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


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

Anxiety, Comfort, Pain, Prayer, Spirit of Fear, Stress, Trials, Worry

Speed Dial or Backup?

I had it all planned out, my EmpowerMoment about the Olympics, but alas it will have to wait for another day. As I drafted thoughts and intermittently checked Facebook, I noticed that I had a message. Nothing unusual, right? The person was asking me if I was indeed related to the person she was asking about. Since no details were in the message, I confirmed that the person was my brother but wondered why she was asking. It was as if my heart sunk before I got the answer. I was feeling like Diana Ross in The Wiz, “Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News.” She said, “You need to call the hospital…” First I was angry because I had to find this out on Facebook and was upset that no one in my family called me, but as I spoke to them I realized that this incident just happened and they hadn’t yet made it to the hospital. I called several people but no one answered. I called the hospital, but they didn’t know anything. I immediately went into panic mode. Here I am hundreds of miles away and couldn’t do a single thing. I felt absolutely powerless.

Talking about it would make me feel better so I dialed and dialed but no one picked up. Why wasn’t anyone answering my phone calls? Exasperated, I decided well maybe I should talk to God.  The problem with this was instead of God being my first point of contact, I was making Him my alternative. Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6 NIV) Unlike me or any of the people that I was calling, God is omnipresent and omniscient. He had the ability to listen to my prayers and be with me while also taking care of my brother many miles away. What I didn’t know He already knew.  I took a moment to cry out to God about it and ask Him for healing, peace, comfort and intervention. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah (Psalms 3:4 KJV)

Here I was with immediate access to Jesus. I didn’t have to go through a priest. I didn’t have to depend on anyone else because I know how to pray; yet, instead of using the main line, I was seeking comfort in others. My brother was ferociously attacked, but he is alive and for that I’m thankful.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

In our human nature it is easy to reach out to others instead of reaching up to God. He is never too busy to respond. As a matter of fact, He wants to hear from us. He yearns to be our source of comfort and relief if we would only turn to Him. You may find yourself in a similar situation. Things are going awry and you are busy dialing everyone’s number but your Heavenly Father’s. While He knows already, He still wants to hear from you. Your heart is anxious and you are worrying about a situation where you have no control. My situation involved a family member but yours may be career, kids, finances, relationships or addictions. Whatever the situation is, know that you don’t have to handle it alone. As the old song use to say, “Jesus on the main line, tell Him what you want. Call Him up and tell Him what you want.”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for direct access. Lord, help me to remember that You are not my backup but to keep You on speed dial. I am grateful that You are an answerer of prayers and that when I call You hear me. Relieve my anxiety and provide strength in my weakness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to simply make your requests known to God. Make calling Him your first priority. Put all of your trust and hope in Him and He will hear your prayers.

Has God had to remind you to seek Him first in times of trouble? Share your story with us.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Come And Talk To Me


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 strengtheneth me.”

Direction/Guidance, God's Protection, Prayer, Pregnancy

Lord, Teach Me What To Pray

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV)

The Lord’s Prayer is one of those things many of us learned at an early age. It ranks right up there with the 23rd Psalm and John 3:16. While it’s great to know, it’s even greater to understand why we know the Lord’s Prayer. As Jesus taught from a mountain side, He shared a model prayer with His disciples. Why did He share this model prayer? Because He knew just what we would need to survive in this world. He understood the recipe of a successful prayer life: Praise Prayers + Thanksgiving Prayers + Supplication Prayers + Repentance Prayers = Effective Prayers. Jesus gave us insight to how our Father in heaven would have us to pray. So if we are equipped with this information, why does it seem like so many of our prayers are ineffective and going unnoticed? After all, James 5:16 reminds us that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (NIV) Maybe, just maybe, we are not seeking God on what we should be praying. We may need to be petitioning the throne with the following request: ‘Lord, teach me what to pray’. I just recently learned this extremely valuable lesson…

As I spent family time with my mother, aunt and daughter last Tuesday afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised when I felt my body release a small gush of liquid. Being that I was 9 months pregnant I knew what that small gush of fluid meant—labor and delivery were on the horizon. I was beyond elated because I had been in serious prayer about that particular moment. I can’t even tell you how many times I had asked God to let my water break so that my body would go into labor on its own. I even had other people standing in agreement with me because I really needed it to happen that way. I was convinced that I needed it so badly because I hadn’t experienced my water breaking in my previous pregnancies and was ‘cheated’ in my birthing experience. However, it would later be revealed that I was consistently praying that as a result of another answered prayer that said, ‘Lord, teach me what to pray.’

