Posts Tagged With: God the Father

Casting aside


Panorama of Lake Bled Photo by Mihael Grmek

Good morning, beloved,

I walked out this morning and saw the stars. I saw the moon. It was beautiful. The earth is filled with His glory. His majesty. It is good to begin a day with praise. It is good to give thanks. To start my day soaked in the Word, to remember that there are no chains on me. No chains on YOU. Why?

I’m here to tell you, your heart can be free. Today, as I face my own flesh, I do not face that battle alone. I can remember that: In Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly ·world [realms; places]. (Ephesians 1:3). We bless the Father by blessing His son, Jesus. We cry out to Him knowing everything we need can be found in Him. Do you know that this verse (v.3) repeats some form of blessing three times? We bless Him. He has blessed us. We receive every spiritual blessing.

 …of the place where Christ “sitteth at the right hand of God” (i.e., in a position of Divine authority), Eph 1:20; and of the present position of believers in relationship to Christ, Eph 2:6; where they possess “every spiritual blessing,” Eph 1:3; Greek Lexicon

Christ now sits in the position of Divine Authority. Where do we stand with Jesus? What are some of the spiritual blessings?

  • Chosen, holy people without blame
  • His kids
  • grace
  • set free, forgiven, redeemed
  • there is a plan (in this hectic, crazy world that FEELS as though it is spinning out of control, we can bank on the truth that..there is a plan

I remember as a child, waiting to be picked for a team by the captain. Standing there with the rest of the kids, hoping, I would be next. My breath would be shallow. I would be close to kneeling on the ground begging, not to be last.  Then when I was picked, a quick smile, a deep breath and then to watch the rest of the suffering souls.. Let me just say, that will never happen with Jesus. God the Father has chosen you. No need for worry. No need for shallow breathing. You and I are His kids!

I have written about grace. There is so much more to learn about grace. We have been given so much grace! If we have been given so much grace, how is it that we cannot extend it to others?

We have been wronged by a friend. Or leader. Or spouse. Or child. The pain we feel is extreme and we feel the wrong deeply. Perhaps even now, the person’s face is looming in your mind. It keeps you awake at night. You rehearse how you will behave and talk in the future conversation.

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]. Isaiah 53 EXB

How strange. Isaiah doesn’t mention our neighbor’s sins. He declares our sin. Jesus was crushed. He was punished. Only through His wounds can we be healed, we have all wandered away. Not just our “sinful” neighbor, us. I bet you could make a list of all the sins and wrongs your neighbor has done. I bet you could rehash every last one. Me too.

7b 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

Are we quiet when we are sinned against? Maybe we don’t say anything to anyone, maybe we do, but our thoughts betray us.  Jesus’ thoughts NEVER betrayed Him.

14 [L Therefore] Since we have a great high priest [2:17–18], Jesus the Son of God, who has ·gone into [ascended to; or passed through]·heaven [or the heavens], let us hold ·on [firmly] to ·the faith we have[L the confession/profession; C of our faith]. 15 ·For our high priest is able[L For we do not have a high priest who is unable] to ·understand[sympathize with] our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin. 16 Let us, then, ·feel very sure that we can come before [L confidently approach] God’s throne ·where there is grace[L of grace; C as opposed to a throne of judgment and condemnation]. There we can receive mercy and ·grace [L find grace] to help us ·when we need it [L at the right time]. Hebrews 4 EXB

He knows. His grace is enough for all. We need Jesus. We need Him, who sits in a position of authority, to intercede on our behalf, to understand our weaknesses. We need Him. We have sinned just as much as our neighbor, if not more. God’s grace and mercy is available to you, first. Let us run our race…

Therefore, since we are surrounded by a great cloud of ·people whose lives tell us what faith means [L witnesses], let us run the race that is before us ·and never give up [with endurance/perseverance]. ·We should [Let us] ·remove from our lives [get rid of; cast aside] anything that ·would get in the way [impedes/hinders us] and the sin that so easily ·holds us back [entangles/clings to us]. 2 Let us ·look only to [keep our eyes on] Jesus, the ·One who began [Pioneer/Founder of; or Leader/Prince of] our faith and who ·makes it perfect [completes it]. He ·suffered death on [L endured] the cross, ·accepting the shame as if it were nothing [L disregarding/despising the shame] because of the joy that ·God put before [lay ahead for] him. And now he is sitting at the right ·side [L hand] of God’s throne [1:313Ps. 110:1]. Hebrews 12 EXB

