I’m in an airplane roughly the size of a can of tuna on my way home from a conference in New York City.
I was considering going on a diet before I got on here, but now I am convinced – somehow I MUST be smaller!
My elbow is lodged firmly in David’s ribs, my knees are boring mercilessly into the poor lady in front of me (sorry!), and my purse and feet and competing for space on the floor.
I finally said ‘forget it!’ and just put my feet on my purse – I’ll wash it later.
When things are too small and tight, they are uncomfortable.
Not just for us. For the people around us as well – like David & the lady in front of me.
Or in a different way, there was a young woman in the airport with an outfit that was way too small and tight. She seemed uncomfortable and yet content with her outfit. Me however? I was uncomfortable for her. I was actually scared that if she moved the wrong way I might accidentally get to know her too well…
We can all think of times and places when our own clothes were to0 tight, in a place that was cramped and uncomfortable, when money was tight, or when our hearts were too tight.
Hearts too tight???
Yes. Our hearts can be too tight to feel compassion for others when they are in a tight spot. Sometimes because we are in our own tight spot financially, or emotionally, or with time, OR like the girl in the airport – we think “she put on her own tight problem.” There are a lot of reasons our hearts become tight.
There are also a lot of reasons to loose ourselves.
Riding in a New York City Taxi
We were in a taxi in NYC going from one side of town to another. Instead of staying emotionally detached from the taxi driver, I asked him where he was from. When he told me Haiti, I was excited to talk to him about the work we are doing in Haiti with the orphanages and show him pictures of our relief efforts after the earthquake.
When he saw that we were genuinely interested in his country, he lit up and starting talking about how Haiti had potential and was bound by corruption and needed strong leaders to help them escape the corruption and transform their nation.
He looked at our pictures (while he was driving in traffic in downtown NYC…it was, mmmm, exciting!) and shut the meter on the taxi off. He said, “You are doing something to help my country. I’m doing something to help you!”
WOW! So much for rough and tough New Yorkers, huh? It actually proved a biblical principal to me.
Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.
—- Matthew 7:12 (The Message)
We helped his people, so he wanted to help us. If a simple, sweet Haitian taxi driver feels this way, how much more does God? He loves when we help His people and He can always be found helping us so we can help others more.
Now if God would just miraculously enlarge the size of this airplane!
So tell me….
What did you do to help someone and saw God do something in your life to move on your behalf?
Also, if this blog speaks to you, would you mind sharing it with a friend? (Vulnerability just gripped my heart…)
thnk you for sharing an awesome message.
Hi Nicole! I love your blogs keep up the great work! Very colorful!!
This is an awesome story!! Your encouraging me to open up to people and help them anyway I can. I have changed so much in this area of my life over the last year or two. I never used to talk to people in the store, I was just a shy person. Now I say hi, smile and talk to anyone. I am always letting somebody cut in front of me when they have less than I do in their cart. It’s the little things you do and say that can make somebody’s day. It makes me feel so much better as a person just doing this little bit. I am always looking for ways I can make somebody smile! Wow, what a change God has made in my life!! Thank you for helping to change people’s lives, including mine. You are a true woman of God and I know He is proud of you!!! I know I am!! 🙂
I love this blog post paster Nicole! We’ve had several different instances of this lately! We decided to send an offering on behalf of our businesses to a small church in my home town. We attend the church a few times a year when we visit my family. They are doing amazing things in that community and we really have a heart for that ministry. It’s like a mini Faith Church and the town is really lucky to have it – we want to see it grow! Anyway, just a few days after we sent our offering, I sold several large ad packages AND our renters called us out of the blue with back rent of over $2,000. We didn’t help one person specifically, but by giving that money to help the church reach out to the community, I believe God blessed us for that!