After making it to the hospital and being admitted into the labor and delivery unit, the waiting game began as my body started the dilation process. By 4:00 am the next morning, my cervix had only dilated to 5 cm. The doctor wasn’t concerned at that point and neither was I. She exited the room, hopeful that when she checked the next time I would be nearly complete and ready to push my blessing into the world. Much to my dismay at 6:00 am all of our wonderful plans went awry. My nurse rushed in the room to adjust the monitoring system to get a more accurate heart rate for the baby. She was concerned because the baby’s heart rate had a huge deceleration. Unfortunately, after trying for nearly two minutes, the monitor showed no changes, indicating that the reading was in fact correct. At that precise moment, she pushed an emergency button and my room flooded with about 20 other health care professionals including my doctor. She proceeded to tell me that my baby’s heart rate had significantly dropped, signaling that the baby was in serious distress. The best option for both baby and myself would be an emergency cesarean section. I will spare you all of the emotional details, but understand that I was horrified beyond explanation. Everything was happening so fast. I couldn’t even gather my thoughts quick enough to process what was going on. Before I knew it, the anesthesiologist had put me to sleep. It wasn’t until I was awake and headed to recovery that I understood just how important my prayer of, ‘Lord, teach me what to pray’ really was.

The doctor explained that after opening me up it was discovered that my placenta had completely detached from my uterus. This rare complication, known as placental abruption, is extremely dangerous to the unborn baby because the placenta is the baby’s lifeline. When it detaches from the uterus, the baby’s oxygen supply is cut off. My baby girl’s life was in jeopardy and it was only by the grace of God and His answer to my prayer to teach me what to pray that she is here with us today.

As stated before, I prayed and prayed for my water to break so that I wouldn’t have to go past my due date and be artificially induced. However, God had me praying that prayer for a completely different reason. He knew that on morning of Wednesday, August 1, 2012 my placenta would separate from my uterus. He knew that if my water didn’t break, I would be at home in the bed at 6:00 am instead of in the hospital. He knew that I would have no way of knowing that my baby was in distress because I didn’t have the medical equipment necessary to monitor such changes. He knew just what I needed to ensure that little Miss Kai Harris could make her world debut. He knew what He had to do, but He also knew what I needed to do. Thank God that He answered my prayer and taught me what to pray!

Dear Daddy,

My prayer today is quite simple. Please teach me what (and how) to pray. I know that if You tell me what to pray, it will align with Your will for my life and come to pass. Then all of my prayers will be effective just as You intended. When I don’t know what to pray, please keep Your word and allow the Holy Spirit to intercede on my behalf. (Romans 8:26) Thank You for the avenue of prayer and for two-way communication. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to ask Him to teach you what to pray. He already knows what lies ahead on your path so why not allow Him to jumpstart your prayers of protection, repentance, supplication, etc. That prayer just may be the difference between life and death! After all, He can see if the oxygen supply is going to be compromised on something that you are trying to birth.

Do you have an example of God teaching you what to pray? Share your story with us in the comments.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Two Way Street


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 and other non-fiction pieces. 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 three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

Black Music Month Series, Listening, Prayer

That’s Why We Pray

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! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

The words to “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” are beautiful and better than that, they are absolutely true. They tell the story of WHY we pray. When we understand the power and peace we can experience by leaving our problems at His feet, we will fall on our knees more often. Prayer is cathartic and when we truly let go and let God, we release and walk in faith that He is handling it. I can think of four distinct reasons that we pray:


“… Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matthew 6:9 KJV)

When Jesus instructed us on how we should pray He started it with praise. Sometimes we need to just praise God. It allows us to focus on Him and esteem Him. The Psalms are full of praises to God. When you are praising God it is all about Him because you recognize that He alone is worthy of your praise. You praise Him because you realize there is absolutely no one like Him and that He is supreme. When the Pharisees asked God to rebuke the disciples for worshipping Him, “…he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:40 NIV) Praise God because certainly you don’t want the rocks to cry out for you.


