One Thing This New Year {Making our Mark}

resolution

Friends, I wonder…do I live each day with my mark in sight? Do I stay focused on where I’m going instead of where I’ve been? Do I keep my eye on the prize as I plan and prepare for what this year might provide?

Like Paul, have I made Jesus the master of my own life?

This New Year, as I mark up the calendar, as I make plans or resolutions or what have you. As I face what 2014 throws my way, I want to make sure I don’t miss my mark.

And I’m over at 5 Minutes For Faith talking about this very thing. I’d love to see you there, just click on the button below!

Thanks for sharing you time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Prayerful Perspective {How My Prayers Have Changed}

Psalm 34:4

My prayers for those I love and those I should have overwhelmed even me as of late.

There’s health concerns.
Financial struggles.
Unnecessary trials.
Unknown journeys.
Difficult decisions.

And I want to bring them all to the Cross and leave them in His capable hands. Yet, often, I don’t know how to pray.

Then I read this:

“Are you in the midst of a situation where, as you pray, you find yourself putting the problem first? If so, you’re starting where you should end. You’re rehearsing the problem, making it seem larger than it is, when what you need to do is rehearse God’s greatness and bigness. Then the problem shrinks to its right portions.”
The Rest of God, Mark Buchanan

Friends, I’m sharing my thought process regarding this over at 5 Minutes for Faith today. I’d love to have you stop by and help me work through it.

Simply click on the link below!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Always a Reason to Sing {Carefree in the Care of God}

Consider the Birds

Have you ever had the experience of scripture (one you’ve read a thousand times) jump off the page as if you’re reading it for the first time? I did recently…just a phrase I can’t get out of my head — and realize I need desperately.

No wonder they call His Word living…it breathes new life into our gasping souls. It penetrates our dry bones and percolates within…

Friends, I’m sharing my recent experience with this over at 5 Minutes for Faith today. Would love to share it with you. Won’t you stop by? Simply click on the button below!

And for those who don’t have time, I’ll share the verses I mention here for you to chew on:

He continued this subject with His disciples. “Don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.
Luke 12:22-24 The Message

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read this passage in numerous translations. It was the last portion this time that stopped me in my tracks, as if I was reading it for the first time.

The ravens, free and unfettered…carefree in the care of God.

Friends, I think I’m finally getting it. And would love to have you stop by and share your thoughts with me, too!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

What Kind of Friend am I? {The Longing of Jesus}

The Bench

You are My friends if you do what I command.
I no longer call you servants,
because a servant does not know his master’s business.
Instead, I have called you friends,
for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
You did not choose me, but I chose you
and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit
—fruit that will last—
and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
This is my command: Love each other.
John 15:14-17

The sermon wouldn’t leave me. And I told her as much. For there is plenty I want to achieve…do…be…in these verses alone.

Today, I wanted to help her see what I’m learning. What I’m striving for. She listened so well. Nodding in all the right places. Smiling with each new discovery. Encouraging me as I made my way through the text. Success seemed imminent.

Her soft, worn hand enveloped mine when I was through. And as she searched my hazels for my soul, she said plainly:

“This seems overwhelming to tackle all at once. Don’t you think? I’m guessing, though, we can get to the heart of things by answering one question posed here…”

The pause was planned, I’m sure, as I scanned my Bible quickly, trying to come up with the question before I heard it. She said finally,

“What kind of friend are you to Jesus?”

Her grip firmed when my defenses rose. And it took all I had in me to meet her gaze and allow this question to sink in to my marrow.

She tilted her head skyward as she recalled her childhood best friend. The time spent, the laughter spilled, the secrets kept…and my heart warmed as I thought of those in my lifetime who have been in this category. We both became lost in thought as we reflected on how close we’ve allowed another to come…

I believe it was Aristotle who said friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. And I can’t begin to fathom why Jesus would want to have that kind of relationship…with me.

Still…He says plainly: He chose me. Has held nothing from me. And longs to call me not a servant, but a friend.

It seems He could care less with how much I could do for Him, rather He aches to be one with me.

The King of all Kings. The Son of The Most High. My Jehovah in every way, calls me friend.

And she’s right. It’s worth asking: “What kind of friend am I?”

Friends, I know what kind of friend He is…and I wonder…could I be the same for Him?

Could I hold nothing back? Make my presence known to Him each day? Could I stand boldly in His corner when the bullies come and try to denounce His name? Could I be so encapsulated by the very thought of Him that I think of nothing else but loving Him?

Could I know Jesus, the way He knows me? Enough so that I prove Aristotle was right?

Could I give my life –all that I have– simply for the very thought of His?

She’s right, you know…it’s worth asking. For it is at the very heart of things. And above all else, it’s worth striving for.

How about you, friend? What kind of friend are you to Jesus? What kind of friend do you allow Him to be for you? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

The Great Reveal {my Fears, my Faith, my Father}

The Presence of God

Fear can swallow us whole…

Sometimes, my faith doesn’t feel enough…

Often I miss seeing my Father right here with me…

All of this results in me missing out on The Truth.

Friends, I’m over at my 2nd home: 5 Minutes for Faith today sharing more about this. I’d love it if you had time to stop over as I share my recent thought process.

Here’s a sneak peek:

I gulped hard, forcing a smile as I watched my five year-old slide down the wet strip of yellow. Cold water splashed my shins as he squealed in delight. And still I couldn’t stop thinking about her.

She was too young. She didn’t deserve to go so soon. Yet she’s gone. Just like that.

Try as I might, all I could see was what else I could lose…

Won’t you stop by to hear the rest? Simply CLICK HERE or on the button below!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

What if I Lived it? {Christ in Me}

Christ in Me

He calms storms. Heals the sick. Raises the dead.
He’s cried over our hurts. And has compassion on us all.
He stood there, innocently accused, and opted to take the fall anyway. For me….you…

He’s proved that death doesn’t win. Love does. And has conquered every struggle I have yet to face.

And to think…His power lives inside of me.

I believe it…I do…and I’m striving to live it…I am…

Because maybe then the mountains I climb will feel like level ground. Maybe the pressures I feel will fall like a fresh breeze across my face. Maybe if I tapped in to His unfailing power, rest would find me.

Friend, what if we really believed it? and then lived it?

What if we woke up each morn and accepted His new mercies? (Lam 3:22-24) What if we put on our armor of righteousness, helmet of salvation, and wrapped ourselves in His zeal? (Isaiah 59:17). What if we breathed in His Spirit each day and let Him lead?

What if we faced each day knowing He’s got us?

Today, that’s my prayer for you. May you believe it. live it. experience it. And give Him the glory for it.

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
Ephesians 3:16

This song shares this very prayer. But what pulls at my heart-strings the most is when the artist talks about his 6 year-old daughter prior to singing.

Oh I pray this gift will be easier to accept for our children…

What if they lived their whole lives knowing that if we let Him, Jesus will take over. Lead the way. See us through.

His power and glory can prevail. Through us…in you and me.

Christ in Me

Tim Timmons

Subscribers, CLICK HERE to listen below:

The same great light that broke the dark
The same great peace that calmed the seas
Hallelujah, is living in me
The same great love that gives us breath
The same great power that conquered death
Hallelujah, is flowing through me
The same great love that casts out fear
The same compassion that draws us near
Hallelujah, is living in the air
The same great mercy I received
Amazing grace for a wretch like me
Hallelujah, is flowing through me
And what, what if I believed in Your power
And I really lived it
What, what if I believed, Christ in me
What if I believed
I would lay my worries down
See these hills as level ground
What if I believed, Christ in me
Oh, I would praise You with my life
Let my story lift You high
What if I believed, Christ in me

How about you, friend? Do you believe it? Live it? Experience it? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

On How Fearing the Dark Might Not Be a Bad Thing

eclipse-M

The idea of light has followed me around lately. Reaching me in the most obscure and obvious places. And while I try to help my five year-old sort through his own questions of darkness, a part of me wants to teach him what I’m learning now in hopes his journey of life would be more illuminated as a result. Regardless of how the darkness feels.

The other part of me doesn’t want him to know the truth yet…how the darkness is a foreign animal no human could ever tame…

Friends, I’m over at my other home, 5 Minutes for Faith, sorting through this very thing today. I’d love to have you stop by and share your thoughts with me! Simply click on the button below.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki