My Heart, Ever His by Barbara Rainey – Positively Lovely, A Keeper and Makes a Wonderful Gift to Give

As someone who loves poetry and likes to write writing out prayers, I wanted to read Barbara Rainey’s new book My Heart, Ever His.  This book is positively lovely!

Barbara’s prayers are heartfelt, God-honoring and glorifying.  They are honest, open and transparent.  Kind of like the Psalms, Barbara honestly shares with the Lord what she is feeling, but she comes back to who God is, what He has done in her life and others and who He has revealed Himself to be in the Bible.

I love that Scripture is included in the prayers and in the E-book the Scripture verses are highlighted in a different color and at the end of each prayer is a link to the end of the book where each prayer’s Scripture verses are documented so you can look them up for yourself.

Many of the prayers seemed especially relevant and timely considering all that we are going through as a Nation.  My heart was convicted, encouraged, strengthened.  It is comforting to know other women share similar struggles but also know where our Hope truly lies.  I felt like I was sitting across from a friend who was sharing from her heart about her life.

Even in the Christian community, there are times where we put on a good face and may not always share what we are struggling with.  After reading these prayers, you may desire to be honest and open, but also challenged to not just present only your hurts to the Lord, but go back to God’s Word and be encouraged to remember who He is and what He has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ.

The prayers range from who we are as Christians, God as our Security, physical needs and health, emotional needs, relationships, faith, lives which have turned out different than what we hoped, God’s Word and prophesy, Jesus Christ our Savior, Redeemer, salvation, security, suffering, seasons, and surrender.

I love this book!  My Heart, Ever His by Barbara Rainey is a keeper.  It’s also one that I want to share with others.  I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading it again and again.

I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read My Heart, Ever His by Barbara Rainey which was provided to me for free.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

It Is Appointed

Like so many people around our country, I was shocked and saddened to hear the tragic news of Kobi Bryant’s death yesterday, along with eight other people, including his daughter Gianna.  It was shocking…sudden, unexpected and he was so young as were others on the same flight.

I’ve been thinking about death quite a lot in the past few weeks.  One night I was laying in bed praying and thanked God for the gift my husband Chris.  I realized how much my life has been enriched and changed because of him.  He has brought my life new meaning and the everyday ordinary things like cooking and taking care of our home have a purpose.

As a Christian, I know that our death is a divine appointment.  God knows our end before we were even born.  He has determined and appointed our times…our beginning and end, even where we live.

He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him…Acts 17:25b-27b

Each day is a gift from God.  It’s important for me to be grateful today and not take people for granted because I don’t know if we will have another day.  More important is the truth that we will all die one day and we will stand before God to give an account for lives.

  • 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, – Hebrews 9:27

Every one of us has sinned and broken God’s Law.  We can never be good enough or do enough good works to earn our salvation.

  • 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, – Romans 3:23

That is all of us…you and me!

  • For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
    And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment. – Isaiah 64:6a-b

Apart from God sending His Son Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for our sin, none of us would or could be saved.  There is One Way to God…Jesus Christ.

  • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” – John 14:6

The death of those nine people on that helicopter was tragic and unexpected.  We should be in prayer for their families, friends, teammates, and co-workers.

But I want each one of us to consider our divine appointment.  We don’t know when it will happen.  We don’t know how we are going to die.  Will we be on our deathbed and have time to repent and confess Jesus Christ as Lord?  Or will our death be sudden and unexpected?  We don’t know that.

  • Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation”— 2 Corinthians 6:2b

Lord willing, you may be granted many more days.  But I beg you…do not delay.  There is nothing more important than making sure that your salvation has been secured.  That your sins have been forgiven.  Because there will be no second chances once we die.

  • But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  – Titus 5:4-7

Our Sovereign God…the One who is Holy, Holy, Holy and Righteous, He is the Righteous Just Judge and His Wrath against sinful man is just.

In the parable of the Prodigal Son, we see a picture of our Heavenly Father.  He is standing and looking out and waiting for his wayward son to return.  Here we can see the Mercy and Grace of God…His Lovingkindness and willingness to Forgive.  The son didn’t deserve the father’s forgiveness…but the father was willing to forgive.  God is rich in mercy and He has made a way for sinners to be forgiven, through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ who paid the sin debt of all who will repent and believe.

The Prodigal Son

11 And He said, “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13 And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’” – Luke 15:11-32

Don’t delay…for today is the day of salvation.

 

Unintended Consequences

How could I have known
Of the unintended consequences
From a decision I made, an action I took

At that moment
It felt like the right thing to do

But now, I see a ripple effect
Which seems like a tsunami
Washing away what I hold dear

Though all around me, everything is slipping away
You alone O Lord will never leave, nor forsake me

Oh Lord, I cry out to You
As the waves crash in, help me hold on to the Anchor of my soul
Help me to trust You Lord Jesus, in the darkest night

Though my words fail, the Holy Spirit intercedes for me
My compassionate Savior prays for me and the merciful Father hears

Susan Bunts Wachtel
December 3, 2017

 

Sometimes its easier to see things in the lives of others, only to look back and see similar seasons in my own life. When I look back and see the trials the Lord has brought me through, I stand amazed. Thank You Jesus for not wasting one trial, or temptation or difficult season. Thank You for the growth that can take place in the most difficult circumstances. Though I can’t see the unintended circumstances that may come from something I do or say today, You can. Help me to look to You, listen and obey You as you guide and direct me.

 

 

Is Hell a Laughing Matter

One of the emails I receive on a regular basis is from One Million Moms, a group that notifies mothers and families when there is immorality, profanity, vulgarity, and violence promoted in the media.  They pass along links so people can contact companies to let them know their concerns.

Today, I received a notification that TGI Friday’s has a new ad campaign in which use profanity in their advertisement to promote appetizers customers can get during their happy hour.

I wasn’t able to send an email communication to Friday’s via their website.  So instead, I left a message on TGI Friday’s Facebook page.  I let Friday’s know that I didn’t appreciate their use of profanity in their commercial.  I asked them to please pull the ad and said that if didn’t we would no longer be customers.

A short time later, a man left a rude response and called me a hypocrite.  He had gone to my blog and found instances in which I had used the word hell.  My first inclination was to leave a comment back with a disparaging remark.  Am I a sinner and a hypocrite…yes I am.  But I’m not a hypocrite about this.

Obviously, the person who left the comment calling me a hypocrite didn’t’ seem to be exercising discernment.  He didn’t acknowledge the difference between a company using profanity to promote their company and someone writing about hell to warn people about the realities of hell.

Am I just being uptight?  Should I just loosen up and not worry when companies use profanity and make a joke out or the word hell?

Well I could do that.  I’m sure there’s been times when I’ve buried my head in the sand and ignored something that wasn’t right.

But on this one…on a company casually using the word hell to promote happy hour…I’m glad I spoke up because I know about the realities of hell.

Hell is a real place.  It’s a place of eternal punishment, suffering and torment for those who refuse to acknowledge and repent of the sins.  Hell is for those who reject Christ Jesus.  Or for those who think they can get into heaven based on their good deeds.  They know they are not perfect…but they are better than the next guy.  Hell will have people who didn’t believe in God.  Those who didn’t realize that they will have to give an account for their lives.

So what does the Bible say about hell?

  • But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. Revelation 21:8
  • They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might. 2 Thessalonians 1:9
  • Hell is a place where the fire never goes out. Mark 9:43
  • They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:42
  • ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ Mark 9:8

Hell is a real place.  A place unimaginable suffering that does not end.  I have loved ones who were sinners just like me.  But they died rejecting Christ or didn’t believe in God and recognize they will give an account for their lives.

When you know the realities of hell…it’s not a joke.  It’s not something to take casually.  It’s not a laughing matter.

I’m a sinner…there is nothing good in me that deserves to go heaven.  I don’t deserve forgiveness.  I can’t be good enough to earn my way to heaven.  But through grace of God alone, I have been forgiven of my sin because of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross.

That promise of forgiveness is available for all who put their faith and trust in Christ Jesus the Lord.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. – John 3:16-18

If you would like to know what the Bible says about hell and about how you can be forgiven of your sin…click on this link and read these Scriptures:

What the Bible says about hell.

