Words {My Prayer for Voice and a Thank You}

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This time you spend with me here, I don’t take for granted. I’ll never get over your willingness to share a bit of your day with me.

Thank you.

I’m nearing my 300th post and realizing more and more — these words I shed, this time you spend, I don’t want them to be wasted.

It may mean I post less or it may mean I share more. All I can promise you is the words will be prayed over.

There are a number of thoughts swimming around and I’m trying to discern how He wants me to proceed. I know I need to share how my prayer life has changed lately. I know I need to talk about this lukewarm Christian business more, because I’m tired of it. And you should be, too.

My biggest fear is that I would allow the words shared here to become watered down, not in poetic form but in truth. And if it takes me longer to live them before I share them, I hope you understand.

Through Lent, I read every translation/version of James I could get my hands on. And a portion of the intro found in The Message has stuck with me:

“For, what good is a truth if we don’t know how to live it?”

Oh, friends, I pray I live His truth. Every day. I pray my words here point You to Him. And I realize how tall of an order that is, as I’m just me. But He’s just Him. And that’s what I plan on clinging to…

Words

by Hawk Nelson

Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

You can heal the heartache
Speak over the fear
God, Your voice is the only thing
We need to hear

Let the words I say
Be the sound of Your grace
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

I wanna speak Your love
Not just another noise
I wanna be Your light
I wanna be Your voice

I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

Subscribers, CLICK HERE to listen to this song of my heart.

How about you, friend? How do you resound grace and point to Him? What thoughts are swimming around in you lately? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me. I mean it…

Simply striving,

Nikki

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The Cost of Much Forgiveness {Fed Up With Flat Faith}

drift-wood-Courtesy of Greg Abel Photography

“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown Me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Luke 7:47-48

This “sinful woman” had no right…who was she to invade on such a respected home and its elders. Yet nothing could stop her from loving on Him. All else faded into the backdrop. It might as well have been just the two of them.

“She did not care what her actions looked like to others.
Her love for Jesus made that inconsequential.”
~Kathy Howard, Fed Up With Flat Faith

I’ve fallen that hard before. I remember the very moment I fell flat for my now-husband and made the conscious choice to stay smitten. How I could tune out everything in the room but him–when I could calm down the pounding of my own heart that is. I’d often have to remind myself to simply breathe…

Yes, I want that. Again. With Jesus…my First Love.

Friends, I want to be able to drown out this world and focus on the Home I’ll have with Him… I want to recall the nicest thing He’s ever done for me…and hear His voice saying, “Father, forgive her…she didn’t know…”

I want to gasp for air at the very thought of Him.

“We must remember. We must go back to the beginning of our salvation, contemplate our sin, and once again consider Christ’s saving act for us. Then we must not forget.”
~Kathy Howard, Fed Up With Flat Faith

The tearful woman in Luke…the one who drowned her sorrows right on the very feet of her Savior. The one who didn’t let the expectations of this world stop her from pursuing Him. The one who didn’t deserve a response from Him let alone a pardon.

That woman…who gave all, shed all, bore all, confessed all… The one who held no position of authority or decent resumé…I aspire to be her. She got it. And because of it, she got Him.

I’ve been reading this book lately, Fed Up With Flat Faith by Kathy Howard, and I have to tell you, friends, the author–she gets me. Some of you might know my One Word I chose for this year. I haven’t talked about it much, as I couldn’t wrap my mind around how I was going to achieve it yet, but now I see I don’t have to…this book covers it all.

“No substitute will ever permanently  quench our spiritual longing for God. Only an intimate, passionate relationship with our Creator can fully and completely fill us up to overflowing.”
~Kathy Howard, Fed Up With Flat Faith

  • You see, I want to live out a vibrant relationship, not practice religion.
  • Forget less of me and more of Him, I want NONE of me and ALL of Him.
  • I want Him to use me or use me up for His glory.
  • I don’t want to watch what He’s doing, I want to be involved in it.
  • Temporal activities overwhelm, I want to focus on eternal matters.
  • I don’t need more once-in-a-lifetime memories. I want moments that impact eternity.
  • I don’t want to read the Bible, I want to absorb it.

Which are exactly some of the things Kathy talks about on pages 40, 55, 64, 81, 90, 97, and 104.

“Jesus willingly gave His life so we could be forgiven, but we hesitate to give ours to Him. If we have truly received forgiveness of our sin through the blood of Christ, then how can we have any response other than surrender to Him?”
~Kathy Howard, Fed Up With Flat Faith

Friends, when I started reading this book, I desired to be this woman in Luke Kathy talks about a couple chapters in. Now that I finished the book, I realize…I am that woman.

For my sins are many. I don’t deserve a second glance let alone a pardon. And yet…my First Love proved otherwise.

I’m starting to see how my word “Radiate” could look on me, friends. I invite you to stick around and join me on the journey.

And by the way– this book, Fed Up With Flat Faith by Kathy Howard, I recommend.

