Tag Archives: Inspiration

Stop Trying to Unlock The Door To Your Past With Keys That Don’t Work. Throw Them Away! And Watch God Throw The Keys To Your Future Right Back At You!

Threw The Keys JoaynnGoing back to what’s familiar from your past can be so easy to do when you feel defeated and your back is against the wall. In spite of the fact your past kept you bound, miserable, and stagnated your growth because you didn’t have to change anything about yourself to make life happen. You loved being comfortable with who you were. Until God closed that door and made you uncomfortable.

When God closes the door to your past, it’s a done deal. It’s gone. When he heals and delivers you from the very things that should have destroyed you, stop trying to bring back the past of no return. Throw away the keys and move on. And thank God later for your future.

No matter how many times you fight against walking in your purpose, delaying your destiny out of fear or frustration and you keep telling God “NO,” his YES will always be “YES and Amen.” He promise.

If you were truly honest with yourself, can you admit much like me, too often you constantly tell God “I don’t want to do the work I’m called to do anymore out of frustration and fear because it seems too hard, but find yourself unable to stop doing what you know you’ve been purposed to do at any given moment because it doesn’t feel right when you don’t.

You’re satisfied with and want to stay where you are and stay hidden in the background because you’re comfortable being complacent. But as God move you to each level, eventually you cannot stay hidden or remain comfortable. Where you’re going will be uncomfortable. You’ll travel alone and lose some people along the way because everybody can’t go with you or do what God assigned specifically for you to complete. You’ll be tried and tested in your faith walk because you’ve been chosen to fulfill God’s, not your, purpose.

God put this in my spirit and revealed this very thing to me today. No matter how many times I want to quit and give up, God just will not let me. Nor will he allow me to stay comfortable. That right there tells me who is in charge, not me, but God. One day, I’ll get this calling and faith walk right and run to my destiny. Pray for me 😊

Ready to quit? Ready to give up? Your situation is more than you can handle? Stop it! Rebuke that spirit! God did not give you a spirit of fear. Don’t give up. Keep it moving!

Be blessed! – JD

2 Corinthians 1:20 “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (AMP)

 

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I Dare You! Don’t Give Up…You Can’t Quit. Don’t You Dare Do It!

You Can't Quit JoaynnTrials? Trouble? Tests? Did you learn from it? Has it taught you anything? Faith failing? Doubt entering the recesses of your mind? In distress? Good news! God is up to something. It’s gonna turn around in your favor. Raise your expectations. Get ready for exceedingly abundantly. Look at God. He gone do that!

No matter the circumstance, give thanks to God. You made it. He is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man he should change his mind. He is faithful. Won’t he do it! The devil is the master of confusion and wants you to believe your former days were your best days. He’s a liar and the truth ain’t in him! Your latter will be greater. Now walk in your purpose!

You can’t quit or give up, knowing the God you serve. You can’t quit or give up, knowing no weapon formed against you shall prosper. You can’t quit or give up, knowing you’re more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus who loves you. You can’t quit or give up, knowing God is able. You can’t quit or give up, knowing our God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. You can’t quit or give up. Don’t you dare do it! God promise he will take care of it.

God has delivered you from the impossible. With God, all things are possible. No matter the circumstance, keep giving God the praise. No matter the obstacles, keep putting God first. He specializes in the impossible. Our God is able. God granted brand new mercies today, even when we didn’t deserve it.

No matter what it looks like, get your praise on. Thank God you didn’t stay in “it” too long. You overcame whatever “it” was. You’re stronger, wiser, better. But God. I feel a shout coming! Glory, Hallelujah!

Be blessed! – JD

2 Chronicles 15:7But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” (NIV)

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When The Devil Bothers You With That “You Ain’t Gone Win Mess”, Clap Back At Him! Tell Him, “Get Outta Here With That Mess.” I Was Created To Finish!

Peek A Boo JoaynnNothing’s going right? Feels like the whole world is against you? Problems, situations, or trouble overwhelming you? Praying but seems like God is not listening? Feel defeated? Attacks from the enemy at an all-time high? Whatever your hands touch are not prospering? No worries. You’re on the right track. The devil doesn’t come after nothing that is not a threat to his kingdom.

Don’t lose hope. Keep trusting God. Do what you’re called to do. But God. He has already handled it. You will win!

The moment you become discouraged and want to give up, remind yourself, “I was not created to give up or quit. I was created to finish!” You are on assignment for God. He created you for a special purpose. God has a plan and you’re part of it. Don’t stop. Keep moving forward.

The devil don’t bother no one who is not making progress. They ain’t got nothing he wants. The enemy fights those who are a threat to his kingdom. He wants you to give up! Keep doing the right thing even when the wrong thing is happening.

The devil is the author of confusion. Confuse him right back. When he thinks you are about to give up, show him what you’re working with. Instead of giving up, thank God that he is in control of your situation. Thank him no weapon formed against you will prosper. Thank him he will fight your battles. Thank him for all you should have done wrong, but you didn’t.

When you should have gotten weaker, you got stronger. When you should have lost your mind, your mind was made up. When you should have complained about everything that went wrong, you praised God in the middle of it. When you should’ve given up, you didn’t.

Yes, obstacles will get in the way. Persevere. Stand strong. Don’t complain about how big your problems are. Tell your problems how big your God is! The enemy loves what he does for free and will work overtime to get your attention. Your making progress gets his attention. Don’t give him the time of day. He is not worth your attention. The enemy doesn’t fight people that are going the wrong way. He comes against people that are headed in the right direction.

