Attitude, Growth/Maturity, Self-Control, Speech

Be Quiet!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Daddy,

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

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

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

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

Back To School Series, Children, Prayer, Speech

Back to School: On the Way to School

School has begun for most students across the world so EmpowerMoments is featuring a series entitled “Back to School”.  Read this week as our writers will share stories and learned lessons from their school-related experiences.  So, come and get on our EmpowerMoments school bus!

This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. (Psalms 91:2 NLT)

This morning I noticed my daughter was really hyper or as I call it, “on 10”!  I’m sure part of it had to do with her NaNa coming to visit this week and the sweet tea she allowed her to drink for breakfast.  Can’t trust Grandmas!  At any rate, I wanted to snatch her in the midst of her speedy transitions throughout the house, but I remembered a promise I made to God when she first started attending school.  I promised to never yell at her before she went off to school because I didn’t want her to have a bad day.  I knew that my words could speak either life or death to my daughter (see Proverbs 18:21) and I eventually took yelling out of my discipline strategy all together.

My daughter continued her morning routine of talking seventeen miles a minute (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) and dancing throughout the house.  I sternly redirected her towards getting dressed to avoid being late.  She was obedient and we then proceeded to our vehicle.  When I strapped her in, I told her we were going to pray all the way to school, and we did.  We thanked God and prayed about her behavior this morning and her future actions at school. As we pulled into the parking lot, we sang our school song as we do every morning and she hopped out into the arms of her teacher.  I was confident that she would have a good day!

I share this story because it is imperative that we not only send our children off to school on a good note, but help them recognize that God is a present help when they need to learn self-control. Furthermore, they need to know that God is not just at church, but He walks with them during school.  I remember getting on the bus every morning to face this girl that used to bully me all the way to school.  I hated riding the bus because she was so mean to me.  I felt so alone and contemplated telling my Mom, but I didn’t think it was that serious to tell anyone.  So, I prayed every morning that the mean girl wouldn’t try to start a fight with me.  I recall another incident in high school when I failed a try-out for the drill team captain.  That loss hurt me to my core because I wanted it so bad.  I cried for days and the only thing that allowed me to move forward was the prayers my mother shared with me during that time.  During those instances, I imitated what I saw my mother or other Christians do in times of grief and trouble.  They prayed.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for my children.  Thank You for trusting me to be their guide here on earth.  Lord, I ask that Your Spirit cover them with Your precious blood.  Father, I pray that every encounter is used to build and enrich them.  Help them to be a leader amongst their friends and to share the love of Christ.  Lord, I pray they remain focused while in class, obedient to the rules, sensitive to those that need them, and strong when they face challenges.  Father, please protect the teachers, staff, and administration.  I pray they operate under Your anointing through order, fairness, humility, love, kindness, and intelligence.  Lord, please protect my children on the playground, at practice, and to and from school.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to pray over the child in your life before they go to school.  Pray with them and for them.  They need to know that God is their refuge in times of confusion, fear, trouble, misbehavior, bullying, and defeat.  When they recognize that you go to the Father on their behalf, they’ll imitate you.  I refuse to accept that prayer has been removed from schools.  Teach your children to pray!  We do not know what they face every day and the burdens they carry.

What are some ways you incorporate God into your child’s school life?

Read a related EmpowerMoment:  Take Time for Them

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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.

Attitude, Back To School Series, Character, Direction/Guidance, Self-Control, Speech

Back To School: Trifling!

School has begun for most students across the world so for the next two weeks, EmpowerMoments is featuring a series entitled “Back to School”.   Read each day as our writers share stories and learned lessons from their school-related experiences.  Come and get on our EmpowerMoments school bus!

