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F is for Floodgates #AprilA2ZChallenge

Only a year into our marriage Ryan and I were $60,000 in debt. His car, my student loans, our credit cards. I was watching those credit card balances go higher each month instead of going down and grew very concerned. See, money was the only thing I could remember my parents ever fighting about…at least in front of us kids. I didn’t want that for my marriage, but I didn’t know what to do either.

I prayed, crying out, asking God for help. He answered by bringing a Christian radio program to my attention. I was sitting in traffic outside Fort Bragg, North Carolina when I heard the one-minute Money Matters show and knew that I would find what we needed to get this growing debt problem under control.

You can imagine me going to Ryan with the “great” news that we were going to become debt free and the way to start was to give a tithe,10% of our income, to God each week.

“What?” he said. “You’re telling me we already can’t meet our bills and that giving 10% to church is going to help somehow?”

“Yeah.”

Ryan said, “Okay,” and we’ve never looked back.

I didn’t have to tell Ryan the Bible verse about this, but we began learning together. I told him this was the only issue about which the Bible says to “Test” God and see what He will do, that He fulfills His promises.

Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. Test me in this way,” says the LORD of Armies. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure. (Malachi 3:10 CSB)

Who doesn’t want the floodgates of heaven opened for them, pouring out blessing? Of course the “blessing” of God doesn’t mean He’s going to rain money down on you…or men. The awesome thing is He knows what the best gifts are for you, individually, as a couple, as a family.

We tithed. We began following a budget. We learned and applied the principles for handling money that are in the Bible. And in four years we paid off that last credit card. Another four years after that we had the savings to do an international adoption and bring our first children home from Ethiopia. At the same time, we saved and switched to used cars, so we have never had a car payment again.

Did you know when the military moves you overseas, God can provide you with a BMW? He did for us. We got a $500 beater (i.e. old, been-around-the-block vehicle). One time I remember heading to the grocery because we were bringing a large dish to some get together and I needed BBQ sauce. When I got there I found the BBQ sauce on sale for $.25 each. I think I bought eight. There were so many times I went to stores with my lists and found the very things I needed on sale. I wish I had written down every time this happened. A few times you might write it up to coincidence. But over and over and over. That’s not happenstance or Chaos Theory. That’s our God, coming through for our family. Coming through on this one promise with a mighty hand just as He comes through on all of His promises.

My heart soars into song.

–Kristin

Find more AtoZ Blogs and search them by topic for what interests you at the A to Z Blog Challenge.

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Kristin King began her study of the financial principles in the Bible during tight times and has never stopped learning and teaching. She recommends joining the Crown.org newsletter for uplifting testimonies, solid teaching and applications. Kristin is also available for speaking engagements about this, women on mission, and Future Hope Africa project. Message her on Facebook at Kristin F. Chaudoin King for more information.

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Posted by on April 7, 2018 in A to Z Blog

 

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The Bible Says What?!? (About Your Money) A of #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ Blog challenge 2018

 

A is All Belongs to God

All belongs to God? So the Bible actually says that? Gee, that just seems kind of greedy. Right? The All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Everywhere-Present at once God owns everything as well?

Yeah. The Bible says that. In several places and several ways (24 Verses Page). Here are a few verses:

“Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.” Deut. 10:14 [i.e. Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 10, *verse 14]

The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. (Psalm 24:1) [Old Testament]

‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the LORD of hosts. [Haggai 2:8]

“Everything belongs to God, and all things were created by his power. [This is the wording from the Contemporary English Version of the New Testament book of Hebrews Chapter 2, *verse 10.]

Maybe you look at the complexity of the world and think the theory of Intelligent Design makes sense. Or if you believe in a creator god or gods, or you believe in one Creator God, then you tend to acknowledge the making of all the stuff, the matter, right down to elements and atoms. A factory might produce cars, smart phones, and clothes, but we own it now. Don’t we?

