Encouragement, Faith, Favor, Goals & Dreams, Growth/Maturity, Motivation, Persistance, Preparation, Procrastination

Apple Seeds Don’t Produce Oranges

Have you ever planted a rose bush and ended up with a cactus tree? Have you prayed for a new job but never filled out any applications, reached out to any connections or shown yourself worthy of a new opportunity? Sounds silly doesn’t it? As silly as it sounds, every day we wake up with expectations for things that we have layed at God’s feet; yet, we have not planted at all or planted the right seeds.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7 KJV

Lately, I have realized that I have been trying to reap in areas where I have not sown or I have not sown properly. Have you found yourself trying to reap a harvest in areas where you have not planted? Perhaps you are asking God to bless a particular area of your life but you have put no skin in the game. You either have failed to plant, have planted seeds that do not yield the fruit you want to harvest, or planted on ground that is not fertile.

  • You want a husband but you have not planted seeds that will help you grow into being a wife. The “fun girl” does not become the wife. Only when she puts those things away will she blossom into wife material. Maybe you aren’t really ready because you have harvested insecurities, habits and circumstances that deem you currently ineligible for the mate God has chosen for you.
  • You may be sowing, sowing, sowing in the wrong place with the wrong people. Matthew 7:6 reminds us: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (KJV)
  • Perhaps you have prayed for a financial increase but you have failed to sow where He has instructed. He has given you vision and placed opportunities in front of you that will enlarge your territory but you haven’t acted on what He has given you.
  • Maybe you are asking God to bless your ministry but you haven’t spent any time developing and perfecting it.
  • You may want to change your health status or maintain good health but you aren’t willing to make the necessary changes that will yield the results that you want or you are half doing it.
  • It’s possible that you are asking God to strengthen your relationship with Him, your marriage, your friendships, your family or increase your network but you have not planted seeds in any of these relationships that would make them grow. You aren’t doing what it takes to make them prosperous.

Consider this parable: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Matthew 4:3-8 NIV

God let’s us know that at minimum what we put in is what we will get out. Anything beyond that is extra; it is God’s favor. It is His grace and mercy. How do we know that the favor that we have received just didn’t get us to the basic because what we put in was so minimal? Let’s plant the right seeds on good ground so that our harvest will be plentiful. Remember II Corinthians 9:6: But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (KJV)

Assignment: Make a list of all the petitions you have before God. What are you expecting in 2012? Next to the petition write what you have sown to make this petition a reality. If it isn’t abundantly clear, ask God if there is more that you can do. Ask Him if you have planted the right seeds and on the right ground. For each petition, write what you will do to reap the desired harvest (whether it is to take the first step and plant, change the seed that you planted, or change the area where you have planted).  Ask God to move you from mediocrity to excellence.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for favor. Thank You for giving to me even when I have not sown; but, Daddy, I ask You right now that You reveal to me the seeds I need to plant and the place I need to plant them to make my petitions come to fruition. Heavenly Father, I ask that You show me what I need to do to reap a bountiful harvest. Challenge me in my sowing and let me operate like the harvest I expect to receive. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today, I EMPOWER you to sow the right seeds on good ground. I EMPOWER you with the knowledge that you are reaping what you are sowing. I EMPOWER you to be patient because some crops take longer to harvest than others. Remember this: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9 KJV) I EMPOWER you to complete the assignment and act on what God reveals to you.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: A “C” for Effort

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures 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.”

Assignment, Goals & Dreams, God's Promises, Growth/Maturity, Obedience, Procrastination, Spirit of Fear, Submission/Surrendering, Trials, Trusting God

POWER IN MOTION!

To borrow a page from Khalilah’s scientific notebook, one of my favorite concepts in Physics is the concept of Potential and Kinetic Energy. To simplify it, Potential Energy is energy that is stored up and Kinetic Energy is energy in motion. Use your imagination and visualize this example. A rubber band alone is just a rubber band; but, a rubber band changed from it’s original position and stretched has enormous Potential. It is storing up its energy for a time in which it will be released.  The Potential of that rubber band lies in its stretched state and when it is released it becomes Kinetic. When you pull a rubber band a little bit it has little bounce back, but when it is stretched to its maximum, once released it is really going to “pop” and I don’t mean break.

