Tag Archives: challenge

Lemons

Lemons-WIFdevotional.png

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!!

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

 

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. 

 

Are you listening?

“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;  But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.” (Is. 1:19-20, AMP)

 

There are times when I have to speak to my children over and over again about listening. It makes me so upset when I tell them to do something and they disobey me. When I give my children instructions, as a parent, I expect them to listen and then obey……but sometimes, that’s not always the case. Therefore, there are consequences for their actions. It seems, at times, obedience is the area that I’m often scolding them about. I find myself asking the question, Are you listening to me? Did you hear what I said?

I figure, at times, God says the same things to us, Are you listening to Me? Did you hear what I said? Like a parent, God expects us to listen to His voice and obey, but at times we don’t. He wants us to be obedient to every direction He gives. When He tells us to be quiet, then our mouths should be sealed. When He tells us to speak and only say what He tells us to say, then we should speak only His words. When He tells us to go, then we should move quickly without questioning. And when He tells us to stop, we should stand still.

I want to be obedient to the voice of the Lord. I want to obey God. When He calls, I want to come. But at times I plug up my ears and do what I want to do, just like a rebellious child. I know it makes God angry, just like it makes me angry when my children deliberately disobey me. And when I don’t listen, He asks me those same questions.

Are you listening to me? Did you hear what I said?

I realize that we can’t have victory in all areas of our lives, if we’re being disobedient to God. We can’t profess to be triumphant in our battles, if we’re covering up our ears when God is speaking to us. We can’t move pass the level we’re in or pass the test God has given us, if we’re disregarding His instructions.

 

Sister, you and I can’t be victorious without being obedient to God. Victory comes from obedience.

What are you battling today? Does it feel like you’re losing? Does it seem like the same situation and crisis are happening to you over and over again? Does it feel like you keep failing the same test?

Let’s ask ourselves this question: Am I experiencing difficulties because of my disobedience? Could my situation exist because of I’m rebelling against the Lord?

Let’s do a real survey of our life and honestly answer those questions.

Pray this prayer: Dear great and powerful Lord! We love You and we thank You for Your patience. We want to please You. We know that in pleasing You, we must be obedient to You. Father, help us be submissive children. Give us strength and the wisdom to honor You with our lives. We ask that You would remove fear, timidity, stubbornness, and replace it with love, humility, boldness (through Jesus Christ), and trust in You. We thank You for Your forgiveness, we thank You for changing us, and we thank You for giving us victory! In Jesus name, we pray, amen.

Quiet Time.

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.

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.

 

READY TO IGNITE YOUR PASSION AND DEEPEN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST?

CONTACT THE AUTHOR!
TO HAVE RHOVONDA L. BROWN AS A GUEST SPEAKER  for your next event:
EMAIL:
info@rhovondalbrown.com
OR
walkinginfreedom@marthamary3.com

FACEBOOK:
facebook.com/rhovondabrown.authorpage
OR
facebook.com/M3WalkingInFreedom (Women Ministry)

TWITTER:
@marthamary3

Your Full Attention – Downtime

Portrait of beautiful female teenager praying

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.

 

GET OUT THE WAY!

