Black Music Month Series, Strength, Trusting God

Everybody’s Looking 4 the Ladder

I am a huge Prince fan. I actually consider myself a “stan”.  He is a true artist/musician/humanitarian. What many people don’t realize about Prince is that he is a devout Jehovah Witness. He was raised in a family that practiced faithfully. As most of us have done, he had a few hiccups along the way but he held on to his faith and he has carried that faith with him over the years. Many of his songs tend to have religious undertones and themes. One such song is “The Ladder”. This song is off his 1985 album Around the World in a Day. He co-wrote the song with his father. He was huge influence on his music and especially this song. He takes us into the mind of a king who is lost:

Once upon a time in the land of Sinaplenty
There lived a king who didn’t deserve 2 be
He knew not where he came from
Nor where he was going
He never once said thank U, never please

I recall the times when I lived in “Sinaplenty”. I was totally out of the will of God. I was so turned around that I didn’t know which way I was going. I did not deserve all that God was doing for me and I knew that. But something in me began to change…

Now this king he had a subject named Electra
Who loved him with a passion, uncontested
4 him each day she had a smile
But it didn’t matter
The king was looking 4 the ladder

“And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” (Genesis 28:12 KJV)

“And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.” (Genesis 28:16 KJV)

God is right in front of us. We just have to recognize Him. I began to realize that my life was going in the wrong direction. I began to get things in order. Over the years I grew and I started to become the woman who God called me to be. Then years later it happened…I met a guy. It’s funny how people show up at times in your life when you are trying your best to do better in your walk. He was a learning experience for me. I almost took my eyes away from the path that God was leading me down.

Everybody’s looking 4 the ladder
Everybody wants salvation of the soul
The steps U take are no easy road
But the reward is great
4 those who want 2 go

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7: 13-14 NIV)

This is indeed another song that speaks volumes to me. It is so easy to do the wrong thing. That path is easy to go down. It takes strength to be able to walk the walk of a saved person. Each day is a struggle but I thank God for the strength that He is supplying me with.

Dear Daddy,

I want to take this time to simple say thank You for giving me strength. I face many temptations in my walk and I know that You are with me at all times. You are my rock. I know that I am only able to stand because of You. Please continue to hold me up. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Today, I EMPOWER you to seek the LADDER. It is there. All you have to do is look up and acknowledge it. God is waiting with open arms. He loves you and He cares for you. It’s never too late.

Check out Prince’s The Ladder as we continue our Black Music Month celebration:

The Ladder

Shawna Dix is a mother, educator, and all around child of God. She is passionate about God, her son Jalen, family, friends, and her students. She loves teaching because it allows her to shower our youth with love and guidance. She resides in Pentagon City, Virginia and works hard educating inner city youth in Washington DC. She prides herself in being a realist. She exclaims that she is in no way, shape, form, or fashion perfect but she has accepted that she serves a perfect God who is able to do ALL things!

Black Music Month Series, Growth/Maturity, Inspirational, Motivation, Strength, Trusting God

You Gotta Be STRONG

This song is one of my favs by Des’ree. Every time I hear it I feel EMPOWERED. Check out the lyrics and verses that I was able to pair with it:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 9:1 NIV)

Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try to keep your head up to the sky
Lovers they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
Stand up and be counted
Don’t be shamed to cry

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” (Ephesians 6:10 NIV)

You gotta be
You gotta be bad
You gotta be bold
You gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard
You gotta be tough
You gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool
You gotta be calm
You gotta stay together
All I know all I know is love will save the day

“And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.” (Luke 2:40 NIV)

Time asks no questions
It goes on without you
Leaving you behind if you can’t stand the pace
The world keeps on spinning
Can’t stop it if you try to
The best part is danger staring you in the face
Oh…remember…

Sometimes we go through so much and we just feel like we are about to BREAK-DOWN. What we need to remember is that God is giving us strength daily. He is able to sustain us and we must trust and believe that whatever we are facing we will come through. I know that the battles may seem endless but it is our duty to press forward and walk into the destiny that God has for us. We cannot be afraid of what is on the other side. We must trust and believe that God’s plan is much better than the one we have.

Dear Daddy,

I ask that You keep building me up where I am weak. Strengthen me daily. I know that Your power is greater than all so please walk with me and when I feel like giving up help me to see that the race is not given to the swift but to those who endure!

Today I EMPOWER you to stay STRONG. No matter what you are facing I send PERSERVERANCE your way. May God give you the strength to continue your walk.

Celebrate Black Music Month with You Gotta Be by Des’ree:

Shawna Dix is a mother, educator, and all around child of God. She is passionate about God, her son Jalen, family, friends, and her students. She loves teaching because it allows her to shower our youth with love and guidance. She resides in Pentagon City, Virginia and works hard educating inner city youth in Washington DC. She prides herself in being a realist. She exclaims that she is in no way, shape, form, or fashion perfect but she has accepted that she serves a perfect God who is able to do ALL things!

Growth/Maturity, Inspirational, Patience, Strength

Soaring Makes Me Sore

Since I have been given the task of writing to you, I seek God daily, almost minute by minute about what He wants me to share. You should see my notepad on my cell phone!

Today I was driving along, leaving a Weight Watcher’s meeting and felt a little deflated because I wanted to have lost over a pound this week, but it was only 0.4. So I had a slight pity party in my head. The Holy Spirit reminded me that this is a process and that I have to WAIT, and be patient and one day I will see the fruits of my labor.

I really have an issue with this “wait” word, because I’m a “microwave,” “techno-power user” kinda girl, I like things fast. But the Holy Spirit reminded me, “They that wait on the Lord, shall RENEW, their strength. They shall MOUNT up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not get weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) As I tried to remember to decelerate my car, I began thanking God for His words and I began to meditate on why He chose the eagle as a metaphor. Well here are a few facts about eagles:

  1. Eagles travel alone: Sometimes God has to remove clutter and drama from our lives if we are ever to be the Women of God He has called us to be. Some of our friends have to be distanced from us. Don’t feel lonely; it’s all part of the plan.
  2. Eagles do not fly, they soar: Flying causes a lot of energy because you have to flap constantly. This is almost like us trying to get through the day without God. We are constantly flapping around in pandemonium, just trying to stay afloat. But an eagle soars. This means to glide without effort using the force from “opposing” winds below. These opposing winds are the opposing forces that we try to deal with on our own. But we have to fly above that and allow God to deal with the wind beneath our wings. All we have to do is soar!
  3. Eagle nests are usually out of sight of humans. They are set very high usually on mountains. Where is your nest? Our nests “(our hearts) should be set on the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:1b-2)

If this wasn’t enough to encourage me to wait and trust in God, He also showed me the word “mount” means to be grounded in support towards ascension. Now I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to ascend to higher heights with Christ.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being a sustainer. You have kept me in so many instances. Teach me how to trust You. Remind me that if I wait, You will give me renewed strength to not get tired so that I can soar as the eagle and live in Your perfect peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

My Sister, I EMPOWER you today to wait on the Lord. The outcome is so much better if we give it to Him instead of trying to flap around trying to handle it ourselves. Take a moment to think about what area of your life you are trying to rush God in. Instead of flapping, I want you to soar. Sit back, relax, and watch God handle it.

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 without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6.  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 Huntsville, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three year old daughter where they attend St. Luke Christian Church.