Thankfuls

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

Mercy


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.http://www.songlyrics.com/matt-redman/mercy-lyrics/

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

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


Thunderstorm near Pritzerbe (Germany). Photo by Mathias Krumbholz

Good morning, friend!

I want to a couple of resources that have helped me over the past night. Nighttime seems to have become a time, when quiet, where my thoughts assail me. Normally, I have listened to Focus on the Family or FamilyLife Today, but these were not available. (Don’t ask, new phone) However frustrating my phone can be, I have discovered the gift of podcasts.  I tell you what, anyone can host a podcast. Not only that, I am surprised and saddened by what gets filed under Religion and Spirituality! I think my dog might be eligible for a podcast. Sheesh.

I digress. Last night, I came to find the Daily Audio Bible. Lovely. Just lovely. Listening to different sections of the Bible (with the goal of reading the Bible in a year)! The man who reads has a gift. The other gift that I has been such blessing to me is Pandora. This morning, as I began my study, the first song to play was…

Sometimes, do you ever wonder if you will ever learn the lesson that God has taught you your whole life? Yeah, me neither.

I love the Lord,
because he ·listens to my prayers for help [L hears/or heard my voice, my prayer of supplication].
2 He ·paid attention [L extends his ear] to me,
so I will ·call to him for help [call; pray] ·as long as I live [L in my days].
3 The ·ropes [cords] of death ·bound [encompass] me,
and the ·fear [hardship; distress] of ·the grave [L Sheol; C the grave or the underworld] ·took hold of [reached; found] me.
I ·was troubled and sad [L found distress and sadness]. Psalm 116 EXB

Hear me, friends. We need to stop putting our thoughts as truth. We need to keep the promises of God in the forefront of our minds. Do you love Him? Do you remember at all times He hears your cries for help? I am reminded of a lesson the Lord taught me early in my time as a Mama. The Lord has been with me through it all. There is not one person on this earth that has been with me my whole life. Think about this for a second. Family, friends, co-workers all have been with me some of the time but the Lord has always been with me. All the stages of my life…daughter, student, wife, mother, friend, worker…He has walked through every bit of it. The same is true for you.

14 So [C Paul begins again the prayer he started in v. 1] I ·bow in prayer [kneel] before the Father 15 from whom ·every [or the whole] ·family [C a play on words, since the words “father” and “family” are related] in heaven and on earth gets its true name. 16 I ask the Father ·in his great glory [or from the treasures of his glory; or out of his glorious riches] to give you the power to be strong ·inwardly[L in the inner person] through his Spirit. 17 I pray that Christ will ·live [make his home] in your hearts by faith and that your life will be ·strong in love and be built on love [L rooted and grounded in love].18 And I pray that you and all ·God’s holy people [T the saints] will have the power to ·understand[comprehend; grasp] the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. 19 Christ’s love is ·greater than anyone can ever know [beyond comprehension/knowledge], but I pray that you will be able to know that love. ·Then [L …so that] you can be filled with the fullness of God.

 I ·bow in prayer [kneel] before the Father…

54 Solomon prayed this prayer and ·plea [request; supplication] to the Lord, kneeling in front of the altar with his ·arms raised [hands spread] toward heaven. When he finished praying, he got up. 1 Kings 8 EXB

6 Come, let’s ·worship him [bow down] and ·bow down [bend the knee].
Let’s kneel before the Lord who made us,
7 because he is our God
and we are the people ·he takes care of [L of his pasture],
the sheep ·that he tends [L of his hand; 74:179:13100:3John 10:11–14]. Psalm 95 EXB

… from whom ·every [or the whole] ·family [C a play on words, since the words “father” and “family” are related] in heaven and on earth gets its true name. 

