Something to be Treasured

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

Matthew 6:19-20

—-///

Have you ever stopped to wonder what treasure really is? What comes to mind when you hear that word? Is it a beautiful chest of gold hidden by pirates as depicted in the storybooks of our youth? It could be jewelry that a loved one has gifted you as a sign of love. Hard earned money at the end of a week of work could seem very treasure like as it is the key to buy even more treasures. Whatever it’s may be that comes to mind it is nothing in comparison to the heavenly treasures that God has given in the eternal life. Even the earthly treasures gifted to the earth by our creator are just temporary. We have things such as a Columbine flower,the sun shining for the first time after a long winter, birds singing in the morning, or that precious moment the trees began to bud. Those treasures certainly point us in a heavenly direction as we stand in awe of our great creator God. Yet they will fade in time. The Word says in Isaiah 40:8,

 “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

Revelation 21:23 says,

 “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

Genesis 1:30 shares that all life,every living thing was given by God.

“And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”

Ecclesiastes 3 shows us clearly that there is a time for everything and even those song birds and the budded trees shall die.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;”

If our treasures even the God given earth treasures are nothing more than to be enjoyed in the here and now what is a treasure in eternity? First and foremost the greatest treasure given was the opportunity of salvation through the blood and life of Jesus Christ our savior king. Jesus said very plainly “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?-John 11:25-26 There will always be an earthly death. Just as Jesus died for our sins we too will die yet the kicker of it all is that WE SHALL LIVE AGAIN! The treasure of the life of Jesus lives in us is to literally be alive forever bound with Him in eternity in the permanent and forever kingdom. What other radiant treasures await us in that forever kingdom with our forever life?

If it weren’t enough to simply get to live forever worshipping our king we(the church) will have the great treasure of being married to Him in the most holy of ceremonies of all time. Revelation 19:7-9

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” As a single person this especially perks my ears and causes my heart to beat a little faster! Individually some of us may never get to collect the beautiful treasure of a godly marriage. The white dress may just be a fragment of our imagination. The sting is quickly lightened by the abundant fullness of this treasured promise of the marriage feast of the Lamb! Let us marinate a while in your heart right now. The king of King’s treasures you and you treasure Him in a love incorruptible by time or sway of affections. Ah a treasure indeed!

James 1:12

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” From my brief study on the subject of crowns there are five types of crowns to be given as a treasure in heaven. The crown of life,the crown of righteousness,the crown of rejoicing,the crown of glory,and the incorruptible crown. I won’t even begin to expound on each one. I’ll leave that for your own personal study. I’ll leave you with this thought. Straighten your back and hold your head high. Imagine the hand of God placing a crown upon your battle weary head. Look around,what is it you see in your heavenly visions? It’s going to be so much more of a treasure than what you or I can conjure up in our human imaginations. I know this one thing, with a crown comes confidence. 1 John 4:17 17 “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

We love him, because he first loved us.” Christian hold your head high not of your own earthly strength but because of the boldness that is in you from Christ Jesus,aka practice wearing your crown.

There are two more treasures that perhaps should’ve been placed in the beginning but they are so interwoven to my life that I hadn’t thought to place them in the category of treasure. Yet the very fact that they are such a forefront of my life and the life of all Christians shows that it’s a treasure of now and to come! The first one should go without saying and it is the written Word of God. Left for us to have here on earth as the greatest adventure,live story,self help,and life saving letters and communication from our Father. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”- Hebrews 4:12

“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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” – 1 Timothy 3:16-17

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 People through time have fought over this treasured Word of God. It’s been translated over and over and is still being translated to new languages as we speak! It has been kept alive throughout Eve generation and will for eternity!

