Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 9.30.13

But Christ was faithful as a Son over His household. And we are that household if we hold on to the courage and the confidence of our hope.

Hebrews 3:6 HCSB

Pray
Father may I grow to be as faithful, courageous and confident as You see me. Amen.

Reflection
It’s amazing how our level of hope is connected to our level of faith, confidence, and courage. When we lack hope these other qualities significantly plummet, and the reverse is true. Wanting to believe, wanting to possess more and greater, and wanting to be (better, smarter, faster, stronger) makes us feel as though there is a possibility of achieving what we desire, and then we become more confident and courageous in our walk.

I won’t stop believing. I pray you don’t either.

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted.
breakingbreadwithnatasha.com

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 9.27.13

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, man must not separate.”

Mark 10:7-9 HCSB

Pray
Father as I work on myself I pray for strength, endurance, discernment, and a tough skin to deal with life’s hurdles and the distractions caused by the world and others. I pray for the union of others who are married and committed to the vows they recited before witnesses. Father what You have joined together let no man or woman try or succeed at separating. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Reflection
I’m a blessed and joy-filled newlywed and although my marriage feels like my relationship did a few weeks ago before I said “I do” (awesome and effortless), I also know that as a married couple we have a greater commitment to each other because we can’t just jump up and quit, and we can’t just be consumed with self, because we must always consider and protect each other. We also must work harder to protect our relationship from the enemy and human puppets of the enemy. Jesus was clear when he said that no man (and that includes woman) shall separate what God put together.

If you are married don’t take it casually. Don’t treat your marriage like any other relationship. Don’t treat your spouse like a room mate, customer, or business partner. People casually enter marriage taking for granted and blatantly disregarding the vows they spoke before God and witnesses. Marriage is hard work, the hardest work you will ever do, and love, the way we see it isn’t enough.

Love as equated to charity is just as it is described in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, and it should be approached and shared accordingly as God intended. First Corinthians love is kind and patient. It isn’t jealous, envious, boastful, vindictive, spiteful, unfaithful, dishonest, childish, or selfish. This kind of love doesn’t keep score of past hurt, hold grudges, or play manipulative games, and it isn’t easily angered.

If people expressed and gave the type of love as God intends then we wouldn’t have divorce, issues with infidelity, and excessive drama. There would be no need for these senseless, negative, so-called reality shows if we loved as we were instructed. Can you imagine a shift in our television programming if we watched faithful, committed, and monogamous couples? Can you imagine how enriching programming would be if it weren’t plagued by haters and people vying for an opportunity to break up a happy relationship, “steal” someone’s man/woman, or cause drama in someone’s life? Imagine programming where everyone isn’t trying to be a player, secretly juggling multiple sex partners.

What you ingest and take in you put out.

There isn’t a shortage of good men, there may however be a lack of people with good morals, values, and ethics. There may be a shortage of honest, dignified, and interdependent people. There also may be a shortage of people properly aligning their priorities with what they need in life. We have a lot of people pretending to be someone they aren’t. We have a great deal of people walking around envying and coveting others. This isn’t just the men, but the women also.

If you are married or in another type of committed relationship, invest in and protect it like you do your own life. And we all need to surround and support other couples with love so that even their lows feel more like highs. For those of you who are single and not involved in a relationship, don’t lower your standards to be with a person not available, not faithful, and not equally yoked on every level. Stop looking in someone else’s “yard” and envying their “grass” and what they have. What God gives is meant for the receiver. What God has in store for you won’t be given to someone else.

I dedicate this message to all married couples. May your love light stay well lit (or be reignited). I also dedicate this message to those seeking a loving, committed relationship—may you always walk as a reflection of God, never settling for less and never wanting or pursuing someone else’s “property” or relationship “leftovers”.

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted.
breakingbreadwithnatasha.com

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 9.26.13

Yesterday I saw this “Fix Your Mind” message and knew that I had to share it with all of you some time this week, and I knew that the “when” would hit me at the appropriate time. Well today’s the day. I have used the same scripture before, and like the few times in the past I truly think that it’s one of those messages that can’t be repeated enough. I pray that we all fix our minds on God’s plan and purpose for us, fix our minds to act as reflections of God, and expect the best from others. Enjoy today’s post and please share it with others.

