Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.28.18

This message hit home for me, so I share it with all of you.

~Natasha

In His Hand

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you…I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand…”

(Isaiah 41:10, AMP)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

We all face situations in life that feel out of control. During times like these, it’s easy to get discouraged and allow fear to creep in. But instead, why don’t you focus on the fact that God is holding you in the palm of His hand. There is nothing too difficult for Him; nothing is impossible, nothing is beyond His ability. When God holds you in His hand, you are safe. You are cared for. In His hand, there is victory. In His hand, there is strength. In His hand, there is provision. In His hand is everything you need!

No matter what you may be going through today, you can trust that God is for you. Instead of getting down and depressed over your circumstances, look up and get a vision of God turning that situation around. Let faith arise in your heart and focus on His favor, promotion and blessing. See yourself in the palm of His hand, and see the victory and blessing He has prepared for you!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for helping me and holding me in Your victorious right hand. I choose to trust You even when things don’t make sense, even when things seem beyond my control. I release my cares to You knowing that You work all things together for my good in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen

Natasha’s Questions of the Day

1.What issues do you need God’s help with?

2. What issues are you ready to fully release to God?

3. What trust issues do you have with God that prevents you from fully surrendering your problems and fears to Him?

4. Does reading today’s post help you to see that you aren’t in this situation alone, and that your problems aren’t uniquely yours?

Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com

Please also feel free to share this post with others. We’re never quite sure who needs to hear and see what, and when! It would be awesome if whenever you run across a prayer, message, or scripture that moves you, you would kindly share it with the rest of us. You can post it on this blog or send me an email.

Love always,

Natasha

Note: This message was originally posted on June 5, 2014.

Copyright 2014-2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. Prior posts from 2009-2013 are copyrighted under the name Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com

Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible,

Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission.(www.Lockman.org)

Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. The “CEB” and “Common English Bible” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Common English Bible. Use of either trademark requires the permission of Common English Bible.

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 2.27.18

Scripture

Romans 12:6-8 HCSB

Prayer

Father thank You for the gift of today. Thank You for the talents that You have blessed me with. I pray to always share those talents with others, doing so in Your name and with honor, and may my sharing always have a positive and lasting impact. Amen.

Reflection

We’re not all made to possess the identical gifts and talents as the person next to us. God made us uniquely individual, but as direct reflections of Him. We all possess traits and characteristics of God that show and magnify differently depending on the person. Strength unfolds differently for each person. But it doesn’t minimize or negate the fact that it is strength, as it is a quality reflected from God.

There are certain things that you are good, great, excellent, and genius at yet you’re either barely scratching the surface or not making any attempts to show and share these gifts. It’s not about the fanfare, and it shouldn’t be. You should be sharing those gifts God gave to you in honor of Him, as a thank You to Him, as a testimony to how great, loving, generous, and forgiving He is!

God has given you gifts. Pay it forward by sharing those gifts and talents with others. Don’t complain about what you don’t receive in your giving. You don’t see God complaining about your poor, pitiful efforts to honor and obey Him. He’s not having a temper tantrum every time you fail to thank Him for something that He’s done. You don’t see Him snatching back His gifts.

For those cynics who would say, “God takes back gifts,” I would say, “No, God gives you free will to use or squander your gifts. Those gifts aren’t gone, they are still there like rusty equipment in a shed. The longer you let it sit there and get eaten away by the elements, you will find its use is minimizing. God didn’t take them away. You stopped using them.”

Now I could also say that abuse of gifts is reason for God to remove them from your abusive hands. I’ve witnessed someone abuse a gift, lose it, redeem themselves, and regain it or regain another amazing gift in its place. As the saying goes, “use it or lose it“.

Our relationship with God is not one-sided. Your efforts, faith without sight, obedience on His terms, and thankful praise are ways that we give back in small amounts to our Creator.

What talents do you possess that you aren’t using fully or joyfully and sharing with others?

