Encouragement, God's Love, Growth/Maturity, Honesty/Truth, Self-Control, Sin, Spirit of Religion

Emotions Make You…

Is it okay to feel overwhelmed?  To feel overworked, but still poor?  To feel so tired your feet and back are sore?  Do you wish you had someone to walk through it with you and hold your hand?

Can a Christian be mad?  Regardless of it all, am I supposed to always be glad?  Is it alright for people to do me wrong and sometimes I want to respond with a fight, or am I supposed to turn the other cheek and move on with my life?

Can a single Christian be lonely in the city? God is a constant sense of company, but is it wrong to want someone else to adore me?  What if I lose the fight with these sexual desires called lust?  If I act on these cravings, am I no longer worthy of God’s trust?  If I give into sin is that the end?

Everything that I mentioned in the above passage has to do with emotions or physical actions.   Does being a Christian make you no longer human?  The answer is ‘no’.   It is okay as to feel, even as a Christian.  We attempt to mask our feelings behind a facade of Bible verses and silent curses.  We want people to think that we are always trusting in the Lord and never have a fear; however, that is not my reality.

“Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles. My enemies shout at me, making loud and wicked threats. They bring trouble on me and angrily hunt me down. My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking.”  (Psalm 55:1-5 NLT)

Even in the Bible there are many instances of feelings of hurt, sadness, anger, pain, lust, fear, and many others.  However, God loved them all regardless of these things.  It is okay to know that God will love you too regardless of your momentary downfalls.

Dear Daddy,

I come before You asking You to give me control over my feelings and emotions.  Please allow me to remember that it is okay to feel, but how I react on these emotions is the key.  Give me the strength to be able to walk away from certain situations and help me to keep You at the forefront of my life.  I pray for the ability to let go and know that when I feel overwhelmed You have my back!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to EMPOWER yourself!  There will be days when you feel like you want to quit, but GOD will be your constant source of encouragement.  I EMPOWER you to come to terms with your emotions and not try to hide them.  Embrace your feelings, have a moment, then move on and put it behind you.

Have you too been overwhelmed by life and your emotions?  What are some things and emotions you have to release into God’s hands today?

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Ms. Sherita Shelton currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Professional Counseling and is currently pursuing her counseling license.  Sherita works as a therapist and case manager for children as well as adults.  She facilitates groups for single women and offers mentoring and individual counseling for her clients.  Sherita’s favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lot not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

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Character, Courage, Honesty/Truth, Integrity, Leadership

Lacking Integrity

…As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit.  I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. (Job 27: 3-5 NIV)

Recently, a friend called me for my advice on a matter.  My friend, a current graduate student, explained to me that she had been assigned a partner by her teacher to do a PowerPoint project on leadership and integrity.  Well, my friend took the initiative to start the project, contact her partner, and do the research.  She also emailed the PowerPoint to her partner in the middle of completing the assignment with some things that were left  that the partner could complete, but the partner failed to do that and my friend had to complete them herself.  My friend had completed the project with very little communication and no help from her partner until the night before it had to be submitted.  This time the partner told her that she was finally looking over the project.  It was then the partner put her name on the project, added one quote and a paragraph, and submitted it to the teacher.  The partner didn’t know that my friend had already submitted the project over to the teacher with a note saying in a nutshell that her partner did not fully communicate or help with the project.  So my friend wanted to know if she had done the right thing by telling her teacher.

Later that day I received another call from my friend saying that she wished she hadn’t said anything because the partner still got credit for her work and earned an easy B.  As my friend shared all of this with me, I thought and told her, “How ironic that the lesson was on integrity.”

However, this is not what solely sparked my EmpowerMoment.  Whether the partner was right or wrong is not why I am writing this EM.  This situation led me to remember the time God had to teach me about integrity.

Now, I am a person who is virtuous and trustworthy.  I have also been told by others that I am trustworthy, loyal, honest and a person who people can trust with their lives.  However, I too had to be reminded by God that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23 NIV)

Some years ago my church was studying and learning about revival and during this time I had to pray and ask God to search my heart for any sin I was committing knowingly or unknowingly.  One of the things that God brought to me was lying on my timesheet, recording I arrived at this time or worked X amount of hours knowing it was untrue.

