Do One Brave Thing

Prayer:  Lord, sometimes, I delay.

I hesitate.

I worry.

I fear.

I wonder what others will think.

I think:  it doesn’t matter, someone else already said it, and no one cares.

Then I waste time instead of doing anything you’ve called me to do.

When I step into my calling, I get overwhelmed, filled with fear, and I panic.

I feel like I need to be in control – and when I am stepping with you – I know I am not in control, and that is a scary place for me.

But stepping with you is the best place to me, the best place for me, and the best place ever.

So, I am letting go of that fear one day a time.

I am going to step where you ask me to step, say what you ask me to say, share what you ask me to share, write what you ask me to write and read what you ask me to read.

I am going to be intentional to sit at your feet and listen.  Help me to pursue my calling without fear, worry or anxiety. Help me to follow you.

I am going to do #OneBraveThing every day with you Lord, and I am going to trust you with it.

I am taking your hand.

Lord, lead me.

Amen.

What about you?  

What is Lord is calling you to do?  How are you using your gifts and talents to bring glory to Him? 

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-12 NIV

What do you do when you get into a rut or feel overwhelmed?  

Pray for His spirit to lead:  Teach me how to do Your will, for You are my God. Allow Your good Spirit to guide me on level ground, to guide me along Your path. Psalm 143:10 VOICE

Listen and Do #OneBraveThing:  This is about asking the Lord what He would have you do – today.  Just one brave thing.  This is about listening to Him, and walking in step with Him. When we are so busy checking off our lists and making our plans, many times we miss the opportunity He has for us!

This isn’t a to-do list – this is a Lord show me “what you would have me to do” list.   

Maybe is it sending a note to someone, or picking up the phone and having a conversation or meeting in person.

Maybe it is stopping to chat with the cashier in the grocery store.

Perhaps it’s inviting someone to church and offering to pick them up.

For bloggers, maybe it is updating your blog or sharing old posts. How can we use them to reach others who may need encouragement?

Start your day by asking God to show you the #onebravething that he would have you do today!  If you end up doing more than #onebravething, great!

We were created for a purpose and we are called to bring glory to Him.  

What is the #onebravething you will do today to shine His light? Share in the comments below or share on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #onebravething! Let’s inspire and encourage each other along the way. I’d love to have you join me on the journey to do #onebravething. 

Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 MSG

Shine Bright! 

Being Still in the Storm

Be Still and Know The pouring rain had slowed to a drizzle. My arms were full and I almost decided to just run to my car, but I grabbed an umbrella thinking I may need it later.

After just a few steps, the bottom fell out and it started raining much harder. I stood there shocked trying to load the car and stay dry. Where did that downpour come from??  I was so thankful I paused to grab that umbrella because otherwise I would have been drenched.

The storms of life show up suddenly like that sometimes and take me by surprise. My first instinct may be to foolishly run ahead thinking I can somehow outrun it. But, it’s always wiser to be prepared, and pause to take the time to grab the umbrella.

I find myself in a storm and I think, “Lord, I want to hold onto you and not let go. I want to go where you lead when you say go. I want to do what you want me to do.”

Those are the sincere cries of my heart, but in reality it is a huge struggle for me.

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Let down the nets.

Luke 5:11Follow Me. 

On Monday, part of my Bible reading plan (OWNit365 One Story) was Mark 5:1-11.  Jesus was teaching at a lake while nearby fishermen were washing their nets.  These fisherman knew how to fish.  They had the skill and the equipment needed to catch fish. In verse 4, Jesus said to one of them named Simon, “Go out into the deep water and let down the nets for a catch.”

Here’s Simon’s response:  “We’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.  But because you say so I will let down the nets.”

And what happened next?  They caught so many fish, their nets were breaking.  They had to get help from another boat and both boats were so full they started to sink.

Those verses jumped off of the screen for me.

Let down the nets.  

It made me realize that I don’t always wait for Jesus to say, “Let down the nets.”  It was convicting. Sometimes I just forge ahead and do the next thing.  How hard do I “work and catch nothing” when I do it in my own timing, strength, and wisdom?

God, help me to let go and to trust and wait and depend on you to say, “NOW!  Yes!  This.  Do it.  Let down the nets.”

That was my prayer.

I’d like to tell you it stuck, but only a few hours later I heard about a fun blogging opportunity and my brain shifted into make-it-happen gear, and I was already planning it, theme and all. I had the nets in the water waiting in the scorching sun, when I heard Him gently say,  “I didn’t say drop the nets.”  Oops.

