The Ultimate Adventure of Transformation

Dear Fellow Catch Citizens:

There are people like me who want to impact the Catch Ministry by participating in its fall campaign but are not in a position to financially contribute at this time.

I am writing to ask all of you who find it difficult to donate at this time to join me before the Creator of the universe to ask Him to provide the remaining $3,500 toward the $15,000 goal by encouraging those within our community who have the capacity to contribute or can provide a second gift toward its goal. 

Having prayed together, I challenge those who are capable of contributing to the Catch Ministry to prayerfully consider if God is calling you to be part of the answer to our prayers.

As the Catch Ministry closes out its campaign, my heartfelt gratitude goes to all participants of this campaign; to those who came together to pray and to those who have given or are prayerfully considering a gift.

Blessed to be a member of the Catch Community,

John Shirk

Minister for Discipleship and Community

John is building communities within very diversified areas of interest including people who are poets, musicians, and artists. Troubled by the cultural gulf separating most churches from those who have yet to follow Jesus, John identifies with the Catch Ministry and its reconciling Grace Turned Outward voice. John disciples both believers and non-churched people. They like his interactive personality. They participate in the communities he creates to talk about the struggles of living in a broken world, the questions we all wrestle with, and each person’s search for meaning and purpose.

OIP-29

Day Eight: Friday, November 5. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

I don’t know how He does it, but He does it. Sometimes it’s sudden — almost overnight — most times it’s gradual. But God is working in us a total and complete transformation that turns us inside out and completely overrules anything we are trying to do to maintain some kind of spirituality that we think we control. You don’t experience transformation until you give up your Christian charade and turn to the Lord.

When you turn to the Lord you lose that self-righteous protective guard we all like to hide behind like Moses hid behind his veil. Moses kept the veil on long after it had out-served it’s function. It was supposed to protect the people from the brightness on his face from being with God, but he kept it on long after so they wouldn’t see the brightness fade away and lose heart. He was really protecting himself. The veil was Moses’ way of hiding and claiming a spiritual authority that had nothing to do with the Spirit. It was pure manipulation.

In the same way, we rely on a protective layer of spirituality that we are in control of. We learn to hide behind a false self — a fake spiritual straw man that hides the fact that we know we are not measuring up. We are miserable and bored, and yet we try to maintain an air of authority. Surely we are better than most Christians. We do all the right things and don’t do the wrong things, but we are dead inside because we are following the law and the law always kills.

The only way-out of this spiritual playacting is to turn to the Lord. When we turn to the Lord, everything falls off. We lose the veil. The gig is up. God sees right through us. We can’t hide anymore. We are who we are, vulnerable, broken, tired, sinful and failing, and yet this is where transformation begins. Now, because our scheming is out of the way, the Holy Spirit can take over and this is where the adventure begins. This is why “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Liberty from trying and failing. Liberty from self-righteous comparisons. Liberty from being something that we are not. Liberty from the game. Liberty to experience what God wants to do with our lives. Liberty to discover His idea of what that is, not our own. When God transforms us, you never know what to expect. God has more in mind for us that we can ever ask, think, or imagine.

All of this happens by way of the Holy Spirit, and it happens when we turn, open-faced and vulnerable, to the Lord.

God’s way of transformation starts with losing our carefully crafted image and coming before God and others with honesty and total transparency. It involves coming clean with our sins and our failures. John tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That is transformation — to be forgiven and cleansed and not in control of our image anymore. It’s having the Lord transform us into something we can’t create or control because we don’t even know what it is! We know it reflects Christ in us, but who can manage that? Can you make yourself look like Christ? No. But you can keep your eyes on Christ as He transforms you into what He wants you to be, and reflects Himself through your life in ways you will never know.

This is what it means to turn to the Lord — to become completely vulnerable and open before Him and allow Him to transform you into what He wants you to be. It’s the ultimate adventure of transformation.

Here is a song that pretty much says it all.

Lookin’ Straight On

by John Fischer

(Click on the song title for a YouTube version of song.)

Keep lookin’ straight on at the Lord and then

Keep lookin’ straight on at me

There’s nothin’ to hide but the light inside

So shine where the people can see

Keep lookin’ straight on at the Lord and then

Keep lookin’ straight on at me

Your eyes reflect the glory of God 

So let everybody see

Once you’ve had the Lord see through you

You’ve got nothin’ too hide

Once you know He loves you anyway

You’ve got nothin’ but love inside

Why not turn full-face to Him

Let His light flow into your soul

And in the mirror of your eyes

We’ll see He’s makin’ you whole

Keep lookin’ straight on at the Lord and then

Keep lookin’ straight on at me

Your eyes reflect the glory of God  

So let everybody see

Keep lookin’ straight on at the Lord and then

Keep lookin’ straight on at me

There’s nothin’ to hide but the light inside

So shine where the people can see 

This brings us back to 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!

9996

Wayne Bridegroom, our Associate Pastor, would like to challenge other pastors and former pastors to Match his donation of $100.

The Catch Ministry’s Associate Pastor, Wayne Bridegroom, is leading with his experiences working with Laotian, Hmong, Cambodian, and Hispanic peoples starting and pastoring churches for each of these nationalities as well as working with the African American churches in Modesto, California. Wayne was awarded the Martin Luther King Legacy Award for his contribution to the African American community in Modesto, the first time the award was given to a white person.

Hooray!

We are now over the $10,000 mark, and with two matches totaling $1,500 yet to come in, that leaves us only $3,500 to goal! With an ambitious $15,000 goal, that’s great news! We are extending our deadline to Sunday night to give time for the new Matches to come in. We can do this, but we need a second wave to step up. Get ahold of the fact that the Catch is a cure for Boomeritus and we are in a position to make a big change in the world as we join hands across the generations and across the globe and turn grace outward to everyone, everywhere. Join those below and enter into this incredible ministry of fund-raising. Thank you and God bless every one:

  • David from Lakeville, Minnesota
  • Michael from Tucson, Arizona
  • Cynthia from Harlingen, Texas
  • Terri from Reedley, California
  • Daryl from Cherhill, Alberta, Canada
  • Daniel from Hershey, Pennsylvania
  • Jay from Gainesville, Florida
  • Stephen from Clarinda, Iowa
  • Rick
  • Michael from Sacramento
  • 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
  • Lyn
  • 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
  • Kathleen
  • 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.

Contribute Today Here is the link again. Contribute now.

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1 Response to The Ultimate Adventure of Transformation

  1. Toni Petrella says:

    I am glad to see so many folks participating towards the goal. I mailed in a contribution last week. I like to keep private about that so mailing in one is best for me. I will ask at this time pray for my work place both guests and workers. So much depression present among folks there. Hopefully God thru his son Jesus will lift spirits as high as it can be. You all take care, God Bless, and have a great Sunday.

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