Yet, I felt justified because my job and my then part-time position was flexible and if I had to be in class or go downtown to drop off paperwork I could leave work with no questions asked.  I felt justified because I have always struggled with tardiness, not that I can’t or haven’t been on time.  I felt justified because some days I would even stay later to make up hours.  I felt justified because I thought I couldn’t be the only one doing this.  No matter how much I felt justified, I was still wrong.  If I said I could work from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., then that means I need to be there at 10 a.m. consistently, not at 12 noon whether someone is watching or NOT.  I have to do the right thing whether it’s popular or NOT.  I have to hold fast to my morals whether I am patted on the back or NOT.  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV)

My heart was heavy about this and I sincerely repented of lying and deceiving.  I took for granted my job, that no one was standing over my shoulders, and that people trusted me.  After God exposed my sin to me and forgave me, He wasn’t done with me.  I had to confess to my boss.  I did and ladies it humbled me and scared me!  I was scared of the result of my confession.  My boss listened, didn’t make me feel worse than I felt, was glad that I confessed and really appreciated my honesty.  Later on my boss made sure the employees had more accountability with our timesheets and consistency and I think that was because of what I had done.  I am relieved to say that I did not get terminated and I was more punctual than ever, but if I did run late I would make a phone call and not lie on my timesheet.  I learned a lesson on integrity and I have been on my job now for about 11 years.

Dear Daddy, 

Thank You for Your righteousness, holiness and justness.  Thank You for Your mercy and unfailing love too.  Thank You for exposing some things in my life so that I can have better character and unadulterated faith.  Thank You for Your forgiveness and giving me humility to confess my sins.  Help me to exude Christ-like character each day no matter the cost.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to live a life worthy of your calling you have received (Ephesians 4:1).  Watch for creeping sin because sin not only displeases God but also blinds your perception of things.  Exude Godly character whether someone is looking or not.  Hold fast to your faith and your morals.  Do not compromise your integrity for anyone including yourself!

Take the time to read about Job (Job 1, 2 and 27:1-5) and Joseph (Genesis 39), two people who maintained their integrity even in difficult times or situations.

Ladies, has God ever had to check your integrity? How did you recover? Share your story with us.

Read a Related EmpowerMoment: Can God Trust You?

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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.  She, like many of her students, is the first of her family to graduate from college.  She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English-Professional & Technical Writing.  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 thru 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

Forgiveness, Growth/Maturity, Honesty/Truth, Relationships, Spiritual Therapy, Throwback Thursdays

Throwback Thursday: The “Non-Factors” In Our Lives

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on August 20, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

…And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

Recently, I’ve heard more and more people use the expression, “He/She is a non-factor!” or “That/This is a non-factor!”  Being the curious person I am, I asked my godsister where the expression came from.  She told me it came out of the reality show, “Basketball Wives.”  Again being curious, I decided to watch an episode of the show on OnDemand.  Long story short, I said out loud, “CLEARLY, they are lying to themselves about these things being non-factors!”  The people and things said to be “non-factors” are very real factors given that they were constantly discussed or there was always some kind of emotional response every time it/they were brought up.  I continued to sit watching the show shaking my head at what I saw as foolishness when God checked me!  “How dare you judge someone when you do the same thing with the so-called “non-factors” in your life!”  Instantly I was convicted!

There were so many things and people I said I was done with, situations that were “non-factors” in my life; however, I was still talking about them!  Every time I saw them, every time they were brought up in conversation I had an emotional response whether it was:  sadness, anger, longing, self-pity or just plain ol’ attitude complete with rolled eyes and lips smacking!  I realized that I had some real issues in this area.  The Bible says, “…Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you, he will never let the righteous fall!” (Psalms 55:22 NIV)  I realized I “said” I was done with certain things and situations but had not truly given them to God because I had no peace concerning them.  I also realized that I had not moved on from certain people I “claimed” to be over and free from.  God charges us to “…bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive just as the Lord forgave you, and over all these virtues put on love…” (Colossians 3:13-14 NIV)

I was holding on to them through my unforgiveness and I DEFINITELY was NOT showing them Godly love (see 1 Corinthians 13).  I immediately asked God for forgiveness and asked God to help me really give ALL my cares to Him and also help me to genuinely forgive those I was holding on to.  While I am still in this process [and believe me it is definitely a PROCESS], I believe God will be true to His word, “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” (Philippians 1:6 NIV)  Now I can speak to co-workers that I had not spoken to since we fell out last school year, without it being a struggle.  I recently saw an ex-boyfriend that I thought I would never get over and there was nothing there. I even congratulated him on his marriage and truly meant it.  That was a real victory for me; I truly believed that I would never get over him. HALLELUJAH!!!  I can now admit that celibacy has been and continues to be a real struggle for me. I put on the façade that it was so easy for me and said something similar to a desire for sex being a non-factor in my life. This could not have been FARTHER from the truth!

