Every seed grows something

Every seed grows something

 

While enjoying a movie with my 1st grader I decided to make popcorn.  Love the stuff-she does too but we get a special kick out of the half-popped seeds in the bottom of the bag. We love to crunch them- however this time I noticed that she was collecting hers.  I asked her what she was doing and she said she wanted to plant them.  I tried to explain that they probably wouldn’t grow what she was looking for. And she said back to me,” Mom, every seed grows something!” 

This got me to thinking.  How does she know that?  What I didn’t realize is that she’s been studying plants in school this week.  Every child got to plant a bean seed in a cup.  I can remember doing the same thing in school.  You see, the bean seed will sprout quickly so that the unit can be taught and the students can see the results of their labor in just a short time.  When she brought her plant home later that week she was so excited to show me. She was like a mother hen brooding over her egg. She wanted to water it over and over again so it would grow faster. She moved it to the windowsill so it could get more sunlight.  I can understand her enthusiasm and frustration but there’s a lesson in this cup.

Gardening is hard work.  Seriously hard work.  Just breaking up the ground is test of your will.  Of course they make tools now that aren’t so hard on your back but it is still hard work.  And the soil.  Making sure the soil’s pH is correct for what you are planning to grow there. Will the area get enough sun?  Is it too sunny for what you are planting?  All these questions have to be answered.  The bible has many references for planting seed in good ground. 

You see, my daughter wants to plant popcorn seeds.  She thinks that she’ll get popcorn when she plants them.  She wants popcorn.  But she won’t get popcorn.  She’ll get a rendition of corn if she gets anything at all but it will be completely inedible.  You see the popcorn that we eat is treated before it comes in that microwave bag.  On the outside, it looks like popcorn seeds but don’t be deceived. 

 We do the same things in life.  We speak those things that are not as though they are.  But we aren’t always consistent with the rest of our words.  We quickly fall back into a complaint mode when someone asks us a seemingly innocent question.  The question could be related to something totally different then the goal of our popcorn crop. I believe that if you want to grow corn you should plant corn.  If you want to grow beans you should plant beans etc etc.

 

Don’t say you want a husband but you are totally uncomfortable with submitting yourself. You are not good with sharing your space or your money but you want a husband…you make excuses why its ok for you to do the things that you do. Buying clothes and sneaking them into the house… Keeping the friends that you know completely adore being single and they want you to do all the things they do. Popcorn.  Now I know that there is no one perfect in this earth except Jesus but I do believe that we could make a better effort.  Let’s plant the right things in our lives.  Let’s plant joy and not pain.  Let’s plant peace and not war. Let’s plant strength and not weakness.  Let’s plant truth and not lies. Let’s brood over the things that are lovely and true and kind like in Phil 4:8. Also, let’s uproot the things that we shouldn’t be fostering growth for. Like impatience, anger and resentment. Pluck up the weeds in our lives as soon as we see them.  Don’t let them fester into something so big that we can’t get rid of it without help.

salvation on you Hosea 10:12 puts it this way:  Sow with a view to righteousness (that righteousness, like seed, may germinate);Reap in accordance with mercy and lovingkindness.  Break up your uncultivated ground, For it is time to seek and search diligently for the Lord (and to long for his blessing) Until He comes to rain righteousness and His gift of.

Mine!

Mine!

 

This year I decided to address some health issues I’m having.  Specifically, diabetes type 2. And as in many years past I’ve attempted to lose weight in order to manage this disease and hopefully get off some of the medications that I’m on. Simply changing the habits of overeating and not having enough exercise were not enough.  I would lose the weight, get comfortable and then gain it back.  I know there’s someone out there who can be a witness to this yoyo cycle behavior.  I looked backwards at my previous weights via my fitness app and decided enough was enough.  I realize that I have to have my mind ready to pursue the goal and understand my why’s so well that I could rattle them off without thinking.  I didn’t want to participate in a particular diet just because my best friend was trying this or that but I wanted to make the plan specific for me.  But first I had to retrain my brain.

My daughter is playing volleyball for the first time.  It’s a recreational league and most of the girls have never played before.  These 7,8 and 9-year old’s in some cases have probably never seen a game from beginning to end. And if you didn’t know it, most all the games are won with the serve.  The girls stood  in formation with their hands out and ready, like little soldiers as instructed by the coach and one by one the ball either hit the net or came across without a response from them.  What amused me in the beginning was how the girls waited for the ball to come precisely to them before attempting to respond to its presence. Over the season they learned that they have to move their feet in response to where the ball is going.  They cannot stand there and wait for it to show up in their laps.  The ball will almost never come directly to you. You will always have to adjust to that moving ball in order to hit it back.

As they learned to move more, they then had to learn the concept of “mine”.  The coach drilled them over and over again that if you are the one going for the ball you must claim it by saying,” Mine!”  Stating it loud enough for all your teammates to hear you.  Go for it!  This one is mine! Chase after it and claim it. In the beginning they were very timid about all of it.  Not sure what to do they occasionally would go for it and other times not. Their voices seemed so small in the beginning. But as they progress and change to adapt to this ever-moving ball, they are now yelling it out and claiming what is theirs!  Mine!  I heard my daughter say and made an attempt to hit it back.  Occasionally she made it work and other times did not but her efforts were improving and that was something to be proud of.  Of course, all of this had me to thinking…

As I chase after my health goals, I have to claim what belongs to me.  I have to claim it.  I have to believe that it is mine.  And not only do I have to speak it out of my mouth but I also need to move to it!  Don’t sit there waiting for a normal blood sugar to show up but chase it down for what it is.  It’s mine.  I relish these thoughts when I’m walking, or on the treadmill or lifting weights.  I play the song,” It’s Yours!” by Jekalyn Carr to remind me that If I want it, I can have it.  I’m taking time each day to write and or read my affirmations.  I write down my I am’s each morning and try to review them throughout the day. I am healthy.  I am strong.  I am capable.  I am blessed.  I am free.  I am a child of the Most High God.  

But not only do I have say it aloud, I have to do it too.  I have move toward the best eating habits and exercising habits.  I have to listen to inspiring messages to keep my motivation going.  I have to remember all the promises that God gave us.  I post it, I draw it, I read it and I write it.

Isaiah 58:11 ”The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.” 

