Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Challenge

Hello and welcome to the blog today! I prayed for you today. God loves you so much and He cares about you. He cares about every detail of your life and desires to be in a relationship with you.

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

Ready to Fight

There are so many times that I find myself reading God’s word that I fall in love with Him even more. I am so amazed at how alive, intentional, meaningful and applicable His word is to our everyday lives. He has promised us that when we seek to find Him we will, and when we desire to know more of Him, He will reveal more of Himself to us.

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.
There is no situation too big, small, dark, or overwhelming that God cannot bring His good through. He chose us, He called our name, He will justify and He will bring glory!

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

Friday Challenge

Hello! Welcome...I am so glad you stopped by...if there is one thing I love sharing with people its Jesus! He has brought laughter to me this week. Can I share a little with ya?

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

All things from God are good

Just when I think He is good He goes and gets even better! Experiencing God in the everyday is so rewarding! Thank you so much for your prayers, love, and words of encouragement. For God is the giver of all things that are good! Actually today I would be bold enough to say He is the giver of all things that are GREAT!

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

To You

Dear Friends and Family,

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 is so healing for me! I love to laugh and giggle until my belly aches!! My boys were born with their daddies sense of 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

A different kind of island vacation

By my very nature I love to be comfortable. I don't care for things that make me feel uncomfortable. However, I am currently in a season of life that is uncomfortable for me. I have been experiencing this 'uncomfortable feeling' for about two weeks now. Last night I was finally able to share a word picture of what this feels like. **Side note "Thanks babe for listening and being who God needed you to be last night, I love you!"**

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?

"Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy"
Leviticus 19:2

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Challenge

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
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
There has been a lot of talk out there in blog land on this one lately. The difference between happiness and joy. One is something the flesh and the world focuses on and one comes only from being filled by more of God. Our joy should not fluctuate with our circumstances or feelings. Are you joyful today?

Pray Continually
What does this look like? For me its being in a constant dialogue with my Creator. An all day even of listening, and asking questions, sharing my heart, and more listening. If we believe He is always with us, we need to be always interacting.

Give thanks in all circumstances
Really? Do we believe that He can bring good out of everything? I think we could all share a time that was incredibly painful, hard, frustrating, diappointing, scary and show how God brought us into closer relationship with Him. For it is His will to use everything to bring glory to Himself, even all of our pain. Thank you Father!

Don't put out the Spirits fire
When Jesus left earth to go be with His Father up in Heaven, He left us with an amazing helper, the Holy Spirit. This helper gives us everything we need to accomplish the purposes He has for us.

Test Everything
Against Gods word. His word trumps all!

Hold onto good and avoid evil
We live in a sinful and evil world, but God is above it all and we must hold onto His promises...which are ALL GOOD!

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

When the going gets tough....

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

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 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

A few of my Favorite Things

Hello! Thanks for visiting the blog today.

I was tagged by Tracy at

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 Drink

My Favorite Makeup

My Favorite Movie

My Favorite Candy bar

My Favorite Place to Vacation

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

My Secret

Last week was one of those weeks that was exhausting in many ways. I came to Friday filled with many emotions. I was physically tired and needing a long nap, I was mentally not able to work on a session that I will be giving next month, I was emotionally worn out knowing I needed to cry a good cry in His arms, spiritually I was waiting for the pain to have a purpose!

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.
Psalm 121

May we allow Him to bring purpose to our lifes!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Challenge

Hello and welcome to the blog. I am so glad you are here today!

Do we truly get what He did for us? Do we understand what Grace is? Do we know how it works? Are we allowing it to change us? Are we passing it on?

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

We have to BELIEVE God loved us so much that He gave everyone of us, not just a selected few, but everyone, His gift, His one and only Son, the FREE gift of Grace! And with acceptance of this gift our sins are forgiven.

For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them-yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:9,10

None of us deserve it and we can't earn it. We just accept it and then let His grace change us. Change us into His image, the image He created us to be.

You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever. Psalm 45:2

Once we accept this gift of grace for ourselves, then we need to pass it on!

Are are we living like we are annointed with Grace? Are we running people through a "screening" process to see if they deserve our grace? If they deserve God's grace?

His gift of Grace was for everyone!

May we accept our gift of Grace today and then gift those around us.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Purpose in the scar

Out of obligation because I was a member of Women’s Ministries Council I attended the Breast Cancer Awareness clinic at church. I was one of two women who were under the age of 30 at the clinic. I was the girl who always let her gynecologist perform the yearly breast exam that was good enough right? After the clinic I went home to rest and relax with my husband for a few minutes before heading up to bed. I went in and joined him on the couch he was watching a Sheryl Crow concert on tv. I sat down kicked my feet up and stretched out. As I reached for a pillow with my left arm I felt pain in the upper part of my chest. I reached my right hand over and felt above my left breast, and there it was a ‘lump’. It was hard and the size of an almond. I spent a few minutes feeling and making sure I wasn’t going crazy…since I had just come home from the clinic and now I was watching Sheryl Crow who had just battled breast cancer, maybe I was just a tad hypersensitive. After a few minutes of pushin’ and pokin’ I couldn’t make it go away it was there. I finally said to my husband, ‘you have to feel this’ he didn’t hesitate for a second once he realized where it was. ‘Do you feel it?’

I remember going to bed that night questioning God’s timing.

I went to see a breast care specialist who confirmed what my husband and I felt. He did an ultrasound. The ultrasound informed us that it was nothing to worry about at this time. I was instructed to make sure the lump didn’t change and to schedule a follow-up appointment in a few months. I did great right after the appointment. Then a few days before I was going in for the follow-up ultrasound I felt a cloud of worry, fear, and doubt surround me.

I went in for another ultrasound, no change! I scheduled a follow-up ultrasound a few months out.

A few days before the ultrasound I started to have a flood of thoughts that I could not hold captive.

I went in for my follow-up appointment and my doctor asked how I was doing. I explained that ‘I did fine until I remembered the lump was in there, and that I feel like I have a ticking time bomb in my chest waiting to go off. I feel like I keep coming back so you can tell me if it has gone off yet!’

The ultrasound showed change in the lump. I was scheduled to have it removed. The lump was removed on a Friday and I waited until Monday afternoon for a phone call from the nurse….benign!

The surgery left me with a one-inch scar.

The purpose of the scar:

 So I can see it and know everyday its there
 To be able to understand and sympathize in the fear of waiting for results
 To encourage women to take care of themselves
 To stand beside women who are going through the process
 To know the feeling of having something in my body that shouldn’t be there
 To submit my fear of the unknown
 To understand beauty is internal and not external
 A visual to know I am forever changed
 To grow in prayer

It’s about faith in God and believing in His purpose for the scar. God’s purpose!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Challenge

Hello! Welcome to the blog, I am glad you are here!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Today's challenge is 3-parted:

** Give yourself a breast exam and if you are close to the recommended age (40) schedule your mammogram.

** Give the gift of mammograms to others

The Breast Cancer Site

**Go love on Cindy

May you feel God's power in the pink!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Why I blog

This question has been on my mind and in my heart from the moment I woke up. Which kinda of concerned me...'has blogging become an obsession?' 'what is my motive?' 'am I doing it On Purpose?'

So as I have went through my day I have been in conversation with God about all of the above questions. I have asked Him to reveal to me why I blog, and He has said:

To share love

To bring joy and encouragement

To pray

To bring glory to God

To be teachable

To grow in relationship with God

Dear Heavenly Father may this blog bring people right to your Heart, so You precious Father can love all over them!

Why do you blog? Please share if you want to!