Thursday, December 1, 2011


At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18: 1-4

Papa Elf: "And where do the reindeer get their magic from?"
Buddy: "Christmas spirit, everybody knows that."
Papa Elf: "Well, silly as it sounds, a lot of people down south don't believe in Santa Clause."

Papa Elf: "And every year less and less people believe in Santa Clause. I mean we have a real energy crisis on our hands."
Buddy: "Oh."
Papa Elf: "I mean just see how low the clausometer is."
Buddy: "That's shocking."

The movie, Elf with Will Ferrell has become one of our most favorite Christmas movies. The kids even made snow flakes and paper chains to decorate our living room like Buddy (Elf) does in the movie.

It seems all the great classic Christmas movies have a similar theme, whether it’s A Christmas Carol, A Wonderful Life or A Miracle on 34th Street someone concludes life is better with faith, hope & love.


Even The Grinch decides; “Maybe Christmas….doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

Buddy the Elf epitomizes child-like faith. Of course you know I’m not going to suggest you believe in Santa or even trust the people around you because even the best of them will fail you. However, Jesus said if you humbled yourself as a child and trusted Him you would be greatest in the kingdom. (verse above)

Walter: "So, go on."
Buddy: "Go on with what?"
Walter: "Are... Are you gonna sing a song or something or can I just go back to work?"
Buddy: "A song? Uh, yeah. Anything for you, dad. (starts singing) Um, I'm... I'm here with my dad. And we never met. And he wants me to sing him a song. And, um, I was adopted. But you didn't know I was born. So I'm here now. I found you, daddy. And guess what? I love you. I love you. I love you!"
Walter: "Wow, that was weird."

Buddy has unconditional love for his newly discovered, "daddy", even though his dad rejects him at first, that doesn’t stop Buddy from continuing to reach out to him. At one point Buddy’s brother Michael, says to his dad, "Buddy cares about everyone, all you care about is yourself." So, of course, in the span of just a few weeks his dad has a change of heart just like Scrooge and the Grinch. Things in movies have a way of working out in 90 minutes, but in real life they may take a little longer. So, I say we should love God and those around us and trust God with the outcome. I’ve heard it said you can have JOY, if you put Jesus first then Others and then, lastly, Yourself.

Gimbel's Manager: "Why are you smiling like that?"
Buddy: "I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite."

My quotes came from: Moviewavs

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011


You put the light in me, The Spark, the shot to the heart
You are the hope that leads me out of the dark You let Your love shine down So that the world could see You put the light in me…..Brandon Heath

A number of things in my life recently have put “light” on my brain. First off; Bob and I work in Sparks –it’s a part of Awanas. Awanas is a church program for kids where they have fun (like games and stuff) while learning Bible verses. Sparks are the K- 2nd graders and Bob and I are leaders with the 1st graders. The Sparks are represented by “Sparky” the firefly.

There are many verses in the Bible about “light” These in Matthew usually are the first to come to my mind especially as I think of “Sparks” : You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:14-16 Part of the “Sparks” song says, “We are sparks to light the world…”

In the Disney movie “Tangled” Rapunzel is drawn away from the evil witch who she thinks is her mother by the lights she sees every year on her birthday. They are lanterns released by her parents who are the King and Queen! You can draw the parallel to Christ (our King) sending out His light of the Gospel to us while we are still in the clutches of the Devil.

For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah).However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 Amplified

Last Monday morning I didn’t jog, so I jogged that evening. As I jogged around our circle and was headed home I saw the full moon rising and it was beautiful! I was reminded of how the sun is what makes the moon shine, the moon doesn’t make it’s own light. In the same way, we are to reflect God’s light in our lives. It is said that when Moses went up on the mountain and talked with God, when he came down, “his face shone” (Exodus 34:29) “Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3

Last Tuesday after I picked up Lydia, I took the recyclables. While I was there I met a really neat lady named Joan and found out she’s Ian’s friend's grandma. She invited me to the monthly “Womens Aglow” meeting which was the very next day. It’s a Charismatic women’s group that meets once a month. It was an awesome meeting, I was late but it was still wonderful.I even made it back to Lydia's school just in time to play my flute for the 1st graders music class! There it was again! The reference to light. These women are “Aglow” with God’s Holy Spirit!

I just finished reading a book by Marilyn Meberg that’s called, “Tell Me Everything; How to heal from the secrets you thought you could never share.” It’s about how it heals us when we’re able to confess our sins and bring them to God (and to a trustworthy person) and receive God's forgiveness. This is step 5 in the 12 steps, by the way and I know many would not agree with this but the 12 steps are in the Bible and they are for EVERYBODY! We are all powerless over the sin in our lives and we all need to surrender to Christ because He is THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN SAVE US! Not just any (inferior, little, FAKE) “higher power” will do!

