Focus, Goals & Dreams, Miscellaneous, Procrastination

Let’s Get S.M.A.R.T.

God really spoils me! Yes, I experience seasons of disappointment, hurt, pain and hardship but in the end it all works out for my good. I’ve heard many Christians say, “What God has for me no man can take away,” but I’m learning that maybe no “man” can take it away but “you” can.

To prove that “you” can get in the way of your own blessing, look at  the children of Israel who weren’t able to see the land God promised to them because of constant disobedience, “The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times—not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.” (Numbers 14:20-23). Or what about King David, an awesome man of God yet his mistakes hindered him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’” (2 Samuel 12:11-12) Or even Judas, a man who walked with Jesus became so overwhelmed with his personal failure he pulled his own plug. “When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.  “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:3-5)

I am a dreamer. A particular personality assessment deemed me a “strategic futurist thinker”, meaning I’m always looking for better ways to improve things. In my eyes, the future is bright but what I lack is execution. I have big and amazing ideas but lack follow through. I’ve been told the promise on my life but lately it seems more of a fantasy than a reality and it is no one’s fault but my own. I’ve taken advantage of God spoiling me and allowed laziness and procrastination to enter my life.  January is almost over but don’t lose sight of your goals! Below is my action plan for 2014 to help better execute my ideas.

Goal Action to achieve Completion date
Spiritual growth
  • Read at least 12 books in the bible
  • Intentionally pray, mediate or worship at least 70 minutes a week
  • Invite someone to my church
  • One random act of kindness a month
  • 40 day fast
  • Fast 5 times this year
  • Find a co-parent church
  • Dec 2014
  • Ongoing
  • Dec 2014
  • Ongoing
  • Feb 2014
  • Dec 2014
  • August 2014
Healthy living
  • Drink more water
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Drink less coffee
  • Do juicing cleanse
  • 25 by 25! (25lbs by 25 yrs. old)
  • Be active at least 4 days a week
  • Run in a 5k
  • Run a 5k by October 2014
Obtain financial freedom from consumer debt
  • Create and stick to a budget
  • Separate gas, grocery, bill and play money in separate accounts
  • Grow savings and emergency account 100%
  • Raise credit score 30%
  • Ongoing
  • Jan-Feb 2014
  • Dec 2014
  • Dec 2014
Forward progression at work/establish myself as a thought leader
  • Establish myself as a thought leader within my organization
  • Develop stronger leadership skills
  • Obtain a mentor in my organization
  • FY15
  • FY15
  • April 2014

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for guidance and wisdom to see Your plan through. God, You are doing a mighty thing with my life and I want to assist by putting in the hard work that You deserve. Lord, I want to pray against any distractions or hardships the enemy is sending my way to detour me from my goals. I thank You, Jesus, for patience and grace on this journey. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to make SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound)  goals this year. Supernatural is great because the testimony elevates people’s faith but it is my belief that when God has you work for something it gives you the ability to EMPOWER others in an unbelievable way. Appoint people to hold you accountable but understand at the end of the day YOU must do this.  Create a list and in December 2014 we will revisit this! Good Luck! This year remember 1 Chronicles 28:20: “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished. (You are God’s temple.)

What is one of your SMART goals for 2014?

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Ms. Dené B. is a student of life who enjoys human studies and social media. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago where the motto is “Preparing People to Lead Extraordinary Lives,” She took her education and school spirit to heart and now is a young adult striving to live an extraordinary life while helping others achieve the same. One of her go to scriptures is, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).

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Back To School Series, Procrastination, Throwback Thursdays

Throwback Thursday: The Longer You Wait – The Longer It Takes

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on December 16, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past. Also, school has begun for most students across the world so EmpowerMoments is featuring a series entitled “Back to School.”   Read each day as our writers share stories and learned lessons from their school-related experiences.  Come and get on our EmpowerMoments school bus!

Tis the Season…for “Ms. Richard, what can I do to pass your class??”  Yes!  It’s the season of “Can I have some make up work and/or extra credit?”  In past years I have killed tons of trees and feverishly created and copied packets for students to complete over Christmas break…NOT THIS YEAR!! Instead, I used a workbook for my Constitution unit.  Back in October, I had the students purchase the workbook and have been assigning pages out of it since then.  Of course, some students did not purchase the workbook or bought it and never opened it to do any of the assignments.  Now that these students are failing or are close to failing, they want to know, “What can I do to pass?”  My response was, “Complete your workbook from cover to cover!”

