Episode 18 – Nicole Unice is “Brave Enough” AND so are you!

Episode 18 – Nicole Unice is “Brave Enough” AND so are you!

Nicole Unice

Nicole Unice is on staff at Hope Church in Richmond, Virginia, and the author of the breakout book: “She’s Got Issues” which she wrote from her counseling and ministry experiences. The book produced and encouraged a refreshing and radical honesty that she’s built on in her new book “Brave Enough”.

Enjoy the Shownotes and links below and please share this with friends that you know CAN be “Brave Enough“. Thanks for listening!




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Get  Brave Enough or find out more here:

Like to listen instead of reading? Get the AUDIO book here.

Shownotes – Episode 18 Nicole Unice is honest, enthusiastic, and “Brave Enough”, so you can be too.


MIN 1:10

Nicole on staff at Hope Church

on the Richmond VA place and new midtown location.



Nicole’s podcasting experience (the Becoming Podcast) doing hundreds of episodes with her pastor doing 15 minutes shows for commuters.

Lisa asks: Is “campus” a Christian code word for mega church?


How she grew with Hope Church for 18 years, as they started out small in an elementary school “cafetorium”.


The “Youth Lodge” plans and the unique setting with wetlands and hills.


On the importance of Beauty, Setting, and Art in architecture and church building planning to evoke the imagination, inspire awe, and connect with the heart.


Collaborative workspace, and place where kids can do their homework and where people can enjoy the time away in a beautiful setting.


“artist come through the side door of the soul and preachers come through the front door.”


The history of the church and Christian tradition is one where the Church is source of beauty, wonder and connected to art because God is a the Creator.


Her first book: She’s Got Issues

6 main issues women (and men) face that can be a hinderance.

A rich relationship with God can come to a dead end as the ways we do life stop working.


How was it received? The #1 thing Nicole heard was, “You’re so honest.”

Why would honesty be such a revolution in Christianity?


She leaned into that for her next book “Brave Enough”


The story of how she got the title for the book:

To the question, “Do you think you can be brave?” Lucy Pevensie in the Chronicles of Narnia says, “I think I can be brave enough.”


Few women will self-identify as brave. [and not many men will either]

“After we identify the hinderances, what does it look like to walk forward in freedom?”


Brave Enough is about Grace and its effects, inside and in action.


Nicole answering the question: Do men have the same problems in this area?


“Women hearing teaching from women is like hearing in your first language.”


Ways Nicole leads and teaches men.


on how women have to translate teaching from men into their “language” and context.


On how, similarly, Brené Brown was challenged (by a man) to include men in her writing and teaching. (Lisa)


How men and women have similar vulnerabilities though they might deal with them differently.


“up speak” tones in language in women and men revealing different insecurities. (Lisa)


Nuggets from the Brave Enough book:

How the ingredients mixed into something she didn’t expect. It follows a narrative “arch of the heart”. How we can be full and free and confident in life.


on why (inner) freedom is illusive for men and women.

On “Fake Grace” in our head. (the excuses we make or how we blame others). Inviting God/Jesus into those places.


We all (default) and go back to rules and laws and how to short circuit that pattern.

It’s about resetting the heart with a new spiritual reality.


Radical honesty about our ugly parts inside the heart.


Nicole’s Parable: The violently stopping of the elevator door…(and how it relates to our soul).


Open ourselves to God’s Presence and healing.


(Lisa) God uses what bothers us about other people is a mirror of what we don’t like in ourselves.


How our baggage works to impede our progress.

Brave Enough includes major parts on forgiveness


God’s breathing on us and giving us the mission of forgiveness, first.

(Click to read the reference John 20:19-23)


When we keep living out of a wounded place.


How we continue categorizing our experiences to support our false and faulty premises and hypothesis about ourselves.


Questioning what is really true about ourselves (and the mental “tapes” we play).


God gives us opportunities to practices forgiveness every single day, often in small ways in the relationships and event of regular life.


If we can’t be gracious to ourselves we can’t be gracious with others.


The economy of our heart: if we forgive little then we love little.


(Nicole asks Lisa) “What have you learned in doing podcasting?”


We have the chance to never stop growing and transforming and God never gives up on us.


Brave Enough is also an AUDIO book. Find it here.


Did you like the show?

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Want to extend the good times and answer the question of the day?

What “bad/negative tape” do you have playing in your head most often?


Episode 5 – The god of Wine and re-thinking the nature of creative process

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Episode 5 – The god of Wine and re-thinking the nature of creative process


Today’s episode is about the Greek god of Wine and rethinking our ideas about the process of creation, and a better understanding the notion of “creative genius”:


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wine segment

What the Greeks thought about wine is reflected in the god of wine that they worshiped. (I don’t recommend worshiping the god of wine, or any god except the benevolent Creator.)

• Dionysus was the Greek god of wine and grape harvest

• The only god to have a mortal parent. Born from Zues’ thigh. That’s because his mother burnt to a crisp when Zues showed himself to her in his glory. Whoops.

Symposium means “drinking together”.

Additional note: These originally-small gatherings were for upper class men and with carefully imposed rules about consumption. They occured for leisure and thoughtful discussion.

• I will be offering a symposium-stlyle web-event where we will all have a glass of wine at the same time and discus a topic–possibly in July. Only patrons will get to come. This is your invitation. :)

If you want in, or you are curious about the rewards for being a sponsor of the show, go to Patreon.com/sparkmymuse


• Most of the great Greek plays were initially written to be performed at the Spring feast of Dionysus. . . .when the buds of grape leaves start to open. It was a most sacred festival.

• Dionysus was a patron of the arts!

For Greeks, Dionysus was credited with creating wine and spreading the art of viticulture (the horticulture of grapes).

• He had a dual nature; on one hand, he brought joy and divine ecstasy; or he would bring madness, brutal and blinding rage–a good depiction of the dual nature of wine.

• He was brought back to life…like grape vines that undergo brutal pruning and look dead, but then burst back to life.

• Blood and red wine are often linked for the ancients.

(Blood gives the body life, wine has powerful bodily effects.)

And now to spark your muse!


• Nikolai Berdyeav

“All the products of a man’s genius may be temporal and corruptible, but the creative fire itself is eternal, and everything temporal ought to be consumed in it. It is the tragedy of creativeness that it was eternity and the eternal, but produces the temporal, and builds up the culture which is in time and a part of history. The creative act is an escape from the power of time and ascent to the divine…”

Today we’re thinking of the creative process as re-imagined and being “divinely co-operative”.

We (commonly) think of genius as applied to us in a personal way like a characteristic. A natural capacity, but the Greeks seem to have a much healthier view of what the process of creation is truly like…

• For the Greeks …divinity is always present.

• A genius = an unseen guardian, or custodial and protecting spirit…who gives a human inspiration: For the Greek, we each have one. (It’s not us; but it will help us.)

Three reasons why depersonalizing our part in the creative process is helpful:

1. Failure is not personal

2. Success shouldn’t cause arrogance

3. Patience and giving up control (not forcing it) will reinvorgate your creativity

What do you think?

Is the creative process a “divine cooperation”?


In the next episode we will cover “the proper rites of friendship”  and skinny on “wine spritzers”. 


Non Profit: RE-invented as “For Purpose”

When you tell someone that you work for a non profit, (or a ministry, or a charity…)


You often get one of three reactions:

1. A strange and muted pity.

Some times this is accompanied by slow nodding and maybe an awkward silence and change of subject, or some refer to some one they know who sort of does the same sort of thing (awkward empathy).

“Oh, yeah, my uncle was a pastor. He died unappreciated and penniless.”

2. A bemused reaction, “Oh, okay. How…nice.”

3. A flummoxed stare.

They think something went wrong.

Or, that you must a be a bleeding heart, or maybe you are just confused about what you really want to do.

“Oh, I thought you were…um… (smart and industrious)…but, you can’t get paid much, right?”

Sadly, I had to leave a non-profit graduate school as the Director of Communications because I needed to pay bills.

I worked with the nicest group of people I’ve ever worked with. We did exciting and transformative things that make the world a better place. In the end though, my family needed, literally, a roof over our heads (lots of leaking in the attic). I had no choice but to look for work to meet that pressing need.

Strangely, I’ve sensed in all the non-profits I’ve worked with, so far, that there is going idea was that you have to give up something to be there. The rules are different and you just have to suck it up and put big girl pants on, and such.

You have to be okay with being very poorly compensated.

Now, it isn’t for lack of will to do it. The funding (really-the lack of funding) just can’t support something otherwise. However, there is something more. A kind of unconscious (maybe?) communal ascension to thinking is cemented way that makes change, improvement, and sometimes even success difficult.

It’s a disabling mindset, really.

We can get stuck is a false conundrum that subtly discredits the fulfilling work being done because it it conversely attached to a conflicting paradigm that claims profit = success. By definition then, non-profit = non-success.

(Any pockets of moralizing that all the hard work is to be for treasures in heaven one day, hardly makes it easier.)

I wonder if there is a better way.

Adam Braun thinks so. He gets to a great point: We shouldn’t start labeling ourselves as failures. We shouldn’t be apologizing for doing awesome things in the world asa 501C status.
(Have you ever done the old……”Oh, yeah, we’re a non profit.” …as eyes shift downward in shame…?).

The truth is…

Being centered on a purpose rather than existing for a profit is the most important sort of work on the planet.

The good news is that certain business models can be infused to make the whole system more successful. That’s how Adam set up “Pencils for Promise” (click on Adam’s photo to get to his website…but, wait…just a minute more).

I love what how he describes for-purpose organizations as a places…

“where idealism meets acumen.”


How great to see this important shift happening. I have GREAT hope in Millenials!

I look forward to infusing both purpose and profit into what I’m doing. Who says they have to be in silos!?

For me, it started with a passion project: the book I created with Doug Jackson in August (2013). Some proceeds are earmarked for 2 -for purpose- groups that care for dogs and cats.


The most exciting thing I’m involved with now is the new resource that keeps the underdogs (but not canines) in mind and offers a high Return of Investment (ROI).

The knowledge gained translates quickly into success (be that revenue, exposure, or impact).

The non profit (for PURPOSE) organizations are the ones with such heart. I want them to succeed.


If you are interested, click HERE.
Read what others are saying about it.


Have YOU ever worked for a ministry or other kind of non profit?
What was the mindset like?


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