Monthly Archives: May 2015

*Dress to Impress: The Perfect Outfit

Half-length portrait of great African model wearing lovely dress sitting on the vintage sofa in front of the wonderful wooden table looking attentively at the photographer

We are familiar with this statement, “Dress to impress” and sisters we know how to do just that! One weekend I searched for the perfect shoes. I needed a nice pair of heels that would match nicely with my gold dress. I searched and searched, even asked my husband to help me (my husband hates shopping!), but he patiently went with me to several stores. Eventually, I found the right pair, the perfect pair!

That following Sunday, I got dress for church and got annoyed at how long it was taking me to get dressed. I pulled and tucked. Straightened and primped. I made sure my outfit and hair was perfect. Everything had to be perfect to match those perfect shoes. But then, I noticed how I was making such a fuss over what I was wearing and how I looked. I noticed how I was using so much time and energy in my appearance that I felt drained as I left the house later than I wanted.

As I rushed to church, I thought to myself, “Man! I put all that time and energy in my appearance, making sure my outfit was flawless, that I failed to focus on what was most important!” I failed to draw all my attention to the One who is perfect.

Instead of concentrating on how I would take advantage of a brand new day pleasing the Lord, I focused more on my outer appearance!

“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. (1 Pet. 3:3-4, NLT)

Filled with Your Spirit – Mary Alessi

Sisters, we go to church all dressed up. We take pride in looking good and smelling good. We’re meticulous about what we have on, how our shoes, hats and purses match our outfits impeccably. We love it when our hair and makeup are flawless. We enjoy hearing those compliments about how well we look and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that! Everyone enjoys looking good. I know I do!

But how often……

Do we spend that needed time and effort striving to make our inner beauty perfect like Christ? How often does the inner woman compliment the light of our Savior? How often do we take the necessary measures to make sure our inward beauty matches our outward beauty? How often do we dress to impress our Heavenly Father? How often do we make sure our lives line up with what we sing about, praise about, teach and preach about on Sunday mornings? How often?

As we dress to impress, and as we adorn ourselves with outward beauty let’s not fail to do what’s most important.

Let’s strive to…..

Dress up our inner beauty with the virtues of a Godly woman and live a life that’s pleasing to God. (1 Pet. 3:1-7; Prov. 31:10-31; 1 Tim 2:10).

Daily allow God to clean us from the inside out, as we dress to impress Him, inwardly and outwardly (Matt. 23:25-28; 1 John 1:7-9; 2 Cor. 7:1).

“Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received!”
(2 Pet. 1:3, MSG)

Happy Friday! Let us dress to impress!

QUIET TIME

LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!

*Originally posted 4/23/12.

Rhovonda L. Brown is speaker and author of two bestsellers, Walking in Freedom!: A Thirty-Day Devotional Journey for Women and At Least Say, “Thank You!”: An 8-Day Devotional Plan for a Grateful Heart. 

Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Disconnected

There have been times when I sat in church, during a worship experience but felt nothing. There was praise in the atmosphere and people were worshipping God all around me, but I felt nothing – I felt so disconnected. The presence of God could literally be felt and seen, but I sat in the midst of it all feeling unplugged. I felt like a stranger who was so out of place, so detached. I didn’t like that feeling. Something was missing.

Something was missing and that something was my worship. I was in the right place, at the right time, but I wasn’t doing the right thing. I wasn’t worshipping. My mind wasn’t on God, but on other things. I was sitting in church, in a place where true praise and true worship unto God were being rendered, but I was down in the dumps, feeling alone and out of place. I had all those emotions clouding my thoughts, so I couldn’t release my worship or my praise.

Worship is ╬he key!

Our worship to God is what keeps us linked to Him. When we worship God, we connect with Him. At times, it’s very hard to worship our Father when our lives are in a whirlwind, when our thoughts are consumed with crazy things. Sometimes, it’s hard to push past our problems, our feelings, and place all our thoughts on God. At times, it’s a battle! It’s real hard to connect to God when we’re feeling detached and unplugged from Him. But if we’d worship Him our worship would ignite a fire inside of us. Our worship would connect us to the Holy Spirit, who would connect us to Jesus, who would place us in the presence of God.

╬ How do we worship? ╬

Simply concentrate on God! Think about Him. Think about His Holiness. Think about His Perfection. Think about who He is – the Only Living God who reigns forever and ever!! Think about His existence and marvel at His Power. Think about how He’s been here before the beginning of time, and He’ll be here when time is no more. Think about His unwavering, faithful love for His people. Think about His goodness toward us.

Sing praises to Him! Praise Him and thank Him for His forgiveness. Think about how we have been forgiven. Think about Jesus and how He has pardoned our sins. Keep thinking about Him, keep thanking Him, and keep praising Him. Soon, your thoughts, your thanksgiving, and your praise will spill over into worship. Give God honor. Show Him reverence and admiration. Give Him what He so justly deserves – all of our attention. Now, that’s how we worship Him!

