living braver

one faith step at a time…


6 Comments

Gathering Place…

bench pillows pixa     There is a place, a gathering place, it is calm there and peace whispers your name with love.

Don’t need to travel far but you have to turn away from the day to day to find it. It’s as close as a deep exhale and as far as the heavens that stretch into eternity.

“He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40:11 NIV)

Close to His heart, gathered in His arms, the gathering place…

pink sunrise pixa

Can’t see it, but we can feel it. Can’t be lost in it all the time, but we can never leave it. This place, the heartbeat of Jesus, is at once where our head lays and where we find brave for our next step of faith.

We’re there when all the world is shut out and we lay bare our hearts seeking His wisdom, His grace, His healing, His power, His forgiveness, giving thanks in all circumstances.

We’re there when open in our laps is the Word of life, living and active, new every morning mercies, the answers before the question forms.

Bible pixa

There’s a great song by Casting Crowns ‘Just Be Held’, the chorus reminds us Who gathers us close:

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

“I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4b NIV)

This, then, is how we Live Brave: in our weakness we let ourselves be gathered to the heart of our Sustainer. We surrender our effort to the timing of our Rescuer. We lift up our eyes and empty our hands of control. The Gathering Place, tell everyone about it…

man on hill pixa

 


1 Comment

Stress Less…

Stress Less2          Stress, pretty much an overused word – as if the very act of living would be anything but…

Why are we so surprised in a fallen world that we find the events happening around us, the changes occurring constantly, and our personal sagas stressful?

“Dear Friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1Peter 4:12)

Stress is part of life – yet maybe we can stress less? When the bills pile high, when the winter flu keeps you down, when you’re late for work – it is our response that will determine our stress level.

Our response… Will it be worry? Fretting? Defeat? Depression? Anxiety? A challenge for you today… Will you let it be gratefulness for the blessings all around? Will you let it be forgiveness of the trespass of another? Will you let it be a lifting of your eyes to the only true source of stressing less?

Right now whether you’re stressed or not choose a response and practice it. Then practice it again. And when, dear friend, that stress creeps up and makes your hands shake or makes your breath short, you will be ready to respond. To Stress Less requires a response uncommon in this world we live in:

“Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18 underlines mine)

Stress gives way when we choose a response that brings light to the darkness of stress – the light of joy, the light of prayer, the light of thankfulness…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA