Endings & Beginnings

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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



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


Happy New Year to you and your family.  

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A Beacon on a Hill

Their little church
Became a beacon on a hill
A shinning light
Bidding all who want to follow Jesus
Come…follow Him
From humble beginnings
A group of people
Who loved God’s word
Studied the scriptures diligently
That they might accurately divide the word of Truth
Though their shepherd was struck
They kept their eyes on Christ
Called out to God
That He might bring another pastor
Faithful to preach the full counsel of God’s word
In His perfect timing
God brought His servant
A man ready to preach
In season and out of season
Teaching sound doctrine to equip the saints
God continues to bring them
From far and wide
Those who are unwilling to have their ears tickled
But would rather be reproved, corrected and instructed
So they might be thoroughly equipped for every good work
God is growing His church daily
Knitting each one perfectly into the body of Christ
The saints are not ashamed of the Gospel
For they know personally, it is the power of salvation
For all who believe
By Susan Bunts Wachtel
January 4, 2010

Wachtel Wedding Pictures

It’s been a long time coming…but we’ve finally uploaded our wedding photos to Slide.com.  If you want to see any of the pictures you can go to the website and view or download any of the pictures. 

Soul Talk


Oh my soul
Here I am adrift
In a sea of wild emotions

Hope has turned to despair
Depression is closing in
Oh may I not fall into the sin of unbelief

Lord…I feel as though I have been exiled
Banished from Your presence
May I not given in to my feelings

Soul…I must take every thought captive
Find encouragement in God’s word
May I firmly cinch the Belt of Truth around me

When I feel as though I’m drowning
May I reach out and cling
To the Rock Who is higher than I

When I feel abandoned
May I remember Your promises
Assured that You will never leave, nor forsake me

When the darkness descends
May You be my Bright & Morning Star
The Light unto my path

When taunted, “Where is your God?”
May I remember…while He is invisible
God is never inactive

May I seek You Lord
Bask in the glory of Your presence
See my life in light of Your purpose and plan

May I find hope in Your radiance
Comfort in Your word
Peace in Your presence

Susan Bunts Wachtel
June 14, 2009

Have you had the experience that when the Pastor is preaching…you feel certain that the message is just for you? That’s what I experienced today. I felt as though Pastor Philip De Courcy was preaching a message designed especially for me. I’ll bet you a lot of folks felt that way this morning.

It was the right message and was in God’s perfect timing.

Pastor Philip preached a message out of Psalm 42 -43 on despair and depression. The word of God not only comforts and acts as a healing balm but it challenges us to “get a grip” . In this instance…take every thought captive.

This poem was motivated by and composed from the notes I took from today’s sermon.

Susan Blog Sig 2

Broken, Hurting Soul


Here I am
A sitting duck
Vulnerable
For that which so easily entangles me

I have sinned
Against God
And against man
Justifiably reproached by those who love me

I long to flee from sin
Say, “No!”
Turn my this ship around
But how

I haven’t the strength on my own
Where do I begin
How do I start
To turn my life around

I’ve tried…really I have
It seems like every door is closed
Slammed shut in my face
What am I supposed to do now

I don’t even know if I believe in God
But I do believe in the devil
For he has deceived me
I believed his lies…hook, line and sinker

Drugs and alcohol
They were supposed to numb the pain
Help me feel good about who I am
Make me forget about everything I’m not

But before I knew it…sin took hold of me
What kind of son betrays his own mother
The one who loved me
Always freely gave

I went from the occasional
“Little white lie”
Before long
My heart grew cold and calloused

Now I’m
Trapped by my iniquity
With ease I’ve hurt and used
Anyone in my path

Society tells me
I’ve served my time
Paid the price
For the wrong I’ve done

Now I’ve been set free
I want to change…I really do
People tell me they are praying
Not sure what that means…but please don’t stop

Yes…I desperately need God’s help
But I also need
A helping hand
From real live flesh and blood

Someone who understands
Knows what I’m feeling
Encountered those demons within
That I’m fighting with all my might

Someone to hold me accountable
Show me how to get along
What to do…what not to do
How to live in the day to day world

Someone who understands
What seems like baby steps
Is a giant leap
For this broken, hurting soul

Susan Bunts Wachtel
February 10, 2009

When I read the first lines of this poem to my husband Chris he thought, “Oh no…what has Susan done that she needs to confess?” But I assured him it wasn’t my story I was writing about…but instead a compilation of some of those broken, hurting souls we know. It is by the grace of God…I’ve been spared the wayward path of some.

But we all know some of these people…family or friends whose lives have spiraled out of control. Or maybe…just maybe…it’s me that God has delivered from my wayward past. May God help these broken, hurting souls.

Thank you to those who have a heart to help. Those who offer a helping hand, prayer, wise counsel from God’s word…and tough love. This poem is dedicated to Gary Peterson who heads the Prison Ministry at Kindred Community Church.

Because

Because the Lord is my Shepherd
I have…
Joy in my sorrow
Comfort in my pain
Faith in my doubt
Light in the darkness
Peace in the storms
Hope in my trials
Strength in my weakness
Forgiveness of my sin
A never forsaking Friend

by Susan Bunts Wachtel
January 11, 2009

Dedicated to special friends for whom I am most grateful. Love you and praying for you dear ones.