Love your sister in Christ,

Natasha

Fix Your Mind

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Whatever is true, whatever is honest, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is kind, if there is any virtue, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things.”

Philippians 4:8, NIV

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
What you think about determines the quality and direction of your life. Naturally, people who think positive, uplifting thoughts have happier, healthier, longer lives. They are less stressed, more vibrant and enjoy better sleep. That’s why the scripture encourages us to think on good things — things that are true, noble and lovely. Some translations say to “fix your mind” on them. When you fix your mind on noble things, you close the door to the negative voices and open your heart to allow God to work in your life.

Choose today to fix your mind on good things. Do whatever you need to in order to keep those good thoughts before you. Write them on note cards and put them in a place where you can see them. Confess God’s promises over your life and declare His blessing on a daily basis. As you fix your mind on the goodness of God, you will rise higher in every area of your life. You will be filled with His peace and victory, and you’ll see every dream and desire in your heart come to pass.

A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father in heaven, I choose to fix my mind on noble things. I choose thoughts of peace and victory. Fill my heart with Your goodness that I may glorify You in everything I do in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen

Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted.
breakingbreadwithnatasha.com

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 9.25.13

I am certain that I will see the Lord ’s goodness in the land of the living.

Psalms 27:13 HCSB

Pray
I know Father that all of the struggle and strife, the setbacks and failures, the valleys and pitfalls are all a setup for an abundance of blessings now and in the future. I know that I will deal with self-absorbed people who are only concerned (or mostly concerned) with themselves and how something impacts them, but I also know that You will keep in my life more people who are concerned with not just how life impacts them but how it impacts others.

I know that You will bring and keep more people in my life who work to find mutually rewarding options and solutions, and those who work at compromises instead of fixating on small victories. I know that You will bring and keep the givers in my life, and extract the takers so that they can stop trying to suck the life out of me and others. I am looking for nothing but good in the world and in Your children. In my discernment I will not be easily blindsided by the darkness. Thank you Father for the gifts I see and those still coming. Amen.

Reflection
Today I got a whammy of drama that I could have reacted to, but chose to hand over to God. First I got a text message this morning from a self-absorbed sender who continued to only focus on themselves, and had little regard for those it impacted. They never said thank you for the “extra” I had given them, they never took into consideration all that I had done for them and what I endured to look out for them over the years. Their only concern and focus was the person they saw when they looked in the mirror. Our reason and season has now ended, and I will walk away without ever a concern for looking back.

Then later tonight I ran across a very alarming and negative message that was sent to me last October, but I hadn’t seen until today. I smiled and thanked God for blocking my view of this message until today. Had I seen it last year it could have created a negative domino effect that ultimately could have changed my life today. There is absolutely no reason why I did not see this message, except to say that God didn’t want me to see it. It wasn’t hidden, it’s right there in plain sight, but almost one year later I’m just seeing it. He is good!

So I keep pushing and pressing on. I will not let anyone deter me, distract me, or hold me back. I will not allow anyone to plant a seed in my mind that changes my thinking about Psalms 27:13, my God, or my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I pray the same for you too!

Love your sister in Christ,

Natasha

Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted.
breakingbreadwithnatasha.com

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 9.24.13

Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters.

Nehemiah 3:12 NIV

Pray
Father may Your children see the power, strength, gifts, and intelligence possessed by Your daughters. May Your daughters never take for granted the abilities You give them, or feel entitled to boast or brag. I pray for our humility in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Reflection
The Bible shares numerous accounts of women in non-traditional roles, showing women as builders, soldiers, leaders, disciples, and defenders of households. These accounts help to reinforce the position of why we should not force women into stereotypical “boxes”, but rather encourage women to walk comfortably wherever God guides them. We need to encourage and support the girly girl and the tomboy, the domestic engineer and the entrepreneur. Women can be leaders in the church, in government, in business, on the court, in the community, and in the military. If God places no limits, then neither should His children.

Love,

Natasha

Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted.
breakingbreadwithnatasha.com

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 9.23.13

“Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.