Cast aside anything that impedes or hinders, the sin that so easily entangles for there is grace. Keep our eyes on Jesus. He has a plan. It is a most excellent plan.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

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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

Transparency…


Zodiacal Light Seen from Paranal. ESO/Y.Beletsky

Good morning, beloved,

Ever have a day with the best of intentions and what you hope and what actually occurs are miles apart? I finished my study in the morning and was refreshed and encouraged and ready to face the day. And the little “sinners“who live in my house began their arguments, declaring their innocence in said arguments, shocked that anyone would insist that they were culpable. Each child had been robbed of their rights and needed me to know of the injustice that was occurring right in my home. First couple of occurrences, my head was level and I was controlled.

I want you to hear I lost it. I sinned. I yelled. I cried. I asserted my rights when my kids were just plain disobedient. I wasn’t asking the Lord to intervene. I had taken the wheel and whoa, my course gave me a chance to see my flesh in a whole new light. It crushed me.

This morning, I talked through the day with my hubby. I confessed my faults, my sins to Joshua and I knew my heart was healing. I was being restored to a spiritual tone of mind and heart. I pray for tremendous power only found in Him.  16 Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. (James 5 AMP)

James had it right. Speak what swirls in your mind to a trusted friend or confidant. Don’t hide your sin. Don’t be ashamed of the fact, yes, fact that you are NOT perfect. We need people in our lives who are willing to be transparent. Asking for prayer for the deep things, the painful things, the things that are not solved with one conversation but with joined years of prayer. Jesus said, 48 You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5 AMP)  We grow. We mature in godliness. Not in ourselves, but as we are transformed by the perfection of our heavenly Father. The question we should be asking is not what would Jesus do but what is Jesus doing here? (Scotty Smith)

“For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind.  It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world,”        Titus 2:11-12 AMP

My thankfuls today:

88. I’m thankful for the blessing of confession.

89. I’m thankful for music that touches my heart and sings my heart.

90. I’m thankful for friends who love me and my family just they way we are.

Can I just ask one more thing? If you are on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest, and you enjoy my meandering on this blog,  would you consider sharing my blog with your friends? Thank you so much. Pray on. Pray on.

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


Good morning, beloved,

A Winter Landscape by George Smith (1714 – 1776)

We haven’t seen the sun around here for a long time. I look, I gaze, I wait and long for the beautiful sunrises, beautiful sunsets. I know that behind the blanket of clouds, the sun shines. It will come back. I will see it again. You will see it again.

Sunrise from Pine Springs Campground in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. by Fredlyfish4

I love my Father in heaven. I love how He uses word pictures to aid His sheep in understanding. (See? ;) ) You and I can look at the cloudy skies and remember the sun shines behind it. We can link that truth with our understanding of the Word.

Malachi 4: For behold, the day comes that shall burn like an oven, and all the proud and arrogant, yes, and all that do wickedly and are lawless, shall be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.

But unto you who revere and worshipfully fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings and His beams, and you shall go forth and gambol like calves [released] from the stall and leap for joy.

He has come. He is coming. We have hope, we have comfort in knowing, expecting Jesus’ return…I think what means the most to me is the healing that is coming. Healing from the inside out. Do you long for healing? From physical or emotional pain? I do, friends. I hope and long for the touch of Jesus on this body.

Hearing the heartaches of dear friends yesterday, I long for their burdens to be lifted. This morning I woke thinking and praying for the burdens and I opened biblegateway.com and saw these verses:

Matthew 11:

27 All things have been entrusted and delivered to Me by My Father; and no one fully knows andaccurately understands the Son except the Father, and no one fully knows andaccurately understands the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son deliberately wills to make Him known.

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.

