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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

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Not More Than My Share


One of the reasons I wanted to write the stories of the homeless was to give them a voice and then for the rest of the population to hear and to better understand who these people are. 

There is a typical stereotype towards these people and yes, it may be true for some, it’s not true for all.  And for the ones that it pertains too, I want people to take a step further past their stereotype and see why this person may be the way they are, why they are where they are, and who they are. I want us to see them through Jesus’ eyes, not our earthly eyes.

Over the last two years of our blanket ministry, I have noticed something that amazed me.  Here are people who have nothing, or VERY little.  Some are out on the park benches at night, under bridges, in storage sheds in the middle of winter.  When I offer them the blankets and sleeping bags, if they are out in the weather, I want to give them more than one blanket.  What I hear all the time is, “I don’t want to take more than my share, you give that to someone who could use it.”  I’m thinking, who could use multiple blankets more than you?!”  They are not greedy.  They only take what they can get by with.  They are not used to having more, not used to having extra.

I think about the times I used to go shopping and I would see a cute top I really liked.  I couldn’t decide whether to get the white, black, or pink one so I would just get all three.  I didn’t need all three.  To be honest, I didn’t even need the one.  I know others out there would say that if we work, have the money, we should be able to buy whatever we want.  But I pondered as I looked at my full closet, just how much was needed.  Did I need to have 8 pairs of jeans?  Did I need to have the same tops and flip-flops in every color?  I may be able to buy them, but what could I do better with the money that was spent on the things I didn’t need. I could buy food for the food pantries and how about toiletries to go with those blankets?  Maybe I could buy 5 and 10 dollar food cards from the different eating places close by the homeless and give them away at Christmas time, or just anytime and say, “This is given with the love of Jesus.” 

When I think about the homeless people’s line, “I don’t want to take more than my share”. . .I looked in my closet and thought, I have taken more than my share.  And people don’t stereotype me. . .I don’t think they do.  These people get looked down on, ignored, called names because they don’t have a home, they may drink, they may do drugs etc.  I can tell you that in some of the best of homes, these same things are going on behind closed doors.  These homeless people have no doors to hide behind.  All that these people are, are out there for the world to see.  But we just choose to ignore or to just see the surface.  I want people to see further.

I want the homeless to be helped, given good gifts in the name of Jesus, given love and kindness.  I want them to know and feel God’s forgiveness and feel His love, His peace, His grace and mercy.  I want them to have more.  When it comes to the gifts I just mentioned, don’t you want more?  Do we deserve more grace and mercy and kindness and love than they do?  I don’t think so. Jesus stretched out his arms on that cross, and said “I have all this to give to you, all of me. I don’t want just my share here,  I want all of that, all of Him.  When we take all of Him, there is more than enough to give to others.  Let’s give the homeless more than what they think their share is.  It’s much, much more than they know.  Let’s tell them. Let’s show them.  You just never know how God will use that to change a life. . .and I’m not just talking about theirs.

In the process, we will receive a gift.   A gift that fills us up more than a closet full of colored tops and flip-flops.

(I realize that God will not direct everyone to minister to the homeless, he may direct you elsewhere and that is great!  I just desire for you to think and see differently in your heart about the homeless if you have had negative thoughts.  "God does not look on the outward appearance but at the heart."  How are ours looking?)


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16 comments:

Stacie said...

Beautiful, Kristin. I'm so glad at what God is doing through you to help the homeless. The reality is, they are not really "different" from us. . . they get hungry, they get sad, they have dreams or desires. . .just like any one. The reality is also that it could be anyone of us, you know? And we certainly do not derserve the Love, Grace and Mercy of God any more than anyone else. Thank you for your heart, Kristin.

Cora said...

You are so precious, Kristin? And a big NO --- I don't deserve ANY of the grace I have received. Just today, I was so moved by a lady and her two children who rode their bikes to church because they had no money for gas for the car. She has been out of work, looking franticly for ANY work anywhere in order to feed and house her children. Today, after church, I saw them on their bikes and knew in my heart they were that much closer to the streets. I have to do something. I just have to.