Thinking back over the 18 plus years of schooling I have embarked upon in my lifetime, I immediately thought of a multitude of joyous occasions to share with our EmpowerMoments readers.  It was then that I recognized that the most influential lesson I learned was a result of my very first suspension from school.  As my Spanish teacher distributed the graded exams from the week prior, I laughed and giggled with my tenth grade friends certain that I had passed with flying colors.  When the paper arrived on my desk full of red marks, my first reaction was to blurt out, “This is trifling!”  As I searched the entire sheet for an indication as to why I received such a low score, my teacher approached my desk and sent me directly to the principal because ‘I called her trifling!’

Trifling!

It was when I arrived in the office that I realized just how serious everyone else was taking this one word.  In my mind it was my phrase of the month, nothing more than a mere cliché that I had adapted for everything. I was issued a two-day suspension and a phone call to my parent; I became even more enraged because of the disciplinary actions taken.  My verbiage of choice was not one that deserved a bleep or a sensor; yet, I was being penalized to the fullest extent of my school district.

“For your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the tongue of the crafty.  Your own mouth condemns you and not I; your own lips testify against you.” (Job 15:5-6 AMP)

Two days of suspension and a month after being grounded, I still didn’t fully understand what I had done wrong in this situation to have my social life placed on pause.  Back then I chose to use the word in a very loose context but the definition was purely insulting.  It did not make total sense until I grew older and developed a personal connection with God for myself.  Just as my teacher felt disrespected by my preferred adjective, I would be even more appalled if my relationship with the Father was labeled with such an offensive and harsh term.  Recently, a guy that I know challenged the depth of my love for Christ in a joking manner, but I ended up feeling the sting of his words much like my teacher did back in 2000.  At first I wanted to send him to the nearest principal’s office to be reprimanded when I remembered that Romans 10:9 boldly states that if I believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and God raised Him from the dead, I am saved without dispute.  It was then that I realized just how serious my actions were years ago and I FINALLY accepted my punishment.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for allowing me to learn the lessons, even if they occur years later.  Help me to stay sensitive to the words I speak into the atmosphere for they can easily become applicable to my life.  Fill me with words of Your love so that people will be able to see You and none of me.  Please keep me grounded in You that my ears, eyes, and mouth gates will continuously bring glory to Your Kingdom at all times.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Women of God, I EMPOWER you to think back over your days and look at the bigger picture of it all.  Even the happiest times taught you a lesson that can help you to become a better Christian.  Never allow the enemy an opportunity to let his “trifling” ways shine through on a child of God like you.  Have a Blessed week. ☺

What moments from your past or current school days have taught you lessons in becoming a better Christian?

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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

Conviction, Growth/Maturity, Sin, Speech

If You Want Something to Grow, Keep Feeding It!

I was looking at my daughter and wondering “How did she grow so fast?”  I couldn’t believe the clothes she wore last month are now too small.  I said to myself, “Self, the reason she is growing so fast is because she eats all the time.”  It felt like I had a revelation.  If I keep feeding her at this rate, her clothes will be too small again.

I know you are wondering where I am going with this.  Well, I thought about the sins in my life.  You know sin—an act, thought, or way of behaving that goes against God’s law or teachings, especially when the person who commits it knowingly.  I thought about gossiping.  No, I do not tell other people’s business, but I used to love to listen to a good story.  At first I thought listening was innocent until someone started gossiping about my business.  I quickly became convicted and started telling people I didn’t want to hear it but they couldn’t understand why not. Take lies and what is false far from me. Do not let me be poor or rich. Feed me with the food that I need. (Proverbs 30: 8 NLT)

I started to pray and ask God to take gossiping away from me and remove it from my ears. I asked God why people wouldn’t stop calling me with gossip and He asked me “How many times have people called and you made yourself accessible to listen to the gossip?”  “You kept eating and so they kept feeding you.”  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind. (James 3: 5-7 KJV)

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. (Proverbs 18: 21, MSG) I choose to feed life!

