Tag Archives: Change

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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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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God Shifted Some Things In Your Favor To Get You Where You Are. Don’t Regret Change. You Couldn’t Remain the Same Person

God I Thank You JoaynnWhen you are in transition and your breakthrough is getting close, you can tell because you’re not your usual self. You get easily aggravated. You may feel helpless. Things that never use to irritate you will and people who never mattered to you matter.

Don’t let it discourage you. God is shifting you. When it seems like you are at your worst, God sends a miracle. A ram in the bush with provision. Praise and worship God. Keep your mind stayed on Jesus.

Before you could get to where God was taking you some things had to change. You couldn’t get to where you are by staying the same person. Thank God for molding you into the person you now are from who you used to be. You couldn’t remain the same person. God shaped you to prepare you for your destiny.

Say this with me, God I thank you for molding me into who I am from who I used to be because had it not been for who I was I wouldn’t be who I am today.

Be blessed! – JD

Matthew 13:43 “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” (ESV)

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Lord, I Won’t Complain. I Will Rejoice! I Have Been Faithful Over Little Things; Assured Greater is Coming

wpid-img_20140819_074308.jpgToday was a quiet day of reflection on the things God needed to reveal to me in this journey I’ve traveled which seemed like forever. Not realizing when looking over the last year how much God has moved in my life. I realized there were some things he needed to perfect in me before revealing his ultimate plans for me.

All I could do was thank Him over and over for the journey even when I didn’t understand it. July marked one year I began making progress in my endeavors and thought because of my limitations I was not getting anywhere. When after reviewing my records, in actuality I realized God brought me a mighty long ways. I’ve made progress because of God’s divine favor. Today I’m rejoicing and looking forward to all he has in store for me. I’m praising God in advance for the victory.

People often say they are blessed not realizing the magnitude and power in their words. However, I am a living witness of the power of God’s Word. I am a living witness of how faithful and loving my God is, in spite of the many challenges I’ve faced over the years. Doubtful at times, feeling inadequate as though I could not be used by God. The devil is a liar and the truth ain’t in him! God is using me. I’m still standing.

I’m more than a conqueror. I am a victor, not a victim. I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. And when I say I am truly blessed, I know that I am. It is all because of God’s faithfulness. He’s my rock, my redeemer. Lord, I won’t complain. I will rejoice! I have been faithful over little things; assured greater is coming. “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’” (Matthew 25:23). 

Praise God through the process. He’s preparing you. Don’t get weary in well doing. In due season you shall reap a reward. Greater is coming!

Be blessed! -JD

Psalm 145:15-19 “15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. 16 You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. 17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. 18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. (ESV)

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Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You

wpid-textgram_1389895655.pngOne of the hardest things as a Christian is to overcome evil intentions of others with kindness and humility. We can’t let it get to us or make the decision to be unloving to others as a result of unforgiveness. We must not give in to the enemy’s devious plan. Pray for them. Stand.

Some people think Christians are infallible and not human too. We may minister but sometimes we need someone to minister to us too. I’m not perfect, nor you. We make mistakes and lose focus even when we know we’re not supposed to.

People will hurt and sin against us. And we may sin against them too. What will make the difference are the choices we make after we’ve done what we were not supposed to do. Either we will choose to stay in it and do as the evildoer do. Or we will choose to repent, seek forgiveness, and do what we know God is calling us to do.

We may stumble but mustn’t live a lifestyle of unrepentant sin. As a believer, we are to be consistent in how we choose to live. There’s a level of comfort we may become accustomed to and will stay in it thinking it’s enough. God will take us out of our comfort zone because he has our best interest at heart.

We can’t live with regrets. We must not focus on what we should have or could have done living with regrets. Ask God for forgiveness. Work to do better so that when the time comes. You know it was by God’s grace you were able to overcome. Our God is gracious, merciful, forgiving. God promises in his word our sins have already been forgiven. Forgive those who have sinned against you. Forgive yourself. God will forgive you.

We must focus on the here and right now. If you don’t know how, ask God to show you how. When you pray and think God is not listening because things didn’t turn out as you wished. Hold on. God hears the prayers of the righteous. Pray and not only ask God to show you what to do, but be willing to sacrifice and make it a priority to do exactly what he instructs you to do. No matter what, God’s Will will be done. Seek God. Let His will, not your will, be done.

