Thursday, February 22, 2007


I should be writing about 1 Samuel, but I've no focus for it at the moment. I've just been through a crisis.

This evening I did a lot of cleaning and straightening for a party happening at my house tomorrow evening. Last on my to-do list was to finish some laundry. It was a load of whites. Pure white, fluffy, warm. Everything comfortable and nice. Relaxing and enjoying our living room, I put all of the items in piles and began to put them away. I walked partially into my bedroom and was rudely confronted.

A roach the size of Texas....I repeat, the size of TEXAS....was coming at me. He wasn't scittering along the baseboard or crawling along the ceiling. This boy was strutting right down the middle of the hallway of my bedroom as if he owned the place. I expected him to try and pick up the lunch I made him on his way out the door to work!

What does a girl do when Vehemoth is coming straight for you? Scream and dance around. Because that remedies the situation quite well, scaring and stirring up the thing. (I tried it once with a bat flying around my dark apartment. It works like magic. I jetted the shared room, and my flatmate at the time sat in her bed half awake as I watched the bat circle her head.)

I trapped Vehemoth under a dish and my roommate let it loose outside. Crisis averted within moments.

Now that Vehemoth is gone, guess who's not getting any sleep? Yeah. ME! The girl who hasn't bought a bed frame yet and who sleeps on a mattress on the floor. What's worse is that Vehemoth and I have probably been cuddling ever since the weather got warm.

I seriously just heard a strange noise....

© 2007 by Kendra Hinkle

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Extra Grace Required

I've found it! My life's quote...

Accountability partners have been some of the sweetest and deepest relationships in my life. There's nothing quite like coming to the cross of Christ humbled and broken with someone who knows that they have also been saved. Deeply grateful, and still dependent. Together we bury our faces at the foot of the cross, opening our lives to one another for enouragement, rebuke, teaching, and fellowship in the precious name of Jesus.

I'm no longer in Indianapolis. In fact, I'm in a "whole other country." Yet, my times to talk with A on the phone bring me a joy and peace that aren't easily matched. Yesterday, I called A to wish her a happy birthday. We shared our lives while I drove out of the city. Amid the traffic, while wishing I could be in the HOV, A told me a story about finding a post-it note in the midst of her frustration with a difficult situation. The post-it read, "Extra grace required." She was immediately reminded to extend grace to others, because great and amazing grace had been extended to her.

I've attached the phrase to my mind, keeping it as a reminder of God's grace to me as I go throughout my day. Really, I would like to wear it as a banner accross my own forehead. Jesus is the source of my worth. I won't be able to please you fully. I can't do everything perfectly. To love me you must read my label which says, "Extra grace required." I will also have to apply this in order to love you.

Christ is at the center of grace. Know it. Receive it. Give it.

...And stick a few post-its around to remind you that relationships are going to need an extra ounce of grace, both being given to others and being received from others in the name of Christ.

© 2007 by Kendra Hinkle

Sunday, February 18, 2007

OK Lord, I'm Listening...

In honor of a friend that I will be hanging with next weekend, I wanted to relate to you part of her story:

I worked for Kanakuk Kamps a couple of summers in college. My first experience with true discipleship came from J, a young adult employed as my shepherd while I served on the kitchen staff at Kanakuk. The discipleship and investement that took place that first summer at Kamp impacted me strongly. I returned to my college on fire for discipleship among the young women I had been commissioned to lead.

Discipleship has been a fire in my belly that has not been quenched since that time. J's influence has gone far and wide through my ministry to young women.

I moved to D in 2005 without knowing much of my new church except for the well-known pastor and his ministry. While getting established in D, I began to think of J quite often. Soon enough I figured out that she had attended this church that was now my new home. I wondered when and if I might run into her, but we had lost contact over the 10 years since Kanakuk.

Growing stronger on my heart, I still was not sure what to do with the recurring reminders of her in my head.

The year went on and I kept watching and waiting, but not remembering to pray. Prayer finally became obvious to me when I pulled out a recyle file from amid a stack of hundreds at work. Her name was on it. I said immediately in my mind, "OK Lord, I'm listening. I will pray for her."

One year after I moved to Texas, I began to attend a bible study on the book of Esther. I walk in one day, and she was there! The moment was a suprise and a laughing matter to me. How hard headed can I be when He puts names and faces upon my heart? Pray, woman!

