Posts Tagged With: Psalm

Fill


Liverpool Waterfront at Sunrise – Dave Wood, Liverpool Pictorial

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

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

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

Fill.

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

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

Let us give thanks.

I will praise (thank) You!

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

249. A son captured by a book

250. A son worshipping upstairs

251. A daughter and son sleeping peacefully

252. My mom finishing my laundry

253. My dad being here, listening

254. Community in the church

255. Solutions

256. Good talks with family

257. Playing games last night

Fill, Lord, Fill us with You.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

 

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

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!

 

Categories: Bible teaching | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


European Bee-eater, Ariège, France. The female (in front) awaits the offering which the male will make. Photo by Pierre Dalous

Good morning!

I have decided these are my new favorite birds. They eat bees! How fabulous is that! I think we should, as Americans, raise a petition. Bring these birds here! Especially to Illinois. We, okay, I, need these birds, instead of these woodpeckers that keep trying to build there homes in our siding of our house. They are so cute. They bang the stinger out of the bees and then eat them. Maybe we could train them to eat mosquitoes too. I’d be willing to pay them. Seriously.

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon watching the second round of the Bible brought to you by Wal-Mart, and the History Channel, and Mark Burnett. I can’t say I was as thrilled with the second portion as I was the first. No spoilers, I promise, but I found myself wishing I had my Bible with me. I kept thinking and saying out loud, really, was it like that? Did it happen that way? Yet, friends, what I was left with, what I needed to remind myself of, the Bible is coming alive, especially the Old Testament.  How many of us as children (if we went to church) were taught the events of the Old Testament outside of the regular Sunday School stories? It’s amazing to see His Word outside of my imagination or flannel graphs!

As David walked among the Israelites, he was speaking the Word to himself, as he faced off with Goliath, he was fearless.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

I will fear no evil…

For You are with me…

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me…

Of course, this is Psalm 23. All of the my kids memorized this Psalm, so I had plenty of practice but even if I didn’t, this is an incredibly popular Psalm.  It was powerful watching David chose to walk towards this man/beast.  As Goliath disparaged the one true God, on David walked. The entire army parted ways to bring David to this man. He saw David and threw aside his helmet. Powerful. He was not afraid of a little kid. And that proved to be his demise.

I am told, time and time again. Do not be afraid. Cease striving. Cease the constant conversation of fear.  Yet to watch the men of the Old Testament face their demons, sometimes they failed, which to me, is a good reminder. They were men. Men whom God used. (Women too..)  Pictures in my mind are helpful. Remembering this scene in my mind, I know, I know my God, our God, our faithful, true God will never, ever forsake His children. We can walk through the valleys. We can be without fear.

This is not the story of men. This is the love story of our God dwelling among us.

He fights for us.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

 

 

 

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Enter in…


European Bee-eater, Ariège, France. The female (in front) awaits the offering which the male will make. Photo by Pierre Dalous

Good morning, beloved,

I am not an organized person. At all. I admit this. I admit that I try to be organized. Try to keep things in one place with labels, label-makers…and yet, if there is a space cleared, somehow stuff gets on it. I have books everywhere. I have laundry. I have a dog who steals whatever she can, whatever she can get away with…ergo, I have dog toys, bones. As you know, I also have a husband and kids..so Legos invade my every crevice, doll shoes end up caught in my vacuum. I find gloves (I’ve begun to notice we always have the right handed…) I find socks (don’t even get me started…).

So life is messy around here. We live here. You can tell. However, my desire, my prayer is that our house would be a house that welcomes God. Welcomes His Spirit. We have, as I’ve mentioned before, a whole lot of sinners around here. The Psalm that I found this morning speaks of opening the temple gates to welcome the King of Glory in.

Remembering first that…

The earth belongs to the Lord, and ·everything in it [L its fullness]—
the world and all its ·people [inhabitants].
He ·built [founded] it on the waters
and ·set [established] it on the rivers [Gen. 1:9–10Is. 45:18]. Psalm 24 EXB

Beginning with the truth that this world is truly the Lord’s. As I walk, I want to remember, He called His creation good.

