Posts Tagged With: Jesus Christ


Dushan Tappe, one of the suburbs of Tehran, (1899) Author: Kamal-ol-Molk.

Good morning, beloved,

Today, it’s grace that astounds me. I throw words around this blog. I write out struggles I have in my life. Rather, I hint around the roller coasters that abound in my life. My stomach settles from one coaster and life pushes me on another one. What astounds me: every time I look up, look over, look behind Jesus is there. I’m wearing my seat harness, seat belt strapped in for the ride of my life, white knuckled, and Jesus is there. For the very top of the ride, to the very lowest point, nothing can ever separate us.

As we dive back into school (the metaphors are astounding as well, yes?) , I am holding desperately to His hands. Asking God to give me, please give me, the patience, the wisdom, the sight to teach my kids. To teach them about the Word, to remember that when I start our day with the teaching of His Word, our day (while never perfect) can feel the palpable presence of His Spirit. This year I want to dedicate to teaching them about the Kings and the Prophets.

So it’s good with all my plans and ideas to remember this: I. am. loved. Period.

 Because of his love [C this phrase may go with the previous sentence], God ·had already decided to make us his own children [L predestined us for adoption] through Jesus Christ. That was what he wanted and what pleased him, 6 and it brings praise to God because of his ·wonderful[glorious] grace. God gave that grace to us freely, in ·Christ, the One he loves [L the Beloved]. 7 In ·Christ [L him] we ·are set free [have been redeemed/purchased] by ·the blood of his death [L his blood; C blood signifies his sacrificial death], and so we have forgiveness of sins. ·How rich is [or This redemption reveals the wealth of; L …according to the riches of] God’s grace, 8 which he has ·given to us so fully and freely [lavished on us]. Ephesians 1 EXB

Love. We are His kids. Grace. Free. Set free. Redeemed. Forgiven.

I take my job as teacher very seriously. I also want my house to look perfect. Ah, yes, there’s the rub. Teaching four kids at home, six people and a dog, busy schedules, the house takes a back seat. In my mind though, it brings me peace to have my house sparkling clean. So when I look around while working with the kids, I get antsy to clean up. I look around, see the piles and wonder who made that mess or that one. Frustration abounds.

I am loved.

I am set free.

So, my expectations the house being perfect, fretting about the little things does not teach my children the truths I am stating here. If I sing, Your Love Never Fails and yet, there is no hope in my speech. No laughter. No joy. What am I truly teaching? When one of my sweets goes about cleaning my Blendtec and hot soapy water shoots up like a geyser, when same child tries to make coffee and breaks the carafe, when the girl pierces her dolls ears, when their rooms look like hurricanes abound (I’m loving that word today), when laundry piles, when dishes, when books, when papers…

I am loved.

I am set free.

I can laugh. I can give grace which so freely is bestowed upon me. No chains on me. No chains on my beloveds.

You are loved.

You can be free.

Run after Him today!


288. For a book that reminds me to pause, lie down and look up at the stars.

289. For another year to teach and be with my kids.

290. For the youth ministry of Village Church of Gurnee.

Pray on. Pray on. Forgiven.


Categories: Cara thoughts...,, New Testament, Pictures from commons... | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thunderstorm near Pritzerbe (Germany). Photo by Mathias Krumbholz

Good morning, friend!

I want to a couple of resources that have helped me over the past night. Nighttime seems to have become a time, when quiet, where my thoughts assail me. Normally, I have listened to Focus on the Family or FamilyLife Today, but these were not available. (Don’t ask, new phone) However frustrating my phone can be, I have discovered the gift of podcasts.  I tell you what, anyone can host a podcast. Not only that, I am surprised and saddened by what gets filed under Religion and Spirituality! I think my dog might be eligible for a podcast. Sheesh.

I digress. Last night, I came to find the Daily Audio Bible. Lovely. Just lovely. Listening to different sections of the Bible (with the goal of reading the Bible in a year)! The man who reads has a gift. The other gift that I has been such blessing to me is Pandora. This morning, as I began my study, the first song to play was…

Sometimes, do you ever wonder if you will ever learn the lesson that God has taught you your whole life? Yeah, me neither.

