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Dear Absent Father from The Mother of A Daddyless Daughter….I Just Want To Say “Thank You And You’re Welcome!”

Dear Absent Father,

To My Daughter JoaynnI penned this letter to you, with my deepest regards, to surprisingly thank you for selfishly choosing to be an absent father.

When I look at my daughter every day and delight in how much she’s grown, I can’t help but thank God for the life she has successfully achieved being raised by a single parent. I made one of the best decisions ever. To nurture, guide, be there for her, and always love her.

As I think of the very moment I laid eyes on this precious human being, fell in love with her, saw so many parts of you in her reflection, there’s no denying she’s yours, I couldn’t imagine how great her life would be impacted when you chose not to be a part of, or truly acknowledged her existence. Thank you for leaving an innocent child that didn’t ask to come here, emancipating yourself from her life before and after she was born, to take care of your other children and freely live your life as a single man.

I prayed I could raise her to be an honorable, responsible, respectable, strong-willed, independent adult. Thanks to you I did, in spite of some tough challenges I faced without your help. And most of all, you don’t know what you did for me. Each and every challenge brought out the best in me. I found strength I didn’t realize I had enough of, to raise my daughter all by myself. Cheers to you! I’m grateful.

Thank you for contributing to what could have been a disaster to your “no father figure daddyless” daughter’s struggles with feelings of low self-esteem, self-worth, identity, and value. Good news! Thank God! It didn’t break her nor will it ultimately affect her life-long relationship choice in her future husband. Long talks, loving family support will continue to help her with that. She’s beautiful, confident, strong, and intelligent.

For times she would have looked up to and admired you for being a great father who set the example of what to look for in a man but had abandonment, trust, and betrayal issues, thank you for helping her learn what it took to persevere. She’s wiser, better. She chose not to look for love, acceptance, or validation in all the wrong places or searched for the identity the world thinks she lost, because of her absent father. Thank you. She’s an amazingly strong woman.

She decided on her own what not to look for in another man what she never saw in you, because of the example you didn’t set. She chose not to settle. She never ran into the arms of a man in search of a lack of affection to fill an empty void in her heart, because of one of the most precious gifts you decided not to give her; unconditional love. No worries. I took care of that for you.

Thank you for the times you didn’t call, write, or be there for her on special occasions or remembered her birthday, that could have burned a hole through her heart. You cannot even imagine how it may have negatively defined who she would become. No worries. I helped you out with that too, stepped in on your behalf, made up for your absence, and set the right example as best as I could as a mother. I am, and you too would be proud of her. No need to thank me for it. It’s on me. You can have this proud moment for free.

Hats off to you for the small, sporadic monthly child support checks each year you thought was enough to raise a child that could never cover the costs for food, shelter, medical expenses, or pay for one outfit or a pair of shoes each year she grew out of, but managed to walk a mile in to reach the place she is now.

Words cannot express how grateful we are to you for contributing to a debt that can never be repaid for anything I’ve done, because my unconditional love was free, and it didn’t cost a thing. Nor do you owe me or this precious being back pay for the gift of life, so don’t ever feel guilty. The glory belongs to God. We have God to thank for the free gift of life he gave her!

Thank you absent father, for making me one of the richest persons in the world for a debt you could never repay. Nurture, guidance, advice, forgiveness, structure, discipline, value, self-worth were all free.

And let me leave one last tip for you before I go, to show my gratitude of how much I appreciate you for not being that “involved, loving, caring father.” Pat yourself on the back for your biological contribution, but don’t wait until she become successful and accomplish all she dream or hope for, and try to claim your “undeserved” back pay for something you chose all your life to not be a part of. Just send a thoughtful card wishing her the best and tell her, “Thank You.” You’re welcome!

With love,

Signed ME, a proud single parent

-JD

Ruth 3:10 ‘And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.” (ESV)

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If You Know Your Vision Is From God Walk in It, Even If You Didn’t Ask For It.

Vision of Promise JoaynnWhat do you do when one of the most difficult challenges you face is keeping the faith when God gives you a vision you clearly did not ask for that completely agrees with his Word, and no matter how much you do your best to honor his request, nothing works out as you would like?

Do you persevere and press on until something happens or do you give in to the lies of the enemy and give up? What do you do? If you had to answer this question, what would be your answer?

Well, when I asked myself this question at a time I was going through what seemed like an endless journey of defeat, I wanted to give up. I thought of the many times when nothing work out as I plan and it felt like I failed to glorify God even though I clearly know the vision is from Him. Because this feeling I have loving what I do that I feel I’ve been called to do won’t go away, no matter how hard I fight against it and want to give up when nothing is happening as I would like on any given day. I can’t sleep and I’m always thinking about doing something when it concerns the vision God gave me for my business.

