Pearls are formed when a small particle comes inside of a shelled mollusk like an oyster. The oyster then secretes a substance that completely covers the particle. This occurs in several ‘layers’ until a beautiful pearl is formed. This is a masterful picture of our life in Christ. As we are placed within Christ, He majestically covers us with layers upon layers of Himself until our life is hidden within the beauty of this new & valuable substance (Himself). With that said, I’d like to introduce someone who a true ‘pearl’ in the kingdom of God.
As I have mentioned in a previous post, one of the things that I love about the venue of blogging is the ability that this venue has to introduce specific topics and people to a wider section of the body of Christ. A couple of weeks ago, I posted a vital blog interview for all those who desire New Testament church life. Today, I’d like to introduce a dear sister to you by the name of Kat Huff. If there is one word that beautifully describes who Kat is in Christ, it would be the word ‘Pearl’.
God has richly blessed me throughout my life through people. I thank God that He has caused my path to cross with Kat’s. I had the privilege of meeting Kat in person at a Searching Together conference put on by Jon Zens last year, but her impact on me has come through her expression of Christ through writing & poetry. When I first met Kat and listened to her talk at Jon Zen’s conference last year, I instantly knew that Kat is a hidden ‘pearl’ in the kingdom of God that everyone would do well to get to know. Kat is full of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and she expresses Him beautifully. I consider Kat an elder and mentor in the faith.
I am honored and humbled that Kat has agreed to come on the blog today to answer a few questions. Please take a few minutes to join us for this blog interview. You will not regret it:
Kat, tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? Did you come from a big family, etc…?
I spent most of my childhood in the rolling hills of Kentucky. My parents had ten children, of which I am number seven. I have been told that I was such a quiet child that no one would ever know I was in the room. I carried that shyness, that quietness, with me for many years.
We were an extremely poor family, but living in the country had its own value, a worth that became more apparent as the years strolled by. Other families seemed to be living in a modern, strange world. I sometimes wondered what their life was like. We had no plumbing, but a well in which to draw water, and not all the rooms had electricity. We had an old fashioned, black and white, 12” screen TV. It was like we lived in a different era of time than everyone else.
In those early years, often I had very little to eat, and the clothes I wore were too big as they usually were donated. Once someone donated several trash bags full of used clothing, and what fun it was to go through the clothes to find something “new” to wear. I realize that may sound rather sad to some, but times were hard for my parents. I was thrilled to have those clothes even though I was made fun of at school because they were too big for me. Some of the kids would call me Grandma, and I said nothing, which was probably due to my shyness. I tried to roll up the skirts, but they would always fall at the waist which took the length almost to my ankles.
My favorite memories are of running around barefooted in the summertime. My toys were the wild creatures, woods, plants and stones. I also have fond memories of swimming in the creek, and once in awhile a snake would pop-up its head from out of the water, which didn’t seem to bother me a bit. One of my favorite things to do was to seek out stones, all kinds, shapes and colors. It was like an ongoing treasure hunt to discover the beauty within the uniqueness of each stone, each having a special design that belonged only to that one stone. The size, shape, color and texture were the expressions that Father had made in each stone. Funny, I still do that sometimes.
How did you first come to be awakened to Christ?
One summer day, when I was seven years old, Father was truly pleasured to reveal His Son to me, and in me.
I came into the house from playing, and nobody else was in the house. I suspect, everyone was out and about doing their own thing. I thought what a great opportunity to watch whatever I wanted to watch on TV. Being one of the youngest children, I had no say whatsoever as to what we would watch on television; age rules in the pecking order. I turned on the television and became engrossed in a movie about Jesus. The movie portrayed John the baptizer and later the crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. I don’t remember ever hearing any talk about Jesus before that time, but I had heard that there was a God.
Suddenly, I realized that He was real and that He was the Son of God. I heard Him, I felt Him, I saw Him, and I knew Him in me and around me at the same time. I collapsed onto the floor in a heap as Father revealed Life in me. I cried. Oh, how I cried within the grace of knowing Him. Father forever opened my eyes from within to know Christ is in me. From that day onward, Father has continued to reveal Christ Jesus in me, and in all things. Through all the nature around me, Father continued to reveal Christ to me all the years of my childhood and to this day.
Later that day, I told my older sister about knowing Jesus Christ. I thought we could do what John the baptizer did, and we baptized each other in the creek.
Kat, there has been suffering in your life. How has physical suffering and loss in your life been used by the Lord to reveal Jesus Christ to you?
