Friday, December 28, 2012

When will be the day....

When will be the day....

When will be the day that we decide to truly acknowlege our need for God...

When will be the day that we realize that we can't do this life alone....

When will be the day that we give up our striving and fighting ....


There is nothing more that this world needs then just surrendering our lives to the God who created us... if only we could grasp how great of a calling each and everyone one of us have... we are to give up our own picture of selfish ambition and kneel down at the feet of Christ and ask... what am I here for... what have You put me on this Earth for... there has to be a reason for this life... and it's not what I have been fighting to accomplish on my own...

I feel this stirring... this uneasy feeling that we are just missing the mark...


Lord I lift my eyes up to you to lead me to what it is that you are calling me to be and do. Correct what needs to be corrected and continue to stir that passion for the future! I surrender my will to cherish Yours. You see all that is meant to be... I choose Your way not my way....


My deepest desire my dear sisters is that you all find out who God has called YOU to be... that you see the incredible purpose in your lives. That you find out that you were not put here accidentally... There is a God. There is a God who cares and loves you dearly. First of all He wants to pour out His peace over every part of your life. To take away your fears and anxiety. He wants to lead you to a place where you see His blessing and provision in your life. Then He wants to lavish you with purpose and passion. Why? so that you can be fulfilled... fulfilled in a greater picture of what life was created for... what YOUR life was created for!!

May eyes be opened to God! The fight has already been won... so stop fighting. Stand in what God has already done for you. Claim it!!!


When Enough is Enough, Stand. by Amber Williams

I am really not sure where to start... Amber Williams is one of the most beautiful women I have had the pleasure to get to know on a deeper level in the last few months. We have been mutual mom admirers from a distance for a while since we both started going to Koinonia with our families. Both having our 3rd and 4th babies, church shower together I felt a connection to this mother now of 6 awesome kids. I have seen her put her family to a #1 priority time and time again. She has an unconditional love for her husband and an overwhelming desire to see her children come to sense the amazing presence of God in their lives!!! I am blessed to be part of her life and look forward to seeing the path that God continues to guide her in.

Amber your love for God and family is something that overwhelms me to watch! You truly are an amazing woman of God. Blessings to you through every circumstance, trial and blessing!!! Stay on the path that God has set before you!!! God will never leave you or forsake you. You will not be put to shame or forgotten. Daughter of the Lord most High you have a calling and a great purpose for your life. You were not brought here with such a story without a purpose. God turns all thing for those who serve Him to GOOD... not merely a testimony but GOOD!!! Blessings wonderful friend.. I am honoured to consider  you a friend!!!




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When Enough is Enough, Stand.
By Amber Williams

Many of you know a piece of our story as we were part of "Storytime" 2011.  I feel very honored and humbled to be given this opportunity to share a bit more with you today.

I feel inadequate as we are still in the battle, with only a few answers of how to get to the other side.   However, as I touched on a little bit at the end of our Story, whenever I don't know what to do, I stand. 

I stand in the place that God has put me.  I took the responsibility and committed to first of all be a wife till death do us part, through the good and the bad, regardless of how much bad there is.  Second, I stand as a mother, as I took the responsibility to raise six children in a God centered, God fearing home.  No matter how that "looks" day by day. 

I stand in my commitment to God, knowing He is always by my side regardless of what my current circumstances tell me to be true.  And sometimes, when I think He has left me alone to deal with the things I know I cannot bear, He had been the solid rock foundation under my broken and defeated body just simply holding me. Until, I can get up again, and stand in the gap of where He has placed me for the benefit of my children's future, their children's future and for generations to come.  If I choose not to stand in this gap of brokenness, generational sins, and hardships, that simply means that my children will have to.  I am not willing to allow this cycle of defeat to go on for one more generation.  So when I can't stand, I just listen to someone who tells me that God says I can.  I have learned to keep my focus when I want to quit, and it has been my saving grace.  This concept first came to me during “Divine 2009”, in my most crucial times and has been repeated over and over throughout the last few years.

My mom has given me a Joyce Meyers Study Bible and has taped hundreds of her messages.  Also, she has given me books and cds about blessing your spirit by Arthur Burke which I use to continually wash my mind with the word when all I want to do is lay down and surrender.

A read a quote recently during my Life Journal, from Joyce Meyers, it reads: "It is untold what people can do, even people who do not appear to be able to do anything.  I believe God does not usually call people who are "capable".  If He did, He would not get the Glory. He frequently chooses those who in the natural, feel as if they are in completely over their heads, but who are ready to stand up when called and take bold steps of faith as they receive direction from Him.” 

As spiritual a battle as this truly is day by day, it feels like it is anything but.  I have to keep reminding myself that what I see is a physical retaliation of the spiritual realm.  I have a couple of verses on my fridge that I read often to remind myself of this. 

