Monthly Archives: November 2015

GET OUT THE WAY!

image_editor_share_1447772802351Sometimes I struggle with relinquishing my will. I have this mindset that if anything needs to get done, I can do a much better job myself, than allowing someone else to do it. Why? Because I trust me. I trust my efforts, I know my heart, and I know I’m going to give it my best. Another person, on the other hand, may not give it their all. He or she may not put his/her heart into it.
That being said, likewise, it can be challenging for me, at times, to move out the way and simply let my Savior handle my issues. There are times I find myself being impatient and wanting my will to be done. Silly me.
Today’s Walking in Freedom! Devotional will encourage and empower us to trust God and just move out of His way.
Have a terrific and trusting Tuesday!
Your sis,
Rhovonda
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I make things harder on myself. I make things harder than they have to be. I make things harder for myself when I get in the way. We make things more difficult than they should be when we get in God’s way. When we try to do God’s job, we make our lives more stressful, full of worry, and extremely exhausting.
Our lives do not have to be stressful, filled with anxiety because we have a compassionate Father who is more than able to take care of everything. God has everything under control and He has everything figured out (Matt 6:25-34).
“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Matt. 6:27, NLT)
When God created the world, He didn’t need our help (Job 38:4). When He spoke the world into existence, we weren’t there. When He created the heavens and the earth, and placed the stars, the moon, and the sun in the sky, He did it all by Himself. Surely the Creator doesn’t need any help from us!
……..but………oftentimes……we try to help God out by doing things our way and in the process getting in the way.
When we think God is moving too slow, He’s not going to do what He promised or maybe He changed His mind, we get in the way and make things worse. We end up causing ourselves more harm than good (at least I do). God doesn’t do things the way we do things. He doesn’t think like us. He’s God!
“‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.’ ” (Isa. 55:8, NLT)
Yesterday, I came to the realization that I was making this journey harder than it has to be. I was making things more complicated than it should. I need to enjoy the ride and get out of God’s way!
This journey that God has us on only requires one thing, trust. We must trust God and not depend on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5). We must trust God to work everything out. We must trust God and not try to get ahead of Him. We must trust God, for He knows what He’s doing; we may not know, but God does.
Pray this prayer with me: Father, forgive me for thinking You need my help. Forgive me for getting in the way. Forgive me for trying to alter Your plans. Lord, I thank You for having everything figured out. I thank You for knowing the plans for my life (Jer. 29:11). Thank You for taking care of everything, and all You want me to do is trust You and enjoy the ride.
Sisters, let’s get out the way and let God handle everything, Read Job chapter 38-42 and discover that the Creator doesn’t needs any help from us.
During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE  on God’s Word. WATCH to today’s music video, Allow these things to encourage you to have a grateful heart and keep walking in freedom!
LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!

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.

(Originally posted 1/24/12)

Encouraging! Declaring! Believing!

“The Lord is my light and my salvation-
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life-
of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1, NIV)

Psalm 27 is a beautiful Psalm of encouragement, declaration, and faith. In verses 1-3, the Psalmist declares three things: 1- The Lord is his salvation, 2- The Lord makes his enemies stumble and fall, and 3- The Lord is his confidence. Because of these three facts, David is not afraid. David’s trust is in the Almighty God and his confidence is in the protection of the Most High.

“One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.” (Psalm 27:4-5 NIV)

In verses 4-6, David’s one desire, his one request of the Lord is to live with Him forever. David desires to be in the presence of the Lord; for he knows there is safety, protection, and shelter in the presence of the Lord. In the presence of the Lord, David joyfully offers up sacrifices and praises.

“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:13-14, NIV)

The Psalmist ends this Psalm with more declarations, more faith, and more encouragement. Confidently, David believes he’ll see the Lord’s goodness while he yet lives. He declares and believes that when we wait on God, He’ll strengthen our heart.

Sisters, David encourages us in this Psalm to wait on the Lord. He encourages us to be strong and brave as we wait for the Lord to come through on our behalf. He encourages us to have confidence in the Lord, and fear nothing. He encourages us to seek after the Lord, seek His face. He encourages us to believe that we will see the goodness of the Lord.

