Garbage In – Garbage Out

“You catch more flies with honey than with lemon!”  So, who wants more flies, you ask.  The ‘intent’ of this short proverb is good, if not a little off kilter.   Look at this one, with which I’m sure you’re familiar:

Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”  (KJV) or Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.”  (The Message)

I have several Barberry Bushes in my front yard. The only spectacular thing about these bushes is their thorns; long, sharp, pointy, mean thorns.  I do NOT like the bushes, but since I live in an apartment, it’s not ‘mine’ to chop them down.  However, I can do then next best thing.

The grounds keeper was trimming all the bushes this morning including holly, Nandina, barberry and others.  I went out and offered him some ice water, but he said he had drinks in the truck. So, I asked him if he would severely trim the barberry. He responded, “Severely”? And I replied yes, that it has those awful thorns that ‘bite’ me all the time.

He noticed that my patio is welcoming with potted plants and ‘yard pretties’, so he readily agreed, I think, because I asked him nicely. It didn’t cost me anything to be kind to this person and the offer of ice water was sincere.

While searching through and before I located the above verse in the 15th chapter of Proverbs, I selected several colorful verses in the 18th chapter as translated by The Message:

“2 Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse;
    all they do is run off at the mouth.

Many words rush along like rivers in flood,
    but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs.

The words of a fool start fights;
    do him a favor and gag him.

Fools are undone by their big mouths;
    their souls are crushed by their words.

20 Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
    good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.

21 Words kill, words give life;
    they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

23 The poor speak in soft supplications;
    the rich bark out answers.”

Aren’t these verses full of awesome wisdom? The entire 18th chapter of Proverbs is full of wisdom, but I plucked only the verses that were germane to “good words”.

I am working on making my words sweet like honey and pray you will join me.  See Romans 10:17 for guidance, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Simply put, what you hear or listen to is what gets into your heart.

Both Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:45 tell us what is in our hearts is what comes out of our mouths.  (Matthew) “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” And (Luke) “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

Are these things, anger, bitterness and ugliness, coming out or your mouth or do the rivers of sweet water flow with your words? Choose carefully what you ‘put in your ears’. If you “talk trash” your heart will be loaded with trash. Garbage in – garbage out! Let us speak good and kind and loving and that will flood your heart!


All scriptures are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.

©2014 Cat Brennan

This entry was posted on June 2, 2014. 1 Comment

The Forgotten Can of Vegetables

Memorial Day is just about over. The flags have been brought in and it’s back to school or work tomorrow.  For a few hours, this country took time out to honor our fallen heroes; the ones who gave their all so that we can have it all.  These brave men and women gave their lives for our freedom and Christ gave His all so that we may have eternal life.  This is what Jesus said as stated in the book of John, chapter 10 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”

Will anyone remember those fallen heroes tomorrow or next week, or will it be another year when Memorial Day rolls around again before we stop for a few moments to honor those lost lives?

In the 1940’s, it was WWII and Pearl Harbor.  Our Naval base in Hawaii was brutally attacked. Lives were lost. And we erected memorials and I’m sure many prayers were said.

And then, all was forgotten.

Then there was Korea.

And Vietnam.

Not only were those “conflicts” buried, the returning soldiers were badly treated.

In the 1990’s, the US Military struggled with Gulf Storm and the Gulf war. I remember it like it was yesterday.  During that time, I worked at a Christian Radio Station.  All of us were seriously tuned in to the spiritual warfare that was going on in the mid east. And we prayed. And our listeners prayed. And our various program ministries prayed. We even recorded some heart-felt prayers from some of the pastors and aired them throughout the days and weeks.

And then, all was forgotten.

Then, in 2001, the unspeakable happened. The United States was viciously attacked at home on our own soil. NINE – ELEVEN happened. 9/11. Terrorists tried to break us. Terrorists tried to destroy us. Terrorist flew into our Twin Towers. Terrorists flew into the Pentagon. Let’s Roll© was uttered. Terrorists took many lives that day. We prayed and we cried. Many memorials were erected all over the country.  Numerous songs were written and sung.