Revelation 22:2 It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month.  The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.”

John 10:10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.  My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.  I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.

 

I am retraining my brain to receive what God has for me.  Strength, health, wisdom, love and so many other good things.  This is the day to work for and claim what is, “MINE!”

 

Just keeping it CristaClear.www.cristaclearinspirations.com

Doubt is necessary

Doubt is necessary

I often hear people doubting themselves about one thing or another.  They don’t try because they don’t believe they’ll be successful. The odds are against the success of the project so we don’t make the attempt at all. They are afraid. They worry about what people will think of them. They give up or give in.  I’m just as guilty as anyone else.  I’ve tried to lose weight over and over with various successes and failures.  There are days when I just say forget the whole thing. I am what I am.  But as I get older and health concerns come to the fore front, I realize I have to keep trying.  I have to use doubt as a jump off point to get moving. 

I’m angry.  Pissed off (sorry mom- I know you don’t like it when I talk like that). But I want my life to be different.  I want to be healthy.  I want to be strong.  I don’t want to rub my knees in the morning when its time to get up.  I don’t want to lay in the bed a few additional minutes each morning to allow my muscles a chance to know what’s coming. I want to spring out of the bed like a young person. I don’t want to schedule my day around taking medicines. It just seems so unfair.

Every time I get a new medicine, I find out later that this medicine is connected to...everything!  Kidney failure, pneumonia, sore throats, cancer and death.  Death!  I realize that in order to go forward in medicine we try different things and sometimes the things that we try have caused death….  I’m only writing these things down because I feel like a hamster in a wheel.  Turning, moving, doing and going nowhere.

Doubt is right there.  Staring at me. Laughing at me. Believing that he’s won. He’s leaned over to his friends and said, “watch her fail.” But I have resilience on my side. Faith on my side. Courage on my side. Determination on my side.  I suppose that if doubt didn’t exist, I wouldn’t question anything. I’d just go forward like a toddler who’s never walked.  Fearless and excited for things to come.  Looking at what I want that’s ahead of me. Not concerned about falling. But still rising after the fall. Not always waiting for the fall to happen but going forward knowing that I may fall but my desire to keep going is stronger than my desire to stay here. I have to keep trying.  Doubt makes success all the sweeter!

There have been many days when I’ve wanted to give up.  I imagine you have them too. Despite everything else.  I’ve decided to try again. Not because its possible that I may fail but its possible that I may succeed.  I may meet my goal.  I’ll reassess and start again if I don’t.  I’ll keep my eyes on the goal and be ok with the fact that I will more than likely fall again but doubt won’t stop me.

Romans 8:37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

Christ is clear!

 

www.cristaclearinspirations.com

Depleted

Depleted: use up the supply or resources of. Diminish in number or quantity. To drain, exhaust, impoverish, bankrupt

I sat there with the tv watching me mostly. I was half listening and half not.  I just couldn’t answer one more question that day. My resources were at zero. I was depleted. The stresses of life just feel like they’ve increased the last few weeks.  In some senses I felt angry. I found myself being constantly reminded that what I was being asked was not a direct indication that the person asking it was incapable of intelligent thought.  Although I could see myself saying over and over, “Did you look for it? Have you tried before coming to me about this? Can’t you see I need a break today?  But regardless of the look on my face the questions just keep coming.  Even one of my besties at work noticed that I was different that day.  She looked after me as she saw fit and I made it to the end of the work day without incident. That’s what friends are supposed to do.

In some ways its nice that I’m depended on for some things but in other ways I know that this is a failure.  I should be teaching you to be self sufficient and not dependent on me for everything. I’m reminded of the woman in the bible with the jar of oil.  The story is found in 2 Kings 4:1-7 but the summation of the story is that a woman’s husband has died and she is facing the fact that she will be losing her sons to slavery to pay residual debt that was left behind.  I’m disturbed that this husband left her with nothing but more so that she was unable to figure out what to do.  In those days, women were not business owners necessarily although we do find some examples here and there of women who earn money for their families but this woman was depleted of almost everything. Widows typically gleaned in the fields to take what was left over but were also taken care of too (Deuteronomy 10:18). She didn’t have food to make and sell or garments she could sew or anything.  She had a small amount of oil.  That’s what she had left.  She had managed to keep the children and herself alive (we don’t know how long) but the point at which we are brought into the story we find this woman with practically nothing. 

She asks for help from Elisha and his first question is “What shall I do for you? Tell me what do you have in the house?”  Now I know Elisha knows this woman because she states that her husband was his servant.  This tells me that Elisha knows he’s dead.  In these times widows were to be taken care of by other families.  Deuteronomy 14:29 We are still called to do this today but we’d rather let social security do it.  So, when Elisha asks her these questions it kind of bothers me. But the questions he asks are important because he is showing her how to live on her own without her husband. The questions are to awaken the God in her.  He makes her take an inventory to see what does she have.  She essentially has nothing but in God’s eyes it is enough. She follows the prophet’s directions and is able to pay her debts and live off the rest. He didn’t leave her sitting there waiting for someone to take her children away. He invited her to use what she had.

We are enough.  We have enough. We have to use even the small diminished amount we have. Use the gifts we are given to push forward and stop living depleted. When I feel this way I have stop and remind myself of what I do have. Stop and think. Stop and remember. Stop and know that God has a plan for you and me and it is to prosper. He has a hope and future for us.   And I know in my heart of hearts that what I have is enough. Remember your source!

Just keeping it Cristaclear.  Thanks for watching/listening/reading!

www.cristaclearinspirations.com 

Be inspired to inspire. Be encouraged to encourage. Up lift someone with the love of God.

What are you afraid of?

 

This time of year I’m often amazed at how many people spend countless amounts of money on candy, costumes and decorations to try and scare people. I’m told this pagan holiday brings in more revenue than Christmas.  Is anybody else troubled by this at all?  I was talking with my daughter about fear one morning.  She had a nightmare the night before and I’d gone to her room twice to help her get back to sleep.  We talked about how the dream wasn’t real.  It also brought to mind the times when she was very young and afraid of mascots.  The fear came out of what was supposed to be a positive experience but it went completely off the rails. 