9 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

20 God ·used [exerted] to raise Christ from the dead and ·put [L seat] him at his right ·side [L hand; Ps. 110:1Acts 2:34] in the heavenly ·world [realm; places]. 21 God has put Christ ·over [far above] all rulers, authorities, powers, and ·kings [lords; dominion], and every other ·title given [L name that is named] not only in this ·world [age] but also in the ·next [coming one]. Ephesians 1 EXB

I ask the Father ·in his great glory [or from the treasures of his glory; or out of his glorious riches]…

In ·Christ [L him] we ·are set free [have been redeemed/purchased] by ·the blood of his death [L his blood; C blood signifies his sacrificial death], and so we have forgiveness of sins. ·How rich is [or This redemption reveals the wealth of; L …according to the riches of] God’s grace…Ephesians 1 EXB

23 He waited with patience so that he could make known ·his rich glory [the riches of his glory] to the ·people who receive his [L vessels/objects of] mercy. He has prepared these people ·to have his glory[to experience his glory; L for glory], 24 and we are those people whom God called. He called us not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles.  Romans 9 EXB

…to give you the power to be strong ·inwardly[L in the inner person] through his Spirit. 

28 ·Surely you [L Do you not…?] know.
·Surely you have [L Have you not…?] heard.
The Lord is the ·God who lives forever [everlasting God],
who created ·all [L the ends of] the ·world [earth].
He does not become tired or ·need to rest [weary].
No one can ·understand [fathom; comprehend] how great his ·wisdom [knowledge] is.
29 He gives strength to those who are tired
and more power to those who are weak.
30 Even ·children [youths; young people] become tired and ·need to rest [weary],
and young ·people [men] ·trip and fall [fall in exhaustion].
31 But the people who ·trust [hope in; wait on] the Lord will become strong again.
They will rise up ·as an eagle in the sky [L with wings like eagles];
they will run and not ·need rest [grow weary];
they will walk and not ·become tired [T faint]. Isaiah 40 EXB

Remember yesterday’s prayer? Remember Ephesians 1:17 asking the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give you ·a spirit of wisdom[or spiritual wisdom; or the Spirit of wisdom] and revelation so that you will know him better? We cannot be strong in our own strength. We cannot muster enough to endure these life’s trials alone. His Spirit! His Spirit can give you the strength and wisdom.

I pray that Christ will ·live [make his home] in your hearts by faith and that your life will be ·strong in love and be built on love [L rooted and grounded in love].

 And I pray that you and all ·God’s holy people [T the saints] will have the power to ·understand[comprehend; grasp] the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is.

Remember Standing on the Promises of God? Paul’s prayer, Paul’s petition on our behalf reverberates through the entire Bible. His love.

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

8 The Lord says, “My thoughts are not like your thoughts.
Your ways are not like my ways.
9 Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts [Ps. 103:11]. Isaiah 55 EXB

And today, before I sign off,

Thankfuls

285. Thankful for Noah’s curriculum for high school.

286. Thankful for the gift of belly aching laughter.

287. Thankful for the splint in my mouth, that keeps the migraines at bay.

Today, friends, stand on His promises! Repeat them over and over.

Christ’s love is ·greater than anyone can ever know [beyond comprehension/knowledge], but I pray that you will be able to know that love. ·Then [L …so that] you can be filled with the fullness of God.

Be filled. Pray on. Pray on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., http://www.hellomornings.org/, Old Testament, Pictures from commons..., Thankfuls | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Praise Be


Rock Garden, Darjeeling Photo by JoyDeep

Good morning, beloved,

I’ve never listened to Rick Warren preach. I’ve read the Purpose Driven Life. When we were going to Willow Creek, Bill Hybels told a story about visiting Saddleback Church. Mr. Warren is a hugger. Gives hugs to everyone. Bill Hybels is not. AT ALL. My path has really never intersected with Mr. Warren. Until the news reports began to circulate that his son, his youngest son, killed himself. Then I began tracking and praying for him, for his family. Unbelieving to me, on Facebook, posts began to circulate about Mr. Warren. Awful reports. He deserved this…His son is rotting in hell. I have to tell you, I was amazed. I was saddened, for hopefully, obvious reasons.

So where am I going with this? Well, I heard a message yesterday. The first message Mr. Warren gave since his son died. I know the Lord had me listen. He spoke of hope. His wife spoke of joy. Tears flowed the entire message. How do you cope with this kind of pain?

