living braver

one faith step at a time…


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October 31, 2014 Live Braver Today…

???????????????????????????????     The following is the very best I can share with you on Living Braver. These are verses I chose for myself during a time of great trial and fear and I read them everyday. Remember that praying God’s Word to Him is the very best we can offer and He will grant us peace as His word permeates our very soul. Live Braver Today and God bless you eternally…

(Remember to insert your name or me or I to personalize these verses for you – or fill in a loved one’s name as you personalize them during their time of trial…)

All verses are from the NIV transalation…

Haven’t I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2Corinthians 12:9

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Romans 8:26 (just cry out Father)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear, your God will come, He will come with vengeance, with divine retribution He will come to save you. Isaiah 35:4

The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline. 2Timothy 1:7

Here are some for you to look up… Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah 54:17, Psalm 27:1-2, Psalm 119:114, Exodus 14:14, Ephesians 6:10-12, Hebrews 4:16, Psalm 56:3-4

 

Finally, Happy Thanksgiving, we have much be thankful in this country – and Merry Christmas, the best gift we ever received was born in a lowly stable a little over 2000 years ago and today He is still the only gift that is truly timeless and worth more than we could ever imagine!

(If you’ve enjoyed reading this, on a much lighter note, you can visit my website Paris Renae – The Stories of Our Lives at: http://parisrenae.wordpress.com!)

 

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October 30, 2014 B.R.A.V.E.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Journey – to start at one point and end at a different point. Twenty-nine days ago we started a journey… beginning with trying to figure out what fear is to us and maybe what triggers it. Trying to figure our what brave is and what we want it to be for us.

We have learned that it is normal to have fear, but not to be paralyzed by it. We will have fearful times, but we have a God who is bigger than any fears we may face. To find peace in the midst of the turmoil does require action on our part: to seek out the One who is in control. We will fail at this fear thing and find ourselves gasping for relief, but we are never alone.

For victory over our doubts and dreads we must be prepared. The preparation lies in knowing the God who knows you. Saturating yourself in His Word and praying only to Him. Knowing Him so well that He is your go to source of comfort. We need to quiet our inner chatter and bring the fear thoughts captive as we choose to believe His authority over all.

Braver living is living in joy when happiness is absent. Even in our pain there is purpose. God can use us to comfort others when we’ve walked the road before them.

B. R. A. V. E. =    Believing

                         Resting

                  in His  Amazing

                             Victories

                              Everyday


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October 29, 2014 Fix Your Eyes…

??????????     Yesterday was a dread-full day… Yes, I have been writing about all the ways to overcome fear/anxiety/dread – whatever you may name it. Yet I am reminded “…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

I made a choice yesterday – the choice to let circumstances and my own insecurities rule the day, instead of letting the King of the universe rule my heart…

So I spent a miserable day wrapped up in self, making those around me uncomfortable. I couldn’t/wouldn’t see the joy and beauty around me; I looked at everything through a dark cloud.

Here’s the thing: there wasn’t even a particular event that dredged up my anxiety. Rather it was letting self-talk drop me into the hole of insecurity. Instead of looking to where my help comes from, I kept my focus on me and thoughts swirling darker…

Focus defined means: pay particular attention to. Our soul eyes can so easily be turned away from our Helper – in weakness we look in or down or anywhere but up…

“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV)

Yesterday I took my eyes off the source of living brave. A valuable lesson was learned: focus beyond self, beyond circumstances. Give thanks in all circumstances and don’t let this world or self-talk direct my steps…

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2Corinthians 4:18 NIV)

 


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October 28, 2014 Open the Gate…

the gate2     I am not an artist, if I were I would paint gates – I love photographs and paintings showing a gate – they beckon us to seek what lies beyond…

Each day we are faced with decisions. It may be an ordinary day: what to have for breakfast, what gas station to fill up at, what television show to watch. It may be a fear filled day: a phone call we didn’t want, words that cut deep, saying goodbye as our heart breaks.

Some days need to be seeking days. Some days we can’t fix things, can’t come to the end of a thing, can’t find the beginning of a thing… Some days we just need to…open the gate… 

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be kept safe.” (John 10:9 NIV)

Seeking days are preparation days. In the Old Testament Daniel prayed without ceasing for three weeks, limiting what he would eat and what he would do. At the end of the three weeks he was ready for what God was about to do in his life. Without that time of seeking, what happened next would have been too overwhelming and would not have made sense to him.

