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?

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?

Something 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 loves 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).

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!

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!

God 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)

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

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

Please 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-painwhich 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

What if… ???

What if… ???

What 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)

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

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

Sorry 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)

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!

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!

God 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)

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

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

Boy 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.”

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

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

SAVE the Date!

I 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!

God is an awesome wonder! To God be the glory for all the marvelous things he has done.

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

Can I Just Have One Moment To Myself?

Can I Just Have One Moment To Myself?

Ladies, What Say You?

Take a listen to my 2nd sample podcast coming soon to an iTunes store near you, and tell me, do you agree?

As a woman, wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, confidant and one who wear many different hats, who always put the needs of others before us, do you agree sometimes we just need a moment to ourselves? Let me know your thoughts.

Enjoy!

Music by: Monifah- One Moment
Calling All Prayer Warriors, Please Say a Prayer

Calling All Prayer Warriors, Please Say a Prayer

Please Say A Prayer.

I know this picture looks familiar but with all that is going on in the world with yesterday’s senseless tragedy where 17 innocent people were killed in Parkland, Florida, I couldn’t help but share a revised copy of this post again today. In remembrance of those who have lost loved ones, to let them know we’re thinking of and praying for them.

There are times when I can’t look at the news and find myself far removed from things that trouble me. But yesterday was a day I couldn’t help but hear and see news of yet again unspeakable tragedy that took the lives of innocent people in Parkland, Florida. Now my heart is saddened and my soul has been stirred and shaken.

Once again tragedy has struck and taken lives of the innocent. God, I know I mustn’t ask when it all will end, because some things will continue to happen because of the fallen world we live in. I can’t keep up with all that’s going on in the world. The best thing I can do is pray for the loss of innocent souls. As well as those whose mind may have left momentarily because of the enemy, who may have convinced them only to confuse them that their life and the life of others needed to end.

Father, please forgive them for they know not what they do. Father, I ask that you cover them because of what they unknowingly may have done to hurt others and disobey you. I pray for the families who are now left behind bewildered and distraught, trying to figure out what happened to bring about this tragic time.

My prayers are with the victims and families of senseless tragedies and violent storms that continue to occur across the nation. God send strength, comfort, peace, and healing in light of devastation. Jesus, be a fence. May the blood of the Lamb protect them. I pray for strength of families who have lost loved ones, no matter the circumstance which they’ve lost loved ones. God calm the troubled waters of those who will cry endlessly, because of pain felt so deeply. Heal the hearts of those who may feel distraught, because of a void that has left a hole in their hearts. Peace be still. Heal their hearts.

God I know you are healer. You are a strong tower. You are God Almighty in every waking hour. Surround the homes of every family and friend. Dispatch angels of mercy to cover them. Your grace is sufficient no matter the tide. Let the hearts of those affected by tragedy be healed in the face of those who have been hurt, who are lost, or who have died. You are God all by yourself. For every family across the nation you are a present help. This is my prayer I pray. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Here’s a candle and a comforting scripture to let you know across the nation we are saying a prayer and thinking of you. We are praying for you.

Calling all prayer warriors, please say a prayer. Light a candle. Let them know God is there. Say a prayer for every family and victim across the nation everywhere. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matt 18:20). God hears the prayers of the righteous. May the peace of God be with them.

Be blessed. –JD

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (ESV)