Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Vicissitudes of Life

The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study moves on with the letter V. Life surely has its changes--its vicissitudes. The way you handle these vicissitudes defines your attitude. Life will never be fair. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Now that we know this to be a fact, how can we deal?

Mark 9:22-24 says, "...Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

Just like the father who son was possessed by demons, ask for help. This father took his son to Jesus and asked Him to remove the demons--if you can. Jesus told the father, "All things are possible to those who believe."  If Jesus said it then, He says it now. You just got to believe. If you are still struggling with the concept, then just like that father, ask Him to help you overcome your unbelief.

As a believer, we have a Savior that always has our best interest at heart. You may not understand the test or the trial. Still there is Someone watching out for you and the changes you deal with. Therefore, trust God. Believe in Him. These vicissitudes are nothing compared to the God we serve. So if something comes along that causes you to not believe, ask God for help. He will oblige. 

Soli Deo Gloria,

SA Brown

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

You may not understand it.

The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study marches on. As the letter T mentions how you will be tested and shaken and stirred, some of us struggle with the ways of God. Yet, there are many times in the bible that He tells us you may never understand. He flat-out says you cannot understand Me, but He leaves you instructions when you don't.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Do not worry. Learn to pray about everything. Give thanks to God as you ask Him for what you need.  The peace of God is much greater than the human mind can understand. This peace will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

With that in mind, I would like to offer you my comfort when I feel like God doesn't know what He's doing. I'll admit, I have said that to myself. God, what are You doing? Truth is, God knows. You may not know but He knows. 

Prayerfully, I hope you know Him. That should be enough but oftentimes, it is not. How your heart, emotions, and flesh deceive you. Knowing God is enough. Knowing that He is a loving and caring Father is enough. Knowing He will withstand nothing that is good for you from you is enough. Knowing that He cares enough to correct you is enough. Knowing God... Learn to make that enough.

As I grow in my own personal walk, I hope I can inspire others to spend time with their Higher Power. Whatever you conceive Him to be, know that His will is better than yours. Always has been; always will be. Sometimes we all struggle with His choices and His decisions. Keep in mind that His actions depend upon yours (free will). Yet, He is so omniscient that He already knows your mistakes before you make them and has made provision for the consequences. (praise moment) God loves you more than you could love yourself. Embrace that love and all of benefits that come with it. He has already told us in Romans that all the good and all the bad work together for your good. Please understand that.

When the struggle comes (and it will come), I hope you can remember Philippians 4:6-7. Don't worry about your circumstances and situations; instead pray over them. Always be grateful for what He has done as you ask Him, humbly, for things you need. Experience God's peace which passes anything we could ever understand. He will protect your heart and mind as you do so.

A peace that passes all understanding? God can give you so much peace that you don't have to understand.

Deo Soli Gloria,

SA Brown

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tests, Trials, and Tribulations

The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study is in the latter part of the alphabet. The goal is to be complete by July 4. So let's get it.

Hopefully by the title, you can tell what this week's letter is. Everyday, we have a chance to get better. God uses other people, our situations, and our own lives to test us. Each test gives us a chance to be better on the other side. 

Job loss, death, financial woes, betrayal, abuse. Just about anything you can think of that pushes you further than you believe you can go is a test. Your job is to get closer to God and ask for the lesson to be learned. You should make yourself palatable. Allow God to make you into what He wants. The way He makes these transformations is by bending you, breaking you, shaking you. There is no way around it.

In 1 Peter, we are reminded to "count it all joy" when you suffer for Christ's sake. But there are tests. There are trials. There are tribulations that are about you becoming the person He wants. 

Most of us know the story of Job. He lost everything, more than most realize. He went through it all. He praised God. He questioned God. I believe we have all been there. In the end, Job got double for the trouble. 

The point is that we ALL have things to deal with. There are no expectations; this is the rule. Deal with it. As you go through, please try to remember our example of Job. Job had no idea what God was doing in his life but Job knew it was the best thing for him. For me, I find myself quoting Job 23:10. You can borrow it if you wish.

