Good morning, friends,

2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

I, Cara, have woken up this morning in a world of stress and worry. I put on the old shoes. Do you have a pair of old shoes? Shoes that, let’s be honest, have long since lost their value. The tread is worn. The holes are visible. Yet, we keep them. Even worse, we wear them. Maybe just around the house (we wouldn’t want friends to see these!). So, on they go, as the day wears on, we don’t even realize the damage they are doing to our bodies, do we? Our feet begin to ache. Our legs hurt. Our back, oy! Then, I don’t know about you, but I get a headache. Everything is out of alignment. All because I put on those shoes this morning.

Worry and fear are just like that. I wake up and oh, the stresses begin to weigh me down. I worry about my children. I worry about finances. I worry about making the wrong decision. I worry about…and then, not dealing with that WITH the Lord, confessing my need for Him, and arising in the strength of the Lord, I then greet my husband and children with this cloud over me. Then I begin the worry of the house not being clean, the schoolwork not being done…and I’m stressed and the family receives the brunt of my stress.

God talks in His word about feet. About beautiful feet. My feet, most certainly, this morning do not resemble these feet.

Isaiah 52:7 EXB ·How beautiful [or How beautiful on the mountains] ·is the person [L are the feet of him]
    who ·comes over the mountains to bring [or brings] good news,
who announces peace
    and brings good news,
    who announces salvation [Nah. 1:15]
and says to ·Jerusalem [L Zion; v. 1],
    “Your God ·is King [or reigns].”

I look at how I have begun my morning. When I greet the day remembering how blessed are those who bring good news. Good news. Peace. Salvation (deliverance). When I begin my day, remembering this is a fight, a battle, oh, my day can begin to turn. No excuses. No way. Instead…

Ephesians 6:10 EXB Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his ·great [strong; mighty] power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil’s ·evil tricks [schemes]12 [For] Our ·fight [conflict; struggle] is not against ·people on earth [L flesh and blood] but against the rulers and authorities and the ·powers [or cosmic powers/rulers] of this ·world’s darkness [L darkness], against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly ·world [realm; places]13 ·That is why you need to [L For this reason,]put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil [C persecution generally or end-time tribulation] you will be able to ·stand strong [keep your ground; resist the enemy]. And ·when you have finished the whole fight [L after you have done/accomplished everything], you will still be standing. 14 So stand ·strong [or ready], with the belt of truth tied around your waist and the ·body armor [breastplate] of ·right living [a righteous life; or God’s own righteousness/justice; L righteousness]15 On your feet wear the ·Good News [Gospel] of peace ·to help you stand strong [for firm footing; or to be fully prepared]16 And ·also [in addition to all this; or in all circumstances] use the shield of faith with which you can ·stop [extinguish] all the ·burning arrows [T fiery darts] of the Evil One. 17 ·Accept[Receive; or Take] the helmet of salvation, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the ·word[message] of God. 18 Pray ·in [or in dependence on] the Spirit at all times with all ·kinds of prayers[L prayers and requests], asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ·ready [alert]·and never give up [L with all perseverance]. Always pray for all ·God’s people [T the saints].

So, instead of the old, worn out shoes of worry and fear, place the Good News of peace to stand strong. We can only be strong IN the Lord, IN His great power. I think of this prayer this morning…

The Prayer of St. Patrick

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.


And you know what friends? This is NOT going to be a day where worry and fear win. This is a day where I remember nothing can separate me from the love of God. Christ is with me. With you. I put on the shoes of the Gospel of peace. The Good news…it’s all that I need. I need to start my day!

Blessings to you! Join me in throwing those shoes OUT!

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Amaze us


If you could please heal my body…If you could please end my suffering, Please give this. Please give that. Have your/my quiet times dissolved into a laundry list of what you would like God to do? If it doesn’t happen on your timetable, where does your brain go? It’s not fair or God isn’t listening or why, God? or we descend into the pit of worry and fear. Worry that interrupts our sleep, our joy, our life!

A view of most of North America taken from a low orbit of about 826 km altitude. The whole hemisphere is not visible owing to the low orbit, and the horizon is at a distance of about 3,300 km, while the radius of the planet is 6,371 km. The diameter seen from this height is about 125 degrees. An image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Earth-observing research satellite, Suomi NPP.

