Psalm 146:2 "I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gratitude

Hi Everyone,

Nearly every Sunday at my church here in Mexico, we recite this verse together---I think part of the reason why we do so is to remember how God has blessed us beyond anything we deserve and to remind us to have hearts of gratitude to Him.

Psalm 68:19 (NKJ) "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation."

Quote from my pastor this morning 'He who has learned to have a spirit of gratitude has learned many things."

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Solid Rock

Hi Everyone,

I am doing well here in Mexico. Had a great talk with my sending base leaders yesterday to get caught up from my border trip and am looking forward to heading out to evangelize and pray with people at a hospital in a little while and am looking forward to hanging out with the youth group tonight too! :) God is good! My birdie Angel is also enjoying the fact that I have returned!

This hymn has been going through my head lately---might have posted it before but will do so again.

On Christ the solid rock I stand--all other ground is sinking sand!

Blessing to you all and thanks for praying!

The Solid Rock

Words by Edward Mote 1834

Music by William B Bradbury 1863

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

Refrain

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

Refrain

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

Refrain

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Connection Between Contentment And Thankfulness

"Those who rise above their circumstances understand that God uses every experience for good (Rom. 8:28). To trust that principle, we must realize that anything we experience is under the authority of a kind, loving Father.... God never allows anything to touch us that He will not turn to our benefit and the good of His kingdom." ~Charles Stanley

Hi Everyone,

I found this quote yesterday and it was such a reminder for me that regardless of my circumstances, I have to trust that God is working through them for His glory. Sometimes the things that happen in life really don't make sense to us--there are things that God allows into our lives that at first glance, we would prefer not to face, or maybe things we wish were different. But God knows what he is doing. He knows how shallow we would be if life was easy without the trials (sometimes heartbreaking) that he uses to transform us to be more like Him. We can rest in Him that He will take EVERYTHING and work it all together for the good of those who love him.

As I was sitting in the airport yesterday, eating some lunch and having a conversation with God about a current issue I have been struggling with where I am desiring to find contentment in it, God brought to my mind that having a correct view of our circumstances even when they are tough is not only trusting his good and perfect will and sovereign control as was mentioned above, but I also sensed that he was reminding me to
be thankful. Why? Because being content and being thankful go hand in hand. When we are truly thankful to God and grateful for the many undeserved blessings of today, we find ourselves more content to live in the moment He has given us--and maybe thinking a tiny bit less about some of those circumstances that really are in His control----and not our own.

It doesn't mean that this current issue for me has become a non-issue, but maybe in a small way I am able to trust God a little bit more with it.

Lord, give us hearts overflowing with gratitude and the ability to trust you-and your perfect wisdom---that you are working
everything out for our good--even when from our perspective it might not seem that way at first.

Praise the Lord that I arrived back in Mexico safely!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tonight's Video

Hi Everyone,

Here is a quick video for tonight! Thanks so much for your prayers! I head back to Mexico tomorrow.
video

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Border Trip Update

Hi Everyone,

My time at the border trip has been amazing! It is fast but oh so good! For starters, I got to talk to my parents by phone for over an hour after only connecting twice and talking a total of maybe 15 minutes these last five and a half months in Mexico. It has also been awesome to have God bring people across my path that I wanted to talk to, but didn't have a chance to call and set up a time to get together. And another amazing thing is that God has provided some really special opportunities for me to receive some ministry from others and vice versa. Time is going by fast, but there have been many blessings and I am so thankful. Thank you for your prayers! God is so good! May the Lord bless you all and most likely I will be updating you again when I get back in Mexico on the 26th.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beautiful Flowers I Have Seen!

Hi Everyone,

Wherever we are in the world, there are so many beautiful aspects of God's creation to enjoy! These are some flower pictures I took on a walk last night!

Busy Bumblebee! He was moving around way to o much to get a clear picture--but it was still neat!
All of God's creation is wonderful!

Monday, July 18, 2011

So Good To Be Here!


Hi Everyone,
It is REALLY good to be back here at the house of hope for a few days! It feels like home in a precious way! Pray for a truly refreshing time for me and that the Lord would continue to work in my heart and life as I am here in this beautiful and memorable place--where God did so many wonderful things last Summer! God is very good!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Freed From Depression!

Hi Everyone,

I arrived safely last night! It was a real blessing to be home for a friend's wedding today! A few friends also had a belated birthday celebration for me, which was awesome! One of the things that they asked me was what my highlight of this past year has been.

I had to think about it because this past year has been so incredible! God not only brought me to Himself and saved me, but this year has been filled with amazing blessings that I could not even begin to count! So on top of saying that I also mentioned a highlight is realizing what it has been like to live free from depression. Yes, realistically there are times of discouragement, but life is so much better without that heavy depression I used to experience! It is all a result of God's work in my life! Before, I never could have imagined my life being the way it is now, and I love it! God has indeed been so very good to me and blessed me in so many ways! All the glory is His!

So praises to Him again who has indeed made me forever free indeed!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thoughts Before Flying Out Tomorrow!

Hi Everyone,

It is pretty amazing to think that I am going to be seeing some of you by this time tomorrow night--- I am excited about that--but NOT excited about having to miss youth group for two whole Saturdays.

Thanks for your prayers about the infection I had this week. I am on antibiotics and am feeling better already! (Amazing what a few little pills can do taken in the right circumstances!) Of course more than anything, we know that the Lord's role in healing us is important too! Now, If I can just get some decent sleep.....

Well I guess that is all for now- I have to be up early tomorrow to get to Mexico City and take the flight out. May the Lord bless you all!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Praises

Hi Everyone,

I have several praises and a few prayer requests!

Praise! I JUST e-mailed my completed cultural paper and another paper to the orientation committee! Praise the Lord that I have finished these big requirements and only have a few very small things to finish upon my return from my border trip! Thank you for your prayers over these last few months!

Praise! Yesterday my sending base leader and I talked and I will be taking on the position of Office Administrator for the sending base! I learned through the conversation what this will mean and what is expected! Pray for me as I serve in this role. I am excited and want to do my best unto the Lord's glory.

Please PRAY for my health---I have been having some issues the last day and a half and am praying that I won't have these issues when I fly on Friday. Please pray for me to regain strength, and to be able to complete the other things that I need to before I leave. Thank you so very much for joining in and praying with me on these matters.

Looking forward to seeing several of you in just a few short days from now.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Last Few Days.....

HI Everyone,

I guess I have stuck true to my word about not updating my blog much this week. Things have just been extremely busy with trying to talk to people to finish my cultural paper, and a few other things. I am thankful for your prayers! I can't believe it has been four days since I updated (that is a long time for me not to update!)

Last night I went to our youth group girl's sleep over. It was sooo much fun hanging out--although unfortunately I was the first one to crash and go to sleep at about 11:45. One of the girls was so sweet-she let me sleep on her bed instead of the floor--and I am so thankful because the sleep was necessary to get things done well today and not feel like a zombie! :) In the morning we had delicious pancakes and sincronizadas for breakfast (Tortillas heated up with ham and a little cheese.) It truly was a great time together and I am so thankful for all of those young adults!

I just got back after chatting with some more people for my paper this afternoon! God is good!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A God Who Hears

Hi Everyone,

If you would have heard me praying this week, it would have sounded like this. "God, I know my value is not in what I do--but I am here to do Your will for me in Mexico. I want to be more involved and be more of a part of things--especially after my orientation requirements are done. I want to know better how to help my church, how to serve on the sending base, and have opportunities to share with,the youth investing more directly into their lives....and at the same time I am not always sure what my giftings are either."

I'll be honest--I was starting to get impatient and frustrated---instead of just trusting God's timing.

This evening, a handful of us from the youth group went out to see a movie as a mid-week treat and hang out time together. I love being with them and always come away feeling refreshed, loved, and accepted without condition. After the movie, the youth leader pulled me aside and said, "Crystal, would you be willing to give the Bible study portion of the youth group next Saturday?" I said, "yes, I would be delighted to," but would have to wait til I got back in town from my visa renewal trip.

And then I got home tonight and a letter from my Pastor was in my e-mail---saying he has a lady in mind that he wants me to come alongside disciple. COOL!!!!!

I am very excited, to say the least,....and again clearly reminded that God hears my prayers, knows what I feel, cares so very much, and has plans for me here in Mexico.

Thank you Lord!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Things I am Looking Forward To This Week

Hi Everyone,

It has been three days since I have put an update up. Part of this was due to the fact that the internet service that I had finally contracted for a year after living here almost six months wasn't working--and I FINALLY figured out how to restore it. Another reason for the lack of update is just for the fact that I spent the evening at a team member's house and internet was not available there. Things are also getting crazy busy-scrambling to finish orientation stuff (still need another handful or two of people to talk to for my research paper THIS WEEK) before heading out to my border trip in two weeks.

Needless to say, things may be a little quieter on my blog over these next few days.

Last night I discovered a new way to get to my church---I was a little late for youth group but at least I made it.

This week I am looking forward to a sleep over with the girls in the youth group on Friday night. (will have some great pictures I am sure!). I am also looking forward to prayer at the sending base tomorrow, and starting to concentrate on planing a day of prayer for our team in early September. So I am going to get to bed here soon--expecting to be up late several nights working on orientation stuff.

Thanks for your prayers!