A lesson in faith- look to your cat

Over the past few weeks I have marveled at how often my cats have seemed to show me what true faith is.  In a way, they’re helping to guide me into becoming a better follower of Jesus.

But cats don’t even come when you call them.

Not sure where that comes from, but I know that unless my cats are asleep, they generally come right over when they’re called; tail straight up, looking expectantly, happy to be singled out for whatever I have for them.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

Sure, there are times when all I get are ears turned in my direction, but can we say that we always jump when God calls us to do something?  Or do we sit where we are and see if maybe He will change His mind and ask something else instead?

He went a little father and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Matthew 26:39 (NKJV)

Jesus uses both the lilies of the valley and the birds as an example of faith, and I feel it can be said that cats exemplify this as well.

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Matthew 6:25 (NKJV)

They have no thumbs with which to open their own cans of food, nor to pour out more crunchies.  They cannot turn on the faucet to get more water for themselves if their bowl is empty.  They trust that you will ensure they have everything they need.  They own nothing themselves, but they don’t worry about where they will sleep or what they will eat.  They know it will be provided for them.  Why?  Because you love them.

Then what happens when we bring out a can of food or begin to fill a bowl with more crunchies?  We’re generally greeted by at least one voice and a raised tail.

…singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Ephesians 5:19-20 (NKJV)

There have been some studies and articles that assert that the primary reason cats meow is to communicate with their humans, not each other.  We all know that tone that we hear in their voices anywhere from half an hour to a full hour (or more) before their designated feeding time asserting that they are clearly starving and need to be fed “right meow!”

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:7 (NKJV)

I suppose it’s possible that I have an oddball group of felines, but it doesn’t take more than me telling them that “It’s not time.  Wait a little longer,” and then walking out of the kitchen to quiet them.  It’s not the answer they want, clearly, but they accept “Wait” as my answer.  How many times have we prayed for something we desperately want only to fight the answer received from God of, “Wait,” in our own lives?  Whether we begin to beg and plead with God for what we feel we need right then and there, or if we go out and try to make it happen on our own, we are, at that point, like the cat trying to open their own can of cat food.  We lack the ability.  And if you replace the can with a bag of crunchies, sure, the cat can get into it, but they sure seem to make a mess of things.

Matthew 7:7 speaks of perpetual action.  Keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking.  That, most certainly, is what my cats do when it comes to food.  While they accept the “Wait” for a while, they will come back a while later and ask again.  But if it still is not time, they accept “Wait.”

How many times have you seen you cat in the middle of something, whether playing with their favorite toy, or bathing for a nap, only to leap up and follow you into another room?

Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
Matthew 4:19-20 (NKJV)

Not ‘thought about it a while and debated’ before following.  Immediately.  Just like your cat.  No second thoughts.  My human is going there, so I am going to go there as well.

And no, I haven’t even touched on the love they give…

But both my coffee cup, and the pot are empty.  So I will likely continue on this another day.

 

CPB

P.S. I think I must add here, that I am by no means asserting that we are mini gods that deserve worship from our pets.  Quite the contrary, actually.  I am asserting that by being part of a category that is certainly among the least, (a mere domestic house pet,) they are, in fact, helping lead by example.

“Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:19 (NKJV)

 

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Walk by faith

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

 

Then He touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.”
Matthew 9:29 (NLT)

 

For we walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)

The other day my husband called me with news of his impending lay-off from the job that he’s been at since August of last year.  He’s in construction.  It happens.  Projects start, and then they wind down, and people get laid off.  It’s just how things are.  While his supervisor had been planning to keep him and several others well into April, it was passed down the chain that he didn’t have the final say and to lay him and a few others off.

So about ten minutes after he breaks the news to me that today, Thursday, is to be his final day, I find myself saying something that was unexpected and to me, seemed uncharacteristic.

“So what are you going to do ______ you’re dispatched next week since the trailer is in the shop?”

I have the blank there because, as I thought about the words that had come out of my mouth later that night, I honestly didn’t know whether I had said “if” or “when.”  Any that are women reading this, (and maybe some husbands/boyfriends,) know that we always know what we’ve said, word for word, and can recount it at a moment’s notice verbatim in case of any future disagreement.  Right?

