"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

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

Take a Seat, Please!


Hello, Dear Readers –

LA Mission Team
Mary Jane, Cathy, Karen, Sam and Hannah
The team of five arrived home from the Los Angeles mission trip and we’ve recovered from jet lag, which, as it turns out, is a very real thing. I couldn’t physically or mentally function for several days after we returned. We are all back to normal now (I smile as I type that – us, normal!) and as He promised us, God showed up and heaped blessings all over and around us. I’ll have to unfold the story in several smaller portions to get it all told. Here’s the beginning:

On the flight from Charlotte to Denver, Sam (our team leader) sat on a row alone, with two of us seated behind him and two seated across the aisle. The seat beside him stayed vacant for quite
An Empty Seat
some time as the plane filled up. A young man finally came searching for that seat. As we were traveling to the airport, Sam told us that he planned to get some rest on this first flight. The young man sat down and he and Sam exchanged pleasantries, and Sam prepared to lean back and get comfortable. Once the young man found out Sam was involved in Missions, the floodgate of questions opened and Sam politely answered them, still set on resting during this flight. But the young man was so hungry and thirsty for the truth of Jesus and the knowledge of Him that he kept Sam busy and then prayed to accept Christ as His Savior somewhere between Charlotte and Denver.

Brand-new Bible in a Suitcase
Sam let the rest of us know what had happened and we prayed for this young man with our arms through the seats, over the seats and across the aisle. His entire countenance had changed since he sat down in that seat next to Sam. God had prompted one of the ladies to pack a Bible she had at home, brand-new, still in the wrapper. She got her suitcase out of the overhead bin and fished out the Bible and gave it to the young man, who we now knew as Wycliffe. He hugged it to his chest and rubbed it and smiled as he said, “I WILL read this.”

We all met in the airport waiting room when we debarked so all we Mommas could hug him and properly welcome him to the family.

Now here’s the rest of the story:

Wycliffe lives in Atlanta now but is originally from a village in Africa. Sam was in Wycliffe’s home village three weeks earlier as he partnered with a minister there to spread the news of Jesus.

Wycliffe wasn’t supposed to sit in that sit next to Sam. His seating assignment had been changed at the last minute “to accommodate another passenger with a special need.”

I had just finished reading the autobiography of William Cameron Townsend, the founder of the
Wycliffe Bible Translators Logo
Wycliffe Bible Translators, the week before the trip. One portion talked about how some of the natives had shown their gratitude to Townsend and his wife for all the many kindnesses they performed in the villages by naming their children after them and their work. I asked Wycliffe where he got his name and he replied, “From my grandfather.” As soon as I heard Wycliffe’s name, I was struck that Wycliffe’s grandfather may have been one of those babies. The time periods line up for it to be so.

Was all of this coincidental? I don’t think so. I believe God let us see how He works. I believe God had been making a way for Wyclliffe to come to know Him for over three generations.

What lengths has God gone to so you would know and love Him? I’d love to hear your story in the comments.

Going out with joy today because God is at work all around us –

Cathy