Walking on Water

Recently I’ve been questioning a lot of things in my life and dealing with uncertainty. I recently moved back to Cincinnati from Lynchburg, VA. I was attending seminary in Lynchburg, but felt that God was calling me back to Cincinnati. After much prayer, God opened a door for me to move back. Moving to back to Cincinnati required me to leave many incredible friends and an amazing youth group. I was reluctant to leave for those reasons, but I knew God was calling me back to Cincinnati.

I moved back in July and have been crazy busy since. Working a full-time job and taking classes online, made life quite stressful. Upon moving back, I began to search for a home church. I had originally planned to attend my church that I had attended before I moved to Virginia, but I felt God was calling me someplace else. Since then, I’ve been attending a new church for about three months. My heart is with teen girls, I thoroughly enjoyed being a youth ministry leader at my previous church and my plan was to volunteer again at my new church. However, it hasn’t quite worked out that way.

Fast-forward to December, and I had yet to be a part of a youth group again. After pouring into young girls lives for an entire year and then leaving it all behind, I craved to be a leader again. I began to feel quite discouraged by it all. I finished seminary in December as well which added more discouragement. I found myself questioning God’s plan for my life. Why would God close the door on me being a leader again? After all, that is what I’ve been called to do. I grew frustrated as each week went by that I wasn’t leading young girls. My anger and discouragement began to flow into other areas of my life and my relationships. That is until I just broke down and cried out to God. I suddenly felt a great sense of peace come over me. It’s as if God was saying, “Don’t worry, I got you. Just trust me.” At that moment I felt like Peter when Jesus walked on the sea to his fishing boat. Not trusting that it was Jesus, Peter asked Jesus to command him to come out to Him on the water. Jesus said, “Come.” And Peter stepped out of the boat and onto the water and began walking. But winds came and Peter became afraid and began to sink. He cried out, “Lord, save me.” “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him.”(Matthew 14:31 KGV) The King James Version of this version is definitely my favorite translation with the phrase “caught”. This is such a humbling picture of God’s grace. Although I doubted His plans for my life, He reached out and caught me as He did Peter. God may push to the edge, but will never let you fall off. He wants us to trust Him fully. When you feel like you’re about to fall, call out to Jesus, as Peter did, and He will be there with arms wide open.

-til next time

It’s been a while…

Wow. I just realized that it’s been nearly a year since I’ve posted on here. I’m quite saddened by that. But, I can honestly say that this year has been crazy! As you may recall, the end of last year wasn’t the greatest for me, but God has shown me so much through that accident. At the beginning of the year, God blessed me with the car that I had wanted for three years. Three years! I was blown away! Although I was quite upset about the car accident, God showed me to trust Him in everything.

Around the same time I began what would be my last residential semester in Seminary. About halfway through the semester, I felt God calling me away from Lynchburg. After much prayer, I felt that God was calling me back to Cincinnati to serve in a city ministry. In July God opened the door to a fantastic job opportunity and I was able to move back to Cincinnati. Shortly after, I started my job as well as my last semester of Seminary online. I was taking three classes and working full-time. Needless to say I was incredibly stressed all the time. There were many times when I didn’t think that I was going to make it through and I cried out to God for help. By God’s incredible grace, I received all A’s in my classes. There was absolutely no way that I could have achieved those grades on my own. Once again God was teaching me to trust Him.

Fast forward to November, God blessed me with a little niece! It was actually a year to the day of my car accident. God works in the craziest ways sometimes. I’m so incredibly grateful for His grace and love!

As the end of the year draws near, I’m officially finished with grad school and ready for what God has in store for me in this new year! And now that I have more time on my hands, I’m going to be updating this blog regularly. I’m praying that each of you have a wonderful new year. Talk to you soon!

-Kimberly

There Are No Coincidences With God

So I cannot believe that 2013 is nearing an end. But I figured I would write a post about a few of my experiences. There were so many milestones in my life that occurred during 2013. First, I graduated from college. What an incredible feeling it was to walk across that stage. I learned so many things during my four years in Cincinnati. Secondly, I decided that I was going to further my education in Virginia at Liberty University’s Seminary. I was quite apprehensive but I know know that’s where God wanted me to be. And I can honestly say that my first few months at Seminary have been some of the best times of my life. I thoroughly enjoy it. I love the classes, the professors, and all of the wonderful friends that I have met. I cannot wait to see how God is going to continue to work in me and through me. Although the majority of this year has been great, the end hasn’t been so. I was in two car accidents within three months and the last one totaled my car. Neither of the accidents were my fault, which made it worse. With the last accident, my mom and I were both taken to the hospital and my mother had a bleed on her brain. Needless to say, I was quite scared. My mom is doing much better now and I know that God will use this accident for His glory. God is good and I know that there are no coincidences with Him. I know that this new year will be a year of continuing refinement for me and I’m prepared to follow through with faith wherever God may lead me.

