Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Joy of Brothers

I have been very blessed to grow up with three brothers! However, it has been quite interesting.

With three brothers, playing in the dirt was a blast. They had the coolest trucks and dirt equipment, but I always had the coolest dirt house.

With three brothers, my Barbie’s had G.I. Joe to marry. They also had camouflage clothes to go hunting in which they took the camo duct taped jeep. But when they had to go on a trip and needed to take a lot of clothes, I used G.I. Joe’s jeep.

With three brothers, I learned to be tough. They are all fairly ornery.

I hate to admit it, but with three brothers I also learned how to squeal just right to get them in trouble when I actually started it.

With three brothers, I have learned to give very detailed instructions of what I need. I’ve learned not to assume anything.

With three brothers, I have become a bow hunter… but I won’t say who won the last shooting contest.

With three brothers, it is always interesting when a guy comes to visit. They seem to think that is the ideal time to sit and clean their gun.

With three brothers, I have learned to have the utmost respect for guys.

I’m amazed at how much they have all grown up. My oldest brother, Nick, is about to graduate from the aviation maintenance program at Amarillo College. Zachary, who is about to be 18 will graduate from high school this year. Jack, my baby brother, just turned 16 and has his driver’s license. Wow, time sure does fly by fast!

They are all taller than me now. Zachary and Jack both a whole head taller! With them being so much bigger (and stronger now) it makes it interesting when I come home from college and we wrestle. Instead of me holding them down and picking on them, they sit there taking it for a second and then they just scoot me over.

If you are on Facebook, look me up and check out my photo album dedicated to my fantastic brothers!

I know that siblings can be very frustrating, but I pray that if there is a wall that has been built with a loved one, that it be knocked down and that relationship be restored. There isn’t anything in this world that is worth losing that relationship over.

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

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Let Your Light Shine

I love the light/darkness analogy found throughout the Bible.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. ~ John 3:19-21

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. ~ John 8:12

Your word is a lamp to my feed and a light for my path. ~ Psalm 119:105

You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. ~Ephesians 5:8-10

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! ~Matthew 6:21-23

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:14-16

As humans, we are no where near perfect but because of God’s love for us, He sent His son as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins so we no longer have to live in darkness.

My prayer this week is that we shine God’s light everywhere we go, to everyone we meet and that they know we love God by our actions and our words.

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

Friday, March 12, 2010

Recharge and Renew

Spring break- woohoo! It’s a great time to kick back and enjoy sleeping in, no class and possibly a fun trip with friends.
Not only is spring break a time to recharge, but a time of renewal. Spring is the season for new growth to take root and flourish.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Some ideas for those who will be spending their time renewing their strength at home include:

Spring Break Movie Marathon- gather a group of friends, take a trip to the grocery store and all pitch in for snacks, then it’s off to spend the day watching movies.

Get Outside- grab a big group of friends and head to the park or a sports field and play some games of ultimate frisbee, football or go back to the elementary school days and play tag. Also if the weather is nice, jump on your bike and take a ride around town and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.

Cook Dinner- bring the family together and cook dinner. It can be a team effort, or each person can choose a night. Be creative with your meals.

The following is a quick and easy dessert recipe I learned from a great friend and fantastic cook-

Lemonade Pie
1 can Eagle Brand
1 small container of Cool Whip
1 can (12oz.) Lemonade
2 Graham pie crusts
Mix together and pour in graham crust. Place in freezer overnight.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint
. ~Isaiah 30:28-31

Over spring break, take time to thank God for all the blessings He has poured out in our lives. Share His love with others – the dessert recipe makes two pies (wink, wink).

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

Thursday, March 4, 2010

You are the Branch

I am the vine; you are the branch. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. ~ John 15: 5-8

As a student at Texas Tech majoring in agricultural communications, horticulture is a required class. I’m amazed by how intricately God created the earth.

Grape vines are a great example of the verses from John. The vine provides support for the plant. It is rooted deep down, providing a solid foundation. From the vine stems the branches, which enable the plant to produce fruit. In order to be ‘fruitful’, the vine and branches must work together.

In examining my relationship with God, I’ve asked the following questions:
Am I a fruitful branch?
Is the fruit I produce good quality?
Have I been separated from the branch and am now trying to grow on my own?
And in my life, what areas need to be pruned?
Where do I spend time that is not productive?
Where does God want me to grow?

It isn’t always fun to face reality, but the great thing about the Bible is that there are answers to every problem. So how do we become a better branch in Christ?

In Galatians 5:22, it says, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.

Walking in love everywhere you go, shining God’s light to the family, friends and strangers you come in to contact with every day, and trusting in God and His will for your life are all ways to grow stronger in Him.

This week I challenge you to memorize the fruit of the Spirit. Write them on a note card and hang it on your bathroom mirror or carry it with you in your pocket. Reflect on what each one means and how to apply it to your every day living. Cherish these words in your heart.

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