“Do not be afraid, Stand Still, and see the Salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today.  For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.  The Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace.”  Ex 14:13-14

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” 

I have prayed over and over for years to be delivered from these circumstances, or even for Him to just take me home because I simply can’t endure another day!  However, I always come out of that state of defeat realizing that God is more interested in our spiritual maturity than our circumstances here on earth. As much as He wants to simply change our circumstances, He knows that if we learn to be stable and unchanging, and even have joy in the midst of our hardships, as Paul tells us in Col 1:11, we will not just come out on the other side, but come out with joy and patience, lacking nothing. (James 1:4)

Have I learned to have joy in the midst of all this and speak what I know to be true in His word, rather than what I see? I wish I could say yes.  It is in my head.  It is what I know.  However, I am working on consistently getting it into my mouth and attitude.  I do have moments where I catch myself immediately after a negative word and turn it around, so I know I am growing.

So as messy as it feels at times, as long as I am standing in my God given place, even if that is ALL I CAN DO, I know that the Lord is fighting on my behalf, and I know that the next five years will hold the best that God has for me because I am in obedience to Him and He will carry me through it.

This is me Standing….. through the storm…… no matter how scary……….. I will not jump overboard…… I will make it to the other side. Thank you Jesus!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"My Latest Upcycle" by Stephanie Headrick


I am honoured to share this post with all of you from a woman that I dearly look up to. I met Stephanie Headrick when I was 17. My family hosted Steph and a friend at our house for the weekend when a team from Eastern Pentecostal Bible College came to minister at our church. It was a chance meeting but something that the two of us decided was worth investing in, even if it came 3 years later, after both of us got married and started having families. It has been a treasured distance relationship full of encouragement and challenge. (Again, FB proves a reason when used properly to be a great tool!) Stephanie Headrick is an amazing woman, pastor, wife and mother. It has been so exciting seeing how God has used her through the years. I am blessed to know her!! And one of these days, we will have to get our two families together!!

Stephanie, dear friend! It has been such a blessing to have a cheerleader behind me through many stages and circumstances! I have loved getting to know you through the years and cannot imagine life with out our little chats and messages back and forth. Praying for continued blessing on you and your amazing family!!! That God will use your gifts as you serve Him, to bless those in your sphere of influence. May your passion to grow in Christ become an attractive extravagant example to your family, to your church and to your community! "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him." Romans 8:28

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"My Latest Upcycle"
By Stephanie Headrick



I don’t know about you - but I have been caught up in the Pinterest world. I really do love it! Honestly, where else can a mom of 4 kids between ages 7 and 2 put an idea to come back to later and NEVER loose it!!!!

 

As I stood spray painting my latest ‘upcycle’ inspired from Pinterest, I realized that maybe God has been upcycling my life too...

 

Over the course of the past few years I feel like my life has been turned on its head and for the sake of ‘Honesty with Modesty’ (as Beth Moore likes to call it) I will spare you all the details, but lets just say it thrust me into a full fledged identity crisis. I got married ‘young’ by most people’s standards and was still finishing my last year of school, at which point I discovered just weeks after our first anniversary I was pregnant, I graduated with a Bachelor of Theology in Youth Ministry 5 months pregnant. Over the course of the 4 years that followed, I gave birth to 3 more kids, was credentialed and later ordained with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. It was a whirl wind I wouldn’t trade for anything. As time progressed, I began to feel as though things were falling apart, I should clarify that - I didn’t just feel that way - they really were. It shook me to the core so badly that I ended up getting misdiagnosed with postpartum (turned out it was situational depression), medicated, sedated, in counseling and barely able to function. It was such a lonely, overwhelming and isolating time. As I was coming out the other side, God began to move in our lives again and called us to a new church.

 

On the tail end of 11 months of intense depression and anxiety, God moved us somewhere new. So incredibly exciting and relieving and yet at the same time completely chaotic. The last time we moved it was with 1 baby and a very pregnant me; this time it was with a 6,4,2, and 1 year old...to a 1 bedroom cottage no less while our home was being built.

 

I would love to say that as I reflect I feel like I now know more of who I am and have got my feet back under me, but I can’t. That year of my life - it will never be undone. It’s created a new me, weaker in some ways and stronger in others. I don’t feel today that I have any more questions to my identity crisis then I did a year ago in counseling. I did realize today though that maybe, just maybe God’s upcycling my life, taking what was for the past 30 years and turning it into a newer more relevant useful version for the future. I thought about Jeremiah 18 where the Lord sent Jeremiah to the potters house and in verse 3 says “So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.”

 

I know you’ve been dying to know what that latest upcycle was so without any delay - a spice rack turned into a nail polish center. Who knows maybe that spice rack would have rather waited on the bottom shelf for someone to pick it up and use it for its purpose, but I’ve realized, I would rather take on a new purpose then sit around collecting dust. God’s not done with me yet, he’s just shifting and realigning things so He can use me in a new way now. Life can be scary, my only absolute is Jesus, so when it feels like He is allowing things to fall apart around me I have to trust that He can still turn what’s left into something beautiful, and so should you. ~

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Incredible Changing and Re-arranging" By Zoe Wood

I am sooo excited to post this today!!! I have been getting to know this amazing young lady for the last few months and she has reminded me again of how important it is to keep connected to every stage of life!!! Zoe Wood is a passionate fun loving person who is maturing into an incredible woman!!! It has been a joy to see the journey that she is on and I am anticipating amazing things for this upcoming year for her and the influence and impact that she is going to have on many many young girls around her!!!

