Need freedom?

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Reserve Haphalskyy Photo by Balkhovitin

Good morning, beloved of God,

This morning as my computer warmed up, my third was lamenting about his many mosquito bites. He was pointing to every place the mosquitos attacked. He was so tired. He was frustrated. And then a friend called, and my son transformed. He sat up. He began talking excitedly about his newest craze. I watched this rapid transformation and I muse. Get used to husband has had to..;)

Do I think my son was lying? No. I think his misery was based on a singular focus. He still has those pesky, itchy bites, yet his mind switched and he is able to enjoy his conversation. (Tho, I just saw him enter the bathroom with my phone…not sure I’m…)

I don’t like dwelling on the uncomfortable stuff, such as the Holy Spirit zeroing in on my sin or pain.  I prefer to sit in the happy places. Yet, as much as I don’t like to think upon this, some of the storms in my life are of my own doing. My own failings. Just like my son’s mosquito bite, when I am attacked by the little buggers, I long to scratch. Notice how the momentary relief becomes a more persistent itch? Kind of like sin, isn’t it? We give in to the temptation (whatever it is) and all of a sudden, the itch has become our focus. In the back of my mind, I know I should stop itching,  I should not give in and yet I do. James says it so much better:

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 [L they 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. James 1 EXB

Now here is the tricky part. Walking through the sin committed with the Holy Spirit, seeing where the temptation snagged me and understanding the root. The place where Satan knows I fall most easily. He hasn’t changed his technique a lot in my life. It all began with ….you answer for yourself. I answer for myself. And then I remember Paul. Thank You, Lord for Paul and his letters.  It is a little stick with him.

14 [L For] We know that the law is spiritual, but I am ·not spiritual [fleshly; carnal] ·since sin rules me as if I were its slave [L sold to sin; C as a slave]. 15 [L For] I do not understand the things I do. [L For] I do not do what I want to do, and I do the things I hate. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, that means I agree that the law is good [C Paul’s acknowledgement that his behavior is wrong confirms the law’s righteous standards]. 17 But [L now] I am not really the one who is doing these hated things; it is sin living in me that does them. 18 ·Yes [L For…], I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in ·the part of me that is earthly and sinful [my sinful self; my sinful nature; T my flesh]. [L For] I want to do the things that are good, but I ·do not [or cannot] do them. 19 [L For] I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the ·bad [evil] things I do not want to do. 20 So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing them. It is sin living in me that does those things.

21 So I ·have learned this rule [or find this principle/law at work]: When I want to do good, evil is ·there with me [present within me; close at hand]. 22 [L For] In ·my mind [my inmost self; L the person within], I ·am happy with [delight in] God’s law. 23 But I see ·another law [a different standard; oranother power] working in my ·body [or outward actions; L members; parts], which makes war against the ·law [standards] that my mind accepts. That other ·law [standard; or power] working in my ·body[or outward actions; L members; parts] is the law of sin, and it makes me its prisoner. 24 What a ·miserable [wretched] man I am! Who will ·save [free; rescue; deliver] me from this ·body that brings me death [body doomed to die; or burden of death]? 25 ·I thank God for saving me [L Thanks be to God!] through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Ukrainian Steppe Nature Reserve Stone Tombs Photo by Balkhovitin

So [L then] in my mind I am a slave to God’s law, but in my ·sinful self [sinful nature; T flesh] I am a slave to the ·law [principle; or power] of sin. Romans 7 EXB

Paul understands. Paul was there. You may be there. You may be continuing in a sin that the Holy Spirit is pushing you to change. You long to stop. To change. Yet, this is NOT something to be done in your own strength. My own strength, we are saved not on our own merit, but because Christ has saved us! Do you hear that?

So now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not ·judged guilty[a] [condemned; punished for their sins]. 2 [L For] ·Through [or In] Christ Jesus the ·law [principle; or power] of the Spirit that brings life set you[b] free from the ·law [principle; or power] that brings sin and death. Romans 8 EXB

The sun breaks through the clouds. Hope renewed. Lift up a shout! Run after Him!

So, today, the cross before me, my sins forgiven, I walk freely with Him. Satan whispers and I lift up my face, I turn my eyes to Jesus. I replay No Chains On Me! and declare my God saves. I am free. And you know what? So are you. You ask for the forgiveness Jesus so freely offers to you. You accept His very free, yet costly gift (not to you, but to Him).

