Welcome

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, January 6, 2013

Handouts

Hidden people are all over our city. . .

    on back steps of public buildings,
         in alleyways behind dumpsters,
             in the overgrown foliage right in the middle of town,
                underneathe bridges, in old, delapadated, abandoned barns,
                     in the woods behind stores we go in every day,
                         in storage sheds
                             in cars.

Some have made mistakes, some have broken brains (mental illness of some kind), many have lost self esteem and think there is no dignity left, so they try to stay invisible as much as they can.  And some of society would like for it to stay that way.  The homeless know this. Can you blame them for hiding?

But it's just not right for one of God's creation to hide, being scared, lonely, hungry, cold, feeling like there is no one in this world who cares if they breathe or not, if they eat or not, if they are loved or not.

I've been saddened to hear that a couple of ministries in our town have been negative about other ministries who are helping the poor and homeless. They claim that other than theirs, the others only give handouts where as they give handups and that these handouts are only hurting the people. And yet, the people who said this have never come to check out our ministry, they have not talked with those in charge as to what is the purpose, what is going on, what are the successes. Assumptions often lead to misunderstandings. This makes me sad.

I couldn't help but ponder their statements and I even looked up the defintion of the word.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HandoutCached - Similar
A handout is something given freely

 I then realized that maybe there was some truth to the statement of handouts.

The Blanket Ministry and Homeless Outreach do give handouts. . .of
ourselves
friendship
Christ's love
encouragement
hope
the Good News
prayers
grace
time
hugs
showing a way out
 
This ministry has drawn people out of hiding and we have heard words from them like,
 
"You all have given me hope"
 
"Thank you for not treating me like trash"
 
"Thank you for caring"
 
"I can't believe you do all this for US"
 
"Thank you so much"
 
"God bless you all"
 
These ministries were born out of a conviction from the Heavenly Father Himself. I then think how happy I am of all the ones who have contributed to these two ministries, whether that be time, money, food, staples, prayers, talents, and unconditional love
 
We go out and find and meet these people on their turf, enter into the mess of their lives and hold out our arms, hold out our hand to lift them up and show them the Savior who can lift them all the more higher, if they so choose.  They are shown a way out of the pit through different agencies, different programs, and most of all, through the love and saving grace of our Heavenly Father who reaches out with His Righteous Right Hand to lift them out the miry clay and begins to set their feet on solid ground.
 

As I see it, the Father up above also hands out His hands.
A handout?
I see nothing wrong with that at all!
 
But then, that's just me sayin'. . .
 
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I learn. Envolve me and I remember."
 
Getting involved with someone and letting them become involved in your life. . .
who knows what they will remember years from now.
 
I bet it won't be the blanket or the cup of coffee.
I'm thinking it will be the love given with the blanket and coffee because that's when one stepped into their lives. . .no matter how messy it was.

"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."
First John 3: 17-18

Are they being hurt?  Ask the ones who are not living out of their car and their tents anymore. Ask the ones not residing under the bridges anymore. Ask the ones who have jobs and a roof over their heads now.  Ask the ones who are back in church and praying again. Ask the ones who were lonely and hidden who now have friends who care.
 
If this brings them out of hiding and into their own place, into a hospital, into a church and into the arms of their Savior. . .
 
then handouts we will give.

And for the ones who retreat back, seeds were planted and God can nourish and water and grow them. The planting has to come from somewhere.

How about you?
 
You may ask,  "How"? Prayer is huge for a ministry. Please pray for all the volunteers, for all the hidden people, for all ministries to work together and encourage one another, and how God would lead you to handout however He sees fit for you.

giving freely. . .
 
 
handouts. . .

You bet!

Dear Heavenly Father,
I ask your blessings on ALL ministries that deal with the homeless, the poor, the down and out, the hidden ones.  We are not in a competition here, or we shouldn't be. One should not be labeled better than the other. One should not be talking down of another.  If we are walking in the Spirit and serving You, then all ministries should work and love the people together. May we love and serve and give in Your name only and may our ministries bring glory and honor to You, our God, our Lord, our Savior, our most Holy Father in Heaven. Forgive us when we fail you and please continue to give us a handup and a handout of your precious, grace-filled love. May we all be pleasing in Your sight.
In Jesus Name,
Amen

*Matthew 25:34-40*
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

15 comments:

Brandee Shafer said...

Keep on keeping on, dear Kristin. Hoping to worship with you on June 23.

Positively Alene said...

Always love your heart and you inspire me to keep going. Have you read the book An Invisible Thread? Just heard about it tonight -- story of how a women gave a young boy asking for money - a meal. It led to a long relationship - now he's a grown successful man! Love reading others stories of the fruit that is born. Sometimes it's discouraging as you don't get to see the fruit. Happy new year precious one!!

Kristin Bridgman said...

That's funny Alene...Brandee just asked me in an e-mail if I knew of that same book. No, I had never heard of it, but told her it sounds like my kind of story;) And yours! And. . .YOU inspire me:)

Brandee...can't wait for June 23!!!

Beth Zimmerman said...

It's so too bad, and beyond sad, when ministries judge each other. Sorry you have been subject to that!

Love your heart, my friend!

Denise said...

Praying for you, and with you.

Jedidja said...

Lets pray. I've shared this post on my facebook.

Jenifer said...

Kris, thank you for linking up at Woman to Woman!! You always encourage and inspire me!

Cora from Hidden Riches said...

My very first thought as I read of the criticism given you was, we are all just beggers telling other beggers where to find Bread! Am I not receiving a hand-out every time I sit in church? And as I read the Gospels, I never once read where Jesus required payment for His "hand-outs." And I kind of remember a statement that says ". . . even a cup of water given in my Name. . . "

Whenever our heart is right with Him, He will direct our paths as to what He wants us to do. . . no more and no less. You have inspired so many, including ME, changed our thinking, making us aware of the need, the method, the results, the after care, and it all adds up to The Love of God!

Thank you, Kristin, for your ministry and all you have given in His Name. Take the criticism, tear it apart, change or add what might be worthy, throw the rest away and continue on! His blessings are upon you!

Kristin Bridgman said...

CORA!!! I've missed you! I'm so glad you're back! Can you tell I'm excited! :)
Thank you once again for being so encouraging! I hope you're blogging again. . .I'm going to come check:)

To you other sweet ladies...thank you for being such good, faithful friends! :)
Blessings to everyone of you!

Vicky said...

Whenever a new "competitor" comes into the market for my husband (photographer and publisher) he makes a habit of asking them out to lunch. He welcomes them, and encourages them and tells them he believes there is enough for everyone to share in a piece of the pie. Synergy is created instead of competition...

I visually saw a hand reaching out when I read the word "hand out" and I saw in my mind, one human being, reaching out to another. You're right sweet friend, it isn't the hand, whether out or up that will be remembered, it will be the reaching with love that will never be forgotten!! Love and blessings to you!

Floyd said...

We have a place like that here in AZ as well. They want to be the ones to control who gets what, how much, and make all the hidden people come to them. Somehow they've lost the true heart of what this is about.

The man with no teeth blew us a genuine kiss as we were leaving just before Christmas. I'm writing a post about it. Going to where the hidden people are is what Christ did. I'm not knocking the other people trying to help, but they aren't God and can't measure the hearts of the hidden or us...

Kristin Bridgman said...

The "others" are good people with loving hearts. They are younger and I believe it is a little immaturity on their part. I know we are doing the right thing, we are where God has called us to be, and I have always been at peace about it. Just a little sad to hear the negativity.

Betty said...

Kristin...what a blessing to have the ministry God has given you. One has to developed tough skin so the firey darts of the enemy sent through other christian do not penetrate your heart and discouraged you. He is the enemy, not the other, keep it up my wise sister, you are pushing back the darkness. blessings.

Kristin Bridgman said...

I have never been one to have "tough skin" but being in this ministry, it develops real fast!
Thank you so much Betty, for your encouragement.

Lisa Maria said...

Sweet friend...you and the others in this ministry are the hands of Christ in this world. How sad He must be to see those who will not understand. His own ministry, short as it was, was based on 'handouts' too.

Praying for you and all involved. God's blessings be with you all.

Love & Hugs!