Trust the Engineer: Trusting God

Daily Truth:  In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?   Psalm 56:11

train tracks

“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”  Corrie Ten Boom

This remarkable woman spent the first 50 years of her life with her father and sister above their watch shop in Holland. When World War II broke out they spent their time hiding persecuted Jewish people.

Her love of Christ sustained her through the very difficult time when Corrie and her family were found out and  taken to Nazi concentration camps.  Her faith in God carried her through the death of her father, sister and the many trying times within the concentration camps.

After Corrie’s release she spent the rest of her life telling others of God’s love, provision, and power.

God’s Words are true, powerful and can be trusted. Teaching God’s Word to  children  provides peace, encouragement and hope in a world that is ever changing.

When teaching a Bible verse make sure that the child knows what each word means . In Psalm 56:11  the word “trust” means to “put confidence in”  or “to be safe”.  David, this Psalm’s author, writes  Psalm 56 after the Philistines captured him in Gath. We know that later Gath was subdued by the Israelites. God can be trusted. We do not need to be afraid.

Corrie Ten Boom is Scripturally correct in the earlier quote.  God can be trusted to be the engineer

We can learn much from Corrie Ten Boom’s life.    A wonderful book to read with your child is “Heroes for Young Readers:  Corrie Ten Boom”.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment.

Cathy Jo



Harvest More than Corn and Wheat: The Next Generation

Daily Truth:  “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”  Matthew 9:37


This is the season of harvest.  My farming friend from North Dakota told me, “We need a freeze to get things rolling.”  I thought how interesting.  Growth must be halted before the harvest is truly ready.

How introspective the child is in the photo.  He is intently looking at the corn kernel.  I think we could learn a thing or two from this child. As adults do we take time to intently look at God’s wonderful creation and His Word?  God says that we are to become as a child.

As adults we get so wrapped up in schedules, a “to do” list, and “the cares of this world.”  If we would look to God and His Word as intently as the little boy is looking at God’s creation we would keep the right perspective.  The focus on sharing the Good News of Christ with others is what Jesus Christ told us to do.  In fact it is the last thing Jesus told us to do as He ascended into heaven.

Do things around us and this world need to have a “hard  freeze” before we finally seek something outside of ourselves to help, comfort, and guide us?

The mind of a child is curious always wanting to learn.  Do we want to learn or are we too busy just getting the things of the day completed?

A child runs and then abruptly stops when there is something of interest.  Is our interest in the things of God great enough to make us stop, learn and impart to others?

A child finds joy in simple things.  How many times has the box a toy came in provided the most happiness?  Sure those boxes become real houses, cars, schools and college payments for adults yet, how could we simplify and get back to more time with God?  Is it a matter of discipline now that we are adults?

What about the next generation?  What about us?  Slow down, take time with God and His Word.  Share God’s Word and His world with the children in your life.

Let’s teach the next generation about God and how to have a personal relationship with Christ.  A good harvest of corn and wheat will sustain our bodies but only Christ will sustain our souls.

The harvest is truly plentiful!

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo






Labor Day: The Fruits of Our Labor

Daily Truth:  “You shall eat the fruit(s) of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.” Psalm 128:2


Fruits of Our LaborWe planted two apple trees in our backyard when our children were young.  The Red Delicious apple tree did not do very well but the Golden Delicious apple tree has provided fruit for twenty years.  Our children are now in their early twenties and we are still enjoying the fruit from this tree.

When our children were young they would help pick apples from our trees.  We would all then wash and peel them with our corer and peeler.

Applesauce, apple pies, apple crisp, apple butter and even dehydrated apples were made in those late summer days. Bees would be attracted to the screen outside the kitchen window as the aroma of cooking apples would waft out the window.

Growing apples or picking fruit from an orchard and then helping to cook the fruit brings Psalm 128:2 to life.  Children realize that the labor or work from their hands brings blessings as they enjoy the fruit of their labor.

Teachable moments are around us each day.  Use God’s World and daily life experiences to teach God’s Word.

Take Psalm 128:2 to the next level for your child by discussing how dad and mom labor for the family.  What “fruits” do they provide for the family?  With older children guide the conversation away from the literal “fruit” to abstract “fruit”.  Discuss what jobs they could do around the home to bless one another.

And now back to the literal “fruit” for recipes to cook with your children and make for your family.

