Resting in Salvation

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

When things started to get really crazy at the stores, every entrance had a stand with sanitizing wipes.  What was the purpose behind providing this offering upon entrance?

  1.  It brought you comfort to keep yourself personally pure of germs from anything that was infected.
  2. It brought you comfort to purify anything you touched in the event you unknowingly were infected with something.

Whatever your personal reason would be for utilizing the wipes, you still had to choose to use them.

Like these sanitation wipes, salvation is a free gift that you have to choose to take and utilize. Choosing salvation and Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, purifies your sinful soul and flesh.  We never reach perfection, but we become clean and a new creation in Christ despite our sinful past.

You also get the mind of a Christ and begin to see things from the Lord‘s perspective. This keeps you from exposing yourself to sin the way you use to   You want to stay pure because you inherit a peace of mind in that lifestyle. You aren’t weighted with guilt, shame, and a feeling of dirtiness.   Instead you can stand confident in your salvation.

Being saved and having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, allows you to rest in salvation instead of being restless in sin with a fear of death

I wouldn’t say that death scares me.  The world can be such an ugly place that even with close friends we jokingly/seriously make comments like, “Can’t Jesus come already.  I’m so ready for Heaven.”

What has been on my mind the most during this time is, “Will this chaos create a stirring in the lost to come back to God? Will this calamity cause a calling out from the ones that have denied and rejected Jesus as Lord and Savior?”

I hope it does.  I hope people start reaching for that free gift of salvation that stands at the door of their heart.

With love,

Erica

Resting with Friends

Do not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.   Hebrews 10:25 NIV

A common phrase I get as an observation from friends and family is that I’m always busy.      It’s not uncommon for me to turn something down cause I need to work on something in my non-official work hour whether it be for work or ministry. 

Monday was no different.  With strep ruining my “work” weekend and vacation, I rearranged my schedule to work Monday-Wednesday to finish some things while school was closed for the break.

Monday was a great start.   I was able to work in silence, with access to my two monitors, printers, and without interruptions.  I left feeling very accomplished and looking forward to being able to work without distractions the next two days.

Later that evening, my mom invited me to have lunch and watch a movie with a friend on Tuesday.   I thought about it, but declined because I was going to be too busy working.

Yesterday evening however, I started to get anxious.  I was already feeling bored the first day of spring break which started to make me anxious and kind of depressed. I already was not looking forward to Tuesday evening.

So, I knew what I needed to do although reluctant to do it.  I needed to go with my mom and friend to lunch and a movie and then work in the evening.  I have a bad habit of making my world about things I’m working on because resting and doing nothing doesn’t make me feel good either.  However, I’m always energized and encouraged when I’m around friends and family.

So today I made a decision to rest, but not in the way that you think.  I was still doing something, but I was resting and relaxing in the company of others.  The laughs and conversations bring a type of active rest that brings peace to the soul.   

Today I was thankful for the time spent with my mom and friends which helped me work well this evening energized and finishing my work goals a day early this evening.

To God be the glory,

Erica

The Rooms of Your Heart: Proverbs 24:3-4

Proverbs 24:3-4

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

This is one of my favorite verses.  

When building a house properly, you have to have a plan drawn with wisdom.  The layout has been thought out to create a smooth flow inside.  Rooms are predetermined to be in locations that are logical and not illogical. For example, you wouldn’t build the front door of the house entering into the master bedroom.  You would put the restrooms on the opposite end of the house than the bedrooms.  

The actual construction requires taking that two dimensional plan and it’s measurements and turning it into a three dimensional object.  However plumbing, electrical, and ac also have to be included.  Installation of doors, windows, and cabinets, and other features and fixtures are added as well.  It takes a lot of understanding to make sure that each of these unique and important parts of a house are done in the proper order of construction and in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with the another aspects. 

But what makes a house a home is what is inside.  The knowledge and interaction of the members inside is what creates the rare and wonderful memories. 

To build those rare and wonderful memories in the rooms of your heart with Jesus requires that you make a decision to include Jesus in your plans that you build your life on.  Understanding Jesus and how he sees things can be gained by reading your Bible as well as through prayer and communication with him.  This will let you have some amazing and personal experiences and memories with God that will allow you to experience just how real he is.  

With love, 

Erica

The picture included was taken in the informal dining room that was in our kitchen.  It had bay windows, and I have a lot of memories in that part of the house.  It’s where we would eat dinner, do homework, and where I learned by a master plan fail that the Easter bunny wasn’t real.  This is at my first grade birthday slumber party.  

Proverbs 5 and a Trail Map Comparison

Proverbs 5:21-23

For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths. The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.

I have this tradition the past few years to always keep an extra trail map from the Texas State Parks I visit.  It usually has a picture of a bird and gives you the bird’s eye view of the park and trails. 

Everyone who hikes refers to the map to recalculate, make sure they are on course, and determine how many miles are left. 

In reading Proverbs 5, there are four characters: a husband, an adulteress, and each of their spouses.  The entire Proverb is on adultery and what happens if you do or don’t choose that path. 

Imagine this scenario being played out on a trail map with you looking down on the map.  Imagine having four Monopoly game board pieces with each one representing a character. The two spouses not “hiking” are off at their individual campsites. 

