living braver

one faith step at a time…


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The Answer…

red rose     All of heaven must have held its breath.

The Shepherd was now the Lamb, going to be sacrificed.

I’ve learned something recently. Without even realizing it many of us find our self-worth in what we do. We spend lifetimes doing ‘things’ to earn another’s love, approval, appreciation, complements.

Then comes a time where an injury or an illness or some life event prevents us from the usual ‘doing’ – and we’re lost. We’re ashamed. We’re worried we will lose the affection of the ones we’ve always ‘done’ for, or that they will be disappointed in us, or that we are making their lives harder.

My head knows that this is not true, my heart even knows, but somewhere along the way my soul lost touch and got duped into believing the lie. The lie that if I don’t ‘do’ then I have no value.

rose dead

The deceiver, the enemy of our souls, is the master of deceit. And oh so very patient. Years of relentless messages aimed at our soul – ‘no one will care unless you do this’, ‘you’re letting everyone down when you can’t do that’, ‘even God can’t use you unless you do this better’. And so we push ourselves and we think that we are being selfless and find out that really, all along the ‘doing’ is about self.

Our souls instinctively search for the truth. Knowing that all the ‘doing’, while admirable or maybe even necessary, isn’t where our value lies. The Truth is our worth is in Christ alone. He chose to die for us, He chose to redeem us, and He chooses to spend eternity with us. And when we live our lives to please Him – all the other falls into place.

Self-worth is not in what I can do – it is in what He has done!

Jesus

Stop – do you sense it? Easter comes but once a year. The remembrance of the greatest sacrifice ever made, that ever can be made, that ever will be made. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6 NIV) Just the right time. He knew You before the creation of the world, He knew your place in time in this world, He has a grand plan to use you for good in this world – but none of it depends on you. For everything that had to be done has been done.He said, ‘It is finished!’ Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30 HCSB)

Now we get to partner with Him in bringing glory to the Father and lost souls to the Truth. The Answer to all the ‘doing’…

Happy Easter, He is Risen

cross1


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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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You liar…

stormx     Going about my days lately I thought I had this new sense of courage and contentment, maybe I was finally getting it… then something happened that made me plant my feet and shout ‘no’, ‘I won’t do that’, ‘I can’t’, ‘it’s not safe’, ‘what if it doesn’t work out’?

And there I was, all the stuff I thought I had shed was bubbling out, demanding an answer. The question: ‘Do you trust Me?’ – ‘Yes, You, I trust Lord – I just don’t trust the person asking me to go along with the scary thing’ – and I tried to pretend that if I protested enough, I could get my way, I could stay in the safe zone, and I could go back to my few minutes ago courage…

pierx

Doubts crept in, my head was saying ‘you know this could work out really bad’, ‘put your foot down, don’t do it’ – I so badly wanted to pay attention. Then my heart said pick up your Bible and the defenses I was trying my best to erect began to look like unbelief. The deceiver wanted me to handle things the way I’ve always done it – my way. My Father didn’t want me to handle it at all, but put it in His hands…

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him…” (Romans 15:13 NIV)

I had to say to the tempter, the one who holds out the tantalizing lie of ‘you don’t need God for this, handle it on your own’ – ‘You liar!’ Listening to the lie would have rewarded me with worry, lost sleep, conflict. Listening to the lover of my soul rewarded me with confidence that I wasn’t in control, but He was and I needed to trust… “…so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NIV)

victory on rockx

When what we have, or the fear of losing it, becomes our god, we lose sight of what we truly have – assurance that no matter what happens in this world, whether in our control or not, this is temporary – eternity is forever and that can never be taken from us.

Things may work out the dreaded way we fear they will, but we don’t have to lose our peace and joy when we cling to our hope – the unfailing love of God and the knowledge that “in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28 NIV caps mine)

 daisyx

 


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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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The Truth Is…

lie truthx     Often the barrier to Living Braver is not knowing the truth…

When I am struck with fear about what will happen or is happening, its because I’ve forgotten the truth…

“I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6 NIV)

Throughout the course of a life many fearful things will happen, that’s just the way it is, for now. When I get in a car accident, or go to court to face a judge, or go to the doctor for not so good test results, or watch a loved one die, or make mistakes that hurt me and many others, or _____ _____ _____ (you fill in the blank) – I often react in fear…

open Bible lightstockx

Fear of the unknown – what will happen now, how will I move beyond this, how can I ever make amends, will I survive this, what if… These feelings, these thoughts, that swirl and close in make me captive, a slave, imprisoned to the lie…

But Jesus told those who believe in Him “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 NIV underline mine)

In our hand wringing moments when we may want to turn to what the world says will help (drugs/alcohol/self-indulgence/etc.) – it is in those moments we need to turn away from the world, those answers are bondage.

daisy on boardwalkx

Psalm 86:11 NIV asks of God “Teach me your ways, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth.”

The truth is Jesus, the truth is God’s Word. The truth is you and I have already won because Jesus has secured our forever. Whoever would try to defeat us, whatever is haunting us, whenever we are facing the giants, wherever we are now – all our who’s, what’s, when’s, and where’s are “light and momentary troubles…achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2Corinthians 4:17 NIV)

Lord help us to put aside the world, and to put inside the Word…

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

 life isx