Put on your shoes and start running

So last Sunday I took off a few minutes and sat by myself, watched the moon as I sipped from my cup of tea. I hadn’t planned to go sit by myself and watch the moon but somehow I just found myself in this spot doing just that.

As I sat there in the cold keeping my hands warm with this mug filled with tea, so many questions began to race in my mind; the “what if…“, the “I wish…“, the “what…”, the “how…”_ And right there, I felt I needed to destruct my mind a bit before these questions could weigh me down. I lifted my eyes to the skies and stared at the moon as though it was green. I kept staring at the moon until I couldn’t hear the sound of my mind asking questions for a moment.

Then I heard this, “Crystal put on your shoes and start running.” Aaah, then what have I been doing all this time… Long story short, I understood what this statement meant.

Well, let me share something about me. Maybe you could relate and maybe this statement ‘put on your shoes and start running’ is for you too. Growing up I was so passive on the outside even when I knew I needed more out of something on the inside. Like I would say, “it’s okay” when I knew and really wanted to say it’s not. Sometimes it was because I thought, that way I am at peace with everyone. In other situations it was because I did not want to pay the price of standing my ground, while in other scenarios I would rather stay laid back and invisible because I didn’t believe in me at all. I didn’t think I could do anything even when other people thought I could. I remember while in my 3rd year in high school my friends told me to run for information prefect and I couldn’t even give it a thought… I just let it pass. me!!! prefect!!! While everyone thought I could speak, I knew I could hardly utter a sentence in public. First of all I was shy (I am still shy though some people who know me now will never believe this, I guess I have mixed personalities).

This personality stuck with me that along the way everybody else’s: joy, fulfillment, goals… came before mine as long as they were in my perimeters. I somehow thought that I was obligated to allow them have a spot in my lane. I would literally stop moving if someone else came and moved past me in my own lane. For example: if I had an idea to start a business and someone else started the same thing before I did, I would chill that and say, “‘they’ will think I copied her” Or like, if I was good at something I always felt the urge to tone down because I didn’t want others to think I was proud or showing off. So by trying not to offend them, I toned down to mediocrity just to fit in and move with their rhythm; If I was on a team and had a different opinion from the rest, I would reserve it because I saw that as clashing; If I was in a relationship (of any kind) and there was a misunderstanding and the other party put up a one inch wall, I would build one with ten inches and say bye and bye not that I didn’t care but because I was too proud and sometimes insecure to give myself a chance to face my fears of failing. I wasn’t that aggressive to fight for anything. I was conscious of what everyone would say if I did, so I always let everyone take, take and take from my lane as much as they could then I would be stuck for a while then get up and start looking for another thing to do just because I allowed someone else take what I had already started on. Funny enough it was not necessarily my lane they took from, they were probably in their own lane that had similar features with mine at certain points. To me, it looked like they were in my lane or I was coping them. And this mindset made me stop.

Someone will say this kind of behavior is found with those who like to please others. I agree… I felt like their joy mattered even at the expense of mine but not all the time. Most of the time I did not intentionally want to please anyone, no, but I was too naive to be zealous and passionate about what I wanted out of something. The scripture says in Matthew 11:12 “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” I believe the violence that is being talked about here is from the persecutors, heathens, the corrupt the wolves, anger, bitterness, unbelief, pride, name it. These can take from us the kingdom of God(the gospel, joy, peace and the holy ghost) if we give in to them; and that is what the enemy wants, for us to give up, give in and fail. It takes passion and zeal to take a hold of faith in the promise you have. It takes enthusiasm to hold on to what has been given to you when everything seems to fight it out of your hands. I like the way The Passion Translation brings it out, “From the moment John stepped onto the scene until now, the realm of heaven’s kingdom is bursting forth, and passionate people have taken hold of its power.” The amplified says —a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion].

