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Finding Peace in a World Desperately Lacking

Today I woke up and felt discouraged with the issues surrounding our world and nation. This morning I had decided over coffee to hold off on my quiet time and spending time with God, until later in the afternoon. As the day went on, I found my soul on edge, sad, and definitely discouraged!

Fighting tears, I told my husband I was discouraged about everything in our culture and the implications of the virus; He lovingly responded by saying, “Seems like you need to spend time with God and read your Bible!” He was soooooooooo right!

Several minutes later, I took my daughter to the pool and opened up my devotional and Bible to find God was speaking right into my discouragement! Within moments he spoke right into my lack of focus on God and reminded me of the beautiful surrounding me!

Spending time with God didn’t make the virus disappear, or the pools and playgrounds reopen, or make all the tension and conflict in the world disappear! It calmed my soul, by giving me a God- centered perspective, rather than a worldly discouragement.

Yes, our world seems like it’s out of control! Yes, our nation feels like it’s gone completely mad! Yes, it feels inconsistent in rules, regulations, and what is acceptable for different groups of people! Yes, if I continue to focus on the news, Facebook, the closed pools & playgrounds around our nation, the disgruntled people from all political sides, and the struggles in our midst; I will feel downright discouraged, depressed, and frustrated! I will feel no peace, if I fail to seek God! When I seek God, I find a deep inner peace!

In fact, if I seek God’s face through reading my Bible, prayer, and worshiping him through song and nature; I will feel like rejoicing! I will have heathy and appropriate emotions and reactions to the world’s events! I will not be overcome with negative emotion, because I will have a deep peace and assurance that God is in control!

Today, I am thankful for a God who understands, loves unconditionally, is always in control, provides stability in the midst of instability, and calms his children in the midst of life’s storms and tribulations!

Friends, take some time and focus on Jesus today! Read his word, talk to him, worship him; You will find instantaneous peace in a world gone mad! You will find peace in a world of brokenness, tension, sadness, discrimination, and heartache!

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Blessings, Crystal

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He Will Give You The Desires of Your Heart

I love these people, more than life itself! Brings such joy to my heart to sit in church with my family who loves God and desires to serve Him! This was my dream as a child, to have a family who attended church together, and loved God and one another! Dreams do come true, when you love to serve God and hold to him through the good and the bad! I am grateful for my God and the blessing of my family!

Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

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Think (Pray) Before You Speak, Act, or Post

Breaks my heart to see people who claim to be God’s people, taking comments out of context, and posting an untrue version of political issues. I have seen people make a blatant statements regarding an article, video, or speech of a political figure or issue. Astonished, I look into the matter further, often to find a misstatement or a spreading of the truth. Which in all honesty, is fully intended to stir up conflict! Thus, creating more hate and tension! In a world with an over abundance of conflict, if Christian’s aren’t honest peace makers who deal with political issues in a Christ-like manner. Than, we’re all in trouble! In times like these I’m reminded of a verse.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

In order to deal with conflict, hate, and tensions in our world, country, and personal lives; It is essential to “speak the truth in love”! Speaking out of anger, frustration, bitterness, attention seeking, or ignorance…. Will only persist in offering more of the same! Spreading love requires a continual searching of our hearts and minds! Holding our heart and minds to God’s word and heart is the only way we can respond in a manner in which will better the world we all have to live in.”

“The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result!”

It will NOT work! It will only stir up the opposite of what is needed to make our world, country, churches, and personal lives, a more peaceful, joyous, and enjoyable place!

Food for thought!

By the way, This is the reason, I rarely post anything political or speak politics in my office! One day I will face the God of the universe and I will be responsible for my actions! Even what I post on Facebook! I certainly, don’t want to be responsible for stirring up ungodly hate and tension!

Am I perfect? Absolutely not! I have posted, said, or done things on the fly; with very little thought and paid spiritual and relational consequences. Experience is one of our loudest sources of understanding! Learn from experience and STOP repeating the same mistakes!

