This is a guest post by Jackie Chapman.
|Olivia & Jackie|
Take Courage! These are two words, my daughter (Olivia), had engraved on her class ring. Last Saturday, our family had the pleasure of seeing Olivia graduate from high school. Days leading up to graduation I had flashbacks of the past 18 years. I admit I had them while trying to hold back tears. I remember the first time I held her. Her first tooth, her first steps, her first day of Kindergarten, her first recital and now I will remember the first time I saw her in her cap and gown. This time I was not able to hold back the tears (tears of joy and extreme pride). I thanked God for the blessing she's been to our family.
The day after Olivia's graduation, I was also delivering my first sermon.
In the midst of being a wife, mother of three teenagers and having a full time career, I heard the voice of God call me to spread the good news. When I spoke to my Pastor about accepting my call, he suggested I deliver my first message on the Sunday after graduation. I discussed this with Olivia because I didn't want to take anything away from her graduation experience. She thought it was a great idea. That is when God lead me to use her words, Take Courage, as the inspiration for the message I would deliver. In Matthew 14:27 (NIV), Jesus said,
"Take courage. It is I. Don't be afraid."
This leads to Peter's step of faith in walking on water towards Jesus. Olivia and I are both preparing to take steps of faith as we approach a new season in our lives.
Olivia is leaving home to attend college.
Take courage is what she will need to do as she moves into the dorm, makes new friends and attends her classes. Take courage will help her decide when to socialize and when to study.
God has called me to minister.
I will take courage whenever He leads me to deliver a message to His people. I will take courage when He sends someone with a broken spirit for me to speak words of encouragement.
Whatever you are facing right now, trust Jesus. Hear His words, "Take Courage"!
~Jackie Chapman is a member of New Jacob's Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.