God, Intimacy with God

Faulty Connection

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15: 4-7 NIV

lightning_usb_cable_0_5_m-250x331For the past few weeks, I’ve been experiencing technology issues. Besides my usual bouts with a raggedly phone (smile), my computer connection has been awful. Allow me to explain. Recently I purchased a PC monitor for my Apple Macbook (laptop). If you know anything about Apple products, you can attest that they are only designed to connect with other Apple products unless there is some sort of connector that bridge the two. Because I wanted a larger screen to read from at the office, I ordered flat screen PC monitors and the only cords that would allow the two to work together. Imagine my disappointment and frustration when my monitor kept blacking out, blinking and having the static screen. Of course, I tried to fix the issue my self but quickly resorted to borrowing other colleague’s monitors while they were not in the office. Even with the use of their monitor, I kept having the same issue. Unfortunately, after all of my attempts to connect I decided to send the monitor back for a replacement. While waiting on my replacement, I decide to borrow a colleague’s monitor one last time; however, this time I borrowed everything, the monitor and the connector. Voila magic! Everything worked perfectly.

Previously, I was convinced that the monitor was the source of the problem. Until that moment, it never crossed my mind that the Thunderbolt connector could be faulty. Because of this one malfunctioning device, the monitor could not properly receive and display information from the source (my laptop). This faulty connection kept me from the outcome I desired.

Just like this defective piece of equipment sometimes our connection to the Father is faulty. Have you ever had a faulty connection to Him? Perhaps you were waiting on some results to manifest in your life or you reached out time and time again but it seems as though your prayers weren’t getting through. Maybe you noticed a shift in your relationship with Him. You used to pray, praise and fast but now the relationship has become more of an asking spree. Your connection is faulty because you didn’t nurture the relationship or the tools you are using to connect aren’t the best ones for the relationship that you seek. It’s not enough to attend church God wants an intimate relationship with you and that takes a deeper connection.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt 6:33 KJV

You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:14 NIV

In all of the preceding scriptures, one thing is clear the connection that we have to God is important. If He is the vine and you are a branch from that vine, your life will reflect one that remains connected to the vine. The connection that you have to Him is gained through seeking His kingdom. To seek the kingdom, you will exemplify kingdom minded behavior. You will seek God’s friendship through your obedience to His commandments. Think about it. It is impossible for you to have a strong connection to someone that you don’t have a relationship with. Work on building your relationship with the Father and I guarantee you will replace any faulty connection.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for the revelation of Your Word. Lately, my connection to You has seemed a bit faulty. Thank You for helping me realize that it is my relationship that determines the strength of my connection. Help me to rebuild the prayer, praise, fasting, obedient life that is pleasing to You. Repair my brokenness and remove me from the things that have caused my faulty connection. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Ladies today I EMPOWER you to examine your connection to God. Are you in right relationship with Him? If there is any wavering on this answer, I encourage you to build or rebuild your relationship with Him. He earnestly desires to call you friend.

How would you encourage others to build a relationship with Christ?

Please help us bless and EMPOWER homeless women and their children as the beginning of a new school year nears!  For more information on how you can donate and help make a difference, please click here http://www.gofundme.com/cfeux8

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Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.

Photo credit: Mac Rumors

Growth/Maturity, Patience, Prayer

Throwback Thursday: Delayed, Not Denied!

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on August 10, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

“My spouse doesn’t seem to be interested in church.”

“I rocked that interview…but I didn’t get the job.”

“The job promotion I “deserved” was given to someone else.”

“God told me that He would open other doors for me, but He hasn’t.”

“Times are getting hard, I’m waiting on that “financial blessing” You promised me.”

“I’ve done everything in my power to change ___________situation but it isn’t working.”

“I have dated many men but none have ever popped the question.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever have another child after suffering that horrible miscarriage.”

“I’m sick and I can’t seem to get well.”

Many of us can find ourselves in at least one of the statements above. We have done something, experienced a life situation or prayed about something and feel as though we are being denied. It’s often hard to embrace but God does  things according to His will in His own time and His time is actually always on time.

Consider the story of Lazarus: Now a man named Lazarus was sick.  When He heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  So then He told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. A few verses later, Jesus goes to Judaea and is taken to Lazarus’ tomb.  “Take away the stone,” He said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”Then Jesus said, Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”So they took away the stone.   When He had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (John 11: 1, 4, 14-15, 39-41, 43-44 KJV)

In Mary and Martha’s eyes Jesus was late. They called Jesus when their brother was sick but He didn’t show up until four days after he died. Jesus tells the disciples He was glad that He wasn’t there when Lazarus died so that they too would now believe. Isn’t that interesting? Sometimes God will show up in our lives when we think a situation is dead and breathe life into it so that we can see His glory and further increase our faith in Him.

