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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September 20, 2017

Drenched💦

Posted in Devotional, Prayer of blessing, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:52 am by Broken & Brave

Jonah had it rough….or did he have it easy? I bet most people actually haven’t ever thought to consider the circumstances or how this man felt about his own life.

Jonah was a man who walked with God. He clearly had the favor of Heaven and it’s full confidence to manage and administer the Truths God spoke to him to the people as God directed. He had inside access to the King of all of Heaven!

I guess most people who love God and try to live accordingly as to eloquently convey his love here on earth would consider Jonah highly blessed. They may even think, “I wish God would talk to me like that.” But do they really?

The burden of such a responsibility, if you want to call it a burden, is the high level of obedience required at such a level of intimacy with the Almighty. Much was given Jonah so he knew that much was expected of him as well. Jonah probably didn’t have a lot of say about how he spent his free time or his resources. I’m sure God had stipulations and directions for that, too.

Imagine yourself a modern day Jonah…God blesses you with a tangible gift. You are grateful, you dream of how you will spend or even save this blessing and create greater blessing. But then the Lord steps in and offers instructions about an assignment he has for you and the real reason he gave the blessing to you. So you received a great blessing. You received spiritual riches as a result of that ear for the voice of God, but you haven’t the luxury to spend it as you like.

You must be obedient.

Resources are tangible gifts from Heaven. They offer refreshment and provision like streams in the dessert of life. Gifts and blessings of tangible and monetary increments are part of what gives life pleasure. The closer you become with the Almighty, the more you realize the less you have ownership of any of it. You begin to understand that every ounce of blessing afforded you is not for you at all. Sure, God desires to see you enjoy life, rest, take our ease and feast a little on pleasures. But even that serves a purpose to replenish and restore…rejuvenate if you will…so you can get up, walk out the door and like God’s faithful servant go back for more. More what? More opportunities to do what he has assigned you here on earth to do.

Boy, I sure did make hearing God intimately and experiencing blessings sound hard. On many levels it can be. But it is also a delicious reward.

I’m curious about Jonah’s appearance. How was he dressed? Did he have one of the best camels on the market? What kind of drapes and gowns dangled from his crown and from the body of his animal? Was he a splendid sight to see? Was he glamorous and charming? All attributes that would grab hold of people’s attention and cause them to want to draw near. Because let’s face it, being a prophet of God was a profession that many people wanted to avoid. Not everyone likes to hear what they might be doing wrong. But sometimes that’s what God sent Jonah to do, tell people hard truth in love.

I imagine Jonah had seen a lot. He maybe even endured a lot. He may have been weary and in need of a vacation. A cruise was just the ticket…too bad he disobeyed and went in the wrong direction! Maybe Jonah didn’t like the message he had to give? He was concerned for how the people would receive it? Maybe he had already been there countless times before only to have the door of cooperation slammed in his face? Maybe there was an experience that has caused his heart to become jaded and calloused to the people of Nineveh? We don’t really know. The Bible only tells us that he disobeyed God and suffered an extreme consequence. The Bible uses Jonah as an example of what happens when we loose our compassion…when we become jaded and cynical.

God had to humble Jonah low. He had to get him to a place where he was utterly alone with God. God needed Jonah to contemplate his options…obey and don’t complain or  stay in the digestive tract of a large mammal–his version of Joseph’s pit. The choice was really a no brainer. He repented and agreed and went and did what God asked him to do.

What can be said for you? Are you taking your blessings for granted? Is your attitude a little bit less than stellar and a little more than jaded or cyclical? Has past experiences of life caused you to believe less than the best about just about everything? How’s your Compassion? When was the last time you gave that a check? How’s your heart? Is is hurting and dry? Do tears stain your eyes? Maybe the pain runs so deep you’re no longer even able to cry? It’s ok, either way, if this is you know that many around you feel the same way, too.

We live in a day and age where I see countless Jonah’s walking around. They may not know they have access to God’s ear and voice. But every day they make the choice to value money, career, possessions and positions over humans.

It’s easier to love stuff than people.

Stuff doesn’t have a personality. Stuff doesn’t talk back or have a difference of opinion. Stuff can’t hurt your feelings and wound your heart. The emotional risk is non existent when you keep to loving stuff only. But to love others…to be loved by others…that’s scary and amazing. It depends on how you perceive it.

If you have ever felt an ounce of pure and glorious love then you know how amazing it is. It isn’t limited to romantic love, though that’s nice, too. It’s the extraordinary awareness that others care about you and would sacrifice and willing become inconvenienced to protect and bless you. It’s an extraordinary feeling to do the same for another. Love requires risk. Caring means you have to take a chance. You have to give your heart permission to feel. You have to open up a bit more and be transparent and honest with yourself and others. You have to be humble. You have to increase in your capacity to receive. You have to let people in.

