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 and contact her at:

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. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Lord, Your Desire, Not Mine

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4, NKJV)

This past Sunday, I made my second visit to a friend's church. This was the first visit I'd made where I was able to hear the senior pastor preach. I absolutely loved this church! My desire is to start attending permanently. The problem with that is that my friend would be unable to give me a ride there each week. There's another catch here though. This is my desire. This may not be the desire God has for me. Ladies, do you have a great desire that you feel God isn't granting? Remember, it may not be His desire for you.

Father, I pray each reader. Grant her the desire of her heart. Amen.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Our writers group, The Encouragers, had been given the prompt “To Go” and it was due tomorrow! I was annoyed and frustrated because I had not been able to come up with a solid idea. Writer’s block seemed to be taunting me. Finally, I plopped down on the couch and tried to calm my fears. Once again, I prayed for inspiration. I typed a tentative title at the top of the Word Document page and waited for God’s creativeness to begin. It wasn’t long before this declaration came forth.


I’m going to be a writer
Whether you like it or not.
Place the words in motion
In the order of my thoughts.
God will guide the process
As I search to find His will
He knows the lives He wants to touch
With the strokes of my holy quill.

There…I had something written down now.

What I noticed next, only God could have orchestrated. As I centered the poem, a teacup/saucer shape appeared.

I’m going to be a writer
Whether you like it or not.
Place the words in  motion
In the order of my thoughts.
God will guide the process
As I search to find His will
He knows the lives He wants to touch
With the strokes of my holy quill.

I was shocked and joyously surprised. Then, when I realized that the lady who had given the prompt collected cups and saucers, faith continued to fill my soul! God had answered my prayer with a flare in order to maintain my focus on His guided provisions and my ability to hear. Now, when the doubts and fears invade my mind, I only need to remember this poem to encourage the juices to flow again.

Are you going through something that has challenged your abilities to proceed? Have you allowed the threat of failure to invade your soul in the final hours? God knows our situations better then we do and He is committed to giving us all the encouragement, wisdom and resources we will need to overcome. Talk to Him…then be still and know that He is God.

Mary Jane Downs is a writer, teacher, and speaker. She was recently published in Pearls of Promise devotional. You can visit her blog called Joy In The Morning at where she posts weekly. Mary Jane lives at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina with her golden lab, Buddy and her cat, Action Jackson.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Story of the Chairs

So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:16, NKJV)

I want you to imagine something with me for a moment.

You're sitting in the church pew during a Sunday morning service. It comes time for the invitation time. The ushers bring 3 chairs to the platform. Now, take a close look at these chairs. The three chairs are a representation of our life. Chair 1 is for the one who has never accepted Christ. Chair 2 is for the one who has accepted Christ, but their life isn't showing the fruit of it. And, chair 3 is for the one who is fully surrendered to the Lord. No matter what, you're completely sold out to Him. So ladies, let me ask you a question. Which chair are you in? Are you the one who has never accepted Christ? Are you the one who has accepted Christ but the fruit doesn't show? Or, are you one that can say you're fully sold out and surrendered to the Lord? If you're one that has never accepted Christ, let me encourage you that today is the day. It's time.

Father, I pray for my readers. I pray that this will be the thing to draw her closer to You, or perhaps for the first time. In Jesus name, Amen.

***If you need prayer to accept Christ or anything at all, please email me at: jamiebritt2006 {at} gmail {dot} com*** 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Who or What Validates You?

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Romans 8:29, NKJV)

"Your devotions is in the upcoming book." "Here's your exceptance letter. You'll be published in January."

These were 2 emails I've received in the last few weeks letting me know that I've been published as a writer. I've waited three years to get to this point. But, in all of that I've realized something. Though I'm thrilled to now be able to say that I'm a published author, these accomplishments don't validate me as a writer. Only one validates that calling. And His name is Jesus. I thought for a long time that because I wasn't being published, I wasn't good enough. I thought that's what defined me. But, it wasn't. God defines me...He is my validation. Ladies, what validates you today?

Father, thank You for validating each of our callings. I pray for my readers today...that you'll give her the validation she longs for. Amen. .

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

When We Doubt

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. ~James 1:6 (NKJV)

Doubt. It can be paralyzing.

For a long time, I doubted myself as a writer until dear friend's words changed all that for me. Did it totally erase the doubt forever? No. Would those thoughts assault me later? Absolutely!

I'm excited to be a guest at a friend's site today!

