Tag: Bible

To Receive, Or Not to Receive – That Is The Question!

john-15-7

WOW! It has been a busy couple of weeks around the Bennett household! I have been wanting to post, and have had so many things on my mind that really needed to get out, but honestly, y’all don’t even know how jam-packed my brain has been, to the point where sleep is an issue, as is the idea of organized blog posts. What’s happening? In addition to one son and myself doing the whole college thing, my husband made the big decision to go back to school this semester, in an effort to get his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Technology! So exciting! I’m doing my best to help him out with all the enrollment paperwork, schedules, books, etc, and he’s really digging in and working hard already. That’s something I wish I’d had when I started college – Someone to give me a helping hand and point me in the right direction. Alas, I had to wing it and deal with the grumpy, overworked counselors at the college. Not so fun, and incredibly confusing. I personally think the enrollment process in college is designed to thin the herd. Only the strong survive the first two weeks – the rest are left to perish. There’s something wrong with that if you ask me!

But I digress! I wanted to talk to you today about getting what we want. My whole life, I’ve heard the bible verse Matthew 7:7, which states, “Ask and you shall receive” but most of my life, I’ve wondered why it is that I’ve asked, and yet haven’t always gotten what I’ve asked for. Why? Many people have asked the same questions; “What am I doing wrong? Why is God breaking His promises?” I’ve asked those questions, and I’ll bet you have too. So let me tell you what the Lord showed me. This is SO important, so PAY ATTENTION okay? John 15:7 says, “IF you abide in me, and (IF) my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.”

So what happened here? “IF” happened, and trust me – IF is HUGE! Why? Because it means there are conditions to getting what we ask for. It’s a trust thing, and we have to hold up our end of the deal. Just like when we were kids – if we wanted our earthly parents to buy us something, we usually had to meet some criteria, such as chores, or homework, or good behavior, etc. In the same way, we need to keep our Heavenly Father’s word in our hearts, and live like we are actually in His family, and not just house guests who get spoiled and served without responsibility. Don’t get me wrong, house guests are great, but you wouldn’t give them a list of chores, now would you? No. You would show them hospitality and spoil them while they stay with you, because it’s a short time, and we are (usually) grateful for the short amount of time we are able to spend with them, yes? Okay. Now if they end up moving in, you would expect them to contribute in some way, and probably on a regular basis, would you not? After all – having people laying about your house, eating all your food and waiting on them hand and foot isn’t exactly a desirable long-term situation for the person doing all the work. Hence the term “house guest” – because they leave! Can I get an “Amen”?!

Back to the rules; as my pastor put it – rules exist for our protection and for our well-being. When you were a kid growing up, you would have eaten all the sugary food you could stand until you became ill, and would never get the proper nutrition your body needed to thrive. However, you probably had parents who made rules about the times you could have treats, what kind and how much. I have no doubt that it usually came after you had some type of nourishing meal. If that was not the case, then you may have bad eating habits now, and are certainly paying the price with your health. Personally, I was raised eating very unhealthy foods to excess, and as a result, I have a great deal of trouble losing weight and keeping it off. Why? Lack of rules. My mother also has a weight problem, as does my brother. Had I known as a young mom what I know now, I would have never allowed sugar in my home, much less in my children’s mouths. Fortunately, they are smarter than I was, and healthier as well.

Anyway – the point is – keep Gods word. Abide in his word, which as we mentioned in a previous post – means to live in His word, and keep it in your heart at all times. Be obedient. The Lord isn’t unreasonable, He just wants you to be safe happy, healthy, and that gives Him the ability to bless you. It’s good for you, I swear! Then – if you are keeping His word and his rules too – you will naturally ask for those things which are in line with His word/rules/will for your life and you will be blessed for it! I think sometimes people see this verse and think they should be able to ask for lottery winnings, or another man’s wife/another woman’s husband and they will get it. That is not the case. You can indeed ask anything and you will receive it – as long as you are actually asking for that which is in keeping with God and His word. If you’re not sure, search the bible! What does it say? Are your desires in line with Gods word? If not, chances are you won’t get that thing, or person, or if my some chance you do – you probably won’t be happy with it, so be careful.

I can tell you that since changing my way of thinking and making the effort – and honestly it’s not THAT hard to follow Gods word and keep His rules – my life has become much more blessed and less stressful – college-going husband and all. Is life going to be one big bowl of cherries? No. Don’t be silly. However – you’ll find that even when negative situations come up that seem like they are unmanageable, you will be able to ask God for His help, and he will always be there for you, in some pretty amazing ways. So – abide, abide, ABIDE in God’s word. Keep it in your heart, and let your mouth speak positive bible-based truths like; “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!” and you will find that you really can, because He really does!

