36 posts categorized "Divine Insights"

January 11, 2012

Redefine Your Circumstances...

Burning sunrise

Happy Wednesday, Friends!

And to those visiting, I say welcome! 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 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...

Many of you know that my dad passed away last week. We're still reeling from the suddenness of it all, but we know he's with Jesus and for that, we're eternally grateful. My dad dealt with numerous health issues and rarely felt well, but that's not what all of his grandkids will remember about him. When they think of their grandpa they'll remember how funny and snarky he was, how much he loved them, and how important they were to him. When the grandkids were around, my dad focused on them, not on his suffering, which to me, was incredibly heroic of him.

When Jesus suffered on the cross, His thoughts were on those He came to save. Because of the joy set before Him (you and me), He endured the cross and scorned it's shame (see Hebrews 12). He could have complained about His immense, unfathomable pain, He could have shouted, "To hell with you all! You're not worth it!" But He did the exact opposite. He embraced our worth. He cherished the thought of us in Heaven with Him. The whole idea of eternity with us kept Him going. Thank you, Jesus.

Jesus came to save us, and in the process, He redefined the cross. Crucifixion was a horrific, public, painful humilation. It was the worst way to die, in pain, shame, and dishonor.

Jesus, our perfect, sinless, spotless Lamb, brought honor and dignity to the cross. He offered salvation to a lost and dying world, through the worst it had to offer, death on the cross. He triumphed over death on the cross that we might live free and powerful lives.

Even the way He lived redefined "religion" and challenged the religious legalist. They didn't know what to make of Him. Jesus just would not be bound by traditions and laws that boxed in His love and concern for those who needed Him. 

When Jesus freely shared a meal with those the world despised, the scribes hated Him for it. Because Jesus lived and breathed love, honor, and dignity, He redefined every circumstance in His midst. Read what William MacDonald wrote regarding Jesus' meal with the tax collectors:

"The scribes thought they would ruin the Lord's reputation by calling Him a friend of sinners. But their intended insult has become an endearing tribute. All the redeemed gladly acknowledge Him as the friend of sinners, and will love Him eternally for it."  (Believer's Commentary)

If you have surrendered your life to Christ and have accepted His sacrifice on the cross for your sins, you now live with the power and influence of Almighty God at work in and through you! You can bring dignity and honor to every situation. No person, no circumstance, so accusation can diminish your worth. No loss, no rejection, no misstep can separate you from God's love.

If you're walking through an especially difficult time right now, look up. Your circumstances do not define you. God does and has and you're worth everything to Him. Bring dignity and honor to your struggle with finances; bring holiness and humble confidence to your battle with health issues; bring power and influence to the pain of your broken relationships. Redefine your circumstances. You can because Jesus turned the tables on the enemy and won. The same power alive in Him is now alive in you. Overwhelming victory is yours! Walk forward with holy confidence.

~Until next week.

 

January 04, 2012

Live Ready...

Sun Dogs at NWCHappy 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 folks, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend.

Now on to my topic...

If you connect with me on Facebook, you already know that I lost my dad the day before last. On December 22nd, he went into the hospital with difficulty breathing. On December 23rd they diagnosed him with stage four lung cancer. And on January 2nd, he went home to be with the Lord. We're all stunned at how quickly his health declined. I'm so grateful that he is now pain free, but my grief overwhelms me at times.

As many of you know, I've felt especially drawn to study the end times lately. No matter where you stand on the topic, Jesus' return is closer than it's ever been. The other day, Andrew Hess Tweeted the following statement: Don't let your anticipation for 2012 overshadow the return of the King.

Amen and amen!

Jesus is coming soon. Though we can't and shouldn't try to determine the exact date of Christ's return, we must discern the times and the seasons just as He told us to. Based on fulfilled prophecies and the turbulence in our midst, I believe Jesus could come at any time. With all my heart I believe that a generation that walks the earth today will live to see the rapture. But even if I'm wrong, Jesus still calls us to live ready, alert, prayerful, and watchful. 

Furthermore, none of us knows how many days we have left on this earth. Life can change in the blink of an eye. May we refuse to take our days for granted and instead, wrap our arms around faith, hope, and love, and live in a manner worthy of His Name!

So how do we live ready? 

We open our eyes to the ways God is moving in our midst ~ Those who seek Him, will find Him (See Matthew 7:7-8).

