Take courage

I remember the first time I ever called My husband,

We were in high school and I had a major crush, I was so shy, apparently he liked me but he couldn’t tell I liked him (I wonder why)

So anyways we didn’t end up dating then but I always knew I wanted to marry him, and of course we did end up getting married and I’m very blessed to be his wife…

But that call…

He messaged me once on MySpace and gave me his number, and I sat there in my room for about an hour trying to work up the nerve to call him, I needed to do it….

But for me this wasn’t easy at all I didn’t know what to say, what were we gonna talk about? he probably just thinks I’m weird, why would he want to talk to me? he probably doesn’t even like me, I’m gonna ruin it, but I have to call, because I really like him…

How!?

I was so scared…

I wasn’t the type to call up my friends for advise, or ask my mom, or even my sisters, I didn’t want anyone to know I liked him this much and I didn’t know what to do…

This song kind of became my song, because, of all the things that helped me work up the nerve it was this song….

I hope you dance,

I had to replay it about 10 times before I decided to call.

I wasted about an hour in worry, but it happened I talked to the love of my life..

But this is not a post about our love story this is a post about comfort zones, and EXIT-ing them, because we all know that there is so much more behind that door that we fear to open ,about finding strength and courage when you feel like you don’t know how or why or what, this is a study I did a few years back and I hope that maybe you could gain something from it:

Let’s start with courage, What is this word anyways and what does it really even mean?

Courage is the quality of mind that enables a person to face the uncomfortable feelings, difficulty, danger, pain, or maybe even love, without fear…bravery

We can find many bible stories in both the Old and New Testament with stories of acts of courage! Courage was not a lacking quality in our bible hero’s, those who set an example for us to see that when you take your faith and trust in God and mix it with some courage, and remove the fear of man that stops you from action…you have yourself an unstoppable man or woman of God!

Now quite the contrary, you can’t help but relate this to that little place we all hold within us called our comfort zone,

How many of us actually really like it there?

I think if we were all actually honest with ourselves we wouldn’t even call it comfortable, I think we would call it the place where we settle, because we are too afraid of change, and a possible uncomfortable situation that might come when we exit. That exit door labeled: courage.

Now let’s take a look a Jesus and His use of courage in teaching others, and this may actually surprise you…

And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.” Matthew 9:2

But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well. Matthew 9:22

And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here. ” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” Mark 10:49

“Take courage”

…the healing stories of Jesus, most of us focus on the fact that these people had such great faith that they were made well by Jesus, but what I notice is what Jesus tells these newly healed people

“take courage”

Now Why do you think take courage is the first thing Jesus told these people who were healed? …I wonder if it was maybe because they were entering a place that was suddenly new to them, a paralytic walking, a sick woman made well, a blind man seeing. Sure, this was a happy time for them but it had to be scary too the person they thought they were had suddenly been changed by their faith yes, their choice, yes, but changed and now that they were a new person, they were about to face new challenges, I’m sure new obstacles and they had a responsibility to take courage, as they entered this new life,

this obviously better new life.

To take courage, not be afraid of the things ahead of them, to move forward with an understanding that Jesus saved me I have a new life and an opportunity now so take courage!

I kind of know what that feels like, being defined a certain way for so many years of your life, I always thought I forever would be a “shy” person. My negative self talk was loud, and I let the fear of what I assumed others might think of me controlled my own voice! Physically I was not sick but mentally there were days that it would eat me up inside.

But what if it doesn’t work, what if people don’t like what I have to say, what if people make fun of me, what if they think I’m weird or don’t like me…those were always my worst fears…

I do believe we all, as humans desire to be approved of, to be accepted, to be liked and loved, and there are very few people who surround us who probably know us for who we really are!

But God knows you…

He actually knows exactly who you are, who you are meant to be, and everything you are capable of becoming.