On that particular day, the noise in my head was so bad that I had to cover up my ears with my hands and push past the noise. I kept thinking about God and thanking Him. Before long, I was no longer a spectator feeling disconnected, and out of place. Soon, I became a participator in the worship experience, and the weight on my shoulders began to fall off. Why? Because I worshipped.

Israel & New Breed - To worship You I live (live)
Israel & New Breed – To worship You I live (live)

Is the noise blocking your worship? Is your mind filled with other stuff? Too overwhelmed to worship? Feeling disconnected and out of place during worship service? Worship God! Cover your ears from the noise and worship Him. Sing! Ignite that fire and connect to God! Worship Him in the beauty of His holiness. Worship Him in spirit and in truth! And, that’s sure to get you over any hump.

It’s Wednesday – Hump Day!
My sister, here’s a Bible principle to get you over the hump.

 “Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
Give to the LORD glory and strength.
Give to the LORD the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come into His courts.
Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.” 

(Ps. 96:7-9, NKJV)

QUIET TIME

LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!

*Originally posted 1/9/13.

Rhovonda L. Brown is speaker and author of two bestsellers, Walking in Freedom!: A Thirty-Day Devotional Journey for Women and At Least Say, “Thank You!”: An 8-Day Devotional Plan for a Grateful Heart. 

Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Details Please!

I went to bed and woke up with so much on my mind. In fact, my dreams were filled with some of those things that weighed heavily on me. There are days when I feel like my emotions are on a roller coaster ride – they’re up one day, and then they’re down another day. My mind is overwhelmed with so much. There are so many things God has given me to do, then I wonder if He has given me these tasks or if I have taken it upon myself to do these tasks.

Here lies the question: Are these assignments from God or are they all my doing?

Yes, God has given me these assignments because 1) these assignments have been hit with so many fiery darts from the enemy. 2) Hindrances from all directions have been trying to stop me from completing what I know God has called me to do. 3) What I’m doing really doesn’t make sense from the human perspective. 4) If it was up to me, I would have quit a long time ago. 5) Only God is getting the glory from all of this (thank God!).

I find encouragement from the scriptures and from my Heavenly Father and I am confident that my Father who has started this good work in me will faithfully continue His work until it is finally completed (Phil. 1:6). Now, that’s my assurance!

Most of us are familiar with Proverbs 3:5-6. Continuously, we go to God asking for directions and guidance, and continuously, He says to us, “TRUST ME.” If you’re like me, needing all the details, we want to know more. We want to know when, where, who, and what. We want God to give us all the details as we trust Him. Sometimes, He does give us all the details. Yet, at times, He gives us just a portion of the specifics; and other times, He wants us to just trust Him without knowing anything at all. And that’s where God has me right now.

Details please!!

I don’t know all the details. He’s only given me a small portion, and that’s the hard part for me. Not knowing everything or not knowing at least a little more than what He’s given me has me fretting. It has me losing sleep, feeling flustered, and having the need to want to help God out. However, for my sake and so that He will get all the glory, God won’t give me all the facts nor will He allow me to help Him (for that, I’m truly grateful!).

To relieve me of this pressure and tension on today, I have been playing my favorite worship music by Shannon Wexelberg. I’ve been singing to Him, praying to Him, and crying out to Him. Has He given me more details?? No, He hasn’t, but He has given me reassurance and relief. In His presence I have been comforted.

My sister, maybe God has you where I am: feeling overwhelmed, burdened down, worrying, and needing more details. Continue to trust Him and stay in His Word. Allow your mind to be consumed with good thoughts, happy thoughts (Phil. 4:8). Put on your favorite worship music, sing and cry out to Him. Speak words of thanksgiving to Him. Let God comfort you and encourage you.

On the other hand, maybe God has you in another place, a good place. Maybe you’re not troubled nor are you losing sleep. Maybe God doesn’t have you in the valley, but you’re rejoicing on the mountain top. Wonderful!! What a perfect time to worship the Father, singing and crying out to Him with words of thanksgiving!

Sisters, whichever place God has permitted us to be in, He still deserves our time and our worship. He’s still our Great God who is to be praised!! Let’s be encouraged by the Master to walk in freedom as we continue to trust Him.

It’s Wednesday – Hump Day! Here’s a biblical principle to help us over the hump.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.” (Phil. 4:8, NKJV)

QUIET TIME

LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!

*Originally posted 6/27/12.

Rhovonda L. Brown is speaker and author of two bestsellers, Walking in Freedom!: A Thirty-Day Devotional Journey for Women and At Least Say, “Thank You!”: An 8-Day Devotional Plan for a Grateful Heart. 

Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.

