Monday, September 29, 2008

Bible Study Tonight!

Hey girls! I am so excited for Bible study tonight! God has been working left and right in our little town and it is so refreshing to hear it straight for the horses mouth (and i do mean you!) haha-just kidding!

Before I head off to get ready for tonight and finish my last minute readings... I wanted to leave you with my daily devotion from Miss Beth herself - this one really spoke to me!

Wholehearted Devotion
Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 28:9-10

Today’s Treasure: “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9).

David’s words to Solomon apply to us in every area of potential success. David gave his son three vital directives we would be wise to obey:

Acknowledge God. Acknowledging God first thing every morning transforms my day. I often begin my day by reconfirming His authority over me and submitting to Him as Lord in advance of my daily circumstances. I try to accept the words of Joshua 24:15 as a personal daily challenge: “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” When I fail to begin my day by settling the matter of authority, I am often a mess by noon! Remember, any day not surrendered to the Spirit of God will likely be lived in the flesh (Gal. 5:16-17). Spiritual living does not come naturally—sin does. The first step to victory is acknowledging the authority of God in our lives.

Serve Him with wholehearted devotion. The Hebrew word for “wholehearted” is shalem and means “unhewn, untouched stones.” In the Old Testament shalem often referred to rocks that were uncut.* Notice something quite interesting about the temple God commanded Solomon to build. First Kings 6:7 tells us, “In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.” Do you see the significance? No stone could be cut in the temple. The uncut stones represented the kind of devotion God was demanding from His nation—Shalem, wholehearted devotion, uncut hearts. David was used of God to describe shalem perfectly in Psalm 86:11: “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me and undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”

Do you have a divided heart? Or does God have a piece of your heart, but the rest belongs to you? Or someone else? If you’ve given your heart wholly to God, perhaps you remember a time when your heart was divided. A divided heart places our entire lives in jeopardy. Only God can be totally trusted with our hearts. He doesn’t demand our complete devotion to feed His ego, but to provide for our safety. God uses an undivided heart to keep us out of trouble. David learned the price of a divided heart the hard way. He lived with the repercussions for the rest of his life. Let’s just take his word for it and surrender now! Never forget, God’s commands are for our good.

Serve Him with a willing spirit. The Hebrew word for “willing” in this reference is chaphets, which means “to find pleasure in, take delight in, be pleased with, have an affection for; to desire; to choose; to bend, bow. The main meaning is to feel a strong, positive attraction for something, to like someone or something very much.”* Do you see what God is saying? He wants us to serve Him and honor Him because we want to! Because it pleases us! Because we choose to! You see, the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts! Hear the beat of His tender heart as He says, “Choose me because you delight in me!”

Many motives exist for serving God other than pleasure and delight. God wants us to serve Him with a willing spirit, one that would choose no other way. Right now you may be frustrated because serving and knowing God is not your greatest pleasure. You may be able to instantly acknowledge a divided heart. Your question may be, How can I change the way I feel? You can’t. But God can. Give Him your heart—your whole heart. Give Him permission to change it. The words of Deuteronomy 30:6 have changed my life and my heart. “The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live” (Deut. 30:6).

I pray daily that God will circumcise my heart to love Him. I know we will never be men and women after God’s own heart with halfhearted devotion. A heart wholly devoted to God is a heart like His.

My God, I praise You because You are the same God today as You were when David was king. You still desire wholehearted devotion from Your people. I pray to acknowledge You and submit to You daily. I pray to serve You with wholehearted devotion. Please show me where my heart is divided and make it whole again. Finally, I pray to serve You with a willing spirit. Please purify every motive I have for serving You. I pray these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sweet Dreams!

Hey girls! I must get to bed, but I just had to get on really quickly and let you know what a blessing you are to me! Life would be so much harder without you - know that you are loved deeply by not only myself, but also by the LORD who created the heavens and the earth! Oh how awesome is our God!

-All My Love

Sunday, September 21, 2008

God Is Your Guaruntee

Hey there ladies!

I only have a few moments before we head out off to church, but I wanted to check in with you this morning and leave you with my morning devotion. Right now, we are doing a womens Bible study called Believing God by Beth Moore... and our purpose is to increase our faith so that we might be closer to Him and better servants of His! It is such a wonderful study and I think this morning's online devotion that I do fits with the theme perfectly. Check it out and let me know what you think:

What is the Basis of Your Faith?
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 55:8-9

Today's Treasure: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

Do you ever tire of riding the roller coaster of faith? We can exercise our faith in God one of two ways. One leaves us at the mercy of life's constant ups and downs. The other is the key to steadfast faith—the way off the roller coaster to begin walking with God and practicing a faith that can't be "greatly moved" (Ps. 62:2, KJV). Every believer falls into one of these two categories on the basis of her answer to one simple question: do you base your faith on what God does or who He is?

A person with faith based on what God does lives by the unspoken motto: I believe God as long as He does what I ask. Her faith is built on how often and how well God answers prayers. Such "faith" depends on results and is fueled by sight.

Faith in what God does is your ticket to ride a roller coaster that ascends the hill during times when God's activity is obvious and then barrels down the hill the moment God seems inactive. The process never stops.

What is wrong with basing your faith on the obvious works of God? on what He's doing? Aren't His works wonderful according to His Word? Absolutely! Isaiah 55:8-9 says, " 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.' "

What about those times when God does not work according to your requests or expectations? What about those times when He obviously allows your loved one with cancer to glorify Him through restoration in heaven and not on earth? What happens to your faith when a child dies? If your faith is based on what God is doing, you are in for the scariest ride of your life.

We will rarely be able to perceive God's actions, though they will always and ultimately be wonderful. They are beyond our earthly understanding. In the times when He seems inactive, He may be accomplishing more than ever! You see, a "what God does" faith is really not faith at all. Although it is focused on God, it is still born in the realm of the obvious, or that which is seen. The faith of the faithless says, "If God is not obvious, He is obviously not God."

Genuine faith, which is based on who God is, walks steadfastly with God for the pleasure of His company, not for His results. God does not call upon us to seek His works, but to seek His heart!

Why is faith based on who God is a faith not greatly moved? Because it focuses on a God not greatly moved! It increases our understanding of His ways. Prioritizing Who He is will help us more accurately interpret what He does.

We must prioritize who God is over what he does for another crucial reason. Hebrews 13:8 says Jesus Christ does not change from day to day. You see, what God appears to be doing changes constantly from our perspective. He may heal one person while He calls another home. He may be glorified in the poverty of one and the riches of another. He will likely exalt you one year and humble you the next. Our entire lives are lent to change. But who He is will never change. As He reveals Himself to you, His heart remains the same. In the midst of a society where the only thing you can count on is that you can't count on anything, God is your guarantee. His faithfulness flows from who He is. To please Him, our faithfulness must do the same.

Lord, search me and show me whether my faith is based on what You do or who You are. I want to have genuine faith that pleases You. I praise You, for You are worthy of putting all my hope and faith in. In Jesus' name, Amen.

I love you ~ Keep trucking along in your faith!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Compulsory Praise

Hey Girls! I changed up the blog look... and I am so interested on what you think?

Some Spiritual Food For Thought From My Daily Devos:

Compulsory Praise
Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 7:17-29

Today's Treasure: "How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears" (2 Samuel 7:22, NIV).

Have you experienced a time when you were so overwhelmed with both the person of God and His actions in your life that you simply had to praise Him? Imagine for a moment the emotions coursing through King David when, after years of struggle, he found himself seated on the throne in Jerusalem with rest from his enemies all around. Then Nathan the prophet delivered the message that God would bless not only David, but also his children. He must have been overwhelmed. No wonder he "went in and sat before the LORD" (2 Samuel 7:18) and poured out his heart. In a wonderful and expressive portion of Scripture, 2 Samuel 7:18-29 records David's response to the promises of God.

Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said:

"Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign LORD, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant. Is this your usual way of dealing with man, O Sovereign LORD?" (2 Samuel 7:18-19, NIV)

Few Scriptures allow us to dive into the depth of his passionate soul more deeply than this prayer. While others were prone to wander, David was prone to worship.

What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Sovereign LORD. For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant. How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears (2 Samuel 7:20-22, NIV).

Have you ever responded like David? Have you experienced a time when someone told you something you knew was an answer from God, and you wanted to run as fast as you could and sit before Him? Moments like those represent an indescribable intimacy in your relationship with God. When those moments occur, you can't even explain how you feel. You can only go and sit before Him.

When I am overwhelmed by something God has done for me or said to me, I often find that I have to sit a moment and wait for my heart to write words on my lips. Sometimes I weep for awhile before I can begin to speak. David might have done the same thing. So intimate were the words God spoke to him through Nathan that he left the messenger's presence and went straight to the One who sent the message.

"Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?" I have asked the same question more times than I can count, but not for the reasons you might assume. Yes, for reasons I will never understand, God has given me opportunities for ministry in this season of my life, and I praise Him for that. Yet the moments that most often move me are extremely intimate and private. Because they are so personal, I will probably never share in a testimony some of the most wonderful things God has done for me. What David was feeling was not about grand positions; it was about personal petitions. We each have countless opportunities to be overwhelmed at the goodness of God on our behalf.

Every now and then we enjoy a moment void of doubt and full of mystery, when we're overwhelmed with humility yet stunned with possibility. Moments when we realize with every one of our senses that God stands alone. "No one—no mate, no child, no preacher, no teacher, no ruler, no principality - no one is like You." Nothing is quite like suddenly realizing that nothing is like Him.

Almighty God, You stand alone and I praise you. Thank You for the goodness and kindness You show man. Your love is better than life. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Stay in the Word.
Stay in His presence.
Stay blessed.

I love you Ladies!

~Susan Elaine

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

5 Things...

Hey Ladies!!! I found this on a friend's sight and throught that it was so cute! (*Also, I found some amazing things in 1st Timothy last night that I can't wait to share when I have more time!) Until then... check this out:

5 things under $5 I couldnt live without:
post-it notes
black pens
lip gloss

5 favorite movies
father of the bride
the notebook
how to lose a guy in 10 days
the fox and the hound

5 life changing moments
the day i accepted Christ
getting baptized
the day we hiked the glacier in Alaska
when JD asked me to marry him
when I peaked Mount Redcloud (14,037 feet baby!)

5 baby names i love

5 songs i love
father will you come - unhindered
lead me to the cross- hillsong united
mighty to save - hillsong united
the word is alive - casting crowns
sea of faces - kutless

5 current obsessions
the archeological study bible
Beth Moore
dark brown hair (haha - there is a reason for this :)

5 places i want to go
New zealand

5 appliances i could not live without
hair straightener
curling iron
hair dryer
^^^do those count?? :)
washing machine

I love you ladies!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Take a hike Ike

Hey ladies... I just wanted to ask really quickly for you to all pray for those who are in the path of hurricane Ike. It hit last night and as I'm watching the news, there was obviously a lot of damage done. Some of my favorite Bible teachers live in the Houston area... as well as many of my friends. If you could please keep them in your prayers! I know that Beth Moore and Living Proof Ministries is located near Houston... Ron Luce and teen mania are also located in Texas (closer to Dallas, Fort Worth area)... and Joel and Casey Johnson as well. Please keep them, and Texans in general in your hearts and prayers!

I love you girls! Keep me posted on how I can be praying for you!

With All My Love,
~Susan Elaine

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Hello Darlings! I hope your day is going amazingly well ~ I am praying for each and every one of you who take time out of your day to read this blog! I love you all!

I was doing my morning Bible study and I just had to share with you a part of the study that we are doing. It is a Bible study called Believing God by Beth Moore. In the study, she talks about our faith and how a good way to reassure you faith every day is to always be looking for ways that God is showing His glory in our every-day lives. She calls these "moments where you notice God" GodStops (yup, one word).

Every morning I do devotions on my back patio. It is such a beautiful sight! The sun shines through the trees and the birds go crazy and it feels like God is painting a new picture for me every day. Here is a pic of what I look at every morning:

I want to encourage you girls to spend time, 5 minutes will do, each morning praying that God will rule over your day and that the two of you can get closer as each minute passes. Sometimes it seems so hard to get up and do devotions in the morning... we convince ourselves that we are more awake at night and will have better quality time with God in the evening. And although that may be true, I urge you to start off your day with God at the front line. And try your hardest to look for GodStops during your day... it is overwhelming how much He really is present in our lives!

I love you girls!

~Susan Elaine

Friday, September 5, 2008

Vaca Pics

Here are some of the pictures from our fabulous vacation to Deep Creek... as promised!
I love you girls ~ please keep us in your prayers!