Friday, May 17, 2013

Reality really? (James 7) (James 4:1-12)

"The richest things in life are free"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
I was out shooting at a local park last fall and saw this little family.
It was so sweet.  I had to capture the moment.

My prayer for Texas, they actually had a tornado that was a mile wide.  Feel free to join me in prayer if you like.

Dear Heavenly Father I lift up those in Texas to You.  I don't understand the weather these days, yet I know You are in control.  I trust in Your unfailing love. There have been so many tragedies.  I pray You will protect those who were struck by the tornadoes.  Help them find ways to rebuild their homes and businesses.  Please provide the words to say for those in ministry.  Comfort Your people Father, draw us near and help us find strength.  Provide a way for them to move forward.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

This part of James reminds me of American TV.  Don't know what happened and why.  It used to be fun to watch some of the comedies.  But, then everything went to "Reality" TV.  Lucky producers, we pay for cable and they get money for the advertisements.  In return we get "Reality" with no creative writers to entertain us.  If we really wanted "REALITY" would we turn on the TV?  This is probably a very good thing for our country.  My husband, Todd, and I, just watch the News now.  He also watches sports.  I like computer games, reading and artsy stuff. I can hear the neighbor teenagers playing basketball outside as I finish this post.  Wonder how much safer our neighborhoods would be if we all got outside more.

The tone of voice in these verses is a bit harsh.  It sounds as though James is really frustrated as he writes.  This must be coming from deep within his heart.  He really wants to see us all live good lives of faith.  A lot of this has been on Reality TV.

James 4:1-12

1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"?
With TV and the internet, we're more aware of the earth,the "world."  The word, "world" James is referring to is the marketplace where people dwell.  Worldliness is the mentality of selfishness, to buy what we don't need and take without considering how it affects others.  It's like the Temple in Jerusalem that had fallen from a house of worship to a den of thieves.  When we are captivated by evil and abuse others, verse 5 says this selfishness makes us an enemy of God.  I can't imagine living without His joy now.  I used to be full of anger. It was a terrible dark place.  We are definitely supposed to spend time with others, without judging, as servants of God.  God is the judge.  

6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

"God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble."
He has opened his heart to allow us to turn away from sin and receive forgiveness.  Jesus died and became the sacrifice for our sin.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
1 John 1:9
He wants to protect all of us from evil and harm.  He never gives up on us. We're the ones who get the worst of it when we're selfish. However, if we refuse to repent and turn to God there will be a time of judgement.  

Some good news.  
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
As an artist, I've always loved where it says, "draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." ; )  These four verses are some of the top favorites of Christians.  We've all messed up at times.  We can claim these verses to help us out.

Oy!  Here's gossip again.  This must be very important to God, it's humbling for sure.
11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?

*Made some edits on this post.  I looked at it later in the evening and found problems in my writing.  Sorry!


  1. Hi Karen,
    I pray with you for the tornado victims in Texas and now Oklahoma.

    James sure has some important and powerful verses we should let sink into our hearts and minds. It is so true what you say, "God wants to protect us from evil and harm." I think of the Psalm which says, "Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them." Psalm 119:129

    Awesome job you did here with James. Thank you for sharing and may God bless you,

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Ken : ) Almost done with James, it's a hard book for sure. But good information. Praying for Oklahoma as well. God bless!

  3. Hi Karen,

    Praying for Texas and Oklahoma also~

    Many times when I see these reality shows I am reminded of what the Bible says about a woman without discretion:
    “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.”
    Proverbs 11:22
    Of course, there is also a proverb that says that discretion will protect you, and that refers to both men and women.

    That is what most of these people seem to lack...With the exception of
    'Duck Dynasty' That family shows their strong Christian faith, and can make us laugh...Also, the Dad 'Phil', is a minister...has been since before they became well known...They are a humble family, and that is what appeals to me. I do not know of any other reality show out there that has anything of Christian value though.
    James is so full of life lessons, especially for such a short book! But he does get right to the point doesn't he?
    ~God bless~

  4. Thanks Lisa- yeah I wish Hollywood would understand their responsibility to society with some of the shows they produce. Kids don't need to see a lot of this and it's definitely not what marriage is about. I'll have to look at Duck Dynasty and see what it is. James is a hard book but I must admit it really gets me thinking! That's a good thing for sure : )

    God bless!