Thursday, December 31, 2009


For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good
. ~ Titus 2: 11-14

There are two key phrases in the verse that I want to emphasis- teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives and purify… a people… eager to do what is good.

In the first one, the word that jumps out at me is teaches. That tells me that it’s not an instant, easy process to reject what the world has to offer. Learning consists of studying and seeking answers; therefore daily time reading your Bible and spending time with God is imperative.

The most amazing aspect to me of being ‘taught’ as a Christian to say no is the forgiveness factor. We just celebrated Christmas where God sent His one and only son to be the ultimate sacrifice for us because He knew that as humans, we all will fall short of His Glory.

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. ~ Ephesians 1:7-8

The second phrase, live self-controlled, upright and godly lives and purify… a people… eager to do what is good is a great verse to start the New Year off with.

My New Years resolution comes from this verse – I want to live a life that is self-controlled, godly and pure. I want to strive to do what is right and good.

I would love to know what your New Years resolution is for 2010. Leave a comment on my Facebook or email me at

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I’m a big fan of quotes. There are just some people who have a way of putting words together to give such a deep meaning to a sentence. The following are some great Christmas quotes.

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. 
To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“What is Christmas? 
It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish 
that every cup may overflow 
with blessings rich and eternal, 
and that every path may lead to peace.” ~ Agnes M. Pharo

“Remember this December, 
That love weighs more than gold!” ~ Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

“Let us keep Christmas beautiful without a thought of greed, that it might live forevermore to fill our every need, that it shall not be just a day, but last a lifetime through, the miracle of Christmastime that brings God close to you.” ~ Garnett Ann Schult

“There are two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein

“Thanks be to God for His unspeakable Gift- indescribable
precious beyond words.”
~Lois Lebar

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?” ~ Dr. Seuss

“What are we to make of Jesus Christ? The real question is not what we are to make of Christ, but what is He to make of us?” ~CS Lewis

The giving of gifts is not something man invented. God started the giving spree when he gave a gift beyond words, the unspeakable gift of His Son.” ~Robert Flatt

“Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.” ~Janice Maeditere

This Christmas, open your heart to God. Accept the Ultimate Gift of Christmas and carry it with you throughout the year.
Happy Trails and God Bless!

To contact Kristen with questions or comments, email her at

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Twelve Days of Christmas

It’s amazing that Christmas is right around the corner! I received this in an email about the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ and thought it was very interesting.

“From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality that the children could remember.

The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
Two turtledoves were the Old and New Testaments.
Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.”

I encourage you to earnestly seek out the true meaning of Christmas. Use this next week to grow closer to God as we await the celebration of the birth of His son. Take time to appreciate and love your family and friends.

“In spite of the many benefits God has blessed us with, how many times do we complain about little difficulties and trials? We lose sight of the big picture and fail to appreciate the really important things. Just as we cannot benefit from a wrapped gift under a Christmas tree until we open it, so gratitude can be seen as our way of opening the gift of God's love intended by all the small and big positive events of our lives.”
-Ronda De Sola Chervin

Happy Trails and God Bless!
To contact Kristen with questions or comments, email her at

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bloom Where You Are Planted

I recently heard a quote that I instantly loved- ‘Bloom where you are planted’.

During presentations about a job we would like to have in the future, my classmate, Austin Zimmer, who is part of the U.S. Air Force, used that quote to explain that he has been advised to make the best out of wherever he is stationed.
What a great analogy and an amazing way to approach life!

It’s amazing the elements that flowers can bloom and thrive in. Likewise, life is tough – we face challenges and obstacles, easy times and hard times but we can be victorious.

Growth and development are key factors in flower success. In the same way, we have to grow and develop in our surroundings. When a seed is planted, it has to be cultivated and nourished, which takes time. Some of the most beautiful flowers grow in the dead, cracked dessert where they take simple things and turn them into a beautiful creation from God.

So how do we ‘bloom where we are planted’? I think we have to start on the inside. It’s time for a spiritual, mental and emotional exam. Take time to nurture these three. Spend time with God. Thank Him for all the blessings in life. Study a topic of interest. Let those emotions out.

