Will You Shed a Tear

Will you shed a tear tonight

When news of my untimely death

Reaches your ear

Will you thank God

For His mercy that called me home

And brought an end to my earthly suffering

Will you say, “I forgive”

For my life less than perfect

That may have caused my dearest friend pain

Will you stop rejecting my God and Savior

For the sins of His follower

Embrace Christ…and choose to believe Him

Will you rejoice tonight

That there is forgiveness

For all those who call upon Jesus to be saved

Will you celebrate

That tonight I stand before my Lord

Clothed in the righteousness of Christ

Will you join with me

Loudly proclaim that in heaven and on earth

That salvation is found in no other name

Will you praise God for His mercy

Flowing abundant and free

Available to this one so undeserving

Will you trust Him for His grace

Like manna from heaven

Enough given for each day

Will you ask Him

For His peace

To fill your heart and mind in Christ Jesus

Will you depend upon Him

For His Strength to uphold and sustain you

Through even the unimaginable

Will you receive

The forgiveness I uttered

When you turned your back on me

Will you realize

That all we had between us and against us

Amount to nothing in light of eternity

Susan Bunts Wachtel

November 13, 3008

May I have the wisdom to know that all those differences and grievances between us this side of heaven…mean nothing in eternity. That if I choose to hold on to the hurts…in my pride reject the one who hurt me…that I will live to regret it. Maybe not now…but for sure in eternity. May I realize that unforgiveness and bitterness only serve to imprison me. May I rejoice when God blesses and shows His mercy and grace to one that I once considered my enemy. May I have the humility and grace to lift even my enemy in prayer for God’s blessings upon their life. Thank you God…for the important reminder of living this life in light of eternity.

Eternal Vision

Do I offer a prayer to God for my future
Seek His will
Then hesitate to follow where He leads?

Do I unburden my heart
Share my fears, hurt and sorrow
Then refuse to accept His comfort?

Do I know the Word of God
Even have it hidden within my heart
But fail to trust God’s goodness in my circumstances?

Do I give the enemy a foothold
Listen to the lies he whispers in my ears
Believe him who seeks steal, kill and destroy?

Or dare I have an eternal vision
Knowing that God’s plan may include pain
And one day He will turn it…to victory and gain?

Do I trust Him
Who takes away
Will one day restore?

Do I look back at the past
Feel the pain of the present
Am I unable to see past this moment?

Do I believe him
Who seeks to destroy my witness
Render it ineffective to an unbelieving world?

Or do I believe God
Know with confidence
God’s glory and goodness through all eternity far outweighs it all?

Will I choose to be earth bound
Focused on the past
The here and now?

Or will I have an eternal vision
Examine everything through the grid of eternity
Trust that everything is in the hands of my trustworthy God?

“Oh dear one,”
Whispers the still small voice within
“Won’t you trust Me in your pain?”

By Susan Bunts
August 30, 2008

5/22/07 At the End of the Day…Change is in the Wind

First I’d like to say thank you to Kim Beringer…my friend…and my encourager. What a wonderful thing to be known as…an encourager. Indeed she is that…and more. I’ve known Kim for a number of years now. When I reflect upon Kim what strikes me is that she is so very real in her faith and how she views life. Her faith runs deep…and it is a part of her. She doesn’t expect people or situations to be perfect…yet she always seeks to bring something to the table and make it better. Never will you hear a word gossip from her…but you will hear a tale of good that somebody’s done. She looks on the bright side of things…but doesn’t deny the hurt. She strikes a perfect pitch. Kim is my Yenta…and continues to encourage me in my desire to be married. Kim always shares a word of encouragement about my writing. I am most grateful to you dear one.

That day I was standing at the copier…about the last thing I expected was to see his face. After all he had left the company five years ago. I don’t remember him coming back to the building since then. Oh there was the occasional lunch and phone calls…but I never would have expected to seem him back here. In fact he and the family had just moved to North Carolina. Maybe that explains my surprise at seeing Terry Sullivan. But that doesn’t necessarily explain my tears.

