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Category Archives: Inspiration

The Lord IS My Shepherd #Inspiration

My grandmother’s favorite scripture was the 23rd Psalm, probably the most popular poem in the history of the Bible. I didn’t understand her choice when I was young. I was so wrapped up in my life, I couldn’t see Grandy’s struggles. We lost her when I was in high school, and it’s only now as a parent that I can look back and see beyond the chicken and dumplings, fried pies, the crochet hook as she taught me to weave one thread, to a few of her trials–and her refuges.

Today I plant flag lilies given to me by my aunt who had them from my Granny. I loosen the clay soil, turn in pine shavings, peat moss, and compost, my recipe to help the plants survive and thrive in a land hard packed, weed strewn, inhospitable.

Today I read “The Lord is my shepherd”

Not was, not may be, nor will be. “The Lord is my shepherd,” is on Sunday, is on Monday, and is through every day of the week; is in January, is in December, and every month of the year; is at home, and is in China; is in peace, and, is in war; in abundance, and in penury. –J. Hudson Taylor

Today I feel my grandmother as near as our God who connects us both in faith, in Spirit, in the garden, in eternity.

–Kristin

 

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Posted by on July 10, 2018 in Inspiration, Moments

 

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Whatever you do… #inspirational

More related to last post. On the to-do list today: grocery shopping, treat both dogs for flea & ticks, straighten guest room, clean house, take kids to student group at church, plant blueberry bushes…

Thankful, thankful, thankful to be able to do these things.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2018 in Inspiration

 

Drudgery Enlightened – #Devotional Thoughts

Folding laundry. Washing dishes. Picking up behind children. Same things done over and over without pay and without recognition. The Holy Spirit reminds me of the scripture that says to “Therefore, whether you eat or drink whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31) The eat and drink is about clean and unclean for Hebrew law, but the whatever is really about anything and everything we do, that we can do it for the glory of God. Can we sin to the glory of God? No.  But I can wash the same dish, pick up those shoes, drive that same route as a soccer mom for the glory of God.

In his classic daily devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers says,

It requires the inspiration of God to go through drudgery with the light of God upon it. Some people do a certain thing and the way in which they do it hallows that thing for ever afterwards. It may be the most common place thing, but after we have seen them do it, it becomes different. When the Lords does a thing through us, He always transfigures it (February 19th, The Initiative Against Drudgery).

Today I stopped by a second-hand store looking for one item. I greeted my friend who happened to be working with a hug. She had 6 or 7 hangers of clothes on her left hand and was placing them on the racks one at a time. Very common place. I happen to know she struggles with hand issues and pain, that this job she needs as she cares for her family is drudgery. This work is also ministry, to those who find Walmart prices too much, to those who strive to get the best deals on little things so they can better use the provisions God has given them elsewhere. My friend’s work is transfigured, changed into glorious work by our Lord God.

Whatever you and I have to do today, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you” (Isaiah 60:1).

—-Kristin

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2018 in Inspiration

 

Wisdom, Learning and Education

Many resolutions have already fallen by the wayside, but inspiration is never far away. -Kristin

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2018 in Inspiration

 

It will be a good, a blessed #newyear

In a great book you will discover more on a re-read. Today I began reading a book given to my great-great grandmother by my great-aunt passed down to my grandmother and given to my mother the month before I was born. Before Christmas 2017 my mom gave the book to me.

Streams in the Desert offers a drink to your thirsty soul for each day of the year. It has done so for generations of women in my family as noted by the inscriptions on the opening pages. My copy is a direct link to my heritage of faith; the year 1958 noted on January 1, the underlined passages, the side-note of a day selected to be read aloud at a ladies’ group.

Will I read and re-read? Probably. Already on day one, Streams presents me with a Bible verse I’ve never noted before.

1 But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, 12 a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the [h]beginning even to the end of the year. (Bible book Deuteronomy, Chapter 11 verses 11 & 12).

The author of Streams, Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, writes:

“Today, dear friends, we stand upon the verge of the unknown. There lies before us the new year and we are going forth to possess it. Who can tell what we shall find? What new experiences, what changes shall come, what new needs shall arise? But here is the cheering, comforting, gladdening message from our Heavenly Father, ‘The Lord thy God careth for it.’ ‘His eyes are upon it…from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.'”

Whatever path your year takes you on, wherever our feet walk, the God of Abraham is caring for the way of those who follow Him be it on the hills or valleys. As Cowman says, “Trust only. The Father comes near to take our hand and lead us on our way today. It shall be a good, a blessed new year!”

