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Single Minded

    by Michelle Brinson

December 15, 2010

Let me start with an apology for not being consistent with my writing. Seems like I'm a living example of that insurance commercial where it says "Life Comes At You Fast." Honestly, if I were to share with you all that has transpired in the last 3 weeks of my life, I doubt you'd believe me. It's complicated on so many levels. So when you add to my last post about "anxiety" all the things that have happened, I'm in a place of being very "afraid."

I know God's word tells me not to fear.

"Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." Matthew…  ( Click for more )

November 24, 2010

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he makes it very clear that we should not be anxious about anything. Instead we should pray and petition God, be thankful and share our needs with God. The result is peace.

Right now I am desperate for peace. I’d give just about anything to have peace. …  ( Click for more )

November 17, 2010

On Wednesday I had the honor and privilege of singing in the chapel where I work. The men in attendance have embarked upon a seven-month journey as they are participating in a life-recovery program. I’m so proud of them and the commitment they have to getting their lives on track.

I have been so busy this last I’ve lost track of time and am running on adrenaline. On this particular morning, I was very much in a hurry and had to leave early. I put in my practice CD with the songs I was going to be singing that morning and was on my way. As I was driving through my neighborhood,…  ( Click for more )

November 10, 2010

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6

When I was growing up, my dad used to always tell me, “young lady, you better learn to think before you speak, otherwise that mouth of yours is going to get you in trouble.”

My daddy was one of the smartest men I knew. I wish I’d listened to him more. I wish I’d paid more attention to the wisdom he offered. My daddy passed away almost 2 years ago. It was sudden and swift and left us reeling. But his legacy lives on and…  ( Click for more )

November 3, 2010

When you hear the word “surrender” what comes to mind?

Webster’s Dictionary defines it as: “to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand; to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another; to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner; or to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence).

In many cases, to “surrender” implies giving something up. As a follower of Christ, I’ve often heard the phrase to “surrender my will” to God. Some…  ( Click for more )

October 27, 2010

Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8b NIV

It is Satan’s desire to steal, kill and destroy. He wants to do whatever he can to dash our hopes, shatter our dreams and devour us. He doesn’t want us to rely on God.

Satan has several tools in his arsenal that he uses against believers. I’ve often heard these referred to as Satan’s 5Ds

Doubt—We doubt ourselves. We doubt his existence. We doubt family and friends. But the biggest doubt of all…doubting God, His word,…  ( Click for more )

October 20, 2010

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 5:1-5

If asked how to define faith, most Christians…  ( Click for more )

December 19, 2007

"Hold on, help is on the way." "Please hold." "Holding on by a thread." The phrase "hold on" has a variety of meanings like: to hold firmly, to stop and wait as if waiting for further instructions, to hold a phone line open, and to retain possession of. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29 HSCB Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God.…  ( Click for more )

December 12, 2007

This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' Zechariah 13:9 NIV I am proud to call myself a child of God. I am not ashamed of who I am or whose I am. He is my King and I will boldly proclaim Him. His name is Jesus. The LORD is MY God! I love Him so much and I know He loves me too. He is refining me. Why? Because He loves me. How does He refine me? By allowing me to be tested. Tests…  ( Click for more )

