Monthly Archives: January 2013

Is Gun Control and Mental Illness Still Not An Issue?

rose I am not one to look at the news because it can be so disturbing. Yet at times I can’t help but stumble across it because it’s everywhere.

As I’m sitting in my room preparing my mind for my morning mediation and thinking about my future, I hear two stories about gun violence where an innocent man was killed and an innocent 6-year old child was taken hostage in Dale, Alabama. Then another story interrupts regular programming to report a shooting that occurred minutes ago where a gunman went into a building of various offices and commenced to shooting innocent people in Glendale, Arizona.

And to make matters worse, a 15 year old girl who performed at the President’s inauguration was a victim of homicide. Where again, a man opened fire in a park, allegedly for no apparent reason. With all that’s going on, it undoubtedly increases concern on the issue of gun control laws. And as it seems, there are too many flaws.

What is going on in this world today? Why are people killing people for no reason? What is it that this has become the most common occurrence of this season? Too many innocent children are dying. Too many innocent lives are being taken. When will the violence stop? When will we be safe? When will this be the case? Senseless murders cease and we are able to find peace.

I’ve tried my best to refrain from speaking out on gun control and mental health. But I strongly believe something needs to happen before unnecessary killings continue to happen.

Something has to be done. Or we will continue to see things like this occur. Gun control is necessary to get this matter under control. Tougher gun laws are unavoidable.

Please don’t take this in the wrong way. But this is something the world needs to also be concerned with today. Mental health is also a major issue society is in denial of. The fight needs to continue that they may get the help they deserve.

Granted, unanswered homicides occur every day. But to continue to see senseless crimes as is the case with children and unprotected victims like the children of Sandy Hook. Leads me to believe it’s more than what we are seeing.

My mental health background reminds me of the copy cat effect. Where we would often see mental health consumers commit crimes labeled “copy cat acts.” That was triggered by headline news of similar acts.

Do you notice, ever since the Sandy Hook tragedy, acts keep occurring similar to this? As well as include a suspect with a history of violence, instability, or mental illness. Do you think this is something we should continue to ignore? Or should we take the time to seriously explore? Why this is happening and what it will take? In order to change gun laws or mental health mandates.

Again, please don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t mean there’s a mental, unstable person behind every instance of gun violence. However, with many occurrences, some suspects have a history of mental illness and their thoughts cannot be silenced. There is a pattern that exists. In the number of senseless acts we’re seeing since the Sandy Hook tragic event.

Too many people are dying at the hands of alleged unstable people. Guns don’t control people. Nor do they kill people. People control guns and kill other people.

I’ve lived my entire life with the belief that God protects me. I’ve never found the need to obtain a gun of any kind to protect me. God is my shield. He’s my protector from the storm and rain. He has kept me all these years from the hands of man.

I’m not one to judge or comment on things such as this. But when will the violence end? Is gun control and mental illness still not an issue? As innocent victims are being killed or wounded and lives are being taken.

This is my plea. There’s too much going on in this world we continue to see. We need you Lord, oh ever so desperately. There are people taking the lives of innocent people because of their misery or instability.

God send your angels to keep us safe. Jesus, be a fence around this entire place. Protect the innocent from those walking into places shooting others for no reason. Regardless of the fact things happen in and out of season. Please give us Godly wisdom to understand the underlying issues so that resolve may be found. To lessen the impact of what we’re seeing now.

If you don’t know God now’s a good time to seek Him. Nothing in this life happens on a whim. We’re living in the last days where nothing’s beneath man. Accept Jesus. Believe. Confess and believe in the Son of God. Not the son of man.

Jesus is the answer for the world today. We are not promised tomorrow or today. We are here on borrowed time. For every problem in your life, seek God each and every time. There is no one else above him. He is Lord our God. Find him. Seek the Lord. Be blessed! -JD

Psalm 105:4 “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

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Why Do We Change?

It amazes me how God will send confirmation of thoughts that dwell in your heart. As he sends the most unsuspecting people, in unsuspecting places, in the most unusual circumstances to affirm what it is you desire to say.