Job 23:10 reminds me that He know where I am going and when He tests me, I shall come forth as pure gold.

Soli Deo Gloria,

SA Brown

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Study for yourself.

The weekly alphabet bible study moves on. This week's letter is S. I would like to encourage everyone to Study this week. Even God asks you to study. 

II Timothy 2:15 reads: Study to show yourself approved unto God; a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of God.

Now that seems pretty straight-forward. Study to show yourself approved. I know many people go to church every week to listen to someone else tell them what God says. Yet, they never know the word for themselves. I believe God wants a personal relationship with each one of us and that does not involve your pastor. Three really can be a crowd. 

You must give God's Word a place of priority in your everyday life. Practically speaking, this could mean that you confess the Word while getting ready in the mornings. Maybe you could listen to teaching or worship music on the way to work. You may want to use your lunch hour to read the Word or walk outside and pray. Just make sure you pursue His truth on a regular, ongoing basis. Giving His Word a place of top priority will change your life.

I am not trying to discourage anyone from attending church. What I am encouraging is for you to study His Word for yourself. How will you know if your preacher is getting it right if you don't know what is right in the first place? Besides, it says to study to show yourself approved. Not your pastor or minister or preacher or teacher. But YOU and you alone. When the time comes, it will be you standing in judgement. Will you have studied? Will you be approved?

Soli Deo Gloria,

SA Brown

Sunday, May 13, 2012


"Reasons--the reasons that we're here..." You might be tempted to belt out the Earth Wind and Fire tune, but today's reading has nothing to do with that song.  I know at some point in your life, you've asked, 'Why, Lord?  Why am I here?  Why is this happening?  Why...'  You need to stop wondering why and simply do what the bible tells you to do.

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight."

The bigger question to be asked is why not you.  God does not play favorites.  His Word tells us that He causes the sun to shine on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust.  So why not you?  What exempts you from the lessons everyone has to learn.  There is always a reason things happen.  YOU are a reason that happened.  Good or bad, there is always a lesson in that reason.  It could be a chance to grow or a chance to repent.  Either way, the reason is to make you a better person and more Christ-like.  You could be sowing a seed of a future action or reaping a consequence of a past one.  Your duty is to ask God for revelation but don't be upset if you never get your answer.  The goal is to learn to trust God.  That's the reason--the reason that we're here.

Soli Deo Gloria,

SA Brown

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

On The Way...

Don't call it a comeback. The weekly alphabet bible study will be back before the end of this week.

Many blessings,

SA Brown

Sunday, April 15, 2012

No qualms...

The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study picks up where it left off. Qualms represent the letter Q. I realize I say the following statement: 'I have no qualms with it.' When I say that, I mean that I have no problem with the whatever is in reference. 

I've always been told that there will be trials in life to make us better on the other side. God never meant for you to go through something and not get something out of it. He intended for you to be better because you went through what you went through.

I have to borrow from TD Jakes this week as he shares a new spin about the miracle of the two fish and five loaves. 

Mark 8: 18-20 reads: "Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied. “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven."

Jesus feeds five thousand with just two fish and five loaves of bread. Jesus takes a little boy's lunch and blesses it. That's when the miracle occurs. He blesses something that is not enough. Until you can be thankful for not enough, you cannot have access to more than enough. Jesus holds two fish and five loaves but when He breaks them, they multiply. So the blessing is in the breaking. The blessing is allowing God to break you. It really is true; no pain, no gain.

So now, I think I finally understand that parts of my childhood were about my brokenness. My early adult life was a part of my brokenness. Today's trials are all a part of being broken so He can use those times to help me share with others. With that understanding, I come forth to say I no longer have qualms with my past. The good, the bad, and the ugly all make me the person I am today. Well, if God's plan for me has more brokenness, I have no qualms with that.