I love the Lord,
because he ·listens to my prayers for help [L hears/or heard my voice, my prayer of supplication].
2 He ·paid attention [L extends his ear] to me,
so I will ·call to him for help [call; pray] ·as long as I live [L in my days].
3 The ·ropes [cords] of death ·bound [encompass] me,
and the ·fear [hardship; distress] of ·the grave [L Sheol; C the grave or the underworld] ·took hold of [reached; found] me.
I ·was troubled and sad [L found distress and sadness]. Psalm 116 EXB

Hear me, friends. We need to stop putting our thoughts as truth. We need to keep the promises of God in the forefront of our minds. Do you love Him? Do you remember at all times He hears your cries for help? I am reminded of a lesson the Lord taught me early in my time as a Mama. The Lord has been with me through it all. There is not one person on this earth that has been with me my whole life. Think about this for a second. Family, friends, co-workers all have been with me some of the time but the Lord has always been with me. All the stages of my life…daughter, student, wife, mother, friend, worker…He has walked through every bit of it. The same is true for you.

14 So [C Paul begins again the prayer he started in v. 1] I ·bow in prayer [kneel] before the Father 15 from whom ·every [or the whole] ·family [C a play on words, since the words “father” and “family” are related] in heaven and on earth gets its true name. 16 I ask the Father ·in his great glory [or from the treasures of his glory; or out of his glorious riches] to give you the power to be strong ·inwardly[L in the inner person] through his Spirit. 17 I pray that Christ will ·live [make his home] in your hearts by faith and that your life will be ·strong in love and be built on love [L rooted and grounded in love].18 And I pray that you and all ·God’s holy people [T the saints] will have the power to ·understand[comprehend; grasp] the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. 19 Christ’s love is ·greater than anyone can ever know [beyond comprehension/knowledge], but I pray that you will be able to know that love. ·Then [L …so that] you can be filled with the fullness of God.

 I ·bow in prayer [kneel] before the Father…

54 Solomon prayed this prayer and ·plea [request; supplication] to the Lord, kneeling in front of the altar with his ·arms raised [hands spread] toward heaven. When he finished praying, he got up. 1 Kings 8 EXB

6 Come, let’s ·worship him [bow down] and ·bow down [bend the knee].
Let’s kneel before the Lord who made us,
7 because he is our God
and we are the people ·he takes care of [L of his pasture],
the sheep ·that he tends [L of his hand; 74:179:13100:3John 10:11–14]. Psalm 95 EXB

… from whom ·every [or the whole] ·family [C a play on words, since the words “father” and “family” are related] in heaven and on earth gets its true name. 

9 So God ·raised [exalted] him to the highest place.
God ·made his name [or gave him the name] ·greater than [far above] every other name
10 so that every knee will bow to the name of Jesus
everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
11 And ·everyone [L every tongue] will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord
and bring glory to God the Father. Philippians 2 EXB

20 God ·used [exerted] to raise Christ from the dead and ·put [L seat] him at his right ·side [L hand; Ps. 110:1Acts 2:34] in the heavenly ·world [realm; places]. 21 God has put Christ ·over [far above] all rulers, authorities, powers, and ·kings [lords; dominion], and every other ·title given [L name that is named] not only in this ·world [age] but also in the ·next [coming one]. Ephesians 1 EXB

I ask the Father ·in his great glory [or from the treasures of his glory; or out of his glorious riches]…

In ·Christ [L him] we ·are set free [have been redeemed/purchased] by ·the blood of his death [L his blood; C blood signifies his sacrificial death], and so we have forgiveness of sins. ·How rich is [or This redemption reveals the wealth of; L …according to the riches of] God’s grace…Ephesians 1 EXB

23 He waited with patience so that he could make known ·his rich glory [the riches of his glory] to the ·people who receive his [L vessels/objects of] mercy. He has prepared these people ·to have his glory[to experience his glory; L for glory], 24 and we are those people whom God called. He called us not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles.  Romans 9 EXB

…to give you the power to be strong ·inwardly[L in the inner person] through his Spirit. 

