P.I.C.N.I.C. Problems

  In case you missed my post on the Jewels of Encouragement blog, here it is:

I encountered a P.I.C.N.I.C problem—again. 

I first learned that term during a Toastmaster’s roast speech given by “Joe” who had spent the last twenty-eight years working on computers. Joe said the problems he’d dealt with fell into two categories, the most common being P.I.C.N.I.C. He explained the techie term:







I fall into that category more than any of us would want to admit. Nothing more frustrating than constant Error! Error! messages.

Back to my P.I.C.N.I.C problem of late. I was determined to learn how to format my own eBook for such devices I’ve never seen, such as Kindles, Nooks, Sony Readers, this-and-that newest gadget. Not to mention iPhones and Macs. Okay, we won’t go there.

I had a wonderful step-by-step guide to light my way down the lonely HTML path. Scary stuff, not because I’d never used it, but because I had.

The first step got me because it was deceptively simple. Download a freebie Programming Text Editor. Nothing to it.

Error! Error!

I tried again. And again.

I decided to skip that step and move on, trying to use the lame default text editor on my computer. Soon I was back to the freebie, determined to get it downloaded. It proved to be a P.I.C.N.I.C problem.

That overcome, I tried to copy my half-formatted Word doc into my prize editor. Another simple step.

Error! Error!

Three deep breaths, I tried to save the doc.

Error! Error!

Getting frustrated with the Error! Error!? Me too. In my brother’s words, I was ready to throw my laptop into the street. Well, I’d never do that to my baby, but one of us was about to lose it. I did the only thing I could do. Shut it down. Let the soft purr of the fan quiet to stillness. In that silence, it dawned on me the one thing I hadn’t tried to get this to work.


So I did. And I got specific. Lord, please let this program work right. Let me be able to do this.

I rebooted, opened my programs and got back to work. I discovered my latest P.I.C.N.I.C problem and resolved it. Onward.

It wasn’t until I shut down for the night with a hot shower that I realized another prayer was needed.

Thank You Lord, for letting me see my errors.

Ah. I should stop and pray about life’s P.I.C.N.I.C problems more often. God is always waiting with the answers to life's Error! Error! messages.


Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Prov. 3:5-6 NKJV 


For Him,

Sarah Elisabeth

Kittens and Prayers

       I’m not much on the forwards that inundate my email inbox, but this was too good to pass up. And it provoked some interesting thoughts which I’ll get into after you read:


The Pastor’s Cat

     Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about the pastor of his church. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, but the kitty would not come down. The tree wasn’t sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and pulled it until the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.

     That's what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car. He figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car a little forward, the rope broke.

     The tree went 'boing!' and the kitten instantly sailed through the air - out of sight.

     The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they'd seen a little kitten. No, nobody had seen a stray kitten. So he prayed, 'Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping,' and went on about his business.

     A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. Everyone knew this woman was a cat hater, so he asked her, 'Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?' She replied, 'You won't believe this,' and then told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her daughter, 'Well, if God gives you a cat, I'll let you keep it.'

     She told the pastor, 'I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won't believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her.'



      After some doubled over laughter, I thought, “True story? Yeah right.” It’s too bizarre. Too outrageous. Too unlikely. Yet how many things like that have I experienced? My life is a beautiful example of just how far God will go to ignite joy in His children’s hearts.      Maybe the story is true, maybe it isn’t. But why am I so quick to doubt? Instead, I should pray, “Not my will, but Yours be done,” and trust Him with the rest.      So the next time you pray, look up. You never know when God may send the answer in the form of a kitty flying over your fence of doubt.