living braver

one faith step at a time…


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Stepping Stones…

stepping stones pixa x     Sometimes we all need…a path….. to find our way…

Stepping stones don’t have to be crossed all at once. Sometimes we step, breathe deep, and do what needs to be done in this day, on this stone…

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. (1Peter 2:21 NIV)

footsteps pixa x

Last week I stepped onto an unknown stone – as the blossoming young woman, with hurt her past, and a future unsure, poured out her heart to me. Mesmerized I listened as she non-stop told me everything she had held so tightly, now overflowing like a dam broken.

On this stone I did not have to have all the answers. I did not have to fix anything. I just had to…listen, squeeze her hand, blink back tears with her, and…assure her of the One who loves her more than anyone on earth can even fathom. The love of a Savior who sees her heart.

stones heart pixa x

He knows your heart too, He knows your hurts, He knows your faltering step looking for the next stone in the path…assuring you that –

“When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.” (Proverbs 4:12 NIV)

For what can man do to us? This earth suit may be damaged, feelings hurt, dreams dashed – but you who profess Jesus as your Lord, Christ as your Savior – the you that is eternal cannot be touched.

Because Christ died for us our Father sees His Son’s righteousness in us – and tells us this great truth for our path:

“The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter til the full light of day.” (Proverbs 4:18 NIV)

daisy on stone pixa x

And now it comes to us to say to fear ‘you are not my master’. As this sweet young woman finished her story we held hands and stepped together to the next stone in our path looking forward with eternal eyes to the promise…

“You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11 NIV)

Step brave with us today into the everlasting arms – breaking the chains holding us captive to the world and its burdens and stepping free into the Light on our path…

 

 

 

 

 


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I In the Middle…

heart cementx     Ever feel stuck – in the middle. Between scary and bold, between fear and brave, between self and God?

Reminds me of something the author Max Lucado once pointed out: sIn. In the middle of the tiny, big word is I.

Such a small word, big enough to destroy an Eden man and woman. ‘I’ always makes a mess of perfection…

Between scary and bold is I saying: I can’t, I won’t. Between fear and brave is I saying: I’m not good enough, I don’t trust enough. Between self and God is I saying: I know best, I’ve got this.

sidewalk weedx

Stuck in the middle – the middle of the pain, the fear, the doubt. Sometimes in the middle of the good, the plenty, the blessing. I demands it’s way in the bad and the good because, as always, I looms large when it’s on it’s own…

sIn is always self and self feeds on our weakness. We need HIM. The I in the middle of HIM is the great I AM. With HIM the difference between scary, fear, self – and bold, brave, God – is the I AM…

This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.” (Isaiah 48:17-18 NIV)

Mmmm, peace like a river – abounding, running on and on, not ending. As Alicia Bruxvoort said in a post I once read: “Even if you know the ending, the middle can still hurt.” But remember, nothing is waste with God. The messy middle is for us to use for Him.

dandelionx

This side of eternity our sinful self will never be completely gone. But maybe crossing from the middle to Him will be quicker, less stressful, more comforting when we remember we are no longer slaves to sIn – we have been set free…

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father”. (Romans 8:15 NIV)

Father, we want Your peace like a river…

peaceful riverx

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

 


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It’s Not Just Me…

Not the only one1     Lost in memories of the should haves, could haves…the why didn’t I, wish I would have… The voice deep within wondering would things be different if I had – or maybe if I hadn’t?

Oh, yes, it’s not just you… We all, in those moments of anxiety – in those pit in the stomach times, wonder…

That is satan’s ploy when he has nothing left or even when we’ve given him plenty to work with, it is his desire to make us look back, cast eyes inward, let fear lead…

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27 NIV)

Our Father tells us today is what matters… Will you make a difference today? With the broken life, with the child off course, with the troubled marriage, with the addiction… Today is the day for cans and wills and doing. For it is only in today that we can step into tomorrow without the wondering… “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34 NIV)

Oh, Father, don’t let us add to the troubles of this day by living in yesterday… Let us lay the wondering at Your feet… “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1Peter 5:7 NIV) Did you catch that – not if you do this He will care for you, do this BECAUSE He cares for you…

To Fear…Less is freedom – the freedom found in trusting in His care…  


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October 14, 2014 ReNew Your Normal

heart&key2     Fear can become our ‘normal’. At each turn of our day we get into the routine of being ready to face fear. Almost holding our breath as we anticipate what’s next…

It becomes so normal for us that we don’t see we are in bondage – held prisoner or paralyzed unable to move without fear. And the enemy wants to keep us there…

For some captivity in fear is a result of bad choices along the way – to the point we don’t think we can find our way back, nor do we feel we deserve to be allowed to walk away from the pit we feel we are in. The enemy shames us into believing this is the way it will always be and no one cares if we ever leave and return…

It’s time to re-new our normal “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2 NIV) Being in bondage to fear is not where God wants us to be and he offers freedom…

The key to freedom: forgiveness. Oh, you say, I am beyond forgiveness. Perhaps you feel no one on this earth will ever offer it, perhaps they never will. Or perhaps you say, oh I know I’m forgiven but I need to pay for my mistakes. Don’t forget Someone, Jesus, already paid. Forgiveness is God’s free gift.  His forgiveness is the biggest fearbuster there is.

Those who are saved forget to walk in freedom and instead allow the enemy to direct our steps of fear. Forgiveness, once accepted, can still be hard to live out, but by the transforming work of God and the renewing of our minds with His Word, we can walk braver into freedom away from the hold of fear…