Photo by Daryn Stumbaugh on Unsplash
Each fall, I reflect on the year and recall all the things I am thankful for. During that time, I choose a word to study for the upcoming year and try to apply it in my life.
Last year, courage chose me.
Many of the conferences, podcasts and church teachings I listened to had a repeating theme: fear not and be full of courage.
During a Christian counseling session, the life coach brought up a verse in Ezra 10:4 that referred to rising up and being courageous. The NIV says “Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”
After assisting with a health and wellness conference in our county, the host provided me with a gift. It was a clay heart with the word “courage” stamped in it.
“OK, it’s time to listen to what keeps showing up in my life, time to break free from fear in many categories of my life (social media, writing, sharing my past and speaking up).”
Fear has taken a lot away from me because I allow my thoughts to drift away from God’s promises and focus on problems I am facing. I falter and struggle every time I try to do things my own way. My human strength will never be enough to sustain me. I forget that I am never alone and that our Father sent his spirit to comfort and strengthen us for what lies ahead. And through every obstacle I face, He is there, ALWAYS.
3 Things I learned about courage so far this year:
The bible says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7 KJV
God’s word says “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” I John 4:18 (KJV)
And with his help, at the end of this year, I will be a little less fearful and a few steps closer to having a courageous heart, not just a clay heart with letters engraved on it.
May we rise up and take courage.
My vision for this year is for all of us to stand in the face of fear with unwavering faith and use what God has given us physically, mentally, and spiritually to serve and glorify him.
Please enjoy the following quotes about Courage from https://www.brainyquote.com/.
Can our focus unlock our courage? I believe it can.
In Louisiana, we have small bodies of waters called canals on the side of our roads. It is where fields and overflows from rainfall go to collect. And Lord knows what else! On one hot and humid summer day, my dad stopped the car and got out. He announced that we were going to jump into a canal to cool off. What did he just say? Yes sir, he sure said it and he went right in. My mom and brother followed after him. They had planned the trip in advance, but I did not know that. I hesitated. I wanted to be with them in the water, but could not move my body. All I could think about was the fear of the unknown. What if an alligator or snake is in there? What if I cut my toe on a rock? The rest of the family was having a blast, but not me; I retreated in fear and did not budge. The sun was hot, almost scorching my legs and sweat started to bead down my face. You’d think that would have prompted me to move. I was known for being a martyr and could be dramatic when it suited me. I did not move, nope, not one inch. After about 15 minutes of watching them have the time of their lives, a glimmer of hope appeared. I stood there looking down at my daddy holding out his arms and saying “jump, I will catch you”. I was afraid, but I did it anyway. I trusted his word to be true because I trusted him. I focused on my daddy and jumped right into his arms. And he caught me, just like he said he would.
I wish I could say all my fears disappeared that day, but they didn’t. Just like that day, sometimes I still take my focus off of my daddy’s arms (Heavenly Father) and cradle fear instead.
II Cor. 4:18 (CEB version) says, “We don’t focus on the things that can be seen but on the things that can’t be seen. The things that can be seen don’t last, but the things that can’t be seen are eternal.” God and his word is eternal. He is trustworthy and his word never fails.
Prov. 3:5-6 (KJV) says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.”
Where is he leading you that may be a little frightening or scary?
Focus on Him and He will make a way where there may not seem to be one.
Focus will unlock our courage and help us do what we thought we could not do before.
May we all walk a little braver and dream a little bigger than before!
10 Power Verses about Courage
Photo by Anne Edgar unsplash.com/@anneedgarphoto
Brilliance is defined in three distinct ways:
· intense brightness of light
· vividness of color
· exceptional talent or intelligence
When I think of vivid color and intense light, I think of diamonds. Light reflects colors through the diamond and is stunning. The diamond cutter is trained and skilled in his craft and knows exactly where to split the stone to radiate the most light.
Simon T. Bailey, Author, Speaker, & Entrepreneur, was a guest speaker at our company recently. If you have ever met Simon, you’d agree that he is all three of those definitions rolled into one. Everything about him reflects brilliance. His smile and laughter light up the whole room. His background and seasoned life is a true testimony to all of us. He has the heart of a student and is a dynamic motivational teacher.
Here are a few insightful life lessons I received from his message:
1. Shift our brilliance – Brilliance is a mindset. Our thinking has everything to do with our happiness and developing meaningful relationships with others. Brilliance comes from knowing who you are and who you are not. Be who we are called to be because nothing else will bring us joy or peace. It is being comfortable in your own skin and seeing others as an asset not a competitor.
2. Release our brilliance – Brilliance is a choice. In the presentation, Simon said that in order to receive something, we have to let go of something. We have to close one door to open another. We also have to use discernment and know that not every opportunity is ours and every open door an invitation to walk through.
3. Develop our brilliance – Brilliance is a journey. Simon challenged all of us to devote 1-2 hours a day for professional development and we won’t recognize ourselves. There is no status quo on the success path. We have to consistently devote time to grow so that we will be ready for opportunities that present themselves. If we wait for the opportunity, it will be too late.
When we are living a life in which we use our talents to our fullest capacity, we reflect brilliance. We are perceived as exceptionally talented and smart because we are maximizing our strengths. Our life is full and overflows to others. It bears the fruit of our labor in self-development and we are successful. Everything we do is almost breathtaking. We radiate light, beauty and impact the lives of others with our brilliance.
Simon T. Bailey is the author of 9 books, professional development courses and speaker series. He is a highly sought after international speaker with over 30 years of knowledge to impart. Learn more about how to become brilliant and more about Simon, by following the link to his website. simontbailey.com