John 14:1 HCSB

Pray
Thank You Father for answering my prayers, blessing me on time every time, and seeing ahead what I would need in order to walk on my path without delays. Thank You for calming me in times of stress and fear, and thank You for the gift of Your son to remind me of how I am supposed to live my life. I humbly thank You and praise You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Reflection
I used this scripture before in 2011 but felt that it was appropriate to use again today because it is so simple and so powerful. Jesus said to do three things: don’t let your heart be troubled, believe in God, and believe in him. What’s amazing is how the three are intertwined. To not have a troubled heart we must have faith and a belief that everything will be taken care of by God, and we have learned how to carry our burdens from reading about Jesus Christ. Can you believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and not believe in God?

How would our lives be if we lived each day without a troubled heart? What if every time we faced adversity we just let go and trusted God to do what He has promised? What if we didn’t allow stress and fear to have a part in our life? What if we didn’t focus on what we don’t have, and instead focused on all of the things that we do have? What if we didn’t stress over bills and money issues, and instead praised God for each day?

Trust. Believe. Let go.

Love,

Natasha

Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted.
breakingbreadwithnatasha.com

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Sunday Sermon Share Day: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 9/22/13

Welcome to Sunday Sermon Share Day for 9/22/13

Today’s sermon comes from Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Marietta, Georgia.

Today’s Subject is: Mine Your Business

Today’s Scripture selections from are:
Genesis 37:3-4 (NLT)
Genesis 37: 18-24 (ESV)
Genesis 39:1-6 (NLT)
Genesis 39:7-10 (CEB)

Highlights from Today’s Sermon:

Work: The expenditure of energy (manual, mental, or both) in the service of others, which brings fulfillment to the worker, benefit to the community, and glory to God.

(Stott, p. 162). J. Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today (Basingstoke, U.K.: Marshalls, 1984)

It’s not “Mind your business” it’s “Mine your business”, meaning to dig deep to zoom in on what God has planned for you. This series is connecting elements of Joseph’s life with our lives in the workplace. You must answer questions 1 and 2 for yourself.

As I mine my business, I must determine…

1. Where is my pit (fall)?

What are the trappings, snares, lures and pits in your life?

The pit is the passport to the next place.

Don’t ever despise your situation
You can’t change your circumstances but you can change elements within your circumstances

Joseph was thrown in a pit that was made to collect rain water but thankfully the 30 foot pit had no water in it. Had it, can you imagine how things would have changed drastically and immediately for him? Joseph was thrown into the pit by his brothers, by the ones he loved and trusted most. He probably was clueless how much they despised him. He probably didn’t know until he was at the bottom of the pit. Sit back and think about how he must have felt sitting down there. What do you think he was doing and thinking?

He naively and blindly walked to the very people who would betray him. How many of us have done that? But Joseph didn’t give up and he didn’t give in to the darkness, turn cold or be hardened by his situation.

God is wise enough to coordinate our blessings with our weaknesses

When you are new at a job (or an intern) and share your corporate aspirations, you may share with the wrong person, or too early, God still finds a way to work that into your blessings.

When people think they are stripping something from you, they aren’t taking your favor from you.

Your favor is wrapped up in your skill sets,

Favor is God’s approval on your life at that time, and it doesn’t have to look favorable to others.

We have a picture in our minds of what success looks like and we fixate on that, and allow others to paint what success should look like for us, instead of knowing and seeing God’s picture of success for us—and allowing Him to take us there.

You don’t play the blame game when you know you have a dream.

Joseph was called a dreamer. In the marketplace we call dreamers visionaries and entrepreneurs. Not everyone is an entrepreneur. When you “mine your business”

When you fake like you are an entrepreneur (or someone else) you will lose your shirt, credit, and business. Some people are meant to work for others, to be managers, shift leaders, and hold other positions within someone else’s company.

Not everyone is made to be the entrepreneur. If you don’t have people skills, networking skills, business skills, aren’t a risk taker, a visionary, a dreamer, aren’t good with decision making or handling money, can’t handle rejection, and not good at leading others—-you aren’t an entrepreneur. Stay in your lane.

You can have other amazing skills, but they should be applied to the areas and positions that God has lined up for you, and that is most likely in someone else’s business, not your own.

An asset to have is that someone will always tell you the truth and you are strong enough to take in what they say.

2. Who is my Potiphar?

Headhunters looking for talent. Joseph was purchased by Potiphar to work. Just like today every time you go work for someone you are basically purchased. You negotiate a salary to work and you do the work as contracted.

Joseph is sold into slavery, purchased by Potiphar, Potiphar looks at Joseph’s skill sets (whatever those were), and starts off in an entry-level position.