Some of us have been stretched while some of us are in a stretched state right now. Sometimes we wonder, “how did we get here?” External forces such as family, finances, friends and careers have us in a state where we are stretched. We wonder why things are happening to us and we have not recovered. We have great ideas and visions (potential) but we have decided on our own that they should not be released or maybe God has not released us to execute them.  We want to move but God says, “Not now, I am not finished storing up what you will need when I release you. You haven’t been stretched enough.” Some of us God has told to MOVE on all of the energy He has stored in us but we have gotten stuck in our Potential state.

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. Jeremiah 1:5 KJV We are told in this scripture that God gave us Potential while we were still in the womb. Our very movement (Kinetic) from the birth canal to the world was the release of Potential Energy. We were born to move.

When I looked up the etymology of Potential it comes from the Latin meaning, “what’s possible” or “power” and Kinetic comes from the Latin and means “moving, putting in motion.” God has given each of us POWER IN MOTION. Consider the track hurdler. Before they move their legs to jump, there is a tremendous amount of Power that will allow them to physically move (Kinetic) and cross the hurdle. This Power (Potential) did not just appear overnight. The hurdler has stored energy that is a result of physical conditioning (becoming spiritually fit), building of muscle (reading the Bible), learning the proper technique and then there is the actual implementation (application of faith or applying what God has given you). You can’t stand in front of a hurdle and just decide to jump but there is a starting position that you have to run (prepare) and build up the momentum so that you can have the Power to get to the other side. Now let’s be honest. There are some people who have the ability to jump a hurdle; however, to jump a hurdle also requires focus and courage. Some people have conditioned themselves and have the Power but they lack focus or they fear the hurdle. They have all of this Potential but are scared to MOVE. Could this be you?

Faith in itself is the combination of Potential and Kinetic Energy. You have faith because you have all of these stored up beliefs, testimonies and examples of what God can and will do; however, it’s not really faith until it is put into motion. Consider this: James 2:17 (KJV) tells us that …Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. This is given in the perfect illustration through Abraham in James 2: 20-24 KJV– But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for birthing me into this world with Potential. As You reveal my Potential to me, give me the courage and the focus to transform that Potential Energy into Kinetic Energy in my life. As life experiences stretch me, remind me that the trials are only storing up my Potential so that my bounce back will be greater. Help me to remember that my return will be exceedingly and abundantly above ALL that I can think or imagine.  Help me to remember that having faith is having POWER IN MOTION. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies I EMPOWER you today to discover your Potential. What has God stored in you that you are waiting to be released or you are sitting on and refuse to release? Has God told you to move on something but you have decided on your own to wait? What are you waiting for? Decide today to transform that Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy and put POWER IN MOTION!

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures 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.”

Faith, Listening, Motivation, Obedience, Procrastination, Submission/Surrendering, Trusting God

It’s Time to Move!

Before her passing, my grandmother would sing a song entitled, “You Gotta Move.”  The lyrics read in part: “You got to move; you got to move…when the Lord gets ready, you got to move.”  Although simple on surface, these words embody a powerful truth for women of faith.  When God says move, it’s time to move!

The idea of movement in response to God is evidenced clearly in the life of Abraham.  “The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your land, your relatives, and your father’s house.  Go to the land that I will show you.’” (Genesis 12:1 GW)

Although these words were spoken to Abraham thousands of years ago, for many of us they still hold true.  God has instructed us to leave behind unhealthy relationships, careers, social environments, living quarters, attitudes, and yes, even ministry associations.  These things have kept us from walking into the fullness of our destiny with God.  It is therefore time to move.   “[W]e must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us.”  (Hebrews 12:1 GW) “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature…Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.  You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.  But now you must rid yourself of all such things.” (Colossians 3:5-8 NIV)

What is keeping you from moving?  Is it comfort? Uncertainty? Fear? Impatience?  Whatever the answer may be, consider the first three words of the text: “The Lord said.”  If the Lord said it, it’s divine instruction.  It’s not subject to consideration or debate.  “When the Lord gets ready, you got to move.” 

