New Treasures



Like the joy of finding new books and authors that I connect with…so too is the pleasure that I feel when I find new blogs and writers with whom I connect. There is something in me that resonates with what they write and how share their faith, hurt, pain and happiness. I truly appreciate the writer who is open and transparent…shares from their heart. One who is humble and doesn’t pretend to have all the answers. Instead they are on a journey…and seeking a closer relationship with the Lord and know that they are dependent upon Him for strength and His mercy and grace.


Two new bloggers that I’ve discovered recently are Meridith from The Road Less Traveled: A Journey Through Infertility and Kelly Campbell at Dwelling in His Presence.


When you have some time…want to be encouraged in your faith…and know that there other Christians who are on the journey…check out these two women’s blogs. You will be blessed and ministered to.

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Double Blessed



I am a citizen times two

Double blessed

For which I give thanks





According to God’s divine plan

I was chosen from before the foundations of the world

To be a citizen of heaven…where I’ll one day go





My entrance was paid in full

By the precious blood of the Lamb

Irrevocable…secure…my residency is sure





By God’s grace & mercy

His divine providence

I was born in this great nation





Chosen by His will

To live in a county

Where liberty and freedom are available to all





Permitted to live

In a nation where the Gospel is preached unfettered

A beacon to take the Light of the world…to the world





On this Thanksgiving Day

I offer my humble thanks and praise

For the double blessing…so undeserved





Susan Bunts Wachtel

November 27, 2008

Departed

I don’t think that you can live in a place for so many years and not feel anything when you face the prospect of moving.



I’m feeling a multitude of emotions…exhaustion being primary. While there is a part of me that feels a little sad…more than anything I feel like the grace of the Lord has left this place…and it’s time to move on.



This afternoon the movers will be coming. After having lived here in Anaheim at an apartment on Jackson…I will be moving to a new place. This time…it won’t be just me, but my husband Chris and me will be moving. We will be taking up residence at an interim home just a few miles away.



Following our marriage, we quickly discovered that a one bedroom apartment is just a little too small for two people, two kitties and two birdies. Despite a lease that lasts until December…we decided it was time to move. Time to move to give us some additional space and to move into “our place”. Not try to live in a home that was Susan’s apartment or Chris’ condo…but our place.



For months now there has been nothing but issue after issue going on the apartment complex I live in. Starting back in April…it started with a notice that everything…EVERYTHING…had to be off the patios because they would be steam cleaning them. Thus…for a time I had plants and lots of patio stuff inside my apartment. It was just to be for a few days initially….but that few days grew into a couple of weeks…when the steam cleaning was pushed back. In the interim…I got rid of a lot of plants and patio decorations. They just didn’t look as good inside as out on the patio.



The pièce de résistance was the notice that appeared on my door…a couple of months before Chris and I were to wed. It notified me that they were doing major remodel on the apartment in the bathroom and kitchen. As it just so happens it took place the week following our marriage. Now that doesn’t sound too bad. But when we were using every bit of time to plan and execute a wedding in four months…the last thing we needed on top of our wedding as to have to empty the bathroom and kitchen completely. So in the weeks before we married…and even on the night before the big day…we were packing and throwing away things. Chris being the trooper that he is…didn’t protest at helping pack up a place he didn’t yet live. Instead…he helped box things up and made many a trip to the trash cans.



After Chris moved in…the quirks and problems with the apartment that I had just gotten used to…really, really bugged him. Like the bathroom door that wouldn’t close completely and the blinds that were broken and necessitate closing them by hand instead of pulling the levers. Oh…there was much more than that…but after living here for 10 years…well I guess I kind of got used to it all and it ceased to bug me. I just found a way to work around it.



For Chris one of the biggest irritations is the lack of parking. Sometimes he gets a spot close by…other times it’s down the street and by a sprinkler.



So…it was only a few weeks after we were married and back at home in the apartment that we decided…it was time to move. The search began for an interim place until we can purchase a home together. A tough prospect in light of today’s economy.



While it would have been nice to know God’s specific will regarding this change…it was with prayer that we began our search. The place we found…was by happenstance. It wasn’t one we had looked up on line. In spite of high rents at each place we went to…the rent was reasonable on the new place. We both liked it immediately…and felt comfortable there.



Each place has its challenges…even the new one. Like parking being the main issue. Despite promises that there would soon be many new open spaces in the coming weeks…that hasn’t happened yet. It looks like no matter what one of us will be parking some distance away. Perhaps God will use that to motivate us to keep moving in our search for the home when He will provide in the not too distant future.



