Monthly Archives: March 2013

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Across America this Easter, families will celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

Traditionally, commercially you will see Easter eggs. And baskets filled with candy to celebrate the holiday. But let’s not forget the real reason why we celebrate.

This is what the day is truly about – the fact that Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the third day following his death on the cross. Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. We are forgiven. He is Risen!

Rejoice! Celebrate not just today. But celebrate every day. It is the day we witness God’s promise of everlasting life. Jesus suffered and made the ultimate sacrifice. Resurrection Sunday – The Day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Be blessed! -JD

Luke 24:46-47 “and he said unto them, Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day; 46 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

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What Instruction Manual Are You Following?

One day while watching someone put together an item they purchased, I thought about how there are many things we acquire for personal use that will come with step-by-step instructions we are to follow that will result in a finished product.

This in turn started the wheels turning in my head as I began to compare this with life and instructions God provides that we are to follow to live a fulfilled, abundant life.

I began to think about my experiences and realized that with every encounter in life, we can interpret it as an analogy to what we are to do according to what God instructs. Much like a road map, we are to adhere to every direction so as not to get lost.

When you think of instructions that come with any item, you will notice it comes with a step-by-step process along with illustrations to depict what the product will look like once it is completed.

Oftentimes, if you’re anything like me, many of us will look at the instructions and feel by looking at the picture, believe in our mind we can put it together without following the instructions.

Basically, we are convinced we can bypass steps in order to finish what we think “we” alone can do. However in doing so, we will miss important steps that will result in an unfinished product. As is the same with life experiences and the manner in which we are to live according to God’s instructions.

It is not until we start putting it all together and come to the realization that we messed up because we missed one very important step, resulting in error. Or what I like to call trial and error. As a result, we have to start over again and try to find the step we missed before it can actually be completed correctly.

Sounds familiar? Much like what we do when making a mess of our life based on decisions “we” think are best and find ourselves faced with consequences we suffer as a result of our own doing.

While it may be easy to think we don’t have to follow instructions for righteous living and accept the fact that everything will be grand, only to live at our own risk and suffer at our own expense. It can be that much easier to believe, on the contrary, that instructions are necessary to sustain and avoid unnecessary time wasted and senseless suffering if only we would take the time to read what has been given to us for free; The Bible.

When we don’t follow instructions from things we purchase that are carefully put together for our own use, free of charge, we should not be surprised when the project cannot be completed properly. Which leads me to ask, “How then can we expect to become the finished product of what God has designed us to be if we fail to follow instructions He provide to us for free?” What instruction manual are you following?

The answer is relatively simple. The Bible literally is our instruction manual. And should be one you are following continually.

God gives us detailed instructions that we may live as he intended. He sets the blueprint we are to follow to find success in our endeavors. His wisdom is never-ending. His instructions will guide and lead us in the right direction. Simply put, the Bible is essential to live by. It’s for our protection.

And it does not require much effort on our part. All it takes is setting time aside making God the priority by reading, meditating, studying, and following his Word. As you work to move towards application.

As you study, work to apply Biblical principles to your life situations. As you read, learn lessons from principles embedded in passages. As you follow, apply what you learn by doing as God commands.

The Bible is our instruction manual. Use it wisely. Study it carefully. Abide by it diligently and obediently. Follow the instructions God have set before you that you may live life abundantly.

Be blessed! -JD

Matthew 17:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

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The Beauty Of Life Is God’s Blessing

 

Don’t take life for granted.
Live each day as if it were your last.
Cherish each moment.
Let go of the past.

God knows your future.
Let him be your guide.
He will order your steps towards righteousness in the path of life.

Know in all things,
God has your best interest at heart.
He will never lead you wrong,
Even when you fail to do your part.

Stand in faith.
Believe God’s Word as truth.
Be obedient. Trust God.
He will reward you.

The Beauty Of Life Is God’s Blessing!

Be blessed! -JD

2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

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Walk In Your God-Given Destiny!

MP900384909Step out on faith.
Don’t stumble on fear.
Your right now is right here.
God purposed it for you.
Create the life he designed specifically for you.

Soar!
Go get your blessing!
Fulfill your God-Given destiny.

Be blessed! -JD

Habakkuk 2:3 “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.”

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Don’t Compromise Your Faith

sunset1.jpgDespite dismal situations or no matter the circumstances, we should praise God in advance. This, for some, can be easier said than done. And for others with faith, it can easily be done.

Too often we believe it is okay to compromise our faith, our belief system, and moral values for the sake of getting what we think we deserve in life. We are convinced it is easier to forsake God and refute what he has promised and clearly shown us in order to justify why success or happiness should come to us by our own doing.

