April 26, 2014

Effortless Beauty

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:43 am by Broken & Brave

“Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king.”

Psalm 45:15

 

One of the things I adore about writing is the close friendship I feel with my Heavenly Father. It is like meeting with a friend for a meal…no kids, no spouses, no distractions, just us. My favorite place to be is sitting at my King’s feet and listening as He tells me what to speak. That’s how I woke this morning. There was a stirring in my heart and my pen was set to write.

 

I’ve had several people ask me this past week how to practice and develop an art for grace. Then, I went to a ladies outing at my church last evening, beautiful, and the speaker spoke on forgiveness. Forgiveness to me is only one demonstration or expression of grace. What does it mean to show grace?

 

Grace means, unmerited favor. The dictionary says it’s, “seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion.”

 

Grace is something we should all be obsessed with because it is the essence of Christ’s existence. He came and shed His blood as an absolute act of grace, unmerited favor that we did not deserve, and no matter how each person responds to it, it was an offering made for all. Far too many are fixated on His judgment that it keeps them from experiencing more. Whether it’s judgment of others or self-condemnation. But all of this is futile when you think about how gorgeous He is, really gorgeous. We should be so in awe of his beauty and mercy that it would outshine anything else we could fix our attention upon. When we do this, it will flow over us, fill us and seep out of us onto others. When it flows from us onto others it may be the only taste of Jesus others have ever had.

 

With all this being said, here is the question I was asked by two different people this past week…

 

“If you can’t be gracious to someone who has hurt you, can you fake it?”

 

That’s a tough question and I do not profess to have the best Biblical answer, but here is what I do know and here is what my experience has been… I believe the answer is no. Grace is not something you “fake”. This creates a quandary for many for the Bible clearly tells us to be gracious and merciful one to another. If we don’t’ have it in our heart how can we do it without faking it? I believe I have an explanation for that as well and it is found in Philippians 4:8

 

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”

 

The answer I gave to both women resides in this passage. I am a people lover. My heart truly gushes and I have a special love for the outcast, people who don’t expect to be loved. Even though I am a people lover, of course, this doesn’t mean I have a lot in common with every human being or have the same world view or core beliefs. People are different and I think this is a good thing (how boring the world would be if we were all a cookie cut image of the same exact cookie) because though we are created in God’s likeness, He is a God of Imagination and Creativity. The artistic creative side of myself loves this! Color is good on all levels! It adds vibrance to life, but it also means people are going to disagree or just be different. Here is how you can handle those disagreements or differences lovingly…focus your heart on Phil. 4:8. You can find something beautiful in everyone, even the people most opposite yourself in lifestyles and core beliefs. I find what I admire in a person and I focus on that. If you know me at all or have read much of my writing, you know that I am huge into affirmation and praising people. HUGE! Primarily, words of affirmation is my primary love language so of course it is what’s going to ooze out of me first. I love to encourage others and love on them this way. I don’t even think about it, it just comes out like I am thinking out loud. I feel people need it because we live in a world that is very quick to criticize and not so generous with lifting others higher than themselves. Just two days ago my husband and I got into a conversation with our server at a local coffee house. She had a very unique name and my husband asked its origin. Before we left I told her it was a beautiful name, very unique. Here was her reply, “I always hated my name until the 7th grade when a girl in my class told me she liked it because no one else had it.” After that, she didn’t dislike her name anymore.

 

One person’s small act of verbal encouragement completely changed her mindset about a personal attribute.

 

Praise is powerful! But it does have to be genuine. Because I am prone to praise, I praise. However, like I told these two women, I never say anything I don’t mean. My whole life I am very honest and truthful. Even if I wanted to lie I wouldn’t get away with it because I am horrible at it. It’s just not in me. Because I can find something I really admire or appreciate in anyone…that’s what I stick with. When you focus on what you do like about others it makes it easy to like all of them, pretty simple really.

