Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Scripture & a Snapshot

"Brown patches of grass"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
The weather in the USA has been hot this year.  It has been between 90 to over 100 with high humidity.  It doesn't help that the weather reporters color the map bright red and purple in the hottest spots.  There were several wild fires in the west- just came out of nowhere.  The bright, green grass is turning brown.

Sometimes life feels like that too.  We get bored or stuck.  Our faith feels dry and empty.  In this verse David is earnestly seeking God.  His soul thirsts and body longs for Him.  With all the political things and craziness in the world today, I long for Him too.  The truth is He is always with us.  Reading His Word is like a fountain spraying me out of the dryness, reminding me of His presence and plan.  So glad He gave us the Bible.  One of my friends used to call it, "The Human User's Guide."

When I am in good spirits, I can sense His presence with me.  I have joy.  It used to drive my co-workers crazy, because I'd usually smile at work.  Some became jealous and thought my job was better than theirs.  The jobs I had weren't wonderful.  But the truth is, the Lord blessed me with joy.  His blessings are for all of us.    

I still have times of drought focussing on everything but God.  When those times come, I remember this verse and make it my prayer:
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalm 51:12
Feel free to comment if you like : )

Side note- we just got back from vacation last week.  I went outside and took this photo this morning.  Sorry to have missed you, but I'm back now.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dead shall rise

Sometimes I am so caught up in today, I forget about Heaven.  I think of:  how our country will come through our current troubles, what I should make for dinner, the chores I need to do.  Yet all of this is temporary.  One day we will rise and be with Jesus.  What a wonderful thought.  Heaven awaits.

After the Jewish leaders decided to persecute Jesus because He healed on the Sabbath.  He admitted He is the Son of God.  He went on to tell them more.  I can imagine the gasps coming from the leaders, and whispers, "Did you hear what He said?"
"He must be stopped!"

The miracle of healing the paraplegic, and all the other miracles Jesus performed didn't matter.  They were focussed on the one thing they understood, and thought they could control, the law.  Problem is it wasn't their law, it is God's.

If you've worked in an office you can understand this mentality.  There's always someone who watches the precise moment you walk in the door.  Those who look over your shoulder to make sure you're working.  I always wondered why they weren't working...  It seems to be human nature to try and control what other people do.  

Deep down I imagine the religious leaders were never satisfied.  They were trying to do God's job and they weren't very successful.  We never know the whole story like He does.  We need His love to understand the law.

John 5

Jesus wasn't worried about what they thought.  He just kept talking.  I wonder what their faces looked like when Jesus talked about raising the dead: jaws dropping, eyes popping, disbelief, confusion.  I'd probably feel the same if I saw people rising in a graveyard.  But it will happen, it has happened before.  This is a miracle I don't want to miss : )

19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 2 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so l also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

If someone told me this before I became a Christian, I'd be running for the door.

25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

It wasn't long after this conversation that His words became reality.  After Jesus' human body died on the cross, this is what happened:

Matt 27:52-54
52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!

I always wonder who was there.  Maybe King David, poor old Jonah, Noah, so many great people.

This is a prophecy from the Old Testament.  It was all written and accessible to the religious leaders.  Yet they never made the connection with Jesus.  I can only pray that I will see and understand what's going on around me- make the connection.   

Hosea 13:14
I will ransom them from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them from death.
O Death, I will be your plagues!
O Grave, I will be your destruction!
Pity is hidden from My eyes.

As Christians we now have a new hope.  We will see our loved ones once again, those who believe.  Our death won't end in a coffin, our lives will begin in Heaven.  New bodies!  No more disease or ailments.  No more temptation to judge others.  The presence of God; His love surrounding us.  

1 Corinthians 15:55
"O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Scripture & A Snapshot

"Shoot the moon!"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

I have many praises this week.  My brother, who almost died of liver cancer, then got a transplant in March, went back to work last Monday.  The worst part for him was telling and re-telling everyone about the surgery.  Thank you so much to all who prayed!  And to God who said, "Yes!"  I think I say that everyday... 

I am adjusting to the fact that I have arthritis but still try not to think about it too much- it can't be that serious.   I found my limitations trying to lift a bag of kitty litter into a very tall trash can...  My hubby told me to let him do that.  Maybe it's time I do.  Makes me smile to think about it.  Arthritis is a great motivator to keep me exercising : )  As far as Sjogren's, I called my doctor to ask her and she told me, "Nope if you don't have dry eyes and mouth, you don't have it."  Praise God!

Sometimes I think about all the planets in the sky, the details on the earth, and the billions of people.  We have fireflies in the backyard : )  I can't help but wonder at the awesomeness of God.  He is everywhere at once.  He sees us individually.  He hears every prayer.  His power is far beyond our grasp.  He knows our limitations, everything about us, and tells us:
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matt. 11:29
Be gentle and humble in heart, so our souls will find rest (and our bodies).  Amazing God, amazing grace. 

You may have guessed astronomy is my hobby.  I was so excited to find this book Indescribable on Amazon.  I haven't read much of it yet.  It's about seeing God through astronomy.  It has lots of photos, I'm looking forward to it.

Here's the song from Chris Tomlin Indescribable.