Tag Archives: Words of Wisdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be blessed! – JD

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

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

Superficial Acquaintances Joaynn.pngSomething to think about:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be blessed! – JD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be blessed! –JD

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

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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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So You Say You Know About God, but Do You Really Know Him?

Especially For You JoaynnTo say you know God, know his Word, know what he desires from you to please him, and not do what he desires is to not know him but only know about him when you choose not to walk in obedience and enter into a relationship with him.

It’s easy to profess “I know God” “I love God”, “I know the Word of God” “God is good” when things go the way YOU expect. But do you really know him or only know about him because of what you profess? Genuine love reflects God’s love. Your life will reflect the love of God in your heart when you choose to keep his commandments and live by His Word.

For every occasion in life, many of us have an agenda we wish to accomplish. There’s something we want to do and we will make plans to do it. But we must always be reminded God’s agenda is not our agenda. Yes, sometimes things will work out as we plan and some things will not. In reality, it’s not supposed to. If it did when would we need God? I’m inclined to think never.

When faced with situations that are beyond our control yet are resolved because of decisions we made without God, don’t think it was because of you it worked out. It was all God. His grace was sufficient, in spite of. Don’t let your circumstances call for desperate measures in desperate times, or cloud your judgment and cause you to make decisions outside of God’s will, without God. Let him do what he knows best.

If you were to sit down and think about why that thing didn’t work out as you hoped, do you suppose it was because God allowed it to show you who is in control? Do you ever think maybe it was to get your attention to something he needs you to know about him to show his power?

Remember this, God is in control; not us. It is grace that works in and through us, not in spite of our weaknesses, but in and through it. God is working things out in our favor. It is a testament of our faith. Wait on God and let him do his work.

Wake every day with great expectancy from God. Allow His will, and not your will, be done. Get out of your own way and make room for God to do what he knows best. Don’t get it twisted. When things go right and you say, “That was God.” Yes it was but it was not by your agenda. It was his!

Be blessed! – JD

Matthew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (KJV)

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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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No Matter The Situation, Praise God. He Will Do It, Won’t He!

Crooked Places Straight JoaynnIf you were to look back over your life and reflect on everything you’ve been through that God has brought you through, and count your blessings one by one, your arms wouldn’t be long enough to carry them.

For every tear you’ve cried, every obstacle you’ve faced, God wiped the tears from your eyes and made a way out of no way.

For every person that has hurt you and talked about you behind your back, God took care of it. He made the crooked places straight. He placed the enemy under your feet. He turned it around in your favor and blessed you more abundantly.

For all the fiery trials you’ve met with, God took care of that too. His grace and mercy saved you. So when you find yourself complaining about anything, change your mindset. Give thanks to God. Count your blessings. Look at God! He did that!

When we pray and ask God for what we want, unanswered prayers is God saving us from what he knows we don’t need. Thank God for answered prayers for what we need and not for what we want. Thank him for unanswered prayers of what we wanted because he knew what was best for us.

Because we know what it is to be in need and not want, we know what it is to have plenty, even when it looks like we don’t have enough. We may have more month than money, but God! He will supply all our needs. His grace is sufficient. He already worked that thing out. Praise God. He provided. He will do it won’t he!

Philippians 4:12-13 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (NIV)

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Don’t Rush God. Be Patient. Wait on Him. He Knows Exactly What He’s Doing!

Promise With Provision JoaynnThe vision is yet for the appointed time. Don’t rush God. Be patient. Though it may tarry, it will surely come. Everything you’re believing God for will happen in his timing. Be careful what you ask God for. Because you just might get what you are not ready for.

When you ask God to stretch you beyond what you can imagine that you may grow in him, He will pull some things out of you that you didn’t know you had in you to fulfill his purpose. He will stretch you beyond the unthinkable. To do what he put inside you and knows you are capable of. And not what you think you know you are not made of. When he stretches you, it ain’t gone be pretty. Be ready.

Sometimes God has to set us up to bring out some things in us before he elevates us. It may seem like it’s taking too long but don’t get discouraged. Believe it or not, negativity can be a blessing in disguise. It’s calling your attention to something. Transform your mind. Pay attention.

Trials tests our character. Circumstances tempt us. We believe the opposite of what God promises us. We struggle with our identity and are tempted to find our purpose. When in fact, oftentimes it will expose flaws in our character and reveal our true identity.

