Blessings, Inspirational, Motivation, Obedience, Submission/Surrendering, Trusting God

When They Don’t Listen to the King…

Several days ago I received a phone call offering me a wonderful writing opportunity. The opportunity was available because the person who previously occupied the position refused to make some changes that those in charge had requested. Knowing all of the parties involved, I was a bit reluctant to accept the offer.  I didn’t want my predecessor to be mad with me. I didn’t want her to think that I had plotted and schemed to take her place. Never in a million years did I want to offend her in any way. Because I am such a sensitive person, I am always working to ensure that my words and actions are not those that will pierce anyone’s emotions. After struggling with the decision for a few days, God reminded me of the story of Esther. Remember Esther? She was the woman who was “chosen for such a time as this.” She went from being a no-name Jew to saving her entire people from complete annihilation. Let’s briefly revisit her story…

After a week-long celebration complete with fine linens, food and spirits, King Xerxes summoned his wife to come before him. Queen Vashti was so gorgeous that he wanted to display her beauty to all of the banquet guests. However, the Queen refused to obey his wishes: “But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.” (Esther 1:12)  When I first read this, I was a bit baffled. If it was customary for the queen to adhere to the king’s request, why was she disobeying? Was she starting a women’s revolution in the B.C. era? Was she just interested in making a fool out of her husband? Did she refuse as a means of scolding him because he was too drunk?  While all of these seem like great theories, I am convinced that God had purposed her disobedience to push His plan into play. Similarly, when God hardened the heart of Pharaoh and made him refuse to release the Israelites from Egypt, it was all so that His divine will could be accomplished: For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” (Romans 9:17 NLT)

After Queen Vashti refused the request, the king met with his boys and they suggested that Vashti be immediately relieved of her title. “So if it please the king, we suggest that you issue a written decree, a law of the Persians and Medes that cannot be revoked. It should order that Queen Vashti be forever banished from the presence of King Xerxes, and that the king should choose another queen more worthy than she.” (Esther 1:20 NLT)

The rest is history…Esther was chosen as the new queen which put her in a position to petition the king for mercy on her people. But, Esther was only chosen as queen AFTER someone else refused to obey…

So why did we just have that brief Bible study lesson? It’s simply to remind you (and me) that there are going to be times when opportunities arise simply because someone else chooses not to submit to the process. Does that mean that we are bad people if we choose to walk through the opened door? Absolutely not! When they don’t listen to the king, they put you in a position to do just the opposite. Just like Queen Esther’s story, God will use that situation to catapult and elevate you to a position where you have the favor, power and authority to change people’s lives and situations. Walk into your destiny because a lot of people are depending you.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You being King over my life.  Give me the will and desire to obey Your decrees at all times. I thank You for people who say no so that You can give me yes! Help me to walk boldly into places that You prepare for me. If it’s from You, I want it! If it’s not from You, help me to discern that as well so that I may reject it. I am excited about my future and where You are taking me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Queens, I EMPOWER you to willingly accept the new position that God is giving you. If the opportunity is the result of another’s disobedience, allow your obedience to take you to another level in Him! Remember that your obedience is connected to so many other people’s destinies!

 Sending a very special “Happy Birthday” to MY king:

Mr. James Harris!

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.

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Direction/Guidance, Growth/Maturity, Inspirational, Motivation, Obedience, Submission/Surrendering

Consider Your Ways!

Some days I feel like a hamster on a wheel. I am spinning and spinning but going nowhere.  I am doing all of the things that I think are important to get results and the results compared to the effort are meager at best. I put one dollar in the bank and I have to withdraw two. Like Paula Abdul sang, “I take two steps forward, I take two steps back.”  What’s really going on? Although this may not be my self-proclaimed “season,” it has caused me to take an assessment of myself and ask God to show me what, if anything, I am doing to cause a delay in my harvest.

In that spirit, I have recommitted myself to my morning devotionals. Admittedly for the past year or more, I have hit the “dismiss” button on the alarm every morning at 5:00AM. I’m not perfect but I am working on it. During a recent devotion, I was lead to a story in Haggai (don’t know if I have ever truly studied that book) that spoke volumes into my life and I hope it will speak to you as well.

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the LORD’s house.” Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” (Haggai 1:2-3 NIV)

To give you some background, the temple of Lord was destroyed and was in ruins and He told the people to rebuild it. The people started on the temple but failed to complete it. Instead they focused on their own homes and personal satisfaction. It is now some years later.

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says:
“Give careful thought to your ways.
You have planted much, but harvested little.
You eat, but never have enough.
You drink, but never have your fill.
You put on clothes, but are not warm.
You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”            

(Haggai 1:5-6 NIV) 

Whoa! I re-read this time and time again. It was as if the words on the pages were jumping out at me. Surely Ecclesiastes tells us that there is “nothing new under the sun.”  These verses from BC described exactly how I was feeling in 2011 AD.

