Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Spring Counter

This is my first "countdown counter." I did not count down until Fall ~ or Thanksgiving ~ or Winter ~ or Christmas ~ but Spring is a very different story. So I decided to take part. Spring represents life and new beginnings ~ and I'm in need of that! It is my favorite of seasons ~ there are none other as exhilarating and beautiful ~ in my opinion ~ as Spring.

Beautiful flowers on Prince Edward Island

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Vow Of A Lifetime

May 22, 1982
In a little Baptist Church in Monticello, Kentucky
Pastor Don Strange Officiating
Condensed Version

Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in Heaven, and into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.

Will you take this woman to be thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?

And will you take this man to be thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Will you love, honor, and obey him; keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?

What God hath joined together let not man put asunder.

Tonight I tearfully watched "Fireproof" ~ and it was a much needed reminder of what took place in my and Gordon's lives almost 27 years ago. Vows are very serious ~ and not to be taken for granted ~ come what may.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Through The Storms

I did not know His love before, the way I know it now. I could not see my need for Him, my pride would not allow.

I had it all, without a care, the "Self-sufficient" lie. My path was smooth, my sea was still, not a cloud was in my sky.

I thought I knew His love for me, I thought I'd seen His grace, I thought I did not need to grow, I thought I'd found my place.

But then the way grew rough and dark, the storm clouds quickly rolled; The waves began to rock my ship, my anchor would not hold.

The ship that I had built myself was made of foolish pride. It fell apart and left me bare, with nowhere else to hide.

I had no strength or faith to face the trials that lay ahead, And so I simply prayed to Him and bowed my weary head.

His loving arms enveloped me, and then He helped me stand. He said, "You still must face this storm, but I will hold your hand."

So through the dark and lonely night He guided me through pain. I could not see the light of day or when the storm might wane.

Yet through the aches and endless tears, my faith began to grow. I could not see it at the time, but my light began to glow.

I saw God's love in brand new light, His grace and mercy, too. For only when all self was gone could Jesus' love shine through.

It was not easy in the storm, I sometimes wondered, "Why?" At times I thought, "I can't go on." I'd hurt, and doubt, and cry.

But Jesus never left my side, He guided me each day. Through pain and strife, through fire and flood, He helped me all the way.

And now I see as never before how great His love can be. How in my weakness He is strong, how Jesus cares for me!

He worked it all out for my good, although the way was rough. He only sent what I could bear, and then He cried, "Enough!"

He raised His hand and said, "Be still!" He made the storm clouds cease. He opened up the gates of joy and flooded me with peace.

I saw His face now clearer still, I felt His presence strong, I found anew His faithfulness, He never did me wrong.

Now I know more storms will come, but only for my good, For pain and tears have helped me grow as naught else ever could.

I still have so much more to learn as Jesus works in me; If in the storm I'll love Him more, that's where I want to be! ~Author Unknown

Hebrews 13: 5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Greatest Love Letter I've Ever Written

This is a longer read than usual but I hope you will read it to the end..... Over the course of several months I have posted about leaning on Jesus ~ about letting Him be our confidante ~ about making Him our closest friend ~ about allowing Him to be the one we go to when we are down and in trouble. It is part of His plan ~ and, frankly, I've found out over and over again that humans simply aren't wired to handle His "friend job description."

Humans fall short ~ and it simply is not their fault. We are not strong enough to carry the weight of someone else. We are not capable of being the perfect friend. We are not able to be "there" at all times for anyone. We just aren't. And when we attempt to put an individual into any of those positions it never works. We get hurt ~ they get hurt ~ and it could all have been spared if we had just followed the perfect path. There is not a friend like the lowly Jesus ~ no not one ~ and never will there be ~ ever.

Earthly friends are a great treasure to have ~ and I enjoy having them. Folk, who know me personally, know that I love to be with people. I'm one of those folk that might strike up a conversation with you in the grocery store ~ though I don't even know you. I tend to be of a friendly sort. But the dear Lord knows I've have at times placed too much emphasis on friends in this life. I reckon that is why I post about it so often. I, very well, recognize the importance of not elevating friends to a position that they should never be elevated to. You've heard the old saying ~ "Don't put me on a pedestal because I will eventually fall off." I've learned that it is an injustice to that individual to put them on the pedestal to begin with. They cannot fulfil God's job description as the perfect friend.

For the past few months I have been weary about something ~ and it is a pretty big something ~ I won't deny it. And just maybe it is my cross to bear in this life ~ my thorn in the flesh that I must be content with for my remainder here on earth. Yet with it being a rather "big something" to deal with I have confided in some family and friends about it all. But I've come to the conclusion that no matter how much I talk about it ~ it really doesn't make me feel any better ~ nor does it make the situation better. Actually I think it makes me feel worse and it makes the situation worse as well.

I figure the folk are praying for me once I talk with them and I certainly don't minimize the profit of that. But I reckon I could have gotten them to pray for me if I had just told them I had a serious unspoken that I needed them to take to the feet of Jesus. Please don't misunderstand me. I don't believe that it is wrong to have close friends that we can confide in and lay our head on their shoulder in the darkest of times and just sit and pray and know that they are there for us. That is the making of a wonderful earthly friendship. That is a true friend. But it becomes of much less affect and can only bring pain when we replace God with them. It is a fine line ~ is it not? And sometimes a hard one to discern.

This week I really got to thinking about my "friendship" with God ~ and how I need to be treating Him like my closest friend. So three days ago I began a love letter. I've started more prayer journals than I can count ~ so I knew this had to be different if I was going to stick with it. I simply began a new folder in my word processor ~ and each time I have felt lonely and gloomy, each time I have wanted to lay my head on His shoulder and have a good cry, each time I wanted to feel the love and warmth of His arms around me ~ I have taken out my laptop and begun to write a letter to Him. As I pray I type it. And guess what? It works. It really works. And if I'm interrupted ~ I don't lose my place. :)

I will sit at that keyboard and pray and cry and type and pray and cry and type some more. Oh what a friend He is ~ like no other ~ no not one. I cannot see His face or hear His voice but I know that He is there. I cannot tangibly feel Him holding me close as He tells me everything will be alright but I know He is there.

O, what a friend we have in Jesus ~ all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. O what peace we often forfeit ~ O what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have you written God a love letter lately? It's a great experience.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Love Letter's Gonna Have To Wait

I had planned on posting about a "love letter" I've been writing for the last two days ~ but I reckon that will have to wait. Today was the big day for our new president. I've been out and about throughout the day ~ I checked some blogs ~ and read some email ~ and even talked to some family and friends ~ and it seems that there is an air of apprehension ~ even worry ~ about what tomorrow and the next day and the next day holds.

On November 4th our nation went to the polls to vote ~ and the popular vote results (66,882,230 to 58,343,671) reflected a country that was pretty much divided. That night I wrote a post that God laid on my heart ~ and in light of the uneasiness I sensed among so many this day ~ it seemed fitting to post it again. And as for that love letter ~ I reckon it will have to wait until another day (you can stay tuned for that one).

It is a solemn evening as many Christians watch to see who will be the next president of the United States. I have been encouraging friends and family for quite some time to take God’s Word and use it as a measuring stick against the beliefs of the candidates. In the end we can vote the way in which we feel God is leading us through His Word and the rest is up to Him. So, if we wake up tomorrow morning to find that the man chosen by the people is not the man that we feel measures the tallest against God’s Word ~ we need to keep some very important things in mind.

~ We are to pray for our new leader ~ no matter who he is. God commands us to in His Word. I Timothy 2:1-4 says I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of truth.

~ OUR GOD IS STILL SOVEREIGN. HE IS STILL ON THE THRONE. In Colossians 1:16-17 it says For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers, all things were created by Him and for him; And He is before all things, and by him all things consist.

~ We are to work for the night is coming. John 9:4 I must work the works of them that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work.

I can see how Christians may grow very worried and fret over the election results. This is why it is so important for them to be in God’s Word. If we stay in His Word then we will be anchored and strong and ready for whatever comes. It is your only comfort; it is your only peace; let it be your all in all.

