Monthly Archives: August 2014

September Pain Awareness Month 2014 – Let’s Go All Out to Make It One of the Best Ever!

wpid-textgram_1409547189.pngTomorrow many across the nation will participate in September Pain Awareness Month. As a chronic pain sufferer and Fibromyalgia patient, not only the month of September but every day is an opportunity for me to spread awareness and increase efforts to make the “hidden”epidemic of pain visible. I work daily to be one voice.

Every September, I make a special effort to share my video and my voice in support of this cause as well as continue my fight to secure a first-ever Presidential Proclamation naming every September National Pain Awareness Month. I may not have ability to contribute as much as I’d like given my health, but I never miss an opportunity, when I am able, to make a difference.

While September is considered a critical month  to promote education and awareness, I never cease and will continue in my efforts to raise pain awareness. As such, I thought it would be fitting to share an awesome newsletter I received the other day from Paul Gileno, Founder and President of U.S. Pain Foundation filled with great information and posed a very interesting question, of which I couldn’t help but share the newsletter and pose the same question to you: “September is Pain Awareness Month: What Does that Mean?” Please take a moment to read over the information below and let me know your thoughts.

In the words of Mr. Gileno, I ask that you join me in the fight to increase awareness and “Let’s make the 2014 September Pain Awareness Month the strongest one to date.” Join me, starting tomorrow to make it one of the strongest pain advocacy awareness months ever that will change lives. Thank you!

Be blessed! -JD

Pain Awareness Month Edition                                September 2014

To my fellow Pain Warriors and Friends: September is nearly here meaning another National Pain Awareness Month will soon be underway. This is such an important month for anyone living with pain. For thirty days, public attention will be drawn to the hardships, struggles and trials of those suffering. Our Ambassadors and other organizations strive to work more closely together to promote pain education and awareness. We work together to unite the pain community while additionally raising awareness about how pain affects us all. Pain Awareness Month essentially creates hope and compassion for those with pain, reminding them they are heard, validated and never alone.

Yet what happens on the first of October? While those invested in the epidemic of pain continue their missions to advocate, educate and empower, others sometimes lose interest in the cause. A new issue takes center media spotlight, which ends the action piece that many of us were looking to follow the progress of September from happening.

This is where YOU – the pain warrior, care champion, supportive ally – play a role. It is up to you to continue voicing your stories, sharing your worries and breaking down barriers. September gives us the boost we need to bring our concerns to the forefront. But we have to take that next step. We have to push for the funding, the research, the education and the legislative changes we wish to see. It might seem like a tedious task, but every September I feel US Pain Foundationmore optimistic that our collective voice is making an impact. That we are somehow getting closer to that moment when the topic of pain care is at the forefront of health care, and pain is not looked upon with a stigma but as a real disease.

I am thankful to the coalition of organizations who created Pain Awareness Month fourteen years ago. They had a vision to eradicate the under-treatment of pain and shed light on 100 million Americans living with chronic pain. Together, we are making headway but there is still such room for growth. That is why we need to keep pushing the envelope.

We must come together as a community and work for the common good of people with pain.

To all those out there who feel isolated and alone, remember there are many who understand your plights and are working to create your better tomorrow. It is our goal for everyone to have access to proper pain care, to have the ability to see the doctors they need, to receive appropriate treatments, and most importantly to walk this journey with you.

This month, and every other month, U.S. Pain is dedicated to lessening the suffering of pain and to help guide you to a hopeful and fulfilling life. We are in the process of revamping our current website. The updated site will hold more information, tools and resources to educate, empower and advocate for the pain community. Our goal is for it to go ‘live’ this fall. We are also working on a U.S. Pain app as well as a whole host of events, seminars and educational days for the upcoming fall and winter of 2015. It is important to us to expand our programs, and to do this, we continue to work with many community partners to have these programs for you.

Let’s make the 2014 September Pain Awareness Month the strongest one to date. Together, let’s shift perceptions, start that positive dialogue we want to see and finally obtain the answers we need for better medical advancements the field of pain care.