Struggles do not define us. It’s all in our perception. We’re victors and not victims. God builds character through our trials to mold and mature us. He has to break us before he make us while we are in transition. Some things will need to change in your life for the better that you may grow, become more like Christ, and become a better person.

When our identity is tested we find out what we’re made of and who we truly are when faced with obstacles and situations that make us uncomfortable. Especially when we reach a point in life where we are uncertain what we should be doing to reach our destiny or fulfill our purpose.

We arrive at a place where our job no longer fulfill us, but we know deep inside there’s something greater inside us. With determination, we keep pressing on to do what we are created to do and change the world.

Remember, it takes time to build character. It doesn’t happen overnight. The wait is for a greater purpose. To ensure you are not only prepared when God elevates you but ready to do the work you are called to do. Don’t regret change. It’s required.

What seems difficult will not defeat you. It will make you stronger. Don’t regret the process. When the storm is over you’ll be wiser, better. You will come out stronger. Thank God for every trial, every setback, and every difficulty. He was preparing you for your destiny. Be encouraged. Don’t give up. You made it. Look at God. He did that!

 

Be Blessed! – JD

Habukkak 2:2-3 Then the LORD answered me and said, “Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. 3″For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay. (NASB)

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Dear Absent Father from The Mother of A Daddyless Daughter….I Just Want To Say “Thank You And You’re Welcome!”

Dear Absent Father,

To My Daughter JoaynnI penned this letter to you, with my deepest regards, to surprisingly thank you for selfishly choosing to be an absent father.

When I look at my daughter every day and delight in how much she’s grown, I can’t help but thank God for the life she has successfully achieved being raised by a single parent. I made one of the best decisions ever. To nurture, guide, be there for her, and always love her.

As I think of the very moment I laid eyes on this precious human being, fell in love with her, saw so many parts of you in her reflection, there’s no denying she’s yours, I couldn’t imagine how great her life would be impacted when you chose not to be a part of, or truly acknowledged her existence. Thank you for leaving an innocent child that didn’t ask to come here, emancipating yourself from her life before and after she was born, to take care of your other children and freely live your life as a single man.

I prayed I could raise her to be an honorable, responsible, respectable, strong-willed, independent adult. Thanks to you I did, in spite of some tough challenges I faced without your help. And most of all, you don’t know what you did for me. Each and every challenge brought out the best in me. I found strength I didn’t realize I had enough of, to raise my daughter all by myself. Cheers to you! I’m grateful.

Thank you for contributing to what could have been a disaster to your “no father figure daddyless” daughter’s struggles with feelings of low self-esteem, self-worth, identity, and value. Good news! Thank God! It didn’t break her nor will it ultimately affect her life-long relationship choice in her future husband. Long talks, loving family support will continue to help her with that. She’s beautiful, confident, strong, and intelligent.

For times she would have looked up to and admired you for being a great father who set the example of what to look for in a man but had abandonment, trust, and betrayal issues, thank you for helping her learn what it took to persevere. She’s wiser, better. She chose not to look for love, acceptance, or validation in all the wrong places or searched for the identity the world thinks she lost, because of her absent father. Thank you. She’s an amazingly strong woman.

She decided on her own what not to look for in another man what she never saw in you, because of the example you didn’t set. She chose not to settle. She never ran into the arms of a man in search of a lack of affection to fill an empty void in her heart, because of one of the most precious gifts you decided not to give her; unconditional love. No worries. I took care of that for you.

Thank you for the times you didn’t call, write, or be there for her on special occasions or remembered her birthday, that could have burned a hole through her heart. You cannot even imagine how it may have negatively defined who she would become. No worries. I helped you out with that too, stepped in on your behalf, made up for your absence, and set the right example as best as I could as a mother. I am, and you too would be proud of her. No need to thank me for it. It’s on me. You can have this proud moment for free.

Hats off to you for the small, sporadic monthly child support checks each year you thought was enough to raise a child that could never cover the costs for food, shelter, medical expenses, or pay for one outfit or a pair of shoes each year she grew out of, but managed to walk a mile in to reach the place she is now.

Words cannot express how grateful we are to you for contributing to a debt that can never be repaid for anything I’ve done, because my unconditional love was free, and it didn’t cost a thing. Nor do you owe me or this precious being back pay for the gift of life, so don’t ever feel guilty. The glory belongs to God. We have God to thank for the free gift of life he gave her!

