Blessings, Contentment, Gratefulness

Thank You!

 I cracked my eyes open. Thank You Lord…

 I head to the bathroom, and hopped in the shower.  As the hot water ran across my skin. Thank You Lord once again.

 Time for breakfast. Thank You Lord for this food I’m about to receive.

 As I gather my things and get ready for work.  Thank You Lord for this job, even when it hurts.

 Grab my things and head out the door.  Keys in hand, I thank You Lord for the car in front of which I stand.

Driving down the street I avoid a swerving driver.  Thank You Lord for always having the wheel. Without your grace and Mercy I do not know how I would deal.

Arrive at my first client’s home; they’ve had a rough week.  Thank You Lord for peace of mind that allows me to sleep.

Get back in the car headed to my next destination.  I dodge a huge semi, and say thank you Lord with no hesitation.

It is mid day, and I’m thanking God I made it half way.

Step foot in a house with no lights on, or any running water.  Thank You Lord for always providing for me, your daughter.

It’s time to leave one job and head to the next. Thank You God for giving me the ability to push on when there is no time to rest.

Pick up my clients, one that can barely walk.  Ask what they want for dinner, but the other can barely talk.  Thank You Lord for being able to pick up my feet even if sometimes I drag them. And thank You Lord for the gift of speech even if I don’t always use my words to teach.

Get to their house, and begin to prepare a meal.  Thank you Lord for providing me with parents that instilled in me life skills.

Time for showers and medication I call out.  Thanking God that taking 10 pills a day is not what my life’s about.

Bed time snack and I have a diet with no restrictions. Thank You Lord for this body that is in proper working conditions.

Time to head home after a long day. Thank You Lord for a home to head to now I’m on my way.

Get in the house, and yell I’m home.  Thank You God for family helping me not to feel so alone.

I close my eyes, ooh Lord I’m tired; Time for Bed Once again.  Thank You Lord because you died for all of our sins AMEN!

His steadfast love endures forever!

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
   for his steadfast love endures forever!

Out of my distress I called on the LORD;
   the LORD answered me and set me free.
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.
   What can man do to me?
The LORD is on my side as my helper;
   I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in the LORD            
    than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
 than to trust in princes.

Psalm 118:1, 5-9 (ESV)

I know that it is that time of year to be thankful, but I actually wrote this poem a month ago when I could not sleep.  As I tossed and turned I felt myself becoming upset. “Lord, please let me fall asleep.  I have so many things to do tomorrow and I have no time to be tired, I cried out.  At that moment I realized that I needed to thank God for the many nights I have been able to sleep and for the times He woke me up.  It is so many things that we do throughout one day that we may not realize that God’s divine order is what keeps us.

Dear Daddy,

It is so busy to get caught up in the monotony of day to day life.  Please give us the ability to be able to recognize all the many blessings that You have bestowed upon us.  Help us to take the time to help others that may be less fortunate than us physically, financially, or spiritually.  Allow us to lead by example in showing others how to be thankful for all the things that we generally take for granted. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today, let’s EMPOWER ourselves, EMPOWER one another and EMPOWER our sisters and brothers in the world.  So many times we find it easy to focus on the negative and all the many things that have gone wrong. I EMPOWER you to be that positive ray of sunshine in someone’s life that allows them to see the brighter side of things.

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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Gratefulness, Growth/Maturity, Inspirational, Trials

What! You’re Grateful For THAT???

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I was telling my family what I’m thankful for.  I am thankful for the opportunities I did not get, relationships that did not work, and for the times I’ve been hurt, disappointed and misused.  I received so many awkward stares and side glances as if to say, “You’re thankful for THAT???”

My answer to all of them is YES!! I’m thankful.  We are instructed to “…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1st Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)  Our thankfulness is NOT to be limited to what we consider good.  We are to thank Him in EVERY situation and for everything, including what we consider bad.

A wonderful example of this principle in practice is in Acts 16.  Paul and Silas had been wrongfully accused and arrested, stripped naked,  savagely beaten, and thrown in jail, YET, “…But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them…” (Acts 16:25 NIV)  Later in that same chapter Paul and Silas experienced the power of God when the jail shook and their chains were loosed.  The same God that delivered in the midst of praise back then is still willing and able to deliver today, however, you have GOT to praise God even in the middle of your storm.

Lately, I have been facing some difficult situations, illness of close family members, working with limited financial resources, dealing with disappointment and personal failures; however, I choose to praise God because I know EVERYTHING He allows in my life is just moving me closer to the destiny I have in Him.

