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4 posts from January 2011

January 25, 2011

Stupid Fears...

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 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.  

One last thing. I want you to know that I now have a short daily blog on my radio show page (link above).  Each day I'll post thoughts on faith and I invite you to post your thoughts as well. I may use your insights on a future show. Or, I may even invite you on a future show! Once a month one of you will win a Starbucks gift card and a surprise book from our Faith Radio Shelf. Check it out! 

Now on to my topic...

You know how life ebbs and flows, right? We enjoy seasons where the wind is at our backs and seasons when the bugs get in our teeth; seasons when the sun is mostly shining and seasons when the clouds seem to sit on top of our heads and blur our vision. But rarely are life seasons all bad, or all good. Mixed in with the sweet times, are thorns and heartaches, and unfulfilled desires. And mixed in with those stormy times are sacred moments where we enjoy intimacy with God, the miracle of strength in our weakness, and the closeness of a faithful friend.

Well, right now, I'm mostly in a sweet season of life. God is doing a new thing in me and all around me. Yes, I still have unfulfilled desires, hopes of healing, and parts of my personality that I long for God to redeem and renew, but all in all, God is breathing His breath of favor upon us and we are extremely grateful.

But amidst this sweet time of favor, certain circumstances have stirred up an old fear in me that practically paralyzed me for a day or two. Ugh! 

It's not like I haven't gained ground in this area. I have. I practically don't even recognize myself when I think of who I was. And it's not like I haven't brought this fear into the light with a few trusted friends and the Lord. I have. Again and again.

So why do I have to keep going around and around this mountain, revisiting a place that won't seem to heal? 

As I spent extended amounts of time in the Lord's presence this week, meditating on Scripture and listening to worship songs that declare the greatness of my God, I heard Him afresh in this place. Here's what He told me:

Fear NOT, My precious child, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name...you are MINE. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will NOT sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you-will-NOT-be-burned. The flames WILL NOT set you ablaze. For I am the Lord YOUR GOD, the Holy One of Israel. Your Savior (Isaiah 43:1-1).

Read that again but this time strongly emphasize all of the times God says, "I" -  I have redeemed you. I have called you. I'm the One who summoned you. Do you hear the love, the compassion, and the protective nature of our God? In fact He makes Himself personal by saying, 'I'm YOUR GOD.' He's my God. He's your God. He is God-With-Us. Emmanuel. 

I hate my fears. But I love God more. I have to trust Him. I have to look my fears square in the face and say, 'Even so, I have God.'

I'm putting my stupid fears under my feet again today. My God turns my darkness into light. He strengthens me so I can scale any wall. I have every reason for faith. You do too. 

Have a blessed week as you trust in Him. He can be trusted.

Love to you, my friend.

January 19, 2011

The 'Secret' to Powerful Prayer...

Darkness and Light.jpg

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...

For the first week of 2011, we dedicated all of our shows to different spiritual disciplines that help us to live more full and free lives. And, we dedicated all of last week's shows to different aspects of FAITH (we had some phenomenal guests - check 'em out if you need a spiritual shot in the arm!). 

At the beginning of one of those shows (can't remember which one), I started the show by talking about two important attitudes that precede powerful praying, and here they are: Humility & Boldness.

Some people come boldly before God, but lack the humility, and the result? A misplaced sense of entitlement. Others come before God with a 'worm-like' humility that reveals a misunderstanding of our NEW identity in Christ. They are so focused on their lack, they totally miss God's promise of supply. Because of His Victory on the Cross, we've been made heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. Absolutely mind boggling when you think about it.

Let's look at a few examples from the Word of God of how humble boldness moved the heart of God. The combination of these two attitudes are essential to mountain-moving faith!

Matthew 8 - A Roman soldier approached Jesus with a desperate need. His servant was sick in bed, desperately in pain. He appealed to Jesus and Jesus agreed to go to the officer's home and touch the boy. Here we see the soldier embrace humility. He - as a man of status- recognized that Jesus was a man of even greater status and said to Him, "I'm not worthy to have you in my home..." And the officer was also bold. He continued (my paraphrase), "I understand authority because I have authority and am under authority. You can speak into my situation right here, right now, Jesus, and I know Your words will change everything." Jesus recognized this man's humility mixed with boldness as great faith and his servant was healed that hour. Imagine having such faith that Jesus Himself stops in His tracks and takes notice. That's the kind of faith we're called to every single day. 

Then there's the Gentile woman we read about in Matthew 15. Her daughter was possessed by a demon and she desperately wanted her healed. Jesus ignored her initial request. She was a Gentile woman approaching a Jewish man. A bold move, indeed. Jesus ignored her initial request (I think, to test His disciples). She appealed again and this time He answered by explaining His mission. She appealed again to which Jesus gave this harsh answer (again, I believe this was to test her faith and the hearts of His disciples), "It isn't right to take food from children and throw it to the dogs." She came right back with a brilliant answer, 'That's true, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall from the table." Jesus responded with great affection, admiration and an answer to her prayers, "Dear woman, your faith is great and your request is granted."

Humility and Boldness. A powerful combination. 

Please allow me to give you one more example from God's Word, though there are many from which to choose: 

In Luke 8 we read about the woman with the issue of blood. This poor woman suffered in unimaginable ways. She had the inferior stigma of being a woman and the negative stigma of her issue of blood (which, like leprosy, forced her to isolate from people; she was considered unclean). She had to live with the horrible body odor caused from bleeding, the wretched and chronic fatigue; the lonliness of isolation, and the pain of being unloved and misunderstood. This woman was supposed to live separate from the people - and I'm sure she did until she couldn't stand it another moment. And so, one day she pressed in and pressed through for a breakthrough. This bold woman pressed through the crowd and grabbed the hem of Jesus' garment. And instantly: She. Was. Healed. Her bleeding stopped. Her body restored. Her energy returned. Can you imagine what that was like?

At that moment, Jesus turned around and asked who touched Him because He felt the power go through Him. This bold woman did not run away in fear (but how tempting it would have been in attempt to hang on to her healing!), she bowed before Jesus and admitted that she was the one who touched Him. I believe Jesus engaged her in this way so He could convey, "You didn't take healing from Me. I gladly gave it to you. Be healed and restored!"

I just love Jesus. Don't you?

Come humbly and boldly before Him! He wants to do more for you, in you, and through you, than you can even conjure up in your wildest thoughts! 

Sorry this post was so long, but I hope it encouraged your faith today!

~Until next week.

January 12, 2011

Accessing Today's Power...

Breakthrough Sunshine

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...

If you've heard me speak before, you've probably heard this story (if that's you, please forgive me and indulge me this one more time). Quite a few years ago after an especially significant speaking event (God moved in ways that boggled my mind), I curled up in bed and whispered this prayer, "Lord, I don't know what just happened at this event, but I do know this: I want more! More of You! More of Your power and Your presence in my life!"

I fell asleep with those words on my tongue. And I had a very vivid dream.

In the dream people were busy with their daily lives, rushing to and fro - totally unaware of the power that hung overhead, completely within their reach. The 'power' looked like rolling colorful clouds with bolts of lightning shooting through them. Every once in a while, someone had the presence of mind to pause and look up. Then they'd reach up and grab hold of the 'power' and place it on their children or their wallet, or their own heart. But then they'd go along their way and not look up for a long time after that. But in my dream there was one woman who camped in the presence of God. She lived there. She reached up with great regularity and accessed what God made available to her. And the result? Her life glowed with the power made available from on high.

I woke up from my nap absolutely stunned. As I snuggled in my bed for just a while longer, I pondered this vivid dream, and the Lord whispered this across my heart, 'Most of My people only scratch the surface of what I've made available to them.'

I'll be honest. I have a tendency to worry. I battle it. I wrestle it to the ground. And sometimes it knocks me to the ground. Grrrr! I hate that worry battle! But I'm more spiritually skilled now to win the worry battle than I was even a month ago.

One of my favorite heroes of the faith, Corrie Ten Boom, wrote these powerful words: "Worry doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength."

One thing that'll suck the life out of God's gift of daily grace and power, is our tendency to worry about tomorrow. We have power overhead, available to us, TODAY! We have everything we need to ABOUND in every good work!