Join me over at Susan Stilwell's for the rest of today's devo: 
When We Doubt.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Joy of being Sisters

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24, NKJV)

The service came to the altar call as the congregation around us stood to their feet in reverence to the Lord. As the first note was sung, my "sisters" and I headed down to the altar for a time with one another and with God. We'd spent the weeekend in laughter and having fun. It was now time to re-afirm our faith and also our individual callings to the Lord and to our friendship. We prayed blessings over one another as well as for strength to face what lay ahead. Little did either of us know, the very next day one of us would need that strength and blessing poured back into us once again. And again, the others were there to give that hope and peace. Ladies, there's nothing like the joy of having a sister. A sister in the Lord is sometimes the only thing that keeps us standing. What are you facing today that only the joy of a sister can get you through? God designs us to have close relationships. Let that relationship begin with Him, but then let a sister come along side you to help carry the load.

Father, thank You for our sisters. Thank You especially Lord for these two women that have enriched my life over the last 3 days. I pray for each reader. If she doesn't yet have a sister she can call on, I ask You provide her with one. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Perfect Peace

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV)

My frustration was at a peak. The week was hard and long. My mind was anything but peaceful. And perfect peace? That wasn't anywhere to be found.

Until, that is, God spoke to my heart through a dear friend. Through Mary's words, she reminded me what perfect peace actually was.

Perfect peace at times means keeping harmony in a family.


Most of all, perfect peace means that we fully trust in the Lord. And as Mary reminded me, my trust had slipped into my own mind and away from God. My mind wasn't stayed on Him, so I couldn't get through the day without frustrations. Today ladies, what are you facing that you need God's perfect peace with? Let me encourage you, keep your mind on Him. And He will give you that perfect peace you long for.

Father, thank You for the peace only You give. Thank You Lord that when we get off course, You send friends and Your words to get us back on track. I pray for my readers today. I ask You to help her keep her mind on You.

***Do you know a pastor's wife or love one? My friend, Nan Jones is looking for inflencers to post reviews on Amazon. Her book, The Perels of a Pastor's Wife is now in the editing process. If interested, please email her at: Thanks!*** 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pain With a Purpose

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, and are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28, NKJV)

Do you ever wonder if there'a really a purpose in your pain? Maybe today you're going through a divorce. Maybe you're going through the loss of a loved one. Maybe it's ahealth crisis. Or, maybe it's not even physical. Maybe it's spiritual or emotional. The fact is ladies, sometimes we just don't see why we're hgoing through the struggles in life. I pray that as you read the following words by my dear friend, Mary Denman, you'll find peace and comfort. This is from a precious lady who, over the last few months has been walking through some very painful circumstances. But, Mary hasn't lost hope.

