Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Lottle. It Is Like A Little, But A Lot.

My Jim-Dear bought me a bracelet this Christmas. It does not sparkle. It does not have diamonds. It isn’t even all that pretty. I love it.

It is a “Jawbone: Up” band, one of those fitness bands, you know? It records my steps, I upload my workouts, I count my calories (sometimes), it gives me health tips. The most helpful thing it does, is that it vibrates. They call it an “idle alert”. Mine is set to “alert” me when I have been inactive for forty-five minutes. It then vibrates.

It is a helpful little reminder. When I zone out while watching TV it is nice to be reminded to just get up, walk around, stretch, maybe dance a little. My coworkers enjoy that I am always willing to run notes upstairs, grab folders, or shovel the snow. Every time my wrist feels a little tingle I am up off of my seat asking for an errand to run.

If only our spiritual lives had an “idle alert.” A small reminder to get up and move a little (maybe even dance). Just think, when you are in church, not really paying attention, you feel a small pulse run through you. You start listening, really listening, and you hear more than just the pastor speaking. Imagine when you finally have a moment to spare during your day, and you plop down on the couch and watch a TV show you don’t even care about. A small buzz. You close your eyes in prayer and finally feel rested.

Imagine you are trying to figure out what to do with your future. Where to go. What career to pick. When to start a family. A small nudge. Maybe your spiritual “idle alert” is not urging you to travel around the world, but my guess is that it is urging you to pay more attention to your spiritual health.

My guess is that we all have a spiritual idle alert buried inside of us. But just as easy as I can turn off the alerts on my fitness band, we can start ignoring the nudging we receive from the Holy Spirit. Maybe with a little more Bible reading, a few more prayers, and a lot more faith in our ever present God we can learn to respond to the Holy Spirit once again.

Unfortunately, I am a little slow and a lottle stubborn. It might take me a while . . .but it just takes one step to start.

The Difference.

I work at Valley Christian Counseling Center and part of my job is maintaining our new blog. Today we needed a post, so I found one of the testimonies we had received and I thought I would share it along with some of my thoughts about the joys and troubles of being a teenager.

Valley Christian Counseling Center

Valley Christian Counseling Center is an interdenominational ministry. We are a counseling center that serves those who share in our Christian beliefs and those who do not. Our counselors might meet with someone who belongs to the same denomination or they might be seeing someone with a different set of ideals and morals. Our counselors might be talking to someone who shares the same theology or they might be sharing with someone who asks for faith to be left out of the counseling session. We are a Christian organization, but as we bring healing and mending to our community we respect the faith, beliefs, and ideals of all of our clients.

However, when our faith allows us to connect with others, we see amazing relationships form. When the client is reaching out for grace and healing that is guided by faith, that is when we hear about the difference we…

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Broken Bows and Weakened Swords

Being a warrior for God is an amazing gift. I believe that we are all called to be warriors in some sense or another. Some are called on a small scale and others are called on a larger scale, as it is their gift from the Spirit. No matter what our level of warrior may be, we must stop and remember that we fight not for our glory, but for the glory of God.

When you are recognized or complimented for you accomplishment, how do you respond? How do you react? Do you find pride entering your heart as you pat yourself and the back and tell yourself that it was a job well done? That your strength and talent brought you to this place of acknowledgement? You can definitely be happy and filled with joy that you received praise, but you must also realize that your talent and your strength has come from God, and that in turn he must be praised.

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Should I Stay Or Should I Go

I wasn’t supposed to go, but I did.


Image Credit: St. Peters Fireside

A couple of months ago when I gave my testimony in church I was greeted the next Sunday by one of our super enthusiastic congregation members. She had two books for me, Walking with God and Waking the Dead. Both of which were about taking your faith further and praying in a way that brings you into a close, intimate relationship with God. The author discussed praying, and then listening. Listening for words of encouragement, for advice, and for guidance. I had just started this practice, trying to make some decisions based on what I believe God is bringing before me rather than based on my logic, social norms, and culture imposed ideas.

So when it was time to make the decision on whether to RSVP to this event or not, I asked. Should I go? Money was tight, me being employed part-time. But this was a wedding for a close college friend and I wanted to support her. It was really far away, about a 19 hour car ride, and buying a plane ticket was definitely too expensive. But she came to my wedding, she was even a bridesmaid, I should go to hers.

Now, that is pretty much how that prayer went in my head. I asked, should I go? And instead of truly listening I went through the pro’s and con’s list in my head. I waited for two seconds, gave up, and sent in my RSVP with a check mark for a yes. I was going to meet my friend Emily in our college town of Grand Rapids, MI and then we would be off to Canada for the wedding.

I forgot my passport.

She forgot her passport.

Her car broke down.

We missed the wedding.

I was stuck in four hours of stop and go traffic.

In the end, I was happy that I was able to see my friend happy and totally in love, since we did still make it to the reception. The trip cost me, in time, money (add an extra $20 bucks for over-nighting a passport), and in stress. My husband couldn’t come, and this was the longest time I had spent away from him.

I was glad that I was able to spend some time with friends and show my support for the new couple, but maybe next time I should spend some more time listening. Maybe I was supposed to go to the wedding, but the problem was I went without God’s blessing.

Now, as James and I are trying to make a decision about next year, as we are feeling our hearts being tugged in many different directions we are praying, should we stay or should we go? I am not sure of the answer yet, all I know is that I am going to really listen hard this time around.

All Dogs Go To Heaven

I heard a lot of people talking and a lot of things were said about the new comer. Of all the sentences murmured I did NOT hear, “Well she looks adorable in that leopard print vest and did you see how nicely her nails were done?”

Now I have heard stories and sermons about scenes like this. I believe there is even a song somewhere, but I have never been a part of it, I have never seen the wary eyes or heard the stifled whispers first hand. The guest in our church was a little different, she did not quite belong, but I am sure that we have all heard a story or two about this kind of behavior.

There is the story of the new pastor dressing “inappropriately” for his first day at his new church. He writes of his experiences being ignored and rejected by his own church. They were shamed into stunned silence when he was introduced.

Now, I am 100% sure that this guest was not a new surprise pastor, but should that matter? We did have some people from our congregation who welcomed our visitor with loving hearts and even went out of their way to great our guest.

Later that day, during my usual Sunday phone call to my mom I told her about the mixed feelings toward the visitor in church today. I explained every detail of our visitor, from their demeanor down to the pink nails. I expected my conservative mom, who used to never let us girls wear pants to morning service, to be even more aghast than I was (I was also hoping this so I could feel better at being slightly judgmental). She sweetly chuckled to herself and replied, “Well, Kristin, of course your visitor came to church, you know that all dogs go to heaven.”

The chihuahua is almost a regular now.

Running A Race Of Joy

Nothing much on the praying, listening, reading home front. Mostly practicing my patience. Thought I would transfer over a post from my other blog to fill my gap for today. (Cheating, I know, but just in case you have not checked out my other blog yet maybe this will convert you to following that one too!)