A Mother’s Influence

 
The life we live can have a huge impact on the people around us. Our behavior and our actions influence those people greatly, especially our children. Whether we admit it or not, our behaviors (good or bad) can have a lasting effect on our daughters and sons. Our children observe the life we live out in the open as well as in the privacy of our own home. They see and know the real us. What we do and every decision that we make affects our children’s lives.
Through our actions and behavior, we teach our children morals and values. We teach them how to respond appropriately to various situations. We teach them how a Godly woman should live. We’re their role models! And as role models, we must be mindful of our every decision that we make.
Let’s take a look at today’s passage.
“For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison.He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. For John had been saying to Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’  So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to,because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.  
 
Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquetfor his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. When the daughter ofHerodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.’ And he promised her with an oath, ‘Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.’
 
She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ ‘The head of John the Baptist,’  she answered.  At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: ‘I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.'” 
(Mark 6:17-25, NIV)
In today’s passage, the actions and behavior of this mother influenced the actions of her daughter. Herodias’ lifestyle taught her daughter several mistakes.
  1. How to reject God. Herodias taught her daughter how to reject God and His precepts. (Mk. 6:17b)
  2. How to disregard Godly Counsel. Herodias taught her daughter how to disregard Godly counsel and how to respond incorrectly when confronted for doing the wrong thing. (Mk. 6:18-19).
  3. How sinful behavior makes horrible choices. Ultimately, Herodias, foolishly, taught her child how sinful behavior can drive us to do the unthinkable, and if not dealt with properly, sin can consume us. (Mk. 6:24-28)
Though, we are not perfect and we’re going to make many mistakes throughout motherhood, we can learn some valuable lessons from Herodias. Although, Herodias taught her daughter the contradictory principles of a Godly mother, as Believers, Godly women, we must:
  1. Teach our children to fear the Lord and obey His commands (Deut. 6:1-3; Ps. 78:5). God’s word reminds us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 9:10).
  2. We must teach our daughters and sons how to respect and heed Godly advice from men and women of God (Prov. 12:26, NLT).
  3. Most importantly, because of our sinful nature, we must show our children how they should admit their sin and humbly ask for forgiveness (Ps. 32:5, NLT). Then, be led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:9-14).
Since the life we live can have a major impact on our children, let us be mindful of our actions, behavior, and lifestyle. What we do and how we live can influence our children and the people around us.
DO AN INVENTORY.
THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY, ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS.
Are the decisions I’m making teaching my child to cling to the Word of God or stray away from God’s principles? Am I causing my child to make ungodly choices? Am I living a life that will affect my child’s life in a negative way? Is my lifestyle influencing my child to go against God?
As Mothers, let’s strive to be Godly examples in our homes, on our jobs, in our communities, and in our church!
LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!
*Originally posted 5/8/12.

Rhovonda L. Brown is speaker and author of two bestsellers, Walking in Freedom!: A Thirty-Day Devotional Journey for Women and At Least Say, “Thank You!”: An 8-Day Devotional Plan for a Grateful Heart. 

Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Legacy

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt. 6:19-20, NKJV)

As a mother, I want to leave a legacy for my children, a legacy that no one can take away. If I should die today, I want to leave my children and my children’s children something that cannot be destroyed, stolen, broken, lost, or fade away.

I want my children to graduate from college, be financially taken care of and not want for anything. I want them to have opportunities to visit different cities and far away countries. I want my children to see and experience things beyond their wildest dreams. But if they never have an opportunity to do those things, if the Lord should end their lives before those things are accomplished, I want it to be said that I left my children the greatest legacy.

I want my children to know that I left them something special that cannot be destroyed; thieves cannot steal, something that can’t be vanish or ever fade away. I want to leave my children something unique that no money in the world can buy, a special treasure.

My children (Kourtney & Kaleb) and my godchildren (DeDe & Deven)

The most important thing that a mother can do for her children; the most wonderful legacy she can leave them is the Word of God (Deut. 11:19). Mothers can share Jesus with their children. We can share God’s love story, the Bible, and tell them how the Creator displayed His great love for the world by giving His Son (John 3:16).  

The greatest treasure, the ultimate legacy that we as mothers can ever leave our children is Jesus Christ. Those other things, such as money and material things are good, but they won’t last.  

As we work and plan to make a better life for our children, let’s not forget about their souls. Let’s not forget to share God’s Word and His Son, which is most important. We want our children to know the Word of God and know that Jesus is the best thing they will ever need in this life.

Mothers, when all those other things diminish, dissolve, or disappear Jesus will still be standing. Let’s leave our children a legacy that will last forever! Jesus is the matchless treasure – gift that we can give our children.

 

QUIET TIME  

LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!

*Originally posted 7/24/11.

Rhovonda L. Brown is speaker and author of two bestsellers, Walking in Freedom!: A Thirty-Day Devotional Journey for Women and At Least Say, “Thank You!”: An 8-Day Devotional Plan for a Grateful Heart. 

Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.