"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, March 28, 2013

Where was Jesus?

            I’ve often heard people ask, “Where was Jesus when…?” You are welcome to insert whatever tragic circumstance has brought disorder to your life. I’ve done it myself. Years later, I even asked Him to show me where He was. He answered by showing me a picture of the events as they unfolded. Where was He? Right there in the midst of the chaos with His arms lovingly surrounding me, restoring order to my broken world.

            Where was Jesus when five thousand men, their wives and children gathered on a hillside? Some had traveled great distances to hear Jesus speak. They were road weary and hungry, and Jesus was right there in the midst of them meeting their physical needs before He spoke to them of spiritual issues.

            Where was Jesus when a man whose demons had driven him mad, was forced to live chained and naked outside the city? He was there in the filth and depravity, casting out the demons and giving the man his life back.

            Where was Jesus when a woman whose life was in disarray because of her less than holy lifestyle found herself at the well in the center of town, thirsty and outcast? He was there offering her a drink of living water that would quench her thirst forever.

            Where was Jesus when the crowds gathered in Jerusalem for the Passover layed their cloaks and palm branches on the road and shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”? He was in the middle of the road riding on a donkey, making Himself vulnerable to the crowd who would soon yell, “CRUCIFY HIM!”

            Where was Jesus on His last night on earth? He was eating supper with His disciples, even sharing a bowl with the one who would betray Him. He gave Judas one last chance to fess up and do the right thing.

            Where was Jesus when the soldiers came to arrest Him and bound Him in chains? He was in the middle of the garden where He often prayed. He was not hiding somewhere hoping to evade capture, but went willingly, as a Lamb to slaughter.

            Where was Jesus when He was hanging on a cross at the top of a lonely hill called Golgotha? Again, He was found in the middle of the chaos, flanked on either side by a real criminal. They both got another chance to confess Jesus as Lord. One accepted the gift Jesus offered, one didn’t. One moved from life to eternal paradise that day. One moved from life to death to an eternal Hell.

            Where is Jesus today? He is right in the middle of your life. He knows the strife in your days and He knows the joys. He wants to meet your every need. Are you tired, hungry, naked, bound by demons, needing a second change? He sacrificed His blood for you and for me as He hung on the cross. He paid the price and took on the full wrath of God for our sins. After we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, when God looks at us, He sees the blood of Christ covering us, not our filthy sins.

            Where is Jesus today? He is standing at the door of your heart knocking. Will you receive Him and the free gift of eternal life He wants you to have?

I’m going out with joy today claiming all Jesus has for me-


P.S. If you want to receive Christ into your life and don’t know how to do it, it’s as easy as A-B-C.

The A B C's of Salvation
Admit to God that you are a sinner. Repent (turn away from) of your sin.
Romans 3 : 23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"
I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Trust that Jesus is God's Son and that God sent Jesus to save people from their sins.
John 3 : 16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever
believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."
Give your life to Jesus. Ask Him to be your Lord and Savior.
Romans 10 : 9-10 That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Please welcome Dick Kendrick to my blog today. Since I was at the Write2Ignite Conference over the weekend, my usual time to write my blog, I have asked Dick to be my Guest Blogger this week. This spot was originally written the first of this year, but it is never too late to start improving your Spiritual life. I think Dick's hints will be helpful to those who are traveling the path to a closer relationship with God. Blessings, Cathy

“-- And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.”

Hebrews 12:1(b)


I love to garden. When the ground starts to thaw I have the itch to get my hands dirty and start working the soil. I have good intentions but I don’t persevere. Just like in my spiritual life.  

               Numerous Januaries I have promised God and myself that this year would be different. I would develop a plan and stick with it. I would read the Bible, pray more, serve more and love more. I would “finish the race.” Before long, the plan is a shambles and life has triumphed over resilience. Sound familiar? 

Gordon MacDonald, in his book A Resilient Life, states, “Resilience belongs to the person who pursues it relentlessly.” It’s at that word “relentlessly” where most of us fail. Scripture tells us success is within our reach if we will endure and finish the race. 

Here are five goals for 2013 that will help finish the race which “God has set before us.” 

1. Define your current Spiritual life.  Determine how you need to improve it. Be honest when you do this. Admit past failures but also identify your victories.  

