An Eternal Perspective


One of the blessings of blogging is getting to know fellow bloggers and writers. It’s especially wonderful when you encounter someone who is thought provoking and who challenges you in your Christian walk. They inspire you to come up higher…or grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

It’s always made easier when that that message is given by a godly, humble servant of God. One of those people for me is Janna at her website Bread Crumbs.

In stopping by Janna’s website today I discovered her piece on Saddam Hussein, “Saddam and Sadness”. In this piece Janna was able to take this event…and use it at a tool for Christians to examine themselves and their daily walk with God. I would encourage you to bookmark Janna’s Bread Crumbs as a favorite…and visit regularly.

I found Janna’s post “Saddam and Sadness” quite thought provoking…and I rambled on in my comments. Please be sure to check out Janna’s original post.

In some respects this is a bittersweet day for those whose lives were personally impacted by Saddam’s brutality. A good day to know that this man will never harm anyone ever again…but bitter in that it brings up fresh their loved one’s torturous death or an inescapable reminder to those who are alive and bear the scars from the atrocities that he committed upon his people.


Below are the comments I left at Janna’s website in response to “Saddam and Sadness”.

Miss Janna,

Indeed it is a sad day. Saddam lived a wasted life and an life of evil…and caused much death and destruction to so many. There must be great sadness felt by those who were victims of Saddam because this man was allowed to rule with terror for so long. While it is good that a very evil person has been removed and can never perpetrate his evil sadistic ways upon people again…the first and better option would be for Saddam and all others to turn to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Just trying to contemplate what the world would be like if we all had the Holy Spirit within us and cleaning us from the inside out…what a wonderful world it would be. Actually that will be our future…in heaven. And the cleansing will be complete.

But the question is…what we will be doing this side of heaven to make sure that God’s Gospel message is getting out there to a lost and dying world. Our responsibility is to share the Gospel message…and we were all given that Great Commission.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” – Mark 16:15

Not just the missionaries…or those folks who are bold and like to talk to people…or those who have been Christians for many a year and have years of Bible study under their belt. But all Christians. It doesn’t have to be a formula…instead make it your own style and share the Gospel with those you encounter in your world.

We have a great treasure…the cure for a terminal illness that will determine a persons place in eternity. We are called to share that message…let God work in their heart.

Most folks aren’t evil dictators in the world that commit atrocities. But instead they are everyday people, who from a human perspective are pretty good. But they either don’t believe in God…or they are trusting in their own good works…or God grading on the curve. After all they are not Saddam Hussein.

“There is no one righteous, no not one.” Romans 3:10

Will we have an eternal perspective…and let that guide our walk each day? Or hide our light in a very dark world? A world that is filled with people who will stumble into the eternal abyss…if they don’t receive the Light of the world…Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Sorry to go on and on…but your post is very thought provoking.

Thank you so much Miss Janna. I pray that you and your readers will have good and blessed New Year.

Lord bless…Susan

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Good Riddance!

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.” – Genesis 9:6

Are you a good, decent God fearing person…and feeling a little squeamish about Saddam Hussein and the announcement of his execution? Before you are too quick to condemn those who executed him…please check out a few facts about Saddam.


Saddam Hussein – Crimes and Human Rights Abuses

Amnesty International – Decades of Human Rights Abuse in Iraq

A Life Saving War – the Weekly Standard

The Mass Graves – Victims of Saddam



“A man tormented by the guilt of murder will be a fugitive till death; let no one support him.” – Proverb 28:17

The year is ending on a better note than what it started. The world is a better place without you Saddam. I don’t celebrate at the death of human beings. However I do rise up and applaud when evil people are given a small measure of justice. Good Riddance Saddam!

And Suddenly Came Christmas…

On the heels of a busy, unrelenting and upside down year…I found myself smack dab in the middle of Christmas. How I got there…I couldn’t quite tell you.

If it hadn’t been for a vacation day taken in early December…my halls most certainly would not have been decked for Christmas. As it is…some of those decorations remain on a table…or draped over a chair. Honest and truly I had every intention to put them up. But before I knew it…it was Christmas. It came whether I was ready or not.

Christmas cards were done in batches…and presents wrapped in the order I would see people in the countdown to Christmas.

True confession…today is the day after Christmas…and I still have gifts I’ve not yet opened. The days leading up to Christmas…were filled to the brim…not a lot of down time this year. Today…was back to work.

Even though I have presents yet to open…I must say some of the most meaningful gifts I received this year…were not wrapped in packages tied together with a pretty bow.

Instead…they were words…in a note or a Christmas card or e-mail. Word of thanks filled with gracious loving words from someone I admire. Or a Christmas card received from someone who has passed out of my life as our lives have taken divergent paths. A card sent not out of obligation or duty…but one with a message that comes from the heart.

Those words…mean more to me than all the gold in the world. You see…I can take those with me. They’ll remain in good times and bad…and encourage my heart when the road ahead is rough.

Those are the ones I have a hard time reading because my eyes are filled with tears. If I have to answer the phone when reading one of those notes…my voice may sound a little funny because of the lump in my throat.

Or it was a phone call I received as I sat on the floor in the children’s book department debating on whether to get the DVD or book. A call…just to see how things were going.

Those are the gifts I’ll treasure…those are the gifts I’ll take with me.

This has been a defining year…a clarifying year. A year in which the wheat and chaff have been thrown into the wind. I’ve found that the wheat has landed and remains. The chaff…blew away.

To those of you who have remained that constant in my life…I am eternally grateful. To those new people whom God has brought into my life…I thank God for you.

The greatest gift was one that my Father in heaven planned for me before the foundations of the world. The gift that came over 2,000 years ago. That babe, who lay in a manger, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. One who lived a perfect, sinless life. One whose righteous sacrifice on the cross was accepted by the Father as propitiation for my sin.

That same Jesus is the One who walked with me throughout this year and helped me bear burdens…too heavy for this weak, frail, sinful human.

I wonder…did the cross cast a shadow over the baby Jesus as He lay in the manger on that night over 2,000 years ago?

To Forgive or Not to Forgive

To forgive or not to forgive, that is the question.
Whether it is easier to dwell upon an offense,
And grow hurt into anger and bitterness.

Or forgive the offender,
Whether repentant of their deed,
Or cold hearted and unresponsive.

To focus on the pain,
Feed a gloomy countenance,
That looms like a thundercloud overhead.

Or obey my heavenly Father’s command,
To forgive my fellow man,
That I too might be forgiven.

To believe the lies of the enemy,
Be controlled by that, which is temporary,
Fail to recognize that this too shall pass.

Or trust Jesus Christ my Savior,
Think upon that which is true, lovely and pure.
Seek that which is praiseworthy and of eternal value.

by Susan Bunts – December 18, 2006

This year has been not only a year of clarity…but one with many lessons in forgiveness.


I’m a pretty straight shooter in life…and when confronted with something that’s not right…I will likely speak my mind in a very direct manner. Not leave a lot of wiggle room. If I don’t speak my mind…then I hold onto that which bothered me and I can’t even look the person in the eye and I loose respect.

I don’t know quite what to do when I get no response. It’s hard…I’d prefer a response of “Go pound sand!” than to be ignored.

But when I’m met with silence…I have a choice. God calls me to forgive. That forgiveness should not be dependent on someone acknowledging an offense, apologizing or choosing to ignore me. If let my reaction and choice to forgive be dependent upon them…then I’m held hostage.

Instead my Father in heaven…has made it abundantly clear that I need to walk in present, everyday forgiveness. It is only by His strength and wisdom I can do that which goes against my nature…forgive.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” – Matthew 18:21-22

Lessons in Forgiveness

“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” – Bryant H. McGill

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“You can’t undo anything you’ve already done, but you can face up to it. You can tell the truth. You can seek forgiveness. And then let God do the rest.” – Author Unknown

“Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.” – Oscar Wilde

“Most of us can forgive and forget; we just don’t want the other person to forget that we forgave” – Ivern Ball

“You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.” – Lewis B. Smedes

“When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive” – Alan Paton

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain

“Forgiveness is the oil of relationships” – Josh McDowell

“Men forget but never forgive. Women forgive but never forget.” – Author Unknown

“Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness.” – H Jackson Brown, Jr.

“I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note – torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“He who is devoid of the power to forgive, is devoid of the power to love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese

“Forgiveness means letting go of the past.” – Gerald Jampolsky

To Forgive or Not to Forgive


To forgive or not to forgive, that is the question.
Whether it is easier to dwell upon an offense,
And grow hurt into anger and bitterness.

Or forgive the offender,
Whether repentant of their deed,
Or cold hearted and unresponsive.

To focus on the pain,
Feed a gloomy countenance,
That looms like a thundercloud overhead.

