October 10, 2017

Succor

Posted in true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:36 am by Broken & Brave

A centered and balanced life cannot be ruled by feelings or emotion…but it cannot be void of them either. Healthy living requires a proper balance between, intellect and emotion. For have I not love…I am only a clanging symbol. And may I offer it to those around me without condition.

1 Corinthians 13:1-7

” 13 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,[a] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

When the Love and Grace of the Heavenly Father has been thoroughly worked in us it brings personal forgiveness, restoration and healing, but it does so much more. It also works itself through us so we can be those things to the world around us. We will have a flavor about us those around us can’t quite understand. People will try to assimilate and accommodate your commitment to love the human race into some category of thinking familiar to them or the world, but they won’t quite be able to put their finger on it. The pulse…so evident as it pounds the flesh and revives the heart and refreshes the Spirit, yet difficult to detect and circumvent.

What is this Love? What is this Grace? What is this marvelous novelty so foreign to the human race?

Mercy…

For to love and walk steadfastly in Grace and Love and Forgiveness is also to abide wholeheartedly in the paths of Mercy. Without love and grace there is no mercy, but it is also very true that if there is no mercy than there was-most likely-never any love or grace to begin with.

In the Old Testament we learn and study about the Law and the atonement that was made by sacrifice in the Temple. Every sin requires sacrifice. The Ark of the Covenant had an ornately designed carving of gold resting upon it…

The Mercy Seat.

Christ came as Mercy Himself and sat upon a Seat…


Hosea 6:6 (NIV)
6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

“But go and learn what this means: ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:13 (NASB)

Jesus was a man like non other. He walked the earth as a man, took the form of a man, but all of nature was at his command. He spoke and all of eternity, laws of nature and anatomy followed his lead. Everything yielded to him.

The Succor of the Lord is like nothing you’ve ever experienced, felt or seen. So many miss the mark of the tangible blessings available in God because of a faulty experience with religion. Christ came to Seat himself on the seat of mercy once and for all, one Atonement. One Sacrifice.

So, what exactly is succor?

Succor:

1. Assistance in time of distress; relief.
2. One that affords assistance or relief:

Who was Jesus?

He was a nobody by earthen standards. A common carpenter of illegitimate birth. He had the mark of scandal all about him. Yet, there was something so marvelous about this man. People drew in large crowds just to be around him. I imagine they could feel the weight of their burdens lessen in his marvelous presence. In fact, is it possible it was the supernatural weightlessness he carried into every situation that was the real attraction? He was common through and through-yet there was something enormously uncommon and enticing about this Hebrew.

What does Mercy look like? Could you feel it in his eyes as he held you in his gaze? What did the light in his eye have to say? Was his look so soft, yet possessing the power to cut to the heart and soul and make you feel his presence to the core? What kind of man was he?

I’ll tell you, my friends, he was as kind of a human as ever could be. So enormously kind he hung himself on a tree to rescue humanity.

Mercy…

Without mercy there is no place for grace and forgiveness. There is a bond, a thread that strings all three securely in place in the heart of a believer. There must be all three-in balance- if we are to successfully live as Jesus did as a Watchman of Compassion.

Look around. Grace, Love, Forgiveness and Mercy are what bring a heart to unfold and uncoil all the deep pain compressed inside. It begins to undo us and melt us and reform us as it binds every place in the soul life has torn us.

So many miss this love…this grace…because they’ve never seen it in place and fail to understand what a gift it truly is.
Some understand the gift, but try to place a cost on it. It seems far to valuable a commodity to be able to pay. But you don’t have to…

Love payed the Way.

God has absolute remission for your every stain, blemish or sin. His greatest miracles in your life just may be waiting to begin. Step into His Grace. Step into his Love. Allow it to wrap you like a glove as you sink more deeply into His Compassion…His deep Love.

His Mercy for you has no end. His Succor is the garment of a most faithful friend. Wrap yourself up in His Arms today. He’s got a grip that can hold forever.

The Lord has a pocket full of Goodness, Mercy and Strength tucked in His heart for you.
Release the old, embrace the new.
Heaven has Bountiful Mercy for you.

~Nicole

“… so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:28

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June 14, 2017

Real Power

Posted in Devotional, true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 7:16 am by Broken & Brave

The woman entered her car, only to find herself at gunpoint. The end of the gun had a man preparing to rape her. She pleaded with the man not to do this horrible thing. He cursed her and told her to shut up. She continued to plead with him telling him God loved him and would forgive him. He told her if she wasn’t quiet when he was finished he’d cut her into little pieces. She then, calmly looked the man in the eyes and said, “Then every piece of me will love you and forgive you.” The man sat back, bewildered by her statement. Then he released her and fled from her car. Neither raping her nor harming her at all.

This is a true story I heard many years ago from the woman’s perspective. It pierced me to the core. Could I love someone like that? I felt God challenge me to pursue that kind of grace. That’s how it is with God’s love. When we choose to love those we should hate, it has the power to heal brokenness, bind wounds and deliver the broken hearted. Though this story and extreme, but true, example… Imagine what the power to forgive can do.

