Flashback Fridays, Submission/Surrendering

Flashback Friday: Holding On Too Tight!

Ladies enjoy this flash from the past which was originally posted on August 29, 2012.

A while back, I was thinking about the lessons and messages that I have been receiving about surrendering. At that very moment a movie scene popped up in my mind.  It was a scene from a comedy/drama/romance movie called Ghost (1990).  In this particular scene, con-artist Oda Mae (played by Whoopi Goldberg) is instructed by Sam (Patrick Swayze) to give a FOUR MILLION DOLLAR check to nuns because Sam wants to make sure the money is used for good and out of the hands of his friend/colleague Carl.

With clinched teeth, a forced smile, and a tight grip, Oda Mae has a hard time giving up that check.  I like to give, but I probably would have a hard time releasing that check too.  Four million dollars!  Watching this scene is hilarious, but the Holy Spirit helped me to realize that Oda Mae responds like many of us, and particularly me, with our lives.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.  (Luke 17:33 NLT) Maybe we grip our lives because we want to continue holding onto the control of our lives and do things our way.  Maybe it is because we want to obey and surrender only when it is convenient. Perhaps we think that if we surrender, we are going to lose our lives physically.  It is possible that we believe that God doesn’t want us to have joy and fulfillment or just maybe we think life is satisfactory the way it is.  Even more, we are probably focused on pursuing worldly things or we lack patience and trust in God to do what He says and has proven He can do.  In any event, we are afraid to let go and give control to God.

I must remember that when God created me, He didn’t intend for me to live independent of Him. Therefore, in order to move forward in my Christian walk, I must fully SURRENDER!

I have been gripping my life like Oda Mae gripped that check.  I have been gripping everything that God wanted control over or wanted me to release.  I have been gripping my many plans, my fears, my money, my concerns of what others think about me, my dating/love life (or lack thereof) and my need to do everything and be everything for everyone.  I have even given Him areas of my life and subsequently I have taken them back.  I’d say I believe and then the next minute I don’t believe.  Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him.  But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus.“Everything is possible for one who believes.”   Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:21-24 NIV)

Since I have been alerted to my lack of surrender to God, the Holy Spirit has helped me loosen my grip on my life and those areas that I gave God little to no access.  I have also surrendered plans that were of good intentions because it wasn’t what God wanted me to do at the time.  I have finally severed the last means of communication between me and my ex-boyfriend/first love; I am going to trust in God to bring a God-fearing, handsome man along just right for me.  I have learned that I have to seek God’s counsel in everything I do.  I have also learned that I can’t be everything for everyone.  It is okay to take the ‘S’ (Superwoman) off my chest unless that ‘S’ stands for SURRENDER (everything to God).

Through the testimonies of Hannah and Ruth, I am reminded that when you trust God and let go, you gain so much more!  Hannah, who yearned and prayed fervently for a child, gave her son back to the Lord. She promised God that if He gave her a son she would do this so she took him to the priest and allowed the priest to raise and ready him for his destiny. (1 Samuel 1:1 – 2:10)  She made him a coat and visited him every year but she had to let go.  Ruth left her family to go with Naomi, her deceased husband’s mother.  She surrendered to God and a new course for her life.  Consequently, she married again, gave birth to her first child, and was able to also bless Naomi—her mother-in-law.

Surrendering my life doesn’t necessarily mean I lose it physically.  Instead I will gain my life, the life God designed for me all along with peace, fulfillment, and deeper intimacy with God.  Surrendering my life doesn’t just benefit me, it benefits others too.  Oda Mae didn’t get that money but she was able to help bless the nuns and their charity as well as help Sam unite with the love of his life, Molly, and save her from danger.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for pruning me, defining my character, and setting me apart.  It is not easy to go through this process, nor is it easy to render control of my life to You.  But please help me let go!  Help me to trust You and remember that my life is no longer my own.  I am here to glorify You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to trust the Lord with your lives.  After all, He knew you before you were in your mothers’ wombs.  He created you and knows your purposes.  He has your best interest at heart and will never fail you.  So, don’t worry about your children.  Put them in God’s hands.  Release that person with forgiveness and God’s Love.  Let go of that relationship He doesn’t approve of.  Seek Him before you make plans.  Let go of always needing control.  God is qualified to manage your life more than you.  When you let go, you’ll experience God’s liberty and peace!

Ladies, what areas of your life do you need to surrender to God? Share your story with us.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Surrender It

Please watch the $4 Million scene from Ghost!

