living braver

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Safest When…

locked door1     Safe – where is ‘safe’? Safe – from ‘what’?

There is much to pray about being kept safe from isn’t there? If we were to pray for self and loved ones only about safety, I suppose we could take up most of our day. So much to be kept safe from…

Do you long for a bubble around your children, around your car speeding down the road, around your heart throughout the day…

 heart bubble1

In this world there is no bubble, bad has its way. Mommas lose daughters to terrorists, daddys lose sons to drugs, wives lose husbands to midlife crisis, friends lose kindred spirits to old age… Where is safe…

“Keep me safe, O God, for in You I take refuge.” (Psalm 16:1 NIV) Refuge – shelter or protection from distress or danger. Here? Now? Yes and no. As we walk in obedience to God we are kept safe from many pitfalls we may never know of. But in a sin-filled world, we aren’t exempt from troubles. Kept safe from utter destruction – Absolutely, Always, Forever…

This fearful, dreadful, tearful now is temporary… Perhaps safe isn’t where, or what, or when – but Who…

“But the Lord is my refuge; my God is the rock of my protection.”  (Psalm 94:22 HCSB)

Max Lucado said When fear shapes our lives, safety becomes our God… The New Testament lists some 125 Christ-issued imperatives. Of these, 21 urge us to ‘not be afraid’ or ‘not fear’ or ‘have courage’.” His second most common imperative was to love God and neighbor, and that only appeared eight times. Max went on to say “Jesus takes our fears seriously. The one statement He made more than any other was this: don’t be afraid.”

Safe when? When you are in the arms of your loving Father — and when you have Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are always and forevermore in His arms…

If you stopped by because you read my devotion today over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!  Click on the ‘Back to Paris Renae’ link at the top, where we chat about how extraordinary ordinary is…

 

 

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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…

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October 3, 2014 Whose In Charge Here Anyways?

sky1    Once there was a calm sea to sail across, the other side held the next adventure. All on board were chatty, except the captain, he was tired from the day’s events and fell soundly asleep in the small compartment below the stern. Suddenly calm seas grew choppy, silence fell among the crew, winds began to howl, large raindrops began to pelt. The small boat started to rock and those less seaworthy began to get squeamish, and still their captain slept… Panic set in…

Much like our lives: we sail along with the good job, or the good kids, or the good health and suddenly our boats are rocked. We set our course feeling that surely our government has the terrorist thing handled, the Ebola thing handled, the economy thing handled.

My mother, at 70, was told she had a brain aneurysm sitting on the ocular nerve. She began losing site in that eye, reading became difficult (her favorite thing to do). When I visited shortly after she found out she held my hand and told me. Fear and panic gripped me. There was no surgery, not one that wasn’t as dangerous as the aneurysm anyway. My mother calmly patted my hand and assured me. Why wasn’t she in the grip of fear?

Max Lucado said “Fear, at its center, is a perceived loss of control.” When the boat heaves wildly over the waves we fight like crazy to control the outcome. Jesus beckons all the while, patting our hand and trying to calm us – we are not in control – the Lord of the universe is the mighty captain. “Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” (Matthew 8:26 NIV)

In those moments of fear, harness your inner control freak, and call on the One whom even the waves obey…