Friday, May 22, 2020

Counting 1000 Gifts 2020 Continues...

Many of you know that I've been counting 1000 Gifts from God over the past several years, and this year I've been doing it more publicly through Social Media than other years past (when I just journaled it).

You can read my most current post on what I'm grateful for here... and a spoiler alert...many of the things are found growing around my yard!

Friday, May 15, 2020

A Season of Change...

Sometimes changes are spontaneous and catch us off guard, and sometimes we over plan for them. Sometimes we take steps in the right direction, but are just waiting for God to throw a switch to make them stick. Well, this past week a switch got thrown!

I've struggled with making a clean transition away from Marina's Kitchen Table as my home blog place, and in the past changed to a different blog name (my name) with a different blogging platform. It just wasn't for me, and I tried my best for a year to make it work well. It wasn't a good fit.

But now...

Now I've got my blog going at MarinaJBromley and will be regularly posting there. I hope that if you have been following me, you'll join me over there for blog updates. I promise not to ever get spammy with you, and I'll keep my affiliate sponsor ads to a minimum (just KitchenAid and DaySpring, and an occasional book review), and I'll NEVER get political! I promise!

I'd appreciate it if you'd sign up to receive these in your inbox, and am offering a special give-away of a copy of my book, Morning Meditations at Marina's Kitchen Table to TWO lucky people in the U.S. who subscribe to the new blog by June 1. (Drawing will be held by random selection, and you must be a public subscriber - otherwise I can't see your name and email to notify you!)

Switching to the new blog site also correlates to a new writing space I've joined! Balanced and Beautiful in Christ is a Facebook Group for Women to be encouraged and inspired in. I'm blessed to get to be a part of their team, sharing NEW devotional material. My first post is up on the new blog site on Friday morning, so you can read it there if you wish (or catch it on the Facebook Group page).

I am continuing to read over at Roy Lessin's Facebook Page Meeting in the Meadow on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, where we are going through his wonderful book, Because of Jesus Today is Your Best Day. You can join us at 10:30 am Central Time as we continue to read and share our prayer requests. JOIN US! If you are wondering if it's for you, or if it's not a good time for you to be online, you can read the posts there, or see the taped version of my reading it. Such encouraging words for all of us, no matter our age or stage.

So much NEW stuff going on, and there's more to come, including a new book in the works, and all the exciting things God is at work doing in me and my simple life. I really hope you will come along and enjoy the journey with me from the front row!

Be blessed, and be well...

Sunday, May 3, 2020

God's Still In Control

During stressful times I appreciate resources that point me to God, His Word, and anything to keep my eyes on Him. When I saw that Betty Byrd, from Team Expansion, had created a devotional and prayer cycles to remind us that God's Still In Control during this pandemic (and any other time!), I knew that I was going to read it. When I started reading it, I realized that I wanted to share it with others too!

The free study is just 11 days, with 10 prayer cycles leading us through an hour of prayer in 5 minute increments. I'm choosing to write out the scriptures she is bringing to light in the empty pages of my 2019/2020 planner, since it's not getting much use anyways (and I'm actually using the weekly calendar pages from last summer, since they won't ever be used).

I'm including the first day's devotional and prayer cycle here, but please join us on my Facebook blog page HERE (I go LIVE at noon central time M-F), and you can download the FREE study from Team Expansion HERE. On Monday, May 4, will be doing day 4, Calm When Confronting the Storm.


Monday, April 20, 2020

Reading on Facebook LIVE

For this past week, and for several weeks going forward, I'm reading "God's Words to Dream On" on my blog page Marina's Kitchen Table Facebook Live. It's been one of my favorite "kid devotionals" for a long time. It's just a few minutes each night, and I read it Live at 5:00 pm central daylight savings time, but people can view it whenever it works for them. It's meant to give parents a break for devotional time, but also for kids to watch any time, or for grown-ups that just want to be read to!

