Monday, December 28, 2009


I was reminded by a brother in Christ (Matthew Schnarr from Mission Year in Atlanta)that growth doesn't only take place above the surface. Here is a quote from Matt's newletter. "I get discouraged when I feel like I am not growing. ...growth doesn't always occur above ground; growth isn't always seen right away. The experiences and hardships that come this year allow my roots to grow deep."

As believers we tend to measure growth by what we see above the surface. However, in that process we neglect to see how much transformation and growth is taking place beneath the surface.

When you plant a seed in the ground it actually grows beneath the surface before it sprouts above the ground.

I have felt much like Matt, however I now realize that is because of the growth beneath the surface. God is establishing me in many areas so that when the winds and the storms come I will be deeply rooted in Him.

I encourage you to seek the Lord for deep roots, not just a pretty flower.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Because of Christ!

I answer you
I care for you
I listen to you
I love you
I am kind when I am within my right to be rude


because Christ hears the cry of His children.
because Christ cares for me.
Because Christ listens when I call.
Because Christ first Loved me!
because Christ was spit on, mistreated and abused, and ultimately CRUCIFIED and had done no wrong!

I can be ONLY because of Christ who dwells in me!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Don't Get it Twisted!

"I am doing real ministry for the Lord. Look at the sacrifices I have made. Oh, and don't forget my kids. I mean they are in the cold, the heat, and anything in between all for the sake of the gospel. I have given up my plans for the holy sanctuary with new carpet and perfect seating for metal fold up chairs, poop on my shoes every other week, no covering and random communications that don't often register in my realm of understanding. Man, I am deep. It doesn't get any more like Christ than this!"

I don't for a second want to remain in that thought process. Because I can look at the person next to me and think I am doing more than them and so God is pleased. Whether you serve people in a trailer, on the street corner, in a house, in the smallest building or the largest, at the end of the day the Lord looks upon your heart(1 Samuel 16:7)! While we may look at ourselves and say "I am doing great things praise the Lord," God is looking at the heart of the matter. What is our heart speaking when our outward actions are all correct? This is the point.

I am ever before the Lord asking Him to keep me humble and looking to Him. That what I do as a result of my relationship with Christ is simply that... A Result, A By Product Never the Product Itself! The product itself.... intimate relationship with Christ, forgiviness of sin from the Father, a pardon and an embrace. Christ is the product. So, my prayer is don't get it twisted, Nicolle! I look through scripture and I see people who got it twisted because they looked at the by product. See Matthew 7:21-23. People were coming to the Lord saying "look we did this and that in your name". They thought because there was a result they were good. However, the truth was their hearts were FAR FROM GOD.

Such a dangerous place to be.

I think it is dangerous because you can be fruitful like the individuals in the text Matthew 7 and God's response could still be "DEPART FROM ME! I NEVER KNEW YOU!" That is very heavy to me. At the same time I know God used a donkey. So the Lord's purpose will be accomplished no matter what. The question is, "Are you a tool or a child?" I could pick up any tool to hammer a nail. My goal is the nail not the hammer. However I can't just pick any one to be my child. I only have three. As of this date that number is set and was set before the beginning of time. I have love and great concern for the child and not so much with the tool. The other difference between the child and the tool is relationship.

So I say to you and especially to me, "DON'T GET IT TWISTED!"! Continue to seek relationship with Christ so that your service to others is properly placed. It is a by-product, NOT THE PRODUCT ITSELF!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jesus Christ is Born!

Glory to God in the highest! And on earth peace among those with whom God is pleased!

Luke 2:14

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Beginnings!

Today is the first offical day of Phil in full time ministry! It was a strange thing going to bed last night knowing my husband is not getting up at the crack of dawn and driving 30 - 45 mins. (with traffic) away and not returning until after dusk. The Lord has done marvelous things thus far and I am looking forward all He has in store. Please keep us in your prayers as we seek to follow the Lord's leading in this urban missional ministry.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

We've been married 12 years now!

So today was a blessed day. Phil and I have been married for 12 years. I can say with the utmost confidence..."there were days, weeks, and months that caused me to believe we would not make thus far". However by God's grace foreknowledge and purpose for our lives we are standing together strong, with great joy, and completely in love!

I just want to add this little note. We went to a Christmas party with some friends it was all couples and adult only (that was fun!). Anyway a question was put on the table for all to answer. What has your spouse done for you that you will never forget, or was super cool, something you loved etc etc? I answered the question but when I got home I realized I missed the thing my husband has done for me that has meant the most. He preached a sermon to me and me alone when I was struggling through some biblical understanding. In the moment I did not realize all the effort he put into explaining through scripture. But afterwards, like an hour and a half later I realized he put as much effort into helping me as he would a congregation of 1,000 people. My walk with the Lord is that important to him. Not only that, he was not able to study for the week and then come back with a layed out message. God just used him as a willing vessel to speak truth and understanding into my heart. For that I am so very grateful.

I am enjoy the rest of this evening reflecting on God's grace for both my husband and I. It would be normal to spend time with your spouse but my husband is sick in the bed (in sickness and in health right!). Gotta love the gift of marriage!

Here are some recent pictures we took. ENJOY!