Frustrated? Disappointed? Friends turned on you? Want to give up? Don’t you dare do it! Don’t get discouraged. Clap back at the enemy! Tell him, “Get out of here with that mess! I WAS CREATED TO FINISH!

Your assignment is too important to give up. Remember, the devil doesn’t bother anyone who is not making progress. Finish strong. You are in it to win it. Keep it moving!

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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Stop it! Stop Choosing Certain Times to Friend God Because He Does Something For You When YOU Want. God Knows Best. He Already Got It Handled!

Thank Him Anyway JoaynnForgive me, it’s long but I been thinking….and this may bless someone.

When we encounter struggles in life that seem difficult to overcome, oftentimes we become desensitized to its effects because we fail to identify the root of the problem. Convinced defeat is part of the norm and our lives will end in disaster.

We keep going in circles with the same problem time and time again, bewildered, wondering what happened, why nothing changed, why am I still struggling? Asking God, “When will this all be over?” Isn’t it funny how surprised we are by the struggle? Watch this. Take note. There’s a lesson. Nothing should surprise you when the hand of God brings you through it.

Each and every one of us struggle with something. Believe it or not, struggles are supposed to happen. The difference in how we handle it will depend on how we respond to it. But do you ever notice sometimes when your struggle does not change, you are still surprised by it?

Struggle with bills? Isn’t it common sometimes? Sometimes isn’t there more month than money in your account? Struggle with people disappointing, leaving, or hating on you? Doesn’t it happen from time to time? Isn’t there a season, reason, or a lifetime for people to enter or leave your life? Struggle losing material possessions? Aren’t they temporary? So why are you surprised at it? Don’t be. Get a handle on it. It’s called life and it happens.

“…God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). If you will humble yourself under the hand of God, he will elevate you in his timing. Oftentimes when we are going through trials, we really do not have a clue as to how God is moving in our lives. We can’t see it but it is all for a reason. The hand of God guides, disciplines, refines, and instructs us. The more we recognize it the less surprised we will be by struggles that really are necessary for our spiritual development.

Why then do we cherry pick the hand of God based on certain conditions? “I like the hand of God when he gives me provision but I don’t when I struggle and can’t pay my bills. I like the hand of God when he works out my situation immediately but I don’t when I have to learn patience and wait on him. I like the hand of God when He gives me the desires of my heart but I don’t when I struggle and I’m down to nothing. I like the hand of God when prayers are answered but I don’t when I have to be pray without ceasing, read the word of God daily, and be consistent in my obedience.”

Stop it! Stop choosing certain times when God is your friend because he does something for you when YOU want it, and recognize the hand of God is available to help you help yourself. He got the parts you can’t handle, handled!

Here’s an AHA moment…there’s value in suffering. How? Glad you asked. It brings us closer to God and prepares us to be compassionate to others and do the work of God and His kingdom. Yes, while we don’t enjoy trials or struggles, they are necessary to help us grow. In fact they are required. Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials (James 1:2), because they are valuable to your spiritual growth.

The next time you find yourself struggling, ask God for wisdom to guide you and to help you learn the lesson for whatever it is he brings you through, in his timing, with his hands. It may be years down the line before you recognize why God brought you through that situation. But nothing should surprise you when you see the hand of God. Struggles are a necessary part of the journey. God just wants to know what took you so long. He’s surprised you didn’t come to him sooner.

Be blessed! -JD

Romans 8:17-18 “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (NIV)

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Why You Salty? Have You Counted the Cost of Commitment to Jesus? Are You Willing and Able? What Cost Are You Counting?

Why You Salty JoaynnBoy, I tell you when you go to God and tell him all your troubles he is listening and will help you, if you let him. How do I know? Because yesterday I was on the brink of giving up, hanging by the thread on a “do me wrong” cliff and told God I no longer wanted to be a Christian. He laughed at me and said, “My dear child I understand but that will not change who I am.”

I cried out to God like I had never before because I was desperate and needed him. This morning he answered my prayers immediately. Forgive me for the long post. Can you relate?

For reasons I can never explain, I woke this morning with an instinct to read my Bible unlike months before when I didn’t have no desire whatsoever to read the word of God and He took me to the Book of Luke, chapter 14. So many answers to my questions were made available and God gave me a revelation! I finally figured out why I am having so much trouble in my spiritual walk and not understanding what it means to be a Christian.

While reading the Book of Luke chapter 14 I saw this question in the notes, “How salty are you?” and I asked myself, “Joy, why are you salty?” “Did you count the cost of commitment to Jesus?” No, I never did. I gave my life to him and never questioned the cost of what it took to be a follower of Christ.

“How salty are you?” My answer will astound you. I am salty but not in the way you would expect. I have been frustrated, mad, and irritated with myself and with God because it didn’t feel like he was with me while going through what felt like too many trials. I took my frustrations out on myself and starting looking at my past mistakes that are gone and I can do nothing about. I started having a pity party all by myself and wanted someone, anyone to feel sorry for me. Yesterday, I realized this was and will not work for me.

What do you know about salt? Well, salt loses its flavor when it becomes wet and then dries, leaving a tasteless residue. Much like us. When we blend in with the world and are in the world and not of it, we lose our saltiness and become worthless. This was me. For months I started losing myself in the process focusing on the wrong things and not the right things of God and couldn’t figure out why. I was miserable.

