Heaven is worthy of all the girl crushes. She's vocal about her faith and an amazing vocalist. She's a mother of three and a tv show host. I have personally met Heaven and Mike, and they are such an inspiration as a young couple navigating the pro sports life successfully.
For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21
On a random Monday night, right in the middle of Manhattan, Chelsea to be exact, I heard the most profound statement that echoed in a room filled with NFL football players, investors, lawyers, Wall Street bankers, artists, comedians, actors, reporters, photographers, beauty pageant queens, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and so many more:
“Every dollar raised on tonight will go directly to the kids I support through my foundation, and not one penny will be used to pay my staff’s salary…I pay that out of my own pocket” proclaimed Rashad Jennings #23, the starting running back for the New York Giants. Those words were truly unforgettable, and really took me by surprise!
That night was the 2nd annual Giant Night of Comedy, and it was remarkable at how well this event turned out. Don’t get me wrong, I have attended some very outstanding charity events and even worked with some of the most successful non-profit organizations. But there was something noticeably different about this one…Rashad’s heart bled out loud! And everyone in attendance could visibly see it! If you too have a foundation, a charity, a non-profit, or an organization that God has placed in your heart, I have some revelational insight I received from this event, that I must share with you, in hopes of helping you unlock all of your hidden treasures!
- The Capacity of your Heart- When you have a very big heart, people can’t help but notice it and gravitate towards it! At Rashad’s event, the room was filled with a diverse group of people from all walks of life representing different demographics! This lets me know that in order to attract the level of support you need, to support your vision… the capacity of your heart to serve, must be just as great as your desireto see the vision fulfilled. When God sees how pure your heart is toward your purpose, He will give you favor with Himself and favor with man. So much so, that people you don’t even know will unexpectedly come out of nowhere offering to help you! But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve. Jeremiah 17:10
- A Heart of Passion- When working towards fulfilling a need that is much bigger than your own, passion MUST rule over profit. There is just simply no other way! In the process of waiting to see the full manifestation of your efforts, the enemy will always come to kill, steal, and destroy your passion with impatience, greed, confusion, fear, and doubt! Therefore, you must protect your passion to serve, by hiding it deep within your heart. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23
- A Wise Heart- Let’s be honest, starting a charity is no problem, but maintaining it is no easy task. Not only do you need the heart of Christ, but you really need the mind of Christ too! A wise mind makes a wise heart. For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 NKJV Most people start off really strong, but never last to see all the pieces of the puzzle become a masterpiece. There is a significant level of strength and patient endurance you must have to keep your vision going. And this can truly be accomplished if you have a wise heart. My child, if your heart is wise, my own heart will rejoice! Proverbs 23:15 NLT
So let me ask you: How big is your heart? Whoever you are aiming to serve, whether it is battered women, the youth, the homeless, underprivileged communities, or people suffering from hard to cure infirmities, please know that you are blessed to be a blessing, and I am praying fervently for you. I pray that you never experience weariness and exhaustion during the hard, dry seasons. I pray that every ounce of virtue that has been poured out of your heart be returned back unto you in increasing measures. I pray that you will find your provisions and all the hidden treasures to help you pursue your purpose. And I pray a special Luke 6:38 blessing over your life, that your gift will return to you in full- pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. Amen! Your treasures are surely waiting on you...go find them!!
Obviously, we all know the importance of faith. It doesn’t have to be synonymous with religion or being spiritual (although absolutely all of that is connected depending on your personal beliefs).
Have you ever been in a season of your life where you felt you should be doing more, accomplishing more, providing more and stretching out more?
Usually I can just sit down and start writing. The words just seem to flow but this time was different. I was nervous and anxious but I wasn't sure why. Despite knowing what I wanted to write about, I kept delaying the inevitable. Why wasn't it flowing? Why was I being so hesitant about writing this time? Was it because it was too personal or hitting a little too close to home? Or maybe I wasn't making it a priority. I decided "enough was enough" and I needed to get this out. I believe that if God puts something on your heart, you better listen. No need to miss blessings because of laziness. Throughout my journey in growing in God, I have tried to be a better person, making adjustments here and there just like we all do. Most of those changes didn't cause much of a fuss in my life and seemed easy— but then God challenged me. Why was it okay for me to grow in God but not others?
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. - Romans 14:13 NIV
We are all guilty of judging others. No matter how many church services we attend or holy communions we take, at some point in our lives we have judged someone else. Whether it be how they dress, how they look, or even how they raise their children. We have all done it. Primarily we judge others based on how their behavior or actions measure up to our moral compass. This is a part of life but I realized that even if the person has changed, often we don't allow the perception of how we think of them to change. We create this barrier in our minds that blocks out their growth. We refuse to believe that our pettiness is no longer warranted or excusable. I was guilty of all of these things. Why was I still holding on to stuff people did in college or even last year? How could I grow in God but not give them the grace that God so eagerly gives to us?
