Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cathy’s Corner


If you ask the man on the street what he thinks of the babe of Christmas, you’ll be surprised at the answers. Just look at the folks who were there when it happened.

The innkeeper was downright indifferent – a census had come to town, and he was busy ringing up the cash register. Consider the shepherds in the field – only after the band of angels bent over backward to explain the celestial fireworks were their fears finally put to rest.

The wise men were curious, poking here and there with questions until they found answers that satisfied. Then there were those who, like Mary and Joseph, worshiped the newborn King.

People haven’t changed much since Bible times … Are you, like the innkeeper, indifferent? Too busy? Are you still searching, looking for answers? Or maybe you’re frightened because the baby in the manger asks too much of you. Stop to think how you would have responded had you been the man on the streets of Bethlehem that night.

There are a thousand different ways to respond to the news that a Savior has been born … but the fact remains that until a child was born, this world was cloaked in utter darkness, abandoned, hopeless, and lost. But for unto us, a child is born, a Son is given! There is only one response: Worship and joyous praise!

                                                                                    Joni Eareckson Tada


Have you ever wondered what other people think about Christmas?  I’m not talking about those we know and that understand the true meaning of the season. I’m talking about people who don’t share our belief but still like to cash in on the holiday season. Like the innkeeper they just ring up all those sales and think about this as their busiest time of the year and hope they make a lot of profit. What about those who are afraid of what Christmas means and what it might cost them? They are so worried about what they may have to give up, they don’t want to consider what Jesus is really all about. Then we have the curious that want all of the answers ahead of time and may or may not believe. They just want all their questions answered - maybe even scientific answers to satisfy their curiosity.

I am so glad that someone took the time to teach me the true meaning of Christmas. I’m grateful that God loved us so much that He was willing to clothe Himself in swaddling clothes yet only to die a brutal death so that we could spend eternity with Him. No matter whether we are too busy, indifferent, afraid or just curious, the fact is Jesus was born in a manger one night and He gave hope to all. We can rejoice in His love for us and the hope we have in Him.


There is no better time to tell others the great news about Jesus than Christmas. Many people seem to be more receptive to spiritual things, while others are desperately searching for ways to overcome their pain and loneliness. Let’s approach the holiday season with prayerful attention to those we come in contact with who need a relationship with God, then carefully and thoughtfully share the message of Christmas with them.


Have a great day in the Lord!



Cathy’s Corner


I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and you were able to spend time with family and friends. As I write this the plan in our house is to have Thanksgiving with three of our children and two spouses on Saturday. This year is the year they spend Thanksgiving Day with their in-laws. Our daughter Kiersten is just days away from having her first baby and so my bags are semi-packed and I am just waiting to hop a plane to go to Virginia.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for so many things. God is so very good to us all of the time and He sent His Son for us that we can have eternal life with Him and that is what I am most thankful for.


He has blessed us this past year so very much. In April, on April Fools Day no less, we found out our daughter Kiersten and her husband Jay were expecting their first child and our first grandbaby. Tex will be here soon and I am excited about our first Christmas with him. In July we found out our daughter Cassandra and her husband Scott were expecting their first child and we were able to go and see the sonogram a couple of weeks ago and they are having grandson number two due in March. If that isn’t excitement enough; our son J and his wife Lindsay called last week and they are expecting their first child due in June. It is an exciting time around our house and while this Christmas will be lots of fun, next year with a six, a nine and a twelve month old to open presents and play with, it will be awesome. I love my family and I am thankful for the spouses He has blessed my children with. I am thankful for new grandbabies on the way and praying for healthy pregnancies, deliveries and babies.


God has also blessed our church in so many ways. Our economy has affected all of us in one way or the other. Many have lost jobs, have had their hours cut, or live with the threat of losing their job every day. God blessed this church because of it’s faithfulness to Him and allowed us to become debt free. Because of that where other churches are slashing budgets and lying off staff we are not experiencing as devastating affects as others. We are definitely trimming our budgets for the second year and we may be cutting out some of the things that we have done in the past but because of our debt freedom we hopefully can carry on without any loss of employees. So I am thankful for God’s provision for our church and praying for our faithfulness to him to continue.


God has blessed our preschool as well this year. We have more permanent teachers than we have ever had and so many of those are our faithful teachers that have been with us for years. I am grateful and thankful for the opportunity to serve with each and every one of you each week. I love seeing your smiles and watching you as you teach our preschoolers about Jesus. I am thankful for our Preschool Staff and for their dedication and commitment to excellence in laying a spiritual foundation for our children. Not only do I call these ladies co-workers but I also call them friend and I am thankful for that friendship.


Have a great day in the Lord




Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cathy’s Corner


I’ve been reminded this week about the importance of integrity and how we can sometimes question one’s integrity without knowing all the facts. It isn’t as simple or cut and dried as it seems. When we have set a certain standard or say we live by a certain set of standards, morals and values, people watch us to see if we actually live by those. When we are in a place of leadership and expect those around us to live by a certain set of standards, morals and values, then we must live by them as well. It can’t be the old “do as I say, not as I do.” If not, we are seen as lacking integrity, being dishonest or hypocritical - not that everyone lives up to all of those standards, morals, and values all of the time because we are human and we do make mistakes.

When we are the one expecting someone (who has said they agree to live by those standards, morals and values) to live by them and they do not, then their integrity is jeopardized. We can become disillusioned because we are disappointed, mad, let down or any other variety of feelings and emotions in that person. We tend not to trust them as much or believe them when they say something. We question their integrity and honesty.

