Author Archive | Nicole Plymesser Nelson

Abundance

Sometimes it is easy to forget our abundance.  We look at earthly abundance and count that.  And we forget about the glorious abundance of love, hope, and heavenly things God blesses us with.  Far more than we ask for–all to often we forget to ask for the heavenly heart things.  Far more than we can imagine–we will only understand the true depth of His gift of Jesus and His love for us when we join Him after earth!

Another blessing this spring at Phoebe’s recital was for me and it had nothing to do with dance, and everything to do with hugs from many little girls and boys excited to see me there.  Grins.  Seeing a child that drives me nuts in the classroom, shine when in the right environment.  My heart was full from the abundance.  I could see how God had been working in all of us at school that much more.  Sometimes we don’t realize how God is working the heavenly abundance in our lives until it smacks us in the face.

Today I pray that you are blessed with smiles, and hugs, and kind words, and a heart filled with love.

 

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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New Song

One of the greatest treasures we have on earth is the beauty of nature, the songs of birds, the unfurling of spring leaves, the caress of May sunshine, the freshness of crisp air.  I encourage you today to open the windows, get outside, enjoy the bounty of treasures God has provided this day for us.  Point them out to the people you meet…not just, “Isn’t it a gorgeous day.” No.  Comment on something specific.  It will be like a little prayer of rejoicing sent up to Jesus.  And I guarantee it will be a bit of treasure stored up.

Be blessed my friends.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Blessings

It was a rocky week this last one.  And I may have had a crying jag Friday to release some of that tension.  I am writing on Sunday morning and I am going to admit a Christian no-no–I am skipping church.  But I am doing a GOD yes–I am resting.  I am not getting out of my jammies today.  Not.  gonna. do. it.  I am going to write about Jesus and then I am going to paint with Jesus all day.  I need some alone time with Him…some long extended alone time with Him.

He blessed me as I woke up with a prayer.  As I laid in bed I started thinking back at all the GOOD things that happened to my family, and me, all week.  And in reality it was a great week of some cool accomplishments.  Phoebe had a great recital/celebration of her new friends in dance.  Family came to visit.  Annika did really well at her math bee.  Tanner’s friendships shined.  Jeff had a couple interviews finally.  The violets popped in our yard.  Jeff and I had fun fishing with Annika’s class two mornings.  God kept listing the blessings and they just flowed over me until I teared up again.  He was telling me to trust Him…this is the right place for my family.  Satan might be trying to challenge that, but God made our purpose here evident to me.  And doesn’t Satan work His hardest against us when we are living for Jesus the most?

Sorry this post was a lot about me…but maybe you will see yourself in my words this morning.  Let yourself count the blessings that God has flowing to you.  Sometimes all it takes is a good cry to release the tension Satan causes– to make room for the Spirit to flow freely through us again and to truly see all our blessings.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.  Praise Him all creatures here below.  Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.  Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Amen.

 

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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He Answers

He answers every prayer.  He does…it is in His time, what He sees is best for each of us individually.  Not necessarily what someone else needs.  Not necessarily when someone else needs it.  But what is right for YOU.

Let’s pray for that:

God, You, creator, know our very hearts.  You see into our souls and fill our every cell with your spirit.  You hear and feel us crying out to you–the praises, the concerns.  Help us to understand the amazing magnitude of that.  Help us to understand that you see so much deeper and further than we can ever imagine and you have our best interests planned at all times.  Help us to follow you through the valleys, over the mountains, help us wade through the mud, and soar with the birds.  Keep us focused on the prize…your unending love and protection.  Your peace.  Hold our hands as we fight off the demons who pull us from you…especially when those demons are our very selves.  Strengthen us to give you our yokes, and lighten us to praise your wisdom.  We give all glory to you Christ.  Amen

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One Step Away

With all of my talk of dancing I thought I should share this piece next.  It is based on the lyrics from the latest Casting Crowns song of this title.  Take a quick listen.  I collaged me of course stepping out, claiming my life with Christ, claiming a life filled with hope and a deep love I can trust at my very core.

One step away from surrender, one step from coming home, one step from arms wide open, His love never let you go, you are not alone…You are one step away…lay down your old chains, come now and take up your new name, your best life up ahead now.  One step away.

