Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Word-filled Wednesday

A squirrel decided to come visit my cat on the second floor of our townhouse.
At one time, they touched paws through the screen.  Such a brave little fellow.

I named the squirrel, "Peanut."
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

It's amazing how far a little faith can take you.  It's all about deciding not to give in- to others, to your own doubts-but to strut into your future, committing your way to Jesus.  It's laughing at your missteps, confessing your sins, forgiving others, yourself, and moving on.  It's the little things you whisper to psych yourself up, like, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Share it, it shows on your face, in your walk.  It's believing in God, no matter what.  Go ahead, square your shoulders hold your head up- and give Him praise.
Philippians 4:13, Psalm 37:5-8  © Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

I saw an inspirational message in an exercise magazine.  It was good, but I wanted Jesus to be involved.  So I wrote my own version.  I have this on my bulletin board.  It always makes me feel brave. Maybe it will bless you too.

Challenge sponsored by Katie Lloyd Photography.

Challenge sponsored by Internet Cafe Devotions.

Friday, February 24, 2012


The gospels are full of great stories like this one.  Jesus, His disciples, and Mary were invited to a wedding celebration.  Everyone loves a wedding, there's such hope for the new couple.  People dress up and gather when they usually don't.  Friends and family come to see the couple.  They sparkle with joy, and shake a bit from anxiety.  Everyone hopes for a wonderful celebration, that's perfect.  The couple in this wedding got an added surprise.   

John 2

1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the weddingAnd when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
No one calls her Mary...  She's "the mother."  Women are usually the most concerned about weddings.  When I was a little girl I dreamt of what my dress would be like and which flowers I wanted.  So to Mary this was a big deal.  The party would end early and spoil the couple's celebration.  All she said was, "They have no wine."  She didn't actually tell Him what to do.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
Jesus response is interesting.  "It's not my problem.  It's not time yet."  He may have looked down at His toes.  Or prayed to make sure He was on the right track.  Sometimes I pray, "Father let Your will be my desire," in times like these.

His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Mary had faith in Him.  She knew He would do the right thing.  So she told the servants to do as He says.  It does make you wonder if Jesus did miracles as a child.  Maybe He helped Mary and Joseph when they needed it.  It's a good thing Jesus is the Son of God and Man, otherwise, as a big brother... Oy!  It could have been Joseph, being concerned for Jesus safety as a child, that warned Jesus to wait to show His power at the right time.  Regardless Jesus has the heart of love, the heart of God.

Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 

Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 

And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 

When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”
It's a great account. Imagine how delighted the couple must've been.  There's a lot more to this.  The Old Testament contains the old covenant with man.  It was based on man's obedience to God's law.  The New Testament or covenant is Jesus.  Jesus came to fulfill the law, so anyone who believed could be saved.  He is the new wine sent to save mankind.  He is the bridegroom waiting to draw the bride (the Church) to Himself.  He is the vine, we are the branches.  He is living water.  

11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

It wasn't just the water that was transformed.  When the disciples saw this.  They knew for sure. They'd found the Messiah. For me, He transformed my anger and bitterness to joy.  I had to believe in Him; He changed my heart immediately. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Word-filled Wednesday

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

I have these verses on my bulletin board above my computer.  But today, the Lord directed my eyes to it.  I honestly forgot it was there.  It's so powerful, I remembered why I wrote it down : )

There's 5 verbs:

1.  Trust in the Lord
To me this means letting go of fear and anxiety.  It means surrendering all to the Lord.  Honestly, sometimes I just pray, "Please help me trust You Father, I can't right now."

2.  Do good
Considering the whole Bible, to me this means to look out for others and help when I can.  It means to work hard in a good, healthy business.  It means to take care of my family and...  watch the tongue.

3.  Dwell in the land
My first thoughts were, "But I have to dwell in the land?  Where else would I dwell?"  But sometimes my mind isn't present.  Sometimes I'm thinking about things I don't need too.  Sometimes I need to stop and count my blessings:  my husband, Church, cats, a home, money to pay bills, food to eat, bandaids...  Drop all the great thoughts, and major fears, and simply enjoy today.  

