Really…Honest and Truly

I swear to you…honest and truly…I’m not a bad “kitty mom”. Really I’m not. However…my kitty Nathan may beg to differ with me. His assessment may be a little different after Saturday’s “bag incident”.

When I first saw Nathan having difficulty walking I went to investigate…to see if he got his claws stuck on something. A closer look revealed that Nathan…AKA nosy Nate…somehow got a Starbuck’s bag slung around his head and neck. Kind of like a backpack.

Now a normal mom…would have rushed to his aid and immediately freed Nathan from the bag. That wasn’t my first reaction. Or let me state…I battled between instincts.

I couldn’t quite control the laughter…and I ran to get the camera. As you can see…little Rudy (whose not so little anymore)…wanted to help his brother. Or is that annoy his brother when the chips were down? Anyway…after posing for a couple of pictures (albeit reluctantly) from the laughing photographer…Nathan was freed, no worse for wear from the Starbuck’s bag.

Now you understand why Nathan has earned the nickname “Nosy Nate”.

Light the Night – Chuck Obremski Finish Strong Team

I’m not a person that normally hits people up for money. I don’t have Tupperware parties or the like. But there is one thing that is starting to be a tradition…and that is participating in the “Chuck Obremski Finish Strong” Team as our members from Kindred Community Church and family and friends join with Light the Night to raise money for cancer research.

If you’ve ever talked to me for five minutes…or read my blog…or been handed a CD album with awesome Bible teaching from my beloved former Pastor Chuck Obremski…you know how God has used him to influence my life for good.

This coming September 18th, it will be two years since Chuck finished strong and went home to be with our Lord. While he is separated physically for a time from those who love him and miss him…he is still very much near and dear to us.

If I may be so bold…to invite you, if you live in the southern California area to join us at Angel’s Stadium…(or is that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California? Hey it’s California…we have “issues”…you know what I mean?) on the night of September 15th to celebrate the life of a godly man who showed each of us how to “finish strong”. You can register by going to Light the Night (, click on register and search for the Chuck Obremski Finish Strong team. It will be a lovely night…as we join with cancer survivors and family and friends of those who have been impacted by cancer to raise money for this worthy cause.

To join the Chuck Obremski Finish Strong team…we’ll be located under the “Finish Strong” banner in the parking lot in front of the stadium, near the red hat closest to the “Big A”. I look forward to seeing you all!

Now if I may be bolder…if you can’t join us…how about donating to a worthy cause. Many of you likely know someone who has been impacted by cancer…so you know how important cancer research is in allowing people to live longer lives so they too can achieve that which God has called them to do and “Finish Strong”.

I’ve registered with Light the Night…and have a web page (susanwalkergirl). If you can contribute…I would be most grateful for you kindness. I hope to see you there!


We look to You oh Lord,
For You have a plan,
From before the foundations of our world were laid.

You alone know whom You have called,
A man who loves Your word,
Faithful to preach the truth…uncompromised.

We pray for ears to hear You,
Hearts to obey You,
Willing to follow Your lead.

We ask that You prepare our hearts,
To receive him,
Welcome the one whom you have called…into our fold.

By Susan Bunts
August 26, 2007

As the Pastoral Search Committee gave their report…I found my attention riveted. As Dean got up to speak…lets just say he had my attention. Every few months for close to two years now we’d have a report or update on the status and progress our Pastoral Search Committee. It’s been almost two years since our beloved Pastor Chuck Obremski finished well…and went home to be with our Lord.

During that time…God has prepared our hearts. He gave us time to grieve and mourn. A time to accept. A time to look to the Lord and seek His plan and timing. A time to hunger and thirst for His Word. Now it appears that time may have come to a close. While it remains in the hands of the Lord and we continue to ask for His wisdom and guidance, as we may soon have a Senior Pastor.

With state of many churches today…we are most concerned that this man whom God has called be deeply rooted and grounded in the Word of God. That he will be faithful to preach the Word…since it has the power of salvation…for all who believe.

When we look out on our church body…we don’t know who still needs to hear the Gospel message. Yet we all need the Word of God…which is able to divide soul and spirit…to comfort and convict. May we be mindful that there are ravenous wolves which seek to devour the sheep. We pray that God will bring us a shepherd who will tend to us and care for us…like the Good Shepherd.

So we wait…continue to pray for God timing, God’s plan…and the man whom God has called. Will you pray with us?

The Darkness of Despair

Today I was reminded in abundance of a time in my life when I was walking in the darkness of depression. It was such an awful time…and something that lasted for far too long. I desire to never, ever let that kind of feeling rule my life again. That’s not to say…I’m never depressed. But in comparison to before…I’m almost walking on sunshine.

Today I was reminded of that feeling of what the pit of depression feels like and what it’s like to see people and life all around you…going on just like normal. As if they are oblivious to you and your pain and despair. A despair that seems like utter hopelessness. Only after the fact did I discovered that no…it was just for a season.

In a way…life going on around you as normal…makes the place of despair seem all the more darker. Talk about alone…you never feel more alone, small and insignificant as when you are locked in the embrace of despair…and it won’t let go. You feel like you have no voice. If you were to speak out…no one would hear you.

Thankfully it’s a thing of the past. But I see so many brothers and sisters in the body of Christ undergoing severe attack right now. Devastating blows that are almost sinking people. It can be tough to hang onto faith. But hang on we must.

That is precisely the enemy’s tactic and desire. To see us defeated and despairing. To be consumed with our problems so that we are focused on them…and not trusting God. He loves to make us feel forsaken by God.

When I see the attacks so pervasive toward the body of Christ…I am reminded that his time is growing short. He knows he’s loosing and will ultimately go down in defeat. While he may not be able to take away our salvation…or eternal rewards…he desires to make our existence so miserable here that God and eternity seem so far off that we cease caring. For Christians…our hell is here. For the unbeliever…this is as close to heaven as they will ever get. Not because Christians are better…by no means…but because we’ve received the prescribed remedy for sin…Christ Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

As a Christian…I’m not suppose to hate anyone…nor wish anyone to go to hell. But I have absolute liberty to tell the enemy that I hate him…with an everlasting hate. I rejoice at the thought of him being tossed into the lake of fire…for eternity. It’s a perfect match…because that is who hell was created for…our enemy…the hater of our souls. One day soon…his rein of terror and hatred will end…I look forward to that day. What a wonderful day that will be…thank you Jesus!


