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

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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

May 12, 2017

Fortified Goodness

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:16 am by Broken & Brave

Your True Identity is void of fear; hidden in the heart of God. His heart chambers are fortified with serenity and absolute protection.

You have dreams, hopes, aspirations all tucked inside of you. Hidden in the chambers of your heart, like a chest of treasure. Hold onto your hopes, protect them, they have incredible value and God will protect and bless it. Remain faithful, but even when you struggle, His Faithfulness will swoop you up and carry you in what seems to be effortless apparel to your destination- safely and on time.

God is both an incredible Warrior and a Beautiful Poet. He will slay your fears, wipe your tears and Comfort your soul with great affection. Place full confidence in Him.

No more wondering about what will happen? How will it happen? When will my prayers get answered? Instead, worship!

No more wonder, just worship!

Childlike Faith!
~Nicole

“But the hidden man of the heart in the incorruptibility of a quiet and a meek spirit, which is rich in the sight of God.”
1 Peter 3:4

April 18, 2017

The Calling…

Posted in true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 3:37 pm by Broken & Brave

Have you ever felt like God has a different standard for you than for others? Well, His Word lays a Sure Standard for us all, but if you’ve ever felt this way, there is some truth to your feelings that can also be found in the Word. Let’s take a look.

I was sitting in a Bible study class last week and we were discussing the topic of obedience to God, the power of our spoken words and consequences for doubting the Lord. An example was given of Zechariah, who was the Father of John the Baptist. Here’s some background if your not familiar with the story…

Zechariah was a Priest to God. He had been selected to go into the Holy of Holies to offer the annual sacrifice. To be selected to go into the Temple was a great honor and required great purity and virtue.

(“Zechariah and Elizabeth had God’s approval. They followed all the Lord’s commands and regulations perfectly.” Luke 1:6)

While he was in the Temple burning the incense an Angel, Gabriel, appeared to him and told him of the birth of a son God was going to give to he and his barren wife. They were well advanced in years and had never had a child. This would be a great miracle, but also all the details the angel shared of this child’s life! Truly extraordinary. Can you imagine how he felt in that moment? It was probably a lot to receive. So many emotions must have filled his heart, his hope, his mind turning over the possibility and trying to wrap itself around such a thing!! He may have been wondering, “What? After all this time? Why now?” I know a lot of young families who unexpectedly find themselves expecting having similar emotions. Imagine on such an extreme circumstance as Zechariah and Elizabeth!

“Zechariah said to the angel, ‘What proof is there for this? I’m an old man, and my wife is beyond her childbearing years.'” Luke 5:18

Because Zechariah doubted the Messenger, the Angel silenced him until the birth of the child. The man could not speak. His Voice taken from him.

As I sat in Bible study I thought of the discipline Zechariah received for having stunned disbelief. I couldn’t help it, my brain immediately went to Gideon. A Judge of the Old Testament appointed to lead God’s people. If you don’t know this story, it’s found in the book of Judges 6 in the Bible. Gideon was FULL of doubt.

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Judges 6:13

The Lord appeared to him and told him that the Lord was with him and he was a Mighty Warrior (Judges 6:12) and would lead the Israelites to freedom from their oppressors.

He not only doubts and questioned the Lord, he asked for repeated signs and gave all kinds of conditions to prove it was from God. He was testing it! He didn’t just do it once, he did it multiple times! Yet, God graciously complied. He did not receive the same discipline or expectation as Zechariah…why?
It’s good to probe the HEART of God so we can get a deeper glimpse and grow closer to its beat.

Here is something to stir your wonder and maybe cause you to dig deeper into the heart of God and what He is looking for in the way of loyalty. His expectations of us are dependent on how He has equipped us. He definitely equips each of us for what we are called to. The greater the Calling the more discipline required and obedience to submit to the Ways and Will of God. Check out this verse…

“But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
Luke 12:48

Perhaps Zechariah was gifted with more Faith? Perhaps he was more gifted than Gideon on multiple levels. Or maybe it was merely his title and station that required more. This is not a comparison of men…but check it out.

