Hi!

15 May

Fearless is a blog dedicated to the truth that God has told us over and over again in His Word:  FEAR NOT.  We have been created to walk fearlessly secure in an intimate love relationship with Jesus Christ.  The question is…how???

How do we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Savior and shrink in the areas of fear and insecurity in our lives?  The answer is simple–and difficult:  We look into the Word of God, receive it, and apply it in our lives through dependence on God.  Please join me on this adventure trek through the Word of God!

–Susan Jean Stevens

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Where do we put our money and time?

11 Dec

Ho, every one that thirsteth,

come ye to the waters,

and he that hath no money;

come ye,

 buy, and

eat;

 yea, come,

buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?

and your labour for that which satisfieth not?

 hearken diligently unto me,

and eat ye that which is good,

and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Isaiah 55:1-2

It’s not often that you come across two verses containing…wait for it…8 imperatives, or commands. And who are these commands addressed to? The thirsty and penniless. These verses are an extended metaphor which speak of spiritual thirst and spiritual bankruptcy.

The price is not gold and silver, but self-surrender—a seemingly high price to some of us, but one that we all can afford. Water (John 4:10), wine (Matthew 26:29), and milk (1 Peter 2:2) all represent spiritual blessings of salvation in Christ. Who are those commands addressed to? The thirsty and penniless. These verses are an extended metaphor and what we are looking at here are spiritual thirst and spiritual bankruptcy.

Verse 2 starts with two rhetorical questions:  Why do we spend our resources on that which does not feed us? Why do we spend our resources on that which does not satisfy us? Good questions. And yet we see it all around us–people spending time and money on that which only gives temporary pleasure. Bread represents the true life of the soul and spirit with Christ.

There are two imperatives in verse 2: Hearken diligently, shama’ shama’, and eat, ‘akal. In Hebrew when two imperatives are joined, the second expresses the consequences of the first. In other words, IF we hearken diligently to God’s calling to turn to Christ, we will eat that which is good and be satisfied by God’s word. As a result, our soul will delight itself in spiritual fatness—the kind of fatness to which we can all aspire!

The Flaws of Fearless

29 Nov

This is from Train Ugly, one of my new favorite websites, which connects my Bible study topics and my educational study topics. Ignore the “lizard brain” stuff that harkens back to evolution–just call it the fight or flight reflex. And I know that Liz Gilbert is a bit much, but I get it, she’s reframing her fear. If you can’t listen to the whole thing, start at 13:58 with The Flaws of Fearless. Here is the video:

Deep Calling Unto Deep

6 Oct

Mike and I live across the street from the Atlantic Ocean (I just love saying that!) and one thing that amazes us is how different it is every time we see it. You can always sense God’s mighty power in it, but usually, it is a subtle power. Yesterday, we saw the results of the hurricanes and tropical storms that have passed through. The normal sea greens, turquoise blues, and blue-greys had been replaced by sable browns and blacks because God had stirred up the deeps of the ocean. It was ugly, just as the sins in our lives are ugly.

Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He in heaven and on earth, in the seas and in all deep places. Psalm 135:6

 

I’ve been thinking much about the storms in life and how hurricane Matthew last year and hurricane Irma this year are physical examples of the storms we experience in life: death, illness, relationship issues, financial troubles, emotional issues. In the same way that hurricanes churn up the depths of the ocean, storms in our lives churn up the depths in us.

He revealeth the deep and secret things; He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him. Daniel 2:22

Because God is merciful and loving, He wants to reveal what is in the darkness, what is buried in the depths, so it can be dealt with and we become more like Him in the process.

O my God, my soul is cast down within me [Due to a storm in life?]; therefore will I remember Thee from the land of Jordan and of the Hermonites, from the hill of Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of Thy waterspouts; all Thy waves and Thy billows have gone over me. Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me and my prayer unto the God of my life. Psalm 42:6-8

As the ugly things are revealed, the proper response is repentance proceeding from a humble teachability and dependence upon God–even with issues of character. Here is a link to a video of the churned up ocean.

Teaching Slides from Carlisle, Pennsylvania Women’s Retreat

24 Sep

I recently enjoyed a very blessed weekend at the Carlisle Women’s Retreat in Pennsylvania. I was asked to post the slides from the teaching I did on The Exchanged Life, and so here they are. Just click on this link.

Metacognition Links

24 Sep

I’m noticing more and more links between what I am teaching teachers and my Christian beliefs and practices. For example, not this visual that I made for teachers:

Think how helpful metacognitive thinking is for a Christian:

  • Am I listening to the enemy’s whispers?
  • Am I thinking with God?
  • Am I thinking on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of any virtue, and of any praise? (Philippians 4:8)

Obviously, the response called for if we give a “yes” to the first question or a “no” to the next two questions is to change our thinking until it is aligned with God’s mind.

If we can begin practicing metacognitive thinking in our Christian lives, it will not only make our thinking better, but our lives better.

Hebrew Word Studies from The Living Word in 3D

14 Aug

I’ve been studying through Isaiah and in my search for resources came across this source that explains Hebrew words using a sketchboard approach. I find it fascinating. I hope you enjoy this study on the word “grace” as much as I did.

Isaiah & Wordles

12 Aug

You may know that Isaiah is considered to be somewhat of a mini-Bible. The first 39 chapters correlate with the 39 books in the Old Testament and the last 27 chapters correlate with the 27 books of the New Testament. I find things like this fascinating, and as I am studying through the book of Isaiah Hebrew word by Hebrew word, I decided to run the English words through Wordle.

isaiah chart

Wordle is an app that creates art from words, but art that is based on fact:  The more repetitions of a word, the larger Wordle makes it, which makes it an interesting tool with which to analyze literature.

Here is the Wordle of Isaiah chapters 1-39:

wordle 3

Here is the Wordle of Isaiah chapters 40 – 66.

wordle4066

What questions does this bring to mind? What does it make you wonder? I know that as I’ve been studying Isaiah, the beautiful thing is how much hope there is, even in the chapters that speak condemnation.