I am a firm believer that within every circumstance, God presents an opportunity for us to make a difference. It is not by chance or coincidence. It is by his Divine Providence.

Today it was raining out but there was something I needed to do in order to meet a deadline that would affect my future forever. As I walked to the copy and print store to make a copy and mail a letter that held my future destiny, I met an unusual woman. Our conversation started off about the rain and she said where she comes from, rain was a common occurrence. I said, “Me too.” But she welcomed it today. I said, “Me too.”

I dared not ask where she was from but as soon as the words left her lips I had a small inkling she was from the same parts I was. And just as it turned out, she was.

Although we had had enough of the rain where we hailed from, it was good to see it falling today. She thanked God. And I did too. Ironic, I thought, “This woman seems to know the same God I do.” Just by her mannerism and disposition shown by those small words she chose to use. Here’s a woman who is in a great position. Just by the words she mentioned. “Thank God.”

I immediately felt comfortable with her as we talked about how people choose to conform for others as a means to fit in. They think its okay to live by standards of society rather than choose to live by God’s standards.

The conversation led to the subject of people who hold the belief that it is okay to change for a man, a woman, or even in a relationship to better themselves for the sake of others. While I didn’t see a problem with this, I couldn’t help but say, these thoughts I am compelled to express in this way. And this is what I had to say:

So often I hear people say, “As many relationships we find ourselves in, even though others turned out bad, there will be one where someone will meet a person who will cause them to change.” For the better, which will bring success in the relationship they believe was destined to be. But do you really think that’s all we should believe?

People get confused when they see others in relationships and it appears all is well that ended well. But don’t get it twisted. You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors and while change is good. You don’t know if their life really is that good. Or because of who they think is just that good.

Now don’t get me wrong, change is a beautiful thing. Especially when it brings growth absolving things that weren’t beautiful about you. But it is important to consider the reasons why you change you.

Do you ever stop to think when a person changes, who or what is it they decide to change for? Is it for them or is it for God? If it’s for them, it will seem as though they are in better place. Based on what is seen on the surface. But as the woman said it often will mean it’s only temporary. And I agree because if you’re only changing for yourself or that person, you’re not free. But if change is preceded by your desire to grow in God, and then change for the good, then you would… be free. You will experience the effects of change permanently.

God will show himself strong on your behalf. Not by what people will do because of you or what you do because of them. But because of what he will do for you in spite of them. He will strengthen your resolve, if your heart is fully committed to God. “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

We can’t change people. We can’t expect people to change for us. But with prayer, God’s Will will change for us. When we make the decision to change, it must involve God as the priority. And you will know this as things fall into place for the betterment of your well-being.

Not based on what you are seeing within that relationship with that person. But in reflection of what you will see within you in comparison. To who you were before and who you are now when God change you. You will see a better you. The relationship you’re in will benefit too. However, the relationship must begin with God to begin anew.

I commend those who evolve and change for the better. I wish nothing but success in the lives of others. But I believe and will always say, in order to be different, you have to be open to doing things differently. In order to grow, you have to be willing to change a part of you so it is God you will see. In every circumstance or situation you face. Even in the people whose lives you are placed.

As for me, I may not be the person I’m supposed to be, but thank God I’m not the person I used to be. I’m free. Whatever relationship I may find myself in, God will be first as I seek to change.

I will sing praise every day. With these words I made up Wednesday, “You don’t know my story. You can see my glory. God has favored me. I can tell by all that I’ve been through, I’m free. Free from pain, worry, heartbreak, and misery. Thank you Lord, I’m free. No more chains are binding me. My mind, my soul, and my body are free. I am. I will. I stand. I believe.”

And you can be free too. Just let God, and not people, be the reason why you change you.

Be blessed! -JD

Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

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Please Excuse Me For Being A Parent

I apologize for the unintentional, possibly overbearing thoughts I share on the subject of mothers and children. But out of my compassion and concern for parents like myself, I can’t help but speak on the issue I find myself constantly encountering when I speak to other parents as well as what I see within the environment I exist. Please excuse me for being a parent.