I don't like pain.
Apparently, I wouldn't make a good Marine.
One of their mottos is: "Pain is just weakness leaving the body."
That's where they'd lose me.
More power to them. I appreciate the fact that they train hard to protect our country. Their pain has a purpose. But I couldn't join their ranks. (We won't even go into my age which would prevent me....)
But back to the point.
I don't like pain. But I've learned a lesson because I deal with it regularly.
Take my shoulder for example.
For several months, it hurt. I finally mentioned it to my doctor. She gave me cortisone shots. A couple of times.
It didn't help.
Then, I went to physical therapy. For a few months.
It didn't help.
Then, I went to a chiropractor. For a few months.
It helped other things, but not my shoulder.
I gave up and just figured I had to live with the pain.
A couple of years later, my hubby fell and hurt his shoulder. A month into it, he went to the doctor. She sent him to an orthopedic doctor. He ordered an MRI. My hubby had a torn rotator cuff. They scheduled surgery.
I asked, "What does your pain feel like?"
He described it. The lightbulb went on. I returned to my doctor. I saw an orthopedic doctor who ordered an MRI, and guess what?
Yep. I had a torn rotator cuff. And had lived with it for over 2 years at that point.
Hubby had surgery first. Two months later, so did I.
Then came rehab! It's a long recovery. But worth it when it works.
Unfortunately, my body didn't heal properly. A year ofter surgery, I was back in the doctor's office complaining of the same pain. I had another MRI. I still had a tear......No one's fault. Just bad shoulder genetics. I needed surgery, AGAIN!
This summer, I finally had the more extensive open rotator cuff surgery. I had put it off since January. The pain was just getting too much to ignore and it hampered my day to day living. (And driving our Miata!)
I've now dealt with 4 1/2 years of shoulder pain. My ortho assures me I'll feel great once rehab is over and the pain finally goes away. (He also fixed my bicep tendon which was about to snap. It was causing pain along with the torn rotator cuff.)
I'm choosing to trust him.
So what have I learned about myself and pain in this process?
First of all, I'm not the wimp I assumed I was. I've thought I'm a wimp because I feel pain. Now I know I'm strong because I keep going in spite of it.
Secondly, I learned you just can't ignore some pain. It's there for a reason. To tell you something is wrong. My shoulder didn't get better on it's own. I needed a surgeon.
Thirdly, I've had to trust the doctor that the pain I now feel is okay and that I have to press through it to get strong again. It still hurts like the pain of a torn rotator cuff. Except worse.
So how can I tell the difference?
Well, I had to have someone look inside of my shoulder and find the tear, the cause of my pain.
Only after that could we come up with a plan to deal with it.
After this surgery, you'd think I wouldn't trust my doctor. But I do trust him. He explained why it didn't work the first time and how he went about fixing it completely differently this time.
I push through the pain now. And I'm getting stronger, not weaker.
So how does this apply to life?
We all have pain. Either physical or emotional. We have hurts, sadness, losses.
Pain actually does serve a purpose. We need to be aware of it.
What's behind the pain?
Is it something broken that needs to be fixed?  Like a broken relationship. Unforgiveness.
Or is it a season of pain to make us stronger? Like exercising. Mourning.
How can you tell the difference?
This is where you need a surgeon.
And a heart MRI.
Go to God and ask Him to show you why you're in pain.
I'm in a season of mourning. It hurts. The pain of losing my mom will never go away. But understanding that I can either let it stop me from living or learning to go on and comfort others is a decision I have to make.
I'm learning to trust God to get me through.
God is the great Physician.
Ask Him for guidance.
Then listen for His answer.
The pain you're in may be for the purpose of strengthening you or teaching you to depend on Him.
He'll be there for you.
He has been for me....

Father, thank You for our pain. Lord, it's hard to pray that prayer at times, but as Mary wrote, there's always a purpose in what we go through. I pray for my readers today. I ask You to give them peace, assurance and comfort. In Jesus name, amen.

****If you're a pastor's wife or know and love one, would you consider being an influencer for my friend, Nan Jones's book? It's entitled, "If God be for Me: The Perrels of a Pastor's Wife
She'll be looking for readers to read and post reviews. If interested, please email her at:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24, NKJV)

I have a dear friend by the name of Nan Jones. Our story of the way we started communicating was nothing more than a God-thing. I'd sent one email to her asking a question about writing. I really didn't expect a response from her because she was a writer and speaker. I thought she'd be too busy to answer an email from me, especially not knowing me. Sometimes, we think Jesus is that way. We think He's too busy for little 'ole me. This verse tells us that He sticks closer than any friend or brother. I know that Nan loves me and I know she encourages me, but at the same time, even she can't take the place of the sweet encouragement that the Lord gives. She loves me, but He loves me even more than she ever can no matter how hard she tried. Sweet sisters, if you're in search of a friend today, let me encourage you to run to the greatest friend you'll ever have!

Father, thank You for the friends you've blessed us with. More than that Lord, we thank You for the greatest friend, Jesus. Lord we love and praise You. Amen.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The I Am Not List

Today, I wanted to share something a little different with you. This was sent to me in an email several months ago when I was having a down day. I just felt that someone needed to read this list today. I pray this is a blessing to you as much as it was to me.

Then you will be a beautiful crown in the hand of the Lord, a royal crown in the hand of your God. You will no longer be called Deserted, and your land will no longer be called Destroyed. But you will be named My Delight, and your land will be named Married. Isaiah 62:3-4 GW

Those who know the Lord can sometimes struggle with the accusing and condemning thoughts of the Enemy. As the Accuser of the Brethren, Satan attempts to convince us, through his lies, that God is against us and we have been separated from God and abandoned by Him.

We must not give Satan any ground in our thinking. Each day, it is important for us to know the truth, believe the truth, and proclaim the truth. As God’s child, one who is accepted in the Beloved, here is a list of truths you can proclaim today!