When you’re born of God, you will choose not to make a practice of sinning. You’re saved and not just pretending. Change your mindset. Reach new heights in God. When he presents opportunities to elevate you, be open. Come out of your comfort zone.

Do self-examination in times of testing when the enemy plans an attack against you. See if Jesus Christ is in you. Test yourself to see if you’re saved. Test whether you are in the faith. “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Co 13:5)

No matter what people may do to you. Or how right they think they may when sinning against God or trying to hurt you. Look to God for the answer. Follow his example. Abide in Christ, and he abide in you. Without him, you cannot bear fruit. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Be blessed! -JD

Ephesians 1:17-18 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” (NIV)

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I’m Grateful for All I’ve Been Through. How About You?

The other day I sat in admiration, thanking God for all I’ve been through. My life may not have been what I wanted it to be but I’m assured it was God’s grace that kept me and brought me through.

As I began to reflect on the many years I have struggled and fought to maintain, I began to think about what I concluded as the reason God needed me to be in the seasons at the times I found myself in. If I were to look at my circumstances, I would always be in tears. I’m so glad I serve a mighty God. He gives me courage to face my fears. I can’t help but to give glory and honor to God. Praise the Lord!

We all will go through a season in life that will bring insurmountable challenges we may never understand. wpid-textgram_1389925148.pngHold on to God’s unchanging hands. Sometimes the path of righteousness will not be smooth and will not be easy to do. Know that you are not alone. God is with you. If you sat and thought about everything that isn’t going right in your life and compared yourself to ones who seem like everything is perfect. It’s misleading. You’re not looking in the right place. Look to God outside your circumstances. His way is perfect.

God sends trials to us to test our faith in him. Either we will choose to trust ourselves and do things our way or have faith and wait on him. Trials and tests are meant to challenge our faith. Challenges are meant to help us grow while we wait.

For everything there’s a time and a season. It is for God’s purpose. Every person you meet and every experience you encounter occurs for a reason. He’s preparing you for your future. God is refining you. He is perfecting the spiritual gifts in you.

God does everything according to his timing. You may think you have it all figured out according to your plan but it will work in his time. God does amazing things. Let your witness be about what Christ has done and not about your abilities and what you’ve done. Glorify his name. No matter the season you may be going through, wait on God. He’ll bring you through.

I’m grateful for all I’ve been through. How About You?

Be blessed! -JD

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. 2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.” (NLT)

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We Are The Salt Of The Earth

Mothers are the salt of the earth. And so are fathers too. We only want what’s best for our children in all they do. We are the angels God gave to you. We would risk our lives just so that they may have a better life. We would if we could, take away all their strife. If we could, we would do everything for them so that they may not fail. But we know this is not what God expects from us for them, as his love will prevail.

The love we have for our children is undeniable. It shows in the lessons we try to teach them. Oftentimes we have to move ourselves out of the way. In order, that they may find their way. Even if it means sacrificing ourselves in humility, we are to honor God in bringing tranquility. A peace that will surpass all understanding with the hope they get an understanding. Of the life God desires they live. In all their ways and the manner in which they give… to others freely and unselfishly…. a life filled with humbleness and humility.

It doesn’t mean we don’t love them because a mother’s love is a treasured memory. It is a gem. However, what we mustn’t do is stop praying for them.

We must continue to pray that God will manifest through their circumstances and they gain an understanding. That he is the one who gives them unlimited chances. At some point, through trials and testing they will either recognize the divine nature of God. Or they will continue to live a life filled with hopelessness and void.

God’s presence is with us every day. He desires we work to do things his way. He provides guidance and direction in his Word. Your dream will not be deferred. Children must understand God also use us to instruct, nurture, refine, and guide you. But as parents, there’s only so much we can do. We have to surrender our will to God in order that he may do his work through you.

We desire the best, just as he. But sometimes we have to let things be. We do our best to use God’s Word with the desire to bring encouragement, hope, and inspiration. Only in preparation… of this thing we call life. That will guide you through a life that may be easier for you. If only you knew.

We can’t keep driving the same words in the hopes you will listen and take heed. We can’t keep saying, “God is not pleased…” with the things you continue to do. We must release our cares unto Him and let him do what he knows is best for you.

