Sunday, May 26, 2013

Completely Lost... God's AMAZING love! My 10-day love feast with God ended a few days ago and I am so overwhelmed by my loving, gracious and merciful God. He is my Savior- the only one who can truly satisfy and complete me. He is everything to me and I cannot live a day, a moment without Him. I know some people might think I am crazy, but to be so lost in God's love is life-changing! 

Days 8, 9 and 10 were about getting lost in God's story, His sacrifice and His proposal. There is so much I could say about each of these days, but I will just share what God has me focused on right now- sacrifice. Now God sacrificed His Son to save us from our sins because He loved us so much. There is no greater sacrifice. Jesus tells us in John 15:12-13 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."

God calls us to sacrifice. Matthew 16:24-25 says "Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Yikes! That is a pretty heavy command. In order to follow Jesus, we have to lose our lives. It is not for the faint of heart. True sacrifice costs a lot, but God calls us to carry the cross of self-denial. That is what agape love is - self-sacrifice.

I have learned that I must be willing to sacrifice my hopes and dreams to God. Not just my dream about marriage and a family, but ALL of my hopes and ALL of my dreams. God wants it ALL. He doesn't want just part of us. He loves me so much He wants all of me (and you). Sacrifices can be anything-anything that takes the place in your heart where God should be, or something or someone you think you cannot live without. Dannah defines sacrifice as "Giving Him everything, when it feels like nothing is left." 

That is just part of the story though-because when we sacrifice and lay ourselves down at God's feet, God is ready and waiting to give us everything we need to do His will- to be His hands and His feet, to show His love, to shine for Him. When we sacrifice our desires, His desires become our desires. His will becomes our will. You will be completely lost in Him and trust me, there is no place you would rather be! 

Are you ready to get lost in God completely? I challenge you to read this book "Get Lost" by Dannah Gresh and you will find yourself on an amazing journey feasting on God's amazing love for you! 

Linking with Titus 2 Tuesday

Thursday, May 23, 2013

28 years later...

...this sermon is very relevant to our world today. A friend told me about this sermon, by David Wilkerson, entitled "Breaking Away From Father" from 1985. It is about the prodigal son, but has a different point of view about why the son left. Wilkerson speaks about how the son left because he did not love his father anymore and that we, as Christians, leave God because we do not love Him anymore.

Being a prodigal daughter, I had never thought of my actions in this context before. At 22, I was tired of waiting for God to bring me what I wanted-a husband so I decided that I was going to find one myself. Year one found me sneaking around while still living at my parents and being pursued by a non-Christian guy from work. Year two was when I moved out of my parents house because I was tired of sneaking around and wanted to take the next step and live with my boyfriend. Year three, after many lies, tears and heartaches, I realized that the ways of the world still left me lonely, unsatisfied and defiled by this way of life the world portrays as happiness and freedom.

My redeemer, my Savior was waiting for me this whole time. He was waiting to fill the loneliest places of my heart, satisfy the desire in my soul and to rescue me again. God did not disappoint. As I sit here today, at 30 years old, single and living at home, I know I am right where God wants me. I know I am walking in His will for my life right now. Anything could change tomorrow, but I know that God holds tomorrow and if things change, His plans are best for me no matter what.

This sermon was eye-opening and inspiring. The raw emotion of David Wilkerson, especially at the end of the sermon, seems to come from a broken and contrite spirit. I pray that the prodigals in this world will listen to that still small voice of God that is beckoning them back and return to their first love.

This sermon is 52 minutes long. Please only listen when you can devote the time to it. I believe it is well worth those 52 minutes and I pray that it will encourage and speak to your heart as it did to mine. 

Magnificent Obsession

Day 7 of my love feast with God was about getting lost in His exclusive love. Exclusive is defined by as "shutting out all others from a part or share." God wants an exclusive love relationship with me. He wants me to shut out everyone or everything that distracts me from Him being my first love. God does not like being second. Currently, I am reading through Exodus. Coincidence? Hardly, just God working in my life, showing me He is there. Anyway, Moses is on Mount Sinai and is being given the 10 Commandments by God. Commandment #1- "You shall have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3 followed by Commandment #2- "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God..." -Exodus 20: 5

Anything can be an idol. It does not have to be a carved image or statue (although I have seen statues displayed in non-traditional doctors offices that I have visited over the last 3 years). An idol is anything that takes the place of God in your life. If you put anything before God it is an idol. God should be number 1 in our lives. He should be the first person we talk to in the morning as we are waking up and the last person we talk to before drift off to sleep at night. 