I was shocked to seem him and felt like I was dreaming…even as I hugged him. He asked how I was…that’s when I started to tear up. I couldn’t hide it and I couldn’t explain it. Terry was passing through and just came in to say “hi”.

I think I was just overwhelmed with emotions…it made the losses of the past year seem all the more poignant. Terry asked how I was…and I said “I’m doing okay” and yet I cried.

Terry had been my boss for a number of years. Actually I remember him when he was but a young pup, up and coming…who went on to greatly prosper in his career. The thing I liked best about working with Terry…he’s a no nonsense kick butt…get things done kind of guy. Both for himself…and the team that he led. Terry was refreshing to work with…and he cared about people…and had a lot of courage. Seeing Terry…reminded me of how much I loved that which I had lost.

The past year has been a difficult one. Some ups and downs…an emotional roller coaster. Times when I let my faith fail me. It failed me when I got my eyes off Jesus and instead focused on me and my circumstances. But it was also a time to grow and ease into a place that I didn’t want to be planted. Even in the midst of that unplanned and undesired change…God brought people into my path…that made a difference for good. Without those people…I’m not sure how I would have made it through some very dark days. God used people to make a difference…a difference for good.

In short time we will be moving to a new location…the final step of being bought out will finally come to fruition. I will be leaving a building that I’ve been at for I don’t know how many years now…at least seven…maybe more.

I feel bittersweet about this. I will miss some of the folks that will remain with our old company. In some respects…I’ll just be glad to be done with it and have fresh start. The building holds so many memories…mostly good ones. But it’s kind of like having good memories of a wonderful marriage…only to have your spouse leave you. You are grateful for the good times…but thinking about them now only serves to bring you pain.

I had a job that I absolutely loved for so very long…and I’m grateful. I gave it my all…quality work…and continuing to improve was paramount with me. I wanted to continue to grow and better myself. I kept years and years of great records. Data that I had believed could be used to make the department and the company better.

But that all came to a screeching halt when we got word that the company had been sold. Instead now I was making back up discs of data…and sending away, throwing away pile, after pile, after pile…of my work. The work that I thought to be so very important…all of a sudden it was irrelevant. The time spent to make sure a report was accurate and picture perfect was now in trash bin. The work I had done…the goals I had came to naught.

I don’t think I realized it then…but after a year…I think I understand…it’s about the people. People who are loved by God and created in His image.

Don’t get me wrong. No matter what job I have…I’ll give I my all. I’ll work hard and give you my best. But at the end of the game…that work will one day just end up in a heap, in a pile of trash. What’s important…what matters is the people. If I get that wrong…if I’ve messed that up…then I’ve really blown it.

The job I had before I loved and was meaningful to me. I never, ever, wanted…to have “just a job”. But even now as I work…and reports that seem so critical and are needed yesterday…I’m cognizant…and at times overwhelmed…about how meaningless it is.

Recently I was talking with Beth at Bible Study Fellowship. Beth had just started a new job and was saying she liked it…that she found the work meaningful. She likes being able to do paperwork…it suited her and she felt like she was making a difference. I didn’t say anything…because I understand what that feels like. It’s nice when we have work that suits our skills, talents and abilities. But make no mistake…the work itself…at the end of the day will have no lasting value.

What’s it about? It’s about people. It’s about fulfilling God’s greatest commandment…to love the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul and strength…and love my neighbor as myself. People are of eternal value precisely because they were created in the image of God. The means by which we interact with them may be through our work. That is the avenue that God may use…and if He throws in a job we like…so much the better. But it’s not necessarily the work in and of itself. Of course there are exceptions…perhaps in the medical profession or law enforcement…and of course the ministry. But what’s the focus? People!

As a Christian…I must be a good worker. Someone who does outstanding work…so that I may bring glory, honor and praise to my Savior Christ Jesus. It’s also a means by which I may be given credibility…and build relationships. So when that time comes to be able to witness to them with the Gospel message…so that the seed of the Word of God may fall on good soil. Or it may be building relationships…so when difficult times come…I can be there because we have a relationship already in place and they know I care.

It’s about the people. They may think they need this report or that report…but really it’s about building relationships with people. People…not companies…are of eternal value.

