Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mission Day with the Kids of Dayspring...

This morning I had the joy of teaching about 20 kiddos from Dayspring about Missions. We sang a few songs, I shared about missions, and then we made tortillas...La Barra style! It was so much fun to see the little kids roll the dough between their hands and smash it in the tortilla press!! While we were making tortillas, the other kids were playing 'Tina' (pronounced teenya), the spanish version of 'Tag'. Good times...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Lead Me To The Cross

Song Lyrics by Hillsong:

Savior I come
Quiet my soul remember
Redemptions hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom

Everything I once held dear
I count it all as loss

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross

You were as I
Tempted and trialed
You are
The word became flesh
Bore my sin and death
Now you're risen

To your heart
To your heart
Lead me to your heart
Lead me to your heart

This song is so simple. The simplicity of the gospel preached brings such joy and peace. Oh that God would lead us to the cross every waking moment of our lives. Oh that our hearts would be inclined to the heart of God every waking moment of every day. I join with Paul in struggling for all believers, including myself, at Colossae in chapter two: that we would reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is CHRIST, in whom are hidden all the TREASURES of wisdom and knowledge (vs 2b-3). Oh that we would exhaust the treasure chest of Christ and that all the wisdom and knowledge we glean from Him would result in a life of praise to the King, the Savior, the Redeemer, the Father. The gospel is simple but filled with inexhaustible joy and treasure found in Christ alone. May our lives reflect the Treasure we contain in these feeble jars of clay.

Thursday, May 29, 2008 I LOVE Cheeze!

Well, this last Saturday I GOT ENGAGED! It is amazing what the Lord is doing. I am sitting back and just marveling at His awesome works!! I quote with the Psalmist:

"This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes." Psalm 118:23

I can't begin to explain the progression of our relationship and how fun it has been to wait on the Lord and follow His lead in our lives. I think even we are shocked and amazed at how the Lord has brought this about so quickly. His timing is perfect and so right and it is a blessing to walk according to what He has for us.

So, here is the story...the night began with dinner at Peasant Village in San Angelo. I had some incredible Chicken Parmesan. Afterwards, Jason took me to the Huckaby's house where we meet for small group on Sunday nights. They have a beautiful back deck that overlooks the state park. Not to mention we had already shared some incredible times of fellowship and worshiping the Lord together on that back deck with all our friends. We arrived and of course no one was home but the front door just happened to be unlocked...we went to the back deck and Jason asked if he could read me a letter he wrote me. He proceeded to read it to me and just before he finished he mentioned getting into the word a little bit. He had to go get bibles though. He came back with his bible and with a new brown bible for me...with Cara Arnold printed on the front. I opened the bible to where the bookmark was placed, in Proverbs 31, and the ring was tied to the ribbon. Jason then told me he loved me for the first time and asked if I would marry him...but I said no. Just kidding. I said yes! We then read Ephesians 5 together before he took me to the place where this blog began, Baker Street. We both love cheesecake and chocolate and Baker Street has Turtle cheesecake, which is the best of both worlds, so we took off! Little did I know that an engagement party was awaiting me! I walked in and saw two of my friends from college. Not a shocking thing because that is where we always hung out. But then my nephew Jacob came and hugged me. I thought, that is odd...and then I rounded the corner to a room full of people staring at me. Yeah...not so used to that! The sweetest moment of all was when I saw my mom walking towards me! And then my Dad!! Jason invited them to come all the way to San Angelo to share this incredible moment with me! It was the biggest blessing ever and I am still beaming with joy and thankfulness for that moment. For the actual facial reactions you can go to a blog my sister has already created at:

We enjoyed fellowship with our friends and family and some good turtle cheesecake. This past week my sister, who is multi-talented, took our engagement pics. Here are a few of my favorites!

I will keep you posted as the journey continues. I am still working with Mission Fuge this summer. I leave June 6th for Ecuador and arrive back in the states from Canada on July 29th. I will then get married four days later on August 2nd!! I mentioned that my sister was multi-talented...she and my mom will be planning my wedding. I am so excited that I get to leave and not worry about plans and then just come home and get married! Not much of a wedding planner. After the honeymoon, we will move up to Kentucky and Jason will start seminary at Southern on August 18th! So excited about being a seminary wife!!! I will find a job as a nurse and get the much needed medical experience I have been wanting. Well, pray for me this summer as I have the privilege and opportunity to invest in many students lives as well as the people we go to with the gospel in Ecuador and Canada. I'm excited to see what the Lord has planned for this summer. I love to watch Him work!! Love you all!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I like Cheeze... happens fast sometimes...really fast. Faster than I can keep up with. It amazes me to see how God is not bound by time or our circumstances. He is author of both time and our circumstances and He uses them in our lives for His glory. He is good. is life in the fast lane for me. God brings me to a place of sweet surrender before Him that He would use my life to exalt Christ the way HE has planned. A friend put it best in response to what the Lord taught me about Christ being first place and not missions, "Cara, it sounds like you want your life to exalt Christ and you just thought missions was the best way to do that." I could hardly believe how nicely she summed that up. So, I have been living life before the Lord and what He has for me. In the meantime, a young man I've known through college and served with in ministry in college and will be going to Southern Seminary in the fall, took notice of me. He asked permission from my father to pursue a relationship with me. And then he called my brother and talked with my brother-in-law as well. He passed the test and received permission and then pursued me. We are now enjoying getting to know each other and growing in Godliness together and being challenged by each other. I guess I should tell you his name. His name is Jason Arnold, or better known in San Angelo as 'Cheeze.' I would love to post a picture of him but I have yet to get a picture of him! So sorry!! You can take my word for it though that he is pretty good lookin!! Maybe next blog!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Girl's Night!!


Bethany, Me, Liz, Suzannah, Kristin, Micah, Casey, Cassidy
We ate dinner at Twin Mountain Steakhouse! I had tropical chicken with mango salsa. I felt like I was in Mexico again with the taste of spicy mango!!

Game night at Baker Street!!

K Booth, the lovely instigator of this night of fun, and me!!

My friend Bethany Russo! Daughter of Elaine Russo who has discipled me for the last 4 years of my life! Love that family!!

Just thought I would share with you some fun times being had in Angelo!! That's all!

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Song Lyrics: Karl Digerness

All my life long, I had panted
For a drink from some cool spring
that I hoped would quench the burning
of the thirst I felt within.

Hallelujah! He has found me,
the One my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies all my longings
Through his blood I now am saved

Feeding on the filth around me
till my strength was almost gone
Longed my soul for something better
only still to hunger on.


Poor I was and sought for riches
something that would satisfy.
But the dust I gathered 'round me
only mocked my soul's sad cry.


Well of water ever springing
Bread of Life so rich and free.
Untold wealth that never faileth,
my Redeemer is to me.


This morning I woke up to Kyle crying out relentlessly. As I laid in bed listening to him, waiting for Sylas to get him (I guess I could have done it!!), I thought, this is how we should cry out to God...relentlessly. If Kyle could think biblically I'm sure he would interpret his cries as "How long, O Daddy? Will you hide yourself forever?" The Psalmist says "How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?..." Psalm 89:46. Well, Sylas got Kyle and took him to the living room to give him some milk. He then placed Kyle back in his crib fast asleep. A little time spent with his Dad and some milk brought him back to a place of rest. That is so much like us with our heavenly Father. Times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord and from drinking the pure milk of the word (Acts 3:20; 1 Peter 2:2-3). Well, since 30 minutes passed and I was unable to fall back asleep I went to spend some time with my Dad in the word. I opened to Jeremiah and began to read. We studied the first few chapters of this book while in La Barra in February and what I learned then began to flood back to my memory.

Jeremiah 2:13
"for my people have committed two evils:
1) they have forsaken ME, the fountain of living waters
2) and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water."

How many times do we do this? Yes, we, me included? We turn to the things of this world that don't satisfy. It is like pouring water into a bucket that has a hole in it. It is USELESS! In this case the Israelites had forsaken God who brought them out of Egypt and made for themselves idols of wood and stone. They worshiped the gods of the nations around them. WHAT?

Jeremiah 10:15
"They (idols) are worthless, a work of delusion; at the time of their punishment they shall perish."

On the day of judgment before God, no stone or carved piece of wood is going to stand between you and the Judge and save you. Neither will wealth or riches in this world nor status or the material things of this world. Only the righteousness of Christ imputed to you will enable you to stand before the Father.

God says in Jeremiah 2:5 "What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and BECAME WORTHLESS?"

Another place in scripture (can't find it right now) says that those who make idols will become like them: deaf, mute, dead. Well, it is pretty clear from scripture that when we go after anything other than Christ we will become worthless. Our hearts are no different than the Israelites in the time of the Old Testament. We have the same tendencies to reject the fountain of living waters and turn to broken cisterns that hold no water. I was challenged this morning to once again find my satisfaction in Him alone. On the way to church this morning I listened to the song written in my blog several times and meditated on that.

Here is the fourth verse again:
Well of water ever springing
Bread of Life so rich and free
Untold wealth that never faileth
my Redeemer is to me

My prayer is that Christ, the Only Redeemer, is all these things to us, His children. May we always draw from Him, the fountain of living waters, and never thirst again but be completely satisfied in Him!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

that in everything HE might be preeminent...

For Christmas I got an IPOD so I could listen to sermons while on the mission field...but considering we keep getting kicked out of the village we go to, my IPOD has found more use while on the road driving from one place to the next in my crazy, busy life. On my 6 1/2 hour drive from Los Fresnos to my home in Liberty Hill I listened to a sermon by Dan Kirk called John Calvin: A Life Ablaze for Christ. It was incredible. I meditated on it all weekend long and it has really transformed my thinking and outlook on everything. I will give you some of the text that I heard preached and then I will attempt to explain my transformed outlook on life. Here's the good stuff:

Colossians 1:13-20 Please grab the nearest bible and read it!

