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Nine Eleven

In honor of 911~Re-Posted from my June 24, 2012 entry

“We are going to the 911 Memorial to pay our respect to the city, the victims and their families before we visit the rest of city,” I told our 11 year old granddaughter, Kaily, earlier this month.

Our hotel was near Time Square. We walked to the subway. So many people!! We held hands…hung on for dear life is more like it!

Not sure which way to go once we left the subway, I asked a businessman sitting across from us. Kindly he showed us the correct stairway.

When I told him why we were first visiting the memorial before the rest of the city, he was greatly appreciative…you see he was in one of the Towers in 2001 and during the 1993 bombing.

Details were not shared…we respected his silence. Changing subjects, he showed us the new towers under construction, pointed us in the right direction and we parted ways.

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It was just before dusk when we arrived. Walking into the area we were able to get a better look at the new buildings whose shadows fell upon the landscape where those fated buildings once stood 11 years ago.

Reverently we stood there. Name after name, grouped together with those they worked with that also lost their lives; Police Officers, Firemen, Rescue Workers, Consultants, Visitors, Employees…the names seemed endless.

We walked from the South Tower’s reflection pool to the North Tower’s.

Lining the edge of the acreage I noted a bank of computers where one could look-up a loved one to learn where their name was inscribed. Kaily wanted to select a name from the North Pool and then enter the name into one of the computers.

As she walked to the pool, I prayed that the name would have significance to her. I did not want this to be just an exercise, but for God to be in the midst of this. We were on Holy Ground. I told her we’d pray for the family and friends of the person she selected.

She walked to the north-west corner…Steve Morris was the name she selected. We prayed for him as we walked to the collection of computers.

After entering his name into one of the computers, the face of a young man with dark hair appeared. He was 31 years old when he died; born in Chester, England (United Kingdom). He was a resident of Ormond Beach, Florida.

Ormond Beach! The town just north of where Kaily was born and I live. Ormond Beach! The town I worked in for 18 years. Ormond Beach! A place Kaily knew…a place she could relate…no longer was this just a list of names…the reality of this horror set in.

We looked-up dozens of names that surrounded the inscription “Steve Morris” expecting to find additional names from Florida. They were from New York, New Jersey, Canada, United Kingdom…you name it…but no one from Florida.

GOD IS IN THE DETAILS.

Neither one of us will ever forget this young man and his family and friends.

I was in Tampa on 911 and watched on TV as the second plane crashed into the South Tower; however, Kaily was an infant. God provided a way for her to connect to this tragedy and to be a part of those who hold this dear young man in their heart.

To the family of Steve Morris, we express our deepest sympathy and want you to know you are in our prayers.

I read online that a memorial bench was placed in a park near Ormond Beach by the Intracoastal Waterway. It would be such an honor to know where this bench was located. I would like to take my granddaughter there and once again honor him.

To NYC…my heart goes out to you. I have visited NYC several times since 911 and it is good to see you healing. The Memorial is…truthfully I am at a loss of words…so many emotions arose when I saw those pools…the vast void…I cannot describe it.

May we never see such terror reign on the American soil again…and may the rest of our world find peace.

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911 Survivor Tree was found amongst the rubble…charred and mangled by the attack it now stands tall. A symbol of The City’s strength.

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Blessings, Susan

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Susan Werthem is a Bible study leader, speaker and author.

She takes the Word of God and shares His truth in a humorous, unique and insightful way.

To contact Susan to plan a retreat or seminar Click here.

Have you found this post to be of value?

Do you know of someone who might benefit from reading this or another one of my writings about our Lord?

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LIFE IS A JOY…PASS IT ON!
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Hi, my name is Susan

And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40 (NRSV)

It looked like my husband and I were going to have all three seats to ourselves when at the last minute an older lady was brought to our row to sit in the window seat next to me.

My husband stood up into the aisle of the jet. I began to do the same but she started to come into the row.

Smiling with my hand up I said, “Wait just a sec. Let me get out first,” She proceeded to pat me on the head and speak a foreign language. It took her a moment to figure out my hand signals, but soon she stepped back.

One of the attendants said she speaks Portuguese and asked if we did??

NO

Quickly before we took off I pulled up Google Translator on my phone and typed.

“Hi, my name is Susan.”

” Oi meu nome é Susan”

I smiled, showed her my phone screen. She smiled said something and patted me on the head again. (I have no idea what that means, but I hope it’s good. LOL)

Just as we started to take off she brought out her rosary beads.

