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SMARTT-CHOICE Inc.

LITHONIA, GA 30058

"Empowerment Through Education"

Doc's Blog Jots

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Check Yourself

Posted on October 20, 2014 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (9)
Check Yourself
1 Peter  -"As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct". In raising  my sons I was a loving disciplinarian. I set the rules; explained the rules and told of the consequences of breaking the rules. I felt it was unfair to punish a child for a first offense if they might be ignorant of what was expected. After a stern lecture (which I think they hated worse than any spanking) I would remind them that "now I know you understand, so if you do it again you have filled out an application for the punishment". Before we gave our hearts to Christ we were spiritually and cognitively ignorant of many of the life sustaining rules God had in place for us. But as we walk with Christ he expects us to mirror his actions, learn from his teachings and grow under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We can not continue in a faith-based walk with God and continue doing the things we used to do and expect to not get some measure of correction.  The devil will make you believe what you are doing is ok...living together without the consecration of marriage; sexing whoever makes you feel good for the night; establishing families based on pregnancies or conveniences rather than on Godly direction; stealing, lying, sabotaging, etc,  So while you are "playing house" and 'loving the one you are with' and eating someone else's lunch out of the staff refrigerator, the devil is just chuckling because he knows that God is long suffering but he will not be mocked-you will be punished; not because God hates you... but because God absolutely loves you. God hates sin and he will provide a rod of chastisement to guide you back to the right ways of living.  Check yourself ... everyday I have to repent from some slippage in my walk with Christ. The more I walk with him the closer I cling to him. He says the way of the righteous is narrow and if you keep skipping along the path, throwing yourself in any direction -to please others or your own desires eventually you will fall off the cliff. It might be difficult to change a 'worldly' decision all of a sudden. But seek God, repent and watch him turn your life around. Be Holy!  Be blessed! Dr, JoAnn 

Relax!

Posted on September 29, 2014 at 11:01 AM Comments comments (3)
Good morning, well I must say I am so relaxed today I am a little  off my timing.  There's nothing like rest and rejuvenation to spark the spirit and heal the soul.  Sometimes we just need to put the brakes on and slow ourselves down to a complete stop.  Many of us are running on full throttle so much that we are whisking through life and really not enjoying the scenery. We all know that the rat race is out there.... but we also know that the second rat gets the cheese.  Slow down... feast on the day... smell the flowers; better yet take some time and actually plant a few.    We hurry though each day wishing for it to be over but in reality we are asking for our lives to hurry and be done.  You might say- "I can't wait until next month, this project will conclude." It seems like a harmless statement but remember our words are very powerful. Before you know it the time has come and gone but what other important things have you also sped through-Time you could have spent with family; time you could have enjoyed doing things you like; reading, crafts, movies; time you could have used deepening your relationship with God. Well after years of chasing the brass ring and always falling and skinning my knees I am embracing the fine art of doing as Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Be blessed!  Dr. JoAnn 

"Be Ye Ever Ready"

Posted on August 22, 2014 at 8:29 AM Comments comments (2)
Be Ye Ever Ready!
Good morning. Today's power scripture comes from Matthew 24:36 and 44 –“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
On the Mount of Olives Jesus was telling his disciples about the signs of the end times and warning them through the use of parables that they must always be prepared for no one knows the exact time that it will happen.  We chide about global events that spurn discussion of the end times.  When bizarre things occur or strange events seem to happen in succession we often say: The signs are getter closer  - time to pull out the broom  - better get your house in order - Because Jesus is coming soon.
We may joke about the CNN reports and the world news updates…but as Christians we all know that our Savior has promised to return and that we do not know the day or the hour…but that we must be prepared and we must be ready. In the next chapter (Matthew 25) Jesus tells the parable of the 10 bridesmaids.  Only half were considered wise; the other half foolish.  All were deemed for perfection, yet when the test came they were split in half…5 being the number of grace.  When the time came…when the rubber hit the road...when the stuffing hit the fan…when the final buzzer rang…when the gift of grace was put to the test  - 5 knew how to use the gift of grace that was given and were prepared…5 because of their inability to be ready fell short.  They had in their hands the lamps that they needed, but were still unprepared because they had no extra oil.
What is in your hand?.  Do you take for granted the tools God has provided to light your way and give you direction? The foolish took their lamps yet made no provision for the uncertainty that was sure to lie ahead. The coming of the bridegroom was not something that was a usual occurrence; this was a once in a lifetime event and yet to them it was not important enough to treat with the special forethought that it deserved.  God places things in our hands for us to use in preparation for the uncertain yet important events that lie ahead for us.
Because the tools…. gifts….. talents….. that we are graced with become second nature to us…do we forget their prime purpose?  Do we overlook or take for granted their importance.   Or do we always make sure that WHAT we have in hand maintains its value and use.  God gives us certain skills, we must not let them wear thin, get rusty or dusty, outdated, lose credibility, grow dull, lapse, become invalid, expire, need tuning or go flat…
Lamps without oil are as useless as incomplete school transcripts, unfinished projects, neglected relationships, untapped potential and untamed egos.
They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them.   A gun without bullets cannot stop a charging beast, a pen without ink cannot sign thoughts into law, a dull blade is useless in cooking, the wheels of ingenuity cannot turn with rusted parts.    Don’t let your God-given gifts go awry. They have a specific purpose in your destiny. Keep them ready and sharp for God’s glory.
Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day! Be blessed! Dr. JoAnn