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops.  I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.” (Haggai 1: 7-11 NIV)

Surely, God was holding back the blessings on these people because they were too busy handling their own affairs to handle His. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away.”

As I studied this passage, I came across a few questions that I am truthfully still dealing with. 1. Has God told me to do anything for Him that I am procrastinating on? 2. Has God told me to stop doing something that I haven’t? 3. Am I really just in a “waiting” period?

Continually, I am asking for revelation and guidance because I don’t want to be like the people in Haggai who are earning wages only to put it in a purse with holes. I don’t want Him to withhold the dew or the crops out of my life. I am serious about reaping the harvest that God promised me and I dare not be a stumbling block to my own blessings. I am considering my ways and I encourage you to do the same.

Dear Daddy,

It’s easy to repeat “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and ALL these things shall be added unto you” but help me to live it. Remove me from getting in the way of my own blessings. Lord reveal to me where I am falling short and not being obedient to Your instruction. Lord, don’t withhold the dew! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to consider your ways! God may have you in a holding pattern because He is waiting on you to do as He has instructed before He patches the holes in your purse or ends the drought on your land. 

Today is your last chance to enter our contest! Click here for more details.

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, God, God's Love, Growth/Maturity, Inspirational

My Roots Run Deep

A couple of weeks ago I went to my family reunion. It’s always good to see family members you haven’t seen in years and meet those you never knew. You walk around and greet people and you laugh about the “good ole’ days.” When I read the reunion theme “My Roots Run Deep,” I quickly thought about my deceased grandmother. She was truly a God fearing woman filled with the Holy Spirit. When I was younger and I did whatever I pleased and said whatever I wanted, she would always say “God has a plan for you.” I would always laughed and say, “Okay Grandma, when He is ready He will let me know.” I thought about 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 (KJV)Wow, even when my Grandma was convinced that God had a special plan for my life.” Then I thought about my parents and how God had ordained for them to get married and conceive me, Keviyona.

As I further pondered the theme “My Roots Run Deep,” I thought of Jesus and how I am a child of the King. Luke 8:19- 21 says Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You. But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it (NKJV).” As I read this I thought, “Wow, my roots really do run deep because I am kin to Jesus!” Despite how dysfunctional my family is or what I have done, I am kin to Jesus. This led me to do a self-check; if I am connected to Jesus then I should be working daily to be more like Jesus. Of course I will never be perfect like Him, but I can treat people right and listen and obey God’s word ALL the time. I need to walk into my destiny knowing that this is God’s will for my life. I don’t have to be afraid because I am royalty.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV) This passage of scripture reminds me that royalty stands for something. Remember the cliché, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything”? Well, today I am choosing to take a stand! My roots go back to Jesus, which means I am royalty and I need to conduct myself as such. My roots run deep!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for keeping me connected even when I don’t always do and say what’s right.  Teach me to walk boldly and upright because I am a child of the King. Thank You for helping me to realize, in spite of my mess, I am royalty. Help me to conduct myself as royalty so that I am pleasing to You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today, I EMPOWER you to look pass what you have been through and what you are going through and say “My roots run deep; I am royalty.” Your past does not matter, you are still a child of the King! Stop focusing on who people say you are and focus on who Jesus says you are: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV) You are special because your ROOTS RUN DEEP!

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.

Blessings, Goals & Dreams, Inspirational, Motivation, Prayer, Trusting God

Reaping the Harvest

Dear Heavenly Father,

Please bless Nspiregreen and grant us favor in the eyes of all that we come in contact with. Grant us divine connections and enlarge our territory so that we may prosper. In Jesus’ Name, Amen! 

Nervous, no. Anxious, maybe a little. Fearful, that probably describes the feeling best. After reciting the above prayer for nearly a year and a half, why would I feel anything but sheer joy and excitement as I experience my prayer being answered?

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: … a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 KJV)

Being a small business co-owner is no walk in the park. From business development to administrative tasks to actually doing the work, there is always something to do. As a new startup, we have spent over a year in what I like to call “paperwork hell.” We have experienced countless rejection and financial strain. We have sowed many seeds and wondered if they would ever grow.

The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. (Psalm 85:12 KJV) There is a breakthrough on its way, I can feel it in my spirit. We are getting more calls, meetings, making the right connections, projects that we won months ago are actually starting and cash is beginning to flow. As all of these things begin to happen, my stomach is in knots. Uh oh, what if my skill set isn’t what I thought it was and I can’t deliver on the work? Does this mean we need to hire another person? This means I have to really move to ANOTHER city?! (sidenote: I have been asking God to move to Washington, DC for over 3 years) How can we continue to run the business and do the work?