Thank you absent father, for making me one of the richest persons in the world for a debt you could never repay. Nurture, guidance, advice, forgiveness, structure, discipline, value, self-worth were all free.

And let me leave one last tip for you before I go, to show my gratitude of how much I appreciate you for not being that “involved, loving, caring father.” Pat yourself on the back for your biological contribution, but don’t wait until she become successful and accomplish all she dream or hope for, and try to claim your “undeserved” back pay for something you chose all your life to not be a part of. Just send a thoughtful card wishing her the best and tell her, “Thank You.” You’re welcome!

With love,

Signed ME, a proud single parent

-JD

Ruth 3:10 ‘And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.” (ESV)

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Welcome Wisdom Wednesday! Your Valley is Taking You Somewhere. Don’t Give Up. Run! Head Towards Your Future!

Wisdom Wednesday JoaynnWhat happens when you give it your all and even that isn’t good enough? One minute you’re rejoicing because something good just happened and in a split second bad news traveled faster. Only to leave you discouraged.

Your hope comes crashing down and you feel defeated. You think to yourself, everything you try doesn’t work out and you’re hoping a door would at least open wide enough to propel you on your way; in search of your destiny.

You know without a doubt you have a purpose and continue to search to find it, but the answers don’t come easily. You know you’ve been given a vision by God and you did your best to follow his leading.

It’s easy to say, “When you’ve done all you can do, stand.” But in the back of your mind you feel worthless because you’re doing nothing. You go to God, and it feels like He is not answering your prayers. Should you give up? Or push until something happens? Or keep the faith, no matter what?

Well, think about this. Yes, it can be truly difficult to believe God at a time when your troubles outweigh your circumstances, your faith is deeply tested, and you’re stuck deep in the valley with no hope in sight. You’re waiting for God to send a rope to pull you out. You will have trials. Your trust in God will be shaken. The valley is not meant to break you but to make you stronger.

There is a divine purpose for your being in the valley. God has to take you through a walk in the valley one step at a time, to bring you out better than you went in. God is faithful. If he can trust you with little he will make you a ruler over many. Stop looking behind, in front of, around you or to the right or to the left. God will make everything all right. Trust him.

Don’t allow failure to be a crutch that cripple you and cause you to give in to fear and allow Satan to stop your anointing. Don’t worry. God gave it to you. No one, not even Satan can stop your anointing.

Delayed is never denied. Whatever it is you are believing God for may not come when you want but it will manifest in his timing. Don’t give up. Keep trying. Be still in the Lord. Your valley will take you to the next level God has prepared for you. Your future is waiting.

Your future is not your past. It’s in front of you. Don’t look back on what was left behind you. Run. Move forward. Head towards your future.

Be blessed! – JD

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (ESV)

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2017 Is On Its Way. Follow Your Dreams Like Never Before. Do Something Extraordinary!

your-future-joaynnWith 2017 fast approaching in less than two days, make a commitment to do something extraordinary! Follow your dreams like never before. Step out your comfort zone. Declare, “I will have all that God promise me.” You are more than a conqueror! Go get your blessing!!

Don’t let what needs to be left behind you, your past cause you to miss what is waiting in front of you, your future. Press towards the mark. Your future is waiting.

If we were to take a look at our lives and can honestly say we know it was nothing but God that brought us this far, why is it we continue to make choices we believe are in our best interest only to remain stuck because we are comfortable? We cannot transition into the next level if we choose to stay bound. We have to step out of our comfort zone.

God deals with us one thing, one step at a time. He doesn’t rush us. But we cannot move forward if we choose not to press towards the mark. We have to be willing to be led by the Spirit. Otherwise we miss it. We have to want to be guided by God. We have to want to be led by God. We have to want to stop doing the same things we’ve become comfortable with doing to get different results.

If we keep doing the same things that are not what God wants us to do, or never change our mindset and believe we are on the right track because time and time again everything works out in our favor, we will miss the great life God promises us. And live a sub-standard life because of our own choices. Shouldn’t we want more from life if we know we can have it and have it more abundantly? Hasn’t God laid the path out for us? Make the decision to follow his instructions.

When we as believers profess and know God but are stubborn in our ways and choose to be ignorant to what and how we know we should apply the Word of God to our lives, don’t blame God when it doesn’t turn out right. Blame yourself when you suffer consequences as a result of your own doing.

