Tag Archives: church

You’ve Got A Friend

One of the beauties of humanity is when you find people of like mindedness. Kindred Spirits. Someone who thinks similar to you and even understands what you just told them.

For me that seems few and far between. But when I find one it is like a bowl full of gems and jewels and chocolate!

The church we attend has a Wednesday night meeting. I do not always go to the midweek meeting but the last three weeks they have invited three different young adults from a college in the Kansas City area. These kids (I call them) get the opportunity to share what they are learning and going through with the intent of helping others. Youth. So refreshing.

Last night a young man walked up to my husband and I and introduced himself as the guest speaker for the evening. He proceeded to say that he likes to get to know his audience by asking what it is they have been going through lately. Well, having just posted my last blog about the seasons of my life I jumped right in and talked about that. Bam! He totally understood what I was talking about.

Don’t you just love it when you find someone who gets you? It is so important. We all have friends and acquaintances of different degrees. It is important we know that. Some are friends and the relationship may be more one sided. Those are good. Some, well, some are just “hey, how ya doin'” kind of relationship and you keep on walking. That’s ok too.

I’m not saying that this young man is now my deepest friend. I may never see him again. What I am saying is that we all need someone or a few someone’s we can rely on. The someones that don’t question your every look or move. The someones that have your back. The someones that hand over their back to you. The trust that no matter what you go through or how you go through it they will not judge or walk away, even if they don’t understand totally. The love.

Recently, my husband and I saw the need for others to come alongside and hold us up through changes in our life. It’s all good things. He travels from time to time and I cannot always go along. We needed prayer support and friend support while he goes and I stay or when we both go.

So. We formed “Our Posse”. A group of friends of like heartedness and like mindedness. A group of loving and caring friends from quite the variety of life. A Motley Crew. We send out group messages when we have upcoming things we may need wisdom about and they pray. What a difference our life has become. We feel so much lighter. So less burdened.

And for me, I belong to a “Posse” of a few women who understand me and are there for me. A “Tribe” of support that I love so much.

I recommend this for everyone. It is not good for man to live alone. We were born for relationship. First one with God and then others.

I had a call from a friend of twenty plus years. We use to take nature walks or just gab over coffee and tea. Instant friends. Now she lives in Puerto Rico. But we are still strong together and always will be. It’s as if we never parted geographically.

Don’t stand alone, Dear Reader. There are people out there for your back. Even this blogging community has someone or someones for you to connect with.

Enjoy!

Cate B

Join the Conversation

Hey All.  I have been participating at another blog site called Church Set Free.  Tomorrow, December 9th, all contributors will be bringing the same topic to the table.  “What does worship mean to you?”

It will be fun and interesting and a diversity of thoughts.  Please join in and while you are there check out our authors in the menu bar.  You may find what you are looking for. 😀

Enjoy!

Cate B

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Find Your Worship

I was struck deeply one day by a story I heard from a friend of mine.  It was about worship.

I’m not talking about the act of worship, which I’m sure has different meanings to many of us.  Some think of the music portion of a church service or perhaps music that moves you deeply when alone with God.  That’s what I always thought of it as.  And there is nothing wrong with any of our perspectives of worship.  But I found a deeper worship after I heard his story.

It went something like this:

My friend was in a country in Africa.  A small village.  A group of people who worked hard physically and also held a deep love of God in their hearts.

One day my friend was helping to shovel sand/dirt into or out of a truck.  He worked alongside a man he was growing a close relationship with.  The African man was able to shovel hard and fast.  My friend, quite physically competitive by nature, saw it as a competition.  The harder his African friend worked, he worked harder, and harder.  Faster and faster.  He realized that no matter how fast he shoveled his friend got more accomplished.

This frustrated my friend.  So much that he stopped shoveling and grabbed his friend and tossed him on the ground.  He asked the African how he can shovel so much more than him?

The lovely man from the village took my friend up a hill nearby that overlooked a field.  There, below them, was a man plowing a field with his beast in tow.  He simply told my friend to look at the man working the field.  That is his worship.  The shoveling I do is my worship to God.

That simple act of doing what you do.  Very possible doing what you were created to do……. that is your Worship to God.

I thought long and hard and deep on this one.  I’ve been a worship leader, guitar in hand, etc.  But when this story penetrated my heart I realized that there is more to worship than I was taught or shown.

I realized that this journey with God that I have been on has been my worship.  The molding and shaping He is doing in me and the revealing of my true self and who He created me to be – the talents, the personality, the gifts, the skills, the whatever – this is my worship to Him.

This is by far one of the most freeing experiences I have ever come to realize.  And I don’t feel that I’ve totally grasped the deepest meaning.  I am so caught up in my discontents in what He has me doing at this point in my life that I do believe I miss the wonderful, loving, truly joyful act of worship with Him – my life that He gave to me.

Find your worship, Dear Reader.  I guarantee that you will find peace and love and joy when you do.

(also posted on https://churchsetfree.wordpress.com/category/cate-b/ )

Cate B

A simple song by Misty Edwards:

No Boxes Please

How many boxes do we tend to put people in?  You know what I’m talking about…….

They dress this way therefore they are……..

They talk this way, they must be………

They are homeless or over weight or have mud on their jeans.  Therefore………

We all do it.  How many boxes do you have for God?  We all do that also.  God is this way and that way and all the things we can come up with that fits our own theology.  This scripture says this and this one says that and it’s as plain and black and white as can be…….. I had God in all kinds of boxes.  Boxes that I made and boxes that others made for me and stuffed me in them with their God.

He held me and He talked to me and told me who I was when I was created.  He told me when I was ready to listen.  Slowly I took Him out of the boxes and crushed them and tossed them to the curb.  I took myself out of those boxes even slower and crushed them and threw them to the curb.

Everyday is an adventure and a new day.  Everyday those boxes try to make their way back into my life…… pretty ones that tempt me into using them.  NO!  No More Boxes!

Today, after we picked up our grand girls, we stopped by a park that had a butterfly garden.  Or so I thought.  It was a conservation area – a small prairie.  we walked around the garden and read the names of various plants and then we saw a trail in the tall prairie grass.  No stopping me…….

Hubby, myself and a four year old and an almost two year old (both girls in dresses) started walking on the trail.  Long prairie grass slapped us in the face, in our mouths, on our legs.  Bees were buzzing and grasshoppers hopping.  I was in my element.  Two in our group were not.  One complained and got stuck by a tiny thorn.  One kept saying we were lost.  But two of us were smiling and looking and enjoying ourselves to the max.

Can you guess which two had the most fun? Ready?  I was one and the almost two year old was the other.

At the end of our walk, back in the garden, we saw a monarch butterfly.  They girls were fascinated by it.  I leaned over and put out my hand and he walked right onto it.  That blew their minds.  The littlest one wanted to hold it so bad but I new to put him back to safety.  Next year.

My husband and I were discussing this walk on the way home.  We believe that God is right there involved in our conversations – no boxes here – my husband wanted to be prepared for the walk.  I can get that in some ways.  But I talked about being spontaneous or flexible.  We should be spontaneous in our walk with God.  We think He is spontaneous but He sees the whole picture from beginning to end.  He has a birds eye view, so to speak.  We just need to trust Him.  He knew we weren’t lost and He knew we weren’t going to get attacked by jungle thorns or whatever.

Spontaneity and flexibility must come out of our boxes.  If we want to trust God with our lives and have that fantastic relationship with Him with no holds barred then that is one box we need to empty and crush and toss to the curb for pick up.

I challenge you to look at the boxes you have made for yourself and God and others.  It’s a constant journey.  But can be fulfilled and awesome —— if we allow 😉

I foolishly left my camera home but here is an image of prairie flowers:

imageshhh

Enjoy!

cate b

How Can I Love Those I Don’t Understand?

When I was a young mom and involved in a church my husband just happened to pastor, I thought I was really something.  I thought that our decision for me to be a stay-at-home mom was the ultimate call of God on Christian mothers everywhere.  I actually had the mindset that all moms should be doing this.

One day, after a church service, I saw a woman I hadn’t seen in a while.  I liked her a lot.  She had three lovely boys and they were awesome.  Like me, she was a stay-at-home mom.  Was.  I asked, ever so cheerfully, how she had been doing.  And this is when my perfect world crumbled……………

She began to tell me that a wonderful thing has happened.  An answer to her prayers that set her free.  I asked her to tell me.  Excitement was rising in her voice and in my anticipation………

This is when she told me that she had been praying for a job.   A what??  A job outside of the home.  I think my mouth did one of those fall open and drool and no one but me noticed things.  A job??  Yes, a job, she kept the excitement level up in her voice.

She went on about their need for more money and her desire to be outside the home and contribute.  So she went looking and lo and behold, she was offered a great job.  The whole family rejoiced.

I put on my Hollywood smile and hugged her and told her how happy I was for her (I think I missed my call on the stage).  She went home and I went home…….. downcast and confused.

Let me take a side road here for just a second.  One thing I am good at is taking my questions to the Lord.  He and I just have a good thing together about asking and listening and getting answers.  Trouble is, they may not always be the answers I was looking for.

Now, back on the main road……. I went home and asked him.  Well, actually, I remember it well.  I asked him before I even left the building.  Something like this:  “What were You thinking?  How could that be Your answer to her prayers????? Huh?????  Why did you let her take that job?????”

And right then the room faded away and I was there with the spot light on me – and Him –  and He kindly said, “I let her have the job because that is where she is at.  She asked me for a job.”

