, restless, excited, hopeful, afraid, a little bored all at the same time.  I know God is working behind the scenes; I can feel it and see it.  I know it.  He provides evidence within me and in front of me every day.  However, sometimes the devil will send false alarms to scare me and distract me as I wait, but God is perfecting in me patience, His own character and His strength each and every day.  I have been waiting for God to move or shall I say I am anxious to see the outcome of what God is doing.  Excuse me for a sec.  I was just reminded that I shouldn’t worry about the outcome if I trust God and have faith in His sovereignty and love.  Thank You, Holy Spirit.

In him we were also chosen,[a] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, (Ephesians 1:11 NIV)

Lately, I have been experiencing some challenges and changes physically and financially, from my family to my job, and I am awaiting God’s move, advocacy, decision and confirmation of the things I have already heard with each change and every challenge.  As I become a better financial steward, I await freedom of my debts by trying to pay back all that I owe but I need His supernatural help indeed.  I am waiting for that car I have already picked out and submitted to God in prayer.  I am continually seeking God concerning the care of my nephews.  I have been seeking God and planning my future business.  I have been waiting also for God to move in my relationships with my family and friends and His strength to learn when to let go.

As I sit in the waiting room, God is teaching me several things:

  1. Prayer and Patience go together.
  2. While you wait, still stay productive.  Waiting doesn’t mean sleep or give up; it just means be patient and stay calm because it is not time yet.  We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6:12 NIV)
  3. As you wait, God is prepping you for what’s to come, whether challenge or mission.
  4. There is a season for everything.  Don’t go ahead of God and fall far behind Him either. There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: (Eccl 3:1 NIV)
  5. Surrender it all to God. You’re not qualified to run the universe, only God is.
  6. Make sure what you are expecting from God is of God and what He expects also.
  7. God knows and wants best for you.
  8. He is not a God of comfort zones.
  9. God ‘cleans house’ while He has you waiting.  Why would He walk you into a new season with old tools and old stuff that doesn’t benefit the new season?
  10. The waiting period is actually interesting.  God reveals all kinds of things about you to you.  He reminds you of His awesome power and qualities also as you wait.

Dear Daddy,

Help me to be patient while I wait.  Help me to not give up or go into a state of slumber.  Help me to trust You and to keep my eyes fixed on You.  I love You and know You are always with me.   In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to remember to appreciate the waiting period.  You are waiting in line for something good so don’t move and don’t give up ground God has helped you gain.  You miss out on blessings when you get impatient and walk away from the waiting room. 

What is God revealing to you in your waiting room?

Read a related EM:  Confessions From an Impatient Christian

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Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a Compassion Person and Encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better through her support, actions and writing. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

God's Protection, Joy, Praise/Worship, Prayer

Thank You For Protection

Thou art my hiding place; thou wilt preserve me from trouble; Thou wilt compass me about with songs of deliverance. (Psalms 32:7 ASV)

Yesterday my family and I were on our way back from out of town. We were driving down a dark highway when suddenly a humongous deer jumped across the road. My dad hit the deer, but the deer kept going. I was in the car with my brother; he saw the deer and when he said, “I hope daddy didn’t hit the deer,” my dad pulled over. We jumped out of the car and immediately went to check if my parents were okay. Thank You God, they were okay.

Approximately 10 minutes before this accident happened, I told my brother that we needed to pray for my parents and their safe return home. We always pray before we get on the road but the Holy Spirit led me to say an extra prayer for their protection.

When we saw the car, I begin to rejoice and God removed whatever was further down the highway. He stepped in and intercepted what could have turned into a fatality. Everyone was trying to figure out why the deer jumped in the road, but I simply thanked God because my family’s lives were saved. Again God stopped the devil.

Blessed be to God, Who hath not turned away my prayer, Nor his lovingkindness from me. (Psalms 66:20, ASV)

I thank You God for protecting my family on the dangerous highways. I thank You God that no hurt, harm or danger was afflicted upon them. God I thank You for hearing and answering prayers.

Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (Mark 11: 24 ASV)

Dear Daddy,

I thank You for being a prayer answering God. I thank You for protecting my family. God, continue to protect my family. Please continue to fill my Spirit with uneasiness when it is time to pray for my loved ones. Allow me to feel when they are in danger or going through situations that prayer can turn around. God, continue to teach me to be an intercessor for my immediate family, extended family and friends. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to give God some praise. I know that God has done something miraculous for you and I need you to give Him praise. Ladies, listen to your instinct and if God tells you to drop everything and pray, I dare you to drop everything and pray and watch Him work. I EMPOWER you to become an intercessor for your loved ones and watch God show you He is a prayer answering God!

Take a moment and tell us when you have given God some praise…

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Praise is What I Do!

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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.

Faithfulness

From People Pleaser to God Pleaser!

People Pleaser: n. a person who spends a lot of energy pleasing others.

“I’m hungry could you get me something to eat?” YES… “I’m tired will go to the store for me?” YES… “It’s late but I really want to see you, will you come over?” YES… “Will you go shopping for me?” YES… “I have a bill due could you pay it for me?” YES

Hello my name is ______________ and I’m a people pleaser.  For me, this is beyond familiar. If I tell someone NO, it is like disowning him or her.  It seems that far-fetched to me.  I say YES before I stop and evaluate my own needs or schedule.  I may not feel passionate about the request, but I comply, mostly because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or make someone mad.

To be truthful, I seek validations of self-worth or value from others.  But WHY?  I say I am a Christian and I have accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, but why do I/we choose people over our Father in Heaven? For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?  Or am I trying to please man?  If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10 ESV)

So much time and energy is put into meeting the needs of others that I find myself losing touch with my own life, and my relationship with God suffers.  We give man (men and women) too much credit, and we fear them instead of God.  Proverbs 29.25 states that the fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trust in the Lord is safe.  Isaiah 51:7 speaks truth when it says, “Listen to me, you who know righteousness the people in whose heart is my law; fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their reveilings.” (ESV)

I discovered myself having a people pleasing personality a very long time ago.  I pray to God for understanding on why I feel this way and through my prayers God is giving me daily knowledge and understanding that not everyone deserves my YES.  Hold on and understand that whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men. (Colossians 3:23 ESV)

Dear Daddy,

I have let You down.  I have looked for man’s validation over my life, but only Yours matters.  Forgive me, God, for not pleasing You and going after Your heart.  Thank You for the understanding to know that saying YES to man is not wrong, but pleasing man and putting man above You is wrong.  I love You, Lord, for loving me as much as You do.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to choose wisely who gets a YES from you. “Will you mediate on my word more?” YES…”Will you forgive your brothers and sisters who have forsaken you?” YES…”Will you go out into the world and tell people all about me?” YES…”Do you love me?” YESSSSSS!  Hello my name is ________________ and I’m a God Pleaser!

Have you overcome “people pleasing?” Tell us what it took for you to make that transformation.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: I Am Free: The Ultimate People Pleaser

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Ms. Hassanah White is a dedicated member of Faith Walkers Church in Birmingham, Alabama where their motto is to “Walk it out by Faith.” She also serves as a member of the Praise Dance Ministry. Hassanah is a true professional in the realm of marketing and customer service. She’s a proud mother of a very energetic little boy named Jaden. Hassanah believes laughter and prayer are the best medicines for any situation. Her favorite scripture 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.”

Attitude, Growth/Maturity, Self-Control, Speech

Be Quiet!

I like working alone and working with people, but it is not always easy working with others.  You have to experience a lot when working or collaborating with others.  I have learned in all my years of working that sometimes there are a lot of miscommunication, egos, pride, selfishness, control issues, backstabbing, intimidation, stress, etc. to contend with.  I can go on and on but then it would turn into complaining.

Yesterday, I attended several meetings at work back to back (by the way I hate meetings most of the time).  In one meeting, I observed, listened and for the umpteenth time I could sense tension, ego and pride in the air.  I admit a little of this came from me also.  I sat listening and then was invited to speak up about a concern I had.  As one of the meeting attendees addressed the concern, I listened and then responded to what sounded like me and my staff’s work being demeaned again.  You might ask, “Well was it constructive criticism?”  In this case it wasn’t constructive.  I have dealt with people’s arrogance, pride and control issues on my job for some time now and because of this I am sometimes in defense mode.  As I responded, I felt a little nervous voicing my concern. After all, I’m not very confrontational.  However, I became offended, grew defensive and could feel my voice rise an octave.  Yet God intervened.  As the person kept talking and I became more offended, God shushed me.  A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11 NIV)

In my head, I was thinking a lot of thoughts.  I wanted to shout aloud, “My staff have degrees too and are qualified to do the work; trust us.  We double check our work.  We work very hard; we are passionate about what we do.  We have been here longer than you. Why can’t you see that we are here to help you?  Why are you making me feel inferior?  Why are you lying?  Why do I have to sit in these repetitive meetings?  We are getting nowhere.”  Instead of verbally releasing these thoughts, God helped me to shut up my thoughts and keep my mouth closed.

God reminded me that He was my defender and that He will defend me.  He reminded me that I am above and not beneath, the head and not the tail.  He reminded me that I am not inferior and I should not also make others feel inferior.  He also let me know that I was being proud even in my thoughts.   Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12 NIV)

So, I shut up and I listened because I knew I would be acting proudly by boasting and taking offense to what the other person was saying and maybe didn’t mean it to the full extent.  I sat there thinking that I don’t have to throw up my resume` or accolades like they do.  By the Holy Spirit helping me to take those thoughts captive and make it obedient to Christ and by Christ revealing to me that I was treading proud grounds, I let go trying to defend myself.  How would it look if I, a Christian, acted in a proud, offensive and defensive manner?

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (James 4:6 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your mercy and Your gently rebukes.  Thank You for reminding me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I am above and not beneath, the head and not the tail.  Thank You for also being my defender and having great thoughts towards me.  Help me to remember this when someone offends or hurts me.  Help me to not be easily offended but to walk in love and maintain patience with others and in every situation.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to be quiet!  Stop trying to defend yourself and let God come to your defense.  Clothe yourself in humility and don’t be easily offended.  Don’t easily offend others also.  Walk in love because love conquers all. 

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Lord, Help Me Watch My Mouth

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Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college. She, like many of her students, is the first of her family to graduate from college. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English-Professional & Technical Writing. God, the Creator and Great Father, has also created her to be a compassionate person and encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better thru her support, actions and writing. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.