Entry-level is not a curse. You may have a degree but you don’t have the workforce experience. Entry-level is a blessing. If you don’t have a degree and no experience, then you should embrace the entry-level job.

Your attitude along with your achievements and accomplishments will get you noticed. What you say and what you do is conflicting when you say “I’m blessed and highly favored” yet you don’t work that way.

What are the areas that others spurns, runs from, and doesn’t want to do? You are in a position to do them and thrive.

Joseph did what others didn’t want to and Potiphar took notice, and praised Joseph for his hard work. This is called a Performance Management Review in the workforce.

Potiphar promoted Joseph. But Joseph is now getting the same pay for more work and responsibilities. Do you see yourself being prepared for a better position tomorrow? Or do you say, “Why am I getting more work dumped on me? Why am I doing someone else’s job?” Do you see this as a blessing or like you are being taken advantage of?

Wider responsibility always precedes higher promotion. You have to be trusted with more before you get more. You’re being stretched and prepared for what God has in store for you.

Who is your Potiphar? You don’t even have to like them. Who is God using to help prepare you?

You can evangelize but if your work ethic isn’t there then it isn’t evangelistic.

We may be Potiphar for someone else. Are you comfortable and confident in helping build someone else up to eventually take over your position?

You have to remember what it meant and how it is to be a Joseph even when you become a Potiphar. Many people forget where they came from once they get where they want to go.

Joseph was successful in serving. That’s how we should measure success on the job. It goes deeper than the completion of tasks, but making tangible changes in the lives of others. Do you recognize those you are supposed to serve? We are all in customer service. We are all supposed to be serving others. If you mistreat others because they mistreat you then you can miss the resources that God has specifically prepared for you. Customer service should be a part of your portfolio. Treating others with respect and dignity, acknowledging them for who they are—never walking by them without doing so. The same people you walk by as you are going up the ladder may be the same people you need when you are humbly coming down the ladder.

Systems of evil are devised by people.

Kindness is a fruit of the spirit: a behavior that helps people get the job done. If you are rude you justify it by what you experienced in life. You anticipate a negative response before they give it to you, and then you have a trail of carnage in your life, and you are wondering why you don’t have an abundance of resources in your life—-it’s because of YOU!

You can’t go to work and think you can just do your job without having to interact and work closely with others.

Some of you are working for people who trust you so much that they don’t follow up behind you. You take advantage of it thinking they aren’t interested or disconnected, so you do things with that thinking, and what happens you end up retarding your growth and limiting your blessings—because just because the person isn’t paying attention, God is!

If you hang around people with twisted thinking who say, “you do everything, what does your boss do?” shut it down. Don’t buy into that nonsense. Be Kingdom material and know your place and role. Pay attention to God’s structure.

Joseph is being offered a bonus by someone not his boss. His boss’s wife is trying to get him to sleep with her and be with her. But he knew better. He knew it was wrong and was a sin against God. He knew that Potiphar entrusted him and gave him access to everything, but was clear that his wife was off limits.

The wife continued and persisted daily, and with different approaches, but Joseph kept shutting her down. Joseph knew he was blessed before she approached him. Joseph not only refused to sleep with her he refused to be around her. Joseph wouldn’t compromise his integrity by entertaining her. Workplace flirting falls into the madness, because you can’t justify it and say, “but I didn’t cheat…I’m like Joseph”—don’t even entertain it. What if Joseph gave in on day 2, where would he have been by day 5?

————————————
Now this part you hear from me every Sunday: Be sure to share highlights from sermons at your church or place of worship here on my blog. Feel free to also visit and contribute to our community chat room where we can have healthy, positive, dialogue on the sermon I shared today, Breaking Bread daily posts, or issues impacting the Christian community.

Remember there is absolutely no preaching, passing judgment, converting, recruiting, or focus on any specific church or religious leader. Those are the rules. We’re here to share words of love and peace inspired by the Word of the Bible. We’re here to uplift and never tear down. If you can roll with that, then you can roll with me and the Breaking Bread family! Visit the chat room here:

http://chatroll.com/embed/chat/breaking-bread-with-natasha?id=lCL-CHvZOne&platform=wordpress-com

Have an amazing week family. Take the time to honor the women, wives, and mothers in your life. Take the time to shower love and encouragement on the married couples you know.

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com