Soli Deo Gloria, 

SA Brown

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Passion Week

Interrupting the Weekly Alphabet Bible Study for an important announcement. I hope Y'all won't mind.

What is Passion Week? It's the time from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. It is so named because of the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross in order to pay for your sins. (Mine, too.)

Have you ever asked yourself what all happened in that week? Well, I did and this is what I discovered.

Before I begin, I want us to remember good old Zaccheus. He's the greedy tax collector that Jesus eats with just before Palm Sunday. People were angry that Jesus ate with ole Zacch but I think, sometimes, folks forget why Jesus came. By the end of their dinner, Jesus saves a soul that night. (Luke 19: 9-10)


We begin with Palm Sunday and the Trimphal Entry. Jesus rides triumphantly into Jerusalem on a donkey fulfilling an ancient prophecy. (Zechariah 9:9) The people welcome Him with chants of 'Hosanna.' Deep down, He knows, by week's end, their tune will change.


Jesus returns to Jerusalem. On His way, He curses the fig-tree, a highly symbolic act. Explanation comes Tuesday. He then enters the Temple and chases out the corrupt money-changers. (Matthew 21:13) This shows His Messianic authority and fulfills another prophecy that implies the Messiah will appear there suddenly and take possession of it. (Malachi 3:1) On the way home, they see the withered fig tree.


On this day, Jesus personally confronts the authorities and defends His claim to be the Messiah. He pronounces a curse on the city, like He did the fig tree. Because the fig tree has leaves but bore no fruit, He cursed it. That is how Jesus describes the authorities. Like that tree, it was all for show. They had the look (leaves) but no fruit (faith). At the end of the day, Jesus gives the Olivet Discourse, a detailed prophesy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple due to the rejection of Jesus as Messiah.


Perhaps, this is a quiet day of rest and mediation for Jesus. Most scholars say it spends it with family and friends. I say He was getting His mind right.


Jesus celebrates Passover and has His Last Supper in the Upper Room. (Cue Mahalia Jackson). Jesus announces there is a betrayer. Jesus gives us communion. Peter faces humility. Jesus prays for a reprieve but knows His destiny. (Matthew 26:39)  His closest friends let Him down. (Matthew 26:41) Judas comes and seals the deal with a kiss. (Matthew 26: 48-49) And so it begins...


Bogus trials--four of them. His fifth is before the Roman governor, Pilate, finds no fault with Jesus, but the people...the people want justice. Pilate gives the people what they want but washes his hands of the matter. (Matthew 27:24) Now comes the flogging. Jesus suffers licks meant for us. Jesus endures humiliation meant for us. Still, He begs for our forgiveness. (Luke 23:34) Even in the midst of the greatest despair, Jesus saves another soul. (Luke 23: 39-43) The sky darkens. Scholars say it symbolizes the Father turning His back on the one He had once called My Beloved Son. During this time, Jesus experiences hell for us all. Hell is to be utterly forsaken by God. (Matthew 28:46) Since no man can take His life from Him, Jesus willingly lays it down for us. (John 10:18) That's when Jesus proclaims, "It is finished" and gives His spirit back to God. (Luke 23:46) Even His death saves a soul. (Matthew 27:54) At that moment, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple splits in two; eliminating the separation between man and God forever. Now we can boldly and confidently into God's presence. (Ephesians 3:12) Hours later, Jesus is laid to rest in a borrowed tomb. More symbolism--because Jesus only needs it for a little while.


Jesus' body lies in its borrowed tomb. Scholars say He is in the depths of hell vying for our souls.


Early on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and 'em go to the tomb and find the stone rolled away. Jesus was gone. He has risen. All the prophesies had come to pass. His death justifies believers and His perfect righteousness is imputed to sinners. His sacrifice secures our salvation. And when Jesus returns to His Father, He promises to send us a Helper (Luke 24:49) and to be with us always--even unto the end of this world. (Matthew 28:20) 

A lot sure can happen in a week...