My motto: “Think (pray) before you speak! Think (pray) before you act! Think (pray) before you post!”

This motto has saved me a lot of unnecessary turmoil!

Speak, act, or post only when the Holy Spirit heeds; All while ensuring your actions align with God’s word!

Blessings, Crystal

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Think (Pray) Before You Speak, Act, or Post

Breaks my heart to see people who claim to be God’s people, taking comments out of context, and posting an untrue version of political issues. I have seen people make a blatant statements regarding an article, video, or speech of a political figure or issue. Astonished, I look into the matter further, often to find a misstatement or a spreading of the truth. Which in all honesty, is fully intended to stir up conflict! Thus, creating more hate and tension! In a world with an over abundance of conflict, if Christian’s aren’t honest peace makers who deal with political issues in a Christ-like manner. Than, we’re all in trouble! In times like these I’m reminded of a verse.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

In order to deal with conflict, hate, and tensions in our world, country, and personal lives; It is essential to “speak the truth in love”! Speaking out of anger, frustration, bitterness, attention seeking, or ignorance…. Will only persist in offering more of the same! Spreading love requires a continual searching of our hearts and minds! Holding our heart and minds to God’s word and heart is the only way we can respond in a manner in which will better the world we all have to live in.”

“The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result!”

It will NOT work! It will only stir up the opposite of what is needed to make our world, country, churches, and personal lives, a more peaceful, joyous, and enjoyable place!

Food for thought!

By the way, This is the reason, I rarely post anything political or speak politics in my office! One day I will face the God of the universe and I will be responsible for my actions! Even what I post on Facebook! I certainly, don’t want to be responsible for stirring up ungodly hate and tension!

Am I perfect? Absolutely not! I have posted, said, or done things on the fly; with very little thought and paid spiritual and relational consequences. Experience is one of our loudest sources of understanding! Learn from experience and STOP repeating the same mistakes!

My motto: “Think (pray) before you speak! Think (pray) before you act! Think (pray) before you post!”

This motto has saved me a lot of unnecessary turmoil!

Speak, act, or post only when the Holy Spirit heeds; All while ensuring your actions align with God’s word!

Blessings, Crystal

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Probe My Heart, O God!

“Though you probe my heart”…. I love the idea of God “probing” my heart. God probes and searches our heart out of love and His desire for us to be refined and more like Christ! “Search my heart, O’ God, see if there is any wicked within me!” We should regularly ask God to search the deepest recesses of our heart and be teachable to the Holy Spirit. Satan is conniving and has a way of manipulating us into sin, has an impeccable way of veering is off of God’s holy and perfect plan for our lives! God’s perfect plan is the only way to find joy, peace, contentment and fulfillment on Earth! Be blessed today! Allow God to “probe” your heart today! Blessings! Crystal

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Back Into The Arms of Jesus

Somewhere along the way I got lost. Despite the obvious signs, I failed to notice I was veering away from the intended target. Taking entirely wrong routes and failing to stop at necessary stops along the way, I grew tired and emotionally fatigued. By the time I recognized how far I’d deviated from the course, away from my desired destination, it was too late to turn around. I wanted so badly to turn around, to start where I first began wandering away, but I couldn’t! In all honesty, I didn’t even know where I took that first wrong turn. Sitting on a long narrow path, afraid I would never make it back, tears began to flow in droves down my checks. I yearned with everything in me for the comfort and peace of God’s heavenly sanctuary! Looking around I saw the scenery, it was wild and out of control. Despite my efforts, it seemed impossible to get my bearings together! To get back on the right track. The fear, the hurt, and the anger screamed out from the depths of my spirit. “How can I find my way out of this mess? How can I find my way back home?” Sobs overcame my spirit, as the past slowly came back to me. The wrong turns, poor choices, and the continual failure to ask the Lord for directions and guidance. Suddenly I knew where to turn, I looked up into the face of Jesus! Looked full in his wonderful face, as the confusion of my lost and weary soul began to connect with God. All of a sudden I was broken, sobbing, and in complete surrender to the Heavenly Father! I was broken, but no longer plagued with a heavy sense of dread. No longer did I feel lost and alone! The world and it’s problems began to fade away! Suddenly, the narrow road before me opened up and I saw a light. My weary heart felt a new hope! Somewhere along the way, I took my eyes off Jesus and got lost! Feeling stranded and alone I headed down a road of emptiness, pain, and rejection. My focus grew hazy as the road to worldly pleasures became vividly clear. I stopped in the middle of that dark

