Well, I don't know about you, but I am so very grateful that I have made it past the halfway point of 2016! The beginning of this year proved to be very tumultuous and challenging time for me. I was launching Victorious by Design, Victoriously, Nicole! and the 1st Annual Fearless Faith Retreat! Crazy, right? Yes, I would agree with you, but anyone who knows me well understands that is how I roll. Even though it seemed as I was dying, I lived out every bit of the theme: "Fearless Faith"!
After several months of planning, the closer the time came for Fearless Faith, the worse things became. It seemed that everything was falling apart! There were very brief moments of doubt where I asked the Lord, "Are you sure I am supposed to be doing this?" In His own precious and personal way with me, He would answer so many of my questions and prayers about trivial things, but never did I get a clear or concise answer about this new ministry. Looking back, I know now that He was giving me grace to "walk the walk" and "talk the talk". As you may have noticed on this website's home page, my name literally means "Leader of the people to victory". So, in order for me to lead anyone into fearless territory, I would have to be the first in line.
Now, we are in the 8th month and there is less than 5 months left in 2016. I can truly say that I have been fearless in accomplishing my goals. All praise to Jesus Christ, I published my first book, "Think Like a King", Act Like a King" and this is just the beginning! My faith has been tremendously tested, but I did not give up. As a "Faithlete", my faith has been conditioned through many obstacle courses and workouts. As I watch the 2016 Summer Olympics that is happening now, I can really relate to the athletes. As the Olympians work to obtain their medal, they demonstrate all of the hard work that they have completed in preparation to participating in the Olympics. Not one of them just showed up, expecting to win the medal. It is the same with us. In order to obtain the victory and to win, we must practice and condition our faith. Hebrews 6:12 says it like this: "That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises". In other words, you cannot be lazy in your faith! On the contrary, you have to be diligent and very aggressive in your faith walk. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." I know that some of you have heard these scriptures so many times before. However, how many laps does a track runner complete in their training? How many times does the basketball player bounce the ball? Just as they never stop, neither should we if winning is the goal.
It would seem as if my faith training and conditioning is in vain if I am not encouraging others to excel and win. I encourage you to stay connected with me so that you can receive what God desires to say and do in your lives. There are many platforms in which you can be coached in your faith: this website, following me on facebook, instagram, and twitter, and attending the various programs and events are all fantastic ways to be encouraged. You can also connect with me one on one for faith coaching or to receive your very own Personal Fearless Faith Retreat! It is all for you!! Whenever God does something great in my life, I am encouraged that He desires to do the same for you. If you are discouraged and have lost hope, then you have come to the right place. Before long you will call yourself: "Victoriously, __________!
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By the look and feel of the weather today, you would not think that spring has sprung. The reality is that it has sprung and it is officially spring! As of March 20th (also my sweet grandmother's 86th birthday), winter transformed into spring. Allow me to get spiritual for a moment. This reminds me of the scripture that states: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen", Hebrews 11:1. Just as there were snowflakes on my windshield this morning when going to work and the calendar on my phone stated that it was the 5th day of April, so it is with having faith. My confidence in the changing of season causes me to hope for warmer weather. Eventually, the temperature will reflect the true season. However, spring is not waiting for warmer temperatures. Regardless of how a situation may look in the natural, the reality of that situation is determined spiritually.
It would not have done me any good to debate and argue that it was winter outside just because there were flurries. There were too many other factors that overruled the precipitation. I'm not a scientist or meteorologist, but I remember from elementary science that the weather is dictated by the rotation of the sun, planets, etc. The snowflakes today did not change the date back to December 5th, although it felt like it. Instead, I adjusted my mind, told myself that I was not crazy, put on a coat, and I proceeded to turn on the seat warmer and heat, to high!
The same is necessary with making adjustments with our faith. When a situation or circumstance does not appear the way you hoped or planned, use real faith to make adjustments. First, what lens are you using? Is it with your natural eye or spiritual eye that you are looking at your situation? Next, you may need to refocus and adjust your lens. To get spiritual results you must use spiritual techniques. There are so many examples in the Bible to support this fact. However, I am reminded of David (soon to be King David) as he prepared to fight Goliath, the giant. King Saul wanted to give him all of his stately and powerful weapons to use in defeating this bold and audacious giant. Instead, David took a slingshot and 5 rocks and knocked Goliath's lights out! The young, inexperienced, and ruddy David knew that in order to win the battle with Goliath, he had to rely on the power of God. Can you imagine how that looked? For sure it would be the making of a fantastic action movie, but I'm no Steven Spielberg! Plainly, King Saul and David had different outlooks on the same situation. Naturally speaking, one outlook and plan would have killed David. Spiritually speaking, the other outlook and plan killed Goliath! What you focus on, or even better, WHO you focus on will determine your success. For us today, using the Word of God is a fierce and mighty weapon. "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God", Ephesians 6:17.
For now, I would like to end by encouraging you to refocus your faith lens. Take your eyes off of the situation as it looks with your natural eye. Instead, look to your Heavenly Father for clarity. Hebrews 12:2a encourages us to do this: "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith". In this passage, one interpretation is to "fix your eyes on Jesus". This was so powerful to me when I studied this. When we fix or fasten our eyes on our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, our sight is nothing less than clear. If we are going to succeed in faith, we have to look to the creator of faith! Recently, I was again encouraged by Proverbs 3:5-7: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil." This is just another example of how important it is not to rely on your natural senses when working out your faith. Having faith in God guarantees the best results.
In closing, if tomorrow there is more snow, it will not prove to me that it is winter. Instead, I will readjust by putting on my boots, mittens, and scarf still confident that it is April 6th and it is SPRING!
Keep the faith, you are victorious by design!
Your Faith Coach,
King James Version