Day four: Friday, October 29. The Kingdom is our mutual priority
Florence, our little snow queen, is not very happy in this picture. She is the daughter of a member of Marti’s current discipleship group, and she has just found out her mother has to go to the hospital (an important item of prayer as medications for kidney stones and migraine headaches have clashed). Followed by a picture of Florence upon finding out her mommy doesn’t have to stay in the hospital.
Now that is what we call a real transformation!
But the transformation that is now upon us is not about a new movement or the catching of a new wave as we have so often experienced over the last 50 years.
This transformation is about the calling of a new breed of leaders, and the establishment of Christ’s kingdom, His lordship over our lives in the midst of crooked and troublesome times.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. (Philippians 2:14-15)
God is calling His people to turn from what is counterfeit and not of Him. This represents not only the world’s form of power and authority but also includes those in the church who have been carried away into a form of captivity, where religious leaders are laboring to establish their own personal empires through combining religious beliefs with the world’s systems. During this time of transformation, God is separating His kingdom builders from those who are building their own personal empires, especially within the church.
Empire builders are primarily interested in how you can serve their agendas. They are engrossed with their own personal mission, and how your calling fits into their plan. They tend to be very hierarchical in nature and seek to control everything around them. It is also common for them to live outside of personal accountability and revel in the recognition and adoration of man.
Kingdom builders, on the other hand, have the heart of a servant. They want to know how they can come alongside and assist you in fulfilling the reason why you specifically are here at this time and place. They hold nothing in this world tightly and will eagerly surrender all when called upon. Kingdom builders build by relationships. The hierarchical structure of the empire builders is replaced by a functional understanding of gifting and calling where everyone on the team is equal, and understands their place and fit.
The Catch Ministry is a very concrete way to be in alignment with God and the building of His Kingdom. What is the Kingdom? Jesus is clear that if we make the Kingdom our first priority,
all these other things (questions of what to eat, drink and wear) will be given you as well (Matthew 6:33).
The Kingdom is where God provides for all that we need. It is the realm of sufficiency where we are no longer pulled here and there by anxiety about having enough.
So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself (Matthew. 6:34).
Jesus also compares the Kingdom to a mustard seed,
which, at the time of its sowing, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth. Yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade (Mark 4:31-32).
Fund-raising as a ministry is a concrete way to be in alignment with God. Even a seemingly small act of generosity can grow into something far beyond what we could ever ask or imagine:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).
Here at the Catch, we are creating a community of love in this world, and beyond this world, because wherever love grows, it is stronger than death:
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away (1 Corinthians 13:8).
We want to tell you about a fellow member of the Catch Ministry. George grew up in a spiritual tradition that lay, while it survived, near a primary root of American Christianity. He cut his teeth on the King James Bible among a group that refused to name or organize itself, but can be identified as Brethren, who in turn can be identified as descendants of the people who have come to be known as “the Pilgrims.” This particular group lived in reaction against the condition of the protestant church and scornfully swore off every trapping of churchiness. For George the Bible was priest and prophet, pastor, elder and deacon, the throne of the Holy Spirit, the only center and focus, the only subject of attention and reverence. The society of this group was principal oriented, and its services proceeded according to an accepted pattern without leadership and often in silence.
Like many of George’s friends parents, his mom and dad were emotionally absent parents who might as well have been physically removed from the lives of their children. This is why George thinks he never felt he belonged. He perceived everyone as judging him. So when discovered the Catch community, it transformed his whole idea of God and God’s people.
“This ministry is an absolute God send for all of us who are disenfranchised from a church or a caring community. The Catch Ministry, like Jesus, accepts me as I am. They invited me, of all people, to join this fellowship family and witness for myself and others, answered prayer every day. I am now on an adventure to present the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward to many within my own community. And I promise you, there is great need for Grace, and, if they accept it as theirs from the Lord, His love will follow.”
So, like George, when we give ourselves to planting and nurturing love here on earth, our efforts will reach out beyond our own chronological existence. Indeed, if we raise funds for the creation of a community of love, we are in alignment with God who is building His Kingdom. We are doing exactly what we are supposed to do as Christians. Paul is clear about this:
“Make love your aim” (1 Corinthians 14:1).
So whether we are asking for money or giving money, we are drawn together by God, who is about to do a new thing through our collaboration,
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:19).
Check in with us over this weekend as we continue our story of transformation and to learn more about how we believe God is making His way through the wilderness, where we often find ourselves.
MATCHES ARE BRINGING US CLOSER TO GOAL!
Get this. At 9pm on Wednesday, I received an email from a Vanguard member saying that if I could raise $1,000 by the next morning at 6am, he would match it. Wow, I thought. Nine hours to raise $1,000! Can I do it? I later realized that he got his days wrong and he meant 6am the following day. But guess what? I got it anyway, and then some. So that 9-hour challenge was worth $2,500. And now we have two more matches to announce. Steve from Ontario, Canada is looking for other Canadians to match his $1,000, and our board member, Mike Boland, who has funded all my album remastering projects (thank you, Mike!), is putting up a $1,000 match as well. So think about this opportunity to share in the Catch Ministry vision, and double the impact of your gift!
An Exciting Announcement — Hurray!
We are very pleased to announce after our third day of fund-raising, we have received another $1,105 toward the $15,000 required, totaling now over $6,000! Many, many thanks to you who are sharing with us and they are:
- Neil from Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- Athelyn from Phoenix, Arizona
- John from Coralville, Iowa
- Patrick from Dundee, Michigan
- Lisa from Sunland, California
- Michael from Cambria, California
- Greg from Wilmington, North Carolina
- Laura Campbell, California
- Siri from Marin, California
- Merlyn from Goodyear, Arizona
- Rona from Northampton, UK
- Joe from Sugar Land, Texas
- Patrick from Dundee, Michigan
- Victor from New Castle, Pennsylvania
- Ann from Rockford, Illinois
- Olivia from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
- Larry from Plains, Montana
- Steve from Keswick, Ontario, Canada
Partner with theses men and women by contributing today: or if you wish, send your contribution to The Catch Ministry, Inc., 1278 Glenneyre, Laguna Beach, California 92651.
That is an adorable picture at the first of the message. I always feel better when I see someone like that. I mailed my contribution this morning as I know its a little slower but, I prefer it that way. Glad to hear many are giving so the Catch can do more to reach out to folks. I always feel more at peace after reading each message and its such a blessing when so many like myself share in the word of the Lord. We all need him now and forever. Take care, God Bless, and continued success in reaching so many.