This weekend I spoke at a conference and my topic was to relate the soul to my style of faith art journaling/prayer art war book.  I started by listing all the choices we make in life.  As a kid do I choose the Barbie or the Cabbage Patch.  As a wife, do I choose to love my spouse today or be bitter.  As a mom, do I teach in the moment or let it go and spoil.  As a Christian, do I stay in my safe spot or do I go deeper one step at a time.

All of those choices are one step away.  We can move forward with Christ, or we can hold ourselves back.  Step forward with me my loves.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Exposing the Storms

Do you ever want to just call people out? Nothing bugs me more than when people start stretching the truth.  Or people are trying to hide the truth in the dark. Or cover it up.  Grrr.

Maybe I am a little too truthful and make my opinions too known.  But it is out there.  I own my mistakes right along with my successes.  ‘Cause here’s the thing…God already knows.  And really His opinion, His knowing is what matters.  And His love and His forgiveness are what matters. And those are what will heal me and those around me when I do mess up.

I sure wish more people would live according to that.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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I depend on Him.

When I finally confronted that black cloud last week, and talked to God about it, He told me to dance.  And I listened.  I knew I could trust Him to come through for me!  He knew exactly what I needed to do.  And dancing helped me get back into that present moment frame of mind. It reminded me that all clouds and storms will pass eventually.  That not all clouds and storms need to be mine…some might go just a little north or south, some might dissipate before they get to me, some might hit–but not have any lasting damage to me.

It was like He was a little birdie on my shoulder, chirping, “Dance.  Let it go.  Be happy.”

So I discoed.  On my porch.  In the car.  Into the school.  And ALL day in the art room.  Every single class got the chance to listen and dance a little to the Pure Disco Disc 2.  🙂 And it was the best.  Every time I saw someone smile–whether they were laughing at me or with me–every smile healed my heart.  And several kids hugged me and told me it was the best art class ever.

All this to say…God was deep in my heart, and as soon as I acknowledged that I needed Him to take that cloud, He did.  Now…this is not to say that those situations are gone.  Nope, still hanging around.  But it is to say that God took that yoke for me…I can depend on Him to remedy what needs to happen.

And the same is true for ALL of US.  Try it.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Wasting Away

I feel like a little black cloud is following me.  Satan is working hard against me.  I have been frustrated, tired, unmotivated, annoyed.  Just YUCK.  I haven’t posted, because I can’t think of anything to write.  Today I played disco music all day in my classroom–it helped me stay positive while teaching and the kids really liked it.  I think they needed the pick-me-up as well.  I wish this was our spring break week.

In the midst of this I keep turning to God…He is what is keeping me going.  He is what is renewing my soul each day and keeping my feet on His path.  Because it would be all too easy to turn and follow Satan down that road of negativity.  So even though I feel like my outer world is wasting away lately, I know, that inwardly I am renewed.  As are all of you.  We must keep watching for the dawn of His love.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
2

Spark to Flame

This seems like a very motivating hopeful statement.  And it is.   But this is another one of those quotes with many meanings…Dante is the author of The Inferno a poem/book about his allegorical trip through the rings of purgatory and hell to get to heaven and his beloved Beatrice.  The poem is about a Christian’s trip through life in search of God and all of the horrific sin encountered…although I find it ironic that it is as much about trying to get back to a human as it is about seeing Christ.

So anyway, there is actually a lot to think about here in this one small sentence that we can consider in terms of faith.

  1.  It could be that just a small spark of faith and kindness can grow into a lifetime of service to others and joyful praise of our Savior.  Or on the flip side…
  2. It could be that if we are not careful with “small” sin it can ignite “bigger” more habitual sin.  We must always be diligent.
  3. It could be a metaphor for Christianity as a whole…God promised Abraham one child, yet a star filled sky of descendants. Jesus’ life and the number of disciples He had was short and small.  And here we are millions of believers sharing the gospel with more generations.
  4. It could be  a metaphor for Easter.  What the Jews thought was one crucifixion ended up fulfilling all sorts of prophecy and leading to the growth of a new faith.

What do you think?  What meanings can you find in these words?  How are you going to apply them today?  Tomorrow?

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Underestimated

The more I think about this piece the more I like it, and the more meanings I have found. I love this piece for its straight forward message.  It is a boost of confidence, a bit cheeky, and an explosion of positive in your face get things done. But there are deeper meanings…for example this is a perfect piece for Passion week.

The Jews completely underestimated Jesus.  They all underestimated God and His plan and power.  They thought they were just going to kill Jesus off and that would be that.  Over and done.  But man were they wrong!

Jesus knew.  He knew that in the moment it was going to be awful, excruciating even.   But in some ways it would be fun–to show all those unbelievers, to prove to the world who He was.  And not in an in your face kind of way…but in a way to say, “Just wait.  This world is NOTHING compared to the one I am getting ready for you.  This act is JUST THE BEGINNING — I will save more lives than mine.  Just think of all the souls that will join me in the most amazing place ever.  This is NOTHING compared to the joy you will experience in my heavenly presence with the Father and Spirit.”

And that brings me back to thinking about us in this art piece.  It should boost our confidence ten fold to know that JESUS is behind us–He will guide us to do amazing things.  People  may underestimate our actions, the power of our prayers, but JESUS will prove the skeptics wrong.  And with Christ, it is fun…not in a party kind of way, but in a peace filled heart, joy filled life, love filled soul kind of fun.  The fun of sharing the story of the resurrection, the fun of sharing grace, the fun of living with hope and not worry.

Yes, Jesus was underestimated.  Yes, we can be underestimated.  But the fun truly is in proving the amazingness of our Lord.

 

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Servant

I can’t say it any better than God to Isaiah:

Isaiah 49 The Message (MSG)

A Light for the Nations

49 1-3 Listen, far-flung islands,
    pay attention, faraway people:
God put me to work from the day I was born.
    The moment I entered the world he named me.
He gave me speech that would cut and penetrate.
    He kept his hand on me to protect me.
He made me his straight arrow
    and hid me in his quiver.
He said to me, “You’re my dear servant,
    Israel, through whom I’ll shine.”

But I said, “I’ve worked for nothing.
    I’ve nothing to show for a life of hard work.
Nevertheless, I’ll let God have the last word.
    I’ll let him pronounce his verdict.”

5-6 “And now,” God says,
    this God who took me in hand
    from the moment of birth to be his servant,
To bring Jacob back home to him,
    to set a reunion for Israel—
What an honor for me in God’s eyes!
    That God should be my strength!
He says, “But that’s not a big enough job for my servant—
    just to recover the tribes of Jacob,
    merely to round up the strays of Israel.
I’m setting you up as a light for the nations
    so that my salvation becomes global!

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Because He Himself

When we think that Satan is gaining the edge, when we wonder if Jesus truly understands us and what we are coping with, when we feel ripples of anger, bitterness, sadness, despair, hopelessness overwhelming us–remember Jesus Himself was tested.  He suffered.  All of those emotions bore down on Him as He hung from that cross.  The weight of all that we suffer consumed Him that week.  He was tested over and over and over in His lifetime.  And while He was on earth, few followed Him, few believed Him, few would have considered Him successful.

And yet HE WAS.

He understands,  He knows, He loves, He overcomes.  ALL.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Not Today Satan

This has become a bit of a mantra for me when I feel Satan trying to creep in and steal God’s thunder and my attention.  On days that I start to question or feel alone.  I repeat this…NOT TODAY SATAN.  Today I am Jesus’ girl.  I am forever Jesus’.

Today begins Holy Week.  The yearly remembrance of the journey Jesus took from a parade of palms, to a parade of a cross, to a parade of followers excited to hear rumors that were proved true…He returned.  Satan was conquered on many days, in many ways–from the birth to the death to the resurrection.  And Satan will not win.  Ever.  Not this day, not tomorrow, not ever.  Our God is in control.  We belong to Him forever.  Not today Satan, and not any other day either.

 

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Cannot keep from…

The awesome thing about faith in Christ is that when it creeps in and fully fills your soul you cannot keep it to yourself.  You just can’t.  You just want to gather everyone you meet and know in a big hug and share this love and promise with them.  This amazing amount of hope that we hear in God’s glorious voice.  The miracles we see in bodies of clay.  The stories we hear near and far.

Speaking of our faith is healing in itself.  When we are speaking of faith we are not gossiping.  We are not complaining.  We are not worrying.  We are speaking of joy and fullness and wholeness.  Things that it is awfully hard not to keep speaking about.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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