Listen, my friend, I can’t help but believe that the United States has become a "stinky" wound in the sight of God. This country ~ our country ~ founded on the God of the Holy Bible ~ with a heritage so rich for our Lord ~ has turned its back on Him. So many many Christians have become like the world ~ their complacency is so strong ~ just living to live ~ following God as it suits their lifestyles. Why do you think one out of two Christian men are addicted to pornography? Why do you think so many Christians are divorcing and then going on to live with the next person they come to care for? Why do you think 50 million helpless babies have been aborted since 1973 ~ even some by Christians? We are in a very sad state. And that is just in respect to the Christians. Looking at those who are still lost and dying ~ it is even more sinful and dark. We are an infectious wound in the eyes of God indeed.

I love America and have always counted it such a blessing and privilege to live here ~ to be an American. But we are so very far from where we started. We are so very far, even, from the days when I was raised in the 60's and 70's. Not long after 9/11 I saw a bumper sticker that said "We say God Bless America but we need to say America Bless God." We want God to bless us but we haven’t been blessing God in the way in which we live our lives.

As we near the end of our journey on this sin-sick earth things are not going to get better. They are not going to get easier. And I encourage you my friend to stand fast in the Word of God, stay in church, pray like you’ve never prayed before. We are fast becoming the minority in this world. If God tarries coming this night, we will see another morning. But be not discouraged. For God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling there of. COME WHAT MAY ~ FEAR NOT ~ GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH. Those verses still hold true today just as much as they held true back in November just as they held true when they were written. We are commanded to pray for our president ~ I hope you will. So dig your heels in ~ stay busy for the cause of Christ ~ and lift our new leader up ~ he's gonna need it ~ because this old world is spinning out of control ~ he's got his work cut out for him.

God ~ My Greatest And Closest Friend

There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus
No not one ~ no not one
None else could heal all our souls' diseases
No, not one ~ no, not one
Jesus knows all about our struggles
He will guide 'til the day is done
There's not a Friend like the lowly Jesus
No, not one ~ no, not one
There's not an hour that He is not near us
No, not one ~ no, not one
No night so dark, but His love can cheer us
No, not one ~ no, not one

No earthly friend can do all of that ~ no earthly friend is supposed to. Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus, He is a Friend that’s well known. You’ve no other such a friend or brother, tell it to Jesus alone.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Are You Sleeping?

I'm come to be quite fond of the verse We spend our years as a tale that is told (Psalms 90: 9). I reckon my fondness stems from the reality check that it constantly reminds me of. This verse can truly put your whole life into perspective. Our life is a tale ~ a story ~ and with all tales an end is emminent. We have one "go around" ~ and while so many in the world see that as an excuse to live the devil's way ~ it truly is the perfect reason to live the Lord's way ~ and redeem the time that He has given us.

Ephesians 5:15-16 says See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Our time on this earth is running out. My pastor preached on this very passage last week ~ in tears pleading with us to "redeem the time." He talked about how the world is at an all-time low ~ because people are getting farther and farther away from God. And in the mean time Christians are sleeping. In verse 14 of this same chapter it says Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

I think a lot of us can go to sleep ~ through indifference (having a more "open mind" in respect to this evil world which will lead to 'fence sitting' and a state of indifference) ~ and through sin (yielding to the temptation that encircles us in this world) ~ and even through distraction (satan loves to distract the Christian with everything imaginable from prestige and riches to trials and troubles ~ whatever it takes to make us ineffective for Christ).

God is coming back and if death does not take Christians from this world then the trumpet will. And with that thought, Pastor Dan encouraged us ~ that until that happens ~ to redeem our time in three particular ways:

1. Read your Bible ~ everyday. Cherish it like those Africans that Raphael took Bibles to (see post entitled "Greasing The Way in Prayer"). We need for it to be our most precious possession.

2. Win your lost relatives to the Lord. Now is the time ~ tomorrow might be too late.

3. Serve God with all you have.
Pastor Dan shared with us that he had been out soul winning and he was able to speak to a gentleman out in his yard about Christ. The man accepted the Bible tract but was unwilling to pray and ask God to save him. He said what so many say "Not today. Maybe another time." One week later my pastor went back to visit this man again and he had been killed in a drive by shooting. We won't know until we enter eternity whether this man read that tract and accepted Christ. Little did Pastor Dan know that less than seven days after he witnessed to this man ~ that his life would be needlessly snuffed out.

Oh that we would redeem the time that Christ has given us here on this earth. Oh that we would redeem the time so that this tale we are living might be a worthy story to tell. Oh that we will redeem the time...........

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Getting "To The Point" ~ Like Maxine

This is the country girl in me talking ~ 'you kinda hafta watch Maxine.' I have seen a few of her cartoons that the language wasn't nice. But not so with this one.

A few weeks ago I received an email from a home schooling friend of mine with this cartoon included. She said that I came to mind when she saw it. She followed up with a second email to make sure that I didn't think that she was comparing my physical attributes to Maxine's ~ but rather this is something she might hear me say. But if you could have seen me all day today in my long purple robe ~ fighting "fibro flu pain" (it's not the real flu ~ you just feel like it is) ~ you might have agreed with her.

I do believe it is possible that I might make such a statement but I don't believe I would have said it to just anyone. It's easy when we are within our circle of Christian friends to boldly speak up ~ yet it is quite another to speak so candidly to those who do not believe in our God. May we ALL be as bold as a lion.

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion
Proverbs 28:1

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Greasing" The Way In Prayer

Have you ever heard such a phrase ~ greasing the way in prayer? I had not ~ until this past Sunday when an African man with the most beautiful of British accents shared how he and his wife took Bibles into their homeland that desperately needed the Word of God. He said, and I quote, "We greased the way in prayer."

You would have to hear Raphael speak ~ you would have to hear him pray ~ you would have to hear him sing ~ to completely grasp the tremendous inner beauty he possesses. It was nothing short of angelic to listen to him speak of how he and his wife had prayed and prayed that Bibles be provided so that they could go into Africa to distribute them to their people. How God provided 64 Bibles ~ and no one was even aware of the prayer request. How the Bibles traveled without any problems through customs. How 400 people showed up for the church meeting. How 200 people made decisions. How 64 of those folk received a Bible. How they felt as if they had been given the greatest possession they could ever receive. And the entire event was "greased in prayer."

Prayer ~ it is not utilized as much as it should. Oh the power of prayer. It rests the weary. It changes night to day. It enables us to forgive ~ to fight temptation ~ to praise our God of the universe ~ to protect us ~ and the list could go on and on. How often do we grease our lives in prayer? Our children’s lives? Our country? And that list could go on and on too.

May we be as Raphael and grease the way ~ whatever way that may be ~ in prayer.

Monday, January 12, 2009

All On The Altar Update

As I shared in my last post, I laid down some "much needed things" in my life. It was tearfully painful but I am so thankful that I did it. We were not built ~ created ~ equipped ~ to handle the burdens that only our Lord can carry. And THANK GOD that He can and does carry them. My spirit is restored, my resolve has returned, and my determination to stay out of the driver’s seat is renewed.

Satan ~ the destroyer ~ has already made his move to bring me down again ~ I would have been foolish to think that he wouldn’t bother me. He did and he will continue. He comes in the form of worries and doubts and most of all discouragement. I know he will be back and I’m thinking that understanding that ~ knowing full and well that he will be back ~ is probably more than half the battle. And keeping my guard up, staying prayed up, continuing to read and meditate on God’s love letter to me, wearing the full armour, leaning and leaning again on the Great Jehovah ~ that is the other half.

Blessings to you all ~ Cathryn

Friday, January 9, 2009

Laying It All On The Altar

This morning ~ before my feet even hit the floor ~ I found myself at the Altar ~ asking God to take some things that I have been carrying around for a while. I think I even surprised myself just how much I had to hand over. I have known for quite some time that I am not equipped to carry much of anything on my shoulders. Yet it doesn’t seem to stop me from removing them from the Lord’s shoulders and putting those burdens back onto mine. I reckon I get to thinking that maybe, just maybe, I can carry it awhile ~ maybe I can do a decent job in trying to work life’s issues out. I mean ~ how hard could it be?

