Category: <span>thoughts by Mary Pinckney</span>

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Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”  Hebrews 10:35-36 (ESV)

Lately, I have witnessed so many people settling for less, whether in life, love, relationships, or even in their walk with God. It is almost as if every disappointment they’ve experienced has taken root and blocked their view of the wonderful blessings that lie ahead. Not only has fear set in, but complacency as well. The desire to pursue the promises of God has become buried deep under the pain they have encountered. Many have stopped believing that God will perform what he has promised.

If you find yourself in a similar place, my prayer is that you will give yourself permission to dream again. It’s not the time or the place for you to quit and throw in the towel. There is so much more in store for you. I know from experience it is hard to see the forest for the trees, but if you take a step back and reexamine your life you may get a different perspective on where you are currently.

How has God shown himself faithful to you? Have you witnessed his grace in difficult seasons over the years? What good can come out of the season you find yourself in now? I beg you not to give up now. As our Scripture states, you have need of patient endurance. The challenges you are facing can work out for your good. Maybe this is a time to refocus and begin again. Trust that God is with you and he will not fail you.

Father, my prayer today is for each and every one that reads this and feels as though this is the end of the road for them. I pray that you will awaken them to the possibilities that still lie ahead of them. Heal the wounds that have stopped them from dreaming and open their hearts to dream again. Show yourself Mighty and strong on their behalf in Jesus’ name!

By Mary Pinckney
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This is what the Lord says: ‘There will be a special time when I show my kindness. Then I will answer your prayers. There will be a special day when I will save you.?  Then I will help you and protect you.’”  Isaiah 49:8 (ERV)

Frustration has been on the rise because we have dealt with so many challenges this year.

Many of us have been praying and anxiously awaiting answers from the Lord about what is next. Tempers are flaring and many are contemplating giving up and letting go of their promises from the Lord. I beseech you today my brothers and sisters to hold on just a little while longer.

Oftentimes we tempt the hand of God by our temper tantrums, pity parties, and issuing ultimatums. Whenever challenges arise, we must make it a point to remain in agreement with the Lord’s will.

Today’s Scripture reference stood out to me as I sought the Lord recently concerning some pressing issues. It immediately spoke hope and peace to my heart. I want to do the same for you. The Lord says there is a special time when your answers will be made known. He does everything according to his perfect plan and his purpose for us. We simply must trust his heart of compassion towards us.

My prayer for you today is that you will no longer look at what is not happening, but focus on what the Lord has already spoken. It is vital to hang on to every word that the Lord speaks in this season. He always guides us with his eyes upon us.

Father, it is not always easy to trust you when we cannot see our way. Circumstances get the best of us and overshadow our faith more often than not. Help us to trust you even when we cannot understand what is going on. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Lord is at work in the midst of your situation. He is moving on your behalf. 

By Mary Pinckney
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“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT

Worship God when you find yourself burdened with the cares of this world. Worship him when you feel lost and alone. Worship him when you are afraid. Worship him when you are hurting, and the pain seems to linger longer than expected. It is when we worship our God that we begin to create an atmosphere of worship that brings freedom.

Isaiah 61:7 encourages the believer to put on a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” It is here that we find how fear dissipates. It is in the presence of the Lord. All cares and concerns can be left at the feet of Jesus. It is here that the power of the Holy Spirit is present to heal, set free, and deliver. It is in the atmosphere of worship that the Holy Spirit begins to comfort. It is here that the peace of God becomes evident.

Freedom reigns when we worship. In our own humanness, we believe we have all the answers. When we begin to place ourselves under the authority of our Heavenly Father, exalting him and not ourselves or our situation, we find that he begins to show up. When his Spirit is present, we can find rest in his love for us.

Today, if you find yourself in any of the circumstances mentioned above, take a moment to do as David did in Psalm 34. Command your soul to praise the Lord. Begin to change the atmosphere around you in order to hear clearly and receive the hope your soul so desperately needs today.

Father, today I recognize the power of your presence to heal, set free, and deliver me from a place of brokenness. Help me to exchange my pain, my heaviness, and my fears for your peace, love and soundness of mind. Thank you for always showing up in my situation. Thank you for always being present in my life. I love you, Lord. Amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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Commit your works to the Lord [submit and trust them to Him], And your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance].”
Proverbs 16:3 (AMP)

Self-effort has been one of my greatest struggles — I have always been wrapped up in my performance. Everything had to be done to the point of perfection. In my mind, being perfect was the only way for people to like me and accept me. I didn’t feel valued otherwise. Sadly, this is a trap that many people find themselves in.

Upon accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I learned I could be content resting in His love for me, and I could rely on His grace in my times of weaknesses. It is through His empowerment that I could face any challenge that arises daily.

Do I always get it all right? No, absolutely not. I still get a big head at times, but the gentle nudges from the Holy Spirit often help to bring me back to reality. He reminds me that self-reliance is an enemy to God — it’s where pride begins. And I never want to take God’s place in my own life.

Are you struggling with letting go of the reigns in your own life today? I encourage you to commit your ways to Him. When you begin to trust yourself to His unfailing love, you will find that He will never let you down. You may not always agree with the way He does everything, but you can trust His heart towards us. His plan is to do you good and not evil and to give you an expected end.

Father, we take so much pride in doing what we know is best. We get lost in our own ability and neglect the help You have freely given. Teach us to value Your grace in our everyday life. Teach us to recognize the grace You have given us to accomplish what You have called us to. I pray that every day we will commit our works to You so that You will establish our thoughts. May our eyes be open to the countless rewards that await us when we do it Your way and not our own. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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“..And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB)

STOP trying to do it all in your own strength.

HIS Grace is Enough!

I know it’s easier said than done, but when pressure mounts, don’t resort back to the old way of thinking. Neither return to what you used to do.  It didn’t work then and it won’t work now.

Remember, in order to see changes you must persevere even when it hurts! Change within comes when you keep fighting. His grace is sufficient for you.

Lord, allow us to see the obstacles that come our way as stepping stones to victory rather than another hindrance to us moving forward.

By Mary Pinckney
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Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Do you remember this old adage? It would often be heard on a schoolhouse playground as children were teasing each other, pretending not to be bothered by the insults that came their way.

But our pretending doesn’t end with childhood; as adults, we try to convince ourselves that the sting of sharp words does not affect us. The truth is, we are deeply wounded by the verbal abuse we encounter on a daily basis. And we’re not immune to being abusers ourselves. As we interact with others, we must choose daily whether we will use our words to bring hurt or healing.

James 1:9 summed it up best by saying

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”.

As born again believers, the nature of God should help govern our hearts and minds. It is up to us to choose words that are not offensive to God and our neighbors.

My challenge to you today is to begin to focus on what is going on in your heart. Luke 6:45 tells us that out of the abundance of the heart, our mouth speaks. Have you paid much attention to this connection?  If you are housing bitterness, anger, or resentment, you are sure to spew out poison towards others that cross your path. Our words can either heal or destroy relationships. It is up to us to determine the outcome we desire.

Father, forgive us for not always paying attention to the words we speak. May we allow You to create within us a clean heart and renew within us a right spirit. Let the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, oh Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had suffered from a skin disease. While Jesus was sitting there, a woman went to him. She had a bottle of very expensive perfume made from pure nard. She opened the bottle and poured the perfume on his head.  Some who were there were irritated and said to one another, “Why was the perfume wasted like this?  This perfume could have been sold for a high price, and the money could have been given to the poor….” Mark 14:3-5 (GW)

Imagine how valuable this oil was to the woman in this story. It had to be one of her most prized possessions, her treasure.  Just as she stored up her perfume, in a container that would hold, so do we. Our treasure is not one of oil or an ointment but what we hold dear to our hearts. Our pain, disappointments, fears, and insecurities; have become our treasure and our hearts have become the alabaster box.

Brokenness is not a weakness as you suppose, it is my strength says the Lord.  In your weakness My strength becomes yours.  Will you give him your treasure?  Will you allow your brokenness to produce the healing that you need?    Today the Lord desires to make an exchange with you. He gives beauty for ashes. He gives strength for our fears.  He gives us the oil of gladness for our sorrows.  Are you ready to pour your heart out to Him in exchange for healing and wholeness?

