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


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



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Don't Wait For the Big Fish

*NOTE:  If someone thinks they recognize themselves in this post, please know that I love you and I understand that if you have not gotten to know "the least of these" as I have, if you have not befriended the ones I have, I can understand where you are coming from, but my heart's desire is to show that these people are ones Christ loves and died on the cross for just as He did for you and me.  They just may either do not know or understand this yet, or their timing to this realization is different than ours because their lives and circumstances are different from ours. The purpose of my homeless stories is to change the general public's perception of them, looking past the obvious and seeing them through the eyes of Jesus.  Jesus has allowed me this priveledge and I have seen in their eyes what many miss because they do not get close enough.  These people have blessed me and my eyes have opened wider and my heart more open and I feel I have an even more understanding of what unconditional love really is.
That is a gift I want to share *

The longer I am in the Blanket Ministry, the more negative comments I hear about this population of homeless from the general public and ones carrying their bibles.  One such conversation came up about how the homeless are now getting free cell phones with free minutes. The group seemed horrified and talking about how their tax dollars were paying for this.  They couldn’t believe these people would get free phones, almost with a “how dare they” tone and with the thoughts, “We are paying for those, while they sit there doing nothing.”  I couldn't help but bite the inside of my mouth to keep the tears from falling.

All I could think of was how these people who live with all of their needs met in abundance, seem to at times take lightly the plight of those less fortunate.  These individuals are good people, yet sometimes it seems they, like many others, have isolated themselves from a part of life that seems unfair or distant from what they are used to.  Are they REALLY being put out by the homeless being given a free phone, a small thing that helps them in a big way, some of these people not getting three meals a day, have no roof over their heads, no driveway let alone a car, no vacations, just trying to survive on the streets where people shun them? These phones allow them to make and receive calls about jobs, it allows them to talk to family they otherwise would not get to talk to.  It allows them to call places so they don’t have to walk so much in their thread bare shoes. 

The people with the Bibles would like to say, “They need to get up and get a job and pay for their own phone.”  I am always reminded of the quote, “Don’t judge until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”  Have the bible carrying people been addicted to something, do they have mental illness, are they sick with something and have medical bills they can’t pay or have they lost a job and lost everything because of it? Have they been suicidal, have they been beaten up by ones who should have cared for them, do they have self –esteem down near the 0 level, are they depressed to the point of not knowing how to move on?

I look at the bibles in their hands and I think of how it tells us to be like Christ.  What is Christ like?  Gaze into His face and you will see love, kindness, and compassion. Remember the story of Jonah?  God had compassion on the people of Nineveh and wanted Jonah to help them.  But Jonah ran.  Jonah did not have compassion on the people.  And Jonah was swallowed by a great fish.  I smiled as I thought how the negative people would react if God sent a big fish to swallow them until they became more like God, learning what He wanted them to learn. 

I become upset with these comments because I thought how self-rightous they sound, and they should know better. And then I was out in my yard one day working and pondering about this when the Lord reminded me that at one time I had a self-righteous attitude.  I didn't know I did at the time, but looking back I can see now that when my boys were young, when they were so good and obedient and happy and respectful, that when my husband and I saw other children being disrespectful and downright disobedient, being mean to their parents and other adults, with the parents acting so exasperated, my husband would always say in my presence only, "Parenting is not rocket science.  Why don't they just do this or that?" (Father, forgive us!) Sometimes life can throw you a curve ball you don't see coming.  When our nearly perfect child, who we loved and adored turned 18, he became a prodigal.  Parenting apparently has some lessons we missed out on.  Or it could be that our son's independent self will kicked in and he decided to do his own thing.

My point is there is a lesson here in self-righteousness. I believe we all have been guilty of this sin at one time or another.  So I pray I always give grace in those mouth-biting, teary eyed situations where I hear the self-righteous conversations because I know they do not realize they are being that way, just like my husband and I did not know we were being that way all those years ago.    

I was in a way, swallowed by the big fish. It took having a heart wrenching situation to make me see how I my thoughts had been towards these other parents and it gave me empathy for them. I pray that it doesn't take something big and stinky for the ones who make negative remarks about the homeless to see the error of their ways.  I pray the message of this book will help them to see what God sees and they in turn will have more empathy and understanding and compassion towards ones who live on the streets.  May we all learn the lessons God has for us. And I pray we learn without sitting in the belly of the big fish.  I pray that the hands that hold their bibles in one hand will not use their other to point fingers at groups of people, talking in disgusting tones with accusations.  I pray we use what God has given us to come up with solutions to help others, and at the very least, pray for them, and if we come into their presence to hold out our hands to them and offer them a genuine, sincere smile. . .and maybe even a sandwich.