Lastly although there definitely are more heavenly treasures, is the Holy Spirit who is God Himself left to comfort and guide us while here on earth but for all time. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13 says “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” This tells us where our joy and peace come from. If we ever find ourselves lacking of those things it might be wise to evaluate if we’ve pushed the spirit aside and given His room away to something else. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”-1 Corinthians 3:16

Often we push the Spirit aside in times of trials or temptation. If we would rather call upon Him with all authority He is here as our great defender and comforter.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.”- John 14:16

I hope you have a little bit better understanding of what a heavenly and worthy treasure is after reading this. Perhaps you(and I) will remember that when our next paycheck comes or when our ever human heart begins to long for the next shiny trinket that will ultimately end up at the Goodwill later. I believe the more we meditate on the things above the closer we are at making eye contact with our Lord. You can’t easily be distracted when your eyes are locked on the God above. When the awe and wonder,beauty and might of our Father and are experienced in our lives, the earth bound things become less and less attractive. One day you’ll realize those aren’t what you hunger to collect because to take your eyes away from the Father for even a moment is more than you can bear. For a moment from His goodness is a moment in desire that can’t be filled with the world.

Lock your eyes on Him and when you must slumber pray as I heard once “that eternity be stamped on my eyelids”.

Blessings and peace,pilgrim Nicci

Let’s Rock…Shamrock!

If you’re anything like me you’re a sucker for a good holiday treat. Long held as my very favorite holiday was St. Patrick’s. Only recently was it bumped to second place by Valentine’s Day. Naturally when March 1st hit my inner party animal started to crave the shamrock shake from McDonald’s. Not only am I repulsed by McDonald’s but a quick scan of my @ww app told me that the minty goodness would cost me an entire day’s worth of points. I said “see ya later alligator (see what I did there..it’s green,the shakes green) and I started a Pinterest search for a #ww friendly shake option! It wasn’t long on the enter-webs that I found my desired recipe. After work,after I hit the gym, and I hit the local Walmart. If you know me you know that Walmart is my least favorite place to shop but desperate times call for desperate measures. I gathered the necessary ingredients and straight home I went! I followed the recipe to a T and what I got was good but not great. Not one to give up so easily I added this and a pinch of that and what we have here is the most rocking shamrock shake ever created! I know,I know, I’m a genius mastermind and you can start sending me gift of appreciation at any time.
So what’s in a shamrock shake you might ask? I’ll tell you…because that’s just how incredibly nice I am!
Equate vanilla shake
3 oz. plain Greek yogurt
8 grams sugar free pudding mix
Stevia tad
Vanilla splash
Mint 1/2 teaspoon
Green food coloring
Ice more than 10 cubs that’s all I’m sayin
Optional topping:
I did 23 grams coconut whipped topping this added 2 extra points
Sprinkles this added the fun

Can you guess the points? The original McDonald’s one is 23 points. Mine is 3 for the shake and 2 if you are addicted to whip topping. That’s a total of 3-5 points on blue! Not bad eh?

Snippets:Time

Lost time is never found again.

-Benjamin Franklin

——/

I’ve had a lot of time to think about time. We cannot go back in time and we have no key to the future of time. Only our Creator knows how much time we get but we get to chose how we use our time. I wouldn’t say that I’m an expert on how to effectively use one’s time but I have another thought that began brewing as I had some time to think about time. I’m going to share it with you and I hope it’s not a waste of your time. Do as little online shopping as you can. It reduces our time with outside human contact,fills the earth with more packaging,and you spend extra money in shipping that is wasteful. Make eye contact with those around you. Share a smile too. Make an appointment with a random friend once or twice a week. Make that a habit and try your best not to break it. For me it’s Wednesday’s and Saturday’s and it’s delightful. Laugh more than you cry unless you need to cry. In that case embrace the tears and move on. Set a monthly goal and make sure you achieve it. You don’t want to start the next month with regret but rather accomplishment. Your time here on earth matters so make the ticking of the seconds count. Serve others,keep on growing as a person,and above all else be thankful to the Lord above for the time that you have. Tell your friends and family and maybe even a stranger or two that you love them. You never know who might need to hear it. While your at it, even if you’re not a touchy person give hugs! Yes, hug those around you because why not? This world is sorely lacking human contact and you maybe the last hug a person gets while they have time left here on earth. Share the gospel freely but maybe not in a shove it down peoples throats kind of way. Share it in bold relationship and pockets of time that the Lord gives. Time, it can’t rewind and we can’t go forward until it’s time…how will you use your time?