However, regardless what answers may come to questions that we may never understand reasoning. We should never compromise our faith for the sake of man or worldly possessions or anything that would cause us to concede opposite our belief. Nor should we let anything prevent us from believing God is our source of provision and is in control.

We may get discouraged, distraught or dismayed. But we should never be afraid. Of what the enemy thinks he can do. It is never about me or you; even when we can’t see. It’s about God who will get the glory.

Recently after receiving some unsettling news I found myself wrestling with the very idea of why people do what they do . The thought came upon me about how we as Christians are not exempt from suffering. And while the circumstance may be painful, we should look at it as a blessing.

I am sure many of us may not want to experience discomfort, but it may be best for us because God may be working through us. God may be preparing us for something greater.

My response to the news had me bewildered, in shock, yet calm as I asked myself, “What happened?” In the face of opposition, truth had been replaced with lies and an attack of credibility. At first I was like, “It’s alright. It’s not over until you, God, say it’s over. I won’t become consumed or frustrated by it. It’s already alright.” I was convinced this was just a test of my faith.

Later that evening, something overcame me as I became angry. I broke down in fear and became discouraged. I lost sight of God and what I knew to be true; his Word. I questioned him like Job because it didn’t look like what I wanted or expected even though I knew better than to debate with Him when he says something is so. I knew better. I also knew I was to humbly submit to what he revealed as truth and leave the rest up to him.

Knowing this was not my usual behavior, I called out to God because I felt the enemy was coming at me hard pulling out all the stops to annihilate me. I said to him, “You know I am devoted to God. You cannot steal my joy! There’s a battle raging around me. You’re filled with rage, coming to destroy me. I’m in a spiritual battle I don’t want to be in. But this battle is not mines, it’s the Lord’s. And he will win.”

As the night went on, after talking with my mother who prayed for me, I tried to sleep. I wrestled with the notion that even as a Christian I’m not exempt from the attacks of the enemy. I remembered the Bible noting this very thing the other day as it said, “Faith in Christ brings great blessings but often great suffering too. God calls us to commitment, not to comfort. He promises to be with us through suffering and hardship, not to spare us from them.” This would later bring me rest.

The next day this stuck in mind, “We live in a fallen world filled with people who are convinced they are the master of our fate. Yet God has another plan that he declares is to prosper us and not harm us in spite of the enemy’s hate. No matter what man will do in his attempt to turn us away from him. God will be with us until the end. He will win.

To attack one’s credibility is to spread lies and untruth. Who are we to attack the credibility of God’s truth? We mustn’t do as evildoers do. “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 heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). The battle is not ours. It’s the Lord’s. Take up the whole armor of God!

God doesn’t make mistakes. He is not a man, that he should lie, nor the 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)? His reputation is flawless.  His word can be trusted. God is just, and he will make things right. He will punish the wicked and reward the faithful in darkness and light.

“Faith in God does not make our troubles disappear; it makes trouble appear less frightening because it puts them in the right perspective.”  Acts 5: 15-17

Things may not turn out as we expect. Count it all joy. It is a blessing. The season isn’t over; it just begun. God’s setting the stage for what’s to come.

People may lie and persecute you. Remember they did the same thing to Jesus who died on the cross for you. But he didn’t lose faith. He didn’t compromise his faith in God. We are subject to the same action and laws. Follow his example and you will go far.

Don’t settle for something less than what you believe. Do not compromise your faith for the sake of others to receive. What you think you deserve or are rightfully due. Keep the faith. God will reward you.

Be blessed! -JD

Psalm 119: 1-4 “Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. 2 Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. 3They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. 4 You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully.”

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Death And Life Are In The Power of The Tongue

I stumbled upon this article the other day on my tablet and out of my curiosity because of the title that peaked my interest; I decided I would read it.

http://thegrio.com/2013/03/11/fox-news-guest-receives-rape-death-threats-following-gun-segment/

17.-Encourage-sunsetWhile reading, I couldn’t help but feel the depth of my soul being torn into pieces as I tried my best not to let tears run from my eyes, not criticize, nor place judgment on ones mentioned in the article that were making such brutal statements as well as threats to a woman who clearly was a victim not by her choice.

It took great effort on my part to keep my mouth shut and think before I comment or make any statements so as not to offend anyone or come out of character.

Not to mention after watching the video on guns and rape, I got an immediate headache but couldn’t say a thing because it was another issue I didn’t have time to address.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”And if we are not careful, words can be a death sentence to some unsuspecting soul who undoubtedly did not ask for the humiliation, disrespect, or harsh judgment at their expense.

For those that know me know I am against gun violence and am a strong opponent of various gun control/gun violence laws. And whenever I read or hear anything that addresses the issue of guns, I feel compelled to speak out.

