Tebow Time.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men.” Colossians 3:23.

So long story short, I went to see Tim Tebow play baseball today and it was the best day ever.

I have loved Tim Tebow since I was in high school. I always thought he was incredibly handsome and loved that he worked so hard to accomplish his goals.

Over the years, I have watched a few documentaries and such about him and found out a lot about him. He loves Jesus. He loves people. He loves sports. & so much more.

When I found out that he was no longer playing football, and was playing at an instructional league baseball camp for a few weeks in my town, I just knew I had to go see him. So I took off work today and went with my dad, boyfriend, and roommate to go see him play.

We went to his practices in the morning, and then an actual scrimmage against the Miami Marlins later that afternoon. In the morning, some pretty incredible things happened. A woman in a wheelchair came rolling in with her granddaughter and a sign that said “I am 92 and love Jesus and Tim Tebow.” She said she’d been trying to see him for years and it was almost a dying wish to her to get a photo with him.

Tebow saw her and waved during practice then after he went right to her, introduced himself, and took a photo with her. *Be still my beating heart.* Also during his practice, there was a big group of people who had disabilities and they came running toward the fence and the people at the field tried to stop them. The woman with the group said that they participated in his foundation’s “Night to Shine” and that they wanted to thank him for what he had done. Instead of letting the people keep them away, he stepped out of his practice and told them it was okay. He hugged EACH of them and took a picture with then.

I know 100% in my heart that these were not a publicity stunt. Or just a way to make more attention for himself. He just really loves people like Jesus calls us to.

He even stood there in the rain after the game and signed things for everyone there (myself included) even though his manager kept telling him he needed to go!!

The one thing I have learned today is that I want to love people like Tim Tebow does. I know he’s not perfect, but he loves like Jesus Christ, and what a beautiful thing that is.

-Kristin-

P.S. Go Mets!

God-Sized Hole.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Ever been responsible for your own misery by trying to fill a God-sized hole with things that will never satisfy you?

I have.

-Kristin

Loving Only the Few.

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:19-21

Today, I am ready to discuss something that has always been heavy on my heart. It is something that goes against everything I have been taught and practiced in my life. I can guarantee that it is going to bother some people but I am ready for that.

We are called to love others as God has loved us, but do we really ever do that?

I know I am guilty of this as well.

I live on the Treasure Coast of the state of Florida which has the highest number of “never churched” people in the entire United States. I find myself often surrounded by non-believers in every part of my life and instead of actually showing them Christ’s love, I back away and just say that I’ll pray for them. I even said this same thing in a post I wrote for another blog before. Why should I get myself involved with them? They’re non-believers, they will just drag me down into their traps of deception. Right?

Wrong. So wrong.

I have always heard how we cannot surround ourselves with people who are not like minded. “Just pray for them, but do not keep them as friends.” Seriously?! Why do we as a Christ loving society consider this okay? Jesus would surround himself with non-believers, and people who loved God too, and love ALL of them. He positively affected them, and turned many of them into lovers of God or even faithful servants of Him.

If we consider ourselves lovers of Christ, why don’t we love ALL? Why don’t we reach a hand out in love for ALL? Why don’t we befriend ALL? Why don’t we become the bigger person and show non-believers that they are so loved that the one true God sent His son down to the earth to suffer and die on a cross for their sins? Staying true to our faith even when those some of those same people try to tell us otherwise? Why are we taking the easy way out when we are called to be BOLD?

I have fallen short of this call to boldness & love. But I know that each day is the chance for a change, and I am ready to change my mindset on this issue. Are you?

-Kristin-

Dear Kristin.

“Dear younger me
It’s not your fault
You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross
Dear younger me

You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed

Every mountain every valley
Thru each heartache you will see
Every moment brings you closer
To who you were meant to be
Dear younger me, dear younger me”

-MercyMe, “Dear Younger Me”

Dear Kristin,

Where do I begin?

You are a teenage mess. You will never be a popular kid. You will never be the prom queen. You are clumsy (let’s be real here, you know it). You are selfish. You are a gossip. You choose to let others define your limitations. That boy will break your heart (over and over again) and you will let him. You will fail more than you succeed.

But you are so wonderful despite all of these negative attributes.

You care about people who don’t even care about themselves. You work hard every single day in and out of school. You can calm people with just your presence. You see the positive in all situations. You befriend those who have been deemed “hopeless causes”.