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

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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, helping high school students prepare for college. As a compassionate person and encourager, she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better through her support, actions and writing. This April, Tannika published her first book, a book of her poetry, titled Setting The Captive Free. For more details, visit stcfpoetrybook.com.  On July 10th of this year, she  also launched her new Christian clothing and apparel brand called Fruitful & Fabulous inspired by John 15:8.  For more details about Fruitful & Fabulous, visit fruitfulandfabulous.com.  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.”

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

My Everything

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Daddy,

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

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

Enjoy this song by Jonathan McReynolds titled “Everything”:

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

 

Attitude, Back To School Series, Direction/Guidance, Evangelism, Grandparents, Growth/Maturity, Mentor/Mentee, Obedience, Sin, Submission/Surrendering

Back to School: Rebel Without A Cause

School has begun for most students across the world so 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!

Growing up I was a bit more than your average “church girl”: Sunday – Regular Service, Tuesday- Choir Practice, Wednesday- Bible Study, Thursday- Prayer Meeting, Friday – Teen Ministry, Saturday- Junior Usher Board Meeting. I could quote scripture all day and was known as the over achiever in Sunday School. I wasn’t a member of just any church. I was a member of an Apostolic (Pentecostal) church; one that had many rules and standards: zero makeup, no jewelry, and no pants for women. While I was in elementary and middle school these things were okay for me. Sure I was teased about always being in church and the fact that I never wore pants, but I believed wholeheartedly in what I was doing. Furthermore, my grandmother made me and there was no questioning of her rules.

Then came the summer of transition. I was a 14-year-old bona fide teenager and headed for high school. I started “smelling myself” and questioning this strict regimen. I began secretly changing clothes when I left home so that I could wear pants and even got some lipstick. Boys entered the picture and the late nights began. My attitude completely changed and I became resentful of the life that I was forced to live. See I grew up in the house with older brothers and male cousins and they weren’t subjected to this harsh life, so one day I decided no more. My grandmother came to wake me up for church and I responded with a loud, “I’M NOT GOING!” The blow up was big and I defiantly stood my ground letting her know that no switch, belt or any other form of correction was going to change my mind. (Of course I said all of this after being chased out of the house to the front yard.) Eventually, she decided to let it go and this was the beginning of my “emancipation” from church slavery into the street life and academic failure.

And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. (Luke 15:11-13 KJV)

Thus began my journey as the Prodigal Daughter. At the young age of 14, I made a decision to stop making church a regular part of my life and dropped all of the strict standards that I was beholden to. I began to hang out until 3:00am, go to the nightclubs and started drinking. Although I would hang out with guys, I would not have sex and I would never smoke marijuana. For some reason in all of my rebellion those things were off limits. In my own mind, my behavior was okay because this is what my brothers did, I was staying out of “real” trouble and I wasn’t pregnant. My first semester in high school was the pits. I loved school and was quite studious; however, I kept getting in minor trouble that came with major consequences. Tardies to class (from staying out late) landed me in the Student Adjustment Program (SAP). SAP was like in school suspension but this is where “bad” kids were sent: fighters, people who disrespected teachers, and low performers. This was not my crowd. I was in Honors classes and participated in extracurricular activities even with my wild ways so how did I end up there? Originally I was sent for 3 days but then I got in trouble while in the program and landed an extra 40 days. WHAT?!! I got out of the program and was sent back AGAIN. It was difficult to keep up with my class work especially since this high school material was so new. I received my first set of BAD grades. To this day I never forget those grades because they made the difference in me graduating in the top ten in my class and coming in at #13. I felt like I was stuck in a downward spiral but at the same time I was hesitant to give up my new life.

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 KJV)

One day I overheard my grandmother mentioning to someone that she was contemplating sending me to reform school. Wait a minute! In my eyes reform school meant jail and I, my friends, was not jail material! It was as if a light bulb went off. God showed me how my rebellious living could shape the path of my life. I thought about my brothers, who unfortunately had served time in the juvenile detention center and jail, and I was determined that would not be my life. I was in the valley of decision regarding my life. I could learn the lessons from them without experiencing the path they were on.

While it would be years before I became a regular attendee at church and I never quite went back to the strict religious standards, I picked my Bible back up and began to study His word. I practiced self-discipline. I dove into my schoolwork, got heavily involved in school and community activities where I could make a real difference and joined athletic teams. That experience my freshman year in high school shaped so many others. It helped me avoid situations later in life. I was determined that I would not be a failure and disappoint the woman who worked so hard to provide for me or my heavenly Father who protected me while I was in the streets. I would no longer be a “rebel without a cause.”