I’m very passionate about what I do when designing products with godly advice that instruct, inspire, and influence others. And for the most part I feel in my heart it’s not something that needs to be done but is something I need to do because I’ve been called to do it! I didn’t ask God for this vision, he gave it to me. I find myself praying every day asking him what is it I am to do in response to the vision when I’m confused and don’t have any answers. He sends the answer, not what I’m looking for but what he knows and already promised shall be done.

I never try to make things happen on my own. With every step I take, I seek God’s guidance and advice before moving to the next level. But I must be honest with you. I can get so frustrated when I see the many ideas and organizations offering advice, help, or webinars to help grow your business and feel it clearly is not for me. It’s overwhelming. Yet will I trust God through it all, even when it doesn’t feel right.

It can be so easy to give up, especially when the devil begins to play tricks on your mind trying to make you believe you are unworthy and can’t be used by God. Every day he comes at us with the same old tricks, same old stuff, on different days to destroy our hopes and dreams we know God has already given us. Nothing he does should surprise us and should never be a reason why we let him steal a thing from us. If God brought us to it, you best believe he will bring us through it. Believe. Won’t he do it!

Oftentimes we can be so busy looking for the right answers we believe are in alignment with what “we want” to find success and will miss the answer God already sent confirming his promise of what he already knows we will have. Faith is the key that unlocks the door to God’s power and paves the way to miracles and blessings! Walk in it. Go get your blessing!

Busyness is a lifestyle and a choice. Be careful to not be so busy you don’t have time to slow down and enjoy the life God promised you. Yes, delayed is never denied but in our busyness we can sometimes delay our own destiny to the point we miss our final destination. Many times answers can be right in front of you.

There will come times in our lives when we cannot see God in anything and feel as though he is not there, especially when our circumstances are at a crossroad when filled with hopelessness and despair. We mustn’t give up or give in to the enemy because God is always with us, and will never leave us or forsake us.

Although it is easier said than done to not give up and at times can be so difficult to do when looking to the right and to the left at our circumstances, if we were to change our mindset, renew our hearts, and redirect our thoughts to the Word of God, we will possess enough in all things through what God has already given us; abounding grace. “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

And remember, he always keeps his promises. He is a promise keeper, a heart fixer, a mind regulator, a way maker. He will make a way out of no way. Trust him. Keep the faith. We cannot do what we think needs to be done with things that are not in our control. We must give it to God. Leave it there. He will work it out for the greater good.

God is in control. He can do anything but fail. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think. Stay prayed up. Read and meditate on the word every day, without ceasing. Because as soon as God opens the door we know no man can shut, the devil will seize the moment to put his best first foot forward in the crack only to be stomped on, rebuked, bound, and placed under our footstool! His mission aborted and canceled! No weapon formed against us shall prosper.

God gave you a vision of promise. Don’t ever give up on your dreams. One phone call, one idea, one divine connection can be life changing. The vision is yet for the appointed time. Wait on God. Believe. It will surely come.

God is the God of impossible. No matter what we are going through or how impossible our situation looks on any given day, trust God believing he can and will make a way out of no way. Believe. It shall be done. God said it, I believe it that settles it!

Be blessed! – JD

Isaiah 55:11 “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (ESV)

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Walk in Humility and Watch the Power of God. Have An Attitude of Gratitude. Do Good for Others!

Their Heart JoaynnOur attitude can be our greatest asset the moment we open our eyes, and will determine our destiny, today. Count it all joy. Think positive.

To operate in humility is to bow down to the will of God and put the needs of others first before yourself, with no hidden agenda to exalt yourself. Pride or arrogance doesn’t get in the way of being a blessing to others. You seek God’s wisdom, listen to His Word, and seek to do what it says. It is then you will see the glory of God operate in your life when you least expect it.

Your works are not based on your own merit or what you’ve done to accomplish your will or find success. It doesn’t take cliques or clichés to be accepted. You don’t focus on making impressions on people that you may receive honor and glory. In all you do, God gets the glory.

We may never understand the workings of God but what we are assured of, He can do anything but fail. There is a reason God keeps you hidden for his purpose. Your work will not be in vain. He is working things out in your favor. The manifestation will be so great you will know it was God and God alone who worked out the situation on your behalf, met every need, and showed himself strong.

Walk in truth, honor, and humility and watch the power of God. Forgo your own desires and don’t be afraid to inconvenience yourself to do good for others. God will reward your faithfulness. Don’t look for people to accept, acknowledge or approve of you. You don’t need to be part of a certain group to feel worthy and do the work of the Lord you are called to do.

