New Life is Starting at Every Ending…


picsvsomToday, I along with my incredible classmates graduate from Victory School of Ministry.  It is hard to even form words for how these years have been, but perhaps the lives we live will tell the story better than any words ever could. This is the end of a season for many of us. Some will be coming back and others will be moving on, but no matter where we go in life we will always take a bit of each other everywhere.

I have learned so much and God has changed me in so many ways. As I step out, I know that a new life is starting at this ending. This was only the beginning. It has been such an honor to be part of this group of God’s elite! Everyone is uniquely gifted and has different strengths – but as was said before, you go fast if you go alone, but you go far if you go together. I’m so honored to privileged to have walked with each of these people as a class and as a school.

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To my class: I believe you will go far. I believe in the dreams that God has put in your hearts. I believe in and I’m committed to praying for you and the destiny that you will fulfill. I am incredibly proud of each and every one of you. I love you dearly. We’ve all had our ups and downs. None of us are perfect. But even with all that being true, we love each other and we have each other’s backs. It has been an honor to grow, to fight, to pray, and to stand with you. No matter where you go, you have my prayers.

To my first year class: I am so incredibly proud of every single one of you. God has done incredible things in your life this year! I’m looking forward to seeing what more He does in each of you. Remember to stand firm. Be challenged. God has so much in store for you. You are all in my prayers. It has been an honor to serve with you. I love you all.

To my leaders: Thank you for calling out the potential that is in me. Thank you for challenging me to be more than I thought I could be. Thank you for the grace that you’ve shown, for the prayers that you have sown, for the wisdom that you have imparted, for the love that you have given. I really do feel the weight of the responsibility of the prayers that were prayed over me – heard and unheard, and also for guarding the sacred trust of everything that has been poured into me these last 2 years. I feel the weight to walk out in the fullness of all that has been brought forth in me.

With nothing left to be said, but all to be lived:  Live. Pursue. Love. Endure.

“Be the Bigger Person!”


“Therefore, you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:38 (NKJV)

“Be the bigger person.” I’m pretty sure that everyone has heard that phrase at least once in their lifetime. When you’re little (and sometimes even, not-so-little), and someone is teasing you or misbehaving or is bothering you and everything in you wants to get them right back, this is what keeps you from doing so. You decide to be the bigger person and be nice and extend grace (or just don’t retaliate).

In a way, Jesus told us to do the same thing. In Matthew 5:48 He tells us to “be perfect, just as your Father in heaven…” The word “perfect” in the Greek is teleios which can mean “full-grown,” “adult,” and “mature”. So in essence, we aren’t commanded to live a sinless life in all righteousness and holiness. We are however, commanded to “be the bigger person.” In context (verses 43-48), we are to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who persecute us. We are to love the unlovable. It is easy to love people who love us – anyone does that. But to love those who treat us badly isn’t always easy, but we are called to it and in doing so, we love with the love of Jesus.

When have you had to consciously “be the bigger person” and love with the love of the Lord?

“Let Brotherly Love Continue…”


I have never been less aware of my single status or more aware of how loved I am.

First thing this morning I had such a blessed time with Jesus and in the presence of God. I never thought it would go this way, but lately I have been studying love – perfect time of year isn’t it? But today I was studying on what it means to truly love God. What does that look like? What does it mean?

John 14:21 say this: “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” 

That is what it looks like to love God. Throwing off the religious mind-set that makes the Word of God a book of rules and thus a duty to abide by, we then can see that when we abide in love, we then have a desire to obey the commands of God.

And just what are His commands? Matthew 22:36-40:

“36 ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ 37 Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” 

Summed up: Love God and love people.

No sooner had I finished my Bible study this morning to get ready for school than I find this gift on my doorstep!

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A rose and chocolate. I was pleasantly surprised. Attached to the rose was a sweet note and this is what it said:

“Brittany, We are giving you these gifts on this special Valentine’s Day to honor you. You are such an amazing, beautiful, and loved woman of God and it’s a privilege to be considered your family. Love, Your VSOM Brothers   Hebrews 13:1 – “Let brotherly love continue.”

Being single on valentines day does not exclude you from being loved or being special. God touched my heart this morning, and then my amazing and thoughtful classmates, my VSOM brothers gave an expression of their love with this sweet surprise. (I call bragging rights, we have the best guys!) This day has been most incredible. Our corporate prayer time at school this morning carried a sweet atmosphere of God’s love and I finished the day off after school with a dear friend at the Prayer Center. It has been a beautiful day filled with love. It’s not about the gifts, but about living out the love of Jesus – which is truly living out the Jesus that is in us. How can you express that love to someone this week?

