Word Clouds

 

Word Cloud from QuizzStar on Facebook

Word Cloud from QuizzStar on Facebook

Word Clouds on Facebook are fun
As I wait to see what words I use most

But it got me thinking, what would the Word Cloud reveal
If it followed me around each day

What would be exposed if it recorded every word spoken
Every word shared in a text or email or online

Would they be words of life or death
Words that build up or tear down, truth or lies

Would it reveal my sinful, selfish heart
Or my love for the Lord

Would it be good and pleasing to You Lord
Or would it reveal why I so desperately need a Savior

Even more sobering
What if there was a Word Cloud that captured my thoughts

The thoughts I edit out, because even this sinner knows
There are some things that shouldn’t be said

Lord I know that You record my every word, thought and deed
There will come a day when I will give an account to You

Thank You Lord for providing Your Son, my Savior
To pay the penalty for my sin debt

If I were to be cast in to hell for eternity
I could never pay for all my sins against infinite Holy God

Thank You, Jesus, for dying for my sin
That I might be forgiven and granted eternal life

Thank You for the gift of Your Word which sanctifies me
Thank You for the Holy Spirit who dwells within

Help me to live each day
Mindful that I will give account to You

For every thought, word and deed
Help me to choose well and live out of love for You

 

Susan Wachtel
December 22, 2016

 

 

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Election Confessions

Daniel 2-21

Lord, I confess
As the election begins in earnest
There are times my heart is anxious
My mind filled with worry

I look around and see a nation
Seeped in sin and unrighteousness
Will You rightly and justly
Give us over to the judgment we deserve

Or will You respond with patience
In Your lovingkindness and mercy
Will You raise up a Josiah
Give us a godly leader who fears You

I see candidates of all kinds
Prideful, arrogant, rude
Contemptable, dishonest, liars
Who believe they are above reproach

Yet there are some
Men and women of integrity who fear You
Who desire to be upright and blameless
And humbly serve this nation

I see people deceived
Even believers have been taken in
I ask that You give Your people discernment
Help us to choose wisely

I confess my anxiety and worry are a sin
I have failed to trust You fully
But You are God who is sovereign and in control
You raise up kings and leaders and bring them down

When I feel anxious
Help me to repent and pray
Trust the One True and Living God
To whom we will all give an account one day

by Susan Wachtel
February 1, 2016

Sin Gone Viral

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On a recent visit to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens we were disappointed to see a sign “Disease Gone Viral in this Rose Garden”.

What followed was a garden with some empty flower beds. Some areas were planted with other flowers. But there were precious few rose bushes left in this garden. A very sad sight indeed.

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When I saw this sign, the first thing I thought of was sin. This blight that struck healthy rose bushes is like sin in my life. I can never be too vigilant about allowing sin into my life.

I need to guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. What sin am I allowing into my life? What do I watch, read, see, eat, drink, smoke, say, or goodness only knows what else that will lead me down a deadly path of sin? If I fail to be on guard, sin can easily slip in unnoticed and quickly spread into other areas of my life.

My uncontrolled sin can affect others. It can cause devastating and deadly results that sometimes reach into eternity.

When sin creeps in, I need to take radical steps to stop it in its tracks. I must keep sin from spreading and taking over other areas of my life. Not let my heart become hardened or my conscience deadened. I need to put an end to sin. Not give Christ and fellow Christians a black-eye. Or give an unbeliever another reason to reject Christ Jesus as Lord.

Lord, help me to remember that this battle is more dangerous than I know and involves unseen powerful forces. But Lord, You can help me to wage war. May I put on the full armor of God each day. May I take my every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. When Your Holy Spirit prods my conscience, may I respond quickly in obedience and out of love for Christ Jesus and my heavenly Father. If I need to take radical steps to eliminate sin from my life, let me do it quickly. Don’t let me get away from sin. Let me be caught quickly and every time Lord. Keep me close to You. Let the light of Your Word expose darkness and sin in me. Give me discernment about the sin in the world around me. Help me to walk that narrow path that leads to life everlasting. Help me to remember that You are praying for me when I am tempted. It’s Your desire that I will not fail. Thank You for walking with me through every trial and temptation Lord. In Jesus mighty, powerful, precious and delivering name I pray. Amen!

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 High Price of Sin

When I’m tempted to sin, I don’t fully realize the consequences that will impact my life and the lives of others around me. Some consequences may last a lifetime. Relationships that are damaged may not be restored until heaven, if ever. I’m blinded to the fact that I’m focused on myself; not God, nor others. I can be very shortsighted. If I knew the high price of my sin and it’s impact would I still choose to purposely and willfully sin? Lord, help me to love You more, obey You more and take You at Your Word!

 

Lessons Learned

This year in CBS we are studying the life of David in 1 & 2 Samuel.  Even though I’ve studied this passage in recent years, I am still learning from David’s life.  Some new things struck me in this week’s lesson on David and Bathsheba.

I can choose my sin, but I can’t choose the consequences I will reap…God does.

I may try to cover up my sin and keep it from impacting and hurting other people, but I have no control over that.

My choosing to sin impacts and influences other people.

The Destruction of a Gossiping Tongue

Woe is the destruction that comes
From a gossiping tongue

Like the devastation wrought
By an out of control wildfire

So too when the gossip’s tongue speaks
A match is lit and many will be burned

Like the person who rolls down the window
Carelessly tosses out a lit cigarette

It will ignite flames of fire
And quickly be driven by the wind

Nary is a thought given
To the damage that will ensue

Wounds inflicted
Burns and scars that may take a lifetime to heal

What pride and arrogance
When words of judgment and condemnation are spoken

The unbeliever hears and declares “hypocrite”
I don’t want to be like that Christian

It breeds mistrust, anger and bitterness
The wounded soul struggles to forgive

Souls for whom Christ died are hurt
The body is divided

God dishonored
Reproach brought upon the body of Christ

Remove the log from your own eye
Be broken over sin and seek forgiveness

Instead may you use your tongue
To praise and worship God, bring Him honor and glory

Now may you pray for the brethren
Speak words of encouragement, life and truth

Susan Wachtel
February 5, 2015