The Alford Crew

November 27, 2011

~here i go thinking again…~

Filed under: Devotional, Prayer, thoughts — Kristina @ 3:11 am

So, yes…i do take time to stop and think. I often catch myself thinking on a topic too long. Have you ever done that? It is easy to do, ya know, dwell on a topic too long. What is worse is when i start talking about what i’m thinking.  That can get rough for sure! I have a friend who says i ramble. The same friend at least says i ramble with a destination- i eventually get there! Anyway, i’ve been thinking on prayer. What is the definition of prayer? It interest me that prayer is an avenue in which we can hear from God, however most people who pray are talking at God or to Him versus talking with Him having pauses long enough to listen to what He has to whisper to the heart.

How do you pray?

I long to get better at listening to His voice rather than my own. It seems more often than not that i am ready with a long list of thoughts, needs and wants versus a gratitude list revealing my awe, fear and respect of what He has already given! Even more so i should come more often in silence waiting, listening to what His thoughts are.

Maybe the scripture “Pray with out ceasing” I Thes. 5:17, actually means listen without ceasing…???

September 27, 2010

~Jesus and Children~

Filed under: Devotional, Family, Favorite Things, General — Kristina @ 2:16 am

“Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid then; for of such is the Kingdom of God.  Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

Our little guy, Cayden was getting ready for story time-this is a favorite moment in our household.  A book is read or story is told right before eyelids can’t hold open any longer, then the house is relatively quite! oh, except for the five “i gotta go potty…” breaks and “i would like some water…please”.  AND my favorite—“i need love”…this is code for i need another kiss, hug or i love you.  🙂

How can one resist going in the bedroom and giving more kisses and hugs?

I guess this enhances my inquisition as to why the disciples were so put off by these little ones.  Why the need to rebuke? Were the children swinging off the chandeliers at the mountainside meeting? Were they talking while the adults were talking? Maybe it rained right before this particular gathering and puddles were left in the path way up to where Jesus was sitting…Were they stomping in those puddles and splashing everyone in sight? Were they crying because they didn’t feel well? Maybe they were just being persistent and constantly begging “take me to see this Jesus!”, “take me to see Him, pleeeaaaseeee Mommy!” Maybe they were full of hope and trust because they saw light and love in Jesus and were just drawn to Him!  Do you think maybe because children learn behavior from adults and so many adults were intoxicated with getting to this Jesus guy that it got the children all excited as well?

What can we take from my ramblings? I don’t really know, but children are on my heart today, in particular my children. As a mom, i want to lead my kiddos to Jesus on a constant basis until they realize how easy it is for them to just call on Him anytime and participate in loving Him and His Kingdom.

Do children annoy you? If so, may i ask if you have ever tried to remember what it is like being a child? In many ways children are often expected to grow up and have knowledge that most folks have not and don’t acquire until they are 18 or older. This has been brought to my attention a lot in recent years. Children don’t just know to sit still in big meetings…they have to gradually be taught by the grown-ups (parents leading), the have to learn how to behave at home and in public. Adults need to remember how to be like children from time to time as well…

I’m reminded of a song…”Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world…red brown yellow, black and white, we are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

You see, we are all children of various ages, Jesus loves you and longs for you to come to Him. Will you enter His kingdom?

If you are part of His Kingdom already, would you please continue to encourage children all around you? Bless them with positive words, with love and acceptance, introduce them to Jesus! What a privilege we have! Participate in your community as a mentor at the local boys and girls clubs, be an awana leader at a local church, volunteer to hold babies addicted to drugs and alcohol in the hospital pediatrics unit, take a turn as a chaperone on a school field trip or help coach a soccer, football, maybe a basketball team. Children need us to be adults, but they need to see our zest for life, our ability to be silly and goofy, to believe in a dream or vision bigger than us…

Please pray for our crew as we live this out day to day in our community, part of our dream and vision is to see children come to Jesus and know His love is greater than anything! We participate in missions, church planting, pastoring etc., all to see this happen. Thanks ahead of time for partnering with us in this!

January 18, 2010

~a lesson learned “once” about 12 years ago~

Filed under: Family, General, Random reminders, Understanding — Kristina @ 5:43 pm

The Alford Crew is learning day by day the importance of unity, of being one. A goal Chris and I hold is to stay in community with our boys and one another other all fueled by communion in God…this is something that is a constant goal in our lives, not something we achieve and then pat ourselves on the back, and say, “good job” then go about doing something else. No, it is key to have those expected family times-safe havens of conversation either around the dinner table or on a walk in the park-sometimes a ride in the car offers the opportunity to share where each of us are in life. We have worked a lot through the years to keep open to each other no matter how rough our situations… to include one another in the cool stuff happening in our lives in addition to what would otherwise be hidden emotions and concerns if we didn’t share.

