living braver

one faith step at a time…


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Future Tense…

booksx     Remember grammar in grade school? You had to learn tenses of verbs – present, past… future?

Most of us live in present or past – what if we live in future tense…

A much loved verse:For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jerimiah 29:11 NIV italics mine) When someone has plans they are not for yesterday or this moment, they are for the future. And, oh the awesome plans our Father has for us…

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Trials are no surprise to God, though they catch us off guard, He is always there knowing what we need to weather through – our part…trust…

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 23:18 NIV italics mine) Hope – for the future – what, or better Who, is it based on?

Our Savior Jesus Christ – a solid foundation of hope that never disappoints…

Instead of living in the yesterdays of my regrets, in the turmoils of today, I want to be living in the future – but how? Though it sounds contrary the future is here, now, and it is still to come – Jesus has died (past tense) that I can have His Holy Spirit in me now (present tense) and I already have the guarantee of eternity (future tense).

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What would our living be like if we lived in the future now – there would be no need to fret, worry, doubt… My last breath here is followed by my first breath in eternity – just like that, no gaps, no questioning at some pearly gate. May I live each breath now that others can see the Hope and I can rest knowing the future hope is mine already…

“Whatever is not eternal is eternally out of date.” C.S. Lewis

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Inheritance…

easter flowers1     Just shy of 2,000 years ago a group of men, inseparable and courageous, scattered and tried to find ‘safe’ places. The man they thought would end all their despair has been killed…

Much like us, 2000 years later – we act courageous until… until we’re confronted with a trying situation, or made uncomfortable about our faith…

Jesus told His followers on several occasions that He would be killed – so many could have life forever. Many of the closest disciples said they would die with Him. But when the time came… ‘well, maybe He wasn’t who we thought He was’, ‘maybe we misunderstood what He meant’, ‘maybe we need to go off and figure this out’…

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These followers were no different than you and I. We believe (but we leave room for doubt). The good news was that within a couple of days Jesus returned from the dead, calmed their fears, promised to be with them (and us) to the very end of the age, and gave them – and all who would believe from that point on – His Spirit…

One of my favorite books in the Bible is 1Peter (highly recommended reading) especially chapter one. Peter reminds us of our “new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” and of our “inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade” (1Peter 1:3-4 NIV).

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Anything we inherit here is temporary and subject to perishing, spoiling, fading, being used up, being stolen… I have a friend who, on two occasions, has not received the inheritance due her because of unscrupulous people. It has been hurtful in many ways. But my friend has an Eternal Perspective: her inheritance, the one that matters, is certain. No one can cheat her out of it and it will last forever…

Continuing in 1Peter it just gets better… vereses 6-9 are what Easter is all about as we remember the One who so willingly paid the price for our foolishness so that we could forever and ever live with Him – seeing wonders untold and without end…

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed….even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1Peter 1:6-9 NIV italics mine)

Happy, Happy Easter – He is Risen!

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October 24, 2014 Which will you Grow?

confused tree1     Notice the tree in this picture – it looks as though it started straight and tall then shot a branch off to the left, grew a little, started to go to the left again but got back on course – as though it couldn’t make up its mind. That is me daily. I start off ready to go, face whatever lies ahead. Then something happens making me shoot off in a direction I didn’t really want to go. I get back on track and before I know it something makes veer off again. With those comes either bad attitude or trepidation…

We are under the delusion that if we do good or do right or don’t blow it then we have a right to expect things to work out our way – when it doesn’t, we question. Why do we expect perfection in an imperfect world? Why do we let our joy be stolen when we spill our drink, or the dog chews our shoes, or our children blow it? If God was good this morning when we woke up to sunshine and a roof over our heads, food in the refrigerator and gas in the car, clothes to choose from and hot water for a shower – then isn’t He still good when the car won’t start, the doctor calls with a grim voice, fraud happens on the credit card?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2 NIV) Joy? Joy when you lose the job you really loved? Joy when your body begins to fail you? Joy when a fender bender turns into a lawsuit?

“God does not give rights but He imparts responsibilities – Response-Abilities – inviting us to respond” Ann Voskamp  In our despair, doubt, worry we can respond with the darkness of an ungrateful soul or respond with gratefulness of a joy-full soul….