Faye Bryant

How to Prosper and Succeed

Joshua told the people of Israel, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

Now, back then they didn’t have all 66 books like we do, but the implication is clear: learn God and His Law + obey completely = prosper. 

We do so love to skip over that middle part, though, don’t we? Obey everything it says?

We love to go to church and have the Book spoon fed to us, but that’s pre-chewed food: some nutrition, but not nearly enough.

God knew that’s how it would be, so He prompted Joshua to say this and to lead the People to read, study, and learn.

In our culture, there are so many ways to read the Book – an actual book with pages sits idly on a shelf in our homes or a digital, searchable version resides on our favorite device.

The trouble is, we don’t slow down enough to read, much less digest and meditate on what we’ve read.

Then we wonder why our lives seem off-kilter.

We need to change that.

We need to stop thinking that once-a-week pre-chewed meal is all we need. It’s not. It’s just not enough! We have to get through the rest of that day and six others. We need real nourishment from the Father Himself every single day!

Let’s commit to change today. If you’re a believer and not a regular reader of the Bible, pick it up today. Start with the Gospel of John and Proverbs. Read a chapter of each and ask God to show you Himself. Then look! Look into the words. Question why this word or that was used. What does that phrase really mean? And most importantly, how does this apply to me right here, right now?

If you use a Bible app, it likely has reading plans. Use them! The devotions are nice and often helpful, but we need to be reading the Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to explain them and apply them.

Prosperity will become your everyday, but maybe not what you expect. There is a wealth we can’t comprehend in moving nearer to the Lord and walking with Him. Because you’ll be choosing His plans and His ways, you will be successful in all of them.

His Word is waiting! Who’s in?

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

The key to getting what you pray for

Jesus said, “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!”

WOOHOO!!!

I’m asking for a new car and a maid and a nice new house and …

Yeah, uhh, we have to look at this in context, y’all. Jesus isn’t a genie granting our every wish.

Jesus was telling his disciples (including us) about the importance of abiding in Him. He is infinitely more concerned that we abide so closely united with Him that others see little difference than He is about our material desires.

Ouch.

I tend to be the opposite, concerned about my own comfort more than being united with Him.

I’m sorry, Lord.

When we abide in Him, living united with Him, things happen. We become less absorbed in ourselves. Our reactions to situations become different, more like His. WE change.

Our wants, needs, and desires change.

When I’m not remaining united with Jesus, I see all the stuff I’m lacking, and very little actually satisfies me.

When I’m remaining close to Him, seeking His answers, it’s like seeing the same situations, but with corrective lenses. I see truth. I understand His plans a little better.

What He wants for us becomes what we ask Him for and it’s given us.

Let’s work on remaining today. Let’s hold tightly to our Savior and choose to be completely united with Him in every circumstance. He’s not changing or moving, so that’s on us.

Let’s choose to view our circumstances through His corrective lenses today so our thinking is corrected.

Remain.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

FREE AUDIOBOOKS!

Hear ye! Hear ye!

We are giving away FIVE FREE COPIES of the audiobook, Louise | Book 1 of the Grandma, Mom, and Me Saga to US readers,

AND

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Be sure to tell all your friends and family and mild acquaintances!

Drawing at 3 PM EDT on Friday, June 21st.
Perfect way to start Summer!

More than we ask for

Jesus was teaching His disciples (followers) about prayer. He told them examples of shameless persistence and instruction to keep asking, seeking, and knocking, that each has its own reward.

Then he talked about parents, how they wouldn’t give the child who asks for something good something harmful. He noted that we’re such fallible, sinful folk and yet we wouldn’t do that.

He was telling them that the way He answers all that asking, seeking, and knocking will always be beneficial to us, never harmful. It may not look like what we thought we were asking for, but it will be exactly what we need.

Then today’s focus verse, “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

That’s kind of confusing, huh? I mean, we weren’t talking about asking for the Holy Spirit, were we? I even went back a couple times and checked!

Then, that precious, amazing Spirit whispered to me, “I AM the answer to every prayer you pray.”

WHAT???????

Every request,

  • healing
  • guidance
  • wisdom
  • discernment
  • provision
  • protection

… anything and everything
is answered
in the
Holy Spirit of Almighty God!

Whoa. Mind blown.

We ask, God gives us Himself.
We seek, God shows us Himself.
We knock, God opens us up to Himself.

In unlimited supply.

No matter how often we ask, seek, and knock, He is unlimited and He graces us with Himself in unlimited supply.

Oh, friend! That we could capture and hold on to this truth! That we could take our eyes off the here-and-now and gaze into the face of our God to see the compassion He gives!

“Lord, we need a new transmission for the truck.”

