Inspirations from Kerstin Hack

Category: Christian (Page 2 of 3)

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

Discovering Life – Diverse Advice

Was I alive today? And how… in playing with my nephew, telephoning with my niece and many others… What new thing did I learn about life? Advice comes from all kinds of sources. There Hmm? – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/leben-entdecken-vielfaeltiger-rat/#sthash.9E3KciRL.dpuf

Discovering Life – God has Outdone Himself Again

2013-12-21 17.59.59Was I alive today?

Yes! I am thankful that my biggest wish is being fulfilled and also that the first layer of insulation is up in the engine room before Christmas. Now, the cold (if it comes) isn’t a huge threat anymore.

What new thing did I learn about life?

It is amazing and full of surprises.

What new thing did I learn about myself?

I have a lot of fantasy and imagination. I think I’m creative in my solutions. Yet, sometimes God does things that surpass my wildest fantasies, and that means something.

His last coup: I had prayed for several months for a real electrician who could support me in the whole electric installation (about which I am clueless). This was one of the things that gave me the most stomachaches. When I have a stomachache about something, I pray and ask God for help.

His answer: He sent me an electrical engineer who is also a trained boat builder with a passion for ships. A few months ago, he found his way through gospel music that deeply moved him to the God about whom they were singing. My project is composed of many things that relate to him: his abilities and passions and his new journey with God. He is now helping me with the planning and will support me as much as he can within the limits of his possibilities (he is self-employed)… It doesn’t get better than that.

Icing on the cake: The only time that was possible for him to see my ship for the first time (he lives further away) was Saturday morning. The only time that worked for the man who is going to build the solar system for the ship was Saturday morning. So they came at the same time and planned things out so that everything works together. Some of it was Greek to me, and I had some things translated for me into layman’s terms, but it sounded really good.

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/leben-entdecken-gott-hat-sich-mal-wieder-selbst-uebertroffen/#sthash.MVMauP5m.dpuf

Discovering Life – Seeing Categories

2013-12-08 11.15.55Was I alive today? Yes! Especially during a short walk in the rain. What new thing did I learn about life? It helps to sort into categories! A while ago, a friend sent me a puzzle postcard from her vacation. She knows that I love puzzles, but this one was really annoying. It was a picture of hundreds of seashells. There was so much detail and so many shells that it was impossible to see a big picture. It was all photographed from the same distance, without big differences or perspective. The assembly took a lot of energy. As I decided to give it another try, I thought about how many people live their lives like this: tons of puzzle pieces that won’t assemble into a big picture, because they can’t see any picture due to all of the confusing details. Often, the job of a coach is about helping sort and finding perspective and categories. First, a border is built and then, discovering step-by-step (sometimes with painstaking detail work) what fits together. 2013-12-08 11.31.14 It helps when we sort first. I did this today while coaching someone who is searching for clarity in his life. We sorted things into different areas of life and then further into various categories. In the end, we found a coherent big picture, even when some of the pieces needed for deeper happiness were still missing. But now, he can go searching for those and add them in. What new thing did I learn about myself? I can be just as joyful about small things as big things. Today, in the late morning, I suddenly felt the strong urge to take out the trash. This is not normal for me ;-). As I arrived, I discovered in the top of the recycling bin a sheet of insulation that is wonderfully suited for sealing provisional doors which leak cold air. I took it and rejoiced like a child. Even more so because I saw the garbage man coming; just a minute later would have been too late. I thought about the Bible verse “He knows His own…” – God knows them inside and out and knows how He can bring them – in this case, me – joy… a total gift! Later, I received a donation that I used for insulation so that my guests will be comfy and warm in the future… I rejoiced about the “small” gift just as much as the “big” one… both are signs that I am seen and supported – how wonderful! – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/leben-entdecken-ebenen-wahrnehmen/#sthash.5gGG2pm0.dpuf

Discovering Life – Shepherds and Sheep

IMG_0183 Was I alive today?

Yes!

What new thing did I learn about life?

What new thing did I learn about myself?

I often begin the day by reading Losungen – selected inspiring Bible texts… Yesterday”s was:

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me.” (John 10:14, New Living Translation)

This touched me deeply on two levels:

  • My Job = Trust: It was a reminder for me that trust is asked for. Sometimes things don”t go fast enough for me on the ship. I would prefer to be further. And it”s sometimes a real challenge for me to let go and to trust that God is already leading me. There is a saying, “Many people want to serve God, as an advisor!” I often belong to this group. I have 1000 ideas about what He could do faster and better. It”s sometimes really dificult for me to let go and to trust that HE is the shepherd and daily gives me what I need for that day. I have decided to practice this more intensively and to declare to God my trust that He has everything in view. And He means well.
  • His Job: To be the Shepherd – and to care for me in the way that I need. “I know my own sheep” left an impression on me. It really touched me to be reminded that He really knows me. A few days ago, I did a really good personality test. The results were not really surprising: I am a visionary, am bored to death by housework, and live in the future, in what should be. And I”m hard on myself – more than others – when things don”t go fast enough.

As I read the verse, I thought and prayed, “Ok. I want to trust You. For today. But hey, it also says that You know me. And if You know me, then You also know that I need encouragement. I need to see that things are (quickly) moving forward. You know that there is nothing that brings my heart more joy than when things are moving in the right direction.

God must have heard my prayer… things are moving forward. I am rejoicing about:

  • Two friends who helped me yesterday to put up insulation so that we could come forward faster
  • 2o 25 Euro donations for the ship project by Betterplace and Paypal… again two more hours of work further
  • Four friends from Portugal who wrote that they would like to come for 7 or 8 days to help on the ship and really make some progress
  • A friend who wrote that he would like to sponsor the trip of one of the Portuguese because 3 of the 4 are unemployed and don”t have any money
  • 30 Euros worth of selling used books on Amazon… not huge, but every little bit helps
  • Over 400 Euros worth of selling books from our publishing house at a church bazaar. Of course the proceeds go first to employee wages and production costs, but anything left over goes into the ship
  • A woman who called and asked if she could help… she is currently doing a practicum in Berlin but has plenty of free time and energy and was looking for a meaningful activity to engage in… a friend told her about me…

My heart rejoices… because things are moving forward… and because I sense that my God sees me…

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/allgemein/leben-entdecken-hirten-und-schafe/#sthash.etNrLSsu.dpuf

Discovering Life – Differences and Brotherly Blessing

Was I alive today?Image029 Yes! What new thing did I learn about life? I was thinking again about what I have heard about the fundamental longings and fundamental fears of the four personality types according to the DISC assessment:

  • Dominance: Independence/To be forced
  • Inducement: Approval/To be short-changed
  • Steadiness: Security/To be left alone
  • Conscientiousness: Doing everything right/To be corrected

I find it interesting and insightful. What new thing did I learn about myself? Right now, the support and encouragement from others, both male and female, has been very helpful for me in regards to the ship project. I recently received two very encouraging emails from dear men I know. One wrote:

A ship is very heavy by itself, and it’s hard to believe that it can float and won’t sink. But the water carries it. Steady and through all the highs and lows, it shows enormous endurance and toughness. A ship must allow itself to fall into the water and to be carried. It can’t do anything about it. But you can also allow yourself to be carried by God and to continue step-by-step. I’m writing all of the exciting things along the way in a logbook for your ship, and you will experience the next few months like a journey with exciting adventures, times where it storms and fear rises, and times when the sun shines and you feel simply wonderful. You don’t know yet how long the journey will be. But every day is a discovery, even when nothing happens and you only have encounters on the ship or, LIKE NOW, you are on vacation on land and leave the ship alone. It’s waiting for you. Someday, instead of the negligible renovation trips, you will be having huge journeys of completion, seminars, and all kinds of beautiful things. But that will still be awhile. You are not alone, because you have some friends who are very close to you and are supporting your project. And the ship is on-site and floats and belongs to you (or the bank), but it’s also that way with most houses that people own. I really admire you. Your competence is growing tremendously in my eyes. The landlubber woman who is building a ship. This comes just after the man who dances with wolves.

I wrote to another man who is like a father to me, even though we are only in contact every few months, telling him that I had dreamt last night of an encounter with him. And I asked him to pray for me. He wrote back:

Your dream doesn’t surprise me. Over the last few weeks, the Spirit has encouraged me to pray for you again and again. You see: the “father’s blessing” has been given to you even before you sent the letter. It’s good that you’ve brought this ship project to Down-to-Earth. Even Noah had to build his boat without any special knowledge and relying on the guidance of the Spirit. It’s also good for you and for the future home of many. We’ll stick around!

Be protected, you chosen of God! In loving connection,
This touched me almost to tears… it’s good to know that a father is praying for me with blessing – even before I ask him to.

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/leben-entdecken-bruederlicher-segen/#sthash.sOHd2DxH.dpuf

Discovering Life – Holes, Leaks, and Bonds

Was I alive today? Yes! Wäschewaschen...der schwarze "Rand" ist die Wallschiene. Doing laundry… the black “rim” is the wall rail. What new thing did I learn about life? A leak is only a leak if it’s under water. Until now, I thought: a hole is something through which air comes in. A leak is something through which water comes in. As of today, I know that this definition isn’t entirely correct. A hole is only a leak if it’s under the water line. So I don’t currently have a leak – which is relieving. But I have a hole through which water comes in. Not in huge amounts, but trickling… The hole is on the bottom edge of the wall rail. A wall rail is a kind of buffer that runs around the ship. It stabilizes the ship and also has the advantage of providing a little clearance when mooring. The wall rail is hollow. This means that if there is a hole anywhere above, water can accumulate somewhere in the inside of the wall rail (usually at the deepest point) and then it will, sooner or later, rust through the wall. I am currently experiencing this in one place. Which means: find the hole, dry the wall rail as much as possible (= practically impossible), and weld the broken places. I hope that it’s not too bad… What new thing did I learn about myself? I enter into deep bonds with people – which can also touch me deeply. It’s a little like the holes on the ship: where it’s open, something can flow through. And I seem to have many openings to people. I don’t know why this is, but I can let people deep into my heart. Some people have told me that they only have capacity to feel very close to one or two people. I experience that it sometimes only takes a little connection for people to find a place in my heart. Sometimes just a coaching discussion in which a person is very open about themselves, such as I experienced yesterday, and plop, they’ve fallen into my heart… and the closeness and connection that I feel remains. This is often wonderful. And sometimes also painful. Like this week. Sunday, Bernd (who has helped me so much on the ship these past months) had a stroke. I am thankful that the operation went well, but it burdens me that he is not feeling well. His right side and his speech center in the brain need healing and rejuvenation – through a miracle for the things that the doctors can’t do. Then Monday, I received news that the grandson of a beloved friend passed away. We had prayed for months for the preemie whose lungs didn’t want to develop… and although I’d never seen him – he was in the hospital since birth – I had taken the little guy into my heart… I cried and still cry when I think about how his family has to live without him now. My heart has a leak (or hole) and it’s trickling through. Even though he’s surely exploring unimaginably beautiful worlds now, without pain, beeping machines, and such. the-father_s-love And then on Friday, I received the news that Esther Lanz passed away. Esther and her husband, Manfred, are authors at Down to Earth. Manfred, after decades as a performance-oriented and driven person, suddenly made the discovery: there is a Father in heaven that loves me. That loves me. That loves ME. That loves! Without demands or expectations. One that simply loves. Then together, they further discovered, explored, and enjoyed the love of the heavenly Father. And wrote about it. Their quadro “The Father’s Love” is one of the best sellers of our publishing company and has helped innumerable people to allow themselves experience more of God’s love. I cried when I heard that she had lost the fight against cancer. It’s just sad – for Manfred, the children, and all of the people to whom she was mother and encourager and companion. I would have liked to have had her here on Earth longer. I don’t understand. Bonds with people hurt – when the people experience pain, I sympathize… and I share their pain. This is one side. The other is that life flows through every bond… vibrant, wonderful, beautiful life! Like through the card that I received yesterday from a woman who I don’t even know in person but who is connected to me through this blog and my books and quadros. She wrote me a loving card and included some money I was to use for something that I would otherwise not allow right now… a piece of clothing, going out to eat, seeing a movie, or going to the theater. And she said that it was to remind me that God wants to tell me: I don’t just provide the most necessary things that you need for living or the ship but everything that you wish that is good for you. Another woman wrote to me: With 2 Kings 6:16: Don’t be afraid! For there are more on our side than on theirs! (Note: the quote comes from a text in which – during a siege – a wise man said this to another man who was scared to death.), I send you heart-felt blessed greetings for a good start in November. That was so great! Thank you! Life is rich – sometimes rich in pain – and often rich in treasures. – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/besser-leben/leben-entdecken-loecher-lecks-und-verbindungen/#sthash.ABl6ksPv.dpuf

