Sunday, March 9, 2008


Giving courage to one another. It is how we grow as individuals. Children are given courage to try new things…from the tentative first steps into toddlerhood, to the first attempt at pedaling a bicycle, and even to try out for sports, the arts and other activities during the school years. Sometimes we are fortunate to have an older sibling who is able to encourage, teach and offer a hand of guidance and protection. This is the relationship I often witness between our two children, with five years between them. I see our daughter wanting to be like her older brother, there is not a whole lot about her that is “girly girl”. During these moments I see “the look” in our son’s eyes as his little sister follows his lead, looks to him for teaching, and takes his hand to walk through a crowd of strangers to the play equipment at a community concert in the park. He is proud of his position as the older brother, and takes his role seriously.

Our Father in Heaven is proud of us as well. When we look to Him for teaching, when we seek instructions on how we are to live in His holy word, when we take His hand to be in relationship. Nothing gives the Lord more joy than when we trust in Him for courage during times of trouble.
Jesus was an encourager to the disciples. As he saw their fear when He walked on water he said to them, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." As Paul was judged before the Sadducees and the others Pharisees, the Lord came to Paul in the night and said, "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome." As a storm threatened the life of men on board the ship with Paul as he sailed to Rome, God sent an angel to Paul who said, “Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” Paul thus reassured his fellow shipmates, “So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”

As you can see, God gives us courage so we may encourage one another. Remember that as we face earthly trials that God has promised to never leave or forsake us. He sealed this promise with blood, the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. There is no greater courage in this world than the courage of a person being persecuted and put to death for faith. As He was being put to death, rather than save himself, instead Jesus pleaded with His heavenly Father. He said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Never forget the grace that accompanies that statement. Our Lord and Saviour showed mercy to those that killed him, and took upon himself ALL our sins, forever - that is courage beyond measure. It is with this kind of courage that we are to live our lives, strong in faith and sharing the testimony of God's saving grace.

Now, if you read all of that, I want you to know that "Give Courage" was created for my monthly inspiration challenge posted in the Kjoistudios challenge forum. To participate in this challenge all you have to do is create a layout with any number of Irish quotes listed in the challenge thread, and use the color green. You have until the end of March to participate and have a chance to earn a gift certficate to the Kjoi Prize Vault. Check back every month for a new challenge to my, and other challenges that can earn you multiple GCs to the Prize Vault.
However, if you are a true blue traditional scrapper, you have a through the end of the month to participate in a similar challenge at the Scrapbook Playground. This challenge offers the same Irish quotes, but different elements from which to choose. For each layout completed and linked in the thread, you will have your name placed in a drawing for a $10 gift certificate to the Playground store.

You can share links to your layouts in both forums and double chance of winning!
Elements for "Give Courage" layout downloaded from
Tristan’s Room Digital Kit by Kara Jones

Cardboard grunge frame and wings also by Kara Jones
Stitching, ric rac and rusty staple by Connie Prince, Digi Diva Designs

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