While she was in kindergarten the local basketball team sent their mascot-Harry the Hawk to visit her school for a pep rally.  The majority of the children enjoy this event but my daughter (who doesn’t like to be frightened—me either btw) did not have the same experience.  She was terrified.  I’m told that she had to be pulled out from under a table in the cafeteria by a teacher and taken out of the area completely.  There were other children who had a similar experience but for my child this experience changed her. 

Up until then we were (still are) big basketball fans.  We have a family member who actually plays for the WNBA and so we always support her when she comes to town to play etc etc.  After the Hawk incident we had some tickets to a game.  I was concerned but I had hope that she would be ok since she was with us.  We sat her in between us so the mascot couldn’t get to her if they wanted to. I’d talked to her about the game before we went.  I prepped her as best as I could.  I thought she was going to be ok.  After we got to the game all she could focus on was the mascot.  The Atlanta Dream has a mascot that looks like a light blue puff ball.  Google it if you like.  My daughter couldn’t watch the game at all and although there were many family members encouraging her to “get over it” she wasn’t convinced.  By half time I realized it really was too much for her.  She was literally shaking and starting to cry. 

 

We went home.  I couldn’t do that to her.  I spent way too much money on the tickets and really wanted to see the game but I couldn’t enjoy anything while my youngest was living a nightmare.  In her eyes she felt threatened.  She felt powerless and had what she felt to be no control over her environment.

 

That’s what fear is like. It’s a feeling of powerlessness and lack of control over your surroundings.  It’s like not having the confidence of the truth inside of you.  As I study the word of God I see over and over again how people were afraid of things to come- afraid of their surroundings.  I look at Esther and how she displayed incredible courage in facing the King.  She was victorious.  I look at Tamar (Genesis 38) and marvel at how she decided to get what really belonged to her when she was wronged.  She almost suffered death for it-but she prospered.  Look at Ruth and Naomi.  Ruth loses her husband, doesn’t go back to her blood relatives and returns home with Naomi to a place she doesn’t know.

Over and over again we are instructed to have courage and not be afraid. Joshua 1:7 says it best, ”Be strong and very courageous”.  Why would God instruct us to have this kind of courage?  Because we are winners!  He’s already won it all for us.

Faith calls us to believe without seeing.  Hebrews reminds us that by faith the entire universe was formed at God’s command. (Hebrews 11:3).  It goes on to say that even Abel brought a more acceptable gift to God than Cain did by faith.  Peter walks on water because of faith.  He faced his fears, kept his eyes on Jesus and proved to himself that miracles are possible.

So, what are you afraid of doing?  It can be simple or complex but day by day I’m making every attempt to face my own fears.  My fears like many others almost always expose my vulnerabilities.  Doing things that we are uncomfortable with in a gradual format can only prove to help us get accustomed to the fact that fear will never go away.  We can however go forward despite fear being there.  So I can be afraid but I will still go forward.  I tell myself positive messages to get my courage up. I equip myself with knowledge about whatever the fear is.  When it comes to public speaking I tell myself that these are just people.  There is not one person that is better or worse than another.  My message to them may be just what God needed to tell them.  So speak up! Go forward!  See fear and be determined to go wisely anyway!

 

Just keeping it Cristaclear! 

www.cristaclearinspirations.com

You gon ask for more?

 

Being in traffic for an hour in the morning and an hour each evening can be taxing.  It’s a part of living here in Atlanta.  A lot of people have long commutes and it’s something you just get used to or you move.  One morning this week I was in traffic for almost 2 hours.  It was bad.  I admit it. but while sitting still and waiting on whatever the holdup was I started texting my good friend.  She’s been struggling with some personal things and I wanted to check on her.  You know just let her know I care and I’m concerned.  Anyway, as we talked back and forth about how good God is and how he will move on her behalf I mentioned to her that I wish he’d move this traffic out of my way.  A moment later, she started to pray for me in the traffic.  That God would move it out of my way and allow me to get where I needed to be.  In seconds, it was like the Red Sea opened.  I can’t explain how quickly this happened.  I took off and made it to work within a couple of minutes. I think I only stopped once for one street light.  It reminded me of the scripture found in Matthew 7:7 Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened unto you.”   Truly, I hadn’t even asked God for anything.  I could have asked Him myself.  I had just accepted that traffic was bad and there wasn’t anything human I could do about it. But God says that we should ask!  Why don’t we ask?  Do we believe that we don’t deserve more?  He said we could ask—according to His will of course and he is ready and willing to give to us.

My grandparents lived through the depression of 1929.  They were a family with 4 children and my grandfather worked very hard to provide for them.  My grandmother worked at home to raise the children.  She made their clothes and cooked/cleaned etc.  She was one hardworking woman.  In fact, when my grandfather opened a laundry in the garage of their home-she worked there too! I mention this because of a story my aunt has told me over the years.  She said that at the dinner table each evening you had to completely clean your plate before you could ask for more food.  She said she would talk to her brother secretly and ask him,” You gon ask for mo?  I’m gon ask for mo!”   I find it funny because the situation with God is similar.  God is ready and willing to give us more when we ask for it but we do have an obligation to be responsible with what he has already given us.  We have to be ready for the more before he’s willing to hand it over.  But it starts with the question,” Are you going to ask for more or are you going to settle for the mediocre?  Do you want the minimum of what you can have or do you want All that God has planned for you?  God has so much He wants to give to us.  Just ask.

Some of you say,” I’ve asked God for this and that and he hasn’t answered yet.”  Where is God when I need him?  I believe God is always there.  His word says that He’ll never leave us or forsake us.  He never sleeps or slumbers.  So, I’m sure he’s listening and has heard your prayer.  When there is no immediate answer the answer is to continue to trust God. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it’s no and sometimes it’s not now.  That’s the part you have to figure out.  There is always purpose in the struggle.

Just keeping it Cristaclear!  Keep on asking, keep on knocking and keep on seeking!

www.cristaclearinspirations.com

Sound the alarm!

Yesterday I was at my child’s schools for an informative meeting.  The meeting took place prior to school and ended maybe 10 minutes after the official school day had begun.  As usual I stood around talking to someone I knew (she works there) and she told me that they we’re supposed to have a fire drill this morning.  I looked up and there was the assistant principal coming to pull the alarm for the drill.  I said some quick goodbyes to my friend and started for the car.  The alarm sounded as I walked out.  It was very loud-undeniable and needed no explanation as to what it was. 

