Eyes on Jesus

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of myself
I have hope that does not fade

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of being overcome with fear
I stand firm in faith

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of my circumstances
I have a peace which passes all understanding

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of focusing on my enemies
I believe that He will deliver me

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead my weaknesses and limitations
I pray with confidence that He will do the impossible

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of remembering my sin
I have the assurance of God’s forgiveness

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of the here and now
I have the promise of heaven that will never pass away

Susan Bunts Wachtel
September 23, 2009

Remnants of Sin

The remnants of sin
In a life before Christ
Leaves ugly black marks
On the fragile human soul
A life spent in rebellion against God
Entangled by sin
Experienced momentary pleasures
Never thinking about the long lasting, devastating consequences of sin
Be it the woman who bought the lie
Gave herself freely
To any Tom, Dick and Harry
Now has trouble bonding to the one she’s committed her life to
Or to the man
Who experienced sensual pleasures
With numerous women who meant nothing at the time
Now memories of their faces invade his mind when he’s with his wife
Maybe it’s the woman
Who found herself pregnant by a man she did not love
Now each year a depression creeps over her
At the anniversary when that tiny life within was extinguished
Perhaps it’s a craving
For drugs or alcohol
Oh if only there was something to numb that pain
So deep inside that just won’t go away
Oh how effectively the enemy uses the past
We desire to counsel our children of the price they will pay
But he throws the past in our face
He shouts hypocrite, liar, sinner!!!
We waver in the temptation
To just shut up
After all…how do you tell your child
Do as I say, not as I did
Then the Holy Spirit reminds you
For your sins Christ died
That black stain of sin
Has been washed white as snow
As Christ’s blood flowed down Calvary’s cross
When He shouted, “It is finished!”
Your sin debt was paid in full
Nothing more must be done…only believe
That’s when the soul healing begins
With each accusation of the enemy
God reminds that you are a new creation in Christ
Sanctified, set apart, made righteous by the precious blood of the Lamb
By Susan Bunts Wachtel
September 22, 2009
This poem is dedicated to a dear friend…who now and again can’t seem to escape from the effects of sin and poor choices from earlier in their life.
I find myself getting so mad at the enemy.  Not only does Satan deceive us…and lead us to follow him and rebel against God and His word…but then he turns around and accuses us after we’ve repented and are walking with the Lord. 
If we knew back then how the choice to sin would impact our lives until the day we die…we would likely make different choice.
But praise God for the salvation that He offers through Jesus Christ and His attaining death on the cross.  Have you received Christ’s forgiveness for your sins?  

Not Yet Healed

That which is meant
To help and encourage
Only serves to hurt and tear open
Wounds not yet healed

Though I’m tempted
To reach for the phone
I go before the Lord
Cry out in my pain

The wait has been so long
Never would I have imagined
But the Lord encourages me
To trust Him still more

Trust Him more than what past failures
Might predict about future success
Instead see how God takes our brokenness and frailty
And makes us whole and strong in Christ

The Lord bids me to come
Pour out my burdens at the foot of the cross
Receive comfort while the wait is long
Stand firm…see my deliverance and victory in the Lord

Susan Bunts Wachtel
September 21, 2009

God Stop – Faith…Expecting the Unexpected

This fall started out the same as usual…but quickly took a detour from the route I expected and planned. I started out in one Bible study and due to changing circumstances made the move to a different study.

Thursday was my first week with the new group. This is the first women’s Bible study I’ve been involved with through my church. We are going through Beth Moore’s study, “Jesus the One and Only”.

I think that God prepared the way for this move as I worked on Beth Moore’s “Psalms of Ascent” study this summer. It was so different from the Bible study I’ve been in for over ten years that it took me a little while to get used it. But before long I was enjoying the new study. One thing I liked in particular were the “ah ha” moments I experienced as I started to think of my life, beliefs and thinking in light of God’s Word.

Because I started the study a week late…I did not have my first week’s questions completed. So mostly I listened while the other women shared their answers.

One of the segments spoke about the different responses that Zechariah and Mary had when the angel Gabriel visited them with good news about God’s miraculous intervention in their lives.

Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth had wanted to have a child for years. They prayed for many years, but now their bodies were well past the child bearing years. But the angel came to tell that their prayer had been answered and that Elizabeth would give birth to a boy. He was to be called John. He was to be no ordinary child, but instead he was the forerunner of the Messiah and would prepare the way of the Lord.

Zechariah responded with doubt and unbelief and asked, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

As a result of his unbelief…the angel struck Zechariah mute until after John was born.

Now Mary on the other hand had a much bigger miracle in store. She hadn’t prayed to have a child. In fact she was betrothed to Joseph and still a virgin when the angel Gabriel informed her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and that she would give birth to a Son. She was to call Him Jesus and He was the Holy One and would be called the Son of God.

Mary also asked angel a question, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

But Mary’s question wasn’t motivated by doubt and unbelief. The angel did not rebuke her. Perhaps Mary’s question was motivated by wonder and amazement how God would accomplish this impossible event.

After reading the events from Luke 1, I started to think about at what point did Mary conceive Jesus? Was it at the moment she believed the angel’s words? Or was it when she was in route to see her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant in her old age.

Was it similar to the ten lepers in Luke 17, who cried out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”? Jesus heard their cries and told them to go show themselves to the priests. As they went and obeyed Jesus command they were healed.

Did the Holy Spirit come upon Mary as she went forth in faith?