What happens when we are the one who has been called in to question and those accusing don’t have all the facts or know all the circumstances? What happens when someone jumps to conclusions or judges someone based on what they see or think they know? What happens when, based on that limited information, we are accused of something or judged because they didn’t check out the facts? We get hurt. We turn away and lose trust in that person because they didn’t bother to come to us and make sure they had the facts. When you have been accused of something because someone did not have all the facts, they have questioned your integrity.

There are probably a lot of ways to handle it - some being wrong and some being right. But we want to vindicate ourselves when we have been unjustly accused or judged. We want to defend our integrity and stand up for ourselves. We can do that in a kind manner pointing out the facts or we can be defensive and down right nasty. I have to admit my first reaction is sometimes the second choice. But after I calm down and pray about it and ask God what He wants me to do,  then I go with the first choice. What that person chooses to do with all of the information when they receive it and understand it is up to them. As long as we have responded kindly and graciously we have to leave the rest up to them.

What if we are the one doing the accusing or judging - when we didn’t have all the information or all the facts and we went to someone and accused them of something? When we do have all of the information and someone has responded graciously to us, do we graciously apologize and thank that person? Do we choose to take the nasty road and get defensive ourselves and choose not to believe what we have been presented? Do we choose not to see things in a different light?

It’s never easy when someone questions our integrity and it’s not so easy to admit when we’ve been wrong. No matter what side of the issue we find ourselves on, we need to handle it with grace and forgiveness.


“But You O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.”  Psalm 86:15


Have a great day in the Lord!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cathy’s Corner

I found this the other day when I was looking for something for teacher appreciation. I hope you enjoy it.

Around the year 1900 or a little earlier the glad tidings of the gospel reached a small town called Arnstein, Ontario. A small village of farmers, loggers and  store keepers, having a total population of about 300 people. Nearby towns of Loring and Port Loring would bring this number up to about 1000 in later years.

I trace the message of the gospel back to its entrance into my family, starting with my grandmother on my father’s side who was saved when she was in her early twenties when she moved into the Arnstein area to teach school. On my mother’s side, the gospel first reached her grandfather and grandmother who where German immigrants who among others had settled in Arnstein. By the time my parents where born the gospel had caused very strong and bitter feelings on my mother’s side and a rather passive, carefree attitude on my father’s side. My mother was raised in a denomination that preached that Heaven was gained by “good works”, but my father was fully acquainted with the gospel, being the youngest of 9 children who all attended one of the three Sunday School’s held by the local assembly of believers.

I am the youngest of four children (all boys) and the reality of God’s salvation never entered our home until just before the birth of the third son. It was at this point that my parents both sought out God’s salvation and became the recipients of eternal life through faith in Christ (they would have been in their early 30’s). By the time I was born my brothers where going to Sunday School and as often as possible to the Sunday evening gospel meeting at the Gospel Hall.

My upbringing was the best that a child could dream of, but the presence of God’s word in my home was limited. Sunday morning we would read the Bible after breakfast and before going to bed a Bible story book would often be read to us. But talking about God and being told about what was in the Bible was what my Sunday School teachers did. They took a very keen interest in my soul and were very diligent and faithful in presenting to me, not only my sin and Christ as the Saviour, but also many things about God and who He is and all the things that he has done and can still do. What those teachers instilled in my mind and soul as a child are invaluable and where the basis and beginning of my search for “God’s way of Salvation”.

One teacher will always stand out in my mind, for this and numerous other reasons. Each Sunday as the class was ended and we where receiving our Sunday School work papers, to be completed for next week, she would say, “I’ll see you next week, that is if the Lord doesn’t come and take all the believers up to heaven”. This statement never became routine or common to me; it began to work in my young soul. It was thoughts of the Lord’s coming that would often cross my mind when someone wasn’t in a certain place or when they said that they would be there or when you expected someone to be home when you called or came in the door but the house was empty, even though the family vehicles where in the driveway. On these occasions I would be found, riding my bike at a rapid pace down the country road to my grandmother’s place to see if she was home, for if she was I knew that “the Lord had not yet come and I hadn’t been left behind”.

The assembly in Arnstein has been blessed over the years with godly elders, who had a sincere care for the “little flock” as well as those who where without Christ. Being in an assembly that has commended at least eight workers to labour in the gospel, its focus has always been in “reaching the lost”. With such a focus and desire they where able to see that there was a family of four boys, the older ones in there teens and none of them saved, but seemly showing some interest. The assembly began to pray and plan for gospel meetings in the month of March, 1981. The focus was the souls of those four brothers. With this all unknown to me, I began to be stirred in my own soul about my sin, eternity, the coming of the Lord and how I could be ready if He should come. With a solid foundation laid by two Sunday School teachers, the prayer of a godly grandmother, the exercise of a gospel minded assembly; God took up a dealing with my 8 year old soul. This working of God with me included sleepless nights, dreams of His coming and me being left behind, an awareness of my sin and a struggle as to “How can I be saved?” and “What does it really mean to believe?”.

It was a cold winters Sunday night in Arnstein and the Gospel Hall was filled as usual,  I was sitting between my parents about 5 rows from the front and the second seat in. The first speaker has finished, I haven’t heard a word that he said, all I can think of is “I want to be saved, but I don’t know how.” It’s ten minutes to 8 o’clock and the second speaker is speaking on John 3:16 and Revelation 20:15 the two “Whosever’s”. In front of me on the wall is a text about three feet by four feet, it was John 3:16. As the preacher spoke about how we can only be one of the two “Whosever’s”, either the one that has eternal life and their name is written in the book of life because they believe that Jesus died for their sins or the other whose name is not in the book of life and will never be in heaven but as an “unbeliever” they must spend eternity in the lake of fire. That night looking at that text on the wall, listening to the words of the preacher, the word “whosoever” in the text seemed huge to me. I realized then and there, that I could be that “whosoever” and I could have my name written in the book of life, if I simply “believed – take God at His word” that Jesus died for me. God can’t lie, He can’t change and His word is always faithful; therefore if God said it I can believe it.  I did that night and by His amazing grace I became the possessor of eternal life, that was February 2, 1981.

