Tag Archives: Love

Do You Know How Rich You Probably Could Become If You Saved Every Time Someone Talked Bad or Gossiped About You Behind Your Back? Think About It

If I Had A Penny JoaynnPeace of mind comes when you learn to concern yourself with matters that only concern you. Let go of whatever doesn’t concern you. Give it to God. Be at peace. Otherwise, if you let people dictate every waking moment of your life because of what they think or say about you, you will never find peace. Find your own happiness. God wants us to be at peace.

At some point in life there will come a point and time we will decide some situations and relationships are not worth our attention or putting all our time and effort in. We will think about the pros and cons and begin to calculate the losses and the benefits. And will ask ourselves, is this adding to my life or subtracting from it?

We then will make the decision to let some things and some people go, so we can be happy and stop feeling uncomfortable. It’s not that we don’t love them but will love them from a distance. We no longer want to deal with the negativity, jealousy, hatred or be inconvenienced. We move on. We choose to let go and move forward.

If I had a penny for every time someone talked bad about me, gossiped behind my back, hurt my feelings and said I’d never make it, I would be on the cover of Forbes magazine as one of the 10 richest people. I would be a billionaire and gladly share the wealth with the haters, naysayers, and doubters.

The opinions of others do not define me. They don’t control my destiny. God does. He is keeping me hidden for a reason. He is perfecting, pruning, and preparing me for greater. All in God’s timing. So, thank you haters. I’m glad about it. I count it all joy. I’m expecting blessings and miracles!

In life we have choices. Stop feeding what’s dead. Dead situations can’t be waken. Choose joy. Live the life YOU want to live. Make it count!

Be blessed! –JD

Proverbs 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (ESV)

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What Direction is Your Moral Compass Headed? Is it Pointed in the Wrong or the Right Direction?

wpid-img_20150309_143751.jpgEach of us have a moral compass. Some are pointed in the wrong direction. Each of us have a responsibility to do the right thing even when it feels uncomfortable.

Racial division is tearing this country apart. It has the world up in arms and is tearing families across the nation apart. To say mean things and hurt people based on their gender or the color of their skin says a lot about the direction your moral compass is headed.

I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even want to look at the news anymore because of so many disturbing events that tell a negative story of how we as a nation continue to see race and gender discrimination against those who clearly don’t deserve it. Who ever says racism doesn’t exist is looking at the wrong picture.

Racism is alive and well and seems to be getting worse. People are openly expressing the wrong ideas or actions towards others who truly don’t deserve it. How can we as a nation fix the problem if we refuse to look at and change ourselves?

To talk bad about or treat someone indifferently just because they are different from you is a sin and a shame. It is not the right thing to do. Where is your moral compass? Who is leading and guiding you?

We may all have different color skin but in God’s eyes we are all the same. He loves each and every one of us just the same. When God created man he didn’t create a black man or a white man. He created us in His image. Not some, all humanity was created in His image.

Do any of us know for sure what Jesus actually looked like? No. “No one ever has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known” (John 1:18) “In Christ, God became a man who lived on earth” (Jn 1:18).

Some say Jesus’ skin was black, some say he was white.  Some even say he was the same color that match their skin but the Bible does not make any indication to the color of His skin. It doesn’t matter who is wrong or right. None of us in this life have a perfect picture of Jesus’ physical appearance. Therefore, we should not make any assumptions or draw any conclusions about his physical appearance.

As such, we shouldn’t draw conclusions about others just because of the way they look or who they are. Nor should we discriminate against them based on gender or the color of their skin. What we do know is Jesus loved us. He was hung on the cross and died for us. It didn’t matter what color our skin was. Shouldn’t that be enough for us to at least learn to love one another?

The Bible tells us in Revelation 1:14-16 “The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing water…. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”

Based on what the word tells us, we can only image Jesus’ physical appearance. God made us in his image. Be glad about it. I pray we stop the hate, discrimination, and violence against one another. I pray we learn to love one another, just as Jesus loves us, regardless of our skin color.

God doesn’t discriminate based on the color of our skin. He already knows who we are. He is no respecter of persons. We must love one another just as He loves us. Have the mind of Christ. Love all your sisters and brothers. Let God guide your moral compass. When you do, you can be sure it will be headed in the right direction.

Be blessed! -JD

Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (NIV)

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Secretly Searching

Today’s poem, titled Secretly Searching, is the third poem from my “mini-series” of poems I promised to share in between normal posts that was written during my college years. My professor had little to say about this one but I felt good about it after writing.

I think this also was a time when I was still hurting from a loss and my mind was filled with questions as to why things had to happen the way they did.  However, one of the things I observed that seem to be common in some of my writings is how I wrote from a place of emotional pain, hurt, resentment seemingly based on a past I couldn’t let go of. On the other hand, I’m grateful for the experience.

For the most part, my professor had this to say, “Good idea. The rhyme seems to get in the way here.” I took that with a grain of salt. After all, this was a beginning for me and I thought poetry was about rhyme. Silly me :-). Thanks to him, I learned a lot. Enjoy!

Secretly Searching

Secretly SearchingI often wonder why?
And yes…I try
I picture loving
But always shoving, aside
It hurts so, yet it feels so good
If only I could (What shall I do?)

I can imagine the twinkle in my eye
Is it a teardrop from my cry?
Oh – my smile full of gleam
… But it hurts so much…
If only I can touch…

Images closer than mirrors
Scents within souls,
Hearts fluttering,
Moods smothering,
Is the key I hold, so close?

Climbing within the depths of me
Floating the brims among the sea
Sitting around a bushel of love
With a fistful of hope in one hand
The other, my rope

It feels so good
Why can’t I understand?
Love and trust
Comes hand in hand

-JD

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Love Hurts

Love HurtsI’m sharing a poem titled Love Hurts from my “mini-series” of poems I promised in between normal posts that was written during my college years. And based on the expression of words that filled my thoughts, it looks like it was during a time I was broken and going through some type of pain or heartbreak.

Surprisingly, I actually loved the professor’s critique on this one but wasn’t sure at the time what he meant by his question at the end given I wasn’t a poetry writer or so I thought. 🙂 He wrote: “I sense the honesty and passion here. Good end-rhyme. How about some images?” Me: Hmm… One day I’ll get that.

Enjoy!

Love Hurts

I met a person
Who said to me
My love for you
Will last infinitely

He came and took
My love from me
And now he wants
To set me free
He met another woman
Who was to be
His one and only
Till eternity

I stayed up all night
Wondering and crying
Was it not that
I was trying
Hard enough to do
All of the things he wanted me to

As I try to forget
And hide my pain
It only reminds me
Of how I’ll hurt again
So as you can see
I’m not the same anymore
Because of a man
I truly adored

-JD

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Jesus Calls Us to Love One Another

wpid-img_20140523_172104.jpgJesus calls us to love one another. Even ones who are unlovely. Jesus loved the unloved and unlovely. Love others as God loves us.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:7-12).

God you first loved me when I didn’t know how to love myself. You forgave me at times when I couldn’t forgive myself. You chose me. Thank you Jesus. When I found myself drowning in the sea of life You saved a wretch like me. Amazing grace! Thank you for loving me when I wasn’t lovely.  Thank you Jesus!

No matter how great your sin, God’s steadfast love and mercy are greater. His compassion never fails. He promises forgiveness. That’s love! Nobody greater.

The human mind cannot conceive the capacity of the greatness of God. His greatness is beyond infinity. God is beyond infinity. He does exist. God is love.

Be loving even when someone is unkind. Bless the ungodly when you’re hated and despised. Be a beacon of hope. Let your light shine!

Jesus commands us to love. Love with the love of God. Follow God’s example. Love as God loves.

Be blessed! -JD

1 John 2:5-6And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. (NIV)

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Don’t Defeat My Progress Because of My Pain. Let Your Words Help Me to Heal and Feel Whole Again

wpid-textgram_1399515461.pngGod knows all about us and still blesses us. In spite of our flaws, he still loves us. Yet there are those who have seen us at our worse and know all about our past. But sometimes fail to understand the impact of their words when trying to console us when in pain.

And will use our past as a crutch and at the same time speak words of encouragement. For some, it is not always intentional even when it seems inappropriate. It can mean that they really do not understand how negative mixed with positive may affect us. Not realizing how much their words hurt us.

When a person who is in pain reaches out to another, their hope is to be healed, feel whole again, and find comfort. Yet we must know the difference and not confuse comfort with negative criticism. Or confuse pain with defeating progress. Because what it will do is crush that person’s spirit and may cause them to stagnate their own progress. Some will comfort and criticize at the same time. Because it’s the person they choose to be at that time. Not realizing at that point it defeats the purpose, especially when someone needs to get past their hurt when hurting.

When someone is hurting, words of encouragement are meant to heal with good intentions. Not to be replaced with words that will hurt them and remind them of their past afflictions. Opinions matter but they do not count. When secure in whom you are you will erase all doubt. Criticism at first will look like defeat and may cause you to go on the defense. Quickly reminding yourself you mustn’t take offense. It is then and only then after much careful thought, you realize you could have handled it differently and in the future will work to not give it much thought.

Don’t get me wrong, criticism when constructive can sometimes make you stronger. But you must be careful of the appropriate time to use it and not at a time when consoling others. Or at a time when you know mentally and emotionally, there is something wrong. Discern the difference between right and wrong.

Unkind, thoughtless words hurt once they leave the mouth. Be careful with the words that come out of your mouth. Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Your words are a reflection of your thoughts and who you are and have become. Make sure your words in a split moment of conversation inspire and not tear down. Let your opinions be wise and spiritually sound. Be kind, loving, empathetic, and sincere. Don’t use the past at any time to remind someone of the place they find themselves now  is why they are there.

The greater level of comfort you have with yourself will make it that much easier to deflect criticism, and not let it hinder your progress. Only to use it as a positive force to remind you of the person you have matured into. While celebrating the past you left behind you.

Don’t defeat my progress because of my pain. Let your words of comfort be positive to help me heal and feel whole again. Don’t confuse comfort with negative criticism when supporting someone in their time of need. Build them up. Let your words be positive words of wisdom. Indeed!

Be blessed! -JD

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. (NASB)

 

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Mothers whoever you are and Children Too, This One is For You

Be careful how you treat your mother because there will come a day when she will not be on this side of heaven. But will be taken up to glory with God on the other side of heaven. You won’t be able to say “I love you” or call or text her or pass her in the wind. Once she’s gone, she’s gone. It will be the end. Cherish your mother. Tell her you love her if not always, every now and then. Appreciate her while she’s here. Because once the memory fades there is no fixing what you failed to appreciate while she was here.

I know this is a long post and I apologize for the lengthy thought, but this has been on my heart for a few days and I couldn’t help but share my thoughts.

My heart is heavy laden. I’m confused with children of today. God I know you sent mothers and fathers as gifts and deemed us salt of the earth. So are our children too. But I don’t understand why they do what they do. Sometimes they are in extreme opposition to your opinions and no matter what you do, will place blame on any or everything you do.

When they’re young, we look at them in admiration wishing they would hurry and walk, talk, and grow as we embrace them. Our hearts are overjoyed with this precious life you have given. We come to the conclusion there is nothing we wouldn’t do for them. We make sure there are clothes on their backs, shoes on their feet, a roof over their head, and food to eat. We will go to the ends of the earth and in most cases lay down our life for them. We are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for them.

