It’s Been a Year

It’s been a year
Since I last saw you among the living

Not a day goes by
That I don’t think of you

Your passing would have been easier
If I had the assurance of your eternal destination

Instead of remembering your death
I would have been celebrating the anniversary of your home going

As it is…I’ll have to wait until I get to heaven
To see if we’ll have a reunion

While I hated what Alzheimer’s did to you
I hadn’t known a day without you in my life

In the end the Alzheimer’s won
But only because you gave up

Every time I drive by a place where we went
I think of you and remember both the good times and bad

I remember our Sunday afternoons
Sharing a treat from Starbuck and a movie…sometimes even a nap

Even though my life has gone on without you
I often think, “Gayle would have liked this”

I wished you could have been at my wedding
Sitting in the seat of honor

I’m grateful that you got to meet
The man I would one day marry

On this night one year ago
I sat by your bedside and prayed

I whispered in your ear
Sang hymns and told you about Jesus

Now a year later, my husband and I
Stepped foot for the first time into our new home

I know you would have liked it
It’s bright and open, sunny and cheery

There’s a yard with lots of space to garden
I wish you would have been here to enjoy it maybe even show me the ropes

One day I hope to paint the kitchen yellow
So that I can think of you when I’m in it

It’s been a year now
God has brought many changes, more than I could have ever imagined

But even in the midst of the busyness and change
I think of you…and miss you

Susan Bunts Wachtel
April 28, 2009

Today is one year since my mother Gayle Lorenat died. Even though the last few years were hard because of Alzheimer’s I sure do miss her.

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Fix Our Eyes on Jesus

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:18

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Lying in Wait

Gossip thinly disguised as a prayer request
Only serves to tear down and cause division

No one is exempt
From being the next victim

Leaders faithfully serving the body of Christ
Have decisions questioned at every turn

Those enduring trials and tribulation
Are a delicious topic of conversation for the gossiping tongue

Opinion and speculation
Pass for an intimate knowledge of the facts

Even the innocent bystander
May fall prey to the gossiping tongue

Gossips raise themselves up
By trampling on the reputation of another

The sin of gossip tears people down
Both the victim and the one with the uncontrolled tongue

Sometimes motivated by boredom
Gossip makes the perpetrator feel important

It gives the appearance of being “in the know”
Or the confidant of so many friends

Never is an opportunity lost to sully a reputation
Or call into question someone’s motives

Like an viper lying in wait
At an opportune moment…the gossip will strike with their venomous poison

Susan Bunts Wachtel
April 24, 2009

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The Lamb of God

The sinless Lamb of God
Bore our sins upon His body

The Father’s wrath was poured out
Upon His innocent Son

“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”
Beseeched from the Holy One whom they had rejected

Mocked when He proclaimed that He was King of the Jews
Yet He is the King of kings and Lord of lords

The ones He had healed
Stood before the cross condemning their Healer

Those whose sight was restored
Were blinded to the Savior before them

Those who could hear after Jesus’ miraculous touch
Were deaf to the Word of God

Those whose tongues were loosed
Were now crying “Crucify Him”

Those who sat on the hillside listening to the Sermon on the Mount
Now reviled and persecuted the Teacher who came to show them The Way

Those who hungered and were fed with loaves and fishes
Showed contempt for the One who was moved with compassion

The Pharisees who diligently studied God’s Word
Did not recognize the Scriptures fulfillment

The Disciples that Jesus called to follow Him
Had now fled, save one who stayed nearby

The Innocent’s blood was shed
For the guilty who stand condemned in their sin

The cleansing blood of the Lamb applied to the sin debt
Of those whom the Father had given Him from before the foundations of the world

The condemned clothed in self righteousness
Will stand before the Holy, Righteous Son of God to give an account

The guilty clothed in Christ’s Righteousness
Stand forgiven and are bid to enter in

Susan Bunts Wachtel
April 23, 2009

In the Silence

In the silence
God is at work
Attending to details
Of which I’m unaware

Will I be anxious
Worry and fret…when and how will it all work out
Or will I trust Him
Confident that God is faithful and more than able

Will I try to be in control
Get out ahead of God
Or will I be obedient
Take only the next step that God has directed

My peace during times of uncertainty
Is found in the presence of Christ Jesus
My security is found
When I walk hand in hand with my Savior

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
April 22, 2009

Hymns of Old

Hymns of old
So rich in theology
Proclaim the excellencies of Christ Jesus

They tell of His humble birth
His human incarnation
Of the One who was here before the world began

His sinless, perfect life
Of the innocent Lamb
Slain before the foundations of the world

Veiled in human flesh
Yet He is the very essence of God the Father
He set His glory aside that He might redeem the lost

He came to do the will of the Father
The propitiation for our sin
Turning away the Father’s wrath

He suffered like no other
As He hung on Calvary’s cross
Marred beyond recognition as a man

Even bearing the weight of our sin could not compare
To the pain of separation when the Father turned away from the Son
For He who is Holy, Holy, Holy cannot look upon or dwell with sin

Death could not hold Him
The sinless Son of God
He arose victorious from the grave

Today He is seated
At the right hand of the Father
For the work He came to do is finished

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
April 12, 209

While I love all kinds of music…both hymns and choruses…there is nothing quite like the old hymns. They are so rich in theology and Christ centered.