After the last hymn was sung and I had explained to dad why I was crying, we got up to go out and there coming towards us, against the flow of people, was my Sunday School teacher. Kneeing down in front of me she said with a smile and tears in her eyes, “You got saved tonight didn’t you?” How did she know? Eternity only knows. But I think that when you are so taken up with reaching souls with the gospel and constantly praying for them, when that prayer request is fulfilled the joy is not only in the presence of the angels of God but also in the hearts of those that care and pray. I am so thankful for the Sunday School teachers I had. Thankful for their faithfulness, prayer life, tenderness, godliness and interest in just one soul……mine.

Well, its only February and the gospel series isn’t to start until March, one of the four brothers has been saved. The series began and before the month ended my oldest brother was saved, that’s two of the four brothers. It was 12 years later, just after I had been involved in my first gospel series, which was in Arnstein, brother number three was saved. I have one more brother, he is next to me in age and as of yet he has not professed to be saved. Please pray for his soul, he comes to the gospel meetings and is favourable to it, only God knows why he is still outside the door. I know that the God of all mercy and grace can reach him to, just like He has the rest of the family.

This is my story of God’s grace to an 8 year old boy and the eternal value of the work of Sunday School teachers. If it wasn’t for their care I don’t know where I would be today. They truly have an awesome work and responsibility in shaping and molding young lives in relation to eternity in the light of the Word of God

As of July 2005, with the confidence and support of three assemblies, I have been commented to the full time work of the Lord. This comes 5 years after being involved in a new work and being a part of planting an assembly in Brampton, Ontario. In order to fulfill His service He has given me a life’s partner, Lois Tait  whose support, labor, help and spiritual strength has been a true benefit in our service for Him.
Serving the Best of Masters, for to Him I owe my all,

Byrnell Foreshew



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cathy’s Corner


So today is the day, or at least as I type this, today is the day. By the time you read this it will be another day. But today is the day we find out what the second Grandbaby is going to be. Gary and I are going with the other Grandmother and get to see the sonogram and find out when Scott and Cassandra find out. We are so excited!!! I have bought a pink and a blue frame to give them depending on which one they are having. We already have a grandson on the way, so a granddaughter would be fun. But whatever it is, we just want it to be a healthy baby and for the Mommies to stay healthy. So I’m way excited about going to the doctor this afternoon to see my new grandbaby via sonogram.


Isn’t it funny how times change? When I was having babies (even in the ten year span of when I was having babies) they only did sonograms if they thought something was wrong. Now they do them at almost every visit. And what you can see in them has improved a thousand times. You talk about HD and 3D, it is amazing. The doctor was viewing Kiersten’s sonogram on Monday and her comment was “Wow look at those chubby cheeks!”  She was referring to his face of course for you guys out there that are thinking something different. Kiersten is just five weeks away from her due date and this week she found out the baby is already 7 ½ to 8 pounds. He is going to be a big baby.


But anyway, times and things have definitely improved as far as having babies. Most every couple now days wants to know what sex the baby is before he/she is born. I didn’t know with any of mine, even the one that I did have one sonogram with because she wasn’t cooperating. I went merrily along my way purchasing and decorating with non-gender specific furnishings and equipment. Seat belts and car seats were just beginning to be mandatory. Most people were bottle feeding and breast feeding was just coming back as a “must do” for your baby. We didn’t have three fourths of the gadgets and doodads they have now to better take care of baby.  When I went with Kiersten and Jay to start their baby registry I didn’t even know what a lot of the things were or that they were even available.  It makes you wonder how the rest of us ever got here and managed to survive in this world. I can only imagine how my Mother must have felt as we had things that she didn’t when she was raising children. In fact she had my brother in her parent’s house the day after a tornado, no running water or electricity because the storm knocked it out. She and my dad were halfway to the hospital when my sister was born in the back seat of the car. But they made it to the hospital with me (eleven months after my sister was born) and I was born in the hospital.


It does make you realize that you can do a lot of things with very little when you have to. God gives you the strength to do those things if we will just call on Him. He has always been present and always will be no matter how little resources we have available and no matter how advanced we have become through technology. He knew all of us before we ever had a hair on our heads and He keeps watch over us daily. What an amazing God we serve.


For you have formed my inward parts;

You have covered me in my Mothers womb.

I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works,

And that my soul knows very well. Psalm 129: 13-14



Have a great day in the Lord!


Monday, October 26, 2009

From one pumpkin to another!!!!!!!

A woman was asked by a coworker,

'What is it like to be a Christian?'
The coworker replied, 'It is like being a pumpkin.'

God picks you from the patch, brings you in,
and washes all the dirt off of you.
Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.
He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed.

Then He carves you a new smiling face and
puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.'

Cathy’s Corner


There’s something about painting a room and cleaning everything from top to bottom that just makes me smile. Not that I do it very often, as you would see if you came to my house. But we’ve lived in this house for two years now and it needed painting when we moved in. Things were so hectic in our lives at the time that it was just move and get it over with, no time for painting. Within a matter of two weeks our house had finally sold in Lubbock and Gary had been offered a teaching job so we could finally buy a new house. It was the end of July, Gary was starting his new teacher orientation, and we had stored all of my mother’s stuff and a lot of ours as well in our garage because we had moved into a rent house. Add Sunday school promotion and senior year starting for our daughter and you get the picture, JUST MOVE!

So our youngest daughter moved into an apartment last week. Now that is a whole different story that I could go into but I’ll spare you today. So her bedroom and closet was empty and I decided last Friday that it would be the perfect time to paint before we moved anything into it. I’d been putting it off for two years. First I cleaned all the cob webs, windows and window sills, the light fixture and the chipped baseboards. Then I taped everything, bought my paint and by Saturday morning I was ready to paint. And that I did. Everything was going great and I finished and decided that we (I) should paint the third bedroom as well since we were going to move furniture from that room to the other room. So I did the same prep work in there. Then I looked at the first room and it was streaked. I couldn’t figure out why. I studied those walls and I talked out loud to myself and to Gary and I couldn’t figure it out. But the obvious answer was going to be as bad as I hated to admit it, a second coat. Then we moved all the furniture in place and the rooms were nice and in order. Once everything was completed, second coat and all and even the closet too, I was quiet pleased with the results and my hard work. So much that I kept going into the rooms turning on the lights and looking at how well they had turned out.

It’s kind of like life. Year after year as we grow up things happen and we get hurt or we get angry or insert any kid of emotion here you want. Some times we just stuff all that down inside and don’t deal with and it starts to layer on top of each other. Cobwebs grow over some of those hurts, a film develops over that anger, some chips get taken out of our heart and our light just doesn’t shine quite like it used to. But then it happens; it is time to clean it all out and if we allow God, He can come in and clean out the cobwebs, wash away the film, brighten up the light inside of us and even repair the chips in our heart. It isn’t easy by any means. Sometimes there are streaks that have to have a second coat because it’s just more than one coat can cover. Just like painting last week, there is a lot of prep work, and sweat, blood and tears involved. But it’s so worth it. Because the result is a brighter smile, a softer exterior, burdens lifted that make the load so much lighter. He puts everything in place and in order even the closet.  Sure sometimes it involves two coats to finally get the end result but once again it’s so worth it. And I can only imagine God looking down, turning on the light and watching us for a few moments. He smiles at the result of His handiwork.


Have a great day in the Lord.

And no, I’m not up for hire.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cathy’s Corner

Last week we had a child get her fingers pinched in the bathroom door jam. It was severe enough that she was taken to the hospital. Fortunately, major surgery was not needed except for sewing/gluing. It was an accident and there was a DOD couple (volunteers for the day) teaching in that room. They were awesome and handled the situation very calmly. We have since ordered door hinge guards that will be installed on all of the bathroom doors in the preschool building in order to try and prevent this from happening again. In an attempt to try and prevent accidents that we have had with our classroom doors in the preschool building, we are looking at corner guards for the top doors or bolting the classroom doors to make them one door and installing a rolling shelf for the entry. I have ordered a rolling shelf as a prototype to see if it will work for us. So, in the next few weeks and months, we will be making every effort to ensure safety issues with the doors.

I have to commend our staff, the teachers and the Euless Police/EMTs as everyone acted quickly but calmly. The child was brought out to the welcome area and was assessed by one of our Associates who called our security and medical personnel that were on call. The parents were called and fortunately had their cell phones on vibrate and came quickly from the service. Within a matter of minutes the situation was assessed, the parents contacted, the ambulance called and the child and parents were on their way to the hospital. We took care of rounding up their other children and making sure they were going to be cared for as well. Several of us ended up at the hospital Sunday afternoon to check on the family. Since then, I’ve talked with mom a couple of times. There will be no need for plastic surgery which was very good news. So, thank you to everyone who was involved and for their professionalism and quick response.

I’m sure all of us have heard of someone getting the flu right now. From what I’ve been told, it isn’t time for the seasonal flu so we can assume it is H1N1. We are making every effort to disinfect classrooms, furniture, toys, beds, play equipment and everything that you or a child will come in contact with. Please encourage the children to use the anti bacterial soap before entering the classroom and use it several times during the morning. If a child has a cough, seems feverish or you suspect they are ill, please let your Coordinator or Associate know. We will be taking no chances but sending children home who appear to be sick. If everyone cooperates and keeps sick children home and follows our procedures, we can greatly reduce the number of cases of sick children and teachers this year.

Cathy’s Corner - borrowed


When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to 
reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.
Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was 'Information Please' and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.
My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my Mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.
I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the Parlor and dragged it to the landing climbing up; I unhooked 
the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.
'Information, please,' I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.  'Information.'  'I hurt my finger,' I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.  'Isn't your mother home?' came the question.  'Nobody's home but me,' I blubbered.  'Are you bleeding?' the voice asked.  'No,' I replied. 'I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.'   'Can you open the icebox?' she asked.  I said I could. 'Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger,' said the voice.
After that, I called 'Information Please' for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.
Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died I called, 'Information Please,' and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked 
her, 'Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring Joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?'  She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, 'Wayne, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.'   Somehow I felt better.
Another day I was on the telephone, 'Information Please.'   'Information,' said in the now familiar voice.  'How do I spell fix?' I asked.
All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest . When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. 'Information Please' belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.  Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.
A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without 
thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown Operator and said, 'Information Please.'  Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. 'Information.'  I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, 'Could you please tell me how to spell fix?'  There was a long pause Then came the soft spoken answer, 'I guess your finger must have healed by now.'  I laughed, 'So it's really you,' I said. 'I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?'  'I wonder,' she said, 'if you know how much your call meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.'  I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.  'Please do,' she said. 'Just ask for Sally.'
Three months later I was back in Seattle a different voice answered: Information.' I asked for Sally.  'Are you a friend?' she said.  'Yes, a very old friend,' I answered.  'I'm sorry to have to tell you this,' she said. 'Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago.'  Before I could hang up she said, 'Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne?'   'Yes.' I answered.  'Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you.' The note said, 'Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean.'  I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.
Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.  Whose life have you touched today in a positive way today?  Lifting you on eagle's wings. May you find the joy and peace you long for.


