Heart of Berlin

Inspirations from Kerstin Hack

Kategorie: Christian (Seite 1 von 3)

How I pray – my pattern for prayer

A dear friend recently told me, that she finds ist hard to sit and pray. And asked me: „How do you pray?“

I told her that I usually do not sit when I pray. I generally do not like to sit – I built myself a standing desk and a walking desk (a treadmill with a laptop stand) because sitting for a long time is not good for your body. The body is not made for sitting long term – not even in prayer.

Prayer postures

Most religious traditions honor that. So body posture for prayer includes

  • lying (I like that)
  • kneeling
  • standing – often with hands lifted up
  • dancing
  • walking

I like talking to God when I walk – it comes very natural to me.

Labyrinths as Prayer tools

As I do not have the time to go to a park every morning two artistic friends, Elizabeth and Scott, created a labyrinth on the roof of my ship for me. Especially in the middle ages Labyrinths were popular as a framework to hold your steps and your mind while you prayed. Some of them – for example the one in the Chartres Cathedral are really big – and it takes about one hour to reach the center.  I have a pinterest collection of Labyrinths.

My labyrinth is a bit smaller – but what I love about it is that it holds me and my steps, leads me to the center – marked by a heart and then from there back „to the world“. I can do a quick run through the labyrinth in a few minutes or take my time and very slowly walk and pray.

What I love about it is that et every turn the scenery changes. I see water on one side, factories on the other,. In some positions the sun shines in my face, in others she warms my back (providing she is there -after all i live in Germany). This change of scenery often inspires my prayers. So one time as I was praying about a woman who intensely requested something from me I did not want to give, I saw a buoy – it reminded me of my right and obligation to set healthy boundaries.

So – how do I pray

As mentioned I love to chat. But at times I do enjoy a more structured approach. This is how I pray then.

  • Connection:  Our father in Heaven

All prayer is a means for connection. So I remind myself that I am a daughter of a good heavenly father. IF the sun is out I give myself some moments or minutes to simply feel the sunshine on my face as a touch of his love. I also take time to think about his attributes and reflect and comment on them and express how they affect and touch me.

  • Thankfulness: Hallowed be your name

I take time to express my thankfulness. When my brain is still tired in the morning often the same things come to mind: Security (no war), Health, provision. To be a bit more diverse  it helps me to think about thankfulness in different categories: What am I thankful for in my Job, in my friendships, in my last experiences?

  • Learning to forgive Forgiveness:  Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sinned against us.

Forgiveness has so many shades and aspects that I wrote a whole training manual about it: Learning to forgive. n(also available as ebook) In my mornings I often ask the Lord to show me if there is someone I need to forgive. Sometimes it is someone else, but very often that someone is myself. To make forgiveness more tangible I imagine myself standing in front of the person  looking that person (or myself) in the eye and say: „I forgive you!“ As usually there is some accusation and anger involved (who is without sin) I also imagine asking for forgiveness from them and father God. And  also receiving His forgiveness as a gift. I love it that the word give is included in the word forgiveness.

  • Long-Term  Perspective: Your kingdom come!

This part can include prayers for the world, political and social situation, but very often I focus on how I would like to be available for God to be used to bring his kingdom. I think and communicate about the person he would like me to become in the long run to advance his blessing on the earth.  Here I also find it helpful not to take the whole package, but think about different aspects each day: My character. my relationships, my business.  I try to catch a glimpse of the picture of what he wants me to become in these areas and pray into it.

  • Short-term  Perspective: Your kingdom come…today!

Here I break the big picture into what it means for today. I run through the schedule of my day and think of the best, most god-honoring and life-filled way to go through this particular day. In my mind I imagine myself working with focus, envision myself meeting people in real life or on the phone with attention etc.

  • Asking for help and reminding myself of his strength:  Give us this day our daily bread … lead us not into temptation… deliver us… yours is the kingdom and the Glory…

Feeling and expressing my need for help and company. He is so good. And he is with my.

As you have probably noted much of my prayer practice follows the Lord prayer.

I personally like to put in then thankfulness right at the beginning and the forgiveness earlier in the prayer – then the „ugly stuff“ is dealt with. But following it in the way Jesus taught it of course is the original.

How she lives on – in memory of Debbie Jones

DebbiimGarten_Hochzeit_Prag06.02Grief comes in waves. Moments of sadness and pain interwoven with moments of sweetness and even joy and laughter as precious memories surface. One person once said: „Grief is sorting – the things that are gone forever and the things that remain!“

In the last days since I heard of the sudden death of Debbie she and her family were in my mind constantly. I was not super close to her, but we saw one another about every other year, spent time with one another, in spite of the infrequency I felt close to all of them.

Many friends posted on Facebook what she meant to them and what was lost and what a person she was. I felt almost unable to write. How can you „summarize“ a life like hers – that is like a huge tapestry of many, many colors.

So I spent time thinking about what remains of her – in her kids.

Sam, Elizabeth, Abigail, Hannah, Tamara:

I have seen you grow up from little children to the Teens and adults you now are. And while each one of you is unique I see some strands of how your mum lives on in you. And would like to share.

Samuel

When I first met you, you were in your early teens and fairly withdrawn. I do not remember you speaking a word with me for the first SamuelBestMan2_Hochzeit-_Prag06.02three years or so of knowing you. And I almost never managed to get you on a picture!

But then – one time while visiting in Berlin – you gave me your own copy of the Lord of the Rings  as a gift. I knew it was really, really special. I did feel like a queen.

Although I was quite different in lifestyle from you and your family I felt deeply accepted. And that is probably one of the biggest gift we can give to each other. And you carry that, too.

For me Debbie also was a very hands on person. She found practical solutions for problems when she saw them and she was just doing it, leading the way. And you carry that, too!

 

Elizabeth

GoCartRacetheGermanteam_Prag06.02One of your mums gifts was to make people feel special –  using little things to express that.

One time when I visited and the house in Prague was crammed full with artists, she made my own „room“ on the balcony… with a czech salt candle.

And you did join the „German team“ in the GoKart race… and of course we managed to push your dad into the tyres…

I feel that in your heart for baking and making really special food you inherited some of that gift from her – in a very tender and precious way that is just right for you.  You are wonderful and will bless many people with this gift. Your mum cared about you a lot. I remember that  once when you were in your late teenage years she once invited me for a walk to have a long time to talk – one hour of uninterrupted talking was a lot for her. She was concerned for you – longing for ways how she could best support and strengthen you. She loved you a lot.

 

Abigail AbigailJoes_Prag06-02

On the window sill of my ship there are three pieces of pottery. One sturdy feminine figure with long curly hair that you once made for me. And two pieces of pottery from your mum.

It was one of her first pieces – a little mug with a painting of grapes. And one really fine mug. I think it is one of twelve pieces. The other ones she gave to other members of the tribe like  Derek and Amy – building community with her art.

I believe you are more of an artist than you think right now. There is „stuff“ in you that is waiting to come out and to be expressed. And I guess what you will create – may it be material pieces of art or spaces to meet – will bring people together and connect them. To me you also are a person that provides  strength to  others and is a safe haven – like your mum.

Hannah

One of the thHannanachdenklich_Hochzeit_Prag06.02ings that I loved about your mum was here unique style. And I loved how she encouraged you to develop your own way of dressing and expressing who you are. I think you do that well – expressing to the outside who you are in the inside – with all the diverse parts of your personality.

I really like that about you.

Hoffnung-von Hanna Jones - 8 J.The biggest gift you once gave to me was a painting. When I was full of pain in a hard time in my life you wanted to paint something for me. I then asked you to paint a picture of hope. You asked me „How do I paint hope?“ I encouraged you to think of something yourself.

Then you painted a flower in all four seasons: budding, blooming with the sun shining on it in full force, then withering and gone.

In the winter part of your painting there was only white – with two musical notes. And You explained to me „In winter you have to sing!“  And that is my hope for you right now.

 

TamaraschläftbeiMami_Prag06-02Tamara

I do not know you so well, but I remember that your mum told me that when she was pregnant with you and felt God told her that she should call you Tamara, she was surprised, as Tamar had gone through a lot of pain and she did not want you to be named after a woman who suffered so much.