We praise God because of who He is; however, we thank Him because of what He has done. Your parents taught you that when someone does something for you it is your responsibility to thank them properly. Thanking God is just good manners! He does more for us than any man can and yet He is often last to get a ‘thank you’.

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”(I Chronicles 16:34 KJV) Remember that thing that He did that you didn’t ask for? Yes, He deserves thanks for that too. We should thank Him continuously because He is constantly working on our behalf granting us unmerited favor, grace and mercy.


I am pretty sure that most of us have this part down packed. As a matter of fact, sometimes we forget about thanking and praising Him because we are busy, busy, busy asking. Yes, He did tell us to ask. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6 KJV) But you must have faith that God answers prayers: “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22 KJV) And while you are asking for yourself, make sure you pray for others and I don’t mean just your friends and family. “… and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”  (Matthew 5:44 KJV)


Do you have a friend that calls you and every time she is finished spilling her problems she is ready to hang up the phone? She doesn’t take the time to listen to what you have to say. If you’ve ever had a conversation like this, I liken this to how we treat God. We ask and ask but sometimes we cut the conversation short by getting up and getting busy. We seldom just meditate and listen for the answer or we refuse to take heed to the answer. “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (John 8:47KJV) Listening is a skill and we must learn to listen to God. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 KJV)

As I remember why I pray, I am reminded of MC Hammer who said it best: “We’ve got to pray just to make it today!”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for the privilege of prayer. Help me to remember how easy I could have it if I cast my burdens on You and leave them there. You are that faithful friend who is worthy of praise and thanksgiving. Thank You for answering my prayers even when Your answer is ‘no’. Help me to follow Your will and in everything to praise You, be thankful, ask and listen. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to analyze your prayers. Are you just asking away without taking time for praise and adoration? Do you take time to listen or is it a one-sided conversation? With the turmoil of this present world we have plenty of reasons to pray.

Enjoy this throwback from MC Hammer:


Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Atlanta, Georgia 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: every where 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 strengtheneth me.”


Encouragement, Faith, God's Promises, God's Provisons, Inspirational, Prayer

He Hears You

This is the confidence we have in approaching God:  that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.  (I John 5:14-15 NIV)

How many times have you heard or read the verse above? God is telling you that if you ask, He hears you. How powerful is that?!  The God of the universe will hear you when you come to Him.

The question now is: do you trust Him enough to really ask for what your heart desires, or are you praying “safe” prayers?  Is there something bubbling in your heart, but you are unsure how everything will work out?  What if I told you that God cannot fail, that He has a perfect record and that 10 times out of 10 He is able to come through for you. Would you believe me?  The problem with many Christians (me included) is we allow doubt to come into our prayer lives.  Essentially what we are saying, whether we want to admit it or not, is “can God really do this”? 

Last September, my best friends and I started a journey to seek God more diligently and most importantly stretch our faith.  We called the journey Radical 7even; we are purposely pushing ourselves to take God at His Word.  We are almost a year in, and in this time I have started a new job, relationship, and bought a new car.  I had to step out on faith in each area of my life, which can seem like a daunting task.  Anytime we try something new, it feels odd to us.  There were many times doubt did try and overtake me, but in those moments I would stand on God’s Word.  When you are in a season of allowing God to have His way in all areas of your life, the devil will attack your thoughts. The most important thing to do is have His Word near.  You might need to write scriptures down on note cards and carry them around with you.  Put declarations around your home and say them aloud each morning when you arise and before you sleep. Saturate your life with His Word and watch how it will manifest!

