Grandparents, Inspirational, Righteousness

Get Your Shine On!

When my grandmother turned 80, it seemed as though every moment with her seemed to be more precious and valuable. Now at 85, whenever I call her, I look forward to just hearing her voice. Although I know she will be doing the same thing; sitting at her table; looking out of her window; watching TV, and telling her young neighbors how to live their lives, I enjoy our sweet conversations. The other day she said something to me that was so powerful, yet so succinct, it resonated with me. As the casual conversation started, about the salmon she was cooking, I proceeded to tell her why I hadn’t called in a few days. I was so busy with my girls that my only time to talk was early in the morning and I didn’t want to wake her. After she kindly reminded me that she is always up “fo day” (before day), she said;

“Baby, if the sun is shining, I’m gone shine with it.”

Those words were so powerful to me because they eliminated any possible reason you would have to complain, to look on the dim side of things, to develop excuses as to why things are the way they are, or to walk around frowning in the midst of the beautiful day that God granted us.

Jesus reminds us, “ You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

So, get your shine on. Don’t allow your circumstances to define your attitude!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being a light in me. It is my prayer that this light shines bright. May it shine so bright that any darkness near or around me is consumed. Lord help me to be so full of light that I spill over into my environment and encourage every situation I face and that every person I am around is influenced by this light. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Many of us face dark situations every day at home, work, on phone conversations, or via social networks; but, I EMPOWER you to put your light on a stand. Stand boldly in the midst of darkness and shine the light that God has placed in you. When you wake in the mornings, I EMPOWER you to decide at that moment, that you are going to get your shine on, no matter what!

If this word has encouraged you, are you committed to getting your shine on?


As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a university administrator. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Her passion is mentoring young women and marriage empowerment. She resides in Orange Beach, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They are members of New Beginnings Christian Center in Foley, AL.

Faithfulness, Heaven, Righteousness

Made For Heaven

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.” (Hebrews 11:13-14 KJV)

Many already know that Abraham and his family (Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob) were a part of the group who died in faith. God promised them all the land flowing with milk and honey, but they never received it while living; they only received by faith. Looking to Abraham and others, what can we learn from their testimony? What can we see God doing?  While reading the above scripture, the Holy Spirit was highlighting the words ‘strangers’ and ‘pilgrims’. A stranger is one who does not belong to the given locale. A pilgrim is one who is moving toward a given destination. ( After reading this scripture, I received this revelation from the Holy Spirit: “The Lord wants you to set your daily course toward heaven, rejecting earthly cravings that diminish your spiritual vitality.” Yes, Abraham lived a life of faith, and faith is important, but he knew that this earth was not his home and that Heaven was where the promise was.

Abraham and his family did not personally possess the Promised Land. Yet, they lived with an attitude of guaranty that Father God would fulfill His promises. They wholeheartedly accepted the certainty that the Lord would some day give that land to their seed. Meanwhile, they confessed that they were content to live as strangers concerning this world and as pilgrims anticipating the world to come: “and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” That was powerful! Even though they never saw the promise, they lived as if it happened. Have I lived as though God has already delivered on His promises? Has Lisa M. Purnell-Marshall been living like the great cloud of witnesses?

There are many things that I personally can list that I do or have done, that can make me appear that I’m not a “pilgrim or a stranger to this world”. So my question to God was how do I get there? I was led to 1 Peter 2:11. “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.” As I continue to live, just as Abraham, I will now focus my heart on yearning for a true, lasting, eternal homeland. A place where I don’t have to pray for healing; a place where I don’t feel unloved; a place where I will never be separated from the presence of God; the place my Father says is my home.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You so much for being a gracious and loving Father to us. We confess that we have forgotten that You have called us to be strangers to this world. We confess that we have forsaken the path of pilgrimage and went down other paths. Father, give us grace on this day to turn back because we want to make it home to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you to let the Holy Spirit cause your heart to yearn for that which heaven alone can provide. Press on as a pilgrim in this world and a stranger to its ways, bound for your homeland above.

 How do you stay on course in life or do you need us to pray and agree for you to make it home?


