Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The beginning of this year I found myself in a new city away from things that were familiar to me. We knew it was Your will to move up here, but I honestly found myself very upset, angry, depressed, and disappointed. How could You take us away from our family, our friends, our house, our church, my ability to work using my college degree? As I spent some ugly time rolling around in those "why" questions and making myself miserable, You in all your amazing grace kept whispering to my heart, and in the moment of me being still, and listening I heard you say, "Nichole I had to take those things away so that I could give you more of Me" ‘Wow, You really do know me don’t You?’ Early on this year You crossed my path with a sweet girl from the south, who said Your words to my heart, "Nichole when I got to see the real you I knew I would like getting to know you." Yes she said those words, but I knew they were straight from Your heart! It is the message You have whispered to my heart from the day You captured it! "Be the one I created you to be!" Thank You for giving me such an amazing gift in the month of February, You unwrapped a gift that You had actually given to me many years ago, the dream of speaking, and re-presented with the right purpose, speaking for You! For You have spent this year dancing with me in fields of grace. A grace that is so needed in my daily life as wife, mom, daughter, friend and sister. Teaching me how to live. How to live every moment and take my steps intentionally. Giving me Your eyes so that I can see those around me how You do. Then nudging me and saying…’go ahead and love all over them’. A love that really isn’t me, no its just the overflow from You! And did I tell You just how much it tickles me to see You love on people? You are amazing! I did many things out of obedience. An obedience that didn’t look or sound so pretty many times. Which makes me stand back in awe that You are that good to work through my feeble attempt at obedience. Oh and in the process learned that it is all in Your beautiful design of just how a relationship with You flows. From obedience I learned that respect, patience, love, endurance, perseverance, commitment, and submission will be woven in at just the right times…thank You! I fell down quite a few times, with the skinned knees came tears, pride removal, honesty, and obedience. Thank You for each one of these times. Thank You for not taking me out of any of the circumstances of this past year. Thank You for holding my hand, wiping my tears, and whispering to my heart, "there is purpose even in this." Thank You for blessing me with the most amazing man, the most loving two little boys, and a network of family and friends that allow You to use them. Thank You for friends I have made over this past year via this blog that You created and You orchestrate. Friends who You are doing some amazing things through. You are helping them to fight for their lives, run their homes, and spread Your love. Thank You for the blessing of each person I have met through this blog, because it is an opportunity to see You work!
Lord that I can say at the end of this year, "I am not who I was!"
Thank You for loving me so much that You make everything around me about You!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Monday, December 29, 2008
Today marks day 40 of a journey we began back in November. We began with a question. For some of us there was a definite answer to that question. For others there was an answer that led us to ask another question, and there are still others standing barefoot listening to His voice as He reveals an answer. This journey did have a beginning, however I am happy to state that we will not see an ending until He has completed the work in us that He needs to do. He is a God who completes every project He begins!
So don your t-shirt and wear it with pride
"I am a work in progress!"
And friends this work is nothing you can do. No, your job is to submit and allow the Holy Spirit to work through you. And hey for me, I even need help with the submission part! Yes this girly needs help.
I know that beginnings can be scary things, because they might have followed an ending of something else.
The ending of a marriage.
The beginning of living without a spouse.
The ending of a house full of children as they head off to college and get married.
The beginning of motherhood.
The ending of a career.
The beginning of living with a disease.
The ending of a relationship.
The beginning of a relationship.
We must turn all our beginnings and even our endings over to Him and allow Him to bring purpose to them. For what looks like nothing to us is something to Him.
From a chaotic mess to an organized system
From a pile of ugliness to a beautiful display
God was there in the beginning and He has already been there to write the ending, so trust Him that the journey has purpose.
May we allow Jesus to be our beginning and our ending.
Update: Please email me if you would like to share about your 40 day journey. I know some of you have some great lessons we could all learn from!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
If you are new to the blog, Welcome! My friends and I have been on a 40 day journey that we started in November during a Friday Challenge.
We started by asking God, which led us to seeking Him. Seeking His answers. This journey has not been easy for most of us, but well worth it! What started off with one question has led us into a much deeper relationship and understanding of who God is. Amen! We have had some definite barefoot moments. I do have to admit though currently I am journeying with these on my feet…to keep my tootsies warm!
All of our journeys have looked so beautiful and so different. For that reason I could stand in awe of our Amazing God.
There is purpose in the journey. Our journey is not going to be completed in 40 days, I believe this time was spent in serious focus to get us moving in His direction. Our journey might seem long and painful, but remember God isn’t just keeping us breathing, He is preparing us to live in service and devotion to Him.
We are on Day 34 of the journey, and I continue to pray with you and for you. Knowing God will reveal more of Himself to you!
God has asked me to ask you to share some fruit of your journey with others. He has asked me to open the blog at the end of the 40 days for you to share. Remember that what you went through brought you closer to the heart of God, and just what if there is someone else out there that NEEDS that same journey. Yes I believe the journey will look different for them, but they may need you to help them start their journey! If you feel led to share, please email me. I love to show God off and the work He is doing!
Jesus loves you!