Apple Recipes

Apple Pie

7 cups sliced apples

1 cup sugar

3 T. flour

1 t. (plus) cinnamon

½ t. nutmeg

1 ½ T. vinegar

Mix all ingredients in bowl before putting in pie crust.  Taste to see if it needs more sugar as some apples are very tart.  Put into pie crust and dot with butter before placing the top pie crust.  Seal and crimp the pie crusts together.  To glaze top crust mix some sugar with a little milk and spread over crust before adding the vent cuts.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Apple Butter

5 pints of chunky applesauce

½ cup red hots

4 cups sugar

¼ t. cloves

½ cup cider vinegar

Cook on low in Crock Pot for 12 to 14 hours or until thickened as desired.  Cool and place in freezer containers or may be canned at this point.

Enjoy the “fruits” of your labor.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment.

Cathy Jo Johnson







From Fear to Faith: “Fear Not” Scriptures

Daily Truth: “Fear not, for I am with thee”.  Isaiah 41:10

 thunderstorm7.jpg (512×339)

One of my family’s favorite “fear not” passage is Psalm 56.

Last Wednesday night, our Pastor shared a portion of this chapter with us in church.  My hubs and I reminded our oldest about this “fear not” passage that night at home.

Thursday was the big test of faith vs. fear for our oldest.  She would have to board the bus to go to a game.  In tears, she told us she absolutely didn’t want to do it.

So, we promptly brought her to this “fear not” passage.

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Psalms 56:3

(This song goes great to “The Wheels on the Bus”.  An easy way for little guys to learn this verse.)

When we fear something, what do we often do?


Mmmmm – God knew that too.

“Put my tears into Your bottle;  Are they not in Your book?”  Psalms 56:8

Our tears are so important to God that He collects them and puts them in a bottle.

Then the Psalmist repeats himself.

“In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalms 56:11

We like to rephrase the last part.

“What can___________do to me?”

Fill in the blank with your child’s fear (or yours for that matter).

Storms. People. Buses.  Darkness.  (All real fears of my children).

You get the idea.

Here are a few more of our favorite “fear not” verses.

“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power.”  II Timothy 1:7

God doesn’t want us to fear, so He gives us the power to face our fear.

Fear not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;”  Isaiah 41:10

“For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:13

Once again a repeat.  However, don’t miss the beautiful picture here.  God holds our hand while we face our fears.

My youngest did that the other day.  He hates anything doctor which if you know my family you will appreciate the irony of that fear. So, I was prepared that the dentist would be a humdinger of a visit.  When the hygienist called my little man’s name. he looked at me, stretched his hand toward me,  and said, “Can you hold my hand?” You know what- he didn’t let go until he was out of that chair.

That’s what God does with us when we have to face our fears.  We look at Him with tears in our eyes, and ask Him, “Abba, Father, will you hold my hand?”  He doesn’t let go.

“Only be thou strong and very courageousJoshua 1:7

“The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”  Psalms 118:6

Psalms 23 is not only a good reminder of God’s provision, but also of His protection.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  Psalms 23:1

Can we not also say. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not fear.”

There are so many verses that deal with fear. These are just a few of our favorites.

So, what was the result of the bus?  Well, when we asked her how it went – “It was great mom.  I only wish you could have let me ride it home instead of having to go home with you.”

Sigh – I can’t win!

Until next week,



Fear Not: Turning Fear into Faith

Daily Truth: “Fear not, for I am with you.”  Isaiah 41:10

scared child

Fear can be a paralyzing emotion.  Different things or events cause people fear to fear different things.

My boys fear storms at night. So, the lights stay on.

My middle daughter feared sleeping in her room at night because the dark blue walls made her think monsters were in the room.  (Her walls are now a lovely shade of a pale green).

My oldest daughter fears getting on a school bus.

At times, I fear running by myself.  I think it’s because I have read to many Reader’s Digest “Drama in Real Life”!  So, I take my pepper spray, use a little wisdom, and plug in the music.

Fear is such a powerful emotion and can be a very controlling emotion if we allow it.

We were having our family devotions the other day out of the Heroes and Villains book that we have been enjoying this summer. The scripture was on Peter denying (24)

Yes, denying Christ was a horrible thing for him to do.

Yet, what was the basis of him denying Christ?

Let’s see.  One of his friends betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, his other friends scattered, and he had watched at a distance the events in the home of the high priest.  Peter also was fully aware of the cruelty of the Romans.

