September 29, 2015

Breathless

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:46 am by Broken & Brave

“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:6

My Mother’s Mother will always remain one of my best and warmest childhood memories. I loved her and my Granddad very much. She passed when I was 18. She had emphysema-a disease caused by years of smoking that slowly destroys your lungs. So she was sick for some of my middle childhood years and all of my teen years and I watched her atrophy…slowly. She was a dinky woman to begin with, but to see her barely weigh 85 lbs was a painful sight. What started as shortness of breath on her traveling escapades with my Granddad became a tracheotomy in her throat and breathing so labored she could barely get any calories in her body. The more her pain increased the more mine did as well. It’s hard to watch a loved one suffer and not be able to do a thing. Thankful she is in a better place and I know I will see her again one day…on the other side.

When was the last time you sat and truly counted your blessings? Especially here in America, we take so much for granted. Things like running water, electricity that flows through our homes, indoor personal washing machines and a dryer to dry freshly cleansed garments. We can get from here to there in any number of mode of transportation and this includes our legs. When was the last time you thanked God for your legs? Your health? If your health is compromised it can come down to thanking him from each breath.

I’m not writing this morning to make you feel guilty for enjoying the conveniences and pleasures of life, but when we really sit and reflect…it is so very true…the best gifts have value we cannot pay and priceless are they and precious to the heart. I know God has blessed my entire life. But parts of my life did not include him to any great degree. So I am in a position to compare my life with Jesus and without. With Jesus I have had more obstacles and more set backs and such. But with Jesus has been my favorite part. For with Jesus I feel and know I am purposed for something, even if it’s only to be friends with my Heavenly Father. I love being friends with Him. He is my favorite. He holds my heart in the deep places nothing else can touch and I am such a heart person for me this is a truly big deal. It can’t really be explained. I know most don’t understand-for how can people understand something they’ve never experienced or relate to a path they have never travelled? We can’t expect them to.

When I was in graduate school I recall my life feeling like all had fallen perfectly in the places I had desired. Everything was as I dreamed…except one thing. I had left God out of all of my planning. I pursued many things, but not Abba God. But He still knew my name. He reached in my heart and touched my soul like nothing I had ever known. I would have moments of intense emptiness in the midst of what should’ve been my greatest joys. Thank God for the discernment He allowed so I could figure it almost immediately out. Even when I didn’t walk with him-I somehow instinctually knew His Voice.

Life with Jesus requires sacrifice. It is so much more than a chorus or being a responsible citizen or a good rule follower. It’s about being in the Love with the Creator and humbly serving with His heart in mind. He gave his life for mine and I do the same. Life has felt much more complete ever since…and believe you-me…I’ve got some miraculous and spine thrilling stories of how He cares, protects and provides.

His love has left me breathless in the most glorious of ways. Oh Ancient of Days…gave His last breath for me.

He cares for you to. When was the last time to sat and truly asked him to increase your gratitude? Asked Him to open your eyes to how He has lavished his love on you? Now could be a good time to include him in all your plans, not just the big ones or church related ones. I think you just might like the ride. He alone is a spectacular view. ~Nicole

Advertisements

September 23, 2015

Reproof Provided Love

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:58 am by Broken & Brave

“Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Proverb

“Open the eyes of my heart Lord.”
To see, to hear, to learn and grow. There’s love in discipline.
Beautiful is a heart that accepts reproof. When we realize sometimes we struggle not because we are being punished, but rather we are being loved. There is beauty in forgiveness, humility, meekness, gentleness and all the fruit of the spirit. ~Nicole

September 22, 2015

Measured

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:05 am by Broken & Brave

“The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way.” Psalm 25:9

Humility is such a difficult thing to speak about or write on, yet the Word of God clearly requires that we walk in it. The thing about humility is to be truly humble we must never truly know we are. For as soon as we dare believe we are humble…well, that wouldn’t be humble!