Next, what is important to you? Put your time and energy into that. For me, my family and friends top the list. I personally need to work on spending more time with them and cultivating my relationships with them. I believe time is the best gift you can give someone.

It’s important to also take care of yourself physically. Take a walk and enjoy God’s amazing creation. Eat a kiwi. Try a new hairstyle. Wear your special occasion clothes.

So what is holding you back from living an abundant life? What ‘weeds’ are creeping in? Life gets busy. Bad choices are made. Priorities get out of line. Money problems arise. Sometimes we will have to stop, weed our life and continue to bloom.
I challenge you to fill your heart with love, bloom where you are planted and experience the abundant of life!

Happy Trails and God Bless!

To contact Kristen with questions or comments, email her at

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Stresses of Life

I’m amazed that December is already here! We only have one more week of regular classes at Texas Tech University and then finals start. I know with Christmas quickly approaching, shopping for holiday gifts and taking tests for students, December can be a very stressful time of year.

The Bible says in Psalm 62: 5-8, Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.

This verse is so encouraging to me when life seems crazy. It reminds me that God has to be the center of my life, my rock, my solid foundation. He is my protection, my safe haven and my protection. I need to be reminded of this quite often!

1 Peter 5: 7-9 says Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5: 8 and 9, Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him; stand firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

I think this is a cool verse because it flat out tells us that the devil is waiting to get through to us. It may be in the form of stress which can makes us impatient and unkind. I think its cool how this verse reminds us that we are not alone in the temptation and struggles of this world. If we can keep this in mind, December can be a very pleasant month.

Philippians 4:6- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

John 14:1- Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me (Jesus).

I pray that through the month of December, God blesses you with a calm, peaceful heart. Good luck to all students on their finals and to everyone doing their Christmas shopping- have fun!

Happy Trails and God Bless!
To contact Kristen with questions or comments, email her at

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

College Kids Give Thanks

Over the past week, I have visited with several friends about what we, as college students, are thankful for.
Shay Morris said, “I’m thankful that I’m able to go to school.”

Kate McDowell, from Shamrock is thankful for the opportunity to go to college so that one day she can have a great job and go far in life. She is also thankful for movie theaters that show lots of movies because she loves watching them with her friends.

Carly Holland said, “I’m thankful for my parents. Their ongoing encouragement gets me through EVERY day.”

Dustin Ferguson, Klondike native, is thankful for Pull 'N’ Peel Twizzlers and Cookies 'N' Cream Hershey’s bars.

Mark Lemons said, “I’m thankful for my friend, confidant and pick-me-up…. the one and only… Kip!”

Tanner Kieschnick, from Vernon, said, “I’m thankful for my parents raising me well, free food and home cooked meals.”

Katie Schlosser, a fellow ag communication major from Plano, is thankful that she gets to go home for the break and see her family and have home cooked food.

Daniel Reeves said, “Thomas and I are both thankful for all the pretty women at Tech, and naps – that give us time to think about the pretty women at tech!”

Thomas Reeves added, “I am also thankful that water is free at restaurants, Taco Tuesdays at Rosas, canceled 8 o’clock classes, good friends, DVR, and that our internet works so awesome… that last one is sarcasm, which is ironic because, finally, I am thankful for sarcasm.”

Alison Kruse, from Dalhart, said “I’m thankful that my parents can send me to college to get an education. And I’m thankful to be an American.”

Harrison Walden, who grew up in Stratford, is thankful for his family and electronics because they keep him entertained. He is also thankful for SmartOnes®.

And finally, in addition to everything mentioned above, I am thankful for my relationship with God, my amazing family, stupendous friends and my soft pillow!

