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.

A Living Testimony

KCC Cross-Blue

In eternity past
Before God formed this world
He planned for two hearts to become one
Their love for Christ
The Solid Rock foundation for their lives
Desire to honor and glorify the Lord
Unwavering trust
In both good times and bad
God is praised
Not only with their lips
But with their very lives
When trouble’s strong winds began to blow
Waves threatened to swamp them
They clung to Christ all the more
Their hope in Him could not be quenched
Though pain and suffering threatened to extinguish the flame
Hope’s light burned brighter in the darkness
Like Paul they believe
Our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared
To the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ
This present life is passing away
It’s only when we die, that a Christian will be truly home
Until that time
Eyes focused on Christ
Hearts fully committed
Trust in the unfailing source of their strength
For each day, Christ is walking with them
Their young lives, a living testimony
To Christ their Savior and God
He alone is their hope
The proof and evidence of the resurrection to come
Of life everlasting, without end

For Tyler and Mariah

by Susan Wachtel
September 3, 2016

Hope and a Prayer

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

I have a dear friend who has committed to praying for my husband and me and our marriage.  I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful that is.  She and her husband love the Lord and seek His face and desire to do His will.  She continually points me back to God’s word and what scripture says and the absolute truth contained therein.  Prayer is a powerful and wonderful gift.

Recently she sent me an email that she was going to be praying Romans 15:13 for both of us.  When I read the verse, I found that it was in line with what I’ve been going through in the last couple of weeks and what God has been impressing upon me through my circumstances. 

Do you ever find that the Lord continues to bring you back to a topic over and over again?  During the last couple of weeks the focus has been on hope in sermons, Bible study, scripture and radio programs.

I love the Lord Jesus Christ and my Father in heaven.  I am so grateful to have the Holy Spirit in me and growing and sanctifying me.  I love God’s word…and I have a hope that cannot be squelched or quenched.

Yet, the last couple of weeks I’ve felt overwhelmed.  The demands and busyness have been intense.  Dealing with people and things that are out of my control left me feeling frustrated, angry, and very low.  I had my eyes on my circumstances and was focused on my feelings instead of God.

In the mornings I pray before starting my day and that includes prayer for the people with whom I interact with each day.  I pray for salvation for those who are unsaved.  If they are going through difficult times, I pray for whatever they are going through.

Even though I had started my day in prayer, instead of walking in the victory I have in Christ Jesus I felt swamped and like my boat was going under.  The very people for whom I prayed were now the focus of my frustration and anger.  I just wanted to quit and escape those circumstances.  Yet God calls me to endure through His power, wisdom and might.

Alright…so I may be a little slow on the uptake.  After a week of messages on hope you would think I would get it.  But it wasn’t until my friend emailed me about the verse she was praying for us this week, that I realized that I felt rather hopeless.  Hopeless because I was trying to suck it up, gut it out and get through these challenging circumstances on my strength.  God never gives us burdens to bear alone.  Instead He desires that we run to the throne of grace and seek His help in order to run the race with endurance.

God helped me to see that I can’t even do the everyday things on my own.  I need to come to Him in the morning seeking His strength and wisdom to handle the people and things that I will encounter.  Throughout the day, come to Him in prayer for each problem and challenge I’m facing.  I need to pray for God to help me love those who frustrate me.  That’s not something I can do on my own…I need to stay focused on God continually.

I believe there was a spiritual battle taking place during the last couple of weeks.  One that left me feeling defeated when I attempted to face it alone.  It was only after I reached out to some friends and asked for their prayer that I was able to keep my eyes on the Lord and come to Him in prayer throughout the day.  The challenges kept coming…but now I was facing them though the power and strength of the Lord. 

The enemy, the hater of our souls, seeks to have us walk alone.  He knows the power of prayer and wants to keep us from praying for those who are unsaved.  What better way to keep me from praying than to keep me frustrated, angry and focused on my circumstances rather than being dependent upon God. 

I’ve been meditating on Romans 15:13 this week and thinking about hope.  What is hope?  For a Christian it’s a confident expectation based on the truth and knowledge of who God is and a remembrance of what He’s done in the past.  Based on that knowledge I can know with certainty that He will act in the present and that my future is secure in Christ Jesus.  Nothing can overwhelm Omnipotence who reigns on high. 

When I view my circumstances in the light of God…I have a hope that cannot be shaken or moved. 

