Friday, November 11, 2011

Zacchaeus: "Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house.' - Luke 19

As I have sought the Lord to hear His voice, I am always in awe of the times He lays a verse on my heart and "instructs" me to search it out, because He has something to share with me. =) Jesus is just SO COOL!

This past week, I've been praying a lot for some very dear friends. I've been asking the Lord to show me how to Love them with His love, to be His hands and feet and to be His "Aroma of Christ in every place." - 2 Corinthians 4:17

A few days ago, I kept getting Zacchaeus in my head. What? Zacchaeus? Where did he come from? Isn't he the guy that's in the little children's song..."Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he." Well, the Holy Spirit wouldn't let up and for three days I kept getting Zaccaeus popping up in my head. 

So yesterday I went on a search. =) 

As I read Luke the Lord began to reveal some REALLY amazing things from this passage on Zacchaeus! The biggest thing that I discovered was that this man who was hated by many in his society because he was rich and most all of his wealth was gained by cheating and stealing from others wanted to see Jesus... "He wanted to see who Jesus was..." He had heard about Jesus. He had heard about all the miracles, all the deliverances, all the amazing signs and wonders and LOVE of this man Jesus and he wanted to see Him SO MUCH that he actually sought him out by climbing up a tree! Doing something pretty foolish! 

And what did Jesus do? He picks Zacchaeus out of the crowd as he is coming up to the tree he was in and says, "“Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today."...Jesus had already made the decision to be at Zacchaeus's house that day! And I believe he decided to go to Zaccheaus's house because he knew that Zacchaeus had a desire to KNOW who He was! That he was struggling within with all that he had been about and he was seeking Him out. 

I see this all as a BEAUTIFUL and LOVELY truth that our precious Lord Jesus is sharing with us through this account. That as we seek Him out...even in our hard places, our undeservedness, yes, our sin, He will reach out to us and seek us out ...IMMEDIATELY! Out of all those people he told Zacchaeus He was going to HIS house. What a BEAUTIFUL PRECIOUS EXTRAVAGANT example of How Jesus loves ALL of us no matter where we are! No matter what we have done! No matter what we feel we can never be forgiven for! And His mercies are new every morning! He is "Christ the Redeemer!" "Nothing is Impossible with God"...even our past. WOW! And that He comes IMMEDIATELY as we take those steps TOWARDS Him! 
 And what happened next? Just because he was in the presence of Jesus his heart was changed!! Transformed!...thus Jesus says, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”...Hebrews says, "What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” - Romans 4:3...Zacchaeus was a child of Abraham because his FAITH was counted to him as righteousness...not that he fit any mold, but that he "Believed God". The beauty of Jesus is that He is the one who transforms us by His LOVE, he makes us clean and white as snow...and I never realized all that was in this little children's song until today as the Lord has laid Zacchaeus on my heart this week. And I love the way the Holy Spirit teaches us. 

"For the Lord will give you understanding in everything." - 2 Timothy 2:7. 

So, as I have been asking the Lord to show me how to Love others with His EXTRAVAGANT Love, He says to me through this account..."Keep showing people who I am, Love them, and allow My presence to move and transform those around you." It's nothing I do, it's Him that lives in me.

Jesus is JUST SO AWESOME and BOY! DO I LOVE HIM!!! =) 

As my dear friend, Pastor Ron says, "Keep Making Jesus Famous!"  

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Received a BLOG AWARD!

Well, I was just given the Versatile Blogger Award by Miss Taunya at  

It always feels so nice to be given recognition for sharing your life and ministry with others! 
the deal with the award is that the person who receives it has to perform two tasks:

Share 7 things about themselves


Nominate 15 new blogs for the award.

Well, here goes: 

1.  I have a PASSION for Jesus! I guess, when you start to read my blog, you'll come to realize that. =) I came to know Jesus as the "Lover of my Soul" when I was 14 at a youth retreat. When I was 19 my future husband took me by the hand and showed me the depths of that relationship and by the time I was 25 there was no turning back! 

