Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nothing to Prove Review: A Book For You

I've not officially written a book review for you before.  It's a new thing I'm trying so just go with me on this for a minute.

So many of us (women) are striving.  We strive to be really good at all the things.  Often we drive ourselves to the edge of sanity to get there.  Our addiction to approval, praise and perfection and the lengths we go through to get there stretch us in ways that leave marks.  Scars even.  We are a performance, like based society and as women we are striving, maybe towards the wrong things in the wrong ways.


Jennie Allen, one of my very favorite authors and people on the planet, has written a book that has freed me from those striving places.  The Bible is our number one go to for healing and instruction, always.  God has also given words to others to teach us, Jennie has words to teach us and wisdom to share.  
I don't want to share all the details (because you should go read this book today!) but I want you to know that this book will free those places in your life where you are striving yet falling short. At every turn Jennie reminds us that we are enough because Jesus is enough.  With personal accounts, Biblical examples and words of truth and inspiration Jennie takes readers on a step by step journey through the pain of inadequacy to the freedom in Christ's enoughness (that may not be a word but we are going to pretend it is today).  There's talk of transparency and authenticity which ya'll know are two of my favorite words!  She baby steps us through each hidden crack of our feelings of inadequacy and heals them with the words of our Heavenly Father.
You can't miss out on this book, and I promise it will change you.  God is doing something in the words FREEDOM and BROKEN this year, I believe it.  He has so many of our leaders speaking truth into these words. Let's set our lives up to hear from people teaching truth about doing life together, being enough in Christ and being broken before with each other and our Father. Say yes to Nothing to Prove, read it's pages and let it sink into your soul. Then message me and tell me all the things God is teaching you through these words, because I am certain He has a word for his girls through this book.  
I am sharing this review not because I get some special benefit from it (I was on Jennie's launch team so I got to read the book early, but that's where it stops). I want you to read this book because I know it will change us for the better, because I know God is working in this and I want us all to be apart of these places that will set us free.  Imagine if every woman operated under the idea that she was enough in Christ.  What an army we will be!
Free is where our creator wants us to be, He created you for such a time as this, you were made BEAUTIFULLY FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY in his perfect image...you have nothing to prove in your life with him, he has already declared you enough sweet girl!

Go get this book so you can read the words that changed me. Click here Nothing to Prove Amazon to order your copy.

Much Love,
Chrystan

PS- I'm headed to IF:Gathering in Austin, Texas this weekend (back to my home state!) Are you participating in IF? If not you can live stream it, check out the details here!

To recognize our need for God is the beginning of our finding him ~Jennie Allen Nothing to Prove

Friday, January 13, 2017

When the Call Is Greater


Some of us just play life safe.  That is truly the way to go right?  Just skate through life, not turning over any stones, not rubbing anyone the wrong way, not standing up but not sitting down.  Just a regular, safe, skim the surface kind of life.  What's wrong with that? I believe we have a greater call than that and unfortunate for those of us who live this kind of a lifestyle there are warnings against it...

Revelation 3:15-16




"I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."


We see many passages in the Bible that cover the lukewarm believer and warns us against that lifestyle.  Ya'll this was me just a few short years ago and I battle against it even today.  Even today as someone who leads worship, professes faith whenever she can, a teacher, a writer and a speaker of the word. Yes even through all of that I have to rage against complacency and a lukewarm, shallow, skim the surface kind of faith.  This I think, is Satan's playground in the derailment of believers. So where is this creeping in?

1. Staying comfy cozy in our pretty, safe and relaxed Churches
We were never meant to sit in church on Sunday mornings and never be in community.  We were never meant to not go out to all the people and show them fierce love. We were never meant to never GO and proclaim all the good things!  You aren't meant to just warm a pew once a week. Go do something that increases your faith, that increases the Kingdom of Heaven, that points someone in the direction of our loving Savior.

2. Not reading the Bible
Beth Moore, oh that sister can truly tell it like it really is.  In her sermon at Passion 17 she said all the words.  I leave you with this quote:

Your life will be changed when you open the pages of the Bible daily. End of story. Let's commit to reading the word, it's life bringing (here's a Bible reading app i'm crazy about!).  Let's not walk away from Jesus to serve him.

3.Prayer is just something you do at meals
Prayer has changed my life. CHANGED IT!  4 years ago I was part of a prayer group that has now launched into a nationwide movement.  Imperfectly Brave, though it is freeing me and calling me out on the waters, has changed me but it's the prayer aspect that changes me daily. It changes my heart, my outlook, it's increasing my faith and has strengthened my bond with other believer's and most importantly my relationship with our heavenly Father. Through prayer I have seen mountains moved and learned to trust God when the mountain stayed in the same place.  Prayer will change you, dive in, it will keep you afloat I promise!

4. Lacking in Faith
If we never GO, we never have to step out in faith. If we never do the hard things, we will always stay in the same place. God calls us out with him, he can still accomplish without us and I believe he does.  But the creator of the universe wants you to work alongside him to bring Heaven to Earth. To bring souls into the kingdom of God. Why dear sister would you ever, ever, not take him up on that offer?  He is whispering to you telling your heart what to do, are you willing to be faithful to that call, even when it is greater than you can imagine?