I sat here today, and the question popped into my head, "If I could live my life over, what would I change?" And before my eyes drifted all the wasted time and money in my life. Closets full of unworn clothing, hobbies, stuff, and more stuff, and more stuff. I agree with you, Kristin. God blesses us richly, but not for ourselves, but rather to use us as a vessel to be poured out and used in the lives of others. You have taught me so much here. And may I never be greedy and take more than MY share. I wonder, in the comparison of what most have in this world, what my share would be?

Nylse said...

i have been following your testimonies from the homeless and I am touched. when i volunteered at a homeless shelter i too noticed that attitude from many of them - in my case it was as if they didn't want my pity, and i understood that. the more i stayed and ministered that attitude went away.
its just where your heart is; some people do it to get brownie points - but i like that you are coming from a genuine sincere place; may the Lord continue to use you.

Tracy said...

Hi Kristin - God has certainly blessed you with a vision and compassion for the homeless, and then bringing their plight and lives 'alive' for us. I love how you brought this post to the point that you want more of Jesus - and we should give more than what is expected. Praying for you as you minister to these seeking people.
God bless
Tracy

Sarah said...

A delight to meet you today. i hope you don't mind if I splash around a bit to get to know you. This looks like a refreshing place to dip my toes in God;s goodness.

Be blessed bunches,
Sarah

Jedidja said...

My heart cries about this homeless people.When I read your stories I see my own homeless people. Young people with behavioral disorders, psychosis. Children who run away from homes for the mentally ill. Let us also pray for the homeless.

Jennie Morgan said...

I love this blog, Kris! You are changing people's perceptions of the homeless all the while making such a huge difference in the very lives of the homeless. I still stand absolutely amazed at how God has worked in and through you since you read that book! Who would have ever known that through reading it, a new mission would be born in and through you! Oh yeah.......GOD knew!!! :)

Jen said...

This is such a passionate piece you have written. You continue to inspire that which God has started growing in my heart -- to live a life unattached to things -- to not hoard, but to give away, freely.

Your point about the homeless having no doors behind which to hide is so true - we have no room to judge.

Connie@raise your eyes said...

Kristin,
This is dear to my heart also. One of my sons is a lawyer for the homeless who come to Seattle Union Gospel Mission. He tells heartbreaking stories of men and women.

We all can do something...

Shellye said...

You're right; we can all do something. Just reading your stories inspires me to find new ways to help a friend who is passionately ministering to the homeless people in So. Dallas just as you are doing in KY.

I think one of the most profound things you are doing through your stories is that you are showing the homeless to be thoughtful, intelligent and caring people who are hurting, yet, despite their pain, still want to share with others and not 'take more than their share'.

Keep at it, girl! You bless us more than we can ever express in a blog comment! :-)

HopeUnbroken said...

so many great things to contemplate here. thanks for taking the time to put it in words and share it.

Laura said...

Visiting from the sisterhood. I love this post and how you are putting your faith into action. It made me think about what more I can be doing.

Reformed rebel said...

Hi Kristin~You are so right about having things just because we can. We could all take a lesson from those that are homeless and have learned to get by with their share. They are blessed to have you!
Blessings...Chelle

Kristin Bridgman said...

You ladies make blogging such a joy! Thank you for your sweet comments. I'm so glad you are learning and pondering here with me. YOU all are a blessing!

Lisa Maria said...

Seeing the work you are doing Kris.. I know my own perspective of homeless people have changed. I am more aware than ever when I see them on the street as I drive by.

Not everyone can do what you have a passion for, but you are inspiring me to do more and give more.. wherever and however I can.

God bless you my friend!

Love & Hugs

Jenn said...

So true! So many of us have more than we need of material items and still we want more! Inspiring thoughts in this post!