4.  Feed on His faithfulness
God has done some amazing miracles in my life, it's one of the rewards of trials : )  When this reality hits me, I feel so ungrateful.  For those times I've walked around thinking, "I'm doomed.  That's it!  Even God can't fix this.  Surely He's run out of blessings and miracles by now."  He loves us so much; He brings more.  Besides His faithfulness to me in the past, there's some awesome examples of His faithfulness in the Bible.

5.  Delight yourself in the Lord
Really that's all He wants.  He wants us to praise Him, enjoy His sunsets, go for walks and see His garden.  Maybe even look at my husband and thank God for him, how he was created.   He loves it when we're delightful.  

Then there's a reward, He will give you the desires of your heart.  My desires always get more noble after some time with God.

Challenge sponsored by Katie Lloyd Photography.

Challenge sponsored by Internet Cafe Devotions.

Friday, February 17, 2012

First Jews for Jesus

"He knew them by name"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

I don't know why exactly, but I often forget that this takes place in Israel.  The disciples were all Jewish.  Maybe it's because the New Testament is written in Greek and I think of them as Greek.  But they weren't.  They were Jewish; Greek was the common language of this time period.  It could be that we are so used to our own nationality, we see Jesus in different skin colors.  I'm sure it's ok with Jesus, He came for all of us regardless.

This is one of my favorite passages about how God speaks to us.  Elijah was worn out from ministry.  He found a cave and hid in it.  
11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”
   Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.  
God knows us by name.  When He calls us, He doesn't shout in a loud, booming voice.  He whispers and waits.  Some of the disciples came to Him in an easy, natural manner.  John the Baptist called Him the "Lamb of God."  That was enough for them.  But, some hesitated a bit...

John 1

35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!
 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
   They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?
   39 “Come,” he replied, and you will see.”
   So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.
 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).42 And he brought him to Jesus.
   Jesus looked at him and said, You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas (which, when translated, is Peter).
Peter is my all time favorite disciple : )  Yes, I'm the one who once said, "If they need to prove Jesus is alive why don't they dig up His bones?"  Before I became a believer.  Now I get it!  Doh!  His body was resurrected.
 43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.
 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
 46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
   “Come and see,” said Philip.
Ok so there was this poor guy trying to do street evangelism, and He asked me if I knew Jesus, that He was coming again. My reply was, "That's nice.  Tell Him, 'Hi,' when He comes."  I'm so glad Nathanael is in the Bible.  Jesus chose real people like me.

 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
 48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
   Jesus answered, I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
Jesus sees those He calls before they know Him.  When Nathanael approached Jesus, Jesus didn't say, "You idiot!  How dare you speak about Me that way?"
Instead He described Nathanael as a man without deceit.  An honest man, not afraid to say what he thinks.  Cool huh?

 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.
 50 Jesus said, You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51He then added, Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”
Nathanael was so amazed that Jesus knew about the fig tree and where he was standing, he claimed Him as Lord. But Jesus promises all of us, there will be more.  Much more.  It all happened so naturally.  And is still going on today.  I tell someone about Jesus, they tell someone, and by 2012, there's a lot of believers in the world!  

As for me, Jesus had been whispering my name for years.  It wasn't until I was surrounded by a religion that didn't make sense, that I finally asked, "Show me the true Church."  I didn't have an earthquake, wind or fire.  Just an amazing peace.  My next door neighbors invited me to a Southern Baptist revival.  The evangelist said in these words, "The true Church is the body of believers in Jesus."

I knew God was whispering the answer to my question.  I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  He changed my life.  I laughed for the first time in years  : )  Slowly I learned about His Word.  He gave me compassion to replace my anger.  He's supplied all my needs ever since.   Hoping and praying you know Him too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Word-filled Wednesday

"May God bless those who walk dogs in the snow"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

I was out walking in the snow taking photos one year.  I saw all these footprints.  I was surprised to see the dog prints too.  Then I realized, come rain, sleet or snow, dog owners have an important job to do.

This verse has always fascinated me.  "...The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."  John 3:8   It's whimsical in the sense that we don't know where we'll be going or what we'll be doing next.  It's also encouraging in that we know things will always change.  Then again, it's a little unsettling not to know the future.  That's where faith comes in.  We know that God leads us out of love and wherever we go, there He is.

Challenge sponsored by Katie Lloyd Photography.

Challenge sponsored by Internet Cafe Devotions.

