Category: Dreams

The Blessing of Confidence

go-confGood morning, and Happy Saturday, Family & Friends!

The dictionary defines confidence as, “The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust; The state of feeling certain about the truth of something.”

The bible says in Jeremiah 17:7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.” And again, in Ephesians 3:12 “In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” And even again in John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

Are you seeing the same pattern I’m seeing? Here’s what I see – If you ask God for something in your life. Let’s say for example; the fulfillment of a dream or hope – you can confidently go to God with your dream or hope and if it is in line with His word, He will hear you and it will be given to you. The single most important part in there, is that whatever you ask of the Lord MUST be according to HIS will.

Why? Because as you can see in Isaiah 55:8: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”

What that means is — FATHER knows best! God knows everything. Past – Present – Future. He knows everything that happened, what’s happening now, and what will happen tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, etc. We don’t. We only know what’s happened and what’s happening currently in OUR OWN little world, and believe me, in the grand spectrum of things, each and every one of us is a very small part of what’s happening in the big picture. And therefore, you MUST absolutely align your requests with what He’s given you in His word, in order for that to work.

Interestingly, God knows each and every one of us, He cares about what’s happening with us and He wants to help us. But we need to be doing everything we can to be obedient to His word in our lives so He can bless us accordingly. If what we’re asking for goes out of His perfect will, then it’s not gonna happen!

For example; Maybe you’ve found yourself in a situation where you want something that belongs to someone else, so you pray for God to give it to you. That ain’t gonna work, my friend! Why? Because God is NOT going to give you something that belongs to someone else! In fact, He even made Commandments about that! The 10th Commandment actually says; “You shall not covet” — The definition of Covet is; “Yearn to possess or have something – to desire, yearn for, crave, have one’s heart set on, want, wish for, long for, hanker after/for, hunger after/for, thirst for.”

See what I mean? So you must be very careful that you’re asking God for the right things for the right reasons. I know this can be difficult, because we are human and our emotions get in the way of our common sense, but it’s really important that we be in line with God’s word, or He can’t bless us, and believe me, God’s blessings are worth working for!

American Essayist Henry David Thoreau said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined”
I agree wholeheartedly and am actually trying do that currently with my life and my dreams. BUT – I am doing everything I can to make sure I am walking in God’s word and doing my best to stay obedient to His will in my life.

Yes – I make mistakes all the time
Yes – I have to pray for forgiveness — A LOT!
Yes – When I fall – and I do fall – I have to pick myself up, dust myself off and try again!

And so should you!!!

Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Notice the order of operations: #1 Lord #2 Desires of your heart.

John 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

As always, these stories are written in the hopes that they will be a blessing to you in some way. May the Lord bless you, watch over you, protect you and guide you, in Jesus’ name – Amen.
-Rev. Crystal Bennett

How I Got Saved

crossGood morning, Family & Friends – I want to talk to you a little bit about how I got saved, because it’s kind of funny!

What if the only thing I was meant to do is write sermons? I don’t personally feel that’s the only thing I’m supposed to be doing, but I do seem to have a tendency to go in the preachy direction from time to time. At least, that’s what I’ve heard from my husband and kids for Lord know how many years. Here’s the thing. I KNOW that the Lord called me to do something for Him. I’ve known that my whole life. When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was become a nun, but I had a couple problems:

1. I wanted to get married
2. I wanted to have at least four kids

So I knew being a nun was way out the door, because let’s face it – nuns don’t get married, and they sure don’t have kids! But that doesn’t mean I can’t serve the Lord SOMEHOW. Fast forward to my early twenties – I was married, and recently given birth to my 2nd son. One day, in my finally peaceful home, as the baby and the three year old were finally napping – I was, on the verge of falling asleep myself, as mothers with very young children are wont to do when their babies are sleeping. Because let’s face it – that’s the ONLY time a mother gets any sleep!

Anyway… I was sitting there half asleep, when the doorbell rang. Needless to say, I sat bolt-upright and sprinted to the door before it could ring again and wake the aforementioned babies. On the threshold there stood two ladies – one in her 30’s, the other in her 50’s – They were dressed very nicely, and holding bibles and Jehovah’s Witness pamphlets. And they were there to save me. I explained to the ladies that I had two sleeping babies and would love to be saved but not right now, thank-you-very much! Naturally I expected that they – being women, and probably mothers – would understand and let me go back to my nap. I was wrong. Instead, they proceeded to tell me about God’s son, and what he did to save me and my babies from eternal damnation.

Now I admit I was getting a little annoyed, because I was sleep-deprived and they weren’t going away like I had hoped they would. So I decided to break out the big guns. I explained to the ladies how l’d grown up reading my bible and praying every day, and had even wanted to be a nun, but changed my mind because of the whole wife/mom shebang. I thought, “surely that’ll get rid of them, right?” Wrong… Again… *sigh*.

Instead of leaving like the nice Christian ladies they were supposed to be in my little pre-determined book of what Christian ladies are supposed to be like, they decided to pray for me. Which I supposed at the time, was okay, but that was probably because I figured they’d leave afterward. Wrong again. As it just so happened, they ended up coming in for tea, woke up the kids, and proceeded to talk to me very extensively about the love our God has for all His children. This was all fine and well, and the visit was nice, but it had to come to an end sooner or later, and it did. Funny thing about that – about five minutes after they left, I had an overwhelming urge to pray and ask God to forgive me for my sins, and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Praise the Lord, right?

