Monthly Archives: March 2016

That Mouth!

“Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.”

(Col. 4:5-6, MSG)

I was ready. Well…….I thought I was. I didn’t know what I was going to say, but I knew I was going to allow the Holy Spirit to speak for me. He would do all of the talking because I was going to let Him. Besides, my husband would be with me; so, if I get a little off track, he’d pull me back. That was the plan. I was to be nice. Don’t attack. Patiently listen and then speak. Oh, but that’s not how it happened.

I was not nice. I did not listen. Well, I did listen, but I didn’t hold back what I was feeling. I got off track; my husband pulled me back. I got off track again, and my husband pulled me back, again. Then, I went off on a tantrum. I attacked and attacked this woman with my mouth, that is. The words flowed. I said what I was feeling and didn’t hold back. I told the Holy Spirit to be quiet and let me do all the talking, basically. Now, before your mind starts racing, no, I did not use profanity (not that time), but I wasn’t very nice. And once my husband finally pulled the reins, what was said, was said. And I couldn’t take it back.

In that meeting, I said what I felt because I had to get my point across; however, my approach could have been different. In fact, I should have handled that conversation differently. I could have said what was needed to be said without attacking her. I should have let my light shine as I’ve done in previous conversations with her, but on that particular day, my light was out! It wasn’t shining. My demeanor was ugly, my words were harsh, and my attitude was stinky – not nice at all.

That entire conversation was a waste. I didn’t accomplish anything, but I may have made matters worse. Now, I have to go back and apologize to her. Ugh!! That mouth of mines! Oops, I did it again.

Have you been there sisters?

God holds all of us accountable for our actions. As Christians, we are to be mindful of what we say and do. Our words and our actions could cause another person to turn away from God. Our behavior could be a stumbling block to another Believer, but God has called us to be lights that can’t be hidden. He has called us to point others to Christ. We are to be reflections of Jesus in all that we do and say. Wow!

SELF-CHECK : Can the words that proceed out of my mouth kindle a fire? Could I have handled that particular conversation better? Can the words I speak destroy relationships? Is my conversation seasoned with words of affirmation? Do I speak words that are nurturing, inspiring, uplifting? Do my conversations encourage and strengthen the body of Christ or do they diminish a person’s worth?

“Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.”

(Eph. 4:29, MSG)

Prayer: Father, my mouth has gotten me in trouble with You, again. Forgive me. Now, teach me how to tame that tongue of mine and show me how to speak in love. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Sisters, let’s think before we speak and respond in love.

 

During your quiet time MEDITATE on today’s scriptures. Be motivated to control our mouths, be led by the Spirit and walk in freedom with Jesus Christ!

**Originally posted 11/26/12

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

Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of Martha & Mary Ministries, Walking in Freedom!™ Devotionals may be reproduced, stored in any electronic system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission from the author. Brief quotations may be used in literary reviews.
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Sisterly Love

Happy Thursday and greetings Freedom Walkers!

You know, women have gotten a bad rap! It’s been said that we love to gossip. We love to start mess. If women are involved, oh boy! Here comes trouble and some foolishness! People say we don’t know how to treat and encourage one another. They say we don’t know how to be transparent and real. They say we don’t build up one another. Instead, they say, we are fake, materialistic, hateful, liars, jealous, and conniving to the core. Could all this be true?

Well, below is another one of my devotional prayers to help us get mentally, spiritually and emotionally equipped to tackle whatever life throws our way on today.

I’m praying today’s Walking in Freedom! Devotional prayer will bless you and get you excited about the plans God has for you, His daughter!

Happy Thursday! Now, let’s walk in freedom together!
Your sis,
Rhovonda L. Brown
P. S. I’ll be sharing more details about my upcoming book, Tuesday Morning Prayer. Look at God!! Stay tune!


 

Your every action must be done with love. (1 Cor. 16:14, HCSB)

Dear God, rid us from all that foolishness. Give us a heart that is pure and genuine (Matt. 5:8). Help us encourage one another instead of tearing each other down. Help us to see the good in each other and not focus on our shortcomings. Help us to be trustworthy friends, who build our sisters up and pray for one another. Help us be our sisters’ keepers, holding one another accountable in love. Father, give us the spirit of discernment so that we can be sensitive to our sisters’ needs, and be willing to help when they’re hurting and facing difficulties.

Lord, help us be Godly women, women of honor. Help us be honest and compassionate in our speech and actions. Help us speak kind words toward our sisters. Help us not be gossipers and carriers of rumors (Prov. 11:13). Help us not be hypocrites, malicious, and mess makers. Help us be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9). Clean our hearts so that we may be women after Your own heart, having sisterly love for one another and walking in love. Show us how to be a light and an example for You to our sisters who don’t know You. Help us be mighty women of God, who live by Your Word and not be afraid to share Your Word.

God, when You elevate our sisters, help us sincerely celebrate them and not compare and be jealous of them. Help us be women of integrity, forgiving and patient with one another (Prov. 17:9). When we open up our mouths to speak, let our words be tender and thoughtful. Lord, filled our hearts with more of Your love.

In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Let everything you do be done in love [motivated and inspired by God’s love for us]. (1 Cor. 16:14, AMP)

*Originally posted 11/03/10

During your quiet time MEDITATE on today’s scriptures. Be motivated by today’s VIDEO. Allow all these things to encourage you to walk 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.

Need a little help with finding your passion and igniting it? Learn how Rhovonda can help you ignite your passion or learn more about her women’s ministry.
Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.

In The Garden – Pt. 5

 

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ “(Matt. 26:36-38, NIV)

Matthew chapter 26:36-38 is such a beautiful passage, yet painful at the same time! This passage allows us to take a peek at Jesus in His humanity. Jesus, with His disciples, is in the Garden of Gethsemane just before He is betrayed by His friend, Judas.

Jesus needed His disciples to stay awake with Him. He needed them to wait, watch, and pray with Him, but His disciples couldn’t. They couldn’t keep their eyes open. When Jesus needed His friends the most, they weren’t there for Him.

Can you feel the sadness, Jesus’ sorrow, distress, and anguish as you read the following passages?

“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?’ He asked Peter. ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’”(Matt. 26:40-41, NIV)

“When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. ‘Why are you sleeping?’ he asked them. ‘Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.’”(Luke 22:45-46, NIV)

Jesus asked His disciples, His followers, His closest friends, the inner circle to do the simplest thing, stay awake and pray, but they couldn’t make good on it. How disappointing it must have been for Jesus. How lonely He must have felt. However, Jesus understood their weakness. He knew His friends’ heart. He knew their spirit wanted to be there for Him in His time of need, but their flesh could not. Nonetheless, God sent an angel to strengthen Jesus (Luke 22:43).

The lack of support and the weakness of His friends did not deter the Savior from His journey. Jesus drank the bitter cup and carried a heavy cross to Calvary. Although, His disciples couldn’t do the simplest task, watch and pray with the Lord, the Heavenly Father was there for His Son. When everyone had forsaken Jesus, God was still there.

Have you ever been there? Have you ever needed someone to stand with you, to stand in the gap for you? Have you needed someone to tarry and watch with you while you make a life changing decision? Have you needed a close friend to wait and pray with you, but she couldn’t? Maybe that friend wouldn’t or couldn’t because she was just as weak as you were. Think about it. Maybe someone needed your support, needed your help, your prayers, your presences, but you couldn’t and/or you wouldn’t.

We will have those moments in our lives when we feel like we’re all alone in the garden. We’ll have those seasons when we’re weak and too frail to pray. There may come a time when we’ll feel like we have no support, no one understands us, no one is praying with us or for us. We will experience loneliness.

When we’re in the garden, in the late watch, in our final hours, we can count on God. God will send the Holy Spirit, an angel, someone to strengthen us just like He did His Son. We have a Savior who will tarry with us. Jesus will pray with us and for us. He’s interceding on our behalf right now!

Sisters, in our darkest hour, when friends are nowhere to be found, when our strength has dissipated, we can call on Jesus! Although His friends had forsaken Him in His time of need, Jesus is a friend who will never forsake us. Jesus will stick closer than any brother (Prov. 18:24)!

During your Quiet Time, meditate on God’s Word and be strengthened from His precious promises.

 

Click here to read Parts 1-4 series of “The Week He Changed Everything”

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

Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of Martha & Mary Ministries, Walking in Freedom!™ Devotionals may be reproduced, stored in any electronic system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission from the author. Brief quotations may be used in literary reviews.

The Lord’s Supper

When I was little girl, there were specific Sundays we celebrated the Lord’s Supper. I remember looking forward to eating the broken up crackers and drinking the sweet grape juice. As a little girl, I wasn’t concerned about what each item represented; all I was concerned about was grabbing the biggest piece of cracker and enjoying the juice. For some reason, that cracker and that juice tasted so good.