When I have looked at these verses in years past, I have always focused on the yoke. I have always focused on who is encouraged to come. I’ve never really focused on this phrase: Learn of Me…

The word learn:

(a) “to learn” (akin to mathetes, “a disciple”), “to increase one’s knowledge,” or “be increased in knowledge,” frequently “to learn by inquiry, or observation,” e.g., Mat 9:13; 11:29; 24:32; Mar 13:28; Jhn 7:15; Rom 16:17; 1Cr 4:6; 14:35; Phl 4:9; 2Ti 3:14; Rev 14:3; said of “learning” Christ, Eph 4:20, not simply the doctrine of Christ, but Christ Himself, a process not merely of getting to know the person but of so applying the knowledge as to walk differently from the rest of the Gentiles;

Hey, doctrines are great. We need to know the doctrines of our faith. This passage suggests that understanding Jesus more, discovering Him results in rest, refreshment, blessed quiet. (I think that is my favorite, the concept of blessed quiet). What is He asking us to understand?

Gentle (praus) : denotes “gentle, mild, meek;” for its significance see the corresponding noun, below, B. Christ uses it of His own disposition, Mat 11:29; He gives it in the third of His Beatitudes, Mat 5:5; it is said of Him as the King Messiah, Mat 21:5, from Zec 9:9; it is an adornment of the Christian profession, 1Pe 3:4. Cp. epios, “gentle, of a soothing disposition,” 1Th 2:7; 2Ti 2:24.

Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time (Isa 41:17, Luk 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God’s goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Gal 5:23).
 
Humble (tapeinos): primarily signifies “low-lying.” It is used always in a good sense in the NT, metaphorically, to denote humble in spirit, Mat 11:29
 The more we understand who He is, the more we can find blessed rest. Peace. In Jeremiah 6, we find the verse Jesus was quoting when He said, you will find rest for your souls. Look with me:
 
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.
Friends, may this be an encouragement for you!! God be praised. We can know Him, we can ask for the hope of Jesus which by His death and His resurrection we have the hope of eternal paths. We can know the good, old way! We can walk in the truth and find rest for our souls. Our weary, tired, sad souls…
 
I have to include some more verses about our Jesus. Please read them out loud with me.
 

Isaiah 42: Behold my [a]Servant, Whom I uphold, My elect in Whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice and right and reveal truth to the nations.He will not cry or shout aloud or cause His voice to be heard in the street.

A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench; He will bring forth justice in truth.

He will not fail or become weak or be crushed and discouraged till He has established justice in the earth; and the islands and coastal regions shall wait hopefully for Him and expect His direction and law.

Thus says God the Lord—He Who created the heavens and stretched them forth, He Who spread abroad the earth and that which comes out of it, He Who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it:

I the Lord have called You [the Messiah] for a righteous purpose and in righteousness; I will take You by the hand and will keep You; I will give You for a covenant to the people [Israel], for a light to the nations [Gentiles],

To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and those who sit in darkness from the prison.

I am the Lord; that is My name! And My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images.

Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Take a moment and just dwell in His plan. His wonderful, beautiful plan for our freedom…we are those Gentiles. He is our light. He has set us free. The God who created the heavens and the earth, oh my, has given us breath. Given us spirit!

Who is this Jesus? He is the Servant. He is our justice. When life has struck hard blows, when it seems like we have no options, we can remember He will prevail. He will have the victory.

I needed to remember this today. I needed to remember who my Jesus is today.

That’s my King. Inhale. Exhale.

My thankfuls today:

75. I’m so thankful for friends who understand.

76. I’m so thankful that this is not the best.

77. I’m so incredibly thankful for Jesus today.

78. I’m thankful for the audio Bible.

79. I’m thankful for snow that has come. Not much, but it put a smile on my kiddos faces.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

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The God of Angel Armies…


Fortress of the Îlette of Kermovan, Britanny (France) by Llorenzi

Good morning, beloved,

Around me, the wind is blowing. The trees are dancing, the sky is dark. Wind reminds me of His Spirit, His power and His work. All point to Creator God. Our God.

As I wait for appointments, wait to have a plan, I realize that it is very easy for me to place my trust in what I know. I know the diagnosis. I know. Yet, what do I really know? I make plans..when we get this money, then we can pay of this and that. When we…when they..what I am doing, friends, is placing my trust and hope in what I can do. What a doctor could do. I make a plan for how our family should run…yet, my God who faithfully supplies all that we need, has given me blessing in the form of my husband who has God’s blessing to guide this family. Me, me, me.  Trust, trust, trust.

