Category Archives: encouragement

Trust God


Jesus wants to meet us right where we are, right in the middle of our  mess. Jesus will go the distance. He will go out of his way to get to us, to rescue us from our despair.


As believers, it is inevitable that we will experience hardship. God allows us to experience difficulties and to feel crushed beyond our strength because it forces us to depend on Him (2 Cor. 1:9, MSG). Gospel singer Tye Tribbett has a song that says “I have no other choice but to trust You.” 


When our backs are against the wall, when we’re holding on for dear life, when we believe we’re knocking on death’s door and death is the only option, God, the Creator who raises the dead, will resurrect us from our dead and hopeless situation. Amen!


“But why God?” you may ask. Why does He allow us to get to that point of desperation? Why does He push us to the end of our ropes? Why must we feel as if we’re hanging on the edge with no help to be found? Why does He allow us to struggle and experience such overwhelming afflictions?


God allows us to go through these things so we may know and experience the great I AM. So we may know I AM is the One who was, who is, and who is to come. I AM is our strength. I AM is our hope. I AM is our way through and way out. I AM is our Comforter who comes alongside us when we’re walking through death’s valley. I AM is always near.


When life gets crazy, God wants His children to trust Him and rely on Him ONLY. Proverbs 3:5-6. encourages us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not to our own understanding, but in all our ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct our paths. TRUST. RELY. ACKNOWLEDGE God, for He alone is dependable. Our Heavenly Father is the ONLY true living GOD who is KING of every king. Besides Him there is no other!


My sister, it’s Monday, already. Yes, we will face adversities. Yes, we will face pain. But trust I AM. No matter what we face, let us remember this beautiful biblical principle found in God’s Word:


But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT)


During your quiet time, read Jeremiah 17:5-18 and be encouraged to walk in freedom with Jesus Christ.

Video to encourage you to trust God.


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. 

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!

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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.

Tuesday Morning Prayer

Happy LOVE & Black History Month!
Greetings and welcome new Freedom Walkers! Shout outs to all of you!

We are making preparations for our Prayer Breakfast this Saturday. Yes! The excitement is in the air! To help us get mentally, spiritually and emotionally ready for what God will do on that great day, I’ll be sharing some of my past devotional prayers. These prayers will also be included in my upcoming book, Tuesday Morning Prayer. Look at God!!

I pray today’s Walking in Freedom! Devotional prayer will motivate and inspire you to press your way into the presence of the Lord.

Happy Tuesday!
If you haven’t had a chance to register for Saturday’s event, no worries. You still have time! Use the link below to register online or you may register at the door on the day of the event between 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.


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Prayer Breakfast



Tuesday Morning Prayer

“But the LORD watches over those who fear him,
those who rely on his unfailing love.
He rescues them from death
and keeps them alive in times of famine.”
(Ps. 33:18-19, NLT)

Most precious and loving Father, in the name of Jesus, we come before Your presence with thanksgiving and praise. We want to thank You and praise You for allowing us to see a brand new day and a brand New Year. We praise You and thank You for Your many, many blessings! We praise and thank You for what You’re already doing in 20136

God, on day 23 of February 2016, You’re already showing up and showing out!! Lord, we thank You!! Not only that, but we praise You for Jesus Christ! Thank You for allowing Him to live in our hearts! He’s the reason why we live, move, and have our being! He’s the reason why we’re clothed and in our right mind! Father, we’re so grateful for Your Son! We know that without Jesus, we’d be lost like a ship lost out at sea, with no destination, no sense of purpose, being carried away, tossed to and fro upon the waves of destruction. Thank You, Jesus, for finding us! We praise You, Jesus, for keeping us!

Father, we appreciate all that You do. You do wonderful and great things for us. You protect us, look after us, care for us, and love us! As a Loving Father, You never give up on us. You continue to show us Your Great Love, and Your Great Mercy. Thank You for Mercy and thank You for Grace! Lord, we thank You for being so patient with us and always giving us another chance. Over and over again, You forgive us! We thank You for never getting tired of our mess. God, we thank You for knowing us, but still loving us. We thank You for the thoughts You have toward us! You think good thoughts about us, not evil. Father, we love You! We appreciate Your amazing love! Your unfailing love never runs out!

