Heart of Berlin

Inspirations from Kerstin Hack

Kategorie: faith (Seite 1 von 3)

Satisfied

2014-04-12 16.53.55During the last few weeks, I’ve been preoccupied with the question of how I can deepen my inner connection to Jesus. On the search for answers, I pulled a book out of my „To-Read“ pile: Gestillt (Satisfied) by David Zindel from Neufeld Publishing. The subtitle „Night conversations with David“ explains what it’s about.

At first, I was irritated. As a publisher, it is important to me to have a good framework for a storyline, and this was missing. A stressed-out and unhappily married man writes letters to King David, and the author barely even makes the effort to create a framework for it other than an introductory letter that communicates to the reader how the publication of the letters in Heaven  is contentiously discussed. I think there should have been a little more creativity. I would have described, perhaps, how the good man reads Psalm 23 „I shall not want“ in the evening and then writes a rather angry retort to the author, lays it in his Bible, and is astounded the next evening to find an answer on the back of his letter… actually from David.

After the framework, I was further irritated about the stupidity of Reinhard, the writer. At the beginning, he is presented as someone who blames all of his marital problems exclusively on his wife. I know contemporaries, men as well as women, who primarily see the cause of problems in the other person. Yet, I don’t think anyone could be so dumb as to have zero self-awareness like Reinhard at the beginning of the book – at least I hope not!!!

Once I was over the first hump, the book began to fascinate me. King David writes from the perspective of eternity looking back on his life, and he’s learned a few things. I liked how he encouraged Reinhard again and again not to seek fulfillment/satisfaction in things, rather in interacting with God. He wrote and explained this over and over in various ways and nuances… it was very good for me.

A few of the most beautiful thoughts from the book (quoted from memory):

  • The quality of satisfaction can be known by its aftertaste (A very wise thought, I think. It goes for food as well as events and interactions).
  • Pouring your heart out and allowing it to be refilled again belong together. One without the other makes no sense. (I thought this really good!)
  • Spiritually dry times are gifts from God. He is attempting to release us from our own not-really-rewarding attempts at satisfaction.
  • Obedience has to do with hearing. Obedience is the ability to hear.
  • God wants to wash our dirty laundry white, not to discuss the gray parts with us.
  • When we draw back from things, we can then receive and enjoy them anew as gifts from God – in a free way – as satisfied people, not as longing, insatiable, unsatisfied people who imbibe everything and, because they remain unsatisfied, must continually increase the doses.
  • David, when looking back from Heaven on his revenge acts: „Only now do I know that a happy life is made of settling the balance immediately, in emergencies from your own pocket.“

Thankful, I lay a good book aside… the valuable thoughts from it will accompany me for a while still.

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/gestillt/#sthash.7HXT8JFD.dpuf

What a Year!

2014-04-18 15.25.55My birthday is a good opportunity to look back on this year. What a rollercoaster this last year was!

April: Information that the dry dock costs would be 3 times higher !!! than expected. Lots of friends helped with loans and donations – and miraculously the dramatic bill was able to be paid!

June/July: Mediation to solve conflicts with the ship builder I worked with and then – as differences and different expectations could not be resolved – the sad ending of our working relationship. Still sad – without him I would probably never have dared to start the project.

August: Moving the ship from Hamburg to Berlin – what a journey! The new birth of Bernd number 2 who entrusted his life to Jesus. Continuing renovation on the ship with a steady stream of friends helping me to move things forward and assisting the professionals. Challenging interpersonal relationship with the Berlin dry dock owner. Phew.

August/December: Professional training in a well-founded technique to reach goals and an extremely good trauma-relief therapy method. I’m very happy that I could increase my skills and am more equipped to handle tough stuff.

November: Bernd number 1 – a friend who helped me a lot with the ship and gave me lots of good advice – suffered a severe stroke and is still recovering. Last minute new windows for the ship – what a miracle that I could find the right professionals!
December: Discovering rust in places that should have been renovated. What a frustration! 
January: Winter renovations – tough work with tough guys – my cousin and a great team from Portugal. Starting to coach a businessman in the Stuttgart area.
Dec – March: Writing 5 new titles in 5 months – quite a lot.
March: Starting to coach a man who wants to lose 40 kilograms of weight.

April: A stupid law suit – someone suing me for something I did not even do – forgetting to mention a photographer on a picture we published. We had mentioned her, she had just not looked properly. A little break at the baltic sea for gaining new strength.

Hopes for the next year of my life:

– Finishing the ship – praying for more helpers and finances to complete the project. Thankful for everyone who is helping – may it be small or big!

– Staying in peace – letting my soul be stilled by God.

Growing in Trust: Loved First

the-father_s-loveA sentence that Joshua Lupbema, one of the chairmen at Gemeinsam für Berlin at the Transforum, said really moved me. The gist was this:

Peter bragged about how much he loved Jesus. Yet, when it came down to it, he betrayed Him.

John bragged about how much Jesus loved him. John remained by Jesus“ side until His death on the cross.

You can“t construct a theology out of this, but what I became aware of was that it“s not our great or even weak love for Jesus that carries us… rather it“s the awareness of His deep love for us.

On this theme: the inspirational booklet, The Father“s Love, that personally formulates the loving affirmation of God, is going into its fourth print today. I can warmly recommend it for anyone who would like to be touched more deeply by God“s love.

And I am glad and thankful that, with this inspirational booklet, we can contribute a little bit to people being touched by God“s love.

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/vertrauen-lernen-zuerst-geliebt

Miracles Take a Little Longer

2014-02-05 16.23.55„Miracles take a little longer!” This is so easy to say when you aren’t waiting for one… yet it is wonderful when something occurs about which we can wonder…

One side of shipbuilding: Hard work

Building a ship is a lot of work. I putter around on the ship on any given 3 afternoons and on Saturdays. It also takes work to earn money. I do what I can to bring the required finances together. I rent out my guestroom, recycle bottles, sell used items and books, coach, hold seminars, and much more in order to earn money. Hard work is one side of the coin.

The other side of shipbuilding: Miracles that occur

A friend of mine who identifies as an atheist mentioned recently that as he noticed how often things that I prayed for happened, he began to wonder: „Until now, I have always just believed in coincidence, but in your case, it’s pushing the limits!“

A few miracles from the last couple of days:

– The money that I have earned, borrowed, and received as a gift has sufficed so far. Sometimes, like with the high wharf rent, it was really tight, but it has always been enough. I am so thankful for all of the big and small donations that have made this possible.

– I’ve been praying for several months that God would send me a ventilation engineer who can help me with the ventilation plans. A man from Ghana who studied ventilation in Spain and just came to Berlin looking for a job has contacted me and is now going to make the calculations and plans for me…

– On my list of things that I still need for the ship is „espresso machine for seminar operation.“ At the birthday party of my father, I told one of his friends about the ship without revealing any details about the needs. Suddenly, he asked, „Do you need an espresso machine?“ And he gave me a fancy, barely-used unit.

– Friends were telling a young woman about my ship. She has visited the sea for many years, loves ships, and currently has more free time than she’d prefer, and now, she’s getting involved with the ship…

Someone – was it Luther? – once said: “Pray as though you cannot work. And work as though you cannot pray.“ Absolutely!

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/wunder-dauern-etwas-laenger/#sthash.IcpAcJd1.dpuf

Growing in Trust: For What Can I Trust?

The theme “Growing in Trust” is still occupying me. A central question that is on my mind is, „For what can I trust?“ I don’t mean the foundational questions: on what or on whom I found my trust. That is, at least in theory, relatively clear. I am much more occupied with the question, „For which concrete things or behaviors of God can I hope on the basis of the claims of the Bible?“ I am still sorting this out. A long time ago, I thought I could trust that everything would work out the way I thought it would. I was that naive, at least theoretically, but at least I’m not anymore. For one, God never promises what the process will look like. Once, God promised David that he was going to become king. The „small print“ about how much character building, difficulties, and challenges would come before that, David painfully discovered over the next years and decades, surely with a ton of frustration. If I correctly understood God, He allowed the idea of building this ship to grow within me. This doesn’t mean that everything will go smoothly. 1011224_10152199906240985_1421443121_n My current level of knowledge: I can not trust that everything will go smoothly, but I can trust that God is with me and also wants to and will give me advice. Photo “Eistee” (Ice Tea) by Nuno Soares – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/vertrauen-wofuer-kann-ich-vertrauen/#sthash.igNqcjPd.dpuf

Growing in Trust: I like God

1604888_10152201214041972_1827025902_nThis morning as I stood in the kitchen still half-asleep, it suddenly came to me: I like God. Of course I honor and obey Him – He’s God. That’s obvious! But as I stood there and considered whether I wanted orange juice or coffee or both, it suddenly hit me: I like God.

