Posts Tagged With: Christianity

Letters


Good morning, beloved,

Slangkop Lighthouse, near Kommetjie, South Africa. .Photo by Dewet

I received a letter recently. I love receiving letters, handwritten. Isn’t there something just lifting to open the mailbox and receive something other than bills and advertisements? I try keep all my letters. I have a stack of letters in my closet from when I was in college. I remember when I was little being so excited to receive letters from my Grandma. She would send me cute little cards and for certain holidays like Valentine’s day I would get a dollar. That was cool. My brother, when he was very little, sent a card back to my Grandma with a dollar bill for her. He was so thankful for the money she had always sent him so he wanted to return the favor.

Thank you notes, invitations, love letters, newsletters, etc.,  all contain a stated purpose.  Notice, in each, you will find greetings. Maybe a small blessing upon you. Maybe a reminder of what you mean to the writer. As Paul opens his letter to the Ephesians, he begins with his hope for them, for you.

Ephesians 1: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace (charis), Paul craves for [his] readers the favor (grace) of God…to which all blessings, esp., spiritual are due. (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, blb.org) May I just share something with you? I long to know His grace, long to understand the favor bestowed upon me because of Jesus, I long to remember in times of great trial, He is the author of all blessings. Paul craves. Think about the last time you craved something. For me, there are times I crave time alone. Crave some food or dessert. It becomes a center focus. I think more about that craving than anything else. So Paul had a singular mind to guide the beloved to understand the grace extended. I wish I could say I crave things like this. How about you?

Peace (eirēnēof Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.

Remember that song, Peace Like A River? I’ve got peace like a river (repeat, repeat, repeat), in my soul. We would sing this with motions, but I don’t know that I ever connected, as a child, with the idea of His peace flowing through me like a river.

Elwy River, Cefn. Photo: Francis Bedford (1816-1894), 1860s.

Can you connect with the idea of His peace? His tranquility. Paul longed for his readers to grasp the peace available.

Ephesians 3: 4 ·If you read what I wrote then [or By reading this], you can see that I truly understand the ·secret [mystery] ·about [or revealed by; or that consists of; L of] ·Christ [or the Messiah].5 ·People [L The sons of men; C a Hebrew way of referring to people] who lived in other ·times[generations] were not told that secret. But now, through the Spirit, God has ·shown [revealed] that secret to his holy apostles and prophets. 6 This is that ·secret [mystery]: that through the ·Good News [Gospel] the Gentiles ·will share with the Jews in God’s blessing [L are co-heirs]. They belong to the same body, and they share together in the promise that God made in Christ Jesus.

Paul was revealing part of the mystery of Christ! Truly! We (the Gentiles, now Jews) share in God’s blessings. We are co-heirs. We are joined together because of the promise in Christ Jesus.

This is why we need to be on the floor praying diligently for our brothers and sisters in Israel.

Ephesians 4: 12 ·Christ gave those gifts to prepare [L …to equip]God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger.

To equip, a fitting or preparing fully. We have been given all we need to encourage one another through serving. And why do we have these gifts? To bring glory to ourselves? Nah, we are to make the body of Christ stronger. Do you get the sense that Paul longs for unity among the believers? Why? I don’t think it is just to encourage and uplift one another, but to be a community that welcomes those who do not know Jesus. People would crave to know the grace and peace that lives in us!

Ephesians 6:19 Also pray for me that when I ·speak [L open my mouth], God will give me words so that I can tell the ·secret [mystery] of the ·Good News [Gospel] ·without fear [confidently; boldly]. 20 ·For this Good News […for which] I am an ambassador in ·prison [L chains; 3:1]. Pray that I will speak ·it [or for him;or in him] ·without fear [boldly; confidently], as I should.

This prayer that Paul asked to be prayed on his behalf? Yea, that needs to be our prayer. That when we open our mouths we will speak the Good News. Boldly.