One day children who become adults will be required to seek God’s grace on their own. Or continue to live life alone. Not physically but spiritually. It will take a great level of wisdom and maturity.

As we grow older we mature. As we mature we’re supposed to change. The possibilities are limitless where there is no range. However, in order to change we must be open to it. Use of wise spiritual or mature counsel is a part of it. Godly counsel also will be of benefit.

Guidance and motherly advice verses control and motherly opinion differs. On so many levels but will make a difference. We can give our children all the advice in the world but ultimately it is up to them to choose their own path. Or in the end they will eventually experience God’s wrath.

We pray our children follow the path God has set before them. That they may hear to convict the heart and not condemn. Psalm 23 is my prayer every day. For it confirms God has prepared the way. He is our shepherd. We are the sheep. God will guide the meek.

When children choose to not listen to us or God, ultimately he will send a clear message that will not be void… of the consequence they will pay. For the life they have chosen to live anyway.

Mothers are the salt of the earth. And so are fathers too. As you become adults, please be wise and listen to the voice of God to lead you. Listen to your heart and not your head when it concerns your parents. Honor and respect them as taught. It is inherent. Children, you are the light of the world and the salt of the earth too. Let the Word of God guide you.

Be blessed! –JD

Matthew 5:13 – 14 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

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Is It Me or Is It You?

Religious Candles and CrossWords can weigh heavily on the heart when not expressed in the right way. I truly believe it’s in how and what you say. I couldn’t help but think on this very thing today. In view of all that keeps coming my way.

To go to God in prayer with your petition and request, with the understanding and belief that he knows what’s best. Will you understand when he sends discernment to guide you? When he sends an answer to the very thing that may be troubling you?

When you’re compelled to do the right thing God has set in your heart. Will you not do to please others when you know God placed the right answer in your heart? Will you fight against the righteousness you know shall prevail? Or will you hide in contempt and refuse to face your fear instead.

Can it be me? Or is it you? That works within me to do what I know God has called me to do. By confronting conflict even when it goes against what it may look like I’m trying to do to you.

People can be so judgmental and unrighteous when it concerns their vulnerability. They will choose to see only that which validates the person they think they are or should be. Why is it so hard to get others to see the God in you? To be honest, you really don’t need them to. When you know in your heart you are doing what he instructed you to do.

When motives are in the right place there should never be a “but” in answer to the question. For what it does is brings your credibility and your faith and trust in God under subjection. The intent is never to bring harm but to reveal truth and honesty. And send a message that you may open your eyes to the things you may be refusing to see.

God has a way of showing us things we are in denial of. He sends confirmation through experiences and circumstances we cannot avoid. It is up to us to take notice to the answer he sends. For, God is not a god of confusion, but of peace that always brings a happy ending.

If conflict still exists even when you’ve done your best to find resolve. Remember it is not of God. For, God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19) When God sends an answer, his righteousness shall prevail.

We cannot become confused or conflicted by what others say we should do. When we hear the voice of God, let this serve as confirmation to you. This applies to me too. For I know at times my actions may speak louder than my words. But my intent is to God, to remain true. To advise what he knows is best for you.

I don’t take this responsibility lightly. I go to God first. I ask him for discernment and guidance to lead me so that I may not hurt … others. It is never my intent to bring harm or ridicule. I have faults but it will never lead me to do … this. It would be absolutely remiss.

I’ve learned to take time out and examine my actions that are not in alignment with you … God. When things I struggle with becomes hard. And in doing so, I have to remove myself from them and the circumstance I seem to continually face. In order to recompense for my sins I may have unknowingly placed.

No matter how much people may confuse this with my reacting in the wrong way. God knows it’s the best way I try to handle things so that I may change. Yet, I find that in order to change I must go to God and meditate. I must seek him first to lead me the right way.

I know God knows all that we may go through. He will send an answer even when it doesn’t look like it to me or you.

I shall never underestimate the power of God regardless of the obstacles I may face. I will stand on His Word to run the race.

Ask yourself this question, is it me or is it you? Take a look at yourself. Through self-examination I hope you find an answer that aligns with God’s truth.

Be blessed! –JD

2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?– unless indeed you are disqualified.”

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Does Reverence Of God Require Us To Change?

