living braver

one faith step at a time…


1 Comment

Desire…

floewrheartx     God’s heart words to our souls speak of desire. So many references but we get wrapped up in the immediate. The urgent earthly love and pursuits.

But He beckons “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4 NIV)

All our pursuits of pleasing family, making a living, volunteering, vacationing – all fall short and still we desire more. Unsatisfied we try harder, we analyze, we fill up on what leaves us empty.

“O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1 NIV)

bottleheart

While raising children, succeeding in the workplace, and helping those in need are planted in us by Him they only truly satisfy when first we are seeking Him. Satisfying the yearning with His word. Finding our meaning by recognizing we are chosen by Him. Our parched soul thirsts and when we seek out the source of unending Living Springs we then overflow to this dry and weary world.

“You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” (Psalm 145:16 NIV) When we are filled up with Him, He can use us to show the way to others. The Bible tells us we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Not works we think up, not works to check off a list, not works to gain brownie points. The works we’re created to do overflow from a heart bent on doing His will.

“I desire to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within in my heart.” (Psalm 40:8 NIV)

woodheart

Self gives birth to desires that never seem to be fulfilled. Constantly wandering after more and more. The world today can’t get enough to the point what is good becomes dark and causes pain. Seeking God gives birth to a desire that can be satisfied. The soul knowledge that we rest in the loving arms of the King of forever, and someday we shall see Him face to face.

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides You.” (Psalm 73:25 NIV) Will this characterize me every moment? Oh I wish. I will be selfish, I will want what me wants and not seek Him first. But I can silence the whispers of  ‘failure’  by being drenched in the promise that I am a work in progress. He has begun a good work and someday it will be complete.

Until then I can cling to and look forward to precious words of life as I “Praise the Lord, O my soul… [He} satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1, 5 NIV)

flowerheart2

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Soul Breathing…

chairs fog pixa x     Rush, hurry, flurry – fast paced activity is all the world seems to know anymore. We’ve rushed through another year and now stretches before us an unwritten 361 days.

Where, when – is there room for our soul to breathe? The pace of life isn’t going to slow for us, but will we slow enough to know true life? “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1John 5:11-12 NIV)

b&w child adult hand pixa x

When I was about eight we had a neighbor who had a special needs daughter. She spoke truth more clearly than any of the rest of us. One day our mothers were trying to get us out the door and to wherever it was we were going. I can still hear little Ellen saying ‘Hurry, hurry – we must hurry, we always have to hurry.’ That is how it seems, on to the next thing and the next…

So, we will have to be purposeful to find at least 361 times where we just slow down for a moment and take in Life, the Son of God, our very life. God knows all about our hurry, all about how brief our lives here are: “Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.” (Psalm 144:4 NIV) But he also tells us “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6 NIV)

flower sky pixa x

The next 361 days will likely hold many challenges, many fearful times, many hard times – it will also likely hold times of smiling, times of growing, and times to be thankful for. It will be in the moments where we allow our soul to breathe that we will find our life. Our year may be marked by loss or plenty, but our soul will be marked with His peace. Days ahead may be marked with dread or anticipation, but our soul will be marked with His joy.

Praying together “May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 NIV) we will Live Braver through our days…

coffee cup pixa x

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

 


Leave a comment

The Reason…

sun leaves pixa x     Thank you, Father, that when all seems wrong – You are still right. When all seems out of control – You are still our Rock. When all seems to overwhelm – You keep us steady.

Here in America we are about to set aside a day to give thanks – but throughout the world over, all have reason…

Our very breath, our life, and whether we have much or little. Whether this world has been kind or brutal, still we have reason…

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

autumn path 2 x

Living Braver at this time and in this place, wherever we may be, is acknowledgement. Acknowledging we have a God who knows no bounds to the love He has for us, no bounds to His power, no bounds to what He has in store for those who believe.

“He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.” (Proverbs 2:7-8 NIV)

Is our walk blameless? Are we just? Are we faithful? In and of ourselves – NO. But we have such a great salvation that in Him we are blameless, we are just, we are faithful. What a mystery – we mess up everyday, we are so unjust, and we waiver in faith moment to moment. But greater is He who is in us – and it is through Him that the Father beholds us.

autum path pixa x

“We are courageous because Jesus breathes bravery into the core of our fearful bones, and when we take a terrifying step toward the place we believe Jesus wants us to be, we’re living testaments of an audacious God.” Aliza Latta

Living testaments – you and me. Let our testimony be that of unending thank-full-ness. So full of thanksgiving that we overflow into the lives of others. Though hurting may we still show joy, though worried may we still impart hope, though anxious may we still share our overflowing blessings.

Thank you again and again Father, it is our desire to be courageous for You, trusting in Your boundless power and forever love…

orange poppies pixa x

 


6 Comments

Favor Moments…

castle in chair pixa x     ‘Bestow favor’ always brings to mind a picture of someone setting a crown on my head or handing me keys to a castle or something fanciful. To be granted favor seems so big and so undeserved.

But I need favor, in the moments when I teeter between making decisions… Moments when I feel torn between right and wrong… Moments when anxiety and doubt paralyze…

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us.” (Psalm 90:17 NIV) Rest upon us… So we can go about our moments with favor extended to others. So we can leave behind the negative self-talk with favor extended to self. So we can trust in the midst of the hard moments God uses all for the good of those who love Him.

book with hyacinth pixa x

Like drops that slowly fall become puddles, so our moments become life. I want mine to add up to ones that show His favor resting on me. But how, especially when moment to moment things change so quickly? “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.” (Psalm 105:4 NIV)

Always…In all ways – seek His face and His strength. In the moments of this day – not yesterday’s and not tomorrow’s, but in today’s – may the moments that make life be ones filled not with my disquieted heart but ones filled with assurance and hope. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23 NIV)

heart sky pixa x

Faith-full – when we are faithless, caught up in moments of uncertainty, still one thing is always certain – He is faithful and His promises to us are forever.