But I truly didn’t know and that bothered me.  No matter how many times I replayed the audio tape in my head, I couldn’t be sure of what that one syllable was.  So I made a mental note to ask my husband.

He sat on the couch clearly replaying his own mental audio tape after I asked him, “What did you hear me say?”  After a moment, the response came that he heard “When, but not the part about ‘next week.'”

And here the end to the head scratching I had been hoping to find, eluded me yet again.

knew I had said “next week,” and that part I didn’t doubt.  At this point, I have resorted to blaming it on potential cell interference or road noise.  Pretty probable excuse as to why he could have missed two words in the middle of a sentience, right?

So what?  People get laid off every day.  This matters why?

Like I said, this seemed uncharacteristic of me, even as the words were coming out of my mouth.  I have been through these lay offs with him before so it’s not new ground.  Generally though, about the first half hour to hour is spent talking about the immediate.  Is there enough money in the account for a while?  Any idea about the delay before unemployment payments?  What are the job prospects in the area?  Is traveling on or off the table?  Any major payments on the horizon that could be a problem?  You know, the typical, boring, ‘running a household’ stuff.

But there was none of that this time.

Just what are you going to do to get by when you’re sent out next week since the trailer you had been planning to take with you to the next job is still in the shop?

He and two others that are getting their final checks today are heading to the hall tomorrow to get back on the out of work list so that they can be dispatched to another job.  He doesn’t seem optimistic that it will be a  super quick turn around because he states that only a small number of people are being dispatched per day, (this morning was a single person being called out by name).

But I hold a different opinion.

I will not be surprised if he’s sent out next week.  Quite the opposite.  I will be surprised if he is not.

Sure, you cay say that I am being foolhardy, overly optimistic, or just setting myself up to be let down.  I could say I am trusting that God is at work and He’s got this.

Guess only time will tell which it is.

 

CPB

 

Cause and effect

Ahead of Obama’s visit to Israel on the 20th where it is expected he will ask for Netanyahu’s plans for withdraw from the West Bank, I thought I would spend some time looking at the times in the past when the US had worked against Israel and worked at achieving peace in the region at the sacrifice of its lands.

I had heard before of bad things happening when those in charge of the US moved against what God had decreed, but it seemed that those lists never came with links to corroborate.  They were just lists of x happened, then y happened with dates.  But I wanted to see for myself.  I wanted links.  Here is a list, and here are links:

 

On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock.  All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves.
Zechariah 12:3 (NLT)

 

I will gather the armies of the world into the valley of Jehoshaphat.  There I will judge them for harming my people, my special possession, for scattering my people among the nations, and for dividing up my land.
Joel 3:2 (NLT)


October 30, 1991– Madrid Conference/ “Land for Peace” plan, lasted three days

Perfect Storm” off Nova Scotia of movie fame, formed 10/28 and dissipated 11/4

August 23, 1992– 4 days of peace talks in DC

Hurricane Andrew makes landfall in Florida on the 24th.


January-September 13, 1993– The Oslo Accords.  Various secret meetings to establish bilateral peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians which was signed in DC 11/13/93.  Directly lead to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority with the Gaza-Jericho Agreement.

April-October 1993- the Great Flood all along the Mississippi River.

January 16, 1994– Clinton and president Hafez el-Asad of Syria meet

6.9 Northridge earthquake in California less than 24 hours later

March – April, 1997–  Arafat visits the US, Clinton rebukes Israel for not giving land for peace after damaging recordings of Arafat are released.

Tornadoes and flooding across the US

October 15-23, 1998– Arafat and Netanyahu meeting in Maryland for peace talks

Texas flooding through the center of the state.

September, 1998– Albright works on final details of plan for Israel to give up 13% of Yesha (West Bank/ Gaza)  Clinton, Arafat and Netanyahu meet about establishing a Palestinian state by May 1999.

Hurricane George makes forms on the 15th and makes landfall on the 28th.

May 4, 1999– Arafat prepared to declare Palestinian state. A Meeting with Clinton, preempted by a letter, asked Arafat to hold off till December 1999.

Tornadoes across Kansas and Oklahoma with winds to 302 mph, the highest speed recorded to date.

August 28, 2005– In his radio address on the 27th, Bush endorses the “disengagement plan” relocating Israeli people from settlements in Gaza.

Hurricane Katrina makes landfall.

February 1, 2011– Obama endorses the Muslim Brotherhood‘s role in Egypt’s future

Monster snowstorm hits the a third of the US

April 27, 2011– Palestinian Authority and Hamas form joint government.  In 2009, Obama had stated that, unity was needed between the two for there to be a future for Palestine.  New organization has agreed on  “killing Jews.”

208 tornadoes hit US same day; the largest outbreak in a single 24 hour period wherein 316 people died.

May 22, 2011– Obama criticizes Netanyahu and defends his own assertion that the pre-1967 borders should be resumed.

Huge F5 tornado hits Joplin Missouri.

August 17, 2011– US demands Israel apologize to Turkey or risk losing the US’s support opposing the two state plan in the UN after pushing for an apology for more than a month.

Wildfires rage throughout the United States, predominantly the North West.

August 20, 2011– The White House tells Israel that it must apologize to Egypt over the accidental killing of three police officers on the 18th or there was no reason for US involvement.

August 23rd, 5.9 magnitude quake hits Virginia;  August 25, 2011- Hurricane Irene makes landfall.

September 27, 2012– Netanyahu’s speech to the UN concerning a “red line” against Iran.  US refuses to set ultimatum and seems to snub the Prime Minister.

6.9 magnitude quake hits near Alaska on the 27th, and wildfires rage across the South Western Unites States throughout the entire month.

September 29, 2012– A report is released showing that Obama has invited many members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinian Hamas to the white house despite their known dedicated to destroying Israel.  Then there’s the story breaking of Obama offering to reopen ties with Iran and conducting secret talks about their nuclear program. Or maybe it was the fact that no one spoke out against Iran and for Israel’s right to exist.

Frankenstorm” Sandy ravages the North Eastern United States.

This is by no means a complete list, but it’s all I have the energy to compile at this point.  Makes me think though, that maybe I will just stay in bed on the 20th and monitor the news.

 

CPB

Dear friend-

My dear friend-

I am fairly certain that, despite your assertion that I didn’t offend today, given a few hours or a few days, that opinion will likely change.  Please know when that does happen, that first, I am sorry for any hurt caused and that it was not my intention to cause either mental or spiritual anguish and so for that, I ask your forgiveness.  Please also know, however, that the words I spoke were so said out of love, in a sincere desire to help you come to the Truth.

Yes, truth with a capitol T.  The one that can only be found in the black and red in that book sitting on your nightstand.  Not from the lips of man (or woman,) for we are all fallible and broken, bur rather as breathed from the very lips of God.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.       2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)

I said that I wish to win you for the Kingdom.  And I do.  You have a good heart and are a considerate man.  I do not wish to see you lead astray by false doctrine.  As stated in 2 Timothy, in all things, consult the Bible- it’s there for confirmation, correction, and guidance.  It’s not written in a manner that must be interpreted for each follower, but rather, so that each follower may read it and garner what God wishes to show them for where they are right then and there.  It is easy to be mislead when you are not anchored in Bible.

He also taught me, and said to me:
“Let your heart retain my words;
Keep my commands, and live.
Proverbs 4:4 (NKJV)

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:31-32 (NKJV)

I sincerely want for you, the peace and ease promised by Jesus, even when looking at the chaos of the world as it is today.  (Though I will freely admit that I find it awe inspiring that we are watching history in the making as what is written in the Bible is unfolding before our very eyes.)  Sure, there are days where I too falter, but I generally try to remind myself:

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
Matthew 6:25-27 (NKJV)

He’s got this.  Regardless of what we’re going through- He’s got it.  He’s bigger than any of our problems or fears.  He has a plan and He’s shown it to us that we may learn from it and help guide others to Him.

Along with that peace, is a sense of fear.  (I use it in the same context as the Bible meaning awe and reverence.)   For not only are none of our works enough, (Romans 3:20) but all that Jesus asks of us is to have faith, believe in Him, and follow.

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.       Matthew 11:30 (NKJV)

With love and hope to be able to call you a brother in Christ,

 

CPB