How do you regard authority? The centurion regarded authority as he had been taught, and Jesus was impressed. Is Jesus impressed with how you regard authority, especially the Lord’s authority? Over the years Christians have placed a premium on the teaching of the Lord’s authority: if we don’t have authority from the Lord, we can’t do this (whatever it is that might be under discussion). This frustrates some, but it ought not to. The apostle Paul said words to the same effect in Colossians 3:17, and it is only a matter of honor and prudence that we hear what both the Lord says and what the apostle taught.
That Peter had a mother-in-law (8:14-15) is not news that is of particular note – unless you address it in the context of the Catholic Church. In the Catholic Church “Marriage was never allowed after ordination… If an aspirant [to the priesthood] were already married, he had to practice celibacy from the day he became a Priest.” In order to justify their teaching of celibacy to priests they declare: “Thus right back to the 2nd century you have explicit testimony that in the Catholic Church once a man became a Priest he had to renounce marriage, and practice celibacy” (Radio Replies, Fathers Rumble and Carty, #1194, p. 242, 1938; this is a 3-volume work with the Catholic Imprimatur). From Catholic teaching, therefore, we are to understand that Peter “renounced” his marriage to his wife? Yes, that is what we are to understand. Be sure to read Matthew 7:15.
Do you love animals, especially pets? We have a house-trained dog that we love (we keep it outside most of the time). We care for it, play with it, and give it the necessary love that two people desire to give. However, the love we have for our dog (and yard/barn cats) does not compare with the love we have toward our children. This is expected, I know. Yet, when you listen to some people their regard for animals is rather unhealthy. There was once a man who had livestock, a herd of swine. The Lord knew of their value, but the cumulative value of the heard did not compare with the soul of one person.