Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ever Increasing Wonder

Like a fat black “REJECTION” stamp right on my forehead, the letter read:

Adverse Action Notice
Action Taken: Requested Credit Denied

Car shopping isn’t quite as fun as I hoped it might be. I almost had a sexy, stormy grey set of wheels. The nicely quoted price and mediocre financing crumbled upon my head just after I asked to see it all in writing, instead of signing on their dotted line. The day was one fiasco after another in paperwork – an uphill climb that culminated with a cliff instead of greener pastures. I had been bamboozled.

But God had helped me prepare for the day. Not setting my heart on the car, I walked through the dealer’s doors content to wait upon Him - though the purchase seemed like a sure plan. More than helping me to be prepared, each fiasco that arose in the paperwork slowed the process down and gave me courage to speak up amid the frenzy of six people all working my sale.

God has a way of protecting us from what we do not see. In the whirlwind, I gained breath enough to refuse my signature and say, “Wait. Not yet. I want to see this all in writing.”

I walked out the door without a car.

Back at square one, I did more research and planned for another full day of car shopping around the metroplex. Before I took off for the city, I gave into the thought that had been on my mind since I first visited a particular dealership. A salesman there needed to see God at work, and I had a strong feeling that I should return.

I wanted to roll my eyes. “I have been to the lot, Lord. They don’t have what I’m looking for.” But I called the man and asked to look around one more time, fully planning on driving on my way into the city to get the real shopping under way.

Long story short – I bought a car before I even left town.

But in the process God did some amazing work before the salesman’s eyes. I had told him of my experience at the last dealer – how I had prayed and how it had all gone wrong. He later recounted that “something” told me not to go through with it.

I thought, “That ‘something’ is about to begin to show you that it is a Someone who is very real.”

Prospects on my loan were not favorable because of no credit history, and he was honest with what they were expecting to hear back from banks. I suggested we take a break for lunch while waiting on one banker to return a call with my sealed fate.

I began petitioning the Lord for favor from this banker and for its witness to this salesman about the Living God. I smiled so big when he called me back into the office to say, “I’ve NEVER seen this happen before.” My situation and the low interest rate completely broke all the normal trends. (I've not yet found anyone who hasn't been surprised when I tell them.)

When it began unfolding and I saw his response I thought, “Mr. Salesman, let me introduce you to that “something,” who really is a Someone called God.” I didn’t share the gospel, but seeds were planted. What an exciting day!

That big fat rejection letter I mentioned above. . . I got it after I bought my new car. Rejected credit was another thing the other dealership hadn’t told me about. But reading the letter made me smile. That closed door was perfect and good. God had a plan in store so much bigger than my own transportation needs. My heart is ever increasing in wonder of my amazing God.

He cares.
He loves.
He lives.

He is revealing Himself.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

deep southern roll

I got a ticket! An elder from our church was sick, so I took his spot.

Denver Moore, whose early life was spent on plantations picking cotton, didn't speak much. He gave a poignant and quick word with wisdom that God allowed the homeless streets to teach him, then closed in song. The kind of song that spills off your toungue with the rhythm and sound of a slow but hopeful train - full of soul, a deep southern roll with moments of shrill reality.

Monday, November 03, 2008

same kind of different as me.

Ron Hall and Denver Moore will be at our annual community prayer breakfast on Thursday as the keynote speakers. I am so sad that I waited to get a ticket! Seating is at capacity.

The hope of attending motivated me to read the book this Saturday. The book engaged me so well. I was sweating in the heat, pulling cotton in Louisiana and watching people file through the food line at the Fort Worth homeless shelter. My heart broke, too, at the recognition of suffering and loss.

The book helped me to prayerfully remember and to focus on what God called me to do on this campus in His name. I remember the moment of walking through it with selfish pride in my heart and hearing God whisper, "Feed my sheep." Though it was far from the purpose of the book, I grew in conviction of my place to feed Christ's sheep in the campus where I live.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Guard Your Heart (Proverbs 4:20-27)

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (v. 23)

I’ve often struggled in what it looks like to love the Lord with all of my heart, soul and mind. Jesus said that doing so was obedience to the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37). What comes out of our hearts when we love God, through our relationship with Christ as Savior, is the second greatest commandment. We are enabled to love our neighbors as ourselves. Those who annoy us, serve us, teach us, hate us, or who desperately need us to act - we can love them all because we as sinners have been loved.

Our heart is the seat of an obedient life, and it impacts our ability to sync with the will of God. Both Christ in the New Testament and Solomon of the Old Testament considered the heart to be a significant factor in our relationship to God. We must protect it so that what comes out of us is the life of the redeemed in Christ, not a life controlled by sinful desire.

