"Welcome to my blog space. I believe that God has carefully placed gems in our paths to fill our days with joy. The challenge for us is to take the time to notice them. My desire is to share the gems in my life so that, hopefully, you will see the ones He's placed in yours. I hope what you read here will be worth your time and you'll want to return often." - Cathy

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Running the Race - Part Two


Cathy running thru the pink zone at
The Color Run in Asheville, NC
 I am finally getting back to Part Two of my exercise/race series which has been delayed by holidays, sickness and life in general. Thanks for your patience. You are an awesome group of people. Click here to revisit Part One to refresh your memory. As I told you, I’ve been using a walking DVD to get back in shape. As the instructor gives directions, I hear words like Stand Tall, Reach, Keep Moving, Choose, and Expect.

            Stand Tall – When I stand tall during exercise, my muscles can achieve peak performance. Standing tall improves my attitude and gives me a sense of confidence. Surveys of Human Resource Managers shows that job applicants who stand tall during an interview are hired at a much greater rate than those who slouch in with shoulders in a defeated position. Standing tall is as much an attitude as a physical position. I know a lady who is wheelchair bound, yet she portrays an attitude of standing tall. The wheelchair is a circumstance, but it hasn’t affected her confidence in herself.

            Reach – When I stretch and reach, my muscles are lengthened giving me a longer, leaner look. Setting health improvement and other life goals should cause us to reach beyond our comfort zones. If I can reach my goals without reaching and stretching toward them, they probably weren’t appropriate goals.

            Keep Moving – Any kind of movement is healthier than no movement. When I think I am at the end of my strength, I force
Cathy and Mary Jane (in yellow shirts) at
Meet Me at the Fountain Run, Forest City, NC
myself to keep moving for another minute or two. Push yourself. Not quitting will do amazing things for your self-esteem. When I’m doing a 5K race, I usually breeze through the first mile. The second mile my body wants to get a little slower and the third mile is torture. I often want to stop but by then I’m a mile into the race. Heading toward the finish line only makes sense.

            Choose – One bit of encouragement the instructor offers is that because you made the good decision to exercise, you will likely make other good decisions that day, possibly good food choices. One good choice leads to another and another. Ever hear the phrase: sit, soak and sour? The choices to stand tall, reach, and keep moving will keep me us from stagnating.

Group Shot after the Race
Light the Night, Forest City, NC
Expect – As I make right choices, I can expect good results. Do you hear that recording playing in your head that says, “Be a good girl and clean your plate?” I’ve seen a change in my thought pattern that tells me I can quit eating when I am full. I don’t have to go away miserable because I overate anymore. Our body is miraculously designed to tell us what it needs. Listen to it. It will tell you when it’s hungry, or thirsty, or tired.

            I hope my experience will help you stand tall in confidence, reach for your goals, keep moving in a positive direction, make good choices, and expect great rewards for your effort.

I’m going out with joy today, thankful for a body that still moves-

Cathy

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Running the Race


I never fancied myself much of an athlete. I don’t have the competitive edge needed to be successful at team sports. I am much better at individual activities where I only have to meet or exceed my own expectations. The only team sport I ever semi-excelled at was bowling when my husband and I joined a team when we were first married. In elementary school, I was the marble champion of the playground, but, again, that is more of an individual sport.

In May, I decided I needed to do something good for my health. My doctor had asked me numerous times what I was doing for exercise. My response of, “not much” wasn’t making her smile. I started by buying a DVD walking program with the option of doing one, two, three or four miles and a cool down. The first and fourth miles are 15 minute miles which is the pace I had done years before when I was on a regular exercise program. I knew I could do it now because I had done it before. The second mile is a 12 minute mile, accomplished by including a two minute running portion. The third mile is a 10 minute mile and includes, you guessed it, two running sessions of two minutes each.

I diligently used the DVD in varying lengths every morning for about four weeks. When grandchildren were here, they had fun doing it with me, especially the running sets. We’d run through the house and out the back door and around the deck and back in time to do the next part of the video. I was feeling very accomplished.