We live in a tremendously hurting world. People all around walk about with a seared conscious. Someone with a seared conscious can’t feel on deep levels. They do wrong or see wrong and are minimally phased by it. They are numb.

Only God can reach in and jump start your heart. He can pump it with life flowing fluid mingled with His atoning blood and drenched in His love. He longs to drench you and return moisture to your  weary, drained and wounded heart.

Today could be a fabulous start to making all things new. Seeing through new eyes, smelling the greater aromas of life and tasting life seasoned just right with a good kind of spice, sugar and delight.

You are the salt of the earth…
Allow God to return your flavor.

Prayer:
“Lord, search my heart and show me the areas I have become stagnant or have lost my Compassion even just a little bit. Renew my heart and freshen my flesh so I can love as you love. Equip me with the courage to open up more fully and accept the love of Heaven and the love of people you send me. I do not have to live on guard. I can guard my heart and make it a place of hospitality as well. All because of you. Thank you God for the good work you promise to complete in me. I am your yielded vessel. Use my life, my blessings, my abilities as you desire. Amen”

“Those who cling to worthless idols
turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” Jonah 2:8-9

September 13, 2017

Wrapped Up

Posted in Devotional, Prayer of blessing tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:13 am by Broken & Brave

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“The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent.”
Psalm 104:2

Oh Lord, may we wrap ourselves in your light and adorn ourselves in your garment. With you we can scale the tallest mountain or swim the depths of the sea. When we abide in you we are like the roots of a tree planted deeply and drinking from the depths of your Living Water. Bless each of your children today as they bless others. ~Nicole

 

August 5, 2017

“Mobbed”

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:44 am by Broken & Brave

When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”

Mark 5:27-28

Have you ever had God touch your life in a real and dramatic way that left you forever changed? I have and I remind myself all the time how He has touched me and changed me and how completely different I am from the person I used to be.

The woman in the verse had a bleeding disorder. She had been bleeding for more than a decade. So much blood loss drains your energy leaving you lethargic and tired. Weary and worn no doubt. 12 years of doctors, discomfort, inconvenience and probably a lot of embarrassment and shame. Sounds like a recipe for depression, loneliness and despair. But this woman is a perfect example of what happens in a life when we don’t give up, when we persevere, keep faith and refuse to lose Hope. She knew by faith that if she could just touch His clothes she’d be made well. She was after an encounter with God and she pushed through a mob of people to get it.

What is the “mob” in your life right now? Are you crowded out by obstacles, setbacks, lack, personal, physical or emotional attack? Do problems surround you on every side? What is your attitude toward your obstacles? Take on the countenance as this woman. She never gave up. She believed Jesus was who she had heard He was and that she was a candidate for victorious living. She believed her bleeding days would be through.
This can be your belief, too.

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Whatever is draining your energy, sapping your hope and stealing your dreams…
There is one who wore a garment that was so flawless- it had no seams. His healing power is Pristine and it is waiting for you. Push through! I know you’ve still got fight in you! You were made to overcome. There is Power in the Blood! ~Nicole

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July 19, 2017

Roar

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

We don’t always feel brave, even when conditions surrounding us demonstrate we are acting in bravery.

We don’t always feel like our Faith is Strong, even when we are boldly stepping out in Faith.

We don’t always feel like we are living or encouraging well, even when people around us seem to draw to the moisture we offer.

If this is you today or if it will be you in the future or has been you before, then this post is waiting for you at the door. Cross the Threshold and step in. Allow a Joyous Journey of Heart and Soul to begin. Flourish in your God Given Authority. He holds the Master Key to everything and it is yours.

Have you ever observed a Crescent Moon? The moon is beautiful…the way it captures the light of the sun during the thick of night. When you focus on it and study it you can see beyond the shadow to the whole of the moon.

This is how God is betrothed to you. He always sees past the shadow to the depth of your soul. He knows you are more than any feeling, thought or circumstance. He is faithful to guide your Path.

YOU have the brave heart as that of a lion; the absolute ROAR of the Father ignites in your soul. Rise up Champion! For you, Gods got MORE! Do you believe it? How much is an abundance anyway? ~Nicole

“Seek the Lord, and His Strength: seek His face forevermore.” Psalm 105:4

 

May 11, 2017

Search, Create, Pray…

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 7:44 am by Broken & Brave

I look about my country and I see so much Divide. I see people outraged. I see people filled with anger and hate. I see others full of self. Others broken and forsaken. But that’s what I see with my eyes–
When I look with my heart I see all the same…people in pain, hurting, and lacking proper love.

