Children, Expectations, God's Grace, God's Promises, Pregnancy

God Will Have The Last Laugh

Mother’s Day just passed and once again I was blessed with the opportunity to bless my beautiful mom. She means the world to me and I always make the effort to show her how grateful I am that she is my mom.  I hope that every mother out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day and realizes how special she is in the eyes of God!

However, there are many women, like myself, who are not yet mothers.  They may be waiting for the husband, the dog, and the two kids, or perhaps they have the dog already.  They may be unable to have children or may have put off children due to career and now they hope to one day be able to have a family.  Maybe they are mothers who have lost children.  Whatever the reason, we are without children but are also special in God’s eyes.  I repeat what God has told me, “you are not forgotten.”

Maybe someone has laughed at you or approached you with bewilderment or maybe you have laughed at yourself or even God at the notion of one day finally becoming a mother because the world tells you your biological clock is ticking.  Maybe you and your husband have tried numerous times to get pregnant but the end result has ended in frustration, heartbreak, confusion, grief and hopelessness.  God has not forgotten you!

Sarah can testify to this!

He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,[a] do not pass your servant by.   Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.  Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”  “Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”  So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs[b] of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”  Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it.   He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.   “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.  “There, in the tent,” he said.  Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”  Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.  Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.  So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”  Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’  Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”  Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”  But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.” (Gen 18:3-15 NIV)

Sarah was old y’all.  Her biological clock wasn’t even ticking, but God likes to show us He can do the impossible!  She even laughed at God when He told her that she would have a child.  Mine you, this wasn’t the first time God told Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child, and he laughed too.  Abraham fell facedown; he laughed…., the Bible actually says.  And before that incident, Sarah took matters into her own hands to try to solve her barrenness issues (read Genesis 16).  Let’s just say it was a mess. We all have tried to solve our own problems at one point or another, causing shipwreck.

But God!  His word does not return to Him void! 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.  Abraham gave the name Isaac[a] to the son Sarah bore him. (Genesis 21:1-3 NIV)

I said all of this only to say be patient, trust God, rehearse His Word to yourself, and remember His promises.  He doesn’t lie!  Everything you have lost, God will restore and give you twice as much as before if you do not faint.  Believe!  It may sound crazy and impossible to your flesh but nothing is impossible for God.  Believe!  Whatever you are trusting God for and if it is to be a mother, then God will make it happen according to His time, His perfect will and His way!  Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait till 90, but wait with joy and expectation!  Neither sit on the sidelines position-less and hopelessly nor disobey and get in God’s way.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being Mr. Impossible for nothing is impossible for You!  Thank You that You are mindful of us all and thank You for every mother, godmother, grandmother, stepmother, mother-in-law!  In Jesus name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to remember that God will have the last laugh!  I EMPOWER you to trust God and remember His promises to you!  I also EMPOWER you to acknowledge and honor your mother and your Heavenly Father who gives every mom that nurturing ability!  I also EMPOWER you to be a spiritual mother to someone out there; encourage, disciple and nurture someone in the Lord!

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Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing or editing, she currently works for a Trio program helping high school students prepare for college. She loves to build people up through God’s Word, encouragement, mentoring, and her writing. In 2014, Tannika published her first book, a book of her poetry, titled Setting The Captive Free. She  also launched her Christian clothing and apparel brand called Fruitful & Fabulous, inspired by John 15:8. 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.”

 

God's Grace, God's Protection, Spiritual Warfare

Faith Friday: The Power of The Blood of Jesus

Faith Fridays are all about providing a visual to strengthen your faith. Some times we just need to witness the awesome moves of God in someone else’s life to remind us that He is real and can still perform miracles in our own lives! If we just believe, anything is possible with God!

“Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12 KJV)

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Rev. 12:11 NIV)

Remember how Jesus equipped the disciples to go out to evangelize, disciple, heal and deliver others (Luke 10). When the 72 returned from their mission, they were full of joy and told the Lord that even the demons submit to them in His name. Jesus replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:18-20 NIV)

These scriptures all remind us that walking by faith isn’t just about stepping out into the unknown with complete trust in God, but it is also about walking in the authority of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Blood of Jesus. It is about putting on the full armor of God, not being afraid to stand in the gap for others, and surrendering to God even if it cost us our lives. It is NOT about shrinking back or letting the enemy intimidate you because The Lord graciously shares His authority and inheritance with everyone who believes in Him and calls on His name.

