Already free from it…

Sister,

I had the sweetest conversation with a longtime friend of this morning. We shared our deepest sinful struggles. We wondered why we couldn’t shake these desires. I mean we’re 40 years old for goodness sakes. After all this time walking with Jesus, what are we doing?

All we could do was repent. We repented together and decided that we were no longer going to ask God to take those struggles away because the truth is we are already free from them. Jesus took care of it. Instead, we are going to consistently ask Jesus to fill us up with more of Him, more desire for Him and those desires will grow dim in comparison to Jesus’ Holy righteousness.

We are forgetting our struggles and remembering who we are in Christ. Free and forgiven. Adopted and Loved. We are His. Nothing our flesh longs for can come close to the fulfillment of the love of Christ in us. NOTHING.

Whatever you struggle with. Look upon Jesus. Fix your eyes on Him and the rest will grow dim.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

Fresh off a failed summer

Sister,

Have you ever dropped your kids off on the first day of school and after the door slams shut you burst into tears because “that shit (summer) was hard”?

Maybe you had a great summer. Maybe you took advantage of the flying time with your kids? Maybe you played a lot of games and created a ton of fun things to do? If you did, I am seriously so proud of you and we should be friends because I need moms like you in my life, to make me better.

I planned one trip. One. It was an awesome trip but that was it and kids made sure I knew it. I had grand ideas of what our days would look like this summer (before it started) but I never executed. My kids watched a ton of YouTube (aka: Satan’s playground) and TikTok (aka: Satan’s Dollywood). There were just so many dishes, and breakfasts, and lunches, and dinners, and laundry and crumbs to sweep, and fires to put out… I was just surviving.

Listen, there were good moments, but I’ve come away from this summer with regret and shame. I could have done more. I should have been more intentional. It’s a war out there in public schools, I needed to build my kids faith muscles up during this time. The Holy Spirit prompted me to act and I just didn’t. I just didn’t. Man, I hate admitting that.

If you feel a little like me after this summer, I want you to know you are not alone and you are not a bad mom or a bad Christian mom. You are human. The good news is that our God is not human, and he is very patient and gentle with us. He fills in the (inevitable) gaps that we leave in the hearts of our children.

Mercies are new every morning, so since it’s a new day and we have a few minutes to breath in our homes, alone, let’s repent, regroup, and do like Paul says to in Philippians 3:13…No brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.

I hope this encourages you.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

*A few great books to get to help you talk to your kids about Jesus…

“Talking with your kids about Jesus” – Natasha Crain

“Talking with your kids about God”- Natasha Crain

HE’S ALIVE!

Dear Sister,

He did what he said he would do. HE HAS RISEN!

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid?” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen. Mathew 28:5-6

Jesus came and told the disciples, “I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Teach these ne disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

BEST. DAY. EVER.

Happy Easter, Sisters!

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

The Grief of today-How the disciples must have felt as the sun rose.

Dear Sister,

I thought this morning about the disciples and the grief they must have been feeling today (all those years ago) as the sun rose and they woke. They lost their teacher, their brother, their hope, their leader, their confidant, their friend, their Lord.

The disciples were often not quite sure of things. They KNEW who Jesus was but their flesh couldn’t understand what God was doing. They often asked Jesus. “What do you mean?”, “Where are you going?”, “How do we get there, again?”, “Is all this really true?”. They knew but they couldn’t understand.

I get that. I often feel that way too.

So, the sun rose and their Lord was dead. They didn’t understand. They were lost, maybe hopeless and definitely Grieving.

Today we know we don’t have to grieve Jesus’ death because we’re on the other side of the resurrection. We know He’s alive.

Somehow, as believers though, our hearts feel the grief today don’t they?

There is a place for our grief today because we know the weight of it and that weight is our sin. Our sins have been handled but we still sin don’t we?

Let us grieve today because of our sins and repent.