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. John 3: 18-21

These words from a “Tenth Avenue North” song come to mind:
Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won't disappear

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Sparks will fly as grace collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don't fight
This coming light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us “Healing Begins” –

Marilyn Meberg talks about Lazarus and says, “Breaking out of our tomb means repenting of our sins. The key to an abundant life in Jesus is to open up our grave of secret (and sometimes not-so-secret) sins, confess them, talk about them, repent of them and let the redeeming light of His love burn away the infection they have caused.”

But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18

I have a journal I got at Hobby Lobby called “Everyday Blessings: Spiritual Refreshment for Women” It has a short note on every page on different subjects. I was just at the page that was titled, “Righteousness” It had the verse above (Proverbs 4:18) Then it said, “God knows where you’re going. As you journey on the road towards God’s purpose and plan for your life, the light of God’s love grows brighter with each step, bringing you closer and closer to Him. The more you know Him, the more quickly you know His will and His ways and can more assuredly step out in faith towards His righteous cause. Your steps are sure because your path is well lit with the goodness of God. You’re on the right path.” I thought that was pretty awesome because it was like “just for me” God can also speak directly to you in any way He chooses. He knows who you’ll listen to, who will grab your attention. The question is: ARE YOU LISTENING? DO YOU WANT LIGHT? OR DO YOU WANT TO STAY IN THE DARK? THE CHOICE IS YOURS.

The word “Light” is in the Bible almost as much as the word, “Peace”! Here are a few of my favorites:

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. Genesis 1:3

Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle. Psalm 43:3

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

The people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD And rely upon his God. Isaiah 50:10

He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him. Daniel 2:22

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. Matthew 6:22

Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. Matthew 10:27

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:4-5

From November on my Mary Engelbreit calendar and it says on the bottom, THERE'S A CRACK IN EVERYTHING-THAT'S HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN. LEONARD COHEN

Here's some other posts about the opposite:
 Trust Him in The Dark
Whose Afraid of the Dark?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Visiting Mom’s

Yesterday’s Facebook status: Dad; “All my stuff is out of there now. It’s all painted, there’s new flooring, it doesn’t look like the same place….” I had a good conversation with him but he was oblivious to my tears! I can no longer return to “Mom’s” :-(

In that mysterious place between wakefulness and dreams I found myself at Mom’s. “It’s not different at all” I thought, “It’s exactly the same!” I walked in the door, there’s the sofas the same way, same carpet, same china cabinet, my senior picture on the hallway wall next to Becky’s , Chris’ and Jon’s. The irony about that was; they were hung there when they moved in the house in ’95 before we lost Paul (2002), Tim (2005) and Mark (2006)- there were just us four left hanging there. Tim and Paul had photos hanging on different walls in the house- Mark rarely got his photo taken, though.

All the sudden I hear a familiar voice, “Sue, can you come in here…I want to talk to you.” My heart skipped a beat, “Mom!” I wanted to give her a big hug, but was unable. “Not yet, Susan, we’ll be able to do that later.” Mom was in the kitchen baking, a wonderful aroma rose from the oven. “Mom you look great!” Kinda like looking in a mirror, she was younger looking than I had remembered ever seeing her. “Yeah, I’m finally at my goal weight!” “And your baking!” “Yes, lemon Meringue pie” “Ohhhh my favorite”

“Mom why am I here?”
“God thought you needed some reminders…..Susan, you will always remember our house, it doesn’t matter that it’s different now….You would not believe the places I’ve been up here!”
“Where have you been?”
 “Europe, South America, Africa, New Zealand….”
“Really Mom?”
“Yes, and different times also, Susan…..the house in Sunland the way it was when we lived there so long ago…Tim, Mark, Paul and I went there last Christmas.”
“Wow Mom really?”
“Susan, this Place is awesome you really have no idea, you wouldn’t believe all the things I’ve been doing! I didn’t go to Europe with Dad but I went with my Dad!”
“Really Mom?”
 “Yeah and Tim, Mark and Paul came too. We had a great time!”
 “Grandma didn’t go?”
“She already went and you know she was always a ‘home body’”
“Is Grandma's house Here too?”
“Of course, every place is Here.”
 “Wow, that’s cool”
“So Mom what do you think of Ninnette?” (my Step Mom)
“I think she’s great…that’s why I picked her.”
“You picked her?”
 “Well, I guess that explains a lot” Mom smiles.

