Hi, I’m Kristen. Welcome to my blog where I write about my personal reflections on who God is, Scripture, and the Christian life. From time to time I also will post things about my personal life and family. I’ve divided up my biography into categories to help you find what you are seeking to know.
When and how I became a Christian: I grew up in a Christian home, daughter of a pastor and mother who served in the church. I remember at an early age loving Christ as much as I could, but it wasn’t until the age of 6 at a Billy Graham crusade that I accepted His grace and asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life. Since that time I have been in a sanctification process, growing in the likeness of my Savior.
When and how I surrendered to full-time Christian ministry: I was 15 at a summer camp when I surrendered to doing full-time ministry with the rest of my life. Up to that point I had thought maybe the Lord was calling me to be a missionary, since that was the only ministry I knew that women did. I was afraid to say, “Yes,” to whatever God was calling me to do because I thought it meant going to some place remote and far away. In the end, I knew I’d be miserable until I surrendered to His will for my life.
What is my call and what are my passions: When I surrendered to full-time ministry I did not have a sense as to what type of ministry I would have. As I said above, I thought that it probably meant I would be a missionary. From the time I surrendered until now, it has been an unveiling process. I believe God wanted my commitment first even though I did not know exactly where He would lead me (you see this happen a lot in Scripture). I went to Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR to pursue this call. It was there that I had a better understanding of my passions. I became passionate about discipleship and helping others become more biblicaly literate. I majored in Christian Ministry and minored in Speech Communications. I’ve always loved writing, which is why I was editor of my high school newspaper for two years. While taking speech classes, I also realized a love for speaking (despite my inadequacies). By the end of my college career, I felt more certain that God wanted to use my writing and speaking as intricate parts of my ministry. God then opened the door for me to continue my education and training for ministry by going to Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL . I felt affirmed in my love for writing and speaking. My passions also developed while at Beeson. My passions are to write, teach and speak on Scripture and how to interpret Scripture in a way that is faithful to the text. I believe that many people in the church, specifically women, want to be astute biblical learners and teachers but are lacking the tools, training and resources to do so. I am also passionate about helping girls who feel called to full-time ministry to know what that call means and how to be obedient in that calling. In addition I am passionate about making God known and challenging the Church to not veer too far to either side but to stay in the Center of Truth.
What does my ministry look like now: My ministry currently has three elements: publishing, blogging and training in the local church. I am at the beginning of what I pray is a long, glorifying to God career of publishing. I was blessed to receive a M.Div. degree from one of the best schools and am blessed to be married to a biblical scholar (more on him later). I want to use my training and resources to help others for the sake of the Cross. Through publishing I am able to reach a much wider audience than I would have otherwise. The second element is blogging. Blogging, like publishing, allows me to reach more people than I could in almost any other setting. Blogging allows me to write a lot more about God, Scripture and the Christian life than I am able to through publishing at the moment. The third element is training others locally at my church. I am privileged to get to meet with girls from my church youth group who feel called to full-time ministry. My goal is to provide a biblical and practical framework for deciphering and pursuing a ministry calling. If I have a ministry that is not reaching the local church, then I’m failing to do what God has called me to do. My hope is that God will give me a fourth aspect to my ministry – and that is speaking. My desire is to one day have opportunities to speak to small and large groups at retreats and conferences.
What is my family dynamic: My ministry has taken off slowly following graduation from Beeson Divinity School in December 2008 for two very good reasons. On March 13, 2010, Dr. Osvaldo Padilla (affectionately known as Ozzie) and I married at Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham. Ozzie is a New Testament scholar and assistant professor at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham. He teaches Greek and classes on the Gospels and Acts. He also is constantly researching, publishing and giving papers at scholarly conferences. An equally important part of his ministry is supply preaching and teaching at a local Hispanic church, where he also encourages the pastor and assists with administrative needs. Far above his many achievements, he is a man who has experienced the grace of the Lord, who loves the Lord with all his heart, who walks humbly with God and who loves and adores his family. I am very proud of him. Then, on April 7, 2011, Philip Joshua Padilla was born to us. He is strong, stubborn, beautiful, sweet, and active. I love being a mom and have enjoyed focusing much of my time and attention on learning to be a mom these past 2 years. Taking time “off” to learn what it means to be a godly wife and mother, I believe, will only serve to strengthen my ministry.
What are some of my past works: Following my graduation from Beeson, I worked at The Alabama Baptist newspaper. I have many published articles you can find on http://www.thealabamabaptist.org. I also have written articles for WMU’s mymissionfulfilled, http://www.mymissionfulfilled.com. In January of this year, my first Bible study with WMU’s mymissionfulfilled was published. It is called, myStory: A Study on Our Relationship with God. I recently published a second Bible study for mymissionfulfilled called, Identity: Who We Are in Jesus.
Finkenwalde: In the School of Bonhoeffer booklet, editor
Apocalypse Now: The Revelation of Jesus Christ booklet, editor
Beeson magazine, editor and contributor
I pray that you will find encouragement from this blog. Maybe you won’t agree with some of my reflections or maybe you will have things to add! I don’t claim to know it all; instead I pray you find someone who humbly and sincerely is seeking to emulate Christ and interpret and apply His Word faithfully.
Soli Deo Gloria,