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 Promises, Patience

When Is “It” Going To Happen?

“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)

“No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.” (Psalm 25:3 NIV)

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14 NIV)

Have you ever felt as if the things you’ve prayed for were taking too long to happen? Have you grown tired of waiting? I know the frustration of waiting because I am feeling that way right now. Sometimes people think that because you’re a Christian you never get frustrated or you never have any issues. I have been single for almost two years now and I’m wondering when I’ll be in a relationship again. I’ve been out of college for three years and haven’t gotten a job in my field (Social Services) yet. I also wonder when I’ll be able to get my foot in the door so I can start my career.

I would like to share the stories of two women mentioned in the Bible who too probably wondered when God would change their situation. They are Hannah and Sarah. Hannah was married to Elkanah. Elkanah also had another wife named Peninnah. Peninnah had children and Hannah didn’t. Penninah would tease Hannah about her being barren (1 Sam. 1:6). I could imagine how hurt Hannah was by that (1 Sam 1:7-8).  Who would want to get teased about not being able to conceive a child? Hannah prayed for God to bless her with a son and promised him that she would dedicate him back to God.  Hannah was praying deeply to the point that the priest Eli thought she was drunk while she was praying (1 Sam. 12-14). Hannah’s lips were moving but there was no sound coming from them.  God blessed Hannah with a son named Samuel. Hannah kept her promise to God and God also blessed Hannah with more children (1 Sam. 1:24-28; 1 Sam. 2:21).

Sarah was married to Abraham. Sarah and Abraham both were of old age. God told her husband that they would have a child (Gen. 3:3-4). Sarah didn’t believe that she would have a child at her old age (Gen. 18:11-12). God gave Sarah and Abraham a son (Isaac) just like he promised (Gen. 22:1-2). Before Sarah got pregnant with Isaac, she told her husband to sleep with her slave Hagar because she couldn’t have any children (Gen. 16:1). Hagar had a son named Ishmael. Sarah began to dislike Hagar because she was able to have a child and she wasn’t (Gen. 16:4-5).

I know that God will bless me with the things that I desire if it’s according to His will just like He did Sarah and Hannah. I have to continue to have faith and trust Him. Everything will happen according to His timing. God always keep His promises.

I believe that there are things that we can do to motivate us towards where we want to be in our lives (i.e. vision boards, positive affirmations, setting goals). I also believe that we have to put to action things that we would like to change. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26 KJV)  However, before we set goals or put to action anything, we should pray and ask God for His direction.

Dear Daddy,

I know that You have great things in store for Your people. Help me to wait on Your timing. I’m not in control, but You are. Give me patience and endurance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to wait on God. Don’t move ahead of him and get an Ishmael because you’re not willing to wait. Ask God to give you strength and hold on to His promises. Ask God to help you to exercise your faith.

What are you waiting on God for? What has he promised you?

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Venus Gilmore currently resides in Auburn, AL. She is an alumna of Auburn University. Venus has B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Social Organization and Inequality with a minor in Social Work. She plans on pursuing a career in Social Services. She currently serves as treasurer of the Kings Alpha E-line Chapter, the Mamie Reese Scholarship Director, and College Transition Program Director of her sorority Theta Phi Sigma Christian Sorority, Inc. Venus is also a blogger for Radical7even. She is an active Client Advocate volunteer for the Women’s Hope Medical Clinic. She successfully balances all of these responsibilities with her favorite scripture as motivation: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Children, God's Promises, Strength

Just Stand!

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (Ephesians 6:13-15 NIV)

I like to fix things!  I actually, oftentimes, have a YEARNING for fixing things.  No, I am not talking about fixing broken things around the house; I am talking about fixing a problem or situation.  For the most part, I am pretty good at fixing situations (if you ask me) and I feel good after I have fixed one.

Recently, I ran into a situation that I have not been able to fix. My 8 year old son has become the ‘bad boy’ at school.  I have received phone calls from ALL of his teachers, the principal and vice principal about his behavior, behavior that is so out of character for him that I have asked on more than one occasion if the right parent has been called!  “Is there another Dion in the third grade?”  “Did you actually see him do that or did another student tell you he did that?”  I tried all the normal ‘fixes’ that I use when he misbehaves (which is hardly ever the case especially in school): no TV, no video games, no extracurricular activities, talking to him until I am blue in the face, and praying. Still, the phone calls and write ups continued.  Things came to a head about a week or so ago when I got a call saying that he was being suspended and I needed to pick him up from school NOW. I hung up the phone, sat at my desk, and cried. Literally.  Who was this child, and what had he done with my Dion over the past month and a half?  Why is he going to school embarrassing his self and me?  What can I do that I haven’t already done?  “…..take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:16-18 NIV)

