God's Will, Patience

My Daddy Blocked It


pic-road-block

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)

How many times have you prayed and prayed for something only to see it never come to pass? Better yet, how often have you prayed and when you didn’t see it happen, you tried to force it with your own might? I can relate all too well.

I remember when I broke up with my first “real” boyfriend. We had been an item for almost four years and I thought he was my future! Although we had an ugly breakup, I was certain that we would reconcile because I just knew that he was going to be my husband. For several months after we parted ways, I called and called him, never to receive an answer. I would pop up over his house only for his roommate to tell me that he wasn’t home when I could clearly see his car in the driveway. I would even send him gifts in hopes that we would soon pick up the pieces of our relationship and move on. After several months of carrying on in that ridiculous manner, I finally decided that it was time to move on. To say that I was crushed and heartbroken would be a severe understatement. I felt as if the future that I planned had been completely destroyed in the blink of an eye. I just couldn’t imagine how I would pick up the pieces of my life, put them back together again and move on.

I’m sure a vast number of you can understand my story of a failed relationship and the quest to restore it. You may have compromised your character, morals, or reputation trying to rekindle a fire that had been permanently extinguished. Just like me, in the moment you exhausted every effort and resource trying to make the situation go in your favor. Even if relationships aren’t the area that you can relate to, there is something in each of our lives that we are desperately trying to hold onto. Meanwhile, God is behind the scenes playing Master Puppeteer. He keeps moving that man, job or money just out of your reach. You can still see it, but He is teaching you to look past what you think you need and trust Him for what He knows you need! His thoughts are much higher than anything we could ever fathom for our lives.

Did you ever consider why you are having such a hard time trying to force something to be? Maybe it was never destined by God. Maybe your Daddy is blocking it! As I sat dialing and re-dialing my ex-boyfriend’s number day after day, getting my feelings hurt when he did not answer, I pleaded with God to just restore our relationship. However, it seemed like the more I pursued my ex-boyfriend, the less interested he was in me or the broken pieces of our past. He completely vanished from my presence and wanted nothing to do with me.  Nothing that I did was working and it was not until recently that I found out why.

I ran into my old flame at the post office and he explained everything to me. As I was going through the whole breakup ordeal, I had been confiding in my daddy. Knowing what a terrible effect it was having on me, my daddy called my ex-boyfriend and told him to stay away from me. He was not to call, visit, text or email. My daddy had put a restraining order of sorts on the poor guy. He said that he really wanted to answer my calls and talk to me, but my daddy blocked it! (And he was scared to cross my daddy!) Wow! I had no idea back then, but it all made sense after he told me!

Our Daddy is also blocking things in our lives too! We are trying to manipulate stuff to make something happen but no matter what we do, it just won’t work! God has  has allowed that man to refuse to act right; He won’t convince that girl to like you; He has already spoken to that employer and restricted them from hiring you. It seems harsh now but He is keeping you and wants to bless you with that which is greater! You cannot see it now, but by and by, when God’s plan is revealed to you, you will fully understand that what He is blocking pales in comparison to what He is allowing to come your way! Remember, if Daddy blocked it, then it is no good for you! For Psalm 84:11 reminds us that no good will He withhold from us if we walk blameless and upright.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for blocking it! I know sometimes I get angry or frustrated because things are not happening the way that I would like, regardless of how hard I try to make them work. Please remind me to seek You first for information regarding my life. If you block it, then it was not a good thing for me to have. Help me to trust Your word on that. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to stop trying to remove the block that God placed in your life. If He placed a roadblock on your journey, it is because He knows that you don’t need to go that route or He is trying to keep you in place for something greater!

Share an experience with us when you wanted something so badly but later realized that God blocking it was the best thing that could have happened to you.

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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.

Growth/Maturity, Patience, Prayer

Throwback Thursday: Delayed, Not Denied!

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on August 10, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

“My spouse doesn’t seem to be interested in church.”

“I rocked that interview…but I didn’t get the job.”