Today, Because of Christ, I Am Not—

Forsaken—Hebrews 13:5
 Forgotten—Isaiah 49:15
 Abandoned—Hebrews 13:5
 Rejected—Ephesians 1:6
 Useless—Ephesians 2:10
 Helpless—Psalm 121:2
 Hopeless—Romans 15:13
 Hapless—Ephesians 1:3
 Homeless—John 14:1-3
 Condemned—Romans 8:1
 Confused—1 Corinthians 14:33
 Confounded—Psalm 22:5
 Doomed—1 Thessalonians 1:10
 Destroyed—Isaiah 43:1
 Desolate—John 15:5
 Deserted—John 14:18
 Uncared for—1 Peter 5:7
 Unprotected—Psalm 3:3
 Unwanted—Luke 19:10
 Unknown—Isaiah 43:1
 Unloved—Jeremiah 31:3

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sweet Peace

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phillipians 4:7, NKJV)

Before I walked into the conference center, my nerves were on edge. This was my first time at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers conference and I knew hardly anyone. Walking through the door however, I felt this tremendous sense of peace. It was as if my nervousness went away. I knew that could only be God's peace. I didn't understand it fully until the lady that helped get me there put her loving arms around me. Ladies, that peace is the greatest thing you could ever feel. What in your life today do you need to be covered in God's peace? Let me encourage you, pray and ask for it.

Father, thank You for the peace You bring. In the midst of what we may feel is unbearable, you bring a sweet calm. I ask that for each reader, You bring that calm to her spirit. In Jesus name, amen.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ruffled Feathers

Has anyone ruffled your feathers lately?  Have there been any

unforeseen bills?  Any sickness in your family recently?  Any

inconveniences or interruptions in your life?  Have you complained

lately? Have you asked for release? Have you felt any discomfort in

your world?

If so, I have a word for you.

"In a desert land He found him, in a barren and howling waste. He

shielded him and cared for him; He guarded him as the apple of His

eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest

and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and

carries them on its pinions. So the LORD alone did lead him…"

Deuteronomy 32:10-12 (NIV)

Life affords many opportunities for ruffled feathers.  We should not

be unaware, for the Bible clearly teaches that:

"Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”  Acts 14:22 (NAS)

God loves you enough to provide for your needs and He loves you enough

to want to see you grow up and mature.  He has a purpose for your

life.  He has a specific task that He wants you to do.  No one else

can do what He has equipped and is equipping you to do.  That’s

powerful!  So He must stretch us.  He must stir us up or we will nest

comfortably until He takes us Home.

Let me explain a little about an eagle and her nest of eaglets.

The eagle pads her nest with downy soft feathers, gentle moss, and

other soft articles she finds.

Her young are loved and cared for as the apple of her eye.

She lovingly instructs, shields and guards her young.

She wants to see them strong.  And though she loves them and would not

mind coddling them all her life, she knows that in order for them to

fulfill the purpose for which they were born, one day they must fly.

 Learning to fly requires faith, perseverance and often A BIG PUSH!

 So, as they grow, she begins to remove the downy soft feathers.  She

speaks to them lovingly.  She is not mad.  She is not tired of them

and meeting their needs.  She is just keenly aware of her purpose, and

the purpose of each of her eaglets.  She has been blessed to hold them

tightly, but now she has been chosen to set them free to fly.

We sense that we were born for more than just resting in the nest.

But we’re afraid.  We complain that "so-and-so" gets all the big

breaks.  And when given the chance, we choose the comfortable over

trusting in God alone for the unseen.  Instead of seeing

inconveniences and surprising trials as opportunities to grow, we


The mother eagle is very aware of time; even more aware of timing.  At

precisely the right moment, she instructs her young that NOW is the

time for them to fly.  We are all big talkers while we are safe and


Yet God says the same thing to us, “You were made for the wide open

sky.  You were made for more than this.  You were made to spread your

wings and fly.  I want more for you than the familiar.  I want more

for you than muddling through this life.  I want you to allow Me to

help you soar.  I want you to taste and see that I am good.  I have

great and awesome things in store for your life!”


Friend, did you know that God enabled some to walk on water?  Some to

be healed.  Some to see miracles.  Some to be enabled to forgive.

Many have come to know their purpose for life.  We long for the

indescribable joy of soaring above this world.  God teaches us how to

fulfill our purpose to soar.

Is God stirring up your nest right now?

God doesn’t walk behind us yelling, “Go!”

God goes ahead, bidding, “Come!”

He is inviting you to take the next step with Him.  He alone will

lead.  At times it will seem that He is pushing you over the edge, but

it is not to see you dashed against the rocks below.  It is to see you


Do you want more from this life?

