Tag Archives: Death and Life

Pray, Let God Have His Way

wpid-textgram_1386044142.pngWe live in a world that ideally, would have been perfect when God created it but in the beginning something happened at no fault of our own but because God had a greater purpose to be fulfilled.

We must examine the world we live in and use that as an example of what we will choose and allow to dictate our lives. There is too much going on in this world that we must not allow it to dictate our actions but instead allow God to guide us in it. Prayer is key. Opinions are important but should be done in private with God because what it will do is diminish the potential for greater conflict when we as humans misinterpret the thoughts or actions of others.

God is a God of order and peace, not the author of confusion. When we begin to expose our flaws, there is no peace nor is God in that situation. It doesn’t matter what the world may think of us, but what matters is what God thinks of us. This in turn should build the very foundation upon the manner in which we live, act, or think in every situation. We must go to God in private to express our fears, our flaws, and our frustration. The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. When there’s no peace, there is no joy. We mustn’t work against one another but do our best to love one another just as God loves us.

When we find ourselves faced with conflict or adversity, the best response is to be silent and pray. Give our troubles to God and let him have his way. We are all flawed. We live in a fallen world but there is a God who has all power and is sovereign. He will and can fix any problem. It is up to us to let him. Ask God for forgiveness, then forgive yourself. Forgive others that you may be forgiven. Don’t give the enemy power God has already given.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. In all things, let God’s will and not your will, be done. Speak not from emotions or feelings but from the heart. If that may seem impossible to do, take it to God in prayer. Let Him handle it.

“God I pray for healing, peace, comfort, and strength. Send fresh anointing. Where there is sickness send healing, where there is confusion send peace, where there is brokenness, set the captives free. Break every chain Lord, loose any and everything that is keeping us from bringing glory to you. Forgive us for we know not what we do. Let us find strength through you when the enemy comes seeking to destroy or take away what we know belongs to you. When we’ve done all we can do, we will stand. God I put it all in your hands. Let your will be done. We’re covered by the blood. Let not the troubles of this world consume us with evil deeds but fix our hearts and minds to do what pleases you. In all things, let us bring glory to you. We all are broken but we can be healed. God you are a mind regulator, a heart fixer, by your stripes we are healed. I lift every family in prayer. Keep watch over us. We are covered by the blood. In all things Father, I give you glory, honor, and praise. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Be blessed! -JD

1 John 3:18 “My children, our love should be not just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” (GNB)

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What If It Were a Matter of Life and Imminent Death?

I am not much of a talker but when I converse with others, I find that one of the hardest subjects to talk about with family and friends is death, even though we all know it is inevitable. There are many who are not willing or able to discuss it. But it is something we all must come to terms with.

After watching The Mary Tyler Moore Reunion show on  Katie Couric’s  show, Katie, and hearing of Valerie Harper’s current fight with terminal brain cancer, I couldn’t help but think about what would be the ultimate response to our having to deal with death after being told we had a short time to live.

I was and still am a big fan of The Mary Tyler Moore show and while watching them share memories and seeing my favorites Mary Tyler Moore, Valerie Harper, Betty White, Cloris Leachman, and Georgia Engel all together, it put a ton of smiles on my face. I did pretty well with my emotions until Katie started asking Valerie questions in regards to how she was coping since being diagnosed and receiving the news.

As she began to speak and celebrate family and friends and express her appreciation of support from the nation, tears began to flow from my eyes like a river in celebration. She was smiling and had this to say, “Don’t go to the funeral until the day of the funeral. Don’t miss your life while you’re feeling good and can do things… Let it be there and go through it, then move on from it.”

I thought, “Wow.” She is courageous, positive, vibrant, loving, carefree, and upbeat. A wise soul I could clearly see, who felt as though there was not a worry in the world. She’s handling it quite well. I lay in bed and clapped to commend her. I loved her attitude. It was priceless. Her strength was unbelievable.

I began asking myself and ask you too, with death being inevitable, what would you do? If you were told today you had only a few months or a short time to live? What would be your response to the devastating news?

