Monthly Archives: February 2014

I Won’t Give Up…Still Fighting for A Presidential Proclamation naming Every September National Pain Awareness Month!

wpid-storageemulated0DCIMCamera2014-01-25-16.56.44.jpg.jpgLast month I came across a post on Twitter from America Tonight asking the public to submit a request with the number one thing we wanted President Obama to do, noting responses may possibly air on their show the day before the State of the Union Address was scheduled to air.

I reluctantly had my daughter send an email to America Tonight’s Al Jazeera with my answer that stated, “#DearPOTUS, The number one thing I want you to do for all chronic pain sufferers across America is sign the first-ever Presidential proclamation naming every September National Pain Awareness Month, please and thank you Mr President Barack Obama.”

To my surprise I received an email from DearPotus@aljazeera.net saying, “This is great! Could you write that on a poster & take a photo of yourself holding it, so we could use it in our broadcast?” I was elated! I immediately responded asking when was the deadline and advised them I would need time since I had to have my daughter get a poster, write it up, and take a photo of me. They said I had until that following Monday before the SOTU address. So I did just that and submitted the photo. America Tonight immediately posted my picture on Twitter along with several hundred or thousand of entries and then noted “the best would appear in tomorrow’s broadcast.” I was still hopeful.

On Monday, January 27, 2014 I watched the America Tonight show to see if my photo made it to their broadcast but sadly it didn’t. I was still grateful and thankful I got the chance to add my voice even if it was not in the way I had hoped. I truly believe God has a plan and no matter how it may work out according to man, it will work out just as God plan.

I am still hopeful though because it will not stop me from continuing in my fight to secure a Presidential proclamation for a cause I am passionate about. And this is not the first time I’ve been denied. In the past four years I have made several contacts by phone, letters, and other avenues to the President’s office as well as the senator’s office advocating, to no avail. I haven’t received any answers. But I am declaring victory! God is in control. Pain sufferers unite. We will have the victory!

I learned I should take another route so I did a little research and ran across a process I should try out. Contact officials in my state and follow the government chain of command starting with the mayor, governor, and senators. I am hoping this in turn will increase my chance of having someone review and honor my request and ultimately it will become a reality in my life and the life of chronic pain sufferers everywhere, should President Obama review my request and sign the proclamation.

My family has agreed to help with sending requests to the mayor, governor, and senators of my state by mid-March and then will submit a final third written request to President Obama. One day, this too shall pass.

Please keep me in your prayers, join me, and continue in your support to aid in the fight to bring awareness to the “hidden” epidemic of pain by spreading the word. Pain is not just an individual or local problem but a “national healthcare crisis” that deserves proper recognition to increase efforts and aid healthcare professionals to take the right approach towards promoting effective treatment for chronic pain sufferers across the nation.Thank you!

I won’t give up…Still fighting for a Presidential Proclamation naming every September National Pain Awareness Month!

Be blessed!-JD

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Fibromyalgia Patients and Pain Warriors, Save the Dates 3/9/14, 3/26/14, 5/12/14!

Save the Dates!To all Fibromyalgia patients, pain warriors, caregivers, advocates, and family and friends of chronic pain sufferers across the nation, please save the dates for two important events that will occur in March and one in May 2014:

  • The U.S. Pain Foundation is hosting Take Control of Your Pain Education Seminar for chronic pain sufferers in Phoenix, Arizona March 9, 2014.
  • The United States Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is holding the Fibromyalgia Patient-Focused Drug Development Public meeting and is inviting patients to attend the meeting in person or via webcast as well as the opportunity to submit comments via online. Registration to attend the meeting will close on and must be received by March 20, 2014. You can visit Eventbrite at https://marchfibromyalgia.eventbrite.com for registration and meeting details. To submit comments, please visit http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2013-N-1041-0004 , go to the Open Docket Folder and click on the blue “Comment Now!” button. The deadline to submit comments is May 26, 2014.
  • Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is May 12, 2014.

I am also happy to announce, with the help of family members, I will be participating and will be in attendance for the FDA Public Meeting via webcast 3/26/14. I registered 10/31/13 with the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA) via Eventbrite for the public meeting that was initially scheduled to occur on December 10, 2013. The meeting was canceled the same day due to inclement weather conditions closing the federal government office in the Washington, D.C. area but has been rescheduled. I am excited!

I am in the process of having my family help complete the topic questions with my comments to submit to the docket. While I will not have direct access to be a part of the patient panel because it will be made up of patients attending the meeting in person, I will have the opportunity to contribute to the discussion and possibly submit comments in real time during the meeting. It is my greatest hope that the comments I submit are reviewed during the meeting and in some way will contribute to change for Fibromyalgia patients and chronic pain sufferers across America. Please keep me in your prayers.

