Prophecies

Rubble


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

Man of Sorrows


Primula vulgaris in snow. By “color line”

Good morning, friend,

Living in the Light ] You are God’s children whom he loves, so ·try to be like [imitate] him. ·Live a life of love [Walk in love] just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us as a ·sweet-smelling [fragrant] offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2 EXB

We have another day of crazy cold around here. Yesterday was filled with experiments like throwing boiling water into the air and watching it freeze, seeing how long a wet wash cloth takes to become a solid and for good measure, we wanted to see how long it would take for an egg. A friend on Facebook gave us the idea..it has been amazing to see our community react to these temperatures. Our area has just shut down. No classes, no basketball, the kids are a little antsy to get back into the swing.

I am thankful today for a day at home with all four, to getting back into our routines and schedules. It begins again.

I am thankful for  the Daily Audio Bible to my whole family. It is good to hear the Bible spoken at night across our house.

I am thankful for alarm clocks! My teenager is up and getting his day going! LOL

These past few nights have found me awake in the middle of the night. Have you ever noticed how, in the hours before dawn, you really cannot think clearly? Rational thought is not my best friend. Very often I turn to praying for family and loved ones,  last night, though, my mind traced on old routes of worry and stress. The chains that had been gone for so long seemed to be creeping back in. I lay there stunned as the thoughts tumbled one after the other. I cried out, Jesus! And this song popped into my head, Man of Sorrows. Now there are two versions I know, one we sang on Sunday by Hillsong and a very old version by Phillip Bliss (another favorite.)

I kept singing what I could remember to myself. Over and over.  The focus in my head became Jesus, Man of Sorrows rather than my worries. Check this out:

Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled

Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed Lyric Freak

Free indeed! Whom the Son sets free! I throw my hands out in worship and thank Jesus for His precious, precious blood spilled. Yesterday, my daughter and I were discussing grace and she needed to write in her own words the definition. Grace is one of those words for me…a cue…grace=unmerited favor. Another one for me, salvation=deliverance, for some reason the words on the right of the equal sign keep the definition close. However, my girl wanted to just use my words. Ahh, no. So, how do you describe grace?

Grace (charis)-

  1. of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

Of course, my girl was wishing she could copy that, which then led to entirely new conversation..I digress. Mom! He loves me! I don’t deserve it, do I? It’s a gift! She’ll learn more and more about His merciful kindness that turns her to Jesus as she grows. What is important now for her to remember, she is loved. It’s a crazy, wild love, she hasn’t done anything to earn it, yet it’s hers.

How I need that truth in the middle of the night!

Oh that rugged cross
My salvation
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out
Hallelujah
Praise and honour unto Thee

Man of Sorrows…

3 He was ·hated [despised] and rejected by people.
·He had much pain [L A man of pain/suffering/T sorrows] and ·suffering [one who knew/was acquainted with pain/grief].
People ·would not even look at [turned their backs on; L hid their faces from] him.
He was ·hated [despised], and we ·didn’t even notice him [or did not esteem him].

4 But he ·took [bore] our suffering on him
and ·felt our pain for us [carried our sorrows/sickness].
·We saw his suffering
and thought God was punishing him [L …stricken and afflicted by him; C God].
5 But he was wounded for ·the wrong we did [T our transgressions];
he was crushed for ·the evil we did [T our iniquities].
The punishment, which ·made us well [brought us wholeness/peace], was given to him,
and we are healed because of his ·wounds [lacerations; T stripes; 1 Pet. 2:24].
6 We all have ·wandered away [T gone astray] like sheep;
each of us has gone his own way [1 Pet. 2:25].
But the Lord has put on him ·the punishment
for all the evil we have done [L all of our sins/iniquity].

7 He was ·beaten down [oppressed] and ·punished [treated harshly; T afflicted   

but he didn’t ·say a word [L open his mouth].