Weight Watchers Chicken Parmesan

I’m not a food blogger by any stretch of the meaning but I do like food and when I create something that works why not share? This is a pretty basic recipe I made ahead of time for dinner tonight and I cannot wait to dig in! I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I hope you will!

I got most of my ingredients at Aldi. You can tailor this to meet your needs and point desires or family size! If you share this recipe I ask kindly that you credit me somewhere in your post.

2 serving Chicken Parmesan (7) on Blue

Cubed chicken (0)

Simply marinara (3) for 1 cup

Shredded mozzarella (5) points 1/2 cup

Mix together and bake @350 for 30-40 minutes

Topping mix in a separate bowl

28 grams shredded Parmesan or 1/4 cup (3)

Bread crumbs 28 grams or 1/2 cup

Garlic powder and Italian seasoning to taste

5-10 sprays of butter spray (I personally don’t count these you’ll have to look it up if you’re a purest) mix to combine. Put in top after the bake is done. Broil 2-3 minutes on low(watch it)

Snippet:When We Call Out Sin, It’s costly

When we call out sin, it is costly.

There is a type of false Christianity that I want no part of. It’s the American Christianity where we build million dollar buildings to play sports but call it a ministry. Where we say we want the lost to be saved but only if it’s the type of brown skin we approve of that we are saving. It’s bombing one nation because they are the enemies then adopting the children of those whom were slaughtered. Wear your suit and your political party colored tie to church on Sunday. Hear a sermon that lines up with how you vote. Teach your children to be good American citizens first then to trust God second but be sure when talking to others say it in reverse. Protection comes from God while on the corner tracts are passed out but when it comes right down to it the faith is not in God alone but in the trigger pulled where it never should have been. Serving others is nice unless you have to deal with their problems. This is a Christianity that dehumanizes those that don’t see eye to eye where verbal knives can be thrown without seeing the consequences. Once saved always save keeps a person comfortable in sin. Children pledge to a flag but never themselves commit their life to God content to cling to the religion of mommy and daddy. Love fully,give freely,straighten your tie,make sure your rings sparkle. Have 2.5 children and go to church. Put in a smile,shake the hand,turn around the mask comes off. This is a dangerous place to be. Not because of the shots fired or persecution but because of a kingdom turned into culture that’s far too content resting in the arms of the world.

Snippet:“Will I regret this if…”

Here we find ourselves in the very last few hours of 2019. Our news feeds are filling up with pictures of the year past and hopes and dreams for the year to come. If you’re anything like me you are more than ready to say good riddance to 2019! I don’t need to bore you with the long list of why “woe is me this year was horrible”. Maybe you have a reason to whine and complain or maybe you don’t but that isn’t stopping you from doing so. Whatever the case I’m encouraging you(and me) to leave 2019 in 2019 and look forward with all anticipation of what God will do in your (my) life as you seek His face in each of the moments to come. There will be trials just as in 2019 and those years gone on before but you survived and you’ll survive any bumps in the road of the future. There’s also going to be great memories to experience,relationships to form,love to share,goals to achieve and when you(Me) make it to this time next year you’ll be proud of yourself IF you keep your focus on the Lord and the goals you set out for yourself. My problems in 2019 can largely be attributed to me losing focus as I faced challenge after challenge. I could have saved myself a lot of pain. Ask yourself (I ask myself) “Will I regret this if…” and “Does this make me proud?” Oh and most importantly “Am I glorifying my Father?” Most of you know my goal this year is to lose 110 lbs(now 95ish). As you follow along on my journey I want to encourage you to make a big goal for yourself. Share with me how you are doing with it and let’s support each other along the way! Comment your goal and I’ll write it down and pray for you!

Here are my beginning pictures I took tonight. Remember this thing: You only have to make one choice at a time to reach your goal. We only get one day at a time so why not live it to the fullest taking as many steps one step at a time as we fulfill each moment we are given.

1)I feel beautiful and happy tonight the last night of 2019.

2-4) My before pictures as of today. I took before pictures 13lbs. Ago but I wanted to share tonight’s.

Update

I realized I’ve been sharing with others but I wanted to share with you all as well.

Wednesday I wrote:

Today I made a choice. Today is my day to begin my next journey. I’ve debated if I’d share it with others or if it something I’d silently do on my own. I think I’ll do as I do with the rest of my life. I’ll be honest. I am overweight. There’s no hiding it or pretending it away. I can honestly say I’m fat but I don’t look in the mirror and see ugly. In fact I wish I did because maybe it would have been more motivating in the past. My choice is being driven by my career choice. I work with complex children and have to have the stamina to keep themselves and myself safe when they are in my care. I can’t be winded going up a flight of stairs because they’ll know that I’m physically weak and they will twist that to believe they are not safe. I choose strength over weakness. Weakness of physical limitations and weakness over mental limitations. I have let other people’s unintentional hurtful words keep me from caring to be the best me. Well after this year of overcoming hard things I’m done letting others rule my life. No I don’t feel ugly by my fat but I do feel weak and I am not ok with that. I choose to be strong! However let’s be honest, we as women all* want to be slimmer than what we are. It’s just a fact. I’m ok admitting I look forward to what I’ll see in the future. Strength in my confidence!

*Some women would wish to be able to gain weight. I just meant we all want to look good!

On Saturday(I’m not share my exact words because they are not for this setting.)I wrote about being thankful to be alive and how just a month ago I seriously started questioning me being alive. I hated myself and and felt so alone. You can see the difference in the side by side pictures. I really reached an all time low. I knew if I didn’t make some choices I wouldn’t just be dying on the inside but I’d actually die if I didn’t do something. I decided to make some choices to delete my social media accounts and make new ones. I did this to control who’s lives I saw and who saw mine. It was too hard to see the community I was once active in go on with life. They made a choice not to be in my life and they no longer get the privilege of seeing my life through a window so to speak. It was the most freeing choice. Then I made a choice to start weight watchers. That too has been a freeing choice. I have made a series of positive and life changing choices so I might choose to live and not simply survive each day! I have never been more proud of myself! I couldn’t have done it without the prayers of my true friends and community. I have had my burden lifted!

Today I wrote:

New Zero

—-/

I’m thankful for a new day to love,serve,and become a new me. We start each day at zero. Zero knowledge of how the day will turn out. Zero steps logged in the pilgrimage for that day. Zero mistakes made (yet). The possibilities are endless and a good portion of those possibilities are in our own control to move forward in them or not. We have the control over a lot..not everything but with each step we are making a choice. With each step our zero becomes 1/10/100/1,000/10,000 and more which help up reach our goal! The zero can either look like a defeat before we even begin or an open road with victory at the end. WE get to choose which way we’ll view this pilgrim road! I started my journey at zero. I had nothing left. I was literally at zero. I had lost zero weight,I had zero care in me. I had zero of the life I once had. Until one day I saw my zero as a possibility! My zero is now four! I’ve lost four pounds and those four pound are just as exciting to be lost as if it were the 110 lbs. I need to lose. Just as we start out at zero in our personal lives we start out at zero in our spiritual lives. Before we have Christ we have nothing! When we see and accept His unfailing love for us that’s when our nothing turns into a possibility. From there we set out to follow Him on the greatest pilgrimage we will make. The goal is our marriage to Him. We are literally journeying on to get to our wedding to the king of kings! Along the way we drop a lot of weight. Step,step,step…drop anxiety. Step,step,step…drop the anger. Step,Step,Step …drop our idols. Step,Step,step…What weight will you drop today? Soon your zero will bring you to your finish line and you won’t be walking but rather running and I don’t know about you but I’m excited for each of my steps from zero to then!

——/

Psalm 143:8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

So a recap of what all this means. I crashed, I mean I REALLY crashed and I was not ok. I’m thankful for the people in my life that help me. I’m ok now..better than ok I’m thriving. I have made positive choices to only have the people in my life who invest in my life and I them. I started weight watchers last week and I’m loving it! I’m making good life choices and I’m a new me!