Please watch the video below of a woman of God operating in the authority of Jesus Christ and pleading His blood over a mother and her week-old baby:

Change, God's Grace, God's Love, Self Forgiveness, Testimony Series

My Testimony: It Is Okay To Fall Apart

Happy New Year EmpowerMoments family! We have surely missed you! As we kick off the new year, we are beginning with a series entitled “Testimonies & Lessons”. We believe Revelation 12:11 when it says that we overcome by the word of our testimonies. We pray that our testimony and lessons from last year will EMPOWER you to triumph this year! May God bless you and make 2014 the greatest year of your life thus far!

Last year, 2013, was an emotional one.  My heart, my mind and my soul felt like they were being bounced up and down on a seesaw continually because of my ups and downs.

My year was filled with many blessings; my family took my second youngest sister to college.  She is now my mom’s second child to attend college.  Last year became my third year being a homeowner.  Last year my mom and I had a fabulous mommy and daughter weekend retreat for her birthday.  Last year I finally got my driver’s license.  I made the decision to permanently close the door to my ex-boyfriend who wanted to try again at a relationship.  After much prayer, I started planning my future business.  My household gained a new member, my four-year old nephew, and I am having a ball with his smart, energetic self.

However, last year was filled with uncertainties, drama, challenges and pain too.  My family had to rush to another state because of a horrific accident that led to my precious youngest nephew having a head injury.  I was riddled with worry about my nephews and siblings.  My family struggled financially.  I had issues at work that left me feeling like I wanted to quit for the first time.  I also started back having anxiety attacks and more frequently.  I was an emotional wreck and as they say “was feeling some kind of way.”

Yet with all that God gave me one message that humbled me and made me afraid all at the same time.  He said “fall apart and let me put you back together again my way.”  Yes, FALL APART.  “You mean to tell me You want me to fall apart?” was my response.  It finally sunk in that all this time my anxiety and my fear is a failure to surrender myself FULLY to the Lord.  If you read my past EmpowerMoments, you would think that I would have gotten it by now.  However, I didn’t and my testimony is simply that I now understand that I can fall apart because God intended for me to rely and depend upon Him.  “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NIV)  I can surrender, I can let go and God will put me back together again.  He will take care of me.  He will protect me.  He will provide for me.  He will never leave me, nor forsake me.  I learned that although things change around me and things look uncertain, God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and He is full of stability, consistency and faithfulness.  I also learned that in order to thrive and survive, I must remember that my life is not my own.  I belong to God, Jesus died for me, and the Holy Spirit abides in me.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You Father for seeing me through a year I thought I would not make it through sane, happy and sometimes alive.  I thank You for being patient with me.  You could have just flunked me after not getting what You have been trying to teach me for so long.  Thank You for showing me that You know what is best for me, have what is best for me and want the best for me.  I thank You for Your mercy and Your love that has never failed me.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to allow the test that lead to testimonies.  Allow the process that leads to a finished product and remember that God always finishes what He starts.  I also EMPOWER you to FULLY surrender.  If you feel like you are falling apart, trust God to put you back together with His Word, His Power, His Love and His Grace.  Ladies, both of my nephews are doing well.  My siblings have some testimonies of their own but they are doing just fine.  Honestly, I have had a few anxieties to date, but I am learning to control my emotions and trust God more.  My family may still have some struggles financially, but we have shelter, food, clothes and God who is a provider.  Hallelujah!   

I found this song that complements this message (if having trouble viewing, please click on the link):

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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 helps assist Chicago Public School students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college. God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a compassionate person and encourager  so 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. 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.”

Focus, God, God's Grace

My Secret Ingredient…

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. (James 4:8 NLT)

This time of year many women are celebrating Christmas with their families, enjoying vacation time, and sharing cookie recipes!  Even though those things are okay, this is also a good time for reflection.  I, myself, usually take a journey through my journals and agenda books that I have been keeping through the year.  I try to see what has made it to “primary” position in my life and what I need to work on for the next year.

This being humbly said, finally my need for God is recognized and 2012 has proved it.  Yes, after evaluating this year, I can honestly say that I have been more productive in the things of God and my natural life.  I have been praying more, spending time in my word more, giving more, and following Christ more.  How is this?  I was honestly struggling in 2011 in my relationship with the Lord.  I was not reading my word daily, praying daily, or practicing what I believed and that was okay with me.  This year (2012) was totally different; I had a craving to get into my word, a desire to do for others more than myself, and a belief in the Lord for impossible things this year.

