A Bright, Bright Sun Shiny Day

Click on the pictures to enlarge. 
…because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…

Romans 1:19-20

Without Christ…What do you do?

After reading Ken’s post “Will I have work?” at his blog “Following Jesus”, it got me to thinking.  How do people who don’t know God get through life especially during difficult and trying times? 

What do you do when you lose your job?
What do you do when the doctor has bad news?
What do you do when you hit some bumpy waters in your marriage?
What do you do when a loved one dies?
What do you do when you’ve been hurt and you feel like you can’t go on?
What do you do when you see injustice?
What do you do, whom do you turn to?

Even though I accepted Christ at the age of 32, I can’t imagine facing life without Him or without the wisdom, counsel and comfort I find in the Bible.  I can’t imagine facing trials and tribulations without reaching out to family and friends, knowing that they will go before the throne of grace in prayer for me.

Thank You Lord that I don’t have to know what it’s like to live my life without You.  Thank You Lord for friends and family who come alongside me and help me when life is hard.  Thank You that You don’t waste anything because You are able to use the bad things in my life to minister to others.  Thank You for the Bible which helps me to learn about who You are.  Thank You that I can have confidence and unwavering trust in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and eternal security.  Thank You that all my sins have been forgiven, that they have been cast as far as the east is from the west.  Thank You for being faithful when I am faithless.  Thank You for Your people.  Thank You for pastors and teachers who are faithful and bold to teach Your Word.  Thank You for prayer.  Thank You for hearing and answering my prayers and speaking to me through Your Word and the Holy Spirit.  Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit and the certainty that You will never leave nor forsake me.  Thank You for worship and praise and glorious music.  Thank You Lord!

Thunder Dog…A Compelling & Good Read

With the events of 9/11 forever etched in my memory, I was eager to read “Thunder Dog” by Michael Hingson with Suzy Flory.  As the subtitle tells, it’s “The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog & the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero.” 

Reading a story about a man who survived the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center is compelling enough.  But add to the story the fact that the man, Michael Hingson, is blind, has a guide dog Roselle and has to descend 78 stories on foot to get to safety and you have a gripping survival account by an unforgettable pair.

The story is well told, with a moment by moment account of Michael and Roselle’s escape, along with colleague David Frank from their office located on the 78th floor in Tower I of the World Trade Center.  Interspersed with the details of that fateful day are stories of Michael’s life. 

Michael was born two months premature and was blind due to pure oxygen he received as part of the standard medical treatment for premature babies.  Michael parents didn’t listen to the doctor’s advice about putting him in a home for the blind.  Instead they brought him home and raised their son no differently from his older brother Ellery.  Before he ever had a guide dog or white cane, Michael was expected to grow, learn and explore his neighborhood on his own two feet.  This boy had a spirit of adventure and he learned to ride a bike and even drive a car.  Michael’s feisty can-do spirit helped to prepared him to survive the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Through Michael’s story we learn about the bond between a blind person and their guide dog.  Roselle is a special dog and was able to keep her focus and concentrate on guiding her master down 78 flights of stairs and through the streets of New York filled with debris and a monstrous toxin filled dust cloud that pursued survivors running from the World Trade Center.

I highly recommend this book.  It was a gripping, interesting and unique story of survival by Michael Hingson and his guide dog Roselle.  “Thunder Dog” is a touching and memorable book.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Ungodliness

Recently, I had the privilege of reading Jerry Bridges’ book “Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate.”  Reading this book proved to be a painful experience.  On occasion I saw the sins of others, but all too often God confronted me of my own sins. 

When I think of the word ungodly, I don’t typically think of Christians.  Instead I think of unbelievers and a multitude of sins.  But Jerry Bridges helped me to see that ungodliness may be a sin present in a believer’s life too. 

In his book Jerry said, “Ungodliness may be defined as living one’s everyday life with little or no thought of God, or of God’s will, or of God’s glory or of one’s dependence on God.”

The day after reading that chapter, I had an example of ungodliness in my own life when I experienced anxiety and worry.  My first thought wasn’t that I need to bring this before the Lord in prayer.  Instead, I was thinking of things that I could do to help resolve the issues that concerned me. 