 

I fully understand that not everyone is comfortable with this expression of love. Grace and Encouragement doesn’t always have to be a direct verbal exhortation. It can simply be a live and let live principle. It can be expressed with patience, acts of service, generosity, how ever you feel most comfortable expressing it for like I said, we are a bountiful flavor basket of options for how we express the fruit of the Spirit. But here’s what I know, when we practice grace in our hearts, through a choice of attitude (it really is all about attitude) and attitude is always a choice. It’s never about how you feel, or if you’re having a bad day or if you knew my situation, attitude is always a choice. God will honor a positive and gracious attitude with Joy. (Psalm 45) Always remember, those who struggle the most with grace probably need it most for love is required to heal and mend whatever brokenness resides upon their heart. Grace and patience are companions. People don’t mend overnight, we aren’t garments, but we are wrapped in flesh and blood and all of us need a lot of Love. Never wait for others to love you first, lead like Jesus and love more, you will adore the reward your Father lavishes on you for it. I can promise that.

 

Another necessary component for genuine grace is surrender. All personalities are different and have strengths and weaknesses. Some forgive quickly and don’t offend easily and others tend to hold on, that’s ok, we are only human. Don’t be so hard on yourself. God knows we can’t truly do it without him. You have to just lay it at his feet and tell God plain and simple, “I can’t do it, but you can. Heavenly Father, will you bless me with the ability to over come?” He will do it. I know He will.

 

You are beautiful in so many ways. We don’t need to be perfect. Perfect has already been done. All we have to do is spend our lives drawing near to His Perfection and gleaning from His Goodness and basking in His Love. You are complete in Him and He has promised to be faithful to complete the good work He has begun in you. God is always up to something good.

 

May the Grace, Mercy and unmerited Favor of God flood your soul this day. May He give you the Grace and Peace you seek and make the contentment of your heart complete. He is with you…always.

 

 

Much Joy, Love and Grace in Him,

 

~Nicole

Advertisements

April 24, 2014

Vision Caster

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:51 am by Broken & Brave

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18

 

Everyone needs some sort of vision for their life. Without it, we meander without meaning, joy or fulfillment through life. Without a vision of the heart we become subject to the vision of another. There is a saying that goes (paraphrased), “If you don’t work toward your dreams then someone else will recruit you to work for theirs.”

 

When we have a vision is must be crystal clear in our own mind’s eye. The more vividly the vision resides in our mind’s eye, our heart and soul, the easier it is to adhere to the path less traveled. The clearer the vision the easier it becomes to cast vision to others. A well-defined vision cast before others will attract those to yourself who have a common belief, common passion, and a common purpose…shared vision. The place of shared vision is a powerful place for there is strength in unified numbers.

 

Whatever your vision is, you know it is your vision when it burns deep within your heart. You cannot abandon it, even if you wanted to or tried to. It is a part of you, ingrained in your very soul. When it is a part of you and you stand at the threshold, you can cross over into your purpose or you can retreat.

Don’t look back.

Stoke the fire.

Stay the coarse.

Carry the burden, for it is yours to carry and it is a burden from the Lord. He is the Designer of Man’s heart and when He is leading our hearts, we must choose what He would choose. We must do as He would do. The deeper the Call the stronger the burden. Eat it. Sleep it. Dream it. Believe it. Pursue it. Call upon God to be a Voice leading you to it and through it. God is in it! When all of these things line up and are True, God is with you and nothing will be able to stop you.

 

“Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’” Luke 9:62

 

What does it mean to have “service in the kingdom of God”? Serving God simply means you honor Him with your life. It means you pursue what He calls you to and you do it as though it were only Him watching you. Maybe an example from my life and how God cast vision to my soul will help…

 

I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development with enough coarse work for a minor in both Education and Nutrition. Most schools would term my degree “Developmental Psychology”. I loved human physiology and cognition and I loved nutrition and the role it played in human physiology. Ultimately, I wanted to be a counselor. By the time I graduated I had decided I wanted to become an MFCC (counselor specializing in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling). So, I pursued the Master’s Degree required, along with 3,000 practical experience hours required before receiving a license to practice. I liked this idea, counseling, it felt “right” and though in this season of my life I loved God dearly, I was not walking with Him closely. I didn’t go to church, I barely read my Bible, but praying and talking to Him….I did that a lot. Without going into the entire story, I wound up in the graduate program at UOP. I was dating my husband at the time and one Sunday I visited his church. A woman from a local non-profit called The Pregnancy Help Center came and spoke of the Center, it’s needs for funding and volunteers. She said they desperately needed volunteer counselors. Counselors went through a specific training program before they could volunteer. I could feel my heart beating fiercely in my chest. Conviction of the Holy Spirit was working overtime and I didn’t like it so much. How would I have time to take on something else? I was working and going to school. Both of these things filled my plate. On top of it all, I had been discerning in my heart that MFCC wasn’t God’s plan for me. How could it not be His plan? I had spent all those years studying for a degree and all that money invested into my future by my parents and myself. I couldn’t just drop out I wasn’t one to just quit on anything.