Bold Peak, in the Chugach Range of Alaska, as seen from a hanging valley below Thunderbird Peak. Photo by Paxson Woelber

We run with endurance the race set before us! Thank God we have the letters of Paul! Thank God Paul was given this gift of letter writing. Each is precious to  our faith and hope. We can hold tight to the promises found in Ephesians and I look forward to continuing to unwrap Ephesians!

Thankfuls:

278. As I work through this book, I am following a book called Glorious Grace by Lara Williams. So thankful for her guidance.

279. Thankful for time by a lake yesterday with my friend.

280. Thankful that God give beauty for ashes.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., http://www.hellomornings.org/, New Testament | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

To be with you…


Egyptian camel transport passing over Olivet, 1918 Photo restoration by American Colony Jerusalem

Good morning beloved,

Today I felt a blanket of sadness and overwhelmedness (yes, it’s a word in Cara’s dictionary..) cover me from head to food. I woke up with grief about relationships and worry for the year ahead of homeschooling. I longed to download with my husband..ran out of time. I watched my children begin their descent into bickering. Honestly, my thoughts couldn’t have dug me any deeper, until I was reminded of a powerful truth by Ann Voskamp:

Give thanksLike a breath of fresh air, I remembered. I recalled. And the blanket has begun to fall by the wayside. You see, I began to see things in a new light. The kids began to play with the dog…together. We are teaching her to roll over and today, she is really getting it! Very fun. I was reminded of the honor of our friends’ request. I am reminded of the honor of being asked to help. Reminded of how far my boy has come.

I begin to give thanks, for His love endures forever.

33 Then the trees of the forest will ·sing [shout; cry out]
for joy before the Lord.
·They will sing because [For] he is coming to judge the ·world [earth].

34 Thank the Lord because he is good.
His ·love [steadfast love; lovingkindness] ·continues [endures] forever.
35 Say to him, “Save us, God ·our Savior [of our salvation],
and ·bring us back and save [gather and rescue] us from ·other [the] nations.
Then we will thank ·you [your holy name]
and ·will gladly praise you [glory in your praise].” 1 Chronicles 16 EXB

Worries pile up. They don’t have to.. we allow it. We allow the accusations to filter in. We have a choice.

you can listen for the music of nature. The wind whistling. The birds joining the chorus…the waves crashing. Give thanks.

For He is good. Remember. He is good.

His love endures forever. And ever. And ever. And ever.

It stretches higher and longer, friends. We have His manifest presence with us all the time. This song grips me and shakes me.

I am loved. Me! I am loved. I may not understand all but He gave it all.

You are loved. Give thanks.

Pray on.

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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Mud pits


Passion week has kinda crept up on me. If I still my soul, if I stay calm, I know that there is so much more to this life than I am allowing. This idea that I love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength leaves little room for fear, doubt and worry in me. I sit here wondering what if, what if it is that simple and I have made it so much more. I cling to worry about my husband’s job, our car falling apart, our children, how people view me and all of a sudden I’ve crowded out every image of the Lord in my life. I am just rolling through each emotion.

James 1 puts it in a new light for me:

12 ·When people are tempted and still continue strong, they should be happy [L Blessed is the one who perseveres endures trials/temptations]. After they have ·proved their faith[stood/endured/passed the test], ·God will reward them with life forever [Lthey will receive the crown of life; C alludes to the laurel crown given for a victory]. ·God [L He] promised this to all those who love him. 13 When people are ·tempted [undergoing a trial], they should not say, “God is tempting me.”[L For] God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But ·people are[L each person is] tempted when their own evil desire ·leads [lures; drags] them away and ·traps[entices; lures] them. 15 ·This desire leads to sin [L Then, after desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin], and then the sin ·grows [or becomes full-grown] and ·brings [gives birth to] death.

Today is an open slate, my friends. Today is the day He has made and He asks us to come and rejoice in it. Be glad. I can be paralyzed or I can extend my hand to joy. We are promised nothing about material success, however if we remain strong during the storms and trials, we can be happy, be blessed. Am I reading that right?