So, what was the underlying issue that caused Peter to deny Christ?  Fear.

Yet, despite Peter’s fear leading to his denial of Christ, God used him above and beyond what Peter could have even imagined at the Day of Pentecost!

Fear caused David to lie and commit murder. Yet, God would later call him a “Man after His own heart”.

Fear caused Jacob to run from Esau rather than admit his deception. Yet, God would have Jesus come through Jacob’s line.

Fear can be dibilitating.  Yet, fear can also cause us to be victorious.

Fear caused Esther to pray and fast and then go before the King to ask for the salvation of her people.

Fear caused Shadrach, Meshach, and Obednego to stand before King Nebuchadnezzar and be thrown into the fiery furnace.

Fear caused Daniel to continue praying three times a day to God and then be cast into the lion’s den.

What was the difference?  They allowed their fear to become a demonstration of their faith. They had faith that their God was bigger than their fear.

So, back to the devotional.

“Kids, do you think Peter was afraid that night?


“Do you think God could have helped him overcome that fear if Peter had asked?”


Turning to my oldest, “So, can God help you over come your fears such as getting on the bus this Thursday to go play in a volleyball game?”

Silence.  Then, “I really don’t want to get on that bus, mom.”

“I know.  But don’t you think your God is bigger than your fear?”


“Don’t you think the devil is using the emotion and lie of fear to cause you not to have faith that God will help you on that bus?”


“How about turning that fear into faith.  It will be a step of faith for every parent to send their child on that bus this Thursday.  It will also be a step of faith for everyone of your teammates and friends to get on that bus.”

So, how can we combat fear in our lives and help our children combat fear in their lives?

1.  Prayer.  Pray with your children.  Pray for their specific fear know matter what it is.  Pray with them that God would give them the strength to overcome that fear.

2.  Scripture.  It has been said that there are over 365 “Fear Not” verses in the Bible – one for each day of the year.  Give them scripture that deals with fear to help them conquer those fears.  At night, my oldest listens to the Psalms being read  from the Bible Gateway app.

3.  Music.  Good Christian music is so calming as well as relaxing classical music. We often play music for the kids to settle down.  When I was delivering my oldest, we brought a CD player and some soft classical music.  All the nurses wanted to stay in our room because it was so relaxing.

Here are two of our favorite “fear” verses.

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”  Psalms 56:3

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”  Isaiah 41:10 (Actually, you really need to read the whole chapter.)

So, Thursday afternoon, I will be taking a step of faith with so many other parents as our children take their own step of faith getting onto the buses to go to games, turning our fear into faith.

Until next Monday,





Make This Year’s School Shoes Last a Lifetime

Daily Truth: Shoes “and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” Ephesians 6:15

Father and Child's Feet

Baby steps then toddler steps and before you know it your child is grown.  Each stage of growth means new shoes.

New shoes are almost always part of the items purchased for a new school year.  This year while buying school supplies, clothing and shoes make it a special time and also go out to lunch after shopping.

Bring up the verse from Ephesians 6 about shoes. Discuss how shoes are important to protect feet.  Discuss how different shoes are needed for various sports, gym class, and school. The correct type of shoe helps us to do our best.

In Ephesians 6:15 there are several words that may need explaination to the child.  The word “shod” means to bind on.  I grew up with horses so when I think of  the word “shod” I think of nailing on a horse’s shoe.  So “bind” would mean to tightly fasten to your feet. The word “preparation” means to be prepared.  The word “gospel” means the good news of Jesus Christ.  The word “peace” means the salvation we have through Jesus Christ. Sure there are other kinds of peace but true peace is only found in Jesus.

Help your child remember each day when he or she puts on those new shoes to also put on the shoes of peace from God’s Word.

The special shoes that God  teaches us about in Ephesians 6 are just a part of the entire armor of God.  To learn more about all of the armor of God read Ephesians 6:10-20.

God is so good to teach us His Word through things such as shoes in our every day life.   Take advantage of “teachable moments” and bring God’s Word alive to your child.

Until the next “Truth” telling moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson






The Heavens Beckon Our Attention: God’s Glory

Daily Truth:  “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.”  Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God

The heavens do declare the glory of God.  And, the firmament does show His handiwork.

We serve an amazing God!  The stars are so numerous that we cannot count them.  The sun is at just the right distance to provide heat and light to sustain us and not destroy us.  God’s glory and majesty can be seen every day and night.

