Faye Bryant

Safety from The Scary Things

Where do you find your safety from The Scary Things?

Several times throughout their history, Israel faced tremendous enemies. Sometimes, they trusted God and did what He said. (Yay!)

Other times they consulted God then, despite His answer, sent for help from other nations. (Boo!)

It’s easy to sit on this side of history and chuckle at the absurdity of those failed choices, but how often do we do the same?

God has told us to remain in that house we own, but friends say, “The market is right! You can get the house you always wanted!” So we sell and move…. right out of God’s will for us.

We seek God for life change in a loved one who has strayed from God’s path and He keeps telling us to be patient. Instead, we go to that person and force the issues, driving them further away and taking us out of His will.

There are many ways we choose to trust in something or someone other than God. See, we’re to trust God alone. No add-ons. No extras. Just God.

Now before we go hog wild and pig crazy, I believe that God gave us counselors and doctors to be His healing touch here on Earth. I believe we should still consult Him to determine if we should seek one and if so, whom.

In every case, when The Scary Things rear their ugly heads, we must go first to God, then do what He says.

Seems simple enough.

Not sure how you’re going to pay for that need you have? Seek God’s take on the issue and do what He says.

Facing a terminal illness? Seek God’s take on the issue and do what He says.

Rebellious children? Seek God’s take on the issue and do what He says.

Troubles at work? Seek God’s take on the issue and do what He says.

Confusion and chaos reigning over your life? Seek God’s take on the issue and do what He says.

We can make a #LifeChange today by simply choosing to seek God for every answer. Make Him your place of safety from The Scary Things and live abundantly in Him.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Being humble

‘Humble yourself’ Peter wrote.

Does that mean to bow my head when I pray?

Yes, and more.

See, when Peter wrote the word ταπεινόω which is translated as humble, he meant “to become low.” Word study shares, “humility, true lowliness happens by being fully dependent on the Lord – dismissing reliance upon self (self-government) and emptying carnal ego. This exalts the Lord as our all-in-all and prompts the gift of His fullness in us.”

Webster says it’s “ranking low in a hierarchy.”

Once again, it’s all about the heart. That part of us that sometimes we don’t even understand. If our heart position is haughty before Almighty God, we’re in trouble.

God chastised Job for trying to counsel Him – as though Job knew anything about anything.

In Psalms and Isaiah we see His words telling about spreading the sky over the earth like a tent curtain and weighing the mountains in His hands.

We’re not there, my friends. We’re just not there.

Oh, we’re a smart lot. We know things. But God knows more, much, much more.

We must never entertain the thought that we’re so smart, so accomplished, so well off that we don’t need God.

We must remember that our every breath comes from Him. We can’t even breathe without Him! That’s pretty humbling, don’t you think?

And do you see the rest of this verse? When we remain humble, at a certain time, He will lift us up.

That doesn’t mean we’ll be famous, but have you ever looked at Ephesians 2:10? God calls us His masterpiece, His finest work, ready for display. I believe that when the time is right, when we’ve been completely humble before God, He will lift us up and say, “Do you see my son/daughter? Look at him/her. See what I have been able to do in him/her? Follow this example.”

Oh glorious day! To be chosen by the Father to be lifted up as an example of what He has done with little old me!

I don’t know about you, but I want God to be that pleased with me. I want my life to impact the Kingdom of God, to show other believers how incredibly awesome our God really is.

Are you ready? Today, let’s look at the hierarchy and see God at the very top and us at the bottom. It’s not a ladder to climb. We’ll always be lower than Him, and that’s okay, because, my goodness! How He loves us!

Learn to walk and breathe and live with the knowledge and attitude of being fully dependent on the Creator.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Strip it all off

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

Another “therefore” so let’s talk about what it’s there for.

Chapter 11 of Hebrews talks about heroes of the faith, some named, others not. People who endured incredible persecution and even death – with faith unwavering.

That’s the crowd of witnesses. They’ve observed and lived the life of faith. We can rely on their stories as excellent roadmaps for our own faith.

