Monthly Archives: May 2014

I Understand the Season I’m In – Do You Know What Season You Are In?

1 Corinthians 12_27While looking for something the other day, I came across an email titled “New Levels in God” that was forwarded to me from my bff Shirley from the original sender Langley, my sister in Christ, she felt would be good information to know in my then role serving as her armor-bearer, among other roles. I never took the time to read it… until now.

I gasped as I read because it explained and cleared up the confusion I’ve faced the last six years of my life while confirming the season I am now in my life. Which is exactly where God needed me to be but at the time I couldn’t understand it. As I read, I was so full, with chills running down my spine as I constantly cried out, “Oh my God! My God! This explains everything. Thank you Jesus!” It spoke to me so deeply. I couldn’t help but share this beautifully written article Will You Transition to the Next Level by Varn Brown found at Armorbearers International website.

Please pardon the long post, but someone needs to hear this today, as did I. I am now clear on the new level God has taken me from serving to ministering and now understand the season I’m in. My God! Glory to God. Thank you Langley B. and Shirley Lytle! I hope you enjoy!

Be blessed! -JD

Will You Transition to the Next Level by Varn Brown

New Levels in God

Do you know what season you are in? Are you ready for the next level? Or are you leaving skid marks as Father God calls you to move on? In my life transition has usually meant change and change has meant an opportunity to use my faith. Webster calls it “the passing from one condition or place to another.” Sometimes I forget life is so seasonal unless it’s a difficult season and I’m ready for it to end. Then I remind myself often this too shall pass. After all the Word of God says, “They shall go from strength to strength…” Psa. 84:7

Rev. Rod Parsley acknowledges Dr. Lester Sumrall as his mentor, many times repeating the advice to him as a young minister to others, “Know your seasons as the chosen of God. There are seasons of receiving, serving and ministering.” I’ve learned if we recognize our seasons with God, we are better able to cooperate with His plan and purpose for our lives.

I enjoyed my serving season as an armorbearer. I remember saying if God has called me to do this the rest of my life I would be pleased. Even while saying this, I could hear a quiet voice remind me that I have never quite been able to get comfortable for too long. Change always would come that required my faith. Maybe you are like that too. Mature Christians know that one day God will call them to the next level which brings me to my earlier question. Are ready for your next level in God?

There are probably hundreds of Armorbearers at this place of transition. Consider this what if King David had not been willing to become King? Or Joshua had not been willing to go to the next level as leader of God’s people into the Promised Land? What if Pastor Timothy had enjoyed being mentored by the Apostle Paul so much that he couldn’t see himself going to the next level of what God had called him to do? Before my serving season ended, I had never heard or read anything about the season of transition in the Ministry of Helps.

1 Samuel 16-13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brethren; and the spirit of the lord came upon David from that day forward. David was anointed, for one day he would be King and soon after that he became Saul’s Armorbearer.

My point is in the five fold ministry there is the ministry of helps; you may be operating as an armorbearer in the ministry of helps but in your anointed gift of helps may be residing the ministry of a prophet. Who but God controls the timing when it shall come forth?

I would always say jokingly to my Pastor “Lord forbid I should ever have to leave you.” In the Old Testament David went from armorbearer to King and Joshua went from assistant to receiving Moses mantle. Armorbearer comes from the Hebrew word Nasa and assistant comes out of the same root word so Joshua operated as an Armorbearer.

How can we know when the Holy Spirit wants to take us to the next level? We can know by the same Holy Spirit that delivered God’s call to us.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of god.

Act 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted the Holy Ghost said, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

So we see the Holy Spirit is in charge. He shows us how He wants us to move and it’s not by our personal feelings. I use to always wonder why God was going to kill Moses. Yes Moses.

Exodus 4:24 and it came to past by the way in the inn that the lord met him, and sought to kill him.

Moses did a lot of complaining with reasons why he could not get the job done but the Lord convinced him. It shouldn’t take that much for us to yield to God’s will; we should be willing to be led by his leading!

The ministry of helps is at the latter part of the list of the five fold ministry in 1 Cor. 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

I believe that leaves a large area for growth and promotion. I know that I’m not the only one that God has called to go through a transitional season in life. So, if you are there or recently there I encourage you in your obedience and willingness. It’s not always an easy choice to go to the next place in God but He is always faithful. Remember, the faithful seeds that you have sown in your leader’s life will come back to you many-fold if you decide to “go to the next level.”

