living braver

one faith step at a time…


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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!​​

 

 

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I In the Middle…

heart cementx     Ever feel stuck – in the middle. Between scary and bold, between fear and brave, between self and God?

Reminds me of something the author Max Lucado once pointed out: sIn. In the middle of the tiny, big word is I.

Such a small word, big enough to destroy an Eden man and woman. ‘I’ always makes a mess of perfection…

Between scary and bold is I saying: I can’t, I won’t. Between fear and brave is I saying: I’m not good enough, I don’t trust enough. Between self and God is I saying: I know best, I’ve got this.

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Stuck in the middle – the middle of the pain, the fear, the doubt. Sometimes in the middle of the good, the plenty, the blessing. I demands it’s way in the bad and the good because, as always, I looms large when it’s on it’s own…

sIn is always self and self feeds on our weakness. We need HIM. The I in the middle of HIM is the great I AM. With HIM the difference between scary, fear, self – and bold, brave, God – is the I AM…

This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.” (Isaiah 48:17-18 NIV)

Mmmm, peace like a river – abounding, running on and on, not ending. As Alicia Bruxvoort said in a post I once read: “Even if you know the ending, the middle can still hurt.” But remember, nothing is waste with God. The messy middle is for us to use for Him.

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This side of eternity our sinful self will never be completely gone. But maybe crossing from the middle to Him will be quicker, less stressful, more comforting when we remember we are no longer slaves to sIn – we have been set free…

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father”. (Romans 8:15 NIV)

Father, we want Your peace like a river…

peaceful riverx

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

 


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Perfect…

perfect rosex     I’m a failure… because I don’t look perfect, my house isn’t perfect, my kids aren’t perfect, my marriage isn’t perfect, my health isn’t perfect, my bank account isn’t perfect – the liar says because of these and all my other ‘imperfections’ I am a failure…

Are you perfect – what is perfect – who is perfect?

Perfect life – no worries, no fears? Perfect marriage – no doubts, no regrets? Perfect parenting – healthy children, successful in all they do? Perfect job – recognized, paid well? No?

My lack of perfection leaves me worrying what will others say, think… Ah, there it is – perfect is all about performance, impressing… It’s ‘me thinking’ but we’re called to ‘Jesus thinking’…

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NIV) While we were still imperfect, without us having to perform or impress, for eternity…

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Perfect is in the eye of the beholder and if you have Jesus as your Lord & Savior then God sees you through the righteousness of His Son – and he beholds you perfect

 We are blind in our looking, in our idea of perfect. Did you know that if a person loses their sight and then regains it, they have to learn to ‘see’ again? Or if a traumatic injury happens that affects the optic nerve or brain, the eyes may see just fine but the brain interprets what they observe and the brain may be unable to ‘see’.

In our flawed human view of perfection we must learn to see the perfect that God acknowledges – that of a life surrendered to Him – leave behind our misconceptions, shut out the voices telling us we are not enough, have messed up too much…

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“But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (Colossians 1:22 NIV) Wow, without blemish, free from accusation – perfect…

Watch the story of Ian & Larissa Murphy and you will think of perfect in a whole new way… They have learned a secret that we all need to know when haunted by perfect: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” ( https://youtu.be/AEBzPi2GbkI )

Let’s live in His perfection so we can extend grace-filled love to those who may just be worrying about what we’re thinking of them…

praying handsx

 

 

 

 

 


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October 24, 2014 Which will you Grow?

confused tree1     Notice the tree in this picture – it looks as though it started straight and tall then shot a branch off to the left, grew a little, started to go to the left again but got back on course – as though it couldn’t make up its mind. That is me daily. I start off ready to go, face whatever lies ahead. Then something happens making me shoot off in a direction I didn’t really want to go. I get back on track and before I know it something makes veer off again. With those comes either bad attitude or trepidation…

We are under the delusion that if we do good or do right or don’t blow it then we have a right to expect things to work out our way – when it doesn’t, we question. Why do we expect perfection in an imperfect world? Why do we let our joy be stolen when we spill our drink, or the dog chews our shoes, or our children blow it? If God was good this morning when we woke up to sunshine and a roof over our heads, food in the refrigerator and gas in the car, clothes to choose from and hot water for a shower – then isn’t He still good when the car won’t start, the doctor calls with a grim voice, fraud happens on the credit card?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2 NIV) Joy? Joy when you lose the job you really loved? Joy when your body begins to fail you? Joy when a fender bender turns into a lawsuit?

“God does not give rights but He imparts responsibilities – Response-Abilities – inviting us to respond” Ann Voskamp  In our despair, doubt, worry we can respond with the darkness of an ungrateful soul or respond with gratefulness of a joy-full soul….