Sunday, 24 April 2011

"Be An Originator!"

“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong” (Romans 1:11 NIV).

I work as an on-call classroom teacher at a daycare center here in town. One of the many things I get to do is to teach small children the alphabet. They use colorful foam mats that look like puzzle pieces which they attach together to help them eventually form a word.

One day as I was watching these kids playing with these foam mats I yearned for them to know that they were children of the King of Kings. So to make this project a little bit more adventurous and playful for them I took these elements and showed them how with only 6 mats they could make a cube. Then I took one mat out which left a space and placed it on their little heads telling them that this was their crown and that they were all princes and princesses. I guess they thought this was a great new idea and so they ran around in the whole classroom showing off their crowns. Many months later as I was working again in this same classroom, I was amazed to see that they were wearing their crowns. They took what I had showed them, put their crowns together all by themselves and had even shown others how to do it.

In that moment my heart was so glad. I never thought that they would take this idea and reproduce it. I had originated something in them and left an inheritance behind in their precious lives. Believe me, you can do that too! You can originate things and impart it to others. All you need is the love for others like the Apostle Paul had for his beloved churches. Then let the LORD direct your imagination. I tell you, as you see it being reproduced in others your confidence will grow strong. You will know that you have been called to be an originator, one of the many wonderful characteristics of the creator of all things, your heavenly Father.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Sunday, 17 April 2011

"Full Exposure"

“And the LORD was gracious to Hannah; she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD" (1 Samuel 2:21).

For quite some time I have been very interested in planting. With the help and insight of God I got to plant a lot of seeds, and then I waited and watched for them to grow. It’s a fascinating project I tell you! I learned that I needed a spacious container and good soil for my seeds. Then I would water them day by day and expose them to some light. And indeed, the seeds died and were born again and rose after a while into something green that pushed through the soil and started to grow. After a couple of weeks however, I noticed that my plants were not growing very well. I needed some help and I found it in my husband. He took the pots and put them right on the window seal for them to be exposed to more sun. From the rising to the setting of the sun my plants were now exposed to so much light that after the first one or two days I already recognized a significant growth. I realized that the pot, the soil and the watering were a good thing, but the full exposure to the sun was the ultimate requirement for my plants to grow properly into their destiny.

And this is exactly what you need as well! The word of God is essential and is a seed that is planted in your heart. That’s a good thing, and it will grow in you, but what causes the greatest growth for you is when you walk in the presence of the LORD. This is how Samuel became a mighty man of God and his destiny as a prophet and a judge for the nation of Israel was born. I encourage you today to make it a point in your daily walk with Jesus to expose yourself fully before Him. As you open your heart to Him and develop this sweet communion with Him, you will grow up to become a mighty testimony of God’s purpose for mankind.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Sunday, 10 April 2011

"I Love You Just The Way You Are"

“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness”(Jeremiah 31:3 NIV).

We thought it would be a nice thing to buy ourselves a puppy dog to bring some new interaction into our relationship. And indeed it did! Shortly before Christmas we chose the cutest doggie in the whole wide world and he indeed brings so much joy to us.

So now when we get up in the morning we go straight to our dog instead to the coffee machine. We let him out of his kennel and he gets to go outside for his bathroom routine. We fix his meals, see that he gets enough water and also give him much tender loving care and some training also. He is such a good puppy and we affirm to him all the time that he is just the best puppy in the whole wide world. He loves to play, relax, have his tummy rubbed and spend time with us. When we are separated from him for a couple of hours we both yearn and long to see him again. This has now become our enriched life with our puppy dog.

Recently as he was resting on my lap I asked myself why I loved my puppy so much. This love for him is definitely not based on what he could do for me. If I compare him with me it is clear, he will never have the same capabilities and characteristics. The same applies with God and man: we will always be limited. But let me tell you, when my puppy wiggles his tail and shows me his affection, I just have to think about the love that the Father in Heaven has for you and me.

It is a fact; next to your affections there is really nothing you need to do to impress the LORD. He is the awesome God and He loves and accepts you just the way you are! All He ever desires is that you would just simply spend time with Him and show Him how much you love Him. That is what you have been created for and that is what truly touches His Heart. Not your actions, but your affections.

As you rest in this assurance today that you are loved by Him just the way you are, you will begin to experience the depth of His unconditional love for you. It will set you free to be the person He created you to be!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Sunday, 3 April 2011

"Your Voice Is Familiar To Me"

“’Lord if it’s you,’ Peter replied ‘tell me to come on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said” (Matthew 14: 28 NIV).

I was thinking that day that a voice truly becomes familiar to us by deeply knowing and experiencing the heart of a person. But let me share with you here exactly what I mean.

A few days ago I tried to call a good friend of mine. He was not available at that very moment, so I listened to his voice mail. As I was listening to his voice, my thoughts traveled back in time and I realized that I had known him for 15 years, and that was indeed a long time. How comforting it was for me to know that his gentle and loving voice still sounded the same. I thought about how his voice was so familiar to me, and although I hadn’t seen him for a while, his voice was still the same. His voice hadn’t changed in all these years. I was so thankful that day because just by hearing his voice, it felt like a resting place for me. Before calling my friend that day I had spoken to another person who I had worked for some years ago and who I had known for about 10 years. When I listened to his voice I thought it was not at all familiar to me, and I concluded that we hadn’t had this deep heart-to-heart relationship in all this years.

I think this was the same that Peter had experienced. Although in that story in Matthew the disciples were terrified because Jesus was all of a sudden walking on water and they thought it was a ghost, Peter knew the voice of the Lord. It was a familiar one to him and as he heard Jesus saying to him, “Come,” he trusted that voice immediately and so he did something unthinkable to him and to the rest of us. He walked on water just because he trusted that familiar voice of love and truth that came from the King of Kings.

This is the core of the Christian Life: being familiar deep down inside of the unique voice of the LORD. As you hear His voice and know without a shadow of doubt it is Him that is speaking to you, you will indeed step out of your own boat, your comfort zone, and begin to walk on the water. This is when all your limitations and fears will be put aside at once. I tell you, it’s a great adventure and only a few get to experience it. Will you dare to be one of them?

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner