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

Flowers Believe the best about yourself

The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.1 Samuel 16:7 NLT

For far too long we have allowed feelings of inadequacies to stop us in our tracks. Today, I challenge you to shatter the lies that have held you captive. Shatter, destroy, smash into pieces every negative belief that you have held about yourself over the years. It is now time to believe what God has said about you. It is now time to believe the best.

You are good enough.

You are worthy enough.

You are smart enough.

You do deserve the best out of life and your relationships.

You do have what it takes to succeed in life, business, ministry etc.

You were uniquely designed to give life to those that God has called you to reach.

You are an asset to those around you. You are a gift to this world.

Whatever God has assigned your hands to do, go forth with all your might knowing that God has given you everything that pertains to life and godliness.

Lord, open our eyes to what you see. Help us to see the truth about ourselves. Help us to see not through the eyes of our failures or even our feelings but take confidence in the gifts, talents, abilities and the strength You have given us.

By Mary Pinckney
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Psalm 46:10 Stop fighting and know that I am God! I am the one who defeats the nations; I am the one who controls the world.

We must be able to recognize stress points in our lives and when we need a time out.
Otherwise we find ourselves stretched beyond our breaking point. If this is you today, I want to pray for you.

Lord, I cry out for those that are at the point of breaking. Those that have been stretched beyond their own limits. Those that are depleted and still trying to make things happen. Today, I speak peace to their weary souls. I speak calm and a release from the pressures that they have even placed upon themselves. Grant them the grace to let go today. The grace to relax and unwind in Your presence. Grant them the grace to just breathe and be free knowing You are in control. In Jesus name Amen

God says, “Stop fighting and know that I am God! I am the one who defeats the nations; I am the one who controls the world.” Psalms 46:10( ERV)

By Mary Pinckney
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Proverb 6:9 We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps

Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”

Maybe the challenges you are facing right now is because God is trying to re-route you. Oftentimes, we run ahead of God with our own plans. He then has to correct our course to get us back on the track that He originally purposed for us. He already knows what it will take for us to accomplish what He placed upon our hearts.

It is so important for us to pay attention to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He knows what is ahead of us . He sees what we can’t see. He knows the original blueprint for our lives as He gently reminds us in Jeremiah 29:11; “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

The question is, Do you trust Him? Do you trust the plan that He has for you? If you find yourself at a crossroads right, let me encourage you to stop, listen, and pay attention to what God is speaking to you right now. Listen for His instructions and follow in obedience.

Father, so many are at a place of indecision right now. They are lost and without hope. They are confused about what their next step should be. Your Word reminds us that we are to acknowledge You in all of our ways so that You may direct our paths. I ask that as they come to You for guidance, You will guide them with your eyes upon them. I pray that their ears will be open and attentive to Your voice. I pray that they will not run ahead of You but listen intently for Your wisdom and guidance in all that they do. I thank You for redirection and refocus. In Jesus’ name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36 (NLT)

God is not slack concerning His promises to you. He has not forgotten about you. The very same words I have used to encourage myself time and time again, I use today to encourage you. It is not easy trusting a God that you don’t see. It is not always easy trusting that He is concerned about what concerns you. But the truth of the matter is we serve a God that will never renege on His promises.

Paul tells us in our scripture reference not to throw away our confident trust in the Lord. Confident trust is the belief that something will happen based on God’s character. Again, He does not falter on His promises. Our reliance then should be on His ability to bring what He promises to pass.

So right now, in this very moment, as hard as it seems to keep believing, I urge you not to throw away your fearless confidence. For, you have need of patient endurance. It is this endurance that helps us to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising. It is this endurance that prompts us not to give up when we are weary. We will reap the harvest that has been promised to us if we just hang on in there. I challenge you today to stick it out, stick with God’s plan. Stay consistent, keep trusting, keep believing, keep fighting, until you see the promised completion.

Lord, I have failed you time and time again in this area. Help me today to continue along the path that You have laid out for me. Help me to stay true to my assignment even when my feelings get the best of me. Help me to keep the right heart attitude as I wait on You to bring me to my expected end. Most of all, help me to continue trusting Your heart towards me. In Jesus name Amen.

Thought: When you find yourself struggling in your faith, make it a daily habit to find a brother or sister that needs to be strengthen and begin to pray with and for them. As you encourage them, watch God begin to pour back into your life.

By Mary Pinckney
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Dig Deeper

He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” Romans 4:21 NLT

Pray and Go. Sometimes in life we have to move forward knowing that all things will work out the way it is supposed to. We don’t always know the beginning, the end, and the middle. No, God only gives us a glimpse of what is to come and beckons us to move out and take the next step. This was the case with Abraham. When God spoke to him to leave his country and go to a place that he would show him, Abraham did not know where he was going but he trusted that God would do what He promised.