It is no coincidence that the sun, moon, and stars are hung above us.  We must look up to see them.  Written in Isaiah 55:9 God tells us,  “The heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”.

Looking up at the heavens we can see this heaven yet in Revelation 21:1 John tells us, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:  for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…..”.  Gazing up at the night sky can prompt questions of the new heaven.  What does it take so we can see this “new heaven”?  It takes the realization that Christ, God’s Son, died for our sins according to the Scriptures, He was buried and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.  (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)  God’s Word also tells us in Acts16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

On the next clear night go outside, away from the city lights, with a blanket and your family.  Lie there and look up.  Can you too declare the glory of God?  God is so good to give us just a peek into the beauty of our eternal home and a glimpse into His full glory.

Some resources for you and your child to find more about the heavens include:

“Creation Astronomy” by Dr. Jason Lisle, “Kids Answers” by Answers in Genesis,  Answers in Genesis Kid Videos:  Habitable Planet and Distant Starlight , to see amazing photos from space see the Hubble website, and  a great app for an iPhone is “Night Sky”.  This app will help you to identify constellations while gazing at the stars.

Until the next “Truth” telling moment,

Cathy Jo

This article first appeared on “Truths for Tots” blog

Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death: God Comforts

Daily Truth that brings comfort: “Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.” Psalms 23:4

Sun and Wispy Clouds Over Mountains

This weekend my church family in Indianapolis was plummeted into the valley of the shadow of death.  A few of our families are forced to walk through this valley even deeper due to the loss of loved ones.  Words fail at a time like this.  Yet, God’s Word NEVER fails and brings comfort.

The following are a few of the verses that have brought and continue to bring comfort to me as my family recently traveled through this valley.

I sought the Lord and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.Psalms 34:4

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. ” Psalms 34:8

He is their strength in the time of trouble.”  Psalms 37:39

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
 My tears have been my food day and night, Psalms 42:1-3

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1

Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalms 46:10

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.  From the ends of the earth I call to you.  I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  For you have been my refuge,a strong tower against the foe.” Psalms 61:1-3

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken”  Psalms 62:1-2

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  Psalms 73:26

I cried out to God with my voice—To God with my voice; And He gave ear to me.” Psalms 77:1

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;”  Isaiah 43:1-3

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts Isaiah 55:8-9

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” Psalms 56:8

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes”  Revelation 7:11

Sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”  I Thessalonians 4:13-14

I love the last three verses. What comfort they provide!  Each tear we cry God knows about and one day will wipe them all away.  As believers in Christ we have the confidence that we will see those fellow believers who have passed before us again.

Praying God’s comfort for all,







Just a Boy

Daily Truth:  “There is a boy here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?”  John 6:9


                                                 Just a Boy.

photo (24)

We have been reading through a devotional book entitled “Heroes and Villains of the Bible” this summer in our family devos. Mostly the heroes and villains have been adults – until Saturday night.  That night we read about how a boy’s lunch fed 5000 men.

Just a Boy.

Now, the kids have heard this story before.  However, to hear it light of a “hero” was a whole other view point.  I mean…really…a child as a “hero”?  You could see the question spinning through their heads.



Just a Boy.

Of course, the number “5,000” means nothing to 4, 5, and 6 year olds.  So, we had to put it in perspective for them.

“Sam, let’s pretend that I pack you a lunch with 5 rolls and two small fish and you take it church.  Now let’s say, we walk into the auditorium and we tell you to share your lunch with everybody in the church.  Would it happen?”

Once again the wheels spinning. “What?!?!”

Micah, “No way that would work!”

Now we have no where near 5,000 members in our church but just the thought of having to share that little with that many was overwhelming.

Just a Boy.

Then Alexandra chimed in, “Dad, I’m sure there were other people that brought a lunch.  How come Jesus didn’t use their lunches?”

“Maybe, they didn’t offer to help like this little boy did.”

Just a Boy.

Then we reminded the kids that we don’t know the boys name, but he is forever remembered as the “Boy with the five loaves and two fish that over 5,000 men”.

I mean can you imagine him running home to his mom and exclaiming, slightly out of breath, “Mom you will never believe what Jesus did today!”

Just a Boy,

Why is this boy remembered through all time?  Why did God say to John, “Hey, remember the feeding of the 5,000?  Tell about that as you write this book”.