I get so focused on now. Or the future. Ugh! One day I’m going to stand before my Savior and see how all the pieces of my life fit together. Do we understand that these emotions of fear, worry and doubt are sin? I keep getting this image in my mind of me playing in a pit of mud (my worries, my fears and my doubts) and the Lord is extending His clean, beautiful hand to me saying, “Come out, come here, come clean” and I keep splashing in the mud because I can’t let go of fear. And I can’t, you can’t. We cannot do this on our own.

I waited patiently for the Lord.
He ·turned [bent down; inclined; stooped] to me and heard my cry.
He ·lifted [drew] me out of the pit of ·destruction [or desolation],
out of the ·sticky mud [miry/muddy pit/bog/swamp].
He ·stood me [L placed my feet] on a rock
and made my ·feet [L step] steady.
He put a new song [C celebrating victory; 33:396:198:1144:9149:1Is. 42:10Rev. 5:9;14:3] in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God. Psalm 40 EXB

Get out of that pit, Cara! Allow Him to lift us out of the pit. Allow Him to put our feet on a rock. Give Him a chance to make our feet steady. (Not in our circumstances, or status, or anything else but Him) I’ve heard it said that God is a gentleman. He will not push Himself in. I like that. God wants to put new songs in my mouth, your mouth. Sing for joy. He puts new songs in my mouth. Your mouth. Celebrate the victories! Ever notice how this Psalm has the writer waiting patiently? Friends, He is here now. He is just waiting to be asked in. He hears our cries. He responds and now we respond back. Do we just cycle through the worries in our prayers or have our prayers become an opportunity to praise Him?

Sing a new song [C celebrating victory; 40:396:198:1144:9149:1Is. 42:10Rev. 5:9;14:3] to him;
play well ·and joyfully [with a loud/a victory shout].
God’s word is ·true [upright; virtuous],
and everything he does is ·right [faithful].
He loves what is right and ·fair [just];
the Lord’s ·love [loyalty; covenant love] fills the earth. Psalm 33 EXB

Friends, in the midst of our trials, songs of truth and praise can fill our mouths. Rather than sadness and worry lines filling our faces, allow His truths to smooth the lines. So as I begin my day, I ask the Holy Spirit to fill me. I ask that His word come alive in me, my words to my children, to my husband. Jesus has the victory! He has won over sin and death and here we are wringing our hands with our circumstances. Mercy, I have a chance to bring Him glory today! I have a chance to stand on the rock and invite those around me to be lifted up. Join in singing the anthem of the Lord’s renown!

The earth is filled with His glory. Filled. Seriously!

So, as it is Holy Week starting tomorrow, I want to focus my blog on Him. Not my circumstances, but His glory, His revelation in the power of Jesus Christ. So, want to join me? Pray with me.

Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise,
To pay thy morning sacrifice.

Thy precious time misspent, redeem,
Each present day thy last esteem,
Improve thy talent with due care;
For the great day thyself prepare.

By influence of the Light divine
Let thy own light to others shine.
Reflect all Heaven’s propitious ways
In ardent love, and cheerful praise.

In conversation be sincere;
Keep conscience as the noontide clear;
Think how all seeing God thy ways
And all thy secret thoughts surveys.

Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels bear thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
High praise to the eternal King.

All praise to Thee, who safe has kept
And hast refreshed me while I slept
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake
I may of endless light partake.

Heav’n is, dear Lord, where’er Thou art,
O never then from me depart;
For to my soul ’tis hell to be
But for one moment void of Thee.

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.

Direct, control, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say,
That all my powers, with all their might,
In Thy sole glory may unite.

I would not wake nor rise again
And Heaven itself I would disdain,
Wert Thou not there to be enjoyed,
And I in hymns to be employed.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Let’s do this day, friends, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Pray on.  Oh wait! My thankfuls!

233. God’s wisdom revealed in the Scriptures speaking life this morning.

234. Thankful for a day with my kids, as I pray for these precious kids with cancer that kills the body, I pray for these families. Moms and Dads who cling to the now with their precious babes.