3 ·Praise be to [Blessed is/be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father who is full of ·mercy [compassion] and all ·comfort [encouragement]. 4 He ·comforts[encourages] us ·every time we have [L in all our] ·troubles [trials; tribulation], so when others have ·trouble [any trials/tribulation], we can ·comfort [encourage] them with the same ·comfort [encouragement] God gives us. 5 [L For just as] ·We share in the many sufferings of Christ [L Christ’s sufferings abound in us]. In the same way, ·much comfort comes to us [L our comfort abounds] through Christ. 6 If we have ·troubles [trials; tribulation], it is for your ·comfort [encouragement] and salvation, and if we ·have comfort [are encouraged], ·you also have comfort [or it is for your comfort/encouragement]. This helps you to accept patiently the same sufferings we have. 7 Our hope for you is ·strong [unshaken; firm], knowing that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the ·comfort [encouragement] we receive.

8 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the ·trouble [trial; tribulation] we suffered in Asia [C a Roman province in present-day western Turkey]. We had great burdens there that were beyond our own strength, so that we even ·gave up hope of living [L despaired of life]. 9 Truly, in our own hearts we believed we ·would die [L had been sentenced to death]. But this happened so we would not trust in ourselves but in God, who raises people from the dead. 10 God ·saved [rescued; delivered] us from these great dangers of death, and he will continue to ·save [rescue; deliver] us. We have put our hope in him, and he will ·save [rescue; deliver] us again. 11 ·And you can [or …as you] help us with your prayers. Then many people will give thanks for us—·that God blessed [for the gift/favor given to] us because of their many prayers.

Friends, I would urge you to listen to this message. I drew such comfort from their story.

Paul says in verse 4: He ·comforts[encourages] us ·every time we have [L in all our] ·troubles [trials; tribulation], so when others have ·trouble [any trials/tribulation], we can ·comfort [encourage] them with the same ·comfort [encouragement] God gives us.

He is our comfort. He is our encouragement. Every trial, every trouble brings the Lord closer to us and then if we allow Him, He can use us to comfort others. Rick Warren said, the things you want to keep hidden about your past, your pain are the exact things that can be a comfort and encouragement to others. In a way, if you think about it clearly, wouldn’t it be amazing that the pain you have endured could be used to bless others? That it could have a purpose to bless?

Mist at Darjeeling Rock Garden Photo by JoyDeep

This is a profound passage for us. This week has been a strange mix of digging deeper into the messages of the Prosperity Gospel and then hearing this message. I think it is uncomfortable to remember this passage. To study this is to realize that God does use pain. He does use suffering. Being rich, without pain, yeah, that isn’t God’s goal in our life.

7 Our hope for you is ·strong [unshaken; firm], knowing that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the ·comfort [encouragement] we receive.

Share in their suffering. What can come from suffering? Comfort. Encouragement. From where? Our Lord!

 9 Truly, in our own hearts we believed we ·would die [L had been sentenced to death]. But this happened so we would not trust in ourselves but in God, who raises people from the dead. 

Trust in ourselves? We don’t align ourselves in the center of His will. Rather we fly solo in those thoughts…God meant that we would trust in God alone and that the power He commands raises people from the dead.

10 God ·saved [rescued; delivered] us from these great dangers of death, and he will continue to ·save [rescue; deliver] us. We have put our hope in him, and he will ·save [rescue; deliver] us again. 

So wherever this post finds you. May I encourage you to put your hope in Him? Post those encouraging verses around your house. Repeat truth over and over and over to yourself. He will save, he will rescue, he will deliver.

Here are some to get you started! Print ‘em out!

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you! When you pass through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned up; it will NOT consume you!”           Isaiah 43:2

 

            “I will never leave you and I will NEVER abandon you.”  Hebrews 13:5

       “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast or the child she has born? Even if that were possible, I will never forget you! Look, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands!”  Isaiah 49:15

 

“BUT WE KNOW that in all things God works for the GOOD of those

            who love him, and have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

“We often suffer, but we’re never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again… BECAUSE WE KNOW God raised the Lord back to life. And just as he raised Jesus, he will also raise us back to life, and will bring us into his presence together.” 