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.26.18

Scripture

Psalms 23:1 HCSB

Prayer

Father, today I opened my eyes and took a breath because of You. I am humbly thankful for I know there weren’t any actions or words that can guarantee that I will receive this gift each day.

Everything that I’ve ever had and that I currently have are only because of You. Thank You Father. Everything that I want and need can only be provided by You. My eyes can wander for other sources. My mind can be tricked into believing that I am the source. But my heart knows the truth; it feels the connected pulse shared with You, my Creator—and the truth is that until I align my mind, heart and spirit to seek only You as my provider, I will continue to struggle facing the uncertainty of highs and lows.

You are the source of all that I’ve ever wanted and needed, and that will never change. I turn to You Father in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Reflection

We torment ourselves each day seeking solutions through all of the wrong sources. We feel insecure and inferior when we can can’t achieve the things we want, when we can’t attain the things that we pursue. That’s because there is no security in trying to do this alone, and it’s because we are indeed inferior—because all of our strength, knowledge, and wisdom can never add up to the level of the One who created us.

We’re trying to climb the steepest, sharpest, most intense mountain sides with bare hands and feet, and without equipment and sustenance. It’s what one would call a “suicide mission” yet most of us who attempt it don’t even realize it. We’re so busy focused on ourselves and pumping up on self-affirmations, that we don’t see how we misaligned our lives and the natural order of life. Our center should be God not self. We should be turning to Him for guidance, confidence, tools and resources, strength, and anything else that we need.

Every step forward and every step back we should be pausing our thoughts to say “thank You Father”, for even in stepping back we grow mature enough to see the lesson and see the misstep, so that we learn and move past.

Most often in our rush to get somewhere fast we miss the details around us. Think about how many times you have taken a route but overlooked your surroundings because you’re too focused on getting where you need to go. It’s only when you’re casually driving or riding through the area, looking around and observing do you see details that you never noticed before. That’s when you ask, “wow when was that put there?” and then shock sets in when the answer returns with “for quite some time now”. How is it that you never noticed? It’s because you had on blinders. It’s because you were moving too fast to care.

Now there’s nothing wrong with having sharpened focus; it prevents you from being distracted and deterred. What I’m referring to is having a type of tunnel vision that prevents you from seeing the other tools and resources that God has along the path that can best serve you now and in the future. You don’t have to stop your forward progression to take note.

Some of us are going out of our way to get to resources, or being deprived of access, simply because we’re not looking around us, and that’s only possible when you let God navigate.

You can make all of the excuses that you want but they will still be excuses. Even piled up they have no value.

I’m in a slump in my life right now because of excuses, because I didn’t let God guide me, and I didn’t look around at the nearby tools and resources that could assist me. Those are facts. When we’re in pain we have a tendency to close our eyes and close out everything and everyone around us, including God—even while crying out to Him we still somehow close Him out. If He wasn’t closed out we could see clearly those things and people that He’s placed around us to help us through our situation. But being closed off and focused on self we cannot see or hear anything but self.

There are times that life spirals out of control to remind you that you are not in control, God is; He’s just waiting on you to let go of the wheel so He can steer you where you need to be.

When we do this then we are truly embracing and living the life of God as the shepherd; and there aren’t any unfulfilled wants or needs because He is the Provider.

Imagine a driving school instructor who steers and controls the brake and throttle at the same time as the student. The car is jerking, stalling, malfunctioning, and it isn’t making progress. That is an example of our life. God guides us and tells us when to brake, turn, slow down and speed up, reverse, and park. When we listen the ride is smooth and we reach our destination on time. When we don’t listen…well you get the drift (pun intended).

So every time you speak or think in the context of self, be sure that it leads, ends and is reinforced by the Source. For you are, you have, and you can be, only through and by Him.

