Saturday, November 23, 2013

WARRIORS IN BATTLE

The battle rages on.  Swords are drawn.  Armor is on.  The warriors are in place. The attack is on going.  The battle rages on.  The fight for victory. Some warriors fight with fists. Some fight with words.  Others battle with their actions.  This is an epic tale, the tale of two worlds colliding.  The battle rages on. 
This is not a movie trailer for the next big box office hit.  The battle that rages on this planet is in spiritual warfare.  I have felt so safe in my Christian box over the last 30 plus years of my life.  So happy skipping along, judging people when I could, waving my magic Christian wand over them, smiling, "I'll pray for you" and skipping along my yellow brick road without a second thought.  Dum de dum dum...isn't this world just great putting a Jesus band aid over the boo boos and carrying on.  I was wrong in these actions.  Leading my life this way is not what we are called to do.  We are in spiritual warfare.  Satan, the deceiver, Lucifer, bad angel, serpent, evil one.  He thinks he rules this world- maybe he does.  He doesn't want you to know Christ. He doesn't want you to love others.  Satan doesn't want me to write this blog, he wants me to be fake.  As a matter of fact his words make me think I shouldn't be this real, that you will judge me for that.  The battle rages on.  Guess what, we are in battle!  Battle daily, hourly, by the minute.  This battle will lead up to some of the most important decisions in your life.  The decision to lay down your own desires, to turn away from this world and follow Jesus. That is an epic battle raging on. The battle for the souls of the people in this world is not a new one.  It started in the garden and it will end in the Glory of God.  Which side of that battle do you want to be on my friends.  The battle rages on.  Warriors down on their knees praying for you every day to surrender to the almighty.  But it doesn't stop there.  Once you are a part of the Lord's army you will be faced with battles everyday till the day you die.  Satan doesn't want us to follow the Lord, this world doesn't make it easy to do so.  Our society tells us, buy more, do what feels good, Just Do It, seek pleasure, you deserve it, no consequences to actions, it's not our fault, your needs are more important that hers, she's prettier and skinnier so she's better.  And on and on the deceiver goes, thinking he rules this world. Thinking he's winning.  The battle rages on.
This past year and these last few months have been warfare for me.  I am certain when you are laying down your life, actively in the word, praying and seeking you will be in warfare.  Satan screams and shakes at the thought of Chrystan Ferrell seeking after God's will, because that means that he can't stop me.  When I am in the will of God he has no strong hold over me. When I am in the will of God, seeking his face, in conversation with him...I can't hear the deceiver.  The battle rages on.  My warriors, Debi Weaver, Whitney Putnam, Christy Britton, Andrea Ferrell they have been aggressively in prayer for me.  Turning me towards scripture, holding me accountable and holding me when I need held.  My battle is everyday, and guess what...the good guys are winning. 
That's the thing sweet friends, God Wins!  We already know the end of the story, we've already read the spoiler.  GOD IS VICTORIOUS!  And I am a daughter to the King and I WILL be with him when this world goes down.  In Revelations (which the whole Bible points to Jesus's time on earth, death on the cross, resurrection and his return) he tells us:
Revelation 22:12 " Behold, I am coming quickly, and MY reward is with ME, to render to every man according to what he has done. I AM the ALPHA and the OMEGA the first and the last the beginning and the end."
I love that. THE BEGINNING AND THE END. 
Revelations 22:7 says:
"And behold I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book"
Ya'll he's not fooling around here.  There is battle raging and an end result.  Which side are you on?  Do you know the Lord and most importantly does he know you?  He does not say I'll be there when you're ready to give it all up for me.  He says I AM COMING QUICKLY!  Don't wait to join his army, join this battle today. Put on the full armor of God and just wait and see the amazing thing that he does with his warriors!
I know this was one serious post today and not usually the route I go.  But I am in battle, my sisters in Christ are in battle, and we want you to join our ranks, to fight for the good guys and to win the most important battle of your life. And if you have lost touch of this in your own walk, grab up your sword (the word of God) and come back to him.  He never left you, you only needed to turn around.  Join a church, seek his will and begin to heal. 
I love and pray over each one of you as I post this blog.  As Princesses (and Princes) to the King we are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made in his amazing image. 
Much Love,
Chrystan Ferrell (aka Warrior Princess to the King)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