You are all pain warriors, and each of you inspires me. Thank you for being a part of this journey. Day by day, we are making small steps toward victory.

Wishing you all a low-pain and high-spirits day,

Paul Gileno

Founder & President, U.S. Pain Foundation

US Pain Foundation2

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Psalm 37:25 “I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.” Trust God. He Knows What He’s Doing

wpid-img_20140827_071814.jpgA journey is like pockets of carefully calculated air we breathe. We meet with crossroads of uncertainty, never knowing where it will lead. It’s all in God’s timing indeed.

When storms come and we find ourselves wondering how did we get on the other side? Asking ourselves over and over, how did we make it out alive? We’re bewildered at how we made it through the storm. It was all God. He rescued us while riding through the storm.

Every day we will face new challenges and new experiences that will question our faith. And at times we will find it difficult to see God in anything. God does not keep us from encountering storms, but he will see us through the storm. He promises to rescue us. He walks with and is always with us. You will not fail. “I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 37:25). Trust God. He knows just what he’s doing.

I know this may be hard to believe and impossible to understand, but sometimes in the face of adversity God’s perfect will for your life will be revealed. God is speaking to you. He wants to know if you trust him. He wants to see what you’re going to do because he already knows what he’s going to do.

God sends trials to test your faith. The devil sends temptation to destroy your faith. Don’t give in. Let God handle him. When God removes some things from you, the devil knows what He’s about to do and will try anything he can to destroy you. Don’t let him. Whatever he dishes out, return it to the sender!

No matter what troubles you. There’s nothing and I mean nothing God can’t do. Let go. Let God. Nothing is too hard for God. We may struggle and want to give up at times. Consider it pure joy. Praise God in the midst of the storm. No matter the circumstance, glorify God. Trials are a test of our faith. It’s where we will discover God’s faithfulness. Keep the faith.

Be blessed! –JD

Psalm 34:17-20 “17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. 20 He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

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Join Me – I’m Dressed in Red Today; Covered by the Blood of Jesus!

wpid-img_20140827_070908.jpgI’m dressed in red today. On fire for the Lord; covered by the blood of Jesus. God, you can do anything but fail. Your purpose will prevail.

The minute your feet hit the ground the devil’s rehearsing your past. Looking for anything to distract God’s purpose. Look to God on purpose.

The devil can do nothing to you without God’s permission. He won’t win. He may come in like a flood. God will lift up a standard against him (Isaiah 59:19).

When storms are raging around you and it seems nothing is working out, God is with you. He will calm the seas. He’ll make everything alright.

Be encouraged. You’re covered by the blood. Put on the whole armor of God. Don’t look to the right or to the left. Look to the hills from whence cometh your help.

No matter what comes today, glorify God in it. He’s able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). Pray without ceasing. Walk by faith.

Devil you’ve been served notice today. God will have his way. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. Every assignment has been cancelled. It’s already done. We’re returning everything you sent signed, sealed, and undelivered! We are covered by the blood. In the name of Jesus. Glory. Hallelujah!

Be blessed! –JD

Revelation 12:1111And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” (NASB)

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Please Stop the Gun Violence and the Killings – Ferguson and Others, We’re Praying for Healing

wpid-img_20140818_102821.jpgWords cannot explain what I am feeling today. I am going off subject today. As I sit trying to wrap my head around all that I’m seeing and hearing the news surrounding the fatal police shooting resulting in the death of 18-year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri my heart breaks. There are so many questions that seem to have gone unanswered and sadly, everyone is looking for answers.

My heart is heavy as I cannot possibly know what the parents of this 18-year old young man is going through. I’m praying for you. And what disturbs me most is how the media and those that need to be held accountable are using this as a way to dehumanize and destroy the character of the victim instead of taking responsibility for their actions. It should not even matter who you may have been only to characterize your life as a failure to justify injustice. The most important thing is he died unexpectedly at the hands of a person who was supposed to protect him.