God, I am ready. No more holding back, no more storing up treasures that will only hinder my growth and keep me from living the life that You have so graciously died to give me. Today I make an exchange with you. No more baggage. No more fear. No more insecurity. No more resentment. Today, I take up your yoke. Today I receive your grace. Today, I choose to walk in freedom.

By Mary Pinckney
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“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

Stop running! Don’t you know who you are?  You are a child of the Most High God. You are more than a conqueror! You were born to win! Instead of throwing in the towel every time you are challenged, it is time to step up to the plate and defeat what has been defeating you.

As believers, I believe we often forget that the power of God has been made available to us in our daily lives.  Much like Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, we try to avoid dealing with challenges that come our way.  When we are not avoiding them, we try to play God in our own lives and do it all in our own strength.

Our salvation is not based on our works, but on our believing!  It is all through faith.  Remember upon the finished work of the cross, the Grace and Power of God was made available to you and me as we accepted the sacrifice of Jesus.   IT IS FINISHED!  When He uttered those 3 words on the cross it gave us access to that Grace and Power. What good news!

Again, we find Paul asking God each time to take away his weaknesses, his frailties, his mess-ups, only for God to respond; “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” This would have angered many of us. We want to be free instantly.

Take a look at Titus 2:11-12 (AMP) “For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind. 12 It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world.”  His Grace is Power!  It instructs us, equips us and empowers us.

It is by the grace of God that we are destined to conquer, destined to win. It is not by our own might, nor by our own power, but by the Spirit of Almighty God.  Take a lesson from Paul today and be a winner! From this point on, learn to boast in your weaknesses and allow His Grace and Power to be manifested in your life.

Father, forgive us for running from our challenges. I pray that we will begin to face every obstacle head on knowing and trusting that you have already equipped us with the Grace and Power needed to overcome every obstacle in Jesus Mighty Name Amen.

What are you afraid of?

Are you ready to embrace those fears and allow the power of God to be made known in your life? Do you realize the need to deal with your fears before moving forward?

By Mary Pinckney
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“The moment I called out, you stepped in; you made my life large with strength.” Psalm 138:3 (MSG)

Quit giving up on yourself before you get started. You are already victorious!

Quit counting yourself out. You are stronger than you think!

Quit selling yourself short. You are more than a conqueror!

Quit trying to take shortcuts. You are so worth the effort!

Quit feeling sorry for yourself.  You have what it takes! It takes you believing in yourself.

At any time now, you can throw in the towel. However, my encouragement to you today is this; give yourself a chance to get it right.

Lord, today I recognize my own ability to sabotage the work that you have begun in me. Grant me the grace to continue holding on, even when times get tough. Grant me the wisdom to know what to do at those very moments of insecurity. Grant me focus I need to help me stay on task. Most of all, grant me the love and the support I need to stay encouraged along the way. In Jesus name, Amen

Grace and Peace to you,
By Mary Pinckney
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“The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. His Spirit is a source of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (ERV)

Father, I so long to be bold and courageous as You have called me. I understand that You have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind but I still often shutter at the thought of change and a lack of consistency in my life. May I recount Your promises daily to help me walk out the path that You have shown me. Just as Abraham was considered a friend of God because He believed and trusted in You regardless to his situation, I want to also walk forward in the unknown knowing that You will never leave me nor forsake me. Help me to recall that you hold me in the palm of Your hand and no enemy can snatch me out. Help me to remember that You are my hiding place, my secret shelter, I can run to Your arms of safety when I am afraid. Help me to walk in the light that You have provided through Your love letter to me. Help me to recall that I can do all things through Christ who infuses me with inner strength. Today, I recommit my life into Your trust believing that You will perfect all things that concern me. Today, I choose to walk boldly as You hold my hand through every trial, every temptation, every new path that I will face. Today, I choose to trust You Lord. In Jesus name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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“And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows” 1 Thessalonians 3:12 (NLT)

Over the last couple of months, we have been faced with the challenges of trying to control a growing pandemic. Covid-19 has crippled countries, cities, businesses, families, you name it. Loved ones are dying alone. Essential workers are being overworked.

One sure way to defeat it has been to stay away from anyone that has been affected by it. With this has come much anxiety, frustration, and bickering even amongst families. How do we regroup and regain our bearings after being knocked out of our comfort zones?