And that’s just the point. It is very hard ~ extremely difficult ~ downright impossible. When I get myself in this spot I can equate it to jumping into a race car at the Indy 500 ~ taking the driver’s seat ~ and hoping to drive that thing to the finish line. Hard ~ difficult ~ impossible? Indeed.

I’ve been a Christian long enough to know that God has His own way of doing things ~ in His own time ~ and it is imperative that I keep my eyes on Him and off the circumstances of life ~ or I will sink ~ as I often have ~ just like Peter did when he took his eyes off Christ when they were walking on the water.

And so I gave back some things that I had no business having. I can’t drive that race car ~ I must remain in the passenger seat; I can’t climb to the top of that mountain ~ not without the proper climbing gear; I can’t walk that tight rope ~ unless I have the rod to balance me above and the safety net to catch me below. Thankfully, I am hopelessly incapable of running my own life.

This morning through many tears and a broken spirit I laid my "all" on the altar. An old hymn I used to sing in a little country church in southern Kentucky ~ entitled "Is Your All On The Altar" ~ came to my mind ~ and the fit was perfect.

You have longed for sweet peace
And for faith to increase
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest
Or be perfectly blest,
Until all on the altar is laid.

O we never can know
What the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed
Till our body and soul
He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid.

Who can tell all the love
He will send from above
And how happy our hearts will be made
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at his feet
When our all on the altar is laid.

Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.

In 1900 Elisha Hoffman was inspired by Romans 12:1 to write this song.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thank You Deborah

Ms. Deborah has sent me an award. Thank you so much. To accept this award, I must mention who I received the award from and link back to her/him. Then I am to share the following ~

This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are extremely charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly written text into the body of their award.

I am passing the award on to:

1. Caryn whose blog ~ Very Calm ~ is rich in so many ways not to mention calming

2. Karin whose blog ~ Yesterday, Today, Forever ~ so blesses me with her poetry

3. Jennifer whose blog ~ Double Nickle Farm ~ teaches me I can make or do anything I set my mind to

4. Connie whose blog ~ Connie's Thoughts From The Heart ~ who often lends comfort in her writings

5. Starr whose blog ~ Cooking With The Preacher's Wife ~ keeps sharing recipe after fabulous recipe (goodness knows I need all the help I can get)

6. Bren whose blog ~ Seeking Grace on the Narrow Path ~ is a new golden nugget I have found through Deborah's blog

7. Cindy whose blog ~ Life is Good ~ is my encouraging Georgia friend

8. Sue whose blog ~ Keeping My Branch Connected To The Vine ~ is really searching out the scriptures and striving to live the narrow path

I hope you all will check out these blogs ~ you will be blessed.

Congratulations to you all. Blessings ~ Cathryn

Blog Background Info ~ Please Don't Laugh :)

Per your request ~ here is a lengthy and descriptive explanation of how I get these beautiful blog backgrounds.

When I began blogging I restricted myself to using ONLY the templates that Blogspot offered. I had tried again and again to upload templates from other sites but to no avail. And then I met Susan at Susanspace. For the life of me I cannot remember how I found her. The Lord surely led me to her because she has been an inspiration to me ~ she makes me laugh ~ and she taught me how to change my blog background. :) Thanks again Susan.

Whatever I share, Susan was my inspiration! I do forewarn you that it is not a strength of mine to give "directions" of any kind. But I will surely do my best.

I have been accessing two websites for free blog backgrounds. One of the sites is The Cutest Blog on the Block which is down for maintenance (and it happens to be the easier one to work with). But I will walk you through the more difficult one ~ One Cute Blog.

Important Note: I had feared that deviating from the blogspot templates would totally mess up my pictures, posters, posts, and everything else. IT DID NOT. So don't worry blog friends.

