As some of you know I have a few goals up my sleeves.
1. I have stepped my toes into the world of therapeutic respite.
2. God has given me a vision for the people of China.
On the subject of 1. Several doors of opportunity have opened throughout this year to explore what it means to be working with children and the families of children with RAD and other like situations. As I move forward in my knowledge I have begun to realize just how little I really do know. There is opportunity to attend a training in Canada this spring (dates still pending) but it’s quite pricey and out of my reach at this time. However it isn’t impossible with a little bit of extra care with my finances and perhaps some additional opportunities on the side. That’s where you come in.
I am looking for some opportunities to earn some extra income in the next two to three months. Babysitting,cleaning,laundry,or anything else you might need help with around the house. If you think I could be of service please let me know!
2. I have done some research about my options with visiting China or even other countries such as Thailand or Myanmar. It seems like for the present time it’s a vision I’m going to take a step back and allow God to work out. I have came to this conclusion 1. Out of my realization that I have so much to still learn and grow in my own personal life. With things like fear,overthinking,and negative thoughts I need to be willing to surrender those things before I can truly walk along side someone in their walk with the Lord. 2. I simply have only scratched the surface of knowing the history of the events in the Word,facts,and even Bible memory. Instead of focusing on learning a language or moving forward I need to make sure I’m firmly planted in His Word in a lasting way. 3. I’m not sure I feel it prudent to raise the amount of financial need for a single person to go for a mission trip or even a 6 month endeavor when there isn’t a vision or a plan for longevity in how to share truth.
I’m so thankful that there is no end to the opportunity of prayer and giving to situations in China. The nation seems to be under great pains and I trust that God is using this to strengthen His church. Of course I’m not there to know beyond what I read and hear but let us all come in prayer for our family as they stand firm on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ.
So those that have walked with me in the past few years thank you for the time to listen,books,and prayers. I greatly appreciate them!
Driving home tonight my Spirit is heavy with grief for those that refuse to acknowledge the Lord as king of their lives. The sky on the way home had so much depth and feeling to it. I don’t think the Lord has to labor in His marvelous works but something in this sky told me He added some extra care. There was something He wanted me to grasp. The beauty began to fade as I continued on my trek home. With each mile putting distance between me and my job the sky grew darker and darker. The hopeful colors disappeared and in their stead was a new type of depth and as if God was crying in the distance I felt the fullness of the message He was presenting to me. “Nicci WAKE UP WAKE UP MY PEOPLE ARE DYING! This beauty is more than a sky picture and a sign of my love! Precious Nicci my people will never see what I have done for them,how I love them,and what awaits them in eternity! Daughter don’t you care? Daughter cry with me for them to turn from their wicked selfishness. Help them know truth!”.
So I tried making a video to urge those of you that are lost, deceived,or whom have hard hearts. I pushed delete and realized that my words are just words that’ll come across your screen tonight. What truly has power is prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. I don’t know where each of you stand before the throne of God. I am not the author of the Lamb’s Book of Life but I do know it’s author and the author of your life. I’m crying out on your behalf whoever you may be that you will have opened ears to hear the call of my Father! You too can have joy and peace. Not the false thrill of what the world offers but true wholeness that comes from a submitted soul and the protection of obedience to the one who loved you enough to create you and to die for your sins and rise victorious over Satan’s hold on the world. You don’t have to remain broken and hopeless. You have a lifesaving creator waiting for your answer on the final adoption. Come now dear one!
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
I don’t think anyone wouldn’t say that we as Christians will find ourselves at some point confronted with someone questioning our faith,trying to tear down truth,or just having a negative opinion based on our following Jesus. As comfy American Christians however the word persecution seems like a foreign concept delegated to those on foreign soil. We read what little news comes out about our brothers and sisters across the ocean and we pray for their strength all while saying “Thank you Lord it’s them and not me.” The Word would tell us that in fact if we live godly in Christ all will suffer. I am not going to claim to understand how or when that’s supposed to happen. However I personally find myself wondering “Would I be ready if it did come my way?”