God bless, and have a wonderful weekend!

C.A. Bennett – Writer

Past vs. Future

This morning, my youngest son and I went to church for the first time in a very long time. We – my husband, the kid, and I – usually read our bibles on our own at home, and share what we learn with one another, friends and family and vice versa. That’s all great, and I’m sure God doesn’t mind that, but I have really been feeling the need to actually go to church for quite some time now, but didn’t because the church I’d been going to contained an element that made me very uncomfortable. I won’t go into details, but suffice to say, It’s been awhile.

Anyway… This morning, we went to a church recommended to me by a friend, who’s opinion and council I trust, and I was not disappointed! The church building and it’s parishioners were warm and welcoming, the music was really good, and the words projected onto a big screen on the wall, and the most important part – the message – was wonderful!

We heard about Jesus and how He came from God through the common people, Mary and Joseph, instead of the family of Herod, the Pharisees, the politicians, etc. The reason is – or should be – obvious. God was directly reaching out to the common person, aka; you and me! He gave us someone we could relate to! What a blessing!

Another thing I loved hearing today was in regards to the past vs. the future. There is a quote most people have heard at one time or other by George Santayana, who wrote (in The Life of Reason, 1905): “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

While that may be true, I would like to suggest something I hadn’t thought of in a long time, and that we heard in church this morning.

Philippians 3:12-14

Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

So I leave you with this; Learn from your past mistakes so that you don’t repeat them, yes. But having done so, let them go, so you can focus on the future and what God has in store for you! Don’t hold onto that which you cannot change, because your past can also be an anchor that drags you down. God has good plans for you, so keep looking forward!

Praise The Lord!

C.A. Bennett – Writer

Tools of the Trade

2016-11-02-08-17-40My husband of 28 years and I, have very little in common when it comes to our interests. Movies, music, comedy, activities of all sorts, for us, are on opposite ends of the spectrum. What makes him laugh, makes me cringe. He works out regularly, and aspires to go to the CrossFit Games, I would rather sit on the couch and knit, while sipping tea or hot chocolate. We even differed greatly in terms of how best to raise the five sons we created together, but thankfully, they all survived our mutual parental ineptitude and made it to adulthood with all their parts and sensibilities intact! Good job, mom and dad. Good job resilient kids!

We do have a few things in common, however. Some very important things, in fact. Our political opinions are almost exactly the same. We also have our Christian beliefs, which is a HUGE thing when in a lifelong relationship with a person you must share a room with, believe me! We have some of the most wonderful conversations about God and faith, and nary an argument about it to be heard, with the rare exception, but brother, when we debate, we debate hard!

My husband and I also have tools in common. He has an incredible array of tools for any number of jobs. He has worked as a mechanic, and then an automotive and aircraft painter for thirty-plus years. He can fix the mechanical inner workings of almost any wheeled vehicle by getting under the hood, (or under the car, in some cases) and getting grease up to his elbows. He can make the outside of anything from a bicycle to an airplane beautiful again, by pulling and filling dents, and applying paint and a host of decoration. He is a hobbyist woodworker who has spent countless hours measuring, cutting, hammering nails, screwing screws. gluing, and creating something from seemingly nothing. The man owns a LOT of tools, some as new as purchased two days ago to fix my Buick, some – like an antique wood planer – one hundred years old and in dire need of restoration. He loves the old ones best. No matter which one he uses, the job gets done.

Me? I have tools of different types, but they are tools nevertheless. I have knitting needles and crochet hooks for creating a lovely array of warm clothing for the many children and their respective significant others. I have spinning tools that can make fine thread or bulky yarns depending on my mood. I have weaving looms that can make very fine and delicate fabric, or cloth which is utilitarian in nature. I can even create a simple tapestry if I have the inspiration and the motivation.

But my favorite tools, are my writing tools. I love to write! I write periodically throughout the day. I write in my personal journal every  night before going to sleep, no matter how tired I am. I even take a notebook with me to write on the go when the mood or an idea for one of my three novels-in-progress strikes. I’ve even been known to use the note app on my phone when I’ve been in a rush and forgot the notebook. I write. It’s as much a part of who I am as the color of my eyes, skin and hair.