We become so center-focused we lose sight of WHY we pray. WHY we spend time with the Lord. We were made for His pleasure. We were made to SERVE Him. How turned around we become when we don’t remember our place in this beautiful universe. Has God not provided for our every need? Ephesians 1:3 ·Praise be to [or Blessed is] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly ·world [realms; places]

This passage in John is a good example of the people just missing the point.

30 So ·the people [L they] asked, “What ·miracle will you do? If we see a miracle, we will believe you [L sign will you do that we might see and believe you?]. What ·will you do[work will you perform]31 Our ·ancestors [forefathers; L fathers] ate the manna [C a flaky breadlike food that God provided the Israelites in the wilderness; Ex. 16:13–36] in the ·desert [wilderness]. ·This is written in the Scriptures [L As it is written]: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat [compare Ex. 16:4Neh. 9:15Ps. 78:24].’

32 [L Therefore; So; Then] Jesus said to them, “·I tell you the truth [L Truly, truly I say to you], it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven; it is my Father who is giving you the true bread from heaven. 33 [L For] God’s bread is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 [L Therefore] ·the people [L they] said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

35 Then Jesus said to them, “I am the ·bread that gives life [T bread of life]. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.36 But as I told you before, you have seen me and still don’t believe. John 6 EXB

The people were looking to Jesus to be their magician. Make something happen, Jesus. With arms crossed, the people said, Amaze us. Oh, my! They had the DEFINITION of amazing standing in front of them.

We forget so easily all the spiritual blessings found in Christ Jesus! We forget we have all we need in Christ.  We have Him, friends. We think we know what we need!

26 ·Also [or In the same way], the Spirit helps us ·with [or in] our weakness. We do not know ·how to pray as we should [or what we ought to pray for]. But the Spirit himself ·speaks to God for us [intercedes] with ·deep feelings [L groanings] ·that words cannot explain [or that are inexpressible; or that are unspoken; or too deep for words]27 ·God can see what is in people’s hearts and [L The one who searches hearts] knows what is in the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit ·speaks to God [intercedes; appeals] for ·his people [or his holy people; T the saints] ·in the way God wants [or in harmony with God;L according to God]. Romans 8 EXB

Read that again. Did you see it? We do not know how to pray or what we ought to pray for. So, yes, let’s keep the conversation going. Keep praying, keep talking to Him, tell Him your needs, He knows them anyway, tell Him your hurts, your pains, your joys. Praise Him! He knows what is in your heart and guess what? He loves you anyway. How about that? We know where our minds can go. We know how sinful, how dusty a people we truly are. And HE LOVES US.

So this morning, as you begin our day, please, please don’t ask the King of Universe to amaze you. He already has…don’t ask Him if He loves you. You know the answer. He gave everything for you.

Pray on. pray on.

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Skogskyrkogården in Stockholm on a nice summer day Photo by Michael Caven from Stockholm, Sweden


45 Then Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He said to them, “It is written that the ·Christ [Messiah] would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day 47 and that ·a change of hearts and lives and [L repentance for the] forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all nations, starting at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. Luke 24 EXB

Good Friday.

I have to admit I’ve always cringed at this day’s title.  How can this be a good day? Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wondered. Today can be like every other day. We can go about our business, live our lives, work through our checklists OR we can stop, be present in the amazing good of this day.

PCG Great I Am

It changes everything.

I have a story to tell you. We are moving. We decided this about two months ago. Thus began a two month battle of the mind, everyday I would spend countless amounts of time (I hate to think how much) consumed with worry about the landlord’s response to how we have cared for their house. No matter how much my husband, parents, friends would try to reassure me…I stressed. I worried. What if we don’t get the deposit back? What if they won’t give us a recommendation? What if? What if? It’s been awful. I’ve brought it to Jesus only to take it back over and over.

It’s been rough.

Well, the landlord emailed us (mind you, we’ve never had a speck of trouble with her in the four years we’ve been here) earlier this week saying she would like to come assess the house. They are selling the house and would like to know what they need to do. Then she never emailed back until midnight last night. I didn’t get the email. I relaxed. So, all of a sudden, last night, at 5pm, my husband comes home and reminds me, she’s coming.

