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5 posts from August 2011

August 30, 2011

Blessed, Beloved, and Beautiful...

Sunpeek Happy Wednesday, 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 gift card to someone who posts on my blog. So share an insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend.

Now on to my topic...

Recently I interviewed Sheila Walsh on my show and we talked about God's profound love and commitment to us. He is our Defender and Deliverer. He is our Shelter in the storm. Every minute of this interview was packed with power. If you missed the show and want to catch the podcast, click here.

I'm not sure what kind of day you had today. Mine was mostly good. But tonight I took a one-two punch to the gut. Not literally, but emotionally and spiritually. One punch connected with my sense of security and provision, and the other, my sense of belonging and acceptance. I didn't get the 'wind' knocked out of me; I didn't even cry, but I definitely felt it in my gut. 

Have you noticed how when the enemy attacks us, he mostly goes for three specific areas? He tries to make us question God's provision, protection, and promised purpose. Think about it, he attempted to do the same thing to Jesus, but to no avail. 

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter four, verse three, the devil tempts Jesus to prove His relationship with God by turning stones to bread. Jesus was hungry. And vulnerable. Yet, He refused to grab for Himself in reaction to His need. When the enemy presses in hard in attempt to stir up our fears, we must remember that we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus! May we follow His lead and say 'NO!' to our fears and to the enemy's taunts and declare with our heart and our words this truth from Ephesians 1:3 ~ 

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 

Next the enemy tempted Jesus to take an un-appointed risk to see if God really would come to His aid. But Jesus refused to put God to the test. At times we'll feel vulnerable and the ground will shake beneath our feet. At such times it's tempting to take things into our own hands and then ask God to bless the mess after the fact. But we are beloved of God - which means we are under His charge (called to obey) and under His care (called to trust). To trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus , than to trust and obey (old hymn). 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge HIM, and He will make your paths straight. 

You are Beloved of God. He's got you.

After the enemy tempted Jesus to wonder about God's provision and protection, he took a few jabs at Jesus' destiny, tempted Him to take a short cut, around the cross, willing Him to accept a less-than-kingdom. The devil was after Jesus' destiny because if he could get to Him, he could get to us. Yet Jesus had His eye on the prize: us. We were the joy set before Him. We were why He endured the taunts of the devil, endured the cross, and triumphed over sin and death. We are His cherished and precious treasure. That makes us beautiful. 

So the next time the enemy tries to topple you with threats about your security, your identity, and your worth, put him under your feet. Take the authority given you by Jesus and follow His example. Just say, "Get out of here, enemy! You tried this with Jesus and you didn't succeed! And because He was victorious, I am victorious. I am blessed. I am beloved of God. And that makes me beautiful."

Stand strong, my friend. We posses all in Him.

~Until next week. 

 

August 24, 2011

Lay Hold of Your Inheritance!

Glorious Morning Happy Wednesday, Friends! Susie Larson here...

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 post, share an insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend.

Now on to my topic...

On Monday I had Lisa Bevere on the show and we talked about her amazing book, Lioness Arising. We had a powerful time together. We talked about the call for women to wake up to their divine value and calling. Hundreds of people shared the link to this show with their friends. I'm telling you, if you missed it, listen to the podcast. You'll be inspired. Click here to listen to the podcast (share it with a friend too!).

When my sons were young, I noticed certain weaknesses in them that would deeply impact their adult years if not addressed. One particular son, though he was generous, gentle, meek, and mild, had a tendency to shrug his shoulders and take the path of least resistance in almost any situation. One day I spoke these words to him, "Honey, you know the story of how Esau, because of his immediate hunger and shortsightedness, traded his birthright for a bowl of soup? Well, in certain ways, you do the same thing every time you choose the comfortable path over the courageous one. If you're so short-sighted that you only think about comfort and self-preservation in the immediate moment, you'll miss the bigness of God's call on your life."

We all surrender a portion of  our priceless inheritance for a measly bowl of soup at different times, in various situations. 

The Bible tells us that when we are in Christ, everything He has is ours. We are now joint heirs with Christ. We are rich in every way so we can be generous on every occasion; blessed to be a blessing. And though our identity and salvation are free gifts through faith, the abundant life and treasures we're called to appropriate here on earth don't come without a fight. We have to contend with a very real enemy who seeks to steal kill and destroy everything good in our lives (see John 10:10).