But then she realized that in spite of all the pain – and to some extend even because – she was a woman who wrote history. And that was her hope for you.  And it is my hope as well – as you experience loss so early…that in spite of it or maybe even because – you will shape your destiny.CIMG2052

And you are sturdy. One of the first memories of you is of your brother and sisters putting a hat on your face – while you were only two or three months old. You looked cool – and took it with a smile.

I guess you also carry your mums heart to let people feel they are loved. One of my sweetest memories was when you were staying with Maggie in Berlin.

We were playing run and catch and had a lot of fun. When I wanted to leave i could not find my shoes. You had hidden them – because you wanted me to stay. Your 4 year old way to say „I love you!“

 

Andrew

CIMG1991No clue how to express how much Debbie shaped your life – every since you put your eyes on this red haired amazing woman who could beat you in the 1980s version of computer games… She seemed like the haven from which you could launch out in the world and at the same time being the closed travel companion.

It will be hard, more than hard to develop and find a way on your own. But there is so much of her in you, so much that shaped both of you together that this will provide some of the strength that you need to find your own way into the future – carrying the many precious seeds that she put in your life and sowing them into the world – together with your own unique tall skinny Kiwi seeds.

 

 

Me

CIMG2045Well of course – meeting Debbie shaped me. Stretching my horizon. Introducing me to people i never met before. And helping me to expand acceptance. One time when you were all visiting me I told your parents to have a day off without kids and took you to the children Museum. What I had not expected was that TJ was in the mood of wearing her ladybug outfit and your mum said „ok!“

Well…it was me walking around with her all day through the city of Berlin – her wearing a ladybug costume. Now I laugh about it -but at that time it was quite a big stretch for me. Not caring about what people think.

JonesgirlsBerlinjuly02Or at least not enough about others peoples opinion to forbid a child to express her heart. It taught me a lot. I guess that I would not have been able to create a space like the ship without having met and been shaped by Debbie and all of you. God using you to expand and open my heart and make it a bit more relaxed…

CIMG1986Later that day after a lot of big adventures TJ fell asleep in my arms. And slept for three solid hours in my arms as we took the underground, walked to Potsdamer Platz, had a huge ice-cream (sorry, TJ, you missed something) and sat and talked with Andrew and Debbie as they joined us.

Juli 2011 Prag und Dresden 159It touched me that Debbies last Facebook entry was about sleeping. And your family ability to sleep just anywhere. I wish you that in this rough time of saying good bye and do all of the sorting of the things that remain and the things that you have to let you – there will be moments of rest, refreshment.

If you want you are always welcome on my boat – for a time of rest, joy and fellowship and to enjoy the pieces of art your mum made – both in clay and within my life.

Going into a boat, risking your life, …

2014-08-10 05.37.47I am touched by seeing the pictures of men, women, families, children going on tiny boats on the sea. Risking their lives to be in safety from war, terror, persecution. Looking at those tiny boats trying to face the waves the wind and the storm, my heart breaks. I just feel with them. Feel helpless for and with them. Wishing there would be ways to stop all this tragedy and bring them to safety.

It is so risky.  So many died. I recently read two stories of tow different brave young women Sarah and Yusra . Both knew how to swim and jumped into the cold water and swam for hours when the engine failed to bring the people on the boat safely to the land. I am proud that both of them are now in my country, building a new future.

Then, recently for the first time I remembered that there were other men an women on boats centuries ago changed the face of Europe. In the early middle ages,  when all of Europe was deeply bound by superstition, fear of spirits, heathen practices and fear of making the Gods angry and the constant need to appease them – there were men an women in Ireland who went into boats.

They risked their lives. However their reason to go on the journey was not out of fear. They did not flee from terror or war. They left their nice homes, families and friends and took the risk of a journey across the – because of love. They had heard and believed the message that God so loved the world that he came to safe and redeem. And that he wanted his followers to share his love in word and deed.

They did not want to live without sharing this love. And so they went. All over Europe. Starting little communities that cared for the sick, taught people how to read and write. They founded villages and towns. A lot of Europes education and knowlege came from them.

It was not easy. Leaving your home never is. Even if you choose to do it.  Many did not return. They died in the sea or under the hands of the religious extremists of their days. Or simply got sick and lost their strength.

One of the travelers, Brendan the Navigator, wrote a prayer expressing his heart.

Shall I abandon, O King of mysteries, the soft comforts of home?
Shall I turn my back on my native land, and turn my face towards the sea?

Shall I put myself wholly at your mercy,
without silver, without a horse,
without fame, without honor?
Shall I throw myself wholly upon You,
without sword and shield, without food and drink,
without a bed to lie on?
Shall I say farewell to my beautiful land, placing myself under Your yoke?

Shall I pour out my heart to You, confessing my manifold sins and begging forgiveness,
tears streaming down my cheeks?
Shall I leave the prints of my knees on the sandy beach,
a record of my final prayer in my native land?

Shall I then suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict?
Shall I take my tiny boat across the wide sparkling ocean?
O King of the Glorious Heaven, shall I go of my own choice upon the sea?

O Christ, will You help me on the wild waves?

These men and women risked their lives. My life,  our culture, the whole of Europe would not be the same if they had not taken the risk. I am deeply thankful for them.

I hope that now in gratitude we will not harden our hearts to those who are now traveling the sea, desperate to save their lives.

I hope that in gratitude we live according to the things they taught us: There is a God who is loving and merciful beyond measure. And he calls us to learn from Him and be like him.

There are more prayers these people of old prayed that are deeply touching.

And I pray them for all those who are out there on the waves… trusting the mercy of God.

God bless the path on which you go
God bless the earth beneath your feet
God bless your destination.
God be a smooth way before you
A guiding star above you
A keen eye behind you
This day, this night, and forever.
God be with you whatever you pass
Jesus be with you whatever you climb
Spirit be with you wherever you stay.
God be with you at each stop and each sea
At each lying down and each rising up
In the trough of the waves, on the crest of 
 the billows.
Each step of the journey you take.

And this century old blessing  is one of my favorites:

Deep peace of the running waves to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the smiling stars to you,

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Deep peace of the watching shepherds to you,
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.

Ascension day, fathers day – what are we celebrating

2014-08-10 05.37.57Just in case you are wondering what we are celebrating today – it actually is two things – in my family three.

  1. Ascencion day (German „Himmelfahrt“), meaning „Going up, going to heaven“

As Christians we believe that Jesus (Isa Massih) was received throug the spirit of God and was born by Mary, a virgin. (No, just for the protocoll: we do NOT believe that God had a wife). Because Jesus was born of a human mother he called himself „son of man“ and because Jesus had the same nature and character of God he called himself „son of God“. This made the religious establishment angry and they arrested tortured and killed him brutally.

From God´s perspective: Jesus was innocent and without sin – chose to be punished for all our sins – with the most brutal punishement – torture and death. But he was stronger than death and after 3 days came back to life. He walked, talked and ate with his friends, several hundred of his followers met him after his death. For 40 days after he came back to life he taught them what it means to bring Gods love into the world.

And then he said „Good bye“ and went back to God where he had come from, but asked his friends to wait a while until they would receive God´s power to do his work of love in the World…but that is another story. But this day of Jesus going back to God is called asscencion day – or in German „Himmelfahrt“.

  1. Father´s day

Because Jesus went back to God whom he called „father“ we celebrate and honor our fathers on this day. In our traditon it is not such a big deal as mothers day, no gifts etc. But it is a time to say „thank you“ for the ways in which our fathers invested in our lives – with encouragement, time, correction, energy, being an example.

And yes, as all humans all of our fathers failed in their parenting… no one is perfect… but no matter how „perfect“ or „imperfect“ their parenting was: Our fathers gave us the biggest gift of all: Our life.  Which is of course a gift from God, the only perfect father who deserves this name.

It also is a day where men celebrate with other men – often they do a tour in the countryside, walking or on bikes or carts… and sometimes wiht a bit (too much) alcohol. Doing a lof of male things…

  1. My mums birthday

It just happens to be today… it is not like this every year as the religious feasts are based on the lunar calendar, the secular feasts on the solar calendar.

My Syrian Easter….or what is good about Good Friday

kreuzweg1Each year at Easter there seems to be an other aspect of the Easter story that becomes meaningful. The basic story is clear. As a Christian I believe that Jesus was not just an ordinary man or preacher – he was much more than that.

In the Bible (and if I am right in the Quran as well he is called „the word of God“ and it is said that by His Word God created everything. And this word – in some ways the very essence of God if one can call it this way – took the form of a human being – Jesus the Messiah.