Not according to the Bible. From the first, we are told that God gave us the whole of creation not for us to be owners but to be stewards (aka those who take care of something for the owner). We are supposed to manage matter. Do we create? Sure we do! Unlike any other creature on earth, we were made in the image of God (On the last day of creation, God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” Genesis 1:26). I like to tell writers and artists that because we are made in the image of a Creator, we create. I think creativity feeds our soul in a way. But I digress. Managers is what we are, not owners. (That includes the Earth’s resources!)

God still owns it all. This is the number 1 Biblical Principle of Finance. When I teach money matters from the Bible, I either bring some items of my own or have volunteers from the listeners illustrate how central this is to the lives of those seeking not only better ways, but the best.

“Who owns this checkbook?” I held mine up.
Students in Maryland replied, “God does.”
“How am I using God’s money?”

“Who owns this credit card?”
Believers in Belgium said, “God.”
“Am I using credit the way God says to?”

I point to the volunteer’s big, shiny watch. “Who owns that watch?”
Listeners in the DR Congo shouted, “God owns it.”
“Are we managing our time for God?”

To people holding up their cell phones, I asked, “Who owns these phones?”
In Sweden church goers said, “God.”
“Are we texting and saying words that God would want said on His phone? Am I visiting websites, watching videos, and listening to music that pleases my God?”

Taking this one teaching to heart changes everything for me. I have a terribly short memory for application though. I need constant reminding. Not only about stuff.

My children belong to God too. If I’m willing, I can let go of my illusions of control. Let go of my anxiety over what is beyond me.

Peace and Freedom wait to be claimed when I give everything back to my God, my Savior, my Christ.

–Kristin

A is All Belongs to God. 26 Days of The Bible Says What?!? (About Your Money) are coming your way.

Other “A” Topics from #A2Z around the web:

Find more AtoZ Blogs by searching Twitter for these hashtags: //

 

*A verse in the Bible is like a Line Number in other documents. It helps us find specific info. related to topics of interest.

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Kristin King began her study of the financial principles in the Bible during tight times in 1999 and has never stopped learning and teaching. She recommends joining the Crown.org newsletter for uplifting testimonies, solid teaching and applications. Kristin is also available for speaking engagements as time allows. Message her on Facebook at Kristin F. Chaudoin King for more information.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2018 in A to Z Blog

 

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H is for Hidden as a Boy #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

Working on 2nd edition cover of My Years Hidden As a Boy

Working on 2nd edition cover of My Years Hidden As a Boy

The why for Irene posing as a boy for 3 years is fairly obvious after F is for Fear of Rape. What about the how? In the post war Russian occupied area where she lived, how does one pull that off?

For me, I’m always asking myself how does a second book in a series out sell the first twice over? What seems to do it is the title of Irene’s 2nd memoir, My Years Hidden as a Boy. Of course, I encourage anyone interested to get all three of her memoirs together in one volume, Survive Little Buddy.

The following excerpt spans Book 1 and Book 2. Irene’s story in her own words (Edited for space. All rights reserved.):

A refugee family with eight daughters, fleeing from Latvia, stopped in Euba and was assigned living quarters….When I mingled with these people, I realized how shabby my clothes had become compared to the pretty dresses worn by the refugee girls. Of course they were able to brin things with them. We had lost everything in the fire. There was absolutely no clothing of any kind for sale in the remaining stores.

The mayor decided to take the only existing, broken down truck Euba had and try to drive to a uniform factory in Chemnitz. This was the only hope that we had to get something warm to wear….He asked a few of us from Chemnitz along, since we were familiar with the location of the factory. [Diving bombing adventure follows]

….I was given more than one whole outfit, black coats, and felt boots, enough clothing for everyone in our family….From that time on, I wore the black uniform with no military rankings, shirts and everything else. [My World War 2 Childhood excerpt, Book 1 of The Iron Curtain Memoirs]

….One day Mama said, “Irene, with your slight build you look more like a boy than a girl in those black SS trousers and your felt boots.”

I laughed. “Maybe I should get a man’s haircut.”

“Not a man’s cut, but with a shorter cut and that cap pulled down, you’d look more like a 14-year-old-boy than a 16-year-old girl.”