Many of us would have prayed and begged for God to show us the place then we will go; not Abraham. He believed and it was counted unto Him as righteousness. What about you? Can you lay aside your fears and doubts and trust a God that you don’t see, don’t always understand? Can you lay aside your anxious thoughts and move forward in faith that God will indeed come through for you? Let the faith and the courage that Abraham exhibited encourage your heart today to follow hard after God even when you don’t know what to expect.

In this walk of faith, we don’t always have concrete evidence of what is next but what we can take comfort in is that we serve a God that is a man of His Word. He never changes. He never lies. He never reneges on His promises. He is faithful to deliver on His end. Faith is not always being able to see the road ahead but trusting in the God that does.

Father, we want so much to know that You have our best interest at hearts but sometimes it is scary to trust You. We are a people that live by what we see and not what we believe. Help us to trust that You will not let us fall. Remind us of your faithfulness in our lives. Teach us to take one moment at a time trusting and believing in Your promises. In Jesus name, Amen

Dig Deeper: Has God ever failed you in the past? Make a list of His track record in your life.

By Mary Pinckney
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God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.  Matthew 6:24

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. Matthew 6:34 (MSG)

Whatever it is you have been attempting to conquer, take it step by step, moment by moment. We only live one day at a time. Right now, your greatest accomplishment will be to getting through what today holds.  Make it a point to always be prepared. Rise to the challenges. Give it your all! You have what it takes to get it done; trust your ability.

Lord thank you for the grace to live in the here and now. Too often we approach life trying to get to the next big thing rather than enjoying each day you have given. Thank you for teaching us to make every moment count. Thank you for the courage to face and arise above every obstacle that may come our way today. We trust in your unfailing love today. In Jesus name Amen.

Grace and Peace,

By Mary Pinckney
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Ephesians 3:16 Strengthened with Might through His SPiRiT

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,” Ephesians 3:16-17

We often give up on ourselves when we are faced with insurmountable odds. We lose the fight it takes to keep ourselves in the race to our destination. Yet, God has given us the grace and the strength we need to persevere even in hard times.

If you find yourself at the point of giving up today, encourage yourself to get back up again. You are worth the effort it takes to get to your expected end. You are worth the fight that it takes to move from a place of mediocrity and begin living the life you were destined to live. There is hope for you.

Father, I thank you for encouraging the hearts of your people today. Many find themselves at a place of giving up on life. They see no hope for them. They struggle with loneliness, heartache, and pain. I pray that you will begin to heal their wounded hearts. Speak peace to the turmoil they feel at this moment. Help them to see the good things you are doing in their lives. I pray that their eyes will be open to the truth of who they are. I pray that they will begin to see the endless possibilities you have placed around them. Thank you for binding up their broken hearts and leading them to a place of peace and hope as only you can. In Jesus name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney
Used by Permission


Do you know Jesus in a personal way?  Do you desire that intimate relationship that this author has?  Knowing Him starts with a simple prayer of surrender and it grows from there.  Here is a sample prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

It starts now!


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Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” Matthew 5:13 (MSG)

Can you face a situation that is out of your control without acting out of control? This is a tough question for many to answer. We are so prone to acting out when we are faced with difficult situations much less difficult people.

When we are faced with the choice of reacting or responding to the situation at hand, as a believer, we have a greater responsibility. We must remember that we are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world. Our job is to maintain the character of God. When we act out of control rather than responding in wisdom we give others the wrong perspective of what a Christian looks like. No, that does not mean we have to be perfect, but it does mean when we miss it, we should be quick to make amends and get it right.

Emotions are not bad but they must be managed properly. If your buttons are always being pushed then you have handed over your power to other people, it’s time to take your control back. We must actively set boundaries for ourselves to ensure that we are not taken advantage of but we must remember that it is not our place to retaliate or put people in their place. It is God’s job to help change people. It is our place to love and respect others while leading them to Christ. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 12:14 if at all possible, we should live at peace with all men. This can be a challenge because we are faced with so many different personalities. If we stay in tuned with God He can help teach us how to handle each one.

My challenge to you today is to practice allowing God to fight your battles. How do you put that in action you may ask? Walk away when you are in a situation that you feel you have to yell to get your point across. Take some deep breaths and pray before responding to that irate individual. The point here is to maintain your control.

Father, it is my prayer that You will infuse those that are struggling in this area with inner strength. Your Word declares that You are a perfect help in the time of trouble. May they find the grace needed to keep it together when they want to lash out or act unseemly. May they find the grace needed to maintain their peace in the midst of turmoil. Heal the root issues that keep bringing them back to this response. Open the eyes of their understanding today, In Jesus name Amen.

