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