Although leaving things behind may be difficult, when God instructs us to do something, it is designed for our good.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.  “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT) God loves us and will not lead us down the wrong path.  When God instructed Abraham to move, it positioned Abraham for an even greater blessing.  Abraham could not have received the promises of God if he had not obeyed God’s instruction.  Has God told you to go somewhere? Have you obeyed?

When God instructs us to leave certain things behind, it is important to remember that God does not tell us to leave without a command to “Go.”  Leaving one place always means that we are headed to a new one.  The places that God will take us in the midst of obedience are intended to move us closer to our destiny.  Hence, we can either remain stagnant where we are (consider Lot’s wife turning into the pillar of salt in Genesis 19:26) or we can move with God and avail ourselves to the fullness of His blessings.

Finally, as we begin to move, we must remember God’s words, “I will show you.”  God promises to be our guide.  We have nothing to fear.  God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NIV) 

When God says move, it is indeed time to move.  Letting things go can often be scary, but remember that God is moving us to higher heights.  We must learn to trust Him and know that He is leading us onto the right path.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your enduring love and patience.  Help us to hear Your instructions and follow.  You have commanded us to walk by faith and not by sight.  Help us to remember that Your promise comes through such faith.  Teach us how to operate in obedience and move according to Your will.  Continue to walk with us and show us Your way.  Guide us into the path of our destiny that we may glorify Your holy name.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to take heed to God’s instruction, let go, and MOVE.  The path to righteousness does not always bring ease, but God has promised to be our guide.  I EMPOWER you to trust God and know that the fullness of His joy resides in the path that He has designed for you.

Ms. Latasha McCrary is an active member of St. Luke Christian Church in Huntsville, AL where she serves as a Young Adult Facilitator and is training as a Life Skills Coach. She is passionate about the practice of law and views her profession as an extension of her calling to serve. Latasha firmly believes that “Service is the price we pay for the space we occupy” and is grateful for God’s continuing favor evidenced in her life. “By this I know that you favor me, because you have not let my enemies triumph over me.” (Psalms 41:11)

Assignment, Gifts/Talents, Motivation, Prayer, Procrastination, Submission/Surrendering

Shake Us Again!

And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11 NIV)

As a self-declared music fiend, I sometimes find it hard to separate from my music at bedtime. During those moments, I fall asleep with my ear buds in and let the music take me to LaLa Land. A couple of months ago I did this very thing and set my Pandora to a gospel station. At about 12:30 am, I was in a deep sleep only to be awakened by a powerful song, “Shake Us Again.” It was as if God himself was literally shaking me in the depths of my spirit to wake me from not only my natural sleep, but my spiritual coma.  As I lie there listening to the words of the song, the Spirit began to remind me of the fervency and passion of which I used to pursue the things of God. I thought of the days when I would wake during the third watch of the night to pray. I recalled when a day couldn’t go by without me reading the Word because I would feel famished in my spirit.  My mind flashed to the times when I looked for a way to impact someone’s life each and every day. As I pondered further, I realized that God had been standing at my bedside each night wanting me to awake and pray and I was pleading for a few more hours of sleep. He was yearning to give me fresh manna from His Word each morning yet I was so busy being busy. He had been surrounding me with opportunities to bless and minister to His people but I was so caught up in my own issues that I failed to notice. So at 12:30 am, He used that song to shake me up to wake me up. He gently whispered in my ear:

“It’s time to get back in your position. I didn’t equip you with all of this greatness for it to lie dormant in your belly. It’s time to wake up! Be the woman that I predestined you to be before the foundations of the earth.  (Ephesians 1:4) Get your prayer life back. (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18) Study to show yourself approved unto Me. (2 Timothy 2:15) Serve my people by allowing Me to use everything that I placed in you for My glory. (1 Peter 4:10-11) Wake up my dear!”