We watch them grow over the years as they become adults. We want nothing but the best for them and try our best not to place fault, when things don’t turn out as they want. We stay on our knees in prayer asking you cover them because we want to prepare them for what’s to come. Since we already know what life will throw at them; which will make it that much more difficult to overcome. We cast all our cares upon you concerning them. We know because of your love for each of us, you will protect, guide, and keep them.

We must be careful how we treat our mother. She is a gift from God. There is no need to put blame on everything she does. But choose not to place the same blame on others regardless of what he or she does. This includes the things you do. Because it feels like you are competing with your past and want to prove a point to them and you. Ask yourself, how can everything be wrong with her but there’s nothing wrong with me? When you’re on the outside looking in, you cannot grasp the wrong in things you are doing or take the time to see. But if it is pointed out to you, learn to accept constructive criticism when you’re told of the wrong things you do.

God help me understand, who are these children we profess to love but feel they can’t show the same appreciation or love towards us? Why does it have to be a constant battle between us? What happens when you live each day and pass each other in the wind? You only feel the need to talk or call when you need something. When she calls you don’t answer. Time passes by you text, and they still don’t answer. But can find time to talk to others whether it’s a sister, brother, or a friend. But why is it you choose not to answer the phone most of the time for her? This is confusing.

There are events you take part in that take precedence in your life. But can’t find a moment to call out of the blue and say “I love you” or make the sacrifice. You make it clear no calls can be received at work. But when something requires your attention during this time, you make the sacrifice to get calls at work to make sure everything is fine. Everything has to fit in your schedule according to your plans. But remember, your plans are not God’s plans. God knows and see all you do. And one day when it’s too late, you will reap what you sow all because of you.

Don’t get me wrong, granted there are some good times you share with your children and will cherish the memory. Not every child will do these things even though some will choose to live in misery. There are some children who will go through some things and you will do your best to be there for all of them. There may be one child who you know loves you unconditionally. Every time you speak or hear from them, they will tell you “Mom I love you.” It’s comforting. Mothers are a gift from God. They are treasured memories. I just have to wonder why it is so hard for children to embrace this.

Yes, I confess I have faults. There are some things I don’t always get right. But I can admit my faults and humbly submit to God’s will as I make the sacrifice to make things right. There are times I can be stubborn and will block my own blessing. Yet, when I get angry and choose to refuse help it’s because I feel uncomfortable when I may feel your reaction was unnecessary. When I feel someone is doing something not out of love but out of obligation. I make the decision to refuse help without hesitation. I know it is not the right thing to do. God, please be patient with me. I am working on this too.

In this life, we all have had jobs that either was hard or satisfying. At some point, we enjoyed what we were doing or gave up trying. And sometimes we are given the choice to walk away from it if it is not fulfilling. Or we will keep at it to find success because it is fulfilling. But I find one of the most astute occupations for anyone is being a parent. And I can attest to the fact that the role we are given can be the hardest job ever. It can be even more difficult when children grow up and seem to have various opinions that are in conflict with yours. You chalk it up as a lesson learned. And although some parents will choose to walk away, for others it is not a choice we make. We make the decision to stay.

We age and with aging many things will change. Our body tells us some things aren’t going to operate the same. As believers, we live and we learn. When we come to know God, as we grow and mature we take stride in adapting to changes from lessons we learn. Sometimes we learn hard lessons and decide we don’t want to ever do that again. And then there are times we keep doing the same things over and over again. We fail to learn and get stuck in our old ways. We have trouble adapting and accepting change.

If you think about it, children who grow up will endure the same process. But they may have even a much harder time accepting why we change in the process. Granted they too can get stuck in their ways, but why it is they think it’s acceptable, whether young or old, to do what you used to do and not what you say.

What happened to the old days when children used to say, “Yes ma’am, no sir, excuse me ma’am, how are you today?” What about the times when you made sure a moment didn’t go by without calling Mom or Dad just to say, “I love you” not just today but every day. What about a phone call here or there just to check up on their well-being? Nowadays its cell phones with the option to ignore calls, which I find meaningless. And you can sense when this happens when it goes to voicemail. Or text messages you receive only when they need a favor. Or they tell you, “You have a phone just as I do. Why do I always have to be the one to call you?’ Or “I’m busy, don’t call me at work but you can call me later.” Yet, if something arises at work that they need to get done, they will call you sooner rather than later.

Respect, where did it go? Sadly, it has gone out the window. The only thing we can do is accept what God presents to us in that circumstance and be thankful for the blessing. From the test, learn the lesson. My advice, take this lesson with you. And remember this in all you do. God requires you obey your parents while you are under their care, but it is your responsibility to honor your parents for life. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Eph 6:1-3). This is God’s promise.

Mothers whoever you are and children too, this one is for you. Remember, God loves each and every one of you.

Be blessed! -JD

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that your may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (NIV)

20:12 notes:  “This is the first commandment with a promise attached. What does it mean to “honor” parents? Partly, it means speaking well of them and politely to them. It also means acting in a way that shows them courtesy and respect (but not to obey them if this means disobedience to God). It means following their teaching and example of putting God first. Parents have a special place in God’s sight. Even those who find it difficult to get along with their parents are still commanded to honor them.”

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Don’t Hate… Celebrate and Congratulate!

Do you ever think about why people do what they do? Why do they choose to like or not like you? Or even why do most people have hidden agendas or ulterior motives that are not in your best interest but only that which serves best for their interest? Yet, God’s agenda is for your greater good. He loves you forever, for good.

People will come and go. They will change their minds like the weather. They are fickle and fair-weathered. God doesn’t change his mind. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His Word doesn’t change. It will stand forever.