He was like a lamb being led to be ·killed [slaughtered].
He was quiet, as a sheep is quiet ·while its wool is being cut [L before its shearers; Acts 8:32Matt. 26:63Mark 14:61John 19:91 Pet. 2:23];
he never opened his mouth. Isaiah 53 EXB

Today, I begin this day weary, but encouraged. I know Jesus feels my pain. His punishment brought me wholeness and peace..so this creeping thought of worry and unrest, it is not welcome, nor is it from the Lord. I am healed because of His wounds. I am well! I am thankful. Today, a new day, the sun shines even with this incredible cold and reminds me I am free indeed. Yet, friends, this is not just for me! We!

Remember that beautiful definition of grace?

.. merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues”

Remember that today. We are kept. We are strengthened. We are being increased in our faith, in our knowledge, and our affection! Not for the things of this world, not for the earthly pleasures that fade away, but for the Man of Sorrows, Lamb of God. 

Pray on. Pray on.

 

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, Old Testament, Prophecies, Thankfuls | Leave a comment

Where would I be?


Aqueduct of Segovia photo by David Corral Gadea

Good morning, beloved,

I wake up now in complete darkness. Joshua and I are on week three of changing routines for our whole family. One of them for us is devotions and time with the Lord early. Routines are, for me, never easy to begin. Now looking back, I’m grateful we began. Last night I called Danny ready to remind him and he came trotting in saying, Mom, I know what you are going to say. I’ve already laid out my clothes and I know I need my meds. Thanks. Mom.

Open. Close Mouth.

Complete darkness in the morning? Here I come. I know daylight is coming.

We long for light. Our bodies cannot function, well, without the light. We stumble, we get depressed, we stub our toes, we fumble..it’s not pretty. I have to share this with you.

Light therapy might be as simple as getting up early and walking outside on a bright winter morning, Rosenthal tells WebMD. “You can also increase light in your home,” he says “Make one room a sun room.”

A technique called “dawn simulation” — in which a light is programmed to turn on early in the morning in your bedroom — can also help, Rosenthal says.

Light boxes are widely sold over the Internet and exposure to them can help. When buying one, get advice from your doctor and choose bigger ones — one that is at least 1 foot by 1.5 feet, Rosenthal says. These larger boxes have more supporting research, he says.

Patients sit in front of the light boxes daily for a specified amount of time. “Using light in the morning for a half hour to an hour is very effective,” says Stephen Josephson, PhD, a psychologist in New York City and associate professor at Cornell University Medical School and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. (Fending off Depression Symptoms in Winter, Kathleen Doheny, WebMd)

Light therapy. Our bodies crave light.

Dawn simulation. One of my favorite, favorite names of Jesus is the Bright and Morning Star.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to ·tell you [testify/witness to] these things for the churches. I am the ·descendant from the family of David [root and descendant/offspring of David; C a messianic title applied to Jesus; 5:4Is. 11:10], and I am the bright morning star [2:28Num. 24:17C a messianic title].” Revelation 22 EXB

Have to share with you Numbers 24:17:

I see someone ·who will come someday [L but not now],
·someone who will come, but not soon [L I see him, but not near].
A star will come from Jacob;
a ·ruler [L scepter] will rise from Israel [C Saul, then David and his descendants, including the Messiah].
He will crush the heads of the Moabites
and smash the skulls of the sons of Sheth [C identity uncertain].

I’m suggesting to you…in addition to sitting in front of a light box, getting fresh sunlight, how about adding a regime of kneeling in front of the Light of the universe?

Where would I be without the Bright and Morning Star?

Oh friends, I don’t even want to dwell on that one. Look at Peter’s response to Jesus…

66 After Jesus said this, many of his ·followers [disciples] ·left him [L turned back to previous things] and ·stopped following[L no longer walked with] him.

67 Jesus asked ·the twelve followers [the Twelve], “Do you want to leave, too?”

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord [or Master], who would we go to? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One from God.” John 6 EXB

I ache with these words. How often have I turned my back? How many times have I worked on building my own kingdoms (only to realize they are sandcastles..)? Barf. Gag.

Peter! Peter! He’s got it. Where would we go? It’s wild. It’s encouraging. It’s heartening.