Jamal, I thought about not answering this question, because I normally do not speak about any physical suffering that I have gone through in this world. It does not define me, in fact, it is merely something that happened to me. It does not define who I am in Christ Jesus, and I would never want anyone to define me in their minds by any physical suffering. But I have decided to answer your question after taking much heart with Father.
Years ago I had some serious injuries. I laid in a coma at one point and I was told the doctors said that I would not live, and if by a true miracle I did live, I would be in a vegetative state for the rest of my natural life. All I can say is Father obviously was not allowing that for reasons only He knows. Anyway, I have some lingering damage, but nothing I think about on a daily basis.
Any physical suffering we go through in this world is known by our Father. If Christ be in us and if we are in Christ, then it would follow that whatever we suffer He also feels. In the New Testament did not Jesus say to Paul, “Why are you persecuting me?” Though Jesus was speaking of His whole body, it would also be so with each part of His body. He was speaking of suffering, and by this question I would say that our Lord Jesus takes our suffering very personally. It would suggest that if we are in Christ, then He also feels what is going on within Him.
I do not believe that the purpose of physical suffering is to reveal Christ, but He does use whatever we go through in this world for the good of those in Christ and for the good of His eternal purpose, no matter what. What I mean by this is that in and through Christ Jesus we are already victorious; we are “more than conquerors” even unto death. Death has no hold on our Lord Jesus and if we be in Him and He be in us, then death has no hold on us. If God the Almighty be for us, then any physical suffering we endure shall not overcome us, for we are born of Heaven. Christ Jesus is the Life and we live in Him, literally and actually, in every sense of reality.
What breaks your heart right now?
It breaks my heart that the Life community of Jesus Christ has been replaced with a setting structured around our own opinions, our own way of worship, our own conveniences, and our own likes and dislikes. And that the full expression of Jesus Christ through His body has been replaced with the expression of one single body part – the pastor. And that the unity of Christ in us, and relationships with one another in Christ, has been replaced with a regiment of religious rituals. And that the real love for one another in Christ, has been replaced with learned pleasantries, quotable phrases and superficial gestures. And that this also carries on into many of the gatherings of the saints, not just those in big buildings. I mean, that those who meet in homes can carry these same attributes into the living room. The living room is not immune to the “I divide” mindset. It is not about where we gather, it is about Christ, our Life.
It tears at my heart that most of us today worship our Lord Jesus with a multitude of contradictions among ourselves. There are numerous factions, sects, religions, denominations, organizations, and divisions over certain beliefs, doctrines, rules, regulations, religious constitutions, and traditions. I have witnessed this separative mindset pop-up its ugly head in many gatherings of the saints.
It breaks my heart that many of the us tend toward focusing on things and its, instead of the indwelling Life within us. Many become fixated upon the things of Christ. When we do that, we loose sight of the Person Jesus Christ, and forget that everything points to Him. Everything is a sign which points to Christ, yet we become consumed with the pointing arrow. The mind in search for the knowledge of good separates and divides. It holds itself above others with the thought that it knows about something that others do not, because the result of mere carnal knowledge is pride.
The mindset of the world is individualism, and this mindset has taken many away from their true identity and unity that we have in Christ. Christ our Life has no place within this “I divide” that has become an accepted standard within the body of Christ. We hear it, see it, think it and speak it all the time. It is all around us everyday, everywhere we go it is there. It is on television, radio, movies, music, magazines, books, and to the countless forms of the “I” propaganda. We no longer recognize it, because we have accepted the way of the world in our minds, so much so, we are not aware of it.
Do you know what the “I divide” is? It is separation, the mindset which separates us from one another, so that in our minds we will not see that we are one in Christ and one with Him as His body. It is ingrained within our minds to the point that we no longer recognize it for what it is: The old fallen nature of the first Adam.
It breaks my heart that it is in this nature of separation that our practice portrays the Lord Jesus Christ as a divided, fractured, split, categorized, departmentalized, officiated, organized, commercialized, programmed, denominated and broken-up Lord within what is considered, in this day, “Christianity.”
Kat, if you had one exhortation (message) to give to the entire church today, what would it be?
I would like to refer back to my answer to your previous question. Did you notice that the words we, us, and our, were repeatedly connected to my heartache? There is a reason for the utterance of these inclusive words. Even though my background is not within the institutional business setting, I cannot separate myself from our sisters and brothers in Christ. In Reality, that is an impossibility; to think otherwise would be merely an illusion, a lie. There is no “us and them” in the body of Christ. There is no “and” in one.
