Sunday, 14 February 2010

"Be Fruitful"

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:5 NIV).

Have you ever taken a close look at a pepper? It’s just amazing how many seeds this vegetable carries! It is not just a vegetable; no it carries in itself again so much potential to multiply of its own kind. After I made this discovery I decided I would collect the seeds, dry them in the sun and transplant them with much expectation into good ground.

I made a similar observation with my ivy plant in the bathroom. Ever since I have given it once a week a cup of water it has been growing non stop. It has grown in all directions and so I had to cut it a little. I put the branches into a container with water to allow them to grow roots. After a week or so they were ready to be transplanted into good soil. I have repeated this procedure already three times! But the story continues: I bought some pretty flower pots and so now I am going to transplant the ivy and give it away as a gift. Indeed, the story continues and so isn’t this is a good picture of being fruitful?

You too can be very fruitful like this pepper or ivy, because the seed that you carry is godly: it is Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Through Him you will be brought to a purposeful life again! As you remain in Him, and He in you, you will be inspired and begin to see a wonderful multiplication. Do not despise the small beginnings, take what the LORD has given you and use every opportunity to sow into the lives of others in love. Your joy will be made complete because your actions will bring glory to the Father in Heaven, and you will be called a disciple of the Most High.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

“I Give You Insight”

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13 NIV).

I recently made an interesting observation as I noticed that one of the positive side effects of snow falling to the ground is that you get to see the steps of a human being or an animal that was walking around your house.

As I stepped out one morning to shut the garage lights off, I saw that an animal had approached our house. I saw which course it had taken and I had to chuckle a little. With the snow lying on the ground there was no hiding anymore, I could see now very clearly what kind of steps it had taken. It was the same with the mail man. I didn’t have to go outside in the cold weather to check the mail box anymore. From inside the house I just had to look for the footsteps on our porch to see if he had come yet or not. Thanks to the snow I was able to receive these insights.

What is far greater than these prints in the snow is of course that God offers you the Spirit of Truth that guides you into all truth. As you open yourself up to Jesus know that whatever it is that you need to know, trust that He will reveal it to you. He will give you insight and He will also expand your insight. What an amazing God we serve, that He would choose you and me to confound the wise of this world with His insight. And that’s the truth.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

"I Long To Be With You"

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden" (Genesis 3:8 NIV).

Isn’t that just true that animals have a natural fear of man! I mean you just know it if you approach for example a bird that it will tremble and fly away from you. But you know what; in my hometown our wild animals are surprisingly friendly.

I recently went for a walk in the park and met with the squirrels. I observed a couple that was running around and chasing each other. It was funny to watch them playing and enjoying their fellowship. And then they suddenly realized that I was there too and so they approached me with much curiosity. They came so close to me I could have touched them. And so I decided to sit down on a bench for a while and see what they would do. And sure enough one of them even jumped up and came so close to me. It brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart that this wild animal would want to be close to me and give me a chance to observe it so closely. That’s strange, I thought, these animals have practically lost their fear of man, because they had been fed all these years. So each time they see man they remember what they had done for them and little by little they gain confidence.

This is such a good picture of our relationship with the Heavenly Father! He desires so much for us to approach Him with this love and interest for Him. He wants us to get close to Him and for us to long for Him. Through the fall of man we have learned to hide from God, but this was not the original plan. No we were created for an awesome and unique communion with the Almighty One. And so Jesus Christ laid down His life for you, paved the way and gave you access to the Father.

I encourage you to daily take this opportunity to approach your heavenly Father. See and experience the Fathers delight and pride in you. Then you will understand His longing for you and you will find peace for your soul.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

“You Were Created In My Image”

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27 NIV).

