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


“The one who loves us gives us an overwhelming victory in all these difficulties.” Romans 8:37 (GW)

I want to encourage the hearts of those that are burdened and overwhelmed today. I know things may have been tough lately, but keep on fighting.    Financial pressures are hitting you on every side, but, keep on fighting.   Sickness, family issues may have heightened, but keep on fighting.   It is written that you shall overcome.

In times like these, I run to the Word of God to see what He has to say concerning my situation.  Here are a few of my favorite go to scriptures:

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] John 16:33 (AMP)

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] John 14:27 (AMP)

Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail). Psalm 55:22 (AMP)

He brought me forth also into a large place; He was delivering me because He was pleased with me and delighted in me.Psalm 18:19 (AMP)

Every one of these scriptures spoke hope and refreshment to me in my times of trouble.  The Lord used His Word to not only guide me through rough times, but to give me an assurance of His continual presence in my life. Once I regained the assurance that He was not only with me, but for me; it was then that I was ready to run through troops and leap over walls!

Be encouraged in the Lord today, my brothers and my sisters. Keep on fighting, victory already belongs to you.  Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.  He will reveal His plan in time.

By Mary Pinckney
Used by Permission

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• Eternal Love
• Fully Surrender to the Lord

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“Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.”  Romans 6:16 NLT

In the past I have shared openly about my struggles with food addiction. As I pen these thoughts today, I realize that my journey has evolved. Over the course of the last few years I began to become more intentional about what was going on internally. I’ve learned that a huge part of my struggle was not with food but with something bigger. The chaotic cycle of unhealthy eating stemmed not only from stress and heightened emotions, but my own need for affirmation and validation. I realized that deep within me there was a desire to be accepted.

This was an area stemming from childhood. I was always considered the smart, responsible one not the fun and adventurous one. This image I sought to live up to controlled my actions more than I care to admit. Coming to this conclusion has helped me to discover the truth about myself and where to focus my efforts for healing. I have grown to realize that my worth and value are not based on how others view me. I have come to discover that I am accepted most of all by my Heavenly Father.

I am certain many of you, like me, have battled against this or other addictions that have gained control over your lives. Today, I ask, “What are you feeding?” What is it within you that is crying out to be medicated by something other than God? Once you are able to identify the root of the destructive cycles you face, it will place you on a path towards healing.

Father, today I ask that you minister to the root issues that have been controlling the lives of your people, the driving force behind cycles of addiction and destructive behaviours. I pray that you will help us to see ourselves through your eyes and recognize that our worth and value lie in you and you alone. I pray that we will face the truth about ourselves and embrace the healing process that you long to begin in so many of our lives. In Jesus’s name, Amen. 

Whenever you are tempted to turn towards one of your sources of dependency, invite the Spirit to show you why that temptation has arisen and how you can seek to see the underlying need met by God, rather than that thing.

Grace and Peace,

By Mary Pinckney
Used by Permission


FURTHER READING

•  Lies – Speaking the Truth or Speaking Lies
•  Be Patient. An example or impatience and prayer for patience.

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“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.Romans 12:16 (ESV)

In relationships, we should always aim to live in harmony with each other. In order to do that, we each must readily adjust ourselves to other people. This is not always easy to do, but the grace of God is available to help us. Often, we don’t take the time to process why challenges come up in relationships. We are too quick to judge.

Selfishness has no place in healthy relationships, but the harmony we long for will come when we begin to put others above ourselves. This is one of the characteristics of Jesus. The Bible is filled with many examples teaching us how to handle our relationships. It is important for us to learn from the best Teacher — the Holy Spirit. It is impossible for us to love the Lord, whom we cannot see, if we do not love those who are with us daily.

By coming to dwell in us by his Holy Spirit, God has made it possible for us to do what seems impossible, even when we are in a difficult place. One important lesson the Holy Spirit taught me years ago was to seek peace and pursue it. Our Scripture reference today is one I had to keep close to my heart in order to live out that purpose.

Father, there are people in my life that I struggle to relate to. I pray that you would teach me to rely on the grace you have already provided to help me in my times of need. I invite you into every relationship I have. Minister to our hearts today and allow us to see truth in every situation. Teach us how to love like you love, Father. Amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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•  How to be fill with the Holy Spirit

• Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life

•  He Put a Song in My Heart

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“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Mark 4:39 (ERV )

After ministering to the multitudes, Jesus told his disciples to get into the boat in order to get to the other side.  Immediately upon entering the boat, Jesus goes to sleep and a storm arises.  The wind and the waves begin to beat upon the ship. Of course this does not startle Jesus, but the disciples begin to panic.

As I look back over these verses, I can’t help but think that the Lord will often allow us to go through challenging situations just to show us what is on the inside of us.  Sure, we may be walking with Him daily, reading our Bibles, fasting, and praying, but what is our response in the midst of the storm?  Are we calm and confident of the Lord’s protection or are we frightened and unsettled like the disciples?  When Jesus arose He spoke peace to the storm.  He also rebuked his followers for being fearful and having no faith.