Dear Daddy,

I am sorry that my rebellious living brought so much pain to those who gave their all to support me.  Thank You for saving me from myself. If it wasn’t for Your mercy and Your grace I would not be the person I am today. Lord, I am grateful for the training that I received as a child, the mentors that You sent me and the epiphany You gave me regarding my life. God, I ask that You help me share my story and be a beacon of light for other young women. Thank You for taking the time to come after this one lost sheep. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to look back over your journey and be grateful that you are not where you could have been. If you are on a path that leads to destruction, I urge you to consider your ways and ask God to reveal the best path for your life. Lastly, I want you to think about one young woman that you know who could use your guidance. Make a decision today to get involved and be a beacon of light for her. 

As you look back over your life, were you ever a rebel without a cause? Share your story with us.

Read a related EmpowerMoment:  The Night We Almost Died

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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 strengtheneth me.”

Submission/Surrendering, Trusting God

Holding On Too Tight!

A while back, I was thinking about the lessons and messages that I have been receiving about surrendering. At that very moment a movie scene popped up in my mind.  It was a scene from a comedy/drama/romance movie called Ghost (1990).  In this particular scene, con-artist Oda Mae (played by Whoopi Goldberg) is instructed by Sam (Patrick Swayze) to give a FOUR MILLION DOLLAR check to nuns because Sam wants to make sure the money is used for good and out of the hands of his friend/colleague Carl.

With clinched teeth, a forced smile, and a tight grip, Oda Mae has a hard time giving up that check.  I like to give, but I probably would have a hard time releasing that check too.  Four million dollars!  Watching this scene is hilarious, but the Holy Spirit helped me to realize that Oda Mae responds like many of us, and particularly me, with our lives.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.  (Luke 17:33 NLT) Maybe we grip our lives because we want to continue holding onto the control of our lives and do things our way.  Maybe it is because we want to obey and surrender only when it is convenient. Perhaps we think that if we surrender, we are going to lose our lives physically.  It is possible that we believe that God doesn’t want us to have joy and fulfillment or just maybe we think life is satisfactory the way it is.  Even more, we are probably focused on pursuing worldly things or we lack patience and trust in God to do what He says and has proven He can do.  In any event, we are afraid to let go and give control to God.

I must remember that when God created me, He didn’t intend for me to live independent of Him. Therefore, in order to move forward in my Christian walk, I must fully SURRENDER!

I have been gripping my life like Oda Mae gripped that check.  I have been gripping everything that God wanted control over or wanted me to release.  I have been gripping my many plans, my fears, my money, my concerns of what others think about me, my dating/love life (or lack thereof) and my need to do everything and be everything for everyone.  I have even given Him areas of my life and subsequently I have taken them back.  I’d say I believe and then the next minute I don’t believe.  Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him.  But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”   Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:21-24 NIV)

Since I have been alerted to my lack of surrender to God, the Holy Spirit has helped me loosen my grip on my life and those areas that I gave God little to no access.  I have also surrendered plans that were of good intentions because it wasn’t what God wanted me to do at the time.  I have finally severed the last means of communication between me and my ex-boyfriend/first love; I am going to trust in God to bring a God-fearing, handsome man along just right for me.  I have learned that I have to seek God’s counsel in everything I do.  I have also learned that I can’t be everything for everyone.  It is okay to take the ‘S’ (Superwoman) off my chest unless that ‘S’ stands for SURRENDER (everything to God).

Through the testimonies of Hannah and Ruth, I am reminded that when you trust God and let go, you gain so much more!  Hannah, who yearned and prayed fervently for a child, gave her son back to the Lord. She promised God that if He gave her a son she would do this so she took him to the priest and allowed the priest to raise and ready him for his destiny. (1 Samuel 1:1 – 2:10)  She made him a coat and visited him every year but she had to let go.  Ruth left her family to go with Naomi, her deceased husband’s mother.  She surrendered to God and a new course for her life.  Consequently, she married again, gave birth to her first child, and was able to also bless Naomi—her mother-in-law.

