Posts Tagged With: HolySpirit

Need freedom?

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!


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A Panoramic View of Florence from Bellosguardo Painting by Thomas Patch (1725 – 1782)

Good morning, beloved!

13 I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with ·much [L all] joy and peace ·while you trust[because you trust; through your faith] in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15 EXB

I’m going to admit to you, dear reader, that today I need these verses. I need to cling to the God of hope today. I cannot make myself hope and have joy and peace. These promises are found in faith in Him and Him alone. So let’s look at some cross references for these verses from the Blue Letter Bible.

I pray that the God who gives hope…

May ·the patience and encouragement that come from God [Lthe God of patience and encouragement] ·allow you to live in harmony with each other the way Christ Jesus wants [or grant you the same attitude with each other that Christ Jesus had]. Romans 15 EXB

16 The Lord ·will roar like a lion from Jerusalem [L roars from Zion];
his loud voice will thunder from ·that city [L Jerusalem],
and the ·sky [heavens] and the earth will shake.
But the Lord will be a ·safe place [refuge] for his people,
a ·strong place of safety [stronghold] for the ·people [L sons; T children] of Israel. Joel 3 EXB

1 From Paul, an ·apostle [messenger] of Christ Jesus, by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus our hope. 1 Timothy 1 EXB

will fill you with ·much [L all] joy and peace ·while you trust[because you trust; through your faith] in him.

 Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. ·Trust [Believe] in God, and ·trust [believe] in me[or You trust/believe in God, trust/believe also in me]. John 14:1 EXB

27 “I leave you peace [C the Greek word for “peace” reflects the Hebrew shalom, a typical Hebrew farewell; but Jesus’ peace, in the sense of wholeness, is also a characteristic of the messianic kingdom]; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid. John 14 EXB

16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through his grace gave us eternal ·comfort [encouragement] and a good hope, 17 ·encourage [comfort] you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. 2 Thessalonians 2 EXB

Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.

And ·patience [endurance] produces[tested and proven] character, and [tested and proven] character produces hope. And this hope will never ·disappoint us [let us down; or put us to shame; dishonor us; C honor and shame were among the most important values in first century culture], because God has ·poured out his love to fill our hearts [or flooded our hearts with his love]. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us. Romans 5 EXB

And God can ·give you more blessings than you need [L overflow/abound all grace to you]. Then ·you will always have plenty of everything [L in all things at all times you will have all you need]— ·enough to give to [abounding/overflowing in] every good work. 2 Corinthians 9 EXB

He is sufficient. He is more than enough.

So today, friends, as you face your day, remember, He is enough. He is worth living for, He is still more awesome than we can even imagine.  As trials come today, as encouragement comes..whatever you face today, face it knowing that He is more than enough.

My thankfuls:

220. My church family checking up on me, praying for me and loving me and my family.

221. For children who want to spend time with one another and with us.

222. Thankful for my Dad willing to do whatever he can to help.

Prayers for your Pastor and his wife:

Day 18 Pray that your pastor and his wife will be people of prayer and worship, and that they will lead by example—teaching the congregation how to walk in a close relationship with the Father. (1 Thess. 5:17; Acts 1:14a; Matt. 4:10; Mark 1:35; Luke 22:46) Revive Our Hearts

Pray on. Pray on.


Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, New Testament, Old Testament, Thankfuls | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Dawn at Swifts Creek. Photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

Good morning, beloved,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My thankfuls today (what are yours?)

211. For my parents coming and helping us.

212. For dear friends’ blessings.

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

For our Pastors and their wives:

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

Pray on. Pray on.


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A lighthouse on the islet of Keri, Estonia. Photo by Andrus Uuetalu

Good morning, beloved,

I was reminded of two prayers yesterday. After a day of much frustration and weeping with my children, grinding through a day that did not reflect all that He had shown me that morning. I sat numb after the kids went to AWANA. My children depend on routine and that was a fail yesterday. After shoveling, I thought it would be fun to make scones and try something new for breakfast. Fail.  It was not the routine. And we began a day of fighting and walls. Friends, it just was a pit day. I know you know what I mean.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps. Psalm 40 NKJV

Last night I was reminded. Do you remember me telling about Mike and Wendy Lambert? Well, they have been working hard to find people to support them so they can head to the mission field. They have been praying, hoping for God to open doors. And yesterday, God opened a door. Chris Fabry will be hosting them on his program today at 2pm CST! They will be given a chance to share their story. Will you join me in praying for them today? And the link on Chris Fabry will take you to his program today so you can listen either live or a recording. Join me won’t you?

God is always working. God is always fresh and moving and holy. Look at this first prayer 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.

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.

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. Thomas Ken

Declaring over this day.  Awake my soul! I my vows to thee renew. Guard my first springs of though and will. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! You are the one to be glorified with this day. As I get into the nitty gritty of this day, I remember You are directing this day. I do not begin this day in my own strength.

I heard Chris Fabry’s conversation with John Eldridge last night. He said he has been praying a simple prayer as he walks into a conversation, or phone call, or work. Jesus in me, Jesus, help me with this _____.

Jesus is with us. Jesus is in us. Here is the other prayer:

Ransomed Heart


Christ with me, Christ before me,Christ behind me,Christ in me, Christ beneath me,Christ above me,Christ on my right, Christ on my left,Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,Christ when I stand,Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,Christ in every eye that sees me,Christ in every ear that hears me.


It is a good morning.



My thankfuls:


208. New mornings


209. Danny finishing his memorizing of the 10 commandments


210. For wide open doors :)


Prayers for your pastor and his wife:


Friends I am going to be praying that part of the Breastplate prayer! Christ with me, Christ before me,Christ behind me,Christ in me, Christ beneath me,Christ above me,Christ on my right, Christ on my left,Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,Christ when I stand,Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,Christ in every eye that sees me,Christ in every ear that hears me.


Thank You, Lord, for a new day! Pray on. Pray on.







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

The Second Severn Crossing carrying the M4 motorway across the River Severn between Severn Beach near Avonmouth in south west England and Caldicot in south Wales. This view, composed from 16 separate images, is looking west from the English side. The bridge has a total span of 5.1 km and includes a cable-stayed section called the Shoots Bridge which spans the shipping channel between the two towers. The River Severn has a vast tidal range – the point from which this photograph was taken would be covered at high tide. Photo by Yummifruitbat

Good morning, beloved,

Snow day! Beautiful, fluffy snow has covered our landscape. Yesterday was a fun day filled with school, playing outside, listening to our books and shockingly, I made bread. Ok, well, Joshua helped but it worked. I, of course, used a recipe. I am a recipe girl. I cannot seem to veer off the recipe more than just a smidge. We made it and it was good. Gluten free, dairy free bread smells filled our house.There is pleasure for me to have baking work for me.

I want that for my children. I want that we do this and this and this and they will pop out of the oven (well, ok, leave us to make their way in the world) as devoted followers of Christ. I read books, I listen to people farther along in the journey, I want reassurance. I realize what I’m doing. I’m living in our tomorrow when God has given us grace for this day. This moment. Today.

Lamentations 3:

22 The Lord’s ·love [loyalty] never ends;
his ·mercies [compassion] never stop.
23 They are new every morning;
Lord, your ·loyalty [faithfulness] is ·great [abundant; Ps. 33:492:2143:1].

24 I say to myself, “The Lord is ·mine [L my lot/portion],
so I hope in him.”

I cannot place my hope in a program. I cannot place my hope in a book I read and the formula there-within. Friend, where do we place our hope? The Lord.

Living in His love that never ends.

His mercies that never stop.

His love, His mercy is new every morning.

His faithfulness, His loyalty is great. Abundant.

So, lets say to ourselves, the Lord is mine. (He’s yours too.)

Place not your hope in your circumstances. Do not allow yourself to wander in the fields of hopelessness. Come back into His mercies. His faithfulness. His loyalty. His hope.

Hearing In Christ Alone…reminding myself, I live in Christ. This is truly living. Not allowing Satan to be the whisper in my mind, but rather His word, His life. Join me today? Step on the snake today. (Ann Voskamp)

My thankfuls (what are yours?)

205. Thankful for worship. Taking my mind off me. Placing it on worship of God Almighty.

206. Thankful for the convictions of the Holy Spirit. Humbled.

207. No matter what the news says, the earth is filled with His glory. Praise God!

Prayers for your Pastor:

Read This:

Pray on. Pray on.



Categories: Bible teaching | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A list…

Panoramic image of the Morteratsch glacier in the Bernina Range. Photo by Daniel Schwen

Good morning, beloved,

A quiet morning, this morning is turning out to be. Everyone is  still. I like peaceful. Who doesn’t, right? After the last couple of days, a quiet start to our day is a very, very nice change. On Tuesday, Ella lay listless and curled in a ball. I did everything I could with her, and finally, after a sleepless night, we took her to the pediatrician. She had a bunch of tests done and it was determined that she had some inflammation in her appendix, a fever and her blood numbers were slightly elevated. So they wanted to observe her overnight in the hospital.  We began praying. That night, a surgeon came in to see her and looked at me, looked at my girl and said, this is not appendicitis. I was starting to wonder myself. She was hooked up to an IV and starting to perk up, starting to get color again. So we were released from the hospital that night. Pray is amazing. Life changing.

So, yesterday was one of those battling days for me which is strange considering how amazing the week was watching God heal my girl and the body of Christ come to our aid. As I battled, this picture was shared with me.

And I have to say, well timed, God. Well timed. :)

God's voice

God’s voice vs. Satan’s voice


Which got me to thinking about where this author got each of these bullet points..

And I decided I needed to update this for me.

God stills:

Psalm 46: 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.”

God leads:

2 Corinthians 2: 14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s victory ·parade [procession; C the image is of a victorious Roman general leading his army and his captives through the streets]. God uses us to spread ·his knowledge everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume [L the aroma/fragrance of the knowledge of him; C incense or spices were burned during such victory parades].

Isaiah 48: 17 This is what the Lord, ·who saves you [your Redeemer],
the Holy One of Israel [1:4], says:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you ·to do what is good [what is best; or how to succeed],
who leads you in the way you should go.

God reassures:

Okay, so I looked up the word reassures: Say or do something to remove the doubts and fears of someone. ( So, I began to look for ways God, in the Word, removes our doubts and fears. Paul reminds us in Romans 8:

37 But in all these things we are completely victorious through ·God [or Christ; L the One] who showed his love for us. 38 Yes, I am ·sure [convinced] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor ·ruling spirits [or heavenly rulers; or demons; L rulers; T principalities], nothing ·now [in the present], nothing in the future, no ·powers [or spiritual powers/authorities], 39 ·nothing above us [or no powers in the sky], ·nothing below us [or nor powers in the depths], nor ·anything else in the whole world [any created thing] will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God enlightens:

Ephesians 1: 13 So it is with you. When you heard the ·true teaching [message/word of truth]—the ·Good News about [Gospel of] your salvation—you believed in Christ. ·And in Christ, God put his special mark of ownership on you by giving you [L …having been sealed with] the Holy Spirit that he had promised. 18 I pray also that ·you will have greater understanding in your heart [L the eyes of your heart may be enlightened] so you will ·know [comprehend] the hope to which he has called us and that you will know ·how rich and glorious are the blessings God has promised [the riches of his glorious inheritance for; or the glorious wealth of an inheritance that God possesses in] ·his holy people [T the saints].

God encourages:

1 John 4

17 This is how love ·is made perfect [is made complete; comes to full expression] ·in [or among] us: that we can ·be without fear [have boldness; have confidence; 2:28;3:215:14] on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him [C probably referring to Christ, our example of love]. 18 ·Where God’s love is, there is no fear [L There is no fear in love], because ·God’s perfect love drives out fear [T perfect love casts out fear]. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made ·perfect [complete] in the person who fears [C fear of punishment, not an appropriate fear of God; compare Prov. 1:72 Cor. 7:15Phil. 2:12].

God comforts:

2 Corinthians 1: 3 ·Praise be to [Blessed is/be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father who is full of ·mercy [compassion] and all ·comfort [encouragement]. He ·comforts [encourages] us ·every time we have [L in all our] ·troubles [trials; tribulation], so when others have ·trouble [any trials/tribulation], we can ·comfort [encourage] them with the same ·comfort [encouragement] God gives us. [L For just as] ·We share in the many sufferings of Christ [L Christ’s sufferings abound in us]. In the same way, ·much comfort comes to us [L our comfort abounds] through Christ. If we have ·troubles [trials; tribulation], it is for your ·comfort [encouragement] and salvation, and if we ·have comfort [are encouraged], ·you also have comfort [or it is for your comfort/encouragement]. This helps you to accept patiently the same sufferings we have. Our hope for you is ·strong [unshaken; firm], knowing that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the ·comfort [encouragement] we receive.

God calms:

2 Timothy 1:7 [L For] God did not give us ·a spirit [or the Spirit] that makes us ·afraid [timid] but ·a spirit [or the Spirit] of power and love and ·self-control[self-discipline; or good judgment].

God convicts:

Ummm…Psalm 51. Here’s a part:

God, be ·merciful [gracious] to me
·because you are loving [according to your love/loyalty].
·Because you are always ready to be merciful [According to your abundant compassion],
·wipe [blot] out all my ·wrongs [transgressions].
Wash ·away [L me thoroughly from] all my guilt
and make me clean ·again [L from my sin].

Of course, this is NOT an exhaustive list of each of these bullet points. I have no idea who wrote this list, however, I thank him/her for reminding us to be bold in recalling His word when we are in the battle. Test your thoughts. Make sure that you are hearing His word in your mind.

Prayers for your Pastor and his wife:

Pray that your pastor will love God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. Pray that God’s Spirit will work in his heart in power and that he will value and follow biblical priorities. (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 6:33) Revive Our Hearts

My thankfuls:

199. A simple list that reminds…

200. Friends who check in…

201. Snow that remains…


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


Tree with visible roots in Kiental, between Herrsching and Andechs, Germany by

Good morning, beloved,

I wonder, this day, what it will be like to open my eyes and behold the glory of Heaven for the first time. Sometimes, I think, on this side of heaven, my courage is small. I say these two statements after beginning a three-hour movie last night. Five stories of men and women from across the Muslim world who had radical encounters with Jesus in dreams and visions. Their lives were radically changed as they beheld the glory of Jesus.  Their hearts’ cry was to know and understand more about God. He came to them.

The movie is, More Than Dreams and here’s a blurb:

For decades, a phenomenon has been recurring in the Muslim world. Men and women – without any knowledge of the Gospel and without any contact with Christians – have been forever transformed after experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus Christ. Reports of these supernatural occurrences often come from “closed countries” where preaching the Gospel is forbidden and where converting to Christianity can invoke the death sentence. A common denominator appears to be that the dreams come to those who are seeking to know and please God. We decided to capture some of these stories and use them as a witnessing tool to Muslims all over the world.

Real-life Stories
Through many personal interviews, we selected five true-life stories of
former Muslims who now know Jesus as their Savior. From the outset, the producers endeavored to represent a global cross-section of Islam, and for that reason, stories were selected from Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Nigeria, and Indonesia. More Than Dreams re-created each of these stories, producing each in its original language, in a docudrama format and shot in high-definition video. The movies include a ministry segment explaining what it means to follow Christ and leading viewers in the salvation prayer.

After an encounter with Jesus, these people, each one, made radical decisions to follow Jesus, no matter the persecution that followed. And it was severe. The rage of the families who saw this transformation…

Give me Jesus. As we watched, Dad quoted a passage from Joel 2

28 “After this,
I will pour out my Spirit on all ·kinds of people [humanity; flesh; Acts 2:17–21Is. 32:15;Ezek. 39:29Zech. 12:10].
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
and your young men will see visions.

The word pour here, shaphak, means:

b) (Niphal) to be poured out, be shed, 

2) to pour out oneself

Pour out. Not holding anything back. Being poured out like a drink offering, pour out one’s soul.  What does that look like in Scripture?

Isaiah 32:

15 This will continue until ·God pours his Spirit [L the Spirit is poured] from ·above [heaven; T on high] upon us.
Then the desert will be like ·rich farmland [a fertile/fruitful field]
and the ·rich farmland [fertile/fruitful field] like a forest [29:1735:12].
16 Justice will ·be found [L dwell] even in the desert,
and fairness will be found in the ·rich farmland [fertile/fruitful field].

Ezekiel 39:

27 I will bring the people back from ·other lands[the nations/peoples] and gather them from the lands of their enemies. So I will use my people to ·show many nations that I am holy [L display my holiness in the eyes of many nations.]. 28 Then my people will know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them into ·captivity [exile] among the nations, but then I ·brought them back [gathered them] to their own land, leaving no one behind. 29 I will not ·turn away [L hide my face] from them anymore, because I will put my ·Spirit [or spirit] into the ·people [L house] of Israel, says the Lord God [11:1936:26–2737:14].”

How about in the New Testament?

Acts 2 describes such an occurrence:

When the day of Pentecost [C a harvest festival fifty days after Passover, celebrating the firstfruits of the crops (while on this day the firstfruits of the Spirit); Ex. 34:22Deut. 16:1016] ·came[arrived], they were all together in one place. Suddenly a ·noise [roar] like a ·strong [violent], ·blowing [rushing] wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw something like ·flames [L tongues] of fire ·that were separated [that were divided; or that spread out] and ·stood [came to rest] over each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak ·different [other; or foreign] ·languages [L tongues] by the power the Holy Spirit was giving them [C reversing the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel; Gen. 11:1–9].

For me, bells are ringing. Lights are flashing. (Okay, not really). Remember what we worked on yesterday?

Philippians 2:

17 Your faith makes you offer your lives as a sacrifice in serving God. [L Even] If I ·have to offer my own blood [L am poured out as a drink offering] with your sacrifice, I will be ·happy [rejoicing] and full of joy with all of you. 

Paul willing to be a drink offering, willing to be poured out and his soul’s response? Joy. Joy to the fullest measure.

God pouring out His Spirit and then men and women would dream dreams…the response of those people who meet Jesus in dreams? Willing to sacrifice it all for the sake of the One they encounter. As each one describes Jesus, eyes light up, demeanor changes…joy has been gifted to them.

We offer our lives as a drink offering to Jesus. Yet, we aren’t the only ones here pouring out. Are we? God’s Spirit pouring out across barriers, reaching, touching, blessing, encouraging, asking each, will you follow Me?

My thankfuls today:

3 gifts from God’s Word:

118. I’m thankful today that God does not hold anything back. I’m thankful He gave us everything. He gave us His Son.

119. I’m thankful for the word pour today. He pours. We accept. We pour. We are blessed with joy.

120. I’m thankful for courage. Not because of anything I’ve done, it’s all because of pouring. ;)

Pray on. Pray on.





Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, New Testament, Old Testament, Thankfuls | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Steal my show…

A Barn Swallow by sanchezn

Good morning, beloved,

My family has been captured this week by a song. We all crowded around the computer to listen and watch. TobyMac pegged it. I realize as I begin a new year, typing away with this blog, homeschooling, family, friendships, church life..this is my prayer:

Another cold night
Another late flight
It’s almost show time, and Diverse City’s waitin’ on me
We got a packed house, the crowd is callin’ out
They want the beat to drop, but what we really need is You

If You wanna steal my show, I’ll sit back and watch You go
If You got somethin’ to say, go on and take it away
Need You to steal my show, can’t wait to watch You go
So take it away

So now the crowd is hype, that You showed up tonight
Anticipatin’, cravin’ somethin’ more than smoke and lights
So I’ll step out the way, I’ll give You center stage
Give ’em what they came for …


When You arrive, we come to life
Our hearts collide, they’re beating in the same time
You’re comin’ through, all eyes on You
Our hearts collide, they’re beating in the same time, beating in the same time

No matter who we are, no matter what we do
Every day we can choose to say …


My life
My friends
My heart
It’s all Yours, God
Take it away
My dreams
My fears
My family
My career
Take it away
Take it away
It’s all Yours, God
Take it away
Take it away
It’s You I wanna live for AZlyrics

Pray this with me? Pray that He takes center stage in our lives. All of our stuff…all of our dreams. fears. We want to live for God. Not for our stuff…
So this morning, as I begin my day, I opened the Biblegateway website, the verse of the day jumped off the page to me. Oh, Father God, steal my show.
13 because God is working in you ·to help you want to do and be able to do [L both to will/desire and to work] what pleases him.

14 Do everything without ·complaining [grumbling] or arguing. 15 Then you will be ·innocent[blameless] and ·without any wrong [innocent; pure; harmless], God’s children without ·fault[blemish; C as are sacrificial animals]. ·But you are living with people that are crooked and evil [L …in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation; Deut. 32:5], among whom you shine like stars in the ·dark world [or sky; L world]. 16 You ·offer [or hold firmly/fast to] the ·teaching that gives life[message/word of life]. So ·when Christ comes again [L on the day of Christ; C judgment day], I can ·be happy [L be proud; boast] because I ·ran the race and won [L did not run for nothing/in vain]. ·My work was not wasted [L …nor did I labor for nothing/in vain].