As I walked to my car I could see all the students leaving the building- quietly and quickly.  They walked with purpose in line and once they were at a safe distance from the school they stood in 2 parallel lines facing the building. The teachers then held up a sign to indicate what class they were from and that all were accounted for.

This got me to thinking. I started to imagine how the students were going about their normal everyday routine when that alarm went off.  The students were not notified that the drill that was going to happen. I could see the children working on their assignments in my mind -like math, or reading a great book or coloring something.  In an instant the alarm goes off. They drop everything and head straight outside.  In the time I leisurely walked to my car- certainly less than 3 minutes-the entire school was outside. I was so impressed.

Earlier this week there was an award show on television.  I didn’t watch the show but the next day at work my colleagues were discussing the attendees and what they were wearing.  Most of the people being discussed were women but they were all dressed like strippers in my opinion.  I’m not sure how much more they could reveal themselves without just completely disrobing. I’m a lover of creativity in what we wear but not one of public nudity.  It is always disturbing to see anyone degrade themselves in this way just because they like the attention or crave the social media likes. I really would like to see this stop-I imagine you do too. As I’ve heard before, “Girls want attention- women want respect.”

Some of these celebrities admit that they do it for the attention. They like being seen as sex symbols. Others appear to need more formal counseling to work through their issues. But when I see things like that I hear God sounding the alarm.  Calling us to come to Him.  Telling us to drop everything and follow Him. Come to Jesus and seek his wisdom in your everyday decisions. Don’t let man tell you how to be but let your Father in heaven. He is our creator and he didn’t create us to become idols to other people. He is the ultimate. In him we can have peace and joy. We can be content in Him.  He is a supplier of all our needs.

When the alarm sounds in your life we need to come out just like the children did.  Drop everything, line up, walk out in order and lift up a sign to say you made it. Your spiritual life depends on it.

 

Just keeping it Cristaclear!  Thanks for subscribing!

 

Clean Hands

As most of you know I work in a hospital.  Each day as I take care of sick patients I, along with my coworkers pay close attention to infection control guidelines.  We don gloves and gowns to protect not only the patient from us but us from the patient.  It is so easy to transfer germs from one object to another.  In between procedures and processes we wash our hands to ensure that each process is “clean”.  I was washing my hands today and as I was scrubbing in between my fingers, under my nails etc I somehow got lost in how good it felt to wash away the germs. This got me to thinking about something.

 When Jesus made the decision to die on the cross for our wrong doings He washed away our sins. He took blow after blow to ensure that we would never have to see the finality of death. In Isaiah 1:16 it states” Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; see justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widows cause. Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

In our day to day lives we are presented over and over again opportunities to do wrong.  From the moment, we wake until we fall asleep sin is ever present.  We see it in the form of friendships that we need to terminate, colleagues that expose their immoral thoughts to us-we need to cast those down immediately btw, and even our thoughts that can sometimes keep us awake at night with worry. Television and internet present countless ways for us to do wrong.  However, Jesus has challenged us to wash ourselves-to remove the evil deeds.  He’s asked us to learn to do good.   We must be willing and obedient to receive the good of the land.  We can’t live like rebels and expect the goodness to fall on us like snow. I don’t know about you but I’d like a clean heart and mind so I can inherit all that God has for me. 

I want to wash myself in all God’s goodness.  I want to get lost in the love and patience he has for me. I want to wash away all the negative things that keep me from having a close intimate relationship with my Father.  I want to do good, see justice and plead the widows cause.  Those are things that bring God glory. I do realize and you should too that salvation is not earned.  But a relationship with Christ means understanding His ways and thinking/acting as he would.  This can only be accomplished by spending time with him and his word.   Those are the things that help us wash away the germs of the day. Those are the things that make us stronger and keep us from the temptations of this world.  Job 17:9 ESV states,” Yet the righteous holds to his way, and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.”  And even when we fail to get it right—something we all struggle with- we can always start again- and bathe in God’s goodness and forgiveness.  He loves us so much that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.  In Psalms 24:3-4 sums it up nicely for me.  Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false.  Let’s keep it clean guys. It’s totally worth it.

Just keeping it Cristaclear. 

 

Pull the Band-aid off!

The other day my 3 year old daughter was being her usual self playing rough and tumble...and she did just that.  She tumbled and bumped her head.  There was lots of tears and crying -no bruises or bleeding -but once Mom put the band-aid on her forehead (not the actual spot she bumped) all was well.  She continued to play and have fun.  About 2 hours later I said to her," let me take your band-aid off- your boo boo is all healed up".  The very thought of taking off her band-aid made her upset and she not only refused but ran off full speed. 

This got me to thinking...how often we find ourselves "hurt" but are already healed.  We and when I say we I mean me included would much rather run around with this crazy band-aid on our heads thinking we are bleeding to death if not for the band-aid.  God said in his word that we are already healed.  Apparently we do not believe that.  But today I decided that I'm pulling off the band-aid.  I'm facing my fears and I'm putting my trust in God. Today, I've decided to tackle my biggest foe thus far...weight loss.  I plan to blog my thoughts of today but more importantly my thinking of the past so I can pin down what my mental problem is and get this goal reached.  It's not too late.  I'm not too old.  I don't have too much responsibility.  I can and will take a few more selfish moments for myself and get the healthy body back that I deserve. I'm pulling the Band-aid off.  It will hurt at first but after the initial pains I will start to heal.

you are welcome to join me!

just keeping it Cristaclear! 

Just Get In!

 

Yesterday I took my daughter to the water park.  Over the last 4 years my husband and I have spent a lot of money on swimming lessons and I was truly looking forward to just sitting in a chair and watching her in the pool.  I’ve worked a lot of hours as well and really needed  the downtime.  My husband decided not to go with us as he wasn’t feeling his best and didn’t see the sense in paying for him to be a spectator.  So I finished my work day and got on the road. 

She was so excited to go.  We just listened to music for the 1 hour ride and she talked and laughed and sang all the way there.  After a long wait in line we went out to the pool.  She wanted the outdoor pool and I had no objections. However, it was closed due to lightning in the area. So, inside we went to experience the wave pool and lazy river etc. 

