“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!

Valentines2013-2

 

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!

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21 Days of Never-the-Same – Day 9


danceintherain

I learned through the years that life isn’t always easy. But if you’re always looking at the bad, you will miss the good.

I have come to realize though, that just like when finding the silver lining, there is a beauty in the storms.  You have to embrace them. They are a blessing in disguise.

How would you know the morning if you didn’t know the midnight?

 

Earlier this summer I came home one day and it was pouring down rain…and I mean POURING. Somehow, rain is the last thing you want when you’re focused on you, and how you look, and what other people might think of you, and how inconvenient being wet can be…once again, this is when you are focused on you. I put aside those thoughts and went out and danced in the downpour. I am not sure how long I was out there, but it was long enough to be drenched when I was done, and long enough to lose myself in the freedom of being released to the storm.

I think God allows the storms in our lives to get our eyes off of ourselves. It is in desperation that we realize how much we need Him. When we keep Him as our focus, even when storms come, and we learn to dance no matter what is surrounding us and no matter what our circumstances might be we grow. And when the storm passes, somehow the dripping-wet clothes we’re wearing don’t matter anymore. Somehow, the hair being drenched and make-up running don’t matter anymore. Somehow you lose yourself when you embrace what comes at you, and it makes you who you’re becoming to be.

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?

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