Do you want to get to a place where you can see your trial, your

testing, your tribulation or your troubles from a different point of


Then I invite you to trust the One who loves you more than His own

life.  I invite you to consider that maybe God is removing some of the

feathers in your nest because He loves you.  Remember, the Word of God

says you are the apple of His eye.

If He is stirring up your nest, it is because He wants to take you a

step further toward Him and His purposes for your life.  What an

incredible God!  He wants more for you.

One last fact about eagles…did you know that when a storm moves into

the area where an eagle is flying and the winds are at a high

velocity, the thunder is rumbling across the canyon, the lightning is

cracking in the sky, that at that very moment, the eagle flies

straight into the eye of the storm.  She allows the very winds, that

threaten to overcome her, to be the channel through which she soars

higher and more steadily.

Up, up, up.  Up to a place where her view changes!

Only God could think of such a thing as that!

 Friend, give to God the area that is threatening to overwhelm you.

Spread your wings.  Trust your Heavenly Father.  If you start to fall,

He will bear you up on His wings, for you were BORN TO SOAR!



Lord, the storm has been brewing for some time now.  I am very

uncomfortable.  I have asked you to feather my nest and make me cozy

in this particular situation but I realize that You are much more

concerned with my holiness than my happiness.  You are much more

concerned with my Christlikeness than my comfort.  I thank You for

reminding me that I am the apple of your eye.  You will not let me

fall.  You will enable me to go sky-high.  I trust You.  Please change

my shallow view.  Thank You for reminding me I was born to soar.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen!


Brenda Blankenship is a wife, mother of four, Bible teacher, speaker,

author, and composer.  Her husband, Hub Blankenship, Jr. pastors

Milestones Church, a church they planted in the fall of 1996.  Brenda

asked Jesus Christ into her heart at the age of 5. She committed her

life to full-time ministry as a junior high student.  She holds a

degree in Bible from Columbia International University.  She serves as

the Director of Women’s Ministry at Milestones Church.

Her heart cries with the Psalmist, “Teach us, O Lord, to number our

days that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

God Knows Better Than I

 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8, NKJV)

"I'm sorry, but it wouldn't be a good idea for you to come visit." Mary said this because she was concerned for my safety, and also she knew what was best for me. In the same way, God knows what's best for us. He knows what is around the corner. Mary knew what I would face if I didn't take her advice. God knows what will happen to us when we don't heed his warning. What are you facing today that you need God's counsel? Let me encourage you to take His counsel; for He knows what's best for you.

Father, thank You for knowing what we need even more than we do. Thank You Lord for giving us chance after chance to heed the warrning.  Help my readers to take the advice of an all-knowing God. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Royal Child

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Mathew 1:21, NKJV)


With all the news coverage today of the "royal" child's birt, I started thinkin.

If that piece of news is media-worthy, I wonder what type of coverage the King of Kings would've received 2000 years ago if facebook and twitter would have been available? Today, do you see the love of God-the real royal news worthy of a media circus? Let's take as much time to spread our piece of royal news today as fast as the news of the royal baby was spread.

Father, help us have the urgenc of spreading the Good News today as fast as the news of the baby was shared. Help us not be ashamed. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Sheperd's Point of View

 For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corthinians 5:7, NKJV)

While having a conversation with a dear friend today, I started thinking of the first time we met. We met at a writers conference a couple years ago. My mind went back to the sweet thing she did for me that weekend. Mary Denman took my hand and patiently described the sceens of nature...the mountains, the clouds and whatever she could think of at that mement that related to where we were. Just as Mary described those things to me, that's how our God is. She described those things because with being visually impaired, I couldn't see them for myself. Sometimes in our trials, we're so blindsided we can't see the future. But our shepherd is right there by our side. And He knows what's around the corner. He knows what things look like, even when we have no idea. What are you facing today that you need his sight for? I needed Mary sight to look at those outside sceens for me. Let me encourageyou, ask God to show you your future...let Him take the reigns and you'll be amazed at what you find out!