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

Attitude, Character, Evangelism, Fruit of the Spirit, Growth/Maturity, Jesus, Righteousness

Throwback Thursday: Kissed By The Sun

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on July 25, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

This will continue until we are united by our faith and by our understanding of the Son of God. Then we will be mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him. (Ephesians 4:13 CEV)

On July 16th, my husband and I celebrated our six year anniversary. For my gift, he took me on a four day cruise to the Bahamas. Only a handful of people knew our secret destination but upon my return it was very evident to everyone that I had been somewhere. Once I returned to work, everyone I encountered immediately exclaimed, “You really got a tan; where have you been?” As a writer, it was only natural that I came up with a creative and quirky response. So each time someone inquired, I smiled and said, “Yes, I’ve been kissed by the sun! (And oh yeah, we went to the Bahamas!)”

The fact that I had been on vacation on the beautiful, sunny beaches of the Bahamas was literally written all over my face. I had spent time in the sun and it showed. Likewise, when we have spent time with the Son, it should show! When you’ve had an encounter with Jesus, people around you should know without a shadow of a doubt.

…What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him… (1 John 3:2 MSG)

This revelation led me to do a self-evaluation. What notable transitions have taken place in my life since I have been on this Christian journey? Since my encounter with Jesus has my attitude changed? Am I more patient? Do I smile more? Do I love harder? Am I more forgiving? Am I less selfish and more selfless? What about me says that I have been kissed by the Son?

Ironically, being kissed by the Son has a drastically different effect than being kissed by the sun. While my sun-kissed skin was noticeably darker, my Son-kissed life should be remarkably brighter. “And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 MSG) When people come into my presence is there a certain glow that is ever present suggesting that I have unspeakable joy? Is anyone in my life wondering, “Where has she been and who has she been with because she is really brighter?”

Dear Daddy,

Please help me to recognize the areas of my life that may not exemplify that I have spent time with Jesus. Help me to correct those things so that everyone I encounter will be able to see that I have spent time with the Son. May they see less of me and more of You. If they don’t know Jesus personally, I pray that my life be a living sermon, spreading the Gospel to the unsaved. May our relationship grow so deep that my old fleshy ways no longer rise to the surface. I am just interested in becoming more and more like You every day! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to do a self-examination and determine if your life exemplifies that you’ve had an encounter with Jesus.  If you cannot answer yes, choose to make a change TODAY! If you can answer yes in some areas but not all, choose to make a change TODAY! It doesn’t matter if you have been with Jesus for 10 years or 10 minutes; it should be apparent that you have been kissed by the Son, as your complexion should be brighter!

Ladies, how can you tell when others have been kissed by the Son? Share your story with us.

Read A Related EmpowerMoment: When The Green Card Comes Down


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 more than anything. 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.

Jesus, Leadership, Mentor/Mentee, Mentoring, Righteousness, Throwback Thursdays

Throwback Thursday: He Is I, I Am Him

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on May 27, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

On last Friday I made a reference to Zacchaeus. If you’re not sure who he was let me tell you a little bit about him. He was a man not liked by the people because he was a tax collector. He wasn’t a tall man, in fact he very small in stature. He heard that Jesus was coming through Jericho. No one would make way for him to see Jesus so he decided to climb a tree to see Him. As Jesus passed by, He noticed him in the tree, asked him to come down, and told him that He would be staying at his house. The people of the town were in utter shock that Jesus, the Messiah, would actually take the time to even acknowledge this sinner.

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’ ” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19: 1-10 NIV)

Zacchaeus was determined to see Jesus even though the crowd was large, even though he was small, and even though he was a sinner. His faith was sufficient and Jesus recognized that. He made a promise to Jesus to turn his life around and he was forgiven for everything. This is where I see me. I liken myself to Zacchaeus. I had to fight the crowd and find sanctity in my own tree so that the Master could see me. This is not only one of my favorite biblical stories because of its powerful message of climbing “above the crowd” but it also shows that Jesus wasn’t hanging out with the Holy…He was hanging with those who needed to be saved. I’m sure in my past people caught flack for hanging around me. Even now I catch flack for hanging with certain people but you never know why God has put you in someone’s life. You may be the example that they are waiting for. Our only concern should be living right by example and those around us who are struggling in their relationship will see that if God can deliver us from the mess that we were in He can surely do it for them.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for my tree. I also thank You for placing me in people’s lives and for placing them in mine. I remember what You did for me and I pray that those around me who don’t know You can find You through the life that I am trying to live. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to stick with those around you who have fallen. Do not give up on that FRIEND who is lost. REMEMBER that you were there once. PRAY for him or her. In time they will find their own tree and rise above to seek out Jesus in the crowd.

