Black Music Month Series, Contentment, Praise/Worship

Have A Praise PartY

June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! He can be found virtually anywhere if we earnestly look for Him and listen intently! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

Have A Praise PartY!

I shall rise above the ashes.

I shall rise above the bitterness in my heart.

I shall rise above the comments about me snickered behind my back.

I shall rise above my poverty.

I shall rise above depression.

I shall rise above the inadequacies that so distinctively bound me to deep seated insecurities.

I shall ignore the voice that makes me doubt.

I shall move the mountain of darkness that clouds my hope for freedom.

I shall look to the hills, where my help comes from, my help comes from the Lord. Psalm 121:1-2 (paraphrased)

I shall set my mind on things above, not on earthly things, Colossians 3:22 NIV

These are the phrases that go through my mind when I sing this song. For many people this song is nothing but an irritating repeat on their local radio station, but this song literally brings tears to my eyes. Why? Because it causes people to break out from and ignore their circumstances and to dare to be HAPPY! Because of God’s freedom, I am at liberty, I feel like a room without a roof! When I decided to have a relationship with Christ, I was no longer bound by the chains of my past shame or by the thoughts of man. This song rings freedom. The freedom to not be perfect, to not look like everyone else, to not dance as good as everyone else, to not look as good or dress as nice, but to be Happy regardless of your current situation or circumstance!

I become teary eyed because I serve a God who has the audacity to bless me in spite of my wrongs, short comings, lies, disobedience, and ways that aren’t so good. He humbles me. The Bible tells me, because I love and accept Jesus and recognize my responsibilities as a Christian, my past has been erased, my sins where like scarlet, but he made me white as snow (Isaiah 1:18 KJV). Therefore, I am able to lean on Jesus who will keep me from falling, having the ability to present me faultless to the Father (Jude 1:24 KJV).

That makes me Happy.

I am Happy because “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NIV.

Doesn’t the thought of that just make you want to shout?

Dear Daddy,

When I think of Your goodness, my soul cries out HOLY HOLY, how great You are! Lord, help us to be able to look over our circumstances. Help us to force our attitudes into happiness until You see fit to move us. Father, help us to remember that in due time, You shall make every crooked path straight and every insecurity certain. Help us to smile, dance, love, and laugh so that we may be a light to others. May we be the vessel in which Your glory can shine!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to be HAPPY! H.ave A. P.raise P.artY. Get up out of your chair, listen to these lyrics and dance like no one is watching. God already said that all things will work to your good, so instead of pouting, get up and dance!!

Are you committed to being HAPPY in spite of your circumstances?

Listen to Pharrell Williams’ song Happy and dance as if no one is watching

Please click here if you cannot see the video.

___________________________________________________________________

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

Encouragement, Family, Happiness, Inspirational, Joy, Relationships

Co-Create Your Happiness

Are you happy with your life? Are you happy with your family, job, or business? I know that this list could go on, but let’s have a “heart to heart”. Do you think that God wants you to be happy or cares if you are happy? Is happiness for only those who are in the world? In my past when I asked a “super Christian” this, their rebuttal is, “God wants you to have joy not happiness.” Well, I have figured out that I want both! For this is what the LORD says–he, who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited–he says: “I am the LORD, and there is no other!” (Isaiah 45:18 NIV) See there you go! Our Father created ALL things and happiness is one of them.

Recently, I was chatting with one of my girlfriends. I called her for the second time this month (about the same issue) to vent and then to get prayer after my venting. Some of the people in my life that are close to me were making me unhappy. They were enjoying their days, at the expense of my happiness. They are just toxic people. The kind of people who walk around with their noses up while they speak negatively to you, tear you down, discourage you, degrade you, and have no faith in you.

Now the first time I called my girlfriend, she gave me a nice verbal “rub on the back,” but not the second time. This time she gave me a verbal arm pull (sometimes you need those) and pinch (those too). What she said was similar to this: “Lisa it sounds to me that you are unhappy and you are the one to blame for this.” I had to be honest with myself. Am I the blame for my unhappiness? Did this hold any truth to it? We prayed and I went about my day. Right before I got in the bed that night, the Holy Spirit wanted to talk to me about what my friend revealed to me. This is what He said: “Lisa you have the power and ability to be happy. Not only do you have this, but you don’t have the right to feel dismayed or like a victim.”

According to Dictionary.com, The word ‘happy’ is an adjective and means: (1) Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. (2) Having a sense of confidence in or satisfaction with (a person, arrangement, or situation). Lastly, the synonyms for happy are: glad, fortunate, luck, merry, cheerful, and JOYFUL! Now, let us go to our Father’s Word and see what He says. “But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.” (Psalms 68:3 NIV) I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.” (Ecclesiastes 3:12 NIV) Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work–this is a gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:19 NIV) There are many more where those came from; search for yourself. Seeing something in the Word does something to me; it confirms the heart of God! Yes it’s ok for me to be happy, but how to do I reach the happy destination? The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Begin NOW to create anew in EVERYTHING that’s making you unhappy. You are capable of doing this. Your Father is the Creator so that makes you a co-creator and know that if you need help in believing this or doing this, just ask! It’s a promise to you!” YES, take that devil! I can be happy and whoever is reading this, YOU can be happy too!

I was allowing people to make me unhappy, but not anymore. Glory to God! I came across this saying by an anonymous author which sums everything up. “No one, but our Heavenly Father, knows your dreams like YOU know your dreams; so don’t let anyone get behind the wheel of the vehicle that will get you to them.” Stick them in the back seat, or better yet, on the bumper! My dream is to be happy and I’m living that dream now. So, let me ask you again. Are you happy? If not let’s start co-creating happy lives, happy marriages, happy homes, happy kids, happy jobs, and etc. with the guidance and help of our Father through His Holy Spirit.

Dear Daddy,

Forgive us for giving into the lie of the enemy that happiness is just for the world because You said in Your word that it’s for the righteous and by faith in Jesus we are called Your righteousness. We now repent and turn our hearts to seek first Your Kingdom so that happiness will be added unto us in our personal lives, marriages, children, families, churches, jobs, and world! We bind every lie, force, and person that would block our results in the name of Jesus. We loose grace as we embark upon this task and You get the glory through it all. We thank You that, “greater is He that is within us!” In Jesus’ Name, Amen! 

I EMPOWER you to ask yourself these this question: What and/or who is making me unhappy (relationship, job, weight, being an employee instead of an employer, etc.)? Get a pen, write it down, and then pray to the Father and ask for His help co-create “happy” results in your life. I mean it! You are promised happiness, especially when you allow God’s divine guidance to show and help you co-create it!

What are some strategies that you use to remain happy? Share those with us in the comment section.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: The Pursuit of Happiness

_____________________________________________________________________________

Mrs. Lisa M. Purnell-Marshall is happily married to the wonderful and inspiring Antoine L. Marshall. She is the proud mother of two gorgeous girls. Her voice is one of the leading and authentic voices for breast-feeding, especially for the African-American community and Generation Y. She currently works inside of her home and plans to become a professional licensed lactation consultant in 2014. She and her family are members at Spirit of Liberty Church located in Markham, IL.  Embracing the love that God has for her, Lisa labors to live an acceptable and pure life through the leading and keeping of the Holy Spirit so that her attitude, words, and actions attract the glory of God. In her free time she loves receiving manis and pedis. Her favorite promises that she find comfort and reassurance in are: Psalm34:19: “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” and Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”