Five Minute Friday – It Only Takes a Moment

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in the Five Minute Friday writing challenge. But it feels so good to dive back in. If you like to write or need some inspiration and encouragement from others be sure to check it out.

Today word prompt: Moment

It only takes a moment
For everything in your life to change

One moment
And things will never be the same again

Sometimes those are good moments
Filled with happiness, excitement and joy

Other times, it’s a sad or desperate moment
One that you will look back on and wonder
What if
If only
I wish

The thing of it is
We don’t know when those moments are coming

We don’t know
When it will be the last time…
You’ll see that loved one alive
Or the last time you get to say I love you
The final time you will hear their voice
The last message that will come across your phone

When that moment comes
Only then you realize…
No more chances to say I’m sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me
No more opportunities to share the Gospel of Christ
No longer can you tell them what they’ve meant to you
Your words of encouragement will not be heard by the one who needs it the most

No longer will you be able to hold their hand
Look into their eyes
Laugh together so hard it makes you cry
Hug them and feel them hold you tight

So today
For a moment
Take a moment
To be with
To do or say
That which you can’t do
When the one you love has been taken away

Susan Wachtel
October 26, 2018

In light of the recent death of my brother, Michael Bunts, I’m very aware of those moments that have passed and I can’t get back or do over.

When a fellow Christian dies you miss them, are profoundly sad and grieve their loss. But it’s a grief with hope in the knowledge that their life is not over and you will see them again in heaven. They are in the presence of God, where we long to be.

But when it’s someone who doesn’t know the Lord Jesus Christ, or hasn’t repented of their sin and put their faith in the complete and finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, that’s a sadness without hope for their eternal security.

Even in that profound sadness and loss…there is always hope for the believer based on who God is. Sovereign, Righteous, Holy, Holy, Holy, Compassionate, Truth, Deliverer, Refuge, Strong Tower, Strength, All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Great High Priest, Everywhere Present, Creator, Eternal, Without Beginning and Without End, The Good Shepherd, The Way, The Truth and the Life, The Narrow Gate, Without Sin, Pure, The Lamb of God Who Takes Away the Sin of the World, Resurrected Savior, Kind, Patient, the Mighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ the Son of God, Immanuel, Messiah, Wrathful, Punishes the Wicked, Merciful, Gracious, Just, Judge…and so much more.

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Thoughts and Reflections on the Supreme Court’s Ruling

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Last Friday, June 26th, when the Supreme Court’s ruling was announced approving of homosexual marriage we were away on vacation and I wasn’t able to write anything.  That’s probably a good thing because I would have been reacting from the emotions of the moment rather than thinking things through.

Since that day I’ve had time to reflect and want to share some thoughts.

When I heard the announcement my heart was grieved.  I had been praying that the Lord in His mercy would spare the United States from going down that road of approving sin which God has clearly condemned in His perfect and inerrant Word.  Obviously the Lord’s answer was no and the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5 to 4 in favor of homosexual marriage.

Where was God when this happened?  He was on His throne and continues to sovereignly rule and reign over all creation and sinful man.  His Son, the Lord Christ Jesus, is seated at the Father’s right hand ruling and reigning.  This is all under His sovereign control and perfect plan that He is working out.

God has plainly revealed in His Word that this world will continue in its downward spiral of sin.  This ruling just gives evidence to that.  Reading Romans 1:18-32 is like reading today’s headline news.  Repeatedly the Lord reveals that He will give man over to his sin.  Why?  Because man has suppressed the truth in unrighteousness and denies God who has clearly revealed Himself in creation.  We do not glorify God.  As a result, our thinking has become futile and our foolish hearts are darkened.

On June 26, 2015, the United States of America clearly abandoned its roots that were once based on Judeo Christian values.

The five justices, not only ruled in favor of sin which God has condemned, they stepped over the line and went from interpreting the Constitution to making law.  If that’s what they want to do, they are in the wrong branch of government.  They should leave the court system and run for office.

So why go the route of the court to change the law?  Well…because 37 States have passed laws limiting marriage as being between one man and one woman or supporting the Defense of Marriage Act.  Going the legal route wasn’t working in favor of homosexual marriage advocates.

Where is this going to stop?  Will the courts soon be approving polygamy or family members marrying?  After all that’s marriage between consenting adults.  We are on that slippery slope and have a mind darkened by sin and corruption and it’s going to get a lot worse.

What’s so wrong about homosexuality?

God has declared it sinful in His perfect and inerrant Word, the Bible.  He is our Creator and He is God to whom we all will give an account.  In the Bible He declares what is sinful and right and wrong.  He has also declared adultery and all sex outside of marriage as sinful.

God ordained marriage as being between one man and one woman.  He blessed them and commanded that they go forth, be fruitful and multiply.  Apart from adoption or science homosexual couples cannot carry out that command.  Physically men and women are complimentary and are able to procreate.  Having two mommies or two daddies does not make up for not having a dad or mom.  The Lord designed family to be a father, mother and children.

I was very troubled by President Barack Obama’s action of bathing the White House in the rainbow colors of the gay liberation movement.  That was very divisive and beneath the dignity of the President of the United States of America.  President Obama is the President over all Americans, not just people who share his view on homosexual marriage.  He should be uniting not dividing.  There was a day when the President said that he believed that marriage was between one man and one woman.  I guess over time his beliefs changed or he didn’t really believe what he originally said.

This ruling is edging us ever closer to silencing those who disagree with homosexual marriage; who in keeping with the Bible call it sin.  We are a step away from forcing pastors, ministers, priests and clergy to either approve of and marry homosexual couples or face legal consequences including fines, imprisonment and loss of non-profit organization status.  Soon saying homosexuality is sin will be considered a hate crime.  We will be losing our Constitutional rights of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

All people, including homosexuals, are human beings created in God’s image and as a result should be treated with kindness, goodness, dignity and respect.  Their sin is no worse than mine is.  Homosexuality is not the unforgivable sin.  God has promised in His Word that if we repent of our sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ we will be forgiven of our sin and spend eternity in heaven with Him.  If we fail to do that God has warned that we will be condemned of our sin and go to hell.

At the end of the day, the worst thing about the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of homosexual marriage will be the result of fewer people sharing the lifesaving message of the Gospel, that there is forgiveness of sin in Jesus Christ.  A broken and contrite heart God will not despise.

People don’t want to be thought of as a bigot or hater…so they may shut up and not share the Gospel.

Recently I watched a video that my friend Ken Kish shared which showed Penn Jillette, from Penn and Teller fame, talking about someone sharing the Gospel.  In the video Penn, an avowed atheist said that he respects Christians who share the Gospel even though he doesn’t believe it.  I won’t forget something he said, “How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize?  How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”

Is my failure to share the Gospel with fellow sinners hatred?  At the very least it’s caring more about me and my comfort over their eternal salvation.

May Christians be men and women of courage and obedient to the Lord and share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with everyone: family and friends, neighbors and co-workers, heterosexuals and homosexuals.  For we are all sinners in need of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ.

I know that there’s a lot of good commentary out there on the Supreme Court’s ruling and I would encourage you to read and stay informed.  I would also like to direct you to the Hillsdale College website where you can sign-up to take their course on the US Constitution for free.  With the upcoming elections and charged political landscape we owe it to ourselves and fellow citizens to be informed and know what rights, responsibilities and liberties we’ve been granted in our Constitution.  Be informed and select candidates who are in keeping with your morals and values.

The Gospel

The Plan of the Gospel
The Grace of the Gospel
The Gift of the Gospel

The Faith of the Gospel
The Way of the Gospel
The Truth of the Gospel

The Repentance of the Gospel
The Wrath of the Gospel
The Payment of the Gospel

The Death of the Gospel
The Resurrection of the Gospel
The Satisfaction of the Gospel

The Peace of the Gospel
The Life of the Gospel
The Savior of the Gospel


By Susan Bunts Wachtel
October 1, 2011   

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.