The one side of the story is that people could not handle the beauty, but also challenge of their wrong ways that the living word of God brought to surface as they interacted with Him. And they chose to imprison, torture and kill him.

On the other side Jesus the Messiah knew that everybody on this planet was far from God because of the wrong they thought and did. And everyone deserves to be punished…and being holy and blameless and perfect – he chose to be punished in our place – so that we could receive God´ pardon. Like two people I read about who threw themselves on a friend they wanted to protect from extremists. They got beaten to death. He survived.

Someone taking my place in punishment – that is what I believe Jesus, the word of God alive, did. That is why we call this horrible day where Jesus was tortured and killed „Good Friday“..because he did it in our place….

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,  each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Prophet Isaiah about the Messiah (Isaiah 53)

And because the Word of God is powerful, indestructible and mighty – death could not hold him and he came back to life after three days. That´s what we celebrate on Easter.

This story is unbelievable …. and I do not blame anyone who says he finds this hard to believe… I sometimes think that this is almost crazy… a God who so loves us that he sacrifices himself…. crazy with love.

My past Easters – sunrise and miracles

One of the most memorable Easter I can remember was when I decided to attend a Sunrise service at the other end of the city. (Easter can mean „red sunrise“). I cycled through the night for more than an hour. No cars and people on the street. We started singing in a dark church with only one candle that gave a little light. No faces and forms were visible. Then more and more the light came in „Day is when you can distinguish the face of a brother from a stranger!“ It touched me and reminded me of the fact that God wants to bring light in the areas of my heart that are dark, fearful and alone.

And then last year Easter was a time of grieving. One of my best friends had suffered a stroke and his main brain stopped working completely (only one little part still was a little bit alive). He was dying. The doctors had zero hope. I spend the week grieving about the los of a friend and still hoping and praying for a miracle. On Easter Monday the doctor spoke with the wife of my friend about turning off the breathing and feeding machines and removing his organs – so they could serve another person.

Then he moved. The doctors checked on him. He could hear them, could react. The doctor left the room screaming in shock. This does not happen with that kind of injury. Since that day my friend Matthias has recovered dramatically. There still are problems – but he can walk, talk, act… So this Easter for me was an Easter where I saw the power of God who can restore people who are (almost) dead. An Easter of Miracles.

This Easter- feeling with my Syrian friends 

This Easter most of my thoughts go to my friends from Syria, Gaza and other parts of the World where there is suffering. I have become friends with a number of newcomers in my city and country. And they allow me to see their world – through their stories shared while drinking coffee or on Facebook. Like everyone my Syrian friends post pictures of family, friends, good food and fun activities.

But they also post the memories of the day when their university was bombed by Assad. They share the picture of their cousin who was killed on that very day. They talk about destruction. They grieve the loss of a friend who died while trying to cross the sea. They post pictures of torture wounds IS inflicted on them.

They pictures they show look like the paintings of the artists that painted the suffering of Jesus. In some ways the suffering of Jesus for me had always been far away. In my world there there was no way I could really understand it. In my world there was the normal amount of suffering: sickness and death as it happens anywhere. How can you understand suffering if the worst thing you ever experienced is your Granddad dying at age 70.

How can you really understand when  in your live there were no bombs, no loss of home, no torture.  War existed only in the stories of my Grandparents. No prison, violence, unfair trials, sadism …

Suddenly – trough the lives of my friends – the story of Jesus becomes so much closer and more real … his suffering is no longer far away… but much more real.

  • Passion Station 9-14He became a refugee – like so many of my friends
  • He got betrayed and left alone – like many of my friends
  • He got accused and had an unfair trial – like many of my friends
  • He got into prison – like some of my friends.
  • He got tortured – like some of my friends.
  • He died – like many of their friends.

There is so much I do not understand. But there is one reality that has become more and more alive this Easter. There is so much unbelievabla suffering in the World. And Jesus the Messiah suffered in the same way. And encourages his followers to receive his Spirit to bring some of Gods love into this suffering world.

Bach, one of our composers turned the cry of the people „Lord have mercy on us“ / Herr erbarme dich into a beautiful song. I pray and cry out for the ones who are suffering as I listen to it – in Arabic.

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

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: 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: 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

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