“So do you have any more advice for me Mom?”
 “Yes, I do….Remember what you write, Susan, you have to ‘live it’ also, otherwise it’s useless and it’ll all burn up”,
 “Like in I Corinthians 3?”
 “Exactly…and Susan don’t give ALL your secrets away. Sometimes Jesus even said to people, ‘See that you tell no one’”
“OK Mom. I’ll try to do better”
 “Don’t ‘try’ Susan…trust…trust Him…He won’t steer you wrong…He wants you to have victory, remember that. He has some great plans in store for all of you”(Jeremiah 29:11)
“That’s great to hear, Mom, Thanks and Happy Mother’s Day!”
“And to you too Susan”
“Bye Mom!”
“Good bye, Susan, we will see you again!”

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


From A Man Called Peter by Catherine Marshall

There was the story about the delightfully naughty little boy who squeezed toothpaste in neat zebra like stripes across the back of the dozing cat, then added insult to injury by shaking all the apples off the trees in the orchard, and whacking off a sleeping barber’s hair.
In the movie cartoon from which Peter derived this little gem, the boy was required to go back and put everything right- and did. “But” said Peter, “in real life, boys and girls, you can’t do that. Life has certain finalities. You know, you can’t fasten apples back on a tree and make them grow. There is nothing quite so final as the barbers’ scissors. And say, have you ever tried to push toothpaste back into a tube? It just can’t be done. I’m a Scotsman, and I ought to know! It’s just the same with the unkind things we say about each other. You can’t take them back. All we can do is ask Jesus to forgive us. Then ask the person to whom we said the unkind things to forgive us, and try never to say them again. But the best thing is not to squeeze the tube in the first place!”

Friday, April 22, 2011

OneRepublic - Secrets

I think this is like my THEME SONG! Sick of all the insincere? Me too! :-)

Friday, March 25, 2011

William Barclay on the Bible

A short post- just a great quote- for a busy busy month. Ian, Claire, Lydia and Bob are playing soccer and Bob coaches Lydia's team.
I still have to find time for Bible reading- devotions- and prayer because I've learned that it is ESSENTIAL if I even hope to be successful at this "Christian" thing, I can't do it on my own! I gotta have God! I gotta have His word! I gotta pray to be filled up with His Holy Spirit! I still mess up...frequently, just yesterday, last week.....etc. But I'm pressing on and improving which gives me hope!

I was reading this morning in William Barclay’s “Daily Celebration”; “The Book Which Leads To Truth….It is only in the Bible that truth is clearly revealed and clearly seen….The Bible gives us the true view of man….There is no book so realistic as the Bible….the Bible clearly sees man’s high destiny and man’s sad failure; and then the Bible goes on to say that the cure for the situation lies alone in Jesus Christ….The Bible gives us the true view of the world…In parable after parable Jesus shows us the world as the testing ground for eternity….The Bible gives us the true view of God….There was a time when men were terrified of God. But then there came Jesus Christ to say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John14:9); and men saw that above and beyond all else God is the lover of the souls of men.
Any thinking man is bound to ask three questions: Who am I? What kind of world is this in which I live? Who and what is the power behind the changing scene of things?
If a man will turn to the Bible, he will find these basic questions answered – and answered above all in Jesus Christ.”

I decided to add this poem I wrote to this post:

God Bless this Pile of Books

God bless this pile of books dear Lord,
Of the writing of books there is no end,
I have books on child rearing, marriage, history,
Some fiction I have is pretty gory,
Someone said I should read more holy books,
But I haven’t finished my story,
There are books that tell me how to cook,
How to clean and declutter my little nook,
Books to tell me how to diet,
“Here’s a new one, you should try it.”
I tried to sort them out and then,
The kitty jumps up,
And they all fall down again!
Once I piled them up abit,
On my clock radio just to sit,
The strain was just too much for it!
Stanley, Joni, Joyce and Chuck,
I want to read them all,
But they’ve written way too much!
Then there’s the ones who have gone on,
Peter, Catherine, Murray, Oswald, Tozer,
All their races have been won,
Surely they can teach me while I’m still here,
How to run my race with out fear,
So many books, so little time!
Much study is wearisome to the flesh,
But Solomon I love reading best!
Some day I’ll reach that heavenly library,
I’ll see my brother, Mark up there,
And we can read for all eternity,
Until then I’ll muddle through,
The Great Author will tell me what to do,
What should I read, Lord?
“The one on top” He answers me,
It’s still the best,
It still beats all the rest,
I can use it as my sword,
For it is Your (One and Only) Holy Word!
Seek after wisdom and you’ll find,
God will show you how to use your time!

But about going further [than the words given by one Shepherd], my son, be warned. Of making many books there is no end [so do not believe everything you read], and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Ecc. 12:12 (Amplified)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

He Loves You Snow Much...More

Last Friday I answered a letter; It was from my new step mother (she is not “legally” my step mother- they just had a “ceremony” with their pastor). In it I told her many things I don’t believe she knows. One thing I said was that my Dad doesn’t know how to love me. I told her how God has helped me through that in the past and how He continues to sustain me. I told her about the trials my Dad and family went through in February of 2010. These things happened partly because of bad decisions made by my Dad’s church, my Dad and because of a novice con-artist. And my Dad had got mad at me? Me? I live 2000 miles away and had nothing to do with it! It hadn’t even been a year since my mom passed away (April 2009)- once again (as this has happened before) my family sunk into anger, confusion and chaos. It was the week of February 7th and it was about the worst week I’ve ever had in my life! (it’s definitely in the top ten!)I would talk to my sister and we’d both work ourselves up talking about this “problem” and what to do about it----- but there was nothing we could do! “Let go and let God” By the week-end I was so aggravated that I “unfriended” some of my dad’s “friends” on facebook (After all THEY got him into this mess, it stands to reason THEY should get him out) Then I stopped answering the phone and instructed my family to do likewise- my sister didn’t call anyways- I think she was sick of talking about it all too.

Then that Sunday it snowed! It was beautiful and we spent the day playing in the snow with our kids- (all but Teddy who was playing in the snow at the University of Georgia).That was February 14th. I said (in my letter) to my step mother that it was like God saying to me, “I’m sorry your Dad doesn’t know how to love you Susan, but I love you” That’s good enough for me! Then on Monday (January 10, 2011) God told me again (with this ice storm) and now I realize that He says it to me everyday…like when my husband, Bob or my children say, “I love you”, when He answers my prayers, when I get what I asked for for Christmas (or my birthday), when I spend an evening playing “Taboo” with the family and laugh so hard that I cry, when I hear a song or read something that speaks to me personally– even when my dog wags her tail and my cats purr…’s all God saying, “I love you.”

I rediscovered an old book of my mom’s in November (2010), it’s called, “Letting God” and it was written by A. Philip Parham. It’s a devotional with an entry for every day of the year. One of the first one’s I read was from November 17th; Mr. Parham tells the story of Mr. Kline; “He was a sad, sorrowful sort who felt that no one, especially God, cared for him. One Sunday he walked by a church and heard the words to an old hymn; ‘Saved by grace alone, this is all my plea, Jesus died for all mankind, and Jesus died for me’
When he heard the third line, ‘Jesus died for all mankind’ he thought he heard, ‘Jesus died for old man Kline’ He shouted ‘Why that’s me!’ Stopping in his tracks, he went into the church, accepted Christ’s special invitation and love, and became a Christian.
Whenever we feel a special and personalized call or prompting from God, it is no mistake. Individuals are brought to salvation one by one, and each encounters and then embraces Christ. Mr. Kline heard correctly. Jesus died for each unique individual. His love is reserved for each of us. Our recovery from addiction depends on believing that our Lord truly loves us, each one, with a special kind of attention that fixes on us- as if we were all that mattered.”

In my 2007 Christmas letter I wrote on the theme of “Love” and things that had happened to me that year: “I rediscovered my old weight loss seminar (The Weigh Down Workshop) this past spring and lost 20 lbs. I was dismayed to find out, however, that the founder has turned this weight loss seminar into a cult! Gwen Shamblin has strayed from her initial focus of loving God (instead of food) with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, to legalistic rules and coming out from all other churches (where her classes used to be taught!) to her church because she thinks it is right and all other denominations are wrong.” What I didn’t say though, was that Gwen Shamblin was “into” asking God for “signs” – even though in Mathew 12 Jesus says, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign.” He does not say, however, that He won’t give a sign. There are many places in the Bible where God gives His people “signs”. But there are also many warnings about them, like in Matthew 24:24 Jesus says, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Bob and I were recently sharing with someone how Christians are supposed to, “test the spirits” because everything that is really “supernatural” is not from God. (I John 4:1) The Bible says that Satan can transform himself to appear as, “an angel of light” (I Cor. 11:14) So we, as Christians need to be especially careful because we can even be deceived! With all this in mind and my doubts about Gwen Shamlin and her new church, however, I said a crazy thing to God. Since Gwen’s questions to Him were always about Him showing His personal love to her, I said, “God, do you love me as much as you love Gwen Shamlin?” He answered me with a Matthew West song I heard on K-Love : “Susan” He said to me, “I love you MORE”

“…I'm always thinking of you, Take a look around you, I'm spelling it out one by one…I love you more than the sun And the stars that I taught how to shine You are mine, and you shine for me too, I love you yesterday and today And tomorrow, I'll say it again and again I love you more….”
Ironically or rather Providentially next Sunday is “Snow day” in Awanas; One craft idea I had seen before is “Jesus Loves you Snow Much”

To read Part 2 of  "He Loves You Snow Much...More" go to my May 27th post (2011):
The Warrior Princess