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April, Issue 2

2017: Inspiration for Her Volume 2

For God did not send h is Son into the world to condemn the world, but For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world m ight be saved through him. John 3:17

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April, Issue 2

Letter from the Editor

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has  passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 

You’ve probably noticed the new addition to the Foster family in this picture over here. Well, that is Anthony James “AJ” Foster! He was born 2-8-17, 8 pounds 5 oz, 21 ¼ inches. It was a much smoother birth than that of his big sister, who just celebrated her second birthday March 18th. I can’t believe how incredibly blessed I am by the family God has given me. I’m sure God could give me something to write about pertaining to my new life as mom of two, but instead, He gave me something a little different. Not to worry – I’m sure I’ll be back to “normal” in the next issue 😉.

Something I’ve taken responsibility over for the past couple of years now is the cover art for the newsletters (mostly Inspiration for Her). I’m not super great at design/artsy kind of things, and all I really have to work with is Microsoft Word. Very professional, I know. But hey, it gets the job done. Well, this month I wanted to go with a “Spring” theme, since that is the weather we’ve finally been experiencing in Indiana. That’s where the flowers come in – literally. Also, pun intended in the verse – “spring”s up. Clever, right? Anyways… I was searching through Google images for something to “copy” and was having a hard time until I came across the picture used as the background. All of a sudden, I felt like the Holy Spirit just put it all together. Honestly, as I’m writing this, He continues to show me more and more about the photo and the verse. Hallelujah.

So first, the picture. Notice the flowers in the background, how they are blurred out – being forgotten, dying, passing away. They represent the past. Our mistakes, our failures, our short-comings. All the things God tells us to forget. All the things the blood of Jesus has covered. And the flowers in the foreground are in focus, living, thriving, growing. Those flowers pull your focus. They are the present, our future. Our dreams, our goals, our purpose. All the things God is doing or is going to do. The red flower (which may be difficult to see since you have black and white…) represents what is new, original, unique. It represents YOU. It represents the transformation of your mind and heart and life in Christ Jesus.

And now the verse. I was reading this verse in different translations, and I was so intrigued by how much the meaning of a verse can change just because of a simple word, like “am” or “will.” The translation in the picture is NIV. I typically use ESV, which read “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert,” but I couldn’t get over the words “I am” in the NIV, versus “I will” in the ESV. The word “am” has a present tense, meaning right now, regardless of what else is going on, what circumstance or consequence we are experiencing. The word “will” has a future tense, meaning later down the road, when things change. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and I don’t believe it would be dictated by our circumstances, but is rather a promise from God that He WILL make a way, no matter what. I believe comfort can be found in both translations, but one more so than the other, depending on where we find ourselves – the NIV when we are going through the wilderness, and the ESV when we aren’t, but know it’s not far away.

So wherever you find yourself – in the wilderness, or maybe just preparing for it – know that God IS and WILL make a way in that. And that He doesn’t care about how “bad” or “not bad” your past was; He cares about how wonderful and glorifying your future with him will be! He cares about YOU. He cares about your fears, desires, feelings, needs… And He cares that you trust Him enough to share those with Him. I know it can be a big step to take, trusting someone with those things. But I also know that it’s worth it. It’s worth passing the load onto the only One who is capable of carrying and caring for those desires, needs, and fears, with our best interest at heart.

I don’t feel like I can reiterate enough (probably because I can’t hear it enough myself), that our past, or even our present, has zero impact on God’s ability, willingness, and desire to use us. Don’t think for even a second that because you wear a certain colored jump suit, or walk down a yellow line, or have never experienced incarceration, or have always gone to church, that God sees you any differently than any other woman who has or has not experienced the things you have. We all have our own roads to walk, our own stories to tell, our own lessons to learn. And the Holy Spirit will use those roads, stories, and lessons to draw you closer to the Father, to bring you to repentance, and to further the Kingdom. I encourage you to seek out what the Lord has for you in the here and now. A verse was recently shared with me that I believe fits here: “It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them” (Proverbs 25:2, NLT).  I don’t feel like I can reiterate enough (probably because I can’t hear it enough myself), that our past, or even our present, has zero impact on God’s ability, willingness, and desire to use us. Don’t think for even a second that because you wear a certain colored jump suit, or walk down a yellow line, or have never experienced incarceration, or have always gone to church, that God sees you any differently than any other woman who has or has not experienced the things you have. We all have our own roads to walk, our own stories to tell, our own lessons to learn. And the Holy Spirit will use those roads, stories, and lessons to draw you closer to the Father, to bring you to repentance, and to further the Kingdom. I encourage you to seek out what the Lord has for you in the here and now. A verse was recently shared with me that I believe fits here: “It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them” (Proverbs 25:2, NLT).

I just want to take a second to say how excited I am to be including some pieces written by YOU LADIES! We’ve received so many letters from women around the country we are having a hard time keeping up. But don’t worry – responses are coming! We would love nothing more than to encourage you in your walk with the Lord, answer questions, and get to know you wonderful women. So keep ‘em coming! Let us know if you’ve found inspiration in these pages, what has touched your heart, what has opened your eyes, how the Lord is leading and changing you. I know these letters are super encouraging for me as the editor, but also as a woman of God, knowing that what I have shared matters. I’m sure other ladies would love to hear the same! I just want to take a second to say how excited I am to be including some pieces written by YOU LADIES! We’ve received so many letters from women around the country we are having a hard time keeping up. But don’t worry – responses are coming! We would love nothing more than to encourage you in your walk with the Lord, answer questions, and get to know you wonderful women. So keep ‘em coming! Let us know if you’ve found inspiration in these pages, what has touched your heart, what has opened your eyes, how the Lord is leading and changing you. I know these letters are super encouraging for me as the editor, but also as a woman of God, knowing that what I have shared matters. I’m sure other ladies would love to hear the same!  

Excited and Inspired for what is SPRINGing up,

Kirsten Foster  

Inspiration Ministries

Newsletter Features

  • Letter from the Editor by Kirsten Foster
  • My Testimony Pt. 1 by Arlene Samuelson
  • The Truth About Lies by CJ Eaton
  • My Search for Love pt. 2 by Anonymous
  • Exercising Rebellion by Rebecca Congleton
  • Just Believe / Bound by Chains by Jamie S. / Cassandra A.

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Testimonials

  • wilson gonzalez"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
    Wilson Gonzalez
  • james rogers jr"When I met Anthony Ponds, James Summers, and Rigdel De Lardilles back in 2011, I heard a lot about Brother Andrew Foster, and the Inspiration Ministries movement here at Quincy. But not only did I hear about him and ministry events...read more
    James Rogers
  • robert miller"A year ago my world was shifted. I was discouraged, alone, and in need of something/someone to embrace me. It would be pious to say, “All I needed was the assurance that the Lord was with me,” because reality is sometimes you don’t feel that way...read more
    Robert Miller
  • david owen"The newsletter is an integral part of my daily spiritual walk in prison. I don’t say that lightly and here’s why: “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV). The newsletter is primarily written by prisoners and ex-prisoners for prisoners...read more
    David Owen
  • rigdel de lardilles 01"In one word, the Inspiration Newsletter to me means Hope. If anyone has ever done time behind the walls or been down and out, you can relate; there is always someone there to let you know just how bad you messed up, or how impossible it's going to be to bounce back...read more
    Rigdel De Lardilles
  • christopher bachmann"The newsletter means so very much to me because it has been and continues to be a great source of encouragement and inspiration to me. I am so thankful to Brother Andy for his faith in following God’s vision. In turn, he gave it to us...read more
    Christopher Bachmann