Or obey my heavenly Father’s command,
To forgive my fellow man,
That I too might be forgiven.

To believe the lies of the enemy,
Be controlled by that, which is temporary,
Fail to recognize that this too shall pass.

Or trust Jesus Christ my Savior,
Think upon that which is true, lovely and pure.
Seek that which is praiseworthy and of eternal value.

by Susan Bunts, December 18, 2006

This year has been not only a year of clarity…but one with many lessons in forgiveness.

I’m a pretty straight shooter in life…and when confronted with something that’s not right…I will likely speak my mind in a very direct manner. Not leave a lot of wiggle room. If I don’t speak my mind…then I hold onto that which bothered me and I can’t even look the person in the eye and I loose respect.

I don’t know quite what to do when I get no response. It’s hard…I’d prefer a response of “Go pound sand!” than to be ignored.

But when I’m met with silence…I have a choice. God calls me to forgive. My forgiving should not be dependant on someone acknowledging an offence, apologizing or if they choose to ignore me. If let my reaction and choice to forgive be dependant upon them…then I’m held hostage.

Instead my Father in heaven…has made it abundantly clear that I need to walk in present, everyday forgiveness. It is only by His strength and wisdom I can do that which goes against my nature…forgive.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” – Matthew 18:21-22

"That’ll be $80!"

“That’ll be $80. That’ll be $80. That’ll be $80”…said the clerk as she wrapped the ornaments I had selected. Not once looking up to see my card in hand ready to pay for my Christmas purchases.

It’s not unusual to run into folks with a little less Christmas cheer than one would expect during the Christmas season. After all it can be a busy time and the stress and demands run high. But this encounter took place at a Christian bookstore. One would expect a smiling face and cheerful, joy filled attitude to be filling the air in such a place where the employees know Jesus Christ and that His birth 2,000 years ago heralded God in human flesh coming to redeem humanity from their sin.

That no matter what was happens in her life she has security of peace with God. The certainty that when she dies…she will have eternal life in heaven with her Redeemer and Lord. The assurance that she is loved by God…who chose to bear her sins on the cross in order to that her sins would be forgiven and washed clean so she might spend eternity in heaven with Him. The comfort to know that the Holy Spirit dwells within her…guiding and directing her…and interceding in prayer on her behalf.

But none of that was visible on her face…instead her countenance reflected one carrying many burdens. Each customer representing someone who needed something…somebody else who was going to take away and not give back…with nary a thanks. Someone who may not care about the person behind the counter who was hurting and in need of love and assurance. Each person that she helped…seemed to take away a little bit more.

Her self involvement and pain that made her oblivious to those she was supposed to be helping. That surely wasn’t what I needed that day. Instead I needed a smiling face and a warm heart to greet me. I too was carrying a burden that day…rejection and cold heart from one I had respected…and my heart was hurting.

While tears had been shed the night before…that morning I was intent to do my level best to spread Christmas cheer. Dressed in Christmas attire…made complete with a jingle bell and my red velvet Santa’s hat…I was hoping to brighten people’s day. The words Merry Christmas could safely be said to one who obviously celebrates the blessed day.

Perhaps I was a wee bit on the quiet side that day…and rather wearing a big silly grin…a Mona Lisa smile graced my lips as I contemplated why I was rejection. But I was intent on making the best of that day. After all…it is the Christmas season…a time to celebrate Jesus Christ and God’s great gift of love…not only for me, but all of humanity.

While I needed an encounter with a bright and smiling face…I understood the pain and burden visible on the face of another human being. As I left the store…I wasn’t surprised to find God nudging me to get some CDs out of my car and give them to the downcast clerk. Recently…I’ve been handing out some Christmas CDs from my beloved former Pastor Chuck Obremski. But I knew that this girl…needed a dose of “Desperation to Dependence”.

I felt a little awkward as I walked back in the store and hoped that she was still behind the counter. I waited until she looked up…and then handed her the CDs. I don’t know the weight and burdens that girl is carrying…but I do know that God wanted me to reach out to her. Thanks to the faithful Audio Ministry at Kindred Community Church…I’m always able to have CDs available to place in the hands of someone in need.

I don’t know her burdens…but God does…and God provides. It is my prayer that God will use His word to comfort her and help her as she carries a heavy load during what’s supposed to be a happy and joyful season.

To the girl behind the counter…I wish you a very Merry Christmas…may you find the joy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ this Christmas season.

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8.