“The job promotion I “deserved” was given to someone else.”

“God told me that He would open other doors for me, but He hasn’t.”

“Times are getting hard, I’m waiting on that “financial blessing” You promised me.”

“I’ve done everything in my power to change ___________situation but it isn’t working.”

“I have dated many men but none have ever popped the question.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever have another child after suffering that horrible miscarriage.”

“I’m sick and I can’t seem to get well.”

Many of us can find ourselves in at least one of the statements above. We have done something, experienced a life situation or prayed about something and feel as though we are being denied. It’s often hard to embrace but God does  things according to His will in His own time and His time is actually always on time.

Consider the story of Lazarus: Now a man named Lazarus was sick.  When He heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  So then He told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. A few verses later, Jesus goes to Judaea and is taken to Lazarus’ tomb.  “Take away the stone,” He said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”Then Jesus said, Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”So they took away the stone.   When He had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (John 11: 1, 4, 14-15, 39-41, 43-44 KJV)

In Mary and Martha’s eyes Jesus was late. They called Jesus when their brother was sick but He didn’t show up until four days after he died. Jesus tells the disciples He was glad that He wasn’t there when Lazarus died so that they too would now believe. Isn’t that interesting? Sometimes God will show up in our lives when we think a situation is dead and breathe life into it so that we can see His glory and further increase our faith in Him.

Recently, I was attending the graduation of a friend receiving her PhD in Electrical Engineering (yeah she’s a smart cookie) and I was reminded that God’s delay (to you) doesn’t mean God’s denial. This was no ordinary graduation. My friend chose not to walk the stage for her Bachelor’s degree or for her Master’s degree and her road to the Doctorate was filled with MANY obstacles. It took her MUCH longer to complete than average and I am quite certain that the majority of people who endured the trials that she did would have bowed out gracefully.  People questioned her commitment, talked about the length of time that she was in school and suggested that she should throw in the towel. It always amazes me that other people will allow their lack of faith to dictate how they believe you should live your life. She blocked out the naysayers and trusted in God alone. She believed that one day she would finish and her mother would see her walk across the stage. She was determined and had a tremendous amount of faith. I cannot explain the overwhelming pride, joy and goose bumps that I experienced when I saw her reach this milestone in her life. Through it all God was forever present. He never left her! He NEVER DENIED her!

Sometimes our faith is challenged when our timeline and God’s timeline don’t mesh. We can become absolutely downtrodden because our season has not arrived and the things that we believe God for have not come to fruition. What we forget is that God holds the roadmap for our life. He knows “when” to release our blessings so that He can be glorified and we will recognize the true source of our help. Delay does not equal denial.

Dear Daddy,

Forgive us for mistaking what is a delay to us as a denial by You. You have said in Your word that You will grant us the desires of our heart and that You will supply our needs according to Your riches in glory. Help our unbelief! Remind us that Your will will be done and that You always show up at the appointed place at the appointed time. Grant us the faith and determination to persevere through what seems like never ending, challenging situations. Help us to endure because Your timeline is all that matters. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to consider Lazarus! Even in his death, the prayers of Mary and Martha were not denied. I EMPOWER you to throw your timeline away because God has a pre-appointed release on His divine calendar.  Stay strong, continue to work and keep the faith. It may appear delayed but you are not denied!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Living in the Microwave Age

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”

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

Living in the Microwave Age

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Daddy,

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

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

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

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Confessions From An Impatient Christian

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

Faith, Patience, Throwback Thursdays, Trusting God

Throwback Thursday: Soaring Makes Me Sore

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on April 7, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

Since I have been given the task of writing to you, I seek God daily, almost minute by minute about what He wants me to share. You should see my notepad on my cell phone!

Today I was driving along, leaving a Weight Watcher’s meeting and felt a little deflated because I wanted to have lost over a pound this week, but it was only 0.4. So I had a slight pity party in my head. The Holy Spirit reminded me that this is a process and that I have to WAIT, and be patient and one day I will see the fruits of my labor.

