5 minutes with Kristen ...
Tell us a little about you
My name is Kristen, but I usually go by Kris. I’m a follower of Jesus first, then a wife, mother, author, ministry worker and lover of far too much chocolate.
What’s your favourite bible passage & why?
Ooh, that’s a tough one. There are so many precious jewels in God’s word, it’s hard to narrow down! But I guess Ephesians 2 would be one of my faves. It has such magnificent themes: grace and salvation, resurrection and hope, and the beautiful image of reconciliation through the breaking down of dividing walls.
It’s also hard to go past verses 4-5: “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved.” What amazing words!
How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?
If I was left to my own devices, I’m the kind of person who would eat only chocolate and chips, so I have to discipline myself to be healthy in my eating. It’s the same with following Jesus. Left to my own devices, I’d naturally pick up my iDevice to scan social media, or become completely self-absorbed, so I have to jealously guard my time alone in God’s word. Reading, praying and meditating on the Bible is still the best way I have found to keep my eyes on Jesus.
What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know?
Keep coming back to the Gospel. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is enough for any life situation, any trial and any joy. There’s no “advanced” spirituality, or “secret” knowledge. God’s grace is summed up in Newton’s famous words: I am a great sinner, but Christ is a great saviour. Paradoxically, we advance in the Christian life by returning to our source: Jesus.
Also, I’d recommend cultivating relationships with older Christians. Seek out godly and faithful older women with whom you can pray, learn from and listen to. I wasted so much time thinking I had answers in the new and novel, when what I really needed was to humbly learn from those who had already journeyed faithfully with Christ for longer than my lifetime.
What’s one thing that you love about your local church?
I love the generations. I’m excited by the insights of children as they discover new things about their big God. I’m so encouraged and challenged by the wisdom of older saints who have been followers of Jesus for the long haul. Church is at its best when the people of God see their own capacity to be the priesthood of all believers, ministering to and loving each other as Christ loves us. We’re often limping and broken, but the light of Jesus shows through the cracks.
What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?
I learned a few things. Firstly, I am not God, and I can’t control anything, so I needed to repent of pride. Secondly, God is not confounded by human sin. He’s sovereign and powerful even in the darkest times. In a really dark place, he sent me the words of 2 Corinthians 4: “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. … For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord.” What I have is not mine, it’s God’s. He will build his church. He will keep his people. He is able to overcome anything. All I have to do is trust and submit to Him.
What are you passionate about?
The Gospel is my big passion. I love helping people to see how amazing God is through his Son Jesus.
What do you enjoy doing when you rest?
Funnily enough, I often write. I have “work” projects (like the recent release “What if? Dealing with Doubts”), but I also have “relax” projects, too, like a few novels in progress. Now that the weather is warming up, I’m also looking forward to getting into my garden. When I’m away on holidays, I really like curling up somewhere quiet with a good (and mindless) book. My kids have now reached the age where they enjoy board games, so we sometimes kick back with a quick game of Sleeping Queens or Forbidden Island (geek alert!).