Tag Archives: motivation

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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Has Satan Confronted You Today? What Are You Wearing? The Full Armor of God or Your Bad Attitude at the Complaint Window?

Sharpen Your Sword Joaynn.pngHave you sharpened your sword today with the word of God? To counter against the attacks of the enemy? Not just by knowing or quoting a verse but reading Scripture daily and applying it to your life? Do you have faith in God’s promises even though Satan also knows Scripture and is clever at twisting God’s Word to suit his purpose? Are you ready?

What we know about Satan, he is consistent. He constantly fights against God and never misses an opportunity to fight against those who follow and obey God. He never misses a moment to devour, distract, and destroy your witness. You got to stay ready.

The Word of God is the only offensive and effective weapon to fight against the silly antics of the devil. Put on the full armor of God. Stand your ground. Stand on the word! Buckle your waist with the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, fit your feet and stay ready with what comes from the gospel of peace. “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:13-17). Don’t give in or give up. Pray without ceasing!

Throughout our ministry, in our circumstances and our situation, and life we will constantly be confronted by Satan to make us change our minds about God’s promises. We need to constantly be on guard against the enemy’s attacks knowing they are not “a once and for all” occurrence. They don’t happen and then stop for good. They are ongoing. Satan will not stop coming after you or resist the opportunity to make you question what you know to be true about God so that he can get you to do what he wants. Rebuke that spirit! Come against, condemn every lying tongue that shall rise against you in judgment. No weapon formed against you shall prosper!

Be blessed! – JD

Ephesians 6:11, 12 “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (NIV)

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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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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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Hey Part-time Servant of God, Listen Up! I Need Your Full, Undivided Attention!

Leaders JoaynnSorry for the long post…My heart is grieved. Not because I’m sad but because it saddens me when we profess to be Christians and do the opposite of what God desires from us, especially when we place conditions on him when making excuses to justify who we are not in him because we think we are entitled.

If you are in a REAL relationship with God, you will serve him. No ifs, ands, or buts. There is no gray area or middle ground with God. Either you will wholeheartedly serve him or you won’t. When you make the decision to give your life to him, you’re offering your life as a living sacrifice. You will desire to grow, mature, submit, giving your heart to God, be an example of Christ, and love as God does.

There are different ways we serve God but what we are not here for, TO BE SERVED BUT TO SERVE. Our service MUST be rooted in love. And should be a love-filled response and not an apathy-filled one. Too many times I witness people who profess to love the Lord but are not in the right relationship with him or are living examples of Christ in their actions, words, deeds, service, and obedience to him.

We put God in a box with only enough room to move in our lives as we see fit, when it’s convenient. Yes, we fail God every day and fall short of his glory on the regular but we must be careful when we offend him.

My observation: WHAT SERVING GOD IS NOT,

1) Judgmental, envious, jealous, hateful, spiteful, gossipers, doubters, and lack of compassion for others.

2) Serving ourselves instead of others.

3) Coming to church on Sundays, praise and worshipping but in a split second the moment someone strikes a “my nerves bad nerve”, you telling them what you ain’t gone do if it doesn’t benefit you.

4) USURPING God’s authority. Making deals with God like he’s beneath you because somewhere you were given authority and think your position supersedes his authority.

5) Wanting things to go your way because you think your position entitles you to it but fuss and complain when it doesn’t go as you insist and then tell God, “Okay…I’ll do it even though I don’t want to but…I’m serving you.” Like you’re doing him a favor!

6) Being ugly towards others, not humbling yourself before him when you’re wrong but expecting the highest level of respect because you think you deserve it.

7) Having a title, a fancy car, degrees, big houses, money, want people to look up to you, follow your own instructions but are not willing to take direction or instructions from others.

8) Looking down on others because they are not in your class, or hold the same status, or they merely don’t fit in your “circle.”

9) Not loving the unlovely or serving ALL mankind.

10) Looking for something in return just because you have “selfishly” or “unapologetically” given of your time to God…..and that’s just the beginning of the list of what not serving God looks like.

You may have missed the memo but last I checked, God doesn’t need anything from us. And he certainly does not need our help. If you’re serving God out of obligation and not out of obedience, it’s meaningless and not what God desires. Think twice before you commit to it and check yourself, your attitude, and your ways before you do it. Whomever thinks it’s okay to NEGOTIATE with God is playing a dangerous game with their soul.

As for me, I hold the highest reverence for God and out of my respect for who he is and what he means to me, I work daily to glorify him in all my doings even though I too fail him. If you profess to be a Christian, please stop playing with God and act like one. If you profess to be a Christian and serve God, please stop taking your servant role for granted and act like a servant.