We continue to have more and more changes. Even as we plan our move and pack boxes…more people have announced they are retiring or are leaving the company. People that I have known for years and years. Before I would have felt much sadder at their parting…but this year I almost feel numb…and tell them “good for you”. I think it’s a self defense…that way when they leave…it hurts a little less.

Well I say all that only to add that I’ve put in a bid for job within the company. I think I might like it…but don’t know for sure. It seems like God is opening doors. But at the same time…I feel absolutely at peace even if I don’t get the job…which is a pleasant surprise. After last year…and feeling absolutely torn up when I failed to get the job I wanted…I feel at peace and am trusting God in this one. If I get it great…if I don’t that’s okay too.

I feel a change in the wind…and I pause and feel like I’m putting my face into the wind. I contemplate and wonder…what would it be like to go into the ministry? Into a job where I was doing work of eternal or lasting value? Would I find it more meaningful…knowing my work was impacting the kingdom of God?

I guess in some respects…all work can impact the kingdom of God. Either for good or bad. Will I choose to be mindful of the truly important things? Will my focus be on that which is of eternal value…the souls of men and the Word of God? It can be my focus right now…will it be?

An Eternal Perspective

One of the blessings of blogging is getting to know fellow bloggers and writers. It’s especially wonderful when you encounter someone who is thought provoking and who challenges you in your Christian walk. They inspire you to come up higher…or grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

It’s always made easier when that that message is given by a godly, humble servant of God. One of those people for me is Janna at her website Bread Crumbs.

In stopping by Janna’s website today I discovered her piece on Saddam Hussein, “Saddam and Sadness”. In this piece Janna was able to take this event…and use it at a tool for Christians to examine themselves and their daily walk with God. I would encourage you to bookmark Janna’s Bread Crumbs as a favorite…and visit regularly.

I found Janna’s post “Saddam and Sadness” quite thought provoking…and I rambled on in my comments. Please be sure to check out Janna’s original post.

In some respects this is a bittersweet day for those whose lives were personally impacted by Saddam’s brutality. A good day to know that this man will never harm anyone ever again…but bitter in that it brings up fresh their loved one’s torturous death or an inescapable reminder to those who are alive and bear the scars from the atrocities that he committed upon his people.

Below are the comments I left at Janna’s website in response to “Saddam and Sadness”.

Miss Janna,

Indeed it is a sad day. Saddam lived a wasted life and an life of evil…and caused much death and destruction to so many. There must be great sadness felt by those who were victims of Saddam because this man was allowed to rule with terror for so long. While it is good that a very evil person has been removed and can never perpetrate his evil sadistic ways upon people again…the first and better option would be for Saddam and all others to turn to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Just trying to contemplate what the world would be like if we all had the Holy Spirit within us and cleaning us from the inside out…what a wonderful world it would be. Actually that will be our future…in heaven. And the cleansing will be complete.

But the question is…what we will be doing this side of heaven to make sure that God’s Gospel message is getting out there to a lost and dying world. Our responsibility is to share the Gospel message…and we were all given that Great Commission.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” – Mark 16:15

Not just the missionaries…or those folks who are bold and like to talk to people…or those who have been Christians for many a year and have years of Bible study under their belt. But all Christians. It doesn’t have to be a formula…instead make it your own style and share the Gospel with those you encounter in your world.

We have a great treasure…the cure for a terminal illness that will determine a persons place in eternity. We are called to share that message…let God work in their heart.

Most folks aren’t evil dictators in the world that commit atrocities. But instead they are everyday people, who from a human perspective are pretty good. But they either don’t believe in God…or they are trusting in their own good works…or God grading on the curve. After all they are not Saddam Hussein.

“There is no one righteous, no not one.” Romans 3:10

Will we have an eternal perspective…and let that guide our walk each day? Or hide our light in a very dark world? A world that is filled with people who will stumble into the eternal abyss…if they don’t receive the Light of the world…Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Sorry to go on and on…but your post is very thought provoking.

Thank you so much Miss Janna. I pray that you and your readers will have good and blessed New Year.

Lord bless…Susan