While I cannot acknowledge every family that has been affected by incidents similar to what has happened to the Brown family because there are far too many to mention, please don’t take this personal but I couldn’t help but to mention this one.

There’s a family in Avondale, Arizona grieving the death of their daughter Michelle Cusseaux, a mentally-ill woman who was shot and killed by police last Thursday (http://www.azfamily.com/news/Family-celebrates-bday-of-mentally-ill-woman-shot-and-killed-by-police-271616891.html). She would have been 51 years old yesterday, but sadly she has gone on to glory. The family is demanding change because of the way the police handled it. After I read the story, I pray for change and stand in agreement with them. Something has to change. Gun violence is not the answer to America’s pain.

The thing that resonates most is what I keep hearing, “Calm down Black America” “Black-on-Black violence is nothing new” but I ask does that justify why innocent lives are being taken regardless who’s doing it? Injustice is injustice and needs to be addressed. Your background shouldn’t be as important to the injustice that has happened when your life is wrongfully taken.

Then there are those who are angry and speaking out in rage about police killings that are happening in their cities they feel no one is taking notice or they are being ignored. Yet they must understand the issue of race and violence has been an ongoing issue in America for years that has been subtly ignored, but by no means are they being ignored. Sadly, there are so many killings that even when we try to focus on one, we are wrongfully blamed for not focusing enough. America, please…It’s time to stop the violence! Please put away the guns and let’s sit down and have a civil discussion about it.

Too many people are hurting. “Who’s policing the police?” Because it seems like they are not policing themselves, shooting rubber bullets, tear gassing and shooting innocent victims. While I cannot speak for others or justify the lootings and inappropriate things happening in Ferguson most likely out of rage and anger, what is not fair is the citizens of this town are at risk and living in fear faced with danger. Seems like they are going through hell and are helpless. Let’s come together as a nation and pray for their safety. With the hope something changes for the better, so these people can get rest and be at peace with one another.

Every moment I think about it, I can’t help but to pray. Please stand in agreement with me and pray. I know that there are families hurting everywhere. I ask that we please stop the police killings and gun violence, any and everywhere. Violence will not solve anything. Violence upon violence will only exacerbate the condition. It will only make it worse. Peace is what we need that others may hear our voice.

It may seem like we have come a long way in the fight for justice, peace, equality, and in our efforts to end racism but sadly, we still have a long ways to go. It is far from over but I’m hopeful. Take these words from Martin Luther King, Jr. that I am sharing with you today. Pray for peace, justice, strength, and comfort in the wake of what we see happening not just today, but every day.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Be blessed! -JD

Romans 14:1919So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. (ESV)

 

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Prayer Warriors Please Pray for the Nation. Angels Go To Work on Behalf of the Nation!

wpid-2014-08-11-22-41-07-1515099862.jpegThe nation is hurting. Many have lost a loved one. We may not have known them, but we’re praying for everyone. Prayer warriors, intercede, touch and agree in prayer for the nation. Please come together collectively as prayer intercessors and lift up the nation. There is so much going on in the world today. Every day we hear of a life lost be it by natural causes, unexpectedly, or violence where a life ended tragically.

When I heard the news of Robin Williams, I was devastated. I didn’t need to know what happened. I only needed to send prayers for his family. I immediately began celebrating his life. I prayed and asked God to keep watch over his family and friends who just lost a loved one. I asked God to send healing, comfort, strength, and peace. My final request: My condolences, thoughts and prayers are with the family of Robin Williams. America has lost an iconic figure. He will be missed. May he rest in peace.

To further exacerbate my feelings of devastation, while reading the things happening in Missouri all week, last night, and right now is breaking my heart. Racism is still alive and well, and sadly seems to have gotten out of hand with an increase in violence. Racial tension is causing division amongst the people in the city of Ferguson. We need to pray for the safety of the people in this community.

