Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mountain Tops

Greetings to All! As I ate my lunch today I was reading the Mass readings for today and reflecting on the Gospel. Today’s Gospel is from Mt 17:1-9 in which Jesus goes up on the mountain with Peter, James, and John and before their very eyes he is transfigured into all of His Glory and Jesus is conversing with Moses and Elijah. What a sight this must have been for Peter, James and John? The joy they must have felt as right before their eyes they were seeing Jesus in His Glory, not to mention Moses and Elijah were there. It had to be a total confirmation of everything that Jesus had told them and of everything that they had truly placed their faith in. Peter was so excited he did not want to leave nor did he want anyone else to leave. He offered to build tents for all of them and they could stay on the mountain forever.

Isn’t that how we all feel so often? Having been involved with church ministry for a number of years now, I have often used this particular scripture passage while ministering to teenagers, especially after they come back from a retreat or conference. Explaining to them that whatever event they were on and however powerful it might have been, that we cannot stay on the mountain, that our life is not like that all the time. No matter how bad we want to stay on the mountain, although all of us would really like to, life just does not work like that for us either. I believe that God gives us all these mountain top experiences in order to show us His Glory and His Power, and Jesus is our perfect example, yet again and in the words of my wife, “That Jesus, He is so clever!” Jesus Himself shows us that we have the mountain top experiences and they are good and that it is necessary for us to hear from our Father in heaven that, We are His beloved Sons and Daughters, in whom He is well pleased. Isn’t awesome? That even Jesus needed to hear these words and have this experience in order that He might have the strength, courage, and perseverance to come down the mountain and to walk up the hill to Calvary.

For Ali and I our life together has been filled with many mountain top experiences, individually and together as a couple. God has done marvelous things in our lives to show us that we are His beloved Son and Daughter, in whom He is well pleased. There have been real moments where He has revealed Himself, His Power, His Beauty, and His Faithfulness to us and there is part of me that wonders if it is partly because He knew the mountain that we would have to climb with Cate and her death. I firmly believe that these experiences along with our faith are what continue to root us deeply into the heart of God right now. I would think that as Jesus walked the road to Calvary that those words, “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” were echoing deep in His Sacred Heart. It was these words that enable him to get up again and again after he fell. Similarly, but on a MUCH smaller scale, I know that this is what is carrying Ali and me right now. We are reminded of the mountain top experiences in our lives where we have truly witnessed for ourselves the power of God before our very own eyes. Since Cate’s death when it is has been difficult and we have had trouble hearing God or being reminded of His faithfulness, We have had our own Simon, who helped Jesus carry his Cross, come into our lives and speak those words of the Father into our hearts that we cannot hear at that moment because the shouts of hurt, angry, and sadness get so loud at times.

I thank you Jesus for not staying on the mountain that day. I thank you for coming down and accepting the will of the Father so that we all might receive Salvation. I pray Lord that you will continue to remind Ali and I of the mountain tops in our lives as we walk in this valley of the shadow of Death. But even more than that I pray that we might not only see You on the mountain but that we might see You even clearer and even nearer as we walk in this valley. May we all follow Christ up the mountain and then follow Him all the way to Calvary. I love you Lord, help me to love you more. Much Love, The Cantrells

19 comments:

Lila Lambert said...

How beautiful are the Feet that walked that long, dusty road; the Hands that fed the multitudes; the Heart that loved surpassing all understanding...how beautiful is the Body of Christ! Those same Feet walk beside us each day, carrying our crosses with us and then carrying us when we can no longer go on, the Hands that still feed us and give us nourishment, the Body waiting for us on the altar each day to give us the ability to accomplish the supernatural through our weaknesses...

Anonymous said...

Once again, eloquently said, leaving the rest of us speechless.

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!!

that's all I have to say today! :)
Teresa Clark

Anonymous said...

God Bless you Charlie and Ali! Thank you so much for your words, the Holy Spirit is most certainly using you to teach and share the Word of our Lord. You continue in our prayers. JESUS I TRUST IN YOU! YSIC, Melanie

Ragin-Cajun said...

We love you all and continue to keep you in our prayers.

