June 13, 2017

The Midas Touch

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

Broken & Brave

“King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.” 1 Kings 10:23-24

Notice in this passage that the people came to hear his wisdom, not to see his riches. Any man can develop wealth, but a wise man develops wealth in all areas of life…be it finance, relationships, resources, etc. A wise person can adequately asses situations, discern motives and make good choices. When you pray to God, it’s ok to ask him to bless your business or pocketbook, but he will discern the motive of your heart. If it is pure and trustworthy-he will bless you in his time. But the greater prayer is to ask for wisdom, discernment and knowledge-for with these you receive the greatest wealth of all.

May the Lord prosper you-heart…

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June 12, 2017

Lady In Waiting

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:21 am by Broken & Brave

Love is patient, kind and all things sincere…
Sharing a piece I wrote more than a year ago.

Broken & Brave

“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13

Love is patient and kind. It looks out for others. It thinks of itself less and others more. Love is gentle and quiet yet possesses all the roar of a lion or the fiercest ocean at storm. Love does not compromise and it is pristine. Love is all things classy.

Esther, Ruth, Mary the mother of Jesus, three women who I imagine knew how to keep it classy as they loved beyond their capacity to understand. They did it for the good of their common man. They lived a life worthy of esteem to be an example of Proverbs 31 woman kind of living.

Class is elegant. It is a disposition that maintains a posture of peace and position. It is regal in its own sort of way. It understands the beauty…

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June 11, 2017

Under Warranty

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:09 pm by Broken & Brave

Broken & Brave

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.”
Psalm 136:1

We live in a world that puts a lot of emphasis on status. We identify ourselves by titles, accomplishments, monetary gain and recognition.

So where does that leave me when my entire life I am not particularly motivated by any of these things?

When I was younger it left me a bit apathetic. I “did”, because I was expected to and wanted to please my parents, please my teachers and have the satisfaction of knowing I tried.  However, I was not monetarily, socially or academically motivated to climb any sort of ladders. I began wondering what the point was anyway?

This is where God reached in and some beautiful things began to sink in. I learned my Purpose and it gave me a reason and motivation to fulfill God’s Dreams for my life. Now THIS…

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June 9, 2017

Ironclad (condensed)

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 6:32 am by Broken & Brave

The following blog post is a cut and paste from a post I wrote several years ago entitled, Ironclad. God bless His intent for me to share old material this morning…Have a Glorious kind of Day.

Have you ever had a large project you procrastinated on? I have. Take organizing a closet for example. To really do a good job you have to pull absolutely everything out, sort by category of item, things to be kept, things to be tossed. When the organizing has been done it is fresh, clean, and you can easily discern and find what you need when you need it. However, you pretty much have to pull everything out first in order to put it back right. That’s the part I dislike. Especially because most projects I begin cannot be completed start to finish in one sitting because I am a Mom and all Mom’s know that completing a project around the house is like gold!

Now, let me apply this concept to your soul, the condition of your heart, your thought life, your family life, your relationships-the close ones. Relationships can be messy. Our minds and hearts can be full of clutter as well. God is very interested in cleaning house. He wants to clean our house because he loves us and cares for us deeply.

Let us say you and a friend are in a large room together and you are packing. There are boxes everywhere stacked high to the ceiling. Let’s go further…let’s say your friend is foreign and has a very thick accent so you usually have to watch their mouth while they speak to help you understand what they are saying. Now, you are together packing boxes and your friend speaks to you, but you can’t really see them because of all the clutter in the room. You are trying to listen and understand what they are telling you but it is hard because you can’t see them past all the boxes to watch their words. Together, you move all of the boxes out of the room and you stand there once again, just you two with no boxes blocking your view. You understand then perfectly because the room has been cleared out and there is nothing obstructing your proximity or view of each other. Kind of an odd analogy but I hope it helps you understand that this is how our connection with God is.

If we have a bunch of “stuff” cluttering up our heart, our thoughts our sprits, even if we are doing our best to work on hearing him, it is a challenge because just like those boxes, we have things in the way. God is good and gentle and kind and He reveals those cluttering items to us as we can handle the job of clearing them out. Sometimes it requires change and choices that aren’t popular with friends or loved ones. This usually doesn’t go over well and there is a bit of a growing season or stretching season. We learn a lot about ourselves and others in this season. If we hem ourselves into God and pursue Him with our whole heart and a pure motive, He takes care of it, but sometimes, almost all the time, it gets a little messy first.

In the process of cleaning our house we experience a humbling of sorts. When God humbles there is no shame. If it were shameful it would be not of God but condemnation. God’s humility is cloaked with love and encouragement. God has Belief, that you can do more, be more, have more. God is always interested in our having more. He wants to build up the walls of your heart, protecting and guarding it, making it ironclad. He wants to do the same with your relationships.

When we seek after God with all of our heart, mind and soul the reward is limitless. The Peace and Joy Divine, the Serenity of Spirit and sweet song of the heart are indescribable. It’s what makes those who have tasted of it dig deeper for more of God. God is always a gentleman, for he does not invoke his prejudice or force his love upon any one.

I have witnessed over the coarse of my life that not all desire to know God or believe in Him, but I have also witnessed that those who do know and love God do not all desire to know him to the same degree.

To know God on ever deepening levels requires sacrifice and the level of sacrifice or “cost” so to speak, is different for everyone. The more you are willing to risk for His intimacy of heart the more you receive of it. (Luke 11:-13)

“Jehovah is near to those that are of a broken heart, and saves them that are contrite in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18

God is betrothed to the broken hearted. If you study all through the scriptures, anything great that God accomplished through a man or woman, the man or woman became broken. For when we are broken of our will and heart then God repairs it to reflect his Glorious image, bringing himself all the Glory and we truly care for the things that break his heart on a level that we could never achieve on our own. This makes it supernatural and spectacular.

How we handle our broken heart is what makes all of the difference. Everyone knows heartache and heartbreak, but some choose to be the Victor while others choose to be a Victim. Some choose to Overcome while others were overcome. Some still, determine they are to be the Winner (in the best regard) while others become the Whiner. Victor/Victim, Overcomer/overcame, Winner/Whiner. The choice is ours.

Choose the high road of the Overcomer, the Victor, The Champion who Overcame and was used to represent the Lords good Name.

Allow God to come in and clear some clutter, organize the house, and make clean cuts while mending and bandaging where needed. God is building His House and selecting His team to go out and help others who alone cannot do it alone or don’t know of this Great God we serve. Be patient and remember that any team and person is only as strong as the weakest link. Don’t be the weak link! God is your Champion of Heart and will surround you with Champions like-minded to you!

Overcome by the Blood of the Risen One.

~Nicole

“You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words, which I instruct to you this day, shall be in your heart. And you shall explain them to your sons. And you shall meditate upon them sitting in your house, and walking on a journey, when lying down and when rising up. And you shall bind them like a sign on your hand, and they shall be placed and shall move between your eyes. And you shall write them at he threshold and on the doors of your house. And when the Lord your God will have led you into the land, about which he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and when he will have given to you great and excellent cities, which you did not build; houses full of goods, which you did not amass; cisterns, which you did not dig; vineyards and olive groves, which you did not plant; and when you will have eaten and been satisfied: take care diligently, lest you forget the Lord, who led you away from the land of Egypt, from the house of servitude. You shall fear the Lord your God, and you shall serve him alone, and you shall swear by his name.”

Deut. 6:5-14

June 7, 2017

A Day In The Life of a Risk Taker

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 7:24 am by Broken & Brave

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She was about 10 years old the first time she spoke of traveling a great distance and I could see the zeal in her eyes. Some young people we knew were going on mission trips to places like Mexico and Africa. She told me she wanted to go to Africa. She would persist with this request to go to Africa for many months, even years I would suggest. The difference was, my daughter didn’t want to go with a group or team. She just wanted me to arrange for her to go and then send her alone. She was dead serious…she wanted to do it herself. To this day she will laugh when I bring this up and remind me that back then, despite my explaining why, she had no understanding of why I wouldn’t do it.

Her thirst for adventure and world travel has only grown as she has. She’s been able to see much of the United States and last summer ventures up the coast and then into Canada, but until yesterday, international travel had eluded her. Guess who she traveled with? No one. Oh, don’t worry, she is in a program and will he retrieved from the airport and has a nice apartment waiting for her along with other interns in her program, once she arrives…but this is her adventure. She even told me in the morning yesterday she was kind of happy her friend backed out and decided to do study abroad in Progue instead. She explained that when you go with a friend you still have some comfort zone left. This way she is fully out of her comfort zone and the adventure is her journey alone. A more mature version of the little 10 year old plea to see the world shinning through brilliantly.