Psalm 136: 1 says, Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

Happy Trails and have a blessed Thanksgiving!
To contact Kristen with questions or comments, email her at

Other college students said:
"I'm thankful for sports because without them school would not be worth it."- Tate Baumgardner

"I'm thankful for late night trips to mcdonalds...and nap time! :)"- Andrea Walker

"I'm thankful for good professors."- Matt

"I'm thankful for Wild West."- Drew

"I'm thankful for 3 day weekends every week :)"- Jennifer McMannis

"I'm thankful for going home."- Carissa Bently

"Getting an education to have a successful career as a RN (Registered Nurse) helping people, not to mention having a job for the rest of my life!"- Lindsey Wilhelm

And to expound on what I am thankful for- I'm thankful for my mom, for being such an inspiration and my best friend. I'm thankful for my dad for teaching me so much about the cattle industry and life in general. I'm thankful for my older brother, Nick, for always listening to my complaints and my joys in life. I'm thankful for my younger, bigger brother, Zachary, for being my buddy and getting me involved in bow hunting. I'm thankful for my youngest, tallest brother, Jack for making me laugh and the sweet cards while I'm at college.

I'm thankful for a great ag communication program at Texas Tech and knowledgeable professors, Taco Tuesday's at Rosa's with Thomas and Carly, new friends through the Monday night Bible study group and great room mates!

I would LOVE to know what you are thankful for- sign up for an account and you will be able to leave a comment. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shine Your Light

I recently read a very humbling conversation on Facebook (the world’s fastest growing social network on the Internet) and it caused me to stop are re-evaluate my life.

In a book I’m reading, a quote by S. Rickly Christian says, “Being a Christian means being concerned about the disparity between how we live and how we look, between what we do and what we say. It helps to know God doesn’t just care what we do on Sundays; he cares how we live and act the other six days as well. He cares that our Christianity is evidenced in every part of our lives: the mental, social, physical… as well as the spiritual.”

He also says, “Every Christian is a missionary – God’s representative – in his or her corner of the world. That’s why Christ said his life is an example for us to follow. By being faithful to the pattern of your own life in God, you will cause others to see Christ in you.”

The conversation on Facebook had to do with the fear of our friends not going to Heaven. It made me stop and think about the people in my life. Who, without a doubt, has a relationship with God? Who needs some encouragement?

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who has no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.- 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:1

Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

It has been said to “preach always, and if necessary, use words”. I am very thankful for friends in my life who have kept me on the right path and been an example through their walk with God. I challenge you to live a life that is worthy of the sacrifice and set a Godly example everywhere you go, to everyone you meet. Be there for your friends. Pray that God will present the opportunity to discuss Him and eternal life.

Happy Trails and God Bless!
To contact Kristen with questions or comments, email her at

Thursday, November 12, 2009

An Amazing Performance by Stellar Kart

Sunday evening, Stellar Kart, a very popular Christian band, performed an amazing show at the Ritz. How lucky are we to have such a great place like that in Wellington?

I had the opportunity to visit with Jon and Adam, members of the band, after the show. I was very curious about their favorite Bible verse.

Jon’s response was, “My favorite is John 10:27. Basically the gist of it is that God is our Sheppard and we are His sheep and we follow Him because we know His voice and that drives me in life because I am currently on this journey of finding out what Gods voice sounds like and I feel like knowing that is very important especially amongst the distractions so we can stay grounded.”

Adam’s favorite verse is Philippians 4:13- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. “That’s the story of my life. I definitely couldn’t do any of this on my own. Living life on the road is exhausting and just the responsibility of writing lyrics that can help people out and manage life and get through life and it’s something I wouldn’t want to try to do on my own. I don’t know what ‘all things’ means, but I’m pretty comfortable giving it over to God.”

I am amazed at the talent Adam, Jon, Jordan and Brian have been blessed with.

1 Peter 4:10-11 says, Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

I may be repeating myself from last week, but God is really putting it on my heart to encourage each of you to seek out His will for your life. If you haven’t discovered your niche, seek God’s voice and He will give you the strength to do all things so that He may be praised. God is so good!

Happy Trails and God Bless!

To contact Kristen with questions or comments, email her at

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I recently heard a great analogy at church. A very beautiful, godly young lady had a bowl of Skittles with her for children’s time. The kids knew right away what the bowl contained.