28 ·Surely you [L Do you not…?] know.
·Surely you have [L Have you not…?] heard.
The Lord is the ·God who lives forever [everlasting God],
who created ·all [L the ends of] the ·world [earth].
He does not become tired or ·need to rest [weary].
No one can ·understand [fathom; comprehend] how great his ·wisdom [knowledge] is.
29 He gives strength to those who are tired
and more power to those who are weak.
30 Even ·children [youths; young people] become tired and ·need to rest [weary],
and young ·people [men] ·trip and fall [fall in exhaustion].
31 But the people who ·trust [hope in; wait on] the Lord will become strong again.
They will rise up ·as an eagle in the sky [L with wings like eagles];
they will run and not ·need rest [grow weary];
they will walk and not ·become tired [T faint]. Isaiah 40 EXB

Remember yesterday’s prayer? Remember Ephesians 1:17 asking the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give you ·a spirit of wisdom[or spiritual wisdom; or the Spirit of wisdom] and revelation so that you will know him better? We cannot be strong in our own strength. We cannot muster enough to endure these life’s trials alone. His Spirit! His Spirit can give you the strength and wisdom.

I pray that Christ will ·live [make his home] in your hearts by faith and that your life will be ·strong in love and be built on love [L rooted and grounded in love].

 And I pray that you and all ·God’s holy people [T the saints] will have the power to ·understand[comprehend; grasp] the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is.

Remember Standing on the Promises of God? Paul’s prayer, Paul’s petition on our behalf reverberates through the entire Bible. His love.

11 As high as the ·sky [heaven] is above the earth,
so great is his ·love [loyalty] for those who ·respect [fear] him [Prov. 1:7].
12 He has taken our ·sins [transgressions] away from us
as far as the east is from west.
13 The Lord has ·mercy [compassion] on those who ·respect [fear] him [Prov. 1:7],
as a father has ·mercy [compassion] on his children. Psalm 103 EXB

8 The Lord says, “My thoughts are not like your thoughts.
Your ways are not like my ways.
9 Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts [Ps. 103:11]. Isaiah 55 EXB

And today, before I sign off,


285. Thankful for Noah’s curriculum for high school.

286. Thankful for the gift of belly aching laughter.

287. Thankful for the splint in my mouth, that keeps the migraines at bay.

Today, friends, stand on His promises! Repeat them over and over.

Christ’s love is ·greater than anyone can ever know [beyond comprehension/knowledge], but I pray that you will be able to know that love. ·Then [L …so that] you can be filled with the fullness of God.

Be filled. Pray on. Pray on.


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

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!


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

Make ’em laugh

Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles Painting by John Vanderlyn (1775–1852)

Good morning, beloved,

14 I have given them your ·teaching [word]. And the world has hated them, because they don’t belong to the world, just as I don’t belong to the world. 15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world but to ·keep them safe [protect them] from the ·Evil One [or evil; C the Evil One is the Devil]. 16 They don’t belong to the world, just as I don’t belong to the world. 17 ·Make them ready for your service[Sanctify them; Consecrate them; C setting them apart for service] through your truth; your ·teaching[word] is truth. 18 I have sent them into the world, just as you sent me into the world. John 17 EXB

Each day we, as partakers of the word, have a beautiful opportunity to remember He is making us ready for His service. We are being set apart for service to the King. How do we keep in the sanctification process? Oh friends, to me this is where it gets tricky, as I have written before, my brain is much like a train wreck and I’m already piling up, off the track. Then my brain remembers! His Word! His Word sets us apart, for His Word is always the truth.