“We can never fully know God’s power in our lives until we are at our weakest.

“Rejection…doesn’t rejection hurt all the more when it comes from one who knows you well?

God is at work in me right now…not sure exactly to what end…and what will be the result…I feel as though I am under construction as I have embarked on listening to Beth Moore’s “A Woman’s Heart” Bible Study.

When listening to the CD’s I sometimes feel assailed by thoughts and ideas and memories from the past. Sometimes they come so fast I can’t even remember them so I can write them down. Other times…I can hardly wait to get to my computer or put pen to paper. I made a mad dash to the computer to jot down the above thoughts.

On Thursday morning…as the water flowed over me during my morning shower and I was waking up…I was surprised when I clearly recalled an episode of painful rejection from last year. Good gracious…where did that come from? The enemy? Yeah…I’ve been feeling some arrows coming my way lately. One of his most effective instruments is to make me feel alone, isolated and rejected…so that I will distrust God and His motives and work in my life.

Today as I continued to listen to the CD’s…memories from my teenage years and early adulthood came to mind. I found myself wishing that I could talk to my mother…just talk as an adult…and deal with left over issues. Things that were never discussed or dealt with during our life. Ask why or what were you thinking? Or what was going on in your life that caused this or that? Unfortunately…that’s a conversation that will have to take place the other side of heaven…since the woman I see each week bears little resemblance to my mother. At times she knows I’m her daughter…but more often…I’m her sister or an old schoolmate that comes to visit.

Our relationship was not a great one. Sometimes I use to think it was because we were not biologically related and she never really bonded with me or maybe didn’t like me. But in actuality…I think we were just very different. Just like I’m not perfect and a work in progress…she too was that when I was growing up. A mother…not bad…but surely not perfect. One who carried her own scars into motherhood and life.

I do find myself concerned for her salvation. One who didn’t have a close walk with God…nor did she talk much about God, nor know His word. We didn’t go to church, nor read the Bible until after my father died when I was 10. After that we started to attend church. It’s hard for the outside observer to know for sure…but from the evidence throughout her life…I’m left with the thought…I don’t really know if she has ever accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Thus you will find me quizzing her or preaching to her every now and again.

I wonder…does her repeating the sinner’s prayer when her mind and will is fading if not gone…does it count? Or is it just me…trying to lead or drag her into the kingdom?

On a recent preaching episode with Gayle…I was explaining the Gospel. When I asked her if she wanted to accept Jesus…she responded, “Well I’m not sure…that sounds too good to be true.” Indeed it is too good…but thankfully it is true. I got her to say the words. Only the Lord knows the results of those words. Did it take…is she saved? I don’t know. Thus…I will likely continue to press the point.

Even though I have a life time of rejection that is blinding at times…I remind myself that I have been accepted by God. That if all else forsake me…that I am accepted in the Beloved. Does that help…yes mostly…and no for pain still remains…and questions…and scars.

There are times when I want to say to God…I believe in You. I am grateful for the sacrifice of Jesus for my sins…and I’ve accepted Him as my Lord and Savior…but I can’t go on. I’ll live a decent life…and won’t get involved in that which is wrong…but I don’t want to do anything more than that. I want to just live my life. He of all people knows the hurt in my heart…and knows that which is deep and invisible to others…but it’s bright as the noon day sun to Him. He knows it…and He has the ability to help heal and end that pain. But for whatever reason…thus far He has chosen not to.

And that’s when I start to get a stinky attitude…and say I love you God…but I don’t want to do anything more than live my life. I can’t give that which I don’t have. For an outpouring of love and service…surely I need to have my tanks filled. But they remain dangerous close to empty. I’m tired of running on empty.

Does having lived this life with pain make me more compassionate and understanding towards those who are hurting? Yes…I know well what it’s like to have a hurting heart. But in some respects…it’s also dulled my feelings. The hurt has caused scars that are tough. Scars which help protect my heart from further injury. At times…I can be rather cold hearted and uncaring. I feel like I’m running on empty…and by my own power and can’t go much further.

I do believe that this will necessitate me trusting God…even when it doesn’t feel safe and when I don’t want to. So does that bring me back to my first point?

“We can never fully know God’s power in our lives until we are at our weakest.

Hum…well…I’m there. Today I feel as though I’m at my weakest…and need a miracle. I don’t only want to know rest, peace and the fullness of love when I get to heaven. I want to know it down here…this side of heaven. I want to give to people…out of the fullness and abundance of my heart…not only from a heart that is running on empty.

Reflections on Worship

Just think…we won’t need to glance at lyrics printed in a hymnal, nor shown on a screen in heaven. They will be in our hearts and on our lips. Even better…we’ll be in harmony. There will be no disagreement on what praise and worship music we sing. Everyday in heaven…will be a day in which we want to…desire to give praise and worship to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. We won’t be distracted by the events of the day. People will understand, appreciate, agree and join in with our worship…not look at us like we are crazy. Our hands will be lifted high or held in prayerful thanksgiving. We will not be self conscious on our style or what we are doing.

Not a Clue

After last night’s Bible study…I came away thinking that I don’t have clue what true worship of God is. Nor what it will be like when I join all the saints in heaven worshiping, along with the angels and four living creatures who surround the throne of God. As we fall out before the throne…our voices joined in one accord, loudly singing praises to our Father and the Lamb of God who stands before the throne.

Each week it is my privilege to attend Kindred’s midweek Bible study as Elder Dave Dunn teaches the book of Revelation. Sometimes this book can be very intimidating to study because it’s hard to know what is symbolic and what will actually be happening in heaven and earth during that time. A time in our future…everyone’s future…both believer and unbeliever. But Dave has a way of making it understandable…but in no way does he remove the mystery nor diminish the majesty and marvelous work of our Lord.

