March 20, 2018

Love Again

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

Life has a way of dulling people’s senses. Over time we become a bit more unemotional, untouchable, we stop feeling deeply. We become guarded and we slip into a form of self protection that says “no one gets in”, speaking of our true residence that is-the heart. But as I read over the Love Chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 it tells me the many attributes of love. One attribute declares that “love trusts”. Repeat that? That’s right, love trusts. See-we can’t truly love without trusting. We must trust God and we must be willing to trust ourselves and others. So how do you do that? You do it in Love. The deeper we step into the heart and mind of Christ the more he will transform our life and change our thought patterns, heart motives and purposes to match His. He changes us and creates and new and soft heart in us that can forgive, that can mend, that can truly love again just as it did as a young child.

Keep your Hope alive, just like a little child! God has power to take everything you’ve ever walked through to counsel you, but still keep your heart just like new. You are a bonified walking, talking Miracle of God! He breathed breath in you and plans to see you through!

~Nicole
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February 25, 2018

Risky Heart

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:47 am by Broken & Brave

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”
~William Faulkner

Yesterday was a day of Celebration! My son was accepted to his college of choice. Looks like we have another Tiger in the family. My oldest, and only daughter, is graduating from college in May (she did it in four years!!) and my oldest son will take her place and represent well for our family on that particular college campus.

I was thinking a lot about risk taking this past week. Over the years God has really stretched me, asked me and even declared my obedience to be one of a risky nature. He’s taken me to some extremes, and even asked of me bold and daring things when my circumstances and life were their most lean. But in it, I saw Him dial in my heavenly support line and deliver the answer right on time.

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I guess my kids have grown learning and observing this kind of faith, and for that I am grateful. See, at the time I was doing the ridiculous, despite what peers and even my own family thought, something more important was happening even above and beyond my own faith growth. My kids were learning to watch Mom and Dad and listen to our unwavering belief and then they could see the miracle! Risky faith trust is their norm. What stretched me, is the normal comfort zone for my children. I love that!

So when my son was applying for colleges we asked, “Where do you want to apply?” He had one answer and one answer only. He didn’t want to go anywhere else. He only wanted to apply once. All in. Plan A all the way and no Plan B until it were of absolute necessity. I told him if that’s what burned on his heart then God would make the way and though we didn’t know how it would turn out we knew God’s will for my son’s life would prevail. He took a calculated risk and it paid off!
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Isn’t it the same with God? He sent his son to take a calculated and risky step of faith to overcome all of death, Hell and the grave. He took on your shame and allowed it to be nailed to his frame. All in the name of love. He was fully aware that not everyone would love him back or even believe in what he did…but he did it anyway that you might live.

Risky Faith is the only kind of faith there is. God is still glad he took risks for you today.

~Nicole

February 23, 2018

On Time & Faithful💗

Posted in Inspirational, true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 7:45 am by Broken & Brave

God was Faithful to divide the Red Sea for Moses to make his escape safely. God was Faithful to roll away the cap stone and become the Corner Stone for all of humanity. He was Faithful to touch the night sky and make it bright with sparkling light. He told the sun where to hang in space and commanded the tides, “Don’t go beyond this place.”

If there is anything I know from my own life experience is that we can trust God’s TIMING. I have witnessed him part the way and create many miracle for myself and my family because we stepped in faith, trusted, obeyed and he parted the way. He can make every crooked place straight. He can open every gate.

I told a dear friend yesterday, who knows everything about me, that I felt I had the most peculiar testimony. Then I heard that friend tell me that I did in fact have a very unique testimony, but it was all my life experiences that have fueled my ability to write.

I couldn’t agree more.

Life experiences are the rich and fertile soil that weave our hearts with the tenderness of heaven if we allow it. The good, the bad, give thanks for it all. God shows his Faithfulness through it all.

I was thinking of my Dad earlier. I took him with me on an outing to an open house for a community outreach in my city yesterday. I thought he would enjoy it. There were old restored cars on display in the parking lot. My Dad wanted to look at them. He peeked inside, outside and under the hood. One car was a low rider-please don’t ask me what kind of car it was, I’m no good with car knowledge- but my Dad knew and he engaged the owner in a conversation and shared stories of his cars of his youth. Instant bond. My Dad had experiences in youth I never had. He grew up in a rough part of his Southern California home town. “The other side of the tracks”, I guess. He had little adult supervision and two brothers. They have a lot of stories. I thank God for his life experiences-so different from how he raised me though. It brought my heart joy to know how God had transformed his life as a young adult man and he took me to the House of God and we all learned, for the first time, about Jesus together. God’s timing was perfect, once again. I can maybe only imagine the childhood I might of had if God hadn’t touched my Dad’s heart and life when he did.
I love my Dad…grateful for him.