See, for months I have been in a downward spiral of emotions and feelings about life, the loss of my mother, and being a Christian. I found myself daily telling God, “I don’t want to be a Christian anymore because it’s too hard.” I chose to settle to average. I wasn’t willing to plan, sacrifice, and keep my commitment to Christ’s kingdom. I failed God daily in representing Christ in the world. I kept looking at why all the wrong things were happening in my life. I took my focus off God and started looking at my circumstances, heavily. While I know Jesus paid the price, I never looked at the cost of living my life as a believer.

Have you ever never counted the cost of your commitment to Christ? I have. I never counted the cost of what it takes to be a Christian. I just became one. I never counted the cost of what it takes to live a Christian life. I failed miserably at living one. I never counted the cost of what it takes to run a business. I had an idea and ran with it never estimating the cost to successfully run a business. I never counted the cost of what it takes to publish a book. I just wrote what took twelve years to publish but never imagine the cost, people, and things I would lose in the process. I never counted the cost of what it takes to suffer the consequences of my decisions. Simply put, I NEVER COUNTED THE COST of my life as a Christian!

God never said we would not have trouble. He said he would be with us and never leave us when we have trouble. It cost to be a follower of Christ. It will not be trouble-free. You are going to lose some things; friends, family, and material possessions. I lost all of these. Friends left me. I lost all my possessions and some family too. I met with disappointment. I survived it.

You may lose your social status, your financial standing or wealth. Lost that too. The people I thought would support my dreams didn’t and the ones I thought mattered failed me. You will have to give up control of some things; your time, your money, or your career. Gave that up too. Lost my job, my health was affected, and my money has been funny ever since. All for the cost of my commitment to Jesus.
Anything we do in life comes with a price, at a cost. But must we never forget, Jesus paid a hefty price when he gave his life and died on the cross for us that we may have eternal life. Now ain’t that love!!

Be blessed! – JD

Matthew 5:13-15 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.” (ESV)

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How Many Friends Do You Really Have Or Are You Really Friends With? Real Ones? Or Superficial Acquaintances? Are You Really a Friend of Jesus?

Superficial Acquaintances Joaynn.pngSomething to think about:

Oftentimes we confuse true friendships based on the number of people we “know” or the ones who influence us the most, or even ones we have known for a lifetime and have been through the fire with. This by no means is an indication of who your true, real friends are. Check your circle.

Social media lets you “friend” just about anyone and everything you want. Choose your friends wisely. Be careful who you call a friend or who you really are friends with. Everybody is not your friend. Once upon a time you didn’t even know them.

Think about this, would Jesus call you a friend knowing the person you are? Do you love one another as He loves us? “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends…These things I command you, that you love one another” (John 15:12 – 13, 17 ESV).

Do you obey his commandments? “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:14 ESV). Do you understand the truths he has revealed to us from the Father? By the Holy Spirit in the word of God? “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15 ESV). Are you seeking to do these things when you call Jesus your friend?

Stop calling everybody your friend just because you know them. Many people you know are only acquaintances. It is better to have one friend who you call a true friend than to have many of superficial acquaintances. True friends stick by you in good times and bad. They will listen, care, and offer help when it is needed. They will not judge you or constantly remind you of who you used to be. They will celebrate who you are and love you unconditionally as you are. Jesus love us, no matter what we’ve done. Yes, Jesus loves us!

Would Jesus call you His friend? Yes he would, if you are loving others, if you are seeking to obey his command as he desires, and if you are developing an understanding of the truths revealed by the Holy Spirit in God’s Word. Ask yourself these questions, answer them and you will know if Jesus calls you His friend.

The Bible says “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” not everybody on social media. Stop calling everybody your friend. Some are superficial acquaintances. “What a FRIEND we have in Jesus.” Know the difference.

Be blessed! – JD

James 2:23 “And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God” (ESV).

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What Are You Waiting For? Waiting On? When Are You Just Going To Do It?!!

Special Purpose JoaynnWhat do you do when you find yourself waiting on special conditions to begin something that may never come because you are waiting on something to happen that may never exist? Time waits for no one or nothing. We’ve got to be ready for whatever comes.

Oftentimes we sit and wonder about things we desire to do but believe we need the perfect time or the perfect resources to do it with. We are waiting on the perfect time and place to realize our dreams or put into action the very things we are believing God for when in actuality, it may never happen because we put conditions on God and what he will and can do.

As such, if we wait for a perfect time and place to accomplish anything the time will never be right to do it. If we wait for the perfect time to read our Bible, we’ll never begin if it’s not the second thing we do after prayer. If we wait for the perfect time to start our ministry we will never serve. If we wait for the perfect opportunity to grow, we will never mature. What are we waiting for? The perfect time may never come because the perfect time does not exist.

Stop looking for the perfect time to do something, and just do it!

Be blessed! – JD

Ecclesiastes 11:4 “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” [a] (TLB)

Footnotes: Ecclesiastes 11:4 If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done, literally, “He that observeth the wind shall not sow, and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.”

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Stop Asking God for Stuff You’re Not Supposed to Have! Whatever You Are Believing God For, If It Doesn’t Come From Him, You Don’t Want It!

Already Blessed JoaynnGod gives us gifts for free that cannot be earned. He did not give it to us for our own benefit. Your gift is to be used to glorify God. Let that marinate for a second.