  • I like His creativity, the range of colors with which He makes plants and flowers – I like His creative power.
  • I also like His approachableness, His warmth, and nearness.
  • I like His brightness, His expression.
  • I like the depths of His heart.
  • I like that He talks to and with me.
  • I like that He hears me.
  • I like that He knows me and still wants to discover me.
  • I like that He enjoys taking care of me.
  • I like Him.
  • I really like Him.

Sometimes I wish He was different. I wish He would act more often like I imagine. But when I imagine that I had a husband who was the way I sometimes wish God would be, I’m horror-struck. I would soon be seeing Him like a wimp who does everything that I say. Terrible!photo.php I currently have three Portuguese men on board who are helping me. Sometimes, when I tell them: do this or that this way, they say clearly, „No!“ usually with good reason: because it’s better another way. Sometimes it’s just because they prefer to do things differently. This is also good and motivated by the wish to support me and help me in the best ways! And I don’t have to carry any heavy bags when they are near: they enjoy taking the burden from me. In looking at this, it’s clear to me: I even like God when He is sometimes „macho,“ when He insists on His own independence and doesn’t let me tell Him what to do – at least not about how He should do things, and nevertheless acts out of love for me.

  • I like God!

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/im-vertrauen-wachsen-ich-mag-gott/#sthash.WN9DAD0y.dpuf

Growing in Trust: Sad Answers to Prayer

Did I trust today? Yes! Trusting God – during and despite disappointment in humans During the first phase of renovation, I worked together with a shipbuilder who took responsibility for the work. He worked on many areas properly and well, but unfortunately not on all. In some areas, this is not so tragic: when new lacquer is laid over old lacquer on the ceiling and both come off together when someone hits their head against it, it’s annoying. However, when in the underwater areas of the ship rusty spots aren’t cleaned or insulated, it’s not just annoying, it’s life-threatening. Every rust spot is a source of danger if not treated. So my prayer in the last few months was that God would make me aware of all of the places that need to be reworked. I discovered a spot with black core rust in the seminar room in the keel of the ship and another further above. 2014-01-18 17.06.30Yesterday, someone helped me lay insulation. He didn’t get it stuck well in the corner, and I pulled the insulation up to show him how to do it properly. Suddenly, I didn’t just have the insulation in my hand but also a palm-sized piece of lacquer and rust. I almost cried. It is so frustrating when I can’t trust the work that someone else did (The black areas on the picture to the left are rust spots. The big black areas to the right are black insulation). Hier ist der - gerade erst 5 Monate alte - Lack schon wieder abgeblättert. Here it is – only 5 months old – lacquer already flaking. This morning as I was talking with God about it, it became clear to me: God is answering my prayer. I had asked Him to show me the areas that aren’t sound. The area yesterday was really a random find… normally rust hides well under white lacquer. Yes, I am sad that there are bad spots on the ship despite the performed and paid work, but I am thankful that we’ve already discovered some of the most critical spots. God has obviously answered my prayer. 2014-01-13 16.02.37 I am also thankful for the people who help me. Last week, my cousin derusted and oil-sealed about 15 square meters that according to my estimation and the opinions of multiple shipbuilders whom I asked hadn’t been worked on at all. Now, friends from Portugal are painting it again with primer, and then we can put on the insulation. The whole thing cost me three extra weeks of time and was very frustrating, but better safe than sorry. In short: I am sad that the situation is the way it is and thankful that God answered my prayers and thankful for the support of other people! I ask my God to comfort me about my experienced harm… and am excited to see what He comes up with! – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/im-vertrauen-wachsen-traurige-gebetserhoerung/#sthash.CcHN4Gs4.dpuf

Growing in Trust: The Foundations for Trust

Stapel Bild0006Did I trust today? Yes! Above all, I trusted that I have enough time for taking breaks – despite or perhaps because I am currently in the middle of a writing marathon. A first milestone has been reached: the manuscript for the inspirational booklet about Coco Chanel is finished. I enjoyed being preoccupied with this fascinating woman. The next weeks will bring the following: an article about God’s promises, the quadro Lean and Fit, a lecture: Nonviolent Communication, another lecture: Spirituality and Psychology. Then two more inspirational booklets: Friendship and Grief. Although I enjoy writing and do so quickly, this is still a lot of work. Oh yea, I’m building a ship on the side which means all kinds of organizational work. The Foundations for Trust I recently asked myself what the foundations for my trust in God are. The basics for me are these four things:

  • – God is good and trustworthy in His essence.
  • – God is powerful and can shape and change situations (even if He doesn’t always do so).
  • – God is relational. He want’s to be close to me.
  • – God is task-oriented. He wants to cause good things in this world.