We have been sent into this world, so when we walk around mopey, depressed, weak, that sent process is, um, a little rocky.  I was given these words today. I know them backwards and forwards:

Trust the Lord with all your heart,
and don’t ·depend [rely] on your own understanding.
·Remember the Lord [L Know him] ·in all you do [L on all your paths],

and he will ·give you success [L keep your roads straight]. Proverbs 3 EXB

And a quote from Pastor Chuck Smith:

“If through faith you have placed your eternal destiny in the loving hands of Jesus Christ, you can be sure that God is at work, shaping the events and circumstances of your life into a beautiful mosaic that will reveal His Son to the men and women around you. His hand is on you, as it has been since before you were born.” Chuck Smith fr Okie Preacher blog 

So I remember my blessings, my thankfuls today:

223. Playing Wii last night, Luke advised Ella she was getting the stuffing knocked out of her. Ella’s response, I am getting the stuffing knocked out of me!

224. While getting my injections, the man who usually does my I.V. came in and told me he saved me. ?? They have a new person starting that wanted to try an I.V.  I blessed him, his children and his children’s children. Is it good they remember me?

225. While in the waiting room, a husband was told to meet his wife on the first floor with the car. He jumped up and ran out the door. There was a feminine coat sitting by where he WAS sitting. An older lady and I looked at each other,  smiled and went back to our reading. 5 minutes later he dashed back into the room and grabbed the coat. We had to laugh.

226. Star left me a gift by the T.V. A dead mouse, she was so proud. We had to laugh after the gag reflex and grocery bag with said mouse were disposed. She looked so proud of her gift.

So when YOU give thanks, what are some thankfuls that have made you laugh lately? (Ann Voskamp)

Will you join me in praying for Micah Ahern and Richard? Both children have cancer. Pray for their Mommies and Daddies today.

Pray for your Pastor and his wife:

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

Pray on. Pray on.


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


Rosh Haniqra, Israel. Rosh Hanikra (“head of the rock caves”) is a geologic formation in Israel, located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in the Western Galilee near the border with Lebanon. It is a white cliff face which opens up into spectacular grottos. The Rosh Hanikra grottos are cavernous tunnels formed by sea action on the soft chalk rock. The total length is some 200 meters. They branch off in various directions with some interconnecting segments. In the past, the only access to them was from the sea and experienced divers were the only ones capable of visiting. Today a cable car takes visitors down to see the grottos. Photo by Ester Inbar

Good morning, beloved!

I will celebrate the light, as I stumble in the darkness, I will call Your name by night. You are holy! You are holy!  (God of Wonders)

I took my dog outside this morning and we have snow! It was beautiful. A little chilly with my choice of footwear but still to be marveled and all I could think about is the excitement of my children. :)

Snow near a lake in Bavaria, Germany Photo by Borovino

It finally covers the land. Sledding!

So good to be in His presence this morning, I keep fading in and out with thoughts and concerns floating through my mind.

Waiting for the nerve blocks, waiting for answers for my boy, waiting for…yet will I be faithful? Will I listen?

I will be faithful. I will fall. I will serve. I will stumble. I love that God extends His hand to me. May I extend my hand to my children every time. To those who hurt, may I not walk away.

Yesterday left us in 1 Corinthians 13…continuing on. :) When I discussed with the kids again, we didn’t even move on. However, it was fun to sing the first part of Sing the Word‘s song and they actually understood what they were singing. Watching the light fill their eyes. Love it.

Next section:

I may give away everything I have, and I may even give my body ·as an offering to be burned [L to be burned].[a] But I gain nothing if I do not have love.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not ·jealous [envious], it does not brag, and it is not ·proud [arrogant; conceited; puffed up]. 1 Corinthians 13 EXB

Let’s tuck in here:

Give away:( psōmizō) primarily “to feed by putting little bits into the mouths of infants or animals,” came to denote simply “to give out food, to feed,” and is rendered by the phrase “bestow . . . to feed” in 1Cr 13:3

Jesus gave His everything, didn’t He? He did not hold anything back. He loved, He served, He lived and He died, oooooh! but He was raised from the dead! I digress.. well, no, I don’t. He is our example. He is our leader.

Rishon LeZion, Israel – The Lake’s Park with Glebionis coronaria (a.k.a Chrysanthemum coronarium) yellow carpet. Photo by MathKnight

I think of Philippians 2: (stay with me..)

