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Birth Day

At 7:08 a.m. today, I officially turned 48 years young. Wow! What a blessing. I love my birthdays. Who wouldn’t? It’s a day out of the year that we’re celebrated just for being born. Not for the things we have accomplished or anything like that. But we’re commemorated by family members, friends, and even strangers simply for being our Birth Day. Isn’t that great?

If you know me, you know that I don’t shy away from the Birth Day festivities. I don’t keep it a secret, but I let the whole world know that I have been granted another year. In fact, I celebrate the entire month of March. I make it my mission to cherish the little things, the sweet things, special moments, the highlight of my days as well as the not so great moments. To be honest, I need to do this more often, not just in March. (*Note to self.) Bring on the Birth Day wishes, the cute emojis, texts, Birth Day hugs (I love hugs!), special social media posts, and thoughtful cards and gifts.

I hope you celebrate your Birth Day in this manner. It’s your day to be lavished on. Why? Because God did something spectacular and grand when He made you. The Creator took His sweet, precious time to delicately and meticulously fashion you into His beautiful, unique masterpiece. Don’t you know how special are you? You mean everything to Him. You are God’s marvelous handiwork! Dear one, when the Father created you, it gave Him great delight, satisfaction, and so much pride. He made you exceptional!

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

(Psalm 139:13-14, NLT)

So today, I celebrate God for creating me. I celebrate what my heavenly Father has done for me and through me. I celebrate my life and another year that He has given me. I give myself permission to embrace, rejoice, and enjoy all that this magnificent day will bring. It’s my special Birth Day and I intend to celebrate it!

In addition to celebrating me, I celebrate you, beloved. Even if it’s not your Birth Day, I celebrate your uniqueness. I celebrate your journey. I celebrate your victories and all the wondrous things God has done and will continue to do in your life. I applaud you. You are a champion (Rom. 8:27)! You CANNOT be stopped! After all you’ve been through, you continue to pursue and triumph. I’m so proud of you. I celebrate your dreams and aspirations. I’m believing, along with you, that they shall come true. Never stop dreaming.

On this remarkable day, March 16, 2018, let us celebrate the freedom that only Jesus Christ can give. For it is through Him we live, move, and have our being (Acts 17:28).

Happy Friday and Happy Birth Day!

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





I Messed Up

When given the opportunity to stand for Christ Peter denied Him. Despite the fact that he insisted he wouldn’t, scripture records Peter denying the Savior three times (Matt. 26:31-35, 69-75). Peter denied the Son of God whom he had witnessed on numerous occasions do amazing and incredible things. Peter observed Jesus turn water into wine, heal the sick and raise the dead. He witnessed Jesus walk on water and miraculously did the same. Peter was a part of Jesus’ inner circle, who walked closely with Him, but when given the chance to admit that he knew Christ and was one of His disciples, Peter emphatically denied he knew Him (Matt. 27:69-75). Thus, rejecting their relationship.

Oftentimes, I reflect on how badly I’ve messed up. I think about how I, like Peter, have boldly declared, “Lord, You can count of me. I’ll do what You say. I’ll go where You want me to go.” But time and time again, I have eaten those words. On numerous occasions, I fall short. I mess up pretty badly, really missing the mark. I mess up as a mother, as a wife, as a friend, and as a minister who God has called to preach His Word. I mess up! Like many of us, I struggle, at times, fighting hard to be obedient to God and to do His will. To be honest, it seems like the more I try, the harder I end up falling. Some days, my strongholds get the best of me. Of course, I want to do what’s right, to please God and to make Him proud. Nevertheless, countless moments, I end up doing the very opposite (Rom. 7:14-25). Have you been there? Are you there right now?

“It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.” (Roman 7:21-25, MSG)

Sisters, I’m so grateful for our Savior, who is our Advocate and who has given us victory! Victory over our strongholds! Victory over our mess ups! Victory over sin! Not only do I thank God for Jesus, but I thank Him for the Holy Spirit, who is our Helper and Comforter. In our worse days, when we’re in the pit of despair, buried in our wretchedness, Jesus saves! Furthermore, the sweet Holy Spirit gently reminds us of who we are in Christ and what Christ did for us. He reminds us that we are more than conquerors, covered by God’s grace. He reaffirms to us that we are dearly loves.