Each week…it seems as if God impresses upon me a certain verse or passage. Last night…the verses were Revelation 7:11-12

“All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God saying:


Praise and glory,

And wisdom and thanks and honor

And power and strength

Be to our God for ever and ever.


My eyes were glued to the words fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God”. Fell down and worshiped…worshiped God.

As Dave further explained this passage my mind could hardly wrap around the picture of what this will be like.

Worship…do I really worship God?

I love praise and worship during our church service…and singing worship music any old time. There are times when I could get lost in it. Times when I almost feel the touch of heaven…and have glimpsed of the majesty of God…just a glimpse.

I remind myself that when Moses simply saw the afterglow of the trail of God…he glowed himself for a time. So much so that he had to veil himself when he returned to the Jews after coming down from the mountaintop.

Saul on the road to Damascus fell to the ground when he heard the voice of Jesus…whom he would soon learn was the long awaited Messiah. Saul…who went from rejecting Jesus and persecuting His followers to being the most influential evangelist the world has ever known. The one we now know as Paul.

John…when he saw Jesus in heaven…he fell at His feet as if he was a dead man. John knew Jesus in His earthly carnation. But when he encountered Him in heaven…the risen and ascended Savior…John fell down as if dead. There was no question…he was now before God. Jesus Christ…the Lamb of God…who is worthy of our praise, glory, honor and worship.

When I encounter someone or something good and praiseworthy…I find myself excited and eager to share the “good news”. I can hardly contain myself…and want to tell everyone I know. Now take that feeling and multiple that times infinity and that may give me a glimpse of what it will feel like in heaven to worship Lord Jesus. We will not be able to contain our worship and praise. We will have un-abandoned worship and will not be concerned what those around us think. Our focus will solely be on God.

Part of our worship of Jesus will be for what He’s done in saving us. Forgiving us for our sins and redeeming us from the pit of hell. But more than that…much more than that will be the worship of our Heavenly Father and the Holy Lamb of God…Jesus Christ. Worship and praise for who He is…and what He is.

What could possibly inspire all the saints in heaven, the angels…and the creatures to fall before Him in praise and worship? Well…it is that which makes Him God…those characteristic which elicited endless praise.


Praise and glory

And wisdom and thanks and honor

And power and strength

Be to our God for ever and ever.


Even if Jesus hadn’t saved us…He is still worthy of our praise. Even hadn’t sacrificed Himself upon the cross redeeming us from our sins…He is still worthy of praise.

Even those who reject him now and go to their grave without receiving Him as their Lord and Savior…will one day bow their knee and confess Jesus as Lord. Only then…He will not be their Lord…nor will He be their Savior. They will have chosen to pay the penalty for their own sins…eternal separation from God.

Is part of what makes hell, hell…the fact that it is separated from God? Separated from anything good?

Dave went on to briefly expand upon each of the aspects of God that are praised in the heavenly worship.

Amen…it is so!

Praise…to admire and commend, to pay tribute to and acclaim. – Psalm 71:8

Glory…beautify and magnify, wonder and grandeur. – Psalm 108:5

Wisdom…to judge correctly, to apply knowledge with understanding. – 1 John 3:20

Thanks…appreciation and gratefulness, an attitude of gratitude. – 1 Chronicles 16:34

Honor…Respect and splendor, to hold in high esteem. Psalm 145:5

Power…might and authority, an unfathomable reserve. – Psalm 66:1-3

Strength…the exhibition of potency, the ability to exercise might. – Isaiah 40:28-31

Amen…so be it!

How might I live a life of praise and worship of God…even here, even now today? Everyday?

How irresistible would I prove my Savior to be if I walked in the joy of the Lord…and continually praised Him? In the good times and bad…because my praise is about Who He is…not what He does for me or has given me.

To think that I get the added bonus…something I did not deserve…the additional thing to praise Jesus for…salvation. Salvation for one who is so unworthy. But I need not fear…for He is worthy…and has cleansed me from my sin and clothed me in His righteousness. I need not worry if I am acceptable…because I am accepted in the Beloved.

Do I treat Jesus as my Beloved? If not, why not? If not, when?

Time is a wasting…and if I am able to keep my focus on God…and be used by God to witness to only one lost soul…isn’t that worth it?

Just think of the people we will meet in heaven…who influenced us and encouraged us in our faith. Will I try to do that for others?

Who will be in hell that I was given an opportunity to influence for Christ…but failed to? Failed because I was more interested in me and my interests and pursuits than in their eternal salvation?

Jesus tells us that one day every tear will be wiped away from our eyes. But for a time…when we are in heaven we will be keenly aware of what is happening on earth…and our own failures. Tears will be shed in heaven for a time. May I try to live a life here and now that will not bring tears of sorrow.

Imagine if we could live a life of no regrets? Of doing our best…doing what is right…but trusting God and leaving the results up to Him?

Instead of imagining like John Lennon…I should imagine like the Apostle John…one who actually was there. Not just imagine but know that there is a heaven and there is a hell. That there is peace in Jesus Christ alone. That instead of religion…I have a relationship with God. Know that we are one in Christ…called from every people, tribe, nation and tongue.

We have been called to share that vision of heaven. Called to share the truth with those who have been deceived by the enemy. Share with those who believe a lie. Believe that there is no God…or who following a god of their own making. They may believe there is no heaven…but they will soon know the eternal reality of hell.

Instead of merely hoping that one day the unbeliever will one day join us in heaven…what will I do share the message that salvation and heaven is found in Christ Jesus alone?

God does not want the enemy to deceive one more person into hell. But the enemy does…and will continue to work “like the devil” to take as many people with him into the fiery eternal reality of hell.

It would be bad enough if when an unbeliever died their souls would just be extinguished. But that’s not the case…they continue to exist. It’s just a question of where. In the case of unbelievers…they will exist in hell.

