Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eagle Wings

"Like Eagles" 
Corel Painter
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
Still waiting to hear from New York Institute of Photography about my photos... tap, tap, tap.  I'm not a very good waiter.  I go through thoughts of, "I failed!  No one wants to tell me!"  Then there's, "Eesh it's only been a week..."  I have to laugh at myself.  So what's the worst thing we can do while waiting?  Sit and think about why we're waiting haha.

This is my husband's favorite verse.  The Lord tells us to wait for Him.  Even in these photo assignments, He has a plan.  Maybe he wanted me to draw an eagle today : )  ... and practice drawing...  We don't know right now, but it'll all be clear one day.  The great part about waiting, is this verse promises we'll gather strength.  Anxiety does the opposite.

I'm still not exactly clear where this trail is leading.   I am sure the best thing I can do is keep working at it.  

I actually found the verse below before I got married.  Sometimes I would get so anxious thinking I'd never find someone.  Then I realized we are all so much more attractive when we're happy and busy.  I have more to talk about and share when I'm with others.  I used to make a date with Jesus.  Just spend the day with Him, thinking about His Word.  It's a great experience to include Him in everything.

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands…
1 Thessalonians 4:11 NASB
I love the simplicity of this verse.  Makes me want to keep busy while I wait.  It'll all work out fine in the end.

Feel free to comment if you like.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Only Jesus

I just submitted my final photo projects to the New York Institute of Photography last Friday.  I shot and re-shot photos looking for perfection.  There's 2 that concern me quite a bit.  I was dwelling on them until I felt anxious and worried.  I realized if I didn't send them in, I'd never finish...  Even the director of NYIP said that we won't do perfect shots.  No one's perfect.  And they will let me know if I need to make changes.  Sometimes I get that way when I mess up too.  I just can't let things go.  As Christians we will never be perfect either.  That's why we need a Savior.  The Bible does promise there will be a day when we'll be perfected in Christ.  But not this side of Heaven.  Letting go of my photos, and sin feels awesome!  The weight is gone, now I can do what I love.

I've been reading a book about Martin Luther (1483-1546), Storm by Reg Grant (it's a great book).  Luther was caught up in his sin.  No matter how many actions he tried to perform, he never felt forgiven.  He was reading the Bible and learned his sin is forgiven by God's grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).  He was so relieved he wanted everyone to know about this.  So he demanded the Bible be made available to everyone.  He was a monk who couldn't keep his mouth shut.  I can't even count the number of versions we have available today.   I am so grateful to be able to read it anytime.

John 5:30-47

Jesus is talking to the religious leaders.  Jesus and the Father are one, so Jesus can't exist without God.  
30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

John the Baptist told the crowds about Jesus.  He bore witness of Jesus and prepared the way for Him.
31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 

His works, and actions are His testimony.  But the leaders were too blinded by their desire to follow the law.  Hope my actions speak louder than my words.
34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. 36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 

The Scriptures contain His testimony.  So glad God used Martin Luther to get the Bible out.
38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me

Even if we memorized the whole Bible it wouldn't save us.  Only Jesus can.  So easy, yet sometimes hard.
40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

Obeying the law of Moses alone can't save us.  Like Martin Luther realized, our works aren't enough to find forgiveness with God.  We can't purchase a ticket to Heaven.  We only need to have faith, to believe.
41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?
New King James Version (NKJV)

Those pesty sins, we try scrubbing and soaking but they won't go away.  Like the old hymn says, "What can wash away my sin?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

Friday, August 3, 2012

Scripture & A Snapshot

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

I'm not always a peace maker.  You can ask my husband : )  This verse is on my calendar for August 2012.  At first, I read it and thought, "I want to be a peace maker."  It's such a wonderful word, "peace."  Then I remembered that dirty look I gave someone last week.  I was grumpy to begin with so I'm not so sure it was an official "dirty look."  But it wasn't encouraging that's for sure.  I think about always smiling whether I feel like it or not.  Fake smiles don't work very well on me...  People know.  God knows when I'm faking it.  He's not impressed.

Maybe making peace isn't about outward appearance and smiles.  Last Sunday our Church had no electricity.  We had a bad storm and the township was knocked out.  It even made the News on TV.  We got to Church and only the Choir Director and Pastor were there.  They figured no one would show up, so they were preparing to shut down.  Something about it made me remember times of worship with no music, no lights, just candles.  Just singing to the Lord.  So I encouraged the Pastor and Choir Director to sing some simple hymns.  After all Jesus said, "Where two or more are gathered in My Name, I will be there."

So we proceeded with a simple service.  Slowly people came, climbing over tree branches and maneuvering the streets.  The Church was half full : )  We sang "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty" (one of my favorites).  The Pastor's message was on how God always starts small and then builds.   An example of this was how Jesus fed the multitudes with some bread and a fish.

As we walked out the door, I had to laugh with the Pastor.  God had provided a living example for us.  In the midst of a disaster, we found peace.  I don't think it's just about smiles, it's about His warm presence in us.  Worshiping together brings a harvest of righteousness (faith).  It's about listening without judging, letting His light shine, making peace.

Feel free to comment if you like : )