Growth/Maturity, Motivation, Organization, Preparation, Procrastination, Self-Control, Time Management

The Longer You Wait…The Longer It Takes!

Tis the Season…for “Ms. Richard, what can I do to pass your class??”  Yes!  It’s the season of “Can I have some make up work and/or extra credit?”  In past years I have killed tons of trees and feverishly created and copied packets for students to complete over Christmas break…NOT THIS YEAR!! Instead, I used a workbook for my Constitution unit.  Back in October, I had the students purchase the workbook and have been assigning pages out of it since then.  Of course, some students did not purchase the workbook or bought it and never opened it to do any of the assignments.  Now that these students are failing or are close to failing, they want to know, “What can I do to pass?”  My response was, “Complete your workbook from cover to cover!”

I have never seen so many attitudes at one time!  “What you mean Ms. Richard?  This gonna take me all break to do this!”   I simply said, “the longer you wait, the longer it takes. If you had been doing the work all along, you wouldn’t have as much to do!”

Later on I was reflecting about all I have to get done.  I have to deep clean my house, finish shopping for the Christmas dinner I’m hosting, and go shopping for gifts.  This is in addition to life outside of the Christmas season; I need to grade and record several assignments, sit down and pay some bills, and the list goes on, and on, AND ON!!

Just then my words came back to me, “…the longer you wait, the longer it takes…”  Yes my students have an issue with procrastination but so do I!  Procrastination is “the act of willfully delaying the doing of something that should be done,” and in some people it is a habitual way of handling any task. There was so much I could have been getting done all along.  Instead of letting my students’ papers pile up, I could have graded an assignment or two everyday.  Christmas comes at the same time EVERY year so I could have been purchasing things throughout the year and had them ready.   Oh and my house–I wouldn’t have to do such a deep clean if I had been more diligent in weekly spot cleaning.

Now my attitude was rising, “WHY???? Why did I let this stuff pile up like this?”  Because I kept telling myself, “I’ll do it tomorrow, no rush, I’ll get to it!”

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1 NIV)

So here I am coming up with a plan TODAY so I can get everything done.  One cure for procrastination is more diligence, regardless of the task. We should be supremely motivated to be diligent in our work, since we are ultimately serving the Lord. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23 ESV). If we put our hearts into our work, as this verse says to do, we will probably find it difficult to procrastinate too much.  Yes, my weekend is pretty much shot but I will take this as a lesson to NOT procrastinate because, “the longer you wait, the longer it takes…”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for giving us the ability and the strength to do all the things that we need to do.  Help us to be more diligent at getting tasks completed.  Give us wisdom to prioritize and manage our time efficiently and effectively so that we can complete every task You have laid before us.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to STOP PROCRASTINATING!!  There is so much we have to do in order to build the kingdom of God and reach the individual destinies we have for our lives.  We have no time to waste! 

  1. Pray and ask God for wisdom and guidance
  2.  Make a list of all the things you have to do
  3.  Write down a deadline date next to each task
  4. Prioritize how you will get each task done in an organized and timely fashion
  5.  Get to work!! 

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Rebuke the 7 Dwarfs

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.”

God's Mercy, Growth/Maturity, Self-Control, Sin, Time Management

Tick…Tock

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NIV

I remember having a conversation with friends while in college about premarital sex. I distinctively remember a friend saying, “God will have to come down off the clouds himself in order for me to stop having sex.” We laughed in agreement because after all, it wasn’t holiness that kept some of us from fornicating, it was “worse” things like becoming a parent or catching a disease. Surely God didn’t mind a little “testing of the waters” here or there, right? One of the ladies in the group stood her ground and said in a soft voice, “but God is a just God and He may not wait on you for too long.” Many of us in the group ignored her, but her comment struck a nerve in me. “What did she mean He many not wait long?”  Peter reminds, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NIV. What he is explaining is that although you don’t see what God promised to you now because of your disobedience, don’t mistake Him for being slow in judgment. Instead, He is a God who loves you and wants to see you to repentance. God is love, and love is patient.