How can I justify withholding the message of the Gospel? We’ve been equipped with the Gospel message, the Word of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit. What am I doing with that that message today?

I Desire Rain!

Oh Lord,
I feel so very small indeed.

Only silence,
Fills my days.

You dear Lord,
Seem so very far from me.

Like the dry parched land,
I desire rain.

I search, I seek,
Incline my listening ear towards Thee.

Only You know,
That which my lips I dare not utter.

My heart broken,
Requires Thy healing hand.

Like the waterless thirsty riverbed,
I desire rain.

I turn the pages,
I ask…seek Thy Spirit’s lead.

Like the wind ‘neath the eagles wing,
I pray Thy Spirit will carry me.

A miracle is needed,
Nothing short thereof.

I search the sky, no cloud in sight,
I desire rain.

By Susan Bunts
August 18, 2007


Imagine sending your 13 year old boy off to school…it’s a normal day like any other. He’s kind of gawky…but a good kid. Yeah…some times he makes some goofy decisions…but good golly who didn’t at awkward age.

Who would imagine when you reached out your hand to pick up that ringing phone…your life was about to be changed. Not to mention that your child…your precious 13 year old boy was about to be thrust into a surreal, unimaginable nightmare. Surely it must be that…because you feel as if you’ve fallen into the rabbit’s hole and entered the unreality of Alice in Wonderland.

This makes no sense…but finally you realize the police are serious. Your son has been arrested on sexual abuse charges. No…he’s not considered the victim…but he’s been accused!

You race down to the jail and hope to speak with your son. To calm him down and assure him to not worry that everything will okay. It’ll get straightened out in no time. After all who in their right mind would consider childish horseplay sexual abuse?

“Detective…I must see my boy! Please help me…let me see my boy! What do you mean he’s been strip searched and is being interrogated? He’s 13 years old for Pete’s sake. Are you nuts? Oh my gosh…all he was doing is racing down the hallway and swatting other kids on the butt. Not a good thing to do…but surely it’s not criminal…much less sexual abuse. So where are the other kids that were engaging in this horseplay? Huh? Where? Where are they? There were other kids doing the very same thing…only they weren’t arrested. Can you explain to me…why girls who were slapping boy’s butts were not arrested? How come only my son and another boy were selected for prosecution? I know I live in Oregon…one of the most liberal states…but this is beyond whack job liberal thinking.”

Who in their right mind would consider kids swatting each other on the butt during horseplay at school sexual abuse? Who? Who thinks it’s acceptable to strip search 13 year old boys? Could the real abusers in this instance be the overzealous police and DA?

Talk about checking your brain at the door. Talk about having no common sense. Talk about damaging children to the nth degree…and for what? Childish horseplay? What’s wrong with you?

Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison and their parents are facing that scenario right now today. Only it gets worse. After being arrested for “sexual abuse” these boys spent 5 days in jail. Their parents were not allowed to see them for over a day. Cory and Ryan are facing numerous counts of sexual abuse and harassment. During the course of their imprisonment these boys were strip searched. When taken to court they were shackled and were forced to wear jailhouse garb.

There are at least 7 other kids…both boys and girls who admittedly engaged in the same activity that Cory and Ryan did…and they are not facing any charges. How do you spell selective prosecution?

To make matter worse both families have been sent into financial disaster as they attempt to defend their sons. One family lost their car and had their electricity turned off. The insanity continues because they boys will now be going to trial. Thankfully the parents are fighting this and have received an outpouring of support from many across the county who are outraged. But apparently the judge, DA and prosecutor are not out raged and continue their case, despite the alleged “girl victims” recanting their claims of feeling abused. They said they felt pressured by the Principal and school Police Officer. There is one mother who remains resolute that her “little girl” was a victim because she like other kids, both boys and girls, was swatted on the butt. Just another example of women’s liberation making our society worse.

(As a side bar the same women’s rights groups that would find these kids actions as sexual abuse…are the sames ones that would fight for the that “little girl” to be able to have sex with whomever she wants, when ever she wants…and have an abortion at will without her parents being notified or approving. Another reason…why women’s rights and liberation groups have only served to make our nation worse. I rue the day you ever started.)

Can you imagine what it’s like to be your basic good kid…arrested and strip searched? I remember being a teenage girl and feeling very awkward just changing into my gym cloths in front of other kids. That was somewhat traumatizing…to a teenager who is going through all sorts of unfamiliar changes to their body. Can you imagine having police strip search you?

Now you tell me who the sexual abusers are? I’ll tell you who… Vice Principal Steve Tillery, school Police Officer Marshall Roache, District Attorney Bradley Berry and Prosecutor Debra Markham!

Do I think that kids swatting each other on the butt is okay? No…I think it’s inappropriate and worthy of a chat in the Principals office. I think it’s worthy of detention after school…and perhaps even a brief suspension. I also think that when 9 teenagers participate in this activity…that 9 teenagers should be given the same punishment. I don’t believe in selective prosecution.

Steve, Marshall, Bradley and Debra…what you’ve done is wrong and inexcusable. Each of you should loose your job. Bradley Berry…you need to go the way of Michael Nifong. I hope that one day…both of you will reap the consequences of your actions and face time behind bars. Shame on you…you have abused and misused your powers!

The other thing that you have done…is further muddied the waters in deciphering real sexual abuse cases. So now when people hear that someone engaged in sexual abuse…they won’t know if it’s trumped up ridiculous charges such as you have made up…or genuine sexual abuse that needs to be dealt with ever so severely. We go from one extreme to the other with our courts. Prosecutors that charge 13 old boys with sexual abuse for swatting each other on the butt and another judge lets a man who repeatedly rapes a 5 year old child go…only to have him murder 3 people. We are living in very, very weird and sick society.

I usually reserve my giving to my church or to other Christian organizations which promote the Gospel message and support family values. But this is one time that I will make an exception. I’m sending off a check to help support the families of Cory and Ryan as they have to go to trial and defend themselves.

