Who is braver: Superman or Clark Kent?

A note of brave for you on this Monday afternoon.   Let this blog post written by Barb Stanz sink in a bit. Grab a coffee with an open heart and mind…

Who do you think is braver: Superman or Clark Kent? superman

Superman flies around Metropolis saving its citizens from all types of disasters.  He sounds brave to me. Clark Kent is a mild mannered guy; at times he is even clumsy and awkward.  Clark doesn’t seem so brave.

It’s easy to see Superman’s courage as he saves Lois Lane from Lex Luther.  But when I think about it, being bold is being like Clark Kent.  Clark does not go out and save the world. Instead, he makes daily, morally correct decisions. That is its own type of courage.

Listening to God and obeying Him can be scary.  Putting His will before mine is hard, and at times even alien.  Sometimes God wants me to put the blue superhero suit on, but usually He wants me to do simpler things. Things like helping someone, giving to another person, or praying more.  Simply stated, He wants me to love more. That can take a lot of courage.

Recently God put a person on my heart and told me to love them.  I thought “I do love them, why tell me that?”  Once I got over the surprise of being told to do what I was already doing, He revealed to me that I may love Chris with my words, but not with my thoughts.  Prideful thoughts were affecting how I saw Chris.  Thanks to God’s great timing, I was with Chris that same day for an hour or so.  Sure enough, my words said one thing while my thoughts said another.  Because of God’s earlier prompting, I was aware of just how “loving” I was being.  This enlightenment helped me focus on my thoughts and take some captive.  I didn’t get all the thoughts, but the awareness of my judgmental attitude altered my behavior.

At first glance, this may not appear daring, but truly allowing God to reveal to me my innermost thoughts took courage.  I could have simply continued on my merry way and not allowed Him to shine a light on that filth in me.  He opened my eyes to my judgment, and it was ugly. Looking at it took strength.

Every day we are given the opportunity to be heroic, to love others as we love ourselves.  My kryptonite is different from yours.  The issues that test my bravery are not necessarily the same as yours.  But we all have issues, and each day can be full of little loving acts where we have to leave our comfort zone and do the right thing.  Let us not dismiss the small acts. Obedience in them allows God to grow us so we can be obedient in bigger things.  That way when God asks us to run into the nearest phone booth to save the world, we are prepared.

 

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One Year. One Vision. One God. Let’s Go!

Brave Girl,

When this popped up on my timehop this morning I couldn’t believe it. One year ago today we launched our BGB ONE YEARBrave Girl Boots Prayer Challenge. I remember hearing this statement, “If God seeds us with vision, we are able in Christ” after the thought came to me about the prayer challenge. It would be an understatement if I told you that I had no idea what was behind the yes to God.  No idea. Have we been able in Christ? Absolutely. 

So here we are. One year later. Two things have come out of the BGB Prayer Challenge that I’m incredibly humbled and honored to steward for the Lord. First is the BGB group on Facebook. What an oasis for the hurting. I can’t tell you how undone I get when I peek in and see over two hundred women in that room supporting each other, taking desperate needs to the Lord on behalf of one another. Not one time have I seen judgement. The women in that group are my heroes. Thank you! You’ve proven yourselves trustworthy at all hours of the day and night to meet every request with grace. The level we meet someone with grace shows the level we trust God to be God. If you haven’t joined that group yet, please do so now! You will find a safe space to ask for prayer and be transparent. Just to name a few things we have walked through together: disease, a mother dying, and mommies having a bad day…whatever your need is — it will be treated with respect and love.

The second thing is a 40 day published devotional based on this prayer challenge. I can’t believe what God had in mind when I thought I was saying yes to leading a prayer challenge. It makes me laugh when I think about it. God knows us. He knows sometimes vision needs to be time released. Ya’ll I had no idea where to begin with publishing a book. But each step of the way God provided. Financing – all provided. Knowledge – He brought people smarter than me along side me to point me in the right direction. “If God seeds us with vision, we are able in Christ” — I can honestly, wholeheartedly say, “Yes, and AMEN!”

I imagine women taking that devotional out each morning being encouraged by real women who walk out a real faith. Hand in hand with their God who makes them brave.  Ohhhh…I can’t wait!  We’re hoping for an April release, if not then my eyes are on Mother’s Day for the launch. We will surely keep you posted. I can’t wait to touch and smell that book. If you are a book-girl you get that statement. If you aren’t — move along. 🙂

What I’ve learned over this past year is this: each time we answer yes to God, He will faithfully respond. If you think it’s a Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown thing with God…I respectfully say to you, “You are wrong.”

Charlie Brown and Violet pulls football away-2 panel aBrave Girl, it’s time to dust off that dream. You know the one. The one you placed safely on the shelf of your heart. You’ll never know if it’s from God if you don’t step up to kick that ball.

Christmas Bravery.

icecream
Brave Girl.

I know most of us are in the midst of writing lists, checking them twice…

Flour flying,  kids crying…

Welcome to the Christmas countdown. I don’t know about you but I told myself I wouldn’t over book, over commit or overindulge (who thought up peanut butter fudge anyway?!  Not sure if I should thank them or spank them!) this holiday season.  I firmly declared war on being weary during this wonderful, blissful season.  What about you?

“So, how’s that working for ya?”  

As I awoke this morning to a kitchen that looked like some pretty crazy reindeer games took place last night, I felt the weariness creep in.   Creep over me as the thoughts of not only tackling this baking aftermath but also the wrapping and last-minute shopping left to do.   For a brief minute, I wanted to check out for Christmas.   Maybe I’m the only one.

Turning on the news, it made the weariness seem to overtake my soul.  The darkness in this world is so tangible you can almost taste it.   It’s easier to check out and keep focused on the Christmas busyness than the evil that dwells in this world.

Romans 5:8 came to my mind, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, 
Christ died for us.”

In the middle of my chaos I was made aware of the beauty of grace in a more profound way.  The Grace offered to us through Jesus Christ is for all who sin.  If you meditate on that for a few minutes, grace becomes more beautiful and more scandalous.

Those men who slaughtered the children in Pakistan, Christ died for them. It’s their choice to receive or not but the hand of Grace is extended to them. Pondering on this makes me cherish grace all the more. None of us deserve this wonderful gift of Grace. Not one of us. Who is this God that He would know us and invite us? Fully knowing the evil that hides in the heart of mankind, Jesus came to this earth to rescue us.   All of us.   Let’s be brave this Christmas. Brave enough to believe.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder, 

    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 

    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6 ESV

Merry Christmas, Brave Girl.  

Brave Girl Bonus

I saw this post on Facebook from Heather (cutie on the left) about her sister Jayne (cutie on the right) and was really touched by what Heather had to say about her sister.   Jayne has been with Jesus for four years now.  This side of heaven Jayne experienced fifty different surgeries in her forty-one years here; never once did she complain. Her favorite scripture was Phil 4:13 ” I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

AND…

Jayne was a prayer warrior.   If you had something going on in your life that required prayer you were on her list in one of her 75+ journals!   Ya’ll SEVENTY – FIVE journals.  What a hero in the faith!    Jayne knew the key to being brave: staying closely connected to God.   What a shining example of being brave exactly where God has us.

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