So here’s the first gift. I didn’t stress all day.

Second gift? My parents were here. So all of us pitched in and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned for the next hour and a half. It was amazing.

Third gift? She came and was very happy with the house. She was familiar with all the details of the house, walked through, it was good.

Fourth gift? We asked her if she would be willing to give us a recommendation. YES.

Fifth gift? The Lord’s grace and mercy as He showed me these past weeks how much I lost in worry which is, of course, sin. Yet as He showed me, He revealed. It was amazing.

Friend, is there worry in your life? Are you waking at night, cycling through the what ifs, what wills? God has such a better plan. And it was crucified on the cross 2000 years ago.

The verses today:

45 Then Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He said to them, “It is written that the ·Christ [Messiah] would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day 47 and that ·a change of hearts and lives and [L repentance for the] forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all nations, starting at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. Luke 24 EXB 

Jesus opened their minds. How cool this? The Word revealed the word.  What draws me is this idea…it all begins here. On Good Friday, all His suffering…that is our focus today. We approach the throne of grace today thankful. Thankful for this good day. This day that the Son of Man gave it all for you, for me.

So, stay in this day. Don’t become so preoccupied with your own “stuff” to forget Jesus today. Keep your eyes of Jesus.

Categories: Bible teaching | 1 Comment

Thanks be to God

1 Peter 1:·Praise be to [L Blessed be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In God’s ·great[abundant] mercy he has caused us to be born ·again [anew; John 3:5–8] into a living hope, ·because Jesus Christ rose [or by means of the resurrection of Jesus Christ] from the dead. ·Now we hope for [or This new birth provides us with] ·the blessings God has for his children [L an inheritance]. ·These blessings [or This inheritance], which cannot be destroyed or be ·spoiled [corrupted; defiled] or lose their beauty, ·are [is] kept in heaven for you [Matt. 6:19–21Luke 12:33]God’s power protects you through your faith until ·salvation is shown to you [or the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed] ·at the end of [in the last] time. 

Beginning my day with praise, blessings to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Loaded with blessings just in this statement, God is the Father. God is the Father of the only begotten Son, Jesus. The Son of God…the man of sorrows, what a name! What a beautiful name. I was studying the word, sons in the Bible dictionary on the Blue Letter Bible. This quote is from Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Son of God:

The plural, “sons of God,” is used (Gen 6:2,4) to denote the pious descendants of Seth. In (Job 1:6;38:7) this name is applied to the angels. Hosea uses the phrase (Hsa 1:10) to designate the gracious relation in which men stand to God.

In the New Testament this phrase frequently denotes the relation into which we are brought to God by adoption (Rom 8:14,192Cr 6:18Gal 4:5,6Phl 2:151Jo 3:1,2). It occurs thirty-seven times in the New Testament as the distinctive title of our Saviour. He does not bear this title in consequence of his miraculous birth, nor of his incarnation, his resurrection, and exaltation to the Father’s right hand. This is a title of nature and not of office. The sonship of Christ denotes his equality with the Father. To call Christ the Son of God is to assert his true and proper divinity. The second Person of the Trinity, because of his eternal relation to the first Person, is the Son of God. He is the Son of God as to his divine nature, while as to his human nature he is the Son of David (Rom 1:3,4Gal 4:4Jhn 1:1-14;5:18-2510:30-38), which prove that Christ was the Son of God before his incarnation, and that his claim to this title is a claim of equality with God.

When used with reference to creatures, whether men or angels, this word is always in the plural. In the singular it is always used of the second Person of the Trinity, with the single exception of Luk 3:38, where it is used of Adam.

So often I have flown past this blessing, how rich to pause and reflect. He truly is the Son of God. He is God. He is Divine. Yet, He was also fully human. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. When we call upon the name of Jesus, what does the Bible say about His Name?

