"We have found the opportunity through Inspiration Ministries to express not just our feelings but also the words that the Holy Spirit puts in our hearts to share with others. I see I.M. as a channel of communication between the church...read more
April, Issue 2
Yet I still dare to hopeYet I still dare to hope when I remember this : The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “ The Lord is my inherit ance; therefore, I will hope in him!” Lamentations 3:21-24Download
Letter from the Editor
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
It’s amazing, the things God brings us through for our benefit. Before 2016 even began, I wasn’t the person that was supposed be doing this letter… Would I contribute articles for Inspiration for Her? Of course! But was I going to be the “face?” Heck. No. Then things changed with the ministry, and God had His way (just like He does every time), and here I am, writing my second “Letter from the Editor” for our women’s newsletter. I don’t know why God has chosen me for this position. To be the one to ask other women to write and encourage you gals. To be the one to call the Chaplains at your facilities and ask if we can send bulk packages of these for you all to read. To be the one to receive letters from many of you, and to respond to you (albeit slowly, sorry). But here I am, Lord. I know Andy had similar feelings when he was released from prison with the vision for the ministry God had given him. And he wanted to sink into the background, live a quiet life. But God wouldn’t let him, nor will He let me. Or any of you, for that matter. God has not called us to be ordinary, but EXTRAordinary. To live loudly and boldly in proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ to all who will listen (and sometimes to those who won’t). We often don’t feel worthy of the calling God has placed on our life. But that’s a good thing. If we did, we wouldn’t feel the need to rely on the strength of the One who lives within us. We wouldn’t need the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us and speak to us. The Bible is riddled with stories of men and women who felt unworthy, or who would have been “disqualified” by earthly standards. But God doesn’t live by earthly standards, Sisters. He lives by His divine standards. I’ll take feeling unworthy for God’s calling over worthy for the world’s calling any day of the week. Especially if it means being able to encourage and inspire women like you to accept the saving and satisfying love of Jesus Christ.
A moment that really hit home for me this past month was receiving a letter from a woman who received the first issue of Inspiration for Her. Pause for just a second: Every once in a while, Andy would have me add names of women to our mailing list to see what the response would be. We also got a few names of women from their friends or family, asking us to add them to our mailing list. So I would add 5-10 names, trusting God to make a connection. Resume: Part of this letter read as follows, “I’ve been receiving Inspiration Ministry’s Newsletter since October and I don’t know how I got on their list, but I was in a dark cloud when they sent that to me and I was in solitary confinement. I was ranting and raving about wanting mail so bad. I wasn’t specific, but God heard me. As we call it in prison, “God Mail,” which I got that night. I was angry at first then I said “This is a sign,” so I read it and that night I prayed my heart out and asked God to please give me a sign. I opened my Bible to Joel 2:14, “God may be sending you a reprieve, giving you a blessing instead of a curse.” I cried because I felt God’s presence and I was what I would call a teeter totterer; I didn’t know if I believed or not. My bunky helped me find Jesus. I still struggle because I am a sinner, but I’m trying.” I believe this woman was one of those names I “randomly” added a week or so before we sent out that October newsletter. So God, in His infinite wisdom and goodness, knew this woman would be crying out for mail WEEKS (really, since the beginning of time) before it happened, and prompted me to add her name to our list, so that two weeks later she could receive it, in the midst of her ranting and raving. In the midst of her need to know God hears her cries. Just as He hears every cry, whether in trial or in triumph.
Another reason this really hit home for me was because we literally have a mailing list of nearly 4,000 between men and women, and we have sent out 50 issues over the past 4+ years. So it’s gotten to be a pretty “normal” occurrence for me. Assembling and editing has become one of my “duties” for Inspiration Ministries. Amidst all of my “doing,” the Holy Spirit continues to move and communicate and work in ways that I can be unaware of (mostly because I don’t pay attention…). That even when I’m not necessarily trying to be, I am being used to facilitate that move of the Holy Spirit, and to communicate the love of the Father to someone who desperately needs to feel it. Me. Lowly Kirsten Foster. Used by God in ways I don’t feel worthy of. It really goes to show that no matter where we are, who we are, what our circumstances are. We are not counted out just yet. We aren’t crossed off the “usable” list and put on the “unusable” list. So to the woman who says, “Maybe one day I will be able to share what God is/has done through me.” I say to you; that day is today! Whether you know the Bible well or not, whether you are outgoing or not, whether you are young or not so young, you are never outside the realm of being used by God, of being spoken to by the Holy Spirit, of being redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
I have been stretched in unimaginable ways so far in 2016, and it’s only April. I am excited (and admittedly, a littler terrified) to see what God has planned for the remainder of this year and the many years to follow. I am honored to be in the position I am, to provide encouragement to you ladies behind the walls. You are important members of my life, even if I don’t know you all by face and name, because you are important, precious members of God’s Kingdom. And that’s the best membership to have. Talk about an excellent rewards package! And it’s all free. Where are you going to find something like that in this world?
The testimonies in this month’s newsletter come from very special women in my life. First, Michelle Harvey, my best friend. Out of the billions of people in this world, and the thousands that live in closest proximity to myself, God has placed this wonderful, caring, intelligent, loving, God-fearing woman in my life. With a testimony similar to mine, of growing up in church and knowing all the right things to do and say, she knows how to speak to my heart without even trying. Her testimony rips my insides out, as I realize that God’s faithfulness to her is no different or more than His faithfulness to me. And that same faithfulness is available to you as well. See, God doesn’t care about our mistakes, failures, circumstances. He only cares about our souls. And He is a God of steadfastness and perseverance. He is in it for the long haul. Hallelujah!
Second is Jama, a new friend. After just one encounter with her, I knew she was pursuing a heart after God’s. And I knew that her testimony, also one of faithfulness, would speak to the hearts of many of you for different reasons than Michelle’s. It’s genuine and honest and awesome. God is so good!
Finally, Rebecca. Becca is a traveling music missionary with her husband, Joe, and their two kids. Andy and I have had the awesome opportunity to get to know them over the past few years and have seen God transform their lives to become even more fully dependent on Him as they live out His calling for their lives. You may even get to see them come in to worship with you behind the walls!
Recharged to Inspire others,