I for one have grown to dislike discomfort during certain periods of my life. I sometimes find it to be a friendly foe or an unexpected ally. 
Not too long after I graduated from college, discomfort and I became good acquaintances. 

I had a sense of restlessness about life, I knew I wanted more. I felt I could accomplish more and I knew I wanted better….. I forgot that “better”, comes at a price; before a harvest.  However, I had grown content. Discomfort is contentment’s twin dressed in unfamiliar clothes. 

Flowers Outside The Entry Way Of My Former Apartment

Discomfort comes to shake you from your complacency, your apathy, your comfort with your “normal”. To help you recognize that your desire for more is indeed real…

 “The problem with normal is there is no power in it.” – Dr Daniel Black

I can remember being at the laundry mat (my first apartment didn’t have a washer & dryer) and getting a phone call from my boss at the time. My boss said these words, “Ryan, I just don’t believe it’s working out, I don’t believe you are a good fit, and we’ve decided to go with someone else.” I was crushed. I was deflated. I felt defeated. I couldn’t believe I had been fired via phone. It felt so disrespectful that someone didn’t think enough of me to at least fire me in person rather than via phone.

“Let us not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around us in awareness.” –  James Thurber

Immediately, discomfort made its appearance. I felt profoundly uncomfortable, and several questions peppered my mind. What would I tell my parents? How was I going to pay the bills? What would I do for employment now? I was arrested by anxiety but after wiping a few tears from my eyes. I finished my laundry, called my prayer partner before my parents; dropped my clothes off at home, and proceeded to my now former place of employment. 

“Let God disrupt your life without complaint. God never destroys a thing without replacing it (with) better. This may be your season of “better”–so let the disruption (discomfort) come.” – Dr. Daniel Black

As I began driving  from my home to my former place of employment I reflected. I never saw this coming. I was blindsided. I loved my job. I loved interacting with the guests who came into the hotel, loved seeing all the sharply dressed professionals. And of course I still remember the guests who were greeted to bottles of wine in their hotels and all of the couples who came to visit the fertility clinic a few blocks away. 

When I walked into my managers office, the assistant manager was there with her also. They were so surprised to see me. By this time, there was no anger just acceptance. Being angry wasn’t going to get me my job back, and it certainly wouldn’t have gotten me a favorable response from my former employers 

 I remember thanking my former boss for hiring me, and giving me a chance. I told her that it had been my desire to stay in Raleigh after college and she had helped make that a reality for me. There was complete silence after I turned me items in. I remember her commenting about how I was such a good guy and would go far. I thanked her again and left. 

During the drive home, I pondered why both the manager and assistant manager seemed so floored by my response. I’m thankful I responded well. Here’s what I know for sure, I can not control what happens to me but I get to control my response and thereby affect my atmosphere. I take governing my atmosphere seriously. I didn’t have time for a pity party, I needed to get back to work and living. 

On the drive home this line from my conversation with my prayer partner stands out: 

“What is it that God wants to be for you now that he couldn’t have been at any other time….” 

Fast forward two years, I was recently back in Raleigh/Cary shopping at Target for some groceries and ran into my former boss. I think it had just been a few weeks since I got back to NC from LA. It was quite a transformation from the manager I once knew. I spoke with her, got caught up on her life, told her about my experiences working with the federal government and wished her and her family a happy holiday. Unbeknownst to me at the time, several jobs that I had interviewed for had often called her for a reference something she revealed to me before we parted… 

It was in that moment that I began to thank God for my season of discomfort.  Embrace the moments of discomfort in your life. They lead to a place called better…. Seek wisdom, knowledge, understanding and strategy. 

In every circumstance you are always learning. There is always something to discover about God, and there is always something to learn about yourself. 


Your Voice… Your Life….

The following is a Prophetic Word, God gave me not too long ago. It was about a month or so ago. Tonight he gave me the clearance to release it publicly! If your struggling with your voice, your life, your platform, your feelings of self-worth, and relevance this word is for you. 

Your VOICE, and all that it encompasses is needed now more than ever! You do have a stage/platform. You have shown God that you can be trusted with the blessing and burden of occupying it. 

You do have an audience. Remember, you have something worth saying, and being heard. They aren’t simply words of obsequience, but rather words that in the face of deafening silence from many of our nations leaders and citizens, in a multiplicity of arenas across society, including but not limited to religion, entertainment, art and civil matters; will elevate you to prominence. 

All of what you’ve experienced previously has been for your refining, and your strengthening. There will be nothing, that can be used as tools of shame and humiliation towards you by those who would rather you remain silent. However, protect the environment around you. God will not have you lend your voice, time or energy to everything around you,some battles simply aren’t yours to fight, your engagement will be strategic for maximum impact and effectiveness. 

Demann Crawford @photobydemann on Twitter

You will be sought out for your wisdom, and because God will give you the “tongue of one who is learned, and the pen of a ready writer.” (Psalm 45:1). You have been given great grace, and like Noah you have found favor in Adonai’s eyes. 