Take lies and what is false far from me. Do not let me be poor or rich. Feed me with the food that I need. (Proverbs 30: 8 NLT)

After God’s response to my question, I quickly began to focus and think about positive things in my life.  I thought about my ministry and how I needed to keep feeding it so it can grow.  I thought of my employment and how I needed to keep feeding it so it could grow.  I thought of my marriage and how I need to keep feeding it so that it can grow.  I thought of so many parts of my life and what I could do to make them grow.  “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.” (Jeremiah 29: 11 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for forgiving me when I sin and fall short.  Thank You for teaching me what to feed and what not to feed.  Continue to guide my words and thoughts so that they can grow and be prosperous.  God continue to give me the discernment to know when I am straying away and feeding things that are not of You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to feed what you want to grow!  Stop wasting your time and energy on things that are not of God and things that will not prosper you.  Feed positive things and people and watch them grow in your life!

Share with us some positive things you too are going to feed!

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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.”

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.”

Attitude, Complaining, Growth/Maturity, Speech, Trials

It Could Be Worse!

Do all things without complaining and disputing. (Philippians 2:14 NKJV)

Hi, my name is Keviyona and I am a complainer. I complain when things are good and I complain when things are not so good. I complain about my husband, my family, my job, my weight, my church, my friends, I complain about everything. I am very good at encouraging everyone else, but when it comes to my situations I am always praying and then complaining. I noticed I was a complainer one day when I had just finished praying about my job. I told God that I was going to wait and depend on Him for answers. I also told Him that I would not be stressed out as long as He guides me. The devil made a liar out of me that day; my phone rang and one of my co-workers was on the other end. She started talking about how messed up the school was and I instantly chimed in. I started ranting and raving about how I don’t like it and I’m tired. I started to complain about everything I had just moments before prayed about.

About a week later my cousin called me and told me she had been laid off. Before I could complain I was convicted and God told me, “It could be worse.” I listened to her discuss how she would have to move and how she wondered how she would be able to take care of her kids when her salary had been cut in half. I quickly thought about my pay cut this year and how no one would even know I had taken a pay cut if I didn’t tell them. God has blessed me with an abundance to the point that my lifestyle did not have to change because of my pay decrease.

There was another time that I was complaining about my husband and all the things he wasn’t doing. I was so infatuated with what he wasn’t doing that I was missing how he was growing. I was so busy kicking and screaming about every negative part that I was missing that this marriage was ordained by God. While I was complaining about my “terrible” marriage I talked to someone whose mate fights them and takes their money. The man doesn’t come home for days at a time and flagrantly disrespects his wife with other women. Again God spoke and said, “It could be worse.”

Now these little scenarios are not to build myself or my character up with other people’s issues, but to give an example that your situation could be worse than what it is right now.

After reflecting on my complaining issue, I thought of the children of Israel. They were complaining and saying they should have stayed in Egypt because at least they had food and other things.

Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed to the Lord, the fire was quenched. So he called the name of the place Taberah,because the fire of the Lord had burned among them. (Numbers 11:1-3 NKJV) The children didn’t understand that they had to live in the wilderness in order to get to the Promised land. I do not want to feel the wrath of God because I am complaining and not trusting Him. It is important to remember that there are going to be issues in our lives, but complaining is not pleasing to God.

As women of God we need to learn to be content in whatever situation we are in because we know who holds the final say so. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4: 11-13 NIV) Instead of complaining about everything that doesn’t go according to “my plans,” I am learning to be content and not complain. After all, it could be worse!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for protecting, keeping and granting me with Your favor despite my many complaints. Thank You for being patient with me despite me doubting what You can do by complaining about my right now. God, continue to teach me how to seek You instead of complaining. God, continue to teach me to be content in whatever situation that I’m in and to remember that it could be worse. Thank You for reminding me of Your patience and love for me. Thank You for not giving up on me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Women of God, I EMPOWER you to be content in whatever situation you are in and remember that it could be worse. I EMPOWER you to get on your knees or go to your secret place and pray the next time you feel like complaining. Fill your mind, body and soul with positivity and ask God to remove complaining from you because it is negative. I EMPOWER you to remember that every time your bills are late, your rent or mortgage is due, your spouse is acting crazy, your kids are messing up, your job is stressing you out, or everyone is getting on your nerves that it could be worse!