I had a strange premonition the other day where I couldn’t get my mind off  the subject of change and reverence to God. I tried to push it to the back of my mind but something kept prompting me to address it. So today, I chose to briefly take a look at reverence and change as I share how it came about in my life and what I believe God expects us to do with it.

When I was younger, I feared change. I didn’t like the idea of having to transition to new things in my life. I didn’t like having to make new friends or go to a new school or live in a new place or be in new surroundings. I was comfortable and wanted things to remain the same…forever.

But as with anything in life, change is a part of it. In order to transition from one setting to another, one must be willing and open to change their surroundings in order to sustain. It is required. As such, I couldn’t help but make the connection to change as it relates to spiritual growth and determined through spiritual development, reverence to God was also a part of change that was required.

While I had been raised in the church by my Mother and Great-grandmother basically all my life, as a young child I reverenced God. Although at the time I really did not have a clear understanding of what it meant, all I know is I feared him in my heart. My desire was to do what was right to please him.

When I became an adult and began to closely follow God I realized change was required in order to grow and mature. Not that my circumstances may change, but God wanted to change me within my circumstances. This would allow me to become a better person and work to develop the same characteristics as God. Without God serving as the blueprint to shape my life, how could I fully follow the foundation that was set before me?

At a young age I never departed from the love, respect, and awe I have for God. And even at the age I find myself now, the love I have for God is astounding. It is beyond words.

Granted there are times when I struggle with sustaining, the overall goal is to follow God wholeheartedly. To love him with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind, with a desire to live in obedience to his commandments.

It took some time to get to where I am now, but no matter the circumstance whenever I find myself reacting or responding to situations or people in an inappropriate manner, my first thought is, “Do you think God would be pleased?” I’d follow with an answer, “No.” And because I know better, this in turn would prompt me to work to change the behavior and the attitude so that I may bring honor and glory to Him. Life had new meaning and purpose for me.

As I grow older I’ve learned to accept change as a part of life. Take the bitter with the sweet, the good with the bad. I’ve also learned that with change comes opportunity; we either live on purpose or live in fear with no purpose. The latter at some point will make life seem meaningless.

I believe in order to be made whole we must first learn to love God in order to love ourselves. Acknowledgment of God’s love is a key component to our future development.

Our life starts not with what we know or how good we are, but with whom we know; God. Our purpose of life should be to revere Him. It’s where we stand in awe of Him.

God is above, not below us. He controls everything in the earth that concerns us. To reverence Him is to show respect. It’s all in his hands. We are to follow his commands. Recognize, and honor his divine authority. God is all-powerful. He has dominion over everything.

Not only will we have respect for him but will respect others too. Not because of the positions they hold or what they do; but because who they are in Christ to you; your sisters and brothers. Your love of God will be shared with one another.

We are at his disposal. Therefore we must please him in everything we do. We must be able to acknowledge him in all our ways. And follow his laws the rest of our days.

Fear, on the other hand, is our motivation to surrender to God. It is where He resides in our hearts. Evidenced in promises he made and what he’s done. His love never fades. The utmost respect of his authority will be held. Without trust, obedience cannot prevail.

We all have a divine purpose. But it is impossible to fulfill your purpose without God. When you put him first, change will come. Not by what you’ve done but who you will become. Above all, let your life begin with Him. God is your purpose. Build your life around him. Gain knowledge and wisdom as you seek to know Him.

Reverence builds purpose in our relationship with God. It is the sum total of who we are. It helps us grow in maturity. It increases our relationship, our faith, and our belief.

Change is inevitable. We can’t run from it. We must learn to embrace it. Change the way you think, act, and speak. Look for God to guide you in every step you take. He will order your steps to bring you to the place. He set before you to run the race.

Let God begin a work in you. Follow God and he will do the rest for you. Reverence Him in all you do.

Psalm 89:7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.

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Do We Live Just to Die?

Life is a vapor. It’s not given freely. It’s not an entitlement nor should it be taken for granted. It’s a privilege.

Be grateful. Give thanks every day. Be a blessing to others on your way. You don’t know what others are going through or when life will end for you. Thank God each day you rise. No matter what life looks like in your present state of mind.

Suffering takes place in our lives to mold and shape us into the person God designed us to be. Yet, to suffer is painful regardless what form it comes in. Therefore, we should not trivialize its significance or the impact it has on one’s life. Consciousness and consideration of a person’s struggle must be a daily sacrifice. Because you never know when the day will come that your life will change and you will be one… of those people.

I can remember a time in my life when I used to tell myself if I were diagnosed with a deadly disease, I would be able to handle it based on the amount of suffering I have endured. While at the same time, adopting the wrong attitude saying things like, “It is what is and what will be, will be.” I had come to a point in my life where I believed in my own “false” reality.

Unconsciously letting words come out my mouth in haste. I would openly express it this way, “We all have to die from something one day. Don’t take to heart what you can’t change.” As if that wasn’t enough, I would go on to say, “I am going to keep doing me. And whatever happens when I die let it be. It’s all a part of life.” My thoughts: “Trivial matters of death.”

But one day here recently, that all changed. After watching one of my favorite shows, Private Practice, the other night, my entire perspective took a dramatic turn to the point where it scared me. It put fear in my heart that made me rethink my position.

Two of the characters were diagnosed with cancer; both were receiving radiation treatment but one was terminally ill. I was in tears. I couldn’t help but think of myself and this nonchalant, indignant attitude I had taken towards the detriment of my own life. I cried and couldn’t sleep all night.

I woke the next day, and for a long time, I was in deep thought about life; mine in particular and really wondered how I would handle it if I were told I had cancer or any other condition that would render me terminally ill. Better yet, what would I do if the conditions I now suffer with would contribute to my demise? I didn’t know but what it caused me to do was take a different approach.

I began to do a self-evaluation. Upon reflection of my life and the decisions I made, I asked myself, “What was it that made me feel this way? What would possess me to believe it is okay, to think death is that simple or not take into account the seriousness of it. Nor was it becoming of me to take a nonchalant attitude when saying things like, “life happens and we all will die.” Again, I had to ask myself, “Why?”

I thought, maybe one of the reasons could be that my heart was hardened towards people in need, no matter how sick or damaged they seemed. I had to take a hard look at myself. Realizing I needed help. For years I found it easy to be this way…until one day…. my life changed.

So often we take things for granted when selfishly putting our needs before others. We believe when we’re well and able to take care of ourselves, we think life’s good. It’s okay. Outside of every day struggles; we believe it is normal.

Never realizing what would happen if in a split second life changed under no control of your own. And all that you had was taken away. What would life be to you that day? What if you were to lose things that mattered most to you? Things not limited but would include your strength, your sanity, your health, your worldly possessions, your self-esteem, and your dignity. How would you handle life then? It prompted me to reflect and think on these things:

Too often we go through life blindly. Never once realizing what is given to us doesn’t come free. Life is a gift but we fail to cherish it. And why some of us fail miserably at handling it.

We don’t take into account the impact failure brings until we are faced with having to deal extensively with the storm after the rain. We call it the aftermath, coupled with severe effects. At which time will have a greater impact than what we are accustomed to; our physical well-being, our mind-set, and our attitude. I know. It happened to me. My heart became hardened because of things I refused to see.

I thought I was exempt. I lived carefree. Nothing bothered me. I was insensitive to the plight of others, uncompassionate to those who suffered. And inconsiderate to many who I thought was over exaggerating the seriousness of their situation because they sought attention.

I never once thought I had a problem. I blamed it on the world and everyone else; failing to take a look in the mirror at myself. It revealed what my life showed. A person filled with emptiness and void; and cared less about others. I had become an insensitive, rude, and uncompassionate individual who spent two-thirds of a lifetime living in contempt. I lived life on a whim. Never taking seriously how my life would end.

My attitude wasn’t that great either. Thought it all was about me. I couldn’t understand why life was so unfair. Never looking outside of myself each time I focused on my circumstances and encountered despair. Although I suffered from many ailments that clearly were not my fault. I blamed the world for the hand I had been dealt.

As intelligent as I was, for the life of me, I couldn’t grasp the depth of its reality. I didn’t want to understand but instead wanted to feel sorry for myself. And I looked for pity and validation from others when seeking help. Regardless of the fact what they knew about me, I wanted them to feel sorry for me. To make matters worse, this was my mind-set too. I believed my life was doomed.