Regardless of what others think of you, be worthy of the calling God has given you. He ordained it. You have a choice. Humble yourself or a life-changing experience will do it for you.

Be Blessed! – JD

Philippines 2:3-113 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (ESV)

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Welcome Wisdom Wednesday! Your Valley is Taking You Somewhere. Don’t Give Up. Run! Head Towards Your Future!

Wisdom Wednesday JoaynnWhat happens when you give it your all and even that isn’t good enough? One minute you’re rejoicing because something good just happened and in a split second bad news traveled faster. Only to leave you discouraged.

Your hope comes crashing down and you feel defeated. You think to yourself, everything you try doesn’t work out and you’re hoping a door would at least open wide enough to propel you on your way; in search of your destiny.

You know without a doubt you have a purpose and continue to search to find it, but the answers don’t come easily. You know you’ve been given a vision by God and you did your best to follow his leading.

It’s easy to say, “When you’ve done all you can do, stand.” But in the back of your mind you feel worthless because you’re doing nothing. You go to God, and it feels like He is not answering your prayers. Should you give up? Or push until something happens? Or keep the faith, no matter what?

Well, think about this. Yes, it can be truly difficult to believe God at a time when your troubles outweigh your circumstances, your faith is deeply tested, and you’re stuck deep in the valley with no hope in sight. You’re waiting for God to send a rope to pull you out. You will have trials. Your trust in God will be shaken. The valley is not meant to break you but to make you stronger.

There is a divine purpose for your being in the valley. God has to take you through a walk in the valley one step at a time, to bring you out better than you went in. God is faithful. If he can trust you with little he will make you a ruler over many. Stop looking behind, in front of, around you or to the right or to the left. God will make everything all right. Trust him.

Don’t allow failure to be a crutch that cripple you and cause you to give in to fear and allow Satan to stop your anointing. Don’t worry. God gave it to you. No one, not even Satan can stop your anointing.

Delayed is never denied. Whatever it is you are believing God for may not come when you want but it will manifest in his timing. Don’t give up. Keep trying. Be still in the Lord. Your valley will take you to the next level God has prepared for you. Your future is waiting.

Your future is not your past. It’s in front of you. Don’t look back on what was left behind you. Run. Move forward. Head towards your future.

Be blessed! – JD

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (ESV)

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Marvelous Monday Motivation! Thank You God. I Remember!

God I Remember JoaynnRepeat after me, “God I won’t forget what you’ve done. I thank you for everything. I remember!” When I’m going through what may seem like the impossible, or even in times when things are going great, I will make “God I Remember,” my declaration.

God I remember when there was lack, insufficient funds, no food to eat or clothes on my back or shoes on my feet. You supplied all my needs. I remember infirmities in my body, sick, riveting with pain. By your stripes I am healed.

God I remember when the enemy came to destroy me you vindicated me. No weapon formed against me. God I remember when my burdens were heavy, my yoke was not easy, and my cares were cast upon you you gave me rest. For your yoke is easy and your burden is light. You rescued me in distress.

God I remember when I was in trouble, you saved me. You thought enough of me to send your only Son to die for me. God I remember you and all you’ve done and are doing because you love me.

God, I will never forget you. By faith, I will always remember you.

Think about all the things God has done for you. Remember the things he brought you through. Praise God. He remembers you. He will never forget you. Today is a brand new day. His mercies are brand new every day. No matter what happens, forget the negative and focus on the positive.

Say to yourself, “God I remember!”

Be blessed! – JD

Isaiah 46:9 “remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,” (ESV)

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Welcome to Tenacious Thursday!

Tenacious Thursday JoaynnIf you never make time to pursue your dreams and follow them, you will never have time to achieve them.

Follow your dreams like never before. Stop wasting time. Be bold. Go get what’s already yours. It belongs to you. God already gave it to you!

Be steadfast. Immovable. Stand firm in your faith. No matter what you’re facing, God will make a way. Don’t give up. Trust God. He’s able.

Let go of fear and possess what God already promised you. It belongs to you. Step out of the fear zone. Have faith. Be intentional! Act on it!

Be blessed! – JD

Mark 9:23 “And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” (ESV)

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See, What Had Happened Was….God’s Grace!

Crooked Places JoaynnOftentimes when we find ourselves in a situation that seems hopeless and we are in despair, we begin to look at our circumstances which will never change by looking at them. God is working out your situation no matter how bad it seems. Choose not to respond to your circumstance. With God, it can and will change.

The devil tries to kill your witness and wants you to think God has changed his mind about what he promised he will do. You already know. Won’t he do it? He wants you to believe nothing good will never happen. If God said it will, it’s going to happen.