You will grow up to find that you didn’t marry that boy right out of college. You didn’t become a nurse. You didn’t start out a university right after high school like most everyone else. You didn’t start having a family by the age of 23. You aren’t wealthy.

Girl, you became something so much better that your dreams ever could imagine.

By the age of 24, you graduated with a Master of Education degree. You became a teacher of little people who think you’re the coolest person in the world when you wear a dress with polka dots. People tell you that your deep faith in Jesus Christ shows them how real He really is (WHOA). There’s so much more that I don’t even want to tell you about yet because I can’t wait for you to experience the awesomeness/craziness of this life for yourself.

I would like to tell you that I hope you do not have to endure trials and heartache, but honestly, I hope you do. Those mistakes and pains have made me the person I am today.

& for that I am grateful.

-Kristin-

Gramma.

“For it is by Grace you have been saved-through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift from God-not by works so that no one can boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9

I was 12 when my grandmother (Dad’s mom) passed away suddenly of a heart attack. It was horrible. She had smoked all of her adult life and in the end, that is what took her life.

I spent quite a bit of time with her as a child, which I am grateful for, but I really never got to know her as much as I thought I did. She seemed to love this Jesus guy a lot because she had pictures of Him and Bible verses all over her house having to do with him. She even had this sign (its at my Dad’s house now) that says “I asked Jesus, ‘How much do you love me?’ And Jesus said, ‘This much.’ Then He stretched out His arms and died.” What the heck did that even mean? I did not know much about this Jesus guy though other than what she and my parents mentioned about him sometimes. He seemed cool but I did not know who He really was.

It wasn’t until about ten year after my grandmother’s death, that I found out about Jesus for myself. He actually was pretty cool, but I found out He was so much more than that. He sacrificed himself to be tortured to death and hung on a cross to die for my sins. WHOA. That sign from my grandmother’s house started to make some sense to me now.

My father gave me a bunch of her stuff years after she passed. A giant, BEAUTIFUL painted portrait of Jesus, her rocking chair, and her old Bible. Within the Bible, it had Ephesians 2:8-9 handwritten on the inside cover. I read it for the first time and it struck me how much my grandmother truly loved Jesus and believed in Him with all of her heart. I know she is in Heaven right now with Him, and this has brought me such peace.

My grandmother has been gone for 12 years now, and she is still impacting me and my walk with Christ. Isn’t it crazy how much of an impact that (we don’t even realize yet) that we will have on future generations of believers AND non-believers?

My Gramma left her unwavering faith here to impact myself and others. What will we leave behind when we depart from this earth?

-Kristin-

Delight My Soul.

“In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” Psalms 94:19.

Why do we think its so great to be busy all the time? Running here, running there, planning for this and that…especially in the church.

Our lives become so cluttered with this stuff and its just STUFF.

I found myself earlier this year just loading myself with plans. Teaching Sunday school, my Singles Life Group, my Women’s Life Group, volunteering at the church, etc. I was going to church every Sunday and putting my all into serving as much as I could. I was immersed and feeling kind of lost at the same time.

But at that moment, I felt further away from Jesus than I ever had before.

It felt like I was doing these things for selfish reasons, for my own gain, and not for Jesus and His Kingdom.

I was still doing my devotionals and listening to my worship music but I felt so empty. My prayer game was weak. I was physically there doing all of these things, but my heart was so far away from the real reason we serve and involve ourselves in these things: Jesus.

I finally spoke up about it one night in my Singles Life Group and said that I was quitting pretty much everything except going to Life Group and church on Sunday because of this. I honestly expected them to give me crap and say that if anything, I should serve more.

But the unexpected happened, and most of them said that they agreed with me and they have been there before too. I was pretty shocked, but at the same time, thankful that this wasn’t just something I was experiencing.

I have de-cluttered my life of the “church junk” until I feel like I am ready to serve happily, for Jesus. I really do not know when that day will come, but I know it will come exactly when it is supposed to.

I’ve come to the realization that it is better to have a relationship with Christ than to just be a face in the church.

-Kristin-

Living the Life of Job.

But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold. Job 23:10.

Someone asked me the other day why I chose “Forth as Gold” for the name of this blog. It seems like a really random name that I just picked out of a Bible verse, because it sounded different, but it really means so much more than that.