Blessings to you wonderful Zoe!!! This was amazing I really really enjoyed reading. This post was an encouragement and challenge all at the same time!!


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"Incredible Changing and Re-arranging"
By Zoe Wood



God has been doing some incredible changing and rearranging in my life these past few months, however, I have decided to focus on my high school experience and what God has been saying to me about it. 

In order to help put my high school experience in context, I will give you a brief history on my life prior to high school.  I grew up in KCF and went to the private school at Koinonia.  So in Gr. 10 when we decided it would be smartest for me to switch schools into the public system (for academic reasons), I am sure you can imagine my shock.  Growing up I never felt like I was ‘sheltered’ or kept away from the ‘real’ world.  In fact, my parents even encouraged us as children to play on city sports teams and take lessons to get us outside of the church bubble of protection.  Nevertheless, I truly think nothing could have prepared me for the culture shock until I was actually fully immersed in it.  You can prepare as much as you want but everything is much easier said than done and head knowledge is way different than heart knowledge.  You really don’t 100% know what is inside of you until push comes to shove, and this was a hard lesson for me to learn.

During my time at KCA I honestly thought my relationship with God was great, and that it was exactly how it should be.  And then I switched schools.  Needless to say my world felt like it was shaken, turned upside down, and ripped out from under me.  Never in my life had I been in one building with over 1000 young people all trying to fit in and find their place, or with such low morals and standards.  Yet they were all so accepting, and looked like they were having such a great time.  It was definitely a confusing situation, so I turned to my Christian friends at church, and where were they? I felt like they were nonexistent.  For the first time I felt I did not belong in my church or with my church friends. So I turned back to my school friends, and they welcomed me with open arms.  As the years progressed I got more and more immersed in their culture without even noticing (to clarify, you can definitely make the culture at public school what you want it to be, quite simply I just made some poor choices and judgment calls). 

But the point of this blog is not for me to talk about how screwed up I was or am, and it is not for me to stay stuck talking about my past, in fact, that is one of the things I learned through this experience.  I have learned that God is much quicker to forgive than I am.  He is much quicker to forgive me and my past than I am, and to forgive others than I am.  For a while I beat myself up about my high school years and disliked myself because of the choices I had made.  Then after a crazy God-encounter during my devotions I realized that He had already forgiven me and was sitting there waiting for me to forgive myself so He could move onto His purpose and plan for my life.  God also forgives others more readily than I do.  I had been holding onto an offense for years now.  I thought that my church friends were supposed to be the ones accepting me, not my public school non-Christian friends.  Now the sad part is after having finally talked to them about this long over due offense, we all came to the realization we had all been unspokenly offended at each other and for peddy reasons too.  We had all been so caught up in our offense and what we felt the other person did to wrong us that none of us thought to deal with it in the logical way; which is talking to the person, letting go of the offense, forgiving, and moving on.  You see, what I learned was that offense is a choice, no one can force you to be offended, you choose all by yourself to be offended, and you also choose how you deal with it.

The second thing I learned through this experience is that sometimes God chooses to let us do our own thing for a while.  This is for two reasons:

1)                  If He forces us to love and serve Him when we do not want to we will end up hating Him and Christianity.  We will be spiteful and not want to do whatever He has called us to do.  This method would prove to do more damage than good. 

2)                  The longer we are in the desert, the thirstier we get.  The longer I lived my life without God as a priority, and the deeper I got into doing my own thing, the more valuable and real this experience of coming back to Him has been.  God gave us a free will, so He can’t force us to learn lessons the easiest way possible, but He can definitely, always, make the best out of a poor situation and turn it around for good.  See, to be honest if I had stayed at KCA I don’t know where I would be right now.  I would definitely still be in the church and serving God, but I don’t know how passionate I would be because I never would have had the experience of living life without God, I never would have had the wake up call.  I probably would have still been stuck in my mediocre-Christian-zone.  I have lived life without God, and now I have chosen to live life with God.  I have seen the insane difference it has made in me as a person and in my life.  I am not suggesting the way I got to this point is the best or right way; in fact, if it could be avoided, I would strongly recommend to do so.  What I am saying however, is that God is good and will take the inch you give Him, turn it into a mile and change your life if you allow Him to.