How do you encourage those who have fallen by the wayside to turn again to Jesus; or, do you find yourself in the position of Zacchaeus?Share your story.

Read a related EmpowerMoment:  Dont Leave Them, Lead Them


Shawna Dix is a mother, educator, and all around child of God. She is passionate about God, her son Jalen, family, friends, and her students. She loves teaching because it allows her to shower our youth with love and guidance. She resides in Pentagon City, Virginia and works hard educating inner city youth in Washington DC. She prides herself in being a realist. She exclaims that she is in no way, shape, form, or fashion perfect but she has accepted that she serves a perfect God who is able to do ALL things!

Accountability, Character, Righteousness, Sin

Better Check Yourself

I have been reading Leviticus and I must admit that it is not one of my favorite books of the Bible. I found myself once or twice nodding off while reading the book. I even raised an eyebrow and thought how meticulous the Israelites, under the Old Covenant, had to be when presenting an offering or sacrifice and their selves ceremonially clean to God. As I neared the end of Leviticus, I asked God, “Why am I reading this?”

It was then while reading Leviticus 21:16-18, the light bulb came on or shall I say the Holy Spirit answered my question. “Don’t come before God any kind of way.”

You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart form the nations to be my own. (Leviticus 20:26 NIV)

I should constantly examine myself and my walk with the Lord. Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind. (Psalms 26:2 NIV) I should also check how I approach God in my prayer, praise and time with Him.Every time I read the Word or pray, my phone rings. Although I am actually better at this and I rarely answer it now, I would interrupt my time with God and answer it. Excuse me God; I know this is Your time and You come first, but something has come up is what I’m saying to God. As always, I should have sent the caller to voicemail. After talking to the person, I would go back and try to talk with God and it wouldn’t be the same. There are times when I have come before the Lord not only with my prayer requests, but with daydreams, thoughts of what I have to do, and a Santa Claus list.

Can you identify with this? Do you, like me, read the Word while lying down, ignoring God telling you to get up. God knows and you know too that you will fall asleep if you don’t get up. Have you rushed prayer or shortened your praise? Your breakthrough or answer could have been that very next minute. How many times have we come before God with unforgiveness, bitterness or an unwillingness to obey?

God wants His people to realize that although we are under the New Covenant, He still wants us to be holy. It was not an option then and it is not an option now. God wants His people to be holy, undefiled and without a blemish as He is. Does that mean we, as believers of Christ, will never sin? No. But we should hate sin as God does and not be mastered by it. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14 NIV) We are not perfect but we should be cultivating a perfect heart, one that is full of God’s love as well as undivided towards God. We should be maturing spiritually, seeking God’s presence and obeying His every command. Our love and desire for Him should outweigh our love and desire for the world. Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4b NIV)

Let’s be attentive to how we present ourselves to God:

  • Come correct. Confess your sins and repent sincerely. Have a pure heart, an uncluttered mind and make your petitions before God with the right motives. Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22 NIV)
    When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:3 NIV)
  • Have the Fear of the Lord. God doesn’t want you to be intimidated or shaking in your boots. Come boldly before the throne of grace with respect, reverence and honor of our God!
  • Acknowledge who He is; glorify Him and praise His Holy Name!
  • Come with His Word. Get to know God through His Word. Saturate in it and obey it. Speak His promises back to Him.
  • Have a forgiving heart.
  • Bring humility and your undivided heart. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (Proverbs 3:34 NIV)
  • Be consistent and come expecting!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your Son Jesus being our scapegoat and for sacrificing Himself that I may have salvation, mercy and an eternal inheritance. Thank You for reminding me that I am to respect You, honor You, love You wholeheartedly, obey You and be mindful of Your Presence and Power. You are an all consuming fire! You are the Only Wise God, Pure and Holy. You are a Jealous God! Thank You for the New Covenant and help me to keep my part of the covenant. You are Worthy and a Covenant Keeper! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to check yourself. Your relationship with God requires you to look good on the inside FIRST! Let God purify you and consecrate you so that your reflection resembles His Son. Be ye holy as He is holy!  Ask God to show you how He sees you as you are reminded to check yourselves.

