Broken & Blessed

IMG_0038I pray everyone had a wonderful weekend!

This week has already started with some unexpected moments in my faith journey.

The series that the church I serve is embarking on is entitled: “Broken and Blessed.”

While prepping a little bit this morning for my preaching this upcoming Sunday it seemed as if the Spirit wanted to physically explore the meaning of our series. Walking with people in difficult moments on their faith/life journey is part of my calling. However there are times when words, steps, and just mere presence doesn’t feel like enough. There are times when I wish I could just pray their pain away…However today it was all about just being present and allowing the presence of the Holy Spirit to remind them that they are never alone. Broken & Blessed.

Today I witnessed the physical manifestion of what it looked like to be in a broken place. A place of scarcity. A place of no words. A  valley that required just mere being there holding a hand and nothing more. In those sacred moments the Spirit came in all of her glory, bringing a river of tears in what seemed to be a dry place. It was there that the blessing came. It was there that the healing process begin to materilize.

This faith journey is definitely no walk in the park, but it is surely worth it! Brokenness in all it’s ugliness and uncomfortable moments can produce a blessing.

Many of us might be in broken spaces/places in our lives; don’t give up! You are not alone. You are loved by God more than your wildest imagination!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

You are loved, Beautiful Ones!

Rev. Christal

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Reflections from the Valley

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One of the most memorable scriptures I remember learning when I was a kid in Sunday School was the 23rd Psalm. I remember learning it not only at church, but also as a student at Community Christian School in Richmond, Indiana. I distinctly remember walking to the front of the class in my lace and frills reciting the scripture in front of my peers and teacher. We recited scripture on a daily basis st School. It just became part of my natural learnings as a child.

Fast forward 20 plus years later and I still remember the scriptures I was taught as a child. However I will definitely say that they all have a  much different meaning to me now that I am older.

There have been many times that different parts of this scripture in particular has lifted my heart and spirit. There have also been times when I have said “ugh, God the valley sucks!” Valley time/season is not my favorite place, believe me!!

My personal valleys have been spiritually and mentally depleting. However I can say from my valleys I experienced God like never before. I relied on God’s strength. I trusted God’s faithfulness. In my Valley experiences I was invited to allow my faith to overcome my fear.

The above bracelet that I designed and wear is a reminder to me when I feel low. I remember God’s faithfulness in the valley. Trusting that if God walked with me before, God will surely be present and get me through it again!

So for those of you who are in the valley, know that God is with you. Relish in the ways in which God speaks to you anew. Reflect on the learnings from the valley. Reach out to God. Let God guide you.

Blessings Beautiful Ones,

Rev. Christal

I leave you with the Message Paraphrase version of Psalm 23

Psalm 23The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

23 1-3 God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
4 Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
5 You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
6 Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.

Time to Fly

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A month ago I was blessed to travel to Mixco, Guatemala to observe and get updates on the ESL program my church started a couple of years back. It was awesome to see students that I met on day one, two years prior and the ways in which they had not only grown in their English vocabulary but also in stature as well.

One of the beautiful blessings of this ESL program is that we partner with a local church right in the middle of the town. Daily, students come and are excited not only to participate in the program but learn scripture as well.

I never would have imagined that God would send me to a foreign land teaching God’s Word in a language that is foreign to me. However more and more I am embracing the reality that we serve an awesome and amazing God. God–that not only loves us past our wildest imagination but also takes us to new sacred spaces and places.

In what areas of your life are you limiting yourself; and not allowing God to be God? Who are you allowing to shape your dreams and goals? I invite you to reflect and set some time aside say “it’s time to fly.” It is time to stop playing small. The time for your gifts to manifest and push you towards your destiny is now. It it time to fly!

Blessings Beautiful Ones,

Rev. Christal

 

Ash Wednesday

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Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Season is a time of reflection, rememberance, and repentance. It is a reminder of our fragile human nature and our need for a divine presence in our lives. During this period of 40 days some fast from certain types of food, technology/social media, and/or other pleasantries in order to get closer to the Divine One. While the season of Lent comes faithfully annually, how one chooses to go on this journey is purely optional/individual at times. While many faith communities participate in corporate fasts, others invite their parishioners to take an inward personal journey.

Tomorrow as I participate in the imposition of ashes and make the sign of the cross saying “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” on the foreheads of the young and old I too will be reminded on my own fragility and need for Christ presence in my life.

As we begin this Lenten Journey, my prayer is that you will get closer to the Divine.

Join me for the next 40 days of sharing and writing my thoughts and reflections of my journey!

Blessings Beautiful Ones,

Rev. Christal

 

You Are Loved!

With the excess of negativity abounding around us,  it is easy to forget this simple but profound fact; YOU are loved. Just as you are, with all of your flaws, insecurities, and crazy moments the YOU that makes YOU unique is loved with an unquenchable love that even humankind can’t extinguish–the love of GOD! Comparisions, dissappointments, and dreams deferred can at times make the blah of your world seem so overpowering that the goodness that lies within seems impossible to see. Tonight, before you lay your head to rest look in the mirror and say the following:

“I am loved.” “I am valuable.” “I am important.” “God loves me.”

Stay UP-Lifted Beautiful Ones,

Rev. Christal

 

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God Is Still Good

Hello Beautiful Ones,

Sorry for the lapse of time that has passed since we have last met. I pray life is well with each of you. This past weekend I stumbled upon a scripture passage that caught my attention “…and if not HE is still good…” Daniel 3:18.

While examining the context of this text and my current reality, I had to pause and repeat Daniel 3:18 this to myself. Life can be filled with some crazy twists and turns that can at times leave one puzzled. I have recently found myself at this point. However, like the three Hebrew boys in the story of Daniel, …”if not HE (God) is still good.”When things are going well, it’s easy to trust God, but when things are not…, then what.

If you are going through a season of uncertainty just know that the same God who delivered the men from the lions den will deliver you. It might be in an unexpected way, but God is still the God of goodness and love.

Below is one of my favorite spots in Cuba at the beach.

It was a place of quiet and reflection for me. I go there tonight in my mind, and invite you to go to your “quiet space” and have some time with God.

God Loves You,  Beautiful Ones!

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Renewing Waters

Hey Beautiful Ones!

I am back! 🙂 Have you ever had a day that was so remarkably amazing that you had to share?! Well, today while at a conference I was refreshed, renewed, and led to remember the refreshing hike I took last month in the Smoky Mountains. (picture below)

I hiked over 3 miles in crazy terrain and narrow slopes to finally behold a majestic waterfall in the middle of the mountains. The view was breathtaking. At times I wanted to quit, but I knew that the view would be to magnificent to miss..so I pressed on.

Life has tons of slippery slopes and obstacles that can deter you from your goal..however push/press on. Press on and find your “renewing water” that will give you hope again and strength for the journey. Allow the waters to splash their sprinkles of grace and love all around you.

You are not alone in this journey of life. People are walking this journey of faith with you. God is with you. The waters are calling…will you go?!

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