I am not a person who knows much about art, but let me tell you what I experienced recently. I went into a local art gallery to talk to the owner about something. As I was waiting with a friend of mine to speak to him, we walked around the gallery and had a look at all of the pictures that the owners wife had been painting. I was so impressed to see how versatile she was. Not one picture was the same. One of the pictures really caught both of our eyes and attention. Below this particular picture was another one which was the exact replica of the one hanging above it, just a little bit smaller. I observed and compared both pictures carefully and I thought, “Why does she paint two identical pictures?” I was puzzled until my friend revealed to me that the larger picture was the original and the smaller one was a lithography, a truly excellent copy of the original. I was totally amazed; I could hardly believe it was true because for me they looked just the same: in color, canvas, frame, just in everything.

That morning I couldn’t help but think about Jesus, our Original. When people see you and me, do they right away think about Jesus? Can you imagine that your actions and your nature would just automatically speak about Jesus and point to Him? God’s heart yearns for the children of God to be revealed in such a way! I tell you, reflect His image to the world and you will start winning people for Jesus! It’s as simple as that and it is how you are going to bring in the harvest in the most powerful and authentic way!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner


“Be self- controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering” (1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV).

The winter in Iowa was extremely rough. Although I grew up in Switzerland, the weather here in the Midwest caught me by surprise and I had to get used to the extreme weather conditions. One day I thought I could leave my house and walk down the road without a cap on my head. Within 5 minutes my ears were nearly frozen stiff. Also in my home I often had to protect myself by wearing warm clothes, woolen socks, and blankets. For months it seemed I had gone through much adaptation and change. And then one day in March I stepped outside well armed with a warm coat, gloves and a shawl and what happened? At once there was such a pleasant temperature in the air and I didn’t need this protection anymore. I was suspicious at first because I had been so alert all the time. But it was true, I didn’t need this protection anymore, and I tell you, that was such an awesome relief.

It is a fact that as believers we stand in a warzone. We need to wear our spiritual armor all the time and fight each day battle after battle. We resist and overcome our enemy by the blood of the Lamb. We get used to this lifestyle of a warrior very much like I did with the weather conditions. But there is this place in His presence where you can come freely and let go of your weapons and leave your armor behind. This is a realm where you can fellowship with the LORD Jesus Christ in absolute freedom and security. I pray for you, you mighty warrior of the LORD in shining armor. May you be always drawn to come back to that place of rest after a battle and spend time with your wonderful King.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

“I Will Bring Back To Life”

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:26 NIV).

I have to tell you quite an amazing story which will make you believe that with God all things are possible.

Back when I was living in Switzerland I bought a pricy Swiss watch which I just treasured. After a few years however, to my great disappointment it stopped working. The jewelers in Switzerland told me that I had to send the watch to the original manufacturer and they quoted a repair cost of $ 400.00. Because of this unexpected expense my husband and I had to decide against the repair.

And so I put my watch in the drawer and there it remained for about 1 1/2 years. I had lost hope that this watch would ever be working again.
Then shortly before Christmas of 2009 my husband told me that he had an incredible gift for me. “I would never guess what it would be” he said. “It was too great, too amazing and too wonderful for me to imagine” he added. I stopped trying to figure out what it could be. Then Christmas morning arrived and I opened my present. There was my most beautiful Swiss watch brought back to life! I held it in my hands and had no words on my lips but just cried and cried. My husband knew how I missed my watch and he made a way to bring it back to life. Our local jewelers here in Iowa made it possible and charged my husband in the end only for a new battery and not for the repair.

This story reminded me so much of God’s love and that with Him all things are possible. He will open the heavens for you and He will shower you with all of His goodness. I encourage you today to put your trust in Him and to know in your heart that He means it so well with you.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Monday, 8 February 2010

“I will reward you.”

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised”(Hebrews 10: 35 -36 NIV).

I was doing some hard working in the yard that day. My job was to rake all the old leaves from the lawn, from the flowerbeds and from underneath all the bushes that I hadn’t collected last fall! I prayed that I would be able to do this work with a good attitude and that the LORD would give me some sort of meaning to all of this. And of course He did!

And so as I was scraping all the old leaves from the top of the flowerbed I saw something so beautiful. There from underneath I saw a little green something that was springing forth out of the ground! Ah yes, of course, the wintertime was over. And so this little surprise made all my hard work worthwhile because now I understood why I had to rake. I had to make a way for the flowers to come out. It finally all made sense to me.

Perhaps you are in a situation which doesn’t make much sense to you. Perhaps you’ve worked hard and lost all of your joy. You know what? The LORD knows about your situation and His desire for you is that you can walk in joy and hope all the time even in tough times. The truth is that He will always reward your perseverance. So just stay close to Him, press through and don’t forget to share your thoughts with Him. Just hold onto Him and sure enough you will receive your reward.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

“He Watches Over Your Life”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”(Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

One morning I was thinking about a particular plant, a basil plant that my husband and I had planted a while back. We were staying at a hotel at that time, and one of the amenities that the hotel offered was that we could plant a seed in a small container. So on this particular morning it was as if I was taken back in time to when we planted this seed. Now as I looked at the basil I was just so thankful to see such a wonderful growth. Over the last few months I had watched it. I remembered wondering when we planted the seed, if it would make it at all. It did! It grew steadily. Day by day it slowly pushed its way through the soil. At first the leaves didn’t look like basil at all, but now sure enough it does! It smells like basil and it looks like basil. Every morning I had gone out to our green room to inspect its growth. I would water it, take care of it, place it in the sun and make sure that it would grow under the best possible conditions. You know, very much like a proud parent.

Anyway, whilst I was pondering about this basil and my heart was filled with such gladness, the LORD spoke to me about His children. “Even before time was”, He said, “I was thinking of you”. “When you were in your mother’s womb, I was the One that formed you. I watched over your coming into this world and I am the One that is concerned about your life, your growth and your well-being. I am the One that takes good care of you and I will lead you through your life so that the plans I have spoken over you will surely come to pass.” So rest now in this safe assurance today that your wonderful heavenly Father, the awesome Great I AM, definitely holds your precious life in His hands. Hallelujah!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

“I will strengthen you.”

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”(John 15:5).

It was such a nice and warm day and so I decided to take a walk to the nearby park. I had missed my walks a lot and because our winter was so cold, I had to wait for the spring to come. I was so glad to be back and to see the squirrels and the geese again and to enjoy the nature. Whilst I was walking on my routine path I observed the beautiful trees. I stopped at a very remarkable tree and made an interesting observation. Next to this huge and strong tree I saw a shoot that was growing alongside. I noticed that it was not growing independently, no it was somehow drawn to this tree and clung onto it and it was impossible for me to break it loose. I thought if this shoot had grown all on its own I could have pulled it out of the ground easily and I also would have been able to bend its small branches. But this shoot had grown so close to this tree and had become so strong by clinging to it that it actually became one with it.

And then the LORD explained to me that apart from Him we are weak, but when we cling to him, we become extremely strong. We grow close to Him and there is nothing, absolutely nothing that can separate us from Him. He is our refuge, our protector and strong tower. So whatever you are facing in your life know that by clinging onto the LORD you will grow close to Him. You will become one with Him and you will discover that your true strength lies in Him alone.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

“God’s Great Eraser”

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2 NIV).

I have to share with you a little secret about myself: I don’t like to make mistakes. It’s better now that I am a believer, but on and off I still struggle with forgiveness.

Today the LORD showed me a powerful truth:
I was recording some of my devotionals at the local radio studio. My Christian friend, helper and sound technician at the studio does the mixing and the optimization of the recording. He has all the great tools, software and hardware to make me look really good.

So today as also in recent recordings I made some mistakes while I was speaking into the microphone. I either spoke the wrong words, paused too long, or my tongue just didn’t properly form the word I wanted to say. But do you know what? I can make as many mistakes as I like! Ken will always be able to fix them! He is so patient with me and all he wants to do is to make me sound really good all the time! He just goes back in the recording, erases or corrects a word, or just wipes out a pause that was too long.

