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3 posts from December 2011

December 28, 2011

Look Forward...

BeautifulGreetings, 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! 

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 the year 2011 draws to a close it's a great time to pause and thank God for the mercies He has shown us. Each and every morning this past year, new mercies greeted us because we needed them. Each and every night His faithfulness met us right where we lived. God has been faithful. We are still standing!

I'm always amazed when I hear movie stars say that they've lived with no regrets, because I have lots of regrets. With all of my heart, I wish I could say I never hurt another soul, I never uttered words that should not have been spoken, I never had a betraying thought, and I never got so busy that I missed my child's smile.

With everything in me I wish I could say that I've been grateful every day of my life that I have a roof over my head, fresh water to drink, a family who loves me, and a God who never fails me. I wish I could say that I've never been impatient with distracted drivers, or that I'm always gracious to rude people. Oh, Lord, I wish I were more like you! But I'm just me - someone whom God renews and redeems in deeper ways every single day. Oh, how I love Him so!

When the Lord told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations and that his wife Sarah would bear a son in her old age, she laughed in disbelief and then tried to cover it up. But how is she remembered in the New Testament? As someone who believed God.

If you are a follower of Christ, your sins are forgiven. The regrets from 2011? They're covered in the blood of the Lamb, buried in the sea of forgetfulness! God remembers them no more! They are put out of His sight, no longer your burden to carry! Isn't that amazing?

What's even more amazing is what He remembers about you from 2011; He remembers every time you smiled at someone even though your own heart was breaking. He remembers when you laughed and played with your child while inside you were concerned about your finances. He remembers that you gave sacrificially to those who have less than you. All of these things are written down in the Book of Life - His book of remembrance of those He loves and has saved. Even when you talk with your friend about faith, He writes it down (see Malachi 3:16). 

Do not let the enemy remind you again of your sins, mistakes, and missteps from this past year. If you are in Christ, you are new creation! There is therefore NOW NO CONDEMNATION for you who are in Christ Jesus.

Forget what lies behind and look forward with faith and hope and thanksgiving! 

We are more than conquerors because of Christ in us! I don't think I'll ever fully comprehend His gift to us. But I am grateful nonetheless.

~Until next year

 

December 14, 2011

Take a Moment to Marvel...


MarvelGreetings, 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. Most of you know this already, but for our new visitors, I want you to know that each month I giveaway a $10.00 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog. So leave a post, share a story, and maybe you'll win a treat for you and your friends.

Now on to my topic...

Today...this week in fact, I ask you to pause and do a little marveling. Ponder right now, who God is and what He has done for you. Read this great excerpt from my 'Believer's Commentary':

"The converted person boasts in the Lord - not in his own character or achievements. When we understand the gospel of grace we realize that we did all the sinning and He did all the saving. So our boast must be in Him alone." (p.596)

We did all the sinning. He did all the saving. He is good to us every single day. Even when we don't notice it.
What does it mean to marvel?
To marvel means to: be amazed, be surprised, be astonished, be awed, stand in awe, wonder, stare, gape, be dumbfounded, be flabbergasted. 
Let's look at scene right out of the Word of God:

Jacob left Beersheba and went to Haran. He came to a certain place and camped for the night since the sun had set. He took one of the stones there, set it under his head and lay down to sleep.  And he dreamed: A stairway was set on the ground and it reached all the way to the sky; angels of God were going up and going down on it. Then God was right before him, saying, "I am God, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. I'm giving the ground on which you are sleeping to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will be as the dust of the Earth; they'll stretch from west to east and from north to south. All the families of the Earth will bless themselves in you and your descendants. Yes. I'll stay with you, I'll protect you wherever you go, and I'll bring you back to this very ground. I'll stick with you until I've done everything I promised you."

Jacob woke up from his sleep. He said, "God is in this place - truly. And I didn't even know it!" He was terrified. He whispered in awe, "Incredible. Wonderful. Holy. This is God's House. This is the Gate of Heaven." (Genesis 28:10-17 NLT).

It's so easy get sucked into the rat race of life and completely miss the idea that there are angels all around us; encamping around those who fear the Lord; serving and assisting us; going with us on our journey through life. 