“I’d feel a lot safer from the Russian soldiers if they thought I was a boy.”

"Refugees Crowding Trains" Visit War History Online for this and other images.

“Refugees Crowding Trains”
Visit War History Online for this and other images.

Thus I assumed the disguise of a boy. Mama cut my hair shorter and I kept part of it hanging over my forehead. The poorly fitted black pants and shirt, along with the oversized boots, made it possible….I often made it a point to have a runny nose to further my disguise. This pretense as a boy was to serve me well for a few years.

….Since few women went out during evening hours or at night because of the danger of rape, my boy disguise gave me some protection and much greater freedom to move about. With Krista in the role as my sister she was not bothered by the Russians. We became skilled at bartering as we roamed the countryside and the railroad stations looking for food. We traded some of the Meissen porcelain figures that Grandma had given us for food. Of course Meissen figurines were valuable antiques, but hunger hurts. We bartered everything away. [Excerpt from My Years Hidden As a Boy, Book 2 of The Iron Curtain Memoirs]

Irene’s bartering took her further afield. West Germany had so many more supplies, and her heroic border crossings brought the necessities for he family to survive. She traveled with her younger brother’s identity papers, an option many others did not have and which aided her ruse. Encounters with Russian patrols, frequent train searches, and other heroic adventures were Irene’s as she struggled to provide for her family.

Would you like to meet Irene, the woman herself? Stay tuned then for your face-to-face via videos.

I is for Interviews with Irene.

Meanwhile a big shout out to these fellow AtoZers:

Check out Amish Humor at A Joyful Chaos.

Enjoy a hot cup of Kaapi while reading Lata Sunil’s story from India.

Drop by Miss Andi’s unconventional music blog.

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Kristin King is an NGO co-founder, author, publisher, and finished this post while on the sidelines of her younger sons’ soccer practice. In her living room you will find a Meissen collectible, a miniature cup and saucer, given to Kristin by Irene. Another small treasure among the many Irene’s given.

 

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2016 in Memoirs & History

 

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C is for Crazy Kids (#AtoZChallege Historical Treasure) @AprilA2Z

(All April you’ll find A to Z Historical Treasures here)

Photo Credit to Life.com

Photo Credit to Life.com

I’m all too aware of what crazy activities children get up to when adults aren’t aware. In mild cases, our four sons may show us video afterwards of what they did. Other times we may end up taking yet another ride to the E.R (It usually IS broken). Some stories they won’t tell till they are adults. Of course, we all think we’re invincible till a certain age or incident forces us to face reality.

Irene was no different–except she lived during World War 2, a time that offered decidedly different risks. Excerpted from Before the Iron Curtain: My World War 2 Childhood when Irene was 12 years old:

By 1941, two air raids were coming each night and at least one by day. Familiar places became heaps of rubble.

Hannelore’s parents had a bookstore where most of the parents bought their children’s school books. Hannelore was my age and we occasionally did our homework for school together. I was at her house one afternoon when an air raid started. Being alone in the apartment, we decided not to let the house warden know we were there when he struck alarms. From the window we watched the planes passed over our building and we tried to count them. They were heading toward the ammunition factories further south of the city. We saw them dropping their bombs, already some overhead, and heard the whistling sound as they were carried by the air to their destination. We heard many close and distant explosions that rocked the building. Smoke and flames boiled up into the sky. Then still another wave of planes came, their wings glistened in the warm afternoon sun.

“They’re coming toward us!” we both screamed. Our faces turned white, we crouched down, sure that we would be bombed. Then the sound of the motors diminished and we knew they were flying away. The bombs whistled through the air before they exploded on the steel mills. Shaken and frightened we waited out the alarm. We never disobeyed an air alert again.

Irene's World War 2 Childhood, (teen)Years Hidden As a Boy, and Escape to Freedom (East to West Berlin)

Irene’s World War 2 Childhood, (teen)Years Hidden As a Boy, and Escape to Freedom (East to West Berlin)

Crazy Kids alright. Irene heeded the call of the air raid signals after that, but tomorrow (D is for Dreams) she recounts another adventure where she talked her way past guards into an area restricted by the Nazis.

