Monday, December 21, 2009

I'll Be Home for Christmas

Well, it's true...I am homeward bound tomorrow morning. My flight leaves at 7:00 am and I arrive in Dallas at 10:00 am. As always I am sure it will be grand to be on Texas soil again. I find it so interesting to see how much I like my comfort. I received a phone call yesterday that ruined my dream world of a "perfect" holiday. Family, Christmas trees, lights strung, holiday food, laughter, children playing, presents, Mexican and BBQ, curling up by the fire, hot chocolate, caroling, coffee with friends, a trip to San Antonio to see more loved ones and then back to my home in Louisville. This was my perception of what my Christmas break in Texas should look like before the phone call yesterday.

The things in the list above are certainly gifts that most get to enjoy during Christmas. But I have to realize that they are gifts and I cannot expect to receive them. When I do receive them the glory should be given to the Giver of all things (good and bad). The phone call yesterday was from my mother who explained to me that my grandmother is dying. Since October she has lost 40 pounds, and in the last week her eyes have sunken in and she is not responding. Her breath is shallow and her body is quickly decaying to an unrecognizable state. This will be my third grandparent to die this year if she dies before the new year. My heart aches because I love my Nanny and it will be a great loss with her death. (Please pray for my family during this time). Certainly not my idea of Christmas fun...but isn't this part of what Christmas is about?
Reality: We live in a sin stricken world. Due to the fall in the Garden of Eden the earth and all in it was cursed with death and decay. We see the effects of sin in every day life: from the common cold to burying loved ones. It was not originally supposed to be this way and since that garden incident God has had a plan of redemption. This plan is woven throughout the tapestries of the Scriptures. The entire Old Testament testifies of a Deliverer who was to come. Poetry, Prophesies, and the History of the nation of Israel spoke of God's plan to save his people. Rotten with sin you see the desperate need of a Savior. Because of sin life is far from perfect but then came the One who was perfect.
Immanuel (God with us) was his name. He was the second person of the Trinity: God who took on flesh. Born of a virgin and conceived by the Holy Spirit he was absolutely sinless. Deity in flesh. One would expect the King of the earth to be born in a palace perhaps in Jerusalem with a great birth announcement to all who were "important." Instead, Mary and Joseph made a 70+ mile journey on a donkey at nine months of pregnancy. She went into labor in the town of Bethlehem and could not find a place to stay. A stable, which was most likely a cave where visitors at the Inn kept their animals, was the place that this Deity in flesh would be born. One might think that Mary would have perks since she was giving birth to the Son of God, but there she was in a stable covered in blood wrapping Jesus in swaddling clothes and laying him in a manger. And the birth wasn't to the most "important" people, yet it was made to the outcast lowly shepherds who were watching their flocks. This infant lying in a manger was the hope of the world from the sin that brought death and decay. He came to take on the sins of the world. During his life there was still no place to lay his head. He continued to live a humble life. Christ came as a servant unlike most kings who are served daily. Mary, his mother, still had no perks, yet lived a life of hardship and was surrounded by people who refused to believe her. This Deity in flesh commanded illnesses to flee from people and practiced dominion over the waves that rebelled against sinful human rulers. Most importantly He was the only one who could withstand the wrath of God being God himself. He took on that wrath and took on death as he was cursed on the cross. The Gospel Primer puts it this way...
"Apart from Christ, I am also utterly deserving of and destined for eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire, completely unable to save myself or even to make one iota of a contribution to my own salvation. However, what I could not do, God did- and in doing it, He did it all, sending His own Son into the world to die on the cross for my sin, thereby showing me unfathomable love. God loved me so much that He was willing to suffer the loss of His Son, and even more amazingly, He was willing to allow His Son to suffer the loss of Him at the cross. Jesus loved me so much that He was willing to lay down His life for me. No one could ever love me more or better than Jesus. On the third day after Jesus' death, God raised Him from the dead, thereby announcing that his death was completely sufficient to atone for my every sin that I have or will commit throughout my lifetime. God then exalted Christ to His own right hand, where Christ now reigns from on high, granting salvation and forgiveness to all who call on Him by faith."

Christmas is not about the list I previously stated, though those are gifts from the Giver that can be enjoyed. Christmas is about the greatest gift of redemption that began with a humble birth in Bethlehem. We live in a world of death and decay, yet there is now a great hope and salvation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Through repentance and faith, those who are in Christ must remember why we have reason to celebrate this Christmas no matter what circumastance we find ourselves in. The Giver of all good things (including trials and hardships) demands our allegiance and reverence. All praise, glory and honor be to the God of our salvation.

A Joyful Christmas to you and yours!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Abisror Christmas Family Photo Shoot

Yet another photo shoot. This time I used my bosses camera. They turned out alright, but I would have liked to have had some Camera Operation 101. :)
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Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Though hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repentant soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty
thy glory in my valley.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Another Fun Photo Shoot!

I have found that photogrophy is a great stress release as I near the end of the semester. One more week of class, two more papers and three finals to go. Here is my recent photo shoot with some close Louisville friends! Fun Fun Fun!
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Recent Photo Shoot with the Garcias

I know it has been forever and a day since my last post. I do intend to continue my 3G series, but in the meantime here is a photo shoot with my great friends the Garcias. I really enjoy doing photography, but I was particularly nervous about this shoot due to the ages of the kiddos. As you recall in my earlier post, Ronnie and Amanda played a huge part in my testamony. They are starting a church in Puerto Rico and I was so blessed to be able to spend a weekend with them in Alabama. They have 4 kiddos under the age of 4. The twins were adopted and their story has been a huge testamony to me in regards to my adoption through Christ. I LOVE THIS FAMILY and you can partly see why...

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

3G: Juvenile Probation and God's Justice

...It was the August that I returned from Washington State. I was now a jobless college grad that had joined a band that practiced in what was an old garage at Colin and Andre'a's new house. The months passed by as did the job applications stamped: rejected. Thankfully Paul Ann Baptist Church brought me on staff and made me a part-time secretary until I could find a full time job.

This was a rough season for me spiritually. I was still processing what all I had learned that summer and was trying to discern what would be the best direction to take ahead of me. While focusing on my temporal circumstances, I had neglected focusing on eternal things and my worries and anxiety proved my distrust and unbelief in my good, sovereign, providing God. I praise Him that He is faithful even when we aren't and strong when we are ever so weak. Perhaps it is during the times that He seems so distant that He is growing our faith in Him. Again, He was preparing me for a great task ahead.
In March 2004 I found a full-time job and was hired as a Tom Green County Juvenile Probation Officer. It's true...I had the badge, cuff keys and caged cars. I took kids to court and had office, school, detention center and home visits with the juveniles on probation. The thing I learned most about God while working in the court system was God's justice.
Like the juveniles I worked with, I too had charges against me. My sin nature was an offense to God's law and "the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23)." Someone would have to die to pay my penalty. Now obviously the sentences that were brought before the Tom Green County Courthouse were not as harsh. Most would get off on probation, some were placed in correctional facilities, and some were put on deferred adjudication, but there would have to be retribution that fit the crime. There were times that I felt little grace toward these kids that acted so foolishly and yet I was constantly reminded that "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)." I tried to picture myself raising my right hand on the stand before the judge at the TGC Courthouse and then proclaim that I would take on all the charges and consequences of the charges of the defendant. This is exactly what Christ did on our behalf. Scripture says, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us (Rom 8:31-34)." Romans 3 explains how no human can be justified by the law. The law shows us our sin nature before a Holy and Perfect God. We are all law breakers, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and [yet] are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." God's wrath towards us was poured out on His Perfect Son that we might be free from the sentence of death. always seems magnificent in light of His justice.
It was around my third month that I received news that one of my church youth group students had taken his life. This brought about a time of great questioning and mourning. My on-call week at the Juvenile Probation Center soon followed. To be "on-call" meant that the police called me if they picked up a kid at any hour and I had to decide on the phone whether or not they should release the kid or detain him/her. If detained I was responsible for contacting the judge within 24 hours. It was an unusual week of extreme cases: aggravated sexual assault, assault with a deadly weapon, and there was one evening that I became the first Probation Officer to ride in an ambulance. In the back of our building was the detention center and one of the girls had tried to hang herself. She gasped for air through the oxygen mask as we rushed off to the hospital. After being in the ER for a few hours the nurses and doctors began to run frantically about the hospital, grabbing supplies from other rooms. I could tell that the girl I was with was frightened. I started singing a hymn to her in hopes to bring peace to the chaos around us. Half way through the song the heart beat of the one everyone had scurried about trying to save had flat lined. She looked at me with tears in her eyes as she heard the sound of death. There was a part of me that had been angry that she too had attempted to take her life as my student did, yet I could do nothing at that point than speak words of hope to this girl who saw hopelessness.
A great amount of my caseload had kids who were physically, emotionally and sexually abused and were also neglected. My eyes had been opened to an angry and wicked world. I was told that I couldn't take work home with me if I wanted to survive in this line of work, yet my heart had too much compassion and I ended up with much grief and tears most nights. I wanted to share the hope there is in Jesus Christ, yet was confined by the "separtion of church and state." Not long after my on-call week I was confronted by Lee Floyd, Director of the Baptist Student Ministries, to consider taking the Campus Missionary position at the BSM. It was a hard decision to leave the mission field of Juvenile Probation, but now I would be able to proclaim the truth of the gospel with no limitations...To Be Continued...

3G: Oh Worship the King: Washington and Beyond...

...My arrival home had me entering a season of searching. As you recall, before I headed to Washington State I was a college graduate and I had no idea as to what I would do come August. That May, inbetween orientation and Washington, there was a team of us that were held in Dallas to serve for five days at a church. My first task approached me when the lead singer of the youth worship team was sick and unable to come. The three years prior to this night I had purposely stayed in the pew and off of the stage to grow in my focus and understanding of the One in Whom I worshiped. This night (above picture) would be the first of many chances to lead God's people in worshiping Him. I can remember standing behind that mic trembling at first and then the music began to play. It was as if I were in the pew yet with a mic in my hand. Nothing at that moment could distract me from worshiping my Lord.
While I was in Washington I had a few opportunities to lead worship again and then received a phone call from my friend Chance Nichols. He was putting together a band that would lead worship for the college students every Monday night at Angelo State's BSM. At that point I had no job and no other plans and gladly joined. Chance, Kasey and I lead worship for two years together along with several bass guitarists and drummers. We traveled quite often for a season and though loading the trailor was not our favorite thing to do, leading people in worship with the music we loved was our passion. We were at a Disciple Now in Robert Lee (I think) and were nameless. A kid named Brody took it upon himself to help us out and suggested that we call ourselves Shepherd's Flock since we were leading The Shepherd's flock in worship. The name stuck for as long as we were together. Those two years would hold great trials and opportunities for me as you will see in the next few posts. The band was one of the Lord's provision for me that constantly anchored me in and pointed me to Christ despite the distractions that I faced. I am so thankful for the accountability and encouragement that I received during those times. I continue to grow to love the art of music and the beauty of bringing together different instruments to produce such a unifying sound.
It makes me think that when the body of Christ works in the way a band or orchestra does there is a God glorifying sound that is beautiful to those who hear it. Each member must play their part in order to produce this sound. Scriptures give us a list of "One Anothers" as notes on a piece of sheet music. Love one another (John 13:34), exhort one another (Heb 3:13), encourage one another (1 Thess 5:11), outdo one another in showing honor (Rom 12:10), live in harmony with one another (Rom 12:16), etc... In doing so we show the world the God we serve. Christ's prayer was, "The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one...." We are also encouraged in 1 Peter 4:10-11, "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." He has gifted us individually, the question is whether or not we are using those gifts for His glory and in unity with the body. May our unity proclaim the One Who brought redemption rather than defaming His name by our disunity and selfishness. May our noise be a joyful one rather than a noisy gong and a clanging cymbol.
I always loved the words to Ross King's song "Clear the Stage" which goes well with the topic of worship. Please read and consider these lyrics...To Be Continued...
Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that's the measure that it takes to crush the idols.
Chuck the pews and all the decorations too
Until the congregations few then have revival.
Tell your friends that this is where the party ends
Until you're broken for your sins you can't be social.
Then seek the Lord and wait for what he has in store
And know that great is your reward and just be hopeful
Cause you can sing all you want to.
Yes you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And don't get me wrong,
Worship is more than a song.
Take a break from all the plans that you made
And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper.
Beg Him please to open up his mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister.
Shine the light on every corner of your life
Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open.
Then read the word and put to test the things you've heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken.
Anything I put before my God is an idol.
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol.
Anything I can't stop thinking of is an idol.
Anything that I give all my love is an idol.
We must not worship something that's not even worth it.
Clear the stage and make some space for the one who deserves it.
Cause I can sing all I want to.
Yes I can sing all I want to
I can sing all I want to
And still get it wrong,
Worship is more than a song.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

3G : Missions in Washington State

...So, there I was. I had entered a season of unknown territory. I was now living for Christ, yet all I had known in daily routine my entire life was school. In May 2004, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology/Psychology. I sought the Lord for direction and the only thing that continued to pop up was missions. In some ways I scoffed like Sarah did when she heard that she would bear a child at her age. Me...missions?!?! The truth was that I began to doubt the Lord's provision for me to quit my job and leave for a whole summer. I am sure if I truly listened I could hear my Lord say, "Oh ye of little faith." With hesitation, I completed my application and was sure that I was supposed to go to Canada. Instead, I received my assignment to Sedro-Woolley, Washington. Sedro-Woolley is a lumber-jack town 40 miles south of Canada and 40 miles east of the coast at the base of the North Cascade mountains. The one stipulation was that I would be going alone. There would be no team there to greet me upon my arrival. I accepted the mission to work with a very small church.

I was honored to stay with a family in Mt. Washington (about 20 minutes from S-W). The wife of this family was in charge of placing foreign exchange students in homes. Because of this, I was able to meet various people who stayed with us in our home from Belgium, Italy, France and Russia. I was so blessed that although I was not leaving the US of A, the nations were coming to me and I was able to share the gospel with each person from their vaious locations. Two doors down from us lived two of the "Lost Boys of Sudan." Their names were Gatgoy and Dak and I was touched by their zeal for the gospel. They had heard a missionary was in town and almost daily came by to learn more about their God. In Sudan they had been introduced to the gospel alone, so they were intrigued to hear about the Old Testament and encouraged by the letters in the New Testament. All they knew was the gospel of Jesus Christ and that alone impelled them to want to go back to Sudan and preach the good news regardless of the persecution that they would face.
These two were such an encouragement to me in a land that seemed so desolate of Christians. The stats given to us at orientation was that the Northwest was 10% "churched." The word "churched" included Hindu, Buddhist, Mormon,, only about 1% were involved in Christian churches. Not all who are involved in Christian churches are saved. So, needless to say, I was truly alone and yet thankful for the few that I came in contact with that summer who loved the Lord. I will say that one thing that I appreciate about the Northwest is that you will find few "luke warm" Christians. People generally will tell you that they love God or find it all foolish. This was refreshing coming from the bible belt where everyone claims to be Christian and yet show the fruit of this world rather than the Spirit.
The trials I would persevere through were many. In the middle of my trip the church ended up splitting and asking the one faithful person proclaiming the Word, Pastor Steve, to step down and put in his resignation. Toward the end of my trip I wrote this:
"I can tell you that I have learned a lot from this experience. God has used me to give biblical counsel to 50 year old women to youth age. I have taught at Vacation Bible Schools, a Disciple Now, a Lock-in, a Youth Camping Trip and numerous bible studies (including the adorable 65+ young ladies class). The Lord used me as a vessel to plant seeds and share the gospel to exchange students and others. I have been so blessed in working for the Lord here in Washington. The lord has taught me compassion and love. He has taught me to be content in the midst of trials and to lay down my burdens at His throne that I may even take another's load. The lessons learned here are many, but I can tell you that I have gained an appreciation for the body of Christ. It has been hard doing ministry alone up here, but it has made me depend on Him more and more."
Though this was a very trying season it proved to be a season of great growth and dependence. We were created for community being fashioned after a God who is the Trinity (a loving community within Himself). Believers are not meant to walk alone. Isolation brews sin and goes against what the Scriptures have laid out as a model of "One Anothering." I pray this finds you all in a biblical church body and for those of you on the mission field feeling alone, I pray that you are encouraged and cared for by those at home who support you. Leaving Washington was hard knowing the mission field behind me and the lack of direction ahead...To Be Continued...

