Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Godly Smack Upside The Head

Wow... today I have found myself completely in awe because I have just been smacked upside the head by the One and Only! Let's explain... I haven't written for the past couple of days simply because I have let life get too entirely hectic for me to handle, and above that I've let Satan himself start making his way into my daily routine. I wasn't getting into the Word or spending enough quality time in prayer with the Lord... and I began to feel an overwhelming sense of "I can't do it." You know what I'm talking about - when life seems to get so hard that you simply can't do it. When Satan is attacking so much that it feels like you just might fall over and croak!

Well sweet things - I'm here and so excited to show you how the Lord's Godly smack has helped me today (especially in the last few hours). As I was reading through different daily devotionals I found an excerpt from my favorite author, Beth Moore, which clearly prescribed my Biblical medication for going through hardships - actively giving thanks.

Here is the devotional:


Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-25

Today's Treasure: "Thank [God] in everything - no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks; for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). (Amplified Bible)

One way to fortify our lives from sin is to live lives of active gratitude. Dissatisfaction is a stronghold waiting to happen. An unsatisfied soul should never be ignored. Ongoing or chronic feelings of dissatisfaction are waving red flags that need to be well inspected. Such feelings may mean something vital is missing, and we need to seek God without delay.

Other times, nagging feelings of dissatisfaction can be little more than the byproduct of living in such an overindulged society. Think about it. Countless millions of dollars are spent annually by advertisers whose only goal is to convince Americans that we are not yet satisfied. Since our hearts are deceptive in their natural form, sometimes our feelings are telling us we're less satisfied than we really are.

How can we know the difference? Apply the phrase Paul supplied us: "Be thankful and give thanks." Active gratitude will cure self- or society-induced dissatisfaction. Often we know what our problem is . We even know what the remedy may be. If we're going to continue on in our sincere and pure devotion to Christ, we're going to have to start taking the medicine the Word prescribes when we're spiritually feeling under the weather.

Many times we don't have a knowledge problem; we have an obedience problem. Be thankful and give thanks. Do you hear what Paul is saying? Just trying to sit like a thankful-looking bump on a dead log won't cut it. Actively give thanks.

When I'm feeling down or a little like a brat, I often sense God speaking to my heart, "Name 'em, child." I don't even have to ask what He means. He means start naming a mere twenty or thirty of the thousands of ways He's shown His goodness to me. God has had such mercy on my life, I ought to be among the most grateful people on the earth, and that's exactly what I want to be.

God has taught me another way to actively give thanks. He has shown His goodness to me in innumerable ways through other people. I sense Him saying to me, "Give thanks to me first and foremost, but, Beth, I want you to be one of the most genuine and vocally grateful people others know. I have caused many people to show you kindness and help you accomplish your calling. Thank them continually." I am sure the same is true of your life. God is teaching me not just to be thankful for the love and support I receive from my family, my staff, my friends, and my church but to actively tell them.

If our selfish hearts are trying to trick us into feeling a false sense of dissatisfaction, a good strong dose of thanksgiving will cure what ails us! If it doesn't, we've got a more serious issue, and we must diligently seek the wisdom and remedy of God.

Spend time giving thanks to God for the spiritual and physical blessings He has given you.


I love you girls and I hope that this Word has done as much for you as it has for me today! Never forget to seek His face and pray constantly that His Word will jump off the page and right into your hearts!

With Love,
Susan Elaine

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mothers Day in Full Bloom

Hola Girls!!! Today has been insane, but I wanted to stop by for minute and give you an update on the craziness.

First off, I want to show you how proud I am of my Mother's Day gift! (the picture to the right) My mom really wanted to plant climbing roses out by our pool so that they could climb up the fence and become some oh-so-beautiful landscaping. And when I was looking at the roses yesterday morning, I realized how awesome they are - that they will climb almost anything and reach as far toward the sky as they can. Then I realized how much that is like our walk with the Lord and how we should be acting - we should always be reaching higher and trying to do/be our best for Him. How incredible is our God that makes roses that climb! Let me delight you with this - the beginning part of 2 Peter 3:18 says "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." I want to encourage you today to spend a little bit of time each morning looking around and marveling at God's creation. Speaking of creation - is anyone going to Creation this year? We aren't - tear! I'm so sad we can't go, but I will definitely be interested in hearing how awesome it was.