For the past few weeks, I have been in deep thought asking myself questions such as this. In response to people I have encountered who do not share the same bliss. I’m happy and content with the things God is showing me, even when trouble surrounds me. And I’ve decided I can’t let fear of the unknown rule my life, because of negativity or unforeseen circumstances that surround my life. I’m still happy because of it. I choose to be thankful as I walk in it.

I have embarked on a different chapter in my life that I never thought would happen given the circumstances I continue to face. I was so frustrated with all the work it took to get this life-long project completed and my daughter says to me, “Anything worth having will be hard.” Persevere; #‎ButGod. God has been moving me in a direction that I know is only of his doing to make my dreams and the vision he placed inside me come true. I’m grateful to God for my future. Thankful He knew.

When God puts something in your spirit instructing you to move, you can’t sleep, eat, or think until it’s done. Just as God will keep prodding you until it’s finished and done. This is where I am today, but sadly I am having trouble understanding or accepting the fact that others choose not to celebrate with me. And instead of congratulating, they are envious and are not afraid to show their true feelings to me.

But I’m not bothered by it, none other. I still love all my sisters and brothers. I thank God for those who left and didn’t believe in me. I give all glory to God, who is elevating me. Thanks to the haters from the itty bitty naysayer committee. Their doubt didn’t stop my destiny. Glory!

Now don’t get me wrong. I still am having some reservations about this entire process. There are times I find myself reflecting on the effects of the order of events. And how overwhelmed I am when trying to comprehend the depth of how I will manage to handle things. It’s a big change. God is taking me to new levels, and as such, new devils. Nonetheless, I’m excited and delighted because of it. God’s got his hands in it.

I am a woman of deep faith but sometimes I struggle with motives and agendas of others. When I share how good God has been to me in spite of trouble. I can see their response to the good news and it will show in their facial expression, their tone of voice confirming their objection. Faces that have no name, but the negativity in their words identify who they are just the same. And in most cases, their actions will bring them to shame.

I may get a little disappointed with how others choose to respond. But I refuse to let it take me off course, even when others lack the ability to celebrate my growth. All I can do is speak the truth about God. And the wonderful blessings and miracles only he can perform. The one thing I am assured of is this. God is orchestrating every event. And no matter how others may view or not embrace the change. It’s all part of God’s master plan. It’s a perfect plan from the master planner. God is handling it. I know what God has set before me and I will embrace it graciously. I thank God for the blessing.

Misery loves company. The enemy delights having you put your life on hold when trying to convince you his plan is better. Trust God. His plan is greater. Even if no one ever believes in you, believe in yourself. Don’t let the doubts of others take you off course of your assignment. God promised it. Don’t let your past dictate your fate. God knows your past. He’s the master of your fate. He’ll erase your mistakes in the past. What you do for Christ will last.

Sometimes it can be hard to understand when loved ones or those near and dear to you don’t celebrate or will ever approve of you.  But you know it is alright because God approves of you. No matter how trapped you may feel or what problems or hardships you may face. Know that God can minister to your deepest needs. Have faith. When things don’t go as you planned, it will work for the greater good according to God’s plan.

God will expose a distorted mind with the wrong motives and a hidden agenda. God’s plan cannot be thwarted. With God there is no hidden agenda. When people leave don’t ever blame yourself why they left you. It wasn’t you. Sometimes God has to move you out of a season for the best reason because he knows what is best for you.

I decided long ago much of worldly behavior is off limits to me. My mind is transformed. I don’t conform to this world. I make decision wisely. Take it from me. Promises are made to not be broken. God’s promise is his word. It’s never broken. What he says, he will do. From beginning to end he’s with you.

I’ve learned God will not bring you to it and not see you through it. It will work for the greater good even when others can’t see the good in it. Just because you’ve arrived don’t look down on others who are still traveling. We all have a river to cross while traveling. Just because you’re better, don’t minimize someone else joy or pain. You never know when you will have to go down that road of sadness to find joy again. You never know when you will have to come back to where you’ve been. When others are bitter and negative, pray for them.

There’s a time and season for everything. Events in our lives are not a coincidence. God allows everything to happen for a reason. So, when others choose not to celebrate or embrace your new beginnings. Thank them anyway because this is just the beginning.

To get something you never had, you have to go through where you’ve never been. And persevere through some things that will lead to new beginnings. Not everybody will celebrate you. Or be there when you’re going through. Some may only want to know you when God elevates you. Discern truth. Don’t get weary in well doing. Don’t give up. For in due season you will reap a harvest if you faint not. Hope in the Lord. He shall renew your strength. Trust in God. He is your refuge and strength.

And for those listening or reading this, change your mindset and your actions too.

Don’t hate… celebrate and congratulate others in the work God has called them to do.

Be blessed! -JD

1 John 3:16-18 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

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God Holds Your Future in His Hands

Let your service be to God, not man. Man does not hold your future in his hands. People may slander, tell lies, and show evil towards you. Pray for them. For they know not what they do. Remember God loves you.

When we serve God we are to display humility and God’s character. We are never to let our positions or titles become our character. Nor should we deny God’s love to those we encounter when we serve. We are to show love and who we are in God’s kingdom in our service. For, it is who we are to others in God’s eyes that he will see. Love all your sisters and brothers just as He. God loves you. He will reward you.

Titles are not what God will honor when judgment day comes. But he will judge you according to your works – how faithfully you served, when the day comes. Remember, you are a reflection of God when you serve his people. Attitudes and disposition that are not in alignment with his will can negatively affect other people. Do what pleases God, not people. God holds your future in his hands. Don’t let man deter God’s plan. Magnify the Lord. Serve and give honor to Him. You are an ambassador of Christ. Let your work for God speak for itself. Worship Him.

Don’t hate the sinner, hate the sin. Hate the evil that resides within. Work to overcome it. Love everyone in spite of it. God loves each and every one of us. Don’t let the evil intentions of others drive you away from what God has promised.