I have many idols in my life. God has been showing me these idols for months now (see my post Losing Its Allure). He also has provided a way out of these temptations. I thought it would be hard. I thought it would be impossible because I felt like I was losing so much- my books, t.v. shows, magazines, movies- and since that post He has called me to lay down more- secular music, Facebook and all other social media. Instead of feeling depressed, I feel free. I feel calm and light. My relationship to God has grown closer and stronger that I could have ever imagined. Laying down these idols at God's feet has given me more time to worship and spend time with Him. There are so many godly resources out there. I just never had the time to listen. God has been using Revive our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Desiring God with John Piper, and InTouch Ministries with Charles Stanley (to name a few) to teach me more and more about Him. I will never know everything about God, but for the rest of the time He gives me on this earth, that is what I want to be using my time for-filling my mind with the things of God-heeding the call to be holy and set apart. 

Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me one magnificent obsession
Give me one glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after You

To know and follow hard after You
To grow as your disciple in Your truth
This world is empty, pale and poor 
Compared to knowing You, my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after You
Lead me on and I will run after You
-"One Pure and Holy Passion"

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Getting Lost-in Yada


Days 4, 5, and 6 of Dannah Gresh's book Getting Lost have focused on getting lost in God's intimacy, strength and friendship. Each day of this love feast with God has been incredible. Today I want to talk about intimacy with my Savior. I have learned that intimacy with God is a process that can take your entire lifetime. Intimacy with God is seeing myself the way God sees me and that can be difficult especially in our culture's obsession with beauty and perfection. However, God's word is filled with the way He sees me and you-and I pray you read these words of truth aloud.

Psalm 139:1-5, 13-16

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 
 You know when I sit and when I rise;  
you perceive my thoughts from afar. 
 You discern my going out and my lying down;  
you are familiar with all my ways. 

 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely
 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.  
 For you created my inmost being;  
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  
your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be
WOW!!!! How great is our God and how marvelous are His works-We are His creation and we were made in His image (Genesis 1:27)! We are His workmanship-created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10)! You and I are daughters of the King (2 Corinthians 6:18)! 

I am sure you have heard the saying "yada, yada, yada" which translates in my book to "blah, blah, blah" but I learned that "Yada, God's word for true sex, means "to know, to be known, to be deeply respected."  That tiny word sure packs a punch and it is anything but blah! It does not matter what we have done in the past. God knows EVERYTHING about us, yet still loves us deeply and wants to know us. As we grow in intimacy with God, we are assured that we can see ourselves through God's eyes. When we see ourselves through God's eyes, we get lost in Him. His desires become our desires.  

2 Corinthians 5:17 says "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come."

Dannah talks a lot about "Yada" love in her book What Are You Waiting For? The One Thing No One Tells You About Sex . I highly recommend this book especially for single girls and women who hope to get married one day, but I also believe it is a good read for married women as well. 

Intimacy with God is a process. Patience is the key. May this be my quest each day- to become more intimate with God- to know Him more deeply, to be more deeply known by Him- to have that "Yada" love emotionally with my Lord and Savior. 

Keep me as the apple of your eye. 
Hide me in the shadow of your wings. 
-Psalm 17:8 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Getting Lost

Today is Day 3 out of 10 of "Getting Lost." I am on a 10-day love feast with God. Using Dannah Gresh's new book Get Lost I am finding my complete satisfaction and utter dependence on God and God alone. No boys (not that there were any :)), no distractions, just me and God. The premise of Dannah's book is based on this quote (author unknown)- "A girl should be so lost in God that a guy will have to seek Him to find her." I want to be that girl. I want to be the girl that is God-crazy, God-filled and completely surrendered to Him alone. And in just 3 days, it is amazing what God has taught me- about Himself, about me, about God and me together and how we can have an incredible, intimate relationship. 

The challenge begins on day 1 by "Getting Lost in His Presence"-  asking God to fill you with the Holy Spirit. I have learned that "the Holy Spirit is the force that draws us into love" and that "the ultimate purpose of being filled with the Spirit is to be in a state of fullness." Why is this good? Because satisfaction comes from being filled with the Spirit and we can love others with an agape (an all-consuming selfless) love. It is impossible to do this without being filled with the Spirit of God. 

On day 2 I got lost in His pursuit. Oh, how I long to be pursued-pursued by that godly guy who wants to know me so deeply and will not stop until he wins me over. Wake up Krystle! That dream may be on hold, but I am always being pursued- by my Creator, my Savior, my King. Do I need anything or anyone else? No I don't. Dannah has a saying- "Jesus is enough, God is sovereign." I knew these things but now I saturate myself with them. I am only focused on Him and He, the Lover of my soul, wants me to respond through active obedience. I want to be able to say as David does in Psalm 63:8 "My soul clings to You, your right hand upholds me." 

