Welcome to My New Blog!

paint cans - three stripes on wall

My new self-hosted WordPress blog is currently

“UNDER CONSTRUCTION.”

You know how remodeling goes – all that hammering and banging and stuff changing every few minutes?

I decided to spare you the mess and just “go dormant” for a while.

I appreciate your patience while the renovation is completed…

…and I look forward to re-connecting REAL soon!

Blessings,

Kim

DISCIPLESHIP BOOKS – “Tools for Your Toolbelt”

blonde woman with toolbelt - closeup (landscape)

If you’re starting to mentor a younger believer for the first time, it can be helpful to draw on the experience of others. There are many books on the subject, but here are a few that are great to have in your mentoring toolbelt!

FOR NEW BELIEVERS

ONE-TO-ONE DISCIPLING, Multiplication Ministries International  Cost: $12.50   (Order #: M5500)

This is a 9-week study that covers the basics of the faith, including: assurance of salvation, attributes of God, the Bible, prayer, the Holy Spirit, fellowship, witnessing, temptation, and obedience. It contains detailed instructions for the discipler, and is designed to be done one-on-one – although it also works in a small group. This materials is excellent, but can be a little dry unless you add the “relational” element, in which case it becomes riveting!

A DISCIPLESHIP JOURNEY - PAPERBACK, David Buehring Cost: $11.96

EBOOK Cost: $49.95

DVD Cost: $49.95

This is a 48-week, year-long study of the basics of walking with Christ and becoming a disciple. This can be done one-on-one, in groups, or as a whole congregation, and is available in ebook and video format. Topics include Knowing God, A Call to Discipleship, The Grace of God, The Cross, Sin & Repentance, Hearing the Voice of God, The Disciple’s Disciplines, Relationships, Spiritual Warfare, The Church in Acts, Advancing the Kingdom, Passion, Purpose, & Giftedness, and Making Disciples.
  

FOR NEW TO INTERMEDIATE BELIEVERS – AND BEYOND

THE LIFE YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED, John Ortberg  Cost: $14.07

With a new chapter on prayer and added discussion questions, this expanded edition of The Life You’ve Always Wanted offers modern perspectives on the ancient path of the spiritual disciplines. But this is more than just a book about things to do to be a good Christian. It’s a road map toward true transformation that starts not with the individual but with the object of the journey—Jesus Christ.

I’ve personally found this book to be extremely transformational, especially its fresh look at the “spiritual disciplines.” Such concepts as the practice of slowing, appropriate smallness, celebrating a dee dah day, and training vs. trying (easily the most influential concept for me in this decade!) have made transformation in the Christian life not only more possible – but also considerably more enjoyable!

COUNSELED BY GODMark and Patti Virkler  

Video workbook: $6.95   Paperback: $9.95    Audio/Video: $36.49 – $76.85

WATCH 3 FREE VIDEOS ONLINE!

FREE MUSIC TO JOURNAL BY: JULIE TRUE

Pastor Mark Virkler shares his one-year quest to hear the voice of God, and the principles for hearing God’s voice that he learned from Habakkuk 2:1-2. He then started employing a 2-way method of  journaling with God, to record the words and pictures he began to hear from the Lord. In these 13 lessons, he teaches about various areas our lives we can receive wonderful counsel from the Wonderful Counselor in, and record what the Lord shows us through 2-way journaling. It’s amazing how this process of “watching” and “listening” to the Lord more deliberately can deepen your relationship with God – and your understanding of His work in your life! 

FOR MENTORS

AUTHENTIC SPIRITUAL MENTORING: NURTURING BELIEVERS TOWARD SPIRITUAL MATURITY, Larry Kreider

Cost: $11.69

The Church needs believers who are willing to learn to spiritually mentor others, who are willing to act as spiritual elders, fathers and mothers in the faith. Younger believers need someone to mentor and nurture them so they can grow spiritually, be fully equipped to serve Christ, and do the works of Jesus wherever they live and work. Larry Kreider offers instruction on how to mentor other believers through encouragement, daily prayer, etc. This is an incredibly humble, authentic view of what it’s like to be a spiritual parent, including a fairly long-range view of mentoring over a period of years in a person’s life. I was glued to every page… 

YES YOU CAN!