God does not change. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. His word in heaven is settled. It is already established. Don’t listen to the lies of the devil. The enemy can never change that. God’s Word stands firm in heaven. Believe that!

If you were to think about the many sleepless nights you endured because of worry and fear, how many tears you cried and couldn’t breathe on your own because of doubt and you felt alone, would you remember how God brought you through?

Would you remember how he sent a ram in the bush when you least expected it to save you? Are you reminded where God brought you from, if you were to look back over your life and see how far you’ve come? In your lifetime you may have seen worse. Didn’t God do it before? He can do it again. Nothing and I mean nothing is impossible for God. He is Sovereign. He is faithful.

Take a moment to gather yourself and look at where God brought you from. Turn your worry into worship. Stop adding up your problems and start counting your blessings. Pray without ceasing. Stay in the Word. The battle is His, not yours. Put on the full armor of God. Let Him fight your battles.

Answers to your prayers may not come right away but if you keep believing, trusting, and have faith in God, he will answer your prayers when you least expect it. God hears the prayers of the righteous. Prayers of the righteous avail much. He hears you. Don’t give up. No matter what happens today, be encouraged. When nothing makes sense, God’s grace is sufficient. You will be blessed beyond measure, even though you didn’t do a thing to deserve it.

Thank you God for going before us, making the crooked places straight. You will accomplish your work with or without our participation. You know what you’re going to do. You have a great plan for us. We trust you. Thank you for your faithfulness.

Be blessed! – JD

Acts 20:24 “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (ESV)

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It’s Transformation Tuesday! Do Something Radical. Give God Glory. He Deserves It!

Transformation Tuesday JoaynnTip of the day:

The more consistent and effective you are in your Christian life, the more extreme the attacks of the enemy will be. Don’t be apologetic. Be consistent. Drive him crazy!

Don’t make yourself comfortable. Make yourself available to God. Step out your comfort zone. Be a vessel for and be used by God. No matter how broken you are, don’t give up. He can use broken vessels!

You know what’s coming every day. The father of lies is at it again. Trying to make you change your mind about something. You already know God’s plans for you. It’s settled. Believe him!

No matter what happens today, give God all the glory. He deserves it! We never would have made it had it not been for you God. Thank you Jesus!

Be blessed! – JD

Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (ESV)

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Be Intentional With God! Do What You Do With Excellence, On Purpose!

Special Occasion JoaynnBe intentional! Sometimes in our busyness we have to take a moment to move away from the complexities of this world and take time to sit still in God’s presence to hear from him. In that time we will reflect on what’s important and where our priorities are when looking over our lives and all God has done.

Reflection allows us to increase awareness of who we are in Christ and what it is he requires of us that we may glorify him. Especially during times of despair, when distracted by the enemy who work to convince us we are not worthy of God’s love or can be used by him. We must remember, God set us apart for his use, not the world’s, not man’s, not our family or friends. But for him and him only.

To be intentional for God is to do all things with the right motives to please God and not ourselves. Social media serves as the platform to express God’s love to others in a way that will intentionally capture their attention that they may desire to know the God we serve. This in turn becomes our ministry as well as our witness. We are the light. Let our light shine.

We are the determinant of what will either consume us or convict or humble us. Tests, trials, and tribulations are continuous. It’s part of the process. No matter what our situation may look like on a daily basis, we are to set our minds on things above in times of trouble. When our faith is tested, we must not allow obstacles to consume us and separate us from God or his intended purpose. We are here to do a work for him to fulfill his intended purpose.

Take time out of your busy schedule to be intentional for God in your daily walk, reading of the Word, meditation, and prayer. Encourage others without an agenda. Inspire someone just because. Don’t wait for an opportunity to do it. Let social media become the platform to witness, spread love and joy in intentional ways to reach others and not a means to glorify yourself. Remember God will finish what he started. He promise. Whatever situation you find yourself in live for God. Be intentional!

Be blessed! – JD

Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” (ESV)

 

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Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday! Wait on God. Let Go of the Past. Choose to be Free!

Anointed JoaynnSometimes we can become prisoners of our own minds as well as allow other things or people confine us. Think about how long you’ve been confined and what will it take to free yourself? Stop holding on to your past, using it as a crutch. God will turn your past into purpose, if you let him.

Oftentimes when something doesn’t work out like we plan, we can become frustrated and discouraged to the point of wanting to give up. Especially when we look at our circumstances and believe it will determine the outcome. I say, when disappointed by the way things turn out, don’t get discouraged. Count it all joy. Because what I know about God, he does things decently and in order.

While things may not work out as we plan, we must have faith and trust God that it will work out according to his plan all in his perfect timing. Remember, God’s “no” is “not yet.” It doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It will. Just in his timing. It’s already done. God he doesn’t make mistakes. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

When you find yourself waiting for something to happen and you’ve done all you can that was in your control, wait on God. In the meantime, use the waiting period as an opportunity to glorify Him. Thank him for allowing it to come to pass at that moment, right at that time, on that day. Thank him in advance for what you can’t see that is coming. Don’t give up. Have faith. Greater is coming

Declare, “Today is the day I choose to be free.” Whom the son sets free is free indeed. Let go of things or people that no longer serve you. Let go of what restricts you from moving forward. God desires you grow but you can’t grow if you stagnate yourself by being complacent and comfortable. Step out your comfort zone. Break every chain of bondage. Be intentional.

God is positioning you for greatness. Say to yourself, “I will not be bound again.” Get in position to receive the blessing. Free yourself. Go get your blessing!

Be blessed! – JD

Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (ESV)

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Happy International Women’s Day Ladies! Get Your Red On! #BeBoldForChange

Happy International Women’s Day to every beautiful, empowered, inspirational woman across the nation whose contributions continue to break barriers. We rock! To every trailblazer, ground breaker, innovator, and pioneer who has inspired change and empowered other to be the change they want to see, I applaud you.

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

-Dr. Maya Angelou

Calling all pioneers, trailblazers, originators, and ground breakers this one’s for you. Wear Red. Be a game changer. Be bold for change. Do something extraordinary. Be intentional!

Be blessed! – JD

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Don’t Despise Small Beginnings. Leaders Lead. I Will Finish Strong. 2017 Will Be My Year to Soar! Happy New Year!

books-2The past miracles God has performed in my life are nothing compared to what he is going to do in the future.

As I prepare for 2017 with some books strewn across my bed I will be reading in preparation of a new season in my life, I sit here in reflection of the past years filled with seasons of tests, trials, troubles, and tribulations I could not fathom I would get through. With the past year bearing the greatest significance of my struggles as I witnessed God’s sovereignty and His power. He brought me a mighty long way.

I’m grateful for every door after door, chapter after chapter closed, gone forever. Ushering in new beginnings God made for me. Letting go of things and those that no longer serve a purpose. Signaling it’s time; to walk in my God-given calling.

See, two months ago I made a vow to God and professed I was ready to accept the call. Yet I still had reservations because for a long time I was comfortable doing what I loved but uncomfortable at times doing God’s work. But I told him I wanted to, no I needed to gain a deeper knowledge of Him, grow in my spiritual walk and in my ministry. I didn’t want to continue doing it on my own without a mentor or someone to guide me.

He sent a ram in the bush; Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church (PRBC) Ministry Leadership Training Program (my church where I worship and serve) that starts in eleven days. Designed to “stretch me.” The devil keeps taunting me but he don’t understand, God is not playing. Nothing will stop His plan. It will manifest and come to pass.

As I begin this new chapter in my life, my mind is in a place of peace, even though I’m a lot nervous with what to expect given I feel inadequate. Yet I have seen God do the impossible in and out of season. And if he did it for me before, he can use me and do it for me again for his glory. Lord I’m willing.

I’m excited and can’t wait to see what God has in store for me in this next chapter of my life. I got a feeling he’s going to use me mightily. I will FINISH STRONG! Keep me in prayer. God bless.

Be blessed! – JD

Be safe. Happy New Year!

Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV)

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2017 Is On Its Way. Follow Your Dreams Like Never Before. Do Something Extraordinary!

your-future-joaynnWith 2017 fast approaching in less than two days, make a commitment to do something extraordinary! Follow your dreams like never before. Step out your comfort zone. Declare, “I will have all that God promise me.” You are more than a conqueror! Go get your blessing!!

Don’t let what needs to be left behind you, your past cause you to miss what is waiting in front of you, your future. Press towards the mark. Your future is waiting.

If we were to take a look at our lives and can honestly say we know it was nothing but God that brought us this far, why is it we continue to make choices we believe are in our best interest only to remain stuck because we are comfortable? We cannot transition into the next level if we choose to stay bound. We have to step out of our comfort zone.

God deals with us one thing, one step at a time. He doesn’t rush us. But we cannot move forward if we choose not to press towards the mark. We have to be willing to be led by the Spirit. Otherwise we miss it. We have to want to be guided by God. We have to want to be led by God. We have to want to stop doing the same things we’ve become comfortable with doing to get different results.

If we keep doing the same things that are not what God wants us to do, or never change our mindset and believe we are on the right track because time and time again everything works out in our favor, we will miss the great life God promises us. And live a sub-standard life because of our own choices. Shouldn’t we want more from life if we know we can have it and have it more abundantly? Hasn’t God laid the path out for us? Make the decision to follow his instructions.

