Step 11: Choose to rid ourselves of any attitude that is not bathed in gratitude.
Gratitude is the genuine byproduct of grace. Like a footprint in the sand, it’s the imprint on a life that grace leaves behind. It’s how you know a person is a recovering Pharisee: there is a natural, genuine outflow of thankfulness from their heart. You can’t create it, but you can make room for it by ridding yourself of everything else. By the same token, if there is no thankfulness, there has been no experience of grace. Someone who is full of blame, rationalizations and cover-up has lost the experience of grace.
To focus on being grateful is to be a recovering Pharisee and aware of what God is doing in your life. Here at the Catch we get to see and hear, every day, what God is doing in the lives of many people we pray for and counsel. It’s the imprint of God’s grace made possible by our MemberPartners who are the lifeblood of this ministry. Here are just a few of the many stories our MemberPartners asked us to tell on their behalf.
John is totally amazed that only days ago, his fiancée was in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt and he had admitted himself due to severe depression. Now, last Sunday, they both end up in church, praising God, and stepping cautiously back into a relationship made possible only by God’s grace and the many prayers by our PrayerPartners.
Randy and Susan wrote to tell us how much our Catch ministry has meant to them. “It started with a prayer request and has progressed from there! Your loving counsel has been an inspiration to us. Our lives are changed.”
One young sister is aware of having a problem and is pleased that when we check in on her we are not doing so from judgment. Our sister grew up in the church and its beliefs but wrestles with the exclusive nature of Christianity and the hierarchical, top-down approach when communicating. She wants to find a common ground and is afraid to express and exchange ideas and beliefs except within the Catch. She believes her church considers her doubts, pressing life questions, emotional issues and depression as trivial. We believe those are all aspects of real life we are helping each other get through every day! That’s the stuff of grateful recovering Pharisees!
“Before dawn breaks here in Argentina,” Sylvan says,“the Catch is a gift. I do not doubt that you have helped many, many people like me all over this devastated planet, to get closer to our beloved Jesus.”
As someone who does not believe in Christianity, Kathy is a seeker who is an important part of our Catch family. She catches my pharisaical moments quicker than anybody. She stands for justice and soul freedom and we respect that. Kathy claims Chandler as her hero, appreciates the way we go about faith, and returns every day. She is glad we are in her life, and we are grateful she is in ours.
“I find hope and feel God still has a use for me through the Catch,” wrote Tim. (You bet He does!) “I so hate the superficial and cliche answers that are typical and void of honesty. Thanks for this outlet of questions without answers and answers that create questions. Thanks for letting me participate.”
“I was saved about ten years ago and have been a Catch subscriber for most of that time,” wrote Hans, from Lisbon, Portugal. “I can’t imagine a day without the Catch!”
And most recently, Shelly is already feeling the impact of our team of prayer warriors with a weight lifted on Friday. She is taking time with her fiancé, and giving herself permission to care for herself.
Kelline and Jeff still hold the keys to their first door in over 15 years of living on the streets. The Catch supports many, and has helped couples like Kelline and Jeff who are doing all that they know how to maintain a roof over their heads.
If we had more time, our MemberPartners would provide details on how we have helped a family’s long struggle with anorexia and another’s struggle with an incurable, painful disease; about cutters, victims of abuse, kids on drugs, those trapped in hurtful relationships and those with emotional holes from former relationships; about those walking through death, and those dealing with heartbreak; about those in doubt, depression and unbelief; about a child who miraculously recovered, but lost a brother through his mother’s murder/suicide, and the father who is trying to recover mentally from this horrific experience; about a mother who, instead of kissing her son every night, visits him behind bars, the result of one fatal mistake behind the wheel. These are just a few members of our Catch community that we care for, the result of MemberPartners who care about them. These are those whose lives are changing and who in turn are changing others, because that is what happens when grace turns outward.
Gratefulness pours out of grace-filled hearts.
And we love one member’s final word of thanks: “Grateful for how you encourage us to make room for those who are different. Keep stirring. It’s a beautiful soup.”
All this grace turned outward has been made possible by our team of MemberPartners who, together with our Prayer Warriors, make up a small but very powerful army making a difference in the lives of many, many people. Marti and I gratefully and heartily salute our MemberPartners.
But our MemberPartners didn’t ask us to share some of their stories just to tell you that the Catch is more than a website. They want to urge you to join them. They need you to come alongside them and participate by also becoming MemberPartners. They need you to grow their army of believers.
We are expanding quicker than we expected and thus the needs are increasing too. We need more trained “boots on the ground” — believers who are introducing the Gospel of Welcome within the 141 countries we serve. And now we are attracting a very large number of Millennials (people between the ages of 18-29 years) who are looking for something that stands for the gospel, has credentials, and leads with grace. Because of you, that’s us! That’s why, when our MemberPartners say, “You can be the difference in someone else’s life,” they are not kidding.
MemberPartners call themselves ‘Gideon’s Army,’ and are looking for you to be one of three hundred — 300 people who believe in the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward, and are willing to run with it by becoming a MemberPartner.
Our MemberPartners want to know if you are 1 of Gideon’s Army of 300 – they ask: