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Introducing Nicole Ramirez
Hello my name is Nicole and it mean victory of the people, victorious one, and it origin is from Greece.
I am a photographer, author, as well as an artist. This is my first posting here in my blog, and over the next season, i will share from several different subjects so as to encourage you.  One goal I have and intend to accomplish is to share the trials, traumas, and just hard times that i have come through, that i made it this far and you can too.
So, let me start with as i said above....  My name is Nicole. I am adopted and found out as i was raised by my adoptive parents, that my name was given to my by my biological dad. I was born in the 50's, and even though now in the 21st century, when i was growing up there was not one other Nicole i even met, heard of, be it in my life or on television. I never heard the name Nicole anywhere at all.
I was raised by Mr & Mrs Stickler, my adoptive parents, and they adopted another kid, this time a boy, and now i had a brother. We moved ever so much and so i never really got established in a neighborhood, all but for once. 
My dad acquired cancer and died of it when i was 11. We moved back to Pennsylvania, so he could say goodbye to his blood family before he died. After his death we came back to California, and settled in
San Diego County, the home of my moms sister.  We settled in an rural area of the Eastern County, and we stayed in one place, and it was nice to go to one school my entire high school years.
Of course i saw some cute looking guys, and sorta would follow them around. Another guy became aware of me, especially as i started to go to sports events to take pictures. I decided to take photography, for i needed credits to graduate, and that seemed different and maybe fun.  By the end of my junior year, i started dating this guy who was watching me. He graduated that year and 2 years later i then graduated.  He then moved and got his own apartment and i invited myself to move in. Within several months a very good friend of mine, had a dream, and because of the dream, she begged me to watch Billy Graham crusade that weekend on the t.v. (i had gone to his crusades growing up, and watched his crusades lots of times).  So the weekend came and it was December of 1977. I watched the crusade and ended up curled up on the floor crying at the end when the invitation to accept Christ was given. Well that very night, i couldn't go to bed with my boyfriend, i just KNEW it was not good anymore. So i slept in the walk in closet. Within the next week, i moved home with my mom. (she now only had a one bedroom apartment, and my brother had left home).  Within several months my boyfriend whose name was Charles, well he came to invite me out on a date once again, and shared with me he was saved now.  Within 5 months i was engaged, and we got married in June 1979.
I got pregnant nearly immediately and had a son in June of 1980 and named him charles as well. I now called my husband Charlie. The next 20 years were basically 2 more kids, who were boys, and several apartments too.
In 2002 my mom died, and within a year i started looking for my birth mom.  It was (I think) in 2005 that i found my birth dad. I found him for i had always known we had the new paper article in which it was shared the details of my situation..........
Details will be given in the next posting on my blog...........

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Stubborn Onion / Glory of Zion / Corinth Texas

The Stubborn Onion - A Forced Peeling!
Watch Starting the Year Off Right Webcast Replays!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dear Advancing Saints:

Many people are trying to start the year off right, but must first allow the Lord to do something in their life. Yesterday, Justin Rana wrote the following devotion which will give a fresh perspective on this year of deliverance.

The Stubborn Onion - A Forced Peeling

A little over four years ago, I wrote a devotion for all of you regarding the peeling of an onion. Our personal onion. Our layers. You can find that devotional by clicking HERE. It may be good reading before delving further into this current version.

I am now four years older at 33. I have had another child, named Ryan Matthew Rana, with my wife, Jessica. Much has changed in life with the emergence of a second child! Since Ryan's birth in 2012, it seems that much of life got turned upside down. My wife got even more busy, I began revisiting the idea of going back to college to complete my degree, and we now had another little human living with us. During this recent period in my life, God has prompted some heavy soul searching to occur. Or should I say, God has brought many testings about during this time?

I felt myself starting to be peeled again, exposing parts of myself that I was not comfortable with. You could liken it to losing some layers of skin - and getting down to that really raw layer that stings and hurts when it is touched. The part that really annoyed me was that I wasn't willingly doing the peeling. God was. It was a forced peeling. Through the circumstances of life, God was exposing issues in my life that still related to things that occurred when I was very young. Of course, in the midst of everything, you don't always realize what God is trying to show you. I felt abandoned again. I felt unimportant. I felt hurt. I "FELT."  I began to operate out of pure emotion - how I "felt." At the time, I could not bring myself to cling to and fight with the scripture about casting down everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Of course I wasn't abandoned. God was there for me. Of course I wasn't unimportant. God created us in His image and He needs us! But alas, I couldn't see it. I started making choices and decisions that were leading to dark places, making covenants with the foes of God rather than believing in all He had promised me. I was in rebellion. And because of what happened to me as a young child, I refused to listen to any authority around me, including God himself. God was trying to speak...

In August 2013, we recorded a song here called "The God of the Redeemed." Aaron Smith, Tobias Lyons and I wrote it. I produced it. I SANG it. Yet, I couldn't heed what it said. The lyrics are below and you can hear the song here: GOD OF THE REDEEMED!

God of the Redeemed - T. Lyons, J. Rana, A. Smith

Standing on the line of precious promises
Chasing choices that our hearts already met
An old familiar foe has cycled round again
Will we seize upon this chance and enter in?

My eyes are fixed on the splendor of the king
Unmatched His love, grace, fury and envy
Tremble and quake you who stand His enemy
Swing wide your gates before the God of the Redeemed

We've beheld the giant in our promised land
Our voices hollowed by the shadow of its hand
Will we embrace our fears and live on desert ground?
Or will we be the chosen few? The time is now.

We've been overcome, but not this time
Had our lives destroyed, but not this time
We've given up every time but not this time
Not this time

God was obviously trying to tell me: "Hey - attention buddy. You are about to face some foes that are coming back around. You can either operate in fear or you can choose to enter in to what I have for you." The following month is when I started walking toward darkness. Rather than embracing the peeling God was trying to do - rather than turning to Him and drawing closer to Him, I turned away from the ultimate authority and chose MY plans, and MY ways.

Let me be the first to tell you: your plans and your ways lead to death and destruction. Thankfully, God, mainly through my lovely wife Jessica, turned back the battle at the gates. And I literally mean at the gates.

This is what happens when we resist God and resist the authorities in our lives. We are left to our own devices. We are left with our soul and our flesh - which without the Spirit of God is just a bad combination.

Whatever is going on in your life right now, STILL yourself. Stop your flailing. Realize that God is God and you are not. There is nothing that you can do in yourself to make your life any better than what God can make it. Embrace the place that you are in. Many of the younger group here at Global Spheres Center has been going through a peeling, so we are with you!

This is a year of deliverance! Do not resist the forced peeling that WILL occur this year.  Read 2 Corinthians 10 and Isaiah 28.

Love to All,
Justin Rana

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