Attitude, Children, Growth/Maturity, Relationships, Salvation, Sin

Time Waits For No One

In 11 days my son will be starting kindergarten. I’m trying to figure out where time went. I remember him doing karate kicks in my belly. Now in just a few days we will be holding hands as I walk him into his kindergarten class. He’s super excited and I’m excited that he’s growing up and experiencing life as a big “little” boy. At this point he is blind as to what the real world is about. We shield our children from this because we want them to focus on being happy and feeling loved. Even at the young age of 5, it’s important for my son to understand who God is. He should understand that he can trust God, and that the blood of Jesus has set us free.

As I teach my son what my mother taught me, it makes me realize how the corruption of this world made me lose track of how to trust God and believe that He will do just what He said He would do. Instead, I wasted precious time leaning on my own understanding, worrying, breaking God’s heart with my sins and not believing in His word. I’ve heard my pastor say, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.”  This is so true. That’s why it’s important for us to keep our hearts and mind on Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8 NLT)

I see how quickly my son is growing up before my eyes and I want to do nothing but experience and cherish every moment with him. I can’t help but to think that is what God sees in us. He sees us growing with Him or growing away from Him. God’s grace is succifficent, but God will not wait forever for us to get it together. Time waits for no one. And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert. (Mark 14:33 NLT)

Watching my son grow I understand how important it is for our relationships to continue to be strong. For my father in Heaven, my relationship should be unconditional. God is so good to me, to my family and all of my friends. I love God so much. Although I’ve made some mistakes, He loves me like no one else. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9 NLT)

Dear Daddy,

I love You and I’m grateful for Your grace and mercy. You’ve been with me through the good and the bad. I know You’re not through with me yet, because You are shaping me to be more than I can imagine. Thank You for Your guidance and Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to believe that today is the best day of your life, cherish it and do not waste time. God is waiting on you because He loves you just that much.

Are you certain that if your number was called today, you would be ready to go home and live with God?

Read a related EmpowerMoment: You Must Click Submit Before the Deadline

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Ms. Hassanah White is a dedicated member of Faith Walkers Church in Birmingham, Alabama where their motto is to “Walk it out by Faith.” She also serves as a member of the Praise Dance Ministry. Hassanah is a true professional in the realm of marketing and customer service. She’s a proud mother of a very energetic little boy named Jaden. Hassanah believes laughter and prayer are the best medicines for any situation. Her favorite scripture 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.”

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Family, Grandparents, Self Forgiveness, Sin

Her Future Has A Past

“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.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Talking to my grandmother is one of the highlights of my week. I know her as Madea and love her very dearly; after all, she raised me and shaped me into the person that many of you know today. She taught me how to cook, survive, be a lady and to guard my “reputation.” We had our rough patches when I went through my VERY rebellious stage (another blog) and there were times when I disappointed her with my actions. She loved me still.

My Madea

To me, my grandmother was close to an angel and it drove me bananas whenever I heard anyone try to talk down about her, even if it was my mother. She is a God-fearing, religious, deeply spiritual woman who has a tremendous amount of faith. I remember when she came outside with the holy oil to anoint my car after I first bought it. 🙂  She has raised at some point the majority of her 23 grandchildren and her house is a regular drop off spot for the pack of great-grands.  We, the grandchildren, recognize that our Madea has her ways but we still would trade nothing for her. She makes us birthday cakes and gives her last to support us. I grew up watching her sacrifice so that we could have the basics and even a little more. She is the quintessential grandmother!

Unfortunately, the lady that I know and the woman that her children and older people from around town know are NOT the same. You see, some time before I made my grand entrance into the world and when I was too young to remember, Sallie Pearl was a DRUNK and a chain SMOKER. She was known for her alcoholism and her addiction to nicotine. I even have an aunt who was born so small that she could fit in a cigar box, as a result of her addictions. Her six children lived with her and various relatives as they were growing up and the majority became teenage moms. Her husband, my grandfather, was the same. We never met because he died from cirrhosis of the liver as a result of his alcohol consumption. It’s hard for me to imagine all of this because this woman that I hear stories about is just not the woman I know.

“…Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”( Isaiah 1:18 NIV)

Her road to forgiveness with her children was not easy but I thank God for the twins, Grace and Mercy. My grandmother tells me that when she got saved she asked God to remove the taste of cigarettes and alcohol from her and just like that He did. No special pills, patches or miracle drugs – just a simple prayer. She has been sober and smoke free since 1986.

Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. Though many love to bring up who she WAS, Madea’s past was the prologue to her future. After she stopped dating Jesus and began having a relationship with Him, she put down the bottle and picked up the Bible. He used her to take care of her grandchildren when our mother(s) became ill or were no longer able to. He used her to give us a strong foundation in Jesus and He has used her to touch other people’s lives through her acts of kindness and generosity.

Like my grandmother, many of us have pasts that are filled with things that are often times to shameful to talk about BUT God can and will use you too. As the saying goes, God does not call the equipped; He equips the called. You don’t have to believe me, in your quiet time check out His word:

  • Jacob was a LIAR–  Genesis 27:19
  • Rahab was a PROSTITUTE –  Joshua 2:1
  • David had an AFFAIR and was a MURDERER 2 Samuel 11:3-27
  • Jonah RAN from God (Read the entire book)
  • Peter DENIED Christ Matthew 26: 69-70
  • Lazarus was DEAD John 11

Dear Daddy, 

Thank You for showing us forgiveness and blessing us with grace and mercy. For the person reading this now, I ask God that You remove ANY doubt that they may have about their future. Let this EmpowerMoment reach them so that they will know that even they can be used for Your purpose. There is no sin too great that Your Love for us has not covered. Let us not run from Your calling but run to it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to walk boldly into your future. Despite what you may have done, who you may have been or what you didn’t do when you should have done it, know that your past was only a stepping stone to get you to the place where God has called you. Know that He predestined your past and your future. He has great expectations of you because He has already equipped you.

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

God, Growth/Maturity, Obedience, Sin

When the Green Card Comes Down…

No, this isn’t a post about immigration reform or citizenship regulations. But much like that green card, the green card that I speak of definitely identifies you as a member of a larger body of people. As a member of New Life Covenant Church in Chicago, we have green parking passes that hang on our rearview mirror. As we transition to our brand new edifice, we are renting event and parking space from a large Chicagoland venue. So the green placards were designed mostly to distinguish New Life members to the attendants in the shared parking lots. However, they have grown to mean so much more to us. They now serve to identify and unify us amongst one another. Whenever I am driving in Chicago, it is guaranteed that I will see another green card passing by. Of course, I usually don’t know the person but we honk and smile simply because we are related. Where ever I am—the gas station, beauty salon, visiting a friend’s house, etc.—someone will see the green card and excitedly run over to me saying, “Hey New Life!”  No matter where I am or who I am with, I am marked as a member of New Life.

Several weeks back I found myself taking my green card down as I traveled to my destination. As quickly as I snatched the card down, I was convicted. I had to ask myself, “Why are you taking this down? If you don’t want the people who may be where you are going to know who you are associated with, surely this can’t be a good move.” Now I think it’s important to add that where I was going and what I was planning to do was not technically a sin. However, my presence at that place could have easily been misinterpreted or misconstrued. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 tells us to abstain from all appearance of evil. (KJV) Anything that even looks sinful should not be pursued.

You may not have a green card that marks you as member of your church, but once you said yes to Jesus, you were marked as a member of the body of Christ. When you accepted Him into your heart, you were given a spiritual red card (covered in the blood) that identifies you as member of the Kingdom. Thus, it is important that your actions say that you have indeed been kissed by the Son! Examining the checklist below will ensure that you are not in situations where you are tempted to hide your card:

  • Does this involve me sinning against God’s Word? Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” (John 5:14 NLT)  Above anything else, if you will be involved in sinful activity, you should not be doing it! If you are engaging in any sinful act, flee!  
  • Why am I doing this? This is an important question to ask yourself because it can be easy to proceed simply because you are not committing a sin. 1 Corinthians 6: 12 warns us of this: “Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.” (MSG) Another version reads, “Everything is permissible… but not everything is beneficial.” (NIV) If your actions are detrimental to your spirit, you should not be participating.
  • Are my actions pleasing to God? Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8 NIV) If gratification of your flesh is the outcome of your actions, you will not be pleasing God!
  • WWJD – What Would Jesus Do? Yes, it’s a trite and cliché phrase, but it’s a tried and true litmus test. As we strive to become more like Jesus, we should be imitating Him in every area of our life. As a matter of fact, since nothing is new under the sun, we can ask ourselves what DID Jesus do?  Using His life as an example ensures that we are making the best decisions.

Making those decisions that are in the best interest of your spirit, life and destiny can sometimes be hard. However, if you ask yourself the four questions listed above, I guarantee that you will not be doing anything contrary to the Word and will of God. You won’t have to be like me and pull your card down on the way to your destination. You will be living a life that lines up with being a proud, card carrying member of the body of Christ!

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for my sins. Please forgive me for all of the times that I acted contrary to Your Word. Please forgive me for the times that I hid my red card because I wanted to gratify my fleshy desires or simply because I was ashamed of who I am in You. God, help me to live a life that is pleasing in Your sight. Help me to show the world who You are through my daily actions and speech. I thank You for Your transformative power! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today, I EMPOWER you to leave your card in the window of your life! Don’t take it down just because you want to do something that is displeasing to God. Rather, leave it up as a reminder that the blood is cleansing you from all unrighteousness.  Even when you mess up, your red card will remind that you STILL belong to the body of Christ!

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 more than anything. 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 two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.