I remember when Connor, our oldest was just two years old-we observed as parents of a preschooler the importance of getting down on his level physically and looking him in the eye, holding his gaze as long as he would allow it, sharing with him we love him and we wanted to know how he was feeling. We even teamed up with his preschool and Sunday School teachers and asked them to go over general faces we all have which reflect certain emotions until Connor understood how to communicate his feelings For example, if we’re happy-we smile or sad or feeling tired we may frown-etc. (please note-this didn’t happen in a more preferred time of over night-no it took weeks of time together) What joy when it became fairly constant for him to share what he needed or wanted w/out whining, crying or reservation. It was nice to know what he was feeling so we were not in a guessing game! If you have or have had small children i know you are smiling right now! 😉  Before, when an emotion of frustration or anger would sweep over Connor as a little guy-he handled it by whining, fussing or fighting. He would act out frustrations and either hit or swing is arms around in despair or he would run over in a corner and sulk and dare anyone to come near-he may just grump and groan…”why?” may be your thought…he didn’t have a vocabulary to describe his feelings, he was immature, he hadn’t been taught how to confront life situations in a positive way yet. All he had was instinct…

Why did i just share that family truth with you? Maybe to shed light on a larger Family issue we have been reminded of.

As God’s family or Kingdom, we are called to a life of communion with God and community with one another…when that is lacking either individually, in our personal family unit or within the part of the church family we are placed in, there is often a developmental arrest in our spiritual growth-often accompanied with physical and emotional side effects. It is then inevitable that someone is gonna get hurt from the adult child , whining, fussing, flailing their arms or their tongue in anger and confusion.

Confrontation of self is a nasty and “un-fun” act of discipline…after all, who wants to be accountable and responsible like that? Sometimes it is as simple as a lack of knowledge/education and one just hasn’t been taught how to share their feelings in a productive way.  A healthy confrontation with others is a good thing when handled appropriately and in love.

We are so thankful to be part of a family bigger than ours, the church in general is our extended family. We have not only given a lot to the Church through the years, but have gained much—unable to measure it all. God consistently reveals His love and heart to us by getting eye to eye with us through the letters and truths He left us in His word or through close friends/ mentors.  Do you have that person in your church who loves to hug?  Several people share that you can’t physically feel, see or hear God.  from experience, i beg to differ.  God is very tangible, just look around. That hug, a prayer, a smile, and encouraging word from a friend, rain, sunshine, peace-all are reflections of God and His character.  Allow your heart to be open to take He and His family in with all of our quirks and beauty we are each a masterpiece — a brush stroke reflecting community and communion with God (when we allow Him in).

Do we have it all figured out? No, but we are loving the fact that we have a community of faith who love God and love us, who stick it out with us, walk with us, hold us accountable and not bail out when we or they mess up…Cayden inspired the mommy memory in this story of Connor our oldest, as we are going through similar emotions and recognizing the signs of how he feels and why as a little guy with limited vocabulary-it just got me to thinking about how even as adults we can learn how to project our feelings and emotions in a way that is revealing but without hurt being intended.  So thankful we lived through this with Connor so we weren’t so clueless, but we are learning so much new in going through this with Cayden! Goodness! Having to stay on my toes these days!

June 23, 2009

~so glad~

Filed under: General, quotes, Understanding — Kristina @ 8:09 pm

So glad that God is persistent and perfect!

“God looks for persistence rather than perfection.”

Don’t really know if i could ever be either of these before Heaven, but would like to be more persistent in general.

I used to think of myself as a “perfectionist”, but one here on earth could never be perfect other than The One-Jesus.

Just thought i would share this interesting quote that a friend of mine mentioned today!

June 20, 2009

~ I’ve been told…~

Filed under: Devotional, General, Understanding — Kristina @ 3:36 am

I’ve been told i’m a good and faithful follower of Christ, wife, mom, encourager, a good listener, pastoral, a good friend, confidant, mentor…(you may or may not see these in me-i don’t get where some of these come from, but, none the less these have been brought to my attention when i have asked people what they see in me that is good)

What are you good at naturally?

Lately i have been searching through the book of II Timothy

Think it all over God will make it all plain” is in chapter 2.

Another favorite through the years has been that which follows,

If we die with Him, we’ll live with Him,

If we stick it out with Him, will rule with Him

If we turn our back on Him, He’ll turn His back on us,

If we give up on Him, He does not give up—

for there’s no way He can be false to Himself.  Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk.

As i have read this over for the… i don’t know how many times…God has reminded me of who i am in Him again…and that i need to continue on.  When i was younger it didn’t matter who was with me or who wasn’t– ask any of my family or close friends. If i knew i was supposed do something or be about something for God, i just did it. YES, it is usually always nice to have others along for the ride and to journey through stuff with, but really it seems i am responsible for just being with God and taking care of whatever business that fits what i am good at. The wonderful family and true friends that God has blessed me/our family with through the years will know when to be on board and work towards a similar goal and at other times they will need to work separately (kind of divide and conquer mentality). At times we will get to enjoy serving one another in the same venture and at other seasons–some of our dearest friends will be in various states and countries all working on the Kingdom, but still yet many miles will separate us and that is okay…difficult at times BUT-more than okay as long as we are all working at being our best for God.

Much work to be done for the One True God we serve! I’m excited to experience what is next!

So what is next? I guess this is one thing we will see unfold together as i have no clue! Just working away here in the Tri-Cities as God opens doors and says walk in, we are. A small group of folks we have been meeting with desire to start another church here, we are in the planning stages and growth process to see what comes of this, please pray with us!  All will be as it should be…We appreciate all of your notes and calls of recent to encourage us, we need it always. ~Kristina for the Alford Crew

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