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Archive for August, 2008

Stop!!


Stop!!

Originally uploaded by susan.house

“Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord.”

This was part of a message given to Isaiah over 2700 years ago. The nation of Israel was divided into two kingdoms. The northern kingdom had sinned greatly and the southern kingdom was following in their footsteps.

The answer now is the same as it was then, God. Two of the hardest words to say are: Forgive me; however, no two words cause so much change.

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Choices




Choices

Originally uploaded by susan.house

On my car I have a magnetic sign which reads, “Hebrews 11: 41, By faith, Susan House….” then it gives the address to my blog site. I also have a T-shirt with the same saying on it. This is going to be the title of my program when I start speaking at church groups. Beth Moore in her study “Believing God” pointed out Hebrews 11 was God’s testimony of the faith of each individual listed there. She then asked the question, “If God was going to write a testimony about you what would it be?” WOW!! Before this, I had been asking Him, “If you want me to speak, I need a title for my program.” There it was. My whole program is encouraging ones to step out of their “comfort zone” and go on an adventure with God.

Several weeks ago, my minister’s sermon was based on Matthew’s account of Peter walking on water out to Jesus . His sermon was also dealing with stepping out of our “comfort zone” and doing something for Christ. One of his points was like a bullet hitting me right between the eyes. Now, like you, I’ve read this passage many times over the years and have probably heard ministers use it in sermons more times than I care to remember. However, I had never considered nor had it ever occurred to me before this very interesting fact: Out of the twelve disciples in the boat, Peter was the only one that asked to go to Jesus; even though, he knew Jesus was on the water. What were the other eleven doing? I’m sorry, but had any of you ever considered that one before?

The teaching I like the most is when Peter took his eyes off Jesus and Peter started to sink, Jesus was there with an outstretched hand to save him from drowning. What great comfort it is to know that when I step out of the boat and walk with great faith towards my Saviour, when I become overwhelmed He will be there with an outstretched hand to set me safely back in the boat. Rest assured when He tells you to “Come”, He will also make sure you reach home safely.

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Raging Fire




The Sun Sets

Originally uploaded by susan.house

Every day our world revolves around, is heated by, and receives light from a raging fire in the sky called the sun. Our whole existence depends on the fire it produces. It controls our seasons, our weather, our moods; and, if we get too close we become a planet of ashes, if we get too distant we become a planet of ice. Here, on planet Earth, wildfires have maimed and killed humans, destroyed forests, homes, national parks, etc. However, fires done properly can bring comfort, warmth, joy, protection; i. e., campfires, fires in our fireplaces on a cold winter night, firewalls set to stop wildfires from doing more destruction, and controlled burns to eliminate the build-up of underbrush preventing wildfires from starting or burning out of control. Our faith can also be an instrument of destruction or a means of receiving comfort, warmth, joy, protection, peace….

John the Baptist tells us he was a baptizer of water but there would be someone who follows who would baptize with fire. Jesus himself said He came to bring fire on the earth and strongly wished it were already kindled. At Pentecost the people saw what appeared to be tongues of fire that rested on each of the followers of Christ. Paul warned the Thessalonians “not to put out the Spirit’s fire”. In Hebrews we are told God is a consuming fire. Finally, we are warned by James that even though our tongues are a small part of our body, we must consider the great forest fire it can start.” He goes on to warn us “The tongue is a fire…..it corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

It is only through daily conversations with God, daily reading and studying of God’s Word, and daily seeking and focusing on our Saviour can we keep our fire from raging like a wildfire causing harm and destruction wherever and to whatever it touches. Let’s covenant with our Father and Saviour to stoke our fire with prayer, His Words, and allowing His Spirit to burn in us so we may bring “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” to all those God brings onto our path.

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Man’s Best Friend




Man’s Best Friend

Originally uploaded by susan.house

The last couple of days have been rough. A very dear companion passed away unexpectedly yesterday from an apparent heart attack. You may remember, a few posts ago, me telling you about 2 women, 2 chihuahuas, a greyhound and everybody’s luggage accompanying me on a trip to Pennsylvania and Ohio. His name was Duncan Duncan and he was the greyhound. He was the companion to my Barnabas and sister-in-Christ.

Proverbs 18: 24 says “There are friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” As anyone who owns a dog can tell you, Duncan was truly a “friend who sticks closer than a brother.” There is much to be learned from these friends. It has always been my personal opinion that man’s best friend was named dog because it was God spelled backwards. If we open our eyes, we can see many of the wonderful attributes of our Heavenly Father in these animals. Duncan, you opened your heart ever so gently and ever so wide. You were so patient and brought great joy to everyone who met you. Rest well dear friend !! May we take the characteristics that made you such a good and faithful friend to many, learn from them, and then apply them to our lives. You are one of God’s beloved creations and can teach us much.

Let us each be a friend that “sticks closer than a brother”.

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Dark or Light




Dark or Light

Originally uploaded by susan.house

This was an email I received and knew it had to be shared with all of you.

Malachi 3:3 says: ‘He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.’

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they
wondered what this statement meant about the character and
nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining
silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.


That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an
appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention
anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity
about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over
the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver,
one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where
the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: ‘He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.’

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there
in front of the fire the whole time.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding
the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire
time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, ‘How do you know when the silver is fully refined?’
He smiled at her and answered, ‘Oh, that’s easy –when I see my image in it.’

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire , remember that God
has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His
image in you.

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Hidden Treasures




Hidden Treasures

Originally uploaded by susan.house

Since the first time I sat down and put pen to paper, I have felt terribly inadequate. Unabashedly, I say I am. If I am a writer, the glory goes to God. For some reason, He chose to give me this gift. For five years, I have groaned, I have moaned, I have worried, I have done everything but thank God for the gift He gave me. For five years, I’ve fretted I was doing a disservice to Him. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had my most exhilarating times with Him. When the words have flowed and I know not where they are coming from, I have felt one with His Spirit. All too often we fail to enjoy the gift He has given us. Worse yet, many of us refuse to use the gift(s) He has given us because we know it had to be a mistake.

What changed for me? I opened a study I purchased this week-end and read John 1: 1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God….” I have read this verse many times but this time, one of those lightbulb moments happened. I’m dealing with words all the time and the Word is not only with God but the Word is giving me the words to write. The Word has been writing and speaking since the creation. The Word spoke creation and it happened. The Word spoke my gift into existence and it happened. Praise God!!

Too often we hide the gift God has given us thinking it was a mistake. However, we all know, God DOES NOT make mistakes. We exert great effort and time choosing a gift which will bring much joy to the recipient. We choose gifts we hope the recipient will use often. Once again, He has so lovingly taught me His gifts are the best!! Thank you Lord for the gift You so thoughtfully gave to me!! I pray I use it well and to your glory.

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Resting




Resting

Originally uploaded by susan.house

In Deuteronomy 33: 12 we are told, “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.” What a cool verse. Mothers and fathers the world over would like to be able to shield their children “all day long”; but, as all of us know, that is an impossibility. This is a blessing Moses delivered to the tribe of Benjamin just before his death. As one of His beloved I claim it for myself. Yes, I’ll share with you. (tee hee)

One of the ideas I love about this verse is that as one of His beloved; He not only lets me rest secure in Him, He not only shields me all day long, AND, (here it is, you ready?) but also I get to rest between His shoulders. Now, think about this, if I’m resting between someone’s shoulders, where am I? The only possibility I could determine was to be in HIS EMBRACE. I AM BEING HUGGED BY GOD!!! Does that not strengthen you and excite you??

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