If we know God promises all things will work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28), why do we forsake him and not believe him? Why do we worry? If you truly want to walk in the promises of God, believe what he says, walk in it, change your mindset, and choose to live as he desires. Whatever God says, believe it. He said it. That settles it!

Happy New Year!!

Be blessed! – JD

Proverbs 1:5 “A wise man will hear, And will increase learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.” (Proverbs 1:5 NASB)

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When You’re Down To Nothing, God is Up To Something. No Matter What, Get Up Every Day and Do Something!

promise-without-purpose-joaynnHow many of us can attest to the fact we know our dream or vision has been assigned by God but become fearful or will have doubts when it seems like everyone around us is prospering but us. Yet if we are honest with ourselves, we too are prospering just as others or if not even better. God is preparing us for greater to fulfill his perfect will while we wait for better.

We don’t know how long or what it took for that person to get where they are nor do we know what they had to go through to get where they are. What we do know is God can do anything but fail. And whatever our hands touch, he promises they will prosper. Your gift will make room for you. Whatever God has for you is for you.

Just because you may see someone else business or dream manifest before yours does, it doesn’t mean God has forgotten about you. It just means his timing of manifestation is “not yet”. He has to prune, shape, and refine you for what he knows is coming. Don’t give up. Keep the faith. It’s coming!

For those of us who are honest with ourselves, we can admit we are flawed. At times, we can’t seem to find our purpose. We feel inadequate and feel we don’t belong. We wake every day with expectation believing God for a miracle. Yet when things don’t work out as we expect we become discouraged and possibly disillusioned.

Our faith is tested. We begin to question our trust in God. We have doubts, become hopeless, in despair, wanting so badly to give up. Where is our faith? We focus on what’s not working in our circumstances instead of looking to Jesus at work in our circumstances. We start looking to the right and to the left. Not realizing we only need to look to the hills from whence cometh our help.

Life is not easy. But we have a choice. We can choose to be happy or choose to miserable. Don’t look at your situation only to become discouraged and want to give up. Remind yourself, even when you’re down, God is up to something. God wants to take you from Eqypt to the promise land. Say to yourself every day, “No matter what, I’ll get up and do something!”

Look at where you are now and where God brought you from. You are where you are because of where you’ve been. Look at God! Ain’t He good!!

Be blessed! –JD

Isaiah 43:18, 19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV)

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Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday! Be Encouraged. If God Be For Us, He is More Than The World Against Us

God Be For You Joaynn.pngWhen it feels like the weight of the world is on our shoulders and our heart is heavy burdened because we’re troubled and feel alone, and it seems like the world is against us who can we call on? God. He hears the prayers of the righteous. He’s always with us.

One of the most difficult things to contend with is not placing judgment when we are going through something. Even more so, one of the greatest challenges we face when in such a predicament is not holding ourselves accountable.

Sadly, people will always and I mean always have an opinion about you. Gossipers will have a field day when you choose not to do what “they” think is best for them and not you. You can never be good enough to do enough to please everyone. Stop trying.

Sometimes we have to look beyond our circumstances to find answers when troubled. It’s not people. We’re fighting against the wrong person. We make the mistake of blaming others for our insecurities. It’s not them. It’s the enemy. If we keep looking for answers from others who will validate our need to be right even when we know we are wrong, then we are looking to the wrong person for a solution to the problem.

Then we begin to isolate ourselves from the very people who can help us. As believers we already know Satan is a liar and the truth ain’t in him. His greatest desire is to isolate you from everyone, even loved ones to get your attention. He wants nothing more than to keep your mind preoccupied on things you know are not of God. Because he knows your comfort zone and he wants you to stay there to keep you from growing.

God desires you grow. But how you can grow if you insist on doing it alone and isolating yourself from the world because you are comfortable. How can you be better if you’re stagnating your own growth? And choose not to change your mindset or way of thinking because you are complacent? How can you do better if you are still doing what’s familiar instead accepting the challenge of becoming better? You can’t be better until you do better.

Fear and faith cannot exist at the same time when you know God. Don’t judge unless you be judged. Surround yourself with the right people. Godly wisdom is the greatest wisdom you can ever have to help you when going through the storm. Take a moment. Sit in silence. Seek God.