If Cory and Ryan loose…they will face years in jail and being placed on a registered sexual abusers data base for life. If you feel compassion for these boys and their families…you can send a letter of support and or a check to:

The Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison Defense Fund.

Wells Fargo Bank


Lawrence Law Firm
235 NE 3rd St. Suite #1
McMinnville, OR 97128

Folks…we have a war on boys in this society. We can not afford to allow these overzealous prosecutors to get away with such outrageous actions without putting up a fight.

I ask you…to please do what you can to help. To read more on this case…please check out Susan Goldsmith’s excellent articles in The Oregonian. Contact the District Attorney’s office and convey your feelings about this case.

I feel like I live in an upside down world. Doesn’t the Bible warn us about such people?

“Woe unto you who call evil good and good evil.” – Isaiah 5:20

“And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.”– Mark 9:42


While there have been many days I’ve lamented the fact that I came to the Lord so late in my life (at the age of 32)…I must say there have been times recently where I have been grateful instead. Grateful because I’m keenly aware of my sinfulness and unrighteousness and that I have been saved solely by the grace of God and not by my own works. That means…my salvation is secure. I didn’t earn it, nor deserve it. It was bought and paid for by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. It’s a done deal. I’ve been bought and paid for by the blood of the lamb. My salvation can never be taken from me.

Now when I’m a bonehead…and acting in my flesh and choosing to walk according to my own will and plan…then I will have a break in my fellowship with Jesus for time. But the relationship is secure…and I will be restored when I repent and turn back to God.

There have been many a time when I was envious of those who have been Christians for as long as they can remember. Or those who had Christian parents…and raised them up in the faith…and led them to the Lord at a young age. Those who didn’t have many years of wandering in the desert…living in the sin…lost in their sin and facing eternal punishment when they died.

To have such peace…and not have to look back at your life and see some ugly scars…now wouldn’t that be lovely? Indeed!

But I must say…I may have a deeper appreciation for just how great a work my salvation is. A deeper understanding of how close I came to hell. If you stand too close to me…I dare say you may still smell the whiff of smoke from the hell fire that licked at my soul. That is until that day…16 years ago last May when I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

While at times…I find the sins that people engage in are repulsive and I want to stand in judgment against them…I still remember all too well what it’s like to live and walk with a mind that is darkened to the things of God. While there is a part of my flesh that wants to take credit or brag that I’m no longer like that…there too many daily reminders that it is but there for the grace of God…there go I.

Self righteousness ought to have no place in this girl’s life…one who not too long ago escaped a destiny in hell…where Satan was looking forward to welcoming me personally.

I started to think back…on what it’s like to have that darkened mind. What were my thoughts…what was my life really like?

  • Discontent…nothing made me happy…or at least not for very long. Everything soon lost its luster.
  • Dissatisfied…with myself and everyone else.
  • Life was just painful…and seemed to have no purpose.
  • I never felt good enough…but that didn’t stop me from trying to be.
  • I wanted to pretty, skinny, smart, nice, popular and have lots of friends. Be rich and be able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
  • Unloved and unlovable.
  • I always felt that if I wanted something…then I was the one that would have to “make it happen”.
  • Alone…utterly alone.
  • I felt like no one cared…not even my mother.
  • That everyone was out for themselves.
  • Nothing ever satisfied me.
  • I wanted to be cool…and highly esteemed…in order to be loved.
  • I tried to fill my mind with the wisdom of this world, psychology, philosophy, politics…but it was empty, vapid and missed the mark.
  • I found Christians to be the most irritating people in the world…and don’t you know it…God continued to bring many of them across my path.
  • I danced with the dark side of life…as I delved into the occult.
  • Rejected
  • When I chose to follow the ways of the world…there was still that nagging voice in the back of my head that assured me that what I was doing was wrong…a sinner. Thus…there was no enjoyment in the moment that was supposed to bring me pleasure.
  • I can honestly say for many years…probably from shortly after my dad died…until my 30’s a depressed person.
  • I wanted to die…even though I “didn’t believe in God”…I prayed I would die.

But praise God that He had a different plan for me. One that took my darkened mind…and shined the light of His word and brought me to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Praise to be Jesus…I once was lost but now I’m found.

Frequently I long for, pray for and look forward to the return of my Savior in the Rapture as He comes to take home the church. But even as I pray…I am most grateful that it didn’t happen 17 years ago…otherwise I would likely have been lost in my sins and bound for hell. I’m well aware that there are untold numbers of people that if the Lord returned today…would remain lost in their sins. I pray that one day…they too will know the gratitude that I feel at coming from darkness to light…from death unto life.

Am I not grateful that the Lord is patient…and not willing that any would perish? Indeed I am…more than you know.

Since that darkness is much closer to me than those who have had a lifetime of walking with the Lord…I am passionate about the gospel message. I find I have no tolerance for churches which abdicate their responsibility before God to preach the gospel message. Those that back down from presenting the truth of God’s word…and turn a blind eye to my eternal fate if I die in my sins. All that just so they don’t have to make me feel uncomfortable and see me squirm in the pew if I’m visiting on Sunday morning.

To think that there are Pastors out there that relegate their responsibility of sharing the only life giving Gospel message to home Bible studies or fellowship groups so they can keep their message light hearted so that “seekers” will want to attend church on Sunday morning. That thought makes me want to vomit…I wonder what Jesus thinks?

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:15-16

While I wasn’t in church regularly when I was lost in my sins and facing a future in hell…I was there on occasion. I wonder…would I have come to a saving faith in Christ earlier if I had been presented with the truth? That there is One God…to whom I must give an account for my sins. That I am sinner and bound for hell…but God has provided a way of escape through the atoning death of His Son Jesus Christ at Calvary. If I had heard that message…would I have been spared years spent in sin and darkness?

God tells us how beautiful are the feet of those who share the Gospel.

“And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” – Romans 10:15

What does Jesus say about those who compromise and soft sell the Gospel?

If I care more about what someone thinks of me…and more concerned that they might reject me…than I do about sharing the Gospel message with someone lost in their sins…than I’ve laid down the Gospel…for what? In doing that I care more about me than the fact they are eternally lost in hell. How might God judge me for such actions?

Will I be grieved when I stand before God as the pages of the Book of Life are opened…and see my works, after coming to Christ, have been recorded? Since that day is coming…ought I not share Gospel message with those who still need to hear it? Share it freely so that they will have the opportunity to hear and receive it?

While some Christians…including me at times…find it easy to look down upon the sinner and their sinful ways…I hope that having escaped hell’s fire not too long ago has given me a compassion I might not otherwise have.

I must ask myself…whom do I need to share the Gospel message with today?

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” – Revelation 20:11-15

Love Covers a Multitude of Sins

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8

“He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Proverb 17:9

At what point does a prayer request, a request for a genuine hurt or need, become gossip or slander?

At what point do my righteous acts become pride and self righteousness?

“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin”. – Romans 3:9-20

How did Jesus treat sinners? Did He call them out publicly or confront them personally and in private? Or was Jesus public confrontation reserved for the self righteous religious person?

Am I more likely to restore a relationship after an offense if I’ve maintained and protected their privacy or if I shared the offense with others?

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” – James 3:17-18

Is my goal to humiliate because I’ve been hurt?

Have I ever committed sins, which I later regretted and repented from? How would I have been effected if those sins had been made widely known?

Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” – James 3:5

Do I forget that there is no good thing in me that caused or motivated God to save me? That it is by His power alone that I stand? That the scripture verse “There is no one righteous, no not one!” includes me…I am not righteous! I can stand before the throne of God only because of Jesus sacrifice and His cleansing blood making me pure. I am a sinner saved by grace alone, by faith alone. And God gave me the faith to boot. I am clothed in Jesus righteousness, not my own.

Am I mindful that there was a day when I too was lost in my sin? I have no place for bragging or being prideful that I am not engaging in sin like they are. That it is purely by the grace of God, His power at work in me that keeps me from living a sinful life style. Have I forgotten that? If so…I need to be careful, lest I fall!

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 Corinthians 10:12

Have I forgotten that God hates pride? That pride goes before a stumble? What seems like justification…may instead appear as prideful self righteousness.

“Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.” – Romans 3:27-28

Do I see the sin…but fail to see the person?

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” – James 4:10-12

Do I care more about the offense than the fact that the person standing before me is lost in their sin and condemned to hell…for eternity? Eternity…not 10 years or 20 or 50 or life in prison…but their punishment will never, ever stop. The offense may seem unforgivable…but in actuality it may just be inexcusable. Why? Because Jesus died so that all our sins might be forgiven. He died for all…but not all will receive His sacrifice.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Do I care more about crying in my pain than crying out to my Lord Jesus….beseeching Him for His love, mercy and grace to be poured out in abundance upon this person who has wounded me or caused me great harm?

Am I willfully obtuse to the fact that my words have the ability to humiliate a person…and make known their transgressions?

Just as I can’t un-ring a bell…I can’t take back words that I’ve spoken or declared.

Do I take comfort in being the “victim”, the “one who was wronged” so I don’t have to look at and confront my actions which contributed to my situation?

Or do I feel like…while I may not be perfect and yes have even sinned…but what he is doing is much worse than me?

Am I loving? Do I love the unlovable…the sinner…the one who sins against me? Do I, in love, cover their sins rather than expose them?

Is my pride, arrogance and self righteousness an offense? An effective tool in the hands of Satan to keep the unbelievers in my life from coming to Christ?

Instead of asking “What would Jesus do?”, I would be better served to examine “What DID Jesus do?”…and go and do likewise.

Romans 3:9-12
What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;

there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God.

All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;

there is no one who does good,
not even one.”

“Forgiveness is the oil of relationships.” Chuck Obremski

Cover: to guard, protect, to hide from sight or knowledge, conceal a scandal, to conceal something illicit, blameworthy, or embarrassing from notice.

A Simple Praise

What day will I see my last sunrise?
On what day will I behold my last sunset forevermore?
Will I have taken the time to thank Him?
To praise Him for what He’s given me?

A hope everlasting,
My eternal future secured,
All bought and paid for by His freewill offering,
The precious blood of the Lamb.

On the day after my last,
I will see an earth rise from my heavenly home,
Praise unending will flow from my lips,
Most thankful for the Son rise in which I will share…forevermore.

By Susan Bunts
August 13, 2007

The Sacrifice of Praise

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to see what’s wrong in the lives of others…quickly and with clarity? However when it comes to seeing my own faults, failures and flaws…I can be very obtuse.

I wonder…does God allow us what seems like clarity of vision in seeing others as He starts the process of making us aware of our own imperfections and sin?

When seeing a person go through a difficult situation God brought to mind many thoughts. While it seemingly applied to him…I think instead…God would like me to “listen up”.

The enemy and hater of our souls…wants nothing more than for us to join him in hell for eternity. But as much as he hates us…he is consumed with hatred of God. That is why he delights in bringing difficult circumstances into the life of a believer. He hopes to get our eyes off of God…and on our circumstance. He skips with glee if we will follow the advice of Job’s wife to curse God and die.

I love it when our enemy is defeated…when his flaming arrows of attack are fired and fall short or fizzle out…or are extinguish by the shield of faith…saturated with the knowledge of the Word of God. I just love that!

One way…to bring the enemy great anguish and pain is to recognize his tactics and defeat him…by crying to Jesus Christ with our loudest praise.

Offering the “sacrifice of praise”! A sacrifice is just that when it’s offered during hard, difficult, painful and seemingly impossible times. When we are in the midst of a dark storm. When the waves threaten to swamp our boat and drag us under.

But think of the power we have in praise! It is the power to thank our God no matter what the circumstances of our lives. Even in the midst of difficultly…offer Jesus thanksgiving. Shouldn’t I seek and search for what I might thank Him for?

Do I only thank God for things? Or do I reveal in the beauty and wonder of Who He is and what He’s done? Do I know His character…through His word and His work in and through me? If not…why not? How can I change that today? Or will I fall prey to the enemy’s schemes?

I love saying from Dennis Prager. When he was a teenager he and his friend Joseph were talking at the kitchen table and talking about their friends and how good or happy their lives were. Joseph’s mom Helen made the observation “The only happy people I know are people I don’t know well.” The obvious point being is that we all carry an abundance of hurt and pain that others may never know. Some people carry their pain and share it more openly. Others…keep it buried deep and rarely share. Some folks seem to have more trials than others…but I’d be willing to bet there is a heck of a lot of pain out there.

One thing that only Christians can do is praise God and give Him thanks. Unbelievers may be thankful…but to whom? I dare say…that unbelievers aren’t able to offer praise and thanksgiving in the midst of their trials and pain. That is something uniquely reserved for believers. Those trials and pain…lack meaning and purpose for the unbeliever. But for the believer who is fully surrendered to God and His will…it can be used for untold good. We will only know the full harvest on the other side of heaven.

We would be wise to be mindful that this is as close as a believer will ever get to hell. Like wise…this is as close as unbeliever will ever get to heaven. As difficult as it can be here on earth…what seems like hell on earth…will be like paradise to the unbeliever suffering eternal punishment in hell. They will long for even those difficult days here on earth. Ought that not motivate us even more to share the Gospel message? Lord willing even our enemies will come to a saving faith in Christ Jesus.

As bad as our worst day, month or years are here on earth…we believers have an eternal future secure in heaven. It has been bought and paid for by the blood of the Lamb. He who washed our sins away…and presents us clean and pure before the throne of our Heavenly Father as the lovely bride of Christ. We have been given the Holy Spirit within who guides and directs us. He pleads for us when our grief overwhelms us and words fail us.

One of my favorite groups Greater Vision sings a song called “A Pile of Crowns”. In it…they sing of what we may encounter when we arrive on heaven’s doorstep. As they introduce the song on their album “Greater Vision, Live at First Baptist in Atlanta”…Rodney Griffin and Gerald Wolfe ponder that we will likely not even see nor care about the streets of gold or the gates of great pearls. Instead we will seek to get to the throne of God as quickly as we can…and fall out before the throne of Christ Jesus in thanksgiving and praise for what He’s done.

Why should I wait to get to heaven to sing my loudest praise? Who needs to hear that praise? An unbeliever lost in their sins…who needs to know the joy of our Lord? Joy eternal…even in the midst of dark times? Or fellow believers who themselves need a gift and reminder of encouragement?

What we esteem and value here on earth…gold and pearls will seem so minor in heaven. Gold…will only be pavement in heaven. Where is my treasure? Is what I value and invest my time and treasure in…going to be only dust in heaven? Our trials here on earth…will pale in comparison to what we will receive in heaven for eternity.

What will I thank and praise God for today?

What about you?

If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior…isn’t it about time to have the peace and assurance that your sins are forgiven and your future is secure in heaven?

Today is the day of salvation!

“For he says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” – 2 Corinthians 6:2

Faith Walk

Does the faith spoken of in Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith, seem remote or reserved for the saints during Bible days? Or does it seem as though God gives that extra measure of faith to the “heavy hitters”…such as Abraham or Noah or Elijah or David? After all Abraham was the father of the Jews and through him…our Savior would come. Noah…good golly he faced a world wide flood that came from the first ever rainfall that lasted 40 days and nights…only he and his family would be saved. Elijah…the man who walked with God. David…slew the giant Goliath…he was God’s chosen king of Israel…and forefather to Jesus Christ. Now how can I compare with those saints of old?

Well I am thoroughly convinced that God intends for each of us to walk by faith. A faith that transforms lives…empowers and strengthens us just when we are about to be overwhelmed in our weakness. That faith bears witness to the power and work of God within us.

God who called Abel, Moses, Jacob and Paul…is the same God who called us. The word of God assures us that God never changes.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8

God is no respecter of persons. He is the one who equips us. He calls us. He knows our circumstances…even the ones that are afar off. We have been called according to His perfect plan, purpose and good pleasure. Surely God will equip each of us with a measure of faith…for that which He has called us to according to His perfect plan.

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” – Romans 12:3

“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – Hebrews 13:20-21

So how do we prepare ourselves…so that we might be equipped for every good work that God has called us to. We do that through the reading of His word. Through prayer…because we are building a relationship with God…and we must learn to trust Him, who He is and His character. He is God…and He is good.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

We ought not to be surprised when we go through those bad times of trials and tribulation. For it is there…when we are enduring and God is seemingly silent that we learn to walk by faith, not by sight. Am I going to trust God or am I going to rely on my own strength? Is my focus on God…or my circumstances?

Its God’s work in us…thus we are precluded from boasting or being prideful.

“In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:7-9

Instead when we see God’s work in us, and though us, it ought to evoke thanksgiving and praise…to Him who is worthy, Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen, amen…so be it!

The Voice of Truth
by Casting Crowns

Oh, what I would do
To have the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is,
And he’s holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
time and time again
“Boy, you’ll never win,
you’ll never win.”

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
the voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
and the voice of truth says “this is for my glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Oh, what I would do
to have the kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant
with just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound
of a thousand warriors
shaking in their armor
Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand

But the giant’s calling out
my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
time and time again
“Boy you’ll never win,
you’ll never win.”

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
the voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
and the voice of truth says “this is for my glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

but the stone was just the right size
to put the giant on the ground
and the waves they don’t seem so high
from on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
singing over me

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says do not be afraid
And the voice of truth says this is for my glory
Out of all the voices calling out to me (calling out to me)
I will choose to listen and believe (I will choose to listen and believe)
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

I will listen and believe
I will listen and believe the voice of truth
I will listen and believe
‘Causes Jesus you are the voice of truth
And I will listen to you.. oh you……..

8/8/07 At the End of the Day…A Gentle Answer

God counsels us in His word that a gentle answer turns away wrath. It is with that knowledge that I pray that God will work in the circumstances that concern me today.

When worried or concerned about a situation…my usual response is to confront the persons involved. Sometime diplomatically…but probably more often than not…stepping on a few toes in the process.

When I’ve done that in the past…God has worked in the circumstances and hearts of me and others involved. But I always feel quite anxious right after I leave that message or sending that email in my attempt to confront and resolve the situation.

I’ve learned that my view and perspective is quite limited…myopic. I don’t see the full picture. I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes in the life of another person. I may be inaccurately reading their actions and misconstruing it to fit my own insecurities and past experience. That’s not a good or wise course of action. Thankfully I am a work in progress and God is not finished with me yet.

The wisest course of action is to take my hurt, confusion, anger and pain to God. Forgive and ask Him for wisdom. If indeed I have been wrongly treated…I can be sure that God is working in the heart of that person if they are a Christian. God doesn’t let me get away with much without confronting me and brining me to repentance when I’ve acted wrongly. Why would I assume he acts differently in the lives of other believers?

If perchance God gives them a pass…it may be an area in which God is working on my character…or bringing to surface something that is quite unlovely in me. God frequently likes to use “sandpaper people” to work out those rough areas in my character. I must be mindful…that for someone else I am their sandpaper person. When I realize that…it brings me up short when I would rather take the easy road and be critical and condemning.

It’s funny…but I don’t know exactly how to pray in this circumstance. I’m puzzled, confused and a whole lot more. But I am assured that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me at such times.

So tonight…I will choose to follow God’s sage advice and not respond as I once would have. Hum…I wonder…will I ever get out of God’s spiritual kindergarten this side of heaven?


Even the elect may be deceived,
By a work packaged with purpose.

Influenced by their emotions,
Their words of praise are influenced and driven.

Even as they themselves firmly preach the Word of God,
Acknowledge today’s church, like the infant only desires milk.

Well hidden by the attractive wrappings,
They fail to see that the meat of the Word is not preached.

Souls lost in their sin sitting on Sunday morn,
Will not hear the Gospel message for fear that it might offend.

Observation will reveal,
Attendees do not carry, nor raise the sword of the Spirit.

Satan delights as they grow and prosper,
Earn widespread praise from the mouths of men.

An ineffective foe they are,
For the battle they fail to be equipped.

Deceived as they sit in their pews,
Ears tickled and they feel so good.

The Word of God delectably mixed,
With error and the wisdom of men.

Does the preacher feel no conviction?
Is not the son disciplined by the Father?

Tragically some will one day hear,
The Savior’s final words, “Away from me, I never knew you!”

By Susan Bunts
August 4, 2007

The above poem was inspired when I heard a beloved Bible study teacher singing the praises of a ministry that regularly preaches a watered down Gospel message due to the offensive nature of the cross and sin to the unbeliever.

Sinners will not hear the Gospel message out in the world for the world does not know the message of salvation. The place unbelievers must hear Gospel is in the church. If we fail to preach and teach the full counsel of the Word of God for fear that we will offend…are we not consigning the sinner to hell? All done with the good intention of not wanting to hurt of offend or hurt someone. Is not an eternity in hell infinitely worse than any hurt or offense felt when confronted by the truth of the Word of God?

“In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.” – Luke 16:23-25

The Hand of God

It’s a miracle, declares man,
Amazing…that more did not perish.

But from the throne room of heaven,
Our God dispatches a host of angels to carry out His plan.

Just seconds earlier or a few feet further,
The loss would have been unimaginable…incomprehensible.

In the unseen world, legions of angels are dispatched,
Their hour of work is now at hand.

An unseen hand is outstretched,
Braces a vehicle or nudges it just a bit further.

It teeters on a precipice,
Yet it will not plummet into the mighty Mississippi tonight.

He raises up men,
Draws forth courage in those we will soon call heroes.

Untold scores will walk away,
Utter why me and consider God’s purpose and plan.

For those souls called home,
To their appointed time…we pray.

Until we enter heaven’s gates,
The full extent of his mercies will remain unknown.

In God’s hand may we rest securely, ever mindful,
Our divine appointment approaches closer with each passing day.

By Susan Bunts
August 2, 2007

For images of this compelling human tragedy…please see the photo essay at the Minneapolis Star Tribune or Fox News.

At the End of the Day…A Holy “No”!

Just a few quick thoughts or observations at the end of the day…before I in obedience and wisdom…and even a little common sense…head off to bed.

Time…sometimes it seems like a gift…and sometimes like an enemy. It’s an area in which the enemy likes to attack us.

As Christians…sometimes our best answer is “No”. It can be the most holy and right answer…when it helps us to seek God, follow Him and obey. Yet…there are times…it’s hard to discern when it is right to say no.

Some needs and demands to our time, schedule, commitments and money are very worthy…but they may not always be God’s will for us. Thus…we require discernment. A knowledge that comes from a close walk with God…and a listening ear and an obedient heart towards our Lord.

Sometimes it’s a holy “yes”…when it’s offered in obedience to God…when everything in us wants to shout “no”.

In thinking about wisdom…wisdom comes from God. Wisdom that He will make available to those who seek Him and the wisdom that He offers. Only those that obeyed God’s will and plan…truly received and lived out the wisdom that God provided. It’s a gift from God…that is available as we implement it according to His will and follow His leading.

In Bible study tonight…as Pastor Joe Rispoli taught us from the book of Thessalonians…it was jammed packed with great stuff. But there was one thought that hit me hard. The reminder that God desires that we love Him…and not just His word. That we seek to know Him…and not just His word. It’s a part of Him…but if I just seek Bible knowledge…without knowing and loving my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus…then I’ve missed the target, the end game…the most important Person.

Lord…help me to love You…and know You more. Give me discernment so that I might hear You and obey You first and foremost. Seek wisdom and discernment…and have a listening ear and heart to obey the One that I love. Amen!