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

Thankful Snippets

Here are a few snippets I’ve written over the past few days as I choose to be thankful.

Today: Drive

——/

What drives you? Why is it that you wake up in the morning? I’d really like to sound super spiritual and say that every single morning I’m driven by knowing I can serve the Lord. If I’m going to be honest with you then I have to tell you the truth. I get out of bed some mornings simply because “that’s just what you do.” I mean come on. You can’t live a fulfilling life in your bed or on your couch. You have to make a choice so I choose to throw back the covers and go forward with my day. Yet 9/10 my drive is changed by (my drive) to work or wherever it is I’m headed. I am nearly always reminded that we do have a purpose beyond just living one day at a time until we are in the grave. I have a God to glorify,love to give and receive, a job to do so I have the financial ability to feed the hungry and give to the needy,people to give rest to,and the gospel to share. So in a sense,my drive drives me. On my drive I see the sun rising in the east by the power of our creator. There are birds,deer,squirrels,and all types of creatures just trusting in the Lord for His provision. Children with their parents waiting at the bus stop. I wonder “Do they know Jesus?” I pass the same cars going to the same places. I sometimes even see people I know and we wave as we go by! This morning as I was being driven by my drive I was thankful,so very thankful for my drive to work. I don’t enjoy the act of driving. In fact it comes with a lot of fear yet God has given me many blessings as I drive to the places I must go. Today there was a thick layer of fog covering the morning sky and the earth. It was so beautiful and I just had to tell the Lord how thankful I was to be surrounded by such a big cloud of beauty. It changed how everything looked on my drive and I saw things in a different way. What drives you? Will you be driven by the vehicle of this world or by the path of the one true God? Choose wisely the things that drive you it will be a matter of life and death one day.

October 25

Harvest

—-/

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Galatians 6:7

——/

Yesterday morning before work I took a picture of our back yard and didn’t give any thought to it. In fact I assumed I’d delete it later that day. That evening after work as I pulled into our home something was different. I couldn’t place my finger on it but there definitely was a difference. Then it hit me! Part of the field had been harvested! It’s interesting to me to see the two fields side by side. You know when I was going through my dark days in effort to mask the truth behind what I was going through I filled my life with junk. I was binge watching videos,eating just to pass my time,and writing all the hate and sadness I had for myself,and was focusing a lot on what I no longer had and deep down inside I was mad at God. I was a little like that field that is still standing. Stuck. Immobile.Swaying in the wind.Cold.Crusty. I was dead inside. Even being a believer I was sowing seeds that Satan was placing right into my hands. I was making poor choices that only aided my frustration,anger,hurt,and fear. I was the problem because I was not making choices to be used for the glory of God. I was not choosing to be a kingdom worker. I was content to stay in the dead field being blown around by the angry winds….until I started having frightening thoughts. “I just want to die. I’m dead inside anyway.” That was the moment I knew if I died right then in the state I was in there was a chance I wouldn’t see my Jesus. I knew I had a choice to sow the seeds again in my life that I wanted to see produced. I made a choice to be thankful instead of being bitter. I made a choice to rid my life of my idols. I made a choice to live alive and not rot in the field of what could have been. This was not done alone in my power but with the Holy Spirit. I have seen the beginning of the harvest again in my life! Joy real not from pretending but from seeing the blessings all around me! Peace free of crushing anxiety. Love oh the love for the people around me has deepened in a way I cannot explain! What we sow is what we’ll reap. What choice will you make today?

October 24

Belonging—-/

From the oldest to the youngest there is a place to belong. I’m thankful that no one has to be left out of the church if only they choose the path of the cross. Sometimes I know it can seem as though there isn’t room for the single and the widow or the young and the old to blend together into a rhythm where everyone has their place. However I propose that if you believe that then you are giving room to the devil. There IS a place for all! I just loved the children’s communion bread creations being made as the adults labored for the up coming love feast. We don’t need different services for different ages…there is a place for all.

—/ I’m thankful that I got to go to bread baking. In past years I was working and was unable to attend.

YET there is room the feast is spread

For every hungry, thirsting soul; And living streams and living bread

Are ours when once we reach our goal.

Yet there is room! the home of peace Throws open wide each crystal door;

And voices full of love and bliss Bid us come in! and rove no more.

Yet there is room! the eternal song Waits till our voices join the strain;

Room, room amid the choral throng, Who praise the Lamb for sinners slain!

Yet there is room! the arms of love Stretch wide to welcome sinners home;

Oh, haste, no more in sorrow rove, “The Spirit and the Bride say come!”