You do indeed get what you pray for.  God is granting me the desires of my heart but I am allowing myself to be consumed with fear. Doubt is creeping in and feelings of inadequacy are showing up. Maybe I have become comfortable with the word “no.” For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (II Timothy 1:7 KJV) The spirit of fear and wishy washy mindset that I have experienced is not of God and I have to recognize it and cast it out. In Phillipians 4:13 (KJV) I learned, I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me. With this in mind, I have no reason to be fearful. God wouldn’t give us any work that He won’t give us the wisdom to figure out or the capability to handle. I am going to reap the harvest that God has promised me and walk with faith as our business expands to the billion dollar company that I prayed for and envisioned.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for answered prayers! As You are answering prayers, continue to let us walk boldly and not retreat now that it is our time to step up to the plate and shine. Cast out any spirit that would cause us to fear the harvest. Grant us knowledge, discipline, wisdom and the resources to exceed expectations in all that You bless us with. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to check yourself at the door. As God is answering your prayers, remain confident in what you prayed for. Know that He will not give you what you aren’t ready to handle so if you have received it, it must be for you. I EMPOWER you to plant seeds and collect a bountiful harvest because it is true, you do reap what you sow. 

Be sure to leave a comment  for your chance to win this month’s prize.

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.

Blessings, God's Provisons, Inspirational

Looking For My Blessing Via Heavenly Parcel Service…

…but He sent a hand messenger instead!

Just the other day, a dear friend texted to say that she really appreciated my friendship.  She asked me to let her know what she could do for me as a token her of appreciation.  I don’t think I’ve ever had to answer such a hard question in my life.  I went back and forth trying to figure out what I could tell her. Eventually I decided that I would just let her know that I while I truly appreciated the gesture, she really didn’t have to do anything for me – just the thought was more than enough.  Pause! With the quickness, God shut that plan down. I didn’t even have time to text her before he was checking me! Plainly, He said to me: “How dare you shut down what I have set up for you? Better yet, how dare you shut down what I have set up for her?”  That spanking in the spirit led me to find out what I could about blessings in the Word. In Psalm 5:12, I read:  For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.  Instantly, my mind went to all of the things I had before Him. I was earnestly seeking Him for so many things and favor in so many areas and here He was trying to bless me and I was literally about to abort the mission. But the flip side of that was that He was setting her up for a blessing as well.

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.”  Luke 6:38

Wow! That gave me a whole new perspective! Not only could I be potentially shutting down my blessings but I could be stifling what God has for her…Needless to say, I asked God to show me what prayer He was using her to answer and that’s exactly what I asked her for.  (And if you know anything about me, that didn’t come easy as I can be full of pride sometimes!)

This little lesson reminded me an old story that I am sure you too have heard many times before.  It tells of a young man whose boat had crashed leaving him stranded in the middle of an ocean. Instantly knowing he needed divine intervention, he prayed, “God please save me!” Just minutes after his prayer, a boat came by to rescue the man but he wouldn’t get in the boat. He insisted, “I don’t need your boat, God is going to save me!” Again the man prayed, “God, please save me!” A few minutes passed and a helicopter came to his rescue but again the man refused to get in the helicopter. One hour later, the man started drifting towards a small island but he exclaimed, “I don’t need your island! God is coming to save me!” as he paddled in the opposite direction. Moments later the young man drowned to death.  When he got to heaven, he was furious with God and went to Him to get things straight. “Why didn’t you save me like I asked?”  I can imagine God looking quite bewildered as He answered, “Ummm, I sent you a boat, a helicopter AND an island….What MORE did you need?” We have to get to the place where we trust that God’s design is perfect. We may not hear a thundering in the sky or hear some super masculine voice ascend from heaven. But when you know that you have prayed for encouragement and someone that you don’t even know stops to give you a word of encouragement or when you cry out to God because your money is reaallllllly funny and you get to the drive thru window to find out that the car in front of you took care of your bill—KNOW that God is STILL hearing AND answering prayers…and you my sistah are truly blessed!

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for the times that I asked for your help yet refused your boat, helicopter or island because it didn’t come packaged the way I thought it should. Please give me a keen spirit of discernment that I may be able to recognize when things are from You. May I never be too proud to accept Your blessings the way You choose to send them. I know that all good and perfect gifts come from You and I praise you in advance for all that’s yet to come my way. In Jesus’ Name,  Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to stop focusing on what you want from God, and decide to be a blessing to one of your loved ones today.  Ask God whose prayers He’s ready to answer through you! Watch how EMPOWERED you feel EMPOWERING someone else!

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.