It’s Good Friday so let complaining die in your life today! Jesus never once complained as He hung on that cross. Vow today to stop complaining about at least one thing. Share it with us in the comment section.

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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.”

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.”

Goals & Dreams, Growth/Maturity, Speech, Word of God

How Are You Framing Your World?

I love the beginning of the year. Everyone is so optimistic and determined to accomplish new goals or endeavors that were not achieved the prior year. These goals are the infamous New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately in most cases, by the end of February, the optimism and ambition has been kidnapped by distraction, frustration, discouragement, and slothfulness. Then you start to witness the year progressing like the last one. When this happens to me, I ask myself what is the source of the repeated offense? What am I not doing?  Why does this keep happening?

There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. Proverbs 19:21 KJV

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverb 3:5-6 KJV                                                                                                                                                                                                          

When we make goals, do we consider what God desires for our life? If we don’t consult Him, and what we want doesn’t come into fruition, we can’t allow frustration and disappointment to be our pilot for the rest of year. If we don’t immediately get rid of frustration and disappointment, they will start speaking for us! Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21 KJV) We must get a revelation of the power we possess and start framing our world with the Word, opposed to what we see and want. Going forward, we will speak the Word and allow what God wants for us to manifest!!

DAILY DECLARATIONS

I decree and declare I am prosperous in ___________ and health even as my soul prospers. (3 John 1:2)

I decree and declare the eyes of my understanding are being enlightened that I might know the hope of my calling. (Ephesians 1:18)

I decree and declare I walk in the Spirit so I won’t fulfill the lust of my flesh. (Galatians 5:16)

I decree and declare that I walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7 )

I decree and declare I am delivered from every affliction.  (Psalm 34:19)

I decree and declare I am more that a conqueror. (Romans 8:37)

I am loved, creative, unique, sanctified, fearfully & wonderfully made, and powerful in the name of Jesus!

Dear Daddy,

I thank You for Your love, grace, mercy, and most of all Your selflessness. You love me so much that You don’t mind sharing Your dominion with me. Forgive me for forgetting who I am. I thank You that from this day forward I will walk as Your child exercising my power on this earth! I cancel every negative word I spoke against my life and what others have spoken in the name of Jesus! Father, today I choose to speak Your word on this earth and cause the invisible to become visible. I welcome Your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven in my life, in the name of Jesus! That means because there is no sickness, disease, rebellion, frustration, discouragement, lack, poverty, or confusion in heaven I decree and declare that they are powerless and ineffective in my life on earth! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to make daily declarations over your life! Open the Word and allow the Word to lead you to speak what God has already ordained for your life! Today, I EMPOWER you to call a thing that be not as though it were! (Romans 4:17) I EMPOWER you to frame your world with a ‘Let there be’ spirit (Genesis 1:3) Let there be peace in my home, marriage, and community…Let there be doors opened for me…Let there be salvation throughout my family and on my job…Let there be courage within me!

Ms. Rodnisha L. Anderson resides in Chicago, IL and serves as an elder at Life Redeeming Ministries. She works diligently with the Singles and Intercessory ministries. She is married to the Lord and becomes whatever she needs to become to reach the people for the building of God’s kingdom. Rodnisha truly desires to witness successful single women thriving in the kingdom of God.  Her favorite scripture is 1 Timothy 4:12: “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”

Best of 2011 Series, Speech

Best of 2011: #4 — Do You Understand the Words Coming Outta My Mouth?

We are featuring our top EmpowerMoments of 2011. They made us laugh and they made us cry. They comforted us during troubled times and made us uncomfortable in our mess. But most important, they EMPOWERED us to be greater women all around! We are better wives, mothers, daughters, friends, servants and employees. We have been EMPOWERED to love harder, forgive more and listen better. We thank God for EmpowerMoments! Enjoy the Best of Series!