Oftentimes we hear others profess, “your gift will make room for you” (Proverbs 18:16) but do you really know what it means to you and the vision God has given you to fulfill his purpose on this earth that he may be glorified? Here’s my thoughts:

Every person on this earth has a gift or talent God has put inside you that the world will make room for. It will enable you to fulfill your vision. A way will be made for you in your life. But in order for it to do these things, you have to exercise the gift. It cannot lay dormant while you wait for something to happen just because God gave it to you. He expects you to do something with it.

When you put to use the gift God has given you to fulfill your vision he gave you, you will find true contentment, purpose, and fulfillment in the work you have been called to do to build God’s kingdom. Every good and perfect gift is from above. Whatever you are meant to have, God will send it.

What do you do when you know you have a gift from God and you’ve worked every area of your gift only to find you are not seeing any results? Do you believe, “your gift will make room for you” when you’ve ran out of room to exercise your gift because you keep doing things your way and not God’s way?

The Bible does not tell us the cars we drive, the education we have acquired, the houses we own, shoes or clothes we wear, looks we have been blessed with, or the titles we hold will make room for us. But the “GIFT” does. Society wants us to believe these things are the key to our success, when in fact it can have the opposite effect. Change your perspective. Think on this.

God’s ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. If you are not exercising your gift in alignment to his word, his way, and his will, the idea of what the world believes is success will never happen the way God intended. Your GIFT is the key to your success. Get out the “my way of thinking and wanting what I want box” and develop your gift, discover it, and manifest it.

Suppose you took a moment and reflected on all the things you are good at, things you are passionate about, and talents you were blessed with to help, bless, or inspire others. Do you think it was by your own merit these things were given to you to use for your own benefit? Or do you believe it was because God was behind it and blessed you with what he imparted inside you before you were even thought of or born to serve others? Thank you and you’re welcome to leave your answers in the comments.

Yes, your gift will make room for you but you have to exercise your gift. Don’t do what people tell you to do or do what they do because you think it will bring you lots of money. Do what you were born to do that you may be edified, God will be glorified, and the devil will be petrified! Use your gifts to build God’s kingdom.

Repeat after me, “God, whatever it is I am believing you for if it doesn’t come from above, I don’t want it! Return it back to the sender, unsigned, sealed, and undelivered. I want whatever you send God because you sent it!”

God you are good and your mercies endure forever. Your greatness is unsearchable. When I can’t trace you God, I trust you.

Be blessed! –JD

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)

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May is not over yet. Happy Fibromyalgia Awareness Month to all my Fibro Warriors!

Fibro Warriors 5-2018Please forgive me for being late with my post to celebrate May is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month. I am thankful the month is not over and I haven’t missed it. As a person who suffers daily with symptoms associated with this “invisible disease” and consider myself a “silent” advocate and warrior, I would be remiss not to celebrate and inspire my fellow Fibromyalgia warriors. Happy Fibromyalgia Awareness Month!

This year I decided to do things a little different and rather than just celebrating the month of May in honor of Fibromyalgia, I want to share information on what is Fibromyalgia and its symptoms to educate others and those who wonder why we celebrate Fibromyalgia Awareness Month. In a small yet meaningful way, it is an opportunity to enlighten others on what we as fibro warriors go through every day when dealing with its symptoms. I promise I will be brief. *smile*

Fibromyalgia Awareness Month to me, is so important because it is considered one of the most seriously misunderstood diseases. Why? Glad you asked. Because it can be very difficult to explain why many sufferers, including men and women, do not “look sick” but are, and how it affects us when dealing with constant chronic pain, fatigue, and the fibro fog.

So, what is fibromyalgia? Glad you asked, again. The list can be exhaustive so I didn’t list everything but you’re welcome to visit the links for more information. Here’s a portion of a broad summary of the symptoms by The Mayo Clinic taken from http://www.fibromyalgiatreating.com/you-have-fibromyalgia/ and Lyrica.com taken from https://www.lyrica.com/fibromyalgia/managing-fibromyalgia-pain which include:

Widespread pain – this is typically characterized by a dull ache that lasts for at least three months. Fatigue – If a patient with fibromyalgia can sleep at night (insomnia is very common), they frequently wake during sleeping hours due to pain. No sleep or poor sleep causes fatigue during waking hours and can make it difficult to function and focus. “Fibro fog” – Cognitive impairments such as difficulty concentrating on mental tasks, feeling “hazy,” or the inability to think clearly. Other problems – Anxiety, depression, migraine headaches, and conditions that fall into the “other” category that include abdominal cramping, burning sensations either on the skin or from within, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), intense itching, muscle and joint pain, as well as hypersensitivity to pain, medications, cold weather, foods, physical touch, and more.

Fibromyalgia affects more than 5 million women and men in the United States (lyrica.com). And although it is a so-called “Invisible disease,” the pain is real and is not all in our heads. Sharing a kind word, spreading love, or checking on a friend or loved one who suffers with this debilitating disease will go a long way. Be intentional. Make a difference.

Now for the fun part, if you have a moment please share your thoughts, in love, in the comments below in honor of someone you may know who suffers with fibromyalgia or say “hello” to your fellow fibro warrior(s) and let them know you are here for them.

Happy Fibromyalgia Awareness Day!

Be blessed! – JD

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What if… ???

Not Envious JoaynnWhat if God treated you the same way you treated others with animosity, bitterness, resentment, hatred, and disrespect when you get offended, are simple-minded, inconsiderate, unthoughtful, and unloving?

What if God stopped speaking to you, stopped loving you, and looked down on you because you made one mistake, you don’t fit in his circle, or you failed him on a regular?