17 Your faith makes you offer your lives as a sacrifice in serving God. [L Even] If I ·have to offer my own blood [L am poured out as a drink offering] with your sacrifice, I will be ·happy [rejoicing] and full of joy with all of you. Philippians 2 EXB

God is working. God helping you. He is helping me WANT to what pleases Him. What a tremendous statement..He is helping us want. Want is a funny thing to me. My kids want this toy or that game or that food. I want to have this book, this time, this object. That “want”, God is remodeling my want to be what pleases Him. He is also molding my ability, my work to be shaped into pleasing Him. Notice how much work I’m doing right there. You are doing right there. God is working. God is molding. We need to be willing…

Do everything without complaining or grumbling…THEN:

We can be the innocent, blameless sacrificial animal..stay with me here. He made us. He knew us before we were a twinkle in our parents’ eye. He breathed life into our beings. We were meant to offer our lives back to our Creator. Lifting up ourselves as an offering back to Him. We are to be bright lights shining in a dark, perverse world.

We are to allow our lives to be poured out, our faith is a sacrifice, our lives are to lifted back up…then we will be rejoicing, full of joy.

Sounds strange, when we give Him our hurts, our pain as a sacrifice, this bloody, painful mess, He gives us the ability to use our pain to actually be blessing.  Allow Him to steal our show. Allow Him to be thriving, molding and living in your heart. My heart.

My thankfuls today:

From Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare:

A gift bringing laughter, prayer and quiet:

115. Watching my kids laugh..I mean belly laugh. Thank You.

116. My dear Pastor’s wife, so thankful for her today, praying for her today as she opens her eyes to the one year anniversary of losing her beloved Mama.

117. The gift of early mornings, the quiet, hearing His voice, thank You.

Friends, it is counter intuitive to me to serve, give til it hurts, yet in the end, the blessings are so amazing. Lift up your lives to Him. Give Him willingly what has always been His, anyway.

Pray on. Pray on.




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

Know the dance

Sunset by Hühnerauge

Good morning, beloved,

My daughter was able to start swim lessons last night. She danced her way through the day, so excited to be in the water. Little murmurs all day, Mommy, I cannot wait! Telling everyone she could. I wonder if this is a trait in other children, but when my younger set gets excited they bounce.  When my Luke was playing soccer this fall, he practically jumped up and down the entire game. So excited to just be playing. Ella got in the water last night and I watched her from afar and she bounced the whole time. I asked her if she was cold and she looked at me strangely and replied no…Mommy, I just was so excited to be in the water. I danced.

When my children play the Wii, they jump up and down while playing. I’ve reprimanded them because it bothers other players. Now, I wonder…

I love watching my children dance.

So when the fighting comes, the discontent mars their faces, tears stream down their cheeks, at the core for me is this: why?

Sin mars. Self focused. We forget to dance. We forget to jump up and down because of the joy that lives inside of us.

John 8:

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, “If you ·continue to obey my teaching[L remain/abide in my word], you are truly my ·followers [disciples]. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will ·make [set] you free.”

33 They answered, “We are Abraham’s ·children [descendants; L seed; Gen. 12:1–3], and we have never been anyone’s slaves. So why do you say we will be free?”

34 Jesus answered them, “·I tell you the truth [L Truly, truly I say to you], everyone who ·lives in sin[commits/practices sin] is a slave to sin. 35 A slave does not ·stay with a family [live in the household] forever, but a son ·belongs to the family [lives in the household] forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be ·truly free [T free indeed].

If we remain in His word, we are His followers.

Know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Remain. Know. Free. Yesterday, my daughter got married. Yup. Very exciting. And during the ceremony, she was to read part of the Bible, but she’s still getting her wings with reading. I encouraged her to sing the Apostle’s Creed as we have been learning it with the Sing The Word soundtrack. She sang the whole thing.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

Amen. Common Worship

Friends, memorize the word. Know the word. And you’ll dance. You’ll jump up and down. Joy. Freedom. 

Know His Word. 
My thankfuls today:
A gift worn, A gift given, shared:
112. My Grandma’s wedding ring..I think of her so often. And I miss her, yet I’m so thankful she’s dancing in glory.
113. Thankful to be able to make gifts for Christmas and give them. 
114. Thankful to begin to be able to have friends over and share a meal.  (Joy Dare, January, Ann Voskamp)
Pray on. Pray on.


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

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 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.


Categories: Bible teaching | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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