            2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 14

 

“Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness but they will be raised in strength!”  1 Corinthians 15:43

 

            “So we don’t focus on the troubles we see right now; instead we look

             forward to what we don’t see yet. For the troubles we see now are

            temporary, but the joys to come will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

 

            “Then God will wipe every tear from their eyes. And there will be no

            more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things

            will pass away.”          Revelation 21:4

“We can have JOY even in our troubles BECAUSE WE KNOW that these troubles produce endurance. And endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will not disappoint us, because God has poured his love to fill our hearts.”  Romans 5:3-5

 

My thankfuls:

272. Thankful for the message

273. Thankful for giggles

274. Thankful for a laugh filled night

 

Pray on. Pray on.

 

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

Stronger


Reserve Dzhanhulskyy shear Coast by Balkhovitin

Good morning, beloved,

I began, in earnest, to organize school and co-op activities.  For our co-op, I co-teach a history/craft combo class and the time had come to finish my work on the class. One time period that I studied yesterday was the early 1800s, when many were flooding the banks of the eastern United States. I shudder to think how this girl would do with the circumstances of the character.  Three weeks on a tiny freight ship…moldy food, not much fresh air…or even better, the clothing worn, petticoats, skirts…I like my jeans. I like my sweatshirts and thick socks (it’s cold this morning). I like my fans that cool our house. I like refrigerators that cool our food and stoves that cook. Blender that crushes and smoothies. As I sat, reading through the character’s trials and joys, I was delighted to look up and see children reading books. Turning on lights to find their way, switching over laundry, loading the dishwasher…

Do you ever stop and thank God for what you have that you almost take for granted? When something breaks down in my house (which happens often), I realize all over again how grateful I am. This morning as I peer out through the trees listening to cars and trains, I am grateful. As I watch my hubby and early riser boy make themselves breakfast, all the while chatting, I am grateful. I am grateful for a puppy who just fits with our family. God has given me much.

Pause. Breathe. Look around you. Look at the lights that guide your way. Toilets that flush (sorry, but the character we were studying just had outhouses).

Outhouses in student’s tourist tent base in Jawornik, Beskid Niski, Poland Photo by Tomasz Kuran aka Meteor2017

:) (Couldn’t help myself)

All of these blessings…I bet you could add more.

What if it was all stripped away? What if…

all you had was Jesus? Would He be enough? How did Peter answer this question?

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.”

Christians around the world are following Him no matter the cost.

Pastor Saeed Abedini is a good example. Or take a peek at the website for Voice of the Martyrs…our brothers, our sisters suffering for their love and devotion our Jesus. Our Lord.

So as you begin your day. As you gaze around breathing in and giving thanks, never forget the Amazing Grace you have been given.

There is this scene in The Bible (recently aired on the History Channel) where John is on the island. All alone. And we see Jesus coming for him. John’s eyes fill with tears. His years of sacrifice, trials and such are over. Jesus reaches out for him and John runs into His embrace. It was all worth it. It was all for His glory.

We need an eternal perspective on our lives. Our trials, our afflictions are momentary in the light of eternity.

All of this, these blessings are nothing if we just take, take, take and never give back, back, back. So today, may I urge you to give God the glory for the blessings in your life? May I urge you to ask the Lord today, how can I give back? How can I bless someone who comes in my path today? Let the Name of Jesus be lifted higher in your life today. We know we serve the God who is stronger, mightier, more wonderful that we can ever imagine. He will give us all we need for this day.

Join me in praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters. Don’t turn your back. Don’t allow busyness to distract you.

Pray on. Pray on.

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I’m baaaack..:)


Sunset at Honeymoon Bay, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia Photo by JJ Harrision

Good morning, beloved,

The sun is rising this morning as it has done every morning of my life. It shines bright this morning as I begin. I may not see the sun every morning, as I rise, but I know, I know it is there.

