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5 minutes with Cat ...

- Tell us a little about you

I’m 34, married and a mum. The best decision I ever made was to start following Jesus as a 19-year-old uni student, and the second best was to marry Tim, a widower with a beautiful 5-year-old daughter. She’s now 13 and we also have a 2 year old. I’m a stay-at-home mum most of the time (or hang-out-with-friends mum whenever I can arrange it), actively involved at church and work for AFES two days per week as a support-raising coach.

- What's your favourite bible passage & why?

Revelation 21, for the beautiful and glorious picture of our hope and our future: the marriage of Christ to his bride, the church, and the incredibly new beginning that it will be for us and for the world. A new kind of relationship, new home, new intimacy between God and his people, and a new holiness that means that nothing will be messed up or painful.

- How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?

I try to weave faith-building things into my routine and life. So we’re at church each Sunday, and I attend a Community Group each week where we encourage each other with the Bible, pray and be community together. Tim leads us in praying together lots of evenings (I’m usually too tired to do more than follow along) and we chat often about Bible stuff and how we relate to God. I love Christian music that explores how faith impacts daily life, as well as songs that remind me of precious truth from God.

I try to make time each day to read the Bible – not so much because it’s a duty, but because it’s where I see God in new ways, where he surprises me and I find uncomfortable things that I have to spend time working through, where I find glorious truths that I wouldn’t otherwise have imagined. At the moment, I find it easiest to do this during our toddler’s nap on weekdays, and I have a list of things in the PrayerMate app that I want to pray for regularly. I love Tim Chester’s Bible reading plan, because it’s a weekly portion of Scripture, it’s flexible and easy to read with others. At our midweek women’s group, we’ve experimented last term with meeting in groups of 3 to encourage our Bible reading and relationship with God – I’ve found this great accountability even when we’ve all had sick kids and not been able to meet, and encouraging to talk through the passages we’ve all been reading each week.

- What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know?

The depth and richness of the gospel: that Jesus died on the cross so we might be forgiven and accepted without needing to prove ourselves or be ‘successful’ or ‘fulfilled’, that he rose from the dead as the first-fruits, as a guarantee that it’s possible for humans to life again and live forever, and that his people will follow where he’s pioneered. That Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom, a place of justice where God’s will is obeyed and where Satan and the powers of darkness have no hold. That we’re not just individual believers, but called together to be adopted as God’s children and so now we’re brothers and sisters, part of a family and one body in Christ. That Jesus is the Messiah, the long-awaited descendant of David, who welcomes Gentiles (non-Jews) and fulfils all the Old Testament. That God is Triune – a loving fellowship and community of three persons; that loving relationship is what is at the centre of the universe and the most defining and real thing that there is.

- What's one thing that you love about your local church?

The love and welcome that I see there. It’s full of people who have known each other for decades and have been through lots together, and yet there’s room for new people to be welcomed into that strong community. It’s beautiful to see and to experience.

- What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?

That God is bigger than anything, and that his comfort and hope can shine in the midst of terrible sadness. The beauty of our hope (like in Revelation 21) and how much that hope can sustain.

- What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about Christians connected what they know with how they live – integrating and having a holistic approach to life and relationship with God. That applies to our approach to church, mission, growing in generosity, partnering with Christian ministries, thinking about parenting and how it helps us know God better, how we live together in the world and think about social justice, and more :)

- What do you enjoy doing when you rest?

My favourite rest spot is a swinging chair that was a lovely gift from family, which sits in a sunny spot on my porch, with a great view of the garden. I swing and think and sleep and drink tea and read and research garden problems and generally relax (with the baby monitor on so I can hear when nap time is over!).

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