Tag Archives: God

Expressing Honor Requires Vulnerability

 

Honor::high respect, as for worth, merit or rank. to treat with honor. esteem.

Value::relative worth, merit or importance. to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness or importance. to regard or esteem highly.

 

As I take a look at these definitions, it causes me to look within.  To look at my daily actions and interactions with those placed around me and in my life.  Do I show high respect for others?  Do I treat them with excellence and voice their importance?

Herein lies my latest challenge.  Recently, this popped into my head: “a person can never hear how loved, appreciated and valued they are too much!”  It is that thought that has me digging deep and increasing my awareness.

I see that I am blessed with many wonderful people in my life.  However, I rarely tell them how important they are.  I rarely speak forth what I love about them.  Therefore, I am not empowering them.  I have begun to see that when we honor and speak of the value of one another, we are literally speaking identity to each other and it empowers to walk in more purpose and fullness of identity.  When we don’t speak, we stifle that identity and can even cause others to doubt their identity and purpose.

Furthermore, I have begun to see that speaking forth these things to people will require vulnerability.  This seems an odd thought at first, but come along with me for a moment.  If we live in a society that is dominated by the premise that in order to promote ourselves, we must belittle others…well then, if we do the opposite we are open for wounding or even attack.  If I get the boldness to say that the thing I love so much about “Polly” is her ability to show great patience with her children, and that shows the love and patience of the Father…well, that can make people uncomfortable – especially if “Polly” has been belittled in the past as being a pushover with her children. [remember, it is amazing how we as humans can take the very things that exemplify the Father, Son or Holy Spirit and break them down to seem a weakness]

As I am meditating on this, I am seeing the power behind it.  I am beginning to step out and voice those beautiful qualities around me and proclaim the value within them, I am beginning to bring honor in places that have not previously experienced that.  What an amazing privilege.  Let’s start speaking the positive and empowering truth instead of operating in the false in order to promote ourselves.

“Good works is giving to the poor and the helpless, but divine works is showing them their worth to the One who matters.” ~Criss Jami

 

Be blessed and be a blessing to others.

Crystal

 

Resolute Obedience

[Resolution::a formal expression of opinion or intention made; the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method or procedure.  synonyms -> resolve, determination, perseverance, tenacity, strength or fortitude.]

Shortly before the beginning of 2015, God simply posed two questions.  It is from these two questions that I will live in the year 2015.

The first question was, “what are you passionate about?”  What do you have a longing for?  What is in your heart to do and experience?  Once I have the answers to this, I know that I am to live out of that.  Intentionally and resolutely obedient to that which He placed in my heart.

When the question was first posed, I immediately thought of the cultures of the world.  Since I was 16, I have had a fiery passion and interest in the nations of the world.  Once this was quickened to me, He unfolded some simple steps to live in that passion.  The first being: read the books that I have collected regarding other cultures!  So simple.  He sees that passion lying dormant in me and knows that taking steps toward it in 2015 will empower and encourage me.

The second question was, “what do you love to do, but don’t do enough?”  Now, this seems another simple question.  And, as sad as this seems, the answer that came to mind was “laugh!”  I see that in the past few years, a seriousness and stress has entered my life where joy and laughter used to reside.  God was simply saying to me::be aware of this so that you can take the steps each day that release joy/laughter instead of stress.  He is so loving that He wants me to resolve to live out of joy!

Now, these are just the questions that were posed to me and two of the answers that came.  There are many more.  I know that He is calling me to examine my heart [along with the Holy Spirit] so that there will be more answers to these questions and a more empowered way of living in 2015.

Be Blessed,

Crystal

“Season’s” Greetings

Season’s Greetings.  Such a common phrase this time of year.  But it is the first word that has me thinking.  A bit of a tricky word…Season.  I have found that this year I have been painfully aware of the Seasons of life.

{Season = an appointed occasion}

It is easy to just go with the flow.  To go with the current of what all those around you are doing.  If all the fish are swimming downstream, best not to swim against the current.  Right?

To that, in the year 2014, I would say Wrong!  In years past, I would have been on board with that line of thinking.  Because, if everyone else says it is time for ________ then it surely must be.  I have found this year that God is shouting at me…shouting that I must be in the right Season.

I would further state that there is a specific Season for us individually, but also a Season for the corporate Body.  The trickiest part is to see how they align.  Or, even better, being in a corporate Season that doesn’t appear to align but “sticking it out” because it is where God has placed you.

My encouragement to you is this::actively and intently listen.  Listen for His still small voice, or His loud booming voice.  Just listen.  He will show and tell you what Season of life it is for you [and your family].  He will also show and tell you how to function and live in that Season.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” ~Ecclesiastes 3

Be Blessed,

Crystal

appreciate, relish, savor

Appreciate::to be grateful or thankful for; to value or regard highly; to be fully aware of
Relish::pleasurable appreciation of anything
Savor::to give oneself to the enjoyment of

When you look at these three words along with their definitions, you may wonder what connects them. I see the connection as addressing a deep need. I see that there is an immense need in our culture to appreciate, relish and savor what we are doing, becoming and experiencing.

