2015 Nancy Ericsson
Ever feel like your friend(s) or loved one(s) have put you up on a bookshelf? Do you feel forgotten or unimportant? Though you know life at times is busy and there are commitments to keep, deadlines to meet and then of course illness may be present and these are all valid reasons to explain the separation you might feel; you still feel a detachment of sorts. These times can hurt and make you feel lonesome. Now think how God must feel. God — our Heavenly Father, creator of all including each of us! With so many children must feel this more than hundred fold and each child having one, many, all or even more reasons for not spending time with Him and yet, there is not one valid reason to explain our absence from seeking His presence. For He is God, always present, always available and even reading the intents and attitudes of the heart. Our excuses do not stand up as he can tell what is keeping us from Him and often it’s times of self indulgence, sin, misplaced priorities and a wide host of other possibilities. But unlike mankind, He is always willing to forgive, loving unconditionally, and ready to receive us. Because of this and so many, many other reasons — Shouldn’t we all the more make every effort not to put Him up on a shelf? After all, without Him we are nothing! Just thinking out loud.
Copyright 2013, Nancy M. Ericsson
Just a cool dry breeze
to blow my way;
lifting off the heat of day.
And a clear night sky,
for stars to shine;
that would just be so divine.
The sound of crickets
in the fields;
to which all other sounds do yield.
Except for the owl
perched in the tree;
because it’s sound does comfort me.
And may pleasant dreams
fill my head;
as I rest here upon my bed.
This dear Lord I do pray
be so for this Summer’s night;
and may you wake me in the morning light.
Copyright 2011 Nancy M. Ericsson
I wish I had a little switch,
for when it’s time for bed.
Just a flick and the chatter stops,
that goes on inside my head.
No more endless dialogue,
to keep me wide awake.
And no more pills or sleep aids
would I ever have to take.
Just say my prayers, and give a yawn
then off to sleep I’d go.
I’d close my eyes and with smile,
lay back and watch the show.
Copyright 2011 Nancy M. Ericsson
Nehemiah poured out his heart to God, calling that he be attentive to his prayers and that his eyes be open to his servant in his brokenness over the destruction of the wall of Jerusalem. He repented of the sins of him and his fathers against God in disobeying his holy commandments as passed down to them through Moses.
Nehemiah, a cupbearer for the King, was discovered in the presence of the King to be quite down cast. The King inquiring as to the sadden state of his servant, learned that Nehemiah was distraught over the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the condition of those held in captivity. The King showed compassion on Nehemiah as he proposed he be permitted to set out to rebuild the beloved city and help its people. It is by the faith of Nehemiah, his repentance and his prayers that he found favor in the sight of God, that he was able to venture out and to restore the wall, of Jerusalem. For we read in Nehemiah 2:8 “…. And the King granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.”
Nehemiah recognized that it was not so much the King that granted his request, but in fact, it was truly from that hand of God himself. For before answering the King when he asked about the downcast of his countenance, he first prayed to God and then he made his supplication known to the King. I believe, Nehemiah knew that he wasn’t “the kings servant” per say, but in fact he was a servant to The King – The Holy King of Israel.
Indeed, it is as we read in James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Another important thing to note is Nehemiah’s humbleness before God when he sought him in prayer. Not only did Nehemiah repent of his own sins, but also the sins of his fathers. In Nehemiah 1:6-7 we read “Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that though mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before the now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, not the statutes, nor the judgments, which though commandedst thy servant Moses.”
We find in the Epistle of James, not only the humbleness we are called to have, but also that so clearly displayed in Nehemiah: James 4:8-10 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
Are we broken today? Is our countenance saddened and has our step lost its skip? Do we hunger and thirst, in the dry, weary land of our souls? Today, let us heed Nehemiah’s example and humble ourselves before the Lord. Pour out our hearts to him, and repent of our sins, and the sins of our fathers, and thus, let the good hand of God be upon us.
