Change, New Seasons, Trusting God

Spring Cleaning

spring-cleaning-jpgCreate in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10 NIV)

The winter is over and spring has sprung! With spring comes life and newness. God has promised to do a new thing within me this season. I can’t stay in the same place, do the same things, have the same mentality and expect God to do something fresh within me. I have been praying and asking God to help me get to the place I need to be so that He can do the work He wants to do. In order for that to happen, I need to allow Him to do some Spring Cleaning.

During our Winter season in life, things die that are no longer of any use to us along with those things that were not supposed to be there in the first place. God allows these things to wither and die so they can be removed in time. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV) says: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

Spring Cleaning isn’t something new to many people. At the end of the Winter season and the beginning of Spring we take time to go through everything we own and clean it all up. We get rid of things that we will no longer use and either trash or donate it all. We do this in order to make room for new things. We reorganize our closets and trade in our Winter gear for our spring time fashions. We clean our yards and begin to plant seeds and plants, etc. You know your routine for Spring cleaning.

God comes into our lives and cleans like crazy. He removes every dead, useless, unnecessary and poisonous, out of season thing. The only problem with this is that we are not always willing to let go of everything. Many times we hold on to the very thing that is blocking our blessing. In Ephesians 4:31 (NIV), we are instructed to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” When God begins to clean, He reveals things that we never thought could be within us or at least never wanted to admit to. In order for the cleaning process to be complete He had to remove these things.

I am guilty of holding on to dead things including the things listed in Ephesians 4:31. During my lifetime (which has been relatively short compared to some people I know), I have gone through the tests, trials and tribulations that winter brings only to hold on to the remnants of the past. Not realizing that these things I treasured were not only dead but were weighing me down and keeping me from all the promises God made me. I needed to let go and let God do His work.

It’s like hiring a landscaper and not letting him get rid of weeds, dead trees, trash or anything else that is causing the property to look bad as well as aiding in the destruction thereof. As long as all of that is there, nothing will be able to grow because it will kill it before it has a chance. Not only is time wasted but so are money and the opportunity for potential prosperity. We have to let go of the things that are destroying and killing us.

I know that it is hard at times and while we don’t see things as God does, we have to trust Him no matter what. That’s where Psalm 51:10 comes in, we have to ask God to renew our minds so we can understand and mediate on His plan. We also have to ask for a steadfast spirit so we can actually put His plan into action.

I will admit that I am still in the process of learning to fully trust God in everything. I know He knows what is best for me and that as long as I allow Him to have His way; things will always work out for the best. God knows what is necessary in order for our Spring to be fruitful. He knows what we have to get rid of and what we have to keep.

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive us for being disobedient and holding on to things we were instructed to let go of. We did not understand that we were causing our blessings and growth in You to be hindered and possibly destroyed. Please allow us to see You as our landscaper and Spring Cleaner. We know that You are so much more than that, but at this time that is what we need for You to be. Allow us to remember Ecclesiastes 3:1. Please help us let go of everything that is not meant for this season and grab hold of what is so that we can be blessed. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER us all to let go of EVERYTHING God has instructed us to let go of and allow Him to clean and do His work. I know that none of us will regret it.

What things will you obediently get rid of this season?

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Bettina Allen is currently working in security, with prior experience in customer service. She loves to read, write and dance. She loves God and is on a mission to be as close to Him as she possibly can. Bettina is constantly learning and growing from life’s experiences. God has given Bettina a word and she would love to share that word, along with all of the lessons He has taught her, with others. Bettina resides in Georgia and attends Life Church of Atlanta. Her favorite scripture is Psalm 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

 

Focus, God's Peace, Trusting God

Finding Calm in Chaos

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3 KJV)

Ever since I was blessed to have the opportunity to join the EmpowerMoments team, it seems as if my life has become busier than ever. Before, I had time to do anything I wanted. Now, everyday it’s something new. At first, I felt like I could handle it but then, I became overwhelmed. I felt like I really had absolutely no time for God.