He sent no better example than His very own son, to lead you through this life, and fulfill every desire of your self and more than I think you or I can fathom. But to get there it, takes courage,

It’s quite scary to open the door that so few will go through, it’s scary to go against the grain, separate your self from what you have known, and or been, or have been surrounded by for your entire life.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

Revelation 3:20-21

The path where very few will go has always been narrow because not many are willing to trust and obey, we want to pretend to be “Christian” for the likable benefits of Christianity, but when we become possibly “unlikeable” or things get a little tough, scary, or just maybe out of our comfort zone, we exit that door as quickly as we can, and let me tell you I don’t want to hear these words one day…

“Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM M E, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out. And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.””

Luke 13:24-30

We fear God the way we want but not the way He would have us to, because the way He would have us to, pushes us beyond our personal safety nets and boundaries, outside of our comfort zones, and humbles us to where we must fully depend on God for Love and support and let me tell you he won’t let go of you there! But it requires courage, because surrounding us we don’t have many that will hold our hands through what we are about to enter. The spiritual battle grounds are rough, we have an attacker the devil who is the biggest liar on the planet, all those comments you tell your self about how you will never be good enough, they don’t come from a good place, pretty much anything he can think to twist he will, which has led this world into such a dark place of pain and sorrow which we have gotten quite good at masking as a society.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH

Ephesians 6:10-14

Now how about taking courage with Truth?

Preparing yourself with truth to step out of your comfort zone, pulling up your comfortable tunic preparing to step into battle, stepping into battle with Gods word, with truth. With every piece of His word. His truth!

What do you think would happen if they went into battle without girding up their loins? They would most likely trip and fall because they were not prepared.

But what if it doesn’t work, what if people don’t like what I have to say, what if people make fun of me, what if they think I’m weird or don’t like me…

well let’s see what what happened to Paul and Timothy

“Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.”

Philippians 1:12-14

Well It looks like people didn’t like what they had to say….Sending them to prison!….oh but what about those that did though?

so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.”

Philippians 1:14

When we are working for the Lord to better our lives for him, to grow closer to Him, to know Him and to understand His word, and to have a hope of eternal life with Him we must understand that in order to have growth we need to have challenges. Whether we challenge ourselves out of our comfort zone or we are challenged by someone else out of our comfort zone to practice Gods word it is important to take that courage. Not to be scared, but to understand that God will work through you as you face every challenge as long as you follow Him.

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.””

John 16:33

Follow the lead of Jesus who has overcome the world!

“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.”

Psalms 27:14

Be strong and let you heart take courage…. it takes the strength with in us to act courageously, with all of the verses found within the Bible we can find many verses about courage that first say be strong, clearly courage is something that takes strength…

I want to go back to Ephesians 6

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

Ephesians 6:10

The very first verse tells us to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might!

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Ephesians 6:10-17

He gives us all the tools but the first thing He asks is that we be strong in Him…

Strength Is built up, strength gets stronger through exercise, but first strength takes commitment. To be strong means to first have the strength to start, and then continue.

True strength can only comes from God. So I will conclude with these verses

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.””

Joshua 1:8-9 NASB

What an encouraging verse!

Encourage to infuse courage into our souls!

“Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight— we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

2 Corinthians 5:5-10

My friend if you have made it to the end of my long blog post I thank dearly for reading! My goal is to help and I pray that it may help someone somewhere, I’m very thankful for the internet and the ability to share Gods word and my thoughts. If you have read this and don’t own a bible I would love to help, if you have read this and own a bible but not sure where to go from here I would also love to help. Please do let me know… I know from experience, because I still have a difficult time asking for help, which is why this was so important to me because taking courage may also mean to ask for help..Or if you have read this and have been encouraged, I pray that you would continue on, strong and courageous!

Thank you as always,

Beverly

The God of peace shall be with you….

I feel like this is our extended New Years Eve,

So I will just say it

Happy New Year!

Here is to life, and to being real about it all!

We made it back home from our annual trip to Cold Bay, Alaska It’s really a blessing, and I’m so thankful that we have the ability to go to this place every year and do what we do! I hope that everyone has a place that they can go, to take a little break, change pace, think, reflect, and most importantly be in nature, take part in God’s creation, which is really amazing!

Have you ever felt like you just wanted a break to change your pace?