Then God said, “Let the water under the ·sky [heavens] be gathered together so the dry land will appear.” And it happened. 10 God ·named [called] the dry land “earth” and [L he called] the water that was gathered together “seas.” God saw that this was good. Genesis 1:9-10

18 The Lord created the heavens.
He is the God who formed the earth and made it.
He did not ·want [create] it to be ·empty [or formless; chaotic; Gen. 1:2],
but he ·wanted life on the earth [L formed it to be inhabited].
This is what the Lord says:
“I am the Lord. There is no other God. Isaiah 45:18

He wanted life. The Lord did not want empty, He wanted life. As I invite the Lord into my day, as we invite Him into our home today…

Who may go up on the mountain of the Lord [C Zion, the location of the Temple]?

From Ness Harim, looking towards Jerusalem in the winter. Photo by Hanan Cohen

Who may stand in his holy ·Temple [L place]?
Only those with clean hands and pure hearts [C innocent in actions and thoughts],
who have not ·worshiped idols [L lifted their souls to false things],
who have not made promises ·in the name of a false god [or deceitfully].
They will receive a blessing from the Lord;
the God who ·saves [rescues; T delivers] them will ·declare them right [vindicate them].
·They try to follow God [L This is the generation/people of those who seek him];
they ·look to the God of Jacob for help [L search for your face, O God of Jacob]. ·Selah[Interlude]

I cleanse my hands. I cleanse my heart. I know that Jesus’ blood is what saves me. God’s plan to rescue, deliver and vindicate us was a plan that included His Son paying the price for sin. Lord, I seek Your face this morning. Snow covers the trees, the ground, even the fences…

we have a lot of snow!

The Lord says,
“Come, let us ·talk about these things [reason together; or settle this matter; or consider your options].
Though your sins are like scarlet [C stained with blood; vv. 1521],
they can be as white as snow.
Though your sins are ·deep red [L red as crimson/purple],
they can be white like wool. Isaiah 1 EXB

I remember. I remember His grace. I love this picture of reasoning together, settling, considering with the Lord. This is a relationship. The Lord is waiting.

·Open up [L Lift up your heads], you gates.
·Open wide [L Be lifted up], you ·aged [ancient] doors
and the ·glorious King [King of glory] will come in.
Who is this ·glorious King [King of glory]?
The Lord, strong and mighty.
The Lord, ·the powerful warrior [mighty in battle].
·Open up [L Lift up your heads], you gates.
·Open wide [L Be lifted up], you ·aged [ancient] doors
and the ·glorious King [King of glory] will come in.
10 Who is this ·glorious King [King of glory]?
The Lord ·All-Powerful [of Heaven’s Armies/T Hosts]—
he is the ·glorious King [King of glory]. ·Selah [Interlude] Psalm 24 EXB

We lift up our heads. We open our doors. We ask You, King of glory, Lord of the Angel armies, please come in. Make our hearts your home.

My thankfuls today:

Three ugly/beautiful gifts (Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare):

196. Our yard went from muddy and soggy to light and beautiful with the snow!

197. Deep cleaned our laundry room..thankful for working machines.

198. Having the carpets cleaned last week…ahhh…

Prayers for Pastor:

Pray that he will earnestly seek God’s will and be committed to instant and complete obedience—ready for God to work powerfully in and through his ministry. (2 Cor. 10:3-5; Luke 9:23-24)

Prayers for Pastor’s wife:

Pray that she will earnestly seek God’s will and be committed to instant and complete obedience—ready for God to work powerfully in and through her life and ministry.  (1 Sam. 15:22; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Luke 9:23-24) Revive our Hearts

Pray on. Pray on.

 

 

 

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


Italy, Sicily, Agrigento, Valley of the Temples, Temple of Juno Lacinia photo by Berthold Werner

Good morning, beloved,

Last night, two of our bunch were out at Superbowl parties. The rest of us might have cared if, say, Phineas and Ferb were hosting the SB. However, since this was not in the plans, we chose to watch Fractured Fairy Tales.  Surprisingly, we ALL agreed they were fun. What caught my attention was how uncomfortable I became as they twisted and remade these well-known tales. We know Cinderella, Rapunzel and we know how they should begin and end. I waited for the right ending and the credits popped up instead. I began thinking about other books that are made into movies and it occurs to me I don’t like many of those either. I have a picture in my mind of how the set should be, how the characters should look and what parts of the book should come alive.

I read parts of the Bible, I pray in certain ways, I hope God to move this way or that…I get a picture in my mind of how His help should come. Keepin’ it real. I don’t even realize how often I do this, until I sit and look at decisions I have made in this past week. My husband asked me yesterday, what if God wants to bless you in this way? Nope, I don’t think He would do that. REALLY? Who made me the Author of salvation? Freedom, for me, I pray, is that I welcome what He is doing, His will be done. Not mine. NO matter how much I moan and complain. May His will be done.