Cathy and Mary Jane crossing the finish line
Color Run, Asheville, NC



 
About that time my daughter sent an email advertising a 5K Color run/walk in nearby Asheville, NC. The proceeds would support two local charities. We talked it up and several of us signed up, along with some friends. It sounded like fun and we had 6 weeks to get ready for it. The only hitch in the plan was that I did all my training on level ground and Asheville is very hilly. There were several smaller hills that I managed to navigate without much trouble, but then came the granddaddy of all hills. The sight of it made me groan. It rose in front of me like an impenetrable wall. I made it about halfway up before I had to stop and rest. I am so thankful for my dear friend and running/walking partner who waited with me and encouraged me to keep going.
First Place Medal
 

Since then I have done three more races and have three scheduled for November (what was I thinking???). The funny thing is that I have won first place medals in my age group at all three of those, not because I am fast, but because there aren’t that many people my age running 3.1 miles. Come back next week to find out what I have learned through all of this.


 
Going out with joy today-

Cathy


Saturday, September 20, 2014

What a Friend we Have in Jesus


My favorite picture of
Ruth Thompson Brown
My friend of 40+ years, Ruth Thompson Brown, passed away in her sleep on August 30, 2014. A determined woman, independent in her thinking and a little quirky around the edges, she made me smile. She lived a colorful and fruitful life. She taught school for 48 years before retiring. At 99 years old, she had lived more history than most of us have read about. I joked with her one day saying, “You didn’t have to study history, Mrs. Brown; you lived it!” She chuckled and said, “I guess you’re right.

Ruth loved people and saw the potential in them. Using unconventional teaching methods, she was able to teach many who had already been counted out by the system. I think they knew she loved them and wanted them to be successful. Ruth and I met when her Granddaughter, Lorie, and my daughter, Nanci, were in Kindergarten. Lorie invited Nanci to go swimming and when I dropped Nanci off at Lorie’s Grandma Ruth reassured me that she would see that they were safe.

Nanci had a watch on and, in her excitement, jumped into the pool before taking it off. It quit working immediately. Mrs. Ruth felt compelled to have it fixed. After a week, she went to pick the watch up at the jewelers only to find that he couldn’t fix it. Mrs. Brown’s reply, with eyes sparkling, was, “I know a man of your caliber and talent can fix this watch, so I am going to leave it another week. I know when I come back next week, it will be fixed.” And it was!



Ruth loved God, her church, and its people. She thought everybody ought to have a church. It troubled her that “people just flat out won’t go.” When she invited someone and they showed any interest at all, she would call them early on Sunday mornings to see 

Gilboa United Methodist Church
Rutherfordton, NC
if they were up and getting ready. That’s how she got the Crowder family involved in Gilboa United Methodist Church, her church home. She faithfully played the piano there and directed the Charge Choir for oodles of years. If she didn’t think the congregation or the choir was singing with all the gusto they could muster,

she’d stop playing, stand up next to the piano as tall as she could stretch her 5’3” frame, and say, “Look-a here. I think you can do better than that.” And the second time, we did!
 

Ruth loved her family. You could see it in her eyes; sense it in her spirit. She shared their successes with glee and, being a realist, she shared their failures with sadness. She loved that she could help the ones she could and she wore herself out trying to figure out how to help the ones who had more potential than they were using. I loved the family stories she shared with me. She was four when they moved by horse and buggy to the house she lived in until her death. She loved to garden so, while others cooked and cleaned, she worked outside with her father and brothers. Almost totally vegetarian (she would occasionally eat some sausage or bacon), she had a passion for fresh vegetables which carried over from her childhood.

The last time I saw her, she woke from her pain medicine induced sleep enough to look at me and smile and say, “I love you. . . . . all the time.” I said the same to her, and she lapsed back into her slumber. I sat next to her bed for awhile singing hymns, She lifted her feeble arms and played air piano when I sang “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” her favorite hymn.

I love you, Mrs. Brown . . . . all the time.  Thank you for loving me.

Going out with joy today, thanking God for a blessing like Mrs. Brown-

Cathy

Monday, August 4, 2014

What Would You Do?