I really have an issue with this “wait” word, because I’m a “microwave,” “techno-power user” kinda girl, I like things fast. But the Holy Spirit reminded me, “They that wait on the Lord, shall RENEW, their strength. They shall MOUNT up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not get weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) As I tried to remember to decelerate my car, I began thanking God for His words and I began to meditate on why He chose the eagle as a metaphor. Well here are a few facts about eagles:

  1. Eagles travel alone: Sometimes God has to remove clutter and drama from our lives if we are ever to be the Women of God He has called us to be. Some of our friends have to be distanced from us. Don’t feel lonely; it’s all part of the plan.
  2. Eagles do not fly, they soar: Flying causes a lot of energy because you have to flap constantly. This is almost like us trying to get through the day without God. We are constantly flapping around in pandemonium, just trying to stay afloat. But an eagle soars. This means to glide without effort using the force from “opposing” winds below. These opposing winds are the opposing forces that we try to deal with on our own. But we have to fly above that and allow God to deal with the wind beneath our wings. All we have to do is soar!
  3. Eagle nests are usually out of sight of humans. They are set very high usually on mountains. Where is your nest? Our nests “(our hearts) should be set on the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:1b-2)

If this wasn’t enough to encourage me to wait and trust in God, He also showed me the word “mount” means to be grounded in support towards ascension. Now I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to ascend to higher heights with Christ.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being a sustainer. You have kept me in so many instances. Teach me how to trust You. Remind me that if I wait, You will give me renewed strength to not get tired so that I can soar as the eagle and live in Your perfect peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

My Sister, I EMPOWER you today to wait on the Lord. The outcome is so much better if we give it to Him instead of trying to flap around trying to handle it ourselves. Take a moment to think about what area of your life you are trying to rush God in. Instead of flapping, I want you to soar. Sit back, relax, and watch God handle it.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Are We There Yet?

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a 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 and her husband serve as Co-Service leaders and Co-Group leaders of SustainedLove, which supports marriage get-a-ways from Family Life. Khalilah 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 two daughters. They attend Vaughn Forest Church.  Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

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

Transitions: Trampled on the Floor

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Daddy,

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

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

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

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Seasons Change

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Assignment, Direction/Guidance, Patience, Purpose, Trusting God

Resume` Revision

A few Sundays ago, the lead person of the Evangelism Team in which I serve spoke a prophetic word over my life.  This was my first time formally meeting this woman and I must admit I was a bit skeptical, but I still chose to listen intensely.  She proceeded to tell me that everything I have gone through was getting me prepared for the platform God has prepared for me!  The statement that stood out the most was that she said I would have some type of prison ministry for women in which I would lead many to Christ!  Again, I received the word but I did not understand the prison ministry aspect, but in due time God would reveal a small piece of the puzzle to me.

Last summer I wrote an EmpowerMoment entitled Blessing Out of Unusual Circumstances, where I briefly talked about my past run-in with law enforcement.  However, I did not tell readers that I applied for an expungement of my record in July of 2007 and have been waiting for a response ever since.  Last Saturday my mother called to tell me that the decision letter as to whether or not my misdemeanor of retail theft would be cleared had arrived.  I had anticipated this call for so long that I had prepared myself for a praise session only to be informed that my petition had been DENIED!!!  Instantly I was consumed by a number of emotions (anger, fear, discouragement, confusion, etc.) at the thought that I waited FIVE YEARS for a ‘NO’.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that God said it so it will come to pass, but WHEN?! After five years nothing had changed other than the fact that I am older still reaping the effects of a bad decision made at 18.  It was so easy for me to start doubting everything that I had believed for so long until I read Hebrews 10:35-36 which reads: “Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens.  Remember the great rewards it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (NLT)

See ladies, God knew exactly what the outcome would be, but more importantly He knew what my exact response would be so He tried to prepare me with that prophetic word a week prior.  Since God can speak to us in our dreams, through assigned people, and signs of nature to name of few, we must always have our ears open.  I was so on guard about the prophecy as a whole that I almost missed my next assignment for the Kingdom. 

“Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.” (Hebrews 10:23 NLT)

After the initial shock wore off days later, God revealed to me that He has sustained me thus far and will continue to do the same no matter what the letter said.  He also told me that my experience will be able to help so many others that will endure the same trial of their faith.  The “prison ministry” that I was informed about will give me the opportunity to provide encouraging words to those who will face similar struggles.  All in all, it was NEVER about me; it was about Him getting the glory yet again!  You may not be going through identical circumstances but you must stand firm on what God has told you no matter what!  God just needs to know that He has the strongest soldiers on the battlefield because spiritual war is no joke…believe me I KNOW!!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for allowing me to stand firm on the purpose You have placed over my life.  Continue to remind me that the experiences I go through are for those I interact with to see more of You and less of me.  Help me to live my life solely on Your promises and not my expectations.  I praise You in advance for the great times, bad moments, and the ugly occurrences because it will all work out for my good and Your GLORY! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Women of God, I EMPOWER you to trust the work of God in your life.  If He explained everything that He was up to, He wouldn’t be God.  Stop trying to change His job and get ready for Him to revise your resume`!  Be Blessed!  🙂

Have you ever had a moment when you were so confused about what God was up to?  Tell us about that time and what happened to make you turn it over to Him.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Scar Tissue

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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. She serves tirelessly with the Evangelism Team there.  Latasha also works at Mt. Zion as a member of the Administrative Support Staff. 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

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

I Am Not Ready!

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Daddy,

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

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

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

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Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Faith, God's Promises, Obedience, Patience, She is Me Series, Submission/Surrendering, Trusting God

She is Me: Sarah

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

Busy Being God Jr.

Nearing graduation from college, I thought I had it all figured out. I was NOT moving back to Chicago, but instead I was going to make my home in the south, get a great job and start my life with my self-chosen future husband. It sounded like a wonderful plan to me, but God said, “No, if you listen to me and do it my way, I promise that I have a MUCH better plan for you.” Not really convinced that His plan was going to please me the way that mine was, I began working hard to put my plan into motion. I applied to several jobs in the southern region and began making preparations for life that my future and I would lead together. I was hell-bent on helping God out! How many of you can be honest and admit that He has promised to do some things in your life, but you couldn’t understand how what He told you was better than what you had envisioned? Or better yet, you didn’t see the evidence of the promise coming to fruition fast enough so you decided to be God Jr.? If you are afraid to admit it, I’ll show you someone who is just like me…

God promised Abraham (Abram) that his wife, Sarah (Sarai), would have a son and that from that child his descendants would be too great to number. Abraham believed God’s word; however, Sarah couldn’t imagine that at her old age she would really be able to bear a child. That was heartbreaking to her because she knew her husband really desired a son so that his offspring could inherit his kingdom. So, just like me, she set out to assist God in making things happen.

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “The LORD has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal. So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (Genesis 16:1-3 NLT)

Sarah’s plan seemed like the perfect fix to her solution…and so did mine! She would now have a child through a surrogate mother and her husband would be satisfied. Likewise, I refused to believe that God truly wanted me back in Chicago. I wouldn’t settle for missing out on my one true love in life, so I went on several interviews with very reputable companies. Everyone was pleased with my resume` and my overall package. I was promised jobs from at least three employers. I even started searching for a permanent place to stay. I’m sure I was thinking that God should’ve been thanking me because I was helping Him out tremendously!

