See That I’m a Follower of Christ by my Actions

This was written in 2016 but I just found it today.

I heard it said something like this. Don’t know I’m a Christian just because I post Bible verses that aren’t just John 3:16. See that I’m a follower of Christ by my actions.

Hopefully by my actions others can see that I’m following Christ. I get lost and take a longer way sometimes but when I catch up my Jesus is still there on the road of life. The worlds view of Christianity is that we are all striving for this euphoric place in the sky. No, the kingdom of God is within each of us. Once we accept our inheritance we then realized that kingdom living looks nothing like world living. Sure there is a Heavenly home that does await us but there is also a kingdom right here and right now! The peace that comes from knowing Jesus is right here within me. Having contentment because I am in constant communication with my God. Oh and don’t get me started on the love! Now I don’t want to paint a false picture here because I’m not perfect. The love you can have for others is overpowering! It’s true that I get so mad at people I want to punch them ( I know not a kingdom living thought) but Gods grace has countless times said to me ” Nicci you stop right now and step into their shoes.” Then you begin to love.

So friends don’t think I’m a “Christian” because I say so. Observe me ( or others claiming Christ) and see if it holds true.

Do you pray? I mean really pray? Are you constantly communicating with God? Not just at meal time or in a preset devotion. It should be as easy as if He as sitting right in front of you.

What is your language like? Do you cuss, scream, or have filthy thoughts come out of your mouth regularly?

Where do you put you glory? Do you give glory to God or do you try to bring glory to yourself? What value do you put on Money, beauty, status ?

How do you treat others? Are you willing to help someone even if it comprises yourself? Do you talk behind people’s backs? Do you even secretly hate them?

Are you submitting to your local church body or even to the laws of this country? Do you put your trust in the leadership at your church? Do you truly believe that God has placed them there?

Where does your money go? Do you think the beggar on the street is just out to get free booze? That single mom down the road from you, do you offer to bring her dinner? Or are you judging her and don’t want to condone “her sinful actions “? Do you spend your money on entertainment or fancy new gadgets but never on another?

Do you have a song in you heart?

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Bread and Wine

Recently I met my boyfriend for the first time. Say what? Yes you heard me right. I met my boyfriend for the first time when he stepped off of the airplane and into the Ohio humidity. Nervous jittery feelings were deeply imbedded into my person as the moment I had be waiting for and almost believing was not reality became reality.

Not more than 24 hours after we met in person for the first time we were thrown into a five day church conference complete with 2,000 people (exact number unknown). To say the pressure was on and the nerves were at an all time high is a vast understatement. I’ll pause here to say I wouldn’t have changed a single moment but it was far more overwhelming than I could have wrapped my head around.

This blog post isn’t about my Mark and I. Sorry to disappoint you but I sure do hope you’ll continue to read along as I share something very special to me.

Monday night at my churches conference we all go up on stage to sing. The singing comes after a special sermon directed at our young folks. Mark and I walked in to the song Would You be Poured Out Like Wine. The words gripped my heart as I heard it through his heart. For me it’s a fairly common song and I hear it a lot. For him it was the first time and I’m glad he had the thought to record it. As I reflected over our week together being surrounded by my fellowship I couldn’t help but have the light bulb moment of understanding that this fellowship had truly been poured out like wine and broken not only for each other but for Mark and I personally.

The week leading up to this unprecedented meeting I started getting texts of prayers and support. The day before a dear sister stopped by and as the Holy Spirit prompted took my hands and prayed for mark and I. All throughout the conference and even still phone calls,texts,and so very many prayers are being poured out like wine on our behalf. It’s not uncommon for me to value and be filled up with love by “my people”. In fact in every season I have had brothers and sisters walk along side me as consistent cheerleaders ready to support me however God leads. Poured..so much poured on my behalf.