I recently listened to an anabaptist based school talk about fostering a global perspective in our children. The speaker told how in Muslim families and schools the children learn to quote the entire Quran in whatever language they speak (yes my ignorance is coming out. I mean no harm I just don’t remember). This morning as I was reading vs. 13 stood out. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse , deceiving and, being deceived. Yikes! What could be worse than heads being cut off or flesh being burned in defiant rebellion against this world’s kingdom? I hear about the prisons that hold my family and at various degrees,it sounds atrocious. My imagination is vast but it cannot quite grasp what could be worse yet in Muslim homes and schools they are delivering their children on a silver platter to the gates of Hell!
This brings me to verses 13-17.
Vs. 14 It says continue in the things thou hast learned and hast been assured of. Vs. 15 Is what I’m shooting for here. And that from a child thou hast known the Holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise UNTO SALVATION THROUGH FAITH WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS! We take great care to feed our children nutritious food so they may grow strong in body. How much more should we care about what we feed their hearts and minds? Is it the latest movie that they are quoting or is it scripture and song? Let’s look at the dedication of one of the false religions for a second. They are so concerned that their children have what is important to them that they dedicate them to memory so that they will have it firmly in their brains when they need it. Do we believe that the scripture is a treasure and for our and others wisdom? Why don’t we(me too) dedicates our lives to its memorization? Let’s take a look at the ending verses 16-17. ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, and is profitable for doctrine,for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;
THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE PERFECT THROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS.
I humbly ask again of not only you but of myself too. Do we feed our youth the scripture and teach them to hold it in their hearts? I’m not talking just memorizing for memory sake. I now have a vision for scripture to come alive in the hearts of our young people. I don’t want them to come in contact with persecution, if..no..when that time comes, to be found just as lost as the deceived around them. Let us give them the tools to give an answer unashamed as they step out onto the battlefield!
You know, to happen in the lives of our children we must too be armed and ready to face the adversary ourselves. We can’t pat our youth on the back with a well wish and a tool box. We must go hand and hand united as good soldiers of Jesus Christ to defend our kingdom.
*These are just my opinions based on what I’ve read in scripture. I don’t claim to fully understand but I hope through my faithfulness I and others can gain wisdom from the opened Word of God.
**Photo was totally staged. My study area is not all perfect. I had to go get the highlighter that had rolled across the floor and then remove the other notebook of where I was trying to figure out how to spell a word. #reallifefolks
***Please feel free to join me this year in memorizing the Word. Romans 8:31-37 KJV is this months passage!
Verse 12 really stuck out to me today. Not because of the song that would quote it but because of the raw honesty of “I am not ashamed for I know whom I have believed am am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” Whew I sure want to remain steadfast and be able to say that when I am pressed for an answer from any foes that would come my way. I AM NOT ASHAMED! We can find it easier to stay silent or avoid uttering the Word from our lips in fear of misquoting it or even if we’re honest with ourselves lack of confidence before our peers. Who are we as the church to stay silent,sugarcoat,or go around the TRUTH of God’s Word? Paul being in prison had every opportunity to shut down in the face of adversity. We find ourselves in a warm fuzzy environment where the most frightening encounter we might face is a blatant question from an unbeliever. Would we shy away from the opportunity to stand firm on the solid foundation of our Lord Jesus Christ? For shame if we say anything less than “I am not ashamed for I know whom I believe and I am persuaded that He IS able…”
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
Here we find ourselves at the end of another year. With God’s abundant grace we have will be given a new year with multiple opportunities. I know for myself this year has been a year of change,growth,and exciting new doors that have opened and some that have closed. I’m not unique in reflecting on the year that has passed. Many blog posts and conversations will be focused on this passage of time. I’d like join in and reflect on the awesomeness of my God in His love and care for me in this past year.