It saddens me and shatters my heart to pieces when I hear about the treatment mothers experience from their children. Mothers, regardless of what they’ve done or didn’t do or who they are, they don’t deserve to be neglected, unaccepted, or disrespected. Please excuse me for being a parent.

I hear too many stories about how children choose to ignore, criticize and even disassociate themselves from their parents out of their stubbornness and foolish pride. Oftentimes I see children of today’s generation who lack respect, honor, and value for their parents. There is a great disregard for the role a mother plays in their lives as shown by the way they manipulate, humiliate, abuse, and take them for granted.

God used mothers as angels in the giving of life. We are to nurture, guide and protect our children. No matter what we may be faced with, and I know from experience we have our own struggles, we do our best to console the emotional state of mind our children will experience and not control the decisions they will make. It is never our intention to hurt or harm. So please excuse us for our prayers to keep you safe in God’s arms.

When children see us they think we are invincible. Yet they don’t realize our lives aren’t simple either. We carry heavy burdens when we observe our children’s lives not going the way we would hope. We ache inside our hearts when disappointment or a travesty occurs. Please excuse the attention we give that you feel you may not deserve.

We become consumed with a desire to help even if it’s only to share an encouraging word, constructive criticism or a thought that may bring healing. We try our best to do this in love. Sometimes we fail miserably but it’s never intentional. We make mistakes. We are human too. Please excuse us for caring about you.

We hurt, we heal. We get torn down but we stand the test of time. We go through a lot but we are survivors. As Christians, we are more than conquerors as the Bible tells us, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” Romans 8:37. And it is because of him we live.

This in turn led me to think when someone asked me, “If you could turn back the hands of time would you do things differently?” I answered “Yes, there are some things I would change.” Then they said, “But how would you know you were doing it differently if you didn’t know what it was you were doing?” Me: “You’re absolutely correct” because life isn’t that simple.

We wouldn’t be able to do things differently if we relived our life because we wouldn’t know what to expect since we haven’t lived it yet. We still would be inexperienced with not a clue as to what life would entail. We would have to live and then learn from our experiences. And with the help of God, we will make it to the point we, as mothers, are now. Please excuse our diligence in seeking God because you may not know how.

Much like our children who are in the same place we once found ourselves. The only difference is we have lived the life they are now going through which in essence is a blessing. And they don’t even know it. Please excuse us for trying to be a blessing.

We are born, we live, and then we die. We learn to relinquish foolish pride as we go through life. As we learn to live. Then we learn to share what we’ve learned with our children who will now live the life we once lived. Excuse our innate nature to only want what’s best for you. Please excuse the unconditional love we have for you.

I hope that this will be my final thoughts on the subject but I know with life and children ever evolving, it probably won’t. But I hope that one day when children talk or react to their mothers, they are careful in what they do or say, because we are not promised the next hour or the next day. Please excuse our tenacity as God makes a way. As he listens to our prayers and you are given another chance that day.

We all are here on borrowed time. Learn to treat your parents with love. Learn to be kind. Thank God, for letting your mother stay. That they may guide you on the way, to wherever it is you may be going. As each day God gives you breath to see a new dawning.

Mothers are a treasured memory. Honor them today and every day. Remember if it weren’t for them you would not be a part of that memory if God hadn’t let you stay.

Please excuse us for being parents with a heart filled with love. Please excuse the manner in which we love… you. We are here to guide you. Don’t ever take for granted our kindness for weakness when we do… the very best we can to make life easier for you.

Be blessed! –JD

2 Corinthians 10:12-14 “For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. 13 But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the sphere which God apportioned to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we did not reach to you, for we were the first to come even as far as you in the gospel of Christ; 15 not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we shall be, within our sphere, enlarged even more by you,

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We Are The Salt Of The Earth

Mothers are the salt of the earth. And so are fathers too. We only want what’s best for our children in all they do. We are the angels God gave to you. We would risk our lives just so that they may have a better life. We would if we could, take away all their strife. If we could, we would do everything for them so that they may not fail. But we know this is not what God expects from us for them, as his love will prevail.

