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  • "The Impact of the Oppression of Women in the Church: A Personal Reflection"

    Recently, I found myself in physical pain. Whenever I am in any kind of physical pain, I wonder about the connection between my emotional well-being and my physical ailments. I use a book that lists various types of physical ailments and the possible emotional issues associated with those ailments. I looked up my pain, and the suggested emotional issue was anger so then anger became my prayer focus. At first, I resisted accepting anger as the issue because I didn't feel angry. However, upon reflection, I began identifying various aspects of my present life that were sources of frustration and anger. I prayed and asked God, in what areas of my life am I angry? What am I angry about? And then I waited and listened. One thing He revealed was my anger about the oppression of women in the church. In the book "The Language of Emotions," Karla McLaren explores the complicated nature of anger. She says that the message of anger is “protection and restoration”. She also says whenever we find ourselves angry, we should ask two questions: 1. What needs to be protected? 2. What needs to be restored? This reminded me of the time when Jesus flipped tables in the temple in Matthew 21:12-17, he was angry because they had turned the house of prayer into a marketplace. What needed to be protected? The House of prayer, What needed to be restored? The sanctity of the temple. What we learn from this is that sometimes anger is necessary. However, we must realize that Jesus flipped tables, not the people. He had a righteous anger. His anger was justified. Malcolm X said that "the black woman, is the most disrespected, unprotected, neglected person in America." As I pondered those words, I knew that anyone who is disrespected, unprotected, and neglected needs a safe place to go, and I believe the church should be that safe place. However, some churches are not safe. This breaks my heart and makes me angry. During my reflection on my anger about the oppression of women in the church, I had a vision of the women who were freed from slavery. I can only imagine how much joy they had in their hearts to drop the weight of the chains of slavery; no longer having a master who denied their dignity and their inherent worth, only to walk through the doors of a church and have chains be put on them again……shhhhhh….can you hear the chains clanking around their hands, their feet, their necks? Unbeknownst to them, they had found themselves with a another type of plantation with a Pastor who had learned how to cherry-pick a few scriptures to keep them from exercising their freedom and preventing them from being the full manifestation of God’s power and love. They looked at the other women who were there before they arrived to get some cues; surely they feel the weight of the chains, but those women were focused on obeying the man of God. They think they are in the House of Prayer, but it’s a just another plantation. They are to be seen but not heard; they are to work but not worship. Their new master was concerned about them giving 10% but had no concern about them giving their 100% as the masterpiece that they were created to be. And so they started to follow everyone else and they began to take direction from the man of God instead of the voice of God and this led them to doubting and misinterpreting the movement of the Spirit within themselves. They thought they were obeying the Spirit by remaining silent but they were quenching the Spirit. They did not yield to being the full expression of Galatians 5:1, which says, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free, stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. They were still enslaved. The plantation was stealing their joy and sapping their strength. Where were the conductors who could put them on the train to freedom? They had heard a voice and the voice said, "You are blessed and highly favored; when you deliver what's inside of you, it will be great." How can she say yes, the man of God will not give her permission to say yes to God's request of her, because he doesn't even believe that she can hear the voice of God. She’s a woman. Then one of the women begins to wonder if she’s the conductor, perhaps she’s Moses, the liberator and so she makes a bold move and goes to the man of God and says, “Let my sisters go, give us our