Radical 7even made me challenge my faith level and it gave me an outlet to document the wonders God has done in my life.  I would like to encourage everyone not only to write the vision down that God has given you, but also document the journey.  Many times we overlook how far we have come because it doesn’t seem as monumental in hindsight.  Do not fall into that trap!  Every step towards God and away from where you were is monumental.  Celebrate the journey as much as the destination.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for hearing and answering my prayers.  Help me to seek You in radical ways; I do not want to have a mediocre life.  I want the life Your Son died to give me. Whenever I feel afraid, bring Your Word to encourage me.  Keep me near You and help me not to falter.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to become radical about your faith!  Faith has no power until we act on God’s Word.

Share a time when you displayed radical faith with us below.

Please allow this song to bless you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK3BW7iH-88


Ms. Renee` N. Chaffin is a single mother who has a heart for helping those less fortunate. She has been active in the non-profit sector, whether through volunteerism or professionally, for the past six years.  She is passionate about sharing the love of God, her testimony and empowering people to discover their true potential that was bestowed on them by King of the Universe. Renee` is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. While on her pursuit of higher education, she is on a seven year journey to challenge God to do ‘exceedingly and abundantly above all she can imagine’ in seven areas over the next seven years. Check out her journey at http://radical7even.wordpress.com. Her favorite scripture is I Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”


Children, Prayer

Take Time for Them

“All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.”  Isaiah 53:13 NIV

As parents, aunts, cousins, sisters, and friends we are charged to love our children. Not only are we charged to love our children, but we are charged to train them. “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” Genesis 18:19 NIV

I do not believe in “bad kids”; I believe in “desperate kids”. I also don’t believe “bad parents make bad kids”; I feel that “desperate parents make desperate kids”. Sometimes parents are desperate to please, desperate for quiet, or desperate to not be interrupted, which results in children being desperate for love, attention, and affection. As an educator, I’ve seen the results of this.

My purpose for this EmpowerMoment is to EMPOWER you to start praying for your children. I don’t mean saying “grace”. You know the quick, “Lord, thank You for my kids, help them to have a good day and be safe, Amen.” I’m talking about specific prayers that speak life into your children and your home. Let them “catch” you praying for them, let them see you making a purposeful effort to pray for them, and let them join you in praying for their problems and accomplishments.

Let us pray for our children, those we’ve birthed, adopted, care for and love. Join me:

Sunday: Pray for your child’s obedience at home, at school, and towards authority. Pray for you as a parental figure in their life that you are able to show them Godly obedience and encourage them to honor God through their obedience. Teach them: “If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.” Job 36:11 NIV

Monday: Pray for your child’s attention. Pray that they are able to focus at school and that they can hone in on discerning the difference between right and wrong. Pray for you as a parental figure to give them the attention that’s healthy, non-materialistic, and authentic. Teach them: Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Psalms 37:3 NIV

Tuesday: Pray for your child’s protection. Pray that your child is able to stand up for him/herself and show courage when they know the situation is not right. Pray that they are protected from injury, harm, and danger. Pray for you as their parental figure that you can provide security and safety in the home or within your relationship with them. Teach them: “The LORD will keep you from all harm –  he will watch over your life.” Psalms 121:7 NIV

Wednesday: Pray for your child’s Christianity. Pray for you as their parental figure that you are able to share age appropriate Christian morals and values. Teach them how to love their friends through sharing, how to respect their friends by being kind, and teach them how to pray for themselves, in their own way. Embed this in your heart: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NIV

Thursday: Pray for your child’s character. Pray that they are able to freely grow into the person God has designed them to be. Pray that they grow to love themselves and to accept what God has created. Tell them that they are beautiful or handsome. Lavish (to their face) over their hair, the color of their eyes, or the nubbiness of their fingers. Pray for you as a parental figure that you are able to support their character grounded by Christian principles and that you do not force them out of your own desires to “be”, but out of how God leads you to nurture them. Teach them: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14 NIV

Friday: Pray for your child’s health. Pray for you as a parental figure to teach them good hygiene and healthy eating and exercise habits. Pray that you are able to be a healthy example and that God shows you how to nurture and heal your children through His power. When you pray, pray boldly: “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 NIV

