Transforming Power

In my weakness
I want to turn around and walk away
But by the power of the Holy Spirit
I will return to the lion’s den this day

In my flesh
I want to strike back
But under the control of the Holy Spirit
I will choose to turn the other cheek

In my sin nature
I want to tell others of the offense against me
By the transforming power of Christ within
I will instead offer a prayer for the offender

In my humanity
Tears flow as I’m surrounded by quite
From the Word planted in my heart
I’m reminded that God will wipe every tear from my eyes

In my solitude
I attempt to wrestle against the spiritual forces of darkness
When I remember I am part of the body of Christ
I reach out and ask for my day to be covered in prayer

In my self confidence
I fail to prepare for spiritual warfare
In His wisdom, power and strength
I put on the full armor of God so I can stand against the devil’s schemes

By Susan Bunts
July 25, 2008

Scars & Wounds

Scars deeply embedded
Wounds left over from childhood
Seemingly dead and buried
Make themselves known
Affecting relationships even today

What I hear
Is much different than what was said
Unable to differentiate
What was intended
Verses what was felt

At any hint
Of irritation, anger or disappointment
I find my defenses mount up
Emotions shut down
Now I don’t have to feel or risk being hurt

Trying and stay ahead
Anticipate each move
Feeling justified
In my inability to trust
Will I ever feel loved?

Will I turn to Him
The One who binds my wounds
The Healer of my soul
Only He can set this prisoner free
Will I allow Him to show me how to trust again

Will I let the One
Who taught the angels to sing
To fill my heart and mouth
With songs of praise
How long until I sing the song of freedom

By Susan Bunts
July 23, 2008

Decisions…Prayerfully Considered

Decisions, decisions,
Oh Lord, may my response,
Be according to Your will,
Answering Your call,
Hearing Your voice alone.

If this is my imagine,
Trying to shape circumstances,
Interpreting the signs,
Imposing my will, but calling it Yours.
Stop me in my tracks…let me proceed no further.

May my desire,
Be obedience to my Father,
To please Him,
To love my Savior,
By serving the body of Christ where You have called me.

May I not seek my own glory,
Or try to proceed,
On my own strength, wisdom and power,
Instead may I know that this call is so far beyond me,
That I’m fully leaning and relying upon You.

Decisions, decisions,
May You guide my heart and mind,
Make Your leading clear,
Give me a holy unease,
If I dare to stray from the path You have set before me.

Susan Bunts
July 18, 2008

Tonight I received a phone called that seems to be the answer to a prayer. But as I started to pray that God would guide and direct me….make His leading clear, I realized that as much as I want to have my prayer answered…more than that…I desire to be in God’s will.

Because this decision will effect my husband to be…I needed to seek his counsel. To ask him to be in prayer regarding this. I also must willing to heed his counsel. He is a godly man…and God is well able to guide and direct Chris’ thinking, as well as my own. Will I choose to respect Chris’ wisdom and direction…even if it differs from mine?

In bringing Chris and I together God answered my prayer for a godly husband. At the same time…God answered Chris’ prayer to be stretched and taken out of his comfort zone. Sometimes, I teasingly tell Chris to stop the prayers for stretching…because when He stretches Chris…He’s stretching me too.

At the end of the day…I honestly don’t know which way God will direct us. Is this God answering Chris’ prayer for stretching? Will it be a test to see if I will respect and obey my husband to be? Even if it’s contrary to what I want or feel comfortable with?

Will we be in unified in our decision…in step with one another? Of one accord?

I’m glad I don’t have to rely on my own wisdom or the fickle deceitfulness of my feelings. But instead I can fully lean and trust in God as He answers my prayer for Him to guide and direct Chris and I in an important decision.

A Delicate Subject

Dare I touch on a delicate subject? One of which I am far from being an expert? A topic that will make some people feel uncomfortable and maybe even blush…or laugh?

Well laugh they might…but yes of course I will broach the subject of sex. I bring a different perspective. That of being a single Christian woman who has chosen to do things God’s way…and not follow the ways of the world, nor her own wisdom or be motivated solely based on my feelings

I wish I could say that I always approached it like that…but I didn’t. Thank you Lord for Your forgiveness, restoration and love. Thank You Lord for Your wisdom…contained in the best Owner’s Manual…The Bible!

I have not been left to follow my own wisdom…or navigate the path filled with the pitfalls of this world all alone. Instead, praise God…I can know what God would have me do…and how I can live my life in a way that is pleasing to Him. How I can live my life once I get married in a way that is pleasing to God and my husband. To be the wife and help mate that God has called me to be. To be the wife that my husband deserves.

Sometimes I don’t know how to respond to the “knowing laughs” or suggestive comments that come from those around us that assume that my fiancé and I are engaging in pre-marital sex or living together outside of marriage.

When and where it’s appropriate…I do make it clear that we are conducting this relationship according to how God would have us live. But sometimes…I’m not sure how to answer the person who gives raises their eye brows and teases me when I say how tired I am. Or what do I say to the waitress who comments how “hot” our table is because we are holding hands across the table? I don’t want to draw the fire of “the lady doth protest too much” comments if I try and dispute what they say.

I find it shocking when some of those comments come from fellow Christians. If not an expectation, there is at least a resignation that “everyone’s doing it” inherent in the looks, smiles and comments that have been coming my way. Even at times from those in the Christian community.

I find it very depressing and sad when a Christian fails to see sin as sin. When they take it in stride or worse yet…even laugh about.

But I must tell you…that as my wedding day approaches I am more excited everyday at the prospects of being married to Chris.

Where exactly is the excitement and expectation on “what’s to come” from someone whose living with their fiancé? Where is the delight in discovering one another for those who choose to partake before they are committed to one another before God and man? Especially for the Christian who is “living in sin”…there is an inherent guilt and conflict that’s going on inside.

But in doing things God’s way…there is excitement, joy and peace. I’m comfortable in knowing I’m not sinning before and against God. I’m not compromising and being a hypocrite before man. I’m not being poor witness of the Gospel message that I say I believe.

I see the fruits of standing by the power of God and living in a manner that is pleasing to Him. Best yet…I get to see if I really, truly believe what I have professed to believe for lo these many years. Yet when I feel weak and vulnerable…I can turn to my Savior Jesus Christ who can enable me to follow Him.

When I find myself tempted…I find encouragement to live right before God as I listen to my beloved former Pastor Chuck Obremski…a godly man, husband and father…whose marriage I greatly admired. In his series on Marriage & Family, Chuck shared wisdom and counsel from God’s word. He and his lovely wife Linda left a shining example of a godly marriage.

Even though I prayed to God for many years that I would be married…I never dared to dream that I would find a godly man who love the Lord. Who has committed his life and seeks God’s will and plan in his life and in our marriage.

It is with joy and excitement I look forward to our wedding day and life together as husband and wife.

Eternal Destiny

Dare I take comfort in the thought,
That my loved one is no longer suffering?
When in fact, an unbeliever who perishes without Christ,
Has just begun to suffer and now knows the truth of eternal punishment.

Dare I take comfort in the calm assurance,
From a man who calls himself “Pastor”?
But one who fails to proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified,
As the only way to salvation.

Dare I take comfort in the platitudes offered,
By those who ignorantly believe that being “spiritual” saves us?
Saves us from what?
Condemnation from a holy, righteous, just God who was offended by our sin?

Dare I believe that I will live on in the memories of others?
What happens when they perish?
Or is it then that I perish…when no one remains who knew me?
When there is no one who was once touched and influenced by me?

Dare I serve a god,
Made of my own making…a god made in my own image?
A hodge podge of my own choosing…taking only what I like,
Selecting that which makes me feel comfortable and good about myself?

Or dare I believe that there is but One God?
One Mediator between God and man.
One Savior, Christ Jesus, whose blood was shed on the cross,
Who for once, for all…paid my sin debt in full.

Dare I acknowledge my sin?
Receive forgiveness through God’s only Son?
Dare I repent and loudly proclaim to a world lost in their sin,
Jesus Christ…salvation is found only in Him!

By Susan Bunts
July 5, 2008

Dedicated to those who are perishing in their sin…who have yet to receive Jesus Christ and Him crucified, His death on the cross as payment in full, covering their sin. Dedicated to those who call themselves pastor, but who do not know that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life…thus they can not boldly proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified. It is my prayer that one day your name will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and that you will not take or offer false comfort when someone dies without Christ. That instead it will become your life long mission to preach Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world.

Becoming One

It’s in becoming one,
Where we will learn to willingly surrender,
That which God will one day require of us.

It’s in becoming one,
We learn that submission and selflessness,
Are far superior to selfishness that the world inspires.

It’s in becoming one,
That we learn the eternal immeasurable value,
Of people and relationships over things.

It’s in becoming one,
We learn transparency and loving communication,
Choosing vulnerability and risking wounds from a faithful friend.

Oh Lord, may we realize,
That in avoiding selfless surrender,
We will only delay…even increase pain inherent in the inevitable.

Lord, may You bless and reward,
The fruits of our labor to become one,
Enable and strengthen us as we draw close to You!

By Susan Bunts
June 30, 2008

Dedicated to my love…Chris Wachtel…whom I will become one with on October 4th, 2008.

As we prepare ourselves to wed…we are not only amazed at how much work it is to get married but are becoming aware of just how painful that “becoming one” can be. Goodness knows that the sacrifices are many but the rewards are well worth it.

We contemplate the painful parting with things we once treasured and now find ourselves moving beyond our former lives. Forging ahead into “us” instead of “me”.

While at times it’s really hard…a reflection on the losses that so many people have experienced in recent days and weeks with the flooding in the Midwest serves as a timely reminder that which we may attempt to hold onto God may one day require of us. Will He have to pry it out of our tightly closed hands? How much better to come to Him with open hands and willingly surrender that which He has entrusted to us for a season.

In doing so…it is our prayer that God will reward and bless our willingly surrender to Him and His plan for our lives.