Hello, my name is Christine Ericson. This blog is so I might add my voice to the thousands of Christians who wish to speak out on their beliefs. I want to encourage those out there who, "have not bowed their knee to Baal," and to remind everyone that God's ultimate Will will be done.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Faith Is Assurance

Hebrews 11:1-3 NASB

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible."


Faith is concrete confidence in knowing something is guaranteed to happen. Even more surely than the sun setting and the tide rising--this thing which has not yet happened IS going to happen. It is through this concrete understanding that Christians KNOW God intimately designed the world and His hand is continuously active in its events. Even though God works in ways invisible to man, through faith--total confidence--Christians can gain hope and strength in the midst of chaos.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Judging the Heart

     I came to a horrible realization the other day: Not everyone is saved. As much as I would like everyone to be saved, they are not -- not everyone I know, not even everyone in my family, is saved and will go to heaven. I recall an argument with a dear friend of mine... let's call him "Bill."

Bill: Everyone in my family is saved.

Me: But the actions of some people in your family don't bear any fruit. Maybe some aren't saved.

Bill: You can't judge their hearts. They're all good people.

Me: You're right, only God can judge their hearts, but I can judge their actions. They may do good things, but that doesn't indicate salvation. And some of them don't bear any good fruit at all.

Bill: I know for a fact that as a part of this family, everyone is a Christian.

Me: You just said, 'Man cannot judge the heart." Isn't that statement a judgement in and of itself also? I cannot judge their hearts and say, "They are not saved," but you cannot judge them either saying, "They are saved."

Bill: I'm not condemning them!

     Then I realized the opposite was true. My friend Bill refused to acknowledge the very real possibility of some people in his family not being born-again Christians. Because of this, he was the one condemning his family -- condemning his family to the possibility of going to hell for all eternity. How is this so? No one witnesses to a person who they think is saved. By refusing to take any action on the possibility that there may be lost members of his family, Bill is doing the equivalent of condemning them to hell -- he is withholding the life-giving message of salvation from those members of his family.

     Now, this does not mean that if one is uncertain of someone's salvation they must beat them over the head with a Bible until they repent. But it does mean that one must make an effort to be a witness through words and deeds. Make your life a living witness (it should be already because of the light we Christians hold within us regardless of if we're "trying to reach" somebody.)

     This whole experience, made me realize it is safer to assume someone is not a Christian until they have thoroughly -- through words and actions -- proved themselves to be one. Otherwise, I will be lulled into a sleepy state of being a non-witness because I won't care who is watching me: "everyone is a Christian, who cares what I'm doing." What makes this even sadder is that it shouldn't matter who is watching me or not; God is always watching me, I should act in a way that glorifies Him because it pleases Him.

     As Christ's messengers on earth, it is our job as Christians to spread the gospel to all corners of the world. This includes the little nooks and crannies in our personal circles and families. We must be living witnesses of God's glory: being both a caring spirit of conviction and a life-giving witness of hope through the power and spirit of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Footsteps of Angels

     This is a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about the encouragement that comes from memories of those who have died. I love the descriptions and rhythm in this poem.

Footsteps of Angels

When the hours of Day are numbered,
And the voices of the Night
Wake the better soul, that slumbered,
To a holy, calm delight;

Ere the evening lamps are lighted,
And, like phantoms grim and tall,
Shadows from the fitful firelight
Dance upon the parlor wall;

Then the forms of the departed
Enter at the open door;
The beloved, the true-hearted,
Come to visit me once more;

He, the young and strong, who cherished
Noble longings for the strife,
By the roadside fell and perished,
Weary with the march of life!

They, the holy ones and weakly,
Who the cross of suffering bore,
Folded their pale hands so meekly,
Spake with us on earth no more!

And with them the Being Beauteous,
Who unto my youth was given,
More than all things else to love me,
And is now a saint in heaven.

With a slow and noiseless footstep
Comes that messenger divine,
Takes the vacant chair beside me,
Lays her gentle hand in mine.

And she sits and gazes at me
With those deep and tender eyes,
Like the stars, so still and saint-like,
Looking downward from the skies.

Uttered not, yet comprehended,
Is the spirit's voiceless prayer,
Soft rebukes, in blessings ended,
Breathing from her lips of air.

Oh, though oft depressed and lonely,
All my fears are laid aside,
If I but remember only
Such as these have lived and died!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Street Guitar

I wish I could be there to watch him play! This street guitarist is AMAZING!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Resting With Purpose

     As the last weeks of summer draw to a close, I was thinking about the last-minute vacations and personal time splurges people would be taking as a "final haul" for summer. I was thinking about how people spend their "down time," "veg-out time," "brain-dead time," and what people do to "relax." The top things I could think of were: watching television, listening to music, and playing video games.

     All of these are things I enjoy, but I was thinking about the quantity people consume them in the name of "down-time." With the last few days of summer quickly moving by, I was wondering how many people would binge play Call of Duty for three days straight or watch all four seasons of the Walking Dead back to back before summer officially ended.

Then the thought floated into my mind:

     How many people would spend three days in prayer for the persecuted Christians in the middle east? How many people would donate $100 not to a shopping spree, but to a Christian organization? How many people would sleep-in until noon, but not spend and extra 15 minutes in their devotions?

     I am guilty of all these charges over the summer as a whole. I have not spent or done as much as I should have for the cause of Christ, but I sure made time to do the things I wanted to do. There is a little hope left, however: summer is not yet over. Better sooner than later, make a change now by analyze how the time is spent.

     Why not relax by reading an extra Bible chapter? Or dedicate 15 minutes to prayer (I like to pray by journaling my words to God.) What's more, I've usually found spending time with the Lord to be more relaxing and rejuvenating than watching a movie. A movie makes my mind race with ideas; prayer clams my mind and prioritizes my thoughts.

     Once again, there is nothing wrong with music or movies -- I couldn't imagine my life without either of them! -- but the question comes with quantity and quality. Is your time with God suffering because of these activities? Or does your interaction with God pale in comparison to your interaction with pastimes?

     Most importantly, if you do see a problem, what are you going to do about it? Recognition of a problem doesn't make a difference if no action is taken. If you need accountability, find someone. If you need to set timers or alarms to limit your play time, do it. There is no excuse for allowing your spiritual life to suffer in the name of "relaxation."

     The beautiful part is God promises blessings to those who seek Him out.

"I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me" (Proverbs 8:17, NASB).

     Seeking the Lord is the beginning and continuation of a strong relationship with Christ. In Him all things are possible, including relaxation and down-time.
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