Things went well for a while but she was so insistent on me swimming with her that I begrudgingly got in the lazy river with her.  First of all the water was a little colder than I would have preferred but I did want to spend time with her so I got in.  The first loop around I tiptoed-attempting to not get my body wet above the waist.  I did my best to avoid the water pouring down over us at certain sections but by the second loop I got poured on.  Lord Jesus it was COLD!  I just hollered!  She laughed.  She’d already become accustomed to the temperature of the water and I was still struggling.  As we continued to go around I started to enjoy it more.  By the 5th or 6th time I was looking forward to the waterfall.  I knew when it was coming.  I knew to look down to keep the water out of my nose and it didn’t feel cold anymore.

Of course you know that got me to thinking. How much time do we waste anticipating something to be bad, knowing deep down on the inside that the sooner you try the sooner you’ll get good at it?  Our perspective makes such a difference at how successful we can be.  My daughter wasn’t discouraged that she couldn’t swim outside because she knew there was more inside and she went for it with everything she had.  Even if it meant that she did it on her own.  She was determined to have what she anticipated.  For a full hour she was so excited to come to a new place and do something exciting.  While I dealt with traffic she stayed pretty happy all the way there.  She did as most kids do by asking the question,” Are we there yet?” but other than that she was a real trooper. 

What if we as believers just went forward knowing that God has a plan for us? That despite how things look on the outside he will make sure we have everything we need.  Moving in faith and knowing that we are not only provided for today but for the future.  The past is over. The future is pending but the present is here.  Live in the present.  Forget the traffic. Forget the issues of the day and just get in.

 

Matthew 14:29

So He said, ”Come.”  And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

Recenter

Recenter!

Give me a sign Lord!  How many times have I said that?  I’m not sure but I imagine any of you reading this could understand where I’m coming from.  We come across difficult situations everyday-some worse or better than others but still we have problems to solve.  I often say to myself, “Lord what should I do?” At times I hear His voice clearly other times not. 

The other day I was using a driving app for directions.  Most of the time I know where I’m going but I like the app to let me know how long it’s going to take to get there. I was in traffic at a street light and I found myself looking closer at the map to see if there was a better way to get where I was going with less traffic. As I looked at the actual road there were signs everywhere,” one way, road closed, stop, yield etc.” So, I looked closer at the neighborhood side streets, freeways etc. on my app and kinda got lost as I worked my way through those roads to see if it would help me.  For a second I couldn’t figure out where I was.  I kinda laughed it off and used the “Recenter” button at the bottom of the screen. 

This made me think about all the times that I’ve gotten lost trying to do something or go somewhere and God has already given me the best directions.  He’s given me the way to go and all I have to do is just use it. Recenter.  Stop trying to do things in a way that God has not instructed.  He knows all and sees all right down to what you will be wearing tomorrow.  Let him direct you. Everything will be just fine.  But what if your internal Recenter button isn’t working?  What if you can’t hear the Lord clearly and don’t know what to do? 

When I feel this way I try to slow everything down and think.  I try to focus on God’s word and I shut every other voice off.  Radio-off, TV-off, cell phone- off.  I try to use what I know about God to help me refocus on what to do.  I pray and I wait. If I’m in a situation where someone is waiting for an answer-I punt.  I try to delay the answer if possible and in my mind I’m praying to God.  I ask him to answer for me. Tell me what to say. Interrupt the person with the question so they move on until I can give the answer you would have me to give.  Some questions don’t deserve an answer anyhow.  Maybe that’s the answer.  Jesus certainly didn’t answer his critics so why should I? 

Overall, I do the best I can to hear from the Lord.  Sometimes I fast just to help me think clearly-this helps me to recenter.  I can’t tell anyone what to do but I can tell you that this works well for me.  Reading God’s word helps as well.  Lean to God’s understanding- He will direct your paths. I made it to my destination by the way-God is much better than any phone app!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths.

 

Just keeping it Cristaclear!  Stay tuned there's more to come!

Rejection

Rejection, there is no feeling like it. Darkness overcoming the mind, leaving you feeling like you are the only one-that’s what it feels like. Like there’s no one who can relate to you. No one that can understand you. It’s the feeling of being an oddity of nature. Rejection can make a person feel alone in a room full of people. It can give the feeling of sadness just because you are not the same. But I challenge you that this uniqueness is ordained. You are an original. Be an original. You are not rejected. God loves you like no man ever can. He says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. When it says "fearfully" He means extremely or to an awesome degree! Isn't that amazing? In Psalms 139:14 NLT it states," Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it." We are accepted by Christ! It is His desire that we know how much we are loved. God wouldn't have given his son if He didn't' love us! Live on purpose today. Don't live in Fear....Live Undaunted! Lastly, don't leave anyone behind in this rejection that the world puts on us. Extend the hand of Christ to those who feel rejected. The enemy is busy but MY GOD is Victorious! He CANNOT LOSE! And it is our purpose to Live and abide in Christ! It is our job to lift those who are oppressed...,let's go!

Love you guys! Have a great day

It's not ownership...its stewardship

Last year my adult son told me that he wanted to take a trip.  I said oh, ok.  Where you going?  He said Spain.  He also mentioned that he’d be gone for 3 weeks and see ”a few other places” while he was there.  Now I’m not saying that he shouldn’t travel or see the world.  He’s a grown man (under 30) and has never gone beyond the borders of the US (except one island cruise) without me.  I must admit that when it comes to my children I fight off the control freak mentality.  In my mind they are still my babies. And although I raised him well I still had my concerns.  I said, ” maybe he’s just bluffing…he can’t be going-can he?”  Well, he was going.  I saw him over the Christmas holiday and he left about a week later.

I’m certain that I’m not the only parent out there who wants to control everything.  I started looking up all the places he wanted to see.  I asked him where he would be staying and he mentioned the word, ”hostels”.  I’ll just leave that right there.  I really stressed about the whole thing until the word of the Lord came to me.  He said,” The Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save. Do you think that I’m only God in the USA?”  That’s when I realized how small minded I had been.  Man is not in control, God is.  He knows my coming in and going out. My prayers are heard and answered.  It didn’t matter what the distance was. 

I have a friend who’s going through some serious issues with her child.  He’s not in his right mind.  She struggles with this because of the same reasons I struggled with this trip.  She wants to be in control so that her child is safe.  This is a misconception.  We mothers believe that when the doctor hands us this baby we birthed that we then take ownership of that person.  It’s not ownership.  It’s stewardship.

It’s our job to love but it is also our job to guide, direct and exemplify wisdom in everyday choices and then help them to do the same. Essentially planting the seeds of God’s goodness in them. We then have to let the Lord do His job. Protect and Guide. We pray and God listens.   We are not in control.  He is. 

While my son was gone, I checked in with him and him with me.  He sent pictures from Spain, Paris and Amsterdam.  Places I’ve never seen before-he’s seen them.  I’m so thankful to God that he was not only able to travel and take care of himself but he didn’t request any monetary help from me.  3 weeks across the Europe and he still maintained all his bills.  That feels good.

It’s not ownership. It’s stewardship. And for those who haven’t seen the pictures they imagined in their minds of their adult children. Don’t lose hope.  God hears and answers our prayers no matter the distance. Stay strong in the Lord and forget not His benefits. Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. 

 

Just keeping it Cristaclear….thanks for reading and God Bless!

 

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;

You're not the rock. He is the rock

Having a husband, 3 children, full time job and busy ministry can keep a girl running. Really, even as I write this I think,” Ah, I can do it.”  But that’s not the point. This is where our story begins today.

Often times I feel like the glue in my family.  You see I remarried after having been divorced for 7-8 years. My ex-husband didn’t participate in much of the child rearing and I was doing a lot of things on my own with them by the time we divorced.   My 2 children were teenagers and I thought I wouldn’t remarry or have any other children. I was wrong.  I met the right guy and we decided that since he didn’t have any children of his own (besides the 2 he adopted when he got me) that we would try and see if the Lord would bless us.  He did. We had a beautiful baby girl. So, while my son was a senior and my first daughter a sophomore in high school I had a baby- with a man who didn’t have any children prior to us getting married 2 years earlier.  I even had the nerve to have the baby on my first daughter’s birthday. Of course, I didn’t plan that but it happened.   

And over the years I’ve felt like the glue that holds everything together.  When one child feels left out, I would be the one to talk to them and get them back together.  When my husband feels like I haven’t spent enough time with him because I’m doing other things- I have to take the timeout to bridge the gap and make sure we get our time.  When I was pregnant with the baby- my husband was laid off from his job.  He’d never been without work for such a long period of time… I started telling myself that I could do it. I can work, I can pay the bills, etc etc…  and I’ve even become the person that my friends call when they need to talk, yell, cry or pray. I have always been a helper but sometimes as a woman I’m told that I’m the rock. I’m the one who holds it together and this can be a dangerous place to live.

 We were not designed to be the pot that everyone pulls from and never put anything back in. We should be teaching men to fish for themselves. Teaching our children and all those around us how to access the father for strength. We are not the source of their strength, He is!

And although we may minister to them and pray for them they should also know how to go to God in prayer for themselves.   He provides. He supplies. He causes us to triumph. Its our job to depend on the true rock.  To lean on his wisdom and understanding.  To allow him to direct our paths. We are only leaning on the rock.  And we all have to know how to replenish with the Father!

Above all I want everyone to know that when we are weak, He is strong.  He didn’t ask us to be the rock.  He asked that we know how to lean upon the rock.  Don’t ever feel in despair or at a disadvantage. Use what you know to sustain yourselves in his word. We don’t have to be the glue that holds everyone together but when He holds us together we can stand strong against any obstacle or problem.  And that’s something that holds up. Just keeping it Cristaclear.

 

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.

Without the music now

I was watching a video on fb that I thought had some amazing praise and worship. I’d viewed it a few times before and as things happen I managed to scroll past it when my daughter walked by one day.  I told her to come as see it.  As she got close I asked her to wait a second so I could turn the sound on. There are times when I’m without headphones and I’ll keep my phone on silent while I scroll. I’m sure you’ve done it before as well. Anyway, my daughter said something like,” I don’t need the sound to see what’s going on there.” This is where today’s story begins…

As a mother of some very talented children, I’m proud and feel blessed by their work. I had nothing to do with the God given talents my children have but I did nurture it as they grew up.   I have children who sing, dance, draw and paint. One child is great with pottery and photography.  It makes for some interesting things in our garage to say the least.  Ask Dad about that. Personally, I’m a part of a great dance ministry at my church. I find so much joy in praising God through dance.  I enjoy the music and how it changes the atmosphere on many levels. I’ve always loved music, dance and the arts.  My oldest daughter creates wonderful art and has a degree in textiles.  She graduated this year (Hallelujah!) and as a part of her final project she asked me to help her.  I felt quite honored. You see, as she creates her artwork, she prays and worships God.  She waits for God inspired instruction before she ever puts brush to paper or whatever medium she uses in the piece.

She asked me if I would dance over her while she created a piece with charcoal on canvas.  It was a very large piece and I was ok with the idea until she said, “oh Yeah, I would like you to dance without the music and we’ll record the whole thing.”  Honestly, I’d never danced without the music before-except when I’m learning a piece. Even in those situations we use the music as we go from section to section. As God instructs I do my best to follow.  So, I agreed to help her. I asked her if she had a particular piece of music that went along with the piece-something I could listen to prior to the actual event.  She provided a piece of music.  I honestly had hope that we could still play the music in the background while we worked together.   A good friend of mine took care of the video and we got started.  We did the piece outside and as she recorded there was some light music playing.  However, I couldn’t hear the music at all.

Several weeks before I did this I consulted with a good dance friend of mine.  She’s deaf and she dances so beautifully that I knew she would be able to give me direction. I asked her about her ministry.  I love watching her minister.  She brings so much meaning to each piece that she does. I’m sure if you saw her dance you’d never know that she couldn’t hear the music with her ears.  Truly she hears the music with her soul.  She spends a lot of time watching the video, feeling the vibrations of the sound and viewing the lyrics while someone else is singing.

 

So, as I ministered I thought about the music that my daughter had provided.  I thought about the words and did my best to dance to the song playing in my head and soul. After we finished I watched the work and realized that even though I couldn’t hear a thing while I danced I’d actually kept the tempo of the music she played. By the way it wasn’t the music she’d provided.  I was too far away to hear the music at all.

