living braver

one faith step at a time…


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The GIVING of THANKS…

???????????????????????????????    Is this it… is Giving what its all about? That risk of giving and never receiving back, of sleepless nights, of tears… Is this it… Giving Thanks no matter the outcome? Braver is in the ‘Thank You, Father’ – because You love me and even in all this messiness there is grace, there is love, there is – thanks…

Can we accept the good job, the steady paycheck – but not the slim times, not the going without? Can we accept the love of family and friends – but not the heartbreak, not the loneliness? Can we accept the young healthy days, the looking forward to tomorrows – but not the sickness and pain, not the little time left?

The Giving of Thanks – now at this time of year and every day cannot rest on circumstances. Our fear, anxiety, doubt will try to overshadow our heart…

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1Thessalonians 5:18 NIV italics & underline mine) Are we only to give thanks in the good circumstances? No in all…

A beautiful song by Laura Story says…

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
  What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise…

Happy Giving of Thanks… don’t hold back for it is only in the midst of the desperate sacrifice of thank-full lips that we can find courage to Live Brave…

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Crazy Generous…

hands11     Nine days until Thanksgiving… Are you feeling generous? If we are giving thanks, then someone was generous with us – someone who wants us to have every good thing

“…but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” (Psalm 34:10 NIV italics mine)

Do you ever have a hard time being generous? The kind of generous beyond what you ‘have to do or give’, the generous beyond ‘out of my extras’. I know I do. Why are we so afraid of being generous?

Generous doesn’t just mean money – how about a listening ear, a shared meal, a ride for someone who has to walk, a kind word, a complement?

Fear says what if? What if I give the homeless guy a twenty and I don’t have enough next week or next year? What if I stop to listen and they take too long and I’m late? What if I say something kind and they think I am weird?

What if all that does happen? Is God not big enough to take care of the what ifs?

God is crazy generous with us… Eyes to see beauty, smell to breathe in the rose, touch to stroke the kitten, taste to savor the sweet, ears to listen to raindrops, symphonies, voices of praise… Crazy generous… a mind to dream to imagine to wish, a heart to love to have compassion to give mercy. Crazy generous… lips to feel a kiss, toes to put in sand or puddles, hands to hold a babe or brush away a tear…

“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” (Philemon 1:6 NIV italics mine)

Give thanks, be full of thanks, let’s be crazy generous with someone this week –  we have every good thing in Him…

 

 

 


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Rest…

rest1     So what is it about the holidays? In July the thought of twinkling lights and hot cocoa sounds so… special. Then November 1st hits and the thought of pleasing e v e r y o n e makes twinkling lights irritating and hot cocoa nauseous. There’s the money aspect, the who is going to whose house this year thing, the expectations (food, gifts, decorations, and on and on)…

Soon Thanksgiving becomes get the tree up becomes programs and parties becomes last minute wrapping becomes ‘ what another year has gone by?? ‘

Whoa, put on the brakes… “Come to me,” Listen, He’s calling to you“all you who are weary and burdened,”isn’t that what we are, yes that is it, weary “and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV) Rest in the midst of how much money we can spend or not spend, rest in the disappointment of the family member not present at the Thanksgiving table, rest in the housecleaning/baking/decorating whirlwind…

Take My yoke upon you”not the holiday season yoke – “and learn from Me” – not from the sales papers – “for I am gentle and humble in heart” – not expecting any more than the acceptance of His invitation – “and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29 NIV)   If our soul is at rest, fears become manageable, anxiety becomes tamable, holidays become…

T H A N K S …G I V I N G

J O Y…F U L L

HEART…FELT

A celebration of all our blessings and our trials…

A recognition of Who controls the universe and our next breath…

Jesus becomes the reason: “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” (John 1:14 NIV)

Rest, if only for a moment, He will be all you need for that moment and the next and the next….


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Living Braver – Holiday Style

 

First, thank you, so many have identified with this ‘fear thing’ and have shared how God is touching their lives – and asked me to continue. Wow, I am humbled – so since I still deal with this ‘fear thing’ and want the ‘Brave thing’ so much more, I want to continue to grow with you… Living Braver is going to once weekly for now…

 braver holiday style    Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years – happy, merry, joyous – they can be… sad, tiring, worrisome – often they are…

Let’s explore these for all they are and for all they are not and find that having God’s courage during times of celebration is what it’s all about – the ability to move beyond ‘me’ and my holiday cheer to ‘them’ and His heart cheer – that takes brave steps and growing…

Starting Tuesdays through the end of the year let’s celebrate Living Brave for as we are told “… Jesus spoke unto them saying, ‘Be of good cheer; it is I; do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27 KJV2000 italics and underlines mine)