October 30, 2014

Devotion: That Way About You!

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:02 pm by Broken & Brave

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Billy Joel sang a song about His Love and the way she had about her. His lyric imply that he didn’t know what it was about her, but her smile could heal him and he felt he couldn’t live without her.

When you are a Believer in Christ, his spirit resides in your heart. He has a way of changing us and bringing out the best in us. He smiles upon us and it radiates like a beam of Pure Light through us and pours over our countenance blessing those around us. The more time and the more intimate our friendship with him becomes, the more apparent it is to others who we have been with.

The world around you may not know what it is, but you’ve got a way about you. Let your smile heal someone today.

~Nicole

October 27, 2014

Spiritual Fitness

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:33 am by Broken & Brave

“…like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” 1 Peter 2:2

When a person decides they want to become healthier, change their eating, get more exercise, they begin to make the appropriate changes for the desired end result. If someone wants to lose a few pounds and maybe tone up, they must switch their diet to cleaner whole food choices, increase their protein and decrease their refined carbohydrates. But to be able to maintain this one cannot simply switch hardcore right away. Our bodies are a big chemistry experiment and if you start eating large quantities of protein when you traditionally haven’t had enough protein you will have some intestinal distress for sure! However, when you’ve made steady changes over time you gain momentum, you gain self control over foods, your body and it’s ability to digest “meat” becomes competent and you achieve results.

The same is true with our spiritual health, strength and vitality. A person who is new to the faith in God must be like a person just beginning a healthy lifestyle change. They do a “beginners workout”. They begin to have pure milk that is easy to digest so to speak. God leads them toward greater victories in Christ. He slowly begins to incorporate harder to digest spiritual truths and concepts that would compare to meat as an analogy. They do not do it overnight. It takes time, dedication and focused determination.

We are all at different places in our spiritual walk with God. From beginner, intermediate, advanced and extreme fit…to borrow some fitness industry terms. As a personal trainer I would never place a client who has never eaten healthy or exercised on the same routine I expect of someone who has trained and eaten clean for years.  But I can meet them where they are at and I can help encourage them along and give them exactly what they need to achieve and become all they desire to be as their trainer. We cannot rush the process. We have to work out our faith day by day, walking through the good and the bad and allowing God to chisel us into His Image.

God is the best trainer and “nutrition consultant” of all. Trust Him and put yourself on a steady diet of His Word, His Influence and Coaching, for he has written the best health care book of all! ~Nicole

October 14, 2014

Devotion: Perception Is Reality

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:31 am by Broken & Brave

“I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” Psalm 101:2

Everyday can be the best day of your life if your hearts mindset is right. Whether you have grand plans or daily chores, when you do it all for The Lord it can be amazing! How do you do it all for The Lord? A lot of that has to do with expectation. If you crawl out of bed sour and grumpy every morning you are expecting sour grumpy mornings every night before you go to bed. Just because that’s how it’s been in the past doesn’t mean today can’t be a new day! God gave you this day and whatever you expect from it is generally what you will get. If you expect conflict and trouble, your attitude of heart just may be projecting conflict and trouble. If you are expecting a good result from tasks or obligations you may not want to perform, your attitude will be brighter in the midst of your work and this will be like a pleasing aroma attracting others around you. Get up each day DECIDED that you will have a good day and circumstances and others are going your way! What we perceive and believe is usually what we receive. Change your outlook and watch how the flow of your day goes…Life is an EXCITING ADVENTURE! ~Nicole

October 13, 2014

Devotion: Self Worth

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:24 am by Broken & Brave

“Faith looks up, doubt looks down and worry looks around.”

Where is your gaze today?
I love the movie Chariots of Fire, the true story of missionary Eric Liddell and his love of running. Some thought his love of the sport distracted his focus from God and wasn’t suitable for a man of faith. Eric was fast, fast enough to earn Olympic gold. In the movie there is another man of Jewish decent who runs fast as well. His sole purpose…best Eric Liddell. Both men run their hearts out toward the Olympic prize and both win. Eric forfeited one race because it fell on the Sabbath. This gave God glory as all watched him place His Creator first in His convictions. One man had abundant Joy, the other a tormented quest to better another man.

Where is your focus today? God displays enormous love for you in how He has gifted you. Take pleasure in your abilities, never allowing it to be a vehicle to better any other and watch a Joy explosion ignite in your life. ~Nicole

“When I run I feel the Lords pleasure.” Eric Liddell

October 9, 2014

Promises

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:32 am by Broken & Brave

Isn’t it fun to reflect on some things God has done in your life and how far you have come? I think it is. It makes me all warm and cozy inside and I begin to feel the gratitude down deep bubble up and flow out as I am reminded once again, how good God is and how grateful I am for all he does and how he cares for me.