SA Brown


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Not Until You Bless Me

The Weekly Bible Study moves on with the letter, P. Jacob came to my mind as I thought about the word Persistence for this week's lesson.

So many lessons envelope Jacob and his twin brother, Esau. The ultimate sibling rivalry. They fought in the womb. Jacob pulled Esau by the ankle as they went through the birth canal. As boys, Esau was Daddy's favorite and Jacob was the Mama's boy. As men, Jacob manipulates Esau out of his birthright and steals his blessing. Yet, Jacob suffers the consequences of his actions.

Jacob, too, falls for a deception as his own uncle tricks him in to marrying the wrong daughter. I think they call that karma. Once Jacob decides to reconcile with Esau, the brothers are able to make peace with each other.

Despite all his wrongdoings, Jacob has a one-on-one encounter with God.

Genesis 32:24-30 says: This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

“What is your name?” the man asked.
He replied, “Jacob.”
“Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”
“Please tell me your name,” Jacob said.
“Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there. Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.”

Sometimes, you just have to keeping fighting. If you have a word from God, keep believing in that word and keep pursuing it. God's word will come to pass. Then, at that time, you get your blessing. Find that interest, that project, that movement, that whatever it is that won't let you go. Therein lies your passion; your purpose. Tell God you won't let Him go unless He blesses you.

Be persistent in your well-doing.

Soli Deo Gloria,

SA Brown

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Bio

I was asked to write my bio in six words. Thought this would take all day but it came to me…like an epiphany.

"Damaged goods striving toward full potential"

What's your bio?

Sunday, March 18, 2012


The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study took a short break. It's time to get back on track. We left with the letter O needing to teach its lesson. I'd like to focus on Others.

Jesus left His seat from on high and took human form because others needed Him to become a blood sacrifice for all of their sins. His physical ministry lasted three years. During that time, Jesus taught others, saved others, loved others. Jesus was about others. 
Jesus tells us to be available to serve others. Our purpose on earth is to help others. You help someone and another someone helps you. That is the way this world should work. Unfortunately, this world does things differently. 

But the precedent has been set: John 13: 12-15 reminds us When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

We know what we should do. It's just a matter of doing it. Everyday you make choices and on Judgement Day, God will make decisions.

Just some fat to chew on...

SA Brown

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Judgement Day

The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study moves with the letter N. Today, we will discuss what some consider to be the scariest book of the Bible. God knows you better than you know yourself. In a way, you are always NAKED before God. There are no secrets between you and Him. When I was young, I was told never think something that you would not want others to hear out loud. Honestly, it does not matter what the others hear because they are not your Judge.

Revelation 20:12-15 says: And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

On Judgement Day, you will stand before God and give an account of every thought, every word, and every action you have done in this life. You will stand there all alone and face His judgement. He will read from the pages and if your name is not there...

Please realize there are no secrets. He sees everything. He knows everything. He knows your thoughts before you think them, your words before you say them, your actions before you do them. You are truly naked before Him. 

Deo Volente, 

SA Brown

Crisis of Success

A few weeks ago, a close friend asked me if I had a fear of success. I still think about her question. I think about it daily. 

I'm sure you've heard that it's lonely at the top. Can you imagine hitting rock bottom once you reach the tip top? One major cause is "encore anxiety" or the fear you won't be able to repeat or sustain the perceived success. What people forget is that the price of success is not just hard work and sacrifice. Most time it involves emptiness and solitude because everyone cannot go with you. Therefore, some are dumbfounded by the seclusion and remoteness that success brings.

With the privilege of success comes a greater sense of responsibility. People begin to depend on you. Your success becomes their success. Likewise, your failure becomes their failure. It takes a strong person to shoulder the brunt of a failure when others' livelihoods are contingent on your success. Not everyone can handle that sort of pressure even if success comes with it.