BELIEVING IS EVERYTHING!!

Believing is everything! Although I haven’t received what God has promised me, I must still believe that I’ll receive it! Although what you’ve been praying for has not manifested itself in the earthly realm, you must still believe that you’ll receive what you’ve been praying for. Although we don’t see it right now, we must still believe. Believing is everything!

Still believe! If God told us, then it shall be. Believe. If He said it, then that settles it! Therefore, believe! Don’t give room to doubt. Just believe. Don’t lose heart, but continue to believe that we will see the goodness of the Lord. He will allow us to see His promises while we yet live!

My sisters, let’s be encouraged to declare the Word of God and continue to believe!

“Stay with God!
Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
Stay with God.” (Psalm 27:14, MSG)

During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE  on God’s Word. WATCH to today’s music video, Allow these things to encourage you to have a grateful heart and keep walking in freedom!
LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!

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.

*Originally posted on 10/10/12.

Got Trouble?

“Oh, why give light to those in misery,
and life to those who are bitter?
They long for death, and it won’t come.
They search for death more eagerly than for hidden treasure.
They’re filled with joy when they finally die,
and rejoice when they find the grave.
 Why is life given to those with no future,
those God has surrounded with difficulties?
I cannot eat for sighing;
my groans pour out like water.
What I always feared has happened to me.
What I dreaded has come true.
I have no peace, no quietness.
I have no rest; only trouble comes.”
(Job 3:20-25, NLT)
Job received bad news upon bad news. All Hell really did break loose! Job was having a nightmare, but he wasn’t asleep. To make matters worse, Job’s body was covered with boils; he had sores all over him. Every part of Job’s life was being attacked. His livestock was attacked, his business, his employees, his finances, his relationships, his family, and his body. The only thing left was Job’s life.
In chapter 3, Job begins to curse the day he was born. In anguish, grief-stricken, depressed, in deep pain, (physically, mentally, and emotionally), Job wanted death to relieve him. He believed that his existence should be erased. Job believed not existing was far better than what he was experiencing. Death, Job thought, would release him and give him the peace he needed.
Have you ever been there? Have you ever been that low, felt that depressed, had that much sorrow that death sounded like the best prescription for your pain?  Have you been in that kind of emotional state? In chapter 3, I believe Job felt hopeless.
When life has dropped us into the pool of despair, what do we do? When all Hell is breaking loose, where do we run? When life has broken us down, and shattered us into ruins, who do we turn to? Who do we ask for help?
Maybe life has you right there – at the corner of Hopelessness and Death Preferred. Maybe on this day, life has crushed you down and pinned you the floor. Right now, the hope that you once had is no more. Maybe, at this moment, you’ve raised your white flag to surrender to life’s beatings.
trouble_ahead_stormy.jpg
In Job’s crisis, when his world had crumbled, and he was in deep distress, Job declares boldly in chapter 19,
“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,

and he will stand upon the earth at last.” (Job 19:25, NLT)

Know that our Redeemer lives! Jesus lives! He will redeem us. He will be our Hope. He is our Hope and Refuge. He’ll save us, and He will lift us up from our despair.
My sister, we know that life gets hard at times. We know that life throws its hard blows, but we must remember our Redeemer. We must trust our Savior! He has redeemed us and is standing up for us right now! He’s ready to rescue us. He’ll pick us up, and won’t let us fall. Our Redeemer lives and because He lives, we can definitely face tomorrow!
GOT TROUBLES? LOOK UP! 
OUR REDEEMER IS STANDING RIGHT THERE!
During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE  on God’s Word, WATCH to today’s music video and keep walking in freedom!
LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!

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.

