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May 14, 2019
by Shamilla Pennington | May 14, 2019
What an absolute honor and joy it is to CELEBRATE with Water Walking Women, Shyreka Sturdivant and, the amazing team on the commemoration of their 10 year Anniversary. 10 Years of YES! 10 Years of Dedication! 10 years of Commitment! 10 Years of Stick-to-itiveness! Now that’s worthy of a Celebration, and Rejoicing giving God all the Glory.
To know me is to know that I love words and when I learned that the theme is CELEBRATION, almost immediately the song by the Iconic 1980’s group (Kool & The Gang) “Celebration” came to mind. For those of you attending this year’s 10 Year Anniversary Cruise, I pray you get excited when you board and make your way to the “Lido” deck. You’re sure to hear this song at minimum 3 times while sailing.
Here are some of the lyrics to the 1980’s hit song:
Yahoo! This is your celebration
Yahoo! This is your celebration
Celebrate good times, come on! (Lets Celebrate)
Celebrate good times, come on! (Lets Celebrate)
There’s a party goin’ on right here.
A Celebration to last throughout the YEARS
So bring your good times and your laughter too.
We gonna celebrate your party with you come on.
The verse that grabs me is “A celebration to last throughout the years” let that resonate for just a moment (Selah). I can’t help but notice how celebrating has become “scheduled” events and only noted when one has completed something. I can’t help to notice also that funerals are now “Celebrations” of life after the passing of a loved one, and I’ve seen the grief of missed moments to celebrate or rejoice while it is still day.
To Celebrate means: acknowledge (a significant or happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity.
Now allow me to introduce another word REJOICE.
To Rejoice means: feel or show great joy or delight.
One of the synonyms to rejoice is “Celebration”.
I will be the first to admit that Celebrating and Rejoicing is not always an easy thing to do, especially when you’re tired or just plain ole frustrated. The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice.” Paul surely wasn’t telling us to “Be Happy”, but “Rejoice” in the Lord. We are simply to rejoice IN the Lord, not our circumstance, not our failures and not our frustrations. Let me help you by painting this picture for you… Paul is writing this epistle from prison, yet this did not distract him to rejoice in his problem, although his circumstances did not “look” promising, but He turned His attention and energy to the LORD where he gets his strength.
When is it most difficult for you to rejoice?
Is it when you’re under great pressure?
Is it when your name is being slandered?
Is it when the Dr. Report isn’t favorable?
Is it when you are challenged to be the bigger person again?
When do you find it most difficult to “rejoice” in the LORD always?
God the Master, Creator (Elohim), the one who fashioned us in our mother’s womb and, created us with an innate nature to “rejoice”. To rejoice is an attitude that says regardless of the chances, changes, circumstances or, setbacks that come into my life. I will rejoice in the Lord always; and again, I say rejoice.
So I come to encourage you to rejoice and to celebrate, not based on the conditions or circumstances you may be facing, but because when you think of the Goodness of Jesus and all He has done for you. When you think of how he has redeemed you. When you think of how He has provided. When you think of how He has kept you, when you couldn’t keep yourself. My, My, My
I’m going to leave you with this, don’t wait for people to celebrate with you. Don’t wait until you cross the finish line to celebrate, but celebrate the small steps why you may ask? Because no one but you knows what it took to stick-to-it when quitting was easy and no one would’ve known you didn’t complete your goals. No one knows how hard it was to stay committed to getting healthy. No one knows what it took to finish that semester of school when you wanted to give up. No one knows what you risked to make it to this point. Celebrate the small steps, they are equally as important as the finish line.
“He is your Praise and Glory; He is your God who has done for you these great and awesome things which you have seen with your own eyes.” Deuteronomy 10:21
by Min. Hazel Cherry | October 2, 2017
As women of faith, we can channel the inner athlete enhance our commitment. What areas of your life could use a little attention? What spiritual discipline could practice more often? What relationships or tasks are stopping you from winning? One thing all athletes will tell you is that they can't do it alone. They have coaches, team mates and community to keep them accountable. Are you tapped into a community of brothers and sisters that push you to win? Take inventory and consider the changes, so that you can operate like the winner you are.