Why? Simply because the boy was willing to share in only a way a child could.

He didn’t see the vast number of people.  He didn’t see the impossibility.  He didn’t calculate how much money he would need like the disciples did.  No, he just simply handed his lunch to Jesus – willingly.  No tempers.  No coercing from dad.

Just a Boy.

So, another thought occurred to me as we finished up the devotional.  How was a little boy so willing to share his little lunch?  I’m sure it was hot and had been a tiring walk.

I mean, I have two boys and when they are ravenous, telling them to share their lunch is right up with asking them to eat their broccoli with a happy spirit.

So, how did this boy willingly give away his lunch?

Training.  Parents training him at a young age to share all he has with others.  No restraints.  No questions.  Just a willing spirit.

Demonstrating. Parents demonstrating by their actions how to share and help others with a willing spirit.  Not grudgingly.


It always amazes me how God’s Word can reach all ages with the same story.

Just a Boy.

So, my kids went away with the idea that even though they are little, they can still be a hero for God.

I went away reminded to keep on with the training because God can use just a boy.

Until next Monday,


P.S.  The little maid to Naaman’s wife is another little hero God used for Him.


Refreshing Rain

Daily Truth: ” As the rain cometh down….so shall my Word be.”  Isaiah 55:10-11


Refreshing Rain.

I am one of those odd moms that lets her kids play in the rain.  I’m not talking a downpour, just a soft rain that doesn’t seem to stop.

photo (23)Their imaginations seem to open up even more and the backyard is suddenly an area of endless possibilities.  Umbrellas even come out despite the fact that they are pointless.

A couple of Saturdays ago, it rained all day and the kids were out all day.  Have you ever jumped on a trampoline while it was raining?

Refreshing Rain.

I love running in the rain.  Not one of those “soak to the bone” rains.  Just a gentle rain.  It seems to clear my thoughts and I get a better run in.





Refreshing Rain.

Hawaii has these gentle rains almost everyday.  Nothing so hard as to get an umbrella, but just a soft shower that lasts a few minutes and is enough to feel very refreshing. As a result, the vegetation is beautiful.  It is no wonder that many consider Hawaii Paradise.

Refreshing Rain.

God’s Word has many descriptions – a two-edged sword, a light, etc.  However, my favorite description is found in Isaiah 55:9-10.  There the Word of God is described as rain that comes and gives life to the earth.

This past week I really needed the refreshing rain of God’s Word.  I felt spiritually dry. I just needed that refreshing power of His Word in my life.  I am always amazed at how God brings the right people in my life at the right time to give me the spiritual encouragement that I need.

Refreshing Rain.

Thursday, a friend and I were going to meet at her neighborhood pool so that the kids could swim.  But the Lord shut the pool down for maintenance that day.  While the kids were playing at the park we went to, my friend shared with me how God had provided a specific need for her family in a very specific way.  It took almost a year for God to clearly mark the way for them, but He did.

Her testimony had God’s hand stamped all over it.  There was no way any human being could have orchestrated it.  I left her that afternoon spiritually refreshed.

Refreshing Rain.

Friday, I met another friend and her kids at a park.  Once again, left refreshed and thankful for my little family.

Refreshing Rain.

Saturday, I took Sophia to a party and sat with four other moms along side of the pool.  While our feet were dangling in the water, our souls were getting refreshed by the encouragement from one another.

Refreshing Rain.

That night I walked the neighborhood with a dear friend and she shared with me how God has been working in her family.  I left feeling physically refreshed but also spiritually refreshed.

Refreshing Rain.

Sunday morning, the message was meant specifically for me.  (Ever have that happen to you).   It was wonderful reminder that God is with us each step of the way in our spiritual journey.  Even when times are hard, He is there.

Refreshing Rain.

When God reveals Himself to us, we as mom’s need to tell our children.  After each incident, I told the kids about it and said, “See how God takes care of His children.  Not always immediately, but He does take care of us.”

Of course the message on Sunday was so powerful, it brought tears to my eyes.  In the car, the kids asked me why I was crying. “God was just reminding me that He is always with us.  Mommy needed that this week.”

Refreshing Rain.

We all have times in our lives that God makes Himself so real to us it is overwhelming.  Look back, remember those times, and share them with your children.  Then, look forward to the times that God will do it again and refresh your soul with His Word.

Until next week,