"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, April 18, 2013

How Do You Use Your Bible?


  Several years ago I was privileged to be part of a mission team to Monterey, Mexico. Our goal was to make physical improvements to orphanages, love on the children living in them, and witness to the villagers living in the communities around the orphanage.

            One of the orphanages we visited was fairly remote, requiring several hours of travel from our base camp and a two night stay. The second day we were there, the Carlos and Martha (houseparents at the orphanage), a team from Back2Back Ministries (the mission organization we partnered with), and our church team made our way to another nearby village.

The event was similar to a street festival with free food, games, music, clowns, and lots of people. The Word was preached and testimonies from the team were given through an interpreter. Some of us went door-to-door throughout the little village to invite people to come.

Near the end of this event, two carloads of us traveled  another hour to an even more remote village. The town, if you could call it that, looked abandoned as we entered. The make-shift homes sported ragged strips of cloth for doors. Each one had a small clay oven in the dirt yard for cooking. A community well was the only source of water for the villagers.

  The folks from the orphanage bring clothes, shoes, underwear and socks to these villagers three to four times a year. Even though there were no signs of life, we set up the rickety tables that would hold the wares we brought. A boom box and amplifier soon spread lively Christian music through the air.

That’s when it happened. Like hungry ants moving toward a picnic lunch, young and old poured out of those huts and gathered near the tables. Excited mothers held clothes for each of their children, broad smiles on their faces.

The shopping completed and sweet smiles of satisfaction on faces, I was pleasantly surprised as everyone stayed for the singing and preaching that followed. Martha opened her Bible and read scripture as a blazing 110 degree sun beat down on her.

At one point, still delivering the message, she closed her Bible and held it over her head to shield herself from the sun. That’s when God nudged me and whispered, “Don’t miss this lesson. It’s for you.”

Do you think of God’s Word as a means of shelter from life’s heat? I don’t think I did until that day. I knew it would offer light for my path and answers to my questions, but a place of shelter?

I’ve thought about the lessons of that day many, many times. I’m thankful God chose such a concrete, visible way to teach it to me. My heart is full of joy because He thinks I’m teachable.

Going out with joy today, sheltered in His Word-


Thursday, April 11, 2013

You Choose

         When we travel by car, I enjoy looking for clues that might tell me what a community is about. I ask myself questions like, “What draws people to this place? How do they make a life? I live in a small township in North Carolina and it always intrigues me when people move here with seemingly no connection to the community.

         On Wednesday I heard about two cities I’ve never visited and knew I had to tell you about them. They are totally different in their nature and make-up, suited to some but not to others.

         City One holds no security for its residents. The bubbling, lava-like core in the space below the city gives the impression of walking on an undulating floor, similar a carnival Fun House effect. There is a sense of instability, of falling. Satisfaction here feels like treading water – no gains, no progress. Sunshine doesn’t reach this city and the darkness brings depression and a perpetual feeling of mourning what could have been. Rivers of tears flow down these streets. There is an absence of hope in City One.

         City Two’s residents find security in its high, impenetrable walls. It is built using the pattern of an ancient city, safe and securely protected by the walls surrounding it. This city is built on twelve solid, stable foundations. Satisfaction is found from spending each day doing activities ordained from the beginning of time. Like City One, there is no sunshine in City Two, but there is a glorious light living there that warms the spirit. Life is ideal here making weeping and mourning obsolete.

Which city would you choose to live in? Fictitious cities, you say? The kicker here is the fact that these are real destinations and we each get to choose for ourselves which city we will live in. Consider your choice carefully; you’ll be living there for eternity. City One represents life in Hell and City Two parallels life in Heaven.

         You choose.

Going out with joy today looking forward to Heaven-


P.S. Need help with making the right choice? Contact me at hiskid410@gmail.com  I’ll be glad to help.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Weight Loss Isn't for Sissies

           “You would feel so much better if you would lose thirty pounds,” my family doctor said. “You might even be able to quit taking some of the medicines you’re on.” They were two enticing reasons, but not enough motivation to make me embark on a weight loss adventure.

            Four months later at check-up time, she backed it down to twenty pounds, and by the next check-up, she was down to ten pounds. She is very encouraging, noticing even a one pound loss.

            I’m not sure what it takes to get someone to do the things they know are good for their health and well-being. Nothing she said broke through the fog of my own self-will. I know I don’t have any will power. I’ve tried it before but when I hit the first plateau, my thoughts turn to what’s the use. The struggle isn’t worth the effort. I know some of you have been at that place.

            I don’t know what happened in my head to motivate me to begin a medically supervised weight loss program a few weeks ago, but I went to the information session and signed up. Do everything they recommend and you can lose five pounds a week. I’ve now figured out, four weeks in to the six week agenda, that I am not normal. Weekly weigh-ins have shown my loss at  5.4 pounds, .4 pounds, and 5.6 pounds. I have another weigh in tomorrow and it looks like it will be about 1.1 pound.  At this rate, I will only lose fifteen pounds of my thirty pound goal.

 I’ve kept a food diary, recording every bite I put in my mouth. I’ve eaten the correct proportions and drunk nothing but water, maybe the hardest part for me. All meat has been broiled, baked or grilled. All salad dressing has been fat-free. I’ve taken the supplements they recommended based on the answers I gave to a battery of questions. I’ve gone twice a week for acupuncture treatments designed to curb cravings.

            In spite of the lackluster weight loss, there have been some benefits. I do feel better physically. It’s been a long while since I actually felt like doing some of my household chores. I’ve had to force myself to do them. This week I actually found myself doing some of those things willingly and feeling good about it. I have more energy. My pants are loose enough that I have to wear a belt, and that hasn’t been the case in twenty-plus years.

 The Bible tells us “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God. You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
                                                                                          (I Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)

My desire is to make my body a suitable temple for the Holy Spirit – regardless of what I weigh or how my clothes fit. “O Lord, make my body a fit vessel for your Holy Spirit’s home. Help me present myself before you as a living sacrifice. Amen.”

I’m going out with joy today, praising Him for my healthy body-

P.S. Hi! It's Friday afternoon and I am just checking in after my weigh-in today. I came in at 3pounds lost this week - better than I thought. That puts my total at 14.4 in four weeks. Maybe there is a temple hiding in there somewhere! See you next week.