Proverbs 4:20-27 offers some practical wisdom on how to guard your heart so that you can live wholly devoted to God in Christ. How do you disallow sin to be your driving force for decisions? How do you practically allow the Spirit of God to minister to you so that you can continually behold new life in Christ?

First, Proverbs commends a wise son (just as applicable to a daughter) to receive instruction. This doesn’t mean you wait around for someone to confront you on sin in your life, or that you idly rest in nominal Christianity. In Proverbs, wisdom must be sought after as a treasure. That means you have to situate yourself in a place to receive instruction and give honor to what is good. You actively humble yourself to faithful Christians who are more wise than yourself. Where have you placed yourself? Under whom are you learning to be a perseverant saint?

Secondly, you choose a straight path. This means that daily choices reflect the same values as when you sit in church. They are based on a redeemed relationship in Christ. Walking a straight path is difficult when your heart is not fully devoted to God. Most of us choose devotion to ourselves, love interests or even food – much more readily than we do Christ. Our choices should reflect our devotion to God in Christ, a place of humility as God’s grace is heaped upon us to do what is right.

It really is that simple. Humble yourself to a place of learning, and seek out a Biblical teacher who will instruct you on a faithful Christian life. And start making choices that keep you on the right path, a protection for your heart in Christ.
(C) by Kendra Hinkle 2008.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Lord, my ugliness is buried in your beauty. I am so grateful that you bear my sin and shame. May you increase as the one-and-only in my life.

My small group has been writing "Letters from Your Tempter," which focus on a particular sin area each of us struggles with. We take turns composing a letter in the style of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters. Prayer and discussion ensue. The experience has deepened our connections and vulnerability in a very creative way. We celebrate. We cry. I love this!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Top of the Food Chain

My trusty 1993 Ford gracefully pulled up to a four-way stop. No cars to the right. No cars to the left. Squirrel on the left. Squirrel approaching. What!

The only car around and a squirrel decides to run up to my car and the open driver's window. He's got a nut in his mouth and seems to be asking for more. He just stands there and waits. Hello! I am at the top of the food chain and my car can squash you. Go away. Be intimidated! Grrrr!!!

No luck. He just stood there watching me a few inches away. I started to get scared he was going to jump in for a ride.

Instead of humiliating myself and conversing tersely with the thing, I reved my engine. He got my drift and ran off.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

An Offering of Praise

The Tabernacle had no original instructions for those who ministered through music before the LORD. The instructions in the Bible focus on construction, Levitical function in sacrifices and instruments, and transporting its components as they traveled. But when David prepared for the building of the Temple many years later, he assigned a portion of the Levites as those who would minister to the LORD through music and song (1 Chron 23).

Lately I've been thinking on this transition, and why it was introduced through David as a holy practice in the Temple before God. Some of our earliest memories are of David playing harp for King Saul to sooth his troubled spirit. David authored of many Psalms and danced unashamedly before the Ark as it entered Jerusalem. Music and song were part of his life. Was the introduction of music and praise as work in the Temple David's idea or God's?

"All this," said David, "the LORD made me understand. . ." (1 Chron 28:11, 13, 19 NAS). The reassigning of Levites to work within the Temple was part of the new plan. Music and praise, a common aspect of Israelite life, was now part of the practice of worship in the Temple through Asaph and His sons. Energies would no longer be spent packing and carrying the Tabernacle from place to place, but the LORD would cause His name to dwell in the Temple. Morning and night songs of praise would rise to Him, along with sacrifice.

Dr. Allman, a DTS prof, says that praise is not to be taken lightly. Praise is a statement of faith in the person of God - something that we hold as absolute and should be reflected in our lives. What the sons of Asaph sang would be a statement of faith and worship of the LORD. As a nation they would be accountable in the way they lived out their lives. Word and deed, song and sacrifice, should be equal.

In my life, in my church, are song and sacrifice equal? Is song given without sacrifice? Do I praise by word without living out the same truth? Does my church sing but not act, speak but not practice faith?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Candy Corn Diet & Worship Quote

I have found the perfect diet! A few days ago I ate my weight in candy corn, and it eradicated my appetite for the next 12 hours. I lowered the quantity for the next day, and it did the same thing. Who knew candy corn could be an appetite suppressant?! 

While I am talking about nothing in particular, a new phenomenon has developed as I fall asleep at night. I dream about puppies. Golden retriever puppies. Black lab puppies. Cocker spaniel puppies. Beagle puppies. What is that about?