I know that I know He is a miracle working God. He is Master Protecter, Provider and Friend. Trust his timing in every moment. Whether you’re expected to be in five places as once (which was me yesterday) or standing near a loved ones sick bed or working toward a goal that seems to go slower than slow. He’s got this! ~Nicole

25 ” The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze,
and your strength will equal your days.
There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides across the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in his majesty.” Deuteronomy 33:25-26
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October 8, 2017

Faith Can Flex

Posted in Devotional tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:00 am by Broken & Brave

You have tremendous muscle memory…not just in your physical frame, but also in the depths of your heart, your spirit.

You’ve maybe heard it said your faith is like a muscle. It must be stretched, pulled, contorted and bent before it can shape and mold into something you can believe in. But here’s something maybe you haven’t considered…

When you go through a trial and endure the rugged terrain of a wilderness experience…when your eyes have strained, but you have failed to see because the intensity of your trial too ominous…so dark. During these wee hours of heartbreak and pain is where your real strength is made and when you make it to the other side not only are you breathing, healthy, alive, but your faith has survived. Then, during seasons of comfort or even mild seasons of distress your faith remembers where’s it’s been, what it’s done, and how you’ve overcome, and you handle it all just a little more effortlessly. Your stoicism will give others who lack faith hope and create room for them to breath, gain relief and make it, too, just as valiantly.

You have tremendous muscle memory…not just in your physical frame, but also in the depths of your heart, your spirit.

Let’s Flex!!!😉

~Nicole

“For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.” Psalm 33:21

July 14, 2017

Risky Heart

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

One of the riskiest things to do is trust someone…not knowing if the trust will be honored or returned.
But God is and will always be worthy of your trust. Even when you don’t know how things will turn out. Even when you don’t know which way to go. Even when it looks as though He has left you or forgotten you. Yes, even then, you can trust Him. It’s like He has gone ahead, filled your vehicle with gas and is coming back to provide your Way. He plans to help to make a get away from all that weighs your heart and soul. So, don’t worry. You can trust Him. He holds you in the Cup of His Hand. He always has a plan. ~Nicole

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

June 28, 2017

Inventory of Heart

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:50 am by Broken & Brave

“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.”

Psalm 145:7

The Lord is good! His love for you is rich and powerful, dripping with graciousness, peace and a tranquility beyond understanding.

The Lord is not ambivalent with grace. His love for you and the smile you bring His face cannot be erased.

True Grace is like walking on water. Its not seen, but If it were…it would be questioned for authenticity.

I believe in Grace and the absolute healing power of forgiveness.

May all your relationships abound with the essence of this!
Be Blessed! -Nicole

“The cross is the lightning rod of grace that short-circuits God’s wrath to Christ so that only the light of His love remains for believers.”
~ A. W. Tozer

 

June 24, 2017

Whole Hearted

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 7:42 am by Broken & Brave

When we have an open wound we cover it to protect it from the elements that may contaminate and infect it, say with a bandage. If it’s a deep and fresh wound, of course, this is wise. But after some time it is important to take the mask off of the wound and allow the fresh air and sunshine sink in and assist in the healing. The same is true of our hearts. When it is wounded, we mask it to protect it from being hurt some more. Some masks are layers and layers deep for the depth of the wound is severe. But God, in all of His love, though it is painful, He desires to pull off the mask and pour some fresh air and the warmth of His Light down deep inside and heal that heart once and for all. It takes courage, lots of it…if this is you, God has some healing ointment ready to assist you.

No more masks, only open hearts.
~Nicole

June 3, 2017

Blessed Confidence💞

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:01 am by Broken & Brave

You are a great reason for God to get up in the morning. He’s got you on His mind all through the night and He never tires of proving how easy it really can become to trust in his love.

Everything you need to succeed at anything-whatever is in your heart to do-GOD has equipped you to get up and go! You’ve got this! His heart for you is to give you more.
Enjoy your day! ~Nicole

“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.”
Jeremiah 17:7

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May 27, 2017

Excellence Rising

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 7:20 am by Broken & Brave

There is a standard of excellence rising up in you like never before. Can you feel it? Are you aware it’s there? You begin to care for and about things, situations and people you maybe never noticed before. All of this, evidence that you’ve grown. When we are young we may care for those around us, family and friends, but our thoughts are mostly inward and self motivated by nature. As we mature and grow older something begins to shift and we are no longer content to think this way.  We come to realize the importance of loving and caring for the needs of others. Everyone faces their own mountains, their own struggles, their own dreams, wants, desires. How are we apart of their equation?

All of life is an endless flow and all our hearts tangled together. The more we move in Oneness the more we become like tiny drops in the sea, mingled so tightly one moecule of water not discernible from another. Yet, we are all there, rolling and waving and waking together. Gently….Fiercely….Lovely.