inheritance.” and because she attempted to live into her liberation, to free herself and the other women, she is deemed a Jezebel, rebellious, a troublemaker and full of pride; and these are the metaphorical ropes that are tied around her neck. There was strange fruit when she was on the other plantation, but there was also strange fruit on this plantation. Every Sunday and every week, a woman was H.U.N.G,  her progress was being hindered; her confidence was undermined, and her voice was being neglected, which resulted in generational trauma because of her oppression. Women were dying mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical deaths, never having experienced the freedom and the joy of being the full demonstration of God’s love and power.  And these hangings were not only condoned by the men in the church. There were women who participated through their silence and sometimes through their verbal condemnation. They were not getting directives from the Master; they were getting directions from the man of God and they couldn’t tell the difference. I discovered through this vision that my anger, in this instance, is a righteous one, similar to Jesus flipping tables. In my time of reflection I discerned that God is inviting me to flip some tables in the church. I need to: Promote the FREEDOM of women to express themselves, and encourage, inspire and even train them in how to make choices and pursure their own spiritual journey's without oppression. I need to work towards the LIBERATION of women from patriarchal systems and traditional gender roles that may restrict their potential and limit their involvement within the church. I am praying about how to take action regarding this. I will always encourage an INCLUSIVE environment where I have influence, where women are welcomed, valued, respected, heard and are given the opportunities to participate, lead and contribute. I need to hold space for women to be an expression of God's love and power. I will not allow women to buy into the scarcity mindset where some believe just having one [black] woman in an influential position is enough. I will emPOWER women to reclaim their power within the church, inspiring and equipping them to have an active voice, make decisions and challenge oppressive structures that may exist. I want to note here that, as I reflected, I discovered that I am not harboring any unforgiveness towards those who are oppressing women in the church. I know this because when we are in unforgiveness we penalize the person for their offense. I have not attempted to penalize any man or woman who has contributed to my oppression or the oppression of women in the church.  Anger does not always include unforgiveness. This anger I have about the oppression of women in the church is not about unforgiveness it's about injustice. After reflecting on this vision, I ask the questions: What needs to be protected? Women in the church. What needs to be restored? The Truth of Galatians 3:28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. Because we as women have received our inheritance of emancipation through Christ’s work on the cross, we, as women should be emancipated in the church. Let my sisters go! I will conclude with the words of Sister Thea Bowman, an African American Franciscan Nun and a gifted teacher who aimed to break down racial and cultural barriers. In one of her addresses to the US Bishops at the Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1989, “ she sang words that resonated with me as it relates to how I sometimes feel about the church. “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child, sometimes I feel like a motherless child, sometimes I feel like a motherless child a long way from home.” Sister Thea Bowman spoke boldly to the Catholic Bishops encouraging them and admonishing them to tear down the racial and cultural barriers within the Catholic Church. I long for a church like Sister Thea Bowman described, using both her words and mine, I want to “come to my church fully functioning, [where I can] bring myself, my black self, my female self, all that I am all that I hope to become, [where I can] bring my whole history, my traditions, my experience, [my education], my culture, my African American song and dance and gesture and movement, teaching and preaching and healing and responsibility and gifts.” May it be so for us all and not just for a few. How will you respond to the message in this blog?