James 4:7-10 says: So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners: purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

Sister, this grief that James is talking about is good soil for our hearts to grow in. Just like April rain brings May flowers. How much louder do we laugh after we’ve grieved. How much deeper is our joy on the other side of grief.

The disciple’s grief on this day was grief with an unknown outcome. Our grief on this day is with the knowledge that we will celebrate our risen Lord. We can safely grieve our sin, repent and know that God will renew our lives.

I pray that today, with much expectation for the SON to rise tomorrow, we will put our sins to death and allow the Lord to restore us to new life.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

“He handled our sin cause we couldn’t do it by ourselves”

Dear Sister,

In remembrance of Good Friday, I asked my kids this morning if they could tell me what Jesus actually did when he died on the cross. Each of them gave me a similar answer but the way my little (7 year old) Coco phrased her answer made my brain explode a little bit.

She very nonchalantly said, ” He handled our sin cause we couldn’t do it by ourselves.”

I looked up what the word “handled” means and the definition is: to deal with, have responsibility for, or be in charge of.

Sister, sin is dealt with because of the cross. Jesus took responsibility of sin on the cross, and he is in charge of sin because of the cross.

We could never do this by ourselves. Without what Jesus did on the cross our sins are still ours to deal with. Without what Jesus did on the cross we are still responsible for our sins. Without what Jesus did on the cross sin is in charge of us and we have no Freedom.

BUT Jesus died on the cross, He handled our sin and because this is true; we are free.

How can it be that my God died for me?

Happy Good FREEDOM Friday!

Sincerely,

Jesie

God is Love

in a culture that says Love is just Love…

Better than all spiritual gifts, Better than any earthly thing, better than anything we can humanly comprehend, is Love.

The notion that we can experience and offer Love in its fullness on this side of heaven is in my opinion the height of our human pride.

JEsie Browning

Who can ever live up to the true definition of love?

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

For God so LOVED the world that He gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

There is only one man who can boast of LOVE and it is Jesus.

Sister, let us lean into true love today. That is Jesus.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This is not a time to make our kids feel the magic of Christmas.

Sister, It is so easy to make this a time to do all the magical things, plan all the magical outings, see all the magical lights, and feel all the magical feelings.

That doesn’t help your kids get to know God though.

Sure, we want to take this time to be intentional about celebrating together because the years are hard and it helps to have a reason to stop the day-to-day activities and enjoy each other.

Let’s just shift our focus though.

Let’s bring up real questions about God, in this season, with our kids.

When our kids have a better understanding of God, they have a better chance of realizing the joy that comes from Christmas.

When they understand why God sent His son, they can better understand the love we want to share during this season.

When our kids understand how many centuries it took for Jesus to be born, they can better understand the anticipation and aww that we experience in remembering the day of Jesus’ birth.

What freedom it is to know our only job this season is to celebrate Jesus.

What better way to do that than to talk about the time, place and people involved with his birthday?

The truth is, this is not a season of magic, this is a season of provision. God did what He said he would do. That needs no extra “magic”.

Merry Christmas!!

He is the same God

Sister, do you ever forget that the same God that created the world is the same God that we follow now? I do. Think about it…

The same God who created the world is the God who is holding you now.

The same God who parted the sea is making a way for you now

The same God who made a promise to Abraham is keeping his promise to you now

The same God who crushed the army of Amalek is fighting for you now.

The same God who saw Hagar in the desert sees you now

The same God who died for your sins is alive in you now

The same God who healed the leapers is ready to heal your heart now

The same GOD. HE is still the same. He is THE SAME GOD.

Wow. How can it be? How can it be that He chooses us? It brings me to my knees, the awestruck wonder of it all.

Be a sister

There is something about a sister.

They know you.

They know how to help without you having to ask.

They get the struggle.

They want to see you succeed.

They aren’t afraid to be honest with you.

They love your kids like their own.

They celebrate you.

They pray for you.

They share with you.

They challenge you.

They won’t let you give up.

I know not everyone has a sister BUT everyone can BE a sister.

How can you BE a sister today?

We need each other.