Monthly Archives: January 2012

Man is Greater Than All of His Sins

I have heard some talk recently that one cannot love the sinner but hate the sin.  That that idea or belief is totally wrong and offensive.  I disagree.  We learn from the Savior Himself that not only is such possible but expected.  Here is an example from the Holy Bible, John Chapter 8.   This little commentary is written by a man named Marvin J.  Ashton.  It is pretty short and I love it!

Lessons from the Master

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a special love for Jesus Christ. I was taught He was the Son of the living God. I was taught He was my friend, my teacher, and my strength. In years past, when the calling and responsibility and honor of bearing special witness of Him have come into my life, I have endeavored to be taught by His life and His ways. Truly, He is the Master Teacher. To assist me in my labors and commitment, I have found myself turning frequently to the eighth chapter of John in the New Testament for strength, for guidance, and for example. If you please, let us walk through some of the verses to strengthen our lives and our relationships with Jesus. These lines and words help me to better understand Him and give me the desire to do and be more like Him. …

[The scribes and Pharisees] brought unto Him the woman taken in adultery. These enemies … tried to trick Him. They sat her in the midst as an exhibit, as a sinner, as someone unclean. He didn’t flee from her presence. … She was taken in adultery—in the very act. There was no doubt about her guilt. They were setting Him up in what appeared to be an impossible situation. Moses’s law says to stone her. “What sayest thou?” [John 8:5] they asked, tempting Him, trapping Him—putting Him in a no-win position.

Whatever He said, He would be accused of wrongdoing, wrong judgment. They were tempting Him to see if they could get Him to lose His patience and forget who He was. Stoning her would be cruel. Ignoring her would be wrong. … He stooped down and wrote on the ground as though He heard them not (getting their attention and preparing everyone within earshot to be taught). … And while it was silent, they continued asking. I can hear the questions of mischief: “C’mon, say something. We’ve got you. Are you afraid to answer?” But Jesus was in charge. …

Jesus lifted up Himself, in humble and meek majesty, and said these most powerful words: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” [John 8:7]. A perfect answer from a perfect person.

Today in our responsibilities, situations, and callings, we need to be reminded of this over and over again. In our dealings with all people, let him who is without sin be the first to criticize or find fault or belittle. … He stooped down and wrote on the ground. They heard what He said. They felt the impact of His silence of spirit while He said nothing. Convicted by their own conscience, they left on their own, not driven away. They went out one by one—not to find stones but to nurse their spiritual wounds.

He was left alone with the woman. I’m glad that’s recorded. Some of us are inclined to avoid being with those who have fallen. … He said, “Where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?” [John 8:10]. … Jesus Christ took time to ask and to listen. Oh, if we could do more of that! Our answers would be so easy, so much improved. …

The woman taken in adultery answered the Lord’s question regarding her accusers by saying, “No man, Lord.” And then this powerful declaration came: “Go, and sin no more” [John 8:11]. The Master was teaching in that day and also teaching in this very hour. His great message: despise the sin, but love the sinner. I hope that can give us strength and confidence and a closer relationship to our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus did not condone adultery. He gave the woman love instead of an authoritative lecture. She and the accusers needed a lesson in love. The situation called for mercy and compassion. How rewarding it is to know that Jesus believed that man is greater than all of his sins. Is it any wonder He was referred to as the “Good Shepherd”? He loved all of His sheep whether they were strays, hungry, helpless, cold, or lost.

At the conclusion of this great teaching experience, this lesson of love and compassion, is an important verse.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Let us follow His light. Let us refer often to these few words. I bear witness to you that they were preserved for the good of everyone.

 

We are not homeless but sometimes we look it…

Liz and I talking about homeless people:

Me: I met this girl once who told me that she was homeless for 3 years by choice.  I asked her why she would choose to be homeless and she told me she just wanted to see what it was like.  I don’t know if I believer her.  I mean, if you want to know what it is like to be homeless why be homeless for three years?  Why not a week or two?  Seriously if you want to know what it is like to be homeless why not backpack through Europe for a month.  Thats the way to do it. If I were to be homeless I would do it in the most glamorous way possible.

Liz:  Nicole, that is why you are not homeless.

Lots of Laughter.

Liz:  Who ARE we? I really like the color of your walls.

Nicole: Crepe Master

2012 goal: become a crepe making master.  Sunday was my first attempt at making crepes.  I made ham and cheese crepes.  They were pretty. darn. tasty.   When I lived in Provo my neighbor, Charles, would occasionally make me crepes.  I fell in love with them.  Charles and the crepes.  Charles served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Paris, France.  While he was there he taught people that God is our Heavenly Father, that Jesus Christ is His Son and the Savior of mankind and …. Charles learned how to make crepes.  So Charles and his delicious crepes have inspired my 2012 goal.  Thank you Charles.

Its a Crepe!

Ham & Cheese Crepe

Yummy

To learn more about what Charles taught the people of Paris visit Mormon.org

After All That…

She was surprised to find that she still knew the words to the song in her heart… and she began to sing along……

For Christmas a dear friend of mine, Joshua Robinson, gave me a wonderful book of poetry.  Let me just take a moment here for Josh.  Josh is AH-MAZING!  I love this man so much.  I met this man almost two years ago at the Scera Theatre in Orem, Utah.  We were in the musical Funny Girl together.  My first interactions with Josh took place in rehearsal for a dance number.  He was to twirl me to the right and I would always try to twirl to  the left.  We became besties and I love him forever.  Josh is a very talented actor.  He is one of those people that knows every thing about everything.  If I have a random question I always text Josh because he seems to always have the answer. Whenever I hear the song Chicago by Sufjan Stevens I think of Josh.  This is because if I were ever to get in a van and drive to NYC it would be with Josh.  All things go.  All things go.  When I miss Josh I listen to this song.  Today I have already listened to it four times.  I guess what I am trying to say is that I love you Josh.  I miss you my little fish.

Josh and I

Back to poetry.  I love poetry.  Anyone who truly knows me well knows that I can sit for hours and read poetry.  Josh gave me two poetry books for Christmas.  One is a book of selected poems by Emily Dickinson.  Love her.  I have a big book of her poems my Grandmother gave me when I was a young girl.  I treasure it.  The one Josh gave me is great because I can throw it in my purse when I am on the go.  The other book Josh gave me is entitled 101 Poems that Could Save Your Life.  It is brilliant!  There is a chapter called Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down.  When I first read that I laughed and then immediately turned to the chapter and read it all!  lol!  One of my favorites for the chapter is Invictus by W. E. Henley which I was already very familiar with.  This poem always has the power to put my on my feet.

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.
My other favorite poem from the chapter is by Maya Angelou.  LOVE THIS! Josh and I slammed this poem up a number of times!   Still I Rise:
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
Thank you Heavenly Father for words.  Thank you for poetry.  Thank you for the ones who create it.  When I read or listen to it I am reminded of the words to the song that is in my heart and I begin to sing along…
She happily set free her heart.

Upon the Waters

Photo by Mark Mabry

“But verily I say unto you, that it is not needful to be moving swiftly upon the waters, whilst the inhabitants on either side are perishing in unbelief.”  Doctrine and Covenants 61:3

Heavenly Father has slowed me down this time.  I am not sure way.  But I have a feeling that I am the one perishing in unbelief and it is time to rescue myself.

The decision to move to Colorado was not made alone.  Heavenly Father and I worked together on this one.  I am not saying that I did not have any doubts.  I did.  But each time was followed up with a very powerful “yes” that this is what I needed to do for my life.  I guess I thought because it was right and repeatedly confirmed by God that the move would be smooth sailing.

It has been anything but that.  My housing in Provo has not sold so I am paying rent in two places.  I am actually not even living in my place in Lafayette yet.  First the last tenant was not moved out.  Now she is but the painters and remodeling crew has not.  Everything has been delayed.  I have not been able to start my job and I have been very ill.  I am trying to decide if I will pay my rent or my student loan or fill my car with gas.

I broke tonight.  My friend keeps telling me that it will all be ok and that it will all work out.  I am trying so hard to believe her.  I have always been the strong one.  I have always been the faithful one.  But tonight I feel like God must hate me or something.  All I do is serve Him.  That is all I have done.  I try to do what is right.  And here I am.  Tonight I cannot stand my life.  I cannot stand myself.  Nothing is working out.  It is one thing after another.  I hate my life choices.  I hate my body.  I hate having to struggle with depression.  I hate having to pretend to be ok all the time.

I found my self on my knees bawling.  Just telling Heavenly Father where I am at and what I am feeling.  That I am sorry for feeling forsaken and faithless but it is where I am.  I just cannot do it alone.  I need him.  I am no longer moving swiftly upon the waters.  I am perishing in unbelief.  I am drowning.  The only thing to do now is swim.  We are promised that the Lord can make us Holy (D&C 60:7).  Then holify me, Lord!

There is this story about a people called the Jaredites.  God calls them to build a vessel and then He will guide them to the Promised Land.  When they are at sea God causes furious winds to blow and they are tossed about.  Many times they are buried in the deep because of the “mountainous waves.”  But all the while it is the wind and waves that are getting them to the Promised Land (Ether 6).

In the books of Nephi it tells a story of another family whom Heavenly Father also leads across many waters.  2 Nephi 10:25 reads, let us “not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off;  nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon the isle of the sea.”  Sometimes the sea is our path. We are just being led by the waves… Or so it seems.  But God is there and He is leading us.  In fact, He is leading us to a better land.  “Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved. Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen.”

At the beginning of this post there is a picture of Jesus Christ walking on the water.  I believe there are many times in each of our lives when we are Peter.  Our Lord is calling us to walk with Him.  And at times He is calling us to walk with Him upon the waters.  He has come for us.  So let us go to Him.  In other words…(speaking to myself) Go to Him.

Sunday Dinner Boy

Just about every Sunday for the past year and a half my son and I have prepared and enjoyed a fine meal together.  Recently I have moved out-of-state so this is no longer the case.  I am trying to convince him to come visit for a weekend so we can cook together again.  Now Brock and I loooove butter.  He takes after Paula Dean.  Everything he makes has at least a pound of butter in it.  Pretty sure I have gained 10 pounds from his cooking alone.  No regrets.