Monday, December 22, 2008
Our second little guy came to us as one of the greatest Christmas gifts. He was born in the month of December. Three years ago I remember living in great expectation of meeting this little one who God had designed on purpose. I remember trying to fathom how Mary felt knowing her responsibility far outweighed mine...for she was carrying Jesus!
I know many friends and family members who also celebrate their birthdays in the month of December.
One being Miss Savannah! This is one of Cindy's precious girls (http://armygirlsx4.blogspot.com/). Savannah is not feeling so great...so please pray for her to feel better on her birthday!
Happy Birthday to you Savannah!
May you feel like the princess He created you to be! I love you!
May we understand that great gifts come in small packages...in the forms of little babies that can change our lives!
Friday, December 19, 2008
For the regulars…there is no Friday Challenge today…instead we are celebrating…
My 100th post…and He deserves all the glory for this blog.
I dedicate this post to my best Friend. He rescued me from my past to be in relationship with Him and He is teaching me how to live in the center of His grace and love.
We all have been called by the One who can cut the chains of slavery that bind us, the One who created us to live free. The One who paid a very large price for our freedom. He desires more than anything for us to live in this freedom.
who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time 2 Timothy 1:9
God sent His son Jesus on purpose. Jesus lived His life on purpose, and died for a purpose. That purpose is YOU. He came to save you from slavery, slavery to a life of sin and misery. He came to rescue you.
God asks us:
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
Once we accept our free gift of salvation blanketed in His amazing grace, He guides us in a beautiful relationship, bringing us close to His heart. He uses His word to reveal to us our purpose.
There's nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes and training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (The Message)
We need to believe we are who God says we are. We are a new creation and need to be living in that every moment.
God works in ‘all things’-not just isolated incidents-for our good. Not everything that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. God is not working to make us happy, but to fulfill His purpose. Once we are in a grace and love filled relationship with our Creator we are called according to His purpose. God has given us a new perspective, a new mind-set on life. He is teaching us to trust Him, not the people and things of this world; we look for our security in heaven, not on earth; we learn to accept, not resent, pain and persecution because we know God has a purpose, an eternal purpose.
May we allow Him to redeem us from our past, and to restore and renew us to live our lives on purpose.
Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (The Message)
Monday, December 15, 2008
In his book John focuses on a central theme, love. John shows us how the One who is love loved others. Jesus shows love to others.
"A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34
Jesus was not sharing a new commandment ( Leviticus 19:18 " 'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. ) rather He was sharing a new concept to be living examples of Jesus' love.
"By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another." John 13:35
Love is more than a warm feeling. Rather it is a heart overflowing with the presence of Jesus's love that overflows onto the people around you.
Helping someone when its not convenient for you
Giving to someone when it hurts
Expending energy on someone else and their welfare rather than your own
Taking the hurt from others without complaing or fighting back
This kind of love is not something we are capable of. It doesn't come from us, rather it comes through us... from the Source.
My friend Kala called me this morning and asked if I would be home today so she could bring me something. The door bell rang 30 minutes later and I opened the door to a warm beautiful smile, two gallons of milk and cheddar cheese! As tears welled up in my eyes, she says..."I knew you could use the milk and the cheese was on sale"
Oh Lord I don't quite get the depth of Your amazing love, and I am always amazed at how You work. Thank You Father for using Kala to love on our family today! Amen
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thank you so much for your prayers for me and my family. For you have all prayed not knowing the details of the circumstances...yet knowing and believing in the God who does!
Wherever you may find yourself today:
As a wife or husband
As a daughter or son
As a parent
As a friend
As a co-worker
As a neighbor
As a teacher
are you being sincere?
Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God. 2 Corinthians 2:17 (emphasis mine)
Now I know this verse above is speaking to preachers and teachers of God word. Those who have been called into ministry. It is speaking to preachers who were going around sharing God's word without understanding or caring about what happened to their listeners. They were not concerned about building up the kingdom of God, they were in it for the money.
Do you believe that you are to speak for God?
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20
I believe we are all called to speak for God. It starts wherever we are and goes wherever we are. In our homes, with our families, friends, and neighbors.
So the challenge today is to:
How should it sound when you speak for God? Sincere. From a heart overflowing with His love, grace and comfort.
May we be sincere in our thoughts, words and actions.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The past few weeks have been a very rough game for us. We are wearing all the right equipment and yet we are ready for a timeout…please ref blow the whistle!! It is very clear to me that the other team doesn’t play by the same rules. Yet God has whispered to my heart, ‘yeah I know that, but remember you are on my team and I wrote the “rules”’ Yes the game is hard, so skate hard! For we have been checked multiples times up against the boards and the game is not over yet.
Have you ever seen Scripture lived out? I have and it has to be one of the most beautiful things. For my husband is doing just that. While I am ready to rip off my gloves and starting swinging…oh and yelling…and pulling the jerseys over the heads of the opponents…he is keeping his gloves on and turning the other cheek! My teammate is living out Gods grace…thanks babe for teaching this rookie a few things!! For my husband knows the game, and he knows when to play by the rules!
We are committed to play this one out, as we know that we get more than the Stanley Cup in the end…we get to sit with the Coach and have one huge after game party!
Thank you for sitting in the stands, cheering for us!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Our family needs prayer.
