Sunday, March 28, 2010


I once heard a sermon by my friend Dale.

The whole point of his sermon was that we need three kinds of people in our lives.

We need the people that are out ahead of us in life.
We need the people who are at similar places to our own.
We need the people who are behind us. We need people to cheer on.

That's a lot of people. That's a lot of investment. That's not easy to do.

But who said life was easy.

Thursday, I was having a minor melt down. I needed to talk to someone who had successfully gotten just beyond their teenagers high school years. Someone who would understand what I was trying to sort out. I prayed that God would help me think of someone I could talk to. Someone that would truly help me make sense of what I was trying to work through. The first friend that came to mind, was "in class" and I knew was not available for four more whole hours. That wasn't gonna work. Patience was not what I was feeling. The next person was someone I knew I had a shot at reaching. Score. She answered the phone and she was available. She listened. She taught. She helped sort. She encouraged. At the end, I said I think I've been praying the wrong prayer. I told her how I intended to pray going forward. Before we got off the phone she prayed for me and my whole family. One of the reasons why I thought of her is because she truly loves my whole family. And, boy was I glad that I called her.

Friday, I took off on a two day trip with some girlfriends. The second kind of people. The ones you discover the world with. Some are new friends, others I have long histories with. Oh the stories we can now tell. The sweet memories... The embarrassing moments... The shared humor over things no one else would really appreciate. Pictionary can be boring at this point. We read each others minds to well. We laugh, cry and learn together. We care very deeply about each other. These are some of the speed dial women in my life.

Sunday was been a chance to see the ones coming up behind. The chance to see the younger people of our community. Tonight I got to serve alongside one of those young women. We cleaned up together. Our church had a Palm Sunday Celebration. 400 plus people in the Sanctuary eating a meal together. This means there was some cleaning up to do. First we shared a smile. Then we laughed about this and that. We enjoyed progressing towards our goal together. Nothing significant was said. We just enjoyed each other. I think that's significant. Time well spent. And the tables got put away too.

Tonight one of our pastors reminded us that we are known by our love. Do we love one another? Do we invest in, care for and enjoy one another? I really hurt for people who are to afraid to come in close... to extend themselves to others... to risk loving and being loved.

When Dale preached this sermon years ago, I was reminded how rich with friendships my life has been. On that day I made a decision to be more available to younger women.

This weekend I have been reminded again how rich with friendship and love my life is and, Lord willing, will continue to be.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Satisfy My Thirsty Soul

Good Evening.

Couple of things...

In April, Linda Dillow is going to come to Crossroads Bible Church. She has written a book called: Satisfy My Thirsty Soul. What she's written about, in this book, will be the focus of the Women's Conference.

I've got quite a list of books going right now. I really resisted adding this one to my list. I'm glad I caved. I don't know if I'll make it to the end of the book by the conference. I don't know if I want to. But I will finish Part 1 before her arrival in late April.

I was already excited about praying for the Women's Conference. Having read through Chapter 1, I'm super excited about it!

On purpose, I don't want to say anymore. Maybe after the conference. Basically I wanted to invite you to get her book, read some of it and come. Any California takers? Got a spare room.

I totally hope lots of the high school girls are gonna be there!! Eighty somethings would be great too! :)

Second thing.

Joye introduced me to a website called Shelfari. I keep it updated. On it, you can see what your friends are currently reading, what they have read and what they plan to read. I'd love to be friends on If you sign up, then choose drop down box that say "Books" at the top. Change it to "members" and then search "Cheri Hudspith". Turns out there are 999 Cheri H's.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


In numerous places Caleb is described in the Old Testament as "one who has a different spirit and follows God wholeheartedly".

A friend asked me to consider and share thoughts I have on the development of a wholehearted relationship with God. So as I began to ponder this, I thought: "In a word, why do I think people avoid developing a whole-hearted relationship with God." The word that came to mind is fear.

Then I wondered if that word is going to have a thing to do with Caleb's story. I was pleased to find that it did.

When Caleb got back from spying on the land, in the book of Numbers, he told Moses and the people what he saw. The people didn't like what they heard. Their reaction was fear. Caleb's reaction was loyalty to God and faith in God. Caleb was not afraid.

A wholehearted devotion to God is in part a persistent willingness to be honest with ourselves and with God about what we are afraid of. When God graces us with faith that overcomes our specific list of fears, we know a deeper more personal relationship with God.

That process of being honest with God about our fear and working through it with the Lord develops a relationship of love and trust with God. You find out he doesn't zap you when you admit to weakness and vulnerabilities. Instead He wisely and graciously provides you faith and strength and whatever else you need. Honesty unlocks so much potential in any relationship. I find that to be especially true with God.

God celebrated Caleb's reaction of faith with a promise. He promised that he would live to enter the land plus a gift of a whole big chunk of it. God expressed his deep frustration with the ones who had seen all the miracles of the Red Sea etc and responded with fear. God decided they were not going to be allowed to enter the land.

Knowing that God gets frustrated with the our lack of faith, when he's done so much, shouldn't be a motivator to ignore our fears and just get to work for God. But it should tell us something about what we're missing if we haven't noticed or truly believed how trustworthy and faithful God is.

This is also why I believe the "Father of lies" is so effective at making us ineffective. He knows how to feed our fears with lies. He tells us just enough to paralyze our faith or to make us just self righteous enough to not choose dependence on God. We have to discern in partnership with the Holy Spirit truth from lies. If we don't pay attention to any of this we default to lie believing. If we do pay attention, we spend less time in double-mindedness. A double minded person does not feel wholehearted towards God.

I guess in summary this is what I'm thinking:
To develop a wholehearted relationship with God is in part to acknowledge your fears. To ask God to grace you with a developing faith so that with God, they can be overcome. Faith and loyalty to God are traits that grow over time. When you demonstrate faith and loyalty to God you can be sure that God is pleased.

P.S. Since I initially wrote this I've had time to think about my own life. I have for years been able to say. I know I don't trust God enough. I long to trust God much more than I do. This honest and simple insight has opened the door for many good things in my relationship with the Lord. I have learned to pay attention when I know I'm not trusting God. How do I know I'm not trusting? Truths I have said I believe are not how I choose to live. When that realization happens, I ask God to reveal why I don't trust him. That has meant owning up to being afraid. That is humbling. But once I tested the waters in an area or two and I survived. Actually I've done much more than survived, I received gracious gifts from my Father in Heaven that in one way or another have bolstered my faith. These gifts have without a doubt increased my willingness to be open and honest with God. Praise God the cycle continues: doubt, fear, honesty, seeking, grace, faith, deeper dependence.

God is working in my life to replace fear with faith and this work has been the reason for much of the trust I know in God today.

So to the friend that asked me to think about this, thank you. It has been extremely helpful to me and helped me put some things together that I had not, yet seen.

Friday, March 05, 2010

I noticed this week...

I like the life I'm living. Got a few reminders this week that I need to be really grateful for that.

Hasn't always been true for me. While its difficult to see people in places where they don't really enjoy the lives they are living, I like that I really do have hope for them. And not tiny bits of hope either.

That's all.

Good Night