1. Sign in to your blog

2. On your dashboard page click "layout."

3. Click the blue highlighted tab to the top left of your screen "Pick New Template."

4. On the template page you must choose one of the following templates in order for this to work. Your choices are: Minima, Minima Lefty, Minima Stretch, or Minima Lefty Stretch. Because you are wanting to upload a colorful, snazzy background it is necessary to use one of these white Minima templates. You can actually use any of the templates BUT the colors will conflict with those on the new background you will upload. So stick to those with totally white backgrounds.

5. Click on the "Save Template" button. As you can see you have done nothing to "dismember" your blog in anyway. You have simply changed the blogspot template. So put all worries aside.

6. Once you are back at the layout page click on "Add a gadget."

7. Scroll down to and click on "HTML/Javascript."

8. It is necessary at this time to minimize your layout screen and open up a new screen. Type in the following web address ~

9. Once you get to this site it is fairly self-explanatory. Scroll down until you find the background that you are interested in using (at each page end keep clicking on "older posts" to see more choices.) For some of these backgrounds the code immediately follows. Cut the code and then paste it into the HTML/Javascript box that you minimized earlier. Once you click "save" you can click "view blog" and ‘tada' you should have that new look you were after.

10. Now you may have chosen a background that does not have the code directly beneathe it - instead the words "direct link" will be present. Go to the installation button at the top of this blog site and it gives you more detailed instructions than I ever could.

11. Basically you will first paste the red code given on this installation page in your empty HTML Javascript box.

12. Go back to the page that contains the background you wish to upload. Click on the words "direct link" below that background. It will direct you to a photobucket picture of the background. It is kind of confusing but it works. Cut the URL address at the top of the screen. Close the screen and go back to your HTML/Javascript box. Within the code you have already pasted in the box (see #11). Where it says DIRECTLINK, leave the parenthesis and quotations in place, and copy/paste the URL address into that place. Remember ~ The direct link is located UNDER each template picture (that doesn’t have a code box) and will say "direct link."

13. Click save and once again ‘tada’ you should have the background you are looking for.

It took me a long time to gather the courage to attempt this because I was afraid I would lose everything on my blog. Now I’ve changed my background so many times ~ as you all know.
When The Cutest Blog Spot opens back up for business you will simply click on the word "backgrounds". When you find the background you are looking for, click on the background and wonderfully the directions and code pop up. It is glorious and sooooo very easy.

If you haven't figured it out by now I can be a bit on the wordy side. When someone needs to know directions to my home I rarely leave out a cow pasture on the left, a plank fence on the right, and every stop sign and dip in the road between. I'm hopeless ~ I know.

When Susan helped me she was good to answer any further questions I had as I was figuring everything out. Please feel free to contact me at or just leave me a comment here. I look forward to see your alls creations. Blessings ~ Cathryn

The Streets of Gold

Sometimes I think I should go into scrapbooking ~ because I find entirely too much fun in changing my blog background ~ which is at least once a month. This new background kind of reminds me of Heaven. Stay tuned for the next change. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

God Have Mercy

Aw ~ the mercies of God ~ new every morning ~ everlasting ~ tender. Have you ever cried out for those mercies? Maybe you have been keeping vigil by someone’s bedside as they battle a serious illness or disease. Or maybe you are sitting by the phone waiting to hear that a loved one is safe. Or just maybe you find yourself often in prayer for that loved one who has strayed from the fold ~ you don’t know where they are or what they are doing ~ but you fear the worst.

Situation after situation, in our lives, will bring great cause for us to cry out "God have mercy!" It’s almost like a helplessness ~ really. Not being in control ~ not knowing what the future holds ~ not being able to heal that serious illness or not knowing that all our children are safe at home or controlling whether a loved one will return to the fold intact ~ if at all.

In my mind, I’ve compared it to watching a chess game in progress. I cannot move any of the pieces ~ I simply watch as deliberate and even haphazard moves are made. I want to cry out "Don’t put that piece there ~ you will lose it for sure." "Watch out, you’re gonna lose." "Let me play for you ~ I have more experience ~ I can help you to be a winner." I feel like I know better than them ~ I want to intervene ~ make decisions that will minimize or completely alleviate their pain and discomfort on down the pike.

