living braver

one faith step at a time…


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October 9, 2014 V does not stand for Vulnerable

Vulnerable     “Our fear of becoming desperate – of being exposed as that vulnerable, bruised reed – is what hinders us from playing a part in what God wants to do.” Ruth Graham      During those times when our ‘what ifs’ are now reality and fear has us captive we often feel vulnerable. Like any moment we will be swallowed up never to surface again…

My daughter spent many years on swim team, from the time she was eight til she was eighteen. She participated in Junior Olympics year after year. She was a distance swimmer – in one competition this meant swimming your best (i.e.: fastest) for two miles. It wasn’t until the starting bell went off that I understood what she was undertaking. No cramps please, no exhaustion please. During conversation once we were all talking about the worst way to die (very uplifting, right). This girl stunned us all when she said her biggest fear would be drowning. So if an athlete who can race two miles feels vulnerable to drowning, where does that leave us?

Long before the heartbreaks, the dreaded outcomes, the inevitables happen we need to practice braver. It is through practice that we are prepared so that though we may be treading water, we are not sinking. Habits of prayer, of seeking God in His Word, of having others praying for you need to be established. We cannot be courageous on our own – yet we have One who will be our courage…

Because with God V stands for Victory: “…He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Cor. 15:57NIV)


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October 7, 2014 Practice A Braver Step

sunflower    A messenger in the kingdom was given an assignment. He was to travel far and near proclaiming the King’s words. His words would not be popular or liked by everyone. Still wherever he went he entrusted the message to someone he knew would be diligent in conveying the message to all. When possible he would send them letters of encouragement afterwards.

Sometimes we are given assignments that seem too big for us. Maybe at work we are asked to take on more than our normal workload, to fill in where we haven’t had any training. Maybe we volunteer and find ourselves put in the position of leading when all we wanted to do was help.  Often we feel like we’re the only ones who didn’t get the manual for marriage, or parenting, or financial independence. The familiar fear of failure begins to weigh down our hearts…

To fail isn’t an option because then all our ‘what ifs’ come true. With the dreaded failure comes condemnation from self and all those we have let down. Fear of failure finds us not trying…

In one province the messenger left a young man, really almost still a boy, in charge. The young man wondered why him? He was prone to stomach issues and frequent illnesses. Yet the messenger had given him the assignment: make sure everyone hears the Kings words. The letters of encouragement he received in the weeks and months following gave him the courage he needed to carry on. His latest letter had  said not to have a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound judgment.

What was the message the King wanted all to hear? Was it condemnation for their failures and consequences they would bear?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16NIV) The eternal message that no matter how things are now, eternity holds all you long for…

The King also said: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1NIV) Failure doesn’t define us – failure in a fallen world is inevitable at times. Fear only wins when we don’t try… Practice courage today, take a braver step…