Because we’ve seen what they accomplished, we can choose to do as they did: strip off every weight that slows us down.

Huh?

Yeah, I’ve struggled with that, too. Here’s what I’ve experienced. For years – a lot of them – I lived my life trying to please people. I thought I was trying to please God, but really, I was trying to meet the expectations of the people around me.

When I finally stripped that weight from me, choosing to accept me as God designed me, I felt a freedom. It’s a freedom to follow Him in faith regardless of what others think or say.

Another weight I bore was perfectionism – which is based in fear and goes hand in hand with the people pleasing. This one not only weighted me down, it tangled my feet, bringing me to a full halt.

Do you see the theme here? These things, these weights stopped me from doing what God designed me to do — my purpose.

Almighty God designed every one of us humans with a purpose. Ultimately that purpose is to bring Him glory, but we’re all designed differently, with unique plans to accomplish what He has laid out for us.

It’s time we choose Him and His plans over the fear of failure, the anxiety for the future, the need to please people. It’s time to accept that we are God’s most excellent creation, designed with intricate care for a specific purpose.

It’s time to cast off the weights and get to running this race well.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Love, not sacrifices.

When God said these words through His prophet Hosea, times were rough and the messages were hard to swallow.

The people had gotten complacent about their offerings, their sacrifices, as if throwing up another one to keep them right with God. Once that chore was done, they would move in to the important thing: their own pleasure.

God smacked them with, “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.”

There are other places we see these words echoed. Seems the people thought offering their grain, oil, and animals eliminated their need to show mercy to their neighbors.

Do we do this today?

Think about when a natural disaster hits. When my husband and I had the opportunity to go to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc, we saw the outpouring of clothing and goods in semi after semi. We also saw the organization where much money was donated turn certain people away. What was most telling was seeing fewer than forty volunteers covering the parish to help get trees off roofs and tarps in place.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m so grateful for every person who said yes to a call to help. Every roll of paper towels, every can of corn, every package of diapers, every case of water was a treasure to those whose lives had been rocked.

Still, there was nothing like looking into the eyes of the woman whose house had been dark for a week, no water, little food, and handing her a box of the things she desperately needed.

There was nothing like sitting with the lady whose house had been invaded by a fallen tree tell the story of how she had been standing right there just moments before and how God had rescued her and her whole family.

When we extend love by extending ourselves instead of our wallets, there’s a difference. Maybe not in man’s economy, but most definitely in God’s.

And the second part of that verse, “I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.” (Bet you thought I’d leave that part off, huh?)

God doesn’t want our hat tip at Him as we walk through our routine each day.
Get up ✔️
Brush teeth ✔️
Grab coffee ✔️
Do devotional ✔️
Work! ✔️
Supper ✔️
Help kids with homework ✔️
Bed ✔️

He wants us to know Him.
Check out Philippians 3:10 in the Amplified Version: “For my determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection, which it exerts over believers, and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even to His death, in the hope”

THAT is knowing Him.

As much as I love devotionals – heck, I wrote one – we’re not going to know God through them alone. Knowing God on the intimate level Paul wrote about requires time in His book. I get it. Sometimes it’s hard to understand. Try a different version. There are several I use that are true translations from the original languages. Find the one that is easiest for you to understand, then read it. Ask questions. Write those down, then when you get the answers, write those down. Dig in. Take a week to read a chapter. It’s not a race.

And when you know Him better, every area of your life will change. Oh, the routine may stay the same, but your outlook on rising, coffee, work, and family will be different.

Let’s give it a try today. Pick a chapter and dig into it. Keep digging until you find God. He said He would be found when you search with all your heart.

Love. Know.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.‭‭

I’m a FINALIST!

What an exciting night, I didn’t know I could hold my breath that long!

Thank you to everyone who voted and helped me reach this milestone! Now to keep at it to reach the podium at the Author Academy Award Ceremony on October 25th in Columbus, Ohio.