Now this EmpowerMoment is obviously the abbreviated version of the story, and while I mentioned that I prayed, if you paid any attention to the list of things that I did, prayer was at the end.  Don’t get me wrong; I pray for my children every single day, all day, but I had allowed this situation to beat me down so badly that I was exhausted.  On many days I felt that the situation could not be fixed, but when I hung up the phone, God reminded me that there are certain situations that only HE CAN FIX!  He reminded me that when I have done all that I can do, I need to JUST STAND!  Finally, be strong inthe Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:10-12 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for entrusting me to be the mother of two of the most awesome boys in the world!  Thank You for Your word and for being there to fix what I can’t!  Lord, please continue to guide me and my children on the paths that You would have us take, and when we are unsure, please remind us to stand on Your faith and Your word.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to JUST STAND when you have done all that you can do!  Stand on your faith, the word of God, and know that His armor is all that you need to get through the broken situation or all you need to repair that problem that is too big for you!

If you are in your JUST STAND period, what promises of God are you standing on?

Read a related EM:  Who Can I Run To?

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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.”

God's Promises, Word of God

Check Your Messages!

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12 NLT

Several weeks ago, preparation for back to school included the normal stuff: registration, clothes and supplies shopping and of course the required medical examinations. This year, between two of my daughters, we had to get physicals, dental exams, and vision exams. With our hectic life and the birth of a new baby, the vision appointment was squeezed in just two days before the start of school.  On a referral from our pediatrician, we visited a pediatric ophthalmologist for the first time…and the LAST time. Our appointment was at 9:30 am and we did not leave the practice until well after 1:00pm! Both my daughter and I were well beyond ready to go. We were tired of sitting in the waiting room, extremely hungry and running out of options to soothe a restless infant. Nearly two hours into our wait, I approached the receptionist to inquire about our approximate remaining wait time. She seemed to give me a look that said, “Were you not expecting to be here this long?”  She begrudgingly answered, “Well, the wait is usually 3 hours or more.” I was livid! However, with school starting in two days, I really had no choice but to stick it out. Besides, we were already halfway there, right? We stayed and got what we needed, but just as I said before, we will never be returning there again! I was not prepared to wait over 3 hours to see a doctor!

Yesterday evening I decided to clean out my voicemail box on my home phone. There were 39 new messages in the box. (I am notorious for not checking voicemail messages!) As I listened to messages from as long ago as July, I came across a message from the ophthalmologist office. It was an automated call to confirm the appointment the next day. After stating the wheres of whens of the appointment, the message went on to say, “Please note, first time patients can expect to spend at least 3 hours at the eye clinic.” All I could do was chuckle to myself. There I was irate beyond explanation because I was not expecting to spend my entire day at the eye doctor, when in fact the message had already warned me and told me what to expect. The problem was that I had not accessed the message. If I was checking my voicemails on a daily basis, I would have been prepared for what was to come.

Does this sound familiar? Sure it does! We go through various situations and are not prepared to deal with them because we haven’t accessed the message. God left us His message to prepare us for what was to come in our lives. Ecclesiastes 1:9 reminds us, What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (NIV)

How do we come to know God? Just like we come to know the people in our lives, we study them. Studying God through His Word reveals to us EVERYTHING that we need to live our lives. 2 Peter 1:3 affirms this. “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.”(NLT)

So if there is no new circumstance under the sun and God has  already given us everything we need for living in His Word, then why are feeling defeated as we go through our trials? Because we aren’t checking THE MESSAGE daily!

Did you lose your job? Did you check your message from Job? He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!” (Job 1:21 NLT)

Are you mourning the loss of a dear loved one? Did you check your message from Solomon? “And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1 NAS)

Is your joy, peace or prosperity gone? Did you check your message from John? “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)

Are you going through all of these things and some? Well be sure to check your message from James! Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12 NIV)

Checking my voicemail message would not have changed the fact that I had to wait such a long time at the doctor’s office, but it would’ve prepared me for the challenge. I would have packed some snacks, had entertainment for the little ones, and had a better attitude. Likewise, checking THE MESSAGE is not going to exempt you from going through things, but it will prepare you to deal with them like the conqueror that you are!