2. My husband and I were married 23 years ago this past Saturday, October 8th. After 10 years of waiting Jesus blessed us with our 13 year old, Caela, and gave us 4 MORE after that! Life as a Mom has been AMAZING!!! And to watch my precious quiver full grow, love, connect, enjoy life, and discover who they are in Christ are the best things! I LOVE MY KIDS!!! 

3. We are church planters. We've been involved in church planting for over 15 years. We currently live in New Bern, NC and minister at an AMiA church called Healing Grace Church. My husband is the worship leader/assistant team leader and the children and I just live out "Relational Missional Life" with everyone we come in contact with. It is a JOY every day to encourage, pray for, and LOVE people!!! The greatest gift you can give to anyone is the Word of God and the Power of His Love and Spirit. "An aroma of Christ in every place." May we always be that. =)

4. I have been homeschooling off and on for 11 years. This year my two oldest girls started in public school for the first time. It's been a blessing to see how CONFIDENT, LOVING, HARD WORKING, and CONNECTING they are in this new environment!!! I am SUCH a proud mama and so GRATEFUL to Jesus for all He has poured into them!

5. Ok. 3 more things. Hmmm...we realized over the summer that we LOVE Karaoke!!! =) We had a Karaoke night at The Emerald Golf Club, in our neighborhood and the kids ATE IT UP!!! It was SO MUCH FUN!! I HIGHLY recommend it to ANYONE at ANY age! We had little 3 year old, Liliana, up to some retired folks who live in our neighborhood! For me, seeing the generations come together is HUGE! Because we can all bless one another in so many ways and to share a night of just plain FUN is AWESOME!!

6. Ok, here's a goodie. I've always wanted to be the stereotypical Home Schooling Mom, who bakes bread, sews, knits, etc. But I have come to realize I just ain't that. = ) I really struggle with cooking! There, my transparent moment! =) I would love to be a good cook that my husband could dote on and be blessed by...I did not get my Nani's INCREDIBLE talent! But, it's good to be able to accept those things about ourselves and press into those things that we ARE! =) 

7. And what are those things I am, you ask? =) I am a networker. Plain and simple. I LOVE people! I LOVE loving people! I love connecting, encouraging and loving people. This summer Jesus gave me something incredible. My husband, Bill, and I were involved in youth ministry like 12 years ago. I vowed I would never do that again! Not my forte. This Summer, Jesus just melted my heart with the kids we came to hang with at the neighborhood pool. The home school kids my kids connected with. All different ages from 2 - 18...just LOVE these kids so much!!! And hunger to see them all just flourish in the experience of Life in Christ! I LOVE conversations with 16 year olds about who Jesus is, I love HUGGING and loving on little ones, I LOVE encouraging the hearts of my pre teens and teenager in the ways of God and helping them to discover what they were created for by the God who took such pains to make them UNIQUE and PRECIOUS for His purposes in this world until they go "Home". 

Well, there you have it. Some 7 things about me! 

Now for 15 new blog sites...YIKES!!! Honestly, I haven't been blogging for awhile so I don't have that many, but I'll take a shot at it:

So, there you have it! These blogs are varied from Home School Moms, to church planting, to evangelism, and motherhood. Enjoy checking them out and, please, visit them on your travels on the web! 
It was a BLESSING to share with you this evening! It's always a JOY to remember who you are and WHOSE you are and be able to encourage others on the same journey! 
Peace of the Lord...

Friday, September 30, 2011

She said, "Yes!"

Gracie with her AWESOME Godfather, Tom Sproul in Blacksburg 3 weeks ago.

Yesterday morning Gracie came to me to confess that she had done something wrong.
She said she didn't deserve to eat breakfast. We started talking about it,
and I told her what I always tell her, "If you ask for forgiveness and mean
it, and desire to turn from that sin, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive
us our sins...and FORGET them forever!" 

She started to cry really hard. I
asked her why she was crying, she said, 

"Because you talked about Jesus." 

