We are fully equipped

Dear Sister,

There is nothing that drives me more crazy than woman being deceived by our culture. Whether it’s in the books we read, the blogs we follow, the podcasts we listen to, whatever it is. It just stinks.

Deceit is causing someone to have the wrong idea about something, usually in order to gain something in return. Sometimes people deceive us on purpose but sometimes just because of human nature people share their ideas in order to make themselves feel better and we take their bad ideas as truth because they make us feel better too.

This brings me to 2 Timothy 3:6-9 (side note: take some time to read the whole book of 2Tim. it is packed full of encouragement.) The short of this is Paul (Timothy’s mentor and fellow disciple) is telling Tim (we’ll call him Tim today) what to look out for in the last days. People who only love themselves and money, who scoff at God, who are boastful and proud,… you get the gist. Then Paul says,

They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable woman who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by many desires. Such woman are forever following new teachings, but they never understand the truth. And these teachers fight the truth just as Jannes and Jambres fought against Moses. Their minds are depraved and their faith is counterfeit. But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as happened with Jannes and Jambres.”

Ok, who are Jannes and Jambres? Remember in Genesis when God gave Moses and Aaron the staff to turn into a snake when the Pharoah asked for a miracle and then after Moses did that the two magicians came out and did the same thing with their own staff? Well, those two magicians are Jannes and Jambres. (Exodus 7:10)

Moving on (we’ll go back to the magicians though).

Um, I do not want to be like the vulnerable woman Paul is talking about! I don’t want to be deceived. I know you don’t either. Here’s the thing though, we don’t have to wait for anyone to work their way into our houses. They’re already in. Facebook, twitter, etc… The ideas of this world are at our finger tips, literally. The ideas of someone else can be planted with just one scroll of a screen and we are vulnerable. Our desires can get the best of us unless, we know how to recognize deceit. How do we recognize deceit? Later in 2Timothy 3:16-17 he says this…

“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, FULLY EQUIPPED for every good thing God wants us to do.”

That’s where the freedom is! The scriptures.

Sister, We have to know what the word of God says so we can filter this world’s ideas through it’s lens. The scriptures fully equip us to recognize deceit.

-jesie browning

So, in case you don’t already know, you wanna know what happened with Jannes and Jambres? After their staff’s turned into snakes, Aaron’s snake jumped up and swallowed up both of their snakes. Bam. Gone. This is a the illustration of how the truth swallows up deception. The magician’s trick may have looked a lot like the miracle that Aaron and Moses did but it gave the wrong idea about God and who He was. God will not stand for it.

Do not be deceived, sister. You have the freedom to be fully equipped.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

God is not promising a new thing this year!

Dear Sister,

I just have to tell you that God has not promised to do a new thing in your life this year.

Isaiah 43:19 For I am doing a new thing. See I have already begun! Do you not perceive it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

People love to quote this verse this time of year. The new year longs for new things.

When I was a young mom I distinctly remember going to a mom’s bible study and hearing the speaker tell me that “God was doing something new in my life” because Isaiah 43: 19 tells me so. I left that day elated thinking about what God would do and as time passed nothing new was happening. Am I just not seeing what God is doing? I was left bound up by an unrealistic expectation of what that verse meant in my life.

After reading the whole book of Isaiah it’s safe to say that his prophecies are often parallel to what God is doing immediately and what God is doing eternally. This verse was written for the people of Judah. They had been rebelling against God for years and God was telling them that He was finally going to allow what they had reaped to be sown and it wasn’t gonna be pretty. He was going to do a new thing that left only the a faithful remnant of his people. The parallel of this is that God was also preparing the final new thing that would save us all, Jesus. Ultimately in this verse Jesus is the new thing.

So, how did I get so bound up with this verse? Well, first of all, I applied it to my life personally. Does God do new things in our lives? Sure he does. We are not, though, to read a verse out of context and expect that it will magically do in our lives what it was doing in the intended audience’s lives.

Second, I missed Jesus. Jesus is the new thing and he has done all that was prophesied of him. We need look no further for a new thing to satisfy us. Jesus finished it all.

Where is the freedom here? The freedom is in sound biblical understanding. We have freedom from unrealistic expectations that come from applying verses from the bible directly to our lives instead of allowing them to help us understand God’s character. Our freedom comes when we read and understand the scripture correctly, in turn being able to apply it to our lives accordingly.

Sister, Do not get bound up by unrealistic expectations for your life given by a verse taken out of context.

-JEsie browning

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

Don’t bring the book to the beach.

Dear Sister,

You’ve been so excited to go to the beach. You’ve imagined all the time you would have sitting with your feet in the sand and your face in the Jesus book you’ve been dying to finish.

The time arrives and you’ve packed the towels, the snacks, the cut out castles, the shovels, sun screened the kids, put up the umbrella, pop open your chair, sit down and open your book.

While your face is buried in the book, your kids are smiling and enjoying each other, the sun is shining, the waves are faithfully crashing, the birds are naturally coasting the sky.

Why is your face in a book? There is no Freedom or Peace that can come from that book compared to watching, with your own eyes, the glory of what God has created before you.

The ocean, the sun, the birds, the sand, your children, the beauty of all that God has created simply abiding in him. The majesty of it all and the simplicity of it all. Oh, the freedom and peace that we can realize if we just watch God’s creation abide.

Take the time to just sit and watch and soak up what Is and always will be.

I am talking to myself big time today.

I hope this encourages you.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

Who cares if our kids are happy

Dear Sister,

Who cares if our kids are happy. Do they have peace? Do they have the kind of peace that cannot be understood?

Feelings of happiness only come from the fleeting circumstances of this world but when we teach our children who God is, that is where peace comes from. After all, He is the God of peace.

Our children are not ours. They have to leave us one day and when we leave our kids with the peace that comes from Jesus, we have nothing to worry about for them because they will be able to find comfort in their knowledge of who God is.

Do not teach your children to figure out who they are but instead teach your children to figure out who God is.

Phillippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

May this bring you hope.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

A toilet paper parable

Dear Graduates,

I know these times are strange. Here’s a little wisdom from “The bible Lady”.

“The Bible Lady”

I don’t mean to downplay the disappointing time this is for you but I promise you, this is but a drop in the bucket of life for you. Do not stay in your disappointment but instead draw near to Jesus, figure out who He really is by reading the word of God. Find hope in the truth that non of this has taken any value or promise from your future. You are loved.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

*Dedicated to my precious neice Madisen Melice – Class of 2020 and

*Casey Rebecca Flynn – Gone way to soon.

Thy Kingdom Come, Lord

Morning Sisters,
How are you all?
As I stole a moment to worship this morning I felt compelled to share this song and little tid bit with you.
The other day I was preparing to write in the “Letters to Elizabeth” portion of my blog and came upon an interesting note in reference to households in Nazareth during Jesus’ childhood. In those days Woman thought of their home as “their Kingdom”. The men were usually working very long days and the women were taking care of everything at home. The woman were in charge of the teachings of the word of God and the prayers that were prayed all day long. They did not depend on anyone else to usher the Lord into their home. They made their home a place for the Lord to dwell.
Sisters, Invite the Lord to come Into your home, into your Kingdom.
My father, who are in heaven, hallowed be they name. Your kingdom come, into my home, just as it is in heaven

Invite the Lord into your home.

“Untamed” Dear Glennon, I’m afraid you’ve been misled.

As you all know, there is currently an pandemic at large. Everyone is doing their best to distance themselves. Everyone (pretty much) understands the effects that this could have on their health and the health of their loved ones. What if we couldn’t distance ourselves from this? What if we actually went out and got it, thinking it was a healing potion for our ailments? I mean, imagine? There is another “virus” that has been released into the word, directed to us woman. It is claiming to free us from our “tame” women lives and take us on a journey of self discovery. This virus is a book titled “Untamed” written by Glennon Doyle. I know this sounds harsh but Freedom is so dear to me. We have to talk about this.

Before I begin, I want to say this. I have followed Glennon Doyle from afar for years. I like her. She’s gorgeous and smart. She is the leader of amazing non-profits. Her shoes and clothes are to die for and she genuinely has a heart to encourage woman. This is not an attack on her, or her lifestyle, or her life choices. This is a letter to raise questions about the advice she is giving woman on how to become “free” via her own life story.

Dear sister,

I watched an interview with you this morning about your new book. You explained that this book is the story of how you became “a free woman”. I wonder what you mean by free? I have heard you say that you have struggled with addiction and infidelity, as well as had to fight for your first marriage to survive. Is that what you are now free from? You went on to explain that your self discovery began when your, now wife, walked into a room and you heard a voice from, which you first thought was from above but then realized was actually from deep with you. “Your authentic voice”. At first, you were scared of this voice but only because you “had been tamed into believing that if you did what was right for you, you would hurt your people”. The straw that broke the camels back for you was when you were braiding your daughters hair and thought to yourself, ” I’m staying in this marriage for her but would I want this marriage for her?” After watching this interview my heart was heavy for you. I imagined you, years ago, tired and at the end of your rope. The weight of your feelings must have felt like too much to bear. You were desperate for relief and instead of pressing on, in the grace of God, you chose freewill and mistakenly called it freedom. Sister, you are loved.

Out of curiosity, I googled the word tame and it is defined as , “to make or become gentle or obedient. James 3:17-18 says, But wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere and those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness. It is good, in the eyes of the Lord for us to be gentle and obedient. Those who are will reap a harvest of goodness. Sister, you do want to be tame and in fact, according to God’s word, you will be blessed for it.

I know the voice you heard that day when your wife walked in the room must have felt good. I bet the way you two looked at each other awakened emotions in you that you had been craving to feel for years. Sister, this was not freedom. This was not self discovery. This was temptation. James 1:14 says, Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. Oh how the enemy loves this kind of deception, sin masked in Freedom. Sister, I wish you had dug into the word of God during this time. Ephesians 6:11 says we need to be ready to resist these tricks from the enemy.

I know life is hard. It’s easy, as parents, to want to model a happy life for our children but the truth is we aren’t always happy. Modeling a surrendered life is much more valuable to our children than claiming a happy one. Jesus himself said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must set aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. Let’s teach our children that our most intimate relationship here on earth must be with Jesus. Only when we love Jesus our most can we love others our best.

Oh sister, please reconsider what you a sharing with woman all over the world. Giving into your desire is not freedom. I encourage you to talk with the Lord. I encourage you to read His living word. I encourage you with the endless, steadfast love that He has for you to draw near to Him. He is the only one who can give you true freedom.

In love,

Jesie B

In closing to everyone, just as we are washing our hands, like mad and staying away from large crowds to avoid the corona virus; so should we be digging into the word of God, like mad and resisting temptation in order to avoid being bound by our sin. This is not our home, sisters. 

Incase you’d like to watch the interview that I have referenced above, here is the link:

link to Glennon Doyle’s GMA interview

 

 

 

 

 

He is our days

A few mornings ago I woke up with the need to worship and pray but it was 6:20 am I had too much to do. Noon had rolled around and the need persisted. I told myself it was no use. As soon as I slipped away a small human would call my name and my time would be up. Sigh, I grabbed my grandma’s rosary, knelt by the side of my bed, and turned on my new favorite worship song. Sure enough, a few minutes later tiny foot steps get closer and closer and I hear my little Millie say, “whatcha doin momma?”

Everything in me wanted to say, Mommy needs a minute. Go and I’ll tell you when I’m done. Instead though, I felt the Holy Spirit urge me to teach her. So, I said, I’m worshiping God. You wanna worship him with me?” Her little eyes lit up and she said, “Sure.” I turned the song back on and explained to her that I like to listen to music a little before I pray. I told her that I hold grandmama’s rosary, that was very interesting to her. Then I explained that I just ask Jesus to come close to me, that His will would be done in my life and that He would be in my whole day. This whole time she was just sitting quite, just listening with her eyes closed and all of a sudden she says, “Yeah mommy because HE IS OUR DAYS.” Instantly my heart fluttered. The Holy Spirit spoke to her in that moment and it was what I NEEDED to hear. All day I was putting off time with Jesus. What are our days without Him? What use is doing all things but ignoring the MOST IMPORTANT thing, Jesus.

How silly of me to think I was going to be doing the teaching.

Dear Sister,

Jesus is everything to everyone. The sun does not rise and the moon does not glow without Jesus. We are not enough and we can not do enough without Jesus. He is our beginning. He is our end. HE IS OUR DAYS!

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

In awe of Jesus

We are not consumed

Dear Sister,

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassion’s fail not. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion”, says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” (lamentations 3:22-24)

This weekend was hard. The twins and I have been sick. I was tired and cranky and it “leaked” all over the house.

Today is a new day! God’s compassion’s fail not and they are new every morning. Thank you Jesus.

In this scripture Jeremiah is grieving the loss of Jerusalem to the Babylonians, which God allowed. Jeremiah was a prophet to the Lord and heard from Him often. Still he was full of sorrow. Still he knew where his hope came from.

If this weekend was tough. You woke up with new compassion from the Lord this morning. Let him be your portion today.

Sincerely,

JB

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