Just for you (and everyone else!)

th-11Ever feel like you are inadequate to give anything of significance when seeking to serve others? Do you think that this Gospel of Welcome is too far-reaching? Do you think you are too old, too young, or too busy to be part of an international movement? Do you wish that John would tone down this grace-turned-outward stuff and return to the days when we were just getting ready to go into the marketplace? Do you think that he is asking too much? Are you afraid of what he’s going to ask next?  Me too.

That is until a dear friend recently told me:

“With little in hand but a willingness to have your heart broken by the things that break the heart of God,” she promised, “your life will change forever. Your life will never be the same.”

She got me. And as you reread her simple sentence again (and maybe you need to do that) she will catch you too. Who isn’t willing to have their heart broken by the things that break our living Lord’s heart? I am counting the hands. One… two… 10… oh my, 200… no, that’s 3,000 brave hands. Wow.  All in one day, after most of us skipped the Catch writing only yesterday. Three thousand raised hands and probably more, if we count those who dodged the Catch even today. (Those who are not raising their hands are my favorites. You are our honest seekers of God. Our seekers raise challenging and excellent questions and thoughts. I wouldn’t expect you to raise your hand — but do stay with us because I am going to tell a story that even you have heard many times over.)

Picture a young boy with a simple lunch his mom had packed for him earlier in the morning — five pieces of pita bread and two smoked fish (all of us moms are
“Jewish” when it comes to feeding our children). The little boy is off to find Jesus at the Sea of Tiberias — he, and at least 5,000 others.

The boy arrives and finds a place up at the front near Jesus. He must have been near enough to overhear Jesus ask his disciples how they planned on feeding the multitude. Jesus brought it up. His heart was going out to the people who had nothing to eat. If the disciples had a heart, they weren’t listening to it, because they didn’t have a solution. There was no grocery store in sight and no time to travel to town to find one. They were in denial. Surely the little boy knew his little lunch was hardly adequate to fulfill the needs of that many, but still, he gave what he had to Jesus. He had the right heart.

So, Jesus took the little boy’s lunch, blessed it, and right there in the wilderness, He turned the five pitas and two fish into one of the greatest Passover feasts ever, with second servings and leftovers to collect.

Now there is an alternative to this little boy’s story. Practicality tells us that he could have been moved to respond to the pressing need, but logically recognized, like the disciples, that his resources were sorely lacking. He could have reasoned that it would be better for at least one person not go hungry, and have hidden in a corner, secretly munching his lunch.

But the little boy didn’t steal away and care only for himself. Rather, he turned to the Lord and asked Him to do whatever He wanted to do with whatever he had to give.  And then he stood back and watched the Lord perform miracles all around him – through that little lunch his mom made for him, and his willingness to have his heart broken, he got to play a small part in a big miracle.

We who know Jesus Christ as the Lord of all Lords, the Christ in flesh and blood, the holy Messiah — we know Him as the Jesus who died to forgive all of us. We know the experience of grace that upended all the stupid things we have done and are doing; we know the intervening of his love to us, the loveless.

Looking around our cyber-world of fellowship, it is obvious that each of us has little in hand, causing you and me to ask each other, “Do we have what it takes to have our hearts broken by the things that break His heart?”

You are more than welcome to take the grace that has been given to you into your private corner. It was given freely to you, and just for you.

You are also welcome to join the Catch Ministry’s body of Christ as we allow our hearts to be broken over what breaks the heart of Christ, and defy logic and reason for His amazing gift of grace to you and to me, and invite others to join us through, and on, to the other side of the cross, where reconciliation lives. That’s where we find the miracle of grace turned outwards.

What miracle awaits out of that little lunch you packed earlier in the day? Whatever you have been given is for you … and everyone else!

th-10Did you know …

More than funds, facilities and food, the most needed resource required for sustainability in the Catch Ministry is the making of disciples of Christ. If we fail at that, forget the sustainability of our ministry. In an agricultural world ‘Renewable Resources’ are huge. For something to be labeled as a Renewable Resource it must be both natural (in product and process) and of benefit. Developing disciples is a spiritual process that is the natural/normal ministry of the Catch. A disciple is one who benefits the cause of Christ in the world.