I have never seen so many attitudes at one time!  “What you mean Ms. Richard?  This gonna take me all break to do this!”   I simply said, “the longer you wait, the longer it takes. If you had been doing the work all along, you wouldn’t have as much to do!”

Later on I was reflecting on all I have to get done.  I have to deep clean my house, finish shopping for the Christmas dinner I’m hosting, and go shopping for gifts.  This is in addition to life outside of  the  Christmas season; I need to grade and record several assignments, sit down and pay some bills, and the list goes on, and on, AND ON!!

Just then my words came back to me, “…the longer you wait, the longer it takes…”  Yes my students have an issue with procrastination but so do I!  Procrastination is “the act of willfully delaying the doing of something that should be done,” and in some people it is a habitual way of handling any task. There was so much I could have been getting done all along.  Instead of letting my students’ papers pile up, I could have graded an assignment or two everyday.  Christmas comes at the same time EVERY year so I could have been purchasing things throughout the year and had them ready.   Oh and my house–I wouldn’t have to do such a deep clean if I had been more diligent in weekly spot cleaning.

Now my attitude was rising, “WHY???? Why did I let this stuff pile up like this?”  Because I kept telling myself, “I’ll do it tomorrow, no rush, I’ll get to it!”

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1 NIV)

So here I am coming up with a plan TODAY so I can get everything done.  One cure for procrastination is more diligence, regardless of the task. We should be supremely motivated to be diligent in our work, since we are ultimately serving the Lord. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23 ESV). If we put our hearts into our work, as this verse says to do, we will probably find it difficult to procrastinate too much.  Yes, my weekend is pretty much shot but I will take this as a lesson to NOT procrastinate because, “the longer you wait, the longer it takes…”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for giving us the ability and the strength to do all the things that we need to do.  Help us to be more diligent at getting tasks completed.  Give us wisdom to prioritize and manage our time efficiently and effectively so that we can complete every task You have laid before us.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to STOP PROCRASTINATING!!  There is so much we have to do in order to build the kingdom of God and reach the individual destinies we have for our lives.  We have no time to waste! 

  1. Pray and ask God for wisdom and guidance
  2.  Make a list of all the things you have to do
  3.  Write down a deadline date next to each task
  4. Prioritize how you will get each task done in an organized and timely fashion
  5.  Get to work!! 

Ladies, do you have a problem with procrastination? Share your story or words of wisdom with us.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Rebuke the 7 Dwarfs

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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.”

Black Music Month Series, Blessings, Completion, Encouragement, Focus, Goals & Dreams, Inspirational, Motivation, Persistance, Preparation, Procrastination

Go Get It!

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!

Lord, what is this feeling that I’m feeling? I’m content, but I am uncomfortable.  Settled in life, but unsettled in my spirit.  Have you ever felt like this? Sometimes God has to shake some things up in order for us to see that we are not reaching our potential.

The very first time that I heard Mary Mary’s new song “Go Get It” I felt that God was talking directly to me.  I had continued to struggle with a move that God has continued to reveal to me that I am supposed to be making. However that is often times easier said than done.

So Lord let me get this straight. You want me to quit my job, move someplace I have never been nor do I know anyone? You want me to move from the comfort of my home to the discomfort of the unknown? Daddy I love you, but that is asking a bit much.  God then reveals His answer to me:

For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;

Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.

Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.

There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you. (Deuteronomy 11:22-25 NKJV)

The Lord sometimes wants us to do things that may not seem ideal for us, but that will in the end place us where He wants us to be. How many things has God told you to go get that you still have not claimed? Nobody else can receive what God has designed for you to have.

My biggest problem was that I was scared.  Scared to do something that put me in a position where I did not feel in control. I realized that I claim to trust God in every aspect of my life, but it was really only the areas that made me comfortable.  How will I ever get something I never had if I never do anything that I have never done?

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:9-11 NKJV)
I am still seeking God because I am still nervous, but I know that God directs my path and He has not placed in me the spirit of fear. I am ready to go out and get what God has set out for me to have.  As the song says “It’s like you’re looking through a telescope; you see where you going to be”.  I can see where God is taking me.  Now I must get on board and go get what God has for me!

Dear Daddy,

I come before You asking for guidance and the faith to receive whatever it is that You have for my life.  I need You to continue to push me into a place where I will strive to have things that You have designed specifically for me.  I ask that You will continue to strengthen me in the areas that I am weak.  I need You to lift me up and give me the push that I need in order to receive what You have for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to be strong enough to step out on faith and stretch your limits.  Don’t always stay where you are comfortable in life, but know that blessings and breakthroughs come in some of the most uncomfortable places.  Know that whenever you are weak the Lord is strong.  Follow His lead, and you will not be steered wrong. 