May we stay present in this moment - God has given us grace and power for this very hour. Let's grab hold of it; access it through faith; and appropriate it in our lives!

Another thing that steals the power from our lives is committing to un-appointed work. Understand this: An un-appointed work will always be an un-annointed work

May w be earnest in checking our commitments with the Lord. We must receive our marching orders from Him! And when we do, let's march forward with a humble, faithful attitude! No whining, complaining, or griping. We work and serve HIM (not our boss, our pastor, or anyone else). We live for and serve an audience of ONE. May our lives and our service be a wholehearted offering to Him. 

The Bible says that God has given us His great and precious promises SO THAT we can participate in His Divine Nature and carry on the work He started on earth. 

May there be a focused-purposefulness to our day today! May we be about the Father's business in whatever capacity He has assigned to us. May we see ourselves as ones who have access to the inner Throne Room of the Most High God. We have His ear, we have His promises, and we have His wonderful presence. What more could we possibly ask for?

Live POWERFULLY today!

~Until next week.

January 05, 2011

Be In Awe

Winter Beauty

Greetings, Dear Friends, and a Happy New Year to You!

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! It's time to announce the winner for December...

Jennifer Wallin, congratulations! Please email me your mailing address at: info@susielarson.com and we'll get your gift card in the mail within the next 7-10 days. Please note that you need to claim your gift card before I announce next month's winner. Thanks for posting on the blog!

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...

As we move into a new year with the holidays behind us, it's easy to put our noses to the grindstone until springtime, work at an unrelenting pace, all the while forgetting what it means to pause and rest along the way. Maybe it's just me, but this stretch from January to April tends to be one big blur of all work and very little play.

Today on Live the Promise we'll be talking about one of the MOST underrated physical and spiritual disciplines out there: REST. 

All too often we equate 'Busyness' with 'Importance' when nothing could be further from the truth. While it's true, the Christ-follower will always have 'job security' (as long as we're alive, God will have something for us to do), it's equally true that God calls us to moments by still waters, to rest and to remember the provision and goodness of our God; to stand in awe of who He is and what He has done. Working as unto the Lord strengthens our spiritual muscles. Sabbath moments helps those muscles heal.

This morning I woke up with burning eyes after a fitful night's sleep. I had to be out the door much earlier than usual. From the get go, I felt under, not on top of my day. But as soon as I got in the car, I took a deep breath and exhaled. Next, I turned on the radio station and listened to the words of a beautiful worship song. I tasted the words, felt their impact, and embraced their truth. Then, I turned down the radio and began to pray out loud. I called to mind the greatness and the intimacy of my God; I thanked Him for the countless ways He covers me in the shadow of His wing. I humbled myself once again and put all of my fleshly risings under my feet - declaring instead that Jesus will be lifted up in my life and nothing else.

Within a very short time, I found my way to joy and fullness again. Psalm 16:11 reminds that it's in His presence where we find the fullness of joy.

There's something to be said about pausing, inhaling, exhaling, and right where you live - right where you stand this moment - looking for and finding the greatness of God in your midst.

Be-in-awe of the fact that He is right beside you, with you, intimately engaged with your concerns and hopes and dreams. Aren't we just so blessed that the most powerful force there is, loves us without condition?

The Bible says that the Heavens declare the glory of God and day after day, they pour forth speech. I'm sure you're the same way, but I see God's fingerprints every morning when I look up and see the sky. I see God's handiwork when I look around my house and realize that I have a roof over my head. I'm in awe that I have friends who love me and a husband who loves to pray. I treasure the fact that new mercies await me every morning - which means God has already gone ahead of me to make a way for me. Amazing love.

Surely you have your own list of blessings to count and your own way of stopping to take them all in. I pray that you will do that this very day, and on a regular basis in the weeks to come.

Be in awe of God's attention to detail. His artistry is all around you. Every good thing comes from His hand. 

Pause today and take it in. You'll be blessed and strengthened in a brief moment. You'll be reminded once again that you were made for another word, and that you're just passing through this place called Earth. Since that's true, pausing long enough to remember your true identity and source of life seems of utmost importance, wouldn't you say? I think so too.

~Until next week...