Condemning Power

When I start condemning and stop praying
That’s when I stop believing in a personal God
Who is able to save completely and transform lives

When does criticism become sin
When I’d prefer to stand in judgment
Rather than stand in love and pray

When I’d rather shake my finger and say shame on you
Than to look in the mirror and examine myself
See if I had contributed to the fall of another

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
December 29, 2008


Am I willing to live a life
That will glorify God

To accept a delay
Or even “no” to a lifelong dream

Am I prepared to endure the pain
When answers and relief are not forthcoming

Am I willing to trust God
When my life doesn’t make sense

Am I willing to praise His Name
When my circumstances are bleak

Am I willing to persevere in prayer
When God remains silent

Am I willing to cling to Him
When all around me falls away

Am I willing to believe that God is good
When God permits the enemy to attack me

Am I willing to be a blessing to others
When I’m not feeling blessed by God

Am I willing to walk by faith
When sight walking would cause me to doubt God

Am I willing to recognize God’s hand upon me
Not attribute success to my own human efforts

Am I willing to wait upon the Lord
Not proceed according to my will and plans

Am I willing to remember that He is more than able
Not manipulate circumstances to have my way

Am I willing to forgive
The one intentionally hurt me

Am I willing to pray for salvation and forgiveness
Not just for the nice unsaved person…but for my enemy too

Am I willing to remember there is only one true enemy
The one who seeks to kill, steal and destroy

Am I willing to see with the eyes of love
Hope and believe all things rather than believe a bad report

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
December 29, 2008

Without Christ

No hope

No peace

No sense of purpose

No wisdom

No strength

No moral foundation

No truth

No meaning

No reason for right and wrong

No light

No joy

No future worth living for

No defender

No deliverer

Nothing worth dying for

No comfort

No rest

No future secured

No salvation through Christ Jesus

No Holy Spirit dwelling within

No Abba Father to call your own

By Susan Bunts Wachtel

December 30, 2008

Dedicated to the one who reminds me daily of what it’s like to live without Christ and to have no hope or firm foundation. Dear one…I pray for your salvation. That you will one day have the hope of heaven…Jesus Christ

Last Christmas

If I would have known last Christmas was to be your last

What would I have done different

Would I have spent the whole day by your side

Would I have hugged you a little tighter

Would I have held your hands

As we watched the movies of old

Truly believed in my heart

That it is a wonderful life…in spite of all the messes

Would I have gone to the ends of the earth

Found just the right present to bring you a smile

Would I have shared the good news of Christmas

Ensured that you received God’s gift of the Savior

Susan Bunts Wachtel

December 17, 2008

Dedicated to Gayle Merriam Johnson Bunts Lorenat…my mother who died on April 29, 2008.

Through a Glass Darkly

When I downloaded pictures I had taken this last Sunday…I found a number of shots that were not so hot. Especially this one of the cross on the hill at Kindred Community Church. I have so many great shots…but in this picture I can barely see the cross. Instead I’m focusing on the dried wiper marks on the windshield that make everything blurry and hard to see.

At first I was going to delete the picture and dismiss it as just a bad shot. But then I realized it kind of signified what I’ve been feeling in my relationship with God lately.

While my theology is sound…and biblically based…and I know that God will never leave me, nor forsake me…emotionally I haven’t felt a connection with God in the last few weeks. I feel emotionally disconnected.

I’m sure that the busyness of a recent move, unpacking our new home, cleaning and store things from our old place, working too much overtime, having very few minutes a day to rest is contributing to the equation.

I find myself asking God if there is any un-confessed sin in my life that is blocking that feeling of relationship. If there is sin…that He would reveal it to me so that I can take care of business quickly and restore that relationship.

Last night the feeling of disconnect was especially strong. I found myself desperate be connected to God. To have the sense of His presence in my day to day life. I felt like God was absent. I picked up the word of God and found my mind was so busy and wandering through the events of the day and recent weeks that I couldn’t focus.

If I could have snapped my fingers or done something immediate in the moment to feel God’s presence…I would have done it. I felt quite desperate for Him. Almost a physical ache. Those feelings were a reminder of what I had experienced before. After some desperate times…I came to the conclusion that I can get through any circumstance as long as I have Jesus Christ. While I may have to endure unpleasant circumstances or difficult times…it doesn’t compare to living a life without God. To not have relationship with my God…my Savior Jesus Christ…is unbearable. It’s like trying to live without oxygen.