Lord, we make our petition unto You. Lord, we need You today and every day! Lord, we need You to lead us. Be our guide, Father. Lead the way. Lord, crucify our flesh today and Holy Spirit reign over us. Be Lord over our lives. Father, we ask that You would help us allow the Spirit Man to govern our walk today and every day. Lord, help us to surrender our will to Your Will. Help us to walk not according to our flesh, but according to Your Spirit. Lord, we yield to the fruit of the Spirit. We yield and surrender to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).

Loving Father, we asked that You would crucify our flesh and let Your love abide. Crucify our flesh and help us to celebrate the joy of just knowing You. Crucify our flesh and let the Prince of Peace fill our hearts and mind. Master, give us patience to wait on You; give us patience with ourselves and with others. Father, show us how to be kind toward everyone we come in contact with. Lord, fill us up with Your goodness so that others may see You in us. Lord God, we ask that You would increase our faith, help us to be more committed to You, committed to Your work and to Your ministry. Help us to have faith in You, never doubting Your Word.

Merciful God, show us how to show mercy to others. Give us the spirit of humility, and teach us how to be selfless. We don’t want to live a selfish life anymore. Perfect God, give us that quiet spirit that will cause us to think before we speak and think before we act. Show us how to have self-restraint and be disciplined in our Christian walk. Father, we live for You and not for ourselves. Father, we crucify our flesh so that we can please You.

Heavenly Father, show us how to live a life that’s filled with praise, worship, and thanksgiving unto You. Strengthen our prayer life so that we may commune with You daily. Father God, we ask that You would bless us indeed! Expand our territory. Please be with us in all that we do, and keep us from evil, from all trouble and pain.

Now, Father, we continue to be thankful and be hopeful for what You’re doing and what You’re about to do. We thank You for what’s to come in 2016! In every situation that we face today, may we see the good in it and not the bad. May we not complain, whine, or find fault, but may we remain thankful and hopeful in You. For You are a loving Father who causes all things to work for our good (Rom 8:28). Lord, this is our petition, and we pray that You’ll grant us our request just like You did for Jabez (1 Chron. 4:9-10).

We ask it all in Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

“We put our hope in the LORD.
He is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD,
for our hope is in you alone.”
(Ps. 33:20-22, NLT)
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!
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.

Image Credit: graur razvan ionut via

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!



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!





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 story of Job is a wonderful 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 bad guy who does evil, causing trouble and turmoil for the good guy.
As with any great story that has great characters, there has to be 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 entire 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, gives the wonderful principles to the Believer. Here are some Biblical truths we can pull out from today’s passage of scripture.
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 can’t 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).
4. Satan recognizes Believers who have God’s favor resting upon their lives (Job 1:8-11).
5. Satan asks permission from God to test Believers, having a desire to separate them from God (Job 1:8-11; Luke 22:31).
6. Sometimes, God test Believers and, sometimes, God allows Satan to cause havoc in a Believer’s life (Job 1:8; Ps. 11:4-5).
7. God has confidence in the Believer, just as He had confidence in Job. After the testing, God will allow the Believer to come out as pure gold (Job 23:10; Ps. 11:5; Ps. 66:10-12)!
8. 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, in the end, he passed the test! As a rewarded, God gave Job double for his trouble (Job 42:10).
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 stay away 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)
During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE  on God’s Word, WATCH to today’s music video and keep walking in freedom!
*Originally posted 2/4/13

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.

It’s the Company We Keep

Ever hung around a person who did nothing but deteriorated you? What I mean is this person made your life worse by slowly draining the life from you. They decreased your joy and eroded your desire to succeed by constantly having something negative to say; they were dream killers, goal busters, and “Debbie-downers”. These kinds of people have no hope, no dreams, and no goals in life for themselves. The future, in their minds, was bleak and nonexistence because they aspired to do nothing, be nobody, and go nowhere. Since they had that mentality, their words, attitudes, actions, and presence brought down everyone around them. Why be in the company of such people? ….unless, our level of thinking is equivalent to theirs.