Then there were the sermons prepared by God using willing men as humble vessels for His glory. Oh so incredibly rich were the moments sitting in fellowship ears attentive and hearts connecting. After each preaching service I was so in awe of all the people who came up and talked to Mark and I. They treated us like fellow citizens of the kingdom and not simply the next article of gossip in the newspaper. Ministers,friends,strangers,everywhere everyone was available to talk about the Lord. My friends from all spots in life shared meals with us. These selfless acts of making the person I care about feel welcome was not overlooked but in fact was noticed and brought tears to my eyes! My fellowship was broken like bread to feed the hungry! Oh we are hungry for your continued prayers over this relationship.

Next up was Tuesday council meeting which I honestly didn’t really know what to think about as we walked in. Soon I knew without a doubt that these men laboring for this little part of the body of Christ were communicating in love and I was glad Mark got to experience that. Before Tuesday’s council there was Sunday’s communion. It’s nothing for communion to be a moving time of pure worship. I personally felt overwhelmed by that point. Overwhelmed in a good way but there was a lot of pressure on us having just met and now everyone being so excited and ready for us to tie the knot in their minds. I sat at the table just sobbing realizing that there was no way that I could do this relationship on my own but rather I needed Jesus take the complete lead as we have desired from the beginning. No amount of well wishes or personal hopes could carry us, only the Holy Spirit has that capability. So after taking the wine and the bread I felt peace so much peace knowing no matter my tomorrows He has already paved the way. He has provided me with a loving fellowship that is the embodiment of the song we sang and the Jesus we serve.

I don’t know where you find yourself on this pilgrim journey. Maybe you’re not yet a pilgrim and find yourself just plum lost. That’s not how this life is supposed to be. The kingdom of God is a community made up of living people living in abundant joy serving their king Jesus. That manifests itself in many ways such as laying down your life for a brother or sister as my fellowship has done for me. If you haven’t yet started your pilgrimage I ask “why not”? Why haven’t you surrendered your will to the Lord? Are you going through life looking the part but living in the depths of depression or lukewarm living..or maybe you’re just spiritually dead? Know this one thing. We have all come short of the glory of God. We are rotten with sin and deserve to die. God doesn’t accept dead people into His spotless kingdom. You must take hold of what the Word says in John 3:16. For God so loved the world (you&me) that He gave His only begotten son so that whosoever shall parish will have everlasting life! He wants to take you from death into life,darkness into light! Then only then you can follow the Words of Jesus in taking your cross (His cause) and follow after Him as pilgrims and strangers in this foreign land.

To the pilgrim that’s just journeying on. Don’t be disheartened in well doing. Your labor is not in vain. Like the fellowship that I’ve been placed in, be an blessing and an encouragement to those that you meet. I once was lost sinking in sin but if it weren’t for pilgrims willing to step out in faith along the way to walk along side me at a slower pace, I may never have found real healing and surrender! Chin up dear ones! You’re doing a good work! Continue to be Poured out like wine and broken like bread in the name of of sweet Jesus Christ!

Much love, Pilgrim Nicci

At Odds:The Victory is Yours

Folks let’s talk about Spiritual battle real quick. It is something raging all of the time. The Spirits are at war EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s not that all of a sudden they switch their attention to the unsuspecting Christian. There is sin,temptation , doubt, and fear around EVERY CORNER! Jesus didn’t say “Let’s go on a jolly good walk in the park to find the gold at end of the rainbow.” He said take up your cross(cause/mission) and follow me”. He says follow and we follow. That can be follow me into a sweet time of fellowship with likeminded believer or it could also mean follow me into battle against the false teachers disguised as brothers and sisters in Christ. Then He can lead us into obvious blessings that overflow and then right into blessings that don’t always immediately feel like blessings. He’s GOD and has the right to lead us,call us,and command us into whatever season He needs us in to put us in the best position for battle against the adversary! He allows the shots of fiery lies to be shot our way by Satan to strengthen us and to prove His strength. It hurts! Ouch oh it hurts! It hurts so bad that it is downright tempting to walk off the battlefield hands thrown up in surrender to the wrong king. I think there is the misguided assumption that when you become a Christian that it means a warm fuzzy life carefree from pain and suffering. Like some how Jesus acts like a bandaid from all our sorrows. WRONG! He IS our healer but healing spiritually isn’t really anything like being healed naturally. It’s far grater but so are the wounds that the healing must be delt with.