Very much like Ken wipes out all of my recording mistakes, you have a godly eraser! It’s Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God that shed His blood and took away the sins of the world. Today He wants to reassure you that He will always forgive you for any past, present and future sin. Bring to Him your failures and experience the freedom and relief that comes from knowing that your transgressions have been truly erased by Him. This is the starting point where you can rise up once again and be restored to everlasting joy.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

“I Am Your Helper”

“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1 NIV).

I am going to tell you a story that I am sure you can relate to: Being a helper to my husband I find myself often doing the following: My husband would say to me “Honey, I am looking for my sunglasses. Have you seen them? Can you help me find them?”

We had the exact same situation yesterday. My husband had misplaced his sunglasses and just couldn’t find them. I have to be honest with you, I don’t like looking for things, I don’t find any pleasure in it, and besides that, I just find it a waste of time. Anyway, to save time I prayed in my heart and said to the Lord “Lord please show me where the sunglasses are – please!” I got a very quick impression of a guitar case. I followed that impression right away, went to the car, opened up the guitar case and to my great great joy I saw the sunglasses. I said to my husband “Isn’t the LORD just so good? Now this is a miracle right there, isn’t it!”

Isn’t He just a great God that helps us in times of need! Perhaps you are also somebody that often is looking for their sunglasses or house keys like my husband. Perhaps you need some help with writing a letter or finding a job. Whatever it is, rest assured that the LORD wants to be your helper. Although He is the great I AM, the Maker of heaven and earth, there is no situation or aspect that is too unimportant or too insignificant to Him. All that He wants is to be involved in your life. So, do you want to see more miracles in your life? Then give him your hand and allow Him to help you. You will be amazed to see “how much God” is in your life!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

I Am In Control.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”
(1 Peter 5, 6-7 NIV).

It had been such a rough day to say the least. And this not being enough already, we came home only to see that my husbands laptop, that came back from the repair center that day had lost all it’s data. After hours of talking to the computer specialist over the phone and somehow getting nowhere, my husband was so exhausted. He eventually said to me “I don’t know what to do anymore.” With the little hope he still had, he made one last phone call and spoke to another IT specialist. It was arranged that the specialist took control over his laptop all the way from India. She was sitting in that office in India whilst we were in our home in the U.S. We watched her moving the cursor on our screen and working on our problems. It was such a fascinating thing to watch her and with her calm and friendly voice say to us “Do not worry. I am taking control now.” Not only did she have an extraordinary expertise, she had such a gentle character and her words simply allowed us to rely on her and sit back and watch her taking control of everything.

This is what the LORD has for you too! Are you having some problems that you cannot fix by yourself? Do you need God to intervene on your behalf? I encourage you to give all of your concerns to the LORD. Then watch Him take over and solve them for you. After all, He is still the great I AM and He deeply cares for you. He wants your life to be carefree. So will you allow Him to be your hero?

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Sunday, 7 February 2010

“I Am The Transformer”

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).

I have never seen such an intense transformation taking place in the fall season like it does here in Iowa, Northern America. This is just such an amazing play of colors and I really stand in awe as I marvel at God the great Creator. These colors are so intense and shine so brightly that I sometimes think I need to put on my sunglasses!

What amazes me the most is that when the leaves lose their color they don't just get brown, die and fall to the ground. No, before they die they actually transform from the ordinary green into an excellent bright red, radiant orange or intense yellow. This season has become my absolute favorite one.

The LORD spoke to me about these leaves and said that He wants His children to display this same kind of glory that is excellent, radiant and intense. It comes from the inside out and this glory is God in you! Believe that this word is true and you will see an extraordinary transformation of your own personality taking place. This is when people cannot any longer deny that there is a God that is alive.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Be Prepared!

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage- with great patience and careful instruction”
(2 Timothy 4:2).

