"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

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Day Eight of 2018, and I'm a Week Behind!


Happy New Year, dear Readers-

Does Running Behind
Count as Exercise?
It’s day eight of the brand-new year, and I am already a week behind. I started the year with some kind of evil virus that attached itself in the wee hours of the morning on December 29th and dragged me right into 2018. I’m almost back to 100% and, yesterday, was finally able to do some of the things I have on my January list (yes, I am a list maker).

I gave up making resolutions long years ago. It seemed like such a waste of pen and paper, and that’s a mouthful for a list maker to say. I do like having a word for the year though, and it’s amazing how the word I chose is woven throughout the whole year. It’s like having Jiminy Cricket resting on my shoulder whispering my word to me at opportune times.

The Lord has been dealing with me about this year’s word since mid-November. I’ve gotten lax in several areas and I’m counting on this year’s word to help me snap out of it.

And the word is: INTENTIONAL

I WILL be intentional with God. I want MORE of God this year. I aim to be intentional about the
Deep Study of the Scriptures
adds Depth to Life
time I spend alone with Him each day. I want to talk to Him more and dig deeper into the scriptures, not just surface read so I can check Bible Reading off my list.

I WILL be intentional about my health. I want to make better choices when I eat; more protein and veggies and water. I want to be aware of how much I move during the day and take steps (no pun intended!) to move more; park farther away from the door in parking lots, do some stretches throughout the day to overcome stiffness. I was running a 5K a couple of times a month but that fell by the wayside over last summer. I may not get back to that, but I’d like to be closer than I am right now.
Healthy Living

I WILL be intentional about my writing. I was so slack with my writing in 2017. I am mostly a seat-of-the-pants writer, not much on planning ahead. This year, I have a calendar where I have penciled in topics to write about in the next few weeks. I’ve lost hold of so many good writing ideas because I didn’t capture them somewhere and they escaped.

My plan is not to be too rigid with myself, but to have that word circulating in my consciousness reminding me gently that I have choices. I’d love for you to share your plan for 2018 with me and my other readers. Leave a comment. It might help us all.



Going out with joy today, thankful that I feel good-

Cathy

Monday, October 16, 2017

Our Godly Character


Hello, dear Readers-

Nearing the end of our time in Los Angeles, we felt good about what we accomplished. To our understanding we had completed everything we were sent to do, and more.

On Friday night we returned to the hotel after a long day and just as we were pulling into the parking lot, we received a text from the airline saying our flight for the next morning had been cancelled. We all went to our rooms to pack and get ready to leave the next day, just as we had planned to do, assuming there was an error that would be corrected by morning.

During the night, Sam our team leader, texted back and forth with the airline to no avail. The flight was back on, then off again, delayed 20 minutes, back on time, delayed 30 minutes. That was how it stood as we woke up that morning.

As I was spending some time in prayer before I got up to dress, the
Lord told me, “This is your opportunity to show your Godly character.” I laid there and thought about that for a few minutes. What did I have within me that could be considered Godly character? Then He brought to mind, Gal. 5:22-23, the Fruit of the Spirit.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

I shared the challenge to “show our Godly character” with the others.

By the time we arrived at the airport the flight had changed again. It was back on regular time, then cancelled again and then on again, but without us. Sam talked to three different airline employees, going higher up the chain of command each time, while the rest of
Airport Lobby
us sat across the lobby praying. The spiritual warfare was intense. He finally came away with two choices: leave on the same flight the next day (but they wouldn’t help us find a hotel to stay in or help get us there and back or pay for the extra meals we’d need. Option two was to stay in the airport and leave on a flight that night, changing planes in Chicago instead of Denver. Twelve hours in the airport is a long time but we got the distinct feeling that God was keeping us from harm.

Something like this doesn’t happen every day, but other things happen that might test our Godly character. Many times since then I have heard that wee small voice reminding me that “this is an opportunity to show your Godly character.”

There are some of God’s character traits that we cannot, as humans, show. His omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence and His position in the Trinity. Being sovereign, immutable and rendering judgement are reserved for Him. But He has allowed us to take on other character traits to make us better people and make the world a better place.

