Finances, God's Provisons, Trusting God

Hold On

For the past month, I’ve been struggling financially. I was laid off twice last month. I was also laid off in May until I started working for summer camp. Over the summer, I worked in a dining hall feeding kids from various summer camps that were on a university campus. During my layoffs, I’ve been depending on my savings account to pay for my bills. I’m grateful that I had enough foresight to save the refund from my income tax. In addition, I received my unemployment so they have come in handy. Recently, I returned to work on August 10th (my birthday).

When I experienced my lay off at the end of July, I had a moment of despair because things weren’t going the way that I wanted them to. I didn’t receive my unemployment as quickly as I thought I would. My last day of work for summer camp was on July 22nd. Summer camp was supposed to end on July 31st. So it ended earlier than I thought it would. Lately, I’ve been having more money going out than I had coming in. I have been really stressed about it and trying my best to keep up with my bills.

2nd Corinthians 4:8-9 NLT states “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” This scripture remind me that even though I’m going through a lot right now, God is with me. I’m still standing despite my situation. Romans 5:3-5 NLT states, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” This scripture tells me that trials are normal but out of our trials we begin to develop things inwardly that make us stronger and better. These scriptures encourage me to hold on because not only am I getting stronger but help is on the way.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for not abandoning me when things get rough. Help me to remember that You’re omnipresent and that You’re with me at all times. Give me the strength to endure everything that is thrown my way. Help me to lean more on You and less on my own understanding. Bless me with the job that I need and help me to appreciate the one I have. Bless my finances and my mental stability. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ladies I EMPOWER you to be encouraged. Remember that trials are normal but they won’t last always. Hold on to God’s word in your heart and know that God is with you no matter what you’re going through. Hold on

How do you hold on in tough times?

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

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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 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)

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Blessings, God's Provisons, Praise/Worship

Thank you, you, and You

ThankYou

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)

I just want to take a moment to say thank you to you and you and especially You! Less than a week ago, I celebrated my first year in practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner. I can hardly believe it! As I reminisce on all that has transpired up until this point, I can’t help but to be filled with gratitude. The devil had so many stumbling blocks along the way but what he meant for evil, the Lord meant for good. I can’t thank God enough for certain people in my life that He allowed to help me in some way or another!

And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” (Mark 5:19 ESV)

It was several weeks after my mother had passed away and I sat listless, nearly lifeless, and without a clue of what I was going to do with myself. I had spent nearly the last year caring for her as she fought cancer with everything in her. I thought her healing would manifest on earth. Being sucker punched doesn’t even begin to describe the emotions I felt. Furthermore, my emotions were still raw regarding the son I’d buried just about nine months prior to mom dying. One of my favorite uncles was visiting and I remember like yesterday him asking, “Retta, what are you going to do with yourself now? It’s time you think about the future.” I responded with “I don’t know, I’m thinking about nursing.” That was nearly eight years ago and as down and out as I was at that time I knew God had cultivated something greater in me. I was not going to be destined to a life of depression, grief, and turmoil!

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that Thou wouldest bless me indeed and enlarge my borders, and that Thine hand might be with me and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!” And God granted him that which he requested. (1 Chronicles 4:10 KJV)

With the help and support of my family and friends, I embarked upon a new journey in life. I discovered not only my passion, but my calling…nursing. I can even recall one of the last conversations with mother when she told me that she thought I should be a nurse. The same uncle who questioned me was the same one who provided the finances (and ongoing support) for me to start my journey. Another uncle provided me with unwavering support and guidance through counseling sessions and prayer at a time I felt like God had deserted me. I had aunts (my mom’s sisters) who engulfed me with love, support, prayers, and shoulders to lean on. I had a few close friends and cousins who went above and beyond to encourage me, provide healthy distractions and ongoing prayers. The list continues from my in-laws, extended family and church family who all offered support in some way.

Then there was and still is my husband who never turned away from me no matter how rough it got. He saw to it that every need was met. He was patient with me and loved me through all the emotions that come with loss.

Now nearly eight years later, I’ve gone from taking a class to receiving a BS degree to become a nursing assistant, working my way through nursing school and becoming a registered nurse, and then becoming a relief charge nurse to clinical coordinator all while returning to graduate school and becoming pregnant two more times (after losing our first son, I didn’t think we’d have more children). I’ve completed clinical rotations and residency, graduating with honors though I didn’t get to participate in commencement due to the arrival of my youngest son two days before the ceremony. I passed the national certification exam and found employment that suits my personality, passion and skill set. Now…one year later I’m reflecting on the good ness and mercies of God. You can’t tell it, let me tell it what He’s done for me! What He’s done for me, He’ll do the same for you! To God be the Glory for the things He has done! I thank Him and I thank those of you who shared with me along the way.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble. (Psalm 107:1-2 ESV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your will for my life. Thank You for turning things around in my favor! The devil thought he had me but You sustained me! Thank You for placing the right people in my life at the right time! Greater is coming and greater is here! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you to not give up when the situation seems grim! I EMPOWER you to trust Him and embrace the support He provides you through others. I EMPOWER you to be thankful in all things. I EMPOWER you to share! Share your trials and triumphs with others so that others may be empowered. You never know how your testimony can help others. Then, when you look back over it all, always give thanks!

What are you thankful for this morning?

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

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Mrs. Coretta Collins is a wife and mother who enjoys reading, writing, movies and spending time with family and friends. She is avid about health, healing and helping which serves her well as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a hematology and oncology practice. Striving to be led by the Lord throughout life and having overcome significant challenges, 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 a hope and a future. Coretta is a member of St. John A.M.E. Church in Birmingham, Alabama. She resides in Calera, Alabama with her awesome husband and two wonderful sons.

 

God's Provisons, Material things, Self-Esteem

Heart Check

Heart-Exam

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT) 

How does the heart determine the course of my life? Why would God tell me to guard it at all? To answer these questions, I began with looking up the definition of heart. The heart is ‘the center or innermost part of something.’ So whatever I put into my heart will be what I become one with and it will be the inner most part of me. Then all of those things I put into my heart or centered my heart on will determine where my life goes and what I have concerns for.

This revelation has me thinking about the way my life is going right now and some of the things that may have concerned me in the past. I can admit that sometimes I have let the consumption of material things and people’s opinions into my heart and they have become one with me. When those material things broke, I broke. When people’s opinions of me went from good to bad, my self-esteem went from confident to unsure. There have been many of times that I have cried over those types of things and it has kept me from getting closer to God as well as from letting Him in my heart. I have now learned that the things I need to put in my heart are God’s Word and His Holy Spirit. See, the scripture says that,

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19 NLT)

So I don’t have to worry about material things because He is going to supply me with whatever I need when I need it. Another reference is Matthew 6:33, but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (NIV). I also have wants and with that He  says,

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” (Psalms 37:4 NLT)

So all that my heart could desire will be given to me if I take satisfaction in Him!

Now as for self-esteem, there is so much that the word says about how precious I am to God.  A good one that I read is,

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!” (Psalms 139:13-18 NLT)

How awesome is that! It makes me excited about who I am and about what course my life will take. As long as I have His Word in my heart, it will be a road map to life that guides me in the direction that I need to go in. There is so much that God has in store for me and you! So much that in Isaiah 64:4 it says that no one has seen or even heard the great things God is working on for us if we wait on Him.

I am still a work in progress but I make an effort to examine the things I have put into my heart to see where it is taking me in life. Who has time to get off course and fill themselves with junk when God has so many blessings to give us to share with the world? Not me! Remember, we must often take time to exam our hearts so that we don’t get off course. I know we will be happier with being exactly where God wants us to be.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for loving me, even with all of my flaws. Please remove anything that clutters my heart and distracts me from You. Teach me how to protect my heart from those things that aren’t good for me. Give me more understanding of Your word so that I can hide it in my heart and live by the Word every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to check your hearts! There may be a lot of negative things clogging your heart, but it’s not too late to let God remove those things and for you to fill yourselves with His Word and His love! You are too valuable to let anything and any one plant any type of seed into your heart. I EMPOWER you to let the Holy Spirit fill you up and guide you through this journey called life.

Have you checked your heart lately?

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

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Misha White currently resides in Huntsville, AL and is a recent graduate of Tennessee State University with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology. She aspires to serve women to achieve the best spiritual and physical health possible using the Word of God, regular exercise, and healthy eating habits. She is a loving friend, sister, daughter, and soon to be wife to the wonderful Christopher Berry. One of her favorite scriptures is John 16:33 (NIV), “I have told  you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

God's Provisons, Spirit of Fear, Trusting God

When The Journey Is Too Much

Elijah was a great prophet and very well taken care of by the Lord our God. One pivotal moment in his life came when he went before Israel and their wicked king Ahab to tell them basically they can only serve one God, not two. Elijah then challenged the prophets of Baal. (1 Kings 17-18)

Well if you read you know who won that battle hands down. God, the Only Wise God! So this was a triumph for Elijah, but once wicked Ahab told his wicked wife Jezebel, she was after Elijah’s life. Elijah must have forgotten how mighty God is and the success He caused him already because Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. Elijah felt defeated, but even in his weakness and time of trouble God refreshed him.