This is part of a pride removing process to even ask for help and prayer. But I am stepping out in faith and asking.
Please join us in praying...for we are praying hard...and we are expecting and believing He will answer! Our God knows the details and He knows how the story goes.
I thank you, and my family thanks you! Love to you and praises up to Him!
I want to share this song with you, as it deeply touches my heart!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Warning: These feet are not pedicured, they are blistered and dry! However these feet are Bare Naked and standing in the presence of God.
Friends for it is out of the need for pride to be removed, relationships to be restored, lessons to be learned, hurts to heal, new experiences to be lived out, lifes to be changed, joy to be delivered, and ministry to move that these feet of mine are Naked!
I am praying for those of you who are joining me on this journey. I am praying for you by name, Heather, Susan, Edie, Pamela, Joy, Sue, Laurie, and Kristi. I am praying and knowing that God knows why your feet are Naked, or need to be Naked. He knows and He cares! He loves each one of you so much. We are on Day 18 of our Journey...Keep Moving Friends God's Waiting! It's not too late to join us on this 40Day Journey of seeking, expecting and believing! I would love to have you join and I know He would be tickled to love all over you!
May we keep seeking Him on purpose!
Friday, December 5, 2008
What does it mean to be barefoot before God?
The Commander of the LORD’s army replied, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so. Joshua 5:15
Have you been barefoot before God?
When we come seeking God we must be barefoot, there must be nothing in the way of experiencing His holiness.
When was the last time you were barefoot before God?
Please join me
Allow Him to remove our shoes.
Allow Him to cleanse our feet.
Stand in His presence barefooted in reverence and awe.
You have shown me the way of life,and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’
In His presence we will experience everlasting joy.
May we want to know more about Jesus and keep walking barefoot in His presence.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
One of my most favorite things to do...is to let others know that Jesus thinks they are terrific! That Jesus adores them...loves them to pieces...and wants to hold their hand as they journey through life!
My friend Cindy (http://armygirlsx4.blogspot.com/) goes tomorrow for her 5th round of chemo and she needs us! She needs us to love on her...pray for her...and fight with her!
I have a bracelet to send you to join our Pink Power Team...so let me know where to send it and it will be on the way. We NEED to cover all 50 states!! Spread the word...include your family and friends!
I love you and more importantly our Amazing God up in Heaven thinks you are so worth loving!!
See you tomorrow for a fun and creative Friday Challenge!!!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
"Were the cookies worth it?"
1.They were english shortbread cookies covered in chocolate. The box contained 6 and there is no evidence of them ever being in our home...not a crum.
2. Karen (Alaska Airlines) laughed so hard while on the phone with me! I sure hope it helped her get through her other "crazy" calls with the other frequent flyers! She totally could relate with the engineer, or maybe she has been married to one a lot longer than I have! She also thought it insane that FedEx would want me to scoot all around town with the box of cookies trying to return it.
3. The joy of seeing my engineer and his two little engineers in training sitting around a table eating cookies, laughing, and saying..."thank you mommy for asking Karen if we could have the Christmas cookies!"
The wife of the engineer knows that what is given out will come back to her. Does a box of cookies snagged from Mr. Previous Homeowner via a 20 minute phone call with Karen at Alaska Airlines earn 1 new pair of shoes or 2? I am waiting while the Engineer runs his calcuations....
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Some of the things that I do know about my engineer:
**God wired his DNA to be an engineer. He works as an engineer, sleeps as an engineer and functions in our marriage as an engineer.
**State Problem **List possible Solutions **Implement Solution
**Hanging pictures in our house includes the following tools: level, stud finder, appropriate nail/screw dependent on weight of item to be hung, hammer and/or drill dependent on item to be put in the wall. This procedure is calculated precisely my friends!
**Measure twice, cut once!
**Our home functions on "lean manufacturing". There are not a whole 'lotta extras', there is a close set of eyes on the amount of shoes, decorations, children, and purses we keep in the house!
**Faucets don't drip, floor boards don't squeak, cars don't leak, and the weed wacker doesn't smoke...and if any of the above items are out of proper functioning...then we don't play until they receive their scheduled maintenance.Please peek into my yesterday so that you can see that the engineer has an insane sense of humor and I have a deep love for him.
Yesterday the doorbell rings around 11:00am as the boys and I are eating a snack. I run out to the front porch to see a package on the bench and the FedEx lady zooming away quickly in her truck off to make more deliveries in this busy season. I bring the box into the kitchen where the boys are sitting at the bar. I am reading the box and notice it is from Alaska Airlines and is addressed to Mr. Previous Homeowner (the man that owned our home before us). "Oh no boys this isn't for us" So I pick up the phone and call the 800 number for Alaska Airlines and talk to Ryan who tells me, "Oh Mrs. Hamblin we are so sorry those are Mr. Previous Homeowners Christmas cookies and we must not have his updated address, could you please write in black marker Return to Sender on the box and then find a local FedEx drop site and send them back to us and we will try and find Mr. Previous Homeowner" So I hang up the phone and obediently open our junk drawer (which the engineer keeps very organized) and pull out the black sharpie marker and write Return to Sender on the box. As I am standing there I am thinking..."so this is how the better half lives...they get Christmas cookies from the airlines!" And in the moment I am thinking I have to share with The Engineer, so I call him at work and to tell him what just happened, and his response, "why did you call them? we are going to eat those cookies they were delivered to our house." So being the engineers wife I respond with:
The Problem: "honey these are not our cookies, our name is not on the box"
The engineer states, "well I am a mileage member with Alaska Airlines" I didn't dare point out that his measly 12,000 miles accrued in the last 12 years probably doesn't come close to matching what Mr. Previous Homeowner had to have flown to earn these cookies! To shorten this story I will move along and have you note that I think he spent his afternoon sitting at his engineer desk dreaming of the cookies in that box.