50/50 Is just Not Enough: Loving, Leading and Flourishing in our Relationships

Someone once told me that in marriage it's a 50/50 split because then you have 100%.  Maybe this makes sense in theory, but in practice it does not work.  Luckily, in our pre-marital counseling Adam and I received the best advice given.  We were told very truly and bluntly: "You can not each give 50/50 and expect for this to work out in the end.  You each have to come to the table everyday, every week, every year 100%."  I truly believe that with my whole heart now.  As of today, Adam and I have been married for 3 years.  Now for some of you older, wiser married people 3 years seems so small.  In this world of divorce I celebrate greatly each year that we make it through and continue in our commitment together for better or for worse.  In three years we have already been faced with such challenges.  One major challenge I choose not to share, but it was spiritual warfare and the battle rages on.  In these challenging times if Adam had shown up 50% and I was giving 100% what in the world would that have looked like?  Or what if each of us had only come to the table with 25% thinking the other would make up the difference?  What a mess that would have been!  I am learning so much in marriage.  Not just how to tolerate the day to day but how to love, lead and flourish.  Loving everyday is not easy. It's not all twitter-pated and staring into each others eyes.  It's babies crying and lack of sleep, it's weight gain, it's lost keys and business trips, it's burned suppers and sleepless nights filled with worry for our children, it's hospitalizations and stomach flu's, it's day in day out 100% or loose.  Did you know that going into your marriage?  Do you know that as are you prepare for your marriage?  What about now, now that you've been divorced how would you do things differently?  OR now that you hear this are you ready for marriage or are you going to stop and be thankful that you are still single?  God is so good to me in my marriage.  He has taught me more about his love for me through my marriage then in any other part of my life.  Ya'll marriage is hard because it's full of selflessness.  Selflessness does not always come easy, most of the time it never comes easy!  I think our sinful nature makes selflessness a HUGE battle for us. It's not of the norm to give and give and give of yourself not expecting or crying out for a return!  "I did all this laundry and you can't even take out the trash!" Or "I was up all night with the baby and your snored your face off for 10 hours!"  Instead marriage can be full of selflessness on both ends where it sounds more like "I did the laundry for us and prayed over each little person as I folded the clothes. Then I set the trash outside, can you please take it out" That's my goal right there!  100% to the table every day. Loving, leading and flourishing because it's Biblical, so let's dive in to that! 

Philippians 2:4          
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.                   

Luke 6:35                 

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.                   

1 Peter 3:8                   

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

One other thing I am striving for is not talking bad about my hubby. Isn't it so common that we will get together (especially us ladies) and complain about our spouses.  Nope, not me, not no more.  I am pouring over Ephesians through this:

Ephesians 4:29-32                
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you!!! WOW! We need to live by that in all of our interactions right?!  Mantra for the month for sure! 

What I want you take away from today is this; whether your single, engaged, married or divorced it's still a concept across the board of being selfless, loving, forgiving and kind.  These are the Christ like qualities we are expected (and equipped for) to up hold in our day in and day outs.  There is no perfection in this house by any means, I fly off the handle, I speak un kind and I have unkind thoughts.  But we are striving to treat each other with the love that Christ so willingly gives us when we put down our nets, shake off our old clothes and follow him.

Friends, love each other, be a light for the Lord and seek him in all that you do. You are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made in His image!

