Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Does Your Life Feel Cracked?

 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well. (Psalm 139:14, NKJV)

A few months ago, I leaned down to pick something up in the church parking lot not knowing what it was. On further examination, I realized it was a piece of jewelry. But, there was a problem. The bracelet had a crack directly in the center. I'd never known jewelry to do that before-just crack right down the middle. But there it was. That got me thinking about our lives. We go through things in life that make us fragil-it may make us crack under the weight and pressure. But, my friend Carolyn Kneifley said it best. She says: "Teacups are like
lives, some are beautiful while others cracked, but they're all worthy
just because they were made." Though the bracelet wasn't a teapot, it's the same principle. Do you feel like your life is cracked? Let me encourage you ladies, God made you, so you're worthy. It doesn't matter what you're going through, it doesn't matter how bad the pain. You're worthy just because you were made.

Father, I ask You to give each reader the strength to get through what she's going through. No matter what the pain, no matter the discouragement, calm her heart. Calm her fears. Most of all Lord, remind her just how worthy she is. In Jesus Name, Amen. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Praying Friends

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. (1 Thessolonians 5:11, NKJV)

The retreat was coming to an end. All week, the attendees had been chalenged to work harder in their craft. Now, the time for a worship service was at hand. Sitting there soaking in the music, that's when it happened. My dear friend, Edie Melson sat down beside me and began to pray. While I don't remember the words she said, the thing I do remember is the affirmation I received from her that morning. To this day, anytime I need prayer I know Edie will pray. And though we don't talk or see one another often, when we do it's as if no time has passed. God brought a special lady into my life that day. Who has He brought into your life that you can call on at any time? If you don't have that person, I encourage you to ask Him to help you find someone.

Father, thank You for Edie. Thank you for the many women You have brought into my life. I pray for my readers. I ask You to send them that woman to pray with them at any time. In Jesus Name, Amen. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

God Had the Final Say

But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." (Luke 18:27, NKJV)

The time was near. It was nearly time for me to go in the chapel to be prayed over before I gave my talk at the retreat. That's when my friend got the text. "I'm in traffic that's not moving. If I don't make it call me so I can pray over the phone." At that point, my nervousness turned to panick. I began to pray silently for my friend to arrive. So did many others who were aware of the situation. A few minutes later, I walked into the chapel and there she was! God had moved that traffic in order for her to be in that room that day. Humanly possible, Kim did all she could to be there. Ultimately, it's was God's decision. God had the final say. What experiences have you had that required God's intervention in order for it to happen?

Father, thank You for Your power. Thank You Lord that you saw fit to get Kim there that morning. I ask for each of my readers that you show up extraordenarily in their lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Shining Light

By Jamie Britt
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Mathew 5:16, NKJV)

"You have stage 4 ovarian cancer."

Those are words no woman ever wants to hear. But, those are the words my dear friend Shirley Lee

heard 5 years ago. She immediately had surgery and began aggressive chemo treatments. Ultimately though, the surgeries and treatments still didn't save her life.

I first met Shirley at a retreat last March. Until I was told by someone else, I never had a clue Shirley had cancer. That's not something she immediately shared. It's not that she was in denial about it, she just didn't want everyone focusing on that one thing. She didn't let the cancer define her, she let Christ define her. Shirley was a perfect example of this verse. She did let her light shine. When you were around Shirley, you knew the presence of God was in the room. She exuded it. What is it you're going through today? Is it cancer? Job loss? Marital problems? Let me encourage you, be like Shirley. Let your light shine. Be like the shirt someone had made in her honor that says "Shirley shines." Today, shine that light and shine it brightly. By the way, Shirley didn't lose her battle to cancer, she won her victory crown!

Father, thank You for Shirley and her life. I ask that You minister to each reader right where they are. Lord if they're facing what Shirley faced, give them the strength to shine Your light to the world. In Jesus name, Amen. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Listen To My Heart

Guest Post by: Vonda Easley

Listen to my Heart
Song written by: Vonda T Easley and Jeff R Steele

Have you ever found it hard to pray? There was one day that I specifically remember this happening to me. Here is the story behind the song.

It was on a Monday. I woke up to a phone call from a friend that was having some problems. She explained to me what she was going through. Her situation seemed hopeless. She asked me to pray for her. We talked a little and as soon as I hung up the phone, it rang again.This time it was her husband. He began to tell me the same things. I promised to pray for them and trust God with this situation. So....I went to my prayer closet to pray.

I had been on my knees many times in my closet before, but this
morning was different. As I began to pray, the tears began to flow.
Honestly, I cried to God instead of praying to Him.
Later that morning I called a friend, co-writer Dr. Jeff R. Steele. I
told him about my experience and he told me that we had a song. We began to pen these words...

There are times I get alone to pray.
I can't find the words I need to say.
The pain in my heart is just too great.
That's when the Holy Spirit paved the way......

Lord I have a burden on my shoulders.
Something's really hurting me today.
So I want to ask you.
Before I even start...
If I can't say the words, would you listen to my heart.

I have seen God use this song many times in our concerts and ladies events to move the hurting. Perhaps you are hurting today and fighting back the tears. I encourage you to let them flow! Cry your heart out to God. He hears your heart.

Romans 8:26 says this.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh
intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
God hears your heart. Ain't that good y'all?

Vonda Easley
Owner Hope's Journey Christian Ministries

FYI: Listen to my heart is available on ITunes for .99 cents. Search
Hope's Journey, Listen to my heart.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

God Had Another Plan

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10, NKJV)

"You're not good enough." "Women don't have a speaking ministry. "Who do you think you are to get up in front of this group of people?"Those are the thoughts Satan was screaming at me as I prepared a message to give at an upcoming retreat. In frustration and unworthyness, I put the message down.

In the midst of all the accusations, God had another plan. "God doesn't make junk." "You were put here for a purpose and it's going to be fulfilled." My dear friend, Vonda Easley spoke these words of life back into my broken spirit. Though Satan screamed his accusations and words of defeat at me, truth screamed louder still. Like Vonda spoke over me that day, God has a purpose. Ladies, no matter what the accusations are, God has a purpose and a plan. He has something specific for you to do, and only you can fulfill that purpose. So, what do you feel God nudging you to do but you've mot done it because of the accusations?

Father, thank you for the encouragement of Godly friends. Thank You Lord that though the enemy threw accusations my way, the truth of Your Word was even louder. I pray for my readers. Show them their purpose in Your kingdom and give them the courage and strength to fulfill it. In Jesus Name, Amen

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sisters in Action

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. (1 Thesolonians 5:11, NKJV)

"You're not alone in this battle. God has a purpose for your life...no mater what is going on in your life." These were the words a sweet sister in the Lord spoke to me at a writers conference just last weekend. She didn't sit and condemn the way I was feeling by telling me to just get over it. She shared her battle with the same issue and then pointed my focus back to God. Later, when the discouragement wanted to get hold of me again, once again she pointed my focus where it should be. That was a sister in action. What are you going through today that you need a sister to come along beside you and tell you, "you're not alone." Let her point you back to the Lord-our ultimate encourager.

Father, thank You for Your gift of sisters. Let us not take them for granted. Help us see when someone needs a sister to point her gack to You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Are You Drowning?

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Mathew 11:28-30, NKJV)

"On days you'd rather sit down and in your weariness drown, press toward me child, and I'll give you peace of mind."

During the week, I'd heard those words a thousand times. They were the lyrics to a song by my friend, Brenda Blankenship. But yesterday while home from church with a cold, the Lord let me hear those words as if for the first time. There have been many times that I've wanted to just sit and wallow in my circumstances. I've felt like I was drowning in what I was going through. The Lord showed me through the song that as long as I come to Him, He'll be the one that will give me that peace of mind that I so desperately seek. This verse tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Let us all take a deep breath and take on that easy yoke today. What are you going through where you feel like you're not going to make it through?

Father, I pray for my sister and ask that You give her strength. I ask Lord that You show her she's not alone and You're with her in the midst of her circumstances. In Jesus Name, Amen.