How about the start of a new epidemic today? One of love and compassion.

One of genuine concern about our fellow brothers and sisters. We have witnessed many random acts of kindness on different occasions, but is it enough?

If we were all to put ourselves in the shoes of those working extra shifts, missing their loved one’s last moments, or dealing with domestic abuse because of stay at home orders, what would be the response? We are all touched by the same enemy. Being able to be the hands and feet of Jesus in these moments would be a great testimony of our Lord.

My challenge is to begin today in prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to those that you can help in this season. It may be as simple as a phone call. Whatever the case, let love overflow from the depths of your heart and may this epidemic of love spread like wildfire in our land.

Lord, right now we need you more than ever. We are all hurting in some way that is unimaginable. I pray today that your love would overflow from each of us into this lost and dying world. I pray that we would lay aside ourselves and become more concerned for each other. I pray that we would begin to extend the hands and feet of Jesus to our fellow brethren regardless of race, sex, or creed. Let your unfailing love abound in this land. Draw others to you by our daily actions. May we let our lights so shine that men may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. In Jesus name, Amen.

Grace and peace to you!

By Mary Pinckney
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What do you mean, ‘If I can’? Jesus asked.Anything is possible if a person believes. The father instantly cried out, I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24 (NLT)

In life, we are faced with many challenges that test our faith. It is so easy to get bombarded by what we see. It becomes a constant battle, almost like a game of tug-of- war, to keep the faith our faith intact.

In our reference scripture, we find the father of the little boy asking God to help him to believe. I applaud his momentary weakness. If we are going to experience breakthrough in our lives we must be willing to admit we need help. It is not our job to keep it all together. It is our job to trust in a God that never fails us.

Today, I challenge you to take a moment and pour your heart out to God. Express your weaknesses before Him. Ask for the help that you need to go on. You are not required to carry the weight of the world upon your shoulders. He is more than able to bear every burden. He is concerned about what concerns you. He is concerned about those very issues that weigh heavily on your heart. It is time to make an exchange. Will you?

Lord as the Father of the little boy prayed, I believe, but help my unbelief!  At times, it is hard for me to believe what I don’t see, but You said in Your Word that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, whatever we ask will be done for us, if we ask according to Your will.  Today, I stand on Your Word, trusting that You will perform with Your Hands what You have promised. I trust that You will work all things together for my good. I trust that You care for me and about what concerns me. I trust that You are already at work on my behalf. In Jesus’ name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

2020 came in with a vengeance. On top of dealing with COVID-19, many have also dealt with other life-altering challenges. It’s almost as if the bottom fell out and many are trying to find sure footing again. Is there a place of certainty where we can find rest?

There are situations we will never be able to understand. We are to trust that God has it all under control and he is working it all together for our good. He will also reveal his plan as time unfolds.

In the Scripture reference above, Paul wanted God to remove the problems he faced because they seemed too much for him to bear. But God, knowing all too well the purpose of those trials, encouraged Paul that his divine power was all he needed.

In these moments of transition in which we live, I want to speak peace to your weary soul. I want to speak rest from the anxious toil. Cease striving and trying to figure it all out. Rest in the unfailing love of the Father for you, his beloved.

I challenge you today, as you read this, to take a step back and ask God to help you see your situation through his eyes. Allow him to broaden your perspective. As he does, take comfort in the rest that he has already provided. My friend, be still and know that he is God (Psalm 46:10). When everything around you is shaking, he is the firm foundation. He knows how to steady you and establish your footing on solid ground.

Father, teach me to rest in your unfailing love. I admit I get lost trying to find my way through life’s ups and downs. I don’t always know where to go or what to think. I don’t always know what to do, but you do. May I take comfort in knowing that your purposes for me will be fulfilled. There is nothing that I will encounter that can separate me from your love. Thank you, Father. In Jesus’s name, amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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“So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. 8-11 Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.”
1 Peter 5:7-11 (MSG)  6-7

It is time for us to stop believing the lie that things will always go the way we want them. Yes we do get what we want at times but if that was the case always, we would never learn to appreciate the process. The process is what God uses to make us. The process develops us and gets us ready for what we have been asking God for. There is protection in unanswered prayers. God does not give us what we want at times but He always gives us what we need.