January: I found myself preparing for my newest roommate to move in. Having the privilege to live and work along side Roxy was a joy and blessing.
February: I discovered that although for many many years I valued St. Patrick’s Day as my favorite holiday it actually turns out to be Valentines Day. I wear pink,bought a heart shaped pizza,and my parents sent me beautiful flowers. What more could a woman ask for?!? Alongside my new found favorite holiday, I celebrate in my heart the day I fully came into submission and surrender to my Lord! It fills me with all sorts of large feelings I will never be able to put into words. My life removed from God is worth nothing. That is cause enough to praise His name! https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/they-call-me-a-fool-he-calls-me-his-bride/
March: This month was filled with birthday type stuff. I turned 27 and started a new year of life.
April: I boarded a small six passenger airline and headed with a team to Florida to serve at a family healing camp. My heart grew like the Grinches heart grew while I spent time with children and families effected by RAD(Reactivate Attachment Disorder). I would never of called myself a “kid person” sure I love teaching and such but something changed in seeing parents literally fighting for the lives of their children. We are called to care for the widows and children and I can do that by supporting these awesome families that are growing little hearts that have been hurt.
June: Annual meeting was a delight because I got to connect with many of my brothers and sisters in Christ. There is a vision that takes place in my mind when we are gathered around the communion table seeking to do the will of God. We are each humbly waiting for that day that we are one in the consummation of the marriage with Christ!
After annual meeting I packed my bags for a week of Training/working in Canada with a raddlet (kid with RAD). Whew no amount of time would allow me to tell all of the stories. Fear,excitement,drama,smells,and friendship blooming we’re all words I’d use. Originally I was planning on heading to Georgia for about a month but the child needed different care so I headed home with a switch of plans.
July: This was the most boring,lonely,horrible month ever. On the tail of the disappointment of lost opportunity I was in the house completely alone for a good portion with absolutely nothing to do and no motivation to find something to fill my time. I’m not proud of July but God uses it to draw me closer to Him. I had a lot of one on one talks with Him and my Bible was opened on my lap more than it wasn’t. I found comfort in bringing my Bible to bed with me each night as if a security blanket.
September: We (at school) really started to feel our routine set in and the normal school days began to flourish. I am very fortunate to get the opportunity to work among fellow followers of Jesus Christ as we labor for the kingdom of God! I started doing therapeutic respite in my home and I have been enjoying the process so much! It’s a unique challenge and requires me to be on my A game 100% but oh so worth giving these wonderful parents a small break from having to be the superhero for a few days. I pray that God gives me many more opportunities to support these awesome parents! https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/its-a-sloths-life-pajamaspity-partiesand-pee-peevpants/
October: My teeny tiny nephew came into the world with many prayers and much love. His arrival has been a highlight of the year for sure! Each new babe is a special miracle from God. Let’s hold our children a little closer this year as we realize some children never get to feel the love that yours does. Let’s pause to pray for the hearts of the neglected and abused children. Oh Lord you do care and hear their cries!
I got on an airplane for the third time this year for an adventure of a lifetime! Myself along with my brothers and sisters in Christ went to Germany to meet up with more of our family in Christ to support and have a love feast in their neck of the woods! Oh what a joy filled experience unmatched by anything I’ve ever been a part of before. This was the moment I got what I really was a part of. My fellowship is my everything here on earth to me.
November:This month was a fun one! Myself and three other women rented a cabin in the woods in Holmes County to find some R&R. We did all the usual things that you do there with the addition of spending a day doing fun crafty things! Somewhere along the way in the summer I took up painting. It’s a skill I hope to expand to bless others as I write letters that will bring encouragement to those that get them.
My friend Lana came out for the weekend so we could…well let’s just say check your mailbox in the next week. We had more laughs than I knew could happen! Friends sure make life fun!
