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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.



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It costs a lot to use the mechanics at the car's dealer, but it's often the safest option.

Crec que la seva perspectiva és profund, és només ben pensat i realment fantàstic veure algú que sap com posar aquests pensaments tan bé. Gran treball en aquest
seu bloc és molt good.It estava molt ben escrit i fàcil d'entendre. A diferència d'altres blogs que he llegit que no són molt bons. També em va semblar molt interessant teus missatges

Hey daar!Ek is by die werk navigeer rondom jou blog van my nuwe iPhone! Wou net om te sê ek is lief vir lees deur middel van jou blog en sien uit na al jou poste! Hou aan met die uitstekende werk!

Love the vibrant colors! This is awesome

The father tucked I went wallSide, a kite turning it over the wall, will be furious mother and a lot of bothering children all leftBehind.

Tervitused armas sõber! Pakub sulle südamest kallistada alates Bloomington, Indiana ja kaotus oma väärtuslikku isa. Täname, et jagada natuke teda .... ja süda! Oleme keskendudes kummardavad Issanda Selle kuu ja olen isiklikult saanud roomlaste 8 kuus korda viimase nädala jooksul. Kuidas lõbus, et ta on tulnud teid kunagi.

Muy contento de ver tu blog, gracias compartir tantas cosas interesantes. Espero que en el futuro se puede ver el día de publicación más interesante!

Ich kämpfte, um meinen Platz in meiner Familie und meinen Wert des als Mutter, Ehefrau, Schwester und Freundin zu finden, weil ich nach meinen Eltern, scheiterte wie eine Tochter.

Wow, Tina,

What a story, and what a testimony! I'm so sorry for your painful past and the memories associated with those years. May God lift you up and heal and restore you fully. May you see glimpses of His glory every where you turn. May He show you wonders of His love that overwhelm you and make your knees weak. May He put a new song in your heart and a new dream in your spirit. May you walk forward unafraid and full of faith that your future will be far greater than your past. Blessings to you, dear one.


I LOVE that you commented on Tina's comment. That's one of my favorite things to see on this blog...community. I love it. Bless you.

Ooh, I love that, Alisha,

"Lord, love through us that it would not just be us loving out of our own strength but you loving through us in YOUR strength. All for your glory. Amen."

You said it beautifully. Thank you, dear!

You are welcome, Wick.

God's best to you and yours!

You are welcome, Hannah.

God's great blessings to you!


You said it better than I did! Very cool. Thanks so much for your post. You are a ray of sunshine in my life! Blessings to you, dear one!

Dear Stacy,

Bless you for your wonderful post! I don't know if you're a writer, speaker, or a teacher of some sorts, but you ought to be. There's power in your words and conviction in the way you convey yourself. May God surprise you with new open doors of opportunity to share His love and grace. Blessings to you, dear sister!


So nice to hear from you! And I'm so sorry to hear about your mother in law's cancer. May God comfort and bless you all during this time. One thing I will say, God is especially close to the brokenhearted and grieving soul. That is for sure. Oh, how I love Him. Bless you, dear sister!

Dear Beck,

Thanks so much for your sweet words. And what an awesome dream, to adopt a Downs Syndrome child! That's an angelic call and such a beautiful one. May the Lord fulfill the desires of your heart in ways beyond your hopes and expectations. Blessings to you, dear sister!

Your last two posts have been such an encouragement to me. God has burdened my heart to adopt a child with Down syndrome from eastern Europe. It's a God sized dream that will require God sized provision and Holy Spirit eyes. Thank you for always encouraging, even in the midst of your own sorrow.

I pray in your grief that our Father draws you close to his heart, infusing you with his own powerful love.

Greetings sweet Friend! Offering you a heartfelt hug from Bloomington, Indiana and the loss of your precious Dad. Thank you for sharing a bit about him....and your heart! We are focusing on worshipping our Lord this month and I have personally gotten Romans 8 SIX times in the last week. How fun that it has came from you once. God is good. I offer you Habakkuk 3:19. We also found out my MIL has invasive breast cancer the week before Christmas, and God has given us each other to walk these "heights" at this time. Just know, I will be praying for your beautiful heart sister! XOXO Sending Love!

such a powerful message! And it goes against everything our culture is slamming us with...Jesus did NOT play the victim! He was VICTORIOUS! Thank you for this beautiful reminder. God is beginning to deal with me regarding issues of pride in my life, and there is no way to justify holding on to this pride when I look at Jesus..."Who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising it's shame." My pride must go...

I love how Jesus turns things upside down!!! CROSSed out sin. CROSSed out wrath. CROSSed over death. CROSSed the line into Samaria and CROSSed culutural prejudices to make a woman the first evangelist in Samaria...LOVE HIM! I love how your dad reminded you of Him in his focus. What a treasure!

Thank you, Susie! I especially liked this thought: "your circumstances do not define you. God does." AMEN!

Amen to our identity being found, and secure, in our loving creator/Father/God...:) Good reminders, thanks!!

YES! Incredible! As always. Thank you Susie! There is just no better example than Jesus for how to lay down a life, humbly and gracefully and with a pure heart and right motives. When we are operating out of the Spirit we are moved by the Spirit.

Lord, love through us that it would not just be us loving out of our own strength but you loving through us in YOUR strength. All for your glory. Amen.

Tina, I can't help but be moved by your statement of finding comfort in your relationship with Jesus, that he has given your peace and renewed energy to give to your family. Beautiful and encouraging words! Praying you continue to grow and lean into His love!! Couldn't help but comment. Susie...love this post. :)

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