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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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

From Outside In

Psalm 34-18

Depression is my name
I’m otherwise known as the blues

I quietly slip in
Sometimes unnoticed

Before long I consume a person’s life
From the outside in

Soon the person you love
Seems to have slipped away

Consumed within themselves
Unable to express their all-consuming pain

Their world has shrunk
From the outside in

All hope seems to be gone
For they can’t see beyond

Help can only come from the Compassionate One
In faith pray without ceasing for the one you love

For only God can break depression’s chains
From the outside in

by Susan Wachtel
January 8, 2016

This may seem like a dark way to start the New Year, but I felt led to write this poem after seeing someone struggle with depression.  I want to bring hope to those who feel helpless as they watch a loved one’s world shrink.  Truly God can break those chains and restore hope.

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 – Lonely Painful Memories

Lonely

Lonely…now that’s a word I’m all too familiar with.  In fact I think I can say I was lonely for most of my life.  All work and no play can make one very lonely.  I knew how to work hard and strive to do my best, but developing friendships was not my strong suit.

·    Memories of phones that seldom ring.
·    Getting home late from work, left time for little else.
·    I chose to let loneliness and lack of trust in God to influence me to make unwise choices.
·    The weekends consisted of cleaning, shopping and church on Sunday.
·    The Lord, church, Bible study and God’s people became my safe haven where the Lord would show me a way out of loneliness.
·    I remember my Bible study leader impressing upon the small group leaders the importance of calling the women in their group each week.  She said that in some instances that may be the only call they receive.  How right she was…what a painful memory.

As hard as loneliness is, there is a more painful loneliness and that is feeling a distance from God.  It may come when I let the noise and demands of the world drown out the voice of God.  Or when I stop paying attention to the still small voice of the Lord, or when I willfully choose to sin.  It’s then that the silence surrounds me and I’m aware that the fellowship of the Lord has been broken.  I feel like my prayers are bouncing off the ceiling.  The Lord has a way of getting my attention through silence and draws me back to Himself.

He never leaves nor forsakes me, but there are times He is silent.

Lord…never let me forget the pain of loneliness.  Help me to reach out to others.  To be a friend, smile, listen and embrace them.  I may never know what’s going on in their lives and how lonely they really are, but You do Lord.  Help me to see them, hear them, love and care about them.  Help me to stay close to You and listen to Your still small voice.

Five Minute Friday – Dive In
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.