Oh, but my plans, just like Sarah’s, went awry! Abram had intercourse with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When she found out that she was pregnant, she became proud and despised Sarai. (Genesis 16:4 GNT) Sarah’s plan fell apart right before her eyes! Instead of carrying a child for her mistress, Hagar began to hate Sarah and wanted to keep the baby. My plans quickly unraveled too. Of the three job leads that I had been promised, each one fell through in a matter of days. I even attempted to reach my interviewer at one of the companies and I was told that no one by that name had ever worked there! I was baffled. Why was this happening to me? I knew that my plan was suitable for my life! Instead of admitting that I was trying to operate in direct opposition of God’s will, I immediately starting pointing the blame finger. As you can imagine, the recruiters from those companies were at the top of my list. Again, Sarah and I were running neck and neck! Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. (Genesis 16:5 NIV)

In all of our blatant disobedience and disrespect to God, He was still so gracious to the both of us. He STILL kept His promise that was made to us, even though neither of us had an ounce of faith in the words that He spoke over our lives. In efforts to sabotage a job in Chicago, I never showed up to the interview and never gave a reason why. However, God STILL kept that position for me. Even in my adamant state to hold on to a man that I just knew was my future, God STILL brought the man that He designed specifically for me into my life to become my husband. Even though Sarah chose not to cling to God in her season of barrenness and instead took matters into her own hands, He STILL blessed her with a child. “Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.” (Genesis 21:1-3 NLT) Oh what a gracious and merciful God we serve! And I think I can speak for both Sarah and me when I say that God was right—His plan was much better!

Dear Daddy,

I thank You for this multi-part lesson on faith, obedience and patience. Lord, I ask that You help my unbelief. If there are areas where my faith wavers, please strengthen those places. Help me to believe You and stand on Your word, regardless of what I feel like should happen. Lord, I pray that You would turn my heart so that I yield to every command that You give me. Help me to take my hands off of situations so that You are in control. Finally, I ask that You teach me patience. I understand that the only way to learn patience is by waiting, so I ask that You give me the strength to hold out for Your promises. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to believe God the first time! I EMPOWER you to understand that He doesn’t need your help determining His will for your life, nor has He ordained you as God Jr.! Instead of trying to manipulate things to your suiting, I EMPOWER your faith to increase, your obedience to be automatic and your patience to strengthen.

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

Attitude, Conviction, Forgiveness, Growth/Maturity, Patience, She is Me Series, Speech

She is Me: Abigail

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

The Fool And I

Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. (I Samuel 25: 18-19 NIV)

The Bible tells us that Abigail was married to Nabal, whose name literally means “fool”. How often have you had to deal with a fool? Someone who refused to listen to reason and instead marched head long into a situation you knew would lead to ruin? When this happens, how do you handle your emotions and words? Are you like Abigail, who waited until an opportune time (prompted by the Holy Spirit) before she spoke to her foolish husband?

I am currently dealing with someone who knows how to push every single button I have. I have never been closer to “losing my religion” than when dealing with this person. This individual has hurt me in ways that I can’t even explain. But due to their position in my life, I am unable to completely sever ties (like I usually do). One particular day last week, I had a speech all ready for this person. I  was going to tell them off good, but the opportunity never presented itself.  The Lord spoke to me and told me two things: 1) the conversation would not have been wise and 2) I need to work on extending grace.

The Bible admonishes us in Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting get understanding(KJV) The Holy Spirit had me look up definitions for understanding and this is what I found:

Understanding: 1) Sympathetic, tolerant or wise towards people 2) Possessing judgment and intelligence 3)Having the ability to perceive or understand; keen discernment

When dealing with others (especially those that get under my skin), I must learn to be understanding (tolerant) of them. If I am honest with myself, I have not always been like Abigail. I am sure there are more times than I would like to admit that I have been more like Nabal, a fool. Had I gotten my way and had that conversation with that individual I would have said things that were not of God, emotions would have taken over and who knows where things would have gone. I thank God that He gave me time so I could let the Holy Spirit remove those thoughts from me. I sit here today free of any burden. Instead of “telling” that person off, I spoke to my Heavenly Father. In the end, Nabal was so overcome by the news that Abigail shared that he had a heart attack and died. Now, I am not wishing ill on anyone, but I will say that God will remove things from you. Either literally as in the death of Abigail’s husband or figuratively as in removing the anger you feel towards that person.