Amen.
-Kristin
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“Streams in the Desert” is still in print in the original language from 1925 and a modern language edition updated by James Reimann, known for updating Oswald Chamber’s classic devotion, “My Utmost For His Highest.”

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2018 in Inspiration, Poetry & Prose

 

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Beating Procrastination

Why would Victor Hugo commit to writing a book and then put it off for over a year? Why do we make plans, set deadlines, and commit to goals, but then fail to follow through on them?

Your brain values long-term benefits when they are in the future, but it values immediate gratification when it comes to the present moment.

This is one reason why the ability to delay gratification is such a great predictor of success in life. Understanding how to resist the pull of instant gratification—at least occasionally, if not consistently—can help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

3 Ways to Beat Procrastination

Strategy 1: Design your future actions.

When Victor Hugo locked his clothes away so he could focus on writing, he was creating what psychologists refer to as a “commitment device.”….

Strategy 2: Reduce the friction of starting.

….Put all of your effort and energy into building a ritual and make it as easy as possible to get started. Don’t worry about the results until you’ve mastered the art of showing up.

Strategy 3: Utilize implementation intentions.

It seems simple to say that scheduling things ahead of time can make a difference, but as I have covered previously, implementation intentions can make you 2x to 3x more likely to perform an action in the future….

Read the full article and more on conquering procrastination at JamesClear.com

Thanks to Ryan King for the tip.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2016 in Inspiration

 

New Page Two – Back to Congo Tomorrow

Photo linked to video about this Sally Brestin Aslan painting.

Photo linked to video about this Aslan painting by Sally Brestin.

These recent blogs about my Congo trip range from light hearted observations to the soul of who I am. The series gets closer to my personal space than anything I’ve written publicly before, so I thought it was time to add a Page 2 to my blog. There are two tabs for this blog now, “Home” and “Jesus Follower,” the second of which was added today. So I wanted to “Post” that info today. What you see below is exactly the same as what you see if you visit the 2nd tab.

Tomorrow I’ll be back to blogging about the Congo. Thanks for stopping by. Happy New Year!

Kristin

Maybe you’ve read something on my blog that made you wonder about what drives me, how I became a writer, why I spent Christmas in the Congo instead of with my children, why a so-called “Christian” writes vampire books, what does it mean to be a Christian? A writer’s bio often hints at their life and written work (e.g. Kristin lives with her husband, four sons, and her dog in Holland), but that isn’t the essence of who we are. I believe people are more than their work or their relationships.

At the end of 2014 my blog turned from books and writing to a travel log about my mission trip to eastern Congo. Each border patrol asked about my vocation, and I chose between “Writer” and “Humanitarian” when the heart of my work, my cause, my family, my life is Jesus Christ.

How does that happen? Who is Jesus really? In the Bible, the book of John (especially the first 8 chapters) gives us the clearest insight on who Jesus said he was–not what tv programs say, or word on the street–who Jesus himself claimed to be. Check it out using the “YouVersion” App on your mobile device.

Or maybe you’ve heard, read or seen something of Jesus and Christians and thought, “How do I get that?” I wanted to make sure you could find the basic place to start here on my blog. To me, becoming a follower of Jesus is where true life begins. I didn’t make these directions up or even write a version of it. These are word-for-word from the back page bulletin of my old church in Maryland (which I highly recommend if you’re ever in the Washington D.C. area).

HOW TO BECOME A FOLLOWER OF JESUS:

Embrace the reality of God’s personal love for you. Faith begins in love: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16; “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” – Jeremiah 31:3b

Admit that you’ve sinned and fallen short of God. Freedom begins with truth: “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23; “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” – Proverbs 14:12

Believe that Jesus is God’s solution to your sin. Heaven begins with forgiveness: “All the prophets say the same thing about him–that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” – Acts 10:43; “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home in him.” – John 14:23

Commit your life to Jesus–give him complete control! A new life begins with willingness to act on the truth: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” – Revelation 3:20; “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here is a suggested prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I need You; please forgive me. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and for giving me eternal life! Please take control of my life and make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen.”

If you prayed this prayer and would like to talk with someone about the next steps…..

Since you are not at my old church right now, the next steps they wrote won’t make sense. Finding a group of believers to grow with and Biblical teachers to learn from is a next step, but even before that, connect with God through His word beginning with the book of John. And talk to Him about anything and everything–hopes, doubts, dreams, directions. Once you’ve asked Jesus in to your life, your heart is the wireless device connecting your mind and soul to the God of the Universe 24/7.

I pray God’s best blessing for you. —Kristin

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2015 in Inspiration

 

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