For when he walked in the door I was greeted with "So where are our cookies?" I informed him they were sitting on the counter to be Returned to Sender. He added another solution to the problem
Solution to the problem: "why don't you call Alaska Airlines back and ask if we can have this box of cookies and they can send Mr. Previous Homeowner another box?"
As I stood in the kitchen...he walked down the hall to greet the boys laughing. I thought the above listed solution was him revealing a moment of engineer humor. He informed me it was not just engineer humor he really wanted those cookies. Well friends I:
Implemented the solution: "Hi Karen, this is Nichole Hamblin and this will be the most insane phone call you will probably ever receive, but we received Mr. Previous Homeowners box of Christmas cookies today and The Engineer has spent most of his afternoon dreaming of them and he would really like...."
After dinner our little family enjoyed the 'better halfs Christmas cookies from Alaska Airlines' for dessert, and I tacked this day up to one that shows just how much I love my engineer.
Monday, December 1, 2008
We started by asking our question and seeking our answer from God.
I have to say this is Day 11 of this journey and boy has it been a crazy 11 days, and I can personally tell you that the enemy has put up a HUGE fight and thrown a lot of mud at this here Pacific Northwest girly! So you know what that means right? Watch out girls…God is doing some “incredible, mind blowing, knock the socks right off your tootsies kinda work!” And the enemy doesn’t like this so he is trying to yell to keep me from hearing His voice. The enemy doesn’t want me to see the work God is doing so he is blurring my vision. Is the enemy throwing mud at you? Well I know who I am fighting against, and the more I seek God, I know the enemy works even harder to distract me. What about you? Do you know who you are fighting against? Do you know how the enemy is trying to interrupt you and keep you from seeking God? You need to know who you are fighting against and you need to know how to fight. (Ephesians 6:10-20)
I encourage you to keep seeking God in this journey and know that you can fight the enemy, and God will equip you with everything you need to fight that fight and come out a winner!
If you are looking for Him expect to see Him. Expect God to answer you, because He will! He will answer because He cares for you. He will rescue because you are worth being rescued. He will love you because you are His. He will hold you because He desires to spend time with you. He will strengthen you and bring you hope because that’s what He does!
We need to believe God. Believe God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do! Believe His answer. Believe He has your best interest in mind. For He has the great eternal picture packed full of purpose, and He answers you on purpose, with purpose. Believe God!
In this season may we be seeking the One who we can expect to answer, who is the One worth believing.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"
"Come," he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. John 1:35-39 (NIV)
In my opinion John used the perfect introduction. Everyone get your eyes on this One for He is the one that will pay the price and it will be a one time deal. He is the one we have been waiting for. The days of sacrificing a lamb in the morning and a lamb in the evening for the peoples sins would soon be gone. Only God could provide the perfect sacrifice.
So the disciples left John and followed after Jesus. For John had prepared the people to follow Jesus. Everything John did pointed people to their coming Savior. And here John witnesses the fruit of his labor, and see the disciples walk after the One. John's purpose had been fulfilled.
Jesus sees them. I just love these precious words, you see Jesus doesn't miss a thing, He sees everything! So, He sees them following after Him and asks them a question. Which is another favorite part of Scripture for me...I love when Jesus asks the questions. He is initiating the conversation, He is reaching out in a loving relationship!
"What do you want?"
I believe Jesus is asking this in a very loving, and inviting way. His question is saying that it is not enough to just follow after Him, we need to do it for the right reasons. Those right reasons are His. If we don't know what they are then we need to be asking Him to show us. It is not okay for me to follow Him for my purposes. That would be me asking Him to follow me, which is not a good idea at all!
Do I follow Jesus for me? Or for Him?
Do I want Jesus for me? Or do I want Jesus for Him?
Am I seeking my glory? Or seeking glory for Him?
For they are seeking to know more of who He is, and to be in relationship with Him.
For they want more of Him.
Jesus invites them,
"Come and you will see."
Jesus knew their hearts, He knew they were truly seeking Him and He would reveal more of Himself to them.
So the disciples went and spent the day with their Teacher.
May we accept His invitation and spend time with Him!
Monday, November 24, 2008
For many years I have went from month to month in fear of how my emotions will carry me. Will this be a "half a pan of chocolate brownies month" or will this be the full out need to visit the "Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory" field trip month?
I am sitting here typing this out for two reasons, one it is part of having the chains removed and stepping out into the light of freedom. Second it is out of obedience, for I believe God didn't write my story for my benefit. He wrote it to bring glory to Himself. And He has whispered to my heart....'Nichole there might be another person out there that needs to know they are not alone.'
