living braver

one faith step at a time…

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October 23, 2014 Your Next Move…

chess3     I don’t play chess but I do find it amusing how long those who have mastered the game can sit and contemplate their next move. I think many of us love the distraction of playing games because it gives a safe way to think about which move to make, which card to play, which tiles to use. If we make the right moves, we win, if we don’t, we lose – oh well. Yet in life we often agonize over what the right move is – analysis paralysis.

Have you watched a boat on the water? Moving with the waves, gently rolling as each one passes beneath. Anchored, it doesn’t go far. Unanchored, it reaches its next port. If we gently roll with God seeking Him in our next moves, He is our anchor keeping us secure. Yet, even if we make an unsure move, He will lead us to the next port.

 “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)

In our anxieties, dreads, fears we can worry our way through to the outcome, timidly making our moves, analyzing all our options – or we can go boldly before the throne of grace and find the peace we need to put one brave foot in front of the other. I call these Faith Steps, as we take each one we move beyond self to surrender – with confidence that He is moving with us…

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

Present your next move to God in prayer, giving thanks, and accept His peace. 

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October 3, 2014 Whose In Charge Here Anyways?

sky1    Once there was a calm sea to sail across, the other side held the next adventure. All on board were chatty, except the captain, he was tired from the day’s events and fell soundly asleep in the small compartment below the stern. Suddenly calm seas grew choppy, silence fell among the crew, winds began to howl, large raindrops began to pelt. The small boat started to rock and those less seaworthy began to get squeamish, and still their captain slept… Panic set in…

Much like our lives: we sail along with the good job, or the good kids, or the good health and suddenly our boats are rocked. We set our course feeling that surely our government has the terrorist thing handled, the Ebola thing handled, the economy thing handled.

My mother, at 70, was told she had a brain aneurysm sitting on the ocular nerve. She began losing site in that eye, reading became difficult (her favorite thing to do). When I visited shortly after she found out she held my hand and told me. Fear and panic gripped me. There was no surgery, not one that wasn’t as dangerous as the aneurysm anyway. My mother calmly patted my hand and assured me. Why wasn’t she in the grip of fear?

Max Lucado said “Fear, at its center, is a perceived loss of control.” When the boat heaves wildly over the waves we fight like crazy to control the outcome. Jesus beckons all the while, patting our hand and trying to calm us – we are not in control – the Lord of the universe is the mighty captain. “Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” (Matthew 8:26 NIV)

In those moments of fear, harness your inner control freak, and call on the One whom even the waves obey…