The study also provoked me to challenge myself…when I pray, do I pray in such a manner that I’m ready for God to knock my socks off? Do I believe God for the impossible? When I’m praying do I look at my circumstances or is my focus on God? Am I prepared to trust and wait upon God and His timing in answering my prayers?

Well…I look forward to the study as I seek to know Jesus more…and have Him be my All in all.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

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God Stop – The Root of the Problem

Ever since Chris and I moved into our new home we’ve been battling spider plants. They take up a large part of the planter in the front of our home. We would like to get rid of them and plant something more beautiful or appealing.

But it’s so hard to get the plants out. First we tried to whack them…thinking that they would die. They just came back hardier than ever and thrived. We’d pull the plants out…but much of the root remained behind and soon plants were shooting up and looking better than ever.

Today Chris did battle again. This time…we’ve tried a different tactic. We stopped the sprinklers from watering the plants. That’s allowed the dirt to dry out.

So today…Chris was able to actually make some progress in getting the roots out. When we looked at the mess of tangled roots it reminded me of sin and its effects in our lives.

The root ball that Chris was able to get out of the ground was a tangled mess. The small little plants had large embedded, entangled roots that went very deep. Just as the roots send out tendrils that go all throughout the planter…so too sin does in our lives. In his efforts to get the roots out, one of the trowels was bent. When we work to get sin out of our lives, it can be a very painful process.

In the end…just like the plants…it’s better that we never let the sin get started in our life. Otherwise something that looks pretty and harmless can take over.

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September 11th…I Will Always Remember

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t remember the horrific events of September 11th, 2001. The people who perished, the valiant efforts of the rescue workers and heroes of the day. Of course who can forget the evil men who orchestrated the events.

Thank you Lord that thus far the death and destruction of that day has not been repeated in the United States. We pray for Your continued hand of protection against an evil foe.

These pictures were taking on September 9, 2002, when a September 11th exhibit came to the Nixon Library. It was very sobering and heart rendering.

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No Good Thing

Abba Father
In Your Word You proclaim
No good thing will You withhold
From those who walk uprightly

But God
In my humanity
That’s so hard to understand
When what I see contradicts what I believe

What about the husband and wife who month after month
Year after year
Yearn for and desire to have a child
Only to continually be met with disappointment

Or what about the maiden
Once young
She is now considered an old maid
Her heart’s desire for a husband is never fulfilled

What about the parents
Who from before the birth of their little one
Prayed for their child’s salvation
Only to have them reject Jesus Christ all their days

God in Your Word You tell us
Blessed is the man who household is full of children
He who finds a wife has found a good thing
You desire that all would come to repentance

Yet in Your sovereignty
In Your perfect plan
You may choose to withhold
That which is good

How can I understand it God?
It is too far beyond me
So I must walk by faith
Not by sight

Trust that You are good
Know that You are weaving together a tapestry seen from the backside
Yet in eternity when I see it in from the right side, I will know
You worked all things together for good for those who love the Lord

Susan Bunts Wachtel
September 11, 2009

Have you every prayed about something only to have God delay or ultimately say no? Have you ever struggled and wondered why God allows something that He’s proclaimed good to be withheld?

Right now I don’t always understand what God is doing. My God is incomprehensible. I dare not judge God by appearances and before His work is complete.

Even in my ignorance….when I don’t understand why God chooses to say no, or chooses to withhold the good thing the we’ve diligently and persistently prayed for…yet I will raise my hands to heaven and say, “Blessed be the Name of the Lord, my God and my Savior Jesus Christ.” Amen and amen!

The above photo was from our wedding by our photographer Sherry Hebestreit. I took the liberty of playing with a photo editing program and applying a filter. One of these days…I’m going to post a video from our wedding. Perhaps on our first anniversary? Or maybe by the tenth if the Lord tarries.


Self is such a miserable place to be
At the end of the day
That’s just what hell may be like
There will be no escaping me

In self
I’m absorbed in my own misery
Consumed with my own pain
Continually thinking it’s all about me

In self
Daily I pursue
That which brings me pleasure
Rather than disciplining myself to do the hard things

In self
I forget about others
Fail to notice their needs
Nor offer a helping hand

In self
I’m determined to accomplish my will
Never yielding or obeying God
If I could…I’d make God to be like I want Him to be

In self
While I’ll never admit it
I treat others
As if they are here to serve me

In self
There is no joy in the Lord
For my eyes fail to see Him
My focus is entirely on me

In self
I am filled with only me
There is no room for anyone else
At times it’s a pretty lonely place to be

Yet there is One who tells me
I am to die to self daily
That I must be a servant of all
That I am to love the Lord with all my heart

Only the One
Who humbled Himself
Who came to do His Father’s will
Can show me how to live for Christ and not for me

Susan Bunts Wachtel
September 4, 2009

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God in the Middle

Sometimes I feel as though
I’m in the middle of crossing the Jordan

In between doubt and defeat or
Experiencing victory through believing God

Between standing on my own strength or
Walking in God’s omnipotent power

Between leaning on my own understanding or
Trusting God’s wisdom and His perfect Word

Between following God at a distance or
Walking in lock step with Him

Between seeing God’s power in the lives of others or
Knowing through experience His all sufficient power in my own life

Between captivity and victimhood or
Deliverance and victory through Christ Jesus

Between sin and death or
Walking in the newness of life

Between choosing my own will or
Obeying God

Oh God, may I remember that You have gone before me
That You are with me in the middle of the Jordan

May this be my Ebenezer Stone
A witness that Lord has brought me thus far

God You are the Covenant Maker and Keeper
You will bring me safely through

by Susan Bunts Wachtel
September 2, 2009

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