Tag Archives: Trophy of Grace

Come To The Altar

Hey y’all! Hope everyone is doing great. I’m enjoying a day at home with my oldest daughter, it’s a NO SNOW😭 snow day. We’ve been watching When Calls The Heart and enjoyed some hot chocolate. Sure wish we were out playing in the snow but in Alabama this is what you get, LOL. Unplanned time together is the best even when you just chill! 💗

So how are you my friend? Is there anything you are you holding onto? Is there something weighing on your heart that you need to let go of?

Have you come to the altar today?

Journaling is a very healthy way to bring things out of the darkness and into the light. You may not be ready to share it with others and that’s ok but just writing it down and getting it out is so healthy. Even if you write it out, confess it to God and throw it away its just a healthy healing process. Remember Psalm 32:3 “When I keep silent about my sin, my bones began to weaken because of my groaning all day long.”

Are you feeling any of these?

Tired, broken, hurting, hopeless, happy, anxious, empty, lost, full of fear, full of love, joyful, sick, shame, hope, rejection, worried, searching to fill a void, blessed, happy, confused, etc

Today’s Challenge:

Are you ready to really dig in and get FREE?

To walk in the freedom God has planned for you? It’s time to lay it ALL on the altar, all your feelings, everything you’re holding onto, secret sin, bring who you are, what you’re not and what you want to be….bring it ALL precious one. It’s time to take off the mask. Come to the altar and lay it all at the foot of the Cross.

Living in the Word:

Romans 4:17 “…Call those things that be not as though they are.”

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.”

Isaiah 61:3 To grant consolation and joy to those who mourn in Zion—to give YOU an ornament of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garmet of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that YOU may be called Oaks of Righteousness…..

Renewing the Mind:

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

Psalm 39:7 And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation is in You.

What God says about you:

I love YOU just the way you are! YOU don’t have to get all fixed up to come to Me. YOU are My priceless treasure, My special masterpiece. YOU are NOT a mistake, no I created YOU on purpose. Bring your burdens to Me, there is NOTHING to big and NOTHING I can’t handle. Trust Me precious one, expect and believe and you will see just what I can do in your life. I have great and mighty plans for YOU! Ephesians 3:20

Song of the Week:

“O Come To The Altar” Elevation Worship

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Fully Known

I’m fully known and loved by You
You won’t let go no matter what I do
And it’s not one or the other
It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I’m fully known and loved by You

Song by Tauren Wells

Gosh I love this song!!💗💗💗

In case you didn’t know precious one YOU are fully known and loved by God. He won’t let go no matter what you do. Let that sink in. God loves you despite your flaws, mistakes, and crazy things you might do. It’s ridiculous grace He gives….

If you are weary or tired sweet friend let me encourage you tonight. I want you to know how much God loves you…no matter what you do or say. He calls you mighty warrior!! I declare you will not grow weary in well doing. You will run the race God has given you and you will be victorious!! His word says throw aside every weight, every sin that entangles you and keeps you down and in bondage. I declare you are running this race with freedom, power, and victory. YOU are more than a conqueror my friend and NO weapon formed against you will prosper! You are a mighty warrior destined for greatness, in Jesus name, Amen!!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

When God steps in, Miracles happen!

When God steps in, MIRACLES HAPPEN!! He’s in the miracle making business.

What are you in need of my friend? Do you have dreams that you’ve let die over the years?

I don’t know about you but I’m believing and expecting some great things this year! I need physical healing and there are loved ones and friends who need Jesus and some JOY! I’m believing God to use me in a greater way.

Don’t be afraid to ask God for BIG things!! He has planted hidden dreams and plans in your heart, ask for them to be revealed. It may look impossible, and in the natural it is BUT WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!!

When God steps in, MIRACLES HAPPEN!! He’s in the miracle making business my friend.

So don’t go telling God how big your problem is, tell your problems how BIG YOUR GOD IS!! Pray bold prayers and EXPECT BIG, BELIEVE BIG and God will move on your behalf!!

