Remain Faithful

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by  the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

 

This week marks the second anniversary of this blog, Anointed Courage.  I have faithfully written and posted every week, even when I felt like I had nothing to write.  My faith in this process has been tested and stretched.  But I must remain faithful.

 

God put in my heart to be a writer.  Except, everything in the world was telling me that I wasn’t good enough, especially myself.  I believed I had to be an excellent writer before I could even put any writing out into the world.  This blog has taught me to put myself out there and just write because perfection and pleasing the world won’t ever happen.

 

Last Sunday morning, as one of the pastors prayed, it gave me a God-infused pep talk.  He prayed about promises God has given us that we haven’t seen come to fruition.  The pastor mentioned how we must keep fighting and remain obedient.  God’s timing is never what we expect, but that it is on time.  

 

As I thought about what to name the blog, I knew that I wanted courage in the title.  I looked a bookmark that my friend gave me that described names of Jesus.  “Anointed one” was a name that caught my eye.  My courage was anointed by God.

 

In the beginning stages, I was trying to get things in order.  I was looking at everything to do except actually writing posts!  I prayed for help and heard God say, “just write and decide things later.”  So I did.

 

Too many things nowadays seem instantly successful.  But truthfully, they fizzle out and forget about their existence.  Two years of writing is nothing, but longer than I (honestly) thought I would do.

 

May we all grow in faith and know Jesus better.  This will help us remain confident and capable in the process and have the longevity to finish.

 

Lesson Learned:  God will honor his promises to us, remain faithful and have patience.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for instilling dreams in me.  Give me strength and patience during the journey.  Remind me that good things take time and that I should remain faithful.  Forgive me for being impatient.  I rebuked discouragement and fear.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Gather Information Before I Spill My Guts

“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.”  Proverbs 17:15

A counselor gave me a piece of wise advice, “gather information before you give any out.” I assume she said that because she saw my pattern of talking before I knew all the details. Unfortunately, I’m still making the same mistake.

There is a beautiful walking path around a little lake that I enjoy visiting. Sometimes, we stop at the play area for our daughter to get her wiggles out. As we walked onto the playground, there was another family. The mom seemed nervous and upset.

That mom came over to me and asked if I had a cell phone to call the association’s security. She began to tell me how she saw two teenaged boys, snuck through a hole in the fence, steal two kayaks from the rental area and they went out on the lake.  I looked up the association’s phone number and called their security. The other mom kept giving me more and more details.

Meanwhile, her husband comes over and hears his wife talking to me and sees that I am on the phone. He says, “they didn’t steal anything, someone was working at the clubhouse and assisted them with the kayaks.” She says, “what?! I didn’t see that.” He said, “I saw them, you walked off before you saw the employee come over.” I abruptly stopped the call and apologized to the security and hung up the phone. The woman looked at me and says, “Whoops…sorry!”   I held my tongue and walked away.

That situation may not have been my fault, because I didn’t make the initial assumption, but I could’ve asked some more questions. But for whatever reason, numerous times, I have assumed something and start spreading the word over a situation I did not have full knowledge. How many times do we see the news media do this over a developing event? To then have the information back tracked about what really happened?

I am very guilty of wanting to be the first to know.  However, after this situation at the park, I try to wait and gather more information. There is no reason to cause more problems.

Lesson Learned: Collect information before taking action.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for making the wrong assumptions and creating more problems. Give me discernment to know when something is fact or a lie. Help me to remain calm and make smart choices. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

I’m Terrible at Perseverance

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.”  James 1:12

 

The dictionary defines “perseverance” as “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”  And I am terrible at it!  I have heard more about this subject in the last week, than in my lifetime.  God is telling me (and you all) to persevere!

 

It is difficult to fight or work towards something when most things in society are instant or takes minutes to receive.  How many times have I yelled at the microwave to “hurry up!” when only 30 seconds has elapsed?  Losing weight or exercising?  Ha!  Forget it, I want to lose 15 pounds in a week, instead of exercising and eating better for months.

 

While, I am learning how I need to embrace perseverance,  one of the pastors at my church had a sermon on this very subject.  He brought up several points as to why most of us cannot do it.  He gave the church a list as to why we “quit the race” (I have experienced and done these things to myself in any situation that seems difficult).

 

  • Fatigue and unbearable pain
  • A lack of support
  • Constant questioning from critics
  • Comparison of ourselves with others
  • A sense of personal inadequacy
  • A dryness in our soul

 

God reminded me of a time when I pursued something difficult and it was worth it.  In college, I took a class called, “Human Physiology”.  While I loved the subject matter, it is straight up difficult!  It was the hardest class I took my entire time in college.  But I had to do it.  If I gave up, my college career could suffer.  I studied more for that class in that semester.  The final was a killer too.  I ended up with a B+ in the class.  It was the hardest B+  I ever worked for in my life.  But the satisfaction I had for working hard for those 3.5 months was greater than taking the easy route and  just giving up.

 

Jesus is our greatest example.  Our pastor pointed out Hebrews 12:1-3.  We must keep our eyes set on Jesus.  We will stumble if we look at our circumstances or to ourselves.  Suffering is what brings us maturity in our Christian life.  So, don’t ever give up!  

 

Lesson Learned:  All good things take time to develop. Nothing good happens in a hurry. Pain is going to be there sometimes and it will end up strengthening us all the way.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, give me strength to endure hard times.  Show me how I have come through with your guidance.  Forgive me for the times of giving up so quickly.  Show me when to pursue things and when to be done.  Thank you Father.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

No Time for Pity

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God, he created him: male and female he created them.”  Genesis 1:27

 

The notion of celebrating our uniqueness seems alien.  There is an idea that is fed to us, that we must look a certain way, influences our thoughts about ourselves and others and how we spend our money to achieve beauty.  My daughter and I were inside a clothing store geared towards tweens and early teenaged girls.  I noticed a young teen looking in a mirror and fixing her hair.  She was probably 13 years old and I noticed that she had Vitiligo, a skin condition where you lose the pigment in the skin.  My heart sank, because I felt bad for her. I thought I wonder how often she hears bad comments or get weird looks.

 

But I heard God say, “don’t feel sorry for her, just smile at her.  She doesn’t need your pity.   She is NOT this condition.  People need to look past it and see her for who she is.”

 

In our earthly body, there is also a mind and a soul.  Our actions, the way we live our lives will be remembered more than our beauty.  Whether people have physical or mental challenges that brings forth attention, we treat them as God would treat them or how we would want to be treated.  

 

So, when I had the opportunity, I smiled at the girl in the store and she smiled back.  That smile helped me more than it helped her.  Having pity doesn’t solve the world’s problems.

According to psychologist, Dr. Aaron Ben-Zeév,  “Pity expresses a negative evaluation of the bad situation of others. Nevertheless people do not like to be pitied.”  

 

Look past disabilities of others or even our own troubles.  Treat people with love and have compassion.

 

Lesson Learned: Having compassion for someone is better than giving pity.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, help us have compassion for others and with ourselves.  Give us the vision to see past hurts and wounds.  Forgive us for having pity on others and ourselves.  Give us wisdom and clarity on exactly what we need to bring us aligned to your will for us.

In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”