living braver

one faith step at a time…


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Safest When…

locked door1     Safe – where is ‘safe’? Safe – from ‘what’?

There is much to pray about being kept safe from isn’t there? If we were to pray for self and loved ones only about safety, I suppose we could take up most of our day. So much to be kept safe from…

Do you long for a bubble around your children, around your car speeding down the road, around your heart throughout the day…

 heart bubble1

In this world there is no bubble, bad has its way. Mommas lose daughters to terrorists, daddys lose sons to drugs, wives lose husbands to midlife crisis, friends lose kindred spirits to old age… Where is safe…

“Keep me safe, O God, for in You I take refuge.” (Psalm 16:1 NIV) Refuge – shelter or protection from distress or danger. Here? Now? Yes and no. As we walk in obedience to God we are kept safe from many pitfalls we may never know of. But in a sin-filled world, we aren’t exempt from troubles. Kept safe from utter destruction – Absolutely, Always, Forever…

This fearful, dreadful, tearful now is temporary… Perhaps safe isn’t where, or what, or when – but Who…

“But the Lord is my refuge; my God is the rock of my protection.”  (Psalm 94:22 HCSB)

Max Lucado said When fear shapes our lives, safety becomes our God… The New Testament lists some 125 Christ-issued imperatives. Of these, 21 urge us to ‘not be afraid’ or ‘not fear’ or ‘have courage’.” His second most common imperative was to love God and neighbor, and that only appeared eight times. Max went on to say “Jesus takes our fears seriously. The one statement He made more than any other was this: don’t be afraid.”

Safe when? When you are in the arms of your loving Father — and when you have Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are always and forevermore in His arms…

If you stopped by because you read my devotion today over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!  Click on the ‘Back to Paris Renae’ link at the top, where we chat about how extraordinary ordinary is…

 

 


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October 19, 2014 Safe Place

shield1     Safe – the place where we long to be… Safe is a place we constantly search for. Safe from fierce weather, safe from physical abuse, safe from emotional abuse, safe from scary things like Ebola or terrorism or crime, safe from our own feelings of inadequacy…

Is there such a place? I’ve often thanked God for our home and called it our safe haven – if that is so then why sometimes when I’m alone at night do I feel the little niggling of fear arise wondering if someone will break in? We keep our money in banks where it’s safe – then why do we worry about how much we have and if there will be a run on banks? We make sure our children’s caretakers and schools are safe places – then why do we worry about school shootings or abductions?

Webster defines safe as: free from harm or risk; secure from threat of danger, harm, or loss. People have built homes with ‘safe rooms’ – walls made of thick concrete sometimes metal reinforced, supplies for several days inside, a camera to view the outside. Yet that is not safe, if someone wants you out of there bad enough they will find a way. So is safe possible?

“Fear of man” (or of anything in this world) “will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25 NIV) Our safe place is only found in God. “He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge…” (Psalm 144:2 NIV) See His reassuring words: fortress, stronghold, deliverer, shield. May this song encourage you to step into His safe arms:

 

 

 


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October 13, 2014 Thought Life…

thoughtlife1     One day a family with two handsome sons moved into Ruth’s neighborhood. She heard that the farmland where the family used to live had dried up and they were starving. Over the years Ruth and her good friend came to know the boys and their family well. When all of them were grown the two young men took Ruth and her friend to be their wives. Not long into their marriages each of the young men became ill and within a short time died, as did their father. The girls had come to dearly love their mother-in-law, knowing she was heartbroken and was talking of moving back to her homeland, they offered to go with her. Although the mother-in-law was able to dissuade one of the girls, she could not convince Ruth to stay. They began the long, dangerous journey…

My mother always said “Into each life a little rain must fall” – but into some lives torrents drench. In our story today, when everything fell apart in Ruth’s life, despite her fears of the unknown and the dangers lying ahead, she committed to be there for another. What enabled her to do that? The simple answer: her thought life. Instead of looking for troubles that were not yet happening,  she focused on being there for someone else.

So it is with us, our thought life can get us into the doldrums of trepidation – if we let it.  Right now I know of a little 6 year old boy diagnosed with Leukemia. Lots of big needles, and painful treatments have already happened and the years ahead are full of the same. But, through the wisdom of his God loving parents, his thought life has been directed outward. He is focusing on how he can raise money for orphans in India. He came up with the idea of getting friends and family to donate a little bit of money for each of the 65 shots he will receive between now and January. (Go to:   http://teamquiverfull.com if you would like to read more about him or donate.)

 “…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2Cor. 10:5 NIV) Live braver in your thought life…


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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…