I must admit that I allowed the enemy to stress me out, especially when my car broke down on the side of the highway while I was trying to help my sister after her car broke down. We were both on the side of the highway with our cars side by side. After neither one would start, I found myself feeling very discouraged.

My dad and I arrive to rescue my sister and while he was working on her car, my car stopped. I went from thanking God for allowing us to all be safe to panicking because neither car would start. I called the car lot where I purchased my car and asked that a tow truck be sent. They gave me the run around for about an hour or so. My frustration then escalated to anger. Before I knew it I was yelling at the people because they didn’t want to help me.

All I could think about was all of the things I had to do that day and how I was sitting on the side of the road wasting time. Then I grew frustrated with my sister as I recalled how I had called her the night before with explicit instructions about getting to work the next morning. She failed to listen and as a result, we were stranded!

In the midst of all that chaos, a close family friend called and offered to come and pick us up. However, my sister declined her offer! We were sitting in the car in 0°weather! I couldn’t understand why she would turn down some help! My blood pressure immediately shot up and I had to get out of the car and try to calm down.

In that moment, all I could do was scream. I was trying to ask God to calm me down but every time I looked at my sister I became frustrated all over again. Every time I looked at my car, I became angry. It was just difficult to shift my focus from my issues at hand to the One who could change my circumstances.

Eventually, I made it home and that’s where I began to relax. I sat on the sofa and prayed and asked God to forgive me for being so angry. He calmed me down quickly. There was no trace of anger or frustration anywhere. He placed it on my heart to apologize for getting angry so I called everyone I’d yelled at and apologized. I felt a lot better and was able to ask God to let His will be done. I realized I’d been going through a storm and needed to focus on God to help me through it.

There was a lesson in all of that confusion. God allows us to experience storms in order for us to grow. We lose sight of Him in the midst of our storm and we panic as soon as the enemy attacks. If we don’t see a way out, we go into a frenzy and lose self control. We stop trusting God, make mistakes we wouldn’t otherwise make, lose faith, and forget to trust Him. We have to remember to focus on God when there is chaos all around us.   He already knows when and how the situation will be fixed. He knows what’s best for us and has promised to keep us in perfect peace as long as our focus is on Him.

Dear Daddy,

Please help us stay calm and encouraged while we wait on you. Please give us the perseverance to wait on you. Please give us confidence in knowing that you will never leave us in the midst of a storm but will always be there. Please bless us in the way you have intended and keep our eyes, hearts, and minds focused on you. Please help us to give all of our worries, concerns, fears, doubts, and insecurities to you. You can handle anything far better than we can. Please help us to not allow our situation or the people we’re around at the time to discourage us or cause us to stray. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to trust God in the midst if your storm. He is always there with you and will never leave you. I EMPOWER you to shift your focus from the storm you’re in to the One who has the power to keep you in perfect peace during the storm. 

What has your attention?  Put your focus back on God.

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Bettina Allen loves to read, write and dance. Nevertheless, she loves God and is on a mission to be as close to Him as she possibly can. She is constantly learning and growing from life’s experiences. God has given Bettina a word and she would love to share that word, along with all of the lessons He has taught her, with others. Bettina resides in Georgia and attends Changing A Generation Church. Her favorite scripture is Psalm 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” 

 

Children, Faith, Health/Sickness, Miracles, Testimony Series, Trials, Trusting God

My Testimony: Life in Seemingly Dead Situations

Happy New Year EmpowerMoments family! We have surely missed you! As we kick off the new year, we are beginning with a series entitled “Testimonies & Lessons”. We believe Revelation 12:11 when it says that we overcome by the word of our testimonies. We pray that our testimony and lessons from last year will EMPOWER you to triumph this year! May God bless you and make 2014 the greatest year of your life thus far!