After the nagging feeling just wouldn't go away, I started to evaluate myself. I realized that whatever I was holding on to was holding me back from being greater. So I made a decision that I would allow others to grow in God. Who was I to refuse that? If someone reached out or apologized for their wrongs, I wouldn't secretly wish they didn't so I could be the “better person.” Also, I decided to not let the opinions of others prevent me from developing my own opinion of someone. Just like I grew, others can too.
As women in this crazy NFL life it is easy to just judge others or refuse to associate with someone based on who they used to be. As women we should challenge one another to grow in God not through criticism or judgment but through love. Growing in God is a blessing that is not limited to the few that qualify; it is open to everyone.
If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. Luke 16:10 NLT I believe we are all entering into a season of our lives where God will truly show us just how much He can trust us, by giving us GREATER! I know you may be wondering, how do we know God can trust us with more? Well, its really simple actually if think back to where and what God has brought you from...those former seasons of waiting, praying, sowing, and not giving up! You see, during our seasons of waiting, God was testing. God was giving us little assignments to prepare us for the much bigger assignments.
Allow me to be transparent with you for just a second...
I started competing in pageants when I was seven years old, but I did not win my first pageant until I was 14 years old.
Year after year, I kept competing...I kept trying different dresses and new modeling techniques, but it took seven years of being told "no" before I finally got my "yes." Little did I know, God was building the tenacity, discipline, strength, and resilience that I needed for when the time came for me to compete on the big stage at Miss Louisiana! I competed for three years in the Miss America System but never made the top ten. Then, I went to the Miss USA system and made the top 15 on my first try! On my second try, I made the top 10! And in my last year, after 20 years of competing, I won First Runner Up to Miss Louisiana USA!!!But when I look back, I see that God allowed me to experience dry seasons in my life not to leave me and forsake me, but to prune me and prepare me. And He has allowed them in your life for that very same reason as well! God needed to know that He could trust us, but more so, He needed us to know that we could trust Him! So many of you may question how could preparation be birthed out of anything dry- how could any fruit grow in the desert, right? Well, God tells us in Isaiah 43:19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Looking back in your own lives...can you see it now? The business you launched or will launch, the foundation you started or will start, the ministry you have or will have, the book that’s waiting to be written, the school you need to open, the youth or women's organization you founded--whatever it may be, it had to start somewhere! It started as an idea, a thought, a VISION and God has entrusted ONLY YOU with it! If not, He wouldn't have placed it on the inside of you. Even when no one was looking, God saw our faithfulness and it is after being faithful, not despising our small beginnings, that the Lord rejoices over us. Zechariah 4:10 NLT
Greater is truly COMING!!!! I am overwhelmingly excited to see all of the amazing things He will birth through our faithfulness. As it all unfolds and your territory begins to increase, please share your testimony because I know your sisters will be blessed!
Prayer by Brandy Ford, Founder; Game Changers 180
Father, I thank You for being God all by yourself. You are such a loving, caring, all-knowing and all-seeing God. Lord, there are families that are enduring transitions, trades, and cuts within the NFL. This is the time of year that so many are leaning, trusting and depending on You. Father, favor these families according to Your will and purpose for their lives. Open slots for them, give them open doors of opportunities and provide unto them smooth transitions. Lord, I ask for peace over these families. Peace in their hearts, peace in their minds and peace in their spirits. Bring a spirit of calmness to their individual homes. Allow these families to stand knowing You have a great purpose for them and their futures. Father, cover these families even while they sleep. I come against the spirit of fear, anxiety and stress that would try to weigh them down and release the spirit of peace, joy and rest. Lord, You know the plans and the thoughts that You think towards them. Thoughts of good and not of evil to give them an expected end. Now let Your word cover their minds and hearts, stir up and strengthen their faith levels for increase and set their feet on a firm foundation in You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Article by Grace Allen
The idea for this specific post came to me after I realized that I was having a repetitive conversation with a few different women, from different teams, in different cities, a few days in a row. I started thinking that maybe “its” something that more women out there are thinking about with fear, dread, worry, anticipation etcetera, and maybe we don’t all have someone that we can turn to to talk about “it.” “It” being the 53- man roster that is quickly approaching. Prior to football, who would've ever thought that 53 would be such a number of significance? Surely not me, that is until we experienced exactly just how small of a number 53 really is and how the 53 club was not one that we were, for lack of better terms “invited” our first year in the NFL. I have personally been on the outside waiting to get in, and so that I am not taken as being insensitive, indifferent or apathetic, I'll go ahead and share our story quickly before you read any further.
My husband, Ricardo, was drafted to the Falcons in the 5th round in 2014 as a corner out of Purdue University. Feeling on top of the world after the draft call was received, we had no idea what really lied ahead of us in the upcoming months. Fast forward to training camp in 2014, Rico found himself on a deeeeeep depth chart at the cornerback position behind a few super talented drafted Falcons players, as well as a handful of other super talented free agents who were signed to the Falcons training camp roster. As the preseason games unfolded, depth charts fluctuated and bubble lists made their appearance (while I simultaneously made it my job to search Twitter for the opinions of everyone and their mother); we started to get the vibe that maybe, just maybe, we wouldn't be calling Atlanta home come the end of training camp. It was STRESSFUL, SCARY and it felt like an out of body experience because how does ones “dream come true” (aka draft) just a few weeks prior, and yes, being dramatic here but really- how does it turn into "dreams crashing down" just a few weeks later? Well, my friends, that is the world that we live in and that my friends is exactly what happened. Rico was cut and then signed to the practice squad where he spent 14 weeks and moved to the active roster for the last two games of the season. But, enough of my story because that isn't really what this post is about. I just wanted all of you to know that I am speaking on something that I am SO VERY FAMILIAR with. And if you're wondering, this story worked out for us and it will for you too.
Let’s just get right to it— this time of year SUCKS. No kinder way to phrase it. It is scary and we have zero control which makes it even scarier. The reality is that most of us are kind of just waiting to know the destiny of our men which also means the destiny of us, our families, our homes and our lives. A small percentage of us know that our men are going to make the roster and for those-I am so truly very happy because you 100% deserve this dream! The reality is while most couples are dealing with similar things such as potential job loss, being fired, demoted, transferred, etcetera, it is much further into their lives. Most of us in the league are young. We are not only learning ourselves but we are learning each other-our relationships, marriages, raising our kids and on top of that, we are constantly living in a state of major life changes and last minute decisions. From "will we have a job this year" to "will our kids have to move to a new school mid-season" to "buy or rent?" to "should I go back to school " AND the list goes on! It is hard. (Btw, I promise that this post is going to look up...just keep reading if you're still with me.)
As we all know by now, the best things in life are the things that don't always come so easy. They're the things that we have to fight for, that make us question our desire to give up, the struggles and eventually what we overcame as a result of our trials. Those are the parts of life that we appreciate the most. Although it isn't easy (and 99.9% of the world knows nothing about these specific struggles that we face or why an article such as this even exists), just know that we were created for these moments. There is a reason that God chose US to be the women at our men’s side. There is a reason that God chose US to be the mamas to our precious babies that at this time of year pretty much only see our faces. It is because He knows that we have enough faith in Him to see through all of these trials that are quite frankly so often, so far beyond our years and our experiences but He knows that we are strong enough. You've made it this far, and this is just the beginning. Embrace whatever it is that lies ahead of you and yours this weekend. Embrace the role that you have been given. Whether it be a starting position, a practice squad spot or anything in between. An opportunity is an opportunity and as we all know, things change quickly in the world of football. As the woman "behind" your man, be that and be as much of just that as you possible can. Lets stand firm, stand strong and stand "behind" him regardless of where you find yourselves following this weekend. The most important thing of all is that you are unwavering. The entire world is their critic but, WE are their safe place. Hug them tight, thank them for working so hard for you and your family and make sure that you give yourself...grace upon grace.
Wishing you all the best and hope to meet you all face to face someday, Grace Allen
After spending the last month in New York City getting acquainted with the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps, I thought I’d take a slightly different approach with this week’s blog and ask….How are you? Not so much in a rhetorical sense, but really digging in deep here beyond the surface hoping to crack the sister code.
So let me ask you again my sister…How are you?
As women, we get so caught up in this imperfect idea of life that sometimes we forget to stop and ask our sister how she is doing. There is something so significant and genuine about your sister being uplifted by someone who truly understands her struggle! So let me encourage you on today, to send a note, make a phone call, schedule a visit, whatever you have to do, just do it… and let your sister know that she is in your heart and that you stand in agreement with her on everything she is praying for God to do in her life.
I am certain that when we do this, we break the sister code and establish a bond with one another that is not so easily broken. And when we establish this unbreakable bond, we begin to break chains in our lives that have held us captive for far too long. Thus, creating an atmosphere in our lives that ushers in breakthroughs at the times when we need it the absolute most.
Breaking the sister code causes us to have power in our agreements with each other. Agreements that we will need when we are fighting that good ole fight of faith….faith for our finances, faith for our health, faith for our dreams, faith for our marriages and relationships, and much more. For it is written in Matthew 18:19-20 NLT If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.
It is my prayer, and I believe it is yours too that we don’t get so consumed with everything we have going on that we isolate ourselves from the very people that God has placed in our lives to lift us up in prayer and stand in agreement with. Father God, we pray that in our struggling moments we can use what has been designed to weaken us as a testimony to strengthen our sisters. We pray that we can become so connected with our sisters that even the slightest amount of envy and jealousy is uprooted and completely destroyed. Lord God, give us a heart of compassion for our sisters that unselfishly strives to cover them and help them in any way we can. We ask that you give us the wisdom, knowledge and true understanding that is needed to constantly break the sister code. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!
By: Jacqui Butler
Keep these verses in a safe place to reference during training camp, preseason and beyond!
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer" -Romans 12:12
This is my favorite verse for this season of our lives because it covers all the bases! Maintaining a positive outlook for our men is imperative. Our patience when the conversations are short or when frustration sets in is huge. Above all -Prayer, Prayer, Prayer! -is needed, faithfully covering their bodies, minds and spirits.
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." -1 Peter 4:10
As a busy wife and mom, sometimes it feels like I serve others all day long! But this verse reminds me to REALLY serve them; it pushes me to make sure I’m remembering to personally demonstrate things like faith and forgiveness every day. Whether you have children or don’t, whatever you’re doing, whatever your talents are, God can use it to encourage someone, inspire them or at the very least spark curiosity about God’s hand on their lives!
"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." -Proverbs 14:1
This is a reminder that you have such POWER!! There is power in your actions, attitudes, and your words. Make sure you are building up your men, building up your children, and don’t forget to build up yourself!
Luke 14: 28, “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” 2 Chronicles 15:7,” But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
Known for many things, women are definitely supporters, nurturers and builders. On a daily basis, you are building relationships, family, businesses, yourselves, community, and most importantly the men God entrusted you with to support. Training camp can be a very stressful time for any NFL family and it seems to come around extremely fast year after year.
As your men are out on the gridiron laying foundations that bring safety nets for your family that will ultimately build an incredible legacy, build alongside him and help him in every area that he may be lacking. God has graced you and gifted you with incredible insight, strategies, wisdom, knowledge and understanding, which are assets and keys to building solid foundations. Many of you are mothers or preparing to become mothers and are trying to ensure that your children are well cared for and safe. Ask God to give you all strength and power to run your household, take care of your children, maintain all of your business affairs and support your husbands, boyfriends and fiancés through the toughest time of the season.
For every builder must count the cost of building a great future and I know each of you counted the cost and examined all of the sacrifices that would come along with being a part of the NFL. You are helping to build something that will benefit generations to come. Every day that you feel tired, frustrated, lonely and ready to give up, know that God is your ultimate contractor and He has all of the plans, details, materials, resources and support workers (called angels) to ensure that your building is completed.No one knows the strength that each of you hold, the grace and the stability that you exercise daily to keep everything together. God has given you a team of co-laborers (other WAGS) that are working alongside of you to encourage you, push you, and give you some extra support to help you and your mate complete your “tower”. Remain committed to the cause and watch God’s commitment to you bring joy, peace, patience and rest.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God is committed to you in every way. He is there for whatever you need when you need it. Call on Him day or night!
Father, I thank you for the women who are committed to the cause. Give them everything that is necessary to build alongside the men you have given them to help. As they are building, allow them not to become weary in their well doing. Strengthen for the cause, grant unto them peace, understanding, long-suffering, joy and sustainability. Surround them with support, encouragement and arm-lifters when they are tired. Provide them with resources, knowledge and materials that are necessary to complete every task.
Allow them to feel loved and allow them to give love. While in the building process, allow them to remain patient and have great expectation for their desired outcome. Hold their men accountable to your word and instruction and let these women follow their men as they follow Christ. Release peace in their homes and allow them to remain blessed in their coming and in their going. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Game Changers 180 offers prayer and counseling services to NFL families, for more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?Numbers 23:19 NLT In preparation for training camp and this upcoming football season, I couldn’t help but share a word that SPEAKS for itself! And in fact, after reading this scripture multiple times, I’m led to believe that maybe the title of this blog is a little misleading, because God is not only in control…but He is in “complete” control. We may not have all the answers for our future, and we may not have any idea whatsoever of what is going to happen, but what we do have is a promise from God that He cannot lie, that He does not change His mind, that He has never failed to act, and that He has never failed to carry through!!!!!
You see… God isn’t trying to figure this thing out as he goes. He is not oblivious to what is about to happen. He knows! God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
There is an unspoken level of peace that develops on the inside of us when we are sure of who God is, and we are familiar with His nature. So, I want to take some time to address the nature of our God, in hopes of you getting the revelation during this specific season that God is in “complete” CONTROL despite the uncertainty of our situations.
- God is omniscient- omniscient simply means all knowing, to have an infinite level of understanding. Therefore, God knows all and understands all things. When we worry, God knows it…that’s why He commands us to not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its ownMatthew 6:34NIV. So take this season by having enough faith that extends day by day…don’t worry about the provisions for tomorrow, because God already knows what tomorrow holds. He is so omniscient that even the very hairs of your head are numbered Matthew 10:30 NIV. I don’t know about you, but I can’t even count the number of hairs on my eye lashes nevertheless my head, so lets just trust God to give us His daily bread, because He is in “complete” CONTROL.
- God is omnipotent- omnipotent means having unlimited power and able to do anything! WOW!!!! I just got speechless, no literally, I had to take a moment to get my words back together to finish this blog! God’s power is truly UNLIMITED!! That means God can do anything in any situation for anybody! I know you have heard and read this scripture a million times already, but it's true…with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible Matthew 19:26 NIV. Whatever you are believing God to do in this season you must know that you can’t do it without Him. Philippians 4:13 KJV says you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. The key word here is “through” meaning you have to relinquish whatever hold and control you think you have over your situation, and let the Lord get right in the middle of what looks absolutely impossible. God is in “complete” CONTROL.
- God is omnipresent- omnipresent means to be present everywhere at the same time; it's widely and constantly encountered. The presence of God is with you always! And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age Matthew 28:20. How peaceful is this promise? That no matter what, Jesus promises to be with us always! He promises to be with us when we are confused and when we are sure, when we are hurt and when we are healed, when we are happy and when we are sad, when we lose and when we win…He is with us ALWAYS! So if we are certain that the Lord is with us constantly, then we know that He is in “complete” CONTROL at all times!
It is my prayer that in spite of our current circumstances we know and we operate in this understanding that God is sovereign and He is in “complete” CONTROL. I pray that the emphasis of His control throughout this blog settles every impending thought that has brought -discouragement, worry, fear, doubt, uncertainty, and disbelief into our lives -be broken down, and that this word of hope takes root into our hearts and becomes the foundation for which we approach training camp and the rest of this football season. For we know that God is all knowing, God is all powerful, and God is always with us! I pray that from this point on, we will move forward in ridiculous faith knowing that regardless of whatever happens, God is still in “complete” CONTROL. Amen!
Psalms 148:8, “The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous.”
I woke up the other morning in panic; my vision was very blurry. Then I realized that I had removed my contacts from the night before and just needed to put on my glasses. Wow, simple fix. Then God reminded me of how we see certain people, things, situations, and circumstances. We begin to panic when we cannot see how things are going to work out or how things are going to look. We tend to have an idea of how we want things to look or assume they will turn out the way we have pictured it.
I realized that once I placed my glasses on my face, my vision came into focus and everything was clear again. When God opens our eyes to see through His eyes and not our own, everything becomes a lot clearer. His perception is greater than ours will ever be. I sat and thought that my prayer should be, God, open my eyes so that I may see, as You would want me to see every situation and circumstance.
Sometimes we are “blind” and do not even know we are. I heard a pastor talk about a situation that happened in his family’s life. He lost his daughter to an asthma attack during one of the holiday seasons. He was an emotional wreck. A few years later, he talked about the complaint he had to God of how it seemed that as the years went by he felt as if he was losing the memories he had with his little girl, and that she was becoming further and further away from him. God gently spoke to him and told him that he was not getting further away from her; he was getting closer. God’s response slightly disturbed him. God told him the more he walked in the direction that He was pointing him into, the closer he was walking to destiny and one day his life in Heaven. This insight made him refocus and acknowledge the fact that every day he was living for God placed him closer and closer to his little girl and it totally opened his eyes to see a little differently.
All of us see our situations and circumstances differently, but the key is to ask God to show you how He sees what is going on in your life. This will allow you to shift your perspective and grab a hold of what the Bible talks about as the “peace that surpasses your own understanding.”
My challenge to you is to ask God to open the eyes of your understanding when it comes to how you see the world, people, politics, business, family, career, motherhood, being a wife and the life you live in the arena of football. This will ultimately assist you with walking out your full purpose in God and through God.
Father, I thank you for the awesome women who read this prayer. Cover them, lead them, guide them, and over shadow them with your love and grace. Show yourself strong in their lives. Give them eyes to see as you see and a heart that will love as you love.
Cover their families; cover their children and future children, and their husbands. Create peace in their homes and unity with their spouses. Calm their fears and give peace in their hearts with things that seem to try to overwhelm them. Grant unto them blessings beyond their asking or thinking. Provide unto them benefits that will keep them from lacking in anything or any area of their lives.
Where they need joy, fill them up, where they need peace, comfort them and where they need strength give them everything that is necessary to endure as a good soldier. Allow them to see that you are blessing them in the midst of trial and tribulation. Allow them to see that what the enemy meant for their bad; you are setting it up for their good.
Father, you have inclined your ear to hear our hearts cry as it is in heaven so shall it be on earth in Jesus name we pray, Amen!
If you are anything like me (a hopeful and expectant person), then you have more than likely arrived to a place in your life where you are truly believing God to manifest some things for you in the natural. Now, these are not just any little things...NO they are the things that we have been asking and praying and hoping for, for quite some time now. They are the things that we really can’t share with everyone, because we might actually sound crazy if we said them out loud. They are the things that appear in the natural to be absolutely impossible, so much so, that they keep us up at night. You know...those things that we have tried to accomplish over and over again, but we have yet to achieve. I am even speaking about those things that have isolated us and separated us from other people. Simply put, they are the things that we have held near and dear to our hearts…
…and yet, they are the very things that we have allowed to LIMIT God and all that He can and wants do in our lives…
I am so remorsefully guilty for doing this…I start out believing with great expectations, and when life happens, I allow my expectations to transform into limitations. Limiting God in my mind by letting my thoughts go wild and crazy. Limiting God in my heart by settling for what comes fast and easy. Limiting God in my prayers by accepting the notion that “the sky is the limit." I begin to set unrealistic timeframes out of impatience and desperation, as if God is not the author of time. I make suggestions to God on whom He should use, how He should use them, and why he should use them, as if He is not the creator of the earth. I start to doubt the reason why I even began to expect some things from God in the very first place, as if He didn’t give me those desires and placed them in my heart. Listen, God has NO limits! He is not limited to the things we see, the way we feel, or even the life we’ve lived!
Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Isaiah 40:28-29 NLT
Reading this scripture speaks directly to my heart, and it lets me know that we can not possibly fathom the things God can do and will use to answer our prayers, to exceed our expectations, to bring healing to our bodies, to deliver a loved one, to make a barren womb fruitful, or to even fight for us. God is such a good good father! He cares about the things we care about. He is interested in the things we are interested in. He knows our limitations but He is not moved by them….He sees what we are up against but He will never let it overcome us!!! Look, I don’t know what you have been waiting on God to do in your life, but I want to encourage you to never give up on God. He knows exactly what He is doing. God has been God a very long time, you can trust Him with your most ridiculous prayers! He is crazy faithful and watches over every word to perform it! If He said it in His word, He will do it!
In closing, I want to encourage you right where you are….with everything you are believing or at one point in your life once believed. God is more than able! He does not give the way this world gives, so get into a posture of renewing your mind about your limitations. And if you have been waiting for what seems like such a long time, let me assure you that God can, and He will make up for all of your lost time. He knows how to get you to where you need to be, in the time that you need to be there…His timing is so perfect. Be inspired my lady, to pray prayers that scare the things that are scaring you, to pray prayers that overcome the things that appear to be overcoming you, to pray prayers that stop the things that are stopping you, to pray prayers that attack the very things that are attacking you and your family, and to pray prayers that limit the things that are limiting you!!! I dare you, no I double dare you to go beyond the sky in your prayer life!!! Pray like you have never prayed before and just let God be God!!
Stay encouraged!! Keep your eyes on where your help comes from….the good Lord! He will strengthen you and help you! The enemy’s weapons will never prosper. Even when the enemy comes in like a flood in your life, trying to wash away all your hope, all your joy, all your trust, all of your patience, and all your faith….Our God will build a mighty mighty standard against him, he shall never prevail!!!! Until next time, I want to leave you with two scriptures to hide in your hearts when you feel your expectations are becoming limitations…
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord. Psalm 27:14 AMP
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe in him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also the world to come. Ephesians 1:19-21 NLT
Keep on believing and never stop until you receive it!!! The sky is NOT your limit...I will be praying for you!!!
Cast Your Cares1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.”
Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
I remember a few months ago, I was worried about so many different situations that were occurring in my life. I recall trying to figure out what was going to happen with my health, what God’s plans were for my ministry, how I was going to continue supporting my family members and how I was going to continue to work hard at my day job while fulfilling the assignment God had given me with all of the moving parts of Game Changers 180. Life had begun to become overwhelming.
Known for being a strategist and a problem solver, I was exhausting myself trying to figure out the perfect game plan, Ha! God must have been looking down on me shaking His head. He must had said, "my child, if you just cast all of these cares on me I will work all of these things out for you." It hit me that the word of God reminds us that God knows the thoughts and the plans that He thinks towards me. Thoughts of good and not of evil, to give me a hope and an expected end. Wow! God’s word never fails.
God reminding me of His word put me in a place to stop worrying and instead placed me in a place of more prayer and study. The more I sought God and was reminded of His spoken word, the more the weight of stress lifted from me. The more I began to trust that God had everything under control and that He just wanted me to rest in Him knowing that He could not lie and that He was surely going to provide a solution for every situation I was facing.
I don’t know each one of your situations or circumstances, but I do know that God has an answer for you and the only thing He is asking you to do is to cast all of those cares upon Him. He is strong enough to handle every situation. God’s strength is perfect in our weakness. I challenge you to increase your prayer, study time with God, and watch how the peace of God will begin to over shadow you.
Father, I thank You for the opportunity to come before You with open hearts. You have instructed us to come to You when we feel labored and heavy with the cares of this world. Father, teach us in Your ways. Give us insight, clarity, wisdom and the perfect game plan to overcome every situation and circumstance that we may face. Father, keep us faithful to Your spoken word and grant our strength when we feel weak.
Lord, thank You for supplying every one of our needs according to Your riches and glory. Grant us peace in our coming and our going and rest when we lay down. Allow us to lay aside every weight that so easily besets us so that we may live a life of freedom in You.
Thank You for Your loving kindness that You show towards us daily and remind us that You have benefits for us every day. Let us not miss one blessing that You have in store for us and let us give freely to others as You have given freely to us. Lord, bless our families and loved ones to give them peace of mind and hearts of joy and gratefulness. Lord, we thank You for inclining Your ear to hear our prayer in Jesus name we pray AMEN!
Mark 9:24b, “….Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
1 John 4:4, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.”
You will inevitably become a product of what you believe in. This is a truth because your decisions are based on your beliefs. One thing that holds true is that your husbands believed in you and that’s why you are married today. The second truth is that they do and have also believed in themselves. They have come to this place in life that they committed and worked so hard to get to, but they couldn’t have done it without your love and support.