We throw off sin, compromise, and petty thoughts associated with an earthbound life ~ Those who believe they have better things to do than grovel in the dirt, will do better things (See Hebrews 12:1). 

We engage our faith ~ Those who expect great thing from God will accomplish great things for God (See Ephesians 3:20).

We pray passionately ~ Those who approach God will holy confidence and humble dependence will see miraculous answers to prayer (See 1 John 3:21-22).

We give generously ~ Those who sow generously will reap generously. It's impossible to outgive God (See 2 Corinthians 9:6)

We make every moment count for eternity ~ Those who live now with eternity in mind will have a greater capacity to enjoy heaven  when they get there (See Ecclesiastes 3:11).

We are not made for this place! We're just passing through. May we refuse the curse of a hurried, disengaged life. May we instead awaken to the power, provision, and promise written over us. May we access and appropriate all God offers us that we might live up to our high privilege in Him.

May 2012 be a breakthrough year for you. May you live ready for Christ's return, making the moments count for eternity.

God bless you.

~Until next week.

November 30, 2011

Live With Expectancy!

Close up Christmas pic

Greetings, 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 giftcard to someone who posts on my blog. So share an insight, bless lots of folks, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend. 

I had a powerful conversation with author/speaker Mike Guzzardo last week. We talked about what it means to live 'All In' for Jesus. If you need a spiritual shot in the arm, be sure to catch the podcast from last week's show. I'm pretty sure you'll love that interview!

Now on to my topic...

I've been thinking a lot lately about the end times and about Jesus' return. No matter where you stand on end times theology (pre-trib, mid-trib, or post trib), most agree, Jesus is coming soon! 

Scripture says that just as in the days of Noah, people in the latter days will be caught up in daily life, eating, drinking, and partying - with no thought of the coming flood - and that is how it will be when the Son of Man returns (See Matthew 24:37-39). 

First Peter, verses thirteen and fourteen say this: So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.

Think clearly: Remember what's important. Consider that if you are in Christ, you are not your own; you've been bought with a price. You have a divine call on your life! Refuse to get caught up in petty insecurities and shallow self-awareness. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! You possess all in Him. You lack no good thing. Walk in a manner worthy of your calling. Live up to your high privilege in Christ Jesus. Put your hand only to the things He calls you to. May you understand the times and know what to do.

Exercise self control: Don't throw your time away like it doesn't matter because all of your life matters! Don't give in to the indulgences common to man; practice restraint and moderation so you can be clear thinking, alert, and ready for action. Enjoy an occasaional treat here and there, but don't let over indulgence mark your life. Consider this not as a legalistic order but a challenge to be well trained and alert!

Look forward: For the Christ-follower, this life on earth is as bad as it gets! We have everything to look forward to. For the one who rejects Christ, this life is as good as it gets. Live with expectancy! Trust that God's promises are true. Expect Him to come through for you and to keep His word. In the coming days, look for answers to your persistent prayers. Scripture says that hope does not disappoint. As Mike Guzzardo said (in the interview I referred to above), "It's literally impossible for Christ to fail me." Live with the expectancy that God is actively involved in your life. He loves you, He is for you, and He is with you. 

Even amidst the hustle-bustle of this holiday season, live as one who is spoken for. We celebrate Jesus, the long-expected Savior. He came as a humble babe in the manger. Soon He'll return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

May we live with our eyes open, our chin lifted, and our hearts set fully on Him. When He returns, will He find faith on the earth? 

May He find faith in us.

~Until next week.

November 09, 2011

You Now Stand!

Darkness and Light.jpg 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 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog. So share an insight, bless lots of folks, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend.

Now on to my topic...

On Tuesday I had Tullian Tchividjian (Billy Graham's grandson) on the show. He wrote a book titled, "Jesus + Nothing = Everything." It was a great interview; you'll love what he had to say. If you're interested here's the link to the podcast: Live the Promise interview with Tullian Tchividjian

Tullian passionately shared how being on the receiving end of gossip, fault-finding, and assigned motives "broke his legs" and taught him to fully depend on the Lord. He now walks in a whole new level of freedom and power! God showed him how very much he depended on man's approval for his peace of mind. Don't we all fall easily into that trap? 

And yet, when we put our hope in anything but Christ, even the noblest of causes or the best of people, those things become idols. Our hope is in the living, loving God who promises never to leave us or forsake us. 

