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. 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


Time Well Traveled

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.

Moody Clouds!

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!

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.

May: The end of a challenging school year ended and honestly I was so thankful! A much needed break was in the horizon.

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.

August: I went to Kansas for a weekend that I can honestly say was one of the best weekends of my life! I felt so loved by my friends Lana and Monica as they had carefully planned a to do list of fun for us. We did so much but beyond that we grew a little closer as friends.

School started and instantly I could “feel” that it was going to be a good year. I have yet to be disappointed in how the cookies have crumbled.

Yes, I was terrified but it was worth it!

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!

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!

Sweet child

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.

Brother and sister in Germany

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.

December: December=eventful!

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.

Pilgrim Nicci

With This Life I Will Worship

What motivated me to go to worship this morning. That was the question that was presented to us as we sat on the hard benches in nice neat rows. I’d like to say that knowing Jesus would be present was my motivation to enter the building and sit down for two hours. If I said it was then I’d be telling a lie. My motivation this morning was because it’s what I’m supposed to do. Now please read carefully. That was my motivation for entering a building this morning. My motivation for worship today and every day is creation. The alarm goes off and I open my eyes and don’t have to be told I’m alive, but I am! I was created for reason. To worship,give glory,and spread the Word of my God! I saw creation as the sun rose this morning in soft cotton candy blue and pink windows that let the golden sun light burst through,and I worshiped. I felt creation when I walked outside and the chilled air hit my face and caused me to shudder,and I worshiped. I experienced creation as I took time to notice the swirly patterns of frost on the hood of my car. They glistening in the sun and almost danced as I took it in,and I worshiped. The sun bounced off of an area to my left and there sat the bush I ignore every single day yet today it was different and it was beautiful. A new to me creation,and I worshiped.

These things of creation are in themselves not to be worshipped yet the one who created them is! So although motivation to enter a building that may or may not facilitate worship wasn’t a grand idea in my heart today, the act of worship was.

I’m not trying to contradict the ministers message. In fact it hit my heart in a way I’m ashamed. I should of been thrilled with the opportunity to enter that building because Jesus WAS there through each and every individual that brought Him. We had a time of orderly worship and it filled some of the empty parts of my heart. I’m thankful for worship in the building with the straight rows of hard benches. I love the church bride of Christ that fills them. So I do go and do what I’m supposed to do and yes sometimes it gets routine and I need a little reminder or a pep talk as to why I go. Yet in my heart of hearts and deep in my desires I worship my God not because I have to but because I want to. Why wouldn’t I? One look around and there is a million reasons to sing His praise! So although I love Sunday opportunity I live for the everyday song of my heart.

Love, Pilgrim Nicci

Life Lost is Life Gained

All hail king Jesus! This was committed in 2015 yet is just a small example of what our(kingdom Christians) brothers and sisters go through daily. Some lose their life,some lose their families,others are tortured,while some are on the verge of denying Christ. I really only pity those who begin to doubt their faith. My heart reaches out to them in my daily prayer for their strength. To endure to the end. My heart aches for the pain the persecuted church day to day. Yet I’ve heard it said by those that have walked the road of torture, that the comfortable church in America really is missing out. The worship of a deep rooted need of the Father, to feel loved by the Son,and be one with God completely as the Holy Spirit dwells with you EVEN in the face of your enemies. I say hail King Jesus king of king and Lord of Lords! Let them take our heads! They shall never take our freedom to worship in our hearts! I choose to praise Jesus for the strength of these men who lost their life but not the cause!!!!!

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Can I just be real with you all for a few minutes? Great I’ll take your silence as consent.
I love to sing. Like not just humming along to a familiar melody as I get ready for the day. No, I like to sing at the top of my lungs producing a sound that can only come from the depths of the gut! Now I didn’t say it was a perfect sound but a sound all the same. I’ve always loved to sing yet I was never the good singer of the family. My sister Jay was the song bird with a beautiful sound coming from her lips. Actually that’s how she went from Jessica to just Jay! People call her Jay or Jay bird because of her pretty tune she sings. Now don’t get me wrong, I love that my sister is talented. I absolutely am thrilled to know she finds great joy in her talent and others do too! I hope she keeps on singing. 
It’s just that I love to sing too. Like I said I’m not as great as her or many others. I grew up knowing that. However it didn’t stop me from singing every morning as I’d get ready. It didn’t hinder me as I would wake my parents up with songs for whatever Broadway show I was obsessed with at the time. It didn’t even stop me from singing at the Renfest on stage with a group or in the lanes. I simply just love to sing!
Well then I started being around people who knew notes and how to read music and I became super self conscious. I don’t know how to do any of that stuff and probably never will. It would bug me as I would leave places where a singing would of taken place because I literally had no voice as I’d sit and listen to the singers around me. So I stopped singing in the bathroom as I did my hair. I stopped singing as I drove to work. I still sang softly in the grocery store but that’s because I figured no one would notice me anyway. 
Well yesterday I was in my classroom bored,feeling a little silly,and just felt like singing along to those silly little kids songs. I decided to put one on social media just to be silly. But a few people hit the laugh button,some commented it sounded nice,others just ignored my antics. What it did to me was help me re realize that I don’t actually care if people think I’m a great singer or not and I definitely don’t think Jesus cares if I’m on key or not. He already died for me and loves me anyway. I want to sing for Him and that’s what matters! So I plan on doing a lot more singing and might just be found on social media and in my car too! 
So on that note ( get it ha ha) here’s another song. I was wishing for a rainbow in the sky after this morning’s rain and a Bible study discussion . Not exactly a praise and worship song but it fit my mood! 

Much love, Pilgrim Nicci