Resource:

Article by Varn Brown
Most leaders need a strong team of support. Your leadership should have one too! Varn is Co-Founder of Armorbearers International who offers help with designing strong teams of support for God’s leaders. Visit resource site at http://www.armorbearers.net for other insightful articles and resources.

 

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We Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Dr. Maya Angelou, You Now Have Your Wings!

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” -Dr. Maya Angelou

I am saddened yet I rejoice today. Heaven gained a beautiful angel today. Renowned author, poet, and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou took her rightful place in heaven today.

Dr. Angelou was not only a great voice to contemporary literature, but she was a voice of distinction to many. She touched the lives of many.

Her speech was with grace and eloquence. Her words were like a breath of fresh air to a troubled ear that would hear and listen. She spoke of struggles we could all identify with and knew in some way we too, could overcome them.

She was trailblazer; a survivor. She set the path to know how we could live life with meaning. She taught us through her writings, in the face of adversity or hatred, like the air, we can rise above it and still respect ourselves. Life had new meaning. In spite of barriers, celebrate who we are no matter what. She had a distinctive name that clearly set her apart. Her contribution will live on forever. She will always live in our hearts.

Ms. Maya, you leave behind a great legacy. You always will be remembered. We will miss you dear one. You may be gone but never forgotten. We will cherish your memory.

We know “Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Dr. Maya Angelou is now resting in heaven. Rest in paradise love. You now have your wings!

I leave you with this. Here are  some of her greatest quotes. I hope you enjoy it.

Quotes from Dr. Maya Angelou:

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise!”

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.”

“In the flush of love’s light we dare be brave and suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet, it is only love which sets us free.”

– Dr. Maya Angelou

Be blessed! -JD

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Love Hurts

Love HurtsI’m sharing a poem titled Love Hurts from my “mini-series” of poems I promised in between normal posts that was written during my college years. And based on the expression of words that filled my thoughts, it looks like it was during a time I was broken and going through some type of pain or heartbreak.

Surprisingly, I actually loved the professor’s critique on this one but wasn’t sure at the time what he meant by his question at the end given I wasn’t a poetry writer or so I thought. 🙂 He wrote: “I sense the honesty and passion here. Good end-rhyme. How about some images?” Me: Hmm… One day I’ll get that.

Enjoy!

Love Hurts

I met a person
Who said to me
My love for you
Will last infinitely

He came and took
My love from me
And now he wants
To set me free
He met another woman
Who was to be
His one and only
Till eternity

I stayed up all night
Wondering and crying
Was it not that
I was trying
Hard enough to do
All of the things he wanted me to

As I try to forget
And hide my pain
It only reminds me
Of how I’ll hurt again
So as you can see
I’m not the same anymore
Because of a man
I truly adored

-JD

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Jesus Calls Us to Love One Another

wpid-img_20140523_172104.jpgJesus calls us to love one another. Even ones who are unlovely. Jesus loved the unloved and unlovely. Love others as God loves us.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:7-12).

God you first loved me when I didn’t know how to love myself. You forgave me at times when I couldn’t forgive myself. You chose me. Thank you Jesus. When I found myself drowning in the sea of life You saved a wretch like me. Amazing grace! Thank you for loving me when I wasn’t lovely.  Thank you Jesus!

No matter how great your sin, God’s steadfast love and mercy are greater. His compassion never fails. He promises forgiveness. That’s love! Nobody greater.

The human mind cannot conceive the capacity of the greatness of God. His greatness is beyond infinity. God is beyond infinity. He does exist. God is love.

Be loving even when someone is unkind. Bless the ungodly when you’re hated and despised. Be a beacon of hope. Let your light shine!

Jesus commands us to love. Love with the love of God. Follow God’s example. Love as God loves.

Be blessed! -JD

1 John 2:5-6And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. (NIV)

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Please Help Spread the Word – Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Conference Dallas, Texas 6/7/14

Photo credit: Treasures of Comfort http://treasuresofcomfort.com/index.html

Last week I had the pleasure to receive a pleasant comment on my blog with a small request from a young lady to help spread word of the North Texas Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Conference that will be held June 7, 2014.