Colossians 1:14 explains that through Christ’s victory on the cross, God has rescued US from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of His Son in whom we find redemption and the forgiveness of sin.

Redemption = clearing, absolution, debt honored, return

God has plucked us out of the enemy stronghold and placed us into His Kingdom where we are loved, cherished, cleansed, called, cared for, protected, equipped, and armed to stand.

We now stand in the Kingdom of His marvelous light! Read this powerful verse:

However, you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). 

Even when we encounter conflict, rejection, misunderstanding, we still remain in the Kingdom with firm footing there. Remember, we have a secure standing because of what Jesus has done, not a hit-and-miss standing because of what we do.

Even though conflict and misunderstanding is painful, we must not give it so much power that we begin to doubt our firm standing of love, acceptance, qualification, and calling in the Kingdom of God’s Son.

Too often we see ourselves as standing on a little bitty spot of conditional acceptance. And we think we lose that ground when we misstep, misspeak, or mess up. But the ground is wide beneath our feet. Because of God’s precious grace there’s room for us to fall, trip, and get it wrong on occasion.

Not that we consider grace as a license to sin. May it never be!

But may we neither live in the other extreme where conditional love leaves us feeling constantly unsettled about who we are and what we possess.

If you’ve received Christ sacrifice for your sins, then His victory is your victory! You are now a joint heir with Christ! What He possesses is yours!

Nobody can separate you from God’s love (See Romans 8:38). No misstep can yank you out of the Kingdom of God’s Son. And everything you do from this day on is intended to be in response to what He’s already done.

He loves you. He’s rescued you. He’s forgiven you. He’s cleansed you. He’s renewed you. He’s restored you. He’s equipped you. And He sends you out, already complete in Him. Live now in response to what Christ has done for you. It’s a settled deal. Isn’t that wonderful?

Don’t make an idol out of the opinions of others. Live free. Live whole. And Love well.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory (Romans 5:1-2).

~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.

 

June 01, 2011

Performance for Acceptance vs. Obedience because of Love...

Heleadsmepic Greetings, my 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 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog. It's time to announce the winner for the month of May: 

And the winner is...Kathleen Martin. Congratulations, Kathleen! Please email me your mailing address at: [email protected] and thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and insights. 

Yesterday on Live the Promise we had a great time talking with author and Pastor's wife, Becky Harling about her new book, Freedom From Performing: Grace in an Applause-Driven World. *Listen to yesterday's show, it was excellent! Yesterday's Show

 Anyway, we talked about how often fear, insecurity, pride, and the need to people-please drive our decisions and stress out our lives. When we feel the need to perform for others, we miss out on an opportunity to see God do His best work in and through us.

The other day my husband offered to refill my coffee cup. As he walked away I thought about his motivation for doing so. I know why he did it. It's because he loves me. We've been married 26 years. He wasn't trying to impress me or gain special favor with me. He already has my heart. And I have his. I wouldn't have even noticed if he didn't offer to fill my cup. He just did.

That's the kind of relationship Christ wants with us.

If you think about it, to mix fearful or prideful striving with our efforts to please God, is sort of like (or maybe a lot like) mixing grace with the law; something the Bible tells us not to do. Read this great passage from the Message paraphrase:

What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work. So I quit being a "law man" so that I could be God's man. Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20-21).

Oh, to know this Love. Because then, the Bible says, we will be filled to the fullness of God. As we meditate on the love of God, He takes our cup and fills it. To overflowing. He fills our cup so that we'll have much to give away to a world in need. And we give and serve and love because we've received this and more from Him. We're loved and we love.

Perfect love casts out fear. Knowing He is God is the remedy for striving. Stillness in His presence reminds us that we are His. Obeying and serving and giving because we already have His love brings great joy to His heart.

What's the name of that worship song: Lord, you have my heart. And I will search for Yours. Let me be a pleasing sacrifice... 

May we stop striving to rescue our identity and start responding to God because He has already established it. Yes, Lord.

~Have a great week!

April 19, 2011

God is Present...

Breakthrough Sunrise

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. Every 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 you might win a jolt of java for you and a friend!

Last week I had the privilege of interviewing Matthew Barnett on my show (founder of The Dream Center). Let me tell you, if that interview doesn't stoke your fire, your wood might be wet! :) I was so motivated, so inspired after that show, I'm pretty sure you will be too. Listen in if you get the chance: Matthew Barnett Interview

Now on to my topic...

