Were You There?

Empty Tomb, Nazareth, Israel

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.” Mark 16:4-6 (NIV)

As I think of the empty tomb, a wonder fills my heart and soul. Aren’t you glad the tomb is empty, that it has been long vacated? Empty never looked so good! We were not there to see our Jesus die horribly but valiantly for us. We were not there to see people mourning His death. How alone the disciples must have felt, after being with Him in closeness for so long. We were not there to see how utterly heartbroken His mother was. I cannot imagine her pain. Can you? We did not see Him in His battle for our souls, but we know He won the victory! He did what He said He would do so we could be where He wants us to be, with Him, ALWAYS.

We cannot all go to Israel and see the cave or tomb where Jesus used to be, but we can know He is not there! There is NOTHING there. He left the tomb, alive! There is nothing there. It is empty. That NOTHING is our everything! That NOTHING is a sign of His victory over death and it was all done for us. We did not see Him fighting the battle for our souls, but we see the victory’s evidence!

Let’s keep that empty tomb in our thoughts today? Empty is not always a good thing, but in the case of our salvation, empty is everything. As Jesus emptied the tomb, we can empty our hearts to Him. We can let Him decide what goes there…Himself, Jesus. Do we give Him enough room?…

Jesus left Heaven to go to earth. He went to earth to go to the cross. He left the cross to go to the tomb. He left the tomb to come to our hearts. His old habitation is changed to a new one…us! What a plan God had and still has! He is still fighting for us, as is the Holy Spirit and God. They champion us!

Jesus could not have done any more. We were not there to see all that He did, but we are here to be rewarded with the result. How amazing of a love we are given! All that Jesus did was according to plan. Now it is our turn to do all we can in God’s plan for us!

May you have a blessed day, full of wonder and appreciation for all that our Lord has done for us. Remember…empty can be a great thing, a holy thing.

With love from our Father to you,

Christina

Jesus Gave All

Jesus, Jesus Christ, Crucifixion, Christ

Our King hung on a cross for us. He gave all. The picture above is a sad but wonderful representation of what ALL means. Jesus tells us in Matthew that we are to deny ourselves and come after Him, be willing to lose our life for Him, but most of us find that even saying that is very scary. As I was thinking about what ALL really means to Jesus, I wrote this. Though it is indeed scary, and I can be very selfish, I want to die out to self. It is hard to ignore the words of Jesus’ command:

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-25 ESV

This is a really simple poem I wrote about something we may find hard to do, giving Jesus our whole, entire, looking at Him for everything, no agenda, surrendered heart. As for me, what I will give up is the habit of asking for self too much, and do less planning and more praying. Jesus needs to be treated as the King He is:)

Dear Jesus,

I am…

Unconditionally

letting go of all for Thee.

Here I stand

with no demands

letting You have all of me.

Intentionally

laying down my heart for Thee.

It’s open wide

nothing to hide

letting You use all of me.

Triumphantly

picking up my cross for Thee

all that You say

I will obey

letting You be King of me.

copyright ©️ 2021 Christina Crute

The servant mentality is crucial to our relationship with Jesus. In our day-to-day activities, we must remember that in this world, we are not King and it is not our universe. Our King, Jesus, has gone and is preparing homes for us! While He is doing that, we can prepare our hearts daily for more of Him and less of us. Giving all is the correct amount to give our King.

With love from our Father to you,

Christina

Talents and Gifts

Pen, Sweetness, Sweet, Nature, Pink

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 ESV

As I look at the artwork of others, I am totally amazed. People are so creative and super talented! I always wanted to be super talented at something. Why? So people would think I was amazing! My oldest best friend is an artist beyond compare. She can draw ANYTHING and do it well! She has drawn all her life, but I never ever remember her drawing attention to her work and I always wondered why. If I was that talented, I think I would have an ego the size of Mount Kilamanjaro!

Some artists do not need to speak about their work because it speaks for themselves and draws people to admire the talent. Recently, as I was admiring my friend’s talent, I realized what I mentioned earlier…she does not brag about her work. I think her work speaks for itself as it says, “look at me and marvel that God gives wonderful gifts to people.” She uses her gift to bless others. She has drawn things for me and many of her friends and family and she acts like it’s no big deal.

