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Rejoicing in the LORD with Ms. Patricia - an encouragement from Nikki Passmore

In this season, I am missing worshiping in the same physical space with you ALL, but in particular: with Ms. Patricia. Ms. Patricia’s presence during worship is SO deeply encouraging to my soul. Her way of roaming and dancing and engaging often quickens my heart and helps me engage more fully. I get stuck… in my own thoughts, my own sin (fear of man, seeking approval), my own way of doing things. Even in worship! Then… I hear her singing in the back, or I see her dancing and praising in the front – while beckoning others to join her in worship to our King, and… that’s all it takes. My inner spirit gets released from the bonds I didn’t even know were holding it down.

Although I miss her physical presence fiercely during Sunday services, I have come to see that God is actually magnifying her encouragement to the body in this time. I have heard multiple folks share of having been blessed, encouraged, and spurred on by her bold prayers and Gospel reminders. One person commented that it seems she is so rooted in the Word of God that it’s as if she is looking around at all of us struggling to cope like, “I have been in the Word. Where have you been? We have the secret for this battle. We have the victory in Christ Jesus!”

As I have begun to look at our new memory passage (Philippians 4:4-7) this week, I am thankful yet again for the gift God has given me (and us) in Ms. Patricia. The two commands (not suggestions!) I struggle with most in this passage are 1) rejoice always, and 2) with thanksgiving present all my requests to God. I mean… how am I to hold these things together practically (rejoice with always; giving thanks with all my requests)??? Of course we have the perfect example in Jesus…and yet God, in His steadfast, radical love and tender kindness gives even more. He gives me an example physically in our very body – in and through Ms. Patricia! What a wonderful beautiful gift!

I’ll give a quick example of how God has used Ms. Patricia to encourage me this week… On Easter, Joel printed the order of worship page and song lyrics, and Bree made a card and small craft – and we dropped them off at Ms. Patricia’s just before church. Later, she sent a link to a minute and a half video of her saying thanks. It was lighthearted and full of joy. I was encouraged just by that, but – if you know Ms. Patricia – you know she can’t help but preach! It just oozes out of her and I absolutely love it. In the video clip, she mentioned that she had thought of calling and asking for printed song lyrics, but… here is the part that’s been sitting with me for days…
“One thing about the LORD, He gives you practice in waiting. Amen? In the world, I didn’t have to wait for nothing… but now in Christ I’ve got to wait for everything, and that’s a good thing because between waiting He wants to do something in us and for us.”

Aaaahhhhh! … YES, preach!! SO encouraging… and not in the I-can-forget-all-my-cares superficial kind of way… but in the far better - substantial, meaty, strength-for-the-battle kind of way.

Praise God and hallelujah for putting me in a body with Ms. Patricia. Praise God for her faithfulness to spend time with the Lord, and how He uses that to bless His whole body. Praise Him for His Word that is sharper than any double edged sword, that is perfect, true, powerful, and full of the Spirit and life, that we have ready access to and can hide in our hearts and speak and sing to each other, that is able to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, that is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. May we all, along with Ms. Patricia, cherish it and hide it in our hearts. Thank you, Jesus!

Nikki and her family have been at Northside since the beginning (8 1/2 years). "I love NCR for the way it gives me a peek into the beautiful diversity of the coming kingdom, and how I see God using that to sanctify His people (including me!) right now."


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