Surrendering my life doesn’t necessarily mean I lose it physically.  Instead I will gain my life, the life God designed for me all along with peace, fulfillment, and deeper intimacy with God.  Surrendering my life doesn’t just benefit me, it benefits others too.  Oda Mae didn’t get that money but she was able to help bless the nuns and their charity as well as help Sam unite with the love of his life, Molly, and save her from danger.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for pruning me, defining my character, and setting me apart.  It is not easy to go through this process, nor is it easy to render control of my life to You.  But please help me let go!  Help me to trust You and remember that my life is no longer my own.  I am here to glorify You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to trust the Lord with your lives.  After all, He knew you before you were in your mothers’ wombs.  He created you and knows your purposes.  He has your best interest at heart and will never fail you.  So, don’t worry about your children.  Put them in God’s hands.  Release that person with forgiveness and God’s Love.  Let go of that relationship He doesn’t approve of.  Seek Him before you make plans.  Let go of always needing control.  God is qualified to manage your life more than you.  When you let go, you’ll experience God’s liberty and peace!

Ladies, what areas of your life do you need to surrender to God? Share your story with us.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Surrender It

Please watch the $4 Million scene from Ghost!

___________________________________________________________________

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 Compassion Person and Encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better 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.

Faithfulness, Submission/Surrendering

Lose Control!

My post for this week was a bit of a struggle. I have been wrestling through a lot of things and had ideas for a few different things I wanted to share, but every time I started to type, I would be compelled to stop and start again. I even considered recycling a post I wrote for another blog and just as I put the finishing touches on it, I realized it wasn’t what God wanted me to share either. So I sat still and had a little conversation with God.

Then the post began to flow without issue.

The experience that I had with writing this post is one that has been recurring in my life. You see for me, the first half of 2012 had been going well. I set some goals for weight loss and my finances and I was on point to reach them much sooner than I expected. I had been praying for a new opportunity and recently got a new job with a nice pay increase and shorter commute. While all this was going on, I was diligently and consciously working on building my relationship with God and putting Him first in all things, allowing Him to have TOTAL control. I had peace and I was happy, but in the back of my mind, I felt like I was missing something.

Then I decided to take some of the control back and things took a turn for the worst.

My diet and exercise regimen began to suffer and I could not make sense of my finances. I got weak when tragedy hit my family and started drinking when I should have been praying. My boys were away so my house was peaceful—but I had no peace of mind. And I was starting to run. I was starting to feel like I had gotten so far away from God in such a short period of time that I might as well continue to run from Him to save myself the embarrassment of walking back to Him with my head hung low. I had let the enemy creep back into my thoughts.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of Godthat is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 NIV)

In a little over a month, I almost allowed myself to forfeit all of the work that I have done and progress that I have made in every area of my life–physical, mental, financial, spiritual–simply because I thought I needed to be in control. I thought, “I’m doing all of this ‘work,’ and not really getting to ‘play’ because God is in control.” No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11 NIV)

I am reminded that allowing God to have control over my life is the only way that I will be at my best.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for reminding that Your way is best no matter what. Please continue to conform me and my need to constantly be in control. Help me lose control to You a little more each and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to LOSE CONTROL to God! Embrace 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” and take your hands off the steering wheel.

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Ms. Tiffany Huff is the devoted mother of two boys, a blogger, lover of food and travel, and aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for helping others live out their purposes. She is looking forward to growing in her walk and honoring God through sharing her EmpowerMoments. One of her meditation scriptures is Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Black Music Month Series, Encouragement, God's Love, Growth/Maturity, Inspirational, Submission/Surrendering

A Fool For You

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

Fool:  Silly or stupid person

Silly:  having or showing little sense or judgment

Stupid:  lacking normal intelligence

I have been characterized as having been a fool several times in my life.  I have had or showed little sense in relationships.  I have exercised poor judgement in financial matters and have lacked normal intelligence in my decision making.  More often than not, my foolish behavior has led to heartache, financial crisis, sorrow, and regret.  I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.  Many of us have at one time been a fool for someone or something.

“…We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ…” (1st. Corinthians 4:10a NIV)

The Bible calls us to be fools for Christ.  When we are a fool for someone or something, we put our destiny in their hands.  We totally surrender our will to its will. In a few of my relationships, I have been the fool.  I went against my better judgment or what I knew to be right for someone else.  When I made that decision, it was with the hope they would do what I wanted or needed in return, having faith it would happen but having no guarantee.  I was always left hurt and disappointed.  People will always disappoint you when you surrender all to them because they are NOT GOD!!   God never called us to be fools for people or things because He knew our many flaws.

“…We are weak but you are strong.  You are honored, we are dishonored!” (1st Corinthians 4:10b NIV)

We are to be fools for Christ because only when we surrender all, is His glory revealed.  It is safe to depend on God for everything.  Unlike man, He will never disappoint you.  Unlike man, God will never break your heart, lead you to financial ruin, shame, regret, or condemnation.