Just like you have to make a daily and conscious decision to believe in who God created you to be, you also have to believe in the fact that the God living in you is greater than any situation or circumstance that you will ever face.
As women, it seems as though we are constantly fighting a battle of believing in who we are, what God has called us to do, if we are good enough, pretty enough, fit enough, strong enough, loving enough, nurturing enough and the list goes on and on. One thing that I know about God is that He makes no mistakes. Not ever! He fearfully and wonderfully made you in His likeness and in His image. The trick of the enemy is to fight against what God has said about you so that you don’t accomplish the thing(s) you were sent by God to accomplish. Daily you must build up your most holy faith, and that starts with your prayer time and bible study time. Here are 6 things you must believe about yourself to understand the BIG God that is on the inside of you shining on the outside of you (these are according to Blaine Bartel):
- I have been given power over the devil (1 John 4:4)
- I have been given power over every circumstance in my life (Mark 11:23)
- I have a strong body that has been healed by the stripes taken on Jesus’ back (Matthew 8:17)
- I have the ability to control my mind and cast out evil thoughts (2 Cor. 10:4,5)
- I am poised for success and will not accept any defeat as final (1 Cor. 15:57)
- I hate sin but love all people and have favor everywhere I go (Proverbs 12:2)
Remember that God The Father (HE is your Father) is bigger than any and everything! You have the greatest covering, love and cheering squad living on the inside of you.
Father, thank You for your awesomeness and loving kindness. You have given us the greatest gift and that was Your son, Jesus Christ. Lord, I thank You, that you will strengthen these women in every area of their lives. Show them the way You see them and not the way they see themselves. Allow them to lean on You for everything that they need. Allow them to see your greatness and how it over shadows their lives. In every empty place fill them up until they overflow. In every dry place replenish with life and abundance. I speak increase, love, peace and joy over their lives. Thank you Lord for inclining Your ear to hear our petition. As it is in heaven so shall it be on earth in Jesus name, Amen.
This week’s WAG Feature Wednesday is an introduction to our newest platform, Behind The Brand. Our first brand we are highlighting is NFL Wife Handbook, an online blog that was founded by Mallory Brown, the very gracious with a heart of gold wife of NFL veteran, Donald Brown. Mallory and her business partner, Stacie are passionate about sharing their love for Christ with our NFL community and do so in such a motivating and refreshing way that showcases the strongest women in the game! To share your testimony or become featured on their blog; email: email@example.com. Who is Behind the Brand?
Mallory Brown is married to NFL veteran Donald Brown who has played in the league for 7+ years — Donald has played for the Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, & recently was added to the New England Patriots Roster. We have two energetic, beautiful, amazing little boys — Hudson, 3 years old and Piersen, 18 months old.
What is her brand?
Back in October of 2015, I was asked by another NFL wife to start a blog — ironically so as this was something I wanted to do a few years back, however I clearly heard God say “wait Mallory, it is not the right time." Sure enough when I got the nudge this past year, I realized God was merely affirming my vision from a few years back. “The NFL Wife Handbook" is merely a platform for NFL wives to share their stories. I view myself as “editor in chief” and love helping share these womens’ awesome testimonies. Stacie (my business partner) and I both felt it was FINALLY time for people to understand and comprehend the real livelihood of our husbands — better yet, the way we pursue the ups and downs of this league is by walking alongside Christ.
I would love for this blog to be a never-ending story. I pray 20+ years from now, I am still blessed with testimonies to share. The power of a wife/girlfriend’s voice in this league is huge — therefore why not hoist up your megaphone and give all the glory back to Jesus. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the NFL was known as a Christian organization with insanely talented football players? It is certainly ambitious to think this, however we are called to pray bold prayers, because we have an omnipresent, powerful God who serves us, and is merely waiting for us to ask Him to do BIG things.
What have you learned on your NFL journey?
My journey through the NFL has been nothing short of amazing. We have had many highs and lows, yet amongst all the inconsistencies Donald’s profession posseses we have loved every waking minute of it. To be truthfully honest, when Donald and I began dating, a few months into our courtship, he informed me of his future plans to pursue the NFL. When I heard those three letters “N-F-L” I immediately pulled back and planned on ending our relationship. I wasn't a football fanatic, and I “knew” enough about the character of these athletes that I certainly did not want to do life alongside one of "those" men. Shame on me for not realizing, Donald was and is so far from the typical stereotype.
Fast forward three years into our lives together (clearly we stayed together), we attended a Christian ministry retreat for NFL athletes and their significant others. It was here, (going on year 4) that our lives, and outlook in the NFL radically were changed for the better. We were invited by a former teammate of my husbands’ and in that week, we gave lives over to Christ. Years 1-3 of Donald’s career were wonderful, however we didn’t do life with God first in mind, rather ourselves. Years 4 and on, God has been the focal point for us as indviduals, as a married couple, as parents, as “missionaries” in our realm of work.