______________________________

Become aMemberPartner today,

because the Catch is so much more than just the daily Catch.

__________________________

To sign up, click on the video screen below and our newest MemberPartner, 

McNair Wilson, a Disney Imagineer among hundreds of other creative things, will direct you to our sign-up page.

“Can you imagine any better way than what Marti and John do to create a welcoming community for some forgotten people? ᅠThey make His Church accessible in a brand new and needed way. ᅠStand by them.” 
                                                        John Haak, A MemberPartner
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One Response to Just for you (and everyone else!)

  1. The law of supply-and-demand is something we face every day. Because there are those who need, there must also be those who provide. There are employers and employees. There are counselors and counselees. There are teachers and teachees (I couldn’t resist).

    But it breaks down when it comes to refugees. There aren’t enough “refugers” to meet the demand.

    Back in the days when the Hebrews settled in Canaan, they set up cities of refuge. People who were in danger—even those guilty of wrongdoing—could escape to one of these six cities and find personal relief and refreshment.

    Don’t misunderstand. These weren’t sleazy dumping grounds for hardened criminals. These were territories dedicated to the restoration of those who had made mistakes. People who had blown it could flee to one of these places of refuge and not have those inside throw rocks at them.

    Today, we have lots of places to meet and sing. To pray. To hear talks from big wooden pulpits. To watch fine things happen. Yes, even to participate occasionally in the action. But where is the place of refuge for those whose lives have gotten soiled in the streets?

    More often than we want to admit, we’re bad Samaritans. We’re notorious for not knowing what to do with our wounded. Getting in there and cleaning up those ugly wounds and changing bloody bandages and taking the time to listen and encourage, well . . . let’s be practical, we’re not running a hospital around here.

    That makes good sense until you or I need emergency care. Like when you discover your husband is a practicing homosexual. Or your unmarried daughter is pregnant and isn’t listening to you. Or your parent is an alcoholic. Or you get dumped in jail for shoplifting. Or you blew it financially. Or you lost your job and it’s your own fault. Or your wife is having an affair. Or your dad or mom or mate or child is dying of cancer.

    Thankfully, in the church today, there are a few lights to help the hurting find their way back. There are dozens and dozens of small groups in churches across our land comprised of caring, authentic, but very human Christians who are committed to growing friendships and deepening relationships. Good Samaritans who have compassion. May their tribe increase!

    These are our modern-day cities of refuge.

    Genuine, New Testament Christianity doesn’t hang out at headquarters;
    it gets into the trenches with the wounded and weary.

    From FINDING A REFUGE by Chuck Swindoll
    http://www.insight.org/resources/devotionals/finding-a-refuge.html

    ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
    I feel that the Catch community already serves and should continue to grow as a “City of Refuge” as described above – or, if you will, a “City of Welcome” – for EVERYone regardless of their circumstances and even despite the biases and/or objections of Catch members.
    We as members need to set aside whatever pettiness, fears, or judgments that stunt both our personal growth and the Catch community’s expansion.
    There IS Hope for everyone beyond that which we can see.
    Embrace Him with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind!

    ON A SIDE NOTE:
    The little boy with the loaves and fishes probably already knew what it meant to be hungry and destitute – maybe even having to graciously and patiently share his meager meals with brothers and sisters – which may have been one reason why it was easier for him to give his entire lunch to such a large crowd.
    Certainly, there were others among the five thousand that must have brought food for themselves – and they probably even feasted on the free fish and bread Jesus was handing out – but they were too focused on themselves or their fears or other distractions, not wanting to rub shoulders with “that group of people over there” or even crack the ice in conversation with strangers seated next to them in their own cluster of fifty on that hillside. Even though surrounded by many others, they most likely stuck to themselves and their inner circle of family and friends.
    They only saw their immediate surroundings while the little boy, looking into the eyes of Jesus, saw the satisfied faces of 5,000+ people with contented tummies.
    At the end of the day, many probably looked back thinking that ‘fate’ smiled upon them because they got to see a celebrity and watch a good show with a “motivational” or inspiring message, AND PLUS get a free meal in the process!
    It was a good day but now it’s time to get back to the norm.
    The little boy, though, he saw the bigger picture and, I’m certain, was blessed for it….

    Shalom to all 🙂

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