Encouragement, Faith, Favor, Goals & Dreams, Growth/Maturity, Motivation, Persistance, Preparation, Procrastination

Apple Seeds Don’t Produce Oranges

Have you ever planted a rose bush and ended up with a cactus tree? Have you prayed for a new job but never filled out any applications, reached out to any connections or shown yourself worthy of a new opportunity? Sounds silly doesn’t it? As silly as it sounds, every day we wake up with expectations for things that we have layed at God’s feet; yet, we have not planted at all or planted the right seeds.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7 KJV

Lately, I have realized that I have been trying to reap in areas where I have not sown or I have not sown properly. Have you found yourself trying to reap a harvest in areas where you have not planted? Perhaps you are asking God to bless a particular area of your life but you have put no skin in the game. You either have failed to plant, have planted seeds that do not yield the fruit you want to harvest, or planted on ground that is not fertile.

  • You want a husband but you have not planted seeds that will help you grow into being a wife. The “fun girl” does not become the wife. Only when she puts those things away will she blossom into wife material. Maybe you aren’t really ready because you have harvested insecurities, habits and circumstances that deem you currently ineligible for the mate God has chosen for you.
  • You may be sowing, sowing, sowing in the wrong place with the wrong people. Matthew 7:6 reminds us: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (KJV)
  • Perhaps you have prayed for a financial increase but you have failed to sow where He has instructed. He has given you vision and placed opportunities in front of you that will enlarge your territory but you haven’t acted on what He has given you.
  • Maybe you are asking God to bless your ministry but you haven’t spent any time developing and perfecting it.
  • You may want to change your health status or maintain good health but you aren’t willing to make the necessary changes that will yield the results that you want or you are half doing it.
  • It’s possible that you are asking God to strengthen your relationship with Him, your marriage, your friendships, your family or increase your network but you have not planted seeds in any of these relationships that would make them grow. You aren’t doing what it takes to make them prosperous.

Consider this parable: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Matthew 4:3-8 NIV

God let’s us know that at minimum what we put in is what we will get out. Anything beyond that is extra; it is God’s favor. It is His grace and mercy. How do we know that the favor that we have received just didn’t get us to the basic because what we put in was so minimal? Let’s plant the right seeds on good ground so that our harvest will be plentiful. Remember II Corinthians 9:6: But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (KJV)

Assignment: Make a list of all the petitions you have before God. What are you expecting in 2012? Next to the petition write what you have sown to make this petition a reality. If it isn’t abundantly clear, ask God if there is more that you can do. Ask Him if you have planted the right seeds and on the right ground. For each petition, write what you will do to reap the desired harvest (whether it is to take the first step and plant, change the seed that you planted, or change the area where you have planted).  Ask God to move you from mediocrity to excellence.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for favor. Thank You for giving to me even when I have not sown; but, Daddy, I ask You right now that You reveal to me the seeds I need to plant and the place I need to plant them to make my petitions come to fruition. Heavenly Father, I ask that You show me what I need to do to reap a bountiful harvest. Challenge me in my sowing and let me operate like the harvest I expect to receive. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today, I EMPOWER you to sow the right seeds on good ground. I EMPOWER you with the knowledge that you are reaping what you are sowing. I EMPOWER you to be patient because some crops take longer to harvest than others. Remember this: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9 KJV) I EMPOWER you to complete the assignment and act on what God reveals to you.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: A “C” for Effort

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.”

Finances, Gratefulness, Health/Sickness, Inspirational, Praise/Worship, Stress, Trials

Get Up and Dance!

Let’s face it. The holiday season is supposed to be jolly, hopeful, fun, and filled with moments of joy with friends and family. But the reality is that along with this intention, the truths of this year’s events often settle here. You all of a sudden realize you are cuddling up by your fireplace without a companion or you miss your loved one dearly who passed away earlier this year or even 7 years ago. As January approaches, you realize the goals you set forth are nowhere near being completed, or started in some cases. Quite frankly, you just feel overwhelmed with the financial pressures of trying to decide to purchase gifts or tithe, or to skip your car payment to try and visit your family members.

I’m reminded through various instances in the Bible where situations seemed quite grim, but these biblical role models chose to make the best out of their situations. Let’s first look at Ruth. The interesting thing about this story is it begins when Ruth is mourning the death of her husband. But throughout her misery she made a life changing decision. She told her mother in law, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16 NIV) They settled into a new country, just at the beginning of the harvest season. Now what’s interesting here is that just when Ruth was faced with the death of her husband and painfully close to being sent away by the only woman that cared for her, she pressed through, dusted herself off and entered into a new land…just when the harvest was beginning, and she didn’t even know it. The story goes on to mention how she was blessed from the remnants of the harvest and met a husband. What if she decided to call it quits in the midst of her pity party? She wouldn’t have experienced the harvest.

Let’s look at the woman with the issue of blood. “A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” (Mark 5:24-29 NIV) Now I don’t know about you, but twelve years of bleeding could definitely weigh on my faith and my strength to be the least bit optimistic about being healed. But she made a decision. She thought if she could just touch the hem of His cloak, she would be healed. She got up, traveled, fought the crowds and made it to Jesus. “He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:34 NIV) Now, what if she decided to call it quits in the midst of her pity party? She wouldn’t have experienced her healing.

So what do you do now? What do you do when you have decided to keep going for Jesus, even in the midst of sorrow and pain? You praise!! I am reminded of David and the Ark of God. I am so blessed by this story because David praised so hard that his wife started hating on him. “As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.” (2 Samuel 6:16 NIV)  But David knew that God was in control of his life, his blessings, and his future. He praised, not when the Ark got there, but when the ark was on its way. David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD.  I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” (2 Samuel 6:21-22 NIV)

I want to encourage you to praise on your way to your harvest and on your way to your healing. You may get hated on, but I dare you to be bold and do like David, Get up and DANCE!!

Dear Daddy,

For every woman reading this EmpowerMoment, I pray that You empower them through this holiday season and remind us that this is the season to celebrate the goodness of life You have blessed us with. Help us to find joy in giving and strength in enjoying the smiles and love of those around us. Help us not to focus on the things we don’t have, but the abundance You have already given us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to get up and dance! Dance out of your misery, your pain, your anguish, your loneliness, and insecurities. John 8:36 NIV reminds us, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” You are free from these things that bind you. Dance and let the liberation of God carry you through!

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.