There will be troubling days ahead but you will be instrumental as a light. As the saints of old used to sing, “Shine on me, oh glory….let the light from the lighthouse, shine on me..”

God raises up voices of prominence when they are needed, and you are not too old, nor have you missed your moment, nor has he given your assignment to someone younger than you; like Esther; nothing about our present time has caught God by surprise. Your unique talents, gifts, and abilities are a ministry unto the Lord and the lives you touch.  

You will not be boxed in, nor confined by the limited expectations of others, who would seek to define you simply by how they “know/knew”, you. 

You have been prepared for such a time as this, (Esther 4:4), build and fight as those in Nehemiah’s day (Nehemiah 4:18); but above all TAKE HEART. (Psalm 31:24, John 16:33). 

Grace and Peace Be Upon You, and Love. 


We are so loved by God, that he wouldn’t want us to get satisfied with crumbs, live in that space and call it a full meal!

 It is okay to acknowledge that we are hungry! Hungry for change, hungry for meaning, substance, fulfillment, purpose and destiny!  

Hungry never comes without a purpose. 
Only by acknowledging the hunger can it be satisfied! Author C.S. Lewis say’s “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” 

We have nothing to prove when it comes to God. We must simply wake up and realize we are hungry! What are you hungry for? 
Your hunger can be filled. 

Your appetite can be satiated. 

Blessed & Burdened 

The following is a excerpt from my personal journal and a conversation God had with me not too long ago. – 05/29/16 RRG 

The daily discipline is learning sensitivity to the Holy Spirit You must continue to learn sensitivity to my spirit. 
I want to clear ground in your life. 

I love being involved in your life. 

I love teaching you to trade your sorrows for joy and laughter. Daily, I am at work to attend to your needs.

My provision rises up to meet you in the morning, and my grace watches over you while you sleep in the evening. 

I love your life. 

I love who you are, who you were, and who you shall become. 

 I love your struggles and understand them. 

I bestow upon you immeasurable quantities of grace, mercy, healing; my supply never runs dry, my cup always overflows for you…

I love teaching you how to walk with me, while you learn how to rest. Rest in your spirit, heart, mind and body, understanding that I have you covered. 

Stop asking me about what’s next and what’s to come in your life! I am training you by fire, how to trust me! 

Most of the prayers I answer for you come as seeds. While you see the harvest, I’ve already equipped you for the process. 

Be at peace and trust me. I who fashioned the worlds with the weight of my spirit and the words of my mouth am not in disarray or confusion concerning your life.

How else can I build your faith! Just accept the fact that you are learning to embrace the pressure of your hand being in mine.

 I have and will continue to watch over my word to perform it. My word over your life is warring on your behalf for it cannot return unto me void; it will accomplish that which I have purposed. 

Learn to live knowing you are loved by me, you are enough and you indeed are my child. 

I will teach you that which you do not know, perceive or comprehend. Enjoy the journey and the process. 
I do my best work in times that seem to bewilder the human spirit. I choose that which is foolish to confound those who consider themselves wise.

Recognize that the place of your dreaming is also the place of my permission for you in your life. 

I desire to grant your hearts desires. Your requests will come from a place of renewed intimacy with me.” 

And It Is So! 

What Do You Hear, What I Hear? 

Today I am sharing text from a devotional project I have been working on for quite some time.

Day 3 What do you hear on the inside?

Growing up, any event with rain, especially a summer rain storm or thunderstorm was a serious occurrence. 

North Carolina summers are famous for their humidity, and frequent rain showers during the blazing hot weather. My mother would shut all the lights off in the house, and unplug some appliances and we would all sit together in one room. 

She would often say that God was speaking. The storm, rather than a time to be fearful, offered opportunities to sit in solitiude and hear from the spirit. 

“God’s voice in your heart often sounds like a flow of spontaneous thoughts. God’s voice comes as spontaneous thoughts, visions, feelings, or impressions. God will speak through your dreams, thoughts, visions and circumstances. Indeed, God is still speaking..” – Ryan Girley 

Just as quickly as the summer rain storm began, it would end. Oh, how we all often wish the storms of life were quick affairs! 

Elijah was a prophet versed in the weather conditions of his region. In fact, God used him to issue the command that no rain would fall. 

Yet we find this curious verse in 1 Kings 18:41 (KJV); “And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.”

The very prophet whom God used to command a time of dryness for the earth, had an inward well that had not run dry. In fact his ability to hear rain, remained intact despite less than ideal circumstances. 

NC Highway 41 After Sustained Rainstorm / Heavy Rainfall

It was during the driest seasons of my life. Times of unemployment, health concerns, family crisises , financial stresses, and a seemingly silent God! 

That I discovered that despite less than ideal circumstances my inward well had not dried up! I still had the ability to hear rain. 