And then I have to remind myself of that beautiful promise of God’s mercies. How I can cry out when I feel helpless; how I can beg for His mercy when my mind has gone silly with "motherly" worry; how I can trust my Heavenly Father to oversee the chess game of my life. For it is He who is in control ~ and not myself.

I once heard a precious Christian woman give her testimony and if I were to forget everything else she said and only remember this one phrase then I will have remembered much. She said, "God doesn’t waste a hurt." Even in the times of life when our chess games may have gotten haphazard and may even appear as if the board and its pieces are going to tumble to the floor ~ God will use those hurts to glorify Him if we are willing. God will use those times to mold us and make us what we ought to be. We must stand firm ~ turn our backs on that which Anne of Green Gables called "the depths of despair" ~ and claim His love and mercies for they are new and fresh each morning.

Lamentations 3:22-23

[22] It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. [23] They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Left Behind

I’ve put off writing this post because I haven’t felt adequate enough to say what is heavily burdening my heart ~ and I reckon that’s me not trusting as I should. You know how that goes ~ until you surrender and write what the Lord has burdened your heart with ~ well ~ no matter how hard you try to write a post about something else ~ the "writer’s block" won’t leave.

And, so, I decided to step out and share what has been on my heart. Any time that it involves the book of Revelation and the end times I can get a little uneasy. I’ve studied this scripture before ~ though not as indepthly as I need to ~ and I’ve heard many a sermon over the years about the rapture, and the tribulation, and Christ’s return ~ but there are parts of it that I am not comfortable in having lengthy discussions about. I read it, I believe it, I accept it ~ though I don’t completely understand all of it. And I know this is where my feeling of inadequacy comes from ~ for Revelation can be somewhat intimidating. And then I realized I didn’t have to "discuss" Revelation ~ at least not today :) ~ I just had to be faithful to share what God burdened my heart with.

I recently watched a movie about "end times." I had seen it one other time ~ and, as before, it left me feeling so terribly sad about all that will occur after the rapture. There is disagreement in the Christian circle about this movie’s Biblical accuracy and about even supporting anything that comes out of Hollywood ~ or Holl(ow)ood ~ as Jennifer at Double Nickel Farm calls it. And I reckon I can appreciate both of those arguments ~ but the fact remains that the movie was compelling to me ~ a believer ~ to quit sitting so much and start reaching out more to the lost. To see someone’s portrayal of this earth once the Holy Spirit has departed, to see the faces of individuals searching for their loved ones who were raptured, to see the total chaos across the continent ~ it continues to be a wake-up-call to me that this is real, that it is going to happen ~ possibly in my lifetime ~ and that there are so very many folk not ready.

It is sobering. It is sad. And I keep having this thought of someone out there that I could have witnessed to and didn’t ~ and they keep saying "Why didn’t Cathryn tell me? She knew. She knew all along the truth. She knew and she didn’t tell me." Those words haunt me. Frankly I don't want to be in that position. And right now unfortunately I am. Oh Dear Lord, may I not lose this urgency to share the gospel with this sin sick world. For you are returning someday ~ may we all be about Your business!

Matthew 24:38-46 ~
[38] For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, [39] And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [40] Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. [41] Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. [42] Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. [43] But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. [44] Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. [45] Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? [46] Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Karin Sent Me An Award!

To my great surprise Karin at Yesterday, Today, Forever has given me a blog award. To follow are the instructions she shared with me ~ Select seven bloggers to pass this award on to and then link this post back to the person who gave me the award. It was hard to choose but I have chosen the following ladies ~
The first friend I met in "blogland" ~ Susan
My "inspirational" Washington State friend ~ Deby
A great mother ..... ~ Sharon
My "warm-hearted" friend ~ Marsha
A friend with a great testimony in word and song ~ Deborah
A newer friend who inspires me so ~ Marilyn
A Kindred spirit ~ Michele
It was hard to choose. Thanks to you all for making my experience in blogland richer.