The third and final thing I will share with you is this: be real.  It is simple, but not easy.  If I had been real in the first place, with myself and others, I don’t think I would have ever gotten to the point I did because I would have been open to have talks with my parents, or someone saying that I was struggling with my walk with God.  I think it is really hard for Christians as a whole to do this because we all want to be like Christ’s image, and He was perfect.  The small thing we all seem to forget in putting on this perfect image facade is that we are not God!  God would rather use one screwed up person whose heart is in the right place and genuinely wants to serve and obey Him, than hundreds of Christians who have been in church their whole life, know all the ABC steps to becoming the perfect Christian, but are slowly dying on the inside and not willing to love and serve God whole heartedly.  We all have our own set of problems and we need to be open about them.  It’s funny because I always feel like God cares when I screw up or have problems (which He does), but not nearly as much as I do.  I feel like we as Christians put an unrealistic pressure on ourselves to portray a perfect image, but God doesn’t care as much about our imperfections, because He already sees the solution to our problems.  So this is just a little tid-bit of what God has been teaching me about lately. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Beautiful Things - Gungor

 
 
 
 
"Beautiful Things"
All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

"Attitude of Gratitude" by Heidi Fleming

Today I have the privilege of sharing with you the heart of an absolutely beautiful woman. Heidi Fleming glows of the presence of God and overflows with love for others! It has been a pleasure getting to know her slowly through the years and more than thrilled that she has accepted the position this year, leading at Koinonia Christian Fellowship as the Children's Director. I cannot think of a more incredible person to launch our Children's ministry towards the future and personally, for my girls to look up to as they get older.

Her topic today is one that was hard to read because it touches on a loss that is dear to her heart and many of those who have followed Heidi's journey through the last few years. To see her walk out life, through all circumstances has proved to show of Gods overwhelming love and faithfulness over her life.

Blessings Heidi. May the words that you have written bring another part of healing to your heart and to all those who read! May it remind us to prepare and live a life of gratitude beyond what life throws at us. May we be found a people of consistent thankfulness in all seasons.

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"Attitude of Gratitude"
By Heidi Fleming


Recently in Kids Church we began a series called “Attitude of Gratitude”.  Here’s an excerpt that I wrote about the theme: “Gratitude is about more than just remembering to say thank-you at the right times, it’s about how we choose to FOCUS on God’s blessings, rather than all the negative things we could complain about”.  As I’ve been writing these lessons, I’ve been discovering that having an Attitude of Gratitude is not easy.  Imagine what a place this world would be if it was!  There are so many things to be grateful for, but how quickly our focus becomes all the things we wish were different.  It’s really about shifting our focus daily: from where we’re empty, to where we’re full to overflowing.  Here’s a little piece of my story that I hope will encourage you to focus on how GOOD God really is.

 

Halfway through my first year of university, I received a phone call from my dad saying that my mom had been diagnosed with cancer and given 3 months to live.  I finished the year as strong as I could and returned home in April.  I was blessed with 3 more months to spend with my mom until she went to be with Jesus on June 29, 2007.  She was a worshipper here on earth, so I’m positive she’s totally in her element worshipping Jesus face to face now (I think that’s the most beautiful thought ever).  It’s been 5 years since then, and here I am now looking over those years with gratitude.  I’m so grateful that I had 20 years, learning from my amazing mom.  And if you’re reading this and still have your mom with you, I encourage you to call her up and say thanks.  Moms are so easily taken for granted, but they are some of the most lovely, brave, supportive, encouraging people in the world.
 

 

But gratitude is also about choosing not to dwell on what I DON’T have.  I miss my mom, and of course there are times that I feel the “hole” bigger than others.  But if there’s one thing she taught me, it’s that God is good.  And I don’t want to ignore all the ways he’s proved that to be true.  In these past 5 years, I can name multiple women who have filled a piece of that hole for me.  Not one person will replace my mom, but there are so many women that God has brought into my life to care for me in their own unique way.  It’s like moms are coming to me from all angles: mother-in-law, step-mom, Grand-moms!  Not to mention Aunts, friends, and co-workers, all with their own children but special to me as well. 

 

I could go on about how grateful I am to each one, but I will leave you with just one example: my Aunt Donna.  I had dreaded the thought of going wedding dress shopping without a mom.  It wasn’t good enough to have another person there, to fill in the blanks.  I wanted something completely different.  So I didn’t even go shopping at all – I decided I wanted to make my own dress.  My bridesmaids and I went to Toronto and found the perfect fabric in a little store on Queen St., and I brought it home.  I went to Aunt Donna’s house with nothing but yards of white fabric and a dream.  She was up to her gills in work for her embroidery business, but each month she took time for me.  Measuring, cutting, sewing – she taught me every step of the way.  And the dress was truly a dream come true.  But more than having a beautiful dress, I am so grateful for each moment of that experience.  I recognized early on that it wasn’t just about having a dress at the end, it was about learning to appreciate the time spent with my Aunt Donna.  Sitting, listening, learning.  It wasn’t about her being the one to fill the entire “mom” void – no single person could or should – but she brought her own unique gifts at the right moment and it was just what I needed.  I am so grateful to her for taking that time for me, like so many other passionate women who have a special place in my heart.


http://jamiedelaineblog.com/about/
 

So I pray that I continue to focus on how blessed I am by all of these mamas who have spoken into my life, especially when I needed it most.  I think it’s this Attitude of Gratitude that keeps me looking for places that I can generously give what I have, to fill in a little space for someone else everyday. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Blessings Friends!!!