The love we have for our children is undeniable. It shows in the lessons we try to teach them. Oftentimes we have to move ourselves out of the way. In order, that they may find their way. Even if it means sacrificing ourselves in humility, we are to honor God in bringing tranquility. A peace that will surpass all understanding with the hope they get an understanding. Of the life God desires they live. In all their ways and the manner in which they give… to others freely and unselfishly…. a life filled with humbleness and humility.

It doesn’t mean we don’t love them because a mother’s love is a treasured memory. It is a gem. However, what we mustn’t do is stop praying for them.

We must continue to pray that God will manifest through their circumstances and they gain an understanding. That he is the one who gives them unlimited chances. At some point, through trials and testing they will either recognize the divine nature of God. Or they will continue to live a life filled with hopelessness and void.

God’s presence is with us every day. He desires we work to do things his way. He provides guidance and direction in his Word. Your dream will not be deferred. Children must understand God also use us to instruct, nurture, refine, and guide you. But as parents, there’s only so much we can do. We have to surrender our will to God in order that he may do his work through you.

We desire the best, just as he. But sometimes we have to let things be. We do our best to use God’s Word with the desire to bring encouragement, hope, and inspiration. Only in preparation… of this thing we call life. That will guide you through a life that may be easier for you. If only you knew.

We can’t keep driving the same words in the hopes you will listen and take heed. We can’t keep saying, “God is not pleased…” with the things you continue to do. We must release our cares unto Him and let him do what he knows is best for you.

One day children who become adults will be required to seek God’s grace on their own. Or continue to live life alone. Not physically but spiritually. It will take a great level of wisdom and maturity.

As we grow older we mature. As we mature we’re supposed to change. The possibilities are limitless where there is no range. However, in order to change we must be open to it. Use of wise spiritual or mature counsel is a part of it. Godly counsel also will be of benefit.

Guidance and motherly advice verses control and motherly opinion differs. On so many levels but will make a difference. We can give our children all the advice in the world but ultimately it is up to them to choose their own path. Or in the end they will eventually experience God’s wrath.

We pray our children follow the path God has set before them. That they may hear to convict the heart and not condemn. Psalm 23 is my prayer every day. For it confirms God has prepared the way. He is our shepherd. We are the sheep. God will guide the meek.

When children choose to not listen to us or God, ultimately he will send a clear message that will not be void… of the consequence they will pay. For the life they have chosen to live anyway.

Mothers are the salt of the earth. And so are fathers too. As you become adults, please be wise and listen to the voice of God to lead you. Listen to your heart and not your head when it concerns your parents. Honor and respect them as taught. It is inherent. Children, you are the light of the world and the salt of the earth too. Let the Word of God guide you.

Be blessed! –JD

Matthew 5:13 – 14 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

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Is It Me or Is It You?

Religious Candles and CrossWords can weigh heavily on the heart when not expressed in the right way. I truly believe it’s in how and what you say. I couldn’t help but think on this very thing today. In view of all that keeps coming my way.

To go to God in prayer with your petition and request, with the understanding and belief that he knows what’s best. Will you understand when he sends discernment to guide you? When he sends an answer to the very thing that may be troubling you?

When you’re compelled to do the right thing God has set in your heart. Will you not do to please others when you know God placed the right answer in your heart? Will you fight against the righteousness you know shall prevail? Or will you hide in contempt and refuse to face your fear instead.

Can it be me? Or is it you? That works within me to do what I know God has called me to do. By confronting conflict even when it goes against what it may look like I’m trying to do to you.

People can be so judgmental and unrighteous when it concerns their vulnerability. They will choose to see only that which validates the person they think they are or should be. Why is it so hard to get others to see the God in you? To be honest, you really don’t need them to. When you know in your heart you are doing what he instructed you to do.

When motives are in the right place there should never be a “but” in answer to the question. For what it does is brings your credibility and your faith and trust in God under subjection. The intent is never to bring harm but to reveal truth and honesty. And send a message that you may open your eyes to the things you may be refusing to see.