Yeah… So that has been me, sitting there and not willing to defend what the Lord has given me, be it a business, a position in a workplace, a relationship, a ministry, name it… And please get me right I didn’t say; one has to fight physically for any of these by being mean and corrupt or ruthless. The kind of fight I am talking about is a passionate and relentless pursuit, regardless of what the world thinks. Sometimes we get so concerned with the world’s opinion that we don’t consider our inner witness to the voice of God. And sometimes it’s pride, we are so self consumed that we want to show everyone how easily we can let go and move on. Letting go and moving on is a perfect thing if we are dealing with anger, bitterness and unforgiveness… But when we think it’s cool not to care, when we think it’s cool to just say bye and bye to the things actually we should be fighting for like, you have a temporary disagreement with your boss or husband and you pack up and leave… Then, this is all pride. We are so insecure, so we build up walls. We are so scared of losing, so we don’t fight. We are so intimidated by others so we let them step over us as we cry silently. Then after a while we realise that we lost any way even when we didn’t fight. We realise we still have to go back and build what we said we didn’t care about, and sometimes it’s too late, we have to suffer the consequences.

In all this Grace is always there to help us find our way if we let It. It is never to let to do the right thing, but are we willing? So when this words came to me, its like I had been awaked from slumber. I realised I was seemingly moving while I was not actually moving up to speed. I had to much baggage weighing me down that running was difficult. I often removed my shoes to take a rest, I was suffocating from the crowd that I thought was running in my lane because my eyes were all around instead of being focused on the finishing line. And these words came to me with insight, “put on your shoes and start running”.

As I write this, I can’t say I have run miles yet already. However, I have opened myself up to the process. I am taking back my lane mercilessly. I am taking back my business ideas without allowing my mind to be corrupted. I am letting go of pride and saying I need you if I need you. I am breaking down walls I built around me when I was too insecure and the letting light come in. I am not willing to keeping losing battles I never attempted to fight, I am fighting with a mind of victory knowing the battle is already won. Being passionate is not for the weak, it’s for the strong and I am taking my strength back. My eyes are on the goal.

Lord, this is my story. I am not embarrassed to share it. I am not embarrassed to say I was weak or proud while everyone saw strength and an open mind. Lord as you are helping me draw strength from laying my weaknesses at your feet, I pray for those struggling with the same attitude and behavior… Help them fight for what they should fight for, help them break walls and let your help come in, help them break pride they have mistaken for humility. Restore a caring heart before they ever regret not caring. Clear their lanes and give them the strength to run well. Amen.

Signed, A vessel under molding.

#life #mystory #grace #God

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Don’t waste your pain – Learn from it.

Sometimes life can mean to turn its hand on you. You face struggle after struggle, pain after pain, too many falls before a steady stand and all you want to do is give up. And if you are anything like me, even giving up is hard. You look back and see how far you have walked, how long you have believed and how long you have waited and it feels so difficult to give up.

There are times you go through something and every encouragement instead causes you deeper pain. You get tired of being encouraged and reminded of all the times everything was OK, you get tired of being reminded of when you encouraged others, you get tired of being reminded that you were once strong… Lord!!!

There was a time I had a hard time believing this scripture; And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV). Honestly, I would sit there and ask God how did my dad’s dying when I was hardly three work for my good… how is being in a financial struggle, a heart break, a disappointment, failure, loss, name it… going to work for my good, how??? It made made no sense at all, and see what I would hear; “it doesn’t have to make sense, in fact it will never make sense because my ways are not your ways and neither are my thoughts your thoughts…” Hummm

God is God all by himself, He made us and He knows how to maintain us no matter how “finished” we feel.

Peter in the bible was going through some pain too when he denied Jesus, he felt like all he knew about Jesus had gone up into flames, I think he had questions like; “Is He actually powerless?” “Will he survive?” “Was I right when I followed Him in the first place?” “What if I am recognised and beaten up to death too…” “Omg, is this all, was He a lie all this time?”