The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.  He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.  I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. (Ezekiel 37:1-10 NIV)

February 7, 2013 is a date that will forever be sketched on the canvas of my mind. The events that took place about 6:00 p.m. that evening left such an indelible mark on my memory board that I couldn’t forget them even if I tried.

I was home alone with my three daughters, who were ages 7, 5 and 6 months at the time. If you have followed EmpowerMoments in the past, then you may be familiar with my youngest daughter’s story. (See Not By My Own Might & The Definition of Miracle) After her heart surgery, she was released from the hospital with a feeding tube to aid in her eating while she recovered and gained enough strength to do so on her own. Before she was discharged from the hospital, my husband and I had to learn how to insert the tube via her nose. Once home, we found ourselves constantly having to re-insert the tube because she would quickly snatch it out. That evening I was dropping the tube as I had done at least 2 dozen times before.  However, that day something went terribly awry.

Per the usual, she was screaming and throwing a fit as she tried to resist the tube insertion. I restrained her and continued with the insertion and she immediately stopped crying. Shocked that she was no longer screaming, I paused to check her out. That’s when I saw that her face was blue and she was no longer breathing. I am sure my heart stopped for at least 3 seconds as I held my lifeless baby in my arms. After I recovered from my initial shock, I sprung into action. I remember praying two short prayers: “God, don’t let this baby die on me” and “Please bring to my remembrance how to do CPR.”  As my older daughters frantically searched for the phone to dial for help, I laid my sweet baby on the floor and attempted to breathe life back into her body. After what seemed like a million years, she finally let out a feeble cry. She was breathing, but her skin was still purple so I knew she was not completely fine. Moments later the paramedics arrived and whisked us away to the local hospital.

Upon arrival every resource in the emergency room was at my daughter’s bedside trying to save her life. I sat outside the room alone crying and attempting to pray, as no one had time to explain to me what was happening. If I tell you that I was scared at that moment, I would be lying. Scared can’t even begin to capture what I was feeling. That was the most terrifying experience of my entire life.

Today, I am beyond blessed to report that my little sunshine is still here and is the busiest toddler in history! The doctors could not pinpoint exactly what caused her breathing to stop and each time they made rounds to her room, it was expressed how great she looked to have been through such an ordeal. She was discharged from the hospital 2 days later and she has been moving and shaking ever since!

This little ball of LIFE was once a SEEMINGLY dead situation!
This little ball of LIFE was once a SEEMINGLY dead situation!

There are so many other facets to this story that I would have to spend more than a mere moment to empower you. But there are some lessons that I learned from that situation that I want you to remember on your journey this year.

  1. The most important thing that I want you to understand is that seemingly deadly situations are nothing for God because He can breathe life back into anything that He so desires. My daughter appeared lifeless, but He breathed life back into her nostrils. So as you deal with circumstances that will come your way this year, remember that nothing is too hard for God. Your health, your marriage, your children, your finances, your brokenness, your depression, whatever your dead situation – nothing is too hard for Him to revive.
  2. Even if you see just a glimpse of hope, hold on to that! When I heard her faint cry, I knew we were not out of the woods just yet, but it was enough to let me know God was listening and answering! This year rejoice in the small battle victories while you wait to win the war!
  3. As I sat outside that hospital room alone, I had no other choice but to wait for the outcome. Sister, you are going to face some trials this year and some you may have to face alone. Things will be beyond the scope of your power and you are just going to have to sit back and wait while God does His work. Pray if you can; cry if you must. But whatever you face, be still and let Him do what He does best!
  4. Never succumb to the notion that you have to look beat up, even when you’ve been in a fight! My sweet baby was up bouncing around, laughing and speaking her baby gibberish the very next day. If you weren’t privy to her story, then you had no idea what she had just gone through. This year, I want you to not allow your circumstances to steal your joy, your smile or your swag! Even when the walls are closing in all around you, look your best so that you can feel your best!