 

Ray Comfort – Hell’s Best Kept Secret

 

Thoughts and Reflections on the Supreme Court’s Ruling

DSC_5657

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.

Looking Back

Good Friday Cross

How could that dark day be called good
Except by God Who knew what would be accomplished

A divine appointment
Set from before the foundations of the world

The sinless, spotless Lamb of God
On the cross He bore the sin of man

He was nailed to the cross by sinful man
The ones He came to save

His punishment and death
Paid our sin debt in full

With His last breath He proclaimed “It is finished”
The veil was torn in two from top to bottom

Through His death
He made a way to the Father for those who believe

The Father’s great desire
For all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth

Christ Jesus alone provided the way
To be forgiven
To be cleansed from sin and made white as snow
To have His righteousness credit to our account
To come boldly before the throne of grace
To call God our Father Abba

Won’t you believe and be set free
From the crushing weight of sin
From the penalty that await those who refuse to believe

By Susan Wachtel
April 3, 2015

Solace in the Face of Evil and Questions for Followers of Islam

Yesterday, when I heard the news of the latest atrocity committed by ISIS, aka the Islamic State, I felt a mix of emotions: horror, anger, rage, grief and profound sadness.  How can a rational human being understand the utter depravity of the human heart that would lead them to burn a living human being to death?  A person created in God’s image.

I will not watch these awful, obscene videos that Islamic monsters have put out.  I don’t want the images seared in my mind.  Yet, how can I not ponder and imagine what the Jordanian pilot suffered?

As I tried to sleep the one solace that I found in the face of evil is the promise and assurance from God’s word that He will punish evildoers.  The Jordanian pilot suffered unimaginably in the last moments of his life.  But I am comforted by the thought that the unrepentant evildoers will be punished by God who is sovereign, just and righteous.  Vengeance is God’s and He will repay.  He will do so in His perfect timing.

The unrepentant sinner’s suffering will begin the moment they die.  They will be punished, not for a few years, not for a lifetime, but for eternity.  Forever…it will never stop.  Ever!  He will be in a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.  In a place where the fire is not quenched.  In a fiery furnace he will be burned, but not consumed.  It’s a place of everlasting shame and contempt.  A place of torment, gloom and utter darkness.

I thank You God for the day of justice which will one day come…when the wicked and unrepentant sinners will be punished.

What’s equally hard for me to comprehend is that God’s desire is that sinners repent, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (even the people who have committed unimaginable atrocities).  Jesus bore their sin on the cross, He paid the penalty in full for the horrific crimes they have committed and the “little sins” that only the God knows about.  And the Father stands ready to embrace and forgive the genuine repentant sinner who comes to Him through Christ.

God’s forgiven all my sin.  While I may not have lobbed off someone’s head, I have sinned greatly against the Father.  There’s not a day that’s gone by when I haven’t sinned in thought, word or deed.  I’ve hated people and in my heart committed murder.  But in Christ Jesus, God the Father has forgiven me and He will do the same for all who repent, confess with their mouth and believe with their heart that Jesus Christ is Lord and they will be saved.

I’m left with a question that I’ve really not heard answered.  What is it going to take for decent Muslims to stand up and speak out against these awful atrocities that these monsters are doing in the name of Islam?  Why aren’t you crying out loudly against them?  Condemning their actions?  Are you afraid, afraid they are going to do the same to you?

Why aren’t you storming the talk shows and condemning ISIS and radical Islamic followers?  Why aren’t you writing to newspaper editorial pages and decrying what these people have done in the name of your religion?  Where is your voice speaking out against these atrocities that have now become an everyday event in the news?  Why aren’t you telling your friends, neighbors and co-workers that these people don’t represent your religion?  I don’t hear too many Muslim voices condemning radical Islam.  Why is that?  Why in the world don’t you loudly and publically condemn such actions?  Why don’t you rise up against them?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

I hear a lot of silence!

Don’t let evil triumph.  Speak up and speak loudly, unapologetically and bravely condemn the evil done in the name of Islam.  The time is now.

