22 February, 2021
It all started with a small concept for Spiritual Formation that impacted me 20 years ago.
Over the years I've kept thinking of new ways to share it with others.
In 1967, little Kimberly gave her heart to Jesus (you do the math).
This side of heaven, it’s been a full life so far.
The most adventurous part was moving to Asia in 1997 with my husband Jim, and sons Tyler and Cameron. I've been an English teacher on Chinese Television (yep, a celebrity!), an "Auntie" in Singapore's Arts Community, and explored and taught various drama forms for Outreach and Christian Education.
Now, 24 years later, I'm not bad at speaking Chinese (for a foreigner), am a Permanent Resident of Singapore, and in many ways relate to "Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary" (though my faith has not been "reconstructed"). Oddly, teaching playback theater to youth in Egypt, was the most fun. They like to dance a lot, and they called me "Cinderella."
In our first year in Singapore, I read the book Sacred Pathways, by Gary Thomas.
It was transformational for me.
Until reading that book, I had never been affirmed for the way I experienced God intuitively. I read about the Sensate and experiencing God through beauty and the senses.
Though I had been a Christian for decades, had been to Bible School, and was a Pastor's wife and Missionary, this was new to me. Because of the Christian tradition I'd been raised in, I always felt guilty about my spiritual life. It seemed that I didn't truly love God enough.
You see, the Evangelical church tradition focuses primarily on the intellectual pathway. We teach primarily that to have a relationship with God comes from the study of the Word of God.
But I did love God. So much so, that after High School, I chose a university where Bible courses and Theology are part of every student’s degree program. At Biola I could both “study to show myself approved unto God,” and pursue the Arts and Intercultural Studies. I graduated in 1984 and continued a life-long quest to discover how to combine my love for Jesus and the Arts.
(Biola is also where I snagged my pretty awesome, empowering husband. He was the "most eligible bachelor" on campus, being the student body president of Talbot Seminary.)
After living in Asia for 17 years, we returned to the USA for a Sabbatical. Instead, it became a season of caregiving and transitions. As we saw 3 parents graduate to heaven, I have grown to experience God more through Contemplation.
We made our home in Chattanooga just before the You-Know-What-Crisis, and all the rest of the American unrest that came with 2020. I began to explore Activism in new and meaningful ways. These have deepened my intimacy with Jesus, trust in the Father, and the comfort and power of the Holy Spirit.
No matter where I am planted, I remain passionate to help others be free and mature in Christ. Since blogs were first "a thing" I've been posting at charminfullbloom.
ABOUT the GLOBAL PROJECT:
In 2016, Experience God was first printed in Vietnamese for a youth pastors conference. Christians around the world can benefit from this teaching. We all enter a faith community that is strong in certain areas but may never be exposed to other ways of experiencing God.
Most people don't read books. Experience God is an attractive, short, and easy to read introduction to the Sacred Pathways lesson of spiritual formation. The 9 people in Experience God tell of their spiritual life using language that ESL students can understand. The 9 people use personal examples that are common to anyone in the world who lives in a large city.
With this English version now available, I'm eager to partner cross-culturally and publish Experience God in other languages or cultural contexts.
Check out The Global Project in the menu bar to learn more!