And your heart can be free!

I gotta go..and dance with my girl.

Pray on! Pray on!


But have not..

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Good morning, beloved,

As I think I have shared with you, our family has begun memorizing large chunks of Scripture. We have memorized, the Apostle’s Creed and Psalm 15, this last month. It’s exciting for me, as I seem to have had so much trouble in the past years of AWANA land, to remember, to recall and to now move on to our next challenge. As I listened to the kids working through our next passage, if they could have sang, “watermelon, watermelon”, it would have made less sense. The words at parts are a little fuzzy and I began pausing and asking them questions about what they were able to regurgitate. They didn’t understand.

So, out the white board came, and we began working through the first couple of verses. I will admit that this can be a little frustrating for me as kids move around, touch things and generally appear to not be listening. However, when I asked for a recap, I was pleased by their recollection.

Yet, the blessings were manifold for me. I had never looked at this well known passage by taking it apart as we were doing. At first, I felt a little rocky, but I hit my stride and I think everyone was a little pleased I limited us to two verses. Ahem. (See most of my posts if you don’t know to what I am hinting..)

When I was turning in my mind, praying as to what I was to discuss, this song was the first on Pandora. Okay, Lord, let’s do it. And now this song comes in,

Want to guess what passage we are studying? :)


I may speak in ·different languages [L tongues; 12:102930] of people or even angels. But if I do not have love, I am only a ·noisy [resounding] ·bell [gong] or a ·crashing [clanging] cymbal. I may have the gift of prophecy. I may understand all ·the secret things of God [L mysteries] and have all knowledge, and I may have faith so great I can move mountains. But even with all these things, if I do not have love, then I am nothing. 

1 Corinthians 13 EXB


So we just dived in.

I may speak in different languages…we know Paul, himself, must have known at least Hebrew, Greek, possibly Aramaic, and possibly Latin. He was an incredibly gifted man. I realize as I try to research these first few verses, not many speak about who is the “I”. Paul was never bashful in sharing the good and the bad (see Romans 7) that was within him. So, he spoke many languages. The word languages (glōssa): 

the tongue, a member of the body, an organ of speech

the language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations

You may be able to speak their language. You may EVEN understand the language of the angels. Think of Paul’s life before the road to Emmaus. He was on that road, angry, bitter and revengeful, ready to rout these meddling Christians.  Then Paul met Jesus, or rather, Jesus met Paul. Before? Paul was a gong.  He was a crashing, clanging cymbal. After? welcome to the New Testament, friends. Love.

Love with Jesus standing before, behind and beside you. Me. That’s love. Otherwise, our feeble attempts alone?

Chain sizzlers in position on cymbals. Photo by Andrew Alde

Just sayin’.

I may have the gift of prophecy… Oooh. The kids and I were amazed at the words here. Easy to speak these words..

prophēteiathe gift of “the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God”

The mind and counsel of God?

33 ·Yes [L O], ·how great are [L the depth of] ·God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge [or the riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge]! ·No one can explain [L How unsearchable are…] ·the things God decides [God’s judgments] ·or understand [L …and untraceable…!] his ·ways [paths]. 34 As the Scripture says,

“[L For] Who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been ·able to give him advice [his counselor; Is. 40:13]?”
35 “·No one [L Or who…?] has ever given God anything
that he must pay back [Job 41:11].”

36 ·Yes, God made all things, and everything continues through him and for him [L Because all things come from him, through him and for him]. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11 EXB

The Center of the Milky Way

Pause and calmly think of that! Rather then utter words on your own, pray His Word back to Him. This is what I am learning. This is why I am becoming such a huge fan of memorizing. We all have our own ways to memorize, thanks be to God, I’ve found a way. You? You need to find the Word in your heart. I need to KEEP His word in my heart. Then when we pray for people, we don’t suppose to understand the mind of God, we speak the word of God.

I may understand all the secret things of God…

I think I’m just going to let Jesus take this one. :)

10 The ·followers [disciples] came to Jesus and asked, “Why do you ·use stories to teach the people [L speak to them in parables]?”

11 Jesus answered, “·You have been chosen [L It has been granted/given to you] to ·know [understand] the ·secrets[mysteries] about the kingdom of heaven, but ·others cannot know these secrets [L it has not been given/granted to those others]. 12 Those who ·have understanding [L have] will be given more, and they will have ·all they need [an abundance]. But those who do not ·have understanding [L have], even what they have will be taken away from them. 13 This is why I ·use stories to teach the people [L speak in parables]: [L Because] They ·see [look], but they don’t ·really see [perceive]. They hear, but they don’t really hear or understand. 14 ·So they show that the things Isaiah said about them are true [L In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says]:

‘You will ·listen and listen [keep on hearing; or listen intently], but you will not understand.
You will ·look and look [keep on seeing; or look intently], but you will not ·learn [perceive; comprehend].
15 For the ·minds [hearts] of these people have become ·stubborn [dull; calloused; hardened].
They ·do not [hardly] hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes
and hear with their ears.
They might really understand ·in their minds [with their hearts]
and ·come back [turn; return] to me and ·be healed [I would heal them; Is. 6:9–10].’

16 But ·you [L your eyes] are blessed, because you see with your eyes and hear with your ears. 17 I tell you the truth, many prophets and ·good [righteous; just] people ·wanted [longed] to

Warped Galactic Ring

see the things that you now see, but they did not see them. And they ·wanted [longed] to hear the things that you now hear, but they did not hear them. Matthew 13 EXB

And Paul:

25 ·Glory to God [L Now to the one] who can make you strong in faith ·by [or in accord with] ·the Good News that I tell people[L my Gospel] and ·by [or in accord with] the ·message [preaching; proclamation] about Jesus Christ. The message about Christ is the ·secret [mystery; 11:25] that was hidden for long ages past but is now ·made known [revealed; disclosed]. 26 It has been ·made clear [revealed; disclosed] through the writings of the prophets. And by the command of the eternal God it is ·made known [revealed; disclosed] to all ·nations [Gentiles] ·that they might believe and obey [or for the obedience that follows faith; L for the obedience of faith]. Romans 16 EXB

But, if you understand all of this, but have not love? (Oh, I know I’m skipping..) I am, you are nothing. I don’t want to be nothing. If I am allowed into the mysteries of God, yet I don’t share, I don’t…

I may have a faith that moves mountains…

Now I’m going to James have the floor:

16 [L Therefore,] Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. ·When a believing person prays, great things happen [L The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective]. 17 Elijah was a human being just like us. He prayed [earnestly; L with prayer] that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years! 18 Then Elijah prayed again, and ·the rain came down from the sky[or heaven gave rain], and the land produced crops again [1 Kin. 17—18]. James 5 EXB

That is our faith, friends. That is what is available to us. Elijah was just like us?

No love, though? Judgmental thoughts, gossip, anger held, forgiveness withheld? Ahem.

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]. Let us ·look only to [keep our eyes on] Jesus, the ·One who began [Pioneer/Founder of; orLeader/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 [1:3; 13; Ps. 110:1]. Think about Jesus, who endured such ·hostility [opposition] from sinful people, so that you will not ·get tired [grow weary; get discouraged] and ·stop trying[give up]. Hebrews 12 EXB

See what I mean about keeping myself to two verses? Oh, Lord, steal my show.

Hey, just an update about this family. I continued my road with my injections and since they are confident to the parts of my nerves in my neck that are damaged, we went to the next step yesterday. You can read about it here. I had one side of my neck done yesterday. The next side will be next Thursday, your prayers are coveted. Your encouraging notes are blessing. God’s word is so amazing isn’t it? And we are the body…

Heat restoration in my house began in earnest yesterday. We will be fully ensconced in the warm bliss of heat by next Tuesday. Praise God!

Please keep praying for my boy. He is having such a hard time.

Today’s time in the Word was such life for me.

Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare

Three gifts red:

157. Jesus’ precious blood, the most amazing gift of all.

158. My Minnie Mouse coffee mug, okay, it’s not all red, but what a gift from my kids.

159. My red me jammies.

Pray on. Pray on.


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“The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 AMP

Gígjökull, an outlet glacier extending from Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland. Lónið is the lake visible in the foreground. by Andreas Tille

Good morning, beloved,

God gave me a beautiful morning.  Watching children worship…oh, nothing like it..nothing, nothing, nothing…imagine heaven, then sign up for a VBS in your area…and watch the worship. Or come to mine and watch the leaders lead these kids. Here is the song that my kids think I’m “obsessed” with. Well, I supposed listening to it over and over does qualify…

Remember the verses we worked on yesterday, well, the hand signs that went with it were glorious to kingdom work. Glorious! The Spirit was moving, I will tell you what! He gave the words, He gave the motions, the kids were listening and it was a beautiful, glorious thing. Children came to walk with the King of Kings. They said yes to Jesus in their hearts. Now they need to find the King and walk with Him. He captured their interest. He captured their hearts and now they want to know Him more and more.

Friends, look around you. There are those around you who need to hear that the wages of their sin is death. Death. I’ve read a book about Heaven and NDEs (Near Death Experiences) and some are not pretty..those that experience a taste of hell. One man woke up on the operating table begging to be baptized and his life was radically changed from there on out. We get afraid of offending people. DUDE! Those who have not accepted the free gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord don’t just get a taste they get an eternity. There is not one iota of Selah in that comment.

I was asking my little third graders about gifts..what is important about gifts? All of them say thank you!! Yes, that’s true…What else? That you play with it!! True…Finally a little boy pipes up. That you open it? YES!!

Praise the One who paid our debt!Join me in praying for these little ones who have said yes to Jesus?

Here’s the verses for today:

Romans 5

While we were yet in weakness [powerless to help ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly.

Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable andgenerous benefactor someone might even dare to die.

But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.

Therefore, since we are now justified ([f]acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ’s blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God.

We’ve heard these verse, we’ve possibly pondered these verses but let’s look at little deeper, shall we? ;)

God could have turned His back on us. Yet, what does verse 8 say most vividly, most clearly? He shows, clearly proves…what is Satan’s clear lie to us so often?

God could never love you after what you’ve done. And what truth do we let go flying out of our heads? While we were STILL sinners…

Ephesians 1:

[So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the richesand the generosity of His gracious favor,

Which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence),

1 Timothy 1:

15 The saying is sure and true and worthy of full and universal acceptance, that Christ Jesus (the Messiah) came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost. (That would be Paul!)

16 But I obtained mercy for the reason that in me, as the foremost [of sinners], Jesus Christ might show forth anddisplay all His perfect long-suffering and patience for an example to [encourage] those who would thereafter believe on Him for [the gaining of] eternal life.

Isaiah 53:

All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all.

1 Peter 3

18 For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit,

Let’s take these truths to every boy and girl. And please be in prayer for those in Colorado with the wildfires, frightening times…

Pikes Peak mountain and smoke plume from the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, CO. by Beverly Lussier

Pray on. Pray on.

Two-wheel freedom…

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Pierre-Victor Galland (1822-1892) Forest Clearing at Night Oil on board – 28 x 36,5 cm Beauvais, Musée départemental de l’Oise by Pierre-Victor Galland

Good morning, beloved,

Well, it’s official. My parents now have all of their grandchildren riding two-wheel bikes. My niece and nephew had just figured it out on Monday after our crazy day. So yesterday, I was bound and determined to get our princess out on her bike. Ella, however, wasn’t having it. Fear had blinded her to the freedom that lay right in her grasp. So her were all of her siblings and cousins racing around her yelling out encouragement and pleading with her to try. She was walking on her bike, saying no way.

Then her eldest, Noah, came out, held the bike steady. She got a little weepy. Her cousin ran into her. Spacial awareness..we’re working on  it.  Then suddenly the light went on and she started pedaling and took off.  She was so excited. So thrilled. The blinders came off and her freedom came rushing in. All of a sudden, what had been chains before to Ella were gone!

Then, I couldn’t get the children off the bikes! Once, are you with me here? you taste freedom are you going to go back to the training wheels? Are you going to go back to the walking around? They were so tired by last night. I think, tho, I was more tired. Yet, as I reflected with Ella’s daddy..;)..what was even more to me, the delight. The absolute delight. Makes me teary just thinking about it. Everyone on the block must have known because Ella was shouting it from the hilltops! :)

Romans 6 

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

21 But then what benefit (return) did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? [None] for the end of those things is death.

22 But now since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life.

23 For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.

VBS’ verse of the day ties so well with the lessons the Lord is teaching me in life this week. God is always in a process of teaching me to trust and rely on Him. Just as Ella couldn’t see what I could see with the bike. She couldn’t see the freedom the bike held for her if she could just get past her fear…God longs for us to trust Him with all the stuff of our life, He has freedom just within our grasp too. Look in those verses at how many times free is repeated. It was most certainly not free to God or His Son, was it?

I listened last night as I was falling asleep to a dear woman on Focus on the Family‘s podcast…if you get the chance, you will be amazed. Replacing Panic with God’s Peace

Don’t go back to  sin, not trusting, of fear, of whatever that sin pattern is for you…get on your bike and ride with freedom. Just like Ella. My chains are gone! Jesus has set me free!

Pray on. Pray on.

Dawes Galaxy bike against a Glacier descending from Langjökull into Hvítarvátn by Bruce McAdam from Reykjavik, Iceland


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Arctic Tern Photographed in Scalloway harbour by Hugh Meechan

Good morning, beloved of God,

Well, yesterday was an unexpected day. I had my plan and then a stomach-ache made it a completely impossible to move forward with my plans. It was a day in bed. So strange. I’ve not had that before..and I’m fine today! My family went forward with their plans which was wonderful and I had quiet…no complaint..yet, I was contemplating writing another blog and I was fiddling with the WordPress site and found I have a ton of SPAM mail. I went in to clean it out and read it. Oh friends, all of this lovely email…people writing such nice things…why was this SPAM? I was so confused. People really liked me! Wow! I felt my chest puffing up.  This was great. This could really add to my blog. Traffic…and then the gentle voice of the Lord Most High…and then He led me to remember…

It was SPAM. It was the same repeating comments. They were all coming from the same site traffic. I’m not exactly sure how it works, but self-praise is a slippery slope..this blog has never been about me..this blog is about the Lord’s work in and through my life, my family’s life and Bible, worship and prayer. How quickly silly words can get my mind on the wrong I reaffirm to whomever reads this and before God, I write this blog to His glory. I write this blog to know Him and His glory. People’s praise is so fleeting and I cannot depend upon it.

No chains on me! You are always here for me, Lord.  Now, you might not have a blog, yet, how about someone commenting on your clothes, hair, children’s behavior..whatever? Do you long for that more that for the “Well done…?” I’m telling you, beloved, the praise of our people is nothing compared to the loving eyes of Jesus upon us. Stay the course. Hear the voice of Jesus saying, 20 Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,21 That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me. (John 17)

Well, let me just say, it was humbling..and now to share it with the world. Ha! Let’s head back to the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount..let’s jump ahead to Matthew 9 and see what Jesus taught the Pharisees about where His heart remained…

10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and [especially wicked] sinners came and sat (reclined) with Him and His disciples.

11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and those [preeminently] sinful?

12 But when Jesus heard it, He replied, Those who are strong and well (healthy) have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick.

13 Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy [that is, readiness to help those in trouble] and not sacrifice and sacrificial victims. For I came not to call and invite [to repentance] the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), but sinners (the erring ones and all those not free from sin).

Are you thankful Jesus came for the erring ones and all those not free from sin? Those who are weak and sick…Jesus had come to save. We have to recognize our need. Have to! Our own righteousness is as filthy rags..let’s look at Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the Law [the limit at which it ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the fulfillment of its types, and in Him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him.

So, let’s look carefully at that verse..Christ Jesus is the end of the Law..meaning the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him…so that a right relationship with God could be found to righteousness..for everyone who trusts in and relies on Him. 

Love it. Christ Jesus is the fulfillment. Are you able to grasp this right relationship for your very own? You bet your sweet stars you can…how? read that verse again! :)

Let’s now look through Matthew 713 Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.14 But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.

How in the world can you parallel Matthew 5:1-3  

Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him.

Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

and these verses? Not easily at first but keep looking..LOL. It seems counter-intuitive to be humble in the world’s eyes, doesn’t it? Being the servant, being the insignificant, the one to be ordered…I cannot say that is all the rage in our culture. Our culture is the wide, spacious gate…and it is to our destruction, is it not, beloved? We have adopted so many of the cultures’ values to our destruction, our families..oh, man, don’t get me started.

Anyway, stay focused, girl. The narrow gate..the poor in spirit…is blessing! You will be blessed, happy, envied, spiritually prosperous with life, joy…keep going…find the narrow gate!

Let’s confess our absolute need for our Saviour and Lord. Let’s stay humble and ask the Lord to help us to keep our feet towards the narrow way…

Pray on. Pray on..

No chains on me!

