Courage To Embrace More

There is a delicate balance between our own selfishness and walking in freedom.

There is a fine line between enduring till the end and not becoming a doormat.

There is a beautiful dance between knowing when to walk away and when to stay.

And it takes a mountain of courage to know when the time is right.

The journey is never the same for every person, and each one must not only have the ability to be honest with self,

But more often than not, you also need a coach who can walk alongside you and give guidance.

A coach is not like a loving friend.

A coach is not like a comforting mother.

A coach isn’t like a disciplining father.

And yet, a coach has a bit of all three of these wrapped up in one.

A coach wants the best for you.

A coach won’t drink the Koolaid of how great you are.

A coach can see further than you are right now and can help you get to those next steps to win.

A teacher instills knowledge for growth.

A counselor inputs wisdom for healing.

A coach imparts both along with tactics to spur you to success.

Finding a coach doesn’t seem to fit with the thought of having courage to walk away; yet, if you’ve ever been stuck between staying and going, having a coach makes all the difference in the world!

Moses coached Jethro, and Naomi coached Ruth.

As Christians, why should we be any different?

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showingintegrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

Titus 2:1-8

Where is Your Focus?

Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis, excerpt

If you’ve not read The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, I encourage you to pick up a copy. It is a phenomenal fiction from the perspective of a “strong” demon writing letters to another “weaker” demon, his nephew in training, about their assignment to a Christian and their antics and schemes to keep that Christian from serving their Enemy, God.

It is such an intriguing concept and high can shed many incredible truths on our purpose and plan as Christians to impact God’s kingdoms and the purpose and plans of the enemy to keep us that very purpose. It really is a great read, even if you are not a person of faith or have no concept of the “Christian life.”

This excerpt impacted me greatly as I read it, and it describes perfectly what we are seeing in our modern culture. So many are focused on people they don’t know or with whom they have no interaction on a daily basis, but find it easy to shout blame, find fault and constantly point fingers for the demise of our society.

We are all tempted daily to become distracted by the news, social media, or even “word on the street” as we search for someone to blame for the chaos. When we all should be looking inward at our own hearts, our own attitudes, our own thoughts that ought to be bringing conviction for change.

Not one of us who live on this green earth are able to say, “I am without sin.” By no means, can one of us claim perfection in our actions, our words, or even in our thoughts. We are no better than the most wretched among us. We all are born into sin, are tempted by sin, and are pursued by sin our entire lives.

The only difference between me and the one who receives a death sentence of eternal sin is that I have confessed my sin to the One who can forgive. I have surrendered my life to the One who created me and the boy One who can save me from myself. I have committed my life to His will rather than my own.

That is the only difference.

And that makes ALL the difference.

And that difference is FOR ALL.

This difference can be possessed BY ALL.

So, let us all stop being distracted by the accusations, the lies, and the enticing scheme to keep our eyes averted from truth.

Let us all begin to look inward and find the wrong and seek to find the One who can make it right.

And only then, can we begin to rightly “fix” the world around us.

Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Psalm 51:1-6

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Psalm 51:7-11

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.

Psalm 51:12-17

Fear Not

*I do not own this post, and I do not know this person. So, I am not endorsing or condoning anything of his other than this post alone.*

I screenshot this post way back in 2020 as a simple reminder for myself and others.

During those hard months of 2020, I felt myself tempted to be fearful.

Then, I felt myself tempted to grow angry at some who decided to walk in fear of the future.

Then, I felt tempted to get “preachy” at what Christians should and shouldn’t be doing.

Then, I just stopped and had what you might call an epiphany…

At times, there is an expectation from the culture around, maybe even a demand, that we, as Christians, should never worry, fear, fail or be sinful.

As Christians, I believe we often can have the same expectation or demand of each other.

As humans, truthfully, we should all realize this is a false reality that will only bring more pain, disappointment, and often, more sin and failure to each of us.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean we will never have troubles about which to be concerned.

Being a Christ follower doesn’t mean we will never face a terror by night, a tragedy or certain death that might bring fear.

Being a believer certainly doesn’t mean we somehow never fail or never fall into sin and live a perfect, “Pollyanna” lifestyle.

And if anyone ever told you those lies, or you picked them up for yourself along the way; then, I pray you will grab your Bible right now and start reading it, cover to cover.

Our faith isn’t based on some fairytale that paints a false reality.

Our faith doesn’t result from some superpower of strength and knowledge that alters the world in which we live.

And our faith certainly isn’t founded on a plethora of perfect people, living perfect lives.

No, our whole history is filled with the wretched, the broken, the flawed and the desolate.

The only difference between my life and someone who isn’t saved is my Savior, Jesus Christ!

Because with Him, I may not always be fearless, but I will certainly fear less.

Because of Him, I may not be ever be without doubt, but I will certainly doubt less.

Because of His grace, I may not be perfect, but I can definitely live my life seeking His perfection.

Because of His mercy, I may not become sinless, but I will definitely sin less as I pursue His purpose and His plan rather than my own.

So, if you’re struggling today to live out this Christian faith without mistakes, give yourself a break and just have a little talk with Jesus.

And if you don’t know “that guy,” I challenge you to simply say His Name. Take a minute and talk to Him, too.

You might be amazed at what you’ll find…

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Isaiah 41:10

For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

Hebrews 7:26-28

Choose Your Stones

Every one of us will have a battle in life, one that should be terrifying, paralyzing.

There will be a Goliath in your life who seeks to devour you.

Maybe you’ve found you have more than one.

If you’ve not seen one yet, just keep on living.

Whether you choose to fight that Goliath or not, he will be there.

He will taunt you.

He will insult.

He will rage.

But the difference in a response filled with confidence and a response of fear or shame is in the source.

The source of your weapon.

The source of your armor.

The source of your hope for victory.

If your reliance is in your stones, you may fail.

If your dependence is in your sling, you may falter.

If your security is in yourself, your abilities and your position, or even your heritage, you may not succeed.

But if your confidence lies in your Creator,

If your faith is secure in the very One who has given you life, you need not worry.

You need not fear or tremble.

For He desires you to win even more than you could want for yourself.

And He longs for triumph and glory for His name.

So, choose your stones and set your sling.

Confide in Him and set your mark.

You will defeat that giant, because Christ will be standing behind you to fling that rock to bring about total domination!

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

Exodus 14:13-14