August 13, 2017

Who Am I?

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

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Who Am I?

Who am I, Lord, that you would even notice me? Who am I that you should swim across all of eternity just to be with me? Who am I that you should walk through the flames taking my sin, my blame, my shame all for the Glorious honor to call my name? Who am I that you should love me so deeply?

I don’t know why you love me so completely and so deeply, but I, of course, am so glad you do.

When we reach a place in our courtship with heaven that we don’t need a lot of other things to find whole and solemn rest we have found a place in his heart that provides all of that. It is a source of true and abiding rest that carries itself so uniquely.

All my trials, all my troubles, all the problems my life has afforded me–and I have been through far more than I’ve ever shared publicly or even personally to others. Yes, all of that, did something extraordinary in my heart. It drew me in closer. It was God who actually began drawing himself in close to me. I just let him.

I was thinking about this a lot yesterday. Despite the intensity of everything I have endured in my life, my love and appreciation for God and His Goodness only grew more. I consider that fact alone to be supernatural. Why do some grow colder and harder from extremes and life’s duress while others grow in gratitude feel enormously blessed despite circumstances?

I know it all comes down to the heart. Heat purifies. Heat causes impurities to rise to the surface. Heat exposes the real us. We all have dross. We all collect moss in the chambers of our heart. If science teaches us that man only uses a small portion of his mind, I can only conclude by vehicle of common sense and deductive reason that the same is true for our heart and our emotional quotient. Some are blessed and able to love bigger than others just as some are blessed with incredible minds. The heat of trial only brings out the luster and shine.

No matter who you are.
No matter the crisis, the pain, your situation…
God is there.
He hasn’t forgotten to take care of you.
He has real and true beauty hidden in his heart for you.
Cling to him now. Open up your heart a little bit deeper for him. The Peace, Joy and Comfort will cause your heart to grin. He will quench your need like nothing ever has before. You will feel both content and thirsting for more. I call it “soul thirst” and he’s got a well overflowing with handsome riches in store for you.

Go ahead, open the door, let him in. Invite him in. Allow him to take his rightful seat in your life. I promise it will feel so good inside. You will know a pure and perfect pleasure as never before. He will widen, broaden, deepen your capacity to receive, be and show love as never before. You will feel good and others will notice it upon you.

He’d swim oceans for you…
His love is this True.

~Nicole

“The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.” Psalm 19:7

June 30, 2017

Inferno of Hope

Posted in Devotional, true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:25 am by Broken & Brave

Yesterday I walked into the performance facility on campus where my spouse is employed. It happened to be filled with a water polo club mid workout, my water polo playing son included in the mix . As I crossed the threshold I instantly detected the aroma of chlorine. The boys had come straight to weights from the pool. It put a little smile on my face because there have been other teams in there at times that put off a far different aroma than the smell of sanitization as I entered in.

I’m actually fairly sensitive to smells. I guess I have a strong sense of it. I can walk on a path and catch the flavor a flower exudes and it’s just enough to delight my heart and mood. I love noticing the little, subtle, mostly unnoticed details of life.

Our life puts off an Aroma.
How do we smell?

When we allow God to stroke our heart, heal its pain, fuel it’s worth it gives spark to the bones and Light to the eyes. Like a match that has been struck, it begins to kindle and bring back the innocence of childhood like Faith.

As we walk close to the flame, we experience its warm. As we abide in it, trust it, savor it, knowing we will be consumed by it, but never burned from it. We begin to put off a pleasing Aroma much the same way a scented candle would release a fragrant perfume.

It becomes evident, in this Glorious position of Grace, Peace and tranquility, that we becomes an Inferno of Hope that possesses power and passion- just like the intense heat of the flame- to help others cope all because we embraced Hope.

Today is yours…
flavor it with a Sweet Scent.

~Nicole

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5:1-2

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