One-Day Spiritual Retreat/Workshop (September 24–Register now!)

By a Thread: Holding on to the Story that Ties You to Jesus

One-Day Spiritual Retreat/Workshop

DATE: September 24

TIME: 9:00a.m. – 4:00p.m. (check-in begins at 8:30)

PLACE: Bell Flatirons Community Center, 2200 S. Tyler Drive, Superior, CO

COST: $45

SPEAKER: Kirsten Wilson

Over the summer, you vacationed with your family. You hung out with your friends. Now it’s time to plan a getaway with God.

Bible teacher Kirsten Wilson will walk with you through a process that will help you connect with God and listen to the story he’s telling in your life. At one level, every Christian has the same story: Jesus saved me by his work on the cross. But at another level, each believer has a unique and specific and ongoing story of rescue, creatively written by Jesus himself.

Come find your story. 

What the day can give you:

  • Less shame about your past
  • More hope for your future
  • Stronger experience of connection with God
  • Excitement about who God made you to be
  • Greater curiosity about the Bible
  • Better questions to ask God when you have no idea what he’s doing
  • Deeper understanding of your own story—and the ability to share it with others

What People Say about By a Thread / Kirsten Wilson

“Prepare to be drawn into an encounter with God. Kirsten Wilson has the amazing capacity to penetrate the soul with creativity, transparency, and clarity. You can’t walk away from her teaching without feeling the impact of it for days.” —Roy, Nevada

“This process helped a bunch of light bulbs go off about myself and my story.” —Lesley, Texas

“You were a breath of fresh air that slapped me in my face with what I needed to hear to apply the biblical story to my life.” —Valarie, Texas

“Kirsten Wilson took me through this amazing workshop journey last year…wow! Identify how God’s story is so relevant and evident, and how He is continuously shaping each of our lives!” —Laurie, California

 

FAQs

What should I bring?

Bring your curiosity, imagination, and a willingness to engage. This is a workshop, after all. There will be teaching, but you’ll also have the opportunity to work through some steps for yourself.

We’ll provide materials for you to write on, and pens. But bring your Bible. You’ll want it at various points throughout the day.

How many people will be there?

We’re purposefully capping attendance at 40. This smaller size will make it easier for you to connect with the others in the room. And you’ll be better able to get your questions answered during the day.

Will there be snacks?

Absolutely! We’re firm believers in the “snacks help us learn better” philosophy of life. There will be a variety of snacks and beverages available throughout the day for your grazing pleasure.

Is lunch provided?

Lunch is not provided, but there are many restaurants within a few minutes of the venue. We’ll give you a list of tasty options before we break for lunch. It’ll be good for your mind and body to get off site for a while—and it’s a great opportunity to hang out with a few of the awesome people you’ll meet at the event.

If you want to pack and bring your own lunch, we do have a refrigerator available to store it in.

What are the facilities like?

We’ll meet in the Bell Flatirons Community Center in Superior, CO. Our meeting room has comfortable, theater-style seating.

Can children attend?

The presentation is designed for adults. If you have a high school student who wants to attend, contact Kirsten at kirsten.wilson@mac.com to ask about whether the day would be a good fit for your student.

Who is Kirsten Wilson?

Kirsten is a teacher, writer, and speaker. She teaches Oral Communication and English Composition (and sometimes Worldviews and now and then C.S. Lewis) as adjunct faculty at Colorado Christian University. Before moving to Colorado in 2008, Kirsten was on staff as a Teaching Artist at LifePoint Church in northern Nevada.

Kirsten’s undergraduate degree combined studies in English, Spanish, Classical Greek, and Linguistics. She went on to earn a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in Teaching and Exposition.

Kirsten met her husband, Steve, in the fine arts dorm of their university when Steve valiantly attempted to save the life of her dying pet betta fish. The fish, sadly, did not survive, but the friendship did. Kirsten and Steve married four years later, and have two children, Daniel and Katie.

When left to her own devices, you’re likely to find Kirsten curled up with a good book and a handful of Oreo cookies, cutting up magazines to create a collage, or writing poetry in the corner booth of our local Chick-fil-A.

Are there any discounts available?

Glad you asked. Yes, there are!

EARLYBIRD DISCOUNT: Register by September 17 and receive $5 off the price of your ticket.

CHURCH STAFF DISCOUNT: If you’re on staff at a church, take $10 off the price of your ticket.

What is your refund policy?

We’ll refund your money if you cancel up to seven days before the event. Within a week of the event, we are unable to grant a refund, although you’re welcome to transfer your ticket to a friend who’d like to attend.

What if I have more questions?