Ah…a fellow believer. Thanks, Lord.

We did some universal sign language. The OK sign. The smile. The nod of the head. Thumbs up.

With a quizzical look while pointing to my pretzels I was able to tell the flight attendant that was her choice. Even showed her the little place to tear the package to get to them.

Traveling alone in a strange land and unable to communicate can be difficult, even scary.

I hope my gestures made her feel more comfortable.

As we deplaned I received another head pat.

I’m assuming it’s a custom from her culture.

Later I saw her being wheeled through the terminal. She smiled and gave me a big wave…I had made a friend.

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:1-2 (NRSV)

When we were in Italy last year we were lost in the hills of the Tuscany Region. We stopped at a small resort and asked the proprietor for directions. He did not speak English.

Holding his finger up in the air as if to say, “Wait,” he took off. Soon he returned with a guest that spoke Italian and English.

He told her the directions and then she translated them.

Video of exchange. (Poor camera work on my part…sorry)


Somewhere in Tuscany

Team work.

Reaching outside one’s comfort zone to help another person.

You don’t need to travel to a distant land to find an opportunity to show kindness to another soul.

Reach out to your neighbor, co-worker, or the person in the grocery store line.

Take time to pass some kindness forward. You may be entertaining an angel.

Blessings, Susan

Click here to view upcoming event

Susan Werthem is a Bible study leader, speaker and author.

She takes the Word of God and shares His truth in a humorous, unique and insightful way.

To contact Susan to plan a retreat or seminar Click here.

Have you found this post to be of value?

Do you know of someone who might benefit from reading this or another one of my writings about our Lord?

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LIFE IS A JOY…PASS IT ON!
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Clarity

Yesterday we were driving in Florida on the Interstate in the pouring rain. Our car was hydroplaning but thankfully my husband kept the car on the road.

Out of the corner of my eye, across 3 lanes, I noticed a car on the on-ramp and shoulder who had apparently spun out. They were cockeyed in the lane, sort of headed north in the south bound lane. There was no way we could stop to check on them.

I said a prayer and pulled my phone out of my purse to dial 911. Looking for a mile marker before I dialed, I realized I’d have to wait for an exit sign. The heavy downpour was making it impossible to see any markers.

It was about 5 minutes before I was able to call and provide a location. No one else had reported the apparent accident. Did they not see it? Did they think everyone else would call? Or did they feel it was a single car incident and nothing could have happened?

I’m a nurse and thus I always think worse case scenario.

I sit here this morning wondering if the occupants were okay. Did their airbags deploy and possibly injure them? Was it an elderly person who was frightened? Were there children in the car?

I’ll never know.

Was it the blinding rain or the road conditions that caused them to end up heading the wrong way and partially off the road? Were they driving too fast?

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Outside Rome in 2013

Sometimes when we find ourselves headed in the wrong direction we too wonder what happened, where did we go wrong?

Did we lose sight of God’s plan? Were we going too fast?

My dear friend, April’s life verse is
4 God made everything with a place and purpose;
Proverbs 16:4a (MSG)

God has a plan for us. Sometimes we are blinded by all the distractions in our lives. Or we head down the wrong path and we lose our footing.

Other times we are blessed to hear God’s voice loud and clear. When we do, we need to heed His directions and follow the path He has prepared for us.

Today in your devotions, ask God to take off your blinders, give you clarity of purpose, and to open your heart and mind to His plans for you.

Do not be surprised when He provides you with a bold and direct answer as He DOES have a purpose for your life!!

But if He elects to delay the answer, do NOT be disappointed.

Clarity will come.

If you are walking with Christ, living your life according to His WORD, you ARE fulfilling His plan for you.

Blessings, Susan

Click here to view upcoming event

Susan Werthem is a Bible study leader, speaker and author.

She takes the Word of God and shares His truth in a humorous, unique and insightful way.

To contact Susan to plan a retreat or seminar Click here.

Have you found this post to be of value?

Do you know of someone who might benefit from reading this or another one of my writings about our Lord?

If so, please click the “Share” link at the end.

LIFE IS A JOY…PASS IT ON!
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LISTEN!

Riding in the car last week with my husband I looked out the window and saw the river along with boats tied up to their docks.

It’s the same view I see every day when I’m riding home from work.

This time however I saw it from a visitor’s point of view.

I laughed and said to my husband that if we were on vacation I would’ve wanted to stop and take a picture. Instead it was a familiar scene that I took for granted.

Every day we fail to see the beauty that is right at our doorstep.