Whatever method God chooses to use, trust Him and do not try and take control of the situation.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You so much for loving me enough to give me examples of how a woman should behave. Allow the Holy Spirit to remove any embittered and battling spirit that may dwell within me. Help me to use words of wisdom and understanding when I speak to difficult people. When I am nearing frustration help me to remember how patient You are with me. Help me to learn to extend the same grace and mercy You have given to me. I understand I should not live like women of the world and allow my emotions to take over. I invite the Holy Spirit to dwell within me, so my words, thoughts and actions will line up with You. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to trust God to handle the difficult people in your life start by extending them grace just as He has for you. 

Ms. Renee` N. Chaffin is a single mother who has a heart for helping those less fortunate. She has been active in the non-profit sector, whether through volunteerism or professionally, for the past six years.  She is passionate about sharing the love of God, her testimony and empowering people to discover their true potential that was bestowed on them by King of the Universe. Renee` is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. While on her pursuit of higher education, she is on a seven year journey to challenge God to do ‘exceedingly and abundantly above all she can imagine’ in seven areas over the next seven years. Check out her journey at http://radical7even.wordpress.com. Her favorite scripture is I Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

God's Love, God's Protection, God's Provisons, Patience, Stress, Submission/Surrendering, Trials

He’s Concerned – Beyond the Cellular Level

Before the New Year came in, I was in a funk. I shut myself in for a few days in hopes that I could pull my self together before the clock struck 12:00 AM on January 1st. I was sulking over the past year and what had not been. Unmet goals in the areas of relationships, health, family, finances, and career all seemed to weigh heavily on me. I wondered if God was listening.  Even more, I was frustrated because I felt as though He knew the desires of my heart and the spoken words from my mouth yet I had not seen these things come to pass. I shut down and tried to just sleep this feeling away but it wouldn’t budge. I kept wondering “God do you hear me?” “God do you care?”

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Luke 12: 6-7 NIV)

Although it is an unlikely place, I found the answer to my nagging question in a friends cough. As she coughed and released phlegm (mucus), I relished in God awesomeness. He designed our bodies to fight. Mucus carries pathogens and foreign particles out of our body. In many cold cases, white blood cells travel to the respiratory system trying to rid the body of infection. White blood cells are created to fight meaning we have little warriors in our body that attack whenever something is seeking to destroy us internally.  As Psalms 139:14 says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God cares about His creations so much that He equipped us with everything we need to fight. He was concerned beyond the cellular level. He was so concerned that He has engineered our bodies to work in synchrony and precision. Surely if He is a God that can design a body that operates so proficiently, He can take care of my small desires.

Furthermore, I was reminded that these trials only come to prove my strength and faith in Him. Instead of sulking I should have been rejoicing because I have faith that He is indeed capable of turning any situation around.  Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:2-4, 12 NIV)

As I continued to reflect, I realized that there were some things that I simply did not work for and as we know Hebrews 2:17 tells us “faith without works is dead.” There were petitions that I had to check my motives about Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (James 4:3 KJV) and still there were others that were simply not apart of His will for my life. His will is indeed most important for my life because He tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9,For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (KJV)

Time and time again God has shown that He cares for me; yet, I allow myself to doubt Him. Do you find yourself in this position? Remember that God has intricately designed every cell in your body to work according to His instruction. Surely if He cares for you at the cellular level, He cares about the whole YOU!

Dear Daddy,

Forgive me for doubting You. Help me to recognize that sometimes You are protecting me from myself. When it’s right and when it’s ready, You will grant me the desires of my heart. I will continue to trust that the God who knows me inside and out also knows what is best for my life. You are not restricted to a Roman calendar. In Your timing it shall come to pass, but until then I will continue to keep the faith, I will continue to do Your will and I will continue to work. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to put your will for your life aside for God’s will. Turn it over to Him and trust that He knows what is best for you. Check your motives. Check your work ethic and have faith that God knows what He is doing. As cliché as it may sound, it is absolutely correct “He may not come when you want Him to, but He is always on time.”

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.”