There are so many of us out there playing the “clock” game of getting it right. We think we have more time. But Peter goes on to remind us that no man knows the day nor the hour when God’s judgment will come. Now this is not to scare you, but to urge you to take a look at your life. Are there things that God has told you to “stop or start” doing but you are allowing procrastination to set in? Has he told you to refrain from fornication, alcohol, gossiping, homosexuality, grudge-holding, but yet you think you have time? Time running out doesn’t necessarily mean the wrath of God is coming, but what about missed opportunity? He may be telling you to refrain from fornication because the next encounter will give you a “package” that you can’t get rid of. What if He is telling you to watch your mouth and your gossiping habit because your next “Ooh girl, let me tell you convo” could cost you your job or hurt someone you love? Has He told you to deal with your sin of gluttony and lack of self-control for food? I urge you to listen to His voice, the number one killer of women is heart disease, often linked to bad diets.

Peter shared about the ending of world, but I have been enlightened to share with you about the right now. God is being patient with us because He wants us to repent and move forward into a life of abundance through Him, in which we lack nothing. But we can’t move forward if the sins that we “know” are present are not dealt with.

Dear Daddy,

Where would I be without Your Son Jesus? I am overwhelmed at your sacrifice and am indebted to You for shedding His blood to cover my sins. Lord, I know that there are some things that I need to deal with. I have some attitudes and actions that do not reflect You at all. Lord, please forgive me for taking Your covering, patience, and love for granted and not acting on the things that I should. Lord, please forgive me for not heeding to Your spirit in a timely fashion. Lord, I humbly ask that You give me a clean heart, renew in me a right spirit, and teach me Your ways so that I may live in the abundance You have promised me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today not to wait until January 1st to set your resolution of self-betterment, but to start today. I do not know when God will decide to bring forth judgment, but what I do know is until then, I can be a better person, sister, wife, mother, girlfriend, confidant, and most of all a better Christian. I know what I need to do and stop doing. It’s time to stop playing the “waiting game” of waiting to get caught.

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But 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) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Attitude, Family, Forgiveness, Friendships, Gentleness, Growth/Maturity, Patience, Relationships, Self-Control

Don’t Let It Get To You!

This week I had a different EmpowerMoment to send but my spirit was so vexed by a current disagreement that I honestly could not complete it. I woke up at 5:00am with a vexed spirit and even tried to participate in a prayer call at that hour but couldn’t mumble a word. My mind has been consumed with this disagreement and it’s consequences.  Have you ever been in a situation where as much as you tried to take the high road, be the bigger person, and have patience with a person none of it worked?  After all of your bending over backwards and being accommodating, you were still mistreated and your kindness was mistaken for weakness. This is where I find myself on today. It isn’t the first time that I have been on the receiving end of someone’s dishonesty. Today I am doing my best to not let it get to me. That doesn’t mean that I am being a door mat. It means that I will be honest and won’t change who I am based on who they are. Throughout life, we will bear the unfortunate brunt of false accusations, mistreatment and abuse from so called friends, family and co-workers. As I sit back and reflect, I know that this is an attempt to throw me off my ‘A’ game. This is an attempt for the devil to get to me. The fact that I was so mad that I couldn’t pray and my spirit so vexed that I couldn’t finish my EmpowerMoment signifies that the devil has already started making headway; however, I serve notice right now that no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. Isaiah 54:17 KJV

When people mistreat you, talk about you, or scandalize your name, it’s okay to defend yourself but don’t let it get to you! To paraphrase Luke 17:3, when people trespass against us we are to let them know their actions and IF they repent, forgive them. Forgiveness is a choice so you can choose to do so with or without their repentance; however, you are responsible for holding people accountable for their actions against you.

I know who I am. I am bossy and at many times stubborn but what I am not is dishonest. There are certain traits that each of us have that are a part of our character. We cannot move from that foundation. We have to stand in truth despite attacks on our character. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32 KJV The truth is liberating. Being authentically who you are is a freeing experience. You cannot control other people actions but you can control your reaction. I used to be this “go-off”, “cuss you slap out” person but I know I’ve been changed. Every now and then I can get caught up, but I try to handle situations as diplomatically as possible even when the flesh urges me otherwise.  I encourage you to do the same. Pray for those who despitefully use you, but don’t let it get to you! I am reminding myself of that today.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for reminding me that I will face adversity even from those closest to me but those things should never change who I am or react in a way that is not pleasing to You. Help me to stand in truth even when it is difficult. I ask that You repair rifts caused by discord and heal those who are still scarred emotionally from people who have mistreated them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to get over it. Remain firm in who you are and committed to the truth. Don’t Let It Get To You! The longer that you hold on to what people do to you, the more you will hurt yourself. You are better than that!