 

Over time God began to unwind my preconceived ideas of His plan for me. In fact, though my walk with him in college wasn’t all that tight, He was still guiding me and directing the vision of my heart. He had a vision all His own and He was guiding me to it. He knew all about me and where I’d be many years down the road. He is always looking at His Big Picture and orchestrating His Master Plan. I began to realize that God had indeed given me the desire to help people. The ability to connect and build rapport with others that facilitated healthy communication, comfort and healing. Healing is the purpose God was casting in my life. I had a set blue print in my mind because of my education and experience, but with God the options and possibilities for expression of gifts and callings is limitless! I did eventually terminate my MFCC pursuit and I did volunteer at the Center for many years. I did receive ridicule from my academic peers for my decision. They thought I was foolish. But they weren’t me. They were not being awoken with a vision and burden from the Lord for my life in the middle of the night. Looking back, it has all worked out according to God’s Master Plan. I have a business that focuses on health/fitness and nutrition, a clear and defined passion and purpose in my life…get God’s Church healthy and strong so they can fully achieve the vision God has cast in their life.

 

I have such a heart and vision for ministry. I have always felt all the life of a Believer was ministry. For we are to be a witness not give one always. We lead by example. We lead by love. We cast vision of the Joy, Peace, Liberty and Freedom that can be found in God when we allow His Grace to wrap around us. This is my ultimate heartbeat. This part of me may only be unfolding, but it is real. It is alive. It is Vision, Pure and Sweet and the Master’s Touch is what makes it Complete. I don’t know how this will look as my life continues to unfold. I always felt my avenue of “ministry” was marketplace, not in a seminary school. More and more in this day and age the Church must be taken to the “street” or marketplace, because few have interest in going to church on their own. They have to meet the love of God in a practical and consistent way before they will want to enter in His House and stay. Who knows, I have learned to be open to all that God desires for me. A place called, Yielded.

 

When God leads us to a place of transition it can disrupt our lives a bit. I have had two distinct times in my life where God completely rocked my boat with His direction and revelation for my life. God knows our hearts and He gives us time to digest and decide, will we obey or will we stay as we are? When He comes…when he knocks…when He brings His direction…we have a choice.

 

I tried to shy away from it. I tried to abandon it. I tried to deny it. I tried running from it, but I could not elude it nor could I escape it. For wherever I went, it went also. God had embedded something deep inside of me. Even if I tried to sleep to escape it, I began to dream about it. I was on the Holy Sprit Hit List (that’s what I call it when God has a design for you and he spotlights your life in a way that makes you uncomfortable enough to change coarse and follow His lead). I had no choice, but to whole-heartedly surrender to it. As though the Lord were knocking and as He knocked I could hear him speaking to the inner most chambers of my heart…”Are you ‘in’, Nicole? Because if you’re in, you’re going to have to be ALL in, no looking back, no turning back. Absolute, total and complete, obedience.” He gave me the choice, because God is a Gentleman. What if I chose, ‘not all in’? I knew He would still love me. I knew He would still care for me and provide for my needs. But I also knew that there was a piece of me that had tasted the deeper Presence of God that I might not receive again should I settle for less than God’s best Design for my life. I believe the same is true for all Believers, whether they ever recognize this truth or not. Countless lives, every day, are burdened with a passionate dream that is scorched out because of difficulty, peer pressure, obstacles, and adversity. Some withstand for a time, but the cares of life and desire for comfort outweigh desire for more. Blessing, still received on varying levels, but it looks more like bronze or silver than bricks of pure gold loaded sky high and many miles deep. That’s what God’s best compares to for you and for me.