What if God didn’t forgive you or care about you at all because you’re a hot mess, you’re not worth his time, you’re useless, and don’t deserve his attention?

What if he wasn’t the loving, forgiving, sovereign, faithful, wonderful, marvelous, counselor, friend, he will always be? Think about it and then tell me where or who would you be?

Be blessed! – JD

Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (NIV)

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Can’t See Your Way? Have Doubts? Hopeless? In Despair? What If…Why Not…Will You…Do This?? Trust God When You Can’t Trace Him!

Every Plan Joaynn.pngGod is…..faithful, sovereign, trustworthy, awesome, amazing, good, loving, marvelous, never failing, and more. So if we know all these things which clearly does not cover all who he is, then why do we worry?

When your situation seems hopeless, the least unpleasant thing happens, and you don’t know which way to turn that may cause you to doubt God, what if you were to stop right in your moment of desperation or frustration and ask yourself, “Wait a minute, time and time again when I couldn’t see no way out didn’t God work it out for the greater good?” What if….why not….will you….do this???

The moment you find yourself weary, discouraged, worrying or concerned about something you have no control over is the moment you need to give it to God, speak out loud or whisper “I trust you Lord,” and leave it there. The God I serve knows all about our troubles. And will answer in his timing. Fear is not option. Faith is. When we put our total trust in him he will work it out in our favor. What I know about God, He can do anything but fail.

Every plan has a purpose. Every promise is yes and amen. Every season has a lesson. Every trial or test is for a greater purpose. So, the next time you are fearful, start having doubts, and can’t trace God, trust Him!

Be blessed! – JD

Romans 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (NIV)

 

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God’s Blessings Keep Finding Me! Blessed to Be a Blessing. I’m Now a Published Author of Unspoken Testimony Memoir: Secrets of a Southern Girl

JTD Front Book Cover.pngBoy I tell you, when God begins opening doors suddenly, unexpectedly, immediately, one after another, overflow and blessings pour out in abundance that your arms don’t have enough room to receive.

On March 9, 2018 I self-published my first book Unspoken Testimony Memoir: Secrets of a Southern Girl, now available on Amazon and can also be ordered on PayPal. Words cannot express how humble I am God saw fit to use me to demonstrate his power in my weakness.

After twelve years of traveling an unknown journey met with fiery trials, insurmountable obstacles, and numerous tests allowed or ordained by God to prepare me for the place I have now arrived, I could not have ever imagined I would ever publish a book let alone show the world how great is my God. Without God, I don’t know where my life would be. I love the Lord more than words could ever express. Without him I would be nothing.

When we make the decision to remain faithful to God, we don’t have to go looking for anything or announce everything to anyone to reveal his power. Blessings will find us. He will expose what he kept hidden, in his timing, when he elevates us. You don’t have to tell your secrets to everyone. Keep your secrets to yourself. Announcements are only necessary after everything is done, when God says it’s finished!

Blessing after blessing have been coming my way. I am overwhelmed yet so very grateful. My business Jonnay Designs® is an officially registered LLC with an EIN and a DBA coming soon under the same umbrella for my book. Copyright office has received book materials for copyright review. Guest feature on Internet Radio show. First book published . Whew Lord…I don’t know if I can handle anything else.

I am so humbled and thankful to God. I could not have done any of this without him. I don’t know where this next season will lead but what I am assured of, God has much confidence in me to complete the assignment for which I have been equipped. Glory to God. Lord, I’m willing.

Be blessed! – JD

1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.”

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OMGosh! Guess What? I’m Going To Be a Featured Guest on Royal Pen Network with host, National Best Selling Author Kendra Norman 3/29/18

28958411_10160277308265226_6391235563529175040_nI have been blessed with the astute opportunity to appear as a featured guest Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm (EST) on the Royal Pen Network with host, National Bestselling Author Kendra Norman Holmes. Words cannot express how humble I am God saw fit to bless me with this opportunity to be a blessing to others.

Please mark your calendars, SAVE the date March 29, 2018, and join the conversation tomorrow. Click on the Royal Pen Network link above or below for more details to listen in.

And please share!! Your support will be greatly appreciated. To God be the glory for all the marvelous things he has done. God is an awesome wonder!

Here’s the post from Royal Pen Network’s Facebook page detailing the event:

Royal Pen Network 

On Royal Pen Network’s next LIVE edition, you’ll meet JOY T. DARDEN, a woman who has championed through physical challenges to become a warrior for the kingdom of God. You may not know her by her full name, but it’s quite possible that you’ve seen many of her inspirational quotes posted throughout the Internet… all of them signed simply, “Joaynn” or her uplifting online blog, “Joaynn510.”

Reading her words of empowerment, one might never even guess that she faces the daily challenges brought on by a debilitating disease. The Bible clearly tells us that life and death lies in the power of the tongue, and every day, using her voice and her pen, Joy speaks life over herself and into the hearts of many others who read her frequent posts and blogs.

Tune in THIS WEEK… Thursday, March 29th at 7:00 p.m. (EST) as Joy shares the mic with host, national bestselling author, KENDRA NORMAN on Royal Pen Network. Hear her share her testimony and talk about what inspires her to keep inspiring others. She’ll also share details about her book, “Unspoken Testimony Memoir: Secrets of a Southern Girl.”

TWO WAYS TO LISTEN!! Log in at www.blogtalkradio.com/RoyalPenNetwork and listen via the Web, OR dial (929) 477-1993 and tune in via phone for a chance to ask questions and make comments on the air. However you choose to tune in… just DON’T MISS IT! Join us and be PENspired!

