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(in)courage is a virtual living room where we build community, celebrate diversity, and become women of courage.

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  1. Mary/(in)courage,
    I’ve really been enjoying the “Journey to the Cross” devotional. It is helping me to truly prepare my heart for the glory of Easter Sunday. Like you said, we need to walk through the ugly to get to the beauty. I’m so glad that God loves me enough to tear me down, strip away all that is not of Him, and then lovingly build me into someone who looks more like His Son. It’s a painful process and not too pretty to look at, but oh so necessary. There is something to be said for going with a humble and contrite heart before our Maker in order to truly appreciate what He did for us. Lovely post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  2. Wow… this post really made me think… yes, as we deal with those people who don’t have it all together yet, let’s be patient, pray and support them… and remember how patient God is remaking yourself ⚓️
    Thankyou Mary..

  3. Beautiful! Purposely changing our perspective to what WILL be, not what IS at the moment. Eyes of faith and trust that God is ever at work and NEVER leaves anything of any one of His children undone and unfinished. What work He began He will finish. The brokenness produces a vessel much more beautiful than what was before the brokenness. Thank you for sharing this beautiful truth!

    Donna

  4. Maybe that’s why he allowed certain things to happen to me! Thank you for your post and Thank you God!

  5. This statement caught my attention: “I will be genuinely impressed by my neighbor’s hard work and commitment to improving their home.” The same holds true among genuine brothers and sisters in Christ. We are genuinely impressed by another’s hard work to train themselves for godliness (1 Timothy 4:7) and commitment to improving their lives. I suppose it’s pride keeping us from sharing the process!

  6. Thanks for this. My first thought was of a couple people I know who seem to keep slapping up siding on the outside to keep it looking good to everyone else, but it is still crumbling inside. My next thought: Maybe they are only able to pull up one old nail at a time, or one old board at a time. It’s not up to me to judge their rate of progress (even though I might want to… and sometimes still do…) My next thought: I still got PLENTY of personal home repair projects on this ole house of mine, and the older I get, the more things I notice. I have to keep reminding myself that spiritual growth is a direction….

  7. This is such an important message for us to hear and put into practice! Our desire to avoid seeing the messiness of works in progress is way too strong in the church as a whole. As a result, many of us wait until we’ve got it all together before revealing our struggles. (Or we just continue to fall apart for lack of support.)

    Ezekiel 34:4 expresses judgment on the spiritual leaders of that time, as God declares, “You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost.” They were having the same trouble we do—feeling disgusted with those who were in a state of decay, rather than exhibiting the attitude of Isaiah 42:3: “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” (Applied to Jesus in Matthew 12:20.)

    How many Christians who are struggling with substance abuse, failing marriages, sexual immorality, mental illness, or other forms of suffering are more like bruised reeds in need of support than defiant sinners in need of discipline? How often do people in the church break those reeds and snuff out those wicks rather than strengthening the weak, healing the sick, binding up the injured, bringing back the strays, and searching for the lost of our own flock? (Adapted from my blog at https://thosewhoweep.blogspot.com/2018/08/strengthening-weak.html.)

    From what I’ve seen over the last forty years, we’re improving, but until we do this more consistently, those who are hurting the most will continue to hide the old, crumbling, moldy, and rusty parts inside.

    Thank you so much for bringing this issue out into the open, and for doing it in such a personal way.

  8. Mary,

    God is constantly shaping & molding us into the person He wants us to be. We shouldn’t wait till we’ve got it all together, because that day/time will never come. We are commanded to share one another’s burdens. God already knows about our struggles, but we can let Him heal us & our wounded spirits. Others need to hear of our struggles for two reasons. Number one is they won’t feel alone in their struggles. Secondly they can encourage & pray for you. Watching & hearing of your transformation gives them hope that one day they can be renewed.

    Blessings 🙂