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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Endings & Beginnings



As I look back over this past year, I’m asking the Lord to reveal to me what I did right so I can keep on doing it and show me my failures so that I can learn and not repeat them.  


I find that there are many things I’m grateful for:

  • I’m grateful for my heavenly Father who planned from before the foundations of the world to save me from my sin.
  • I’m grateful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who willingly laid down His life to pay the penalty for my sin, so that could be forgiven of my sins and be made righteous by the precious blood of the Lamb.  
  • I’m grateful that my hope and promise of an eternity spent in heaven is not based on my worth or righteousness, but on the fact that I am in Christ and I’m a new creation.
  • I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit who lives within me.  That He helps me to grow through the study of God’s word and prayer.  That He restrains me, because like Paul this side of heaven sometimes I do the things I don’t want to do and don’t do the things I should do.
  • I’m grateful to have the Word of God to read for myself.
  • I’m grateful for the resources that are available today to help me know God’s word, from Bible website, Bible studies that are available online, and bloggers who share what they are learning on their faith journey.
  • I’m grateful for prayer, to be able to come before the throne of God in confidence and present my requests to God.  To be able to intercede on behalf of others.  To have friends and family be in prayer for me when I’m going through a trial.  



  • I’m grateful for Kindred Community Church and our pastors and teachers including Pastor Philip De Courcy, Doug McAllister, Mark Bundy, Dave Dunn and Dave Doyle and the many others who dedicate themselves to the study of God’s word so they can faithfully teach each week.  I’m grateful that through the power of God they persevere through trials and depend upon God to be their Shield and Defender.  
  • I’m grateful for Community Bible Study and our teacher Patty Bivens, a woman called and gifted by God to teach the word.  She is faithful to study each week so that she can share and accurately handle the word of God.  I’m grateful for her humility and willingness to be open and transparent.  I’m grateful for my discussion leader Hap Brandon who encourages me as I study each week.  As she leads our group she calls on all the women to share what they learned from the study.  There are times I learn as much from the discussion as I do from studying the passage myself.


  • I’m grateful for my husband Chris.  I remember all too well living life alone for many, many years.  It’s wonderful to have good man who is loving and caring, hardworking and giving.  He is strong when I am weak.  He helps make life fun and brings a balance and perspective that I never had before.
  • I’m grateful for friends and family who care and are there for us and sharing their own lives with us.  
Trip to Louisiana











  • I’m grateful for our vacations that we took this year including a trip to Louisiana to see my sister-in-love Carol and brother-in-love Ron.  They made our trip so special and we got to see amazing sites in their state.  I still love looking at the pictures from our trip to Louisiana.  We had a wonderful trip as we drove up the coast to central California and stayed in a lovely place called the Back Bay Inn.  We saw the amazing beauty of God’s creation.
Trip to the California Central Coast











  • I’m grateful for our kitty cats Rudy and Junior; they make life a little sweeter and warmer.


  • I’m grateful that each day is new and fresh and allows me a new beginning.
  • I’m grateful for the home God has provided us with.  This year when I was off work for back surgery I especially enjoyed it.  I was able to sit in the backyard for my prayer time and watch the birds coming to eat at our feeders and drink from the bird bath and dripper.









  • I’m grateful that both Chris and I are gainfully employed for companies that are stable.  I don’t want to take that for grated these days in light of how many people have lost their job in this stinky economy.  I don’t want to be presumptuous and think that because I have a job today, that I will have one tomorrow.  That causes me to be mindful its God who provides and be dependent upon Him.
  • I’m grateful for Valerie Sinex and the staff at Wild Birds Unlimited in Yorba Linda.  It’s a treat going to the store and visit.  Valerie is so sweet, loving and caring to both people and birds alike.  
  • I’m thankful for the sermons and conference messages that I hear, online or via podcast, including John MacArthur, Joel Rosenberg, Kay Arthur, Anne Graham Lotz,  John Piper, Voddie Baucham, Dave Rolph, Beth Moore, Family Life Today, Family Talk and Focus on the Family
  • I’m grateful for a warm bed to sleep in each night and hot and cold running water.  In reality that is a huge thing that is so easy to take for granted. 
  • I’m grateful for God’s daily provisions.
  • I’m grateful to be able to participate in Blogging for Books, Book Sneeze and Tyndale Blog Network; to be able to read new books and give a review.  It’s both fun and a challenge.



Those are just a few of the things I’m grateful for as I reflect on this past year.  I pray that I will have a grateful heart in 2012 and live each day through the grace and power of God.


Happy New Year to you and your family.  


Monday, December 26, 2011

Fresh-brewed Life – Take a Pass





I was excited at the prospect of reading Nicole Johnson’s book “Fresh-brewed Life”.  I had seen her at Women of Faith and hoped to be inspired and touched by her book as I had been by her dramatic performances.


My expectations were soon dashed as I worked my way through “Fresh-brewed Life”. The book is about the work and changes Nicole made in her life to help her overcome her painful past.  However, I didn’t connect with the author and found it a chore to finish reading the book. 


Instead of offering something fresh and new a “Fresh-brewed Life” is filled with secular psychology and has a little bit of scripture thrown in for good measure.  God seems to be another resource to help fill our needs rather than the One Whom we worship and give an account.   


What I found most troubling is Nicole’s views didn’t align with scripture at times.  The most grievous example is on pages 58 and 59 where she describes and encounter with a woman who came to speak with her at a conference.  Sandra came and asked Nicole to pray for her because she was having an affair.  Nicole shared some of the details on what drove this woman to have an affair.  At no time during this exchange did Nicole tell this woman that what she is doing is wrong before God.  Instead she asked Sandra to tell how this man made her feel and counseled her that she needed to better understand her longings and take them to God.  At no time were the words sin and repentance mentioned.  The saddest sentence in the book, “I don’t know what happened with Sandra’s marriage or whether or not she ended her affair with Jerry.”  


“Fresh-brewed Life” is not entirely without merit.  I liked the chapter on friendships.  There were a few things throughout the book that were insightful.  However, overall the author seemed very self-centered instead of Christ exalting and off base scripturally.  Therefore, I do not recommend this book.  


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thank you Troops & Veterans



Wishing the men and women of our military and their families a very Merry Christmas.  I thank you for your service to this nation and for the sacrifice that you and your family make so that we can remain a free country.


Thank you Lloyd at Solid Rock or Sinking Sand for sharing this tribute to our military.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You Shall Call Him Jesus



Mary, a virgin conceived a Child
By the power of the Holy Spirit

Joseph a righteous and compassionate man
Decided to end their betrothal privately

Then an angel of the Lord appeared 
Commanded Joseph to fear not

Take Mary as your wife
That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit

She shall bring forth a Son, you shall call Him Jesus 
For He shall save His people from their sins

In this, the Lord fulfilled the prophesy of old
Isaiah 7:14

A virgin shall conceive a child, and bear a Son
His name shall be called Immanuel, God with us

Then Joseph awaken
Did as the Lord commanded 

He took Mary as his wife and did not know her
Until after the birth of her firstborn 

The virgin born Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit
His name is Jesus for He shall save His people from their sin


By Susan Wachtel
December 21, 2011

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.  19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.  20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” 


22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:  23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” 


24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,  25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son.   And he called His name JESUS. - Matthew 1:18-25

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The God Margin


It’s time to step out
Face impossible circumstance
Dare to be out numbered 450 to 1
Stand and see what the LORD will do
When the trumpet blows
Enemies will flee and victory is certain
In the God margin


by Susan Wachtel
December 11, 2011


So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands.  Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried, “The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!”   And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled.   When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the LORD set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath. –Judges 7:19-22

Friday, December 09, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Color This Week Over

Color this week over, I’m glad it’s done.  It was a hard week, a challenging week in many ways: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  It left me feeling blue.  I did some wrestling with God this week in prayer.  There were tears shed.  I wondered if my prayers did any good.  It seems I pray and pray and pray, but it comes to naught.  Right about then God does a big work in the life of someone I’ve been praying for.  It kind of feels like a poke in the chest and God saying, “See I hear your prayers and I do answer them, but in My time frame and according to My plan.” 

After struggling with prayer today, I realized that it was the enemy trying to discourage me.  When I got a hold of that…I prayed those faithful prayers, that Lord willing He will answer.  Especially the prayers for the salvation of my family and friends, Lord willing.


This post is being linked to 5-Minute Friday, where you simply write for 5 minutes without worrying if it's right or not.  

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Daughter of the King

My precious one
You are a daughter of the King
Too often you forget Whose you are

I bought and paid for you
With the precious blood of My Son
Adopted you as one of My own

When you go out into the world
Remember you are My ambassador
To a lost and dying world.

Go forth in My strength, not your own
Sow My peace where there is discord
Show My lavish grace and mercy to all, just as I did to you

When you feel overwhelmed
Remember you can do all things
Through Christ who strengthens you

I never meant for you to do this alone
That’s why I gave you a guarantee
The Holy Spirit of promise Who resides within you

Wash and nourish your soul each day
Through the reading of My word
Stay in constant communication with Me through prayer

Remember dear one
You are a daughter of the King of kings
A daughter of grace


Susan Wachtel
December 3, 2011


Dedicated to the sons and daughters of our heavenly Father who sometimes forget Whose they are.