and empty road all alone!  Mesmerized by the light before me, the only place to look was up.  My heart immediately felt peace!  I was back on track and headed home.  Into the arms of Jesus! 

Sent from my iPhone

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Discerning God’s Will In The Midst of Uncertainty

It is hard to discern next steps in the midst of uncertainty… I’ve been in this place many times! Every single time I find this phase extremely difficult! I have learned a few things during these uncomfortable times in my life.

1) Never act until you feel the Holy Spirit leading. “This is tough because our flesh always wants to lead us astray and this only causes greater difficulties, hurt, brokenness in the long run… But sure feels good in the moment.” BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD!

2) Pray without ceasing and READ READ READ the Bible! The answers are written in the book of life! Even when it feels God is silent and it seems all you see in the future is unclear direction… God is working in the midst of the situation! He has not forgotten about the difficulty, your hurting heart, or your fear… Do not lose hope, remain focused on Him, His word, and praying… He will show up and continue showing up at just the right times! ASK AND YOU WILL RECEIVE, KNOCK AND THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED, SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND!

3) Do not lose hope! Christ died on a cross for our sins, simply because of His unconditional love for us! He warns us that we will have trouble in this life over and over! There is no promise of a pain free life! We can through Christ find joy and peace in the midst of our trials! He says in his word that he wants us to not only live, but live abundantly! We must not lose hope at the first sign of hardship… or even when hardships keep hitting us relentlessly! Stay focused on God!

Hebrews 12 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Friends, Do you feel your living a real life game of wack-o-mole??? I do, it has been one of the most difficult years for me and my family! Even in the midst of the trials, I see clearly where God was trying to protect us! He’s doing the same for you! He is working and he hasn’t forgotten your trials! He hasn’t forgotten your broken heart! He hasn’t forgotten your fears! Don’t lose hope my friends! Keep looking to God!

Ephesians 1:11 & 12 “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.”

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Fear, Coronavirus, & Resting in God

I have a tremendous tendency to be fearful… To live with anxious anticipation of the future! I haven’t always been a fear or panic driven individual… Actually, that’s not entirely true! I have always been overly cautious and struggle to fully live in the present moment. But, the level of fear of the unknown has grown tremendously over the past several years. Is it a part of getting older and realizing I’m not invisible? Is it seeing how quickly life passes before your eyes, causing a fear of blinking? Is it a weakened faith? Is it hormones? I’m not sure of the cause… I do know it’s always been a part of my story, and recently feels more overwhelming! The Lord continues to teach me lessons about trusting in Him fully! He continues to comfort me, even when I lose sight of His protection and grace. He continues to bless me, even though I wander like a bewildered sheep; Even though I so easily lose my focus and succumb to fear.

The Conronavirus has definitely threatened this fear response! Part of me refuses to succumb to fear… I know God is in control and our days are already numbered, despite the virus that is wrapping around the globe. There is another part of me that sees the hysteria, the empty shelves, the cancelled schools and events worldwide, the numerous Facebook Posts and news articles, and it threatens my ability to feel joy. With all these avenues of concern bombarding next left and right, I can easily get internally trapped in the mass hysteria. To the point if feeling fear and dread, about running out of toilet paper. I have never been afraid of running out of toilet paper; The response, came from those around me frantically emptying the shelves of every square of toilet paper on the shelves. Toilet paper has gone from an easily disposable commodity, to me telling my family to use it sparingly!