The Best Counsel

Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
    while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
    will not reach them.
You are my hiding place;
    you will protect me from trouble
    and surround me with songs of deliverance.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
(Psalm 32:6-8, NIV)
God reassures us in His wonderful Word that He will be our guide. In fact, God personalizes it, stamps His name on it. He says, “I” and no one else. I, who is God. I, the Great I am. I, the Creator. The Lord. The God of all. The Maker of heaven and earth. I, the King decrees. I, the One who made you, designed you, fashioned you into who you are will instruct you in the way you should go. Not the preacher, not the prophet, not the apostle, not the evangelist, not our prayer partner, not our spouse, but God, will show us in the way we should go.
Now, my sister, please don’t misunderstand me. Yes, God can and He does use our pastors, preachers, teachers, prophets, prayer partners, our husbands and so forth to give us Godly counsel, but before we run to them for advice, we must run to God first. God wants us to seek His way, His kingdom, His righteousness, His counsel first, and then He will take care of what concerns us (Matt. 6:33).
God says, “I will instruct and teach you in the way you should go” (Ps. 32:8a, NIV)
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As I read that passage, I wondered, why did God us those two words, “instruct” and“teach”. Why use those words, aren’t they the same? I often say, God does not waste His Words. God’s Word is such a beautiful thing! Every Word has a meaning, a purpose. Every period, comma, exclamation mark in the Bible has meaning and depth. So, I did a little studying to see how different and alike these two words are.
Today, I want to focus on the first part of verse 8 in our scripture passage. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go”(NIV).  I want to share with you what I discovered in God’s Word. These two words are so familiar to us. We use them in our everyday vocabulary, but it was so enlightening, such a blessing, and an encouragement to me what the Lord showed me. I pray that it will bless you, as well.
In the English dictionary, the word “instruct” means 1. to furnish with knowledge, especially by a systematic method; teach; train; educate. 2. To furnish with orders or directions; direct; order; command. 3. To furnish with information; inform; apprise. In Hebrew, “instruct” means to be (cause make or act) circumspect; prosper, deal prudently, give skill, have success, teach, (have, make to) understand, wisdom.
The dictionary describes the word “teach” as to impart knowledge of or skill in; give instructions in; to instill knowledge. In Hebrew “teach” is described as to point out (as if by aiming the finger); archer, cast direct, inform, instruct, lay, shoot.
And when I looked up the synonyms for both words, I was floored! Wow!
Synonym for “instruct”: advise, guide, keep posted, lead, notify, reveal, steer, train, educate, counsel. Synonym for “teach”: coach, communicate, demonstrate, direct, develop, discipline, enlighten, explain, give instruction, give facts, improve mind, indoctrinate, nurture, prepare, polish, open eyes, school, sharpen, show, tutor.
Oh, how God cares so much about you and I. You know how you know something, but love to hear it, see it, and be reminded of that very thing? Well, that’s how I felt and feel, right now, after studying this scripture passage. We know that God loves us, but when He reminds us and shows us, or should I say, when He opens our eyes to really see His amazing love and care for us, it is mind blowing! It was such a beautiful illumination to learn and be reminded of the way God is attentive to us.
So, through His Word, God tells us that He will explain to us, give us the intelligence, the wisdom, the understanding, as He directs us in the way we should go. Like a Captain, He’s going to coach us, train us, and give us the appropriate orders and command. He’ll give us the knowledge, inform us, prepare us and instruct us. Like a skillful archer, God will point us in the right direction. With His watchful eyes, His infinite wisdom, and His care for us and our future, He will guide us successfully. Amen!
Psalm 32:8 is a short verse, but it has such astounding revelations! God’s instructions and teachings are the best counsel we can ever receive. However, in order for us to receive what God wants to give us, in order to be instructed and taught in the way we should go, we have to go to Him first. Acknowledge Him and allow Him to direct our path (Prov. 3:5-6).
IT’S WEDNESDAY – HUMP DAY!! HERE’S A BIBLICAL PRINICPLE TO HELP US OVER THE HUMP.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you. (Ps. 32:8, NLT)

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During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE  on God’s Word, WATCH to today’s music video and KEEP walking in freedom!
LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!

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.