Speaking about reading, I'm also reading on the Facebook page for Roy Lessin's blog, Meeting in the Meadow on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There I'm reading Roy's book, Because of Jesus Today is Your Best Day at 10:30 am (central daylight savings time). The book is such an encouragement and gives us hope in these difficult times.

I hope that you'll join in with me at one of these ongoing events!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Continuing to Pray Psalm 91

I know that praying the same thing over and over can seem rote and boring...PRAISE GOD HE DOES NOT GROW WEARY OF OUR REQUESTS and interceding on our behalf.
To shake it up a bit, I've switched to The VOICE translation for the next 16 days. Do you have a suggestion as to what version to use next? Leave me a comment on my facebook page

Day 34, Verse 2: Posting again for Praying Psalm 91 for 91 Days Against Covid. I skipped posting yesterday, but still prayed through. I'm going to use The VOICE translation of the Bible for the next several days. I hope you'll read, and pray, along with Young Life Africa and believers around the globe!
Psalm 91 The VOICE
1 He who takes refuge in the shelter of the Most High
will be safe in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 He will say to the Eternal, “My shelter, my mighty fortress,
my God, I place all my trust in You.”
3 For He will rescue you from the snares set by your enemies who entrap you
and from deadly plagues.
4 Like a bird protecting its young, God will cover you with His feathers,
will protect you under His great wings;
His faithfulness will form a shield around you, a rock-solid wall to protect you.
5 You will not dread the terrors that haunt the night
or enemy arrows that fly in the day
6 Or the plagues that lurk in darkness
or the disasters that wreak havoc at noon.
7 A thousand may fall on your left,
ten thousand may die on your right,
but these horrors won’t come near you.
8 Only your eyes will witness
the punishment that awaits the evil,
but you will not suffer because of it.
9 For you made the Eternal [your] refuge,
the Most High your only home.
10 No evil will come to you;
plagues will be turned away at your door.
11 He will command His heavenly messengers to guard you,
to keep you safe in every way.
12 They will hold you up in their hands
so that you will not crash, or fall, or even graze your foot on a stone.
13 You will walk on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the lion and the serpent underfoot.
14 “Because he clings to Me in love,
I will rescue him from harm;
I will set him above danger.
Because he has known Me by name,
15 He will call on Me, and I will answer.
I’ll be with him through hard times;
I’ll rescue him and grant him honor.
16 I’ll reward him with many good years on this earth
and let him witness My salvation.”

Friday, March 20, 2020

FREE E-Book!

Life has been a bit crazy and unpredictable lately...hasn't it?

Because God is our constant when life is crazy, I've arranged through my publisher to allow free e-book downloads of Morning Meditations at Marina's Kitchen Table; A Devotional Memoir. The ebook will be available on the Kindle platform from March 20 - March 24, 2020. You can find the link to the book here.

My prayer is that this book will at least be a distraction, but at the most I pray that it draws you closer to Jesus and that you learn more about God who loves you so very much. May your relationship with Him be enriched and strengthened. May you laugh at my mistakes, relate to my sorrows, and get to know me a bit more through the sharing of my testimony. I pray that it's a blessing to you!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Praying Psalm 91 Against COVID19

During the Ebola outbreak, I attended a church who was deeply committed and involved in the Young Life Africa ministry. They were getting hit hard, and one of the core volunteers suggested we pray Psalm 91 for 91 days, praying them through this hard season of illness and inviting God into the situation over and over, while committing our minds and hearts to focus on His Word. 

Let’s do this again! Let’s join together with other believers globally, praying Psalm 91 for 91 days! 

Psalm 91
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”
Follow along and join us in prayer over on the Facebook page or Instagram, for a new graphic daily! Feel free to share them and encourage others to pray! 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Not Yet Spring...

It's not quite Meteorological Spring (I've been told it will take place on March 1st) and the rain stopped long enough for us to be able to walk around at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens today. It was overcast and high 50's, which was perfect for me. No puddles, and no mosquitoes, so what else could I ask for?