I do believe that we are the company that we keep. If I hang around individuals who don’t believe in doing better or becoming a new and improve YOU, eventually, I will acquire that same absurd mindset. Instead of pursuing growth in spirit (my relationship with Christ), wisdom, health, and prosperity, I’ll be satisfied with living a humdrum life with no progress as an individual and as a Believer in the Kingdom of God. Yep, with that attitude, we’ll be content being in that exact place for the rest of our lives. However, in our late golden years where wisdom should have kicked in, we’ll be lying in our bed of sorrow asking this question, “Why didn’t I do__________________?” (You fill in the blank). By then, it may be too late.

Yesterday, the Lord spoke with me about friendships. And most times, when I don’t allow my embarrassment and stubbornness to have control, I enjoy sharing God’s Words of wisdom to you, in hopes you’ll share them with someone else. So throughout the day on Wednesday, I posted scriptures about friendships on social media. And today the Lord hit me with this passage:

“Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.”

(Prov. 13:20 MSG)

Now, that’s deep. (I love The Message version!) Throughout the Bible, the Lord gives us numerous principles for living out our days to the fullest. For this reason, He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to give us an abundant life (John 10:10). Jesus died so that we would live. Consequently, God doesn’t want us to be imprudent, making silly decisions, living foolishly, and hanging around fools. Our great Father wants us to keep company with the wise –- one who doesn’t mind sharing their knowledge, insights, and experiences with us. God has called us to yoke up with individuals who will build us up and not break us down. And as they encourage us, He wants us to pass that encouragement on to someone else (2 Cor. 1:4).

Therefore, my sister, let’s walk with and hang around godly people who will empower us to excel (for the right reason!), inspire us to achieve any goal, and motivate us to glorify God in the process. Amen.

Happy Thursday! Let’s walk in freedom together remembering iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17).



*Originally posted 11/20/14

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.

Misinterpreting the Miracle and Testimony

God sent a testimony across my path that should have encouraged me, but instead of encouraging me, it put me in a somber mood. God had performed a miracle in another person’s life and wanted to encourage me, lift me up. He wanted to remind me that if He did it for that person, most assuredly, He will do it for me!

But instead of allowing that testimony to boost my confidence in the Lord and to pull me out of the dumps, the testimony pushed me deeper into despair. In fact, hearing the good news turned my focus further away from the Master.

How could that happen? Why did this happen? How could great news, encouraging news, uplifting news, and empowering news do just the opposite?

Well, I allowed the spirit of jealousy, the spirit of discontentment, the spirit of doubt to cloud my view of celebrating what God had done in another person’s life. I misinterpreted the miracle and the testimony that God was using to encourage me and build me up. What a shame!!

“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth…. Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.’ When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.  And He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.’(John 9:1,3,6-7, NKJV)

In today’s passage, we read about Jesus healing the blind man, an opportunity for God’s glory to be seen! Any doubt should have been erased. This was a time for celebration! A time for worship, praise, and thanksgiving to God for the miraculous healing Jesus performed. Instead of celebrating, praising and thanking God, the religious leaders complained and found fault in the miracle. Instead of acknowledging Jesus as The Healer, the people doubted the blind man’s testimony and begin interrogating him. Even the parents of the blind man were afraid of the miracle and the testimony of their child (John 9:8-34).

They misinterpreted the miracle and the testimony.

Sisters, are you misinterpreting the miracle and testimony sent by God to encourage you? Are you allowing what’s supposed to be a time of celebration and uplifting to cause your heart to become jealous, discontented, and doubtful?

The miracle and the testimony are given so that God’s glory can be seen and to remind us just how powerful our God is! The next time God sends a miracle and a testimony our way, instead of misinterpreting them, let’s celebrate! Let’s give God the praise for the great things He has done and the great things He will do in our lives as well!!

During your study time, read John chapter 9 and allow the testimony of the blind man encourage you!

*Originally posted 1/04/12.

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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.