235. Thankful for a dog who just makes me smile.

Pray on! Pray on!

 

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Worship. Worship. Worship!


NGC 2467 and Surroundings by ESO

Good morning, beloved!

How’s that for a statement? Exclamation point! Ha! Take that stress! I wake up in the knowledge that I am loved by Creator God who makes such stunning displays of beauty. He reigns.

I remember when this song came out, my kids would belt this song out and one day I asked them what it meant that He reigns. O, Mom, you know, it means we are so thankful that it “rains”.  The song  takes on some interesting new connotations…

My kids all have certain ways that they like to go to bed. We have routines. They don’t like falling asleep without them. As they get older, the need for a certain routine seems to fade but the younger ones need the stability. Love you, see you in the morning, have a good night, it’s going to be a good night…repeated by each of them (well, except for my eldest). Each need, I believe, the assurance that they are loved.

When my world is caving in, I need reassurances that no matter how much rain falls, my God reigns. He makes it rain. He made this world.

The Lord ·is king [reigns; 47:296:1097:198:699:1Rev. 19:6]. He is ·clothed [robed] in majesty.
The Lord is ·clothed [robed] in majesty
and ·armed [girded] with strength.
The world is ·set [established],
and it ·cannot be moved [will not totter].
Lord, your ·kingdom [L throne] was ·set up [established] long ago;
you are everlasting. Psalm 93 EXB

Tears may flow from my eyes from life’s messes but I know, I know, I declare that my God is faithful! He is Lord Almighty!

My Pandora mix today are all these songs. I think maybe my Lord wants to me remember this all. SO I’m sharing these songs because they are such good reminders. Remember, beloved. Nothing compares to His embrace. Light of the World He forever rains. (Just kidding..)

·Worship [Bow down to] the Lord ·because he is holy [L in the splendor of his holiness].
Tremble before him, everyone on earth.
10 Tell the nations, “The Lord ·is king [reigns; 47:293:197:198:699:1Rev. 19:6].”
The earth is ·set [established], and it cannot be moved. Psalm 96 EXB

Worship Him. Tell the world that our Lord is King.

There was a whole lotta hoopla about History Channel’s The Bible debut of Satan this week. That the man’s makeup is designed to make him look like Obama. Whatever. For my brain, remembering that our God’s power is triumphant. Are Satan’s tactics hard to cope with? Yes. God lifts us higher. Lifts you higher than your circumstances.

So my thankfuls today:

230. A beautiful bathroom painted by my lovely Mother..

231. A neighbor who brought me yummy slippers and workout pants.

232. What’s In the Bible with Buck Denver..what a gift.

Praying for our Pastors and their wives:

Pray that your pastor and his wife will practice servant leadership, edifying the congregation with wisdom and serving with God’s “agape” love. (Gal. 5:13b; Eph. 6:7; Mark 10:43b-45, 9:23-24; John 13:5-9; Phil. 2:3-4) (ROH)

God bless you today..pray on. Pray on.

 

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Worship


Šmarjetna gora, view towards Škofja Loka, Slovenia. Photo by Mihael Grmek

Good morning, beloved,

I took a walk the other day, alone. Nothing too spectacular about this, other than as I was praying out loud, I was led to sing. So I began to sing, at first, self consciously. Then I began to sing from my soul, instead of my brain. As we (Starburst and I) turned the corner, I heard some birds singing along with me. I stopped to listen to them. And they stopped. So I began and so did these little treasures. I stopped. They stopped. And I was reminded, all the earth will sing Your praises. Some of the earth decided to join my worship.

I need to keep singing. I desire my mind to settle on Him, to bring my harried soul to rest upon Him. Can we do it? Rather than allow my prayers to be about me, worshiping first. Worshiping last.

So I begin today with thanks and praise. I have to, I have to put my mind on Him.

He put a new song [C celebrating victory; 33:396:198:1144:9149:1Is. 42:10Rev. 5:9;14:3] in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many people will see this and ·worship [fear] him.
Then they will ·trust [find refuge in] the Lord.