Upon these cornerstones, I can anchor my trust:

  • Because God is good, I can trust that He is also good to me.
  • Because He is powerful, I can trust that He can also act for me.
  • Because He is close to me, I can feel secure.
  • Because He wants to affect things in the world, I can trust that He will help me in the tasks with which He has entrusted me.

This doesn’t mean that I expect everything in life to go smoothly. That would be a delusion. God is powerful, but He limits His power within the boundaries of the personal responsibility of people and the expectation of being invited to act (Christians call this invitation „prayer“). – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/im-vertrauen-wachsen-die-basis-fuer-vertrauen/#sthash.dyKesEZQ.dpuf

Trust 2014

IMG_0980Over the last few months, I often asked myself the question: was I alive today? I feel like this is not going to be my theme for the next few months. I am alive, and I am aware of life (sometimes more, sometimes less). I notice an inherent liveliness and am pleased. This year, it is important to me to grow in trust. I would like to trust God more, trust myself more, and trust other people more (as appropriate). For me, appropriate means: according to how well I know people in general and this person in particular. Some people, whom I know very well and have known for a long time, I trust very much. For others, trust is still growing. First, I have to discover in which areas I can and cannot trust them. What have I learned today about trust? It is lovely and calming when I can trust people. On New Year’s Eve, I prayed for the new year with a very good friend. For more than 15 years, I have known her as a woman who has a very intimate relationship with God and is sensitive to hearing Him speak. We asked God to tell us what is important to Him for the different areas of my life (publishing company, ship, health) and then discussed what we each heard internally. About health, she said that the keyword „salt bath“ came to mind. She couldn’t figure out what it meant, but I knew. I know that stress, both internal as well as „only“ physical (like through building a ship), overacidificates the muscles, and natural sea salt or rock salt brings balance and regeneration. For Christmas, I (not completely unselfishly) gave my neighbor and friend, Sonja, a two-for-the-price-of-one coupon book. There wasn’t a coupon for a salt bath in the book, but there was one for Saltero: a massage and a time of relaxation in a completely salt-coated grotto. After a while there, it was as if I were at the sea: my airways are clear again, I can breathe more freely and deeply, my back is wonderfully relaxed, hours later my skin in still pleasantly lightly salty, and I am wonderfully relaxed. It wasn’t exactly a salt bath, but it was pretty close. Without the impulse from my friend, I surely wouldn’t have gone, and now I am very glad. Trust was good to me. And: I would like to go there again… – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/vertrauen-2014/#sthash.EayO7Uve.dpuf

Discovering Life – Ants and Kings

IMG_0220Was I alive today?

Yes!

What new thing did I learn about life?

From a report via a television program on the topic the beauty of women: Lebanese women are considered the most beautiful women of the Near East because of their facial features and figures – my German-Lebanese friend told me about it. They spend tremendous amounts of time and energy on creating and maintaining their beauty and go, when they can afford it, to the salon around three times per week. In a society where the ratio of women to men is 3:1 (many young men work abroad), enormously high competition reigns. 90% of all women choose to have their children via cesarean section, because they see it as safer and less beauty-threatening than natural birth. Right now, the young women who are educated are finding themselves in conflict regarding whether they want to continue to „play the game,“ but they often don’t have a choice.

What new thing did I learn about myself?

Sometimes it bothers me when I compare myself to how things should be done – and I find it wonderful when God then says to me, „You are good enough.“ There are people who can plan things to the smallest detail – I am not one of them. I can only approach things in stages and layers.

Once in a while, people criticize me for the way I am approaching things with the ship, „Kerstin, you should first contract with engineering consultants to draw up a complete plan before you proceed.“ „You should contract with a ship-builder…“ etc.

My good friend, with whom I am currently enjoying a few restful days, prayed this morning and asked God what He would like to say to me. She felt like she should read Proverbs 6. Among other things, she read, „The ants are self-organized, have no king, yet still fill their barns!“

She felt like God wanted to say to me, „Kerstin, there are work teams that don’t have a king to tell them what to do. With your ship project, you have teams that more or less organize themselves. And that is OK! That’s also a possibility. And you will reach your goal and ‚fill your barn.'“

That really encouraged me. I don’t need to be anything other than myself… I am allowed to be how I am… and my God deals and works with me in my fashion. How incredibly comforting!

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erfolg/leben-entdecken-ameisen-und-koenige/#sthash.qe0ztKJQ.dpuf

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