Endings & Beginnings

As I look back over this past year, I’m asking the Lord to reveal to me what I did right so I can keep on doing it and show me my failures so that I can learn and not repeat them.  


I find that there are many things I’m grateful for:

  • I’m grateful for my heavenly Father who planned from before the foundations of the world to save me from my sin.
  • I’m grateful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who willingly laid down His life to pay the penalty for my sin, so that could be forgiven of my sins and be made righteous by the precious blood of the Lamb.  
  • I’m grateful that my hope and promise of an eternity spent in heaven is not based on my worth or righteousness, but on the fact that I am in Christ and I’m a new creation.
  • I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit who lives within me.  That He helps me to grow through the study of God’s word and prayer.  That He restrains me, because like Paul this side of heaven sometimes I do the things I don’t want to do and don’t do the things I should do.
  • I’m grateful to have the Word of God to read for myself.
  • I’m grateful for the resources that are available today to help me know God’s word, from Bible website, Bible studies that are available online, and bloggers who share what they are learning on their faith journey.
  • I’m grateful for prayer, to be able to come before the throne of God in confidence and present my requests to God.  To be able to intercede on behalf of others.  To have friends and family be in prayer for me when I’m going through a trial.  

  • I’m grateful for Kindred Community Church and our pastors and teachers including Pastor Philip De Courcy, Doug McAllister, Mark Bundy, Dave Dunn and Dave Doyle and the many others who dedicate themselves to the study of God’s word so they can faithfully teach each week.  I’m grateful that through the power of God they persevere through trials and depend upon God to be their Shield and Defender.  
  • I’m grateful for Community Bible Study and our teacher Patty Bivens, a woman called and gifted by God to teach the word.  She is faithful to study each week so that she can share and accurately handle the word of God.  I’m grateful for her humility and willingness to be open and transparent.  I’m grateful for my discussion leader Hap Brandon who encourages me as I study each week.  As she leads our group she calls on all the women to share what they learned from the study.  There are times I learn as much from the discussion as I do from studying the passage myself.

  • I’m grateful for my husband Chris.  I remember all too well living life alone for many, many years.  It’s wonderful to have good man who is loving and caring, hardworking and giving.  He is strong when I am weak.  He helps make life fun and brings a balance and perspective that I never had before.
  • I’m grateful for friends and family who care and are there for us and sharing their own lives with us.  
Trip to Louisiana


  • I’m grateful for our vacations that we took this year including a trip to Louisiana to see my sister-in-love Carol and brother-in-love Ron.  They made our trip so special and we got to see amazing sites in their state.  I still love looking at the pictures from our trip to Louisiana.  We had a wonderful trip as we drove up the coast to central California and stayed in a lovely place called the Back Bay Inn.  We saw the amazing beauty of God’s creation.
Trip to the California Central Coast


  • I’m grateful for our kitty cats Rudy and Junior; they make life a little sweeter and warmer.

  • I’m grateful that each day is new and fresh and allows me a new beginning.
  • I’m grateful for the home God has provided us with.  This year when I was off work for back surgery I especially enjoyed it.  I was able to sit in the backyard for my prayer time and watch the birds coming to eat at our feeders and drink from the bird bath and dripper.


  • I’m grateful that both Chris and I are gainfully employed for companies that are stable.  I don’t want to take that for grated these days in light of how many people have lost their job in this stinky economy.  I don’t want to be presumptuous and think that because I have a job today, that I will have one tomorrow.  That causes me to be mindful its God who provides and be dependent upon Him.
  • I’m grateful for Valerie Sinex and the staff at Wild Birds Unlimited in Yorba Linda.  It’s a treat going to the store and visit.  Valerie is so sweet, loving and caring to both people and birds alike.  
  • I’m thankful for the sermons and conference messages that I hear, online or via podcast, including John MacArthur, Joel Rosenberg, Kay Arthur, Anne Graham Lotz,  John Piper, Voddie Baucham, Dave Rolph, Beth Moore, Family Life Today, Family Talk and Focus on the Family
  • I’m grateful for a warm bed to sleep in each night and hot and cold running water.  In reality that is a huge thing that is so easy to take for granted. 
  • I’m grateful for God’s daily provisions.
  • I’m grateful to be able to participate in Blogging for Books, Book Sneeze and Tyndale Blog Network; to be able to read new books and give a review.  It’s both fun and a challenge.



