November 11, 2013

PB and J

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:27 am by Broken & Brave

I love how the Lord stirs His Spirit in me and directs me on what to write. For the past five days or more I keep finding my thoughts, at random moments, drift to the idea of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I rarely eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches anymore, but love them just the same. No, my thoughts were not lead by a hungry stomach or a craving for “comfort food” (for to many people a PB and J sandwich is at the top of the chart in comfort foods; maybe because it reminds them of their childhood?). I have enough experience with the Holy Spirit and the familiarity of His Voice that it was HIM directing me. If I remain patient and wait for it, I would receive greater revelation of what He desired me to say. I knew He wanted me to write and the PB and J was the anchor of my story. I even told John, as we drove home from shopping yesterday afternoon, what I just shared with you. So, there you have it, I woke up at 6AM today, with the exact exhortation I now sit to write to you today. PB and J…

PRAISE, BELIEVERS AND JEALOUSY

“For the Lord your God is a jealous God among you…”

Deut. 6:15

“for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Exodus 34:14

God does not force us to adore Him, but he wants our attention so badly. How humbling is that? He is the KING! Yet, he notices the individual and has no regard for their lack of status or standing? Yes, it is true. This is what makes His love all the more pure and true. He is hopefully devoted to you and desires you reciprocate that devotion to Him as well.

There is nothing the Lord desires more than your unyielding and unbridled adoration and devotion. He tells us all throughout scriptures, both the Old Testament and the New, of the power, edification and strength we have access to when we simply take the time to praise Him and give Him His proper due.

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15

Every Sunday Believing people gather in churches all over the world. Whether their church is a traditional building with a sanctuary, a cave in a third world or oppressed country, a living room of a home church or Bible study…we gather and we all do the same thing, we praise. There is nothing more unifying to the Body of Christ than when we praise Him. Now, I could carry on regarding the importance of praise, but instead, I want to shift to what happens when Believers praise each other as well.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

If you know me at all, you know I am a shameless people promoter. The gift of exhortation pumps through my veins and I am a self appointed cheerleader to anyone who would accept my encouragement. I am honest with my praise, I never make something up or say something just because I think it is what the person wants to hear (that is flattery, not encouragement). I am more interested in true praise that will sink into the depths of the persons heart and really do something powerful.

Believe it or not, not everyone wants it, so I try to be respectful, but I still encourage at a lower level (because I can’t help it and truly, all persons need it, even if it is hard to accept). Now, just as God wants our total devotion and praise, thanking Him with gratitude in the hard times not just the good, what would happen if we did this for each other as well!

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34-35

God loves all of His kids. He has special appreciation for the absolute uniqueness of us all, every single one of us. Just like how a parent loves to see their children compliment one another and work together, so is it with the Father above. I do not think it is an ability restricted only to those with a gift to encourage. We all, with the help of the Holy Spirit can become a noticer of the details and find special and unique appreciation for each other. Some people are absolute diamonds, but they are completely unaware because they are too focused on comparing themselves to others, or maybe they have been verbally beat down in their lifetime and lost the correct perspective of their true self. We must build each other up. When someone receives encouragement that is timely and proper it builds their confidence and empowers them to press on and do all that the Lord desires of them. It is like telling one another, “I’ve got your back”. When someone truly has your back you feel the supplemental strength they offer. Like how the Lord is our rear guard, so we are to be a physical representation of a wall of readiness around ourselves and each other.

Have you ever seen the movie, “300”? ~Such a rich visual perspective. I personally find this movie fascinating, yet extremely difficult to watch. I am just super sensitive spiritually and it is a dark movie. However, there are so many rich analogies dripping through out. In the movie, the 300 Spartan soldiers move as a well-choreographed unit. They know exactly how to use their shield and how to cover the man to his right or his left with it. When they hem in tight, they become a cocoon of metal (the shields). Beloved, this is how our mutual praise of the Lord and encouragement of each other functions. It does something in the heart that is undeniable. We are to be completely devoted to each other. There should be no room for insecurity, only love…affection…mutual appreciation for something beautiful.

When God’s love is expressed it is an undeniable, sweet, fragrance and it draws people from near and far to take a deep breath and capture this ever-blossoming love we have found. It’s good and it goes down deep. Let it sink in. Savor it.

He is Jealous for your affection and attention. If you give it to Him, something wonderful happens inside your heart. It is an uncontainable Joy I’ve found and it wells up to overflowing and spills out over others around.