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St. George Island, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Photo: USFWS by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters

Good morning, beloved of God,

Yesterday was one of those crazy days where I bit off a little more than I could chew and I finally had to admit I was done. :) I am trying to get meals in my freezer with meats that I get on sale ( part of a plan..) and just to give myself a break as we go through these next busy weeks. I’m excited by what we did carry out with cooking four whole chickens and a thing of chicken thighs…but I had the Holy Spirit by the middle of it, nudging me…go spend time with My kids. So, I cleaned up and let it go. Joshua came home and we headed for the lake for a late afternoon of fishing, swimming and of course, reading. I try to read but really, I just go to gaze out over the lake. I need lake gazing time. Refreshes me.

Home for dinner guessed it..CHICKEN! and a bonfire…and the kids slept in the tent again..cracks me up. We are living the dream. LOL. My neighbor came up to me at the grocery store and said, I love your house. I have to tell you. It is lived in, Cara. You can tell you live there. When your leave your house, you won’t look back with regrets and say wow, I wish I cleaned more. I love coming to your house.

I guess I’m telling you all that because this comes after years of pain and suffering and darkness in this house where I wasn’t sure if we were ever going to have light dawning again. Hear that. If you are traveling down this road, know the Lord is good and great and can be trusted. And we have walked our house praying that it would be a beacon of light to our neighbors, how wonderful that this is what they see!

Let’s get back into our study of the Sermon..and look at the first question posed to me in my Precepts study of Sermon of the Mount and how it is answered in Scripture.

Righteousness (dikaiosynē) a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God

How could we ever attain such a righteousness when we are nothing but sinners? (Sermon on the Mount, @2007 Precept Ministries Int’l, p.16) Let’s look:

Romans 3: 10 As it is written, None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one. 23 Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives.

These verses here are an important reminder to me that in ourselves there is nothing good. :0) We’ve got nothing without Him. We all have sinned and we are short. This is where His glory and honor comes flowing in!

1Timothy 1:15 The saying is sure and true and worthy of full and universal acceptance, that Christ Jesus (the Messiah) came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost.

Paul must have shocked his readers. Love that. He did that all the time, I bet. Aren’t we all the worst? Yet, His Son came into the world to save me and you!

2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

Read it again. Okay, now, read it again. Now, pause and lift up your hands…

You are an example of the righteousness of God! He made Christ to be sin who knew no that in and through Him we might become the righteousness of God. What we ought to be! In a right relationship with Him by His goodness!! Oh dwell on that beloved!! Amazing grace how sweet is that sound! Thank You Lord!

Romans 4:5 But to one who, not working [by the Law], trusts (believes fully) in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as righteousness (the standing acceptable to God).

Thus David congratulates the man and pronounces a blessing on him to whom God credits righteousness apart from the works he does:

Blessed and happy and to be envied are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered up and completely buried.

Blessed and happy and to be envied is the person of whose sin the Lord will take no account nor reckon it against him.

Let’s pull out some facts here: not working by the Law, apart from the works he does…so let’s get that on the table. Now to one who TRUSTs (believes FULLY) in Him Who justifies (Declared or made righteous in the sight of God.) the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as righteousness.

Interesting, David congrats the man? Hmm…pronounces blessing on him whom God credits righteousness APART…

Check out this: sins forgiven and not only that, covered up and not only that, COMPLETELY BURIED!! Love that@!!!!

Then, how about that the Lord will take no account or reckon it against him. Adore that…just sayin’

Romans 7: 14 We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh [carnal, unspiritual], having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin.

15 For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice oraccomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns].

16 Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledgeand agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it.

17 However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me.

18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.]

24 O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death?

25 O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.


Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.

For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.

For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame,deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],

So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who liveand move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].

Okay, so that was a kind of lot..there, but if we are going to talk about being free from the law of sin and death and good mercies! You have to have Romans 7 and 8. I spent the entire last summer on that and probably should have spent this past year as well. Changed my whole life…

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! You remember that today. Memorize that. Write it on a notecard. Better yet write it on your forehead. ;) Ok, just kidding about that.

Pray on, beloved. Pray on.