As this spiritual battle continues on and the lies of Satan are being shot with cannons at lightning speed there are some things that you can do to to bring victory in the name of Jesus Christ.

1)Make sure that you’re in the Word. Cliche as this sounds it’s really your only basis to go into battle. Without it you’re useless and might as well give up the fight. You’ll be a sitting duck and very little help to the kingdom. In fact you can bring great damage to the fight at hand.

2)Let others know that you’re facing this war. Partner in prayer with as many as you can. A war is never won alone. It takes a mighty army of people all laboring together with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

3)Confront every single lie head on. Is Satan telling you something about a thought someone has about you? Go ask them directly if what he is telling you is true. They’ll appreciate you coming to them. Is Satan discrediting your value? Read the Word and see what the Lord has to say about you. Are the attacks coming in the form of past sins being brought up? Recall the moment you laid them at the foot of the cross. Read what Jesus has done for you and when the Holy Spirit entered you!

4)Get sleep. This one really isn’t spiritual at all but Satan does attack when we are weak. If you’re weary and worn out physically it can be prime time for lies,nightmares,and imaginations to swell up.

Be of good cheer dear ones as we as brothers and sisters unite against the one who fell! If a Christian family member comes to you battle weary, walk along side them to lift them up to continue the good fight. Soon they will be the one to lift you when you have been wounded and the positions of battle have been changed. Go forward with the mighty armor of God knowing what Ephesians 6:12 says “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” You have the power of Jesus Christ walk in all confidence as given the example in 2 Timothy 2:3-4 “thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” We can be pleasing to the Lord by our faithful battle not with others but with Satan alone. He WILL GO DOWN!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=nlpSl3yadO4

One Year Into a New Journey

One year ago I boarded a plane heading to a Nancy Thomas healing hearts camp. https://www.attachment.org/parents/camps/ I went to gain some knowledge to bring back to my classroom and to help others out but in all honesty I had no clue what God had in store for me. Looking back over the past year I see how my heart has softened where it once was rock solid. I didn’t know I had a missing piece,a spot where a different kind of love could only fill. Isn’t it funny how the ones you think you can bless are actually the ones that bless you?

A mom asked me yesterday what makes me want to continue in this type of work. Without a doubt it’s the parents that are doing day to day life but really are fighting the battle of a lifetime. There is no option for them to “just give up” because a little life is on the line…a soul will be lost. So they get up each day and to the world they have to act like everything is ok. I don’t want a parents to have to face this heart transplant process alone. I might not be in a position to take in the orphans as we are commanded to but I can support the parents that do. I love them and not a day goes by that I don’t pray over them or pause to wonder how they are doing. They have in a very real way became part of my family…at the very least in my heart.

So maybe you’re wondering what God has brought to pass in the past year as far as my work with the children with RAD and the families that love them.

-1 Camp

-Went to Canada to work with a kid/continue learning.

-Worked with four families

-Worked to make my classroom trauma sensitive/RAD workable.

-Raised Money to attend a superhero training in April.

All in all I so wish there wasn’t a need for therapist,therapeutic respite providers, support systems,and all the many many people required for these situations. I wish that children weren’t neglected and traumatized and parents could just be parents. You see, God has a perfect design for families and when that is broken the heart is broken. I’m just so abundantly happy to know that there are families laboring even if it’s not the path they personally chose. They are the real superhero’s and they deserve a break.

My future goals as far as this type of work are as follows.

-Do the superhero training in April.

-Do 1-2 Camps this summer depending on financial ability.

-Attend the first ever Camp in Canada in September.

-Eventually become a parent coach.

-Gain more clients and give more families rest.

One year ago I would of never known what God would of had in store. I would not change it for the world!

If you’d like more information about how you can become a respite provider or even a supportive person in a parents life, contact me and I’ll be happy to walk along side you. I want to help you educate yourself for the future of these children gaining new hearts.

I heard yesterday that adoption is a loss and a gain. Unfortunately sometimes the child only feels the loss. Let’s walk along side these families as they help their children feel and experience the gain. After all we who are born again Christians know the greatest gain of adoption. I don’t believe a child can experience the love of Christ until they experience and accept love here on earth. Let’s not let these children fall through the cracks.

Snippet:A Call to be Bold

Do you ever wake with that certain kind of feeling deep in your chest? No, not a heart attack…but rather that undeniable pull away from this world and into the boundaries of the Father’s kingdom. When your eyes pop open , you’re ready for the day, but the awareness is oh so close that this is not your home. Homesickness for a place where you belong but have never seen is what propels you forward as a pilgrim desperately waiting for that time when the waiting is over. Yet strong is the desire not to walk alone. Not only do you desire to have company but so others can have the hope that is figuratively within your beating chest. So you walk out the door with a mission. “Lord show me someone’s soul…even just one soul is worth the fight”.

How is it we can be engulfed in the enormous reality of what our Lord is and what His love does yet we the church are such silent and timid characters almost acting ashamed of the promise we claim? I am speaking to you directly as well as myself. Who are the lost and what is it they they let slip away so casually? Do we truly care for them as we are deeply devoted to our God? We were asked on Saturday who of your brothers and sisters in Christ would you die for? I personally want to change that question. I ask, who of the lost souls are you willing to watch die? Are we willing to die for the life of one that is yet to be our sibling in Christ? Oh that gets a bit more difficult doesn’t it?

You see, I believe I can say fairly confidently that I would die gladly for a few things. 1) That Jesus Christ is Lord of Lords. 2) The Word of God is infallible and was inspired by God Himself. 3) That there is ONE bride of Christ that is the church. So if I (and you) have unshakable faith in those truths then I cannot wrap my mind around why we would go through this life with the yearning in our hearts for the fulfillment of His plan all the while turning a blind eye as the world and its citizens are perishing.

I was so encouraged by a woman who I would call a more quiet type come up to me with such zeal last night as she shared what she had learned about Jesus and the church . This woman is a born again sister of mine who is very intelligent YET there was a great desire to keep learning and sharing about our Jesus! I have never heard this woman speak with such awesome boldness and excitement before! Oh Lord let me be willing to do the same! Show me who is dying and let my response be appropriate!

Snippet:Don’t Be Content With Darkness

There is light and there is darkness. Contrary to popular belief you won’t find a middle ground between the two. It doesn’t matter if you went into the water and came out sopping wet. This thing called church membership and community living has absolutely no value without the Holy Spirit causing the old man to be laid off and new life to spring forward.

Which side do you find yourself on? Do you sit in darkness but look nice on the outside,content to look nice and catch a few of the church life benefits? Or rather do you live a fulfilled life in the kingdom reflecting the light,life,and love of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Do not be pleased to be hypocrites. The world will call the pretender’s bluff and rightfully so. The truth will be found and judgment will come when the bridegroom comes for His perfect bride spotless without blemish or wrinkle. He will not be content with an unlit soul insiders a dead body.

Mini Post:It’s the Devil

This picture reminds me when I was in the play Inherit the Wind. The stage was dark. My head focused on the ground,slowly lifting until I met the eyes of the man on the stage,I dropped the flowers I clutched in my hand,and I screamed “IT’S THE DEVIL!!!!” Turning quickly without looking back I ran off the stage.

Let us all be ready to look Satan in the eyes and call him what he is. No,not with Fear and trembling as little Melinda but with full assurance of who we belong to. We are not of this world that claim the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Those that are left in darkness, I implore you to call out to the God of creation to take pity on your soul! Today is the day of opportunity! Tomorrow is not yet guaranteed.

My brothers and sisters don’t allow the threat of the dying world cause your faith to become lukewarm! Walk closer to Jesus Christ, rid yourself of anything that would threaten to push the Holy Spirit out,and live the truth of your status of sons and daughters of your Heavenly Father!