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

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

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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