Blogging brings me so much joy, but it can also be a high pressure cooker filled with platforms, followers, likes, comments, link-ups, guest posts, giveaways, tweets, images, buttons, widgets, and shares etc.  It can really get overwhelming fast.  So much and so fast that I forget to pause, and listen.

Blogging is just one example, but I can think of many other ways I blaze my own trail in life and do the next thing.  Make it happen.  Go for it.   Good things!  Helpful things, but maybe not the things He wants me to do.  Maybe he’s not asking me to do them now, or even at all.  Maybe they are just clutter, distractions, and noise that take my focus off of God.  Maybe this is another way I need to sweep!

Hold On…Until He says so.  

What if I just hold onto the nets and lean in?  What if I am intentional to spend more time with Him, and to be quiet and listen? What if I wait patiently and drop the nets only when He says, “Yes. Go. Now.”   I may miss some posts and some link-ups.  I may miss a lot, but if I am quiet, and listening – I won’t miss His voice.

I won’t miss His strength, His wisdom, and His power.

I won’t miss Him.

God, give me faith!

What about you?

Do these verses in Mark speak to your heart?

In what areas of your life do you sense you may need to pause, slow down, and listen for Him?

Pause to worship:

“Give Me Faith” – Elevation Worship :  I may be weak but your spirit’s strong in me.  My flesh may fail, but my God you never will!

My Cross

Mark 8:34-37  (NLT)

34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. 36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? 37 Is anything worth more than your soul?

We all have crosses to bear.   Some more visible than others.  Some are hidden.   The visible ones allow our daily struggles to be out in the open where there is acknowledgement, accountability and support.   The secret ones can become a lonely self-directed part of our life. Whether our cross is in plain sight or carefully hidden, we have a choice to make daily (hourly, minute by minute) – are we taking up our cross and following Him?

As I contemplated these verses this week, I asked my husband, “What is my cross?  You know me better than most people, and if you had to use one word to describe my cross what would it be?”

FEAR

Maybe we hide the secrets so well, we can’t even see the effects from them anymore.  Fear?  It’s not that I am afraid in general.  I am quite the risk taker.  Yet, when anything gets near, around, or about the cross I bear, I become very timid.  My heart races and the world pauses and I hear all of the reasons “this is a bad idea!” in my head.

~is it just me?~

Fear holds us back.

Follow me.  It sounds simple until you read the part about taking up your cross and turning from your selfish ways.  I walk willingly and in the open after my Lord in the easy stuff, but to surrender my cross daily to Him – what does that even look like?   I asked Him.

Ask and you will receive.

On Wednesday, I was sitting at my desk and felt the Lord impress something on my heart.  It moved me to tears, because I have avoided and willingly deleted every reminder about this future event.  I AM afraid.  Those words came easy.  I am AFRAID.  “God, taking that step is big.  I am afraid.  I don’t want to go.  I am scared….. but, I’m willing.”  I asked two friends to pray by sending this text:

I’m feeling the Lord impress on my heart to go.  Trust me when I tell you I don’t want to go and it is not free by any means.  I don’t want to disobey.  I want to be obedient, but what if I am wrong?  Prayer and wisdom appreciated.  It makes my heart pound and my eyes well up to type this.  I am so afraid.

At prayer meeting that night, our pastor shared these verses:

2 Timothy 1:6-9 (ESV)

6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.

I went up to him afterwards and said those three verses you shared tonight helped me tremendously with a prayer request I and others had prayed for me this afternoon.   He said the Lord had just laid those verses on his heart at 4:30pm.  I sent the text at 3:38pm.

More happened later that night to confirm that I should go.  When I finally signed up on Friday, I was still afraid but no longer in charge.  I surrendered my fear and pride, and trusted Him by pushing purchase.  By trusting and obeying Him, I no longer have to worry about what is ahead.  I just need to let him guide each step, and follow.

One step at a time. 

I need to take each step knowing He is with me and He understands.  My cross connects me to the very heart of Jesus.  How can I not share and praise Him for what He has done for me?  Yes, my cross caused suffering and there are still lingering lifelong effects, but My Savior is with me and He understands.  He endured all Sin and all Shame and felt abandoned and alone as he died on that cross.  He did that for me.  He did that for you.

We all have a cross, and we have to pick up that cross daily, and put aside our self for His kingdom work.  He is going to use it for His glory.  We just have to be willing.  Listen, trust and obey.  Step by baby step, I am experiencing the joy in obedience. I am choosing to follow Him without worrying about future seasons. He’s letting me bloom right where I am, and He’s not finished with me yet.

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Let Him use you and your cross for His Glory.  Follow Him.  Don’t worry about future seasons.  Just bloom right where you are today.

~Linking up with Faith Barista and the writing prompt is Your Cross~