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

Assignment, Growth/Maturity, Obedience, Prayer, Self-Control, Speech, Submission/Surrendering, Trust

Can God Trust You?

Not long ago, I found myself asking a crucial question, “Can God trust you?”  This came to mind after calling a friend soliciting prayers for one of our sisters in Christ.  “What’s wrong with asking someone to pray?” you ask.  The problem is this: God revealed the young lady’s need for prayer to me.  No where in the revelation did He ask me to solicit prayer from others or to reveal even the slightest information concerning my sister.

In reflection, I thought about the confidentiality clause at the end of my emails:  

The information transmitted in this email may contain privileged confidential information belonging to the sender.  THIS TRANSMISSION OF PRIVILEGED INFORMATION IS INTENDED TO BE USED ONLY BY THE PERSON OR ENTITY NOTED ABOVE.

Convicted!  God transmitted privileged information to me, for me, and I leaked it to a third party.  It seems like such an innocent thing, because no malice was intended.  Nevertheless, it boils down to good stewardship.  Often we talk about stewardship in the context of finances, but stewardship is the responsibility to manage all the resources that God has given to you in a manner that will bring glory to our Father.  To be a steward is to be an overseer of the things which God has entrusted to you.  

In meditation, God sent me to the story of Eli’s two sons.  Eli was a priest who had two sons that were also priests.  During Eli’s time, the priests served a critical function amongst God’s people.  Their responsibility was to handle very carefully the things of God (Leviticus 22:2 NLT).  The problem, however, is that Eli’s sons dishonored the Lord by mishandling their responsibility.  “Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord or for their duties as priests.” (1 Samuel 2:12 NLT).  As a result of their dishonor and Eli’s failure to correct the problem, God punished Eli’s entire family.  His sons were killed and God stripped his descendents of the ability to serve as priests (1 Samuel 2:27-31 NLT).

Just as Eli’s sons mishandled their responsibility over the matters of God, we also serve as poor stewards when we fail to properly oversee the information or things that God has entrusted to us.  At times, God provides us with discernment or reveals things to us which are intended only for us.  The information is not revealed for the purpose of inquiry, sharing, or gossip.  If God intended for it to be known to the general public, He could have orchestrated a public announcement.  Since He entrusted it to us, we must be careful to deal with the information in confidence.  God desires that we follow His instructions only.  We should, therefore, treat them as though our lives depended on it (as was the case with Eli’s sons).  Keep in mind that often people are reluctant to open up about their hurt out of fear that they will be exploited.  Don’t let it be said that you created the opportunity for exploitation by mishandling the matters of God.

Dear Daddy,

Forgive me for the times when I have mishandled the responsibility that You have placed upon me.  Help me to be a good steward, to operate in confidence, and to carry out Your instructions only.  Teach me how to be careful so that I don’t exploit my brothers and sisters.  As my responsibility in the Kingdom increases, help me to serve faithfully so that I can hear Your words: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities.” (Matthew 25:23 NLT) In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to handle carefully the responsibility which God has entrusted to you.  Be good stewards and understand that, in doing so, you have the potential to bring forth strength and healing for God’s people. 

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Since Much is Demanded

Ms. Latasha McCrary is an active member of St. Luke Christian Church in Huntsville, AL where she serves as a Young Adult Facilitator and is training as a Life Skills Coach. She is passionate about the practice of law and views her profession as an extension of her calling to serve. Latasha firmly believes that “Service is the price we pay for the space we occupy” and is grateful for God’s continuing favor evidenced in her life. “By this I know that you favor me, because you have not let my enemies triumph over me.” (Psalms 41:11)

God's Protection, Obedience, Patience, Self-Control

The Hustler Gets Hustled!

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

I had just enough time to get from the nail shop in Walmart to my new job at the church.  Pleased with my hot orange polish, I left out smiling only to be approached by a guy as soon as I crossed the threshold.  “I got a laptop for sale Ms. Lady.”  I proceeded to my car and yelled, “I’m good!”  He pulled his car directly behind mine so that I had no choice but to hear him out.  He went on to say that the computers were going for the low rate of $250.00 but since he liked me I could make him an offer that he couldn’t refuse. “You tell me how much you want to pay!!”  Those words were music to my ears and I decided to take a closer look.