  • "The Transformative Power of Discipleship: Personal Reflections and Lessons Learned"

    Recently, I listened to a sermon about Discipleship, which caused me to reflect on the times in my life when I have been discipled and when I have discipled others. Reflecting on my experience of being discipled, I can recall when I was in college (more than 30 years ago) a woman named Kathy invited me to her house. She and I would talk about God. When I look back at that time, she was doing a form of Discipleship with me. A decade or so later, I met a woman named Meredith who blew my mind one day when she shared that she was disciplining college students to teach them about God. She and her husband Discipled others as their job. I was blown away! She explained that they would form relationships with the students, some believers, and some unbelievers, and use specific materials to introduce and teach them about having a personal relationship with God through Jesus the Christ. That's when I realized that being discipled could be about more than just going to church on Sunday mornings for Sunday School, Worship, and one day during the week for Bible Study; this is corporate discipleship and the most ineffective way to disciple others. It was about intentionally creating a relationship to teach a person about our faith's doctrines, principles, etc. While doing that, include them in the activities of your life so that you can be an example of living out those doctrines and principles. I had only been experiencing corporate Discipleship except for the woman who invited me to her house when I was in college; we talked about God, but she didn't use any materials. What Meredith had described, which I now know is called personal Discipleship, was something that I have longed for even as an adult, that someone would love God enough to come alongside me in a compassionate, caring way and disciple me. Every believer should be a disciple and currently have someone who disciples them. You do not grow out of being discipled. A person who disciples others teaches a person about God and helps them become who God has created them to be so they would disciple others. Meredith shared her resources with me, and soon after that, I met Ginger at our son's basketball practice; he was only about five or six years old at the time. We were both waiting for practice to be over when I mentioned something about Jesus, and her response was something like, "Oh, I don't go to church." I responded, "You know, I don't care whether or not you go to church; all I want to know is, do you know Jesus?" She paused, and based on her response, I invited her to meet with me for at least six weeks to sit down and introduce her to this man who was real and had changed my life. She agreed. We met at McDonald's for six weeks, we both brought our children, and they played while I used the Discipleship resources Meredith had shared with me; we had open, honest conversations about God and life, and before the end of the six weeks, she had accepted Christ, and then later became a member of the church where we attended. She and I served in ministry together; she was very active in the church using her gifts. We became friends. My husband baptized her daughter. We were close, but then life happened, and now we don't talk at all. How would things be in her life and mine if we kept the commitment to meet weekly or monthly? Because I don't believe Discipleship is just for a season. If two people in a discipleship relationship have to part ways, there should be a commitment in connecting the one being discipled to another disciple. What would happen if we did this?! But isn't this how Jesus did it! And he turned the world upside down! Before I met Ginger, I had started to feel like the way discipleship was being done was ineffective in helping me grow as a Christian. There was so much that I wanted to learn, and the lecture style of Sunday School and Weekly Bible Study was not providing me with what I felt I needed to grow; there was rarely even an opportunity to ask questions or even to share how a lesson or scripture was speaking to me in my life. I could go to church week after week and never actually talk about my faith other than nodding and agreeing with what was being taught. This didn't follow the example of how Jesus taught the disciples. The opportunity to provide personal Discipleship showed me the impact of one-on-one Discipleship and how corporate Discipleship (Worship Service, Sunday School, and Weekly Bible Study with a few activities sprinkled in a month) was ineffective in growing people into spiritually mature believers. There was little depth of insight and wisdom; people were primarily regurgitating what the Pastor said and very little if any, multiplication. Even now, it seems the pews are becoming emptier with each Sunday. It's what also led me to start having Praise Parties; I'd invite a group of five or six women over to my house, and we would share scripture, discuss a lesson or topic, talk about what was happening in our lives, receive insight and encouragement from the other women, have a time of intercession and when we concluded we would be inspired and edified. This is also a form of personal Discipleship. And then, later, I started a ministry called S.I.S.T.E.R.S. (Sisters, Inspiring, Supporting, Teaching, Encouraging, and Relating to Sisters), and we became a group of six women. We met once a month, and for a season, we met weekly and completed the Master Life Series; I would teach them whatever I knew, and they would share what they learned. We discipled one another. We had retreats, and we supported one another in life. We are still close to this day, and we have an unbreakable bond. This is also a form of personal Discipleship. So, as I have been reflecting on the sermon about Discipleship, I heard these words, "Give me 12". Each year, I extend an invitation to women I would be willing to mentor; I started this in 2020. My goal was to have four a year; I am praying about starting the Joycelyn Ignites Discipleship Academy, where I will disciple 12 women, free of charge, and help them grow in their spiritual maturity. I created this type of Academy for a class in seminary. But there will be a requirement; they will have to commit to disciple at least one woman while I disciple them, and they would need to require the person they disciple to disciple one woman and so forth. That would be 36 women being discipled. That's multiplication. That's discipleship. Sunday's sermon was an invitation that should be extended every Sunday, "Go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things. " Matthew 28:19-20.

