living braver

one faith step at a time…


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Change In The Air…

door     Living Braver has been a journey. As I recognized fear had become my default reaction to difficulties I knew there must be a better way.

Fear hadn’t always been such a close companion. Through a barrage of situations spanning just a few years, it sneakily crept in. As I set out on this journey my goal wasn’t so much to focus on fear but its opposite: bravery.

Perhaps the way to not holding my breath or getting lost in ‘what-ifs’ was to find brave steps leading to freedom.

whiteflowerdrops

That’s what the past eighteen months have explored. At first these were basic baby steps. As I discovered fear and brave didn’t have as much to do with me as they did with my relationship with God, faith steps emerged.

Will there ever be a day you and I are never afraid? We all have doubts, anxieties, worries. What we’ve discovered together is that it isn’t the absence of the trials of life. It’s not a new found I can handle this. It is the ever present Holy Spirit and our totally relying on a Father who can handle it all.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1Peter 5:7 NIV)

When my focus began to be more and more about ‘this isn’t all there is’ and that no person, no difficulty, no injustice – nothing – can touch my eternity, finally a new perspective came.

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Suddenly it seemed liked clouds parted and all the wonders of God’s promises burst forth and crowded each week’s writings with hope. A hope that will never fade, spoil, or perish. A true treasure.

“An inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade – kept in heaven for you.” (1Peter 1:4 NIV)

My prayer is that this journey has helped you, pointed your vision upward to where your help comes from. If I can pray for you or share with you, please email me.

You can continue to read my wanderings over at my original site: http://parisrenae.wordpress.com. In the near future change will be coming to that site with a fresh new look. I would love to have you ‘follow me’ there. May the God of all grace and peace guard your hearts and your minds, Paris Renae

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Towards…

airplane     Sometimes we just have to move. I am finding that moving with a sore back has to be deliberate. If I find a comfortable spot, I just want to stay put. But in the end, that leads to more pain.

It is the same in our relationship with God. We must always be moving with Him: growing in our knowledge of Him, seeking His wisdom, knowing His Word and His ways better and better.

Sometimes we find a comfortable spot in our God relationship – we want to stay there. To move would not be easy. But when we don’t move beyond this comfortable spot, we stagnate and grow stiff and in the end it’s not so comfortable after all.

“For in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28a NIV)

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We have a heavenly destination. In this earth suit we wear we will not reach it, but when we close our eyes to this world and open them in the next we will have arrived. There is fuel for the journey: the Bible. There is protection for the journey: the Holy Spirit. There are travelling companions for the journey: fellow Christians.

Along the way there will be potholes, wrong turns. At those times satan will try to convince us that we are stuck, that our past is all we are, ever will be.

“The next time satan reminds you of your past, remind him of your future.” Sue Edwards

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For every disappointment – be they backaches, financial downturns, loss of innocence, and so many other heartaches – there beats the heart of a loving Father who is with us. Nothing can touch us. Oh yes, here we will feel pain, but here is not our destination.

Buckle up, the journey is crazy good, crazy hard, but soon you will be home…

“Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight…So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” (2Corinthians 5:6-7, 9 NIV)

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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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Looking Up…

white daisy pixa x     Going on a trip usually sounds exciting. We make our plans and then as the time approaches we begin to second guess. Thoughts swirl ‘what if something goes wrong while I’m away’, ‘what if it’s not fun like I thought it would be and I wasted a lot of money’, ‘I would rather just stay home, I love being home’…

This is where I sometimes find myself –  when I’m looking down, inward – letting worry, lack of confidence, fear have its way.

Then I am reminded “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.” (Psalms 121:1-2 NIV) Look up, above all this, look up – not to self, not to what circumstances are trying to convince me of, not letting fear be my master.

sunglasses pixa x

When I look up, the ten hour drive becomes adventure instead of anxiety. The unfamiliar becomes a memory maker instead of a courage taker. When I look up my eyes are lifted to my Confidence, to the One who wants to show me new things and grow my bravery. Emily P. Freeman recently said “I’ve learned that God is not a great travel agent, but He’s a fantastic traveling companion.”

This is what I find when I’m looking up “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (Psalm 34:4-5 NIV)

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Whether I am home in my little safe place or out on the road to adventure, He is right there. Travelling this life with me and knowing that if I will just look up He will be able to make the impossible possible through me. For God’s ways will always prevail regardless of whether I step out with Him or not. The question becomes will I be involved in His glorious plan, or will I play it safe?

May our outlook for the journey – to the grocery store or a thousand miles away – be held by His gaze. May we step out with these words echoing through our hearts “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.” (Psalm 105:4 NIV)

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Getting Lost, Finding…

sign directionxx     Lost? Ever right where you’re supposed be but can’t find your way?

Strangers on this earth, it’s easy to wake each day, do all the things we’re supposed to and suddenly look around and question – why?

Is there purpose in all this daily doing?

ship wreckx

When Paul was on a ship adrift, lost, and bound for wreckage, all the men on the ship were despairing, but he calmly said to them: “But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.” (Acts 27:22 NIV) Paul was not lost, wherever he was, he knew his way Home…

tornadox

In the wreckage of our days: suicides, terrorism, financial ruin, tornadoes, famine – maybe not so daunting but still our stuff – wayward children, lost job, car accident – maybe even just the frustrating – lost keys, late to work, broken window… we can feel abandoned, adrift, lost…

Remember  “the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10 NIV)

So today in the midst of the delay in your expectations, the disappointment of hopes not fulfilled, the deceit of worldly pleasures you can still find the Way for He has told you how to get Home… Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV italics/underline mine)

In the lostness rest in this “Like the wind, grace finds us wherever we are and won’t leave us however we were found.” (Ann Voskamp underline mine) When you find yourself in Him you can be sure who you were will be radically made new with each step you take towards Home…

Join me in the journey leading straight to where we want to be?

country roadx

 


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October 30, 2014 B.R.A.V.E.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Journey – to start at one point and end at a different point. Twenty-nine days ago we started a journey… beginning with trying to figure out what fear is to us and maybe what triggers it. Trying to figure our what brave is and what we want it to be for us.

We have learned that it is normal to have fear, but not to be paralyzed by it. We will have fearful times, but we have a God who is bigger than any fears we may face. To find peace in the midst of the turmoil does require action on our part: to seek out the One who is in control. We will fail at this fear thing and find ourselves gasping for relief, but we are never alone.

For victory over our doubts and dreads we must be prepared. The preparation lies in knowing the God who knows you. Saturating yourself in His Word and praying only to Him. Knowing Him so well that He is your go to source of comfort. We need to quiet our inner chatter and bring the fear thoughts captive as we choose to believe His authority over all.

Braver living is living in joy when happiness is absent. Even in our pain there is purpose. God can use us to comfort others when we’ve walked the road before them.

B. R. A. V. E. =    Believing

                         Resting

                  in His  Amazing

                             Victories

                              Everyday