Have a great day in the Lord!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cathy’s Corner


I just can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about Young Moms By Choice. What is that you ask? Well, it is a ministry we started last summer to teens and twenties Moms. It started out as Teen MOPS and has changed to Young Moms By Choice because they chose life for their baby. We reach girls anywhere from fifteen to twenty-five. We meet on Wednesday evenings and this fall we began a Sunday morning connection class for them as well.


Word has slowly gotten out about our ministry. Last week we were able to provide a lunch meeting for the Director of Social Development for the HEB ISD and for the counselors from Trinity, Bell and Keys High Schools and two of the Jr. High Schools. We told them all about our program and what we had to offer their girls who are pregnant or have children and then what we could do for them. As a result of that meeting, this past Wednesday two of our leaders and one of the young women who is in that ministry went and spoke at Keys High School to twenty-five young women. Wednesday evening thirteen of those showed up for our meeting. Two came with the Father’s of their babies and two came with their Mothers. We had one young woman come from the Mid-Cities Pregnancy Center. Can I just say that God showed up in a huge way? We were expecting maybe five to eight - but fourteen new girls - and to come with two fathers and two mothers as well, not to mention the babies that came along. It was awesome. So while we were planning for maybe twenty-five total, God had other things in mind. We were scrambling around for more chairs, worrying about the food and how we were going to reach these girls. I got to see the story of the fishes and loaves live and in person. The food multiplied and it was just an incredible thing to see how God provided in each and every circumstance.


Beckie Smith is our leader. She changed plans in the middle of everything. If you know “planned-out Beckie,” you know that she likes everything to be ready to go right down to the last detail. She was unmoved and unstoppable. Her husband, Jeremy was pitching in getting chairs, going to the kitchen to get their leftover food, and helping in whatever way he could. Then the rest of the leaders, Jenna Williams, Angela Faughtenberry, Dawn Webb, Sara Duke, Kristen Trawick, Sara Thompson, Daisy Lico, and Kathy Hanson all carried out their assignments as well. In addition to the ministry to the moms, we also have begun a ministry to these dads as well. That is being led by Jeremy Smith, Will Theisen and Jonathan Faughtenberry.  When the girls break off into their groups the guys get together and have their own time of learning from Godly Christian men.


I cannot begin to tell you what we are seeing God do in the lives of these young people. Imagine yourself in the situation of being a young teen or twenty something, pregnant or a new parent when you are basically just a kid still yourself. Yes, for the most part, they got themselves into this mess but they CHOSE to give that child life. Thus the name Young Moms BY Choice...and they had a choice. Our world gives them the option of aborting their baby, but they chose to give their baby life. So here they are, most of them are ashamed; they are embarrassed; they are getting grief at home. In some cases, they can’t do the things they used to do with their friends. They may or may not be accepted. So where do they turn? We have given them a place to come and be accepted for who they are and for what they are going through. They can join with others who are going through the same things that they are. We aren’t glorifying what has happened. We are walking through it with them and caring about them and being Jesus with skin on. We are pointing them to Jesus. We are showing them what true Christians can be like. We are showing them that our church doesn’t judge them or condemn them and we are showing them how to be better parents.


I wish I had more space to write because this is just the tip of the iceberg.  So pray for this ministry and for all of those involved.  May God be glorified in all we do.


Have a great day in the Lord!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cathy’s Corner



Last spring I told some of you about my neighbor. I’ll catch everyone else up. She lost her husband last September to cancer. It will actually be a year next week. I can’t say I have been the best neighbor in the world. Pretty much when I get home I don’t venture out of the door until the next morning when I leave for work. Gary is the social neighbor in our family. He knew Jeannette’s husband, Ben. They would talk in the yard until he got sick. One morning when I was riding out of the driveway to come to church, Jeannette stopped me with car trouble. She was actually looking for Gary but he had already left. So, I helped her push her car out of the way so she could get the other one out of the garage. We talked for a few minutes and she shared a little about how hard it had been because Ben did everything. She got teary eyes and so did I.


Well, I felt like a really bad neighbor because I didn’t know her and I hadn’t checked on her. After that, God convicted me to be a better neighbor. So this summer I invited Jeannette to join a Bible study on Sunday afternoons at my house with my daughters, Diane Pierce and Debbie McDaniels who teach in preschool and a few other women, about twelve of us in all. She was so excited and jumped at the chance. She and I have visited several times during and since that time. I was going to invite her to the Ladies Dinner and hadn’t gotten around to it. Then Diane emailed and asked if I had yet. If not, she wanted to. Diane is such a great encourager, always sending cards and sweet emails. It was a reminder to me to go next door and ask Jeannette. Once again she was thrilled and accepted right away. She invited me in.  I got to see the room she had been painting. It was the first time she had ever painted and she was so proud. So we got to talk and visit again.