As a Christian I am bothered by what I see. It penetrates me, heart and soul. The enormity of the responsibility to make an impactful difference in my neighborhood, community, city, state, nation is mind boggling to me. Is our heart truly broken for what breaks God’s heart? Here are some action steps if you want to make a difference- in your own life and others-and you see what I see:

1. Search our hearts. (“O, Lord, you have searched me and known me.” Psalm 139:1)

2.Create a clean heart in us oh Lord. For when our heart is saturated with the Love of God it is pure. By searching the Word of God we obtain the pathway to his heart-but it is Love that binds, heals, and delivers. (“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10)

3. Pray. We must pray and be watchful. (“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14)

4. Listen. We must be attentive and listen as the Spirit gives personal directives on we as individuals can be an Agent of Change.
(“Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.” Psalm 1:32)

5. We must give people a hand.
We must help where and how God directs us. We cannot do everything and clearly there is a lot to be done, but we can do that something that God has specifically asked of each of us. (“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16)
In our life our hand is attached to something. If it isn’t it is useless. The hand is attached to an arm, some real muscle to push through with a person. The arm is attached and leads to The Body. The Body is the Chamber for the very Heart and Love of God. Once a person is lead by the hand, they can get to the heart and meet the Power of Unconditional Love and that is where the Miraculous begins to take part! A hand all by itself is helpful, but not impactful. Impactful change occurs when a person is saturated in healing Love. The anger and hatred subsides. Growth and healing occur. Forgiveness replaces resentment. A maturing of the soul that comes by intimacy with God. A person is set free from the roots of their pain and their life is changed.

We give a hand, but we must do it with heart. Just like parenting. As a parent I meet the needs of my children practically-food, clothes, etc.-but they need time, attention, accountability, long suffering, wisdom, guidance and lots and lots of love. They need our heart.

Love the Lord your God with all of your heart. Invite Him to come in like your heart were your home. He will sweep it clean, clear the clutter and messes, decorate the halls and walls, and He also will sit and enjoy you, just you, as He lovingly admires and enjoys spending time with you. He changes us each from the heart and this changes our perspectives to match His. His love is full, complete and so very sweet.
He is such a good, good Parent.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
John 15:12

December 9, 2016

Repairer of the Broken

Posted in true story tagged , , , at 6:48 am by Broken & Brave

“Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.”

Isaiah 58:12

 

When I was married I inherited a home my husband already owned and I also inherited a dog- all in addition to gaining a husband.

I’m not really much of a dog person or pet person for that matter, but this dog was a true sweetheart. She was a Rottweiler and had been the product of divorce. Her name was Baby Grace and I look back now and see how instrumental and prophetic this dog would be in the unfolding of God’s design on my life to grow to deep levels of Grace, but at that time my faith was still like a baby.

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Neither owner wanted to keep her and so she found her way into our home. This dog turned out to be a real gift from God in my life. She was very calm and loyal as can be. She was gentle and protective. I felt safe when she was around for my husband was away for work most of the time. My husband used to travel a lot for business and spent ridiculously long hours at the office. I was home alone a lot. So it didn’t take long for me and this pooch to bond.

She had been abused, I could tell. She would pull back a bit when you’d reach your hand to touch her or pet her. She would not let you hug her at all. She did not snuggle.

She must have been struck before.

Even though we had never been rough with her at all she had the imprint from previous relationships. So I learned to reach out slowly and not suddenly. I learned to use my voice to soften her disposition. Over time she healed and she trusted completely. She became a 110 pound lap dog!

Everything I did for my pet is true for humans as well. Our tone of voice and physical countenance, our facial expression, can make a huge difference in how people receive us. How you speak to people, your tone of voice can lift and salve a soul or it can cut like a punch to the gut. Some people may not hit you with their fist, but they hit you with their tongue. The damage is the same or I dare say worse when it happens with the tongue. For verbal abuse causes damage that can’t be seen with the eye, but it deeply damages the soul. Verbal abuse can cause people to respond to even the smallest criticism the same way my dog responded to my touch when I first got her.

Do you know anyone who fits this description? Do they recoil even when you aren’t trying to hurt them?
Be patient and long suffering with them. A wounded person is a tender person who desperately needs love.

Are you this person? You have deep wounds of soul that grip you and hold you? Do you have an abusive person in your life? You are not alone. Verbal abuse is a silent killer of hearts I think. There are people all around who suffer and hold it in and no one knows what they endure.

Do you feel stuck in a place of abuse or in an abusive relationship? Begin to pray for God to bring open doors of healing for you. There are people and resources available, but most times there is intense fear in a place of abuse. If this is you, pray for God to bring open doors to you. He will guide your path and protect you.

Whether this scenario has merit in your life or not, be mindful of your words, your countenance and your voice. Our words can hurt or heal, nurture and care or damage beyond repair. But God cares and can heal any damage. He doesn’t want to leave anyone there in a place of abuse.

He is the Restorer of streets with no dwelling and Repairer of broken walls. He can cause a fountain to birth in a parched land, he can heal the inner man. -Nicole

“A soothing tongue is a tree of life…” Proverbs 15:4