Father, thank You for being our shepherd. Thank You Lord that when we can't see, you're there to give us the big picture in Your perfect time. I pray for my readers. I ask You to increase our sight. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Praise Him In the Storm

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance. (Psalm 42:5, NKJV)

The sanctuary was crowded. It was full of people that wanted the pastor and his wife voted out of the position. Though they'd only been at the church a little over a year, the Pharasies reared their ugly head. The pharasies won the battle. . . or so they thought. This couple had a greater weapon than these evil people. They had God on their side. Though they lost the vote, they'd already won the victory. They were praising Him in the midst of the storm. Though they were devistated over the turn of events that took place, they chose to praise their way through it. They chose to believe God is God. For you see, we either believe He's God, or we don't. They ran to the source of their strength. "When you can't praise God for your circumstances, praise Him for who He is." And that's just what they did. What situation are you facing today that you need to praise God in spite of what's going on? Cancer? Failing marriage? Job loss? In the midst of the storm, praise Him.

Father, we thank You for the storms that come. We thank You that even though our world is crumbling around us, we can still praise You. Give us the strength to take the next step when we feel like we can't take anymore. Lord, we love You and we praise You. Amen.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What Garment Are You Wearing?

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3, NKJV)

The bag felt as though it weighed a hundred pounds. With all the things inside, I could barely lift it. I felt as though I was lifting a bag with rocks or logs When we're discouraged in our spirit, that's how we often feel. This verse tells us that the Lord will replace our spirit of heaviness with a garment of praise. Once I put the bag down, my hand felt much lighter. When we replace that heavy spirit with a garment of praise, we feel much lighter. Today ladies, what garment are you wearing? Let me encourage you, put on that much lighter garment . . . the garment of praise.

Father, thank you for this precious garment. When we wear it, nothing can stop us. We can praise You with all we've got and our circumstnaces may not go away, but they're much easier to bear. Thank You Lord.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Here Comes the Bride

that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:27, NKJV)

The bride walked down the isle, on the arm of her father. As I turned with the rest of the spectators, I started thinkin.

One day, that will be us. That will be all those who have trusted Christ. Imagine that, ladies. He will come on a white horse and gather His children home. And the wedding we'll experience, the gowns we'll wear will be greater than anything we can imagine. Are you ready for that wedding? What are you most looking forward to about that wedding day?

Father, prepare us for that grand day. Those of us Lord that know You, make our hears right...make them ready. Amen.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Divine Connections

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. (Luke 15:20, NKJV)

Walking into church for choir practice, I noticed a dear friend I'd not seen in close to 3 years across the crowded room. We hugged and caught as best we could with the little time we had that morning. After practice was over, I noticed something. For three years, I had her contact information in my addressbook. That day, she and I reconnected after a long time apart. That's the way we are with the Lord at times. We don't think He hears our prayers. And if He hears them, we don't think He answers them . . . because they're not answered in the way we want. Just like Martha and I reconnected, we eventually reconnect with God. Today my friend, let me encourage you to reconnect with the One who loves you more than any human ever can.

Father, help us reconnect with You. Help us to know that when our prayers aren't answer in acordance to our ways, You know what's best. In Jesus Name, amen.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Cup of Cold Water and a Hot Meal

Hi, I'm Mary Denman, guest posting for Jamie today! 

Recently, I had major surgery on my right shoulder. Yes, I’m right-handed. My arm will be in a sling for eight weeks as I recuperate. Suddenly, I can no longer do simple things around the house. Things like vacuuming, cleaning, or getting myself ready in the morning. I need help. A lot of help.

My husband has taken care of so much for me over the weekend and I appreciate him greatly. But he has to return to work soon. I must now rely on my children and others for help. So, hubby sat down with our kids and explained that I’ll need their assistance throughout the coming days. They’ll need to get me food, help me down the stairs, stay on top of their chores.

He then mentioned verses in Matthew 10 and 25 about giving a cup of cold water or drink in Jesus’ name. Jesus said that if you do this to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. Hubby is trying to teach them to look beyond themselves. To serve me during this time that I’m incapacitated. And to serve me because of their love for Jesus.

I’ve also asked for meals to be provided by my church. The lady who runs that ministry said it was a small thing the church could do. Not in my eyes. Having meals provided for my family is a huge blessing.

Sometimes though, we think that doing great things for Jesus is the only way to be a blessing or be blessed. Like donating a car to a ministry, or volunteering 10 hours a week for a year. While both of these can absolutely minister to others, we forget that giving a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name is just as important. Smaller acts of service and love can minister in ways we can't imagine. It would be super cool if someone gave my family a car. But that’s not where our need is. Dropping off a warm, homemade meal? In our current circumstances, the hot meal is a bigger blessing!

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of our own lives and not see the importance of meeting the needs of those around us.  Those who gave a drink or food to a stranger didn’t even understand at the time that they were serving Jesus.