What is my secret to my success in 2012?  The secret is having a daily relationship with the Lord and drawing closer to Him that has caused me to have humility and greater faith in His abilities.  The same God who directs the earth in its orbit and who rises and sets the sun has become my top priority and in return He supplies me with daily strength and grace to follow Him.

Being a complete individual, gracious wife, loving mom and a dependable friend is what I am. The only thing that has helped me become these things is my relationship with God.  It’s closer than the past years and I believe that it will only grow closer by grace.

Our personal relationships with the Father have more impact on our daily lives than we give credit to.  Paying attention to it is something that can have a significant, positive impact on our work and personal relationships.  I’m working daily to have a Jesus-centered personal life that will spill in abundance into my other relationships and obligations. 

My question now is do you believe that God upholds the universe?  Changes the seasons?  Gives life?  If you have the faith for these things, then rest assure that He will never prove that He is unable to fulfill His own promises towards you.  Your relationship with Him matters and once He becomes FIRST on your agenda, and schedule, then every other area in your life will be affected for the advancement of His kingdom.  That’s it—the secret to my life—I have learned to draw closer to God daily.

Dear Daddy,

We look to You as we end this year and begin another one.  We render our hearts to You now, asking that You would humble us so that we may receive Your grace.  We desire to walk with You Lord and we believe that You would come along and take our hands. Thank You for Your everlasting love.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you to turn it around in 2013!  If you know you haven’t drawn closer to the Lord as you would like to or done so in the past, you can begin right away to change that.  Just do one small thing that you said you would do, each day.  Start off by spending the first 5 minutes of your morning with Him or joining a small group to go through your bible.  Just act on His word and come close to God, and God will come close to you. 

Share with us your progress or this coming year’s actions you will take to have a Jesus-centered life.

Read a related EM:  Are You There God, It’s Me Chancee?

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Mrs. Lisa M. Purnell-Marshall is happily married to the wonderful and inspiring Antoine L. Marshall. She is the proud mother of two gorgeous girls. Her voice is one of the leading and authentic voices for breast-feeding, especially for the African-American community and Generation Y. She currently works inside of her home and plans to become a professional licensed lactation consultant in 2014. She and her family are members at Spirit of Liberty Church located in Markham, IL. Embracing the love that God has for her, Lisa labors to live an acceptable and pure life through the leading and keeping of the Holy Spirit so that her attitude, words, and actions attract the glory of God. In her free time she loves receiving manis and pedis. Her favorite promises that she find comfort and reassurance in are: Psalm34:19: “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” and Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

God's Grace, Miscellaneous

Before and After

Our lives are full of transformations, the BEFORE and AFTER.  I’m currently working on losing weight and I’m ecstatically waiting for my AFTER.  Thoughts of awaiting physical transformation makes me think of spiritual transformation.  So for a moment I want to put myself in the shoes of the old me, the BEFORE-I-met-Christ Lisa and became a real follower Lisa.  Undoubtedly, I did the best I could with what I had or what I knew at the time.  I admit I made mistakes, not realizing the impact of those actions.  For instance, I was raised by parents who were battling personal addictions and problems so they didn’t care about what I did, nor did they set rules or boundaries for me to live by.

Basically, I could do whatever and not get in any trouble.  This type of upbringing led me into drug use, drug dealing, depression, anger, bitterness, feelings of betrayal, the lost of my virginity at the age of 15 and becoming pregnant with my first child eight months after doing so.  I was so angry about my life and I thought it was okay to cuss, smoke, and relieve my loneliness by having the wrong relationships with the opposite sex amongst many other things.  I also went through a period where I thought I could fight everybody; you did something or said something, and I was ready to go. 

We all do things that in hindsight we wish we had done differently.  It is part of being human without knowing Jesus by the Holy Spirit.  Today I read this scripture: And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly, abundant with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. (1Tim.1:12-14 NKJV)

This was me!  Before I believed in Jesus, I too was like Paul; I was unaware of the abundance of grace available to me for transformation, but today I have an AFTER in Christ.  I somewhat like Paul had been one of cruel hatred towards others, anger, lustfulness, and bitterness.  God turned me into a woman after His very own heart, more loving, more giving, and much kinder. 

Probably one of the most surprising things is He connected me with EmpowerMoments.  I never imagined having the honor of sharing Him with you all.  My BEFORE and AFTER wouldn’t have been without His grace and mercy. 