"Small Things Matter"

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (59)
Small Things Matter
Good morning.  Today's power scripture comes from James 3:4 (EXB) - “Also a ship is very big, and it is pushed by ·strong [fierce] winds. But a very small rudder controls [guides; steers] that big ship, making it go wherever the pilot wants.”
  Do not think for a moment that your contribution is too small or insignificant to matter.  If you only have a small amount of money to give toward a large goal or if you only have a limited amount of time to spare to assist on a project; it does help.  God looks at the heart of your contribution and not the quantity.  It is the quality of your service and desire to give and participate that endears God’s heart.  When we give our best, even in small increments, God will take what we have and multiply its effect so that our little becomes much.  In today's scripture we read of the influence that a small helm or rudder has in steering a large and formidable ship.  The ship is gigantic in comparison to the small pliable piece that is used to maneuver it through the water under the control of high and often violent winds.  The stronger the push of the gale, the more obvious it is that the rudder is needed and important.
      The ship might represent some grand or great aspect of your life that requires the dynamics of strong influence in order to move from where it is now to the place of its best use; but the very forces that provide this push, could also be the same forces which could tear it apart or send it off course. Here is where your small rudder of ‘faith’ comes into play.  God’s promises concerning your mission are secure and he has provided the means (the ship) and the power (the winds) but direction is needed.  That focus or direction comes from your faith.  We only need as much faith as compared to that of a small mustard seed and we can see its influence making a great impact.  Don’t cower from asserting your faith in tackling large issues, problems or projects.  Know that God has provided all that you need and all you must do is take hold of your faith and steer.
Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day! Be blessed! Dr. JoAnn

"Suffer the Children"

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (5)
Suffer the Children
Good morning! Today's power scripture comes  from Matthew 19:14(NCV) –“but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people who are like these children.”
Across the country many schools have already started the new school year and many others are preparing to start within the next few weeks.  For some this past summer included fabulous family trips to fun locations, family reunions and great getaways. For others this summer was a struggle to find something constructive to do in order to keep busy and out of trouble. Some children attended sports or technology summer camps while others dreamed of just being able to get out of their subdivisions or off their blocks.  Some could only get away as far as their imaginations could carry them.
How our children and grandchildren see themselves and dream of what they want to be is critical. Please let it be important on your ‘to-do’ list to help reinforce to our young ones just how special they are.  Children are steadily bombarded with negative talk, paparazzi newsflashes and hours of unbridled immorality on television.  They can experience school life that is tormented by bullies or be placed in local schools that are struggling to maintain the minimum of state requirements for accreditation.  Our children play too many videos games where life is restored by the push of a button; they believe friendships are contingent upon whether they have the right type of phone or popularity is determined by how destruction they can act. All of these things are distractive blockades preventing them from being in the presence of the Lord.  The closer they may want to get to Jesus, the more they are isolated by these trappings.  It is our responsibility to our children and to the ‘village’ we support to protect them as we guide them to move closer into the presence of Jesus.    Find a youngster you can help today – encourage them to stay focused and seed into their lives in a tangible way.  The seeds we plant today will provide for our future.
Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day!  Make it a great day for a child.  Be blessed! Dr. JoAnn
 

"If Unique Is What You Seek' "

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 1:27 AM Comments comments (11)
If Unique Is What You Seek

Good morning.  Today's power scripture comes from Psalm 139:14 (ESV) – “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
Why do we try so hard to be like everyone else?  We strive to keep up with the Joneses; to wear the same labels on our clothes; drive cars that are known by numbers instead of names; walk alike; talk alike and even chew gum alike. We look at rail thin models and social misfits to try to decide how we should dress.  We listen to emaciated anorexics to decide how we should eat.  We listen to those beat down by life and holding diplomas from the school of hard knocks to tell us how to organize our lives and teach our children.
We come into this world as originals but we work so hard to be carbon copies. God made us in his image and placed within our mothers’ wombs the capacity incubate original individuals capable of thinking, learning and being the very best of what God designed within our DNA.  Don’t hurt God’s heart by denying the wonderful creation he made you to be.  So what if your ears are a bit large; your eyes too squinty; voice to scratchy or feet too wide!  So what if you don’t have legs like JLo or swagger like Denzel or President Obama; muscles like Serena Williams or a smile like Idris Elba!  We all have some physical flaws that we wish we could change, but those very things are what make us so special.  Early in her career it was suggested that vocalist Barbara Streisand correct the size and angle of her nose; but it was those very features that produced her unique sound.  Give God thanks for the special traits which you possess that stand you out in a crowd.  Do not be ashamed of your skin color, height, weight, hair texture or the lack of hair.  Be proud if you walk with a limp (make it your trademark gait) or have a slight lisp (purposefully use words with lots of c’s and s’s just to make your point).  Celebrate being you.  Celebrate being special.  Celebrate being unique.
Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day! Be blessed! Dr. JoAnn
For the audio version click the link below:

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 8:23 PM Comments comments (3)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Good morning.  Today's power scripture comes from Genesis 9:13 (AMP)  “I set My bow [rainbow] in the cloud, and it shall be a token or sign of a covenant or solemn pledge between Me and the earth.”
   Over the past few weeks we have experienced frequent sudden downpours where the heavens just seem to open and we are quickly drenched with a torrential rain.  These sudden squalls do not last long, but the amount and intensity of the storm is something quite amazing.  Since moving to Atlanta one of the most mystifying scenes I have witnessed is when it is raining on one side of the street and bone dry on the other.  Each time we are blessed with these showers I am reminded of the wonder that must have overtaken Noah when he and his family saw rain for the first time.
The upheaval of the sinful world caused God to refresh and renew the planet through Noah’s family as they rode out the storm in the ark.  Along with his family, Noah and key flora and fauna survivors witnessed God’s rainbow promise to never destroy the world again by flood.
     Every time I witness a rainbow in the heavens I remember that God keeps his promises and I am rejuvenated and overcome with awe as I watch the color patterns lace the sky in splendor.  God made a solemn, unconditional oath to protect us; just as he promised that whosoever believeth in Jesus should not perish, but would have ever lasting life.  For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.  Isn’t it gratifying and wonderful to know that God wants us to have abundant life and that he showers us with love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, and favor.  Then he reminds us with daily little glimpses of his promises by giving us signs and wonders.  Look around you today and take note of the small yet wonderful signs God gives to remind us that he loves us.
Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day! Be blessed! Dr. JoAnn

"Stay In Your Lane"

Posted on August 11, 2014 at 2:09 AM Comments comments (6)
Stay In Your Lane"

Good Morning. Today’s power scripture comes from 2 Kings 22:2 (NET)- “He did what the Lord approved and followed in his ancestor David’s footsteps; he did not deviate to the right or the left.”
       As a youngster one of our favorite indoor activities was to compete in a friendly game of bowling.  It was fun to pit one team against another to see who would score highest and of course which team would make the most ‘strikes’. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, the object is to roll a large, heavy ball down a highly polished wooden lane to knock over ten pins strategically positioned at the end of the lane.  At first glance it seems like a pretty straight forward easy thing to accomplish; but there is definitely an art and a science to getting all the pins to fall.  While many new bowlers believe the clue to success in knocking over the pins comes from applying brute force as they hurl the bowling ball down the lane; seasoned veterans know that it is not by force but by precision that pins fall.  On the floor boards of the lane are dots and arrow markings that if properly followed will, more times than not, assure a perfect strike in the pin pocket causing them to crash into and knock each other down.  Without much effort, strength or previous know-how, even a beginner using the lane markings can achieve miraculous scores.
      A couple of life lessons can be garnered from those tiny little helper markings on the bowling lane floor.  First of all you have to know that they are there; you have to know what they mean and how to use them; and you must keep your eyes on them as you approach your ball release position. With the constant racket of balls being thrown, dropped and knocking down pins, the cheers of the bowlers and spectators and even the loud background music playing on the jukebox, all make the environment a very noisy place.  Unlike golfers who need quiet to concentrate (yeah right), bowlers know how to drown out the noise, focus on their task and stay in their lane.  To be successful you must select the right size and weight ball; not cross over the boundary line; keep your eyes on your lane and release (not throw) your ball in alignment with the lane dots and arrows.  The easiest way to miss your mark is to let your mind or eyes get distracted and drift into another lane.  Instead of paying attention to our guidelines which can lead to our own success; we are looking to see what others are doing.  Stay in your lane.  Yes!, the person in the other lane did some fancy moves and got all the pins down; but don’t try to imitate his style. Develop your own style and use what you have to your advantage to be on top of your game.
        God has ordered and ordained your steps (gotten you to the best lane); he has provided you with the tools that you will need (selected the right ball) and has assigned you to a noteworthy course of action (dots and arrows on the lane floor).  All you need to do is follow his instructions. Don’t worry about all the hoopla and noise all around you (distractions) or even the taunting and teasing of those who want to see you fail. Keep your focus on the task at hand; do not deviate to the left or the right. Stay on target and you are assured that you shall make a perfect strike.  See you in the winner’s cycle!
Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a GREAT power-packed day!  Be blessed! - Dr. JoAnn