And then, nearly all was forgotten.

So much has been forgotten; so much has been stuck up on a high cabinet shelf like an unwanted can of vegetables.

Let us not put Christ up on that shelf and forget Him.

Run to God when times are rough .. absolutely! See Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  The Message says it very well, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

But remember to praise God in the good times, too. In I Thessalonians 5:18, Paul exhorts us, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” And in the old testament, 1 Chronicles 16:25a, “For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.”

I’ve heard it said the best way to keep a bible dusted it to use it. Let’s take our bibles down off the high shelf and use them!

Thank You, Father, that you patiently wait for us to run to you again and again. Forgive us Lord, for stowing you away like a can of green beans.  Thank you for life, life more abundant than we can ever imagine.


All scriptures are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

©2014 Cat Brennan

What’s Down in Your Well?

What you think of me is none of my business!  That’s a mouth full of wisdom!

This short quote served to turn around and improve much of my thinking. I was raised with a lot of the old south traditions, many of which are just down right harsh. I have difficulty ridding myself of some of them, but I’ve learned that I don’t need to tell you or anyone else, for that matter, what I think.

One of the “rules” that was pounded into my being was, “do not wear white shoes after Labor Day or before Easter!” Sound familiar?

Do you call someone mean? Do you suggest that a certain person gossips relentlessly? Have you said that so-and-so is a liar?

Be very careful with your judgments. If you’re drawing a conclusion about someone’s behavior, that is judging! And judging is not ours to do!

Jesus was very clear about this in Matthew, Chapter 7:1-5, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.” (The Message)

My own example is beyond “the ridiculous”.  I am the first to admit that I’m an impatient driver.  I get upset and fuss at drivers who don’t let me in, or cut me off or daydream at a green light!  Seems like every single time I gripe at a driver for, let’s say, cutting me off, guess what? In the next few minutes, invariably, I’ve cut off another! (Grrrrr). And every time, the Holy Spirit gently reminds me not to judge the next driver who infringes on ‘my’ territory.

Think about it and think hard on it. The next time you decide to judge someone a gossip, stop and listen to your next conversation.  Are you repeating something you have been told in confidence? Or, worse yet, are you suggesting to a third-party that so-an-so was at such-and-such a place and guessed at what bad thing that person was doing? The next time you judge someone mean, how have you just treated your husband or wife or sister or best friend (Did you just say ouch?).

Gossip, lying, bossing and judging another will bite you every time.

You’ve heard this one, “What goes around, comes around.” And here’s another, “What is down in the well, comes up in the bucket.”  It’s true! If you give good gifts and use good words, these good things will come back to you. If you are harsh or mean or bossy or cruel or stingy, those negatives will return to haunt you! It is one of God’s universal laws that affects all people in all walks of life all of the time.

Have you noticed how a stranger responds when you smile at him? Or how a lady responds when you give her an honest compliment? Men and women alike respond in kind to kind treatment.

Think long on Jesus words in Luke 6:45, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (NAS)

And, James 3:11,“ Doth a fountain send forth from the same place sweet water and bitter?”  If your heart is in the right place, your words will be too.

What’s in your heart? Judgment or mercy? Harshness or Grace? Death of Life?  Darkness or Light?

I pray you choose Light.


Scriptures quoted are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.


© 2014 Cat Brennan

Turn the Cat Around

Do you know what ‘nap’ is?  I’m not talking about an afternoon siesta or mommies resting time when baby takes a wee sleep. 

No, I’m referring to fabric nap. Some fabrics have a definitive nap or direction, such as corduroy, velvet or velveteen, suede and other plush fabrics.  If they are put together with the nap going opposite directions, the finished piece looks foreign, and almost as though it’s made from two different fabrics. 

Funny thing about nap; if the pieces are all cut with the nap going the same direction, the finished garment will look gorgeous, even fluid.