In your lives you must ·think and act like [have the same attitude as] Christ Jesus. [C What follows may be from an early Christian hymn.]

·Christ himself was like God in everything [L Who, being in the form of God].
But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be ·used for his own benefit [or grasped; seized; held on to].
But he ·gave up his place with God and made himself nothing [L emptied himself].
He ·became like [L took the form of] a ·servant [slave; bondservant]
and was born ·as a man [L in the likeness of humanity/men].
And ·when he was living [L being found in appearance/likeness] as a ·man [human being],
he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God,
even ·when that caused his [to the point of] death—death on a cross.
So God ·raised [exalted] him to the highest place. Phillippians 2 EXB

God ·made his name [or gave him the name] ·greater than [far above] every other name
10 so that every knee will bow to the name of Jesus—
everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
11 And ·everyone [L every tongue] will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord
and bring glory to God the Father.

So He is our example. We follow in His steps.

However, Paul’s issue here was motive. Why give to the poor? For the recognition? For the pats on the back?

The next verses make me ill (so why not share them?):

42 But many believed in Jesus, even many of the ·leaders [authorities]. But because of the Pharisees, they did not ·say they believed in him [L confess/proclaim him/it] for fear they would

Banias waterfalls Photo by EdoM

be put out of the synagogue. 43 They loved ·praise [glory] from people more than ·praise [glory] from God.

44 Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me is really believing in the One who sent me. 45 Whoever sees me sees the One who sent me. 46 I have come as light into the world so that whoever believes in me would not ·stay [remain] in darkness. John 12 EXB

Remember how I started this morning? The section of the song, God of Wonders? Rather than call out for Abba in the darkness, to whom will they call? We know the Light, we love the Light! Let us not give out of necessity, guilt, pats on the back. Let us give to the needy, the dying, the weak because our example gave everything.

A beautiful  example of a life touched by Jesus:

Jesus [L entered and] was going through the city of Jericho. A man was there named Zacchaeus, who was a ·very important [chief; leading] tax collector [C with oversight over other tax collectors, and so even more hated; see 18:10], and he was wealthy. He ·wanted [was trying] to see who Jesus was, but he was not able because he was too short to see above the crowd. He ran ahead to a place where Jesus ·would come [was about to pass], and he climbed a sycamore tree so he could see him. When Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down! [L For; Because] I must stay at your house today.”

Zacchaeus came down quickly and welcomed him ·gladly [joyfully]. All the people saw this and began to ·complain[murmur; grumble], “Jesus ·is staying with [has gone in to lodge with/be the guest of] a sinner!”

This is a Sycamore Ficus sycomorus tree on the site of ancient Ashkalon. This Israeli species of Sycamore is different from the tree that goes by the same name in North America and some other places. It is, however, the same species climbed by Zacchaeus in the Gospel of Luke 19:4. Photo by Ian Scott

But Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord [C the scene presumably changes here to a meal at Zacchaeus’ home], “[L Look;T Behold] I ·will give [or I am now giving] half of my possessions to the poor. And ·if I have cheated anyone [or to those I have cheated/extorted], I will pay back four times more [C a generous response, since the law required only restitution plus one-fifth; Lev. 6:1–5].”

Jesus said to him, “Salvation has come to this house today, because this man also ·belongs to the family [L is a son] of Abraham. 10 [L For; Because] The Son of Man came to ·find [seek out] lost people and save them.” Luke 19 EXB

Are you singing the song yet? About Zaccheus was a wee little man? His life was radically altered, his life was transformed by his life intersecting with Jesus. We don’t know how the conversation played out before Z cried out for freedom. Freedom from the guilt, the pain, the knowledge that the life in front of him was Light itself and he had lived his life shrouded in darkness, lies, cheating. The chains were falling from Z. Jesus proclaimed blessing over this life. And notice, not just Z, his whole family

 I may even give my body ·as an offering to be burned [L to be burned].[a] But I gain nothing if I do not have love…

Back to motive. Back to our heart response. [a]Other Greek copies read “hand over my body in order that I may brag.”