So here it goes...
"Hi I'm Nichole and I can get not so nice and emotional due to a wacky amount of hormones that go rushing through my body each and every month!"
Each month I end up with a few days that feel very dark for me. Even in the bright sunshine standing outside in the middle of the day, it can feel very dark, gloomy, and depressing. Some months are just fine while others can bring me into a pit. I say things out of emotion, I am short tempered, I cry, and I can treat those closest to me not so nicely.
On Friday (scroll down to see the Friday Challenge) I asked God my question: "Why did you create me so hormonal?" Well Satan was the first to jump in with his answers. I heard Satan loud and clear "you are messed up Nichole, you are not good enough, who do you think you are, God cannot use you, you are an emotional basket case, this isn’t a real issue look around you all the other women are dealing with it just fine, this isn’t something you pray about and its definitely not something you talk about. "
I heard God respond to Satan's lies with:
"I made you just the way you are!"
I believe God has a purpose for the kleenex, chocolate, did I say that time of the month. I am seeking His purpose. I am seeking His will. I know that it is not His will for me to be in the dark, or for me to base my actions on my emotions and feelings. I know God wants me to love those around me. I know that this is not something He expects me to suffer through. He created me with emotions, they are built into my DNA, some are for loving those around me, for having compassion, and for encouraging. I refuse to listen to Satan lies. I refuse to sit in the darkness he brings and to allow him to smother me.
I choose to live in the light. Part of this choice to live in the light is writing this very post today. You see Satan would have me keep this all to myself and keep my pride mask on and appear that I am in control of everything. God has asked me to trust Him, to allow Him to remove the mask and to step into His light and to let the truth of His word set me free.
I am so thankful for a God who cares about every detail of our lives. I am thankful for a God who can take our "great big emotional, cried on dipped in chocolate questions" and answer them in His perfect timing!
The women that are joining me on this 40 day challenge to ask God "our question" are Heather, Edie, Pam, Sue, Susan, Joy, and Mom. I am committed to lift each one of you in prayer.
May this 40 day journey be one of asking our questions, seeking His answers and finding ourselves in a deeper relationship with our Creator!
Friday, November 21, 2008
I am scared, excited and overwhelmed with the Friday Challenge today. It is a very personal one with me, which makes me scared to take it myself! I am excited to share it as I know God will do great things through it and I am overwhelmed with the idea of just how much "work" needs to be done in my heart alone!
Do you have a question for God?
God has laid it on my heart that there are a lot of questions today. Questions that need to be asked, and He wants you to ask Him. In asking Him, He will bring the perfect answer, at the perfect time!
I know my specific question of God. As I was praying for you, He laid it on my heart that there are other questions out there about:
This weeks Friday Challenge is to commit the next 40 days...which will take us through the end of this year, to ask God your question, be in daily dialogue, journal what you learn, journal how you see God working. Read His precious word to you, journal what you hear Him saying.
For those of you who are asking 'what if my answer comes before my 40 days are up?'....Thank you Jesus! Then ask your next question!!
If you are committing to this challenge, let me know, and I will be praying with you and for you!
Scripture I am reading:
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Please join me today in wishing Miss Madison a VERY Happy Birthday!!
Madison, eat cake, dance, sing and know that you are very loved!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. 1 Corinthians 3:5-9
Does He want you to plant a seed?
Does He want you to water the seeds that have been planted around you?
May we each live fully and freely in the purpose He has for us!
Then Stand Back and let God Show Off!
Monday, November 17, 2008
I believe God created us intentionally with a void in each one of us, a void that can only be filled with The Word of Life.
We live in a world that is full of resources to fill this void. But none of the worlds resources quite fit the void that our Creator designed.
My heart is ready to be used by an amazing God to spread The Word of Life to those around me. There is an urgent need to be God's hands and feet.
so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. Philippians 2:15-17 (emphasis added)
May we be uncomfortable with the idea that there are voids out in our world today!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Words have the power of life and the power of death.
How many words of life do you speak daily to your husband, children, family, friends?
How many words of life do you hear daily from your loved ones?
18 years ago I was in a car accident that left me completely paralyzed. Hearing my mom speak words of life to me in the hospital everyday changed me. It changed my attitude, my outlook, and my recovery. It could have been gloom and doom, but it wasn’t! Everyday had its challenges, but they were faced by speaking words of life, which is God’s truth and standing on that truth!
Rebekah and Jacob is another parent - child relationship, but words of life were not spoken. Rebekah, by her words and actions, taught her son, Jacob to lie, scheme and deceive. Read Genesis 25:19-34 and 27.
Words we speak to others and ourselves have the power of life and of death!
Your Friday Challenge is….
Which words are you going to speak? Words of life or words of death.
Throughout this weekend, think about what you are speaking to others and let Nichole know Monday how it goes and what differences you see in those around you!
Thanks for having me!
Princess…Daughter of the King
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This verse has taken on so much meaning in the last few days since God revealed it to me in a new way, thank you Beth Moore.
Can you see Jesus sitting right next to God waiting in anticipation to hear Him say..."okay Son go get your bride and bring her home!"
