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March 03, 2010

A New Place in Grace...

God on the water  

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. Each month I give away a $10.00 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog. In the month of March I will give away a gift card and a couple of copies of my new book, "Growing Grateful Kids."  So share a story or an insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and friend!

Some of you may have noticed I was AWOL last week. So sorry about that. My husband ended up in the hospital last week and I was at his bedside with him. I didn't have a minute to think about my blog. But I'm back at it this week!

It's time to announce February's winner of the $10.00 Starbucks gift card. Drum roll, please...Helen Martin, congratulations! Please email me with your address and I will get your card in the mail within the next week or so. 

A Quick Note:

I am thrilled to announce the release of my next book: Growing Grateful Kids: Teaching Them to Appreciate an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Places." Let me tell you, I am excited about the message in this book. If you have children at home (or grandchildren you want to influence spiritually), order a copy today. I do believe this book will equip you to parent from a spiritual perspective (but it's loaded with lots of practical application). You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll be inspired and encouraged (that was my goal, anyway). :) 

Now on to my topic...

In my last post, "Grace and Power" I wrote about a new level of grace so to speak. Grace is what saves us, and what a gift that is! But grace also fuels us to walk out the above-and-beyond call God has for us! Read that post if you haven't yet. 

Years ago while at a family camp, someone convinced me to do the Pamper Pull (not sure why it's called that). Ever done one of those? Yikes, I don't think I'll be doing it again any time soon. The Pamper Pull is a very tall telephone pole with spikes on each side for climbing up the (very) tall pole. You are harnessed in but it's a long ways up there. 

That part wasn't so bad. But once you get to the top they want you to stand on the pole. But picture this with me. Once you get to the top, there's nothing for you to grab hold of to hoist yourself to the top of the pole. You have to keep your hands in place and put your body up over the pole and somehow lift your feet under you and place them on the pole. Are you nauseous yet?

Once you get your balance on the top of the pole, you have to jump a long ways out to grab hold of a trapeze bar. That part didn't scare me nearly as much as trying to finagle my body to the top of that wretched pole. :) 

When I talk about a new place of grace, I'm not talking about a featherbed where you lay back and do nothing. I am talking about attempting things with God that take you out of your comfort zone and beyond your ability to manage in the ways you always have.

The Pamper Pull wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but I refused to be a land lover. I climbed the pole, and though that took me away from the comfortable, stable ground, at least I had those spikes to grab hold of to make the climb easier.

But when I got to the top where there was really nothing to grab hold of, I simply had to go for it and rely on the harness. Nothing about that feat was comfortable. But I did it!

As I explore this place of grace in my own life, it's not comfortable, but so essential if I want to grow and experience the exponential results that God offers when more rests on Him than on me. 

This past weekend, I went into an important speaking event with very little preparation because of my husband's hospital stay, but I had God's assurance in my heart. Now don't misunderstand me; preparation is SO important. I've heard of speakers who don't prep at all. They walk out the door and think about what they are going to say on the way to their event. I would never do that.

But somewhere along the line, our routines and comfortable ways have to be challenged so that we don't end up trusting our efforts more than the living-breathing power, provision, and promises of God. 

And can I just tell you this? We had a power-full weekend! God showed up in intimate and profound ways. And, though I've spoken to larger crowds in the past, we had record sales this weekend, by a lot. Record sales. Powerful God-encounters. Women saved and restored. He took my efforts out of the equation and showed me a new place of grace.

Are you there, possibly? Is God challenging the status quo in your life? Is He asking you to reach for something and you don't even know where to put your hands to get there? You don't need to have all of the answers. You don't even need to understand.

Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart (trust not in the things that make you feel comfortable and secure), and lean not on your own understanding (lean not on your love for a predictable routine or the need for everything to make sense), in ALL YOUR WAYS acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). 

I do pray that you'll attempt the crazy-impossible if God asks you to. As you lay down your affection for the comfortable and the predictable, you will step into a place of adventure with Him, a new place of Grace.

~Until Next Week...

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Comments

Dear Amy,

I LOVE knowing that God revived your heart last weekend! May He continue to pour into you in such a way that you spill over to everyone you meet! Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing such an encouraging testimony. Bless you, dear one!

Dear Lynn,

I love, love it when you post on this blog. You have such powerful words to share with these precious women! Hope all is well with you, my friend!

I was there in that room when you spoke. Yes, God spoke through you powerfully. He spoke directly to my heart and I know many others. I have been so greatly encouraged. Thank you for going and giving your life. I was praying for revival in my heart before that weekend. I am revived again :). Life can get busy and monotonous but I pray, not anymore. I will continue to seek him and pray for revival in this city and country! I will seek, The Great I AM.

You will be blessed for obedience, I am blessed by you.

Singing, yes.
Olympic, no.
Summer, yes.

I will tell you more later. I promise.

Okay, Helen,

You CANNOT leave us hanging like that! What kind of mind blowing email did you receive? Are you singing the national anthem at the summer Olympics? What? Okay, I'm teasing, but we really want to know what out of reach opportunity God has put before you!
Blessings to you~

Dear Rachel,

May the Lord Himself pour out such grace upon you that it overwhelms you and overjoys you! Blessings to you~

Dear Mary,

So glad this post inspired and blessed you. I'm not sure my faith can move a mountain yet, but it's stronger than it was yesterday or last month or last year. May we all go from strength to strength! Bless you for your encouraging words!