Acquaintances are people you meet and know of you. And just because they may have known you for a long time, they don’t know you. Don’t get it confused with who you are in Christ. Don’t let the attitudes and intentions of man towards you be your light. Don’t let it define who you are. You are a child of God. Do the work of God.

They lied on Jesus but it didn’t stop him from fulfilling the plan God designed for him. Nor should it let you be removed from God’s promises or Him. It doesn’t matter how people see you. Or the evil intentions or motives they may have towards you. See yourself as God sees you.

Be steadfast, diligent, and committed to the work God has called you to do. The only thing that matters is what God sees in that which he has placed inside you. Do your best to display the characteristics of God no matter how others may treat you. God is all knowing and sees everything. Put it in his hands. He will take care of everything.

God holds your future in his hands. Not man. Let God handle it. He has the final say. His judgment will stand.

Be blessed! -JD

Genesis 16:13 ” She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (NIV)

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Words of Wisdom

Good morning, afternoon, evening, night wherever you are! Thank God. He brought you this far. Be diligent, strong-willed, and determined. Press on!

We all are weak in some area of our life. Don’t be influenced by sin. Avoid certain activities. Protect your spiritual life. Keep the faith.

Do things with decency and in order. Put on the armor of light. Put aside the deeds of darkness. Do what’s right. Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Exemplify qualities Jesus Christ showed while he was here on earth: Love, Humility, Truth, and Service.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV

Be blessed! -JD

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Happy Father’s Day!

A father’s love is different from a mother.
No matter the stigma surrounding fathers, we can never compare them to our mother.
They deserve love and appreciation too.
Fathers are the part of the foundation that contributed to our development in life too.

Fathers can be superheroes to some.
Some may have been strict disciplinarians that taught you how to overcome.
Be thankful for what they may have taught you.
To protect you and not let others take advantage of you.
You will learn to appreciate it when you have children of your own.
It will teach you how to discipline them that they may grow up to be strong.

You may have grown up in the household of a single mother.
Still we must acknowledge the contribution of a father.
We cannot hold resentment or regret.
Of fathers who have been absent in our lives or who have not been present.

We must forgive and reconcile our hearts to God.
And love them as God loves us. God is love.
Fathers are God’s gift to the earth. Value a father’s worth.
Choose not to hold on to bitterness or strife.
Cherish your being here because of your parent’s sacrifice.
One made by your father and mother, with God’s help, who gave you life.

If you have been raised by a single mother, today give recognition where it is deserved in honor to all fathers. No matter where they are or haven’t been as of today. Acknowledge your father or children’s father even if they have been absent in the role they play. Be it near or far, celebrate their life today. Honor the presence and memory of ones who are no longer here. Celebrate them in spirit and keep them close to your heart, near and dear.

To Fathers all across the world today, I say

Happy Father’s Day!

Be blessed! -JD

Psalm 103:13 “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;” (NIV)

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What Does It Mean To Be A Mother?

My mom asked me the other day, “What does it mean to be a mother?” I didn’t have a word to say. I couldn’t answer.

My response was “Dead silence on the other end of the telephone.” I couldn’t think of an answer because I was in a zone. I was tired and sleepy but after I hung up. I started thinking and here is what I came up with as an afterthought. But before I enlighten you, I must say this to you. The words I share below is what I’m reminded of what I learned from my mother. “What it means to be a mother.”

“Being a mother is “unspeakable” joy. It is a special gift and a blessing from God above. It is being chosen by God. His love is unconditional. It means knowing you are loved. You will fulfill the plan he designed for you. To raise the children he’s gifted to you. His grace and mercy will carry you through. It is God’s favor upon you.

Being a mother means having a humble spirit. Humble yourself and not get weary. For, if you faint not in due season you will reap a reward. It’s all God!

It means to show love and patience to your children. And teach them the goodness about God our Father. It is to prepare them for what’s to come. To teach them God’s Word that will help them overcome. It is to grow in grace. No matter the obstacles you may face. God will give you wisdom and knowledge to fulfill your role.  To be the best mother you can be as you travel the “motherhood” road.

Being a mother is to know when you tell your children this, they are assured of this: God is there for you. No matter what you may go through. Carry these words of wisdom with you. “The road may get rough and the going may get tough. And the hills may be hard to climb. But I’ve decided to make Jesus my choice. No greater love will I ever find.

Carry these words in your heart. And from it, never depart. Bless the Lord at all times. Let his praise continuously be in your mouth. His love is true love. He loves you without a doubt.”

After reflecting on this, I couldn’t help but think of my mother and the life she blessed me with. As I am led to say this:

Being a mother can mean many things. But the one thing that came to mind, where I didn’t think twice, one certain quality that exemplifies my mother…“Sacrifice.”

It is to make the sacrifice to raise our children that will go beyond what we do for ourselves. Knowing they are helpless and cannot care for themselves. In time we will wonder how could we ever depart from this being God sent as a blessing? When we are given an opportunity to learn and teach them godly lessons.

We are kind, loving, generous, and unselfish. We are selfless and full of compassion. Our love is unconditional. No strings attached. We are passionate and affectionate. We nurture. We do our best to be a role model. In order that our children may live lives free of worry and drama.

We love our children more than anything in life. No matter the cost or sacrifice. We will go to the ends of the earth and lay down our life for them. We will do the best we can to protect them. We will not allow anyone to bring harm to them. If someone tries to hurt our child, we will stop the enemy in his tracks. We will go out of our way to let them know we got their back. With God, we will make sure their needs are met. And will be confident he will handle it.

We will put our lives on hold so that we are available, no matter the reason. We will embrace the precious life God has given us, no matter the time or season. The love we have for our children will be etched in our hearts. They are one part; of two human beings. They will bring new life and new meaning. We can’t imagine life without them.

