Category Archives: challenges


Stay calm. Relax. Settle down. You are fine. You’re going to be fine. Things are going to be fine. Everything is fine.

Now, take a deep breath. It’s okay. You’re okay. Breathe. Don’t lose control. You got this. You can handle this.

Don’t get all worked up. God has you. He knows exactly what He’s doing. He has it all figured out. This is all part of His plan.

This is not about you, but all about God. God wants to be glorified and magnified. He wants to be BIG in your life. He wants to be seen. So, let Him!

This is not your fight. This is a fixed fight, a set up! God will fight for you. The Lord will give you victory and He will be with you. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t be dismay, but hold your head up. Look to the hills! (Ps. 121)

God has you right where He wants you … depending on Him.

This is just a test, a test to strengthen your faith. This will build you up. This will give you character. This will grow you and make you stronger in the Lord.

So, look to God! Trust Him. Believe on Him. Lean on Him. Follow after Him. Chase after Him. When He moves, you move. Keep your eyes on Him. Don’t get distracted! Don’t become unglued! Hold it together! STAYF.O.C.U.S.PLANSTAYF.O.C.U.S.PLAN

Wait on Him. Stand firm on the Word of God. Remember what His Word says. Remember, He’s come through for you before. Now is not the time to doubt Him!

Let Him be God! Let Him do His great work! Let Him do the impossible (Matt. 19:26)! Let Him work it out! Watch Him show up! Then, watch Him show out!

“But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you!” (2 Chr. 20:17, NLT)



Your Sis and Encourager,
Rhovonda L. Brown
Co-founder/Co-pastor of The Sanctuary Christian Fellowship Church
Founder/Executive Director of Martha & Mary Ministries, Walking in Freedom!
Founder/President of The Pillar of Hope







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)

Most of us have heard the popular quote “When life throws you lemons….make lemonade.” The enemy likes to throw lemons at us. He gets his kicks out of making us feel down in the dumps. He likes to throw things our way in order to get us to take our thoughts off of God, to get us off track, to lose focus.  

Everyday Believers are hit with lemons, but it’s up to us on how we respond to those lemons. Today, Satan will throw lemons at you. He’s going to use people, things, and life’s circumstances to try to trip you and make you fall. He will throw his fiery darts, but how will you respond?

In order to respond the correct way, we must be girded up with the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). The Word of God helps us to stand against life’s hard blows.

Our Heavenly Father is our very present help! He has given us His powerful Word, which is our weapon to stand against the enemy. We must familiarize ourselves with our weapon, the Word of God, so that we are able to respond correctly to whatever life throws our way.

Here are a few scriptures we can use to help us respond appropriately to the lemons that are thrown our way:

Isaiah 54:17 – “No weapons formed against you shall prosper…….”

Ephesians 3:20 – “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all……”

Psalm 37:1 – “Do not fret because of evil doers……”

Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength………”

Phil. 4:6-9 – “Be anxious for nothing….the peace of God…..will guard your hearts….”

Prov. 3:5,6 – “Trust in the Lord…..He shall direct your paths.”


Sisters, when life and Satan throws sour lemons at us, let’s use our Sword (The Word of God) to slice up them up and make sweet lemonade! For the Word of God is sweeter than honey!!

His teachings are worth more than pure gold.
They are sweeter than the best honey dripping from the honeycomb. (Ps. 19:10)

It’s Monday…..Already! Keep your thoughts on God and stay in the Word!!



About Rhovonda
Rhovonda L. Brown is the author of 2 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. Known for her message of encouragement, Rhovonda is passionate about inspiring women and children to embrace their freedom in Jesus Christ and reach their full potential. 
Rhovonda is a wife, mother, teacher, preacher, Co-founder and Assistant Pastor of The Sanctuary Christian Fellowship Church located in Houston, Texas. Her husband, Jeffrey, is the Founder and Senior Pastor. Released in November 2014, Rhovonda’s first book, Walking in Freedom! A Thirty-Day Devotional Journey for Women, became an Amazon Kindle Top 100 bestseller in the Women’s Inspirational and Spirituality category in June 2015 and again three months later. Her debut book is filled with devotionals that will take you on an inspiring journey of freedom. 
Rhovonda’s newly release, At Least Say, “Thank You!” An 8-Day Devotional Plan for a Grateful Heart, is an Amazon Kindle No. 1 Bestseller in Family & Inspirational Spirituality and No. 4 in Spiritual Devotionals (Top 100 Free). Rhovonda’s second book motivates and encourages you to live out each day with a spirit of rejoicing and gratitude. 
Currently, Rhovonda is working on her 3rd book titled Tuesday Morning Prayers, which is expected to release late 2016.
Rhovonda is the Founder and Executive Director of Martha & Mary Ministries, Walking in Freedom! (TM), a women’s devotional ministry dedicated to encouraging, empowering, and promoting self-worth and enrichment. As the Executive Director, Rhovonda creates, plans, and implements educational and spiritual programs and activities to inspire women and children to reach their full potential in God. She is the creator and host of the Walking in Freedom! Workshop which brings women together from all walks of life to be inspired, equipped, and empowered in their Christian journey. 