My husband (the Workaholic in my articles on "The Workaholic's Wife") has been burning the candle at both ends. Project seasons are like that, and he's got to take them on when they come up, so I try not to complain too much. Still, it was really nice to have him awake for a few hours today. He really was the one pushing to get out to the gardens, and I think he sensed my need to get my camera in my hands and use it, no matter what we found there.

So below are a smattering of photos taken today. I love the shapes, colors, fragrances of everything God is pushing up from the ground this time of year. So much of it reminds me of His Resurrection. If Winter is our season of burial, then Spring is the season of renewal. YES Lord Jesus! I hope that you'll enjoy the photos and that they will resurrect your heart a bit today.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Spiritual Winter

This was from a few years ago, but I’m grateful it came up in my memories. Although I’m looking forward to the Spring, there’s still some elements that are happening this Winter. Maybe you need a gentle reminder too? 

I glance at the weather forecast on my phone weather app. I can deal with the threat of icy stuff on Sunday and Monday, because I'm looking ahead past the bad stuff, to the really good stuff at the end of the week! Yay for the 60's and 70's in the forecast!

It's like that in life too... well, normally, but not this year for me. I have used the excuse that this is a new house, a new neighborhood, a new rhythm in life with a new job for my husband... but the truth is, there are some things that are always just the same. 
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Ecclesiastes 1:9 NLT

This winter has felt REALLY long. Technically it's been mild in comparison, and only since December, but my soul - and my hands and feet and heart - grew cold when leaves fell and branches grew bare last fall. Even though I've known all along "it's just a season" I've hunkered down in my cocoon and watched the world go by. I've not been living life in my normal winter ways. Being sick didn't help, and I'll be the first to admit that I've not felt good physically... but it's just compounded my need to hibernate.

I'm at odds with myself over seasonal markers and I don't want to plan for spring - it may as well not be coming. I'm having a pity party in the dead of winter instead of looking ahead, or even around, to the obvious signs that spring is coming in ALL areas of life! The evidence is out there, yet I've got a touch of Frozen that blinds me from the truth, despite the weather forecast.

Bulbs are beginning to push green from the barely thawed edges of the yard. Trees are pushing out buds at the end of their bare branches. Birds are getting brighter in their plumage. The sun is rising and setting higher on the horizon, and the light of day lasts just a few minutes longer each day. 
Sometimes winter is just a season to kill the bugs, a necessary part of life.

Sometimes winter comes like chemotherapy, trying to bring me as close to death as possible so only the very best can come back to full life in spring. 

This has been a spiritual chemo winter, and I've had a hard time remembering that it serves a purpose. As much as I've felt alone, I've not been left truly alone, and there is a Great Physician tending to me, watching over me and monitoring me every moment of every day. He knows how much winter I can handle, and places appointments on my barely-there calendar to insure I get the things I need, just in the nick of time; a sunny window here, a life-sustaining hug there, a baby's smile to inject joy into my own laughter-less spirit, all administered by His loving hand.

I haven't wanted to look at the calendar, and the things I would normally look forward to, I've dreaded. I have believed it is just my age setting in, but I see now that it's more a symptom of my seasonal spiritual illness than the terminal physical aging. It's ok for me to not want to drive half-way across the country, but it's not ok for me to think I'll never want to do it again. I will. In the Spring.
How can I remember this? How can I hold on to the Truth of the season of Resurrection instead of choosing to live in the season in the tomb?

For me, I need to surround myself with all the joys of God. Since I spend my days physically alone, I'm reminding myself to invite Him into this place with me. Practically, it means turning off the electronic distractions and worshiping Him in song, in Word. I will pray out loud to keep His nearness real. He IS here, tending to me. He IS alive and aware of my dark moments and my joyful ones.