Being a mother means we will wear many hats. That will serve a different purpose in many aspects. We will guard our children’s feelings and teach them to be wise. We will guide their footsteps in every decision that may be unwise. We will instill the love of God in their hearts. That they may grow up and never depart. From his Word or what they have been taught.

Yes, we may have imperfections and have made some mistakes. We have and will fail you on occasion. But we want to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes. As we try our best to guide and lead you. So you may avoid what we’ve been through. We may set standards that may provoke you from time to time. With bitterness and anger, even rebellion when you fall out of line. But we do this only because we want what’s best for you. We love you.

It is our responsibility to help shape and mold you into honorable human beings God designed you to be. That you may grow up to have good character, sound moral judgment, respect, and dignity. And you may have strong values and integrity.

What does it mean to be a mother? Simply put. It is love, wisdom, and the sacrifice of our life, that our children may have a better life. God placed us in your life that we may be a blessing to lead and guide you. To the life God has designed for you. That will lead to your destiny. Thank God for the blessing.

Mothers are special. They are a treasured memory. Honor, respect, and cherish the memories. No matter what you’ve been through. God sent them as angels to guide and keep watch over you. Don’t wait for Mother’s Day to honor your mother. Let everyday be a day you tell them that you love them. Mothers are one of God’s greatest gifts. Love them with all your heart. Handle your Mother with tender loving care. Keep her close and near to your heart.

Be blessed! -JD

Proverbs 31:26 “When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.”

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Be Thankful For The Little Things

Beckwith James Carroll Lost in Thought

Beckwith James Carroll Lost in Thought (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Upon hearing the news late yesterday of a loved one who went on to glory, I took it real hard. I cried and couldn’t sleep. I was lost in thought thinking how could this be? Wondering repeatedly, how could this have happened so suddenly?

We were very close. And oddly all I could think of was how we met. And learned we were closer than we expected. We met at a family home going, and she asked “What are you doing here?” I asked her the same question never once thinking we would be relatives.

Turns out she was a cousin on my father’s side of the family. And from that day on we remained in close contact. I became a part of her family. Through time, we became closer through countless encounters. But I didn’t have any idea I would grow to love this person as much as I did who was once a stranger. Stranger was the fact we worked at the same place and when I learned she was my supervisor, the look on my face… was “Priceless.”

She would give me rides to work to keep from being repeatedly late (ok…so I did have a tiny bit of an attendance problem :-)). But she kept me on my toes. She tried to protect me and my job even when I lacked wisdom to know better. It was as though I found a big sister. An angel God sent to me. And from that time on we remained true friends and cousins, indeed.

At first it was hard to cry when I received the call. But later I was drenched in tears as I began to recall all the wonderful moments we had in our life. So thankful to God I had the chance to see her during my visit home last year. It was blessing. We took pictures that I can still remember her as though nothing changed and she was still here. I had just talked about her the day before as I laughed, recollecting antics I would pull on her. Never once thinking she would be gone in just that short time. My, how we never know when it will be our time.

I woke this morning, tears still in my eyes. I will miss her tremendously but I am glad God placed her in my life. I had planned to see her when I travel home in a few days, which accounted for the reason I didn’t call a few weeks ago and wished her a happy birthday.

Although I did tell her where I knew she would see. I still felt sad because it didn’t come directly by telephone from me. However, I’m so grateful our paths crossed unexpectedly. Who would’ve thought a home going service would be a place for chance encounters. God knew…and I’m so glad I found her.

I’m grateful for the time we spent and moments we shared during her time here. I may be sad and my heart may be full, but it is to be expected, when you lose someone close and dear to you unexpectedly.

Understandably, it’s okay to feel distraught as tears well in your eyes. The beautiful blessing is when you can come to terms with it and accept it as you realize. They may be gone but are in a better place. Be thankful they are no longer in pain bearing heavy burdens in this place.

They are no longer suffering or will ever have to suffer again. The weight of the world have been lifted off their shoulders and they are no longer in pain. They no longer have to deal with the complexities or hardships of the world, but are in a better place with not a care or worry in the world.

It feels strange and while I am lost in thought from the events of yesterday. This is where I am today. It may be hard to take her passing away but I thank God, because my heart tells me she is in a better place. Although I may never see her face again, in my heart the love I have for her will remain the same…forever. I won’t say goodbye. I pray your soul rest in eternal peace until we meet again when it’s my time.

Time waits for no one. Yet I say, “Be grateful for the life you’ve been given. Thank God for what he allowed you to do with what you had while in it.” Be thankful for life lessons that were not happenstance encounters. It was all for a reason. Appreciate the blessings that abounded.

The time will come when life will come to an end for each one of us. Live life to the fullest until the time comes.  Be prepared for when it does. Don’t hold any regrets for what you may not have done. Or the life you’ve lived. Rejoice knowing you did your best to live as God desired you live. We don’t know the day or hour when our time will come. Appreciate the time God allowed you to stay. Cherish every moment of the day.

Give me my flowers while I’m here. Because when I’m gone I will no longer be able to smell or feel them. With every encounter, do your best to be loving and kind. Treasure still moments that travel through space and time. Cherish every memory of time spent with others. Remember them along the road you’ve traveled in the journey and how you blessed one another. Encourage and love all your sisters and brothers. Tell someone you love them today. Share a smile. It may change a life. And will go a long ways.

Be thankful for the little things.

Be blessed! -JD

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

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Why Do We Change?

It amazes me how God will send confirmation of thoughts that dwell in your heart. As he sends the most unsuspecting people, in unsuspecting places, in the most unusual circumstances to affirm what it is you desire to say.

I am a firm believer that within every circumstance, God presents an opportunity for us to make a difference. It is not by chance or coincidence. It is by his Divine Providence.