What if you had to write your own eulogy for your funeral? What could you possibly say that would make a difference? To someone who may not know how to cope as well as you? Or may be able to cope the same way Valerie’s has, given what she’s been through? What would you have to say about yourself and the life you lived? How would you handle knowing the estimated time your own death was imminent?

I know it’s a lot I’m asking of you because it is a lot I am asking of myself too. But I really would like you to take a moment and think this through. Not for me, but for yourself in the hopes it may prepare you.

As for me, this is what I would simply say, “I lived life vicariously.” Through my relationship with God and held on to my trust and faith. Yes, there were times when I didn’t understand why my life turned out the way it did. I am truly grateful to God it did. Grateful for his saving me from a life that could have been worse, had I continued to feel sorry for myself and lived in misery. I’m thankful. I don’t have any regrets.

I would want to be remembered not for what I’ve done but for what God allowed me to overcome. With the hopes that my life was a reflection of inspiration and encouragement, to know that a life well deserved was a life well spent.

Don’t ponder on things you can’t change. Instead live and rejoice because of things that didn’t remain the same. In the face of death, take Valerie’s advice. Don’t give up on life. Only to make matters worse because you’ve been told you will leave before you expected. Remember, death is to be expected. And we must be prepared for when the day comes. Live your life to the fullest and thank God for the time you have been given until it does.

What if it were a matter of life and imminent death?

I say, “Don’t fret.” Don’t hurry what will happen and live with sadness, bitterness, and regret. Take each moment as it comes and be thankful for it. We all are one breath away from leaving this earth. Embrace God’s gift and make it all worth it. Thank God for healing. Thank him for strength and courage to make it through. Thank him the time he has given you.

Until that time comes, continue to build a relationship with God. Stay committed to reading God’s Word and applying it daily that you may live life abundantly and overcome. Meditate. Be patient while you wait. So that when your time comes, no time will have been wasted.

Be blessed! –JD

2 Corinthians 5:1 “For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.”

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Death And Life Are In The Power of The Tongue

I stumbled upon this article the other day on my tablet and out of my curiosity because of the title that peaked my interest; I decided I would read it.

http://thegrio.com/2013/03/11/fox-news-guest-receives-rape-death-threats-following-gun-segment/

17.-Encourage-sunsetWhile reading, I couldn’t help but feel the depth of my soul being torn into pieces as I tried my best not to let tears run from my eyes, not criticize, nor place judgment on ones mentioned in the article that were making such brutal statements as well as threats to a woman who clearly was a victim not by her choice.

It took great effort on my part to keep my mouth shut and think before I comment or make any statements so as not to offend anyone or come out of character.

Not to mention after watching the video on guns and rape, I got an immediate headache but couldn’t say a thing because it was another issue I didn’t have time to address.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”And if we are not careful, words can be a death sentence to some unsuspecting soul who undoubtedly did not ask for the humiliation, disrespect, or harsh judgment at their expense.

For those that know me know I am against gun violence and am a strong opponent of various gun control/gun violence laws. And whenever I read or hear anything that addresses the issue of guns, I feel compelled to speak out.

While I have expressed my views in the past, I don’t have time to reiterate my views on the subject matter in creation of this post.

What I will say though is, I must agree with the young lady in this video segment that “Giving every woman a gun is not rape prevention.” I believe guns will not prevent rape or violence. They will do the opposite and increase more violence. And I will leave it at that.

There are a million things I can say right now, but the only thing I wish to state here is this:

There are people in this world that can be so cruel without thinking about the impact their words have on others and oftentimes, don’t even care what it does to the person’s self-esteem, let alone their character. Then I ask, “How?” “How can someone be of this nature and not have an ounce of empathy or respect for people who are victims at no fault of their own?” But find it okay to tear them down instead of build them up? I don’t understand. Am I missing something?

I had to take a moment to express my thought about people who I find, either, do not have a heart or are just mean-spirited without a clue. Who most likely need help or are hiding some deep-rooted issue they are oblivious to. It is so sad.