I urge you to please be a part of the FDA event and I strongly recommend you tell a friend or family member of the meeting as well as share with them the opportunity to submit comments even if they are not able to attend. Every voice helps and needs to be heard.

I believe this is a great opportunity to express to the FDA how fibromyalgia impact the lives of those living with it and what we as patients believe should be considered through our participation and submission of our  comments to the very agency that regulate and approves of medications developed for Fibromyalgia. This in turn may increase continuity of care efforts and may help to determine the right approach to effective treatment.

It is also a chance in a lifetime for our voices to be heard on a federal level and will give us an opportunity to share our perspective in agreement with what the FDA notes that will allow us “to provide input on symptoms that matter most to patients and on current approaches to treating Fibromyalgia. The FDA is interested in obtaining a better understanding of fibromyalgia patients’ perspective on the severity of the disease and the available therapies used to treat fibromyalgia and its symptoms.”

As for the U.S. Pain Foundation seminar, unfortunately I will not be able to attend because I will be out of town visiting my mother. I’m saddened by this because it would have been my very first opportunity to be a part of an event with the organization as a pain advocate. As well as show off the pain warrior bracelet I received when I joined last year to advocate for pain sufferers.

While I may not be able to attend the local event, I do feel it is important for others to be in attendance so if you live in the Phoenix area, please visit the U.S. Pain website to register at http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=c9z5umdab&oeidk=a07e8szc4tp3e25f308.

Although my advocacy efforts are minimal, I take great delight in being able to advocate and contribute no matter what capacity it is in, therefore, it is with sincere efforts that I encourage you to save the dates, March 9, 2014, March 26, 2014, and May 12, 2014 to afford you and others the opportunity to participate in each upcoming event.

Thank you for staying with me on this journey!

-JD

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Have Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed. God Will Work It Out for the Greater Good

wpid-textgram_1393467957.pngSometimes in the journey we have to walk alone, with no distractions to hear from God. He needs our full attention, to reveal his plan to us. Be willing to pay attention, to discern the plan God is preparing towards your destiny.

Joyce Meyer held a free conference in my city last week and when I received the email I sat and wondered how I would get there. I wanted so badly to be in attendance because I had never seen her in person but only by television during her Everyday Enjoying Life segments and because I do not drive at the moment, I didn’t have a clue as to what to do.

About two days before the event, I rattled my brains to see how I would do it. I checked the website for days and times and saw there were four: Thursday at 7 pm, Friday at 10 am, and Saturday at 10 am and 7 pm. I thought, the night sessions would be too late during the week to ask my friends to take me who I sometimes ride with to church or my children because they would be at work and would not be able to take me during the morning sessions. But something would not let me rest.

When I saw the 10 am session I was ecstatic! I thought “I can do this” and began to put a plan into action. I would catch the bus. Now the bus ride is about one hour away from where I live but it didn’t matter. I can sit sometimes for an hour before my symptoms flare up, and the distance to transfer from one bus to another was minimal. I mapped out a plan. I woke up about 5:30 the next morning, got dressed, and asked my daughter to drop me off at the bus stop around 7:00 am to make it there at least by 8:30 so I can get a seat since we were advised to arrive at least two hours early.

When I got there, I wasn’t sure where to sit so I asked one of the volunteer ushers if the seats in front were available. He said some were reserved but he had one seat left if I wanted it. At first I was hesitant because I wanted to be right in the middle of the arena so I could see Ms. Meyer and feel like the people I have always watched in the audience when watching her show. Silly me…. well, after a few seconds of thinking about it, I jumped at the chance and was led to my seat.

Blessed! I sat in the second row from the front, four seats from the end to the left and two seats to the right of staff members from Joyce Meyer Ministries. I saw cameras everywhere and wondered if I would be on any of them. Not really…. . None of that mattered and was not important to me. The most important thing for me that day was how grateful I was to God that I stepped out on faith and followed his lead. Glory!

The session was amazing! I praised, worshiped, and cried. I thanked God for bringing me this far alone. As I began to think about the many times I became frustrated at my inability to attend conferences such as this because I couldn’t get there only to wish I could, I realized God needed to get me alone to show me his power to know it would work out for my good. He knows my heart and my desire to serve him in a greater capacity than what I am accustomed to. He knows what I can and cannot do. Thankful he knew and showed me what to do.

God needed to take me out of my comfort zone, remove the fear I have lived with for some time, and get me alone to show me what he’s preparing ahead for me in the midst of the storm. Being able to get out of my bed and get there in spite of my suffering was just the beginning. It felt so good to be out on my own doing what I love to do, giving honor, praise and glory to God outside of where I have become comfortable.

On my way home, deep inside I felt as though my life changed that day. God moved in a mighty way. I no longer was afraid to step out of what was unfamiliar to me and I did what I thought was impossible because I trusted God’s leading.