My thought process led me to believe my own “false” truth. I felt, on my own, I could endure anything. I was invincible, regardless what diagnosis the doctor would bring. I believed in myself; selfish me. I believed I would manage even in my weakest moments mentally. I failed to deny anything my mind would tell me. Although pain was my middle name, I felt I could get through anything… sinful pride. Foolish was I.

And to think, God takes care of babies and fools. God, I thank you. For leading me to the very things you needed to show me. Albeit, the journey I traveled was not easy. I made a lot of mistakes. There were too many priorities. And I took for granted the life you gave to me. Along with underestimation of death, thinking it was okay to not fret, over how I would die.

It was not until after I traveled one long and hard journey filled with agony, pain, heartbreak, disappointment, and defeat that I began to see things and people differently. My heart changed. My consciousness and mental awareness changed too. There was something else I needed to do. I needed to be held accountable for the lack of sincerity I had shown. I had to change what I had done.

God began a great work in me, revealing things outside of my “false” reality. He revealed and told me, “This is not about you, but about me.” I needed to give him glory in spite of what was taken from me; a life of luxury I thought was necessary to complete me.

It was amazing. I can’t even explain. I found purpose to live again. I found myself searching for answers to the missing pieces of the puzzle. Things began to manifest within each circumstance I faced. I would find myself meeting people in different places. That either was in the same position I was or were worse off than me. Each experience I encountered taught humility.

I began to concentrate and focus extensively on God. I started looking for the lesson to be learned. I started reading the Word every day. I would meditate. In pursuit of intimacy with Him, I wanted to know more about God. I wanted to be clear on the things he desired from me. So that I could live the life he set before me.

With my heart open wide, I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I developed genuine compassion for others with God’s help. I learned about God’s ways which taught me how to be considerate towards those in need. I cherished the relationships God sent to me.

No longer was I bound by selfish, careless thoughts of why it was necessary to live just to die. I no longer had to ask myself why. I developed a new attitude with plenty of gratitude. I found a new passion for people in pain. Not because of what I went through but because my heart changed. I became diligent in my efforts as an advocate for change.

I believed it was not fair to discount the seriousness of what others are going through. Even if on the outside they look well to you. Many of us suffer in different ways. Whether it’s mentally, physically, or spiritually we all live with some type of pain.

We should not question the suffering of others just because they look okay or because their issue may not be as serious as the next person. We must learn to be considerate of their feelings and have compassion if we profess to be Christians. We must have the love of God in our hearts as God teaches us to love one another. We must have love for all our sisters and brothers.

The road I’ve traveled taught me many things, but the thing I’m most grateful for, is  I won’t ever say this again, “If I’m diagnosed, it’s not on me. It’s on you.” I won’t be insensitive to what others are going through.

Although my life isn’t what I hoped it would be. I won’t ever take life for granted or the seriousness of any condition that ails others; even me. I won’t ever be inconsiderate of the suffering of others. I will cherish life and the opportunity God has blessed me to be a part of.

We don’t know the day or the hour. It is not for us to say when. It is not in our power. We cannot predict the end.  Only God determines it. We must make sure we’re ready when it comes. Our living while here on earth must be a reflection of not who we are, but what we’ve done… to please God.

I’m blessed because my experiences led me, ultimately to the purpose God prepared for me. It became the catalyst which I found God and re-established my relationship with him. And for that I am so thankful. Without God, I would be nothing. My world now revolves around him.

I realize my life must now be a reflection of the life I now live for God. For, I AM an ambassador of Christ. I will work to honor him in spite of strife. His agenda is my agenda. The spirit of the Lord is upon me. I will walk with integrity. I will live to please God through all humanity.

2 Corinthians 5:20 “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us.”

I won’t ever make the mistake and presume it is okay to be indifferent, selfish, and self-centered when it comes to others. I will have the love of God in my heart for my sisters and brothers. I will make it my goal to move myself out of the way. I will center on selflessness every day.

While it is true we all will die one day. Don’t let it take away the reason God wakes you every day. The issue must not be that we will die. But the manner in which we lived should the truth lie. Be cognizant of how you treat others and what you choose to do. For the life you choose to live will be a reflection of you. The life you live, to some degree. Could very well determine the way you will leave… this earth.

Ezekial 36:26-27 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

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Spiritual Maturity

ImageAs believers in Christ, we are given the task of growing in our faith. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Nor does it come automatically. The process of maturity takes time. It requires determination on your part. You must be committed and willing to serve daily. And you must live it; FAITH.