The computer was nicely packaged in plastic and bubble wrap with a sales information sheet on top listing all the great features of this SONY computer.  I was sold! “I only have $100.00, take it or leave it!” My hard core “hustling” skills were coming to surface and he took the bait.  Next thing I knew I was praising God in my head because only He could have made that happen, right?!  God knew I needed a laptop for school and the prices in the store were outrageous, so to find one this cheap had to be a blessing.

“Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:9 NIV

As I placed my money in his car, I decided to ignore the “voice” telling me to take my money back.  Instead I decided to take down his number just in case my computer didn’t work.   After completing the transaction I got in my car and headed to work with only 8 minutes to spare.  As I drove God starting screaming at me, demanding that I immediately pull my car over and check my merchandise.  Lo and behold, after making my way through the endless layers of packaging, I finally cracked the box open only to find 4 packs of notebook paper!!! I used to be the #1 hustler and I had just been HUSTLED!!!

I instantly went into panic mode asking God why this happened to me.  I called my sister and she told me to calm down and ask God what was my lesson in the situation.  I took her advice and at that very moment God dealt with me stating, “I give you FAVOR everywhere you go so what makes you think that I would have you buy a laptop out of someone’s car?  You were supposed to wait for Me to make provisions for you when the time was right!”  Just when I felt convicted enough to leave well enough alone, He went on to say, “I tried to stop the deal by telling you to take your money back but you chose to ignore Me!” At that point I was left to figure out how to maintain on my upcoming weekend trip minus that $100.

“… after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10 NIV

Ladies, that weekend God took care of everything for me while I was out of town.  However, if I had not allowed my old “hustling” mentality to surface days prior, I would have returned from Atlanta with more than I lost! This one encounter with the enemy cost me $100 but the lessons learned were priceless:  #1-The enemy comes in ALL forms!  #2-The devil will tempt you with things that you want and need.  BEWARE!  #3- Listen for GOD to give you the okay before moving too suddenly! He speaks to us all the time but are we really listening? #4- Thank God for the test no matter how big or small, even if you fail the first time!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for the tests! I understand that they are opportunities for You to teach me to rely on You more.  The world we live in encourages me to figure things out on my own but I must understand it is not about me.  Help me to hear Your voice louder than the enemy’s that I might make the right decision even in the most uncertain conditions.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Sistahs, I EMPOWER you to LISTEN and LISTEN good to what God has to say!! Believe me, it will save you time, energy, and MONEY! Put your old ways behind you and adopt God’s way of doing things! Be Blessed!! 🙂

Read more about heeding God’s warnings in The Night We Almost Died

Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management.  She resides in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.  Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn.” Isaiah 54:17

Are you interested in joining the EmpowerMoments team? Click here to find out more about us!

Attitude, Forgiveness, Growth/Maturity, Self-Control

Put Childish Things Behind

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” I Corinthians 13:11 NIV

The other day I was driving down a country back road. When I am driving alone, I often talk to God aloud or talk to myself to sort through frustrations. I had become frustrated by a childish act from one of my friends. My friendship circles can be pleasantly draining because I have an array of friends. Some are “saints” and some are “aints”. God showed me a long time ago that I am often looked to as a “friend” because they trust me, not necessarily because they want to hang out with me or do fun things. It took years to understand that I wasn’t being used, but being God’s servant. My name even means friend.

One of these “friends” acted in their normal fashion of pop-up stank attitudes. Now we all have them; I have even been known to be moody, but this particular time I really became ticked off. I became upset, hurt, and perturbed. I couldn’t focus. My mind was saturated about what type of petty revenge I could conjure up.  While “whining” about this childish situation a deer jumped past the front of my car. As I slammed on the brakes and even heard the skid of my tires, I looked to the right to see the deer prancing on up the hill leaving me there shocked and out of breath. IMMEDIATELY God spoke to me. He said, “You are so worried about this childish behavior that you have lost focus and it could have cost you your life. Set your mind on things above (Colossians 3:2 NIV), put the childish things behind you. You are designed to lead, not to follow.” All I could do was worship God for how He spoke strong truth to me at that moment.

