Category Archives: Encouragement

06/15/17

Faith Heroes

I recently finished a book, This Life I Live by Rory Feek and its message, and his story, or rather their story, struck me with such awe that I was almost left speechless as I closed the binding. His words were simple and his message even simpler- have Faith. Big, audacious, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, even in the midst of the wilderness kind of faith.

Rory and Joey Feek are faith giants.

People who wholeheartedly put their faith in the Lord to provide, and even if He did not & He chose not to heal and redeem Joey’s earthly body on this side of eternity, He was still God and He was still good and worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. And worthy to put their- and our- trust in.

Unequivocally.

My favorite book of all-time just might be Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers, an epic tale of a young & ruthlessly independent Jewess slave in ancient Rome even as Christians were being burned at the stake or fed to the lions there on the dusty center surface of the Coliseum as spectators jeered. Francine was somewhat of a new believer when she first drafted and subsequently published this novel and she said that teh character of Hadassah was the type of Christian she wanted to be; that she wanted to emulate Hadassah’s incredible faith in Christ and be more like her.

I completely understand. And each time I read her words, and I have 4 or 5 times now, I am struck by that same sense of awe.

Although fictional, Hadassah is a faith giant; one of my faith heroes.

James “Jim” Elliot was an evangelical Christian who was one of five missionaries killed while participating in Operation Auca, an attempt to evangelize to the Huaorani people of Ecuador. A people so remote and untouched by the outside world that they lived in the deep, deep brush of Ecuadorian jungle. In one of his final journal entries, Jim writes “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” and it is truly one of my favorite quotes. After her husband’s death, Jim’s wife Elisabeth continues to evangelize to these people; these same hands that took the life of her husband. Elisabeth continued the legacy and many of the Huaorani came to Christ as a result of her, and other missionaries, efforts.

Jim & Elisabeth Elliot belong in the Faith Heroes Hall of Fame.

There are so many others- examples in everyday life in our churches, schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods- shining examples of faith. And how I envy them. How I wish my faith could mirror their own.

But, even as I wish and hope that my faith might grow stronger and the links grow more and more fortified, I am reminded that faith is ordinarily extraordinary – a choice we make each day to put our trust in Him, no matter the outcome.

Big or small.

Significant or seemingly insignificant.

Known or unknown.

Faith is believing in the unseen, even with no promise we can ever see it. Or without knowing the final outcome, but choosing to trust anyway.

Faith is trust put into practice. Trust in action. Not just in words, feelings, sentiments.

I want to ensure my faith & trust muscles are put into practice each and every day and never grow old, stiff, or ill-used. Trust and believing wholly each and every day. Living doubtless that I am in the center of HIs will & plan. Following His directives, hearing His words, and following along the path He has set for me.

Never second-guessing, always leaning in.

No holding back, but living full-out, full of hope, love, and strength.

I pray He continues to strengthen my faith muscles and helps me to trust Him more and more with each passing day. I don’t want to put my trust in anything or anyone less than Him…

xoxo…

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06/01/17

Looking for Lovely: Collecting Moments that Matter (Vol 3)

There are certain moments in life that, as you are taking part of them, the thought crosses through your mind that “I don’t want to ever forget what this feels like.” You don’t want to lose the wonderment of a thought, or the butterflies of that first kiss, or the way a book makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside as you close the cover. And I had one of those profound moments recently.

Watching as your best friend becomes a Mom.

The thing is, I have 3 best friends… kind of unusual, I know, but without all 3, I don’t make sense. So, I call them all “best” friends, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 2 of the 3 are now new Mommies… one of them just a mommy for a little over 6 weeks now. So, this post is a little overdue, but still completely worth sharing!

I wrote a post when Reagan was born a couple years back, and my prayer for little Bryant is so very similar.

That he would grow in wisdom and in favor with the Lord.

That his light would shine brightly and that he would not be ashamed of it.

That he would treat others fairly- as he would like to be treated- and that his name would be great and his word of mouth positive, edifying, and uplifting.

That he would be kept safe, away from any danger, and that he would be unafraid to try new things, to experience, to travel, to learn, to read, to think. To be exactly who he was created to be.

And I have to say, there may be no greater lesson than this…

Our dear little Bryant, God loves you unconditionally. And His favor and merit is lavished upon you, even while you were still in your Mother’s womb. His light should be so evident inside you that it shines out and touches those around you. And because of that, dear one, all the other opinions, thoughts, and words cannot touch you. In fact, they shouldn’t even matter. The more you trust in His love and in His plan, the less you care about men’s favor. That’s how you know you are living in His perfect will and plan for your life.

God loves you.

He thinks you are so very special.

And so do I.

Love,

Your “Aunt” Jamie

 

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