I had the opportunity to be perused by a godly man in another fellowship. It was a fun opportunity that turned out to not bring peace even though it was fun while it lasted. Who doesn’t want to be valued by someone here on earth? It was a growing experience bringing me to face my vision for my life and how God has continued to call me to be faithful in all things.
I am traveling home now after a week in Missouri and Kansas. Things like Christmas,sickness,Cheesecake Factory,bonding,and large sloths are the words used for this trip.
Now we find ourselves back at January where I began a year ago. I can’t tell you what the next year will hold but my prayer is go a steadfast commitment to my Lord and Savior as I continue on my pilgrimage in the kingdom of God. I hope I meet many new friends and strengthen relationships with the ones I already have. This year has brought many Mountain View moments and yes, a few moments where I stood at the bottom of the mountain wondering why I had to start again. I can say without any stretching of the truth that the climb was worth it!
The sun rose and set every day of this past year and I got to enjoy most of them as I did life. Oh the gift that is a new day! Let us each wake to look for the gift God has given us then let us fall before Him in praise!
I love you all! Much love dear ones. If you haven’t found yourself at the foot of the cross casting your sins away, I urge you to cry out to our sovereign Lord to help you to do so! This life here on earth will vanish and we will each face eternity. I want you each to face it looking at the face of Jesus at the wedding of His people with Him to never be separated. If I can help you by answering questions or praying along side of you please let me know. We are not promised another day on this earth. Make your choice now. https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/why-i-deserve-to-go-to-hell-but-i-wont/
Glory to God in all of His perfect ways. I got up this morning and asked the Lord to bring comfort when moments of self doubt or peace threatened to waver. We got on the road to head for home and we called into Covington to hear what was being preached. In the message was a hug for me from my Father. The title was the foundation of a Godly marriage. Some of you know (because I’m not a very privet person and share my life openly) that I had been talking to a godly man outside of my fellowship as we both sought the Lord’s will. Yesterday that friendship was decided to stay just a friendship. I’m at perfect peace and with it knowing that the whole time I prayed “Lord remove this opportunity if it is not of you. I’ll be disappointed but I want NOTHING outside of your perfect will.” God has removed the burden of having to sort through some stuff that kind of seemed big to me. Ultimately my life is to love and serve the Lord. Although the message preached could of felt like a stab in the heart given the situation, it was like a balm to the wound of pride. It is pride that we can be pricked with hurt in these situations. Pride over “not being good enough” but secretly thinking we are pretty great. Pride over having something others might not. Pride over being faithful enough to wait for God’s timing. Pride over being wanted. Oh Satan has no shortage of ways to rise us up in pride. I’m so so blessed by the message this morning that Curt gave. No, I’m not in a marriage but even I could gain something from it. I would highly recommend you go listen to it! Phone number: 712-432-8774
ID number: 63600#
May God bless each of you with true contentment in the will of God over your lives and if you are married I pray that you can be an active participant in a God honoring marriage. Much love you all! ❤️🙏🏽💕
Ps. What is the most important thing in the world? To love and serve the Lord…in every season!
What will the new year hold? I think all too often we ask that in a way that really is selfish. “What will I gain from a new year?” Is the burning question we have tucked into our hearts. We are wondering if this will be the year I’ll be noticed by that cute guy. Things like job promotions and pay raises cross our minds. Let me ask you this. Are you already planning your next vacation for 2019? You see, we really are so self focused when we begin to wonder about the upcoming year. I’m not saying it’s all bad to have those thoughts but as I evaluate the direction of my life it becomes apparent the question I want to be on my heart. Hmm maybe it’s not actually the question at all but rather the answer.
With a whole new year fast approaching the answer to the question is there are 365 opportunities. As a follower of Jesus Christ I feel that every single day counts for the kingdom of God. I want to use all 365 days as days to share the truth of God’s love and the gravity of our sin situation. We get only one life here on earth and the choices we make have eternal impact not only for ourselves but for those we meet everyday.
I believe when Jesus gave the parable about the widow that gave her everything that He literally meant that we do the same. All too often I can get wrapped up in the “I’m a single school teacher” excuse of why my money is free to go out to eat or buy that extra coffee. Frequently I can even say I’m too “poor” to help that person in need. The blazing reality is that I’m so very rich! I’m rich in finances and emotional/spiritual wealth. I really lack for nothing. That becomes apparent when I get my act together and begin to give. Isn’t that funny how somehow someway I always have an increase when I choose to walk in faith and give of myself?
It’s not just being willing to give of ourselves in a monitory way. Although let’s pause and recognize that we MUST be doing that too! I’m not talking 10% bare minimum to gain us our check mark. I’m talking let’s allow it to be a sacrifice of total surrendered love. Not only our money but our time is to be laid at the foot of the cross as well. Once again each time I find myself willing to move as the spirit prompts, I am given an increase! Shouldn’t our lives be laced with the gospel truth? Oh you’ll be amazed how open people are with talking openly. Sure the goal or hope is to impact the lives of the lost but God in between those interactions gives us other mighty believers to sharpen and encourage our journey! It’s truly powerful!
So maybe the concept of using our 365 days as opportunity for the kingdom of God is a foreign concept. That’s ok! We all have to start somewhere and I’m not at 100% either. In so many ways this message is for me as well. I sat this morning in a puddle of tears crying out to God wondering how I could be so selfish! Please know you’re not alone! I began to search my heart and mind for how does 365 days of kingdom living look on practical terms. I came up with a list and it’s by no means exhaustive and I certainly don’t meet all of my own criteria. I hope it can be used to strengthen you and me to be honest with ourselves where we fail and can grow. I’d love to hear what you do to further the gospel and to be the hands and feet of Jesus all year long!
-First of all have daily devotions. We must be in the Word to share the Word. I might be radical in saying a sermon or intense prayer time can be coupled with this too.
-The grocery store is a unique opportunity to chat with people in a casual way. I’ve had some of the best kingdom conversations waiting at the meat counter of Kroger. Don’t be afraid of starting a conversation!
-Go over and talk to that person sitting alone at the restaurant. Yeah sure like 5% the person wants to be left alone but that 95% is well worth the shot.
-Serve at a soup kitchen. Not only do you get to have a challenge of cooking but also interacting with your neighbors.
-Get to know your neighbors. Don’t be afraid to ask them over for a meal. Be in prayer for them as you get to know them.
Invite people to your church. It can be incredibly frightening especially in my situation because my church has a visible culture and that can terrify people. Yet I’ve had some complete strangers come to church and I was so thankful for their willingness to come!
-Get in the mind set that your money and possessions are not your own. Loosen your grip on the things of this world and you’ll learn to give more freely.
-Be in prayer about giving opportunities. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to situations where you can be the hands and feet of Jesus.
-This one might seem silly but wash those dinner dishes after Sunday company. The hostess will appreciate the help even if at first she refuses the help.
-Pay the bill for the person in front of you at the grocery store. Typically they ask “why” and you can direct them to the Lord.
-Keep am extra quarter for trips to Aldi.
-Fix a meal for someone and drop it off unexpectedly. We forget that sometimes life gets busy for a young family and dinner may not be planned yet!
-Gofundme is an example of people from every walk of life coming together to support those in need.
-Well of Hope supports widows and children in Africa. You can sponsor a child through them.
-Invite a single or widow to dinner for “just because”.
-Buy someone that wouldn’t be expecting it flowers.
-Give hugs freely!
-Go visit a nursing home. Ask the residents about their lives.
-Babysit for free.
-Stop and give that person on the side of the road a ride.
-Buy a meal for a homeless person.
-Pray with someone right where you are. Don’t wait until later.
-Pray verbally when at a restaurant.
My list is short but it’s just a few things I’ve found to show God’s love in my everyday life. How do you serve those around you?