Realize that you can serve Jesus today. Almost immediately, with the next person you meet. Ask Him to show how to give a cup of cold water or hot meal in his name. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Story, We All Have One

Yes, we all have one, a story to tell. If you have lived any length of time you too have a story to tell.
Some of us may have more chapters, more interesting stories to share, some sad, many glad, but a story none of the less.
Jamie ask me to share my testimony and the enemy has tried to keep me from it today.
I have been sick all day and even thought that I would put it off and maybe share it at another time.
If you read the Word, you know it is his job to kill, steal and destroy.
 Since my birth Satan has been on my heels trying to do all three in my life.
Born on my birth Mom-mas 17th birthday, I was a gift she never wanted.
I have no good memories from the time I can remember until  I was 10 years old, except for CHURCH.
It was there that I felt loved, safe and a peace that I could not explain.
I just knew in my mind and heart that something there was different than any other place I had ever been in.
The courts awarded me to my Aunt and Uncle in March of 1970. For the first time in my life I had a bed in a bedroom to call mine, a place to go after school with food to eat and finally clothes that I was not ashamed to wear.
Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and every 4th Saturday night why we went to church. The same church where I felt loved, safe and a peace that I could not explain.
I loved that place. I looked forward to each time we would get ready to go.
I sang my very first song there at the age of 5 years old, Rock of Ages. Never realizing that He is my ROCK, no matter if all Hell around me rages, He is my ROCK.
I have loved to sing Gospel Music all my life. Wanted to take part in everything the church had going on.
In the Christmas play, sang in the choir almost as loud as my Nanny and Aunt Doris.
I will never forget when I was asked if I would take piano lessons to learn to play the piano for the church.
I jumped at the chance and took them for 8 months. Started playing the piano in the church at the age of 12.
Still loved going there, feeling loved, so safe and a peace that I could not explain and now playing piano and singing, wow, could life get any better for me ?
In May of 1976, while playing for the altar call, God spoke to my heart, I got up from the piano and knelt at the altar and ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to save me from Hell.
Never was a bad person,but lived in an earthly Hell until I was 10 years old, but what held me together was that place called Church.
Now, as I ask Jesus to save me, I felt like I could take on Hell itself. Felt like a brand new person, all that sin and cares of the world off me. But what I did not let go was the bitterness in my mind toward those that had caused me so much hurt, pain and stole my childhood from me.
Asking Jesus to save me, made me feel more loved, still safe and gave me a peace that now I did understand. All the while just being in the building it was the Holy Spirit hovering over me and allowing me feel loved, safe and the peace that only comes from on high.
I knew I was saved but still carried a boat load of bitterness in my mind and heart.
Started out serving the Lord, still playing the piano and singing. Wrote my first song and all I wanted to do was live for Jesus.
Several years passed by, still growing in the Lord. Praying and reading the Word was a part of my daily life.
Still going to church every Sunday morning, night, Wednesday night and 4th Saturday night for singings.
Oh, I loved it.
I knew that I was saved and I loved the Lord with all my heart, but something was missing in my life.
I never would allow other people to get real close to me. See I was determined that people would never hurt me again.
In 1987 God spoke to me during my prayer time and told me that I had to reach out to my birth Momma and try to have a relationship with her. Oh, I did not like that at all. Tried to come up with all kind of deals with the Lord, but He kept saying NO.
See I had to go back to the root of everything in my life before I could ever be where I am today in my relationships with friends, family and my husband.
I started on that journey to have a relationship with the woman that had never wanted me, never provided for me, never protected me, never loved me and gave me up to other family members.
I did everything that I knew possible, but once again, she turned me away, but this time, I had a peace that to this day I can not explain. It was even a greater peace than that I had felt in the church.
See God had to take me back to where the bitterness began and I had to leave it there.
From that moment on, my God became Lord of my life and I can tell you this girl has never been the same.
Even though I had been saved, in church most of my life, but the enemy was still trying to destroy me from the inside out with things that haunted me and I could never seem to over come. He stole relationships that I had with friends which would leave me thinking, "What's wrong with them ?", when all along it was me.
My lifes story has many chapters to this day, some short, some long, some happy, some sad but it is still my story. It did not start the way I would have wanted it to, but I can tell you this, it will end the way that God planned for all of our lives to end one day.
That is accepting Him as your personal Savior and allowing Him to be Lord of your life.
How will your story end ?

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have ever lasting life.

