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Courage Is a Choice

Courage Is a Choice
Courage Is a Choice
Courage is a command; therefore a choice, not a feeling.

Courage is a command; therefore a choice, not a feeling.

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9 KJV

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. – Phl 4:13 KJV

Christian, Wife, Mother, and Author loving life in Alaska.

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Above and Beyond

Above and Beyond for MeA quick graphic this week.

My posts are still in my head. I’ve not found (and/or made) the time to get them ready for you.

God is working above and beyond what we can even imagine! What grace!


Christian, Wife, Mother, and Author loving life in Alaska.

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Verses on Courage

This week I find myself in need of courage. Courage to dream. Courage to try. The best source is God’s Word. I’m sharing that with you. I must follow David’s example:

1Samuel  30:6   And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV 

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV 

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Joshua 1:9 ESV 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV 

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

Proverbs 28:1 ESV 

The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.

John 16:33 ESV 

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

1 Chronicles 28:20 ESV 

Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.

Psalm 27:14 ESV 

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

1 Chronicles 22:13 ESV 

Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed.

Mark 5:36 ESV 

But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”

Psalm 31:24 ESV 

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!

2 Chronicles 32:8 ESV 

With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

Acts 4:31 ESV ~ Courage comes from God’s Spirit

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Esther 4:16 ESV ~ Great displays of couraage

“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

Acts 5:29 ESV 

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

Acts 20:22-24 ESV 

And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Genesis 22:1-14 ESV ~ Wow what courage, not only could he have seen his dream as dying, he was called on to kill it!

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” …

Daniel 3:16-18 ESV 

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Christian, Wife, Mother, and Author loving life in Alaska.

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Trading Disappointment for Identity

The goal of the process of dealing with disappointment, discouragement and disillusionment is to replace them -one of the great mysteries of the Kingdom. We trade disappointment for out identity in Christ Jesus. We trade discouragement for God’s courage. We trade disillusionment for God’s hope and purpose.
When our dream dies we are disappointed, in our emotions. It can also seem we’ve been dis-appointed, removed, from our actual appointment in life. The dream dies. Now what?
I struggle with remembering my identity and knowing my appointment when I revert to trying to figure everything out. I lose my identity when it was tied to my dream instead in Christ alone. I don’t always walk by faith very well. I like things very planned. I like to know what to expect. I have learned to walk by faith in many areas and in many seasons. When a dream dies it seems to shake me and cause me to question everything, or almost. Maybe that is good. A refocusing, realigning process.
The trouble comes when we confuse the disappointment in our emotions for actually being disappointed or removed. In the very real and powerful emotions of grieving we can think our identity has been lost, but it’s only the dream, and possibly only for a time. We have a God of resurrection.
I think we see this with King David in the Psalms. He expresses his deep disappointment and hurt even to despair. In the end he always comes back to the goodness of God in His promises. He goes through the grief and the pain of a dream dying. He expresses his disappointment but comes back to his divine appointment. He remembers who God is and what God has appointed him for and the promises made to him. We must grieve and go through that process when a dream dies. Even though my dream has died and I’m hurt I have not been disappointed. I still have purpose. I still have calling. I still have good works to accomplish.
God knows who he designed us to be and what he designed us to do. You have an unchanging identity in him. You may have specific verses that remind you of this, hopefully you have words of hope and encouragement others have spoken over you to remind you who you are. If you don’t know what you are appointed for ask God to reveal who he made you to be, find people who see more in you than you see in yourself. And here are some verses to get you started or to add to your list.
We have an identity in Christ and are appointed to do certain things. God appointed you and empowers you to bring Him pleasure.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
He appointed you to everlasting life and salvation.
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:15-17
He has appointed you a minister of His new covenant, signed in Jesus blood.
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 2 Corinthians 3:5-6
If you’re like me you want a written plan of specific steps, details of your appointment. Go to this class, follow this career, or get involved in this ministry. The verses I listed don’t give that kind of detail. They do give a greater perspective though. God has an appointment for each one in the work of His Kingdom. Knowing that in the general sense gives hope for seeking the specifics. Faith is required to please Him, knowing every step and detail would make faith impossible. 
To learn your specific appointment there are many helpful tools like personality and strength tests. God has placed passion in each heart for different things, those help, too. Other people can give you direction. Most importantly seek the Father. He speaks to you. He knows you. He knows your strengths, weakness, and passions. He alone must be the final authority on your appointment.

We are appointed to praise. We are appointed to encourage one another, build each other up.
I have a great God to glorify. I have a great commission to fulfill. I have a family to love.
I’m realizing as I reread this I did not include verses for my identity in Christ. I’ll try to come back and add some. What are your favorite?

Christian, Wife, Mother, and Author loving life in Alaska.

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Holding onto Rest

I shared a wonderful, restful weekend with my husband of 18 years. The plan was to do nothing; at least unless we decided we wanted to do something.