Dear Daddy,

THANK YOU!!! Thank You for EVERYTHING!  I thank You for all the good in my life and all the struggles.  I thank You for every goal You’ve allowed me to reach and the ones I’m still striving to attain.  I thank You for the opportunities I’ve been given and for all the doors that were slammed in my face.  I thank You for all of my family and friends.  I thank You for breaking relationships and causing people to remove themselves from my life.  Thank You for EVERY time You have told me NO or caused others to tell me no.  Help me Lord to continue to submit myself to You and I decree and declare that Your WILL BE DONE, whatever it is! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to PRAISE AND WORSHIP God right in the middle of your circumstance. Praise Him for EVERYTHING going on in your life and walk in confidence knowing that “He who began a good work in you, will see it through to completion!”  Thank God that all the good, and especially all the bad, is just moving you closer and closer to your destiny.

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.

Contentment, Gratefulness, Growth/Maturity, Inspirational, Trials

An Attitude of Gratitude – This and Every Season

I absolutely love the Holiday season. People just seem to be a lot nicer towards each other and there is usually a smile on everyone’s face. People end their statements with “Have a Happy” or “Have a Merry.” Let’s not mention the EXCELLENT food. The Holidays, that is Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, represent time with family and friends and doing things that make other people’s lives better.  Volunteerism is at an all time high. We take special time to thank God for letting us see another Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year recognizing that there are many who aren’t here with us this year.  Before we begin the New Year, it’s an opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments and reflect on things that we want to change. We can debate the origins of the holidays but we can agree that there is a certain festive spirit that is intrinsic to this time period.

Wouldn’t our days be so much better if this spirit prevailed throughout the year:  if we chose to call people who are important to us more often; if we chose to volunteer and give to those in need; if we chose to make time for our family; if we smiled and told people to have a “Happy Day”; if we gave gifts without it being attached to a holiday; if we were thankful JUST BECAUSE?

I am reminded that we are to be thankful always. This isn’t a seasonal activity. We are to maintain an attitude of gratitude.  Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

We are human so it would be hypocritical for me not to acknowledge that trials will come and we will have some hardships but the verse above commands us to pray without ceasing and to give thanks despite what may be happening to us and around us. As I further think about this verse I realize that because we are to pray continuously, that means we should have faith for answered prayers which leads to thanking Him in advance for what we know He is going to do in our lives. Doesn’t that make you happy (Rejoice)? When we are truly thankful, it reflects in our attitude towards ourselves and others.  This is God’s will for you!

Phillipians 4:11-12 encourages us: “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.” (NIV) If we can learn to live in the present moment and be content we will be thankful, always. We will be thankful for God’s abundance when we have a refrigerator full of food and when we don’t. We will be thankful for God’s healing power when our bodies are afflicted and when we are in perfect health. We will be thankful because we recognize that whatever hardship we are in, it is only for a season.  365 days a year we should convey an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your awesome words of wisdom. Forgive us for disobeying Your word and limiting You to a season. Father, help us to show our thankfulness each and every day of the year. Help us to be the best mothers, daughters, wives, friends and co-workers despite the turmoil that may be happening in our lives. Remind us to pray without ceasing so that we can remain thankful for the future You have for us. Let us remember Lamentations 3:22-23 that  says Your mercies and compassions are new every morning; knowing this, let us remain thankful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you in this season and every season to be thankful. Let that thankfulness exude into everything that you do. I EMPOWER you to walk boldly, stand tall and have an attitude of gratitude January through December. 

Click here to enter this month’s contest!

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.”

Black Music Month Series, Gratefulness, Inspirational, Miscellaneous, Patience

Thank You

This song is one of my absolute gospel favorites. Each time that I tried to write about something else, I was brought back to this song so apparently some of us haven’t learned that lesson on Gratefulness. Thank You Lord For All You’ve Done For Me was released in 1990 but the lyrics are so very relevant today. With so many things going on, God is reminding us to:

Pray without ceasing. In EVERY thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)

Tragedies are common place,
all kinds of diseases,
people are slipping away.
The economies down,
people can’t get enough pay,
but as for me, all I can say is,
Thank You Lord, for all You’ve done for me.

I love numbers so I thought that I would put our need to be THANKFUL into perspective by detailing the numbers from events that I consider tragic. These aren’t just numbers, these are people…someone’s mother, father, spouse, other relative or best friend.