God has a way of showing us things we are in denial of. He sends confirmation through experiences and circumstances we cannot avoid. It is up to us to take notice to the answer he sends. For, God is not a god of confusion, but of peace that always brings a happy ending.

If conflict still exists even when you’ve done your best to find resolve. Remember it is not of God. For, God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19) When God sends an answer, his righteousness shall prevail.

We cannot become confused or conflicted by what others say we should do. When we hear the voice of God, let this serve as confirmation to you. This applies to me too. For I know at times my actions may speak louder than my words. But my intent is to God, to remain true. To advise what he knows is best for you.

I don’t take this responsibility lightly. I go to God first. I ask him for discernment and guidance to lead me so that I may not hurt … others. It is never my intent to bring harm or ridicule. I have faults but it will never lead me to do … this. It would be absolutely remiss.

I’ve learned to take time out and examine my actions that are not in alignment with you … God. When things I struggle with becomes hard. And in doing so, I have to remove myself from them and the circumstance I seem to continually face. In order to recompense for my sins I may have unknowingly placed.

No matter how much people may confuse this with my reacting in the wrong way. God knows it’s the best way I try to handle things so that I may change. Yet, I find that in order to change I must go to God and meditate. I must seek him first to lead me the right way.

I know God knows all that we may go through. He will send an answer even when it doesn’t look like it to me or you.

I shall never underestimate the power of God regardless of the obstacles I may face. I will stand on His Word to run the race.

Ask yourself this question, is it me or is it you? Take a look at yourself. Through self-examination I hope you find an answer that aligns with God’s truth.

Be blessed! –JD

2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?– unless indeed you are disqualified.”

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If You Believe

When you see a person with a smile on their face every day even in times of despair, it’s the measure of their faith in God that works within.

When you see a person who constantly has love in their hearts and encouragement for others, it is the love of God that resides in their heart.

No matter the circumstance, their hope is in the Lord. Not in what you see, but in what they believe. They have faith the size of a mustard seed.

They trust God completely with everything. Their confidence shows in the blessing God brings. For they know nothing’s too hard for God. They are hopeful in the Lord.

This is the attitude we should have every day. Regardless, of what comes what may. Our love will show in all we do. The love of God will shine through. And we too can bear fruit.

The branch cannot bear fruit in itself, unless it abides in the vine. It is divine. Jesus is the vine. We are the fruit. Abide in him and he will abide in you.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is in the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

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Be An Example

We see many examples throughout Scripture of the Bible where God repeats himself over and over. He may say a lot of things in certain places. And he may say little things in other places. But what I find interesting is how He presents things in certain sets of numbers; particularly my inquisitiveness in the number three.

Do you ever notice how the Bible illustrates several places where God denotes things in “threes?” Better yet, how he says things over and over with different events in different parts of different people lives? It’s as though there’s something he’s trying to say even though the characters in Scripture change. Yet His Word doesn’t. It stays the same. It is complete.

Can’t help but wonder, is there a reason why God does this? Is there something we need to pay attention to? Yes. And Yes.

There are many examples I can reference but because there are too many to narrow down to list, if we were to take a look at small sample, what do you think it will tell us?

What significance do you think it will bear? Do you think the little things will outweigh the bigger things we see there?

For example:

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)

  • On the third day the earth was created (Gen 1:13)
  • During the next three days, God filled the earth with living beings (Gen 1:2)
  • On the third day Jesus rose again (1Cor 15:4)

The word of the Lord came to Isaiah, “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears, I will heal you.

  •  ‘On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you from this city from the hands of the king of Assyria…’ ” (2Kings 20:5-6)

And then there’s the knowledge of who God is. We know God is one person manifested as three divine persons. He is the Triune God. He is “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Jesus’ words affirm it in Matthew 28:19.

  • Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19).

This is the spoken word of God.  And when God repeats himself, we are to TAKE NOTICE because it is IMPORTANT.