·Happy [Blessed] is the person
who ·trusts [finds refuge in] the Lord,
who doesn’t turn to those who are proud
or to those who ·worship [go astray to] ·false gods [L a lie].
Lord my God, you have done many ·miracles [wonders; great acts].
Your plans for us are many.
If I tried to tell them all,
there would be too many to count [104:24139:17–18John 21:25]. Psalm 40 EXB

Trust. Refuge. Worship.

Full rainbow taken in Clacton-On-Sea in Essex UK Photo by Danesman1

I see this rainbow and see God’s grace over our land. Undeserved, yet given.

My thankfuls today:

217. Thankful for God’s grace as my symptoms are returning.

218. Thankful for beautiful sunrises.

219. Thankful for groceries being delivered.

Pray for your Pastor and his wife…today I”m praying for strength in the day today, for His Spirit to fill these two precious people, for God’s blessing upon this family.

Pray on. Pray on. And worship. Worship Him!

 

 

 

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Awake


Dawn at Swifts Creek. Photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

Good morning, beloved,

How do you understand a peaceful, quiet, restful day when the day earlier was the antithesis? Grateful. I begin thinking what did I do differently? Questioning. Not sure, wondering. So I begin with…

Awake, my soul, and with the sun
thy daily stage of duty run;
shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
to pay thy morning sacrifice.

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.

Five Vows for Spiritual Power by A.W. Tozer ( Powerful..please take some time)

Direct, control, suggest, this day,
all I design or do or say;
that all my powers, with all their might,
in thy sole glory may unite.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host:
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

To praise: 2 express one’s respect and gratitude towards (a deity), especially in song:we praise God for past blessings (Oxford Dictionary)

My thankfuls today (what are yours?)

211. For my parents coming and helping us.

212. For dear friends’ blessings.

213. For loaves (notice plural) of bread in the freezer.

For our Pastors and their wives:

Ask God to protect your pastor from the evil plots of Satan. Pray that he will not be corrupted as he rubs shoulders with the world in the course of ministry. (John 17:15; Is. 54:17; 2 Cor. 2:11; 1 Pet. 3:12; Ps. 9:9-10, 91:9-11) (Revive Our Hearts)

Pray on. Pray on.

 

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Never reduced to inactivity…


Good morning, beloved,

Natural reserve “Žernov”, located in Pardubice District, Czech Republic. Valuable oak-hornbeam forest with surrounding ponds and wetlands.Photo by Vojtech.dostal

Love never ·ends [fails; falls short]. There are gifts of prophecy, but they will ·be ended[cease; pass away]. There are gifts of ·speaking in different languages [or ecstatic utterance; L tongues], but those gifts will ·stop [cease; fall silent]. There is the gift of knowledge, but it will ·come to an end [pass away; be set aside]. 1 Corinthians 13 EXB

Sometimes I need to remember that this earth is not our home. We can look ahead and know that there will come a day when we have no need of gifts. We will be in the presence of the ultimate Gift. Rather than discuss the gifts of prophecy, speaking and knowledge, we know we have a day:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “[L Look; T Behold] Now God’s ·presence [dwelling; tabernacle] is with people, and he will ·live [dwell; tabernacle; John 1:14] with them, and they will be his people [Ex. 29:45Jer. 31:33Ezek. 37:27]. God himself will be with them and will be their God.[a]He will wipe away every tear from their eyes [7:17Is. 25:8], and there will be no more death [Is. 25:81 Cor. 15:54], ·sadness [mourning], crying, or pain, because ·all the old ways [the old order; L the first things] are gone.” Revelation 21 EXB

Love never fails. Our true Love, our true Gift will never fail. The word fail:

(1) In 1Cr 13:8katargeo, “to reduce to inactivity” (seeABOLISH), in the Passive Voice, “to be reduced to this condition, to be done away,” is translated “shall fail,” AV. This, however, misses the distinction between what has been previously said of love and what is here said of prophecies (see No. 3); the RV has “shall be done away;” so also as regards knowledge (same verse).

