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

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Golden Ornament (Christmas is Over. . .or is it?)

As I contemplate taking down the Christmas tree and all the decorations; packing and putting away, I wonder about the New Year and what it holds in store for me. What circumstances will I be a part of, what people will come into and or leave my life, how will the Devil try to attack me this year? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not worrying, just pondering.

As I see the packing boxes in my garage waiting to be filled with Christmas, it’s always a little sad. So last year I kept one of the golden ornaments out and kept it hanging in my entry way all year. It will stay there from now on. Even though the Christmas holiday will be coming to an end, the Christmas spirit can go on forever and the glistening of this ornament is just a symbol. Again, don’t get me wrong, I never need a reminder of my Lord, He is with me always, but when those hot, humid months roll around, the feeling of Christmas, good tidings, good cheer, the giving spirit that we feel in December, sometimes, somehow gets lost by June.

I must not be the only one with these thoughts because of the quotes I found. Here are just a few. . .

“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.” Charles Dickens

“Christmas is not a time or a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” Calvin Coolidge

“Keep your Christmas heart open all the year round.” Jessica Archmint

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” Charles Dickens.

Christmas is not just a time on the calendar, but is the baby in the manger who came to save mankind. Peace and joy is not just for December but for always if we accept the one who came to offer it. As I think about the coming New Year, I look at the golden ornament with the light flickering from it and know the true light of Christmas is within me, so I look forward with anticipation and eagerness to start it, knowing that Christmas is with me always. Let’s not say farewell to good tidings, Christmas cheer, a giving spirit, peace and joy. That can be with us for 12 months, year after year.

I have seen people I know along with strangers come together in love and compassion to help the less fortunate this Christmas season. My heart leapt for joy every time I saw a new donation for the homeless and needy children. That is truly a gift; a compassion flowing forth to those who need help, need love spread all over them, need the touch of Christ from another fellow human being. May this keep going on month after month. And if I ever start to forget, may the Lord use the sparkle of light from my golden ornament to remind me of Christmas, Christ in the every day, of giving, spreading good cheer, feeling joy that only comes from Him, and peace that passes all understanding; reaching out and loving the lovables and the unlovables.

May you all have a bright and shining New Year. And don’t be surprised if you hear me say “Merry Christmas” in June.
 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Are You Ready?

I can't tell you how many times I've been asked in the last couple of weeks,  "Are you ready for Christmas?"   What they are asking is if I have all the presents bought, wrapped and under the tree, is all my grocery shopping and baking done.

But, when I close my eyes, I can hear my Lord's voice asking, "Are you ready?"  I don't believe He is wondering about wrapped gifts and food.  He wants to know, am I ready to celebrate His Son's birthday, no matter what.  Is my heart prepared?  Have I kept Him in my mind during the shopping trips, driving through traffic, going to shows?  If the yule log wasn't ready, or if I couldn't find that one particular gift, or if my loved one did not show up, would I still be ready?

One of my favorite Christmas songs is "Mary, Did You Know?"  I can just hear that unmistakable voice whispering to me,

 "Kris, do you know, that when you're in the traffic, I am with you too?
Yes Lord, I know.

"Kris, do you know when people get impatient, I will give you grace to handle all situations?"
Yes Lord, I know.

"Kris, do you know when you are missing loved ones, I am here to comfort you?"
Yes Lord, I know.

Kris, do you know when you are weary, I will sustain you?"
Yes Lord, I know.

"Kris, do you know no matter how many sweets you eat, they can't fill you up like the sweet love I have for you?"
Yes Lord, I know.

"Kris do you know that when the tree comes down and all the wrappings are thrown away, when those things rust and fall away, my gift to you will always be?"
Oh yes Lord, I know.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul.

"Kris, do you know. . .the babe in the manger grew up into a man, died and rose again and is here for all mankind?
My gift is for all but they have to be told, everyone...young and old.
The people need to feel my love
Please be my hands and feet and tell them it is from above.
Tell them I am here for them if they would but just look
Share my words with them, give them my Book.
Tell them the greatest gift is theirs, just believe
All they have to do. . .just repent and receive.
Kris, do you know?

Yes Lord, I know.

O reader. . .do you know?  Are you ready?


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Perfect Winter Bridge Outfit and Why I Wear It

What I've learned by traveling with the Blanket Ministry and standing at the bridge with the Homeless Outreach in the winter time. . .
 