How many times have we focused on the petty things in life only to miss our destiny or CRASH into a distraction? Well, while praising and promising God to dedicate my next EM to this event He told me what to say:

  • You are so busy worried about him leaving his socks on the floor, you are missing the fact that he needs you to comfort him. CRASH! (Proverbs 15:1 NIV)
  • You are so busy trying to find a man without faults and bad credit that you missed the fact that I restored yours and if your past were on a billboard you would beg to die. CRASH! (Matthew 7:3-5 NIV)
  • You are so busy trying to get ahead, wear the best clothes and drive the best car that your child looks to his/her teacher as a parent. CRASH! (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV)
  • You are so focused on how you look at church that you can’t worship me for real. CRASH! (John 4:23-24 NIV)
  • You are so focused on this ONE professor that you can’t see that I have planted you in this program to succeed. CRASH! (Hebrews 12:1 NIV)
  • You are so busy trying to make him mad that you can’t see your child will resent you for keeping them from their dad when they’re older. CRASH! (Romans 12:17-19 NIV)
  • You are so busy stacking your money and building an empire that people around you are HUNGRY. CRASH! (Matthew 25:31-46 NIV)

God spared my life in the midst of being focused on the childish attitudes of my youth. Don’t miss out on what God has for you because you are caught up in the petty stuff. It could cost you your life. You have to learn to keep it movin’.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for giving me quick reflexes to dodge the deers of life, for giving me safe travels, and for tuning my ears to hear Your voice. Lord, it is so easy to fall into the trap of bickering, backstabbing, and being petty. Please guide my actions to reflect Your image at all times. Thank You for giving me another chance to do it again. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, when you are faced with situations that ignite the flame of a trifling attitude on the inside, I EMPOWER you to regroup and set your mind on things above. Children seek retaliation; grown women recognize that “vengeance is mine, thus saith the Lord.”

In honor of Breast Cancer month, text a friend right now and remind them to do a self-breast exam. Do it right now!

Only 4 days left to win an “I Love My Girlz” tee. Enter here.

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But 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) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment.  Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Attitude, Co-Workers, Gentleness, Growth/Maturity, Kindness, Love, Relationships, Self-Control, Speech

Lord, Help Me Watch My Mouth!

Lately, I have been in rare form!  I used to be very concerned about what I would say and how I would say it because I didn’t want to offend or hurt peoples’ feelings, but over the last couple of months all of that care and concern has gone out of the window!  It came to a head this week at work.  Monday, I told one of the engineers, “I don’t care if you’re not cold, the kids are; turn the heat on!”  Tuesday, I told the programmer, “I am not going to go back and change my attendance. You detained these students; YOU go to the office and have their attendance fixed!”  Then Wednesday, I said in a meeting, “The reading workshop should not be run by our English department given that the data shows that whatever you all are doing is not helping our students read better!”  Of course one of the English teachers was extremely offended which changed the whole tone of the meeting.  After the meeting, another teacher and my principal both had conversations with me about my tactless comment.  My defense was, “Well it’s true!”  I immediately felt convicted!  My mother’s words instantly came back to me saying, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!”

My behavior over the last couple of months has been unacceptable!  The more I have thought and prayed over it this week, God has revealed to me JUST HOW destructive my behavior has been.  He reminded me of why He had placed me in this building– to be a light in darkness. “Ye are the light of the world…” (Matthew 5:14a KJV) My school is plagued by so many negative things: teen pregnancy, drug use, dysfunctional families, and not to mention our students’ academic struggles.   My assignment is not only to teach but also to show God’s love and power to save, heal, and deliver.  I had truly lost sight of that.  My tactless comments and interactions with my colleagues were doing three things in particular:

1) Causing Hostility – “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger…” (Proverbs 15:1 NIV)

I was creating a hostile environment to the point that every time I got up to present, make an announcement or anything else, eyes rolled, lips smacked and what I was saying was tuned out because of the hostility and resentment I had caused.

2) Stunting improvement – “A brother offended is harder to be won over than a strong city…” (Proverbs 18:19 AMP)

Because I have offended some of my colleagues in the past, they fight against anything that they know has come from me.  For example, last year my students got very high scores on the ACT writing test.  Many of the kids attributed their success to how I taught them to write essays in history.  Our principal implemented that strategy school-wide at the beginning of the year and it has been a non-stop fight.  No one has said it is a bad strategy; the only reason has been, “We don’t want to do it like that!”  I have inadvertently hurt the students’ by offending some of their other teachers. 

3) Hurting my witness – “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35 NIV)

How can I profess to be a Christian and be so tactless and non-compassionate to other peoples’ feelings? God is never like that with me. Even when He is checking me, I know that it comes from a place of love and desire for me to be better.  I’m sure the recipients of my comments do not feel the same way, and that I could not go to them and talk about Christ afterwards. 

Paul explains how we are to interact with people in 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.  I have become all things to all men to that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings.” (NIV)  I must humble myself and watch how I say things in order to complete the assignment that God has for me.

Everyone always quotes Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (KJV); however, v.20 really impacted me when I sought the Lord about this issue. “From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.” NIV   What kind of fruit is my mouth producing?  How does it taste?  Is it bitter?  Is it sour or just plain rotten?  What kind of harvest am I expecting in my life and what harvest am I going to get if I continue on the way I have been.   In the future, I am definitely going to strive to keep these questions in mind and CHECK MY MOUTH!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for conviction!  I also thank You for allowing me to see who I really am and take steps to change for the better.  I pray that You continue to help me to talk to people as You would and temper my words with compassion and love.  I ask that You move upon the hearts of those I have offended with my words so that they can forgive me and those relationships can be restored. Lord, please help me to watch my mouth! In Jesus Name’, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to show the love of Christ in everything, especially in how you speak to and interact with others.  One way to do this is to EVALUATE, EVALUATE, EVALUATE!

  1. Evaluate the urgency of the comment! Does what you want to say really need to be said?  If the answer is no, don’t say it!
  2. If the answer is yes, evaluate how it can be said in a Godly, tactful way that will actually facilitate a positive response.
  3. Once you have thought about how you’re going to say it, then evaluate what is the best timing.  Pray and ask God to give you wisdom to know when to say it.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1.9 billion since inception in 1982. Because of generous donations from supporters like us, Susan G. Komen for the Cure  has become the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. Please consider making a donation to continue the fight:  http://ww5.komen.org/donate/donate.html

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.”

Encouragement, God, Inspirational, Praise/Worship, Prayer, Relationships, Self-Control

When “Church” Wears Off…

Sunday 12:00 p.m.: “Oh My God!!” *wiping tears and blowing nose* “That was such an awesome message!  God really spoke through Pastor today.  I have truly had an encounter with God. I am FREE!! I’ve been DELIVERED!! My life will NEVER be the same!!”

Wednesday 3:00 p.m.:  “What did I just do? Why do I keep doing this?  What is wrong with me?  I know better; why do I keep making the same mistakes??”

More times than I can remember, this has been my experience.  I got to the point where I asked myself, “What happened?  Didn’t I have an awesome church service Sunday?  What about my encounter with God?”  I even asked myself, “Was it real?  Was I really laid out on the altar? I cried my eyes out! I felt so free when I got out of church!  WHAT HAPPENED? How did I get caught up in this foolishness AGAIN?”

I prayed and asked God what was happening; I KNEW I loved God and I really wanted to live a life that was pleasing to Him.  I desired to live in His perfect will.  I went to church every Sunday and got a word that spoke directly to me!  EVERY Sunday, I really meant it when I said I am going to stop doing this or that and I am going to start doing something God wanted me to do.  The rest of Sunday I was good.  Monday and Tuesday I was alright, but around Wednesday I started tripping!  Thursday, I went to bible study so that carried me Friday but Saturday, I was tripping again.  WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?? Why couldn’t I get this right??

God led me to Matthew 13, The Parable of the Sower.  As I read I came to the scripture that fit my plight, “…some [seed] fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil.  It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and they withered because they had no ROOT…” Matthew 13:5-6 NIV

Honestly, after reading this scripture I was slightly offended!  “What do you mean I have no root??”  I am saved, sanctified, I speak in tongues etc. etc.  When I got done with all of my grandstanding I had to take a VERY honest look at my walk with God.  After looking at myself I saw a not so pretty picture.  The only time I really spent with God was at church.  I did not really pray for more than a minute or so in the morning if that and I said grace with every meal and that summed up my prayer life.  Studying the Bible on a daily basis was a non-existent practice in my life unless I was trying to find something specific.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, “No wonder you keep falling, you have NO STRENGTH!!”  “…man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God…”Matthew 4:4 NIV