So God ·raised [exalted] him to the highest place.
    God ·made his name [or gave him the name] ·greater than [far above] every other name
10 so that every knee will bow to the name of Jesus—
    everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
11 And ·everyone [L every tongue] will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord
    and bring glory to God the Father. Philippians 2 eXB

Mercy. Mercy defined:

(3) In the New Testament “mercy” (eleos, usually the Septuagint translation of checedh) is associated with “grace” (charis) in the apostolical greetings and elsewhere. Trench points out that the difference between them is that the freeness of God’s love is the central point of charis, while eleos has in view misery and its relief; charis is His free grace and gift displayed in the forgiveness of sins-extended to men as they are guilty; His eleos (is extended to them) as they are miserable. The lower creation may be the object of His mercy (eleos), but man alone of His grace (charis); he alone needs it and is capable of receiving it (Synonyms of the New Testament, 163 f).

Abundant mercy. Abundant, plentiful. Oh, friend, how often do we fall for the trap of forgetfulness? Denial of this gift of mercy? His mercy is extended to us. He is our relief. Our relief. Do you need relief today? Relief from pain (physical or emotional), relief from circumstances, relief from, well, you fill in the blank. He is our relief. Praise God!!!

Why? Peter tells us because…Jesus Christ rose [or by means of the resurrection of Jesus Christ] from the dead. 

So as we arrive on Maundy Thursday, let’s reflect on Jesus. Let’s pause and give thanks for all that the cross has meant for our lives.

We have hope, my friends. May that carry you today. God bless you. 

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God’s peace

Good morning, friend,

Orange clouds and a bright yellow setting sun with silhouetted flying waterfowl and trees Photo by Hillebrand Steve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

I took my nine-year old daughter to see Frozen last night. LOVED it. Her speech therapist had used Frozen books to practice her reading and this past week gave her the soundtrack to the movie. We’ve only heard that every moment of the day that hasn’t been used for school or sleeping. She was singing the songs when she wasn’t listening to the songs, arms thrown open wide, I’m sure envisioning herself as Anna or Elsa. However, there was a HUGE difference seeing the movie and experiencing it and just listening to the soundtrack. Guess who just came in to listen to said soundtrack? I rest my case.

Okay, now this might be too big of a leap, but I’m going to attempt it.  We have this huge Bible in our hands full of life-giving truths, God’s voice throughout, spoken for each one of us, and we are willing to listen to people pick a verse for us to cling to for life on Facebook. Or we allow our pastor on Sunday to be our only contact with His word. It’s as though we keep listening to a really nice soundtrack but we have watched the amazing movie.

I will give an example of how exciting it can be to not just listen to the nice soundtrack of one verse and what we miss. We talked about Philippians 4:8 yesterday. It’s a verse full of life-giving truth. Let’s look at the verses around it and we did add verses 6 and 7 as well…let’s add 9. :)

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

The Lord guided Paul to write these words, every last one of them. Here are His directives to us:

  1. Be anxious for NOTHING
  2. In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God

And what will be the result? God’s peace, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

  1. Meditate on: whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue, praiseworthy
  2. What you have learned, received, heard, saw in Paul, do these

And what will be the result? God’s peace will be with you.

God’s peace…we crave peace. We long for peace. Peace. Peace. And Paul says, the equation is simple.

However for this Mom, listening to Frozen for the umpteenth time….well….

Pray on. pray on.

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To commemorate Hubble Telescope’s 20th Birthday, NASA, along with ESA and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI), released several of Hubble’s findings. NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

Good morning, friend,

This morning I woke up praying for my kids. I woke up remembering a post written by  Brooke McGlothlin, she wrote it with her boys in mind, yet girls and boys would benefit from these ten prayers. Here’s the link : 10 Prayers For Your Son. You see, I forget too, as Brooke said so eloquently that our fight is not with our sons it is…

12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Ephesians 6 AMP

How quickly I forget this fact, jump in, and start fighting for my rights.

He’s not your enemy. But there is an enemy. McGlothlin

Each one of these prayers is wonderful. I love them all but the one that jumps out at me that not only can I pray over him, but over me AND sing a song to keep the verses in my head all day today? Number 10.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Here’s the song:

Now, to take it a step further for me, because for ME, the verses ahead of Philippians 4:8 are just as critical to my being ABLE to fixing my mind and praying for my kids to fix their minds on what is noble, just, pure, lovely, good report…let’s look…

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

How about a song to help us memorize some of those verses too? (Sorry, folks, no Ginsu knives…)

And friend, peace, when we look at our children, or wait, not just our children, how about co-workers, or family members, or church  family or you fill in the blank…we don’t wage war against flesh and blood. Maybe they are not our enemy. Maybe we are wrestling with an enemy we cannot see.