Friends, Peter did go. Peter did deny Him. You remember that. When you turn your back, you start building your own kingdoms, you remember Peter.

Peter didn’t go anywhere Jesus couldn’t find him. Rescue him. Jesus rescues. That’s His business. Next time you see the light brimming over the dashboard. Rising over the houses. Setting over the soccer fields. You remember: He’s the light.

And He’s in the business of rescuing YOU.

My thankfuls:

A gift wrinkled, smoothed, unfolded (Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare):

130. My family three years ago, newly moved in here.

131. My family, the past year…smoothing…

132. My family…today. Thankful.

Pray on. Pray on.

131.

 

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


Bethlehem by night by Sengaska

Bethlehem by night by Sengaska

Good morning, friends,

Today finds me grateful for yesterday.  My world is spinning, my symptoms are intense today. However, yesterday, at church, at home, I was feeling better than I have in such a long time. Yesterday was a gift. Worshiping the God of heaven and earth brought our family such encouragement. There is an elderly woman at our church whom I always run to give her a hug. She always calls me honey and reminds me to stay encouraged. “I’m having surgery soon, honey, now I don’t want you to worry because I have the Lord by my side..” I love looking into her eyes and seeing such hope and love. She makes me think of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15:

42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead. [The body] that is sown is perishable and decays, but [the body] that is resurrected is imperishable (immune to decay, immortal).

43 It is sown in dishonor and humiliation; it is raised in honor and glory. It is sown in infirmity and weakness; it is resurrected in strength and endued with power.

44 It is sown a natural (physical) body; it is raised a supernatural (a spiritual) body. [As surely as] there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.

Well, it is December 3rd, unbelievable how quickly this year has passed me by. I found a fabulous website that walks through the prophecies of the Old Testament about Jesus. I want to go through these prophecies on day at a time.

First, my thankfuls:

15. I’m thankful for Christmas music that points to my Savior. Normally, I kind of get tired of the music but this year I need all the reminders I can get. K-LOVE has a Christmas music station!

16. I’m thankful for Christmas cookies that my Mom and my kids made.

17. I’m thankful for our church and the community we share.

Views from Givat HaArbaa, near Hebron road, Jerusalem by Deror avi

Views from Givat HaArbaa, near Hebron road, Jerusalem by Deror avi

So, the first prophecy occurs in Genesis…

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her[a]Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel. (Christ fulfills through his victory over Satan the wonderful promise here spoken. See also Isa. 9:6; Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:31; Rom. 16:20; Gal. 4:4; Rev. 12:17.)

The fulfillment:

Galatians 4:

But when the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born subject to [the regulations of] the Law,

To purchase the freedom of (to ransom, to redeem, to [a]atone for) those who were subject to the Law, that we might be adopted and have sonship conferred upon us [and be recognized as God’s sons]. (Webster’s New International Dictionary offers this as a definition of “redeem.”)

Commentary from the  Precept Austin website:

Most conservative writers agree this is the Prot-evangelium (“First Gospel”), which

1) Prophesies hostility between “your seed” (Satan & unbelievers, cf Jn 8:44) and her Seed (Christ & all “in Christ” by faith)

2) Promises the good news that the woman’s seed (Christ) would crush the Devil’s head, a mortal wound spelling utter defeat on the Cross where Jesus forever triumphed over Sin, Satan & Death. Satan bruising of Messiah’s heel pictures His suffering.  Note God’s mercy to promise the Messiah before pronouncing sentence! The rest of the Old Testament proceeds to point ahead to the Seed, the Messiah.

W H Griffith Thomas writes that Genesis 3…

 “is the call of Divine justice, which cannot overlook sin. It is the call of Divine sorrow, which grieves over the sinner. It is the call of Divine love, which offers redemption for sin.” (Genesis, A Devotional Commentary)

So today, as you go about your day, remember you are His child. You were bought at a price. Now you have been adopted. You belong to the King of Kings. I’m so excited to walk through these prophecies together! Remain here all month and we will keep looking for Jesus through the Old Testament.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

Categories: Music, Old Testament, Pictures from commons..., Prophecies | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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