Thursday, September 25, 2008

Praising Christ with my Daughter

My youngest daughter Nichelle and I were given an opportunity to share Christ in dance at Peace Lutheran Church in Conway, Arkansas. It was truly a blessing! That Sunday morning was the conclusion of their vacation bible school (VBS) sharing that Jesus gives us the power to be brave, thankful, helpful, share the good news and live eternally. All three of my children participated in this VBS and loved it. Nichelle, however was able to live out what she learned through this dance. I taught her this dance in two days..she is six years old. She shared with me that she was afraid to do it. We talked about how this week she learned that Jesus gives us the power to be brave..remember Peter who walked on water? Keep your eyes on Jesus and He will give you the power to be brave. So view this dance and worship Christ with us, for He does give us the power to be brave and not only that…it is He who gives us the ability to COME TO JESUS! Thank you Daddy for allowing us an opportunity to come to you through Jesus Christ.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Does A Fish Know It Is Wet #2

As stated before I have been on a journey of discovery. I am discovering my responsibility as a believer in the fellowship with other saints. It has been one of great trial and exhausting examination. I have not only had the opportunity to see scripture in a new light, I have been able to walk it out. So the last post, “Does a fish know it’s wet?” has become very real to me. I have been able to examine some traditional practices against the word of God. I found I was wet in many respects.
Here is where we are as a Christian culture. Women and men are trying to become so equal that God given distinctions are lost. Women teach men in bible study, often to the neglect of teaching younger women and their own children. Men have taken a back seat and allowed women to be in control of everything. In most of the local church settings, women are the dominant force. The men can’t be found. When it comes to teaching, a man would be more willing to ask a woman to teach so he wouldn’t have to fulfill his role in the gathering or even the home. Basically our homes are out of order, thus when we gather as believers our fellowship will be led wrong and our thinking will be wrong as well. By wrong I mean unbiblical. Please remember I am talking to believers in THE ONE TRUE LIVING GOD.
This is what God’s word tells us we need to ascribe to. I will hit pretty hard on the women issue only because I am a woman. I believe that where scripture calls you out, you must respond accordingly. So I will lay out some text and go from there.
“As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:3-5
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. 1 Peter 3:1-6
Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 1 Timothy 2:11-12
And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. Acts 1:13-14
On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied. Acts 21:8-9
but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven…… Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 1 Corinthians 11:5;12-15
Simply stated, women according to scripture are to pray, prophesy, learn in submission to their own husband, not teach men or have authority over men, teach younger women what is good, adorn themselves in holiness, be respectful and pure, and be silent in the gathering of the saints during the teaching. All of this may seem to be a hard pill to swallow. It was for me in the beginning. The first time I was told to submit to my husband about ten years ago I literally flipped. I was not at all receptive to that information even though it was and is the word of God. So, today the Lord in His grace and mercy is calling me to be dried out even the more in order that I may die to the flesh and live in Him.
A woman’s silence in the gathering is one of the controversial issues in the body of believers. For most people who attend a traditional church gathering where the preacher or pastor is the sole or primary bible teacher it is not very difficult to be silent. In fact everyone is silent.
My family gathers on Saturdays in homes with other believers to build one another up in the faith, through prayer, fellowship and the Lord’s Supper. The purpose for this gathering is that we may all be equipped for every good work in Christ. The structure for our meeting is laid out in 1 Corinthians 14:26-40, often termed “participatory meeting.” In that meeting the women are silent during the teaching. The silence from the women propels the men to lead in the teaching. When a meeting is dominated by one individual it creates a dependency on that one person rather than each believer studying to scriptures themselves and presenting truth to build up. During the week we are to be lifting one another in prayer and seeking the Lord for what He would have one to share to build up the body of believers. Remember the scriptures tell us to build one another up, to teach the young women and children, pray and prophesy that all may be built up.
So how does a woman’s silence build up others? If the women are silent it pushes the men to their place. They are called to lead, instruct in the word of God, to love and serve. Often women overshadow their husbands and no where in scripture do we see that God honors that. I am silent that my husband and the other men may lead. I receive as much if not more because I am able to hear, without preparing my next statement. What the Lord has awakened me to is the following…I show respect to my husband by participating in silence during the instruction of the word. Most importantly, I am following a command of the Lord.
In times past I have taught the adult Sunday school class. In most of our local fellowships the Sunday school classes are mixed with male and female. Well the word of God would say that practice is unbiblical. Can a woman teach? Yes! The question is not if she can teach, but to whom does God say she can teach. We are to teach our children first and foremost, then we teach other women. We are also examples to our husband and other men. In my silence my husband stated, “You have taught me the importance of listening to God.” It was not that he did not listen to God however he was able to see honor, respect, and obedience in a new light because of my obedience. So is the scripture telling women that we are second class citizens and you have nothing of value to say? God forbid! The scripture is telling us to line up! Jesus Christ who is himself God, submitted to God the Father in all things. Over and over we see especially in the gospel of John, that Jesus came to do the will of the Father. If we truly desire to love and obey God we will be willing, in fact desirous to obey and seek His will above our own. I did not write the scripture. We must stop fighting the truth and scripture and effort to live it out through the power of the Holy Spirit. The things we don’t fully understand, the Holy Spirit will teach us in due time.
Today I would classify myself as a drying fish. I can’t fully say I have dried up but the Lord is gracious and pouring Himself more and more. What an exciting thought! The comment room is always open. Let me know how dry you are.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Does A Fish Know It Is Wet #1

