Why I Deserve to Go to Hell but I Won’t

Are people generally good? Do people do the best that they can? I believe if you were to ask random people on the street they would say yes. I say no. Here is why. Genesis 3:6-13 depicts the fall of man and his response. Those of us that label ourselves affectionately Christians know the story like the back our hand. I’m not saying humans are not generally good because Adam and Eve fell,all though that is part of it. I would argue that it’s because of their response to that fall. Let’s take a slightly deeper look. They ate of the tree off knowledge of good and evil and their eyes were opened to their nakedness. Now here was their opportunity to fall before God and beg of His mercy but that’s not the choice they made. Instead in attempt to hide themselves they sewed fig leaves together. When God confronted them yet again there was the perfect opportunity to throw their hands up and confess their sins. Did they? No, Adam turned the blame from himself to not only Eve but God who created Eve. Oh dear Adam would you have played your cards differently if you would have known the ramifications of your actions? In my heart I would like to think so but I know better.

How do I know what Adam and Eve would of done if they knew the consequences? Simply put, I’ve been Adam and Eve before. I know the tragedy of realizing my sin even though I may have not known that I was sinning. I know the reality of choosing to sin willingly. I even know the pit in the stomach feeling of trying to cover up my sin. I know all to well that humans, specifically Nicci is not good.

Let me share a little bit of the reality of my sin with you. Now if you ask my mom or maybe even people that have known me fa while they may not know my inner heart or the depth of my sinful nature. I am not sharing this to make myself look bad or to bring glory to the person that I once was. I desperately want to call sin what it is and to share that there is redemption available. So let’s pick up when I was thirteen going on fourteen and then the early months of fifteen. I’d say I was the average middle school student. I was pretty innocent and I loved my parents. I was really excited to be going to a new school and moving to a new area,one close to my then best friend! The only thing not so normal about me was that my family was essentially homeless. We lived in a motel and would off and on for a long time. In some ways it was like an adventure and others it was drove me to try to fit in or to be as “good” as my peers.

Soon enough school was in full swing and I was making more friends. One day I got a note from my best friend that was from the guy we dubbed “the curly headed kid”. I didn’t know him but my friend and I would watch him and his mass amount of curly hair get on and off of the school bus each day. In this note was an invitation of sorts to our school dance. To say I was elated would be an understatement. I remember that night as if it happened yesterday. It was so fun and was nearly movie perfect. I could almost imagine the cast of high school musical break out in song at any moment. Yes, it is a fun and thrilling memory. Needless to say as time went on our relationship grew (as much as it can at age 13/14. I mean come on.) and we didn’t remain pure. Despite the fact him and his mom attended Church every Sunday and my mom would drop me off too. I had a desire to follow Jesus but had no clue how to do that. We were fairly active at that little local Methodist church. Unfortunately because of our impure relationship we often times were lying to our parents and that made me feel worse than the after effects of the sexual relationship did. I’d walk home knowing what I was engaging in was wrong. Slowly my time spent with this guy turned from fun or at the very least what I thought was normal to heartache and despair. We’d go to the local Dollar General and he’d steal stuff and I knew it. He’d get more rough with me and I’d start finding bruises on my body that happened while he was “teasing”. All these too big of emotions coupled with my teenaged hormones being out of wack caused me to cut…well what ever you call using a sharpened stick to harm yourself. I had no real desire to hurt myself but I knew tons of other girls did it and I read in my teen books of the angsty characters did it,so why shouldn’t I try? I felt sad and my boyfriend was no longer hurting me in private but now in public too! It all came crashing down one day when he kicked me into the other seat as I was getting off the bus. I retaliated and punched him back and called him a filthy name. The cops were called and of course I was the one to get reprimanded. The bus driver didn’t see what he had done only the punch I threw. Unfortunately I had deleted all of his possessive and hate texts because I was terrified of my mom seeing them. My whole life was one big mess and not a lot of people knew about it. I was dressing the part of a over sexualized teenager during the week and going to church on Sunday. My sin was monstrous and I deserved to go to hell.

“Sexy” expressions are what is displayed on nearly all of my pictures from that time

What we wear does change our actions

I’ve never typed that nor have I shared all the details of that time in my life. I suppose my mother knows more than most and I’m glad through it all she stood by my side.

So how does a filthy beaten down sinner escape hell? How does a person even begin to wash their dirty laundry in their past baggage? How do they lay their baggage down and walk away from it forever? Simply put,YOU don’t. Magnificently though God does! So although you,me,and lots of other nasty sinners have rotting past and there is no escape there is a savior! John 3:16 says For God so love the world (you/me) that He sent His only begotten son so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish ( go to hell) but have everlasting life! Isn’t that absolutely amazing news? Doesn’t that make you want to leap for joy? It does me. So Jesus in His time here in earth detailed how a person can inherit eternal life through His life,death,and resurrection. His overarching message was that the kingdom of God is at hand. He showed us very clearly that being in a relationship with Him was so much more than get out of hell free card. It had some requirements and some duties that we must fulfill. You know because after all we are not naturally good. We desperately needed Him to spell things out for us. You see once Jesus’s blood cleans a person all up and the Holy Spirit comes to make it’s abode in us the requirements of kingdom life really are not a burden. They are in fact a joy to carry out. Now I’m not going to lie and say they are easy because sometimes simple stuff like loving my neighbor is hard. That’s where His grace comes in. We won’t ever be perfect and we will have a free will and Jesus knows that. Through our repentance and patterning our lives after His, we will become His disciple. Day by day the gap between you and your past will grow so vast that it’s not possible to cross it to the person that you once were. That in my opinion is where the assurance of salvation is apparent. You no longer see yourself how Satan wanted you to be but rather how God see you! Trust me when I say that Satan will tell you that you are worthless and trash. That you will never be far away from the label of your sin. I’m here to tell you that yes sin is absolutely unacceptable in the eyes of God. It does make you wrenched and nasty. However the relationship you enter into as a baby Christian and journey through into disciple is a purifying process and NO ONE can stake their claim to your life except Jesus Christ!

This is the real me. The me that has JOY!

No,people are not good;but Jesus Christ is!

Much love,

Pilgrim Nicci

Mornings With My Father: Exodus 10-12

My thoughts on Exodus 10-12Our sin is so consuming just like each of those horrible plagues. How are we no better than Pharaoh in our yo-yo relationship? We say “sorry” for our sin just enough to make us feel better but do we actually stop,turn,and flee from it? Think about it. We often are more a kin to pharaoh than Moses. I believe God does and will harden our hearts in the area we choose to sin in if we keep playing the part of a yo-yo.

Let us stop,turn,and flee from what is trying to consume us in our daily walk. Perhaps it’s gossip,negative thoughts,worry,or discontentment. Or maybe it’s something we say is a “bigger problem” such as laziness,addiction,lying,stealing,or pride. They are all really the same. Sin is sin and with it in our life we have pushed a wedge between us and God.
Luckily just as with the pass over, there was provision made for us. The lamb was brought and then was slain. The blood is available as a covering from the destroyer that will come to take us away from the love and protection of our Father. Harden not our heart to the reality of sin. Let it not plague and consume our life. Freedom is available if we paint the door frame of our hearts in the blood of Christ and flee from our sin. 

Not My Proudest Moment 1&2

Number one is a rather hysterical story that might change your opinion of me forever. Considering I don’t know half of you outside of the screen in front of me I’m willing to take some loses….or gains depending on your humor.

I was a scrollin along on the Facebook when I came across a post that I just couldn’t skip. It said: Jesus didn’t carry a cushioned cross. Neither did He need help with His cross because he couldn’t bring the twenty ounce soda or chocolate dipped icecream cone to His bloodied and battered lips. Hmmm.

Being the food addict that I am I instantly started to crave a chocolate dipped cone! Seriously I’m not even making this up. I don’t even like dipped cones and every fiber of my “slightly” pudgy body NEEDED an ice cream cone! 

But seeing how now I thought it was a grave sin to consume such a delight ( and if you take advice from this fellow he’d say any type of junk food) I refrained…well until today. I was now driving along and knew my favorite ice cream shop was approaching. I didn’t have the FB post on my mind until I pulled up and ordered my curly top cone and was asked “would you like it dipped or un dipped?”. Oh the opportunity was too glorious to refuse. I did in fact get a dipped ice cream cone but I avoided chocolate and got cherry instead. Cause ya never know maybe he is a modern day prophet and I wasn’t willing to gamble too high of a bet. After all I ain’t willing to go to the inferno down under over an ice cream treat.
Well wise it was not to go with chocolate because I tell you what happened next was something only the wrath of God could bring. I’m a driving along eating my dipped sinners ice cream cone when it starts dripping everywhere! So I like a greedy kid I  start  licking it attempting to keep my hands clean when…sloosh…my perfect cherry dipped shell slides right off on to my perfectly clean favorite dress! One hand on the wheel one hand with the melting ice cream cone zero napkins remotely in my reach. Entering the area I got pulled over that one time…I was panicking. I kind of just gobbled it all up not enjoying one little bit. Luckily I made it to work with no ticket and not summoned to hell but I was a sticky mess with chocolate EVERYWHERE! Moral of the story “Don’t mess with sin. It ain’t worth it even if it seems like a fun idea in the moment..it’s not”
2. My whole classroom theme is rainbow and it’s no secret that there is a group out there trying to take that beautiful gift away from us. My classroom quote is be a bold pop/splash of color in a black and white world. Quick to make spiritual application I spent a good amount of time composing an email to my students parents comparing and contrasting the world with the bright colors of creation. No sooner did I push send did I start working on memory verses for this school year. I think to my brilliant self “Hey why not make a memory verse book with the quote on the front?”. Yeah great idea Nicci…right up until I click a link or two informing me that the quote has been used for a few LBGQT( sorry I have no clue the order) community. At first I was like “meh it’s life whatever who cares.” I was about to throw away all of my hard work Then my heart stated to stir at the sickening reality of it. No this is MY rainbow. The world can’t control what I do or don’t do! This symbol was given to me as a reminder of God’s promise. It is His masterpiece and I choose to enjoy it to the fullest right along side all His other gifts and promises. So I laminated my printed quotes because just as my scripted email stated we ARE to be the color in this Black world! No one can dull the radiant splash of brilliance He has given us! Together we the bride make a beautiful picture for the world to see! You can’t take that away!

Much love,Pilgrim Nicci