Worship quote (paraphrase) for the week:
"God is not interested in our innovations to worship... Biblical worship does not ask, What represents our culture best? Biblical worship asks, What best represents who our God is?

by Dr. James Allman
Dallas Theological Seminary, BE 103, Fall 2008

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Friend from China

A former student from China came to visit. My boss & his family hosted her, and we had lots of Texas fun! Baking chocolate chip cookies was one of her favorite memories.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Self-Giving God: Presence

I laid in bed peeling layer after layer from my heart and laying it before the Lord. I had grown weary and lonely from the many changes, new job expectations, and separation from friends. What I wouldn't give to have Him wrap His arms around me, to speak truth that would remind me of His closeness.

"I need your personal touch." My quiet and longing request...and the silence continued on. Would I really be on my own this time with such a childish request? Am I foolish to believe that God would care to draw near in the smallest of moments?


And the doorbell rang. Surely it's not for me. Over twenty girls live here, and I'm the least social of them all! But the footsteps and the voice came strait to my door.

"Kendra? I'm running out to my car to get my DVD player and just thought of you. Do you want to come to my house and watch a movie? "

God's presence amazes me. While He touches us through people, He is present within Christians as the Holy Spirit. He is our gift (Acts 2:38-39).

In the beginning, He was present with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. "They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day" (Gen 2:8, NAS). Later, though God sent Moses as a deliverer, He presented Himself in their midst in the pillar of cloud and fire. His presence was known. "The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light..." (Exodus 13:21, NAS).

He is also present in His promised Son. Isaiah 7:14 receives fulfillment through the birth of Christ, '"Behold the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us."' (Matthew 1:23 NAS) Jesus, more than a man representing God, is named as God's very presence among men. No prophet, even with the Holy Spirit of God directing him, is given such a name.

I have only to conclude that God's presence is an act of His self-giving nature. What God gives to us is more than a leader, a word, an answered prayer. He has willingly presented Himself throughout history for the benefit of man. What He gives is Himself.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Self-Giving God: Promise

Seed of nations
Believed God's Word
For a barren womb

Right faith
Bewildered mind
Stars gave count
For tomorrow's life

Yahweh spoke
Promise of land
Peculiar gift
To a childless man

One child
Many nations
Who shall confirm
To bear condemnation?

Abram slept
God walked through
Torch and pieces
On behalf of you

Confirmed alone
The LORD bears all
To bring the nomad home

Have you ever been blessed to have someone act or speak on your behalf? Through a simple act or word, another person can remove the burden that you carry. Instead of your effort and work, someone else takes responsibility to see the results come through.

This is what God did on Abram's behalf. While there was no son yet to Abram, God promised that He would be the father of children as countless as the stars. Abram "believed in the LORD" and it was credited as righteousness (Genesis 15:6, NAS).

God also promised land. Already populated, God would have to be the driving force to make this promise come true. Abram asked God to confirm His word. The Lord did so in a covenant ritual of the time. Sacrifice was made, and the animal split into two. Those making the covenant would walk between the sacrificial pieces, symbolizing what could be done to them if they failed to come through with their agreement.

As the covenant was made, Abram fell into a deep sleep. This left God alone as the responsible party to walk between the pieces. On behalf of Abram, God was giving full assurance that it would be He who gave this land to the descendants of Abram.

We do see God come through on this promise in the books of Exodus through Joshua. Without God's leading, the descendants of Abraham were unable to secure the Promised Land and be the people from whom the Messiah would come.

A torch of hope, God personally acted on Abram's behalf to secure such a great promise.

Copyright by Kendra Hinkle 2008.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Self-Giving God: The Breath of Life

Face-to-face is a very intimate posture for two people to hold. The intimacy of that moment stirs up the fear of being known and the pleasure of knowing. But God has designed it that way. To be known by another, in intimacy and closeness, resembles the spiritual fulfillment that we have with God through Jesus Christ.

Can you imagine waking up face-to-face with God?

Your source of life. Your greatest need. The very life you live began with God. Literally read, "Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7) After having fashioned Adam from the dust of the earth, with His hands, God now employs His face in the creation of man. God does not need oxygen as if He had a body, but the Bible tells us that God formed with his hands and that He breathed. My assumption from the continuing bodily imagery is that God exhaled in order to give man his first breath of life.


Adam awakes to his Creator - the first act of being known for Adam was not sex with Eve. He was first known by God (in a non-sexual way, of course).