  • "How Can You Turn Your Valley of Baca into a Well of Hope? Exploring Psalm 84:6a"

    Have you ever experienced a profound revelation while engaging in a spiritual practice? That's exactly what happened to me while practicing Lectio Divina, a contemplative approach to reading and meditating on Scripture. Lectio Divina, meaning "divine reading" in Latin, is a contemplative practice rooted in early Christian monastic traditions. It involves a slow, prayerful reading of scripture, where you listen for a word or phrase to speak to your heart. It was during this practice that I was reading Psalm 84 when the first part of the  phrase in verse 6 resonated so deeply within me, The King James version says, “who passing through the valley of Baca, make it a well.” Today we are going to talk about the valley of Baca and how we can make it a well. The Valley of Baca is also referred to as the Valley of Weeping by some scholars, it is a place that is only mentioned in Psalm 84:6. It is often understood by many scholars as a metaphorical place of weeping, struggle, hardship, or sorrow on the journey of faith. It symbolizes the challenging moments and seasons of life when we may feel spiritually dry, weary, or overwhelmed. And just as the psalmist expresses the longing for God's presence and favor even in the midst of this difficult valley so do we. We long for comfort, guidance, renewal, and strength. Perhaps this is why the Holy Spirit illuminated this verse for me I’ve been traveling through the valley of Baca for about three years now, with health challenges, a family crisis, then  I broke my femur, had to resign from my dream job and my mother-in-law passed away, it has indeed been a challenging season for me. And I discovered that as I entered into 2024 I was still stuck in the grief of it all. So, what about you? What are the specific struggles, challenges, and hardships that make you feel as though you are in the Valley of Baca? Could it be: 1. The loss of a loved one: Grieving the death of a family member or friend can be a deep and painful experience, leading to a sense of spiritual dryness and sorrow. 2. Chronic illness or physical pain or an unexpected diagnosis: Living with ongoing health challenges can create a Valley of Baca experience, where one's faith is tested, and it may feel difficult to find solace or relief. 3. Financial struggles: Dealing with financial hardships, job loss, or overwhelming debt can bring about a Valley of Baca experience, causing stress, anxiety, and a sense of hopelessness. 4. Relationship difficulties: Strained relationships, conflicts, or brokenness within families or friendships can create a Valley of Baca, where one may feel distant from God and struggle to find reconciliation and healing. 5. Spiritual doubt or crisis: Going through a season of doubt, questioning one's faith, or experiencing a spiritual crisis can lead to a Valley of Baca, where one may feel disconnected from God's presence and guidance. 6. Loneliness or isolation: Feeling alone, socially isolated, or lacking meaningful connections can create a Valley of Baca experience, causing emotional pain and a longing for companionship and community. 7. Personal failure or disappointment: Experiencing setbacks, failures, or unmet expectations can lead to a Valley of Baca, where one may grapple with feelings of discouragement, shame, or inadequacy. Take a moment to reflect on your Valley of Baca because we are going to explore how you can transform your valley of Baca into a well, a source of hope, encouragement, and spiritual nourishment a new beginning. When we make our Valley of Baca a well, we are creating space within ourselves where we meet Jesus, receive His love, acceptance, healing, strength, refreshment, and peace and experience His life-giving presence. It becomes a place where our struggles are transformed into opportunities for growth, where our tears are turned into springs of hope, and where we find the strength to move forward with purpose and confidence no matter the situation. We are longing for a new beginning, and that could be a different situation or even a different perspective. I want to note here that the phrase says, “who PASSING through the Valley of Baca”, I pray this encourages you as it did me because it means that the valley of Baca can be temporary