Monthly Archives: December 2015

Your Full Attention – Downtime

Portrait of beautiful female teenager praying

Look up and see God

“Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish. He said, “I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the land of the dead, and LORD, you heard me! You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. The mighty waters engulfed me; I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves. Then I said, ‘O LORD, you have driven me from your presence. Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple.'” (Jon. 2:1-4, NLT)
During the downtimes (bad times), we grow. Our relationship with God becomes stronger. We learn more about God and He teaches us about ourselves. We learn just how weak we are and how badly we need His help. We learn who God is and how bad (in a good way) He can be. Most importantly, we are more opened and more willing to listen and obey God, which is significant to our spiritual growth and the Christian walk.
Sometimes, God has to knock us down, send a storm our way or place us in a lonely place in order to get our full attention. That’s what God did to Jonah, and it got his attention. Sometimes, God has to do drastic things that will force us to focus on Him. Our downtime brings us low, but this is a good thing. We’re able to humble ourselves under the mighty hands of God and submit to His will. In our submission, He is magnified. He’s made BIG in our lives. In our downtime, all we
can do is look up. And when we look up, we see our Heavenly Father who’s been standing there all along. He’s standing by our side all the time.
At our lowest point, God has our full attention. Our downtime is the right time, the best time for us to grow. That’s called growing pains. Although this is the season to be jolly, are you experiencing some growing pains? Are you in your downtime, sad time, sorrowful times? Does God have you looking up seeking answers? Has He gotten your attention, yet?
My praise will be of You in the great assembly.
I will pay my vows [made in the time of trouble] before those who [reverently] fear Him. The afflicted will eat and be satisfied; Those who [diligently] seek Him and require Him [as their greatest need] will praise the Lord.
May your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, And all the families of the nations will bow down and worship before You, (Ps. 22:25-27, AMP)
My sister, now that God has your attention, give Him what He deserves. Turn your face to Him. Seek Him diligently. Worship the King of kings right where you are and give Him all your full attention.
It’s Monday, already. May the principles below remind you to focus on what matters.
M- No moping on today! Rejoice instead! (Phil. 4:4)
O- Be open on today! Openly to forgive, listen, and learn. (Eph. 4:31-32)
N- Every need will be met by God! (Phil. 4:19)
D- Determined to be thankful for everything! (Psalm 136)
A- Ask God for help! (Psalms 121:2)
Y- Yes, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strengthen! (Phil. 4:13)
During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE on God’s Word. WATCH to today’s music video. Allow these things to encourage you to 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.

Physically and Spiritually Fit

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Women love spending time together. We love laughing and enjoying each other’s company. When we get together, we have a good time; and our conversations are all over the place, trying our best to cover everything. We talk about our families, our jobs, vacations we recently took. We show pictures of our little ones, pass out invitations to special events, talk about that cute dress we saw, and so forth. We talk about clothes, shoes, purses, hair dos, and yes food! We talk, talk, and talk. And we have lots of fun doing it!
You know what I’ve discovered? When women get together there’s one sure topic that somehow always seems to come up, the topic about weight. We talk about our concerns for eating healthy, choosing better eating habits, in general, having a healthy lifestyle. We converse about our daily walks, the weekly Boot Camp and Zumba classes, and our new membership at the gym. We discuss how much weight this person has lost and how much that person has gained. We exchange healthy eating tips, and share some of our own weight victories and struggles. While we’re enjoying each other’s company, some of us are counting calories and points. We’re carefully trying not to consume too much fat, too many carbs, and too much sugar. We’re counting, calculating, and watching what we eat, making sure we adhere to the Food Police. Ugh! That’s so tiring!
Imagine what would happen if we focused just as much on what comes out of my mouth, as we do with what goes in our mouth. Imagine if we made sure Jesus’ light is seen in our lives just as much as our weight loss is seen. In addition to being careful about our calorie intake, what if you and I were just as careful about our conversation and how we treat each other?  What would happened if we used the same emphasizes that we place on our weight be placed on God? What would happen if our entire conversation was about living a Godly life and impacting other women in a positive way? We would be some powerhouses, indeed! We’d be spiritually and physically fit, Godly women building up women for the kingdom of God.

group of women working out in

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying being physically fit is not important, because it is. But what I am saying is being spiritually fit is just as important, if not more important. Paul tells Timothy that being physically fit benefits a little, but striving to be spiritually fit is far better and advantageous. Paul writes:

“Rather, train yourself in godliness,for the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way,since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance.In fact, we labor and strive for this, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of everyone, especially of those who believe.” (1 Tim. 4:7b-10, HCSB)
Sisters, I must admit. I have a long way to go with making smart choices about my food selections, as well as making wise decisions when it comes to feeding my spirit. As we continue to walk this Christian journey, I pray that we each strive to find that balance. I pray that we allow our spiritual lives be just as important, if not more than living a healthier lifestyle.
√ SELF CHECK FOR TODAY: Am I putting more emphasis on my weight and physical appearance than I am with living a Godly life for Christ? Which is most important to me, being physically fit, spiritually fit, or both? Is my spiritual wellbeing on the same level as my physical wellbeing? Which could use more work?
During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE  on God’s Word. WATCH to today’s music video. Allow these things to encourage you to 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.