God Admonishes

Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes! Cease to do evil, Learn to do right! Seek justice, relieve the oppressed, and correct the oppressor. Defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:16, 17 AMP)
 

Our Heavenly Father, disciplines those whom He loves (Prov. 3:12; Heb. 12:6; Rev. 3:19). Through the prophet Isaiah, God scolds the children of Israel. He describes how He’s been a nurturing and loving parent, who has raised them well, instilled in them His Godly principles. He delivered them from slavery, fed and clothed them in the dessert, gave them shelter from the rain. He led them to the promise land, a prosperous land. God has gone above and beyond meeting their needs, but now they had turned their backs on Him. Those He’d been so faithful to had completely deserted Him.

As you read through the beginning chapter of Isaiah, you feel God’s anger, His hurt and pain. You can feel how disappointed He was for the way His children had been behaving. Mothers, can you relate? You’ve been there when your children have done something they knew was wrong? They’ve behaved in a manner that was contrary to the way you raised them. Remember how disappointed and hurt you were? Remember how angry you felt? You were angry, disappointed and hurt because they knew better. They knew right from wrong, and since they knew, you disciplined them. That’s how God felt.
As a Father, God had come to Israel’s aid time after time. He’s been their faithful God. Despite, Israel had turned their backs on God. Once again they had walked away from His love. Again they had abandoned His principles, began doing evil things – godless things that God detests. And from their rebellion and corruption, they were wounded and afflicted by their own doing. Their evil was causing harm to themselves. Their lives were a mess as a result of their outrageous sinful life (Isa.1:5-8).

Even worse, God’s children had turned their worship for Him into a game, a spectacle. Israel’s sacrifices, their offerings, and their worship were a big half-time show! All worthless and all detestable to God. Their worship was not real, their giving wasn’t from the heart, but was just performance (Isa.1:11-14). God was tired of them playing church. All of it had become wearisome to God. He was not pleased, but angry! He said, “When you pray and ask for help, I will close My eyes and will not listen” (Isa. 1:15). Just the thought of that verse is devastating to me. Can you imagine our Heavenly Father not listening to us? Basically, turning His back on us?
God admonished Israel as He admonishes us today: Change your ways. Stop sinning. Stop doing wrong and learn to do right. Remember what I’ve taught you. Return to Me. Comfort the hurting. Help the homeless. Stand up for the weak and helpless. Do your Christian duty.
SELF CHECK √: Has my life been a reflection of the Savior? Have I been focusing so much on rituals, church programs and performances that I’m neglecting what’s most important, to glorify God with my life? Have I deserted God? Have I removed God and His principles from my everyday life in order to satisfy me?
During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE  on God’s Word. WATCH to today’s music video, Allow these things to encourage you to have a grateful heart and keep walking in freedom!
LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!

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.

ORDER NOW & HAVE IT IN YOUR HANDS BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS!! ENJOY IT AND BE MOTIVATED TO HAVE A GRATEFUL HEART AND BE ENCOURAGED TO EMBRACE FREEDOM IN JESUS CHRIST!SecondBook
Small, but packed with powerful and inspiring devotionals! God is allowing Rhovonda’s second book to take the reading community by storm. As of today, At Least Say, “Thank You!” is an Amazon’s No.1 Kindle Best Seller and has been on Amazon’s Hot New Releases List in the Family & Inspirational Spirituality category. Our Master is using Rhovonda’s books to impact, bless and encourage the people of God. Order your copy now.
At Least Say, “Thank You!” is available in eBook and Paperback. Order your copy on Amazon now or contact us and we’ll order the paperback for you.
 
Synopsis: Imagine how many times throughout our day we forget to tell our Heavenly Father, “Thank You.” Yes, we may say thank you for something obviously noticeable, such as a brand new car, a new job, the healing of a loved one. But how often do we acknowledge or notice those so-called “small blessings”? Rhovonda encourages you to live out each day with a spirit of rejoicing and gratitude. As you read through each devotional, your heart, mind, and spirit will begin to settle on this one fact: there is always something to be grateful for.   
 
Rhovonda’s debut Book, Walking in Freedom! is also an Amazon Kindle Best Seller and is available for your enjoyment. A great read for the holidays. Or another with this book. She will be encouraged to embrace God’s freedom and live each day trusting God.
 