Discovering Life – Now More than Ever

Image038Was I alive today?

Yes!

What new thing did I learn about life?

Nothing new, really: Life can sometimes be really strenuous and full of fighting. You win some, you lose some. Again, nothing new. And when you (seemingly) lose a fight, it”s painful. This month, I have really suffered and prayed with a friend whose grandson came into the world seriously ill. Today, he took his leave of life in this world. As I was walking earlier through the garden and praying for his parents and grandmother, I felt like God was saying to me, “The fight was not for nothing.” I don”t know what that means. And I”m not trying to comfort anyone with cheap words. However, this was what I felt.  I really believe that it”s never for nothing to do everything that is in our power to fight for life, even when it doesn”t bring the result that we”d hoped for… that they could share a long life with others here on the Earth.

What new thing did I learn about myself?

This phase right now is really stressful. There has been illness and failure in the team. Delays. Lower back pain that has increased again in the last few days. Worry about Bernd. 1000 decisions about the ship that are building up and that intertwine. Having all of the details in mind at once is definitely not my strength – so far. During the weekend, two people with this strength blessed me that it would also develop in me. As a person created in God”s image, I possess the ability, at least rudimentarily. And it could still develop.

Nevertheless: All these things stretch me to my limits. There are phases when I find everything to be terrible, and I suffer in silence. Or aloud. And then there are moments when a switch is flipped. This happened on Sunday evening. I saw difficulties and challenges without end. And instead of being sad about them and allowing myself to become discouraged, I thought to myself: now more than ever!

Now more than ever

  • – I want to tackle this
  • – I want to believe that God is with me
  • – I want to trust that there is a way
  • – I want to hope, believe, pray
  • – I want to keep going.

Now more than ever – not because it”s easy. That”s not it. But because it”s right. And it”s worth it. Even in the face of difficulties.

Now more than ever!

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/allgemein/leben-entdecken-jetzt-erst-recht/#sthash.sF26eEIb.dpuf

Discovering Life – Perceiving Deepness

2013-05-04 12.06.52– Was I alive today?

Yes!

The nicest moment was when my father (a widow) called me and asked, “Kerstin, what do I put in the salad?”
“Vinegar.”
“I did already.”
“Olive oil”
“It’s empty. Can I use sunflower oil?”
“Yes. And then you need salt and pepper.”
“Yes – can I also put in tuna and tomatoes?”
“Yes!” He has not EVER made salad for himself in his entire life. I found it nice to be able to accompany him.

– What new thing did I learn about life?

The things that move us deeply often have to do with deep experiences. Yesterday, I heard a worship song by Don Moen on YouTube. His song “God will make a way” touches me every time I hear it. At a concert, he told the story of the song. He had just found out that his sister and brother-in-law were in an automobile accident. A young man drove into the side of their car. Their youngest son died immediately and the others were seriously injured.

In his confusion, helplessness, and pain, the words of Isaiah 43 came into his mind: “God will make a way, where there seems to be no way…” God will make a way there where there is no way.

The song was born out of deepness. I sensed this every time I heard it… I am thankful now to know its story.

– What new thing did I learn about myself?

How I begin the day shapes the whole day. Yesterday morning (it was a holiday) I messed around, and for the rest of the day, I couldn’t really get into the swing of things. It wasn’t bad, I rummaged around… but it was clear to me: how I begin the day shapes the following hours.

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/tiefgang-spueren/#sthash.c1xlrF6I.dpuf

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