I hope these resources give you inspiration & courage to help younger believers get established in their faith . . . as you do your part to fulfill THE GREAT COMMISSION!

10 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU’RE “MENTOR-READY”

are you ready?
 
 
If you can say “YES” to all ten…it may be time to find a mentor!
 

1. I’ve surrendered my heart and life to Christ…

2. Christ is the most important person in my life, and I have a genuine desire to know Him better.

3. I have a hunger to know and understand God’s Word better, and to fulfill God’s unique plan for my life.

4. I’m not perfect, but I consistently make an honest effort to obey God’s Word and learn His ways.

5. I have room in my schedule for mentoring, or I’m willing to make room by clearing my schedule.

6. I can be relied on to keep mentoring appointments, or call right away if something unexpected happens.

7. I’m willing to complete mentoring assignments to the best of my ability – both out of respect for my mentor and because obedience & follow-thru are essential to spiritual growth.

8. I’m willing to sever all ties with my old way of life, and am not offended by accountability or gentle correction.

9. I’m brave enough to be authentic, even if it hurts sometimes, because I realize that deception doesn’t produce growth.

10. More than anything else, I want to know Christ better…and become more like Him!

12 QUALITIES OF A SPIRITUAL MENTOR

APPROVED - stamp

If you can say “YES” to these 12 statements…then YOU are ready to disciple! 
 

1. I’ve surrendered my heart and life to Christ…

2. Christ is the most important person in my life, and I have a genuine desire to know Him better.

3. I’m continually growing in my understanding of God’s Word, and am committed to continue to grow, even as I mentor.

4. I’m not perfect, yet I’ve walked obediently with Christ for a while now, and I regularly fellowship with other believers.

5. I believe THE GREAT COMMISSION gives me the responsibility, authority, and ability to make disciples, and I’m excited about investing in the life of a younger believer.

6. I have time in  my schedule for mentoring, or am willing to make time by clearing my schedule.

7. I’m willing to “do life” with a younger believer and pass on to them what Christ has taught me – modeling authenticity, love, and obedience to the best of my ability, and encouraging them to pass on what they learn to others.

8. When I don’t have the answers, I’m willing to help find them; when I feel I’m in over my head, I’m humble enough to “refer out” to others.

9. I’m willing to train up a younger believer in the way he/she should go, rather than trying to make them just like me – and am committed to helping him/her fulfill their unique calling in Christ.

10. I’m committed to partnering with a younger believer, as they partner with Christ in their lives, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

11. I’m well aware that God produces the growth, not me – so I hold the mentoring relationship with an open hand, trusting God to complete what He started in each believer – as He sees fit.

12. More than anything else, I want to know Christ better, become more like Him…and help others to know Him!

LOVE GONE FLAT?

bike with flat tire

The “Divine art” of Bicycle Maintenance

Last week, after some journaling time with the Lord, He showed me a picture of a leaky inner tube that desperately needed to be patched. And immediately I knew that it represented my heart.

Yet a couple of other things were also abundantly clear.

The first?

I saw that after many years, my heart was finally healed enough to be able to give and receive love freely. Hallelujah!

The other?

It was equally obvious that there were still pinprick holes in my heart which ”leaked” love whenever I experienced little slights or hurts – or even “perceived” rejection, such as feeling overlooked or overshadowed by others.

God also showed me that He was in the process of repairing those leaks.

Sometimes by patching them with tons of LOVE… 

Sometimes by putting them under water through VARIOUS TRIALS…to test for leaks!

HOW ABOUT YOU?

DOES YOUR HEART LEAK LOVE?

Are there times you “know better” – yet still can’t quite convince your heart you’re loved?

By others. By God? Or even yourself?

Do you need constant reassurance to continue feeling loved?

Has your inner tube sprung a leak? 

If so, you’re in good company.

Just about every human on the planet has a love deficit. Or is in the process of being healed from one.

So everyone’s inner tube has its share of leaks.

The good news???

The Bible says that God is the Master Repairman.