Everything you do in life matters. Do not discount yourself. Do not think small thoughts of yourself. Nor should we think less than beautiful thoughts of others. Grab your Hope, even if it be merely a tiny thread. Get tangled in it. WRAP up in it. Allow it to hoist your heart and exalt your mind to every dream, inspiration or ambition you have ever held inside. The future is inside you already, waiting for God’s perfect timing to begin. He sets the pace, He charts your race and He knows every roadblock, obstacle, every need and has every provision–both the tangible and the unspoken cares of the heart. Stir up an added measure of Belief.

Belief…
It is the dwelling place of Hope. Though it takes courage, don’t be afraid to dare to Believe.

Belief…
Bold
Encouragement
Living
Itself
Everyday
For others
I Believe in You! Now, go with belief in yourself. You CAN do it! Don’t forget to have a marvelous day.  ~Nicole

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May 20, 2017

Daily Grace🍇

Posted in true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 6:17 am by Broken & Brave

Early in my married life we purchased a brand new refrigerator. We paid cash for an absolutely huge, luxurious and fancy fridge. It was great. It had a five year warranty. We got it at a ridiculously stellar price. Several years later, on the Fourth of July to be exact, we went to the Lodi Lake Pan Cake Breakfast (a local tradition). But when we returned home from the breakfast we discovered water all throughout the floor of our kitchen. The next morning the repair man was there with sad news about our fridge. It was dead and recommended the expense would be best put toward a new fridge vs. fixing this one. Our fancy fridge was just a month outside the expiration of our warranty.

All of this was disappointing, but we were able to buy a new one so off shopping we went. We found a great fridge at a ridiculously awesome price. Almost unbelievable the price! But everything in me while the owner of the shop spoke to us said, “No! Don’t buy it!” The shop was locally owned and had a stellar reputation for integrity. I knew my husband wanted the fridge. I asked for a moment to discuss our options privately and took my husband to the car. When we sat down he looked at me and said, “We’re not supposed to buy it, huh?” I agreed. So we didn’t buy the awesome fridge and drove home that night a little perplexed at why the Holy Spirit would lead us to leave such a gift behind. But we complied.

The next evening we received a call from a traveling evangelist who’s ministry we’d been supporting for months. He worked with professional athletes as well as ministered and gave words from the Holy Spirit to Congressmen and other political officials, including the President of the US! I need to say, that for about two weeks leading up to this call this minister had been heavy upon my heart. I felt a nudge to give him extra. When the call came, he had dire need. He had never called before, but the circumstances he described seemed justified. We prayed on it individually and then came together to discuss what we each were receiving in the Spirit. No surprise, we had the same dollar amount in our mind. But as soon as the words left my lips I heard and felt and experienced the Spirit of God move on my soul as if to shout it out loud, “Double it!” We gave the minister every penny we had set aside for our new fridge.

For the next few months I “lived” out of an ice chest. It’s a big and rather nice ice chest. We still have it to this day. Don’t recommend using one as a fridge for approximately 3 months though.

I had no refrigerator from Fourth of July until Labor Day weekend. I became an expert at shopping daily and using foods that would keep well in a tub of ice that would melt by night. I’d buy large bags of ice each day and I’d have to drag that chest to the yard to drain the water. Every day. We lived in a residential neighborhood at the time and one of my neighbors was the kind that spent all her free time watching mine. I’m sure she was fascinated by my unusual routine. I, of course, was humbled by it. Labor Day roles around and a friend of mine actually found a non saved relative of hers who was selling a fridge to give it to us instead. She had asked them in July, but they said no. By Labor Day she had asked again because the fridge hadn’t sold. It was mine. It wasn’t even remotely as nice as the one that broke or the one I could’ve bought. But I was so grateful because it was 1,000 times better than my ice chest. When we sold our house and moved away, we gave that fridge away as well to a young couple just starting out and needing a fridge.

This was one of my first real tests of faith the Lord used to see if my walk matched my talk.

God will use anything to deepen your gratitude for all the convenience American life brings. When he takes you deeper in your ability to persevere, obey, sacrifice to the point of inconvenience, you will learn a type of grit that can only be gained by personal experience. Something else happens when God tests your heart and you pass the test, He will give increase and trust you with more of His resources and ability to allow them to flow through you like a conduit of provision not only for yourself, but for others, too. Then everyone gets blessed, not just ourselves. As He trusts us with more resources He trusts us with more intimacy of His heart. He takes us in deeper because we prove through obedience that we love him more than our belongings or our very lives. We lay down our life to live His. It is where the path gets narrower and fewer will be found alongside of you. But I assure you, every step you take is on Holy Ground and the Encounters with the Almighty are Glorious!

It’s not for everybody, but it is for His Radiant,True and Remnant Bride.
Let this be you!

There is nobody else like you. You stand out and shine brightest when your simply being just that, yourself. God’s brilliance expressed in a life. He will empower you to overcome and dig deep through every battle until the stoic presence of your heart has won. You are made to do amazing things…

~Nicole

“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11

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