The Little Woman

With just ten dollars in her pocket, Gladys courageously took the challenge to embark on a long trip by train from England to Yangcheng, China.

I just finished reading the life story of Gladys Aylward…a fantastic “little” lady who gave twenty years of her life, from 1934 to 1954, to help the Chinese people live better lives, and to know the true God. If I had read only the first chapters of her long journey, twisting and turning through Germany and Russia to finally reach China, it would have been enough to fill my spirit with excitement and the courage that we human beings are capable of just about anything. I couldn’t put the book down.

I read through, reliving her joys and sorrows. I read of 100 young Christian converts standing their ground against a gang of brute atheist Communists. The young converts were lined up and forced to watch as one by one each were beheaded. They had a chance to save their lives by denouncing their faith in Jesus, but they stood strong and unmovable. I read of beautiful Chinese ladies and wonderful men, with hearts of charity, helping Gladys when she didn’t know which turn to take, or how to feed the hungry children who came to her Inn.

I closed the book thinking that I have a soft life here in America, while at the same time realizing that there is plenty to do in my own nation to help the poor and heal the divisions. Doing so might be as difficult a challenge as Gladys had, because of the many changes that have taken place in just the last five months.

This was no rinky-dink book. The story was captured in a Hollywood movie starring Ingrid Bergman – “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness” – 1958. Widely entertaining, it depicts the power of God that strengthens a person to do impossible things …..even in a poor city in China.

I know of many who are going through difficult situations. Some are ill. Some are awaiting surgery. Some have broken families. Some have lost their jobs. Some are like Gladys, hoping that someone will come and lend a hand, or just give them a word of encouragement. What is the personal challenge in our little corner of the world? Hopefully we are meeting it.

Gladys brought to China the word that God loves us all, and that His Son, Jesus brings salvation and peace. This message of love saved thousands in China and brought salvation to many in the US through her book and the movie.

Feel free to leave a comment or briefly tell your story.

Where is Love?

Copyright, Mary Cates

In this Tony Award-winning British musical the song “Where is Love” swept the world with these lyrics: “Where is love? Does it fall from skies above? Is it underneath the willow tree that I’ve been dreaming of?”

The theme is not a search for romantic love, but rather the sweet someone of love is a form of literature, and it seems to cry of weariness and for something deep in the heart that Oliver is missing.

I will admit I am weary – both of the Chinese Virus named COVID-19 and the meanness spewing in the streets of major cities throughout the world. I do see a great lack of love. Let’s be honest: there is no love in the red paint splashed on esteemed historical statues. No love spewing from the bloody head of a person who is hit with a brick. No love in the salty tears of a store owner who sees his building looted and burning to the ground.

Where is love? The answers are often left in limbo, but truth can be found in wise men of old who wrote profound words. Words like this: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Is this mush? I think not. It’s the means for peace.

The world is changing rapidly. Our lives have been altered to what we dub the “new norm”. So the question is this, are we strong enough to survive in a world plagued with a killing virus and streets filled with anger and hate? I think we are if love will find its way.

Oliver longed for a “sweet hello”. Is this not what we long for behind the face mask we wear in the store? Is it not the sweet hello of friends that we wish for — the stranger’s smile, the embrace of a loved one? We long to be free of Corona and the violent demonstrations throughout the world.

Where is love?

It’s in you and I, if we will allow it to be shed abroad in our hearts.





I Would Have Fainted…

Cooped up for almost 4 months – wearing a mask to pick up groceries and mulling over all sorts of thoughts and emotions, I have found myself pondering words that came off the press almost 3 years ago……when my spirit was revved up and ready to reach for the stars.

The essence of what I wrote back then was to avoid all defeatist thoughts and negative advice and move forward with your dreams. If you fail, so what. At least you tried.

Life is full of “tries”. Not everything we do gets applauds or has significant outcomes. But the “try” is worth the power and the plan that inspires us, even if the results may never be known. For instance, that smile you gave to someone passing you may have been the thing that kept their hopes going. Who knows that a smile or a sweet word can do?

If Corona keeps going – if destruction continues to mount across our country – if finances tumble – if hunger comes….we have one sure promise: God will never leave those who put their trust in Him.

“I would have fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD… So I wait on Him and take courage, and He strengthens my heart as I wait.”

During World War II, when it looked like the enemy might win, Roosevelt said we have nothing to fear but fear itself. That meant for Americans to keep pushing forward with hope – keep projecting your thoughts into all that inspires and gives you hope — and believe that you have what you dream of. This is good medicine for the soul!