When we as believers profess and know God but are stubborn in our ways and choose to be ignorant to what and how we know we should apply the Word of God to our lives, don’t blame God when it doesn’t turn out right. Blame yourself when you suffer consequences as a result of your own doing.

If we know God promises all things will work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28), why do we forsake him and not believe him? Why do we worry? If you truly want to walk in the promises of God, believe what he says, walk in it, change your mindset, and choose to live as he desires. Whatever God says, believe it. He said it. That settles it!

Happy New Year!!

Be blessed! – JD

Proverbs 1:5 “A wise man will hear, And will increase learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.” (Proverbs 1:5 NASB)

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Don’t Let Fear Stagnate and Stunt Your Growth. Stay Connected To God. Grow Spiritually!

destiny-comaSpiritual growth is a life-long process. But oftentimes life situations will cause us to become disconnected. We lose sight of God, even though he’s always with us. Our prayer life, meditation, and reading of the Word are affected. We don’t mediate or pray as much. We become distracted.

Stagnated in our walk with God because we are so comfortable where we are. We are satisfied with our life, fear change, and believe the life we live is the best it can get for us. When in fact, God has a greater plan in place for us. God’s Word teaches, rebukes, corrects, and trains us that we may be equipped for every good work. This essentially is spiritual growth.

To grow is to increase in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. Spend time with God. Pray. Say a simple prayer, even when it seems difficult. Stay connected. No matter where you find yourself in life, it is where you are supposed to be even if you caused some delays out of decisions you made on your own. You are still growing. It may not be as fast as others or as you would like it to be. But it is steady.

When you find yourself in a place where you are confused and feel like nothing is working in your favor, look to God. Persevere. Be confident of this, He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippines 1:6).

Don’t let the shock of knowing you need to grow put you in a destiny coma because you’re stuck in the past and your present, hindering your future. Grow. Move forward.

Be blessed!– JD

2 Peter 1:5-8 “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”(NIV)

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When You’re Down To Nothing, God is Up To Something. No Matter What, Get Up Every Day and Do Something!

promise-without-purpose-joaynnHow many of us can attest to the fact we know our dream or vision has been assigned by God but become fearful or will have doubts when it seems like everyone around us is prospering but us. Yet if we are honest with ourselves, we too are prospering just as others or if not even better. God is preparing us for greater to fulfill his perfect will while we wait for better.

We don’t know how long or what it took for that person to get where they are nor do we know what they had to go through to get where they are. What we do know is God can do anything but fail. And whatever our hands touch, he promises they will prosper. Your gift will make room for you. Whatever God has for you is for you.

Just because you may see someone else business or dream manifest before yours does, it doesn’t mean God has forgotten about you. It just means his timing of manifestation is “not yet”. He has to prune, shape, and refine you for what he knows is coming. Don’t give up. Keep the faith. It’s coming!

For those of us who are honest with ourselves, we can admit we are flawed. At times, we can’t seem to find our purpose. We feel inadequate and feel we don’t belong. We wake every day with expectation believing God for a miracle. Yet when things don’t work out as we expect we become discouraged and possibly disillusioned.

Our faith is tested. We begin to question our trust in God. We have doubts, become hopeless, in despair, wanting so badly to give up. Where is our faith? We focus on what’s not working in our circumstances instead of looking to Jesus at work in our circumstances. We start looking to the right and to the left. Not realizing we only need to look to the hills from whence cometh our help.

Life is not easy. But we have a choice. We can choose to be happy or choose to miserable. Don’t look at your situation only to become discouraged and want to give up. Remind yourself, even when you’re down, God is up to something. God wants to take you from Eqypt to the promise land. Say to yourself every day, “No matter what, I’ll get up and do something!”

Look at where you are now and where God brought you from. You are where you are because of where you’ve been. Look at God! Ain’t He good!!

Be blessed! –JD

Isaiah 43:18, 19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV)

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Don’t Regret When You Are Going Through The Storm. Be Thankful for Your Struggle. It Is Your Testimony

discover-your-purpose-joaynnWhen God starts a thing, he finishes it. Whatever He has worked on, it is finished. It’s done. He said it. That settles it. Believe Him! Even when you don’t know what it looks like, have faith it will work out just as God promise it would. Have faith God will work all things together for good!

When the attack is so deep and you find yourself going through the storm, sometimes God will take you through a season where it’s just you and him alone. He will strip you of everything in and of yourself and will use you for his glory during the process.