Envision where He wants to be and how you will go get it as you enjoy Mary Mary’s “Go Get It”:

__________________________________________________________________________

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.”

Black Music Month Series, Motivation, Procrastination

Get Up!

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 soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” Proverbs 13:4 ESV

This scripture simply means, you can want all day, but until you GET UP and seek it, you will lack.

I remember going through a harsh break up. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest and thrown to me. I went through a depression of anger and bitterness. I resorted to a messy pony tail, baggy pants, t-shirts, and sneakers. I didn’t want to go out with my girlfriends and the thought of him made me sick to my stomach. Sound familiar?

My mother came to me after months of being down and asked, “How long are you going to mope over somebody who isn’t thinking about you? You’ve let him win AGAIN! Not only has he ruined your life by wasting time, he has also allowed you to miss out on what God has for you. You are here sulking, sitting in your room and you could be out there living the life of abundance God has planned for you.”

I cried some more. Eventually a light bulb came on, and I became angry, but a different type of angry. I became mad at myself for being so pathetic over someone that was not worth my time. He wasn’t even capable of being neither my mate nor my friend.

Can you relate to this? What are you sitting there being hostage to? Are you allowing the fact that you are single cause you to walk around depressed and jealous of your married friends (who may actually be jealous of you)? Are you letting your weight cause you to be ashamed of your body? Are you letting your lack of finances cause you to sulk in coveting your friends (whom may have maxed out their credit cards)? Are you allowing insecurities and procrastination to hold you hostage to stepping out on that business venture?

Better yet, are you bound by excuses? Do you sit at home and come up with excuse after excuse as to why you can’t start working out? Do you bask in excuses about staying in an abusive relationship because he pays the bills? Do you find yourself sitting back looking at people achieve their dreams (or even yours) and all you can say is, “I wish would have done that?”

Well guess what? You have let him win AGAIN! You have allowed the enemy to intervene and distract you from the blessings of the Father. There is one difference between those that are successful and those that are sluggards. The difference is GETTING UP!  They aren’t smarter, prettier, wealthier, or have more connections. They just simply GET UP and do it!

The time is now to stop wasting time looking at life pass you by. The time has come for you to go after the life God has ordained for you. Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today because tomorrow is not promised. The Bible says, anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Proverbs 12:25 ESV Speak a Word of power over your situation and encourage yourself in the Lord to GET UP!

Dear Daddy,

Sometimes life hurts so bad that I fall deeper into feeling sorry for myself. I often forget that Your Word clearly states that the devil kills, steals, and destroys, and I sometimes help him. Lord, help me to get up out of my pit and begin to live a life of freedom. Free from worry and insecurities, but full of the liberty you have given me through Christ Jesus. Lord, increase my will power to move forward with the things I want to accomplish that not only encourage me but they also advance those around me and Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to write out your plan, design your faith board, or write your prayer of persistence to GET UP and persist pass the monotony and procrastination. You have work to do. You can do ALL things through Christ who gives you strength. So GET UP, dust yourself off and start seeking after your dreams.

In honor of Black Music Month, allow Mary Mary to give you a boost to GET UP!

Share with us some things you want to GET UP and do in a comment below.

_________________________________________________________________________

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She and her husband serve as Co-Service leaders and Co-Group leaders of SustainedLove, which supports marriage get-a-ways from Family Life. Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic four-year old daughter. They attend Vaughn Forest Church.  Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Focus, Motivation, Procrastination

Wake Up!

Wake up everybody no more sleepin’ in bed!
No more backward thinkin’ time for thinkin’ ahead.
The world has changed so very much,
From what it used to be so
There is so much hatred war an’ poverty.

Wake up all the teachers time to teach a new way.
Maybe then they’ll listen to whatcha have to say.
Cause they’re the ones who’s coming up and the world is in their hands.
When you teach the children, teach em the very best you can.

For some strange reason I hear this song in my head. I am convinced this has a spiritual message behind it. It is time for the all of God’s children to wake up!

Wake up, wake up, O Zion! Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, O holy city of Jerusalem, for unclean and godless people will enter your gates no longer.  Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem. Sit in a place of honor. Remove the chains of slavery from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. (Isaiah 52:1-2 NLT)

After we wake up, God desires that we change the way we think. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT) The world has changed from what it used to be because satan desires to wear out God’s chosen people and change the laws that the Word tells us to live by.  And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (Daniel 7:25 KJV)

The song instructs for teachers to teach a new way. That’s a message that’s echoing through the Kingdom of God now. No more church as usual…no more religion…it is time for TRUE relationship with the King. It is time to be taught the Word because “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6 KJV).