You may see each day as a project. A tool by which you will accomplish the items on your “to-do” list. If seen this way entirely, you will tend to complete one item only to follow up immediately with the unfolding of the next.

Have you ever completed a task, completed a process [emotional or mental even] or seen a change in yourself and stopped to take it in? To appreciate, relish and savor it? Imagine the impact in the expectant hush.
Imagine that God has begun a work in you [which He surely has]. You begin the process of unfolding, of allowing Him to change you. Once you see the fullness of the change, you may want to say “okay God, what’s next?” Instead, take a moment of pause to allow your heart, soul and mind to fully be grateful…to fully value and acknowledge the process…to allow yourself to find pleasure and enjoyment in the completion of the journey.

As this lifestyle is beginning to unfold in me, I feel a deep stirring of excitement and delight. Knowing that He is bringing me closer to experiencing life to the fullest and embracing the beautiful balance and harmony of His ways. That stirring will only grow with each pause to appreciate, with each interlude of awareness, with each stay in enjoyment.

Be blessed
Crystal

Delight

“When the True Self breaks through, a new and impassioned approach to life often makes itself known. We tap into an inner radiance that I call delight. I’m speaking of a unique kind of response to life that can coexist with our most painful realities. I’m speaking of the joy of saying yes to life in the core of our being. I believe that the capacity to delight in life is deeply carved by our waiting. ‘When I planted my pain in the field of patience,’ wrote Kahlil Gibran, ‘it bore fruit of happiness.’ Delight can become a way of life, a way of journeying.”
– Sue Monk Kidd, from the book When the Heart Waits

When we allow ourselves to go through the process and journey that the Lord has invited us on, we will come to a place of seeing and embracing who He truly made us to be. Each one of us has a distinct process, a distinct journey. This is not usually the “easy way” in life, but rather a narrow path that we must choose to walk with Him by our side. He will whisper, ever so gently, the areas that we must discard, that we must embrace, that we must overcome. In this journey, we will come out in fullness. We will come out into a place of delight. Able to dance in the joy of life [despite what our circumstances may be] because He is dancing and delighting with us.

If you feel God calling to you, beckoning your soul to come away with Him, heed that calling. You will see great fruit from your surrender.

Greatness through Serving

Matthew 20:25-28 reads “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

I love this portion of scripture, as Jesus brings an earth-shattering truth to the forefront. Many desire to be great in the eyes of humanity and God. However, Jesus spoke forth a beautiful truth::whoever will be great, must be a servant.

If you look at the definition of the word “minister,” it means to run on errands, an attendant, a waiter [at a table or in other menial duties]. The word “servant” means subservient. And when Jesus states that the Son of man even came to minister, that means an attendant, to wait upon [menially or as a host, friend or teacher].

In our current structure [be it the church, workplace, family life, what have you], many believe that in order to gain you must be in front of the crowd, all eyes on you and carrying the loudest message. I beg to differ. Jesus simply stated that in order to be great [strong, mighty, exceedingly great], you must humble yourself and attend to others. If our Lord and Savior was an attendant, host and friend then why shouldn’t we be?

The most phenomenal closing to His statement is that because He was walking in a lifestyle of a minister [attendant, host, friend], He gave His life a ransom for many. I love the depth of the word ransom here::something to loosen with, a redemption price; to break, destroy, dissolve, melt, wreck, crack, a shattering to minute fragments, and to give vent to joyful emotions.

If, as a servant, Jesus brought the fullness of redemption and destruction of the hold of sin on the lives of men, then what can we accomplish in that same lifestyle of servant-hood?

Let us embrace a heartfelt attitude of serving others, not for the outcome of greatness, but knowing that our Lord Jesus walked in a life of serving.

“A great man is always willing to be little.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Blessings,
Crystal

Know the sending

During my time in the Word today, I was focusing on Matthew 15.  Of course, many of us recall the dialog that Jesus had with the Canaanite woman needing deliverance for her daughter that was “grievously vexed with a devil”.  I have always loved how she spoke to Christ and reminded Him that even the dogs get to eat the crumbs from the master’s table.

But today, something else caught my attention.  In verse 24, it says But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  Did you catch that?  He said I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  He knew EXACTLY who He was sent to.  Let’s look at that word “sent”.  In the Greek it is “apostellos” meaning to send, to separate out, to send on a mission.  But another definition is to be found.  It is “to be set at liberty.”

Wow!  So, this one little verse is opening up to me on two amazing levels.

  1. We need to seek Him and ask Him, WHO am I SENT to?  We need to know exactly what people group or region or state or even co-worker or family member that we are sent to minister to.
  2. When we are sent we are set at liberty and being sent on a mission to set others at liberty!  As we know who He is sending us to, it takes out all the guess-work and, to be frank, it takes the “me” out of the equation!  How liberating!!

I encourage you to spend some time before His feet and simply ask who it is that you are being sent to find and minister to.  He will show you and begin to burden your heart for them.  This can only lead to liberty –> for yourself AND for them!!

Seek Him, that you would know with a certainty who He has sent you to bless, minister to and set at liberty.

//Crystal//