This blog isn’t just an ode to my daughter, but Honor to a miracle working God. She knew for more than a year she’d take a summer trip abroad. She wanted Ireland. Last summer God shut the door and told her heart no. She didn’t even apply for anything because she is so faithful to include the Lord in all of her decisions. She was raised by parents who live by faith and has lived our intense faith journey to the extreme with us. I am witnessing the fruit of it in my adult child. She has crazy lid lifting faith that has power to stretch the faith of the young and old. Inspiring young soul with a heart of gold. But this year she knew…it was time.

She applied back in January and made a deposit on the trip of a few hundred dollars. Here’s where the miracles begin. I had told her it has to be God’s trip. We would help as God directed, but HE was going to pay for it. She agreed. So, God being who He is and His preference for a grand entrance full of intrigue is how He did it. We didn’t have one dime for that trip until two weeks ago. So, literally, I would tell people she was going to Ireland for the summer. As it got close people would ask when she was leaving. Those who aren’t believers or have very weak faith I would reply, early June (knowing full well I had no clue, that was just the goal). But for more seasoned believers or to whom I was lead to share I would say, “We don’t know. We still need this many thousands of dollars to pay for it before we can even think of the outside expense of a plane ticket.” It was both humorous and difficult to witness the facial expressions we’d receive at that point. So much money with so few days seems…well…impossible.

Most people are natural doubters and cynics. But God doesn’t care about the systems and strategies of man. He does things His own way and we knew He had a plan.

Two weeks ago my daughter called me, pulled off the side of a road with brake issues on her car. I told her to hold tight and I’d be over. By the time I reached her she had gotten an email from her professor telling her he found a scholarship for her for her trip. It was several thousands of dollars. She had already found another scholarship, but she has to be enrolled in school to receive it. So she has no access to it until fall. This will help us in the future but for today not at all because you can’t reimburse what you don’t have. Anyway, little by little, over the final two week span money began coming in. My girl was getting excited. She had a Bible study group of fellow kids she had been testifying to. Leading up to the miracles they began to encourage her to open a go fund me account or go talk to “so and so”. In her heart she knew that wasn’t God’s plan, but she wasn’t sure. So she prayed and asked a God to tell her Mom in a dream or by her pen how to respond. She did not share any of this with me.

The following morning in my devotions the Lord spoke to me about my daughter. He talked about His design for this trip and assured me of her joy and pleasure in it, but then he said something so interesting and very direct. He specifically said,

“I am not interested in the strategies of man. I do things my own way.”

When I shared with my daughter I learned of her pressure and cares and her prayer and I realized God was specifically answering her question through me though I knew nothing of her prayer. Now, we are not critical of go fund me accounts and letters of appeal for support. God is unique and can do what He wants. But as for now, our family has done so much extreme faith living that isn’t His expectation for us. It seems a bit like a bar too low. We just pray, say very little to anyone actually, then we watch God talk to others and open doors and bring Favor without us having to say much of anything.

It’s a roller coaster I won’t pretend it’s easy. But who doesn’t love the thrill of a roller coaster? I’d much rather have the roller coaster than the merry go round.

Four days out from her trip. We are still a little short, but not much compared to what God had provided thus far. The program is pressing her to pay the balance so they can get her room and ride ready. Alex is peaceful but beyond stressed. I am sitting with her and encouraging her with how God’s got it and our stress isn’t going to change anything. We have to continually surrender everything. It’s His trip. She agreed and then within 3 minutes (this is no exaggeration!) she had two people contact her and tell her God told them to give her money for her trip. Another few people gave her late birthday gifts and decided to include some spending money for her trip. By dinner time Friday we had it. But we still had to purchase a plane ticket. We didn’t know what God was up to, but even though it looked ominous–less than 5 days out out from flying overseas. I can only imagine how costly! But I knew it was ok. I suggested to my husband we check my frequent flyer miles. We have used His for our kids more than once, but mine have never been touched. Maybe it would take the edge off the sting? That same day I was able to text my daughter who was in a meeting, surrounded by her young friends who had been witnessing her stoic and resolute faith for six months, that we were able to purchase her ticket with frequent flyer miles and so had enough to send her for free! All we had to pay was the taxes and a fee. She was going!

The morning of her departure she received another bump in her plans. We began to pray immediately what to do. It was a big enough bump that anyone could say, that’s it, it’s over, it’s delayed. But we all came in agreement that we proceed and she go ahead and leave. My daughter once again, had opportunity to share with one friend about our last minute trial.