(okay, Great Physician…)

And one of the things He’s best at is healing broken hearts. In fact, that’s His chosen profession!

So maybe it’s time to rethink your current “flat tire” misfortune?

Maybe you’re not not sidelined cuz His love for you is less…

Maybe He’s just slowed you down to heal you more!

Maybe your circumstances aren’t proof He doesn’t notice…

Maybe they’re proof He can’t take His eyes off you, and leaves no stone unturned to mend you completely!

Just as a bicycle inner tube could never patch itself, we can never “fix” our own wounded hearts. 

But we CAN yield them to the Great Physician-Repairman, whose love for us NEVER FAILS, and allow Him to fill us up to overflowing…not because of leaks, but because of abundance!

SO IF YOUR LOVE’S GONE FLAT, NEVER FEAR…

The Great Repairman is well able to fix what ails you…and to put your tires back into “round” again!

Blessings,

Kim

Has God been healing the holes in YOUR heart? If so, please share your story with the rest of us. It’d be ever-so-good to hear from you!

STUCK IN SATURDAY

Saturday skyline

This is an Easter guest post from lay pastor Greg Smith, a dear family friend and ardent follower of Jesus. Today he emailed these words to our church prayer team, and I felt they were too good NOT to share! Greg has graciously allowed me to reprint them here on The Growing Edge Blog 

Tomorrow will once again be my favorite day of the year as we celebrate our Risen Savior. Today however is Saturday. Waiting day. Wondering day. Wallowing day. Test of faith day. It’s where I used to get stuck. It’s where I see a lot of good people stuck today. Follow me here . . .

I remember when I was in perfect health. Then I got that test result from the doctor. I know God is gonna see me through this trial and use it for His glory, but now I’m just waiting.  Stuck in Saturday. Wow, I remember how happy I was on our wedding day, but now that seems like such a distant memory. I’m praying and believing God will restore my marriage . . . one day. Stuck in Saturday. I love discovering family photos, but they only re-open the unhealed wound of a child whom you haven’t spoken to in years. Stuck in Saturday. I used to have a great job and could take my family on some real memorable vacations, but now I’m wondering if I can make the house payment this month. I know God has a job for me just around the corner. But right now it seems I’m stuck in Saturday.

In probably the 2nd most famous resurrection story in the New Testament from John 11, Mary and Martha send word to their close friend Jesus, that His buddy, Lazarus is dying and the Lord needs to come quickly. Jesus’ response: “So when he heard that Lazarus was ill, He stayed 2 days longer in the place where He was.” When He finally decided to go to His friends, “they found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb 4 days.” Oops! Martha is livid and scolds Jesus with “Lord, IF you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus reminds her of the resurrection to which she says, “I know he will rise again on the last day.” (but I miss him now!) Stuck in Saturday.

As Jesus enters the cemetery Martha pours it on the Lord even harder, “Lord by this time there will be and odor for he has been dead 4 days.” Still stuck in Saturday. Then Jesus speaks my life verse: “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40. I love that. Essentially Jesus is saying, “IT AIN’T OVER UNTIL I SAY IT’S OVER!”

Saturday is trusting day. It’s make or break your faith day. It’s do I believe the Word of God or not day. Just as Jesus spoke those incredible life giving words to His good friend that day in Bethany, “Lazarus come forth!” He can do the same for your marriage, your finances, your health, and your broken relationships. IT AIN’T OVER UNTIL JESUS SAYS IT’S OVER!

Prayer Warriors, it’s time to rise up and pray for the broken and the hopeless and the wandering and the penniless. There is HOPE in Jesus name. IT AIN’T OVER UNTIL JESUS SAYS IT’S OVER! That’s what Resurrection day is all about. No situation is beyond God’s power to save, deliver, and heal! Let’s stomp on the serpent’s head again tomorrow with the assurance, He Is Risen. HE IS RISEN INDEED! 

STUCK NO MORE!

Birthday Blessing…

Paul&Kim1(2)

Happy birthday, babe…YOU’RE the gift!

Today is my husband’s birthday. The day we celebrate the fact that he was thought up by God, created, and introduced to this world!