It saddens me when I hear people speak about their experiences of abuse of any kind or victims of rape who survived and are now courageous enough to speak about how it literally destroyed and/or changed their lives. All while trying to pick up the pieces to find some normalcy as a result of the traumatic event. As such, I commend them because I believe they are victors, not victims of their circumstances. They overcame. They survived to tell about it.

I also get perturbed when I hear people making unwise statements like this, “They deserved it.” “They were asking for it.” “It was her fault.” Again, I ask, “Really?” Why would any person believe it is okay to say things like this without questioning their own integrity?

My thought: We all at some point will encounter some form of abuse, be it physically, mentally, verbally, even spiritually. And while many of us may never know what its like to be the victim of rape, keep in mind that it can happen to anyone. But let’s be clear…. it is never the victim’s fault.

We must be careful with our words and what we choose to say to people or about others. We all have a cross to bear and should never minimize what others are going through or what they have to deal with. We don’t know what burdens they bear or how they are managing to get through the unpleasant situation.

We all are a victim to something in this life and we all will have a cross to bear. But what we must realize is, just as it can happen to them, there may come a time when it can happen to someone you may know or love. Don’t be so quick to judge.

Please be careful with your words. Let your actions be an indication of not who you are but who you desire to be in the lives of others; a blessing and not a curse. Don’t tear down, but build up. Don’t bring hurt or harm, but protect.

Jesus did. Why can’t you?

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Choose your words wisely.

Be blessed! –JD

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

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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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How Do You Confront Controversy?

385724_210319942414846_681485019_nI was reminded today of an incident I encountered with a stranger the week Whitney Houston was sent home with the angels. I thought about what transpired and couldn’t help but reflect on my thoughts that day only because I feel there is some relevancy to it today.

I was in a taxi on my way to see my doctor. I was minding my own business preparing to listen on my phone to Smokie Norful’s “Dear God” when the driver asked, “So how do you feel about what happened to Whitney Houston?” I answered, “I cried the moment my daughter screamed when finding it out on TMZ from her phone.” We were celebrating my only grandson’s birthday.

The driver went on to say, “‘Live by the sword, die by the sword.” My reaction: “Pause, brief moment of silence; clearly not expecting this.” I then said to him in no uncertain terms, “She may have had struggles but who are we to judge. God is our only judge. We all have skeletons in our closets that only God knows. It is not for us to judge another for the life they lived but instead celebrate their life in spite of how they lived.

The conversation escalated too much to discuss verbatim but after being asked my business about why I was seeing a doctor regularly and was I being treated for anxiety or depression, etc. I said, “No.” He then asked, “Are you ever depressed because of your conditions? Have you ever needed to see a psychiatrist?” I said, “No.” I explained my knowledge on the matter based on my previous education and experience working in the mental health field for years. And the fact that I did not see anything wrong with people seeking help as it pertains to this, but there was never a reason for me to do the same.

I told him God is my source. I go to Him for everything. While I have common sense about things and am prescribed medicines that I take that are required, I choose not to depend on medications doctors believe are necessary for healing. I keep it at a minimum. However, every day I pray to God for healing. Every day, I pray for strength to endure. God is the one I profess all my troubles to. I couldn’t help but think, though, where he was going with this. And out of nowhere he begins to express [loudly] his disagreement with people being in denial, telling me how he thinks it is absurd that people think God is the only answer. In no uncertain terms he let me know we NEED to have common sense about things and it mustn’t always be religious.

By this time I started to dishevel but did my best to remain calm and collected. I won’t go into details where this conversation led, but I will say this: I acknowledged his statement but let him know I understood that a difference must exist between spiritual and physical as well as know the difference between common sense and reality. However, my spirituality will never be placed under subjection when faced with a decision about my life. God always will be the priority in everything I do because it is by His Spirit he will give me guidance and direction on what it is I am to do. He is the ultimate source of my well-being. He gives me strength.