All he wanted was to just sit there and throw a pity party to himself, he didn’t want to be reminded of how he walked with Jesus and all the powerful times, he didn’t want to be reminded that he one time walked on water. Then these servant girls one by one… “I think you were with Jesus of Galilee” “This one was with Jesus of Nazareth”… Peter did not want to be reminded of anything to do with Jesus, he forgot how he swore to never leave Jesus even if it called for death.

I believe we learn some lessons through pain too. When it’s all merry it’s difficult for us to know that there are some areas in our lives not dealt with_ doubt, unfaithfulness, fear, impatience, anxiety, instability, etc… And also we discover some strengths in us that we have not tapped into.

Jesus knew it all when Peter was professing his loyalty in verses 33 and 35 of Matthew 26. But He needed to bring out something out of Peter, something Peter didn’t think he had… When we have money, our health is good, our careers are going up and up, we are in a good relationship with everyone around us, our marriages are all like gardens of roses… we may never know how of little faith and faint hearted we can be, we may never know how crazy we can get when we don’t get our way.

You may say… “But must God use ugly and difficult situations to build us…” My dear I can’t say yes all the time, but I believe so sometimes, there is away next levels are wired, that there has to be a price… We don’t just swing into them. If you have, praise Jesus and never stop praising but there must be a young lion with yo name on it ahead, waiting for you to tear it apart.

Peter was going to be the rock onto which Christ built a church and He couldn’t build His church on some shaky foundation. Yes, Peter thought He was strong, He had walked with the Lord, He had witnessed miracles and all… He was sure there is no way he could deny the Lord. But Jesus knew Peter was still only zealous and in love and in honeymoon. Just imagine Peter didn’t get in a situation he had to deny the Lord when he did, just imagine he went on being this “I love the Lord no matter what, and so Jesus has chosen to build his church on me” guy…

Peter had to go through this for him to understand the power of Grace, he needed to understand that it was not just about his zeal to be with the Lord that made Jesus choose him. He needed to know how weak he could get without the Lord. He needed to know that His sufficiency was only from the Lord. Likewise, when things are all good, we might think we earned them because of our works and efforts or our good behavior. On the other hand we may never discover the strength in our bare hands without weapons. If God was to bless you when you needed him to, and bring everything you needed at the time you needed it. You would have flooded with pride and it would be of no good.

Let the pain teach you love, let the waiting teach you patience and faithfulness, let the struggle bring strength, abilities, skills and discipline out of you… Let grace, mercy, meekness, peace be built in you in these times.

The bible does not say that God will carry us and we shall not go through the fire… It doesn’t say He will help us escape deep waters. But it says that we are not alone, that God is always there with us as we go through these times. Let your confidence be that you are not alone and that the morning is coming with joy no matter the tears in the night.

Don’t waste the pain, don’t allow to repeat any of these classes without learning because I tell you from experience God will not allow you graduate to another level without mastering everything He intended you to learn at the previous level. He is that intentional.

God I thank You for your faithfulness, I thank you that every pain and struggle, every loss and disappointment is not meant to kill me but to bring me to my destiny. I will be confident when I go through the fires of life knowing you are right there with me and that the fires will not destroy me but make me a better vessel worthy of your work. And so when the morning is here I will rejoice and my testimony will be a voice relatable to multitudes, restoring faith and hope, bringing healing and strengthening lives. Amen

I Hate poverty… I HATE It.

I’m not yet wealthy in terms of possessions and neither is my name in the Forbes magazine yet. And from this, I will set right what I mean; Poverty is not just about material things, poverty attacks the mind, I would call it a bad spirit. I hate anything that is related to it or anything that looks like it.

It is not of God, it’s evil and it cripples the mind. It gets into the mind and keeps one from realising their full potential. Ooh how I hate you poverty.

You may look at me and think, “she is proud… She lives beyond her means…” Oh! So you know my means, what are they my friend? Do you have a clue about my full potential? Do you know the size of my God? Do you know the covenant between me and my God? How do you measure means my friend, how do you tell whether one can afford to live like this or like that?

