Day Six: Wednesday, November 3. Gratitude is the sign that this transformation is spreading into all aspects of our lives and takes us full circle in this series on transformation.
Gratitude flows from gifts received and shared
How do we become people whose security base is God and God alone? How can we stand confidently with you on the common ground of God’s love? How can we ask you for money without pleading, and call you to a new community without coercing? How can we express not only in our way of speaking but also in our way of being with others the joy, vitality, and promise of the Catch Ministry’s Purpose to develop disciples and Vision to introduce the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward — to everyone, everywhere? In short, it’s a call to transformation.
The call to transformation comes when we pray, because prayer is the spiritual discipline through which our minds and hearts are converted from hostility or suspicion to hospitality and graciousness. And graciousness is the sign that this transformation is spreading into all aspects of our lives, and thus impacting every aspect of our culture.
Prayer uncovers the hidden motives and unacknowledged wounds that shape our relationships. Prayer allows us to see ourselves and others as God sees us. Prayer is radical because it uncovers the deepest roots of our identity in God. In prayer we seek God’s voice and allow God’s word to penetrate our fear and resistance so that we can begin to hear what God wants us to know. And what God wants us to know is that before we think or do or accomplish anything, whether we have an abundance of money or little money, the deepest truth of our human identity is this:
“You are my beloved son. (You are my beloved daughter.) With you I am well pleased” (see Luke 3:22).
God was well pleased with His Son before he performed any ministry on earth. And, in the same way, God considers us as his beloved children with whom he is already pleased. When we can claim this truth as true for us, then we also see that it can be true for anyone else. God is well pleased with you. God is well pleased with us, providing us freedom to speak with you in the freedom of God’s love. Whether you respond is less important than the knowledge that we all are gathered as one on the holy ground of God’s generous character toward us. In prayer, therefore, we learn to trust that God can work fruitfully through us no matter where we are or who we are with.
Grounded in prayer and undertaken in gratitude.
As our prayer deepens into a constant awareness of God’s goodness, the spirit of gratitude grows within us. Gratitude flows from the recognition that who we are and what we have are gifts to be received and shared. Gratitude releases us from the bonds of obligation and prepares us to offer ourselves freely and fully for the work of the Kingdom. This is a time of significant transformation for all of us from rest and regeneration to God’s call unto himself. Those who respond to Him are already separated out, some by choice and some by surprise, to spend time putting our homes in order and solidifying our relationship with God. It is as if the first harvest is occurring — a new outpouring of the Spirit of God on a global scale.
The focus of this transformation is nothing less than the fulfillment of Ephesians 1:10: to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment — to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
He is gathering together in one, all things. It is the time for oneness where we all reach unity in the faith, and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13)
This transformation is about a new calling, a new wineskin, a new expression of church, the new government of God, and the coming of His Kingdom within our midst. He is making all things new!
Therefore our confidence in our Purpose and Vision, and our freedom to love one another does not depend on how or whether you respond to our freedom to love. Similarly, in this way, gratitude allows both of us to approach a fund-raising request without grasping neediness and to leave it without resentment or rejection. Coming and going, we can together remain secure in God’s love with our hearts set joyfully on the Kingdom.
God’s kingdom come. Therefore, when we pray, we are asked to pray:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven …”
Our desire as kingdom builders is to come alongside you and connect you to other kingdom builders. This is a very rich and beautiful activity. It is a confident, joyful, and hope-filled expression of our ministry together. In ministering to each other, we work together for the completion of God’s Kingdom “on earth as it is in Heaven.”
This brings us full circle to our first Catch in this series that recognized fund-raising as a ministry that always calls us to transformation. And this call comes to both those who seek funds and those who have funds. Whether we are asking for money or giving money, we are drawn together by God, who is doing a new thing through our collaboration:
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:19).
Are you ready?
MATCH! MATCH! MATCH!
Christina DelMonte Robinson’s challenge to Marti’s former discipleship group has been matched! And Terri Main would like to challenge all teachers and former teachers to match her $50. We’re 2/3 towards our goal!
We are very pleased to announce after day five of fund-raising, we have received another $1,5000 toward the $15,000 required, totaling now over $9,500! Many, many thanks to you who are sharing with us as we add to the list:
- Markus from Köln, Germany
- Priscilla from Spencerport, New York
- A member of Chri’s discipleship group challenge
- Roberta from Kent, Washington
- Bob from Iowa City, Iowa
- Darin from Cozad, Nebraska
- Arthur from Arlington, Virginia
- Jill from Wernersville, Pennsylvania
- Neil from Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- Athelyn from Phoenix, Arizona
- John from Coralville, Iowa
- Patrick from Dundee, Michigan
- Lisa from Sunland, California
- Michael from Cambria, California
- Greg from Wilmington, North Carolina
- Laura Campbell, California
- Siri from Marin, California
- Merlyn from Goodyear, Arizona
- Rona from Northampton, UK
- Joe from Sugar Land, Texas
- Patrick from Dundee, Michigan
- Victor from New Castle, Pennsylvania
- Ann from Rockford, Illinois
- Olivia from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
- Larry from Plains, Montana
- Steve from Keswick, Ontario, Canada
Partner with theses men and women by contributing today: or if you wish, send your contribution to The Catch Ministry, Inc., 1278 Glenneyre, Laguna Beach, California 92651.