Being Brave: Part 6

This week I witnessed the rawest kind of bravery. 

So often we as women believe that if others actually discovered how fragile or confused or flawed we were they would reject us for sure. 

Sadly we come to believe this about Jesus as well which could not be further from the truth.

It is in the moment of admission that bravery shines.

When a woman whispers, through tears, all of what she fears, loaths and grapples with - there the Spirit meets a willing vessel.

Ironically, it is at the "end" of ones rope that one drops into the lap of the One who loves them first and won't ever leave or forsake them.

Being Brave: Part 5

"Unworthy"

That one word can paralyse the most practised church going woman.

The problem, I think, is that it is true. The scriptures tell me that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". 

Romans 3:23

BUT it's not exactly capitol T - True. Because of what Christ has done on the Cross I am justified and His righteousness is my righteousness. I am in right standing with God!

1 Peter 3:18

A brave woman acknowledges that apart from Christ she is nothing BUT in Christ she is more than a conqueror.

Romans 8:37

A brave woman exercises what Beth Moore calls 'audacious' faith and reaches out to Jesus again. No matter what others say, no matter what the tests report, no matter what the bank account balance is and no matter what her kids do or don't do.

Mark 5:30-34

So, in the words of Jesus, let me repeat: Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace...

Being Brave: Part 4

Who knew WAITING well would require such a thing as bravery?

Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord"

During this Advent season I sense God fairly shouting at us women to wait well. Or at least He is asking me to.

But perhaps you are waiting for something:

A spouse's heart to soften

A child to turn back to the faith

A loved one to be healed

Direction in a major life decision

Financial provision for something

Work

A chance to stop working

Where in ministry God would have you

The list is endless but the call is the same. WAIT WELL

May I challenge you to take advantage of the Advent season this year. Educate yourself as to what each week signifies and spend specific moments contemplating what it would have been like to wait 4000 years for a Messiah. To wait to give birth to Immanuel (God with us). 

God IS at work behind the scenes in your life. Trust Him. Wait well.

Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord"

Being Brave: Part 3

The Kick Off Breakfast has come and gone and it was wonderful. It was warm and welcoming and effectively launched the "new" year at Woodvale WM.

After the talk I had many, many women come to me and say things like, "I was number 1 or 2 or 3.." or "When you got to the 6th medal I just about lost it". I knew God had a message for the ladies and I'm glad it was received well.

I thought I would post a summary of the 'Medals of Bravery" I awarded this morning:

Medal 1  Purposeful Bravery [1Samuel]

Medal 2  Hidden Bravery [Judges 6]

Medal 3  Painful Bravery [Matthew 9:18-22]

Medal 4  Postional Bravery [Esther]

Medal 5  Anticipatory Bravery [The Gospels]

Medal 6  Grace Bravery [Luke 7]

Be encouraged. You are not alone. We are surrounded by those who are enduring courageously and actively facing whatever has come their way.

Share a summary of your story of bravery on the "Your Turn" page.

Being Brave: Part 2

Good morning!

One of the reasons I would encourage everyone to lead a Bible study or share in front of a group at some point in their lives is because the process of preparation is SO rewarding and enlightening!

Do you know what I discovered yesterday while preparing the talk for the WM Breakfast?

I learned that the word 'brave' has it's roots in middle Europe - probably Spain. It is believed to be derived from the Spanish word 'BRAVO'. And that words' direct translation is - FEROCIOUS.

I think that awesome!!

Every time you or I do something that is difficult or scarey or mundane because it is the right and best thing to do we are being brave. We are FEROCIOUS.

Every time we choose to change our thinking when we know it is wrong or poison and will lead to destructive actions or words we are being brave. We are FEROCIOUS.

Being brave is about enduring or persevering in the face of unpleasantness.

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Let's be 'ferocious' today!!

Being Brave: Part 1

Good morning ladies!

This morning during my devotional readings I came across the following verse:

 

““Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage.” ~ Jesus

‭‭John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭NET‬‬

 

Whenever I read an encouragement like this I ask myself why it had to be shared.

It seems to me that Jesus knew that we would encounter situations (both internal and external) in life that would leave us feeling distressed and/or afraid. Otherwise why would he have needed to say anything?

 

Elsewhere in scripture we find this counsel:

 

“My child, pay attention to my words; listen attentively to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight, guard them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and healing to one’s entire body. Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it are the sources of life.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:20-23‬ ‭NET‬‬

 

If I combine the wisdom in these two passages I come up with the following:

In my life I will encounter distressing, frightening situations where the very essence of who I am (my heart) is vulnerable. BUT as a follower of Christ I am the recipient of a promise straight from the lips of the one who gave everything for me and overcame everything for me.

I can choose to trade the feelings of uncertainty, fear and disillusionment that will most likely lead to words and actions I regret. 

I can trade them out for peace. And courage.

And not just any old peace. Not the kind that numbs. Not like wine or an affair or an eruption of angry words or losing myself in work or volunteering. This kind of peace is what the world offers. 

Jesus offers something better and fuller and eternal.

I want that kind of peace and courage.

SO I must be vigilant and set a guard on my heart. Developing an awareness (with the Spirit's help) of the first signs that the most central part of me is under attack. And I must be ruthless in defending it.

It may mean giving up a habit, changing my lifestyle or seeking counsel on how to change my thinking. It may mean confession and repentance. But I must do it.

This "Jesus peace and Jesus courage" is what I want. It's been offered to me by the One who is completely trustworthy. 

Why wouldn't I make the trade?