living braver

one faith step at a time…


4 Comments

Wings of Brave…

hummingbird pixa     The lady hawk circled in the bright blue sky. Wings not moving but a dance of flight floated her here and there – aloft, enjoying what she was made to do, no struggle, no purposed outcome.

I wondered how it is birds soar around the sky like that, seemingly no effort. Turns out that the bird depends on external forces called ‘thermal currents’ –  rising masses of air that form over areas where the ground warms up rapidly. When this happens, wings outstretched, a dance of complete freedom occurs.

What would it be like to acknowledge and depend on God – truly. Instead of with head knowledge, or with want to, or with should – but with surrender. To depend on the current of His Holy Spirit flowing through me, His love coursing through my veins, His security lifting me in a dance of freedom.

bird soar pixa

Too much time is spent trying to reason out things beyond our understanding, to make fit our molds things that can’t be held. The Father resides in me but is bigger than the entire universe? The creator of all bends low to comfort a questioning heart? The one who is already beyond today hears the prayer of a moment of panic? Too wonderful…

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” (Psalm 139:6 NIV)

COSMOS PIXA x

The hawk doesn’t figure out first how it works to soar without effort, she just takes flight and when that just right draft comes up she loses herself in it. Our days will require much of us – hard times will mingle with the happy. Too many of us seek to define each and every action. But there is freedom in those moments when we feel the lightness of a load being lifted to just let go and not question. When an unexpected gift comes our way, a phone call of a friend distracts us, the beauty of creation catches our eye – soar on the moment.

We know this: “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry” (Psalm 34:15 NIV) – but we don’t live it.

To live on the wings of brave isn’t more effort on our part, it’s knowing Him and catching the updraft of the current of His love instead of ignoring it…

CROSS PIXA x

 

Advertisements


3 Comments

Willing…

joy pixa x     Someone recently said ‘What if we’re only as strong as we are joyful?’

The more I thought about it the more I realized that, despite whatever the circumstances, when I choose joy, I feel stronger. It is in those times I am surrendering my will knowing that God is in perfect control. I may not be happy, but happiness and joy are two different things.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to move forward with God.” Pastor Matt Price Joy strength isn’t dependent on me – no amount of ‘chin up’, ‘push through’, ‘just do it’ can make a difference. But willingness can make the difference – the difference between discouragement and direction, the difference between worry and wisdom, the difference between self and surrender.

railroad me x

But moving forward is where we often get stuck. Stuck in the past or in the now – stuck in our abilities instead of relying on God’s. We go about our days drawing on our strength. Yet we’re told “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (1Corinthians 12:9 NIV)

There’s a song by Lauren Daigle, Trust In You with this chorus:

“When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!”

mountain pixa

So we must keep an eternal perspective, because our hope is not in this life – it is in our eternity. While today’s mountains may seem insurmountable or the agitations may cause us to stumble, they are only temporary. It is hard for us finite humans to rest in an infinite God, but to Live Brave we’re only called to take one willing step at a time and to remember: “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied….But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Corinthians 15:19 & 57 NIV)

Strength in joy and courage to be willing to move forward with God, hope for today and all our tomorrows…

girl in field pixa x

 

 


4 Comments

Heart Key…

heart lock pixa x     Sometimes I think we lock away little parts of ourselves. The vulnerable parts, locked away behind doors that we sometimes forget are even there. The parts that knew past hurts or the parts that fear today hurts. The parts that are unsure or the parts that are the real us.

Surely if we can just lock these parts behind doors that only we hold the key to then we won’t break – and we won’t be exposed.

But God wants all of us, He wants to hold the keys…He wants to throw open the doors… There’s only one thing He wants hidden in our hearts: “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:10NIV)

lock with key pixa x

Doors thrown open wide, unlocked, surrendered…in this there lies freedom. The real us need hide no longer for we are created just the way He wants us. With all our scars and baggage, with all our uncertainties and timid steps. “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; and the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” (Isaiah 33:6 NIV)

He can use the unlocked us, it is then that we can make a difference. The storehouse of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge never runs out – ours always to draw on in any and all circumstances.

orchids pixa x

When the keys to our little locked parts are put in His trusting hands we find surrender leads to promise. A promise of true security – not the kind we can surround ourselves with, the kind that frees us to trust in One bigger than ourselves. That trust will never be betrayed because that trust leads to eternity.

What comfort is found in this knowledge: “But you, Lord are a compassionate God, merciful and patient, with unending gracious love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15 ISV) Compassionate, merciful, patient, gracious, faithful as we surrender to Him our Heart Key…

roses hearts pixa x

 


4 Comments

Surrender…

heart pixa x     The best part of a ‘chick-flick’ is when the girl – or guy – finally surrenders all their reasons ‘why not’ and just falls in love…surrender, soft exhale…

‘Why nots’ keep us from a lot of soft exhales… I can’t let go of anger – I don’t know how to stop the habit – if I don’t control the situation it won’t turn out right…and on and on…

Amazing our heavenly Father doesn’t do a lot of impatient exhales and turn us over to our own demise. But He doesn’t. He so patiently guides us – showing us the better way.

“The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2Peter 3:9 NIV)

heart lock pixa x

Again and again we read the stories or watch the movies and long for our ‘happily ever after’ – all along we have it (if we are Christ followers). All the promise verses after Jesus’ resurrection are past tense:

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6 NIV)“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” (Romans 5:12 NIV) “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) (all italics mine)

wedding dress pixa x

Surrender is our daily offering to a Savior who willingly took on our ‘uglies’ so we could be without blemish – free from accusation. Regardless our past hurts, our present sufferings, whatever tomorrow may hold we have a sure foundation, an eternal hope, a shelter from our fears… “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge, the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” (Isaiah 33:6 NIV)

Sweet surrender starts today – don’t let ‘why nots’ get in the way… Oh Jesus make our story Your love story…

red flowers pixa x

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


Leave a comment

October 23, 2014 Your Next Move…

chess3     I don’t play chess but I do find it amusing how long those who have mastered the game can sit and contemplate their next move. I think many of us love the distraction of playing games because it gives a safe way to think about which move to make, which card to play, which tiles to use. If we make the right moves, we win, if we don’t, we lose – oh well. Yet in life we often agonize over what the right move is – analysis paralysis.

Have you watched a boat on the water? Moving with the waves, gently rolling as each one passes beneath. Anchored, it doesn’t go far. Unanchored, it reaches its next port. If we gently roll with God seeking Him in our next moves, He is our anchor keeping us secure. Yet, even if we make an unsure move, He will lead us to the next port.

 “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)

In our anxieties, dreads, fears we can worry our way through to the outcome, timidly making our moves, analyzing all our options – or we can go boldly before the throne of grace and find the peace we need to put one brave foot in front of the other. I call these Faith Steps, as we take each one we move beyond self to surrender – with confidence that He is moving with us…

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

Present your next move to God in prayer, giving thanks, and accept His peace. 


1 Comment

October 20, 2014 Turn the Corner…

Turn The Corner     Entering our last twelve days of this adventure called Living Braver let’s Turn the Corner…

Turn to focusing on Courage. Turn to focusing on our Courage Giver. Turning away from fear, turning towards brave, towards the One who is our only sense of brave…

Autumn’s leaves are turning – from bright green to red, to yellow, to orange, to brown, to combinations of all those. The leaves are not revealing something new, but something that was always there – we just couldn’t see it before… Once the uptake of chlorophyll ceases, the colors that were always there can now be seen…

What a great thought…If we stop taking in what the world and our own inadequacies feed us, and begin to rely only on our Bread of Life, then who we are can be seen more clearly. Who are we? We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings – not children of this world.

The leaves let go and float gently down to earth, making a beautiful carpet that will turn into nurturing for the next generation of leaves. So as we let go of fear living He will use us to nurture this and the next generation. It is only in surrender, that gentle fall into His arms, that we can be of use to anyone else…

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

 “You’ve only got one blink of a life to make count for eternity.”  Ann Voskamp

leaves1


1 Comment

October 16, 2014 EnCourage

Courage flower1     As I studied and prayed and sought out how to speak courage, a knock came at the door, bringing one of those fear filled circumstances that happen in life. The fear is not mine directly, it is directed at one of my children. I closed the door and looked up to the sky and said “Lord, help.” I recently read that when Billy Graham was on his final crusade tour a reporter asked him to share his favorite prayer. He answered “There’s hardly a moment goes by that I don’t pray, and I say, ‘Lord, help me!’ That’s my favorite prayer.”

It is at our fearful times we need someone to enCourage us. I like dissecting words – en when put in front of a word means: to cause to be in; courage as defined by the dictionary means: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear and with bravery. So enCourage literally means: we are put in a state of mind that helps us be brave.

Throughout God’s Word we will find verses that start off saying ‘Do not be afraid…’ God knows it is in our nature to fear, so He finishes those verses with why we don’t have to be afraid – they are all summed up in acknowledging He is with us and He is our courage. As we surrender to Him and acknowledge our need for His courage, we give Him the glory and surrender our will to pretend we are in control.

EnCourage living, brave living can only come with the help of the great Encourager of our souls. “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9HCSB) Notice the verse doesn’t say He will be with you, it says He IS with you, always there…