#Cathy

The Alchemy of Giving

There is something exceptionally good and precious about praying over some object, especially a  blanket/shawl, then gifting it to another person to find comfort in. It’s as if there are these invisible stitches of grace, woven together to bless and encourage. A certain spiritual energy is present that is invisible to the eye. The object now becomes the conduit of Jesus’ love and healing. It is a beautiful way to enter into the service of another whether it is a stitched blanket, a meal, flowers or a handwritten note. There are so many people we meet on a daily basis that need to know this love. In the alchemy of giving, both the giver and the receiver are blessed. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

by Cathy

The Steering Wheel

Years ago I heard a quote by Corrie ten Boom, “Is God your spare tire or your steering wheel?” That question resonated deep in my soul. It caused me to reflect and see if this was true of my prayer life. Prayer is abandonment to the love and grace of God. We pray because it is the way we communicate and learn the ways that God chooses to break into our life.  Prayer becomes the vehicle to connect our hearts to the Divine Heart. Pray as you can, in the quiet of your heart and soul. God is always faithful to show up. As we do, prayer truly does become our steering wheel in all of life. It reminds us who is really “driving”!

by Cathy

Sacred Pause

I have recently returned from a silent retreat at Loyola House in Guelph, Ontario Canada. It was pure gift to be able to spend time in silence and at times solitude. God’s creation abounded on these 650 acres of land. Springtime was peeking out from all corners of the earth after a long winter. Retreats have a way of breaking open those parts of our soul that are sometimes left unattended, unexamined. We make sacred space for God, a sacred pause. We concentrate our prayers and efforts to that place in our lives that needs the most work, the most breakthroughs. Too often, in daily life, we’re overwhelmed with sensory distractions and can’t hear the voice of God. Retreats are a time away from our normal activities to spend time getting reacquainted with God. It could be a day, a weekend or a week that we set aside. This all happens in the context of grace because God is longing for our attention.

by Cathy

Dig Deep

In the first book of Genesis there is a story of Isaac and his family forced to move to another location over shared water. When they did move, he did three things: built an altar, pitched a tent and dug a new well. In those days there were many wells because they represented life, prosperity and abundance. In order to have a well you needed to dig deep. That’s how it is with the spiritual life. You have to dig deep. We do that through praying and learning. We are delusional if we think we know everything about God, everything about our faith. The invitation is always offered by the One who wants to transform us, change us, grow our souls.  Dig a well and make some room for learning and for God. Living water is waiting for you!

by Cathy

 

Growing Together

Many times I have heard people say, “I don’t need to go to church, or join a small faith group, I do just fine alone with God.” But you see Jesus calls us to community. He didn’t intend for us to set up “spiritual silos” in our lives to journey alone. He knew we would need strength for the journey, so the idea of church communities was formed 2000 years ago! Others can call out the best in us. Others can make us accountable in a loving way. Others can support and love us in times of trials and setbacks. Others can help us to grow. The apostles were such a group. They all shared the same vision of bringing Jesus’ healing and love to others and they lived it together. So when their world and their mission were too much to bear, they had each other. It’s all part of the plan. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20

by Cathy

Joy of Giving

I read a wonderful book, The Good and Beautiful God by James B. Smith.  When I arrived at the chapter titled “ God is Generous,” I stopped to thank God for all the blessings in my life. Then the challenge came. How do I continually live from a place of generosity and not a place of scarcity? Living from a place of scarcity says there isn’t enough to go around and questioning why God calls us to give. We find that a life of generosity is a life of deep joy. The author shares that “God is generous because he lives in a condition of abundance, his provisions can never be exhausted”. The sun is up, I am breathing in and out. That’s generous. “The most obvious lesson in Christ’s teaching is that there is no happiness in having or getting anything but only in giving.” Henry Drummond

by Cathy

The Right Thing To Do

I had just finished a phone conversation with a friend while sitting in my car at Target. In front of me I noticed a Dad with two young children loading his purchases into his car. All of a sudden I heard him say, “Kids, Dad forgot to pay for this paper towel so we need to go back inside and pay for it.” The kids protested a bit but the Dad persisted, “No, it’s the right thing to do.” I got out of my car and said to the Dad, “Thank you for being such a great example to your kids of what it means to be an honest person.” He said, “Thank you for affirming me because I came real close to throwing the paper towel in the trunk and leaving!” It was in that exchange, at that moment that I had this feeling of aliveness; that the world is good and humanity is still trying to choose the right way. He gave the best version of himself to his children and to me.

by Cathy

Darkness and Light

There seems to be a lot of talk lately about living in dark days and a dark culture. While some of that may be true, it’s not anything new. There have been thousands of years of dark times and somehow miraculously we survived. It’s about living with hope in the midst of a changing world. It’s about relying on something bigger than us. We cannot do it all. Being people of faith means we can turn to God in those dark times knowing with complete confidence that there are listening ears. I share this quote by Corrie ten Boom, holocaust survivor, ”When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” There is always Light at the end of the tunnel if we just hold on. This day, think of someone in your life that has been a light for you and say a prayer of thanks for them.

by Cathy