"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, February 26, 2013

Life Lessons from Taco Bell-Part Two

Thanks for coming back for Life Lessons from Taco Bell-Part Two. If you missed Part One and want to read it first, click here.

There I was, sitting in Taco Bell eating lunch and sharing a crowded bench seat with two other family groups. Then I notice the phenomenon I am part of. To my left sits a man, his daughter and his two and a half year old granddaughter. To my right is a man and his twenty-something year old grandson. There is barely two feet between each group so it’s hard not to overhear their conversations.

 The bits and pieces I heard of the conversation on my right indicated these two worked together.  At first I thought they were boss and employee but later it became clear they were grandfather and grandson. Gramps did most of the talking at first, with the grandson listening intently, making few comments.

I was intrigued when Gramps started asking his grandson technical computer questions. The grandson’s eyes lit up as he answered the questions and made Social Media suggestions that might help the business. Grandpa listened to him as intently as the young man had listened to Grandpa only minutes earlier.

Their conversation moved away from business to a more personal level. They talked farm equipment for a little while. Apparently Gramps had given grandson a piece of equipment. Gramps asked how it was running and they discussed that for a couple of minutes.

I thought trouble was coming when Grandpa asked, “You are keeping it covered, aren’t you?” Somehow I knew the boy was going to answer in the negative. And he did. Uh oh, I thought to myself. Here it comes. To my amazement, I felt the wisdom radiating from this man as I heard him say, “It’s really none of my business. I had no right to even ask that question. I gave you the equipment and it’s yours to do with what you want.”

Grandpa continued the conversation by offering two real-life examples of why covering the equipment was a good idea. No condemnation, no insults, only a sharing of what had been learned in the school of life. It was a sweet, teaching moment.

It reminded me of the admonition in the Bible book of Deuteronomy. Fathers are to learn the ways and words of God and then teach them to their children at every opportunity: when they are at home, when they are walking, when they get up and when they go to bed. This Grandpa added: when they are eating together at a fast food restaurant. He didn’t stop with teaching his son/daughter, but went the extra mile and included his grandchild. The reward God promises for obedience in this is the multiplication of the days of the father and the child.

I’m praising God for allowing me to see this scripture come to life in a concrete and practical way and I am praying God’s reward for these men will be abundant.

I’m going out with joy today, ready to be taught-

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Life Lessons from Taco Bell-Part One

                I confess. I was eavesdropping. It was almost impossible not to in the crowded restaurant. Three separate parties, seated at three tables which shared a bench seat on one side. Six chairs filled the space on the other side of the tables. I was seated in the middle section. The tables, spaced so close together I had to turn sideways to inch my way into the bench seat, gave me a perfect setting for listening in.

               To my left, was an older man, his twenty-something year old daughter, and his two and a half year old granddaughter. The little girl was as cute as she could be with her sparkling blue eyes, curly red hair and sweet disposition. She showed concern for her Pawpaw’s well being; using caring phrases as she mimicked what had been spoken to her as she grew.

After ordering lunch at the counter, she and her mother made their way to a table while Pawpaw stayed behind to pick up their tray of food. Little Blue Eyes noticed he wasn’t coming and called out, “its okay, Pawpaw. Come, this way. Follow me.” As they ate, she gave attention to Pawpaw’s needs. “Here’s your nakkin’ Pawpaw,” or “Pawpaw, you need a fork?”

She was happy being a little Mommy to him, and he was thrilled to let her. Her Mom left the table to get a to-go order. Little Blue Eyes decided to go with her but before she left the table, she said, “its okay, Pawpaw, stay right here. I’ll be right back.” I had to smile.

While the Mommy and Little Blue Eyes were away from the table, I had an opportunity to talk to the grandfather - grandparent to grandparent. With pride, he told me the little red-headed cutie pie was his first and only grandchild. I could tell the little girl was the apple of his eye. And so was her Mommy.

This little girl is blessed to be in this family where love has been passed from generation to generation. Someone along the way taught this man, probably by example, to be a loving parent. His daughter, knowing the love of her father has demonstrated that same love to her daughter. And now, even at two and a half years of age, the little girl is already showing her love for others in her concern for their welfare.

This kind of love for each other is what Father God wants for all of us. He loves us with an everlasting, perfect love. We experience His love and share it with others He places along our path. They feel His love through us and the cycle begins again.