Let’s touch upon a few points that give us a quick glance at our unity in Christ.
The Father is in Christ and Christ is in the Father; Christ is in us and we are in Christ.
Jesus lived by the life of His Father in Him; we live by the life of Christ in us.
Jesus walked upon the earth in the flesh as the visible image of God, we could say, the body of God; we walk upon the earth in the flesh as the visible body of Christ, we could say, the corporate body of Christ.
The Father speaks through Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ expresses His Father; Jesus Christ speaks through us, together as His corporate body we express Jesus Christ.
Jesus said He and the Father are One; we are One with Christ as His corporate body.
Jesus prayed to His Father, “. . . that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us. . . that they may be one as we are one I in them and you in me so that they may be brought to complete unity.” Father has eternally purposed everything in, through and for His Son. And His Son fulfills every pleasure in His Father’s heart in, through and for His Father. When Christ died upon the cross the old creation of the first Adam died in Him. By the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ this prayer was fulfilled. We are one, though we cannot create unity, Paul encouraged us to walk in the unity that is already in Christ.
Do we fully comprehend the awesomeness of this complete unity that is One? Surely, our mere words lack the capabilities to fully express this oneness of our God. Do you see that word “in” that Jesus spoke, over and over again? This oneness of Father and Son is expressed by the word “in” and He included us in this oneness within His prayer that He fulfilled. Dear holy ones, in Christ we are one.
The ultimate unity is One; not two or more, but one. I am not saying it is as though there is an intertwining. No! Far more than that; far beyond that! We were crucified in Christ. And if we were crucified in Him, we were also raised in Him. And if we were raised in Him, then we were also ascended in Him. What a word ─ in! Beloved, in Christ we are one.
Christ makes all things new with Himself. Christ Jesus is the Source for the renewal, or transformation, of our minds; knowing Him, not knowing about Him, but knowing as in experiential Life. We share the same Life, the same Person lives in us and we live in Him.
To each of you dear ones, I pray that within your heart comes an aching need, a desperate and passionate longing for the expression of our Lord Jesus Christ in and through every part of His body. This longing of heart only comes forth from a personal revelation of Jesus Christ. Knowing our identity depends solely upon knowing Jesus Christ Himself.
We are the Church. And the Church is to live in an intimate relationship within Christ, with complete unity in Him that we may fully express Him as His one body. There is only one measure on the eternal scale, and that measure is Christ Jesus Himself, for all else is merely an illusion in the minds of humankind, for all that is other than Christ will perish.
It runs against the grain of the flesh to set aside all our disagreements and differences to the glory of Christ Himself. I ask you, if we all agree that our Lord Jesus is enough for us, then why is it that we keep looking away from Him as if there is something better, something more interesting, something so awesome that it captures our attention? It is indisputable that no exceptions, nor substitutes, nor things, nor its, nor any other matter in heaven or earth are permissible to the Father, only the Son of His love ─ Jesus Christ.
As the body of Christ, we need to seriously ask ourselves if we have been looking at things, those endless its, instead of Jesus Christ the Person Himself? Perhaps we should ask ourselves what is the testimony of things and its?
May we be stripped down to Jesus Christ alone, that we may live Him together. Oh, that we may express our inexhaustible, glorious, endless Christ Jesus as His whole body, all parts. May He open the eyes and hearts of us all that we may know Him as He Is.
What are the books/resources you have read that have enriched and expanded your vision of Jesus Christ?
First, I would like to say that the Word of God, Jesus Christ Himself, is the living Book that never ends.
Besides the collected writings in the Bible:
Mimosa by Amy Carmichael
Ultimate Intention by DeVern Fromke
The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee
The Community Life of God and The Priesthood of All Believers by Milt Rodriquez
The Stewardship of the Mystery and The School of Christ by T. Austin Sparks
From Eternity to Here and Revise Us Again by Frank Viola
What’s With Paul And Women? and The Pastor Has No Clothes by Jon Zens
And a book that is only for the brave of heart: Pagan Christianity by George Barna and Frank Viola
Kat, thank you again for participating in this blog interview. Kat has a new blog that I’d like to strongly recommend you make a regular part of your online reading. Click here to visit Kat’s blog.
Click here to follow Kat on Twitter
Click here to connect with Kat on Facebook
Thanks so much for joining us for this interview,