Even though you may feel he’s not there, you are in a season that is not without purpose. There’s a purpose for the separation. God has to break you before he makes you great. Don’t regret the process. Trust it.

When God isolates you from others, it allows you to draw closer to him. You will grow spiritually. God wants to mold and shape you. He will get the glory, and not you.

Being alone can be very frustrating and sometimes will cause you to become distraught, depressed, or distracted. God is with you and have you by yourself for a great reason. Jesus cuts off every branch that doesn’t bear fruit. You can’t be pruned if you are standing by yourself. You can’t be refined if you are conforming like everyone else.

Pruning is a process that requires removal of dead things. It is the cutting off of life’s distractions. God prunes us that we may bear more fruit. And for every branch that bears fruit, God prunes that it may be more fruitful (John 15:1-4). When you find yourself in a season where you feel alone, know that it is the right time you are available to God to be used to fulfill His purpose. #BeBlessed!

Be blessed! -JD

John 15:1-5 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (NIV)

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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month – There’s Still Time To Show Your Support

domestic-violence-awarenessForgive me for being a little late but there’s still time to show my support and bring awareness to  end domestic violence during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I have one simple request…stand with me.

I’m in! Join me to show your support and help raise awareness to end domestic violence. Take a stand. Be a voice. Send a strong message. Wear PURPLE. Abuse is NEVER OK! It will not be tolerated in our communities. *National Domestic Violence Awareness Month*

domestic-violence-awareness-4

Domestic Violence Awareness Coffee Mug – jonnaydesigns.com

Because of my own personal struggle with domestic abuse and violence having lived with and experienced it over the years, I believe it is important we come together collectively as a nation to bring a greater awareness to issues surrounding domestic violence that need to be addressed to help prevent it and bring hope to those who have fallen prey to it. Be a voice for the voiceless. Silence the voices of those who either oppose or deny the seriousness of domestic abuse and violence. Take a stand. Make all things purple. Use a pen, drink from a purple cup. Or simply wear something purple.

If you suspect someone is being abused or you are the victim of abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) and don’t be afraid to speak up even if it may be uneasy for you. Seek help. It’s available. Someone is there to help. Someone will help get you or someone you know to safety.

Let’s join forces in honor and support of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and let the world know Domestic Violence will not be tolerated in our community, our schools, our homes, or workplaces.  We are in this fight together. Be encouraged! Thanks for your support!

Be blessed! – JD

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In Honor of September Pain Awareness Month: “If There Was Less Pain, I Would….If I Could”

I am Joy and I want the world to know,
what I would do if this were so.

If I lived in a world with less pain, this is what you would see.
A world filled with less struggles and strain, aching to be free.

I would be a voice that does not go unheard.
But instead be one of distinction to serve,
a community of people with better places to go
in their provision of care that exceeds “the pain world” we’ve come to know.

Pain as it is, with treatment that works.
Not pushed or stereotyped merely because we “irk”,
the professional that thinks we all are the same,
prescribing a drug that has the same name,
even if our conditions are in different range.

If I were this person this is how it would be,
you could hear my voice but you can’t see me.
Because if I was in less pain I would be free.

Free to live with less struggles and despair,
but with a greater hope to overcome obstacles I can bear.

Free to speak without feeling ashamed
of the world I now exist in with the devastation of pain.

Free to choose a doctor that will openly listen to me
and not place me in the same category.

Free to live out the goals I so desire,
without constantly feeling sick, weak, or tired.

Free to be the person I was created to be,
to live out the purpose that was pre-destined for me.

With more strength than I now have that would carry me through,
a life filled with courage and hope anew.

If I lived in a world with less pain “I” would be,
the person behind the door you cannot see.
The person longing, waiting…to be free.

Free to be Joy. Free to be me!

by Joy Darden

To raise awareness about the need for effective pain care in response to the former American Pain Foundation’s (APF) If I Lived in a World with Less Pain, I Could…. campaign to SECURE A FIRST-EVER PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION OFFICIALLY NAMING EVERY SEPTEMBER NATIONAL PAIN AWARENESS MONTH, my family helped create this video “If I Lived in a World with Less Pain, I Could…” to share my voice as well as spread the word to bring awareness to what I believe is such an important issue in the lives of those who live with pain.

The video represents my message to PRESIDENT OBAMA what MY WORLD WITH LESS PAIN would be like and what I Would Do If I Could…if I were not in pain. It gives me an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others as I work to bring national awareness to the “hidden” epidemic of pain (APF) so that those who suffer with pain will have a right to effective care and treatment; because “pain” is not just an individual or local problem. It is a national healthcare crisis. It does not only affect pain sufferers but it affects families, friends, associates and anyone who is connected to its world. Even though it may not directly affect every individual, the physical, financial and emotional affects can be devastating to the pain sufferer and the families of those who will ultimately suffer. But with your help, we all can make a difference.