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 NIV

I was meditating the other day about some things that have started to either come to life or have died in my life. When I was a new bride, I had an issue with this mouth thing. My new groom and I knew that I had an issue with my mouth, so that was the bulk of most of my prayers then. “Lord please help my mouth.” I was a nagging wife, but tried to act like I was “saying” things in a nice way so they would be masked as inquiries…WRONG.

Over the years, God had to deal with me about my mouth and how I approached my husband. I said things like, “Do you just not get what I am saying?” or “I can’t believe you would do that.” My mouth was casting murder on my husband. Through this death, it didn’t help that we were going through individual emotional problems, financial problems, job problems, and identity problems. Over the years God had to teach me the true underlying issue with taming my mouth. SELF CONTROL and PATIENCE. I had to learn to stop, wait, and think before I said something.  One of my spiritual mothers asked me, “Kay, what life are you speaking into your husband?” I couldn’t answer. I’d become so mad over the years because of my judgment of his decisions, different argument style or lack thereof that I didn’t know what to do.

God started showing me, in the midst of our discussions, how to approach and respond to my husband. “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4 NIV). I started speaking life over my marriage and over my husband. I WAS THE ONE TO PUT THE SUPERMAN “S” ON HIS CHEST. When he made a decision I didn’t like, I waited maybe a day or two before responding. I would take my issue to the Lord for guidance on bridling my tongue.  “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) My theme scripture mentions he that loves his mouth will eat its fruits. I must say I am definitely eating “fresh” fruits from speaking gently to my husband. The return is one hundred fold.

Not only have I learned how to speak to my husband, but I am a new mom of one daughter. Raising her is all new to me. When I started disciplining her, it was with harsh tones. “You BETTER not do that again, you hear me.” Or “If I have to tell you one more time (screaming at her) I am going to spank you.” I was convicted every time I spoke to her like that because I felt I was depositing deathly correction into her spirit. I walked by her room one day and saw her scolding her dolls, saying my exact words and in my exact tone. I was heart broken. At that moment, and since then, I’ve learned to provide gentle, stern correction that’s not as irate. Before, I was bearing irate fruit from her. Now that I speak more gently, yet stern, even if the rod is coming afterwards, her spirit is not broken or degraded.

There is life or death in your tongue. You have the right to choose. You can say, “I hate my job”, and you will probably go into work with that attitude, have a bad day, and leave every day feeling defeated. Or, you can wake up saying. “Lord, I thank you for giving me a job. Father help me to see the good in it until you see fit for me to move on.” You can tell your spouse, “I really wish you would get your act together”, which will lead to broken spirits, broken communication, and anger. Or you can say, “Honey, I believe in you. I know things may be tough right now, but I am certain (because you prayed) that God will give you the tools you need to move forward and I am backing you 100%.” You could walk around feeling defeated because you hate how you look, your personality, your weight or your hair. Or you could say, “Lord, I love me some me. You made me wonderful and until I can see what You see, encourage me to smile, because You made me.” What you say can determine how your entire body reacts. Study James 3.

Dear Daddy,

Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me. Thank You for this word today teaching me to control my tongue. I want to speak life, not death. I want to be an encourager, not a complainer. Help my mouth of praise carry over into my daily activities and my relationships. I love You for always speaking to me, so please help me to speak to others in a more virtuous way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Is there an area in your life experiencing a premature death? Your tongue has the power to speak life. I EMPOWER you today to speak life into your dead situation and watch how God multiplies the fruit of it.

Read related EmpowerMoments: FIRED! & Lord, Help Me Watch My Mouth 

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.

Sermon Sundays, Speech

Sermon Sundays: Speak the Word!

Couldn’t make it to church? No worries, we are bringing church to you! Sermon Sundays feature a snippet of a wonderful sermon from various men and women of God. Please don’t keep the Word to yourself; share it with all of your loved ones!

Speak the Word only! Your words have the ability to start a fire so watch what you say! Make a  conscious effort to control your tongue!