****Take a look at my media section and my one sheet. Especially, my event planners out there!****

Jamie Britt

Follow me on Twitter @britt_jamie
Download my Ministry One Sheet
  "The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I hope in Him!"
Lamentations 3:24, NKJV

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Is Your Life's Forecast Unpredictable?

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:12-13)

"We have a possibility of snow and ice."

In other words, the winter storm was very unpredictable. When it hit, we didn't know how bad the aftermath would be. That's also true in life. We have storms come into our lives out of nowhere. Sometimes, it's job loss. Sometimes, it's sickness. Maybe it's betrayal. We're blindsided. So, today ladies, what storm has come to you that you had no clue about? Let me encourage you, God is there. He's listening to every prayer you pray. He sees every tear you shed. He's not forgotten about you.

Father, I pray for each reader today. I ask You to give her the strength she needs to endure the storm she's facing. In Jesus name, Amen.

*****Event planners, take a look at my one-sheet under the media tab.  I'm looking forward to hearing from you!******

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Looking for God to do Something New?

Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19, NKJV)

With a new year apon us, we hear a lot about people wanted something new. For some, it may be a weight loss. For some, it may be a new job. Or still, for some it may be a new car or house. But ladies, God is doing a new thing in us. It has nothing to do with material things; but it has to do with our heart. He says that "I'm doing a new thing in you." In this new year, what new thing will we allow Him to do?

Father, thank You for this new year you've allowed us to see. We ask for Your spirit to reign fresh in us. Whatever new thing You wish to do in us, may we be open to allow You to work. In Jesus name, Amen. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

You're More Valuable than You Know

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:17, NKJV)

The vision the Lord gave Cheryl Salem was more powerful than anything I've ever heard.

"It was as if the Lord was going from garage sell to garage sell of life. At He walked along, He noticed the devil selling everyone. After He had went by all the fancy and ornate itims, He came to a pile of dirty rags. The rags were so bloodied and dirty, no amount of washing by human hands were clean them. As He came to this pile of bloodied rags, He looked at Satan and said, "I'll take her." I value her so much, that I'll give my life."

Ladies, do you realize that's how valuable we are in the eyes of God? It didn't matter that at the garage sell, there were all the fancy itims to choose from. But, He didn't want any of it. He wanted you and He wanted me. That's just how valuable we are to a Holy and magnificent God. Are you struggling today with your value and worth? Let me encourage you, remember just what God did for you. And you know something? If you were the only one on earth, He still would've went to that cross and gave His life.

Father, thank You for reminding us of where we have our value. It's not in material and earthly persuits. But it's in You. Help us to remember just how high of a price You paid for us. In Jesus name, Amen.   

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Change the Victory Chant

No child needs to be disciplined by having a gun held to their head. Having to sit in the ditch next to a highway is not a safe place for time out as your mother gets through a hangover. Lit cigarettes should never be used on the bare skin of anyone for punishment. Ever hear of a parent heating a belt buckle to sear their child?  Subjecting a little girl to the hands of men just so that the parent can play with the same man a little while longer is disgusting. How can a mom ignore the fact that their little girl is being violated by men and walk away...even into the same man's bedroom seems so unforgivable. It all seems so unforgivable.

I turned my back with my arms closed and rejected all possibility of regaining respect for parents, men, authority, myself and God. Satan doesn’t care how we react to the sinfulness of any abuse including sexual abuse . . . as long as we don’t turn TO Jesus. I did exactly what Satan wanted. As an adult I continued to find my value in bedrooms. I drank. I accepted abuse in my marriage. I became mutilated by self and by others. Self esteem was low and suicide planning kicked in over time.

The enemy knows when we find our identity, security, and dignity in Christ, we can live in victory.

Victory? What was that? For all I could see, Satan had held me in his hands and was dancing the victory chant over me. I had my part in this. When things were out of my control, it was one thing...but what about the other part, when the choice was mine? I had to make a choice.

I sobbed in my pillow when I just couldn't look at myself in the mirror any longer. My life was ugly and so was the reflection that I wanted to spit on. I was tired of being hurt, mad, sad, disgusted, ashamed, hurt and angry at myself and God.

