Monday, 26 September 2011

I Am Doing a New Thing!

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).

Can you perceive the new thing in your own life? It’s such a precious thing when you can see that there is actually a lot of progress in your life. But you often overlook the progress by looking at your end goal and miss it, because the new thing the Lord is speaking about has to do with growth. And since growth is a process you have to look at each little step on your way.

So let me paint a picture for you to illustrate this progress. Let’s take a piece of Swiss cheese. In order to become all that it needs to be, this cheese has to go through a manufacturing and a maturing process. This cheese did not receive its good taste right from the beginning. No, there was a steady process and progress going on with this cheese until it reached its maturity.

So why not take a look at your own life for a moment and ask the Lord about your personal progress. I can assure you that you will be amazed at how much progress you are actually making. Take just an area of your life and look at it closely. This could be your abilities and talents or even your interaction with others. Do you face any challenges? Do you need more understanding or patience or is the Lord pointing out something specific? 

Whatever it may be, know in your heart that this very challenge is creating a new thing in your life! And then you will realize step by step that many things are springing forth in your life. This awareness alone will give you such a boost of faith and joy and lead you straight away out of your personal desert and wasteland.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Sunday, 18 September 2011

"Are You Hungry?"

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you” (Psalm 81, 10 & 16 NIV).

You should have seen this nest! We were blessed by a Red Robin that built a firm custom-made nest on top of the gutter that was coming down just underneath our roof. Now the Red Robin became a proud mommy of two little Red Robins. The only thing we can see of these little ones is their big mouth. As soon as their mother lands on the nest, they arise with their mouths wide and open hungry to receive whatever mommy brings back home to them.

As I saw this kind of hunger displayed by these birds and their wide open mouths I had to think of Psalm 81. You know, the LORD is very much like a mother to us. It is He alone that wants to fill us with such an abundance of good things so that in all times we could experience such a satisfaction and contentment.

Today the LORD wants to reassure you that He is truly the only One that can satisfy your hunger. You no longer have to feed yourself on things that leave you empty and hungry. Just be hungry for Jesus! I tell you, open your heart and mind wide to the LORD and allow The Rock of Salvation to feed you with His kind of food.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Sunday, 11 September 2011

"Wait on Me"

“Martha, Martha, the Lord answered, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:41-42).

If you get a chance to go to our park in Ottumwa, do it! It’s such an interesting site and the Lord very often speaks to me through His creation.

Recently I went for a walk and I observed some animals. There were many squirrels and geese and one day also a multitude of pelicans. As I stopped and pondered about this wildlife, the Lord showed me something interesting. These animals eat, rest and fly. Squirrels for example jump around and it seems that they are really enjoying their day! Nothing more they seem to do than fly, eat, rest and jump.

And then I thought about this verse above. Jesus praises Mary for sitting at his feet and listening to him. She is doing nothing more than that. She is actually doing far less than her sister Martha. But with much activity there also come a lot of worries. What was it that could not be taken away from Mary? It was the loving words of Jesus, the fellowship with Him, His instruction and His awesome presence. There is so much richness in just listening to the Lord. We easily get distracted don’t we, when we are so busy with many things.

So look at the squirrels and the geese next time you go to the park and rest assured, that he wants this same rest for you. He wants you to rejoice and be glad all the days of your life. This happiness will come when you rest in Him and hear His voice. Then equipped with His very words you will be ready for the day.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner

Sunday, 4 September 2011

“Lay Down Your Life”

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16 NIV).

In the last while I had been thinking a lot about this verse. Since my husband and I are discipling people I had to ask myself in my daily interaction with people if I could seriously die for another person like Jesus did for us on the cross of Calvary. No, I couldn’t, but as I continued in this chapter the Lord answered my question right in verse 17.

It says there that” whosoever has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” God is so gracious, He was asking me to make small sacrifices so that I could exercise dying to myself, my selfishness and my own will and so be made able to grow in His love.

You might be facing the same kind of situations and questions. You have come across this verse as well and want to know what it means to lay down your life for somebody. I want to help you here and tell you that you die to yourself by making one good choice at a time in favor of another person’s life. Selfless choices are for example that you humble yourself instead of being prideful, putting others needs first, choosing to remain silent when you could say something, asking for forgiveness even when the other person also made a mistake.

I tell you, that’s really a small sacrifice compared to the vast love of God that can be yours today!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Suzanne Tanner