“I AM here.”

“Father, Dad is sick, please heal him.”

“I AM here.”

“God, please protect my children today.”

“I AM here.”

When God could simply speak all our needs into existence, instead He gives us Himself in infinite measure. In His presence is peace and joy and love – things we didn’t ask, seek, or knock for, but absolutely what we need.

I’m shaking my head with tears in my eyes at the wonder of our amazing God and how He answers our heartfelt prayers.

Let’s bask in His presence today. Let’s revel in the fact that instead of just giving us what we ask for, He comes to us and gives us so much more!

And as of right now, let’s shamelessly persist in seeking Him for every need we have and ask for others, too.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Honor Mom & Dad, period.

‘Honor your parents’ Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, reminding them it was the first commandment that also carried a promise.

That promise was, ‘things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.’
‭‭
I’ve joked in the past that that meant your parents wouldn’t kill you, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what Paul or God had in mind.

It seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Honor your parents. Boom. That’s it. No caveats. No exceptions. Just honor ‘em.

But what if they’re not honorable? What if they’re abusive? What if they’re neglectful? What if they’re alcoholics or addicts? What if …

God didn’t put a “unless they are not good parents” clause in there. He just said to honor them.

Why, you ask? It’s awfully stiff and unyielding.

Yes. Yes, it is. And I think that’s because we’re such shifty people, seeing everyone and everything through the lenses of our own experiences. We interpret everything subjectively, not objectively.

In the case of parents, we think ours are the cat’s meow until we spend the night with our grandparents or with a friend and see how different they are compared to Mom and Dad, and suddenly, ours aren’t as fabulous anymore.

Subjectiveness at its finest.

God says to be objective in this. Honor those who came together to make you, simply because they are those who came together to make you.

UGH!!!

Many of you have amazing parents who loved you, taught you, and led you in the ways of God, but there’s a large number of people whose parents were nothing like that. They are at best less than honorable and at worst, completely dishonorable.

If those were your parents, you’re still called to honor them, and I get it, you want to obey God, but you can’t bring yourself to even be in the presence of the ones who abused you, who neglected you, who hurt you beyond comprehension. I understand.

Allow me to share a concept that can bring you into obedience to God and freedom in your heart and mind.

Live your life every day in such a way that people look at you and say, “What godly parents you must
have!”

That’s it.

That’s all.

Oh! Don’t correct them in that thought. Smile, say thank you, and move on.

You don’t have to embrace the toxicity of those whose only aim has been to harm you or others. You don’t have to spend time with them. You don’t have to agree with them. You MUST honor them.

(Of course, you do have to forgive them, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.)

Let’s consider today how we honor our mothers and fathers. Maybe we start by not comparing them to other parents and focus on who they are and what they do.

No matter what kind of parents we have, let’s strive to live so close to Jesus that people think our parents were incredibly godly and absolutely wonderful.

We’re not perfect.
Neither are they.
Show them honor.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Father to the fatherless. Defender of widows. Peace and Fear.

David, the man after God’s own heart once wrote a song that included, “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy.”

What peace these words offer!
What fear these words should invoke!

Faye. Fear?
What are you talking about?

The peace delivered by these words is that when the husband of the widow dies, taking all livelihood and financial support with him, God will be that widow’s provider. When her emotional rock is gone, God will be that Rock that sustains her. When her protector has passed, God Himself will protect her.

God.
King of the Universe.
The Righteous One.
God.

He doesn’t say the pain of loss will be gone, but the fear of impending doom is, and therein lies peace. Real peace. And not only peace but strength. The strength to take another breath, to get out of bed, to open the door, to answer the phone, to handle business, to L I V E.

The same for the child left behind. God will be the Provider, making sure that little one’s needs are met, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He will be the Protector, defending these defenseless ones against all attackers. God Himself will become the father to the orphan, filling every role the man who has died was.

(Yes, I am aware of so many situations in this day and time that seem to make these words untrue. I am choosing not to follow that rabbit trail today. Let’s focus on God’s Word and accept it as truth.)

These words should invoke great fear in every sleazy, deceitful soul who seeks to swindle, manipulate, and/or harm any widow or orphan. The judge might jail them, but God can (and just might) condemn them forever. Talk about gaining the world and losing your soul!

Thing is, many of us fall into that category where we should fear and we don’t realize it.

Now, Faye Bryant! I have never tried to swindle a widow or hurt an orphan! Never!

Okay. I hear you.
Have you ever passed up an opportunity to help?

Not long ago I became friends with a lovely woman in Uganda who has heeded the call to care for the orphans in her area. She and her husband, through faith, provide a place to live, food to eat, medical care, and the money for schooling so the children can grow into healthy and productive lives. They teach these children whose worlds have been turned upside down by death or desertion that God is their Father and He loves them so. They do this through generous donations of many people around the world.