Recently, I was attending the graduation of a friend receiving her PhD in Electrical Engineering (yeah she’s a smart cookie) and I was reminded that God’s delay (to you) doesn’t mean God’s denial. This was no ordinary graduation. My friend chose not to walk the stage for her Bachelor’s degree or for her Master’s degree and her road to the Doctorate was filled with MANY obstacles. It took her MUCH longer to complete than average and I am quite certain that the majority of people who endured the trials that she did would have bowed out gracefully.  People questioned her commitment, talked about the length of time that she was in school and suggested that she should throw in the towel. It always amazes me that other people will allow their lack of faith to dictate how they believe you should live your life. She blocked out the naysayers and trusted in God alone. She believed that one day she would finish and her mother would see her walk across the stage. She was determined and had a tremendous amount of faith. I cannot explain the overwhelming pride, joy and goose bumps that I experienced when I saw her reach this milestone in her life. Through it all God was forever present. He never left her! He NEVER DENIED her!

Sometimes our faith is challenged when our timeline and God’s timeline don’t mesh. We can become absolutely downtrodden because our season has not arrived and the things that we believe God for have not come to fruition. What we forget is that God holds the roadmap for our life. He knows “when” to release our blessings so that He can be glorified and we will recognize the true source of our help. Delay does not equal denial.

Dear Daddy,

Forgive us for mistaking what is a delay to us as a denial by You. You have said in Your word that You will grant us the desires of our heart and that You will supply our needs according to Your riches in glory. Help our unbelief! Remind us that Your will will be done and that You always show up at the appointed place at the appointed time. Grant us the faith and determination to persevere through what seems like never ending, challenging situations. Help us to endure because Your timeline is all that matters. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to consider Lazarus! Even in his death, the prayers of Mary and Martha were not denied. I EMPOWER you to throw your timeline away because God has a pre-appointed release on His divine calendar.  Stay strong, continue to work and keep the faith. It may appear delayed but you are not denied!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Living in the Microwave Age

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”

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

Win! Win! Win! Enter April’s contest by clicking here.

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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.”

Attitude, Family, Forgiveness, Friendships, Gentleness, Growth/Maturity, Patience, Relationships, Self-Control

Don’t Let It Get To You!

This week I had a different EmpowerMoment to send but my spirit was so vexed by a current disagreement that I honestly could not complete it. I woke up at 5:00am with a vexed spirit and even tried to participate in a prayer call at that hour but couldn’t mumble a word. My mind has been consumed with this disagreement and it’s consequences.  Have you ever been in a situation where as much as you tried to take the high road, be the bigger person, and have patience with a person none of it worked?  After all of your bending over backwards and being accommodating, you were still mistreated and your kindness was mistaken for weakness. This is where I find myself on today. It isn’t the first time that I have been on the receiving end of someone’s dishonesty. Today I am doing my best to not let it get to me. That doesn’t mean that I am being a door mat. It means that I will be honest and won’t change who I am based on who they are. Throughout life, we will bear the unfortunate brunt of false accusations, mistreatment and abuse from so called friends, family and co-workers. As I sit back and reflect, I know that this is an attempt to throw me off my ‘A’ game. This is an attempt for the devil to get to me. The fact that I was so mad that I couldn’t pray and my spirit so vexed that I couldn’t finish my EmpowerMoment signifies that the devil has already started making headway; however, I serve notice right now that no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. Isaiah 54:17 KJV

When people mistreat you, talk about you, or scandalize your name, it’s okay to defend yourself but don’t let it get to you! To paraphrase Luke 17:3, when people trespass against us we are to let them know their actions and IF they repent, forgive them. Forgiveness is a choice so you can choose to do so with or without their repentance; however, you are responsible for holding people accountable for their actions against you.