In spite of our faults, though too many to count, we are children of God, a holy nation, set a part to do wonderful works for God. Yes, wonderful works! Now, isn’t that awesome?!

Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace. (Rom. 11:6, HCSB)

Although you and I fall short daily, thank God for His grace! Thank God that He still wants to use us in His kingdom and for His glory. He picks us up, cleans us off, and restores us. God can take our greatest mistake and use it as a stepping stone to raise us up to do great things for Him!!

During your Quiet Time, find comfort and encouragement in the scriptures. Read about individuals who messed up pretty badly, men and women who missed the mark, but found grace from God.

It’s Monday, already! How will God use you today?

Let’s walk in freedom together!
Your sis



Asking for Help

This “moving forward” journey that I’m on is uncharted territory for me, something that I’ve never done before. I’m green — a novice. It’s a new experience! By me being a beginner, it’s obvious that I’ll need insight, some guidance, and some help. Therefore, I must not let my pride stop me from seeking help, but there are times when I struggle with asking for help. That wretched pride!!

In my mind, asking for help means I’m openly admitting to another person that I need their help. Admitting that I need help (in my mind) makes me vulnerable and at their disposal. When I ask someone for help, I am giving up my control, my power and giving it all to someone else. Now, that person has the power and control to say “nay or yea”…………..and I have a problem with that!

Consequently, every now and then, instead of asking for help, I foolishly walk away and try to do it all on my own. See where the problem lies? I walk away from someone who could potentially be placed in my path, by God, to be the help that I need. How foolish?!!

This can be said about the Christian life. The Christian life is about relinquishing our control, our power, our will. The Believer openly admits that she or he needs help (Rom. 10:10) (Ps. 32:5). With confession, we’re admitting we are vulnerable, sinful people who need God’s help. We need to be saved from our sins; we need a Savior and that’s when Jesus comes in!

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” (Rom. 10:9-10, NLT)

On the other hand, there are some who struggle with asking for help, to be saved. Their pride and foolish thinking won’t allow them to truly see that they need help from a loving God. They think the message of the cross, redemption, and the world being saved by one man (because of love’s sake) is foolish(1 Cor. 1:18-20, NLT).

As humans, we cannot live this life without God. He didn’t make us this way. Without God we’re lost, sinful people, headed for destruction. But God is our Creator and we need Him!! We need His help to live a life on full!!

Sisters, it’s ok to ask for help. Jesus Christ is standing by waiting for us to ask for His help. He will guide us and direct us, and give us everything we need for our journey (even if it means connecting us to the right person).

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

I love my life and my family. But I must

I love my life and my family. But I must admit, when things don’t go the way I plan them, I find myself complaining and being ungrateful. Thank God for His mercy and grace! He patiently reminds me to direct my attention back to Him by giving thanks no matter the situation. Through 8 short devotionals, At Least Say, “Thank You!” reminds you to F.O.C.U.S. on the Giver (God). As you put your thoughts on Him. He’ll show you all the wonderful reason to be grateful. Has your attitude become self-centered and ungrateful? My 2nd devotional book, #1 Bestseller, will remind you to say, “Thank you.” *Where books are sold. Order your copy today!

At The Pillar of Hope Community Developm

At The Pillar of Hope Community Development Center, you will get to connect with your peers, learn something new, expand your opportunities, all while having fun! With great programs and services, children and grown-ups alike will always find a new activity to participate in at the Community Center. STAY UPDATED: #MentalMonday #BeHOPEtoSomeone


NATIONAL CUSTODIAL WORKER’S RECOGNITION DAY: On October 2nd National Custodial Worker’s Recognition Day is a day set aside to show appreciation to men and women who keep our schools and workplaces across the nation running smoothly.

Custodial workers operate behind the scenes and are often under-appreciated for the hard work they do day after day keeping schools, hospitals, office buildings, museums, churches and other buildings clean and well maintained.

While delivering outstanding services and running a well-maintained operation building, they contribute to important first impressions and the success of any business.

HOW TO OBSERVE: If you know a custodial worker, THANK THEM today! Use #CustodialWorkersRecognitionDay to post on social media. #walkinginfreedom