It wasn’t until later in the day, I realized I had given little thought of God when I started feeling anxious.  I wanted to get out of that place where I was feeling uncomfortable.  I wanted to be in control and use my wisdom and might to change the situation.  I didn’t act a whole lot different than a person who doesn’t believe in God. 

The book also addresses many other sins, including anxiety and worry. 

I found “Respectable Sins” challenging because the Holy Spirit was doing a work in me as I read through each chapter.  I would recommend taking one chapter at a time so that you can think and pray about what the Holy Spirit would have you to learn before moving on to the next chapter. 

This book is a keeper so you can reread and reevaluate where you are at in dealing with some of those “Respectable Sins” that all of us deal with this side of heaven.

Little Do They Know

My family laid my body to rest today
Little do they know
My soul will never find rest

I spent months fighting this wretched disease
On my death bed
Suffering day and night

They couldn’t take it any longer
Eventually they prayed
That I would suffer no more

They whispered in my ear
It’s okay, you can let go now
You are going to a better place

Little did they know
Where I would spend eternity
Now my soul will never find rest

I was never too religious
Thought that Jesus’ claim as being the only way to salvation
Absurd and narrow minded

Surely all roads lead to heaven, don’t they?
I was a good person, not perfect, but good in comparison to others
Don’t all my good works count for something?

Well, I was wrong, dead wrong
Not that it makes any difference
But I’m a believer now

If only I could send someone to warn them
Repent!  Receive Christ for the forgiveness of your sins
Lest you suffer the same fate as me

Susan Bunts Wachtel
July 18, 2011

I had started this poem on July 16, 2010, but finished it a year later.

How many times have you heard people say when a loved one has died, “Well at least they are not suffering anymore.”  While those words are meant to bring comfort, as Christians we know the truth that when an unbeliever dies their suffering has just begun and will last for eternity. 

May we be unapologetic and bold in sharing the Gospel message so that our family, friends, co-workers and even strangers may have the assurance that their sins have been forgiven and that they will be in heaven for eternity, not suffering in hell.

Changing My Thinking

And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
Joel 2:28


Recently the Lord has been doing business with me, challenging me concerning my way of thinking about Muslims. 

It seems like when God is working on me, He will bring that same message from several different fronts.  One was the Joel Rosenberg’s 2011 Epicenter Conference and the other was a book, “Which None Can Shut”, by author Reema Goode.

My earliest memories of Muslims and Islam go back to 1972, when Palestinian terrorists kidnapped and murdered Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich Germany.  Over the years, there have literally been hundreds of terrorist attacks carried out by radical Muslims resulting in the torture and/or murder of thousands of people.  Most prominent are the attacks on September 11, 2011. 

Even now, looking back at lists of terrorist acts over the last 40 years, I feel a righteous anger that rises up and cries out for justice.  And yet, when I see what God is doing in the Muslim people, I stand amazed. 

I was excited to listen to the messages from Joel Rosenberg’s 2011 Epicenter Conference to hear messages on biblical prophecy and where we are at on the prophetic calendar.  What I didn’t expect was to hear how God had worked in the lives of two men who were once radical Muslims but are now followers of Jesus Christ.  These men who once hated the Jews and Christians and wanted them dead are now my brothers in Christ.  Those who were filled with hate now love and embrace those who were once their enemies.  I was stunned to hear their stories. 

Shortly after listening to the 2011 Epicenter Conference messages, a friend lent us the book “Which None Can Shut”, by Reema Goode.  My husband read the book first.  While he was reading it, he kept commenting how good the book was and shared some of the stories that he had just read.  I could hardly wait to pick up the book and read it for myself.

What an amazing work God is doing among the Muslim people; it is simply stunning!  There is a great harvest taking place and God is preparing the hearts and minds of so many people, who have been held in bondage and darkness, to hear and believe the Gospel message that salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone. 

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12

Please click on the link for the 2011 Epicenter Conference.  At that site, you can watch all of the messages and discussion panels and hear for yourself the powerful work God is doing.  But don’t stop there.  Pick up the book “Which None Can Shut” and read about Muslim people coming to faith in Christ.

I came away from the Epicenter Conference and book “Which None Can Shut” with a desire to be in prayer for the salvation of these people, whom God loves so dearly that He gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. 

Praying Through the Arabian Peninsula