But, you know what? God gave you a gift too! It may not be admired by the world, social media or tons of people, but God sees it and how you use it. It is Him we are to please. It is just as important as anyone else’s gift. How do I know this? It says so, in His Word that we are given things to be used for Him. They are given BY Him, too.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Do you feel you have no gift? That, right there, is a lie straight from the devil, that I, myself, believed for a long time. Do not be like me! Pray and ask God to make you aware of your gift. Ask Him to show you how to use it for His glory. I believe some most special gifts are overlooked, like encouragement and friendship. Some people are just great at that! They are happy and loving and present with others. Showing God’s love is the best gift we can give anyone!

You know how you give a gift to someone and you are happy to do it? And then you are happier still that the person loves it and uses it? I see God as feeling that way. He created you with a purpose in mind and though He is happy to give you a gift, He will be even happier when you use it! Your personality was meant to be used for His good purposes. You are special!

Have a great day, finding and using your gift. We are all different, but we are all blessed by God!

Christina

Loving Each Other

Sunset, Men, Silhouettes, Helping

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 5:12-13

Last night was rough! The neighbor’s dogs would not stop barking. We listened to the incessant yelps… All. Night. Long. As I am writing, at 4 a.m., they are still, loudly, trying to get their point across. When will it end? The dogs’ owners have been yelling at the dogs to stop barking and they did stop for a bit, but started back up. Most nights, they are not quite so vocal, so I wonder what’s gotten into them.

Sometimes, I wonder what has gotten into me, into us. It almost seems as we look for something to complain about, well at least I do. It is almost as if I expect everything to be perfect, so the times that things are not perfect, I complain loudly. How quickly I forget all the times and things I have to be thankful for! Am I as thankful as I should be, even on imperfect days? Ummm…no.

I wonder… Why do we expect perfection in the first place? The Bible tells us that we will have trouble, also that we have a perfect father who can take us through anything. So, why do we fear or complain?

One reason is that we like comfort. We like what we like and want what we want. However, we need to be content with whatever the Good Lord allows. My momma told me, as a child, to do something for someone else when I was the most disappointed. That way, someone else would have a good day, even if I didn’t. Seriously? I did not believe for one second that helping someone else would improve my day…until I tried it. She was right! We do need to see things from a different point-of-view than our own and think of others first. If we ask for the Lord’s help, we can see situations from the other person’s point of view.

Trying out my Momma’s little “trick” to think of others and not my own situation…I now imagine how frustrated the owners of the barking dogs feel. They must be frustrated that they cannot get the dogs to behave. They may have needed a good night sleep for a trying day today, but now they will probably have lots of trouble staying awake. I need to pray for them. They must be as tired as I am.

It’s not always about me. In fact, it’s really not about us at all but how we react to situations and turn them around to praise the Lord. How easy it is to forget that, that our purpose on earth is to reflect the love of the Father, not our love for ourselves. Ouch, that stuck!

Dear Lord, give us love for others. Help us see their side of things, even and especially when, we feel tired. Give us your grace that makes us love others, even on our hard days. When we think of all You unselfishly gave, and still give, to us, it is amazing and worth thinking about…much more so than some barking dogs. We are silly humans. We love You, Lord! Amen

With love from our awesome Father to you,

Christina

Timothy’s Mission

First and second Timothy are letters of love. Paul’s letters to Timothy are so sweet! They are filled with urgings, commands and instructions, but it is all done in a loving, fatherly way. Paul sees Timothy as his son.

To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 1 Timothy 1:2 (NIV)

In these letters, or books, Paul is urging and preparing Timothy to do something. He wants him to spread the truth of the gospel because a lot of false doctrines are being preached. He tells Timothy to tell the people to stop spreading lies. Wow, that would be uncomfortable, to call out liars, spreaders of false doctrine!

However, it needed to be done! Timothy had a mission. The precious true gospel commands and deserves our ultimate respect and defense.

The gospel commands our hearts. The truth of what He did on the cross transforms and commands our hearts through the forgiveness of our sins. When we make a decision to follow Him with His truth and light, not our own, we have The Gospel in command of our hearts.

The gospel commands hope. How can we not be hopeful when we are entrusted with something so precious as the gospel? It commands our full attention. We are “trustees” in a way of His goodness and hope and light. We get to use it as our greatest resource to live right by Him, but also to tell others. The Gospel gives hope.

The gospel commands an audience. We are the mouthpiece for God. We are the promoter of what He is saying. We have been entrusted with something so pure and holy that it is able to totally transform hearts and lives. We cannot keep that and just live for ourselves! The Gospel deserves an audience!

Although, it is so easy to do, live for self, isn’t it? Lately, God has been moving me to remember and say out loud often…”It is not about me. It is not about me. It is not about me…”

Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. John 12:25

The gospel commands us to share what we have so generously been given. Just a thought for today.