Jesus Can Be Trusted

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“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound..”  
(Isaiah 61:1, AMP)
Because of the hurt I’ve experienced during my childhood years, I had (and still do have) some trust issues. I have some reservations when it comes to allowing someone into my circle, my space. In certain relationships, I only trust that person so far. I guess you can say that it is not really a relationship. But I don’t allow myself to openly give all my trust away because, eventually, that person will misuse it. Well, that’s what I believed.

You know the saying, “I’ll give you just enough rope to hang yourself” or “Give em time because eventually she or he will mess up.” Well, that was my mantra when it came to relationships and friendships. And it seemed those statements were proven true 80-90% of the time. Soon, when that person had enough rope, her/his character and actions would confirm that they were indeed untrustworthy. On the other hand, there were times when I didn’t see that person’s deceitfulness. Those times when I did let my guard down, I ended up slowly but surely being misled. Of course, after that happens, another wall was built to replace the broken one, but this time more fortified and stronger than before.

But even though I had some trust issues, and even though I had this fortified wall erected to protect my heart from the outside world, there was someone who would break down those barriers. I found someone whose love would penetrate right through my stoned wall. His love kept coming back, and keeps coming back. I found someone who would love away the fear of being hurt, the fear of being misused and rejected. His love would totally heal the scars and open wounds brought on by past hurts. I found someone who I could truly trust. One who would keep His Word and wouldn’t be fickle or wishy washy. I found someone whose Word was trustworthy and His love was gentle and patient with me.

Bit by bit, brick by brick, layer upon layer, my Savior gently pulled down my wall. He knocked down those insecurities and fear. He showed me that I can believe in Him, trust in His friendship, and trust in His love. Jesus assured me that He was dependable and would never hurt me, but would always love me in spite of the many mistakes that I’d make. He would love me for me, not for what I did, not for who I was nor what I had, but love me for me. Beautiful!

For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior
Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord!” (Luke 2:11, AMP)

Jesus showed the world what real love is by coming as a baby and living a perfect life. He gave His perfect life to a messed up and imperfect world. His love heals the broken heart, the fragile heart, and the wounded soul. His love sets captives free and breaks down walls.

Do you have some reservations about relationships? Some uncertainties and insecurities? Some fears about what tomorrow may bring?  Well, you and I can have confidence in the Savior. Jesus can be trusted, and we can be certain that we’re protected and loved by Him.

My sister, tis the season to receive the love and protection that only our Heavenly Father gives through His Son, Jesus Christ. But this love isn’t just for the season, it’s for a lifetime!
May your holidays be filled with Christ’s magnificent and amazing love!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE on God’s Word. WATCH to today’s music video. Allow these things to encourage you to 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.

My How Things Change

“God’s way is perfect.

All the Lord’s promises prove true.

He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.”

(Ps. 18:30, NLT)

 

What! December already? Where did the time go? Just a few weeks ago, I was appreciating the summer months, enjoying the long hot days. But now, we’re in the winter months (though it doesn’t feel like winter at all), and we’re getting ready to walk into a new year.

 

Where did all the time go? My, how time flies! It feels like the clock is ticking faster than ever and it’s not waiting on anyone. Year 2016 will be here any minute! Time seems to be rapidly passing me by, and it’s not stopping. Oh, my goodness!

 

Things are changing swiftly. Lately, I have been noticing how my children are growing up so fast. Yesterday, as infants, I was holding them in my arms. Day by day, my little offspring are growing, becoming pre-teens, teenagers, young adults, and then true grown-ups. Soon, my first born will be graduating from college! My, how things change.

 

There are times when everything is going perfect in our lives; so perfect that we don’t want anything to change. We tend to want to freeze time, put it in a bottle, trying our best to keep everything just the way it is. Perfect. When life is going well, we’re relaxed; delighted to be where God has us. There’s no sickness in our bodies, our children and family are doing great, no financial woes, and no drama! Everything is copacetic. All is well. But eventually, things will change. Change always comes.

 

Maybe things are not completely fine in your neck of the woods. Maybe from your point of view things aren’t perfect at all. Your life is in a whirlwind, leaving you in a daze. Maybe crisis upon crisis keeps knocking at your door. Maybe you feel that whenever you get over one hump another one comes, and you feel like drama is your middle name. If there’s a woe to be had, you’ve had them, and even though you’ve been praying for change, it has not come.

My sister, you can rest assure that change is coming; it always does!

 

Seasons change, the weather changes, jobs change, relationships change, our lives change, but the Word of God remains the same. Our faithful Heavenly Father never changes! His promises don’t alternate because of our circumstances, but every promise God gives is true and every promise He has given to the Believer will come to past.  God’s Holy Scriptures says, “And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you” (Gal. 3:29, NLT). God keeps His promises! He always does!

 

WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW?

Perhaps all is well with you and your family or perhaps you are experiencing a tsunami. No matter where you are right now, remember things will change. As sure as this earth spins on its axis, you can be certain that things will eventually change. The only job we have when life takes us through many changes is to continue to trust the Master and have confidence that He never changes.

 

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” (John 14:1, NLT)

During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE  on God’s Word. WATCH to today’s music video. Allow these things to encourage you to have a keep your confidence in the Father and don’t stop 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.