Till then…

Shout out to these fellow AtoZer’s:

www.fictionzeal.com

http://marthareynoldswrites.com

http://pluckingofmyheartstrings.com

https://sukanyaramanujan.wordpress.com

 

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Kristin King is author, publisher, speaker, mom, dog lover, military spouse, and NGO president. She has never stayed outside during a bombing but did as an adult confess other things to her parents. Irene is her hero.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2016 in Memoirs & History

 

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A is for Anne and Irene in World War 2

April is the A to Z Blog Challenge – 26 posts in one month. My theme this year is Historical Treasure.

You know Anne. Now meet Irene.

Anne-Frank-300x220

Image Copyright AP

Irene 6 years old headshot

Image Copyright Three Kings Publishing

In 1929 two girls who later wrote about World War 2 were born in Germany, they were Anne Frank and Irene Kucholick. Anne’s dream was to become a famous writer. Irene’s dream was to become a nurse. Both their dreams were achieved in unexpected ways. Both of their lives were changed in profound ways by the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party in their native homeland. Both were oppressed because they were not pure Aryans: Anne was Jewish and Irene was half Polish.

Anne is world famous. Irene is virtually unknown. However they both wrote about a time in history that should not be forgotten or brushed under the rug. People tend to forget that Anne was a German Jew. People tend to forget that the first people Hitler oppressed were his own.

Anne’s family fled Germany and still ended up living under Nazi rule in The Netherlands, where she began her writing career in earnest at the age of 13 while in hiding. Irene’s family stayed in what became East Germany, where she began her nurse training at the age of 14.

anne frank quote about writingThough Anne did not live to see it, she is one of the most famous writers of WW2 and one of the most famous holocaust victims. Anne died in 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp just weeks before the camp was liberated. In her diaries she said, “I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” 

Irene’s sorrows lived on, haunting her years later. She suffered from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) until she began writing about her life and experiences, exorcising the grip of the past from her present. On Saturday, June 20th 1942, Anne said, “I feel like writing, and I have an even greater need to get all kinds of things off my chest.”

Irene had the same need.

Before the Iron Curtain: My World War 2 Childhood

Before the Iron Curtain: My World War 2 Childhood Memoirs by Irene Kucholick

Anne and Irene’s books are historical treasure troves. Where Anne’s writings end on August 1, 1944, Irene’s writing goes on describing daily life and survival through end of the war, through her 3 years hiding from Soviets as a boy, through her young adult nursing career on the dark side of the Iron Curtain, and through the actions leading to her spy accusations that sent her fleeing across the border from East to West Berlin in 1953.

Irene lives to this day.

Read her story.

Send your questions in the comments.

Living history of those times is getting harder to find.

Follow along this month as we dive into this treasure trove with excerpts and commentary from A to Z.

(Coming Soon…B is for Bolsheviks)

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Kristin King is one of Irene Kucholick’s biggest fans and  the unexpected publisher of her memoirs. Kristin is currently working on a recording of Irene’s story for audiobook release. She hopes to visit Irene and hold a book signing in Maryland Thanksgiving 2017.

 

 

 
 

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B is for Bolsheviks (A to Z Historical Treasure)

April is the A to Z Blog Challenge – 26 posts in one month. My theme this year is Historical Treasure.

Publishers get to do things like update cover designs. This mockup might be on the 2nd edition of Irene's first book.

Publishers get to do things like update cover designs. This mock-up might be on the 2nd edition of Irene’s first book. Need to work in a swastika or other Nazi symbol.

Publisher.

Not a title I expected to have. Even after sending my husband’s first novel and my own into the world, I did not expect to work on getting others’ books into the hands of readers.

Then came Irene. Her complete manuscript came into my hands at church on a Sunday night. It was obviously photocopied from a typed original. Having never been a huge fan of biographies and history, I nonetheless agreed to look it over. Almost from page one I knew I was holding a historical treasure.