Because of Jesus we can seek God at all times – whether on our knees or while buying the groceries, whether with eyes closed or driving down the road, whether in quietness or out loud. What lies beyond The Gate is love and joy, peace and patience, kindness and goodness, faithfulness and gentleness, and self-control (Galations 6:22-23 NIV) – these are ours to have and ours to give as the Holy Spirit fills us when we seek and enter through the gate that keeps us safe…

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)


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October 27, 2014 I Call… You Answer

Call Out1     Fear – worry – anxiety – whatever we may name it, fades when we call out from our darkness to His Light. When we call with loud voice or quiet whisper He hears clearly and saturates our soul with what is most needed for that moment… To know that if no one else hears, no one else cares, no one else can fix – He hears, He cares, He will make all things beautiful in His time…

Do we question how long or do we rest in the moment knowing their is joy even in what we consider pain or loss or not enough? Hear today his answer to your call “When I called, You answered me; You made me bold and stouthearted.” (Psalm 138:3) The boldness, the strength to keep going, knowing that all this will someday be no more tears and no more sorrow – someday all light, someday all beauty, someday all eternity…

Be Brave. Hold out your Light to hold back the flood of dark.

 Be Brave. Your bravery wins a thousand battles you can’t see because your bravery strengthens a thousand others to win their battles too.

 Be Brave. And do not pray for the hard thing to go away. But pray for a bravery to come that’s bigger than the hard thing.

Be Brave. There are angels closer than you know.” Ann Voskamp

Here is a song to help you call out: Need You Now by Plumb  (if you can’t click on the video, paste this in YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ylnx0NA9X4

 


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October 26, 2014 Dare to Share…

Ducks3     Pain – that scary thing we try to avoid at all costs. Not the pain of the physical (we try to avoid that too) the pain of our inside us. The pain that leaves scars we try to hide but that paint themselves all over us.

Friendships, can sometimes be the scariest thing we face. The decision to let someone close enough that they can hurt is often avoided all together… As a little girl I was desperate for friends because we seemed to move a lot. I wanted to fit in, to be liked, to have a friend. Sometimes I did and sometimes I was on the outside. My most joyful memories and my most forlorn of childhood are of times when I had or didn’t have a friend. I am sad to say there were times as a little girl that I hurt other girls while trying to protect a friendship I had.

Pain that leaves scars is always relational – yet our pain is never wasted if we let God use it. “God never wastes our pain. Only we do that. God a has a plan for great purpose and a beautiful future for all who believe in Him. Not despite our past, but because of it.”  Tracie Miles   The beauty of pain is that we can grow and become useful to others because of it – or we can hide in it and build walls and never release it for usefulness.

Give us eyes to see beyond our inner turmoil and pain – to look to those around us who need the wisdom we’ve gained from past hurt. Nothing is wasted with God’s people, all is used for His glory. When we surrender and share our past pain to encourage and build up another, great gain is made in two hearts…

“…Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2Corinthians 1:4 NIV)

Take the brave step, look someone in the eye, see their pain, let God use yours – courage comes through our Comforter…

 


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October 25, 2014 What are you trying to prove?

cross on rocks cropped     Day in and day out we strive to accomplish something, anything. We search for significance hoping to make our mark. We impose expectations on ourselves and feel lost when we don’t meet them. In other words, we are always trying to prove something. The root of this striving is fear – fear of being ‘less than’ someone else, fear of not being ‘enough for’ someone else – fear of being vulnerable or powerless. So we try to get the highest grades, be the best on the team, make the most money, have the best figure, be the most popular – you get the picture…

We see it everywhere – in Hollywood its who is marrying who and who got the biggest ring, who gets the big bucks for the movie roles, who has it all. In sports its who scores highest, who has more super bowl rings, who has the biggest sponsors. In politics its who stays in office longest, who wields the most power to get their special interest accomplished, who can outdo the other in debates. The fear (although they may deny that word) is they will become irrelevant if they don’t meet those expectations and the vicious cycle of striving continues…

Average ordinaries are no exception – whose kid is the smartest, who got the latest promotion, who knows everyone in the neighborhood (and the list goes on and on)…

All of us trying to prove what? To escape the fear of letting ourselves down, of not feeling ‘all that’ in an ‘all that’ world…

Secure in Christ Jesus we don’t have to strive or to prove. Sinners that we are until the day we die, when we confess Jesus as Lord & Savior our God sees us as perfect through His Son. We have been set free from the slavery of trying to prove who we are. Again, who are we? We are heirs with Christ, sons and daughters of the Most High God. Perfected by His righteousness, walking braver in His plan for our lives…