Can you imagine a world where love is done away? I don’t even want to dwell on that thought. God’s love started first. God’s plan, His love has saved us. As I start this day, this is the Word I stand on today. His love never, ever will reduce to inactivity. I may weep today but soon there will come a day when He will wipe away every tear. Imagine that day.

Praying for your Pastor:

Pray for a fresh divine anointing on your pastor’s ministry. Pray that God’s working will be powerfully evident both in his personal life and the spiritual life of the congregation. (1 Cor. 9:27; 2 Tim. 1:7; Rom. 15:18-19a)

Praying for your Pastor’s wife:

Ask God to remind her of the hope and refuge God offers her each day. Pray that she will be encouraged in God, knowing that He is a firm, secure anchor for her soul. (Ps. 9:9-10Ps. 42:571:14Heb. 6:19a)

May God bless those who serve us today.

My Thankfuls today:

A gift at Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare):

187. Thank You for the blessing of eating together.

188. Thankful for the food we have to eat.

189. Thankful my boys made dinner last night WITHOUT FIGHTING.

It’s all in the little things…I now begin my day as a Manifesto to the Lord. Word in…Now work out.

Pray on. Pray on.

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He will not delay


Beit Yanai beach – rain, wind and waves Photo by Sigal Ben Amram

Good morning, beloved,

Rain on the windows, coffee in hand, a fire in our fireplace, piano music in the background, quiet. We have heat, friends. Yes, a nice fire, but our heat is fully functional. I am thankful.  I wrote on my Facebook page, we have heat, WOOHOO! or some such nonsense, and I realized how NOT having something has truly shifted my focus. To be grateful, to be thankful, to see with new eyes what I take for granted in my life. How quickly life passes me by, I stare, this morning, at our chairs we have begun using for school and I know who sits in each chair. I see them. Each day I have is a gift. A day with pain gives me perspective to say, to savor, to enjoy a day without.

I played out in the snow with two of my kids, talking with them, planning, dreaming how big our snow fort would become. I would stop and just stare at them. Talk with them. Do you

Rhoen Schneetreiben Source: M. Klüber Fotografie

ever just stop and talk with children? Sit next to them. Not to hurry to the next activity, but to savor, to enjoy a moment with children. They have the most amazing things to say. The words. Their imaginations.

I just have to stop myself. Stop the hurrying. Listen.

When I get all frantic, rushing them, pushing them, the focus of our house becomes me. I lose the chance to help my children, weaving in and out, encouraging, prompting with kindness and agape. Instead I become a clanging bell, a sounding brass. I take center stage.  In my last post I discovered these NOT words in verse 4 keep self at the center. Now for verse 5 of 1 Corinthians 13:

Love is not ·rude [disrespectful], is not ·selfish [self-serving], and ·does not get upset with others [is not easily provoked/angered]. Love does not ·count up [keep a record of] wrongs that have been done.

The root word of this word rude/disrespectful is to be deformed, indecent, unseemly.

29 ·God knew them before he made the world [L For those whom he foreknew…], ·and he chose them […he also predestined/chose beforehand] to be ·like [molded to the pattern of; conformed to the image of] his Son so that Jesus would be the firstborn [C the preeminent one, but also indicating others will follow] of many brothers and sisters [C Jesus’ resurrection confirms that his followers will also share in God’s glory]. Romans 8 EXB

So either we can be deformed by fleshly behaviors, or we can be conformed, transformed into the image of His Son, right?

Not selfish. Not self -serving..to crave, demand something from someone (zēteō). 

·If so […then], ·make me very happy [L fulfill/complete my joy] by ·having the same thoughts [being like-minded/of one mind], sharing the same love, and having one ·mind [heart; soul] and ·purpose [goal; mind]. When you do things, do not let ·selfishness [rivalry; selfish ambition] or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and

View of the Sierra, fresh powder Photo by Introvert

give more ·honor [regard; value] to others than to yourselves. Do not ·be interested only in your own life [look out for your own interests], but ·be interested in the lives of others [look out for others’ interests]. Philippians 2 EXB

Does not get upset with others, not easily angered..the greek:( paroxynō) to make sharp, sharpen, to irritate, provoke, arouse to anger.