I can barely sit still...this my friends is a beautiful picture of His love for us!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Thank you "girls" last night for allowing me to be a guest. I feel so blessed to have sat in the room with you last night. Thank you for sharing your stories, for they are important and God knows them. He loves you so very much. Step out into His love and live in it fully. I feel honored to have prayed with you last night, thank you for blessing me with the opportunity to take you to God and let Him love on you! I am continuing to pray for you, knowing God has great blessings for you!
Dear Family, Friends, and Guests,
Thank you for joining in on this past Fridays Challenge. Prayer changes things!! Thank you for taking and leaving prayer requests. I am continuing to pray for these requests, knowing God is all over each situation...cause thats just how GREAT He is!
I am needing a guest writer to write this weeks Friday Challenge if you are interested please contact me via my website under the contact page. I would feel honored for you to write the Friday Challenge!
Love to you and prayers up to Him!
Monday, November 10, 2008
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom." Matthew 26:26-29
For I am in awe of what He has done for me. For He did it for everything I did in the past, to which He brought grace, He did it for right now the these moments as He is teaching me and is filling my life with grace, and He has grace for my footsteps of faith in the future.
There is NO place that you have been, or currently are, or will ever go that His grace is not sufficient for.
He desires for us to live life freely anf fully in His grace!
When we allow the love and joy that has been given to us to become a flaming fire full of passion inside our hearts we will desire to share it with others.
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:17-20
Friday, November 7, 2008
Do you know that God loves to talk to us? He loves to have a ongoing open dialogue with us. Did you know that there is power in prayer? You see we don't pray unassisted...thank goodness! He has gifted us with the power of His Holy Spirit to intercede for us. I have used the visual many times of the Spirit standing there tugging on His robe..."listen to your daughter, she is crying out for your help." Many times we don't have what we feel to be the right words, or even know how to pray, rest assured...it's okay...just open your heart to Him...and He will guide the dialogue.
So the challenge this week is to:
However the Friday Challenge this week is going to have a little twist. Below is a list specific prayer request that have been brought to His feet today. I am asking today that you "take one" and "leave one". Please take a request that is on the list below or that has been left in the comment section and pray. And then please leave one in the comment section. If you would like to leave one anonymously that is great too!
God cares about these things:
Lee's (http://prayergifts.blogspot.com/) brother-in-law has been diagnosed with cancer. Please pray for the entire family to be surrounded by God
A marriage in Salem OR fighting to staying together
A grandmas grandson who is fighting to stay off drugs and find a job
A woman in OR who is rebuilding the foundation of her life after struggling many years with alcohol and drugs
Cindy (http://armygirlsx4.blogspot.com/) Shining like a light in the midst of a heavy battle
Stay at home moms who are needing perseverance to get up and do it again today
Multiple churches that are being attacked by the enemy
Parents who are fighting for their children
Praises for physical healing
The woman who is trying to find her true identity
The lady who is went home to her house last night lonely
A marriage retreat in Leavenworth
Dear Heavenly Father thank you for loving us, thank you for hearing us. We believe You are the One who works all things out for the good of those who love you-Amen
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
I love you, Lord
Our Father up in heaven
Your name is Holy and Sovereign
I know Your Kingdom will come
and I know your will, will be done!
For you have planned it up in heaven
and you will bring it to be on earth
Give us what we need for today
Please forgive us for our offenses to you
and we forgive those who have offended us
Lord lead us not into temptation
and deliver us from the evil one
For Yours Lord is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever-
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
"Nichole your life verse means something to you because its what I brought to you to bring purpose to your life" –God
"Yeah and I think its great and I think I need to share it because I will be sharing about my life and the purpose You brought to it" –me
"Nichole are you sharing to talk about yourself, or to bring people to me?" -God
This is the verse He has covered my days with for the past week. Everywhere I turn, this verse is shining bright. I am on a Bible Reading Plan and it was "scheduled" for me to read, a friend lent me a book The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers a very powerful book about bringing purpose to a very difficult situation in which the author uses Romans 8:28 to end the book, in our Sunday School class we are doing the Chasing Daylight study by Erwin McManus and that was the verse he used to share about uncertainty. And just yesterday God asked me to step out in obedience to put myself into a very uncomfortable situation.
"Really why am I here, what am I supposed to be getting out of this?"-me
"Nichole you are not here for yourself, you are here to comfort." –God
For in ALL THINGS, God is working to bring good!
Monday, November 3, 2008
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8 (emphasis added)
Please know that I am a committed and teachable student of The Rabbi. That being said I do not want to get in the way of God’s word and His plan for each person’s life. Friday was not for me to cast the "gift of encouraging" on anyone.
On to today’s blessing of Scripture….
When was the last time you asked God to show you something unique about you?
The Bible is full of people He created with unique characteristics and abilities that He can use to accomplish His work. The key is that we have to be willing to let Him use us the way we are. God used, a slave, a shepherd, a farmer, a son of a prostitute, a housewife, a peasant girl, a tax collector, a doctor, and a fisherman.
Are you a passionate person like Paul?
Are you physically strong like Samson?
Are you a Hannah who is willing to give her children for God’s use?
Are you a leader like Moses?