Thought: What are you afraid of? When did you begin reacting the way you do?
What happened to get you to this place? Take a moment and journal your answers to the questions above.

By Mary Pinckney
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Hold On a Little While Longer

Just wanted to take a moment to encourage your hearts today. Many of you have been praying.

Many of you have been hearing from God. Many of you have been moving actively on what God’s called you to do but you’re still not seeing anything come to pass yet.
You’re still not seeing the fruit of your labor and I want to encourage your hearts today not to give up.

Don’t faint!

Don’t quit!

Keep pushing!

Keep fighting!

Keep praying!

Keep believing because in the end He will speak. The vision is for an appointed time.
God says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that “He makes all things beautiful and His time.” So today I want to encourage your hearts to keep pushing. Pray until something happens!

That’s right pray until something happens.  It’s almost as if you’re a woman who is in labor. Right now, the doctors are saying that the head is crowning. He can see the head coming but you can’t quit now, that baby won’t push itself out.  You have to be active in pushing that baby out. It’s even the same in our spiritual walk. It’s even the same in our natural lives, we may not see things happen immediately but we have to put some action to it. We have to also put some prayer to it.

Even as Elijah did in 1 Kings 18:41-44, you may have to pray 7 times to see the promise manifest. Again, if you are not seeing anything yet keep pushing don’t give up.

The will of God is not always automatic in our lives. We have to pray and act until we see God bring change.

You are on the verge of a breakthrough. You’re right there!
Don’t stop now. The vision is for an appointed time and it will speak.
All you have to do is hold on just a little while longer.

Father I thank you now for your people. I thank You for what you’re doing in their lives. I thank You Father God for bringing them to a place of breakthrough, to a place of freedom. I thank You for bringing them to a place of answered prayers. Thank You that they will see what you have been saying come to pass in their everyday life Lord. I give you praise for infusing them with inner strength right now God so that they may hold on even through the process. And father thank You for loving your people the way you do. Thank You for always being there; for always showing Yourself faithful on our behalf.  For You never leave us, You never forsake us. Thank You for all that You’re doing right now. In Jesus name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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devotional

Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. In my alarm I said ‘I am cut off  from your sight”! Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.” Psalm 31:21-22 NIV

Today as I sit reflecting on love and grace in my life I realize that You have always been there, even in the times I felt You abandoned me. I realize now that my feelings do not dictate Your actions. My feelings do not tell me the truth about Your love for me. My feelings cannot even begin to fathom the depths of Your love for me. I’m fragile and fail at times, in need of Your strength and Your resilience. You are strong and powerful, yet oh so gentle in Spirit. Your love is too grand to even measure.

It is so overwhelming knowing that I am held even in the times I feel alone. It is so refreshing to know that You are not like man, You are not here just because of what I can give.

You are here because You love me for me.

I so love the way you love me.

I love the way You calm my fears when I am shaken.

I love the way You whisper my name to let me know You are near and I am loved by You.  Oh to sense Your presence in those times of loneliness and feel Your embrace when I am weary and afraid. There is none like You Oh God.

You are my Peace.

You are my Rock.

You are my Hope.

You are the Lover of my soul, in You I find peace.

In You I find rest. In You I find the grace to continue on.

Thank You Lord for reminding me that You are still here. You have not forgotten about me. You have not forsaken me. You are working even when I can’t see it. Even when I don’t believe it. Thank you. My fears were real. They were valid and You heard me. You heard my cry. You answered every complaint showing me that You care. You are concerned about me. You are with me. You got me. Thank you.

By Mary Pinckney
Used by Permission


Do you know this love that is found in God alone, through Jesus?  Would you like to have a relationship with Him?  It starts with a simple heart felt prayer:

Lord, thank You for dying so we can be set free from all of guilt and sin — no matter how big or small.  Your blood has erased all of our sin. Thank You so much! Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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Intimacy with God

Some of the best conversations with God start out as complaints. What I love about God is that He allows us to share our disappointments, our heartaches, our offenses with Him. After all, He already knows.  This is true intimacy.

When you can bring your pain to the person you feel hurt you and be open and honest about it knowing that He has your best interest at heart; that’s love. Most relationships struggle because there is no real intimacy. We tend to hide our true feelings. We fail to be honest about what is really going on inside of us. When you have a relationship that is grounded in trust and a deep love for each other it produces a freedom that can’t be described.

I believed David best described this relationship in Psalm 32:5 when He says, “ I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told]—then You [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin.! (Amplified Bible)

David knew He sinned before God. He knew His actions were not in line with what God
had already communicated in His Word to us, but He found no fear in sharing what He did.

Today, your sin before God may have been through mere words, or wrong thoughts, or like me, you threw a temper tantrum like a two year old because you couldn’t have your way.

Wherever you find yourself today, I challenge you not to turn away from His love.  We don’t always understand everything God is doing in our lives. We don’t always like the paths He leads us to. We don’t always like the assignments He may have given us but one thing is certain; He loves us with an everlasting love.  God always has our best interest at heart even when we don’t understand.

God, I want to trust You in the seasons of uncertainty in my life but I find it more and more difficult at times. Help me to be reminded of Your track record in my life. Help me to understand You and Your ways even when I don’t trust Your acts. Thank You that I don’t have to be afraid to talk to You about any part of my life, in fact You welcome the fellowship.  Thank You for loving me so much, Daddy.

Thought: Are you offended by what God is doing or not doing in your life? Apply your ear to His heart and listen as He speaks to you.

By Mary Pinckney
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Call to Me (God) and I will answer you.

As I sit and pen my thoughts this morning, I am reminded of Jesus’s experience in the Garden of Gethsemane.  It was at that place He had to make one of the toughest decisions in His life. Should He go forward to the cross, knowing that this was what He was destined to do? Or should He just walk away from it all because of the pain He knew was ahead.

Many of you find yourself right here today. You are at a place of transition. You are facing a crossroad and really finding it hard to hear clearly.  There are decisions that must be made but everything seems out of place right now.  You are frustrated and afraid of what is too come. I want to encourage you not to give up.

I challenge you to pause and listen to your life for a moment. Has God ever turned His back on you?  Hasn’t He always provided the direction and the guidance you needed?

I had to come to a place of surrendering my will to God during times like these, just as Jesus did in the garden. I have found that what I want and what God wants are not always the same.  During my walk with God, I have even encountered roadblocks and detours that took me totally in a different direction.  It was a reminder to me that God knows what is best. He sees what I can’t see.

It is at times like these we must not forget that He is just waiting for us to come to Him for instructions. He longs to talk to us, if we would only pause and come to Him as it says here in

Jeremiah 33:3 (Amp) “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).”

Be of good courage today knowing that God is not surprised by anything that you are facing right now. In fact, He is with You to strengthen, settle, and establish you in the direction that He has for you to go.

Let me pray for you right now,
Father I thank you for my brothers and sisters reading this post right now. I pray that they will not lose hope in this season of their lives. Teach them to recognize Your voice, Your direction, and most of all the guidance and the instructions. You give to us daily. I pray that You will open the eyes of their understanding. Help them to see what You see Lord. Your Word tells us in Psalm 32:8 that You instruct us with Your eyes upon us. May we learn to trust Your direction and Your plans for our very lives. In Jesus name, Amen

Thought: Take a moment and journal your disappointments to God and ask Him to share His perspective on your situation.

Grace and Peace to you.

By Mary Pinckney
Used by Permission

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Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)


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 summed it up best (James 1:19) by saying that we need to be slow to speak, quick to hear, and slow to get 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. The Scriptures tell us (Luke 6:45) 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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feature scene devotional

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

We often give up on ourselves when we are faced with insurmountable odds. We lose the fight it takes to keep ourselves in the race to our destination. Yet, God has given us the grace and the strength we need to persevere even in hard times.

If you find yourself at the point of giving up today, encourage yourself to get back up again. You are worth the effort it takes to get to your expected end. You are worth the fight that it takes to move from a place of mediocrity and begin living the life you were destined to live. There is hope for you.

Father, I thank you for encouraging the hearts of your people today. Many find themselves at a place of giving up on life. They see no hope for them. They struggle with loneliness, heartache, and pain. I pray that you will begin to heal their wounded hearts. Speak peace to the turmoil they feel at this moment. Help them to see the good things you are doing in their lives. I pray that their eyes will be open to the truth of who they are. I pray that they will begin to see the endless possibilities you have placed around them. Thank you for binding up their broken hearts and leading them to a place of peace and hope as only you can. In Jesus name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney

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God has a Plan Devotional

My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.” Matthew 26:39b (AMPC)

It is not always easy to understand the will of our Father, but it is imperative that we choose to follow His lead. I have come to understand that He knows best. We don’t have to know all the details. It is up to us to TRUST His heart concerning us.

So, today, I encourage you not to lose hope in the midst of the pain you may be feeling right now. God has a plan. His plan is not always understood but it will be revealed. You may not know what tomorrow holds, but follow His voice as He leads you step by step to the next place He has for you. He is a God of purpose. He uses the good, the bad and the ugly to work together for our good. Trust Him.

Father, it is so hard for us to understand Your will at times. We know what we desire to happen, but that is not always what You desire. Teach us Father to submit our will to Yours. Teach us to trust Your heart for us. Teach us not only to know Your ways but to know  Your character. Teach us to find our peace and assurance in Your love for us. May we come to understand that Your plans are to give us an expected end and a hope. Let Your will be done in our lives Lord. In Jesus name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney

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