Contentment, Gratefulness, Inspirational, Praise/Worship

Praise The Lord Anyhow!

“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” Psalm 150:6 NIV

Have you ever been faced with a negative situation or dealt with a person that has the ability to quench your praise? I declare that while you read this message, you immediately receive a breakthrough of boldness to Praise the Lord Anyhow!

Take a good look at this picture. I passed this bed of flowers one day walking around campus. The first thing I noticed was that the flowers were reaching towards the sky. I began to ignite a praise on the inside; I was full of joy and enlightenment. Even the flowers praise God in their beauty, through His glory. As I stood there, looking pretty odd taking pictures of a flowerbed with my cell phone, I noticed the dead flower attached to the two live ones. This spoke volumes to me. Although the two flowers were connected to the dead flowers, they did not allow that to stop their growth, nor their praise. Sometimes we find ourselves connected to people or dead situations where we have to, with all of our might, continue to Praise the Lord Anyhow. Sometimes we are connected to family members, spouses, or even children with dead attitudes, but I encourage you to Praise the Lord Anyhow!

Keep looking at the picture. Look at the flowers to the distant top right. Those flowers are on a mission. Not only are they declaring to PRAISE THE LORD ANYHOW, they have relieved their connection to the dead flower and changed directions. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV). The flowers at the top right are not even going in the same direction. Do you need to switch directions to pull away from your crowd to be able to praise the Lord freely, without inhibition?

I’m reminded of the story of David when he danced so hard, he made an outward fool of himself in the eyes of some. The Ark of God was headed to the City of David. This was considered a major reason to praise. (Get this, the ark hadn’t even reached the City of David yet, and David was already praising out of control. This is for another post, but I encourage you to PRAISE HIM even while in PROGRESS.)  Back to the story, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, “While he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.  As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.” (2 Samuel 6:15-16 NIV)

Michal was David’s wife.  When she saw David praising so hard as to being described as dancing out of his clothes she referred to him as undignified.  “When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”  (2 Samuel 6: 20 NIV). She basically told David that due to the type of praise he displayed, he was being tactless and disrespectful as a king. David replied, “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.” (2 Samuel 6: 21-22 NIV). David was saying, I will Praise Him Anyhow, even if I look like a fool to you. And not only that, “I may become more undignified than this.”

Dear Daddy,

Help me to continue to reach to You in boldness. Teach me how to praise You while I’m in the pit, the pause, or in progress. Help me to not be restrained when I praise, help me to remember that David praised You even when his wife thought He was being undignified, but for You, it is all worth it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you to PRAISE HIM ANYHOW. You may feel unforgiven, sinful, lost, or even unworthy. But David reminds us, to praise Him ANYHOW. Now get up and praise Him! Just as the Ark was “on its way” to the City of David, your breakthrough is on its way! So praise Him in expectancy, just as David did.

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 Church.

Contentment, God, God's Provisons, Inspirational, Jealously, Prayer

The Long-Eyed Lesson!

Beautiful, gracious and kind! While those words do describe me well, today I am using them to portray my favorite heroine in the Bible. I have loved the story of Esther since I was a little girl. When the King was in search of a new wife, the word proclaims, She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food.  (Esther 2:9 NIV) She was a bad chick!…and I wanted to be JUST like her.  To understand why I wanted to be like her let me tell you a little bit of her story as Queen.

Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them.  “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.” Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day….(Esther 3: 8,11, 13 NIV)

What the King didn’t know is that his own wife, Queen Esther, was a Jew. She hid her ethnicity from him when she was in the running to become the Queen. After finding out about the King’s orders her cousin Mordecai, who raised her, sent her a message to go to the King and plead for her peoples’ lives but at first she was reluctant.

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:12-14 NIV)

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:15-16 NIV

Well, guess what? Esther did not perish and neither did her people. The story goes on to tell that her people were saved and celebrated and instead the mastermind behind the plot, Haman, was hung on gallows that he originally built for Mordecai.

There are many biblical themes that can be extracted from this text regarding faith, fear, sacrifice, God elevating you to use you and others; however, I am now realizing a more personal theme for myself. My grandmother called it long-eyed or your eyes being bigger than your stomach, meaning you wanted something someone else had even if you didn’t know what it was or had no particular use for it.

Every night, I would go to bed and pray that God would make me like Esther “a savior for my people, use me for such as time as this, Lord use me.” I wanted to be the one to pull my family out of the rut that I felt we were in and I was interested in self-sacrificing causes that uplifted humanity. While those may sound like noble requests, I now realize that I didn’t KNOW what I was praying for. As a child, I saw the glamorous part of Esther in that she was selected out of hundreds by the King to be his bride. She had the opportunity to change the fate of all of her people. People favored her. In the end she succeeded.