God loves us. His actions on our behalf, coming from within His own will and might, are an act of self-giving. He willingly comes face-to-face with Adam to impart life.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Self-Giving God: Imago Dei

Do you celebrate your birthday or Christmas by giving presents to yourself? Beyond ruining the fun surprise of gifts, celebrating to our own honor is silly because we live in relationship with others. Birthdays are celebrated by those in relationship with and thankful for the life of another person. Also, Christmas honors the wonderful day that Jesus was born. To celebrate we recognize Him in the place of our families, among friends, and throughout some nations. Relationship is central to our reason for giving, especially on holidays.

God also gives within the context of relationship. Firmly rooted in Scripture is a God who gives of Himself in relationship with men. He is of infinite means, not becoming less by the gifts that He gives. Instead, His self-giving shows His will to personally move in relationship with men and for His glory in us.

A first example of God's self-giving comes from the very beginning. The God who spoke the world into existence chose to fashion man by the work of His hands. Personally involved and invested with hands in the dirt, He gave of Himself by making us in His image. When we see ourselves and one another, we see a reflection of the glory of God.

"Then God said, 'Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule... God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Genesis 1:26-27, NAS) Unique to all other creation, men and women have in themselves the image of God. The definition and exact formula of the image of God in man is debated, but in sureness we know that God vested us with part of His very likeness. We are the crown of creation, having in our being something very special from God. The image of God is not something we requested nor something that we earned, but a planned blessing for those in vital relationship with God. Our very likeness reveals His willingness to impart Himself for His own glory among men.

Thoughts provoked through reading and contemplating unpublished class notes of Dr. Scott Horrell, The Self-Giving God, Imago Dei and Nature of Church, Dallas Theological Seminary, summer 2008.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Personal Definition of God

God, the Holy Trinity
From eternity past you exist, no breath of life entered. From you has generously come every created thing: angels, matter and man. Sustainer of life you depend on none, but kneel to reveal yourself to fallen mankind. Who can contain the whole thought of you? Without contradiction and undefiled, glory is your garment. Holy, wholly other, the three of you stand apart from your workmanship. Your one magnificent Name and one character unite you as one God, but with three volitional and relational persons who function within your will. Wellspring of light and truth and all knowledge, your persons are unique and still fully reconciled to one another in perfect love and ability. Though things on earth change within your sovereign will, you remain steadfast to yourself.

Head of the three, Father, you remain in heaven. Though immanent and everywhere present, your full form is unseen by human eyes. Loving that which you created, you reveal truth and righteousness - even heralding the coming of your only begotten Son. Though once dwelling equally with you, you received His earthly prayers as a man’s requests. Under your authority the Spirit also subjected Himself to your will, and to Jesus who would gift Him to believers. You gave Jesus all authority that the perfect will of three-in-one would continue to completion. A just judge over men, you are the keeper of a holy standard. Though Satan approaches to destroy, you ordained all of time according to redemptive purpose and glory. Yet you know and hear and weave so well the heart of man into your scheme. You oversee redemption’s story.

Clothed in flesh, my Savior and my Lord, you are robed with humility. Preeminent and fully Divine, you relinquished for a time your deified position to dwell among sinners. You were born of a virgin, and begotten of God. While divine will, power and knowledge were at your command, you grew in favor and stature as any man. To your glory, to my glory, you chose to live a sinless human life and resisted Satan’s temptation. As a teacher of truth and Messiah of God’s Kingdom, you were perfect in obedience to the Father’s will. You suffered and died according to the Prophets and the Law as the only one who could bear God’s holy wrath and fulfill His covenant love. But death could not hold you. You are a redeemer. Resurrection is yours. All things rest under your authority.

The Holy Spirit
My helper, my counselor, a place of holy rebuke - you are present on earth, living in me, a seal of what is the Father’s through Christ Jesus. You are the power of the three-in-one among a fallen world. Fully knowledgeable and everywhere present, you make known to men the will of the Father and the Son. You are a living testimony of truth, goodness and righteousness that Jesus sent upon His departure. You have no human form, but dwell in the temple of the saved. You bring about faith and righteous deeds that the world may see and feel and know the three-in-one who created life. You are a living and close friend equaled only to the Father and Son. You are a purposeful and present minister to my soul.

By Kendra Hinkle 2008. Assignment for Trinitarianism class at Dallas Theological Seminary, SU08. All footnotes have been omitted to save space, but a complete version is available upon request.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Definition of Worship

Through seminary, my new job, and a conversation going on here, I've been shaping a definition of worship. As I serve college women in a sorority house, as I type my fingers off making documents at work, as I choose my daily tasks - this definition helps me to center my every effort on the greatness of my God. As has been said on the blog above, "How you define worship affects how you design worship." I do not design weekly worship services for the church, but I do design my daily work of service to the Lord. My definition of worship affects how and what I choose to do as a worshipper of God.