Chorus:
The world won’t get no better if we just let it be.
The world won’t get no better we gotta change it yeah, just you and me.

Is God calling you today to NOT to let it be? Is God instructing you to be a conduit for change? Is He giving you visions or dreams of helping parents be better, mentoring the youth, or being an example in the marketplace? If this is you, WAKE UP! Be that channel that will cause healing and deliverance to take place to release captives into the liberty that Jesus died for. Yes, its done by you and me! He needs a yielded, willing vessel to wake up, arise and walk in authority!

Dear Daddy,

Father, in the Name of Jesus, today I release fear, procrastination, lethargy, slothfulness or any other unclean spirit that is hindering me from being our change agent. I thank You now in the Name of Jesus for courage and discernment to fulfill my purpose. I thank You for equipping me to carry out what You have ordained me to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to be a CHANGE REACTOR that causes a CHANGE REACTION! Let your actions, presence, deeds, and words cause others to move forward. I EMPOWER you to walk in holy boldness and cause others around you to WAKE UP!

Is God giving you a wake-up call? Share your story with us below.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Shake Us Again!

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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 1 Timothy 4:12: “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 

God's Promises, Miscellaneous, Motivation, Procrastination, Spirit of Fear, Trusting God

Are You Sure?

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”  “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”  (Judges 6: 13-15 NIV)

Have you ever felt like Gideon? If God is really “with” you then why have you come under such attack? The Lord gave you a word years ago and you have yet to see it manifested.  Was that really God speaking to you?  That vision that God has specifically tasked you with doesn’t seem to make much sense in the natural. Think about it; that dream to be a business owner in a time of recession seems absolutely counterintuitive to everything that is going on in the world.  Or what about believing God for a child when you have never been able to carry a child full term?  Or even believing God that you are supposed to be going back to school when you are already in debt.  Where is God in all of this?

God told Gideon that He chose him for that battle, for that time, for that specific season. What is the battle that God has given to you? Reconcile a broken relationship? Forgive yourself for mistakes made? Go back to school? Start a family? What is He calling you for specifically? Seek Him for His specific purpose for your situation.  Take time and read Judges 6 and Judges 7 and look at the transformation of Gideon. Gideon represents each one of us who fear the God-ordained task given to us. Fear will cast out faith, just as faith will cast out fear. The two cannot coexist. Every time we waver, that is a minute further away from where God is trying to take us.

The journey may feel uncomfortable; in fact, I will be honest, there might be times when you are terrified to move forward. But trust that God knows your ending. If Jesus is to be our example, let us look at Him how He prepared for His battle. “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39 NIV) Jesus went directly to the source. He didn’t question God as Gideon had done; instead He had an open honest conversation with His Father. Jesus expressed His fears and reservations, and He even went back a second time and prayed: “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42 NIV)

In the end, Jesus knew the overwhelming and excruciating pain that awaited Him at the cross, but He submitted unto God and endured it all for us. We must be willing to submit to God’s plan regardless of the cost. Look at the beautiful blessings we are receiving because of Jesus’ obedience to the Word of God. Jesus was not obedient to His feelings, or His position or even the opinions and thoughts of man, but He was obedient to God. Let God equip you for the battle ahead. Seek Him in prayer and fasting. The ladies from EmpowerMoment started fasting last week and I would encourage you to join us. For more information please visit: http://www.mtzionnashville.org/wh/targets.htm

Dear Daddy,

Thank You so much for being a God who never makes a mistake. Thank You for never telling a lie. Keep me near You when the enemy throws distractions my way that are specifically designed to keep me from seeking You. Forgive me for the times that I have allowed the distractions to hinder our relationship. I pray for each lady that reads and writes EmpowerMoments, because we know that when we purposely seek You the enemy will make war against us. Keep a hedge around all the sisters of faith. Help each one of us to encourage another woman to seek Your perfect plan for her life. Where there is fear and doubt we ask that you send You send a clear Word for that situation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to call out the greatness God has placed in you and trust Him when He tells you His plan for your life and situation. 

Has God called you on a scary journey? How did you combat your fear? Encourage other women by sharing your story below.

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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.”

Completion, Procrastination

Start and Finish!

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. (Acts 20:24 NIV)

If you are in a season of “I can’t hear God” or “He’s not speaking”, this EmpowerMoment will be yelling at you by the time you finish reading it. God speaks to us through His Word, prayer, silence, circumstances, situations, and people. On last week God’s voice came through an unexpected source. (I’m a firm believer that God speaks to us and that His voice is always available.)  He spoke clearly to me through my husband. I must admit, sometimes it’s very hard for me to receive a word from him, and easier for me to receive from God through other sources and people.

