A funny thing happened on the way to the Catch

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This was to be the first day of something on the lighter side this week just to try and counteract all the negative news going down. Not that we want to put our heads in the sand and pretend something isn’t there when it obviously is. It’s just that this negative news is going to be around for a while, and if we lighten up for a little bit, plenty of bad news will be still waiting around for our attention when we are ready to give it.

We were playing with the not too creative title: “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Catch.” And you know, something did happen on the way to the Catch today: I overslept.  On the way to the Catch this morning, I kept hitting the snooze button on my phone. They make it too easy; it’s a big orange button in the middle of my screen — easy to find; easy to hit — so that I ended up getting up a full two hours later than the time set. That was due to very late nights all weekend including last night. As you know, the pandemic is impacting many within our community, drastically changing how the Ministry operates. We are adapting as fast as we can to respond to the increasing demand for assistance as our volunteers donate increased hours of needed professional expertise in many areas and necessitating that we work all weekend, into the early morning hours.

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Purple camels and walking trees

images1Let’s face it, kids have it all over us adults when it comes to creativity. 

One of the requisites of a creative mind is the ability to see things from a fresh perspective. This is where the kids come in. Children don’t have the realistic limits on their imaginations that adults have. They can put things together any way they want. And even though they may be outside the realm of the possible, nevertheless, unfettered imaginations can spark new approaches to tired old problems.

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Servant girl helps cure enemy

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There is an fascinating story told in the Second book of Kings (Chapter 5) about a young Jewish girl who was taken captive by the commander of the army of the king of Aram, a neighboring country and potential enemy of the nation of Israel. The commander’s name was Naaman and the young girl lived under his roof as a servant to his wife.

Naaman was a valiant soldier, but he had contracted leprosy. Now the servant girl (we never do know her name) knew there was a prophet, Elisha, in Israel who could cure diseases. “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria!” she told her mistress. “He would cure him of his leprosy.”

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Are we generating life or strife?

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Why is it that so often I return from social converse with a spirit worn, a lack, a disappointment—even a sting of shame, as for some low, unworthy thing?

  —George MacDonald

Have you noticed how these days, almost every conversation, much of social media, articles we read and many presentations we watch end up being political, one-sided, full of divisiveness, rancor, conspiracy theories, threatening rhetoric and fueled by so much fear that you walk away feeling a deep sense of unrest or as George MacDonald describes, as if you’ve been engaged in “some low, unworthy thing?” There’s so much fighting going on that it is quite tempting to jump in and take a few swings, but then how do you feel later?

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‘Close Encounters’ getting closer

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One of our readers sent me this Catch this morning originally posted March 1, 2019. I’m not sure why he did, but I’m glad he did, especially as we are more aggressively building our own church now. So thank you, Ed, for drawing our attention again to looking into what’s coming.

Okay, I’ve been dancing around this most of my life, but I’m finally ready to come out with it. Blame it on my wife, Marti. She’s been saying something’s coming for some time now and I’ve been going, “Sure, sure.” But have you noticed how anyone who has either become a Christian during the Jesus Movement or experienced any kind of ministry during that time, cannot stop thinking about it? Like the scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where Richard Dreyfuss builds a model of a mountain in his living room and doesn’t know why — he just had to do it — why does the Jesus Movement sit in the living room of anyone who experienced it? This is not “ho hum, time marching on.” Nor is it just a bad case of nostalgia. No … something really happened, and something’s coming back, and you can think I’m nuts, you can humor me, or you can join me, but that’s where we’re going.

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Thank you, Ron

Ron Ritchie 

August 19,1933 – July 3, 2020

Author-Photo

 

Dark Horse

by John Fischer

He’s a dark horse in the nighttime

Heading straight for the enemy camp

And he has no fear ‘cause his eye is clear

Throwing light like a burning lamp

And maybe sometime at the right time

You may see him galloping by

A simple man with a single plan

And the Spirit in his eye

 

He’s the one who no one thought could make it through

He’s the one who looks a lot like me and you

But he can hear it when the Spirit

Tells him where to go and what to say

‘Cause he knows that he can never be free 

When he’s going his own way

(Chorus)

He will not deny the struggle in his heart

But he also knows the grace that is his part

And his secret is the Spirit

‘Cause he’s trusting nothing of his own

And he’s fixed his eyes on the highest prize

And he’s heading for his home

 

He’s a dark horse in the nighttime

Heading straight for the enemy camp

And he has no fear ‘cause his eye is clear

Throwing light like a burning lamp

And maybe sometime at the right time

You may see him galloping by

A simple man with a single plan

And the Spirit in his eye

Thank you, Ron, for giving so much to so many.

 

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A better way to His heart

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If you meet that poor wretch that thrust his spear into my side, tell him there is another way — a better way — to get at my heart. If he will repent, and look upon the one he has pierced and mourn, I will cherish him in that very heart he wounded. He shall find the blood he shed an ample atonement for the sin of shedding it. And tell him from me, he will cause me more pain by refusing this offer of my blood than when he drew it forth.”  Benjamin Grosvenor 1676–1758

History and the Bible tells us that a soldier thrust a spear up into the heart of Jesus on the cross after He was already dead.  The two criminals on either side of Him were still alive at this time, and because the next day was the Sabbath, they needed the bodies down off the cross by nightfall. So to speed the inevitable death, soldiers broke the legs of the others. But when they came to Jesus, they found He was already dead, so to be sure, a soldier used his spear to confirm it. John writes that this was to confirm scripture that not one of His bones would be broken (John 19:36; Psalm 34:20). Bible scholars believe that His early death was due to the weight of the sin He bore, and the fact that He willfully gave up His spirit.

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Grace Turned Inward

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The gift turned inward, unable to be given, becomes a heavy burden, even sometimes a kind of poison. It is as though the flow of life were backed up.  – May Sarton*

I want to thank Joe for sending in the excellent quote above. It refers to “the flow of life” which I think is an accurate way to portray Grace Turned Outward. God extends His grace to us. Once received, we, by definition of what grace is and does, extend it out to everyone we know. It’s the way it flows.

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