Five Minute Friday – Two Trees

This week’s word prompt ‘Tree’ immediately brought to mind…two trees which have impacted and affected all men

Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil Tree from which the Cross of Christ  was Hewn
Adam Jesus Christ
Disobedience Obedience
Desired to be like God Denied Himself
My will be done Thy Will be done
His life brought death to all men His death brought life to the many
His sin brought separation from God He endured separation from God, bearing man sin and brought reconciliation
Sin reigned Grace reigned and abounded much more
Sin nature our inheritance Free Gift – Justification to all who believe
Transgression and death reigned He broke the reign of sin and death
Condemnation Righteousness
Separation from God Eternal life with God
Created in God’s image God Incarnate
Defeated Victory
Succumbed to temptation Tempted but did not sin
Faithless Faithful
Works Rest
Sinful Sinless
Bad news Good news

It’s another Saturday morn and I wanted to participate in Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday writing challenge.  Head over to her website “Lisa Jo Baker Tales from a Gypsy Mama”.  Be sure to read some of the entries from other writers.  I can promise you that you will be blessed.

Five Minute Friday – Truth Be Told

Ephesians 3:20

LORD, the truth be told,
I’ve been struggling
with fear and doubt

Try as I might
I can’t control the future
or guess what will happen tomorrow

In my fear
I’ve gotten my eyes off of You LORD
Forgotten
that You are able
that You have a good and perfect plan
which You are working out in my life

I’ve lost sight of the fact
that You walk with me always
both in the peaks and valleys of my life
You use all circumstances
To help me grow and change
You expose my sin
So that I will confess and repent
You buff out that which is displeasing to You
and reveal conduct unbecoming a Christian

Help me walk by faith
May I not doubt Your goodness
or Your ability to accomplish what concerns me today

May I remember that with each step I take
You are with me
You alone know what my future holds
You are perfectly able to direct my path

Help me to keep my eyes on You Lord
Not my circumstances
Not the people that surround me

Help me to trust You
Tenaciously
Unswervingly
to the end

Five Minute Friday
It’s another Saturday morn and I wanted to participate in Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday writing challenge.  Head over to her website “Lisa Jo Baker Tales from a Gypsy Mama”.  Be sure to read some of the entries from other writers.  I can promise you that you will be blessed.

How Do I See God?

Whom do I see when I think of God
Do I see Him as gentle and benevolent
Like a doddering old grandfather
Who has no impact on how I live my life
Do I see man’s picture of Jesus
Dialed down and nonthreatening
Repackaged to be more appealing to unbelievers
Someone who treats our sins superficially
Or do I read God’s Word with reverence
Am I in awe of God Who is Holy, Holy, Holy
Do I remember my redemption came at a price
My sin debt was paid for by the Holy Lamb of God
By Susan Wachtel
June 2, 2012

Psalm 111:9-10
He has sent redemption to His people;
He has commanded His covenant forever:
Holy and awesome is His name.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
His praise endures forever.

Sin Debt

She dreamed she was standing in the long and winding line
Up ahead the Judgment Seat of Christ
She held a bill in her hand
On it the summary of her sin debt
She knew there was no way she could pay
The enormous debt she had incurred
She had spent a life time going her own way
Ignoring the stops signs God had placed in her path
All her life she tried to blot out the truth and reality of God
The One to Whom she must give an account
She believed she was better than some, not as bad as others
Now she could not escape the truth
Her heart was deceitfully wicked above all things
In her lies no good thing
She began to weep and cry out to God
“Lord, forgive me for I have sinned”
As she wiped the tears from her eyes
She felt a hand on her shoulder
She looked over
Saw a nail pierced hand
She looked up, staring into the eyes of compassion
Filled with mercy and grace
“Give Me your sin debt
For I have paid the price”
“You have been forgiven
Your sin has been removed”
“Dear one, go and sin no more
For I have set you free”
She awoke from her sleep
Darkness surrounded her
Her heart was pounding
She whispered, “Was it a dream?”
Then she cried out
“Lord Jesus I believe”
By Susan Wachtel
May 6, 2012

You Shall Call Him Jesus

Mary, a virgin conceived a Child
By the power of the Holy Spirit

Joseph a righteous and compassionate man
Decided to end their betrothal privately

Then an angel of the Lord appeared 
Commanded Joseph to fear not

Take Mary as your wife
That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit

She shall bring forth a Son, you shall call Him Jesus 
For He shall save His people from their sins

