living braver

one faith step at a time…


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For You…

Perhaps you are living in or with fear – perhaps you don’t use the word ‘fear’ – maybe worry, doubt, dread… I’ve been there, sometimes I still settle there. This site is a little dated, but if you need to journey out of the place that seems dark and make your way to the light, scroll way down and peruse a few of my walks through the hard. Then visit me over at http://parisrenae.com and sign-up to follow me as we explore together our crazy world and God’s plan for you.

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Because of…

hearts pixa     Can’t earn it…Don’t deserve it…Can’t lose it.

To Live Braver is not a task, a to-do, a mountain to climb, or fear to conquer.

Yet life here is based on performance. As children – behave correctly, to be praised. As students – score a high grade, to get ahead. As a woman – look a certain way, to be noticed. As a man – make a living, to have worth.

As a child of God there is no performance required on our part. Christ has done it all. For all the times I have caused a frown here on earth, He has atoned. For all the times I have been selfish, He has been generous. For all the times I have ignored, He has noticed. He has overcome all our shortcomings – past, present, to come.

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But  b e c a u s e  o f   His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy… (Ephesians 2:4 NIV)

That great love isn’t earned, deserved or ever lost — it can be shared, can be the source of comfort, can be our Brave.

And oh yes, Mercy – He is so rich in it. A storehouse full that never empties out. Mercy poured over us, drenching us. In such mercy we are standing in His presence. Shining in the Light of Christ, His righteousness lighting up our very countenance. The Holy Spirit in us now – that we reflect the Light for all.

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How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1John 3:1 NIV)

His little ones, beloved ones, those who walk all eternity with Him. Lavish = generous, extravagant quantity. With so much, will we share? With each sharing we are courageous. There is no fear in love, love drives out fear and “We love because He first loved us.” (1John 4:19 NIV)

What freedom – live in Him, trust in Him. Freed to not perform, freed to show what He has done. We can love, BECAUSE OF… Jesus!

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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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In the Cave…

flower yellow black bkgrnd pixa x     The Lost Sea Adventure is in southeast Tennessee. To tour it you descend several hundred feet on slippery paths. Part way the guide stops and says “At this point we are going to turn off all lighting, you’ll understand what complete darkness is. Hope they come back on.” (Not funny.)

You stand there waiting for your eyes to adjust so you can see the outline of the person standing next to you. But you never do, because in complete darkness you can hold your hand right up in front of your face and never be able to see it.

That’s a lot like us without Jesus. We can commit terrible acts, knowing exactly what we’re doing. But never see it for the evil it is.

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It reminds me of the recent tragedy in Charleston where the barely adult young man sat through a Bible study with a group of people and in the end, opened fire killing nine.

So lost, so needful of something to make sense, so deluded into thinking his actions would make his world right in some way…

Like marriages that abuse verbally or physically – hoping it changes something. Like drugs or alcohol – hoping for a release from the reality of what isn’t wanted. Like any crime – hoping to fix a perceived problem but creating a worse outcome.

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Pastor Larry Adams recently said “That young man may have to pay for his crimes, but he doesn’t have to die for them.” Meaning someone already did – Jesus has paid the price in full for whatever the sin. A lie about something as silly as where we were to one as devastating as killing innocent people. The point is, we will likely face earthly consequences for our sins, but those who put their faith in Jesus don’t face an eternal consequence.

The Lost Sea is at the end of the tour deep into the cave. A very large lake discovered in 1905. But God knew it was there all along.

He knows all about us too, when we’re lost… When we finally ‘discover’ Him, we can see our actions for what they are. In Him we find our way to wholeness. Then no matter the troubles we face in this world, we know He will see us through, right there with us. Someday we will see Him face to face. In the light of His glory that shines on our forever, free from anymore bondage to sin… With Him the light is always on.

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.” (2Corinthians 4:6 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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October 17, 2014 Shadows…

ShadowToLight1     In shadows things are never as clear… We say ‘the beautiful afternoon was shadowed by the recent news of serious illness’. ‘A shadow fell over the room as she told of her addiction to prescription drugs’. ‘The shadows under her eyes told of her sleepless nights’. ‘Shadowy figures lurk in the alleys’. So many references to shadow – in the clear light of day fears aren’t as overwhelming, but when we find ourselves in the shadows our fears loom larger…

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:46 NIV) Yes, we will find the shadows trying to blur our circumstances. Those worry clouds will gather. When we call on the Light and ask a simple “Father??” He is so gracious to shine into our darkness – dispelling those shadows… Don’t stay in darkness…

“For God, who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts.” (2 Corinthians 4:6) On our darkest night we can see clearly if we are looking to the Light. We may stumble, panic may grip, despair may whisper but truth is brighter – leading us out of powerlessness into His strength. Lighten my heart…

“…That you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” (2Peter 2:9 NIV) Recall your sunniest day, the one where your skin warmed and the air was fresh, the one where you closed your eyes and breathed softly, the one you long to call today. His wonderful Light shines like that even when we think we are in the shadows, He is there shining…He is there casting away shadows…He is there making a way… Til someday we are where He is and all shadows are gone forever and our way is clear and His light warms and we breathe..

And we declare His praise…