living braver

one faith step at a time…


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Toward Who…

daisys in vasex     Away from self means towards Who? Oh how our tendency is towards what we can ‘see’, what ‘seems’ safe, a sure thing, painless, our comfort zone…

Of course the opposite is towards what is unseen, what ‘seems’ risky, the uncertain, the costly, the uncomfortable. In those times we learn “We live by faith, not by sight.” (2Corinthians 5:7 NIV)

More often we are “like sheep going astray,” (1Peter 2:25a HCSB) When a sheep wanders, that’s when it’s in danger, no protection of the flock or from the shepherd. No direction to where food or water is. No voice to listen to for guidance…

sheepx

Those of us who deal with doubt or fear really like the word ‘certain’. By definition it means: known for sure, established beyond doubt. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV) Faith is how we ‘see’ the only One who never lets us down, faith moves us toward our Hope. When we move in faith the second half of 1Peter 2:25 above is true:

“but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”

Our Shepherd guides us in the right direction – the Defender, Protector, Keeper of our very souls speaks quietly to us through His living Word and in those moments when we hush enough to hear…

tree quietx

“Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.” Elisabeth Elliot

Oh yes, dear one, you and I we will question, we will doubt. But our comfort is knowing where to take that question, that doubt. Deep breath, lifted eyes, surrendered heart – certain peace, certain joy, and certain scarred hands carrying us through each day…

A beautiful line from the song Your Great Name by Natalie Grant “Every fear has no place at the sound of Your Great Name”. Toward Who? The Name above all names…

 poppy pixax

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 15, 2014 Still Waters…

Still Water1     All God’s critters are quite fascinating. I once read a great deal about sheep from a shepherd’s perspective. He used Psalm 23 to illustrate his points and to teach about the flock he tended. Sheep need still water free of debris and disturbances or they won’t bother to drink – no matter how thirsty. So timid is a sheep  that they can be contentedly grazing and if a rabbit bounds across the grass the whole flock will bolt at once. Often a sheep who is in the grip of fear will run til it drops dead. Yet when the shepherd is near, the sheep listens for his voice and turns towards him. Thus the need for shepherds…

God had David write the 23rd Psalm for us, His flock. Phillip Keller wrote “We live a most uncertain life. Any hour can bring disaster, danger, and distress from unknown quarters….We live either in a sense of anxiety, fear, and foreboding, or in a sense of quiet rest. Which is it?” The Psalm  not only says He leads us beside still waters but it goes on to say “He restores my soul…I will fear no evil for You are with me.” (Psalm 23:3&4 NIV)

With Ebola news and school shootings, with terrorists and gang bangers abounding it is easy for us to want to bolt. To run til we no longer see danger. Through His Word God assures us that in the midst of dangers “…goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…” (Psalm 23:6a NIV)   How? Because no matter what befalls us in the end “…I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23;6b NIV)

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28 NIV)  Thus our need for a Shepherd…know His voice…

   sheep cropped1