I am really struggling with this concept. No matter how my circumstances seem, seriously, I want to follow. I don’t want to keep telling God, hey let’s try it this way. (Now, you know I don’t say that, but my heart, my attitudes, my actions…) When has GOD ever made a wrong turn or decision? Why can’t I trust Him fully? What is stopping me?

16 But I will sing about your strength.
In the morning I will sing about your ·love [loyalty].
You are my ·defender [refuge],
my place of safety in ·times of trouble [L the day of distress].
17 God, my strength, I will sing ·praises [a psalm] to you.
God, my ·defender [refuge], you are the God who ·loves [is loyal to] me. Psalm 59 EXB

So join me in singing. Reminding ourselves…

He is our strength… Remembering His strength carried the cross..

Jerusalem, Via Dolorosa, Station IX – Crosses left after walking the Stations of the Cross by Berthold Werner

He is our love…. He is here. He is watching. He is…

Shepherd and Sheep by Anton Mauve

He is our defender…our place of safety…

The walls of Chlemoutsi Castle, built by Geoffrey Villehardouin in 1223 AD, overlooks the port of Kylini, from where ferries run to Zakynthos and Kefalonia. by Robert Wallace

I am full of earth
You are heaven’s worth
I am stained with dirt, prone to depravity
You are everything that is bright and clean
The antonym for me
You are divinity
But a certain sign of grace is this
From the broken earth flowers come up
Pushing through the dirt

http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/david_crowder_band/

You know what else I need to keep reminding myself? His Word. Using it, wielding it, holding on to it in the midst of the chaos and storms of life. It isn’t just for nice words, it is for use in my battles all day long.

Today is busy. This week is..busy. I have the opportunity to start right here.

I love you, Lord. You are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my ·protection [L fortress], my ·Savior [rescuer; T deliverer].
My God is my rock.
·I can run to him for safety [L …in whom I find protection/take refuge].
He is my shield and ·my saving strength [L the horn of my salvation; C symbolizing strength based on an animal lifting its head triumphantly], my ·defender [stronghold]. Psalm 18 EXB

Thank you for praying for my family. Heat is almost installed and we will be ensconced in warmth by tomorrow…hopefully. We have heat upstairs in the two bedrooms and the loft is warmish. My boy is back home and we will be working hard to re-establish  routines and boundaries. My next round of injections is Thursday. No migraine since my last round. Grateful. :)

My thankfuls:

Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare

Three gifts found in writing:

163. Watching my kids write letters to friends.

164. Finding letters from loved ones.

165. Paul’s letters :)

Three gifts found when bent down:

166. The blessing found in kneeling to pray..

167. The intricate patterns of a single snowflake…

168. A snowball!

Pray on. Pray on.

 

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Placing the day…


Winter Sunset in Pennsylvania Photo by SloMo2639

Good morning, beloved,

This morning found me awake earlier than usual. With coffee in hand, I begin my day with the Lord. I place my day in His hands.

22 The stone that the builders rejected
became the chief cornerstone [Luke 20:17Acts 4:11Eph. 2:201 Pet. 2:7].
23 ·The Lord did this [L This is from the Lord],
and it is wonderful ·to us [L in our eyes; Matt. 21:42Mark 12:10–11].
24 This is the day that the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad ·today [L in it]! Psalm 118 EXB

I look over my yesterday and ask Him to teach me. I look to my tomorrow and remember, grace. Grace for yesterday, grace for today, grace for tomorrow, so thankful for His grace. Why is life so calm in the garden?  Walking with Him, talking with Him, it’s so peaceful. and then I have to jump into my life. My life feels a little like a snowball at the top of the mountain and by the end of the day, a huge ball. I’ve said things, done things, I regret.

So I truly believe that His Spirit resides in me. So why is it so hard to live out that in front of my family?

I hear myself. I hear the fear. Do you hear it? Do you ever approach a day wondering if, in your time of prayer, what you prayed will bear fruit?

I ·look up [L raise my eyes] to the hills [C the hills surrounding Zion, the location of the Temple],

Sunrise over the Jerusalem hills. Photo by Super Jew

 but where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth [Gen. 1].Psalm 121  EXB

He is the One who helps. He is the One who made it all. So as I begin the day, I lift my eyes. I bring my day before my God, my Helper. I am not ever going to attain perfection this side of heaven, but God promises He will help. He will come.