The Vacation Bible School our church chose this year was Agency D3. We spent the week as Special Agents discovering truths about Jesus, deciding what we believe about Him, and learning how to defend our faith. The Bible verse for the week, in the simplified version for younger children, was “Always be ready to tell what you know about Jesus.”  I Peter 3:15

A couple weeks ago, my brother experienced a real life test of this verse. Here’s his account of the evening: 

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

 A couple Saturdays ago, we celebrated our daughter’s 22nd birthday by having a family dinner at a local restaurant. After we were seated and our orders were taken, I got up to go to the bathroom. After completing my bathroom “business,” I began washing my hands. As I rinsed the soap from my hands, an elderly man (I’m guessing @ 75 years old) burst into the bathroom. Before I could do anything, this man began sobbing. WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

 I must confess, my first inclination was to leave the bathroom as quickly as possible. Men don’t acknowledge each other in the bathroom much less strike up a conversation. This man was obviously distressed and I couldn’t just leave. I placed my hand on his back, and said, “Sir, what’s wrong? Is there anything I can do to help?”

This well-groomed, nicely dressed man looked up, eyes swollen
and red and replied, “I’m here with my entire family to celebrate my retirement.” I immediately replied, “Well, this should be a happy occasion, why all the tears?” The man looked at me, took several deep breathes and replied, “I saw my doctor today and he told me I have a very aggressive form of cancer and have 3 months to live. I haven’t told anyone, and I don’t know how to break the news to my family when everyone is so happy.” WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

 I responded, “at least you’ve got your faith to fall back on.” This tortured man looked at me with a blank look and said, “What ‘faith’ are you talking about, I’ve never been to church.” (I had made some basic assumptions based on his outward appearance and on the fact that most everyone in the Bible Belt has at least some passing knowledge of God and “church.”) WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

 I quickly sent God an urgent prayer and asked Him to please give me the right words to say to this lost man. As my new friend began to wash his face, getting ready to return to his party, I blurted out, “I’m not trying to make light of your situation, but you were always going to die. I’m going to die, all those waiting for you at the table are going to die. It’s not that important that we’re all going to die, but what is important is what happens after you die.”

I continued, “I know one day I will die, but the grave doesn’t have a hold on me. Jesus promises that if I believe in Him and ask Him to come into my heart, I will spend my eternity in a place that doesn’t have cancer or pain, a place of constant joy and happiness.” My friend politely listened and then said, “Tell me more about this Jesus.” I gave him a short version of my testimony and spent the next few minutes taking a walk down the Roman Road (see below). 

When I finished, he fell to his knees and cried out, “I need this
Jesus you’ve been talking about!” I got down on my knees beside him right there in the bathroom of a busy restaurant. We prayed and my friend accepted Jesus.

 When we finished praying and stood up my friend looked like a different man. He smiled, and looked like he was ready to run a marathon. I offered to go back to his table with him to help explain what the Doctor said, and to explain what happened in the bathroom. He felt like he could handle it himself, so I told him to come get me if he needed help.

I invited him to church and he indicated his sister and a few of his co-workers in attendance were church members. He thought once they heard his good news they would want him to try their church first. We exchanged names and phone numbers and we agreed to stay in touch. He left the restroom and I prayed one more time, praising God for taking over the conversation. God is good and always faithful to provide, even in the men’s room at a local restaurant! 

 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Peter 3:15)

Tommy John 

What will you do when you are asked to tell what you know about Jesus? Plan now for when that time comes. All you are required to do is be ready to tell what you know. Take a few minutes and make a list of the things you know about Jesus. If you still feel unprepared, do some more Bible study on Jesus. Use the internet to look up a sharing technique that works for you, The ABC’s of Faith, the Roman Road and others. Use scripture when possible because the Bible tells us scripture won’t fail to accomplish what it is sent out to do. May God bless you as you prepare.

I’m going out with joy today to share the Good News-

Cathy


How to Use the Roman Road to Witness:

from "The Next Step" by J.T.C., (pages 55 to 59)


The Roman Road lays out the plan of salvation through a series of Bible verses from the book of Romans.I don't think witnessing is easy.  My idea here is that you just have to read the red text below.

******************************************************************************

To be a soul winner, you should get yourself a small New Testament.

