Sunday, October 17, 2010


Nearing November 2, there is always a heightened awareness to politics.  The question is always asked, "What is your platform? What do you stand for?"  When we think about most uses of the word platform describe as a foundation, indicating a firm base to stand on.  One of the interesting ways I found the word platform used was as a computer term.  Platforms were defined as an architecture or framework that allows something to run.

Being a person of a passionate nature, I often have opinions about topics and beliefs: my platform.  But frequently I wonder if our opinions just remain as something firm to stand upon?  One of my dear friends, Krisi Johnson, shared this link with me, Why I Fight.  It is a beautiful picture of a couple, obedient to God's calling, who did not stand firm but is allowing something to run.  Their project is about a passion I shared (immigration), and I sat there in class moved almost to tears (but refrained because then I would have to understand the reason for the tears and admit that my attention was not on her scattered palaver about backwards design in curriculum).

Today I am asking the questions, how can we live in a way that our convictions and passions are not merely claims but a way of life?

So, I am curious, what organizations do you value and think are worthwhile to invest in?  Post the links here!  Let's rally behind important things together.

I started my list:
Red Rocks Church : My church, who does an awesome job of being
Denver Public Schools: How I get to serve an incredible population of underprivileged group of kiddos
Tennyson Center for Children: a faith based safe house for kids in rough family situations I go to with my bible study
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation:  discovering ways to help cure type 1 diabetes
National Association for Bilingual Education: advocating for and educating about bilingual education

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Throw me a freaking bone

Shocking title...I know.  This is the reality of life though. We are not promised easy and we are never told we have to pretend it is all good.  This blog can be kind of like the Psalms.  I love King David and his ability to say the most profound awestruck lyrics about God.  When we are in those moments where life takes our breath away by its beauty and we are left without a single thing to even mutter, there is a Psalm.  Consequently, in the midst of great sorrow or hardship (which no life is void of), that same King writes, and there is a Psalm.

Ever been in a season of life where the strains and the demands of those around you pile up like the trash can of a college student? Everyone walks by and adds a little something and knowing that like Jenga, eventually that one piece on top will just make the whole thing topple over.  I think this is a season everyone can relate to.  While enduring the balancing act, eventually there is a cry to just stop. 

It is hard to deny the unfairness of people's situations in a fallen world as the news bombards us with stories of wars, murders, house evictions, natural disasters and our friends share heart wrenching stories of the broken things in their life.  My heart goes out to those who are living in situations where life just isn't giving them a break.   So let's cry, let's mourn, let's pore out our hurts, struggles and fears.

...but then let's praise.  There is hope, there is purpose.  Within our struggle there is triumph, from our pain comes beauty. 

Hebrews 12:1-13 says
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons.  My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.  Endure hardship as a discipline; God is treating you as his sons.  For what son is not disciplined by his father?  If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.  Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it.  How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.  Make level paths for your feet, so that they lame may not be disabled, but rather, healed." (emphasis mine)

There is nothing left to say to life but: BRING. IT. ON. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

God of this city

If you know me, you know my love for the world, traveling and especially Latin America.  On Friday, I got to go to a concert with Saundie to help raise money for a mission trip at our church.  The group is going to Guatemala and as I watched the video about their plans for the trip and heard the stories of the couple who is planning on moving to the site to start a church.  I must admit that I was slightly envious. All throughout college, I was certain that I was meant to live, and serve there.  My heart yearns for a great story to be told about the life I lead and missionary life sounds so glamorous (in that I gave up my comforts for Christ kinda way).  I sat during the concert and wondered if I was where I was supposed to be? Denver? Colorado? Where the poorest are often richer than the middle class among other countries surrounding us? Where everything is at our fingertips? Where I can live a privileged life?  Shouldn't a devout Christian be living in the desert eating locusts like John the Baptist?

I listen to this song and I am reminded of the plan and purpose God has for me here.  About five months ago, before I retreated to another summer of camp, I was given a clear instruction.  Kirsten, you are here. I need you here.  God put such a call on my heart for beginning a Spanish ministry here, at my church, in a creepy theme park where no one even speaks Spanish, except my friend Roberto who I tricked into coming. So far, the Spanish ministry is me and him, but the Lord blesses those who wait, entonces aqui espero. 

The waiting place is not my favorite place to be but it is essential.  The semillitas (seeds) have been planted but even someone with the blackest of thumbs could tell you that they cannot be harvested the next day.  Paul talks about this in Romans 1:13a "I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you..." Many times we know exactly what we need to do and then we are asked to wait.  During this time, God is growing a crop and working the fields so that the harvest may be great.

Mientras espero, God reveals to me my purpose.  Purpose 1: boy repeating 2nd grade who clowns around to avoid the emotions of a hard upbringing, 2: troublemaker from the womb just looking for affirmation and attention from someone, ANYONE, 3: a girl sharing a small apartment with 3 siblings and a mom, just barely making it by, 4: girl enjoying time with her Dad who spenta good chunk of her life in jail and is finally out, 5: cousins who cling to each other because that is who they have, 6: girl who is timid and looking for a friend, 7: girl lacking boundaries and love, 8: girl just wanting affirmation that she is loved and alright, 9: girl overflowing with life and giving joy to all around her, 10: 9's table buddy wanting to fit in but being so different, 11: a fourth grader my project from two years ago who has built up a tough shell and rarely lets anyone to see the real her. 

And so today I remember: greater things are yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city.  I am here.  I am in His will and my life is being used for His Glory.  What more can a girl ask for?