Eyes on Jesus

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of myself
I have hope that does not fade

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of being overcome with fear
I stand firm in faith

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of my circumstances
I have a peace which passes all understanding

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of focusing on my enemies
I believe that He will deliver me

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead my weaknesses and limitations
I pray with confidence that He will do the impossible

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of remembering my sin
I have the assurance of God’s forgiveness

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of the here and now
I have the promise of heaven that will never pass away

Susan Bunts Wachtel
September 23, 2009

She Believed God

While paying a long overdue visit to Pilgrim Pals I found post “Perplexed, Preserving Pilgrim” challenging us to come up with a three word statement that summarizes last year…and three word goal to strive for in 2008. Here’s mine…

2007 – It Was Interesting

2008 – She Believed God

While 2007 wasn’t awful…and in fact had some wonderful and marvelous things that happened…I was so glad to leave it behind and start afresh.

Only I found…I brought me into the New Year. The same things I wrestled with last year I still struggle with today. It’s so easy to believe the lies of the enemy and doubt God.

My goal…my desire…my absolute need it to trust God…to believe Him and see what He will do in my life. She believed God…and found hope, faith and love!


“Susan…are you going to be defined by your past…or by your future?”

That was God’s challenge to me following an evening of wrestling with God. I was assailed by thoughts as I listened to Pastor Philip De Courcy’s message at Kindred’s recent Men’s Retreat. He talked about among other things priorities…with time and family…and the most importantly…God.

Upon hearing this I was reminded of my own poor choices for many years. Perhaps it was because I had worked late this evening that I was especially sensitive to God’s gentle reminder. You see there was time in my life it was not uncommon for me to work 10, 11, 12 hour days. I didn’t give it a second thought. After all I wanted to do my job with excellence.

But God brought me to an end of my misplaced priorities. After doing what I thought was a job well…at the end of the day…it counted for precious little. While I was fast at work…my bosses and co-workers were home with families…living a balanced life.

I on other hand exchanged a spreadsheet for relationships. I exchanged preparing a report to studying God’s word and growing deep in my relationship with the Lord. I exchanged the eternal for temporary praise from people.

Hindsight is always 20/20. If only I knew then…what I know now…I might have avoided some of those pitfalls.

I then stared down the rabbit trail of why. Why I was so foolish and why did I make such bad choices. I got to thinking about my past. What had shaped me….what drove me. That’s much more than what I want to get in to here and now. But let it suffice…that life can be very painful.

Not only did feel the weight of my own sin…but also from those who had sinned against me. Feeling quite desperate and overwhelmed about the prospect of my life changing…I cried out to God. “I can do something about the present…I can do something about the future…through Your power, guidance, wisdom and strength. But I can’t do a blessed thing about the past. I feel so scared and broken.

Then God said, “Susan…yes you can do something about your past. You can let it go. Let go of those wrongs done to you. Let them go. I’ve got them securely in my hands…and I’ll handle it. Just as you received my forgiveness in my Son Jesus Christ…so too…you can give Me this. You gave me your sins…and I washed you white as snow. Give me your hurts and wrongs done to you. Give me your loneliness and pain and sorrow…I’ve got you covered. You see I do have good plan for you…a perfect plan I’m working out in you. My timeframe is a little different than yours…but you can trust me on this.”

God went on to bring it full circle…and showed me that in the past…I was focused on my past…and let it define my present. I had no vision of my future. And then I was born again…and behold all things were new.

Only now am I beginning to grasp a vision of His future plans for me. My victory…is not solely in heaven…but in here an now.

“Behold I have made all things new. You are a new creation in Christ. The old things have passed away. I have given you a future and hope. Susan…will you take hold that hope that is in Christ Jesus your Lord?”

Yes Lord I will…help me please.

Hope Deferred

From my lips,
“Hope deferred makes my heart sick.”

Seemingly incongruent,
Yet both hope and despair fill my heart.

I’m so small,
Incapable when seen through my own eyes.

In the delay,
You promise a purpose.

You pause,
Seeking to grow my faith.

My difficulties,
You delight to handling with ease.

Your word assures,
Nothing is impossible with You.

My burdens unbearable,
They are all small to my God.

An answer forthcoming,
Much greater than I can ask or imagine.

by Susan Bunts 9/23/07

As I walked to my car on Wednesday after Bible study I ended my conversation Mike quoting the verse, “Hope deferred makes a heart sick.” – Proverbs 13:12

My heavy is heart and grows weary as prayers seemingly go unanswered. But God had planned a message of hope in Pastor Philip De Courcy’s first sermon at Kindred Community Church.