Gal. 5:22-24 from The Message says it well:

22-23 But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

23-24 Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.

What about you? Has God given you opportunities to show your Godly character? How did it go for you? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know how He works in your life.

Going out with joy today to experience His plan for me-

Cathy




Friday, September 22, 2017

Why, God?


Questions for God
Greetings, Dear Readers-

Do you ever wonder why God asks you to do some of the things He does? This question has rolled over and over in my mind since my return from Los Angeles. So far, the answers have been vague. Here’s what prompted the question:

Near the end of our time on Hollywood Boulevard, on the second day of our trip, we stopped at the entrance to a shopping mall to pray. As we were deep in prayer, a lady came near and took a seat on a wall, seemingly waiting for someone to arrive. Sam felt God nudge him to pray for this lady, but while we were still in prayer, she walked away. He prayed that God would bring her back if she, indeed, needed prayer. She came back. Finishing our prayer, we approached her and tried to have a conversation with her. She was from Holland and only spoke Dutch. We couldn’t understand her and she couldn’t understand us. She seemed okay with us praying anyway.

Echo Park Entrance
On Friday, we returned to Echo Park (more on the park next time) to pray. We all had the feeling we weren’t quite done yet. I felt God urge me to go pray for a man scrunched down behind us painting. I left the prayer circle and approached the man only to find he couldn’t speak English. Through some hand signs, I discovered he came to the park to paint canvases which he later sold on the street. He knew the names God and Jesus but I don’t know if he had a relationship with them. He allowed me to pray for him. I returned to my friends who were still praying.

So, my question is, “Why would God send us all the way to Los Angeles and have us pray for people who couldn’t understand what we were saying to them?” What do you think, my dear readers? I’d love to have your insights in the Comments Section.

Prayer Circle
The only thing that has come to me is that it was a question of obedience. Would we back away or follow through, given this barrier? Maybe God translated our prayers into their own language. He did that in the Bible. Both of them had an aura of peace about them when we parted. Did we witness a modern-day miracle and didn’t even know it?

Going out with joy today, waiting for my next set of instructions-

Cathy

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Movie, Anyone?



Hello, Dear Readers-

Movie Theater
Before the Hands on Missions Team left for Los Angeles, we spent several months praying collectively and separately about the trip and the mission God had for us. These are the notes I made in my prayer journal after I prayed one morning:

07/07/17 God said, “Pray for the film industry to be flooded with good, wholesome films – no sex, no violence, no foul language – that families can attend together and that I will approve of. Pray for film writers to be writing those kinds of films. Pray that people, especially Christians, will become fed up with films that depict behaviors I would disapprove of and that they will stop using their resources to support these films. Money speaks in Hollywood. If Hollywood rejects these well-written movies, let other, lesser known studios, profit from producing and showing them. Turn Hollywood upside down. Let the current powers that be in Hollywood stand around wringing their hands because they don’t understand what is happening.”         

On the second leg of our flight to Los Angeles, Sam, our Team
Leader, sat next to a young man who is in the Christian film industry. Davis and his business partner work with Christian organizations to make films used to promote the message they are trying to get out to the public. Two evaluations he made in the conversation with Sam touched me:

1)      Christians need to be about the business of busy-ness warfare. Satan is keeping Christians so busy, even doing good things, that they are neglecting their prayer life and other Christian duties.

2)      When we asked him how we could pray for the Christian film industry, Davis replied, “Pray that Christians will support us.” It broke my heart to think that Christians wouldn’t attend good, clean, family oriented movies over those that portray worldly lifestyles.

A familiar scripture says,

If my people who are called by My name
will humble themselves,
and pray and seek my face and
turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin
and heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14 ESV)

The solution to this and other problems in this world is in our hands, Dear Readers, if we count ourselves as His disciples. Will you do your part to use the resources He has blessed you with to support films and television shows that honor Him and the Christian Worldview?

Going out with joy today to love and serve Him-

Cathy