"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, July 23, 2015

On Mission in Canada - Part One


Charlotte Airport - Day One
Melba, Debra, Angie, Cathy, Karen, Paula and Sam
I had the privilege last week of going on a mission trip to Brampton, Ontario, Canada, with Hands on Missions in Shelby, NC. We partnered with a pastor and his church there to minister to the largely Hindu, Muslim and Sikh population. What I learned about being a witnessing Christian from the members of the church, most of them there due to persecution for their faith, has forever changed my perspective on evangelism.


Pastor Robin Wasti and wife, Neena
The Pastor, Robin Wasti, was the director of Campus Crusade for Christ in Pakistan. He started receiving letters threatening his life if he didn’t stop his work there. When his car was shot up he took the threat to his life and the lives of his family seriously. Because of his travel with CCC, he had a visa to the United States and one to Canada. He tried to come to the USA but the details didn’t work out. He had a cousin living in Canada so he moved there, leaving his wife and three children living underground in Pakistan until he could make arrangements to move them. They were separated for almost four years before they were reunited in Canada in May, 2014.

 In the meantime, Pastor Robin was working hard, sharing his faith with anyone who would listen. Some divine appointments in the workplace allowed him to find a basement apartment to live in and he started a house church there with the help of April and Jeffrey Langley, missionaries with the International Mission Board. God blessed Robin with understanding homeowners who allowed the church to use some of their rooms upstairs so they could break out into separate groups for Sunday School.


Some of the children at
Bottomwood Park last week
When Robin and his family were reunited last year and they could minister together, things started popping. The church is growing and they are now having services in a Chinese Baptist Church on Sunday afternoons and evenings. In July of last year, they held their first Kid’s Club in a local park. Every community has a park where families with children gather from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. each night during the summer months. A group from Hands on Missions came to help with the first Kid’s Clubs. Each member of the team set up a station where they witnessed to the children about Jesus in various ways through stories, games and prizes. They also played large group games in the center of the parks, performed skits of Bible stories like The Good Samaritan and gave away candy, juice, Bibles and Jesus DVDs in their own languages. Witnessing was going on all around the edges of the parks where the men and women of the community had gathered for their nightly visit. Nearly 300 children heard about Jesus last year through the Hands on Missions teams. Two other teams came after this one and repeated the fun in six other parks.


"I got Kid's Club!"
Last week, all of this was repeated in three parks, but this year over 400 children heard the Good News, along with their parents and others visiting the park. I was amazed at how attentive the children were, sitting quietly, wide-eyed, hardly moving a muscle as I told them about the gift that God gave us through Jesus and how to open and claim that gift for  themselves. Some remembered the Kid’s Clubs from last year and were excited that the team had come back. As I sat in the park one morning making posters to advertise the next night’s event while others went door-to-door inviting families to come, several children came up and asked if they could have an invitation. Four of them danced around holding up their cards saying, “I got Kid’s Club, I got Kid’s Club.”

I kept asking myself while I was there if I would be as exuberant about sharing the Gospel if I had been shot at, persecuted, and separated from my family. Most of my witnessing in my everyday life at home is done silently, being a good example. Occasionally I will take the opportunity to use words. The believers I met on mission in Canada know the cost of following and witnessing about Christ – and do it anyway.

“God help me be more like them. Amen.”

Going out with joy today-

Cathy

Friday, June 5, 2015

Answers to Prayer


 
George F. Mueller
1805 - 1898
 
Here is your assignment for life: Renounce your regular salary and live on unsolicited gifts. Start five orphanages that will eventually house over 10,000 children. Establish 117 schools and travel over 200,000 miles evangelizing unreached parts of the world for Christ pre-air flight. In your travels distribute over 285,000 Bibles, 1,460,000 New Testaments and over 240,000 evangelical tracts. Remember, you cannot advertise a need for funds or ask people to support you. Are you ready to get started?

George Mueller (1805-1898), Evangelist and Director of Ashley Down orphanages in Bristol, England accepted that challenge. His two passions in life were to convert people to a relationship with Christ and to care for the “dear orphans.”

First Orphan-House, Wilson Street
Opened April 11, 1836
On December 5, 1835, while reading his Bible and praying, God impressed Psalm 81:10 on George’s mind. He pondered the meaning of the verse and realized that he had never asked God for anything regarding the orphan-house except to know His will regarding the establishment of it. George then fell to his knees and started praying for the provision of all articles that were needed to open an orphanage: a house or building, money, furniture, clothes, caregivers, and more. By December 13th, God had moved on the hearts of people and the needs were well on the way to being provided.

George Mueller’s book, Answers to Prayer, (2013, Lumin Christian Products), contains excerpts from his many journals. He recorded every pound, schilling, pence and miracle that God brought to the ministry and the amazing ways that it came. Many times, they were down to their last coin with not enough to feed the children their next meal – but God always came through for them. In all the years of this ministry, the children never lacked food, clothing, care, or education. During the times when supplies were thin, George devoted himself to fervent prayer and Bible study, often times interrupted by someone at the door with the means needed to carry on the work for that day or for several days.

Orphan-House No. 3
Why would a man do life the way George Mueller chose to? Listen to one of his journal entries: “I certainly did from my heart desire to be used by God to benefit the bodies of poor children, bereaved of both parents, and seek in other respects, with the help of God, to do them good for this life; I also particularly longed to be used by God in getting the dear orphans trained up in the fear of God; but still, the first and primary object of the work was, and still is, that God might be magnified by the fact, that the orphans under my care are provided with all they need, only by prayer and faith without anyone being asked by me or my fellow laborers whereby it may be seen that God is FAITHFUL STILL, and HEARS PRAYERS STILL.”

What could God accomplish in our world today if faithful Christians lived as though they believed that God is faithful and He really does hear and answer prayer? Does our lukewarm belief bind God’s hands and prevent us from experiencing the miracles He wants to lavish on us? I sense that most of us have only given ourselves over to the very tip of the iceberg of the blessings of faith, prayer and Bible study. This book has certainly struck a cord in my heart that will require much time alone with God.

I’m going out with joy today, knowing that God loves me, warts and all-

Cathy

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What's in Your Hand?



As the music reached a crescendo, my hand rose into the air. The Spirit wove its way through the sanctuary inviting worship. As the music ended, a peace settled over my soul and my hand came to rest in my lap. I noticed my pen was still in my hand and the thought came to me that I had offered my pen to God. For a writer, that seemed significant. It was as if I had surrendered my writing to God and asked Him to write through me the words He wants people to see.

Days later as I was pondering what happened on Sunday, I remembered a passage in Exodus 4 where God asked Moses, “What’s in your hand?” God had given Moses an assignment and Moses was giving God all kinds of excuses as to why he couldn’t perform. God showed His great power by transforming the rod Moses carried in his hand. Moses gave in and, with God’s help, accepted the task he was given.

A week later I read a book about a quilter who used her craft to fashion quilts for babies who were born in a home for unwed mothers. She wanted each baby to have something of their very own to take with them as they left this home, and something they could use for several years as they grew.

Do you have a bottle of nail polish and an hour to spare? A friend takes her bottles of nail polish to a nursing home near her
house and goes from room to room once a week spending time talking to each resident while she polishes their nails. Such a simple act, yet so meaningful to the ladies she visits.

Maybe you have a pen in your hand but you don’t consider yourself a writer. A dear friend who was virtually homebound due to the illness of her son spends her spare time sending greeting cards to folks in our community. Once a year, in December, she prints a poem called My First Christmas in Heaven on parchment paper and sends it to local families who have lost a loved one during the year. I was the recipient of one of those letters in 2010 and was deeply touched by it.

What do you have in your hand? Would you give it over to God for His use in blessing someone today? Please leave a comment about how God is using whatever is in your hand.

Going out with joy today-

Cathy
 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

It's All About the Cross


              This weekend my family will be celebrating Easter along with other Christians worldwide. Though society tries to discount the meaning of Easter and make it all about cuddly bunnies and chocolate eggs, for those of us who acknowledge Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, it’s all about the cross of Calvary.

The Cross Declares the Love of God and the Sinfulness of Man

            My sin caused a chasm between God and I that could not be breached through my own efforts. My death was required as payment for my sin. Yet, God loved me so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross in my place. I owed a debt I could not pay. He paid a debt He did not owe.

The Cross Demands Acceptance and Repentance

            God offered me the free gift of everlasting life. I accepted His gift of love when I was sixteen years old. Repenting of my sin has given me a heart bursting with joy. His gift gives me abundant life now and life with Him in eternity.

The Cross Divides the Spiritually Blind and
the Spiritually Blessed

             Do you know the Jesus of the cross? He died to set you free from the chains of your sin. He came back to life three days after His death to go live with His Father and prepare a place for you to live with Him forever. He loves you and He wants you to be His child. The cross presents you with choices: accept or reject the love He offers. Take a look at the cross this weekend and make your choice. He’s waiting for you to decide.

Going out with joy today-

Cathy