People seem to have nap, too. Put a few women together in a small group setting, and as long as they are all going the same direction, they will flow, but if one of those ladies is going elsewhere, you might have chaos.

Scripture teaches about the body of Christ. The body is a singular word, but when used in this manner, the body is made up of many parts all going the same direction, and is therefore singular in dimension.  These parts are not all the same and they don’t all come from the same place, but when they go toward Christ together, they flow and are fluid in motion.

If a person is out of sync, or rubbed the wrong way, like the nap of a piece of fabric, the group will suffer. If one person wants to go one direction, but the whole is going another, the Spirit may be quenched. 

In the first book of Thessalonians, Paul is speaking to the church in Thessalonica, admonishing them with some ‘common sense’. He says, in 1 Thessalonians, Chapter 5, “16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.”  Quenching the Spirit causes all kinds of havoc and peace is not attainable.

Human beings that we are, we will never agree on everything this side of heaven, but we must not be in such disagreement as to quench the Spirit.  We must not let discord creep in or false teaching to invade.

Are you in a small group? Perhaps your church has small groups, or you have simply found fellowship with other like believers.  Stay the course and keep your destiny in mind; the destiny to be One in Christ.  Strive for that perfect peace that is written about in Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

I once heard an old country preacher say it like this: If you’re not in agreement or don’t like the message, turn the cat around and stroke it the other way. 


All scriptures are taken from the King James Version, unless otherwise noted.


© 2014 Cat Brennan

Are you Grinding Gears?

Have you heard about Plan B?  Often, this is the first thing one hears when something doesn’t work out; let’s go to ‘Plan B’. God doesn’t have a Plan B. He had a PLAN! Actually, He has a PLAN!  Jeremiah 29:11 says so! I like the way the Amplified Bible reads, “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” And The Message reads, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Knowing that God has a plan for me makes life simpler, easier and with so much less stress. Don’t look back at what ‘might have been’ or ‘what could have been’. As a sweet friend once told me, “Don’t should on yourself.” Shoulda-coulda-woulda gets me nowhere! God has a good and perfect Plan for each one of us. So, what about all those times I ran from or ignored God and did my own thing, you ask? Do NOT go back. Go TO God. He will set you straight and your journey can continue with Him. Think about it this way. While driving a car, you occasionally look at the rear view mirror(s), but your main attraction is in front of you. If you drive down I-70 at 70 MPH, always staring into the tiny rear view mirror, what do you think might happen?  There’s a reason the rear view mirror is small and the forward/front-looking-through-windshield is large. Keep your eyes on the road ahead and on the prize. In Philippians 3, we read in verses 13b and 14 not to look back, but to look forward. “..but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” It couldn’t be clearer than this.  If we dwell in the past, we will be downtrodden – we’ll be stuck in the muck and mire, but don’t let this beat you up or down.  Repent! Turn yourself around, talk to God candidly and go forward.  Let Him lead you to the goal and the prize(s) He has for you. A fun little car has a SINGLE gear for Reverse and perhaps 3 or 4 or 5 for going forward. Just like a car, we start out slowly, heading for the prize, changing gears as need be. As we get closer, we gain speed, climbing up that hill or around that curve. Choose God and go forward. You may “grind a few gears” but you’re still moving forward.

All scriptures are taken from the King James Version, except where otherwise noted.


© 2014 Cat Brennan

Pickles to Promises

Do you know why the Bible has survived for so many years? It’s simple, really. Unlike so much “literature”, the Bible is a living document, an agreement or testament to God’s faithfulness; of His love for the people He created.  Think of it this way.  If you enter into a covenant of marriage with another, that is a sealed statement and cannot be broken outside of a divorce court.  The covenant God made with His people has not yet been ‘fulfilled’ or and until such a time, it cannot be broken.

On November 11, 1620, the colonists entered into an agreement* with God, dedicating this continent to Him.  Men have said we are not a Christian country, and, while it’s true that many have denied and even cursed God, as long as there is one living, breathing Christian in this land, God WILL honor this covenant.  According to His holy word, He has to!  Numbers 23:19a states,“God is not a man, that he should lie;”

Have you read the scriptures?  They are all true. All of the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob belong to Christ and if you are in Christ, if you have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, all of these promises are yours also.  READ the scriptures carefully. If you have difficulty with the King James Version, and many people do, select the New King James or the New International Version. The Message is excellent for understanding the heart of the words.

I got into a financial pickle a while back and I chose the way of the Lord. I reminded God that His word says that He will supply everything I need; read it in Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Rather than whining or fussing, I just “prayed His Word”.  In Hebrews 4:16  He also tells us to BOLDLY approach Him “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

No, money didn’t float down from the sky; that would interfere with the economy of the day. And, no, I didn’t win the lottery (I understand you have to buy a ticket for a chance to win).  What happened was that He used people who were able to help me, and through them, He did supply all my needs.  Through Him we were all blessed.  The pickles were put back into the jar, my needs were met and I have four new tires on my car!

Then, the special touches, the little extras, the lagniappe began to arrive. After my needs were met, it seemed as though God wanted to make sure that I knew He cared about me in the little things too!  I got a birthday discount and went out to lunch with a friend at a cost of next to nothing. I got a gift certificate from my favorite Quilting Store (whoopee!!!).  Just a few days ago, I met a friend “for coffee” and when I handed my rewards card to the cashier, she said that I was eligible for a free birthday pastry and a free beverage, so that “coffee” cost me nothing!

Coincidence? I don’t think so. I know the Word of God is alive and well today and I believe that God is just waiting to bless us with His love and His presence. I believe that His presence is full of His presents!

Do you have some ‘pickles’ of your own? God will see to your needs too! Run to Him.

All scriptures are King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2014 Cat Brennan

*to read the full context of the document, go to this link:

Choose Life

This past weekend saw and celebrated the most important event in the Christian world; the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The account of this event never ceases to move me.

Did you know this event was foretold in the book of Isaiah more than 700 years before it happened?  The entire sordid and graphic event is recorded in this book and it’s not pretty. But then, death is not pretty – ever. Read the chapters for yourself: Isaiah 52 and 53.

We needed the sacrifice that Jesus made so that we may one day have eternal life with The Father. Jesus was the propitiation for our sins, and now sits at the right hand of the Father constantly interceding on our behalf.

I attended an Easter play this weekend with many of my family members. The church rehearsed for several months and then offered three performances. I saw two of them.  The basic story, of course, never changes – the story in this case begins in the garden with Adam and Eve and finishes with the Risen Savior. In addition to the biblical reenactments, the play also dramatizes current events and challenges that we all face today; peer pressure, drugs, alcoholism, financial stress or death of a loved one.  

The scriptural message reminds us that He is always with us. Hebrews 13:5 reads, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  That’s crystal clear.

The Easter story is consistent and salvation is there for whomever will accept it. There is no charge, no cost, and you need NO ONE to go to the Father for you. Jesus already did that.

On the cross before he died, Jesus cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  The same is true for us today.  We sin and Jesus still petitions the Father to forgive us when we accept His sacrifice. But, make no mistake. There is NO other way to heaven – to eternal life. In John 14:6, we read, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  No amount of money, no amount of good works, no cute little statue or large gaudy presentation will open the doors of Heaven. ONLY Jesus has made a way.

Won’t you please stop now wherever you are and whatever you’re doing and go to the Father with these simple words:

     Dear Lord, I know I have sinned and I ask you to forgive me. I believe that Jesus died, was buried and rose again on the third day, and became sin, so that I may have eternal life with You. Thank you for what you did for me, Jesus, and I now ask you to be my Lord and Savior.  Amen.

If you prayed that prayer in Faith, believing, you’re a Christian.

Easter isn’t an annual event! It’s a life event, and I pray you choose Life.