Hi all you wonderful women!!!
 

I am so charged and excited after going through the last season of a life group called Lioness Arising and sharing it with you online here. It has stirred AGAIN the passion I have for women linking arm and arm in life together to see one another supported, encouraged and serving an incredible God.

With all that passion in mind I have put the shout out to some of you for new guest blogs and I am soooo thrilled with the "yeses" I have recieved already!!! As I re-read some of the posts and listen to your hearts, I am knocked off my feet again and remember the reason why I started this blog in the first place. So keep your posts coming. You never know who you will touch by opening up your life to those around you!!!

 
For any of you who are out there and would love to be involved please message me at nicoleandadam@hotmail.com!! My stretch of influence can only go so far! My desire would be for this blog not only to reach those in my world but those in your world also. Here is an opportunity to share and encourage women around you with the message of God's faithfulness in your life in a way that no one else can.


Stay tunned for new blogs once a week through the Christmas season.


Blessings
Nicole

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The end of a Season!

Hi all you wonderful women!!!

So, we have now finished off our Semester of Life Groups at our church and said our blessings to the women of the Group in class and I would love to share Cecile Turners blessing for all of you who were following along on the blog.

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"I challenge you ladies to stop hiding in the long grass, stop peeking out and observing what others are doing, how they are going on in God  - but Part the grass and come leaping out in strength - not to dominate but to shine by bringing what you have to the PRIDE! 
I challenge you not to slumber or hesitate in your gifting but realize the beauty and wonder that has been poured into you. You are God's solution to your world. This is same solution for THE world.

Thank God for continuing to bring their gifting into focus, to bring clarity like a microscope as He brings things into focus that we couldn't see naturally, but were always right before our eyes!
Thank God for the time that we had, this chiros time that afforded us a Pool of Bethsaida moment - the anointing, the stepping out in faith to meet Jesus and be healed and empowered to move forward! Revelation gives you the permission to go there!"
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Beautiful hey??!!! What an encouragement and challenge!!!


Well I have had quite the time and season while leading this life group. I know God is a God who loves to teach and bring us through a journey and I feel like the last few months has been a bit surreal. Among the business of it. Which honestly was more "full" then it was busy for the most part. It was as if, each session, God popped out a new lesson and allowed me to be challenged in new ways, all directly connected with each week of teaching and leading. FUNNY how that all works.


Session 1
Awaken a Lioness....
... this was a session that I really really had a hard time with because I have desperately desired to have dreams from God and can only really recall one... and certainly not one recently. So I am still on this journey of praying over my sleep and believing that God will come to me in my sleep to speak over my spirit and awaken my soul.

Session 2
Dangerously Awake
To get to the Lion, the enemy will have to tranquilize the lioness.
I feel like I have been in a season of this. A season of unhealthy anxiety and horrible sleep. I have been side tracked for many many months, trying to get past a nagging dark cloud. It has been so hard to shake it. And I have tried... but tried mostly on my own with my own strength. I am only beginning to see how the enemy has been keeping me from where my focus should be. I don't remember the last time that I journaled. Something that was dear to me a couple years back and I have known that I have needed to get back to that. So last night with the push from my husband. I wrote and wrote. I pray this is a step to an overwhelming awakening of my spirit to be able to see what God is doing, to an even greater extent!!!

Session 3
The Sum of Fear and Wonder
"Our thoughts create our reality - where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go." Peter Mc Williams
I have created a fear in my mind of sickness that has captivated my attention and focus. I have meditated on the thought of being sick instead of trusting God and His desire for us to live long and fruitful lives.

It's not enough to be captivating if we are still captive!
It's not enough to fight if we are just fighting for ourselves!

“My dear friends, this is now the second time I’ve written to you, both letters reminders to hold your minds in a state of undistracted attention.” 2 Peter 3:1

You and I are responsible for holding our minds at attention. No one else can hold your mind but you. You determine what you will attend to. It is one of the ways you develop strength.

Session 4
Strength is for Service
"When was the last time you were part of fulfilling someone else’s dream? "
So this was the week that I found out that I hadn't been picked for a part of Christmas in Concert. To be honest, I totally would not have picked myself either. I had almost peed myself singing for the audition, I was shaky and scared and full of anxiety. So much that there is no way that it made sense to put me through!!! That aside, it was hard. First off because it was the first time I have sang for me, since about 10 years ago when I gave up my dream of singing in any form. I put myself out there. Which is the wrong motivation in the first place. My purpose in life should be to do things to serve others not my self!!! Secondly because I had to watch those who I had encouraged to audition get parts. I helped in pushing others to see a dream come to pass. That was difficult. What a lesson to go through. But vital. We all have calling on our lives. This is not my season for music. If I had gotten a part, I would not have been able to dial in and enjoy to the extent that I have the semester of leading a life group! You, all you women out there are my calling. You are why I write and why I live a life open to relationships beyond me!!

Session 5
Under the Same Mission
Healthy lions and lionesses know they need each other if they are to flourish rather than merely survive. The key words here are healthy, need and flourish. It is healthy to admit we need others; it is healing for both genders to acknowledge this truth.
God has been bringing me on a journey of how much that I need my husband and to be unified with him though all circumstances.
INDIVIDUALS WHO DO NOT LIVE ON PURPOSE WANDER AIMLESSLY!!! We have been living too long with out a clarified purpose. We are now on a mandated season of praying over our nightimes and plan on putting together our "Rallying Cry" for our family!! Adam and I need to continue to allow our individual roles to build our family towards success. Success in the calling that God is laying before us!

Session 6a
Greet and Groom
This was by far one of my favorite sessions. This has been one of the great journeys that God has put me on in the last many years. Of how much that we as women need each other. And how much I need to choose women to speak into my life. I am blessed to say that through this life group, and our church. I have found some key women. To keep on grooming me and encouraging me in life.  (Thank you dear mothers/mentors I pray for a continuation of depth and purposed relationship) Also Mom I love you! Thank you for always being there for me and for grooming me through the 28 years and counting.

Session 6b
Lioness are Strategic
Through one of the ladies in the group I got the opportunity to read an incredible book. One that I have posted on the FB group. http://www.amazon.com/Three-Big-Questions-Frantic-Family/dp/0787995320 What a revelation of the need for living with a clear picture of purpose for our family. I am looking forward to the Christmas week off for Adam to go though putting down on paper our family mandate!!!

Session 7
Lionesses Live in the Light and Hunt in the Dark
Two of the questions that were in the work pages were:
Is there an area in your life that is currently weighing on you?
Is there an area in which you are not “keeping company” with Jesus?
As Session 3 began to pull out, I have had huge night time anxiety and fear of health issues. That has been weighing on me for about a year. I have written about a time when I went in to the hospital and I believe that Satan planted a seed of fear in my heart and through the busy season our last baby being born and moving I hadn't had time to process and really pray out anything that Satan had put into my heart. I had made an agreement with myself that I would end up getting sick again. I am full force in prayer warrior mode to get that crap out of my life. I am claiming life, health and restoration for myself and a bright and exciting future for what God has called me in!!! Praise the Lord for being able to be a mother, a wife, daughter, sister and friend for a long long life time!!!

Session 8
Walking and Roaring with our Lion
Don't measure what is before you with what was behind you.
We need to pray passionate, intelligent, and strategic prayers with a God purpose.

Both of those points have hit like a ton of bricks!!! God works His wonders in new and beautiful ways, each time. The enemy is not creative and will attempt to get at us in the same way, always overplaying his hand. I will not claim what was behind me as what is to come but I WILL pray passionate, intelligent and strategic prayers!!!! Ready to see what God has on the horizon for me and my family!!!


*****
Well that has been my journey.

Thank you all dear friends. For your continued support and love, through every season.

I hope that you have had at least a couple "Pop" out moments during these last few months of Lioness Arising.

I look forward to a new season starting in the next couple week with amazing and beautiful new Guest blogs!!!

LOVE YOU ALL!!
Nicole







Lioness Arising Session 8 Recap.

Lioness Arising Session 8

Walking and Roaring with our Lion


The most important thing in life is to hear from God and then to follow Him.

Walking with our God is like walking with a Lion.

Lisa gives the story of the part in Narnia when Lucy sees Aslan who is directing them to go in a certain direction and the others don't believe her. They have an arduous time that they and end up in the same place where they started. Lucy then awakes to the call from Aslan who tells her that she should have listened in the beginning, whether or not the others followed.


Some times we just know things that no one else sees. In those moments we need to remember that we are not alone and not to be afraid.

At times God will appear to only us in a situation.
We need to wake up and sense that God is with us. Getting up and going means that we are willing to see what will be on the other side.

We want a map and replay but God wants to create mystery.

Things never happen the same way twice.

Don't measure what is before you with what was behind you.

There is something that happens when you are ready even if you don't know where you are going.

God alone knows where to lead us.
God will give us the strength to go where He is leading.

Where is it that God is leading that you are afraid to walk into?

Matthew 16:24-25
Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how.

No one wants to embrace suffering. But we need to allow God to rise us up to become a people invincible.

We need to be amazed at the enormity of what we have been entrusted to.

God's focus for us will always involve other people.

1 Timothy 1:18
The prophetic word that was directed to you prepared us for this. All those prayers are coming together now so you will do this well, fearless in your struggle, keeping a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we’re in.

There are prophesy and visions for you to grab a hold of with a tenacious passion

Lisa believes that the last decade was an out working of brokenness.

We are to wield weapons for others.
God is going to ask us to rule on behalf of others.

