My name is Dan Cathers and Solid Life (this website) is a sort of public journal. Many years ago the Church of Living Water (where I attend) used the tagline “Building Solid Lives”. I adopted that as a goal for my own life and this website is an attempt to help others in their journey to build solid lives.
I do not consider myself to be any sort of spiritual expert. I am merely sharing the things that I am doing, learning, and thinking as I attempt to grow in love for God and other people.
Here are some of the scriptures that will serve as the focal point of things that I write on Solid Life:
Mark 1:14-17 (ESV) ** bible.com
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” 16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
In these verses I see Jesus telling people he encountered to repent and believe in the gospel. This was a command to turn away from sinful behavior and live a different life – one based on God’s Word. As I seek to live a life that honors Christ, I will share what I learn and pray that it is a blessing to others. If in sharing, I happen to lead someone to follow Christ, then I guess I will also have become a fisher of men!
Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV) ** bible.com
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
In the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus was telling people to obey God’s Word. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus has been resurrected after being crucified and is giving his disciples the Great Commission before he ascends to Heaven. In his final earthly words to the disciples he has not changed his message, he instructs his disciples to make disciples and to teach them to observe all that He commanded. Even though he has paid the penalty for all of humanity’s sin, he still calls people to obedience. Jesus was able to live in perfect obedience to His Father. I am called to do the same. I will never be perfect, but I will try and I will thank God for His grace and mercy when I fail.
Luke 6:40 (ESV) ** bible.com
40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.
Some might argue that I should not work to be perfect, instead I should just accept God’s grace. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is quoted in a manner that certainly makes it seem to me that He expects us to be like Him.
Philippians 2:12-13 ** bible.com
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, he instructs them to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. I believe this is sound advice for my life. I don’t believe that I am likely to change much, if I don’t make a conscious effort to live a different life.
Matthew 7:13-23 ** bible.com
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Perhaps the Apostle Paul said to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” because he knew that there will be some people who call Jesus “Lord” and do many mighty works in His name, yet Jesus does not know them. I believe that the motivation for works must be good. A bad tree cannot bear good fruit. I am the equivalent of one of the trees in the parable Jesus told and I want to make sure that Jesus knows me and considers me a good tree so that I am not cut down and thrown into the fire!
Ephesians 2:8-10 ** bible.com
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
I was saved by grace, not by works. Yet I was created for good works. If my motivation for good works is to earn my own salvation, I am very sadly mistaken.
Hebrews 10:24 ** bible.com
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
I believe that love must be the motivation for good works.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 ** bible.com
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
I could do many spiritual works, but without love, they are nothing.
Matthew 22:36-40 ** bible.com
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Jesus summed up all the Law and the Prophets into two commandments: love God and love others. This website is my public journal of the things that I am doing, learning, and thinking as I attempt to grow in love for God and other people. I hope that in creating this website, Jesus will be my teacher and when I am fully trained (which will probably be a few seconds before I die), I will be like my teacher. I also hope that this website blesses anyone (you) who may take the time to explore it.