I just wanted you to know I was being a better neighbor.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

“You are teaching children, so mind what you teach them. Take care what you are doing! …It is a child’s soul you are tampering with… It is a child’s soul you are preparing for eternity…If it is an evil to mislead gray-headed age, it must be far more so to turn aside the feet of the young into the road of error, in which they may forever walk.” Charles Spurgeon


Can you say wow with me? I mean let me loose and let me go to town with that one. I could get on a soapbox and never come down. If our church caught that vision we would never want for preschool or children’s teachers. We would never have to close a class and combine it with another because there was no one there to teach the children. We would never have to put fifteen two year olds into a room because there weren’t enough teachers for them. We would never have to say to a parent. ”We are sorry your child got hurt but there just wasn’t enough help today in his room.” We would never have to pay someone who doesn’t even go to our church because there would be Christian men and women from our church wanting to invest in the life of a child.


What you do has value. You are investing in the life of a child, in their soul, preparing them for eternity. We need to provide every opportunity for a child to learn about God so one day they can make Him their Lord and Savior.


“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:5-5


Monday, August 24, 2009

Cathy’s Corner

So this past week we have been doing staff evaluations and goal setting for the next six months. As part of the Education Staff we have been doing this for a while. The SMART goals concept is something that Mark Yoakum taught me years ago. I thought I’d include the principle behind SMART goals. You never know who just might need this type of information.

Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely

Specific - A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six "W" questions:

*Who:      Who is involved?
*What:     What do I want to accomplish?
*Where:    Identify a location.
*When:     Establish a time frame.
*Which:    Identify requirements and constraints.
*Why:      Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

EXAMPLE:    A general goal would be, "Get in shape." But a specific goal would say, "Join a health club and workout 3 days a week."

Measurable - Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.

To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as......How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable - When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

Realistic - To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress. A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labor of love.

Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.


Timely - A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there's no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? "Someday" won't work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, "by May 1st", then you've set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.


T can also stand for Tangible - A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the senses, that is, taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing. When your goal is tangible you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and thus attainable.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

This past week in Preschool our Bible story was on how God told Jonah to go to Nineveh but Jonah didn’t want to do what God was telling him so he high tailed it out of there and jumped on a ship. Then God sent the hurricane of all hurricanes and the ship was being tossed around like a kitten in the hands of a two year old. Then the people on board got scared and said heave ho to Jonah. If that wasn’t crazy enough a fish that would make even a fisherman’s biggest fish story look like a minnow came and swallowed Jonah up and kept him there for three days and three nights. This week we get to tell them how Jonah was sorry for running from God and how he thanked God for sending the fish to save him. God gave Jonah a second chance and with that the fish spit Jonah out. This time Jonah did what God told him to and high tailed it to Nineveh.  (This is not the NIV, New American Standard or King James Version. This is the Cathy Jones version.)  


Ask yourself these questions:

1. What do I believe about God?

            I believe that God spoke to Jonah and told him to go. I believe God was pursuing Jonah for refusing to do what he was told and running away.

            I believe God caused the storm and He stopped it. I believe He caused the fish to spit Jonah out.

2. What do I believe about Jonah?

            I believe Jonah heard from God and was running from Him and from what God wanted him to do. I believe Jonah went to sleep on the ship and when he was confronted with why God was causing the storm he finally confessed and admitted he was the cause of the storm and God was after him. I believe he told them to throw him overboard and the fish came and swallowed him up. I believe Jonah cried out to God because of his circumstances and because he had been cast out. He remembered the Lord.

3. How does this apply to me?

            Eight years ago I started fasting and in the beginning it was a good thing because it really did bring me closer to God. When anyone found out I had been fasting and when you lose 25 pounds someone does notice I would tell them why and just what God was teaching me. But then I started letting myself think I was doing it and my fasting became a God in my life. I let my relationship with God become second. I turned from the presence of God which means walking away from the will of God. By walking away I was not able to hear what God was saying to me and I left this church and took another position at FBC Lubbock. I was living in rebellion and I was running and I think that decision to go was completely on my own. There were too many red flags and a check in my spirit and I didn’t pay attention to them. God pursued me. My time in Lubbock was miserable and there were many storms in my life but I kept running. I believe God was behind the storms in my life. I went into depression and like Jonah I slept. I felt like I was in the pit of despair. I remembered God and I cried out and He confronted me and I finally saw where and how I had been wrong and I was sorry. I apologized for being disobedient and asked for God’s forgiveness.  I praised Him for what He taught me and thanked Him for bringing me through it. Unlike Jonah who got it in three days, it took me four and a half years.


Stay tuned for the rest of the story, next week.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Cathy’s Corner


Welcome to the Theater and Studio 456!

Happy first day of the new Connection Class year. Welcome to our rookies and welcome back to our outstanding veterans. God is on the move and so are we. He is blessing our church and our preschool with many new young families. Today across the church we should have over 160 people serving in preschool. You may be in babies or toddlers in The Theater, or two and three year olds in The Theater or in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten in Studio 456. Where ever you may be you have already been prayed for and prayed over and we are glad you are on the team.

