For my spiritual growth during Lent, 2019, I’ve joined with a group of friends at First Baptist Church of Chattanooga to study the book, Because of This I Rejoice by Max O. Vincent. Our springboard for reflection and celebration is Paul’s letter to the Philippians.Because-of-This-I-Rejoice-1

Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi resonates with the word JOY.  Thus our study sessions include Joyful Prayer, Joyful Witness, Joyful Humility, Joyful Hospitality, Joyful Asceticism, and Joyful Giving.

Our home preparation includes:

First Reading: Daily reading a selected passage from Philippians and considering how the passage relates to the Philippians.

Second Reading:  Contemplate what the passage says to me about how I practice the discipline in my life.  I am encouraged to jot down/journal my thoughts and insights.

Finally:  Read the passage as a closing act of worship.


As I reflect on those persons who have and continue to inspire me to become more authentic as a Christian believer I’m thankful for Katharine Bruner, better known to her friends as Katsy.

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Katharine Everett Bruner
November 9, 1929 ~ March 6, 2019 (age 89)

The very thought of Katsy ignites my heart with joyful feelings.

We’d been members of First Baptist Church of Chattanooga for several years before our friendship blossomed.  In 2008, Katsy and I, now senior citizens, joined with a medium adult family group

from FBC to spend a week assisting a struggling CBF mission community at Never Fail, near Sparta, Tennessee.  Katsy and I helped with the food preparation and spent lots of time washing huge pots and pans.  We helped sort out a trailer full of clothing by size and gender.  We assisted in weeding a garden plot, mingled with the people and children of the community and participated in Vacation Bible School each evening.

To save on expenses five of us seniors occupied one room at a local Sparta motel. During our down time we did what women everywhere do:  we shared our stories, played board games and made sure we made at least one trip a day to get a cone of ice cream.

It was during this downsize time I realized Katsy was pure gold!  She was intelligent, witty, thoughtful and discerning.  We both had married men who became pastors of Southern Baptist churches. Katsy and I had also pursued occupations in public schools.  Consequently we always could conjure up a discussion.

Katsy, I discovered during our Never Fail days, loved to play board games and she loved to win.  If you know me at all you know that I too enjoy playing board games and I love to win.

It didn’t take me long to find out she had a high view of biblical interpretation and that she found herself at home with those in society who needed her most.

Katsy died on March 6, 2019.  Every Lenten season I’ll remember how Katsy loved life, valued her family and friends, was always growing intellectually and spiritually.

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