Friday, June 26, 2009

3G : Papa's Porch

...The Lord was growing me in truth, my life was being flipped and my Papa began to question what was going on. To take a few leaps back, my Papa was the youngest of 13 brothers and sisters. My great-grandparents beheld the beautiful infant in their arms and named him Munsin Columbus Humphrey. I still cannot figure out how someone can look at a sweet little baby and come up with that name, but I could not be more delighted to have been his granddaughter. Papa was a hard working, loyal, faithful, loving, caring, tenderhearted, strong and steadfast man.
I recall sitting down and asking him how he met my grandmother (Nanny). They were both invited to a friends house and (quote)"there she was...she was standing by a gate and I asked my buddy in the car who she was." Nanny stated that when she saw him she thought.."hubba hubba." (this was pretty cute spoken from her 85 year old lips at the time) On their first date they rode in a rumble seat together (for those of you who have never been to a car show, this means they were sitting pretty close) all the way to Christoval (which was a long trip then). That night they danced the night away to big band music and continued to dance through their lives together.

One afternoon, Papa and I were sitting on his front porch swing, which was not unusual for us to do. Noticing a change in my life he asked me, "Kris, do you think I am saved?" Here was an 89 year old man, whom if anyone could call someone a "good person" it would be M.C. Humphrey, asking me if he was saved. I am thankful for the wise response the Lord gave me that afternoon. My response was somewhere along the lines of, "Papa, I cannot know your heart, nor can I truly know your relationship with the Lord. I can tell you what the Bible says about the One who saves, how a person is saved and what the fruit of salvation in a persons life looks like." We continued the conversation for a couple of hours about how one cannot merit salvation, rather it is a free gift and that no one can ever be good enough. We worked through the gospel forwards and backwards. Out of all the moments I had experienced on Papa's Porch, this was my fondest.

A couple of months later, after his 90th birthday, Papa began to have health complications that continued to weaken his frail body. I went to the hospital for my daily visit and the moment I walked in the room there was an urgency in his voice. He was desperate to tell me of a dream that he had had about the Lord. I looked into the understanding eyes of a 90 year old man who knew he was a sinner in desperate need of a Savior. He continued to tell me over and over again about his experience with the Lord that evening. Alas, he knew assurance. The truth of the Scriptures finally came alive to this dying 90 year old man. He went from being what people call "a good man" to being a righteous man.

He continued to love his wife more than ever. I recall my grandmother in her wheelchair sitting by his bedside. I asked them if they had a song and without hesitation she leaned over and grabbed his hand and they began singing as they gazed into each other's eyes... "Let me call you sweetheart, I'm in love with you. Let me hear you whisper that you love me too..."

His time from thence forth on this earth was short, yet eternity was ever before him. My friend Chance and I would go to the hospital with a guitar in hand and we would have times of worship in his small hospital room. There came a point that a family member had to be with him 24/7 due to seizures every 45 minutes. I took a night shift and was so thankful for the body of believers that surrounded us during that time. I was never left alone that entire night. We sought every bit of wisdom that we could from Papa until 4:00 in the morning when he no longer made sense after a big seizure.
Writing this story makes me realize that I need more "Papa's Porch" moments in my life. It is a moving reality that this life, whether you live to be 90, 100 or 20, is short compared to the eternity that we are all guaranteed. I pray that those of you who read this would find yourselves asking the same question that Papa asked, "Am I saved?" I pray that the same desperation that my Papa had to share his experience with the Lord would be prevalent in my life also. Out of compassion and love, may the Lord drive me to share the gospel of truth with those I come into contact with.
Rom 1:16 states, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..." "Indeed God’s power IS seen in erupting volcanoes, in the unimaginably hot boil of our massive sun, and in the lightning speed of a recently discovered star seen streaking through the heavens at 1.5 million miles per hour. Yet in Scripture such wonders are never labeled “the power of God.” How powerful, then, must the gospel be that it would merit such a title! And how great is the salvation it could accomplish in your life, if you would only embrace it by faith and give it a central place in your thoughts each day(A Gospel Primer)!"
The hope I have through the gospel message is what lead me to share with Papa on his porch and is also what lead me to quit my job and pack my bags for summer missions in Washington state...(To Be Continued)...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

3G: Mentors and Accountability

...When the last Lieutenant had left Amanda and I remained hungry for the Word. I can remember rising early in the morning and driving to Amanda's apartment to do our respective quiet times, get ready for class, grab a burrito on Knickerbocker and faithfully show up late to class (oops). In the evenings we were going to STAND on Mondays, Intermission on Thursdays, Glen Meadows and Paul Ann on Sunday mornings and Sunday night bible study at the Lindahl's. Once a week I rose at 6:30 to cook breakfast for a bible study we started. The two of us were growing leaps and bounds and soon the two of us would become the few of us.

Amanda met Mara Garza, a gal I knew from Angelo Aquatics and the Central Swim Team. The three of us began bonding over coffee and Christ. We began praying about starting a bible study and asked that the Lord would provide solid leaders. These prayers lingered for a few months until the night that we met Bonnie Huckabee and Cindi Dauphin. Little did we know that they too were praying about starting a bible study. We started meeting together and sought the Lord for his direction. The next few years were precious. The group consisted of about 50% college students and 50% women of wisdom. They took us to great depths and challenged us immensely.

The fourth member of our party was Lt. Laura Terry who also was converted by God's grace with Ronnie's investment in her life and proclamation of the gospel at the Air Force Academy. There were few nights that passed that the four of us: Amanda, Mara, Laura and myself, weren't drinking coffee together as we questioned the Holy Book before us. Some of my fondest memories and times with my Savior are found in this chapter with these girls. Hebrews 3:13 encourages, "exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." There is a sweetness that comes when you actually do as this Scripture calls you to do. We "reproved, rebuked, and exhorted, with complete patience and teaching" as 2 Timothy 4:2 teaches.

As the picture testifies from the previous post, I was a big girl. The Lord really began to break my heart and my habits by the catalyst event of reading and weeping over the Scriptures that spoke in regards to gluttony. That night remains vividly in my mind as does the accountability that came to follow. These exhorters and encouragers came alongside me with all of my complaints and struggles. I could barely run a block without my heart leaping out of my chest and my lungs collapsing. They bore with me and my fighting frustration of the years of damage I had done to my body. I lost almost 70 lbs as they held up my arms in the midst of the battle (Exodus 17:8-16).
Bonnie Huckabee continued to faithfully mentor us. As time passed these friends too moved on. Amanda married Ronnie and moved to Little Rock, Laura received her next assignment in the Air Force and Mara met a friend, Bethany and moved to California to pursue a Masters in Biblical Counseling (my current degree plan). I continued to meet with Bonnie and reaped such wisdom and insight. As a campus missionary I found myself quoting this woman often. I have recently thought that all of the biblical womanhood books are written about Bonnie. She would immediately rebuke me with this statement, but in summary...I am so incredibly thankful for the Lord's provision of bringing each of these women in my be continued...
(Pic 1: Laura, myself, Amanda and Mara being silly + our friend Joy)
(Pic 2: Cindi and Kirt Dauphin, both great mentors in my life)
(Pic 3: Todd and Bonnie Huckabee with me before I left San Angelo)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

3G: My Salvation Experience

... I had the mindset entering college at Angelo State University that I would no longer be 'the wall flower.' I had lived in a recluse mentality far too long and did as my friends encouraged me to do. I went out. Drinking and clubbing gave me a confidence, yet I was spiraling downward fast. Because I lacked the weight of sin I had no problem going to church on Sundays with a hangover. I still lacked satisfaction after all my efforts.

During the fall of 2000, the Lord brought a group of Air Force folk in my life. Though the initial motive for them coming to our Sunday Night Bible Study was to see what Ronnie thought about my best friend Amanda, the Lord opened their eyes to our misunderstanding of the gospel and directed their hearts in compassion towards us. During a weekend retreat they fasted and prayed for us and sought the Lord about how to minister. I praise the Lord constantly that they invested time and showed a godly love towards us. I was challenge as Ronnie asked me, "What do you believe and why do you believe it?" The fact of the matter was that my beliefs had little to know foundation and certainly did not stand against the Word of God. I had made a god that was comfortable to me, rather than seek the Scriptures that spoke clearly about who God truly is. They presented the truth graciously with love. Their truths were solid and based on Scripture, where mine were swiftly sinking as if in quicksand (Matt 7:24-29). The Lord was gradually giving me ears to hear his voice (John 10:25-30).

Amanda started walking with the Lord and at this point in the story she was walking hand in hand with Ronnie who had become her boyfriend. The Sunday night bible study was still in action and this particular Sunday evening I went to embark again in the drinking frenzy that lead to me dry heaving over a toilet bowl. With my head over this porcelain friend the Lord broke me and opened my eyes to my sin before Him who is Holy (Rom 3:23, Eph 2:1-3). Amanda came into the bathroom and held back my hair. I looked up at her with alligator sized tears and assured her that I did not want Ronnie to see me. Ronnie exhibited the spirit of Christ and reflected the one true and holy God. Ronnie thankfully disrespected my request and came into the bedroom and looked me in the eye and said, "There is nothing you can do that can take my love away from you." By this statement God showed his grace towards me.