Dear Daddy,

As I stand at the beginning of this new year not knowing the things that I will face, I ask that You help me prepare to fearlessly face anything that will come my way.  I know that You are the same God that brought life to my seemingly dead situations in 2013. Help me to hold on to those thoughts when my faith needs rejuvenation for challenges that I will endure in 2014. I know that You have the final say so! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to remember that your valley of dry bones may seem like a cemetery to you, but it’s the newborn nursery to God—it’s full of life! I EMPOWER you to remain encouraged this year as you go through trials and tribulations, wait on God to move on your behalf, and choose to never look like what you’ve been through!

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

God's Provisons, Spirit of Fear, Trusting God

When The Journey Is Too Much

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Daddy,

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

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

What journeys have God helped you through?

Read a related EM: Soaring Makes Me Sore

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Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a Compassion Person and Encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better through her support, actions and writing. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Children, Faith, Health/Sickness, Strength, Trials, Trusting God, Victory

Not By My Own Might…

Do your best, prepare for the worst—then trust God to bring the victory. (Proverbs 21:31 MSG)

Recently I have been in one of the most serious faith tests of my life thus far. I have been challenged to believe God for some truly supernatural things and to take the limits off of Him like never before. And while I have always had crazy faith, my current issues are testing to make sure that what I say I possess I truly do. A tremendous part of having faith in God for your life is trusting that He is truly going to do what is best for you. As the retire president of Control Freak Anonymous, I know how easy it is to want to intervene when God is busy working on your behalf. Sometimes our little handiwork makes us think that we have really assisted God and accomplished something. Then God gets jealous because He wants to get the glory from our situation, so He permits circumstances that we have NO power to transform. Even if we tried with all our human might, called in family and friends to help, and exhausted every resource we had, we still wouldn’t be able to rectify the situation. That is where I am today…

My newborn daughter is facing some serious health complications. Initially, we only knew that she wasn’t gaining weight as a baby her age should. We later found out that her failure to grow properly was linked to an extra large hole in her heart. Her tiny little heart is working so hard to meet the demands of her body that she is burning more calories than she is consuming. The doctors are not optimistic that the hole will close on its own because it is such a large one. They have suggested that the only way for her to be healed is open heart surgery. Of course upon hearing this news I was devastated, as any mother would be. I sulked in my sadness for a day or two, but then I got it together. (Ladies, it is ok to pause and get in your feelings for a moment, BUT you HAVE to get back up quickly. If you don’t, the enemy is going to wear you out. After all, the devil can’t hit a MOVING target!)

After I got up and got back on my post of praise, prayer and worship, I had a nice talk with Jesus. I felt helpless because I couldn’t fix my baby. This was more than a past due electric bill issue or relationship problem—I could handle those with my own power. I am believing God for a supernatural, miraculous healing of her heart and that would require His help. In prayer, the Spirit whispered these simple, yet powerful words to me: You do your best and let me handle the rest. What exactly does that mean? It means that my job is show up for the fight; it’s His job to get in the ring and battle on my daughter’s behalf. My best is wholeheartedly trusting in God’s word. When it says that He heals the broken in heart and binds up their wounds, I trust that. (Psalm 147:3) Knowing that He sent forth His word to heal my daughter, I get peace of mind. (Psalm 107:20) When I read that He is watching over His word to perform it, I relax because I don’t have to perform it. (Jeremiah 1:12) When I recall that this will only be successful with heaven’s help, I don’t have to rely on my own might and power. (John 3:27)

I know the hole is the same size it was when it was first discovered.  I know that the surgery has been scheduled. I know that with a surgery such as this comes many risks.  Those are the facts. However, my faith dictates what I believe. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe God’s word is true. I believe God is STILL a healer. I believe God can close the hole so tightly that one would never know that it existed. Should He not choose to close the hole, I believe God to keep her through the surgery. I believe that however the plot of this story goes, God is going to get the glory! Simply put, I just believe God!