I did my self-reflection a few months back; now it’s your turn! So I ask, what happened to your passion and fervor? What happened to the gifts that God placed in your belly? They are still there; you just have them lying dormant.  Romans 11:29 reminds us that God’s gifts and call are irrevocable. (NIV) He didn’t take back what He gave you but He expects YOU to use it! Your gifts and talents are just waiting patiently to be utilized and manifested for the Creator’s glory. It’s up to each one of us to utilize the things that He has gifted us with to advance the kingdom. Are you honestly doing your part? If not, wake up you sleeper! 

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for taking for granted the things that You have gifted me with. Today, I ask that You shake me again. Wake up everything that is lying dormant in my soul. Wake up the anointing, wake up every gift, wake up every talent and shake off the old things. Lord, today I declare that I want You to use me until I am used up! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to ask God to shake you up to wake you up! I EMPOWER you to utilize everything that He has placed in your belly. EMPOWER your gifts, talents and treasures to wake up and manifest in ways that you never imagined. I EMPOWER you to live your life on purpose! Remember what you are is God’s gift to you. What you become is your gift to God!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: The Pursuit of Excellence

Enjoy Dr. Juanita Bynum’s “Shake Us Again”:

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 two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

Encouragement, Faith, Goals & Dreams, God's Protection, Inspirational, Motivation, Preparation, Procrastination, Spirit of Fear, Trusting God

F.E.A.R.

False Evidence Appearing Real

For some time I’ve wanted to try a new running path. It’s along a main street and neighboring homes with a sidewalk. But for some reason I kept feeling bound to the track. Maybe because it was safe and familiar to me. I would pull up to the park each morning and start my same ole run but deep down I really wanted to get out there and jog that road!

I was scared. I was scared that it was too far, or that I would look silly (I run, but I don’t look like a runner), or that a dog would chase me. So everyday I ran in circles around the track until one morning the Holy Spirit brought this to my memory, “You have nothing to fear but fear itself.” No, this is not a scripture; it’s actually a quote from one of our past Presidents, but God uses what we know to catch our attention. I started pondering on that quote and realized that He was right. I have nothing to fear, but fear.

I am a self-proclaimed self-motivator. When I am feeling fearful or down and out I start talking to my inner self. Here is how the conversation went:

“Kay, you are running around this track, BOUND by fear thinking you can’t do it. Are you kidding? Did you not know that you can do all things through Christ that has made you strong? You are a child of the most high God, He will protect you! Look at your legs; look how God has strengthened them. How can you go higher if you stay running in this circle? You need to kick it up a notch!”

Later on I went to my Bible to look up scriptures on fear (yes all of this to prepare me for a new trail). These are the words that God showed me.

“Yea though I walk the valley of the shadow of death I will fear NO evil, for thou art with me!” (Psalm 23:4 KJV)

“The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 NIV)

“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6 NIV)

“I sought the LORD, and He answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4 NIV)

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:10-13 NIV)

When I began writing this EmpowerMoment, God confirmed for me that this is really not about a jog, but about fear. How many of you are bound by fear, running around the track, scared to venture out? How many of you are scared to tell that man, “Look, this isn’t working; I’m compromising too much,” for fear of being alone? How many of you reading this are bound by your fears of starting your own business because the money doesn’t seem right or you are scared you will fail? How many of you are scared to lose, or even scared to win, because of what others may think?

How many of you reading this have been hurt, scarred, and abused but scared to love again? Did you not know that God will restore and can restore you? Did you not know that God heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds? (Psalms 147:3 NIV)

The next day I ran that new trail and felt EMPOWERED after I did it. I had nothing to fear but fear itself. All of the evidence I thought existed was false, for fear is FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL!

Dear Daddy,

You are shelter in the time of storm, a comforter when I’m sad, my protector in the time of trouble, and my redeemer when I’ve messed up. Lord, I pray that You teach me how to be fearless! Teach me how to rely on Your Word in knowing that my fears are false evidence. Help me to realize that fear does not come from You. It is a trick of distraction from the enemy to hinder the plans You have for me. Give me strength in You Lord, to be bold and do what You’ve called me to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to step out of fear and walk in faith. Do not remain bound any longer, for God has given you strength, peace, and the resources you need to carry out the task. I EMPOWER you to encourage yourself when you feel the enemy trying to discourage you. Pull out God’s Word and fight!