My spirit was only being fed once a week so of course my soil was very shallow because it lacked nutrition.  As a human, if you only eat once a week you will be VERY weak physically and you will fall prey to all kinds of ailments; the same is so for your spiritual self.  With this revelation, I sought God to help me to grow spiritually in Him which meant not only spending more time with Him in prayer and personal worship but also learning how to feed myself daily through studying the Word of God.  I am not where God wants me to be but I’m steadily moving toward being a Matthew 13:23 Christian, “…one who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.” MSG

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for consistently answering Your little girls when we call to You.  Thank You being honest and direct with us while also continuing to love us unconditionally.  We love You and thank You for Your continued faithfulness and true dedication to making us everything You desire for us to be.  We ask that You continue to renew us everyday and not let us be carried away by the emotionalism of church that we lose sight of what church is really for– not to tickle our emotions but to draw us closer and closer to You and make us more and more like You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to keep the fire burning in your souls.  Don’t let it fizzle out only to be reignited next Sunday.  I encourage you to do the following three things to keep the fire burning:

1)      PRAY – Prayer is a conversation with God.  I recently read an article called “Five Minutes That Could Save Your Marriage” which discussed how just having a casual face-to-face conversation with your spouse for 5 minutes each day could work wonders for your marriage.  How much more is the SAVIOUR of our SOULS entitled to? And how it will deeply grow your relationship with God!

2)      STUDY THE WORD – We must feed ourselves DAILY in order to be spiritually strong and fight the things the devil throws at us (see Ephesians 6:10-18)

3)      BE VIGILANTE – We all know the areas in which we struggle. Yes, we are to be bold in the Lord but don’t go playing in the enemy’s camp.  A well-known quote says, “If you keep knocking on the devil’s door, somebody is gonna answer you!”  If you know that you struggle with fornication with a certain person, why are you answering his phone call/text message?  If you know you struggle with drinking, why are you at the club?  REMEMBER, the devil doesn’t play fair!

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.”

Attitude, Fruit of the Spirit, Gentleness, Growth/Maturity, Honesty/Truth, Kindness, Motivation, Procrastination, Self-Control, Spirit of Anger

Rebuke The 7 Dwarfs

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.” Ephesians 5:1 NLT

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11 NIV

Have you ever woke up with a “stank” attitude for no apparent reason? A few days ago I experienced this for no reason at all. Everyone that called seemed to irritate me. In conversation with the Holy Spirit, and as conviction set in, I remembered that at all times I have to be an imitator of Christ. For some apparent reason I started thinking of the Seven Dwarfs. Mainly because of the one I was currently resisting, Grumpy, but also, just as in the movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, these little “attitudes” can creep up at any time and alter your entire day.

Let’s look at these attitudes that like to creep in and steal our joy:

“Doc” was the leader. His character was that of someone very pompous or self-important. The Bible tells us, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14: 11 ESV Sometimes we have to check our humility gage!

“Grumpy”.  Being grumpy is like being a complainer. You’re tired of your job, but you can pay your bills! You can’t find a man, and yet every gentleman that approaches you, you act “stank”.  My husband gets on my nerves, Suzy will be glad to have him!  “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 NIV. Speak power and life. Speaking death is being a mouthpiece for the devil!

“Bashful”. This attitude can creep in and get the best of us. How many times have you been silent instead of standing up for God? How many times have you found yourself unequally yoked with your friends and refuse, out of shyness, to stand boldly for the Lord? Jesus warns us, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” Matthew 10:33 AKJV.

“Sleepy”. How many times have you let the enemy of procrastination into your camp? You walk around sleepily dragging your feet. Some of you have dreams to embark upon, yet you allow a “sleepy” like attitude to interfere. “How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:9-11 ESV. Get up, you have work to do!

“Happy”. A Happy attitude is pleasant. Kirk Franklin says it best, to be happy, something has to happening! I encourage you to learn to replace your happiness with joy. Joy is a confidence birthed through faith in Christ. Joy is a feeling of assurance you can feel even when you are down and out. Happy is great, but Joy is everlasting. David prays, “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalms 16:11 KJV. God can grant you unshakable joy!

“Sneezy”. Sneezing is a way for your body to rid itself of harmful things. With all seriousness, we may need to “Sneeze” through our group of buddies or our Facebook friends list. If you find yourself sneezing all of the time, then you are probably allergic to your surroundings!! “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV

“Dopey”. Dopey was the youngest dwarf. Socially he was immature and seemed to be a “dud.” It is so easy to fall into the “Dopey” category of putting back on our childlike attitudes and behaviors. Paul tells us in the Bible, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” I Corinthians 13:11 NIV. Don’t let your childish ways of bickering, anger, and pettiness creep in. You are a woman now, put away child-like things.

I know this was a far-fetched, yet creative, attempt to say one thing: watch for those insecurities and bad attitudes that can creep in on you. Put on the full armor of God so that you can withstand the enemy.

Dear Daddy,

I plead guilty for having a bad attitude when I know I shouldn’t. The fact that You took a perfect soul to stand in the gap for my sins, should remove any stench of a bad attitude. Please forgive me if I seem ungrateful. Please help me along this Christian journey as I learn to be an imitator of You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to rebuke those dwarfs! Put on the full armor of God every morning before your feet hit the floor to guide your attitude throughout the day. Secure it again at night to ensure your mind is fixed on God as you go to bed. God has been too good for us to have a bad attitude!

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But 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) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment.  Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Encouragement, Growth/Maturity, Inspirational, Motivation, Self-Control, Self-Esteem, Weight Loss

40 lbs Gone…And Counting!

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (I Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV)

About 8 months ago my doctor said to me, “Well, your blood sugar is a little higher than we’d like.” My heart began to race and tears started burning my eyes as I pressed to hold them back. She went on to add, “You are young enough to lower it, check out a diabetic diet and you should be fine.” My Earth shattered right there on that table. “A DIABETIC DIET???”

I went to God with my tears and cried at His feet. “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you;” Psalms 55:22 NIV “Lord, You know I don’t want diabetes and yet I am knocking on its door. You know that I don’t have the will power to push back from the table, nor the energy to work out. Lord, please help me. Please give me the resources and the will to do better.” I casted this burden over to God. My entire life I’ve tried to lose weight on my own. I never took it to God. But the day I did was the day He began to open my eyes. “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” (James 4:17 NLT)

You are not your own, for you have been bought with a price. God showed me that this body, this temple, which He gave me, is for one reason only, and that is to glorify Him. That may mean being strong enough to help others, active enough to nurture my family, or healthy enough to be a strong witness. Last week I talked about being a good steward over my money, but I wasn’t being a good steward over my body.

I once heard a preacher say, “Jesus doesn’t deal with the fruit until He has dealt with the root!” Little did I know, this weight loss journey was also going to surgically heal my spirit. My root was self-control. I’ve never had boundaries with food. I didn’t realize that I should be eating to live, as opposed to living to eat. God had to show me my issue: self-control. As I continued to pray for healing God showed me the abundance of life that I was missing. I was missing running around a playground with my daughter without breaking a sweat. I was missing more “fun” with my Hubby. I was missing ME! Guess what else? My self-esteem shot through the roof. I’ve always been characterized as confident but it was all a front. Those that know me also know that my “confident” air was also accompanied by a stern face. This was the shield to my insecurities and unhappiness. I smile more, I’m happier, I’m energetic, and I am pumped about encouraging other people to break out of the bondage of being overweight.

I made a decision that I needed to eat healthy and lose weight or I would die. I was going to experience a social, emotional, and spiritual death soon to be followed by a physical death. It’s not all about losing weight; it’s about breaking out of bondage. I’m truly happy with me and I am even happier to know that God is the one that sparked this within me and will continue to let this light shine. I’m not burdened with anticipated failure because I know that I am connected to the One that helps me do it! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV) And you can too!

Dear Daddy,

Teach me self-control. Help me to give You the issues that I think are trivial so that I may know that You truly know and are concerned with the desires of my heart. Help me with will power and to eliminate excuses. I want to live in the fullness of life through Your grace and in Your will. I avail myself to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to allow God to give you the will to live. Talk with Him plainly about your issues. If it’s going back to school, losing weight, stopping smoking, alcoholic drinking, or promiscuity, ask God to give you the strength to overcome it. He will do it for you! Jesus encourages us, For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:8 NIV). Ask it in Jesus’ name!

To read more about my Christian Weightloss Journey, check out my blog: WeightandLeanonHim!

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But 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) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment.  Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.