Monthly Archives: February 2013

Forgive To Heal….Trust Your Belief

One of the hardest things to accept is when someone disappoints, hurts or betrays you. Yet the greatest reaction is to see God in it and not react to them. But instead react to Him. It may anger you but when your heart is in the right place, you’ll overlook their sin. You’ll choose to follow God’s orders and not sin in it. It may hurt your feelings but you’ll get over it.

                                                              photo credit:                                                           www.Oprah.com                                          Oprah's Life Class Forgiveness Quotes

photo credit:
http://www.Oprah.com
Oprah’s Lifeclass Forgiveness Quotes

When people hurt, disappoint or betray don’t take it personal or retaliate. Instead pray for them and wait.  God will see you through. And eventually, they will change too.

Your heart will be reflective of him because a heart of God will speak love. But a heart filled with bitterness and resentment speaks unforgiveness and is hard. A heart filled with contempt speaks lies and deceit. The latter is reserved for those who choose not to seek forgiveness and repent.

Trust will also play a major role in your response to a healthy life. As it manifests and renders your soul unhealthy when holding on to bitterness and strife. Ultimately bringing things such as pain and resentment as you live a defeated life.

Oftentimes a lingering lack of trust can be the very obstacle that will prevent your ability to move forward when you are blind to what’s hindering you. If you aren’t careful, complacency and blissful ignorance can lead to a lifetime of bondage in all you choose to do. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you open your heart to God and let him lead the way.

Forgiveness begins in the heart and must first take place there in order to start the healing process. Otherwise you may never be burdenless. Even though it may be hard to get there, the most important thing is to learn to trust God on your way there. Learn to forgive yourself and forgive others; for your sake and not the sake of others.

While the prevalence of broken trust may be difficult or painful to forget, forgiveness will break the cycle of your unfaithfulness. But eventually it will be up to you. To make the choice that will lead to a healthy life that you may start fresh. Anew

No matter what people may do to hurt you. Remember, there’s nothing impossible God can’t do. Choose to stay in the right standing with him. Don’t rely on man to heal you but look to him. Be willing and open to change. Seek God in the midst of your pain. For, it is he that can make your life whole again.

Trust, have faith. Open your heart. Heal and be healed. Surrender to God’s will. Allow God to mend your heart so that you may forgive and be forgiven too. Overlook the offense, move forward, and let God lead you. To a life filled with joy that he promised you.

Turn every disappointment into a blessing, failures into successes. May trials become triumphs and tests become faith testaments. Forgive that you may heal. Trust that you may believe. Embrace all that God has in store for you. And you shall receive… a renewed life.

Be Blessed! -JD

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

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Random Thoughts….

Good morning God. I’m awake at 4:00 am finding that I can’t sleep even though I know I must, given the day I have ahead.

random-thoughtsIn a few days the events of my life that have been a constant fixture for the past seven years will come full circle and believe it or not, I’m having anxiety and panic filled emotions about it. Even though I am confident of the results because of my faith and belief in God, as I sit here wondering what next. My mind is going 60 miles a minute thinking before my time.

I am a very strong person, a faithful believer in Jesus Christ, and in most cases, can handle whatever comes my way but honestly, speaking from my heart, I’m a little scared. I really don’t know what to expect when I reach my destination and face the enemy once again, but I know what God has already confirmed in my spirit. “No need to worry or fret. Be not afraid, for I am with you.” He has already worked this out. This is going to pass. I will have victory. Great will be my reward.

Now, I know all of this sounds strange because one can ask the question, “If you believe and have faith, why you’re scared and having anxiety and panic filled emotions?” And my answer to that is you got to remember, these are only emotions of what I’m feeling right now. It doesn’t mean this is who I am. Only what I’m feeling. Simply put, I’m human.

And in essence, it’s normal. But it’s not where I will stay. These feelings and emotions will change. I already know what this is since I already know what happens when you find yourself coming to the end of a journey and the enemy does all he can to trick you into believing what you’re seeing is what will be. He becomes your greatest adversary. He wants you to not believe in what he knows God already said will be. He wants to create negativity.

He wants to convince you that God has left you and is no longer with you. That you will fail. That you are weak and out of your vulnerability, you will lose your faith as he works to put fear in your heart.

But I’m not having it. I recognize when the enemy comes in like a flood in his attempt to kill, steal, and destroy, I must wage war against him. “The Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”

God has allowed me to come too far by faith, to get over too many hills, too many mountains, and too many obstacles to leave me now. He has brought me through too many trials, too many tribulations, and too many circumstances for me not to believe just as he said, “this too shall pass.” That he is with me, right beside me, in front, and behind me. He won’t fail. Neither will I; with the Lord by my side.

But as I said, these are human emotions and simply what I’m feeling right now as of this moment at 4:00 am. And it’s normal.

Thank you, God for listening. Now I must find my way back to sleep at least for a little while.

Random thoughts….

Psalm 23  “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

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What Is God Trying To Say To You Today?

bible-by-candlelightWhen I read the word of God I get so full spiritually. Oftentimes I can’t stop reading and wish I could go on forever. Although there may be times when I read and may get confused. I can’t stop until I am able to clearly understand. It allows me to ask questions and delve deeper into the word to gain the right answer.                                                                                     (http://wallpaper4god.com)

What I notice is that God does not give us all the answers in one place. He may tell us something in one verse and we may read in another verse or note, either what it meant or the magnitude in which God designed it to apply not only to that situation but to us as believers in Christ.

But one thing I am assured of. When I read the Bible it is my opportunity to fully seek knowledge and wisdom as I desire to share and be a blessing in spreading the gospel to all who will listen. It is also a time when I ask, “God, what are you trying to say to me today?” I work to seek answers to questions as to how this message should apply in my life, not just on that day, but every day.

There are many people we may encounter who are not believers in Christ but choose to earnestly seek God. But the greatest thing is that in their efforts, they are reverent and work to do the right thing. Much like Cornelius’s story in Acts 10 even though he was not a believer in Christ, he earnestly sought God. He revered Him and was generous in his efforts. Of which he was greatly rewarded.

It leads me to think that just because one does not believe in God doesn’t mean we dismiss them. God will use us as the vessel to present the truth about salvation. The Bible notes that Cornelius’s story demonstrates “God willingness to use extraordinary means to reach those who desire to know him. Those who sincerely seek God will find him!” And much like Cornelius’s experience, God will make your knowledge complete in the people he send as a witness.

There were a variety of means God used to speak to other Bible characters. And He used remarkably different ways to speak to them “through the written Scriptures, through the words of others, through circumstances and events.” Yet the one thing that made the difference was in the choice they made. It was up to them to listen, to be perceptive, and to be alert. And they did exactly what they needed to do. They listened to God.

As believers, we too must make a choice when earnestly seeking God. Not just so that we hear him but that we may be perceptive to what it is he is trying to say to us. Then use this as an opportunity to be obedient in doing what He says.

God makes it clear that the Good News of Christ is for everyone! We are to not allow any barriers be it language, culture, race, economic level, educational level or even different beliefs prevent us from telling others about Christ.

We all are different. And we don’t know everything. We can use the wisdom others may bring. There is always room for growth. God’s plan includes everyone. We may need the witness of another believer to understand how God works. And they may need our knowledge of the gospel to know the way to salvation.

No matter who we are or what we’ve done. No matter what our background may consist of or where we come from. Remember, God can use you to be the vessel to bring the message of salvation. He will give you a revelation. To reach those who want to know him. So you may show them the way to him.

The gospel is for everyone. We mustn’t discriminate against anyone. Be an effective witness with all, not some. Strive to learn from others. Recognize with every encounter, your need to grow. As other mature Christians share what they know. Make a concerted effort to reveal God’s truth. Each one, reach one; teach one. And God will richly reward you.

“What is God trying to say to you today?”

Be blessed! –JD

1 Timothy 2:3-6 “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.”

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Today Is Happy Valentine’s Day

Here’s wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day. No matter your status whether you are single, married, engaged. Know that God loves each and every one of you today and every day.

For God so loved the world. He loves us unconditionally. He gave his only begotten Son for you and for me. He did this so that we may have eternal life. He made an ultimate sacrifice. John 3:16

We are not here by chance or circumstance. We are here because God gave us another chance. While for many today, Valentine’s Day is a day to show love. The greatest love we can show is to God, because it is his love that has kept and brought us this far.