Type in the word fear in our search box on our page. Here you will find other Empowermoments to encourage you through fear.

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is 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 teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and 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 three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Encouragement, Goals & Dreams, God's Love, Inspirational, Motivation, Preparation, Procrastination, Self Forgiveness, Self-Esteem

Born to Win

I AM living the life of my dreams and still feel empty BUT I was born to WIN!

I AM impatient, slothful and a backstabber BUT I was born to WIN!

I AM an abusive person BUT I was born to WIN!

I AM addicted to drugs BUT I was born to WIN!

I AM single and lonely BUT I was born to WIN!

I AM married to a jerk BUT I was born to WIN!

I AM a horrible wife BUT I was born to WIN!

I AM an alcoholic BUT I was born to WIN!

I AM not healthy BUT I was born to WIN!

I AM childless BUT I was born to WIN!

I AM a whore BUT I was born to WIN!

I AM envious BUT I was born to WIN!

These things may be a part of your past or they may be your present BUT you were born to WIN.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV)

While listening to a story about one of my brothers the other day, a profound sadness came over me. I wasn’t in my usual stressful, I need to do something to “fix” this mode, but I was sad. I was sad because HOPE had left the building. My brother lived a rough life, was in juvenile by the time he was 12, in and out of jail throughout his life, and holds a membership in the “just can’t get right” club. Now in his late 30’s, he currently finds peace in the bottom of a bottle. With all of his shortcomings, he is one of the absolute sweetest persons that I know. He is extremely protective of his family, loving and generous. I want nothing but the best for him but I have learned that me wanting it for him is not enough.

As I talked to him later that day, I could tell that he felt hopeless. “How can I succeed in life when I have a criminal rap sheet, no high school diploma and I keep bouncing from place to place? Every time I try to do right, something happens that takes me back to square one. I want to be a good father and provide for my children and be there for them but me and their mothers don’t get along. I just hate the way that my life turned out.”

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, “DO YOU WANT TO GET WELL?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”  At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. (John 5: 1-9 NIV)

I am not sure of anywhere else in the Bible where Jesus asks if someone “wants” to be healed. Think about it. This man has been lying at the pool for 38 years and STILL has not made his way in. Maybe I’m a little gangsta because I’m thinking how did someone beat you EVERY time? This also seems like Jesus’ train of thought. Yes, you are in the right place but what are you doing to get well? How bad do you want it? What are you willing to do for it? (Whew! – you missed your shout right there!)

This is how I handled the situation with my brother. Instead of being my usual overbearing self and telling him what he “needed” to do, I decided to ask him, “What do you want?” I began to minister to his spirit and let him know that YES you have made some mistakes but God equipped you with everything that you need to survive. God wants you to win. He wants you to be wildly successful. He wants to use you as an example. He wants the glory from your story. Your life is not over and your past and present don’t have to dictate your future, but it is your choice. It’s never too late to start over; do you want a different life?

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:31,37 NIV)

Do you hear that? We are MORE THAN conquerors! Is your present condition, casting a gloomy forecast over your future? Have you given up and began to believe that “these are the cards you were dealt?” Tell me, whose report will you believe?! I believe you were Born to Win!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your infinite wisdom and giving me an approach when I didn’t have one. Continue to remind me that I was born to WIN. You equipped me with everything that I need to survive and succeed. You don’t hold a flashlight over my past and You have the power to change my present. Thank You for making all things new and for giving me a chance to get it right. Pour Your spirit on my family members and remove the blinders that make them see a gloomy future. Soften their hearts so that they turn to You and seek Your forgiveness. Impart clear direction in their minds, faith and the will power to change. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to know who you are and whose you are. You are a child of the King. In Isaiah 1:18, He tell us “Though your sins be as scarlet he will wash them white as snow.” You were Born to Win! You can’t believe the report of man. You must believe the report of the Lord. As the song says, “His report says I am healed; His report says I am filled; His report says I am free, His report says Victory.” Sounds like a winner to me!

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures 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.”