Today I was reading the Word and came across some beautiful passages that speak to the importance of trust. Trust in the plan He has. The structure He has in place. The timeline He has for us. The resources He has in store.

“For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]” Ephesians 2:8-9AMP

Friends, I am striving! I am working. I am not accepting the free gift of God by this. Oh, Father, cleanse my heart, give me a desire to trust fully in You.

I found this prayer:

O Lord,
we ask for a boundless confidence

On August 31, 2012 a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space at 4:36 p.m. EDT. The coronal mass ejection, or CME, traveled at over 900 miles per second. The CME did not travel directly toward Earth, but did connect with Earth’s magnetic environment, or magnetosphere, causing aurora to appear on the night of Monday, September 3. Pictured here is a lighten blended version of the 304 and 171 angstrom wavelengths. Cropped NASA

and trust in Your divine mercy,
and the courage to accept
the crosses and sufferings
which bring immense goodness
to our souls and that of Your Church.
Help us to love You
with a pure and contrite heart,
and to humble ourselves beneath Your cross,
as we climb the mountain of holiness,
carrying our cross that leads to heavenly glory.
May we receive You
with great faith and love in Holy Communion,
and allow You to act in us as You desire
for your greater glory.
O Jesus, most adorable Heart
and eternal fountain of Divine Love,
may our prayer find favor before
the Divine Majesty of Your heavenly Father. St. Pio of  Pietrelcina

I love that image, as we climb the mountain of holiness. As we carry our cross, heavenly glory…behold the picture..our God made, He controls the heavens and the earth. Our God reigns!

My heart falls heavily for the people on the East Coast. My heart is heavy for our dear friends..the wife, my dear beloved friend, has been struggling desperately with liver cancer. She received more crushing news yesterday. So this is when faith must pour in. This is when prayers giving His Word back to Him become critical..

The God of Angel Armies is always by my side! My heart strengthens when I hear this song.  Whom shall I fear? Whom will you fear? You know who goes before us!!

Proverbs 3:

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Isaiah 40:

31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

Isaiah 41:

10 Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

The God of Angel Armies is always by your side. Pray on. Pray on.

 

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What a Friend We Have In Jesus..


“Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” Ephesians 5:19-20AMP

Good morning, friends, beloved of God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ!

These two verses are instrumental in my life today. I have struggled to balance physically and as a result, a balance in my life has tipped. What I thought to be the most important, well, has been slowly stripped away as this disorder has overwhelmed me. This morning, early, early, my husband and I were awake and turned on Moody Radio‘s Music Through the Night, every song was exactly what we needed to hear, every testimony Mike Kellogg included spoke directly to our hearts and we joined in prayer. I have had great stress on caring for my children and caring for them well. God reminded me this morning of where my focus truly needed to be. I have been so panicked that they get their schoolwork done, checked off a list, kept a clean house, that I forgot the most meaningful call I have, which is to guide them to Jesus first. Keep their eyes focused on Him, all else will fall into place.

Elephants (Loxodonta africana) crossing the Luangwa River, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. by Geoff Gallice

Well, friends, I’m here to tell you today, my greatest calling is to speak out these psalms to my family…

such as Psalm 1, Psalm 139 and Psalm 127:

Except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; except the Lord keeps the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to take rest late, to eat the bread of [anxious] toil—for He gives [blessings] to His beloved in sleep.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.

Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them! They will not be put to shame when they speak with their adversaries [in gatherings] at the [city’s] gate.

To play the music of the hymns (quietly), ahem…

such as...Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing, Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus

Whisper praise to God instead of continually pointing out where they are not working hard…

Making melodies in their hearts and mine…

I am always amazed when I start singing a song how all of a sudden I hear the kids singing while doing their little things…

Giving thanks in all things…teaching one another to give thanks…Ann Voskamp comes to mind..

There I found a free gift of a 100 days of thanksgiving chart..

I know not what the future holds, I know who holds my future.

God bless you today. Pray on, pray on.

 

 

 

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Facebook and me…


 

Good evening, beloved,

Keeping it real over here. What does that actually mean? Seriously.

I’ve become an avid Facebook watcher. Sometimes it is hard for me to read and it shouldn’t, but…

Got up early, went for a run, had a delicious homemade breakfast for me and the kids..bring it on! or…

I love my life. My kid is…

I love my life. My husband did…actually, I did write these posts. It’s amazing how things have changed.