Recently my fascination with the story of Esther came to my memory and I realized that my life has taken a similar course and I thought, “Did I become a matriarch in my 20’s because I asked for it when I was 8?”  I often find myself asking God, “WHY does everyone call me and depend on me (family and friends included)?” I get frustrated because it seems as though everyone is relying on me and there is so much pressure to make decisions that quite honestly I’d rather not. I’ve reached a point of acceptance and pray for wisdom and guidance because maybe I too have been called for such a time as this. If this is how God chooses to use me, let me be excited about it. The lesson in this is to KNOW what you are petitioning God for. Are you requesting the “desires” of your heart out of envy or because it “looks good”? That man, new car, job, new house, or friendship may look excellent on someone else but you don’t know what they had to go through to get it or to keep it.  Everything simply isn’t for everybody! When you petition the true Savior, check your motives and your readiness!

Dear Daddy, 

Thank You for being a God that answers prayers! Remind us to pray righteous prayers so that when we get what we ask for, we aren’t upset when we don’t get the outcome that we thought we would have. Give us the wisdom to see ALL of the attributes of what we may consider a “blessing” before we make our request known to You. Let us not be long-eyed! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to continue to seek God about YOUR future and purpose and not the one that belongs to someone else. If you find yourself in a situation where you are The One, walk in it boldly without fear and ask God to grant you the discernment, wisdom, and capacity that comes with the territory.

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.

Contentment, Honesty/Truth, Inspirational, Miscellaneous, Self-Esteem

Invisible Me

When I walk into a room, people usually notice. I have a pretty large personality and a big smile. Although sometimes that smile becomes a big “unit” on my face. Whether I am in take over mode or chill mode, rarely do I go unnoticed. I’m 5’1” but I walk tall and act like I “own it.” I’ve never known people to question my self-esteem because I can put on quite a show…or at least I thought.

My Happy ME!

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment … Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (I Peter 3:3-4 NIV)

In a recent conversation, someone broke down many of the non-verbal and sometimes verbal things that illustrate some of my unhappiness on the inside. Granted we all have some bad days that we feel less than our best but what happens when those days turn into years. What happens when we let our inner beauty become tarnished with insecurities?

As I enter the room walking tall, my “invisible me” walks in too, head slightly bent but holding up signs for all to see. “This dress would look so much better minus 20lbs. What’s that…my girtle isn’t working?” “I really need a new purse cause this was so last season.” “My car is so out of date.” “Someone, please show me some attention!”

My invisible me is taking over! She questions my looks, my abilities and my accomplishments. She is killing me softly from the inside out.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:12 NIV)

This is how I look without makeup
And with no bra my ninny’s sag down low
My hair ain’t never hung down to my shoulders
And it might not grow
Ya’ never know

I got a little pot in my belly
So now a days my figure ain’t so fly
My dress ain’t cost nothin’ but seven dollars 
But I made it fly
    -Erykah Badu

I have made an executive decision over my life. I am going to be content whether I have it or I don’t have it; whether I lose 0lbs this week or 2lbs this week; whether he calls me back or doesn’t call me back; whether my hair is long or short; whether there is money in the bank or it’s empty; whether I get the job or not; whether I get the recognition I deserve or someone else gets it; whether I get the new car I want or continue to roll in this some-timed car; whether my family and friends are with me or against me. I am burning all of the invisible signs and learning daily to work on “issues” without letting those issues control who I am as a person and dictate my life. From now on I want my invisible me to match the same confidence that I portray on the outside because I recognize that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14 KJV)

Dear Daddy, 

Thank You for taking the time to make ME! Thank You for every blood vessel, capillary, microscopic cell, vein, organ and bone in my body. Your detail left nothing to chance and according to Your word in Psalms 139:14 I am a marvelous work because I am created by You. When I am feeling down about myself, remind me of who YOU are so that I will know who I am. Help me to focus and discipline to change the things in my life that need to change but also help me to be content as I work to change them.  Help me to pay attention to my “invisible me” so that she is fully representative of the awesomeness that is You and that You have created in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to do a self –check. What does your “invisible me” say about you? If it be God’s will, work on changing areas of your life where you have issues. As you make progress and even have some setbacks, I EMPOWER you to be content as you let the light from above radiate from the inside out.  

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, 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.