Crystal Writes A Blog

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Inconceivably Inconceivable


A minister, a Boy Scout, and a scientist were the only passengers on a small plane. The pilot came running back to the cabin and explained that the plane was going to crash, and anyone who wanted to be saved would have to jump. “But,” he added, “there are only three parachutes and four people. I should have one of the parachutes because I have a wife and three small children. The rest of you will have to figure out what to do.” So, he grabbed a parachute and jumped. The scientist jumped up almost immediately and declared that he should have one of the parachutes because of his value to the world. He said, “I am the smartest man in the world and they all need me.” With that, he grabbed one and jumped. The minister turned to the Boy Scout with a sad smile.  “Son,” he said, “you are young and have your whole life in front of you, and I have already lived a rich life. You take the remaining parachute, and I’ll go down with the plane.” Then the Boy Scout said, “It’s okay, Reverend; the smartest man in the world just jumped out with my backpack!”

Inconceivable! How can someone so smart make such a stupid decision, right? But people do it all the time. We’re told in John 1:4-5 (New King James Version)…

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

With the little bit of light it takes to illuminate darkness, it seems inconceivable that darkness would have any choice but to comprehend it. Of course, the word may also mean that darkness could not defeat it based on footnotes, but I can see evidence in this world that those in the dark have no understanding of The Light. To the contrary, we’re told in John 3:19 (The Complete Jewish Bible)…

Now this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness rather than the light. Why? Because their actions were wicked.

It’s not that they are in too much darkness, and it’s not that they are ignorant. They cannot blame being unable to see for their behaviors if they have been presented the truth and knowingly turned it away. There may be difficulty in finding God’s light, and The Light may seem a bit blinding to them when first introduced to eyes not used to it, but it can be done. There is difficulty in bringing sin into our lives. I coughed and hacked and choked when I tried my first cigarette, but I kept working at it until I didn’t. I desperately wanted to be accepted by the girls who introduced me to smoking, and at that point, I felt it worth the struggle.

Maybe it can be a struggle to get free from the bondage of sin, and maybe it will take some work to choke up the darkness we’ve swallowed before meeting God, but it’s worth it. It’s worth it because sin is bondage, and God is freedom. It’s worth it because sin is a lie, and God is Truth. It’s worth it because living in sin is like living in pitch blackness, but living with God is living in The Light. God offers so much light that the Psalmist said it this way in Psalm 139:11-12 (New Living Translation)…

I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
    but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.

If we introduce people to The Gospel, and they choose to remain in darkness, it is not because we have done an improper job of presenting The Light. As you can see from the Psalm, God can turn even darkness into light. No, instead it’s about people who choose to keep their eyes shut tightly against God’s light and hope to claim ignorance in the end. It’s inconceivable to them that their lies won’t work because they are in bondage to them. For those of us who know God and His abundant mercy and grace, we cannot imagine rejecting such love and wonder. To us, rejecting Yeshua and His salvation is inconceivably inconceivable.

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.
(Acts 17:30 NKJV)

 

October 18, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Devotion, Nonfiction | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Power of Good Vibrations


Someone shared the above video on Facebook, and it ranks right up there with those cool videos where people mix corn starch and water and put it on a speaker. The corn starch mix looks a lot like the stuff from the Flubber movies, especially when it’s dyed green. Still, the idea of geometric patterns forming just from changing the volume of a musical piece tied into a plate on a piece of metal really caught my attention. I love fractals and kaleidoscopes, so this fits well with my attraction to patterns.

Anyway, the first thing I thought about, as I watched them turn up the decibels and create different designs, was God speaking the world into existence. I can just see Him speaking with His booming voice, and then seeing the vibrations create patterns in the carbon until molecules pull together and create all that we see. Sound is energy, and what we see is energy either turned on or turned off–just like on a computer screen with its ones and zeroes. I find it amazing!

In reading the scientific reasoning behind the designs, the text said that the salt or sand falls into the places where there is no vibration. If we humans were created that way, then our flesh is the design in the cracks of God’s good vibrations, and that may be why there is such a wrestling match between flesh and spirit. We’re told that God knows our frame, so He knows exactly where our wrestling will come in, and He will be there to help us through it. Of course, when our bodies are perfected like His glorified body, they will be in complete submission to His Spirit, so we won’t have that battle any longer. That is something to hope for.

Now, here’s a test of your age. Do you remember which product used the Good Vibrations song by “The Beach Boys” as a jingle for their commercials? It actually took me a little while to confirm it because I got lost in an interesting article about the original song on Wikipedia. Did you know that, in addition to using the infamous Hammond B3 organ in the recording, they also added the musical accompaniment of a theremin? (The song page says they did, but the theremin page says it was a synthesizer.) And, yes, I mean the instrument that had a solo in an episode of The Big Bang Theory when Sheldon played the Star Trek theme on it just to aggravate Leonard. Of course, after Leonard sent him out of the apartment, a depressed Sheldon then played a great rendition of Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen. (See video below.)  Oh, and to answer my first question, it was a soda that used the words, “I’m drinking up good vibrations,” and its name was… (ʞuᴉɹp ǝƃuɐɹO ʇsᴉʞunS).