We are not alone. Not even a little bit. Far greater are those who are for us than those who are against us. May the eyes of our hearts open up this holiday season; may we be more keenly aware of God's divine presence all around us. May we understand on a deeper level the resources and assistance to which we have access. Imagine. God, there for you, pulling for you. The Son, interceding for you day and night! The Holy Spirit nudging you, correcting you, convicting you, assuring you - all for your benefit. The angels, assisting you, cheering for you, protecting you. You are someone important! 

Yesterday I had a number of heavy things weighing on my heart, when all of the sudden Selah's Christmas song, "Joy!" came on the radio. Instantly my perspective lifted and my heart swelled with joy. I hopped out of my sink (oh, um, that's where I sit to do my makeup), and I started dancing around my bedroom. I was doing a happy dance. The Marvel Dance. 

Try it today. Put on a great song. Look up. Make yourself smile (I don't know why, but this does something for the soul), and do the Marvel dance.

In quieter moments, marvel with your heart's perspective. Be amazed; be astonished; wonder and stare at the story of the Christ-child and be in awe that He would hand Himself over in such a vulnerable way. For you.

Regardless of the state of things around you - marvel today because you are surrounded by a host of heavenly angels cheering you on; hear the noise in Heaven; they're all talking at the same time! But there's harmony because they all want the same thing for you: To live in the light of God's presence, and to walk out the divine, world-changing call on your life. Marvel at that thought of it. 

Smile today. Keep Smiling. Dance today. Keep Dancing. Marvel today. Keep Marveling. 

Until next week~

PS - If you haven't signed up for my quarterly E-zine yet, you might want to. My next issue comes out on January 15th and I have a stack of fun books to give away! Here's the link: Susie's Website

 

December 07, 2011

Make Room For Peace This Season...

Dinner TableHappy 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 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. 

It's time to announce the winner for November...and the winner is..."Wick". Congratulations and thanks for your posts! (email me your name and mailing address and we'll get your card out within the next week. My email is: [email protected]

Recently I had Ann Voskmap (author of the runaway bestseller, "One Thousand Gifts") on the show. We had a powerful conversation about giving thanks and about making sacred space for Jesus this holiday season. If you need a soul lift-me-up, listen to this show. I promise you, you'll be blessed by this interview. Here's the podcast link.

Now on to my topic...

A while back I had a great conversation with my sister. We talked about our bursting-at-the-seams task lists along with our desire to enjoy a better pace, a deeper peace, and a few sacred pauses this season. I'm not sure how you do it, but I'd like to share a few ideas that have worked for me over the years.

Remember, the holiday season only lasts a few short weeks. Typically we cram in our already crammed schedule, a bunch of parties, an 'ought-to' cookie exchange that we don't particularly enjoy, and a handful of other activities that make us more tired than joyful. 

Now granted, maybe a cookie exchange is the just the thing that brings you joy. Well, then, that's the very activity you should make time for in your schedule.

But, as Believers in Christ Jesus, as followers of our Most Sacred King, we must make room for HIM this season. We must not be at the mercy of the commercial craziness all around us! Just how do we engage in a better pace, embrace a deeper peace, and pause long enough to marvel at the works of God?

Here are a few ideas...

Postpone: Chances are, you've made for yourself an impossible task list this holiday season. Are there engagements you can postpone until after the holidays? Are there tasks that can wait? Can you make a few calls and create a little more room in the Inn this season? I encourage you to do just that.

Plan NOT to have Plans: Right now, before the month gets away from you, mark of at least one (better yet, two) nights a week where you plan not to have plans. Let your children miss practice, tell your church committee you need to be home this week. The world will go on even if you miss a meeting or two. Of course, you want to fulfill your responsibilities to others, but if those responsibilities take you away from Jesus, you might want to make some adjustments sooner than later. I promise you, you won't regret making extra room for Jesus this holiday season.

Practice the Pause: Every chance you get, stop in your tracks and take a brief moment to pause, to be still and know that our God is the One and Only, the True Almighty, the Lover of our Souls, and the Maker of Heaven and earth. Look around you and see His handiwork. Embrace the gift of living in a free country where you can lift your hands and praise Him in public, without fear for your life. Sit by the Christmas tree with a cup of cider and exhale; thank Him for your warm home and comfortable bed. Practicing the pause is excellent for your health and even better for your spirit. Cease striving and know that He is God!

Determine now to make room in your life, in your heart, and in your holidays for the Prince of Peace. I promise, you won't be sorry!

So, what do you do to make the holidays a sacred season? I'd love to know!

~Until Next Week