In this, the Lord fulfilled the prophesy of old
Isaiah 7:14

A virgin shall conceive a child, and bear a Son
His name shall be called Immanuel, God with us

Then Joseph awaken
Did as the Lord commanded 

He took Mary as his wife and did not know her
Until after the birth of her firstborn 

The virgin born Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit
His name is Jesus for He shall save His people from their sin


By Susan Wachtel
December 21, 2011

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.  19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.  20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” 


22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:  23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” 


24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,  25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son.   And he called His name JESUS. – Matthew 1:18-25

At the Foot of the Cross

It’s time to come
Lay your burdens down
At the foot of the cross

Repent
Receive forgiveness for your sins
At the foot of the cross

Be cleansed
By the precious blood of the Lamb
At the foot of the cross

Old man sin has gone
You’ve become a new creation in Christ
At the foot of the cross

Without Christ you can do nothing
With God all things are possible
At the foot of the cross

by Susan Bunts Wachtel
November 12, 2011

Michael…this is my prayer for you.

18 Inches

He says he believes
Jesus Christ is Lord
Son of God, Son of man
Yet that belief hasn’t traveled
Or made its way
18 inches into his heart
There is no desire to know God more
No hunger read His word
Or commune with God through prayer
Obedience is lacking
Holiness is not increasing
The Holy Spirit doesn’t reside within
He continues on in his sin, just like before
No conscience to bother him
Or bring about repentance
He says believes Christ is Lord
His belief hasn’t yet traveled
18 inches into his heart
Susan Bunts Wachtel
October 12, 2011
But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!   But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? – James 2:18-20

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   

Fitting In

One of my favorite things is to hear people tell their story on how they came to receive Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior and what God has done and is doing in their life.  Each story is different and I’m always moved by the goodness of the Lord.  It’s amazing to hear what depths God brings us from. 

Recently, I had the opportunity to hear people share their salvation story.  One of the people shared how as a teenager they felt like they didn’t fit.  As they talked it brought back some painful memories of my own teenage years and beyond when I didn’t fit in.  It brought back things I hadn’t thought of in years.

As I laid my head on the pillow my mind wouldn’t shut off.  Instead scene after scene of those painful years kept coming to mind…like a slideshow.  Sleep evaded me as painful memories took over and I questioned God, “Why did you let that happen?” 

Of course there were no answers to my why question.  I did a lot of wrestling with God that night.  I wasn’t able to sleep until I got to the point where I said, “God, You alone are God and I am not.  I don’t know why You allowed those painful situations in my life.  I don’t like it, nor do I understand it.  But I am confident in this…You are good.  You are wise.  You are working out a plan in my life, far greater than I can understand.  Perhaps You allowed the rejection and pain to bring me to an end of myself so that I might turn to You?  Perhaps, without rejection I wouldn’t have ever have come to know You Jesus?  So Lord…I surrender.  I surrender the pain and hurt from those years into Your loving hands.”

Once I got to the place of surrender, I was able to fall asleep.  Morning came far too quickly and I was tired that day from a lack of sleep, but I wasn’t haunted by painful memories.

As a teenager and young adult, I didn’t have the perspective I have now.  These days if I don’t fit in…I’m not overly troubled by it.  Especially when that disapproval or rejection comes from someone whom I don’t know, like or respect.  If it’s from a friend or loved one…it may hurt deeply and I need to examine myself before the Lord.  But I’m able take my hurt feelings to the Lord…He’s able to heal my heart and emotions.  He brings an eternal perspective to life’s hurts.

How do people live life without knowing Christ Jesus?  I am so grateful I don’t have to. 

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!

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

Gifted Hands

Called
Gifted
Hands used by God
An instrument of His healing

Equipped
Learned
A faithful steward
Of talents and abilities entrusted by Lord

Wisdom
Experience
Hands that bring healing
Skillfully guided by the Great Physician

by Susan Bunts Wachtel
June 4, 2011

This poem is dedicated to Dr. Tina Lin who will be performing my back surgery this morning and to Jesus Christ my Great Physician and Healer. 

Thank you to the many people who have been praying.  The Lord has been so merciful and good in answer your prayers.  I have the peace of God that passes all understanding.