The words of a gossip should never be trusted
Today they are tearing someone else down
Tomorrow in front of a different audience
You will be the topic of conversation
Words spoken in a whisper
Are seldom shared face to face
The person held in judgment
Is never there to offer a defense
In the heart of the one listening
There is a nudge
A twinge of their conscience
The knowledge that gossiping is wrong
However any objection
Or the courage to speak up is stilled
As the listening audience
Is invited to join in the sin

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
September 16, 2010

Washing of the Word

This year I’ve made a concerted effort to memorize scripture.  My aim was to memorize one verse a week. 
For a long time…I thought that I couldn’t memorize scripture because my memory seems to get worse with each passing day.  While I may find it a challenge to pull up information lickety split I have been surprised that I have been able to memorize the scripture verses relatively easy.
While typically it’s been one verse a week…there’s been a few times that I’ve memorized longer passages.  Though it may take me a couple of weeks on the longer passages I am grateful that I’ve been able to memorize Bible verses.
There are all sorts of tips on how best to memorize scripture.  It will vary on what’s most effective for each person.
For me I will write out the scripture on a Post It Note and place it on my computer screen and on the bathroom mirror at home.  I’ll read the scripture verse throughout the day and when I’m at my computer, I’ll type that verse several times each day.  If I’m in the bathroom I may speak the verse out loud.  As I add a new verse each week…I’ll go back and recite or retype the previous verses so that I remember them.
One thing that’s been neat is being able to incorporate those verses into my prayers.  Having God’s word in my memory bank helps me to pray more boldly because I know what His word says and I can be confident that it’s within the will of God.
I’ve also witnessed the Holy Spirit convicting, correcting and washing me with the Word of God.  It’s hard to claim ignorance when I know what God’s word says.  If I attempt to continue to go down that wrong road and disobey God…you can be sure that the Holy Spirit is taking me to the wood shed.  So I find I’m quicker to obey and quicker to repent.
How about you…are you memorizing scripture?  Do you hide God’s word in your heart so that you might not sin against Him? 
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12

Dead Man Walking

He speaks of living according to his own free will
Yet he is walking in conformity to this world

Controlled by sin, deceived by satan
A son of disobedience

He lives according to the lust of his flesh
Follows every sinful desire of his wicked heart

This child of wrath
Is dead in his trespasses and sin

Thought he thinks he’s alive
He’s a dead man walking

by Susan Bunts Wachtel
September 23, 2010

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.  – Ephesians 2:1-3

Follow Me

It’s not always an easy choice
When I hear God’s command
“Follow Me”
Further instructions are given only after I obey
No itinerary is laid out except the next step
“Follow Me”
The past bids me to stay
Attachments cause me to waver when I hear
“Follow Me”
Will I trust the One who calls
Or will I put others before God’s bid
“Follow Me”
Obedience is the key
Walking in His will the reward when He calls
“Follow Me”
By Susan Bunts Wachtel
September 20, 2010
Dedicated to those who have heard God’s call to “Follow Me”. 

Imperfect People

Though it’s unrealistic, as a Christian sometimes I expect other believers to be a whole lot better than what they are.  At the same time…I know that we will never be perfect this side of heaven.
When I encounter that person who is a “work in progress” and see something that is unlovely and less than pure…it’s so easy to focus on that.
But God’s is challenging me that when I see that imperfection…when I encounter that sin in other believers instead of harping on what’s wrong with them I should bring them before the throne of grace in prayer.  I can pray with confidence when I pray for that person what God has written in His word is His will for them. 
Instead of letting something make me embittered or angry…I need to turn it around and pray.  Perhaps that sin that I see in myself and others should be a flag to be in prayer.

Busy for the Lord

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get off track concerning the Lord?  Something that starts out good and is even intended to be of service can quickly become a distraction from that which is necessary and essential.
In my fallen sinful nature it’s so easy to let things or people distract me from the Lord.  All too easily I let activity eclipse the need for worship and undistracted study of God’s word alongside the body of Christ. 
The Lord has been doing business with me in areas where I have gotten off track.  It would be far better if I were a Mary and not a Martha, which is my natural tendency. 
It’s far too tempting for me to desire to be pleasing to people and let them set my schedule rather than go to the Lord and ask what He would have me to do.  When I let other people drive my schedule…it may be filled from morning to night taking care of all sorts of things that the Lord never intended for me to do.  When I know that my schedule is ordered by the Lord…that it’s far easier to say no or yes when and where it’s appropriate, because I’ve already said yes to the Lord.
It seems kind of crazy…but if I want to have that time with the Lord…if I want to be obedient and have a Sabbath rest then I need to intentionally and purposely plan for that. 
On Sunday as I sat in our Bible study class the Lord spoke clearly to me, “Susan, love Me more!” 
What does loving the Lord more look like?  How will that impact my schedule and activities?  How will it affect my attitude?  I liken it loving my husband.  Some of the ways I demonstrate my love for Chris and how my love is manifest will be similar to how I love the Lord. 
The one thing that I know is that I can’t even do that on my own.  Instead I need to go to the Lord and ask for Him to guide me and direct my steps.  I need to be still and listen for the Lord. 

Isn’t it Funny?

I’ve done many a Bible study over the years.  For a number of years, I was blessed to study God’s word through Bible Study Fellowship and most recently through a women’s study through our church. 
But each time I begin a new study, I find myself nervous…but also excited and hopeful that I will build friendships and bond with the women in my study.  I’m prayerful that God will enable me to be faithful in my study…that I will diligently study God’s word.  That I will be open and teachable and let God’s word rebuke, encourage, and conform and transform me. 
Last night I began a new study in the book of Ephesians, a Precepts study by Kay Arthur.  Through this study I will learn a new in depth Bible study method.  What a great book to study so that I might walk with confidence of who I am in Christ.
When I start feeling nervous…I always remind myself that within a few short weeks the ladies in the study will get to know and love one another.  I need to keep my focus on Jesus Christ and follow where He leads.