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Why a blog from me, someone who has never been a writer, someone who has never been articulate or had a solid grasp of the grammar world. Because God told me to write. Several years ago a life storm invaded my family. God kept telling me to write it all down. I argued, but He would not let up. This went on every day for a couple of weeks until one day out of frustration, (I'd like to say it was out of obedience), I picked up a pen and paper and wrote for 7 hours straight! Do you think maybe I needed therapy and God knew it?

I've been writing ever since and have learned to love it! I started out sharing my stories with friends and family. I've now been published in a Nashville church paper, Our Daily Journey (a devotional site of RBC Ministries), PCCWeb Daily Devotional, Ruby for Women Ezine Magazine, and I am a contributor in the book Alabaster Jars, Life in Abundance Collection 2.

Why Ponderings? During this life storm, God led me to a pond in the woods behind my home. There He met me each time, teaching new lessons, reminding me of old ones, showing His presence and allowing me to feel His love through the surroundings of that pond. I found myself returning over and over to ponder, pray and praise. A healing of my heart took place and out of the experience came my first book, Ponderings From the Pond, then a second book, Ponderings From My Porch, and now a third book is in the works along with a memoir about my storm.

Why am I making myself so vulnerable? Because God has done so much that I cannot keep quiet. I have to share. Jesus's last words to his desciples were, "Go,tell." We are his disciples too and this is just one of my ways of telling.

I'm no scholar but I have heard God's voice in my spirit, experience His love daily, and have a desire for others to experience this also. I would love to share with all who visit and I would love to hear from you. If my sharing gets just one to ponder, to be quiet with the Father, to see and hear from Him or to be reminded of something from Him, then this is worth my vulnerability.

As you visit me, sometimes we will be at the pond, sometimes we will move to the front porch, and sometimes we will just be here, there, and yonder. Thank you for coming and please feel free to come back anytime, you are always welcome here.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

*****EXCITING NEWS*****

My first book, Ya Know What I'm Say'n, has been released.


Ponderings

Ponderings

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Answered Prayer

Two winters ago, God laid on my heart to start a blanket ministry for the homeless in our community.  I did.  About 300 blankets were collected and given out.  I was shy and pretty quiet that first year with the homeless.  Then the second winter rolled around and my husband came on board.  The collection of blankets doubled.  The homeless seemed to come out of the woodworks.  God seemed to be filling me with a boldness that led me to stop and look each one in the eye, to reach out and touch, to really listen when they spoke, and the boldness to share about God and His love.

Many people when they see a homeless person quickly look away, change directions or avoid all together where they might be.  Oh, how sad for the ones walking away!

I’ve come to discover there are precious souls in these bodies that may not always look beautiful on the outside but I’m realizing beauty is not always immediately visible.  Sometimes we have to slow down and make the effort and look and then the beauty arrives.  And the beauty can be different in each person.


After meeting and talking with many homeless individuals the second winter of the blanket ministry, I realized these precious people needed to be given a voice, their stories, I believed, needed to be told.  Every night I would go to bed and they would be on my mind.  Questions kept running through my mind that I would like to ask them and I just wanted to sit and listen to them talk about their lives, hopes, dreams, whatever they wanted to say about their life.  I wanted to write their stories.  But I did not want to do this for the wrong reason, so I started to pray, asking God if this desire was from Him or just me.  For six months I prayed this prayer, not getting any kind of confirmation, just silence.  At the end of six months, I went to bed this past Friday night and sort of prayed out of frustration, kinda begging God to let me know if this was from Him or not…do I pursue this idea or forget about it. 

The very next evening, my husband was to meet his photography club members downtown on the square to practice shooting the cameras.  My husband Keith, arrived downtown an hour early, so sat down on a bench with his camera and began shooting.  Just a little ways over was another bench with a man sitting there watching Keith.  He called my husband over and said, “I see you’re a photographer, have you ever taken pictures of the homeless.”  Keith laughed and said, “As a matter of fact I have.”  He proceeded to tell this man about our blanket ministry and documenting it with pictures.  Then this man proceeded to tell Keith that there were a lot of homeless in our town, and they all had stories, and someone needed to write their stories.  Again, Keith laughed and replied with, “Well, let me tell you about my wife.”  The man, Greg, said to bring me on down, he would tell me his story, that maybe it could help someone.  So they made a date for us to get together the following Saturday, a week later, at 5:00 pm.

This could only be from God and I now believe I have my answer.  Isn’t it just like God to answer by planting a homeless man on the bench and my husband down on the other bench at the same time, with no one else around; a homeless man who wanted his picture taken and said “someone needs to write our stories down”.  Could an answer be any clearer? 

A quote from Max Lucado, In The Grip Of Grace:

“All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other” John 13:35.  “Could it be that unity is the key to reaching the world for Christ?. . .If unity matters to God, then shouldn’t unity matter to us? . . No where, by the way, are we told to build unity.  We are told simply to keep unity. . .How de we do that?. . .Does that mean we compromise our convictions? No, but it does mean we look long and hard at the attitudes we carry.”


When I first read this, I felt the unity Max was talking about was within the church.  Upon further pondering, I thought how we need unity within our community.  I realize not everyone will befriend and be convicted to work with the homeless, but I hope these coming stories will make us look long and hard at the attitudes we carry regarding certain groups of people and if these attitudes are not Christ-like, we would make the effort to change, so that everyone we come into contact with will know we are His followers by the Christ-like love within us.  And even if we never come into contact with certain people, our hearts will be more at rest and peace with those Christ-like attitudes and to know that we are pleasing to the Father with a heart more in tune with Him.