Stop relying on other people to validate your existence. Come out of your comfort zone. Choose to be happy. Choose to live to please God. Be not afraid. God is with you. When you find yourself in a predicament that you have no control of, go to God and not other people. If God be for you, he is more than the world against you.

Psalm 27:1 tells us, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” No one or nothing!

Be blessed! – JD

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (ESV)

 

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A Right Heart Before God. That’s What Giving Is All About

Right Heart Before God JoaynnOftentimes when I reflect on giving from the heart, I’m reminded of this “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

No amount of giving can ever compare to to the heart and mind of Christ. God is not concerned with what we give or how much we give but rather how we give from what we have. It is not the amount of giving that is important when we give from the heart but it is the attitude we will have in our giving. Giving and enabling are two different things. Know the difference.

Giving does not require a public service announcement. Nor does it deserve recognition to validate who you are. Silence is golden. Let the work you do for the Lord speak for itself. As long as God knows your heart it doesn’t matter what the world thinks of you. Give as he gives and it will come back to you. Give cheerfully and not reluctantly or out of obligation. Because that is not a cheerful giver.

The heart is a depository for good and evil. What comes out of the mouth flows from the heart. Choose your words wisely. Speak life and not death. Giving generously and joyfully pleases God. Don’t be concerned with what pleases others.

When you know what you know about God and he knows the condition of your heart, be at peace. God knows your heart. Giving is not an obligation. It’s not a requirement to give. It is a demonstration of the heart. It is not done to affirm what people think of us.

The amount you give or who you give doesn’t impress God. Your heart must be right when you give. Give with an attitude of gratitude. Be willing to give with the right heart. It pleases God.

A right heart before God. That’s what giving is all about.

Be blessed! – JD

2 Corinthians 8:11-12 “So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.” (ESV)

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Be Grateful. Give Thanks to God. It’s Just That Simple.

What I Want JoaynnIt doesn’t matter how well you do in life, especially when it seems all is going as planned. It only takes one thing that will change your life forever. Be ready to fall on your knees in prayer to God when life changes.

We’re not promised tomorrow. Don’t take life for granted. Keep God at the center. Pray, meditate, study the Word. Give thanks to God. It’s because of his grace and mercy you are alive.

Some didn’t make it today. Thank God for brand new mercies. You woke in your right mind, with a portion of health and strength. Without God, you never would have made it.

You may not have what you want. You have what you need. You may not be where you want to be. God has you right where you need to be. Thank God. In everything, give all glory to God.

Be blessed! – JD

Psalm 100:3-4 “Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (ESV)

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Look At God! He Brought You This Far. Aren’t You Glad He Didn’t Leave You Where He Found You

How Amazing JoaynnAt times, when life becomes a cycle of uneventful circumstances that leave us helpless and hopeless only to become weary, in despair, we may tend to lose focus and sight of God.

Our spiritual life gets turned upside down and we began to feel the impact in our spiritual walk. We break silently, not having much to say, if nothing at all. Yet we still praise God even in our moments of silence; in the midst of turmoil.

Not that it means we are isolating ourselves from those we love. We just do not need any distractions. Praising God for the blessing. In quietness and confidence is our strength (Isaiah 30:15). Reading the Word, prayer, and meditation are essential. It is in this time, we really need to hear from God. And will require time with him and him alone.

No matter how many times we may fall by the wayside or lose our way, we always find our way back to Him. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. His grace is sufficient.

Take it from me, life can be a struggle on the regular. And sometimes it can be difficult just to pray. But never stop because simple prayers will get you through the day. It can be as simple as, “Thank You Lord.” Persevere and watch how the power of prayer will manifest in your life.

You may have been through some things. God brought you a mighty long way. Aren’t you glad He didn’t leave you where he found you? How amazing! Praise God. He is simply AMAZING!

No matter what life brings on any given day, never stop giving God thanks. Our God is faithful. Be grateful.

Be blessed! – JD

Mark 10:27 “‘Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”’

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What If I Told You God Says You Are Called To Be a Peculiar People Made To Stand Out, Not Fit In. Would You Believe Me?

Your Fullest Potential JoaynnWhat do you do when you find yourself believing in a dream and you’re convinced you are made to stand out, not fit in? Nor are you designed to be like everybody else?

But you’re constantly reminded you should fit in and adapt to the world’s methods or standards and do what they’re doing in order to find the same success.

Well….do you believe it and try to find your own success because you chose to be like everyone else? Or do you wait on God? Well….here’s what I believe.