 When the project was completed, she brought me to the gallery to see the piece.  On one side was the artwork and next to it was a monitor playing the video of us in the creation of the piece.  No sound, just movement.  When I first saw the complete piece I have to admit, I was speechless.   I listened to people as they viewed the piece and I heard words like,” powerful, moving, inspiring”. The people viewed the piece and without explanation understood it’s meaning.  The piece had charcoal which represented,” the carnality of man, an obedience servant-working to make things visible to the sinner and worship of the angels.”  And I thought I needed the music to make it happen…

So many times, we feel that things can only go in certain sequences.  A, B, C etc.  you understand.  Sometimes God will move differently.  God always moves and does things in divine order you can be certain of that. But also, he expects us to move in faith.  Believe before seeing or in my case move without music. Jesus asked Peter to throw his nets out after he’d fished all night bringing in nothing in the 21st chapter of John. When it was Peter’s idea it yielded nothing. However, when Jesus told him to do it on the right side of the boat he brought in more fish than he could imagine.  Sometimes God will ask us to do something that seemingly makes no sense-like fishing in the same spot where you found nothing. However, obedience makes all the difference in what blessing we receive.  Can you walk by faith or dance without sound?

 

Just keeping it Cristaclear

 

John 21:1-14

Under the umbrella

As a mother I constantly do things to protect my children.  I’m sure if you care for anyone you can understand my point.  Recently I was watching a video on social media showing fathers rescuing their children from dangerous situations.  Some of you may have seen this before.  Now today’s testimony is not nearly life threatening as some of the things I witnessed on the internet but I did find my thoughts wandering to Psalm 91 the other day when I had to walk with my youngest daughter in the rain.  Kids are so precious.  They see rain and celebrate. We see rain and complain.  Well it was raining pretty hard one night as we left church and I had my umbrella.  I let it up. I told her, “get under the umbrella! It’s raining!”  For a moment she came under but as we walked along she wanted to break out so badly.  I said,” you’re going to get wet if you don’t stay with me.”  She heard me but went into the rain anyhow.  How many times have we told our children not to do something and they try it anyhow??  Too many to count.  Sometimes they have to learn for themselves, don’t they?  Or maybe I should say, “don’t we?”

Anyhow, after running ahead of me and getting pretty wet I thought she’d come back with me but no.  She continued on-skipping and humming an original tune.  Then the lightning and thunder took over.  She came back then! 

Of course, this got me to thinking about something. God has covered me all my life.  He’s been with me in every step.  The ones I take on my own and the ones He directs me to take.  I try things without God…. I fail…. Then come back to God.  I try things with God…. I succeed.  You see to stay dry in the rain you have to walk at the pace of the one who holds the umbrella.  You can’t get too far ahead or behind because you’ll get wet.  Sometimes we don’t want to walk at His pace. But His pace is the successful pace.  The protected pace.  The pace in which we can hear His voice the clearest. And when He gives the instruction to move we don’t have to worry because he will give his angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways.  God has set His love upon us and he will deliver us. He will never leave us.  Now I can hear some of you saying,” but Crista don’t you want to be in the rain with Jesus?”  Yes.  Yes, I do but you have to understand something here.  I want to feel the rain of prosperity, great health, love, peace and so on.  Not the flooding rains of devastation and confusion.  There’s a difference.  I want to be covered by His grace through obedience. And when I walk at his pace…I’m covered.

 

Just keeping it Cristaclear

God Bless!

Psalms 91: 9-11 Because thou has made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Washed up

 

As most of you know I work in a hospital.  Each day as I take care of sick patients I, along with my coworkers pay close attention to infection control guidelines.  We don gloves and gowns to protect not only the patient from us but us from the patient.  It is so easy to transfer germs from one object to another.  In between procedures and processes we wash our hands to ensure that each process is “clean”.  I was washing my hands today and as I was scrubbing in between my fingers, under my nails etc I somehow got lost in how good it felt to wash away the germs. This got me to thinking about something.

 When Jesus made the decision to die on the cross for our wrong doings He washed away our sins. He took blow after blow to ensure that we would never have to see the finality of death. In Isaiah 1:16 it states” Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; see justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widows cause. Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

In our day to day lives we are presented over and over again opportunities to do wrong.  From the moment, we wake until we fall asleep sin is ever present.  We see it in the form of friendships that we need to terminate, colleagues that expose their immoral thoughts to us-we need to cast those down immediately btw, and even our thoughts that can sometimes keep us awake at night with worry. Television and internet present countless ways for us to do wrong.  However, Jesus has challenged us to wash ourselves-to remove the evil deeds.  He’s asked us to learn to do good.   We must be willing and obedient to receive the good of the land.  We can’t live like rebels and expect the goodness to fall on us like snow. I don’t know about you but I’d like a clean heart and mind so I can inherit all that God has for me. 

I want to wash myself in all God’s goodness.  I want to get lost in the love and patience he has for me. I want to wash away all the negative things that keep me from having a close intimate relationship with my Father.  I want to do good, see justice and plead the widows cause.  Those are things that bring God glory. I do realize and you should too that salvation is not earned.  But a relationship with Christ means understanding His ways and thinking/acting as he would.  This can only be accomplished by spending time with him and his word.   Those are the things that help us away the germs of the day. Those are the things that make us stronger and keep us from the temptations of this world.  Job 17:9 ESV states,” Yet the righteous holds to his way, and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.”  And even when we fail to get it right—something we all struggle with- we can always start again- and bathe in God’s goodness and forgiveness.  He loves us so much that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.  In Psalms 24:3-4 sums it up nicely for me.  Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false.  Let’s keep it clean guys. It’s totally worth it.

Just keeping it Cristaclear. 

Where's the Light?

It was 5 am one morning and I was up to study. As a graduate student I find that this is the best time to study.  During the day, I’m bombarded with work and phone calls. I sometimes drive up to 3 different places to see staff and hold meetings in a day.  In the evening, I’m a mom and wife to a great family.  But my family is loud…I mean that in the gentlest respectful way I can.  But I’m unable to read a chapter without interruption or listen to a lecture.  It makes things difficult.  This particular morning, I came out to sit in my favorite spot on the couch in order to read.  I have pillows and a light blanket there beside a table where I usually place my coffee or tea.  I sat down with my book and realized that the lamp that used to sit beside my table had been moved.  As the mother of the house there is no change in décor without my input (or so I thought) so I’m sitting there with the dim light from the foyer looking for my lamp.  With my eyebrows furrowed I used my cell phone as a flash light to look around.  Both lamps are standing beside the fireplace mantel.  Not feeling like rearranging furniture at 5am I decide to use my phone as the reading lamp. I fumbled with it under my chin, dropped it a few times and held it for a while to read the assigned chapters.