Sometimes in the journey we have to walk alone, with no distractions to hear from God. He needs our full attention, to reveal his plan to us. Be willing to pay attention, to discern the plan God is preparing towards your destiny.

I had one of the best times in a long time I could ever think of in my life. I kept thanking God for giving me the strength to be around other worshipers in spite of strife. Now I look forward to what’s to come. I am thankful, assured God’s will will be done.

Be blessed! -JD

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (ESV)

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Don’t Rob God of His Honor by Worshiping Other Things

wpid-textgram_1392820009.pngDo you ever notice how people take for granted the life God has given? Some will idolize things and some will make the mistake of prioritizing their time with other things rather than spending time with the One who gives it.

It amazes me how we choose to worship God. Take for instance when going to church. We go about it as if it’s another day when preparing to worship. We get there late but can get to work on time, clubs before free entry ends, or a movie before the credits begin. But why is it some of us get to church late almost when it’s time to end.

I know you’re saying, “Praise God for being there no matter what time you get there.” And don’t get me wrong, I’m with you on that. However, when it’s a pattern that seems to become a part of the norm and you choose to idolize other things instead of giving honor to God. I don’t feel it’s a good thing in the eyes of God.

God is a jealous God. We mustn’t the mistake of putting our jobs and other things in this world before Him. He is not jealous of what you have or what you need. He doesn’t like when you give away what belongs to him; your faithfulness. God is to get all the worship. Worship him alone. It belongs to him and him alone.

We must be careful not to idolize or worship the wrong things. Your car, your house, your friends and family, and your job are amongst those things. When you bow down to and worship other gods you believe are essential for your life, you make the mistake of worshiping idols rather than worshiping God; the One that gives you life.

Every day there are some people who make sure they’re never late for work or even miss a day. Yet get to church late or don’t go at all or will miss a month of Sundays. But feel entitled to “me time” when making sure they are a part of family and friend events on the weekends or any time during the week. And fail to find time for God on any given Sunday or any day of the week.

God is worthy of our worship. Everything belongs to him. If it wasn’t for him, you wouldn’t have things such as a job, a house, or car that you feel is worthy of your worship. “For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens” (Psalm 96:5). Worship God instead of worldly possessions.

Make time for God. Stop prioritizing the wrong things. One day in the blink of an eye, you can lose everything. God must come first in every area of your life. Take a moment to take a serious look at your life. Evaluate the things that may be taking priority over God. Resolve it. Give him all the praise. Mediate daily on the word. Earnestly seek God.

Things, jobs, or people do not give you life. God does. Make Him the center of your life. Without him, you can do nothing. All that you have without him is worth nothing. You wouldn’t have a life.

Don’t rob God of his honor by worshiping other gods or idols in your life. Abandon anything in your life that is hindering you from being faithful to God. Don’t let idol worship keep you from giving praise, honor, and worship where it rightfully belongs; to God.

Be blessed! –JD

Matthew 4:8-10 “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, 9 “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”

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Praise Service Announcement from the Eternal Broadcasting System

This is a Praise Service Announcement from the Eternal Broadcasting System (EBS). It’s only a TEST. God’s got a blessing with your name on it.

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Dear God, I’m Fearless, Free; Chains No Longer Bind Me!

Dear God,

Dear GodTen years ago I lived in fear. Instead of being fearless, I allowed the enemy to cause me to lose myself and live in fear. You see, I was afraid. I lost material possessions and my health was affected not because of me. But because of things which I had no control and I blamed everyone instead of myself. I could not find fault in me. I even lost you. And to make matters worse, I wasn’t afraid of you. In fact I was afraid of what people would think of me because of what I didn’t have or what I could no longer do for them. I was not concerned about what I could do for you. I was more concerned about them.

In the beginning I had many, many regrets and blamed everyone else for my anguish. There were people who walked out of my life I thought I needed for my provision. However you came and taught me it was you and only you I needed for my provision.

So, today I began to reflect on my life and decided to write a letter to the devil. I expressed the joy I’ve found in you and how you’ve changed my life forever. I told him, I broke up with my past long time ago. I threw away things that continued to hold me back that I felt needed to go. I laughed at him and declared disappointments won’t make me miss my destiny. I said to him, “Devil, you no longer have control. What God has for me is for me.”

I parted ways with my haters when I asked God to show me my friends. I looked around and realized over the years I started losing friends. It didn’t take long. They left me.  I began to celebrate myself in victory. Glory! I’m free. Chains no longer bind me.

I then began to think, being a Christian doesn’t mean we have all the answers because we know God. In fact we don’t know the answers but have faith and trust in God. God knows what lies ahead in our future.  No matter what happens when life changes, we must place our faith in Him and what he has prepared for us. He knows the plans he has for our future.

Take it from me. Don’t allow your disability to disable you to do, whatever it is your body may be physically capable of what God knows you can do. Be strong. Do what you know God has called you to do. When we know God and we know the word and what He instructs us to do, at no time should we ever have to ask ourselves, “What Would Jesus Do?”

I used to wake wondering, asking God how long, when will this end? Now I wake with a renewed spirit, my soul cries “Yes” not wanting it to end. All you’ve been through. Testify, even when the devil tries to ruin you. You’re a witness. Praise God. The battle is not yours, it’s the Lord’s.

Stop expecting from others what you know you won’t get from them. You will always be disappointed in them. Do what God expects from you. Revere him. This is what he desires from you. Relationships will end for different reasons every day. Whatever the reason, God uses people in our lives for his purpose to see his glory. You mustn’t focus on what was or what could have been or what you think should be. Look to God. Have faith. Know that God will do it. Believe!

The place where you are right now, in the midst of what you think are problems, really is God perfecting you, preparing you for greater. If God doesn’t do anything else, he’s done more than enough. Praise him in advance for what he’s doing, what he’s going to do, and for what he’s done.

God led me out of wilderness. He broke the shackles from my feet. Chains no longer bind me. Devil, I no longer live in fear. I’m no longer afraid. I’m free. I am fearless! Glory!

Be blessed! -JD

Psalm 56:3-4 “3 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” (NIV)

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Thought for Today

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02/11/2014 · 1:31 pm

Whenever You Find Yourself Facing a Storm, Anchor Yourself in the Presence of God

Hebrews 6God knows our strength even when we have difficulty believing it. He also knows what it is he has planned in advance for us even when we can’t see it. There are times we will go through things and feel as though in our weakest moments we don’t have the strength to go on. God will give us strength. We just have to believe, trust in Him, and hold on.

Every day I sit and wonder what my purpose is as I still try to figure out what is my passion. And for the most part I do this because there are so many things I am passionate about but I struggle daily with being able to engage in the simplest tasks given my health. While I know there are people in this world who are in worse condition than me I can’t help but wonder at times why it is so hard for me to make a difference in the world. I can honestly say I know what life is like because of my experiences every day when trying to gain enough strength just to make it out of bed and do something to bring God glory. It doesn’t stop me. I still do. God knows my strength. He knows what I can do.

I have the strongest desire to minister to the masses and one day complete the work of the Lord, but with all the things I am dealing with I feel like I am failing God. Although there are some of the kindest people who remind me daily that I do, even when I don’t feel like I do. At times when I sit from my bed and send inspiring, encouraging messages to social media platforms, I feel inadequate. My body is not equipped, convinced I’m disappointing God when confined to a bed when I can’t do things to fully serve him. Yet I realize in actuality God is using me even in the simplest ways. I mustn’t compare myself to others. It’s just a trick of the enemy trying to convince me otherwise. I know I’m unique and not designed like others.

I felt bad because I had not posted to my blog much last month and it has been more than a week since posting today primarily because for the past few weeks I had taken ill and felt I was letting my followers down in some way. I’ve been seeing doctor after doctor every day for the past two weeks and had been put on three different medications that have stabilized my conditions after taking a turn for the worse on last Friday. Since that time I have had a testimony.

God is in the blessing business today and every day. This is what the doctors had to say. The doctors said, “You may have this so we will have to run tests. We will wait for the reports to come back.” MRIs came back. No brain tumor or veins abnormal. The scans were normal. The ultrasounds were done. They came back normal too with the exception of one irregularity that I have to follow up with the doctor that I am declaring healing believing God in advance for too.

God said “My report has already been done. By my stripes you are healed. It’s already done. I tested your faith in the trial. You knew I was there with you all the while. You ran the race. You kept the faith. There’s still a work I have for you to do for my glory. You didn’t lose faith. You may have cried out in your anguish wondering why, but it was only for a little while. You understood my grace was sufficient. Well done, my good and faithful servant.” There’s one more appointment to attend where a major test still has to be done that I’m declaring healing believing God in advance for. Please keep me in your prayers. God’s will will be done.

Sometimes the most difficult things to face can be the hardest to accept even when we know God will work it out for the greater good. Have faith. It will all work out for his good. Sometimes our greatest fears teach us our biggest lessons. To always have faith, trust in God, and never worry no matter what we’re facing.

Whenever you find yourself facing a storm, anchor yourself in the presence of God. Know that he’s in front, on side, behind, and with you. He will see you through the storm. He will never leave you.

You don’t know my story. I don’t know yours either. But if I heard yours or you heard mines, we’d know it was God who put us back together.

Life’s challenges will cause us to feel like we’re drowning in the sea of life. Know this. God is our anchor. He will make everything all right.

Be blessed! –JD

Hebrews 6:18-2018 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchiezedek.” (ESV)

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