October 17, 2007
Jesus loves me! This I know, For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong; They are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so. How many of us haven't heard this song before? Somehow I doubt there are many who are not familiar with this song - even those who did not grow up in church - like myself - have heard this song But how many of us really KNOW this and BELIEVE this? I believe the number of those who doubt Jesus' love for them is far greater than any of us can even imagine. I know so…  ( Click for more )
October 10, 2007
Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103:1-5 NIV Have you ever said something you wish you could take back? Have you ever done something you wish you didn't do? Have you just completely blown it and wish you could get a do-over? I have.…  ( Click for more )
October 3, 2007
Some days I wonder if God hears my prayers at all. Lately, I've been struggling with some situations and find myself talking to God all the time. I pray that God will change my situation, rescue me, change those involved, and give me peace - things like that. Nothing changes. At least nothing I can notice. I wonder what's wrong with me. Am I not praying right? Am I not living the right way? Is this punishment for something I've done or not done? Is He talking to me and I just can't hear Him. I'm not sure what the answer is. But I do know He hears me. He is listening. The…  ( Click for more )
September 19, 2007
I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23 NIV Most days I think of my life as my own. I make my own decisions - like what time to get up, what to wear, and even what route to take to work - and I never give these decisions a second thought. And yet over 10 years ago, I made a decision to give my life to Jesus. I invited Him into my life and asked Him to be Lord of my life. I submitted myself to Him. How quickly and how easily I forget. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life…  ( Click for more )
September 12, 2007
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 NIV What are you most afraid of? Are you afraid of being alone? Of dying? Of losing someone close to you? Of getting fired? Of being told you have cancer? What's your worst nightmare? What are you most afraid of? Imagine it. Then imagine God delivering you from it. I'm not necessarily saying that God will keep you from it. I believe what the Psalmist is suggesting is that even if the worst thing you can imagine happens to you, that in seeking God - in putting Him first, He will…  ( Click for more )
August 29, 2007
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34 NIV Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22 NIV This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 1 John 3:11 NIV For the past week I've been home recovering from surgery. I've been unable to use my right arm and have had to rely on my husband, my family, and my friends to help me with some very basic tasks.…  ( Click for more )
August 22, 2007
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NIV The word "peace" in this verse is the Greek work "eirene" - which when translated means "the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is." I am going to have surgery in the morning. Right now, more than anything, I long for "peace." I've been nervous, anxious and restless. I’ve had a few…  ( Click for more )
August 8, 2007
All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Philippians 3:15-16 NIV So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it. Philippians 3:15-16 The Message Wouldn't the world be a boring place if we all looked…  ( Click for more )
"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" Mark 1:15 NIV Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 NIV "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 NIV I had the most amazing experience last night. A dear precious friend of mine is leading a mission team to Kenya in January. Oh how I wish I were going…  ( Click for more )
July 25, 2007
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:14-15 NIV I was having coffee the other night with one of my best friends when we got into an interesting conversation. I was sharing with her one of my most memorable moments when a friend from church accepted Christ as her Savior. It happened a…  ( Click for more )
July 18, 2007
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the…  ( Click for more )
April 25, 2007
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:29-32 I had a major meltdown yesterday. After three days of dealing with my cable provider over a service issue...…  ( Click for more )
March 28, 2007

...rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

1 Peter 3:4 NKJV

I just recently celebrated my 6 month wedding anniversary. Maybe celebrate isn't the right word... survived, endured, accomplished - those words might be more fitting than celebrated.

Don't get me wrong, I love my husband. But getting married at the age of 37 hasn't been as easy as I initially thought it would. Although I was married once before, I've been "single again" for a long…  ( Click for more )

March 21, 2007

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Psalm 139:1-2 NIV

Have you ever felt like God was far away from you?

I have.

Sometimes I wonder how can God know me, and you, and you, and you, etc.? It's hard to imagine someone so BIG, so OMNIPOTENT. It's beyond my comprehension and sometimes I just want to understand - I want to know how that is possible. If I can't figure it out, solve it or understand it, then I just don't want to deal with it.

I have trouble with relating to someone…  ( Click for more )

March 7, 2007

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 NIV

I've been giving the devil too much credit lately.

I've faced a number of challenges recently... mostly health related - but those have also led to financial challenges too.

With each new blow, I've focused on what the enemy has been trying to do to me.

I am giving him too much credit.

I have forgotten who I am.

I made a decision this past weekend - the enemy had stolen too much from me and I finally said "enough!"

There are so many promises God…  ( Click for more )

February 28, 2007

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NKJV

I just had a birthday. When I was a child, birthdays were a pretty big deal. There was usually a party. There was cake, ice cream, and presents. I can remember counting down the days and being so excited the night before, that I could hardly sleep.

I can remember landmark birthdays, too. When I turned…  ( Click for more )

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