Attitude, Fruit of the Spirit, Gentleness, Growth/Maturity, Honesty/Truth, Kindness, Motivation, Procrastination, Self-Control, Spirit of Anger

Rebuke The 7 Dwarfs

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.” Ephesians 5:1 NLT

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11 NIV

Have you ever woke up with a “stank” attitude for no apparent reason? A few days ago I experienced this for no reason at all. Everyone that called seemed to irritate me. In conversation with the Holy Spirit, and as conviction set in, I remembered that at all times I have to be an imitator of Christ. For some apparent reason I started thinking of the Seven Dwarfs. Mainly because of the one I was currently resisting, Grumpy, but also, just as in the movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, these little “attitudes” can creep up at any time and alter your entire day.

Let’s look at these attitudes that like to creep in and steal our joy:

“Doc” was the leader. His character was that of someone very pompous or self-important. The Bible tells us, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14: 11 ESV Sometimes we have to check our humility gage!

“Grumpy”.  Being grumpy is like being a complainer. You’re tired of your job, but you can pay your bills! You can’t find a man, and yet every gentleman that approaches you, you act “stank”.  My husband gets on my nerves, Suzy will be glad to have him!  “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 NIV. Speak power and life. Speaking death is being a mouthpiece for the devil!

“Bashful”. This attitude can creep in and get the best of us. How many times have you been silent instead of standing up for God? How many times have you found yourself unequally yoked with your friends and refuse, out of shyness, to stand boldly for the Lord? Jesus warns us, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” Matthew 10:33 AKJV.

“Sleepy”. How many times have you let the enemy of procrastination into your camp? You walk around sleepily dragging your feet. Some of you have dreams to embark upon, yet you allow a “sleepy” like attitude to interfere. “How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:9-11 ESV. Get up, you have work to do!

“Happy”. A Happy attitude is pleasant. Kirk Franklin says it best, to be happy, something has to happening! I encourage you to learn to replace your happiness with joy. Joy is a confidence birthed through faith in Christ. Joy is a feeling of assurance you can feel even when you are down and out. Happy is great, but Joy is everlasting. David prays, “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalms 16:11 KJV. God can grant you unshakable joy!

“Sneezy”. Sneezing is a way for your body to rid itself of harmful things. With all seriousness, we may need to “Sneeze” through our group of buddies or our Facebook friends list. If you find yourself sneezing all of the time, then you are probably allergic to your surroundings!! “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.” Romans 12:2 NIV

“Dopey”. Dopey was the youngest dwarf. Socially he was immature and seemed to be a “dud.” It is so easy to fall into the “Dopey” category of putting back on our childlike attitudes and behaviors. Paul tells us in the Bible, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” I Corinthians 13:11 NIV. Don’t let your childish ways of bickering, anger, and pettiness creep in. You are a woman now, put away child-like things.

I know this was a far-fetched, yet creative, attempt to say one thing: watch for those insecurities and bad attitudes that can creep in on you. Put on the full armor of God so that you can withstand the enemy.

Dear Daddy,

I plead guilty for having a bad attitude when I know I shouldn’t. The fact that You took a perfect soul to stand in the gap for my sins, should remove any stench of a bad attitude. Please forgive me if I seem ungrateful. Please help me along this Christian journey as I learn to be an imitator of You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to rebuke those dwarfs! Put on the full armor of God every morning before your feet hit the floor to guide your attitude throughout the day. Secure it again at night to ensure your mind is fixed on God as you go to bed. God has been too good for us to have a bad attitude!

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is 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 teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and 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 three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Growth/Maturity, Inspirational, Motivation, Preparation, Procrastination, Submission/Surrendering

You must click “SUBMIT” before the deadline.

Sub · mit (verb) to give over or yield to the power or authority of another.

I teach an online class. As I was preparing the instructions for the upcoming assignments I gave directions about a test. The instructions for the test read: “You may complete this assignment over time. However, in order to receive credit, you must click SUBMIT before the deadline.” Wowzers! I’m sure I’ve typed this same set of instructions about one hundred times but it never rang as it did this time.