Luke 5 said he and his wife (speaking of Zechariah and Elizabeth) not only did the will of God, but they did it perfectly. That implies they didn’t “miss it” or stumble very much. They were mature and seasoned in their faith. Gideon on the other hand tended to struggle with cowardice. He wasn’t necessarily known for Valor and God was asking him to step out in Faith and do something that not only made no sense, but was chalked with tremendous Valor and Courage. God knew all of this, of course He did, and He had Grace for Gideon’s ambivalence. Because inside a man who considered himself nothing, God saw something extraordinary.

So what is the point of my diatribe? It’s simple, really, other people are not our plump line…Jesus is. We cannot compare our obedience and Call to that of another. It doesn’t matter how greatly you have obeyed the lead of God or how simple your faith. God’s assignment is different for us all and all He measures is our obedience and submission to what He has spoken to us alone. It doesn’t matter what other people do, it only matters what you choose to do. Live and choose in the knowledge that your choices affect others, not just yourself. The greater your responsibility, the greater your accountability to God.

God is so good, so merciful, so kind and Sovereign! He knew all along that Gideon would eventually muster up the courage and obey and he also knew that by Zechariah’s silence it would draw even more attention to the Glory of God and the mantle of Unique Authority placed on the baby tucked in His wife’s womb. God is such an Economizer. When He chooses to move, He sets the conditions to maximize the number of eyes prepared to see His Awesome Wonder and Capacity to do whatever He wants to do.

He wants to use you…
Are you ready? No doubts, no worries, no looking about. Eyes fixed on Him. He is waiting to begin something extraordinary in your life.

~Nicole

April 5, 2017

The Path

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

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About five or six years ago my husband decided to go on a hike up in the Mother Lode of California to spend some time in reflection and prayer. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
We love to hike and though we don’t go as much as we used to-it’s always been something we enjoy together. On this hike, he was gone a very long time and I began to feel a little concerned. John has always been really good at checking in and he tends to call me a lot in general. I hadn’t heard from him all afternoon and he was most likely in a spot with no cell service.

Late that afternoon I finally got the call. He had found a spot with some cell service and phoned to check in. He explained to me that he had gotten lost on the mountain and was having a hard time finding his way out. But he wasn’t afraid at all. He explained he had his water and a jacket and had a plan if he got dark before he got out. He gave me instruction of what to do if he got stuck. I was scared and angry all at the same time. I was frustrated with his sense of adventure and refusal to stay on the carved hiking path.

He called about an hour later to tell me he found the road and his way back to his car. He was safe and on his way home.

What do we do when we seem to have lost our way? How to we handle life’s unexpected detours and setbacks? Do we handle it like a champ or do we get frustrated scared and begin to panic?

When we stay plugged into the Source of all life and drink deep of Living Water we can make our way through an obstacle, road block, mountain terrain or storm. We find our way because He is faithful to guide our path. There is no circumstance that can give God a setback. He always had a plan and always knows the Way. Drink in His Word, spend time in prayer. Seek His face and He will be faithful to meet you on this road less traveled-safe and secure and with a plan in hand. He’s got you! ~Nicole

1 “Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.”
Psalm 16:1

September 21, 2016

Divine Design

Posted in Devotional, true story tagged , , , , at 4:08 am by Broken & Brave

Most mornings I drop the family at school and then my youngest stays with me and we go to the track and run some sprints before my morning clients. The same was true yesterday. Later in the day, around noon, we returned to my husband’s office which is adjacent to the track I’ve been using. My son looks toward the sky then replies, “The sun doesn’t look like that when we run sprints.” I smiled inwardly at the complexity of his observation in relation to his age. I proceeded to talk to him of our solar system, the earth, it’s rotation and how we get the calendar year, the seasons and the days and why the sun doesn’t appear to sit in the exact same place. He listens as I explained the excellence and Constance of God’s Provision of Nature.

The same ingenuity God used to sculpt and hang the sun and how the earth is spun is the same ingenuity He used when He sculpt and design you. He IS constant and is there for you…constantly. You never need worry for it for it is there with you always. Just as extraordinary as the knowledge of knowing the sun will again rise after each night it says goodnight- you can trust His faithfulness to complete every good work he has begun in you and it is sure to sparkle, shine and dazzle bright.

Be extraordinary because you are hand crafted from the extraordinary to live an Abundant life in Christ.

~Nicole

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25

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