It is time for us to stop giving people false hope and false expectations. We must stop telling people that everything will be OK when in fact it might not! God does not work everything out the way we think he should but He works it out for our good. It is up to us to see the good in what God does in our lives. Every good and perfect gift comes from God.  Does that mean you give up hope? No, of course not! It means you have to learn to see things from a different perspective. You have to look for the good in each and every situation.  It means we must live by faith and not what we see!

It is time to stop believing that we will receive results just by “waiting on God.” The truth is, we have to do our part. The Bible plainly tells us that faith without works is dead. In 2004 the Lord spoke these four words to us and we have been holding on to them since; practical application and hard work. It takes believing, trusting, praying, but it also takes action, planning, and preparation. Sometimes you have to work your bottom off to get the results you have been looking for. Everything will not be handed to you on a silver platter. Again, that provides little benefit. Even while we are working we need to trust God to do what He does best. Many get trapped here believing that they have to do it all. That is unbalanced as well. God works with us to manifest the vision. He works with us to show us the proper path to take. He provides strength and encouragement when we can’t see the way.

So if you find yourself discouraged today, because you can’t see the forest for the trees and  you feel as though God has abandoned you. You feel alone in your relationship. You are afraid and anxious about the next move or even if you are fighting to hold on to your faith. I challenge you today to let go of your expectations. Let go of your own preconceived notions of how it will all work out and trust that God has a plan and a purpose. Follow His promptings and do obey His voice. That is when you will begin to see breakthrough!

Trust that HE is at work in your life. Cast your cares, all your worries, all your fears, all your doubts on God today knowing that He will strengthen and settle you and bring you to an expected end.

Father, we come to thank You today for all that you have done that we can’t see. So often, we take for granted that You are not there or You are not at work in our lives. Today, we put an end to our doubts, to our fears, to our cares and concerns. We now move out of the way so that You can allow Your perfect work to be done in our lives. For those that are hanging on by a thread, I thank You for opening the eyes of their understanding, grant them peace of mind and the assurance that they need to keep moving forward.  Show yourself strong Father in the lives of Your people. Thank You for doing exceedingly abundantly above all we may ask or even think. In Jesus’ Holy name. Amen

By Mary Pinckney
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And He came out and went, as was His habit, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples also followed Him. 40 And when He came to the place, He said to them, pray that you may not [at all] enter into temptation. 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw and knelt down and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done. 43 And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit. 44 And being in an agony [of mind], He prayed [all the] more earnestly and intently, and His sweat became like great clots of blood dropping down upon the ground.”    Luke 22:39-44(AMP)

Many of us have found ourselves in difficult situations. We fast and pray. We cry. We speak the Word; but no relief in sight.  Just as Jesus cried out in the garden for the cup to be taken from Him, so have many of us.  Lord, Lord why has though forsaken me, why have you left me here to die.   If you don’t move soon, I am not going to make it. Time seems to creep by.  Every day without realizing it, you are getting stronger.  Your endurance is building. Your cries are becoming praise and your heartache is becoming passion.  You are in the place of pressing, the place where it seems as though you are not going to be able to live past the next breath.  But out of nowhere comes a rushing mighty wind, infusing you with inner strength and speaking purpose to your storm.

Do not allow difficult situations to shake your faith. The pressure that you are experiencing now is just to squeeze out of you the precious oil, the treasures that are buried deep within.  If the pressing never took place, you would not realize what is on the inside of you. You would never grasp your full potential, your worth, and your value.

In hardships, stay focused, pursue peace and never lose sight of the guaranteed victory.  We may not be able to trace His steps, but we can be assured of His heart towards us.  Be assured that He loves you too much to allow you to be overtaken by the pain, the frustration, the challenges that you face. He has already provided a place of safety for you, under the shadow of His wings.

Father, open our eyes to your perspective on our situation. Help us to know that you love us too much to allow us to be consumed. Help us to be assured of the grace that you have given us to empower us and strengthen us inwardly as we deal with challenges and discomforts. I pray that we will be reminded daily of your provision of comfort and peace in our lives. In Jesus name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney
Used by Permission

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thoughts by Mary Pinckney Thoughts by Women