Now does it mean a lot of what God says, we are to internalize to change the behavior or does it mean a little of what He says, we must adhere to? In my opinion we are to do both because both are important in order to bring glory to God.

This is what I find to be true. I believe all things in the Bible, whether big or small, is significant. However, as it relates to the number three, this is my interpretation. Three symbolizes the will of God. The number three is God’s completion. When God repeats himself, there’s something he wants us to get. When God notes something in three, it is his final say. It’s done.

As such, when we speak of God, I find sometimes when sharing the Gospel, people tend to say a whole lot about God without saying enough about Him. It can be meaningless if we fail to edify the Body of Christ.

And then there are times when some say very little, but the meaning in their message can say a whole lot when it transforms lives.

Then does this mean we should say a lot or should we say a little? Well, in my opinion, we can do both as long it serves the right purpose; to lead others to Christ.

I am a very detailed person. When I speak it’s like recalling times when writing term papers in college that began with a thesis statement, the body, and drawing a conclusion. Mildly put, “I’m longwinded.” And if you notice, it is in threes.

Many times I have a lot to say but need to start from the beginning before getting to the point of the matter. Much like what I do here.

And then there are times when I have very little to say but the message is of great significance especially when I share the Good News about Jesus Christ in the hopes of leading someone to a life with him.

I’ve learned many times we don’t need to say a lot to profess our knowledge of God or to share a word about his truth. Oftentimes I feel as though it can be done in three simple words, “God loves you. God is love.”

We can demonstrate God’s attributes in three words, “God is omnipresent. God is omnipotent. God is omniscient. God is Sovereign.”

And when we simply want to assure someone of God’s love, his provision, his protection, and who he is, we can tell them in four words, “God cares for you. God will bless you. God is Jehovah Jireh. He is your provider. God is Jehovah Nissi. He is your banner. God is El Shaddai. He is God Almighty.”

We can use five words as the undisputed truth of who is God. I believe this sends the greatest message. God is “I AM that I AM.”

Needless to say, I can go on and on about numbers but what I want you to know, whether we speak a little or we speak a lot about God, when we share the message about Him, we are to make it clear. It must be the truth.

It doesn’t matter how much we say. But what will matter is what we say. Because on any given day, his message can mean something entirely different depending where your life is at that moment on that day. So whatever he says is for a reason. We can’t minimize why he says what he do. We must adhere to the lesson. The lesson he’s trying to send to you.

Remember there are countless times when Jesus says, “Verily, Verily” or “I tell you the truth” in the Bible. They were small words that held great significance. He spoke truth. His words were fact.

Much like us, when we speak about God, tell the truth. Saying a little can mean a lot. And saying a lot can sometimes mean a little. It’s all in how you use your words to tell the story.

As you share your message with the world, don’t worry about big or small. But rather concentrate on how you can honor God with your thoughts. Be an example. Have the mind of Christ. Be like-minded and be the light as you lead others to Christ.

When you produce what it is you want to say, make this your declaration that day and every day:

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Be blessed! -JD

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What About The Children?

I heard someone say, “When children are young, they love us. When they become adults, they judge us.”

As parents, we make mistakes but we should not be held responsible for them the rest of our lives. I believe, no matter what, this is what children must adhere to.

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

“This is the first commandment with a promised attached. To honor your parents is to speak well of them and politely to them. To act in a way that shows them courtesy and respect (but not to obey them if this means disobedience to God). Follow their teachings and example of putting God first. Parents have a special place in God’s sight. Even those who find it difficult to get along with their parents are still commanded to honor them” (LASB – notes Exodus 20:12).

And this is what we must remind ourselves of every day even when they grow old, become adults and move away; because one day we will be grandparents to, our children’s children we are to guide too.

Children are blessings.
They are precious gifts sent from God above.
Cherish their presence.
They are for us to nurture and love.

Remember it is up to you.
Make your child’s life worth living.
Lead by example in the things you do.

Lead them in the right path.
Influence them in the right ways.
And they will remember it all their days.

Teach your child to follow God’s commands and laws.
We must not withhold it but discipline them in love.

