Crystal Writes A Blog

A place to read what Crystal writes

Rearrange Your Path


Following the Light by Flickr User Nathaniel Eldridge, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial

Following the Light by Flickr User Nathaniel Eldridge, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

Have you ever gotten lost? Have you been so lost that it felt like you were going in circles, stuck in an endless loop of hopeless twists and turns that never get you where you wanted to go? I’ve been there on foot, and I’ve been there in a vehicle–at night, in a bad neighborhood. Getting lost is no fun. Being lost from God is no fun either, but God in His mercy allows us to rearrange our paths. As author Allison Gappa Bottke puts it, God Allows U-Turns.

If your path is filled with the chaos of uncharted turns and bumps and misdirections that keep ending you in places of frustration and hopelessness, make a change and rearrange. (I just couldn’t help but to make that rhyme. ūüôā )¬†To illustrate some rearrangement, I’m going to rearrange some verses from Proverbs Chapter 4. Using the¬†New King James’ Version, I’ll list them in no particular order as bullet points. See what the verses in the following order might tell you about your own path of life.

  • Ponder the path of your feet.
  • Let your eyes look straight ahead
  • Do not turn to the right or the left.
  • Remove your foot from evil.
  • Do not enter the path of the wicked.
  • Do not walk in the way of evil.
    Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    Turn away from it and pass on.
  • The way of the wicked is like darkness;
    They do not know what makes them stumble.
  • But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
    That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.

And from Isaiah 30:21

  • Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
    ‚ÄúThis is the way, walk in it,‚ÄĚ

There’s plenty more in Proverbs 4, so I recommend reading all of it. As a matter of fact, I find a lot of inspiration in the idea of reading the entire chapter of Proverbs on whatever day of the month it is. So, since this post was started on December 4th, I took a visit to Proverbs 4, and all those verses about paths are what jumped out at me. With a little rearrangement, I love the wisdom and promise that’s presented.

To continue with the message about your path, here’s a little bit from some of lessons I’ve gleaned as I’ve walked before Yahveh Almighty.

Many paths will visualize before you on your life’s journey, but only one path will lead you where you want to be in the end. It begins with a narrow gate, so no one but you can fit to walk through it. You don’t get through on the coat tails of a preacher or a parent; or even a friend or loved one. You get through it by using a key of mercy and grace provided when you walk through the blood of your Savior, Yeshua.

Once you’ve chosen to walk through the narrow gate, you’ll be on a straight path. It’s not as narrow as the gate, so you’ll have friends to encourage you and walk with you. Fellowship with them and make it a joyful walk. God will light that path for you, and His Holy Spirit is always there to comfort you on your journey.¬†Trust Him to guide you. Seek His wisdom and understanding because the way that seems right to man doesn’t have the promise of God’s way. Look carefully, watch your step, train your eyes on the prize, and listen for that still, small voice that tells you the way to walk.

And here’s one bit of caution… Take heed of anyone who tries to lead you off the path onto another path. God’s path is always the straight one. Because God’s path is straight, even if it looks like it’s a long way off, the end should always be a clear vision ahead of you. Without that vision, you can be turned away and perish, so keep your eyes trained on the goal, and keep pressing forward. Don’t give up, and you’ll cross the finish line and receive your reward.

If you are on a path that doesn’t have a promise of eternal life at the end, ponder your steps and seek God. If you are still breathing in and out, it’s not too late to rearrange your path and follow God.

December 4, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Nonfiction, Proverbs & Wisdom | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 2 – Treasure Hunt for Wisdom


Can you recall meeting people who would not let you get to know them? Maybe you tried to show interest in them and show that you cared, so you could create a safe place for them to be themselves. But no matter what you did, it seemed they were all locked up inside themselves. Maybe it was fear, maybe pride, or maybe a little of both, but whatever it was, it was frustrating.

For a person like me who will share just about everything about herself, it’s even harder to deal with someone who is closed up.¬†But thankfully, God is not that way! It thrills me that He says in so many places in His word that He wants me to get to know Him. He says things like, “They that seek me will find me.” Of course, that verse is incomplete. It actually says, in paraphrase from Jeremiah 29:13, “Those that seek me with all their hearts will find me.”

Here’s what today’s reading from Proverbs 2 (talking about seeking God’s wisdom) has to say…

4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. (KJV)

God wants us to know more about Him. He wants to share the treasures of His wisdom. But He doesn’t want to give those treasures away to just anyone. He wants to give them to those who desire them and will value them. They are as valuable as silver and gold, so God doesn’t want to just dump them out on those who are¬†satisfied with¬†fool’s gold.