As I’ve been taking my morning walks…I’ve been reflecting on all the changes in my life in the last 10 years…and thinking on what I will miss the most. Honestly…I think I will miss my morning walks in the surrounding neighborhood. I’ve come to know some of the people because I’ve seen them for so many years. I will miss my UPS driver who has delivered many a package…and he is so considerate that we’ve struck up a deal that since I’m usually at work when he delivers packages…he’ll just take them to the office and I can pick them up there. The other night…he delivered a package later in the evening…and even noticed that my name had changed. I told him I had just gotten married. If I had been thinking quicker…I would have given him one of the CD’s from our wedding. Oh well!



With so many problems that we’ve had here at this apartment since going back to April…I am so ready to leave this place. But I do feel a little something sad at leaving. My life has changed so very much, never more so than this year.



Just this year alone…I started dating Chris in February, my 16 year old kitty Nathan died, my mom was sick and died after 6 years of Alzheimer’s and I got engaged and married. It’s been an eventful year. While I wouldn’t change the things…I think I feel a bit melancholy at all that’s gone on in the last 10 years.



In some respects…I feel like the glory of the Lord has departed this place…and it’s time to move on. You’d think I’d miss a lot more things after living here for 10 years. But I don’t…at least not right now. It’s been a mix of both good and bad things. It’s been both eventful and life changing. Many people…family and friends have left my life in the intervening years.



The most important thing in the last ten years has been the presence of God in my life. My awareness, dependence and love for God has grown. While the prospect of a couple of moves is daunting…I know I don’t want to be outside of God’s will. I don’t want to try and remain in a place where God’s grace has left. Instead I want to follow closely after His lead…hand in hand…step by step with my husband Chris.



Your prayers for our move would be greatly appreciated. Both this move today…and one in the not too distant future as we look for a home. We are prayerful that this move to a new home for the interim will be just right for our new lives together.


A Differnt Kind of Fire



There is a different kind of fire

Not visible to the human eye

Yet it causes incalculable damage



Like a wildfire

Consuming everything in its path

So too the tongue…causes widespread destruction



Be it the match of gossip

Or the flame of criticism

Its devastation leaves victims wounded and hurt



It may be a reputation that lies in the rubble

Of lies and deceit

Suffocating its victim like a poisonous gas



It may be talk about those in authority

Causing dissension…leaving the foundation weak and exposed

Unable to withstand the heat



There is one fire prevention

Proven and true

That is to bring our tongue under the obedience of Christ



He alone can slay the arsonist

Whose weapon of choice is the tongue

The intended victim…a vulnerable human soul



Susan Bunts Wachtel

November 18, 2008



It seems no one is immune from the human condition of gossip and a critical spirit. Be it an unbeliever…who doesn’t know or care about what God says in His word. Or a new believer who is immature and still weak and vulnerable in this area of sin. It can even be seen in believers of many years. Those who have extensive knowledge of the word of God. They have a head knowledge that hasn’t yet worked its way down to change their heart.



How easy it is to choose to gossip…or speak our mind and share a critical negative spirit. It’s much harder to go to the person and share our concern. To get on our knees and pray instead of sharing that delectable bit of truth that no one else knows about. To choose insignificance rather than raise myself up by stepping on the reputation of another. To believe all things, hope all things…and dwell on that which is good, lovely, pure and of a good report.



There is only one winner in the game. His name is Satan. Gossip and a critical spirit bring reproach upon the body of Christ. It tears down everyone…from the person who speaks out to the one who is the topic of conversation.



I think that when we get to heaven…there will be tears shed. Not only will we cry when we see the hurt and devastation that our words brought to other’s lives. But we will weep when we know the eternal cost. Those who chose to turn their back and reject Christ because of the ugliness they saw in Christians. It’s not something that we can change after the fact or make better. When those words escape our lips…the match has been lit.



It only takes one time…when you’ve been on the receiving end of gossip to help you understand how hurtful it is. To know that others are speaking ill of you…believing half truths and outright lies. Once you’ve been on the receiving end…you don’t want to be a contributor or participant.



How will we feel when we stand before Jesus…and have to give an account for every idle word? He’ll know the intentions of our heart. All will be exposed.



Isn’t it better that right now…today…that we choose to listen to the reining in of the Holy Spirit. To pay attention when He tugs at our conscious. It’s it better that our words be few. To utter that which builds up and encourages…or speak the truth of God’s word in humility and love.



“They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love.”



Who will know you are a Christian by your love?