How have you been presenting yourselves to God? What changes do you believe you need to make?


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. She, like many of her students, is the first of her family to graduate from college. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English-Professional & Technical Writing. 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 thru 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.

Conviction, Growth/Maturity, Righteousness, Sin


Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.  Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ (2 Samuel 12:7-10 NIV)

You cannot run from God.  You cannot convince Him that your sin is justifiable or escape punishment for the sin you have committed, especially if you have any sin in your life you have not confessed.  The Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart.  However, David was blinded by the sin in his life and had to be confronted on it.  We can live with a sin so long that it does not even become recognizable as sin.

For some reason, over the past few months my fire for God began to dwindle.  My church attendance fell off, my reading diminished, and I would fall asleep during prayers.  I am ashamed to admit all of this, but I would be more ashamed if I was dishonest with where I was and what God had to do to get my attention.  You see, God loves you and me so much that He will not allow us to wallow in sin and our poor choices without first sending us warning signs.  My first sign came from an email I received from a member of the EmpowerMoments team.  This sweet lady said she had a Word from God, but was hesitant to tell me exactly what He had told her.  I already knew I was in trouble because this lady and I had never met or talked before.  She gave me a call and began to tell me that God was not pleased with how I was living and how my relationship with Him was suffering.  I had “lost” Jesus. Now this absolutely scared me; I didn’t realize how far from Him I had gotten.  But I thank Him for people who are not afraid to confront (in love) those who are perishing or spiritually slumbering.

“Son of man, say to the house of Israel,” This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down and we are wasting away because of them.  How then can we live?” (Ezekiel 33:10 NIV)

I was at a weak point because I had not immersed myself in God’s Word and just like Eve, when the serpent tempted her in the Garden of Eden, I began to question the fairness of the laws God had set in place.  Whenever we find ourselves far from the Shepherd, we leave ourselves open for Satan’s attacks.  It starts with a simple question: “Are you sure it is that bad?”  Then it might turn into you comparing your sin to someone else’s sin.  Do not be fooled!   ALL sin is equal in God’s eyes and ALL sin will cause separation.  Once we begin to entertain the questions of the enemy our sure footing on the Rock begins to slip.  It is my hope today that this EmpowerMoment is another woman’s wakeup call before it is too late.  I would like to leave you with a quote from my friend that confronted me out of love.  “Nothing can separate you from the love of God, but that same nothing can steal your anointing.”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your loving patience and grace.  Without it, who could stand?  Help me to rid myself of any besetting or unrecognizable sin.  Reveal to me any grudge I may have against another so there can be no hindrances between You and me.  Send Your Holy Spirit to lead and guide me and place a hedge of protection around me so I can withstand the temptations of the enemy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Lovely Ladies, I EMPOWER you to break strongholds in your life.  If there is anything you are dealing with that is not of God, please let it go!

Has God sent you a warning before? Did you take heed? Share your story with us below.


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 also 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 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.”

Encouragement, Honesty/Truth, Restoration, Righteousness, Sin

Ms. Counterfeit

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” John 4:23 NIV

Hello, my name is Ms. Perfection, and I am perfect. I speak perfectly and I am careful not to speak ill will or negativity to anyone. My Facebook page is full of Bible verses and I go to church twice a week. I don’t gossip and I pay my tithes and even more with every pay check.  I don’t drink, smoke, or chew, or hang with those that do. I don’t go to the club and I make sure that those that do, know they are living in sin. I make sure I call it out! I’m faultless!