Dear Daddy,

As I face situations that are beyond my control, I rest easy knowing that I have You on my side. You control everything; the wind and seas halt at Your command, so I know that You are able to calm my storms as well.  Lord, when my faith begins to falter, please remind me of Your word. Please remind me how You saved me before and didn’t need anyone’s help. I thank You for being what I need to be successful and victorious. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to rely on the strength of God, not your own might. If you are in a very challenging situation right now that is truly testing your faith, pause to thank Him right now! He is perfecting your faith and ensuring that He gets the glory out of your life. When this storm passes (and it will pass), you will be able to say without a shadow of a doubt, “Nobody did this, but GOD!!!

A host of prayer warriors have joined me in praying for a miraculous healing of my daughter’s heart. This EmpowerMoment is dedicated to each of them. May God blow each of your minds with His mighty power!

After realizing that you can’t do it yourself, what have you released to God?

Read a related EmpowerMoment: She is Me: Sarah

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

Faith, Praise/Worship, Prayer, Word of God

Just Do It!

 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22 NIV

But how…

The above scripture used to seem so complex to me. Sure, I knew that I was sinning, wrong, wayward, and lost. But “HOW” was I supposed to get back on track. I would see all of these charismatic people, on fire for the Word, rarely doubting God and I would wonder “HOW” did they do it. People would tell me,  “pray about it,” “it will get better” or, “be patient.” I would often wonder, but “HOW?” How am I supposed to be close to God? How do I start a relationship with Him? How do I pray without sounding weird? How do I begin to remove the sin (that I relished in) out of my life? How?

Many years later, being on the other side of this question, I’ve learned that Nike actually declares one of the most profound statements of my time; JUST DO IT! I remember speaking to one of my mentees and she said, “How do I begin to read my Bible?” Now, depending on who you talk to, some will say start at Genesis, start at Psalms, start at Proverbs, start at Matthew, and so on. But what I have come to learn is to “Just do it.”  There is no perfect way to read God’s Word. Sure, there are ways to scholarly advance throughout the Bible, or ways to dissect it better, but in layman’s terms, JUST DO IT.  Pray before you open it, ask God to enter your heart and mind, and trust that what you read will become embedded in your heart.

How do we pray? In Bible School we are taught to pray as Jesus did, but for me, at one time I couldn’t even understand that. I knew the Lord’s Prayer but I didn’t feel like I was being sincere. One day I literally lay on the floor, face down, and sat quiet. I began to think about all the great things that have happened in my life, the awesome “coincidences” that I knew only God could do, and I just started reciting them in thanks. I had to Just Do It!

In addition to becoming connected to a supportive body of believers, here are some tips that gave me a boost along my walk with God:

  1. How do I study God’s Word? Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 NIV) I wanted to correctly handle God’s Word, but how? I found a Sunday School book and started following its lessons and it grew from there. It may seem weird, but it helped me to focus on “learning” God’s Word. Stop by a church and ask them for one, I’m sure they’ll give you one.
  2. How do I pray in power? I wanted to be able to pray boldly not wavering in doubt. Opening your mouth to God in prayer is power in itself. But what I wanted was to feel connected, comfortable (not complacent) enough to focus on God, and strong enough to pray for others. But how? I kept doing it, over and over and over.  I started by making a prayer list. I would write down the things I wanted to say including who and what I wanted to pray for. Next, I would read my “list” to God. This was how I started learning how to converse with Him. The more I prayed, the more in tune I became. Praying without ceasing and believing that God heard me revealed His power.
  3. How do I exhibit faith? Having faith is understanding its definition. Faith is to have complete trust or belief in something. I was very skeptical of having faith that God actually cared about every little thing in my life. But I had to JUST DO IT. I had to talk daily to Him, and make a decision that I was NOT going to try and solve all of life’s problems. I had to literally shove worry out of my mind and trust that God was going to work it out. I actually believed that God would not let me down and that His Word was true. I have professional training in the science field, so naturally I like to solve things. There is always a cause and effect, whether immediate or delayed. But I can’t take that approach with faith. I have to leave it there, believing that God will lead me to the solution or He will just fix it!