God has shown and continues to show me that if I continue to surrender everything and everyone to Him, He can and will free me from things and people that do not go along with the destiny He has for me.  I will then be able to say, “That/This/He/She is a NON-FACTOR in my life,” and it be the honest to goodness truth!!!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your conviction and Your correction.  Thank You for never letting us be so comfortable that we stop striving to grow in You.  Thank You for always being a loving father that not only convicts and corrects but also leads us in the right direction and remains with us as we go on our journey.  We ask that You continue to show us the areas in which we need to grow.  We ask that You remove anything or anyone that would hinder the perfect plan that You have for our lives.  We also ask You for wisdom that we let go of the things that You want to remove and accept those things that You want us to have.  We pray that You replace the people that we have had to let go with DIVINE connections who You will use to help us get to the destiny You have called us to. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Sisters I EMPOWER you today to be Honest with yourself, expose the so called “non-factors” that are FACTORS in your life and begin to take the following steps to become free from it or them:

  1.  PRAY – Be completely honest with God about it/them 
  2. Don’t seek it/them out – stop bringing it/them up in conversation, stop going on their Facebook page, unfollow them on Twitter if you have to.  Remove any triggers (music, movies, pictures, etc.) that will take your thoughts to it/them.
  3. Check yourself – Two wrongs don’t make a right.  Speak even if they don’t.  If they are talking about you, don’t respond with gossip of your own.
  4.  In ALL THINGS acknowledge GOD, be consistent in your prayer life, continue to study God’s word, never stop thanking and praise God for all the things he has done/doing/will do, and never stop acknowledging who He is/has been/continues to be in your life.

Have you falsely convinced yourself that someone or something is a non-factor in your life? How has this post Empowered you to deal with it?  Share your story with us in the comments.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Pierced

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Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, IL.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 — For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Forgiveness, Growth/Maturity, Honesty/Truth, Relationships, Spiritual Therapy

The “Non-Factors” In Our Lives

…And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

Recently, I’ve heard more and more people use the expression, “He/She is a non-factor!” or “That/This is a non-factor!”  Being the curious person I am, I asked my godsister where the expression came from.  She told me it came out of the reality show, “Basketball Wives.”  Again being curious, I decided to watch an episode of the show on OnDemand.  Long story short, I said out loud, “CLEARLY, they are lying to themselves about these things being non-factors!”  The people and things said to be “non-factors” are very real factors given that they were constantly discussed or there was always some kind of emotional response every time it/they were brought up.  I continued to sit watching the show shaking my head at what I saw as foolishness when God checked me!  “How dare you judge someone when you do the same thing with the so-called “non-factors” in your life!”  Instantly I was convicted!

There were so many things and people I said I was done with, situations that were “non-factors” in my life; however, I was still talking about them!  Every time I saw them, every time they were brought up in conversation I had an emotional response whether it was:  sadness, anger, longing, self-pity or just plain ol’ attitude complete with rolled eyes and lips smacking!  I realized that I had some real issues in this area.  The Bible says, “…Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you, he will never let the righteous fall!” (Psalms 55:22 NIV)  I realized I “said” I was done with certain things and situations but had not truly given them to God because I had no peace concerning them.  I also realized that I had not moved on from certain people I “claimed” to be over and free from.  God charges us to “…bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive just as the Lord forgave you, and over all these virtues put on love…” (Colossians 3:13-14 NIV)

I was holding on to them through my unforgiveness and I DEFINITELY was NOT showing them Godly love (see 1 Corinthians 13).  I immediately asked God for forgiveness and asked God to help me really give ALL my cares to Him and also help me to genuinely forgive those I was holding on to.  While I am still in this process [and believe me it is definitely a PROCESS], I believe God will be true to His word, “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” (Philippians 1:6 NIV)  Now I can speak to co-workers that I had not spoken to since we fell out last school year, without it being a struggle.  I recently saw an ex-boyfriend that I thought I would never get over and there was nothing there. I even congratulated him on his marriage and truly meant it.  That was a real victory for me; I truly believed that I would never get over him. HALLELUJAH!!!  I can now admit that celibacy has been and continues to be a real struggle for me. I put on the façade that it was so easy for me and said something similar to a desire for sex being a non-factor in my life. This could not have been FARTHER from the truth!