Be blessed! – JD

 

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Your Steps Are STRATEGICALLY Ordered by God. Wait, I Say, Wait On the Lord!

Before Elevation JoaynnGod ordains or allows everything in this earth to happen in his timing. There is nothing He will allow to manifest that is not in perfect order according to his Word, his will, and his way, for such a time as this.

God has a set timetable. We may think it’s the perfect time to see the final result when we have completed all the work to get the job done. But then something happens that will cause further delay before we see the manifestation of his glory. We become confused, wondering what happened to cause the delay.

Wasn’t everything in order just the way we planned it? You think to yourself, “I followed instructions to a “t”, dotted all my “i”s. God says, “You missed something.” Now you have to wait longer for the right time to finish. You’re right at the finish line with one foot hovering over it, ready to cross and win the race, but “not yet” gets in your way. In the meantime you become frustrated because of the delay. You start complaining and want to give up. But you persevere, do what’s required, and realize it’s all for a greater purpose. It had to be done. It’s just that simple.

If you were to think about a time when you were working on a very important project and YOU thought everything was in order, things were going just as YOU planned, then out of nowhere a major obstacle got in the way requiring more work YOU did not want to put in. But you had to complete the task, regardless of the delay to reach the final outcome. “Not yet” had to happen before you reached your next level of destiny. God knew it even if you couldn’t see it.

Delayed is never, ever denied. God is developing you in the process. Whatever concerns you, he will perfect it. So if you’re impatient while you’re waiting for that dream or breakthrough to manifest, wondering where is God, and you think it’s taking too long. Wait for it. It’s coming; done decently and in order, exactly as God promise.

Be blessed! – JD

Proverbs 16:9 “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (NLT)

 

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Hey You. Yeah You! Who Does This Remind You Of? Stop…Look…Listen!

Eye On You JoaynnWe are a peculiar people, designed by God to fulfill the assignment he predestined for us. Oftentimes, life has a funny way of revealing what we miss in the very things we hope for never understanding the purpose God intended. Especially when we want something so badly and in most cases get exactly what we ask for.

We find ourselves in unfamiliar territory, facing obstacles beyond our control, and nothing is going as “we” planned. We begin to look at our circumstances and not fix our mind on things above, only to have things go to the left or to the right and ask God, “Is this from you?” But know this, no matter what it is we may ask for without God, wherever we find ourselves will be the very place God wants us to be that he may be glorified.

Yes, we will run into obstacles that will cause us to rethink our decisions and become doubtful. We will even encounter the enemy who wants nothing more than to frustrate our purpose and cause us to give up. We start telling God things that are not true like “I want to be like everyone else and not have to be at war with the devil on every level.” We struggle in our faith walk forgetting, EVERYTHING we do in this earth has a divine purpose. It is never about us. God will get the glory. Even though we asked for it.

When faced with the unknown, stop trying to figure out what went wrong. Don’t ask God, “Why me?” Ask him, “Why not use me?” Move from the “Why me” way and forge towards the “God use me” way. Wherever you are, God will use you to fulfill his intended purpose, no matter what. It just may not look like it because of what you may be focused on. Believe me, in time it will happen.

We can never understand why things happen the way they do or why unpleasant things are happening to us. Get this, it’s simple. It’s not about us. God wants what’s best for us. No matter the obstacles, do good, get better, and do your best. Let go. And let God handle the rest.

Be blessed! – JD

Psalm 139:16-17 “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! (NKJV)

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Say What? The Devil Is Threatened. You Have Been Considered. Get Ready!

Move Forward Today JoaynnThere’s two days left. God is having a conversation with Satan you know nothing about. Two days left. It’s enough time for anything to happen. God is still working things out on your behalf. It’s going to work out in your favor. The devil is threatened. You have been considered. Two days left. God is aligning things properly for a greater purpose. There’s a shift going on. It’s time for you to pursue your calling.

When the two days are over your name will be great. Everything you’ve gone through will make perfect sense. His Word released it. It has already been established. Get ready! It only took three days for God to take Jesus through hell and back. What God starts he finishes. Two days is enough for God to do the impossible. He specializes in the impossible.

Imagine this. What would be your response if this were you and you added your name to the question God asked Satan when he said, “Have you consider my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil (Job 1:8)” What would your answer be? Would you be delighted God counted you worthy?

Satan met with God on several occasions concerning Job. God talked about how good his servant Job is. Job was tested several times. He lost his wealth, his family, and was afflicted with sores. His wife told him to “curse God and die.” Did he sin against God by cursing him? No he never did. Did he give up? No. He worshiped and blessed God. Satan tried his very best to make Job sin. Job didn’t give in to his evil devices. God blessed Job because he didn’t curse him. He gave him more than he had before. Follow Job’s example.

No man can curse what God has blessed. Satan cannot do nothing to us without God’s permission. He puts limitations on him. And even though Satan is accountable to God and God knew his intentions were to attack Job, would you trust that God is and will always be in control?

Think of a time when you lost everything you possessed; material, relational, financial, mental, and spiritual and you felt you were under attack. But you started looking at your circumstances and not the real intent behind Satan’s motives. You missed the most important point. Don’t blame God. He is not your enemy. Satan is.