Dear Daddy,

I want to really be able to say that I can call You Daddy. I want to know that when I pray You hear me. I want to be able to read Your Word and actually understand what it means. I want to grow in faith and believe that You really do care about something as small as me being upset about my appearance to something as grand as the health of my children. Lord, please send tangible examples and wise people my way so that I can continue to cultivate my relationship with You. Starting today, I am going to JUST DO IT! I am going to “try it out” and pray that I grow and feel Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, many of us are learning how to grow in Christ. Today I EMPOWER you to JUST DO IT! It may be reading more, praying more, worshipping deeper or praising louder, but JUST DO IT! Do it in faith, believing that God knows your heart and will receive your truth with open arms.

What are some tips you have for those of us “starting out” in Christ? Share with us some ways that you strengthen your walk with God.

Read A Related EmpowerMoment: Two Way Street

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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 two daughters. They attend Vaughn Forest Church. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

God's Protection, Trusting God, Worry

Throwback Thursday: But It’s Okay Right Now

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on May 12, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

During the evening of the worse tornado event in the history of Alabama, my daughter and I were in our living room on the lookout for the storm. The mood in the room was pretty tense with the news channel in the background, windows cleared for view of what was to come, sirens blaring, the bathroom cleared out for us to take shelter when prompted, and friends over that were taking precautions as well.

My daughter has an extreme affinity for bubbles. So she asked, “Mommy can I go outside and blow my bubbles.” Being the Mom and alert of what was about to take place in the atmosphere, I kindly replied, “No Dear, the weather is getting bad. A tornado is coming.” In her most innocent and serious voice, she replied, “But it’s okay right now, Mom.” Those of you that know my daughter are not shocked by this quick, rationalized response from a three-year old, but I saw past her statement. “But it’s okay RIGHT now.” Immediately God shared with me that we spend so much time preparing for the worst and worrying about tomorrow that we forget to recognize, “It’s okay right now.”  Thinking of my personal and spiritual life, I wondered how many times and how much energy have I wasted worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet. God tells us a few things in His word about missing out on today due to worrying about tomorrow:

  • Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God.” (AKJV) Don’t spend your time being restless and anxious about your future…think about the moment. “It’s okay right now.”
  • Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NIV) I am known for welcoming Thursday’s stress on the Monday prior instead of allowing God to handle my storms.
  • Matthew 6: 25a “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…” (NIV) Jesus shares not to worry about the most important thing such as your life to the least important, your clothes. He’s got it covered. You just focus on today.“It’s okay right now.”
  • Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.” (NLT) When we keep our minds on God, we strengthen our faith in trusting He will handle the things to come.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being a shield of protection when I can’t see what’s in front of me. Thank You for taking care of the beginning and the end of all of my concerns. Lord, help me to stop and see Your blessings in this day and not to waste my time on things I cannot handle, predict, or fix ahead of time. Teach me to stop and smell the roses. Time is a gift that can’t be relived, so thank You Lord for granting me with a new opportunity each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Sister, today I EMPOWER you to stop worrying about things you don’t think will go right or your issues about tomorrow. Stop for a moment to smell the roses and realize “It’s okay right now.”  I may not have money for my bill on Friday, but “I’m okay right now.” I may not have the spouse I want, but “I’m okay right now.” I don’t have the “things” that I think I want, but Lord in this moment I recognize my blessings and “I’m okay right now.” Don’t get caught up in worrying about the next step and forget about this moment’s blessings. God reminds us that “All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) With this in mind, focus on the moment…“It’s okay right now.”

Dedicated to my daughter who always reminds me to stop and smell the roses. “From lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.” (Psalms 8:2 NIV)

What are you spending time worrying about? Vow today to stop!

Read a Related EmpowerMoment: It’s Too Heavy

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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 two daughters. They attend Vaughn Forest Church. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.