April 11, 2018

Fullness in Christ

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 6:54 am by Broken & Brave

Do you have things bursting inside of you? Things you know God wants you to do? Maybe you’re not sure if it’s God or yourself having these dreams, thoughts or desires/ambitions? Then this post is for you.

I think these questions have applied to us all at one time or another. So let me share a bit of my personal experience and Believe in Faith it will be the catalyst to trigger His Heart and Hopes for you.

I have “held back” my entire life. I am a complete minimalist by nature. In every capacity. I don’t do it intentionally, it’s just my natural bent. Here are some examples of what I mean. When I was a kid I would use microscopic amounts of toothpaste on my toothbrush and then I would only turn the faucet on a little to rinse the brush when I was done. I’d only use a “little bit” of anything. I’m not hard on my things. Clothing and shoes and even sunglasses seem to last forever for me. I’m very frugal by nature, not a big spender, I don’t squander. I guess there’s nothing wrong with any of this. But there are some others areas of life I also hold back and God has really been working it out of me for many years. I keep growing and getting better, but it is still a challenge. God will always stretch you, make you stronger in any given area, then He expects you to use the victory, the strength you’ve been given, and He will stretch you again. This is how we advance. This is how potential is realized. This is how we personally discover all our abilities and capabilities and overcome self doubt. This is how He gets Glory. Then we can go out and help others do what we did. Pretty cool actually. God has a really simple marketing strategy for building His Family.

1) Receive my (God’s) Love. (1 John 4:10)
2) Go out and share that love with others. (1 John 4:7-8)
3) Invest in Yourself and your own growth. (Hebrews 6:1)
4) Go out and invest in others the same way He has invested in you. (John 13:15)

There is no greater investment plan than that of Heaven. God is completely Besotted with you. Do you even know what Besotted means? I want to make sure you do because it’s really kind of cool. He is completely intoxicated with the notion of friendship with you. Everything you currently believe to be the “fairy tale” friendship, courtship, marriage or relationship…that is what God himself is offering to you. But you must receive it.

So, holding back…that’s what I was sharing. I hold back. I guess fear is really good at making people hold back. Fear of failing. Fear of stepping on the toes of others. Fear of what people will think. For me it was always rejection. I’ve had a lot of rejection, especially female rejection, since my very early years. My first female shunning happened at the age of 5. So fear of that has caused me to hold back. But in all that holding back I was protecting nothing. In all that holding back I failed to fully release the gifts God has given me. So little by little, over a lot of time…God is so patient….I have learned to NOT hold back. I have learned to dig deep. I have learned to push through. I have learned to speak out. I have learned boldness. I have learned perseverance to the Nth degree. I have gained resilience and I have gained a supernatural armor of Christ I would love to write about sometime ( THAT is a really cool story!)

So what’s my point?
Are you holding back?
Are you failing to step out into your Destiny because of fear?
What will people think if you join the gym and look like you don’t know what your doing?
Fear of pushing that weight because you might get too sore?
Fear of applying for that job that might advance your career, but upset those you love?
Fear of doing something radical because it might not go the way you thought?
Fear of investing in your future because of the cost?
Fear of allowing Christ more deeply into your heart and life because you might have to surrender some control?

Forget the fear! Fear is a lying voice you don’t want to listen to. God gave you a voice and He gave you His Voice! His is the only Voice you need to concern yourself with. All else is pointless echoes of the soul.

So what is it? Define right now the areas you are holding back. I guarantee the Holy Spirit will be highlighting it to your mind right now. Write it down. I mean it! Write it down. Begin taking action steps to cut lose and master that old mindset! You’ve got so much more, but all that holding back has prevented your victories.

Have you ever seen the movie “The Incredibles”? Love that movie so much. Animated super hero family. The son is named Dash. Dash is as his name implies, FAST! Dash knows he’s fast, but he doesn’t REALLY now how fast because he’s always been told to hold back. He has never really cut loose to see what he was capable of doing. As the movie advances the pressure comes when the family is up against some villains. With nemesis in pursuit Dash knows what he must do….RUN! Dash runs to get away and be safe, but in the midst of his conflict he discovers he’s got some legs! My favorite scene in the entire movie is when he’s running so hard and comes upon water, he can’t stop so he keeps going only to discover he can run on the water. He throws his head back and laughs! Even he didn’t know he could do that!

And so it is with you…DONT HOLD BACK! Heaven has an assignment for you. Your life hand penned by the Maker, the Almighty my friends.

Head out for the open roads. You may not know where it will lead you, but when God holds your Compass He is marking the Path and guiding your steps. Every area you pray for advancement and victory, just come down to your willingness to surrender your ambivalence and cut loose!

~Nicole

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6

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March 27, 2018

Learning To Hear God’s Voice

Posted in true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:09 am by Broken & Brave

Just in the past two days on different occasion I had two different conversations with people who came to me, sharing their heart, and then they asked the same question …

How did you come to hear God’s Voice so clearly?