 

Take time today to reflect. What makes your heart sad? What makes your heart happy? What would make a difference in your life and your satisfaction? What would make a difference in the lives of others from the difference made in your life today? How can you be an instrument of healing, health, hope and change in the life of another? God can guide you to your purpose. God can show you the best path for you to achieve your given purpose in the way that God wants it to be accomplished. Be willing to abandon old mindsets and expectations of how that is going to look and feel. If you are on the wrong path, God will give you guidance and direction just as much as he can put you on a sure path. If you stumble, He won’t let you fall. If you fail, He will grow your wisdom. If you lack courage, He has ample to share. He is a generous God and He is always giving good gifts. When was the last time you asked for one?

 

Be blessed in His Glory and full of His Hope, this day and every day. The best is yet to come for your life. I’d love to be right there, encouraging you on and telling you, “I knew you would do it, I’m not surprised at all!” You have been made of all the right stuff. Enjoy blessing to the fullest, this day and every day. As you Hope in Him, He has great Hope and Victory for you shining through.

 

Much Love, In Him,

 

~Nicole

April 17, 2014

Earmarked for Glory

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:37 am by Broken & Brave

“For the Lord does not see as a man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

 

Many years ago I was a part of a group of ladies at my church that met weekly for prayer. We would pray specifically for our church, it’s needs, it’s people, it’s pastors/staff and for the protection of all the above stated. For a brief season, maybe a year or a little less, there was a woman who joined the church and began coming to prayer. She was very gifted with spiritual gifts. She had just come through a very hard season of life and was looking at her Maker with Fresh Eyes and wanting to make a new beginning with her life. She had many things fall apart in her life, including her family and her health. But God was faithful, carried her through, gave her that new beginning and this is where I met her. She shared that just prior to coming to our city and church she had lost well over 100 pounds, wow! But she still had some health issues and battled bouts of depression. Despite all this, her anointing of the Holy Spirit was evident to me and she was, in my opinion, an asset to our group. I don’t know about you, but I like being surrounded by people who are strong in the Lord and know who they are in Him. It makes me feel even stronger in the Lord because I know God’s got me, but He has also surrounded me with others who’ve got me as well. Unity is just cool like that!

 

As we prayed each week, this particular woman began to have the same prayer request for herself. Her car died and she hadn’t the means to replace it. The vehicle was beyond repair so she began riding her bike everywhere she went. She actually enjoyed it, she said, but knew she couldn’t bike forever, so we prayed. We prayed every week and still, she faithful showed to church those nights, Wednesday nights and Sunday’s on her bike.

 

The climate where we live is beautiful, so biking is normal for much of the year. Then came winter, which around here are mild also, but it does get too cold and sometimes even too wet for a bike. One Sunday morning I sat in the passenger seat of my car as my husband began to drive my family home from service and I caught a glimpse of this woman out of my eye, already well down the road. It was cold, cloudy and I knew it was going to rain any minute. I began to feel a bit incensed for the woman and I told God about it right there. I prayed and said, “God, we’ve been praying faithfully for months for provision of a car for this woman and you have yet to provide. Now, the seasons have changed and here she is, riding her bike in it. Are you not going to give her an alternative? Would you have her bike in the rain?” In that moment I received a reply. You may be thinking already, “why not you give her a ride?” But this isn’t what God said to me. In fact, the reply I received surprised me and then I felt a bit awkward for questioning Him to begin with. I bet you want to know what He said? He told me to look at her ankles. Well, I didn’t really need to look because I had already noticed them time and again, so I knew what he was going to refer to. He said, “look at her ankles.” This woman’s health issues and years spent in extreme obesity had left her circulation in horrible shape. She had extreme and severe edema in both legs, leaving her angles about the same size as my thighs. The Lord then proceeded to lean on my heart further and explained to me that His ways are not man’s ways and His thoughts are not man’s thoughts. The gift He was giving her in her present circumstance would by far benefit her more than a car…He was preserving her health and protecting her life in a way she would not pursue without outside circumstances dictating she persevere.

 

God doesn’t look at what man looks at. Therefore, God usually doesn’t do what man would do. His ways are higher.

 

In 2 Samuel beginning in chapter 15 then reading through to chapter 16 verse 14 we can study in the life of King David. Despite his failing, faults and set backs, David understood this principle. Read for yourself, but here is the snapshot; King David was fleeing his home and taking exile at the Mount of Olives. He took his whole household with him, those who were loyal to the king. He learned at this time who was truly for him and who was only for his power and position. As he ride to the summit with his caravan, warriors included, a man named Shimei begins to hurl stones at him and yell insults. The Bible says he “showered him with dirt”. David’s mighty men asked of the King, “why not allow us to kill this person right now?” But David knew that God’s ways are not man’s ways and that God’s thoughts are not man’s thoughts. David shows a demonstration of the Gracious Love of God by not doing anything. His response was (2 Sam. 16:12) “It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me is covenant blessing instead of his curse today.” David had learned by wisdom and experience…

God doesn’t look at what man looks at. God looks at the heart. Therefore, God usually doesn’t do what man would do. His ways are higher.

 

We are quickly moving through the Holy Week and approaching Easter Sunday. I am a Believer in Jesus Christ. I believe him to be the Son of God, born of a virgin, sent by heaven to set the captive free and deliver us from humanity into sweet and precious liberty. I believe he has a purpose for everything He does under the sun. Jesus hung upon a tree in absolute grief and misery. We know and see how he suffered physical pain, but what of his emotional pain and grief? Absolute rejection. Even of those who walked closely to him, one offered absolute betrayal while most of the rest were nowhere to be found to declare their devotion to him. Only John, of all the disciples, stuck close to him until the end. Maybe that’s one reason why Jesus called him friend and he was the only disciple not to be martyred? Jesus knew and understood…

 

God doesn’t look at what man looks at. Therefore, God usually doesn’t do what man would do. His ways are higher. His Purposes are Greater.

 

It’s been upon my heart much lately the depth of which God’s people are suffering in their circumstances, their bodies and in their emotions. If you feel you are in a dry and dusty wilderness, do not allow His sacrifice at Calvary to go in vein. You may not understand what you are going through or why God hasn’t answered the way you think He should or you want him too. Continue to place your Trust and Hope in Him. He loves you with an everlasting love. That means he isn’t going to abandon you. His love goes on and on and on. FOREVER! If he is allowing you to go through it then He has also equipped you with every resource you need to be still, abide in His Word (the location of every answer to every prayer) and thank him for He is there with you and He knows what He is doing. The battle is not yours, it’s the Lords (2 Chron. 20:15) He can fight it for you and in the process He is giving you a gift that will by far greater benefit your health and your life than an immediate response, just like my friend and her bike. Just like David on the road to the summit at the Mount of Olives. Just like my Jesus who suffered an undeserved death, but look again, he rose to life!

 

God doesn’t look at what man looks at. Therefore, God usually doesn’t do what man would do. His ways are higher. His Purposes are Greater.

The Holy Spirit stirred me awake at 3 am, wide awake and petitioned me to write this piece. I know it will be used of God for this is what he said when I explained I would much rather stay in bed and get some sleep…

 

“There is a song in your heart that only YOU can sing, Nicole. Now, get up and go sing for me.”

 

You are God’s Beloved. He loves you with an everlasting love and has you earmarked for His Glory. You can trust him. He means to surround you as with a sun and a shield, declare from the heavens, “This one belongs to me!” He will bless your faithfulness with the loyalty of his people that we may all dwell in harmony and declare His unified message to the world of Absolute Grace, Hope, Love and Liberty.

 

~Nicole

April 14, 2014

It’s Possible…

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:46 am by Broken & Brave

Life is full of possibilities…

 

Imagine yourself an architect who had a dream to build an extraordinary building…a structure so unique and so grand it would make Frank Lloyd Wright look as though he lacked ingenuity and creativity. What if you were given everything you needed to fulfill such a dream? You had the idea, the education and experience, the finance and tangible resources? Would you pursue it? Would you believe that you could do it? Your Father raised you up right, cared for you, poured every imaginable resource into you…he breathed His life into you so that you could live an extraordinary life. He told you time and time again, “You can do it, I know you can.” Would you believe him?

