living braver

one faith step at a time…


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Unfailing…

leaf beach love pixa x     His love endures f o r e v e r……… This morning a few months old kitten showed up at our back door. His little bell and collar told me he belonged to someone, but right then he wanted to belong to me.

Purring and stretching he worked his way into my being in less than thirty seconds. BUT I already have a kitty and I do not need another one. So I shall have to put up pictures of him and try to reunite him with whoever loves him already.

kitten pixa x

Voices want to tell us daily that we are alone, that we are not wanted, that we don’t matter. Unlike this sweet kitty, when we wander off, we don’t leave the presence of the One who is in us and promises to always be with us. Even when we shut out the sound of His calling, even when we can’t seem to find our way.

“In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and He answered by setting me free.” (Psalm 118:5 NIV) Who else can we call out to in whatever our need and be answered with freedom? Freedom from? “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6 NIV) Freedom from being afraid…

black white cross pixa x

Though fear may surround me – being afraid is not my captor. I am captured and free in the answers of the voice that calls my name, ‘Dear one’, ‘Beloved’. He calls and I breathe in and rest in the embrace of His promises: ‘I am with you’ ‘I will never leave you’ ‘I hear you when you call’ ‘You will search for me and You will find me’. “May Your unfailing love be my comfort, according to Your promise to Your servant.” (Psalm 119:76 NIV)

“He’s in us & with us & for us & He is enough, … and His absolute perfect love for us kicks all you …Lying Fears right to the curb.” Ann Voskamp

Let’s comfort those who wander our way and sing together: “God has spoken plainly, and I have heard it many times: Power, O God, belongs to You; unfailing love, O Lord, is Yours.” (Psalm 62:11-12 NLT)

heart love pixa x


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Soul Language…

pale rose pixa x     I think the first thing we’re going to recognize in heaven is God’s voice…

For all of us that’s how it began: in Genesis 1, eleven times it says “God said” and whenever He did, something came into being. I have to wonder, is that how you and I came into being? Did He call forth our name at the instant He began to knit us together and form us? “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them and they follow me.” (John 10:27 NIV)

Strange then that a voice that should be oh so familiar seems so illusive. Perhaps it’s our selective hearing.

sprout in dirt pixa x

Think about it, there was a time He got through and we heard – that would be the day we accepted His free gift of salvation. That’s the voice we need to continue to seek – the One who was once our sin-bearer, and is now our grace-giver.

Maybe we don’t hear Him because we fear He doesn’t hear us – we feel too unimportant, too estranged, too needy. Throughout the Psalms the writers speak of God’s very good hearing: “When I called, You answered me; You made me bold and stouthearted.” (Psalm 138:3 NIV) That’s my Living Braver desire — to be bold, stouthearted.

Hearing Him then isn’t audible words, notes of exact instruction, answers we want. It’s living a life in constant pursuit of the One who spoke us into being, hears our every sigh and cry, and answers in soul language that is only heard through trust. Loud enough for us to put one tentative step in front of another…

pink geranium pixa x

His promise is so great that it leaves no reason for fear and every confidence to be bold and stouthearted… “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:28 NIV) Again He emboldens us “I tell you the truth, whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24 NIV)

I think I hear Him now, reminding me ‘nothing can harm you’, ‘forever is yours’, ‘trust me, seek me’…

pink poppy pixa x

If you stopped by because you read my devotion over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!

 


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Heart Key…

heart lock pixa x     Sometimes I think we lock away little parts of ourselves. The vulnerable parts, locked away behind doors that we sometimes forget are even there. The parts that knew past hurts or the parts that fear today hurts. The parts that are unsure or the parts that are the real us.

Surely if we can just lock these parts behind doors that only we hold the key to then we won’t break – and we won’t be exposed.

But God wants all of us, He wants to hold the keys…He wants to throw open the doors… There’s only one thing He wants hidden in our hearts: “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:10NIV)

lock with key pixa x

Doors thrown open wide, unlocked, surrendered…in this there lies freedom. The real us need hide no longer for we are created just the way He wants us. With all our scars and baggage, with all our uncertainties and timid steps. “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; and the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” (Isaiah 33:6 NIV)

He can use the unlocked us, it is then that we can make a difference. The storehouse of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge never runs out – ours always to draw on in any and all circumstances.

orchids pixa x

When the keys to our little locked parts are put in His trusting hands we find surrender leads to promise. A promise of true security – not the kind we can surround ourselves with, the kind that frees us to trust in One bigger than ourselves. That trust will never be betrayed because that trust leads to eternity.

What comfort is found in this knowledge: “But you, Lord are a compassionate God, merciful and patient, with unending gracious love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15 ISV) Compassionate, merciful, patient, gracious, faithful as we surrender to Him our Heart Key…

roses hearts pixa x

 


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Hearing is…

pitcher of flowers pixa x     The old saying ‘seeing is believing’ is no longer true in our day – with computer generated everything, models transformed from their already lovely selves into unreal works someone believes beauty to be, and with deceit the ‘go to’ marketing ploy – seeing is not believing.

But hearing is blessing “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3 NIV)

In our noisy world we hear a lot these days. So many voices convincing us that we ‘deserve’ this, or that tolerance of evil is compassion, or that outright lies are truth. It’s like the wizard in Oz: ‘Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain’ – pay no attention to truth that sets you free.

pink flower in pitcher pixa x

Only in hearing Him can we find what we need. We think we have many needs, but we have only One – His blessing. With that, whether good things happen or grief things happen, we can be sure He holds us through it all. He tells us He blesses us: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3 NIV)

Catch that? Not that He will bless us, that He has and does. I can Live Brave if I can grasp: day in and day out my Father withholds no good thing from me – because someday, forever will be where I am and eternity has no bad things. This is a truth I need to hear and I need to share.

lavender vase pixa x

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” (Psalm 84:11 NIV) I’m not blameless, I blow it everyday, but when my Father sees me, He sees the blameless One who shed His blood for me so that my walk can be blameless…

Without His blessing we have nothing but what the world has to offer, what we can grab. Looking around I don’t think that’s working out too well. Hearing is blessing, take it to heart…

orange tulips in vase pixa x

If you stopped by because you read my devotion over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!

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Chooseday…

white flower pixa x     Ever rescued a frog from the swimming pool? He got himself in there, but he can’t get out – and though he can swim, he can’t swim forever… So I take my net and scoop him in – but he hops back in the water before I can toss him in the grass. We do this ritual a few times before I win.

How many times has our Father tried to scoop us out of what we think seems like a great pool of fun? He tries and we hop right back in – we know best…

We start early in this knowing best – as a toddler we choose the ‘no-no’ thing and our mom swats our bottom, teens choose to try the forbidden and consequences teach them (or not), and so it goes.

frog in pool pixa x

At some point we stop hopping out of His safety net, that day is Chooseday. “Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness…then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” (Joshua 14:14-15 NIV)

But Chooseday becomes every day of the week when we walk in the courage of our Rescuer. Choosing to stay in His net or hop out and try it our way again. “He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19 NIV)

hat flower pixa x

Delighted in me? Yes, because dear one, once you chose His Son, no amount of net hopping will make Him give up on you. You are a cherished child, needing your bottom swatted now and then but delighted in by a Savior ready to lead you in the way everlasting…

“See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:24 NIV) We have many offensive ways, we live in a world of offensive ways, hurting hearts all around us. Chooseday is all about Living Braver as we empty ourselves of offensive ways and forgive the offenses of others…

pink flower pixa x