You’ve got a River of Life flowing out of you. Share it. Draw others into the Overflow. Then the Garden of His Goodness will grow and there will not be room to contain this Garden. His Delight…and it begins with Praise.

Affectionately…

Nicole

November 1, 2013

“I Pick YOU”

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:15 pm by Broken & Brave

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”

John 15:16

All the boys and girls lined up against the wall looking the same direction, a unified direction, with their gaze upon the Captain of the Team. The Captain stood with his implement in His hand, be it a ball, or a bat, or a glove. It was time to choose His team. All the children waited and hoped to be “picked”. Who would he pick first? Who would he pick last? Then some kids worry that they won’t get picked at all, but shall remain the last child on the wall. The last child on the wall usually gets bartered one team or the other with the other last mingling, unselected few.

Has this ever been you? Every child has the experience of waiting to get picked for the team. Whether it’s with the neighborhood kids playing outside, school recess, or on higher levels at a try-out for the most desirable and competitive teams. Nobody ever wants to be called out last…or worse still, not at all.

There are many reasons why the team is selected in the order that it is. Some are picked purely because they have raw skill and talent. Let’s face it, every team has the objective to WIN. To win and to win big, you want the most skilled players on the team. Those kids get picked first. They may be the strongest, or the fastest or the best overall skill at every position. Then there are those who are picked purely for popularity. Maybe the Captain is their close friend or relative. Kids are selected, one by one, until the team is complete.

A good team, a really good team has chemistry. In our house we are brain washed by my husband to be die hard Red Sox fans (and the Celtics, and the Patriots…he is from New England). So, you can imagine the game was on every night of the World Series. My daughter is an avid Red Sox enthusiast and she was glued to the TV.

What does it mean for a team to have chemistry?

Chemistry equals Unity; plain and simple. They know each other’s strengths and they capitalize on them to be successful. They rely on one another and they are focused on a common goal.

Think of the team. I don’t even know how many people are on a baseball team, a lot, I know that much. They work together everyday, each with their own special skill set they bring to the organization. Picked, for that special quality the Manager and Owner of the team feel will contribute to the winning season…a winning team. I can only speculate that not every member of that team is best of friends. They work together. This is their job, and one they love. There are probably little cliques of guys that hang together more than others. Some of them may not get along at all off of the field. But once they step out onto the green; that is all left behind them. They tap into the dream to succeed and they work together in unity. A fluid, organized oneness…  CHEMISTRY.

They can feel it and the fans can feel it, too.

Let’s go back to the wall with the ball and the children waiting to be picked. They won’t all aspire to play in the major league, some don’t even really want to play that much at recess, but they all have one thing in common. They want to be picked.

Did you know that God looks down from Heaven upon all that He created and says, “I pick YOU”?  Yes, you. He picked you first, never last. See, the thing about being on God’s team that is so unique and special is that you are never the last to be picked because there is always room for one more player. The team is never full. The team never hears the Master say, “we have all the talent we need.” No, quite the contrary…

He has wired, created, purposed and INVESTED richly into each one of us to be a unique blend of His likeness and He desires that we not deny that Power He has placed in us. He wants to polish us so we are a captivating reflection of His Glory like the sparkle of a diamond. Imagine, if we are collectively united and allow His chemistry to flow through our unity and we sparkle so bright it breaks forth through the darkest of night and radiates His pure and glorious Light. Chemistry.

Quite frankly, the team just isn’t complete without you. You are needed and necessary more than you can ever possibly know. I hope right now the stroke of my pen (or swipe of the key) will be like a stroke upon your heart. That you may know the Comfort and Encouragement that only God can bring. He wants to polish the luster of your Shine for you are His and He is yours. You are Chosen.

“I Pick YOU”…

PASS IT ON

IT ONLY TAKES A SPARK TO GET A FIRE GOING

THEN SOON ALL THOSE AROUND CAN WARM UP IN THE GLOWING

THAT’S HOW IT IS WITH GOD’S LOVE

ONCE YOU’VE EXPERIENCED IT

YOU’LL SPREAD HIS LOVE

TO EVERYONE

YOU’LL WANT TO PASS IT ON

Some organize, some cook and show amazing hospitality. Some can administrate, some can teach, preach, speak. Some can help so much with the everyday tasks and some are wired to encourage and love those to help them persevere through the most grueling or tiring tasks. We are One.

We are His Collective Body.

We were made to Shine.

We were made to be Great.

We were made to WIN…

Together~Unified~Chemistry

Bless you this day and each and every day…for you are Chosen and dearly Loved.

~Nicole