Copyright 2010, Nancy M. Ericsson
Psalm 118:24 “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” KJV
I want to share with you something God showed me today while I was reading His Word. If we pay close attention to this verse, I believe we will see that this scripture points out to us that “rejoicing” in this day is not necessarily an automatic response but rather a choice. The key words that lead me to believe this are “we” and “will”. It doesn’t say “we rejoice” but instead it points to our intention to do so by stating “we will”. For me, this is a HUGE revelation! It means that when we open our eyes in the morning and try to gather our thoughts together and move forward in the day, we need to choose to rejoice in whatever may come our way. Whether or not we are running late, stuck in traffic, don’t feel well, or whatever may cause us hardship; we can choose to accept our circumstances. We can also pray about it and do what we can to make things better; all the while we can choose to rejoice.
How do we do this? One prime example I think of is in Matthew 14:22-33. Here we have the account of when Jesus went up to the mountain to pray after feeding a great multitude of people who came to hear and learn of him. Upon coming down to return to the disciples, he found them in the midst of the sea being tossed about by tumultuous waves and wind. He began to walk across to them. When after their initial fear of him being a ghost and realizing then that it was he, Peter asked Jesus to bid him to come forth to walk on the water with him. Jesus did so but part way across the water, a fierce wind blew and Peter turned and looked to the stormy seas taking his eyes off of Jesus. Being gripped in fear, he fell into the sea and cried for the Lord to save him. Jesus stretched forth his hand to Peter to pull him back up and Jesus asked Peter, “Why did you doubt?” Peter made a choice at that moment that he fell to focus on the storms rather than on Jesus. If he had just kept “rejoicing” that he was walking on the water with Jesus and not turn his attention to the storms around him, he would have never fallen into the sea. Hence, this is the same choice that we face everyday. Will we keep our eyes on Jesus who enables us to walk over the stormy seas of life? Or will we succumb to fear by focusing on the storms about us?
I believe the Apostle Paul sums this up best when he writes under inspiration of the Holy Spirit;
Philippians 4:8-9 KJV
8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” 9 “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
So, what will we choose this day?
Copyright 2010, Nancy M. Ericsson
I Corinthians 11:7 KJV
“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of man. For the man was not created of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but woman for the man.”
Could this scripture be any more clearly illustrated? Contained within this scripture as well as other ones, there is a truth that is difficult for many women to accept, nevertheless, it is the will of God: “Neither was the man created for the woman; but woman for the man.” To argue this point, would be to argue with our creator himself. How could any of us even think of that?
Paul, in the first part of these verses illustrates the authority that men have over women by example, through the use of head coverings. He states: “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of man.” He is saying that man being the express image and glory of God would bring shame by covering his head, as God is the supreme authority. However, women are the glory of man, and are under man’s authority, thus, a woman’s head should reflect the authority man has over her by covering her head. In using the illustration of head coverings, Paul was illustrating through the use of the current custom in order to demonstrate this truth more clearly. Although nowadays women are not required to adorn a material head covering, the authority man has over women remains as ordered by God. This will not change. Though society has changed, and the world’s values and systems have changed, those of us who belong to God still are to adhere to God’s will, and serve him diligently with all of our heart. We mustn’t let the world dictate to us its trends, and social changes, for our God does not change, and we must be transformed from the world and stay set apart, unspotted by the world, thus, shining in the light and perfect will of God Almighty.
Often times it’s difficult to go against the main stream. Women’s rights activist are hot on the pursuit to gain freedom from man’s authority, but we as children of God, must strive to serve God, even though we struggle against the grain of society. We must continue to look to our Heavenly Father, and turn from any movement or lifestyle that goes against His will.
The fact that men have authority over women must not be construed in a way in which men will use women as doormats. On the contrary, God requires men to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Considering the great sacrifice Christ made for the church, this is an awesome responsibility placed on men. Ephesians 5:25-33 has a lot more to say on this issue for both husbands and wives, and I encourage us all to study this more in-depth. It would be a worthwhile venture to study as a couple, and for those who are single, study this passage and subject as it will help to equip you for a successful and Godly marriage.
This scripture is important to me, because I see it as the foundation as to which God has called us to live. Once this truth is accepted, and the ways which the world has molded us, be forsaken and repented of — we will be well on our way in becoming the virtuous women that God so intends us to be.
Copyright 1998, Nancy M. Ericsson