Hi Pastor Nicole, I needed to post a comment as a guy!! I see no other men commented so far..LOL!! I think this message is great. Being a big guy, I have been in that tight place on an airplane myself and telling myself I am so sorry for the people around me. But, before the time we landed and got off the plane I made friends all around me. This was an uncomfortable time for me but God gave me the strength to talk to people that I was making upset. My son and I are in an uncomfortable time right now. My Heart is tight because of Financial/Health reasons and this causes me to close my eyes to people who I could help. Reading your Blog and listening to you and Pastor Dave I feel God is trying to talk to me. Just like the strength he gave me to talk to the people around me on the plane I feel he will soon give me strength to get my Financial issues in order and help heal me of my Health issues. For my son, his Heart is tight Emotionally, he has gotten himself into a relationship with a girl that has closed his Heart to the world. He does not even talk to me or his mom and this is really hard because he is my best friend and I Love him more than life itself. I pray everyday that you, through your Blogs and prayers, and Pastor Dave’s messages reach a part of his Heart that he can begin to open it again and show everyone how big of a Heart he has. God Bless you Pastor Nicole, and Thank you God for bringing Pastor Nicole and Pastor Dave into my life!!!
Pastor Nicole, love the blog. Keep writing!
Nicole, you are an amazing woman of GOD fingerprints of GOD are all over you.You always make me smile and so many others also for having such a heart for people.I know how happy and blessed I am to be a friend of JESUS and also a friend of yours .I will pay it forward..LOVE YA
This is an awesome example of God working through people, touching people’s lives as only He can do, when we least expect it. A chance to see the principal of ‘Pass It On’ in action. Thank you for sharing it with us.
I have both seen and applied this principle many times during my life; I am always amazed at the results it has inspired. One time in particular comes to mind, a lady I met while in physical therapy for a hand injury was going through a particularly rough time, just as my husband and I were and we bonded. I quickly discovered she was close to losing her home, her cupboards were bare and she was finding it very difficult to fight off her depression over her situation. I wasn’t working at the time and neither was my husband so things were tough at home too, but I felt God wanted me to use the $30 I had left in my pocket to help her. That $30 was earmarked for our own purposes at the time and there wouldn’t be anymore coming in till after the deadline, but I knew I had to do what God wanted me to do, I just KNEW I was supposed to go grocery shopping for her. Well I couldn’t drive so I called my Mom and explained what I needed to do, she not only said I’ll take you, but I have a few dollars I can help too and wait I want to make a phone call or two first. Well long story short, her ladies group at church (her phone call or two) donated enough to pay the ladys rent and her utility payment, and off we went to the Grocery Store to fill in the gaps that hadn’t already been filled from her Church’s food pantry. Have you ever asked God to go grocery shopping with you? Oh boy is it fun…. I said a simple prayer before entering the store, it went something like this, Lord I have no idea what to get this woman, what she likes, what she dislikes, but YOU said go shopping so YOU please tell me what to get. Boy did HE! When we got to her house she cried over every item, items she was so hungry for she could taste them already, all her favorites, on a $40 budget. (our $30 + Mom’s $10) ONLY GOD CAN DO THAT!
Well you would think the story ends there right? Wrong, I still needed $30 to meet my own deadline just a few days later. Hmmmm what to do now! God had that covered too, OF COURSE. With a letter in the mail, enclosed you will find a check for $50, I don’t know why but God said you needed this, Merry Christmas! A knock on the door, I heard you were having a pretty rough time right now thought you could use this ham for your Christmas dinner and oh here’s a card from me and my son, too. Don’t open it till I leave, please. He’s gone, I open it, inside is a warm Christmas greeting and a $100 bill. ONLY GOD CAN DO THAT!
I have never been afraid to trust God with the rough times since. HE always has us covered! God bless you, Pastor Nicole, for ALL you do and for bringing this awesome memory to my mind just when I needed it most.
What an inspiring story! Our God is sooo good! Thank you Karen for sharing and giving me hope, and thank you pastor Nicole for your inspiration as well. Keep up the blogs, I love em!!!
I am in awe at your ability to speak an entire heartfelt sermon in 500 words. 🙂
When I was in college I went with my church’s women’s group to Tulsa for a conference. To make the trip easier, I chose not to take my entire purse but to carry just the $40 cash I would need for meals. I also came prepared with snacks 🙂
On the second evening of the conference we were given the opportunity to sow into the new ORU dorms. I had $10 left and that was my dinner money. We were returning by bus to Columbia, MO the following morning. I felt moved to give, and I sowed that $10 without a second thought. After all, I had a can of Pringles and some beef jerky in my bag at the hotel and I’m not exactly wasting away to nothing, lol.
That evening at dinner I was prepared to have a glass of water and sit patiently and chat while the rest of our group ate. A gentleman who used to attend out church in the past – whom I had just met on this trip 24 hours earlier – came over to me immediately when we arrived and offered to buy me dinner.
I politely declined several times, I mean this guy was little more than a stranger to me. He finally told me, “Look, God spoke to me to buy your dinner for you, so get whatever you want because I’m not taking no for an answer.” I was floored.
The next morning, which happened to be my birthday, our bus broke down in Springfield on the trip home. We spent 3 hours in a Wal-Mart waiting for a new alternator. Because it was a day of celebration for me, all of my friends on the trip spoiled me… offered breakfast, lunch, and even ice cream from the snack bar 🙂
I hadn’t told a single person that I gave my last $10 in the offering.
I never felt the lack from my $10. It was money well-sowed and I was repaid so much more with generosity and friendship because of it.
That’s the God I’ve come to know! Awesome testimony Katie!
I know a college student whom now I tutor. His father wanted him to get help but lived too far away to do the job himself. I was called and agreed to tutor this student even though I knew at this time the father didn’t have the money to pay me. He stated that he would at some point in the future and I believed him. However I was willing to count my efforts all a blessing and truly didn’t care if I got paid or not.
You see I was having a tough time in my professional life, teaching; just so happens on the phone that night this man said to me “I know you are a good teacher”. How did he say exactly the right thing to say?
I said thank you God, and let out a big sigh. Someone gets it, someone said something positive, something to hang onto while going through the problems I am. It’s so the little things in life that make it special.
This girl writes some good stuff!
Hey Pastor Nicole! I LOVE reading your blog, I have it bookmarked on my phone. You are such an amazing woman and always know the right things to say. I got tears in my eyes when reading this story. I would be willing to bet that you made that mans day, week, month whatever just by being nice and asking about him! He is probably used to being yelled at. You go girl! You and Pastor David bless so many people! Thanks from me and everyone else that you touch!
Thank you sooooo much for sharing! I love the blog site and will visit often!
Awesome job Pastor. Keep up the great work. You and Pastor David make everything relative and easy to comprehend and God shows you guys a way to make it easy for us to remember. I’m sooo glad I came to FCStL.
Your writing style is captivating and engaging, I love the way you weave a story. You have a wonderful writing style. Please keep up the good work. I love hearing of your personal God experiences from your travels. It is thought provoking and because I relate to you, your examples are easy to model in my own life. And there is nothing like a tight airline seat to cause a woman to do some introspection, just be glad your feet don’t dangle as well. 😉 Thank you so much as always! Keep it up!
You are a great writer! I enjoy reading your stuff. Good for you!
Thank you so much for sharing and being such an inspiration to all of us. So happy you decided to blog. Just one more thing we all have to look forward to. Thanks for all your hard work Pastor Nicole!
You’re doing a wonderful job with the new blog. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place..lol I have an 8yr old little boy of my own and have been for the last two years taking care of my niece who is 7yrs old without help from her mom. Sometimes things can be a tight sqeeze but really she’s better off with me as far as getting the care, attention and education she needs. Sometimes I get weary in well doing, but I have to remind myself that if I faint not I’ll reap what I am sowing. Plus everytime I think I’m down and out God causes my family to be blessed. Keep up the good work!!!!
Pastor Nicole, words can’t explain how uplifting your blog is to me! It’s causing me to really take a look at myself and my actions. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insights. God bless you and Pastor David.
I have had the devil testing me in the form of my boss and two students. I have been disrespected and repeatedly told that I was going to be fired. People at the top of the work pyramid were very negative toward me and made snap judgements about me due to gossip. Two friends of mine told me to put it in gods’ hands.
It took a lot of faith to do just that and not let the negativity creep into my thoughts. I was very unsettled by all the events and repeated over and over aloud and in my head, God you said you will not forsake me, no weapon formed against me shall prosper. You said I have not because I ask not, now I am asking for your help to let those whom were falsely accusing me be dealt with by you and I will open my heart to you, God.
Prayer works and I have no ill will against those people. I feel sorry for them that the devil could so easily use them like that. The only thing I have left to say, which I have said over and over again is THANK YOU GOD, THANK YOU
Pastor Nicole, Great message! Thank you
hay pastor nicole i love you new blog I am trying to make one but i can’t could you tell us how to make one in church thanke god bless