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me if I have not been checking Your message daily. Remind me to get in Your Word on a daily basis so that I may know more about You and be prepared for what is coming my way. I thank You for equipping me with a manual on how to do life!  Please give me the wisdom and discernment to decipher Your truths for my life as I read it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to check THE MESSAGE daily! Don’t miss out on important information simply because you are too busy or too lazy. I EMPOWER you to be prepared for what’s to come in your life and how to handle it by studying the Word of God. 

How do ensure that you are checking God’s message daily?

Read a Related EmpowerMoment: Extreme Appetite

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

Completion, Courage, Encouragement, Goals & Dreams, God's Promises, Motivation, Persistance, Spirit of Fear, Spirit of Rejection

How Bad Do You Want It?

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. (2 Chronicles 15:7 NIV)

Recently I was watching BET’s Sunday’s Best. As I sat watching the aspiring gospel singers, I was amazed at some of their personal journeys. As the season 5 auditions commenced and I listened to each of the contestant’s stories, I was truly in awe at some of their tenacity. Of the top 20 finalists chosen to compete on the show, several of them had been rejected by the judges on previous seasons at least once, twice or even three times. Yet, they didn’t let that deter them from what they felt that God was calling them to do. Listening to their stories made me ponder my own journey. There I was at a point in my life where I knew I wanted to accomplish so much more. After all, business dreams have been dancing around in my mind for nearly 8 years that I have yet to see come to fruition. However, I had to be honest with myself and ask, “Have you really been relentless in your pursuit of your dreams?”

I shared with you a while ago in “No=Go” how I had to move past a place of fear and rejection and pick up the pieces of a dream that I have been fathoming for quite some time. At that time, I was victorious in finally mustering up the courage to reenter a business plan competition where I had once been rejected. I felt confident in reapplying, not because I knew that I would win, but because I knew that God was pleased with my courage to move past my point of fear. Unfortunately, I was rejected again and instantly returned back to the place of feeling like maybe my dreams were not truly meant to happen. How many times has God moved you from a place of hopelessness to a place of promise, and yet one little incident sets you back right where you started (or even further back)? We have to remember what God has promised to us. We have to hold on to our dreams regardless of how things are looking around us.

God promised Joseph that he would be the leader of his people. However, if you know anything about Joseph’s story, you know that he experienced much rejection before he ever saw that promise fulfilled. His brothers rejected his dream and threw him in a pit. (Genesis 37:18-24) They sold him into slavery because they knew they didn’t have the power to kill his dream, but needed to deter him from pursuing it. (Genesis 37:27-28) Next he was moved to Potiphar’s palace where he was placed in charge of all of Potiphar’s land and possessions. (Genesis 39:1-6) It seemed that just maybe that was going to be the position where his dreams would begin to flourish, but that’s not how it played out. Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of trying to sleep with her and Potiphar threw Joseph into prison. (Genesis 39:11-20) Ever feel like you are about to experience your dreams become reality only to have someone/something snatch it right from under you? Yes, I know exactly what that feels like, but we must maintain an attitude similar to Joseph’s. Even in prison, he kept his promise near his heart and still operated in his gift. He interpreted the dreams of his fellow prisoners with the hopes of being elevated once again and back on the path to pursing his dream. (Genesis 40:9-15) But again, it didn’t happen like that. Instead he was forgotten and left in prison. Can you relate? Has someone promised you assistance in reaching your dreams only to forget you and move on? Fret not! I know that God will make good on His promises! Alas, Pharaoh had a dream that needed interpreting. Based on Joseph’s faithfulness to his calling and gift, someone brought his name up as a recommendation to interpret it. Joseph’s wisdom pleased Pharaoh so much that he made Joseph ruler over all of Egypt. (Genesis 41:37-42)

Joseph was 17 years old when God first gave him that dream. Finally at the age of 30, Joseph saw his dream come to fruition. For 13 years Joseph held onto his promise and continued to remain faithful to his calling. How long are you willing to work and wait for yours to come to pass?

Today I ask you the same question that I had to ask myself: How bad do you want it? Are you willing to see your dreams rejected, trampled on, abandoned, locked up and dismissed by others and STILL believe that God is going to bring those things to pass? If you answered yes, then you have to ACT like it. Be relentless in the pursuit of your destiny. Do not allow other people, or even yourself, to abort what God is trying to birth in you. Just like the Sunday Best competitors, you may find yourself with one, two, or ten ‘no’s’, but turning back and giving up now is not an option! Keep pressing toward the goal; your diligence and perseverance are about to pay off!