Dear Katrina,

Wow, what encouraging words! I am SO grateful that God met you in a profound way!!! That's the best report I could ever receive! May you continue to walk in the fullness of God's grace and presence. You are the object of His affection! Bless you~

Christy,

I love, love how you reached out to the other women on this blog! Love it when we come together as the Body of Christ. We all have something to offer! Bless you for stepping up and bless you for your encouraging words!

Peace and Grace to you!

Dear Jami,

I think you're the athletic type, no? You probably would have attempted the Pamper Pull and put me to shame. But then again, I'm a gazillion years older than you, right? Ha ha. But thank you. It was quite the experience. Probably won't do it again. :)

Dear Mary,

What I love about God is His graciousness and willingness to allow us to be works in progress. He gives us plenty of chances to get it right, knowing full well we're going to get it wrong on occasion. The enemy works tirelessly to make us self aware, but if we can press past that tendency and become more God-aware than self-aware, we will find ourselves standing in places we never dreamed. May He open up all kinds of doors for you to lead and to teach! God bless you, sister!

Dear Kathy,

Bless you for reaching out to Pam (that's so like you!). And you are right, in some ways I can sound like a broken record with the reach for the out of reach thing God puts before you...but it must be one of the songs He has put in my heart. :) Not that you said I sound like a broken record. But sometimes I do. Bless you, my friend! :)

Dear Pam,

You are so sweet but I must say, I'm not exactly strong and brave (although much more now than ever before). But fear used to be my middle name and I still struggle with different aspects of fear. I so appreciate your honest words and I really appreciate how your sisters in Christ encouraged you here! May God lead you, one step at a time, to your NEXT place of freedom. Just follow Him, confront your fears, and trust Him fully. You'll get where He wants yo to go. Bless you, dear!

How funny! I just saw that I won the gift card!

I want to spend it on a chai with you!

Here is the Susie Message I knew and loved:

We reach up as far as we can, on our tippy-toes with fingers outstretched to lay hold of God's call for us. Yet it's still beyond our ability to reach without God supernaturally lifting us up to do what He wills.

In that scenario at least my feet are on the ground for most of it.

This new message.... Susie, the timing of me finally reading it today (after clicking on the bookmark about five times this week, but not getting past the first few lines before what/whoever distracted me away) is in itself a confirmation that this for me in a big huge way today.

I got such a mind blowing email this morning. I am so glad I came to your blog. If you think of it, will you please pray that I would learn to stay in His presence, quietly.

As I pondered the email, I started looking at my messy house and thinking, Yep, I am going to have to really get my act together if--- and then I realized that even if every part of my life was perfect, I still could not fulfill what I think is being asked of me. It's beyond garden variety impossible.... I found myself saying "Crazy impossible!" And I may have finally, FINALLY come to the end of myself.

Wow. Really needed to hear that. Thanks so much.

Great and inspiring post Susie! God shows up through you when you write and speak because you are willing and obedient. Your mountin moving faith is contagious. What a mighty awesome God we serve!

Thanks for the prayers ladies. I will keep pressing in and looking for breakthrough. Got the Jer 33:3 verse. Thank you.

Thanks so much for your inspired words, Susie. This past weekend changed my life. I felt as if I was the only person in the room. God has changed me through you.

Hi Susie,

Great inspiration and testimony about the retreat...When God shows up, get out of the way! He drips anointing on the faithful and dependent, and that is you!

I also have a verse for Pam...hope you see this! Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to Me and I WILL answer you, and show you great and mighty things that you do not know." You call, He WILL answer and break in to reveal Himself and His greatness. That is a promise.

Love,
Lynn

Pam, I also prayed for you.

Stay near people like Suzie who shine with the love of Christ, and bubble over with the joy of Salvation.

Mary, I minister to ages 2-4 every week, and have been doing it many years. You can email me and I would be happy to share some things God has taught me, and a curriculum that I really love. (christy@praisecc.net)

I believe God is calling us all to climb that pole.

When I was in college I applied for a position at a Bible Camp as a Program Assistant.

I was not offered the job I applied for, but offered the job as Program Director. I told them there was no way I could do it, but they talked me into it.

I experienced that Grace to serve all Summer. My guitar playing, my voice, my strength all changed. His Grace to serve was there and there was no doubt that God was touching those teenagers by His Grace in me.

It was the best summer ever, and how awe inspiring that God was moving through me to achieve His plans!

This message is so timely for me, Susie. Thanks!

Susie that illustration was profound and I am totally amazed that you attempted that feat. GREAT great post!! Makes me all excited!! :)

Susie..this subject speaks to me..I signed up to help with nursery at our church. Though I have served children in my past I am fairly new to this church I'm now at.

I was there with the children 1-4 yrs old and the lady that I took her place of for that service gave me the instructions. They play, pray, color, teach then snacks etc.

I was to be the leader...Ugh with no program or plan just come up with something.

I fell short, got timid with the other ladies around me, had nothing to go by and wasn't prepared for a lesson.

I am now feeling I didn't follow through and rely on God to guide me and give me the words to lay on these little childrens heart.

Please pray that the next time I will be prepared. Our church is getting some lessons for us to teach by. Amen

First I want to tell Pam I said a prayer for you. I pray that the Lord will bring you out in a spacious place, and you will walk in the abundance that Jesus is. Love to you!

Susie, This is the core of your message...I have used your illustration of holding out your arm (that God calls us to go beyond what we can do to walk by faith in Him doing things through us)~often~to other women.

May the Lord continue to minister to women's hearts and set them free through your message to step into more adventurous faith walks! ~
Love,
Kathy

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