Much to my chagrin, I am learning that the toughest challenge to a person's character is not adversity but how one deals with the privileges and pressures of success. I always hear that money changes people but that is not true. Money and success allow you to be a bigger whatever you are without the money and success. So if you are a giver, you become a bigger giver. If you are stingy, you become more stingy. Money doesn't change anyone; it simply makes your more of what you already are.

With all these concerns about success, why seek it? Well, God wants us to make the most of our talents for His glory. And that's the key: His glory; not our own. So if God's plan involves you on the world stage, accept your role and make sure you acknowledge His.

Soli Deo Gloria,

SA Brown

Seven Logics

Here are seven statements that make this life seem more logical.

1) Make peace with your past so it doesn't spoil your present.

2) What others think of you is really none of your business.

3) Time heals everything. So give time some time.

4) No one is the reason for your happiness or unhappiness; that's your call.

5) Don't compare your life with others. You have no clue what their journey is all about.

6) Stop thinking too much; you will never have all the answers.

7) Smile because you don't own all the problems in the world.

Soli Deo Gloria,

SA Brown

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chris Rock talks to me.

I remember when the Black List first came out back in 2009. I saw Chris Rock's segment then but it didn't resonate with me as much as it does now. That alone shows me how much God has matured me. He has a lot of valid and poignant points in his segment. Things I didn't quite get in 2009 but now in 2012, his words are nearly prophetic to me.

His comment at the 2:36 mark is what makes me blog about this. When I heard him say that, I did a double-take. I wanted to make sure he was talking to me. I needed to hear Chris tell me again.

Chris, I hear you and I am listening. I hope to get there soon.

Soli Deo Gloria,

SA Brown

Thursday, February 23, 2012

He wants to be your motivation.

The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study moves on with the letter M. Can I get a motivation check?

Long before Kelly Rowland sang her song, God was tugging at your heart. The Lord really does want you to fulfill your life's purposes. He makes you to be live for Him. A big part of that motivation is His promises.

Jeremiah 29:11-14

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the LORD. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

God wants you to be happy. He has wonderful plans for you and me. So where do we go wrong? Well, I think it starts when we sense that twinge of independence and we think we can do everything on our own. That free will can get you every time. Then we expect God to bless our mess.

God will allow you to make a mess of things but He promises to be right there with you to help you through it all. And then He says if you just take the time to get to know me, you will get to know you. That is when your dreams align with His dreams and you and God are walking hand-in-hand. Because you did some things without Him, you will have to deal with the fallout of those choices. There is no federal bail-out in this game. The good news is once you go through the consequences of the plans without God (which was never really the case), then you can get on track to bask in the glory of the plans God has for me. 

And I find that very motivating...

Deo Soli Gloria,

Step Brown

Friday, February 17, 2012

Is it craziness???

The weekly Bible Study carries on and this week, the letter is L. I started to go with Listen. Yet, on my way to work, the word Lunacy came to my mind.

I am coming from a personal space today because I believe God is working on me about something. I realize today that everything really is unfolding as it should. Those times I felt I should be in Atlanta and I missed my chance to be there, now I realize if God needed me to be there, I would be there. It's just that simple.

Remember when Jesus walked the water? Here's the reminder.

Matthew 14: 27-31 reads: But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here! Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”  “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

Today, I am feeling like Peter. I am asking God to use me and do great things through me. Yet, when He beckons, I verbally declare I will follow. But at the first sign of any oppression (strong wind) or I sense I MIGHT sink, I jump back in the boat. At least Peter asked the Lord to save him. LOL.

That one passage about Jesus and Peter has so many lessons in it. And the one that grabs me today is that Peter asked God to let him do something crazy. Walk on water? Really? God allowed him to do something crazy but when Peter stopped focusing on God, the oppression (strong wind) almost killed him.

Sometimes, God will ask you to do some radical things for Him if you open your heart to Him. To outsiders, it may seem crazy, an act of lunacy. Quit that job. Open that business. Sell that house. Move to that city. Leave that family. Build that ark. Tell that pharaoh to let my people go. March around that city and the walls will come tumbling down. Build that temple. King that boy. Marry that whore. Birth that baby even though you are a virgin.