“Humility is so shy, as soon as you talk about it, it leaves.”
~Jimmy Pena

How do we teach humility, walk in humility and behave with humility while still never truly thinking ourselves humble? Good question!

This is why we can glean wisdom from the One who hung himself in great humility upon of tree all for the sake of loving you and me. As we seek to do all things for HIS benefit and HIS Namesake, we will find ourselves on a path that is merciful and true. Humility always comes before true honor and pride always comes before a fall. It is better to start at the bottom and rise up than to be at the top and fall down.

Below you can find a link to what the bible has to say about humility. Pray through them, searching the heart and inviting the Lord to examine it. It is not enough to measure our level of pride or humility by others around us or the barometer of the current day and age. No, we measure against the plump line. For who measures against something they have already surpassed? When you want to become better in any given area of life you must glean and grow from someone who is wiser, more experienced and successful in the said area. We don’t try to learn mastery from a novice, so is the same with our character. Charles Spurgeon says it well,

” Let us measure ourselves by our Master, and not by our fellow-servants, then pride will be impossible.”

Guard your hearts from pride of every kind. Being rich in good works and the ability to follow rules may be the correct recipe for haughtiness and arrogance. Education can be much the same. Maybe wealth or possessions are a source of pride for many. Pride can also be a camouflage for intense insecurity. Only God needs to know why pride gives rise in an individual, but the only way to get rid of it is to shun “it”, the spirit of pride. Take the word of God to heart and marinate in it. God has created you for more than where you are today. Walk in humble thoughts of yourself, exalting others higher and never thinking higher of ourself than we ought. You are hard wired to overcome. Remember, there is no condemnation for Gods people. You may not struggle with pride, but it is a dangerous place to begin to judge another for presumed pride. That in itself is arrogance.

Know that God’s thoughts toward you are grand. Nothing in this post is designed to make anyone feel condemned or accused. If you have struggled your way through this read then possibly God is highlighting an area of need. He loves you too much to let pride devour your blessings in life. Today is a great day to send pride away and grab hold of all that waits before you. The best is yet to come. ~Nicole

http://dailyverses.net/humility

September 15, 2015

Adorned

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:43 am by Broken & Brave

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
1 Peter 3:3-4

Do you not know how radiant you are? Do you not know that My Sparkle dances about your eyes? Have you not seen the Shine of My Glory upon the crown of your head? So Beautiful are you, My Beloved, that the only garment that can adequately cover, protect and truly represent you is My cloak of Love. Even so…you already possess a huge wardrobe of my Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Kindness. All of these you have desired greatly and I have lavished them upon you.

Wait and see, My Beloved…
Because you have desired the God of Heaven over anything on earth I will give you tangible blessings as well. Keep the Lord as the Apple of your eye and watch Father God swell with pride over how you adore Him. Like a proud stallion taking his lead, He will be your steed and take you anywhere you want to be…even the beach. Allow your heart to be completely tangled up in the Lord as the waves are to the Sea. He intends to show you meaningful and personal things that will enrapture your heart deeply, making it swell and sing. You will feel the soft hush of God’s whisper upon your cheek as you feel His Spirit speak to your heart, “Dear One, you are Magnificent and Beautiful and Graced with My Favor. You, Beloved, YOU belong to me. I will protect and bless you valiantly and abundantly.”

Rejoice this day in your God. It is a gift to unwrap and you are a gift to many.

This post is a word placed on my heart from the Lord.

~Nicole

September 11, 2015

The Higher Law

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:26 am by Broken & Brave

Love is the Perfect Law of Liberty, but cannot always be done “hands free”. There are probably a million and one ways to love a person. We can practice the fruit of the Spirit (patience, kindness, etc.), we can perform acts of service (do something helpful or meaningful), we can give gifts, and human touch is another act of love. I don’t necessarily mean romantic touch, but that counts, too. Im taking about touch. There is something significant about the human ability to thrive through adequate amounts of touch-especially as infants and children. Always be respectful, but kind jesters of greeting, a hand shake or a hug…all communicate love. We can love with our time…quality portions of it. Doesn’t have to be lengthy, just time invested. Our words that lift and speak love, affirmation, acceptance and praise also reflect the Fathers Love.

