He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. - Colossians 1:15-16

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thoughts & Reflections…As the Day Begins

John 1:1-5
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 

For those who say that Jesus Christ was only a man, a prophet, a teacher, or another way to salvation you have to bypass what the Bible says about who Jesus is. 

In the first verse of the Gospel of John, Jesus is declared as the Word of God, He was with God and is God.  In the original Greek, the word God refers to the Godhead, trinity:  God the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit. 

What difference does that make to me in my daily life, in my everyday world?  Shouldn’t I know what the Bible says for myself, and not merely listen to other people’s thoughts and opinions?  After all, I’m the one who will have to give an account before God when I die. 

I wonder if sometimes I fail to read God’s word because I know that God will confront me in my sin.  When I’m confronted, then I have a choice.  A choice to obey, repent and turn and do what God commands or choose to go my own way and suffer the consequence of sin and disobedience.  In my foolishness I may think that I can plead ignorance.

It’s so easy to see the “big sins” like murder and adultery as wrong.  Even unbelievers know those things are wrong.  But unless I know God’s word, unless I am washed by the word daily…I will get lazy or willfully choose to sin and walk my own way and sin will creep in.

Exodus 20:1-20
 1 And God spoke all these words, saying:
       2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
       3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
       4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
       7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
       8 “ Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
       12 “ Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
       13 “You shall not murder.
       14 “You shall not commit adultery.
       15 “You shall not steal.
       16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
       17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

May I let the Light of God’s Word shine in the dark corners of my life and expose sin.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit may I comprehend what God says in the Bible.  May I choose to live in light of eternity and the certainty that one day I will have to give an account before Holy God.  May my sins, though as scarlet, be cleansed white as snow by the precious blood of the Lamb. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Lavish Thanksgiving


O Lord
For abundant blessings
I give You thanks and praise

For the comfort of Your Presence
The gift of Your Son
Your Holy Spirit within

For the Bible where truth resides
The gifts of prayer and praise
Freedom to worship with Your saints

For the gift of salvation
Amazing grace which You lavished on me
Through Jesus Christ my Lord

Susan Bunts Wachtel
November 19, 2010

I am grateful for so many things this Thanksgiving Day 2010.  First and foremost I am thankful for my God and Savior Jesus Christ, the gift of salvation and God’s grace lavished on me through His marvelous incomprehensible plan.  I’m grateful that God has sealed me with the Holy Spirit of promise. 

I am grateful to live in a country where I am able to exercise my freedom to read the Bible, worship with the saints, share the Gospel message and pray.

I’m thankful to God for His provisions to my husband Chris and me…for family and friends, good health, a home, jobs, our beloved pets and so much more. 

This year it seems more imperative that I give thanks to God for His abundant blessings.  I’m mindful that it’s not because I deserve anything.  Rather than focusing on the gifts, may I focus on the Giver.  While everything else may fade away or be taken…my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can never be taken.  I am firmly held in the grasp of His hand. 

What about you?  What are you giving thanks for this Thanksgiving Day and to Whom?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cutting Pain

Each day she put on the mask of a smile
To hide the pain she bears

But if you look deeper
Her dark eyes reflect a bruised soul

Her pain is well disguised
Hope has all but disappeared

As she picks up the razor blade she reasons
Perhaps an outward cut will relieve the inner pain

Somehow a visible scar generates more compassion
Than the emotional wounds within

With each cut her inward pain is given a voice
If only someone will listen to her cry

Susan Bunts Wachtel
November 17, 2010

Dedicated to those who are hurting, whose cries for help have gone unheeded. 

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Random Acts of Praise by the Opera Company of Philadelphia




Thank you David from Pilgrim Scribblings for sharing this wonderful worship by the Opera Company of Philadelphia performing the Hallelujah Chorus at Macy's.  My goodness...it is spectacular and brought tears to my eyes.  Praise His Holy Name!

After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!  For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.”  Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!”  And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!”  Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!”  And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!  Revelation 19:1-6



 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Without Christ

Without Christ
No peace
No hope
No truth
No future
No meaning
No purpose
No direction
No strength
No assurance
No foundation
No absolutes
No justice
No restraint
No shelter
No protection
No fortress
No salvation

When I see the brokenness of people’s lives all around me…I marvel how they do it.  Life is hard enough though I know God.  Yet, I have strength, peace and assurance that comes through having Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

How do people without Christ get through life?  How did I do it for 32 years?

I thank you Lord that I don’t have to get through life without You.  Keep me close Lord Jesus…right by Your side. 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Michael W. Smith - Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

Slave

I am a slave of Christ
Once on the slave market of sin

I was ransomed
By my Master’s own blood


Formerly held captive by sin
I’ve been set free to obedience

Chosen and purchased by the Master
I am not my own

He is the Sovereign Lord
My will conformed to His

I am a slave of Christ
Doulos now considered His friend


By Susan Bunts Wachtel
November 6, 2010

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Feedback on Voting

One of my Facebook friends, Gary Hannasch took the time to comment on my post about voting.  Thank you Gary for your thoughtful response.

From Gary Hannach:  Those who don't vote are a major part of the problem too!  It's just as bad as if they had voted for the opposition party!

Amen Gary...I agree 100%.  It's hard to understand why people don't exercise this amazing freedom we've been granted in our society.  People around the world...would love to come to our country and know the value of freedom and participating in elections because they don't have that freedom.

Yet so many of our fellow countrymen and women neglect that responsibility.  When we end up with government officials they don't like...they should have no complaints because by not voting they defacto voted in the people they don't like.

Living in a pocket of conservatism in Orange County...I feel like my voice doesn't amount to much in a very liberal state.  But I give an account to God for all that He's given me...including participating in government and making my voice heard in elections.  I don't understand why Christians don't vote their values.

In some cases it amounts to laziness and not making the time to do so.  But since we have the option of voting via absentee ballot...that's not a valid excuse.  There are plenty of resources to help people better understand the bills they are voting on and to know more about the various candidates that are running.  

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Giving Thanks…Voting

In light of the recent elections I was reminded at how grateful I am to live in a free country and that I am able to exercise my freedom to vote.

In the United States the right to vote is a privilege and responsibility that is taken all too lightly. 

Lord, let me always be mindful of the sacrifice of our founding fathers and the men and women who have served this country, fought and even laid down their lives so that we might be free. 

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Giving Thanks…Faithful Preachers

To those who know me…it’s no surprise that my top list of things I’m thankful for relate to God and His word.  Continuing on in that same vein I thank God for pastors, teachers and churches that are committed and faithful to preach and teach the full counsel of God’s word.

I have been abundantly blessed by God to sit under pastors who have been gifted by God.  Pastors who diligently study God’s word so they can feed and care for the flock.  They strive to present the bride of Christ, the church, as holy and blameless, sanctified and set apart, holy and dedicated unto Him. 

Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.  For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. – Acts 20:26-27

Pastor Philip De Courcy

Pastor Chuck Obremski

Pastor John MacArthur

Pastor John Piper

Oneplace.com


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Giving Thanks…Word of God

As I reflect on the many blessings from God…one of the most important is the Word of God. 

The Bible is God’s revelation given to man…it is God breathed.  Through reading God’s word I can know the mind and heart of God.  Because God is so far beyond our comprehension…I can study the Bible for a lifetime and never fully know God…barely scratching the surface.  In the scriptures God has revealed Himself, His will and His good and perfect plan for our lives.  In the Bible God has given us truth…He has given us light to drive out the darkness. 

Through the word of God, I learned of the Father’s plan of salvation offered to me through His Son Jesus Christ.  Through the reading of God’s word, the Holy Spirit corrects, convicts and encourages me.  I am washed and renewed through the study of God’s word. 

I can hold a Bible in my hand without fear of persecution and I praise God that I have been educated and am able to read God’s word for myself.  Through the Holy Spirit I can understand the Bible.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12

Giving Thanks…Salvation

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to take some time each day and give thanks to God for the many blessings that He has lavished on me. 

First and foremost I am thankful to God for my salvation that He freely gave me through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  Jesus paid the penalty for my sin.  He bought me off slave market of sin…He ransomed me paying the bill in full with His own blood.

It’s amazing to contemplate that before the foundations of the world were laid that God the Father chose me…the wretched, sinful, unworthy person that I am.  He set me free.  Free from the penalty of sin, free from the power of sin and one day I will be freed from the presence of sin.   Hallelujah…what a Savior!

How about you…what are you most thankful for?