August 25, 2017

Red Fern🍂

Posted in Devotional, Prayer of blessing, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:47 am by Broken & Brave

 

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“How fast does a red fern grow?”

These are the words I would hear in the quiet of the night.

The first time I heard this question, in my spirit, was February 14, 2001…Valentine’s day. I find this so unique because as I reflect back upon it now…I realize it was in the beginning of a new season of soul for me. The Holy Spirit was beginning to “court me”.

For me, the girl who doesn’t really impress by canned holidays like V-Day…I still love the irony of it all.  God know my heart so well.

It’s the attention to detail I love.

After this experience on Valentine’s Day, I didn’t hear anything of it for another six months. “How fast does a red fern grow?” I would hear it again while performing the mindless little tasks of the day.

“How fast does a red fern grow?”

“Lord, you have asked me this before” as I recalled to myself, but enough time had lapsed that I had forgotten all about the puzzling question. Then, I heard this question over and over at random points of time over an approximate 18 month period. I would hear the question run through my mind, but then nothing, no additional comments came with it. The whole thing got me curious and more than just a little perplexed. I never bothered doing any research on the plant. I would only reply in prayer, “I don’t know, how fast?” I will be honest, I would also wonder why this was important and what it had to do with me. However, I am sharp enough to know that if the Lord was whispering it, it was for a purpose and it had complete relevance in my life. Then it came…the question once again, asked in the same manner it had been asked every time before, “Nicole, how fast does a red fern grow?” Only this time I heard more. You better believe, when the Lord whispers something perplexing into the stillness of your heart and then permits it to linger there for a time, you pay attention when it arises again. I quickly got my journal and pen…

“How fast does a red fern grow…as fast as I tell it to.”

You’re probably thinking, “That’s it?” I know I was. Then, came more…

A red fern is a unique, flowering plant that only grows in the deepest, darkest portion of the forest. Even though it receives minimal sunlight, it manages to get ample ultraviolet rays and nutrients. This plant is unique in nature and rarely found by man. This plant is special. All of these words flooded my heart and flowed through my pen. I was bewildered, inspired, aroused and amused all at the same time. I knew nothing of this red fern, so how was it that I “just knew” all of these facts? Were they actual facts at all?

At this point, I was definitely curious enough to do a little research. What I found was that everything I had written in my journal was absolutely true! John and I even found a photo of the red fern that was taken at Volcano House National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii in May of 1999. This is significant because the red fern was thought to not actually exist. John and I found a forum of botanists who discussed the fern and learned that there were purple ferns and autumn ferns, but no red fern, or so many thought. The fact is, the red fern is so rare and the color shows bright, but only under the perfect conditions, so the chances of capturing it by the human eye (or camera) are small.

This entire process, of hearing the Lord, receiving the insight and then finding the research was from 2/14/01-4/10/02. It was a season of my life where I was growing in my relationship with God by leaps and bounds through trial and dark things and much pain. But my God gives beauty for ashes and this was some amazing fruit showing itself in the form of spiritual gift of Knowledge. I was more than happy for all I had endured to receive such a unique and specific gift.

I do not write of the red fern to tell you of my journey to hearing God’s voice, though I believe it is important for you to know because I am asking you to trust me to encourage you. You are reading this and therefore you are giving me your time and attention and that is valuable. So, it is important you understand my experiences in hearing the Lord, not just my credibility to love and encourage your heart as I know you can see is true. I want to impart Pure Exhortation to you. Pure exhortation that first and foremost comes from the inspired Word of God and secondly comes from the Wonderful Counselor he has placed inside me.

I know God was more interested in using this fern to enlighten my heart toward Him, His Voice, His Guidance and Wisdom. He knew I had read the book as a child about the red fern and so it would strike a chord with me. He also knew I hadn’t thought of a red fern one single time since fifth grade. He knew this would stir me…stir me deep.

Me being one for analogies I immediately become contagious with them in this story.

Did you know you are like this fern that turns red? You are! Allow me to show you how.

This plant is rare, unique, SPECIAL…just as you are. The Lord knit you together in your mothers womb (Psalm 119). It was not by accident or happenstance that you should exist on this planet. You were designed with purpose on purpose. Every experience of life, both the good and the bad, are allowed and are used to shape you and develop you to grow, to shine, to add color to this world.

You are special.

You are Vibrant.

God made you and if you are in darkness, he will find you. He already has found you. He found you in all of your darkness and wants to rescue you from this pit. Whatever your pit may be. Your darkness may be any number of things, you know what it is and you are probably thinking of it right now. He wants to rescue you, like a Knight in Shining armor (men need that too you know!).

Despite a lack of light, he wants to nourish you, even in the dark place, heal you, love you and he wants to watch you grow. All gardeners love to see their botanical gardens flourish and grow!

Fix your eyes on him, Beloved, fix your eyes on him. Allow the Maker of Heaven and Earth be like ultraviolet rays upon your wilted leaves and petals bringing out your luster and unique color. He will be like a heavy moisture, just like the damp soil of the tropical rain forest. As the moisture increases, so does the shine of your leaves…your heart…your thoughts. Your countenance becomes radiant.

The leaves of the red fern will lean toward the soil around it that contains the most moisture.

Lean into Him today, he wants to soften that thing that has made you hard.

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, leaning not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your path straight”

Proverbs 3:5-6

He wants to bandage that ache and pain that has plagued you. He wants to erase and change the perspective of that hurt that stung so deep as a child. He wants to raise you up and showcase you just like the Red Fern.

He sees the past, the present and the future. He has created all things and knows all things. Let him create a new heart in you. He is full of Hope for you. He wants His Hope to shine in you and through you…for there are still countless others out there who have no Hope at all.

I BELIEVE IN YOU!

Shine true, Shine bright, SHINE ON in everything you say and do! His thoughts are upon you and so are mine.

Blessings, Nicole

“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” Numbers 6:24

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August 6, 2017

Living Water

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 7:45 am by Broken & Brave

We live in a day of skepticism. It’s an unfortunate truth that most people have been burned, betrayed or abandoned a time or two. It’s ok, it’s happened to all of us. We live in a fallen world that has true and lasting hope in a Savior who never abandons the Hope that lends the rope of Grace and lassos us into redemption.

Because people are growing more and more cautious and calloused to the world at large, we see an ever emerging distance from the Church and organized religion. People want more and more to see, feel, Believe but are afraid. I think this is one reason why Prophetic Evangelism is so powerful and effective in this day and age. When the Holy Spirit reveals information the evangelist or person with the word would otherwise have no way of knowing it pierces the soul. It grabs the attention of the person the word is meant for. It brings a deep well of Living Water that drenches the soul and plants seeds deep into a heart that may have been growing cold. The attention is grabbed and the heart attentive, then the Lord can follow up the word given with nourishment of Biblical truth and the person is open and ready…willing to receive. Their capacity to receive has just been expanded. But this is a work only the Holy Spirit can do. He uses the prophet to speak the knowledge in obedience, but he also works on the heart and mind of the recipient. It truly is a ministry only the Holy Spirit can get credit for. And it is absolutely Radiant.

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“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

The story of the woman at the well in John 4 is a captivating story of a broken and dysfunctional life that regained healthy insight as a result of prophetic evangelism. I have zero doubt the woman at the well worshipped God in Spirit and Truth and then she ran back to town to tell everyone what Jesus could do. We have no way of knowing how Belief in Jesus spread because she was filled and shared what happened to her. It undoubtedly drew people in and His followers grew. Jesus wasn’t concerned about the number of His followers. He kept his gaze on the main thing…touching lives. He relied on the Living Water His Heavenly Father supplied and the rest is history.

Despite scandal, gossip, persecution, rejection and abuse, Jesus went down in history as one of the most read about and studied men in history. He was the tip of the spear and was pierced for our imperfection and became our holy redemption. His ministry grew and it continues to grow today.

He still rolls stones.
He can still shake the grave.
He can walk on water and save you by Grace.
He loves.
He lives.
And it is His heart’s desire to give you rest for your weariness, quenching for your thirst, and comfort for your longing.
He’s a soul saver and life change. Talk about the ultimate Difference Maker.

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
John 7:38

A prophetic word is like fresh water. Water will always quench–but pure, clean and fresh water satisfies thirst and nourishes like no other consumable liquid. No one wants to drink stagnant water. They want fresh. Don’t grab for just anything, be particular about what you receive. As mature Believers we check the Spirit, but we are open and ready for the right word in the right season.

God is right beside you making rivers of refreshment…streams in your dessert…and Beauty with your Ashes. He understands everything you are going through. Allow His Prophetic touch to minister and heal you. He’s got you.

~Nicole

We will always see what we are looking for. If you are looking for trouble…you shall find it. If you are looking for flaws or weakness…you shall find that, too. If you are looking for beauty…there it is, waiting for you.
Beauty truly is in the eye of the Beholder. -Nicole

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spiritand in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”
John 4:23

July 8, 2017

Bold Strength

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:34 am by Broken & Brave

If you don’t have strength it’s because you don’t need it. As the demands of the day require it- you gain it. You are not alone. God always comes on the scene like a freight train. He carries your relief and delivers what you need.

He comes on the scene like a fighter pilot who has surveyed the terrain ahead.

He comes on the scene like a steam ship towing your hope and keeping you afloat. He comes like a tidal wave and washes endless possibilities and love over you.

He comes like a hurricane with torrential rains that use pressure to wash away every ounce of debris, pain and suffering. He holds the master set of keys to everything and He is the anchor that holds anything He wants to hold.

So be bold with your life because He is caring for your life. Celebrate your weaknesses–when you are humble, you are Powerful! ~Nicole

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses; so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Cor. 12:9

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July 1, 2017

The Wonder of Woman

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 10:51 pm by Broken & Brave

“She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.”
Proverbs 31:19

In the Book of Proverbs 31 we find the blue print for God’s kind of Wonder Woman. The woman of strength God is after is not only unafraid to get dirt under her fingernails and get busy with her work, she is resourceful. In modern times women don’t use a spindle or distaff. We don’t spin our own wool into garments. But we are all weavers. We are hemming and sewing and capable of creating panels that attach each area of life, each duty, and each relationship to each other. We hold things together and if we do it right, we make everything around us better because we added value, luster and created a Shine.

We live in a day and age where the modern day heroine is considered to be “boss” or more poplar right now “badass”. Women are incredibly unique. We possess so many attributes of resilience and strength. I applaud the tenacious female who works hard, isn’t afraid of the struggle and possesses a deep passion and grit to get after it, whatever her “it” is. But let us not forget some of our greatest virtues. We possess incredible softness and femininity. There is true strength in gentleness. We possess the roar of the lioness and we must use our roar to applaud the victories and champion the hopes, dreams and aspirations of others. We hem people together, inspiring them to live, love and work together as a unified community. We encourage. We nurture. Then we do it all without gloating. We know the true source of our strength and our hope. We create. We conquer-both our fears and our goals. We are the serene voice of empowerment to men, giving them the supplemental Strength they need to believe they can do anything.

There is something lovely, strong, yet gentle about God’s woman of honor. It is our honor, ladies, to pursue her daily.

Champion of Virtue…
I believe in you.

~Nicole

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