With love from our Father for you,

Christina

More Precious Than Rubies

Diamond, Diamonds, Gem, Gemstone, Ruby

This morning, I am thinking what a gem our Lord is. Jesus is called many things by all of us and His names always point to what He does for us. He is our Savior. He saved us. He is our comforter. He is there for us. He is our rock, our foundation. He is our friend. He talks to us. Can you think of a few names of your own for Him? Don’t you love that all of His names are based on His love for us? He is more precious than Rubies!

More precious than rubies that dress up some ears,
more shiny than diamonds that bring some to tears,
more valued than emeralds whose color is rare,
is Jesus my Savior to whom none compare.

Most precious my Father’s shed blood on the cross,
most perfect His love that paid for my loss.
Mercy and hope, love, peace and grace,
a bounty to all when He died in our place.

Most prized the wisdom that flows from His word,
my cornerstone gem is Jesus my Lord.
His presence I treasure down deep in my soul,
as I praise Him forever, ’til eternity rolls.

© Copyright 2021 Christina Crute

Wisdom Comes in the Rain

420 Umbrellas | Rain ideas | rain, i love rain, love rain

Though we have not had much actual rain lately, we can count on the fact that it will come eventually. God will provide:) In the same way, we have storms of life and God will provide what we need to get through them. What we need is Him! I love storms because they show God’s power in a way that we can physically see and touch and taste and hear and even smell. Storms affect all the senses. You may find me at the front door staring out at a storm, as it makes me marvel. I do not like the damage they cause, but I trust that God has a reason for everything.

I hope you like this poem. I wrote it after a storm a couple of years ago and thought it appropriate for our dry season. God will send rain. He knows we need it. He cares.When our figurative storms or trials come, and they will, we can glory in the storm, knowing who is right there with us! He is able to get us through!We can learn a lot from the raindrops:)

Love to all,

Christina

Wisdom Comes in the Rain

Rain’s torrential showers pour down on me.
Great currents gust and threaten to destroy.
Weather troubles here, I’m promised in His word
He has plans for me,
This gives me joy.
He is with me in these storms I can’t avoid.

So let the rains pour and let the winds blow.
Joy from the Lord will come to cover me.
Making me happy, soaking in the “Son-shine.”
So let the rains pour!
And let the winds blow!

God will speak in storms if I just listen.
I will hear thoughts higher than my own.
As I am on Earth ; He is in heaven,
His thoughts will come to guide me from the throne.
I can weather anything.
I am not alone.

Oh, golden thoughts riding on rain drops,
whispered in the wind to help me know,
from his heart to mine, messages divine.
Wisdom comes.
Love rains down to tell me, time to grow.

© Copyright 2021 Christina Crute

Taking Exact Steps

Away, Child, Human Nature, Hiking

This past month has had me in a bit of confusion. Well, let me be honest…a lot of confusion! My question was…”What exactly is the Lord pressing me to do?” I felt Him urging me, and I was praying hard, still am, BUT… I was afraid of getting it wrong or not doing it well. I was afraid I would not get the steps of His plan exactly right, so I thought and thought and thought and prayed and prayed and prayed… I realize now, that I had let the enemy tempt me into taking no action at all. Can you relate? Do you ever hold off, scared to move? Do you stand still and overthink like I do?

That word, exactly, can trip us up sometimes. Paul, through Christ, gives Timothy a command to preach the truth. He does not tell Timothy every exact facet or detailed step or method, but He tells him what His job is…and you know what? It is the same as ours! It is to spread the truth about God!

As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. 1 Timothy 1:3-4 (NIV)

God does not always give us a detailed itinerary! By faith, though, we can know it is always exactly what God wants when we tell others about Him, with the ability He has given us or will give us. We have to trust Him to equip us, give us words, make us able to do what He wants us to do. We have to pray before we do anything in His name, and trust Him to guide. As Paul commands Timothy to preach the gospel, he tells him the goal…to do what we do from a right heart, conscience and faith.

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.  1 Timothy 1:5 (NIV)

Deep down, we probably know the general direction God wants us to take, even if we do not know EXACTLY where He intends to lead us in the end. It is not our job to know every single thing. Do not let the enemy waylay you like he did me. When we doubt, we are doubting our ability and discernment to do exactly what He wants. I see it like this…

God will not call us to something He cannot do from within us. It is a co-mission, you and God. Me and God. There is no higher calling.