How about you? Are you fed up with flat faith? How do you remember what He’s done for you? How do you pursue Him? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

NOTE: I jumped on the chance to get this book for free when offered in exchange of a review of some kind. But please know, this post above comes straight from my own heart. No coercion necessary.

Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me

Flickr Credit: Chilsta

Life often blinds. It overwhelms our senses and we become discombobulated, turned around, or thrown off course entirely.

Sometimes the fields of life all look the same and before we know it, we find ourselves on foreign soil. Territory that’s not ours. Maybe we wanted it to be ours as something drew us there, but now we just want to go Home…

Friends, sometimes I can’t see where Home is. Where this journey of life is taking me.

It’s taken me longer than it should, but I’m getting there. I’m learning how to travel through this darkened world. I’m discovering how to claim my role in Isaiah 42:16

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.

You see, friends, I tend to take “I” literally. As in me. What I need to do. Such as:

  • I need to lead others, show them the path Home.
  • I need to shine brighter than those around me.
  • I need to do things, be things, live without forsaking Him.

But I’m finally beginning to accept: That’s too much for me. I can’t do it.

I fail often. I stumble along the way and wonder what made me ever think I could bring Him glory. Yet, thanks to grace, I’m learning…

In this upside down Kingdom of Grace, the word “I” never means me. Ever.

It means Jesus.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6

It’s when I read this I realize…I have it all wrong. I’m the blind one…and it’s supposed to be that way.

  • He’s not expecting me to lead. Just follow.
  • He’s not worried about how bright I can shine, but rather how translucent I can be so He can RADIATE through me.
  • He’s not asking me to do, be, live without fail. He’s simply offering to do, be, live big through me.

This is something I can do. Today.
I can step aside and have Him lead the way.

  • And maybe, just maybe my example will lead others, show the path Home.

  • Maybe if I focus on cleaning out my own heart, wash the windows of my soul, His light will shine bright through me.

  • Maybe if I focus on His face, I’ll naturally do, be, live…worship. Praise. Adoration towards the One. The Only. The Sole Pilot bringing me Home.

Yes, Jesus. My Savior. Pilot me.

Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me

adapted from an 1800’s hymn by Edward Hopper
My favorite rendition:
by the Robbie Seay Band

Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous seas;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee:
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

As a mother stills her child,
You can hush the ocean wild;
Boisterous waves obey Thy will
When You say to them, “Be still!”
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
Grant me long and peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on Your chest,
May I hear You say to me,
“Fear not, I will pilot thee.”

Chart and compass come from Thee,
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea;
May I hear You say to me,
“Chart and compass come from Me,
Jesus, Savior, I will pilot thee.”

Subscribers CLICK HERE to listen to one of my most favorite songs. (Or HERE To go directly to YouTube)

How about you, friend? How do you use Jesus as your compass? How do you step aside and follow? How are you getting back on course this Lenten Season? I’d love to hear.

Thank you for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

All Things Possible {And a New Adventure}

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Those that have been here often have heard me talk about my 2012 Word: INTENTIONAL.

Friends, it stretched me farther than one word should be able to. Amazing how God can use any opportunity given and make it bigger. Glory-filled…

And I’m over at Must Love God sharing the details of where that word took me and where I expect my new 2013 word will lead.

I still can’t believe it, but friends, they have asked me to be a Contributing Writer at this wonder site! Must Love God focuses on encouraging women spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. It seeks to point you to the living well to fill all of those needs we face every day.

Won’t you stop by? I’m a tad nervous and would love to see a familiar face!

Simply click on the button below!

 

Thank you for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

The Calendar {Our Space to Create}

Cem ~ Greg Abel Photography

I stare at the empty squares until they blur from one to the next. We’re already days into the Calendar and yet, mine sits empty. Waiting to be filled out and hung where I see it most.

And it’s so crisp and clean and I’m trying to convince myself the only reason I don’t want to fill it out is because it’s time-consuming and mundane.

Yet a part of me just likes the view. With nothing to see but the image above…

Last year, I ended up with a calendar that had delightful pictures and wonderful Bible verses to focus on each month, but the squares were super small for each day. One thing listed and my day would look full. I grew to like it. Then, I grew to write in code so I could fit more on…

But the pictures…I never got over them.

This year, I found one that took my breath with each page. The images displayed captivated my soul as I saw beauty in the simplest of earth. If one can call the creation of this planet simple. Like we could even begin to comprehend how intricate a rolling hill covered in snow really is.

My heart has been lingering on this verse lately and I’m not sure why.

You are the Lord, You alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and You preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships You.
Nehemiah 9:6

To think. The same One who made all that we’ve ever known…The same One who designed universes we have yet to fully understand. The same One who conceived a place of no mourning or pain…is after me.

Even the one blessed to be the Host of Heaven sees He is worthy of our praise.

And as I look at glory filtered through light grazing these landscapes captured. As I fill these squares below, determining my everyday, may I never forget.

2013 has beauty to behold. Each day, I can make a point to capture the very essence of Him. Lingering on His face should remain my number one priority.

It is I who gets to create the atmosphere of worship. Me alone.

I hang the calendar up just as it is. And I’m certain I will fill some days with pertinent information. But for now, I’ve seen all I need to see.

I’m His. He’s mine. And His glory invades if I create space.

How about you, friend? How do you focus on His face? How do you create an atmosphere of worship in your everyday? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Linking with Emily and the beautiful Imperfect Prose family.
Today’s topic was: CREATE. Stop by and see what other hearts have created.

Fall Afresh {A Challenge to Slow}

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I’ve always thought of it as a downfall. It’s been a character trait I’ve tried to change. But I can.not.help.myself. If someone tells me something is not possible, I see it as a challenge to make it happen.

You can probably guess, so I’ll simply tell you, I’ve learned to be okay with failure. At least I tried.

This one, though…this one is too important to me. I will not fail. Even if it takes the rest of my days…I must slow them down.

We all say it–the years go by faster and faster. Time flies. Where did the time go?

No more. There has to be a way to experience each day fully so I don’t wonder where it went. What’s the point of going through life in a daze? And please know I’m not talking about productivity, effectiveness or time management. I’m talking perspective. A sense of fullness. Completeness.

I’m talking about seeing Him every day. Spending moments with my Savior throughout the day.

For a day with Him is a day well spent.

Sure time may fleet, but there’s no reason I can’t use it while it’s here. If I don’t, my years become watered down — each one running into the next. Isn’t is safe to assume we’re leaving some form of richness out of our everyday when that happens?

Friends, I’m going to capture it this year. I’m going to slow down and see Him in my everyday moments. And let Him fill me. No more running on empty.

This one I think might be possible. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about my Savior, it’s this:

He longs to fill us to overflowing.
Yet, He loves us enough to wait until we realize — it’s Him that we want.
And friend, all we have to do is ask.

Fill me, Lord. Blow through the caverns of my soul and fill me to overflowing with Your love. Wash over me, Father, with Your grace. Renew a steadfast spirit within me. So I can live this day for You. Living God, let me see You today. Holy Spirit, help me use this gift of time to its fullest potential. For Your glory, Lord, for it’s all about You…

You all know music speaks to me where words can’t. In my attempt this week to live out my One Word and slow things down, I plan on starting every morning with this song. Just for a week. We’ll see where that takes me. You’re invited to join in or improve upon my plan.

I’m going to ask Him every morn to fall afresh on me… And do you know what? He’s already said yes (Lamentations 3:21-24).

Fall Afresh

Bethel Loft Sessions feat. Jeremy Riddle

Awaken my soul, come awake
To hunger, to seek, to thirst
Awaken first love, come awake
And do as you did, at first

Spirit of the living God come fall afresh on me
Come wake me from my sleep
Blow through the caverns of my soul, pour in me to overflow
To overflow

Awaken my soul, come awake
To worship with all your strength

Come and fill this place
Let Your glory now invade
Spirit come and fill this place
Let Your glory now invade

Spirit of the living God come fall afresh on me
Come wake me from my sleep
Blow through the caverns of my soul, pour in me to overflow
To overflow

Subscribers, CLICK HERE to listen to the song that will carry me through this week.

This is going to be a great week.

How about you, friend? How will you try to seize today for His glory? How might you invite Him in each morning? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

OPPORTUNITY ~ Five Minute Friday

I’ve missed it so.
Just writing.
Without worrying if it’s right or not.
And then linking arms with others who feel the same.
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

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We took December off,
But today, I’m joining others
As we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

OPPORTUNITY

We say it often, though I wonder if we truly believe it. It’s easier for me to encourage you to claim it than it is for me to look in the mirror and accept it as my own. Even still…

His Grace. Compassion. Mercies. Doesn’t matter which translation you read, they all mean the same. Friend, His love for you and for me is New. Every. Morning. (Lamentations 3:21-24)

He falls in love with us over and over again. And offers His hand to me each day. May I never get over that.

Each new dawn, it’s there for the asking. Each moment, really. As my great-grandmother would say: “It’s always morning somewhere.”

Life has a way of making us forget. It pushes aside the readily available for something new and more stimulating.

Oh but if we stopped and just looked at His face. If we slowed down and paid attention to how He pursues us each day. If only we would wake each morn and just say “thank you” for the gift He is handing us.

The gift of opportunity: The gift of LIFE.

The opportunity to love Him back with reckless abandon. To live like He’s in the room — on purpose for His glory. To mean it when we claim His name of ‘Christian’ as our identity.

If only we loved back. Like it was New. Every. Morning.

My new calendar on the wall shows me a clean slate. It’s wide open with opportunity and friends, I’m going to seize it. Yes, this is my year to shine. To radiate His Grace. Compassion. Mercies. Doesn’t matter how you look at it–it all means the same.

I’m going to love my neighbor. Like He loves me. New. Every. Morning.

STOP.

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you? How do you plan on using the gift He is offering you this year? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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