Category Archives: Discourage

Death

I wrote this devotional six years ago. And once again, this devotional is much needed. Please share with family and friends who are experiencing the lost of a loved one. Also, please keep the following families lifted up in prayer: Flores, Fisher, Revis, Dues, Wilson, Murchison, and all those who may be grieving. Our words may not give much comfort, but God’s words surely will comfort the hurting.


We make plans about what we will do tomorrow, next week, next month, and the next year. But death has a way of changing things. Death has a way of knocking us back to reality, knocking us back to the here, the now. Death has a way of making us reflect on our lives. Death, somehow, has a way of reminding us that life on this earth is but a vapor. We’re here today, but we may be gone tomorrow. Tomorrow is not promised. So, we have to live each day that God gives us to the fullest.

How can we live each day to the fullest?

Appreciate each day. Each day that God gives us has to be appreciated. With thanksgiving in our hearts, we have to appreciate everything that God sends.  We have to appreciate the trials as well as the triumphs that each day holds.

See each day as a blessing. Since tomorrow is not promised to us, we have to see each day as a blessing. Each day is a gift. We can’t spend our day grumbling and complaining. We don’t want to miss seeing the worth and the beauty of each day that the Lord gives us. (Phil.2:13-15; Col.3:15b)

F.O.C.U.S. on today. If God has given us a new day, let’s focus on today. Let’s make the best out of today. Let’s do what we can do on today. Let’s not worry about tomorrow’s troubles. If God grants us tomorrow, tomorrow will be taken care of. He will take care of all tomorrow’s troubles and He will meet every need. (Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:3)

Live every moment like it’s our last time! Say I love you before we walk out the door. Give love ones a big and long hugs (I love strong hugs). Say I’m sorry and really mean it. Let bygones be bygones. Cherish every moment we have with our love ones. Love with all our might! Forgive! Forgive and forgive again! Don’t put it off any longer! Take advantage of every opportunity that God gives us because that opportunity may not be here tomorrow.

Sister, death has a way of knocking us back to reality and gripping us with the reminder that life is too short. Death has a way of reminding us that we are just traveling through. This is not our home. So, while we’re still here, let’s live each day to the fullest!

 

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


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Purposefully

 

Many, many times, I ask myself, why on earth should I encourage God’s people (especially when I’m having one of those not-so-very-good days)? However, when I’m struggling with walking boldly in my purpose, the Lord reminds me of His word and what He has called me to do.

 3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

6-7 When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it.( 2 Cor. 1:3-7, MSG).

Because God comforts and encourages me, He has called me to encourage you. Today I find myself doing what I urge others NOT to do on Mondays, mope. Yep, I’ve got the Monday Moping Blues and I’m in a funk. My emotions are a mess. I hate feeling and being this way. But it’s where I am right now. Consequently, I am deliberately fighting to tame that Emotional Beast! But thank God for Jesus! Using one of the principles from, It’s Monday… Already, the Lord is encouraging me.

M– No moping on today! Don’t grumble, pout, complain, or sulk. Rejoice instead (Phil. 4:4).

Do you have the Monday Blues? Are you moping today? Finding it difficult to get your Monday moving in the right direction? (Join the club!) Seriously, may I encourage you as the Lord is encouraging me? Rejoice in our great Father, my friend!

Philippians 4:4 commands us to “celebrate God all day, every day” and “revel in Him” (MSG). That means to take great pleasure in the Lord. Relax and find peace in the presence of God. Show great joy and delight by exalting His magnificent name. Think about His goodness and the victory He gives to all who call on and believe in His great and holy name. Make music and melody. Shout forth praises and jubilation unto our marvelous King for all of His mighty works. If we do these things, I am confident that our behavior and attitude will change from sadness to gladness, from complaining to thanking, and from moping to rejoicing. I already feel better!!