Ask God to show Himself strong in your life because NOTHING is to difficult for our Faithful God!!🙌🏻

Big hugs,

Nicole 💗

Fan the Flame

God’s love for you is everlasting and unconditional my friend. I love that in God’s word he tells us to stir ourselves up, to fan the flame.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6

So what does that mean exactly and how do we go about doing it?

Ways to stir yourself up:

1. Remembering past victories helps increase our faith and gives hope that you WILL come out victorious!! Journaling is a great way to do this. So when your down and feeling hopeless you can look back on all the great things God has done for you in the past and prayers he’s answered.

2. Speak God’s word/Affirmations

Call those things that be not as tho there are!! It’s time to do spiritual warfare with the words that come out of your mouth!! Is what your saying in agreement with God’s word or are you complaining about your problems and situation instead going to THE ONE who can solve it? Complaining only makes our problems seem bigger, never ending and hopeless. Use your faith and words and SPEAK LIFE. Our words our soooo powerful!! The are like containers, they either contain life, faith and blessings or they contain death, doubt, unbelief and cursing.

Remind yourself

“He will work ALL things out for my good”

“God loves ME and has a great plan for MY life” “

“NO weapon formed against me shall prosper on any way”

“YOU are an overcomer.”

This is stirring ourselves up and this brings HOPE, JOY and PEACE to our lives.

3. Listen to sound bible believing teachers and preachers daily. There are so many ways to do this, your church every week, thru television, podcasts (one of my favorites) and YouTube just to name a few. You can literally do this anytime, any where, while your at work, cooking, cleaning, just doing your every day life and still get the Word in you.

4. Be in the Word daily.

Being in the Word daily has many benefits.

Helps you grow in your relationship with God.

– When temptation comes and it always does, knowing the word will help you fight temptation.

– Helps to nourish and revive your soul and body.

– Provides comfort in dark times.

– It’s transforming, changing us into his likeness more and more every day.

My friend the mind in a battlefield…Memorizing scripture and it will come back to when you need it most.

The law of the LORD is perfect,

reviving the soul;

the testimony of the LORD is sure,

making wise the simple;

the precepts of the LORD are right,

rejoicing the heart;

the commandment of the LORD is pure,

enlightening the eyes;

Psalm 19:7-11

5. Just being thankful, showing gratitude daily.

If you look around and think about it even just a little bit you have so much to be thankful for.

If you woke up…you’re breathing today.

If you can walk, that’s something to be thankful for.

If you have clean running water, that’s a huge blessing. It’s estimated that 844 million people don’t have clean water, that’s unbelievable and so sad to me.

If you have a toilet, which we probably take for granted then that is a blessing as well. It’s estimated that 2.3 billion people don’t have a decent toilet. Isn’t that just hard to imagine???

If you have food to eat, a home for shelter, if you have loved ones in your life….you have MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR.

Look I know some days it’s hard to be thankful but if you have to start small that’s fine but just start being thankful for something. The cup of coffee you drink every morning or for me it’s Spark and oh man am I thankful for Spark every morning lol. A picture of a loved one, a memory, hot water, gluten free food, your bed, whatever just be thankful for something everyday!!

6. Put on the Armor of God every day.

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

7. Find a small group to do life with. Fellowshipping with other believers is life changing. It helps build healthy friendships and can be good accountability. Being able to find friends and being vulnerable is hard I know but in my experience it’s being vulnerable is what tears down the walls around us and more often than not you find you are not alone in your pain and struggles. I’ve also discovered me being real not only helps me but it also helps others to feel safe and secure and they open up with what they are struggling with. Then you are able to help one another. That is what I think small groups are about.

Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Get connected my friend!

8. Pray daily

The Word tells us to pray on all occasions, making our requests known to God. Ephesians 6:18

It tells us to pray without ceasing. 1Thessalonians 5:17

It tells us never to worry about anything, and to thank God for what He has already provided. Philippians 4:6

Jesus showed us examples of different times to pray.

-He prayed at the cross.

-He prayed during sad times.

-He prayed before he ate.

-He prayed while he was in despair and agony.