Sun behind Clouds PHOTO by Quant

Psalm 113:

Praise the Lord!

Praise him, you servants of the Lord;
praise the name of the Lord.
The Lord’s name ·should [is to] be ·praised[blessed]
now and forever.
The Lord’s name ·should [is to] be praised
from where the sun rises to where it sets.
The Lord is ·supreme [exalted] over all the nations [99:2];
his glory [C God’s manifest presence] ·reaches to the skies [is over the heavens].

Praise Him! Praise YHWH! I was talking about this idea of YHWH’s being like breath. To breath is to praise His name, which is very convicting to me that when I am in the midst of giving into temptation, I am breathing. My breath, my voice was meant to praise the One who gave it all. I am tempted to write with permanent marker on my hand:

Maybe a tattoo. The clouds would be challenging but to keep the truth of His name ever before me, I need it.

When am I to praise Him? Let’s look at this Psalm 

The Lord’s name should [is to] be ·praised[blessed] now and forever.

Praise Him now and forever. Check out the Hebrew here. The word is `owlam. 

I. long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world

  1. ancient time, long time (of past)

  2. (of future)

    1. for ever, always

    2. continuous existence, perpetual

    3. everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity

You, me, all of us are meant to praise Him all. the. time. Doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of gray here. Oh, Lord, how little of my day is spent worshipping You. I confess. You know we think of confessing sin as big things: anger, lies, lust, you name it. Yet, if the Bible states unequivocally to praise Him always…

We were meant to NEVER get over Him. YHWH. Our LORD. We were never meant to leave Him in a box. Or at church. Or in our morning devotions. He is with us always. We were meant to praise Him all day.

Next question. Where is He to be praised?

The Lord’s name ·should [is to] be praised from where the sun rises to where it sets.

Is there anywhere on this planet that the sun is not? So it seems to me that all the world is meant to praise Him.  His.. his glory [C God’s manifest presence] ·reaches to the skies [is over the heavens].

Join me today. Join me in the song. Our God sings over us. Let us join Him and the angels in worship.

Reflect on His glory. His manifest presence.

My thankfuls today…

266. God’s mercy

267. Hymns and spiritual songs that keep me in worship

268. Help

Pray on. Pray ON! Worship on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Music, Pictures from commons..., Psalms, Thankfuls | 1 Comment


Brown bears at Brooks Falls Katmai National Park. Photograped by Brocken Inaglory in July of 1998

Good morning, beloved,

Sunday, the Lord”s day, a day of rest, a day of peace, or supposedly such, we forget what God‘s original design. We forget He designed us to work for six days and on the seventh, we rest. I am grateful, grateful for God’s design. It is flawless, it is beautiful and to this daughter, necessary.

However, can I just get some agreement here? Even if I cut out everything outside of our home on Sunday afternoons, things still creep in. Even if our goal is rest, the house still needs to be picked up. Dishes still need to be done. We have to start packing, as our floors will be torn up soon. We are painting a bathroom. Time to spend with the family that can be fun. So my quiet is now, before I open my email, read my messages on Facebook, and today, remember, Your will be done, Lord, on earth as it is in heaven.

Your will- from Blue Letter Bible’s Lexicon:

1) what one wishes or has determined shall be done

a) of the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ

b) of what God wishes to be done by us

1) commands, precepts

2) will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure

Oh, we must see this word, thelēma, in action in other parts of the Word. Come with me, and let’s dive in. ;)

Matthew 7: 21 “Not all those who say [L to me] ·‘You are our Lord’ [L ‘Lord! Lord!’] will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do ·what my Father in heaven wants [the will of my Father in heaven].

So, the first thing to remember about God’s will, those who do what the Father wants will enter the kingdom. That word only interests me but as my family likes to call it..this becomes a rabbit trail.

Matthew 12: 50 My true brother and sister and mother are those who do ·what my Father in heaven wants [the will of my Father in heaven].”