Even though it may seem unpleasant
Let the punishment fit the crime in their defense.
Administer it to commensurate with the offense.

They may stray from the Word as they get older.
But your guidance at some point will carry them over.
They will have no choice but to come back to it.
The very thing of God you imparted them with.

No matter how young or old, direct them to God.
Teach them about God and his truth.
Teach them how to obey and follow his rules.

God instructs us how to discipline.
The Bible says it is what we are required to do.
We are to impart God’s wisdom and truth.

We have a responsibility to one another to approach in love.
Children are to respect and love their parents in spite of.
They are to honor in spite of unfairness.
We are to care and love them in spite of disobedience.

Remember, children are God’s reward.
They are precious gifts sent from God above.
Savor every moment that you can.
Cherish and embrace them.
Put their lives in God’s hands.

My 6 year old grandson said “We all have guardian angels. They take care of us and they actually watch whatever we do. And they go to their guardian place to protect us because they are right behind us regardless whether we are good or bad. They are our guardian angels.” He is a wise young man. In the words of a proud grandmother, I say “Amen.”

Children are wise beings and are very sensitive to their surroundings. They can sense when something is amiss. They are sensitive to negative bias. And can be influenced by it. Foster an environment that influences positive, not negative, behavior. It can lay the foundation for positive or negative development in a child sooner or later.

Make it “About the Children.”

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

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With Opportunity Comes Accountability

I notice with every encounter I experience, God presents an opportunity to do his will. I find the minute I connect with someone, my mind begins to fill with thoughts of what I can do to be a blessing. Better yet, what can I do to glorify God.

We are vessels of Christ to be used for God’s purpose. We are here to serve a purpose. We all have a gift to share with the world. In any given situation, the best thing we can do is look for God in it. Our mindset will be like the mind of Christ. God will influence our behavior. 1 Cor 2:16

“The sanctified mind discerns the real beauties of holiness, but the power of discerning and judging about common and natural things is not lost. But the carnal man is a stranger to the principles, and pleasures, and actings of the Divine life. The spiritual man only, is the person to whom God gives the knowledge of his will.” http://mhc.biblecommenter.com/1_corinthians/2.htm

When trials come, take it as a divine intervention where God is protecting and pruning you for the promise. It may not be what you want it to be but it will be what God has designed it to be. It will work for the greater good.

“And we know that alll things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” Romans 8:28-29

To believe in God’s provision is to trust he will provide no matter the circumstance. God works on your behalf even when you can’t see him in it. All things will work out for your good. Trust him. Believe in his Word.

We can use failure, obstacles, and even successes to impart wisdom and knowledge. We can use circumstances to bear witness to others of God’s mercy and grace.

Let every encounter be an opportunity to be held accountable to God’s standards as you impart God’s wisdom to others. For it is God’s wisdom we are gifted with. And it is God’s wisdom that is the answer to life’s circumstances.  Be a witness. Allow God’s Word to guide you.

God’s wisdom is infinite. It is available to you. Let it drive your thoughts, your actions, and all that you do. Use every opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. After all, we are all sisters and brothers… in Christ Jesus.

Be blessed! -JD

James 3:17-18 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

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Does Reverence Of God Require Us To Change?

I had a strange premonition the other day where I couldn’t get my mind off  the subject of change and reverence to God. I tried to push it to the back of my mind but something kept prompting me to address it. So today, I chose to briefly take a look at reverence and change as I share how it came about in my life and what I believe God expects us to do with it.

When I was younger, I feared change. I didn’t like the idea of having to transition to new things in my life. I didn’t like having to make new friends or go to a new school or live in a new place or be in new surroundings. I was comfortable and wanted things to remain the same…forever.

But as with anything in life, change is a part of it. In order to transition from one setting to another, one must be willing and open to change their surroundings in order to sustain. It is required. As such, I couldn’t help but make the connection to change as it relates to spiritual growth and determined through spiritual development, reverence to God was also a part of change that was required.