Sometimes it is not a picturesque scene that we take for granted but family and friends…God.

How many times have we been annoyed with our spouse or ignored our children?

When have we failed to really see them and hear them? Listen to them ?

We only have a finite amount of years, hours, minutes here on earth.

How are we using them?

What or who do we not really see?

STOP-

At this point in writing this I was sitting in a physician’s office waiting room. A lady came in and after checking in she sat next to me and she proceeded to strike up a conversation.

I was annoyed.

“I only have a few minutes to write this blog,” I thought.

“Lady, please stop talking” came into my head.

THEN…woe

“Susan, what are you doing? The very thing you are writing about.”

“What is more important, words on a page or connecting with another human being?”

I told God I heard Him loud and clear.

I put down my phone (I frequently type posts on iPhone) and I ‘listened’ to this woman.

Nothing earth shattering happened; however, it was apparent she needed an ear to hear.

Maybe that was exactly what God had in mind when He had me start this message.

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10a

I heard Him with distinct clarity.

“Listen, Susan!”

Enough said!!

I don’t think I need to type another word.

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Blessings. Susan

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Truth or Consequences

ACK!!!!

(That is me screaming!)

Well, not literally.

I have taken a job that requires me to go back to “school”! I am taking an online medical coding course.

It is so tedious and very fast paced.

This is actually my break from studying (on Labor Day—catch the irony!?)!!

I am an RN, moving into a new role and I need to understand medical coding to facilitate improved clinical documentation of the hospital records. Believe me, this is not as easy as it sounds.

Actually it is a little like being a detective and I like that.

I must look at the totality of what the physician has written in the medical record, one cannot just take one phrase or word and run with it…sound familiar?

We must look at the totality of what The Great Physician has written in the Word. When we read God’s Word we cannot just take a verse or two…or even a chapter or two at face value without looking at the Bible as a whole.

That is where one has to be very careful when listening to a preacher, teacher, or reading a post by a blogger.

We need to investigate what is said. Be watchful for a wolf in sheep’s clothing. False teachers can point people in the wrong direction. They can plant confusion and doubt.

Paul in his letter to the Galatians spoke of false teachers. In chapter 5 he asks them who is influencing them…who has distracted them from the truth. He reminds them that it only takes a little yeast to spread through a batch of dough and have a significant influence. Here the yeast is having a negative effect.

Jesus also used a similar illustration to describe The Kingdom of Heaven where yeast has a positive effect: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.” Matthew 13:33 (NLT)

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A leader can slowly influence others in a negative or positive manner. TEST what they say. Does it measure up to what the Bible says?

Don’t become distracted, like a runner not paying attention to the road ahead…one pebble could trip him up…a stumble and possibly a FALL.

Keep alert!

Be discerning.

When we went to Italy, our first meal was in a restaurant where no one spoke English. The server got out his iPad to communicate through pictures and using Google Translator. “Calamari!” he said. My husband loves calamari…”YES!” he was happy to order it.

What arrived was a dish of black noodles…with what was apparently the ink from a squid! It was disgusting!

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Getting a the whole story about the dish would have made a big difference.

And so it is with the Gospel…obtain the complete truth, the whole story. Don’t just take someone’s word for it…ferret it out yourself…search for the truth.

When we were in Italy we were following our friends in the car ahead of us.

We depended on the GPS and did not have an actual paper map; however, the car in front of us had several maps and a GPS.

YET…U-turns became the activity of the day!

The video below depicts our daily agenda!

Conflicting information resulted in confusion and misdirection.

I hope you find this video as comical as I do.

This is exactly what can happen in our Christian walk. Receiving mixed messages and following someone without questions…you too can end up unsure of where you are and what to do next.

Blessings, Susan

Click here to view upcoming event

Susan Werthem is a Bible study leader, speaker and author.

She takes the Word of God and shares His truth in a humorous, unique and insightful way.

To contact Susan to plan a retreat or seminar Click here.

Have you found this post to be of value?

Do you know of someone who might benefit from reading this or another one of my writings about our Lord?

If so, please click the “Share” link at the end.

LIFE IS A JOY…PASS IT ON!
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On my heart

This past week someone I barely know shared briefly with me their financial struggles.

I cannot get this conversation out of my head.

What can I do to help this family?

I’ve figured this out.

What resources are there in our community for this family?

I am trying to figure this out. There are some food pantry options I have located, but they are only for an emergency.

2 Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (CEB)

This Scripture has been coming to mind.