Definition of Worship:
To worship is to serve in the holy presence of God, service being what I was created to do through divine relationship, not that which God needs. Worship is an active result of who I am in God through Christ my Savior. The Holy Spirit aids me to worship as a new creation according to God’s revealed purpose, which I find in the Bible. And through the ministry of the Holy Spirit I seek to know God with reverent fear and love of the Holy. Because I am a sinner, I must receive from His means. Therefore, I situate myself to serve Him, and I do so according to the context that He established, namely the community of persons who have faith in Jesus Christ.

Shaping Scriptures:
Genesis 2:7-8, 15
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed...Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

1 Chronicles 6: 31-32, 48-49
Now these are those whom David appointed over the service of song in the house of the Lord, after the ark rested there. They ministered with song...
Their kindsmen the Levites werer appointed for all the service of the tabernacle of the house of God. But Aaron and his sons offered on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense, for all the work of the most holy place...

Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptabel to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Boast No More

lyrics by Isaac Watts
and musically remixed by Caedmon's Call

No More My God,
I boast no more
Of all the duties I have done
I quit the hopes I held before,
To trust the merits of Thy Son

Now, for the loss I bear his name,
What was my gain I count my loss
My former pride I call my shame
And nail my glory to His cross

Yes, and I must, I will esteem
All things but loss for Jesus' sake
O may my soul be found in Him
And of His righteousness partake
Amen, amen

The best obedience of my hands
Dares not appear before Thy throne
But faith can answer Thy demands
By pleading what my Lord has done

This weekend with Mu Chia and Karen, we studied the latter half of Philippians 2, where Paul relishes in knowing Christ as the most wonderful part of his life. We talked about what it meant to consider all things as loss compared to knowing Christ - with Paul, Timothy and Epaphroditus as the text's examples. This song does a good job of directing my heart and mind back to the centrality of being saved by grace through faith alone, not by anything that I can accomplish. It seems like one I could imagine Paul singing in his own heart as he continued in the work of God.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Goodbye, Elda!

For the past three years, I've had the opportunity to befriend Elda. Elda came to the US to study and prepare for Physician's Assistant school. She's been accepted in California and is leaving this week.

Back in Albania she was part of the first generation to grow up at the fall of communism. Her family informed her that they were Eastern Orthodox when she was 10, but she'd never heard of God before then. God has been faithful to place Christians in her life one after another.

Favorite Memories with Elda:
  • Road trip to Waco. Don't be scared! His name is David Crowder.
  • Talking about God and planting seeds for Jesus to use.
  • Running about town. Literally.
  • Shaking our heads over bent fenders, bashed taillights, and our old cars. You are no longer part of the old car club. Congratulations!
  • Saying goodbye over lunch with Nizaar the Palestinian at our table. Nice to meet you Nizaar. And yes. Now that you said you were bizarre, I do remember your name.
  • Helping to show that He cares for her.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Musings of a Theological Mutt

Some days I want to step out of the race - to take my running legs off of the course and to watch other runners go by and win.

Me. I'll breathe and be. Sad to not be in the race, but so glad to be alive - yet wondering about my purpose, my task.

Can God use a theological mutt? Can a voice like mine be used, whose family is Lutheran and Baptist, who came to Christ at a Presbyterian church and was discipled and matured in the Disciples of Christ denomination and trained for ministry in higher education institution of the independent Christian Church while attending a Wesleyan congregation, and trained further in Bible and seminary education at a Calvinist church and institution?

God can use me. I walk with Him and watch Him. He is the only sure part of my life.

I wonder what others think, who have a background like mine. How are other theological mutts fitting into ministry? Moving to Texas brought more mental confusion than I would have ever entered into on my own. New ways of seeing God, new ways of thinking.

I listen to others and interact with Him. That's all I know how to do. It is a season of listening and wrestling and learning.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Clothing and Nudity

Wow! I just read the following post by John Piper.

For the past five years or so, I have been tossing around in my mind and watching in the Bible in regards to spiritual covering. By this I mean the soul's protection and edification supplied by God's hand amid a fallen world. I watch my culture and my own life, burning with a passion for covering to be supplied. Something better, something holy, something worthy, something. . . has been lost. We are INCOMPLETE without Him. God is our utmost need and our greatest joy. He is our supply. The one who covers our naked shame.