Often times God gives us tests to complete. He even gives us a lifetime to complete it. The difference with His test and mine is that I provide the deadline, so my students can actually drag their feet until the last minute but with God it’s different. “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” Mark 13: 32-33 NIV

I think the statement “submit before the deadline” is what struck me the most. This Empowermoment is not to scare you, but honestly we need to hold ourselves accountable for what God has instructed us to do. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21-23. Just because I pray, write Empowermoments, tithe, and go to church does not mean I will go to heaven. I must “submit” to the will of God. This means I have to check myself when a judgmental thought comes through my mind. When I am provoked by the Holy Spirit to call my most irritating friend to check on her, I need to call her and speak the Word God gave me to share with her. When God tells me to shut my mouth I have to heed to that. When God tells me to control myself by checking my attitude, my selfish desires, and my actions toward other people, I have to be obedient. Basically, “Am I submitting to His will?” Am I walking by faith opposed to the nagging conscience of worry? Do I love my neighbor as opposed to silently attacking their bad decisions with judgment? Are my prayers sincere or are they out of habit?

I don’t know about you but I want to get full credit for completing the task God has for me, before the deadline. And I know in order to do that, I have to click SUBMIT.

Dear Daddy,

This journey of Christianity is really uncovering my sinful nature. I am comforted to know that even though I have sinful desires You have encouraged me to renew my mind, be obedient to Your Word and to love my brothers and sisters. Lord, I want to be ready when my deadline comes. I want to be a woman that hears Your voice, understands Your words, and imitates Your actions. Help me to submit to You in all areas of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Sistah Girl, I EMPOWER you to 1) Find out the will of God for your life through prayer and humility. 2) Seek God daily and hide His Word in your heart. 3) Realize that you are different. “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.” Romans 2:12. 4) Make your actions pleasing to God and delight yourself in Him. “and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4 NIV

For more study about God’s will read Ephesians 5.

Create your fall haiku for our monthly contest. Click here for more details.

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is 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 teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and 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 three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Encouragement, Faith, Motivation, Preparation, Procrastination, Spirit of Fear, Trusting God

My Life Will Never Be the Same!

I am guilty of always saying,“In my season my ministry will grow. In my season the calling that God has on my life will manifest. When God is ready for me to move out of my comfort zone, He will move me.”  This past weekend I attended a women’s conference and received confirmation that my time is now. The minister was laying hands and people were worshipping and praising God. I was paying attention but my prayer from the beginning was, “After this conference, my life will never be the same; my prayer life will never be the same; my relationship with God will never be the same and my marriage will never be the same.” I am convinced that my prayer was answered and my life will never be the same. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)

I know you are wondering how I know that my life will never be the same. Well, I am happy you asked. It will never be the same because there was a shift in the atmosphere. God spoke to me and told me that my time is now. While I thought that I had been waiting on God, He has been waiting on me. I have been wondering what was taking so long. God, I know your voice. I read and understand Your Word; I pray and pay my tithes. Why haven’t I moved to the next level in ministry, on my job, in my marriage or simply as a person?

Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Romans 8:30 NKJV)

I was praying and having other people pray for my increase and all the time God was waiting on me to walk into my season. God has created the plan for my life yet I was trying to create my own blueprint.  I learned if I line up my life with God’s plan, everything will fall into place. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1: 5 NIV)

At the conference I realized that I need to do what is right and stop compromising my relationship with God for relationships with “friends” and family. If people don’t respect the calling on my life then they are not part of God’s plan for my life. I know it may sound like common sense but a very dear friend of mine once told me that common sense is not so common! I didn’t realize that I was too busy waiting on people to tell me that “I have a special calling on my life or I am anointed or my latter is going to be better than my beginning.” God was waiting on me to just trust solely in Him and realize He is all the confirmation I need.

I often don’t give myself enough credit about things that I do. This is a form of low self-esteem. I really didn’t realize that I had low self-esteem and my faith was waveringBut without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11: 6 NKJV) I didn’t realize my confidence level in my ability to speak God’s Word was holding me up. I have been holding myself up all this time…However, after this weekend my life will never be the same!

Dear Daddy,

I thank You for changing my life. I thank You for Your patience, kindness, grace and mercy! Thank You for opening my eyes and allowing me to see that I was holding up my progress. I thank You God for showing me that my time is now and this is my season. God, I pray that You continue to open my eyes to diligently seek You. I pray that You continue to show me Your will and Your way for my life.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to stop holding up your progress. If you think you are waiting on God, He may be waiting on you. Do not let your life pass you by and all the blessings that He has for you because you are unsure if it is your time. It does not matter what your gift is. If God called you, He qualified you. I EMPOWER you to believe that your time is now. I EMPOWER you to believe and have faith that your season is starting right now and your life will never be the same!

Create your fall haiku for our monthly contest. Click here for more details.

Mrs. Keviyona Ray is an ordained minister and co-pastor in training 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. 

Gifts/Talents, Motivation, Procrastination, Self-Control, Time Management

Addicted!

No matter where I am or what I am doing I have to take a hit. Someone can be talking to me and I will sit right in their face and get my fix. Even while I am working and trying to meet critical deadlines, I’ll take hours to indulge. At the dinner table, at the restaurant or driving in my car, I take a quick hit. Church and airplanes are really the only spaces that are safe.

I am ashamed to admit it but my name is Chanceé Lundy and I am addicted to Facebook. I don’t think that I am a hardcore addict. I am not forsaking other real duties and responsibilities to peruse what I call the “weapon of mass distraction” but I am a functioning addict. My addiction creeps in when I really could be using my time and my mind for something else. Lately, I found that I could not go a day without logging in.  As a matter of fact, I am not sure if I went more than an hour. For years I wouldn’t add the mobile application because it was my way of taking a break from the social network when I wasn’t at a computer. However, that ended over a year ago when I installed it on my phone. Bad decision! Now I take my drug of choice everywhere.

What’s worse is that I don’t play Facebook games like Farmville, Mafia or anything of that sort. As a matter of fact, I often turn my nose up at people who do. “Don’t they have better things to do with their time? I can’t believe people would waste all of their time playing games on here.” Meanwhile, my countless hours of clicking through thousands of photos of people is just as bad, if not worse. At least they are competing; I am wasting hours of productivity and losing sleep looking at pictures trying to figure out how people are connected.

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12 KJV) Our time is our most precious asset and once it is gone it cannot be replaced. We have all heard the phrase “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” For many, Facebook has allowed them the opportunity to create stories based on other people’s status updates, pictures or writing on someone’s wall. All too common is the question, “Well how did you find out?” and the response is, “I saw it on Facebook.” It’s an alternate world that feeds into true reality. Often when those worlds collide, disaster ensues. There are the breakups, divorces, fights, and rumors caused by misuse of a social media tool that merely allows us to make connections with people that we otherwise would not interact with.

While your vice may not be Facebook, there may be other things that have captured your imagination that cause you to lose productivity because of your secret addiction. “How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6: 9-11 NIV) While continuing to ask God to do things in our life, it is unfortunate that we would consume ourselves with things that get us no closer to our harvest or to kingdom building.

Am I anti-Facebook? Of course not. But, I have realized there is a stark difference when I take intentional “breaks” and not let it consume me. As a matter of fact, I am noticing the number of deactivated accounts of people that I know and when I ask them why, their response is that it was wasting too much of their time. We are bombarded with so much technology that it is easy to see how we become distracted by constantly talking on our cell phones, texting, emailing, internet browsing, playing  games and much more. While all of these things are purposeful in our life, we have to remember their intended use and not let them become our addiction.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for showing us the error of our ways. Help us to recognize the addictions that we have in our life and send us through a spiritual rehabilitation. While You have equipped us with many methods to stay in touch and fellowship, help us to realize that these are not our talents and our time should not be wasted on things that don’t uplift. You have provided us with the gift of time; remind us when we are not using it wisely. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to seek out those things that are separating you from God’s promises. As you make your requests known to God, ask Him to reveal areas in your life where you can spend more time focusing on Him. Allow Him to break addictions and be obedient when He tells you to let certain things go. Don’t let an idle mind keep you from your harvest!

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures 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.