For audio version...click http://youtu.be/Kir7IcWTeNw

"Clear the Way"

Posted on August 11, 2014 at 2:06 AM Comments comments (2)
"Clear the Way"
Clear the Way!
Good morning! .  Today's power scripture comes from Colossians 3:13 (NIV):  “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Today’s message is short, sweet and to the point. You must forgive.  Over the past few months God has placed this subject at the tip of my pen and on lips because it is so important.   It is often not easy to forgive, but oh is it necessary. Will you feel better right away once you open the lines of communication and start the forgiveness process?  Maybe so and maybe not.  Some of us might have to let some time go by between the act of forgiveness and the release of feelings associated with the person we forgave.  Others of us will start to experience a newness of life just from the throught of clearing the way for healing past hurts.  Whether your forgiveness will require major surgery or just a simple bandage will for the most part be dependent on how open you are to total surrender in Christ.  Even as Christ hung on the cross for our sins he first spoke of forgiveness.  You show true power when you give others the chance to be shown the love of Jesus through the act of forgiveness. Holding grudges only holds you captive. Forgive, forget and move on in victorious freedom.  God will be your vindication. You have a destiny to get to – do not let the chains of unforgiveness hold you back.  Shake off old burdens that might try to linger.  Don’t let the cares of worrying about what others did or did not do consume your energy or time.  You are much too precious and God has much work for you to do.  Be about your Father’s business. Forgive and push on.
Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day!  Be blessed!  Dr. JoAnn

Audio version available at :  http://youtu.be/sOPNfbhSrmM

"No Doze"

Posted on August 11, 2014 at 2:04 AM Comments comments (4)
"No Doze"

Good morning.  Today's power scripture comes from Judges 16: 19-20 (NIV): “After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.And his strength left him.Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.”
This of course is the story of Samson and Delilah or what we can call Devilish Delilah and the fall of Samson.  After many other attempts to find out the source and secret of Sampson’s strength, Delilah kept nagging and persisting and needling Sampson until she wore him down. All the times before he was on his P’s and Q’s but finally he let down his guard.  In similar fashion the devil is unrelenting.  He wants you to fail and he will continue needling and nagging and prodding and pursuing you until he wears you to the point of fatigue…then he lulls you to sleep.  And he will put you into a deep sleep and steal what is rightfully yours if you try to operate in our own strength.Samson became cocky and this arrogance led to him thinking he was in command of his gift instead of realizing that the gift was a point of grace to be used by God. Do not be deceived that the power, poise,  intellect, charm, commanding voice, melodious tones, speaking prowess, healing hands, leadership ability, cooking dynamics, hair styling wonderment, academic skills, athletic ability, acting acumen, business savvy, curvy body, smooth skin, tall statue,  or ability to whistle and chew gum at the same time has anything to do with you…. 
All of what we are, do and can become is for the glorification of God.   When we lose sight of that we become easy prey to the devil to use our very gifts against us.  In your own time, read the entire passage about the wiles of Delilah, you will see that in every other instance when she asks Sampson for his secret of this strength she did the deeds herself; whether it was binding him with bowstrings or braiding his hair. But when she realized that she had finally gotten the real truth from him….she called for reinforcements. The devil will do the same. As long as you stand strong in the Lord the devil will keep chipping away because he knows that even if he brought an army of thousands against you as long as you are operating in the strength of the Lord - he is defeated.  But when you lose that edge -  and he knows it - he rushes in with reinforcements to make sure he cuts you from your source.   Stay on guard. Do not be caught sleeping. Remember that the battle is the Lord’s and do not try to operate in your own strength, relying on your own abilities and instincts – you will lose every time.  Abide in the Lord and he will abide in you.
Every day is a good day; it is up to us to make it a power-packed GREAT day! Be blessed! Dr. JoAnn


http://youtu.be/jnPGnfPvx9I

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