As you listen to these voices, in God's timing, I pray you will begin to see and feel the beauty in their souls, souls created by God, souls loved by God, souls that God sent His Son to die on the cross and sacrifice for these souls just as He did for you and me.  Some of these souls have made mistakes, just like you and me, may still be making mistakes, just like you and me, but need grace, just like you and me. They need to be shown and given love just like you and me.


I’m so excited to meet Greg next Saturday and listen to his story.  Please pray that God would lead this conversation, that the Lord would lead me to speak when I need to, what to say, what to ask, and when to be still and just listen.  Please pray His blessings on our time and that this could be made into a story and shared however God chooses.  And please say a prayer for Greg. . .he has cancer.


14 comments:

Cora said...

Oh, Kristin!!!!! You MUST know that I have shivers just running up and down my spine right now. I want so badly to come with you Saturday. I will be praying as you begin this journey, and I will definitely be praying for Greg. Will you tell him that for me?

The Lord has been preparing you for this for a while, I know, and your heart is ready to start writing. I can't tell you how thrilled I am that you are taking this next step in writing down what must be told!!!!! Looking forward to great and mighty things!!!

Kristin Bridgman said...

Thank you Cora, as ususal, you make me smile:)
And yes, I will tell Greg that you are praying for him!

Christine said...

What a wonderful ministry you have going on. Thank you for hearing their stories.

Lisa said...

How exciting! It is so neat to see how God answers prayers so specifically sometimes! May He bless you as you embark on this new journey.

Reformed rebel said...

Wow Kristin...this is just God that had me see your post tonight. For months now I have been feeling that the Lord was speaking to me about starting a ministry with the homeless where I live. In the last couple of weeks it is really starting to burn deep within my soul. I'm not sure how to go about it, or exactly what the Lord wants me to do with this. But now...I KNOW...I am supposed to. I will be praying for you and for Greg. Maybe we could somehow "talk" and I could find out more of how you got started.

God bless you,
Chelle

strengthrenewed said...

I love to hear how God specifically let's people know His plans after praying and struggling about when and if we should do something. I think all that waiting and praying is His way of preparing us for the journey! Thanks for sharing.

Lisa Maria said...

Kristin, what a precious heart you have! I pray that God will bless this new ministry of yours and I pray that He will use you to bring so many of His lost sheep to the green pastures.

I will, of course, be praying for you and Keith and the people you will meet. God bless you and give you all that you need for this extraordinary journey.

Love & Blessings

My daily walk in His grace! said...

Hi Kristin, As I read your blog you can see how God is putting all these thing together. I am sure this will be a blessed project and when God is involved - everyone wins!
God bless and I'm adding Greg and your project to my prayer list.
Tracy

Debra said...

This truly was an answered prayer Kristin; and what a fruitful ministry you have with the homeless. Greg couldn’t have been a clearer answer to your specific prayer. And I’m with you on the vision of unity. I’m praying that God will lead the conversation with Greg next Saturday, and look forward to hearing how it went.

When I was directing the children’s choir at St. Timothy’s, we met on Sunday afternoons to practice. It was nothing unusual to look out the back kitchen window and see one of the homeless rummaging through the dumpster for scraps of food thrown out after the Sunday morning prayer breakfast. But: the doors remained locked at all times.

Some of these folks pushed grocery carts (from the nearby Piggly Wiggly) around with all of their belongings stuffed inside. One winter evening near nightfall I noticed a homeless man named Kenny sitting under the breezeway. (Yeah, we knew most of these people by name).

He had plugged a crock pot into an outdoor electrical outlet. Also connected to the extension cord was a percolator. Kenny was apparently preparing his evening meal. I told the children to sit tight and open the door for me when I returned - since the door locked automatically from behind upon exit.


As I approached Kenny I asked, “What’s for dinner?” He opened the crock pot lid to show me the tomato soup now simmering. Where, I wanted to know, had he gotten his “kitchen.” He told me that Goodwill had a surplus of crock pots and percolators, and they offered these to him for free. Here he was, luxuriating under the church breezeway with coffee and soup to warm and feed him on a chilly night.

Healing Morning said...

Kristin, I look forward to hearing about your meeting next week with Greg. I am adding his name to several prayer lists where I am involved. Lifting him up in healing energy, prayer and Light is one small thing many of us can do quite easily. It will be fascinating to see where this journey leads all of you as you come together.

Namaste',

Dawn

Stacie said...

Kristin, this post was so heartfelt. A blanket ministry is such a blessing to the homeless and then to know that God wants to use you to give them a voice--what an awesome way to serve our God!

Denise said...

What a wonderful opportunity for you Kristin! I too, have a passion for the homeless in our area and have been praying for a way to reach out to them. I always try to stop and remember that God's character goes into the creation of every person; He created in us a unique individual as it pleased Him! :)
God Bless you; You will be in my prayers. :)
Denise

Warren Baldwin said...

Amazing story/post. The church has to get outside of itself to see what God sees - people need ministry, the Word, and God's presence. Tending to the needs of the homeless does all that. Wonderful story. And, I said a prayer for Greg. wb

Craig said...

Kristin, the "sleep thing" that I sometimes reveal on my blogs – how normal sleep is beyond my reach, and has been for 15 years – it led to a period of homelessness – so I was one of those of which you write. I made sure never to look homeless – I had a membership to a gym for 20 bucks a month, so showered and shaved and groomed daily, and I got the routine down, so nobody ever suspected that I was homeless – but being homeless I recognized the signs of it all around me – and I found out that there were a lot of homeless that were doing is I did – trying not to look homeless – but as one who was I could see them. I have prayed for your interview, and I feel led to say this, be careful, homeless people are unpredictable – some are normal people with beyond normal circumstances driving them to where they are – some are mentally ill, and that drives them to where they are, and being homeless only deepens the illness. God bless you for your heart. God bless you for your writing. Thank you. And God bless and keep you and each and all of yours Kristin.