Isaiah 62:10

That’s how it is with God’s Love….that’s what real power look like. -Nicole

October 28, 2013

T-Shirts, Tears and the Kitchen Sink

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 3:24 am by Broken & Brave

My kids are awesome. I am blessed beyond measure by my Tiny Treasures. The fullness of capacity they fill in my heart and life humbles me. I know without doubt my children are my greatest area of blessing and how they are turning out as they grow takes my breath away. Amazing little champions that are;  Big Champions of Faith locked inside very young bodies.

Yesterday was Sunday, and like other Sundays, our family headed to church in the morning. I always remind my middle-school aged boys that they need to be clean, hair combed, teeth brushed and wearing presentable clothing.  They do well with this, most of the time, but occasionally they slip out of the house without my noticing what they have on. Yesterday was such a day.

We arrived at the church parking lot and were getting out of the car when I noticed one of my boys was wearing jeans (fine with that) but he had on a t-shirt that would clearly fit into my definition of “backyard clothing” or “play clothes”. It was this light blue thing that had been worn A LOT. It looked ok, but it didn’t look very nice. When I caught sight of this, I immediately reacted to the situation. I called his name a told him how unhappy I was with his selection and reminded him of the requirement to dress a little better for church. I don’t expect them to get all dressed up, but they need to make their best effort. They have their backyard clothes and shoes and then they have their school/going out clothes and shoes. Boys play HARD and get DIRTY so it is an important distinction to make. I don’t recall having to really address it with my daughter.

Anyway, as soon as I spoke to him I could see the wind leave his sails. I had clearly hurt him by my over reaction to the situation. I felt bad because though I needed to address his attire, I did it in a less than stellar way. My son is very gentle of heart and responds so well to encouragement, as he is an encourager by nature, and he also takes criticism very hard. Because I know this about his heart, it is my job to protect it as he grows so that one day, when he is a grown man, he can have a whole heart, free from childhood trauma. During the worship portion of church I leaned over to him, placed my arm about his neck to pull in close, and I whispered into his ear that I was sorry for over reacting in the parking lot. I told him I could see that I had hurt his feelings and asked if that was true. He nodded in agreement. I then asked him if he would forgive me for I had reacted when I should have responded. He nodded yes.

I think it is so important to be transparent on healthy levels with our children. When we blow it we need to be able to own it and apologize to our kids and ask their forgiveness when necessary. It only strengthen the bond and trust because let’s face it, our kids love us no matter what, but the unity is greater when we can be vulnerable with them. It shows a strength quality they need to have as well and what better way to learn it than by observation. God is so faithful to our willingness to do this, for within two minutes of my apologizing a woman in the row ahead of us dropped her glasses on the floor under and behind her seat. She was six chairs over from my son, so it would have been nothing to not notice. But he did notice, and he got up and went and got them for her. It was so courteous and thoughtful on his part, attributes I see in him regularly. I was given the opportunity to “catch” him doing good and I praised him right there for it. If you could see his sweet face lift in response to my praise… God is good.

When we got home from church I gathered myself to the kitchen to make some breakfast for my family. As they all sat at the little table in the kitchen (rather than the dinning room) I stood at the kitchen sink cleaning up the mess. We all visited together as they ate, but I brought up the situation at church once more for I knew that God had truly given me the opportunity for a “teachable moment”. A moment I call when I can take an experience to help my children understand deeper things that will mature and train their character with practical application. I explained to my son how God loves him no matter what he wears, just and his parents do. I told him that God probably didn’t even care that he wore that old t-shirt to church. In fact, I know he didn’t care. God’s love for him was not determined by his appearance or behavior, for that matter. God loves us to come as we are. Then I expressed that we desire to wear our better clothes to church because we want to honor God. Again, doesn’t mean get all dressed up, but just our best foot forward to show we care enough about meeting with him that we want our best for him.

Do you know that this is how God loves you as well? He really doesn’t care what your wardrobe looks like. He doesn’t care is your hair is a mess or better still, if your life is a mess. He doesn’t want your money or to take away your fun. He isn’t ashamed of your behavior or your past. In fact, he has an ocean in heaven called the Sea of Forgotten. I don’t think the Bible talks about any Sea of Forgotten, that’s my analogy, but He does say he watches over you and he wants to free you from the pain and sting of your past. Many times adults wear their sins and their hang-ups as though they were wearing a ratty old garment. Take it off and allow him to give you a new garment. Fresh. Clean. Light. Forgiven.

I saw a post on facebook this week that said how hard the week was so God must finally be punishing them for being a hypocrite. I replied to them just as I am about to declare to you.

At some point in life we are all hypocrites. God loves you with an everlasting love. That means forever, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer and in sickness and in health. He is betrothed to you like a partner for life and wants to give you Beauty for your Ashes. Hope for your pain and Joy for your tears. Leave the pool of Bitter Waters and join him, casting your cares and past into the Sea of Forgotten.

Come as you are.

“As far as the east is from the west, 
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” 
Psalm 103:12

~Nicole