I told the driver I am not one to discount the merits of any professional when help is needed to any degree whether it’s for an addiction, for medical purposes, or whatever. I commend doctors for all they do and help with the physical healing process. But they don’t have all the answers, nor will I turn to them for all the answers. I will turn to God. For God guides the hands of the doctors to heal the sick. It is by his authority.

I also made it clear God will give me discernment and wisdom to know when I need to seek further help from a professional based on the severity of the issue I may be facing. But by no means will I ever put anything or anyone above the source I solely depend on; God. Nor will I ever deny my faith in God and what it is I know he can do, regardless whatever situation I face! I guess that was not good enough for him because he made it a point to continue this subject until I reached my destination.

He went on to talk about a friend of his who is a psychiatrist that works with mentally ill and sick people in another country and how he believes they are the ones that matter because they do not rely solely on God for healing but use common sense to seek professional help. In other words, “people like me don’t.” Hmmm was all I could say in my mind.

He expressed his dissatisfaction with people like me who feel that God should be the only one we seek when healing is required. He said, “Let the professionals do their work and let God do what he needs to do outside of that.” Although I had had enough, all I could do was look at him in disbelief and think about how I was going to respond.

My answer was brief and to the point. I told him that while I agree professionals have a job to do, it is because of God that they are in a position to do what they do. It is never up to me to discredit their authority but it is my duty to uphold the ultimate authority God has. He has all authority. He is the one who grants authority to people in their professional capacity to perform as they do. He uses us for his purpose. God does the work, we just work through him.

My second thought was as if he didn’t already know that being in his taxi on my way to see the doctor is evidence that I have wisdom and understand that I need doctors to help with the healing process as well as with keeping conditions I suffer with under control. I am far from stupid. I do let them do their work through the power and authority they possess. At the same time I allow God to do his work through the power he will give them. They are being used by him to serve a purpose.

I was so glad I was almost at my destination. As my hand held the door handle ready to jump out the car before I reverted to the old me, he said upon arrival, “It was nice talking with you.” With humility and a smile, I said, “Thank you. Have a good one!”

As I walked towards the door of my doctor’s office, I began to internalize and reflect on what just happened because I believe every encounter is an opportunity for God to work within us. There is a lesson to be learned.

I realized in a few moments I had become so frustrated and wanted to react with anger and contempt. But I didn’t nor could I let him see my frustration. I managed to keep my composure. The first thing I did was say to myself, “Thank you God. I may not be what I’m supposed to be but because of you I’m not what I used to be.” And he [Mr Taxi Driver from La La land] should be glad too! I will pray for him and for me, too.

Then I thought to myself, there’s something I need to get from this. I realized there should not be a reason to give in to people or things that don’t necessarily fit in with my beliefs. There’s no need to become argumentative, rude, belligerent, or defensive. We all are entitled to an opinion. I am not here to convince anyone to abandon their beliefs. Nor will I argue with them to justify theirs.

However, I believe as a Christian it is my purpose to defend the reason why I believe what I believe with the intent to show others the hope I have in God.

Lastly, I learned this from Bishop T.D. Jakes:

“Before you fully lead, you must withstand controversy and conflict.

A.) Leaders tend to be controversial
B.) Leaders’ decisions create conflict
C.) Leaders are persons of commitment
D.) Leaders are guided by their character

Be COUREGEOUS and accept the leadership responsibility of being controversial. You are not POSITIONED to make everyone like you! That’s God’s job. It’s called FAVOR…and…It ain’t fair.”

(WTAL  – 52 Days of Pecking Orders – Day 20)

As for me, I am a leader, not a follower. I don’t force my religion on others. I respect their beliefs. But when I am presented with an opportunity to share my faith in God, I will. A life lost should be a life celebrated. Death should not be such a travesty that we seize opportunities to capitalize, gossip, tear down, fight, hate, and judge. We all must die some day. But until we do, seize every opportunity to make a difference. Never compromise your belief. Live by what you know.

God is the way and the truth and the life. Please, let his light shine. RIP Whitney Houston.

1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”

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