This year is more of a “working birthday” for him, as he travels to various locations doing music and comedy. As I got up in the wee hours of the morning to see him off (something I rarely do, believe me) I sensed the Lord prompting me to write a blog post. “Really?!”     I asked. What on earth would I write about?

And then I ran across this picture, and it dawned. I could write about Paul.

What can you say about the single most influential person in your life…besides Jesus?

I could go on and on…

Yet in honor of Paul, who’s in charge of brevity in our house, I’ll try and keep it short. (something else I rarely do!)

As many of you know, Paul is incredibly funny. A gifted comedian and musician, he can get people rolling with laughter with a simple raise of his eyebrow. Not only that, he’s also an honest-to-goodness wordsmith, crafting clever and insightful turns of phrases with an ease that would leave most of us in the dust. When he hits the stage, it’s truly a one-of-a-kind “Paul Aldrich experience” you will never forget!

Yet He’s also the wisest “wise guy” I’ve ever met. He doesn’t lead with it, so not everyone knows – but God has truly given Him the wisdom of Solomon on a variety of subjects. He has a way of cutting to the chase and summing things up so simply and concisely, you find yourself shaking your head and thinking, “Well of course! I can’t believe I didn’t think of that myself.” Yet often he does. Not to mention his uncanny ability to make a quirky remark at just the right moment to get me laughing…when I feel like crying.

He’s also an incredible servant, and has supported me through many an illness, writing stretch, and season of ministry. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve woken up to a hot cup of tea, found a salad next to my computer as I worked, or been supported in ministry by his listening ear and wise advise. Yep. He’s a keeper!

Does the man have any faults, you may ask? Oh sure. He makes sarcastic comments at the oddest times (“really, babe, I’m not sure you’re supposed to joke about the pope”), watches every sport imaginable at every hour possible (“Can’t you TiVo the NBA games that go til midnight?”), and refuses to wear his glasses while cleaning (“hey honey, are you sure you cleaned the sink…there’s about an inch worth of hair from when you shaved last”). But those are hardly worth mentioning.

They’re just enough to remind me that the man is, in fact, human after all. :D

So Paul, today on your special day of gifts, cards, and birthday wishes, allow me to quote back to you one of your own encouraging phrases…

Babe, YOU are the gift!

Ready to laugh? Check out www.paulaldrich.com

Welcome Back to The Growing Edge Blog!

Welcome Back (rainbow pencils)

Rainbow Reunion

Last time I blogged, I posted a relaxing picture with rainbow-colored chairs on the beach…and then promptly fell into the sea of blogging forgetfulness til well after Valentine’s Day!!

Ever do that? Take a “brief rest” only to find yourself opting out completely…simply by default?

Sometimes it’s because what we’re doing isn’t really for us, but we just don’t have the courage to quit. So we “take a break” and then conveniently never quite get back to it. Other times, it’s because we have too many plates spinning and don’t have the time or energy to pick up the ones that fall to the ground. And sometimes, we simply need to live our way into the next stage of life before we’re ready to re-engage – and that’s definitely been the case for me.

Because to me blogging is both a love and a passion. I enjoy it. I love putting words down on paper and watching with anticipation to see where they end up. I love choosing photos and clicking keys and that lovely feeling I get when I finally press “publish.”  But most of all, I love connecting with others over our shared struggle to walk with Jesus and “find the growing edge” together…and how writing and faith and the internet all combine to make that possible!

So why the needed break?

Well, for one thing, the busyness index on my daily life has definitely shot through the roof. Since we last talked, I’ve networked, connected, partnered, and launched.  I’ve traveled, journeyed, jaunted, and joined. I’ve done an incredible amount of “showing up” to see what God would do in the process, and to my delight He’s totally blessed my socks off. He’s given me kindred spirits galore in Tennessee, Texas, the Carolinas (and beyond) and has grafted me into some wonderful groups of women who are serving God in a variety of ways. As a west coast girl from way back, it’s been exhilarating to witness firsthand what God is doing in this part of the country, and I’ve seen my roots go deeper into the soil of Middle Tennessee than I ever dreamed possible.