Winning takes relentless perseverance. It means being able to fall and get back up. It means still pressing through, even when it feels like you have failed. It means, honing in on your purpose amidst the myriad of distractions. We can win from day to day. We must celebrate the small victories, too. Small victories such as turning the other cheek towards a nasty co-worker. It means, taking a few deep breaths instead of being upset and giving in to road rage. It means, being a good friend in someone's time of need even when you don't feel like they are always present for you. We must celebrate our small victories, as we look toward our larger purpose.
Winning starts within; it begins with having the right attitude. Do you believe God desires you to win? Scripture tells us, God has big plans for our individual lives. Yet, many of us are afraid of winning. Some of us have settled, we feel too old, incompetent, or confused and we're sitting on the very dreams God gave us. A winning attitude steps out on faith and completes the task despite the fear. God has given us everything we need to win. God has armed us with tools in scripture, through fellowship and prayer. We are born to win!
As we face the latter part of 2017, I challenge each of us to create an affirmation mantra to keep us reminded that, We Win!
God made me a winner!
I face every day with confidence knowing I will succeed
God has given me everything I need to excel.
I will operate in a way that brings love, wholeness, and healing.
I will encourage others to tap into their inner winner.
I learn from every setback and know that it works for my good.
Nothing can stop me, I am a winner today and every day, through God's grace.
by Shyreka Sturdivant | March 11, 2017
It is interesting that all of God’s creation makes the shift into new seasons with the exception of the one creation that He gave dominion and authority to – the Human Race. Animals hibernate in the winter; they store the necessary food to get them by and in the spring they come out of hibernation. Leaves and branches fall off of trees and flowers in the winter, but bounce back even brighter in the spring.
But what about us? Did we store up enough to make it through the winter months? Did we allow some things to die and fall off, so that we can bounce into spring with a clearer vision and focus? If not, it’s not too late. While daylight savings time starts tomorrow, Spring isn’t here until the 20th. So, we still have eight days before Spring comes to prepare for it.
Here’s what we must do according to Isaiah 43:18-19:
- Forget the former things: Yes it happened, but thank God it is over. Move forward!
- Do not dwell on the past: Remember Lot’s Wife? She had to have just one last glance before moving on, but that one last glance cost her, her life. That one last time, could cost you everything. Move forward! See Genesis 19:26
- See, I am doing a new thing: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you through His Word and Witnesses what He is doing in your life. What is it you should be focusing on in this new season? Who do you need to be surround by and who do you need to assist? See John 16:13
- Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a fresh vision. When He gives you the vision, ask the Holy Spirit to give you boldness and confidence to walk out what you see. See Proverbs 29:18
- I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland: When we connect our natural to God’s super, He is able to do Super Natural things in and through us. What was once impossible, God will make possible. Doors that were once shut, He will open. Relationships that were once dead, He will revive. Books that were once dormant in our head, He will make active in our heart. All of this is possible, when we say Y.E.S. (Yielding Everything Suddenly). See Ephesians 3:20
Winning in Christ,
Water Walking Women Founder
by Shyreka Sturdivant | December 31, 2016
Here's a perfect blueprint found in 1 Timothy 4:12:
1. Speech: Choose your words wisely. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
2. Conduct: Be careful in how you conduct yourself privately and publicly. See 1 Peter 2:12
3. Love: Express love not only to those who love you, but also to those that look down on you. See Matthew 5:46
4. Faith: Be steadfast in faith that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it.
5. Purity: Ensure that your motives, ways and intentions are pure. See Proverbs 16:2
May God bless you on this last day of 2016!