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for the times that my faith faltered and I thought it was better just to give up than to push on. Please help me to be tenacious and deliberate in the pursuit of the dreams that You have placed in my heart. When I get weary, please encourage me and replenish my being so that I may continue on. I thank and praise You in advance for bringing my dreams to fruition. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to keep pushing forward. The effort that you put in should reveal to the world how bad you really want it! Remain faithful to the gift that God has given you while putting in consistent work to see your dream fulfilled.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: But I Promised You More!

Did God give you a dream that has not yet come to pass? How do you remain encouraged when everything around you makes you want to doubt?

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

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.”

Encouragement, God's Promises, I Am Free Series, Self Forgiveness, Spirit of Inferiority

I Am Free: Inferiority

To commemorate our nation’s independence this week, we are featuring a series entitled “I Am Free”. Read this week as our writers share how God has delivered them and set them free!

I am FREE from feelings of inferiority!

The steps of reading the Word of God, believing what it says, and releasing it would end the torment from the spirit of inferiority. Inferiority is a yolk of bondage that has been broken off of my life, because of the word of God. Today if you are dealing with the lie of “you are or will never be good enough”, you will be set free if you continue to read.

It began when I was just a young girl. Six months after having me, my mother met my step-father and that is the day I had my first appointment with “inferiority”. Since I can remember I was always reminded by my step-father directly and indirectly how I was not his, less than my siblings, and he was better than my father because he stuck around. I longed to be good enough for him and worthy of his praise.

After years, I convinced myself that I was unworthy, and that I would never be good enough. Inferiority restricted me from seeing potential in myself or having any potential for myself. I didn’t want to move forward in any of my dreams. I began to always have an attitude of defeat and felt less than everyone else. The feeling became so powerful that I was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital twice while I was a teen, battled an addiction to marijuana, had my first child at 16, and dropped out of high-school.

Feeling inferior restricted me in my life and made me feel ashamed. It stopped me from moving forward. It prevented me from having healthy relationships and trying new things such as attending college. I used to think I can’t go there, I won’t fit in or worried that my peers or others would look down on me or judge me.

After I was saved, I continued to feel inferior; it became worst. Even though I was born again I was still in bondage. The first time I walked into church I thought I wasn’t good enough. I had too many sins on my track sheet. This also haunted me when I started dating my husband. Others would make comments referring to how I wasn’t good enough. Then I always would think he could do better. Further in my salvation, I’ve even encountered in ministry the same spirit. Making others feel inferior is very prevalent in the body of Christ today.

I had people in the church look down on me because I was a teen mom, I didn’t talk like them, speak like them, or have enough religion like them, but GLORY to God I’m free today and you can be too! Who we believe in and what we believe about ourselves will motivate what choices we make, the relationships we have, the activities we partake in, and how we live our life for Christ. It could also have an impact on how good we feel about ourselves. Believing the lies of the enemy, “You’re not good enough”, “You can’t do that”, or “You can’t get free” does not please God nor does it do us any good!

Here are a few truths from the Word of God that I believed, meditated on, and released in my mind and heart so that I could get free from feeling inferior:

1. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV)You have the power to defeat the spirit of inferiority. Your soul is where your thoughts and feelings have agreement. Your soul either agrees with your flesh (ruled by your five senses) or your spirit (ruled by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God). So you have to search the Word and find out what God has said and while doing this the Holy Spirit will witness to your spirit to tell your mind the truth.

2. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”(Hebrews 11:6 NIV) When you find something in the Word about you, you have to believe that God is telling the truth. It sounds simple, but it’s hard. God sees you as He sees Jesus! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

3.”Do not conform any longer 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.” (Romans 12:12 NIV) Begin to think, talk, and act on the Word of God! It’s not enough to just know it, but you have to believe it and do it!

Dear Daddy,

We thank You for loving us and giving us the power to break the yokes in our lives. Just as Your Word declares, “Not by might nor by power, but by Your Spirit”, we decree that a supernatural empowerment will take place in our lives now. In the authority of Jesus Christ we curse the root of inferiority and the fruits it produced. We rebuke the weapons of guilt, shame, jealousy, and conformity right now. We speak into our futures and command the angels of the Lord to war against any backlash or trap that the enemy would set. We cancel every appointment that the kingdom of darkness has set with our destinies. We thank You for a renewed mind and heart. We thank You that we will no longer think, talk, or act inferior to any person or thing. We thank You that greater is He that is within us and we activate the power of Your blessings. Now, Holy Spirit corrects us if we ever get side tracked. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you today to no longer live with inferiority or make anyone feel inferior to you. Each one of us has our own unique quality, feature, gifting, and anointing. We all have different backgrounds and experiences, but we all are special to our Father!