My writing tools vary greatly. I have six notebooks, a binder, my 2014 Acer laptop, a 1992 Smith Corona Word Processor, and a 1956 Royal Aristocrat manual typewriter. As soon as I can afford it, I’ll purchase a newer Royal Epoch manual typewriter for it’s lighter weight, included carrying case, ease of use, non-electrical versatility, and the plain, simple fact that I would like to preserve my cherished vintage models by not beating them to death – occasional use for nostalgic sake, not withstanding, of course. No matter what I write with, the story gets told.

We – the hubster and I – also have different tools for our biblical research and edification. He prefers the New American Standard version of bible and has one his mother gave him many years ago, which bears the autograph of Hall of Fame baseball player, Reggie  Jackson, who was baptized at the church my husband and his family attended when he was a kid. He also has one that is an extensive study bible I gifted him with on an anniversary many years ago. I, myself own a lovely prophecy study bible given to me from my husband on a birthday a few years ago, and is the New King James Version, which I prefer, and Halley’s Bible Handbook, for greater understanding. No matter how old or which version, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever” – Hebrews 13:8.

So what’s the point? The point is, it doesn’t matter what version of what tool you use as long as it gets the job done! Find what works for you, then go forth and DO IT! “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17

May you be blessed in all things, and in all things may God have the glory, in Jesus’ name – amen 🙂

Separation of Church and State

When I see the statement, “If we’re going to save our children, we have to put God back into the equation”, it occurs to me that spiritual guidance and growth begins at home.

Proverbs 22:6 says,

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

In my humble opinion, each person has the right to make their own choice when it comes to religious beliefs. If, for example, a person does not believe in God that’s their prerogative, but they have no right to force their status as a non-believer upon me or anyone else. Nor do they have the right to condemn me for being a believer.

Alternately, as a believer, I would never seek to force my beliefs upon another, however I do expect to be allowed to worship in peace and to raise my children with my belief system. The problem with this country, is that there’s this idea going around that we all must conform to one way or another, and there is no happy medium.

God is not a forceful God. He allows each of us to choose whether or not to believe in Him. Do I think the world would benefit from having more people worshiping God? Yes. That said, if anyone chooses to believe and worship then they should be left in peace to do so in their own way. “Separation of church and state” has nothing to do with it.”

Watch Your Mouth…

dailyHello Family and Friends! Happy Tuesday! Today, I’m impressed to remind you that what you say, will directly affect what you believe and the effects can be either positive or negative, depending on what you’re saying. If you’re constantly speaking negatives, then your words will get into your spirit and act as a poison that will take over and begin to cause spiritual death. If you are speaking positives, you are speaking healing into your spirit, and positive things will begin to happen. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences
The same is true of how you speak to others. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”We need to build each other up, so we can rise to be better than we are or were. If we constantly tear each other down, by speaking words against one another that are unkind, or destructive, then we are quite literally poisoning the spirit of another person, and honestly, we have no right to do that to another of God’s creation.
This is actually SO important that God put it in the bible several times. Here are a few examples. It all boils down to this: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Proverbs 21:23 says,
“He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.”
As always, I pray this message is a blessing to you, in Jesus’ name – Amen.
Rev. Crystal

Greater is He….

worldWe live in troubled times. You don’t even need TV or newspapers to see it. If you have a Facebook account and friends, you can see that something isn’t quite right. Here’s the scenario: You wake up in the morning, make your cup of coffee, reach for your Smartphone and start scrolling through Facebook, just to see what’s going on with family and friends. But what do you really see? Images of social violence, political scandal, domestic abuse, and physical harm to unborn babies and overly vulgar “jokes.” In other words, rude, crude, and often explicit images that most people wouldn’t expect to see over morning coffee.
Here’s the thing – I am not in anyway, a prude. I have a sense of humor, and I have trouble sometimes controlling my own attitude and my mouth. But I’m trying. That said, I have also noticed something else… There is not one single person who is completely happy with the world we live in. Everyone I see expresses the idea that this world we live in is “going to hell”, and that’s because they’re right.
Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
What’s the reason? A lack of God. Not because He’s abandoned or forsaken us, but because we’ve abandoned and forsaken Him! We, as a people, put our wants and desires first and foremost before and above the creator of the universe. The one being in existence who created everything and all of us, and we exclude Him from our lives on a regular, daily basis. We’re all guilty of it to some degree. All of us. There are many people who know He’s real and yet refuse to acknowledge Him in any way or worse, completely deny His existence. This way of life has tragic results. On the other hand, when we give our lives to the Lord, He says, “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezk 36:26)
Let me ask you something… do you ever feel like there’s something missing in your life, but you just can’t put your finger on it? That’s God. He’s trying to get your attention. Ever feel like you need someone or something to comfort you? That’s God telling you He wants to give you His perfect love, and asks that you love Him in return. He’s polite though. He’s not going to barge in and take over your life. You have to want Him there. You have to invite Him in. But what do we do? We turn to material things, or even short-term relationships with people who we KNOW aren’t good for us, in an effort to fill that void in our lives. That’s what the world does to us. It leaves us empty, angry, and hurting.
Romans 12:2: “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.”
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.”

1 John 4:4 – “ You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”

All you have to do is invite Jesus into your heart, and the rest will follow. I’m not saying you’ll never struggle again, I’m saying you’ll never be alone again. And you’ll have the creator of the universe and all things in it to help you. And He will help you!
If this message has been a blessing to you. I ask that you please “like” and “share” it. I ask nothing in return. I just want to know that what God is giving me, is making it out there for his glory, and the enrichment of your spirit – In Jesus’ name, amen!
Rev. Crystal Bennett

The Power of the Tongue

This is not my post, but was written by a friend of mine, and I can relate to it just as much as anyone else may be able to. I really feel strongly that the Lord wants me to share it, so I am.  May it be as big a blessing to you as it is to me 😊

“James 3:8-10… it’s amazing how in just one breath we can build up others or break them down. How do we change what comes out of our mouths when the world we live in thrives on breaking others down with their words. It’s become more and more acceptable to voice your opinion (because ur entitled to it) whether it hurts, embarrass others, or breaks others down you can say it. I have done this to others too many times, I pray daily that God will give me the desire to follow his Word and not the world”

Blessings In Disguise 

Some of you already knows I’m a writer at heart, and am working on writing a book. It’s been an ongoing process for several years. Hey, don’t laugh! It took J.K. Rowling six years to write Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, which of course became Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Personally, I like the original title better, but that’s just me. Anyway…. some time ago, I’d been praying for the time to write my book, because being a wife and mom who has a full time job and is also a full time student, was just sucking all my free time up, leaving no time or energy for writing. I also knew even then that I had a call to share the goodness of God with people, I just wasn’t sure how exactly.

Well it just occurred to me, that my prayers have been answered in the most odd way I could have imagined. Because of an ankle injury, I’ve been off work for several months now, and though I’m continuing my pursuit of a college degree, I’ve also had the time I need to work on my book.

It’s been a really tough situation without my regular pay check, and being denied for Workers Compensation. There have been interviews with investigators, depositions with lawyers, a multitude of medical examinations and procedures. And the pain involved with this type of injury is absolutely debilitating. It’s been a very rough road.

There have been days when we had no food in the house at all, but suddenly family or friends would just bring us food or send money to grocery shop, or pay rent or utility bills to restore services that had been disconnected. Amazing things keep happening and things are working out. One blessing is that this fellowship has come to life and I’m so blessed to be able to share things with you what the Lord has given me to write. I’m so grateful to the Lord for His grace and mercy, in taking care of me and my family during this difficult time.

One lesson I’ve learned here is that you need to be very specific when praying for something! Now, I’m not saying God caused the injury at all. BUT…. He can USE it as an opportunity for the fulfillment of my prayers. He’s pretty cool like that!

You may remember the story of Joseph in the bible. His brothers were terribly jealous of him because of how much his father loved and favored him, so they plotted to kill him. One brother didn’t want to go through with it, and talked his brothers into leaving Joseph in a pit instead. Still not great, but at least not dead, so there was still an opportunity for something good to happen. And it did!

After what seemed like a hopeless situation to Joseph for years, he was suddenly elevated to what would otherwise be impossible levels and actually saved the lives of many, many people by doing what God told him to do! His faith in God combined with his obedience to God, caused him to go from being abandoned in a pit to being the kinds right hand man in charge of the kingdom itself, thereby using his God given skills to save a multitude of people from the devastation of severe drought and famine that lasted seven long years!

When Joseph was finally reunited with his family, he had a rough time, but forgave them, saying, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” Genesis50:20-21.

God is good, is he not?! All the time!!!

So if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, think about the possible reasons, and allow God to use it for good. You may just be amazed at how much you will be blessed in the long run!

As always, I pray this today’s message is a blessing to you! In Jesus’ name, amen!

Rev. Crystal Bennett