I sat back and watched for several months the care she provides, the love she showers on these children, and the way she teaches them about Jesus. I asked God if this was real. He said yes.

When I saw the words, “we are out of food” I was able to pounce on the chance to help. I don’t have a lot of money, but I had enough to help provide some food for those little ones. I promise you, my donation wasn’t a huge one.

I could have turned away, but their Father urged me to give out of my abundance to help them in their need.

Where would I be had I not heeded that call? I believe I would have been no better than the swindlers and manipulators.

I don’t tell you that story to toot my own horn, but to urge you to open your eyes to the opportunities God places around you.

I could have said, “But God, You know our church fully supports an orphanage in Haiti and helps support an orphanage in Southern India. I give to those every month!” But that would have been slapping His hand away from myself. He held the gift of being a blessing up to me and man, I wanted it!

And widows? It’s hard to be there for someone who has lost their everything, but sometimes all we need to do is send a card, take them to lunch, let them cry, and keep an eye on them.

We have a friend who was widowed recently. We encouraged her – actually, we got her to promise not to make any big decisions for at least a year. No selling the house or other life-changing decisions. She agreed.

Within mere weeks, people came out of the woodwork wanting to buy this or that from her, most wanting those things at ridiculously reduced prices. God has used the promise she made to my husband and me to protect her from those nefarious sorts.

We who are called by God’s name are to be His heart and hands and feet on this planet wherever we are, in whatever we do. God is fathering the orphans and defending the widows and we must be about joining Him in that.

How will we join Him today?

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Love includes confrontation.

Peter wrote to believers in Jesus, “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”

Because of my past, I had a real problem with that last phrase. Coverups aren’t a good thing to me.

However, I fully believe that God gave those words to Ol’ Pete to put down on paper, so I decided to examine what He meant.

What I learned is that this ‘covering a multitude of sins’ does NOT mean whitewashing sin or ignoring it. It certainly doesn’t mean hiding it and acting as though it never happened, allowing the sinner to continue on in that sin, harming others and themselves.

What it means is that our deep love for other believers will cause us to confront their wrongdoing, whether it’s missing the mark (sin), a rebellion against God (transgression), or a perversion of something created good (iniquity).

That confrontation shouldn’t include shouting and finger-pointing. It should be more like Nathan’s confrontation of King David. Calm and laid out by the Spirit. It’s being done from a place of love.

To me, this is the greatest act of love any Christian can do. It’s great to be there for someone who is grieving, celebrating, or wrapped in chaos, but to me, those pale in comparison to walking to the brink of eternal disaster and bringing one back to the fold of God.

Let me clear that up. I do not believe that a person who is truly a follower of Jesus, a person who is really saved, will ever be dropped by the King. I do think there are some people who have followed rules and culture and have deluded themselves and others into believing they are saved. God says we know the truth of that matter by the fruit that’s borne.

If a person is truly saved, has truly accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for their salvation from eternal condemnation, then they take up a sin that they continue in, they WILL suffer eternal disaster – their relationship with the Savior is tarnished, the crowns they could have laid at His feet are not there, and never will be. I can’t imagine being sad in Heaven, but I’m sure some will be less happy than others.

If we can love our fellow believers enough to show them their sin and walk them back to the redemption of Almighty God, we have not only rescued that one, we have rescued those hurt by that one, because the brother or sister we’ve confronted will seek forgiveness and reconciliation and make whatever restitution is needed. They are agreeing that what they did was wrong and they will do whatever it takes to be forgiven and to make that other person as whole as possible.

Unfortunately, in today’s church world it has become commonplace to never confront anyone because it will hurt – either their feelings or their reputation.

Umm. Okay?

Which is better, to suffer the brief acute pain of dealing with the sin perpetrated and seeking forgiveness and making restitution OR to endure the chronic pain of ignoring it and whitewashing it and allowing it to continue?

Great love forgives.
To forgive, one must examine what needs forgiving.
To be forgiven, one must accept that they have sinned against God and others. That requires self-examination.

This one is hard, y’all. We don’t want to alienate anyone. We don’t want to hurt their feelings. We don’t want to rock the boat.

Our deep love for one another requires it, though. So today, let’s love deeply, not by nitpicking the sins of others, but by being mindful of our own lives and watchful for others. If there is an offense, go to the offender like Jesus said in Matthew 18.

Your deep love for another believer may bring real redemption to them and healing for the hurting.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

How’s YOUR love game?

“Love is patient and kind” scripture tells us.

“Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude” Paul wrote.