Many tears were shed as we saw God’s faithful answer to our many prayers for a man of God, faithful to preach His Word. A man who speaks with authority because he speaks the Word of God. Yet humble…ever mindful but there for the grace of God, there go I.

I still wait for an answer to my prayers…and was reminded that there is no better person to put my hope in…Christ Jesus my Lord. To Him who is able to do more than I can even ask or imagine. Nothing, no nothing is impossible with my God. I wait expectantly upon my Lord.

5/30/07 At the End of the Day…the Hope of Heaven

Tonight at Kindred Community Church Dave Dunn continued his study in the book of Revelation. We dove in chapter 4. Jesus had just finished giving His messages to the seven churches and now John seems to have an almost out of body experience as Jesus bid him to “Come up here and see what must take place”.

It was exciting and Dave has a way of bringing every nuance out of a passage or a verse. It makes it so rich and so very full. I tell you…when we study the word of God…I feel like the disciples on the road to Emmaus and want to shout “Didn’t our hearts burn within us!” The word of God is magnificent.

This lesson seemed to coincide with what God was impressing upon me today. I was interacting with someone…a non-believer…and was struck by how hopeless their life is….and I can understand why. If this is it…and I don’t know God…and if my earthly existence is messed up…then I would be utterly hopelessly depressed…in despair.

Without knowing in confidence that my sins are forgiven, paid in full…and that one day…I will go to heaven…how could I have peace? Peace with God, other people and myself? I couldn’t…plain and simple…it would be impossible. I would feel constantly on edge…wondering did I tip the scales enough in favor of good…so that God might approve of me. How much good is enough? And what happens if I die on the heels of a bad day…when I really blew it?

Or worse yet…that this world is it…and then I die. Yikes…don’t want to even go down that road.

I am so grateful that God by His predetermined plan…called me to be one of his own. I have a hope…and a future. Life down here…may be good…or bad. But at the end of the day…it pales in comparison to the hope and rewards that face me in eternity.

But the unbeliever on the other hand…has only what they have in the here and now. So what are they to do when problems abound? Problems at home, at work, in finances, with their health, in their marriage, with their children and with family. What’s a person to do when they can’t turn to God…because they don’t believe? How can anyone carry such burdens…burdens that they can’t lay down before a loving God? How do they make wise decisions…when they must rely on their own wisdom or the wisdom of the world? What books does an unbeliever consult? Whom do they esteem…and get wise counsel from? How do they know what’s right and wrong?

I guess I do know the answer to that after all. You see I came to Christ relatively late in life…at the age of 32. So I know first hand what a godless existence is like. I turned to myself for answers and wisdom and support…and what failing miserable existence that was. Now on the other side…I can testify to the goodness, kindness, faithfulness and mercies of my Lord…which are new every morning. Of rich graces that He pours out upon me daily.

The existence of an unbeliever is kind of like trying to navigate a maze in a lonely, cold, wet, muddy and dark tunnel. You feel your way…but have no solid point of reference to move towards…you don’t know if you are making progress or even moving in the right direction. You don’t have anyone to coach and encourage you. How sad…how very sad. It truly makes me want to pray that they too will one day have forgiveness of their sins…and the hope of heaven.

Indeed…I do have the hope of heaven. Not because of any good work of mine. That hope is based solely on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. His atoning death…acceptable to the Father…a propitiation for my sins. More than that…I get the Holy Spirit who dwells within me…and marks me as one of His own. Sealed with an everlasting covenant. Nothing that Susan does…can change that or make it go away. So even after a bad day… I know I have forgiveness of my sins…and help for each day, each hour.

To top that I have the promise of heaven. Tonight Dave shared why he believes the interpretation of the rapture to be correct…and gave many scriptures to back it up. Just reading those scriptures brings a renewed sense of hope and peace. It is my prayer that those reading this may have that hope too. Need some assurance today? Need some hope…how about the hope of heaven? Read God’s word and be filled with hope filled to overflowing.

1 Thessalonians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 15:32, Revelation 3:7-8, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 1Thessalonians 4:17 & 4:13, Acts 1:11, Matthew 24:27, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, Genesis 5:21-24, Genesis 7, Genesis 19, 1Thessalonians 4:13-5:11, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, Acts 1:10-11, 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, Revelation 3:10, Revelation 19:11-14

To look up the passages…go to Bible Gateway…a most excellent tool in these extraordinary days.