I was able to get my reading done that morning-although I could have done it better-but when I finished and turned on the news I heard about the senseless shootings in Las Vegas.  I immediately thought about how we are called to be the light.  Ephesians 5 speaks about imitating Christ.  Verse 8 states:” For once you were darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light.”  We are called to walk as children of Light.  We are a weapon in the hand of God.  We must act like it.  We possess the boldness needed to face the darkness and shed light upon it.  In verse 13 Paul goes on to say,” But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light of God’s precepts, for it is light that makes everything visible.

What if someone could have been the light to the shooter?  Where did we miss this sheep?  Whose path was he on when we-Jesus disciples- missed an opportunity to be the light?  Of course, I don’t know if he has ever been approached with the word of the Lord. I know we all have the power to pray for people who are in darkness-and we should- but I also believe that we must be bold enough to face the darkness in people as well. We shouldn’t be so lazy to fumble with some of the light like I did with my book. Sitting in the comfort of my home with my tea and pillows and blanket.  We need to share what we know. Share the love of Christ to all.  We should have the courage it takes to walk into the darkness as the light and shine brightly. Let’s be wise and make the most of our time on earth. In order for us to be the light we must take the time to be with the Lord.  We must study so we can be always ready. All things become visible when they are exposed by the light of God’s precepts.  Do you know where the light is?   Where’s the light?  It’s in you.  Go shine.

 

Just keeping it CristaClear. 

Scripture reference: Ephesians 5: 8-16

You Gon Ask For More?

 

Being in traffic for an hour in the morning and an hour each evening can be taxing.  It’s a part of living here in Atlanta.  A lot of people have long commutes and it’s something you just get used to or you move.  One morning this week I was in traffic for almost 2 hours.  It was bad.  I admit it. but while sitting still and waiting on whatever the holdup was I started texting my good friend.  She’s been struggling with some personal things and I wanted to check on her.  You know just let her I care and I’m concerned.  Anyway, as we talked back and forth about how good God is and how he will move on her behalf I mentioned to her that I wish he’d move this traffic out of my way.  A moment later, she started to pray for me in the traffic.  That God would move it out of my way and allow me to get where I needed to be.  In seconds, it was like the Red Sea opened.  I can’t explain how quickly this happened.  I took off and made it to work within a couple of minutes. I think I only stopped once for one street light.  It reminded me of the scripture found in Matthew 7:7 Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened unto you.”   Truly, I hadn’t even asked God for anything.  I could have asked Him myself.  I had just accepted that traffic was bad and there wasn’t anything human I could do about it. But God says that we should ask!  Why don’t we ask?  Do we believe that we don’t deserve more?  He said we could ask—according to His will of course and he is ready and willing to give to us.

My grandparents lived through the depression of 1929.  They were a family with 4 children and my grandfather worked very hard to provide for them.  My grandmother worked at home to raise the children.  She made their clothes and cooked/cleaned etc.  She was one hardworking woman.  In fact, when my grandfather opened a laundry in the garage of their home-she worked there too! I mention this because of a story my aunt has told me over the years.  She said that at the dinner table each evening you had to completely clean your plate before you could ask for more food.  She said she would talk to her brother secretly and ask him, ”You gon ask for mo?  I’m gon ask for mo!”   I find it funny because the situation with God is similar.  God is ready and willing to give us more when we ask for it but we do have an obligation to be responsible with what he has already given us.  We have to be ready for the more before he’s willing to hand it over.  But it starts with the question,” Are you going to ask for more or are you going to settle for the mediocre?  Do you want the minimum of what you can have or do you want All that God has planned for you?  God has so much He wants to give to us.  Just ask.

Some of you say, ”I’ve asked God for this and that and he hasn’t answered yet.”  Where is God when I need him?  I believe God is always there.  His word says that He’ll never leave us or forsake us.  He never sleeps or slumbers.  So, I’m sure he’s listening and has heard your prayer.  When there is no immediate answer the answer is to continue to trust God. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes its no and sometimes it’s not now.  That’s the part you have to figure out.  There is always purpose in every struggle.

Pack Up!

Lately we’ve been watching storm after storm blow through the lives of people all over the Caribbean and in America.  News footage showing us one person after another carrying as much as they could of their personal belongings to a shelter or wherever they could find refuge.  Some came out with just the clothes on their backs and others had a truckload of items they tried to save.  It got me to thinking about what would be the one thing I should never leave without with the exception of my family of course.  It’s the word of God.  The bible.  This is the one thing that will get you through all the other things.  And in an emergency we should already have the bible packed.  When we pack the word of God in our hearts we can be prepared for everything.  The darkest, biggest or strongest storm can come through and we will be prepared. 

In our daily walk we need to study the word of God more.  I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t study my bible daily like I should. Life gets in the way for me just like it does for you.  However I do make the time to study.  This is something that I don’t regret.  God gives us wisdom for everything we go through.  Sometimes our prayer is for a word from the Lord.  “Lord I need a word”.  We count on Pastors and Bishops to give us all we need to know but it’s not their job to make you learn the bible.  They are pastors. Protectors of the sheep but they cannot make you study your bible.  You have to do that yourself.  You have to want that for yourself. Then when we gather the word comes alive even more than before.

I believe that we should be packing for a storm weather every day.  Pack the word of God in our hearts where it can never be taken away from us. God is always ready to show us more. Teach us more. Require more of us and we should be ready by knowing his voice.  Pack your bible.  In healthcare, I’ve seen lots of sick people over the years.  People on life-support fighting minute by minute for their lives. When you are in a dark place like that you don’t have time to read the word.  You need to already know the word.  That is the time to apply the word.  So, while you still can- Pack up!  Store the word in your heart. You’ll be ready for whatever blows your way.

 

Just keeping it cristaclear.

Find me at cristaclearinspirations.com as well as all social media.

 

God Bless!