My everyday life had to change. I crashed to the floor and cried out to God. I purposely had to let God handle all my emotions. I had to stop running from Him in anger but toward Him. The intent of the evil one was to be against me and to create distance between me and God. My intent was to return to Him and let God embrace my hurting soul.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I am healing from the past and live with peace and joy in the present. I continuously pray that God will help me find the way to set boundaries in my thinking, letting go of the past, forgiving myself and others and move forward in peace through Him. '

Daily progress is being made. Each day I am filled with His Spirit. Ugly is being replaced by the beauty of forgiveness. I know God is holding my hand and healing that inner child. The adult sees through God's eyes now and Satan turns his head. There is no room for him where Jesus is.

Healing came when I made a deliberate willing choice to put away things of the past and look forward to the now and the future in Him. I accepted in my heart that Jesus knows each pain I went through. He took it to the cross. He is aware of my feelings. He is aware of my growth. Papa God shares with me every good promise of healing and victory in Him.

I no longer have to hold onto the pains of this world but I embrace the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Are you hurting? Are you absorbed in things of the world. Is the child in you feeling rejected and holding onto bitter hurt? You no longer have to stay in Satan's abuse. Let me encourage you to turn away from what Satan chants and sing victory in Jesus. No need to  keep feeling trapped and  empty when you can be free and filled in Him.
 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10, NIV)

Mary Edwards is a writer, speaker and photographer. She is a member of the Encourager's Christian Writer Group and a 2013 graduate of Christian Communicators. Mary owns Photo's By M.E. Where she combines both her writing and her love for photography. You can find submissions of her blog at www.writeblessings.blogspot.com and contact her at: wordsbyLOU@yahoo.com

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Comparison, a Death Trap

For who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord?
Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the Lord? (Psalm 89:6, NKJV)

"The greatest failure you'll ever have is comparing yourself to others. We're made in the image of God, not in the image of people." Cheryl Salem's words hit me square in the face. For the longest time, I've struggled with the death trap of comparing myself with another. I've compared myself with other writers, with other singers and with other speakers. I've thought all of them were better than me. What I didn't realize is that each time I do that, I'm failing. I'm failing because I'm pretty much saying God din't do a good enough job. And ladies, He never makes a mistake. I wasn't to be Beth Moore or Cheryl Salem. Those ladies have a style all their own that noone else on earth can have. And, the Lord meant the same for you. Whatever your gifts may be, noone else can do them quite like you. Today, what are you comparing to another person in life? Is it finances? Is it talents? Is it magerial things? Let me encouraging you, stop playing that game. Get out of that trap, because it will eventually take you down a road you really don't want to go.

Father, please help us to get out of comparing ourselves. Give the strength to know that whatever you call us to, it's for us alone. Noone can perform the task as good as the indevidual person called to it. In Jesus name, Amen.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Never To Old

But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. (Luke 1:7, NKJV)

Elizabeth was a prime example of how, in God's eyes we're never to old to do anything. I learned that she was in her early 80's when she became pregnant. When this happened, it was a miracle because as the verse tells us, she couldn't have children. Obviously, God had a purpose in this. Have you ever been told that because you're a certain age, you can no longer do a task? Ladies, let me remind you today that you're never to old to do what God calls you to.

Father, thank You for giving us the strength that even though some of us may be up in age, it doesn't matter to You. You remind us that our age doesn't matter to You. Thank You for your grace. In Jesus name, Amen.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Persevering Faith

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (James 1:2-3, NKJV)

The news was life-changing. The family's life would never be the same again. During a routine eye exam, the couple found out one of their girls had a life-threatening disease. The found out later that their other child has this same disease. The prognosis was fatal for both. The couple have lost one of their children-only 36. The time of waiting has now come for the other. During all this, these parents' faith has remained in tact. They've persevered in spite of the devistating turn of events their life has brought them. Today, let me encourage you that whatever you're going through, persevere. Don't give up. Just as God has continually been with this sweet couple, He is also with you. What do you have in your life that you're tempted to throw in the towel? Ladies, be strong. God is with you and will never leave your side.

Father, I lift up each reader. Give her the courage and strength to keep going in the midst of whatever she's going through. Give her peace in her heart that you're able to give like no other. In Jesus name, Amen.