Join me, won’t you? Pray, memorize these Scriptures, get yourself into the word of God and be transformed by the renewing of your mind!

Thankful today for a day at home.

Thankful for fresh bread today.

Thankful for a perspective shift today.

Pray on, pray on.


Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, New Testament | 2 Comments


Example of groin vault in medieval architecture: the portico to the church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Guardiagrele in the Abruzzo region of southern Italy.

Good morning, friend,

As a child, I remember learning the song, B-I-B-L-E, yes, that’s the book for me, I stand alone on the word of God, the B-I-B-L-E, BIBLE! I’m sure you’ve heard and sung that song. VBS’ of old and Sunday schools would start us off with this rousing song.  We were  taught  this song  but did we have any idea what in the world this song meant? We were taught  Moses parting the Red Sea. Joseph and His Amazing Coat of Many Colors. Noah and the Ark. Daniel and the Lion’s Den. Jesus’ parable of Good Samaritan. Of course, Jesus living, dying, rising from the dead. I came from a generation that didn’t teach the entirety of the Bible, just what seemed safe. Oh, yes, because what happened to the thousands of soldiers who were after Moses and the Israelites was very cheery. Or, the destruction of the entire world taught to children…

Am I on my high horse? Am I criticizing Mrs. Smith or Mrs. Gavin or my parents? No, no. As my family works harder and harder to create this habit, this daily routine of listening to the Bible, some nights, I will be honest, it’s not easy. Some nights, we get home late and it would be so easy to just, well, not. I know that sometimes my daughter will drift off before she hears the whole thing. There is something about hearing the entire story. Not just picking out the parts you like. Or want to read over and over and over again.

This man who reads to us every night, Brian Hardin, has been reading for the Daily Audio Bible for nine years. Nine years! Nine times reading through the whole Bible. You know, friend, I think somethings in my heart are changing about  knowing the entirety of His word. My children knowing His word. Reading it over and over again. There is good reason for it. Do I get excited to read Leviticus? Not especially. Yet, friend, God,  my God, has placed it in His word for me, for you. Maybe it’s time I read it all. I think that’s why I love reading part of the Old Testament, part of the New, Psalm and a Proverb.

A friend shared with me that she had no idea that these stories all connected and you know, I didn’t understand how they all connected until I started studying the Bible in-depth with Precepts. We have to stop taking a verse we like and making it our “favorite” verse and not knowing it’s context. We can’t keep plastering Noah and the ark on our children’s bedroom walls without stopping and thinking of the worldwide destruction. Cute little pictures of Noah and a little boat (trust I have them, I have a Noah) with a giraffe smiling, a lion, an elephant…this all puts the Eternal One, Mighty God in a box, our neat tidy box where He can be safe and happy. And when we separate the Bible into stories and not into THE story, we miss the LOVE story that God has been pursuing with us all along.

So, may I urge you, exhort you, come with me, yes, it’s the 16th, grab a…

1. Computer and listen to the Daily Audio Bible, so you are a little late? Whoopdeedoo!

2. on your own with a plan of your choosing.

3. Chronological Bible…

Just don’t miss out on the Love story that Jesus died to tell you.



Categories: Cara thoughts... | 4 Comments


Ruins of ancient Capernum in Israel. Orthodox church is built on top of traditional site of Saint Peter’s house.

Good morning, friend,

Isn’t there something just so cool looking at a pile of rocks that claim to be Peter’s house? Well, the rocks don’t jump up, but the archaeologists have their reasons and arguments. People who have been to Israel say it changes their faith, to walk where Jesus walked, where the apostles walked, to see the history of our faith. I can well imagine. In a very small way, being also a lover of British literature and being able to visit England and Scotland, walking through Shakespeare’s hometown, seeing his grave, walking about the hometowns and such of many of my beloved authors is a memory I cherish. I loved looking at samples of their handwriting, places where they sat, forks they used, I mean crazy things like that. They are not just authors, then, they are real people, who lived and breathed.