Today it was raining out but there was something I needed to do in order to meet a deadline that would affect my future forever. As I walked to the copy and print store to make a copy and mail a letter that held my future destiny, I met an unusual woman. Our conversation started off about the rain and she said where she comes from, rain was a common occurrence. I said, “Me too.” But she welcomed it today. I said, “Me too.”

I dared not ask where she was from but as soon as the words left her lips I had a small inkling she was from the same parts I was. And just as it turned out, she was.

Although we had had enough of the rain where we hailed from, it was good to see it falling today. She thanked God. And I did too. Ironic, I thought, “This woman seems to know the same God I do.” Just by her mannerism and disposition shown by those small words she chose to use. Here’s a woman who is in a great position. Just by the words she mentioned. “Thank God.”

I immediately felt comfortable with her as we talked about how people choose to conform for others as a means to fit in. They think its okay to live by standards of society rather than choose to live by God’s standards.

The conversation led to the subject of people who hold the belief that it is okay to change for a man, a woman, or even in a relationship to better themselves for the sake of others. While I didn’t see a problem with this, I couldn’t help but say, these thoughts I am compelled to express in this way. And this is what I had to say:

So often I hear people say, “As many relationships we find ourselves in, even though others turned out bad, there will be one where someone will meet a person who will cause them to change.” For the better, which will bring success in the relationship they believe was destined to be. But do you really think that’s all we should believe?

People get confused when they see others in relationships and it appears all is well that ended well. But don’t get it twisted. You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors and while change is good. You don’t know if their life really is that good. Or because of who they think is just that good.

Now don’t get me wrong, change is a beautiful thing. Especially when it brings growth absolving things that weren’t beautiful about you. But it is important to consider the reasons why you change you.

Do you ever stop to think when a person changes, who or what is it they decide to change for? Is it for them or is it for God? If it’s for them, it will seem as though they are in better place. Based on what is seen on the surface. But as the woman said it often will mean it’s only temporary. And I agree because if you’re only changing for yourself or that person, you’re not free. But if change is preceded by your desire to grow in God, and then change for the good, then you would… be free. You will experience the effects of change permanently.

God will show himself strong on your behalf. Not by what people will do because of you or what you do because of them. But because of what he will do for you in spite of them. He will strengthen your resolve, if your heart is fully committed to God. “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

We can’t change people. We can’t expect people to change for us. But with prayer, God’s Will will change for us. When we make the decision to change, it must involve God as the priority. And you will know this as things fall into place for the betterment of your well-being.

Not based on what you are seeing within that relationship with that person. But in reflection of what you will see within you in comparison. To who you were before and who you are now when God change you. You will see a better you. The relationship you’re in will benefit too. However, the relationship must begin with God to begin anew.

I commend those who evolve and change for the better. I wish nothing but success in the lives of others. But I believe and will always say, in order to be different, you have to be open to doing things differently. In order to grow, you have to be willing to change a part of you so it is God you will see. In every circumstance or situation you face. Even in the people whose lives you are placed.

As for me, I may not be the person I’m supposed to be, but thank God I’m not the person I used to be. I’m free. Whatever relationship I may find myself in, God will be first as I seek to change.

I will sing praise every day. With these words I made up Wednesday, “You don’t know my story. You can see my glory. God has favored me. I can tell by all that I’ve been through, I’m free. Free from pain, worry, heartbreak, and misery. Thank you Lord, I’m free. No more chains are binding me. My mind, my soul, and my body are free. I am. I will. I stand. I believe.”

And you can be free too. Just let God, and not people, be the reason why you change you.

Be blessed! -JD

Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

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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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What About The Children?

I heard someone say, “When children are young, they love us. When they become adults, they judge us.”

As parents, we make mistakes but we should not be held responsible for them the rest of our lives. I believe, no matter what, this is what children must adhere to.

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

“This is the first commandment with a promised attached. To honor your parents is to speak well of them and politely to them. To act in a way that shows them courtesy and respect (but not to obey them if this means disobedience to God). Follow their teachings and example of putting God first. Parents have a special place in God’s sight. Even those who find it difficult to get along with their parents are still commanded to honor them” (LASB – notes Exodus 20:12).

And this is what we must remind ourselves of every day even when they grow old, become adults and move away; because one day we will be grandparents to, our children’s children we are to guide too.

Children are blessings.
They are precious gifts sent from God above.
Cherish their presence.
They are for us to nurture and love.

Remember it is up to you.
Make your child’s life worth living.
Lead by example in the things you do.

Lead them in the right path.
Influence them in the right ways.
And they will remember it all their days.

Teach your child to follow God’s commands and laws.
We must not withhold it but discipline them in love.

Even though it may seem unpleasant
Let the punishment fit the crime in their defense.
Administer it to commensurate with the offense.

They may stray from the Word as they get older.
But your guidance at some point will carry them over.
They will have no choice but to come back to it.
The very thing of God you imparted them with.

No matter how young or old, direct them to God.
Teach them about God and his truth.
Teach them how to obey and follow his rules.

God instructs us how to discipline.
The Bible says it is what we are required to do.
We are to impart God’s wisdom and truth.

We have a responsibility to one another to approach in love.
Children are to respect and love their parents in spite of.
They are to honor in spite of unfairness.
We are to care and love them in spite of disobedience.

Remember, children are God’s reward.
They are precious gifts sent from God above.
Savor every moment that you can.
Cherish and embrace them.
Put their lives in God’s hands.

My 6 year old grandson said “We all have guardian angels. They take care of us and they actually watch whatever we do. And they go to their guardian place to protect us because they are right behind us regardless whether we are good or bad. They are our guardian angels.” He is a wise young man. In the words of a proud grandmother, I say “Amen.”

