The rule of love

group-of-neighbors-enjoy-one-another-s-company-950832444-5c82b262c9e77c00010c21c0

You’ve heard of the rule of law. The rule of law is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “the authority and influence of law in society, especially when viewed as a constraint on individual and institutional behavior; (hence) the principle whereby all members of a society (including those in government) are considered equally subject to publicly disclosed legal codes and processes.” The rule of law implies that every person is subject to the law, including people who are lawmakers, law enforcement officials and judges.

We are bound to be hearing a lot about the rule of law in the next few days and weeks as our nation goes through the ratification of a disputed election and the establishment of a president. But what we won’t be hearing about, and yet, what will be most important for us to be manifesting in all our relationships and especially those in the marketplace is another kind of rule — the rule of love.

Yesterday we established that truth was found in holding to the teaching of Jesus, and that the teaching of Jesus can be summarized into one single thing: love. Loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself is actually the embodiment of the rule of law for all followers of Christ. Heed this “rule of love” and you will be fulfilling all of what the law and the prophets require. So we will call it the rule of love. Love God, love one another, and so fulfill the law of God.

This is not a nice thing to do. This is not an option or an opinion. This is a rule that needs to permeate everything we do. It’s a means by which we assess our attitudes and relationships as to whether we are truly living as followers of Jesus.

Here are some questions that might reveal issues of the heart — whether we are operating under the rule of love or what it might look like if we did.

Am I loving God with my current attitude?

What would be the loving thing I could do for this particular person?

Am I loving such and such a person by how I am thinking about them right now?

How do I think about my perceived enemies?

Am I forgiving this person or holding a grudge?

Note: This is not an attempt at self-effort. This is not drumming up love. These are questions that should reveal our thinking to us and throw ourselves on the mercy of God for the love He surely has for people we might find hard to love. Love is of God, John said, and those who love are born of God. We cannot generate or manufacture love. We are either born of God or we are not. If you find love welling up within you, rejoice. If you find yourself overcome with hate and revenge, get on your knees and seek the Lord. It all begins inside and then works out as we step into situations by faith that call for our loving action.

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Truth in a sea of untruth

seeking-spiritual-truth

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

We live in a day and age when truth is hard to come by. First, postmodernism has pretty much done away with the concept of truth being absolute. Truth is pretty much what you make it. It’s relative. There is your truth and my truth; not THE truth. Even biblical truth is up to interpretation, and that’s within the church. Outside the church, truth is totally up to whatever information source you choose to listen to. There is truth on the right, and truth on the left, and conspiracy theories, and on the internet, literally hundreds of sources of information, hardly any of them verifiable. How can we even have a discussion when there is no central source of information we can trust or agree upon?

This is why, in a time like this, the words of Jesus come as such a refreshing contrast  to what we see and experience around us — something solid — something we can know and count on. Not only does Jesus tell us we can know the truth, He tells us how we can. The knowledge of true truth comes from holding to the teaching of Jesus and becoming His followers. When we hold to His teaching, we know what to do. When we are His disciples, we have Him living inside us through His Holy Spirit guiding and empowering us.

And what is the teaching of Jesus? On one hand that’s a pretty big assignment. We’ve got His teaching spread out over four gospels in the New Testament. And yet, we have those teachings summed up into one statement. One statement which Jesus said if you get this, you get all the law and the prophets. And that is to love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do this, Jesus said, and you will know the truth, and more than that: the truth will set you free.

That’s the way to do it. Judge all truth by love — love of God and love of one another. Then we know what truth is and what truth does. Hold to this everybody. This is so important. Love.

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Marti weighs in on the dark horse


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Catch Ministry calls us all to be dark horses, which is a call to run from the ordinary – you know, the place where we relish in the savoring of our successes over the failures that we would just as soon forget.  
 
The Catch Ministry calls us from the ordinary to action, an action that insists we not only accept our failures, but recognize that our misjudgments, mistakes and missed opportunities are a means of grace, where we trade our illusions of grandeur for humility so that we might embrace our humanity and see as in a mirror, the heart of all those who are like us.  It is here that we are enabled to empathize with those who have also fallen; where we can quickly accept and love them as no other can.
 
Instead of isolating ourselves in our own regrets, where we brood over past disasters that continue to intimidate us and cause us to turn away from love, and make us afraid to venture out again, grace causes us to discover the core of our being is God’s strength made perfect in this weakness of ours. This very same grace causes us to turn the gift of grace outward to others and to do so with great compassion, sensitivity, wisdom and understanding. Thus, you might say, grace suggests that our mistakes are redeemed and are put to God’s intended purpose. 
 
Thus failure is not ruinous.  It is in failure that we find grace.  In grace we discover God’s strength made perfect in our weaknesses and failures.  This is where we hear the call to be a dark horse. This is when we know we are ready to run. It is what we do when we give up pretending to be someone other than who we are, and finally, are free to follow the White One away from the ordinary and into the action.  
 
Thus the Catch Ministry is in the business of setting us free from the ordinary and enabling us for action – to ride with the great one as dark horses ourselves, running straight for the enemy camp, where we have no fear because our eye is clear, throwing light like a burning lamp.
 
Be a source of strength. Contribute to the Catch Ministry now.  Regardless of your place in history, run away from the ordinary.  Ride with us now.   
 
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
 
Accept our gift of both the Dark Horse audiobook and the highly acclaimed album, “Dark Horse” by clicking on this link now. And … thank you. We are dark horses – every one.  Help us to continue to set others free to be dark horses too.  
 