Isn’t it not the poverty mentality that causes you to measure means? Isn’t it the same mentality that causes you to turn way from faith and hope… Isn’t it the same mentality that causes you to be arrogant and boastful because you think wherever you get at and whatever you get is all you?

Isn’t it the same poverty mentality that causes you to fear attempting the things God called you to, isn’t it the same mentality that causes you to feel inferior, makes you doubt yourself and closes your eyes to how far you can get if only you chose to step out of mediocrity? I hate poverty and please don’t tell me to settle for less or safe. I am created for extraordinary things, how can I get there while living an ordinary life or less…

See, I told u I hate poverty but a poverty mindset is even worse. Two people could be poor because of a circumstance but that the one with a rich mindset will still stand out and make it to success because their mind sees something different, it sees beyond ‘the now’, and does not throw pity parties.

And hey; I didn’t say, you say be stupid. A rich mentality entails wisdom, principles and discipline.

Please refer to this article and let’s change a nation by investing in having the right mindset. @https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/rich-vs-poor-mindset/

Selah…

I h a t e p o v e r t y

Signed

Crystalk256

It’s coming…

Happy new year!!! 2019 is going to be a great year for everyone who will pursue greatness. Be it career, business, education, family…etc Greatness awaits!!! However it’s also a season of pursing God like never ever. It’s time to seek and abide. There are things i feel so close but they are just ‘relationship with God’ away. I could try to elaborate this feeling but it’s something i won’t be able to as much us you could experience it yo’self.

Well, been quiet for a while now. But been cooking… It’s coming. Preparing something about “beautiful chaos“. I can’t wait to put this out.

I have something else about “Branding me right

And then this too, “family over function” I wrote this some time back but never published it… However i felt the season is ripe for it now.

It is coming… I will be glad connecting with you all.

#God #process #KnowingYou #Family #BeautyForAshes #BeautifulChaos

Thank You – I’m gonna be the one to say, “Thank You”.

First i want to give thanks to Jesus for Grace. This i mean today like i have never meant ever. God you are so good, merciful, faithful, patient, ooh Lord you are so patient, encouraging, enduring; everything Love is, God you have been to me, oh how you have covered me and waited for me… Mighty God i’m grateful.

Second i want to appreciate the #FallFamilyRevival that been going on at The Potters House of Dallas. This was entirely mine. Uuuuuu yeah!!! Can you imagine someone being miles away, they don’t know yo name nor are they even aware you exist but one speaker after the other just carry yo word!!! How gracious can God get???If you didn’t know about it please check it out on YouTube; @Bishop’s village. You might be just as blessed.

Luke 17:12-17 gives us a story about the ten lepers who got healed under the instruction of Jesus to go show themselves to the priest. However when they received their healing, only one came back to say, “thank you”. This story’s got a lot of depth to talk about but what caught my attention most is that the only one who came back to say thank you was a Samaritan (stranger). This left me in tears as i reflected on how many times i have gotten so used to God’s goodness that i have not said a ‘thank you’ to Him at times.

As much as God is good and that is His nature anyway, it doesn’t mean we should ever get so familiar to the point of thinking it’s His job and we are deserving.

It is even worse when we the children in the house never say thank you and yet a stranger will carry so much gratitude.

I remember while growing up…

In Africa and maybe Uganda to be specific extended families are common. So in holidays we would all go to the village (grandparents home) to have holidays with our cousins and sometimes even kids that were not really biologically family. The house would be packed. It was always fun and yet hard work for our grandparents; the noise, the feel of having about 15 or more kids of different age groups.., huuula. Growing up in this typical African setting is interesting and fun.

We were lucky or say graced that our home by then was considered to be among “the haves”. We were not rich but given the standards of living in my village by then, we were graced with some what kind of comfort. So at the end of the holiday as we all went back to our respective homes or some of us to boarding school, it would be time to give out what we didn’t need anymore from our clothes to books or other valuables to the kids in village.

Growing like this, as much as were we raised Christians in the roman catholic setting, I had never looked at thanks giving in a certain way. Like we had a meals router and somehow the food was always there. Yet, i also saw people in the same village who didn’t have at all, they would come work in our plantations for food and other groceries or money. Oh God help me share this.

I wish i knew then what i know now. I was young but somehow i would feel really sad or pained when i saw some conditions of other people or someone having to work so hard for a meal. Anyways this is not the main story.

The main story is… These people and their kids used to appreciate the “leftovers”(Things that came off as extra) with so much gratitude even when we felt it was nothing, sometimes even what they took was really the kind i would never give now but the gratitude was so humbling.

They were more thankful at receiving whatever we gave at second hand than we were even at receiving the things first hand.

This is because we had gotten so used that the things we needed came or had to come at the time we needed them. Be it; meals, tuition, clothes or whatever. Little did we know that wasn’t the norm but we had been graced with whatever we had and we needed to be grateful and then share the grace we had received.

Today as i write this, there are three statements that came to mind that i realized we get so complaisant with; “Thank You” “I am sorry” “I love You, lets get over it and pull down the walls

I just realized how these statements can be jail unlocking for us in different situations. Usually we lock ourselves in these jails with bars of arrogance and pride, because these statements are most powerful in situations when we have to let go of all the walls and self. They go hand in hand with being grateful and acknowledging that it is all been grace. And that we have received grace so that we can give grace.

Lord, I want to be and i am gonna be the one who will say, “Thank You”

Signed…

Amanda Crystal

22/11/2018

God is God All by Himself

There are times i thought by doing things right and struggling to keep myself at a certain bar, i would help God fulfill His purpose for me. Huh!!! Zero.

He does not need my help to be God, He can do anything and everything to keep me where He wants me. My only job in this is to realise what He is doing and Be Still.

This doesn’t mean i have the liberty to do everything as my flesh pleases, it doesn’t mean i should live an arrogant and careless life indifferent to The Spirit. It means i don’t have to save or find myself when i find myself situations and places i cannot get myself out of. My only assignment in moments like these is to say, “Lord save me, Lord i need You” and He will show up in my moments of total surrender.

Learning to surrender everyday.

Signed…

Keep me at Your Feet Lord

By; Crystal Amanda

10/11/2018

In the likeness of Love

So, today i walk up to Genesis 1:26&27

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Some versions say, image in the place of likeliness. Being an image of something means being a physical representation of it.

1John 4:8 tells us that God is Love. Knowing this as i read the text above in Genesis hit me in away that made me wonder if i am really an image of LOVE.

God intended with purpose that we be created in this image(Love), so that we are able to do what He does because only in His image we would see things the way He sees them.

1Corithiains 13:4-8 gives us a picture of what Love is.

Love is; patient & kind. It does not envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrong doing but rejoices with the Truth. Love bares all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends.

This left me thinking that as man, more so as Christians because we also been born by the Spirit, these traits of Love should be evident in our lives, we should be seamlessly and effortlessly living out these traits because it’s our nature.

Living a life out side this means we are not living in our full potential. There is greatness and power in Love that can make a man do things he don’t think he would do. Salvation it’s self was a fruit of love, “… for God so loved the world that He gave…”

Love is a journey towards unity and oneness. I believe this is the reason why God made us this way. So that through this “love” nature we can stay as one for Him to fulfill His purpose in us.

As i kept thinking about these things, i realized there is so much power we miss tapping into every time we do not yield to the nature of Love which should be our Nature.

And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them (Genesis 11:6 ESV)
In this text, it is clear on how much power there is in oneness.

Also see Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Oneness makes a force which can’t be gone against.

I will stop here for now and pray that as you read God will reveal to you the power in moving in His likeliness of Love on even a deeper level.

Love, Crystal

@Crystal’s desk