As I have been studying different people in the Bible and learning how God used them to fulfill His purposes, I met Ehud. His story is in the book of Judges in the Old Testament. Please read http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%203:12-31;&version=31;
Ehud was left handed. In his day that was considered a handicap. God used Ehud’s perceived handicap to bring Israel victory. This story includes some not fun details, but I am grasping real tightly to what I am considering a really neat detail. He was left handed! You see I am left handed and even though I would not consider it a handicap in my life I have stood out from the crowd many times. Please don’t get me wrong there are many other people who deal with much greater issues than this. God used this story to speak to my heart and to my life message of Living My Life On Purpose. He created you and me just how He wants us, and when we submit all of who we truly are to Him, He will do great things through us. He created us to have an intimate relationship with Him. In this relationship He will teach us and develop us so we will fulfill the purpose He has for us.
He is a God who can use anyone in any circumstance to build up His kingdom and bring glory to Himself. Amen!
May you come to Him just as you are and allow Him to do great things through you.
Friday, October 31, 2008
I have recently been learning more about Barnabas (now that's a name!) His name means Son of Encouragement. And he allowed God to fulfill the meaning of his name. He traveled with Paul and encouraged people. He was drawn to people he could encourage. As he was encouraging people, more would come to be encouraged! It was Barnabas who God sent to bring encouragement to Paul at the time of his conversion. Wow...can you just imagine what life would have been like if Paul didn't have Barnabas?
The world is filled with people who need encouraged. Your city, your place of work, your neighborhood, your church, and your home is filled with people who need encouraged. One of the most effective ways we can help is to
When he arrived and saw what grace (favor) God was bestowing upon them, he was full of joy; and he continuously exhorted (warned, urged, and encouraged) them all to cleave unto and remain faithful to and devoted to the Lord with [resolute and steady] purpose of heart.
For he was a good man [good in himself and also at once for the good and the advantage of other people], full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit and full of faith (of his belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation). And a large company was added to the Lord. Acts 11:23-24 (Amplified Bible)
May we allow Him to lead us to people who need encouraged. Be ready, encouraging someone could take us out of our comfort zones! When we are called to be like Jesus sometimes life will be uncomfortable and inconvenient, as I imagine the cross to have been!
May we be submitted to Him so He can love and encourage through us.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I am reading in Romans and this morning I read chapter 8. As I was reading I started thinking, this section speaks to so many people’s hearts right now.
Do you feel like you are fighting a battle? Do you feel like there is something you have to conquer?
Have you lost a job and bills are still coming in the mailbox?
Has the plan for retirement taken on a different time frame?
Are you spending each day with a cancer inside your body?
Do you desire to be pregnant?
Is there a relationship that needs to be restored?
Does your church look like a war zone?
Is there an addiction that you are tired of wrestling with?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
Is there a circumstance or person in your life that you feel is just trying to take the very rug you are standing on right out from under your feet?
As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:28-39 (emphasis added)
Are you convinced that NOTHING can stand in the way of His love for you? We are more than conquers and there is NOTHING that in His power we cannot overcome. There is not a circumstance, disease, situation, or relationship that can trump the power of the cross!
May we go out and conquer in His power!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
There was laughter Sunday morning when the pastor announced from the pulpit he had E.D. which started my husband and the youth pastor next to him to laugh so hard the pew was shaking, the pastor went on to explain what the letters stood for, Enormous Disappointment which he tied in beautifully to his sermon...which might have been lost on a few of us! The one thing I did get out of it was that his E.D. was not the same thing that they so freely talk about on tv and have a pill for!
Laughter continued into the week when the boys so freely shared their new talent of rhyming words and sharing silly songs and stories. They just light up and keep going when they see that their momma can't stop giggling.
I believe that laughter heals us.
The challenge today:
I know life can be overwhelming, stressful, and too much. But I believe He wants us to heal. Healing comes in many forms.
I have included part of a video clip from I Walked on the Moon by Brian Regan. My husband and I watched this together on Monday. We had a great time laughing!
"When humor goes, there goes civilization. " Erma Bombeck
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Today I am asking some questions to get your thoughts, opinions, testimonies, and any other questions that might come to your mind. If you would feel more comfortable answering the questions via email just let me know!
1. Do you believe God is a God of purpose?
2. Do you believe Jesus had a specific purpose?
3. What does the phrase, "living your life on purpose mean to you?"
4. Are there people you know who live their lives on purpose?
5. Do you believe you were created on purpose?
6. What kind of things do you do on purpose?
7. Are you intentional in the way you live?
8. Are you living in the moment or for the next moment?
9. Do you believe God can use anyone to accomplish His plan?
10. What do you believe your purpose to be?
Dear Heavenly Father thank you for blessing us by bringing us closer to you. For it truly outweighs anything this world has to offer. We love You Lord and thank You for first loving us, and paying a huge price for us, through Your Son Jesus-Amen
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Thank you SO much for interceding with your prayers, sharing your words of encouragement, leading me to His word, and sharing your personal testimonies. I know I have been so surrounded by God these past two days in the everyday life...which is where He always is in my life, I just had to be more aware of it.