Jesus calls His family those who do the will of His Father in heaven. We are His family! What a blessed thought.

Matthew 26:42 Then Jesus went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for ·this painful thing [L this thing; C the cup of suffering; v. 39] to be taken from me, and if I must ·do [drink] it, ·I pray that what you want [L may your] will be done.”

Jesus, twice asked the Father, to be taken from the cup of suffering, and yet, Jesus, of course, did take the cup, asking the Father for His will be done. Whatever we face today, we face it with the knowledge, that  the One who drank from this horrible cup, can give us the strength to cope with it .

Psalm 40:8 My God, I ·want [delight; take pleasure] to do ·what you want [your pleasure].

    Your ·teachings [instructions; laws] are in my heart.”

I will tell ·about your goodness [the good news] in the great ·meeting of your people[assembly].
Lord, you know ·my lips are not silent [L I have not restrained my lips].

May this be our prayer today. Our desire to take delight in doing His pleasure. To hold to His teachings in our hearts and proclaim the good news.

Romans 12:2 Do not be ·shaped by [conformed to; pressed into a mold by] this ·world [age]; instead be ·changed within [transformed] by ·a new way of thinking [orchanging the way you think; L the renewing of your mind]. Then you will be able to ·decide [discern; test and approve] what ·God wants for you [is God’s will]; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.

This culture, this world we live in has a powerful hold and strength. As Paul says, this mold of this age kills. The world holds nothing but death. Instead, let us be changed, transformed into a new way to think. Asking the Lord, with Your teachings, instructions in my heart; with the example of Christ; with knowing we are family then please, change us. Transform us. We want to know Your will. We want transformation. Lord, we seek You to know what is good, what is pleasing and what is perfect.

Oh, I could go on with this one. Join me again tomorrow, when I work through more of the Word of God with this one phrase: Will of God.

My thankfuls today:

257. Laughter, what a precious gift, to laugh.

258. A new day, provisions, hope.

259. Watching our son play basketball with a smile on his face.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Sermon on the Mount, Thankfuls | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fill


Liverpool Waterfront at Sunrise – Dave Wood, Liverpool Pictorial

God, my heart is ·steady [steadfast; ready].
I will sing and ·praise [play a psalm for] you ·with all my being [L as will my soul/or glory].
Wake up, harp and lyre!
I will wake up the dawn.
Lord, I will ·praise [thank] you among the ·nations [peoples];
I will sing ·songs of praise [psalms] about you to all the nations.
Your great ·love [loyalty] ·reaches to [is greater than] the ·skies [heavens],
your ·truth [faithfulness] to the heavens.
God, you are ·supreme [exalted] above the ·skies [heavens].
Let your glory [C manifest presence] be over all the earth [57:5–11]. Psalm 108 EXB

Awake ! One of the stanzas of A Morning Prayer by Thomas Ken stands out to me today.

Lord, I my vows to thee renew; disperse my sins as morning dew; guard my first springs of thought and will, and with thyself my spirit fill.

Fill.

[L But] We have this treasure ·from God, but we are like clay jars that hold the treasure [L in clay jars]. This shows that the ·great [extraordinary; transcendent] power is from God, not from us. We have ·troubles all around us [or all kinds of troubles/trials], but we are not ·defeated [crushed]. We ·do not know what to do [are perplexed/bewildered], but we do not ·give up the hope of living[despair]. 2 Corinthians 4 EXB

We cry out to be filled. And so much can fill us, but today? Today, let us choose to be filled with His Spirit.

Let us give thanks.

I will praise (thank) You!

Hang on to your hearts. I realized that my last two blog posts didn’t have my thankfuls..

249. A son captured by a book

250. A son worshipping upstairs

251. A daughter and son sleeping peacefully

252. My mom finishing my laundry

253. My dad being here, listening

254. Community in the church

255. Solutions

256. Good talks with family

257. Playing games last night

Fill, Lord, Fill us with You.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

 

Categories: Cara thoughts..., Music, Psalms, Thankfuls | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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