living braver

one faith step at a time…


Leave a comment

Brave New Year…

???????????????????????????????     How to live courage for 2015? How to fear…less for a whole year?

Funny, just when we think everything is coming together – we cause it to all fall apart, and we wonder… why?

With God’s help we will spend a year together searching out His promises, His grace, His truth, His courage for our fear. It is true we cannot live brave without Him to guide the way…

“For this God is our God for ever and ever, He will be our guide even to the end.” (Psalm 48:14 NIV italics mine)

Somehow, for me, maybe you too, it is courage to let Someone else lead, guide. Then when change comes along as it always does, when things aren’t done the way they always have been, when today doesn’t look like we planned, we can just……follow…

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.” (Romans 15:5 NIV italics mine)

In two short days it will be a New Year, will we live brave because He guides and we follow? When we take the lead asking Him to follow and to be near, what are we really saying? ‘I’ve got this, let You know if I need help…’  Think it’s time to say instead ‘I can’t, You can. Light the way, guide me, with faltering footsteps at times, I will follow.’

A Brave New Year doesn’t look like ‘goals’ or ‘prosperity’ or ‘health’ or whatever the world says. It looks like a ‘person’ – the lover of your soul, Jesus your source of all courage… Happy Brave New Year!

Advertisements


1 Comment

Twas 2 Nights Before

???????????????????????????????     “In a Book of old pages, so Living and True, you can hear Jesus whisper, I’m coming for You. Through every story, the King fiercely came, and He beckons you, woos you, and calls you by name!” (Ann Voskamp The Night Before Advent)

The word Advent means… He is COMING. He came a little over 2,000 years ago to do what no one else could – impart His perfect righteousness that those who will trust Him as Lord and Savior can live forever…

Someday, not so distant now, He is COMING again, this time to take us to be with Him and live with fear banished forever…

As we slow down for a day to remember that God would lay aside His splendor to be lowly born like you and like me, that He would look evil in the face and declare “It is Finished”, and spread His arms wide for you and for me – let’s with grateful lips declare ‘Til You come to take me from here, I will seek You moment by moment to conquer my fear. Be they my own demons or foes all around – in You only can Living Braver be found.’

I pray you and those you love have a most holy and blessed day remembering the greatest gift ever given –

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, He is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11NIV underline/italics mine) You can read the whole Christmas story in Luke 2:1-20.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


1 Comment

Stress Less…

Stress Less2          Stress, pretty much an overused word – as if the very act of living would be anything but…

Why are we so surprised in a fallen world that we find the events happening around us, the changes occurring constantly, and our personal sagas stressful?

“Dear Friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1Peter 4:12)

Stress is part of life – yet maybe we can stress less? When the bills pile high, when the winter flu keeps you down, when you’re late for work – it is our response that will determine our stress level.

Our response… Will it be worry? Fretting? Defeat? Depression? Anxiety? A challenge for you today… Will you let it be gratefulness for the blessings all around? Will you let it be forgiveness of the trespass of another? Will you let it be a lifting of your eyes to the only true source of stressing less?

Right now whether you’re stressed or not choose a response and practice it. Then practice it again. And when, dear friend, that stress creeps up and makes your hands shake or makes your breath short, you will be ready to respond. To Stress Less requires a response uncommon in this world we live in:

“Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18 underlines mine)

Stress gives way when we choose a response that brings light to the darkness of stress – the light of joy, the light of prayer, the light of thankfulness…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 


1 Comment

In the Thorns…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      The thorns… in the Word it says the thorns are those worries, riches, pleasures that choke out the Word so our hearts don’t hear it, believe it… In that time of testing, we let the seed of His rich love and mercy lay on bare ground – the bare ground of our unbelief…

Who needs commitment, and sacrifice, and submission – make merry, live for today, drink the cup of forgetting is what the world wants us to do. It seems easier to disappear into the folds of what everyone else says is right…to be lost in the thorns…

Hide behind the smile, the make-up, the money or the poverty… Keep tight reign over emotions, longings, fears… Let the thorns have their way, it will all work out…

Notice the rose, it pushes higher above the thorns, beckoning with sweet fragrance… Notice Jesus, a crown of thorns pierced His brow, He was nailed high on a cross and beckoned with forgiveness… There is a price to escape the thorns, but it’s been paid – and we are crowned… with salvation. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has crowned us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3 WNT italics mine) Catch that?  – has crowned, not will crown – done deal for those who believe.

Listen for the Word, “If anyone has ears let him hear.” (Mark 4:23 NIV) – let it burrow deep in the fertile ground of your vulnerability, He will water and nurture and no thorns will deceive …hear the Word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Luke 8:15 NIV) – a crop of thankfulness leaving fear among the thorns…

???????????????????????????????

 

 


Leave a comment

It’s Not Just Me…

Not the only one1     Lost in memories of the should haves, could haves…the why didn’t I, wish I would have… The voice deep within wondering would things be different if I had – or maybe if I hadn’t?

Oh, yes, it’s not just you… We all, in those moments of anxiety – in those pit in the stomach times, wonder…

That is satan’s ploy when he has nothing left or even when we’ve given him plenty to work with, it is his desire to make us look back, cast eyes inward, let fear lead…

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27 NIV)

Our Father tells us today is what matters… Will you make a difference today? With the broken life, with the child off course, with the troubled marriage, with the addiction… Today is the day for cans and wills and doing. For it is only in today that we can step into tomorrow without the wondering… “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34 NIV)

Oh, Father, don’t let us add to the troubles of this day by living in yesterday… Let us lay the wondering at Your feet… “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1Peter 5:7 NIV) Did you catch that – not if you do this He will care for you, do this BECAUSE He cares for you…

To Fear…Less is freedom – the freedom found in trusting in His care…