Consuming Fire



Our God is a consuming fire

None can stand before Him

Save One

Christ Jesus our Lord


All our works

Will one day be revealed

Only salvation found in the cross of Christ

Will remain secure and unscathed


Works righteousness

Will be judged in the refining fire

All our own works

Will be scorched…burned…unrecognizable


Only Christ

His work on the cross

Will remain untouched

His work alone will endure


Susan Bunts Wachtel

November 17, 2008

Thank you Jesus…for our secure salvation found only in you!

Picture from Jim Salinger…thank you!

By the Grace of God









By the grace of God

Our church still stands


From the fire and winds

Sparks and embers flew wild


The peril was great

The dangers many


He gave courage to men

Emboldened them to take a stand


The fire burned close

As it neared our beloved cross


Fire burned hot

Ash rained down


Prayers of the faithful were raised

Pleading for God’s mercy and grace


Homes nearby went up in flames

By God’s grace…lives were spared


As ash and cinders fell

Flames dared to touch the sign


But God used men

Everyday heroes to accomplish His will


By the grace of God

Our church still stands


May we never take for granted

That this building will be here one more day


May we thank God for the privilege to worship Him here

The body of Christ united…at Kindred


By the grace of God

Our church still stands


Susan Bunts Wachtel

November 15, 2008


How easy it is to be complacent…take for granted that our church will always be here for us to assemble and worship our Lord and Savior.


But as the ash rained down…and smoke filled the sky when we looked toward the east our hearts were burdened to pray for God’s mercy and grace in these circumstances.


Thank you Lord…for answering our prayers…and protecting the building called Kindred Community Church. We are most grateful. Thank you for sending brave men…ordinary citizens…to stand in the gap. We thank you for the firefights who willingly put their lives on the lines. We pray for those who have lost their homes in the fires. We pray for relief for all effected by the fires.


The pictures above are of our beloved cross…the sight of which I love so very much. They were taken just last Sunday…on a cloud filled rainy day. When I see it from a distance…it so reminds me of God’s love and His power in my life and circumstances. When I see it…my stress level starts to melt away.


Who would have thought that just a week later…our church building would lie in the path of wildfires. Well our God knew that…nothing takes Him by surprise. Today…He protected our church home. While tomorrow…we will not meet as a church body…you can be sure that the members of Kindred will be one in giving thanks to our God for His mercy and grace bestowed upon our church.


Just a few miles away…in the middle of moving to a new apartment, my husband Chris and I looked up into the sky as the smoke clouds increased and the sun turned red.


We were amazed at God’s hand upon us as we heard the news that apartments we had considered moving to just a couple weeks earlier…had just gone up in flames. 50 apartment homes were lost. By the grace of God…so far no lives have been lost.


Below are the pictures taken with my cell phone. The ash was poured down…and breathing was difficult…and we were several miles from the fire. I can’t even imagine how horrible it would be for those much closer and in the path of the flames.







Will You Shed a Tear



Will you shed a tear tonight

When news of my untimely death

Reaches your ear





Will you thank God

For His mercy that called me home

And brought an end to my earthly suffering





Will you say, “I forgive”

For my life less than perfect

That may have caused my dearest friend pain





Will you stop rejecting my God and Savior

For the sins of His follower

Embrace Christ…and choose to believe Him





Will you rejoice tonight

That there is forgiveness

For all those who call upon Jesus to be saved





Will you celebrate

That tonight I stand before my Lord

Clothed in the righteousness of Christ





Will you join with me

Loudly proclaim that in heaven and on earth

That salvation is found in no other name





Will you praise God for His mercy

Flowing abundant and free

Available to this one so undeserving





Will you trust Him for His grace

Like manna from heaven

Enough given for each day





Will you ask Him

For His peace

To fill your heart and mind in Christ Jesus





Will you depend upon Him

For His Strength to uphold and sustain you

Through even the unimaginable





Will you receive

The forgiveness I uttered

When you turned your back on me





Will you realize

That all we had between us and against us

Amount to nothing in light of eternity





Susan Bunts Wachtel

November 13, 3008





May I have the wisdom to know that all those differences and grievances between us this side of heaven…mean nothing in eternity. That if I choose to hold on to the hurts…in my pride reject the one who hurt me…that I will live to regret it. Maybe not now…but for sure in eternity. May I realize that unforgiveness and bitterness only serve to imprison me. May I rejoice when God blesses and shows His mercy and grace to one that I once considered my enemy. May I have the humility and grace to lift even my enemy in prayer for God’s blessings upon their life. Thank you God…for the important reminder of living this life in light of eternity.