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.23.18

Scripture

Philippians 2:14-15 NLT

Prayer

Father thank You for today. Thank You for awakening me to a functioning body, to the blessings that only You can provide, and for opportunities that if I do not embrace I will lose. May I do work in Your name without complaint or arguing. I pray that I am obedient to You and not resistant to anyone that You send to lead, guide, direct, or motivate me at any point on my journey.

Help me to identify those areas where I am weak, exposed, vulnerable to attack, so that I may pray to You and praise You now for protecting, providing, and strengthening me.

May my praise even during moments of pain, despair, and confusion serve as constant testimony of Your constant love. I humbly thank You as a believer and follower of Christ. To You I give all of the glory. Amen.

Reflection

When doing work in honor of God there should never be complaint or arguing. We should gladly perform our duties as His servants. Our work helps to provide dignity and sustenance to others, which results in praise and gratitude for Him.

Our complaints and arguments say that we have issue with the assignment, we feel above the level of work given to us, we have an expectation for more and greater.

Now, if in the context of complaining to and arguing with a person about our job, we should turn that over to God. At work if you’re labeled the complainer, the resistor, the rebel, guess what your manager or boss will be quick to do? Terminate you from the job. There’s a difference between speaking up about working conditions, morale, and other key factors that impact productivity, etc. and then there’s the approach of the person who complains whenever they have to exert energy beyond the level that they desire.

You know this person. It may be you. The constant complainer who whines about everything. They take on a “do we have to?” mindset that becomes an “I don’t feel like it” attitude. The range is from almost lazy, sometimes lazy, to blatant laziness. We must remember that God takes issue with the lazy. All must work and contribute in His eyes.

I had a college student in one of my classes that complained every week and seemed to attempt to start an argument by challenging other classmates and even me. He quickly was labeled by the class. Students eyes would roll each time he would interrupt me or a classmate to interject with his opinions, arguments, or complaints.

He was always trying to be the outlier in every instance. When we discussed dreams and goals in class he claimed he didn’t have any. I knew that this student was determined to cause havoc, but I had already taught his “kind” before in previous semesters. I was prepared for the nonsense he was storing up to unleash. I also knew he would soon withdraw from my class after he made a comment one week that “Professor Bryant I don’t think I’m gonna last in your class. You have it that we have to read and do work in here, like real work, each week. That’s just too much…” I smiled and replied, “yes this is a class where I teach, you work, and through your work you learn and apply what I teach you to life inside and outside of this classroom…

There are some people who don’t want to work, and if they do they don’t want to work as hard or harder than anyone else, they want to dictate the level, intensity, and frequency of their workload and their participation. This is laziness and it is offensive to God and to the vast majority of His creations.

Lazy animals and insects die, either from starvation or from being devoured by a predator. Think about that. Let that resonate for a moment. Then think about man. Think about yourself. Think about the children around you that you’re nurturing, raising, mentoring.

Our levels of struggle prepare us for our next level of promotion. If you cannot handle what is presented to you how can you possibly handle greater at the next level? You complain about your job, the workload, the this and the that. Well what you’re telling God is that you don’t want your job. So don’t be surprised when you’re fired or laid off.

You pray to God for that better paying job, but it has greater demands than the one you currently have (or the one you used to have before becoming unemployed). If you’re constantly complaining and arguing with coworkers and managers in this current job (or the last) then how can you possibly handle greater workloads and pressures of the new job?

Higher pay won’t eliminate the intensity. It also won’t eliminate your tendency to complain.

We assume that the increase in pay will afford us other luxuries when the reality may be that although you may be able to pay more bills, you will probably have to work longer and harder which also means you don’t get to enjoy that home and car you pay for each month, you still can’t take that vacation, you may spend less time with the children that you now pay more for as you opted for a school with higher tuition. Those things will now be your newest complaints and will result in even greater arguments.

Show God what you can handle right now. Do it with a sense of gratitude. Workplace factors such as legal issues and morale can and should of course be addressed, but before bringing forth your grievance to man be sure to turn things over to God, that way when He touches your heart you are mindful that when you bring your grievance to your manager, boss or HR, that you do so with a light that magnifies God and casts you in a way that doesn’t label you a troublemaker—bound to be without a job—but rather an asset that understands the importance of safe workplaces and high morale—as both increase productivity and positively impact the bottom line. You’re mindful to speak with respect and honor as a child of God, never lowering yourself to speak or behave in a way that would dishonor Him.

Today’s message has given you different ways to see this Bible passage and see yourself through multiple lenses. Now it’s up to you to decide how you will walk, speak, and think.

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.22.18

Scripture

Philippians 2:13

Prayer

Father thank You for not stopping. Thank You for another day to experience, demonstrate, embrace, reflect, uphold, celebrate, praise, learn, teach, see and show. Thank You for Your loving grace and mercy. Amen.

Reflection

Throughout the day say “thank You” to your Creator, Protector, Provider, Molder, Guide, Healer, Father-Mother. Every day is a gift to embrace and celebrate. Don’t waste it.

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.21.18

Scripture

1 Timothy 1:15-16 NLT

Prayer

Thank You Father for loving me, for Your grace and mercy that rose me another day— fully functional, and ready to learn and experience all that I need to be a better child, servant, follower, believer, and student.

Thank You for the constant reminders of the power of faith, optimism, and God-confidence.

I thank You for all that You have done, all that You’re currently doing, and all that You will do. In Jesus’ name I praise You. Amen.

Reflection

If one of the worst of sinners had his heart and mind turned to be one of the most loyal, faithful, and committed servants then there’s hope for all of us.

His testimony proves that God can change any person, heal the most difficult, raise the most stubborn, and realign the broken. Our minor does not compare to his major, and look what God did for him. Imagine what God has devised for you.

Be inspired and optimistic for what awaits you. While you wait continue to serve others in service of our Heavenly Father, as our Savior Jesus Christ led through example.

As you humbly bless others, without concern for recognition and praise, God will bless you with abundance to keep your cup full with reserves and running over for immediate embrace.

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.20.18

Scripture

IMG_7670

1 Timothy 1:12-13

Prayer

Father thank You for Your love, for my life and my family, and for the opportunities that You provide. Thank You for Your loving patience that waits for me each time I stray, stumble, fall, hesitate, disobey, and make mistakes. Thank You for forgiving me even when I can’t yet forgive myself and others.

Thank You for showing me love even when I only show anger to myself and others. Thank You for showing me mercy even though I haven’t always shown mercy to others. I praise You through the great, the good, the not-so-good, and the bad. In Jesus’ name I give you all the glory. Amen.

Reflection

Imagine the shock of knowing that all of the years you spent bad-mouthing God, the name of Christ, persecuting God’s children, that you were still shown mercy and chosen to serve. That was Paul’s reality. Paul wrote a series of letters, the first to be listed in the Bible is 1 Timothy. It is his testimony.

At a point in his life Paul was beyond a jerk, he was cruel—some would call him evil. No one then or now would believe that a man who did and said some of the most hateful and hurtful things could ever be forgiven, shown mercy, trusted, and moved to walk as a servant of God instead of a puppet of the enemy.

But he was. We must remember that God knew us and knew every step we would take, every word we would speak, every thought that we would have long before we were physically born. He is our creator. We are His creations. He knew Paul and knew the man that he was born to be, and how faithfully he would serve after he walked through some valleys and struggled up the steepest of mountains.

Paul’s life is proof that in our minor of offenses that we too have what it takes to be better versions of ourselves, and each day we are given the opportunity to open ourselves so that we might be changed. We’re all clay being molded. Some of us just need more water and molding. But what always happens when we give in and surrender to change, is we are molded into the perfect image by God’s Hands.

God knows your heart. Keep your eyes on Him. He already has you covered.

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.