This is an interesting question. When I first heard it, I did not understand it. I am sure some of you feel the same way. Allow me to shed some light, now that I have been enlightened. A fish lives in water, enjoys the water and finds its source of life in the water. So of course the fish does not know that it is wet until it is pulled out of the water. Only then can the fish become aware that it was wet. It becomes clear to the fish that without being wet, they will die. The fish will “freak out” wanting to be wet again. If released back into the water, the fish will become wet and thus live happily according to plan. However, if left out of the water, the fish will die and have no need for water or ever be wet.
Nicolle what is that all about? I am glad you asked. Let’s look at it this way. Humans are “fish.” There are only two kinds of humans, regenerate and unregenerate. The unregenerate human is the one who does not place their hope and trust in the one true living God. They are lost and apart from the saving grace of Jesus, remaining lost and separated from the one true living God. Every human begins his or her life this way. We are born in sin and shaped in iniquity. Then there are those the Father has mercy upon and calls them unto Himself through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. These humans would be regenerate, believers, Christians, children of God, the bride of Christ, the church. The regenerate person is called to live their life according to the will of the Father in heaven. That will is laid out in the Holy Scriptures which was given to us for our learning, and that we may believe Jesus is the Christ the Son of God.
The water in this illustration is our current American culture. The American culture overall boils down to a few points. The first is self love. Self help, self improvement, self indulgence, self worship are just a few of the things we do in our society to make gods of ourselves. Second, the cultures view of marriage. Our culture says marriage is basically a death sentence with the option of bail through divorce. One may be set free to indulge in the simple pleasures of one lustful contact to the next. Again, it is all about the love and worship of oneself. Another cultural view, homosexuality is just a free expression of love between two same sex individuals. God forbid we say anything negative about this lifestyle, because culturally you would be committing a HATE CRIME! I’ll finish with two other thoughts as I could go on for weeks. Children! The culture says children are an unfortunate result of sexual contact. “If I get pregnant I will just kill the thing. It’s my body my choice.” I have to agree there is choice but it is not to keep or not keep the life…it is to open or not open your legs! Forgive me I digress. The final thought of the culture is relationship between men and women. The culture says, “Woman you run things!” Be in control of things at home, on the job, and dominate your man and any man for that matter. After all they are stupid and can’t accomplish anything without you!”
Now dear Christian, I present to you biblical truth to nullify the views of the culture. Self Love, Marriage, Sexuality, Life, Children, Men, & Women…what does the scripture say? True love is sacrificial and obedient. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son in obedience to the will of God. God himself sacrificed His only Son for the love of His children. Christ was obedient to the Father even to the point of death on the cross. Repeatedly Jesus tells us He has come to do the will of the Father…not His own. This is love! If you are not obedient to the Lord (him who sent you) and don’t live a life of sacrifice, you have no love. Marriage is ordained by God in creation with Adam and Eve. A marriage is one man and woman united in one flesh. They are a picture of Christ and the Church. Christ and His church will endure hardship and joys… yet they will endure eternally. So in our marriages we are to endure until God calls one or both to Himself. Sexually, we are to flee lustful, immoral passions and desires. In your marriage (one man & one woman) you are free to express your God given sexuality as you both enjoy. From that enjoyment we are to be fruitful. Make babies for they are a heritage of the Lord. We have no authority to take life that is given to us by God. We are but created beings for the good pleasure of God! I have spoken before about women and men. How the scripture states women are made for the man and not man for the woman. The word also states that man is the head and should love his wife, and be willing to die for her as Christ did for his bride. The woman should respect her husband, be willing to submit to his authority and the bride of Christ does.
Okay I have laid a foundation for what I really want to talk about. The original question was, “Does a fish know it is wet?” I have to admit being unknowingly wet in some areas. As believers we are called to be transformed by the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus. That said, I propose we are to no longer be wet fish submerged into this cultural way of thinking but we are to be dry fish. We are to look at this life through the lens of scripture. We the culture says one thing and God says another. We need to obey God period. When we are dry fish we die to the pleasures of this life and in fact are made alive in Christ. So in order to live we must die! This is not a new concept or saying, it is biblical, its truth and we should die so we can live!
So, brothers and sisters take time to examine your life and thoughts. Have you been called to be a dry fish and unknowingly soaking wet? I will conclude with this scripture that opened my eyes to how wet I was…. As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church. Please share your comments! I want to hear from you. We will visit this again, very soon.