We’d be glad to answer them. Email Kirsten at kirsten.wilson@mac.com

Dry Bones

IMG_0530 2

When the world feels incomprehensible and dark and heavy—and really, hasn’t it felt that way for days and weeks and long, long seasons now?—I sometimes turn to the biblical books of the prophets. The prophets lived in an incomprehensible world, too, and their laments and rants and stubborn hope wrap words around my own emotions when I can’t.

Today, I landed in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 37, and I read it in a volume from The Saint John’s Bible (2007), which is a modern illuminated manuscript. (Not every page contains illuminations like this, but many do, and they are glorious.) The bottom of these pages shows the devastation that we see all around us. It’s stark, and it’s fearsome, and it’s piled so very high. The top of the pages shows light and life and color and beauty—it’s what we long to see. And the gap between the two, the darkness and the light, the gap is so large, and all the bridges from one to the other look broken.

But look more closely. Hidden among the piles of dry bones are sparks of light, faint glimpses of color. I am reminded once again that there is a God who has been known to breathe impossible life into moments of consuming death. And I pray that he’ll do it again. 

“The hand of the LORD came upon me,

and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD

and set me down in the middle of a valley;

it was full of bones.

He led me all around them;

there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry.

He said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’

I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.'”

–Ezekiel 37:1-3 (NRSV)

One-Day Spiritual Workshop/Retreat (July–Register now!)

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One-Day Spiritual Workshop/Retreat

DATE:  July 30 (Click to register.)

TIME: 9:00a.m. – 4:00p.m. (Check-in begins at 8:30)

PLACE: Bell Flatirons Community Center, 2200 S. Tyler Drive, Superior, CO

COST: $45

SPEAKER: Kirsten Wilson

For more information and to reserve your spot, go to: By a Thread – July 30

This summer, you vacationed with your family. You hung out with your friends. Now it’s time to plan a getaway with God. 

Bible teacher Kirsten Wilson will walk with you through a process that will help you connect with God and listen to the story he’s telling in your life. At one level, every Christian has the same story: Jesus saved me by his work on the cross. But at another level, each believer has a unique and specific and ongoing story of rescue, creatively written by Jesus himself.

Come find your story. 

What the day can give you:

  • Less shame about your past
  • More hope for your future
  • Stronger experience of connection with God
  • Excitement about who God made you to be
  • Greater curiosity about the Bible
  • Better questions to ask God when you have no idea what he’s doing
  • Deeper understanding of your own story—and the ability to share it with others

 

 

What People Say about By a Thread / Kirsten Wilson

“This process helped a bunch of light bulbs go off about myself and my story.” —Lesley, Texas

“You were a breath of fresh air that slapped me in my face with what I needed to hear to apply the biblical story to my life.” —Valarie, Texas

“Prepare to be drawn into an encounter with God. Kirsten Wilson has the amazing capacity to penetrate the soul with creativity, transparency, and clarity. You can’t walk away from her teaching without feeling the impact of it for days.” —Roy, Nevada

FAQ’s

What should I bring?

Bring your curiosity, imagination, and a willingness to engage. This is a workshop, after all. There will be teaching, but you’ll also have the opportunity to work through some steps for yourself.

We’ll provide materials for you to write on, and pens. But bring your Bible. You’ll want it at various points throughout the day.

How many people will be there?

We’re purposefully capping attendance at 40. This smaller size will make it easier for you to connect with the others in the room. And you’ll be better able to get your questions answered during the day.

[Note: The day will work best (and be more fun) with a certain level of energy in the room. We believe this is best achieved with at least 25 in attendance. If, for some reason, less than 25 people have signed up seven days before a workshop date, we will cancel that particular event, and offer you either a refund or the opportunity to transfer your ticket to a later workshop date.]

Will there be snacks? 

Absolutely! We’re firm believers in the “snacks help us learn better” philosophy of life. There will be a variety of snacks and beverages available throughout the day for your grazing pleasure.

Is lunch provided?

Lunch is not provided, but there are many restaurants within a few minutes of the venue. We’ll give you a list of tasty options before we break for lunch. It’ll be good for your mind and body to get off site for a while—and it’s a great opportunity to hang out with a few of the awesome people you’ll meet at the event.

If you want to pack and bring your own lunch, we do have a refrigerator available to store it in.

What are the facilities like?

We’ll meet in the Bell Flatirons Community Center in Superior, CO. Our meeting room has comfortable, theater-style seating.

Can children attend?

The presentation is designed for adults. If you have a high school student who wants to attend, contact Kirsten at kirsten.wilson@mac.com to ask about whether the day would be a good fit for your student.

Who is Kirsten Wilson? 

Kirsten is a teacher, writer, and speaker. She teaches Oral Communication and English Composition (and sometimes Worldviews and now and then C.S. Lewis) as adjunct faculty at Colorado Christian University. Before moving to Colorado in 2008, Kirsten was on staff as a Teaching Artist at LifePoint Church in northern Nevada.