One of the ways I connect with God…and work through issues is to write. It’s there that God ministers to me and counsels me. He helps me to examine what I’m feeling or what I’ve seen through the truth of the Bible.

Because of the exceptionally busy times…I’ve not been able to write. I’ve had no time to be still and abide in God. Instead I’ve been dealing with the demands of life at the expense what’s essential. So tonight…while I’ll pay the price with tomorrow for too little rest…I’m thankful to have slipped away to spend a few minutes with God.

Thankfully during this busy time…I’ve been able to go to church, Bible study and be in prayer. But all that doesn’t substitute for some alone time and connection with God on a very personal level.

It’s kind of like a wife who sees her husband across the way at a friend’s party. She sees him from afar and even says, “Hi”. But if she doesn’t spend any alone time with him…away and apart from others…I can guarantee you…the relationship would suffer.

God says in His word that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. I guess I haven’t been showing up to meet with Him personally.

Thank you Lord for being there…and meeting with me once again. May I be a Mary and not a Martha. May I put that which is essential…Jesus Christ…before everyone and everything else.

A Real Live Leprechaun

By golly…I found me a real live leprechaun. Now who would have thought that you’d find him hiding in plain sight? But as I was leaving church on Sunday…I stumbled upon him.

Try as he might to disguise himself as an ordinary man…by singing in the choir and mixing and mingling with everyday folks…I could just tell.

Now I’ll grant you that he’s a wee bit bigger than what I would have figured a leprechaun to be. But hey…I thought the whole leprechaun thing was a myth. So…how’s a girl to know?

Now I’ve got to say…if all

leprechauns can sing like the one I captured on camera…we’d have some great music.

When I confronted him on his leprechaun status…he tried to pass it off as coincidence. But you can’t fool me. I know a leprechaun when I see him. He calls himself Chance…but trust me this was no happenstance.

A Jewel

Dearest Janet…what a treasure you are

A precious jewel in the in the crown of our Savior

Walking in the love of Christ

You show a kind and a gentle spirit to all

Through the strength of our Lord

You are able to bear and endure all things

By trusting in the power and providence of God

You have a hope that endures

Following the example of Jesus

You walk in humility and obedience to the Father

With the knowledge of God’s word

You rejoice in the truth

Through the work of the Holy Spirit within

You have a desire for holiness and purity

Believing with certainty in God’s promises

You eagerly desire the Lord’s return

On this your birthday

We celebrate the gift that you are

We are most thankful for you

Our dear precious sister in Christ

By Susan Bunts Wachtel

November 30, 2008

Dedicated to Janet Corsi

Our friend and precious sister in Christ.

Happy Birthday to one whom Jesus shines through so brightly.


Am I more repulsed by the idea of the animal sacrifice in the Old Testament than I am sickened by my own sin which necessitated the shedding of blood to cover my sin?

If I knew the true cost of my sin…would I still choose to go my own way and sin against God and man?

Do I recognize the cost of sin…but choose to turn away and pretend like I don’t see?

Do I esteem the opinions of others over what God says in His word?

Do I care more about my now…than eternity?

Am I living for today…with precious little thought of how it will effect my eternal future?

Do I have a low estimation of God and His absolute holiness and righteousness?

Do I over estimate my own goodness?

Do I question God’s presence in my circumstances?

Will I turn to God in the midst of my suffering?

Will I allow Him to draw me near and comfort me even when I don’t understand why He has permitted my suffering?

If I recognized that I continuously dwell in the presence of holy, righteous, omnipotent God…how would it change me? How would affect what I do and say…my thoughts and emotions?

If I recognized the absolute authority of God…would I be quick to obey and submit myself to His plan?

If I was truly motivated and moved by love for my Savior how would that change what I do?

What if love was my motive…not what I would gain in the here and now…or in eternity?

What if I loved Jesus more…would I want to be more like Him? Would I want to please the one I loved most?

If I were to think of dying today…is there anything that I wouldn’t want to have exposed…laid bare?

If I really believed that eternity was forever…would I share the Gospel message more? Would I feel desperate for my loved ones to not enter eternity without Christ?

Would I worry less about offending the relative who has gone down the wrong path and chosen to believe in nonsense or a different Jesus?

If I knew that my family or friends will spend eternity in hell…asking why I never shared the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior…would I share the truth of the Gospel? Would I tell them that no one comes unto the Father except through Him?