His gift to us is the angels he has released in the atmosphere. As a shield to cover and protect us while we are here. Celebrate. Rejoice in God’s love. Do as the Word tells us in love. Be patient. Be kind. Don’t envy. Don’t boast. Don’t be proud. No matter the storm cloud.

God is love. And He gives his love freely. Receive it joyfully. It never fades. It’s always here. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always persevere. For this is the reason we are still here. 1 Corinthians 13:7 God loves us so. He protects and gives us hope. If nothing else, remember Job.

And remember, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39

It is with this I say, “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Love and be loved. For God is Love.

Be Blessed! -JD

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

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Why Is A Virtuous Woman The Ideal Woman?

Proverbs 31:10-31 describes the ideal woman who we mistakenly. Think is a woman who is, servile, completely domestic, and retiring. Oh… How untrue. The Bible says a virtuous woman is one who, is of strong character and great wisdom. She is an excellent wife and mother who care for her husband and children. She is a woman of great strength and dignity. She is a woman with integrity.

I couldn’t help but share my thoughts on this ideal woman because it is a good example of what we should strive for, to be, the ideal woman we all can be. As we have reverence of God and live for him daily.

So to answer the question, “Why is a virtuous woman the ideal woman?” Here’s my belief on why I believe. What the Bible tells me.

A virtuous woman exemplifies elegance, grace. She’s a woman of character. She knows her place. She’s confident of her worth; Far more than rubies. A virtuous woman is far beyond her years in wisdom. It’s not about her physical appearance but what’s in her heart. A heart filled with a reverence for God.

She’s described in Proverbs as a woman with outstanding abilities. She may not be one woman, but a composite portrait of ideal womanhood. She’s a woman of many skills. Not to please others but to fulfill…the commands of God. She’s a wife and a mother. She has a love and compassion for others.

She lives for her home and family. She cares about those in need. She’s self-disciplined. Her tastes are exquisite. She’s refined. She’s one of a kind.

She manifests the grace of hospitality. She’s orderly. She ranks highest in all her deeds. She’s the epitome of a woman of virtue and dignity.

She is a woman that we mustn’t imitate but instead be one who demonstrates. The inspiration that we may be, all we can be; phenomenally.

She is virtuous not based on her appearance or what she does. She is virtuous because of her strength of character. She fears the Lord. She is ideal. Simply based on the role she fulfills.

We can’t be just like her, but we definitely can learn from her. Exude integrity, strength, and dignity. Live for your home and family. Be self-disciplined and orderly.

Let the Word of God serve as an example of who we must strive to be. Much like the woman in Proverbs who is all God made her to be. She’s a virtuous woman, wife, and mother. She serves God by serving others. We can all learn from her as we help one another.

Sacrifice for the sake of others. Have their best interest at heart. Be godly. Serve with compassion from the heart. Be a beacon of light. Let the love of God shine through. In the eyes of others who see you. Be the virtuous woman God designed you to be. Be of noble character and integrity.

An ideal woman, A virtuous woman, Indeed.

Proverbs 31:10-12 “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

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Affirmation is God’s Confirmation

Rejoice in the Lord. God created us in his image. Our souls reflect his intentions. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. It cannot be refuted. Act responsibly. Embrace your uniqueness.

Say Amen! It’s God’s saying, “It is done.” It is his  promise to us. It is a declaration of Affirmation. Of what’s to come.

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God” 2 Corinthians 1:20

Therefore, I urge you… Appreciate what God has given you. Rebuke negativity. He’ll see you through.

Accentuate the positive. Affirm the obvious. When you consider all things that may come your way. Know the audience you may encounter every day.

Acceptance isn’t necessary to feel like you belong. It isn’t required when someone doesn’t feel you fit it with the norm. Who says you have to be accepted to feel worthy of others? God says love all your sisters and brothers. Your basis for acceptance shouldn’t be based on whether people accept you. But rather, based on the fact that God accepts you. Be it broken or wounded spiritually. God accepts you unconditionally.

Alone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re all by yourself. You can be alone and be content with yourself. As long as you got Jesus, that’s more than enough. As long as you have a relationship with God you’re not alone when the road gets rough. God is all you need. Alone with him is time well spent indeed.