How is it that we have no faith when the Lord is present in our situation?   That is a question that we must answer for ourselves.  Through experience I have learned that the Lord will never leave us or forsake us.   The problem arises because we cannot see Him working.  Think about it. Jesus was present but they did not see Him actively working in their situation. We must come to know that wherever Jesus is at rest, there will be peace.  If He is not bothered by what is going on then we need to follow His lead.  If He truly lives on the inside of you, you possess the same power; you too can speak peace to your storm.

I speak peace to the storms that are raging in your life today. Be at peace and trust His promises to you.  God is not slack concerning His promises. Make it a point to rest in His love for you.

Father thank you for the covenant of peace you have given us. I pray that you will continue to surround us with your loving-kindness; may we drink in your goodness as you keep us in your arms of protection. In Jesus name Amen

By Mary Pinckney
Used by Permission
Excerpt from Be Attitudes: Devotional Journey to a Healthier and Happier You:
August 2013

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•  A Moving Mountain – Have you ever heard of a mountain moving a person?
•  My Search for Inner Peace – by Eva Reinhart

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You can trust the Lord to protect you. He will not let you fall into harm.” Proverbs 3:26 (ERV)

Trusting God has become a new buzz word. It is thrown around so loosely that we forget it’s connotation. Anytime we are going through challenging times the first words off the lips of others is normally “Just trust God, it will work out.

What does it really mean to trust God? I have found in my very own life that trusting God required me to put forth some type of action to show that I believed what God was saying to me. Trusting God required me to stand still at times and knowing with sheer confidence I did not have to be in control. I did not have to come to my own rescue. It assured me that I had help, a reliable source and strength backing me. Proverbs 3:26 here in the Amplified version paints this picture clearly;

For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught [in a trap or some hidden danger].

I implore you today not to take trusting God lightly. He will always be by your side. He is a source of strength in our times of weakness. He is a shield and a buckler whenever we find ourselves in danger. He is a provider when we are in need. And most of all He loves us with an everlasting love. We can rely on His faithfulness. We can trust His heart towards us.

Father even when my trust in You begins to wane. Remind me of Your faithfulness in my life. In Jesus name Amen

By Mary Pinckney
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The Only Totally Fair Judge
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Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10a (NLT)

Be still; these two words are not always comforting to a rescuer like me. It is hard sitting back and watching the ones you love suffer. Feelings of helplessness begin to take a hold of me as I sit back wanting to reach out and pull them from the hardships and the emotional pain they encounter. If I move out on what I want to do, it can hinder their growth. It can move them away from the purpose and the plan of God. The Lord has dealt with my heart on several occasions about this. I realize now that I jump to help out of fear of what may happen. Moving in fear reveals a greater problem; I don’t always trust the Lord with everything that concerns me or those I love. He has allowed me to see that my place, at times is just to pray. Oh this is not an easy task!! I want to act. I want to move, but I hear the Lord whispering steadily, BE STILL.

I have learned through various situations that we have to allow the Lord to complete the work that He began. He knows what is best for each of us and He will indeed perfect all that concerns us. If you too, struggle with running to your loved ones’ aid and playing Holy Ghost Jr, remember, you are only prolonging their process. Be still and know that He is God and He will bring them to their expected end.

Father, teach us how to trust you totally with our lives and those we love; comfort our hearts and grant us assurance as we watch you work in their lives. Help us to know that You are a faithful and a loving God and assure us that we can trust you at all times. Amen.

Take a moment and write down the situations in your life you need to trust God in. Find a scripture on trust that will help you to remember to leave it in God’s hands.

By Mary Pinckney
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Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, ‘I gave birth to him in pain.’ Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.”  1 Chronicles 4:9-10

Comparisons are a deadly trap. They invite us into the world of false expectations. A world painted by other people’s perceptions of what life, love, and happiness are all about. Only the life that God has designed for us will bring us to a place of peace and accomplishment.

Let us take a look at the story of Jabez. Though very briefly mentioned in 1 Chronicles, he was important enough to talk about. The story points to the fact that Jabez became more distinguished than all of his brothers because he did not allow the label his mother put on him to ruin his life. He did not allow it to dictate what he could accomplish. He looked to God to change his story.

This is the very same God that is still alive and well today and able to do the same for you and me. God has created each of us with a unique story; a special set of skills and a purpose that only you and I can fulfill. Every success story is different but equally purposeful.

I encourage you today to be different. No longer stand in the shadow of others and allow your accomplishments to be diminished. This world needs what God has developed in you. The story you are meant to share. You are destined for greatness because God is great in you. The impact you will make will inspire someone else to reach their potential.

Lord, forgive us for comparing our lives to others. We get so caught up with the lives of others that we miss what you are doing in us. Teach us to recognize that being different is not at all bad but necessary for us to receive all that you have for us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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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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God’s Mysterious Ways
The Lord is My Shepherd
We Plan – God Directs

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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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Sacred Romance

Thoughts on Worship

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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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Fully Surrender to the Lord

My Search for Inner Peace

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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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God’s Sufficiency Exceeds Our Need – by Sylvia Gunter
Attributes of God
God Provides for His Own

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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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  1. Four Spiritual Laws
  2. Spiritual Oxygen: Are You Getting Enough?
  3. How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit

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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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Feelings, Forgiveness and Peace

Overflowing with Life!


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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
Used by Permission

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FURTHER READING

  1. A Bible Study on Waiting on God
  2. The Names of God – A Bible study
  3. The Names of Jesus – A study

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