Monday, February 13, 2012

John the Baptist

"Jesus' Baptism"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
Digital painting, Corel Painter

I like John the Baptist.  It sounds like his personality is a driver, I'm half driver and half expressive.  He has a vision; he's going to make it happen.  No distractions.  A single focus. That's it.  The Bible doesn't describe his time in the wilderness.  It's a place photographers love to go.  He must've seen some great sunrises and sunsets.  The stars would've been breathtaking.  What a wonderful place to spend with God to experience His hand in creation.  The other side is that the winters were cold. The winds were strong. He didn't have any people with him for years.  He had faith and obeyed God.

He lived like Samson, who had taken the Nazarite Vow.  He separated himself from others to prepare for serving God.  He didn't drink wine or eat grapes.  He was not permitted to use a razor.  This would mean his hair and beard were very long.  He was also not permitted to go near a dead body.  The time for the vow was between 30 days and a lifetime.

Josephus, a Roman-Jewish historian documented the popularity of John the Baptist.  He wrote during this time period and confirmed many things in the Bible are true.  I know these things are true in my heart.  But, what a blessing to know a historian captured some of this.

John 1

19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”

Here we go.  John is out preaching repentance and baptizing people.  A lot of Jews were baptized and repented.  The Pharisees (temple leaders) got nervous.  I can understand this.  I get nervous when I hear about people using Jesus' Name, to create a new religion.

20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”

John was very clear about his purpose and answered them directly.

21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
And he answered, “No.”
22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
They confronted John, "Who are you anyway?" 
I've heard that during this time period, many men claimed to be the Messiah.  Some were crazy, and some were seeking selfish things.  But John was genuine.   It's sad to become so focussed on others.  It would be a huge mistake to miss Jesus' second coming by being skeptical.  God was providing the Messiah in their midst, it just wasn't logical to them.  This scruffy, bearded man was capturing the attention of many.  They were uncomfortable and wanted it to stop.  If they had only been focussed on God instead.  But this plan was worked out by God long ago.  He knew how it would go.
Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

23 He said: “I am
‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Make straight the way of the Lord,”’
as the prophet Isaiah said.”
John is quoting a prophecy from Isaiah 40:3.  He isn't confused or swayed by the questions.  He may have even expected it to happen.  He's a driver, this is it period.

24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?
26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”
28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

John's response is great, "You haven't seen anything yet! I'm just baptizing with water."  Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit. : )

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”

I don't know if John the Baptist had seen Jesus while they were growing up.  What a wonderful surprise, his cousin is the Messiah.  The Son of God.  He had no idea.  It must've been so awesome for John.  He'd made such a sacrifice, trusted when he didn't feel like it, endured so much. On this day, he sees the Messiah in person.  We'll see Him face to face too one day!  The Pharisees must've become even more nervous.

32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.

The disciple Matthew, wrote:

And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
Matthew 3:17
The trinity is present in one place before man, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  The One God.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Word - Book of John

"Light in darkness"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
digital painting in Corel Painter

I'm starting to read the book of John now.  I haven't read it in awhile and like to spend time in the New Testament with Jesus.  In Proverbs, we saw how bad a mouth out of control can be.  John and his brother James had a little episode with this.  They told Jesus to call down a lightening bolt to destroy a village, because they didn't believe.  

You know how it is, when you blurt out something and everyone looks at you in shocked horror.  Your face turns red and you'd like to hide.  Their Mother didn't help much.  She asked Jesus if her two sons could sit at his left and right hand.  If I were one of the other 10 disciples, I'd be a bit miffed.  So when I come to the book of John, I have a great deal of respect for him- my start as a Christian was a bit rocky too.  Jesus called James and John, sons of thunder (Mark 3:17).  John's very humble and slow to speak after "THE INCIDENT."  He seems shy even.  From the cross, Jesus gave Mary to be John's Mother.  John would've written this after Jesus' resurrection, probably during the Roman persecution of the early Church, 60-90 AD.  By this time the disciples would know how essential it was to write down all that they had witnessed for the next generations.  Including us!

You'd think God would provide a Bible filled with perfection.  People who are shining examples of righteousness.  It's not like that.  We're not like that.  God knew if it was like that, we'd give up.  So He provided us with the truth instead.  The shining example of righteousness is their faith and obedience.  