Be careful how you treat God. He will humble you. He can take you from where you are and bring you to the lowest valley in 0 to 60 seconds, taking that which he has given you away until you can be humble.

If you want to be a leader, you MUST be willing to be a servant (Matthew 18:3-4). Anyone who is great or a leader is a servant. In order to be great, you MUST be humble with a lowly mentality, and not one full of pride. If you want to be a servant of God and lead others to Christ, act like one. Thanks for listening.

Be blessed! – JD

Matthew 18:3-4 “and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (ESV)

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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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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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The Next Time You Decide To Complain To God, Be a Faithful Complainer and Not A Grumbler!

Faithful Complainer JoaynnWhat do you do when God has given you everything you asked for and after you received it now you wish you had never asked for it? He took your little and made it much and now you are complaining it is too much to handle.

You prayed and asked God to enlarge your territory that you may have a greater INFLUENCE in the world, INCREASE your area of influence to reach the masses to share your message, and INCLINE your heart toward his statues and not toward selfish gain (Psalm 119:36), according to his will, that you are content with what you have. Look at God! He answered your prayers.

God gave you a platform to share your message with the world. He gave you gifts to inspire, influence, and serve others. You are sought after by many across the nation to share your gift of speaking at various events. Then something happens. In the process you find your time is stretched beyond what you can imagine. You become overwhelmed and start grumbling and complaining.

You say to yourself, “I have all these things to do I asked for and not enough time to do it in. I have a meeting at 9, two clients at 10, notes to put together for my next speaking engagement. There’s not enough time in the day to get everything done.” But…you have everything you prayed for. God gave you the desires of your heart and now you feel it’s too much.

So what do you do in the midst of grumbling about that new job you were blessed with, discontent in spite of favor bestowed upon you to grow your ministry, complaining about serving and the amount of travel you have to do to spread the gospel and you hear from God and he ask you one question, “So what do you want me to take away?” How will you answer God? Will you doubt his power, declare he’s not able, faithful, or good by telling him what you want him to take away? Or will you rejoice in all that he has given you and trust he has counted you worthy of his calling or believe he knows exactly what he’s doing?

Remember Adam? He was the first complainer. And had the nerve to blame God when asked about his sin. God commanded him, …”you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16). When God asked him if he had eaten from the tree of the knowledge, he never said “yes.” Instead he complained and blamed God and Eve for what he did. He told God, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it” (3:12). He blamed God and Eve for his failure.

Moses had complaints when he met God at the burning bush (Exodus 3-4). And what about Job? He didn’t do anything wrong. If anybody had a right to complain, he did. Job lost everything, was anguished, and had no problem telling God how he felt. He didn’t mince words. He was honest and wasn’t afraid to take his complaints to Him. Job suffered because of his righteousness. He complained to God but he never sinned against him or charged him with wrong. Follow Job’s example. Be a faithful and not a faithless complainer.

Stop questioning the goodness of God. Stop grumbling and complaining when he grants you the very things he knows you are capable of handling. Be a faithful complainer and not a grumbler. Rejoice. Thank God for all that you have. And the next time you decide to complain to God, do it in a way that honors him.

Be blessed! –JD

Philippians 2:14-15 “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine pas lights in the world,” (ESV)

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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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You Are an Unlikely One, Chosen by God. Stop Trying to Walk in Someone Else’s Anointing and Walk in Your Own!

Not Their Anointing JoaynnGod uses the most unlikely people and circumstances to accomplish His purpose. You can be used by God. Follow your calling. He will get the glory. Trust in Him.

If you were to reflect on your life and think about how God used a broken vessel like you to accomplish his purpose no matter what you were going through, would you believe you are called and anointed by God? Would you believe your calling is your calling, your anointing is your anointing, you are an unlikely one to be used by God?

Get this, your gifting is your gifting. You have been chosen by God, to do a work in a special area that is not meant for anyone else. What God made specifically for someone else will not fit you. Stop running after gifts that are not yours. Walk in your own anointing. No one can lead in the specific area God has called you to lead. No one can do what God has called you to do. Stop trying to fit in with the rest of the world only to be like them.

Remember David? He was chosen by God to fight Goliath with the gifting God gave him. Saul tried to give him his armor, dressed him in his own tunic, put on a coat of armor on him, and a bronze helmet on his head (1 Samuel 17:38-39), but it didn’t fit. Why? Because it was tailored to fit him and not David.