I know who I am. I am bossy and at many times stubborn but what I am not is dishonest. There are certain traits that each of us have that are a part of our character. We cannot move from that foundation. We have to stand in truth despite attacks on our character. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32 KJV The truth is liberating. Being authentically who you are is a freeing experience. You cannot control other people actions but you can control your reaction. I used to be this “go-off”, “cuss you slap out” person but I know I’ve been changed. Every now and then I can get caught up, but I try to handle situations as diplomatically as possible even when the flesh urges me otherwise.  I encourage you to do the same. Pray for those who despitefully use you, but don’t let it get to you! I am reminding myself of that today.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for reminding me that I will face adversity even from those closest to me but those things should never change who I am or react in a way that is not pleasing to You. Help me to stand in truth even when it is difficult. I ask that You repair rifts caused by discord and heal those who are still scarred emotionally from people who have mistreated them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to get over it. Remain firm in who you are and committed to the truth. Don’t Let It Get To You! The longer that you hold on to what people do to you, the more you will hurt yourself. You are better than that!

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures is Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

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

Rebuke The 7 Dwarfs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sneezy”. Sneezing is a way for your body to rid itself of harmful things. With all seriousness, we may need to “Sneeze” through our group of buddies or our Facebook friends list. If you find yourself sneezing all of the time, then you are probably allergic to your surroundings!! “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV

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

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

Dear Daddy,

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

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

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment.  Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Attitude, Fruit of the Spirit, Growth/Maturity, Kindness, Patience

My Reputation Precedes Itself

Before you read this post I have to give you a disclaimer: The job I work is a God given talent and I love every minute of it! I have worked in public education almost eight years and I was out of the classroom for two of those years. I have always been known for the authority that I have in the classroom and my “don’t take any mess” attitude. This summer I was assigned back to the classroom. All I could think about was how I was going to show those students that “my reputation precedes itself.” Keep in mind that this group of students had also had a reputation of being some of the most disrespectful and disruptive students in the building.

Ladies, I went in ready for battle the first day of summer school. I went into the class frowning and if a student breathed too hard I had to let them know who was the boss. All I could think was, “I’m not going to let these little kids run over me.” Instead of getting to know them personally, I did something that I had never done as a teacher. I took what I had heard about them and formed an opinion. Someone once taught me that you can catch more bees with honey but I refused to be nice to the kids because I was going to show them I wasn’t playing! I didn’t even care about winning them over; all I was concerned with was teaching them and ensuring that they listened. Every day I went home drained because I was trying to show them who was the boss. I was too busy trying to keep my reputation in tact that I didn’t even get to know who they were.

God started to convict me and I didn’t understand why. I was led to Acts 9 where Saul, a person that was a murderer of Christians, was converted to Apostle Paul. Even though the Lord chose him, at first his reputation preceded him. Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” (Acts 9: 10-14 NKJV). This made me question myself. Who did I think I was to treat people how I wanted to treat them based on what I had heard about them? If the Lord could give Paul a chance after he was a murderer, why couldn’t I give these children a chance despite what I had heard. Furthermore, who did I think I was to think that my reputation was more important than doing what was right and pleasing to God?

Luke 6: 31 says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (NIV) As God spoke to me, He told me that I should have gone into that room and treated those students how I wanted to be treated. He also reminded me of my past. What if He had really let my reputation precede me? What if He had not started fresh and forgiven me for my sins? Where would I have ended up? Ladies, it scared me to even think about how it would have been if the Lord treated me how I treated those students based on my reputation. All I could say was, “Thank You Lord for Your saving and forgiving grace!”

I had to apologize for my actions to those students and start fresh on the first day of the new school year. Instead of treating them based on their reputation, I thought about Paul and how God created him new and he became one of the most profound writers in the Bible of all times. The first day of school was a new beginning for me and the students and it was wonderful! 1 Corinthians 4:1 says “This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.” (NIV) I realized I don’t want any reputation unless it’s as a servant of God. I don’t want to be known as anything but a woman after God’s own heart. “Lord, let THAT reputation precede itself!”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You God for keeping me and protecting me when I have strayed away from Your will for my own reputation. I thank You for forgiving me when I thought I had to portray a certain image and it wasn’t mirroring You. I thank You that I am learning that if the reputation that I have is one that is not in Your will or pleasing to You, then I don’t need it. Thank You for teaching me to treat people how I want to be treated and not based on their reputation. Thank You Daddy for not letting my reputation determine Your will for my life! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to not worry about what your reputation used to be. Today and everyday take a look at your life and see if you are living up to what God wants you to be. I EMPOWER you to not treat others badly or in ways that are not pleasing to God because of who they used to be. Since we all are works in progress,  I EMPOWER you to read your Bible, pray and ask God to give you a reputation that is pleasing to Him!

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.