Thursday, March 13, 2014

Clear the path! (Hebrews 12:10-29)

"Taken at the New Jersey Marathon 2010"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

I finally had the courage to go through all my photographs for the past 4 years, burn them on DVDs and file copies in my database.  Umm there were 200 gigabytes of photos!  Thought I would never finish.  It's time to work on moving forward with my freelancing.  I also saved up and bought some great pens for cartooning.  You may see some new and improved work on my blog : )  My business cards are on the way.  Time to update my main web site next. This is the verse that really got me moving-
"...aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands..."
(1 Thessalonians 4:11 NKJV)  
It's so simple. Yet true. I am so happy to be out of the office cube. I longed to be able to be home in a quiet place just working.  Then one of the neighbor ladies decided she would start some gossip about me. She made up stories about my photography. I tried to show her the flowers I'd shot, but she said  she didn't have time to look.   One of my Mother-in-law's (I have 2- divorce and remarriage...) told me I can't be an artist because there's no money in it.  The other one is thrilled and is my biggest fan (actually my husband is my very biggest fan)!  My Mom was too, before she passed away.  That verse:  "lead a quiet life, mind your own business, work with your own hands."  I gave up on pleasing the money hungry Mother-in-law and the neighbor, decided I'd just work.  Mind my own business, who cares what the gossips think.  They're probably just bored.  Seek quiet.  It's just what I needed.  I've never been so happy.  God gave me my talent so I could share it with others and bless Him back.
Hebrews 12

10 While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. 11 At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well–trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.
This reminds me of learning to drive a car. My driving instructor used to say I had a lead foot because I hit the gas pedal too hard. Then I'd forget to signal and confuse other drivers.  And of course there's always the distractions of looking on the floor of the car and not seeing the road at all.  Now these things are natural and easy.  This is what God trains us for, to know how to minister, teach, pray and inspire.  It takes daily quiet times, prayer, perseverance.  It's well worth it.  Honestly, I failed my first driving test and had to take it over the next year.  Don't give up- it'll all come to together if we keep at our relationship with God.

12 So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! 13 Clear the path for long–distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!
I love this and The Message version is great!  Run for it, or sit for it, and run in your heart.  If I don't pay attention to gossips it's not fun for them anymore and they stop.  When I let myself get excited about the Bible and what it says I encourage others to read it too.  AND!  I actually learn more and more about God's Word : )  When I focus on my photography and art, I find purpose and peace.  Who better to inspire my artwork than the Creator Himself?

14 Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you'll never get so much as a glimpse of God. 15 Make sure no one gets left out of God's generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. 
Getting along with God is most important in my honest opinion.  
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
(Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)
Can you imagine turning to your husband or wife and saying, "I know you're not real and I can't trust you.  You never do anything right.  So with all my strength, I'll ask anyway, 'Will you take out the trash?'"

Probably won't receive the best response with that one.  God doesn't take that too seriously either.  "Talk to the hand.  The ears aren't listening."  Although I have asked, "God, if You're real will You show me?" and, "Show me the true Church.  I'm confused."  He answered those prayers for me, in a way I understood.

16 Watch out for the Esau syndrome:  trading away God's lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short–term appetite. 17 You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God's blessing––but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.
Aww, it wasn't just me that wondered about Esau's decision.  To me this is also describing those who know how to accept Jesus as Savior and keep putting it off until it's convenient.  You know when the Broncos aren't playing, and the laundry is done, the grass looks fantastic and I got a raise.  There's no sales at Macy's.  The car is a family/race car.  The kids are perfect.  The boss is on vacation for 6 months...  Don't miss out by not having Jesus as your Savior. I actually found joy in Him : )

18 Unlike your ancestors, you didn't come to Mount Sinai––all that volcanic blaze and earthshaking rumble–– 19 to hear God speak. The earsplitting words and soul–shaking message terrified them and they begged him to stop. 20 When they heard the words–– "If an animal touches the Mountain, it's as good as dead" ––they were afraid to move. 21 Even Moses was terrified.
I didn't realize Moses was terrified.  It makes perfect sense.  It would be frightening to hear a loud voice and see burning bushes.  It would be frightening to approach God without understanding His character.  He longs for us to come to Him, loved us so much He died for us.    

22 No, that's not your experience at all. You've come to Mount Zion, the city where the living God resides. The invisible Jerusalem is populated by throngs of festive angels 23 and Christian citizens. It is the city where God is Judge, with judgments that make us just. 24 You've come to Jesus, who presents us with a new covenant, a fresh charter from God. He is the Mediator of this covenant. The murder of Jesus, unlike Abel's––a homicide that cried out for vengeance––became a proclamation of grace.
Abel was Adam and Eve's son who offered a sacrifice to God.  His brother Cain became jealous because God liked Abel's sacrifice best.  Abel's death was a murder.  Jesus' death was a proclamation of grace, assurance of our forgiveness.

25 So don't turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn't get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings? 26 His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time––he's told us this quite plainly––he'll also rock the heavens:"One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern." 27 The phrase "one last shaking" means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.
I feel a revival!  One last shaking!  Woot!  He'll get rid of our sins, misconceptions and focus on the truth.  All will be revealed and the wrong will fade away.  Hallelujah!

28 Do you see what we've got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. 29 He's actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won't quit until it's all cleansed. God himself is Fire.
(Hebrews 12:10-29 Message)

My prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father I lift up my dear friend Lisa who is halfway through her chemo treatments.  I pray You will comfort her and help her find peace and rest.  Heal her body, mind and spirit.  Thank You so much for her.  Father, I lift up Russia, the Ukraine and Syria to You as well.  I pray for Your protection over the people who live in uncertainty and fear.  You are God!  You have a plan.  I trust in You.
In Jesus Name, Amen.


  1. I love the interpretation. "CLear the path." throwing away every encumberance so I can run clearly. I'm not a runner, but I am a walker and clearing the path is smart so I dont trip.

    1. Hi David! Good to see you again. I agree there's so much stuff we can put in our path making our faith and lives in general way more messed up than it should be. In art we have an acronym KISS (Keep it simple silly). It's a reminder that the best works of art are simple and easy to understand. Thanks for your comment : ) God bless!

  2. I was just reading about when Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, and was mocked and told that they (the Jews) couldn't do it...That is exactly how Satan uses people to discourage us...I am so glad you were able to tune those people out and work in peace!

    I think springtime is a perfect time to do some spiritual housecleaning as well as our regular spring house cleaning...Much easier to stay focused on what's essential without a lot of dust and clutter around.
    Thanks for the prayer, my friend...I couldn't sleep and thought I would visit some favorite blogs tonight, and was very touched to see it :)
    Blessings and love~ Lisa

    1. Blessings and love Lisa : ) Thanks for your comment. I'm so glad you saw the prayer. I had the same thought about the walls of Jericho and how it fell by men walking around them. Such an amazing thing. They were mocked and faced many hardships but they continued and didn't give up. "Talk to the hand the ears aren't listening!" hahaha

      Spring is like a symbol of new life, like Jesus' resurrection and our new lives in God's kingdom. It's fitting to clean the house, dust off our faith, move on to new ministries and ideas. It's when my birthday is- March 23. The swallows fly back to Capistrano in California. I always thought that was kind of cool : )

      You are a huge blessing to many of us. I'll keep praying for you : ) I said a prayer this morning. May God bless you abundantly!