To meet with obstacles at every attempt to make your plan work is God saying “not yet.” Be patient. My plan will come to pass. Have faith. Trust my timing. The more you tell God “I’m not ready” and stay in your comfort zone, the more He will move you into your destiny and show himself strong. Oftentimes in your most difficult struggle you will find your greatest strength. Your struggle becomes your passion.

When you’re given an opportunity to do something out of your comfort zone you know is orchestrated by God, do it. Walk by faith, not by sight. God is leading you in the right direction. Press on. He promises all things work together for the greater good. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28). Believe!

What if I told you God says you are fearfully and wonderfully made? Aren’t you called to be a peculiar people for God? Didn’t God give you a vision? YOU were called by God.

Don’t choose to listen to the opinions of others only to stagnate your growth. Do not conform. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. The vision is yet for the appointed time. God promise it will surely come. Keep the faith. It will surely come.

Be blessed! – JD

Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (ESV)

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Food For Thought: Jesus Is Coming Back. Are You Ready?

Jesus Will Return JoaynnOftentimes I hear people as well as myself say how we are living in the last days and seeing signs of the times. And make no mistake about it, we are. If you don’t have a relationship with God or you are not in the right relationship with Him, now is the time to seek him, repent, and get right with him.

We are living on borrowed time. This is just a temporary dwelling place. Jesus is coming back. Be ready. Don’t miss it.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean we’re perfect. We’re flawed. Don’t conform to the ways of this world because someone thinks you should. We are sinners. We all are in need of a Savior. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Go to the throne of grace. Boldly ask for forgiveness.

When we make decisions on our own and we believe it was a blessing when things turn out for the good, in spite of our flaws, know it was by God’s grace it turned out for the greater good and not because of what we did.

It is not by our own merit or our works God saves us but it is Christ work on the cross what saves us. God grants us grace even when we don’t deserve it.

Be careful with the decisions you make. Do what pleases God. Count your blessings. Jesus is coming back soon. Be ready.

Be blessed! – JD

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

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Seek God’s Face and Not His Hand. Don’t Wait Until Trouble Comes To Be In His Presence. Seek God’s Help Beforehand. It Will Prepare You To Handle The Test

Seek God's FaceToo often when our backs are against the wall, we allow pride to get in our way and will lose sight of God. We start looking at our circumstances and begin thinking of ways to find a temporary solution to the problem. We rely on ourselves and only seek God for what he can do for us with the wrong motives.

We think we have things all figured out and will handle it on our own. We seek God’s hands and what he can do for us instead of seeking his face to be in his presence. Forgetting he already knows what he will do. We get in his way and will interrupt what he is already prepared to do. He’s waiting on us to trust him and believe he will do what he promised.

Didn’t God say he will supply ALL our needs? How much more proof do we need? If he said it, believe him. He has already worked out what we need before we ask him. We may think desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures but it doesn’t mean we have to give in to temptation when thinking irrationally. We have to learn to trust God when our backs are against the wall. Be in His presence every day before trouble comes.

Don’t try to work things out on your own. Don’t just run to God when you experience trouble. Seek God’s face to be in his presence beforehand. He will handle it.

Be blessed! – JD

Psalm 27:7, 8 “Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! 8 You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” (ESV)

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As Long As You Are In The Right Standing With God Don’t Worry About Where You Stand With Others

Right Standing With God JoaynnAs believers, when we are properly aligned with the Word of God, we are able to recognize the false pretenses of others who desire to dismantle our character with gossip, lies, and deceit when constantly in negotiation with the enemy to kill, steal, and destroy in their failure to do the right thing.

However, one of the ways we are assured we have grown when faced with opposition is when we choose not to respond to negative, false misrepresentations of the truth opposite of who we are. The minute people point out weaknesses of others and judge them unconducive to who they themselves claim not to be, is an indication of their own hidden weaknesses that ultimately expose who they truly are.

Actions speak louder than words. When someone offends you and you choose not to respond, it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you are growing. Because if you can reflect once upon time when you would have given them a piece of your mind but instead chose to ignore the offense and pray for them, you have changed. You have been transformed. You have grown stronger in the Lord and choose to love others in spite of who they are. And the best part God, not you, will be glorified. ‪#‎randomthought

Be blessed! – JD

Colossians 1:9-10 “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (ESV)

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