The  adulteress piece would be moving on the trails but all over the place on the map.  She would be wandering aimlessly going in circles and never having a plan on which trail she is taking or even trying to complete.  What’s worse, this poor girl is clueless that she is directionless and purposeless.  

Proverbs 5:6

She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.

Then, imagine the husband piece starts on a trail on the map.  His goal is to finish a trail and make it back to his campsite where his wife and his belongings are.

He starts on a specific hike with a goal of starting and finishing.  While hiking he hears the adulteress, who has spotted him, calling out to him seductively. However, she isn’t asking for help or directions.  She is seductively suggesting that he join her on the trail for something else. 

At this moment, internal warnings and wisdom start crossing his mind. 

  1. If he joins the adulteress, he will wander aimlessly with her leaving his spouse alone at the tent worried, scared, and lonely. If he returns, he will not be the same man he was when he left. He himself will experience death of a lot of things that aren’t physical but valuable. If he doesn’t return, he leaves his spouse in a state of hurt that will takes years to heal while she is forced to pick up all the pieces of their campsite and head home without him. At some point he will also have to live with regret.  

Proverbs 5:9-11

Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you lose your honor to others and your dignity to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich the house of another. At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent.

  1. If he listens to the wisdom of God embedded in his heart and head, then he will experience life and blessings. 

Proverbs 5:18

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Meanwhile the adulteress’ spouse may be at the camp waiting or he may be doing his own thing.  When they arrived at camp, she had already earned the title of adulteress. So when she went out, her spouse already knew what she could do or would do. It’s not a surprise for him like it is for the other spouse. 

Proverbs 5:3 

For the lips of the adulterous woman…..

Proverbs 5:20

……Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

Hiking Tips:

  1. It’s always best when hiking to not go alone. Having another person with you when a bad situation occurs can be live saving. 
  2. Stay on the path as marked.  Sometimes you see something off of the path that you want to see closer or explore. However, it’s typically not a part of the designated path because there are some hidden dangers.
  3. Take a trail map with you.  Sometimes the markers can be confusing and you will want to refer to the map for clarity.  

Be blessed and happy trails,

Erica

 

Stepping Out in the Dark: Proverbs 4:18-19

Proverbs 4:18-19

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.

One of my favorite features in my tent is one of the screened views.  It’s beautiful to pull up the fly and see the sun coming up in the morning.  Today I got a late start, so it was becoming exceptionally bright. 

Of course one of the things I don’t like about my tent is the obvious fact that it doesn’t have a bathroom.  In cold nights, if I can help it, I will not get up in the middle of the night to go.  

I hate that it’s cold, plus getting out in the dark in pitch black and heading to the restroom can result in a stumble, unless if I have a flashlight. 

In this scripture you see two types of people: righteous and wicked. For the righteous, the path they walk on keeps getting brighter the longer they are on the path.  The light exposes the hidden hazards that would cause a fall. The light brings awareness and the ability to recognize potential and hidden dangers. 

The wicked, operate in the dark and willing step out at a time of low visibility and at times choosing to walk in complete blindness.  Stepping outside your tent in the dark is not wise, but it’s an equally good illustration to apply to your life.  If walking out of your tent in the dark is not wise, then why would you walk out of your house every morning without the Light of the World (Jesus) as your guide. 

The path of righteousness is available if you walk proactively within the Light and with the Light.  If not, you will continue to stumble over the obvious hinderances that you choose to keep hidden by stepping out in the dark.   

With Blessings,

Erica 

Accepting Prayers 24/7

In a small town in Kansas, a bank depository caught my eye. It was just one of the many historic downtown gems that I just had to take a picture of.

Jumping out of the truck to quickly take a pic, three words immediately stood out.

1. Guardian

2. Depository

3. 24 Hours

I jumped out to capture an image, while God jumped into my presence to share His truths

My prayers can be deposited 24/7.  Every time I pray and I deposit them to him, He keeps them in safe keeping. He is the Guardian of my prayers and who they are for.  Even though they may not be completely answered, there will be a day God is going to cash those prayers  out for the salvation of the one whom He loves.

1 Thessalonians 5:17  Never stop praying.

God be the Glory,

Erica

 

 

 

The Wave of Praying for Prodigals

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 1 Colossians 1:9

Weary.Tired.Hopeless.Impossible. 

Determined.Consistent.Hopeful.Faith.  

Unsure.Doubting.Rejected.Exhausted. 

Patient.Peaceful.Endurance.Focused.       

Hurt.Selfish.Resistance.Pride.                    

Loyal.Unconditional Love.Selfless.Kind

Praying for a prodigal has you experiencing a lot of emotions like a wave. Typically, most slowly roll across the surface building up until it peaks and then folds back into the water with a small crash.   Those are easy to pick back up and begin again.  

Sometimes the wave gets really big. It builds up with great strength and height that is very powerful. But when it hits its peak and comes crashing down it hits hard, forcefully, and takes longer to recover from.  

But at times the ocean is completely still and there is no movement on the surface.   The waves for some reason aren’t activated and the surface is in a state of rest. Underneath the water there is still a lot of movement and life.  

Whether you are in a season of bringing big battle wave prayers, consistent rolling wave prayers, or resting to listen to God, keep in mind to never quit.  Don’t stay still longer than needed out of hopelessness or fear.  May your rest be to refocus on God instead of your prodigal.  

With love,

Erica