FROM RAGS to _____________ ?

Was your first thought RICHES?  That old adage is not what I’m thinking.  I’m pondering crocheted rag rugs, and scrappy quilts, and crazy quilts.  What you may see as ‘rags’, I see as projects.

What you may see as a worn out woman or a sin-riddled person, imagine a Bible Teacher, Godly Preacher, Inspired Speaker, Healthy Life Director, Fitness Princess or a Christian Author? The list can go on and on, and why not?

Have you heard it said that God doesn’t “call the qualified, rather He qualifies the called?”

Peter was just a blue-collar fisherman.  Paul was a well-educated Roman who persecuted Christians. Timothy was just a young whippersnapper. And Thomas!! Well, Thomas doubted Jesus was The Christ.  And God wants these guys to spread the word about His Son who is the way to Grace through Faith and eternal life?

Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote 14 of the 27 books of the New Testament. Peter was the first one to realize, understand and acknowledge that Jesus was The Christ, the Son of the Living God.

What of the woman at the well? In John 4:7 “There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.”  And verse 9 “Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”

You see, this woman had five husbands. Scandalous!! Can’t you hear all the ‘little old ladies’ tittering and the ‘self-righteous’ Pharisees going into cardiac arrest because Jesus was talking to this tainted woman? And yet, her story, probably more than any other,  has inspired countless broken women to realize just how much God truly loves and values them. 

Are you afraid you can’t go on? God says in II Corinthians 12:9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 

You can’t manage? God says in Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

YOU fill in the blank: Rags to ______________________.

Dear Heavenly Father, right now, please bless the person who is reading this devotion. Make him aware of what a kind and loving God you are. Let her know   that you are Abba Father – our Daddy, and creator of the universe. And finally, Lord, convince this person that your Son gave all He had that we may all have eternal life. Amen


All scriptures are from the King James version, unless otherwise noted.


© 2014 Cat Brennan

Have You Been Thrown Away? Fear Not!

Many years ago, I saw a television show starring Tony Franciosa. His character was a handsome, private detective who often got into serious trouble. In one episode, he messed with the wrong people and after a sound beating, landed in a dumpster.  When his character came to, his line that I will never forget was, “I’ve been thrown away.”

Have you ever felt this way? Perhaps felt as though no one loved you? Maybe a relationship has gone sour and you felt tossed aside? Maybe life in general is just hard!  I have good news for you.

God will never leave you or forsake you.  It’s true!  In Hebrews 13:5b, we read, “for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  The Message translation reads like this: “Since God assured us, ‘I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,’ we can boldly quote.”
If ever there were a good promise, this is one! You can take it to the bank!

How many times have you wondered to yourself, “God, are you there?” Or have you just asked out loud, “Where are you God?”  STOP! Stop and listen.

Personally, I don’t ask God rhetorical questions.  When I ask Him something, it’s because I want an answer. Okay, so He hasn’t yet explained where all the dinosaurs went, or if there ever were such a thing as a unicorn.   And He hasn’t EVER told me who will win the World Series, but He does respond to the important things in life.

There is so much pain and suffering in the world and I surely don’t have all the answers, but I do know Who does .. every time .. all the time.

When Moses was about one-hundred and twenty years old, his time was almost up; he would not lead Israel into the Promised Land.  Moses wanted to make sure the Israelites were ready to go in with Joshua.  In the Old Testament in the book of Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses told his people, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

After the death of Moses, the Lord God spoke to Joshua and told him to take the people and cross over the Jordan into the land He had given them. And yet again, God promised in Joshua 1:5 “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

Do you see what God is telling His people?  He is saying that He will never leave us or forsake us and He is telling us to FEAR NOT.

Over and over in the scriptures we are reminded that He is with us.  Why, the Old Testament prophet told us that Jesus would be named Immanuel in Isaiah 7:14, and Matthew quoted that scripture in chapter 1 and verse 23: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” 

Jesus’ name tells us He is with us.