Eclipse part 3 :)

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Broadway Tower, a folly in the English county of Worcestershire. The “Saxon” tower was designed by James Wyatt in 1794 to resemble a mock castle, and built for Lady Coventry in 1799. Broadway Tower sits on the edge of the second highest point in the Cotswolds overlooking the village of Broadway and the Severn Vale. From the top of the tower, on a clear day, as many as 16 English counties can be identified. by Saffron Blaze

Good morning, beloved,

Well, the rain is pouring down, the thunder is crashing, the lightening is flashing…it is a storm of beautiful proportions! And Noah is supposed to do a car was today…umm, yes, well, I guess the garden is getting a blessing. The car wash? Not so good…

Yesterday was such a lovely day. My first day at Lake Michigan beach..yes, it was a good day. We all got to the beach. I was able to stare out over the water and breath in and out.  The kids dived into the water. I took pictures. Umm, I did not dive in. I believe Luke had a good day. Had his favorite foods, played some Wii, cuddled a fat guinea pig with pleading eyes at Mom (rodents not allowed at Mom’s), beach time, presents, smores over an open fire, worship music in the car with all windows open singing at the top of our lungs….here’s what we was on klove.

Yes, I believe it was a good day…

Shot with Nikon D7000 at Shawnee Mission Lake in Shawnee, Kansas by Abby182000

We are back in Romans 12! You know it! If you have missed the last two days, go on back and read and come join the party. :)

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and 

well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

reasonable– “the reasoning faculty, reasonable, rational,” is used in Rom 12:1, of the service (latreia) to be rendered by believers in presenting their bodies “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God.” The sacrifice is to be intelligent, in contrast to those offered by ritual and compulsion; the presentation is to be in accordance with the spiritual intelligence of those who are new creatures in Christ and are mindful of “the mercies of God.”

Anyone want to say English, Cara? LOL…this morning with a cuppa it made a lot more sense then the world rushed in and life began. Now it seems very quiet and maybe I can finish this…

The sacrifice of your body, your living body is a choice, an intelligent choice that you are daily, moment by moment offering to the Lord. This is NOT a bowing down five times a day because you have to, not understanding the text because it is in a different language and never having it translated..this is a real choice made with the God of the universe vitally interested, intrigued and loving the socks off ya.

You present your body because as you made the choice, the decision to give your life to Christ once, you now are a new creature in Christ and the old is gone and new has come! You are ever, ever mindful of the beautiful, wonderful, ever present gifts/mercies of GOD!

Better? ;) It is to me..I had to work that out in my brain…

Annular eclipse 05/20/2012 as seen from Wolfforth, Texas, USA by Eddie Wimberley

Do not be conformed to this world (this age)…

Fashion (conformed):

“to give the same figure or appearance as, to conform to, signifies “to fashion oneself, to be fashioned,” Rom 12:2,

Note: In Rom 12:2 being outwardly “conformed” to the things of this age is contrasted with being “transformed” (or transfigured) inwardly by the renewal of the thoughts through the Holy Spirit‘s power.

Taken from New Harmony, Utah. May 20, 2012 by makelessnoise from Bountiful, Utah, USA

but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude]…

Oh, beloved, transformed, changed, so wonderful..we don’t want to be wear the filthy rags of this world. We don’t want to fashion ourselves to the things of this age. Rather, Paul has on His mind the Author and Finisher of our faith. You know how I know that? Well, let’s look at the word transformed

…Christ appearance was changed and was resplendent with divine brightness on the mount of transfiguration.  Lovely..:)

…of believers, Rom 12:2, “be ye transformed,” the obligation being to undergo a complete change which, under the power of God, will find expression in character and conduct…the present continuous tenses indicate a process; 

Pay attention to what is in italics, beloved! The present continuous tenses indicate a process…in motion. New ideals, new attitudes..

Annular eclipse (Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan) by Σ64

so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God…

prove-to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals

will-what one wishes or has determined shall be done, a) of the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ, b) of what God wishes to be done by us

even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]…

What a verse! What a promise..So let’s review. Of course…

  1. Always keep in mind the mercies of God
  2. Decide, decisively, to dedicate your body as a LIVING sacrifice
  3. This is a holy and well pleasing act of continuous service and worship to God
  4. With this in mind, do not fashion yourself to this age, this world
  5. Rather be transformed (like your Savior) by the entire renewal of your mind
  6. With this transformation, you will be able to prove for yourselves the good and perfect will of God..
  7. Not only that, EVEN the thing which is GOOD, and ACCEPTABLE, and PERFECT in His sight for you…
Anyone need that today? :) I sure do..
Pray on, beloved.