Romans 15:4
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 

John 1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Jesus was with God in the beginning, during creation.  Jesus is life and light.  When Jesus walked among men, He went to the Jews first.  They are the chosen ones.  They refused His message and chose to dwell in their own darkness instead.  He waits for us to choose Him today instead of our darkness.  There are things about God that we just can't grasp or understand, this is where faith comes in.  We know Jesus has always been with God.  The trinity is hard for us to understand because we are human, one life, one body...  The trinity is God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  God has three forms. The Father rules the universe, the Son is the sacrifice for our sin.  The Holy Spirit is our counsellor within us, our helper.  He is the One God.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
We call him John the Baptist.  He was the first Jesus freak.  He lived in the wilderness eating locusts and wild honey (Matt. 3:1-4).  His job was to announce Jesus' coming.  He was also Jesus' cousin. John and Jesus had their first connection before they were born.  John would have been slightly older (as babies).  Jesus is eternal, of course.
Luke 1:41 
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
God is a gentleman.  He doesn't force Himself on anyone.  He wants us to be able to choose for ourselves if we will follow Him.  By receiving Him, we are born of God.  Jesus has always been in the world since creation.  Yet no one recognized Him.  I didn't recognize Him either until after I chose to believe.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” 
I think of the transfiguration, and His baptism.  When John baptized Jesus, the Holy Spirit came down as a dove.  Can you imagine what it would be like to see a man who could heal?  It must've been so sacred.  God reaching out in flesh to heal a blind person or paraplegic. I'd probably cry, such mercy and grace. 

16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
Without God's grace, we wouldn't stand a chance.  Jesus came to pay our debt of dark deeds and sin.  He came to give us a new life of faith and hope.  He brought the truth.  The light.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Word-filled Wednesday

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

This is the time of year where it's most uncertain, and kind of blah.  We haven't received any snow this year in New Jersey (yay!).  I'm not complaining, we had extra last year.    The trees have lost all their leaves.  The trees are basically sticks.  I can still remember how beautiful they are.  I love to stare out the window and watch the squirrels.  It's cold enough to make outdoor photography uninteresting.

Sometimes I feel like that as a Christian too.  I'm still a believer, but I get distracted by worries or just zone.  Someone might ask, "How are you?"  I'd say, "Just fine, dooooooo...."  Something doesn't feel right.  I'm not bouncy at all.  Then the memory of God's joy comes back.  I wonder where it went.   I try and remember my last quiet time.  Yikes!  I'm usually so good.

We all experience seasons in our faith.  Sometimes we zone out and freeze spiritually like Winter.  Sometimes we're beautiful like Fall, sharing God's love.  Sometimes we're warm and having fun like Summer, ministering to others.  And, sometimes our faith is like a tulip in Spring, bursting through the cold, hard soil, searching God's Word for answers.  

This verse promises God will restore our joy when we ask Him.  I was just asking Him for this today and thought others might be blessed too.  When I'm feeling like a zombie, He will bring me back to life : )  He supplies all our needs.

Challenge sponsored by Katie Lloyd Photography.

Challenge sponsored by Internet Cafe Devotions.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tribute to women

"My Grandma"
Edith Marie Long
Dec 9, 1896 to Feb 17, 1995

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

This is the last chapter of Proverbs.  We've read how women who nag are like dripping faucets, gossips are like a gold ring in a pig's snout.  A man who lives in such a house is better off on a small corner of the roof, and more in Proverbs.  I gotta say it, sometimes guys can be just as bad.  They just get "helpful" or "concerned."  Thinking about these descriptions always makes me giggle.  We're all guilty at times.

Proverbs 31 has a beautiful tribute to the good women, the virtuous.  The photo above is of my Grandma, she was like this proverb.  She was always working.  In fact, she would watch basketball on TV, listen to baseball on the radio, while crocheting afghans for our whole family.  She drove the old ladies to Church up until her 80's.  She rarely missed a Sunday.  She lived to be 98.  My Grandpa passed away before I was born, in his 50's.  So I never met him.  All the years afterward, she kept his wallet in her nightstand.  She never remarried.  She came to all of our family graduations and weddings.  She was the first to show up when a new grandchild was born.  She used to make herself big dinners and freeze the leftovers in TV Tray tins.  When she was 81, she needed to get social security so she took a job stuffing advertisements.  I look at this photo and see the humor in her eyes.  Although she wasn't one to make jokes, she did get a kick out of me.  I asked her once if she was surprised I became a Christian.  She said, "Yes, you were such a bad little girl."