[A word from John: I cannot over-emphasize our need for funds right now. Both of our recent campaigns were short of goal. We need you to do whatever you can to keep us in ministry.]
 
 
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 goin’ his own way
 
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

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Dark Horse #2: Escape!

Dark Horse Part Two: Escape!
Dark Horse Part Two: Escape!
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Dark Horse: The White Horse Ranch

Dark Horse #1: The White Horse Ranch
Dark Horse #1: The White Horse Ranch
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New Year’s Eve Progress Report

Our progress in just the last couple hours has been remarkable. We are almost halfway to our goal of $15,000.

Remember whatever time it is where you are, it is 10:45 p.m. here and that’s what counts. So you have a little over an hour to finish up.

A big thanks to everyone below who has contributed so far. Will you join them and help us make our goal in the next hour?

And stay tuned for the next installment of Dark Horse.

Roberta, Seattle, Washington
Margaret, Gabriola BC CANADA
Mike, Lake Forest, California
Phillip, Easton, Pennsylvania
Keith, Portland, Oregon
David, Normandy Park, Washington
Sharon, Redwood City, California
Sandra, Inglewood, Colorado
Steve, College Place, Washington
Laura, Campbell, California
Rick, Phoenix, Arizona
Mark, Glenwood, Florida
Linda, Bainbridge Island, Washington
John, Buffalo, New York
Patrick, Dundee, Michigan
Tom, Washington, D.C.
Joseph, Sugar Land, Texas
Neil, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Kent, Bryan, Ohio
Arthur, Arlington, Virginia
Mark, Poway, California
Klynn Amarillo, Texas 
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New Year’s Eve Letter

In my multi-layered novel, Dark Horse, I tell about a camp where white horses are pampered, celebrated, and trained to pose in ways that hide any of their darker markings, and are striven to deceive others into believing that they are all white. I hope you discover for yourself when reading the four part scenario I condensed from the Dark Horse that it isn’t what you look like, but, as the book’s liberator says, “It’s what you do when you follow the will of the White One.” It’s an important story for our times as we look to break out of our Covid isolation to answer the call to discipleship — to follow the Spirit as Dark Horses ourselves, running straight for the enemy camp. 

You are going to welcome back Bob Souer as the famous voice actor who narrates our stories, and embrace Deborah Mullan as illustrator and video creator in the following four sequences you have or will receive by email and on the Catch website.

But here is the back story:

Over two months ago, our volunteer team agreed to create for our end-of-the year campaign a Dark Horse theme, offering the book and the album as our New Year’s gift of encouragement to anyone who contributed $20 or more. Many objected because a gift of $20 would not cover our costs. That didn’t matter to me. What matters was that everyone participates, knowing there are men and women within this body — dark horses all — who would agree with me, and would be quick to cover those who would not be in a place to give at this time, while also making up what is necessary to make our Ministry’s goal of $15,000.

The strategy was created, assignments made, and the project was to be ready for roll out before Christmas so that all of us might enjoy the much needed break between Christmas and tonight. 

I agreed to accepting the lead to this important campaign.

And then, I got caught in condensing the Dark Horse novel into four short compelling stories and I completely forgot about the team members necessary to create the important aspects of the campaign. 

I forgot that I am not running as a Dark Horse alone. As a matter of fact, there is no such thing. Nor do I have the right to interrupt other dark horses’ lives just because I quickly learned that timing is everything.

For instance, our video expert, Deborah, is a full time working mom of three children under 9 with obvious limited time to herself. People have lives of their own including out of town family trips. A steadfast contributor to this ministry, director of publications, Terri Main, was given the week off, and who would have considered our director of discipleship would come down with Covid? And there are many more whom this ministry relies on and we can count on — provided I follow the prescribed timeline, which I did not.

So I need your help. I mean I desperately need your help. I mean, I desperately, urgently need your help. Tonight was to have been the culmination of four days of reaching toward our goal. Many of you have been with us before when we have created stories and lessons for these last few days as we seek to track our progress along the way to our goal.

Now there is no time, so I ask you to do the difficult thing and pick up the pace and make right what I have caused to go so terribly wrong. 

We need you in the many facets of this Ministry, but tonight, and before midnight, I need you to give with compassion and love to the vision that we are all united around, and that is to introduce the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward — to everyone, everywhere. Can we do it all in one night? Let’s see if we can. And God bless you all, regardless.

download-2

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Merry Christmas

OIP-8

– Activities – 

December 23-December 27

Church at the Catch

Church at the Catch on Sunday evening at 6:00 Pacific on FaceBook Live (facebook.com/thecatch and scroll down until you see John live).

Prayer Ministry 

Please send your confidential request to catchjohnfischer@icloud.com. You can also submit prayer requests through FaceBook.co/thecatch, on our website at catchjohnfischer.com or on our Catch app

Counseling

Counseling is available to anyone at anytime.  Please forward a request  for a counseling call at catchjohnfischer@icloud.com. If your concern an emergency, call 911.  If there is an immediate and urgent concern, please call Marti directly at (949)500-3490.

End-of-the-Year Campaign 

From December 27-New Years Eve we hope to provide you with some fun and  entertaining short stories as you prepare to enter the New Year as a Dark Horse. For any contribution offered during this campaign, we are excited to thank you with John Fischer’s “Dark Horse” audio novel and award wining album, “Dark Horse,” which is newly remastered and better than ever!

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