I would like to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment on this post, or contact me by using the contact page on this website (“CONTACT”). Share your thoughts. Others may benefit.

Yesterday I Saw A Miracle

Mary Cates
By Mary Cates

No names are mentioned in this article, but many readers will know of whom I write…

As the hours went by, breathing was getting more difficult. Hope hung in the air that soon the stress and pain of COVID-19 would subside and things would get better. But days later his oxygen level dropped to a critical low. Immediately he was whisked away in an ambulance and rushed into ICU.

The ventilator quickly assisted his lungs while plastic tubes were hooked into various veins, carrying hopeful liquids that would help support life. There was no miracle cure. Putting him into a highly sedated state, it was his body and God that would make the decision one way or another.

No family or visitors were allowed to see him. His wife and daughter were kept at home by strict government mandates and hospital quarantine procedures. Telephone reports from the nurses and doctors were all that was allowed to his wife. No one who loved him was there to comfort him.

This man and his family are not blood-related kin to me, but they are like my “family”. God put them in my life, and my husband’s life years ago. With each year our friendship has grown into something warm and wonderful. They have filled many sorrowful holes in our life. It was heart-wrenching for us to not be with this man and his wife and daughter during this crisis time.

And then, without mercy COVID-19 found its way to his wife. The picture seemed to be changing daily.

My husband and I had experienced many permanent goodbyes in our marriage – both in death and in hurtful shunning. Too many had already gone out of our lives. And now facing the horror of COVID-19 and it’s deadly power, one question kept coming to me again and again, would another be taken from us?

The days went by and the fight for his life kept on. We could do nothing but pray and wait. His wife was thankfully managing the virus at home, isolated from everyone except her loving daughter. The lock-down on all sides was like being in prison.

Where was God? Why was He allowing this pandemic and the nightmare that was following it?

Everyone that knew this family could only do one thing……trust God. That’s all we have sometimes – just to “trust”…..the best we know how to do.

Yesterday I saw two miracles sitting in front of me, as my husband and I sat around a patio able set with snacks and pizza, with this man and his wife sitting appropriately spaced from us. Everyone very much alive and laughing and enjoying each other again. The moments of fear and doubt behind us. The joy of life and living still ahead of us.

Trusting the best we knew how was all that was needed. God took care of the rest.

It’s Time!

By Mary Cates

No one suspected our country would be turned upside down when we were celebrating New Year’ Eve and happily bringing in 2020. But 20 days later the first Corona Virus case showed up in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington in a man who had returned from Wuhan, China. No one was frightened until Italy started experiencing hundreds of cases and the virus began to spread to other European countries. By March 1st our government was warning that an invisible enemy was heading toward the US, and we had better start taking cover.

Some, like me, started to get concerned. By March 15th I was loading up our pantry and taking Matthew Chapter 24 and Revelation Chapter 6 more serious. I had sensed for a long time that something huge was going to happen to the world, but never did I think it would effect my life. Ironically I wrote about expecting unrest and evil increasing around the world in my book: “Take Charge of Your Destiny” which was published in April 2017. Here is a quote from this book:

“We see the birth pains of the end times in all that is taking place within our culture, within our government, and the unrest and evil that is increasing around the globe. These are the warning pangs of what is coming next on the horizon.” (Page 78)

Now it is 4 months later since the first Corona Virus case was documented. Three hundred million Americans have had their lifestyles altered considerably and thousands of them are sick, and hundreds of them have died. Social distancing and lack of entrance into stores and malls and restaurants, along with being orphaned from our family and friends is causing depression – to say nothing of the economic crash.

They call it COVID-19. We know what it does, but do we know what it “is“?

Quite interesting this number 19! In numerology the number 19 represents completion. The number 1 signifies a beginning and the number 9 signifies an end. Also interesting is that the number 19 is only divisible by the number 1 and itself.

Also quite interesting is the word covid, coming close to the word covin or a derivative of it. If something or someone is “covin” it means fraud, a group or person engaged in something to defraud or injure other people. (Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition page 335.) I find even the word corona interesting because it has everything to do with a “crown”. If you are steeped in the knowledge of the White Horseman of Revelation, you might find “corona” as interesting as the number 19 and the word covid.

Since this pandemic came upon the world, and sadly two of my best friends were stricken by this illness – and one of them almost died – I have been in deep contemplation about what is happening and what might lie ahead. Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries has written several enlightening articles that are backed-up by documented truth and Scripture regarding what has happened to us and what may soon be coming. She predicts that we have not seen anything yet!

Americans are being told by progressive globalists that this pandemic will not be stopped until a vaccine is created. With that statement, we have been told to stay in our homes, stop working, stop socializing, stop going to church….stop almost everything that creates life, security, and happiness. Do you see what is happening?

Out of fear you and I may submit to a mandated vaccine. I wonder what else we will be told to do, or not to do? Dr. Fauci of President Trump’s medical team says we will soon be subjected to mandatory testing, tracing, and identification. Are you getting the picture? See a New World Order coming?

I can see in the distance the shadows of many things that may come in the near future, many of them possibly indicating a socialistic government that will strike out our Constitution and nullify many of the rights that we have under the wise framework of our Forefathers. I’m not an alarmist for saying this. All anyone needs to do is read the news wires and watch news channels to get the gist of what’s happening.

The truth about this post is that I struggled to write it and to place it on my website, because most people are blind to what’s actually taking place, and most know little about biblical prophesy – or they just don’t want to read anything negative. I believe it’s time for all of us who know the truth and start talking about it.

If you are still reading and you agree with what this article suggests, I urge you to share this post with your media friends (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and your email contacts. It is important that while there is still time, we talk and share our thoughts and insights about what is happening to our country and to our freedoms. This year is a critical Election Year!

The Birds Keep Singing, My Heart’s At Their Sweet Song

It is “May 2020”. There will be no dancing around the maypole at school or the folklore of celebrating spring — well, not unless we put on our face mask and keep 6 feet away. Who would have guessed this terrible pandemic would come to steal our peace, our contacts of love and fellowship, and worst – the health of those we love!

Yet, in the sadness and our efforts to stay safe I see the robins on my lawn and hear the geese honking in the pond. Some have little babies already!

The animals as well as the birds are frolicking and performing as always. They know nothing of COVID-19. Tenderly I am reminded that not one sparrow falls to the ground without God’s care (Matthew 10:29). But still, I worry every time I pick up groceries that COVID-19 will float into my nostrils. I wear my mask with hopeful confidence that it will keep me safe. And while I slip the elastic around my ears, I am reminded again that we are more valued than many sparrows (verse 31).

In a world of almost 8 billion people, it is hard to fathom God knowing and watching over everyone – but He does! If even the hairs of our heads are numbered by God (verse 30), then everything about us is observed, and is cared for by Him. He is in control and we must trust Him with our lives. We are much more than many sparrows. No matter what comes, we must trust him. (See page 13 of my book: Take Charge of Your Destiny” – the story of my brother Robert.)

God bless and keep you!

To Touch the Hem of His Robe

I look to God from whence my help comes.

Most of us cannot fully comprehend the emotional and physical stress that the Corona Virus is causing those who have contracted the disease, and those who have loved ones fighting it. Unless we are there in the ring with them, we can only imagine.

So what should we do?

For the great majority of us, every day simply seems to run haplessly into another while we remain basically locked down. The fear of being around people who might have the disease has brought us to ordering groceries on-line and letting someone else pick our tomatoes and lettuce. We wander distractedly around the house trying to get enthused about cleaning out kitchen cabinets or polishing our tiled floors. We long for warm weather to just sit on our patios and enjoy the sun. Reality is harsh. We can’t go anywhere for fear of getting the Corona virus, and if we do go, we better have a mask on and our travel had better be essential.

What is it that we should be doing? That’s the 64-thousand dollar question as we wait for this microscopic bug to wind itself down.

As with every calamity in history, the thing most needed seems to be the most hard to do — to put our faith into dynamic force and pray that God will intervene for the health of our country and the world, and those who are suffering.

I thought recently of the woman in the new testament who needed healing. She had been struggling with a physical issue for a long time. She knew about Jesus. She heard that He was healing the blind and restoring the crippled. Her faith grew to the point that if she could just touch the hem of His robe she would be healed. You know the story – she pushed her way through the crowd and touched the hem of His garment. Christ felt her faith the moment her fingers touched Him.

Thinking about her, I realized that it is going to take faith and perseverance to get through this virus calamity. We need to touch the hem of Christ’s robe, so-to-speak. We need faith to believe that God is still in our midst and still loving us – still healing.

Prayer seems to be all that many of us can do right now, unless we are on the front-lines working to save lives in the hospital. But in either case – be it prayers or deeds – it all adds up. And it is God who will be the ultimate hero. Our prayers and support are just part of the rescue plan.

May God put His blessing on everyone that is struggling for healing and upon those who are fearful. May we feel His love. May we know and experience His mercy and kindness.