  • 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami death toll =230,210 people
  • 2010 Haiti Earthquake death toll = 222, 570 people
  • 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami death toll > 18,000 people
  • 2009 Global AIDS statistics: 33.3 million people living with HIV/ AID, 1.8 million deaths from AIDS
  • 2010 American Cancer deaths= 569, 490 people
  • 2011 (May unemployment) 9.1% or > 12 million people

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20 KJV)

There’s folks without homes,
living out in the streets,
and the drug habits some say,
just won’t cease.
Muggers and robbers,
no place seems to be safe,
but You’ve been my protection
every step of the way;
and I want to say,
Thank You Lord, for all You’ve done for me.

With all of the turmoil that I often feel is going on in my life, the Spirit always checks me and reminds me that: EVERY night I sleep with shelter; EVERY day I have a hot meal to eat; EVERY day I have the use of ALL of my limbs; EVERY day I am to be THANKFUL no matter the circumstance.

(It could have been me) thank You,
(outdoors) thank You,
(with no food) thank You,
(and no clothes) thank You,
(or all alone) thank You,
(without a friend) thank You,
(or just another number) thank You,
(with a tragic end) thank You, oh.
(But You didn’t see fit) thank You,
(to let none of those things be) thank You,
(’cause everyday by Your power) thank You,
(You keep on keeping me) thank You;
Thank You Lord for all You’ve done for me

Dear Daddy,

Sometimes our issues and inconveniences seem so big but Lord I am reminded that You are the conductor of our lives. Help me to be Thankful when things are going well and when the situation looks bleak. So many people are suffering around the world and in our own neighborhood. Lord, use me as a vessel to have impact on those in need. God, I ask for Your covering over my life as You expand my territory. Lord, help me to be truly THANKFUL. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

EMPOWER yourselves to be THANKFUL! When you have money for the rent and when you don’t, give THANKS! When you’re eating tuna instead of steak, give THANKS! EMPOWER yourselves with the knowledge that sometimes we have to give THANKS in advance to receive the requests that we have laid before the Lord.

Celebrate Black Music Month as you enjoy Walter Hawkins and the Love Center Choir singing “Thank You (Lord for All You’ve Done)”

Enter this month’s contest by clicking here.

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA 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, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. This week she is leaning on Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.

Black Music Month Series, Gratefulness, Inspirational

Gratefulness

Last week I walked around campus and then headed back to my office. I could not get over how hot it was outside. Mind you, I live in Alabama. Upon entering my building another co-worker, Mrs. Shivers, came from the other direction and said, “Isn’t it lovely out here today?” Immediately I wanted to say, “Umm, lovely? I am HOT and this suit isn’t helping!” But I just smiled and said, yes it is. I sat in my office and was convicted immediately. God showed me that she was grateful for His wondrous creations and that a few years ago, she struggled for her life as a cancer patient and lived to be able to bask in God’s glory of beautiful weather. He went on to quicken my spirit to realize that I haven’t faced death in this way and that I should be praising Him all the more. At that moment, I began to think about all of the things I’m grateful for. “I will give thanks to you, Lord with all my heart; I will tell all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:1-2 NIV. I’m grateful to be able to walk around without assistance and to even afford a suit to be hot in. I have the ability to talk and respond to her.

Oftentimes, I find myself complaining about things such as: I wish my house was bigger; I wish my car was faster; I wish I had more shoes and more suits; I want to be able to go on more vacations. However, I am moving into an attitude of gratefulness, grateful that I have a house because I could be homeless. I am grateful that I have a car and a brand new one at that. I remember walking! I am grateful for being able to stand in my closet and actually choose what I want to wear opposed to having to wear the same outfit every day. God’s word tells us, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV

Those words spoken by Mrs. Shivers changed my attitude. We often think that if we don’t say it we aren’t complaining, but God knows our hearts (Psalm 139:1-4 NIV). We get so consumed with the drama of our everyday lives that we forget to be grateful for the things God has already done.

Dear Daddy,

I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve a God like You. I am grateful to have a second chance to get it right. Lord, when I waiver in complaint, help me to be grateful for the victories You have already casted my way and teach me to be humble as I wait for future ones. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

What are you grateful for? I EMPOWER you today to think about the things that God has already done in your life and to be grateful for them. Take a moment to ignore your present day requests and worship through gratefulness.

In honor of Black Music Month, allow “Grateful” by Hezekiah Walker to usher you into a worship of thanks.

Especially for Ms. Amber McGowan:

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.