To take the cold and not let it beat me and not cry, I finally learned the perfect outfit. I wear 3 layers on the bottom, 3 layers on the top with top coat over all of that.
 
Keep the head and neck covered by something thick.
 
Two pairs of wool socks inside fur lined boots.
 
Gloves. . .always gloves.
 
Before you zip, snap and button, take a bathroom break. . .even if you think you don't need to.
 
Do not drink anything before leaving.
 
Do not drink anything while out.
 
This will ensure a pleasant time with folks and you can concentrate on them and not on numb feet and how in the world will you navigate in a bathroom while out.  ;)
 
I am not a cold weather person, but six winters ago, God said to go, and so I went. I have never, never, never regretted it. I found a family, a home away from home, hearts looking to receive and my heart was needing to give. In the process, they have given to me and I have taken from them.
 
What is this taking and giving. . .unconditional love and support. When I thought I was going to give it, I found they were giving it to me. OH, and there is this other thing that is all over the bridge out there, it is beautiful, it is more grand than anything I've ever experienced, it flows from the guests to the volunteers, from the volunteers to the guests. It is what makes us not "them", not "us", but we.
 
Grace from Christ Himself. HE meets us all out there in the cold, and that is what warms the soul. The love that comes from Him is felt and is given in all directions. When a man with tear filled eyes says, "thanks for giving me Hope", when a  homeless lady gives you her gloves because she sees you don't have yours on, when she holds your hands because she is worried about you, when the bearded man comes up to you with cold breathe leaving his mouth, giving thanks and gratitude for his meal, him wanting you to eat so you will be full, when the homeless comes up and gives you a big hug and says, "thanks for coming out for us", THIS is worth the ton of clothes I put on and the boots to walk out in the cold, dark night.  I've been touched by God with rough, calloused hands and long, scratchy beards and it is all so worth it.
 
I've learned that some of the greatest lessons learned are in places you think you don't want to go to, but when you step out in obedience to the Lord, you find that place is more than you could have ever dreamt of, that where He leads, you will find Him already there.
 
I've learned that where He leads, I will follow. . .
even in a ton of clothes and fur lined boots.
 
 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

All I Want For Christmas Is . . .

. . .one goat,













Two chickens. . .


five ducks. . .


and a couple of mosquito nets. . .



After being around the homeless, reading books such as Revolution in World Missions, Radical, and Kisses from Katie, materialism has taken a back seat for me.  For the past 6 years, the Lord has been laying it on my heart to live more simply and do without all the store bought things.  I haven't shopped in a mall in a long time.  When I do go into a store and see all the pretty trinkets that I used to ooh and ahh at, now almost give me a sick feeling.  My mind goes to all the ones who don't even have enough food to eat and the thought of buying a trinket just doesn't seem right anymore.

 I'm not condeming those of you who do, please don't hear that!  It's just that the Lord has layed this on MY heart and so I feel this is how I need to and want to be now.  When my son started college seven semesters ago, my husband and I didn't have the cash for it and we did not want to take out loans that would take forever to pay back.  So we became even more frugal than we had been and somehow with the help from the Lord, we have paid the seven semesters in cash and are ready for the eighth.  Only from the Lord!!!  We learned that we could live without much, make what we did have go further, do without vacations and new things for the home and yard. 

I received a catalog from World Vision and was excited to think that this Christmas instead of gifts underneathe my tree for me, I wanted the money that would be spent on me to be spent on a goat, two chickens and some mosquito netting. 

The world's deadliest creature, the mosquito, kills nearly 800,000 people every year.  While preventing this malaria infection in inexpensive by U.S. standards, it's out of reach for poor African families who must watch helplessly as their children suffer and die.  One of the best ways to protect children from Malaria - bed nets - as well as critical education for prevention and control.

The ducks and chickens will produce hundreds of nutritious, protein-rich eggs to feed a family year round.  And both eggs and ducklings can be sold for extra income.

Dairy goat milk provides great protein to help children grow.  The family can sell surplus milk, cheese, and yogurt at the market to earn money for medicines and other necessities.  Plus, fertilizer from goats can increase the amount of vegetables grown in a family garden. 

To me, this sounds more beautiful than a pretty trinket or something for my home that would collect dust.

If you would like to consider giving in this way please go to the online website of World Vision at http://www.worldvisiongifts.org/  and see what you could give this Christmas season to a family in need.

Another wonderful place to go to shop is http://www.amazima.org/. . .you can buy beaded necklaces made by the Ugandian women and the money goes back to them so they can support their families.  With this, you do end up with something pretty around your neck or can give to a loved one.

These kind of gifts change lives. . .these kind of gifts can save lives!

And if you would like to give a gift to the homeless, instant coffee or coffee bags would be a wonderful gift, maybe along with a coffee mug. Hot chocolate and cider bags would be great. A gift card to a fast food place nearby where they can walk to. Also a great gift would be warm, wool socks.

Please pray about what God would have you do this Christmas shopping season.  Let's give a Merry Christmas to those who really need it.  The cheer will come in the giving.

words from Katie from her book Kisses From Katie. . .
"Lord.  . .help me to never be too busy or too comfortable to rememeber the people who suffer. Help me to never stop desiring to do something about it.  Lord help us to remember that as the body of Christ, this is our responsibility.  Thank you for loving us even when we forget."

May we never forget

Monday, December 1, 2014

JOY

When Jesus said "Come as a little child", I don't think this is what He meant. . .

(this picture cracks me up every time)
 
But, I do come to Him like this picture at times. And this is when I feel He lifts me up and puts me in his lap and holds me as a child, comforts me, and says, "Now, now there, it will be alright my child.
 
I've been told by very mature women at least two decades ahead of me with much more white crowning their head than my own, that they still have these moments and they still crawl up into His lap and are always comforted.
 
I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one. We all just need to cry sometimes and I want everyone to know that there is a wonderful Savior who picks us up, holds onto us and says, "Now, now there. . .come to Me and I will be with you and it will be alright.
 
It may not be perfect, but it will be alright. And when we walk hand in hand with this Savior, when He becomes our Lord, we don't just have to hold the letters of J. O. Y. We carry joy in our heart. We may still cry at times, but the joy never leaves because HE is our joy and He never leaves.
 
JOY to the world! It's there within reach. . .do you have it?  Do you know Him?
Don't just see the word. Hold it in your heart.
 
JOY to the world, the Lord has come!
 
Go to him and crawl if you have to. He will pick you up.
 
I know!

Friday, November 28, 2014

The VERY Beginning of Christmas


Have you ever wondered like me, how it was in Heaven just before Christ left to come to Earth as a babe in the manger. Max Lucado obviously has too, for he wrote a book about it called Cosmic Christmas.  Here is what the inside cover says . . .

. . .do we know the whole story?  What about the hidden happenings that might have led up to the Savior's birth?  Was the arrival of Jesus a quietly profound event?  Or could it have been the result of heavenly battles, angel armies, and a scheming Satan?  Envision a confrontation in heaven between the King of creation and the rebellious Satan.  Threats.  Challenges.  A gauntlet laid on the floor of the sky.  And then the passage from heaven to earth.  "There was a war in heaven" the Bible states in Rev. 12:7.  Angels battling Satan's armies as they transport the essence of heaven itself.

The back cover reads. . .

The two stood facing each other, God robed in light, each thread glowing.  Satan canopied in evil, the very fabric of his robe seeming to crawl.  Satan rose slowly off his haunches. Like a wary wolf, he walked a wide circle toward the desk until he stood before the volume and read the word: Immanuel.
Immanuel?  He muttered to himself.  "God with us?"  The hooded head truned squarely toward the face of the Father.  "No. Not even you would do that.  Not even you would go so far.  The plan is bizarre!  You don't know how dark I've made the Earth.  It's putrid.  It's evil, It's. . .
"It is mine," proclaimed the King.  "And I will reclaim what is mine."
"Why?" Satan asked.  "Why would you do this?"
The Father's voice was deep and soft.  "Because I love them."

Wow!  This gives me goose bumps.  And you know what I think?  Anyone out there who is wondering if they are worthy, please just let me shout a great big "Yes!"  The angels and Satan battled in Heaven for you.  God let a part of himself leave the comfort of a holy home to come to this Earth for you and for me.  Why?  Because He loves us.  Yes, you are worthy.  You are special.  You are loved.  Let's live our lives showing Him that we think He is worthy, that He is special,  that He is loved by us.

As a new month begins, let's prepare our hearts by thanking Him, our Heavenly Father, for the battle that was won on our behalf, the battle that was fought before that very first Christmas tree went up, before there were wreaths on the doors and bells ringing from the churches.

Thank you Father for loving us so!
It is going to be a Merry Christmas

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WAIT!!!

 
Before you indulge, sorry, eat that wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, ponder on this for just a minute.  Matthew 5:6 say, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.”  As good as that turkey, potatoes, and gravy will be, to be filled with righteousness is even better.
            I used to think it didn’t sound right; it wasn’t humble to say or even think, “I am righteous.”  But that was because I didn’t completely understand the word.  When I trusted in Christ 40 years ago, I exchanged my sin for His righteousness.  The bible says our sin was poured into Christ at His crucifixion and His righteousness was poured into me (us believers), at our conversion.  It was a gift I gladly and humbly accept.  I am righteous, not because of anything I have done, but all because of what Christ has done for me.  I am clothed in it.  When God sees me, He sees His Son.  He doesn’t see my sin, He sees His beloved.  How awesome is that?!  That is something truly to be so thankful for!  Now what I can say and feel good about is this…I am righteous in God’s eyes.
            Before you bite into the turkey, remember to thank Him for already filling you with His righteousness, and then go ahead and fill up on that wonderful meal.  Don’t forget to thank the cook also!

“The righteous eat to their hearts content.
Proverbs 13:25

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Bed Time Story


Once upon a time, on a glorious spring day, nine little chicks met for lunch. Eight of the nine knew each other as they had attended the same church at one time or another. The ninth little chickie only knew them through the blog they shared. How fun it was for little chickie, who had been blogging with these chickens for a year and only knew their names, to finally meet them face to face and witness each wonderful, individual personality. There was the baby chick (although already very mature and wise), the momma chicks, and some grandma chicks. All were interesting, wise, humble, funny and very much in love with the Lord. What an awesome gift to have met eight wonderful new chicks all in one day!

In this world where so much hen-pecking goes on, it was refreshing to meet these lovely chicks, who discussed favorite scriptures, songs, and good advice handed down through the years. These were not hen-pecking chicks, these were praising the Father kind of chicks. Because they were obviously mature, outstanding, wise women, this little chickie about lost her feathers when she sat at this table and also heard stories about Viagra, bras, and slurpie drinks. She laughed so hard she thought she was going to lay an egg!

There are some funny creatures out in the world who think “the believers” are boring, have no fun, and are just plain ol’ fuddy duddies. Well, they certainly have not met little chickies eight new friends…nothing boring or stodgy there!

Although little chickie had just met these chicks face to face this day, she felt loved and protected within this flock. It reminded her of someone else she knew who loves her and protects her with His wings. She read in her Bible Psalm 17:8 which says, “Hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” This verse is talking about the wings of her God, her Savior. She doesn’t think He literally has wings, but believes His all encompassing holy power and love covers her as a momma bird’s wings cover her children and protects them. This makes little chickie feel protected and loved, and feels like she will always be ok, because her God will always be there for her. And how awesome that He sends little flocks with real wings, (arms), to come around to praise with you, to hug you, and give a little piece of himself to you through those with skin on.

Little chickie observed the head chick at the table give a book titled, “Whispers of Encouragement for Moms” to their waitress. She was very good at her job, but chickie noticed she looked tired and thought she saw a sadness in her eyes. When asked if she was a mom, she replied yes, but that it can be really hard at times. She did not look joyful. Little Chickie felt for this woman and wished she had got up and given her a hug. Why didn’t she? Little chickie prayed for this waitress later, praying she would find encouragement through the book given to her, and also from our smiles and politeness to her during their lunch. And if she doesn’t know about the abundant life offered, someone would share with her. It also made little chickie realize to be more ready when opportunities arise. She was so thankful that the head chick was more on the ball!

This little chickie clucked all the way home praising and thanking her Heavenly Father for these real feathered friends. That evening as she fluffed up her feathers and settled into her nest for the night and said her prayers, she saw a yellow sticky note pad on her nightstand and cackled herself to sleep. (You had to be there)

If there is any moral to this story, it might be to step out and always be willing to make new friends. You just never know who God wants you to meet. The other is more a reminder that as long as you stay under God’s protective covering, we need never be afraid, life never need be boring, and to go out and share His love with others; especially the unbelievers. Introduce them to this Savior who saves and protects, teaches and grows and loves with a love like they have never known. Tell them about the abundant life He offers. You just might need to take them to lunch and have a cackling session. Wouldn’t it be awesome to witness a new bird entering into the flock!


OH…and if the ol’ rooster at home asks what chicks talk about over lunch, just casually mention Viagra, bras, and slurpy drinking. You’ll fall over with laughter from the puzzled look he gives you. (Who says believer chicks don’t know how to have fun?! J )
The End


This bed-time tale is dedicated to…Teresa, Ruth , Lynnmarie, Becky, Amy, Betty, Molly, and Amanda.

PS ~ I feel led here to say the Viagra story was G rated and had to do with a sweet, little girl sitting in church. She was given a sticky note pad and pen to keep her quiet and occupied in big church.  On the pen was an ad for Viagra.  She didn't know in her young mind what that was. Unbeknowst to her grandparents sitting next to her, she began to write the word on each sticky note and when everyone stood up to sing, the little girl stuck a note down on everyones seat to find.  Surprise!!!  :) 
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hope Everywhere




I love the little things! I always have but being a counter of blessings, learning to write them down after Ann Voskamp's dare. . .I seem to notice all the more. And I believe that was one of the points, to notice and give God glory for all, even the microscopic. Sometimes the microscopic actually is enormous if we just not look, but really see.

The name of my church is Living Hope. We have a non-profit organization in our town that helps the homeless and needy whose name is Hope House. I am part of a Bridge Outreach Ministry for the homeless, a place where they can come for Hope. It is a dear place in my heart.

When I began to look for a publishing company for the book I had written, I chose one in Nashville and sent my manuscript there. A couple of weeks later, I received a very nice, encouraging but none the less, a rejection letter. But I was not dejected. I had hope because I believed in what I had written. I really believed the story came from God himself and I had the privilege of writing it out. So I prayed for the next publishing company. I believe I was directed from Hope Himself to the next place. I sent my manuscript off again. Three days later, I was accepted. The word hope is in the name of my publisher.

I am not surprised. God has amused me so much through my journey into the homeless community and through this journey of writing. I had no experience in either and there have been so many mishaps and yet, success happened. I have experienced so many blessings through new friendships out on the streets, seeing and feeling grace, growing in my relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. When I thought I couldn't do something or I was scared, I always heard the whisper, "I can do it through you, I will be with you."

That is my Hope. . .Jesus. He is the  true Living Hope and it's His House I will dwell in forever because I received the gift, the gift that came into a manger and the same gift who hung on a cross.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. . .
First Peter 1:3

Hope in the stable. . .Hope on the cross. . .Hope in my heart. The four letter word may be small, but what it is, Who it is, is not. I am seeing Hope all around and not just in the names of things.

Do you see it?

If you are one who has not seen hope, felt hope, know where it is, please write me. Hope is all around. If you cannot see, I will point you in the right direction and we will pray for you to see. It would be the best Christmas present you would ever receive, a Christmas present that is not just given one day a year, but each and every day.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Sunday, November 16, 2014

$4.19 A Day. . .Could You?

WARNING!
Telling the cold, hard facts. If it sounds tough, please forgive me!
But sometimes we just need to hear. . .and to understand.




The average SNAP (known as food stamps until 2008) allocation per adult in the state of Kentucky is $4.19 a day.  Think about when you go out to lunch or dinner, how much do you spend on your meal, just for yourself.  And think about what you spend if you're paying for your family.  I know, we do it too.

But my mind goes to my friends out there on the streets.  Many of them eat because of SNAP.  Do you think they feel hunger pains?  Do you think they get to have treats like we give ourselves?  If they do have the treats, then they are not getting a good meal.  And a good meal for them would be a bologne sandwich and maybe an apple.  This doesn't sound too bad, but if that's all you got to eat, how would you feel?  Would you get cranky over time?  Would you start to feel bad physically?  Would you be prone to falling into depression?  I know I would just start to really crave a good juicy steak, potato, salad, and bread and tea after awhile.

But most people I befriend out there do not complain.  I have heard a few complaints about the food at the one shelter in town but other than that, only one complaint came from the bridge when we ran out of food and that man apologized later. He was taken care of.  I hear people who have MUCH complain about such silly things, things that do not hurt their comfort, and yet complain, complain, complain.  And then I hear ones who complain about the ones out on the street. . . "if they would just get up and get a job, they wouldn't have it so hard". . .if they would just and on and on and on.

I would like to challenge those abundant complainers to walk in the others shoes for one week and see how they feel. With no shelter, little food, feeling unloved, everything we take for granted stripped away. On top of that, imagine if you had been beaten the years you grew up by people who should have loved you, raped by men who thought only of themselves, parents who thought more about there booze than their child, or parents who didn't even care for you and left you in the foster care system, taking your chances on who got you, having to drop out of school, never graduating because your parents needed you to make money, or you needed money because they weren't taking care of you.  Your self esteem might just be stripped down to the bare bones.  If you had a sense of humor, it just might have fled. If you were considered friendly, you just might change after awhile in these conditions. They pay a pretty high cost for their upbringing.

And yet, these people are resilient.  Some have kept their sense of humor in spite of the former beatings and rapes and other abuses.  They have a toughness about them and a fighting spirit that keeps them going.  Yes, some fell into addictions.  They fell into something they thought would take them away from it all.  Most of them now, after years of this kind of abuse, have gotten away from that or are trying to. If you ask them, how do you do it, more times than not, they will tell you Jesus or point up to Him and smile.  Jesus paid the ultimate cost.  Some of them are starting to believe this. Some who believed as a child and ran away are coming back.  Some still need time. They all need love. And they all go on eating on $4.19 a day and they all still smile at me when I come around and give me hugs.

Could you live for months, years on $4.19 a day?  

Some of our workers have taken the 4.19 challenge. They multiplied 4.19 x 7 and that is all they are eating on for one week. That means they have had to cut out soda, coffee, and tea. They are eating P&J sandwiches, lots of eggs, drinking water. They have been getting headaches, cravings, and are missing the things they like to have on a daily basis. I bet after awhile, they just might get cranky. But after a week, they can go back to their regular way of eating.

Next time you go out for a meal, give thanks, and then please, pray for the homeless and hungry. And if you would like to take it a step further, please donate food to the food banks in your community.  In ours, two of those places would be HOTEL INC and Hope House. A little compassion goes a long way.

Thank you!
 
When I was hungry, you gave me food. . .
Matthew 25:35

Written by one who had the church bring her food when she was a little girl. Written by one who had a glimpse long, long ago.
Now she sees others and shares their stories.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

My 2015 One Word

I found a site on the internet several years back called ONE WORD. It's all about giving up New Year's resolutions because, let's face it, they are usually out the window by March, April, or  Jan. 3. Instead, you pray about One Word that you will focus on for the year. Just one word.

My words in the past were good words, words like discipline, giving, healthy, honor. Good words. For the most part, serious words. Well, here it is Fall and I've already decided on my next word for this next year coming up. I wanted it to be different. I wanted a short word but packed with a lot.

My life has had a lot of seriousness in it. Today, I love what I do as in writing and volunteering but where I volunteer, there is a lot of seriousness. . .in the hospitals and homeless community, both of which I write about. I'm living in my 5th decade now. I've watched a lot of people my age and younger get sick, be in accidents, die. It just makes me realize even more than ever, I don't know how many more years, or days, or minutes I have.
 
One day something funny happened, and I had one of those big ol' belly laughs, something I had not had in quite some time. It felt good! And then I met two ladies who love living with their inner child. They make me smile. That feels good. Silliness can be good. . .for your health, for your face, for your relationships. SO. . .
 
I am picking a word for this next year that is going to make me giggle, laugh, snort, leap for joy maybe. . .and hopefully, it will make someone out there on the other side of the screen giggle, laugh, snort, smile, leap for joy. If nothing else, just for minute, to leave seriousness behind and give your heart a jog, a jiggle, a leap of joy before getting back to the seriousness of the day.

Have you guessed my new word yet?
 Well. . .just follow the arrow. . .
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
HERE IT IS. . .
 
TA DA. . .
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I've already started, I just couldn't wait!!!
 
You might see this lady around the corner. . .
 
 
 
 
OR
 
 
you might see something crazy like
 
 



 
If you would like to help me have fun, call me up, give me a ring, shoot me an e-mail, text or face book message.
 

Want to send me a joke, please do!  (clean please ;)
 
Want to share a cartoon, go for it!
 
Want to do something wild and silly with me?
 
Want to take you inner child out with mine?
Let's do it!
 
 
~You know where I am~
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 






 
 




 
 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Room in the Inn

My friends. . .they live out on the streets with the stars above and the chilled wind wrapping around their shoulders like a shawl, but this shawl is not warm. . .it's cold. They live out in God's world, a sanctuary without walls and windows. God is with them; some know this and some don't.

My friends are being blessed this winter by an old program that is new to our community called Room in the Inn. Churches sign up to participate and open their doors at night for our homeless neighbors. They are invited in for a dinner, fellowship, and a warm bed to sleep in with a breakfast the next morning.

A basic need. . .to be warm in the cold of winter. A basic need. . .not there for some. It doesn't matter why, just that they need. . .and the church can give. The church can serve. The church can love. It's a beautiful thing to see people step forward to serve, love, fellowship with their neighbors. Is this not what Jesus did? He comforted and loved and shared good words.

What would Jesus do? He would walk into the mess of dirt and cold and loneliness and say, Come! Come to Me, all you who are weary and I will give you rest. There is room in the inn. Come! Come sup with me. He would stoop to wash. He would feed His sheep, feed in more ways than one.  Come. . .there is room in the inn. Leave the cold night behind and come into the warmth. And our churches are saying, Come, there is room in our inn. May the guests feel the warmth in more ways than one.
 
Welcome!
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Year's Last Loveliest Smile


“Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile."
[Indian Summer]”
William Cullen Bryant


Autumn is slowly, quietly, and gently falling away and before we know it, the cold winter will be upon us with stark, bare trees standing before us.
 
The other day a friend was sharing with me how she was driving down the road and just taking in all His glory and the beauty God gives us in the Autumn and what a blessing it is too have such beauty to take in, to breathe in and enjoy before the winter arrives. For those of us who do not like the cold much, those memories can carry us through to the other side of spring where it's own kind of beauty will abound. Oh, I believe winter can beautiful too in it's own way, but I will be enjoying it from inside.





So, before this Autumn beauty slips away, I would like to share with you some of our Kentucky Autumn from the lens of my husband and my own. Breathe with us and let's thank God for the beauty He created and bestows on us.  Glory to God for every color, every leaf, every beauty of this world!
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 


 
 
Thank you Father for the beauty of Autumn. We have breathed in your goodness and we are thankful for all blessings, in all colors, in all shapes and sizes and we will even thank You for the winter that is coming. There is beauty in the frosty season too and we just have to open our eyes to the blessings of it. I pray Father for each one here, that whatever season of life they are going through right now, that you would bless them whatever their need is right now, whether that be comfort, healing, strength, guidance, courage, provisions, love. . .We thank you Jehovah Jireh, our Provider for ALL things. May we glorify You with our lives and may your love pour out of us all over the ones you put in our path just as much as the leaves are pouring all over the ground right now.
We praise You and love You and thank You for all
In Jesus Name,
Amen
 
 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 


 


 
 


 
 
 


 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Things People Think When You've Authored A Book







1.  They think your rich now. ( I still wonder how the bills will be covered)

2.  That you have a grand life. ( I still live in the country and mow my yard and pull weeds) and
     to me, that is grand! :)

3.  That you don't have to clean your house anymore. ( I still kneel at the porcelain throne)

4.  That writing is so easy for me. ( I still struggle and pray every day for the words to come)

5.  That I'm so smart. ( I'm really not! Just maybe diligent and perseverant and pray a lot.)

6.  That I have all the answers to writing. ( NOT!)

7.  That life has become glamorous.  ( Look back at number #3)

8.  That I get all the money from the sales of the book. (Not!)

9.  That you wrote to make money. (Not! Not! Not!)

10. Assume because you had never written before, your book is self-published. Not! (God's hand
      was in this from day one and led me to a traditional publisher who accepted it.)

11. That I set out to write a book...Not! 

     Never in a million years would I have ever dreamt I would have written a book and even more so, that it would be published. But the great Author of life knows every detail of our lives and it was no surprise to Him. It was Him that saw this book before it ever began. It was Him who put the thought into my mind. It was Him who directed certain people to be sitting in certain places that kicked off the beginning of the book. It was Him who gave me the boldness to start talking with strangers and writing their stories. It was Him who gave me a story of my own with one of the strangers and it was Him who made us brother and sister in Christ. It was Him who gave me a wonderful husband who has always walked by my side, supporting, helping, and loving me through everything, there for the good and the bad days, there to walk with me through abandoned barns and underneath bridges, through the pain of having a prodigal son, to the joy of seeing the birth of the book.
  It was Him who lead and guided me through the whole process and because of Him, this non-writer became the author of a book.

 
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:26



Where has He led you?
Do you sense Him leading you somewhere now?

I would love to hear about it and pray for you.
And we can say together,
"All glory and honor to God, the Author of all."

Monday, October 27, 2014

Christian Guy or Man of God?




I wish I had written this, but I didn't. I saw it one evening on facebook and thought it was too good not to share.  This is for all you parents who have young daughters. . .I believe it was written for them.  But this is also for all the young men out there too, so don't forget your sons. 

Christian guy or Man of God?

Let's get this straight. There is a BIG difference between a Christian guy and a Man of God. The Christian guy might say that he l
oves you; but a Man of God will love God more than you.

 A Christian guy might text you Bible verses or have a tattoo of them; but a Man of god will live out those verses and have them written on his heart.

 A Christian guy might go to church; but a Man of God will see that his highest calling is to give Christ glory.

A Christian guy might "accidentally" compromise your virtue or purity; but a Man of God will protect it above all else.

 A Christian guy might be super attractive, fun, or handsome; but a Man of God will have a beautiful heart, regardless of his looks.

A Christian guy might be content to take you out, but a Man of God will go beyond the superficial and hold you up before God in his prayers continually.

So don't settle for just a Christian guy but for a Man of God. And long to be the kind of woman of God who will attract a man like that.


 I have found that a lot of people will say they are Christians but not really know what that means or entails. But one will not say they are a man of God or Woman of God without meaning it.
 
Let's pray the young gals and guys will turn to the Lord seeking guidance when it comes to staying pure. . .when it comes to choosing their spouse. May they allow God to lead them to their best, His best for them.
Let us pray for them all!
 
I appeal to you therefore, brothers,(and sisters) by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Grace in the Mess


Grace in the Mess

 

 "I'm not helping good people or bad people. I'm just helping human beings."  anonoymous

 
There was once a group of people who wanted to help by giving men under the bridge winter clothes and other such stuff.  But when they heard some were drinking and the older one chose to stay there, they pulled their things back and didn't want to help. . .and they didn't.
 

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." Mother Teresa

 

My insides cringed at this.  Do we only help and share the love of Christ with only those who have their "act together".  How many of those are out there even in the church?  Do we only help and love those who have all their issues fixed and addictions cured and sins forgiven.  Are not these the ones who need it most?

 

"By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just entitiled to as we are."  Bonhoeffer

 

I am friends with a registered sex offender. . .a one time felony long ago that he paid for and repented of.  When I met him he was newly homeless and scared and didn't want to tell me for awhile.  We talked for about an hour and then he shared his past.  I didn't react with horror.  I just asked questions and I listened.  I shared about the love of God and forgiveness.  He wasn't sure.  Over the next several months, God began dealing with him and brought a few others to him that began a bible study and then began taking him to church.  I continued to be his friend along with my husband.

 

Love me most when I deserve it least~Swedish proverb

 

Several March’s ago, my friend rededicated his life to the Lord and has been faithful ever since.  My husband and I could even see a change in his body language, his demeanor, his face. 

 

What if people had left the minute they knew about him.  Most of them do.  But the few who stayed, God worked through to reach our friend and now he and we know for sure the address of his permanent home.

 

Grace was shown on a cross on a hill.  Don't you know it was messy? Messy with blood and thorns and the ugliness and mess of sins of the whole world. But our Savior, our Jesus, our Christ, our Lord, stepped into the mess and poured out grace and love.  He didn't turn his back on me and I for one, have been changed. Have you? Are you grateful?  Enough to step into the mess? 

"Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work."
Mother Teresa

Dear Lord,

I pray for all who step into the messes whether that be in Africa, under the bridge, or in our own homes. All places are filled with people who need your love and encouragement.  Fill the steppers with strength and courage and love that looks past the mess and sees the beauty of your creation. May you give all these precious ones the discernment and wisdom to know the what, the where and the how and that we may not always know the why but we know the One who does. . . You, and that is enough. May we all just trust and obey and love and serve and leave the rest up to you.

Thank you Father for stepping into the messes.

Thank you for bringing beauty out of the messes.

Thank you for not leaving me in the mess.

In Jesus Name,

Amen 

 

Guest Post from Deidra, Mom of the Bundle Up Club

I was going to write a post about the Bundle Up Club's visit here to Bowling Green, but then. . .I saw what the mother of the girls wrote on her blog and I thought. . .THIS is good!  THIS is what should be shared. SO. . .I'm sending you to her blog through the link below, because after you read this post, you will want to keep reading her as she is an excellent writer and I know you will love reading her as I do. . .SO, without further ado, Deidra Manning from the Middle. . .

http://deidramanning.net/the-middle/14078648/conditionalcompassion?fb_action_ids=10100215798859816&fb_action_types=og.comments&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B960181280675504%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.comments%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D