Now, I know if I was in my right mind, ha! I would have a first response of oh, that’s great! Praising the Lord with you..but somehow, I resonate more, right now with…

Had a hard day homeschooling today. I know it will get better but today was just hard. or…

Would you pray for my xxxx? or…

Don’t get me started on all the political ads. Good grief, they will know us by our love. Really? however I feel about these issues, we will certainly not be known for our love.

I am very interested in the Gospel of Christ being spread. Verses in the hands of desperate people, desperate for hope. Resources that have blessed me and my family in these days that rattle my nerves.

I’ve gotten to the point in my health where I’m not driving. Dizziness plagues me. Talking is painful. My neurology appointment is tomorrow. My only outlet for hearing how people are doing is through Facebook.  I ache.  People text me, people write back and forth with emails and Facebook messages. I can pray for what I see.

Where is my hope? God brought this song to my head and it is so true. There is one line that resonates with me today, well they all do but…

My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’ blood and righteousness…

Matthew 28…Jesus’ final words before He ascended to heaven.

18 Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.

19 Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20 Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).

Jesus has…

  • all authority
  • all power of rule in heaven
  • all power of rule on earth
  • been given it all

Jesus has commanded us to teach the disciples of all nations. Well, we need to make them, don’t we? Tell me something, how will blasting, criticizing businesses, government officials help us to make them? When a person peers into our page, what will they be able to tell from our likes, our posts, our pages?

O my friends, o beloved, don’t miss this. As I sit in my quiet house with a cute, slumbering dog, my family is at the AWANA parents’ night at our church. My heart aches to be there. I sit. I am reminded.

Jesus is with me…all the days.

Perpetually.

Uniformly.

On every occasion.

Jesus is with me now. Filling this house, interceding on my behalf before the Father. Friends, that’s the news that should be filling our pages! What God has done for you? Celebrate in the pages! What verses meant the most to you as you studied His Word? Share ‘em! Tell us why! Encourage us all.

God bless you. God bless you as you fill your life. Pray as you post, as you share, as you “like”. Let your light shine before men.

Matthew 5:

15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.

Burn bright all to the glory of Him who made you. Pray on. Pray on.

 

Categories: Cara thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bickering and resolution…


 

Panoramic image of Santa Severina village, Calabria, Italy. by Ggia

Good morning, beloved,

Labor day..history, there ya go,  interesting to me that we celebrate work by taking a day off. Yet, the Blue Better Bible has a terrific post on rest…read on!

I wanted to share the verses of the day…then dive in.

Isaiah 48:

16 Come near to me and listen to this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it happened, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent His Spirit in andwith me.

17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way that you should go.

18 Oh, that you had hearkened to My commandments! Then your peace and prosperity would have been like a flowing river, and your righteousness [the holiness and purity of the nation] like the [abundant] waves of the sea.

We have been struggling with bickering siblings in our household lately. Ok, not lately, always. And I have always had different techniques for coping with the fighting. Trying different ways to deal with the little sinners saved by grace..ahem. Well, last night I walked each of my kids separately (except for the eldest) through Matthew 18..after reading another book, this time, though, I kinda felt this family had an edge on the advice market. The Duggars. I have been very blessed by reading these two books they have authored.

One thing has been how they teach their children to do chores. It has helped my stress level tremendously. The other has been this teaching. Matthew 18 was memorized by their whole family with hand signs and repetition and as they meet sibling “controversy” they walk through the verses.

So I began this last night, and realized something very profound to me. It is one thing for me to teach the children not to bicker because it is the wrong thing to do, it is quite another when we are speaking Jesus’ words to one another and He is doing the teaching. Aha.

Matthew 18:

15 If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.

16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed and upheld by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (then a bunch about bringing in the church…ahem.)

19 Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and [g]everything] they may ask, it will come to passand be done for them by My Father in heaven.

20 For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I Am in the midst of them.

So we went phrase by phrase together, how does this look?

If your brother wrongs you, go show him his fault, between you and him privately. 