Today was getting lost in His Words. This is a place I feel most comfortable. I have been getting lost in His Words-consistently and purposefully-for a while now. I could not survive without His Words, but now with God as my only focus- I am able to savor them and meditate on them in a whole new way. God revealed to me today that He is going to use my broken past to bring glory to His name. The words of Paul in Philippians 3:13-14 become fresh once again: "Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

One final thought to share-God answered a prayer of mine from a while back about finding a godly woman to be able to connect with. By divine appointment and mutual hairdresser, this "new, old" friend of mine (from college) were able to reconnect. We have been able to hang out together twice and she has already been such an encouragement and blessing. I was telling her about this love feast I was about to embark on and she challenged me to take it a step further by stepping back and taking a break from Facebook. At first, my mind was like "mmmmm, I don't think so" but as we talked about the reasons why, God changed my heart. So for at least the next ten days I will be off of Facebook completely. My mom will share my new blog posts through my Facebook page, but I will not be anywhere near it. If you would like to leave any thoughts, please use the comments section of my blog.

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. -Psalm 27:4

 Linking with the T2 Women

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Breathing in His Grace

That was the thought that came to mind when I was driving home from school today. Matt Redman's song "Never Once" rang out through my speakers and as it ended with those words "Every step we are breathing in Your grace, Evermore we'll be breathing out Your praise" I knew that was the only way I got through today. Today I did not feel the presence of God with me, I felt aches and pain that seems to have only become worse these last few days. I did not show God's love to all of my students, I felt disrespected and disobeyed (again). I did not rejoice always, but instead found myself complaining and mumbling. 

When 2:50 came and my work day officially ended, I felt like running to my car. I turned on my praise and worship music and let God wash over me. It hit me that the only way I made it through the day was because of His amazing grace- that every breath I took today was God giving me grace. And I knew that even though I did not feel God's presence, that He was still there, like He is everyday. He probably carried me as the pain in my back would not relent-sitting or standing or with heat-since I was able to finish the day. As I write these words, God reminds me that I disrespect and disobey Him when I sin (again and again) yet He never stops loving me. Ever-in fact His love for me is unconditional. Praise God! Right now I know I am breathing out His praise and that makes all the difference between rejoicing and complaining. 

I am beyond thankful for God's grace-His AMAZING GRACE- and the fact that I can praise Him because of Who He is and what He has done for me-period. God sending His perfect Son to die on the cross for my sins and rising again on the 3rd day so death is defeated and I can spend eternity with Him- that alone is enough. That is what I need to remember-especially on days like today. We all suffer. I just happen to be suffering right now, but that is because we live in a fallen world. Jesus did not deserve to suffer, He willingly chose to suffer a torturous and unbelievably painful death to save me- and you! As a result, one day there will be no pain and suffering! Indeed, He is worthy of praise! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Drained, Not Defeated

TGIF! Have I ever been more happy to hear those words? Right now I am drained, depleted, decreased, destitute (can you tell I heart and alliteration? :)) However, I can look forward to God's gift called the weekend. I don't know if you're in the same place I am at this moment, but as I cried out to God, He has brought to mind the words- restore, renew, refresh and revive. I started to search for verses that speak of what I so crave and desperately need right now. I thought I would share them with you so that come Sunday night/Monday morning, we are ready to face the week ahead with a restored (or renewed, refreshed, revived- you decide) body and mind.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. -Psalm 51:10-12

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. -Isaiah 40:31

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name Bless the Lord, O my soul,  and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. -Psalm 103:1-5

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. -2 Corinthians 4:16

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. -Psalm 23:3

When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. -Psalm 69:32

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. -Isaiah 57:15

Finally, one of my favorite verses-

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. -1 Peter 5:10

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Could we...?

Could we live like Your grace is stronger than all our faults and failures?
Could we live like Your love is deeper than our hearts can fathom?
Could we live like this?

Could we live like Your name is higher than every other power? 
Could we live like Your ways are wiser than our understanding?
Could we live like this?

I heard this song "We Could Change the World" by Matt Redman for the first time today. It has been on repeat in my car and in my heart and mind. These lyrics resonate deep within me and I think "Could we?" and I know the answer is YES WE CAN! YES I CAN! WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE (Matthew 19:26, Mark 9:23 and 10:27, Luke 1:37 and 18:27).