Romans 5:7-8 states, "For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die--but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." I had always proclaimed God to be gracious and loving, yet I never understood the magnitude of his grace and love until I saw myself as a wretched sinner in need of a Savior. I was desperate for his grace and love and my response was a repentant heart. "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see." These words were never so beautiful to me than this moment.

The Lord continue to use this Air Force group as Joy discipled Amanda and Steph discipled me. "Discernment comes with time" was often what I heard as I struggled to understand the bible. The time grew near that each of these Lieutenants received their assignments from Korea to Alaska. Though parting was hard, the Lord had laid a strong foundation and was preparing me for what was be continued...

The Crew + Vidal (Sorry it is not the best picture)
Yep, you guessed it...Amanda and Ronnie got married and are now church planters in Puerto Rico with their 4 children!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

3G: Life BC

I was born on August 4th, 1981 in San Angelo, Texas into a loving family. That is me on the right in the picture. Ok, so maybe we won't go that far back, yet in order for you to have a picture of my background I should start with family. My mother, Jane Elizabeth Booth, was the all star mom. She stayed at home and proved to be a wonderful cook and showed great hospitality with family and friends that entered our home often. My mom had a gift of coordinating things well. My father was faithful in providing for the family financially and was full of talent. I can remember going to various theatrical plays and sitting on the couch in my PJ's as he and his barbershop quartet called Texas Pride practiced around me with their pitch pipe. I remember the pride of having Gary Booth as my dad. My sister is five years older than me and had to put up with having a "tag along." I always looked up to her through admiring eyes. In the Spring of my 8th grade year, news that my parents were getting a divorce sprang forth like an ugly weed. Those were rough times, but the Lord has used every bit of that experience as a part of my testamony and a common ground with others. My dad remarried and through that marriage the Lord blessed me with more family to love on and now more neices and nephews than I had ever imagined.

I was raised in a church that the Lord used to set important foundations in my life and I am thankful for the supportive church family he gave me that taught me to have a servant heart. The following testamony does not necessarily reflect the way I was raised, rather it was the condition of my heart. Church was what I did and in many ways it was a cultural thing for me. I sang "Amazing Grace" for years and yet never really realized how amazing God's grace truly is (Rom 5). I would have told you with great confidence that I was a "good person" and that was enough to merit salvation (Luke 18:19, Eph 2:3, Rom 3:23-24). I remember my cousin's girlfriend sitting on the couch and preaching the gospel to me as I rolled my eyes. My beliefs proved universal as I debated passionately that all religions were basically worshiping the same god (1 Corinthians 8:4-7). I argued that Fundamental Evangelicals (Baptist in particular) were judgemental, close minded, bible-thumping fools (John 14:6, in context Luke 6:37-49). The bible was a buffet line and I took what I wanted and the rest was irrelevant because it was written for the people of that time period and no longer applied to us today (2 Tim 3:14-17).

At this point in the story I was a 245 lb gal that was passionate and yet hurting in the world I lived in. I remember thoughts of suicide and searching for significance in all the wrong places. The Lord's common grace in my life blessed me with a supportive family, friends that I dearly loved and many adventures and yet the sin stricken world and my revolt against a holy God left me dissatisfied to say the least. And then college happened...To Be Continued...

Please read all Scripture references for further understanding of the aboves opposing view.

The Beginning of a Blog Series

This entry begins a series of journal entries that I call 3G (Give God the Glory). My old self was graciously interrupted, put to death and through Christ I have a new life. In Christ I still wage war with my flesh, the world and the Enemy. My naturally revolting flesh has tendencies to leave me discouraged, anxious and stagnant at times. I find myself in these moments relating with the Israelites. The Scriptures present numerous occasions when the Israelites "forgot his works and the wonders that he had shown them (Ps 78:11)." When I neglect to preach the gospel to myself and remind myself of God's work in my life are the occasions that I find myself "fainting in the day of adversity, [and my] strength is small." These journals of reflection remind me of where my hope and strength lies. As I write, I pray that you do not see a glorified Kristin, but rather the glorified God that I submit to and serve. It gladdens my heart to also remember that the Lord provided the relationships I have had and have with each of you during their respective seasons. I have been blessed beyond what I deserve and because of this I GIVE my Sovereign GOD the GLORY...To Be Continued...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

School's Out for Summer

The boys (I nanny for) are out for the summer and needless to say the plans are many. I see alot of water in my future. The Zoo, Waterfront park and Cherokee park all have splash parks. The Science Center has a water table that is a big hit. And then, low and behold...we are members at Lakeside Swim Club. So, with sunscreen, towels and lunches in hand, we (Charlie, August and I) will attempt to live as the fish do. I know, I know, I have a rough job!
The Pool Section of the 2 and 1/2 acre Lakeside Swim Club

The Lake Portion of Lakeside.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Here are some pictures from Florida:

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And this is a list of some of the highlights that we did and saw in Daytona:
- Slingshot
- Sailboat Races
- Boogie Boarded
- Shuttle Launch
- Shooting star
- Devotionals
- Picnics by the pool/ocean
- Ice Cream on the Boardwalk
- Cooking
- Karaoke
- Lighthouse
- Running on the Beach
- Dancing
- Swimming
- Sunburns
- Delighting in the Glory of God
- ETC...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What a year!