See, Satan wasn’t after Job’s possessions. It was simple. He attacked his motives. He wanted to prove that Job worshipped God not out of love, but what he could and had given him. It’s easy to follow God when things are going well. But God wants to know if you trust him when things are not going good.

Job feared God. He shunned evil. He lost everything. He lamented over his loss to three friends who falsely accused. him. He knew nothing about the conference God had with Satan. Yet he never lost faith in God.

You may be in a dry season and all year long you waited for something to happen and nothing has gone the way you wanted. It feels like you’ve given it your all in return for nothing. You haven’t heard from God. He’s quiet and you’re still waiting on something. It’s just a test. Press your way through. Keep praying, meditating, reading the Word. God got you.

The devil delights in destroying the workings of the mind. An idle mind is his workshop. Rebuke that spirit! Think outside the box. What you think is who you are. Shape your life on good thoughts. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Learn from Job. All things are possible. You can do this!

Be blessed! – JD

1 Timothy 1:12 “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, that He considered me faithful and appointed me to service (Berean Study Bible).

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Stop Believing the Lies of the Enemy. Tell the Devil, Get out of here with that mess! I’m too blessed to be stressed!

Too Blessed JoaynnHave you ever noticed when you take your eyes off your situation and look to God, how things begin to work out in your favor unexpectedly, and you are at peace?

There will be times when nothing is working as you expect. You change your mind in an instant. You become discouraged, frustrated to the point of desperation. You want to quit and give up, forgetting God is faithful and will do just as he promised.

You find yourself trying to work things out on your own, instead of trusting God’s Word, in his timing it will work for the greater good.

You start having doubts. You don’t feel like doing a thing, let alone put any effort into what you know God has already prepared you to do. You start looking to the right and to the left, focused on what is in front of you and not what’s above. God says it’s not over until he says it’s over.

See, the enemy plays tricks on your mind and wants you to change what you know about God and make you believe nothing He says is ever true or will work out as his Word promise. Don’t believe that mess. The devil is the father of lies! He a liar and the truth ain’t in him!

Be encouraged today. God will make a way out of no way. Your gift will make room for you. Don’t concern yourself with matters that do not concern you. If you are passionate about something, no matter how many obstacles you face or opposition that gets in your way, as long as you still have a passion for what you are passionate about, keep doing what you love to do. Persevere. Don’t give up. Whatever you are believing God for will manifest in the supernatural. Keep your eyes on God. Let him do his job!

When the devil starts talking trash in your ear tell him, “Get outta here with that mess. I ain’t hearing it. I’m too blessed to be stressed!”

Be Blessed! –JD

1 Thessalonians 3:7 for this reason, brothers and sisters, during all our distress and suffering we have been comforted and greatly encouraged about you because of your faith [your unwavering trust in God—placing yourselves completely in His loving hands];” (AMP).

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I Am #MeToo. Are You?

I Am Me Too- JoaynnLet’s talk about this #MeToo hashtag viral sensation. First and foremost I would be remiss not to acknowledge the true person behind the ‘me too’ movement, Tarana Burke who planted the seeds for the movement in 1996 when working as a youth camp director. She is the Founder and Director of Just Be Inc. (http://justbeinc.wixsite.com/justbeinc/the-me-too-movement-cmml). As noted on the Just Be Inc. site, her organization “is a youth organization focused on the health, well being and wholeness of young women of color.” As then program director for Brooklyn-based Girls for Gender Equity, the goal of Burke’s program was to empower young women of color.

After bonding with and hearing the story of a young girl who asked to speak with Burke privately after an all-girl bonding session event hosted by Just Be Inc. that left her horrified, Burke wrote on http://justbeinc.wixsite.com/justbeinc/the-me-too-movement-cmml, “I will never forget the look because I think about her all of the time. The shock of being rejected, the pain of opening a wound only to have it abruptly forced closed again – it was all on her face. And as much as I love children, as much as I cared about that child, I could not find the courage that she had found. I could not muster the energy to tell her that I understood, that I connected, that I could feel her pain.”

“I couldn’t help her release her shame, or impress upon her that nothing that happened to her was her fault. I could not find the strength to say out loud the words that were ringing in my head over and over again as she tried to tell me what she had endured… I watched her walk away from me as she tried to recapture her secrets and tuck them back into their hiding place. I watched her put her mask back on and go back into the world like she was all alone and I couldn’t even bring myself to whisper…me too.” Ms. Burke said she never forgot the look on the girl’s face after hearing her story. A heartbreaking, sad unforgettable moment…This for me was more than enough reason to start a movement. To read the full story go to the Just Be Inc. link mentioned above.

Essentially, this is what started the ‘me too’ movement – “to help young women of color who had survived sexual abuse, assault and exploitation.” It has now become an online hashtag viral sensation and every women who has been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted have joined in making a statement to let the world know, #MeToo – I am not ashamed, I am not alone, I am a victor, I am a survivor. Ms. Burke I applaud your drive and tenacity to make a difference in the lives of young women of color. Kudos!

When I first stumbled upon the #MeToo hashtag on Twitter a few days ago, I was curious why I was seeing just these two words from so many people (men and women alike) without an origin or explanation behind its meaning. It was not until I clicked on the hashtag on Twitter and discovered Alyssa Milano’s tweet, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet – ‘Me too. Suggested by a friend: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.’”

As of October 19, 2017 ABC News reported Alyssa Milano’s ‘Me Too’ tweet has now garnered “1.4 million and counting tweets included the hashtag, along with more than 13 million posts, comments and reactions on Facebook” (http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/alyssa-milano-metoo-campaign-vocal-stops/story?id=50582023).