Jesus made prayer a priority. I wonder what life would be like if we made prayer a priority the way Jesus did? I can only speak for myself but I haven’t always gone to God when I had problems, sometimes we go to others to tell them what’s going on and seek their help or wisdom. But WHAT IF instead our first response was to go to Jesus with our problems instead of others, I mean he truly is the only one who can fix it. Seems like it would be logical for us to do it but it’s not always the case.

9. Our attitudes and thoughts toward things in life. Sometimes it’s just a small shift in out perspective. Ya know is my glass half empty or half full? Or one thing I’ve noticed is we tend to say “I have to do this or that.” But what if just changed one word in there, it could potentially change your whole perception….”I GET to do this or that.” Man that’s totally different and if you think about it takes off some stress.

We don’t have to think every thought that comes into our mind. A lot of the time we are thinking about our problems/situation and when we focus on that it brings us down, makes us feel hopeless and depressed. But when we think and speak His promises over them it can literally change everything. Choose on purpose to renew your mind and speak God’s word and positive things from your mouth. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a hopeless situation turns around when we allow God in and change our perspective. God IS BIGGER than any problem we have and the battle belongs to Him so Let go and Let God!

10. Fasting

Fasting is basically giving up certain foods, like doing the Daniel Fast or giving up soda, sugar, social media, tv, or other things that have gotten a hold of you for a certain period of time in order to turn your thoughts to God. Fasting is found all throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. I encourage you to study up on fasting. There are many great books on this subject. Our church does 21 Days of fasting and prayer every January and then 21 days of prayer in August. It’s always an amazing experience and God has showed me many things and have had breakthroughs because of fasting.

Sweet friends we have to keep ourselves stirred up because the world is always coming at us trying to tear us down. Don’t believe the lies of the enemy. Don’t believe what the enemy tells you about your doctors report, bank account, economy, the shape your family/marriage is in and that nothing will ever change. NOOOO, Believe God, trust GOD, He’s behind the scenes working it all out. You do your part, stir yourselves up, trust, believe and you praise Him until your breakthrough comes, because it’s coming precious one!!!! I believe it with everything in me, God is working and moving sweet friends, don’t doubt it!! He is bringing us to a new level this year, He’s opening doors that NO man can shut, so get ready!!!!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Joy Unspeakable

When it rains it pours right? Gosh I’ve been there, not a fun place. Not like the fake rain in this picture, lol. But I can honestly say In His presence is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11

My friend, if you are saved then the fruit of the spirit is in you already. You may not see it all manifested yet but it doesn’t mean it isn’t in you. Joy is one fruits of the Spirit, and YES it’s on the inside of you. It takes time for it to come to the surface and for others to see just like all the other fruits of the spirit. So be patient little grasshopper😉

Fruit must grow, it takes time and it must be nurtured. Same thing with Joy.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Remain in me and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Get in His presence because THERE in His presence is fullness of joy precious one. Ask him to increase your hunger and thirst.

Do not grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

Happiness and joy are not the same.

Happiness is based entirely on our circumstances and things going on around us. As soon as a difficult situation comes up or pain arises the happiness is gone. But Joy is different, Joy translates to “calm delight” and joy is a gift from God. It helps us be stable in the hardest of circumstances. It also helps us find the good, and hope and peace even when our lives are in turmoil. It’s not dependent on our circumstances and in the midst of the storm we can still have joy, a calm delight.

5 Things that steal your JOY.

1. Complaining and Grumbling-This is a HUGE one! It’s so easy to do and causes so much trouble in our lives. What I can tell you is that a #grateful #thankful heart is NOT dependent upon our circumstances. It’s not dependent on whether you got a good doctors report or bad, or whether your loved one is doing or acting right. No, the joy of the Lord is your strength, friend!

Remember your words are containers of power. You get to choose what kind of power they carry no one else.

You are what you speak and think. So you must get in agreement with Gods word, and speak life.

The things we think or ponder can steal our joy if we are not careful.

Where the mind goes the man follows.” Joyce Meyer

“Complain and remain. Praise and be raised.” Joyce Meyer

2. Procrastination– Oh goodness this one is NOT my friend, because I can fall into procrastination easily especially if it’s something I DO NOT want to do. I’ve got a million pictures that need to go in albums but man I know how long it’s gonna take me so I have put it off for a long time. I’m sure some of you are like that too. But I’m learning to do the hard things first, I don’t always get this right but it is something I’m working on. Don’t put off things you could do today.

3. Approval Addiction yep this is one I’ve also struggled with….approval.

3 little words have plagued me most of my life. Please. Perform. Perfect. Thankful I’m learning different way and to be gentle with myself😌

“Perfectionism is not self improvement. Perfectionism is at its core, about trying to earn approval and acceptance. Most perfectionist were raised being praised for achievement and performance (grades, manners, rule following, people pleasing, appearance, sports). Somewhere along the way we adopt this dangerous and debilitating belief system: I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it. Please. Perform. Perfect. Healthy striving is focused – how can I improve? Perfectionism is other focused – what will they think?”

Excerpt from The Gifts of Imperfection. Excellent book if you struggle with this! Check it out!

4. Living in the past or past Hurts

Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. Philippians 3:13

Strain forward my friend to ALL the good things God has in store for you.

You can’t live in the past. You can’t change the past. All you can do is learn from it and press on.

5. Fear

Fear is absolutely the worst! I’ve struggled with fear a great portion of my life. Let me just say that is NOT Gods plan for you my friend. Fear is of the devil and fear is a liar! I love the song Fear Is a Liar by Zach Williams. Here is a portion of his lyrics:

Fear, he is a liar

He will take your breath

Stop you in your steps

Fear he is a liar

He will rob your rest

Steal your happiness

Cast your fear in the fire

‘Cause fear he is a liar

The “feelings” of fear can be paralyzing, I’ve been there myself and you may find yourself there today. In the past fear has kept me from walking in the plans God had for me. I can recall a time when I was a volunteer counselor for Sav-A-Life. See the reason I was drawn to do it was because I was 19 and pregnant myself, scared, didn’t know what I was going to do. So I knew that feeling all to well and wanted to help others. For me abortion was out, so Sean and I talked and I prayed, we loved each other and so we got married and we’ve been together for 28 years now, 3 daughters later. God is good!

I went through training and I loved the one on one counseling, I knew I was helping and making a difference. As time went on they asked me to do educational classes for Mom and Dad. Well there it was, Fear showed her ugly head. I was good with one on one but teaching a class full of people well that was different. I knew in my heart that God wanted me to do it but fear prevailed and I ended up quitting and never went back. THAT IS WHAT FEAR DOES.

Fast forward a few years, I became a Life Issues leader for Celebrate Recovery. I was leading a group, sharing my testimony in large groups. The thing I feared God was using and I was doing it afraid. That lead to leading lots small groups, teaching health and wellness classes. I still had some fear but the difference was I wasn’t allowing it to control me any more.

My friend fear cannot be outrun, it MUST be faced in order to overcome. If you allow it fear will steal your joy, wear you down, and keep you from the plans that God has for you. So say “NO!” to fear. Do it afraid! Be expectant that the Lord is going to do something great in your life today!

PRAY, PRAY, and PRAY SOME MORE!

Here’s the thing, if your lacking in joy, and let’s be honest a lot of us are these days, pray! Pray at all times, in all situations and without ceasing. Prayer changes things! It gives God the opportunity to show himself strong in your life.

Sometimes He changes your circumstances and other times he changes YOU. That’s what he did in my life and he will do it for you too precious one.

Your prayers can literally can change the atmosphere. It can change your life, your marriage, your loved ones, and anything else you need.

This is the year for Unspeakable JOY in your life. God is looking and longing to bless you, to set you free, and bring more joy to your life. So you be expectant my friend!

Unspeakable JOY is on the way!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Count it ALL Joy

Sometimes in life it’s just one thing after another! I know you’ve heard people say, and maybe you’ve said it “And the hits just keep on coming” or “It’s always something…I can never catch a break” But what if God is speaking through those trials, trying to teach us something and we just don’t see it.

His word says He will test our hearts, emotions, and thinking. When the pressures of life arise, then you see what’s really on the inside of us. God is looking to see if we will hold up to the pressure. It’s the Refiners fire, molding and shaping us into His image. Will we pass the test…Or go around the mountain again?

Well the awesome thing about God is that there is no pass or fail…..you’ll just get to retake the test, you’ll get to hike around that mountain AGAIN!! Been there done that, bought the cd and T-shirts lol.

The test and trials of life are so we can learn who we really are and what’s on the inside that needs to come out, and our great need of a Good Good Father. God is not impressed by what we say we know or what we say we will do, He wants to PROVE us under pressure.

I remember years ago when our house flooded in the basement the first time (yes I said FIRST time) Sean and I were not very happy and rightfully so but I don’t think we handled it very well either lol.

Trial=Mr. and Mrs. Grumpy Gills 😂😂

Not long later it happened again that time I hit my knees and asked “OK Lord what do you want me to learn from this?” And my attitude completely changed. I wasn’t happy about the trial but I sure didn’t want to behave like I did before and I had to go through it anyways.

Nothing I could do would change it, I had to go through….so while I’m going through I might as learn something and not let the devil steal my joy!!

And then wouldn’t you know it a year or so later YES IT HAPPENED AGAIN!! But this time I actually laughed about it and said Lord I know you have this, and devil you are under my feet!

So today as I go through these trials, whatever they are…air conditioning goes out, washer breaks, trouble with vehicles, doggo problems, and others that are more serious I choose to take the test and pass…..Lord I don’t want to go around the same stupid mountain AGAIN!!

Help me, my trust is in You Lord and not what I see going on around me. For Your word tells me that You are for me not against me, that what the enemy meant to harm and destroy, You will work ALL things out for our good!

I also know You Lord have a great plan for my life and my family. Sometimes when we are going through trials we have to remind ourselves of God’s promises, remember past victories. Trust in a God that loves you and knows what’s best for you. He sees and knows what we can’t see or know. Trust you will be victorious…You already are!!

You are destined for greatness, no matter what those trials look like.

God calls YOU his own, He calls you righteous (in right standing with God…not perfect) and He calls YOU OVERCOMER. He loves you and he’s working behind the scenes on your behalf.

Have faith, press into Jesus, stand firm, and speak life precious one!!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

He’s the Chain Breaker

Good morning sweet readers! Hope this finds you well.

Do you struggle with broken places in your life? Places that never seem to get better. If you’re like me you’ve tried to fix those areas instead of allowing God to do his thing in your lives. We say to ourselves I will allow God in this area and that area but “I got this area!”

What I’m learning is that when man tries to fix something that’s broken, it’s usually not as good as what God would do and there’s much struggle trying to accomplish. But when God gets a hold of it, watch out my friend! ALL THINGS BECOME NEW! He revives, He restores and makes things completely whole and new again, better than you could ever imagine. Give him your brokenness. Let him break the chains that bind you.

God wants you to walk in your destiny and all that He has for you.

We all have our issues no matter what they are, you are not alone in whatever it is you’re going through. He wants to heal and restore your family and marriage. He wants to heal you from that sickness or disease you’ve been struggling with for so long. That depression that seems so dark and hopeless, well He IS HOPE to the hopeless. You are never alone, He is always with you.

I don’t believe God causes these things in our life but I do believe he will sometimes allow them for a purpose. He will always use what the enemy meant to harm and destroy and use it for our good and use you to bless, encourage and help ease others suffering.

Oh and that unforgiveness that you so easily hold on to, give that to him as well. He wants to heal ALL your brokenness and break all the chains that bind you precious one.

“The LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” Isaiah 30:18

Let Him break the chains of addictions that have held you captive for so long. “If you need freedom or saving, He’s a prison-shaking Savior. If you’ve got chains, He’s a chain breaker.”

Don’t you forget…..God loves you precious one and wants great things for you!! He makes ALL things new, and will restore to you a double portion of what the enemy has tried to steal from you! He’s The Restorer to the broken and the Chain breaker to those who are bound.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