Talk to you next year,

-Kimberly

Renewing Contentment

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Someone once told me that if you aren’t struggling with your Christian walk, then perhaps satan is leaving you alone because you are where he wants you to be. It is only when you are on the right path that things begin to unravel. This statement has never rang more true in my life than now. Recently, I feel like I have a huge target on my back. Everytime I turn around, satan is kicking me when I’m down and trying his best to get me off track.

About three months ago I moved over 500 miles away to attend Seminary. This was quite a change for me. I went from attending a public university of roughly 42,000 students to a private Christian school with about 500 students. It was definitely going to be an adjustment. Honestly, if it were up to me I probably would have stayed in Cincinnati. I had lived there for the last four years and to me, that was home. However, that was my dream, and I knew that God had a different plan in mind. He was calling me to ministry and after slight hesitance, I made the trek to Seminary.

Seminary, like any grad school, is not easy. There is endless amounts of reading and writing and many book reviews and research papers. Although there is a lot of work, Seminary is truly a great place to be. My professors are fantastic and the people that I’ve met are some of the most humble and genuine people that I have ever met.

But as always, when we radically take steps of faith to follow God and we surrender to His will, satan is always scheming to veer us off course. Recently, this battle has been raging frequently within my life. Satan is well aware that I am in Seminary to prepare for ministry and to multiply God’s kingdom, and he’s using every play in the book. Whether it was the test that I didn’t do so well on, me being over 500 miles away from my family and friends, missing the city, or just the fact that Virginia is not Ohio. I feel like I’ve been in the ring for an endless amount of matches, just waiting for my breaking point. But, this week God showed me that He’s always there to tag me out of the battle and to fight for me.

Every week the Seminary has chapel. There’s worship and a speaker delivers a message. This week’s chapel was one of those times when it feels like it’s just you and God and He’s telling you that everything is going to be ok. The message was about not looking at your successes, but rather look to Jesus. Well, that took away my worry about not doing well on a test. After the sermon there was an invitation and a friend prayed for me. There God was again, showing me that although I may miss my friends in Cincinnati, He has brought so many great new ones into my life.

That evening I was driving home as the sun was setting over the mountains. It was incredibly beautiful. Once again, it was as if God was sitting in the passenger seat telling me, “Look at this amazing beauty that I have blessed you with. But you still want to be someplace else.” God was slowly breaking down everything that caused my discontentment the past few weeks.

Despite my recent discontentment, I know that Seminary is exactly where God wants me to be and that He will bless my obedience, in due time. As James 1:12 states “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” My blessings are coming and as one of my dear friends stated, God is refining me right now. He knows that I will go nowhere if I keep my wants and desires in the back of my mind. Living surrendered to His plan, requires me to put mine behind me. My life may not be going the way that I planned it, but it’s going exactly how God planned it, and I can rest in that.

‘Til next time,

Kimberly

Rain In Due Season

Recently I’ve been having issues with patience. Being surrounded by a culture of people who want instant gratification in every aspect of life, I have began to fall captive to these ideas myself. There is one aspect of my life that I have been struggling with, that aspect being, the want for a husband. I can honestly say that impatience has never been an issue in my life before recently. But, everyday another one of my friends are tying the knot and or getting engaged, and each time thoughts begin racing through my mind. Thoughts like: “what is wrong with me?”, “Why am I not finding my true love?”, “Am I supposed to be single?” However, deep down I know that nothing is wrong with me and that I am not destined to be single. I just have an issue with patience. As Psalm 37:7 states, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him…” And before that in verse 4 it states to “Delight thyself in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” If this isn’t incredibly clear, I’m not sure what is. Because I have the desire for marriage, I know that God is faithful and sovereign and He can most definitely provide a husband for me. I just have to continue to follow Him with all of my heart, knowing that He will provide. Which can be extremely difficult sometimes. Especially when you are surrounded by so many great men. But, all I can say to you single godly women out there, is that there is nothing wrong with you. God has made you beautifully in His image. But, as I previously mentioned in one of my other blogs (Waiting For His Best) , Satan will try everything in his power to get you to settle for less than God’s best for you. He will bring men into your life who seem so perfect in every aspect, but are not Christian. Trust me, I’ve experienced this, see Treading Through Rushing Waters. All I’m asking is please, do not settle. If you have any second thoughts of any degree, run! Have patience and know that God is good and will provide. Also, for any men reading this, I have a few words of advice. First, pray for your wife. Whoever she may be, pray that God will be working on her heart and pray that she will love God more than you. So that you will have to develop an even deeper relationship with Him before finding her. Secondly, don’t be afraid to step out and approach her. Ask her to coffee. We love coffee! The worst thing that she will do is say no, and if she does, then brush it off and know that God closed that door for a reason. Oh, and thirdly, coffee does not mean that you want to marry her. It’s just two friends getting to know each other while drinking fantastic beverages.