He will not let ·you be defeated [L your feet be moved/slip].
    He who ·guards [watches] you never sleeps.
He who ·guards [watches] Israel
    never ·rests [sleeps] or ·sleeps [slumbers].

We will not be defeated by the enemy. Our feet will not move or slip. We have the Divine Guardian. He never dozes. He never takes a nap with His favorite afghan. He guards us, He guards Israel always. Promises that we can stand upon.

Western Moon setting over Mountains, High Desert, California by Jessie Eastland aka Robert DeMeo

The Lord ·guards [watches] you.
    The Lord is the shade ·that protects you from the sun [L at your hand, your right hand; 91:1].
The sun cannot ·hurt [L strike] you during the day,
    and the moon cannot ·hurt [L strike] you at night.

So friends, we live with the promise. The Lord is watching, He is the shade. I’m so thankful that God gives us pictures in His word. He is our shade. He is covering us from the sun. He is at our hand. So, as I begin my day, breathing in, breathing out. I am realizing I think tooooooo much. It is so good to remember. SO good to ponder. And duh, where are my note cards during the day with His Word scribbled? Yes, I stopped doing that, and I am going to work on that as soon as I finish.

What disciplines do you have in place that help YOU to remember? A lit candle? Music in the background? We battle. I battle. When I have these different “triggers”, I can look all over and recall.

 

The Lord will ·protect [guard; watch] you from all ·dangers [trouble; evil];
    he will ·guard [watch] your life.
The Lord will ·guard [watch] you as you come and go,
    both now and forever.

We are in His sweet care. We are protected. Five times, in this Psalm, we find the Hebrew word, shamarto guard, to protect. We know. We can trust. Faith. Faith that He will be there always.

Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare:

A gift on a paper, in a person, in a picture:

154. My kids’ pictures, writings, drawings…priceless.

155. Staying in touch with friends, near and far.

156. Seeing pictures of family vacations, delight and relaxation. Remembering…

So, friends, we have a choice. We can grab hold of what we know to be true. Place different triggers around the house, verses, candles, songs. As our world gets more complicated as the day goes by, we can stop, take a breath and remember. I’m game, how about you? :)

Pray on. Pray on.

 

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

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

Contrasts


Pig’s Ear (Cotyledon orbiculata) by JJ Harrison

Good morning, beloved,

We let the kids stay up late last night. Shockingly, some are still sleeping so I am hiding out in my room watching the sky lighten and planning my week. Listening to worship music and allowing my mind to drift. I keep coming back to this Psalm. God, Creator of the universe, forming me, molding me, knowing me intricately and loving me. How often to we pause to just thank God for our life? How often do we look in the mirror and realize just how beautifully God made us?

I have the divine pleasure of looking out my window now and seeing a beautiful male cardinal. He is a stark contrast to the browns, grays of the barren trees.

 

13 You ·made [created] my ·whole being [inward parts];
you ·formed [knitted] me in my mother’s ·body [belly; womb].
14 I ·praise [thank] you because you made me in an ·amazing [awesome] and wonderful way.
What you have done is wonderful.
I know this very well.
15 ·You saw my bones being formed [L My bones were not hidden from you]
as I ·took shape [was made] in ·my mother’s body [L secret].
When I was ·put together [L woven] ·there [L in the depths of the earth],
16     ·you [L your eyes] saw my ·body as it was formed [L embyro].
All the days ·planned [L formed] for me
were written in your book
·before I was one day old [not one of them existed]. Psalm 139 EXB

Stop. Pause. Breathe. You have a marvelous Creator God who knows you. Loves you. Nothing remains hidden from Him, and He still remain faithful and loves you.

Good grief, now I have two male cardinals outside in my trees. So beautiful! Now the female is close by. How can I marvel at His creation outside my window and not marvel at the creation that is me?

Friends, the battle of the mind is so fierce. I am so very convinced of this. Our thought life can transform us either way. We can be transformed by the renewing of our mind with Scripture or transformed by negative thoughts of criticism for self and others, fear, doubt and worry.

Today, my family will wrap up (I hope) our memorization of Psalm 15 and will continue to 1 Corinthians 13. I say that not for a pat on the back but because I am convinced of the power of His WORD in my family’s mind and especially mine. What Scripture is going to be the sword you will use when the evil one whispers today?

My Thankfuls:

A Gift in Sky, Water, Memory Ann Voskamp Joy Dare

127. My thankful in sky are the beautiful birds that have joined me for my quiet time this morning.

128. I’m thankful to have stepped out on the ice last night and watched my girl ice skate for the very first time.

129. I’m thankful for my memories of my friend, Jo.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

Categories: Cara thoughts..., Music, Thankfuls | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Darvasa gas crater by Tormod Sandtorv derivative work: Hellbus

Good morning, beloved,

The rain is pelting down, pouring out of the sky this morning. I think it is one of my favorite sounds in the world. My new phone has the sound of the beach. I think I just plain like water. One of my favorite songs is so titled, Water by Brad Paisley.  So why include a fire picture? Dunno. I was kind of amazed at the man who stands there NEXT to the crater. Ahem. Courage? Stupidity?

I woke up very, very early this morning and thought this was it. I was awake and began to read. I am aware of the battle, the spiritual battle raging inside my head. I longed to clear it. I realized I needed to pray and began to pray for others in my life. No, praise. What? Praise Him from whom all blessings flow. So I began with a Psalm I memorized so long ago.

Psalm 103:

1-2 O my soul, bless God.    From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!O my soul, bless God,  don’t forget a single blessing!

3-5 He forgives your sins—every one.
    He heals your diseases—every one.
    He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
    He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
    He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
    He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.

And then I was asleep. I gave you a different version than I know, but this morning I think, Eugene Peterson has it right. Bless Him from head to toe. Remember all He has done and all He will do. I remember pain, physical pain, in my youth. Yet I can count it on one hand, the times of sharp pain. I long for heaven where my youth will be renewed. Where pain is gone, and I am set free. I struggle with pain now. I struggle to not be discouraged. I struggle when people ask and I can’t say I’m better. I want to! I want to, but then the Lord reminds me of all the blessings He is accomplishing through this season.

So this morning, keeping it real, pain is my new coat. Maybe not forever, but I will wear it. I’m asking the Lord for joy, joy in the pain. It’s not easy. I get weepy, but as I walked through Target last night, I realized how sincerely blessed I am.

My thankfuls first today (I’m on 60!! woohoo!)

60. I’m thankful that I get time with my eldest. Time is a gift. He is growing so fast and we get to spend the day together.

61. I’m thankful for the joy that comes in the morning.

62. I’m thankful for the pain. (That was very had to write.) I know Him more, love Him more…

I decided to also share Mary’s song in the MSG version. I know I’ve gone verse by verse, but read this in its entirety and smile. Praise Him with her words.

Luke 1:

I’m bursting with God-news;
    I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
    I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
    the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
    on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
    scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
    pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
    the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
    he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what he promised,
    beginning with Abraham and right up to now.

What God has done for me…

His mercy flows in wave after wave…

The starving sit down to a banquet…

He remembered and piled on the mercies…

This is our gift today, friends. Will you receive it? Will you receive His mercy, wave after wave?

Pray on. Pray on.

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Seals on the way to Garinish Island by Florian Fuchs

Good morning, beloved,

Psalm 34:

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My life makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble andafflicted hear and be glad.

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.

Medicine lake at dawn by Florian Fuchs

Psam 34:

I sought (inquired of) the Lord and required Him [of necessity and on the authority of His Word], and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

They looked to Him and were radiant; their faces shall never blush for shame or be confused.

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles

Shuswap Lake near Salmon Arm by Florian Fuchs

 

Psalm 34:

[a]The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe] and each of them He delivers.

O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.

O fear the Lord, you His saints [revere and worship Him]! For there is no want to those who truly revere and worship Him with godly fear.

Scenic view of the Ring of Kerry, County Kerry, Ireland, south west by Florian Fuchs

Psalm 34:

15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the [uncompromisingly] righteous and His ears are open to their cry.

16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles.

18 The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humblyand thoroughly penitent.

Plain of the Six Glaciers near Lake Louise by Florian Fuchs

Psalm 34: 22 The Lord redeems the lives of His servants, and none of those who take refuge and trust in Him shall be condemned or held guilty.

Worship Him today. Or to steal my Pastor’s status:

The devil will say you’re too tired. He’ll say the music is loud and the donuts are stale. Kick him in the pants and go to church anyway. Dan Darling

Pray on. Pray on.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Music, Pictures from commons..., Psalms | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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