Every time I turn around there’s more news, information, or people talking about this virus. I know it’s scary! I feel it! I have decided to live cautiously, wash my hands, be smart, and teach my kids the same! I’ve also decided I am not going to refuse to live! I’m going to live, love, and look forward to the future! I refuse to allow Satan to steal my peace! I’m going to trust God! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul. In all my ways acknowledge him and He will direct your paths!” Proverbs 3:5&6.

I’m an empath and feel EVERYTHING very deeply. This Coronavirus has “absolutely” been no exception. Every since it hit China, I felt the struggle of those suffering, often drawn to tears by watching the news. As it’s moved around the globe, my heart has ached over the news stories and posts of friends from abroad. My heart aches for the most vulnerable, those who have been quarantined and stuck away from home, those who have fallen ill to the virus, and those who are being indirectly impacted by the virus. When anyone hurts, I hurt alongside them! It’s a part of being an empath and having a sensitive spirit to the needs of others. Yes, it’s exhausting! Sometimes, I want to have a tougher skin and be more able to let things roll off my back. I must remember, this sensitivity to the feelings and needs of others is a gift! A heart like Christ’s… Pretty sure Jesus was an empath and felt the needs of His beloved, even more than I do!

For now, I am going to focus on keeping my heart, mind, and soul focused on Jesus! When I feel overcome with fear, I will take it to the cross! When those I love become ill, I will pray and be the hands and feet of Jesus! If I get sick, I will know that God will use it for good in His perfect timing! I trust he’s got a plan and I know this virus does not surprise Him! He’s prepared! He’s in control! He’s holding each and everyone of us in His hands!

Blessings, Crystal

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Love Proves Greater, In the Midst of Life’s Greatest Trials

My Valentine’s gift from my one and only sweetheart! Such a special gift and abundantly meaningful after a full year of joy and precious memories; in addition a tragedy in the family, tremendous trials in life’s battles, and heartaches greater than the average year.

This year… Love has proven greater… on the upside of life’s trials and struggles… I see a love more enriched through commitment to God and one another!

We’ve laughed together!

Explored the World together!

Journeyed family tragedy together!

Hurt together!

Shared life’s greatest joys and trials together!

Love Proves Greater, In the Midst of Life’s Greatest Trials

A dozen roses… more meaningful in the depths of love!

Feel good feelings and butterflies come and go… true love is much greater!

True love is deeper… roots run deep into the soil of God’s word and grows pure when it’s foundation rests in the hope of Jesus Christ!

Made stronger in the midst of life’s trials, when committed to living, loving, and serving God and one another!

Marriage is full of bliss… only when ordained in Heaven, held together by prayer in times of trial, together praising and thanking God for the gift of one’s soul mate! Made in His image, to love one another! This kind of love is greater than looks, Earthly pleasures, or worldly gain!

This love is a spiritual love… made stronger through a Heavenly and sacrificial focus to present one another to God without blemish.

This kind of love is only possible… as surrendered vessels of His unconditional love and the Spirit of God himself.

God uses this unconditional love to heal the heart of the broken!

God allows this type of love… only when His children obey his commandments… and maintain a teachable and discernible Spirit!

There is only one greater love on Earth… The Holy, undefiled, unconditional, and perfect love of the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit.

God’s perfect and Holy plan for marriage… Is a beautiful symbol of God’s perfect and true love… A perfect symbol of how Christ loves and gave his life for the church! God’s plans are always perfect and good! No Earthly person, place, or thing can even slightly compare to the perfectly fulfilling love of God!

Happy Valentine’s Day! To my one true Valentine and greatest gift on Earth!

Thank you for loving me well! Most of all, thank you for being willing to surrender your heart and will to Christ’s purpose and plan for our marriage! Thank you for maintaining our marital commitment before God himself! Our vows taken with great commitment and as a covenant to God himself! “To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law.”

I am blessed to be loved with a love ordained in Heaven! To be loved by a God-fearing man!