I’ve also seen my health rebound beyond my wildest dreams. My first year in Nashville was difficult by any standards. A year of chronic illness and a half dozen undiagnosed symptoms gave birth to many angst-filled blog posts, as you may remember. I did my best to cling to the faithfulness of God despite some extremely recurrent feelings to the contrary…with varying results. Yet true to His character, God came through. I’m happy to report that after several months of diagnosis and treatment, my migraines are 100% gone (hallelujah!) and the chronic stomach and back issues have been healed and/or brought under control by detox, diet, exercise, and chiropractic. In a word: I’m healthy again! Oh Lord, words cannot express my gratitude…both for my healing and for the prayers many of you sent up on my behalf.

So today as I contemplated jumping back on the blogging merry-go-round, it seemed only fitting that I return to the rainbow motif – since the past several months have definitely renewed my faith in the good things He has in store for ALL of us, as we cling to His faithfulness along “the growing edge.” So it’s settled then. Rainbow colors. Apparently that’s the portal through which I temporarily exited the blogging world…and now I’m back, more fired up than ever.

Blogging at The Coffee House in Franklin, TN...

Blogging at The Coffee House in Franklin, TN…

The past seven months I’ve been so busy LIVING…I couldn’t figure out how to keep BLOGGING at the same time. In this season, I look forward to learning to do BOTH…in happy rhythm with each other.

Hope you’ll join me!

FRIDAY REFLECTIONS: Summer Sabbatical

FYI…

The Growing Edge Blog is taking a summer sabbatical.

After all, everyone needs time to RELAX and UNPLUG now and then.

In fact, we tend to grow better and stronger the rest of the year if we SLOW DOWN and smell the roses now and then.

So hope you enjoy the back yard…the beach…or wherever you happen to be “growing” this summer.

See you again in a few weeks, when The Growing Edge Blog will resume  with some exciting new features!

 

FRIDAY REFLECTIONS: Heat Wave

America’s in the middle of a blistering heat wave

…and Nashville is NO exception.

In fact, it’s hot as “h-e-double-hockey-sticks” here. Record highs are being recorded, and my husband and I can’t wait for the breezy west coast temperatures later this summer…while struggling with every breath to get ANY work done in the meantime!

Some days are like that.

Especially hot summer days. By about 2:00, all you can think about is “get cool, get cool, get cool…” And suddenly things like popsicles and personal fans seem to be smack dab in the center of God’s will for your life.

Then again, I suppose the reverse is true for chilly winter days when socks and blankets are all we can think about. And by mid-autumn, we’re already longing to “sloooooooooow it down,” while in the pre-summer months “spring fever” makes it nearly impossible to concentrate.

To quote Rosanna Rosanna-Dana from Saturday Night Live: “It’s aaaaaaaalways something.”

Life is always presenting some sort of challenge. Rare are the days when work is easy and everything flows smoothly. Rare and glorious. But what about the OTHER 350 days of the year?!

I was thinking about that today as I struggled with an aching back, a not-quite-right stomach, and 100 degree heat with a side of humidity. In times past, I would’ve just closed shop for the day. But not today. I’m realizing more and more that time is short. Even if we live 80+ years, time on this earth is very short. And I for one, want to fully LIVE while I’m here!

Inching our way forward must become a way of life, or we’ll always be waiting to live. Granted, we may not get quite as much done on the really difficult days. Today I had to coax myself forward with all kinds of things: timers, ice packs, and yes…popsicles! I also had to make a conscious choice to stop griping about how bad I felt, and start “making lemonade” out of what God had allowed into my life today.

And through that process, I got to thinking…

Could it be that sometimes God is using the OBSTACLE we feel is in the way to direct our path TOWARD the very lesson we need to learn? Like allowing ill health so we learn daily discipline. Or letting us go through hardships which teach us not to be easily discouraged. Personally, there are some lessons I learn best when there’s no other alternative. How about you?

I hope you’ve been able to stay cool this summer, and that you’ve had a lovely obstacle-free day. Yet if perchance, like me, you’ve been going through a personal “heat wave,” allow me to remind you that God CAN and WILL use it for good in your life, as He will in mine. Just as soon as we stop wrestling…and start cooperating!