I wish I had more fitting words, but this article states so well a portion of what the Lord has been teaching me in the still and quiet. It resounds with many other lessons that are waiting for God's timing to come out. Until then, sentences are jumbled and mixed and unready. So I will wait for my time of clarity, cherishing the pieces of the story that I have been given so far.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mimicking Maurice Manning

My Sabbath day Boss is
every day the freshness of
it never pales I cannot stop
from coming near to gaze
thru windows of your heart
should heartache or sickness or
temptation strike there stands
the cross to point me home
though many days Boss I am worn
by tempests of my cultures gold
you are rock unchanged and true
to hold me fast ‘til days are thru
may the workings of my hand
reveal the daughter of thy throne
in aching days of creation’s groaning
for thy glory in the world be known

by Kendra Hinkle 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

All the Way from China

This morning I received an amazing email from one of my former students in China. We have been conversing for seven years over email since I taught in a summer program. She is coming to study at UC Berkely this summer ~ as long as she is granted an F-1 Visa. Please pray with me for her opportunity to come to the United States.

Seven years I've been anticipating and waiting! If she comes I will go to Cali or I'll fly her to Texas. God is GOOD!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Purpose of a Voice

Welling up from within a voice births sound tween ribbon strands. It runs it flows to over full, along the tongue through lips unclosed. Pulsing waves move unseen till ear so set will kindly heed. Dancing drifting further in it lands upon the soul of man. Through the guard of softness' gate with wounds or gifts in love to take. Man as one cannot live but shall receive the song of voice.

(c) 2008 by Kendra Hinkle.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


This week I went home in very bad pain. I was unable to focus on work and couldn't drive myself home. I've never been immobilized to that level outside of surgery. Speaking and walking were difficult challenges, things that had been so easy before. My energy was drained trying to focus on gentleness of speech and clear directions on the way home. (The Lord knows how hard this was for me!)

My pain subsided with medication. It was temporary. But I have three friends that deal with severe pain management on a daily basis. The energy it took to act kindly and patiently gave me a new respect for what they face in  the daily acts of life. It's like you are in slow motion processing everything through the veil of pain while the world speeds on around you.  

I really stink at extending compassion and remembering that life takes extra effort for them. So, today I wanted to post a reminder. To me. To anyone. Be considerate of those around you who face daily challenges with pain. 

Saturday, April 05, 2008

In the Wilderness

Did you know that the book of "Numbers" gets its common name from Latin? The original Hebrew name presents a major theme much more clearly, it means "in the wilderness." The following quote is an excellent challenge for anyone who finds themselves in the wilderness times of life. The wilderness is "a place where God's people will either deepen their trust in the power of their God to supply their needs or doubt their God's abilities and resources." (Handbook on the Pentateuch by Victor Hamilton, p. 303)

Are you growing in trust or growing in doubt? May the God of gentleness help you to cling to Him in trust as you walk paths in the wilderness.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sticking Together (A Lesson from the Bees)

Our building recently had some visitors outside of a coworkers window. They were bees in migration. Instead of wasting energy building a nest, the bees cling together to form a hollow structure for a few days to rest from their travels. 

I couldn't help but think of the church as we continue to bring the news of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. Knowing where we are going we WILL need to cling together in our common love for Jesus, supporting and helping in the big picture. 

May we not get lost in our own small stories, but gain a vision and willing attitude to complete a task that involves every believer doing their part.

Your sister, your servant 

~ Kendra

P.S. My boss took the pictures. They are for real! There's nothing supporting the nest other than bees. You can throw a rock at it, and they all break apart. (And probably chase you - My other boss and his teen sons/friend decided to test it out one night. After throwing some rocks and taking off in a sprint, one of them slammed into an in-ground electric box during his panic flight from the bees. Hilarious! He lived, but limped the rest of the way. When they all piled into the car, they realized that none of them actually hit the bees and they remained undisturbed.) 

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When God Draws Near (Guided Meditation #2)

The nearness of God brought change for all of us. By stepping down to earth, Jesus humiliated himself to give us life. But that humiliation was not the end. Exaltation follows. Let these verses be a thinking guide to the person and work of Christ:

And the Lord appointed a great fish… (Jonah 1:17)

…“I called out of my distress to the LORD,
And He answered me.
I cried for help from the depth of Sheol;
You heard my voice.
For you had cast me into the deep…
So I said, ‘I have been expelled from Your sight.
Nevertheless, I will look again toward Your holy temple.” (Jonah 2:2-4)

“For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40)

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19)

…“you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.” (John 16:20)

Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” (Mark 16:2-3)