I know He is feeding me well, with rest, His word...did you know there is some GREAT stuff in that book...woo-hoo...seriously...its full of His love for you! I have also spent some great family time, playing, laughing, caring for them. I also have been laughing...it is so healing for me! I love to laugh and giggle until my belly aches!! My boys were born with their daddies sense of humor...so laughter is always present in our home!
Tomorrow (Wednesday) I will post a series of questions about Purpose...for a session I am working on for a MOPS group in November. So please come back if you want to take part!
Oh and if you find yourself needing a Friday Challenge...well come visit on Friday!
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:1-5
Monday, October 20, 2008
I feel like God has placed me out on an island, and its very lonely out here. And for the last two weeks I have stood on the beach waiting for any boat that comes up to the shore and grabbed on to it to pull it closer to me to fill the void of this lonely uncomfortable feeling. The boats have had different distractions in them people, food, anything other than God. Last night while I was sharing it out loud with Steve and then this morning God has revealed to me, I am on this island for His purpose. He has placed me here to strip me of pride, selfishness, and unhealthy dependency on others and food. He has brought me here to refine me. To make me more like Himself. Wow, what an awesome privelege, and yet I have an icky attitude about it! To which He whispers into my heart...'don't worry My child I can work on that attitude thing too!' Last night when I said out loud, "I am lonely out here on this island" I could actually see the disappointment in my Creators face, the hurt I caused Him. Hello Nichole....God is all over this island how could you be lonely when the God who created you, loves you and wants to spend time with you is here with you?
So how long am I here? I am not sure, but I do know now that I trust God is doing this for all the right reasons. Not to make me feel lonely, but to bring me closer to His heart.
As much as I would like to invite you to come visit me on my island I have been instructed I can't!! So my invitation is this, will you embrace where you currently are today? Will you see God has you where He needs you to be? Will you let Him refine you?
Friday, October 17, 2008
Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
This is some most excellent advice! If this is your first visit to Friday Challenge, Welcome! This week is packed with a lot of challenges. Please go back up and read these verses again. Invite the Holy Spirit to join you. As you read did something speak to your heart?
Be joyful always
Give thanks in all circumstances
Don't put out the Spirits fire
Hold onto good and avoid evil
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Today I am writing to dump a lot of "ickies" down at the feet of Jesus. Knowing He is big enough to handle all of what is going on in our world right now.
Personally last week and this week have been two VERY hard and stressful weeks inside the walls of our home. If you have visited my blog before you know that I tend to stay on the positive side...yet I am a very real and geniune gal...so that is what this post is about today.
This past week I found my self putting alot of expectations on the people around me. I expected other moms to mother the children the way I do...because all of the world knows I do it just perfect...hehe! I expected church people to act Godly and loving to each other. I expected my friends to see my needs, my pain, my heart and just step in and help...yet I never asked for help and hid all the above from them! I expected my husband to put in the same amount of hours at home caring for the house, kids, as I was. And totally forgot to add up his hours at work each day! I expected us to stay healthy and not get the flu bug that is going around, and each night we have been up with sick little boys who can't sleep because they are puking miserably. I expected people to have the same amount of passion for my ministry as I did, not realizing its a personal passion from God to me.
Basically I went against everything I always "share" with others:
To have Low Expectations!
I was expecting people around me to be everything I needed; when God was standing right there ready to be everything for me...but I wasn't paying any attention to Him.
He did get my attention many times in the past few days. Thank you Father God!
"Nichole I want to be your Friend, and I want to love you unconditionally. I want to provide you with strength and energy to be a mommy, a friend and a wife. And Nichole, you Need to Expect all things from Me, because I am passionate about you."
May we put all our expectations in Him only!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I was tagged by Tracy at http://ballingerfamilyjourney.blogspot.com/
I am adding a little twist to being tagged and one that I saw recently out there in blog land.
Here are a few of my favorite things:
My Favorite Makeup
My Favorite Movie
My Favorite Candy bar
My Favorite Accessory
My Favorite way to Exercise
My Favorite thing to do
So YOU are next...have fun and share your favorite things! Let me know if you do it so I can come check it out!
Have a wonderful day! I love you...and even more imortant God loves you.
Thanks for visiting!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Have you ever felt like you were in the dark. Have you ever had one of those kinda days where things don’t seem right, feel right, and nothing is going your way..or so it seems! And then there is that point in the day where a little light makes a difference. So came the point in the day where I realized my underwear were inside out…yes girlfriends…you read it right. My secret is that my Victoria Secrets were inside out!
The only one that knew was me…until I shared my secret with you! I brought it out for you to see that I am one of those normal, genuine, real girls who gets dressed in a hurry in the dark and puts her underwear on inside out. Okay and the secret gets even better…I decided that since I didn’t realize this until half way into my day…I was going to leave them that way…
I know you are sitting at computer staring at the screen thinking 'why in the world is she sharing with us about her underwear?'
My lesson from my week and my inside out Victoria Secrets:
I can't do it in my strength, because I am in the dark in my flesh, I need to be in His light and let Him do it through me. I can't physically, mentally, or spiritually keep it together in the dark. Only He can bring purpose and meaning to my life in His light.
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
May we allow Him to bring purpose to our lifes!