I need your votes all over again. Please visit the Author Academy Awards website and scroll to page 8 (Historical Fiction). Look for the cover of Louise and click it to vote. I’m not sure I’ll sleep a wink tonight!

You don’t belong to yourself.

Paul wrote in this letter to the Believers at Corinth – a huge trading city, entertaining all sorts of pagan religions and rites – talking about living in obedience to Christ.

Shifting from living as the pagan culture around them was difficult for some of the Church at Corinth and Paul addresses that in his letters. Here he is talking about what they did with their bodies. In their culture, prostitution wasn’t a big deal. They even had prostitutes who served as part of the rites at some of the temples.

Paul is battling the thinking that promiscuous behavior is okay.

He doesn’t use a morality ploy. The people don’t see this as immoral. Instead he reminds them of whose they are.

He wrote, “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’ — but not everything is good for you. And even though ‘I am allowed to do anything,’ I must not become a slave to anything.”

We absolutely do have freedom in Christ. But just like it’s not right to yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater, using our bodies for sexual immorality isn’t either.

Paul talks about how when we join our bodies sexually, we bond our souls. We become one body with that person. It’s not a physical thing — we can physically walk away and there’s no problem, unless pregnancy or disease develop.

Paul was talking about the spiritual and emotional aspect. Oh, I know, in today’s culture, it’s no big deal for a man or a woman to have multiple partners. It’s even expected! There are even television shows that promote that behavior. There’s no big emotional tie to two bodies coming together for pleasure! Get real, Faye!

Yeah, I’m sorry. If God, through Paul, said there is a spiritual and emotional tie that is a part of the act of sex, then whether you agree with that thought or not, there is a spiritual and emotional tie to the act of sex.

Paul says we should RUN from sexual sin. He said it’s the only sin that so clearly affects the body, and the reason is that sexual immorality is a sin against our own bodies.

Whoa. What?

Paul goes to to say — and I’m totally paraphrasing here — “Besides, don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit of Almighty God? When you accepted salvation, He was given to you by God Himself. Since you got saved, you don’t belong to you anymore. God paid a HUGE price for you, so honor God with your body.”

Just like everything else in our lives, this involves a choice. If the Word says that sexual promiscuity dishonors us and God, then we should make the choice to not do that. The same with any other sin: gossip, gluttony, theft, murder, slander, etc.

If we call ourselves followers of Jesus, we should obey His commands. All of them. We don’t get to pick and choose which ones. Our choice is between us and God. Will we choose what pleases us or what pleases God?

Maturity is when that choice is the same: what pleases God pleases us.

The best news is, if we’ve made the choices that aren’t God-honoring, we can receive God’s forgiveness for them. All we have to do is agree with God that what we did was sin (confess), turn from that path to following Jesus (repent), and know that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Mind you, though, that means leaving that way behind and not picking it up again. Continuing in the sin doesn’t please God and it cheapens His grace.

Choose Him. Choose Life. Choose Joy. Choose Peace.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Time to get going!

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

I once had a pastor who said, “Whenever you see a “therefore” in scripture, take a look to see what it’s there for.”

Maybe he was the one who taught me to examine all around the verse to better understand.

Here we find the eleven apostles at the foot of a particular mountain because the resurrected Jesus had told them to be there at that time.

As they’re hanging out there, checking their watches, Jesus walks up and tells them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.” Then he charges his closest friends on Earth with making disciples of all the nations.

That ‘given all authority’ is huge. He was saying that ALL power of ABSOLUTE rule was His. Once again, He declares Himself Almighty God.

He does that just before He tells His followers to go into all nations to help the people learn of Him, believe in Him and obey Him. Once those people became followers, they were to be baptized.

That must have seemed an exceptionally daunting task! Just getting to the nations would prove difficult, not to mention that throughout the Roman Empire, they were being hunted down and killed.

Still, in order to obey the Savior – the one they had seen die on the cross, laid in the grave, then alive and standing before them – they had to get to work.