…“They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” (Luke 20:2)

…and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings… (John 20:5)

And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw… (v.6)

But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw… (v.11)

…“Why do you seek the living One among the dead?” (Luke 24:5)

…“O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” (vv. 24-26)

Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (John 20:16)

“See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” (Luke 24:39)

…So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. (John 21:7)

…The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. (John 20:20)

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me? ...Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.” (John 21:17)

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority on heaven and earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit...I am with you always..." (Matthew 28:18-20)

“In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7)

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” (Acts 6:11)

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3)

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:18-20)

And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting...and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:2-4)

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer...And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. (Acts 2:42-45)

So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily. (Acts 16:5)

While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)

Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and in hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure (2 Corinthians 11:24-27)

“You will be hated by all because of My name…” (Matthew 10:22)

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance…for while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:3-6)

…to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. (Romans 16:27)

Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:20)

…To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. (2 Peter 3:18)

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. (Jude 24-25)

“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.” (Revelation 4:8)

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (v.11)

And they sang a new song saying, “Worthy are you to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” (5:9)

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (v.12)

…“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” (v.13)

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them...And the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light... (Revelation 21:3, 23)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Covering removed.
A generation exposed
Howls at the moon.

Cover us, Lord.
Gather us in.
Your robe to shelter,
Foster life therein.

No boundaries drawn.
A generation distracted
Revels 'til Christ's dawn.

Cover us, Lord.
Draw us near.
Holiest of Holies,
Fill our eyes with tears.

Glory through word and deed.
A generation humbled
Buttresses a revolution of redeemed.

The loss of protective spiritual covering leaves a generation stripped - in family, in community, in culture. Now a shepherd among God's children, I see and once knew about living without God. Limited to humanism as a life philosophy, man is degraded to the whim of his own carnal desires and hopeless existence - like an animal. To weaken them all the more, our world entitles young generations to immediate gratification, but offers them no boundaries as a guide.

May God continue to break our hearts for the lost. They are without HIM. Let us continue to gather them into the protective spiritual covering in Christ, speaking the good news...and welcoming as many as will come into the community of the redeemed!

(c) 2008 by Kendra Hinkle.

Friday, March 07, 2008

When God Draws Near (Guided Meditation #1)

When God draws near, things change. Natural laws of science bow. The earth quakes. People prostrate themselves. Yet, in the record of human history God is also compassionate and desiring of intimacy with us who He created. In mercy He develops relationship and causes His great name to be known. The following is a guide for meditation, the first of two for Easter. Not all of the details are given, but each Scripture is meant to cause your mind to remember its context and God's place in the moment. Take time to think, to remember, to mull over who He is and what He has done.

Then the LORD God...breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)

They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence...(Gen 3:8)

Noah was a blameless man, righteous in his time. Noah walked with God. (Gen 6:9)

And He took [Abraham] outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars if you are able to count them...So shall your descendants be." (Gen 16:5)

"Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel..." (Gen 32:28)

"God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by great deliverance." (Gen 45:7)

"...remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." (Exodus 3:5)

"...when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt." (Ex 12:13)

Now Mt. Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire...and the whole mountain quaked violently. (Ex 19:18)

Then the LORD spoke to Moses..."you shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy." (Leviticus 19:1-2)

But when they arose early the next morning, behold, Dagon [a stone idol] had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. And the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off on the threshold. (1 Samuel 5:4)

Then Nathan said to David, "Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you." (1 Chronicles 17:2)

One thing I have asked from the LORD...
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life (Psalm 27:4)

Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
But to Your name give glory
Because of Your lovingkindness, because of your truth. (Psalm 115:1)

I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple... "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips..." (Isaiah 6:1,5)

"Do not rejoice, O Israel, with exultation like the nations! For you have played the harlot, forsaking your God." (Hosea 9:1)

"Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!" (Daniel 3:25)

When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight; and the king extended to Esther the golden scepter... (Esther 5:2)

Then you will know that I am the LORD when I have dealt with you for My name's sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds..." (Ezekiel 40:44)

"But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall." (Malachi 4:2)

For your husband is your Maker,
Whose name is the LORD of hosts;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
Who is called the God of all the earth. (Isaiah 54:5)

Behold, My servant will prosper,
He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted...
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many
And interceded for the transgressors. (Isaiah 52:13; 53:12) for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel,
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity. (Micah 5:2)

"Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And, behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus." (Luke 1:30-31)

"Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:20)

"...for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11)

...magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." (Matthew 2: 1-2)

The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. (Luke 2:40)

He had no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. (Isaiah 53:2)