Then, the women and men would go around and wash each other’s feet. During the washing of the feet, I thought it was a little strange to see the Pastor, his wife, and other adults get down on the floor and wash the congregation’s feet. However, I looked forward to the washing of the feet part (not for any spiritual reasons) because it felt really nice having someone else wash my feet.

Now that I’m older I have a clear understand of why we celebrated the Lord Supper. Everything that was done that night represented something special.

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.’” (Matt. 26:26-28 NKJV)

During the Passover Week, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper. All four Gospels give an account of Jesus and His disciples eating the meal on the eve of His crucifixion. Jesus explained to His disciples what the bread and the wine symbolized. He also demonstrated to His disciples the purpose for washing their feet.

The bread (crackers) symbolizes His body that would be offered up as a sacrifice for the world. The wine (grape juice) symbolizes the blood that would pour out of His body for the forgiveness of sins, and the washing of the feet demonstrates humility (John 13:1-17). Jesus humbled Himself, became a servant (a human), and was obedient to God. Thereby, relinquishing His will to die a criminal’s death on the cross (Phil. 2:7-9).

I understand, now, that the Lord’s Supper is something more than just nibbling on crackers and drinking juice. When I partake in the Lord’s Supper, The Eucharist (which means to give thanks), I am remembering all that my Lord did for me. I’m remembering that He gave His life for me. I’m remembering Jesus exchanged my life for His. I’m remembering the agony and the suffering that He went through for me.

By taking the Lord’s Supper, we are showing our gratitude, our indebtedness, our appreciation to our Savior. As we partake in the Lord’s Supper, remember the cross. Think about the beating, the abuse, the cruelty and the blood that ran down our Savior’s face and body.

As a Believer, when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we must understand the magnitude of our Father’s love. Remember the demonstration of our Savior’s amazing and great love, and because He loves us so much, He went through all of that for you and me.

My sister, the next time we partake in the Eucharist, give thanks and remember! Let’s thank God for the cross. Let us remember all that Jesus endured just to save us, sinful people. The Lord’s Supper is more than just snacking on crackers and drinking juice. It commemorates the life Jesus gave so that you and I may have everlasting life.

During your Quiet Time read First Corinthians 11:17-34 and allow God’s Word to bring you joy!!

 

Read parts 1-4 of “The Week He Changed Everything” Devotional Series.

 

LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!
Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of Martha & Mary Ministries, Walking in Freedom!™ Devotionals may be reproduced, stored in any electronic system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission from the author. Brief quotations may be used in literary reviews.

 

The Week He Changed Everything – Pt. 3

Preparation – Part 3

 

“When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, ‘As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.’ Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him.” (Matt. 26:1-4 NIV)

Jesus told His disciples that in two days He would be delivered up to be crucified. After Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, preparation had begun. The religious leaders began preparing ways they would take Jesus and kill Him. To continue the preparation, a woman came into Simon the Leper’s house to anoint Jesus. She made preparation for the burial of Jesus. Soon, Judas would be counting out 30 pieces of silver as he made preparation to betray Jesus with a kiss (Matt. 26). Preparations had begun.

Before the beginning of time, God made special preparations with you and me in mind. He prepared a Lamb to be our substitute, and this Lamb would pay our sin debt in full. Before the world began, God made preparations to give you and me eternal life through His Son. God prepared the way by sending Jesus Christ, the Holy Lamb of God, who is without blemish. And by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior; we can enjoy all the benefits that God has for those who love Him.

“But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, ‘What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].’” (1 Cor. 2:9 AMP)

This was God’s plan all along! Before the foundation of the world, a Lamb was slain (Rev. 13:8), which was God’s preparation for bringing us back into a right relationship with Him! This is the Lord’s doing and it’s marvelous in our eyes!! (Psalm 118:23)

As we celebrate Holy Week, remember all the wonderful things our Heavenly Father did for us to redeem us. Remember our Sweet Savior who sacrificed His life for us. Remember the gift that was given at the cross. Grace and Mercy stepped in and shouted, “NOT GUILTY!” Now, we’re forgiven. Our sins have been forgiven because of Christ!

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

Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him. (Is. 53:10, MSG)

Let’s do our part! If we haven’t done so already, accept what God has done through Jesus Christ! Prepare our hearts to receive the work that was done at Calvary. Accept the new life Christ gives when we surrender our lives over to Him. Let’s surrender to the Savior. Surrender our brokenness. Surrender our weary souls. Surrender our heartaches. Surrender our plans for His plans. Surrender our all to God and allow Jesus to heal us, mend us, and make us new.
During your Quiet Time, meditate on Isaiah 53 the Message Bible. Be encouraged to keep your thoughts on God.

 

Read Parts 1 and 2 of “The Week He Changed Everything”.

LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!
Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of Martha & Mary Ministries, Walking in Freedom!™ Devotionals may be reproduced, stored in any electronic system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission from the author. Brief quotations may be used in literary reviews.

Remember Who You Are

Happy Tuesday! Happy first day of March! Happy Birthday Month to me! Yep, I’m celebrating my birthday ALLLLLL month long! I invite you to celebrate life with me!

Well, great morning to you and welcome new Freedom Walkers! Thank you so much for joining us on this exciting journey! The freedom journey is filled with ups and downs, some highs and some lows. But do you know what’s the best part of this journey? We get to walk it out with our Savior and Friend, Jesus Christ! He’s way better than the best! He’s an EXCEPTIONAL companion!!

Today’s Walking in Freedom! Devotional will remind you about the beautiful person Jesus sees when He looks at you. Yes, you! You are His masterpiece and you belong to Him!

Happy Tuesday! Now, don’t stop walking in freedom!
Your sis,
Rhovonda L. Brown

 


 

 

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”(1 Pet. 2:9, AMP)

The Lion King is such a great movie! I remember watching it for the first time when I didn’t have any kids saying to myself, I can’t wait to have kids so they could see this movie! Lion King is such a great movie because it teaches so many valuable lessons that a child can learn. From the movie, children learn about love, family, the circle of life, courage, obedience, friendship, evil, fear, jealously, and so much more.

One valuable lesson that The Lion King teaches is that you can’t run from the person you were born to be. Mufasa told his son, Simba, to “Remember who you are.”1 Simba allowed his uncle to run him away from the person he was meant to be – born to be – a king. When I think about Mufasa’s statement, oftentimes, I think about how the people of God have allowed the thoughts of others to dictate how they see themselves. I think about how we, as women, allow the words of people and the lies of Satan to become our belief of how we see ourselves.

As women, we can be our worst critic. We can be so hard on ourselves. Some of us have been beaten down by life, by people, and by ourselves that we have such low self-esteem. We are our own enemy. We don’t believe in ourselves and we don’t believe (or we forget) what God says about us. We believe what other people say. We trust their opinions and we believe their lies. We listen to their negativity, their mean words spoken against us. We listen and believe so much until, like Simba, we ran away from who we were created to be. We run away from the women we were born to be, the woman God has called us to be. We run from who God says we are.

We allow the world, men, people, and our past to define who we are. We see ourselves the way others see us. We look for validation and approval from people and things. We look for others to tell us how beautiful we are, how special we are, how intelligent we are. We look for approval from others who really don’t have a clue about who we are and who do not know our true worth. They don’t know how valuable we are.

Instead of believing in ourselves and believing what God says about us, we believe the lies. We forget about all the wonderful things our Creator says about us in His word because we don’t read it. We meditate on it. We look to the world to tell us who we should be and what we should do and how we should act. We allow people and the world to be the mirror and image in which we see ourselves. We believe what they see and what they say, rather than what God says. Why? Why do we listen to their lies and to their negative words?

My sister, do we know who we are? Do we know who we were born to be? Do we know who our Father is? We are daughters of the Most High God! We belong to the Holy, Righteous King who is the King of all kings and Lord of all lords! We were created by the Master, so that makes us His masterpieces! We are phenomenal!

 

Read and meditate on God’s Word, and embrace all that He says you are! Starting today, from this day forward, let’s remember what God says about us and who He says we are. Let’s pledge to God and to ourselves that we will see ourselves the way God sees us!

 

Now, take a look in the mirror, right now, declare to yourself, into the atmosphere and to the world that you are:

 

LOVED!!

BEAUTIFUL!!

VICTORIOUS!!

ALL THAT GOD SAYS I AM!!

MORE THAN A CONQUEROR!!

FEARFULLY & WONDERFULLY MADE!!

EQUIPPED TO DO THE WORK GOD HAS CHOSEN ME TO DO!!

Say it out loud, my sister! Let God’s word resound in your ears, in your heart, in your mind and in your spirit! Keep saying it until you believe it!!

  1. The Lion King, Dir. Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, Buena Vista Pictures, 1994.

 

*Originally posted 11/29/11

During your quiet time MEDITATE on today’s scriptures. Be motivated by today’s VIDEO. Allow all these things to encourage you to walk 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.

Need a little help with finding your passion and igniting it? Learn how Rhovonda can help you ignite your passion or learn more about her women’s ministry.
Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.