Much Love,
Chrystan




Friday, October 18, 2013

Great Expectations

The problem that arises frequently in  my life is the plan that I have in my mind for something and what happens when things don't go that way.  This causes drama in my life because it sets those around me up for failure. This week we had family pictures, which I love!  I love getting pictures taken of my family, it makes me so happy.  I began a few days before hand picking out our perfect outfits and making plans to get everyone there in their prefect outfits to take the perfect pictures.  I created the perfect storm, I set myself and everyone else up for failure in this plan.  I picked the babies up from daycare, Cole had just eaten meaning he would be hungry during picture taking.  I rolled with it though.  I had packed the clothes for the babies and we went to a local pizza place for an event for Cohen's school.  I had a plan though, we were good.  As Dylan ate he got pizza from head to toe.  It was ok, I had a plan.  We threw everyone into the car and headed to meet a friend at the Pumpkin Patch, for the most precious Fall pictures ever!  The perfect storm.  We arrived late, I quickly had to dress the babies in their perfect outfits.  Cole had pooped of course, it was ok I had a plan.  Babies in adorable outfits, we were ready.  We got not even 2 pictures in and Dylan began having a melt down. This melt down continued over the next hour.  All he wanted to do was play, play on the tractor, ride the train, slide down the slides. There was no happy faces for my perfect pictures, there was no perfection.  Only stark reality.  I had set myself and my sweet little family up for failure.  What was I thinking!  Pictures on a Wednesday night at the Pumpkin Patch, it was as if I was a brand new parent and didn't know any better.  I had these great expectations of my family that were too high.  As we left the patch, tail between legs, hoping that we would at least get one good picture out of our session fee; I wondered to myself "When will I stop doing this?" It is so often that we do this and honestly I feel like as women we do this more than men.  We do it in our relationships, pre-marriage. We do it in wedding planning. We do it in pregnancy and the first year of infancy.  And so on. We continue to set these great expectations of how we think something should be and will be, putting pieces in place that set ourselves and loved ones up for failure.  Our husband plans a nice night out but we can't see past the thought that he didn't gush over how pretty we looked and the thunder begins.  Our child is clinging to our leg while we cook everyday saying the same thing over and over, all we can focus on is this meal we have planned that's not working out.  Not seeing for weeks that he has been saying I love you everyday and we were missing it.  What are you missing out on in your great expectation of yourself and those around you?  There's a great story in the Bible that parallels this thought:

Luke 10:38-42

New International Version (NIV)

At the Home of Martha and Mary

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

How often does this happen to us?  Running around, created the perfect everything and ended up missing out on the joy!  Ugh, so guilty of this.  The only great expectation we should have is the one that the Lord puts in us. 

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

He has plans, he has the knowledge and the expectations that within his righteousness he will allow us to do great things.  Friends, stop it. Stop with the great expectations.  Stop missing out on the joy afforded us in his perfect plan by focusing on the disappointment of our un-reasonable thought life.  Revel in his beauty. Hear the words I love you. Appreciate the night out when it's given.  Have fun playing instead of posing.  Expect greatness from the joy of the unplanned.

Sending you all my love this weekend as you venture into a new mindset of less expectations more JOY in the here and now.  If you do not know about God's great love and passion for his people please ask me more!  Because in his great plan, goodness and righteousness we are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made!

Much Love,
Chrystan

Monday, September 2, 2013

And All Shall Be Added

What in the world have I been doing these last few weeks?  It's been a blur.  This being one of the busiest seasons of life I have ever had, I am looking back wondering what I would've done differently to prepare myself.  I am a wife, a mother of 3 boys and a business owner.  All three of those things require an amazing amount of time and energy to stay afloat.  The last few weeks it seems as if the most important things have been put on the back burner to keep the other things functioning at the high level that they require.  If I were watching myself on the outside of all this madness over the last few weeks there are some things I know that I wouldn't see.  Important things that have been lacking greatly in my daily life.  Why is it that I naturally sacrifice the most important things when in crisis mode.  It's as if when my boat is sinking my most natural reaction is to throw the life vest into the water.  Now that just doesn't make any sense.  The first and most important thing that has been cast so freely aside is my walk with the Lord.  I haven't cracked a Bible outside of church in weeks.  Of all the things to leave out of my routine this should not be the one that goes.  The Bible says in Matthew 6:31-34:

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

But seek FIRST his kingdom. FIRST!  Not after you've done everything else. Not when you're at your wits end. FIRST seek him, then the rest will take care of itself.  So, I am back on track yet again. I will begin my days with the word. I will seek solace in his arms and I will put my relationship with the Lord back in the number one place where it belongs.