2. Share your plan with someone you trust. Be accountable to them. This is a critical step. Without accountability failure is inevitable.  

3. Read the Bible every day. A wide variety of plans are out there to help with this task. Go online to find one you like or ask someone else what they’re doing. Don’t assume you can accomplish this goal without a plan -- you can’t.  

4. Pray daily. Set aside an actual time to pray every day and be faithful to it. Prayer is the underpinning of everything else in your plan. If it helps, determine how long you are going to pray and actually set a timer. This is one way to stay focused. 

5. Journal. This is a step many will want to by-pass because they don’t see the benefit. Journaling is a spiritual discipline that will accelerate personal growth in a number of ways. Google “Christian Journaling” to learn more. 

Just as a garden requires attention and nurturing, so does our spiritual life. How well our spiritual garden grows in 2013 is entirely up to each of us. Have a good year.

Dick Kendrick
Dick Kendrick is a writer, mentor and Master Gardner. Retired from the world of business, he and his wife now live in the mountains of North Carolina where he pursues his passion for writing, gardening and fly-fishing. His desire to disciple others in their Christian walk is being fulfilled through his blog as well as other writing venues. He has been published in magazines and Christian newspapers. Follow Dick's blog at:  dickkendrick@wordpress.com


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Are You Ready? - Part Two

 As promised last week, I am offering a few tips on preparing for the time when you encounter someone who needs to know about Jesus.

 I want to talk first about witnessing to someone you know of who needs Jesus.  I call this INTENTIONAL WITNESSING. Here’s how we can prepare ourselves for success.

IDENTIFY.  What is the name of the person God has placed on your heart? Write that name on a card and place it in a conspicuous place where you’ll see it several times a day. The bathroom mirror, the refrigerator and my computer monitor have all worked for me. Once I made the name my screen saver.

PRAY.  Prayer is the best place to begin any endeavor. Pray for your person by name as often as God brings them to your heart during the day and every time you see the card you’ve posted. Set a firm foundation by praying for your person for thirty days. Ask God: 1) to help them recognize their need of a Savior; 2) to tenderize their heart to receive the message you will bring; and 3) to give you an open opportunity to share with them.

PLAN.  Think about how to approach them and what you’ll say. What do you have in common that can be incorporated into the conversation to put them at ease? Again, this is an opportunity for prayer, asking God to direct your words and give you the courage to follow through.

RESEARCH.  If you feel you need a proven method to use or as a backup if words fail you, there are many good plans available that are tried and true. I’ve included some helps at the end.

ACT.  This is where the rubber meets the road. No matter how well you have prepared up to this point, you will lose the battle with satan for this person’s soul if you fail to act. Go in confidence, knowing you are prepared. Remember, the ultimate outcome of witnessing is in God’s hands. You are His tool. Don’t be discouraged if your person doesn’t accept Jesus after you talk to him/her. It may take several attempts to win them over. Just like planting a garden, God may use you to prepare the soil, or plant the seed, or water the seed someone else planted, or weed out the stray influences that are choking the life out of the young plant. Sometimes you will get to reap the harvest.  

Often we leave home unaware of the witnessing opportunities we’ll encounter that day. I call this UNINTENTIONAL WITNESSING and preparation is key.

PRAY AHEAD. The opportunity will come, so bathe it in prayer before it occurs. You can even radically step out and pray that God will use you in this way.

PLAN AHEAD. My brother found himself sitting next to a gentleman as they both waited to get their oil changed. The opening came and Tommy turned their conversation to spiritual matters. Tommy had a Gospel of John tucked in his pocket, offered it to the man and asked him to read it. Tommy wrote his phone number on the back of the booklet and asked the man to call him when he finished reading it. Lo and behold, the man did call. They talked and the man accepted Christ as his Savior over the phone.

Do you have a life verse or a scripture you’ve used to get through a rough spot? Use it to witness to God's faithfulness. No one can deny the validity of your personal testimony. Write it out and rehearse it out loud so you can present it smoothly. Carry a tract or other witnessing tool with you and offer contact information in case they have a question later. Remember, you may only have 3-5 minutes to make an eternal difference in someone’s life. Be ready!

Filled with joy because of God’s gift to me-


The first help I'm offering you is as easy as A-B-C. Learn it and store it in your arsenal of tools. 

The A B C's of Salvation
Admit to God that you are a sinner. Repent (turn away from) of your sin.

Romans 3 : 23    "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

I John 1:9  "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Trust that Jesus is God's Son and that God sent Jesus to save people from their sins.

John 3 : 16  "For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever
believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."
Give your life to Jesus. Ask Him to be your Lord and Savior.

Romans 10 : 9-10  That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
The following link is for the Steps to Peace with God pamphlet from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. I believe these are free for the asking.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * 
The Roman Road to Salvation         

Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

We all have sin in our hearts. We all were born with sin. We were born under the power of sin's control.
- Admit that you are a sinner.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Romans 6:23a "...The wages of sin is death..."

Sin has an ending. It results in death. We all face physical death, which is a result of sin. But a worse death is spiritual death that alienates us from God, and will last for all eternity. The Bible teaches that there is a place called the Lake of Fire where lost people will be in torment forever. It is the place where people who are spiritually dead will remain.

- Understand that you deserve death for your sin.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Romans 6:23b "...But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Salvation is a free gift from God to you! You can't earn this gift, but you must believe in Jesus to be saved.

- Ask God to forgive you and save you.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Romans 5:8, "God demonstrates His own love for us, in
that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!"

When Jesus died on the cross He paid sin's penalty. He paid the price for all sin, and when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross, He bought us out of slavery to sin and death! The only condition is that we believe in Him and what He has done for us.
Romans 10:13 "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!"

- Call on Jesus for salvation!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Romans 10:9,10 "...That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation"

-Pray the Prayer of Salvation

This is a great tool to use and only your Bible is required. Find the first verse in your Bible and mark it. At the bottom of the page, write the next reference so you'll know where to go next. At the bottom of that page, mark the next verse you'll need and so on until you finish. The only thing you need to remember is where to start. You references at the bottom of the page will guide you through each step.

The references (marked in black above) are listed first. The explanation of the reference in simpple terms is next (marked in blue). The parts marked in red are action steps for the person you are witnessing to.




Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Are You Ready?

Imagine this scenario:

               You are standing inside a gas station store waiting to pay for the gas you just pumped. In walk three people, clearly dressed as Muslims. They approach the counter and ask the clerk if there is someone who can pump their gas because it is a religious holiday for them and they aren’t allowed to do certain things during this special time.

               The clerk explains this station is a self-service operation and the store doesn’t employ anyone who pumps gas for people. The conversation continues as the three plead their case. They can only drive about twenty miles before they run out of gas unless they find someone who will pump their gas. The clerk responds with, “then you gonna be walkin’ soon.”

               A young man waiting in line for the same reason you are, steps up to the counter and says, “I’ll pump your gas, if you’ll let me tell you a story while I do it. The three agree to the terms, the young man pays his bill and they all go out to the car waiting at the pump island. As you go to your car, you hear him sharing the gospel of Jesus with them. They are respectfully listening as he tells them about his Jesus.

               Are you ready? If God had put you in this situation, how would you have reacted? The Bible tells us “to proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.” One version of 2 Timothy 4:2, says to “be ready, in season and out.” Translated, that means whether the occasion seems favorable or unfavorable, when we are presented with the opportunity we are to witness to the goodness of God.

               This account is not just a pretend story to get you thinking. It actually happened to my brother, Tommy. Yes, he is the same one who interacted with The Bible Bandit I blogged about last year. (Click here to read that story if you missedit.) He has had other “odd” encounters with people in places you wouldn’t ordinarily think about as prime witnessing spots.

This afternoon, knowing I was going to write this tonight, I considered the many opportunities Tommy has had to witness. I pondered why one person would be put in so many settings that seem like unlikely places to witness. I decided it’s because Tommy is ready.  

Are you ready? There are ways to prepare yourself so that you will be ready when the opportunity to witness comes your way. And, who knows, once you are ready, God may send someone across your path that needs to hear what God has planted in your heart.

Prepare the soil of your mind this week, then come back next week when I will plant some witnessing tips.

May the blessing of joy be yours this week-