But all in all, have patience and know that God has already provided so much for us, why would He stop now? Rest in the fact that God is good will provide when He feels that we are in the right season to follow through. You don’t want to meet your future spouse and absolutely ruin that relationship because you wanted the person that you needed to be first. God is sovereign. Be patient.

‘Til Next Time,

Kimberly

Waiting for His Best

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Something that I will never grasp is the concept of casual dating. Time and time again I see people around me beginning relationships, and each time I see them hurt at the end. Ladies, we must stop allowing men, who or may or may not be there for us the next day, control so much of our hearts.

Now, I realize this is quite simple to type out, but much more difficult to do so. However, if we take a step back and examine our hearts, it may not be so hard after all.

The thing that I don’t understand about dating, is the purpose. Why do we devote so much time for someone, who the majority of the time, we would not consider marrying. Dating is simply a quick fix for loneliness and a selfish attempt to fill that void in our hearts. Well, guess what ladies, that void is not fulfilled by a man, it is fulfilled by Jesus Christ.

So many times we begin to like a guy if he shows us the slightest bit of attention. We begin to change ourselves to what he views as the perfect girl. And before we figure out what is happening, we end up hurt. Why do we invest so much time into boys? I say “boys” because if they were men, they would never lead you on to begin with. Ladies, we need an intervention. We need to get our hearts and minds right with our savior, Jesus Christ. Just a word of advice, if you think a boy can fill the void in your heart, he certainly cannot. That void is in the shape of Jesus. He is the only one that can fill it.

Psalm 139:14 states that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. What would ever possess us to settle for anything less than God’s best for us? Simple. The enemy constantly tells us lies that we are not good enough, and he will try everything to keep us from receiving God’s best for us. Although these lies are the complete opposite of what Jesus thinks, we still tend to believe them. But, we must stop doing this, ladies!

When we begin to think that we are not good enough for God’s best, we must focus our eyes back on Jesus, Who will never steer us wrong. Let God make a man out of him before you make a husband out of him. I’m not saying go to church and start dating the first cute boy that you see. Just because he’s there, doesn’t mean that he has a relationship with God. By waiting for God’s best, it will get lonely. But, view this time of waiting as a blessing. Focus on building your relationship with God and becoming closer to Him. The time of waiting may be difficult, but trust me ladies, it will be worth wait.

’til next time,

Kimberly

Grace Like An Ocean

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Last year I read the book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris. This book discusses dating and relationships and what it means to fully submit your love life to God. My perspective on dating changed greatly after reading this book. Written in the perspective of a 21-year-old male, it’s hard hitting and completely honest. Of the many great chapters in this book, one stood out to me the most. This chapter was on Grace. Because it moved me so much, I figured that I would share a part of it with you. May it be a blessing.

The Room 

“In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index-card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read “Girls I Have Liked.” I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn’t match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named “Friends” was next to one marked “Friends I Have Betrayed.”

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. “Books I Have Read,” “Lies I Have Told,” “Comfort I Have Given,” “Jokes I Have Laughed At.” Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: “Things I’ve Yelled at My Brothers.” Others I couldn’t laugh at: “Things I Have Done in My Anger,” “Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents.” I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked “Songs I Have Listened To,” I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn’t found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked “Lustful Thoughts,” I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.

An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: “No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!” In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn’t matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore “People I Have Shared the Gospel With.” The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus.

I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn’t bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn’t anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn’t say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.

“No!” I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was “No, no,” as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn’t be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, “It is finished.”

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.”

By Joshua Harris. Orginally published in New Attitude Magazine. Copyright New Attitude, 1995. 

If you were moved by this as much as I was, please give the book a read. It’s definitely a game changer.

Til next time.

-Kimberly

Beware of Christians

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A couple of months ago, I came across a movie at Family Christian bookstore. This movie was called “Beware of Christians” It instantly caught my eye and I began to read the back of it.

“Four college students leave their routine Christian lives in the U.S. in a quest to find what it really means to be a follower of Jesus.”

It was quite relatable to me, considering I am also in college. A lot of people may be turned off or maybe even offended by the title of this movie, however if you actually stop and think about it, the haze clears and things begin to come full circle. Christians, myself included, always have issues with following our own paths versus the one that Jesus has already laid out for us. We tend to live one way and believe another.