So your brother wrongs you, in our family it’s not an “if”, it’s a “when”. Jesus finishes Matthew 18 with 35 So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses. Brothers, sisters wrongs you. Offense. Our first response has to be..yep, I’ve been wronged. What does God expect? A free forgiveness…no chains. However, it is our responsibility to go show him his fault. For as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 8:12 And when you sin against your brethren in this way, wounding and damaging their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Sin against Christ? I think it is so critical we remember who our sin is actually against. The Lord Jesus. A bit of perspective, wouldn’t you say? Colossians 3:13 Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. We are a forgiven people. The Lord has freely forgiven us! We can do NO better.

And how do we show our brother his fault? Ah, yes, the critical part in our family…you did this, you are wrong, you! you! you! The pointed index finger also is a big help over here. Leviticus 19: 17 You shall not hate your brother in your heart; but you shall surely rebuke your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. The sin is on us if we do not rebuke our neighbor, if we harbor hatred.  Psalm 141: 5 Let the righteous man smite and correct me—it is a kindness. Oil so choice let not my head refuse or discourage; for even in their evils or calamities shall my prayer continue. We are righteous when we correct one another with kindness…that of course can be misconstrued. Please don’t…at this point, a discussion of how wrongly the church can interpret is not my focus. We are to treat one another with kindness.

What do we gain when we obey this? Our brother!! Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men—he gathers and receives them for eternity]. By allowing forgiveness, kindness and hope to flow through our speech, we are wise, righteous, life flows through us. And we gain unity with our brothers and sisters! What hope! Not to give in to the whispers of the evil one, but to say yes to life. Romans 12: 21 Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good. James 5:1[My] brethren, if anyone among you strays from the Truth and falls into error and another [person] brings him back [to God],20 Let the [latter] one be sure that whoever turns a sinner from his evil course will save [that one’s] soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins [[a]procure the pardon of the many sins committed by the convert].

This is Jesus’ cry to us! We have a responsibility to live our life overcoming evil. How? Mastering it with good! We turn our brother or sister towards life instead of death.

So, part one. I’m going to watch the Odd Couple now. LOL. Have a wonderful day…of rest. :) Pray on, pray on.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Name of Jesus


Harvest in Provence. by Vincent Van Gogh

Dear beloved of God,

On this blog, I have shared my heart and my soul. It is always my hope that you would benefit from my ramblings and more than that, this would bring God glory. I haven’t been consistent this week to which I am sorry, yet, I receive notes saying people are blessed by this offering.  Ministering in the midst of pain, I believe, is a great gift we can give to our Most High God. Not pretending everything is “fine” and having a stiff upper lip, but as you serve, make your time an offering to Him. Beautiful. Yesterday as stress started to overwhelm me, I began saying aloud every verse I knew. Not only did the kids stop their verbal spat with one another to listen, they began speaking truth back in the form of peace in the household. (Had to do this many times..) Another way grace filled our house, music. I smile as I think of this, I let Luke and Ella wear their swimsuits in the bath last night so they could play in our huge tub. (Another grace..) I began to sing this song and they both in a minute or so began singing it too. So cute.

Every life has a choice
To rise up to fill the void
Every heart has a mission
And we are called to be humanWe gotta do better than this ’cause we only got
One chance to make a difference
We gotta do better than this ’cause we only got
One life that we’ve been given

A little love, a little kindness
A little light in this time of darkness
It’ll be what makes us different
It’ll be what makes us human
I’m human, you’re human, we are human

We are marked with His image
And we are scarred with indifference
Maybe now we should listen
Hear the cry of God’s children

We gotta do better than this ’cause we only got
One chance to make a difference
We gotta do better than this ’cause we only got
One life that we’ve been given

A little love, a little kindness
A little light in this time of darkness
It’ll be what makes the difference
It’ll be what makes us human

I’m human, you’re human, we are
We are human
I’m human, you’re human, we are
We are human

Gotta do better than this ’cause I only got
One chance to make a difference
Gotta do better than this ’cause I’m only
Just one

I’m human, you’re human, we are
We are human
I’m human, you’re human, we are
We are human