The following are some excerpts from the sermon:

I want us to begin with this Scripture this morning because I think it says something
that the American church desperately needs to hear, something that John Calvin believed with every fiber of his being. Namely, that Jesus Christ is the Head of the church and that God intends for Him to have “first place in everything.”
The reason the reformation occurred was because those who were leading the church
had pushed Christ, as it were, from his position as head and had inserted other things in His place.
T.H.L. Parker said, “Rome had destroyed the glory of Christ in many ways.
1. By calling upon the saints to intercede when Jesus is the only Mediator between God and man.
2. By adoring the blessed virgin when Christ alone is to be adored.
3. By offering continual sacrifices in the Mass when the sacrifice of Christ is complete and sufficient.
4. By elevating tradition to the level of Scripture and even making the word of God
dependent for its authority on the word of man.

Here is a profound question for us to consider: What should be emphasized most in
the church? The love of God? The Grace of God? Our mission to the nations?
Fellowship? Family? Evangelism? Ministry to the poor? I contend, as Calvin inferred,
that whenever a church emphasizes anything (even a biblical mandate) more highly,
more passionately, more devoutly than the glory and excellency of Christ, that
church has taken its first step toward error.

In other words, it is possible that a church can make as its primary focus good things like evangelism, or missions, or ministry to the poor, or counseling, or Bible study and theology, and yet be unknowingly heading toward error. Why? Because none of these are the main thing! None of these should have “First place” in the church!
What is our purpose? Peter made this clear in 1 Pet. 2:9 “You are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Calvin understood that the church in his day had lost the centrality of the majesty and the glory of Christ. The question for the church in his day as in ours is never “How can we achieve the greatest good?” but rather, “How can we most effectively magnify the glory of Christ.” When the glory of Christ and the proclamation of His excellencies is the first priority, then the church is ready to worship, and study, and evangelize and serve the community and reach the nations without drifting into error.

If you would like to hear the rest of the sermon about the incredible, encouraging life of Calvin you can go to:
Scroll down and look for John Calvin: A Life Ablaze for Christ. I think you will be blessed by this man's life. I was. Now to what the Lord has been showing me and I have been meditating on for the last few days...

You all know I have a passion for missions. Where did that passion come from? A desire to let my life be worthy of the gospel of Christ as spoken of in my favorite verse, Philippians 1:27. But here is where my thinking is changing. Missions isn't the only way to let my life be worthy of the gospel of Christ. In essence, I was asking "How can I achieve the greatest good?"; in my own terms "What is the best way to live a life worthy of the gospel?" of which I would answer, 'missions.' I shouldn't be asking the question so that I give the answer. The question should be "How can I most effectively magnify the glory of Christ?" and God will answer as He daily leads me. I am not God. I don't know how He desires to use me for His glory but what I do know is that my aim should be to magnify Christ no matter what I do in my life.

You may wonder why I am thinking through all these things. As my supporters, I feel like you should know where I am spiritually. On the last trip to La Barra, we went to the beach and while the others played in the huge waves I climbed the familiar boulders at the end of the beach to spend some time with the Lord (not me in the picture).

I was distraught at this point and crying out for God to speak. It was as if he stripped me of everything, including all my desires, until all that was left was Cara Bebee. Not Cara and missions...just Cara. I wondered at God seemingly 'taking away' missions from my life. What did that mean? If His will for my life isn't missions then what is it?

It is for Christ to have first place in everything.

You know, I'm pretty good at saying "I will see you Sunday, Lord willing" and truly mean that. I truly understand that I will see you Sunday only if the Lord wills to give me life until then. However, when I say "I want to do missions the rest of my life" I never think twice to say "Lord willing." So now I am saying that Christ is to be first place in everything in my life. My desire for this life is that my life would be worthy of the gospel of Christ but instead of defining what that looks like for myself, I will daily ask the Lord to display His glory and greatness in and through my life however HE so desires. God has stripped me of every desire it seems so that Christ can be preeminent in my life. And He himself and the truths of His word have been SWEET. Sweeter than they have in quite awhile.

God may give my desire back for missions like he gave Isaac back to Abraham. But even if He doesn't it is not like I am void or lacking something because I still have Christ. My contentment and satisfaction is not found in finding the perfect team to do missions with or the perfect, most unreached tribe to reach but my contentment and satisfaction is found in Christ and Christ alone.

I can't deny what God is doing in my heart and I don't understand all it's implications. Part of me wants to muster up a desire for missions again and cling to it but then missions would be preeminent and not Christ which would be a first step toward error. Rather, I will emphasize the glory and excellency of Christ more highly, more passionately, and more devoutly than I will missions or any other biblical mandate we seek to obey and walk in. And I will trust Christ to use my life for His glory and for making Him known as He so chooses. Praise the Lord for His goodness to call such sinners out of darkness and into His marvelous light that we would proclaim His excellencies!