Just how do you accomplish this, though? Eleven men? Well, when we read Acts, we see how they shared the truth about Jesus one day and had THREE THOUSAND choose to believe and follow the Lord. That crew had to be taught how to obey the commands given by Jesus. Then they started telling others and those started telling more. This telling grew exponentially, and now you and I hear the story of Jesus because those eleven were obedient. Is your mind blown yet?

The thing I’m guilty of is inviting people to church more than I invite them to Jesus. I’ve got to work on that.

We can say that is living a Christian life in front of others causes them to want to know the Lord, but if that were the case, why aren’t more coming to Him?

Could it be because we are fallible people and others can’t get past us to see Him?

Jesus said GO. I don’t think that requires a passport. I think that means intent. I believe that wherever we go, whatever we do, we must be ready and willing to help people know of Jesus and what He did for us, help them believe in Him and obey His words.

Our workplace isn’t just where we go to earn money, it’s where we go to display the Lord, to help others know of Jesus, believe in Him and obey Him.

Our home is the same. Every place we go is the same.

What do you say? Today, let’s get intentional about obeying the Lord by discipling others.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Who will go?

I love Isaiah 6. I love the thought that the sight of God is overwhelming. I love that in His presence, angels cry out His holiness. I love that in that Presence, Isaiah can’t help but cry out a confession of who he really is. I love that the angels lift a coal from the altar and cleanse Isaiah with it after His confession.

How many of us need a revelation like this?

How many of us need to get quiet enough before God that we can see Him, hear His angels, feel the searing of that coal?

We are busy people. When was the last time you sat on the porch with family or friends and just talked? Told stories? Laughed? Wept?

How much do we miss in our busyness?

Had Isaiah missed these moments, he would have never heard the Lord speak those next words and he wouldn’t have had the answer ready, either.

God said, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”

To which Isaiah replied, “Here I am. Send me.”

What if God has been asking this question of us and we’ve been missing it?

Maybe today we need to slow down. Especially in the Lord’s presence.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Amazing Faith

Jesus was in his home base of Capernaum. He logged a lot of hours in the town and surrounding area.

One day as He was going along, a heathen unbeliever, a Gentile, one of the oppressors walked up to Him. This Roman officer came up to Jesus and told Him about one of his young slaves. The boy was paralyzed and in great pain.

He came because he had heard that Jesus healed people.

This is important to notice because there is so much going on here.

This Roman officer is a slave owner, yet he cares for this boy whose very life he controls. His care isn’t minor, sending another slave to find Jesus and get help. No. It’s huge! He walks himself around the town until he finds the One known to heal.

When he found Jesus, he pleaded with Him. A Roman officer pleading? It just didn’t happen! The Romans were there as the conquerors. Whatever they said was law, jump to it!

Yet this guy came to Jesus and asked. He called Him “Lord,” and asked for help for the least in his household.

Jesus said he would come right away and do as the officer asked. (Whew! That’s a quick answer to prayer!)

This man of significant authority said that wasn’t necessary. He explained that He understood the chain of command and how it worked. A higher ranking officer gave an order and it was carried out.

The Roman officer told Jesus that he knew if Jesus just declared the boy healed it would be done.

This is some amazing faith! This man who had not grown up learning of God, who didn’t know the Torah or the prophets, had a greater understanding of who Jesus was than those who walked with Him day after day.

This man, this pagan Gentile, declared Jesus supreme. He said that no matter where Jesus stood, He could speak healing over the paralyzed boy and the boy would be healed. He proclaimed Jesus as Sovereign.

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!

I don’t know about you, but I want to be like that officer. I want my faith to be amazing to God.

You?

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Coming Soon

You’ll hear Louise speak about her life, then you’ll hear her daughter, Elaina, answer each point about the same aspects of her life.

Picture a 22-year-old woman in Detroit. She’s lost everything. She’s hurt and angry and doesn’t know where to turn. Those she thought would be beside her have instead betrayed her.

Coming Soon: “Elaina, Book 2 of the Grandma, Mom, and Me Saga.”