Recently I've been acutely aware of how God is deeply interested in His people and how He sweetly shows up in the small places of life. Last Saturday morning we met with our home group in a friend's basement. Just us and four other couples. Our friend Al strummed a guitar and led us in a very simple time of worship. We didn't sound great, but we all love Jesus and it was an especially sacred time. I looked around the room at the faithful saints in my midst. Each of them had a tattered Bible open in their lap. Each of them has a long history of following Christ wholeheartedly. 

These men and women fear God and walk humbly with Him. They've offered Him their lives and as a result, there's a ripple effect of Redemption in the lives of those around them.

Though the rest of the world did not know we gathered together last Saturday, God did. Scripture says that God is present in the company of the righteous (Psalm 14:5).

God is in the nooks and crannies of life, ministering through His saints in small places, one at a time, two at a time, one small group at a time, one mission team at a time, one youth group at a time. 

And from a distance, these people and teams seem inconsequential in the whole scheme of things. It’s easy to wonder, “Does it really matter if I take a team to minister to a people no one knows about?” "Does it matter if I stop to help someone with a flat tire?" "Does it matter if I pick up the phone and pray with a friend?"

It does matter and God engages with us as we engage with others. The Kingdom of God has come and is coming – one seed a time, one trip at a time, one team at a time. He is present in the company of the righteous. He’s at our meetings, on our trips, weaving Himself in to the fabric of our lives, our faith, and our memories.  Think about it: our memories of God's involvement in our lives strengthens our sense of identity in Him. 

I pray you'll never underestimate the power of one life lived for God - your life. Singing songs in the car with your children, smiling at your husband when you'd rather not, caring for a stranger who needs your help - all of these random acts of kindness are noted by God and He is right there with you. He is present with us because He cares so deeply about the people He has made in His image. 

To quote lyrics from my friend Sara Groves, "It's a little stone, it's a little mortar, it's a little seed, it's a little water in the hearts of the sons and daughters, this Kingdom's coming." (Kingdom Comes from her 'Add to the Beauty' album)

Press on in His Name. May His Kingdom advance in and through you! 

Bless you this week!

 

December 01, 2010

Make Room For Peace This Season...

Marvel

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! 

It's time to announce the winner for November. Drum roll, please...

Nena Harvath, congratulations! Please contact me through my website and send me your mailing address and we'll get the gift card out in the mail to you (PS - you must claim your prize before I announce next month's winner). Blessings to you and thanks for stopping by! 

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 morning 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 thereby making 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

September 28, 2010

Wise in Your Own Eyes?

One Morning  

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! It's time to announce the winner for September (where did the month go?):

Vanessa Anderson, congratulations! Contact me through my website and include your mailing address and we'll get your gift card in the mail within the next two weeks (you need to claim your prize before I announce next month's winner). Blessings to you!

As most of you know, I have a new 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

You won't want to miss this Saturday's show. My guest is Rebecca Nichols Alonzo, author of the gripping true story, "The Devil in Pew Number Seven." Rebecca shares her unbelievable story of harassment, trauma, and forgiveness. Don't miss this show! 

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...

Lately I've been hanging around in Proverbs 3:3-10, just meditating on these verses and committing them to memory. As I prayed about this week's blog post, one verse repeatedly came to the forefront of my mind:

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil (verse 7). 

As I pondered this verse, thought through it a bit, and asked the Lord for clarity, this is what came to me: To be wise in our own eyes is to trust ourselves, to believe in ourselves (apart from God), and to rely on ourselves. In essence, it's to say, "I've got this." 

We are far too easily impressed with our efforts and are quite quick to rely on our own understanding of things. Especially when the wisdom needed involves our area of experience.

Now hear me correctly. It's okay and normal to feel a certain level of comfort with things we know. But where we get into trouble is when we find ourselves impressed with our own wisdom; when we feel pride over our own experiences; and when we allow what we know to define who we are.

Think about it. The devil got himself kicked out of heaven because he shifted his hope from God to himself; in essence he declared, "I've got this."

When our kids were growing up we earnestly taught them that pride was one of the worst attitudes they could embrace (because it was the very thing that sent the devil hurling from heaven). 