Jesus told us to love our neighbors.  And then He was asked, “Who is our neighbor”.  Don’t just look at the people who live next door to you.  You look to your neighbors in your community, whether they be atheists, convicts, homosexuals, homeless, tattooed filled bodies, guys with pants hanging down and hoodies on their bodies. . .and yes, even the former convicted sex offender.  Everyone needs that loving smile,  everyone needs a Christ like touch, a kind word, to feel the unconditional love of Christ. They need to hear the Good News. And who better to offer this than one who has received that love in their heart.

Our Christ like love towards one of the “least of these” or any others just might be the very thing God is waiting for to use on someone to change them. . .and I’m not just talking about our “neighbor”.
Colossians 3:12-17

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  Let the work of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  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.

linking with


Vicky said...

Beautiful Kristin, and I its in perfect timing for me to be reminded of just this. Sitting in the ER Friday night and realizing so many use as a "walk in" service and they won't have to pay for it. While I have to wrestle with knowing how much I will "pay" and how it will take away from my family. Glad that I could remember they are my neighbors and brothers and sisters too... and I haven't walked a mile in their shoes. I'm grateful for all of it... Thank you for blessing me today with your timely words!

Lori Dupes said...

Beautifully said Kris! How quickly we ALL forget that God himself is the one who provides our needs. Perhaps if we truly realized that there would be no room to be negative or to complain. After all we are blessed in order to bless others, and anything we have is by his grace and mercy- not of our own doing. Many of us need this wake up call and I'm grateful it was from you, one who oozes the love of Christ, full of mercy and grace. He has given you a gift and a calling. Continue to be the beacon on the hill, shining in the darkness.

Jennie Morgan said...

Kudos on the Spirit-led disclaimer. This is such a great lesson for all of us who claim to be Christ followers. Thanks for sharing. How is the book coming along?

Kandy~ said...

Amen! Would love to share on my fb page.

Lisa notes... said...

This is a great post to remind us to not be so judgmental. I continue to have to grow in this area, but I have seen change in the past few years. The difference is in actually BEING with the homeless and the "messy" people. When we stand on the outside looking in, we're quick to judge, but when we stand beside them, we see from a different perspective.

Thanks for writing this and for being a compassionate woman.

ells said...

kris...Oh this is so good...just in the past 5-6 after going through a pain church blow-up...God in His kindness set me alone...alone with Him so He could do heart surgery...I saw arrogance that I would many never would have seen otherwise. It has softened my heart toward others...and after reading SKD.as me...and reading your blog...my eyes see other differently too. thanks for you sharing your heart...it is a blessing~

Jen Ferguson said...

Kris -- I love how you write. I love how your passion for Jesus and His people just pours out of you. I love your humility and I love how diligently you stand on the Rock. You are amazing!

lynnmosher said...

Such a beautiful reminder for us all, Kristin! Thank you! Blessings to you!

Shari said...

I agree 100%. No one knows what it's like to be a homeless individual, unless you have walked in their shoes. They have stories to tell that many could not imagine. This has been a reminder to me to pray for those that don't understand so that their eyes might be opened.

Thank you for praying for me on Sunday. That meant the world to me. Have a great week!

Kristin Bridgman said...

Thank you girls once again for all the sweet comments. I had been a little apprehensive to post this one, but after a lot of prayer, I thought it needed to be said. Thank you again each one of you for always encouraging me!

bluecottonmemory said...

Maybe that is where we need to pray for discernment, discernment to see who really needs - and when we can't see, then we need to assume the need is real.

We lived somewhere a few years ago, where seemingly broken-down/homeless people had a scam going on the interstates exits. Because we lived at that exit, we saw it daily. Even donated to it until we realized what it was.

That is why it is so necessary to have a giving heart - but to do so seeking Him in the giving - and not become jaded when the giving doesn't end up like you think it should.

BTW, an errant teen can indeed be a humbling experience! It surely expanded my heart's capacity to reach out!

Kristin Bridgman said...

I know in the bigger cities, you are probably going to run into scams, but here where I am, the homeless do not ask for anything, nothing! They just want to be treated like a real human being. And my goal is not to give "things" so much as it is to give them hope, to introduce them to the One who can change their life and I also offer my friendship to them. That is what they seem so appreciative of.