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)




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

No More Excuses

No More Excuses-image


We make excuses for just about everything. We give excuses to why we can’t go back to school. Make excuses for why we can’t forgive. We excuse ourselves for not being able to give, show compassion or serve God and in His kingdom. Excuses, excuses, excuses. I wonder if Jesus gets tired of hearing my excuses.

“One of the men lying there had been sick for 38 years. Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been sick for a very long time. So he asked him, “Do you want to be well?”  The sick man answered, “Sir, there is no one to help me get into the water when it starts moving. I try to be the first one into the water. But when I try, someone else always goes in before I can.”

John 5:5-7, ERV

In today’s passage, a man had been sick for 38 years and had been waiting – in that spot – for 38 years to be healed (v. 5-6, MSG). Now it appeared this man had many opportunities to be healed since he’d been there for such a long time. Surely he could have asked someone for help. Had he asked for help? Did he consider asking for help or did he have his own reservations to why he shouldn’t be healed?

The omniscient Savior, knowing this man’s situation, asked him a reasonable question, “Do you want to be healed?” Basically, do you really, really want to be delivered from your condition? And of course, instead of answering with a “YES”, this man gave more excuses.

My sister, how bad do you want to be delivered from your conditions? How bad do we really want that healing? How bad do we want to change? Are we using fear as an excuse? What about our inexperience? Could doubt be our excuse? Are we holding on to the mentality that we can’t see a way out for ourselves? So we fail to ask for help. We fail to dream. We miss the opportunity to believe in the possibilities.

How long has it been since you’ve taken a chance to pursue your dream? Does it seem like it’s impossible? Are your excuses blocking your view to believe? How long will it take you to realize that your dreams can become a reality, once you stop making excuses? Will it take 10 years? 20 years? 38 years?

It’s time to stop making excuses and start taking chances. Passionately pursue. Boldly believe. Take that first step! No more hesitation. No more apologies. No more explanations. Stop second guessing yourself. Go for it! Trust God and pursue hard after it!

My sister, Jesus is beckoning you to step out of the boat. He’s calling you to walk on the water. Be brave. No more excuses. Don’t allow excuses and fear to be the reason you don’t pursue your dreams. Just do it.
“Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him.

Matt. 14:29, CEV

Ask Jesus to give you that drive, fervor, creativity, and direction to accomplish your goals and pursue your dreams. And guess what? He will.
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

John 5:8-9, NIV

“All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

~Walt Disney


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

READY TO IGNITE? Let me help you ignite your passion. Click here to learn more.



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.

If I Must Brag-Pt2


In chapter 11 and 12 of 2 Corinthians, Paul bravely does what most leaders are too afraid to do and many avoid. He brags about his weaknesses. He could have bragged about being a great theologian who was a Pharisee and a son of a Pharisee. Paul could have boasted about the many churches he had planted and the mass number of souls he had converted into Believers. Paul could have proudly celebrated and bragged about all the great things God had done through him. Instead of boasting about his numerous accomplishments, Paul chose to brag about his weaknesses. Paul shares with the Corinthian church his struggles, his setbacks, his trials, his tribulations, and those things he experienced for the sake of Christ.


Paul says, “If I must brag, I will brag about the things that show I am weak” (2 Cor. 11:30, NCV). And why in the world would this great leader do such a crazy thing? Why talk about his weaknesses? Why share with others how flawed you are? Why open our mouths and disclose our imperfections and inadequacies? Here’s why:


“So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Cor. 12:9b, NLT)


When we’re weak, that’s when Christ’s power can be seen. When we acknowledge our limitations, that’s when God can be made BIG. When we rejoice in God and in humility, we share our struggles with others, then the dunamis – the Greek word for power, which means force, miraculous power, ability, abundance, might strength, mighty wonderful work – of Christ can live through us! Now, that’s POWER!! When we realize that apart from God, you and I can’t do anything, that’s when His POWER rests upon us. His miraculous POWER is seen. Our weaknesses remind us that we only exist because of Him. Our weakness displays humility. And humility, my sister, is a sign of submission. Once we submit to God, we surrender our will and power to Him. Then, God is glorified in our weaknesses. He’s made BIG. Wow!!