Color has no barrier, no body, or no face. We mustn’t let the color of our skin be the cause of division or hate. We should love one another as God loves us. The color of our skin shouldn’t matter because it doesn’t matter to God. We are all God’s children. He doesn’t discriminate. I pray we stop the violence and eliminate spewing hate. God please cover the community of Ferguson, Missouri and the nation with the blood of Jesus. Angels go to work! Send comfort, peace, a solution to the problem of racial tension and division. Father God let there be unity. Bless every family. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. #MikeBrown

Mental illness has no color, gender, or face. It can affect any human being. We never know what a person is going through. Pray for everyone. We all have our own demons we’re fighting and are all going through something. Depression is a silent killer. So many are afraid to seek help because of the stigma and become isolated, only to die as a result. Sadly, Robin Williams was fighting against something we never knew about only to lose the fight to what ailed him inside. I pray he is at peace. Pray for his family.

The world can be so judgmental, cold, and calculating when hearing of news that alleges someone took their life. We must not judge but instead pray and celebrate their life. There’s a struggle inside each of us. God knows our struggles. He’s with us every step of the way. He will never leave us or forsake us. We may look well put together on the outside. We all have a story. No one knows what’s going on inside. What you see on the outside is God’s glory. Be watchful over one another. Pray for others. Lend a helping hand, not looking for anything in return. Do it in love. Do what pleases God.

While prayer is our ultimate source in things that concern us, mental illness is a disease that requires professional help. Pray and also seek help. We can never know what a person is going through. There’s someone fighting a battle harder than you. You never know. God does.  He’s there. Help someone in need. Spread love.

This is my prayer:

Father I come to you with a heavy heart, in prayer. There are people dying senseless, unexplained deaths in other parts of the world. The nation is in a crisis.  We need you now more than ever. Many are hurting. God help them. Some are troubled beyond repair and feel they’re alone with what they’re dealing with. Please watch over every family troubled by something that ails them. Cover those who feel they are not in control of what may be troubling them. Lord, I know you are a healer. I know when we are weak, your grace strengthens us. Where there is pain, Father God send healing. Be a present help. Where there’s doubt, send peace of mind, assurance. Where there is weakness, send strength and comfort. Father, we need your presence. The world is in disarray with many fighting against one another. God, I know many things happen for a reason and there is a time and season for everything. Whatever you’re doing in this season with all that’s going on, please don’t do it without us. We are covered by the blood. Angels go to work and intercede on behalf of the nation. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen and amen.

Be blessed! –JD

Romans 8:26-2726 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

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Look at Us – Grace Looks So Good on Us!

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God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Gen 1:26). We are made in God’s image. His work was finished with a personal touch. Grace looks so good on us!

The gospel is for everyone. God’s grace offers salvation to everyone. We are taught to live godly. “It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,’ (Titus 2:12). Grace teaches about how we are to live. We make the gospel look good by the way we live.

We don’t complain. We do what grace tells us. Even though we can choose to conform, we don’t. We live for God. We renew our minds. We become transformed. We listen to Jesus.

Grace is not a merit system.  It’s not based on your works. It cannot be earned. It is a free gift from God, even when we truly don’t deserve it.

God made us in His image. He sees beyond our shortcomings. When we’re damaged and broken, God sees His creation, His image damaged and broken. We submit to the will of God with a desire to live a life completely for Him.

Grace looks on us. We wear it well. The devil’s mad as hell. God gave us another chance. His grace justified us. We’re at peace. Praise God! Grace looks good on us!

Be blessed! -JD

1 John 2:27 “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.” (NASB)

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Correcting Storms – God Disciplines Us; Perfecting Storms Develop Us

wpid-img_20140629_132023.jpgHave you ever met a person you could see right through that was full of contempt, selfishness, spite, arrogant, prideful, belligerent? And at first thought decided you didn’t like what you see? But knew inside there was nothing you could do about it outside of praying for them that God would touch their hearts and minds in their unwillingness to change? I know some of you are saying, “No, I haven’t.” And then there are some of you that have no trouble telling the truth, “Yes you have.” I know I have. I’m with you.