I was touched by her request, asked that she give me a couple of days to get things in order, and promised I would do so being that I am a passionate supporter of this cause and felt someone may benefit from it. But I wasn’t sure what I could say because I didn’t know much about the conference except details we managed to view at the website that included registration, transportation, and trip planning information for those in the Dallas or surrounding areas. Additionally, I needed to have a little more background information. So we did a search and I learned some interesting, yet valuable particulars.

The conference will be held from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday June 7, 2014 at DoubleTree by Hilton, Dallas, Texas. The conference is designed specifically for fibromyalgia and chronic pain members who will get a chance to talk with and meet others who share the same journey and learn more about alternative treatments for people in pain. It is being presented by Avazzia, designer and manufacturer of the premier handheld microcurrent device used to manage chronic and acute pain using U.S. patented technology. The device may prove to be helpful and useful for fibromyalgia and chronic pain patients that may be reading this. Please feel free to visit their website for more information.

For conference and registration information or additional assistance, please visit the Treasures of Comfort website at Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Conference Registration, Treasures of Comfort Facebook page, North Texas Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Conference or view the Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain YouTube video.

It is always a privilege to share fibromyalgia information so that others may be aware of news, changes, or updates to make an informed decision. Therefore I kindly ask that you show your support and please help spread the word. Your support is greatly appreciated.

And as always, here’s to more pain-free days filled with laughter, joy, and praise!

Thank you! -JD

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No Matter Who You Are God Loves You Just the Way You Are!

wpid-img_20140520_192513.jpgGod you loved me at my worse. You kept close watch over me during the test. You protected me from the hands of the enemy. Thank you Jesus! You knew best.

When people see me I don’t look like what I’ve been through. When they see me, I look like and I’m on my way to my final breakthrough. Hallelu!

Father before I ask for anything, I thank you for everything. You are my rock, my redeemer, my everything. Remove anything in us that is not of you. Let this be a day we give honor and praise to you. Cover the nation, my friends and family. Keep us safe from dangers unseen. Fear is not an option. Faith is our shield. Let your will be done, and not our will. Let no weapon formed against us prosper. Bind every attack of the enemy planned against us. Return it to the sender. We are covered by the blood. Thank you Jesus! In all things we give you honor and praise. In Jesus’ name…Amen!

No matter who you are God loves you just the way you are.

Be blessed! -JD

Romans 8:38-39 “38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NIV)

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God is Concerned About You. He Wants the Best For You

wpid-wp-1399990506754.pngAnything that concerns you, concerns God. He wants the best for you even when life seems hard. He knows best. Cast your cares upon him. Find rest.

When afraid, God is a shelter. He’s a refuge; a present help. Trust Him. He will wipe every tear away. Have faith. Trade your fears for faith.

You may have lost some things and felt like all was lost. Thank God. You still have Him and all he gives. And that’s more than enough.

In a crisis, petition God in prayer. Our problems are God’s opportunities. No problem is too big for Him. Pray for guidance. He’ll answer. He’s always there.

Where God plants you is where you will grow. When you refuse to take root where he plants you, you will not grow. Where God plants the seed, God makes the seed grow.

The devil got a glimpse of what’s coming and decided to form an attack against you. He knows what God is getting ready to do. Your breakthrough is on the way. Rebuke that spirit! Glory!

God’s love never ceases. He is faithful. His grace is sufficient. His love is everlasting. He is omniscient. wpid-img_20140513_111851.jpg

God is concerned about you. He wants the best for you. Come what may, thank God today. His mercies are new every morning. You’re here. God made a way.

Be blessed! -JD

Lamentations 3:22-24 “22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (ESV)

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A Simple Thought – Be Encouraged Today. Trials Serve A Greater Purpose

wpid-20140512145859.png

It is in our greatest trial we will discover God’s divine purpose. It shapes our destiny. God is working on us for a specific purpose.

Be blessed! -JD

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Cast Your Cares Upon the Lord. Lay Down Every Burden. Down By the Riverside

wpid-img_20140509_112120.jpgNo matter what I may face today, I know God will make a way. I’ll let go of  foolish pride. I’m gonna lay down my burdens. Down by the riverside.