While I have expressed my views in the past, I don’t have time to reiterate my views on the subject matter in creation of this post.

What I will say though is, I must agree with the young lady in this video segment that “Giving every woman a gun is not rape prevention.” I believe guns will not prevent rape or violence. They will do the opposite and increase more violence. And I will leave it at that.

There are a million things I can say right now, but the only thing I wish to state here is this:

There are people in this world that can be so cruel without thinking about the impact their words have on others and oftentimes, don’t even care what it does to the person’s self-esteem, let alone their character. Then I ask, “How?” “How can someone be of this nature and not have an ounce of empathy or respect for people who are victims at no fault of their own?” But find it okay to tear them down instead of build them up? I don’t understand. Am I missing something?

I had to take a moment to express my thought about people who I find, either, do not have a heart or are just mean-spirited without a clue. Who most likely need help or are hiding some deep-rooted issue they are oblivious to. It is so sad.

It saddens me when I hear people speak about their experiences of abuse of any kind or victims of rape who survived and are now courageous enough to speak about how it literally destroyed and/or changed their lives. All while trying to pick up the pieces to find some normalcy as a result of the traumatic event. As such, I commend them because I believe they are victors, not victims of their circumstances. They overcame. They survived to tell about it.

I also get perturbed when I hear people making unwise statements like this, “They deserved it.” “They were asking for it.” “It was her fault.” Again, I ask, “Really?” Why would any person believe it is okay to say things like this without questioning their own integrity?

My thought: We all at some point will encounter some form of abuse, be it physically, mentally, verbally, even spiritually. And while many of us may never know what its like to be the victim of rape, keep in mind that it can happen to anyone. But let’s be clear…. it is never the victim’s fault.

We must be careful with our words and what we choose to say to people or about others. We all have a cross to bear and should never minimize what others are going through or what they have to deal with. We don’t know what burdens they bear or how they are managing to get through the unpleasant situation.

We all are a victim to something in this life and we all will have a cross to bear. But what we must realize is, just as it can happen to them, there may come a time when it can happen to someone you may know or love. Don’t be so quick to judge.

Please be careful with your words. Let your actions be an indication of not who you are but who you desire to be in the lives of others; a blessing and not a curse. Don’t tear down, but build up. Don’t bring hurt or harm, but protect.

Jesus did. Why can’t you?

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Choose your words wisely.

Be blessed! –JD

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

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Are You Just Like Me?

Watched the first installment of the Bible Series Sunday night on the History Channel and was in total awe.

The program was such a powerful illustration of the Bible and the characters presented seemed as real as I imagined when reading about them during my time of devotion and meditation.

I sat in awe with chills running down my spine as my heart raced. It was as though I was physically a part of the story being told; like I was literally there.

It began with the book of Genesis and spoke of Abraham, Moses and others. While I will not go into the whole story as I am confident many of us who follow God’s Word should be familiar with. What I found interesting is, during this program, just as many characters I saw within the telling of the Bible, I could feel a connection to these people. Which led me to believe there are still some people that exist in this world who are like them; Obedient, faithful, steadfast, and dedicated to God in their works and service. They were committed to Him.

I found myself thinking as I always do when presented with things such as this, “Are there people all over this world in some ways that may be just like me?” Ones who may be lonely, yet unlike me, do not feel alone. I know God sits on the throne. Missing a loved one who is far away but know God is there every day. They may be in love with someone who they shouldn’t be but unlike me,  loves God unconditionally. Harboring secrets that may astound you, yet unlike me, is a faith testament of what God has done for me. It is my testimony.

There are ones who have hopes and dreams but do not know what lie ahead. They don’t know how they will make it or how mouths will get fed. They look at others on the streets, wondering what they have been through. They question what they are going through too. But unlike me, who kept the faith even in times of brokenness and despair while I waited. Unlike me, who have relied on the power of God to see me through. Ynlike me, stood on the Word of God and what he promised to do. For I know the plans God have for me. Plans to prosper and not harm me. Jeremiah 29:11

So it is with this I say, there may be people out there that may be just like me. And I often wonder when I see. If I were to tell them anything about me would they understand? Would they know that it was God who held my hand…through the storm and through the rain, only to live again? Would they know that it was God who kept me? Even though, when faced with trials and tribulations, it was Him I could not see. Would they know he walked in front, behind, and alongside me? Would they know he never failed me in spite of me? Would they know it was God that carried me?

I say, “Yes, they will” because it will be the light of Jesus they see in the reveal. Of what I shall profess he has done for me. When he took my brokenness and set me free.