 

To build such a building, something with a magnitude for absolute greatness, it’s going to take time. You are going to have to fine-tune the blue prints over and over as you lay out your plan. You are going to have to research to ensure you have the most skilled workers on your team of construction. Finest materials available, of course, you need those, too. The foundation… the foundation for such a grand building is going to have to be built to last. This building will be made of such materials that it can weather any storm or disaster and survive the natural elements. Should you dare to dream, believe and pursue to achieve such an architectural dream, it could take a lifetime to build. Would you build it anyway?

 

Everything I just described is YOU. You are that building. You are the architect of your own life. God has been like a father who poured every experience of your life for the exact experiences you needed to succeed. Every experience, the good and bad, has brought you “life experience” and with it came wisdom. God, like a father, has placed His Hope in you and made His blue prints available to you on how to build a rock solid, sure and steady life. It is found in the Word, the Bible. The only thing with this book, is that you have to not only believe it, you have to receive it to such a level into your heart and mind that you actively pursue living it out. You have to accept every promise as true with the understanding that it was written for you.

 

There is a hymn that was written in the early 1800’s that I grew up singing in church by the title, “Solid Rock”. The chorus goes…

“On Christ the solid Rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand.”

 

Short. Simple. Pointed. POWERFUL!

 

We can toil, labor and work harder than hard, but our labor is in vein if the foundation isn’t right. God wants to build something so incredible with your life that the foundation has to be secure. It has to be without flaw or blemish. It has to be absolutely built on Him. If it is not, when fame or success comes the cares of blessing may overshadow the glory of your salvation.

 

God uses our trials to test our hearts purity. He is shaking our tree to test the quality of our fruit. He is pruning us, like a vine, so we can produce a more productive crop. All these analogies to say this…

 

The trials we face in life don’t last forever. We suffer for a time and God uses it to expose the impurities within us that He would like to address and remove should we allow it. But the true test of our faith, our character, our determination to give God our all, comes with the blessing. Blessing is tricky. Everyone wants it and I know God desires to give it. God enjoys to give people good gifts. But when we are blessed, and I mean really blessed, we can become so consumed by the blessing we forget about God. Even if we are still praying, speaking of him, reading His word…we become many times more wrapped up in the blessing than in Him. The Lord wants you in such a place of gratitude for Him and for the simple treasures of life that when blessing comes we would be overwhelmed with His goodness, Grace, Mercy, Love and we are able to help others through the trials they face. Each trial is a new opportunity to grow and learn more, about ourselves, about God and about others.

 

The greater the Vision, the Dream, the Purpose, the more preparation required to fulfill it. Nothing is impossible! Nothing! In fact, with God ALL things ARE Possible! (Matthew 19:26) Maybe you are saying, “I can’t do it, my dream is too big or I am too small and insignificant.” Maybe you have written a long list of all the reasons you aren’t qualified and a short list of why you should even dare to try.

 

Do not disqualify yourself, ever!

 

Look at the Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville. When they were boys their father gave them a toy helicopter made of cork, paper and a rubber band. This was their source of inspiration to become the first men to fly for the first time a free, controlled flight by a power-driven airplane. Did you know that Wilbur didn’t even receive his high school diploma? I challenge you to research all the trials they had in their efforts to develop this plane. It wasn’t easy. They had all kinds of things go wrong. Then, when they did fly, no one believed them and many didn’t even appreciate their achievement. Instead of becoming discouraged and giving up, they persisted without exception and took their invention to Europe in hopes of further success and they found it. Once returning to the US they were wealthy and famous and began filling contracts for airplanes in both the United States and Europe. (work cited www.biography.com/people/wilbur-wright-20672839)

 

They were equipped, their father gave them a gift of inspiration, and they allowed their dreams to take flight, literally. All the challenges were really instruments of grooming for their creativity and longevity to succeed.

 

My friend, there is a song in your heart that only you can sing. It may not be a literal song, but it’s a dream, a vision, a hope or desire that has been planted deep within you like a seed. God knew every experience, encounter, attribute and resource you would need to accomplish your desire. You will get there, you will over come. You will take the prize and declare to others your victory won. From it, inspiration will come that will give rise to a dream in the hearts of others who maybe have never been told that they could believe, or dream or dare to achieve greater things. To me, this is simply beautiful.

 

You are the architect of your life…build it larger than life!