I was at home taking care of my 11-month-old and a business idea came to my mind. I was busy changing a diaper, minding my own business, and not in need of a business idea. The idea began to get my energy, time, and creativeness. This was not my first time of getting a “great idea” to start a business. In fact, I have a few business ideas and plans saved in the memory of my computer. However, I began to planning the business in my mind. The concept, where it was going to be, and who was going to help. In Lisa’s world I was so excited! I kept getting another idea after another that I forgot I had chores to do, people to call, and a couple of errands to run.

My husband arrived home (from an 11 hour work day walked in the door and had a puzzled look on his face. Why? Because what I should have started and finished (washed, cooked, went grocery shopping, and made a couple of important phone calls) was not started or finished. Instead, all day I busy was planning this new and “great business idea”. I ignored his side eye and body language that clearly communicated he was upset. I was so excited about this new and exciting idea I had. Before, he could say anything I began to voice to him with so much enthusiasm the “great idea”. After I finished I politely asked, “So baby what do you think?” I just knew that he too was going to be excited, but I was wrong. He said so raw and graciously, “Lisa you have so many unfinished business ideas already; why add to them? You should have first finished what you had the time to do today and then worked on the business idea because it’s dinner time and what’s for dinner?” I was shocked! I wanted to say, “Hold up buddy”, but before I could respond the Holy Spirit said, “Go and get dinner prepared.”

Later that night as everyone was asleep, I began to think about what was said to me. It’s true I have so many things that I start and don’t finish. I am notorious for that. I begin a goal or “great idea” with such zeal and determination. Then comes along another great idea and I stop the initial one to begin the new thing, with the same zeal and excitement. You can pretty much guess what happens next. I start something and don’t finish it. You too may have this same condition or challenge of being a non-finisher. Not finishing things or ‘filling’ the time that you have instead of ‘fulfilling’ your time are both internal problems that the Word of God addresses and heals. In 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 Paul addresses a church about an unfinished giving situation. You see they began with zeal and excitement while giving generously to the work of God, only to not finish the same way.

Our greatest example of someone who was a master at starting something and finishing it was Jesus. In fact, He only did and said what the Father told Him. He was so radical to the point that He said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:34 NIV) Now that’s radical! Furthermore, God says, “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Be strong and finish the task! Ever since the laying of the foundation of the Temple of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, you have heard what the prophets have been saying about completing the building.” (Zech 8:9 NLT) See, all I needed was to see that finishing is of God, and it is in His word. These scriptures hold words with astounding truth and are the TRUTH. We must finish our task at hand!

We must not allow ourselves to become captive to the condition of being a “non-finisher”. It doesn’t matter what my great idea plan or project is; what matters is that I do what God has planned for me and finish it. Whatever I start would be of no value anyway if He has not planned for me to do it, especially if it’s unfinished. Perhaps you too may have the same challenge of not being able to finish what you started. Maybe for you it’s a GED, degree, Bible study, joining a church, starting a resource center, changing your eating habits, or joining a gym. You could fill-in the blank for yourself. The problem that is inherent with not finishing what you start is it causes you to become busy doing nothing, wasting time that never returns back to you, and never finishing what you need to. This was a very sad fact that was happening a lot in my life and until my husband let God speak through him, I was not on the path of reaching my full potential in Christ.  I was not going to accomplish what I was capable of doing.  I had to stop jumping from this to that, starting and not finishing.

If you have the same challenge as I do know that with the Word of God and the Holy Spirit we can be like Jesus and Paul finish what we start!

Dear Daddy,

Forgive us for those things that we started and did not finish, especially those things that are a part of Your divine will for our lives .We ask that no matter how we started, restore to us Your Divine will, purposes, and plans for our lives so that we like Jesus and Paul can say,”that we finished and finished well!” We thank You for all of Your plans. Now that we see Your Word declares that it is possible to finish, we ask that You, through the Holy Spirit, would give us the ability to finish whatever our hands will find themselves doing and that we will yield results! In Jesus’ Name, Amen! 

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to plan and spend time with the Father today. Ask Him what His plans are and what is ‘unfinished’ that He needs you to finish. Take record of what ‘unfinished’ things you have and pray over them. Is it a degree, business idea, or a follow-up to a needed doctor’s appointment? I EMPOWER you to FINISH with results, and know that He who started a good work within you will finish!

Question: What are some things you started that you wished you would’ve finished or some things that you finished that wished you would’ve never started? Share with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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.”