Please join me in support of this cause and spread the word DURING THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER or UNTIL A PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION IS SECURED by asking others to spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ Instagram, Periscope, Pinterest, or any other social media outlet. Your support would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

Be blessed! – JD

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Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday! Be Encouraged. If God Be For Us, He is More Than The World Against Us

God Be For You Joaynn.pngWhen it feels like the weight of the world is on our shoulders and our heart is heavy burdened because we’re troubled and feel alone, and it seems like the world is against us who can we call on? God. He hears the prayers of the righteous. He’s always with us.

One of the most difficult things to contend with is not placing judgment when we are going through something. Even more so, one of the greatest challenges we face when in such a predicament is not holding ourselves accountable.

Sadly, people will always and I mean always have an opinion about you. Gossipers will have a field day when you choose not to do what “they” think is best for them and not you. You can never be good enough to do enough to please everyone. Stop trying.

Sometimes we have to look beyond our circumstances to find answers when troubled. It’s not people. We’re fighting against the wrong person. We make the mistake of blaming others for our insecurities. It’s not them. It’s the enemy. If we keep looking for answers from others who will validate our need to be right even when we know we are wrong, then we are looking to the wrong person for a solution to the problem.

Then we begin to isolate ourselves from the very people who can help us. As believers we already know Satan is a liar and the truth ain’t in him. His greatest desire is to isolate you from everyone, even loved ones to get your attention. He wants nothing more than to keep your mind preoccupied on things you know are not of God. Because he knows your comfort zone and he wants you to stay there to keep you from growing.

God desires you grow. But how you can grow if you insist on doing it alone and isolating yourself from the world because you are comfortable. How can you be better if you’re stagnating your own growth? And choose not to change your mindset or way of thinking because you are complacent? How can you do better if you are still doing what’s familiar instead accepting the challenge of becoming better? You can’t be better until you do better.

Fear and faith cannot exist at the same time when you know God. Don’t judge unless you be judged. Surround yourself with the right people. Godly wisdom is the greatest wisdom you can ever have to help you when going through the storm. Take a moment. Sit in silence. Seek God.

Stop relying on other people to validate your existence. Come out of your comfort zone. Choose to be happy. Choose to live to please God. Be not afraid. God is with you. When you find yourself in a predicament that you have no control of, go to God and not other people. If God be for you, he is more than the world against you.

Psalm 27:1 tells us, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” No one or nothing!

Be blessed! – JD

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (ESV)

 

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Say Your ABC’s With Me, “I AFFIRM Me, I’m BEAUTIFUL, I’m More Than a CONQUEROR!”

You're Unstoppable JoaynnOftentimes when we think we have a handle on life, we tend to lose sight of the purpose God intended for us and begin to feel incompetent. We look for approval from others when it’s not required. You’ve been approved by God. Think about this:

Just when you think you’ve mastered your ABC’s growing up, you see yourself struggling with them as a grown up. Many of us desire APPROVAL, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, and ACCEPTANCE but because life has dealt us empty, broken promises and uneventful circumstances, we are BRUISED, BROKEN, BATTERED and become CONFUSED, COMFORTABLE, and COMPLACENT.

We fill in the blanks with the rest of the alphabets that include life’s trials, tribulations, obstacles, and tests. And forget what we learned when we first mastered it. But I say, just like you mastered ABC’s when you were young, refresh your memory, retrace your steps, relearn a new set of words, and remember how you overcame to arrive at your now destination.

DECLARE to yourself EVERY day, I am FEARFULLY made. I don’t need to be Approved, Acknowledged, or Accepted by anyone to feel I am loved. GOD approves of me. HE loves me just as he loves Jesus. And for all the letters I will undoubtedly experience in life in between while traveling this journey, I will keep believing God for miracles and blessings.

PERSEVERE. RENEW your mind, STAND. TRUST God. Be UNSTOPPABLE. You’re VICTORIOUS. WALK in your destiny. YOU already got the victory! Now you know your ABC’s, next time say this with me. “I AFFIRM me. I’m BEAUTIFUL. I’m more than a CONQUEROR. I DECREE, I’m Winning! ‪#‎ABC‘s ‪#‎inspiration ‪#‎realtalk

Be blessed! – JD

Roman 4:6-8 “David says the same thing about those who are blessed: God approves of people without their earning it. David said, “Blessed are those whose disobedience is forgiven and whose sins are pardoned. Blessed is the person whom the Lord no longer considers sinful.” (GW)

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