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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!



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Oh yes,thank you for this reminder, Susie. This is something that has been on my heart so much lately. We Christians often think that we need to do some "big thing" for Christ. But, I think all the things we think are the "small things" may end up being the big things in the end.

Last week I had the opportunity to share my testimony with 10 moms at MOPS. Although I am on a team that plans a women's conference for 250-350 women each fall, I felt like speaking at MOPS was one of the most substantial things I've had the opportunity to do for Christ. God was glorified within this small group...and I know women were touched and seeds were planted.

I love the one on one connections I make with women. The opportunities to pray, to share a phone conversation, face to face talk or e-mail. God knows each of us so personally, so I think it's cool to connect with women on that same level.

And it all starts at home with my own family!

Thanks for the encouragement again today...when I needed to be reminded that there is no small thing. You have spoken truth into my heart so many times and I am grateful!

As our family is preparing for a short-term mission trip this summer, there are times when the enemy tries to plant seeds of doubt in my mind. He often tells me, "Look at your children, they are not ready to minister to others" or " What effect are you going to have for the Kingdom of God?"
But the truth is, I know God has those small personal encounters planned for me, my husband and my boys that will forever change our perspective about God: His provision, His power and His intimate involvement in our seemingly insignificant lives. It's as much about God's Kingdom advancing in us as it is about reaching others for Christ.
Thank you for the encouragement to never underestimate one life lived for God! And thank you for your faithful writing which God has used so mightily in my life and so many others!
Blessings, my friend!

Antoinette! Good stuff!! Love it! In one of Susie's Live the Promise radio interviews we were reminded of this:

"The urgent is sometimes a trap to get you away from the important." -Matthew Barnett

Beautifully written Susie, as always! So glad to know you! There is absolutely positively no doubt about it, a ripple effect of ministering happening each time you allow God to use you.

-Member of your fan club for life :)

Susie.. Thank you! An encouraging reminder that God IS present in our daily grind! Every moment is an opportunity, as you mentioned with your random acts of kindness, to shed God's light!! Our kids need that light, our neighbor needs that light, our kid's friends need that light... possibly as much, in a given day, as the hungry in Haiti, or the poor of Pakistan. We can overlook what's in front of us as insignificant for some reason. It is not!! My heart wants to be that obedient disciple for Jesus and that can be done daily if we think of it in this right way. To God be the Glory!!

Lately I've been feeling very busy. I skim through emails to see which ones are most important to respond through. I've signed up to receive a couple of blog posts that were important to me at the time... some of them devotionals. And they are getting skipped because them don't need an immediate response.
When I was skimming through FB, your post jumped out at me so I decided to take a moment to read through it. Then this jumped out at me...
"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."
That picture of all of you together, slowing down to nourish your souls & draw closer to God was a balm to me. What am I offering God? Am I quick to give Him a response as I am to respond to my emails? What effect am I having on the lives around me? Not bad, but I still think I need to slow down a little. ;-)

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