Dear Daddy,

I thank You for Your abundance of grace and that it’s rich and You give it in abundance.  I ask that by faith in Your grace and mercy that You would purge and purify our hearts.  Father we can’t do anything without You and we are aware of that.  Heal us emotionally, spiritually and by Your grace open up doors and give opportunities for us to grow and prosper.  Father, by Your grace, make us into people after Your heart.  Transform us wherever we may be and we thank You in advance.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you on today to get into the word of God and witness for yourself the transformation of grace. Read about how grace made normal people into supernatural ministers of the Gospel and remember the same grace that changed them is waiting on you in abundance today!

What has the grace of God done for you?

Read a related EM: More than a Car: It’s a Transformation

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Mrs. Lisa M. Purnell-Marshall is happily married to the wonderful and inspiring Antoine L. Marshall. She is the proud mother of two gorgeous girls. Her voice is one of the leading and authentic voices for breast-feeding, especially for the African-American community and Generation Y. She currently works inside of her home and plans to become a professional licensed lactation consultant in 2014. She and her family are members at Spirit of Liberty Church located in Markham, IL. Embracing the love that God has for her, Lisa labors to live an acceptable and pure life through the leading and keeping of the Holy Spirit so that her attitude, words, and actions attract the glory of God. In her free time she loves receiving manis and pedis. Her favorite promises that she find comfort and reassurance in are: Psalm 34:19: “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” and Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Forgiveness, God's Grace, God's Love, God's Mercy, Self Forgiveness

A New Day – A New You!

I was recently given one of the most thoughtful gifts that I have ever received.  Someone made a calendar for me.  It included pictures of me as well as famous quotes on each month.  It had all the special days of my year such as my birthday and holidays. I was so excited that I had received this gift.  I looked at it daily because there were pictures of me.  As I flipped the pages of the calendar I realized that every month was a new ME: a new picture of me, a new quote for me, a new life for me. That is how God works in our lives.  Things from our previous months and previous years don’t matter; He simply flips the page to our new beginnings.

 “And all the trees will know that it is I, the Lord, who cuts the tall tree down and makes the short tree grow tall. It is I who makes the green tree wither and gives the dead tree new life. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do what I said!” (Ezekiel 17:24 NLT)

The Lord is always turning the page in our lives. There have been many situations in our lives that we wish that we could simply remove from the calendar.  However, we do not have to remove that day because it is now a part of our past.  God has already forgiven us for whatever lies in our past.

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.  He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:7-8 NLT)

Many times we would like to simply forget things from our past and act as though things never happened.  The problem with that is we forget where God has brought us from.  We do not have to be ashamed of our past or attempt to erase it because it has already been forgiven.  Those experiences that we wish we could turn the page on assist us in becoming the Christians we are.  It is a testimony that attests to where we used to be weeks, months, years ago.  Walk toward your vision, fulfill your purpose, and reach your destiny. Today is a new day!

 Dear Daddy,

 I come before You today thanking You for turning the page on my past indiscretions.  I pray for strength in order to ask for Your forgiveness from the things I am still holding on to. I need guidance in whatever new endeavors that I am moving towards.  Teach me to be an example, based on my previous sins, to show others how far You can bring them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you today to forgive yourself of your past so that you can actively participate in your future. Do not let the things that have happened on previous days creep into today and steal your joy.  God has already forgiven us of the things that we continue to carry around. Learn to flip through toward a new YOU!

How have you learned to move past the mistakes of your past to get to the new you that God has ordained? Share your story with us.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Keep At It

Please click here to vote for EmpowerMoments in the 2012 BlackWeBlog Awards!

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Ms. Sherita Shelton currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Professional Counseling and is currently pursuing her counseling license.  Sherita works as a therapist and case manager for children as well as adults.  She facilitates groups for single women and offers mentoring and individual counseling for her clients.  Sherita’s favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lot not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

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.

Encouragement, God's Grace, Motivation, Purpose, Self Love, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, Throwback Thursdays

Throwback Thursday: An Unlikely Candidate

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on March 30, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

Recently a friend asked me to do something and she told me that God told her to use me. If she were standing in front of me, surely she would have been given the side eye, neckroll, folded arms, lip smack with a loud foot stomp. I tried to laugh it off because I knew that surely God wasn’t using me to do anything. Either she was wrong or God surely hadn’t been paying attention. I think I have been to church two times this year (more if you count my attendance via streamingfaith.com) and I know that my sporadic opening and closing of the Bible couldn’t count for true study of the Word. I do the occasional fast and have talked “about Him” a lot but I only talk “to Him” on occasion. While I yearn for a closer relationship with God, our current casual encounters would not make me the likely candidate…or so I thought.

