My GrandpaT always said at nearly every meal to at least one of us grandkids "Why don't you eat and leave the food alone?" Which, to a 5 yr old, is pretty confusing. I think I have it figured out, but don't tell my family. We all believe what we want about Grandpa's words of wisdom on just about everything in the world.
For me, I will simply say - it makes me wonder what in the world I really have eaten myself into...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A 2nd Class Christian

This post is much more personal, as some of mine can be. Yet, I want to share because I hope it gives someone a bit of encouragement in their daily walk. Maybe someone who reads it will give me encouragement that I didn't know I needed.

Sunday morning the 11th, I woke up like any other day, but I REALLY didn't want to get up. I was feeling the need to stay in bed. At almost the minute before it was too late to make it to church in time I finally thought: "Kristal, you idiot.. get your butt up and go to church." So I did.

I walked in and found my usual seat. Praise & worship (P&W) started and I spent most of it just trying to reign in my brain. I was so scattered and unfocused. I struggled to get my head and heart in to it. By the last song I had settled more and was ready to get into the word.

I hugged a few necks and shook a few hands like we always do after P&W, then pulled up my YouVersion bible on the ol' iPod. Pastor spoke on Luke 5:36-39, the parable of new wine and old wine skins. A take on it I've heard before and again I was still pulling my brain in to focus constantly so I missed Pastor's segue, but the next thing I knew he was asking us to stand up. During P&W practice, he said, they practiced this song, and he had an idea. My Pastor is pretty careful about saying God told him to do something, so he kinda joked "I don't know if it was God or me, but we're gonna do it". 'Do it' being sing this song:



I feel like I try to be sensitive to the spirit most of the time, but in P&W, I feel exceptionally so. This song in particular is one of my favorites as it encompasses an intercessory prayer so to speak. If I have been called to anything in this life by God, Intercession is definitely a part of my calling.

As pastor spoke, and the song began - I started talking to God. Telling him how I still really feel like a 2nd class christian, how I know I have sinned, I have sought forgiveness, turned and now here I am still feeling like a second class christian. I'm not perfect by any means. I don't even strive for it! At this point in my life,. I'm struggling to survive day to day let alone live it perfectly. But where I was 6 months ago? I am LIGHT YEARS ahead of where I was then. Then, I just wanted to get back to where I was before I met my daughter's father 11 yrs ago. Now? I realize that I have NEVER felt like anything but a 2nd class christian, like I have never been where I really want to be in my walk with God.

OK, I am re-reading and realize unless you have read my earliest blog posts, or know me personally you would not know what you need to know to understand all that. Here's the short story: I have spent the better part of my life chasing God for a time, and running away from Him the rest. Not a lot of in-between. Most recently, I was divorced, dated around a bit, met a guy (Fubs) and moved in with him. 3 yrs into the relationship I found myself miserable and missing my relationship with God. So He got me out, and now I am here trying to put my life back together and make sure I don't make these same mistakes.

Anyway, By the end of the song I was in the alter area and crying out to God for our church, for me, for Him to just let the river flow in us, in me, around us all. Pastor then called the rest of the congregation to step up if they wanted God to let the river flow in them too. At the end, Pastor motioned for me to step in front of him. Please know, I don't believe my pastor often does what he was about to do. He is very cautious with what he says God or the spirit has moved him to do. As he should be, that's pretty powerful stuff!

Forgive me if I don't word it quite the way he said it but he came to me and said something like "When you came to the front I felt like God wanted to do something in you. He says there is a turn around coming for you, a turn around in your life if you will sell out to Him." There may have been more, but that is it in its simplicity.

That moved me. It spoke to me and what I had just been saying to God about feeling mediocre and some of the things I still need to work on. So for the last 4 days, I have been scrutinizing all my little habits and foibles. Weeding out the minor things that I have always ignored because the major things were so major. Working on the major things and making sure they have no roots. Because although I may not 'do' any of those things now... they may have roots here in my soul, and how can I feel like a "1st Class" Christian with rotted roots in there? It's a process. But I'm already talking to God daily again. And not just a morning prayer or a night time prayer - an ongoing, all day, stream of consciousness conversation. I have dug back into my bible, and am working through a personal study of a book called "The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson (excellent read, and lessons in prayer!).

I have been posting on Facebook daily about what I am thankful for since the first of November ( as many of us have) and that has been tremendous in encouraging me as I contemplate my blessings. This whole last few months have been changing. I mean - I quit smoking 2 yrs ago, but it's only been these last few months I actually identified myself as a non-smoker... I have been through a major upheaval and I survived it without going and buying a pack! If you know me, you know that is HUGE. This is just one of the things that I have worked on, and indicative of the types of things in my life I have needed to weed out.

 I am in awe of what God wants to do for me, and in me, and I hope, in those around me because of what He is doing in me. I am blessed to still have a heart for God after all the times I have run from Him. I am thankful for the message God gave my pastor for me last Sunday, because I needed to hear that there is a turn around in store for me, and the gentle reminder that I can do more (sell out!) to stop feeling like a 2nd Class Christian.