My sisters, it’s Monday….already! And there’s nothing we can do about it, but what we can do is rejoice in our all-sufficient Savior. We have been blessed with another day to celebrate our Jesus and the abundant life He gives to us. Now, let us purposefully make it a great day!

 

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

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Red Sea

“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.” (Exodus 14:21-22, NKJV)

 

I know. You’re facing an impossible situation. You feel there’s nowhere to turn. Your back is against the wall. If you go forward, you will drown. If you go back, you’ll die in the desert. You’re facing a hard decision. You really don’t have a clue about what you will do or what to do. All you know is that there won’t be a happy ending. Your situation is impossible. You’re facing a Red Sea!

I know, believe me, I know. You’re at your wits end. Your head feels like you’re in a daze. You even asked yourself a few times, “Am I dreaming? This has to be a nightmare!”

As reality would have it, it is not a dream. No, you’re not dreaming. This pain, this news, this crisis is real and you’re the main character. You have the leading role and this drama is set on the impossible channel. You’re thinking there is no way things can get better. You believe there’s no way you’ll make it through. No way can you cross this Red Sea!

But, you’re wrong. There is a way! Though your situation seems impossible, God says “It’s Possible!” (Luke 1:37, 18:27; Mark 10:27; Matt. 19:26)

Though your back is against the wall and it seems too hard for you to make your way through, God says, “Nothings too hard for Me!

Yes, you may feel like it’s a losing battle. Yes, what you’re experiencing may be a hard pill to swallow. Yes, your problem seems hopeless.

But believe in a God who specializes in the impossible! Believe in a God who can do exceedingly, abundantly, and above all that we ask or think! (Eph. 3:20) When we think it can’t be done, God turns it around and gets it done! When we think we can’t do it because it’s too hard, God makes it look very easy!

Sisters, like the Israelites, we may be facing a Red Sea. It may feel like the roaring waves are going to overtake us, but we have a God who won’t let us drown! He won’t let us down!

God is dividing the waters.

God, who has matchless power and ALL the authority, will open up the Red Sea and allow us to walk on dry land!

“So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.” (Exodus 14:30-31, NKJV)

LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER!

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Job

 

Job is a delightful story filled with action! In this story, there’s a great meeting in Heaven. There’s the Holy God, angels, a good guy whose name is Job, and his family. Of course, every great story has to have a villain who antagonizes, causes trouble and turmoil for the good guy.
As with any great story, there are great characters and a great plot. This story opens up describing Job’s bountiful and obedient life. Job’s story is jam-packed with blessings and favor from God, with riches and honor. On the other hand, this great story is also filled with great sadness, terrible sickness, agonizing pain, loneliness, loss, and even death.
In your Quiet Time, read the story of Job. It’s a real page turner!
One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the LORD asked Satan. Satan answered the LORD, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”
Then the LORD asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless-a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”
Satan replied to the LORD, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”
“All right, you may test him,” the LORD said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the LORD’s presence.”
(Job 1:6-12, NLT)
Job’s story – a true story indeed – offers awesome principles to the Believer. Below are a few Biblical truths we can pull out from today’s passage.
  1. God pours out His favor and places a hedge of protection around those who reverence (fear) Him, stay away from evil, live a life of integrity, and a life of worship. God’s favor on Job made him the richest man in Uz (Job 1:3b; Ps. 1:1-3).
  2. Satan cannot penetrate God’s hedge of protection (Job 1:9-11).
  3. Satan goes to and fro seeking whom he may devour (Job 1:7; 1 Pet.5:8). And he wants to devour you.
  4. Satan recognizes the favor of the Lord that rests upon you (Job 1:8-11).
  5. Satan cannot come near you unless he asks permission from God. He cannot test you without God authorization (Job 1:8-11).
  6. Satan wants to separate you from the Lord (Job 1:8-11; Luke 22:31).
  7. Sometimes, God test Believers and, sometimes, God allows Satan to cause havoc in a Believer’s life (Job 1:8; Ps. 11:4-5).
  8. God has confidence in you, just as He had confidence in Job. After the testing, God will allow you to come out as pure gold (Job 23:10; Ps. 11:5; Ps. 66:10-12)!
  9. God allows trouble, adversities, and hardship to fall on the just and the unjust (Job 1:1-22; Matt. 5:45).
With all the testing that Job went through, the good news is, in the end, he passed the test! As a reward, God gave Job double for his trouble (Job 42:10). Hallelujah!
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad-for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. (1 Pet.4:12-13, NLT)
It’s Monday…..Already! My sister, our challenge for today is this: Live under the umbrella of God’s favor by living a life of integrity. Reverence God, worship Him, and run from evil. Like Job, when trouble comes our way, may we be able to pass the test!
Having faith in God, we can say, “But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold!” (Job 23:10, NLT)

 

 

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.
QUIET TIME
During your quiet time, meditate on today’s scriptures. Be motivated to pursue your dreams and make no excuses about it!

Pep Talk

Okay sisters, let’s regroup. We need a pep talk. Did we forget? Have we forgotten that we are in a spiritual war? Remember, it’s a fight! This fight is not for scary cats, whiners, and cry babies. So, let’s stop crying! Let’s wipe off our face, get back up, and get back in the fight!

This war is not like the war in Iraq. We can’t use knives, machine guns, bullets, grenades, and missiles. This is not a normal fight! We are in a spiritual fight, a spiritual war, a spiritual battle, and the fight is constant. We have no off days and no time for resting. Everyday we must fight and fight hard!

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12, NLT)

We’re fighting that ol’ serpent, the deceiver, the father of lies, our faithful foe! You know him! Satan. He is our enemy. Satan uses his fiery darts to wage war against the Believer, but we can’t fall for his tricks or his mind games. We have to fight hard and wise. We have to fight a good fight by using our weapons for warfare. Those weapons are at our disposal, but we must use them!

We are in the fight of our lives! Though it’s a fix fight, we still have to fight! Rest assured, my sister, we’re on the winning team! Team Judah!! Yes!

Jesus’ work at the cross makes it possible for you and me to win this fight. We win! And since we’re on Judah’s team, we must fill our bellies with praise! We must praise God continuously! Praise is our weapon that we use to defeat the enemy!

With loud shouts of praise we throw punches at the enemy!

Shouts of HALLELUJAH…. THANK YOU JESUS…… GLORY TO YOUR NAME…. GOD, YOU’RE WORTHY….. GREAT AND MIGHTY IS YOUR NAME….OH, BLESS THE LORD…….GIVE HIM GLORY AND HONOR……THE NAME OF THE LORD IS TO BE PRAISED…. LORD, YOUR NAME IS HOLY!!

Our praise and worship confuse the enemy (Jud. 7:19-22; 1 Sam. 7:9-11). We cannot afford to stop praising Him! We can never praise and worship Him enough!!

Not only does our praise help us fight the enemy, but God’s Word is a weapon we must use to fight – for it is powerful and sharper than any 2 edge sword (Heb.4:12)! We must have an effective prayer life, being in constant communication with God. The more we spend time in the Word, the more we communicate with God, and the more send up Judah (praise), we feed our spirit man! All of those things strengthens us and helps us to fight another day.

We’re in a spiritual war that doesn’t stop until we cross over to the other side. It’s continuous, and so must our praise, our feasting off the Word, and our communicating with our Father.

Sisters, our pep talk is over. Let’s get ready to rumble!! Let’s get back in the fight! Let’s fight hard! Fight strong and fight wise! Hit the enemy hard! Knock him off his feet with our praise, our worship, our prayers, and our Sword!!

 

During your quiet time MEDITATE on today’s scriptures. Be encouraged in knowing God answers prayers, His ways are perfect and His thoughts for you are beautiful!
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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Your Full Attention – Downtime

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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.

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.