To My VSOM Brothers: Thank you for your thoughts, your gifts, your prayers, and all the ways that you express your love each day. Thank you for living out the love of Jesus, by which your loving us shows a great deal of how much you love Him. You are amazing and anointed leaders that exhibit godly character and I am so blessed to have you in my life. I am proud to call you family. I love you all and you are dear to my heart! Bless!

Unsurpassable Worth: Radical Love in Action


When I asked God to give me His heart today, I didn’t realize just how much it would break.

I don’t believe I fully comprehended the weight of my request, but He granted it. As I went around town and went through my day, I realized that it was anything but normal. I began to see people like I have never seen people before. My heart ached for them to have the hope that I do.

Today I saw the beauty in the nameless face like never before. Where I used to see faces, I saw a story and how each has a chance of a redemptive end. That starts with love. And in feeling the weight of God’s heart today, I found a love for people deeper than I ever had before. The things that God allowed me to see and feel – I know that He truly gave me His heart – I went home and I wept.

In view of the state of this lost world, my heart broke. With a renewed sense of love burning in me, I was burdened for these people. I saw their hurt and felt their pain – and realize love is the only thing that can heal those wounds. Love unconditional. Love that can only come from God. Love that transcends all. The love that sees their unsurpassable worth and that died for them as He did for me.

O that Christians would truly love with the heart of God. But too often we take the place of judgment instead of love. The lost world, to a great degree forms their view of God based on the character of those who profess to know Him. This world knows God as a God of judgment because we judge, and does not see the God of grace, mercy and unconditional love because we don’t carry it ourselves.

Judgment separates. Love unites. 

A few weeks ago, one of my teachers/pastors at school told our class this: “We are not God-like in the way we want to love. You want to be God-like in the way you judge. This should not be.” (Pastor Marcia)

The essence of sin is we attempt to play God. Every judgement we think, suppose or act upon supposes that we are in a position of superiority.

As Christians we are seldom known for our radical love. We fail to abide in love. I believe that part of this is we have lost sight of the unsurpassable worth that people have. We have become promoters of good over evil instead of lovers of people.

How can you love deeper today?

How can you show the radical love of God today?

21 Days of Never-the-Same – Day 20


photoAs I have been studying the Proverbs 31 woman verse by verse, I will admit, I cannot read that passage and not think of my mother.

Two verses that I really want to highlight on are 27-28:

“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” (NIV)

My momma is always doing something. She is actively involved in our lives on a consistent basis (that includes even my brother and I who are away at school). With 5 kids that cannot always be easy, but she does an amazing job.

My momma has many fine qualities and is a woman of character. When I think of my mother, the first thing that comes to mind is her strength. She is always like a rock in the storm. She has a strength about her in all she does. She tells you like it is. And she’s grounded. Momma is solid and is a woman of virtue.

Something that really blesses me about my mother, is the love that she and my dad have for each other. There is no better team, and no greater gift that my siblings and I could be given than that.

Even this being said, I feel like I cannot adequately describe my mother. I can never thank her enough for everything she’s done and for everything she is.

The worth of a mother goes beyond what words can describe. 

I am beyond blessed with the mother that God has given to me. I am proud to be my mother’s daughter.

Beyond that, as I have grown, my relationship with my mother has changed in many ways…it has had its stages, but what comes out of it is more than my mother being my mother –  my mother has become a friend. And I am so amazingly blessed to have her.

Thank you, Momma for all you do and all you are to me. Your worth is far above what can be expressed. I love you dearly.

 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all…” (Prov. 31:29)

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21 Days of Never-the-Same – Day 18


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Pastor Jeff Marshall and his wife Cathy – New Day Assembly of God, Upper St. Clair, PA

When I look back, I realize change is a good thing. I am not a big fan of change unless I am the one who is controlling it – and with that, there being a good reason for the change. But there have been times in my life where looking back, it was change that allowed me to be who I am today. I’ve written about a lot of different things thus far…and a lot of them have much to do with a change that came about 8-9 years ago.

I grew up in a non-denominational church…then after all those years and memories, God called us out and brought us to New Day. I did not want to leave where I had grown up and will admit I did not have a good attitude about visiting other churches for the time that we did. God was good to us though, and from the start there was something about New Day. I loved it right away.

The years I have been there shaped so much of who I am today. Pastor Jeff is such a wonderful shepherd of His congregation and he and his wife, Cathy, have set within the church an atmosphere of family. It is home. It is warm. And it is where I began to see Jesus with my own eyes and where my faith became my own – not just something I was raised in or taught, but something that makes up who I am even today. I believe no matter where God may call me I will always carry a bit of New Day DNA in me.

There are so many defining moments that come to mind from New Day. I grew up there. Those people are like family to me.

God has met me at that altar numerous times when I took a step of faith and came forward.

I learned what it is to worship in spirit and truth and even to have a freedom to do so through dance.

I have been blessed with incredible people in my life who have poured into me and been an example to me in my faith-walk.

I have witnessed the mark of the ministry in this church.

It was here that I was baptized in the Holy Spirit.

It was here that I practically lived some years, being there almost every time the doors were open.

It was here that God met me and changed my life forever…a new day, a new chapter…

So much of that is because a man was obedient to the call of God on His life…even when things got hard, he didn’t quit. He is a man so compelled by the love of Christ that he stands where he is today. Thank you, Pastor Jeff and Cathy for obeying the call of God to shepherd the people of New Day. You are all like family to me and an immense blessing in my life. Thank you for all you’ve done and for standing strong and waiting on God even when most people would have quit. I honor your place in my life and I thank God for you often. Love and Blessings!

21 Days of Never-the-Same – Day 14


Something that I have learned over the years and that I become all the more convinced of as I get older is that it really is the little things in life! Like the little moments that you have to capture with your heart.

Tonight that is exactly what I got. One of those little things. My sisters and I baked some cookies…and maybe had  a little flour fight afterwards.

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Having a little fun with my sisters — priceless. It is the little things such as this, that mean so much. At the end of the day, it is these kind of things that make me want to smile. 🙂 I am so blessed!

Take time to recognize the little things in life around you. Things that could seem to be so mundane, but really are an opportunity to be made into a moment that your heart will want to capture and to memorize.

Bless!

21 Days of Never-the-Same – Day 10


Daddy and I DancingI did not realize so much the gift that I had until I saw just how rare it was. I have always been blessed to have the relationship with my dad that I do, but coming to school, I have an increased appreciation and another thing to thank God for every day. Last year I staffed the Generation Conference hosted at Victory Christian Center in Ohio. Pat Schatzline was the speaker. I don’t remember what else he spoke on that night, but what I do remember shook me to the core.

At the altar call, so many responded who didn’t have a good relationship with their dad, or who never knew their dad, etc. Seeing the high response to that altar call broke my heart. I cannot imagine not being close with my dad, let alone not knowing Him. He is so much a part of why I am who I am today.

That night after getting out of the conference, the first thing I did was message my dad and thank him for always being there for me. I thanked him for having the part in my life that He does.

I am abundantly blessed.

My dad showed me that I have value. He showed me what I’m looking for in a man – I want a man like him. He taught me much by the way he loves my mother and by how hard he works. I am blessed beyond measure.

Daddy,

Thank you for all that you have taught me these years! Thank you for loving me and for always being there for me. I honor your place in my life and I thank God for you every day. You’re the most important man in my life. I love you dearly! 

Always Your Little Girl,

Brittany

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21 Days of Never-the-Same – Day 6


The last couple years God has brought some incredible people into my life. I know that I would not be who I am today without them. A few of these people I am blessed to have with me weekly. They have poured so much into my life the last two years and I’m so grateful for their presence in my life.

JoelleOne of these people, if you’re looking for the REAL deal, she is it. This semester she was my mentor for my ministry track with school. She’s an incredible woman of God with a heart for the harvest, my dear friend, Joelle. I have never met anyone like this girl. She has a huge passion for the Lord and has taught me so much. Two of the biggest things that I have learned from her go hand in hand:

1) Be faithful where you are at.

2) Love the one in front of you. 

Lessons that seem so simple, and yet, when actually applied, they change everything. It is so important to be faithful where you are placed right now because although God might be calling you to the nations or to be or do something else, you are also called to be where you are right now. That being said, give your all where you are at. You are divinely appointed to be there. Just the same, love the one in front of you. Be faithful to those that God brings into your life. Don’t be so future-focused that you miss the people who have been divinely orchestrated to cross your path.

PChrisAnother of these people is the assistant director of VSOM, Pastor Chris. This guy always keeps me guessing. God has gifted him creatively in many ways. I am always amazed at the visions that he brings forth for ways to minister creatively and also with his heart for the church. We had a prayer time last year focused on the Bride of Christ and the spiritual harlotry she is committing and that changed me and gave me a new passion for the church.

Pastor Chris taught me a lot, but one of the lessons that really stands out is this:

Set the new standard. 

Dream bigger. Run to your fears and realize how small and insignificant they really are. Don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t be afraid to succeed. Give your all in everything! Go hard.

PBenFinally, a man of God full of grace and wisdom far beyond his years, Pastor Ben. I can’t even fully express how knowing this man has changed me, but I’ve grown so much under his leadership. He is an incredible man of God! When I think of Pastor Ben, the first thing that pops into my mind is probably one of the greatest things I have gleaned from him:

Grace.

That is, having grace for others, having grace for yourself, and receiving grace as well. I’ve learned that I need A LOT of grace, and all the same, I need to give that too. 

In addition, I’ve learned that the sufficiency of Christ is more than enough.  Also, I have learned what it is to truly have a passion for the Lord and a heart for the things of God. Something that I have seen in Pastor Ben’s life is how evident His passion and heart for the Lord are in his every day walk.

I thank God every day for these incredible people in my life! I would not be the same without them!

Thank you to Pastor Ben, Pastor Chris and Joelle for believing in me, calling out the potential in me and for pouring into my life. Know that you are constantly in my prayers and I honor your place in my life. Blessings and favor! I love you!

~Brittany

Q4U: What people have poured into your life that God used to make you who you are today?

Content, yet Hopeful… Guest Post by Meghan Gorecki


Today we have a most beautiful and inspiring guest post by Meghan Gorecki, who is a dear old friend of mine! !

Meghan is a young woman striving to live a simple life under the Lord’s unique direction, & daily learning that “to live is Christ, but to die is gain.” Her days are filled to overflowing with working full-time as a medical receptionist, her crazy-awesome family, & pursuing her “dream job” of becoming a published fiction author. Though her passion is fiction writing, she records the crazy days, love, tough lessons, & laughter that color her days on her blog, Just As I Am.

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Always being a hopeless/now-cynical romantic, news of engagements, weddings or “relationship statuses” changing always bring a sappy smile to my face. Hearing of unique, divinely-penned love stories always bring me goosebumps and I just shake my head in wonderment of God’s perfect plan for each and every one of us. *Laughs* And at the same time I can say with utmost honesty that I am quite content in my “single” status! This *doesn’t* mean I don’t look around on occasion and wonder where “my guy” is…but I digress.

As my friends and I are getting older, talks of crushes or “boys” have progressed to serious discussions about what we look for {and what we don’t want} in future husbands…while still other friends are hopeful about future relationships, or *in* serious relationships! One of my friends is expecting her thirdchild–her love story is a *very* special and unique one I am privileged to have witnessed. As much as my deepest heart’s desire is to get married and have as many children as God’s will’s…I am, frankly, blown away by the fact that I don’t “feel” like me & my friends are “old enough” to be actually going through or developing serious relationships that may just turn into marriage!

Time has flown by at an alarming rate…it feels like only yesterday a friend and I were perusing Before You Meet Prince Charming, denouncing “crushes” and romance novels…and nobly making “lists” of the “musts” for our future spouses. *Disclaimer: the book referenced is a great book, helpful, to a point. Just slightly went to the extreme…crushes, I have NO room to talk, only had one till I was 12…and I love a good cheesy historical book!* At that time, I was *so* swept up in all of that, it proved to be a slight stumbling block…in other reminisces, I remember vividly how I *SO* wanted to be married at eighteen and having a passel of children by my mid-twenties. Oh the daydreams of an overly romantic old-fashioned little girl…

I rejoice with those who rejoice in new-found, or progressing, relationships…yet it is ALL still so foreign to me half the time I don’t know what to think exactly. But I do know this–I can listen, rejoice with them, and pray for them in the new season. It’s a privilege at every step of the way…while it is *also* a privilege to pray for my utterly single friends’ future husbands, and pray with them in this season where God is preparing us, and “our guys” for our lives together.

I have a journal under a light layer of dust that has a few “letters” to my future husband recorded…I think about him, and where he is, what he’s doing, quite often. And on occasion I do ponder who he could be. I do have a “list” of qualities I hope my husband to have, but it is *not* extensive–compared to certain “lists” two of my friends and I compiled at a young age that boasted forty or more “requirements” for our guys. Don’t judge. Those days of day-dreaming childhood are gone, while the more serious business of asking the Lord to prepare and shape *me* are uppermost in my mind…but I do “dabble” on Pinterest with my dream wedding. smile Regardless of when, where or how gorgeous the wedding is…no matter how many times I may be a bridesmaid before a bride, I am thankful and content where I am now. Yet I am so hopeful for someday… beginning a new life with a beautiful wedding day, & carving out that new life with God at the center.

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How has this post encouraged you? Please feel free to share in the comments. Blessings!

~Brittany

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