It's easier to worry than it is to have faith. It's easier to detach from a friend than it is to confront her (I've learned this the hard way). It's easier to stay stuck in a life situation that you hate than it is to seek God for a fresh vision for your life. It's easier to hold a grudge than to extend a hand of grace. It's easier to watch four hours of TV than it is to pray and worship and read for two. It's easier to react to life than it is to respond to God. It's easier to spend money on ourselves than it is to give it to someone who has less than us. It's easier to complain than it is to offer praise. It's easier to notice what you lack than to dance with joy over what you possess. 

You get the point.

Every time we lift our eyes and get a glimpse of the bigger picture of who we are and what we possess by faith, God's Kingdom increases in and through us. Jesus said, "I've come that you might have life and life abundantly." But that beautiful life doesn't come without a God-breathed vision and some feisty faith. 

May the Lord Himself breathe fresh life into our faith; may He fill us up with renewed joy; may He strengthen our resolve to do the hard thing, the right thing, the thing moves His Kingdom forward in and through us. And may He bring clarity to our vision and perspective so we see ourselves for the rich ambassadors we are. We love You, Lord. Lead us onward. 

~Until Next Week 

August 17, 2011

Do You Pray For Yourself?

Cottageinthewoods  

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 airs 6 days a week. Join us every weekday from 3:00-4:00 CST, and on Saturdays from 1:00-2:00, KTIS AM 900, on the Faith Radio Network, or listen online at: www.faith900.com - Wow! We've had some powerful shows lately!

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...

A while back I had the privilege of interviewing author and pastor Dr. Will Davis, Jr., and let me tell you, he was a great guest! We discussed his book, "Faith Set Free: Pray for Yourself With Reckless Abandon."

Our call screen lit up right away with callers wanting to discuss the whole issue of praying for yourself, not to mention, praying for yourself with reckless abandon (and only one caller got through for some odd reason). :(

I posted a question on Facebook asking whether or not people felt comfortable praying BIG for themselves. A number of women admitted that at least initially, it was difficult to dare to pray such a bold prayer. 

Many people feel a sense of guilt about praying for themselves, though Jesus calls us to ask, seek, and knock. Many feel it's selfish to pray for yourself, and it can be, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't still pray about everything on our hearts. As we draw near to God, He draws near to us. As we close the gap between us and God, we become more like Him, more aware of His presence, and more passionate about His concerns for us.

We can pray for others and do great exploits in that regard (and part of our prayer life should always involve the needs of others), but, we will never realize our fullest potential until God is given access to work in and through us. He has gifted us, He has written a destiny over our lives that only WE can live out; and He has put desires in our hearts that are straight from HIM. 

Imagine how it must make Him feel when He breathes life into one of our hidden desires and we are so sure that the inner nudge is our selfishness talking, that we turn a deaf ear to God and instead scold ourselves for thinking such a ridiculous thought. 

We cannot please God without faith. He delights in every detail of our lives. He is crazy in love with us. He has written our name on His hand. He has a plan to prosper us, not to harm us. He ordained and appointed us for good works long before we were born. And, when we delight in Him, He establishes us, in our desires, in our giftedness, and in ways that we never thought possible. 

Some of our desires are simply selfish. But tucking them away and pretending they don't exist, is not the answer. Some of our desires seem selfish but are really linked to our God-sized call, and we'll have a ball when we dare dream with God and walk out those desires. How can we know the difference? We determine not to be so self aware. We run boldly into our Father's presence and ask Him to listen to every one of our concerns. We determine not to edit ourselves before we reach His throne (would you ask your child to tone down his dreams before he dares share them with you?). 

The Father, in His love, will shape our desires to fit His will. He'll change our hearts and renew our minds. And the cool thing is, our dreams are often too small. As we dare to admit our heart's desires, we will find a loving God right there to stir up our faith and lead us in the way that we should go. And remember, our God-sized call will always further His Kingdom and make life better for others.

Pray BIG for yourself today. And tomorrow. And the next day. See what God will do.

If you want to listen to the podcast of my interview with Will Davisclick here.

Now to HIM who is ABLE to do immeasurably MORE than ALL we can ASK or IMAGINE, ACCORDING to His power at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).

~Until next week.

 

August 10, 2011

Everyday Miracles...

Light Through the Trees Hey 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 share an insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend. 

Now on to my topic...

My son Jake shared an insight with a friend recently that deeply ministered to me. This friend is in a tough work situation. His boss is relentless, always looking for faults, mistakes, and foibles to highlight, and she never offers encouragement. The constant and unrelenting criticism has taken a toll on this young man. Maybe you know what it's like to be barely tolerated instead of lovingly celebrated. 