The next thing that has gone out the window is my husband (not literally). You see, the kids NEED me. I am the momma, I have to tend to their needs.  My husband is a grown man, he can fend for himself right?  However, in my crazy life I am frazzled. I am stressed and I am grumpy. Plus remember that I am not putting God first, which makes all this worse.  So, I am not a joy to be around. I am far from joyful and find myself easily blaming him for all that goes wrong in our life.  I am not showing him love and I am not allowing myself to feel worthy of his love.  He can do no right and all I feel is that I can only do wrong.  So, we had a talk. Mostly about our love languages and how we can show better love to each other.  We each took this survey to help us get better at loving and showing love to each other, I highly recommend it:
http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/
I am blessed to have a man in my life who not only loves me through my crazy but loves the Lord and seeks his plan for our lives.  He is also very forgiving and long suffering :)

What I want you to walk away from this random blog post is this.: What are your priorities? What goes out the window when you're stressed and running ragged?  Where are you placing your faith?  If you're like me this is a daily struggle of priorities, one that we have to be prepared and armed for.  Stay in prayer, stay in the word, SEEK FIRST the kingdom and God will take care of the rest.  Put him first and all else will be added.  Mind blowing realization- He is all we need. Once we have that he will provide, HE WILL PROVIDE for us something that we can not provide our selves.

Matthew 10:29
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.

His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me...

If you do not know the great creator who watches all even down to the last sparrow, please seek him out.  It is through him you will find peace, solace, love and most importantly eternal life.  He wants you to know him and calls you to him.

Remember in this crazy, fast paced world you are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made by a Lord you calls you by name.

Much Love,
Chrystan

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Another Moment of Clarity at the Bottom of the Well (Shower)

This will be a very honest, very raw post.  I am in a morning after state and feel like it's important to get these thoughts and these feelings down on paper.  We welcomed our fourth boy into the world just over a month ago.  Cole Robert Ferrell is 8lbs 3 oz of adorable.  He was two weeks early but is healthy and thriving.  After sleeping for the first 3 weeks, Cole has begun following in Dylan's footsteps and now cries during most of the hours that he is awake.  I am a 31 year old, mother of 3, who majored in education, and has spent my career working with children in an educational setting. Yet here I am sitting at this computer crying over a crying baby.  Most mommies take on the majority of the care of the children.  Most mommies take it extremely hard when something is not going right or well with our children.  I am that mommy.  I feel like I should be the super hero here.  I've babysat since I can remember, my business is kids, I should rock this subject into the ground.  So why can't I figure out what is wrong with my own baby!  Why can't I make him feel better?  There is a voice in my head all the time that tells me I am a failure.  That I'm doing a bad job and that I'm a bad mom and bad person because I am at my wits end.  Adam was at a meeting last night and after a day of fussing and 3 hours of straight crying (the last hour uncontrollable sobs from him and me) Cole had worn me into the ground.  Every nerve I had was fried.  So, my husband comes home to a wife sobbing over a sleeping baby (this is where I feel bad for men) and is brought into the eye of the hurricane quickly.  After gently placing Cole into his Daddy's arms I walked to the back of the house, turned the shower on and had that experience most mommies have had before. The Shower Cry.  It wasn't pretty, it was ugly cry, but it was cleansing.  As I prayed to my heavenly Father desperate for comfort and peace in the fear that failure is all I will continue to see, there it was, clarity.  Just like him, the time that I finally break down and go to him, he says "What took you so long?".  In my tears and prayers I specifically said "Lord how am I going to do this all week.  My husband and partner is going out of town tomorrow.  My friend who comes to my rescue is out of town this week.  My moms in Texas. My Dad and Stepmom are extremely busy this week. We have exhausted Adam's parents as helpers lately.  How can I do this alone, all my help is gone."  And without thunder, without lightning, ever so quietly was my answer. "I am here sweet girl."  I have been here all along.  With that thought I asked for forgiveness for my lack of trust in the one I should've gone to first.  Why do I think I can do this alone? Why do I think Adam, Christy, Melinda, Bill, Diana, Linda, Bob and Sandy are the only ones who can save me when I need help?  I need to turn to God first for love, for patience, for provision, for peace, for a heart change.  He should not be my last stop sitting in a shower desperate for anything.  He should be my first stop so that I don't get to the point where I am grasping in the dark for a light switch.  I'm not saying that God swoops in a fixes all with his magic Jesus wand.  That is not reality and not his plan for us.  But in seeking him first my heart is made right.  There is peace in coming before him and praying to be equipped for what this day will throw at me, this is called faith and it is allowing God to equip me with the armor I need to face the evil one:

Ephesians 6:14-17

New International Version (NIV)
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Maybe you are wondering why I say I need to be equipped to battle the evil one in reference to my children.  Satan whispers in my ear ever so faintly the most harmful words when it comes to two topics in my life 1. Who am I as a wife and 2. Who I am as a mother.  He can so easily sneak into my thoughts just by hopping onto those two topics and taking himself for the wild ride that happens in my brain when failure sets up camp.  I am putting on my armor and I am battling that.  First, by laying it at the foot of the cross.  Second, by speaking truth to myself.  Battling those words with true sentences.  "I am a great Mother"  "I am equipped in this day to handle anything that comes up."  Third, memorizing the word of God.  I can attack the jugular of the deceiver by offering words that pierce him, the words of the Lord. 