On yet another note... JD, Jenna, and I were in rare form today. You'll see by the picture below just how out-of-control and ridiculous we were. Let's just say that today was the perfect day to go sailing... but we didn't seem to have a lake or a boat... so we made do with what we had!

Please know how much I love you all and will pray for each and every one of you each time I look at this blog! You are a blessing!

All My Love,

Susan Elaine

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Raise the Praise

Hello Darlings! I hope today has been as wonderful for you as it has for me. I woke up today with a little bit of a different outlook on my day ahead, as last night JD and I watched a movie called "The Peaceful Warrior". Now, please know that I wasn't a fan of some of the language they used and there were a couple parts of the movie that I would definitely cut out ;) - but all in all, the movie had a decent message and some awesome quotes. It basically said that if you focus too much on your final destination, then you will forget how you got there... pay attention to the journey. And I got to thinking of how often I do that! I can't count how many times I have been driving to a friend's house, or running a certain path, and when I finally pull in or stop, I can't for the life of me remember how I got there! Our minds get so cluttered with all of the things we have to do, or all of the things that people have said to us or about us, and we loose all of our Godly focus. I want to encourage you darlings to keep focusing on the Lord in every single step of your day. Take a moment every hour or so and look around at where God has placed you. "He knows the plans He has for us" (Jeremiah 29:11)... but we don't often know the plans He has for us because we are too busy trying to finish our own plans. I am so guilty of this! My prayer for both you and myself today is that we are not only blessed by the Lord, but that we can stop and recognize those blessings.
JD and I are particularly excited about tonight, because we are going to be heading to his parents house for a family dinner... and it just so happens that his mom is making our favorite meal - sweet & savory roast! mmmm I am seriously having trouble waiting until 7pm tonight!
As I close up for today, I want to leave you with a devotion, written by Beth Moore, that struck my heart in a major way:

Read Luke 1:39 - 40

*Then ask yourself who you look to for wisdom and advice, and how far are you willing to go to seek council from that one special person?

When Mary found out that she was going to bear the world's Savior... one of the first things that scripture tells us she did was run to her relative Elizabeth, who was also "with child." Now I always knew that this part of scripture urges us to seek council from others who are more mature and farther along in circumstances than we are... It is obvious that the Lord wants us to glean wisdom from others and learn from their mistakes. However, I guess I never realized the lengths that Mary went to in seeking council from Elizabeth. You see, Elizabeth lived fifty to seventy miles from Nazareth - that means that Mary, newly pregnant, had to travel fifty to seventy miles (BY FOOT) just to see her! How insane does that sound, and what a dedicated woman! And then I began to wonder if I, myself would have had the audacity to travel such a distance. I am truly praying that I will have such a desire to know the Lord's plan, that I will travel any length of miles to experience what He has for me & do His good work!

Good evening darlings, until we meet again!

Much Love,
Susan Elaine

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Welcome to Anastasis Agape!

Welcome Ladies... to the launch of our very first Anastasis Agape blog! I am so very excited to share this blog with all of you. I have been praying about setting up a place where all of us ladies can get together and see what the Lord is doing in our lives ~ after all, fellowship is one of our greatest assets. I picked the name Anastasis Agape because when I was in college, there was a women's group that had that very same name and I always loved it. After doing some exploring, I thought that no name could be more fitting for what we are going to embark on ~ the word anastasis means "resurrection" and agape means "unconditional love". This site is all about God's resurrecting love - how each morning His mercies are new and we can experience a resurrection in Christ anytime we want. We will be letting you know of the wonderful things going on in our area, as well as devotions that strike our hearts and sharing our love for the Word of God. Praise God for everything He is doing in the lives of you ladies ~ this is going to be one ridiculous adventure together!

All My Love,
Susan Elaine