Faith also requires endurance when you are tested. To have genuine faith means to be committed and stay true to God when you’re under attack. Trials are to be expected. But in order to sustain, faith means to be confident in God’s protection. Trials deepen our faith and builds character. “Endurance builds character and leads to victory.”

To know you’ve reached maturity in your faith is to notice change. Noticing your actions and the manner in which you handle things. You are no longer easily moved, swayed, or shaken by worldly temptations. You respond differently to conflict and confrontation. Humility becomes your greatest asset. There is no more pride. You desire more of the things of God inside.

Spiritual growth is essential. It brings true faith. Faith holds the key. It strengthens when you live spiritually. Stay true to God. Follow his commands. Be obedient. His Word will stand. Don’t forsake him. He won’t forsake you. Seek God first in all you do. Work to build character.

Last but not least, pray for endurance. Talk to God in prayer. Have wisdom. Listen for that small whisper, that small voice from Him. God will strength your heart from within. —JD

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

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Change Makes You Stronger

wpid-img_20140621_161426.jpgAs I ponder on my life, I think about times when life was just that, “life” filled with ups and downs, trials and tribulations, struggles, sadness and fear. Yet it was during these times that I found myself rejoicing in the Lord, giving thanks for grace and mercy he bestowed upon me.

With change, at no fault of my own, I have gone through what I find to be the most difficult time in my life. With prayer and fasting bringing me through what I called tumultuous times. During prayer with my Mom as we touched and agreed, I literally cried out in tears to the Lord because at that moment, I needed him.

I needed him to let me know everything was going to be alright. I needed him to let me know I was not alone. I needed him to comfort and guide me. I needed him. So, it wasn’t surprising after prayer, oftentimes immediately, God would show up letting me know he was right beside me. He would prove to me he was there.

It was during this time I would experience the unimaginable. God would make the impossible possible. He would turn the ordinary into extraordinary. When I least expected it. His love for me prevailed. Blessing after blessing would appear from unexpected sources, unexpected places, and unsuspecting people. He would bless me abundantly beyond measure, even when I truly felt I didn’t deserve it. He did not forsake me.

I learned I mustn’t rely on material things or people for my provision. God was to be my only source. I learned when I believe what I hear from God it activates my faith. It clears my doubts. It restores me. It helps me build up others.

To live in bondage prevents deliverance. To stray away from those who represent Christ in my life would only give the enemy control. Control he didn’t deserve. I realized when faced with a trial, I must not lose faith but be able to recognize my faith in the manner I conduct myself. I must humble myself in order for God to move. God stands for power and truth.

It took a long time but through situations and circumstances, I’ve learned to trust in God. I learned how to activate my faith without hesitation. I am getting better. I’m not fully where I need to be but I’m better at where I am supposed to be.

I am a believer in the power of God and what it is He can and will do. When things seem like they are not going to go as planned (which is more often than most), I am assured God will come right on time. In spite of lies against God’s truth the enemy attempts to convince me of when in the broken, fragile state I find myself in from time to time.

I am convinced my identity is in Christ. Not based on worldly possessions of a job, a car, a house, or who I marry, but in Christ. I am one of his disciples. My life must be a reflection of that when the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy in order to come against his attack. I have FAITH. I am safe in God.

Life can be so complicated and oftentimes, we lose our way and the sight of God. We know he’s there, but lose sight of him when we look to our circumstances but instead should look to Him. For, “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19

No, he doesn’t speak and then not act. No, he doesn’t promise and not fulfill. His promise is his Word. I know. I am a witness to his goodness and mercy. I say “Yes”. When I think of all that God has brought me through, I can truly say “Thank you Jesus” for the wonderful things you have done for me in the midst of my troubles. I love you Lord, you are Alpha and Omega! I couldn’t do this thing called life without you. And second to God, I can’t forget my Mom. My heartfelt “Thank you” oh beautiful, gracious Mother. You are my rock. I ♥ Mom!!!

Trust God. He will take care of you. Have faith. Believe.

Be blessed for this is the day the Lord has made and in it we will rejoice!

“Lord, if I had ten thousand tongues it wouldn’t be enough to thank you. You’re the same yesterday, today and forever more. You’re my redeemer!” — JD

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