living braver

one faith step at a time…


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Light Load…

 feather hand pixa  How do you carry? With arms bent in weight or hands lifted light? Is it even to us to carry?

The world has not changed much over the last couple thousand years. Jesus commented of those who were the rock stars, political leaders, ‘respected’ of their day “They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see.” (Matthew 23: 4 NIV)

What loads are we carrying today, ones others put on us – ones we’ve picked up ourselves. The world is a heavy mess, it will always be til the return of the Savior.

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There is really only one burden we need carry “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)

But what to do with all the weight we feel “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1Peter 5:7 NIV) Even in this, no conditions. It doesn’t say ‘then He will care for you’ it says ‘because He cares’. Already done, regardless of what we do. At the ready to lift us up, enabling us to carry Him with us and to others.

An alcoholic spouse, a wayward child, a dementia bound parent, unfaithful friend, lost job, ill health, these are not ours to carry. Cast them – heave, thrust, toss, hurl – really, just let go of. These are things best carried in arms bigger than ours.

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So I’ve found in sitting next to the death bed, speak of Him. In fear of losing all, lift up Him. Take the worry and heave it on Him in prayer. Take the fear and hurl it on Him with lifted eyes and hands. Take any regret and thrust it on Him living for now, not then or when.

Deep breath before the appointment, quick prayer before the reaction, song of His in our soul when laying down, Word buried in heart to start each day. These are light and lift our hands, arms are freed to move beyond our heaviness and quickened to carry Him to another burdened soul.

heart sand pixa

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

 

 


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Power Like…

rain boots and umbrella pixa x     Summer rain is different than other times of year rain… It’s urgent, and drenching…

Fear and dread, questioning and worry pound at us much the same way. Amazing how we can be raising hands in praise and then hearing that ‘in this world we will have trouble’ and say in our hearts ‘no, no – I can’t’…

Forgetting that we are absolutely right, we can’t… He can – because of the promise…’I will be with you’…

Before we run ahead of today we must walk with Him in each moment – otherwise we will be drenched with doubt, timid to move on. But He tells us “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” (2Timoty 1:7 NIV underline mine)

Oh that power, that is what I want to be drenched in. The urgent working of Him in all my little things and all my overwhelming things… “…His incomparably great power for us, who believe.” (Ephesians 1:19 NIV)

drenched dandelions pixa x

Incomparably – immeasurably – unlimited – exceedingly  – GREAT POWER…for who? Us, who believe. Who believe when no one else can fathom why, who believe leaving behind any brokenness and straining towards today’s wholeness.

Emily P. Freeman recently said “May we remember to treat fear like an armed enemy, refusing to let him come into our homes, sit at our table, and feast on our hope. “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the HOPE to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1:18 NIV caps mine)

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The eyes of our heart – that is how we must…trust Him – heart trust, hope in Him – heart hope, see Him – heart vision.

When the dark clouds have spent themselves leaving behind saturated ground, rays part the sky and puddles warm beckoning us to step into their warmth. Just like our Father beckons in the whisper, ‘I am with you to the very end of the age and forever…step with Me…’

 puddle with leaf pixa x


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Less Travelled…

convertible canva x     Do you ever dream about travelling…in a convertible…on back roads…sun shining, light breeze – no worries behind or ahead…

That is someday…for those who believe because “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)

For now, we live in a broken world. Faces needing to see in our eyes f a i t h… When the brokenness of health lost, relationship shattered, money lacking is reality, will we still lift our eyes, in faith, knowing that in this world we will have troubles?

gift hands pixa x

Faith is not something we have to muster up. Did you know that it’s a gift? Everything we need is given by the Giver of all good things, even f a i t h… “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

Is today a day where you’ve wandered…away? We will have our faithless times – our questioning thoughts, our doubting fears, our d.i.y. ways. 2Timothy 2:13 NIV tells us “If we are faithless, He will remain faithful.”

Take the road less travelled…The one that others pass by thinking it will rob them of the thrills, of the perks, of the good life. Easy to perceive the emptiness of the well travelled road… Look in the eyes of those on it – is there hope in those eyes, is there freedom in those eyes?

eyes scard pixa x

The road less travelled leads to peace in the chaos, joy in the heartbreak, calm in the storm. The world says power/money/sex/prescriptions are the answer. Do the eyes of those who have the world’s goodies shine with confidence or shadow with doubt? (look past the make-up and the photoshopping)

“Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.” Elisabeth Elliot  Got questions? He has answers when we walk hand in hand with Him. He is the One who will be with us til the very end of the ages – and the One who will welcome us into eternity…where all will indeed be well…

dirt road pixa x

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


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October 29, 2014 Fix Your Eyes…

??????????     Yesterday was a dread-full day… Yes, I have been writing about all the ways to overcome fear/anxiety/dread – whatever you may name it. Yet I am reminded “…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

I made a choice yesterday – the choice to let circumstances and my own insecurities rule the day, instead of letting the King of the universe rule my heart…

So I spent a miserable day wrapped up in self, making those around me uncomfortable. I couldn’t/wouldn’t see the joy and beauty around me; I looked at everything through a dark cloud.

Here’s the thing: there wasn’t even a particular event that dredged up my anxiety. Rather it was letting self-talk drop me into the hole of insecurity. Instead of looking to where my help comes from, I kept my focus on me and thoughts swirling darker…

Focus defined means: pay particular attention to. Our soul eyes can so easily be turned away from our Helper – in weakness we look in or down or anywhere but up…

“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV)

Yesterday I took my eyes off the source of living brave. A valuable lesson was learned: focus beyond self, beyond circumstances. Give thanks in all circumstances and don’t let this world or self-talk direct my steps…

“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 NIV)

 


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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!”