I said, "When I said Jesus what did you think or feel?" She said, 

"I felt so GOOD, Mommy! That's why I'm crying." =)

So I told her that I believed Jesus was saying to her that He loved her so much and that He wanted to come and live fully in her heart if she wanted Him to. I asked her, "Do you want Jesus to fully live in you, Gracie?" And she said, "Yes!" 

So I led her in the prayer for salvation (sample below) and she repeated it after me and just hugged me and kept
telling me how much she loved Jesus!

The thing I loved about that experience with Gracie was that it was REAL! That She wasn't just doing something that she thought was right to do, or that was out of fear, but it was a desire Jesus put in her heart to want all of Him, because He was showing her that He loved her so much that she could FEEL IT! and it felt SO GOOD she was CRYING! = ) 

Jesus wants us to EXPERIENCE feel His hear His voice. He is not just some RELIGIOUS concept of rules and regulations He is REAL, ALIVE, and READY to walk with us, speak to us and show us every step ahead...and LOVE US EXTRAVAGANTLY!!! And it's nothing that we do, but it is something that we ASK for. 

Thank you, Lord, for drawing this little precious girl to Yourself and allowing her to experience just how GOOD You are!!!! 

Peace of the Lord be with all of you today!
(If anyone out there has a desire to have Jesus transform your life and step into the AWESOME adventure with the God who created you...below is a sample prayer to follow when asking Jesus into your heart. You can pray to God in your own words.)

Sample Salvation Prayer:

Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.


Sunday, August 21, 2011


New Bern, NC


You know, the Lord says, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." - Matthew 28:19.

Most of us think that to be "On Mission" means those people that Jesus sends to Africa...missionaries that go and live in grass huts and sit on dirt floors. No electricity, no running water. Those people that Jesus sends to places where it's easy to see the hurt, the pain, the struggle to live full lives without the fruit of the Spirit...
"Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness, and Self Control." 

Well. The McCarthy Family was called to New Bern, NC. And not to any ole neighborhood, but to a GORGEOUS neighborhood, with manicured lawns and a golf course. Surrounded by older retired people. I asked the Lord early on..."Why New Bern, Lord? Why this neighborhood? You called us to Full Time Ministry, but why here and not Africa?" 

He didn't answer me immediately. He likes to wait, doesn't He? He is just SO WISE! 

As we have lived in this precious neighborhood and met so many amazing and beautiful people He has revealed that behind those gorgeous manicured lawns, and nice cars, are people who hurt. People who deal with great loss. People who have no stability or order in their spiritual lives. 

As I drove home tonight after talking with a dear new friend in the neighborhood hearing about his losses, I looked at my life. I looked at what our family has been given by a God who LOVES us and who we have CHOSEN to TRUST and LEAN ON and OBEY. He has BLESSED us with ABUNDANCE in the Spirit...Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness, and Self Control. Still waiting for an outpouring of the "Self Control", mind you, but such ABUNDANCE in Him! And SUCH a HUNGER to share that "LIFE" with all those He places in our lives. 

It's easy to think that having a good education, a good job, money, can give you Life and Security, but without Life In Christ all those things are empty and meaningless. Solomon can attest to that. They can make life more convenient and easier, but the emptiness of our own limitations without the depth of the Love of Christ and His Power in our lives is very linear. 


"Love the Lord your God with all your heart all your mind and all your strength and 
Love your neighbor as yourself." 

Jesus...thank you for the heart of passion you have given me to share YOU with others and to anticipate Your Power being made manifest in their lives. Jesus...I pray that the quiver full you have given us will be given that SAME passion and hunger to be Your hands and feet to share the Truth of the Gospel with others...more and more and more. May many come to know You and know Your peace that passes understanding. 

I love you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Our Identity in Christ...

As I was walking today I had the most beautiful revelation.

I was thinking and praying about a dear friend that I love. I felt such a pleasure and security in this person's friendship and love of me. I felt so unselfconscious, unfearful, fully at ease and confident in who I am as I prayed and thought about this friend. 
Then...the Lord just broke through in my thoughts.
"My dear Cheryl, how much I love you. You can fully rest in MY LOVE for you...a thousand fold more than the precious love of your friend. How much more do I love you than anyone on this earth, because I created you for My pleasure and you will never disappoint me no matter what you do because 
NOTHING can separate you from MY LOVE."

I was so overcome by the fact that though I LOVE My Jesus SO MUCH, that beautiful place of RESTING with FULLNESS of my identity in Him has many times alluded me. 

I think, sometimes, because we cannot feel the arms of Jesus around us...the hug, the lips upon our cheek, the sound of His voice in our ear...his flesh before us, we can sometimes forget to what full extent we can find ourselves in His LOVE and His ...

"You are my beloved." 
Though I know this in my heart TODAY the Lord took me to a new level of fully ENGAGING in His love for me...for US!!! 
And I just HAD TO SHARE IT WITH ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
What FREEDOM we can walk in knowing WHOSE we are and that nobody can take that from us...EVER! 

Jesus...when you said in your word,"Come run with Me." 
"Rest in Me." ...I am.

Thank You for your GREAT and ENDURING and UNFAILING LOVE! 
I love you. 
~ Cheryl

Friday, July 1, 2011


We are preparing to travel to Northern, VA today to speak at 
Bill led worship there for 6 years before Jesus moved us on to serve with the 
We welcome your prayers as we share our story and our mission at  
Healing Grace Church in New Bern, NC.

In April, since my last post, during Lent, the Lord led me to focus extensively on my "Temple of the Holy Spirit" - my body. 
In the last 3 months I have lost over 45 lbs.

This is Bill and I in front of our church at Healing Grace Church. 

It's been a powerful journey. Every day is a battle, but Jesus is GOOD and FAITHFUL! 

We have been enjoying the pool this summer! Meeting lots of people and the children are ROCKIN OUT on the Emerald Swim Team! 

Caela and Liliana at a swim meet.

Isabella and Caela waiting for the whistle.


 Gracie, Isabella, Caela, and Daniel 
watching the races.

We've had opportunities in New Bern to serve and share and pray for people. 

Caela, Isabella, and their friend, Sabrina, getting a tour of the RCS Homeless Center.

  This is little Tory on the right. She is a little girl we met at the pool. Gracie makes INSTANT friends with kids and adults. = ) Tory has cerebral palsy. One leg is longer than the other and her arm doesn't work properly. We were able to pray for her and encourage her parents.

This is Miss Janie. We met her at the Chick - Fil - A one night after a Swim Meet. She was in pain having had recent surgery on her hip. Gracie and Mommy were able to pray for her and we've seen her twice since! 

This is Irene. She is a store owner in New Bern. We became instant friends! I look forward to seeing how Jesus moves in her life.

These are some friends from our Swim Team! 
It is SUCH a gift to connect, encourage and CHEER for one another as we watch the kids press in and see all that Jesus has given them to use their gifts! 
We LOVE our time at the New Bern Library! 
We are always meeting new Home School families! The Lord has used this family and their mom to lead us to a new Grammar Curriculum that we really needed for next year! 


Caela and Daniel are learning the guitar in their Daddy's Guitar Class held at Healing Grace Church. We had a night of Caela leading us in Praise Songs.

This is our dear friend, Brian Lamm! He leaves us on Monday after living with us for the past 6 months. 

He begins a new chapter in his life as he heads off to Louisiana to prepare for his marriage to Mandy Boussard. It has been SUCH a GIFT to have Brian be a part of our family IN HOUSE these last months! He's always been a part of our family, but living together has given us insight into one another and been a GREAT "iron sharpening iron" experience. We are going to MISS Brian!!! But we are SO EXCITED about what Jesus has in store for him! 
We are SO BLESSED to be in New Bern! 
We are excited about what Jesus is doing to build us as a family. 
We are grateful for the way he is connecting us in the community. 
We are grateful for the way he is using us in ministry through worship and prayer. (more on that later). 
As we head out to Northern VA today we look forward to what Jesus will do through divine appointments, visits with old dear friends, and our time at Church of the Word! 
Would love to hear from you!