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'm a Gypsy

In my heart, I feel like a Gypsy. I have moved more than the average person in my life. I went to 5 Elementary schools! Once moving across the country from California to Michigan. It took my parents till I was 16 to find the home they would live in until their retirement. I have moved out and back in to my parents home many times. I have left the state of Michigan 3 times, and left the city of Midland 3 other times, just trying to find a place I really call home. Michigan will always be home of course because even if I wasn't born here, I grew up here, and most of my family are still here. My closest friends have all got out though! However, I feel like it's normal to move around a lot. I am not sure if that is because it's how I grew up or not, my mom even grew up that way. Heck, her parents worked the circus for a time! See how I might identify with the 'gypsy' in my heart?

Let's look at this from a christian point of view (ie: my point of view) I am a gypsy even in this world. I am just moving through till God takes me home.

Found online:
"Why do Christians say that they are "not of this world"? Why do so many Christians say that they are "not of this world" or "not worldly" when they are the world? Christians make up a third of the world's population and more than 80% of the United States. If they don't like the way the world is then why don't they get together and change it?"
I'm not going to answer that myself, because honestly - I'm not that good at not being 'of this world'... I'm learning, just like most christians who are striving... we're all still learning.

From GotQuestions.org
""Question: "What does it mean that Christians are not of this world?" Answer: The phrase “not of this world” is perhaps most well-known for being a Christian apparel company (www.notw.com). But what exactly does it mean that Christians are “not of this world”? The phrase comes from John 18:36 where Jesus says that His kingdom is “not of this world.” As His followers, Christians are members of His kingdom which is “not of this world,” that is, heaven (Philippians 3:20). Yes, we are on earth for now, but our earthly lives are nothing but a vapor (James 4:14). But eternity, now that is a long time, and that is where a Christian’s focus should really be (1 Peter 5:10). The things of this world, wars, famine, suffering, poverty, etc., impact Christians and non-Christians alike. By remembering that we are “not of this world,” remembering that these things are just for a little while, we can see them in a different light. We are still in this world but we are no longer of it (John 17:14). We are still surrounded by all the horrors and tragedy of this life, but this is not our life (Philippians 3:8-14). The knowledge that we are not of this world gives Christians hope even in the darkest times (1 Peter 1:6-9); hope that this will pass and at the end of it we will be in heaven with our God, face to face forever (Revelation 21:3-4). This cracked and broken place is not where we belong, and it is not where we will stay (1 Corinthians 3:12). Christians are not of this world. We have been adopted as heirs of heaven by God Himself and that is our world, our citizenship (Titus 3:7). And in the meanwhile we wait (2 Corinthians 5:12), and we hope (Romans 5:5), and we do what we can to bring others into the “not of this world” relationship with Jesus Christ. But this world is not our home, and never will be."
 So, can you see how I feel like a gypsy? In this world, I have moved and moved and moved. And in my walk with God, I know I am a gypsy, not intended to live long in this world. I'm glad I know where I am headed though!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thankfulness Giveaway!

Thankfulness: Being conscious of benefit received; Well pleased.

What are you thankful for this year? Are you posting or seeing many friends post the things they find themselves thankful for on their Facebook or Twitter?
I have been, and as we creep closer to Thanksgiving, I find more and more to be thankful for.

One of the things I am thankful for is an opportunity to announce my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!!!

And I get to give one away!

The 2012 “Terrific Twenty” List Has Arrived—Top Holiday Gifts from Melissa & Doug!


If you have ever had the fun and joy of playing with a Melissa & Doug toy - you know how amazing this giveaway is. Completely sponsored by Melissa & Doug by the way - must give props where props are due!


In order to enter for the Melissa and Doug giveaway I need you to do a few things:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Entries accepted until Monday November 19th at 11:59 PM EST. 
The winner will be chosen randomly. Winner will be announced on Facebook, and Twitter. I will contact you to get the details and the name of the item you wish to receive from Melissa & Doug's Terrific Twenty *ONLY* and what address to have the items shipped to. Melissa & Doug will ship the item to you. Fulfillment will take 10-15 days.

Thank you so much for joining me in this, my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!

Being so close to the Holidays, I don't know about you but my life is pretty hectic, but even more hectic this year! Between Girl Scouts & Cookie Sales (heard in a sing song voice: "I'm a troop mom!"), Church ("Ladies Ministries!") and my own job, I am ├╝ber busy. In fact keep an eye out as I get some more posts up about the holidays... wait till you see The Nutcracker Table I am doing for our Ladies Ministries Dinner! 

Anyway - I am just thankful to Melissa & Doug for this opportunity and hope this makes it easier for you to make Christmas all you hope it will be for your little one!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway


 "Need some help with your holiday shopping this year? Check out our NEW Terrific Twenty, unveiled today at MelissaAndDoug.com! This list gathers the top toys of 2012, with items for every child in every age range. Including arts  and crafts, wooden favorites, educational toys, classic toys for toddlers, and gifts for big kids, too, this is a great place to start as you kick off your holiday shopping!" - Melissa & Doug's Blog.

The 2012 “Terrific Twenty” List Has Arrived—Top Holiday Gifts from Melissa & Doug!


If you have ever had the fun and joy of playing with a  
Melissa & Doug toy - you know how amazing they are!

Even more amazing??? 

THEY WANT TO GIVE YOU A GIFTIE FOR YOUR KIDDIE!

In their page you will find a link to enter to win one of their Terrific Twenty!
If you enter once, you're entered for all twenty (or the remaining) days!

Actual URL's:



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