Last night at my church the ladies got a chance to share from their women’s retreat this past weekend. Have you ever been to a women’s retreat? I have only attended a few, many years ago. A few with my own church and a few with a friend who had invited me to her retreat with her church that happened to be across the street from mine. I went because she asked me to and I knew in my heart it was what the Lord wanted. That was such a long time ago…

Because the past month or so the ladies have been reminded of the upcoming retreat it got me thinking about the few I’ve been to. I actually got to talking on the phone one night with the gal I had gone with all those years ago (I want to say we went 10 years ago ATLEAST). I went with my friend two years in a row.

As these ladies last night shared their Joy for others to hear, it blessed my heart. I love to see people filled to the brim with God’s Love and Joy and apparently Grace and Love were the theme of their retreat…my two favorite Bible themes. For Love is the reason God reaches down for us in humanity. How beautiful.

One gal shared and then the Pastor’s wife about how when they have communion at retreat the gals reach in a basket and get a scripture. One gal shared her scripture and how it touched her heart special. This is the very thing I had been pondering and then talking about with my friend.

When I went to one of those retreats God stirred my heart in such a profound way. I remember doing the same thing, reaching in for a verse as we took communion. Then, as I opened up that little piece of paper and read it, I clearly heard the voice of the Holy Spirit through the gift of knowledge, tell me that the verse on that page was to become the anthem for my life and He would bring it to pass (that just means it will happen). I had no real previous experience with this Bible verse. I had read it before, but that was about it.

So, for the past week I have been reminded of that time and what God said and it gave me reason to flood my hearts Joy and stir all in me that makes me content and warm and comfortable with me and God. For just like He promised back then, it has come to pass four fold or more. I would never dream how He could do something so sweet. The words to describe it are only lip service for it cannot be described…but that’s how all the best experiences with God are…personal and indescribable. It’s like trying to explain the taste of carbonation to someone who has never had it before ever. Not possible.

Would you like to know what the scripture is?

“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.” Philippians 4:8

 

I’m talking about my Jesus. He has the power to take anything you go through and use it to birth a song in your heart that maybe only you and the Lord understand, but it will stir you and fill you and sustain you and push you to the place in His Arms He desires you to be. I am so grateful for my Savior. Over the last 20 years I have been through many and varied trials, but God has taught me this; that through it all, I can trust in Him and never lose my smile. You can have exuberant Joy, happiness of soul and contentment in the Lord no matter what is happening in your world right now. You do not have to feel anxious, warn, discouraged, tired or restless. If there are other things you are feeling, you don’t have to stay there either, if it’s anything short of a positive outlook, an optimism for the ridiculously amazing to happen in you and for you. God’s got it all and He has got you, too.

I am so thrilled for every lady at my church who went and received at retreat. I don’t know where you live or if you attend church. I don’t know if the women’s ministry has already had their retreat for the year or maybe your church is small and they don’t have retreats at all. That’s ok, but if they do, you should mark your calendar and venture out and see what the Lord would have for you. It is a time to get alone with God and meet new people. I truly believe God is the greatest at socializing and connecting people that He wants to connect. He will connect you with just the right people for you. Don’t be afraid, reach out, dig in, receive and watch God bless you beyond measure. He adores you!

And thank you to my special friend who coerced me to go to her retreat (because I know she reads my blogs and we giggle together at where the Lord has brought our friendship through the watering of it at these events). And I am thankful I got to hear the ladies share last night, who stoked the fire once again of all that is within me that is bright that began on that very night I have described.

God is good. God is faithful. I am completely captivated by how extravagant and extraordinary intimacy of heart with him can be. I want to shout to the world how in love I am with Him so they would taste and see and agree…God is good.

Life is never about what happens to you, but always about what happens within you. Phil. 4:8

Much love and blessings…

Nicole

October 2, 2014

Devotion: Those Are Your Shoes!

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:20 pm by Broken & Brave

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”

1Corinthians 9:24

Last Saturday my husband and I cheered my son on as he ran at a very large cross country meet here in Northern California. It’s the first meet my husband has been able to attend. As my son came around the bend, my husband’s large booming voice echoed down the green encouraging our oldest boy. As soon as my son heard His Dad calling out to him, his quickened his cadence and took greater strides. I know my son likes it when I cheer for him, but this was different, it was Dad. There is something magical about the affirmation of a Father. Not everyone has a Dad, but yes they do! God can be that incredible Father figure to you. Something I know God has equipped me to do is stand on the side lines of other people’s lives and encourage them on as they run their race. We don’t always know what we are capable of doing, until someone else speaks it over us. I hope I can do this for you, too. Perhaps the following exhortation will fuel your soul.

Life…it’s a marvelous journey and it is your God given path. Your body, the vehicle for your soul. You have your own road and God hand carved it for you. Some spots are paved smooth others are coarse dirt, but He hand designed your shoes. There is no one else like you. You know the trail, you know how to hold the lead position. You are not distracted or intimidated by the obstacles for you have the heart of a warrior, the strength of a lion, yet the tenderness of a child. There’s no one else like you…that’s why God hand picked you and gifted you to do everything you do! Originality through and through. ~Nicole