living braver

one faith step at a time…


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Light Load…

 feather hand pixa  How do you carry? With arms bent in weight or hands lifted light? Is it even to us to carry?

The world has not changed much over the last couple thousand years. Jesus commented of those who were the rock stars, political leaders, ‘respected’ of their day “They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see.” (Matthew 23: 4 NIV)

What loads are we carrying today, ones others put on us – ones we’ve picked up ourselves. The world is a heavy mess, it will always be til the return of the Savior.

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There is really only one burden we need carry “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)

But what to do with all the weight we feel “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1Peter 5:7 NIV) Even in this, no conditions. It doesn’t say ‘then He will care for you’ it says ‘because He cares’. Already done, regardless of what we do. At the ready to lift us up, enabling us to carry Him with us and to others.

An alcoholic spouse, a wayward child, a dementia bound parent, unfaithful friend, lost job, ill health, these are not ours to carry. Cast them – heave, thrust, toss, hurl – really, just let go of. These are things best carried in arms bigger than ours.

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So I’ve found in sitting next to the death bed, speak of Him. In fear of losing all, lift up Him. Take the worry and heave it on Him in prayer. Take the fear and hurl it on Him with lifted eyes and hands. Take any regret and thrust it on Him living for now, not then or when.

Deep breath before the appointment, quick prayer before the reaction, song of His in our soul when laying down, Word buried in heart to start each day. These are light and lift our hands, arms are freed to move beyond our heaviness and quickened to carry Him to another burdened soul.

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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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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…

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“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…

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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)

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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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Softly Still…

softx     Some things are hard – a poor bunny drowned in the pool and then the next day one was left in the street after a car hit it in front of our house. Two days of scooping up and disposing of a sweet little creation can get to you…

Reminders that someday no more of that. Someday the wolf will live with the lamb, the bunny with the fox…

“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat…for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:6-9 NIV)

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In the meantime as the hard things press on we can soften them…And not just for ourselves – a kind word to another, a prayer lifted for one in need, a helping hand…

But in those moments when the hard thing is pressing us – let Him come softly into your heart…your mind…your soul. Knowing you don’t have all the answers, but He does. Knowing you can’t right all the wrongs, but He can and will, someday. Knowing you will face many hard things, but you won’t be alone – though none seem to be with you…

Ann Voskamp said “Do not pray for the hard thing to go away, pray for a bravery to come that’s bigger than the hard thing.”

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God entrusts us with hard things which helps us gain confidence to get through the next hard thing and the next – so when we come upon weary souls we can help them gain confidence and find God in their need…

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:1-2, 10 NIV)

Though you think this hard thing will never end, or you think you completely blew it this time around, or you fear any more hard things and just want to be done – He comes softly still…

Softly with love bigger than our biggest dream of love, softly with strength bigger than our biggest fear of failure, softly with redemption bigger than all our biggest regrets. Softly still He comes and we are stilled one more time…

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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 18, 2014 No Regrets…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     A boy just on the verge of manhood was taken away by strangers one day – many of his older brothers watching and not trying to help. He was taken to a far away country and sold as a slave. The master of the home he worked in was a shrewd business man and quite wealthy, yet he treated his servants fairly. The master took notice of the boy right away and after a few years when he had proved himself to be the most trustworthy of  the servants, the master put him in charge of all his affairs. Now the young man had become quite handsome and well built during his years of labor –  the master’s wife wanted him to notice her. She tried to make him her lover, but he was a man of integrity and refused. Spite-filled she lied to her husband and the young man was carted off to jail for supposedly taking advantage of his master’s wife…

Sometimes we can do everything right and still wind up not smelling like roses – this world has a way of twisting truths so that the lies are what is believed and truth is buried. Living Braver requires us to refuse the offers of temporary gratification so we don’t live with regrets – which fuels our fears. Regrets for the times we were less than honest, for falling for the ‘everybody else is doing it’ jingle, for putting self before others… and being found out.

If we are Living Braver not in our own strength but in His, then we can believe that this living we do is not about our happiness but about our holiness. ‘ Wait, you say, me holy? Not even close.’  You’re right, not even close on our own but we are not on our own. “…We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10 NIV) Happiness living leads to regret living which leads to fear living.

Living Braver is finding joy even in the absence of happiness so that we can walk in integrity straight into the arms of our loving Father. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12 NIV) Clothed in those attributes is the opposite of what the world wants to clothe us in, come out of the world…