We as women need to be amazed at what we have been entrusted and know that it has more to do with the future then the right now.

We will need God and add the factor of prayer to be empowered.

We need to pray with a purpose.

Humility begins with a whisper but prayer ends with a roar.

In order for a lion to roar they need a change in posture.
They need to stand to their feet and drop their head to open the rib cage (increases capacity, humility increases our capacity for more of God.) Then they breathe in all the air they can , lift their head then release the mighty roar. That roar contains enough power to be heard with in a 5 mile radius. And shakes the ground around them. You don't just hear the roar you feel it.
We need to have a posture change so that the weight of our payer is not just heard but felt.

Jeremiah 25:30
“‘God roars like a lion from high heaven;
thunder rolls out from his holy dwelling—
Ear-splitting bellows against his people,
shouting hurrahs like workers in harvest.
The noise reverberates all over the earth;
everyone everywhere hears it."

When we begin to exemplify our Lion we will hear his roar and it will echo it on earth.

Hosea 11:10

“The people will end up following God.
I will roar like a lion—
Oh, how I’ll roar!
My frightened children will come running from the west.
Like frightened birds they’ll come from Egypt,
from Assyria like scared doves.
I’ll move them back into their homes.”
God’s Word!"

"The God whisper has become a shout." Bobby Huston
".....And the collective shout has become a roar." Lisa Bevere
 
Job 26:11-14
 
"Thunder crashes and rumbles in the skies.
Listen! It’s God raising his voice!
By his power he stills sea storms,
by his wisdom he tames sea monsters.
With one breath he clears the sky,
with one finger he crushes the sea serpent.
And this is only the beginning,
a mere whisper of his rule.
Whatever would we do if he really raised his voice!”

Joshua 6:10
 " Joshua had given orders to the people, “Don’t shout. In fact, don’t even speak—not so much as a whisper until you hear me say, ‘Shout!’—then shout away!”

Whatever would we do if He raised His voice?

God is surrounding things and created a lull, until He completely surrounds. Then He will ask us to release a shout!

It's not enough to be just angry, we need to pray, and shout our pain.

Lets bring forth life from the pain and redeem the turmoil.

Like a woman in labour, let us be efficient through the pain in order to bring forth life.

"I was not the lion but it fell to me to give the roar." Winston Churchill.

Lions roar to protect their territory to say that are up and alert. It sets up boundaries, and creates allegiances and allies. It reveals the character and strength!! The roar declares who they are.

Lionesses roar to protect the young. They never roar alone but in groups of three or more!!! They also roar to validate and call in the lost members of the tribe.

We need to declare His domain and to protect the young from death and destruction.

Lets remember not to face the darkness alone.




Ecclesiastes 4:12
"By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped."
 
Matthew 22:37
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list.

FAITH, HOPE, LOVE - Prayer is the motivation of all of these.

We need to pray passionate, intelligent, and strategic prayers with a God purpose.

"Rise like lions after slumber, in unvaquishable number, shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you- ye are many- they are few." Percy Bysshe Shelley

Open our eyes to know that there are more with us then with them.


 
LORD MAKE HISTORY IN OUR LIVES!!



 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

BETHEL MUSIC FEAT. JENN JOHNSON - Come To Me lyrics

BETHEL MUSIC FEAT. JENN JOHNSON - Come To Me lyrics

I am the Lord your God,
I go before you now.
I stand beside you
I’m all around you
And though you feel I’m far away
I’m closer than your breath
I am with you
More than you know

I am the Lord your peace
No evil will conquer you
Steady now your heart and mind
Come into my rest
And oh, let your faith arise
And lift up your weary head
I am with you
Wherever you go

Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m everything
Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m your everything

I am your anchor, in the wind and the waves
And I am your steadfast, so don’t be afraid
Though your heart and flesh may fail you
I’m your faithful strength
And I am with you
Wherever you go

Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m your everything
Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m your everything

Don’t look to the right or to the left, keep your eyes on me
You will not be shaken, you will not be moved
Ohhhh

I am the hand to hold, I am the truth, I am the way
Heyyyy
Just come to me, come to me
Cause I’m all that you need
 
 
 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lioness Arising, Session 7 recap!

Lioness Arising Session 7 Recap.
 
Lionesses Live in the Light and Hunt in the Dark!!

OOoooo.... this is a pretty big recap... so hopefully you make it through to the end. ;)

Living in the Light

Lionesses nap for approximately 21 hrs of the day... the live sprawled out in the sunshine. They live lightly while being at ease and at rest. They lounge around knowing that they are the most powerful thing in the African plain.

Proverbs 28:1 "The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off even when no one’s after them; Honest people are relaxed and confident, bold as lions."

*RELAX*CONFIDENT*BOLD*
(at ease with strength, at rest with power)

Like the lioness we need to express "I am what I am"!!
When we speak we speak boldly with a strength and with a weight to it.

We need to live UNAFRAID and UNASHAMED!!
Our lives are an expression of what God created us to be.