David Guzik puts it well:

i. There were some early Christians so arrogant as to think that the blood of martyrdom would wash away any sin. They were so proud about their ability to endure suffering for Jesus, they thought it was the most important thing in the Christian life. It is important, but not the most important. Without love, it profits me nothing. Even if it is done willingly (Poole notes “and not be dragged to the stake, but freely give up myself to that cruel kind of death”), without love, it profits me nothing. BLB

Pause. Think about this, consider your heart. Consider.  As I sit and think, I am thinking  that I should start each conversation with a pause. Lord, help my words to be with love. Breathe in, remember His Spirit is dwelling, abiding in me. Words filled with His Spirit, especially with my children, in the moments where stress is at its peak, to pause, to hold on to my words and to love. 

We gain nothing. Nothing…without love.
My thankfuls today:

Two scrolls from the Dead Sea Scrolls lie at their location in the Qumran Caves before being removed for scholarly examination by archaeologists. Photo by Habermann, Abraham Meir, 1901-

Three gifts on paper:
160. Artwork by my kiddos
161. Certificate of our marriage…15 years later, by God’s grace and love, here we are.
162. His Word, life, my everything. May I be more and more filled with these precious pages…
Consider our motives. Consider the why.
Pray on. Pray on.


Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, New 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.





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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.


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A tiny island close to the Church in Saint-Eustache, Quebec, where the Battle of Saint-Eustache took place. by Acarpentier

Good morning, friends,

Thankful Tuesday.  I’m so thankful for all of you who read these meanderings and walk with me whether with comments, or prayer, or both. May God richly bless you for your faithfulness to His Word and praise Him who…

20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—

21 To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it). Ephesians 3 AMP

Today, we head down to Rush Medical Center. Two of my kids have appointments with the neurologist. My girl will, hopefully, be allowed to wean off her seizure meds. My boy needs further evaluations and a new plan. I will have my ct scans after the appointment. I am hoping to talk with my neurologist by phone as well to come up with a plan for me.

A big day.

Écluse du Parc du Canal-de-Lachine by Acarpentier

God gave me a wake-up call yesterday. Listening to Janet Parshall yesterday, my brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering persecution at the hand of governments across the world.  Your brothers, your sisters in Christ are giving everything for the sake of the Gospel. So when I read the passages and study these Greek words and such, I am reminded, my body, my health, yes that is difficult, but it is nothing compared to Farshid Fathi. Farshid has been held by the Iranian government for 695 days..

Farshid, a Christian convert from Islam, was charged with “acting against national security through membership of a Christian organization, collection of funds, propaganda against the Islamic Regime by helping spread Christianity in the country,” and sentenced to six years of imprisonment on March 5, 2012. Though the charge is for his Christian work, authorities tried to cast his activities as political offenses. (

Or Alireza Seyyedian is a 37-year-old former Muslim who has been a Christian since 2006. Last year, security forces confiscated his computer during a raid on his apartment. Authorities then discovered video of Alireza’s baptism in Turkey on the computer. In December 2011 he was sentenced to six years in prison, for crimes against national security and propaganda against the regime. (

So we see our circumstances, our distresses and we have tunnel vision. We forget about the world around us and focus our attention completely on our problems.

Remembering the persecuted church, remembering our family, especially during this time to be thankful. Become an advocate for the persecuted church! Write letters to the prisoners. Petition officials. Involve your children. Involve your church. Our worldwide family needs your prayers, needs your words, needs your action.

It’s time.

[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations,

So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed. 1 Peter 1 AMP

Photo prise à La magie des lanternes, Jardin de Chine du Jardin botanique de Montréal by Acarpentier

So let’s look up some of these words in the Greek and dig.

Trials (peirasmos)-adversity, affliction, trouble: sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s character, faith, holiness

The root word of peirasmos is peirazō which means “to try, make trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining his quality, or what he thinks, or how he will behave himself.”