Children are wise beings and are very sensitive to their surroundings. They can sense when something is amiss. They are sensitive to negative bias. And can be influenced by it. Foster an environment that influences positive, not negative, behavior. It can lay the foundation for positive or negative development in a child sooner or later.

Make it “About the Children.”

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

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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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Who Are We To Judge?

Why is it every time I travel to see my doctor I find myself in conversation with the taxi driver defending the position of people who can no longer defend themselves? I have to wonder if this is something God is trying to bring to my attention in a certain area of my life. I won’t ignore it.

As I am riding home minding my own business, falling asleep in the back seat, the driver starts the conversation about the latest news story, the sad double-suicide of Kansas City Chief football player Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend Kassandra Perkins.

He was listening to the radio when the announcer made a statement that Mr. Belcher was a “bad guy.” The driver seconded the notion and said he definitely was a bad guy for committing such a cruel act.

He went on to say, “This guy had a career as a professional football player, money many of us couldn’t dream of having, and a beautiful girlfriend.” “He had it all. He was good until this happened.”

Now that he has killed himself and his girlfriend, he’s a bad guy. He said, “He was a coward because he killed not only himself but his girlfriend too. He was bad.”

Then, while I am not sure why, he proposed this assumption: “Maybe once he shot his girlfriend, he realized he would go to jail where he would spend the rest of his life so he turned the gun on himself.”

Me: Silence. You could hear a pin drop. Really didn’t want to say anything because for one, I didn’t want to speculate because we don’t know his reason for doing what he did or the process he chose which led up to the event. Two, does it really matter why he did it? Three, is it any of our business? I couldn’t give an answer yet.

”With my eyes closed, drowsy and a bit delirious, I said to myself, “Oh no. Here we go again.” My first thought was, “I’m too tired to engage in conversation with this man” but when he seconded the announcers’ statement categorizing this person as a “bad guy” without knowing anything about him. As well as stereotyping as society tend to do just because he was considered some famous person with money, I couldn’t help but offer my opinion. I listened before responding so as not to impose any judgment but be clear in my position on the matter.

I told him I didn’t think it was fair to call him a “bad guy” just because he committed a senseless act. I made it clear that we should not be quick to judge people just because they do something awful or stereotype just because we think we know what their life is like based on society’s preconceived notions.

We don’t know what kind of person he was since none of us knew him personally. Nor do we know what could have caused him to commit such an act.

We don’t know what he was going through, where his mind was at the time of this occurrence, or what he was struggling with that may have caused his mind to convince him to follow through.

To draw a conclusion about someone based on an act, in my opinion, is unfair. And sadly, this is the way of our world. We judge, condemn, criticize, and hate others based on color, appearance, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and by their actions. That in itself is cruel. This is what I believe.

Money and career don’t make a person as society would have us believe. Just because he was a professional football player doesn’t mean he didn’t have financial troubles, had mental struggles, or suffered in some area of his life. Just because he had a career doesn’t mean he had lots of money. Just because he had a beautiful girlfriend doesn’t mean he had it all.

He was human just like us. And I’m sure as a human, he had problems just as we do, if not deeper than most of us may experience. There could have been some deep-rooted problem of hopelessness, worthlessness, clinical depression, pain, or sadness. We will never know.

But what I do know based on my experience is when individuals are in such a state, irrational thoughts cloud their judgment and the mind becomes an easy target.

Delusions, hallucinations, and the likes exist and in some cases are hard to distinguish from reality. Some people are strong enough to fight against the voices, others not so strong which lead to acts such as this.

Fame and fortune isn’t easy. Nor is it everything. It comes at a price. One cannot live a normal life. Money doesn’t buy happiness. One cannot be completely satisfied or content with the idea of constantly spending and getting what they want, getting nothing in return. Love doesn’t really conquer all with humans. Unless it is genuine, true love as God loves.

In concluding my conversation with this guy, my last statement to him was this, “I believe in God. I don’t think it is ever fair to judge a person because of what they do even if it isn’t right but we must leave it up to God. He will place judgment.” There was silence the rest of the ride until I reached my final destination. All was well that ended well.

My final thought. We can never know what others are going through. We must not condemn based on a notion. But instead pray for the family, friends, and society in general that peace and healing is found. Pray for strength. Pray for discernment. Pray.

As humans, we all will become discouraged at some point in our lives. The Bible has many Biblical characters that experienced discouragement and prayed to die. But they chose not to follow through. Instead, they remained obedient to God, sought his help, trusted Him, and relied on Him for deliverance. God provided them with a solution; just as he is able to do for us.

1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Take these simple words of advice. Don’t be condescending but learn to have compassion. There are people hurting. A small gesture can save a life. Don’t be judgmental but leave it up to God. Your opinion matters and can be expressed in the right way as long as it doesn’t offend or hurt others. Acknowledge in love. Don’t take matters into your own hands but trust in the power of God that he will provide a way out. God is your source. He is a present help. Trust him.

And finally,

Matthew 7:1-2 “Judge not, that you be not judge. For with judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. http://bible.us/Matt7.1-2.NKJV

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Love Unconditionally

John 3 16 #There is so much ugliness I’m reading as a result of last night’s election. But we must remember as Christians it is not our duty to judge. Nor should we forget who is in charge; God.

God is not a respecter of persons. He does not show impartiality or favoritism. Nor should we. God loves us unconditionally. As believers, so should we. Regardless who others may be, the love of God should be a reflection of who we are.

If he abides in you, you will abide in Him. We must not tear down but build up one another. We must not hate but show love for each other. Follow the example of Jesus Christ. Who made the ultimate sacrifice. Even when they lied and persecuted him. He laid upon the cross. He died for us.

Let not the attitude of others persuade you to react as they do. But let the character of God reside within you. Show love. As God does. For God is love!

Be blessed and have a wonderful day in the Lord.JD

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