Oh, the Suffering

>> Friday, April 18

From my archives... originally posted in March of 2009.


But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8



Much focus is put on Christ's resurrection (and rightfully so!), but I tend to dwell more on His sacrifice. Romans 5:8 is one of my favorite verses. The words that strike me to the core are "while we were still sinners". Not after we turned our lives around and decided to be good; not after we have made great strides on the road to holiness; but while we were rotten to the core.

 That's PURE, UNADULTERATED, UNCONDITIONAL, PERFECT LOVE, baby!

I didn't realize the extent of Jesus' sacrifice until I read "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. Mr. Strobel spells out, quite graphically I might add, the horror, the pain, and the suffering the man-Jesus endured. He didn't have to endure it. He could have called a legion of angels to protect Him. He could have called on His divine nature to avoid it. But to save us, He DID endure it, with all of the emotional and physical agony any man feels. I haven't looked at the Cross the same since.

Take a moment to reflect on what Christ's gift to us cost Him, and don't forget to thank our Father for His Love, His Grace, and His Mercy.

In His most Holy and precious name,
Cat

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Jewels of Encouragement - A Thorny Confession

>> Friday, April 4



Who remembers this song from the classic TV show "HeeHaw"? Come on, sing with me!!

Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me




On a similar note (see what I did there?), I'm posting about a prickly subject today at Jewels of Encouragement.   Please come visit -- we have a first aid kit with a big cross on it. :)





Peace and love,
Cat





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Book Review: Angels of Humility

>> Tuesday, March 4


http://www.amazon.com/Angels-Humility-Novel-Jackie-Macgirvin-ebook/dp/B00513PJKC
Angels of Humility
A Novel
by Jackie Macgirvin

Oh. My. Wow.

If you’ve ever doubted the power of praying… read this book!

If you’ve ever thought that your imperfect prayers didn’t matter, read this book!

If you are a prayer warrior, praise the Lord! And read this book!

And if don’t believe in prayer, or even know who to pray to, I hope you will consider reading this book.

When I see a Kindle Freebie with 18 reviews and 17 of them give five stars, I can’t help but be skeptical. Especially when the majority have a common thread. In the case of Angels of Humility, that thread was “I’ve never read anything like it… A life changing book… My prayer life will never be the same.” I don’t let skepticism stop me, however. I like fiction about spiritual warfare, and there were enough positive words NOT in common to sway me to pick it.

About four chapters in, I had decided this was a 4-star book. It’s extremely well written, and it’s readable. The story and the characters drew me in – I wanted to keep reading. But I felt the plot wasn’t entirely original, and I considered it to be heavily influenced by Frank Peretti’s “Darkness” duo. (Not a bad thing!)

It wasn’t long, though, before Angels of Humility set itself apart as something different, and my rating climbed to 5 stars. By the end of the book, I knew why all of the Amazon reviews were high. I was gasping in awe and wonder.

Many of us have no idea what an overwhelming gift of responsibility and power we carry – untapped. And, though it sounds cliché, I can honestly say … “I’ve never read anything like it… A life changing book… My prayer life will never be the same.”


(This review is completely unsolicited, unless you count the promptings of the Holy Spirit.)


Blessings and prayers!
Cat



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Jewels of Encouragement: Indisposable

>> Tuesday, February 4



Has it really been since before Christmas that I've posted here? Wow, I need to get my rear in gear.

I haven't been writing much lately, but I do have a new devotion to share with you today at Jewels of Encouragment. The original title was Disposable, but when it came time to type it in the Blogger "title" block, I thought about what I wanted you to "take away", and  typed Indisposable instead.  Click through and tell me if I made the right choice, even though  spellchecker says it's not a word. :)




Love and Blessings,
Cat



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Elf-ish

>> Friday, December 13


My friend, "Aunt" Bonnie, is a Christmas Elf. She has been posting on Facebook about at least one "act of kindness" she's done each day this December. (She doesn't normally "advertise" her elfisms ,but I have no doubt she's on silent duty 365 days a year. Her goal in this is to encourage others to be "elves" also.) Today she posted that she was distracted by the passing of a friend and hadn't done any good deed except to pray. (The most important good deed in my book.) I replied that I'd done three elf acts so she was covered, and she asked me to tell her about it. My answer is way too long for an FB status reply, so I'm posting it here...