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.”He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. (1 Kings 19:3-8 NIV)

I too have forgotten how mighty God is; I would forget how He helped me, saved me and blessed me before. I would take my mind off of Him and focus on the situations or people that threaten my peace, my family, my finances, my stability, or my life. I have felt so defeated and so depressed that I too have wanted my life to end. I have cried so much and so hard that all I could do was fall asleep because I had no energy left.

This account of Elijah’s life encourages me because it is a demonstration that God cares, remembers that we have frailties and recognizes that sometimes the journey is too much for us.

Last time I talked to you about how I had some GOLIATHS in my life that I was currently slaying with faith and God’s Word. It was like one Goliath after the next coupled with a busy schedule, a lot of events and life changes to the point where I felt physically and emotionally drained and overwhelmed. My spirit was up and down. However, I am encouraged that when the journey or battle gets too much, God will come and refresh me. He will not only revive me spiritually, but naturally as well. I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. (Jeremiah 31:25 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for abounding in love and having compassion for my soul. Sometimes I just want to give up or lie down, but You give me the strength to keep pressing. Thank You for reviving me when I am weak and defenseless. Thank You for your might, mercies and provision; You provide me with natural and spiritual fuel to get me through the journey. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to remember that sometimes you’re going to have to stay and fight. He knows what you are up against and He is El-Shaddai, God Almighty, so He will defend you and take care of you. I EMPOWER you to remember all the victories you and God have already won and to trust God along the journey. When it gets too much for you to take, God will refresh you and strengthen you!

What journeys have God helped you through?

Read a related EM: Soaring Makes Me Sore

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Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a Compassion Person and Encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better 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.

Accountability, God's Provisons, Obedience, Sin

But It Looks So Good!

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3: 2-6 NIV)

I imagine that it wouldn’t have been so easy to tempt Eve if the fruit on that tree was dull, bruised and rotten.  Notice, I didn’t say apple.  The Bible doesn’t specify what type of fruit it was, but I digress.  If the fruit wasn’t aesthetically pleasing, she probably would’ve given the serpent the “yuck face” and went on about her merry way.  But that’s not how the enemy tempted her.  The scripture tells us that this fruit was “pleasing to the eye.”  With our sight the enemy tempts us to disobey God.  He tempts us with that “thing” that we know we don’t need, but it looks so good to us.  As a matter of fact, many times that “thing” appears when you are vulnerable.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t have the same value.  It wouldn’t look soooo good.

Recently, I had the opportunity to make some extra money doing something that is almost second nature to me.  Although I knew what I would be doing was unethical, the large sum of money that I could make appealed to me.  All I could think of was using the money to get some items I wanted for my house and my closet.  I had already gone window shopping in my mind.  I would also be helping someone and in turn they would be “helping” me.  Since I knew I probably couldn’t do the task alone, I solicited one of my close friends to help.  I figured she could use the extra money too.  That’s when that still small voice spoke to me and said with great clarity, “But, why? Why are you doing this? Do you not trust me? Have I not supplied all of your needs? If you take this, you will miss out on the greater that I have in store for you.”  I wrestled with this all day.  Was it really God?  Wasn’t this an opportunity?  I knew better.  I knew that God would never support dishonesty and disobedience to His will.  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (James 1:13-14 KJV)

What was this “greater” that God was speaking of?  Was I willing to risk what God had in store for me for something that in comparison would be so miniscule?  I decided it wasn’t worth the risk, but I didn’t fully release it.

She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. …The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:6,12 NIV)  Less than a week later, the opportunity was withdrawn and I felt such a heavy weight lifted.  I decided not to partake; however I was still involving my friend in something that we both knew was wrong.  I rationalized in my own head that if God didn’t want her to do it, surely He would talk to her.  I ended up telling her how God spoke to me and she compared my action of passing the assignment to her to a child who gets admonished for doing something or being told no, so they tell their sibling to do it instead.  She was right.  When God told me to let it go, I was supposed to completely let it go.  However, I am glad that I serve a merciful God because in the short time since this happened I can see how God is blessing me with that “greater.”

Money isn’t always the subject of temptation.  Many of you may face temptation in a variety of ways. You made a commitment to take care of your temple (body); yet, everywhere you turn there are the most delectable desserts and scrumptious entrees.  You’ve been single for quite some time or maybe your husband isn’t showing you the right attention, but now that conversation with that smooth talking brother makes you tempted to engage in behavior that you know is unpleasing to God.  That food has never looked and smelled sooo good.  That brother that you met was your “ideal” man.  He smelled good, talked a good game, made you laugh, comforted you, and was quite handsome too.  Remember, if it didn’t look good, it wouldn’t be tempting.  Don’t miss out on what God has in store for you because you choose to temporarily satisfy your flesh or “help” God supply your needs.

Dear Daddy,

Forgive me for inserting my nose where it did not belong.  You have told me that You would supply my needs and give me the desires of my heart.  In James 4:7, You told me to resist the devil and he will flee… Help me to resist temptation as I put all of my trust in You.  Lord, I trust You completely.  Daddy, I know that even Your Son, Jesus, was tempted of the devil and He said, “Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God.”  If we are Your children and are following Your commandments, we have the power to speak that to the enemy too.  Thank You for being such a gracious and merciful God, willing to forgive us even when we falter.  Daddy, I love You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to resist temptation.  If you are engaged in anything that you know is not pleasing to God or is in direct conflict with the instruction that He left for your life, let it go.  Do not miss out on the abundance God has for you because you have decided that “it looks so good,” and just this one time won’t hurt.

Have you found yourself struggling with temptation? How do you deal with it?

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Sensory Trickery

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

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

God's Provisons, Transitions Series

Transitions: My Supply Chain Manager

Have you ever walked around a store and wondered where all of the many items in that store come from or how they get there? For example, think about a familiar place like Walmart. Every item that you “need” has to come from somewhere. You can buy chicken that comes from Tyson and they probably bought the live chickens from some farmer. Your toiletries come from a variety of places such as Proctor and Gamble or Johnson and Johnson, but even the ingredients in those toiletries come from another source. The point is every item in Walmart has to be managed as a part of the supply chain. Before items run out someone has to make sure that they are replenished. They literally have to manage thousands of suppliers to provide for that one store. Similarly, God meets our needs in this way. His word tells us, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NIV)

When I wrote the first message in my series on Transitions, Trampled On The Floor, it was about the end of one phase of my journey and the beginning of another; however, it took some time for me to get to that point. Along the journey, I was depleted in many areas of my life. My shelves were almost empty. I was running low on self-esteem, finances, food, joy and motivation among others; however, I never ran out. Just as I would get to a breaking point my truck full of supplies would arrive. God would show me that while I may not be eating the food that I wanted, He would not allow me to go without food. God brought people into my life that were a part of my supply chain. When I was running low on finances, there were people who would just put money in my bank account or in my hand. When my spirit was broken, He sent people to sow words of wisdom, motivation and encouragement. When I was physically drained, He provided a space for me to rest. He was concerned about the smallest detail. I remember one time I was so frustrated about my hair that I didn’t want to leave the house. Some people have bad hair days but I have hair tragedies. One of my girlfriends called and said, “I know what it’s like not to feel good because of your hair so I’m going to pay for you to get it done.” Incredible God! One of my greatest blessings was having shelter even when I could no longer afford it. God absolutely supplied ALL of my needs.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (Matthew 12:26-30 NIV)

Today I am grateful that during my transition I could plainly see God for who He is and what He does. I knew that it wasn’t my good looks, my charm or my wit that kept me clothed, fed and sheltered. It was really God managing my supply chain. He managed the who, the what and the how it would happen. What I do know is that what God has done for me is what He will do for you. When I stepped out on faith, I didn’t know how my needs would be met, but I am grateful that God had a ready supply chain. More than Walmart, He manages a supply chain for billions of people!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being the supplier of all of my needs. I am grateful for Your unconditional love and the people that You sent into my life when my shelves were empty and I needed to be restored. Please use me as a vessel so that I can be a ready supply for others. Thank You for building my faith during my season of transition. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to look at your supply chain. Take an assessment of your needs and recall how God has supplied each one. Take a moment to thank the people that God uses as vessels in your supply chain. Continue to trust Him even when you feel like your shelves are getting low. Know that just as you feel depleted God will send in a ready supply.

Did this EmpowerMoment make you think differently about how God supplies your needs? Share your story with us.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: I Got You

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

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.”