We endure our trials, our temptations and not only does this test prove our character to God, who btw, already knows. Friends, it proves to us where we are weak, where we need to submit, where we need to humble ourselves. In the car ride on Friday, when the world felt like it was crashing around me, I endured a trial. Not well at first, but Joshua stood in the gap and prayed me through. His strength was a gift from God and his encouragement.  So rather than spinning that to seem like God is out to tag us, look at it from a different perspective.

Proof-“the proof (of your faith),” AV, “the trial;” where the meaning probably is “that which is approved [i.e., as genuine] in your faith;” The root here is dokimē: proving, trial, approved, tried character,a proof, a specimen of tried worth.

Our brothers and sisters around the world are being tested, tried, persecuted and their prayer requests? That they may stay strong and hold faithfully to the Word of God.

In our struggles, we have a choice. Will we hold faithful? Will we stand strong?

Pray on. Pray on.



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Name of Jesus

Harvest in Provence. by Vincent Van Gogh

Dear beloved of God,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Vasily Polenov (1844-1927). Sea of ​​Galilee. 1888. Oil on canvas. On the Tiberiad Lake, 1888

Good morning, beloved,

It’s been awhile! My apologies, my body has fought me this week. I can’t help but think about all the people in my life who live with chronic pain and carry on. Walk on.  If that is you, know that our God walks with  you. He knows you and He sees you. You are never alone. I have had a week of jaw pain. TMJ or  Temporomandibular Joint. Well, three weeks of headaches, clicking jaw and such, you never know how much you use the body part in crisis until you feel the pain every time you move.  Well, the hero act lasted quite awhile until finally the straw that broke the camel’s back occurred.

So my mother came blazing in to the rescue, thank YOU God, and has stayed with us this week. I got so behind on everything. And she has worked hard to bring our family back into order. I’ve missed writing and studying the Word with you.

The physical therapist educated me on my jaw, why this happens, what is happening and how to help. This visit with him was a cup of cold water. I have exercises I am doing, wearing a splint (not sounding like a complete dork), eating soft foods..and as I got upset, stressed and frustrated yesterday (not my best day), I began noticing how I clench and grind my jaw, but with wearing a splint, I’m able to feel the pain and stop. Not just so I don’t clench, but it draws me up and reminds me to calm, say verses I know, turn on the music, and breath. It’s a little like fasting..a prompt to pray, a prompt!

Let’s look at the hope we have. :)

1 Peter 1

6 though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations,

So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.

Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy.

Very red clouds at sunrise by Simon Eugster

Let’s look through the Bible together for verses that support and encourage this set.

Isaiah 12 : Behold, God, my salvation! I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and song; yes, He has become my salvation.

We are commended to remember who God is, He is our salvation, our deliverance, our strength and our song. So we need to offer our hearts, trusting in Him and not fear. So today, look through His lens at your life. Remembering..

John 16: (Jesus talking!) 22 So for the present you are also in sorrow (in distress and depressed); but I will see you again and [then] your hearts will rejoice, and no one can take from you your joy (gladness, delight).

Oh, friends, our lives can bring such sorrow. Our neighbor had the police out yesterday, forcibly removing an abusive presence in her house.  Her life is in crisis.  Yet to remember, I will see Jesus. My heart will rejoice and there is not one person who can take my joy away. Do we remember to have joy? It’s hard when pain is staring us in the face yet God calls us to trust and love Him. Even if you are clinging to Him with everything you have. 

Romans 5: 11 Not only so, but we also rejoice and exultingly glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation.

Jesus is our reconciliation. We can rejoice, glory in His love..why? Through our Jesus.

2 Corinthians 12: But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, maypitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

10 So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).


I am convinced. Loving Him, trusting Him, hoping in Him in our various trials, they will bring glory to God! Glory! Hold tight to His hand today. I’m going to exit.

Pray on. Pray on. Love you all.



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Improving the English language one letter at a time

An International company that offers private antique art sales to clients around the globe.

46 Psalm

Be still and know that I am God

brandon andress

extending the kingdom of god...


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