We may not always be obedient but when God corrects us, it’s because he loves us. Discipline may be painful. Rejoice. God’s helping us to grow for a greater purpose. God never promised there wouldn’t be storms. Storms will come. It’s not because we’ve done something wrong. He promised we’d never go through the storm alone. But when we deliberately disobey God and will cause our own demise, it’s not because of him. It’s because of us. There will be consequences to our wrong doings. Don’t blame God for it.

I’m reminded of Jonah where the text in the Old Testament tells us when we think of the story of him, we envision a man who was a prophet that was transparent. We could see imperfections right through him and in most cases, if we were to think of ourselves, it would remind us of ourselves. Blaming God when clouded by our own judgment of the things we may have done to cause our troubles. We become angry at God when we’ve done wrong. We know there are things we shouldn’t do but yet continue to do out of our disobedience to God. We think we are in control and run the world. We forget that God is in control over everything. He is the center of the earth.

Matthew 7:25-26 tells us, “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” In this passage Jesus makes it clear: He doesn’t say if storms come. He says when the storm came, the winds blew, streams rose, beating against the house causing it to crash to the ground. The people ignored Jesus. They suffered painful consequences as a result of their disobedience.

God’s Word provides us with instructions and guides us in how we are to live a righteous life. But many of us will choose to fight against it. On the outside we put up a front pretending we are obedient to God. On the inside we are resistant. We try to avoid God’s call. We run away. We don’t want to sacrifice ourselves. We’re belligerent. And think we can nullify God’s call by feeling sorry for ourselves. We can try to do all we can to resist God’s call. It doesn’t matter. Know this. God will accomplish his purpose, even through unwilling servants.

Sometimes God allows storms of correction to disciple us. God is speaking to us. When God sends perfecting storms, he’s developing us to grow. Listen. Obey. Abide in his word.

No matter what happens, choose to follow God. It will bring great benefits and rewards. If you turn from him, it will bring suffering. Follow Him. You will learn obedience from what you may suffer.

Be blessed! –JD

 Hebrews 5:8-98 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (ESV)

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All It Takes is Three Simple Words – Tell Someone “God Loves You” and “I Do Too!” Be A Blessing

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Each of us have a testimony. We are all going through something. We may not be going through the same thing, but we are all burdened with something. Nothing is too hard for God. Cast all your cares upon the Lord.

A simple thought, kind gesture, hug, or simple words of inspiration or encouragement can touch the life of a person you may not know. Be a blessing to someone, wherever you may go. It doesn’t matter what you are going through, work to inspire, motive, encourage, and bless others as God blesses you.

We don’t know what others are going through. There’s someone fighting a battle harder than you. Tell someone, “God loves you and I do too.” Thank you.

Be blessed! -JD

Romans 8:35-39  “35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (ESV)

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God’s Simple Plan of Salvation – Say with Me: I Admit, I Believe, I Confess. Receive the Free Gift of Salvation

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The answer to God’s simple plan of salvation is right in front of us. Salvation is as close as your mouth and heart. It is not a complicated process. If you believe in your heart and say with your mouth that Christ is Lord, you will be saved. (Romans 10:8-12)

There was a jailer that fell trembling before Paul and Silas and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household” (Acts 16:29-31). “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

To become a Christian is not as hard as you think. It can be as simple. Say these three things; Admit to Jesus you are a sinner. Believe Jesus is the Son of God, died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and whom God resurrected. Confess Jesus is Lord, invite the Lord into your life to become your personal Savior.

Salvation is a free gift from God. God sent Jesus to save us. He died on the cross for us. Say ABC’s with me: I ADMIT I’m a sinner. I BELIEVE Jesus is God’s Son. I CONFESS Jesus is Lord, come into my life. Receive the free gift of salvation.

Be blessed! -JD

Romans 10:9-109 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (NIV)

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