Author Archive | Nicole Plymesser Nelson

Cultivate Contentment

Sometimes we can’t just let contentment pass us by…we must cultivate it.  We have to find that quiet time and altar in our home or life.  We have to watch for the single moments that touch us.  And we have to reach out and grab them, own them.  It isn’t easy.  There are down and horrible days that are no where near quiet or content.  We must hold on to HOPE, for that is the best thing there is.

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Autumn

Autumn is such a pretty word.  And season.  I decided I better share this art before it gets too late.  And I am going to share this Facebook post from my sister, Sarah Plymesser Beard:

Here’s my morning musing: I was driving home after dropping off the kids at school and noticed how beautiful the tree colors are. Then I noticed how quickly they seem to have gone from beautiful color to dropping leaves fast. But it was beautiful how the leaves looked like they were raining off the trees…. like this beautiful shower of color. God’s glory, right? But then I noticed….. this one leaf. Just taking it’s time from tree limb to ground. Swirling, floating, drifting. Not in a hurry to end it’s moment. Realizing that even though this is probably it’s last breath of beauty, it was soaking up the bright sun, the cool breeze, the scenery around as it floated. It was different. It would really make a beautiful children’s book. The life of this 1 leaf. 1 leaf amid all of the beautiful ones that stood out to me and made me pause and enjoy. Reflect. Mind you I was driving, so it really was a fleeting moment, and yet I’m sharing it with you. There is real joy in not hurrying to get to the next…. thing on the list, stage of life, whatever. God said rest. Enjoy life. All the way to the end. I hope that my life is like that little leaf. Enjoying and dancing all the way to the end. Standing out by being different, against the grain of what everyone is doing, but recognizing This is my life, this is my opportunity to enjoy what God has given me and what He made me to do. …. Now funny end trailer. The next block over, there was another dawdling leaf. He hit my car on the way down. Should have landed faster.

Image may contain: plant, flower, nature and outdoor Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor and natureImage may contain: tree, plant, sky, outdoor and nature

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Jesus is Calling

I am LOVING this song from Elevation Worship!

I spent Saturday morning alone in my studio refueling.  I had been feeling especially drained and empty last week, and I knew I needed time with God to refuel.  As soon as this song came on, I stopped, hands up, and went into the arms of Jesus right there at my messy art filled tabled–my own little altar to my Savior and creator.  And I knew I needed to paint it.  And this image of walking feet in my Google search stood out to me.  Super simple, but a lot of deep meaning for me.

Read the lyrics, listen to the melody–and think, where is your altar?  When do you step into His arms?  Do you allow yourself forgiveness?  Where do you find meaning?

O Come To The Altar Lyrics: Are you hurting and broken within Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin Jesus is calling Have you come to the end of yourself Do you thirst for a drink from the well Jesus is calling O come to the altar The Father’s arms are open wide Forgiveness was bought with The precious blood of Jesus Christ Leave behind your regrets and mistakes Come today there’s no reason to wait Jesus is calling Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy From the ashes a new life is born Jesus is calling Oh what a Savior Isn’t he wonderful Sing alleluia, Christ is risen Bow down before him For he is Lord of all Sing alleluia, Christ is risen Bear your cross as you wait for the crown Tell the world of the treasure you’ve found

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Hear Him in the Morning

I hope that not only do you read what I write, but that you truly take in the Bible verse.  Or even better that you take that verse, open your Bible in hand or online (love Biblegateway!) and read the all of God’s words.  They are so precious.

We always hear at church how important it is to read the Bible everyday, to start that habit, and how it will be life changing.  I would sit and listen to them preach this and think, someday, I will do that, when I have more time.  Until I discovered that I needed to make that time.  I needed to protect that time.  And as I created that habit it became more and more important and I have felt it transform me.

Make that time each morning.  Put your trust in Jesus and listen to His words.

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Given From God

Nothing better than the words straight from the Bible!  Here is the whole prayer Jesus shares:

John 17The Message (MSG)

Jesus’ Prayer for His Followers

17 1-5 Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said:

Father, it’s time.
Display the bright splendor of your Son
So the Son in turn may show your bright splendor.
You put him in charge of everything human
So he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge.
And this is the real and eternal life:
That they know you,
The one and only true God,
And Jesus Christ, whom you sent.
I glorified you on earth
By completing down to the last detail
What you assigned me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendor,
The very splendor I had in your presence
Before there was a world.

6-12 I spelled out your character in detail
To the men and women you gave me.
They were yours in the first place;
Then you gave them to me,
And they have now done what you said.
They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
That everything you gave me is firsthand from you,
For the message you gave me, I gave them;
And they took it, and were convinced
That I came from you.
They believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I’m not praying for the God-rejecting world
But for those you gave me,
For they are yours by right.
Everything mine is yours, and yours mine,
And my life is on display in them.
For I’m no longer going to be visible in the world;
They’ll continue in the world
While I return to you.
Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life
That you conferred as a gift through me,
So they can be one heart and mind
As we are one heart and mind.
As long as I was with them, I guarded them
In the pursuit of the life you gave through me;
I even posted a night watch.
And not one of them got away,
Except for the rebel bent on destruction
(the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).

13-19 Now I’m returning to you.
I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing
So my people can experience
My joy completed in them.
I gave them your word;
The godless world hated them because of it,
Because they didn’t join the world’s ways,
Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways.
I’m not asking that you take them out of the world
But that you guard them from the Evil One.
They are no more defined by the world
Than I am defined by the world.
Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;
Your word is consecrating truth.
In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world,
I give them a mission in the world.
I’m consecrating myself for their sakes
So they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.

20-23 I’m praying not only for them
But also for those who will believe in me
Because of them and their witness about me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—
I in them and you in me.
Then they’ll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you’ve sent me and loved them
In the same way you’ve loved me.

24-26 Father, I want those you gave me
To be with me, right where I am,
So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me,
Having loved me
Long before there ever was a world.
Righteous Father, the world has never known you,
But I have known you, and these disciples know
That you sent me on this mission.
I have made your very being known to them—
Who you are and what you do—
And continue to make it known,
So that your love for me
Might be in them
Exactly as I am in them.

The Message (MSG)Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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Yield to Him

Let’s pray today:

Holy Spirit we yield to you today.  We sit in your holy stillness and give our every concern and thought to you.  We empty them out and let you take them in your never ending flow that we will never fathom.  We yield to you that you are our truth.  Your plans are higher, simpler, and more fulfilling than anything we think up on our own.  Spirit you fill our lungs, and replace our anxieties with your love and peace.  We thank you for taking our concerns today and every day, we thank you for giving us life, we thank you.  We praise you.  We go out filled with you.  amen.

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All Streams

I loved this verse in Ecclesiastes and I don’t remember it ever sticking out to me before.

In terms of what I have been writing about this week, all of our thoughts flow to God.  All of them.  And yet He is never full, He never overflows, He never busts a dam, or floods.  He is constant and steady and always ready to take on what we will give Him.

Do you remember the artwork I shared of our sins at the bottom of the sea?  If we add all of those rocks to the bottom, and know that the sea should be more shallow, it is all the more amazing that we continue to throw rocks, throw prayers, leak issues, flow with concern…you get the idea.  AND GOD CONTINUES.  His sea is never full.  There is always room for one more thing.  He will take each and every drop.

Yes, His ways are much higher than we can ever imagine.  His truth is clearer and more filling.  His life is neverending.

Praise Him unending.

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HIS way

I think I may just let this one stand alone today.  Just sit in stillness RIGHT NOW and contemplate that Jesus is the WAY.  He is our TRUTH.  He is our LIFE.

Put your hands palm up.  If your thoughts start to wander, repeat this verse over and over and over.  Breathe deeply.  And let go…

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HIS thoughts

Do your thoughts ever feel like this?  So many crowding in, trying to get more attention.  Some are big, and deserve the space, some are tiny, silly even, thoughts.  But they overpower our clear space.  Our space where we allow God to just have our thoughts, and just be in His stillness.

I have been exhausted lately.  And I am not doing any more than some other people.  But two people now have pointed out I am not getting any DOWN time.  Time when I am allowing God to have my thoughts and just be still.  Even if for just five minutes.

For example, Friday night I binge watched Glee with Phoebe.  But I was also doodling, surfing Pinterest, talking to Tanner, petting the dog, etc.  Hmmm–not very down.  I loved doing all of those things, but I am realizing just how bad I am at sitting and being still.  And giving my thoughts to my Higher Power.

Vs.3 ish (Message)  Pay attention, come close now,  listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words.

Because it is in the stillness that I will hear all of the messages He is sending.

We will all hear His thoughts.  We will hear the answers to our questions and prayers.  That His ways are higher and He has got this.

Are you good at just sitting and being still?  Letting God have your thoughts?

Here is the whole passage:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+55

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all

Can you imagine if all the world’s people were annointed with the Holy Spirit?

That is what heaven will be, right?

And it will be awe inspiring.

We will be a part of that many.

That is our blessing.

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Near to the one and many

It is amazing how small our world is becoming.  Travel, technology, media help us learn the good and the bad about people all over the world.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get overwhelmed by the sheer need of the world and its inhabitants.  There is so much aching.  I ache with it myself.  Truly.  I have found myself rocking in tears with the pain I feel for the souls of these people.

And then I feel the nearness of Christ.  And He reminds me, “You can help them, you will, in whatever little way you can.  But it is not your job to save them.  I did that once already.  And I will do it again.  I’ve got this.  If I can’t send you, I will send some of the many.  I have annointed many to do my work in many ways.  When I call you to be one, my followers are able to do so much more in my name.”

And I feel peace from the nearness.  From His comfort.  From that truth.  From the many.

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One

The wonderful thing about the many, is when we are all focused on the ONE we do great things as He rescues us.  When we rely on the guidance of a loving God, and we follow, it is so much easier to see that we are here to serve Him by serving each other.  We are meant to work together.

I wish I had painted each flower a little different in this art–to illustrate how each different person and gift is needed to make a beautiful garden.  That we need the companion flowers and plants.  We need the sun, soil, rain.  But it all relies on God to breathe life into us in the first place.

God makes it all possible.  God.

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Many many many

There are so many opportunities and needs within the body of Christ.  I think people get caught up in the idea that the church is just for certain people.  Some people think mission work is only for the chosen, or those who are willing to go overseas.  But none of that is true.

The body consists of the elderly woman who’s faith has carried her quietly through 80 years of life struggles and joys and still she sits in her pew–though she knows the scriptures and songs by heart, she still bears the light.

The body consists of the father who brings his children.  He makes them listen in church, he shares the Word, he encourages their faith.

The body consists of a child, wide-eyed, and startled by the water of baptism as his/her parents look on with promises of faith shining in their eyes.

The body consists of a crazy art teacher who makes faith art each morning to share with others.

And it consists of you.

We are all needed.  We all shine bright.  None of us is favored over the other.  Jesus came for us all.  The body is many.

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God does: pour

You know how we can trust that God will fill us, protect us, guide us, love us, forgive us?  Because He DECLARES–not mumbles– that He will POUR– not drip– the Holy Spirit on ALL –not just a few–flesh.  That is a big promise.  And God keeps His promises.

He is usually pretty broad in His promises.  I think a lot of people want to take them very literally.  For example:  “He promises to watch over me all the time…so give me this parking spot.”   I am not sure He meant them quite like that.  He wrote the Bible so that it would last thousands of years and speak to billions of people.  He had to make the promises work in a lot of contexts.

But this one is pretty literal.  He will FILLALL of us.  With HIS SPIRIT.  He is going to pour it out.  Envision God up in Heaven with a bucket and He lifts a lid off of each of us and dumps in as much Spirit as possible until we overflow.  He doesn’t use a funnel, to be careful so it won’t drip.  He doesn’t stop half way to make sure it doesn’t spill.  He isn’t concerned that He will run out so everyone gets just a portion.

Nope.  FILLS us.  And REfills.  And REfills.  REfills.  Eternal free refills.  For.Ev.Er.

Boom.

And that is why we can trust Him.  That is why we can give Him control.  He is not a stingy God.  He fills us in each and every moment.

That is something to trust and be thankful for now isn’t it?

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