if you keep moving forward, and to move forward you must make your valley of Baca a well. One way that we make our valley of Baca a well is to see those everyday ordinary tasks as a time of refreshment. When we are in the Valley of baca sometimes everything becomes dreadful, we dread the dishes, we dread the laundry, we dread the drive to work, we dread, getting up, and getting dressed and so I want you to see these as ways that you are turning your valley of baca experience into a well. Instead of dreading those dishes use that time to meditate on a passage of scripture, when you are doing that laundry pray for your loved ones, when you are driving to work, listen to worship music, these are opportunities to invite and invoke the presence of God in your situation. This reminded me of the story of the Samaritan woman in John 4. The Samaritan woman was having a valley of baca moment, she was burdened with her past and societal rejection, while she is carrying out her everyday, ordinary task by going to the well to draw water. Little did she know that she would meet Jesus, who offers her living water, a source of eternal life and fulfillment. She learned some lessons about herself and about Jesus while she was at the well. And this is what the valley of baca also has to offer us: lessons. Lessons about ourselves, lessons about our beliefs, lessons about Jesus. The valley of Baca is an invitation to grow and to transcend what is limiting us whether it’s mentally, spiritually, and sometimes even physically. When we are going thru our valley of baca experiences we need a well! We need an encounter with Jesus in the midst of our struggles and we need to allow His presence to bring healing, restoration, and refreshment into our lives. We need a well that provides life-giving water, we need a place where we can meet Him in our brokenness, where he can offer us love, comfort, acceptance, healing, and the satisfaction our souls thirst. This Psalmist gives us hope in Psalm 84:6a because he lets us know that we don’t have to wait until we go toa well or FIND a well, he said, TURN YOUR VALLEY OF BACA into a WELL! Yep! Make IT A WELL! Next, I’m going to give you very specific ways for how you can turn your valley of Baca into a a spring of hope M - Meditate on God's Word Scripture: "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." - Joshua 1:8 A - Ask for God's guidance Scripture: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6 K - Keep a thankful heart Scripture: "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." - 1 Thessalonians 5:18 E - Embrace God's love and grace Scripture: "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." - Ephesians 2:4-5 I - Invest in relationships Scripture: "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up." - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 T - Trust in God's plan Scripture: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11 A - Act with integrity and kindness Scripture: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." - Ephesians 4:29 W - Walk in obedience to God's commands Scripture: "If you love me, keep my commands." - John 14:15 E - Engage in prayer and seek God's presence Scripture: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7 L - Lean on God's strength and not your own Scripture: "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13 L- Live with Purpose Scripture: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3 So, as we journey through the Valley of Baca, let us remember that when we make it a well, we invite Jesus into our lives, allowing his life-giving presence to transform our struggles into blessings that form us into who we are created to be. As we conclude, may we remember that even in our darkest moments, God’s presence is with us, offering comfort, guidance, and renewal. May we embrace the lessons learned from this valley allowing them to shape us into vessels of hope and compassion, ready to offer comfort to others who find themselves in their own valleys of sorrow. May we always be reminded that in the Valley of Baca, God’s presence is our greatest source of strength, and His love will guide us through every season of life. So, if you are traversing, or passing through the Valley of Baca……….Make it a Well! Go to our Podcast to listen to this episode.