            Every week I try to provide you with some encouraging words, tid bits of information or something interesting I have read or someone else has shared with me. This week I want to introduce myself to those who are new. I am Cathy Jones your fearless leader and the Minister to Preschool. I have been married to Gary my knight in shining armor, off and on for thirty three years. I will explain that sometime. Gary and I both grew up in west Texas out where the sand blows and true grit is the sand in your teeth. I graduated from Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth in 1995.  I was on staff as Preschool and Children’s Minster at Lamar Baptist Church in Arlington for almost nine years. I was here as Preschool Minister from 1998 to 2001. I took the Preschool position at First Baptist Lubbock and we were there for five years. I’ve been back here now since the spring of 2006 and I love being back. Gary teaches second grade at Farrell Elementary in Arlington. After working in the Steel business for seventeen years he went back to school and got his Masters Degree and teaching certification and started teaching in elementary. He loves teaching and the kids love him. He also teaches in pre-kindergarten on Sunday mornings in Studio 456. I couldn’t ask for a better husband and friend. He loves me and supports me and has joined me in preschool ministry for over fifteen years. We have four children; three of whom married within six months of each other in 2008. Cassandra and Scott married in February, Kiersten and Jay married in July and J and Lindsay married in August. Caitlin is our youngest and she attends a music and theater arts school in Dallas and lives with us though with our schedules we rarely see her. It might be more correct to say she sleeps in a bed in our house and eats our groceries occasionally but always shows up when its time to go out to eat. The year of the weddings is now becoming the year of the grandbabies. Kiersten and Jay are expecting our first grandchild, a boy at the end of November or first of December. Jay is in the Navy and they are stationed in Virginia Beach, Va. Cassandra and Scott just found out they are expecting our second grandchild at the end of March. Cassandra and Scott live in Hurst and attend church with us here. J and Lindsay live in Houston. My prediction is that J and Lindsay will provide us with grandbaby number three by the end of 2010. It is an exciting time in our lives and I’m already thinking of ways to spoil them all. You may have noticed that we have a J and a Jay. It can get confusing but our son’s name really is just the letter J and so to differentiate between the two I sometimes spell out JAY when referring to my son-in-law. God has blessed us so much over the years and while there were many struggles raising four children and three of those within five years of each other; our children are our pride and joy. Now not only do we have in-laws to add to the mix but God’s reward of grandchildren as well. Well that’s enough about me and mine; you’ll hear more about them throughout the year. I’m glad you are here and we are serving together. Have a great year.


Have a great day in the Lord


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Cathy’s Corner


Oswald Chambers – The Teaching of Disillusionment

“Jesus did not commit Himself to them…, for He knew what was in man” (John 2:24-25).


Disillusionment means having no more misconceptions, false impressions, and false judgments in life; it means being free from these deceptions. However, though no longer deceived, our experiences of disillusionment may actually leave us cynical and overly critical in our judgment of others. But the disillusionment that comes from God brings us to the point where we see people as they really are, yet without any cynicism or any stinging and bitter criticism. Many of the things in life that inflict the greatest injury, grief, or pain, stem from the fact that we suffer from illusions. We are not true to one another as facts, seeing each other as we really are; we are only true to our misconceived ideas of one another. According to our thinking, everything is either delightful and good, or it is evil, malicious, and cowardly.

            Refusing to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering of human life. And this is how that suffering happens—if we love someone, but do not love God, we demand total perfection and righteousness from that person, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; yet we are demanding of a human being something which he or she cannot possibly give. There is only one Being who can completely satisfy to the absolute depth of the hurting human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord is so obviously uncompromising with regard to every human relationship because He knows that every relationship that is not based on faithfulness to Himself will end in disaster. Our Lord trusted no one, and never placed His faith in people, yet he was never suspicious or bitter. Our Lord’s confidence in God, and in what God’s grace could do for anyone, was so perfect that He never despaired, never giving up hope for any person. If our trust is placed in human beings, we will end up despairing of everyone.


            I’ve ben in ministry for over twenty-five years and in the beginning I had illusions of how church staff, church members and Christians in general were supposed to act. I expected non-Christians to behave badly but not Christians.  There have been many times that I have been injured and suffered pain and grief because of someone who said or did something or how they acted. I’ve also been the cause of my share of pain, suffering and grief because of pride and self-righteousness. I’ve also been critical, judgmental, and cynical because of what I’ve seen and how people can become. Someone once told me, “Don’t put anyone on a pedestal, because they will let you down every time.” I’m not perfect by any means and I make mistakes, fall down and get back up. I disappoint people all the time but I’m still trying to do what I think God is telling me to. I ask for forgiveness and I apologize when I’m in the wrong. Hopefully now I try to see people the way God does. I try not to be as hard on people as I use to. Occasionally I may be disappointed with someone but I haven’t lost faith in God and I haven’t lost faith that He will work in and through each of us if we will let Him. We are all human beings who are sinners and if we have a relationship with Jesus Christ then He is working in our lives, molding us and shaping us to fulfill His purposes. I can only pray for myself and others that we will have no more misconceptions, false impressions, and false judgments so we can’t be deceived; but along with that not to be cynical or overly critical in our judgment of others. Let’s see others as they really are, yet without any cynicism or any stinging and bitter criticism. Let’s love each other and see each other as we really are, sinners saved by grace.


Have a great day in the Lord


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cathy’s Corner


What is it about this time of year? Excitement is in the air because schools about to get started, kids are looking forward to new school supplies and maybe some new clothes. Moms are excited because the kids are going back to school. Dads are excited because Moms are excited. Teachers are busy getting curriculum, supplies, classrooms and everything else ready for new students. It’s a fresh new start for everyone. Even if you get your older brother’s or sister’s hand me downs they are still new to you. Everyone has the same opportunity on the first day to start a new school year and it’s a clean canvas. It’s up to you to paint the picture for the rest of the year.

