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3 posts from November 2010

November 24, 2010

What 'Feels' True vs. What IS True!

Maui Sunset

 

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. So leave a comment, share a story or insight, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend! I'll announce the winner for November next week.

As most of you know, I have a radio show,Live the Promise with Susie Larson The program now airs 6 days a week! Join us every weekday from 2:30-3:00 CST, and on Saturdays from noon to one, KTIS AM 900, on the Faith Radio Network, or listen online at: www.faith900.com We've had some amazing guests and some powerful dialogue. Hope you can join us!

Also, I want you to have the inside scoop. Be sure to check my Facebook page for a heads up on my weekly giveaways (that way you'll know when to call for a book you may want). I'll also post daily questions and may read your comments on the air.  

Now on to my topic...

Yesterday on my show, we discussed this topic: 'When the Holidays Aren't Happy.' For some reason, there is sort of a false expectation that everyone should be without pain and heartache during the holidays (and if you have pain, you really ought to keep it to yourself lest you dampen everyone else's mood). But the truth of the matter is, almost everyone has some kind of ache in their heart at any given time, and for some, this particular season just might be a significantly heart wrenching one. Still, there is a way to embrace joy and perspective this holiday season without feeling like you have to wear a happy mask for everyone else's sake (check out yesterday's show. I think you'll be encouraged). 

Anyway, lately (for the past two weeks or so), I've been battling exhaustion, joint pain, especially loud ringing in my ears, and a little vertigo. It will pass and I'll feel better again soon, but right now, especially in the mornings, I feel crummy. This morning as I read everybody's exuberant Tweets about their holiday festivities, I felt bummed that I was too tired to get that excited.

But then I opened up the Word of God...

The first verse I read was this one:

1 John 2:20...But you have an anointing from the Holy One...and you know the TRUTH.

Time and time again, when I find myself in a funk, God brings me back to a certain fork in the road: The one where I decide which perspective to walk in: What Feels True or What IS True.

It feels like my cup is empty - but the TRUTH is that my cup runs over! I have a very deep well from which to draw!

It feels like everyone else is having more fun than I am (smile-sigh) - but the TRUTH is, I am blessed beyond measure and I must not compare my moment with someone else's moment (you can't assess the whole truth from a momentary snapshot, unless you're looking at it from Heaven's view).

It feels like I am under my circumstances - but the TRUTH is I am very much above my circumstances and my soul knows this very well!

I hesitate to share such personal struggles with you, and I certainly don't want to sound like a whiner, but if it helps you to gain a more accurate perspective and to fight for the TRUTH that overwhelming provision and victory are YOURS, well then it's worth it. 

If you have an ache in your heart this season, that's okay. Embrace grace and joy right in the midst of it and give yourself permission and room to make the holidays work for you. Don't over commit, don't fake your way through it (be real about your need), but don't isolate either. 

However, don't allow the ache in your heart to define your state of mind. If Christ is in you, you are anointed and you know the truth. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. God's love for you is more powerfully able to deliver you than the loss, or pain, or trial is able to bury you.

Step back, find the fork in the road, and go down the road less traveled. The one that is true. Even amidst pain and heartache, we have every reason for thanks and praise; and it is possible to find a joy that will mark this holiday season as one to remember. You know why? Because we are not of this world; we have the Living Lord Jesus alive in our soul and in every situation, we are more than conquerors through Him.  

Blessings on your Thanksgiving holiday. 

~Until next week.

November 16, 2010

Tell A Better Story...

Burning sunrise

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. So leave a comment, share a story or insight, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend! 

As most of you know, I have a radio show,Live the Promise with Susie Larson The program now airs 6 days a week! Join us every weekday from 2:30-3:00 CST, and on Saturdays from noon to one, KTIS AM 900, on the Faith Radio Network, or listen online at: www.faith900.com We've had some amazing guests and some powerful dialogue. Hope you can join us!

Also, I want you to have the inside scoop. Be sure to check my Facebook page for a heads up on my weekly giveaways (that way you'll know when to call for a book you may want). I'll also post daily questions and may read your comments on the air.  

Now on to my topic...

This week I had national recording artist, Sara Groves in studio as my guest on Live the Promise. We had a great conversation (you can access a podcast of the interview by using the link above). After the show, she and I got talking and ended up recording a short piece for Moody Radio. The gist of the short interview was this: we are all story-tellers in our own right. We tell a story to our children, our spouses, our friends, and even to ourselves.

In essence, our 'stories' are simply our perspectives on our lives, our circumstances, and the circumstances of those around us. Sara shared how many people looked at her tour bus and said, "Oh, I could NEVER travel like you do. I could never live on this bus!" She knew they were trying to empathize with her and to tell her what a good thing she was doing, but their words rarely felt encouraging. Life on the bus is a part of Sara's call, and she actually loves it. Even so, over time, those consistent words from others ate away at her own perspective. That is, until she recognized and redirected her thoughts and embraced her call once again.