To the world, it's craziness. To God, it's just the way He does things.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Doubt (10/10) Movie CLIP - I Have Such Doubts (2008) HD

I have doubts. I have such doubts...

But I also have my certainity.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Your Assignment

I can't say it enough. Nothing just happens. Everything in your life serves a pertinent purpose. The good, the bad, the indifferent, and the ugly all mean something in your story. It all plants a seed, waters a seed, cultivates a seed, or harvests a seed. Your job is to ask God which is what. 

And that's your assignment: to view every person you meet and every situation you go through as a lesson. Ask yourself: What is this person/situation meant to teach me? Believe me, every person in our lives has a lesson to teach. Some lessons include to become stronger, to be more communicative, to trust intuition, to be more self-loving, to know when to let go, even to be nothing like that person. 

Lessons are meant to be learned. Otherwise, they are destined to be repeated. In all your getting, please get understanding...

SA Brown

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bonus Material

Remember the miracle of the fishes and the loaves? It's where Jesus fed the multitudes with a small lunch that a mother packed for her little boy. That story proves that there is NOTHING God cannot do. 

Mark 6: 35-43 reads: By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages[a]! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
“How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.

Often, God may give a vision that is much bigger than our current circumstances, background, or education. This may give anyone pause and cause your delay of creating something that God have given you to create. Sometimes, you don't need more money, more education, or more luck. Sometimes, you just need more faith.

Evaluate yourself and ask God to reveal the resources, connections, knowledge, talents, gifts, and helpers that He has already assigned to you to help you take that all-important first step. It might not be all you need to get to your destination but it will surely be enough to start you off. Start where you are and trust that God will supply all of your needs for a successful journey.

Everything we need to take the first step is already in your hands. Just do it...

Soli Deo Gloria, 

Step Brown 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Before Amazon's Kindle

The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study is on the letter K. With that in mind, I thought of the word KINDLE. According to Webster, kindle means to ignite, to catch fire, to stir up and arouse.

As believers, we should be on fire for God. He created us with a purpose in mind. You were never an afterthought to God. There is a reason for this season. And you owe it to yourself and the others you will affect to ask God what is your role and purpose. After you ask Him, patiently await his perfectly-timed answer.

Isaiah 46:10 says Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass; for I do whatever I wish.

Jeremiah 10:23-24 says I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die.

In the history of Israel, Joseph was born to save them from starvation, Moses was created to deliver them from slavery and Esther was divinely appointed to prevent their extinction. Even outcasts from the nation of Israel, like Rehab the prostitute who helped Joshua and his men, had their use.

Whether big or small, recorded or unrecorded, notable or unknown to the public, you were born to fulfill a need. That need arose even before your birth. Allaround you are people who need you. You might be their evangelist and share the Gospel with them. You might be their teacher and teach them the Word. You could be their exhorter and encourage them to do their purpose for God. The point is be open to what God has for you to do. Know that you have a purpose otherwise you wouldn't be here.

Allow God to light a fire in you to fulfill His divinely-appointed purposes. His will is perfect. Forget Amazon...  It's God who should be your kindle.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Monday, February 6, 2012


Webster defines desideratum (desiderata is plural) as something wanted or needed; a necessary and desired thing. I heard the musical version of this poem many years ago and now use it as my lifetime mantra. This weekend, I decided to share it on YouTube with a little video to go with it. Hopefully, the video tells the poem's story.

Go calmly...

SA Brown

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Why do we settle?

I am sitting at home today and that can be dangerous. I start to think about different things. So my goal today: to make you think.

Do you find yourself settling a lot of times in your life? Settling for a job you're less than satisfied with, settling for relationships and friendships you're not 100% happy with, and just settling in general. Whether it is with little things or major things, why do we find ourselves settling for things that we are less than happy with?