It’ll be what makes the difference
It’ll be what makes us human

We are marked by His image..oh friends, when God sees us, He sees Jesus. Jesus. My dear friend has struggled with fear. One thing the Lord impressed upon me to share with her was to say His name. Jesus. This morning I want to look at the power of His name. It will not be an exhaustive list but let’s look at what it means to just say the Name.
1 Corinthians 6: 11 And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.
We are purified. I think of towels we get at a hotel. They are so white. I love that. Of course, it’s the bleach..not great. When we travel to the Bruinius family, we stop at hotels and insist on baths or showers for our crew. Now after we use the towels, ahem…not so white and then we throw in the bathtub, um, after water’s been drained. Anyway, according to Paul guided by the Spirit of God, because of the work of Jesus, we are purified. We don’t walk in the ways of darkness, we can remember we are clean, made free from the guilt of sin. We are set apart. We are pronounced righteous. How? My friends, we trust in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And the Holy Spirit.
He doesn’t throw us away like a towel when we mess up. He continues to love faithfully. We confess our sins, remaining in communion with Him.

Ephesians 5:19-21 19 Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord,20 At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

We are on this earth to be an encouragement to one another. You are worth more than gold. Sharing worship with one another.

I’ve sung up front in church. I love it. I’m not a great singer. Yet, they still want me. Joy. I love it. I watch my kids worship. I get a chance to share in the ministry of worshiping the High King of Heaven. And we give thanks. in whom? Our money? Our treasures on earth? No way…in the name of Jesus. Out of reverence for the Anointed One..be subject to one another.

Philippians 2Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,10 That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus, let’s face it, stooped low to come here as a baby. He gave up so much out of His deep, deep love for us. Think of all He endured for us, God knew and He has highly exalted Jesus. That name, my dear friends, is over and above every other name. No other name has the power. Jesus’ name brings every knee down to the ground. “Should” is the past tense of “shall,” implying authority or compulsion.

So, my friend, when you are in a train wreck, emotionally speaking, call upon His Name. Confess what you know of Him. I’m going to take this with me today. God bless you. Pray on, pray on.

Categories: Bible teaching, Music, New Testament, Pictures from commons... | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Peter’s letter


Sunset condensation trail in the sky by Hakr0003

Good morning beloved!

A new day, a new week, a new chance to glorify God in all we do…My Mom just called and shared that she slept last night and is breathing again. So thank you so much for praying for her. :)

As we enter our final week of summer, I want to smash in all I can to say goodbye to a very lovely season. So many blessings have come our way! Our garden we started is giving us many good foods. Our children are thriving at our church. We are getting established in the church and people are praying for us. We have community. Ella is walking beautifully without any brace or walker. She is running.

Clematis ternifolia by Challiyan

Noah is still struggling with his leg and so we do need to carry on with the leg brace/boot. He slipped a couple of times this weekend and twisted it. Yet, he is so excited because today his youth group pastor and wife are taking him out to lunch. :)

I was hoping for a park day but rain is hedging those plans. We’ll have to see. I give thanks. I give honor to the One who brought us to this place.

Now, today we are to read all of 1 Peter. Remember, we closed Sermon on the Mount on Saturday and now to our new study! I listened to the letter by using biblegateway.com…so here is the link:

http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/audio/

Of course, we know that Peter, the apostle wrote this letter to:  “To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout PontusGalatiaCappadocia, Asia, andBithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.” 1 Peter 1:1-2

This letter is an exhortation to faith in the Beloved Trinity.

This book has so much to say to us. So much encouragement for the faithful, for those who need a lifting of their heads…God be praised for the gift of this letter.

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercyhas caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith fora salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that theproof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1

I could keeping going on…hmmm..

“9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10  for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you hadnot received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2

Prenj mountains, BiH by Martin Brož

“23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himselfbore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” 1 Peter 2

“12  Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. ” 1 Peter 4

Oh, friends, it’s going to be a rich study. I could keep going on! Join me, won’t you? And if you live in the Lake County area and don’t have a home church, please join us at Gages Lake Bible Church, my pastor is going through this book on Sunday mornings at 10:45. (Ok, shameless plug over..LOL)

Now, if there is any way that I can pray for you, won’t you share with me? Share the sufferings and be encouraged that you are never, ever alone. Ever. How ever long God wills for the blog to continue may these writings be to the glory of Him who made me. I pray for you as you read this. Know this. Know you are loved.

Pray on, beloved in Christ. Pray on!

Categories: 1 Peter, Bible teaching, Music, Pictures from commons... | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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