 

~Nicole

 

“Every great architect is- necessarily – a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.” Frank Lloyd Wright

April 8, 2014

Persist Without Exception

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:08 am by Broken & Brave

“…being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1: 11-12

 

I am one who is called to encourage, to exhort, to lift the soul and refresh the spirit like a cool drink of water on a dry and dusty day. This day, it is heavy upon my heart that you need encouragement. If that’s you, this post is for you…

 

I can see your soul. I can see the disappointment and discouragement on your face. You want to walk away. You want to give up. You would like nothing more than to quit. Don’t quit! Don’t give up! Because I can see more than your frustration and discontent, I can also see your heart and the whiteness that gleams from it. I can see your desire to pursue all that the Lord has put your hand to. You shall continue, you will pursue, and more than that you will excel! Frequently, when we feel we have absolutely nothing left to give, our every internal and even external resource has been washed away…that is when the Lord steps in to say, “Here I AM, I have come to help you Over come.”

 

But wait, there is more…

Look at the above selected passage of scripture. Something is in there that maybe you skimmed past or over looked. It did not fail to penetrate my eye and is the reason why I selected this verse among many verses to encourage your soul…”QUALIFIED”. Who said you can’t do it? Who said exactly who you are isn’t enough? Who said you can’t get it done? Who calls you unqualified? Was it you or someone else? Maybe it was a little of both? Because it sure wasn’t God!

 

God says you are completely equipped, skilled and tenacious enough to get the job done! No matter what it is that discourages and weighs your heart, I  know that you were hand picked by God and placed exactly where you are on purpose. Every experience of your entire life has forged a foundation for this moment, every good circumstance and even the bad ones. Every missed opportunity and every grand victory has been the building block to this moment.

 

So, what are you going to do in this moment? It’s not in you to quit. Winners never quit and quitters never win and you, my friend, are a winner!

 

Have you ever seen the diagram of success? It has two lines drawn next to each other with an arrow on the upwardly mobile end. On the left, how people perceive success to look…like a straight line that continues to steadily climb over time. To the right is another line that also climbs just as high as the line to the left. But this line look like a jumbled piece of yarn in the middle, so many twists and curves you can hardly discern it’s direction. Then, in the end, it is success. The line on the right is the true reality of every success journey. No one ever shoots “straight to the top”. There will always be set back, frustration, failures that only lead to wisdom gained.

 

I know your heart is heavy. Your head is hanging down…DON’T QUIT. It may seem like you are alone, but you are never alone. You know it and so do I. God is with you and He is counting on you. More than that, there are people around you who want to see you win, who want to cheer you victorious, who listen to you, support you and believe in you. They may sometimes feel like the minority in the crowd, and usually they are (for all of us), but their vote matters and they are voting for you! In fact, they need you. So, don’t worry about what you are feeling or what you are seeing or what other’s may even be saying. Work to please God. Make your choices to please HIM. Your true supporters will discern that and continue with you. If they don’t, then God was probably doing you a favor. You are God’s Candidate for Victory.

 

You are God’s Candidate for Victory!

 

Don’t worry about man, what they think, what they say. If it doesn’t line up with God’s opinion of you, then He will deal with it anyway. He is showing you and that is a blessing. You don’t need a big team to win, you just need the right team. God’s got your back.

 

My pen has been given to me by the Lord. My pen is my sword, I wield it for Him. I use it to impart Hope, Love and Encouragement to you. I always am truthful with it, even when truth stings a bit, but Truth delivered in absolute love to ensure success is something that can be counted consistent and comes from one who will truly care. I hope it will help get you through. I haven’t written in a while and for that I am sorry. I know God doesn’t always need my help. Ok, He never does, but I know He wants me to help. To the best of my power and ability I will continue to use my words of affirmation, encouragement, exhortation, and love to heal, to bind the wounds of the broken, feed the hungry and wipe the tear of the downhearted soul. I will use it to bless, protect and uplift. I will use it for you.

 

~Nicole

 

P.S I have seen the victory…sweeter than you know.

 

References for Encouragement:

Romans 12:12

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

 

Galatians 6:9

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

 

James 1:12

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

 

2 Thessalonians 3:13

“And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.”

 

John 15:7

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”

 

2 Corinthians 1:21

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anoints us.”

 

Luke 21:19

“By standing firm you will gain life.”