And bringing it back to Jesus, that I believe, might be a beautiful thing for me about visiting Israel. Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, visited us. He walked upon this earth, breathed in the air…I gaze at the picture above and wonder, could Jesus have visited this house? Could He had stepped through the front doors and taken off His sandals? Is this where He healed Peter’s mother-in-law?

14 And when Jesus went into Peter’s house, He saw his mother-in-law lying ill with a fever.

15 He touched her hand and the fever left her; and she got up and began waiting on Him.

16 When evening came, they brought to Him many who were under the power of demons, and He drove out the spirits with a word and restored to health all who were sick.

17 And thus He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, He Himself took [in order to carry away] our weaknesses and infirmities and bore away our diseases. Matthew 8 AMP

Throughout the book of Matthew, one of Matthew’s purposes is to showcase of Jesus as the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament. This specific one to which Matthew speaks can be found in Isaiah 53:

4 Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].

He saw Peter’s mother-in-law. I know, I know, it’s not really that profound, but look again. He saw her. He could have walked past. He could have not gone to Peter’s house. He could have done so many other things that night. He went there. He saw her. He touched her hand. Maybe you need to remember that today, that He sees you today. Remember His name, the God who sees you (Genesis 16).  He bears your griefs, your weaknesses, your sorrows, your pains.

Peter knew this truth, but added this praise,

24 He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were going astray like [so many] sheep, but now you have come back to the Shepherd and Guardian (the Bishop) of your souls. 1 Peter 2 AMP

Your griefs, weaknesses, sorrows, pains were born His body on the tree…this all has to die, friends, we need to live to righteousness. We are healed. We live in the light of eternity and grace and mercy.

So, when I see the rubble of Peter’s house, it makes me think. I want to walk where Jesus walked. I want to go to Israel, but now? Not in the budget. So, the next best thing? Walk in the shadow of His feet. Walk where He tells me to walk each moment of the day.

So I begin, with thanks,

I’m thankful for the joy of watching my kids play basketball and love it.

I’m thankful for the joy of friends who just give to us even when it’s inconvenient.

I’m thankful for time with the Lord this morning, for the rubble of Peter’s house, for Your fresh reminders. I love you, Lord.


Categories: 1 Peter, Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., New Testament, Old Testament, Pictures from commons..., Prophecies, Thankfuls | 1 Comment


Shandrivs’kyi Falls Photo by Vovavovk1

Good morning, friend,

Today begins a new week. A fresh week, a fresh start. What are you thankful for this day? How do you begin this day today?

I am so very thankful today to have caught a Matt Redman concert on KLOVE last night as I drove to pick up my son from youth group.

I am thankful for Upwards basketball, HRK basketball and the impact both are having in my children’s lives this year. What a gift.

I am thankful for our church, to see our pews filling, see our children worshipping, my eldest up with me playing his guitar…we, as a church, voted to financially support TWR missionaries Mike and Wendy Lambert yesterday. If you haven’t had a chance to see the work that Mike will be doing in Guam for TWR, please check out his website. The need for Mike is critical. Right now, they have only one engineer working on the equipment that serves a huge audience of nearly two billion people and to work effectively the station should have three technicians. Please be praying.

What I am chewing on today…

a song that I heard for the first time last night by Matt Redman…Mercy. You know I have to share it with you. :)

May I never lose the wonder of Your mercy…

Do I ever just pause and wonder at the amazing depth and beauty of His mercy?

11 As high as the ·sky [heaven] is above the earth,
so great is his ·love [loyalty] for those who ·respect [fear] him [Prov. 1:7].
12 He has taken our ·sins [transgressions] away from us
as far as the east is from west.
13 The Lord has ·mercy [compassion] on those who ·respect [fear] him [Prov. 1:7],
as a father has ·mercy [compassion] on his children. Psalm 103 EXB

What sparks my interest, what motivates me, what keeps me studying are phrases such as we find in these verses in Psalms.