A grieved voice: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 NIV

Hello, my name is Ms. Cover, and I cover up the bad with the good. I speak the Word of God over every situation and I ensure to show my friends that I give thanks. My Twitter account is linked to all the well-known Pastors and all of my networking statuses are filled with Godly words and quotes. I have a secret: I sleep around because I’m addicted to sex and men, and frankly, if God wanted me to not be so promiscuous, He would relieve me of this right? Well, I make sure I cover this up too, because the girls I mentor are learning to live a holy life and I have to cover up to make sure they live right.

A grieved voice: “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” Luke 8:17 NIV

Hello, my name is Ms. Pointer and I point out the issues. When I see a friend sinning, I make sure they know! I point out all the issues to every rapper, singer, friend, politician or foe. This entire world is going to hell I tell you! After all, this is what God said do: He wants us to make it plain and tell it like it is! My friendship circle is almost non-existent because people just sin so much and I get tired of having to tell people how wrong they are. I make sure as soon as they say or do something unrighteous, I slap them with the Word! I don’t need friends, all I need is God!

A grieved voice: “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5 NIV

Hi, I’m Ms. Sinner. I’m a wretch undone. My filthiness equates to a dirty rag. Sometimes I tell my mind to do one thing, but I find myself doing another. Sometimes I portray to be perfect, cover up my blemishes with a little MAC, or lash out to others about their wrongdoings because mine are so painful. I want God to come and rescue me. I don’t deserve the car I drive. After all, I’ve used it as a hotel and it hasn’t honored Him. The house I own has been trashed with gatherings, sets, and parties that do not honor Him. I don’t deserve this outer beauty He has bestowed upon me because I don’t honor it. I smoke, drink, and fornicate at will. But I want a connection with something everlasting; I want a life that is filled with water overflowing. I want God to forgive me of my sins so that He can teach me how to leave the realms of self-perceived perfection, the lie of covering it all up, and being a hypocrite when I am really insecure.

Ladies, can’t we all identify a little bit with the Ms. Perfect, Ms. Cover, and Ms. Pointer? I know I can. But how can God work through our lives to get the glory if we walk around in a façade? How can He make us perfect in His own divine glory if we create our own perfections and neglect the humbleness of forgiveness, mercy, growth, and repentance? I am reminded of the woman with the alabaster box. She was a known sinner. But when she came to Jesus she humbled herself, wiped His feet with her hair, and anointed Him with her most valuable possession, the perfumes from her alabaster box. What’s interesting about alabaster boxes in that time, is that once they are broken, they can’t be sealed again. So everything that is on the inside must come out. When she poured out her inner truths of her heart, she was forgiven.

Dear Daddy,

I want to be honest with You today. I want to lay before You my inner sins of self-righteousness, conceit, and judgment. I want to be the type of worshipper that worships You in truth, honesty, and transparency. Lord, please help me become real before You so that I may be healed. I want to truthfully be able to witness to others, that mercy through Christ is true perfection, Your blood is the true cover, and pointing my heart to You is what makes me whole. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to pour out your heart to God, empty your alabaster box in worship. Be transparent to Him about your issues. Many of us carry around fake faces and perform empty gestures when truthfully we need to humble ourselves before God and worship Him in truth. It is then that our witness will be strengthened and the blood of Jesus will cover our past so that we can minister and help other sisters in Christ.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: She is Me: Lydia

Be sure to enter our monthly contest by clicking here.


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.

Fruit of the Spirit, Growth/Maturity, Righteousness, Sin

Born This Way

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:3-6 KJV)

Spicy, feisty a little bit nicety. Stubborn, talkative, loud, impatient, grudge holder and hardheaded. These are some of the traits that some would use to describe me, but don’t mind me I was “born this way.” Some of these are natural and some traits were learned in my environment. Either way it’s me and once upon a time I had a take it or leave it attitude and unfortunately sometimes I still do. Don’t get me wrong, I have some very positive qualities that I thought balanced the others out; however, seeking balance isn’t the same as removing those things that are not reflective of who Christ called me to be.

