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.

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

 

 

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Willing…

red leaf pixa x     It must have been an interesting scene… A man in ragged clothes, the smell following around him, the pasty skin and sores. He came and knelt before the King.

He didn’t look like a king but the man knew in his heart and his spirit this One was the real deal. Mustering up all of his courage and ignoring the taunts of ‘unclean, unclean’  and ‘away with you, sinner, unclean’ he boldly approached and knelt.

“A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ “ (Matthew 8:2 NIV)

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Jesus didn’t ask questions, nothing about how long have you been like this. He didn’t look on him with disgust or cover His face to block the smell. But what He did was lasting and noticed by all: “Jesus reached out and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ He said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.” (Matthew 8:3 NIV)

To this man the miracle wasn’t so much the restoration of his health but the look in the eyes he gazed up at. No one had looked him in the eye for a long time, yet the King of Kings not only looked directly at him, He touched him. You can believe that touch was like no other before and none after. That touch didn’t just heal his wounds, it healed his heart and eternity was his as a believer in the Savior.

green leaf x

That is why, my friend, Living Braver is possible. Fear may prevail in those moments that grip our world. But being brave isn’t about what we do, it’s about what He does – every day.

He sees us raise our head towards the sky or fall in our chair exhausted, He looks on us with compassion and says ‘I am willing’ – willing to carry our burdens, lighten our load.

Are we willing? Willing to face what our day brings, the finality of what we were begging wouldn’t happen, the consequences of own waywardness? Willing to lay it at His feet – kneeling and looking into the eyes that only our heart can see. Not asking for the hard thing to go away, unless that’s His will of course, but asking for the bravery to come out on the other side of the hard thing.

“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:12 NIV)

yellowleaf pixa x

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


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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?

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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?

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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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Brave New Year…

???????????????????????????????     How to live courage for 2015? How to fear…less for a whole year?

Funny, just when we think everything is coming together – we cause it to all fall apart, and we wonder… why?

With God’s help we will spend a year together searching out His promises, His grace, His truth, His courage for our fear. It is true we cannot live brave without Him to guide the way…

“For this God is our God for ever and ever, He will be our guide even to the end.” (Psalm 48:14 NIV italics mine)

Somehow, for me, maybe you too, it is courage to let Someone else lead, guide. Then when change comes along as it always does, when things aren’t done the way they always have been, when today doesn’t look like we planned, we can just……follow…

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.” (Romans 15:5 NIV italics mine)

In two short days it will be a New Year, will we live brave because He guides and we follow? When we take the lead asking Him to follow and to be near, what are we really saying? ‘I’ve got this, let You know if I need help…’  Think it’s time to say instead ‘I can’t, You can. Light the way, guide me, with faltering footsteps at times, I will follow.’

A Brave New Year doesn’t look like ‘goals’ or ‘prosperity’ or ‘health’ or whatever the world says. It looks like a ‘person’ – the lover of your soul, Jesus your source of all courage… Happy Brave New Year!


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October 24, 2014 Which will you Grow?

confused tree1     Notice the tree in this picture – it looks as though it started straight and tall then shot a branch off to the left, grew a little, started to go to the left again but got back on course – as though it couldn’t make up its mind. That is me daily. I start off ready to go, face whatever lies ahead. Then something happens making me shoot off in a direction I didn’t really want to go. I get back on track and before I know it something makes veer off again. With those comes either bad attitude or trepidation…

We are under the delusion that if we do good or do right or don’t blow it then we have a right to expect things to work out our way – when it doesn’t, we question. Why do we expect perfection in an imperfect world? Why do we let our joy be stolen when we spill our drink, or the dog chews our shoes, or our children blow it? If God was good this morning when we woke up to sunshine and a roof over our heads, food in the refrigerator and gas in the car, clothes to choose from and hot water for a shower – then isn’t He still good when the car won’t start, the doctor calls with a grim voice, fraud happens on the credit card?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2 NIV) Joy? Joy when you lose the job you really loved? Joy when your body begins to fail you? Joy when a fender bender turns into a lawsuit?

“God does not give rights but He imparts responsibilities – Response-Abilities – inviting us to respond” Ann Voskamp  In our despair, doubt, worry we can respond with the darkness of an ungrateful soul or respond with gratefulness of a joy-full soul….