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Dr. JoAnn

Boogie Fever

Good morning!  This is a beautiful Thursday that the Lord has made and we are rejoicing and being glad in it. Today's power scripture comes from Psalm 150:4 – “Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.” (KJV)
      The other day I was watching a favorite movie and during the opening and closing scenes one particular song of the sound track really struck my fancy and I had to jump to my feet and get my groove on.  I loved the heart-pounding rhythm, the driving bass line beat and the lyrics were spontaneously jubilant as well as catchy.  Needless to say I was caught up in the moment and for a period of time, I forgot about the movie, my environment or anything else that might have been on my mind.  I had engrossed my entire being into allowing the music to fill my spirit with gladness and I responded by clapping my hands, kicking up my heels and throwing a shoulder roll into a Bankhead Bounce move that could shame any Soul Train dancer.  Don’t let the gray hair fool you, Dr. J still knows how to ‘cut a rug’; but don’t get it twisted, I don’t twerk.
     With the same excitement that we display when earthly things inspire us, we should even more express our exuberance for and toward our God.  He lovingly presents us with new mercies every morning and is sure to forgive us of transgressions we have yet to even commit.  Why would we not want to give him the highest praise at all times.  As I was getting my groove on I noticed that my breathing was increasing and I actually worked up a little bead or two of perspiration on my forehead.  As I enjoyed the moment listening to a secular song; I digress to think about the breath of life that God breathed into us to make us a living soul and the living water that is Jesus which allows us to never thirst again. With the same exuberance that we muster when cheering for our favorite team; or receiving our tax return or watching Olivia Pope cover up yet another scandal; we should explode with just that much or more joy when we electric slide our way to church to praise God for his ever-present love that gets us so cranked that we have to walk it out to avoid that stanky leg.
    Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day! Dr. JoAnn

Perfect Imperfections!

Good morning! Happy Monday.  Today's power scripture comes from 2 Samuel 9: 7 &13:  “ And David said to him, “Do not fear; for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father; and you shall eat at my table always. So Mephib′osheth dwelt in Jerusalem; for he ate always at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.” (RSV)
 
      One ear a little larger than the other? Freckles and blotches scattered about on the skin?  An unruly birthmark?  A crooked smile or a hairline that starts so far back that you have a five-head instead of a forehead?  These are only minor imperfections but for some these imperfections have caused debilitating self-esteem issues.  If you believe that your physical traits are so offset from the norm that it makes you less then acceptable or desirable   - Stop that negative thinking.  Society paints pictures of perfection on the images that are portrayed in media and it is a fallacy.  Even high-priced fashion models utilize touched up and modified photos.  There are no perfect bodies. Everyone has something about themselves they wish to change.  There are things about me that I cannot change any more than I can change the distance between the Earth and the sun.  I am tall, very dark skinned and one of my eyes is larger than the other.  I accept my looks and praise God for he made no mistakes in fashioning me in my mother’s womb.  God is a spirit and we must worship him in spirit and in truth and personally I don’t think he cares whether that worship comes in a thin body or one with a large nose or flat feet; just so it comes in truth and love.
       The very traits that we think can hinder us from making great strides along our life’s journey are the very things that if we are not ashamed of and use them to God’s glory, he will make provision for us in ways we could never imagine.  When David was established as King, he sought out any relative of his friend Jonathan to bless.  It happened that Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth, crippled as a child, was raised to a place of honor and dignity that was neither hindered nor contingent upon his disability.  The king honored him because of a deep abiding love. 
      God does not bestow his blessings upon us because of or in spite of our shortcomings; he does it because of his love for us.  So don’t worry what others might think about your bald spot, or the curves that arthritis has placed upon your limbs or the fact that one of your legs is longer than the other.  Moses had a speech impediment; Jacob walked with a limb; Sampson did some of his best work blind as a bat and you can do even greater things than you can imagine when you forget about your imperfections and know that you are perfectly and wonderfully made in the image of God.
 
Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day!  Be blessed –
Dr. JoAnn

Turn Back

 Good morning! TGIF  Today's power scripture comes from Luke 17:15-19:  “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.”(KJV)
       Of the ten lepers cleansed by Jesus, only one turned back to give thanks and in doing so he was made whole.  The other nine were indeed healed but purely by the grace and mercy of Jesus, despite their ingratitude. The thankful man was not only healed but Jesus made him whole.  Nothing lacking; nothing missing. His wellness was because of his faith.  He got the cake and the icing too. I think I like the fact that God sees my heart and rewards me for my faith which is pleasing to him in comparison to receiving grace gifts where I give nothing to God.  Don’t get me wrong  I LOVE GRACE AND MERCY and if it were not for the diet of grace and mercy that I have been living on so lavishly for the past few years I would surely have wasted away; but I appreciate that God gives me opportunity to show him how much I love him through my faithfulness and thanksgiving.
       Right now you might be going through some tough situations and that so-called light at the end of the tunnel is nothing more than another fast-paced locomotive speeding toward you ready to run you over. The greener grass seems to never grow on your side of the fence and the silver linings of your dark clouds keep flaking off.  Regardless of these things we must remember that daily God is providing for us and if we take our eyes off of the things that seem to be going wrong, we can channel enough of our consciousness to be thankful for the many things that are going right.  The devil always wants you to shift away from the positive to dwell on the negative. Don’t do it.  It isn’t worth it and it takes you down a rabbit hole of despair and potential depression. The lepers might have wanted an instant healing, but it happened as they were walking toward the priests – who knows maybe they were so focused on what was wrong and anticipating relief later that they didn’t even realize that their healing was in their walking.  One did…and he turned back and gave thanks.  Don’t be so focused on your problems or what might even seem to be a solution that you miss the healing and the opportunity to turn back and give thanks.
 
Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day!   Have a GREAT weekend.  See you on Monday!    Dr. JoAnn

Shelter in the Time of Storm

Good morning! Thankful Thursday.   Today's power scripture comes from Psalm 61:3 (AMP: “ For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me, a strong tower against the adversary.”
         Earlier this week I told of how I was so thankful for my ‘stuff’ and that even through the displacement and downsizing how grateful I am to have had, and still have some stuff to call my own.  Well today my focus is on the fact that I have a place to put some of my stuff.  Having shelter is no joke.  One of the first things that settlers in any new area try to acquire is some form of shelter which provides protection from the elements; a comfortable place to rest the body and emotional safety and security. When the certainty of leaving my previous adobe became a reality, I asked God where was I to go. Utilizing his usual method of communicating with me when I attempt to panic, he was silent.  As I calmed my spirit, his voice became more clear and distinct and in essence he told me to ‘wait’.  And I did.  I packed but I waited.  I packed the essentials and I waited to find out where they would go.  I packed things to store and I waited for further instructions.  I packed things to give away and I waited for news of my next move.  I worked while I waited.
          I considered a myriad of relocation scenarios; even contemplated foreign missionary service; but in it all, God told me to wait.  Shelter came from an unlikely but providential source.  And although I know this is quite temporary, I am at home and I know all parties are being blessed by this union.  Daily I give God praise for a roof over my head; a door to lock out danger; ample food and enough ‘stuff’ to make it all comfortable. I praise God for the shelter of his everlasting arms; the shelter of his abiding Word; the shelter of knowing that I am saved and safe.  I thank God for shelter.  Whether you live in a 10 bedroom mansion, a rental double-wide trailer or found peace on a friend’s pull-out sofa, give God praise and thanksgiving for shelter.  
Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day! Dr. JoAnn

Happy Birthday!

Good morning! Wonderful Wednesday.  This week, as the Holy Spirit directs, my blogs has centered on THANKS.  Today's power scripture comes from Philippians 1:3: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you”.  
        As the camel from the GEICO insurance commercial says – “Guess what day it is?” - Yep, yep…Not only is it hump day but it’s my birthday – get busy – its’ my birthday – yeah…yeah…    and a special birthday cheer to my oldest son Steven Gaither, II and all the other wonderful and beautiful people blessed to call this day their natal day.
   This is the day that the Lord has made and I have been thankful about it all month!! I am thankful for my mother, Eula Mae Williams Smartt Boddie, who made sure to eat properly and not smoke or drink so that my introduction into this world was not as a sickly, under-developed or malformed baby.  I am thankful for her nurturing and care for many babies do not make it pass the first few months of life.  I am thankful for my aunt and uncle, Charles and Sara Gunn, who raised me ; my father (Joseph Smartt); my siblings (Stanley Smartt, Deborah Anderson, Joseph Winters and Ron Garlington) and cousins (Arthur Houser, Jr, Jackie Smartt, Ali Hasan, Juanakee Hargrove Butler and a host of others)who love me and my friends and associates who tolerate me.  I am blessed to have sons (Steven and Charles Gaither) who honor and cherish me and a granddaughter(Kamari Gaither) who looks and acts just like me.
            I am thankful. I am thankful to a God who created me; a Savior who redeemed me and a Comforter who guides and teaches me.  I am grateful.  I am blessed and I won’t waste a minute of this fine day complaining or wondering or speculating about anything.  I am fully persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate [me] us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord - so therefore I am thankful.  Enjoy your day!  I surely plan to squeeze all the greatness out of it I can. 

Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day! Dr. JoAnn

Like Minds!