I recently had an appointment with the local radio station in my hometown. I had seen the building from the outside and so I made my own conclusions about it. I thought I could dress very casual. After all the outside of the building looked a bit insignificant. The windows of the building were dark and so I couldn’t see how the inside looked like.

How I was mistaken! As I opened the front door and entered into their offices I was hit by a big surprise: A whole new realm opened itself up to me and it was like coming from the darkness into the light. Their offices were extremely elegant and exquisite. I was welcomed with much respect by two men in suits and ties and I was also introduced to the founder and his elegant wife.

As I was sitting in a most sophisticated meeting room, I thought about my appearance. Here I was sitting in my jogging suit with no make-up on my face. On top of that my hair looked awful. You can imagine how embarrassing this was for me and I thought “Lord, please get me out of here right away.” But I had to endure my foolishness highly underestimating the situation.

So think about this: As a born again believer you are Christ’s ambassador and so readiness at all times is a good place to be in. After all, you never know where the LORD will lead you today, right?! He might just want you to stand before Kings and Queens and represent the King of Kings! Do not think you are insignificant because He thinks you are worthy to represent Him. So be ready and expect great things to happen before your eyes.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

He Knows Your Needs.

“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him (Matthew 6:8 NIV)”.

What do you think of that: One morning you discover a brand new pair of tennis shoes on your property placed by some anonymous somebody. You don’t know who it is, but you sense right away that this is something from God. Well, this happened to us and I was touched by this kind provision from above. First I thought they were for me but as I tried them on I realized they were too big for my feet. So my husband and I put these shoes aside in our foyer. They were waiting there for a while until a young man moved into our house. We are helping him “get back on his feet” again. One of the things we noticed right away was that he urgently needed a new pair of shoes. The ones he was wearing were torn up and also not fit for the cold season that was approaching. And you know what? These new shoes fit him perfectly! They were waiting all these weeks just for him, a person that needed a new pair of shoes. It’s like an angel of the Lord just stopped by one day and dropped these shoes off in advance for him.

Isn’t this just a beautiful story of how the Father in Heaven knows what we need before we even ask Him? Well in advance He knew that this young man was going to stay with us and that he would need a new pair of shoes. He used a person unknown to us to provide and put them in our yard.

Today your heavenly Father wants to reassure you that He knows what you need. He knows all your emotional, physical, material and spiritual needs and He wants to be the one that meets them all. The only requirement He needs from you is that you put your entire trust in Him. So do not put your trust away which has such a great reward. Wait upon the LORD and the manifestation of His provision for you. I tell you the truth, your trust in Him and your walk of faith will never be the same. Remember, you serve an awesome God!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Monday, 1 February 2010

Give What You Have.

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow- when you now have it with you" (Proverbs 3:27-28 NIV).

A few months ago we were able to by a navigation system for our car. You cannot imagine the great relief we experienced. No more maps, no more hassle to find a street, no more late arrivals and no more arguments in the car. It is a wonderful instrument and such a great invention. As we were talking with a friend about it he got so excited and asked us if he could borrow it for his next trip. As we had grown close to it and it had become so dear to us, it was at first a little difficult for us to let it go. But of course we gave it to him and you know, the more he borrowed it from us the happier we got because we were able to meet his need and give something away which we had.

You know the Bible tells us that God loves the cheerful giver and that every good and perfect gift comes from Him. Wow and how this was true! One day my husband received from our friend a totally unexpected wonderful gift. I mean a truly awesome gift! It was a fine leather jacket with the emblem of his alma mater, The Ohio State University, which he absolutely adores. And to make things perfect the jacket came just in the right size. Think about that. A new leather jacket, in just the right size, with his home state college mascot delivered to our front door step - three states away!

We serve an awesome God, don’t we and his rewards are just amazing. So what do we learn here? What is it that you have? Belongings, time, money? Whatever it is, give what you have, serve your brother and sister with what you have, and surely God will take care of you. I can assure you that He will open His storehouses for you and pour out His abundant blessings on you.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner