The Modern Reject Speaks

Recently, I had the privilege of speaking at Pepperdine University, where I was asked to share my testimony and speak about pursuing Christ with excellence.

I thought I’d share the video for those of you who may be interested. And as an aside, I’m always open for any constructive criticism or feedback. Just don’t break my heart, okay?

10/12/11 – Chapel with Nicole Cotrell from Pepperdine University Chapel on Vimeo.

24 thoughts on “The Modern Reject Speaks”

  1. Excellent talk. Thanks for sharing. It fills in a lot of the missing pieces of your perspective. I think it will help me understand why you say the things you do, and why you say them the way you do.

    There are times when I write lengthy rebuttals to your posts, and then delete them before hitting the Submit button, because I realize that my responses to your statements are (especially in those cases) over the top, and are perhaps less-than-respectful of your path. That was the case yesterday, in fact. In my case, waiting for the wedding night did not seem to reap the benefits your post promises, and the response post I wrote spelled that out in great detail. It was perhaps cathartic for me to write it, but posting it would have detracted from the very useful message your post presented. So, often I “write and delete.” Please know, however, that your posts usually get me thinking, even if I don’t post my response for one reason or another.

    Watching this video, and hearing more of your story in your own voice, helps me understand your path and to be more respectful of the unique things you bring to the table.

    Blessings on you, Nicole!

    1. And as a follow-up, I want to say that I enjoyed the shoe analogy that formed the outline of your talk. It’s a good way to illustrate the different phases and approaches we have to the Christian life. This morning, since watching your video, I’ve been pondering what type of shoe I’m currently into, and haven’t been able to pick one that seems to summarize. Somehow “running” doesn’t seem to quite capture the part of life that I’m in at the moment. Maybe some sort of shoe that one might wear in rehab – a training shoe, of sorts. Once again, however, you have me thinking.

      As part of that thought process, I began wondering which part of Paul’s message resonates most strongly with me at this moment, and I landed on the first part of I Corinthians 4. And, it also kind of ties in with the discussion you and I had a few days ago about falling short of standards and considering ourselves disappointing to God:

      “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time…”

      My focus at this point in my path is merely letting go, and trusting God to nudge me into where He wants me to be – walking that fine line between being introspective, yet not judging myself too harshly. If that makes any sense…

    2. Ed, thank you for commenting on my talk and taking the time to watch.

      I appreciate your explanation for commenting or not, at times. I hope you know that I would always welcome your candor and never want you to feel that you need to censor yourself. All that to say, I trust that you choose to say, or not say, certain things based on your wisdom, discretion, and/or prompting from the Spirit.

      I’m also glad to know that you feel you have gained a better sense of me and where I’m coming from. I hadn’t even considered that as an outcome when I posted the video, but am encouraged to hear it, so thank you.

      1. Thanks for the affirmation, Nicole. Please understand that I rarely think that you’re “wrong” in your post. My rebuttals, as Chris indicated, are merely looking at a different side of the coin. It’s just that when I get going on a rant like that, I tend to neglect to come across with much compassion in how I phrase things. Then, as I’m reading back through the lengthy draft, I realize there’s no way to easily fix it – to say all that I have to say, yet do so in the spirit of Jesus. What I probably ought to do in some cases is, and have a time or two, is post lengthier responses to my own blog and ping back to yours. In time I’ll figure out exactly what I’m trying to say, and how to say it. Sigh.

    3. So… I just wrote quite a bit about how I can relate to your “write and delete” habit, then I deleted it lol.

      I seriously do the same thing though. Most of the time, I think what I have to say is too antagonistic or detracts from the point Nicole’s trying to bring across. Not that I disagree (most of the time :P), I love her posts, I just have a habit of instantly creating rebuttals in my head while reading or listening to someone whether I agree or not. Dunno if you can relate to that Ed, but I can relate to what you wrote!

      I would also venture to bet Nicole might say we should hit enter anyway cause she’d love to read it.

      Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten a chance to actually listen to the talk. I’m hearing-impaired at work due to no speakers or headphones. Will watch tonight at home though!

      1. Wrote that. Went to do stuff. Came back. Hit enter. Lost Bet. All in one swoop.

        Next time I’ll hit F5 before I reply to anything lol.

      2. Chris, I totally relate.

        A few minutes ago I saw a headline on an on-line news service that said, “Newt Gingrich’s mouth is famous as a verbal blowtorch‎”. That’s the kind of reputation that I’m trying NOT to create for myself. :-)

        To the extent that one can “hear from God” I think I may have had such an experience yesterday as I deleted yet another thing before sending it to someone. The received divine message was sort of along the lines of, “Part of learning what to say is comprised of learning what not to say… and Ed, you’re making progress in that.” I took it as an affirmation that I am gaining a little bit of wisdom – something I have been praying about for some time now.

  2. Loved the talk at Pepperdine! Thanks for your transparency, it was thoroughly refreshing and encouraging! God bless.

  3. Nicole,

    It was a great treat to see you “in person,” so to speak. I have such admiration for you for speaking when you were sleep-deprived and had a seven-week-old infant to care for – who, if I recall correctly, was crying whenever he was awake! I would have been a moody, frazzled zombie, and you spoke articulately and made sense! :-)

    I had only one speaking suggestion, and that was as a former Toastmaster – in the future, you might want to be a bit more conscious of your movement to and from the podium while speaking. In TM we were encouraged to come out from behind the podium early on, but too much back and forth can be distracting to an audience. I haven’t been in TM for years now, and never spoke professionally, but the organization is terrific and I recommend them highly if you haven’t tried them already. They are warm and welcoming and encouraging as a rule, and you can learn a lot about public speaking.

    Nice job, Nicole.

  4. I’m probably the only one, but I don’t know what it would look like for me to have my running shoes on. I think I’m in the “Sunday best” category right now, and I’m really unsure on how to move on to running shoes. Honestly, I don’t know what pursuing Christ looks like or really how to start. Is it reading your bible, serving others, and going to church? Is it going on missions? I’ve struggled with this for awhile.

    This was a really great speech, you didn’t seem nervous at all! I really admire you for sharing your story so boldly. :)

  5. “It’s about pursuing one person”. Thanks Nicole – you’re so awesome. It was great to see you in person for the first time, and I definitely know that if we lived close to each other we would be good friends :) Love what you’re doing lady! Thanks for the encouragement and reminders today.

  6. Hi Nicole,

    I loved your talk at Pepperdine and I love how honest and candid you were about your past sins. I think it really helps to build a relationship with those who still haven’t come to Christ. I’ve been reading your blog recently and I really enjoy your writing. Keep up the great work for the Kingdom :-)

    By the way, I loved your analogy about not having the right shoes to pursue God. What a coincidence, me too :-)

  7. Great service, thank you! “Lets leave perfection to Him!” What a beautiful truth that is vital for us to understand as followers of Christ! “It’s not the what, it’s the who.” HE is our destination!

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