Ladies, we all have characteristics that those closest to us would say, “She’s been that way all of her life.” Your mother may even say, “She was born that way…it’s just her personality.” Guess what ladies? I have good news! Just because you were “born that way” doesn’t mean you have to stay that way. It doesn’t mean that you will be perfect but you can certainly transform. As a matter of fact, as women who are striving to capture God’s heart the Word tells us, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17 KJV)

Really, are ALL things supposed to become new? Even my attitude? I hear You Lord, but You don’t know my co-workers; better yet, You don’t my family and especially that husband You gave me. He really knows how to bring out the worst in me. Jesus, I can’t help it that I am envious of her; she has everything that I prayed for. Well Jesus, You know I’m “Single In The City” and this temptation is unbearable. Fortunately, this attitude is a part of that old creature. When people see you they should recognize your rebirth in Christ; however, many times we hold on to these negative attributes. Most important (because you can front for people), He should recognize that you have been born again. Although I can be as sweet as pie, I can hold a nasty, “I wouldn’t spit on you if you were on fire” kind of grudge and my patience can be dangerously thin. I can be unbearably bossy. I can curse like a sailor and when I’m really angry it rolls off my lips like water off a duck’s back. Let me not skip the fornication. I am not proud of these things and have definitely experienced growth, but like many of you I am not a “new” Christian. So why do I still maintain these old habits?

The truth of the matter is that as long as I went to church, read the Bible and talked about God, I convinced myself (although I knew better) that I was fine. I was not focused on my spiritual development, nor my maturity in Christ. But in the opening verse of this EmpowerMoment, Jesus tells us, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” If we are born of the spirit, shouldn’t we be exhibiting the fruit of the spirit? But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)

As you grow in relationship with Christ, when people say she was “born this way” they should be talking about qualities that reflect the fruit of the spirit. If you say you are filled with the spirit, they should recognize that fruit in you immediately.  Ye shall know them by their fruits… Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:16-20 KJV)

When people see you, do they see good or bad fruit?  Since your rebirth in the Kingdom, I hope that everyday you are looking more and more like your Daddy.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your revelation through the Word. Lord, convict me when I am not exhibiting characteristics that are reflective of You. Moreover, as I strive for perfection, open my understanding and increase my wisdom so that I can reflect the spiritual maturity of a seasoned disciple. Help me to grow so that when people are around me the fruit that I bear is pleasing to all. I can beam with pride and not be ashamed when people say she was “born this way.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I am EMPOWERING us to grow together. Please complete this worksheet. Study the scriptures and answer the questions that follow. You want the fruit that you bear to reflect that you were Born THIS Way. You want people to recognize that you are your Father’s child. 

How are you ensuring that your fruit is appetizing to others AND God? Share your testimony below.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Self Improvement

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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.”

Accountability, God's Protection, Righteousness, Sin

Falling Forward

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be temptedbeyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. I Corinthians 10:12-14

I am not a smoker, drunkard, or a gossip, but there are certain areas in which I struggle. When I was a younger Christian I was so focused on not doing outward sins that I neglected sins of the heart (which can be the most dangerous because we may not even recognize it as a sin).  I would focus on looking like I was doing the right thing, but I could strategically place myself in situations that I would easily fall. Using the Scripture, “for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again” (Proverbs 24:16), I would justify my fall by saying, I can rise again. In all honesty, I shouldn’t have placed myself in situations to “fall” in the first place.

As Christians we sometimes give the devil too much credit for the chaos and falls in our lives. We call going back to sin “back sliding”, but for many of us we know that we actually fall forward.  Meaning we go into a situation that has a high probability of us falling. We play this game of deceit with ourselves to diminish the feeling of sin being an actual sin; instead it becomes a mistake or an accident.  For example, how many of us have said: “I am celibate am I am not going to have sex with him”? Yet you put on your most enticing under garments, best smelling perfume and spend late nights alone with him. But if something did happen, you didn’t plan it right? Girlfriend, you fell forward; you knowingly put yourself in a high temptation situation.

The best part about knowing your weaknesses is having the power to plan better and hopefully make better decisions. If you know you are a glutton, going to an all-you-can-eat buffet might not be the best decision. If you have trouble holding your tongue, maybe you shouldn’t listen to music that will cause you to get into a negative mindset before you go into the world. Each one of us knows our struggles, and it is up to us to ensure that we do our absolute best not to put ourselves in situations that would lead us to fall. Putting on the armor of God does us absolutely no good if we neglect the helmet of salvation.  You do not want to disqualify yourself from eternal life with our Heavenly Father. He will not wink at our “accidental falls”, but we will be held accountable.