Within the first five minutes of the documentary, I was already convicted by a quote that was featured by Brennan Manning. “The single greatest cause of Atheism today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and deny Him by their lifestyle.” So many people today are turned off by the stereotypical Christian who lives one way during the week and another on Sunday. Being a Christian isn’t a one-day-a-week thing. It’s a 24/7 365 deal. Jesus gave His life for us, and then we get frustrated when our lives get interrupted. What we fail to realize is that our lives are but a mist and are quickly fleeting; Jesus is the only constant.

This movie covers a few of the biggest struggles that Christians face everyday, of which include: identity, materialism, sex/relationships, church, wealth/poverty, media/entertainment, and alcohol.

When the guys began talking about identity it was like a slap in the face. They interviewed multiple people and asked them each if they had Christian friends and if they replied with yes, they then asked “what sets them apart from all of your other friends?” One of the people said that the only difference is that “they” are busy on Sundays. That statement hit me. I never want to be classified as a Christian only because I’m busy on Sundays. I want to be known as a Christian who is strong in their faith. I want to be set apart from everyone else because Jesus Christ died for my sins and I have been forgiven and made new.

Another thing that really affected me was the subject of materialism. The guys were in Rome when they covered this topic. While there, they saw a concept car pull up and people began to crowd around the car and take photos. Although the person wasn’t a celebrity, people treated him as if he was. The guys proceeded to interview some of the people asking “what would you give up to have this car?” The answers were quite disappointing. One replied with “my family and friends”, another with “everything” and yet another with “my left leg”. It’s crazy to think that people would sacrifice that which cannot be replaced for something so temporary and fleeting. Could you imagine if we would sacrifice this much for God? The thing is, we are supposed to. In Matthew 16:24-25, it states: “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” As stated in these verses we are to take up our cross and follow God. If we surrender our life to Him, we will find life, but if we decide to stick to our old ways, we will lose it. It continues in verse 26 by stating “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” If we have all of these possessions and earthly things, but lose ourselves in it, then what good are they? If our hearts are focused on God then there will be no room for worldly possessions to possess us. As Matthew 6:21 states, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Furthermore, yet another topic that convicted me was the topic on relationships. This has been a struggle of mine recently. One of the discussions really opened my eyes. This discussion was about where we get our advice from. One of the guys, Michael, made a statement that stuck with me. “When we were in high school, who did we get our advice from? High schoolers. And it’s the same for college. Why weren’t we asking older people? Those who have experienced it. When I did talk to them, I realized that none of them said “Oh, I wish I would have dated more people.” or “I wish I would have kissed more people.” Everyone says, “I wish I would have waited more.”” Even in my own experience and everyone I talk to, this rings true. We tend to get caught up in the moment and the possible effects of our actions dissolve. Thus, leaving us with regret.

Overall, this is a fantastic movie. I was able to take so much from this movie and apply it to my life. Also, there are so many different viewpoints in the movie, adding depth. It is awesome to watch four college students travel across the world speaking to multiple people about Jesus. It definitely puts things in perspective. So take a trip to your local Family Christian bookstore, or even to Netflix, and check it out!

Til Next Time
-Kimberly

Agape

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“The most spectacular, indescribable, deep euphoric feeling for someone.” This is the definition of Love according to urban dictionary. Love is something that society has twisted the meaning of for quite some time.

When we think of love, we automatically think of someone or something. We love our parents. We love our friends. We love our car. We love our dog. But the thing is, love is not an emotion, it’s an action.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8(ESV) it states that: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,endures all things. Love never ends…

Love is, God giving His son to cover our sins.

Love is, Jesus dying for our sins.

Love is not, just something that we fall into.

We choose love.

As Christians we are called to share agape love, a love that is selfless, unconditional and unwavering. However, worldly values sometimes overshadow agape love and turn it into conditional fleeting love. We love our friends, but the moment that they do something to hurt us, that love alters or fades out completely.

We must learn how to love one another like Christ loved us. Constantly offering second chances to others and obeying the 70×70 rule in Matthew 18:22(KJV) “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

Needless to say, we should always be forgiving. Regardless of how bad someone has hurt us. We must share the same love that God has shared with us. The love that requires effort and action. More importantly, the love that has given us multiple second chances.

Til next time.

-Kimberly

Contentedness

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I was reading a devotional this evening and came across Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” This verse really convicted me. Here I am always wanting something new, currently it’s a new camera. When in reality I should be thankful that I am fortunate enough to have a camera. God is speaking directly to you and I in this verse saying, “be grateful for what you have. I am with you and always will be.” Sometimes, if we are not careful this world will consume us. We must constantly be seeking God and yearning for his blessings in everything. If we neglect to involve God in a particular part or aspect of our lives, usually it’s because deep down we know that it is not satisfying God but, instead our flesh. As the holidays grow nearer, take a moment to thank God for what He has already blessed you with and be content with what you have. Remember it is the season of giving. Be a blessing to someone in need.

-Kimberly

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