God has shown and continues to show me that if I continue to surrender everything and everyone to Him, He can and will free me from things and people that do not go along with the destiny He has for me.  I will then be able to say, “That/This/He/She is a NON-FACTOR in my life,” and it be the honest to goodness truth!!!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your conviction and Your correction.  Thank You for never letting us be so comfortable that we stop striving to grow in You.  Thank You for always being a loving father that not only convicts and corrects but also leads us in the right direction and remains with us as we go on our journey.  We ask that You continue to show us the areas in which we need to grow.  We ask that You remove anything or anyone that would hinder the perfect plan that You have for our lives.  We also ask You for wisdom that we let go of the things that You want to remove and accept those things that You want us to have.  We pray that You replace the people that we have had to let go with DIVINE connections who You will use to help us get to the destiny You have called us to. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Sisters I EMPOWER you today to be Honest with yourself, expose the so called “non-factors” that are FACTORS in your life and begin to take the following steps to become free from it or them:

1)    PRAY – Be completely honest with God about it/them 

2)    Don’t seek it/them out – stop bringing it/them up in conversation, stop going on their Facebook page, unfollow them on Twitter if you have to.  Remove any triggers (music, movies, pictures, etc.) that will take your thoughts to it/them.

3)    Check yourself – Two wrongs don’t make a right.  Speak even if they don’t.  If they are talking about you, don’t respond with gossip of your own.

4)    In ALL THINGS acknowledge GOD, be consistent in your prayer life, continue to study God’s word, never stop thanking and praise God for all the things he has done/doing/will do, and never stop acknowledging who He is/has been/continues to be in your life.

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, IL.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 — For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Attitude, Fruit of the Spirit, Growth/Maturity, Honesty/Truth, Obedience

An Aha! Moment

Have you ever had an “Aha!” second in Jesus?  You know the kind when the light bulb goes off? I believe it is safe to assume that it is equivalent to Ben Franklin’s “eureka” moment upon discovering electricity…or maybe it can be compared to the joy George Washington Carver felt when he stumbled upon the many uses of a peanut…or maybe it is similar to the warm feeling we all had the instant we knew Barack Obama had been elected the first black President of the United States. Whatever you equate it to, we’ve all had that moment when happiness and excitement overwhelm our bodies! Just last week I experienced my personal “Aha!” courtesy of Jesus and it was almost mind boggling.

Last Friday I went to rent a car for a quick weekend get-a-way with my girls.  As I thanked the representative for his work, I proceeded to place my items in the vehicle when I noticed that there was something on the passenger seat.  Without ANY hesitation I yelled for the rep to come back and retrieve his belongings.  It was then that I realized I was holding the CORPORATE credit card!!  I had willingly offered up a GOLD MINE!!  As I pulled away in my rental, my mind wandered to ALL the wonderful things that I would have bought if this had happened to me a few years back. 

See, just a few years ago I wasn’t so advanced in my Christian walk.  Only GOD knows what I would have done in my not-so-saved days!! “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of your sinful nature.  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.  They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” (Galatians 5:16-17 NIV) My sinful nature wanted me to throw my purse over the unknown item, drive off, and reap ALL the benefits later…BUT because the Holy Spirit is manifesting from within, I did the right thing before I knew it.  At first I was conflicted about my decision, but that is when the Lord stepped in and expressed how proud He was of me.  At that very moment I was overwhelmed with the happiness and excitement I discussed earlier because there is nothing like passing a pop quiz!  Just as quick as the devil tried to set me up, the Lord moved in faster to show me that I had already overcome and victory was mine! Aha! There it is: my effortless decision to return the card was first-hand proof of just how far in Christ I have come!

Dear Daddy,

I thank You for my “Aha!” moments, for they allow me to snap out of the natural and tap into the spiritual.  Lord, there is so much sin around me that I must pray that I am able to stay consistent in You to ensure I make the right decisions.  I pray that the Spirit inside continues to over cast the sinful nature to the point that it is non-evident. Have Your way, Daddy.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to take time out of your busy day to recognize the “Aha!” moments.  Our Christian journey can be very tedious but taking a pause to recognize just how far we have comes gives us encouragement for the balance of the trip.  Like they always say, “I’m not what I ought to be but I thank GOD I’m not what I used to be!”  Be Blessed Ladies! 🙂

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Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management.  Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn” Isaiah 54:17