The next time you encounter someone that may not look like you. And often wonder what they may have been through. Remember they may be just like you. If you tell them your story and they understand what you have been through. And want to know the image of  God they see in you. Because with God, they can too, be just like you. The new creature in Christ, God has made you.

We all are made for God’s glory. And with life’s trials, we all have a story. Let the glory of God shine through you, not that others may be just like you. But be just like the image of Jesus they see in you. When old things pass away and the new have come. They will know God’s Will can and will be done.

For I Am who God Says I Am.

Be blessed! –JD

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God had prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

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God Will Vindicate My Hope

Lately, pain has been constant but I am a strong woman of FAITH. It is God’s goodness and grace that brought me through as I wait. I may hurt. But nothing can break me. God strengthens me.

This past couple of weeks have been draining and overwhelming. Monday was a test of my character and standing. The enemy tried to attack the core of my being, in spreading lies that had no meaning. It was a test of my humility. To see if I would respond as them or as the person God created me to be.

I met with a woman who thought she held my fate in her hands. Yet what she didn’t understand. God was with me every step of the way. She may have had authority, but she had no say. God has authority over all things. God has the final answer, not man. Man’s final answer will never supersede God’s plan.

She tried to ridicule, embarrass, and literally humiliate me. She attacked my character and my integrity. But what I refused to do was let the enemy take hold of me. I approached her in honesty and truth. I spoke the honest truth. No matter what, the truth can never be denied. When God’s power is with you and he is on your side.

Time has been on my side. As I’ve been sick but realize. In moments like this I reflect on the power of God. And things others think in life are so hard. We are to be an example as God wants us to. We are to work to be a blessing in all we do. Encourage, help someone along the way. We are to put their needs before ours on that day and every day.

As believers we must set the stage. We must build up one another even when we are dismayed. We can make a difference in the lives of others. Nothing must stand in our way. Not words, untamed tongues, or even reactions that make you want to say. Things you are not accustomed to. But to say things in humility as the Holy Spirit would lead you to do.

Moments of silence builds resilience and determination. In quietness I make a declaration. I am sold out for God no matter what. I’ll run this race even when it gets tough. God rewards those who diligently seek him. I ask, “Are you with me?”

I love how God reveals things in unsuspecting ways through unsuspecting people in unusual circumstances. His plan always works. God is good! No matter what illicit responses the enemy tries to provoke. There is none like God. And nothing, I mean nothing, is too hard…. For Him.

What the enemy means for evil, God means for good. No matter how mean or prude. One may be towards me. No weapon formed shall prosper against me. The enemy will flee to the place from whence he came. He has no authority, in Jesus name. God is Sovereign and will do just as he promised! His Word will never return void. It is his solemn promise.

Trouble doesn’t last always. We shall overcome. Not by our works, but by what Jesus has done. For us, when he gave his life, that we may have everlasting life.

In his provision, God will demonstrate his reward, his power. Remember, he is there with you every waking hour. So don’t give up or don’t give in. With God by your side, the devil won’t win.

I will send a message. I will shout clear and loud; to make Jesus proud. Not people, who think they’ve won. With nonsense chatter and loose tongues. They don’t know. God will vindicate my hope! And when I’m done, my smile will show. How the glory of God resonates in what he’s done for me. He has set my soul free!

If I don’t know anything else, what I’m assured of is this. God cares for me and blesses me in spite of others’ ignorant bliss. He is Jehovah Jireh, my provider. He is my strong tower. Jevohah Rapha, my healer when in pain. Jehovah Nissi, my banner in the storm and rain. He is El Shaddai, God Almighty. His word is his solemn promise.

I’m not too proud. I don’t boast or hesitate. I will shout Hallelujah while I wait! Protect me from the enemy. Who thinks he has a hold on me. God, I give you a right now praise! I will praise you the rest of my days. I will praise God anyhow. No matter what life may look like for me now. I will have the victory. God promised it to me.

I thank him in advance for keeping me sane. As I humble myself in spite of the untamed. Tongue of others. Who, to me, are no bother. Because they don’t realize God will get the glory anyhow. And let them see; the light of Jesus in me. There’s victory in my smile.

In the end what I do for Christ will last. And I don’t have to put anyone on blast. To be an example is a simple thing. Because I know in the end it will bring…glory to God.

Make a difference in someone’s life today. Don’t let the enemy have his way. Let a kind word, gesture, or smile. Warm the heart of a person who may be hurting inside. Lift the spirit of someone who may be struggling with maintaining. Make it worthwhile that they may sustain.

Be a blessing! -JD

Romans 8:28-30 “And we know that all 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, that he might be the firstborn among many brethen. 30 Moreover whom he predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

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