What I once saw as an irredeemable nuisance; I now saw as an opportunity for God’s hand and eyes to be shown strong on my behalf. (2nd Chron. 16:9) 

 I didn’t have a cloud the size of a man’s hand (1 Kings 18:44 KJV) but I did have my faith. 

It lead me to create this prayer as a juxtaposition between the dryness of my physical situation and the rain I heard with my spiritual ears… (Rev. 3:22, Matthew 11:15) 

On the inside of me there is peace, even though on the outside there is despair. 

On the inside of me there is healing, breakthrough, restoration and miracles even though on the outside of me there is often great travail  and lamentation. 

On the inside of me there is wealth, even though on the outside of me there is lack. 

On the inside of me there is joy, even though on the outside of me there is pain. 

On the inside of me, I have provision, my basket, and my store are overflowing even though on the outside of me life says I have nothing left and am destitute.

On the inside of me there is love, hope, faith, and charity, even though on the outside of me there is fear, anxiety, stress and bewilderment. 

On the inside of me, my darkest hour of struggle represents my first hour of victory; even though on the outside of me I have yet to see the break of day.

I choose to believe that what is inside of me, is stronger, greater and mightier….  (1 John 4:4 KJV) 

If You Can Visualize Your Life Beyond The Storm You Can Soar! We Serve A God Who Command’s The Rain Where To Fall!


They May Never Know


They may never respect your goals, dreams, or aspirations; pursue them anyway.

They may never respect your tears, release them anyway.

They may never respect your friendship, be genuine anyway.

They may never respect the value of connection, consistency and commitment.

They may never know who hurt you.

They may never know who made you cry.

They may never know why you have walls up.

They may never understand your disappointments.

They may never understand your fears.

They may never understand the price you paid to be where you are at this precise moment in your life.

They may never seek to know your process or respect your journey, walk forward anyway.

They simply may never know.

They will see who you choose to become.

The Perfect Holiday Gift is not on Amazon.com

mary & josephThe holiday season is about many common themes shared by all religions of faith around the world. Many emphasize love, giving,   hope, and a renewed relationship with all that is divine and holy, reflecting of the state of humanity. I am a Man of Faith, and I follow the Christian tradition and I could not begin to imagine what the holidays would be like without the undertones of religious faith. I have found in my studies that almost all world faiths have common stories about the creation and their path to enlightenment or transformation. In all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it seems as if the true meaning of Christmas is lost in the fray.

226653_198435573524831_100000751704409_454896_7295406_nI often wonder what it must have felt like for Mary, a young mother and Joseph her betrothed to undertake a journey to Bethlehem in obedience with the Roman Census decree only to find that there is no available lodging. How infuriating that must have been! Mary is pregnant with what truly is a promise, a possibility, a vision but it is a living breathing thing that is unfulfilled potential and passion because it has not been birthed.

How many of us have stepped out on faith on what we thought was our purpose only to encounter a stumbling block?

The Hebrew Bible does not tell us much about the trip to Bethlehem, but we know that Mary and Joseph found no lodging available when they arrived. Most of us like to know what awaits us at the conclusion of a journey. However when it comes to giving birth to what is inside of us, when it come to attempting to carry out our purpose given to us by the divine, when it comes to stepping out and working on our vision, there are so many unknowns. The process between a promise and a possibility is often fraught with problems.

217298_198435456858176_100000751704409_454895_1648746_nHave you ever gotten so close to seeing a dream realized or a goal fulfilled, only to find yourself still short of your dream, your vision? Did you give up? Often what seems like a denial in our life is just the universe transitioning us behind the scenes, away from the limelight so that we can safely give birth to our destiny. According to the Christian tradition, the stable represents where humanity and divinity meet. It was where the divine had chosen to dwell among men. I wonder how many people walked by that stable, not knowing what was truly inside. I wonder how many people would have been repulsed to have to give birth in what was considered a lowly place. How many people have walked by you, dismissed you, counted you out because you did not have all of the tools they deemed necessary?And how many did not see you or your worth, failing to realize that there is a wealth of treasure hidden in the most unlikely places!

Our religious world faiths and texts often reveal what is overlooked, the personal treasure, the gifts, the talents, and the ideas so many  people have inside. You can rest assured that people will be sent your way to assure you and reaffirm to you that which the divine has placed inside of you.

This Holiday Season I challenge you to take your focus off the outside world and look within. Find the hidden treasure within you, unlock it, cultivate it, protect it, and whatever you do, do not give up on it. You are going to need the help of the divine to give birth to it, but you first have to discover it. The journey may be difficult and you may find yourself weary at times, but I promise you the journey will be worthwhile.

This article was written by me & originally posted on: http://healthyblackmen.org/2011/12/23/holiday/

A Special Thanks To My Dear Friend Demann Crawford, and a special thanks D360 Photography “Bringing Visions To Life”!  D360 Photography has undoubtedly been an enhancement to the character and vision of this post. You can find Demann at the following sites: , http://twitter.com/D360Photography, & http://www.modelmayhem.com/734380