I may be broker than broke. I’m blessed. I’m rich in Christ Jesus. I won’t complain. I give thanks to God in everything.

Life is not about the things we possess. Shout, praise God even when your pockets are empty. Thank God for overflow, increase. You’re blessed!

Be careful not to thirst for wealth, fame or fortune that you lose an appetite for God. Don’t put your faith in man or rely on worldly possessions. Be hungry for God.

No matter what you’re going through, know that God will sustain you. He’s doing something to prepare you for what’s to come. He’s positioning you for greater that he may be glorified.

Today is a great day. Rejoice! You may not have all you want. What you have is more than enough. Give thanks to God. Magnify the Lord!

Be blessed! -JD

1 Timothy 6:17-19 “17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (NIV)

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Don’t Defeat My Progress Because of My Pain. Let Your Words Help Me to Heal and Feel Whole Again

wpid-textgram_1399515461.pngGod knows all about us and still blesses us. In spite of our flaws, he still loves us. Yet there are those who have seen us at our worse and know all about our past. But sometimes fail to understand the impact of their words when trying to console us when in pain.

And will use our past as a crutch and at the same time speak words of encouragement. For some, it is not always intentional even when it seems inappropriate. It can mean that they really do not understand how negative mixed with positive may affect us. Not realizing how much their words hurt us.

When a person who is in pain reaches out to another, their hope is to be healed, feel whole again, and find comfort. Yet we must know the difference and not confuse comfort with negative criticism. Or confuse pain with defeating progress. Because what it will do is crush that person’s spirit and may cause them to stagnate their own progress. Some will comfort and criticize at the same time. Because it’s the person they choose to be at that time. Not realizing at that point it defeats the purpose, especially when someone needs to get past their hurt when hurting.

When someone is hurting, words of encouragement are meant to heal with good intentions. Not to be replaced with words that will hurt them and remind them of their past afflictions. Opinions matter but they do not count. When secure in whom you are you will erase all doubt. Criticism at first will look like defeat and may cause you to go on the defense. Quickly reminding yourself you mustn’t take offense. It is then and only then after much careful thought, you realize you could have handled it differently and in the future will work to not give it much thought.

Don’t get me wrong, criticism when constructive can sometimes make you stronger. But you must be careful of the appropriate time to use it and not at a time when consoling others. Or at a time when you know mentally and emotionally, there is something wrong. Discern the difference between right and wrong.

Unkind, thoughtless words hurt once they leave the mouth. Be careful with the words that come out of your mouth. Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Your words are a reflection of your thoughts and who you are and have become. Make sure your words in a split moment of conversation inspire and not tear down. Let your opinions be wise and spiritually sound. Be kind, loving, empathetic, and sincere. Don’t use the past at any time to remind someone of the place they find themselves now  is why they are there.

The greater level of comfort you have with yourself will make it that much easier to deflect criticism, and not let it hinder your progress. Only to use it as a positive force to remind you of the person you have matured into. While celebrating the past you left behind you.

Don’t defeat my progress because of my pain. Let your words of comfort be positive to help me heal and feel whole again. Don’t confuse comfort with negative criticism when supporting someone in their time of need. Build them up. Let your words be positive words of wisdom. Indeed!

Be blessed! -JD

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. (NASB)

 

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Happy Cinco de Mayo!

wpid-photogrid_1399319118366.jpgTo those of you who celebrate today, Happy Cinco de Mayo Day!

In observation of Cinco de Mayo many across America will celebrate and acknowledge Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. To the Mexican army who fought the battle and won, “Thank You!”

The holiday commemorates the Battle of Puebla that occurred on May 5, 1862 and celebrates the cause of freedom and bravery of the Mexican army, who, although were outnumbered in battle, achieved a symbolic victory in defeat over French forces.

Today symbolizes unity and pride.  As a nation, we will come together in unity to honor its significance and embrace Mexican heritage and pride. Commemorate the victory of those who fought for the cause of freedom worldwide. Enjoy the beautiful, vibrant festivities, great food, music, parades, and ceremonies.

Happy Cinco de Mayo Day! Here’s to you. Celebrate!

-JD

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