But the story doesn’t stop there. Oddly, right after that, I was overcome with an overwhelming need to pray for the ladies that just left. As if they were sick or in danger of some sort I didn’t know why then, but I do now. The spirit of the Lord was using them to save me, and me to help them in some way that only God knew. Funny thing about that prayer – it wasn’t in English. I didn’t know much about praying in tongues at that time, but that’s exactly what happened. I was saved, then immediately filled with the Holy spirit in order to pray for those ladies and help them from whatever situation it was the Lord already knew about and sent them to me for. That’s why they wouldn’t leave. That ‘s why they were so adamant about praying for me, and getting me to talk with them. In retrospect, what more perfect timing could there have been? To catch a mother when her babies are sleeping, and she’s too tired to put up a fight? Wow! God knows what He’s doing, doesn’t He?

Fast forward 24 years – I have now successfully mothered five sons, and been married to my their father for what sometimes feels like forever, but actually comes out to 28 years, and all I’ve heard from these guys all these years is how much I talk about God and the bible. Well of course, they’re being overly dramatic because let’s face it – I’m NO angel! I have committed many sins myself, thank you very much! Come to think of it, I’ve actually broken eight of the Ten Commandments all by my self – well mostly. I don’t see myself as a preachy person, but I have always loved the Lord and will always love the Lord, and that means I talk about Him quite a bit, to pretty much anyone who wants to listen. Am I bossy or pushy? No. Am I a psychotic bible-thumper? No. But sometimes the Spirit moves me and I just can’t help it! I just have to talk about God and ALL his wonderful works in my life!

So here I am, 48 years old, and I’ve recently become an Ordained Minister through an online bible monastery. Not that I think that’s a completely legitimate way to do it, at all… but I believe that’s what the Lord lead me to do at the time so I could get to this point. Where is this point? RIGHT HERE! Sitting in front of my wonderful, 25 year old typewriter, banging out this wonderfully educational bit of literature about how I became Reverend Crystal Ann Bennett, thank you-very-much!

Funny thing is –I pray and asked the Lord to give me something to write about, and He made me a minister. Now here I am writing all this stuff out to share with you so that hopefully – somehow – it will bless you in some way. And so dear friends… I pray the Lord will forgive you your sins. I pray the Lord will heal you, and bless you and protect you. May you be happy, healthy, prosperous and loved, all the days you live – In Jesus’ name – amen.

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Psalm 118:24 – “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

xI’m not gonna lie: I am NOT a morning person, BUT — The Lord likes to wake me up early whether I think I need to be or not. I can never get back to sleep, so I end up getting up, wander around and drink too much coffee. More often than not, I end up writing during the wee hours of the morning, which I find odd, because I can barely form an intelligent sentence with my mouth at 6 am. But — My fingers seem to know what they’re doing, so I give credit to God for that. So in that spirit, GOOD MORNING FAMILY & FRIENDS!! 😀

I want to tell you today about listening to God. Now hold on, hold on, before you think I’m gonna get all bossy-preachy over here, let me explain; I’m not talking about listening to rules and regulations. I personally hate rules. I’ve always followed the rules, (for the most part, anyway) BUT I don’t like them. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about listening for God’s call on your heart to follow him down whatever path he leads you to. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” — Let’s think about that: ‘Be still’ — Stop moving. Be quiet. Rest a moment. Meditate. Listen. — ‘and know that I am God’ — Who is God? The creator of the entire everything. I mean, like seriously! EVERYTHING! He made it ALL. All He’s telling you to do, is ‘Listen to me, and let me handle this.’ When this was written, there were wars, strife, turmoil of all sorts going on. And there was God saying “Be still.” Why? Wouldn’t it be a tad difficult what with all the fighting? How can the Lord expect people in the midst of war, to stop and listen to Him?

I’ll tell you — because that’s when we need Him the most! When there’s all sorts of drama going on, and you don’t know which way to turn, or what to do — THAT’s the moment you need to “STOP! LOOK! LISTEN!” You remember that, don’t you? That’s what you’re supposed to do when you come to a train track. Why? Because you need to focus, in order to be safe. Think about that for a minute. God tells you to “be still” so you can be safe. In that moment, when your mouth is closed, and your eyes and ears are open, you can hear Him speak to your heart.

This hearing God thing – it doesn’t always happen overnight. Sometimes it take a while and it takes practice. I think it has more to do with the person doing the listening than with God, Himself. Why? Because some people learn fast and continue to make progress. Some of us – like me – take a little longer to get to the point where we finally let go of our own selfish need to control every situation and let God take care of it. But honestly, that’s what we NEED to do. Be still, and know that He is God. If you ask Him to lead you in the direction He wants you to go – He will do exactly that! That’s how I got to be here. I finally stopped trying to control every situation by stressing out and having temper tantrums. I STOPPED what I was doing. I LOOKED to God for direction. I LISTENED to His word on my heart. I’ll tell you something – I’m 48 years old, and I am finally doing what I should have done a long time ago! I’m trusting in the Lord, and I finally feel peace in my heart for the first time. Praise the Lord! 🙂

Proverbs 3:4-6: “So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. 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 your paths straight.…”