19 My ·dear [L beloved] brothers and sisters [C fellow believers], [L under-stand/know this:] ·always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily [L be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; Prov. 17:28], 20 ·because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants [L because human anger does not produce God’s righteousness]. James 1 EXB

Does not count up, keep a record of wrongs…

two Greek words (logizomai): to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over AND (kakosof what is morally or ethically “evil,” whether of persons, or qualities, emotions, passions, deeds

Do you notice that these words, these descriptions mar the person? Change us. Disfigure.

These last few days I have gotten up to finish writing this blog and it just hasn’t been done. I can’t get past this idea of disfigurement by sin and record keeping, and not getting upset, not being controlled by emotions. When I am in pain, (emotional or physical), my filters, my control goes on the blink. Hear that? I. I. I wonder if all the crazy things happening in my house, my children’s lives, my life, Joshua’s bring me exactly where He wants me. Out of control. Letting go.

Release. There’s chaos here, yet He is up to something. He is not letting His child go. He is asking His child to let go.

36 One of the Pharisees ·asked [invited] Jesus to eat with him, so Jesus went into the Pharisee’s house and ·sat at the table[L reclined; C at a formal meal guests would recline at a low table with their feet stretched out behind them]. 37 [L And look/T behold] A ·sinful [immoral] woman in the town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house. So she brought an alabaster ·jar [vial; flask] of perfume 38 and stood behind Jesus at his feet, ·crying [weeping]. She began to ·wash [wet; drench] his feet with her tears, and she ·dried [wiped] them with her hair, kissing them many times and ·rubbing [anointing]them with the perfume. 39 When the Pharisee who asked Jesus to come to his house saw this, he thought to himself, “If ·Jesus [L this person] were a prophet, he would know ·that the woman touching him is a sinner [L who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner]!” Luke 7 EXB

I see myself in both of these people in this scene. Pharisee judging. Assessing a situation, seeing himself as better. My brain can be such a train wreck. Yet, here is something I am realizing HUGE. The Pharisee ate a meal with Jesus but this meal did not bring the answers he wanted. He wanted Jesus to measure this woman by his standards. Here was this Rabbi allowing this woman to touch Him! Yuck!  After the Pharisee walked away from the table, He walked away from Life. The Living Water. Living. Jesus didn’t give him the answers he desired.

However, the woman walked away from the table with her sins forgiven. Healed. HEALED. I want to be at the table with Jesus and walk with Him in peace. I don’t want to walk away from Life, believing Satan’s lies, whispers.

These last few days have been more like the woman for me. Weeping at the feet of Jesus…realizing the weight of my attitudes, my frustration..Lord, I want to walk away from this table with You this morning healed. Restored. I confess. I hurt. I ask for healing, from the inside out. If you don’t heal my body, don’t. Heal me heart.

Remind me with Your holiness, Your grace. Remind me in the songs we sing this day. Remind me in the candle. Remind me in the eyes of my sweet children. Thank You for Your tenderness towards this woman. Me. And towards those who read this, may they meet You this morning at their table. Lord, may You open the floodgates of Your love. Breath on each one of these precious souls. Give them the breath of LIFE! As my day begins, I begin, we begin with You.

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The people ·sitting at the table [L reclining together; 7:36] began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Jesus said to the woman, “·Because you believed, you are saved from your sins [L Your faith has saved you]. Go in peace.” Luke 7 EXB

Go in peace, friends. You are saved from your sins this day. Believe on Him…forgiveness…

My thankfuls:

Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare

3 Surprise Gifts, Unexpected Grace:

169. The gift, the reminder of His forgiveness by just looking out my window at the bliss of clean, white snow on my rooftops. The rest of my snow is trampled by little feet.