I found this, no author name, but it came from the blog Share Inspire Quotes: “Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.” A lifetime of moments spent like this would indeed be a life that has the favor of God. These are Favor Moments

sunflower pixa x

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

 


6 Comments

Restless…

suitcase in field pixa x     Restless – good or bad word? The frenzy of the world makes us want to escape – the restlessness of a world bent on seemingly destroying itself. The pace of our own lives often leaves us breathless and longing for that escape – the restlessness of trying to pay the bills, or to please everyone, or get it all done. One would think then that restless is…bad?

Yet isn’t it really our soul that is restless? Restless to have our Savior return, to right the wrongs, to make all things new. Out of the restlessness of our souls we then reach for anything, everything to satisfy – to put to rest – the longings…

Our longing is what David wrote in Psalm 63:1 NIV “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

stormy road poppies pixa x

In our lostness we think the longing is for a better home, a better job, a bigger bank account, a happier marriage, power, popularity… If we would listen to our thirsty soul, we would recognize our true longing – what makes us so restless is our need for our God.

Like a planted field laying dry, thirsting for quenching rain, so our spirits when not alive with Christ lay dry, thirsting but not knowing the source of refreshment. And those of us who are alive in Christ still sometimes get caught up in the noise of the crowd and lose our way – forgetting the source of all fulfillment.

As Jesus told the Samaritan woman “But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”(John 4:14 NIV)

water pixa x

Restless is normal – restless to be in the presence of Jesus. Praise God, who knew our restlessness before we did. After Jesus made His sacrifice for us, He did not leave us without a Helper… The Holy Spirit indwelling us redirects our restless ways towards our Help.

Be restless to find Him each morning, to seek Him in the rush of the day, to long for Him in the night. Then we will be quenched: “But the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6b NIV)

running at night pixa x

 

 


4 Comments

Release Me…

 flower orange pixa x     Sometimes we have to be set free, to become…a servant. The cares of our lives and worries of the world have a tight grip. The not yet happened curls its tendrils around our thoughts. Attention and effort lost in the sea of the past and stranded on the shores of tomorrow. But what happened to today?

“My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare.” (Psalm 25:15 NIV) Whether a snare of our own making or another’s…

Oh how I wish we – you and me – could live today – and not yesterday and tomorrow. So much lovely puffy cloud time, dew drops of early morning, and buzzing dragonfly wings of dusk are missed in our regrets and what ifs…

dew drops w ladybug pixa x

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27 NIV) But we can take a single hour or sacred minute and make it meaningful to life. To breathe in all the glory of these moments fleeting…

What is remembered most is not the mistakes but the ‘on purposes’. Purposefully speaking life to another’s soul, purposefully lightening the burden, purposefully overlooking the imperfection…

On purpose I want to tell, no show, no show and tell someone how much they matter, how much I forgive them, how much God loves – loves them, knows them, has planned for them…

Living Braver I want to be on purpose – today. Not worrying that I let yesterday get away from me, not fretting that I may not be prepared for tomorrow, and, oh Father, not hanging on to what made a mess of things or forgetting what made a glory of things…

window view pixa x

This is courage and this is fear…less — to be on purpose as I look out the window, pick up the phone, fold the laundry, stand in line, read the Word — the Word, that is His ‘on purpose’ to me… From creating all this marvel of a world, to dwelling among us and stretching wide His arms on a cross, to the written Word to impart life and truth and peace…

Release us Lord to Your purpose… “Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2Corinthians 5:5 NIV italics mine)

orange daily lilly pixa x

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

 

 


5 Comments

Landing Strips…

small plane pixa x     My step-dad had his pilot’s license, off and on he had a little plane that two to four people could fly in. He rebuilt most of one in our garage once. I remember the first time we flew and had to land in the early evening. It was almost dark and I got scared. I asked how he would be able to see where to go…

In our darkest hours we often don’t know where to go, but there is light for us: “Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me.” (Psalm 43:3 NIV)

I watched a beautiful short film about a wondrous cave in China. Instead of stalactites, this cave had openings here and there from the top of the hill where light filtered in. Throughout those areas of the cave there was lush vegetation. Green ferns and mosses and other delicate plants. Wherever the light touched there was growth…

As we are touched by the Light so we grow in our faith: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV)

fern pixa x

I took a guided tour in a cave where no light reached in. There was no life in it, just rock. Lights were stationed along most of the trail but at one point deep in the cave, where it was very cold, they had us all stand still. All the lights were turned off. I had never been in total, black, deep darkness before. Our eyes did not know what to make of it. A far away light came on, our searching eyes caught sight of it right away. Light, even the tiniest amount, permeates the darkness…

Our eternal souls are saved by His Light: “For you have delivered my soul from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.” (Psalm 56:13 NIV)

candle in dark pixa x

My step-dad had me watch closely in the last minutes before we landed. As we came closer and lower I could see the little running lights. They seemed like an arrow pointing the way: land here, this is the place… And so our Bible points the way for us: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NIV)

Let’s choose His light to lead us out of our darkness…

 landing strip x

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