The lionesses lives expand their territory They live lives that are open, allowing others to live openly around them!!

Ephesians 5:8-10  "You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it."

NO MORE STUMBLING AROUND!

We are called to live in the light even in a world of darkness.
We need daylight actions in a darkened time.

Romans 5:2 "By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise."

God has already opened up the door to us all we need to do is open our own door!!

We are ultimately the door keepers of our life. We need to allow God in but also need to be careful what other things we are allowing into our lives.

So what are we giving entrance to?

Mark 4:22 “Does anyone bring a lamp home and put it under a washtub or beneath the bed? Don’t you put it up on a table or on the mantel? We’re not keeping secrets, we’re telling them; we’re not hiding things, we’re bringing them out into the open."

We are not allowing the shadows to cover our lives and keep us from living in the light!!!


Hunt in the Dark

Lionesses have the ability to take any light and refract and contain the light and become lit from within.

If there is ever a time for the church to reflect the light now would be it.

We need to have vision that is not effected by our surroundings or subject to our environment.

We need to have inward vision, in the midst of the gross darkness that covers people. We need to be the light.

God has always wanted people to SEE.
What are we doing that is keeping others and ourselves from SEEING?

Ephesians 1:17-18 "That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!"

To have eyes of understanding and that are enlightened.

What we behold we become. What we give attention to we give expression to.

We need to ask God to give us eyes to see what he is doing.

God is raising up a prophetic people.

It doesn't take enlightenment to see a problem, it takes enlightenment to see a solution.

The distressed in spirit cry out for more.

It's almost as if God has closed the "womb" of the church to position us to have a desperate desire to cry out for more.

God desires to have the worlds attention, not to judge but to redeem the people.

What are we going to look like in these last days?

VIBRANT?! Very much alive!!

It's time to mature, take criticism and GROW UP!

We need to navigate the darkness so well that those around us want to follow. To be the type of people that "seem to know where they are going."

The disciples saw the crowds, Jesus saw the individuals.

When we are people who see like Jesus sees we are favored to be an answer.

We are coming into a time of prophetic. And in that we need to be wonderful NOT weird!!!
Jesus brought wonder!!!


John 5:19-21 “I’m telling you this straight. The Son can’t independently do a thing, only what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does. The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing."

If you can't see what the Father is doing you can't do what He is doing!

You are God's daughter and we have a right to ask for what we need to see!!!

Acts 2:17-18
 
“In the Last Days,” God says,
“I will pour out my Spirit
on every kind of people:
Your sons will prophesy,
also your daughters;
Your young men will see visions,
your old men dream dreams.
When the time comes,
I’ll pour out my Spirit
On those who serve me, men and women both,
and they’ll prophesy.
I’ll set wonders in the sky above
and signs on the earth below,
Blood and fire and billowing smoke,
the sun turning black and the moon blood-red,
Before the Day of the Lord arrives,
the Day tremendous and marvelous;
And whoever calls out for help
to me, God, will be saved.”
 
 
You are prophetic by virtue of the day of your birth!!
 
God wants you to see and hear and release!!!
The Visionary are farsighted!!
 
There are those who are trapped in darkness waiting for us to see them. We need to see and to pray!!
 
Isaiah 2:3
 
There’s a day coming
when the mountain of God’s House
Will be The Mountain—
solid, towering over all mountains.
All nations will river toward it,
people from all over set out for it.
They’ll say, “Come,
let’s climb God’s Mountain,
go to the House of the God of Jacob.
He’ll show us the way he works
so we can live the way we’re made.”
Zion’s the source of the revelation.
God’s Message comes from Jerusalem.
He’ll settle things fairly between nations.
He’ll make things right between many peoples.
They’ll turn their swords into shovels,
their spears into hoes.
No more will nation fight nation;
they won’t play war anymore.
Come, family of Jacob,
let’s live in the light of God.
 
We were made to do this with God!!!
 
5 Prophetic Directives from Isaiah 49
 
LOOK UP - heaven perspective
LOOK AROUND - we have a desperate need for God
LOOK WELL - look to bring reconciliation and health
LOOK AHEAD
TELL THE TRUTH
 
We need to ask for the infilling and outpouring of God's Spirit to us.
 
Spirit - courage, might, virtue, mettle, strength, chutzpah, force, fortitude, moral fiber, wisdom, determination, heart
 
We need to be women who will pray really strong prayers!!
 
Psalm 10:14-18
 
14 But you know all about it—
the contempt, the abuse.
I dare to believe that the luckless
will get lucky someday in you.
You won’t let them down:
orphans won’t be orphans forever.
15-16 Break the wicked right arms,
break all the evil left arms.
Search and destroy
every sign of crime.
God’s grace and order wins;
godlessness loses.
17-18 The victim’s faint pulse picks up;
the hearts of the hopeless pump red blood
as you put your ear to their lips.
Orphans get parents,
the homeless get homes.
The reign of terror is over,
the rule of the gang lords is ended.