 Good morning! Terrific Tuesday.  This week, as the Holy Spirit directs, my blogs will center on THANKS.  Today's power scripture comes from 1 Timothy 1:12 (GNV):  “Therefore I thank him which hath made me strong, that is, Christ Jesus our Lord: for he counted me faithful, and put me in his service”
               Today is an especially thankful day for a few reasons. Today is a good friend’s birthday (Jackie Spinks of Birmingham, AL) and also the eve of my own birthday, along with my oldest son Steven; but more importantly later on this afternoon I am privileged to share in a special time in the life for another believer.  God found me faithful and someone thought me worthy to serve on her dissertation committee as she defends her academic development in the awarding of a doctoral degree.  Having gone through the grueling process myself many years ago, I understand fully the ups, downs, triumphs and heart strains associated with completing this hallmark. It is a privilege to stand with her as she shows the evidence of her long trials, multiple studies, numerous sessions and final declarations.
               I am thankful that God allowed me to be in the position to assist this young woman move on to another level in her academic development and I do not take it lightly.  Today is a special day and I give God praise and thanks for how he has kept her through all of the rigors and provided for her as she dealt with unanswered questions, sleepless nights and endless revisions. I am thankful for all who have ever ‘vouched’ for me; promoted me; stood up for me; nominated me; pushed and supported me. And I am always responsive and thankful when I can be of service to help others along their journey.  Today, remember those who helped you and give God praise!  Remember those upon whose shoulders you stand and give THANKS!

Every day is a good day, it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day! Dr. JoAnn

The Right Stuff

Good morning! Happy Monday.  This week , as the Holy Spirit directs, my blogs will center on THANKS.  Today's power scripture comes from Ephesians 5:20:  “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (KJV)  
           In one of my prayer times on Sunday afternoon I focused on how thankful I am to have ‘stuff’. To have things that I can call my own and that I have free liberty to use and do with as I please.  It might seem strange for me to give special recognition to the tangibility of ‘stuff’ but I am grateful for all that God provides– life, health and yes…’stuff’.  As I have alluded to in previous blogs, I recently relocated and REALLY downsized.  At first mention of the need to relocate, I was traumatized; not because I had to move, but because I had to pack.  If you never really took inventory of what you have – it will amaze you when you have to pack it up.    I am not a bone fide pack rat, but I do like having the convenience of ‘stuff’. I have a gadget for most chores and a tool for most jobs. Why borrow when I can have my own?.   I believe in waste not, want not; so therefore I do recycle and reuse and save for a rainy day. And if anyone knows about Georgia…there is ALWAYS a rainy day.  My saving grace is that I have a touch of OCD so therefore I am extremely organized and very neat (Praise God); so chances are if you need something not only do I have it (in assorted, shapes, sizes and colors), but I can usually put my hands right on it.
            Although it was a pain in the neck (and back) to pack up some of my things; and difficult to part with many of my things; in the long run I was able to realize how blessed I am to be afforded the luxury of ‘stuff’. To give away dozens of pairs of shoes makes one realize that there are many who do not have a change of footwear. To dispense of furniture and furnishings makes one think about those whose whole existence can be crammed into a backpack or pushed along the street in a shopping cart. Who has time to worry about matching china when you eat most of your meals out of ‘to-go’ containers from soup lines?  One of the things that we forget when we complain about our ‘stuff’ is that there are many who wish they had stuff.  Don’t let foreclosure or eviction or a house fire be the cause to shake you up to think about how thankful you are for your ‘stuff’.  Look around at the stuff you have accumulated and give praise. Don’t’ complain about it…if it is too much, then give it to someone and share your blessing.  If you are junky and your stuff is in your own way, then clean up, but don’t complain for there are millions out there who wish they had ‘stuff’ and a place to put it.  I am thankful to have both; a bit downsized, but still gifts from God.  

Every day is a good day, it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day! Dr. JoAnn

Spring Into Action!

Good morning! Today's power scripture comes from Deuteronomy 8:7 For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;.”
       Well for some it is official and for others they probably won’t believe it until they can really feel it….but it is now spring.  Supposedly very soon the harshness of winter is to give way to the mild caresses that the spring weather will impose upon the land.  Many have suffered long and hard this past winter, with record breaking temperature lows, back-to-back storms and never ending rains.  Regardless of the way March has entered into your neck of the woods; it is a much needed transition.  As I watch the dogwood trees bloom it is also delightful to view the pear and Japanese maples changing colors.  Song birds fill the air each morn with melodious tunes to their Creator. The squirrels have gotten friskier and even the local insects are making a comeback from their winter hiatus.
          I must admit that while my favorite season of the year is autumn, I do enjoy the pleasurable transition that March brings…especially since it is also my birth month (March 26).   God has given us a promise of revival, renewal and rejuvenation.  Take some time today to give God thanks for his marvelous creation, Mother Earth, and for the blessing of the seasons.  As Solomon scribed in Ecclesiastes, there is a time and a season for everything under the sun.  Give God praise for the majesty of his precise workings; as we watch the heavens obey his laws.  Buried bulbs awaken from their months of slumber and push their tulip tops skyward, and even the smallest bush responds and knows when to bud.   There are hidden treasures deep inside of each of us.  God placed them their while we were yet being knit together in our mother’s womb.  Some of them are awakening now and yearning to break free.  Let God’s beauty come forth .  Now is your time to blossom.  

Every day is a good day, it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day! Have a fantastic weekend.  See you on Monday.    Be blessed! - Dr. JoAnn
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