Coming at people with a large Bible scares them.
You must first prepare your little New Testament with guide notes, for your own benefit.
Take a colored pen or pencil and turn to the book of Romans.


Your first verse is Romans 3:10 
Now that you've marked it like we have above, you move to the next verse.


The next verse is Romans 3:23
Always indicate in the margin the next verse you are to read.


Here is the list you will follow on the Roman Road . . .
1) Romans 3:10 
2) Romans 3:23 
3) Romans 5:12 
4) Romans 5:8 
5) Romans 6:23 
6) Romans 10:13 

7) Romans 10:9-10


Mark all of these down in your New Testament - so you won't make any mistakes.With this technique, you don't have to memorize the scriptures . . . that will come in time as you use the system.

Before witnessing, pray, asking God for power through the Holy Spirit.  Ask Him to use you to win someone for Christ.
Never hit them cold with a question like . . . "Have you been saved?"
Talk about the weather or their job for a few minutes.
Then ask . . .


May I ask you a question?
"Sure, go ahead!"


If you were to die tonight . . . are you sure you would go to heaven?
Any reply less than 100% certainty is a sign you must present the Roman Road.


If it were possible to know for sure that you could go to heaven - would you be interested?
"I'd be a nut if I didn't!"


If I could show you how you can know from the Bible, would you do what the Bible says?
"Sure!"


People aren't always interested.  Some get angry.  Be pleasant, leave a tract, and go talk to someone else.


Romans 3:10 points out that I'm not righteous and you're not either ... "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:"  (Ro 3:10)


Romans 3:23 says we all fall short of God's standard! ... "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"  (Ro 3:23)


Point out that you are a sinner first, then that he is also.  Never put the sinner below you.


Romans 5:12 says in the beginning, God and Adam's hearts were knit together.  Through Adam's disobedience, their sweet togetherness was broken.
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"  (Ro 5:12)


Adam died both spiritually and physically.  We inherit spiritual and physical death from our parents, Adam and Eve.


In Romans 5:8, we find Christ died on the cross, He became our substitute by taking our place!
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  (Ro 5:8)


Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death ... "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  (Ro 6:23)


Most of us work for wages.  Our pay for being a sinner is death!


"Why did Adam listen to Eve, and sin?"
We'll come back to that later!
Warning:  Never get off the Roman Road by arguing doctrine or opinion.


". . . but the gift of God is eternal life . . ."  (Ro 6:23) ... If someone gives you a gift and you receive it, you know you have it - right?
"Right!"


Romans 10:13 is a promise, if we call on the name of the Lord, we shall be saved - not maybe!  but - shall!
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."  (Ro 10:13)


Revelation 3:20 is another promise.  This shows Christ outside our lives.
He wants to come into our hearts and be the center of our lives.  He says He will come in, if we ask Him!
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."  (Rev 3:20)


Romans 10:9-10 tells us how to call on the Lord.
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."  (Ro 10:9-10)


Would you like to call on the name of the Lord right now, ask Him into your heart, and know that you are saved?
"Yes"


Let me pray for you - Lord, thank you for this opportunity to present my friend, Mr. Jones.


Now, Mr. Jones, will you please pray?
"I don't know what to pray!"
I'll help you!


If you mean business with the Lord - you tell Him these words:  Lord, I know I'm a lost sinner
(let Jones repeat these words)


I'm asking you to forgive me of my sins
(Mr. Jones repeats)


and come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior
(Jones repeats)


In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
(Jones repeats)


Amen
(Jones repeats)


Do you mean business?
"Yes!"
Then according to Romans 10:13 you called upon His name.


Do you believe He saved you like He said He would? If you died tonight, would you be sure you'd go to heaven?
"Yes!"


How do you know?
"God says so!"


Now go tell somebody what's happened to you - because the Word tells us to in Romans 10:9


Also, Matthew 10:32 says:  "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven."  (Mt 10:32)


Why don't you come to church with me and make a public confession of your faith?
"I will, thank you."


You have just been born again spiritually and, like a newborn you need nourishment to help you grow.  The Bible is our spiritual food - you must read it daily!


The more you know about scripture - the easier it is to present the Roman Road.