Snippets: Hebrews 9:28

Today Hebrews 9:28 popped out at me as I was looking for some way to start this first day of February.

It says: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Guys and gals what a beautiful promise! I need to go back and read the rest of the chapter because it could be that I’m taking this out of context. If that’s the case I still feel so closely connected to these words. Am I earnestly looking for my king? I feel like I am but a human that I am threatens to cause my eyes to wander to our own desires. Could it be the glory received of helping someone in need? Does the pride of a job well done take root? Does the flesh crave to be desired here on earth? Who do I wake up and cloth myself in modesty and cover my head for? Lastly although my list of distractions could continue for a while yet, are the post I put out there on social media edifying or just another way to gain attention?

I’ve shared these pictures before and I feel a prompting to share them again. They came out of a magazine that I find to be a blessing. My home isn’t Pinterest perfect as I cut and sticky tack these photos as a reminder to me. I hope they can cause you to pause and consider the thought I heard a few years ago “Bride behold your groom”.

Ladies and gents this month can threaten your contentment,your perceived value,or even your focus on the Lord. For myself February marks the month I would fall surrendered to my king Jesus. It wasn’t the church organization,community,or clothes that brought me to my knees. Only the Holy Spirit on February 2014 a year and four months after I had tried so hard to follow a pattern,the wrong pattern, that I knew what taking my cross and following after the Way was. Let us (myself included) learn and desire the “hard and Holy” things in life.

Happy February first. My prayer for you is if you are not fully surrendered that you might be broken and restored to oneness with our Lord. Brothers and sisters I would desire for you to wake from your slumber and lackadaisical go with the flow of the world,church association,or even Satan and start the kingdom supported race. Put on the whole armor of the Lord as your uniform of choice. This life is for keeps,souls are in jeopardy.

The Day I Went To Prison

Shadowy figures in the distant fog are easy to ignore. Walking right past the faceless bodies brings no pings of emotion that we wish could go away. What happens when the fog lifts and you lift your eyes as you make eye contact and say “Hello,God bless you and Merry Christmas.”? When the person is far away almost as if an abstract thought somehow we can justify not caring. This person must have done something terrible. This person is worthless and deserves to rot. This person really isn’t a person so let’s just walk away. It becomes much more of a blaring reality when you can imagine this woman as your bank teller, your dental hygienists,or even you. Where would we be if

we had made one choice that would of changed an entire future? I know that answer, I’d be on the other side of the cookie line.

So what does it mean to be on the side of the line that is giving? Yesterday was a day of waiting around. There was a fog plan in place which meant we didn’t get to pass out cookies right away. Held in a room full of predominately old order Amish sure made things interesting. As humans we tend to segregate ourselves into nice neat little groups. This makes us feel more comfortable ensuring that we don’t have to put forth much effort. The same was said even as we labored next to each other. There was a circle of chairs forming a tight group with backs facing us. Everyone not Amish we’re scattered around. Time came to repackage some cookies and I thought it would be my opportunity to break in with some of the Amish. I settled myself in to help. As I did this I tried countless times to make conversation. Each time being completely ignored. I’m not one to give up so I would simply repeat what I said. They’d grimace,answering a one word answer and turn away to talk in their language to someone else. I began asking myself why was it that these Amish came to this prison. It didn’t seem like it was for fellowship,they certainly don’t want any outsiders to get too close even if it’s another anabaptist,and they really seemed somewhat miserable. Then I remembered that these people are in just as much bondage as the women that are in maximum security. So I stood silently opening the baggies and as I passed it to the lady beside me I began to pray over these people that have physical freedom but are held in such tight chains and they don’t even know it.

Finally our wait was over and the rest of our cookie passing could continue. I was a bit nervous because I had no clue what to expect. Pretty quickly the unknown became known and I was comfortable. We all had a job mine was greeting the women as they entered. I so wish we could of hugged them because somehow a handshake just wasn’t enough. One young girl probably younger than me said “I’m a hugger and I’m so glad you’re here. You have no idea what this means to us.” With that she did lean in and gave me a hug and I didn’t mind. Streams of women came for the cookies,singing,and silent prayer. These women ranged in age from younger to me to 70’s or 80’s. I couldn’t help but wonder if they would ever have an identity outside of their crime. One older woman proudly announced “I have 27 days left and then I get a new life!” I felt happy for her and in the depths of my heart I prayed that it was the truth.

I made it my mission to memorize even one name and I did. I went home and looked up her crime. She was the get away driver in a burglary gone wrong. One bad choice and she wasn’t even the one to pull the trigger yet here she was. The Bible verse that says to avoid all appearances of evil has hung in my mind all day today. I wonder,would you stop right now and pray for this young woman? She is so young and when she gets out in several years could she be loosened from the chains of not only prison but also Satan?

One surprising experience was getting to go into the nursery. There were six young moms holding their precious gifts. None of these mothers have violent crimes and they all are going through a program to learn how to be a mother. You could definitely see a difference from mom to mom in how they talked about their children. My brain started wondering how will these children not develop RAD or other struggles. I found out that these children get to be with the moms for three years. It was so encouraging to see one mom with her baby’s head laying on her chest ear down. It was so sweet to acknowledge that a baby can still bond with its mother even in less than ideal situations. In those moments of us observing this child’s heart was being aligned with its mother’s heartbeat. That gave me hope for these children.

The program director said some of these moms have never held a baby or even changed their diapers yet here they were in the thick of it with no choice but to learn. In some small way I was overwhelmed with thankfulness that these babies were being raised right where they were. The moms were drug free,caring for their children,and growing to hopefully be able to raise these children in a healthy way. Once again only time will tell but these three years are giving them a chance.

You know what? We all were once in a prison. A prison of sin,ignorance,and defiance. Our drug of choice was pride and self satisfaction. We had no clue that our sugar daddy was really out to harm us. We didn’t know that the high we got was only temporary. There would be no escape in the end of our life. We were in sins prison without a hope and it was slowly destroying our lives.

It wasn’t until someone or some situation was like our cookie receiving opportunity. A message from the Lord was brought down and over time we could accept that we were loved. We could start the fight to regain our dignity. We could share our hurts and our past sin with our Heavenly Father. When our hearts had soften enough we could ask Jesus for help. He came and pled guilty for our crimes and just like that our chains were gone. Having received the Holy Spirit we could then go out into the world as if to do community service. No, not because we have to pay off our crimes but because we have been given so much that we want to serve our king and those that He loves.

Some of us might not know the real sorrow of being behind bars of a state prison however we do know what bondage feels like. The peace that come with total freedom is not something I’d want to try to withhold from someone. I think what Gospel Echoes and many other people do to bring self worth,salvation,and stability into the lives of a prisoner, is such a good thing. Not too long ago five years or so, I would of said that these people weren’t worth fighting for. I’m glad that long ago God convicted my heart that redemption is available for all. It’s not just for the seemingly squeaky clean people who get dressed up on Sunday, it’s for EVERYONE.

So maybe you’re reading this and find yourself in sins prison. I’d like for you to know that you can cry out to God at any time and He is there waiting for your call. It won’t be a golden ticket moment where you get everything you ever hoped for but it will start you on a journey of peace and salvation.

If you need a friend or simply someone to pray over you, please go to the question page on this blog and I’d be happy to pray for you.

May you find the love and salvation that can only come from the Lord!

Much love,

Pilgrim Nicci

Teeny Tiny Blog Post for a Teeny Tiny Egg

So here is a true story. One that probably touched my heart more than it will yours. Yesterday as was shown the little nest among the pink flowers I was inspired to start thinking of the empty nest and how if only there were some eggs it could be a home. Then I went along with my day trying to create my blog for the respite care I’ll be doing. There in the free templates was a flock of birds taking off for flight. Momentarily I “wrote something” in my head. Oh but if only there were some eggs then my nest could symbolize something that I had brewing in my mind. As I marched outside with the trash in my hand ready to go to the dumpster something caught my eye. A little teeny tiny egg sitting on my stair far from any nest! I have no idea how it got there and I know it’s probably dead. Something in me said “Nicci but there’s HOPE. You could at least put it in the nest. At the very least it looks like it belongs”. That’s exactly what I did. Maybe I damaged it forever and I hope that maybe just maybe a momma bird will come and adopt it. I don’t know the future of this little egg but I was touched that God heard my silent prayer for a little egg!

You are Only as Hopeless as You Choose to Be

In the midst of living in this kingdom that is not my own it can be easy to slip in to wanting to sympathize or some how connect with the people around that are broken and hurting over what this kingdom has to offer. When things like mass shootings become something that is just a normal, decline of humans being able to connect with other humans because of the false reality that social media and words like introvert have brought to the table,and the American Dream is a vocabulary that a child in ingrained with all through school then yes it is easy to desperately want to feel the hopelessness of it all. However I don’t feel hopeless, I feel thankful. I feel thankful for the kingdom of God and the fact that IF followers of Jesus Christ actually practice what they preach,then there will be nothing like we see as we scroll on our phones. I’m thankful for a community of believers that wouldn’t let a member get so disconnected from reality that they would have no opportunity to socialize outside of their computer. I’m thankful for a job where I’m surrounded by the kingdom of God and its soldiers. I don’t have to worry about being shot in my classroom. Sure it is a small possibility but I have no fear. These children are His,I am His,my Coworkers are HIS! My God doesn’t allow something to happen that He has not authorized first. I rest in that knowledge. I have peace in that knowledge. I can wake up each day and have hope of a beautiful future by that knowledge!

So as I scroll and I hear murmurings I do feel some sort of pity for those that lost their lives and I do feel for those that choose willingly to stay at home instead of be connected with a community. It would seem hopeless IF you didn’t have a loving creator that has this whole big world in His hands!

Before I knew Jesus all I thought about was death and I had great fear of it. Now death only holds minimal sadness. What I fear is a life unredeemed for those that I love. There is still time loved ones to cry out to the God who created you and ask Him to show Himself to you clearly! You then too will not have to suffer as this vain world chooses to suffer.

Purple Angle 💜

We don’t always get answers to the “why’s ” of our imagination. There is something deeply rooted in a man who has sold himself to the devil. A depravity that can only be beat by Satan himself. So I know that I’ll never get an answer that’ll satisfy my heart to why Kara Kopetsky was taken from school and murdered. Even if there was an answer would it really satisfy? I don’t believe that it would. 
I think leaving it rest with some choose Satan and his horrifying ways. I perhaps could find comfort in pretending he over takes a person without constant yet I believe firmly that we do give authorization to Satan when we choose to go down his sinful path. Sure at first it’s something small. Something maybe to try and “you’ll see later if you’ll continue to follow” however all too soon your knee deep. You think “Hey I’m in this far I’ll just continue going”. Often times the sacred bound between Satan and man comes from a ever growing desire for glory. It starts as pride( like most sins) and grows and grows until it’s out of hand.
I wonder about this Kyle the man who hasn’t been caught yet we know he was the one who took Kara away from her family and friends. I so want to make him out to be the wounded animal of this story. Please can’t we blame a broken home,childhood abuse,or someone forcing him into Satan’s hands? We could try yet the cold reality is he chose just as we choose our path each day. I’ll begin to pray for him. This is something I haven’t considered up until this point. I pray that there is some kind of redemption miracle work that can or will work. I pray that he spend his whole life reconciling to the people’s family he has broken.
So now my mind turns from why to what. What keeps me from becoming someone so wicked as to brag about throwing people’s body’s in the pig pin? What stops my desire to set someone’s car on fire if I get angry? What is my motivation for not being wicked? Because after all aren’t we all truly wicked in our sin? 
I can’t answer the what without The Who. Who is in me? It’s Jesus Christ who I live for daily that makes me want to be pure! Without Him I could very well be just as hideous as Satan within Kyle. It’s because of Jesus’s murder and resurrection that I have proof of a mighty God whom I love. He has taken the wicked Nicci and turned me into something new.
Kara was someone very special to me even though I never knew her. I’ll never ever forget that first time I dreamt about her. Always in a purple bandanna always in a dark cold basement. I don’t know why these dreams came to me but I know from the very first one I knew I had an obligation to her. I prayed oh I prayed. I knew she was dead…we all did. Yet the littlest glimmer of hope remained within my soul for her families sake. I’ve never wished wished more with all of my spirit that someone would inherit eternal life before. Lord but I cry for your mercy on her even in hindsight. I don’t know how you work but I beg You from I place I didn’t even know I had that you let her into your gates! I’m not being flowery or anything I truly love this young woman who had no chance at life. Lord,God,Father you know her and love her. I know she’s been gone for a long time from this dark place but please….
I have so much more but my heart is grieving yet rejoicing for answers for her family. So many emotions yet non are about me. I’ll end here. I implore you to pray for Kara Kopetsky’s family tonight as the go to sleep knowing for a fact their daughter won’t be returning to them.
Much love, Pilgrim Nicci 💜