After David fastened his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, he said, “I cannot go in these because I’m not used to them (17:39).” So David took it off. He took the very things he was familiar with to fight the way he knew how; a staff, five smooth stones, and his sling in his hand (17:40). With his sling and one stone he killed Goliath.

God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called. David used the things God equipped him with for the battle. David was not Saul. Therefore, he could not use the armor Saul gave him to fight the battle. It was not the right fit. He was not called to be a soldier. He was God’s chosen shepherd. He was anointed as the new king over Israel.

In order to fight like who he was called to be, he had to wear the clothing God gave him to complete what he was called to do. He was also an unlikely one. He was a murderer, betrayer, liar, and an adulterer. Ahh…he was not perfect. He was an unlikely 15-year old shepherd boy, chosen and anointed by God. He was a man after God’s own heart.

God doesn’t want your skills, or need to know how many degrees you have, or is looking for what you have done. He’s looking for an ordinary person to make a difference for His Kingdom. He chooses, not the best ones but broken ones to do his will. Don’t compare yourself to others. He anointed you for a special purpose. Be the person whom God has called you to be. Be used by God, just as David the unlikely one.

Be blessed! – JD

1 Samuel 16:11-13 “So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.” (NIV)

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Stop Wrestling With God. Your Arms Are Too Short to Box With Him. When He’s Trying to Take You to the Next Level, Stop Resisting. Be Intentional. Let Him!

Every Blessing JoaynnGod will break us to bless us before he makes us great. Don’t resent preparation before elevation. It’s required. Trust God. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

Have you ever noticed what happens when God is about to elevate you and take you places you’ve never been before? How things change in your life unexpectedly when He has you in transition while in a place of waiting and you feel uncomfortable?

You begin to lose friends, valued possessions, haters and the opinion of others are at an all-time high, and relationships become a lost memory as a result of the change. Yet it doesn’t have a thing to do with you, even though your mind will try and convince you that it does. You begin to think you’ve done something wrong and think it’s all your fault when you begin to lose things and people who leave without warning. Trust God. It’s all for a good reason.

Everybody can’t go with you where God is taking you nor can they see what God is about to show you. While there will be some people who can’t stand to see you blessed, some will not be able to handle the blessing God is about to provide you when you pass the test. Some people will have to fall off. Don’t regret the process. Count it all joy.

And if that doesn’t help, remember Moses, Jacob, and Job who all found themselves alone wrestling with God in unfamiliar territory as God led them to the “other side.” He had to take them to a place where the crowd could not follow. He was positioning them for what he was about to do in their lives. He was preparing them for the next level. Revelation before elevation is a not a myth, it is a fact. Pay attention.

Moses tried everything he could and made all kind of excuses to get out of going to Egypt to deliver God’s people from bondage. Jacob was full of fear, anxieties when faced with meeting his brother Esau who vowed to kill him and found himself alone in the desert where he wrestled with God, and won. Job wrestled with God as he sought answers to why all the afflictions had come upon him. But they never lost their faith in God. Nor did they give up. They stood on God’s Word and fulfilled His promises.

Here’s a thought, God has set you apart for his purpose. It will be uncomfortable. You may even be confused when others are not happy for you, especially those you thought were close to you. It’s just a test. This means war! And the devil knows this. The devil knows what God is about to do and will do everything in his power to distract, destroy, and discourage you from reaching your destiny that you may never get to experience the manifestation of God’s glory. Do not be dismayed. Don’t give up. Be encouraged. God’s up to something.

When you begin to notice the very things you become complacent with that will change for reasons you may never understand and can be frustrating when faced with a fear of the unknown, know that God is changing things in your life for a greater purpose. You may not know what to expect without knowing what’s ahead. Have faith it will work out for the greater good.

You may find yourself having trouble with adapting to change, wanting to stay with what’s familiar, and keep things as they are because it’s easier to accept or settle where you are because you’re so used to things working out as they have been. Change your mindset. God desires you grow and with that will come tests, trials, and struggles. God wants to bless you and bless you more abundantly, if you allow him. Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will elevate you. Be ready.

Some of the best of the best men like Abraham, Moses, Jacob, and Job wrestled with God and His will for their lives and they made it through. Many couldn’t and didn’t go with them to their next level of destiny because they weren’t meant to. You are no different. You are on assignment for God. Be bold. Embrace preparation before elevation. Be fearless. Be intentional. Walk into your next level of destiny!

Be blessed! – JD

Isaiah 40:28-29 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (NIV)

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