She tried taking me to Church with her, but I got sick in the Church office and she was afraid to take me anywhere after that. : )  She was a good woman:  steady and strong.

This is how highly good women are valued by God and good men.

Proverbs 31

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
     For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
     So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
      All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
      And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
      She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
      And provides food for her household,
      And a portion for her maidservants.
This is true today.  I'm the first one up, getting breakfast.  My days start around 6am and end around 8pm.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
      From her profits she plants a vineyard.
She's wise in business.  This is definitely not an image of a helpless girl is it?

17 She girds herself with strength,
      And strengthens her arms.
In Bible times no one worried about getting exercise.  Life was exercise: carrying water, kneading dough, washing clothes by hand.  It's so amazing how things have changed.

18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
      And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
      And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
      Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
I like this part, she's compassionate and cares about others. : )

21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
      For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
Today we watch the ads for sales.

22 She makes tapestry for herself;
      Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Grandma made all her own clothing.  I think I get my artistic, crafty abilities from her.  From God originally- it runs in our family.  By the time I could sew, material was more expensive than store bought clothes.

23 Her husband is known in the gates,
      When he sits among the elders of the land.
I can see this.  When I am generous with my husband, he's more generous at work.  Everyone loves him at work. 

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
      And supplies sashes for the merchants.
Even back then, handwork was of high value.  She thinks about the household budget and helps out.

25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
      She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
      And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
      And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
      Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
      But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
      But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
      And let her own works praise her in the gates.
I want to be like this.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Word-filled Wednesday

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

It's truly a gift to be able to just focus on today.  There are so many things to worry about in the future, these days.  I was just reading about a woman who'd been working in print media for years.  She can't take a portfolio to apply for a job anymore, it's all online.   She was advised not to write her years in business on her resume because of her age.  I confess I still find myself wondering if I should go back to business.  But, the truth is business has changed.  There's nothing for me to go back to.

Newspapers are available online now.  They try to charge subscription fees, but why pay when you can see it for free?  Photos flow all over the internet.  Insurance is changing how many employees a company can hire.  Medicine is much different now.  The world is changing.  There's one thing I sometimes forget.  In the 90's, I was working at Boeing, in Seattle.  I was in a low-paying job that didn't have much future.  When the internet became public, my ears perked up.  I took some classes in HTML.  I'm sure it wasn't by accident that God put me in a computing department.  One of the guys came up to me one day and said, "I'm bored with this internet stuff.  You want to do it?" 

I said, "YES!"  Err... it was a little exciting.

I'm an artist, I was top pick after that.  Things are always changing.  I believe there will be new industries coming soon, with new technologies.

I heard a quote that I hold onto, "Have your tools ready and God will find you work."  There's lots of work out there.  It's just a matter of learning new skills and finding what's needed, trusting God.  Maybe the question to ask isn't, "How on earth will I find a job?"  But rather, "What can I do today?"

It's amazing how much I can get done in a month by working one day at a time.  I just finished my plan for 2012.  I always list what I've accomplished.  I have to admit I've come a long way.  Last night I was so excited, I couldn't get to sleep.  God made us creative like Him.  He allowed us to get bored, so we'd keep busy.  God sees us through the hard times, so we can learn perseverence.  Even Adam and Eve had work to do in the Garden of Eden.

I was thinking about all those years I spent in business.  I asked God why I went that route.  The answer came back, "It was your bootcamp."  Then I remembered David didn't get to be king for 40 years.  He had a really tough basic training program.

Jesus knew what He was talking about in Matthew 6:34.  Just today, I can do that.  Or at least try.  

Glynn Young is an example of someone else who is reinventing their career.  He recently published his first book, Dancing Priest.  I finished it last night.  It's a great book.  His main character has his own bootcamp to get through- but I don't want to spoil it for anyone who wants to read it.  

Challenge sponsored by Katie Lloyd Photography.

Challenge sponsored by Internet Cafe Devotions.