  • Experiencing the Power of Silence in Worship

    I do this in my personal time with God, and I do this in a worship service……I take a pause from my words of worship and I close my eyes and envision myself reverently walking into the throne room of God. When I arrive at the foot of the throne, I kneel and my form of worship changes from words to wordlessness. I am in the throne room of the King of Kings. I am in awe. There….are….no….words….for the beauty of what I behold. My worship becomes my silence, my worship becomes my kneeling, my worship becomes my outstretched arms, my worship becomes my posture of listening. And my worship is in my waiting……..waiting for the Creator of the Universe, the One who formed me in my mother’s womb, the rock of my salvation, my strong tower, the beginning and the end……to………speak…….my ears are attentive to His voice, my heart is open and surrendered…….I wait……in silence….and….then....He speaks. I receive a scripture, or a word, or a vision, or a deep sense of peace. And then joy fills my soul. And all I want to do is savor the Word(s) that He spoke……….. to break my silence would be a disruption to what I just experienced with the Great I Am, so I remain silent for as long as I can….because His voice is all I want to hear. “Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭95‬:‭6‬-‭7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • Breaking Barriers: Meet the First Woman to Preach at the National Baptist Convention

    On Tuesday, January 23, history was made at the National Baptist Convention. The Rev. Dr. Gina Stewart became the first woman to preach at the National Baptist Convention. History was being made when she stepped up to the podium presented her text and preached a Word that broke the traditional Baptist internet with more than 40K+ views for just one video. Her sermon was so powerful that the enemy used someone to remove it, for what specific reason we don't know, but when you are a woman who does anything with excellence for the glory of the Lord, the enemy finds a way to attempt to hinder God's plan to get glory through a woman. God warned us of this in Genesis 3:15. However, the enemy's schemes were thwarted and Rev. Dr. Gina Stewart's message is on YouTube for all who have ears to hear what thus says the Lord. And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the good news? Romans 10:15 I cried knowing that the path to that podium was not an easy one for Rev. Dr. Gina Stewart, there is no doubt she has had some days and nights that were filled with angst and discouragement just for saying "Yes to the call to preach and PASTOR, on her life." While listening and watching her sermon, I saw her crown of beauty, the oil of joy, the garment of praise, she was an oak of righteousness a display of His splendor, a planting of the Lord. It was quite clear to me that she had been sent to the National Baptist Convention to preach THAT word for such a time as this. This is a message that will not only set your heart ablaze, it will also inspire you to blaze a trail so that others will have the opportunity to hear the Good News of the gospel! Share this message with everyone you know! Preach Sister! The Text: Mark 15:1-15, Matthew 27:19 The Title: What Are We Gonna Do with Jesus of Nazareth?

  • Igniting Change Through Thought-Provoking Conversations on a Podcast

    Welcome to the Joycelyn Ignites Blog! Today, I am excited to dive into the world of podcasting and explore how thought-provoking discussions can ignite change and inspire positive transformation. Podcasts have become increasingly popular in recent years and for good reason. They offer a unique platform for individuals like me to share our thoughts, ideas, and expertise with a wide audience. After "trying on" several different names, I am excited to settle into the name that feels like one of my favorite pair of shoes, "The Joycelyn Ignites Podcast". Whew! This is why it's important to be willing to experiment whether it's with names, logos, or ideas, if you keep trying what God wants to unfold will unfold! "The Joycelyn Ignites" Podcast will provide me with the opportunity to explore a diverse range of topics, allowing for more freedom in my conversations than being confined to a specific audience, topic, or niche. Okay I know, I have digressed. The Joycelyn Ignites Podcast is no exception, as I will be aiming to spark change and encourage listeners to engage, learn, and contribute to creating a better world. Isn't that what life is all about? Not just listening as voyeurs but as visionaries to see how what we here can further our mission and vision. One of the key aspects of the Joycelyn Ignites Podcast is its focus on soul-igniting, thought-provoking discussions. These discussions are designed to catalyze action, encouraging listeners to think critically about various topics and inspire you (you are a listener aren't you?) to make positive changes in your personal life, at work, school, church, community, and the world! By exploring diverse subjects and featuring insightful interviews and solo reflections, the goal of my podcast is to provide a wealth of knowledge and inspiration for its listeners. So, how can thought-provoking discussions ignite change? Here are a few examples: 1. Broadening Perspectives: Thought-provoking discussions challenge our preconceived notions and expand our understanding of different perspectives. By listening to diverse voices and engaging in meaningful conversations, we can gain new insights and develop a more inclusive worldview. 2. Inspiring Action: When we are exposed to thought-provoking ideas and stories, we are more likely to take action. The Joycelyn Ignites Podcast aims to inspire listeners to make positive changes in their lives, whether it's pursuing their passions, overcoming obstacles, or making a difference in their communities. 3. Fostering Empathy: Thought-provoking discussions can help us develop empathy and understanding for others. By listening to different experiences and perspectives, we can cultivate a greater sense of compassion and become more open-minded individuals. In this way, we become formed into the image of Christ and become a reflection of his love towards others. Now that we understand the power of thought-provoking discussions, how can we incorporate them into our own lives? Here are a few tips: 1. Seek out diverse voices: Expand your horizons by listening to podcasts that feature a wide range of guests and topics. This will expose you to different perspectives and help you develop a more well-rounded understanding of the world. Yes! I'm encouraging you to listen to other podcasts as well, this is not a competition, this is a conversation! Join in on as many as you can so you can grow into the person you were created to be! 2. Engage in meaningful conversations: Don't be afraid to have thought-provoking discussions with friends, family, and colleagues. By sharing your thoughts and listening to others, you can spark change and inspire new ideas. This does take courage, however, courage is the catalyst to change! Be courageous! Have those conversations! 3. Take action: After listening to thought-provoking discussions, reflect on how you can apply what you've learned to your own life. Whether it's making changes in your habits or getting involved in your community, taking action is key to igniting change. We are called as believers in Christ to not just be hearers but to also be doers (James 1:22-25). In conclusion, thought-provoking conversations have the power to ignite change and inspire positive transformation. The Joycelyn Ignites Podcast aims to do just that, by providing a platform for engaging conversations and thought-provoking content. So, let's embrace the power of podcasts and use them as a tool for personal growth, learning, and creating a better world. Stay tuned for more inspiring episodes and discussions on the Joycelyn Ignites Podcast! So, join the conversation! Be Ignited!

  • Saturday Stress Buster- Take A Nap

    Taking a nap is like hitting the reset button for your mind and body, allowing you to wake up refreshed and ready to conquer the world. Unknown A nap is one of the most holiest activities you can do. Sometimes, in the middle of the day, you need to do a reset and go to sleep. I believe taking a nap is among my top five favorite things. I admit I would take a nap daily if I could, but my husband and I are raising our two grandchildren, so we don't get to take many intentional naps—just dozing in the chair at the end of the day when we are all sleepy. But the kind of nap good for the mind, body, and soul is where you find a place to snuggle in, relax, and allow sleep to take over. This is what I am inviting you to do. Take a guilt-free nap today. There are benefits to napping: Increases Alertness Improved Mood Enhanced Creativity Stress Reduction Increased Productivity It proves your physical well-being Recovery and Restoration If you are wondering how long you should nap, a restorative nap is around 90 minutes because it allows you to complete an entire sleep cycle. This aids you in physical and mental recovery. So take a nap and wake up ignited!

  • It's Time For You To RISE UP Leader!

    Watch this video where the late Dr. Myles Monroe talks about leadership. Do you resist being called a leader? Do you believe that leadership is for everyone else? If you are a believer in Christ, you are a leader. You cannot shrink back and wait for someone else to rise up and lead. As a Christian, you were born a leader. You were born to be an influence in the lives of other people. You are leading someone even if you are unaware of it because people are watching you. Observing your attitude and your actions. Rise Up, leader! Take your position! If you would like to grow as a leader, contact me today by going to my website and completing the Contact Form, and let's begin this journey together today!

  • Saturday Stress Buster- Cultivate A Hobby

    Hobbies are great distractions from the worries and troubles that plague daily living, Bill Malone I have had the opportunity to attend two "Paint Parties." I loved it! I really enjoyed painting, and since then, I have wondered how I could cultivate this creative side of me. It's a hobby that I long to learn. Photography is another hobby that I enjoy. I enjoy capturing special moments. I currently have more than 30,000 pictures on my phone, dating from 2009 to the present. I know that's crazy, but I love taking pictures! Is there a hobby that you have always wanted to cultivate? Perhaps you are like me and would like to paint; maybe it's following hiking trails, knitting, crocheting, dancing, pottery, or photography? Well, my beloved, today is your invitation to try it! People who regularly participate in hobbies decrease their risks for depression, anxiety, stress, and loneliness. Having a hobby improves your mental health! Take some time today to begin a hobby or to decide what your hobby will be, and then take one action step towards doing it. Then, share what you are doing with others; maybe they will want to join you or start a hobby of their own. Share your hobby with me on Instagram @joycelynignites using the hashtag #Myhobbypassion.

  • Sunday Morning Inspiration- It's Gonna Be BIG!

    I was working yesterday and was playing music in the background, and this song came on, and it was like a prophetic word to my soul. May it be so for you! Sometimes, we become discouraged when life happens. We want to throw in the towel because it looks like God isn't moving on our behalf, but I can assure you that He SEES YOU! He has not forgotten you! He's working all those things out for your good, and His heart's desire is to show you love! So, beautiful need to know that IT is on its way, and it's GONNA BE BIG!! It's your season!! God is about to blow your mind! God's about to open the windows of heaven in your life, and God is about to blow your mind! I don't know whether or not he's about to bring in material possessions or He's just going to change your perspective about a situation, but what I know for sure is that it's gonna be BIG! Receive it! Are you ready for it?! You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. He the Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head and not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I will give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left following other gods and serving them. Deuteronomy 28:3-14. Amen.

  • Saturday Stress Buster- Try Something New

    The hallmark of successful people is that they are always willing to try new things. Carol Dweck My husband and children have been trying to get me to try sushi for a very long time. A couple of weeks ago I decided to go for it. And it was delicious! The flavors were incredible! I have been missing out! I know, you might be thinking that trying something new might be stressful, it is, but it is also exhilarating to have been courageous enough to step outside of your comfort zone and done something you've never done before. So today. Do something you've never done before. Step out of your comfort zone and have some fun, eat something you haven't tasted before, go somewhere you've never been.! Bust some stress by practicing some courage, curiosity and adventure!

  • Jesus had a Plan! Does Your Church Have A Ministry Action Plan (MAP)?

    Jesus indeed had a plan for His ministry, and it is essential for a church to have a Ministry Action Plan (MAP) to align its efforts and strategies with the teachings and example of Jesus. Here are some key points to highlight when discussing the importance of a MAP: 1. Biblical Foundation: The MAP must be rooted in biblical principles and teachings. Just as Jesus' ministry was guided by His Father's will and the Scriptures, a church's MAP should be rooted in the Word of God. 2. Vision and Mission Alignment: A MAP helps the church align its vision and mission with the overall purpose of Christ's ministry. By clearly defining the church's purpose and goals, the MAP ensures that all activities and initiatives contribute to the fulfillment of that mission. 3. Strategic Focus: A MAP also provides a strategic framework for the church's activities. It helps prioritize ministries, identify target demographics, and allocate resources effectively to maximize impact and growth. 4. Goal Setting and Accountability: A MAP allows the church to set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. This enables the church to track progress, evaluate success, and hold leaders and teams accountable for their roles and responsibilities. 5. Ministry Integration: A MAP encourages the integration of various ministries within the church. By aligning different departments, teams, and initiatives, the MAP facilitates collaboration, synergy, and a unified approach to achieving the church's objectives. 6. Evaluation and Adaptation: It is imperative that a MAP is regularly evaluated for its effectiveness and makes the necessary adaptations. Just as Jesus adjusted His ministry approach based on the needs and circumstances He encountered, a church should be open to refining its strategies to better serve its members and community. 7. Communication and Engagement: A MAP provides clarity and direction for the congregation, ensuring that everyone understands the church's focus and how they can contribute. Effective communication and engagement with the entire church community are essential for the successful implementation of the MAP. 8. Prayer and Dependence on God: This is the last point because it's the most important point. While a MAP is a valuable tool, it should be underpinned by prayer and dependence on God. Just as Jesus sought the Father's guidance and relied on the Holy Spirit, a church should seek divine wisdom and trust in God's provision throughout the implementation of its MAP. If your church does not have a Ministry Action Plan (MAP) I can assist in creating a customized Action Plan tailored to your church's unique needs and goals. Together, we can identify growth opportunities, develop strategies, and implement effective ministry initiatives that will propel your church forward. Don't let your church miss out on the benefits of a Ministry Action Plan. Let's have a conversation about how we can work together to strengthen your church, reach more people, and make a lasting impact in your community.

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