Saturday: Pray for your parenting. Pray that God teaches and reveals to you how to parent, love, correct, and discipline your child. Pray that God shows you the time to say “No”, the time to release the rod and when to correct them through mild correction. Ask God to give you discernment that you are able to sense when something is wrong with your child and that you have the strength to intervene through Godly guidance. Remember: “Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.” Proverbs 14:26 NIV

Dear Daddy,

Parenting is a gift You have given us as mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, and friends. Lord, teach us how to parent in a Godly fashion by imitating You.  Help us to be Godly parental figures to the children You have placed in our care. God give us strength to chastise when we don’t want to and give us boundaries and self-control when we feel the need to show our love through material things. Help us to give You honor through our children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to do three things: 1) Pray over your child daily. 2) Pray with your children daily beyond the “grace” song. 3) Stop in the parking lot of a daycare or school that you are not familiar with and pray over the children and families that walk in and out of its doors.

I only listed 7 prayers. Post on our Facebook page or Tweet us more ways that we can pray for our children.

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 Vaughn Forest Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here

Assignment, Growth/Maturity, Obedience, Prayer, Self-Control, Speech, Submission/Surrendering, Trust

Can God Trust You?

Not long ago, I found myself asking a crucial question, “Can God trust you?”  This came to mind after calling a friend soliciting prayers for one of our sisters in Christ.  “What’s wrong with asking someone to pray?” you ask.  The problem is this: God revealed the young lady’s need for prayer to me.  No where in the revelation did He ask me to solicit prayer from others or to reveal even the slightest information concerning my sister.

In reflection, I thought about the confidentiality clause at the end of my emails:  

The information transmitted in this email may contain privileged confidential information belonging to the sender.  THIS TRANSMISSION OF PRIVILEGED INFORMATION IS INTENDED TO BE USED ONLY BY THE PERSON OR ENTITY NOTED ABOVE.

Convicted!  God transmitted privileged information to me, for me, and I leaked it to a third party.  It seems like such an innocent thing, because no malice was intended.  Nevertheless, it boils down to good stewardship.  Often we talk about stewardship in the context of finances, but stewardship is the responsibility to manage all the resources that God has given to you in a manner that will bring glory to our Father.  To be a steward is to be an overseer of the things which God has entrusted to you.  

In meditation, God sent me to the story of Eli’s two sons.  Eli was a priest who had two sons that were also priests.  During Eli’s time, the priests served a critical function amongst God’s people.  Their responsibility was to handle very carefully the things of God (Leviticus 22:2 NLT).  The problem, however, is that Eli’s sons dishonored the Lord by mishandling their responsibility.  “Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord or for their duties as priests.” (1 Samuel 2:12 NLT).  As a result of their dishonor and Eli’s failure to correct the problem, God punished Eli’s entire family.  His sons were killed and God stripped his descendents of the ability to serve as priests (1 Samuel 2:27-31 NLT).

Just as Eli’s sons mishandled their responsibility over the matters of God, we also serve as poor stewards when we fail to properly oversee the information or things that God has entrusted to us.  At times, God provides us with discernment or reveals things to us which are intended only for us.  The information is not revealed for the purpose of inquiry, sharing, or gossip.  If God intended for it to be known to the general public, He could have orchestrated a public announcement.  Since He entrusted it to us, we must be careful to deal with the information in confidence.  God desires that we follow His instructions only.  We should, therefore, treat them as though our lives depended on it (as was the case with Eli’s sons).  Keep in mind that often people are reluctant to open up about their hurt out of fear that they will be exploited.  Don’t let it be said that you created the opportunity for exploitation by mishandling the matters of God.

Dear Daddy,

Forgive me for the times when I have mishandled the responsibility that You have placed upon me.  Help me to be a good steward, to operate in confidence, and to carry out Your instructions only.  Teach me how to be careful so that I don’t exploit my brothers and sisters.  As my responsibility in the Kingdom increases, help me to serve faithfully so that I can hear Your words: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities.” (Matthew 25:23 NLT) In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to handle carefully the responsibility which God has entrusted to you.  Be good stewards and understand that, in doing so, you have the potential to bring forth strength and healing for God’s people. 

