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.
Hi I’m Nicci and I’m in a relationship with a man I’ve never met. Is that a risk, sure. Is it worth it,100% yes!
This is a post that honestly should of been written in my diary..unfortunately I don’t have a diary so you get to read it instead.
Here’s the deal folks I’m someone who processes things by talking it out. I just want to “talk out” something. I was very happy single. In fact it took a bit for me to even wrap my mind around what God was doing in my life. I know that this thing of being in a relationship in such a unique way seems odd to my family and friends. Hey I’ll give that to you all. However thank you for those that have supported this new experience in my life. I never in a million years would of expected to A. Be in a relationship. Or B. Have it come about so radically different than the norm. I can say 100% that this has been a God thing. I have no clue what my tomorrows may hold but in this season of life I am so incredibly happy to see where the relationship that God has stitched together is with Mark and I is at. I truly am getting to experience what it is to be treated with respect,love,and kindness.
I’m all for being absolutely content where God has placed you. However don’t be afraid to take the risk of the unknown…it very well may be God answering those prayers you had laid at the foot of the cross years ago. I know if my tomorrow finds this to be all gone from me that this was worth knowing that there are good godly men out there who aren’t afraid to go for what they want. It would be sad and heartbreak would take time to get over but not because the pain wasn’t worth it. Rather because the blessing is so rich! Something I also want to encourage women of all ages is to first view your man as your brother in Christ. This will make your relationship that much more rich. Take time to get ask those hard questions and be willing to answer them yourself honestly. Get into the Word together and don’t shy away from praying for each other together and separately. It’s not a cheesy suggestion but rather something that can bloom organically as you seek the will of the Lord. Something I wouldn’t trade for the world is the fact that all Mark and I can do is communicate. This special time of just getting to know each other is more than going to get coffee or dinner. It’s an act of intentionality that has helped us get to know each other in a purposeful way.
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.
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.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
I don’t think anyone wouldn’t say that we as Christians will find ourselves at some point confronted with someone questioning our faith,trying to tear down truth,or just having a negative opinion based on our following Jesus. As comfy American Christians however the word persecution seems like a foreign concept delegated to those on foreign soil. We read what little news comes out about our brothers and sisters across the ocean and we pray for their strength all while saying “Thank you Lord it’s them and not me.” The Word would tell us that in fact if we live godly in Christ all will suffer. I am not going to claim to understand how or when that’s supposed to happen. However I personally find myself wondering “Would I be ready if it did come my way?”
I recently listened to an anabaptist based school talk about fostering a global perspective in our children. The speaker told how in Muslim families and schools the children learn to quote the entire Quran in whatever language they speak (yes my ignorance is coming out. I mean no harm I just don’t remember). This morning as I was reading vs. 13 stood out. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse , deceiving and, being deceived. Yikes! What could be worse than heads being cut off or flesh being burned in defiant rebellion against this world’s kingdom? I hear about the prisons that hold my family and at various degrees,it sounds atrocious. My imagination is vast but it cannot quite grasp what could be worse yet in Muslim homes and schools they are delivering their children on a silver platter to the gates of Hell!
This brings me to verses 13-17.
Vs. 14 It says continue in the things thou hast learned and hast been assured of. Vs. 15 Is what I’m shooting for here. And that from a child thou hast known the Holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise UNTO SALVATION THROUGH FAITH WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS! We take great care to feed our children nutritious food so they may grow strong in body. How much more should we care about what we feed their hearts and minds? Is it the latest movie that they are quoting or is it scripture and song? Let’s look at the dedication of one of the false religions for a second. They are so concerned that their children have what is important to them that they dedicate them to memory so that they will have it firmly in their brains when they need it. Do we believe that the scripture is a treasure and for our and others wisdom? Why don’t we(me too) dedicates our lives to its memorization? Let’s take a look at the ending verses 16-17. ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, and is profitable for doctrine,for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;
THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE PERFECT THROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS.
I humbly ask again of not only you but of myself too. Do we feed our youth the scripture and teach them to hold it in their hearts? I’m not talking just memorizing for memory sake. I now have a vision for scripture to come alive in the hearts of our young people. I don’t want them to come in contact with persecution, if..no..when that time comes, to be found just as lost as the deceived around them. Let us give them the tools to give an answer unashamed as they step out onto the battlefield!
You know, to happen in the lives of our children we must too be armed and ready to face the adversary ourselves. We can’t pat our youth on the back with a well wish and a tool box. We must go hand and hand united as good soldiers of Jesus Christ to defend our kingdom.
*These are just my opinions based on what I’ve read in scripture. I don’t claim to fully understand but I hope through my faithfulness I and others can gain wisdom from the opened Word of God.
**Photo was totally staged. My study area is not all perfect. I had to go get the highlighter that had rolled across the floor and then remove the other notebook of where I was trying to figure out how to spell a word. #reallifefolks
***Please feel free to join me this year in memorizing the Word. Romans 8:31-37 KJV is this months passage!
Verse 12 really stuck out to me today. Not because of the song that would quote it but because of the raw honesty of “I am not ashamed for I know whom I have believed am am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” Whew I sure want to remain steadfast and be able to say that when I am pressed for an answer from any foes that would come my way. I AM NOT ASHAMED! We can find it easier to stay silent or avoid uttering the Word from our lips in fear of misquoting it or even if we’re honest with ourselves lack of confidence before our peers. Who are we as the church to stay silent,sugarcoat,or go around the TRUTH of God’s Word? Paul being in prison had every opportunity to shut down in the face of adversity. We find ourselves in a warm fuzzy environment where the most frightening encounter we might face is a blatant question from an unbeliever. Would we shy away from the opportunity to stand firm on the solid foundation of our Lord Jesus Christ? For shame if we say anything less than “I am not ashamed for I know whom I believe and I am persuaded that He IS able…”
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
Here we find ourselves at the end of another year. With God’s abundant grace we have will be given a new year with multiple opportunities. I know for myself this year has been a year of change,growth,and exciting new doors that have opened and some that have closed. I’m not unique in reflecting on the year that has passed. Many blog posts and conversations will be focused on this passage of time. I’d like join in and reflect on the awesomeness of my God in His love and care for me in this past year.
January: I found myself preparing for my newest roommate to move in. Having the privilege to live and work along side Roxy was a joy and blessing.
February: I discovered that although for many many years I valued St. Patrick’s Day as my favorite holiday it actually turns out to be Valentines Day. I wear pink,bought a heart shaped pizza,and my parents sent me beautiful flowers. What more could a woman ask for?!? Alongside my new found favorite holiday, I celebrate in my heart the day I fully came into submission and surrender to my Lord! It fills me with all sorts of large feelings I will never be able to put into words. My life removed from God is worth nothing. That is cause enough to praise His name! https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/they-call-me-a-fool-he-calls-me-his-bride/
March: This month was filled with birthday type stuff. I turned 27 and started a new year of life.
April: I boarded a small six passenger airline and headed with a team to Florida to serve at a family healing camp. My heart grew like the Grinches heart grew while I spent time with children and families effected by RAD(Reactivate Attachment Disorder). I would never of called myself a “kid person” sure I love teaching and such but something changed in seeing parents literally fighting for the lives of their children. We are called to care for the widows and children and I can do that by supporting these awesome families that are growing little hearts that have been hurt.
June: Annual meeting was a delight because I got to connect with many of my brothers and sisters in Christ. There is a vision that takes place in my mind when we are gathered around the communion table seeking to do the will of God. We are each humbly waiting for that day that we are one in the consummation of the marriage with Christ!
After annual meeting I packed my bags for a week of Training/working in Canada with a raddlet (kid with RAD). Whew no amount of time would allow me to tell all of the stories. Fear,excitement,drama,smells,and friendship blooming we’re all words I’d use. Originally I was planning on heading to Georgia for about a month but the child needed different care so I headed home with a switch of plans.
July: This was the most boring,lonely,horrible month ever. On the tail of the disappointment of lost opportunity I was in the house completely alone for a good portion with absolutely nothing to do and no motivation to find something to fill my time. I’m not proud of July but God uses it to draw me closer to Him. I had a lot of one on one talks with Him and my Bible was opened on my lap more than it wasn’t. I found comfort in bringing my Bible to bed with me each night as if a security blanket.
September: We (at school) really started to feel our routine set in and the normal school days began to flourish. I am very fortunate to get the opportunity to work among fellow followers of Jesus Christ as we labor for the kingdom of God! I started doing therapeutic respite in my home and I have been enjoying the process so much! It’s a unique challenge and requires me to be on my A game 100% but oh so worth giving these wonderful parents a small break from having to be the superhero for a few days. I pray that God gives me many more opportunities to support these awesome parents! https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/its-a-sloths-life-pajamaspity-partiesand-pee-peevpants/
October: My teeny tiny nephew came into the world with many prayers and much love. His arrival has been a highlight of the year for sure! Each new babe is a special miracle from God. Let’s hold our children a little closer this year as we realize some children never get to feel the love that yours does. Let’s pause to pray for the hearts of the neglected and abused children. Oh Lord you do care and hear their cries!
I got on an airplane for the third time this year for an adventure of a lifetime! Myself along with my brothers and sisters in Christ went to Germany to meet up with more of our family in Christ to support and have a love feast in their neck of the woods! Oh what a joy filled experience unmatched by anything I’ve ever been a part of before. This was the moment I got what I really was a part of. My fellowship is my everything here on earth to me.
November:This month was a fun one! Myself and three other women rented a cabin in the woods in Holmes County to find some R&R. We did all the usual things that you do there with the addition of spending a day doing fun crafty things! Somewhere along the way in the summer I took up painting. It’s a skill I hope to expand to bless others as I write letters that will bring encouragement to those that get them.
My friend Lana came out for the weekend so we could…well let’s just say check your mailbox in the next week. We had more laughs than I knew could happen! Friends sure make life fun!
I had the opportunity to be perused by a godly man in another fellowship. It was a fun opportunity that turned out to not bring peace even though it was fun while it lasted. Who doesn’t want to be valued by someone here on earth? It was a growing experience bringing me to face my vision for my life and how God has continued to call me to be faithful in all things.
I am traveling home now after a week in Missouri and Kansas. Things like Christmas,sickness,Cheesecake Factory,bonding,and large sloths are the words used for this trip.
Now we find ourselves back at January where I began a year ago. I can’t tell you what the next year will hold but my prayer is go a steadfast commitment to my Lord and Savior as I continue on my pilgrimage in the kingdom of God. I hope I meet many new friends and strengthen relationships with the ones I already have. This year has brought many Mountain View moments and yes, a few moments where I stood at the bottom of the mountain wondering why I had to start again. I can say without any stretching of the truth that the climb was worth it!
The sun rose and set every day of this past year and I got to enjoy most of them as I did life. Oh the gift that is a new day! Let us each wake to look for the gift God has given us then let us fall before Him in praise!
I love you all! Much love dear ones. If you haven’t found yourself at the foot of the cross casting your sins away, I urge you to cry out to our sovereign Lord to help you to do so! This life here on earth will vanish and we will each face eternity. I want you each to face it looking at the face of Jesus at the wedding of His people with Him to never be separated. If I can help you by answering questions or praying along side of you please let me know. We are not promised another day on this earth. Make your choice now. https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/why-i-deserve-to-go-to-hell-but-i-wont/