These are promises we can grab for ours and hold onto.

I’ve heard it said there are over 365 “fear nots” in the bible; some go on to say that is one for every day of the year. I’ve not counted them, but if there are so many, it’s a foregone conclusion that to fear not must be important.

Moms and Dads tell their little ones not to be afraid of the dark or the storm because “I am here and I won’t go off and leave you.”

This is exactly what God is saying to His people.
Fear not, for I am with you. I will never leave you or forsake you.

Take these Words and make them yours.

When the world is coming down on you, the bills are piling up, you see no hope and no way out . . . you might want to pray something like this:

Dear Lord, Your Word says that you will never leave me or forsake me.  Right now, I stand on your word, I claim your word that tells me to fear not, for You are with me.  Thank you, Father for your love and mercy, and it’s in your Son’s name I pray, Amen.

And then, wait upon the Lord.


All scriptures taken from the King James version unless otherwise noted.

Immanuel and Emmanuel are interchangeable.

© 2014 Cat Brennan

Chocolate or Calico

Vegetable Soup, A Crazy Quilt, Trail Mix, United States of America, Smorgasbord; what do all of these have in common?

Each one requires a number of different things to make the whole or the sum.

Take vegetable soup, for instance. It’s made up of a variety of vegetables, including potatoes, onions, carrots, tomatoes and celery and maybe even a beef soup bone. It is slowly simmered in liquid, salted and peppered, and after a few hours, it becomes soup. Each one of the ingredients is good by itself, but all together they create a hearty and savory winter meal.

Then, imagine a quilt; in particular, a crazy-patch-quilt. You can choose colors from blue, red, pink, yellow, green and maybe even some orange or purple; lovely cotton fabrics in solids or pretty little prints, calicoes and checks.  Each is lovely. All put together with tiny and careful, perfect stitches and an heirloom has been created.

And Trail Mix. Well, that one is easy. Trail mix is generally a collection of dried fruit and a lot of nuts. No further explanation is needed here beyond recognizing the sweet fruits and the salty nuts!  Sounds like a family to me!

Now, look to the United States. We are fifty separately-bordered communities called States.  We have people from every walk of life, nationality, color, size and shape. Most of us speak “English”, and yet we don’t. We have accents and diction and crazy-speak and trash-talk. We have deserts and beaches, frigid conditions and sunny skies, mountains and sand dunes, prairies and dense forests. But the sum of all the parts makes up this land of the free and the home of the brave!

If life gives you lemons, make lemon-aide. It life hands you scraps, make quilts.  These aren’t original, but they are good lessons.

The Scriptures teach us ‘to come out of the world’ and yet ‘forsake not the assembling of yourselves’.  Read Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  And in Hebrews, 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Our Christian gatherings are these smorgasbords of many parts. The Church isn’t a building or a fancy cathedral. The Church is the Body of Christ; the body or collection of believers. We are black and white, brown and yellow, red and tan. We are rich and poor and we are male and female.

No one, no not one of us, is perfect, yet together we make up an amazing force.

Have you ever made a chocolate cake? Your basic recipe calls for cocoa, eggs, oil, liquid, salt, baking powder, vanilla and flour. Now, if you make this cake with only 2 teaspoons of flour, it’s going to be a soupy mess! If you leave out the baking powder, the cake will be flat and with no cocoa, your cake won’t be chocolate.  However, all of these ingredients in appropriate portions make a scrumptious dessert.

The church is the sum of its parts. Not soupy or flat or flavorless. The church needs all of its parts to function as a whole. It needs all the cotton fabrics of every shape and design, every color under the sun. The church is made of all these differences; potatoes and carrots, calicoes and solids, chocolate and flour.

With all these differences, we still are one body; Jesus calls unto all of us. Listen, can you hear Him? He’s calling out in Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  So very simply, The Message tells us, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.


Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures are taken from the King James Version.

© 2014 Cat Brennan