Tag Archives: difficulties

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. 

 

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!

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

 

QUIET TIME
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.

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

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)