Lori, Willie & Anna said...

Cantrells,
I am still keeping all of you in my prayers. Charlie, I really needed "Fresh Cut Grass" the other day. Thanks for being there for us. Ali-I continue to pray for you. It may be a while before you all have a "good" day, but I pray the Lord gives you more comfort and strength each day. I also pray for Ella & Dude as they transition to school soon. Lots of changes can be hard on little fellas.
Love, Lori Thomassee

Megan Perkins said...

Beautiful words as always, Charlie!

M

Tiffany Ho said...

beautiful!!! It reminds me of my experience as Summer Staff at Covecrest last year. We were on that mountain and we didn't want to leave..but we had to come down to spread God's love! Praying for you always!

marsha said...

Dont ever stop sharing with us Charlie. You give me my daily inspiration. I love you guys. Marsha

maureen said...

does your counter explode when it reaches a kabillion?
love, m

Crystal said...

Charlie

I really don't have much to say besides, this is the 3rd time I read this message. And I love reading what you have to say. God Bless you and your family. I will continue to pray for all of you.

God Bless
Crystal Judice

volpecircus said...

Our family and the homeschooling group here in PA are keeping your whole family in our prayers. Keep up the good fight. Your words are inspirational to so many. The mowing the lawn analogy the other day was beautiful and oh so true. Thank you for sharing your walk with us.

Claire said...

still reading and still praying.

love yall!
claire

Anonymous said...

As a fellow FUS grad, (a few years before you arrived) I am so grateful I found your site and Baby Cate. You and Ali are an inspiration, your strength and courage awe inspiring. Thank you for opening your hearts to us. I think of you as I go about my day, reminding me of life's vulnerabilities. I try to speak more softly, be more patient, give the benefit of the doubt more often, appreciate my husband and children, and pray, even when it isn't convenient or easy.

And thank you for helping me to understand my husband a little better. The lawn draws him, too.
God Bless and Keep you all.

Anonymous said...

Dear Charlie and Ali,
I am continuing to pray daily for you two and Ella and Dude--so my prayer is that you continue to feel the support of all of us, whom you really don't even know! I'm convinced that God works through all of us when we call on Him in your behalf...so I'm whispering your names and holding Cate's prayer card and just offering my own hurts to lighten yours..I believe that it works that way.
Your writings are so honest, can make me cry, sometimes hilarious...but always uplifting. I wait for them, kinda in a "You've got Mail" way--not in a "I See Dead People" freakazoid way--where people who don't even know you stalk the dang website...we're sincere, we feel like we know you--and you give us so much hope.
Thank you so much for allowing us to be part of your precious journey...it helps us in walking our own.
Much love to you both!

Julie said...

God Bless the Cantrells!! He IS with you always. Feel the peace.
I love you all and am continuing to pray daily and still pass your blog around. You are all an inspiration to us.
Julie

Anonymous said...

Your words always touch my heart in such an amazing way. I always want to tell you how thankful I am after reading each post, but can never find the words after reading something so perfect. I thank you both so much for inviting strangers to share your journey with you, as you travel this path no parent ever wants to. It never fails, my outlook on life, and my attitude and spirit are always instantly changed after visiting here to hear your words. You will never know how much your family has changed my life. All my love and prayers, Catherine

Anonymous said...

HI CANTRELLS,

LIFE HAS BEEN A LITTLE HECTIC THESE DAYS, JUST A NOTE TO LET YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE ALL STILL IN MY PRAYERS. I KEEP A PICTURE OF BABY CATE ON MY DESK AND IN MY HOME. WHEN YOU ARE READY, OUR HOME IS OPEN TO YOU. CALL IF YOU NEED.

MS JO

Anonymous said...

WOW is all I can say. Charlie, you have an amazing gift of expressing yourself and touching so many peoples' lives!! I have printed all your writings for Mom and Dad to read. I cannot even express to you how much your words mean to me and so many others. What a wonderful gift God has given you. Please keep sending these awesome words of inspiration. I think and pray for you, Ali and the kids every day. Hope the start of school goes well for Ali and the kids. We love you dearly and pray for you always.

Much Love & God Bless,
Cathy