While I had been raised in the church by my Mother and Great-grandmother basically all my life, as a young child I reverenced God. Although at the time I really did not have a clear understanding of what it meant, all I know is I feared him in my heart. My desire was to do what was right to please him.

When I became an adult and began to closely follow God I realized change was required in order to grow and mature. Not that my circumstances may change, but God wanted to change me within my circumstances. This would allow me to become a better person and work to develop the same characteristics as God. Without God serving as the blueprint to shape my life, how could I fully follow the foundation that was set before me?

At a young age I never departed from the love, respect, and awe I have for God. And even at the age I find myself now, the love I have for God is astounding. It is beyond words.

Granted there are times when I struggle with sustaining, the overall goal is to follow God wholeheartedly. To love him with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind, with a desire to live in obedience to his commandments.

It took some time to get to where I am now, but no matter the circumstance whenever I find myself reacting or responding to situations or people in an inappropriate manner, my first thought is, “Do you think God would be pleased?” I’d follow with an answer, “No.” And because I know better, this in turn would prompt me to work to change the behavior and the attitude so that I may bring honor and glory to Him. Life had new meaning and purpose for me.

As I grow older I’ve learned to accept change as a part of life. Take the bitter with the sweet, the good with the bad. I’ve also learned that with change comes opportunity; we either live on purpose or live in fear with no purpose. The latter at some point will make life seem meaningless.

I believe in order to be made whole we must first learn to love God in order to love ourselves. Acknowledgment of God’s love is a key component to our future development.

Our life starts not with what we know or how good we are, but with whom we know; God. Our purpose of life should be to revere Him. It’s where we stand in awe of Him.

God is above, not below us. He controls everything in the earth that concerns us. To reverence Him is to show respect. It’s all in his hands. We are to follow his commands. Recognize, and honor his divine authority. God is all-powerful. He has dominion over everything.

Not only will we have respect for him but will respect others too. Not because of the positions they hold or what they do; but because who they are in Christ to you; your sisters and brothers. Your love of God will be shared with one another.

We are at his disposal. Therefore we must please him in everything we do. We must be able to acknowledge him in all our ways. And follow his laws the rest of our days.

Fear, on the other hand, is our motivation to surrender to God. It is where He resides in our hearts. Evidenced in promises he made and what he’s done. His love never fades. The utmost respect of his authority will be held. Without trust, obedience cannot prevail.

We all have a divine purpose. But it is impossible to fulfill your purpose without God. When you put him first, change will come. Not by what you’ve done but who you will become. Above all, let your life begin with Him. God is your purpose. Build your life around him. Gain knowledge and wisdom as you seek to know Him.

Reverence builds purpose in our relationship with God. It is the sum total of who we are. It helps us grow in maturity. It increases our relationship, our faith, and our belief.

Change is inevitable. We can’t run from it. We must learn to embrace it. Change the way you think, act, and speak. Look for God to guide you in every step you take. He will order your steps to bring you to the place. He set before you to run the race.

Let God begin a work in you. Follow God and he will do the rest for you. Reverence Him in all you do.

Psalm 89:7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.

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2013 Declaration

Today God gave us day one to walk in integrity. 364 more days to remain loyal and live righteously. Trust in the Lord. He will guide you. Honor God. His Word is truth.

In times of trouble, let God orchestrate your steps. For, He is a present help. Don’t worry. Remove all doubt. Have faith God will work it out. He promised.

2013 may be the beginning of a new life for many. Yet God has been around since the beginning. Renew your covenant with Him. Live to serve God until the end… of time.

Be consistent in your fellowship and your walk with Him. Continue pursuit of an intimate relationship with Him. It will bring abundant life and true fulfillment.

May your days be filled with a desire to live for God. Be a doer, not just a hearer of the Word.

Jesus likened himself to the vine and believers to its branches. In this life we are given many chances. Make a declaration to God to remain true. To your word just as he do.

Jesus is the vine. We are the fruit. Abide in him and He in you.

God bless each and every family. God, I trust your provision will guide us to safety. You will supply all our needs. I trust you. I believe.

Goodnight and or Good Morning To You! – JD

John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

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