Donna Hannah-Boswell
Guest Blogger for my friend Jamie Britt

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Grief Wasn't Enough

 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13, NKJV)

"I'm sorry, but your mom has passed away." These were the words Mary heard while on vacation with her husband. Her mom had been in the hospital suffering from a disease the doctors thought she'd recover from. A few weeks later, this same precious woman would get the news that another one of her family members had also passed from this life. I was able to see Mary in person a couple of days after the family had gone through the second death in 2 weeks. The thing that struck me about her the moment I saw her was her ability to still trust the Lord. She knew who her sustainer was. She knew where her strength came from. Though she was (and still is) hurting, the grief wasn't enough. It wasn't enough to make her stop trusting God. She's clinging to that hope that she knows won't disappoint...that won't leave her side. Are you suffering from the loss of a loved one today? Let me encourage you, don't grieve as those who have no hope. Mary knows she'll see her loved ones again one day.

Father, I lift up my readers today. I pray for each of them who may be going through loss. Hold them close to Your side. In Jesus name, Amen.   

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Beauty of Prayer Warriors

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24, NKJV)

Last week while attending a writers conference, I was able to spend time with a friend I've not seen in 2 years. On the last day, she gave me something I'll never forget. It was something that can't be bought with money, it can't be won in a contest. Susan Stilwell gave me the gift of prayer. Over the last 2 years, I've had her as a sweet prayer warrior. But to have her put her arms around me and say, "let me pray with you," meant the world to me. Out of all the classes I took and all the people I was fortunate to meet, that was the highlight for me. God brings people into our lives when we least expect it. Though we met at a writers retreat, I don't think either of us knew the friendship that would develop. Who in your life is a prayer warior?

Father, thank You for bring such awesome women into our lives. Help us to not take them for granted, to cherish them always. Lord I ask You provide my readers with someone they can call on at anytime for prayer. Lord give them a sweet prayer warrior like I've found in Susan. In Jesus name, amen.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Eyes on the Unseen, by Ann Tatlock

“Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day….We look not at what can be seen, but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”
           2 Corinthians 4: 16,18 (NRSV)

“You should see what they’re cookin’ up in the town for ya!”

Oddly enough, this obscure line from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” flitters through my mind fairly often. The line is spoken by George Bailey who’s talking on the phone to his younger brother, Harry Bailey. Harry has survived the war and it about to return to his hometown of Bedford Falls. Because he earned the Presidential Medal of Honor, the town is planning a huge celebration for Harry.

I thought of those words again two days ago when I went to have a passport photo taken. The girl at the drug store took my picture, popped the memory card into the photo developer and scrolled through a series of face. When she finally stopped at one, I thought, “Leaping lizards, who’s that old lady!” Unfortunately, it was me!

Most of the time, I can ignore the aging process and just go on happily about my business. But then there are those moments when I come face to face, so to speak, with what’s sometimes called the ravages of time. That’s when I realize that the years are passing, and the day is going to come when time really does run out for me.

The thought threatens to send me into a panic, because I’m all too often tempted to think as the world thinks: I’m growing old without accomplishing half of what I wanted to accomplish. I’m running out of time to spend with my friends and loved ones. Another blink of the eye and it’ll be curtains! The end of the show! That’s all folks!

What a despairing thought. And I’m glad that in my heart of hearts, I know it isn’t true. When I’m finished doing my part on this spiritual battlefield, I’ll be ready to go Home. Time will run out but eternity will begin, an Endless Now in which to praise the Lord, be with loved ones, and even do meaningful work.

Even now, I imagine my loved ones who are already in heaven looking down over me and hollering, “You should see what they’re cookin’ up in the town for ya!” With that thought, I can’t help but lift my eyes to the sky in wonder.

Father, we can’t imagine how glorious it will be when we’re finally in Your presence! That will truly be life as you intended, with no more tears, sorrow or death. Meanwhile, while we’re still here in the “battle lands,” help us to set our minds on the things above, and to carry in our hearts your promise of eternal life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ann Tatlock – Guest Blogger

Ann Tatlock is the author of ten novels. Her newest, Sweet Mercy, was released in May 2013 from Bethany House Publishers. Her novel, Promises to Keep, was a 2012 Christy Award winner and was named by Booklist Magazine as one of the top ten historical novels of the year. She has also authored a non-fiction eBook, Writing to a Post-Christian World. Ann enjoys teaching at various writers conferences throughout the year. She lives in Western North Carolina with her husband Bob and their daughter, Laura. Her website is