Well, I think that’s all I will add on this theme for now unless you want to see the full lyrics of the song. I’d love to see some comments from you about the original video, the song, the Big Bang Theory, or anything else you’d like to talk about. All the links have descriptions if you want to hover over them before clicking, and I hope you find some interesting places to visit from here. Oh, and all the links open in a new tab, so you won’t lose your place. God bless you as you seek to walk with Him and the presence of His good vibrations today and always.

October 5, 2014 Posted by | Devotion, Nonfiction | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Only Evil Continually


I mentioned one of today’s verses in a previous post when I talked about it being strife for God to dwell within man because of our flesh. To clarify, it is because of the evil of our flesh using the definition of evil to mean “minus God.” The whole of today’s reading is from Genesis 5:25 through Genesis 6:8, and it tells about the multiplication of mankind which includes the multiplication of evil because of the sheer abundance of flesh.

While I’m not sure what is meant here by the “sons of God” vs. the “daughters of men,” I wonder if God created more men from “scratch” than just Adam. And then in chapter 6, verse 3, God says, “My Spirit will not live in human beings forever, for they too are flesh.” I think it’s talking about the “oil and water” mix of flesh that yields evil and God’s Spirit that yields good.

In verse 5, we find that men are filled with wickedness and that all the imaginings of the hearts of mankind are of evil only. The King James Version states it as that their thoughts were “only evil continually.”

Some years ago, I was told that the truest definition of evil is, as I mentioned above, “minus God.” Another statement I read states that evil is a living thing with all of its molecules flowing in a direction that is opposite God. That makes sense when compared to Genesis 8:21 where it says that men’s thoughts are inclined toward evil from their childhood. The flesh by itself is minus God. So, while wickedness is not the definition of evil, it is caused by evil; by those whose thoughts are always in and on the flesh instead of in and on God.

So in chapter 6, we read that it was a constant state of mind–always thinking of self and never thinking of God. In the new testament, in Luke 17:26-27, we read that in the days when Christ returns, things will be just like they were here in Chapter 6. And the thing is, that doesn’t just mean what we would consider to be wicked men. The idea of men thinking more of themselves than thinking of God happens plenty with “the church” as well. When men pray, worship, preach, etc., just to be noticed, they’re thinking of themselves. When men think more about what they can get from God instead of what they can give to Him, they too are thinking of themselves. And when men worship the creation more than the Creator, well, that’s definitely thinking of self.

I asked someone one time, after they told me about an altar call where almost every person in the congregation went forward, “Would the same number of people move to the altar if the preacher asked how many wanted to give something to God as did when he called to everyone who wanted to receive something special?” The thought that fewer are willing to give than receive grieves me because I feel that God is worth more than a “genie in a magic lamp.” If the last thing we received from God was our salvation, it’s still deliverance from eternal death, and that makes it worth more than anything else–especially considering that it is a gift of God’s love to us.

I desire to worship God for who He is more than for what He does. I believe that will keep my thoughts from resting in the thoughts of the flesh, whether those thoughts lead to wickedness or just self-centeredness. For those who are followers of Christ, I find this perfectly summed up by author Chip Brogden from The School of Christ, in the following statement: “What is greater than the work of the Lord? It is, the Lord of the work.” May we always keep it in this perspective.

October 4, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walking More Closely With God


Today’s reading is from Genesis 5:1-24. Somehow, I knew I might have some trouble writing in those chapters that deal with genealogies. This one is the genealogy of Adam. I know that bloodlines can tell us marvelous facts if we understand their study, and there will be some later on that I can comment on, but this one is not bringing me something easy of myself, so I’m going to borrow from a message I have on CD by John Bevere.

In the message, and in his book called “Drawing Near,” John Bevere brings up a point I doubt I would ever have noticed. The long lifespans at that point in history allowed many to hear Adam’s story of the days in the garden when he walked with God. Like a grandpa telling about the good ‘ol days, Enoch must have been the one that listened most intently. In John’s words:

Adam wept as he relayed his heart-wrenching account. “Enoch, I walked with Him….in His glory. The Creator of the universe, the Maker of all you see, walked beside me! He shared the infinite wisdom of His master plan, how He placed and arranged the stars of the universe with His fingers. Those very fingers created me as well as held my hand.*

He goes on to tell more about creation secrets that Yahveh likely shared with Adam, and it is powerful as well as sad because Adam gave up all that intimacy for the desires of flesh. John continues and talks about the effect these words likely had on Enoch:

The more Adam spoke, the hungrier Enoch became, until the passion overwhelmed him. He must walk with God as Adam had. He would not be denied.

And we know from verse 24 that Enoch walked so closely to God that one day he was there on the earth and then suddenly, he wasn’t. Scripture tells us that God took him. It’s like, one moment he was walking on the dirt and then suddenly, the dirt turned to gold.

I try to share my testimonies of both my successes in my service to God and my failures to Him. But this makes me want to focus just that much more on sharing my relationship with Him. I want to share Him in such a profound way that others will be like Enoch and become hungry to have an even deeper relationship. I, myself, want to feel that passion that overwhelmed Enoch and press in until I am walking so close to God that there will be little difference when He brings me to join Him at His throne. What a glorious way to live life whether it lasts 900 plus years or 90 plus years.

*Excerpt from book, Drawing Near, by John Bevere found at Google Books in the preview. Read the entire preview, or just the beautiful section about Adam and Enoch (on pages 11-13) yourself and let me know what you think. I would recommend the book and/or study set for anyone who wants to deepen his or her relationship with Yahveh Almighty.

October 3, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

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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