It has been the most insanely rewarding outlook for our each of us. It has made every high that much better, and every low more easily comprehended. I don’t view myself as a “WAG” but rather in a season of my life, where I am called to be His hands and feet to those around me. I understand the value of this platform we have been blessed with, and realize our time is limited to have such a noticeable voice. Therefore if I (alone or with other members of this league) can show the world that we are just regular, Christ-like individuals who are wanting to pave a highway for the Kingdom, then I have done my work with the role I am currently in — that of a “WAG”.
Who you are now and who you will be is determined by the decisions you make. Yes, I said who you will be. As long as you live, you will always be growing towards destiny. There are different times and seasons in life. Each moment will either move you closer or further away from where God intends for you to be based on the decisions you make. A decision is a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration. We are all one decision away from reaching our full potential in God. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Our job is to ask God his purpose for the season that we are in so that we can follow the instruction that he will provide. I have learned over the years that obedience in his instruction is better than the sacrifice that comes for not obeying.
The question is...what kind of decision maker are you going to be? To help keep you from sabotaging your future, here are five decisions to make:
- Obey God's Word and His Voice. God has given you free access to him through prayer. In addition, he has provided us with the greatest life manual which contains 66 books with every answer to every situation you will ever have to face.
- Don’t Make Quick Decisions. Before making a decision, take time to think it over and seek God for direction. Proverbs 3:6
- Develop the Right Relationships. The people you spend the most time with probably have the most influence on the decisions you make. Proverbs 15:22
- Hit The Ground Running. You must get up and go to pursue your God-given destiny.
- Never Give Up. Every day is a new day and today is the day you learn from the mistakes of yesterday. God’s grace is sufficient for you. He loads you up daily with benefits.
Lord, You have chosen and called each woman reading this prayer for such a time as this. Allow them to exemplify beauty, grace, strength and power. You have called each of them to live a life of abundance and favor so I speak that upon them now. I thank You that You have made each one of them and ask that they be peace for their husbands and a great help in time of need. You have gifted them as women of business and entrepreneurship, creativity and ideas beyond their ability.
Give them the ability to make great decisions concerning their family and themselves. Make their names known great in the earth as You did for Easter. Give them favor with You and favor with man. Father, I thank You that their passion for life and Your purpose for their lives will ignite in a great way and push them toward their destiny. Give them everything they need and let them not lack in any area of their lives. Father, I thank You that You have inclined Your ear to hear our prayer as it is in heaven so shall it be on earth. In Jesus' name: Amen!
First Published on the National Football League Player Engagement Website. Throughout the NFL, zealous fans approach NFL players, hands shaking and voices cracking in excitement to be near them. For as long as sports have been around, fans have always worshipped athletes. For me, growing up, it was The Minnesota Twins who were my heroes. I remember the thrill I felt when my favorite players signed the baseball that I proudly displayed in my room.
When Craig and I started dating, I began to think about sports heroes in a new way. I knew him as the cute boy from college with only a dream of playing in the NFL. I knew that I liked him, but I wasn’t sure if I was up for spending time with a man who, if he made it to the NFL, might be worshipped by strangers. I feared the hero worship might change him. I worried that the boy I knew in college would grow into a man ruined by money, status, and fame.
During the time when we dated, and eventually married, I worked on my Ph.D. studying Love in the NFL. For the seven seasons that he played in the NFL, I studied not only my own relationship, but those of the couples on his team. What I found in my studies astounded me. The money, status, and fame that NFL players experienced, often as young 20-somethings, indeed affected them. That was no surprise. They have everything that most people spend a lifetime working toward: bulging bank accounts, huge houses, and fans shouting their name. But having it all did not lead to entitlement for most of the players who I studied. Instead, most quickly realized that despite having it all -- there was still something missing. When they had it all and knew they needed something more, many NFL players turned to faith.
My husband and I recently returned from a weekend at The Pro Athletes Outreach Conference (PAO), a Christian conference for professional athletes that began over forty years ago. There, we spent three days with nearly 200 other NFL couples from around the league, learning about Jesus Christ and how following His teachings affect not only our faith, but everything in our lives from our marriages and parenting to our finances.
Not every NFL player who turns to faith is a Christian. There are a number of other religions represented in any given NFL locker room. But at the PAO Conference, we watched as more than two hundred NFL couples voluntarily got on their knees, praying to God in thanks, in hope, and in repentance. Cries were heard throughout the large banquet room from players who finally found what it was they felt was missing in their lives. There was no amount of money, no amount of fame, not a single Super Bowl ring or city parade that fulfilled their longing for something more. Reminiscent of how fans chant their names on game days, players and their wives shouted “Jes-us!” in unison, giving all of the glory to Him.
Hands shook and voices cracked as dozens of NFL players waded into the hotel pool to be baptized as Christians. As sports stars, along with actors and musicians in America, these players have more influence and a farther reach today than anyone ever has - at any point in history. These are real men, realizing, perhaps for the first time, that they are not heroes to be worshipped. They are instead on their knees, worshipping the only one who has been able to fill them with a lasting sense of purpose and belonging. Football is fleeting. So is life. But what these players have found in their faith has the promise to last forever.