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Since Much is Demanded

Ms. Latasha McCrary is an active member of St. Luke Christian Church in Huntsville, AL where she serves as a Young Adult Facilitator and is training as a Life Skills Coach. She is passionate about the practice of law and views her profession as an extension of her calling to serve. Latasha firmly believes that “Service is the price we pay for the space we occupy” and is grateful for God’s continuing favor evidenced in her life. “By this I know that you favor me, because you have not let my enemies triumph over me.” (Psalms 41:11)

Career, Marriage, Prayer, Singleness

Is This What I REALLY Want?

I’ve had several personal requests before the Lord lately.  There are three specifically that God dealt with me about this week.   1) I want to be financially comfortable to the point that I am able to sow into other people and also help others in need 2) I want a challenge in my professional life 3)  I want the Lord to continue to keep me content in my season of singleness but PLEASE LORD PLEASE, only let it be a SEASON!!  My greatest desire is to be a wife and mother.

“…Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIV)

God has really been dealing with me this week on these requests in particular.  First, I got a call from an acquaintance. He was telling me  about his latest financial shortcoming and I found myself rolling my eyes on the phone and thinking, Lord please don’t let him ask me for no money! RIGHT THERE, it hit me “Is this what I REALLY want?”

Second, I facilitated a professional development workshop and the saying is true that teachers are the WORST students! Again in my mind I said, “Oh they can have this foolishness!” RIGHT THERE again…“Is this what I REALLY want?”

Third, my married Godsister and I were talking and somehow we got on the subject of marriage.  She gave me a PROFOUND analogy of the reality of marriage.  That thing FLOORED me and when I got off the phone AGAIN…”Is this what I REALLY want?”

We have a habit of making requests to God and then having in our minds exactly how we want the answered prayer to look.  I want to personally like everyone God uses me to bless.   I don’t want to have to deal with the challenge of trying to motivate my colleagues; I want a challenge that I can achieve without having to deal with them.  Oh and yes, I want a husband and children but I don’t want to have to sacrifice anything or change my ways and habits.  We must understand God does NOT operate this way!

“…from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked…” (Luke 12:48b)

Much what? More of what you ask?  More PRAYER, More FASTING, More GRACE, More MERCY, More GIVING, More WARFARE!!!!  So for those of you who have requests before God I ask, “Is this what you REALLY want?”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for granting me the privilege of making my requests known to You.  Help me submit to Your will even as I present the desires of my heart to You.  Give me wisdom, peace, and strength knowing that, “…You know the way that I take and when You have tested me, I will come forth as gold…” (Job 23:10 NIV) In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to TALK TO YOUR HEAVENLY DADDY!! Thank Him for all that He’s done, who He is, and who He has been in your life, but also BE HONEST with Him and make your requests known to Him.  But remember, “…To whom much is given, much is required..” (Philippians 4:6 KJV) and really ask yourself, “Is this what I REALLY want. Am I ready for what I’m asking for? “  I pray that your answer will be YES!!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: The Long Eyed Lesson

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  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.

Encouragement, Goals & Dreams, God's Provisons, Inspirational, Motivation, Preparation, Strength, Weight Loss

Let Your Efforts Not be in Vain

Trust the Lord completely, don’t ever trust yourself.  In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Many of us, when asked why we are trying to lose weight will give different answers: to prevent sickness, to look great and the most general answer is  to be healthy.  However, are we really being totally honest with ourselves when we give these answers?   The subconscious hard truth of the matter is  that we would like to live and be beautiful for a very long time and losing weight and exercising is an avenue for which to facilitate this desire.  It is very interesting when I read or hear reports about certain activities or foods that add years to one’s life.  And then I hear about the jogger who had a heart attack while jogging or the vegetarian who died from cancer, or worse, the vegetarian who must eat meat because of an illness caused from being a vegetarian (no offense to vegetarians intended).