170. The gift of time this morning to finish this blog, to be healed.

171. The gift of my house warm.

Pray on, friends. Pray on.

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

my Victor


Tarvasjõgi at Kõrvemaa Nature Park in Estonia. by Ireen Trummer

Good morning, beloved,

What do you do when the words won’t come? When it feels as though your thoughts are not connecting with the keyboard?

Our heat has still not been fixed. (They are waiting on parts.) Our sewer problem has been cleaned up but we have no hope of this being a permanent solution.

My boy is having a very hard time emotionally. (Ergo his siblings are too..) There, so far, has been no set diagnoses. They can guess. They give directions. Yet, his symptoms baffle. They send us somewhere else. It will be a long wait. In the meantime, how do I remain calm? How do I hold this sweet boy together? At times, we all feel we are in a blender. He is the blades and we are the liquid whipping around him. We never know what will be his undoing. Oh, how I love this boy. How I love his hugs, his conversation starters, his nightly routines…

Where do we go when the ground feels like it is fall out beneath us?

Island View Beach, B C photo by Brandon Godfrey

I will be honest. I would like to go to this beach. ;) To sit in the sand, dig my toes until I reach cold sand, watch the kids frolic in the waves…

11 Why ·am I so sad [L are you cast down, my soul]?
Why ·am I so upset [are you groaning/in an uproar]?
I ·should [or will] ·put my hope in [wait for] God
and ·keep praising [or will again praise] him,
my ·Savior [Victor] and my God. Psalm 42 EXB

I groan, friends. I hurt. This morning just feels grainy and rocky.  My eyes struggle to look up. Why am I cast down? Why am I groaning?

I have to go back and slay the lies. I have to start this morning in the truth. Just four Psalms later (those four are very similar to 42)…we are entranced by these words:

God is our ·protection [refuge] and our strength.
He ·always helps [is an ever present/timely help] in times of ·trouble [distress].
So we will not be afraid even if the earth ·shakes [quakes],
or the mountains ·fall [reel; totter] into the heart of the sea,
even if the ·oceans [L waters] roar and foam,
or the mountains ·shake [tremble] at ·the raging sea [L its surging]. ·Selah [Interlude] Psalm 46 EXB

He is my protection. He’s got our house. He’s got my boy. He’s got my family. He is our strength. I feel so weak and yet I know, in His strength I can do all things.

He always helps us. O, Lord, come to our aid. To those who read this today who need to know that You come to our aid, Lord, I pray for their needs. I pray for those who just need to remember: You always help. You are always here and Your help is timely. When we feel the world caving in…we know that we can trust in You. Hope in You. Believe in You.

The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] is with us;
the God of Jacob is our ·defender [refuge; fortress]. ·Selah [Interlude] Psalm 46 EXB

Slavic refuge castle Raddusch (Raduš) in the evening, Germany Photo by Pudelek (Marcin Szala)

10 God says, “Be still and know that I am God.
I will be ·praised [exalted] in all the nations;
I will be ·praised [exalted] throughout the earth.”

11 The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] is with us;
the God of Jacob is our ·defender [refuge; fortress]. ·Selah [Interlude] Psalm 46 EXB

So I sit at my computer..and I hear my God saying to me, be still. Cease striving. And KNOW that I am God.

Cease. Stop, Cara, resisting what He is accomplishing here.

Ever just need a reminder that:

So I lift up my hands. I stretch out and praise. And I remember to be thankful.

I missed a couple of days so bear with me! Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare

Three graces found in friends:

145. Old friends who stay in touch, love me.

146. New friends who love my kids and invite them.

147. Watching the Lord work in powerfully in their lives..

A song heard, a soft word, a light:

148. Be still and know

149. My neurologist…

150. Our candle we light everyday to remind us of the Light.

Three old things seen anew:

151. My Grandma’s ring…beauty.

152. Psalm 46..coming alive for me.

153. Old pictures.

So 9 thankfuls, and you know, my heart is lighter. I know. I know.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Pictures from commons..., Thankfuls | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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