Have you experienced Father God’s kind of love? If you have, will you intentionally share it with someone today? If you haven’t, e-mail me at hiskid410@gmail.com. I would love to talk to you about it. You can be filled to overflowing and be part of sharing it with another generation.

Going out with joy today, because of God’s great love

P.S.  Tune in next week for Part 2. Oddly, there was another grandfather/grandchild duo sitting to my right.

Monday, February 11, 2013

God Sent Me a Valentine

         Valentine’s Day is this week, a day when people say and do things to let their loved ones know just how much they are cherished. There will be record sales of flowers, candy, jewelry, greeting cards, and other traditional gifts. Children in classrooms everywhere will exchange Valentine’s.

         When my husband and I were dating he gave me a box on Valentine’s Day. Inside was a large card with a frilly, 3-D heart rising out of the center. The heart contained a music box that played “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.” It meant even more to me because I knew he spent money that he couldn’t spare to buy it for me. I still have it some forty-plus years later.

         My best Valentine, though, came years ago when God showed me how much He loves me by sending His only son to pay the penalty for my sin. Jesus willingly died a cruel death on a cross because He loved me and wanted to make a way for me to be able to live in Heaven with Him for all of eternity.

         And He did the same thing for you. As you read John 3:16 below, substitute your name for "the world."


         As you celebrate this Thursday, remember God’s message to you:


I’m going out with joy today. Will you join me?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Writer's Advance! Boot Camp 2013

               I spent February 1, 2 and 3, 2013, at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, NC. I am now an official graduate of Writers Advance! Boot Camp 2013, a military- themed weekend which trains and encourages Christian writers. The conference is an arm of the ministry of Christian Devotions.
            The Cove offers a gorgeous, spiritually charged setting for meeting with God and His people. As you pass through the gate, the atmosphere changes and you feel like you have stepped out of the world and into a replica of heaven.
            The conference started on Friday afternoon with two early-bird classes. “Writing Big in a Little Space (copywriting)” and “Stressed Out? Chillax! Preparing Your Day to Build a Platform to Speak Out (the value of meeting God early in the day)” held our attention until supper.
            The scrumptious supper, prepared by a gourmet chef, and the conversation over the meal was more than satisfying. Each table of eight was hosted by a Cove volunteer, mostly older women with a touch of Southern hospitality and graciousness in meeting the needs of their guests.
            Cindy Sproles’ welcome included a charge to be like Johnny Appleseed, and spread the seeds of our talents wherever God places us. Delightful author and keynote speaker, Yvonne Leyman, shared the ups and downs of her career, illustrating the times she couldn’t see God’s light shining in her life by turning the lights off and turning the light down in a lantern on the podium. God’s light didn’t stay dark long before He showed up bright again and moved her along her path to success.
            The day ended with snacks and an opportunity to meet other attendees, many gathering around the massive fireplace in the great room.
            Saturday started out early and finished late. Each time slot offered two classes, one Infantry level (beginner) and one Officer level (advanced). When the day was over each person had taken seven classes, taught by award winning, published authors. We studied social media, blogging, writing for magazines, time management, platforms, publishing houses, point of view, scripting books for films, agents and publishers, genres, writing devotions, style, editing, and pacing a novel. Whew! Most of us were exhausted by evening’s end.

Vonda Skelton
            Vonda Skelton’s keynote address on Saturday night, filled with transparency, highlighted the blunders she had made along the way to becoming a successful writer and speaker. The audience was rolling with laughter as she allowed us to laugh with her and learn from her mistakes.
            Sunday started with praise and worship, a State of the Ministry update by Eddie Jones, and brunch. While eating, God blessed me with a lovely wintery display as snow fell,bringing cleansing and peace to my heart as I prepared to come down off the mountain both physically and spiritually.
My Roomies
He put me in places to hear stories about His goodness as we visited throughout the weekend. One woman, whose finances wouldn’t support the cost of the conference, had given up on coming. With the registration deadline looming, God dropped some money into her budget from an unexpected source and she was able to come. Another financially strapped young writer was notified that someone had paid her way. A young man brought some devotionals he had written and blessed people by giving them away.
 Over and over, I heard how God had blessed this one or that one, and I saw how they blessed others in return. My heart is filled with joy at the goodness of God.
Going out with joy because God is good-