Tag: Ministry

Humility… My Own, Not Yours…

Sometimes I feel like the Lord has to knock me down a peg or two so He can lift me up again. I’m not saying that’s exactly what’s happening, I’m just saying that’s what it feels like.

Today was one of those days. In church, the pastor said things I felt sure were being said directly to me, and they weren’t exactly pleasant. Does that mean my pastor is targeting me? No, it just means I recognize myself in what he was saying, and my spirit is aware of my own wrong-doing.


To top it off, I get home only to end up in an argument with my husband and two of my sons, all separately, and on different topics. So the common factor here, is me. Four people can’t be wrong and only one right. Well… they can… but it’s unlikely. No, I’m pretty sure I’m the wrong party here, and I need to fix that.

So what is it I’m doing that’s so bad that it seems everyone is coming against me? Okay… I will admit that I’ve been a bit on the irritable and harsh side lately. There are some things in my life that have directly affected my body, and my mood in some negative ways, and I have been taking it out on those around me.


Even here on my blog, I’ve been harsh with the general population, and that’s something I really have no right to do. I don’t have the right to do that with anyone, and I apologize. Besides, it really isn’t my nature to be mean or harsh. Quite the contrary, I assure you. I am normally a fairly nice person, but have let some bad days get to me. That’s not an excuse, and I will try to do better in future. Let me tell you a little something about why I started this blog. I’ll try to keep it short. 


It really started with the same reason the Lord lead me to become an ordained minister; to help people, and lead them to the Lord. That’s really always been my desire, and the Lord put it in my heart a long time ago. Interestingly, the Lord reminded me of those things in the sermon my pastor delivered this morning, and I’d like to share that with you now.


Colossians 1:24-29 says it perfectly from the reason I felt compelled to minister, to the reason I come before you and humble myself to you today:


“Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”


And then in Colossians 4:6 is where we find my correction:


“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”


Now as my pastor so eloquently put it,  salt is supposed to make something taste better. My words of late have had either not enough and been too bland, or way too much and burned going down. For that I do apologize once more. I’ll do my best to remember the Lord’s good lessons and behave more kindly.


Many Blessings,

Crystal

Doing What’s Right

abideLet me just tell you, I have been struggling for a topic for the blog the past couple weeks. So much so, that I’ve become exasperated and prayed for the Lord to lead me and tell me what to write. Of course, I should probably doing that on a regular basis instead of sometimes, like I’ve been wont to do. Anyhoo…

With very few exceptions, I don’t like most Christian music or singing hymns and songs in church. I’m sorry, I know that’s not very Christian of me, but it’s the truth and I hope y’all understand that I’m telling you this to make a point. Okay? Okay.

So this morning, at the new church we started attending about a month ago, I was singing along with the congregation, while reading the words on the two big screens at the front – by the way, I absolutely love that this church does that! So incredibly helpful! – and as I was singing one song in particular, I was thinking how much I didn’t actually like that song. But it wasn’t written for me, it was written for God with the intent of bringing glory to His name and worshiping Him, so I was obedient and sang along. Why? Because the Lord has done SO MUCH for me and my family, that this one small thing is nothing in comparison, and yet it brings glory to God and Jesus, who, of course is God in the flesh! Hallelujah!

No sooner had that hit me, than the Lord told me, “Crystal, that is your topic! Write about doing something because it is the right thing to do even if it’s not what you want to do!” It it me so hard, I had to write myself a note to remember that, right in the middle of the song! Praise the Lord!

Now I believe that when you ask for something spiritual from the Lord, and He gives it to you, He will very often follow it up once or twice more in confirmation, so you know it was indeed Him, and not your own worldly mind. Interesting thing happened next. The very next song had the most wonderfully appropriate line for this occasion – “Jesus, I sing for all that you’ve done for me!” Hallelujah and Praise the Lord again! Two signs in a matter of minutes! God is so good, is He not?!

Did you see what happened there?

  1. I asked God for something. In this case, inspiration.
  2. I was WILLINGLY, (not begrudgingly) obedient to the Lord and what He asks of me, whether or not I actually like doing that one thing. In this case, singing Christian songs.
  3. God immediately answered my prayer by giving me inspiration during the time I was willingly showing my obedience to Him!

WOW! Is that powerful or what?!

Today’s message at church was about ABIDING in Him, and He in us. The verses Pastor Dustin at Windborn Church shared with us, are very much in line with this message, and I believe that was the third sign.

In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me, you can do nothing.”

What happened? I was abiding (and we should always be abiding in the Lord, shouldn’t we?) in Him, and He in me, and the prayer I asked of the Lord, bore fruit, and now here I am, sharing that fruit with YOU! Praise the Lord and Hallelujah again!!! What a blessing!

So obedience really pays off, doesn’t it? Sure it does! When you were a kid, and you wanted ice cream or cake or cookies, but your parents told you, “You need to clean your plate or eat your veggies before you can have desert.” what did you do? You cleaned that plate and ate those veggies, I’m guessing! I know I sure did! So what happened? You were obedient to what your parents knew was for your own good, and then you were rewarded for your obedience!

That’s what happened to me today! I was obedient to my Heavenly Father, and I was rewarded/blessed with the fruit of the spirit. Why? Because even if I don’t actually like a certain song, it is always a blessing to me because it feeds my spirit and reminds me how good God is! It’s a really wonderful thing! Give it a try! Go and abide in God, be obedient to what He asks of you, and enjoy the desert He gives you, aka; your blessings!

John 15:8 – “By this, my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

The word “abide” in the time of Jesus, mean something a little different than it does today. It meant “Live” and “Dwell”. In other words, Jesus is asking us to live with and in Him, and He will live with and in us. I personally think that’s pretty cool. Don’t you?

Many Blessings to you!

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

Liberal vs. Conservative

I don’t know what disappoints me more – the lies that people come up with, or the sheer number of people who believe those lies.

Also…. the practical application of the term “liberal” is an oxymoron in our society.

The actual definition of Liberal is – “open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values. Concerned mainly with broadening a person’s general knowledge and experience, rather than with technical or professional training.”

Some of the most self-proclaimed “liberals” I’ve ever met, are also some of the most unbelievably militant beings of the face of the earth, who will yell at me and anyone else who opposes them because we disagree with their supposedly open-minded points of view.

The worst is when a conservative who happens to be a Christian, attempts to “agree to disagree” in an effort to prevent undue discord, and preserve the friendship. THAT’S when Christianity itself is attacked by the “liberal” and we (Christians) are all grouped into one category of insufferable judgmental jerks who deserve whatever bad thing happens to us, while the “liberals” attempt to force their incredibly militant policies on us.

I’m sure I’ll catch some flack for this, but if you are a “liberal” and you attempt to force your policies and your beliefs on me, while forcing your opinion of who gets to use what bathroom, who said what to whom, who grabbed whom, and why that’s somehow worse than someone who makes it their life mission to cause mayhem, death, and destruction to anyone who stands in their way, then you and I must agree to disagree.

If that means we can’t be friends then so be it, but that’s clearly your choice, not mine. As a conservative Christian, one thing I’ve learned is that sometimes you just have to love someone from a distance. Happy Thursday, and may you be ever blessed.

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

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

Choosing To Believe

My husband,  Rob,  wrote this, and I really think it’s something we all should think about.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Well, today has begun well and on we go. Last couple days a furry, forty pound little family member has had a mom and dad worried. Dogs can’t convey messages like us and it can make things a bit stressful. Turns out, it may have only been severe constipation. Sounds silly, but you had to be here to understand. We do love our little Molly.

We treat our dog like family and we love her the same. If she has a spirit like us I hope to see her in Heaven. A belief in God first takes faith. Without it we ain’t got nothing to back up a prayer. Kinda funny, we gotta believe in the egg to see the chicken. We gotta believe in a spirit to believe in God. If we think we are just a being with no soul, we definately have no reason to believe in an afterlife whatsoever. Makes no sense. I read once of a scientist who went out to see if we had a soul. Came to find out that humans lost a few ounces when they died. Couldn’t figure out why, we just did. Now, we can always come up with an excuse in order to support our atheist views. But we still can’t escape the fact that something left our body. If our spirit has  substance, maybe it has weight. Of course you still have to make a choice to believe it.  Otherwise we can stick to the old standby, “denial”. It’s worked for thousands of years. So why do people want to be an atheist? Denial? But why? Only thing I can figure is a lot of folks don’t like to stick with morals or decency. Or even good health. So after a time you find that people needed to get some form of decency and made up things like humanism or Buddha or whatever controlled the masses without having to give into the “Religion” side of things. God had some rules. But honestly, there were some really good rules that didn’t hurt anyone. Islam has rules about killing all non believers. Also mutilating transgressors. There’s a list, believe me. And don’t go thinking it’s only the bad Muslims. It’s written in their Book. God never, ever wished bad things on this world. He just wants us to seek Him in order for Him to be able to reward us. People listen to so much propaganda based on small out of context words either from the bible or just from what someone said. You have to read it to know what’s really going on. I do read everyday, and so far it ain’t hurting me. Or anyone else for that matter. I guess it just comes down to what I end with each day……. You just gotta believe. Without it you can’t please Him, and He can’t reward you. Ouch.”