Oh, but if we are seekers, He wants to share with us in abundance. In James 1:5, we’re even told that if we lack wisdom, all we have to do is ask God and He will give it to us liberally. And in James 4:8, we’re reminded that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. His presence is an awesome treasure, and this verse amplifies Deuteronomy 4:7 that says, “For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the¬†Lord¬†our God is in all things that we call upon him for? (KJV)”

Doesn’t that just make you want to run to Him and learn more about Him? I know it does me. I’m thankful He’s not a god who is, like the song says, “watching us¬†from a distance.” He is near. His wisdom is near. He simply wants us to seek Him. And when we do, the rest of this chapter talks about how we will fall in love with His wisdom and knowledge and how it will protect us from being led down paths that could be impossible to return from. I cannot¬†fully put into words how much I value His presence and His wisdom, but I welcome you to join me as a fellow treasure hunter, and to rejoice with me for all the wonderful gifts we will find as we seek Him.

 

 

January 3, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Devotion, Nonfiction, Proverbs & Wisdom | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 1 – When Wisdom Comes Calling


From https://www.youversion.com/bible/1/pro.1.kjv (Using KJV for quotes because it’s public domain)…

23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

GOD’S WAY JUST WORKS–IT REALLY DOES

The Message Bible calls the Proverbs “A Manual for Living.” And it can be that for anyone who is willing to apply it. Wisdom in this book is in the feminine which is also the way much of Scripture related to the Holy Spirit is written. You could say it’s the “mothering” side of Our Creator. While Daddy is making the rules, Mom is explaining to us why it is in our best interest to follow them. It’s a picture of the wholeness of God’s love for us if ever I’ve seen one.

So what about those harsh-sounding warnings of laughter in the face of our trials? I used to think that was so cruel to even think God would laugh at me and mock when my fear came upon me. It was even worse to think He would not be there for me when I called upon Him. But through much study, I’ve found this is referring to the spirit of wisdom. In a brief thought, it is simply saying, “Because you didn’t listen to wisdom to keep yourself out of a big mess, you’re gonna be laying there crying, ‘I don’t know what to do, now,’ and you won’t be able to find the right answer.”

God’s mercy is new every morning, and He gets us out of a lot of self-inflicted bondage, but He’s not in the business of going around plucking us out of every entanglement we get ourselves into. If we’ve learned the fire is hot and we stick a hand in it anyway, He’s not going to stop it from burning us. If we knew from the wisdom in the depths of our souls that getting involved with the good-looker that has caught our attention, and then we end up brokenhearted like others who followed the same trail before we did, Wisdom will say, “What made you think that the same thing would not happen to you?”

So, today, let’s heed what this passage brings to us. Let’s put God in the proper place in our lives, on His throne and above us as Lord of our whole lives, and then listen when He speaks. Whether He speaks through our hearts, through His written word, or through others He brings on our paths to lead us, let’s have the fear (respect) that will cause us to listen to His wisdom like a child listens to his nurturing mother. When we do that, we have the promise that ends this chapter. As Eugene Peterson puts it in The Message, “First pay attention to me, and then relax. Now you can take it easy‚ÄĒyou’re in good hands.”

January 2, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Proverbs & Wisdom | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

31 Days of Thoughts on 31 Days of Proverbs


This is just a short introduction. In an effort to get myself writing and blogging every day, I am going to use a variety of tools. I plan to use different tools each month to go with my prismatic personality. I figure that if I change it up at least once per month, I’ll be less apt to get bored with my subject matter and more apt to keep pushing myself forward.

So, for the month of January 2013, I will write my thoughts on the study of the book of Proverbs. I have often gone back to the idea of reading the Proverb for the day for each day of the month. For months with 31 days, it works perfectly. For months with 30 days, I just read 2 chapters at the end. I cannot tell you how many times the reading for the day has been perfect for whatever I was going through on that day. Now, as I move forward, I will have the opportunity to share exactly how that is working for my current day.

As you can tell, I’m jumping off a day late, so later this afternoon, you should see two posts from me. I hope to stay on top of them for the rest of the month. If you’d like to read the subject matter ahead of time, go to the You Version website at https://www.youversion.com/bible/97/pro.1.msg (I’ll likely do most of my studying using “The Message Bible” and the NLT translation, so I’ve linked to “The Message” here),¬†and pick your favorite Bible version to read from. Read the entire chapters of Proverbs 1 and 2, and then come back and see what I’ve gleaned from them in my personal life. Wednesday is my new designated writing day, so I’m excited to have a little extra to share for that anyway. Now, I must go to sleep to rest my writer’s mind since I’m still actually working on Tuesday the 1st. I was going to go ahead and write my first Proverb post before going to sleep, but I’m afraid it won’t have the same meaning if I don’t first get some rest.

Talk to you tomorrow,

~Crystal

January 2, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Proverbs & Wisdom | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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