The young man said this to Jake, "I need a miracle. In fact, I need a miracle that I can't explain away. If I look back over the recent years, I can see plenty of ways God showed up and moved on my behalf. He has provided when we needed it most; He has opened doors I could not have opened myself. Yet, the truth is, I don't have to try too hard to find a logical explanation for each and every one of these instances in my life. What kind of man of faith am I? If this is a test of my faith, I'm surely failing." 

To that, Jake replied, "A friend recently challenged me to look at miracles from another angle. Take the time Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes, for example. The obvious miracle is that God multiplied a lunch to feed thousands and thousands of people. However, isn't it also a miracle that so many people sat down in community and broke bread together? People who probably would not have otherwise come together, did so because they all sought Jesus. They sat down on the hillside and shared a meal. Together. When I look at you and what you're currently walking through, here's what I see: you are in an impossible situation at work, yet you come home each night and you love your wife. You ask her how her day went and you listen to her. You're in an impossible situation at work, yet you're still tender to the things of God, still care whether or not you have enough faith. I'd say those are the miracles in your life right now. Just look at your situation from a different angle, God is there and He is doing something great in you."

Wow. Jake's insight blessed me beyond words. 

Maybe this word is for you today as well. If it's been a while since you've seen God move in your midst, scoot in a little closer and look at your situation with a fresh pair of eyes. You're still in the fight. You still want more of God. You still manage to be kind and loving to others though your own heart is breaking. Those are miracles in the most beautiful sense of the word.

God is with you. He is for you. And in due time, you will see Him do something big, something grand, if you continue onward and do not give up. But for now, hold close the everyday miracles. They are every bit as significant as the water-parting, death-defying kind. 

He is with you. He has not looked away or lost your number. May you see Him in fresh new ways today.

~Until next week.

 

 

August 03, 2011

He Loves...

Darkness and Light.jpg Hey 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 and it's time to announce the winner for July. Drum roll please...

Heidi Jo Darin, congratulations! And thanks for your post. Just email me your mailing address and the card will go out in the mail within the next 7-10 days. My email address is: info@susielarson.com And thanks to everyone who posted. Love to hear from you!

Now on to my topic...

Today on Live the Promise we have one of our favorite guests, Will Davis, Jr. We're talking about his new book, '10 Things Jesus Never Said: And Why You Should Stop Believing Them' - this is going to be a great show. (Just a side note: you can listen online here: Will Davis interview).

Here are some of the chapter titles from Will's book (things Jesus never said):

I'm so disappointed in you. 

This wouldn't be happening if you were a better Christian.

You've gone too far to be saved.

I've given up on you. 

You missed My will for your life.

While it's true that God is opposed to the proud, He gives grace to the humble. He was toughest on the pharisees and the prideful folks who refused to see their need. Yet He was abundantly gracious towards those who knew they could never jump high enough to hit the mark. 

You know, there is just nothing like God's love. Nothing heals, restores, motivates, inspires, or changes things like God's love. Nothing convicts, redirects, and corrects like the precious upward call of God's love. He loves us so much that He gave His Son to die in our place. He loves us so much that He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide, empower, direct, and comfort us. He loves us so much that He made sure we'd have more than enough mercies waiting for us with each new day. He loves us so much that He has gone ahead of us to carefully and lovingly preparing a place - perfect for us. Wow, and that's just a portion of God's gestures of love towards us.

Why then, do we put more stock in what others say about us? Why do we put more weight in how we feel than we do on the very words of God? Proverbs 9:10 says this: Knowing the Holy One results in understanding. The more we know Him, the more we'll love Him, and the more we'll trust Him.

Hear Him today, my friend: I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have always loved you. I never breathe a heavy sigh, or wonder why you're not someone different or better. I love the you I see in front of me. I have great plans for you and it's my job to work them in and through you. I"ll do it. I'll lead you, love you, prepare you, and plan for you. Trust me, trust me, trust me. I am for you, so who can stand against you? And guess what? Nothing can separate you from my love. I'll never let it happen. Freedom begins when you believe that you lack no good thing, you're already loved, already provided for, already called. Just possess it all by faith. It's yours. I love you.

Isn't is just something that He's so taken with us? That He would bother with us at all? Oh, how He loves! Wrap yourself up in the knowledge of it today! Walk in it, speak of it, and live out of that great love. Nothing else compares.

Bless you, my friend. 

~Until next week