As high as the sky is above the earth (picture that with me) so great is His love…now, I think, we like to stop there. We like to stop with His love. So great is His love. And it is great. It is magnificent. And there are A LOT of verses about His love. Last night, Chuck Swindoll was talking about the reality of hell. Can I just be honest with you and tell you how badly, in the quiet of my house, I wanted to turn off the preacher and turn on worship music? It’s uncomfortable. I don’t like thinking about it. However, if we are going to think about His great love, we also have to think about sharing that great love with those that need to hear it most desperately?

So great is His love for those who respect and fear Him…

7 The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline. Proverbs 1:7 AMP

So, reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord, starting with an awe of Him, going back to the song that started this whole journey of mercy for me.

I will kneel in the dust, at the foot of the cross, where mercy paid for me.

That’s the start, that’s the beginning, the best part of this knowledge of the Lord that He loves. And the blessings just flow, my friends, we give Him this reverent fear. That’s where we need to be, covered in His dust. Covered in His mercy.

As you begin this day, His compassion, His mercy covers you. Now, who can you show compassion to this day? Who can see the grace and love of the Lord Jesus this day?

Pray on..pray on.


Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, Old Testament, Pictures from commons..., Thankfuls | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

You lifted me out

View of American Falls seen looking across top of Bridal Veil Falls and Luna Island from Goat Island on the New York side. Rainbow Bridge in the background; Ontario side at left across the Niagara River. (Sept. 25, 2004) Photo by © 2004 Matthew Trump

Good morning, friend,

We showed up to basketball practice on Thursday. Normally, I try to bring a water bottle with my son. This time, I brought my water (nice) and we didn’t bring his bottle. I relied on the church having drinking fountains, that they had water. Strolled in to see signs all over the place NO WATER, BOIL ORDER, drinking fountains had garbage bags taped over them. Ugh. I had forgotten. A pipe had burst. Grayslake had no water. It was unnerving.

Yesterday, news reports flash:

Hundreds in W. Va. report exposure symptoms after crippling chemical spill

Which reports that 300,000 people are without water, they can’t boil it, touch it, be near it. It’s awful. It’s scary.  There is not an end in sight to this scare.  The pictures on the television show people scrambling for ice, bottled water, chemicals floating on the river…frightening images…

I was in ·trouble [distress], so I ·called [prayed] to the Lord. The Lord answered me and set me ·free [ I will not ·be afraid [fear], because the Lord is with me [Rom. 8:31]. ·People can’t do anything [L What can people do…?]to me [Heb. 13:6]. Psalm 118:5-6 EXB

 31 So what should we say ·about this [in response to these things]? If God is for us, ·no one can defeat us [L who is against us?]. 32 He did not spare his own Son but ·gave him [or delivered him over;C to death] for us all. So with Jesus, ·God will surely [how could he not…?] give us all things. Romans 8 EXB

Burst pipes, chemical spills can send us spiraling into fear and worry. It doesn’t even need to be something as severe as a spill or pipe, but friends, freedom is not found in focusing our attention on what is wrong in our lives and in the world around us.

I was in trouble…so I sat and stewed and worried and fretted and stayed up all night and had terrible heartburn.No…..

I was in trouble…so I called ( love this word here A primitive root [rather identical with קָרָא(H7122) through the idea of accosting a person met]) so literally the Psalmist is pestering the Lord! Not letting Him go. Lord! Lord! Lord! Does the Lord ignore His beloved? No, friend, He does not ignore His beloved! Whether it is a chemical spill or a basketball game or a pimple or a test or an argument with a friend, no matter what the reason, we call, He answers.

The Lord answered me and set me free.

The Lord answered me and set me free.

What if we enjoyed this day God gave us? What if we were not afraid of the day ahead? What if we believed what we read? Believe it, friend! Claim it! Live it!

Today is a new day. It is a good day.

Thankful for this day, it is my Mom’s birthday and I’m so thankful for her.

Thankful for this day, my kids’ first day of their basketball games, I think I’m more nervous than they are!

Thankful for a day with my husband today to enjoy time and space. We need a day!

Pray on. Pray on.

Categories: Cara thoughts..., Psalms, Thankfuls | Leave a comment

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