The Introduction

I have been wanting to do this for some time, have some sort of  outlet for more devotional-type writings and spiritual musings.  Writing often is my way of reasoning things out, to understand better.  Going back and reading what I have written before, seeing how I have grown and how God's grace has worked in me is encouraging and at the same time humbling.  It may sound odd to say that, but it is true.  I can't help but recognize that any good in me has been God's work alone.  And I thank Him for that.
     As far as actually sharing what has encouraged me, I have hesitated for a couple reasons.  One is that it feels presumptuous to think what I wrote will be any help to others.  The other is that I already have a blog, Hawksquill, which I have tried to keep fairly light in content and aimed at a broad audience.  I didn't want to change the feel of Hawksquill (maybe I've paying too much attention to other blogs, getting stuck on terms like "niche", instead actually writing, I don't know), and I wasn't sure I wanted to have something completely separate simply because it will feel like more pressure to keep up two blogs.
     What finally tipped the scale was the account in Acts 3 of Peter healing the crippled beggar outside the temple.  The man asked for money as Peter and John passed by, hoping for a meager alms maybe to buy a meal.  He didn't even look up when they stopped.  He was there everyday; he probably knew better than to torture himself with the depreciative or grudgingly pitiful looks of self-righteous passersby who thought his impairment was earned.  When Peter said, "Look at us!" he probably did with fear and little expectation, an obeisant blessing ready on his lips to show gratitude.  Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you.  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, walk."
     I can't imagine the shock.  What reason did he have to hope for this?  He went into the temple, able at last to show his worth in God's eyes before the people, walking and jumping and praising God.  But here's what struck me: he didn't ask to be healed.  No on asked for him to be healed.  No one expected the crippled beggar who sat outside the temple gate Beautiful everyday to be any more or any less than the crippled beggar who sat outside the temple gate Beautiful everyday.  Yet Peter and John looked straight at him and decided to give.  There is a picture of love indeed.  "What I have I give to you."
     The question that naturally follows is, what do I have to give?  What does one girl who aspires to many things and usually dares very little have to give?  What does one person who loves words and usually finds little to say have to give?  What does one sinner redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ have to give?  Ah, but if I am the latter, I have very much, don't I?  For those who have chosen to surrender life to Christ, believed in the necessity of the horrific death He died on the cross, trusted in the power of His name, there is so much we have received that can be given out.  We love God because He first loved us and we reflect that love back to Him by pouring it out on others.
     One of the great promises God gives to the people who have responded to His call is that He will always be with us.  He gave us His Spirit to live in us and guide us.  The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.  And of that Spirit He says, "greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world."  Basically, we can do anything He calls us to.  And we can give everything we have, even the love of His presence.  Jesus gave everything to redeem us to the Father.  Shouldn't we want to give everything back to Him?  And if loving others is our way of loving God, shouldn't we be also willing to give of what we have to others, like Peter did?
     Even knowing this, I have hesitated, like I said, to share my thoughts and prayers.  But something that God has repeated to me, is the call to dare to live, and know that He will be with me.  To dare to live means living an abundant life abandoned to God, recklessly confident of Christ.  It means flinging yourself in fearless faith, doing what is good and right and noble at any cost, however small the gain, never letting go of the incredible hope that we have, clinging to the promise of seeing God's all-satisfying glory.  It means you let no one steal your wonder.  It means you love well.  It means you give of what you have.
     This is what I want to encourage you to, and what I hope my words may stir a passion for.  What I share here is the understanding God has given me of His word, of who He is, and His desire for His children.  These are journal entries, rough, raw, and mostly unedited, some several years old.  Most are thoughts on passages in the Bible, a few are inspired by songs, and a few are prayers.  Actually, I tend to direct a lot of this writing to God.  But I encourage  you to comment or email me with any questions or comments or desire for discussion.  I know I have plenty of capacity of grow and learn and be encouraged as well.
     This is how I Dare to Live: What I have, I give to you.

Marissa Hawkins

Soli Deo Gloria