She asked the kids several questions about the skittles with the main point being that no matter what color they were – red, orange, yellow, green or purple - they were all Skittles.

I have heard many different analogies to explaining how we are all different, yet all belong to God, but on that certain Sunday, her lesson caused me to really stop and think.

God has blessed each of us with unique abilities and characteristics. Some people are good at sports and some are good at showing animals. Some people can speak in public, while others have the ability to organize and plan an event. Some people have brown hair while others are redheaded.

I think it’s amazing how each of us worship God in our own special, diverse way. Some sing, some dance, some stand in awe while others kneel and pray. Also, we each have a unique way of giving to God. Some people give their money through tithing, some people serve by donating their time and others lend a listening ear.

Romans 12: 6-8 says-We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

No matter what stage of life we are in, where we live, what our profession is, or what we look like, God loves us and we are a part of His family. Just like the Skittles, we all have something in common. Be proud and thankful for the talents and the unique life God has blessed you with.

Happy Trails and God Bless!

To contact Kristen with questions or comments, email her at

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cooking in College

As a college student living off campus, I value the cooking skills that 4-H taught me. My roommates and I take turns cooking and they are also very good cooks!

Beef, Potato & Pepper Skillet

  • · 1 package (about 17 oz.) fully-cooked beef tips with gravy
  • · 2 cups frozen seasoned chunky-style hash brown potatoes
  • · 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • · 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • · 1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
  • · ½ cup water
  • · 1/8 tsp. pepper, or to taste

Combine all ingredients in large, nonstick skillet; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer 12 to 14 minutes, or until peppers are tender, stirring occasionally.

After-Class Beef Pot Roast Dinner

  • · 3-3 1/2 lb. boneless beef roast
  • · 1 envelope (0.7 oz.) Italian dressing mix
  • · 2 large onions, each cut into wedges
  • · 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • · 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • · 1/2 cup ready-to-serve beef broth
  • · 2 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • · 2 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water
  • · Salt and pepper, to taste

Press dressing mix evenly onto all surfaces of pot roast. Place onions and garlic in 4 1/2 to 5 1/2-quart slow cooker; top with pot roast. Add bell peppers and broth. Cover and cook on high 5 hours or on low 8 hours. Add zucchini. Continue cooking, covered, 30 minutes or until pot roast is fork-tender.

Carve pot roast into slices; season with salt and pepper, as desired.

I like to cook with a lot of beef around my apartment. According to the Texas Beef Council website (, “a 3 ounce serving of beef is an excellent source of protein, zinc, vitamin B12, selenium and phosphorus and a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, iron and riboflavin.

“This is quite a nutritional bargain, as a 3 ounce serving of lean beef contributes less than 10 percent of calories to a 2,000-calorie diet while providing 51 percent of the protein, 38 percent of the zinc and 37 percent of the vitamin B12 we need every day.”

Taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8b) I thank God for cattle! If you have quick and easy recipes, I would love to try them!

Happy Trails and God Bless!

To contact Kristen with questions or comments, email her at

Thursday, October 22, 2009


In August, my good buddy Carly and I checked one item off our Bucket List. We went skydiving. Yes, we jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.

I was extremely nervous before we arrived at the location, but once I saw that it was a legitimate skydiving facility and we would be jumping tandem with professionals, the excitement set in.

My instructor has been a professional skydiver for more than ten years and makes between 10 and 12 jumps a day. He has a record of every jump he has ever made and I accompanied him on his 13, 420th jump. Knowing this helped keep my nerves calm.

The training was very short. We watched a video about body position when exiting the plane, the freefall position and the landing position. We each had to practice these and then we were ready to jump.

The jump plane was cramped so I was definitely ready to get out of it. Once we reached 13,500 feet, it was time to jump. We scooted to the door, I crossed my arms over my chest, looked up, and away we went.

The feeling was more of a flying sensation rather than falling. It was truly amazing to see the earth while falling through the clouds.

During the freefall, which lasted about a minute, we exceeded 120 mph. Once the parachute was pulled, the canopy flight lasted about four minutes. Carly and I both had a nice soft landing on our feet in the landing zone.