Monday, September 1, 2008


The question I have struggled with for years. Brief update…I have a sperm donor for a father who only acknowledges my existence when it is to his advantage. In my almost 32 years of life I have had 6 encounters with my father/sperm donor. Yes I have counted! That in itself is a problem. Here is the bigger picture; he the sperm donor had an affair 32 years ago. To my knowledge his wife of over forty years is unaware of this fact. This story …my story is sad, sad, sad. Why is this story so sad? Because this man, this father, this sperm donor has chosen his own comfort. His comfort would include a wife and children by this wife….a family that does not include a lust child. I, the lust child, his undeniable flesh and blood have endured public denials not once but twice. Not to mention this is a continued denial from this “family” that brings him the most comfort.
Here is my question again…who am I? If only his through sperm, then to whom do I really belong? Where can I look for find my heritage, or a sense of belonging? Who accepts me for who I am, then encourages me to do and be better? Who will be a loving guide for me when I struggle and don’t understand this life? How can I explain a father’s love to my own children if I have no model for this type of love? What do I look for in my husband as he fathers our children? These are the questions that have haunted me for years, and many of you may have the same questions.
Through all of this I have learned that I have a Father who is truly awesome! That Father is my Heavenly Father! My Daddy is the ONE who created the entire universe and sustains it by His very WORD! He knew me before time began. My conception and birth were not a surprise to Him but in fact was purposed by Him. I am His! I am created in His image and His likeness. He has written a 66 book love letter for me. Contained within those pages are instructions on how to live, and love according to my Father. Again we are talking about the Creator God my Daddy who formed everything.
Talk about heritage, and family history…I have no lack! I have a family history that can be traced to before there was life on earth, in fact before there was earth. My Heavenly Father has poured out His love for me through the life of His Son Jesus Christ. He has given me direction, inspiration and a reason to live. It is this love that I pattern my life after. I look like my Daddy, through Christ I act like my Daddy. He doesn’t leave me. He walks with me. My Daddy has demonstrated His love for me by His Son Jesus Christ. Because my Dad is Perfect, Holy, Righteous, and Just, He doesn’t accept individuals who are not perfect, not holy, not Righteous, and Not Just. I by my nature fall in the not category. Yet, my Dad was very aware of my inability to attain His standards by myself. He sent His son to fulfill the requirement for me. So my Dad looks at me and sees the work of Jesus Christ and receives me. I did nothing to attain His favor, nothing to attain His Love, or be His child. But He did it all. Christ paid the price for me to be known of God. That was God’s plan for me before time began. So I embrace my past, my present, and my future with the understanding that I belong to God!
So Who AM I? I am Nicolle Sherrie Fletcher child of the Most High God, beloved of the Father, Known of the Son, Comforted by the Holy Spirit, grafted into the body of believers by the Perfect Sinless Blood of Jesus Christ. God has lavished His love upon me. He will never deny me because I am sustained in Christ as His child for eternity. I belong to GOD!

To All The Titus 2 Teachers Who Didn't Know They Were Teaching

This is all about the women who God has placed in my life to teach me. These women are unaware of their impact on my life. However today I feel lead to give them a shout out and encourage them to continue in the Faith and stand firm in the truth. Not one of these women sat me down to tell me any of these things. They were simply living their lives to honor the Lord as they knew and know how. From them I have grown and are continuing to grow into a mature woman in Christ. So this is my Ode or Shout Out to You!

Angie Cate: Taught me that children are gifts from God. They are to be a delight to their parents.

Abby Swaney: Taught me submission!

Brenda Lindsay: Taught me what it means to be hospitable, love others, and remain focused on loving your husband and training your children.

Carla Owen: Showed me what a quiet and mild spirit looks like.

Cheri Steininger: Taught me to endure hardship as a good soldier. My reward is in Heaven. If I am faithful to Christ He will be faithful to me. Suffering in this life only brings us closer to Christ. We are no greater than He who suffered all for us.

Donna Yeager: Taught me how to be relational with a teenage daughter. I don’t have to practice that one yet…However I do have an example.

Holly Massie: Taught me that I can teach and educate my children. Not to fear what I don’t know or don’t understand but to walk in what the Lord has instructed.

Karen Robins: Taught me to pray faithfully and wait on the Lord.

Kawana Hayes: Taught me to be bold and stand up for what is right. To speak the truth in love, with Boldness!

Kay Wenzel: Taught me to Honor My Husband and to be His delight. Kay taught me the importance of Prayer for my children, MIT. To train them in the way of the Lord so when they are to make their own decisions we can trust them to do well and not lord over them.

Kristin Hathaway: Taught me to put family first. To worship the Lord with my Family and live out my faith with them. First family I observed practicing family integrated worship!

Stephanie Johnson: Taught me to evangelize. My faith is not real if I hide it and in fact don’t seek out the Lost to share the good news of the gospel.

Tambi Gregor: Taught me what it means to serve others. She taught me to be diligent in my search of the Lord in scripture.

Tawanna Purter: Taught me to give of myself sexually to my husband without shame.

So once again Ladies I thank you for how the Lord has used you to show me His truth!