And the devil said to Him, "I will give you all this domain and its glory...if you worship before me it shall all be Yours." Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only." (Luke 4:6-8)

He opened His mouth and began to teach them... (Matt 5:2)

Jesus said to Simon, "Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men." (Luke 5:10)

"I have come in my Father's name..." (John 5:43)

And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." (Luke 5:13)

"Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal...This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent." (John 6:27-29)

And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion;" for many demons had entered the man. (Luke 8:30)

And Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one question, and you answer Me, and then I will tell you by what authority I do these things." (Mark 11:29)

"Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14)

"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matthew 7:14)

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6)

"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him do death, and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the thrid day He will be raised up." (Matthew 20:18-19)

Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. (John 13:5)

While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:26-28)

...And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood... (Luke 22:44)

"My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will but as You will." (Matthew 26:39)

...The one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceeding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. (Luke 22:47)

They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him... (John 19:17-18)

He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised,and we did not esteem Him.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God and afflicted.

But He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him.
And by His scourging we are healed.

All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall upon Him.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth. (Isaiah 53:3-7)

Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon the land, until the ninth hour. (Matthew 27:45)

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. (v. 50)

And behold the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom (v. 51)

Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. (Mark 15:43)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Voice of God (Psalm 29 & Phil 2)

Psalm 29 says that your voice is powerful and majestic. It bursts the cedars, hews out flames of fire, and sets to flight your creation. The voice that spoke the world into existence can lay it waste by its magnificent essence. This is the voice I wait for. This is the voice I want, the cloak of royal might I want to be protected by.

But when Christ came, his voice was subject to weakness - to the place of creation. His flesh became like ours, yet without sin. His words were that of a friend, that of a man, that of a teacher. A voice rejected and trampled upon, few heeded its authority. His cloak surely felt like sackcloth and ashes compared to the robe of glory He left in heaven:

who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:7-8)

So which voice do I listen for in life?

Here is my assurance: I am clothed in the words and person of Christ. As a faithful servant I can risk mighty steps of faith to bring God glory, for Christ himself did so in the will and pleasure of God. Whether clothed by a voice of might or a voice of meekness, I am His.

(C) Kendra Hinkle 2008.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (R). Copy right (C) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Favoritest EVER!

This is my most favorite picture in the world. I ran across it in an album today and decided to revive it. They are the grandkids of a mentor from Indianapolis when I was doing ministry there. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friend of God

Regarding Abraham's promises from God during his lifetime:

True, he does not have, in terms of personal realization, all the promises of God, but he does have the God of all the promises. God himself is Abraham's shield and reward (15:1). The giver; not the gifts, is Abraham's highest reward and his consuming obsession. Not without reason, therefore, is Abraham referred to three times in the Bible as "the friend of God" (2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 41:8; James 2:2-3).

Handbook on the Pentateuch, Second edition by Victor P. Hamilton, p. 87.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

To Your Holy Mountain

Send forth your light and your truth,
let them guide me;
Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.

Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.

Psalms 43:3-4

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (R), Copyright (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995, by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Friday, January 04, 2008

God Prevails (1 Samuel 31)

A fallen priesthood (Ch.2), a disobedient people (Ch.8), and their headless king (Ch.31). Had Israel become the great nation that they desired through Saul?

1 Samuel leaves me speechless, staring at bodies hung on a wall by the Philistines. A grotesque mural of victory, it was a warning to Israel. God had promised Saul the loss of his throne through disobedience, and later the loss of his life and that of his sons (15:26-29; 26:10; 28:19). He did not heed or repent, but continued in His ways - his body and his seed a testimony to God's word.

Israel fled the battle and watched in shame - not quite what they expected. They were God's chosen nation. Named after Him (Israel = God prevails), God had caused them to prevail in conquering most of the Promised Land. Generations later their boundaries were threatened by raiding peoples and a nation fighting back for territory. Much like God had warned Saul, the nation of Israel was also warned. Blessing comes with obedience. Curse without. (Deuteronomy 11)

Israel has their warning hanging on the wall:
God prevails.
His word is accomplishing exactly what He said it would.
Take in your warning, reader. It is God who prevails. What has he commanded you in His Word? What has he desired of you or warned you away from? Your body may not be strewn lifeless on the wall as a result of sin, but His holiness should stir in you a holy fear, and a love for what Christ has done. What will you do with the Words of a holy, pure, loving, wrathful, perfect, intimate, enthroned, seeing, wonderful, terrible and awesome God? used for the meaning of "Israel."
(C) 2008 by Kendra Hinkle.