Sisters, guard your heart and mind, because we can deceive ourselves into thinking that the sin in our lives is acceptable.

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me of the iniquity that dwells within my heart. Help me to recognize when situations are high temptation areas so that I do not fall forward or backslide. Keep me on the path of righteousness, and allow the Holy Spirit to give me the strength to walk away when my flesh is weak. I praise You for loving me enough to always give me a way of escape. If I see another sister struggling, help me to pray for Your divine protection and grace for her as well. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to take an inventory of your weaknesses and recent falls. Do not use this information to condemn yourself, but rather as a plan of action. Do not keep putting yourself in situations where you are not likely to succeed. I EMPOWER you to stop falling forward and simply move forward to your destiny in Him.

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 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.”

Encouragement, Growth/Maturity, Inspirational, Organization, Righteousness, Self-Control

One Room at a Time

It’s that time of year again, SPRING CLEANING!  Every year I go into spring cleaning with extremely high ambitions of demolishing the clutter in my house, organizing everything into its proper place, and throwing away or giving away all un-needed items.

I always set out to implement a 3-step process:

1) Take EVERYTHING out

2) Go through everything, throwing things away or putting them in the goodwill box

3) Put things back into place in an organized manner

I always had good intentions but mostly my efforts only resulted in chaos, personal frustration and the end result of me giving up.  My house ended up looking worse than it did when I started and I would just throw everything into a closet or a spare room to get it out of the way.

NOT THIS YEAR! I am determined to complete my mission of spring cleaning my home.  I have done away with my old process and adopted a new one–ONE ROOM AT A TIME WITH HELP!  Instead of trying to do everything for every part of the house all at once, I’m going to go room by room purging and organizing.  I am also going to enlist the help of friends.   As I was putting the finishing touches on my spring cleaning plan, God revealed to me how this strategy also applies in my spiritual walk.

When I became saved, I tried to implement the three step process to “cleanliness” or sainthood:

1)      I took everything out and exposed everything in my life that did not line up with Christ

2)      I  tried to get rid of everything that was not like Christ – ALL AT ONCE

3)      I put myself back together in a way that was pleasing to God

My efforts to do this only left me with a feeling of hopelessness, frustration, and not much cleaner or “saintly” than when I started out on my mission.  As He saw me grasping at straws not getting results, God pulled my coattail and gave me a new strategy…ONE ROOM AT A TIME WITH HELP!

Paul told the church at Philippi to “…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…” (Philippians 2:12b NIV)  This statement would not have been considered necessary if as a Christian you were expected to get everything together all at once.  God taught me how to see and set goals for growth in the various areas (rooms) of my life.  God calmed me when I was discouraged that my “rooms” were not getting clean fast enough, and He reminded me that the race is not given to the swift nor to the strong but to the one that endures to the end.  God instructed me to keep going, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV)

Lastly, this strategy imperatively depends on the WITH HELP piece.  I had to learn that I needed God’s help in everything I do; I could not clean myself up alone.  God has specifically told us that, “… I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them will produce much fruit.  For apart from me you can do nothing…” (John 15:5 NIV)  I thank God for giving me this strategy and I have seen so much growth in my walk with Christ since WE started to wholeheartedly implement it.  Now it’s time to apply this strategy to the cleaning of my house; let me get to work, this might take a while!! *Rolls sleeves up* ONE ROOM AT A TIME WITH HELP!!!!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being my “…help in the time of trouble…” (Psalms 46:1b)  I thank You for helping me to clean out every area of my life.  I thank You for being patient with me and helping me to persevere through the process of life change.  Please help me to stay the course and not stop until EVERY area of my life is ENTIRELY pleasing in Your sight.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to CLEAN your spiritual house one “room” at a time.  Be sure to constantly enlist the help of your friend, THE friend, the one who sticks closer than a brother, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to help you get it all done.  Our ultimate goal is to be just like Christ; we are not to stop working until we have reached that goal!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Cleaning for Company

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.”