October 23

Reflection —/ I’m thankful for the reflection of Jesus Christ in myself and my brothers and sisters in Christ. That through the testimony of our lives in Christ, might plant a seed of faith or minister to the lost. You know what? I had a whole post planned yesterday for today because I was so thankful today was my day of rest after six long days of respite. Then this morning the cross caught my attention. No, not the cross that hangs in the window but the light shining through it casting a beautiful image across the way. Lord let me be your Image bearer each day. Though some days are weary and while others exhilarating let that have no impact on how your light shines through me. Let the love you have bestowed upon me be given freely and I ever be reminded that I’m not veiled from your image. You are reflected in each one of my siblings in the faith. I’m so thankful for the cross. I’m so thankful for the resurrection! I’m so thankful that one day the light of the sun will no longer be needed but the radiance of the SON will be the only light because He is the light! There is so much to be joyful about! So maybe you’re like me and have had a week surrounded by angry negativity and just need a little rest. I want to encourage you yes take that nap you so desperately need but more importantly find your rest in the Lord.

——/

1 John 4:8

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

2 Corinthians 3:13-18

13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

October 22

Grace

–/

Today I’m thankful for the grace of God. We deserve to die not only a natural death here on earth but in our eternal life should be tortured and killed. God in His perfect love for His creation has provided a way through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Not by our works but by His Grace we who claim and follow Christ have life if we are raised in Christ here and in eternity! Not by my(Nicci) ability but by His love I get to live. ——/

I have taken a picture on October 22 of this tree every year for 7 years. Today I debated what to do because it was at “the school” and I didn’t want to stop in and be awkward. It turned out I needed to stop there to pick up a kid last minute anyway this morning so I got my picture! It still is beautiful as it has been for all these years. Although it was a small problem,silly really, I like to think that God worked this out for me.

——/

Galatians 2:16-21

16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

October 21

Calm

——/

Today I’m thankful for those quiet moments in life that allow you to breathe before moving forward in the battle. Whether they be the few minutes stolen while on the deck before work,the special time with the Lord, an entire day set aside to rest,or a season of life a little more free from care. Today my calm and quiet moment came as I stepped onto the deck and allowed myself to just soak up the beauty around me. After a long four days of being hyper in tune to my surroundings and going on with my normal work week today, I was so thankful for a small refresh before I marched right back onto the battlefield.

October 20

Body of Christ

——/

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:28-29

——-/

Today I am thankful for the body of Christ. Knowing that my brothers and sisters span all across the globe and generation is such an exciting reality. We lift one another up though we may have never met. We support each other’s pilgrim journey. There is a bond we feel when we run into a fellow pilgrim in the grocery store or at the airport. We battle in the Spiritual warfare against Satan. We are different colors,backgrounds,sizes,and abilities yet each one of us is perfectly knit together for the honor and glory of God! Together we stand for the labor of our kingdom and praise of our king. That’s pretty awesome to me!

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

Diary post:A Day Worth Waiting For

This was originally written to share with some Christian singles but I think it’s better suited for here. It’s a bit of a diary post.

I’ve been thinking about the bride of Christ today. I want to share something with you, a thought I had oh probably three years ago or so. I was at our love feast and the minister was preaching as he was breaking bread or finishing up either with the bread or the wine. I can’t remember exactly but what I do remember is how I felt as he spoke about the bride of Christ. Right then and there I burst into tears of JOY. I thought “Oh Lord! I may never get to be loved here on earth and get to wear a white dress with my groom waiting in anticipation for me at the end of the aisle. Lord but you are waiting for me and you love me and as long as I live THAT will satisfy me. Your love is enough! Who am I to desire anything more than your affection for me! Lord let me be a pure bride as I wait our wedding day along with my brothers and sisters!” Right then and there I knew without a single doubt that I had value. So much value to my king Jesus. His wedding was the one I could fix my gaze on as a single. I could rejoice with those around me that had an earthly love without feeling jealous or less. It was no longer a Competition or a matter of me being damaged goods. I WAS wanted and desired.

Now after several years of laying down my strong desire to be loved here on earth I’m getting even a small taste of what it is to be loved by my Jesus but here on earth. No,I’m not deserving and I cannot figure out why I am the one who gets to feel a thousand happy butterflies in my stomach each morning or wonder if this pounding my chest will ever end. I have been given something so very special. But even in all of this joy in this adventure of sharing this love together it is incomparable to what it will be like when we are in the presence of king Jesus! How much more will my heart beat? Will it explode from my chest? Will the butterflies escape and encircle us as we are presented to our Father as blameless and perfect?

I admit that after several years of not allowing myself to even consider what an earthly wedding could be like I have allowed myself to slip into this fun dream world where I get to be the earthly bride and my earthly groom is there with love waiting for me. Yet today as I was day dreaming I burst into tears just as I did on that night so many years ago. How rich is it when we as Christ bride prepare for OUR day? Not only in our minds but in our hearts and in our actions? Oh I have a long way to go before I find myself worthy of getting my crown. Honestly I could never be good enough and neither could you! That’s where loving grace comes in. That doesn’t mean we should stop striving for a closer walk with our Lord. Just like my relationship with my Mark, I cannot fully experience it because the miles separate us but it doesn’t make it less real or our love less. How much more should we be in preparation for our king Jesus to become godly men and women as we wait that day of being united together?

Lord I cry out for each person that is waiting for that day! We long oh Lord to see your face. We turn our faces to the sky the only thing bright enough..vast enough to let our imaginations wander of how BIG and bright you are! Oh Lord help us to be prepared as ready. Let us be a pure bride without wrinkles or stains. Lord God guide us as your vessels of use to the lost and dying world. Call the lost and let us walk beside them as a constant support in this pilgrim journey. Loosen our grips from anything here on earth but let our love hold tightly in the name of Jesus Christ our life blood! We lock our eyes on you Lord and we occupy until you come.

In the Name of Jesus Christ, Come!

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!

Spaghetti Loving People in Germany

There is no adequate way to give my readers a real life peak into the heart of what visiting the kingdom in Germany was to each of us. To me it is too raw and intimate. If I were to casually put it out in the open space of the internet I think it would rob some of the glory from God. I’m going to share as I see fit. If you’d like to chat over coffee or tea I’d love to open my heart in a detailed way.

This trip from beginning to end has shown the hand of God. I wouldn’t even be where I am if it weren’t for God setting things in motion before I knew what was even going on. His glory is unmatched by any other and He IS worthy of all my praise. I am nothing in comparison to His vast wonder. I stood at the top of a mountain and I saw how big He is. I walked along the valleys of a small town in Austria and I learned just how small I am. Oh what a worm am I? I have nothing to offer my God but my feeble praise and yet He calls me His. I fail daily and still He calls me beloved. Then in His magnitude of love He allowed me to take part in His pure blood and sinless body. No, not alone but with my dear brothers and sisters! I have some falling on my face to do when I get home to my “closet”. Then I might just dance with Him in unashamed abandonment. Yes, that’s just what I plan to do!

Some of you know and some of you don’t know that I have a brother and sister in Christ in Germany. They are pilgriming the way for the kingdom right in their neck of the woods. They are the bride and a church of two. It was our great delight to come join them in communion and support. It’s not unusual to participate in communion and to be changed. There is nothing rare about tears being shed or a feeling of wholeness because that is exactly how it should be. What was rare was the intensity of the desire to be one. There is one God,one body,and one bride. We in a very real way were bonded together as one Spirit (the Holy Spirit).

Before communion and before all of our bonding,we went to a concentration camp. There we walked in stunned silence. It is one thing to read a book or watch a movie about wickedness, it is entirely another to walk the very steps where death by the thousands has taken place. As I went through the camp two major thoughts came to the forefront of my mind, “these were souls and these were people” and “This right here is an example of why I want no allegiance to this world”. Can you stand in the place so closely resembling death and not almost see the faces,smell the stench,or hear the sounds? Being a very imaginative person I could and it was nearly overwhelming.

On the cusp of finishing up our time at the camp Jonathan and Carolyn showed up. The reminder was fresh of all they have given up to be in this body of Christ. We ate lunch,went to the store,and headed to their home. Everything about Germany was foreign in my opinion. From the language to the water but soon we saw just how similar we all really are. To quote my friend and brother in Christ as we sat down to eat “we are all just a bunch of spaghetti loving people, we aren’t all that different,not really”. I would like to think that no truer words have been spoken.

Saturday we did some touring which really isn’t the important part. I’ll spare you many details and head right in to the cliff notes. We did a whole bunch of fun things and crossed off some major unknown bucket list items as we grew closer as friends. One thing that can’t be left out is the fact that we were stopped many times to be asked about our head coverings. With each “Excuse me(insert German that I couldn’t understand)”came an opportunity to plant seeds for the kingdom. If you are a Christian woman and don’t cover your head I sincerely ask of you that you would humbly pray and study the scriptures. The thought came crashing back to me with each new planted seed “these are people and these are souls “.

Soon enough it was the time we had been waiting for,communion. Oh this is the raw and intimate part and although I so wish to share every detail I simply can’t in this format. I’ll show pictures instead. This was a rare opportunity and one I will keep dear to me until my final days here on earth have come to an end. It was in these special moments where I was reminded very vividly just what the bride of Christ should look like.

Sunday came with another opportunity to tour around but as I type this I am reminded that maybe I’m getting my days mixed up. Either way after what ever it was on whatever day it happened to be, on Sunday we held church meeting. My heart thumped so fast inside of my chest as each humble man brought the words of our God to us. I couldn’t hold back my tears as I realized that this moment was special but it had to end. My brothers and sister were filled and supported this week but what happens when we leave? I only know a tenth of what it’s like to be pilgriming in this fellowship and in this kingdom without my family by my side. Yet I don’t understand the gravity of them being without a local body. I know that Satan will be on the prowl in the coming days,weeks,and months. I ask that you pause right now and lift our brothers and sister up to the strength of our God. Ask God to give them assurance of what they are doing. Ask God to bring them a local body.

The crux of this love feast was there were people that we grew to love that we may never meet again on this side of eternity. Have you ever shaken the hand of a brother in Christ that wanted fellowship so badly that as you looked him straight in the eye you knew that he literally had to struggle to let go? There your hand was in his firm grasp knowing his opportunity for fellowship was literally slipping through his fingers. That has power. Language had no barrier in that moment. He was loved and he gave love. I pray this isn’t the last time we meet but I don’t know where the Spirit will lead him to go. May God be with him until we meet again.

The next day brought new opportunity and a new county to see. Austria was a little nugget of surprise to me. I have never given Austria any thought before now. As we drove along my eyes met the sky and I knew without a doubt that my God was massive. In the distance there were mountains bigger than I’ve seen before. This little lady from flat Kansas was in awe! Maybe I’m stupid for feeling so little as we had the chance to not only stand at the top of one but to walk along the valley as well. The ripples that flowed through the little moss covered stream was like music to my ears. It was fun to watch a brother slip down a little closer and drink the water flowing through. His joy was fun to witness.

On our little trip to Austria there were six of us. We laughed,shared special moments,and got lost in the beautiful creations of our great God. The moments spent together are too wonderful to blast out here to the inter webs. I will say is a 14 year old,16 year old,30 year old,32 year old,and and an 83 year old are forever etched into my heart. Bothers and a sister. They are the kingdom and we serve the same God. We are each in a unique place in our pilgrimage. God brought each of us and stitched this experience together using us where we are. I didn’t know I could have so much respect for a 14 year old young man. Honestly in my work setting I typically avoid the 14-18 age range because I have absolutely no idea how to relate to them. At 14 I was having sex,telling lies,and was “homeless” off and on. This young man had a testimony worth listening to and certainly walked the walk that would go along with it. Among all of the hoopla and excitement of the occasion he stood out to me as a man (although young) of God. His tears were real as we prayed over our family. His sincerity shown through as a light for all to see! No glory to him but all to God.

Each of the six on our little side trip have a contribution to the kingdom. I’d like to highlight each one. I hope it doesn’t embarrass them or take any honor from God. I was really impressed with the gifts each one had. No name names will be used just ages.

83: My God has given him a lot of years on earth. I’ve only observed a small portion of those years. A man of wit and integrity. I have watched him as he walks along side the young men in our fellowship,giving them confidence,a companion,strength,and wisdom. I believe these men will look back at their time as youth knowing they walked along side a Jesus here on earth.

30:A leader willing to bend who works well under high stress situations. This man is thoughtful of others and showed a true servant’s heart. I was touched by the care he had for the mentor mentioned above.

32: My friend showed great patience,relatability,and an over all positive attitude. She never once showed anger at my ENFP personality or the personality of the others in the group. Instead she made effort to relate to them. When my negative streak hit she was all too quick with something positive to say. She is a woman of great ability in leadership and confidence (when) others need just that. God is using that ability even if it goes against her natural inclination.

16: What an eye for beauty in nature! God has given this young man the gift of photography. He willingly shared his gift with the entire group. He was an example of who he is who he is. Not easily swayed by others.

14: I already mentioned above that this young man had a walk with the Lord that matched his talk. He showed care by opening doors,making comments,and even listening. His willingness to jump right in when needed wasn’t forgotten. There is a spark in him that is going to ignite the way for others as well.

Yes, each one has a place in the kingdom. I could write wonderful things about each person that was on the trip as a whole. I choose just to highlight the ones I was with the most.

I’m sure people will ask me what my favorite part was about this time of communion,exploration,and fellowship. Unfortunately there is no easy answer. The most meaningful was getting to talk to my brother Jonathan about church things such a vision for souls to come to Christ beyond just a GB church. That was a real highlight. It’s one tho g to chat on a computer screen and another to be screaming over a noisy dinner table talking about vision. Another meaningful moment was when my dear sister Carolyn gave me a tour of where she lived. Perhaps this seems insignificant but to me it meant something to be in her home one on one with her for even a few precious moments.

There were meaningful moments all spread out and obviously no one situation was more important or special than another. Communion was sweet,Sunday meeting was breathtaking, but those intimate one on one moments were by far worth mentioning.

As far as my most fun part in touring and such, I’ll have to say not being able to communicate the way we do in our day to day lives. I didn’t expect to love all of the clashing languages that surrounded us. There was a mystery in finding a way to communicate in various forms. Likewise the energy in Austria was a real treat. Just “getting lost” with no real destination has its own mystery. Oh and the beauty that just made you feel “home”.

placeholder://

Obviously this little bit of writing does no justice and I’m tempted to delete it all. I’ll post it because I feel like the people that covered us in prayer,wish they could of been with us,or need a glimpse of Jesus, all deserve a peak inside to the heart of this experience. Like I said so many key points have entirely been left out. If you find yourself wanting more insight I’d be glad to meet with you. If you take nothing else away from this blog post take this one thing. There is one God and he is the same as He was at creation,crucifixion,resurrection,and forever. He wants to have the same intimate relationship with you that he had with Adam and Eve in the beginning. The love that the Father has for us is the same love he wants for us to have for not only Him but for all mankind.

Go forward and serve in prayer,praise,and peace.

Much love ,

Pilgrim Nicci

Warm Fuzzy Life Fighting For the Lord

Do you ever wake up but choose to lay in your bed? The feeling of being wrapped up in blankets in a warm embrace almost encircling you deep into your heart? You know you won’t be falling back to sleep but you just aren’t ready to crawl out of your blanket burrito yet. With each moment passing you wake up a little more and as that happens you have happy thoughts of what the day will hold or memories from the past. It’s just a comfortable content feeling of ahhh.

That’s how I woke up this morning. In fact I still lay in my bed not officially ready to do the mountain of laundry or pay the bills and go grocery shopping. I’m simply enjoying these last few moments of “snuggling”.

As much as I greatly enjoy my comfortable existence and can’t help but let my mind wonder to my brothers and sisters around the world that are not in such a comfortable situation. How do they wake up? Do they ever even go to sleep? Does a guard kick them awake? Do the cries of the person in the cell next to them startle them into reality once again? Is the ach in their belly so great that they can hardly stand the pain?

What makes them different from me? Why do I get complete luxury yet they get misery? I don’t have those answers and that’s ok. What I do know is that I am bound with them in my heart and my prayers are always with them…even from the comforts of my bed wrapped in a quilt.

Am I willing to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ? Would I stand strong outside of the protection of a lavish life? My greatest prayer isn’t that I’ll always be safe but rather that if that day comes that I will have had a life of preparation. That my allegiance was set long before the shackles were around my wrists. That the Word of a God was etched into my heart as if it were now a part of my being. I pray that whoever I may meet day to day doesn’t meet just me but that Jesus is who they see when they look into my eyes.

You see, I may never live in a land that hates me for the Jesus I serve. I most likely will not be thrown into a prison cell wondering where God is or why He’s left me. Rats may never be my only companionship. But that doesn’t mean I’m not in a raging battle for the kingdom. I’m not on the front lines currently as Job was or like my dear family but I’m in the battle all the same. I better be prepared and I better be diligent for this life is not a game and it isn’t won for my glory but for the glory of my God.

I must remember in prayer the front line workers who face Satan in the faces of other created humans. I must be strong as I face Satan in my own head. My brothers and sisters will face physical trails and endure so looking into the face of Jesus. I have no physical pain or suffering, mine comes from lies whispered or tempting things that are forbidden. I must stand strong just as they do.yes, the battle is raging and it looks different in the body of Christ depending on where you have been called in this life. No one situation is a higher calling and none are looked as less to our Father. The point is that we still battle on and rise up victoriously for His name shall be the name of victory in our lives

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6:12‬