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 (ESV)

But the Bible also says…

22a A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children… Proverbs 13:22 (KJV)

This appears to be telling me to be a good steward of my money so that I may leave a portion of my “wealth” to my children AND grandchildren.

So my question is…Are we to provide money, food, shelter, etc.? Or are we to come alongside of someone and give them godly Biblical counsel, provide them the tools to improve their situation, and encourage them?

I think the answer it YES to both questions.

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We need to find a balance between providing tangibly for someone’s needs and “teaching them to fish.”

My plan is to provide a fish and teach her how to catch a fish.

Is there someone in your neighborhood, church, or workplace that is in need? Ask God to reveal their hardship and to provide you with the discernment to know how to help.

Remember…helping others does not mean to place yourself in financial jeopardy.

Most importantly, share the love of Christ and lead them to the saving grace of God. Tell them the Gospel message. If their life is not founded on Christ, it will be difficult for them to follow His precepts and even if they did…what would they have gained without Him?

Still wondering what you should do?

5 If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and He will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn’t find fault with them. James 1:5 (GW)

God will provide the answers.

6Only the Lord gives wisdom; ·He gives [L from His mouth comes] knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6

 

We are so blessed. We had times in the past that we did not know how we were going to pay our bills. Over the years our financial situation has stabilized. Daily I thank God for our blessings.

18 Remember then the Lord, your God, for He is the one who gives you the power to get wealth, by fulfilling, as He has now done, the covenant He swore to your ancestors. Deuteronomy 8:18 (NABRE)

I pray I never forget it is God who has provided for our needs.

Yes we saved.

Yes we worked hard.

Yes we were good stewards of our money.

Yes we sought godly advice.

And now YES I need to share this knowledge with others.

What is God telling you to do?

Blessings, Susan

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LIFE IS A JOY…PASS IT ON!

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Click here to view upcoming event

Susan Werthem is a Bible study leader, speaker and author.

She takes the Word of God and shares His truth in a humorous, unique and insightful way.

To contact Susan to plan a retreat or seminar Click here.

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I imagine God chuckling ~ susan werthem

Recently my husband and I visited the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, California.

Located near the San Gabriel Mountains, this historical site is 127 acres of God’s beauty…and His sense of humor.

We saw peacocks, ducks, geese, waterfalls, hummingbirds, roses, dozens of varieties of bamboo, wild flowers, beautiful trees and some really crazy plants and trees!

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I got the greatest kick out of this “Dr. Seuss” tree…better known as the Elephant-foot Tree native to Southeast Mexico.

2 How we laughed and sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.” Psalm 126:2 Living Bible (TLB)

This silly tree taught me that God wants to make us smile. And for us to think about the outstanding things He has done.

Look at the rooster. The comb of the rooster contains hyaluronic acid and is used to treat osteoarthritis. Who would have thought that silly thing on the head of a rooster could help such a painful disease?!

Look at Moses, one of the greatest men of the Bible. A Leader. A Stutterer. Who would have thought such a man would become a grand leader? God did!

God provided Aaron, Moses brother to speak to Pharaoh.

Have you ever heard evangelist, David Ring? He had cerebral palsy and his speech can be initially difficult to understand. But every time I’ve heard him speak, God has opened my ears and I have heard and understood his godly message.

As David would say with a great big smile, “So what’s your problem?”

I can imagine God chuckling at you and at me when we say to Him we can’t do this or that. Look at the “Greats” that have gone before us, each with some sort of challenge or barrier. Each accomplishing God’s will despite an obstacle.

What is your stumbling block?

Know that He will provide you an Aaron.

Imagine God chuckling…saying, “I AM the Great I AM. I will never ask you to do anything that is beyond your reach. I will provide you with the tools and support you need.”

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NLT)

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS.

The photos below are I took while visiting the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, California. …enjoy God’s beautiful creations.

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Cross


Blessings, Susan

Click here to view upcoming event

Susan Werthem is a Bible study leader, speaker and author.

She takes the Word of God and shares His truth in a humorous, unique and insightful way.

To contact Susan to plan a retreat or seminar Click here.

 

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God is striding ahead of you

We live in the same community we grew up in as children. My elementary school was less than a block away. My best friend lived 3 doors down from the school.

We rode bikes, played Jenny and Barbie dolls, had tea in the twin’s playhouse, jumped rope, and even made scrapbooks about Elvis.

As we entered our high school years the bikes became cars, we “dolled” ourselves up, snuck “tea”, danced rather than jumped, and signed each other’s yearbooks.