Mommies (and Daddy's)  this is a hard task we have.  Babies need a lot of us. They zap us, some days, of all we have.  Children take us on a wild ride of highs and lows. Satan gets us at our weakest points, babies or no babies, he knows what part of your life he can attack you.  He knows just what to say to announce that you are not worthy, that you are a failure. But guess what!!!???  God says; "No way!  She is mine.  She is equipped with all she needs and she is worthy because she is cleansed is my righteousness and covered in my blood." Alone we can do nothing, alone we are not worthy. But in Him we are fitted with armor that will help us battle through this life.

Friends, if you do not know this Lord that I speak of and want to know more about what it means to be cleansed in his blood and fitted with his armor please message me and I would love to talk to you more about it.  Mommies, hang in there.  I know it's hard, I know your exhausted and frayed. I'm right here with you.  Step away, pray, seek him first and he will equip you with what you need to make it through. Ask for help when you need it and remember YOU are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made.

Much Love,
Chrystan

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What Does Love Look Like?

At the church I attend our Pastor reminds us every Sunday that we need to be spending our weeks Loving God and Loving People.  Every Sunday I go through in my mind "how am I showing love in my life?"  It is very convicting to think on my week about the people that I have come into contact with and to evaluate if I have shown them the love that God has so graciously showed me.  I am led to wonder this week, what does this kind of love look like in my life?  Since I choose to be brutally honest with myself and with you I have to say there are two people in my life that I have deemed as unlovable in my mind.  I want to explore with you how I am trying to over come that obstacle.  Jesus' life was the ultimate display of loving those who are deemed unlovable, so much that it led him to walk daily with those people who were the extreme outcast of society.  Jesus rolled with lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors and those that were considered the lowest of low.  He showed them love by listening to them, he healed them, he taught them when no one else would talk to them.  He even went as far as to touch them in their filth and heal them of their disease.  Then as his life came to an end, he died for them.  So what did they do for him to deserve this love?  Did they give him lavish gifts?  Did they serve him extravagant meals?  Did they support his campaign financially?  Did they donate to his cause?  They did none of those things, they had nothing to offer Jesus.  He simply loved them and gave his life for them.  There are two main points I would like you to take away from today's blog.  First, lets start with God's word:

1 John 4:9-12

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us

We do not have anything that we bring to the table here.  It says here in 1 John that it is not that we loved God, but that he loved us.  So if you are waiting until you have something to lay at his feet stop!  He is not waiting for a lavish gift, or for you to have all of your affairs in order, for you to be a better person.  You can never be good enough!  It's not about that, it's about God's love for you.  He brings all that is needed to the table, you need only join him by choosing to sit at the table with him.  Secondly, the last verse says if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.  We need to love each other.  Not walking around saying "I love you", but showing each other love.  The two people that I struggle loving have done horrible unthinkable things to me.  I have allowed them to rob me of joy, to steal my love and to trample on my happiness.  I must truly forgive them and then show them the greatest love which is sharing with them the love of God.  The best way that we can show love is through sharing the story of God's great love for us.  Doing this is the only way to be free from hate and choose love. Remember, God loved us when we were undeserving, dirty and unlovable.  He laid down his life to show his love, can we not lay down our own feelings and hurt to show love?  Let's work on this together this week!  Who do you need to love?  Is it that co-worker who drives you crazy?  Is it the awkward boy at school that no one talks to?  Taking a meal to a sick neighbor?  Do you have someone who abused you in your past that you need to forgive and through that forgiveness be free to love and receive love?  Think about who you can show love to this week so that God can abide in you and thus free you from your own chains.

If you do not know of God's love, if you have not joined him at his table yet. Let me encourage you to do so.  Remember, he's not waiting for you to become perfect to accept you. He already accepts you and will make you clean and whole again if you would only just lay it all down and follow him.  Please let me know if I can help you through this process in your life.  I am praying for you!