Those are just a few of the things I’m grateful for as I reflect on this past year.  I pray that I will have a grateful heart in 2012 and live each day through the grace and power of God.


Happy New Year to you and your family.  

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Love Letter

 
We both wept as you read
A love letter
Written from your heart

Recalling God’s providence
His miraculous work
In bringing us together

How He overcame obstacles
Combined our broken pieces into one
Smashed the word “impossible”

God has perfectly balanced our differences
Out of the ash heap of our weaknesses
He brought forth strength

He continues His work today
Turning us from blinding fear and unbelief
To unwavering faith and knowing that He is able

God has enabled you
To look beyond the surface
Love from the depths of your heart

Beloved, may I always remember
That you are God’s gift to me  
From our heavenly Father above


Susan Bunts Wachtel
November 9, 2009



Dedicated to Chris Wachtel…my beloved husband.

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





Susan Blog Sig 2

There Must Be A Rainbow



I look up

Find the sky is filled with rain clouds

As far as my eye can see

Overhead dark threatening clouds

Large rain drops start to fall

I’d best take cover

But my eyes are fixed

On the strange golden glow

Surrounding those once ominous clouds

The glow of the sun

Cannot be hid

By even the fiercest storm

I begin to search the sky

For when the sun appears in the midst of the storm

My heart tells me…there must be a rainbow up there somewhere

By Susan Bunts Wachtel

January 23, 2009

Dedicated to my husband, Chris Wachtel. Through the stormy, cloudy times…may we always have hope and look expectantly for the rainbow. Not looking for a sign like a wicked generation, but one who is assured that God is with us, knowing He is faithful and true. Confident that He will deliver us in His time, according to His perfect plan.

Yesterday when leaving work the sky was filled with rain clouds…but there was a beautiful golden glow. I looked up and just knew that up there, somewhere, there was a rainbow.

Sunset in California











God is a Painter of unparallel magnificence…He was having a wonderful time this evening with His creation.

On a mini vacation in Carlsbad, California for the weekend. We got some amazing shots…especially of this magnificent sunset. More pictures to follow from our trip. As we were driving to the beach I was in a hurry to get there so I could get my camera out to capture the sunset…and it did not disappoint me. But I was struck with the thought that one day…there will be no more sunsets or sunrises.

My husband Chris Wachtel…was actually willingly photographed a couple of times this weekend. While it looks unreal…the picture is real…no touch ups from Photoshop. With those handsome blue eyes…what girl wouldn’t want to marry this handsome fellow?


Is It Love?



They say its love

When I look into your eyes

And see stars


They say its love

When I kiss your lips

And hear fireworks all around us


They say its love

When we are making love

All night long


But I ask

Wouldn’t any fool stick around

When it’s easy, magical and fun


What about the times

When I look into your eyes

And see your beautiful blue eyes looking back


What about the times

When all our busy schedules afford

Is a quick kiss as we head out the door


What about the times

After an exhausting day…we come home spent

And we are most grateful to fall into each others arms


Is it love

That says “I love you”

When everyday is like a fairy tale


Or is it true love

When I come home weary from fighting the battle

And find…the one will stand with me


Or is it true love

When I’m swimming against the tide…about to drown

And out reaches a hand…to hold me up


Or is it true love

That says…I’m committed

And would marry you all over again…no matter what


Susan Bunts Wachtel

November 1, 2008


To Chris…the one I love. Thank you for sticking around…fighting the good fight…holding me up in prayer before the throne room of God. Thanks for being willing to pursue a mature love that sticks with it in good times and bad…who doesn’t get weak-kneed and afraid…when the challenges don’t stop and the tough times outweigh the good.