Kirsten’s undergraduate degree combined studies in English, Spanish, Classical Greek, and Linguistics. She went on to earn a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in Teaching and Exposition.

Kirsten met her husband, Steve, in the fine arts dorm of their university when Steve valiantly attempted to save the life of her dying pet betta fish. The fish, sadly, did not survive, but the friendship did. Kirsten and Steve married four years later, and have two children, Daniel and Katie.

When left to her own devices, you’re likely to find Kirsten curled up with a good book and a handful of Oreo cookies, cutting up magazines to create a collage, or writing poetry in the corner booth of our local Chick-fil-A.

Are there any discounts available? 

Glad you asked. Yes, there two::

EARLYBIRD DISCOUNT: Register by July 16, and receive $5 off the price of your ticket.

CHURCH STAFF DISCOUNT: If you’re on staff at a church, take $10 off the price of your ticket.

What is your refund policy?

We’ll refund your money if you cancel up to eight days before the event. Within a week of the event, we are unable to grant a refund, although you’re welcome to transfer your ticket to a friend who’d like to attend.

What if I have more questions?

I’d be glad to answer them. Email Kirsten at kirsten.wilson@mac.com

easter 2016

icebranch

 

easter 2016

by kirsten wilson

 

any labored woman knows

the breaking forth of life

delivers pain

wounds torn and stretched

and carved

into our frame

 

sting and strain and cord and knife

we mothers still

mere years beyond

our own umbilical

birth life from

life

 

what then of resurrection

life from death

 

sudden energy and pulse

and breath

cracking a path

through hardened flesh

 

light shafts

and flaming heat

wend deep

through limbic sludge

and darkest inner parts

to solder leaden veins

force blood

to silent heart

 

what cosmic cries

tore through crucified frame

through morning sky

 

what pain

before emmaus roads

and empty tomb

and neatly folded clothes

 

when life broke forth

from death’s unlikely womb

 

The Art of Wrestling with God

Above my desk hangs an art print I bought a couple years ago. It’s an artist’s reflection on the biblical story in which Jacob wrestles with God (Genesis 32).

The background brushstrokes evoke a darkness come suddenly alive with struggle. Black merges with purples and blues. Brushstrokes moving too quickly to stop at a defined edge violate the boundaries of the scene.

Jacob is depicted in rough cerulean blue strokes, more frantic shadow than solid form. He’s fighting for his life, fighting with a God he knows and hardly begins to know. From the epicenter of the wrestling match, fragments of butterfly wing tear through the sky like shrapnel, shrieking the painful hymn of transformation.

In the lower right, the artist has inscribed Jacob’s name with black ink in Hebrew characters. Over to the left, just above the heads of the wrestling figures, he has penned the name Israel in gold. These Hebrew characters are smaller than the previous ones, still distant—still more potential than actual. But they contain a light that demands the viewer’s attention.

This new name, this new identity, this new life is what is at stake here in the darkness.

***

The stakes are high for me, too, just as they were for Jacob, just as they were for all the other God-wrestlers in the Bible.

God has been wrestling with mankind for millennia. But He takes us on one by one, with vast and impressive skills. The best wrestlers vary their approach based on their opponent. And make no mistake, God is the best of the best…

Read the rest over at the Flatirons Women’s Community, where I’m blogging today: Wrestling

Devil in my Car

I never know when he’ll show up, and he likes it that way. He likes to catch me off guard. He stalks me, I think, watches for any weakness, any pain, any circumstance that might confuse me enough to mistake his darkness for light. And that’s when he barges in, with his cynical smirk and greedy eyes.

He’s a thief, you know, and a trickster. He disguises himself as an angel of light, but wields the power of darkness. Satan, the Bible calls him. The serpent. The enemy. The devil.

On this particular evening, he shows up in the back seat of my car. I’m on my way to church, for crying out loud, but the devil’s a brash one, and he thinks he’s got me this time…

I’m blogging this week over at the Flatirons Women’s Community Blog. Click here to read what happens next: Devil in my Car

Half My Life…

Half my life ago, I married my husband.

That sentence will become true next August. I did the math: late in August, there will come a day when I will have been married just as long as I was single. And then, the day after that, I will have been married the majority of my life.

It’s strange to think about. Stranger still to think back to our wedding day. We were young and hopeful and smiling. Me, the poet, marrying him, the musician: the perfect blend, we hoped, of lyric and melody.

We knew, back then, that I was the one for him. That he was the one for me. And we said as much in our vows, standing in a chapel in front of our family and friends. We knew love. We knew trust. We knew that whatever the next years held, we wanted to enter them together.

We knew so much. And at the same time, so little. There were so many things we didn’t know. How could we, until we lived them?

I’m blogging this week over at the Flatirons Women’s Community Blog. Click here to read the rest of this post: Half My Life…