Over Fall Break, a few weeks ago, Carly and I, along with 23 other friends made a trip with the intentions of going skydiving again. However, due to 100% cloud cover, we were unable to jump. The group traveling with me also planned to camp and cook out, but it was chilly and wet.

I had been working on details for the skydiving trip for several weeks prior to leaving. Out of all the plans I made, not one of them worked out.

An amazing friend of mine had to remind me (several times) to not stress and just enjoy the trip and I’m so glad he did! The trip gave me the opportunity to become acquainted with new friends and get to know old friends better.

A famous quote by Robert South says, “A true friend is a gift of God.”

Happy Trails and God Bless!

To contact Kristen with questions or comments, email her at

Thursday, October 15, 2009


While sitting in the Student Union Building one day, waiting for my next class to start, I flipped through my student planner. It includes information about Texas Tech and various other important facts that college students may need to know.

The Listening Skills section caught my attention. The following is what the Texas Tech University Sophomore Year Experience planner says about listening:

“Listening (unlike hearing, which is a physical process not requiring thinking) gives meaning to the sounds you hear. It helps you understand. Listening is an active process that requires concentration and practice. In learning, the instructor’s responsibility is to present information; the student’s responsibility is to be “available” for learning. Not listening means you will be unable to learn the material.”

I had never thought about the difference between listening and simply hearing. When we listen, we engage our brain and actively understand. We may be storing new thoughts away or linking new points with old knowledge.

Do you truly listen to your daily conversations? What about truly listen to lyrics in songs? Do you truly listen and engage your brain in church?

I am guilty of sitting in class, hearing the lecture, and my mind is a million miles away from the subject being discussed. I have learned that in order for me to focus and listen, I have to take notes. Therefore, when I’m in church, I take a little notebook with me and take notes. My notes are a nice reference to be able to go back and mediate over. Also, I enjoy looking back and remembering what God pointed out to me that day.

This week God has put listening heavy on my heart. The verse that keeps coming to my mind is- Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).

In the next few days, I look forward to spending quality time with God and simply listening to Him. I’m going to work on making an active effort to hear what He has for me.

The words ‘listen’ is mentioned 413 times in the New International Version of the Bible. I believe that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason!

Happy Trails and God Bless!

To contact Kristen with questions or comments, email her at

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Total Money Makeover

Over the past week, I have visited with several people around campus, and the number one stressor of those I talked to is money.

When I graduated from high school in 2008, a family very dear to my heart gave me the book The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I had been reading chunks at a time and just recently finished.

The Total Money Makeover taught me so much! Dave writes, “The proven Total Money Makeover plan I teach has become very successful not because I have found the secrets of the rich. Not because I have some revelation that no one else has ever had about credit cards. Not because I am the only one with a ‘Debt Snowball’ plan.

Instead, this proven plan is having a national impact because I realized that to change your money thing, you have to change. You have to change your life. When you change your life, you will get out of debt, give and invest at an unbelievable rate.

When you read the stories in this book, you will not read about mathematics or magic systems, but about changed lives. You will read about transformed marriages and relationships. You will even read about people losing weight! Because when you change your life, you really change your life.”

I found this book very inspiring. It includes baby steps to getting out of debt, building an emergency fund, saving money, investing and giving. Dave Ramsey not only teaches about how to stay out of debt and handle my money, he includes God as part of the process and the importance of joyful giving.

Romans 12:2, which Dave includes in his book, says Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The Total Money Makeover motto is “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else. “ I believe this motto can apply not only to our finances, but to our Christian lives.

I would highly recommend this book to everyone, especially students and young adults!

Happy Trails and God Bless!

To contact Kristen with questions or comments, email her at

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Procrastination and Prayer

Procrastination seems to be a common occurrence for college students. Some tend to procrastinate doing homework, studying for tests, doing laundry and everything else as well.

This week, I definitely fell into the category of ‘procrastinators’. Classes are in full swing, homework is being assigned and tests are starting. With a busy week, writing my column was on my list of ‘things to do’, but as the week progressed, it continued to be moved to the next day.

