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5 posts from April 2008

April 30, 2008

"I'm Here For You..."

Vermilionsunset

Greetings, Dear Friends!
Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome!

I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way.

First things first. If you take the time to post on my blog in April, you may win a $10.00 gift card to Caribou, Target, OR Dairy Queen! Your choice. So drop me a note and say hi! Next week I'll announce April's gift card winner.

A week ago today, I was in Michigan for a speaking event. My hosts picked me up from the airport, got me something to eat, and then dropped me off at my hotel for a little down time before the big event.

I put on some music, set my alarm, and dozed in and out of sleep. Curled up in a ball and hugging my pillow, I prayed for the women for whom I had come to serve. I asked God to meet them in a profound way and to provide for their needs.

Instantly He led me to the first few verses in the 23rd Psalm. Over and over again, I prayed those verses and pondered them on behalf of my Michigan group of women.

Suddenly I realized that four specific needs are addressed in just the first two verses; in fact six needs are addressed in the first three verses:

Guidance, provision, rest, renewal, strength, and honor.

Let's take a closer look...

Continue reading ""I'm Here For You..."" »

April 21, 2008

The Cross For Me...

Crossintheclouds

Greetings, Dear Friends!
Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome!

I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way.

If you take the time to post on my blog in April, you may win a $10.00 gift card to Caribou, Target, OR Dairy Queen! Your choice. So drop me a note and say hi!

I'm writing this post on Monday because on Wednesday, I'll be flying home from a speaking event.

I just love mornings, and this morning was an extra special one for me. Today was the first time this season that it was warm enough for me to sit out on my deck and greet the morning.

With the breeze blowing in the trees, the birds singing a happy song, and the sun peeking through the clouds, I felt especially aware of God's incredible attention to detail. What a beautiful God He is!

For a brief moment, I closed my eyes, bowed my head, and prayed for our country. I've been concerned about the intense divisions among us as a nation. I'm troubled by the desire of many to see God wiped from our history. I'm concerned about many of the youth in our day. There's an absolute disregard for authority, purity, honor, humility, gratefulness, and so on and so on. Needless to say, I prayed and asked for mercy, for protection, and for a renewed fire in my belly that I might live for fully for Him.

As soon as I said, "Amen" I looked up and what I saw took my breath away. I captured it in the picture at the top of this blog. A perfect Cross was etched in the sky. I took out my phone and snapped a picture (click on the picture and it'll enlarge enough for you to see the Cross).

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is intimately acquainted with our ways, He is engaged in our journey, and He is high above every circumstance.

Within the hour the wind picked up and the clouds took on a different shape. Even so, I lingered a while with my thoughts.

That beautiful Cross for me, was a reminder of the brevity of life and the height of our calling.

This day, this time in which we live, calls for authentic faith, real passion, and a love that is less calculating and far more forgiving than we've ever known before.

Continue reading "The Cross For Me..." »

April 16, 2008

Grapes and Other Gray Areas...

Lakescene

Greetings, Dear Friends!
Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome!

I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way.

If you take the time to post on my blog in April, you may win a $10.00 gift card to Caribou, Target, OR Dairy Queen! Your choice. So drop me a note and say hi!

Now on to my topic...

It was about this time of year, about seven years ago, when my then, ninth grade son, was invited to a week-long intense discipleship training (known as IDT) which was scheduled to start the day after the last day of school.

The planners planned for this event to start bright and early on the first day of summer vacation. They wanted to train the students who wanted to be there; who made the commitment to be there.

One minute Jake was sure he was supposed to go, but then he'd go to school and hear his friends talk about all of their summer plans and he'd come home with a changed mind.

Back and forth he went.

My strong sense was that I was supposed to guide him from a distance and allow this decision to be his.

The day came, school was out, and vacation mode had kicked in.

My hands were immersed in dish water and dirty dishes when Jake approached me, "Mom, I was invited to sleep at my friend's house tonight. I really want to go but I kind of feel like I'm supposed to go to IDT too. I don't know what to do."

Drying my hands off I turned to him and said, "Jake, as a Christian you will notice that there are a thousand 'Christian' things you can be a part of, but you're only called to be a part of some of them. You have to decide, is this one of those things? How about if you go to your bedroom and spend an hour praying and asking God what He thinks?" Jake did just that. And I have to admit, I prayed hard too. I really wanted him to go to IDT.

The next morning we were up bright and early and I dropped him off for his first day of intense discipleship training.

What I wasn't prepared for, was the look of him when I picked him up. He slipped in the front seat, held a white square of cloth up to his face, and wept for several minutes.

I looked a little closer at the cloth and saw the words, "N-Vow."

I pulled away from the curb and drove as Jake gathered himself and began to share what just happened.

Continue reading "Grapes and Other Gray Areas..." »

April 09, 2008

Raise Your Shield!

Sunpeek

Greetings, Dear Friends!
Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome!

I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way.

If you take the time to post on my blog in April, you may win a $10.00 gift card to Caribou, Target, OR Dairy Queen! Your choice. So drop me a note and say hi!

Now on to my topic...

I was talking with one of my mentors this morning and she expressed something quite profound to me. She said, "Susie, I don't think we have any idea of our impact as ones who belong to God. Take the touch, for instance. Since my husband has become a Believer, our embrace has taken on a whole new meaning. When we wrap our arms around each other, just for the sake of a hug, there's more power in that embrace than I've ever known before."

I tried to imagine in the spiritual realm, what that means for us as Believers. Since it's true that God has assigned angels to our care, things change when we walk into a room. And to the extent that we walk in the knowledge of who we are, will there be an impact on the things we touch.

This morning during my prayer time, I considered the gift God gave us when fastened each of us with a shield.

Do you know how to use your shield?

Continue reading "Raise Your Shield!" »

April 02, 2008

Wisdom...

Newplaces_2

Greetings, Dear Friends!
Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome!

I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way.

It's time to announce the winner for March's giveaway. And the winner is...Gina Wills! Congratulations! Gina, email me at: info@susielarson.com Send me your address and let me know which gift card you would like (Target or Caribou).

Since spring is upon us (well, only in theory for some of us), I want to add one more gift card to the mix.

If you take the time to post on my blog in April, you may win a $10.00 gift card to Caribou, Target, OR Dairy Queen! Your choice. So drop me a note and say hi!

Now on to my topic.

Every once in a while my husband and I like to put our sons on the spot.

Sometimes when we are all together sitting around the table we will throw a question out there and ask for a quick answer - just to test their instincts and see if they're becoming the critical thinkers we've tried to train them to be.

Here's an example:

"Okay, boys, give us your gut-instinct answer on this one. If you had to choose, what's more important? Loyalty or integrity?"

I love to watch them look out the window or up at the ceiling as they play through a few scenarios in their mind.

In no time at all, Luke spouted out the answer, "Integrity!"

"Why?" I asked.

He replied, "Because if you're loyal to someone blindly, you may end up abandoning integrity to stay by their side."

Bingo.

Continue reading "Wisdom..." »