We attended our friends’ weddings or stood as their maid of honor or best man. We entered our adult lives with excitement and thought little of what 60 would look like.

Now that most of our friends are in their 60s some of us are driving a walker, “dolled” up may entail a hospital gown, sipping on Ensure has replaced “tea”, we may not be dancing the fox trot but trots may be part of the equation, and signing get well cards or checks to the doctor may be part of our day.

Now not all of us are facing health issues, but many of our dear friends are…and some are dealing with very serious surgeries and treatments.

As my mom used to say, getting old is not for sissies. So true.

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6 “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 (MSG)

If your life journey takes you into a hospital room, doctor’s office or some other medical venue know that God is “striding ahead of you.” Picture Him having prepared that place for you, a place to heal.

Know that He will be “right there with you” as you go through this new challenge in your life.

And that “He will NOT let you down nor will He leave you.”

“6 In my distress [when seemingly closed in] I called upon the Lord and cried to my God; He heard my voice out of His temple (heavenly dwelling place), and my cry came before Him, into His [very] ears.” Psalm 18:6 (AMP)

In your times of real distress over your circumstance, NEVER EVER feel guilty about the tears you shed. The Bible is full of tears.

Did you know that the chemical makeup of our tears varies depending on why we are crying…an onion, laughing, sad…each one has its own unique chemical makeup. Click here for more information on tears…even under a microscope they look different!

When we are sad our brain sends hormones to our eyes resulting in tears…a “good cry” is a “good thing”. READ MORE HERE.

“O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.” Psalm 40:5 (NLT)

Tonight as I type this post my eyes fill with tears…and my heart fills with prayer. One of our dear friends, Steve, is facing surgery this week. My prayer is that his burden is made lighter through the prayers from his family and friends and that he places his faith on the ROCK – CHRIST.

May God go before you, Steve, giving wisdom to your surgeon and clinical staff and providing you with His comfort as you heal.

This, my dear readers, is also my prayer for each of you as you face whatever hurdles life brings you.

Cross


Blessings, Susan

Click here to view upcoming event

Susan Werthem is a Bible study leader, speaker and author.

She takes the Word of God and shares His truth in a humorous, unique and insightful way.

To contact Susan to plan a retreat or seminar Click here.

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Anxieties? THROW them onto Christ

“It’s not your burdens that define you. It’s who you allow to carry them.” - Susan Werthem

Awhile back I met a lady at a women’s one day retreat. Lovely person. She was in her 80s.

Happy.

Pleasant.

And fun to be around.

Near the close of the day she shared her story.

In her early thirties she married an older man with children. Shortly thereafter her husband had a stroke. She cared for him for many years, his grown children abandoned her and their father, yet she never lost her faith in God.

After he passed away she was diagnosed with cancer, was soon placed into Hospice. Alone, no family to visit, yet she never lost her faith.
Her cancer went into remission…she was “kicked out of Hospice!”

Healthy years passed…then she developed a different kind of cancer, went into Hospice again…she never lost her hope and faith in Christ.

REMISSION AGAIN!!!

This cycle repeated itself 2 more times!!

Throughout those years she had never remarried. Each illness she faced without any family at her side.

Yet she never felt alone…Christ was always at her side.

We listened to this amazing story. One would never have guessed she had endured these battles. Her countenance showed the love of Christ on her face.

She saved the best surprise for last.
In a few days she was getting married to a wonderful man of God.

It took 80 years for them to find each other.

She never allowed her trials and burdens to define her. She found happiness in the midst of her dark days.

In closing she pointed out her abdomen was quite swollen…yes she said with a smile…the beast known as cancer had returned..yet she was not angry. Her hope and faith was in Christ. He had sustained her all her life. He would continue to do so.
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Would I walk with such faith if I faced the same circumstances?

Would you?

“Throw all your worry on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (ISV)

I love the word picture this creates.

THROW your worries, concerns, anxieties, problems, etc. on Christ.

“Throw the whole of your anxiety upon Him, because He Himself cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (WNT)

The result of THROWING?

We are able to leave all of our personal, family, and business anxieties in His wise hands and our souls are calmed.

Satan’s goal is to destroy and devour our souls. Don’t give him the power. Give the reins to Christ.

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Throw your cares into the Living Waters of Christ.
Do it now with the little things, so that when a big challenge appears you will be standing on Christ’s solid ground!!

“Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks.” Philippians 4:6 (GWT)

Blessings, Susan