Have you ever read the book of Job or parts of it? If you haven’t, the premise of it is that God allowed the Devil to test his servant Job. He said he could do anything he wants to him, except kill him. God said that no matter what happens to him, Job will never turn his back on Him. So the Devil tore apart his life. He lost his health, wealth, family; seriously everything.

I feel like there have been times in my life that I can relate to Job and his struggles. When my world comes crashing down and I feel like I have lost everything that I have considered near and dear to my heart. It may not be as severe as what Job went through, but man, it sure felt like it at the time.

I was going to a Bible study once and when we got into small groups of three, we got into a discussion about the things we were going through. After I finished speaking, one of the guys in my group said “You know what? Right now, you’re living the life of Job. The Devil is throwing ALL of his nastiness at you, and God is just saying ‘Wow, look at my daughter shine through all the ugliness you have thrown at her’. You’ve just gotta keep your head up and remember that the bad times don’t last forever.”

I have never forgotten that.

Here’s the best part about the book of Job: God was right, Job clung to Him instead of turning his back on Him and trusted Him entirely through every storm of his life.

Now every time I feel down and overwhelmed, I think about how God is proud of me for clinging to Him during these rough times instead of turning my back on Him.

So naturally, when I started this blog I had to come up with a name that described the journey that I have had so far in my life. God knows my love for Him and knows His great love for me, and even though I fail sometimes, I know that when he tests me I will truly come FORTH AS GOLD.

-Kristin-

Never Forget.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.”-Romans 12:9

Fifteen years ago tonight, thousands of Americans went to sleep never expecting it to be the last time they would ever sleep in their beds. They woke up, brushed their teeth, combed their hair, ate breakfast and (hopefully) kissed and hugged their loved ones for what they did not realize would be the final time.

The following morning, these thousands of Americans would be murdered in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. They were passengers of hijacked airplanes that were flown into buildings in New York City. Passengers flown into the the side of the Pentagon. Passengers who fought back with all their might and saved others while their hijacked plane was flown into the ground in a field in Pennsylvania. Workers who chose to jump to their deaths from 100 stories high rather than burn to death in the fiery hell that had become the World Trade Center. Police officers, firefighters, and civilians who lost their lives going into this burning building to save strangers.

These 2,996 people never got to see their loved ones again, and their loved ones still grieve their loss to this day. The pain will never fully disappear.

We must choose to love one another SINCERELY every single day.

We do not know when our last day will be. We may never know when we will see our loved ones for the final time. Often we assume that people know that we love them, but this is not always the case. Say it! Say it often to your loved ones with meaning. Show it! Show it in your actions everyday. Never let it go unknown what you feel for someone. Love, love, love hard!!!

Please pray tonight for our nation, those who love us, those who hate us, and all those affected by the tragedy that happened 15 years ago. Then go hug and kiss your loved ones. Be grateful for them. Or pick up the phone and call someone you have not talked to in a while, and let them know you love them. There are so many things in this world that we cannot control, but this is one that we can. Love without abandon and show it to the world.

I love you all.

-Kristin-

Altogether Beautiful.

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. Song of Solomon 4:7

All of my life I have been known as a “nice” girl. A girl who would do anything for others, and often let people walk all over her. It has really caused me a lot of heartache over the years because people often take advantage of it. I forgive quickly(and mean it), try to let it go, say I am sorry all the time, and love/pray for people who do not deserve it. I often give too many chances, and I have seen this as a huge flaw in myself and an act of weakness.

The Bible says that we should turn the other cheek when people hurt us and to humble ourselves. The world tells us to get revenge on them, and to never trust them again.

So what do you do? What do you choose? What path to you take?

I have recently realized that the world’s opinion has been affecting me more than ever. I have hardened my heart and have stopped giving the chances to people. I have turned myself from them and spewed nasty words.

The Devil snuck up on me in the sneakiest way…by hitting me where I thought I was flawed. He took what was love and turned it into something evil.

Just because I forgive and love people to the point that it hurts does not mean that I am weak. It means that I am stronger than I ever thought I was. God made me. He made me this way, and for that I am grateful.

Yeah, it stinks always being the nice person and the bigger person, but gosh it is just so wonderful, too. I know that God will continue to chisel my hardened heart and make me that person again.

How lucky are we to have a God who loves our messed up hearts?

-Kristin-