The Still Small Voice of God in the Clamor of Corona

Many of you who follow my website know me personally and know that I have lost my son due to a very sad and difficult situation. Not only my only son, but my two grandsons also. As the years have gone by my loss has deepened and I no longer have any childhood family left. But in all the losses, I am thankful for my husband and how God has blessed our lives. Still, sometimes my losses moves in on me and I feel very much alone. Especially now that Corona is racing it’s way through the world and death is making its way through nation upon nation. Since this pandemic has started, I often find myself yearning for my parents – as if my Dad could take me in his arms and comfort me. As if my mother could lovingly brush the tears from my cheeks and tell me once again that I’m her baby girl, or I could hear my son’s voice saying, Hi Mom, as he comes through the door with his two sons.

With that said, today I am sharing, below, an article that sums up much of how I feel in this time of pandemic — looking back on my life and realizing that I have made mistakes and have been selfish at times. This article makes me understand that I belong to God no matter what, and I have no business feeling sorry for myself. God’s voice is speaking….definitely to me. I hope He is speaking to you. Here is the article from a blogger I follow……..

The words of the blogger:
I have been incredibly selfish and self-centered and I need to make a public apology to my mom and to all the people out there, especially those who are older, who are physically alone right now in this time of quarantine, social distancing and stay at home orders due to COVID-19.

I am sorry for not appreciating human presence.
I am sorry for not appreciating human touch.
To say to those who are alone right now, “Jesus is with you” sounds so trite and un-encouraging to me. I hate, and I mean hate, when I hear people say to someone who is suffering or homeless that “Jesus loves you!” and they just walk away. What does this love of Jesus mean to someone who is suffering [if you walk away]? What does it mean that you will always have a home with Jesus? What in this time of COVID-19 does it mean that Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you when everything is a mess and is upside down?

Ultimately, “What good is it, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:14-17 ESV).

My challenge to myself and all of us is to truly consider others in this time. For those who have children that are home and driving you crazy, consider those who do not have children and would love to have that problem. Whatever social/relationship situation we are in right now, may we consider those in the opposite.

I am thankful that God does not play favorites. I am thankful that God does not change…

I am a hugger by nature, and right now, dear reader, I am giving you a VERY big hug. May we not allow this pandemic to alter us to the point where we will cease human contact, and touch, because of fear of the next virus.

AND THEN THIS BLOGGER GIVES THEIR PRAYER:

Father God, I am sorry for once again losing focus and sight of You. I am sorry for the way that I have grumbled and complained. Lord God, thank You for the medical professionals and grocery store workers who are putting themselves at risk. Lord God, give political leaders all over the world wisdom and common sense when it comes to dealing with this pandemic. Thank You that You are God and that You are here whether we feel it or not. Lord God, speak to each one of us as to how our faith can be manifested in action during this time of COVID-19. Lord, prepare our hearts for Easter. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Hello 30-Day Kitchen!

I am spending a lot of time in the kitchen now that Americans are basically staying at home. Maybe the only good about this is that I can stay in my p.j.s until noon, refrain from making my bed, and let the dusting and vacuuming go a few days longer. No one will be visiting, and that truly is the sad part about being in quarantine.

Well, for sure my husband George is hunkering down fairly well because he’s getting some really great meals. I’m in the kitchen more, now that we are not eating out.

I’m really not complaining. I’m thankful. I’m finding something every day to thank God for. I am thankful that – for now – we are not sick with Corona. And my joy in God’s protection and His presence finds me humming while cooking and baking, and even singing when disinfecting the counters and the frig handles. Hello 30-day kitchen. I love you!

Just the other day I baked some delicious spare ribs. Today, it’s homemade chili with cornbread. Tomorrow, who knows! King David wrote about the joy of eating. He said: You, God, satisfy our mouths with good food. He also said that the loving kindness of our LORD is from everlasting to everlasting. And I am finding that true, even while wiping tears when I see the terrible effects of Corona. Somehow I know deep in the depths of my faith that God is in control, and trusting Him is what He wants all of us to do, and truly it is good food for the soul.

I’m thinking that before this pandemic is over Americans my emerge with a few extra pounds because we are all indulging in “comfort food” and eating more because of boredom. Well, at least in my kitchen that’s how it’s going. The pantry door is opened more. The bathroom scale shows 3 pounds up. Gotta work on that!!

In closing today, here’s an easy recipe for something that compliments your cup of coffee in the morning: Roll out biscuit dough into a half inch rectangle. Generously butter it. Sprinkle the buttered dough with cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll it up. Cut it into 1-1/2 inch wide biscuits. Bake. Glaze with powered sugar. Voila! Something to comfort the soul while you thank God for His love and protection and start your day with someone you love.