It’s much the same way here at church. We are getting ready for a new Connection year. Our preschoolers will be promoting. Kindergarten will now be in first grade. Pre-kindergarten will now be entering into kindergarten. Four year olds will move to the Studio. Two year olds will move up to the second floor of the Theater. We have some teachers going back to their adult connection class, some teachers have moved to other areas of responsibility. Did you know that over 100 of you are staying to serve in preschool this next year? Isn’t that fantastic? I am so excited about you continuing to be a part of laying a spiritual foundation in preschool. Then we have over 40 new teachers joining us for the next year. Isn’t that fantastic as well? We are so close to being completely staffed that I can hardly stand it. I can almost taste it. I told Gary that in twenty years of being on staff that here at First Euless is the only place we have never been completely staffed going into a new Bible study year. I realize we need twice as many teachers to begin with but we also have twice as many members in the congregation. But I think I’d stand on the top of the church and sign the hallelujah chorus if we started with a full slate of teachers on August 16th. I’d dance a jig, I’d eat a worm, well lets not get carried away here, no worms. But I would be so thrilled I probably wouldn’t be able to speak. That’s incentive enough for those who have to be around me for very long. So be praying because all we need is less than forty people to be able to do that. Forty may sound like a lot but not when we need a total of 177 to make each Sunday morning happen. Ask your friends to join you, invite a parent to teach their child’s class, find someone who has been sitting in adult Bible study for way too long to join us. I guarantee God will bless their socks off.

I hope you are planning on being here this evening. We are going to have a great time. The Associates and I have been working hard to prepare for this time of training and hopefully you are going to have some fun while we do it. It’s never a dull moment when you get all of us together. We hope to have your new class rolls unless we run into a problem like last year, but at this writing things look like we will have them for you. We hope to contact every one of our preschoolers before august 16th. The best time to do that as a group will be August 11th at 6:30 during Outreach. Come at 6:00 and get a quick meal and then we will go out in teams and you can visit some of the children in your class. Classes that have teachers both hours can divide and conquer. If you have twenty on the class roll then that’s only five children each to contact. I do hope you will be here tonight; there are lots of things we need to share with you in a limited amount of time, so be here early. The early bird gets the WORM. Thanks for your servant’s heart.


Have a great day in the Lord


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cathy’s Corner


So Gary and I went on vacation last week. Our goal was to drive to Virginia to see our daughter and son-in-law in Virginia Beach and take some baby items and then to go to Washington DC and some other places. Yes we are going to be Grandparents come late November or early December. Remember the year of the weddings? Well does that mean this could be the year of the grandbabies? Three weddings, three grandbabies or more if there were multiples, wouldn’t that be exciting? But I digress. So we were taking a glider, ottoman and high chair that Kiersten and I found at a garage sale when she was here in June. I made new cushions for the glider and covered the ottoman and I’m making a new high chair seat cover. Try getting those in your back seat. Plus we had our suitcases, a case of hot sauce for the pregnant one, because you just can’t good Tex-Mex in Virginia, and other items. While traveling we ran into two hailstorms that caused us, plus everyone else, to pull off of the road because you couldn’t see. The first one blew an eighteen wheeler over up the road from us. I have pictures!

The mountains of North Carolina and Virginia were absolutely breath taking. When I moved Kiersten up there in November we drove through the mountains at night so we didn’t get to see much. In the Bible study I have done by Priscilla Shirer she talks about riding to Knoxville, TN and wanting to work on her laptop but she couldn’t because she was so taken in by the beauty of the mountains. Coming over the hill going east into Knoxville there on top of this hill was this huge white cross standing in all of its glory. She said it was like God was reminding her He was still here and He created all of this. Well we came over this hill and all of a sudden I saw this white cross. I’m telling Gary about the Bible study and saying that was the cross she talked about. Priscilla was right, the cross is just there rising up out of these mountains and it was just so breathtaking. It was reminding us that God is everywhere. He created our world and these mountains and the trees. If we will stop and look they are for our enjoyment. They are a constant reminder of how powerful God is and what an incredible gift He gives us through His creation.

The Monuments in DC are incredible as well and while man made they still have that awe about them. You see them on television or read about the history behind them in books but they are just amazing to see in person. Of course the Memorials for the men and women who lost their lives in our wars were humbling. Gary found the name of one of his high school friends on the Viet Nam Memorial. Arlington Cemetery is overwhelming. The history behind each of these monuments and memorials reminds us of all our country has been through and the sacrifices made by so many.

We are all looking forward to Kiersten and Jay’s baby boy, Tex.  While there, I put my hands on either side of Kiersten’s tummy and sang to him and I felt him kick twice. (I’ve already heard the comments about how he kicked so I would stop singing. I say it was because he was so excited to hear his Mema’s voice.) Once again I am reminded of God as creator. Baby Tex reminds me that God is still here and He created this new life. Tex will bring us all joy and he will be a constant reminder of what an incredible gift God has given us through him. Like the monuments and memorials in DC that were made to honor people and sacrifices made, Kiersten and Jay now have the opportunity to honor God by raising Tex in a Christian home with a strong spiritual foundation. One day they will be able to pass on to him a heritage of faith that includes a loving God, loving family and those who made sacrifices for him. And as we prayerfully intercede on his behalf, one day I pray, as he learns about the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for him, he will ask Jesus into his heart and begin a journey that is breath taking. I pray that Tex will see what an incredible gift God has given him in Jesus Christ.


Have a great day in the Lord


Monday, July 20, 2009

Cathy’s Corner

I’ve been out of town this past week so this was something I received as an email and I thought I’d share some Christmas in July with you.

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment. I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map. We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. "Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya buster,' the man said to Erik. My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What do we do?' Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.' Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.' Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man. Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.' Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone. He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.' I said nothing more than a muttered thanks.

With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.' I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' When He shared His for all eternity. The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God we must become as little children.” Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who we are. Author unknown

Have a great day in the Lord