This young person’s faith is growing leaps and bounds just by watching my daughter take risky steps of belief. Alex replied to him by saying, “I’m still getting on the plane.” Her friend was astonished yet enthused. He replied, “So this one will make it what, miracle number 5?” But my daughter’s response is what blesses me the most.
She said to him…

“My friend, this is just a day in the life of a McBride.”😉

Risky faith requires courage, belief, and an understanding that when all the systems of man say “whoa”, but God is saying “go”, you continue to go and attempt to move forward no matter what opposition besets you. It is in the perseverance and speaking as though the faith filled promise is complete, a done deal, long before anything happens in the natural. Most people step out, but then shrink back as soon as they face opposition or attack of the Enemy. God doesn’t work like that. He works through our obedience to complete what He has set us to do. If we keep walking, He keeps talking to the dynamics of your situation and changes the atmosphere and produces the desired outcome.

Because my daughter dared to believe for a lofty, out of reach and very expensive trip and did not waiver, she saw it come to pass. Most people would have been scared off by the lofty price tag. God accomplished deeper faith in her as we all agreed this is her first personal faith story to the extreme on her own, outside of her parents covering. I think it is a spiritual rite of passage for her. I have no doubt she went to a new level of authority in Kingdom business as an Ambassador of Christ.

All the delays and gloomy appearance did something else…

Remember I mentioned all her friends who watched and listened and made suggestions? These young people, each one, were raised by parents who take risky faith like my husband and I. Each had decided they didn’t want to live by faith because they saw how hard it was. They each desired security and predictability. A lesser blessing really. But God used Alex to stir their belief and desire to yield more fully to bigger thinking, bigger steps of faith and a deeper understanding of God’s exaggerated grace.

How about you? As a Believer are you really taking advantage of the authority you have? Do you understand that God is your Source for everything? There really is no security outside of Him. He is the Source of all things and He decides what He blesses and what He does not. So why not live bigger? Why not crave more? Why not take an adventure? All it takes is a yielded heart and a willingness to do as He directs you. But you’ve got to be in His Presence. You must linger at His feet and drink deeply of His love and goodness. You must fire your soul as He smelts it like gold. It’s a beautiful journey.

Dare to Believe…

~Nicole

June 6, 2017

Dip Into Greatness

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:21 am by Broken & Brave

There is a softness and joy of the heart that only my Maker can give. So thankful He has given so generously. His Abundance and Prosperity is all around and can be seen when we dare to dip our toe in His Greatness. His Majesty gets in you and you become Radiant, Joyful and full of Greatness, too. All because He loves you. ~Nicole

“Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with Joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.” Isaiah 60:5

June 5, 2017

Stealthy Faith

Posted in Devotional, true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:02 am by Broken & Brave

I’m sharing a devotion from John Piper today because it so exemplifies how my family is called to live. We are stealth. What I mean is we fly below the radar when it comes to advertising our prayers, needs, desires. We don’t generally go to people except our trusted inner circle or in select situations when God leads us to share…instead we go direct to the Source, Almighty Himself. Tomorrow I will share a perfect example of the miracles we have received in just the past two weeks, one after another, putting a ridiculous smile in my heart that once again declares, “But God! My God!” He alone can do the impossible and sometimes He likes to keep it on the down low. But the testimony is shouted out because He is worth singing about! My God!

Read on and come back tomorrow for my faith testimony. ~Nicole

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Dependable in the Mundane

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

One of the most powerful testimonies to the all-sufficiency of future grace is the “faith principle” that has governed the lives of so many missionaries, notably those of Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF).

Without condemning those who follow a different pattern, it has been the practice of those who follow in the steps of Hudson Taylor to move the hearts of people to give by talking to God and not people.

James H. Taylor, the great-grandson of the founder, explains how this faith in future grace, rooted in demonstrations of bygone grace, honors God.

We . . . begin from a position of faith. We believe God does exist. We have become convinced of this in a variety of ways, but all of us have experienced the grace of God in bringing us to know Himself through Jesus Christ and through rebirth by His Spirit. We believe we have good grounds of believing in Him through the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead: we believe that someone who said He would die and rise again, and did it, is credible in every other way. Therefore we are prepared to trust Him, not only for the eternal salvation of our souls, but also for the practical provision of our daily bread and financial support.