When we spread some love the world receives the possibility to become a Brighter and happier place. Let’s spread some quality cheer as we enter into the last leg of this year! ~Nicole

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
Romans 13:8

September 10, 2015

“God Confidence”

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:28 am by Broken & Brave

I was so thrilled to get to visit with a very dear long time friend of my family yesterday. She used to coach with my husband at the local University and had moved on to another job, as coaches are known to do. Her job took her all the way across the country so we don’t get to see her much, but have stayed in touch all these years. She’s been gone a very long time. I love friends that have known you forever…something special in that.

We all stood together in my husbands office, he had to go take care of some work and so she and I were there alone. She began to first congratulate me on my competition efforts in figure competitions (bodybuilding) and proceeded to ask me questions. No judgement just curiosity. Then, with a golden smile across her face she proclaimed, “I still can’t really believe you do that.” A smile crossed my face as well…sometimes I still can’t believe it either.

This woman has known me a lot of years. She saw me have babies and took pictures of my oldest in the weight room with her team. She knows my heart, my personality and who I am. She said, “it’s so girly.” I smiled again in agreement. Anyone who knows me well knows I’m not truly all that girly at all. Nothing wrong with being girly…just not my mantra really. She knows my nature, not showy or in need of the spotlight. I don’t get motivated by trophies, it’s just a thing I have to find a place to store. Never been one to crave any of that. In fact, I generally have preferred to avoid it.

Here is what she doesn’t know despite knowing me well. A lot of years passed from the time we last lived in the same part of the world (like 15 years!) and God did a lot to create in me His Confidence and His boldness. When He effectively reconstructs a damaged soul (and every soul has been damaged by the world don’t you know) and places His worth inside a girl who didn’t know her worth and gave her the intrinsic value of His Worth in great proportion…cool things can happen under Divine Directive. It didn’t make me self confident, but it did touch my heart and build in me HIS confidence! There is a world of difference between the two.

Self confidence relies on “self”, but God confidence is all confidence in God and the belief that if you do what He asks you to do and go where He asks you to go and say what He asks you to say, He is there with you making his way manifest. God confidence.

So when God tugged on my heart to focus my purpose toward bodybuilding I agreed despite any fear or discomfort. He unraveled my caution and cloaked me in Grace and I saw that on a personal level the challenge to compete against myself and see what I could do inspired me to see how strong I could be. But when I look around I see an entire captive audience of men and women in need of a Savior…ministry. But don’t get hung up on that word ministry. To me all that means is new people to meet and love on and encourage and empower just as Jesus would have done. Pretty cool I think!

So, look around, where has God planted you? You are rooted in him and when he sees how far you’ve come it makes Him grin. If you could only see how far he has brought me you’d agree! With God all things become possible and when it does He just may ask us to do the improbable because He knows there is much work to be done.

Be extraordinary because you are hand crafted from the extraordinary to live an Abundant life in Christ.

~Nicole

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25

September 9, 2015

Charming Gardener

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:28 am by Broken & Brave

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~Marcel Proust

When I see a beautiful garden I often think of all the work that went into planting it and keeping it weed free. People are much the same as a garden. Healthy, secure and strong relationships require much tenderness, love and care. People must be nurtured just like a garden.