The Gospel

Desiring God 2010 National Conference

Speaker Panel with Piper, Anyabwile, Chan, and Mohler

The following are notes taken during the panel discussion.
1) Thabiti, could you walk us through the gospel?
Thabiti Anyabwile: The gospel is literally good news. It is an announcement, a joyful, happy message sent from the courts of heaven to us subjects below. It can be explained by four categories: God, man, Christ, response.
  1. There is a God. The only God. There is none like Him. He is holy, righteous, all-wise, and Creator. 
  2. We are created and therefore we are owned. As creatures we owe Him worship, adoration, honor, and praise. He has made us in His image for fellowship with Him. He is angry with us because we all, man, are sinners. We have turned away from Him and disobeyed Him (Romans 1). We are hostile towards Him as sinners.
  3. God is holy and righteous, but He is also a God of love. So He sent his only Son to take on flesh and live a perfect life before God to satisfy His requirements. He suffered on the cross in our place to satisfy the wrath of God. He was buried and resurrected. His righteousness satisfies the demands of God against sinners.
  4. Everyone who repents of sin and trusts in Christ has Jesus’ righteousness credited to his account. A miracle happens: you are made a new creature and all of the benefits of Christ become yours. Everlasting fellowship with Him is yours.
By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org
To see the video of this session or read the full text of this panel discussion, please click on the link below.

Speaker Panel with Piper, Anyabwile, Chan, and Mohler

  

    Christmas Reflections..That You May Know


    “…it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.” – Luke 1:3-4


    With Christmas fast approaching, I’m reminding myself that I don’t want to miss Jesus, the Christ child like I have in years past. 

    I don’t want to set Him aside amidst the hustle and bustle of the season.  Neglecting God’s greatest Gift while purchasing presents that will not last.  Attending concerts and Christmas plays yet failing to worship the newborn King. 

    I want to devote the time to study the story of my Savior’s birth.  Not just some made up story, but eyewitness accounts about Jesus Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection.  Luke took the time to learn and write down in a very orderly manner the events Jesus, Who is God with us.  He compiled the stories about Jesus to send to his friend Theosophies so that he might know with certainty the truth about what he had been taught. 

    I’m challenged by Luke’s willingness to do the work so that he could share the good news of the Gospel message with his friend.  Do I do the same?  Do I take the time to carefully study God’s word so that I can share it? 

    It’s easier to give a gift wrapped with pretty paper and bows rather than give my family and friends the Gift of life through Jesus Christ.  It requires very little of me to do that and there is no risk or rejection. 

    I can celebrate Christmas with family and friends, but if I fail to share that salvation is found in no other name on heaven and earth than Jesus Christ…I may not share eternity with them.  

    During the season that’s supposed to celebrate Christ’s birth…will my focus be on that which is insignificant and inconsequential?   Or will I focus on the One who is Eternal, Jesus Christ?  Will I share the Gift of eternal life with family and friends?  

    Hand It Over


    Hand it over…Preacher boy,
    Step away from the Gospel.


    That’s good…now make them believe,
    It’s their character,
    Their righteousness that saves them,
    Not the righteousness of Christ.


    Never let them know the truth,
    That there is no one righteous, no not one,
    That their salvation was bought and paid for,
    Through the blood of Jesus when He died on the cross.


    Make them believe,
    The wisdom of men,
    Which speaks of works righteousness,
    Not the holy, perfect, acceptable sacrifice of Christ Jesus alone.


    Let them hear stories,
    Instead be inspired by heroes and stories of men,
    Hush…they needn’t know the truth,
    That the Word of God alone can heal their broken lives.


    Perhaps there is one not yet saved,
    Who does not yet know the power of the Holy Spirit,
    Of One who convicts men of sin,
    Or the One who can transform their lives…by His power within.


    Let them rest comfortably,
    Seeking integrity in the eyes of men,
    Share not the Gospel message, no nary a word,
    Lest they be saved…a new creation in Christ


    Good work,
    Job well done…
    Christ was not mentioned,
    Not a whisper of promised assurance…forgiveness of their sin.


    Preacher man…do not loose heart,
    Nor feel you’ve betrayed,
    The Gospel of Christ,
    To a world not yet saved.


    Insincerely yours,
    The enemy!


    By Susan Bunts
    July 1, 2007