5. Staying un-challenged
When was the last time you did something out of your comfort zone? When was the last time you stood up for something that was right?  When was the last time you sacrificed yourself for the glory of God?  Self-preaching here ya'll, I play it pretty safe because I like my comfy life in suburbia. Imagine what this year would be like if we all stepped out for the great call. Mind blowing, it would be mind blowing.  We would be bursting at the seems with abundant faith and joy! In the same space I want to say, you need to surround yourself with people who will challenge you to live life chasing after Jesus and his call on your life.  For some of you that is going to be your challenge this year, it's more than WORTH IT!

Ya'll the call is greater than this comfortable life we are living.  This year over at Imperfectly Brave we are studying what calling means in light of the gospel.  Do you know what the gospel is? It is the story of the rescue plan God has for us.  It started with original sin and went on through the Bible as we were led up to the coming of Jesus, his life his death and his resurrection, to the time when Heaven and Earth are brought back together in the second coming.  You guys, in light of the rescue plan. In light of your salvation...how could the call ever be to stay comfortable and safe and unchallenged?

As we continue working towards the bettering of ourselves this year, how is God calling you to serve in this one life? What is he challenging you with?
-Joining a Church
-Relentlessly loving that unlovable person
-Going on Mission
-Staying home with your children
-Going back to work
-Answering the call to ministry
-Giving your life to him
-Joining a Bible Study

It's not skies the limit, it's heaven's the focus.
GO.

What is it? What is your greater call right now? Tell me I really want to know so that I can pray for you and check in on you this year!

Go, be the one who lives a life honoring to the God who created you FEARLESSLY and WONDERFULLY in his BEAUTIFUL image!

Much Love,
Chrystan

PS- Need anthem? Here ya go! I'll share mine with you:


Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Dream Thief

(Unsplash:Steve Halama)


Dreams.
Goals.
Passions.

Do these things we dream of, do these gifts we long to share, these goals we've set and these things we chase after have a shelf life? If not what's stopping us?

For days I've sat at my desk staring at my dream guide and my purpose sheet trying to put into words what's in my heart.  Writing them down seemed impossible and I couldn't figure out why, until today. It all boils down to fear.  Fear. What an ugly word.  I've boiled my fear down to two main things:

Failure
I'm afraid I'm not good enough to bring it all to fruition.  I'm afraid I will let those in my corner down or those out of my corner will be proved right. I'm afraid I really can't do it.

You
I'm afraid you think I'm too old. I'm afraid you will think I just like the next new thing. I'm afraid that you think I'm crazy. I'm afraid that you think I think I'm pretty awesome. I'm afraid you won't be safe with my dream. I'm afraid I won't live up to your standards. I'm afraid I don't fit your mold. I'm afraid when I chase these dreams I will let you down. I'm afraid I'm not enough.

Today I wrote them all down. All of the outlandish things that God has laid on my heart, maybe even since I was a little girl.  All these dreams that I may fail at all these goals that you may say I could never achieve. The things I may be too old for or not good enough for, those things...I wrote it all down.

You see, I was afraid to write them down because I didn't think I was enough. But I realized today that I'm right, I am not enough and that right there will set you FREE.  These things God is calling me to, I can't do them...
I can't make them happen
I can't work hard enough
I can't be all the things necessary to make them happen


That's the beauty of these crazy dreams God gave me.  I'm not enough, but he is.  I am dreaming dreams that make me so uncomfortable. They call me out on the waters where there is no life boat in a storm that I cannot tame, this year these dreams of mine are so big and so bold only God could make them happen.  Those dreams, those are the best ones to have. I am learning if we are not stepping out in such bold ways that we are scared, with knees knocking so much so that we have to lean on him to stand up, then girls we aren't dreaming with the knowledge that our God is mighty. Our God is Uncontainable. Our God makes blind men see and raises the dead. He made mountains and moved them around to create the earth.  He is mighty! Sweet sister he is big enough to accomplish whatever he is calling you to without you, but he loves you so much he invites you to do it with him. Stop limiting him and start dreaming with him.

Whatever it is, it's not bigger than the God calling you to it. But you must invite him into your life.  You must.  You cannot go forward without him, he must be a part of this plan. So today, I wrote them all down and I prayed. I prayed that I would honor him with these dreams. I prayed that I would not go before him. I prayed that I would be diligent in my ways to seek the kingdom with these gifts.


Today I pray that whatever it is that seems so huge that God is calling you to do that you will ask him to lead the way.  Whatever it is. Maybe it's going back to school, maybe its seminary, maybe it's a total career change, maybe it's staying home and homeschooling. Whatever that BIG scary thing is, I pray you will seek God with it.  That you will do it with him.  I am praying that you are brave enough to step out and do really big uncomfortable things for the glory of God.  I pray that for myself.


He made us, he pursues us, he longs to give us the desires of our hearts, you dear girl are FEARFULLY & WONDERFULLY made in his loving image. He can and will do immeasurably more than you can ever imagine.

Go with God this year.  Write those dreams down and chase after them with a HOLY passion! I'm right here with you, shaking in my cowgirl boots!

Much Love,
Chrystan

PS- Want more on CALLING?  Join us over at Imperfectly Brave this year as we study CALLING!  Register for this free program HERE.

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