My sweet friends, I pray that God's love will overflow from you this week onto all of those people that you come in contact with.  Don't forget that you are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made in His perfect image and He loves us more than we could ever deserve!

Much Love,
Chrystan

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fairy Tales & Happy Endings


All together now:
And they lived happily ever after... sigh...the words of our youth.

Recently it has been in my head, "What if they don't live happily ever after?"  This is not because I am having marriage issues. This is very different from that.  The question comes from the idea that God initially intended for us to live happily ever after, WITH HIM!  When man was created it was to be in relationship with God. Then the fall of man occured and now we live in a world where the fairy tale will never happen.  I know people that seem to have the fairy tale.  They met and married the love of their life early on, they had the big fairy tale wedding, they have the house, the money, the jobs, the perfect kids dressed in perfect clothes.  Guess what?  This life is not perfect.  Their husband still farts, I promise!  Their kids throw fits, they feel like the worst mom ever some days. AND they do not have that perfect Garden of Eve relationship with God.  So why do we put ourselves through this pressure, the pressure of the perfect fairy tale life. The husband that walks through the door with flowers.  The children that play quietly while we fix dinner.  The friends that call when they are supposed to tell us how great of a mom we are!  In some cases our fairy tale would be to actually find a husband, or to be able to have children, or to not loose our child to an illness, or to have our husband choose to be faithful to us.  Everyone's fairy tale image is different.  Ladies, fairy tale by definition is imaginary!  Did you know that the acutal definition of fairy tale is: something of folklore, an imiginary story.  We pretty much set ourselves and our daughters up for failure when we make them think that a prince is going to ride up on a horse and save them from their terrible life!  UNLESS, that Prince just happens to be Jesus...stay with me on this.

Read Revelations 19:11-21 with me:

The Heavenly Warrior Defeats the Beast

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
king of kings and lord of lords.

17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

You see what I'm saying here friends.  There is a Prince, actually A KING, who came to save you once from certain death and will be back again to finish it off.  This world is full of sorrow, cheating, suffering, saddness, frustration, hurt feelings, naughty kids, burned dinners, work failures, toils and more and more till the day we die. This is hell on earth.  We are not meant to be comfortable here.  We are meant to be followers of God, to serve him in the best ways that we can, to glorify him and sing songs to him through all this mess.  Then, someday, he will come down, defeat the bad guys, send them to hell and we will ride with him! The God of Angel Armies!  (AWESOME!)

That sisters, is my new fairy tale.  The goal, to be in perfect relationship with God. To sing his praises all day every day. For now, I will seek joy through this day that will be filled with troubles.  To read his word so that I can share the good news with everyone I can and so that I can survive this non-fairy tale life that I live.  Fairy tales, don't happen, but Jesus saves. Everyday he saves.  If you want to know more about how you can build a relationship with Christ, please email me. I would love to talk to you more about this.

Until next time sweet friends I want you to remember that you are a Princess to the King.  You are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made by God who loves you and will return to defeat your enemy and take you home to be with him!

Much Love,
Chrystan

Monday, February 4, 2013

Take Up Your Sword!

What an amazing week I had last week!  It couldn't have been anymore of a roller coaster if it was the Mamba at Worlds of Fun.  Filled will highs and lows.  My hubby was out of town, LOW.  My professional world signed a big deal, HIGH!  Thus the week went on like that.  One of the low times is what has been on my mind. I can't go into true detail about what is going on, as it is a personal and soon to be legal issue.  Adam and I have been on a path over the last year, at least, where the road is marked with heart issues, wounds both new and old and persecution.  Over the last 4 months we have actively been persecuted by this person and also persecuted by people on the path that we felt like should be our advocates in this. Now, I know you are saying this is hard to follow without details, but there's a bigger issue here.