She and I also talked about our own ability to talk ourselves right into a funk, by the way we speak about our laundry (or my email inbox), our weight or our finances. What do our kids hear us saying more often than not? If someone were to interview our friends and ask them about our consistent flow of words, what stories would they share? Ones of God's faithfulness and of our blessedness? Or those of our wretchedness and God's seeming distance from our circumstances? 

Even when the apostle Paul was in prison recovering from a terrible beating, his response to his circumstances left others encouraged. What a challenge this is for us! Are others inspired by your response to affliction, or your response to God's delays, or by your reaction to the simple sameness of life? 

This is not to say that we deny our pain or pretend it doesn't exist, but there is a way to talk about our circumstances in a way that inspires faith, and hope, and love.

The Bible says that the words of our mouths reward us as surely as the work of our hands (See Proverbs 12:14). 

Think about that passage for a moment. If you have a job, you can count on your paycheck. And just as surely, you can count on the fact that your words are having an impact on your life, your health, your perspective, and the perspectives of those around you.

There's something wrong and something right with every part of this journey. May we look for and find the most redemptive parts, and speak often of those. May we give God the broken pieces of our lives and trust that He'll bring wholeness and healing at just the right time.

We are story tellers. May we tell our story from an eternal, faith-filled perspective.

~Until next week.

November 03, 2010

Silence Your Unbelief!

Bayfield Docks at Night

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. So leave a comment, share a story or insight, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend! 

As most of you know, I have a radio show,Live the Promise with Susie Larson The program now airs 6 days a week! Join us every weekday from 2:30-3:00 CST, and on Saturdays from noon to one, KTIS AM 900, on the Faith Radio Network, or listen online at: www.faith900.com We've had some amazing guests and some powerful dialogue. Hope you can join us!

Also, I want you to have the inside scoop. Be sure to check my Facebook page for a heads up on my weekly giveaways (that way you'll know when to call for a book you may want). I'll also post daily questions and may read your comments on the air. Let's do this together! 

Now on to my topic...

In the book of Numbers we read the about how Moses sent out spies to scope out the land to see if it was time to take their next place of promise. Interestingly enough, Moses received two different reports from his men.

The first report went as follows (my paraphrase here): "Yes, the land looks abundantly wonderful, HOWEVER, there are obstacles to overcome; the people are strong and the walls are stronger. There is no way we'll ever be able to possess that land!"

The second report came from Joshua and Caleb (my paraphrase again): "Let's go at once and take this land! For we are well able to overcome and possess that which God has promised us! The land is great and our God is greater still!" 

The first group of spies rebutted these mighty faith-filled words with their doomed perspective of failure. This bad report was enough to initiate a spirit of unbelief amongst the troops. So much so, that the Israelites fell into murmuring, complaining, and even insubordination. The power of the spoken word is mind-boggling, no?

And what was the consequence of treasuring their fears more than the promises of the Living God? They were denied access to the Promised Land. Every one of them, save Joshua and Caleb, died in the wilderness. Unbelief robs us of our destiny in Christ. 

Jump ahead forty years. Joshua is an older, seasoned, and even braver warrior. He is leading the next generation of Israelites and preparing them to take the land their parents had forfeited by their own unbelief. It's interesting that this time God commanded the Israelites to march around the city of Jericho once a day, for six days - saying nothing. They were NOT to open their mouths! 

My study notes in my Bible have this to say about that precursor to victory: 

"The memory that Israel's 40-year punishment in the wilderness was a result of people's murmuring in unbelief was doubtless in Joshua's mind. At that time, the spies had returned with a report motivated by what man sees without Holy Spirit-given vision. Their unbelief...had sealed their fate in the wilderness." (NKJV - Spirit Filled Life Bible). But not this time!

Could it be that God called the next generation of Israelites to go forward without speech because of their parents' sin of constant and continuous grumbling? Fortunately, this story ends with a victorious shout! On the seventh day the Israelites marched around Jericho seven times and gave a mighty shout. And the walls came tumbling down!

Are you marching into new territory? Are you glaring at your obstacles and recounting the harshness of your steps daily? It's time to silence your unbelief! Time to quit complaining! 

Let your gaze be fixed on Christ! Let your focus be zeroed in on the land God has promised you, not on the giants in the land. When you are in step with the Living Lord, anything is possible. The Israelites didn't even have to lift a sword to take down a massive fortification. And we serve the same God today.

Walk forward unafraid. In fact, walk forward with humble yet bold courage. Silence your unbelief and give words to your faith in Almighty God, who daily establishes His purposes for you!

~Until next week.