The fact is we’re all weak. Our sin makes us weak. We all fall short; for all have sinned (Rom. 3:23). We cannot live this life without God’s help, without His dunamis. We need rescuing. We need His help and we’re in need of a Savior. We need Jesus! He’s our lifeline, who bore our infirmities and weaknesses on the cross (Isaiah 53). Hallelujah! Therefore, my sisters, we don’t have to be afraid or embarrassed or ashamed to share our weaknesses. We don’t have to keep our mouths closed about our story. Our testimony (the good, the bad, and the ugly) will encourage others to triumph over their situation. Our story will remind someone else that God is faithful. Our struggles will push us to our knees, in humble submission, totally depending on our mighty God.


So, go ahead. Brag, if you must! But brag about your weaknesses. Let’s brag about our limitations. Let us boast about how desperately we need Jesus’ help. When Satan comes to condemn us – which he will – let’s resist him by saying, “The weaker I get, the stronger I become because God’s POWER lives in me!”


It’s Wednesday, Hump Day! Rejoice in our weaknesses, so Christ’s dunamis power can be seen!


Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. (2 Cor. 12:10, MSG)


During your quiet time, meditate on today’s scriptures. Be motivated to be a godly leader for Christ who is not ashamed to show her weaknesses.
Did you know that Walking in Freedom! Devotionals are impacting the world for Christ! Our devotionals are being viewed all over the United States. Not only in this country, but from countries all over the world. It is Christ, through the Holy Spirit and the power of His Word that is reaching the world and encouraging hurting souls. READ TESTIMONIES.


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.

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!


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!
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.




OR (Women Ministry)



It’s Monday, already! Great morning to you and welcome new Freedom Walker! I thank all of you for walking with us on this thrilling journey! It’s my desire that each Walking in Freedom! Devotional encourages your walk with Christ and motivates you to turn your attention to God.
During the weekend, did you make it to your place of worship? Were you able to attend church? I don’t know why, but for me, Sunday mornings seems like the morning where the enemy is the busiest. It’s on Sundays when I’m most tired and it’s too hard to get out of bed. Sunday morning is the day my outfit has a hard time coming together, my hair has a mind of its own, and my shoes are hiding from me.

Well, today’s Walking in Freedom! Devotional will motivate you to make it your #1 priority to spend time with God and in His Word. And you’ll be inspired to make your way to church!
It’s Monday……already! Let’s make it a great day and keep walking in freedom with Jesus Christ!

your sis,

P.S. Be on the lookout for the devotional series to celebrate Easter, “The Week He Changed Everything.” This series will be available in an eBook format really soon!

Sunday is the day when the kids are on a rampage and my frustrations are high. On those days, it seems like all sorts of obstacles are getting in the way of me getting to church and getting to church on time, no matter how early I wake up. Why is that?!

Satan doesn’t want us to hear God’s Word. Our faithful foe doesn’t want us to be in a place where we can be transformed, re-energized, and equipped for the following week. The enemy doesn’t want us to make it to that place of worship; he doesn’t want us focusing all of our attention on God because if we make Jesus the center, things will begin to change.

When the Word of God goes forth, people are changed. When God’s Word is spoken, we are strengthened and made new! When praise and worship are in the atmosphere and the people of God are on one accord, healing and deliverance take place! Shackles are broken! Captives are set free!

My sister, on Sundays, we must be even more mindful of the enemy’s tricks. Sunday is one of those days that the enemy tries his hardest to keep God’s people from going to church. He brings all kinds of excuses our way; using anything and anyone to hinder us from getting to the house of prayer.

Whatever you do, make your way to church so that you may worship God, exhort one another, and fellowship with other Believers. If you didn’t have a chance to make it to church on Sunday, you can still get in the Word. Read God’s Word. Make every effort to spend that special time with the Him. You don’t want to miss what God has specifically for you! Not only that, but do whatever you have to do to make your way to Bible Study or mid-week service.

As we go throughout our day, let’s encourage one another and keep our minds on Jesus. Let’s encourage someone today, being the reason someone smiles. Let Christ be seen our lives.

It’s Monday…..already!