by Donna Williams | May 26, 2016
She was a Samaritan woman
Shunned by the Jews who thought her people were no better than dogs, half breeds separated from God’s grace
Shunned by a town who knew her past
She does not gather with the women in the cool of the morning to draw water from Jacob’s well
She does not want to feel the weight of her shame as the women turn their backs to her, do not speak to her, do not include her in their gossip whispers
She is the gossip
Instead she comes to the well in the heat of the day
She will endure the heat if it means she will not have to deal with those women and their side-eye glances
She approaches the well and is startled to see a man seated there
When he speaks, she knows he is a Jew
No self-respecting man will talk to a woman in public
No self- respecting Jewish man will speak to a Samaritan, especially a Samaritan woman
But speak to her he does
If he knows her history perhaps there may be another reason as to why he is interested in her
This man is different
When he recounts her history to her, she does not feel condemned
She feels free, no longer tethered to guilt and shame
In that moment, she realizes she has been freed to tell a new story
Of acceptance and love, refreshing and revitalization
Her thirst for hope is quenched by His living waters
This man who confronted her in her past
Has released her to a different future
No longer concerned about a natural need
She leaves her water pot behind
A symbol, perhaps, of leaving her past behind
She runs to tell a town that either used her
Or refused her
She runs to tell them
“Come see a man”
Who knew my past but did not twist it to his advantage
A man who did not leave me snared in the condemnation of my past
A man who has given me what no man has or could ever give me
-A future and a hope-
Like this Samaritan woman, we all have a history
Sometimes people will remind us of that history
Or we will remind ourselves by revisiting regrets born out of our history
But Jesus has a way of redirecting our paths
And like the Samaritan woman, because of a chance encounter with the Messiah,
Which really wasn’t chance at all,
Our story past, like her story past, is now His Story
Of redemption and grace, love and mercy
Her story/our story of brokenness and shame is past
It is no longer a burden that weighs her or us down
As Jesus set this woman free
He has set us free
Empowered to proclaim to everyone
“Come see a man!”
Dr. Tony Evans writes: “The past can be … another distraction from moving forward in God’s purpose, [but] we are not to allow our yesterdays to determine our tomorrow's.”
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Sisters, Water Walking Women (and men), we press, we earnestly strain, we move forward, empowered in the knowledge that God loved us in our past; Jesus redeemed us from our past and the Holy Spirit empowers us to overcome our past.
Empowered to overcome our past, we leave it behind to run into a future full of promise and hope.
Where you were yesterday is no indicator of where God can take you today!!!
by Donna Williams | March 4, 2016
“As an overcomer, always keep this truth in mind: You are not fighting for victory, you are fighting from a position of victory. Christ has secured the victory for you, and He offers you this victory through the armor of God. The victory is yours when you are well-dressed for warfare.”
The “well-dressed for warfare” phrase resonated with me,
If We are Well Dressed For Warfare
We are Well Dressed For Success
And We are Empowered To Win
Ephesians 6:11-18 is a familiar passage of scripture to most of us; in this passage Paul describes each piece of armor in which the believer should be clothed.
Let’s take a look at the pieces of armor that are absolute to the believer’s wardrobe:
11 Put on the whole armour of God [every piece] that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
- The spiritual armor described by Paul mirrors the natural armor worn by the Roman soldier of those days. Every piece of armor that the soldier wore was created for victory, defensive and offensive. Though a soldier knew the enemy would be on the attack, fully clothed in his armor, that soldier always expected to win!
- War is not a personal attack against any one soldier. The rulers of enemy forces do not target any one soldier in particular. Their ultimate goal is to destroy a Kingdom. That soldier and his comrades simply stand in the way of a kingdom being overthrown.
- I hope you caught that spiritual application to a natural expectation. In spite of the enemy forces he might face, a soldier expects to win the battle.
- Understand this, that even though the victory has already been won by Christ, that will not stop the enemy from doing all He can to prove that God is not “all that” and he does that by coming against God’s women, God’s Men, God’s army.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
- Paul mirrors the above precept in 2 Corinthians 10 when he writes “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but they are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”
- We have the power to pull down strongholds, but only if we are well-dressed for warfare! Every piece must be in place; every piece must stay in place!
Piece# 1 - Know your enemy
- It is not the woman who barely speaks to me or the neighbor whose dog poops in my front yard or Sister Amen who did not compliment me on my new Sunday Best suit or the spouse who is always working my last nerve, etc. The real enemy are those hierarchies of evil who are out to destroy the witness of Christ in us!
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
- Piece #2 - Do not underdress! Make sure every piece of armor is in place. Do not leave any spiritual body part exposed to injury, doubt or fear. Stay in formation; do not desert in the heat of the battle.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
- Rule #3 - Always walk in integrity, moral uprightness rooted in God’s Word. Be blameless! People may point the finger but there should be no foundation to the accusations.
