living braver

one faith step at a time…


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Give Brave Away…

flower hand pixa     “Sometimes there are days where it’s braver to give your brave away.” Aliza Latta

Hope. With earth eyes we don’t see it, but with faith eyes we sense it. Some days we are focused on what will be, confident in One who loves perfectly our imperfections. Others have us staring into what seems hopeless and we are again adrift, flailing and wondering why we even hoped.

This world wants to define us, box us up, categorize us. But those defined by the promises of God can’t be held captive in the world’s definitions. Who living only for this life can say: I am forgiven, covered by grace, rescued, secure? But those and more are the promises of God.

daisy pixa

When faced with the widower freshly having buried his wife, the daughter missing her mother – it is to us to hold out our brave. When seeing animals cruelly treated, the child sold into human trafficking – our brave must be given. When depression steals humanity, when illness steals vitality, when brokenness threatens to swallow all hope – we must share our brave.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)

He hears our cries – He is mercy, grace, righteousness, refuge, peace – and does not change. When we get lost in all that is wrong He calls out that someday all will be right. When we tremble with strength long gone He beckons to look beyond and see joy and remember the promises. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” (Romans 5:5 NIV)

woman praising pixa

Though we are in this hard world  we are not lost – but some are. Our brave comes when we see what He puts in front of us instead of turning away, turning to self and circumstances. Bravely speaking what we know to be true, deciding to trust. She who is brave is free – no longer captive to what threatens. Free to proclaim He is with us.May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NIV)

Not our power to change the world or one soul, the power of God to use us to reach the world or one soul. When we surrender our lack of courage and trust in the brave that is beyond self we are truly free. Somedays we just need to give our brave away…

hippo pixa x


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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…

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October 21, 2014 Sanity Savior…

 

 glasses on swt pot vine1    Sanity… In our world we see people coping by using alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, various addictions – we see many who deal with depression to varying degrees, who lash out at others in violent ways, who commit suicide. In America alone there are approximately 180,000 psychologists (not including psychiatrists, counselors, social workers) – all trying to help people cope….

A heavy subject not easily or adequately addressed in this format – but vital in the Living Braver process. To step away from fear and toward brave we have to know Who makes sanity possible. Considering all that is going on in the world, all we and our loved ones are dealing with day to day, a friend recently said “It’s hard to remember what I’m supposed to be praying for. Which must be why prayer is more worship than asking. Worship is the only way to stay sane! Praise the Lord He still reigns!”

To keep our sanity amidst the threat of dread diseases, corrupt governments, violence in the streets, and heartache over loved ones we must adjust our focus, change the glasses we look through. If we trudge through each day looking at only the problems and asking only for fixes, we miss what miracles are being worked out in the pain – we miss our Sanity Savior.

Do you want to experience pain or loss? NO, neither do I. To one extent or another it will touch all of us profoundly at times – the fear that raises in us keeps our focus cast down, our lenses on self and our hearts always asking for fixes. What if we focused instead on praising the only One who knows all the outcomes? What if our glasses were the right prescription and we would look up and sing out joy in the midst of anguish? 

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2Corinthians 4:18)

Today I challenge you to squelch your fear with worship – simply say “Father, You are awesome and all I need!”