Tag Archives | Bible Verses

Commit to God


I am finding that this works.  Anytime that I am trying to do something for my own benefit, I have to struggle through.  If I am doing it because I feel called by God, to serve someone else, to spread the gospel, to show love to another, to bring joy–any of those and it totally goes well.  And usually better things come from it.  God is good like that.

He really does have a plan for us, and it is a plan that will prosper us in His ways.  Not necessarily in Earthly ways–there is the difference.  And really, He doesn’t want us to stray from that plan–so none of that stuff works out.  See?

The more I blog and create art for God, the more opportunities He throws my way.  The more involved I am in activities that pull me away from Him–the more annoying they get.

How about you?  Do you notice this in your life?

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

Yoke is Easy


This is the great thing about freedom and letting Jesus be the focus of our schedules!  The easiness and lightness of it.

Our demands in our schedules feel heavy a lot of times.  Especially when they are things we don’t necessarily want to do.  (Although, I have to admit I really enjoy most of the scheduled things I have and I am doing them for that reason, they just tend to get heavier the more of them there are!)  But what I really desire is that free,easy, light feeling of when I leave time to relax and rest in my schedule.  Don’t we all?  Isn’t that why we look so forward to vacations and weekends?

So why don’t we do as Jesus says?  Why don’t we take up His light burden and easy yoke?  Why do we make it heavy and hard?  Why in our culture does everything have to be done to the nth degree?  What Jesus calls us to is simplified.

I haven’t figured out how I am going to simplify, but it is coming in the winds.  I need it.  My kids need it.  My husband needs it.

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

Free Indeed


Free indeed!  Isn’t that wonderful knowledge!  That when we believe in Jesus we are free indeed:  we can trust in the knowledge that our worries and sins will disappear when we join Jesus in heaven.  And even here on earth, when we are secure in that knowledge the worries of our everyday life seem a lot smaller, a lot less disruptive, and not nearly as important.

That is still hard as humans though.  I still think about the future and worry if I am making the right choices.  I still wonder if this is what I am supposed to be doing.  It can still be hard to think about that big picture and to let ourselves get caught up in our everyday.

But at least we can trust that if we are making decisions in light of what Jesus calls for us, that we will be free in the long run.

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

Truth Will Set You Free


This verse seems to be coming to me a lot lately.  Do you ever have that?  That a verse sort of follows you around?  It pops up all over the place, here and there, and then sticks in your mind–that is what this verse is doing.

I am studying the book of Revelation right now, and actually for the whole year.  So the format is going very slowly.  But that is a good thing.  It is making me go really deep to accept that the Word of God is the Truth through and through, that He has had a plan from the very beginning.

I find myself not thinking of God as having an exact plan for me:  for example you will eat a fried egg for breakfast, you will park in this spot, you will wear blue today.  But instead I find myself enjoying the big plan of truth He has for us all:  He wants us to love Him back, He wants us to serve Him by loving others and serving them, and He wants to pull us close back to Him when we have completed that task.  So He does what He can to steer us in the directions that will do those things.  That is the truth.

And when we believe that, we are free–free from worrying that we are loved, free from knowing our purpose, free from knowing what will happen to us.  We KNOW–Jesus does it all.  That is the truth.

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

Comfort, Hope and Cheer


For me it can be hard to feel–not worthy of God’s love–but to feel worthy of being His messenger.  I often get caught up in doubting my skills, the depth of my surrender.

I don’t doubt His love for it was His love that lifted me from the pit of depression and kept me from doing anything permanent.  It was His love that led me to healing.  But often I still look in the mirror and see the shadows.  I wonder if others see my self doubt.  Because of course in those moments my brain tells me that no one else feels this way, that others are so liked by their peers that they do not doubt.

But then I remember GOD created me.  He created me beautiful in body and spirit to HIM.  That I bring HIM joy.  That when I am a messenger for Him that He finds my actions beautiful despite my skills or surrender.  He knows that being His messenger will only bring me closer to a more beautiful relationship with Him.  And that brings me comfort, hope and cheer.

I hope that you feel that comfort as well.  For He created you as well and those words above are true for you as well.

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



Cornerstone Acts 4:11 by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

Before I painted this one I googled images for cornerstones.  Most of the photos were of very old buildings, hundreds of years old.  Buildings of stability, tradition, strength, and even the courage to prevail.  Buildings that had made it through any number of natural and human disasters.

When we are in need it is so good to know that we can turn to the strongest one of all!  Jesus is our cornerstone.  He is stability, strength, courage.  God is a tradition of faith and love that has prevailed through thousands of years of natural and human disasters.  We can stand in His corner and know that we are protected and loved.

Remember I prayed for a bubble of protection this weekend around my daughter?  I liked that image, but now I think I like the visual of her standing by the cornerstone of Jesus-the walls flanking her on either side.  I like the visual of me standing in that corner with my hands pressed against the cool stones and bricks feeling the power of Jesus jolt my system as I feel that stability strengthen me.

We sang the song Cornerstone this weekend in church, and of course, I cried.  And my artwork came to my mind.  I closed my eyes and could picture this building.  And the cornerstones of countless churches.  And I was fortified.

Here is the song by Hillsong for you to listen to.  What images come to mind?  How does it make you feel?

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

Doug Did it Again


Romans 10:14-15 Beautiful Feet by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

It is often funny how my cousin, Pastor Doug Hollenbeck (remember I shared this post last Tuesday from him) are often in sync.  And it is not planned at ALL.  We are posting from Chicago and Virginia.  We only communicate through Facebook.  But God connects us often.

Last week at Bible Stories from the Heart I posted some more “get to know me” type posts.  My first, I thought for a Bible study, should be about my faith.  So I published “Enduring Faith”.

Monday morning Doug posted this and the prayer:

Sharing our faith is an amazing way for us to let others get to know us. When we share our faith in Jesus Christ with others we are inviting them into our lives and into a world full of blessings. When is the last time that you invited someone into your life and shared with them your faith?
Pray with me today:
Lord God shine your light of love and life within me. Place me where I can do the best for you Father God and where I can serve your will. Bring people into my life that I can share your faith that is growing in me and my love for you, for your Son Jesus, and for the Holy Spirit. As you have invited me into your life let me invite others into mine that they may know and love you too. Amen.

AMEN!  And that is why I paint, and blog, and sell my artwork.  That is why I share the blessings God is giving this ministry.  AND I think that is WHY God is blessing the ministry of nicplynel.  Thank you for being here!

I love you all, my family in Christ!

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

All the Good From Christ

Scan-008From my dear cousin, Pastor Douglas Hollenbeck…

Each day brings a new set of joys and trials. We find people who need us and who we need in our lives. We find hurt feelings, strong attitudes, pride, jealousy, love, and desire. We find in each day a new challenge to make the day better than the day before. Where to start? Where to start? Let’s start where life begins and the day has its own beginning. Let’s start with Jesus Christ and His love and let our day flow from there. As we begin with Jesus we allow His forgiveness and mercy to fill our hearts as we confess our sins before Him and we receive His will for our lives and our day. Filled with Jesus and covered by His blood we are now ready to go into the world and face it. May you find Christ in the eyes of every person and know God’s will in every situation.


Isn’t that great!  Such wise words that I had to share, if you follow him on Facebook, he posts words of hope and learning all the time for his parish.


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

The Benediction–Go in Peace


Numbers 6 Benediction Go In Peace by Nicole Plymesser Nelson


As you we end this week–as you stay home or travel this weekend–may you remember this verse.

In the ELCA Lutheran church we end every service with this. And then the pastor will say:  Go in peace, serve the Lord.  And the people respond with:  Thanks be to God.

It gives me peace, I hope it does for you also.

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

Movin’ Forward


Isaiah 43:18 Move Forward by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

Forward,  we are called to move forward.  Not backward.  Not stay stationary.

God is calling us to move forward, one foot at a time, in His love and peace.

Renewal people.  I am telling you!  ‘Tis the season me thinks to look at the resolutions we made back in January and see if we have moved forward with those.

Time to move forward with cleaning the chaff out of our lives.  Clear the weeds from the garden.  Plant new seeds.  Nurture the good ones.

Time to move around with vacations, retreats, renewal of relationships.  Moving toward better times, places, people.

We are called.  Not to keep things the same.  But to move.  Forward.

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

Peace Be with You


Peace Be with You by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

I love love love this verse.  Jesus is promising that His peace will be with us.  I am realizing, it always is–I just have to acknowledge it.  I just need to slow down and appreciate His peace.  Peace be with you.  

I send you.  That is the other part of this verse that is so important.  Jesus sends us.   He is sending us out with peace.  To spread His love and gospel, and PEACE.

He isn’t sending us out to cause a ruckus, scream and cry out, run roughshod.  However crazy way you want to put it. He is sending us out in peace and love.

As you vacation this summer, wherever your travels may take you, or in your own backyard.  Enjoy the peace that Jesus gives us.  And take that peace, that renewal, and revival, and retreat out into the world.

Love ya’ll.

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

A Place of Retreat


Retreat of Renewal by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

I love it when a plan comes together.  I knew I was saving all of these artworks until now for a reason.  I love when I create something because it touches me that day, but then I look back at them and can put them together like puzzle pieces.  It helps me feel safe in God’s plan.

He knew I was going to need this renewal time.  Summer usually is my retreat–I escape to family farms in Iowa, and to Michigan or Ohio.  This summer, circumstances with schedules are not allowing for the travel–and maybe that is good.  God knew I was going to need my own home to be my retreat.  He wants me to renew right here.  He was waiting for ME to wait for His word.  All of these changes in my diet would be crazy hard traveling.  I would never stick with it.

God, I have heard you.  I am listening.  I am ready for your renewal.  You are my place of quiet retreat.

How about you?  Are you doing any renewing this summer?

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

Trust in God


Trust in God One Day at a Time by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

This is my mantra through this journey of renewal.  I have been illustrating/studying the book of Exodus with Bible Stories from the Heart throughout June with Leslie, and she has done an amazing job of showing how God used the journey of the Israelites to force them into leaning on God every single day to get them from Egypt to the promised land.  Every single day, He made sure that they needed Him, and Him only, that they were reminded of His power.  They relied on God for their very survival and in turn it deepened their faith creating a whole history that paved the way to Christ.

If the Israelites can do it, so can I, so can you.  I can trust in my Savior, Jesus, each and every day.  He has a plan of restoration, renewal, revival–and He wants us to be a part of it.  The first step is to just TRUST.

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

Revive Us



Hello!  I hope that you enjoyed the art for the last week.  I am finally starting to feel fully myself again!

The whole episode the last two weeks (rash, swelling, urgent care, ER, drug reactions, steroid and antihistimine fog)  made me really think about all sorts of re words:  revival, renewal, repair, recovery.

I feel like God has spent the last two years renewing my spirit and soul.  He and I have done some hard work fixing my brain and my heart.  Renewing my faith into a whole new, deeper relationship with Him. Restoring my laughter and joy in every day life.  Repairing relationships.

But somewhere along the lines this winter I left my body behind.  I sat down and really thought about the last time I felt HEALTHY.  And it was definitely before Christmas–January was a bout of flu, February  was a relapse that took 10 days off my life, early May I had that horrid stomach virus, and all the way in between I never completely recovered.  My system just got more and more worn down, my body in more disrepair.  I was sleeping less, and worse, my eating habits were horrible–I was turning to carbs, sugar, and caffeine more and more to try and keep our schedule.  So my brain was fogged and I started messing things up, forgetting things, becoming unorganized.  That is not me.

The episode (can you tell that is my new name for it? LOL) made me stop and really take stock.  The first step in repairing all the havoc in my body is diet–I have cut out all dairy, gluten, eggs, sugar, and anything processed.  Eating lots of beans people!  And fruit!  And drinking a ton of water and chammomile tea, because I cut out coffee and alcohol as well.  I am telling you–what I wouldn’t do for a glass of wine and chocolate anything dessert right now.  BUT–getting my body back in balance and repaired is more important than the 20 minutes I would enjoy that treat.  I am sick of being itchy!  And tired and everything else.

I have prayed fervently to God to revive my body that I can continue His service.  I realized, I can’t make art, teach classes, process orders, or illustrate anything if I don’t feel good.  God has done His part to bless my art ministry, now it is my part to take care of the tool that does the work.  I am praying He will grant me the strength to do this hard diet and changes.  There are so many temptations!  But I know Jesus will carry me with love and peace through this renewal, so that makes it easier to face this recovery.  

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

I Shall See God



Psalm 27 by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

“Stay where you can see me!” I would yell to the kids as they ran off.  Not the other way around, where I can see them.

I figured out very quickly that the kids weren’t thinking, “Hmm–can she see me from over there?”  Nope.  It was,” Sure she can, I’m fine!  OFF I GO!”  As they played further and further away.

But they will stop and think,” There she is, I’m okay.  Wait.  Nope.  She moved.  Where did she go?  What?  Did she leave me?  Oh no!  Oh….wait, if I move over here…oh yeah, there she is!”

And I realized with this verse, it is the same with faith.  I should be able to see God.  We can trust that He is there.  Go about our business and leave it all to Him.  We know He loves us.  But if we don’t keep our thoughts on Him, we can end up in the hot seat of temptation.  And that is so very easy to do, just wander a little to the left or the right, thinking this will be fine–He can still see me.  This won’t be so bad.  This won’t hurt me.  Just like little kids wandering away at the park.

But what happens when we make sure that we can see the Goodness of the Lord at all times?  When we read the Bible, fill our ears with more Christian music than secular, keep talismens around that remind us of our faith, pray, meet with other Christians–it makes a difference.  Our minds stay on what keeps us strong.  We remember the goodness and love of faith and we remember to share it with those around us.

Stay where you can see God.  Yes.  That is what I will do.

PS…if you want even more, Lesson #2 of the online Bible study of Exodus posts today over at www.biblestoriesfromtheheart.com .  We had a wonderful response from the community over there–over a thousand people checked it out!  Many did the artwork with me and shared it on Facebook. It is becoming a great community to get closer to God.  We would love to have you join us!

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

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