Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Why do we obey? -Guest writer: Jessica Everett

 One of my favorite songs, that I often sing in my head when I'm trying to sleep or in stressful situations is "I'll obey and serve you". It goes,

"I'll obey and serve you,

I'll obey because I love you. 

I'll obey my life is in Your hands.

For it is the way I prove my love when the feelings go away.

If it costs me everything I'll obey."

A few days ago the phrase "for it is the way I prove my love" just hit me. We don't obey God because we have to. We don't because its our way of gaining our salvation. We obey because we love Him. It's the only way we can truly honor Him to prove our love. 

Then I thought, "is this always why I obey?" Truthfully no. Sometimes I obey because I want to prove to those around me. Sometimes I do because I want to prove to myself I can. 

There will be times in life the feelings will go away. There will be times we don't feel like we love God. There will be times we don't feel like God loves us. That's when we just have to trust. That's when we just obey and can rest in the knowledge that we know He loves us and is working for our good even if we don't feel it.

The song also reminds us that even if it costs everything we will obey. It might cost you everything. It might cost you friendships, a job, a spouse, a child, your freedom, even your life. Is it worth it? Always. To God be the glory forever and ever. To all eternity.

Guest Writer: Jessica Everett

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

What inspires you?

 What inspires you? A person? Creation? 

We are all fueled by different things. You may have heard about the personality tests they have done to see if you are motivated by people, time alone or nature. Most of us are a mix. I am an outside person and just being outside, seeing a tree or dog makes me smile. I also need about an hour every afternoon by myself or I just shut down. Maybe this is you too. 

Lately. I am slammed with too many things and I have to slow down and take the time to replenish my head. Spending time in God's Word restores me. Even if it's just a short passage that takes me just a few minutes. I teach a Bible study and am involved with a couple other things that keep me plugged in to the Word but I can sure tell when I am not. 

I wanted to suggest a few ways you too can keep motivated. 

    -Just read. Like. start at the beginning and read all the way through. I am a Bible study teacher that loves to get really into verse by verse but I also love reading through like a story. Then you can see how it all fits together. 

    -Read a chapter in Proverbs each day that corresponds with that date. If you miss, no worries just do that day. Next month you'll catch it. 

    -Pick your favorite book of the Bible and read it over and over 5 times or so. I guarantee you will come away with a  better understanding and greater insights. 

    -Use a tool like a Bible study guide or video. Follow along. 

    -Pray for God to help you understand His Word. 

BOTTOM LINE - Just do it. Don't let the day pass. You will feel a sense of inspiration wash over you. 

"Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scripture and the encouragement they provide we might have hope." Romans 15:4

I have a million excuses to not read my Bible, to not finish a task, to just chill. It is so easy for me. I try to stay in a routine. But I am not a great routine person. I am sorta out of the box...matter fact there is no box. For me some days are just put one foot in front of the other. I admire those of you who are so incredibly organized. I like order, I make lists but I am also easily swayed by fun...its true. 😁 I make myself stay focused. Discipline. I have a close friend who gets up early, reads her Bible, has her prayer time, works out all by 7am. Wowzers! Not me...I used to sort of feel bad about it. Everything you read suggests doing your devotions in the morning. After YEARS of being concerned about that I realized it doesn't have to be that way. I wake up fairly early, have a prayer time while still in bed. Get up to take care of puppy and whoever. Get some things accomplished. Then in the afternoon is when I have that alone time and have another prayer time and read my Bible. I also sometimes do this at night depending on what is going on, sometimes prayer time is bedtime. My point is for you not to be discouraged about the time. Just work it in to what is best for you. 

Read the Word, Pray the Word. Be inspired by the Word. 

Lord bless, Nicki

Friday, September 30, 2022

Unearthly Creation

     "In His hand are the depths of the earth and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land." Psalm 95:4-5

        Greetings to you all on this beautiful fall day,

            We just returned from Scotland a couple weeks ago. It was a truly amazing trip. We had planned to go there a couple years from now but got a deal on it and decided to go now. I am a person who likes to travel but would rather go somewhere fairly close and not stay long. So I dragged my feet a bit about going but I am so glad we went! I am part Scottish and so is my husband and being the history nerd that I am made it all the more fun. Scotland is all about history and scenery. Two of my favorite things.

            And to top it off we were there when the Queen died not far from where we were. It was a sober time for many, especially older folks since she had reigned for 70 years. Many people there commented on how she took time out to always greet them or how she helped someone they knew. A photographer who had taken photos of her for years up until the week she passed said she still had a beaming smile and always lit up the room. 

            There were special newsreels every night when we got back to our B n B. Such a legacy she left. She tried to always remain neutral and always listen to someone else's point of view. She also always gave credit to Jesus as her Saviour. She was not timid in sharing her faith. 

            Another aspect of this trip was that everywhere you looked there was a photo to take whether you were driving on a one lane road, looking up at a castle or in a village from the 1500's. AND being the farm girl I am, I had to find my Heilan Coo (highland cow). I probably have 200 photos I took and one thing I kept thinking...this is amazing! Thank you Lord for your amazing creation. Some of the topography was like nothing I have ever seen. It looked ...otherworldly. 

            I hope you have a chance to praise Him today for the beauty all around us. Trees, rivers, oceans or mountains. He has made them all. 




Thursday, September 1, 2022

A New Season

 Do you feel that sometimes you are plodding along instead of enjoying the journey? I have been a bit that way lately. I have been following the path but its been not quite going how I thought it would. I am a person who loves summer. I love doing all the summer things. I am an outside girl so summer and fall are my favorite times of year as the Boise area is sunny 280 days a year and I embrace it. When the kids were younger our summers would be full of lake and river days. We also had a pool that we spent a lot of time in, along with gardening, mountain adventures, jet skiing on our favorite alpine lake, going to church camp, visiting relatives, family camping trips, and bbqs. 

Lately, being an empty nester, the path is different. Some of those things happen but I miss my kids. I may still see a bit but the days are different. I get to the end of summer and don't always feel like I had my fun. Which is okay. It is a new season. I have been embracing my ministry. Even that is tough in the summer. Don't get me wrong, I am so very fortunate to have a great yard and garden, wonderful church family, awesome husband and kind friends. I am also absolutely amazed that at this stage of life I have had three books and a workbook published in 6 years. I mean...who knew? I would never have guessed that would be where my path would take me. 

I look towards fall now that summer is wrapping up and see a very full time. A new grand baby coming soon. A trip or two. A couple conferences and my workbook comes out October 4! It covers the first 15 episodes of my video series. And a few churches are going to use it for their women's Bible study. You can always contact my team if your Bible study would like to use it as well. We love to hear from you all.

Book sales can be slow in the summer which is always hard but they pick up in fall. SO I know God has me on this path and sometimes we do just need to follow along, be obedient to what God has for us and see where it takes us. As I have looked forward I know that I want to continue to share the gospel with as many as possible and to encourage others to purposely share their faith. That is my goal. And if the path swerves to the side, its ok. My favorite verses that I most likely have shared before are from Psalm 37:23-24, "The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled down, because the LORD is the one who holds his hand."

I hope you are looking forward to this fall and all it has for you. Live your life loving God and serving Him no matter the path. 

Lord Bless, Nicki

Sunday, August 21, 2022

You Shall Serve HIm

 Deuteronomy 13:4, "You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him."

SERVING increases our faith. It shows us how things grow as we nurture them. And He walks beside us as we do. So it gives us that closeness as He is next to us. I think it also helps with our cheerful countenance. 

Colossians 3:17, " And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him,"

2 Chronicles 15:58, "Therefore, my beloved brethren be you steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

In Colossians, Paul is wanting us to be imitators of those who are wholeheartedly devoted to Christ. If we are burdened for others to know Christ then our joyful service will show them we love God. 

So dear one, don't half heartedly serve Him but be joyful and willing to show others how much you love God. That's not easy to always do. I totally get it. But try. Have a sweet prayer time before you serve and pray to have a good attitude. Because He has gifted us in different ways so we fit together like a puzzle and what happens when a piece is missing? It is frustrating and we look and look for it. 

I also think about our pastors and wives and how much they minister to everyone and they need help!

I am so very thankful for their leadership. Be willing my friends. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Be gracious to me and hear my prayer

     Do you ever just feel pulled under? Sad? Discouraged? Some people are always happy. I know some of this has to do with our personality types. And through the years the descriptions have gotten far more complicated than when the first personality tests came out. Generally on the surface people have thought I am a bubbly, sanguine person. Then they get to know me and find me rather "complicated". I am about 30% sanguine, happy, cheerful and 70% melancholy. Yup its true. Introspective, overthinking. Now before you thoughtful people out there think I am being critical,I am not. I KNOW God created us all the way we are for a reason. AND I KNOW there are good parts to all personalities but the flip side is that if we let the bad part overcome the good...well you know. 

    SO when I feel myself being pulled under by something I pray about it and read my Bible and it seems to pull me back out because I know God gives us that inner joy and He wants us to show God's love to others. Today I came across Psalm 4. I will share  some of it with you. 

    "Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!YOU have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer ...The Lord hears when I call to Him. ..Meditate in your heart upon your bed and be still. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and TRUST IN THE LORD...You have put gladness in my heart...In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For you alone, O Lord makes me to dwell in safety."

    This Psalm of David reflects what just happened in Psalm 3.  David's rebellious son Absalom has forced David to flee for his life. David begins by praying for grace. David warns against letting one's emotions drag them down. But by the end of the Psalm he praises God for His encouragement. He thanks the Lord. Joy is not always happiness but an underlying sense of reassurance knowing God is in control.

    So as I was feeling overwhelmed today, I had to turn off the negative and praise Him for the positive. All glory to God and praise. So very thankful I have Him to comfort me and lead me along my path. I hope you too dear reader have that inner joy that only God provides. 

Friday, August 5, 2022

Remaining Faithful

     Did you know that the Hebrew word for faithful means firm, steady, truth? And the Greek word in the New Testament is translated believing, sure, true? And this can mean both God being faithful to us or us being faithful to Him.

    Deuteronomy 32:4 says, "He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He. 

    Psalm 33:4, "For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all  He does." 

    I don't know about you but I claim these truths. Every word God speaks is truth. And He is faithful to protect us and the lives of our loved ones. He is my shield. 

    Psalm 40:11, " Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may Your love and faithfulness always protect me. " 

    He has everything planned out even when we doubt.

    Isaiah 25:1, "Lord, you are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago." 

   God's word stands firmly planted. It never changes.

    Titus 1:9, "He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it." 

    When we go through hardship, do we remain faithful? Do we doubt? I know I have done that. Well He continues to love us no matter what we have done and listens to our prayers. We can share our heart with Him. 

    Some days we just need to put one foot in front of the other and remain true and steadfast. Holding dear the truths promised. Think of Sarah and Abraham waiting for years, into old age, for a child. But God promised and they waited, they doubted at times BUT God was faithful and blessed them abundantly. 

    Remain faithful dear friend. Wait patiently for His answer. Don't panic because He has it covered, do not fret. Pray to Him and tell Him your concerns and then leave it there. 

    Lord bless, Nicki


Why do we obey? -Guest writer: Jessica Everett

 One of my favorite songs, that I often sing in my head when I'm trying to sleep or in stressful situations is "I'll obey and s...