In the midst of belittling myself and coming up with all of the excuses of why He couldn’t have picked this mediocre Christian, the Spirit reminded me:  God often uses UNLIKELY people to carry out His will and draw them closer to Him!

Joshua 2:1 reveals: “Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. Of all of the people that God could have chosen to use as a vessel for this huge undertaking, God chose a WHORE. Imagine that! I am sure there were other people in Jericho who would have allowed the men to secretly lodge with them as they planned to overtake the city, but God chose Rahab. In return for her cooperation and faith, her and her family’s lives were spared in the destruction of the city.

Saul of Tarsus hated Christians.  “Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.” (Acts 8:3) As a matter of fact, he hated Christians so much that he learned about their Christian friends in Damascus by somehow getting the letters they were writing to them in prison. Being the over zealous persecutor that he was, Saul journeyed to Damascus to round up more Christians for prison; however, on this trip God had a different purpose. Acts 9 reveals Saul’s total transformation. Jesus met Saul on his journey and confronted him directly “Saul, Saul why do you prosecute me?” After meeting Jesus on his journey, Saul began to sing a different tune. The Lord blinded him and sent him into the city leaving instructions with Ananias. Responding to Ananias’ doubts of Saul’s transformation, God spoke to him in Acts 9:15. “But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.”Saul later changed his name to Paul and went from Christian persecutor to Christian missionary.  Paul went on to write 13 books of the New Testament (Romans, I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, Titus and Philemon) I am sure that Paul, when reflecting on his life, found it remarkable that God would choose him with his shady past to spread the gospel and save souls.

There are many “unlikely” candidate stories in the Bible, but as I reflected on these two I realized that this task could be my opportunity to do God’s will and in the process become more than just an associate with Him. It had less to do with the task and more about developing our own personal relationship. It would require that I study the Word, pray, manage my time and have the ability to relay the knowledge He gives me to others. For many this is an easy task; however, my haphazard approach to my spiritual life would have to be restructured. To do this task we would have to spend time together. My task was to write you an EmpowerMoment.

Although I was initially discouraged, I thought about my life and my accomplishments. I have always been the “unlikely candidate.” A mother with mental illness, brothers incarcerated and on drugs, welfare recipient, and the list can go on, but through it all God sustained me while chaos went on all around me. According to the world’s statistics I should have been a teenage mom or at least a high school dropout but God’s plan for my life was different. I was the “unlikely candidate” that graduated from high school, college, got a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, ran a multi-million dollar organization, got a great job (QUIT!) and am now co-CEO of a company. My “unlikely candidate” testimony probably makes me one of the BEST candidates. Who am I to doubt God?

Throughout our lives God often taps us on the shoulder for “special” assignments but we allow our personal insecurities to hinder us from carrying out His will. “Lord why me?” is the question we often ask. The larger question you should ask is, “Lord why not me?” God is our biggest cheerleader; He wouldn’t give us an assignment without the ability to complete it.  Romans 8:30 proclaims,And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”  You may be on the flip side of this message. Maybe God has sent an “unlikely candidate” to you with a message but you didn’t receive it because she was dressed like Rahab or their Christian resume` wasn’t strong enough. Whatever side of the table you are sitting on, know that God picks and chooses His own instruments. Don’t allow your personal insecurities or doubts about the messenger cause you to miss out on what God has preordained for YOU.

Dear Daddy,

Help me to recognize the divine assignments You have given me in my life. Cast out any spirits of confusion or doubt that would make me believe that I am not equipped to carry out Your will. Encourage my soul and give me a spirit of discernment so that I can recognize the messages that You have for me even when they don’t come in the package I’m expecting. Lord, continue to increase my faith and order my steps according to Your word. Allow me to draw closer to You and use me as a vessel to bless others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today EMPOWER yourself by making a conscious decision to do something that God has been tapping you on the shoulder to do. Whether it’s to speak to someone you haven’t spoke to in years or to take your life in a totally different direction, JUST DO IT! He’s ready, He’s waiting on YOU!

Are you having feelings of inadequacy about a task that God has given you? Share your experience below; we want to encourage you!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: He Sees the Best!

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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.”

Black Music Month Series, God's Grace, God's Love

Don’t Let It Go To Your Head!

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!

The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.  He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. (Psalms 103:8-10 NLT)

It amazes me every time I stop and think about God’s love.  He loves me and you so much that He gave His only Son to die to provide us with the opportunity to live.  I don’t have any children yet, but I think about the love I have for my siblings.  I wouldn’t give them up, not even for ten minutes, for people, whose way of showing gratitude is by murmuring, complaining, disobeying and so on.  In spite of our shortcomings, God’s unconditional love continues to flow.  Does knowing that God still loves us cause us to take His love for granted?

Now that you know  
How I feel about you  
Don’t let it go to your head, no  
Don’t let it go to your head, no (No, no, no, no)

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. (John 14:12 NLT)

Not only is God’s love for us never-ending, but His grace is sufficient so we can perform His will and live by His Word.  That’s why He is not selfish and He shares with us His Power, Dominion, and Authority!

Now that you know  
I can’t live with you, ooh-wee  
Don’t let it go to your head, no (No, no, no)  
Don’t let it go to your head, no (No, no, no)  

Don’t take advantage of my love  
Treat me good, treat me fair  
Treat me fine……..

Do you take advantage of God’s love?  Do you continue to do things you know He’s not pleased with because you know He’s going to forgive you?

“If you love me, obey my commandments.  (John 14:15 NLT)

We expect Him to be faithful, which He is, answer when we call, forgive us, give to us, love us, which He does, and much more. (Low key we expect Him to obey us!!!!)  We must treat God the way He treats us.  We were created in His image and likeness so if we deeply desire love and commitment, so does He!  We must not take His grace and mercy (getting those things we don’t deserve) for granted.  Yes, God’s love is unconditional, but DON’T LET IT GO TO YOUR HEAD, NO!

Don’t let it, don’t let it, don’t let it  
Go to your head, no (Mmm…mmm…mmm…mmm….)  
Don’t let it, don’t let it, don’t let it  
Go to your head, no

DEAR DADDY,

Forgive me for taking Your love, grace, and forgiveness for granted.  I desire to love You the way You love me.  I decree and declare that my relationship with You will shift from mediocrity to excellence.  Father, as I draw near to You, I thank You for drawing near to me.   In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you not to let God’s grace go to your head!  When you know better, do better!  Lift a standard by showing others how you reverence God by not taking advantage of His unconditional love!

Enjoy “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” by Jean Carne:

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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 1Timothy 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.”

Black Music Month Series, Encouragement, God's Grace, God's Love, God's Mercy, Inspirational, Self Forgiveness, Self-Esteem

He Sees The Best!

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!

Sometimes we can get so caught up in what others think of us or are saying about us that we lose sight of whose opinion is really important.  I no longer allow others’ perceptions of me bother me as much as I have in the past.  However, there was a time when I would internalize all of the negative things people said to or about me.  Allowing someone’s judgments to weigh you down is a tactic the enemy uses to steal your joy!  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV)

The enemy wants us to believe that God looks down on us with disgust or hatred like folks in the world do.  I wrote this Empower Moment today to remind you that God sees THE BEST in you!  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24 NIV)

God sees THE BEST in you, when everyone else around you sees the worst!

When people say that you aren’t smart enough, or you aren’t good enough to walk into your destiny and pursue the calling that God has on your life, remember that God sees THE BEST in you!  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

When you are haunted by the thoughts or even threats of family members and so-called friends that you will be ‘just like your mother’ know that God sees THE BEST in you! Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 NIV)

When the man you love decides to leave or be unfaithful and blames you for gaining weight, not cooking the right foods, or not giving him enough attention, recognize that those things are irrelevant to the one above who sees THE BEST in you!

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died —more than that, who was raised to life —is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (Romans 8:33-34 NIV)

God sees THE BEST in you!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for your unconditional love, mercy and grace.  Thank You for always seeing me as the woman that You created me to be and for reminding me through Your Word that what You see is all that matters.  Please give me the strength to remember, to know and recognize that You always see THE BEST in me, no matter what everyone else may see.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to rejoice no matter what because your Heavenly Father sees THE BEST in you!  Let nothing or no one cast a shadow of a doubt on who you are in Christ and what He has for you as His daughter!

Enjoy Marvin Sapp’s video and song “The Best In Me”

 

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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.”