- Rule #3A - Protect your heart and your emotions. The breastplate protected the Roman soldier’s heart and stomach/abdomen area. If the heart or visceral organs were pierced by a sword, the injuries would be life threatening!
- In Paul’s day the visceral organs were thought to be the seat of emotions. Today, we think about the heart and emotions.
- Clothed in the righteousness of Christ, our emotions will not be susceptible to injury or succumb to the attack of the enemy.
- Philippians 4:6-7: Through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
- The word “guard” speaks to a sentry that is the watchman on the wall around the city, a watchman always on the lookout for the enemy.
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
- Rule #4 - Always be ready to share the good news wherever you go
- The opening lines of the Great Commission (Matthew 28) in the King James Version, “Go ye therefore. . .” translates to “As you are going.” We are to share the gospel of Christ wherever we go.
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
- The Roman soldiers’ shield was covered with strips of leather that were soaked with water so when the fiery arrows of the enemy hit the shield, the flames were extinguished.
- Rule #4 - “Above all. . .,” e.g., This is very important!
- Our faith is our absolute shield, our strong defense against life’s fiery darts, those darts of illness and need and want and loss and persecution and abandonment, every big and little thing that would blind us to God’s sovereignty in all things.
- We must walk in the knowledge and absolute certainty that God is in control of all things. Even when we cannot see His hand we can always trust His heart.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God:
- Piece #5 - This piece is twofold
- 1)Assurance of your salvation. Salvation means deliverance from harm or danger. You are saved from the penalty of sin (justification); you are saved from the power of sin (sanctification) and one day you will be saved from the very presence of sin (glorification).
- 2)The Mind (the intellect) and The Will (decisions)
- Romans 8:5-6: For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
- Piece #5A - God’s word is our offensive weapon, with it we are able to stand against the lies and the deceit of the enemy. Through it we are able to persevere in the day of adversity.
- Hiding God’s word in our hearts not only keeps us in His will and off the path of sin, but with it we also contend for the faith as well as give a reason for the hope that lies within us.
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
- Piece #6 - Prayer holds everything together; when we pray, God sends His peace to watch over our hearts and our minds so that we are not distracted or swayed by our emotions and we do not begin to doubt or fear.
- We pray before battle, we pray in battle and we pray after battle for the enemy is always planning another attack.
- We keep our focus as we continue to move forward (Philippians 3:13-14) clothed in the whole armor of God.
If We are Well Dressed For Warfare
We are Well Dressed For Success
And We are Empowered To Win
March Mission Possible for March
Before you leave the house, whenever you leave home, make sure you are Dressed for Success, clothed for battle with each piece in place! Oh, and don’t forget to stay clothed in the house, too.
Post reminders on 3x5 cards or Post-It’s in places you are sure to see them. Write on the card or Post-It, “Is every piece in place? Ephesians 6:11-18”
Because of His Love
Facebook: DonnanotDiva, Tea and Thee
by Donna Williams | February 10, 2016
Donna M. Williams 2/2016
There is a word: Empower – delegate or give authority to someone to dome something, to accomplish something to be something
When we look at Revelation 12:11, we see that “they” have been empowered
- Through Him: By His blood -- His death for our debt (1 Corinthians 5:21)
- By Him: The word of their testimony, the Sword of the Spirit, The activation of it in our lives (John 17:17) The proclamation of the gospel to others
- In Him: It is in Him that I live, move and have my being (Acts 17:28); I can do all things though Christ who is my strength (Philippians 4:13)
It is another thing to appropriate that power, to become that which I say I am
I can observe the Word: Read it
I can interpret the Word: Study it
But, I can only be empowered by the Word when I activate it in my life; when it becomes my mission, my daily mission to live it out loud
This has to be more than an emotional response; it has to be a determined, intentional, conscious, conscientious decision:
- I am an overcomer
- I will be an overcomer
- I can overcome
In fact, let’s talk Mission Statement:
Definition: Personal Mission Statement – A personal mission statement is a brief description of what an individual wants to focus on, wants to accomplish and wants to become. It is a way to focus energy, actions, behaviors and decisions towards the things that are most important to the individual.
Jesus had a mission statement – Luke 4:18, 19 (He read from the book of Isaiah)
- “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” – Qualified and Commissioned
- “He has sent me; He has anointed (appointed)” – Called and empowered
- For this purpose
- Proclaim the good news to the poor
- Proclaim freedom for the prisoners
- Recovery of sight for the blind
- Set the oppressed free
- For this purpose
- For this impact
- Freedom (John 8:36) and Light (John 1:4)
You must write your own vision
Template: I am empowered by God to be an overcomer for this (purpose) in order that I might (have this impact)
Post your statement where you can see it every day and when those moments of doubt and impotence attempt to shift your focus, your mission statement will keep you aligned with the will, the way and the word of God.
John 16:33 – I am an overcomer because Jesus was an overcomer
“I Am, therefore, you can!
1 John 5:4 – Everyone born of God is an overcomer, a qualified overcomer through the blood of the lamb
Through Him / By Him / In Him
I read in your word that I am qualified an overcomer through the blood of the Lamb.
My desire, O God, is to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, to stand steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
Yet, Father, I know that in my humanity, I may falter and faint along this path of faith. My strength may often grow weaker as the challenges of life confront me. When those moments come, O God, please remind me that I am an overcomer because I live and move and have my being in Jesus. Remind me, Father, that I can do all things through Christ who is my strength. When I begin to speak words of worry and doubt and impotence, bring back your words I have hidden in my heart, that in this world I may have tribulation, but I can be of good cheer because Jesus has overcome the world. Because He has overcome, I can overcome.
I want to be a willing vessel, fit for your service, to be bold and unwavering in my faith as I activate the gospel in me and share it with others.
I know I am empowered through Jesus, by Jesus and in Jesus and I pray I will not faint in the day of adversity.
Thank you for your lovingkindness and tender mercy towards me.
In the name of Jesus,
by Sharon Judie | July 9, 2015
A couple of weeks ago I was honored to have my original script “Standing in the Need of Prayer” included in the staged reading event at the DC Black Theatre Festival.
As soon as I landed in DC, I realized that my prayer for God to “enlarge my territory” had become real. After 11 years of writing and producing plays locally, I was humbled for the opportunity to go to our nation’s capital and give an unknown audience a glimpse of what I know to be true: when you know your God-given purpose and use the gifts that God gives you, those gifts will make room for you and put you before people of influence who are interested in what you have to offer. The actors did a phenomenal job and best of all, the audience loved “Standing in the Need of Prayer” and requested an encore at the Festival in 2016!
I’d like to encourage you not to give up on the dreams that you have for your life/for your future/for your ministry. Don’t worry about what others around you are doing, even if it seems they are moving ahead quickly and being blessed with amazing opportunities. Continue working the task that God has given you and your time to shine will come. I’m a living witness.
Commit to memory: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”. (Colossians 3:23, New American Standard Bible)
Embrace this truth: Continue to plant seeds of faith and your day of harvest will surely come.
by Shyreka Sturdivant | December 18, 2014
What is Your Hope Built On?
I remember as a child singing, “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” as a Congregation Song at my home Church. Back then it seemed as though we sung it every Sunday and the most excitement I would get from it was watching Sister McQuarrie. Sister McQuarrie was a woman who not only stood out with her bright red lipstick and busty chest, but stood out because in the midst of our strong Gospel Choir, Sister McQuarrie would sing every song as if she was the lead singer in an Opera and I thought it was hilarious!
I can hear her voice now singing the song, you see her voice would start off soft, “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.” But something would happen when she got to the chorus, it was if she had received a double shot of assurance and confidence. It was as if the Lord had turned on the light and any problems, pressures, or perplexities she may have had, were pushed right out of the way. And in her strong soprano voice, she bolted out declaring, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand: all other ground is sinking sand.”
As a child, I was amused by her and I didn’t quite understand the meaning of the song, but oh what a difference life and time brings. When I feel like all hope is gone or like our Sister Naomi, that there was not even time left to hope, I can recall verse 4, “When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found, Clothed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne!” On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand: all other ground is sinking sand.” Dear Sisters, despite what it feels like, sounds like or looks like, don’t lose your hope this Christmas Season!
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