living braver

one faith step at a time…


6 Comments

Open Here…

snow hot chocolate pixa x     We mark time with years and moments. Someday time will no longer be relevant, but here and now it’s how we make new beginnings – a New Year…

I’m not much of a goal setter and I’m pretty certain if I was I would disappoint myself regularly. But I do have aspirations, do desire to see change and growth, to feel the difference that purpose makes.

God had a purpose for putting His Word in writing – that we may have all we need for life and godliness. He had a purpose in sending His Son to die for us, that we can be cleansed from all unrighteousness and have eternal life. And He has a purpose for each and every one of our lives “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me” (Psalm 138:8 NIV)

cup snow 2 pixa x

Our part is to be prepared so we are useful for Him to fulfill His purpose through us. That’s where His Word comes in, as He speaks to our heart ‘Open here’. Randomly opening our Bible and reading where our finger lands is not what God has in mind. Do we pick up books, reports, spread sheets, whatever it is we regularly read and just let our finger tell us where to start? What if we approached reading the very Word of God with the same purpose we do in reading instructions, emails from our boss, or a novel?

Open here: where a devotional directs us, where a Bible study leads us, where we hear at a sermon on a Sunday. Open here: to a passage we feel drawn to asking His Holy Spirit to teach us. Open here: breathing it in like a fresh bag of coffee, lingering over it like a decadent dessert.

cup snow pixa x

“All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.” (Psalm 38: 9 NIV) Every sigh is heard, every longing known by our Maker. Nothing is hidden nor does He hide His purposes. He longs for us to daily live on purpose so we can know His heart.

A beautiful song – Come to Me – by Bethel Music is a sweet reminder to take with us as we venture brave into the New Year:

I am the Lord your God,
I go before you now.
I stand beside you
I’m all around you
And though you feel I’m far away
I’m closer than your breath
I am with you
More than you know

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8GOII4PrrA (Come To Me YouTube Link)

 


4 Comments

True Confessions…

envelope1     The mail came, an envelope looking like junk mail contained not a catalog but a thick packet of blame…

In this world no matter how hard we try do right – no matter that we are innocent – selfish will seek to lay the blame, want what selfish feels should be theirs – counting only their reward, not our cost…

So, true confession, this past week I exhaled fearful sighs, gritted my teeth while I slept, fretted… Then came more, sick husband, back pain and I looked up and said ‘Help?’

Then came these lyrics “I’m giving you fear, You’re giving me faith. I’m giving you doubt, You give me grace. For every step, I’ve never been alone.” (Help Me Find It by Sidewalk Prophets)

Thankful that the Father inspires fellow Christians to encourage us with – words, music, prayer… EnCouragement – I looked up what the prefix En means: to cause to be in. So when we receive a song, a story, a prayer, a hug, a pat on the back, a knowing look – the giver is causing us to be in courage: EnCourage.

The chorus of the song encourages further: If there’s a road I should walk, help me find it. If I need to be still, give me peace for the moment. Whatever Your will, can You help me find it?

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you,” says the Lord. (Psalm 32:8 NIV)

Help me find it… Your instruction, your counsel. In those moments when the mail arrives, in those moments in the dark, in those moments in doubt’s blurry vision… Help me find it… the way I should go, watch over me…

“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:8 NIV)

Day by day, friend, moment by moment – grace enough to breathe and encouragement enough to trust – one faltering step in front of the other… EnCouraged because of His faithfulness…

(Side note: decided a piece of chocolate would help, look at the message inside this Dove chocolate wrapper… the message is for you and for me:

fearlessdove1


1 Comment

The GIVING of THANKS…

???????????????????????????????    Is this it… is Giving what its all about? That risk of giving and never receiving back, of sleepless nights, of tears… Is this it… Giving Thanks no matter the outcome? Braver is in the ‘Thank You, Father’ – because You love me and even in all this messiness there is grace, there is love, there is – thanks…

Can we accept the good job, the steady paycheck – but not the slim times, not the going without? Can we accept the love of family and friends – but not the heartbreak, not the loneliness? Can we accept the young healthy days, the looking forward to tomorrows – but not the sickness and pain, not the little time left?

The Giving of Thanks – now at this time of year and every day cannot rest on circumstances. Our fear, anxiety, doubt will try to overshadow our heart…

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1Thessalonians 5:18 NIV italics & underline mine) Are we only to give thanks in the good circumstances? No in all…

A beautiful song by Laura Story says…

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
  What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise…

Happy Giving of Thanks… don’t hold back for it is only in the midst of the desperate sacrifice of thank-full lips that we can find courage to Live Brave…