We are wasting time when we are doubting ourselves instead of trusting God‘s call. We do not need to depend on what we can figure out! We need to use our faith! That’s what faith is for! We can depend on the One who already has it figured out!

I do know this…When God’s will meets our desire, it ignites a passion for His goals and fills us with pure joy and confidence. This joy from serving God is one that the world can never even come close to providing… Christina Crute

Today is a great day to take a step that the Lord wants us to take. Will you join me in taking a new step today? Can we take a baby step or big step of faith, in the right direction? Is this a matter of prayer for you? It sure is for me.

Personal note…my scary step is to start writing a book due to a strong urging in my soul that won’t go away. I am scared because I need to do it right, all to His glory. Tired of overthinking it, it is time to obey and use my faith in God. This is His project and I am only a willing tool. An excited tool, to be used!

God, You are so good. Thank You for Your ever present love and urging, through the Holy Spirit, to move in the direction You have for me. I trust You for each baby step. Thank You for Your light! Amen

Like a baby taking their first step, how about taking one in faith, knowing that Your Father will catch you if you fall?…

Christina

Blessed By A Stranger

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 ESV

Something very unexpected happened this past weekend that I’d like to share with you!

My husband and I sometimes sell our old or refinished furniture online. A lady responded to an ad for an entertainment center and we made plans for her to pick it up Saturday. When I didn’t hear from her, I wondered if she changed her mind. I messaged her and turns out, she did change her mind, BUT… she explained why.

A family member had a serious car accident and that person’s son had a sick child. and his wife was out of town. It was as if he had to handle the car accident and everything alone…the wife being out of town, the sick daughter with a temperature, the parent in the hospital. Other family members needed to drop everything and help him out.

Immediately my heart was engaged. I told Whitney “no worries” about getting the entertainment center. “You do what you need to do and we will hold it for you until whenever. We will not sell it to anyone else.”

How did she respond? She was grateful, but said she really could not buy the center at all with everything going on. She offered me a token of her apology in the form of some money through cash-app. Of course I said no! That was not necessary.

Without thinking, I asked if I could pray for her and told her God was able to get them all through. She called me kind and said she wished there were more people like me in the world. Funny thing…I felt the same about her!

She insisted on sending me money since she wasn’t going to honor her commitment to buy from me. Finally, I understood. This wasn’t about me, but about HER heart. I knew it would make her happy, so I finally relented. BUT…I would only take the money if I could spend the money on something for the homeless. She agreed! We had a plan. This stranger’s heart and money were an unexpected blessing!

So ..We went to Dollar General after church Sunday and bought $50 worth of mens’, womens’ and childrens’ socks, to donate to shelters. All because I came across a new friend with a kind heart:)

Thank you, Lord, for the chance to meet a kind stranger. It encourages me to be just as kind to others. You are a good, good Father. Please watch over Whitney and her family. Shower them with Your peace and love and hug and hold them as they need it badly. We ask these things because You have the kindest heart of all. Amen.

I got her permission to share this story with you. Sometimes you meet the coolest people. We joked that we were probably sisters in another life:)

Thank you, Whitney for reminding me that we are put on this earth to help each other and love each other:)

With the love of our Father, and prayers too,

Christina

Faith Like a Rock

Jesus, Christ, God, Holy, Spirit, Bible, Gospel, David

Just a young boy, David aimed his rock-like faith at Goliath’s head, knowing He had God on his side. Those little rocks were just little rocks, but his faith was as big as his mightiest of rocks, His God. Why don’t we do more throwing of our faith-like rocks at our giants? In the name of the Lord we can defeat our “Goliaths”, the things that come from the enemy to frighten us!

When the enemy shows up and tells us we are doomed or weak or inconsequential, let’s tell him about our faith. We know we can defeat him because we have the One who already defeated him, on our side! Remember, Satan is a liar and will make you think you are smaller and weaker than you are. But…God, our friend, can only tell you the truth and He says anything is possible with faith. He also says we can do amazing things with Him. Try these encouraging verses on for size!

Philippians 4:13…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Ephesians 3: 20-21…Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Matthew 17:20…He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Can you hear and feel David’s huge faith in these words below? If a little boy can do this, so can we. All it takes is a little faith in a big God!

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel which you have defied.” 1Samuel 17: 45-46 NIV

I can see myself saying this from now on, when I have a problem. 🙂 Can you?

Aim your faith in God at the very thing that would scare most people and watch that giant fall!

Have a wonderful day in the Lord, being strong with His might!

Christina