image_editor_share_1447772802351Sometimes I struggle with relinquishing my will. I have this mindset that if anything needs to get done, I can do a much better job myself, than allowing someone else to do it. Why? Because I trust me. I trust my efforts, I know my heart, and I know I’m going to give it my best. Another person, on the other hand, may not give it their all. He or she may not put his/her heart into it.
That being said, likewise, it can be challenging for me, at times, to move out the way and simply let my Savior handle my issues. There are times I find myself being impatient and wanting my will to be done. Silly me.
Today’s Walking in Freedom! Devotional will encourage and empower us to trust God and just move out of His way.
Have a terrific and trusting Tuesday!
Your sis,
Rhovonda
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I make things harder on myself. I make things harder than they have to be. I make things harder for myself when I get in the way. We make things more difficult than they should be when we get in God’s way. When we try to do God’s job, we make our lives more stressful, full of worry, and extremely exhausting.
Our lives do not have to be stressful, filled with anxiety because we have a compassionate Father who is more than able to take care of everything. God has everything under control and He has everything figured out (Matt 6:25-34).
“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Matt. 6:27, NLT)
When God created the world, He didn’t need our help (Job 38:4). When He spoke the world into existence, we weren’t there. When He created the heavens and the earth, and placed the stars, the moon, and the sun in the sky, He did it all by Himself. Surely the Creator doesn’t need any help from us!
……..but………oftentimes……we try to help God out by doing things our way and in the process getting in the way.
When we think God is moving too slow, He’s not going to do what He promised or maybe He changed His mind, we get in the way and make things worse. We end up causing ourselves more harm than good (at least I do). God doesn’t do things the way we do things. He doesn’t think like us. He’s God!
“‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.’ ” (Isa. 55:8, NLT)
Yesterday, I came to the realization that I was making this journey harder than it has to be. I was making things more complicated than it should. I need to enjoy the ride and get out of God’s way!
This journey that God has us on only requires one thing, trust. We must trust God and not depend on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5). We must trust God to work everything out. We must trust God and not try to get ahead of Him. We must trust God, for He knows what He’s doing; we may not know, but God does.
Pray this prayer with me: Father, forgive me for thinking You need my help. Forgive me for getting in the way. Forgive me for trying to alter Your plans. Lord, I thank You for having everything figured out. I thank You for knowing the plans for my life (Jer. 29:11). Thank You for taking care of everything, and all You want me to do is trust You and enjoy the ride.
Sisters, let’s get out the way and let God handle everything, Read Job chapter 38-42 and discover that the Creator doesn’t needs any help from us.
During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE  on God’s Word. WATCH to today’s music video, Allow these things to encourage you to have a grateful heart and keep 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.

(Originally posted 1/24/12)

Complaining?

Right now, the Lord has placed me in a position that has the resources I need to reach my dream. He has placed me in a place where there’s so much to learn, and so much to gain. But instead of being truly grateful and having my lips filled with praise for the favor God has given me, I found myself filling my mouth with complaints.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been pouting and acting like a spoiled brat. I’ve been acting like an ungrateful child who complains and is never satisfied. I allowed complaining to take residence in my spirit and because of it I became weary, depressed, and unhappy. The excitement I once had about where the Lord had placed me turned into sorrow, it became a burden to me.
I know I must have wearied God with my negative attitude and complaining spirit. Yet, He continued to be merciful, patient, and loving toward me. He has not walked away from me, but has allowed me to have my moments. And now, He’s had enough!
The Lord said, “Instead of complaining, instead of talking about how things look, look at the bigger picture. Look at all those things you can learn from the position you’re in. Look at all those things you can gain from this experience. I’m bringing resources to you! I’m working things out for you!”
 
“Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lord’s anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp. Then the people screamed to Moses for help, and when he prayed to the Lord, the fire stopped. After that, the area was known as Taberah (which means “the place of burning”), because fire from the Lord had burned among them there.” (Num. 11:1-3, NLT)
 
 

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

Are you in an uncomfortable place?
Has this uncomfortable place caused you to produce seeds of complaints?
Have you found yourself complaining more than thanking God?
My sister, where we are may be uncomfortable for us. God may have us in a difficult place and we may feel like we can’t take it anymore. This challenging place may make us look for reasons to complain, but instead of us complaining let’s do something constructive. 
May I share with you what the Lord shared with me? Instead of complaining get a journal and write down what you’re learning from this experience. Each day, throughout the day, write what the Lord is showing you. While you write, try not to write down any negative words or complaints, but write positive things you’re learning.  
It’s Monday…..already! Allow God’s Word to motivate us to speak words of thanksgiving!
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (1 Thess. 5:16-18, MSG).
During your Quiet Time, MEDITATE  on God’s Word. WATCH to today’s music video, and allow these things to encourage you to have a grateful heart and KEEP 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.