Being the person I am, before becoming a part of this sensation, I did some research and realized after taking a deep look inside myself and thinking of the countless times I too was a victim, I found #MeToo is who I am too.  It hit too close to home. It was personal. And now I desire change that goes far beyond what we see with the hashtag itself. My desire, ‘Me Too’ becomes more than a viral sensation but an entry point to healing at a deeper level than what we’ve seen in society with other movements that gain maximum exposure after going viral but we never see or hear anything about once the hoopla goes away.

Let’s have a discussion, critical dialogue and a real conversation about its effects, what we can do to end it, continue to increase awareness, and what programs we can develop on a larger scale to include collaborative efforts with Ms. Burke’s organization and others like hers to empower not only women of color but those who have been affected by sexual harassment or sexual assault and are afraid to come forth out of fear of retaliation.

Let’s build a community of safety in the creation of safe houses for survivors and non-survivors to go to for ongoing support. Let’s establish a platform with someone like Iyanla Vanzant and Ava DuVernay to reach the masses on a continuous basis and not drop the ball after getting the attention and exposure we desire only to “make a statement.” Let’s design programs to empower, inspire, and influence survivors and those that haven’t to encourage and motivate them to reach their fullest potential.

Let’s reach out to and join forces with Tarana Burke and her Just Be Inc. organization as well as similar organizations to create change. Let’s join forces with Alyssa Milano, and others, who wants to fix the problem and asks others to reach out to her for suggestions to help grow the #MeToo movement. Let’s flood their inboxes and social media outlets to make a difference. Let’s be a strong voice and not stop until we are heard. Let’s get involved and show the world how we will be the change we want to see. Let’s do this!

As for me, I am #MeToo – I am not ashamed, I am not alone, I am a victor, I am a survivor!

Be blessed!

Signed,

#MeToo

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When You’re In a Season of Waiting, Don’t Question God. Do You Trust Him, Even When It Feels Like Your Prayers Are Not Being Answered?

Greatness JoaynnHave you ever noticed how when God takes you to the next level, in the beginning and sometimes even during the test all is going well. But as soon as the season is over and you’re on your way to the next level, you meet with adversity that is even greater.

The enemy comes in like a flood, trying to confuse you and make you lose your witness. He’s a liar and the truth ain’t in him! It’s a test. God wants to know if you trust him. He wants to know if he gives you little can he trust you with much. If you are faithful over little matters, he will give you more matters to manage. God is faithful. He will do exactly as he promised.

Every prayer may not have been answered. You may not have all you want. Thank God for what you have. He’s all you need. He’s more than enough. Your faith will be tested. God already knows what he’s going to do. He predestined it. He wants to see what you are going to do. Don’t miss it. Have the gift of discernment in everything no matter how great your breakthrough because you never know who’s watching you.

In order to get to the next level you must pass the test or you can’t go to the next level if you don’t pass it. Study to show yourself approved by God (2 Tim 2:15). Be the light at all times. Don’t fall prey to the tricks of the enemy. Don’t look to the right or to the left. Look to God. He got this!

Be blessed! – JD

Ephesians 1:11 “In Him also we have received an inheritance [a destiny—we were claimed by God as His own], having been predestined (chosen, appointed beforehand) according to the purpose of Him who works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will,” (AMP)

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I’m On My Way Up. My New Website is Up and Running! Here’s To New Beginnings. Thank God for My Village!

Me 9-2017It takes a village to raise a child. I also say, “It takes a village to help you reach your destiny.” With the help of an amazing web graphic designer Adrian Bostic of @Bosgraphdesign who also designed my cover for my book, my website www.JoyThomasDarden.org is finally up and running along with my Facebook page www.facebook.com/JoyTDarden!

Adrian did an excellent job on both designs and I am forever grateful. Praise God!

Boy, I tell you, when you know God has placed something inside you and you follow his order, taking one step at time, persevering and never giving up no matter what obstacles you may face, you will see the manifestation of his power and his glory.

Once the web designer finished building my website on the back end, I had to take full rein. After going in make additions on the back end, of which I clearly am not qualified to do or have ever done since my other blog is totally front end work, I was totally overwhelmed, exhausted, and extremely frustrated.

When I managed to complete the daunting tasks necessary to present the site as it is now, all I could do over and over was quietly send up a few “breath” thank you to Adrian for a job well done! But God! It took me every bit of three days to finish. I researched and researched and found every answer I needed to make it a success. 

My website and Facebook page are still in the beginning stages and there is still much more to go. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will be my website. But I will take my time and move as God lead me.

When I began this season, I remember I asked God to stretch me. Be careful what you ask God for because you just might get it. Well, he did, and it wasn’t pretty. I thank God for the village of family, friend, and my dear sister friend Johanna for encouraging me and inspiring me to not give up when it seemed too hard.

Thank you Johanna for a profound statement you made the other day that stuck with me and helped me realize how God was stretching me, pulling me towards my destiny one way and I kept pulling myself the other way because I wanted to stay where I am, comfortable and complacent.

I’m getting out my own way and will allow him to elevate me. Sisterhood and family are two of the most precious gifts a woman can ever want, have, or ask for. I thank God for my village! And while I am not sure where he is taking me with this ministry, what I am assured of, he will equip me with all that I need to fulfill his purpose that I may glorify him.

Be blessed! – JD

Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I will do a new thing; now shall it spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” (ESV)

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