I remember saying, “What do you mean?”  And He continued gently to tell me that He loves each of us so much.  He let me stay at home with my kids because that is what I desired and what I wanted more than anything.  Others want a career or a simple job.

I began to see a bit more clearly that day.  I began to see a different perspective.  More of God’s perspective.  I didn’t know that woman very well.  I didn’t know her dreams or desires or even how she is put together.  Heck, I really don’t know how most people are built.  Some can handle an intense career far easier than 24/7 diapers, bottle, crying, spitting – well, you get the picture.  Some get total satisfaction from raising children.  It doesn’t mean these parents don’t love their children less or more.  It simply means God love each of us and He knows what is best for us at any given moment.

That half hour out of my life, years ago, changed me.  To the good.  I still think I’m really something, but I try really hard to see people as He does.  It’s not easy.  Especially when it’s turned around and others judge me and think they know who I am or how I’m bent.  BUT, that lesson is alive and well and still at work in this imperfect person.  It has helped me shake off any judgements that come at me  – still not easy – but with the help of the One who answers my questions…… the One who let’s me ask questions …….. the One who answers me in a still small voice in my heart – I can love those I don’t understand.

Enjoy!images54

cate b

You Married Who?

The year was 1974, the month April, the day, the thirteenth.  I married my best friend who also happened to be my pastor.  We had spent the last couple of years ( a little longer for him) in a Christian Communal Ministry that studied and worked together and then were sent out to various cities to start, what we called, outreach centers.  These basically were houses we rented to take in people off the streets for a meal, a bed, prayer and good old-fashioned gospel preaching.  There was a movement across America during that time.  A movement of God that came in all shapes and sizes and some false gods.  There was a movement of youth that were searching.  There was a war still in progress and our boys and men were caught up fighting a battle that few understood.  It was no longer our parents life.  It was new, it was different.

I tried one year at the local community college in my hometown.  Freedom rang everywhere – hippie professors, drugs all around, new music – or was it freedom?  I knew that I did not want to go to college.  Through various travels I ended up in Oregon and met my husband to be.  It was good times back then.  We were all young and searching for a purpose.

We ended up in San Diego and opened an outreach center.  Fun times.  We met people from all walks of life: the lady who wore her purse on her head to protect her from alien’s powers, the Children of God couple that wanted to entice young girls to be apart of their cult, the upper class men and woman who were searching for their purpose in life.  Very good times and very eye-opening to a gal who never traveled and had a very sheltered childhood.

We were in love, this man and I, and off we went into the world together.  The Jesus People/Hippie Movement dwindled and we were forced to become regular people in a regular world.  We ended up in a small mountain town in southern California with three kids and a dog and pastoring our first church.  I learned very fast that I was not what the people would call a typical pastor’s wife.  You see, the church members in most organized churches have a certain idea of what a pastor and his wife should be like.  My husband was better at it that I was. After about seven years we said goodbye to California and moved the now four kids and a dog and parakeet to the east coast where I came from.  We learned a lot about our faith and about our mission in life.  We knew what we didn’t want to be or to do and set about being who God made us to be.

I continued to be a “pastor’s wife” and I continued to fail the people’s expectations.  Did I feel as if I failed God?  No.  I was true to myself as often as I could be.  You see, He made me.  I cannot be someone I am not.  And as a Christian, I cannot be someone who others want me to be.  I have to be me.  The scriptures people pull out of the bible and use to dictate what church leaders are to do and be are not always used in the proper context.  The original languages alone that this wonderful book was written in are much deeper than our simple English.  I got tired.  I felt like an actress trying to play a part I wasn’t meant to play.

It was during this time on the east coast that I really came alive and things became clearer to both my husband and I about ourselves and about what we were to do and be to others.  We love working with people and helping people.  I got an unexpected job at a police department (will blog about that real soon) and that taught me even more about who I am and what I am passionate about.  People in our church still didn’t get me.  I had other pastor’s wives tell me of the “duties” I was to be doing.  I ignored them.  I had church members tell me that I wasn’t like their last pastor’s wife – I ignored them also.  I began to live and enjoy life even more.  I believe I finally became more of whom God intended.  He liked that.

So, I wrote this to tell you a little more about me.  I also write this to tell you to find out who you are and what your passions are in life and DO NOT let others dictate who you are or what you should be doing.  Understand, we all need guidance.  We all need instruction. We all need others to help us in this journey called Life – but be true to yourself.  Surround yourself with other people who see you for who you are.  This is a BIG key to success.  Let life’s bumps and bruises and forks-in-the-road become your instructors also.  Be humble about the things you go through and the hurts that are dumped on you.  They hurt, but they are a big part in making you to become who you are meant to be.  And biggest of all try your hardest to love.  Love those who are used to hurt.  Spending time being hurt and broken and bitter is a major waste of energy.  Put your energy in letting go and forgiving as best you can and YOU will come out on top.  Let those others go.

You Can Do It!

Enjoy!

cate b