  Persecution is not something that we Americans, especially here in the Midwest area, are used to dealing with.  We are the Bible belt here, who would ever be against us?  Defined; to Persecute is to have ill will or hostility towards another because of their religious or political beliefs or race. To pursue, torment, pester or harass.  Now doesn't that sound pleasant?  In other countries persecution takes on a whole other form.  Where people are stoned, shot, beaten, abused, ridiculed publicly, rejected and even stripped of their family name and rights.  The form of persecution that we are experiencing in our situation is an aggressive verbal attack on our faith.  This does not hurt us physically but it has taken a toll emotionally.  To hear someone say horrible things about your faith is a pain that is only known on the inside. It creates doubt, which is a flesh eating disease of the spiritual nature.  A seed of doubt can grow faith chocking ivy in only a matter of minutes.  Ideas like "Am I a bad Christian?"  "Am I interpreting the Bible wrong?"  "Maybe I am just making this up and this isn't really how I am supposed to respond to this" AND on AND on.  This seed of doubt is so dangerous and that is what persecution can bring, and I believe that is a great purpose for Satan to use persecution for.  To make you cave, to create doubt, doubt in your faith and doubt in yourself.  Most dangerous of all, doubt in God.  What does the Bible say to help us understand more the topic of persecution?

The book of James says:
James 2:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Jesus Says:
John 15

The Hatred of the World

18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin,[c] but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’

26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.

So, what does this tell us?  PROCEED!  Go forward.  Take up your sword and shield and follow hard after Him!  Through these experiences I have never felt so strongly that the world was against us.  That I am not of this world. That I had to put on my armour, take up my sword, and seek and follow my Lord.  The Lord God over all.  Who was persecuted, threatened, spit upon, cursed at, beaten, nailed to a cross and killed by his persecutors.  With me, standing in the crowd, shouting crucify him.  He was persecuted for me, died for my sin.  And now, the world who hated him will hate me.  For when I stand for my faith, the world has a mirror that shows them their sin and that causes hate. 

So my sweet friends, are you being challenged in your faith?  Maybe not actively persecuted, but challenged? If you are not being challenged are you playing it too safe?  Are you not going out of your comfort zone to proclaim the name of Christ and challenge yourself and those around you to do the same?  I encourage you this week to stand strongly and firmly up for your God.  To follow hard after Him and seek his will for you. No matter what road that may take you down, follow Him because he will lead you to paradise!

Much Love,
Chrystan

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Worship

It sure has been a while since I sat down to write.  It's not that there wasn't inspiration, I think it's that there just weren't words to put together.  The last few weeks I have been searching in my soul and researching Worship.  Not just the word but the spritual connection that Worship brings.  I wanted to share some thoughts with you as I am diving with complete abandon into this topic.  Worship is defined as a feeling or expression of reverance and adoration towards God.  When I read that I thought about all of the things that create adoration for God in my life.  Which astonded me because in my mind I have always thought the way I worshiped God was through song.  More on that later.  So, when I went through the list of the things I could think of in just a few minutes that cause me to be in adoration of God here are the first things that came to mind:
My children, sunset/sunrise, a beautiful landscape, a song and God's clear provision.
Then I turned to this chapter in the Bible;

Romans 12:1-8 says:

Romans 12

New International Version (NIV)

A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Humble Service in the Body of Christ

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully

As I take these words from Romans and fuse it with what I now know about Worship based on it's definition and the things that cause me to ADORE my God;  I have changed my perspective on my forms of Worship.  Because guess what my friends, worship happens all day long.  Not just during the singing time at church.  There are times throughout your day that you have an opportunity to stop and adore your God.  I am not just a person who worships through music, though that is a very emotional worship experience for me,  I worship through so much more. 

I want to leave you with a challenge for the rest of your week.  As you step out of your bed focus on adoring God throughout your day.  When you see the sunrise, stop and worship Him for the beauty that He is showing you.  When you look at your sleeping child, stop and adore God for his amazing creation.  As you drive to work and see the rolling hills around you, think of God creating that for his glory and praise His name.  And as you serve in your church and your community, worship Him for the spiritual gifts He has given you.  I will continue to seak His face and worship and adore Him for ALL of His provision through His great creation that lives not only in my heart but in yours as well.

Sweet sisters, if you see these beautiful things around you but do not know this great creator.  Now is the time to stop and meet your King.  To lay down your chains and walk freely with Him.  I urge you to do so today, to seak His will for your life and follow hard after Him.  He is there in your life already, you need only acknowledge your past and choose the future in His Glory! 

Until next time remember that you are Beautifully and WONDERFULLY Made, by a God who also ADORES you!

Much Love,
Chrystan




 

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