After reading this EmpowerMoment, can you recall defeating the spirit of feeling inferior?

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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.”

Black Music Month Series, Blessings, God's Promises, Inspirational

Just My Imagination…

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!

“But it was just my imagination

Running away with me

It was just my imagination

Running away with me…”

How often do we sit back and day dream or let our imaginations run wild?  This is one of my favorite songs.  In this song The Temptations are talking about a special young lady that they see themselves being with, but for me the song runs a little deeper than that.

This past week has been an eye opener, a revelation, and a “praise be to GOD” lesson.  See, I’ve been putting “limits” on what God can do for me.  I’ve been praying easy going, simple prayers.  My imagination has been running wild, but I haven’t been BOLD in my prayers to God.

Psalms 37:4; Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your hearts desires. (NLT)

Just last week someone told me God wants to give me an Ephesians 3:20 experience—above all I can ask or imagine.

Ephesians 3:20 says “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (NLT)

It’s all about stepping out on faith, believing it in our hearts and professing it.  No more imagining for me. Psalms 25:1 put’s it best: O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God. (NLT)

Dear Daddy,

You said we have not because we ask not. Thank You for showing Yourself in my life. I love You and I trust You.  I know my best days are ahead of me. I am ready for you to blow my mind! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to be BOLD when praying to God.  He can do the impossible.  He is ready to “WOW” us, beyond our imaginations.

Just like The Temptations, let your imagination run wild with what God can do for you: 

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Ms. Hassanah White is a dedicated member of Faith Walkers Church in Birmingham, Alabama where their motto is to “Walk it out by Faith.”  She also serves as a member of the Praise Dance Ministry.  Hassanah is a true professional in the realm of marketing and customer service.  She’s a proud mother of a very energetic little boy named Jaden.  Hassanah believes laughter and prayer are the best medicines for any situation.  Her favorite scripture is Hebrews 11:6: “And without Faith it is impossible to please GOD, because anyone who comes to Him must BELIEVE that He exists and that He REWARDS those who earnestly seek Him.”

Encouragement, Faith, God's Promises, God's Provisons, Inspirational, Prayer

He Hears You

This is the confidence we have in approaching God:  that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.  (I John 5:14-15 NIV)

How many times have you heard or read the verse above? God is telling you that if you ask, He hears you. How powerful is that?!  The God of the universe will hear you when you come to Him.

The question now is: do you trust Him enough to really ask for what your heart desires, or are you praying “safe” prayers?  Is there something bubbling in your heart, but you are unsure how everything will work out?  What if I told you that God cannot fail, that He has a perfect record and that 10 times out of 10 He is able to come through for you. Would you believe me?  The problem with many Christians (me included) is we allow doubt to come into our prayer lives.  Essentially what we are saying, whether we want to admit it or not, is “can God really do this”? 

Last September, my best friends and I started a journey to seek God more diligently and most importantly stretch our faith.  We called the journey Radical 7even; we are purposely pushing ourselves to take God at His Word.  We are almost a year in, and in this time I have started a new job, relationship, and bought a new car.  I had to step out on faith in each area of my life, which can seem like a daunting task.  Anytime we try something new, it feels odd to us.  There were many times doubt did try and overtake me, but in those moments I would stand on God’s Word.  When you are in a season of allowing God to have His way in all areas of your life, the devil will attack your thoughts. The most important thing to do is have His Word near.  You might need to write scriptures down on note cards and carry them around with you.  Put declarations around your home and say them aloud each morning when you arise and before you sleep. Saturate your life with His Word and watch how it will manifest!

Radical 7even made me challenge my faith level and it gave me an outlet to document the wonders God has done in my life.  I would like to encourage everyone not only to write the vision down that God has given you, but also document the journey.  Many times we overlook how far we have come because it doesn’t seem as monumental in hindsight.  Do not fall into that trap!  Every step towards God and away from where you were is monumental.  Celebrate the journey as much as the destination.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for hearing and answering my prayers.  Help me to seek You in radical ways; I do not want to have a mediocre life.  I want the life Your Son died to give me. Whenever I feel afraid, bring Your Word to encourage me.  Keep me near You and help me not to falter.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to become radical about your faith!  Faith has no power until we act on God’s Word.

Share a time when you displayed radical faith with us below.

Please allow this song to bless you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK3BW7iH-88

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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, God's Promises, Patience, Preparation

I Am Not Ready!

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Daddy,

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

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

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

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