Acknowledge the right to be who you are. Aspire to be who God says you are. Approval of others doesn’t make you a superstar. You don’t need others to like or approve of you. Absolute faith in a higher power will acknowledge God’s strength in you.

Available in your service to God is all you need to be. Serve in your assignment to meet the needs of the people. Of a dying nation who are lost without God. Pray for them. Walk in your anointing and bring others to Him.

Able is what God is to me. He will do exceeding and abundantly. Above all we could ever ask or hope for. Praise the Lord! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name. Honor him in praise. He reigns.

These are words I chose today to motivate you. That affirms your confidence in God’s protection for you. This is an expression of who you are to the one that will matter to you. We are children of God. Our covenant is with Him. We are not alone but accepted by Him. To do the will he predestined and preplanned for our life. Approval by God is the only binding spirit that should apply in all aspects of your life. When you put God first in all you do. Accentuate the positive and he will carry you through.

The gospel is for everyone. Be who God has designed you to be. You are made fearfully, wonderfully, and uniquely. God will lead you at the appointed time, to share the Good News universally amongst all mankind. Embrace your uniqueness. God’s affirmation will confirm His truth. You can be all that you can be in Christ Jesus, for he is the one God sent for you. In order you may have everlasting life. Live not for others, but live for Christ.

All hope is not gone. Look to God. He will never leave you alone. Give God proper due because he will provide for you. Jesus is the Son of God. Believe in the one who he has sent. He will reward you for your faithfulness.

Remember. Others can’t define you. God already has. What you do for Christ will last. Be who God created you to be. By His grace, in Christ, live abundantly. Appreciate God’s creation in admiration. Affirmation is God’s confirmation.

Be blessed! -JD

2 Timothy 1:12 “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”

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Look For God In The Midst Of Your Pain

The Lord is My LightI find that as humans, we all are afflicted with something that will bring pain in some way where we will suffer be it physical, spiritual, or mental, acute, chronic, temporary, permanent, incurable, or curable.

Pain comes in many forms and can be experienced in the loss of a loved one. The effects of grief may cause failure in our ability to overcome. It can come from an injury, an illness, or a health condition where symptoms may never cease. Or from a heart that has been broken into pieces. There’s no getting around it. We are not exempt. However, some of us will give up while going through and hold contempt. Or some of us will persevere and relent, when experiencing a painful event. It’s all in who we know and whose we are. It will depend on our relationship with God.

Much like Jesus, who suffered both physically and spiritually, yet persevered. He still served.  His suffering was nothing in comparison to the price he paid when he carried our sins and died to pay the penalty for them. Yet he served. He didn’t let that stop him from fulfilling God’s plan.

One of my greatest passions is being a voice and advocating for people in pain. Yet one of the hardest challenges I face is being able to lend my efforts as I would like to. Oftentimes, giving up and losing the perseverance to stand. As such what I’ve found as a silent advocate is my message sometimes fall on deaf ears.

I know you’re saying, “It sounds like an oxymoron to be a ‘silent advocate.’” And when I look at it, it does. But what it means is, in my heart I advocate while at the same time my family helps with efforts to lend my voice that sometimes is bare minimum in comparison to what I see in most people who advocate for a cause. This is primarily because of my limitations but I still fight when I can as I can.

Did you know there are 116 million American adults that suffer from chronic pain (June 2011 IOM report), of which I am one of them.

Throughout this particular season in my life, I have encountered some of the strongest people whose plight is acutely worse than mine but I’ve witnessed their drive and tenacity to reach their God-given destiny. They’ve beaten the odds and lived to tell their story. As well as found success in spite of their situation. Sadly, I was not one of those people.

After a 9 ½ year long battle with unresolved pain issues taking its toll on me, I had come to the conclusion that my life was over. At the time, I was ready to begin a new journey after finishing grad school but found my life changed in a matter of a split second. I thought it was shattered because I had hopes and dreams and found myself giving up all because of one dramatic change. The devil is a LIAR! My God reigns!