Some of the songs today are very man centered. In focusing on us, we lose the magnificence of God’s plan and Jesus sacrifice for unworthy sinners. We were dead in our sin there is nothing in us that is attractive or deserving of our salvation. It was Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross in obedience to the Father’s plan that earned our salvation. He paid the debt we owe, but can never pay.

While God’s love motivated His plan of redemption and salvation through His Son Jesus Christ…it was His holiness, righteousness, justice, and wrath that necessitated our sin debt be paid.

May we choose to know God fully as He has revealed Himself in the Word of God.

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Once, But Now

Once my lips cursed You
Now I praise You

Once I denied You
Now I seek You

Once dead in my sin
Now I proclaim salvation is found in no other name than Christ Jesus

Once I ran from You
Now I follow You

Once I heeded my own voice
Now I listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd

Once I longed to fit into the world’s mold
Now I desire to live the sanctified life

Once blinded to my own sin
Now I see my “good works” in light of Your holiness and righteousness

Once a sight walker
Now a faith walker

Once my own advocate
Now the Son sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for me

Once a grumbler and complainer
Now a prayer warrior

Once I held on to hurt, nursed a grudge
Now I forgive as I have been forgiven by my Lord

Once I hated my enemies
Now I love and pray for those who come against me

Once I allowed every kind of evil thought and wickedness to enter in
Now I guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus

Once filled with anxious thoughts
Now I have the peace of Christ

Once I put on self righteous
Now I’m clothed in Christ’s righteousness

Once I walked in my own strength
Now I’m weak but find my strength in Christ

Once self sufficient
Now fully dependent upon God

Once I was defenseless against a powerful foe
Now I’m armed with the Sword of the Spirit

Once deceived by the lies of the enemy
Now growing in wisdom from the study of God’s word

Once bound for eternity in hell
Now my heavenly future is secure

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
April 11, 2009

On this Easter weekend 2009, I give thanks, honor and praise to Jesus Christ, my Glorified Risen Lord and Savior. Because He chose to take on flesh, receive my just penalty of death, I stand forgiven. Because He chose rejection, scorn, beatings and death on the cross, I can have my sins covered by His precious blood. Because He was the sinless Son of God, death could not hold Him down and He arose victorious from the grave. Now He imparts, through the power of the Holy Spirit living within me, power and victory over sin.

You too can have your sins forgiveness…by Jesus Christ, the One and Only Living Son of God. You can have your future in eternity secured if you will confess with your mouth and believe with your heart that Jesus is Christ is Lord.

Why go another day without Jesus Christ?

Two-thousand years ago…He paid a heavy penalty for your sin so that you might be set free. Won’t you accept that free gift found in the Beloved Son?

God’s Will

God’s moral will
Is clearly revealed in scripture
Reinforced by the Holy Spirit within

But knowing God’s will for my personal life
Is often better understood
In hindsight…after the fact

What step should I take next
What direction should I go
What choice should I make

It’s tempting
To try and interpret His will
From the unfolding of recent events

May I tread carefully
Not stumble into dangerous territory
By reading the signs and putting God in a box

Rather than seeking a desired outcome
May I desire to walk closely with You, Oh Lord
Knowing that Your presence is my great reward

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
April 7, 2009

“God’s Will” was inspired by recent events in Chris and my life involving the purchase of our first home together. As we’ve gone through some ups and downs it’s been hard to know what God’s will is. But I think we are finding out…day by day as we walk with our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The above photo is from our collection of wedding photos taken by Sherry Hebestreit. Sherry did a marvelous job. Both Chris and I were not sure about having a photographer for our wedding. But Sherry did a lovely job and we cherish the memories of that day especially when we look at the photographs. If you would like information on how to contact Sherry, please send me an email and we’ll forward your inquiry on to Sherry Hebestreit.

In, But Not Of

I am in the world
But not of it

My ears are tuned
To the beat of a different drummer

Daily dying to self
I’ve been crucified with Christ

That which used to attract me
Now repels me

I’d much rather learn God’s word
Than pursue that which will one day be lost

Storing up in heaven riches
That which can never perish

Oh Lord, may I glorify Jesus my Savior
Rather than seek the praises of men

Honor Him who died for me
Praise the One who set me free

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
April 1, 2009