|I find myself lulled into a place of rest when I read Christine's poetry. It speaks to my soul. It is fluid and beautiful and filled with an undying love for the Lord ... it is melodic in its intonations and it is spoken with a pure tongue. Read on and discover the impact it has on your heart...
The Eyes of God Are Watching
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good..– Proverbs 15:3
When no one near is watching
And no eyes upon me fall,
There is One that sees from heaven
Who is greater than them all.
He beholds my every movement
And records my every word,
That no other eye has witnessed
And no other ear has heard.
God sees my thoughts and intents,
Which from others are concealed;
For the things I do in secret,
In His presence are revealed.
The hidden habits of my heart
Are laid in open view,
Before the piercing eyes of Him
With whom I have to do.
There are no thoughts that I can think
Or places I can go,
That my Father up in heaven
Does not see and does not know.
My ways are all before the Lord;
He ponders every path,
Preserving me from evil
And the terror of His wrath.
He is merciful and gracious,
Yet won't suffer me to sin;
But desires that I know the joy
Of walking close to Him.
As I honor Him in secret,
He will bless me openly,
And manifest His righteousness
For all the world to see.
He stands ready to reward me
When I trust Him and obey,
And delight to do His bidding,
Yielding to His Spirit's sway.
When I need Him, He is present;
When I call, He quickly hears;
And not one anxious cry for help
Escapes my Father's ears.
I am the object of His love,
And the focus of His care.
He considers me His treasure:
Chosen, valuable, and rare.
When I fail, He forgives me;
When I fall, He helps me stand;
My name is written on His heart
And etched upon His hand.
He does not despise my weakness
Or the struggles of my soul,
But extends to me His mercy
And the means to make me whole.
His love is unconditional,
Not based on what I do;
It does not change or fluctuate,
But stays completely true.
I am cherished in His bosom;
I am cradled in His arms;
I am sheltered by His presence,
Safe from fear, and all that harms.
His Son has paid my ransom
And prepared for me a place,
Where I will feast forever
On the riches of His grace.
His look of love is constant;
His intent is always kind;
His glory and my good
Are at the forefront of His mind.
Not one private act of worship;
Not one sacrifice of praise,
Goes unnoticed by my Father,
And His penetrating gaze.
Every secret way I serve Him,
Though the world may not applaud,
Is recorded up in heaven
By my Saviour and my God.
And the recompense of Heaven
Will be great beyond compare!
I will only wish I'd served Him more,
When I His glory share.
© June 20, 2010 by Christine Nicole
On the Cutting Edge
Whether slicing the line with a garden shovel or running my spiritual fingers over the sharp blade of the two-edged Sword, I have always enjoyed being on the cutting edge of life.
For those who are willing to dig a little deeper than the surface, gardens are a great place to tunnel into a wealth of wisdom that cannot be exhausted. It is a living classroom full of hidden treasure, if you can handle getting a little dirt underneath your spiritual fingernails.
Last summer, with the experienced voice of my papa guiding me, I learned how to cut a clean edge around the perimeter of the garden. Guide posts, with a string stretched taught between them, were necessary for accuracy in achieving a straight line. Papa, a seasoned gardener, patiently oversaw my work, pulling out the freshly severed clods of sod and tossing them into the tractor wagon. Occasionally, he would correct a crooked dig and help me reposition my shovel so that I would stay on track.
As we made our way around the border, Papa began to explain the purpose behind this process, which went much deeper than aesthetic appearance. I listened intently as he described in detail how the shovel severs the roots and creates a natural boundary that hinders the grass from creeping in and taking over the garden. Without this preventative measure, the surrounding lawn would slowly and subtly close in on the garden, eating up valuable ground space intended only for produce.
As we chipped away at the task, it didn't take long for my mind to travel from the physical actions to the spiritual applications involved. A multitude of Bible verses swarmed through my thoughts, adding eternal dimension to this mundane job. “Keep thy heart with all diligence: for out of it are the issues of life” and “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” echoed through my heart as I wedged my shovel into the dirt one more time. (Psalm 4:23, Romans 12:2)
If we are willing to care so meticulously for a garden, which has no significance in the light of eternity, how much more attention and diligence ought we to give to the God-assigned duty of guarding our hearts? Yet somehow it is so much easier to notice grass creeping over the border of a garden than to spot sin slinking over the perimeter of our hearts.