Here is an excerpt (copyright 1996 by Irene L. Emmerich Kucholick):

Around the time of my birth in 1929, in the industrial city of Chemnitz, Bolshevism had established itself in Russia. The Nazi party catapulted into power, teetering Europe on the brink of great turmoil.

My father, fluent in many languages, worked as a foreign correspondent for industrial firms. During evening hours refugees from Russia–members of the old white Russian nobility (anti red) crowded into his study to learn the German language. His attraction to a Russian countess and subsequent unfaithfulness to my mother caused her to leave him while she was pregnant with me, her first child. She later divorced my father.

….After dinner, strange people in elegant clothes began to arrive. Father took them immediately into his study. They spoke harsh-sounding words I could not understand.

“Russian,” Father told me.

When they took off their coats, I saw fashionable dresses of fine wool. They wore jewelry and I saw large rings reflecting bright colored lights from moving hands. Long earrings and necklaces held brilliant jewels.

“This is the wealth they brought from Russia,” Father said, “and they keep much of it on them. They are slow to trust others.” When the men removed their coats, I noticed medals of rank and honor, awarded by the Czar.

From this point forward, Irene’s memoirs had me. My fascination with the story of Anastasia, much encouraged by the 1970’s movie with Amy Irving as the supposedly still surviving Russian princess, and with the fate of the Tzar’s family prior to World War 2 urged me on.

3 Memoirs in 1: World War 2 Childhood, Years Hidden As a Boy, and Journey to Freedom (East to West Berlin)

3 Memoirs in 1: World War 2 Childhood, Years Hidden As a Boy, and Escape to Freedom (East to West Berlin)

Story after story of Irene’s young life in tumultuous times played out as I read straight through her childhood and young adult life in three days. History came alive for me in a way it never had before. Irene’s straight forward accounts, written without emotionally charged embellishments, brought the era closer home to me than had my visits to historical sights such as the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the Dachau contraction camp, and the battle fields of Bastogne.

“We have to publish this,” I told my husband. And we did.

I’ve gotten to know Irene who is one of my heroes. Getting her story into the hands of readers became a labor love from the days of transferring typed pages into digital format via three softwares to the audio recordings I am making this month.

This is the historical treasure for you to catch glimpses of throughout the A to Z Blog Challenge this month. What episode of history fascinates you? Do you have a question for Irene? Tell us in the comments.

(Next up: C is for Crazy Kids (World War 2)

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Kristin King is a publisher with Three Kings Publishing, but she does not accept manuscripts for review…normally. Three Kings Publishing is a mom and pop publisher of Christian writers, not necessarily Christian books.

 
 

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A is for American in Congo

In a lone tree I see a continent, a people, a child springing up with joy.

In a lone tree I see a continent, a people, a child springing up with joy

(The A to Z Blog Challenge: Back to Africa)

How does your heart become attached to a place so far away? How do you lose your heart?

For me it was bit by bit and then all at once. As a child, I loved all things furry, and most anything on four legs. Africa and Australia were frequently in my thoughts, so distant and exotic. As a youth I learned about peoples and cultures, fascinating and far-flung. I did not know I was being wooed “little by little, part by part.”

Then as an adult, I met people who became my friends, the one who is my soul-sister, and I learned about the plight of a place so removed and so worth the effort. My heart went before I did, and then we landed together in lush beauty, crushing struggle. Every where I saw hope, courage, compassion.

An American in Congo is me. So I’ll write about it A to Z.

One life makes a difference. One child learning. One youth with a vision. One person like me who never imagined they would start a nonprofit, be president of anything after failing to make the student council in High School.

Here I am and to Africa I go, Back to Africa, because Future Hope Africa is not just a nonprofit. It is touching lives right now,

changing what can be,

raising a banner today to build tomorrow.

This I pray.

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Kristin King is an author, publisher and co-founder of Future Hope Africa, an educational mission located in East Congo (DRC) and dedicated to spreading hope in the name of Jesus Christ.

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