“…But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise…” (1st Corinthians 1:27 NIV)

What the world considers to be foolish: total forgiveness, unconditional love, showing mercy to your enemies, tithing and giving etc.  God uses to bless those who choose to turn away from the so-called “wisdom” of this world and be considered “fools” for Christ.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for giving me an opportunity to be totally dependent on you.  Thank you for never disappointing me. Thank You that everything works together for my good, because I love You and am called according to Your purpose.  Lord, please forgive me for the times I put others before You and chose earthly wisdom over divine wisdom.  Forgive me for the times I’ve been a fool for others and hurt You.  Help me to be consistent in my complete surrender and dependence on You.  I pray that Your perfect will be done in every area of my life.  I fully submit to Your guidance and Your direction. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to be a “fool” for Christ.  Strive to give to Him without exception, love Him without condition, submit to Him without question EVERY DAY!  The joy and peace you have will far outweigh any goosebumps or feeling you ever have had for a man or anything else.

As you transition from being a fool for other people to being a fool for Christ enjoy “A Fool For You” by Cee Lo Green featuring Melanie Fiona:

 

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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.”

Obedience, Siblings, Submission/Surrendering

My Dad Has a Son

If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 1 John 4:20 NIV

Whenever someone asks about my siblings, I always proudly say that I have an older sister and “my Dad has a son.”  I can’t tell you when I decided to incorporate this phrase into my repertoire of colloquialisms but I know it was many years ago.  Interestingly, I never saw anything wrong with referring to my “half-brother” this way until about a month ago.

At the end of March, his mother passed away and instantly I began praying for him like never before. CORRECTION — I had NEVER prayed for him before I received this news.  I questioned why all of sudden he was an intricate part of my quiet time with Jesus but I kept on.  I could only imagine the hurt and pain that he was feeling at that time so I continued to pray intensely for him but I could not bring myself to call.

After his mother’s memorial I continued to pray for his strength until the enemy started taunting me the way he used to when I was a little girl.  Envy and angry began to consume me at the mere thought that he was able to have my father around all the time, while I was restricted to these sporadic visits.  So at that moment I convinced myself that I didn’t have to call!

By mid-April, God had stepped in and revealed to me that He wanted me to be a better sister.  At first I felt offended because anyone who knows me is aware that I will do anything for my “SISSY” but then I remembered that I also have a BROTHER!!   For most of my life, I have struggled with the appropriate way to accept what society refers to as my “half-brother” but there are plenty of stories in the Bible where siblings with different parents acknowledged each other and some even were able to have healthy, functioning relationships. 

In Genesis, chapters 16 and 17, the Bible discusses Ishmael and Isaac, both sons of Abraham.  One was born to Hagar, the slave woman, and the latter born to Sarah.  Additionally, 2 Samuel 13 tells the story of David’s son Absalom, his sister Tamar, and their half-brother Amnon and 1 Kings 1 describes the relationship of Adonijah and King Solomon, both born to different mothers. Lastly, the most shocking “sibling-ship” that I discovered was that of Jesus. He had many brothers and sisters. (See Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55Although, each of the above scriptures references depicted different family dynamics (some very troubling), one thing remained the same… they were BROTHERS and SISTERS.    

Now, ladies do understand that I am still working on this.  I have yet to call him, but I do understand why it SO important that I do so.  It is not up to me to determine where I should allow my brother to fit in to my family tree, rather I should just accept the leaf where he hangs and embrace him.  Over the years, I have found that not one family will look the same but as long as LOVE is the common denominator, then the dynamics of the family usually don’t matter.  This one call is going to close an entry gate on the enemy that he has been using all of my life. Only God knows what will come of my obedience…

Dear Daddy,

Lord, please forgive me for the times that I didn’t embrace my family. Help me to realize that my justifications are just excuses not to do the right thing.  I can’t distinguish between the two on my own, but instead I welcome Your insight whole-heartedly.  Please heal any broken family ties. Help me to always be aware of the enemy’s areas of opportunities in my life that I might counteract it with more of Your Word. Open my heart to receive more of You as I continue on my Christian journey. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Sisters in Christ, I EMPOWER you embrace your family, regardless of past situations and circumstances that have occurred. I EMPOWER you to stay sensitive to the Word of God in your life.  Once He gives you an order, act on it!

P.S. I will keep you updated when I finally make the call… I have set a deadline and it will get done!

Is there someone who you need to make “the call” to? Don’t hesistate, do it today! Share your triumphant moment so that others may overcome!

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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