The Holidays are coming up,

And the real new year is coming up as well,

How many of us are actually thinking about our New Years resolutions (maybe, not yet, too early, I know)

We gotta get through those indulgent holidays first, I know!

Your probably wondering where I’m going with these thoughts, well so am I,

When I started this blog I wrote that this was my way of reflection, decompressing my thoughts, so I’m actually just writing what is in my head right now, as I sit on another plane, heading to another place, another break from reality I guess you can call it!

Not because I dislike my reality, I actually really love my life, but this hasn’t always been true for me…I have surely had my struggles, and by no means do I have the perfect life.

But let me share something with you,We all know what Phillipians 4:13 says,

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:13‬ ‭KJV‬‬

We read this and we are empowered, aren’t we,

ALL THINGS!

CHRIST,

WHO STRENGTHENS US!

Really amazing to think about isn’t it?

I strongly believe that Christ does strengthen us, and that he can help us overcome SO MUCH!

But in context this actually is talking about lifestyle, and being content no matter what because we have CHRIST, and no matter what, he has got our back, whether we are in the storms of life, or full of joy, whether we are rich or poor, hurting or happy.

Philippians 4:4-14

Rejoice in the Lord always:

Again I will say, rejoice!

Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God,

Which surpasses all comprehension,

Shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally brethren,

Whatever is true,

Whatever is honorable,

Whatever is right,

Whatever is pure,

Whatever is lovely,

Whatever is of good repute,

If there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise,

Let your mind dwell on these things.

The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me,

Practice these things;

And the God of peace shall be with you.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly,

That now at last you have revived your concern for me;

Indeed you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.

Not that I speak from want;

For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity;

In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both having abundance and suffering need.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Nevertheless you have done well to share with me in my affliction.

Philippians 4:4-14

So as I sit here in flight, reflecting, thankful, and rejoicing in the blessings that God has given me, I am also so very thankful for the struggles as well because they have taught me so much, they have helped me grow,

Those reality breaks, they don’t have to wait until the New Year, or the trip, sometimes we just need to stop breathe, and think, what am I doing and why am I hurting, and give in to Gods Guidance, and Christ’s strength.

PAUSE,

You are never too far gone for God to work with you,

Content in all circumstances means that, whether life is going great, or life is difficult you have the Creator on your side wanting to help fix you!

And sometimes it hurts, sometimes it’s hard, but it’s only because he knows how much you deserve, and he wants to give you more! But sometimes we get so stubborn in our ways thinking life can’t get better and we shouldn’t feel content regardless of the circumstances, when it’s good we feel guilty, when it’s hard we feel hopeless, and we feel like we need to have all the answers rather than just trust the process!

So with all that being said,

I get stubborn too,

I think life is something I need to handle all on my own,

I think well I’m already this far in, I can’t stop now, I can’t turn around….

That’s why I say take a break to look at your life, where is the first place you take your computer when it’s broken, well I’m sure if you knew the designer personally you would take it straight to him, but most likely your either gonna read the manual it came with, or your gonna take it to someone who has, and has studied it and knows how to fix it.

We are not computers but we have a designer a Creator, we also have a manual (Gods word, the Bible) and we also have people who have put in the time and effort to read and work on themselves through that manual, and speaking from experience myself, I know it works!

I’m learning to be less stubborn in my ways, and more dependent on God, more trusting of Him, and content in every circumstance, because it is true that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

‭‭John‬ ‭8:31-32‬ ‭KJV‬‬

His work always leaves me so in Awe!!

“Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:8-11‬ ‭KJV‬

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭62:5-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

‭‭John‬ ‭8:12‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. [ But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” ]”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭17:20-21‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out. But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:22-25‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.””

‭‭John‬ ‭16:22, 33‬ ‭NASB‬‬

As always if there was ever anything that you could get from taking the time to read my blog my prayer for this always is that you would take the time to desire the Truth in your life, we are are capable of being stronger than we think, which is exactly why Christ came to die for us, I pray you would find a Bible and read it and learn about that! And the love that He has for us!

May God bless you and you be able to find what it means to be content in all circumstances! And what it means to be able to do all things through Christ who strengthens you ❤️

With love,

Beverly