CityLine Women – Volume 23
Welcome back, CityLine Women!
After a brief pause, I am thrilled to announce that we will be resuming publication of our CityLine Women blog! I Praise God and am so thankful for the team of sisters willing to share their gifts to make this possible. Once again, we will use this creative outlet to share devotionals, events, service opportunities–even the burdens and celebrations that draw us together as a church family.
With summer in full gear, I am looking forward to taking advantage of this more relaxed season to reconnect with you all as we encourage one another on our walk with Jesus. Please don’t hesitate to share this with any woman who comes to mind.
Also, if you’ve been blessed with the gift of writing–or if you just have something the Lord has put on your heart to share–please reach out to us. We are always on the lookout for new writers!
Please be sure to have a look at our upcoming events section below. You’ll find opportunities to connect, serve and grow in the body of Christ.
Finally, as you read this reflection by our sister, Monique Collado, I pray that you are encouraged by her recollection of God’s faithfulness.
Grace and peace,
CityLine Women’s Interim Coordinator
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
Joshua 4:4 (NIV)
One year, when our children were young, my husband and I were struggling financially, I was pregnant with our third child and life was, well, taxing, to say the least! We needed a fresh perspective, so we saved enough money to take a mini-road trip to visit family in North Carolina. On our way back, we mapped out a route to stop in Philadelphia to get some Philly cheesesteaks on the way home.
What looked so close on a map took us hours to get to. After many twists, turns, and traffic, the famed restaurant came into view! As our tummies rumbled our eyes darted to and fro for a parking spot, “Oh, there’s one right in front of the restaurant–park there!”
With mouths watering for the long-awaited meal, Jon pulled into the parking spot and we headed in. After scarfing down the meat and cheesy goodness we headed over to our van and realized it had a new garnish on the windshield. It was a ticket!
We couldn’t figure out what went wrong. We parked correctly–check. We fed the meter–check. We parked during non-street cleaning hours–check. It didn’t make any sense to us, but we lived in New York City at the time, so we were no strangers to this sort of thing. Tickets were a common enough occurrence to have worked it into our budget, so I figured it may have cost us $25-$50, when we examined the ticket more closely we saw that it was $350! Turns out we had parked in a handicapped spot with a meter.
While this was no laughing matter, all I could conjure up was a belly laugh! We were already tight with our income. There was absolutely no way we could pay it. It might as well have been $1,000,000 in our case!
For the next several hours driving back to Brooklyn, we just shook our heads in disbelief. When we got home, I took some time to pray about it. My prayer was simple. “Lord, you know our financial state. There is just no way we could afford this. Unless YOU do something, this won’t get paid. Please help us! In Jesus name, Amen.”
During my brief prayer, I felt prompted to write a letter to the parking ticket people of the “City of Brotherly Love.” Jon thought this was a great idea.
We had a cute little jar on our bookshelf–that was nothing more than a decorative air holder until this point–with an inscription on the front that read, “Answered Prayers.” I wrote and mailed the letter, then placed the ticket in the jar. I promise you, I did not think about that letter for weeks until we received a reply!
The reply read something like this:
Dear Collado Family,
We received your letter and found the statements you made were true. We will pardon the ticket and we hope you come visit with us again.
The parking ticket people of Philadelphia.”
I was dumbfounded, to say the least. All I could do was weep at the goodness of God. He hear and answered my simple prayer!
A few things were solidified in my heart that day:
1. God really does answers prayer
2. There’s no power in my eloquent or clever words
3. God has authority over the authorities over me
4. I should pray about everything
Just as the Lord had the Israelites create memorials to what He had done for them, this is our tribe’s Memorial to what God has done for us. I have heard plenty of stories of what God has done in others, but this is just one of the many Collado Family Memorials of how God answers prayer!
My prayer is that our Memorial will encourage my children, their children, and the many generations to follow–as well as you and your legacy.
Do you have any memorials of how God answered you in your time of need? Take some time to sit and remember how God has moved in your life. What are those answers to prayer that serve as memorials of God’s goodness? I encourage you to write them down, allow those stories of God’s faithfulness to become an anchor of hope and faith for you, your family and others as you share of how God answers prayer.
Heavenly Father, I’m so grateful that you hear our prayers! Whether we have a million-dollar lexicon or simple, child-like words, you hear and respond to our faith in the times we call to you.
Lord, I pray that you would help us to see those monumental moments of your handiwork, things that no one else could ever take credit for or explain away. Thank you, Almighty God, that you, in your infinite wisdom and power, would even take the time to stoop down and incline your ear to us.
Holy Spirit, would you fan into flame our faith that tends to grow dim by the cares of this world? Would you move us to pray often and humbly surrender our rights to the outcomes of our prayers? We trusted you to save us, Lord, will you help us to trust you to keep us as well. I pray in Jesus name, Amen!
ABOUT THE WRITER
Hi there! My name is Monique. I’ve been married to my husband, Jon, for 21 years and have three sweet, silly kiddos – Daniel, 19; Jayden, 17; and Eva, 13.
I love Jesus and people! I enjoy sipping a cup of tea with a friend, watching people & plants grow, and playing games & watching movies with my family. My favorite thing to witness is a life transformed by the power of God. My favorite sound is laughter, and my favorite smell is fabric softener 😊
Spotlight on a CityLine Ministry
For the next several months, we will be focusing on a ministry of CityLine and how we can participate in the work.
Hello, CityLine Women!
God has entrusted us with the wonderful families of CityLine, and with that has come great responsibility to care for and disciple students towards maturing faith in Christ.
With a weekly program that aims to meet students where they are at in their family, friendships, and faith, we make room for students to have fun and learn what it means to love and live for Jesus Christ!
Students love our games, snacks, worship, and small groups, but none of that would be possible without the wonderful ministry volunteers who are passionate about discipling the next generation of students. If you are interested in any of those areas of service, I would love to chat more with you!
Jessica Canlas has been faithfully serving as a small group leader, and her teen son has been in our ministry. Hear what she has to say:
“Parenting a teen can be difficult! I’m so grateful for this opportunity to partner with CityLine Students in navigating this season. It isn’t always easy, but the Lord is showing me how to better love Him and those around me as I pour into these students from my own experience. Their hunger for God is inspiring and infectious. Sometimes I struggle with the sacrifice of time and energy. But living out the Gospel, as challenging as it may be, is always worth it.”
If you are interested in serving with our Student Ministry, please contact Will Clarke.
Join a Women’s Community Group today and be part of Bible study, fellowship, accountability, and fun!