Late at night, when I finally sat down to type it, I worked for a decent amount of time before I opened another file on my computer. Technology is too good sometimes and after closing the second file, everything I had been working on was gone.

Frustration was the first to set in, but after taking a second to just sit there, looking at the blank screen, I concluded that those were not the words that God wanted me to share with you this week. So after a good nights sleep and time with God, here is Kristen’s Corner for the week-

Philippians 4:4-7 says Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Life can be rough and to rejoice always, in every circumstance isn’t easy; but the Lord is near and that is how we have ability and the hope to find joy in every situation.

Stress is a big issue in our society. Jobs, money, school, grades and relationships all can cause worry in our lives. But, as Christians, we have the peace of God, which goes beyond all our understanding, to guard our hearts and minds.

There is nothing like the power that is in prayer. This week, reflect on what stresses you out and surrender it to God through prayer. It may have to be a daily or even hourly act of surrendering, but the joy and peace that come with God being in control is truly amazing.

Happy Trails and God Bless!

To contact Kristen with questions or comments, email her at

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Opportunity Center

While working on a homework assignment this past week, I realized how proud I am to call Wellington my home.

For the assignment, we were given a 3X5 index card. It had to have our name, hometown and one other thing that helped describe us on it.

For my “one other thing” I used a picture of a cross against a blue clear sky.

My reason for putting this cross is because I truly believe, with all my heart that no matter what trials or tribulations we face in this life, God is right there beside us. He will never leave us or forsake us. He leads, guides and directs us. He is the source of my joy.

Romans 8:31B, 35-39 says, If God is for us, who can be against us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

While thinking of my hometown, The Opportunity Center came to mind.

As I wrote last week, I worked at The Opportunity Center this summer as a teacher for the 4th and 5th grade class. Wellington is extremely fortunate to have such an amazing program.

One of my favorite memories was when we went to Pioneer Park. We picked up trash after the 4th of July for community service and played in the river. Most of the time was spent ‘herding’ minnows. The students were awesome at catching them! By the end of the afternoon, they had several ‘corrals’ full of little minnows.

Other fun activities over the summer included playing sports, swimming, creating power point presentations, journaling, reading and playing board games. (By the way, the 4th & 5th graders are great at checkers!)

Patsy Willoughby and Wilson Lemieux helped me immensely! I wouldn’t have made it through the summer without them.

I look forward to seeing great things from my class in the next 15 years.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kristen’s Corner is Back

I, Kristen Odom, will be writing my weekly column from Lubbock while attending Texas Tech University.

To give you a little update over the past year and a half - I was a student at West Texas A&M University, in Canyon, for the fall and spring semesters majoring in Agriculture Communications. While at school, I worked at The Canyon News in the advertising department. For the summer, I lived at home, in Wellington.

The days of not having to make my own decisions are not too far in my past. I definitely enjoy the freedom of deciding where and what I do for meals and how late I can stay out with my friends, but the decisions that can have a major impact on my future can be tough!

The decision to go to Texas Tech was very difficult. After graduation from high school, I had my plans to go to WTAMU and did not even apply anywhere else.

I had a blast in my classes and learned so much at WTAMU. I met some amazing friends and had great professors. However, there were little things that God showed me that let me know that it was not where I was supposed to spend the next few years.

After weighing the pros and cons and guidance from God, I made the decision to transfer to Texas Tech University. Tech is known to have an outstanding Agriculture Communications program and I look forward to all the knowledge that I will gain in the next few years.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

I’m amazed at how fast June, July and August have flown by! Thinking back over the summer in Wellington, it has been one I will never forget!

My activities included teaching at The Opportunity Center, being the youth leader for the Methodist Church in Wellington and McLean, taking a college algebra class and doing some freelance writing.

Look for Kristen’s Corner in the following weeks to read about my adventures at West Texas A&M, being a teacher and a youth leader, skydiving and life at college.

To contact Kristen with questions or comments, please email her at