A few weeks ago I had another woman ask me, “How do you learn to hear God’s Voice.”

Well…all are good questions and I believe it should be a foundational question in the life of ever Believer of Christ who understands the absolute imperative function of the Holy Spirit. Though the answer to their collective question cannot be answered in one sentence. Hearing God’s voice is something that develops over time. I cannot speak for other people’s ear for the Spirit, I can only speak from my own experience and the Biblical truth that God has so generously poured into my Spirit.

I truly believe most people can hear God’s voice their entire life. Maybe this is why we are told in the Word to come with childlike faith?
Then I think, how can we not hear him? He is speaking to us through all of creation, our conscience, and a vast array of other vehicles. The problem is we aren’t paying attention. We don’t discern. We aren’t listening. We fail to understand who He is and what He truly looks like–so we dismiss his voice.

But it’s even more complex than this.

There are a million competing voices all around us and most of all within our own mind. See–the enemy knows that a mind that lacks peace, rest and protection is his. If he can rule your mind, your thoughts, then he can rule your actions. This is what it means to take on the mind of Christ. To take his yolk upon us. To think, see and feel as Christ is–a mind at peace. A mind that doesn’t toss about like a raging sea. There is a calm and tranquility about one who has the mind of Christ. But we don’t get there overnight. It is a process of cultivating our everyday existence around Christ.

The Believer of God won’t be able to walk in their Divine Life Assignment to his full intent until they get to a place in their walk with Christ where they not only wear the Armor of God all day everyday, but they have charge over their mind. As you purposely grow your walk and cling to the Cross as you tread through various trials, set backs, obstacles and persecutions of the enemy on your faith, you become very intentional about kicking Satan out of your mind. Once you learn to rule your mind, God will begin to give you dominion to rule your life. You have already received the inheritance of dominion when He allowed himself to be tacked to a stake for the whole human race. That’s the day you received dominion. It is an unfortunate truth that few believers ever grow deep enough in their Identity as a Child of God and what that entitles them to–so they stay stuck wallowing in the very simplistic concept that God actually loves them and may even like them. He is committed to them.

Being intentional requires deep effort. You’re going to have to learn how to do real, deep and consistent work. Two examples, one a practical spiritual application and one an analogy. First, the woman a few weeks ago who asked about how to hear God speak also, in nearly the same sentence, told me she never read the Bible on her own because she just didn’t have time. I know her story represents the same story as countless others. Let me tell you, when my child calls me on the phone, I recognize her voice (once upon a time we didn’t have caller ID technology). She doesn’t need to tell me who she is because I know her so intimately and closely I don’t need to see her or touch her to recognize her. The same is true with God. The more time you spend working on your relationship with him via prayer, reading the Word, being still, worshiping and INVITING the Holy Spirit to come, then you simply pay attention. You LOOK for him to show up in every moment of your day and you RECOGNIZE him. You EXPECT Him to show up. You can even prayerfully tell God just this,

“Lord, help me to recognize you in every move you make in my life and to discern your voice.”

Secondly, I have a friend who is working hard to better her life. She has re-enrolled in school and wants to get a degree despite having been out of school a long time and having a family. She works full time. She has children who have schedules. She is purposing herself toward a better future. Do you know there are people telling her to “slow down”, “smell the roses”, “quit pushing hard”. That, my friends isn’t the voice God gave her. God encouraged her and opened the doors for her. These competing voices are the collective voice of mediocrity. Mediocrity really says, “Stop doing that because your making me feel bad about my own life.” Or “I’m not apathetic, she’s just imbalanced and tries to do too much.” This is a practical application where you can begin to practice and discern the correct voices.

To ensure a secure mind you must cover it with scripture. Read Ephesians chapter 6 over yourself, out loud! Why out loud? Because you will hear it, you will be declaring over yourself, and the enemy of your soul will hear it too. Remember, the devil and his dominion can plant thoughts in your mind, but it doesn’t mean they know what you’re thinking. They cannot hear your thoughts. They merely make a calculated guess based on a lifetime of observing your behaviors. So when we speak the Word it is like taking the Rhema word, the Sword of the Spirit, and slaying those giants who set out to assail your mind.

God’s Voice is for everyone. Some spiritual gifts require a flowing of a finite intuitive ear for His Voice, but every Believer is equipped with the Holy Spirit and has access to all the assets He has provided.

I hope this helps someone today.
Today could be the first day on your journey to deeper encounters with God.

Blessings~

Nicole

July 4, 2017

Seeded: Our Nations Heritage

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 7:06 am by Broken & Brave

Seeded in Deep Waters

The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men, many of whom gave their livestock, livelihood, homes, property and very lives to defend. The document may as well be signed red because of all the blood and sacrifice shed. This is the bold and heroic belief the early settlers of this nation felt. They loved their homeland of England, but they were tired. They were weary of injustice and financial oppression and control of personal freedoms. They had a dream for more. So what looked like rebellion to King George, looked like hope for the American settler.

Five men compiled this sacred piece of history and signed it into law in the Continental Congress. It was a declaration like none other. Thomas Jefferson, who was known for his ability to write penned the document, John Adams, Phillip Livingston, Roger Sherman, and Benjamin Franklin. Roger Sherman was the only of the 5 men who did not sign the Declaration (he was Livingston’s cousin but not a member of the Continental Congress).

This document was handwritten in cursive. One more reason I feel it is imperative our successive generations continue to learn how to read and write in cursive. If this skill is lost, we will reach a point where no one can read these original documents of our heritage. I guess that’s a different post for a different day…

I have always been drawn to those who possess deep courage. Those who stir deeply with deep rivers of passion channeling about their soul.

As a child I loved swimming in the deep end of the swimming pool. I loved to hold my breath and skim past the bottom holding my breath for as long as I could. I would rise to the surface to refill my lunges, but then I’d quickly plunge to the bottom again.

Not everyone likes to swim in waters deep. Some prefer shallower things.

It’s important to have a healthy respect for water. Just as it is important to have a healthy respect for God’s Sovereignty and our nations democracy. A deep respect for those who never knew me, yet they gallantly and valiantly sacrificed what they may never enjoy themselves, for the future posterity of humanity. They believed they were part of something bigger than themselves. Personal wants and desires must die at a level of commitment so high.

These are the things that stir me deeply and cause my respect and admiration to rise high.

God bless the men who stained the ground red; who layed down their lives, who paid the price through the sacrifice of their fortune, their cattle, their bread. They left their wives as widows and children as well…they did it for me, so I could be free. They paid it forward in a way I am afraid modern day American doesn’t understand. I will never forget what they did for me…liberty is never free.

Happy Independence Day. Celebrate richly…

~Nicole

“There is no greater love than this: that a person would lay down his life for the sake of his friends.”
John 15:13

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July 2, 2016

Message In A Bottle

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:42 am by Broken & Brave

“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,” Acts 3:19

You are The Bride of Christ.

You have been carved from His Tree of Shame & Humility.

I woke at 3am. Wide awake like I’ve enjoyed a full night sleep. Though I did crash from exhaustion early last night, I always know my  Beloved, my Savior, my Treasure is up to something when He wakes me at Night. I love the ministry and mystery of the Holy Spirit…

Now that you know I was reading at 3am you won’t be surprised by how I received the inspiration for this post…

The Lord whispered to my heart the above penned: “You are the Bride of Christ. You have been carved from His Tree of Shame and Humility …”

I began reading many scriptures regarding shame and guilt. Every human deals with regret on some level, some more than others. I was trying to capture the essence of where God was taking my pen when I read Acts 3:19. My 3 AM eyes saw, a bit on the groggy side, saw “…that your sins may be bottled” instead of “blotted”.

I immeidately had a vision in my imagination of pirates or a sea adventure where someone is distress places a note in a glass bottle, hurls it into the sea with hopes that it will be found and their life rescued or spared from tragedy…

I immediately thought of Micah 7:19 which assures us that our sins are tossed into the sea never to be remembered again. I like to call God’s Sea “Forgotten”.

Think about it.

A note written and then encapsulated in a bottle and tossed into the ocean is nearly impossible to retrieve. Only by the miraculous touch of heaven could such a thing be found in a timely manner to rescue the distressed and distraught sender. Only God could do such a thing-which makes the story all the more an adventure and thrilling and you sit on pins and needles as you absorb it. That’s what makes the story exciting. What will happen? How will it happen? When? But surely it happens and the story never disappoints.

What weighs on you? What tugs on your heart and mind? What sensitivities are hidden within? Are there dark areas of your heart waiting for this post to shed some Light there in to rub it clean and set you free in your thinking?

You have many needs in your life, but you have no need to walk about with shame in your life. What is shame anyway? Shame is rehearsed memories of old sins within yourself or against yourself or against others. Shame can make people feel less than or unworthy. Shame shuns and isolates.

Shame is not from God.

Christ came to take your grief so you could live a triumphant and Joy filled life. 

You were once bound with sin. But Christ nailed it by the Power of Love and killed it. Once that happened our shame was bottled and tossed, as though it were lost at sea never to be retrieved again because your Rescuer has no need of it. He will not even look for it. He has already forgotten it. Instead, He is completely fixated and focused on you.

So let go of that old stuff, don’t let it build a filter of how you see and perceive the world around you today. Sure, you’ve had hurts, setbacks and disappointments. But that was yesterday. God is beside you. Allow His Heart to enfold you into His Banner of Love. It drapes over you that He might sing praises for all the gold He sees your heart holds. Unlike that bottle, you are a most prized possession in His Kingdom. Allow Him to compliment your life. ~Nicole

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