OMF publishes testimonies of God’s amazing faithfulness to demonstrate the glory of his all-supplying future grace. “We want to demonstrate that God can be trusted to do all that He says He will do, by sharing how He has provided for such mundane needs as plane tickets, meals, medical expenses, and the regular support of a whole group of Christian people for well over a hundred years.”

What OMF is devoted to is glorifying the dependability of God — in their message and in their method. Hudson Taylor put it this way: “There is a living God. He has spoken in the Bible. He means what He says and will do all that He has promised.”

Lives of faith are the great mirror of the dependability of God.

From Future Grace, page 189

June 4, 2017

Aroma Therapy

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:26 am by Broken & Brave

Years ago I wrote a rather lengthy blog piece about the orange blossom and its beautiful comparison to a fit and fruitful life. Our life gives aroma~does our lifestyle, our countenance, our disposition give off a flavorful atmosphere that can uplift and elevate the countenance and hearts of others? For several days now I continually feel the Spirit of my Heavenly Father penetrate my soul and my mind with a faint whisper….”orange blossom”. This morning I hear it again as I meditate on Him, think about Him, ask Him how I can use my heart, my pen to bless and honor him.

The following is an excerpt from my piece of work…orange blossom. I pray God speak to your heart by vehicle of the inspiration that drew from my pen. God produces a beautiful fragrance all His own. It’s simple. It’s lovely. Let it cause your soul to come alive….

“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35.36

It’s that joyous feeling when you know Peace in your heart and it whispers within you empathetically, “Everything is going to be alright.”

Chase after God and you will see that He is there to be found quickly. For all these days you have lived in despair, wondering why he left you there, you will realize He has been with you all the while…chasing after you. Do not despair. He is with you. What was once thought to be for harm has turned to good. He is preparing you for the great that is inside you to become out like a bloom in open air releasing a fragrance so sweet it is like that of the orange blossom.

An orange blossom is a rare treat for it is one of the only flowers that blooms plentifully and simultaneously with the fruit of the orange tree. Most flowers come first then the fruit, but not the orange blossom. In most all civilizations the orange blossom represents purity, chastity, and innocence…just how our hearts need to be.

Your life a Glorious Bloom. ~Nicole

June 3, 2017

Blessed Confidence💞

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:01 am by Broken & Brave

You are a great reason for God to get up in the morning. He’s got you on His mind all through the night and He never tires of proving how easy it really can become to trust in his love.

Everything you need to succeed at anything-whatever is in your heart to do-GOD has equipped you to get up and go! You’ve got this! His heart for you is to give you more.
Enjoy your day! ~Nicole

“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.”
Jeremiah 17:7

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June 1, 2017

Yielded

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 7:32 am by Broken & Brave

Yesterday was such a tough day for me. I yielded to my Savior in every way and I did something difficult and challenging for me. It went ok, but I really had to process some feelings and thoughts for a moment. I had to be transparent. For anyone, being vulnerable is a bit like being naked in public–not that I have any experience with that, lol, but anyone can imagine how that would feel. Of course, my Jesus knew how it felt….

Isn’t it so wonderful to be in a place where you can trust God with your heart and be transparent with your soul and bear it with others so that we can bear our own burdens a little better, but so that our burdens can bring consolation to the soul of another.

I think all around people are feeling alone. Alone with their hearts. Alone in their struggles. Alone in many decisions and reflections. God didn’t design humanity to be alone. That is why after creating Adam, came Eve. God saw it was not good for Adam to be alone.

(Genesis 1:27)

Gods purpose for companionship is not merely for reproduction and population of the earth.

God knows the Beauty of Friendship.

A friend can get you through the things that are hard for you. It’s like supplemental strength. When you plant a tree and it’s young it needs a stake right next to it, driven deep and tied to its side so it can withstand the elements and environment no matter how extreme.

God delights in friendship. This truth is evident all throughout His Word. He had Jonathan supporting and encouraging David then to be followed by his mighty men. Esther had an advocate in Hathach, Naomi had Ruth, Elijah had Elisha, Barak and Deborah made a great team and the Disciples of Christ had each other. The greatest friendship of all came when Christ sacrificed himself for you. He desired friendship with each person on the earth. He has reserved special friendship for you.

So be grateful for the gift of friendship. You may not have a lot of friends, but count yourself blessed if you have one friend who knows and sees your heart, your good, your not so good, and loves you the same anyway.  ~Nicole

The Lord will hear when you call…

“But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself Him who is godly; The Lord will hear when I call to Him.” Psalm 4:3

 

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