Another question comes to mind- Will we? Will we live like His grace is stronger than all our faults and failures? Will we live like His love is deeper than our hearts can fathom? Will we live like His name is higher than every other power? Will we live like His ways are wiser than our understanding? 

Matt Redman answers the verses to this song with the chorus: 

 Yes, our God is all He says, all He says He is
Jesus, in Your name we could change the world
We stand in Your love, in Your power
And all You say we are
Jesus, in Your name we could change the world

Again the voice in my head says...but will you? The song continues to v2

We believe that Your grace is stronger than all our faults and failures
We believe that Your love is deeper than our hearts can fathom
So could we live like this and shine in all the world
Could we live like this?

We believe...we believe...but do we act like it? Do I act like it? Do I shine in this world and show the lost that His grace is stronger than my daily faults and failures? Do I show that His love is deeper than I can even wrap my heart and mind around and that it is a free gift? Do I act like His name is higher than any power in this world-do I show that peace He gives me that passes beyond understanding? Do my thoughts and actions reveal that I know His ways are wiser than my understanding...that I should count it all joy-my singleness, Lyme disease and any other trial that God allows-because I know He will use it for my good and for His glory?

The song concludes with: 

We're saying, "yes, Lord, yes, Lord!"  
What else could we say, what else could we say?
We're saying, "yes, Lord, yes, Lord!"  
We're going all the way, we're going all the way
We're going to live like this

We're going to live like this
 Jesus, in Your name we could change the world
We believe, we believe
Jesus, in Your name we could change the world
That is the cry of my heart today. That I will say Yes Lord, I will shine in this world! Yes Lord I will go all the way! Yes Lord-what else could I say? God has given me the greatest gift the world has ever known- His Son Jesus (John 3:16). This gift of redemption and forgiveness is free. All you have to do is accept, believe and confess. Jesus paid the price and He wants you! 

Heavenly Father, may my life radiate with Your love, grace and mercy towards others so that they may come to know You and that with Your power we, your people, can change the world- a world that so desperately needs You, Lord! In Your Holy name, Amen!

Saturday, May 4, 2013


One of my visible scars

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
- "Never Once" (Matt Redman)     

Scars and struggles...I am sure like me that you have them. Whether they are visible or invisible, recent or past, I can honestly say God has given me joy, but it has not been an easy road. My joy comes from knowing that this world is not my home. My joy is knowing that God is faithful and true. My joy is knowing that even when God does not give me what I might desire (hence the waiting part of this blog), that what He does give me is the best for me right here and right now and that He will use me to bring glory to His name.

Today has been one of my harder days of illness and singleness. I have been completely exhausted and in bed for most of the day which of course leads to a lot of thinking. Ever wish you could just turn your brain off? That is me. I wish I could turn me off and have God hooked up 24/7. I realize that because of my flesh this is not possible. But I can cling to 2 Corinthians 10:5- We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

This is such a challenge for me. If I really think about the last part of that verse "we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" I become overwhelmed and defeated. However, through the Holy Spirit, I can actively pursue this command. Yes, I want to be completely healed of Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, and all my other aches and pains. Yes, I want to get married and serve and glorify God's name with the man He has for me. And yes, I want children-biological or adopted, it does not matter because he or she or they will be a precious gift from God. But today that is not going to happen. So instead of moping and complaining, I am going to choose to take every thought captive to Christ and to sing praises to my God who is faithful, who gives constant grace and perfect peace and who has put joy in my heart. 

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Friends for Life

Kel and I-2003

It's Thursday afternoon. The energy drink from this morning has long left my body and only by God's sufficient grace am I able to finish the school day and drive home. It's the National Day of Prayer and I confess to God that I want to pray, but am just so tired. Only through His strength am I able to pray for our country that needs God more than ever before instead of finding new ways each day to reject Him. Prayer is powerful and prayer lifts my spirit as my eyes turn from selfish me up to my listening God. Afterwards, God blesses me as I go through the mail and find this.

A precious birthday card from my amazing college roommate-Kelly! I feel blessed and then I open it and read it and thank God for this lifelong friend-that no matter how far away or how many years go by-we can reconnect like it was yesterday. Kel shared Psalm 30 with me and I was greatly encouraged so I want to share it with you as well. May it lift your spirit as it did mine. I also found some college pictures a few weeks ago as I was cleaning my room and thought I would share some of the amazing ladies that God has allowed me to know and keep in touch with 8 years later here.

Psalm 30
A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple.

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
    “I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O Lord,
    you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
    I was dismayed.
To you, O Lord, I cry,
    and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
“What profit is there in my death,
    if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
    Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
    O Lord, be my helper!”
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!