I have some awesome work hours at the church. On Fridays, I get off work at 11:30 am -- technically, that is. In reality, I rarely leave on time (be it Friday, Thursday, or any other days.) I don't mind; an extra 30 minutes or an hour is nothing compared to God's many gifts to me, so how can I honestly complain? But today... well...Ummmm, no.

Today is the Friday before the third Sunday of Advent. You can imagine how crazy-busy it must be at a church at this time of year, so I didn't get home today until my regular quitting time, and then answered work-related texts and worked from home until close to 6pm. And my shopping still isn't done and my Christmas tree is still in the attic. I had planned to take care of those things, plus laundry, etc. this afternoon.

Yeah, I know, I've got it rough. *wink* But I'm not here to complain - I'm here to tell you about how God used those extra hours I put in, not only to complete stuff that had to be done, but to bless others through me.

If I hadn't been there this afternoon (when I really wanted to be somewhere else) none of the following might have taken place:

 - A homebound, senior adult just out of physical rehab wouldn't have lights or heat tomorrow morning.
 - A 10-year old, coatless girl wouldn't have a brand-new winter coat - her only one.
 - The family attending the memorial service for their beloved patriarch might not have meat for their fellowship lunch tomorrow.
 - A mother might not have Santa presents under the tree for her children this Christmas.
 - A single mom might not have food for her children tonight.

I didn't orchestrate or provide any of the above needs--I was just God's liaison; His hands and feet--used by Him to ensure that His blessings were received by others. Sometimes, all we have to do is be there, in His place and at that time, in order for God to work through us. It doesn't take any effort on our part except to show up.

Back to Aunt Bonnie.... last night she shared this Facebook meme:




and I replied, "But is it okay if sometimes I DO ask God to make my life easier?" Being Bonnie, she answered, "Absolutely, just remember He may not answer the way you wanted or expected..." Boy, she got that right. And so did I when I said, "I always love His answers, and I love that I can ask Him anything..."




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There IS a Difference

>> Monday, December 9

The difference between Santa Claus and Jesus Christ:

Santa says: “You’d better not pout”.
Jesus says: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Santa says: “You’d better not cry”.
Jesus says: "[I] keep track of all [your] sorrows. [I] have collected all [your] tears in [my] bottle." Psalm 56:8

Santa says: “You’d better be good”.
Jesus says : "No one is good except God alone." Mark 10:18

Santa says: “You’d better watch out, I’m telling you why”
Okay, Jesus says that too. But the “why” is for a different reason. Santa says he'll bring you your earthly desires one day a year IF you do what he says. Jesus says He give you all your earthly needs PLUS unfathomable, heavenly, eternal riches -- even when you fail. And, unlike Santa, Jesus ALWAYS delivers.

Jesus’ love is unconditional. All He asks is that you love Him back.
 
Christmas blessings and LOVE,
Cat


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Friday Fiction: Such a Time

>> Friday, October 25

Fellow writers,

Do you have dozens (or more) fits and story-starts in your writing file? I have more than I can remember writing. I was scrolling through my files today looking for something to share for Fiction Friday, and didn't recognize "Such a Time". I vaguely remember writing it, but I have no idea where I was going. Reading this snippet for what seemed like the first time, I realized it might be able to stand alone as a very flashy flash fiction, along the lines of Jan's "100 Words" series (but more like 175 words.) Or I might expand it .... some day. :)




Such a Time

Abigail shaded her eyes and searched the sky for a hint of a cloud, any small sign that the Lord would bless them with rain today. The clear blue morning seemed to mock her prayers; the devil’s laughter came disguised as sunshine.

She carried the dented tin bucket to the creek, hoping that she’d be able to fill it at the wade-in without trekking another quarter mile to the murky pool in the hollows. Without rain, the creek had grown thinner and stingier each day, much like her meager garden… and her mood.

It did no good to lament clear, cool water easily obtained with a few pumps of a handle and food she could collect from the market instead of from the sweat of her brow. Those days were behind her, as were company calling daily, socials in the square, and worshipping behind solid walls and stained glass. As were her family and her friends.

Michael should be home by sunset. She prayed he would bring with him a letter from home.

~~~

Yeah, that's it. *smile*.

But there is more reading to be read at Sara's blog today! Come check it out at


Friday blessings,
Cat

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