This distinct mark of separation does not just “happen” at the moment of salvation, any more than a clean cut edge just appears around a garden. It is only as the Holy Spirit begins to lay down the plumb line of the Word that we start to see where to slice the line. It is not enough to put a little space between ourselves and the world. Because the world is actively and aggressively trying to squeeze us into its wayward mold, we must consistently make a concerted effort to sever all ties with sin and make a clean cut with fleshly lusts that war against our souls.
How I wish this procedure yielded lifetime results! But like a garden, it requires regular maintenance if you don't want to lose precious ground. It may seem a bit tedious and tiresome at first, but the fruit will be far sweeter and more satisfying than any earthly harvest.
© July 14, 2008 by Christine Nicole
Garden Gab: Staking It Out
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
– Proverbs 22:6
“Staking it out” took on a whole new meaning this afternoon as I worked alongside my Papa. We had twenty tomato plants that promised to be a total flop if we did not provide them with proper support.
After gathering an armful of supplies, we marched out to the garden to begin this delicate task. Papa tackled the first few tomato plants. He showed me how to snug a stake up to the base of each respective plant and drive it into the dirt with a small sledge hammer. Soon, it was my turn to take a swing at it. One by one, Papa handed me the wooden stakes as we made our way down the two rows, making sure each one was firmly planted in the ground.
Then, taking a handful of inch-wide cloth strips we had shredded from an old sheet, Papa carefully demonstrated how to secure the main branches to the post in a way that would help the plant stay in an upright position. This was not a fast procedure. These plants had a mind of their own! Although we used the same tools, each one required a slightly different approach. Some plants needed two ties, others more. But no two plants were alike.
First we had to consider each one's natural bent. I learned quite quickly not to force any of the branches against their will. “Let it find its own path,” Papa encouraged again and again. Our job was not to change the way these plants were made, but rather to gently guide them toward the light. Our goal was to keep the precious fruit that would soon grow, from stooping down into the dirt and rotting or being ravaged by bugs.
But this was only the beginning. These ties we had just put in place, would need to be adjusted as often as every few days to allow for the growing needs of the plants. Otherwise what was intended to be a help to them, would become a hindrance, holding them back from reaching their full potential.
As Papa patiently talked me through this painstaking process (no pun intended), puzzle pieces of a different kind began to come together in my mind, and truth of a greater value started to emerge. The special attention we were investing in these little tomato plants concealed a spiritual analogy that pointed to the parental prescription revealed in
Just as these budding plants needed to be deliberately “tied up,” children must be diligently “trained up,” if they are to grow towards the living Light and escape the depths of depravity that ruin and rot men's souls. First the solid stake of God's unchanging Word must be driven deep into the soil of their hearts while they are young and tender, and must become the standard by which all other thoughts, ideas, inventions, and philosophies are measured. But to stop there, is to stop short of success.
Without ties of truth strategically fastened about the heart, a child cannot help but grovel in the folly of youth. Children do not naturally gravitate towards the guidepost of Godly wisdom. Proverbs plainly states that “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” and that only “the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15) The word “bound” literally means “to tie” or “knit.” If folly is that deeply woven into a child's nature, we can conclude that it is no small undertaking to root it out and replace it with a hunger for holiness.
Yet changing this wayward bent is anything but easy. It is a very delicate transformation that requires a great deal of time and patience to perform. Undue force will only leave scars and even snap the tender limbs of a child's character; and that which was meant to direct can easily destroy if wrongly applied. Gentle but firm restraints, guided by sound judgment, must be implemented to check the rebel passions and foolish inclinations of youth and to protect the precious fruit of Godly virtue as it begins to blossom.
These “ties” must be watched closely and adjusted regularly to allow for and perpetuate the desired growth. This is where a tremendous amount of wisdom and discretion is in order. A parent must learn to discern the individual needs of each child and adapt their approach to discipline accordingly. For like tomato plants, no two children are exactly alike. The same ties that were intended to protect and provide stability, can stifle and stunt growth if proper care is not taken. But when tethered with love and bound by mercy, “ties of truth” create a stable and secure environment where children are set free to flourish in the fruits of righteousness.
©July 2008 by Christine Nicole
Oh That Men Would Praise the Lord!
Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for
His wonderful works to the children of men!
Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31
Oh that men would praise the Lord
For the goodness He has wrought,
And remember all the blessings
That His wondrous works have brought!
Let those that are redeemed proclaim
The greatness of His power,
And the promise of His hand to save
And keep them every hour.
While wandering in a lonely way,
As lost and scattered sheep,
He has gathered us together
To protect and safely keep.
He heard our cry and answered
When we told Him our distress,
And delivered us from trouble
By His truth and righteousness.
Oh that men would praise the Lord
For His goodness and His grace!
And proclaim the mighty wonders
He has done before their face!
For the longing soul He quenches
With the things that satisfy;
And the hungry soul He fills
With an infinite supply
Of the bounty of His presence
And the greatness of His heart;
The sweet comfort of His Spirit
That infiltrates every part.
When we cry, He always answers;
With His Word, He saves and heals.
He delivers from destruction;
All our pain, His own heart feels.
Oh that men would praise the Lord
And His goodness celebrate;
Tell the world of all His glory
And His wondrous works relate!
He has loosed us from the bands of sin
And our iniquity;
He has brought us out of darkness,
Into light and liberty.
So lovingly, He quiets us,
And calms our stormy will;
To the violent waves that rage within,
He whispers, “Peace be still.”
He hears our troubled cries for help,
And will not turn away;
But will answer us in faithfulness,
At His appointed day.
Oh that men would praise the Lord
And make all His goodness known,
With unending exaltation
For the mercy He has shown!
He turns dry lands into fountains
And the parched ground into springs;
Fertility and fruitfulness
Are what His blessing brings.
God will set the poor on high
Above affliction's reach,
When they have learned the lessons
Only times of pain can teach.
Those who will be wise
And observe His matchless ways,
Will understand His loving kindness
And break forth in ceaseless praise.
© April 25, 2009 by Christine Nicole
A Father's Love
The glory of children are their fathers. – Proverbs 17:6
There is a place within the heart
Designed by God above;
A special spot that longs to have
A Father's tender love.
This is a special kind of love,
From others set apart.
It is a love most precious
To every child's heart.
The desire for a father's love
Is one you don't outgrow.
As long as you are living,
It's a love you long to know.
The absence of it leaves an ache
Too deep to comprehend.
The presence of it brings a joy
That nothing else can lend.
Behold the love of God above,
Who sent His Son from heaven!
That we might call Him Father,
And have our sins forgiven.
Jesus' blood purchased access
To the Father full and free,
That we might know a father's love
For all eternity.
© 2005 by Christine Nicole
Precious is the Trial
– I Peter 1:7
A Wise and Loving Papa
Take Your Burden to the Lord
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee; He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
The First Gift of Christmas
Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.– I Peter 2:24
A manger: the
Father's gift of love;
to bring salvation
from heaven up above.
He left His home in glory, to save
us from our sin,
And make His home in
every heart that asks Him to
to come in. His name was called,
“Emmanuel,” God brought down to man:
Chosen by the Father
to complete redemption's plan.
This first gift of Christmas, was placed
upon a tree, to satisfy God's righteous wrath
on our iniquity. He bore our sins upon Himself,
and gave His very blood,
To pardon our transgressions and
to bring us back to God. This gift of God's
redemption, through the death of His dear Son
and His glorious resurrection, over hell the victory won!
This first gift of Christmas was the Father's love revealed, to
a world of lost and dying men that needed to be healed; restoring
the relationship that was by sin destroyed, and reconciling man to God
Now a risen
lives to set us
free, and give
life for all eternity.
Eternal Father, Full of Love
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
– Deuteronomy 33:27a
© September 19, 2009 by Christine Nicole
By the Grace of God
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain;
but I labored more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
– I Corinthians 15:10
God With Us
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
- Matthew 1:23
Strong in spirit, full of grace,
A reflection of God's face,
In all wisdom, Jesus grew,
God the Father's will to do.
© April 10, 2010 by Christine Nicole
Complete in Thee
Ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.
– Colossians 2:10