It was in this instant I woke up to my reality as I said to God, “I know this life is not what you have in mind for me. I know this is not the life you promised would be.” I cried out to him, “Lord I know this season I’m in is only temporary. You know the burdens I carry. I know I am not here to live a substandard life. I know in my heart you have a better plan for my life. I ask that you show me what it is I can do, to make a difference and glorify you.”

I told him, “I know there are people in this world in much worse shape than I, who have stood the test of time. And if they can do it so can I. Use me Lord to do thy will. Not based on my circumstances but because of my circumstances let your will be done.”

As I turned over and mediated on my petition to God, I fell asleep and hours later, woke up with a strange urge to do something beyond my understanding not knowing how it would be accomplished. All I know is God revealed it to me and told me the pity party was over. He said, “The time has come as you asked to be used. Rejoice. This is Good News.”

“Paul tells us that in the future we will become, but until then we must overcome. This means we will experience difficulties that help us grow. We rejoice in suffering not because we like pain or deny its tragedy, but because we know God is using life’s difficulties and Satan’s attacks build our character.”

Romans 5:3-5 “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

That same day I gathered all the strength I could and discussed with my sister the story I later shared with American Pain Foundation (APF) three years ago in submission of my story after completing an advocacy survey. I told my sister that after we submitted my “Share Your Story” God had given me a revelation. I wanted to help people in pain even though I wasn’t sure how it would be accomplished. My sister assured me it could happen with God and family as my source of support.

With the help of my family we took the first step as they helped put together my story “Joy” and submitted it to APF Action Network. A few weeks later I received news that my story had been accepted and would be featured on their Action Network site under Voices of People with Pain. This in turn set the foundation of my advocacy efforts. The story can also be read at http://action.painfoundation.org/site/PageNavigator/Voices_of_Pain

I was overjoyed and excited in spite of strife. God changed my life. He set the foundation for greater things to come even when I had given up and thought I was done. This is where it all started although the organization ceased last year, this is where I still am in my commitment to serve Him, as I advocate for the rights of people in pain. I am still fighting for the proclamation.

And it didn’t stop there. God showed me what great courage and perseverance will do even in times of despair. Approximately two years later I learned APF was holding a campaign called “If I Lived in a World with Less Pain, I Could…” during September Pain Awareness Month. In an effort to secure a first-ever presidential proclamation proclaiming September National Pain Awareness Month, applicants were given the choice to submit a short story or video of what their life would be like if they lived in a world with less pain.

I thought, “This would be the greatest opportunity to share with others my testimony. Not literally, but what I believe we as pain sufferers experience and are afraid to speak. So, I immediately went to God. I told him “I really want to do this. I really would like to be a voice, in way that would truly make a difference. Please God, I know you’re listening. I ask for discernment and wisdom be it your will that you may guide me to make the right decision that I may fulfill…your purpose.”

I called my sister again and told her what I desired to do but I was waiting on God for confirmation that would lead me in whatever he willed I do. God sent the answer by the time she arrived home and with the help of my family, September 2011 they created this video. I was elated. I only wanted to be a voice. God helped me overcome barriers. In his still voice, he said to me, “This will be your voice.”

The video represented my message to PRESIDENT OBAMA of what MY WORLD WITH LESS PAIN would be like. I felt it was an opportunity to bring national awareness to the “hidden” epidemic of pain (APF) so that those who suffer with pain will have a right to effective care and treatment; because “pain” is not just an individual or local problem.

It is a national healthcare crisis. It does not only affect pain sufferers but it affects families, friends, associates and anyone who is connected to its world. Even though it may not directly affect every individual; the physical, financial and emotional affects can be devastating to the pain sufferer and the families of those who will ultimately suffer. I believed with the help of a nation, we all could make a difference.

Within a matter of weeks, again to my surprise, APF chose my video the second week of the campaign and featured it on their Facebook page. I thought, “This is all God.” He is using me in spite of me to help others who suffer so their voices can be heard.

I thanked him over and over again. I know he sent this new journey in spite of my pain. I truly believe this will be the cornerstone of the new road I will travel in this “new” journey of my life. As I become a voice of reason and a voice of hope for many who suffer from pain of any type.