“It does not demand its own way” God’s word declares.

“It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged” the Good Book states.

How’s YOUR love game?

We hear these words so often at weddings and that’s a good thing. The melding of two lives into one is a tricky task. It requires the give-and-take of real love.

The kind of love God gives us.

Wait, what?

Yep. We’re pretty hard for God to stomach sometimes.

Yet He doesn’t just pinch our heads off! Instead He patiently calls us out of the poor choices we’re making and the looming consequences of those choices. He kindly provides a path for us to follow and His Spirit to walk with us.

God gives us an example of pure love that cherishes the person regardless of the acts. His love is rooted in the purest holiness and truth. When we are within its reach, wrapped in its warmth, we understand the errors we have chosen and for many of us, change happens. Some choose to step out of that loving embrace, choosing self and sin instead.

Paul wrote these words, prompted by the Holy Spirit, to the Christians at Corinth as a guide for how to treat others. He likely had the two greatest commandments Jesus had spoken in the back of his mind: Love God with all you are and love others as you do yourself.

Our world is quite similar to Corinth of that day. Worldwide crossroads – we’re so connected! Not by actual roads, but by wireless signals that stretch across the globe. Commerce driven – they sold and resold tons of various goods, we do too. Cultural diversity born of those buyers and sellers coming and going. Busy night and day satisfying needs, wants, and desires. Oftentimes at the expense of the personhood of the buyer and/or seller – or both.

Those who follow Jesus are called to a higher plane. Yes, we can buy, sell, and trade! Yes, we can engage people; we’re supposed to.

Our engagements with people are supposed to be different, though.

• Patient and kind.
• Never jealous, boasting, proud or rude.
• Never demanding our own way.
• Never irritable.
• Never keeping a ledger of wrongs
against us.

From children to the elderly, this is how we’re to treat people: from a place of love.

Whether they look like us or not.
Whether they believe like us or not.
Whether they love like us or not.

Even if they’re in the left lane driving slow or don’t use their turn signal.

Even if they stop in front of the grocery aisle we need to get to.

Even if they look weird to us.

We will never encounter another human being who is not created in God’s image with a God-purpose deep in their DNA, no matter how they believe or act.

Sometimes our love is so simple. A smile, a hello, an encouraging word. Sometimes it’s truth that person desperately needs to hear.

The trouble is, like so many things in the Believer’s walk, we try to do it in our own power, and we just can’t do it.

Oh, I can be patient and kind, right up until I get in the car alone. Then I look like an enraged bear, my mouth snapping, teeth bared, head moving back and forth. UNLESS I have surrendered me to the Lord, letting Him do the work in me causing me to love beyond myself.

This love thing is so HARD!
This love thing is so EASY!

Let’s give it a try today. Let’s look at every person as a one and only special creation of God in His image and cherish them just for that.

Let’s do this for our spouse, our parents, our children, our siblings, our church, and every stranger we come in contact with.

Let’s choose to toss out the ledger we’ve been keeping. You know, that mental list of everything he/she has done that just irritated us to death? Toss it into the flames of chosen forgetfulness, forgiving them as it lands.

Let’s choose to surrender to Jesus and keep our hands off the reins that direct and guide us.

Let’s up this love game to God-sized, then do it all again tomorrow until forever.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Be blessed: Work for peace.

“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” -Jesus

Seems simple enough, right?

Except I believe in our time, we’ve gotten this somewhat misconstrued. Peace is not simply the absence of conflict.

How many times have you been involved in a battle of some kind and have it ended but not resolved? Is there peace in the midst of that time without the warring?

The simple answer is no.

The emotions that fueled the battle are still there, swirling and whirling in the minds of all the combatants.

Peace comes with resolution of conflict, when all parties can come to the table and share their deepest concerns and have them heard, have them validated, and hopefully make the choice to forgive and let go of that which fuels them in their battle.

The people who take on the task of working for this kind of resolution must be strong, willing to shush those who want to argue instead of listen. They must be willing to take the brunt of everyone’s anger and not break. They must be able to calm outbreaks of anger and draw people out of angry denial to peaceful choices.

Those who work for peace are often misidentified as part of the conflict itself because they don’t just pat an arm or speak softly, but God sees. God knows their hearts. He is often the One directing them, and definitely the One blessing them.

The cool thing is, we can all work for peace, wherever we are. A spat between children, an argument between adults, we can all offer to be the safe space for all sides to speak their peace and come to common agreement – even if it’s peaceful disagreement.

Let’s not cower away from this job today. Let’s listen and watch for opportunities to help others find peace by being willing to listen to all sides and walk with them to the resolution they’re all longing for.

We will find immeasurable blessings along the way.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.