The Bible reminds us that we can do nothing of substance apart from Christ. And anything done apart from faith, is a sin (we should tackle that scripture one of these days). We cannot please the Father unless faith is present.

In other words, our core belief should not be one of "I've got this" but rather, "You've got me, Lord." Whether we know our way around a topic, or we find ourselves in over our heads, we can humbly declare, "You've got me, Lord. In all things, in all places, in every circumstance; in small offerings and abundant ones, in easy tasks and heroic feats, You've got me, Lord. I live to please You. I am thrilled that You carry me. And I don't want to breathe a breath of life without You in it. I'm so grateful that You've got me." 

 The rest of the verse reads: Fear the Lord and shun evil...

We fear the Lord by giving Him His proper place in our lives. We honor Him, respect Him, listen to Him, and trust Him. And we shun evil by putting giving the devil his proper place in our lives - under our feet. We refuse to entertain thoughts that elevate ourselves or our circumstances above the One who holds us every minute of the day.

And the next verse reads: This will bring health to your body and strength to your frame. 

Powerful stuff. We could spend weeks on this passage, no?

Have a blessed week and may the Lord fill you with wisdom from above! A wisdom that He owns but entrusts to you, knowing you'll humbly steward it well; giving all of the glory back to Him.

~Until next week...

April 27, 2010

Shut the Door!

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. For the months of March AND April I am giving away away a gift card and a couple of copies of my new book, "Growing Grateful Kids" so leave a post, share an insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a fun treat this month!

It's time to announce the winners for April:

$10.00 Gift Card goes to: Pam Carlson - Congratulations!

Copy of 'Growing Grateful Kids' goes to: Nicole H.

Copy of 'Growing Grateful Kids' goes to Katherine Miller

Please email me with your mailing address and we'll get your gifts in the mail! ([email protected]

One more fun piece of information:

Post a review of my new book, "Growing Grateful Kids" on Amazon and enter to win a 4GB I-Pod Shuffle! 

Now on to my topic...

This morning I posted these words on my Facebook page: 

Joy Stealer: Looking for man's approval when you already have God's abounding love and acceptance.

You'd think I would know by now not to allow myself any deep introspection on Mondays. Let me explain. During the fall and spring seasons I do a lot of speaking on the weekends. And really, I've learned - for the most part - not to look inward too much on Mondays. As I rule, I typically guard my thoughts, refuse to look over my shoulder, or obsess over what I could have done or said differently. And really, for the most part, that's just what I do. I look ahead. I work out. I catch up on things around the house and on my computer. And I thank God by faith for how He moved at the event. Then I go on to pray for the women I just spoke to. All of these things keep me focused forward on the things God has given me to do for that day.

But...every once in a while, someone says something that gets in or takes me by surprise, and like a little rat that wiggles its way through the smallest crack in the door, fear and self-awareness finds its way in where faith and God-awareness reigned. I hate it when that happens!

Thankfully, though, it doesn't take me as long to get myself back to the place of peace and assurance. Even so, that door should never be open. You know the door I'm talking about: the one that leads to your value and acceptance as someone who belongs to God. Yes, people will reject and betray us, but they still don't have the power to diminish or decide our value. Right?

Read this excerpt from my book, "The Uncommon Woman"

Giving people easy access to dethrone our identity and devastate us is not healthy. Deep in our souls there must be an inner chamber where only Jesus resides. It's  in that place where Jesus sits on the throne of our lives. By His very presence there, we are made, and continually made whole. He has already decided our worth, so it must never be up for grabs again. Since we belong to God, we can rule in the midst of our enemies (See Psalm 110:2). Some people are just plain mean; and others, misguided. We can be kind to these people but we don't have to let them (or their words) in. Others might be on to something when they point out our flaws, but if they possess no fear of God, we must confidently leave their presence and bring ourselves before the Lord. In that safe and holy place we confess our sin, admit our need for more of Him, and then throw ourselves on the mercy of heaven's court." (p. 111)

God knows our frame. He doesn't forget that we are human. But He loves us still. And His Son paid an exorbitant price to save us. Our worth is a settled issue.

It's just true. We all need to be reminded of this from time to time. We all have days when the cold winds blow that door open and leave us vulnerable to the lies of the enemy. But every day, may we identify ourselves with the Lord, as His very own. Every day, may we embrace His love as the defining factor of our lives. And every day, may we turn and love others in the way that He has loved us, because we can.

Until next week~