Your heart is a garden to house your soul…just like a green house full of moisture and beautiful foliage is a heart fully yielded to the Master Gardener. He loves you -heart and soul- and would never do anything to hurt you. It matters not the adversity you’ve known in life, whether great or small, He was there with you through it all because of his great love for you. The Banner over you is Abiding and Loyal Love. Bask in His Goodness today. ~Nicole

September 7, 2015

Nothing But The Blood

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:52 am by Broken & Brave

There is an old hymn that goes, “What can wash my sin away? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh precious is the flow that can make me white as snow. No other fountain I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

I was raised Baptist by parents who never went to church as kids, but met Jesus in a radical way as adults. I have full gospel spiritual gifts since childhood that eventually lead my heart to a Pentecostal church. I am called of God to the Protestant community, but I am also emersed in the Catholic community with work, friendships and my children’s eduction. I love them all!

Jesus came without a denomination outside of being Jewish and He preached without one…you get the idea.

We are unified by the Love and the Atoning Grace of the Son to be ONE. I always tell people that as the Body of Christ we focus on what we have in common- saving Grace-and we can agree to disagree if need be on lesser things. After all, we are all in error in our well meaning theology to a degree. I think we will all get to heaven and have an aha moment where we are taught by Jesus himself and say outloud in unison, “Oh, is that what you meant?!”

God loved you enough to die for you. Don’t sweat the small stuff because God died for all of them as well. When we exalt the Lord, not a method of teaching, everything will be alright! Ask God today to continually purify your filter for a religious mindset. God wants you completely free! I think there are things all individuals do that may have a bit of a religious feel. We aren’t always aware of the mind sets that need to be re calibrated. You don’t even have to be a “churchy” individual to be religious. Growing up in church I so loved God deep. I could feel that connection with his Diety. I knew I had innate deep loyalty to Him. I wasn’t turned off by church, but wasn’t turns on by it either.
I just sort of looked around (from my heart) and thought quietly to myself…”I somehow think what Jesus meant looks a little different from this. I think there is more to being a Chrisitan than belief and good behavior.”

I’m not entirely sure who this post is for, but I know the the Lord will use it and He cares about your heart. He’s got me up at O’Dark Hundred to write it!

Be blessed in the Lord and the Glorious Might of his Power. He longs to lavish and shower you with His Goodness…full of Purity from overly religious things…He just wants to be buddies!

~Nicole

September 6, 2015

Revelation

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:40 am by Broken & Brave

“When God breaks through in power, we must follow through in process, in transition.” -Graham Cooke

When God brings revelation to our heart and speaks a promise from heaven within us…He must first begin with a revolution in us. Once the revelation is made and we step fully forward by faith into the new dimension required for the promise to come to pass, then and only then can the Promise be made manifest through us and for us.

Sometimes the pressing forward is difficult. We cling a little to the old for fear of being without it because we’ve been there so long and it’s comfortable. But when God calls your heart and says I am doing a new thing in you and for you because I want to use you…it is imperative to release and move forward. Whatever it is God is calling you to, have courage and know He moves before you making a way where you haven’t been or cannot see. He’s got your best and promises to bless. You can trust Him 100 percent. Keep moving forward. Release. Receive. He’s a good, good God and He wants to give you good things. ~Nicole

September 3, 2015

Outrageous Love

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:27 am by Broken & Brave

Social graces can be contagious when you are consistently and persistently outrageous in your acceptance of others.

One of the things that makes a touch from God dazzling bright is His ability to lift people out of their storms of life, take a spirit that is broken and contrite and ignite it with His eternal flame. But what does that mean? It means God loves to rescue. People everywhere are trying to fill their hearts, their lives, their homes, their bellies, their wallets but non of it can make them content. When you reach out and receive from God you step into a position of peace that can untangle anything, sort it out and put you on higher ground. God is so good at changing us from the inside out, planting us in families, placing us in his community and pouring out His healing ointment from HIS alabaster jar (read Matthew 26).

With God, there are no outcasts, only abiding love from an Almighty God that can sustain you with contented peace that flows from head to toe and fills your every hearts need. Give him a try, He is everything! ~Nicole

3 “Take counsel, execute judgment;
Make your shadow like the night in the middle of the day;
Hide the outcasts,
Do not betray him who escapes.” Isaiah 16:3

Next page