We scheduled a time to get together to catch up on the past 10 years. She no longer lives in D, but came frequently into town to bless her mother and father as he slowly was dying. Her father was not a Christian, very opposed to the idea. After our talk, the year of having her so frequently on my heart and mind began to make sense.

Needless to say, I joined in with the team of saints who God was calling into prayer for this man. As you might expect when God begins moving, you can expect solid foundations to be shaken. Her father became a Christian not long before he died.

Bittersweet. Evoking awe and wonder at our amazing God. Who are we to be involved in the sweetness of salvation?

© 2007 by Kendra Hinkle

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Friend's Open Hand (1 Samuel 20)

Three times today the phrase "open hand" has come to my mind ~ one in a blog, one from remembering a sermon, and one from my 1 Samuel study notes. I was originally awakened to the phrase in a church sermon outside of Kansas City. The pastor was describing the faith of Abraham in allowing Lot to have the first choice in land division (Genesis 12:7). Becuase Abraham rested in God's ability to provide, He did not need to protect the situation for his best interest. God promised. Abraham believed and rested.

Likewise, Jonathan befriended David wholeheartedly. As typical heir to the throne, Saul hoped Jonathan would be territorial over his future kingdom. Instead, Jonathan acted with an open hand toward David, God's anointed. With active faith Jonathan helped time and again to save David's life, working against his own father and his own future role as King. His hand toward David was open. God was working toward His will, and neither Jonathan or David was outside of His care.

In my reading today, I was convicted of my attitude of late. I've been facing new stressors and protecting my best interest as I make decisions. I have been close-fisted instead of resting in God's consistent character and watchfulness over me. I've been my own protector and providor, my own best logic and my own source of wisdom. On the contrary, what I need most comes from without, instead of within. Living without faith is egocentric. When I take control, my fist closes to God and to friends. When I relinquish control, my hand joyfully opens to offer the best to others as I trust God to take care of me.

Are you an open-handed friend?

© 2007 by Kendra Hinkle

Friday, February 02, 2007

Divine Will (1 Samuel 19)

I suppose David might have been excited to be anointed by Samuel as a chosen king, but he faced years of trial before actually being positioned as such. Through the many challenges, like Saul's pursuit of his life, David learned to trust in God's divine will. Chapter 19 of 1 Samuel shows us the persistence of God toward his divine will and its inclusion of everyday challenges that shape our character. We'll look at it from two different perspectives.

Saul was bent toward David's destruction because of jealousy, so much that he attempted to kill him. Saul commanded his servants to murder David, but was assuaged by Jonathan's plea on his friend's behalf (19:1). Saul next tried to pin David to the wall with a spear in an angry rage (v.10). After escaping, David was chased down in his home with the wife present (v.11). Lastly, David fled out the window and to the prophet Samuel. Thrice Saul sent messengers who were inhibited from completing the task by the Spirit of God. Saul's last, personal attempt to apprehend David from Samuel's protection was also thwarted by the Spirit of God.

David fled for his life with the echoing promise of God's will in his heart. Life as a fugitive tested David's trust in God's word. Is the God who gave His promise able to carry it out without David being the one to accomplish? The victory with Goliath and over the Philistines in war (v.8) had David looking pretty good. He accomplished much through God's blessing on his own physical ability. But in Chapter 19, we see divine favor acting on David's behalf. Disappointment was met with reminders of hope.

Saul tried exhaustingly to accomplish his personal goals outside of God's favor and outside of God's stated will. Each time, the diminishing King had doors shut in his face...his son pleaded otherwise, his daughter betrayed him, his servants could not withstand the power of the Spirit of God and neither could he. God's divine will was set against Saul, inhibiting every step.

Both perspectives, that of David and that of Saul, operate within the divine will of God. Both likely experienced disappointment and disillusionment, but only one could claim hope. David could face the daily challenges in light of hope, because he was within God's will. Saul had no hope because he treated God as his enemy.

If we have aligned ourselves within the stated will of God, imperfect as we may be, God is working for our best end. Disappointments may come, but they may be faced with hope. God is faithful to accomplish His word, His stated will. He is not a liar. Disappointments and challenges will be a part of our character formation and a part of this fallen world. Yet, we have a secure hope in God.

© 2007 by Kendra Hinkle