Each person would have their own reasons as to why they choose to settle. I know I've settled for less than the best in my lifetime. I've settled for jobs I know I didn't really want. I've settled for situations I know I didn't really want to be in. In the end, I find I am still less than happy anyway, so what is really the point of settling? My reasons include fear, insecurity, pressure to conform to societal views, an attempt to please others, and lack of confidence to go after what I really want. Admittance is always the first step.

Settling for anything that doesn't make you completely happy is a self-defeating behavior that will halt all of your other hopes and dreams. Settling will never make you completely happy because you were never satisfied to begin with. Any gratification would be temporary and fleeting. Settling means compromising too much and not living your own life. You can't follow your dreams if you are pursuing the dreams others have for you. Settling breeds mediocrity. If you never take a chance, you will never know, right?

At the end of the day, the choices you make should be your own. Sure, people around you will always make comments, give advice, and pass judgement, but remember, they are not the ones who are living your life. They are not the ones who have to live with the consequences of the choices you make. You always have a choice about what you want to do. If you choose to settle and can honestly live with that, then by all means, go ahead. But if you feel your happiness is compromised too much for a choice you settled with, then find a mirror and ask yourself: WHY AM I SETTLING?

I'm just saying,

Step Brown

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ride of a Lifetime

The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study rolls on with the letter, J. So this week, I'd like to discuss the Journey.

Scriptures: Matthew 21: 1-5; Mark 11: 1-3; Luke 19: 29-31; John 12: 14-15

Luke 19: 29-31 reads: 'As He came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, He sent two disciplines ahead. "Go into that village over there," He told them. "As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone should ask you, 'Why are you untying that colt?', just say, The Lord needs it." '

You hear sermons on the triumphant entry many times. Different points of view reveal how every character in that story must have felt. From the disciplines to the worshippers to Jesus Himself, this story of fulfilling prophecy has so many messages. Yet, there is one point-of-view few people consider. What about that little donkey that carries Jesus on his back?

God is methodical. There is no happenstance. Everything is planned out. So it is no accident that Jesus would pick a lowly and insignificant creature to use. A little donkey--a dumb ass if you will--brings the King to His Kingdom. An animal that God knows would just simply obey and do what he was told. That's who gets the privilege of having Jesus on his back.

In addition to that, Jesus tells them 'I need that little donkey so go get him.' That little donkey was minding his own business, not knowing the Lord would ever need him for something. Plus, little donkey was all tied up but Jesus already knew He would have to free the little guy to use him. Jesus also knew little donkey's condition. Because, see, no one had ever ridden him before. So Jesus knew He would have to get little donkey ready for the ride. Jesus knows...

For me, little donkey's story resembles that of a Christian's journey. You see, the Lord knows where you are, your condition, and all the things you have been through. Yet, when He needs you, He will send for you. So maybe being a dumb ass (blind obedience) will make the journey that much easier. You can't go wrong with Jesus on your back. Sure, it may get a little hectic but that is when you think of the One who knows where you are, sends for you, knows exactly what you've been through, unties you from your previous condition and tells the world, 'I have need of him/her.' When you choose to allow Jesus on your back and let Him ride uninhibited, get ready for the ride of a lifetime.  

When the journey gets bumpy, just think of the Guy who's got your back.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My muse…

Now this is one way for me to get my stories out. Anyone willing to be my muse? * weak smile*

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lessons Learned

This week, as we pick up with our Weekly Bible Study, we focus on the letter I. An interesting letter deserves an equally interesting topic. So here we go...

Webster defines Incognito as an adverb or adjective that means 'with one's identity hidden.' So, with that in mind, I want to discuss someone who was seriously incognito back in Jesus' day. Now this guy gets a bad rap but if you can focus on the grand scheme of things, you will understand and perhaps appreciate his role in the whole story.

Matthew 26: 47-50 reads: 47 And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people.
48 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.”
49 So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.

50 Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him.

Yes, betrayal hurts but it also makes us stronger and wiser---if we can learn the lesson that comes with it. Classic haters, such as Saul before his stroll to Damascus, are easy to spot. It's those incognitos to give us great pause but they also teach the best lessons. Judas served a greater purpose than he could ever imagine. Although that purpose cost Judas his life, without it, we might not have salvation.

Betrayal can serve a great purpose for you. If you don't know the answer, now is the time to ask God to reveal it to you. There is nothing wrong with those incogitos in your life. God is using them and they probably don't even know it. Learn to appreciate ALL that comes into your life because that is what gives you a great story.

Remember Romans 8:28 whenever you face an incognito...

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why me, Lord?

My first blog from my phone. I just had to share this. I know we sometimes get caught up in the wiles of this world. We think nobody is having a hard time but me. Today, I learned a valuable lesson.

Everyone who knows me knows I am a regular at my neighborhood Waffle House. I say it's like a small family in there with the crew. Well, there's a waitress in there who is always so friendly; so polite. Good morning, Miss Stephanie. Have a great day at work Miss Stephanie. She never gets to wait in me (she serves in the smoking section) but that does not stop her from always saying something positive to me.

Today, I learned this waitress has leukemia . She was recently diagnosed with it and does chemo twice a week. She has been going through this for the last two months. Still, she always greets me with a smile and grants me warm wishes every morning.

We may never know why me but It's not our job to know why me. It's our job to know that God will NEVER give us more than we can handle. God will never leave us or forsake us. Our job is to trust and lean on Him completely.

I could go on and on as today has been a truly interesting day. I want to leave you with 2 Corinthians 4:17.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Imagine This...

This week's Alphabet Bible Study focuses on H.

Matthew 26:39 reads "He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Imagine this: You come into a new place. You are a stranger. People shun you simply because they don't know you or what you are about. Yet, somehow, you win the people over. Your eloquent speeches, charisma, and deeds show them your worth. Now, they welcome you with accepting arms.

With acceptance comes ridicule. With ridicule comes conviction. Suddenly, you are an outsider again. Everyone turns against you, even those closest to you. Accusations run rampant but in your heart, you know you've done nothing wrong. Still you face your accusers, your judge, your jury, and your condemnation. You bear your cross.

Now, imagine you had to endure all of this on someone else's behalf. It's not even about you. You are doing this for people you know will deny you, curse you, and hate you.  Imagine that their future depends on your present despite their past. Could you bear it?

Humility saved your life. Humility suffered your death. Humility withstood your punishment. Humility hung on your cross. Humility has done the unthinkable for you.

Imagine what your humility could do for Him. Not that He needs you to be humble but you do. He has so much planned for you. Humble obedience just makes the cross easier to bear.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

There will be pain...

The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study is on the letter, G. I was so torn between writing about David's Guilt and Job's Grief that I almost did both. I almost flipped a coin. Then I read and reread both passages. Both brought me to tears. Yet, Job's Grief captured my daily essence. So this week's lesson is about grief.

The average church goer knows about Job. Most talk about his patience. Job is highly favored. So much so that Satan has a point to prove. The evil one goes to God and asks God if he could test Job. That is a lesson within itself. Moving on...

Job loses everything. Yet, he does not curse God. That's the story we all hear. Still there is another side to Job's story. Indeed, Job is faithful to God. Job's faithfulness does not mean he was not sad.

Read: Job 7.

Job mentions how bitter he is. He even talks about suicide. There can be a point (even points) in your life when you are totally broken. Some might even say beyond repair. Let me remind me: There is nothing too hard for God. Believe me when I say He has listened to you and heard your request. Life's trials and tribulations come to serve you. There are merely faith tests. So don't give up. Don't give in. He knows...

I want to leave you with Job 42:10-After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. Now take Job's name out and replace it with yours. So that's your message. That's your scripture. Use what God gives you.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Step Brown