January 14, 2018

Beauty

Posted in Inspirational tagged , , , , , , , , , at 8:32 am by Broken & Brave

What is Beauty?

To me, a beautiful woman is one who can carry herself in confidence.
But the confidence she carries herself within is not her own;
it is the knowing she has of the One on the Throne to whom her heart is betrothed.
When you belong to The King,
you hold your head high for you are His to keep.

Ladies, you have immeasurable worth. Hold your head high
and take pride.
Not in your face,
nor in your figure
or in your wits
or any past accomplishments.

Though you have these treasures, there is a deeper treasure to be found in you.

Protect it.

You are like Precious Cargo on a Barge sailing to your Destiny.
You are secure. ~Nicole
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The Pollen of Passion

Posted in Inspirational tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 8:15 am by Broken & Brave

Your successes are safely tucked within your struggle.

Are you struggling?

Right now it looks like progress, passion, perseverance and heart. These are the attributes, the grit, that everything GREAT is made from. It’s never too late to be whatever you want to be. Believe~in yourself and every possibility etched within. Begin~to take the required actions steps of faith required to manifest destiny. As you do these things you will see yourself become all He has woven within you to be..
Like a Valiant Steed does he proceed ahead making a way for absolutely everything you will need to complete your purposed journey.

God will direct your path and the lives of those he has hand picked for you to touch. I believe this with all of my heart. So, never be too hard on yourself, nor too easy either. You are designed, set apart, and created to rise higher and take others with you, too. You’ve got a lot to offer this world, just dig deep inside and LOVE it all out!

From the Crown of your head to the soul of your feet, may the Lord’s plan for your life be made whole and complete. Every little thing you have ever experienced can be used of God to build your heart, hope and happiness if you let it. Life is a beautiful arrangement, like a bouquet of flowers and He is the Gardener. You’ve got a way about you all your own that has a lingering presence.

The world wouldn’t be the same without you. ~Nicole

“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:13-14
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January 12, 2018

Drawing…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:09 am by Broken & Brave

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8

God’s voice can come with Strength and Might like gale force wind. Other times His voice is soft and gentle like the whisper of the breeze through the leaves of a tree. Either way, we must be watching, waiting, and attentive for it.

Part of chasing after the heart of God is learning to press in through prayer. PRESSING IN may require you to PRESS OUT of your comfort zone.

Sometimes our comfort is stretched by merely being still and allowing God to be God. There is nothing you can do better than The Lord. His ways are not ours, so practice the art of trusting Him, leaning on Him, abiding in Him and not on ourselves. It’s always a great day to get better!

~Nicole
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January 7, 2018

Accomplished

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:59 am by Broken & Brave

It is not uncommon for people to project their own struggles, fears, insecurities onto others. It is important to remember that we don’t all struggle the same or think the same. One man’s worries may be another man’s victory.

When I was in college I had a friend from High School who had dropped out of Junior College and began working full time. She had a great job and was making descent money, but her heart’s desire was to return to school and obtain a degree. She had tried to re-engage her academic pursuits a few times only to drop out again. She decided that she wanted to move in with me because in her mind, if she surrounded herself with what she desired she would successfully move in that direction. I had already three years of college under my belt and went to school with a full load while also working a part-time job to help support myself. So, I thought it was a wise idea for her and so I agreed and she moved to my college city, found herself a job and enrolled in a few classes at the neighboring junior college to the university I attended. I’d like to say she stayed the course and quickly advanced, but I can’t. It was a rough terrain for her to reframe her discipline and push through- but over time she did it and excelled in her academic pursuits and is now in a very specialized profession making excellent money and doing something she loves.

Surround yourself with what you desire to achieve or become.

That’s why unity is so key. We can all help each other Overcome. As a True Champion we become willing to place trust in our fellow man. We surrender absolute control and place confidence in others as we go…

Every relationship has propensity to bless your life in countless areas. One friend may excel at one thing while another friend does well at something else. If we hem ourselves together with the glue of loyalty and longevity there isn’t anything we can’t do!

Great things in store for you! God will bring you what you need to achieve every goal or aspiration on your journey. Remain dependent and faithful to Him and a Radiant Joy Journey will begin! These are exciting times we live in!

-Nicole

December 13, 2017

Awakened

Posted in Devotional, Inspirational tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:12 am by Broken & Brave

All of life is a message.
What is yours saying?
All of life is a song.
What is yours singing?
All of life if full of opportunity.
Are you taking any chances?

The Kingdom of God does not come by observation…

One of the greatest achievements for the Christian life is to live a Spirit lead life. Being lead by the Spirit is not easy. You will experience difficulty and immense spiritual warfare when you choose and decide to abide in your stride and walk faithfully at the Lord’s side as He guides you to Rivers of Refreshment. You will encounter great difficulties for the Spirit lead Believer is the Enemy of Heavens greatest threat outside of the Almighty himself.
But if you can overcome…and you can.
If you can dig deep and press through the ravenous terrain.
If you can trench through the muck and the mire and get to the other side…
Not only will you possess a life that completely inspires, but you will personally receive God’s great reward for Faithfulness and obedience.

The Spirit lead life will challenge you. You will permanently move and live outside of your comfort zone. It is a narrow road. Unfortunately, few choose it so it can also be a lonely road. But you never go alone. The Almighty HE is the most stable, able supplemental strength you could ever ask for. He goes, too, right beside you. So go ahead…

Live Brave!

Everything worth having in life requires work. Requires effort. Your life may be “good” on a scale of “Good, Better, Best”. Take actions steps today toward living your BEST life! Finish Strong!

Does anything you’ve read that I’ve said speak to you? Are you facing battles you don’t understand or mountains too ominous to defeat on your own?

You are not alone.
You do not go it alone.
God cups your heart in His hands and He makes no demands.
He just want to comfort you today.

“The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
Jeremiah 1:12

Shalom. May the Peace of God stir the Heavens and pour out a delightful portion of Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Kindness, Thanksgiving, Tenderness and Resilient Strength that supplies for your every need. He is like the almond tree in Jeremiah 1:12. The Hebrew word, shoked, also called the “Awake Tree” hastens. The Lord is awake and watching over you. He is not dormant in your situation. He has Hidden Treasures awaiting you and He will bring forth the accelerated blessing.

Open your eyes…
Be awakened, too.💛

~Nicole

“But The Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me…”
2 Timothy 2:17

 

November 3, 2017

The Check List🔏

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 8:30 am by Broken & Brave

I tend to be task driven by nature. When I was in my twenties I began to realize a shift in my heart. I was noticing that keeping a list and scratching things off was very productive and satisfying, I also saw that the greater my list grew the more overwhelmed I began to feel. As my responsibilities shifted from only being responsible for myself to being responsible for my growing family I had to relearn a healthy balance in this. I began to lay my lists before the Lord. I began to seek His guidance for every day. I realized many times what was important wasn’t a priority for God. As I began to release grip of my goals and their deadlines I began to feel liberated, less stressed and more alive. I was now learning to experience Joy in my Journey. Fast forward to now–all who know me well know that if I’m invited to something or asked to participate in something (even if I’m absolutely wanting to do it) I always respond “I don’t know, I need to pray first”. Sometimes God asks me to do things my schedule doesn’t seem to fit and it ends up flowing beautifully. Sometimes what looks like an obvious “yes”, He says “No”.

Being God Sufficient not Self Sufficient means we don’t always have to work more to bridge the gaps. We just need to trust more that God is our Source for every lack.

“In his heart man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9IMG_7157

November 1, 2017

Cut from Above in Love💎

Posted in true story tagged , , , , , , , at 6:41 am by Broken & Brave

I am a big fan of the idiom, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

In fact, I am always reminding my boys of this saying and it’s meaning when I observe how they sometimes treat each other when one is not doing what the other wants him to do. They will try bossing each other, or get curt with their tone of voice or even come across demanding at times. I know they are children, and they are learning etiquette, manners and the like.

I want them to be gentlemen, little gentlemen in training now…so in time, each one, will become a True Gentleman when grown. They will get it, but it is my job as a parent, to teach them to be kind, use positive words, encouragement and asking for help, not demanding it. I also want to instill in them how praise can go such a long way to making others feel valued, appreciated and needed.

These are practical steps that omit a pleasing aroma of Agape. Of course, we apply these truths to ourself as often as we can…for little lives learn by what we do, not what we say.

I shift my gaze to my culture around me and see people who have forgotten how to love. Our society as a “melting pot” has forgotten how to meld and gel together. People seem agitated and frustrated and angry. But when you encounter this remember, they are probably really hurting. They have forgotten the focus of their gaze upward and have become focused on the wrong things. Some are just bent this way and some have experienced a slow ebbing away and not realized what has happened. Be gracious. Display gentlemen and gentle lady like demeanor. Smile at people even when they frown. Be kind and approachable even to the rigid and recoiled. Chances are most won’t change from their encounter with you, but one might. You don’t know who it will be. Rise above, Ladies and Gentlemen. I think that Old American polished Gentry still exists in the heart of humanity. Let’s not quit on each other…just like you wouldn’t want your kids to give up on each other. God’s got a big family called Humanity and had loaded His Hope within.

We are all His Diamonds in the rough.

~Nicole

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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

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

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

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