It was wonderful to rest, no cooking, no schedule, no cleaning, no interruptions, just rest. So peaceful.
As it neared time to return home, back to schedules and responsibility I could feel my peace slipping away. The worry of being able to get everything done was attacking. Really the knowledge of not being able to get everything done; so the worry of choosing right to get the most important things done was assaulting my peace.
How am I still here?
 I know there is no faith in worry. It’s fear.
I know there is no fear in love.
My focus so easily slips; derailed by a passing thought. I must choose to refocus. God is my peace. He has not slipped away. He is my resting place. To rest I must go to Him, over and over again, sometimes multiple times a minute.
I do hear His voice.  I will follow Him. (John 10: 3,4)
He leads me in places of peace and rest, provision even in the midst of hard times. (Psalm 23)
My body needs to be far busier than this last weekend, my mind more productive. This is no reason to let peace be run out of my life. I will hold onto rest. I can be busy without panic and fear. I can let go of my expectations and hold the hand of Jesus, my Savior, my Prince of Peace.
Question: What attacks your peace?
Challenge: Hold onto rest, peace or whatever promise of God is being attacked in your life right now.

Christian, Wife, Mother, and Author loving life in Alaska.

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The Rest I Long For

A couple of years ago Dan Moler gave a wonderful message at our church illustrating resting in God’s love. He said an apple tree produces apples because of what it is. It does not strive to produce apples to prove it’s an apple tree.

This is the rest I long for.
I love God, worship and serve, bringing his Kingdom everywhere I go because of who I am not because I’m trying really hard.
Too many days. Too many moments I forget who I am. I strive to produce fruit. Fruit of the Spirit. Just the name tells me I can’t produce anything on my own. It’s his fruit. He only needs this branch to remember who I am.

Who he is.

I am a new creature, created for good works. Ephesians 2:10
I am a royal priest.  1 Peter 2:9
I am an overcomer. 1 John 4:4
I am more than a conqueror. Romans 8:37
All and only because of Jesus.

Rest is my  My One Word  for 2012. I am trying to post some thought or insight each week.
Do you have One Word for 2012?

Christian, Wife, Mother, and Author loving life in Alaska.

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Rest, Reconciliation – Where to Begin

Rest n.
2. a state of reconciliation with God. (Matt 6)

Reconciliation n. 2. 

In Scripture, the means by which sinners are reconciled and brought into a state of favor with God, after natural estrangement or enmity; 

This is where true rest begins. Until we are reconciled to God all the rest in the world will not satisfy the restlessness in our souls. Rest begins when we begin to “do” rest.

Rest v.
2. To cease from labor, work, or performance.

God has done all the work to reconcile us to himself.  Jesus did the work so we can rest from our striving to be right with God, to impress him, to make him love us, notice us, or accept us. He already has. God loved and still loves.
Do you know this rest? Are you fully persuaded of God’s unfailing, unchanging love for you?
I’m not. I mean I believe he loves me. I know in my head. I know in my spirit. I am at rest in my eternal reconciliation. 
Yet somewhere I don’t know because I am not at rest today. How can he accept me today? I was grouchy. I was mean. I joined in my child’s tantrum. I squandered the precious time he has given me. I still strive for people’s attention and approval. I still act like I need to have it all together before he can use me, before he’ll listen. Before I’ll listen.
So I must rest [9. To lean; to recline for support; 10. To stand on, to be supported by; 12. To lean; to trust; to rely;] in his Word. He cannot lie. If he says he loves me he does. If he says I am forgiven I am. If he says we are reconciled through the suffering, death and resurrection of his Son then we are.
I will be changed by my resting far more than by my striving.
I was resting here.
God loves me.JPG
I seem to have forgotten.
I will rest here again. Reconciled.
Where are you resting this week?

Christian, Wife, Mother, and Author loving life in Alaska.

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Of All Else I’m Letting Go

Yesterday, as too many other days recently, I was losing the battle with my emotions. I was a pathetic wreck. I have been holding onto a great many things. Hurt. Confusion. Insecurity. Want. Fear. Loneliness. Sin. Perfection.

This morning as a started my day in quiet I thought “What truth was I going to in the torrent of negative emotions and lies?” It had to have been God asking. I’m so thankful he always speaks to me. All I have to do is listen. I realized I had not gone to God, or any of his truth. I simply kept telling myself I needed to “pull it together” so I could function and not have a wasted day. By shifting gears to work I was distracted enough to have a relatively productive day. However when God asked me what truth I went to I realized I missed his plan and power.

This morning at the end of service the phrase “of all else I’m letting go” started running through my mind. Holding on to anything but Jesus is holding onto captivity and defeat so of all else I’m letting go. I don’t want any of it anyway. Why keep it? I am holding on to Jesus. Truth.

The words above are the truth I am clinging to and meditating on for now. I am hanging it where I can read it multiple times a day, in front of where I sit for meals and lessons and in the bathroom.   

Ask yourself, “What truth am I going to hold onto?”

If our hands our full of “our stuff” we cannot hold on to Jesus.

To print your own follow this link.

Christian, Wife, Mother, and Author loving life in Alaska.