I am sitting in this great coffee shop called Quills (on the list of favorite places in Louisville) and I am realizing that in one week I will be completing my first year at Southern Seminary and I cannot believe how quickly time has past. I have been through some rough times, and wonderful times. I have learned great things and small in comparison to what all I still have to learn. I have had times of plenty and want. And in summary I am completely and utterly blessed. The summer approaches and I plan on taking the materials from this semester and meditate on the truths that I have learned. I also am in process of joining Baxter Avenue Baptist Church. It has been a long journey finding the church that I will commune with and serve, so I am thrilled. I have three finals next week and then on Saturday I am leaving for a week long trip to Florida. You can click on this link to see where I will be. There are 5 of us girls who are headed to a time share in Daytona. The costs are minimal and the plan is to have great fun and be refreshed by the Word and fellowship.

It is derby season here in Louisville and I am experiencing a whole new culture. For some reason my camera will not upload pictures or else I would have included some. There is plenty to do around here during derby including the nations largest annual firework display (the one thing I have done), parades, parties, hats everywhere, celebrity sightings, balloon races, boat races and of course horse races...oh my...who could be bored?

I was interviewed twice last week and have been thinking about the testimony that the Lord has given me thus far. I really want to be able to blog more about the work that God has done and is doing in my life and I am wanting to do a series on here in giving the Lord the glory for what experiences he has given me and the journeys he has taken me on. I at least have good intentions. I am not sure many really read my blog anymore, but it might be good to remember or reflect where I have come from. For now, though, I must study in attempts to finish the semester strong. Grace and Peace until next time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

In Loving Memory

I found out today that my sweet grandmother died. So this post is in loving memory of Raymond Albert Booth and Donna Mae Booth.
The Lord was gracious in knowing that it is not good for man to be alone. Only four months after my Peepa's death, the time had come for my grandmother to leave this earth. She had gone blind about 4 years ago
and yet she never lost sight of her hope of
salvation through Christ Jesus.
"If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."- John 8
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life.
Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.
Do you believe this?"-John 11
You were loved and you will truly be missed!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Photo Shoot

Sorry for the lack of posts. I am writing papers and reading like crazy right now. I love the paper I am working on now over mortification of sin. Until I can write a real blog here are some engagement pictures that I took this weekend for some friends. I am pretty excited about how they turned out!
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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Vessel of Mercy, Compelled by Compassion

It has been my ultimate prayer recently that the Lord would find me as a faithful servant. In seeking my heart and finding areas where I am sluggard I have been pleading with the Lord to sanctify me with His grace and use me for his mercy. I have found myself praying for opportunities to minister to the lost and bring a message of hope to the hopeless. Daily the Lord has presented opportunities that have broken my heart for the afflicted in each circumstance. The situations that have taken place these past few months have brought me to an utter dependence on the One True God who is sovereign and compassionate. There are many dear to me who are hurting. It is my prayer that in whatever trial that we find ourselves in that we would seek the God who knows us intimately, who created, who is just, who is righteous, who redeems our life from the pit and through Christ's death and resurrection He has conquered the death that sin brought and gives hope beyond this life. This life is a mere mist, like the grass that withers in the winter's cold. I have seen a lot of withering lately. I have also seen a lot of fighting for life...I guess I wonder though, do I fight more for this life that proves to be temporal or for the Life in Christ that is true to be eternal? I pray that God would continue to give me a broken and contrite heart compelled to die to myself and live to glorify the Creator/Redeemer/Savior/Prince of Peace/Sustainer, etc...There is hope beyond the pain of this world. May I be a vessel of God's mercy and compelled with compassion for those who do not know this hope.
Please pray for:
-My grandmother- her brain is no longer bleeding, but the seizures have taken a toll on her. It's been rough on the fam since my grandfather just died and had similar problems.
-My dad- He leaves today for California. He just had heart surgery last week and is doing well.
-A dear family members mother who has lymphoma.
-Tyler and Melissa who miscarried after 22 weeks of pregnancy.
-A very close friend who just received news that she has cancer on her thyroid.
-And for the family of Doris (sweet old lady that I became fond of who died yesterday)

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Prayer Requests

This blog is short and I do apologize, but I need to get some reading the mean time please pray:
I found out today that a very good friend is having a biopsy tomorrow. They found some masses on her thyroid and are concerned it is cancerous. Please pray for her (not sure if she would want her name disclosed yet). Then this evening my dad called and my grandmother (the one in Cali who's husband just died during the Christmas break) fell and the assisted living people found her by her bed. They are not sure how long she had been there. Her brain is bleeding and also her abdomen. She is in ICU and is pretty weak. I will update when I know more. Thanks in advance.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Car blah

A few weeks ago my car was acting up and the Lord was gracious to provide a trustworthy mechanic to do a tune up and change my spark plugs for a very reasonable price. Soon after my car started having problems again, so once again I took my car and this time the news was a little bit harder to swallow. He initially thought it was the fuel pump and replaced it, yet he never thought to look at the engine since I merely have 95,000 miles on my car. He found oil in the vacuum of the engine where this is not supposed to be any oil. The engine is entering a slow death. It seems the only way to fix this problem is to eventually rebuild the engine or...dundundun, get a new/used car. He felt like it will run for quite a while, but just not well. So, I am not opposed to prayer. More importantly...I ask that you pray for my cousin's mother-in-law who just found out that she has lymphoma and for the health of my dad. I rejoice in serving a good and gracious God. May I continue to trust in His good and faithful will.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Little Valentines

I had quite the surprise when the boys I am a Nanny for came over to give me tulips and a card they had made for me. Valentines Day isn't too bad afterall when you have these little guys around. Thank you August and Charlie (My Little Valentines).

Friday, February 06, 2009

Semester Two

As most of you know our first week of classes at Southern were cancelled due to an ice storm. I was so thankful that our electricity was stable throughout the storm. Classes started this week and boy do I have my work cut out for me....And I thought last semester's books stacked high.

I consider myself blessed and the Lord has lavished His grace on me to provide for my schooling and to have me in this institution. The work ahead of me is plentiful, yet I pray that it will make me more useful and fruitful in this lifetime.

One book that I read this week was "The Enemy Within" by Kris Lundgaard. I really appreciated this book and the self-examination that was encouraged as I read. I recommend that you all read it and suggest that it could be a great bible study. Mere suggestions.

Grace and Peace be with you all!

Friday, January 30, 2009

You Must Suffer- Sermon by John Piper

Bonnie Huckabee sent this video to me on Facebook and in her words I truly agree that "this sermon is powerful!" It is well worth your ten minutes. You Must Suffer- click link

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's a Beautiful Mornin'

Last night I received news that Ryan and Sarah Bebee were heading to the hospital because her contractions were getting stronger. At 6:00 this morning I received a picture text of a beautiful baby girl named Brooklynn Grace Bebee. The labor and delivery went unexpectedly fast and due to the treacherous weather conditions we were a bit delayed in getting to the hospital. Thanks to Michael and his fantastic truck we were able to rejoice with the Bebees in person and see the new bundle. Here are pics from the beautiful snow and beautiful Brooklynn Bebee. Congrats again Ryan and Sarah! We do love you guys.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Texas D-Now, California funerals...Gee it's good to be home in Kentucky!

On Thursday January 15th, I along with 9 other folks from Kentucky loaded on a plane and headed to Eldorado, Texas. Our mission was to teach the good news of Jesus Christ and the theme of the weekend was Spiritual Warfare. We knew going into the weekend that we were putting ourselves on the frontline of the battle ground with the theme that was chosen. What i didn't expect was a phone call on Friday night before the basketball games that informed me that my grandfather Raymond A. Booth had died. I had my moment, yet I also felt an urgency like none other to share the gospel with these kids. What Satan may have wanted to use to distract me was used for God's glory. Along with the news that my grandfather had died was the new that my cousin Priscilla Sanders had also died due to a battle with cancer. You can go here to see the tribute her husband made for her and the honorable and inspirational life she lead.

The Scripture that hit me at the game on Friday night was Luke 9:59-60:

To another he said, "Follow me."
But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
And Jesus said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead.
But as for you, GO and PROCLAIM

Through prayer and grace the Lord gave everyone one of us the strength to go and proclaim the kingdom of God. Each one of the preachers (Jason, Eron, Dustin and Blake) that weekend gave a word that was powerful. I am so thankful that the Lord has given us eachother to build one another up, to pray for one another, to exhort and encourage one another in the truth that through one heart, one mind and one Spirit we can go forth in boldness and love and proclaim the truth of the gospel to the town of Eldorado. Please continue to pray for these youth and for Shea and Sylas (the youth minister and his wife).
Sunday we boarded the planes once again and I received news that my grandmother had passed out and was in the hospital. This prompted me to find tickets to California and rush by my families side. We arrived Sunday night in Louisville and by 2:00 Monday afternoon I was back in the airports once again. Monday was Priscilla's funeral, and the days to follow were filled with funeral plans in loving memory of my grandfather. Due to the fact that my grandparents had just moved to Orange County there was no church family or anyone to help with the arrangements. I can now add funeral planner to my resume though. The service was Friday and was very nice. Family members from all over California came in and afterwards we gathered for an after-party and sang around the piano for hours.

Needless to has been a week. Thank you all so much for your prayers. I am undeserved of the grace of God that has brought the friends and family that I have in my life. Thank you so much for mourning with me and encouraging me. Blessed be the name of our Lord and Savior who gives and takes away. Truly His lot for me is good.

Speaking of is good to be home in Kentucky. I have lived out of a suitcase for 4 weeks out of this 6 week break from school. It is time for that break to be over as I start a new semester on Monday. By the way....3 A's and 1 B....makes a 3.7 for my first semester's GPA!!!

I love you all!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I have needed to update since I returned from Texas and have been busy to say the least. My trip was great and the time with loved ones was wonderful. I love Texas and always will and yet I am glad to be back in my new home Kentucky. I went to Fort Worth, Houston, San Angelo and Dallas and did anything from sneeking on rooftops to the stomach bug. The time was delightful and I am almost fully recovered from the amounts of food and the sleep deprivation that took place. Another update to come soon I am sure...Until then here are some pictures.