It also means remembering, obedience is better than sacrifice, but His grace covers all.
I need to believe this not only in MY life, but to put into practice towards others too. I can not keep records of wrong, or intercept where God is working. I need to let them grow in their faith on their own, and let God do His part, with me stepping aside willingly, not helping by telling God where His next great work needs to be.

I have often prayed "Change me. Change them. Change the circumstances." Lately I've realized that I can stop after the first part. Change me. Change me. Change me. If I let Him do that, the outcome will be better, no matter if anyone else is changed, no matter if the circumstances are changed at all. If I am truly changed, it WILL change them, and change whatever comes next, and that will be a breath of fresh air, no matter what season it is on the calendar, or in life.

Friday, February 7, 2020

An Apology

In preparation for whatever God has "next" for me (another book? a booklet? a podcast?) I'm trying to clean up my blog. It's been poorly ignored (well, technically, it's been ignored really well!) and there are things from the beginning that are more like diary entries than blog posts. I'm cleaning things up and throwing things away and taking things off-line and allowing them to sit on the side in a file for a rainy day.

So, I didn't realize it, but as I'm reading things, correcting spelling errors and updating posts and putting them back's sending them back out to y'all. I'm so sorry. Please accept my humble apology. I'll try to find a way I can do the things I need to do without it regenerating emails to you each time.

Blessings to you and have an amazing weekend!


Friday, January 10, 2020

He is Faithful, Guest Post from Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

This is the post for Meeting in the Meadow today, but it was so timely as I read it in my memories from several years ago, that I felt I would share it here too. 
This post, originally from 2009, came up in my memories. I couldn’t help but think how perfect these words are for 2020 too!

It’s my prayer that as you read them you will be reminded of the assuredness of God’s faithfulness throughout the coming year.

God Is Faithful
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Often, as the New Year approaches, I quiet myself before the Lord and listen to hear if He may have something to say to me about the coming year. This year, as we approached 2020, I sensed God speaking something specific to me through various sources. The words were simple and clear and straight from Scripture, “God is faithful.”

God did not give me a list of Bible prophecies that would be fulfilled in 2020. He did not tell what was going to happen in the stock market, in Israel, or in world events. I have no idea what things will unfold over the next twelve months, however, I am certain of one thing, “God is faithful.”

God does not want me to place my focus on my needs, but on His faithfulness; not on world problems, but on His faithfulness; not on circumstances, but on His faithfulness; not on my feelings or opinions, but on His faithfulness; not on political change, but on His faithfulness.

The truth of God’s faithfulness is something each of us will need to be reminded of many times throughout this year. Our faith needs to rest in His faithfulness; our feet need to stand upon His faithfulness; our heart needs to trust in His faithfulness; our emotions need to celebrate His faithfulness; our mouths need to proclaim His faithfulness.

Here is a little poem that may be a helpful reminder for you in 2020…
I’ve a word that is clear
It is for the New Year
God is faithful, God is faithful.

Its meaning is dear
It will bring you a tear
God is faithful, God is faithful.

God is faithful it’s true
He will make all things new,
Just trust Him to do
All He’s promised to you.
God is faithful.

It’s a word that brings cheer
It will break every fear
God is faithful, God is faithful.

It will help you draw near
It will bless you to hear
God is faithful, God is faithful.

God is faithful it’s true
He will make all things new,
Just trust Him to do
All He’s promised to you.
God is faithful.
Know, recognize, and understand therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, Who keeps covenant and steadfast love and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations, Deuteronomy 7:9 AMPC

God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 
1 Corinthians 1:9 AMPC

God is trustworthy and faithful and means what He says, 
2 Corinthians 1:18 AMPC 

O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies! Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O LORD? You are entirely faithful. 
Psalm 89:8 NLT


©2009, 2020 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow, all rights reserved. This post originally appeared online in 2009.

Counting 1000 Gifts 2020 Continues...

Many of you know that I've been counting 1000 Gifts from God over the past several years, and this year I've been doing it more publ...