Synopsis: Walking in Freedom! is comprised of devotionals and interactive activities that are designed to empower you to become a better person. With the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, all thirty devotionals and interactive activities were created by Rhovonda L. Brown, the founder of Martha & Mary Ministries, Walking in Freedom! a women’s devotional ministry. These are not your traditional devotionals. Instead, Rhovonda openly shares her heart, her struggles, her flaws, and her victories while pointing you back to God. This inspiring devotional takes you on a journey that will encourage you, motivate you, and empower you. 

Insignificant

The Bible is filled with a plethora of stories to encourage the fainthearted. We’re given stories, true stories of God’s faithfulness. We read stories about God displaying His unfailing love to His children. There’s a story, in particular, that can be an encouragement to everyone no matter what season we may find ourselves in.
But Jesus said, “You feed them.”
“But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?” For there were about 5,000 men there. (Luke 9:13-14a, NLT)
Here’s a beautiful story of Jesus taking something small, insignificant, and making it more than enough. In John chapter six, we’re told that the 2 fish and five loaves of bread were obtained from a young boy who happened to be at the right place at the right time. The Bible doesn’t give us any background on this little boy. We don’t know who the lad came with, but we’re told this:
Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” (John 6:8-9, NLT)
Although insignificant to the disciples, this child had something God could use. This story reminds the Believers that no matter where we are, no matter what we have, no matter who we are and what we have done, God can use us. When we think we have nothing to give, God says we do! When we think we can’t make a difference, we’re too young or too old, God says we can! When we think we’re insignificant, God tells us that we are important to Him. God takes this child’s small lunch and feeds over 5000 people. Spectacular!!
Are you feeling insignificant? 
Do you feel like you can’t make a difference? 
Are you wondering if God can use someone like you? 
Do you think your little bit can’t make a difference?
Well, be encouraged, my friend! God takes what may seem insignificant, and makes it momentous and monumental! God says to you, “I can take your little bit and make much. Let me take what you have, what you see as inconsequential, and make it great. Let me use you to do something spectacular!”
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers! (Luke 9:16-17, NLT)
During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE  on God’s Word, WATCH to today’s music video andKEEP walking in freedom!
LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!

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.

Unique

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! 
Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it.” 
(Psalm 139:14, NLT)
If I’m not careful, sometimes, I find myself comparing my God-given talents with another person’s. Instead of celebrating my uniqueness, I compare what I can’t do or don’t have. I believe, as women, sometimes, we tend to compare ourselves to other people, other women. We compare such things as our looks, our personality, our weight, and our style of clothes. We compare our educational background and economical status. We compare our marriages, parenting skills, and our children. We even compare our Christian roles that God has placed us in.
We spend time looking at what God is doing in another person’s life. We waste our energy focusing on the gifts (special abilities) that God has given someone else. We try so hard at being like other people, doing things like other people, or being better than them. We do so much comparing, that we fail to acknowledge the greatness that’s inside of us………..and let me remind you, that greatness is God!!
Sisters, we can celebrate who we are!! We can celebrate where we are in life and what God is doing in our own lives! We are special! We’re different and beautiful women! We are wonderfully made! We’re not made to look and act like each; we’re unique! The only person we should try to look like and act like is Christ.
God made us the way we are………beautiful and fearfully made!! When we compare ourselves to someone else, we miss giving God the glory for making us. We miss giving Him thanks and enjoying our own uniqueness!!
Listen, Jesus was different! When He walked the earth, He didn’t do things like other people. Everything He did was scrutinized because the world wasn’t ready for His matchlessness!! Jesus Christ was and is like no other!! He’s unique and so are we!
My sister, we are unique, beautiful women made by a unique and beautiful God!!
 
LET’S CHAT ABOUT IT: If I’m not careful, sometimes, I find myself comparing my God-given talents with another person’s. Instead of celebrating my uniqueness, I compare what I can’t do or don’t have. As a Christian woman (or man), what kind of comparisons do you find yourself making?
During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE  on God’s Word, WATCH to today’s music video and KEEP walking in freedom!
LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!

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.