To put it gently, nothing we do individually will add a single extra day to our lives. Who of you by worrying can add a hour day to your life. (Matthew 6:27 NIV)  Only God can extend our daysIn those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying, Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. (Isaiah 38:1-5 KJV)

We are obligated to take care of our bodies for they are our temples gifted to us by God.  As we go on these weight loss journeys and quests to live right and eat right, we must remember to put God first so that our efforts will not be in vain.  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  (John 14:13 KJV)

Dear Daddy,

I ask that You bless my desire to lose weight for the upkeep and maintenance of my temple because I know that through this maintenance and upkeep, there is a blessing of good health.  Within this, Daddy, I pray that my efforts not be in vain and I ask that You bless my desire to live. I know that nothing I do will add to my lifespan, but Jesus said ask anything so I come to You now asking for both good health and longevity that I may continue to be a blessing to my family and loved ones. In Jesus’ Name,  Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to place God first in all that you do.  It is not enough to pray for the energy and strength to exercise that you may lose the weight. Also pray for life that you may enjoy the benefits of your achievement.

Beverly Gordon is a graduate of Gonzaga School of Law (Spokane, WA) and currently works as an Executive Assistant and Director of Compliance.  She is a devoted mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend who believes in the importance of teaching children the power of prayer.  In her journey of loving and leaning on the Lord she meditates on Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” She resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with her beautiful daughter and is an active member of the Springfield United Methodist Church.

Attitude, Growth/Maturity, Patience, Prayer, Speech, Spiritual Warfare

Are You Strapped?

I know what you are probably thinking…Well much to your surprise I’m talking about being Holy Ghost strapped!  There is no need to bring guns or knives to a spiritual battle because the trick to winning is having God on your side.  Consequently, every day we are blessed to wake up we are forced to go to war with the world.  As quick as God can give you breath in your lungs, the devil is plotting ways to make it your last.  That is why it is imperative that every time we make a move in the natural, we are spiritually STRAPPED! 

Recently I officially made a promise to God that I would start my days by communing with Him first.  I was going strong, praying each morning without hesitation, until one day I woke up and began my daily routine minus that key component. 

After running several errands, I decided to stop over a friend’s house that I hadn’t seen in a while.  As soon as I entered the door I sensed a bit of hostility from her family member, but I chose to ignore it.  The atmosphere grew more tense the longer I stayed and conversed with her.  Before I knew it, I was engaged in a heated debate with her relative that was quickly turning sour.  Next, I was calling this man everything BUT a child of God!  Once I realized that I had allowed this person to take me out of my character I immediately left.  At that point it was too late because the damage was done!

By the time I made it home I was no longer angry at him but instead I was extremely disappointed in myself.  I felt ashamed at the fact that I behaved that way–the way I USED to!  I wondered how God felt about the ugly things that I screamed during my tirade. I was saying things that I USED to say without thinking twice!  I was even more confused that I was able to regress to that state of mind so easily considering all the spiritual progress that I had made thus far.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take a stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:10-11 NIV)

Amidst all of my uncertainty, a thought ran across my mind that I was unable to disregard.  “I didn’t take a moment to STRAP up today!”  The enemy knew that my spirit was weak because I was too busy to guard myself that morning.  Ladies, if you didn’t know, now you do–spiritual warfare is real! Each day that God gives us is one more day satan is trying to steal from us.  Therefore, we have to take a moment out of our hectic schedules to suit up in the full armor of God!  He is ready to cover us from head to toe, but the question is will we make time to protect ourselves?

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for not making time for You to dress me in Your armor.  Help me to make OUR time a priority at the start of my day so that I am protected throughout the day.  I know that You have plans for me that the enemy is trying to destroy, but as long as I am under Your covering those mischievous attempts are null and void.  Have Your way Lord.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER each of you to STRAP up every morning.  We may think that it’s just an ordinary day, but the enemy believes otherwise.  Spending a few moments with Jesus in the AM can help you avoid crazy situations because your ammunition will be locked and loaded! Be Blessed! 🙂

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