I say all these things to say this: Although it has been a long and hard journey towards the road to recovery, I wanted to shout to the world what God did for me. He set my soul free. I professed all my troubles to God. I spent time in prayer when things seemed hard. I surrendered my will to him. I prayed and asked Him. Much like the same as Jesus said to him, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

I will follow your example Jesus. I will persevere. I will sustain. I will pray to the Father through my trials and pain. He did it for me. He can do it for you too. Here’s my suggestion for you. Tell me what would you do?

What you say? Do you believe Jesus will make a way? Do you believe He will take all your pain away? Do you believe he will set you free? Free from a life of pain, worry, and misery. What do you believe?

Do you believe God orchestrates things with your best interest at heart? I do. His Word I will never depart. For it is this I believe. I will receive all that God has promised me. I will not get weary in well-doing. I will run and not walk. God will give me the desires of my heart.

This is my platform. God gave it to me. I will use it to encourage others to stay strong in spite of me. In spite of the diagnosis, condition, or symptoms that come. We can be the one that God will use to inspire and help someone.

Look for God in the midst of your pain. God doesn’t change. He is the same. Yesterday, today, and forever more; he reigns. We all can make a difference in the lives of others if only we believe! We can change the world if only we continue in our efforts to make a difference. And we can live life to its fullest in support of others when fighting to bring awareness that they may persevere to the next level. Be blessed! –JD

1 Peter 2:21 “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:”

If I Could...I Would

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Why The Children?

Psalm 127:3 “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.”

th This was a post I created earlier that was lost but it stirred my spirit so much I was compelled to redo.

Almost two months ago the world experienced what is being called the second worst school shooting in U.S. history. A senseless act occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT where a gunman took the lives of others, including innocent children leaving the world to wonder, “Why?” My thoughts and prayers are with everyone.

Upon hearing the news I cried out loud “My god. CBS news special report on the elementary school shooting; 18 children killed. Who would want to harm innocent children?” Pray. The news later reported at least 26 were killed that included 20 children who were killed by a 20 year old young man that was the son of a school teacher.

I immediately began to pray out loud, “God, I lift in prayer every family connected to today’s tragedy. Jesus, comfort those who’ve lost loved ones. Be a fence around everyone.” Pray.

I couldn’t imagine how hard it was for any parent to have to lay their child to rest before they themselves took their last breath. Pray.

I expressed in anguish. My heart is so heavy. It breaks. Why would anyone want to take? The life of a precious gift God has given. Lord, although it is hard to understand. I know it is all in your hands. It’s still a heavy burden to bear. Please send healing, comfort, and strength for those hurting everywhere.

It affected me so badly I cried myself to sleep. I woke unable to get my mind off it. For days it disturbed me. I tried my best to not look at the news because I couldn’t take too much more sorrow. I tried my best to remain calm and silent. I didn’t know what to say. So I chose to be in constant prayer for the victims and families.

Yet something would not allow my mind to rest. I couldn’t remain quiet. I did my best. I kept my thoughts to myself. Until one day, the subject came up about children with disabilities, mental illness, and special needs. I had become fired up. I was not at ease.

It moved me so much that I couldn’t help but share my thoughts. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. While it goes off subject from what I normally talk about and in many ways do not pertain to an actual event, I believe it is relevant and truly necessary to explore given the wake of what we are dealing with as a nation when it involves children.

Sandy Hook was a devastating event. It took many lives of the innocent. But we still see common occurrences of events such as this. Which leads me to question how deep is the issue we seem to be missing.

I pondered on the issue of how we as a society seem to have lost focus on the importance of the role we play in children’s lives as teachers, counselors, school administrators and even parents when it comes to a child who, at no fault of his own loses direction. Failing to recognize we are the ones who, in some way, will contribute to their success.

I thought about how teachers and school officials deal with students that are at high risk for failure or violent behavior and seem to stereotype, stigmatize, and treat them differently because they do not fit in with society’s standards of normal. Ones I believe are most affected by social stigmas attached to mental illness and behavior.

Is it fair to pass judgment or cast them away because society deemed them irrevocable because they do not want to take the time to deal with them? Or should we go to great lengths to help them?

Why not contribute to their development in a way that does not make them feel isolated or different from others? Why place labels on them because they don’t meet the preconceived standard. Or because of whom they are and what they cannot control, even though they are people too? Isn’t this part of the reason some choose the profession as teacher, counselor, or school administrator that do?

Why the children? Unfortunately tragic events in schools like Columbine and now Sandy Hook stemmed from senseless acts, but we cannot control the actions of others. However, in a child’s early years, we are the ones who will influence their development. We are the ones who will contribute to their success. And if we’re not careful, we are the ones who will contribute to their failure at best.

My belief: The cycle of destruction begins when children at any age are ostracized, scrutinized, and treated unfairly. Who can potentially become the same individuals with the potential to commit unexplainable acts we see today. In most cases, all they want is attention and to be treated fairly. And sadly the type of attention they ultimately receive may not be the one they were looking for in the first place which will lead to destructive behaviors.

There’s too much aggression, which can lead to violence, suicide, drugs, and other problems that may result in the death of others. We cannot continue to become blind to or fail to acknowledge illicit behaviors in others. It cannot be ignored. We must help. So I ask again, “Why the children?”

Sadly injustice happens in some schools, not all, to children every day. Children need support. They need to feel safe, feel loved, and feel like they belong. Because we don’t know what’s going on in their homes or what they may be lacking which may cause them to behave as they do. We can’t see. There could be deeper issues which may be an indication of many things; abuse, family history of violence, family tension, or stress.

We must hear the silent cry of children that are reaching out for help and do all that we can to save them. Be alerted before their lives become death sentences. It is never in their best interest. To ignore warning signs simply based on fear or inconvenience. Nor is it appropriate to label them as “problematic” “crazy” or “psychotic” only to get rid of them. In other words, make them someone else problem, not ours. It’s like they don’t even stand a chance. My, how times have changed.

While I will never take away the significance of the role and responsibility parents play, schools are instrumental as well, to a child’s future. They have power to influence a child’s behavior.

I often hear people say. A lot of what’s going on in the world today with bullying, racism, and division has caused many to become so far removed from genuine concern for children. They say they too, are afraid. And have become socially subconscious instead of morally conscious. But I am still optimistic that it will change.

I’ve said this once and I will say it again, “God takes care of babies and fools.” He protects them even when we fail to. When children are disturbed or present with behavioral, emotional, or mental issues, it should not be taken lightly. Instead, the school should be a resource for the child when seeking help because oftentimes it may be an indication of something else. How can we help if we refuse to? Pay attention to signs and clues.

Believe it or not, the world may have taken God out of schools, but by his grace he still remains. God still uses people as the vessel to protect and guide his children. People like counselors and other school officials are there for that purpose.

While there may be times we as a people will fail miserably at setting the example. Aren’t we designed to serve as God’s instrument to help those in need? Again I ask, “Why the children?” Indeed.

The tragedy will be when you find yourself wondering, “What happened?” “How did we miss the opportunity?” When in fact, had just one person paid attention, instead of making an inappropriate assessment, a life may have been saved. “If only we had paid attention.”

We must pray for the families of children whose lives were lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy as well as other senseless violent acts that continue to occur daily. That a war be waged against violence to eliminate what’s becoming customary.

Remember, children are God’s gift. Treat them with kindness and love. Cherish them. Listen to what they say. Be mindful when something doesn’t sound right on any given day. God is love. Honor God. Be gentle as a dove. Be blessed! -JD

“God, bless the children. Please keep them safe from harm. Carry them safely in your arms. They are your heritage. A heritage of the Lord: “and the fruit of the womb is his reward” Psalm 127:3

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Don’t Get Weary In Well-Doing

wpid-img_20140405_084231.jpgGood morning! Here are a few words of inspiration for you today.

Be still and Let God have his way. In all your doings, give honor and praise unto him. With your words, glorify and magnify Him. What you treasure on earth, so will your heart be set. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:21)

Isaiah 40:28 – 31 “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and not be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”

Don’t get weary in well-doing. We serve a mighty God. For, in due season you shall reap a harvest. God is Sovereign. Don’t give in. Don’t miss your blessing.

God knows things we are in need of before we ask. Thank God in advance. For what he’s doing, what he’s done and what he will do. He’ll cover you.

Be blessed! -JD

Ruth 2:12 “The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” (KJV)

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